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Magic the Art of the Magi?
By rockhouse wizard Posted in Rants and Ramblings on June 27, 2022 0 Comments
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We’ve been told time after time that “Magic derives from an old Greek word referring to the Persian Magi”…

This is true, of course. In fact words like magica and magicae etc. probably all are derived from reference to the mysterious and powerful Magi. Eventually these terms branched out to cover all phenomena, practices, and happenings of an unexplainable/occult nature.

Today we have magic, or for the extra-pretentious, magicK, and no Magi in site.

Some insist, however, that we owe all this glorious art and adventure to those ancient servants of Zoroaster mentioned above. Pliny, among others, took as a foregone conclusion that magic originated inside Persia.

With neither clout nor image to push my point, I disagree, or maybe simply divert from this magi-centric lore. I kindly do thank the ancient Persians for Zoroaster, the Magi, and other philosophical and metaphysical contributions they made to the human story. Seriously; bravo ya’ll.

To think that cultures elsewhere (probably everywhere else, to be blunt) were not engaged in their own processes of magical discovery, however, is ludicrous. How about the folks of Northern Europe, and that whole Celtic thing?

The Druids, you might say, were the Celtic parallel to the Persian Magi. They (Druids) were an educated priest class assigned the sacred duties of medicine, astrology, natural lore, history,, justice, and more.

Old words like drui in time became druadh and draoi, et al., and from among these emerged draiochta which means variously magic, witchcraft, occult sciences, the art of the druids, and so on. I’m rather fond of this quaint (to my rough English ears) word and have mused that, but for a twist or two of fortune and the swapping of a handful of dusty old manuscripts held in high esteem by Western historians, we might all be studying “draiocht”, with “magic” being an odd term few are familiar with.

I recognize that Druids may have come along much later than the magi. I say may because this notion is based upon when writings about the Druids were first penned by outsiders; truthfully, we have no firm idea of how long the Druids were on the scene.

Irrelevant at any rate as the Gymnosophistae of India, Semitic Chaldaei, and numerous other priest or sorcerer classes who definitely could have been contemporary to or older than the Magi are to be found upon the stage of history.

I can’t emphasize enough, that I’m not posting this to put a smack on the Magi or the Persians. I am simply pointing out the possibility that a point of view can be “taken to and run with” by a few popular talking heads and then treated as immovable gospel henceforth, whether or not it be accurate.

Also…. I really do think Draiochtai is a much cooler word, and we should all give “magic” the boot right now and start saying draiocht instead.

history of magic magic in general magical philosophy

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