Essays From The Master

Archive for February, 2008

The question of Magick

Why the focus on Magick?


This is a question many students ask in the course of training with the Komuso Ryu. “The ninja are said to be hard core warriors so why all this mumbo jumbo?” asked a recent first time student. The answer to this question is many fold yet once understood the answer becomes a source of power. First the magick is traditional to the ryu and is taught in part to honor those who came before us. As it is traditional the magickal training also contains the lore that provides the symbol system of the ryu and therefore insights into the non-magickal training linked to those same symbols can be won from a study of those symbols.  Secondly the magickal aspects of the Komuso Ryu provide a working cover story for agents in the field in that magickians can move far more freely than an obvious warrior could. The martial and the spiritual have always been linked and many sects around the world have cloaked martial training in the guise of ritual.

The fact that Ninjitsu is the method of stealth brings forth the third reason for the magickal training in the Komuso Ryu. Within the apparently occult training the student is made to fortify his sense of reality by having it questioned. The memory of the student, both conscious and muscle, is trained to group data so that even when the student can not actively train in combat by use of mudra and mantra can prime his muscles and reactions for when the time comes to act. Because the Komuso ninja is trained in “magick” he learns to see through the tricks of manipulation used by others not because of any spiritual power per se but because the Komuso ninja knows those same tricks of voice, symbol and so on to effect his own state of being and so knows what to look for. To cloud the minds of others you have but to control your own mind. An important aspect of the magickal training whether one believes in magick or not is that it makes the student aware of how much of himself can be manipulated and if so by others by the student themselves.

Fourthly magick is learned because it is an ancient system for gaining full use of the body and mind in that through its practices the student learns to control his awareness of pain and the elements as well as hungry and other drives. Magick serves as a means of self exploration and definition so that the individual alone creates his self image either with the aid of the magick taught by the ryu or by rejecting it in favor of some system of belief that the student can invest in. The magickal training also makes the student aware of the subtle yet very real energies of Chi and Ki and of the fact that the student has control of these things. In studying magick the student is also made aware of beliefs outside his own and of the uses of belief; this lends its self well to the arts of disguise, infiltration and the uses of propaganda as well as misinformation.

Lastly the Magick of the Komuso has a reality for some who practice it, for these it is real and such get the benefits that go with investing in such belief. A very important element of Komuso Ninjitsu’s use of magick is the dual current in the minds of the masses of fear and ridicule regarding magick. If magick is fake why fear it since it has no power, is a question that the Komuso ninja should make use of? If symbols and tradition mean nothing why are they such a threat to those who do not invest in them?