The best information I have been able to find, to date, comes from the Greek wizards around the 5th century, BCE. And it is quite interesting when you look at it, given a perspective of that time.
First thing you notice is that witches and wizards were fairly common, having areas of specialty:
- Pharmaka - those that used herbs and potions to affect the body. Interestingly enough, the original meaning of pharmaka, from where we get pharmaceuticals, is poison. (Someone trying to sneak in a historical clue there, I guess!)
- Epoidai - specialized in charms to enchant the senses. Your love potions, etc.
- Goeteia - those that bewitch the mind, familiar with the psychoactive drugs.
- Kathartai - the "purifiers" that heal the body and mind.
- Manteis - the Seers that could communicate with the dead and resurrect them.
- Alazones - the snake oil salesmen, the charlatans.
In the pre-Christain days, magic was taken for granted as an everyday part of life. Charms, amulets, sigils and the like were everywhere. And they worked. But what is particularly interesting were the references to certain temple rituals, and the use of statuary--when the appropriate sacrifices were made to the stone statues at a temple, the statues would animate with the spirit of the god and talk back, or even move about. These were factual accounts--not made-up stories. We see remnants of this in concepts like the Keris (the magical sword, discussed in another topic), which could fly about the room and attack on its own. In those days, all that was needed to animate an object was for the soul of a god to possess it.
In the Reciprocal System, we can see how that might be possible, as the soul is cosmic (3D time) and the body, or stone statue, material (3D space). If a god could project their soul into a statue, it would temporarily become a life unit, taking on the properties of life. Granted, it would not have muscles or anything to speak with or move about, but it would not be difficult for such an entity to alter the molecular cohesion of the atoms in a statue to give such an appearance. So it is not outside the realm of possibility.
The aim of all magick of those days was simple: to influence human behavior. And that is what the essence of magick is, and if it is to work outside a single person, requires a social network. Even the Greeks knew that if you dropped a bit of gossip at the right time at the marketplace, you could strongly manipulate social opinion, and as a consequence, human behavior. They even state that, "speech is the pharmacology of the soul."
What I am finding is that most of the magic of old is not the trobriand technique of Harry Potter (ritual and incantation), but contains a strong, psychological component. This even extends to the herbalists, as a belief in a cure--or a curse--could do more than the herb ever could, itself. So to understand magick, one will also need to understand a bit about psychology and the collective unconscious. Curious how these are always omitted from basic education!
I am continuing my research, but what I am finding out is that "magick" are the techniques to manipulate the "force fields" of life units, much like we use wire and electronics to manipulate electromagnetic fields. It is the "2nd density" form of physics. Of course, to manipulate 2nd density, you need to be in a 3rd density frame--probably why there is so much effort to keep humanity 2D.