Humanistic magick. Is this a thing?

Photos by Magenta

Our approach to magick is very much influenced by the works of two key Humanistic theorists, namely Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. So not Wicca, not Thelema and certainly not the Golden Dawn. So does this mean humans have a new kind of magick at their disposal? Well, maybe a new label at least. 

Where does magick come from? 

Magick has been around for as long as people have. Lots of traditions, religions and belief systems that use magick as a central tenant used older ideas as a foundation. Some appropriated from other cultures and some were newly created. Some traditions, religions and belief systems did a mixture of these things.

For example, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn based their practice on things like Freemasonry, Theosophy and Hermetica and also took ideas from other cultures. Which led Aleister Crowley, as a former member of the Golden Dawn, to form his own religion, Thelema. Then as if there’s some kind of esoteric Pay It Forward going on, the Golden Dawn and Thelema inspired Gerald Gardner, who created Wicca. 

There’s approximately eleventeen hundred different kinds of Wicca. We like Wicca, after all it’s mostly nature worship with deities but we’re not that keen on worshipping stuff cause we like sciencey things like psychology and space. 

Meanwhile, and nothing to do with magick…

As well as esoteric religions, we have also been inspired by some of the psychological theories that were developed at the beginning of the modern period. Of course, psychologists don’t claim their work is magick and we’re not saying what they’re doing is either…but we do like understanding the way the brain works, how magick works and what the overlaps are. 

Carl Jung created several psychological concepts, including synchronicity, archetypal phenomena and the collective unconscious and these really appeal to us. One of Jung’s archetypes is called ‘the self’, and for Jung, the ultimate aim of every individual is to achieve a state of “self”. 

Other psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers also believed that people will always strive to become self-actualised. Self actualisation for Rogers happens when every person achieves their desires in life. Maslow thought that people have to have had their basic needs met first before they start thinking about fulfilling their potential. He laid this theory out in his famous Hierarchy of Needs.  

We see some interesting parallels between motivation theories that drive human behaviour and goal achievement and how humans use magickal processes rather than psychological processes to accomplish those same goals. 

Humanistic magick

There are loads of different kinds of magick, as we point out in this article . We’re suggesting a new label of humanistic magick needs to go along with other labels, like ceremonial magick and folk magick. A kind of magickal objective that wants to achieve mundane things such as personal safety and employment as well as “true will”. Not only for individuals but for other people. 

It’s a (different) kind of magick

A lot of magick is focused on the individual practitioner. Humanistic magick looks outwards, as well as inwards. 

We see humanistic magick in business through goal achievement, compassionate leadership and understanding transactional analysis and in social situations through conflict resolution, through improving community feeling and a sense of belonging.  

Humanistic magick as a perspective rather than a concept

The magickal rules we personally follow, such as phases of the moon, come from our esoteric belief in astral magick. This means that humanistic magick is probably not so much a magickal practice within esoterica as a whole, but a perspective that can inform magickal practice. For example, we personally use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as an overlay for how we choose colours in magick. We personally use Carl Rogers theories on Client Centred therapy as a foundation for how we provide our Tarot and Lenormand guidance.

This means that our practice, although it follows astral magick rules for its process, has its goals devoted to change, improvement, creativity and ultimately self-actualisation. Our ambition for our own magick is to empower ourselves, enhance our well-being and push ourselves to achieve our full potential, but also successfully progress through those basic needs. 

Isn’t this what everyone wants? Humanistic magick. It’s definitely a thing. 

If you have questions about this just reach out and ask. We’re happy to assist!

Published by Magenta School of Magick

We are a school for people who want to learn the 'philosophy and art of affecting change through (so far at least) unseen causes', also known as 'magick'.

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