A “k” added to the end of the word “magic” creates the word “magick,” which you may have noticed if you’ve dabbled in the occult. Rather than a simple typo or stylistic choice, this unusual spelling choice has profound symbolic and historical roots in the occult.
Some credit Aleister Crowley, a British occultist and ceremonial magician who lived from 1875 to 1947, popularizing the spelling with a k. Because of its connotations of sleight of hand and magic tricks, Crowley felt that the word “magic” (capital M) misrepresented the nature of occult practices.
Crowley devised a new spelling to distinguish occult practices from other forms of illusion and deception by adding a “k” to the end of the word. Many practitioners of magick considered spirit or ether an essential element, and the letter “k” symbolized this.
Magick, with a capital “k,” originates in the works of French occultist Eliphas Levi, who wrote that words had the power to bring about change in the physical world. According to Levi, the Hebrew letter “k” represented the crown of the tree of life (Kether) and thus held special significance in the Hebrew language.
Levi believed writing the word “magick” with a capital “k” would allow the user to harness the energy associated with this letter and better align their will with the divine. As a result, occultists created a powerful symbol unique to their beliefs and practices by using a spelling that was not commonly associated with everyday language.
There is also the idea that spelling “magic” with a “k” helps distinguish between genuine occult practices and those that are more superstitious or surface-level. Occultists could differentiate themselves from those who practiced “magic” in a more commercial or mundane sense by using a different spelling.
Many modern occultists, including those who practice Wicca and ceremonial magick, now spell their practices with “magick” with a capital “k.” Spelling “magick” with a “k” has significant historical and symbolic significance for many occultists, despite being seen by some as a pretentious affectation or meaningless convention.
In summary, using “magick” with a “k” is an intentional spelling choice with historical and symbolic roots in occultism. Occultists use this spelling to set themselves apart from other forms of deception and to bring themselves into harmony with the divine will. Whether you believe in the occult or not, learning more about this unusual spelling choice is fascinating because it shows how language can influence our thoughts and feelings.
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