There being a lack of interesting news stories these past few days, I am forced to resort to desperate measures to find something on which to opine: I read The Guardian. And lo! Here is a story about a Church of England Vicar who admits to being a magician and visiting a Druid gathering for Summer Solstice.
Excited I read on. Could this be someone like the Reverend Ayton who was a clergyman, alchemist, and one of the first members of the Golden Dawn? Or Father Fitzpatrick and his brethren who was active at Whare Ra? By calling himself a Christian and a magician, was he in fact saying he practised a Christian form of magic such as that of the Elus Cohens – or a form of Christian esotericism such as Martinism or Rosicrucianism?
As it happens, no. What he – a gentleman named Mark Townsend – actually meant was that he was a stage magician. Apparently he thought that this was somehow comparable to actual Magic(k) as is practised by both pagans and Christian Occultists. He seemed to think that the use of ledgerdemain can impress people so much that they will pay attention to him long enough for him to minister to them.
The fundamental problem though is this. With stage magic one experiences initial surprise which quickly wears off because one knows that it is actually false. With real Magic – as indeed with the miracles of Jesus – the wonder of it stays and continually grows, because one realises that it is actually true. It is a shame that the priest in question attempted to use a False thing to give witness to something which is purportedly the greatest truth of his religion, when the use of Theurgy – magical ritual used to attain the ends of mysticism, would have been so much more effective.