Thought I'd put this here because it's one of the more interesting magic systems I've come across so far, although some of the concepts seem common to other systems. It's from a site called the Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic. This site has been around since 2002, so some may have seen it. I'm Not going to put the link here because this isn't meant to be an advertisement; it's about the magic system. They claim that this system is based on tribal shamanic teachings, but I have yet to find out exactly which tribe they're talking about.
According to this system, everything in the universe is made up of some combination of the four elements air, fire, water and earth. They say that if you can understand and work with all four elements you can create anything in the universe, which sounds like a pretty bold claim to me. They offer courses that teach you how to work with each element. I haven't bought these because they're rather expensive, but I did get some of their cheaper ebooks for research purposes and their site does have quite a lot of free information in places.
Much like any other branch of magic that deals with working with the elements, each element has an associated tool. The wand is for working with air, the athame is for working with fire, the chalice is for working with water, and the plate is for working with earth. There's also a fifth tool called the firebowl that's used for cleansing, charging, divination, etc. You can of course work with the elements without tools, but the tools are supposed to be able to give you a longer reach and contain more energies than your hands.
Each element also has several colors associated with it. Air has sky blue, clear, and white. Fire has sun yellow, yellow-orange, red-orange, bright red, deep-red, and electric-blue. Water has water blue, deep blue, and blue black. Earth has grass-green, earth-brown, and black. Each color is associated with a particular type or band of energy of that element, and each type can have different effects. From what I understand of this the colors are mostly a visual aid to pull the correct type of energy, but colors also have a vibration that attract these energies as well.
They also have information about working with simulacra magic (AKA voodoo). No, it's not about sticking pins in dolls. It's more like sympathetic magic. You key an object to a person or thing, and whatever happens magically to that object affects the person or thing it's keyed to. The object can be unkeyed once you're done with it.
One thing they stress is the following of the Rules of the Road, which they say are a set of universal rules to avoid backlash when practicing magic. It's similar to karma or the threefold law, and they do make a lot of sense. They stress that what the universe considers harm may not be the same as what the magician may consider to be harm, so any magical workings should be done in line with these rules. This is where I learned about directors and limiters for spells which make a lot of sense to me.
Now here's where things get suspicious to me. While they do point out that magic doesn't work exactly the same way you see it work in fiction, they claim that it can be used in some ways and have some effects that, at least to me, border on fantasy. Here are some examples:
Certain items can explode! Supposedly wands shouldn't be used to work with fire energies or they could catch fire or explode since wood burns. If this were a simple matter of using an incompatible material for energy work I'd understand, but to say that your wand will catch fire or explode seems silly. I know that some magic systems use the wand for working with fire, so this whole thing sounds bogus anyway. Then there's what they call a sun crystal. Supposedly it allows you to pull in energy from the sun in times of emergency. However, it shouldn't be made of clear quartz, because it could explode. You also shouldn't pull electric-blue through it or it could explode. To my knowledge magic doesn't make things explode, so that's a bit of a red flag for me.
Energy bolts and beams. Supposedly, you can send bolts of elemental energy at a candle flame, which will react differently depending on the type you're using. Not only that, but they also claim that you can explode small pebbles with yellow orange, red orange or bright red beams from your Athame, and cook small pieces of liver with deep red or bright red beams. Sounds quite impossible on the physical plane to me for obvious reasons.
Self defense. They claim that if you're physically attacked, you can flow the fire energy from your attacker into your self, then tap them somewhere and release it. Depending on where the energy flows, this could actually kill them. Note we're not talking about burning them with physical fire here. Along the same lines, their version of psiballs is the fireball. These can be used for any element though, not just fire. While they do of course say that these aren't the same sort of fireballs you see wizards use in fiction, they can still have some pretty serious effects on people depending on what type of energy you use and where it hits them. Supposedly they should also be disposed of properly and not left lying around where they could hurt someone. Again, sounds impossible since magic just doesn't work like that as far as I'm aware.
So, this system seems to have a mix of good and questionable things. What I do like is that they say to try things for yourself and decide if it works for you. I'm torn between thinking that's honesty or just to cover their own butts, as some of the above just sounds a bit out there to be real at all. Either way, it's interesting, and I enjoy reading about different ways people practice magic even if they seem a bit strange.
Re: An interesting system. By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Jul 06, 2021
First clue to the veracity of their claims are the tools they are using which are in no way associated with Shamanic magics. The athame is certainly not. That is something linked to Western esoteric practices and particularly to Wicca.
Shamanism originates in Mongolia. Other similar practices have been called " shamanism " to describe tribal practices among Native Americans, but that really isn't the correct term for them. Spiritual practices vary a great deal from tribe to tribe, so simply saying something is " tribal " without specifying which tribe is a pretty good clue that it something they made up.
There is no universal rule to prevent backlash from a spell. One can minimize the chances of something going wrong, but there is always a possibility. It's like rolling a natural 1 when rolling a D20 while playing D&D or some other role-playing game.
The wand is absolutely not going to explode into flames if you are working with Fire energies. In many Traditions, the wand is the tool of Air. But I also know of others where the Wand is specifically used as the tool of Fire. Think roots reach down towards the magma at the core of the Earth while branches reach up to the energies of the Sun.
The rest of their claims about magic are simply nonsense, as you rightly determined.
Personally I think they are a sham and it would be a waste of good money to try any of these courses. But as P.T.Barnum used to say; " There's a sucker born every minute ." And that's what sites like this are counting on.
Re: An interesting system. By: kts Moderator / Adept
Post # 3 Jul 07, 2021
Thank you Lark I could not have said it any better. I shudder at the term shaman because of it's misuse and agree the above mentioned site is an attempt to sell a nontraditional path under the guise ofa traditional one to those who may not know any better.
I am most grateful sites like this one exist and have the ability to help others navigate the magical path in this age of information and misinformation.
Indeed. That's sort of what I thought. I suspect that If they dropped the whole shamanism bit and took out the obvious fake stuff like beams and bolts of energy causing physical effects and energy causing things to explode, some of the information would be accurate. That's without getting into the courses though which I don't plan on doing due to the cost. If they were cheaper I would get them purely for reading/research purposes as I did with the ebooks.
There are some things that I do like such as the charging of the sun candle, directors and limiters for spells, simulacra magic, etc. In my mind it's sort of like some of the fake spells that people have put on this site. If it sounds too good to be true or it would break the laws of physics, it's most likely fake and the reader should use their common sense. If someone wants to try to throw bolts of energy at a candle flame for example, let them. They can learn that it doesn't work from experience. If something does happen it's likely that its just air currents.
Mostly I just find the entire system fascinating even if some techniques are obviously fake.