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The Impossible Task Of Teaching A Class On Magic

Note: If you are reading this article, this is just one aspect of a curriculum provided freely on Devtome. The articles pertaining to the history of magic- dubbed The History of Muggle Magic or HoMM- do have a logical order, although it is not necessary to follow if you are an independent learner. The articles can be read according to interest and the source notes will provide the learner with more than adequate follow up information in lieu of an actual class on the subject. The author happily provides his material freely so the torch of knowledge may more easily pass from person to person. Soon there will be an archive of articles to select on the History of Muggle Magic. Be patient and enjoy.

A Class About The Extraordinary

You are here today because you are curious to know more. Perhaps you know someone who lives a particularly magical lifestyle. Perhaps the Harry Potter novels sparked an interest in the subject, even if the subject is not real. Maybe your here because a person who isn't normally described as magical is being described as such in this clss. Regardless of the reason, you and your brain are about to contemplate magic as a real thing. That is an extraordinary class subject. How the hell can you teach that, you ask?

Teaching history is actually the retelling of events with a particular perspective automatically attached within that retelling. There is no other way to teach history. It is true that their is objective reality, but I'll be damned if I have ever seen any person describe “objective reality” that withstood the test of time. As you probably know, history is written by the winners. Even if it isn't written by the winners, now thanks to the blogosphere revolution, we are well aware that history always has a perspective. A LOT of perspectives.

Science, Magic, And Religion As Three Forces

This is how a class on Muggle Magic is possible. There is a trinity of forces in play of history at all times, although which force or forces that dominate depend on the period of time in history. Those forces are religion, science, and magic. If you go to the very beginning of human history, we can find these three forces. Magic reigned during this period and the rift between religion and science was barely existant. Science and religion continued to gain power over magic as we become more domesticated. Anytime you can find a period in history where one of these forces is almost non existant, you can also find in the future periods that compensate for these absences. All reigns and all absences are temporary, and the formation of human society is built upon these three forces in some combination or another.

In some parts of the world, these forces more or less acheived balance at certain times, and it is these times of history that are the most interesting to study. A society that is not fighting between these forces is a society whose social, mental, and emotional currents are flowing at their highest capacity. These are some of the best moments of human ingenuity and human power.

These forces move as a current through the human zeitgiest and they take time to change. They need to infiltrate our brains from our culture and our upbringing. Then there is the process of whether the current generation will muster the strength to move the forces in a beneficial way or if they will maintain the status quo. Hundreds of years can go by with basically the same proportion of forces. So when our history has large moments of friction between these forces, our historians take note. We will starting this class at a particularly interesting period of time where the forces of religion reigned supreme for hundreds of years. Our starting point is the Renaissance. Emerging from the Dark Ages, the Renaissance was a wonderful time for exciting, new things. The Renaissance Man was the superman of the time. There was no limit to what could be learned for a Renaissance Man. He could be the master of all trades. Science was firmly in his foundation. Sometimes the force of magic composed the Renaissance Man as well.

Religion was losing it's power but equally to the forces of science and magic. There were a few key events in European history that decided the fate of these currents for the foreseeable future. Science was given room on the throne and magic was thrown into the dustbin. The craziest part about it was that magic was SO VERY CLOSE to maintaining a powerful current. A few key characters that we will study in this course determined the fate of magic from the 1600s onwards. Nevertheless, magic became the devil. It was practially illegal, at least if you valued your life. It was not to be recorded in history as we know it.

An Occulted History Shall Be Revealed

This is how a class on magic is possible. History is written by the winners but the stories of the losers simmer beneath the surface. In a surprising move, religion made room for its polar opposite, its nemesis science, at the seat of power but it refused any such thing for magic. This is reflected in our history books, who speak openly of the development of science and its importance to our growth. The history books also include the religions of this world as they factor into politics. In no way has religion been left out of history. But magic was stricken from the record. It was forbidden from practice, it was uncouth to speak about in public, and it was to be feared. However, magic has always existed in society and it existed in the underground of our western world since the Renaissance. They knew what they were doing could get them killed but they were compelled to do it. They felt it deep within them that it was the right thing. Not only did they feel the universe was on their side (despite the obvious bias from the outside world), they recorded their own history. We have this patchwork history all through Europe and the Americas of magical societies and magical people. Living, writing, creating, making the world a better place, all in secret. But we have their documents and you will get a look at all that we have today, if you give yourself the time.

Unfortunately, very few people who practiced magic wrote a history of the world from the perspective of magic. Much of this perspective is lost to us, save random letter conversations between magical people that we presume are out of context. We will have to piece together the story from the evidence. Oh it is a good story, too. Not just the evidence but the individual pieces will mesmorize you.

This is a difficult position to be in, without summarizing the course and spoiling all of it's goodies. Suffice to say that because of the whitewashing religon and science have mutually done to the history of magic, you know nothing about magic. Particularly the magic of today. Consider the progression of philosophy. A new school of philosophy opens every ten years as the various theories are contemplated and discussed amongst philosophers. Over a few hundred year span, the philosophical current has made tremendous leaps and bounds beyond those paltry starting years. The same is true for a highly philosophical force of magic. Magic evolves over time and the pagan Earth magic of the Salem Witch Trials simply does not compare to 20th century magic. It's like comparing a yo yo to a Play Station 4. Same spirit, completely different vehicle.

MicroStory

Magic, especially today's magic, is not what it seems. This course will profile at least 25 highly magical people. These are real historical personages, some of whom you are already familiar with by name and some whom you have no idea exist. They openly espouse a magical philosophy of the world (well, open to those who have ears to hear it). We will investigate their systems of magic and how they affect the evolution of magic itself. These 25 highly magical personages will exist in a type of document called a MicroStory in this class. MicroStories are a bit like biographies but they cut down on too much superfluous biographical information. They focus more on what the person has done and how it fits into the larger MacroStory of magic. We will compare and contrast MicroStories as some of our discussions during the course. The source material for these MicroStories tend to weave together, so when you are ready for a more in depth approach to this subject, dive into the source material.

We will also be doing MicroStories of at least 25 pseudo magical people. This category is for the person who does not openly declare a magical philosophy, however their life actions indicate a working philosophy in strong harmony with currents of magic at the time. These are particularly interesting as it proves one can be magical without ever owning a wand, casting a magical circle, evoking a spirit, or even knowing what a single one of these aforementioned practices even means.

Magic is a state of mind that can be acheived indepedent of studying it directly. It's impossible to ignore and history will regret not covering it for so long. As one can see here 1), the three forces interrelate and provide a framework for how human energy forms into reality. We need all of these forces, not necessarily all at once, and not necessarily in perfect harmony. As we grow and evolve, we knock down old structures that don't serve us. Usually the structures we knock down are represented in one of the three forces. Typically whatever is moving in to replace the fallen structure are the other two forces. Religion is on a centuries old decline and magic is vying for it's chance to shine.

This class will show you the ups, the downs, and fractal zig zags magic has taken on its course through occulted history up to this day. It's a dirty history and a scared history, but not a scary history. We apologize for those who have religions that shun magic. This is not the course for you. We will present the material in the full excitement and wonder the actors in this story seemed to have felt. We require no one to become members of any magical practice or organization. But if you end up joinging one, we wouldn't blame you, either.

This class is unabashedly magical. If your predispositions cause this to be a problem, you always know where the door is. The exciting moments involve stories of magic. The characters are magical. History cannot be faithfully told from an objective stand point, so we encourage you to absorb as many perspectives as you can and determine what is objective from there. But most of all we want you to absorb the sorely missing history of magic. By the end of this class, we hope that you walk away with at least an appreciation for magic, an acknowledgement of its place in history. Anything else is up to you.

Esoteric and Occult


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