Magical fascinations

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Fascinations are works that are intended to change the apparent form of a person or object. Aleister Crowley says that "this consists almost altogether in distracting the attention, or disturbing the judgment, of the person whom it is wished to deceive" (Magick, Ch. 21). They are illusionary in nature—such as "invisibility" spells—and do not represent "real" transformations.

From Magick Without Tears (Ch. 25), Crowley says:

My dictionary defines the verb: "to charm, to enchant; to act on by some irresistible influence; to captivate; to excite and allure irresistibly or powerfully."
For the noun it gets even deeper into technical Magick: "the act or power of fascinating or spell binding, often to one's harm; a mysterious, irresistible, alluring influence." (Personally, I have always used, or heard, it much less seriously: "attractive" hardly more). Skeat, surprisingly, is almost dumb: p. part. of "to enchant" and "from L. fascinum, a spell."

But then he goes on to say:

Yes, surprisingly; for the word is one of the many that means the Phallus. The implication is that there is some sexual element in the exciting and alluring quality, which lifts it altogether above mere "pleasing."
"Christ" is reported as having said: "If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me." Interpret this in the light of the Cross as a Phallic emblem, and—how lurid a flash!
Compare AL II, 26. "I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one."
This versicle is deep, devilish deep; and it is chock-a-block with the mysteries of Fascination.


  • Crowley, Aleister. (1997). Magick: Book 4. 2nd ed. York Beach, Me. : S. Weiser.
  • ____. (1982). Magick Without Tears. Phoenix, AZ : Falcon Press

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.