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Magic and Magick

By Donald Michael Kraig

For many years, calling the illusions presented by stage performers “magic” could get you in trouble for pretending to be supernatural, even if what you were doing was comedic tricks for kids. As a result, many performers, rather than calling themselves magicians, used other terms such as “conjuror,” “juggler,” or “prestidigitator.”

Aleister Crowley came up with a different solution for making a written differentiation. He used an archaic spelling, magick with a final “k,” to indicate the real practice and used “magic” to represent the entertainment. [The “k” also had another meaning for Crowley, indicating a reference to sex magick, but that’s a different issue.] In my Modern Magick and Modern Sex Magick I adopted the Crowley differentiation.

But the differentiation has not always been there. There is ample evidence that everything from simple magic tricks to elaborate, state-of-the-art technology was used in support of the spiritual.

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