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Sigillum Dei Aemeth
Sigillum Dei Aemeth used by John Dee

On the Origins of ‘Magick’

The next time you use the term ‘magick’ to describe occult practices, in order to separate it from the other more common term of ‘magic’ of the Penn and Teller kind, and some wise soul feels the need to pop their head up and ask why you’re using the terminology of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) – feel free to point out this Google Ngram of usage of the term ‘magick’ in books since 1700:

Yes, ‘magic’ was still used more often, and Uncle Al is likely the reason for its resurgence – but it did predate him by quite some time. And let’s face it – old English or not, it does serve a useful purpose in distinguishing between two very different practices.


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