THE word magic is largely misunderstood, because there are various kinds of so-called magic, much of which is deception and trickery.
But there is a magic which might be called the unseen and hidden power to bring to pass certain desired results, without revealing its methods. It is called intention.
Its successful use requires a knowledge far beyond any kind of trickery, and is based on an innate spiritual force in man and nature.
Those who practiced it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise, called Magi — the source of the word magic.
It is relatively easy to learn tricks and spells, Mme. Blavatsky writes, “and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature.”
The force of selfish human desire awakens darker powers, Theosophy says. Unless the motive is pure, destructive passions are often aroused, and even unconsciously will do harm to others and to nature.
In the article Practical Occultism, H. P. Blavatsky warns of this: “it is the motive alone which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic,” she writes, “and unless the intention is entirely unalloyed…
“the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it.”
“It is impossible to employ spiritual forces, she maintains, “if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness [or separateness] remaining in the operator.”