What are the real magical secrets?

I titled my blog series “Secrets of Magic” with tongue in cheek.

Carl Weschke famously said there are no more magical secrets, they are all published! This certainly seems to be true when you look at all the material that used to be oath-bound that now sits perfect-bound on my bookshelves. There’s Lady Sheba’s Book of Shadows and the Golden Dawn and Secrets of the O.T.O.

Many in the O.T.O. caution people not to read “Secret Rituals” because it spoils the surprise. My initiations delighted me precisely because I didn’t know what was going to happen. On the other hand I have been reading published Books of Shadows since before I was initiated myself. I’m old enough to remember when being initiated was the only way you could gain access to any spells or rituals, which gave the initiators tremendous power which they sometimes used to exploit eager students. (Elders and teachers taking advantage of their students is not a new phenomenon.)

In his excellent book The Witch’s Book of Shadows (you have to have it!) Jason Mankey addresses the idea in “Are there any secrets left?” He points to volumes of material created by people contributing to their traditions. Many of these secrets are unpublished “and more are being created all the time”. My initiators in the O.T.O. have compared King’s rituals with our current and note that these versions are no longer used, and we have created new rituals.

So yes, the secrets have been published. And yes, new secrets are being created all the time. The real secret of magic is that there is no single word or idea or initiation that will grant you the powers of the universe. You have to create the magic that works for you.

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