Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Differences Between Magicians & Sorcerers

The Differences Between Magicians & Sorcerers
by Brother MOLOCH 969
© 2017 www.MolochSorcery.com
All Rights Reserved

Ever since I came out and began calling myself a sorcerer way back in 1990, I have had to take time and ‘esplain (to borrow Ricky Ricardo’s term) the answer to this question on multitudes of occasions both public and private. I think it’s high time I take time and definitively answer it so that I can point to it when someone asks it of me. So here we are. I hope this helps to answer and elucidate some things as to why there is a difference between what a MagicKian is and what a Sorcerer is. You may not agree since your mileage will most likely vary but that’s your opinion. I’m a sorcerer and I define who I am, not you. I define what magickians are by what they themselves have said both public and private at gatherings, in groups and conferences as well as at times in print.

It’s How We Think

The problem with answering this question is the average human mind is lazy because wants to lump things together for ease of understanding much like say folks would lump condiments together as a group even though no two condiments taste alike. Does relish taste anything like mustard? Do either of those taste like Sriracha or ketchup? How about mayonnaise? No of course they don’t taste alike YET we lump them together under the banner of condiments for ease of remembering. Unfortunately this habit of lumping things together tends to cause muddled thinking and mental laziness in our own thought processes because we become accustomed to the quick and easy way of learning which is discover, make a quick judgment then file it away in one of our mental file drawers. Thus when it comes to the practice of the occult, folks often think magician as the archetype practitioner because we’ve become lazy thinking this is the defacto inspiration for the practitioner.

Some could just as easily argue that the term “wizard” is the defacto archetype for the male practitioner, all thanks to fantasy writers and folklore stories about these men such as the Myrddyn aka Merlin or the Welsh bardic-wizard Taliesin. Then we have Gandalf thanks to Tolkien whose archetype has set the bar for wizard very high on the list not to mention the unsinkable Harry Potter who in recent years has become a staple in our modern society as a wizardly archetype albeit a young, struggling and oft inept version. Others have even gone so far as to compare Harry’s mentor, Dumbledore to LoTR’s Gandalf to show similarities of both character as well as contrast methodology between them. In essence while the term magician MAY be more accurate for an actual practitioner the whole genre is not excluded from license to borrow, appropriate or outright steal ideas from let alone use the pronouns wizard, mage, sorcerer and other euphemistic terms used for the murky world of the occult. 

In praxis one could say there’s very little that differentiate’s a sorcerer from a magician today. Frankly magician is a term that never really jelled with me mainly because here we have people running around misspelling the old term magic as “Magick” to differentiate it from so-called stage magic (actually known as the practice of either Legerdemain or Prestidigitation) and yet they wish to call themselves what? “Magician” Isn’t that bloody brilliant? A derivative of the very word they wish to make clear from its original spelling by re-framing it by re-spelling it. It’s like, “I’m not a thief! I’m a crook, but not a thief!” One would think these people would think a little more and talk a little less about such concepts yet the opposite is true.

Renaissance Magicians

Magicians in the old sense were students of numerous disciplines. Upon reading about the lives of such magicians as John Dee, Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Ficino Bruno, William Lilly and other magicians of the medieval and Renaissance periods, it’s easy to see how involved in their work these practitioners became. This is not the same sort of magician as the new age fable invented by the likes of Crowley, Mathers and other lodge styled neo-Masonic play actors of the late Victorian era who were simply bored and looking to while away their time. The medieval magicians believed in what they were doing and knew they had to do X to gain Y and belief played little if any part at all in it. The medieval era magicians were well grounded in their world view and they saw things from a perspective modern practitioners would not necessarily agree with. For instance, Agrippa was a magician because as he clearly pointed out, he practiced magic. He dabbled in the arts and sciences but he did not run off dabbling in other culture’s magical disciplines (that we’re aware of) nor did he ever state that was something wise to do. Magic to him it was a sacred art that had to be followed by strict rules of astrological timing. He also was a student of various non-occult disciplines such as mathematics, alchemy and often the arts with drawing, painting and sometimes music being part of his interests. You need to stop and think what the magician like Dee or Agrippa was: the proverbial Renaissance Man - well educated, sophisticated and trained in logic, rhetoric and grammar.

Sorcerers of old on the other hand were not always of this caliber. They first started out as alchemists because in France, the term sorcerer meant ‘poisoner’ much like how the term witch became associated with it even though we know King James I created that blind for we know the original Hebrew term was ‘chasaph’ which meant poisoner not witch. The sorcerer was typically engaged in trying to distill alchemical gold from base metals and always on the hunt for the elusive Philosopher’s Stone. They would not stop at anything to obtain it including murdering people or sacrificing children if the need arose. The sorcerer wasn’t usually as well educated as the magician was and his goals weren’t as lofty either. Sorcerers were more interested in dealing with issues here on earth rather than worrying about god or some nebulous heaven in the sky.

Post-Modern Magicians ARE New Age

Today magicians have become so mainstream and new age that they feel everything is theirs to comment on. In fact I find it amusing how many self-styled ceremonial magicKians will openly loathe anything remotely connected to the new age YET many of these same individuals practice charging their Chakra centers via the Middle Pillar. You can call them power centers or whatever you will, those are still Chakras ripped off from eastern religions brought over by Blavatsky’s Theosophical society (yet another New Age movement) which ceremonial magicKians go nuts for. Another thing these CM’s do that is purely new age is Reiki and yet numerous CM’s talk about being Reiki masters and what not. Reiki they claim is very old and while that may be in the Orient, it is relatively new here in the west so those who decry everything new age are often guilty of their own interests by default. The next time some pompous windbag of a CM starts his/her nonsense about “new age”, put them in their place quickly.

The Mind: To Be or Not To Be?

MagicKians have often stated, in print I might add, ”a true magician need only his mind to work magic.” This is where we part company because while the mind is a powerful component in sorcery, it is not how things get done. Spirits are a part of the equation and a sorcerer has use for a familiar spirit to get things done. A familiar spirit is acquired by the sorcerer for assistance in all of their personal and professional occult works. That is one of the steps to being a powerful sorcerer.

The magicKian is one who believes psychology is at the heart of all magicK whereas the sorcerer knows that is bollocks. While psychology is a useful tool that has some application, it is not nor should ever be any sort of substitute for actual magical practice and thought. Why? Psychology is man’s feeble attempt to map out the human mind’s patterns of repeated thought which is nigh impossible. Numerous studies have shown no matter how many times you take the same people or groups of similar people, you’re not going to get the exact same patterns of thought. This is because people come from a wide variety of backgrounds, training, education and experiences all of which influence their choices. Since you cannot replicate the results of a Psychological experiment exactly like you can mathematics, physics or chemistry, it is not considered to be a real science but rather a pseudo-science and thus relegated to the halls of quackery and deceit. 

What About Spirits?

Psychology also states spirits do not exist and are only figments of our fertile imagination and this is the attitude of your typical ceremonial magicKian. Personally I find this hysterical especially in the light of the fact you have grown adults running around in costume pretending to do specific body movements while chanting so-called barbarous names of summoning. If common sense truly prevailed, then is it not prudent to ask why one should bother with magicK at all? Why not instead go off to university, get a Ph.D in Psychology and be your own adept if you believe in that Psychological rubbish? Or if you’re of the mind, get in med school as well and learn to be your own shaman by becoming a Psychiatrist because you can prescribe your own drugs.

Sorcerers on the other hand know spirits exist as real, independent entities who live apart from ourselves. The universe is full of Them and They can be found in the most unlikely of places from the stars in the heavens to the forests to the burial graves of our deceased to the complex symbols and corporate entities that exist in business. Spirits can be mustered to help aid our work, cajoled when They don’t want to do anything or bribed to step up to the plate when all else fails. Some are related to us such as the ancestors while others are saints left here by some mysterious universal spirit that helped form our universe then promptly left it. I spoke earlier of the familiar spirit which is both a friend and a tool the sorcerer relies on for use with their work. The familiar spirit can be obtained in many ways and in numerous forms however it is something most sorcerers will have because the spirit or helper will assist the sorcerer in their occult work as well as the rest of their life’s areas. 

Props VS Sacred Tools

Another thing is while the mind is a powerful tool, our hands still like to play with toys so as sorcerers we give toys to them to play with. These are NOT props. You see the MagicKian believes tools are ‘props’ and nothing more thanks to his psychological training. Yet go to their home, grab a tool from their altar, toss it across the room and watch them get madder than all hell! I did that once and this CM got livid with me. I said, “Gee John, what’s wrong? You said these were nothing more than props so what’s the big issue?” By all rights, this Thelemite should not have come unglued over that yet he did. It was merely a ‘prop’ after all. Nothing more. Just wood, glue and paint. I didn’t break it either just tossed it over onto his cushy sofa. 

To a sorcerer however tools are just that, tools, not props and we respect our tools much like a mechanic reverently takes care of his Mac and Snap On tool sets because they assist him in making his daily bread & butter. So too are tools sacred to a sorcerer because we acquire them by either making or purchasing a tool, then dedicating, naming, blessing, and finally consecrating the tool to our work. We do this to the Four Corners to show the universe we have a new tool to use in our repertoire of tactics and procedures. We also ask the spirits to be a part of this procedure and we know They will. Sometimes we ask the spirits to put one of Their own into our tool to give it life and make it powerful thus creating a relic of power which can then be passed on to others for their work at a later time.


The vast majority of magicKians, especially the lodge variety today, tend to work with the Hebrew Qabala. They have this belief that this old Jewish folklore is somehow the key to godhood. It’s their belief so I’m not knocking it because everyone is entitled to have their own spiritual beliefs. I may knock procedures, (especially by those who tend to point fingers and make fun of others) but I’m not interested in knocking how you or anyone approaches the divine since it’s your personal choice how you interact with divinity. Others disagree with that even though they forget this sentiment is what has caused most major wars in the past eras - people insisting other’s way of approaching divinity is incorrect then wanting to change them.

MagicKians love the Hebrew Qabala. They literally spend hours poring over holy texts with their Gematria trying to discern numerological identifications between words, phrases as well as passages, hoping to find something to glean that helps them make sense of the universe. They also love the Tree of Life Glyph and will spend hours meditating and climbing the Tree (or as they refer to it as ‘Pathworking’) by using guided meditations with select symbols embedded in the meditations in the hopes they may be able to unlock powers in themselves or maybe remove blockages that impede their progress. The Tree of Life Glyph is very important to them because it is a complex symbol that has deep meaning on ten levels of consciousness and what they refer to as four worlds of being.

Sorcerers on the other hand typically do not bother with the Hebrew Qabala often finding it either too restrictive or overly complex. Some may be interested in occult systems from the Middle East however it is not the norm as sorcerers have no structure nor hierarchy in which to say, “This is our legacy” like their lodge counterparts have. In fact some of us have found our own sort of QBL (if you will) in Norse cosmology among the great World Tree of Yggsdrasil and its nine worlds which offers a more defined history of myth and legend from which to do our own guided meditations. Norse pantheons include gods, goddesses, elves, dwarves, giants, trolls, witches, goblins, kobolds, wights and other beings that are both colorful and useful for use with the sorcerer’s work. Whereas the magicKian who works with Hebrew Qabala is stuck with just celestials (re: angels) and their counterparts cthonic spirits (re: demons/daemons). Woo. Big deal. You get an either or scenario. Good guys or their fallen bad boys. Meh. Obviously it’s a personal choice but you get the idea.

Logic VS Emotion

MagicKians are often fond of their education and in our modern society, there is nothing wrong with being well educated. In fact, it is pretty much a must these days due to the fucked up job market we have since almost all labor jobs have been shipped overseas so corporations can rip off third world nations by paying their workers for a single day less than what a single American worker made in an hour. This has forced many in our nation to rethink returning to school and seeking more knowledge to give them a chance in the faltering job market.

But you see education alone does not a powerful magicKian make. If such were the case, then all one would need is an advanced degree in education to compete in magicK. The magicKian gets themselves involved in long winded and verbose speeches written by late Victorian era occultists who believed long passages were the key to making magic happen. Obviously they thought you could bore the universe to death to get what you wanted. Their verbosity is from the fact the originators of the late 1800's lodges used Freemasonry and its rites as a sort of template in which to create their lodge rituals. If you have never read a Freemasonry book, do so because not only is it elucidating you will discover where these long winded rites of lodges like Thelema, Aurum Solis and the Golden Dawn originated from. 

Sorcerers are less fixated on logic and more so on emotion because we know emotion fuels our spells and rituals. Logic doesn’t do squat for powering sorcery but we know it too is a tool and has its place in the grand scheme of things. One does not pull out just any emotion and try to use that when dealing with say a judge and jury or else that could land you in hot water. Rather a sorcerer uses common sense and uses the right emotion for the job. We also tend to see education as important but is it necessary to get our sorceries to work? Again, no. Education or knowledge has its place and time and when conducting your ritual or spell you employ emotion as well as your familiar spirit. If a sorcerer uses a passage for ritual, s/he will invest themselves in that passage as heavily as possible meaning the emotion flows strongly to amp up the words the sorcerer is saying. This is what is giving fuel to the sorcery not just the words themselves.

One final point I’d like to make is that I have not included Chaos Magickians in this who refer to themselves as sorcerers or what they do as sorcery simply because they’re paradigm shifters and they do not care what they believe so long as it is a means to an end. You cannot define someone who refuses to define themselves. Thus the ‘chaos’ label is appropriate. Most of these folks are well meaning and decent folks however it is difficult to make heads or tails of what they do when everything is boiled to merely a sigil. How does one do that? You cannot. Chaos is a perfect moniker for them. I don’t consider them sorcerers in the classic sense. If anything they’re more like Prestidigitators who are involved in sleight of mind with embedding their sigils and commands into their subconscious mind. It’s a useful technique but it’s not in and of itself sorcery rather merely a technique or procedure than has its limitations and uses.

In Summary

It’s easy to see there are some very major differences between what a magicKian and what a sorcerer are. The two are not mutually exclusive yet they are not one and the same. MagicKians have spent a long time defining who they are and why they are. Sorcerers on the other hand have spent their time just doing what they know they need to do and left the definitions alone.

Now obviously there will be some of you who will read this and say, “Bullshit Moloch, I’m a magician not a ‘magicKian’ and I do everything the sorcerer does!” and to that I say you’re defining yourself incorrectly so you should spend some time contemplating who you are and where you’re going as well as why. Sorcery is an art as opposed to a science which is something else these magicKians all claim their practice is yet magicK cannot be a science because the results can never be exactly replicated precisely like the results you find in math, physics or chemistry. Argue what you will but science is KING and you blathering on to the contrary only makes you look like an imbecile. Best to keep it to yourself.

Like condiments, a magician/magicKian is similar to but NOT the same as a sorcerer for the very reasons I listed above. I came to a lot of my own conclusions about sorcery/sorcerers by studying history as well as discussing this with various spirits including the Mercurial Intelligence Tiriel. Let me state that while there are some out there who would mock you for labeling yourselves ‘sorcerer’, these same noodniks have obviously forgotten how easily they are also mocked by society when they tell someone in academia they practice the occult or better yet, Witchcraft. Because witches were at one time merely figures of folklore and superstition and now they’re as common as the neighbor across the street. Be who you wish to be and do not allow some ignorant, bigoted ceremonial moron to belittle you or make you feel insecure about what you wish to practice or study. Just hold your head high, march forward and realize there will be others who will adopt the label of sorcerer.