“The magicis commonlyassociated with a spiritualpracticemore or lessdepending on the groupswho try togive definition, soit will be easy to findin the lyricsmore”encyclopedic“the definition ofmagic,asa simple practicetochangethe contoursof realityaccording todesire…“
The magic isnormallyconnected to apractice,to facilitatethe acquisition of goodsandmeetbasic needsof man,so much so thatmagicalpractices, held outfor these purposes,can be identifiedin all cultures andin all agesofman, takingmoreconnotationsdepending on thedivine motherorsometimeslaytraditionand philosophyof the people of belonging.
In support of that argument, srila Prabhupada (the inventor of the modern movement of “hare krsna”), traced in one of its translation and the origin of the Word Magic in “Maya” from Sanskrit “illusion” in the likeness of the Greek “Μαγεία,” she indincando so deceptive practices or aimed at the satisfaction of needs ephemera …
The meaningandhistory of magic
The termMagicdespite whatyou might think,doesn’t appeardirectlyfromancient historicalsources, but appearsin reference toμάγος(Latinmagus)orMagi, referringto the ancientZoroastrianpriestscalled inold Persian:magūsh,Akkadianmagūshu, Syriac, PersianmāghmgōshāorMa-g-u–sh
,the titlehad been referred toeruditepeopleandgreat wisdom,who were able tospeculatefrom the philosophical point of viewwith the helpof astrology,an arttoday oftenattributedto meredivinatorycalculations,butthatin the past it wasused to studythose concepts thatinclassical timeswere identified in themicroandmacro cosmos.This clarificationiscrucial assome scholarsemphasizeasthe genesisof the wordmagicislate,much thatHomerdoes not defineCirceapractitioner ofmagic,butan expert onpotions andfilters,in fact, the term“magastechne” appearsin fullthe Hellenistic period(330BC).
Even in the Bibledistinguishes betweenwhatare themagical practicesandthe practicesof witchcraftbanned asheresy, in factthe title ofMagusassumes the title ofscribe andnot more thanjustthe New Testamentscholarwith referenceto the three kings, whereasin the old testamentin the book ofJeremiah,the titleof Rab-Mag (MasterMagus)is attributed toNergalSharezar(orNeriglissar)one of the rulersof Babylon.
It is interesting to notehowthe magidefineone’s religion(Zoroastrianism)“Kesh–î–Ibrahim“(the knowledgeof Abraham),wherethe figure ofZorastroorZaradushtin some translationsshuttersiscollimatedtoIbrahim(Abraham)the Patriarch,delinenandothenthe boundaries of“magic” as such,betweenMesopotamiaand Persia.
the decline ofMagic
The first usesthetermderogatoryabout500BC,WizardappearHeraclitusandfilosfilikethey hadattitudestowards thescietticiandenchantersoftenconsideredquacks,it is interesting to note thatthe declineof the termmagicianwaspreceded by thedecline ofcaste ofMagistartedwiththe killing ofNergalSharezarat the handsof Cyrus,and the subsequentfailedconspiracyofGaumataagainstCambyses II,avertedfrom7noblesincludingDarius I and it waswithDariusthatthe caste ofmagi wasallontatanafromeverypoliticalaffairuntil200BCSassanidage.
Howeverthe termmiddleageseramagiciantowork ofpopularsuperstitionsremainedtiedindetractorsterms,thismodernera, butin1900upgroups ofneoesotericistssuch asgolden-dawn,revivedthe term“Magus” to refer to one of the highest levelsof initiation,bringing backthenthe dignity and valuethat the wordposedevainancienttimes longwherethe wizardswere consideredwisescholars,expertsandobservers of themechanicaluniverse,connotingthinsomagic as“the art ofknowing themicroandmacro Cosmos“, summarizedby theLatin motto“Nosce te ipsum” know thyself.