Beginning a personal course of Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig
by Frater Grant
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
For many years, since I can even remember, I have been interested in the study and practice of Magick. You can refer to other articles about my childhood and my magickal path in life if you would like more information or back story. I have studied for countless hours, and invested a lot of money into purchasing the text to learn. I started my magickal education within the pagan system called Wicca. It wasn’t long before I moved on to Hermeticism, Thelema, and Ceremonial Magick.
As stated, I have studied quite a bit on my own. This has done a few things, some negative and some positive. First, I learned that I had to take control of my own life and study and be as proactive as possible. This solitary approach has been very difficult. I had no one to lead me to correct information, to correct pronunciations, to the correct visualizations. Anyone who has ever studied the field of occult magick can attest that the information is never easily found or explained. It takes referring to many large (sometimes GIGANTIC) volumes and cross referencing to others. This has left a few blank spots within my education.
I have come across the name Donald Michael Kraig, and his work “Modern Magick” many, many times. I was very skeptical. First and foremost, the cover of the 3rd edition of the book is horrendous. It’s fake and gimicky with a computer generated figure practicing what is likely to be the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP). Not only was this off putting, but the very name of the book left me skeptical. I didn’t want anything Modern, I wanted to learn the old ways! Little did I know how very wrong I was.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I was contacted by a friend who had moved to Portland. He has always been very interested in Magick, but wasn’t a very studious type. Living in Portland, he suddenly had access to many Thelemic temples and lodges. This exasperated his motivation and he wanted to find out as much as he could. He took a course online about banishings, but it left him less than satisfied. He did a search for courses in magick, and low and behold: Modern Magick was at the top of his list. He immediately called me after he downloaded it to his kindle and told me how great he thinks it is, and how he thinks that something so basic could really help me since I had been talking about the fact that I felt I had ‘holes’ in my education. I looked into it, and I was impressed.
I knew that I couldn’t use an electronic textbook for something like this. I am also trying to expand an already impressive physical magickal text library so I looked for the textbook on Amazon.com and I found that it was shipped and sold my the company. I had a credit from a mishap awhile back, and I used it to order the book. Amazon sent me a very small portion of the book to hold me over til the physical copy arrived. I devoured what they sent me in less than an hour.
I decided that I would in fact ‘take the course’, or begin at the beginning, and no matter how simple or redundant the information, I was going to complete the course from beginning to end.
I excitedly waited the next few days for the package to arrive. The book came in a very large box because I had ordered a few other items (a pair of bluetooth headphones for easily wearing to listen to podcast and run with music hands free. They have a myriad of uses for a writer and student such as myself. I will post a review with these later explaining such. I also purchased a hard case for my new computer as it is quite thin, and a felt computer pouch so that I could place the device into a backpack without worrying that pens would poke my ports or that lint would get stuck in one of them somehow). The book was severely damaged at the back, but I went ahead and began highlighting, underlining, and bookmarking. These are all things I use to retain the information and make it easy to find a specific spot in the text.
The parts that were included immediately set out the basics: A dream diary, ritual diary, and a tarot deck. Being the good magician I am, I already had these basic items but I decided that because this was a special course, I decided that I should use a separate set of notebooks/journals/diaries for this.
I settled on using my favorite notebooks- Moleskine. I purchased three different colored three-packs of the Extra-Large, Square Ruled, Cashier notebooks. I did this so that I could have three notebooks of different colors for ease of use, all the same size and thickness for economic reasons, and that if I filled up the dream journal, I could replace it with a fresh notebook of the same color and size. I deviated from the author by using three notebooks instead of two. One is my dream log. The second is my ritual diary where I record all magickal rituals done. This generally includes divination and readings with Tarot done only for myself. All other readings for clients are kept in their own file in my Tarot binder. The third notebook I decided would be to take notes from the book. This way I would in essence have a boiled down and hand written copy of the book. This method always helps me retain information as well.
One aspect of the course that I find thrilling is the fact that at the back of every one of the twelve lessons, can be found a short and concise review of the information from the lesson. I knew immediately upon seeing them that I was going to actually do them. This is where things started clicking-
I was wondering how I could use taking this course to show my progression to myself and others. This would motivate me when I saw progress, and motivate others by knowing that they are not alone in the struggle for the truth. I had been considering also typing all of my notes and information from the dream and ritual diaries so that they could be stored on the cloud as well. Then it hit me- to save my poor right hand and some time, I could type my reviews! So here we are.
In closing, I would like to thank my best friend for recommending this book to me, as well as the author, Donald Michael Kraig. I look forward to filling in the spaces, as well as learning so much more than ever in a very easy and concise way. I am very grateful for people and authors like you who have such a gift and innate talent for being able to promulgate and broadcast ideas through whatever means, be it writing, movies, paintings, drawings, music, poetry, podcast, tweets, e-books. It is all art and it is all beautiful.
The author states throughout the book that his highest hopes for the text are that they will inspire us to DO magick, not just read about it. This, friends, is exactly what I am trying to do here. We have to get off of your proverbial asses and read, write, record, meditate, perform, and enflame theyself in prayer. I must do magick, not just theorize.
What follows are a set of post that contain my answers to the questions presented by Donald Michael Kraig in Modern Magick, 3rd Edition. I will also be detailing how I am going about completing the task of creating ritual garb and tools. The book can be found here on Amazon.
Love is the Law, Love Under Will.