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magical diaries

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magical diaries


Since no one in the Spirituality section can shed any light on this, I thought I'd try it here. I know Crowley kept so-called magical diaries. I'm curious as to what the nature of a magical diary is, ie what you record in it.
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At the very least a Magical Diary is a place where you record the date, time, and results of any magical of meditative work you are doing. But you can add anything else you like if you think it is important to your spiritual understanding and life in general.

Here's two examples of a magical diary. The first one, John St.John, is one of Crowley's diaries that covers a 13 day period in which he attempted to obtain the K&C of the HGA while living a normal city life in Paris. It is very meticulous.

http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib860.html

The second magical diary is an edited and annotated version of Frater Achad's diary. Achad, at one time, was Crowley's most gifted student.
The notes marked OM are by Crowley.

http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib165.html
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Those links are good! Thanks.

Someone asked me whether I mean a book of shadows. I have a feeling that magical diaries are different, probably because they come from the context of ceremonial magic? And ceremonial magic doesn't use spells?
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If you keep a Tarot Journal, that is a example of what your looking for.

From Webster:

Quote:
Main Entry: diary
Pronunciation: 'dI-(&-)rE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
Etymology: Latin diarium, from dies day -- more at DEITY
1 : a record of events, transactions, or observations kept daily or at frequent intervals : JOURNAL; especially : a daily record of personal activities, reflections, or feelings
2 : a book intended or used for a diary
Thus your personal thoughts in relation to anything Divine, Supernatual, otherworldly, etc. A Book which explores magical possiabilities.

This would be differant then a Grimoire, which should be the following:

Quote:
A grimoire (IPA [grɪˈmwɑr]) is a book of magical knowledge written between the late-medieval period and the 18th century. Such books contain astrological correspondences, lists of angels and demons, directions on casting charms and spells, on mixing medicines, summoning unearthly entities, and making talismans.
One if a simple log of impressions, the other is a textbook for creating effects explained or referanced their-in.

-Fenier
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Crowley thought that record keeping was very important to people engaged in spiritual practice because of the dangers of superstition and delusion. Also the mind has a curious ability to change things to suit it own purpose. Sometimes we remember things differently to how they really happened. Keeping an accurate record prevents this form of distortion creeping in.

The logo of Crowley's "The Equinox" was The Method of Science. The Aim of Religion. And that essentially what the magical diary is. It brings the scientific method of exact record keeping into the realm of spiritual practice.
What you did, when you did it, how did it go, how you feel, your thoughts about what you are doing, etc., etc.
The more detail you include the more useful it becomes later on when you review your progress because it will reveal a direct chain of cause and effect in your work.

You can't rely on your memory alone because you will either forget or you will recall things incorrectly.
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[QUOTE=Aeon418]Crowley thought that record keeping was very important to people engaged in spiritual practice because of the dangers of superstition and delusion. Also the mind has a curious ability to change things to suit it own purpose. Sometimes we remember things differently to how they really happened. Keeping an accurate record prevents this form of distortion creeping in.
QUOTE]

Right on!

A magician without a magical diary is like a ships captain without a log book.

review is a main part of the use of the diary, even going back years, sometimes things fit together in a way you hadn't noticed before, trends habits, etc can also be revealed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightward
If you keep a Tarot Journal, that is a example of what your looking for.
Yes, I do keep a Tarot journal, but I record a lot of other thoughts there too. They all fit together though and it's revealing to go back and compare thougts/ notes. I guess I've already got a little collection of magical diaries.

Thanks for clarifying this for me.
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BrightEye,
As for your questions concerning the Book of Shadows, I have at least 2: the big one in which I write lots of theoretical texts such as variations of the "Rede", invocations, etc, even some tarot spread sheets,, etc and the lesser one in which I mainly write receipes of incense, ritual oils etc (yes, I love to do such stuff).

Apart from that I have my tarot journals and a kind of magick journal in which I write down my ramblings about rituals I have tried out, etc.

Besides, there is the vast amount of postings here on AT which I also consider as a kind of "journal", blog or whatever.
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catlin,

Would you class a Book of Shadows as a magical diary then? Or is a magical diary just sth that the Golden Dawn has invented?
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The concept of the magical diary has it's origin in Crowley's concept of Scientific Illuminism. It was one way in which he tried to include the scientific method into spiritual practice.
It was not a part of the Golden Dawn system as practiced in Crowley's time.

So yes, Crowley did invent the magical diary. Just like Gerald Gardner invented the Book of Shadows. (I would love to see Gardners original, even though it is full of ripped off Crowley material.)
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