Technique vs. Theory
There’s a disjunct in magic between technique-based systems and theory-based systems.Theorists: Crowley, Blavatsky, Mathers, Waite, Carroll. These are the people who make up systems — Crowley makes up Thelema, Blavatsky makes up Theosophy, Mathers makes up the Golden Dawn, Waite makes up . . . um . . . some really impenetrable prose, mostly, and Carroll makes up Chaos Magick. It’s a very modern approach, really — to make a system, to link things together and say “behold, I have figured. it. out!”
Technicians: Spare, Bardon (who has plenty of theory, but focuses on technique). There’s a paucity of technicians. But Spare is much more interested in getting results — not just physical results; that’s a misapprehension. Bardon has three books, two and a half of which are composed entirely of technique. This approach is a bit postmodern, actually. It opens up the possibility for all manner of theory. One can use Spare’s techniques without adopting his worldview — if you can figure it out. One can use Bardon, as well, and one frequently does *cough*, without accepting his rather odd worldview.
To find the purest technique — ars divorced entirely from theoria — requires going to folk magic, though. That’s the true postmodern magic: hoodoo and pow wow and such. In that light, the disjunction is also tied to social class. The rich do theory. The poor do magic. After all, the poor need to do magic.