Ceremonial magic is generally defined as magic in which the practitioner uses specific rituals and invocations to call upon the spirit world. Also called high magic, ceremonial magic uses as its base a blend of older occult teachings – Thelema, Enochian magic, Kabbalah, and other various occult philosophies are typically incorporated.
Ceremonial magic differs from natural magic, or low magic. Natural magic is the practice of magic in accordance with the natural world – herbalism, etc. – while ceremonial magic involves the invoking and control of spirits and other entities. Although there is much more to it than this - ceremonial magic in and of itself being fairly complex – these are the main surface differences. Ultimately, the main purpose of performing high magic is to bring the practitioner closer to the Divine itself, whether that is in the form of a deity or another spiritual being.
Although information on ceremonial magic often seems to be limited, this is due in part to the need for secrecy within the community. Author Dion Fortune once said of the teachings of ceremonial magic, “Secrecy concerning practical formulae of ceremonial magic is also advisable, for if they are used indiscriminately, the virtue goes out of them.”
Today, there is a great deal of publicly available information on the practice and beliefs of high magic, or ceremonial magic. However, it is said that the information out there is incomplete, and that it is only through training and work that a practitioner can unlock all of the secrets of ceremonial magic.
Also Known As: High magic
Alternate Spellings: Ceremonial magick (this spelling is attributed to occultist Aleister Crowley)