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Posted Under Magic & Ritual

An Introduction to Kinesic Magic

Hands in Posture to Sky

Kinesic Magic contains a complete system of practical Western magic that has been stripped to its bare essentials—divested of the unnecessary trappings of the grimoires, arcane schools, and esoteric traditions that have grown up over the centuries.

The system requires no ritual temple, no special robes or jewelry, no instruments, furniture, tools, or materials of any kind. It can be performed using only your hands, your body, and your mind. It can be worked anywhere, at any time, and once you learn it nobody will ever be able to take it away from you or prevent you from using it, because it will be a part of you.

Kinesic magic may be thought of as the magic of the empty hand. If you were stripped, confined to a prison cell without light, and chained to a wall, you could still work this system of magic without any loss of its potency, because you need nothing but your own body to work it.

I've been teaching and writing about all forms of Western occultism for over three decades, and I've noticed that students of magic, especially beginners, are intimidated by two things. One is the complexity of traditional systems both ancient and modern, which require a knowledge of many obscure disciplines, among them astrology, alchemy, numerology, geomancy, the Tarot, and the Kabbalah. New students are bewildered. They don't know where to begin to study and feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information they are required to absorb.

The other aspect of traditional magic that intimidates students is the need to make their own ritual instruments, temple furniture, robes and other clothing, ritual jewelry, and so on, often with costly and difficult-to-obtain materials. The student is expected to craft these things personally, or at the very least to have some part in their making. Many just don't have the craft skills to make them, or for that matter the money to buy them—some of these ritual objects, when properly made, can be very expensive. Often students don't have a spare room they can set aside to serve as a consecrated ceremonial chamber, or even closet space to store their altar and other ritual furniture once they acquire them.

Kinesic magic makes it unnecessary to study complicated books on arcane subjects. You don't need to learn to read Hebrew or Latin, draw up horoscopes, or memorize the esoteric symbolism of Tarot cards. You don't need to know what the Tree of Life is, or how to cast yarrow sticks, or how to cut runes. You don't need a wand, a sword, a chalice, or an altar. You don't need virgin parchment, dragon's blood ink, the tongue of a frog, or mandrake root.

Kinesic magic is based on twenty-four hand gestures that define and embody the twenty-four most fundamental occult forces, and twenty-four body postures that channel and direct these forces. Anything you can do with conventional methods of Western magic can be achieved with kinesic magic.

What I've provided you with in Kinesic Magic is a completely new and original method for manipulating and channeling occult energies. Nothing like it has ever existed before, although there are antecedents for it in the ancient systems of occult philosophy of the East.

For example, the postures of yoga are today predominantly used for physical exercise, but originally they were designed to open energy pathways along the nerves and awaken occult abilities. Similarly, the ancient Chinese masters of chi channeled occult energy through their bodies to heal and achieve other astonishing effects, and there is no doubt that the system of movements known as tai chi, which today is used mainly for exercise, was originally designed for this esoteric purpose. Buddhist monks use hand positions and gestures to trigger specific spiritual states of mind during meditation—you see these gestures represented in Buddhist religious statues and paintings.

In the Western world, nothing of this nature ever arose—or if it did, it has been completely forgotten. It may be that medieval Christian monks developed a physical culture similar to yoga for controlling the flow of spiritual energies, but if so, we have no record of it, and can only speculate about what it might have been like had it existed. For the most part, Western magicians have always used external, physical instruments and objects to channel, hold, and control esoteric forces.

We see this dichotomy between East and West in the esoteric discipline of alchemy. European alchemy was done with physical furnaces, beakers, retorts, chemicals, acids, quicksilver, and so on. Chinese alchemy, on the other hand, is internal. It is done inside the body using postures, controlled breathing, visualization, and the power of the will. The lungs of the Chinese alchemist become his bellows, and his belly becomes his furnace. His saliva is his elixir of life.

Kinesic magic is the yoga of Western occultism. You can, if you wish, apply its postures and gestures to create talismans, charms, magic mirrors, and other useful physical devices, but at root nothing other than your own body and mind are needed for this work. You are not bound to the external physical world, or constrained by it, when you do this magic.

There are numerous workings in the book, each a complete meditation or magic ritual in its own right. Some of them are simple and brief, others more complex. I composed them to give you practice in manipulating the twenty-four essential forces of Western occultism—those of the five elements, the seven planets of traditional astrology, and the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Do as many or as few of these workings as you wish. Their value does not lie in the specific techniques of magic they teach, but in the way they show you how to use the whole of the system of kinesic magic creatively for your own purposes. Think of this system as a new language of magic with which you can create any ritual, any charm, any spell you need in your own life.

You may be wondering why I chose these particular twenty-four energies of the elements, the planets, and the zodiac, and not others. They were chosen because they lie at the very root of Western occultism. You encounter them again and again when studying the history of magic in Egypt, Persia, the Middle East, and Europe.

The most influential system of ceremonial magic for more than the past hundred years, that of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, is built around these three sets of esoteric energies. The First Knowledge Lecture of the Golden Dawn system, which is the very first teaching that initiates receive when they join the Order, is devoted to the elements, the planets, and the signs of the zodiac.

These twenty-four forces are building blocks. You can put them into any arrangement you choose, provided you understand how to fit them together. Eventually you will create original rituals of your own to serve your specific needs, but the wide spectrum of workings in the book will give you the initial training you require to learn how to manipulate these energies in a creative, flexible manner.

This book had its germination three decades ago, when I suggested in my book The New Magus (Llewellyn, 1988) that it was theoretically possible to create a complete system of magic that used only the bare hands. Kinesic Magic is the evolution of this basic truth, but I have expanded the concept to include the use of the entire body.

The principles that underlie kinesic magic are few in number, easy to learn, and simple to practice. But don't let the simplicity fool you—this magic is as powerful as any that has ever been devised. You can apply these principles to any existing occult system, or use them to create your own completely original personal style of magic.

Kinesic magic will free you to do magic in your own way, unburdened by the weight of centuries of tradition. It is your own body, your own mind, working in perfect harmony to channel the root energies of the universe. It is all you will ever need.

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About Donald Tyson

Donald Tyson is an occult scholar and the author of the popular, critically acclaimed Necronomicon series. He has written more than a dozen books on Western esoteric traditions, including Tarot Magic, and edited and ...

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