Plotinus - The Enneads - On spells
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Plotinus – The Enneads [translated by Stephen MacKenna]
But magic spells, how can their efficacy be explained?
By the reigning sympathy and by the fact in Nature that there is an agreement of like forces and an opposition of unlike, and by the diversity of those multitudinous powers which converge in the one living universe.
The magician, too, draws on these patterns of power and by ranging himself also into the pattern is able tranquilly to possess himself of these forces with whose nature and purpose he has become identified. Supposing the mage to stand outside the All, his evocations and invocations would no longer avail to draw up or to call down; but as things are he operates from no outside standground, he pulls knowing the pull of everything towards any other thing in the living system.
The tune of an invocation, a significant cry, the mien of the operator, these two have a natural leading power over the soul upon which they are directed, drawing it with the force of mournful patterns or tragic sounds; for it is the reasonless soul, not the will or wisdom, that is beguiled by music, a form of sorcery which raises no question, whose enchantment indeed is welcomed though not demanded, from the performers