El Morya

Sorceress. 1916 by Nichoas Roerich; I.V.Koretskaia collection, Moscow

Nicholas Roerich

The Mahatma on Witchcraft and Black Magic

from Agni Yoga Society

Editor, Reverse Spins: These quotes were given to Nicholas and Helena Roerich by El Morya in the 20's and early 30's. El Morya who ascended in the late 1800's, is one of the founders of Theosophy as well as Agni Yoga. He then went on to cofound The Bridge to Freedom and then the Summit Lighthouse with Saint Germain. Nicholas Roerich, a Russian, spent many years in Tibet. He was truly a Renaissance man. His paintings are very original and have a special ethereal quality. He had a student in FDR's Cabinet. The book Leaves of Morya's Garden by Roerich was even on Elvis Presley's reading list. El Morya has written and dictated on almost every subject imaginable over the years—always with the goal of elevating mankind and bringing in a New Era. Here are his thoughts on witchcraft and black magic —mostly as they relate to the spiritual path.


Heart, 1932 Heart, 153. In hoary antiquity incense was used to determine the aura of objects. It was supposed that objects with good auras became imbued with incense, whereas bad emanations did not absorb the effusions of the plant. Afterwards, incense was used in the temples in order to strengthen the Subtle World and being it nearer. Verily, incense has the property of increasing the vitality of the Subtle World. When used at funerals, its purpose is to safeguard the one who has passed the borderline of consciousness and to liberate him from the state of slumber that is usual for those who are unprepared. Such details of the ancient knowledge are completely forgotten; similarly forgotten is the significance of various fragrances. The manufacturing of perfumes has lost its ancient meaning; not only has it lost this, but through ignorance the most harmful combinations are often used. The affirmed knowledge, based upon wide study, will afford an entire domain useful for application in life. The use of aromas in antiquity was connected with the study of cures. The priests indicated how to utilize aromas and in what cases to apply them. Thus, without witchcraft, one can trace an entire system of cures based on inhalation and the nourishing of the nervous system by rubbing aromatic essences into the skin. Thus, the ancients looked far deeper than the surface of the skin. Inseparable from the question of aromas is the concept of our emanations; but this field also is hardly studied. Each evidence of investigation of various emanations always encounters the stigma of charlatanism. Likewise, each sensitive sensation only encounters doubt, as if the multivariety of nature does not demand refinement!

Fiery World I, 1933 Fiery World I, 40. In the ancient pharmacopeias and in various ancestral medical records you are struck by the number of allusions to mixtures for bringing the organism into a transcendental state. You feel that this is not a form of necromancy or witchcraft, but a special way of seeking one's future. Hence, it is clear that our remote ancestors were far more solicitous and thoughtful for the future than our contemporary scholars. For us, the future is relegated either to the confines of hellfire or to the province of an electrical manifestation. The powerful life-creating potency of Fire is unrealized; the effulgent, radiant manifestations are not comprehended, and the very Hierarchy of Light itself is regarded as either a phantom or a bugbear. There are many who wish to evade the future, preferring to call themselves dust. Yet even the learned shudder at the question as to whether they wish to pass through Fire. Nevertheless, how often have we been drawn out of the three-dimensional state! When we are immersed in thought, do we notice time or temperature? We are entirely unaware of the numerous minutes that run together in the twinkling of an eye or become an eternity. Such experiences occur daily, and each one can be a witness to wonderful phenomena.

Fiery World I, 620. Furthermore, it is the greatest infamy that humanity even now practices witchcraft, precisely the blackest sorcery bent upon evil. Such conscious collaboration with the dark forces is not less horrible than poison gases. It is incredible that men who consider themselves to be in the religion of Good perpetuate the most dreadful sorcery. I would not mention this black peril if it had not reached such terrific proportions at present. The most intolerable rituals have been re-instituted in order to harm people. In their ignorance the crowds have been inveigled into mass magic. It is impermissible to allow such disintegration of the planet! It is impermissible to allow the dark forces to succeed in annihilating all evolution. Sorcery is not permissible, being a pressure on space contrary to nature. Everywhere, stress the danger of sorcery.

Brotherhood, 1937 Brotherhood, 32. Psychic energy should be not only studied but consciously applied in life. Such a conscious cooperation as Brotherhood is in need of psychic energy. It is impossible to harmonize labor without psychic energy. It is impossible to arrive at mutual understanding without psychic energy. It is impossible to gather patience and tolerance without psychic energy. It is impossible to rid oneself from irritation without psychic energy. In everything there must be application of the primary energy itself. It has already been observed that not only does the presence of an individual have an influence on the fluctuations of the energy but even pictures of people react upon the subtle energy. One must not only recognize the sensitiveness of the energy but also keep in mind this phenomenal quality. For people who have not seen experiments with psychic energy, discussions about the reactions of mere images will seem like mad fairy tales. However, for such people as these, the energy itself is under suspicion. They are not averse to talking about spirit or soul, but this very obvious energy will be for them witchcraft.

Brotherhood, 418. The non-duplication of experiments with the subtlest energies often diverts the attention of scholars. But they forget that it is not the energy which is unrepeatable, but they themselves. Moreover, they do not know how to create duplicate conditions surrounding the experiments. Many times you have had occasion to note how different were the attendant circumstances. But even an eminently experienced scholar does not attach significance to very diverse conditions. First of all, he does not pay attention to his own mood; yet the condition of the nerve centers will be decisive for many experiments. Likewise overlooked is the quality of the co-workers taking part in the experiments. But even in antiquity, and later by the alchemists, the value of cooperation was well understood. They knew also about the significance of sex. They did not deny lunar reaction and the force of the planets. But at present, such elementary conditions are considered almost witchcraft. It is impossible to persuade people that they are the bearers of the answers to many things.

Supermundane III, 1938 Supermundane III, 614. Urusvati knows how important it is that human thinking be freed. Do not take comfort in the idea that thought is in its nature free, because thinking is chained by many prejudices. Nowadays we do not burn sorcerers, but some scientific domains are regarded by many as akin to witchcraft. Everybody knows people who consider themselves to be cultured, but whose prejudices do not permit them to accept real scientific achievements. Books can be published, new university chairs can be established, experiments can be conducted whose results have been proved, yet the "cultured" ones will cling to their worn-out prejudices. They are not ashamed to call themselves cynics or skeptics, but it would be better were they to call themselves fools. It is not so bad if a fool denies reality, except that many of them are in high governmental positions and oppose all efforts at enlightenment. It is impossible to enumerate the many ways in which people?s thinking is constricted! The psychic level of thinking today is hardly different from that of the Middle Ages! Centuries ago the fools attacked Leonardo da Vinci, and one can observe the same attitude in our time. The teacher who speaks about the discipline of thinking knows that it is still impossible to speak about some simple truths. Those in authority know how to close the mouth of the bold one who dares to speak about freedom of thought. The Thinker [Plato] used to say, "Heavy chains bind each one of us."

Black Magic

Heart, 1932 Heart, 556. You will not be astonished at My confirmation that black magic is increasing greatly. Of course, this is one of the weapons used by the opponents of Light. They gather conscious and unconscious co-workers. Conjurations, incantations, and also all the accumulations of the dark ones, are broadly utilized. In addition to the dark centers previously indicated to you many small circles are arising, often based on the most primitive rituals. But general harm is great. Of course, white magic possesses the most powerful formula?but above all formulas stands the energy of the heart. All formulas and conjurations presuppose mechanical apparatuses, remaining within the confines of the lowest teachings. But now, when the forces of darkness are so aroused, the forces of the heart are set against them in opposition. It can be noticed how gradually the rituals of white magic were carried to the highest concepts of Fire and the heart. The dark ones do not possess these strongholds. Only the pure heart can act. Only the link with the Hierarchy of Light can kindle the inextinguishable fires. Thus, the opposition of the heart to all dark forces will be the sign of victory. I affirm the might of the heart and from your experience you know how close and powerful is this weapon of Light. The fiery sphere cannot be approached without the flame of the heart. Initiation by fire is only for the pure heart.

Fiery World I, 1933 Fiery World I, 74. There is no reason to think that black magic is now especially increasing in Tibet. Of course it has increased there greatly, but this is only one phase of its world-wide development. One cannot imagine to what an extent this black network is being spread. It is impossible to conceive the entire diversity of its participants. It is impossible to reveal all the unsuspected combinations which sustain each other. Can one be reconciled to the fact that heads of states, prelates, Freemasons, rebels, judges, criminals, physicians, the sick and the healthy, are all at work in the same black field? The difficulty of detecting them is that one cannot indicate any definite organization; all is based on separate individuals, who are deliberately placed in the most varied activities.

Fiery World I, 367. One should remember about harmful objects. People are sometimes willing to acknowledge a certain significance in teraphim fashioned for the purpose of influencing people. But, after all, many objects carry upon them accumulations of influences. Not rare are the objects made in an hour of hatred, fatigue, terror, or despair; they will carry these sendings with them into the world. And if they fall into the hands of an owner who is under the same astrochemical conditions, they will act in accordance with the message with which they have been suffused. Sociologists are trying to improve working conditions. This is right, but in addition the spiritual level of the workers should be raised. It does not matter whether they create great things or small, the poisonous saliva can saturate them equally. For natural magnetism there is no need of special black magic. Black fire fills every evil heart, therefore let us be very observant in regard to objects. One may recall that Apollonius of Tyana never touched objects that were unfamiliar to him. First he looked at them carefully, especially when they were ancient. When one of his disciples wanted to put a ring on his finger, the Teacher warned him against touching poison. A deadly poison was discovered concealed in the ring. And Apollonius added, ?Such poison is less deadly than the poison of the heart.? One should not regard the sayings of the sages as remote symbols. Often they have a literal meaning, which must be remembered and applied. We do not go to a shop to purchase clothing infected with smallpox; yet this infection will be only a one-thousandth part of the contagion present. How often have I stated that the accumulations of thought are far more virulent than poisons! Just as fire deposits a patina upon a vessel, so is the fire of thought irremovable when it saturates the surface of an object. Among purifiers eucalyptus is useful, for it contains much fire. All living fire is also useful. Much infection has been destroyed around bonfires.

Fiery World II, 1934 Fiery World II, 103. When cities were enumerated to you where the ritual of black magic was especially developed, it did not mean that there were no other places where it could be found. On the contrary, there are many black lodges, but some of them are devoted to evil as such, without any special rituals. But during recent times one may see a revival of the most ancient services of darkness. Among them there are very harmful ones, which can cause destruction by their very rhythm. The black lodges usually do not understand what cosmic harm they create. In their ignorance they think that they cause harm only in a desired direction, but in reality they touch whole strata of the atmosphere. Especially at present, when the fiery time is approaching and there are already evident many violations of the equilibrium, the harm of the evocations of the dark ones is particularly frightful. The ignorant act here also, by manifest destructions.

Fiery World II, 306. It may be asked-wherein lies the chief harm of black magic? Over and above personal injury must there also be cosmic damage? Precisely so. The lower conjurations create the utmost harm through the mixture of the elements and the invocation of portions of chaos. One must picture to oneself how in this manner entities of the lower strata obtain access into forbidden spheres and continue to work harm on a broad scale. That is why extensive measures are needed in order to safeguard the planet, which is sick enough as it is. Magic in general must be left alone.

Fiery World II, 307. Yet it is possible to weaken the harm of black magic to a considerable extent by conscious opposition to it. When one's heart transmits news about an attack, and the dark stars are revealed, one must calmly and fearlessly turn to Hierarchy. Many attacks are stopped immediately. But it would be a mistake to neglect the natural signs of the heart.

Fiery World III, 1935 Fiery World III, 613. The same lymphatic quality can be of assistance to black magic. One must guard against it in every possible way. Do not think that there is only a little of black magic. It makes its nests with the people and also in governing circles. Let science look very deeply into such corrupting endeavors.


Community, 168. Express your wishes cautiously. Every one knows many parables and fairy tales which describe the ugly consequences of careless wishes. Remember about the rajah who wished to receive a beautiful palace, and did receive it, but who, on entering it, thought about an attacking tiger, which then appeared and tore him to pieces. Under the symbols of allegories there is much reality. If people would realize the power of the will, many manifestations would receive a practical explanation. Indeed, not a forcible tension of the will but the dynamic quality of concordance of the centers produces the effect of fulfillment. Hence, an oft-repeated desire, like a blunt blade, does not cleave space. Whereas, the ringing of unexpected concordance breaks the densest surface. Tales about sorcerers sending deadly diseases are not fictions, but there is no sorcery in them—merely exercise of the will. The weakest hypnotist can compel one to experience the effect of drowning. He can even order one to die on a definite date. Such cases have been recorded. Now, imagine the will brought up in favorable conditions and you will readily agree that the ?deadly eye" of the East has a basis. One can have no doubt in the potency of the will, but it is another matter to determine its power in life. How to find and discern the conditions under which a desire can pierce the being identified by our will? It is particularly necessary to watch the sparks of our consciousness. Even when a body is almost invisible the lightning of thought nevertheless flashes, and on the point of this lightning is life and death. There was a certain ruler who said to some criminals "You cannot live more than a day," and at night they were found lifeless. The responsibility for such sendings is great. And each hour we send arrows in all directions. Be careful in expressing wishes.

Heart, 1932 Heart, 113. Mankind is terrified by every so-called supernatural thing, forgetting that nothing can be supernatural?above that which exists. Therefore, insist strongly that Agni Yoga and the Teachings of the Heart cannot contain anything supernatural. Be especially cautious with the young people up to thirty years, when not all the centers can function without harm to the heart. It is necessary to point out that Our Yoga contains no enforced sorcery and never will be a producer of chaos. It is necessary to kindle the young ones to heroic action which will transform their natures and, imperceptibly to them, prepare the heart for future perfection. Thus, it is necessary with the utmost simplicity and joy to sail to the White Island, as We sometimes call Our Site.

Heart, 150. If I say that I am always with you, will many believe it? They would even fear to believe in the united consciousness. For them, each such union is an intrusion upon their selfhood, and as such is entirely intolerable. They will never appreciate the tenfold multiplication of energy born of the cooperation of consciousnesses. But without such cooperation the entire Teaching of the Heart would be impossible. Why all details if there cannot be mutual fortification? But if this principle is attainable, then its enlargement to the full union of consciousnesses, which is called 'Paloria,' is also possible. But, then, how greatly can the work of those who acknowledge and have attained the unification of consciousnesses be extended for the General Good! Of course, I speak of the inner spiritual work, which the blind can neither perceive nor appreciate. The summons to a unity of consciousnesses is necessary everywhere, because this is the simplest introduction into the life of the heart. This is not sorcery but a physical law that can weave a salutary net around the planet. Thus, everyone who follows the law of Being can justly consider himself a citizen of the Universe.

Fiery World II, 257. Each ejection of sorcery is a good deed. The more so since the danger from such action is great. One must have not only courage but also readiness of spirit, in order to understand how to proceed in each case. First of all, one must destroy the magic circle. But such contact requires a still more fiery tension than was employed by the conjurer. The discernment of the conformity of forces is achieved by straight-knowledge. It is impossible to touch the strongest flame without being burned; but when fiery energy gains the ascendancy there will be no terrible effects.

Aum, 1936 Aum, 28. Sorcery is inadmissible, as a crime against humanity. Sorcery must not be regarded as a wrong against one individual. The effects of sorcery are far more heinous—it violates cosmic manifestations and injects confusion in the supermundane strata. Though the sorcerer has failed to smite his enemy, it does not mean that his blow may not have stricken men elsewhere, perhaps in various countries. The vibration of ill will may find itself affirmed in a most unexpected spot. It is impossible to estimate the number of deaths and sicknesses caused by an evil will! Through space these swarms of claws are borne and none may foresee where this poisonous flock will alight. The powerful spirit shields itself against evil sendings, but somewhere a weak man will receive their infection. Such cosmic damage cannot be estimated. Only the power of sounding of Aum can bring harmony amid the discordant vibrations. Even the power of Grace cannot act in full measure if on its way it must be expended toward the dispersion of evil. It is imperative to warn humanity against all sorcery.

Aum, 223. No one should call a psychic influence "sorcery." Such an ignorant opinion belongs to times long past. On the contrary, investigation of psychic energy is true progress.

Supermundane I, 107. Urusvati knows that most diseases come from suggestion. They may be attributed to autosuggestion, or to suggestion from a distance, about which little is known. Just as one can heal from a distance, one can also inflict disease. In the future, science will prove the existence of powers of suggestion, but at present very few understand that disease can be caused by suggestive thinking directed from a distance. It is significant that thought can be direct or indirect, and that the arrows of thought can pierce the cells of an organism that is predisposed to illness. The so-called evil eye has a concrete, occult meaning. A particular thought may not be intended to cause a specific painful reaction, but the energy of an evil will strikes at the weak part of an organism, and overwhelms its self-defense. It is important to recognize that thought can not only create the outer symptoms of disease, but can also compel dormant embryonic diseases to arise and begin their work of destruction. What better proves the existence of the power of thought? There are innumerable such thought messages roaming the world. Medical authorities believe that infection is transmitted only physically, and they ignore the main cause of infection. The science of thought should be studied in its many aspects. For example, just as radio waves interfere with one another, mental messages can cause a similar confusion. Many such facts still go unrecognized. This will provide an idea of the complications in Our Work. We transmit benevolent thoughts and ideas, and must also work to counteract the numerous malicious carriers of infection. We are in a position to observe how people themselves spread dangerous earthly infections by thought, infecting one another with damage, in the true meaning of this word. Such malicious influences used to be attributed to sorcery, but even today there are more of these 'sorcerers' than one might think. Certain unusual diseases are now spreading rapidly. People either ignore this fact, or if they do notice it, prefer not to look for the causes. One can argue that from the point of view of the average person this is neither new nor unusual. However, one must remember that this is the age of new energies, and the daily life of even the ordinary man is charged with numerous highly concentrated currents which produce new impulses in human minds. Man must assimilate many new ideas.

Supermundane I, 236. Urusvati knows that astrology is used in medicine and by some government leaders who consult the astrological signs. One might think that these practices would strengthen the importance of astrology as a science, but in reality this is not so. These statesmen do not admit that they consult horoscopes, nor do the physicians and judges reveal how they arrive at some of their conclusions. They obtain the information secretly, and outwardly ridicule it. Thus, astrology is tainted by people's ugly approach to it, and a hypocritical approach to this science is reinforced. How much wiser it would be to accept this ancient science and affirm it, just as one accepts the newest scientific discoveries! So much could be achieved if our eyes were not blinded by prejudice. Who would then deny that astrology is a science, and that there is a correlation between the planets? Even primitive man in the remote past could sense these special atmospheric influences. Science seems to confirm this chemical interdependence, but scientists fear being suspected of sorcery. Certainly, there are plenty of charlatans who endanger the reputation of astrology, but there are frauds in all sciences, yet no one rejects science as a whole because of this. One must speak plainly in order to remove prejudice from human consciousness. Many physicians, statesmen, and judges secretly consult astrologers. Let them find the courage to acknowledge it openly, at least as an experiment. This will introduce the subject to the general public. People long for knowledge, but they must be encouraged and helped in their approach to it. The Thinker taught His disciples how to overcome prohibitions that were dictated by ignorance. Let learning flourish now!

Supermundane III, 1938 Supermundane III, 470. Urusvati knows about the scientific significance of so-called talismans. We have already spoken about these magnetized objects which, under favorable conditions, can retain their power for a long time. But some may ask about the fate of talismans that fall into unworthy hands. Just as a magnet loses power under negative conditions, a talisman in unworthy hands loses its power. In the past many people were burned and tortured because their use of talismans was misinterpreted, but today science understands the magnetization of objects. People often ask which method of magnetization is the best. There are various techniques?one person may pass his hands over an object, another may put it near his head at night, and another may wear it close to his heart, or merely touch or look at it. There can also be magnetization at a distance, but one must know the object well in order to visualize it clearly. Such methods of magnetization require that the object should not be moved or touched with the naked hand; an insulating material will be useful in this. These are not forms of sorcery, but the simplest scientific preventive measures. People do not often have sufficient patience for magnetization experiments, but the successful transmittance of energy to an object is its own proof. Such experiments help one to understand the precious gift of mastering psychic energy. This gift is affected by surrounding conditions, but regrettably people do not know how to control their surroundings. No more than five out of one hundred families live in harmony. Much energy is wasted on domestic squabbles. The improvement of home life will teach goalfitness. All those who possess a reserve of psychic energy should be treated with great care, but humanity does not even think about this. If dowsers are so valued, then those who preserve great stores of psychic energy should be valued even more! Every plant has its healing property, but its proper use must be found. The same can be said about the energy of each individual. The effect of herbal mixtures can be extremely complex. What then can one say about the mixing of human energies? Have their combinations been studied? A medical certificate is sometimes required for marriage, and the time will come when a certificate will also be required for the quality of one's psychic energy. Thus will be solved the problem of disharmony between people. The Thinker said, "Why do people hang millstones on their necks and upon the necks of others? It is far better to work to grow wings."

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Available at: Agni Yoga Society

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