Die Bedeutung von Tradition und Geheimnis für praktizierende Magier des 21. Jahrhunderts: Ergebnisse einer Interviewstudie The Meaning of Tradition and Secrecy for Magical Practitioners in the 21st Century: Results of an Interview Study

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  • 1 Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene e.V., Freiburg im Breisgau

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Abstract

This article addresses the question of the significance of tradition and secrecy for magical practitioners from various occult groups of the twenty-first century. The observations are based upon the results of an interview study alongside an analysis of contemporary literature concerning the practice of magic. The significance which is attached to the “occult” tradition, the transmission of esoteric knowledge and the figure of the person teaching this knowledge correlates very strongly with the spiritual alignment of the magical practice. This is especially pronounced among mystery schools which are oriented towards “white magic”. These concepts, however, play only a relatively marginal role. The same is not true with regard to aspects of secrets and secrecy. Although the distinct influence of a postmodern relativisation can be ascertained here, secrecy nevertheless remains significant in both theory and practice. The social functionality of secrecy such as was characteristic of the secret societies of the Enlightenment can, however, no longer be taken for granted. In this regard, the cultural situation of the twenty-first century has changed too much.

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