It is undeniable that science and magick have similarities. In fact, one could argue that magick was man’s first attempt at science. Alchemy, ceremonial magick, herbalism, dowsing, and so many more forms of magick are perfect examples of methods of magick that have been modernized, renamed, and are now considered science. Usually, this is the norm – taking an ancient technique and modernizing it for scientific purposes. What if we reversed engineered this idea? Use a new scientific technique and use it for a magickal purpose. If we are to do this I think we should begin with the Scientific Method.
The first step to the Scientific Method would be to ask a question about something you want to know about deeper (e.g. how do plants make energy?) When this step is focused for magickal purposes it translates to be the same – ask a question. For example, one could ask themselves, “how can I influence the weather?” This is quite simple and not far from what someone will do when beginning to write a spell or ritual. The question is the beginning before anything is done or written out. It is the beginning of the will being manifested.
The next step would be to research or observe. Synonymous with science before taking on your question do some research, and observe the subject in which you are wanting to manipulate. Going back to weather manipulation as an example in this step one would research how weather works in the first place. For this one might look up the rain cycle, why lightening strikes the ground and another weather phenomenon. This can be the same as the Hermetic law of magick the Law of Knowledge, which states to be able to effect your subject you must first understand it. Researching your subject and getting to understand it gives you a better idea of how to take on the next step of the Scientific Method.
The third step, constructing a hypothesis, in the Scientific Method could become tricky if one thinks too hard about how it connects magickally. The hypothesis is simply where you try to guess the answer to your question. This is totally dependent on your knowledge of the subject. So let’s focus on something more specific than just weather manipulation and let’s say your question is, “how can I focus my will to cause a thunderstorm?” You’ve done your research and have observed thunderstorms in the past so you come up with the hypothesis, “I think (or believe) that boiling salt water, throwing specific herbs into the pot, and chanting all the while beating a drum with thunder sigil on it will focus my will into producing a thunderstorm.” This is the statement of your will in a bit of a more complicated manor and also alludes to the Hermetic Law of association – a thing can be associated with another and either or can be used to influence each other.
In the Scientific Method after stating the hypothesis, you will make a prediction. This is where you would be more specific with your hypothesis breaking down exactly how your hypothesis works. Magickally speaking at this point you would be writing down your spell or ritual in detail and how you think it will effect the world around you. Doing so will make things clear if your will is not made into fruition. Without this step, one cannot clearly sort through their ideas.
After you have made your prediction or written out your spell you will, of course, have to put to perform it – experiment. Here you will find if your prediction was correct or not. If the prediction was not correct (even down to how you believe how the spell will effect the world) around then you must go back to your process, alter it where you think it failed, and redo. This has to be done to the point where your actions have the same effect every time you perform them (i.e. Hermetic Law of Cause and Effect). Experimentation is essential, especially in one’s own practice. The reason being that if you borrowed an idea from another practitioner or tradition and it does not work for you then you will need to come up with your own idea; experimentation will help you figure these things out.
Once you have the result you are looking, and you can replicate the results over and over again, and you do not have different variables popping up then you are at the last part of the Scientific Method – the Conclusion. In reality, the conclusion of the Scientific Method will either conclude whether the hypothesis was true or not, but in magick, we are actually looking to create actions that will have consistent results. It is true you might find your magickal hypothesis will not make your will come to fruition, and it will have to be altered to again create a consistent result. The difference between the magickal conclusion and the scientific conclusion is that in the scientific conclusion one focuses on whether the hypothesis was true or not, but in magick, we want to focus on the consistency of results. So if your results come out different every so often then one will have to go back to experimentation.
As a wizard who is looking to use hyper-realism in their practice instead of relying on faith, folklore, and superstition this is how I break down my magick. I am looking for the most logical path in which one can create a reaction without expecting it to be different every time.