What is better? High Magick or Wicca?

This, of course, is a trick question.  High magick is not better than Wicca, nor is Wicca better than high magick. I’ve always found the categorization of magick into “low” and “high” to be counter-intuitive in practice.  Low magick, witchcraft, Paganism, etc. is supposed to be more in touch with nature, using more natural items in the rituals, and tends to work with large groups.  Often high magick is thought to be expensive, sometimes solitary, but ultimately very erudite.  Supposedly it’s the magick of the learned upper class instead of the “common folk.”

In the modern practical world of magick, all this breaks down. The overlap between magickal systems is vast and great.  Some high magicians choose to go skyclad and perform magick outside like a “Pagan” and some Wiccans are better with the complexities of Enochian than a sterotypical “high magician” trained in Golden Dawn.   Both Wiccans and high magicians have been known to dabble in the Goetia, though traditionally it is a high magick grimoire through and through.  And as far as the expense of items? Most accomplished magicians I know buy some things, find others, and basically just use what works.

Even the history of Wicca and high magick blend.  Both high magick and Wicca can be traced to Crowley, but in the case of Wicca, there is the influence of Gerald Gardner’s legacy which helped shape it into something quite different than Thelema. So while differences abound, their common history, and even many of their underlying principles are closely related–even down to the similarities between “casting a circle” and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

In modern magickal circles, I feel there is a push towards not only mixing and matching magickal systems in an effort to find what works best, but also at looking at the nuts and bolts of magick, and not just the superficial trappings of various styles.  Whether using high magick, shamanism, chaos magick, voudou, or medieval grimoires, an astute magician learns to take what works from any source and leave the rest behind.  A true magician is never pedantic and always evolving, taking, learning and growing from all magickal and spiritual systems of the world.

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