Special K

The hexing hipsters at the Barbelith Temple ponder the spellings of the term “magic”. Aleister Crowley started the trouble when he added an extra “k” to the term “magick” to differentiate it from stage conjurations. Since then numerous spellings have come around and many are now wondering why all the bother.

“I used to be a proponent of ‘magic-with-a-K’, but as time has gone on and as I?ve become more of a proponent of removing the Occult from the Occult, I don?t see the need to have yet another divisive element in my magical practice. I still like the aesthetics of ‘magic-with-a-k’ but in day-to-day use I?ve settled on Magic. I reserve the right to change my mind at whim.”Imaginary Mongoose Solutions

“The ‘k’ strikes me as incredibly pretentious. Anyone that can take a look at the OED (well, at least the two-volume one we’ve got here) will find prestidigital manipulation only appearing in the third and final definition of the term. If someone is doing something meaningful and personally successful that falls underneath the gamut of the term, they shouldn’t need to enforce their legitimacy through a flakey etymological separation from illusionist and trickster hokum. Of course, if they happen to be Greek they may feel beautiful and blessed to practice magike.”kowalski

Perhaps my favorite reply…

I am suddenly reminded of a scene from a videogame review show. The particular episode was a badly-done parody of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and for some reason included a reincarnated Crowley, but it had a nice exchange:

Morgan Webb: So why do you spell “magic” with a “K” at the end?

Crowley: To seperate my art from the cheap theatrics of impersonators.

MW: Why not spell it with just a “k”?

Crowley: [in a whiny voice] Because that’s a character from X-men.

I suppose an obscure comic-book reference is the best place to leave this particular debate. Hope you have a magic(k)al day.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Miranda

    I’ve always wondered of what use an alternate spelling actually is. Anyone practicing spell-casting shouldn’t need a “k” on the end to tell the difference; if they do, I earnestly hope to be on a different continent when they try something serious. It’s certainly no help to non-practitioners who don’t already know the difference; sticking a letter on the end of the word isn’t going to help them to know if they don’t to begin with – and if they do know, they don’t need the extra letter any more, either.In the end, though, the English major in me just moans and looks for something to cover her head with every time someone changes the spelling of something just because they feel like it. Wimmin doing magick in a cyrrcle make me want to lauff and kry all at once.

  • Daven

    Next to Karma, she was my favorite New Mutant.

  • illovich

    Magik was so hot. Illyana Rasputin is teh sexorist new mutant ever! But yeah, Karma was the bomb. All the original (first 10-30 issues I forget when it got weak) were pretty cool. Even Rahne!