What is the difference between magic, magick, and magik? Is it merely a personal preference in spelling? Is it the same as witchcraft or is it something completely different? Llewellyn.com describes the difference between magic and magick saying,
Most people reading this will know that adding the “k” to “magic” is not merely an affectation. Rather, it is a way to discriminate between the entertainment known for pulling rabbits out of hats (magic) and techniques for harnessing internal and external energies that will help us change ourselves and our environment (magick). I like to define the difference simply as “Magic is an attempt to imitate magick, by artificial means, as part of entertainment.” Although the spelling with the “k” has a long history (there was a time when manuscript copyists were paid by the letter, resulting in the many words with needless double and multiple letters), it was Aleister Crowley who is credited with using the spelling to mark this difference.” (“Magic Vs. Magick”)
The Free Dictionary also defines magick saying, “In Wicca and certain other belief systems, action or effort undertaken to effect personal transformation or external change.”
So we have here the distinction between magic and magick, but where does that leave magik?
The Urban Dictionary defines magik thusly:
A take on the word “magic” to signify “real magic.” It goes on to say magik is, “a force, similar to magic, which instead of being drawn from inside a spellcaster through innate talent, is collected by those with the ability from the energy which pervades the entire universe.
Magik users are prone to random weakening or empowering, as the universal “web” of magik rotates around the center of the universe and a particular area fluctuates in concentration of power.
So let us summarize: magic, in the popular sense, is the art of imitation and trickery for the sake of entertainment. Magick is the real deal and like it, magik is the working of power, similar to real magic (magick), which pulls on natural energy from the universe. But where does that leave witchcraft? Simply put, they’re all witchcraft.
Witchcraft is the manipulation, domination, or intimidation of anything or anyone for the sake of working one’s own will (Derek Prince). Using the broad term control, one could control people through their words such as insults, threats, and other forms of verbal abuse as well as through petitions, certain prayers, spells, and incantations.
Many a person has been controlled by the words parents, educators, “lovers,” and enemies have spoken against them. One could control people through their actions such as physical abuse, molestation, rape, and other forms of violence. Many a person has also been controlled by the intimidating, dominating, and or manipulating actions of someone be it through threats of violence toward their person, loved ones, or belongings; through sex and sexual arousal; and yes, through rituals performed against them. One could also control outcomes and elements through the manipulation of the powers that be. This may include the use of herbs and elements with spells and incantations and other forms of traditional magik. These and more are all forms of witchcraft be it the formal knowledgeable practice of Wicca, Voodoo, Santeria, Black Magic, and others or the informal, often unknowledgeable practice of manipulating people.
For many—white witches, psychics, and pagans for instance—witchcraft is used with kind intentions to cast well-intentioned spells, uncover hidden information such as in a crime investigation, or to commune with kindred spirits on this earth and elsewhere. While these intentions are innocent and some even noble, the danger of witchcraft lies in the utter inevitability of a human being to not always being able to properly judge what is best and in this case, where, when, and how the power they utilize is best employed.
There already seems to be an understanding among those who practice traditional magic and witchcraft that there is usually a clear distinction between white witches and pagans who employ their practice with good intentions and those black witches, Satanists, and others who willfully practice their craft with evil intentions. It’s been said that magic is not bad, only people. These who believe magic is a gift, neutral craft that is shaped for ill or good depending on what lies in the heart of the practitioner.
But where does one draw the line between doing what is best for someone and thinking they are doing best for someone? Can we really trust our human nature to always, 100% of the time, decide when to call on the powers that be to employ in the working of supernatural powers?
In the Bible, sorcery is listed as one of the works of the flesh by the Apostle Paul.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Another way you could define a work of the flesh is an evil (ungodly) act that is common to human nature. In fact, it was Derek Prince who said that witchcraft is the natural religion of fallen man. When left to our own devices, man who craves power, who craves the ability to put their own will into motion, is inevitably inclined to witchcraft, be it the more subtle manipulations of people with words and actions or the more overt domination of forces and elements.
And it is not only sorcery that is condemned in Scripture, but all forms of magick.
“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
Anytime you see the practice of any form of magick in Scripture, it is negative, forbidden, and condemned.
Some would see this as a rule book, a list of dos and don’ts. Some would see this as cold-hearted, harsh, unfeeling, even controlling. Yet it is not. Rather, it is a protection. We’ve all read the books and seen the movies where a well-intentioned person is involved in a fantastic experiment that they thought they could control—only to find out they couldn’t. That is like magick. It’s not mere sleight of hand or tricks. It’s real, supernatural power from otherworldly entities. It’s nothing at all to be toyed with.
In both Testaments of Scripture, witchcraft in all of its forms is seen as a wicked, abominable thing. (The emphasis being on the craft itself, not necessarily those who practice it.) Again, I believe the reason for this largely lies in the frailty and easily deceptive nature of humanity. The heart—the seat of our mind, will, and emotions—is wicked and deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9). We can never truly, fully know our hearts and even when we feel we can, someone else’s heart might disagree with what our own hearts believe. All of us who’ve had at least one failed relationship know that.
Scripture shows us that when it comes to petitions as witchcraft often encompasses, we must absolutely not rely on our own will to be done, but rather that of Jehovah’s.
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
There is not much difference between a prayer to God and a petition or spell for the working of magick, not much difference except whose will is being done—yours or God’s.