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A Hermeneutic Reading of Magick in Theory and Practice

Unpacking Magick - A Hermeneutic Reading of Magick in Theory and Practice

This course will consider Magick in Theory and Practice (“Magick…”)- part three and the centerpiece of Crowley’s Magnum Opus,Book 4, a collection of Essays on the various formulas, philosophical outlooks, and practices of Crowley’s syncretic system of Magick, in light of contemporary textual analysis.

The philosopher Paul Ricoeur writes of two ways to approach a text: that of explaining, and that of interpreting. Regarding “Magick…” many reading groups have chosen to approach the text in the former manner.

However, “Magick…”is rife with wordplay, jargon, subtle humor, and historical references that may be lost on a reader without critical consideration of its context. Further, there are multiple readings one may make of this dense text, and it would profit a student of Magick to consider the text in light of multiple paradigms.

We will meet on Sunday evenings over the course of fourteen weeks. We will read through each chapter on our own, and spend the bulk of our class time analyzing, contextualizing, and possibly debating or criticizing the text. To match practice with theory, each student will be given the opportunity to present (in any form they will) on a chosen theme or chapter of the book. Additional readings will be assigned where appropriate.

Admission to each class will be $5, though due to the progressive nature of the course those wishing to take part are strongly encouraged to attend each class. Space is limited, so RSVP will be appreciated.

Discounted pre-registration for the entire course is set at $60.

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About the facilitator:

A second-generation neo-pagan, Phillip English began earnest study of the work of Aleister Crowley in early adolescence, and has dedicated his life to the promulgation of the Law of Thelema since that time. He is an initiate of the Ordo Templi Orientis, and the Blue Lodge degrees of Freemasonry. He has given lectures, talks, and classes on various topics focusing on ritual magick, Norse magical traditions, spirituality in everyday life, the occult and the history of esoteric societies.

In his academic career, he has served as an assistant in the department of student disability services at the New School and as a private tutor helping disabled students engage with the fields of Critical Theory, Literary Theory, Classical Philosophy, Clinical Psychology, and the works of G.W.F. Hegel, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault in a dynamic manner.

As one of the co-founders of Catland, he has had the privilege of experiencing the legion that are the streams of Magical practice as they manifest in NYC - The Crossroads of the World. His work has lead him to learn from and interact with a wide array of respected elders, authors, and authorities in the field. He is a proud member of a thriving metaphysical community of students and seekers after wisdom, and seeks to facilitate his fellow aspirants in their pursuit of light.