Si Vales, Valeo
Paradigms are models which support a worldview, group of theories and/or methodology. Usually within the context of science. In magick, a paradigm is a collection of elements, rules and/or justifications that build up a foundation or circumstances upon which the magician’s desires can be realized.
A magician can use all things, known or unknown to create a paradigm. The only rule is that known phenomenon must adhere to the natural law it was given. You cannot, for example, create a paradigm where pigs fly because we know pigs and understand their nature, and we understand the physics of gravity, so short of firing pigs out of a canon, we know it isn’t possible. Anything unknown or speculated, for example is fair game. Just like the Egyptian gods were a convenient way to explain things they could not have possibly understood at the time. And let’s not forget about the wealth of archetypes at our disposal.
In magical work, once the unknown elements become known or explained scientifically, one cannot use it the same way again. Any known element or knowledge must now only be used (if it is to be used in a paradigm) exclusively as that: a known element. To continue using a known element as something unknown is superstition that I believe can lead to madness, and all kinds of unpleasant psychologically destructive things.
If you want to perform magick, it is imperative that you believe the paradigm you are using no matter how far-fetched it may be, so long as it is plausible. But you must never forget that the paradigm is a simple temporary condition just to help achieve the necessary conditions to cause the change in conformity with your Will. When you are done with it, toss it out.
We use paradigms all the time in the mundane world. God, and money, are perfect examples of magical paradigms.
Some paradigms work so well that people begin to believe in them and are unable to move past them. Take God for example. It goes against everything that we know about the universe and science. To believe in an old ancient grey haired, grey bearded male God, that just sits there and watches us and judges us while simultaneously knowing everything we’re going to do before we do it anyway, seems completely absurd to the logical informed person.
But at one time, when people were less evolved, that paradigm helped (and some argue it still does) propel humanity forward. In other words, it was a helpful paradigm for the time that it was created.
Money is another paradigm we are rather fond of. We used to have carry around gold, silver, copper and all sorts of valuable but heavy things which made it very difficult to do business without a burro and a cart. So, we adopted a paradigm which dictated that a piece of paper or a minted coin of worthless material would be equal in gold or silver of the printed value on the talisman we call “cash.” What we call money, or currency as it exists today is pretty much worthless. It only has the value that we have given it just like with the example I just made about God. We may as well use Monopoly money. This is how magical paradigms work.