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The Magician and the Analyst Paperback – 2 Jul 2002


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Varieties of Occult Experience 16 April 2008
By Robert S. Robbins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Today I finished reading "The Magician And The Analyst: The Archetype Of The Magus In Occult Spirituality And Jungian Analysis" by Robert L. Moore. It is a short book which explores the psychology of initiation rites in occultism. The original title of the book was "The Varieties of Occult Experience" but unfortunately the author found the subject too vast. Moore describes those seeking occult knowledge as questers who seek a ritual elder to guide encounters with extramundane agencies.

Moore's theories go a long way in explaining the reason for some common aspects of ritual practice. For example, he offers an extensive explanation of the purpose in drawing a magic circle of power. This is to establish a "liminoid space" in which to cross the boundary from the mundane to the extramundane or sacred space. He also emphasizes the need to practice stewardship of the ritual space including the banishment of entities manifested in order to properly terminate the ritual and effect a return to the mundane world. The return to the mundane world is an important part of the myth cycle and to remain in liminal space would mean a chronic experience of the numinous.

I don't employ any rituals but I suppose it is important to understand their psychological basis and detect unconscious substitutions for ritual practices. Unfortunately this book does not explore the full nature of the "technician of the sacred". It is narrowly focused on the initiation ritual as a process of psychic transformation and neglects to support its theory with examples or extensive discussion.

However it is not difficult to find examples of the Magus archetype. Consider the movie "The Mist" as an example. In that movie the scientists act as the magicians and open a portal to another dimension, liminoid space, through which monsters of the id emerge. The scientists have not acted as responsible stewards of their esoteric knowledge so the extramundane brings nothing but death and the quest to complete the myth cycle by a return to the mundane world ends in failure.
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