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Theurgy and Thaumaturgy

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Theurgy and Thaumaturgy

Postby DixieFlatline » Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:30 pm

Good afternoon,

First, my name is James, pleasure to meet you. Now, on to the good stuff.

After going to Crucible(awesome, btw) what I had suspected for quite some time has been confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Omnimancy is solidly a branch of thaumaturgy*, as opposed to theurgy**. Now keep in mind that this distinction is to a great extent arbitrary,though used a great deal historically and by no means without use, and not absolute.

Now, with this in mind, here is my question. If, by the below definition, you are a thaumaturge, what, if any, is your experience in theurgy? And if you are a theurge, what is your experience with thaumaturgy?


Thank you for your time,
Jim Jones
is a theurge by gut and a thaumaturge by training.

*Thaumaturgy (from the Greek words thaumos meaning "miracle" and ergos meaning "work") is the branch of magic (or "magick", the term as employed by Crowley) that is concerned with the production of real-world, "objective" effects, e.g. "miracles".

**Theurgy (from Latin: theurgia, Greek: θεουργία) describes the practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action of God (or other personified supernatural power), especially with the goal of uniting with the divine, achieving theosis, and perfecting oneself.
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Postby MageMindy » Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:33 pm

my only training is in omnimancy, therefore i'd consider myself primarily a thaumaturge. however i HAVE preformed little home-made rituals and have participated in GOG rituals so i cross over now and then.

sometimes one is more effective, sometimes the other. in true omnimancer fashion, i use whatever i can to get the best result.
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Postby LordArt » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:50 pm

DixieFlatline wrote:After going to Crucible(awesome, btw)...

Thanks!

DixieFlatline wrote:what I had suspected for quite some time has been confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Omnimancy is solidly a branch of thaumaturgy


Well, I could have told you that for the asking. :)

DixieFlatline wrote:If, by the below definition, you are a thaumaturge, what, if any, is your experience in theurgy?


I'm definately a thaumaturge. I have yet to find personal use for Theurgy. That's just not my path. I have been to MANY rituals in my day, and do talk with dieties/big entities from time to time, but mostly as chats, not asking them to do something for me. I'd rather KNOW how to do something and do it, then have something else do it for me. For me, the difference between most people and the divine is simply knowledge and understanding, which means it's an achievable goal, given suffiencient time and resources. Seeking union with divinity is not a personal goal, since I personally have no desire or need for that. I still perfect myself with the knowledge and understanding that I gain through my experiences, and to me, this is far more rewarding. Perhaps it will take a lot longer, but I will have done it via my own hand.
My personal experience is that while divinity has more knowledge and ability than people in general, that doesn't mean they will put the same effort into one's request that an individual might for their own goals. But that's my 2 cents on the matter.
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Definition of Inner

Postby Ann » Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:45 pm

Which brings up another question - as I read through the message board I don't find a definition for an "Inner". Can you explain this term as it relates to Omnimancy?

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Postby LordArt » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:56 pm

For a definition of an inner [self], you might wish to check out:

http://www.omnimancy.com/MagicDocs/Public/#5
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Uses

Postby Ann » Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:02 pm

There it is - thanks! Has there been a discussion of the practical uses of omnimancy? Is it always outwardly directed, or can it be internalized, say to help you sleep, or improve memory, for example?

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Postby LordArt » Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:21 am

Has there been a discussion of the practical uses of omnimancy? Is it always outwardly directed, or can it be internalized, say to help you sleep, or improve memory, for example?


There is actually a lot in Omnimancy that is internalized. Everything from self-emotional control, to "Sleep Compression" (Not my name for it, but what has been adopted. Basically, it makes 3 hours of sleep seem like 8-9 in end effect. Useful for the college crowd), to some of the college folk at the time making runes/spells that attach to their text books so during tests they get a marked increase in their grades (I know Contrary and LordFeh used that to good success). There are other applications of course, but the list goes on. My personal favorite is the Auto-Doc. It DRAMATICALLY reduces the times you actually get sick during the year, and if you do, it's either quite mild and/or quickly resolves itself.


(I may move this to a seperate thread if this sparks a long conversation)
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Postby Oyama » Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:50 pm

Wow, those sound really cool. I've been experimenting and trying to design new spells for different situations, as well as new ways of building spells to make them better, but sometimes I have a hard time thinking of new things to do.

Question, though. When an Omni thinks of a physical task or effect they want to elicit with magic, do they come up with new tech specifically tailored for that physical task or effect, or do they use existing tech concepts to build their spell, and just arrange them to fulfill the task, creating a unique tech spell?
For that matter, is tech purely meta-magic mechanics, or does it include the mechanics of "translation" from astral to physical manifestation?

For example, do you find ways to cause said effect (meaning you find out the mechanics of translating the intent into reality, and have the spell do this), or do you just use the meta-magic concepts to build efficient/powerful spells, and just "ignore" the mechanics of how that magical power is actually being exerted on reality to make it conform to the intent?
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Postby Obsidian » Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:47 am

Auto-doc? Is that a Ringworld reference? If so, I don't know what I'll do. *loves Ringworld with an unhealthy passion*

That's one of the things I've found hardest, to be honest. Using magic in the real-world situations. I just can't seem to find a use for it, outside of shielding, hiding, etc. I know about manipulating events and such, though my exerpience there left me with more pain than gain.

I suppose at the beginning, you see magic as something totally seperate and not able to be used everywhere in your life. I'm guessing that at a higher level, magic is as readily used as charm and speech. It's just a touch difficult thinking of what you can achieve with it, when you've still got a limited scope.

But anyways... Ringworld? =P
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Postby LordArt » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:42 am

Oyama wrote:When an Omni thinks of a physical task or effect they want to elicit with magic, do they come up with new tech specifically tailored for that physical task or effect, or do they use existing tech concepts to build their spell, and just arrange them to fulfill the task, creating a unique tech spell?


An Omni is limited by the techs that they know. Which is why we try to grab as many diverse techs as we can. Without the proper tech for the job, we go back to more raw will to support the parts we don't have. This was more the case in early Omni than it is now. Not that students don't end up doing the same thing until they ask a higher Omni "How do I do this?" and then they get a bunch of tech in true overkill omni fashion.

However a person will sometimes experiment to FIND a functional tech that will work for what they are doing.

Oyama wrote:For that matter, is tech purely meta-magic mechanics, or does it include the mechanics of "translation" from astral to physical manifestation?


It can include mechanics of translation from astral to physical. We don't have anywhere near as much of that as we do pure astral only stuff. Many Omnis, including myself, feel that part is lacking. However, we do have significant amount that does do the job, we just don't have all the variables identified/controlable to get the same reliability that was have in the astral. So we drastically increase the chances of a physical effect to happen, but it's not 100% like the astral equivalent is. Specific astral to physical effects we have a better success ratio than others, but they aren't where I'd like them to be (99%-100%). I'm the kind of guy that likes it when a+b=c, rather than a+b sometimes equals c. But if you talk to a quantum physicist, they'll say the latter equation is more often the case.

Oyama wrote:For example, do you find ways to cause said effect (meaning you find out the mechanics of translating the intent into reality, and have the spell do this), or do you just use the meta-magic concepts to build efficient/powerful spells, and just "ignore" the mechanics of how that magical power is actually being exerted on reality to make it conform to the intent?


Mostly the latter. We have specific spells that do a very impressive job on the physical, but that final "translation" is really in question. It is known there is a large amount of variables that are effected and we don't know them all. Sometimes one has to be happy that it works. Honestly, in many cases in the medical profession, they do things that work, but have no idea WHY it works. It's not to dissimular in this case unfortunately. In some cases, we know where to "press" so to speak to effect reality in different ways, but from our own investigations, the number of layers between the astral and the physical is quite a bit, and hence all would have to be accounted for in a true translation.

Sort of like if you have a rash and put ointment on it to make it go away. Even if you know the "active ingrediant" in the oinment, it's unlikely you know all the bio-chemical reactions that are going on to make the rash go away. It's too complex to know to that level without some sort of computer simulation (at least for realtime), but then YOU aren't knowing the effect details, the computer is, and you still see the result as abstract. Hence the problem in this case.

(I really got to get back to those physical experiments)

Obsidian wrote:Auto-doc? Is that a Ringworld reference?

Nope, sorry. Like many things in Omni, the name worked so we kept it. A doctor is called doc, and auto means automatic.

Obsidian wrote:I suppose at the beginning, you see magic as something totally seperate and not able to be used everywhere in your life. I'm guessing that at a higher level, magic is as readily used as charm and speech.


Ironically, you likely have that approach because of your psionic backround. In normal magical traditions, the approach is quite the opposite. Magic historically was used primarily for bringing rain to the crops, healing the sick, getting a good fish catch(and making sure your sailors came home!), protecting your tribes warriors, and smiting the tribe next door that you're at war with. It was all about physical works. If you learned magic via "psiballs" then there are a lot of concepts to learn BEFORE one can use it physically, including how to use it without the types of backlash you're talking about. Psionics can be a good place to learn the mechanics behind what is going on, but it can lack the rest of what traditional magic teaches to make it useful and effective in this physical reality. (Keep in mind this is from my own observations of psions)
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Postby oath » Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:19 am

LordArt wrote:
Has there been a discussion of the practical uses of omnimancy? Is it always outwardly directed, or can it be internalized, say to help you sleep, or improve memory, for example?


There is actually a lot in Omnimancy that is internalized. Everything from self-emotional control, to "Sleep Compression" (Not my name for it, but what has been adopted. Basically, it makes 3 hours of sleep seem like 8-9 in end effect.


OMG I figured out how to do that like a month ago! But I was only able to get it down to 5 hours, instead of 3. I havnt been able to do that lately though. All I did was sort of try to grip or hold my chi/energy around me/aura and at the same time pull more in. I havnt been able to do it lately though for some reason. Usually I feel I need 8 to ten hours of sleep. But sometimes I get as much as 15 and as little as 2.
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The thing about theurgy

Postby DixieFlatline » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:45 am

LordArt wrote:
I'm definately a thaumaturge. I have yet to find personal use for Theurgy. That's just not my path. I have been to MANY rituals in my day, and do talk with dieties/big entities from time to time, but mostly as chats, not asking them to do something for me. I'd rather KNOW how to do something and do it, then have something else do it for me. For me, the difference between most people and the divine is simply knowledge and understanding, which means it's an achievable goal, given suffiencient time and resources. Seeking union with divinity is not a personal goal, since I personally have no desire or need for that. I still perfect myself with the knowledge and understanding that I gain through my experiences, and to me, this is far more rewarding. Perhaps it will take a lot longer, but I will have done it via my own hand.
My personal experience is that while divinity has more knowledge and ability than people in general, that doesn't mean they will put the same effort into one's request that an individual might for their own goals. But that's my 2 cents on the matter.


There is an old analogy, written in the book "Remember Be Here Now"(which, btw, is a really good book if you want to get into the mind space of a non-Judeo-Christian theurge) which goes something like this.

"In order for an aspirant to become 'he who moves the mountain' he must transcend that and become 'he who put the mountain there in the first place', thus the mountain stays."

Theurgy can be asking deity X to do Y and Z for you but usually it is something very different, hence why I don't consider thaumaturgy to be hubristic theurgy or theurgy to be lazy thaumaturgy, it's like comparing tasting a strawberry to running around the block. Two totally different thing that have a very vague resemblance(they both have a neurochemical component that could be said to inspire them in the latter comparison, and they both deal with the numinous in the former).


I'm sure I have more to say on the subject but I want to compose my thoughts properly.

I'll be in touch.

James J.
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Postby LordArt » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:03 pm

"In order for an aspirant to become 'he who moves the mountain' he must transcend that and become 'he who put the mountain there in the first place', thus the mountain stays."


Well, I'm quite well aware that the "why" can be just as important if not more so than the "how". Hence getting involved in some of the wacky things I do.

I think it best to elaborate on what I said above, so it isn't misinterpreted as my view of Theurgy being lazy Thaumaturgy. I don't think I've ever considered Theurgy such, but I can see from a certain point of view why people might think such, now that you mention it that way. I still don’t agree that Theurgy is lazy Thaumaturgy though. My objections for personal use of Theurgy are based differently than that. As you say, there are overlaps, but they are distinctly different.

They are different because their paradigm is different. In an over generalization, their goals are different and serve different needs. The primary one that comes to mind is the spiritual side of it. When I made Omnimancy, I was trying to make the most efficient and powerful magical system I knew of, to replace what I considered more inefficient magical systems that I came across. I naively thought at the time, that power, efficiency, and reliability of effects is what everyone was looking for but couldn't find it. I was wrong (obviously), since Omnimancy hasn’t taken the magical community by storm. The majority of people's goals with magic these days aren't practical effects but spiritual fulfillment. If they get a practical effect, it's more considered a bonus. They like the ritual because of the drama, not because it is actually doing something. I am shown this by observing rituals that I’ve gone to and certain religious Omnis (and even not so religious Omnis) doing rituals. When they want to get something accomplished, they do Omni, when they want to "worship" they do ritual. I'm not a spiritual person, so the concept of worshiping is not something I comprehend personally (i.e. the reasons for it and the why). As another Omni said about themselves who isn’t religious, their spirituality is power, and I suppose mine is too. My perception of spirituality is not too separate from sex. People are spiritual because they like how it makes them feel. People like sex for the same reasons. Sometimes people like both because of the emotional connection it gives them. That is about as far as I understand spirituality or the need to worship. But much like different people have different kinks/what gets them going, spirituality isn’t one of mine.

As far as my statement about deities not necessarily putting in the same effort as the person who is asking for the action, that's via observation through multiple instances, not just because I'm not religious or trying to slight those that are. Even logistically alone, a deity is being pulled in many directions at once and has to serve all their other needs (which include everyone else that is asking for favors). Sometimes the lack of effort is based on how "deserving" they feel the person who is asking deserves, or the time THEY think (i.e. the deity thinks) when X should be accomplished, either because of their own schedule or agenda. I've always been the "teach the person to fish" variety rather than "give me a fish".

As I said, the above statements are generalizations, and not everyone feels that way, but most seem to. Obviously, those that ARE interested in power/efficiency seem to be interested in Omnimancy, hence why it grows.
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Postby DixieFlatline » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:08 pm

Thank you for your response. It helped me to codify what, exactly, I wanted to say.


LordArt wrote:
Well, I'm quite well aware that the "why" can be just as important if not more so than the "how". Hence getting involved in some of the wacky things I do.



I'll take your word on that one, not being privy to what you do, nor being presumptous enough to guess.



I think it best to elaborate on what I said above, so it isn't misinterpreted as my view of Theurgy being lazy Thaumaturgy. I don't think I've ever considered Theurgy such, but I can see from a certain point of view why people might think such, now that you mention it that way. I still don’t agree that Theurgy is lazy Thaumaturgy though. My objections for personal use of Theurgy are based differently than that. As you say, there are overlaps, but they are distinctly different.



The clarification is welcome, though I wouldn't assume you believe or mean anything in what you say unless you explicitly say otherwise.

Chasing spooks can be fun but I've found chasing them in other people's words can be a dangerous and hurtful occupation.


They are different because their paradigm is different. In an over generalization, their goals are different and serve different needs. The primary one that comes to mind is the spiritual side of it. When I made Omnimancy, I was trying to make the most efficient and powerful magical system I knew of, to replace what I considered more inefficient magical systems that I came across. I naively thought at the time, that power, efficiency, and reliability of effects is what everyone was looking for but couldn't find it. I was wrong (obviously), since Omnimancy hasn’t taken the magical community by storm. The majority of people's goals with magic these days aren't practical effects but spiritual fulfillment. If they get a practical effect, it's more considered a bonus. They like the ritual because of the drama, not because it is actually doing something. I am shown this by observing rituals that I’ve gone to and certain religious Omnis (and even not so religious Omnis) doing rituals. When they want to get something accomplished, they do Omni, when they want to "worship" they do ritual. I'm not a spiritual person, so the concept of worshiping is not something I comprehend personally (i.e. the reasons for it and the why). As another Omni said about themselves who isn’t religious, their spirituality is power, and I suppose mine is too. My perception of spirituality is not too separate from sex. People are spiritual because they like how it makes them feel. People like sex for the same reasons. Sometimes people like both because of the emotional connection it gives them. That is about as far as I understand spirituality or the need to worship. But much like different people have different kinks/what gets them going, spirituality isn’t one of mine.



This I might be able to clarify a bit, even though I am by no means an accomplished theurge.

I find that it helps to clarify stances by what questions are asked and what questions are answered.

Now, I will use Ominmancy as an example, and if I get particulars wrong, my apologies.

Omnimancy seems to be interested in, as you stated, practical answers, how to do or get things. Say, how do I get what I want?

Theurgy, properly practiced, usually helps one to better understand and work with one's place in the universe(which, btw, seems to be quite fluid). Say, how do I enjoy what I have?

I think that some systems can do both, some branches of fundamentalist Christianity being most notable in this regard(Jesus not only loves you, but he wants you to have lots of money)*

Even more interesting, some individual practices, not just overall philosophies, can have theurgical and thaumaturgical uses(the Sun Dance both opens you up to "Great Spirit" as well as giving you great strength with which to do whatever you want).

*Please don't take this as a recommendation of fundamentalist Christianity, it most certainly is not.



As far as my statement about deities not necessarily putting in the same effort as the person who is asking for the action, that's via observation through multiple instances, not just because I'm not religious or trying to slight those that are. Even logistically alone, a deity is being pulled in many directions at once and has to serve all their other needs (which include everyone else that is asking for favors). Sometimes the lack of effort is based on how "deserving" they feel the person who is asking deserves, or the time THEY think (i.e. the deity thinks) when X should be accomplished, either because of their own schedule or agenda. I've always been the "teach the person to fish" variety rather than "give me a fish".

As I said, the above statements are generalizations, and not everyone feels that way, but most seem to. Obviously, those that ARE interested in power/efficiency seem to be interested in Omnimancy, hence why it grows.


I agree. For the two people I've met who are really good at theurgy(myself not being one of them), the ability to do X, Y, or Z is secondary to the peace of mind they gain. To quote "Be Here Now" again.

Ram Dass wrote:
no! that’s the thing. once you know that then: pleasure and pain, loss and gain, fame and shame, are all the same. they’re all just happening.



If you would like, I would be more than happy to prattle on about theurgy, Gawds knows I've leeched enough from reading the online Omnimancy documents that it would be positively rude for me not to offer. :)

Thank you for your time,

James J.
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hmm

Postby draconic feathers » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:28 pm

Theurgy and Thaumaturgy...

I have talent in both areas but am being drawn towards Theurgy as a "life work"...and as a result the Theurgy is kinda translating or trickling its way down to Thaumaturgy (very much similar to what DixieFlatline said about the Sun Dance example).

Theurgy can be understood through study of esoteric philosophy mingled with Gnosis (straight-up information downloads courtesy of the Universe) but the knowledge is definitely more internal than rational (meaning you just KNOW/Understand it without relying on conscious thought and the rational mind, though you can pull some things up to the surface if you really wanted to).

And yeah...Art's kinda right about the spirituality-sex comparison...except when it comes to spirituality it not only makes one "feel good" but kinda enhances one in every level of their existence. Basically one can say it puts one under the "favor" of certain exalted deities...and while it seems like one's life is being controlled, one tends to find it's quite the opposite...their life's going the way they really do want and need it to go (which results in a much more fulfilling and happy life that emanates outwards and "blesses" others)

I think the best way to understand spirituality (aside from getting involved in it personally) is to do some research on Kundalini. Kundalini is not only an extremely potent energy for Thaumaturgy of all sorts, but is inexorabley tied to spirituality (since Kundalini IS, basically, the essence of Union with the Divine).

Personally, I prefer the spiritual approach over the purely practical approach because of all the evolution the former brings forth...the latter inevitably comes along with it (and it ways that makes it more than a mere "bonus"...it becomes a normal part of who you are).
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