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Tiffany: Magic with a K? Magikkkk?
Annagramma: That's deliberate. Mrs. Earwig says that if we are to make any progress at all we must distinguish the higher MagiK from the everyday sort.
Chapter 5, A Hat Full of Sky

Magick means, in fact, magic. "Magick" is an archaick spelling, dating back to Early Modern Ænglisc where it appeared in the worcks of poets such as Edmund Spenser. Aleister Crowley revived this spelling to add an air of archaism, distinguishing "actual magic" from stage shows. Wiccans and other Neo-Pagans, influenced by Crowley (to varying degrees), have picked up the Crowleyan spelling. Others use newer idiosyncratick spellings like "magique" and "majik." For whatever reason, this casual approach to spelling seems to have taken off in the mass media, especially things trying to be edgy. The constant misspelling of "magic" has been known to drive Grammar Nazis up the wall, but it is reckommended you don't worry about it too much.

In fiction however, Magick is used to differentiate it from other Fantasy genre magic. To simply put, while Fantasy magic has mana-fueled magic and wand waving, magick on the other hand is less flashy, spontaneous, and invisible. "Magic" is a word with a long history, and, like most older words, has been spelled all sorts of crazy ways at various times. That said, "magic" has been the official spelling ever since modern English was standardized. (Though that was more recent than you might expect: Samuel Johnson's publication of A Dictionary of the English Language in 1755 is co-Trope Codifier for modern English spelling alongside Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, first edition 1828. Spelling in Early Modern English was... not actually standardised, really.)

Note also that one specific spelling, "majic", has entirely different connotations: It's an abbreviation for Majestic 12, an alleged secret organization involved in hiding the existence of aliens.

Magick Spelles may well include Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, Xtreme Kool Letterz, Phantasy Spelling, and/or Canis Latinicus. See also Post-Modern Magik.


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    Comic Books 
  • A title of one volume of The Books of Magic was Books of Magick: Life During Wartime. Word of God has it that this spelling was used to make it clear the series was set in a separate continuity to the Books of Magic, and not because the writer was a pretentious dumbass.
  • Unlike other fantasy genre magic who is filled with shooting lightning from your hands, and casting spells with wands, Magick in the Hellblazer mythos (and the whole Vertigo universe) is spontaneous and invisible.. This means that although Magick is powerful, it is not flashy as seen in many fantasy genre.
  • Willow uses this spelling in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.
    Willow: Passion and love are more potent magicks than you think.
    Xander: You're talking magic with a K, aren't you? Screw magic with a K.
  • Doctor Strange occasionally refers to 'magick,' though as Master of the Mystic Arts he can usually go into more details about what he's doing.

  • Experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle, which consists of nine thematically connected short films.

  • In Esther Friesner's Majyk by Accident comic fantasy books, "Majyk" is the Force that makes "Magic" work.
  • Between "Magyk" (of course), "Flyte", "Physik", and "Queste", the individual titles of the Septimus Heap series seem to have been designed to make a teacher's life that much harder. And every misspelled word in the books is in a boldface font.
  • In the Diana Tregarde novels by Mercedes Lackey, the heroine comments on how pretentious a foe who insists on spelling magic with a k is.
  • Spoofed in the Discworld series, mainly in the Witches books, where Granny Weatherwax's snooty rival Mrs. Earwig uses the word "magick" to differentiate actual spells (which is what Mrs. Earwig considers real witchcraft) from the folk medicine and such that makes up the bulk of most witches' work (which is what Granny considers real witchcraft).
  • Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series started with "magik" but later shifted towards "magic". However, Asprin was also rather lax about keeping the spelling of minor characters' names consistent, so he probably didn't much care.
    • The short-lived comic book adaptation rendered it as "majik".
  • In The Obsidian Trilogy High Magic, the newer and more formalised magic, is often shortened to magick, while Wild Magic tends to get shortened to simply magic.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince mentions a book called "Magick Moste Evile".

    Live-Action TV 

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers made an album called Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
  • Starflyer 59's "Majic". At least on the vinyl version of Dial M (released by Burnt Toast Vinyl)—for some reason, every Tooth & Nail Records release of the song has "corrected" the spelling to "Magic". Jason Martin has clarified that "Majic" was the intended spelling. The J is for his father, John, who the song is about.
  • "Amber Canyon Magik" by Brightblack Morning Light.
  • The metal band Virgin Steele have the spelling "magick" pop up frequently in their lyrics.
  • The name of a song by Klaxons.
  • The Japanese Psychedelic Rock group Magick Lantern Cycle, named after the film series (see above).
  • The death metal band Nile have a song named "The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased".

    Tabletop Games 
  • A few years back Magic: The Gathering had an April Fools joke saying they'd been sued by the Orlando Magic and had to change their name to "Majique."
  • The surprisingly high-quality Buffy the Vampire Slayer Board Game had one absurd little flaw: the spelling of magic, unsupported by the source material, as 'majik'.
  • In Mage: The Ascension, "True magick" was always referred to with a k, until the "Revised" edition, wherein all magic was sans-k - and then they hung a lampshade on it with a sidebar titled "Special K". Flame wars resulted on the relevant forums.
    • And now the 20th Anniversary Edition is bringing the Special K back. Discussions surrounding this decision often include comments by users with names like Perdita X. Dream and Morose Glomdring discussing that they are magical witches irl and the K is very, very important.
  • The Hero Clix figure of X-Men character Magik is misspelled 'MAGICK'.
  • In Unknown Armies adepts, people who can actually perform magic, tend to use the "magick" spelling when referring to what they do. Yet most of them seem to think that the people who believe in the stuff Crowley advocated are stupid. Go figure.
  • In Postmodern Studios' Bloodsucker: the Angst, a parody of The World of Darkness and Goth culture, the Crowley clan uses "Magic(k)". The game consistently spells the word like this, even in its adjectival form "Magic(k)al". Other RPGs from Postmodern tend to use "magick", with varying degrees of irony.
  • Castle Falkenstein also uses the "magick" spelling for what wizards do.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls uses the pseudo-Latin "magicka" to refer to Mana (the power you use to do magic); but magic itself is generally just called "magic."
  • Kingdom of Loathing has fun with this, with one quest item being the "boock of darck magicks."
  • RuneScape has the "Ancient Magicks" spells. This is to distinguish it from the normally-spelled Standard (or Modern) and Lunar magic spellbooks, due to the Ancient spellbook dating back tens of thousands of years, only being released from an ancient pyramid in the Sixth Age, having been virtually unknown in the meantime.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, the writers use the "magick" spelling and turned "technique" into "technick". The script even goes so far as to turn magick into an adjective, referring to an enchanted object as a "magicked stone." It was tragick.
    • It's now being used in the newer Ivalice titles; the remake of Final Fantasy Tacticks spells "magick", and also in Final Fantasy Tacticks A 2. This is rather jarring for people who played the original Final Fantasy Tactics and prefer "magic" over "magicks."
      • The PSP port of Tacticks is actually justified, considering that the entire script is in archaic English.
      • In Dissidia, Gabranth calls Shantotto "A wielder of magicks", whereas all the other characters use "magic".
      • Oddly enough, this was inverted in Final Fantasy X-2, where a group of Al Bhed deliberately eschew the word "machina" in favour of "machine", because it has less mystical connotations.
    • In the French translation of Final Fantasy games, in EVERY game that features summoners, this word is translated as "invokeur", which is horribly un-French, instead of the more accurate "invocateur". This may be for technical reasons (number of letters).
    • Averted for the most part in Final Fantasy X, where magic is always referred to as 'magic', but when Auron uses the Magic Break technique for the first time, the subtitles say "You place too much trust in your magicks!". Any other time, characters say 'spell(s)' or 'magical abilities'.
    • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: "Visionary Magick" refers to a class of magic born from scientific progress and far more powerful than the usual kind. The game's backstory tells of a civil war between two countries over the mastery of this kind of power which was deemed to dangerous to be employed.
  • Eternal Darkness has "magick" spells.
  • It's right in the title of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura.
  • Magicka: See the title.
  • In Valkyrie Profile, Lezard Valeth "commands the lost magicks", whereas magic that is not lost is spelled normally.
    • It may also be a character moment, what with Lezard being something of a Large Ham.
  • "Magick missiles" in the Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy.
  • Spoken and written this way in Dragon's Dogma, but given the game's time period, it's understandable.
  • "Magik" and "Magiks" were used in the first Warcraft games, Orcs and Humans and Tides of Darkness.
  • A variation in Divinity: Original Sin II with "Sourcery", with a "u". This is because Source is a substance that has entered the realm of Rivellon via the rise of the Voidwoken, a Horde of Alien Locusts, and the use of it tends to bring them to one's doorstep. It is also generated by liquidating the spirits of the dead, which is another reason why it's taboo in certain circles. There's traditional magic, spells, and abilities, but stronger ones require Source for use.
  • Phantasy Star Universe has a variation of its own, as the series's standard "Techniques" is spelled "TECHNICs" (the capitalization is intentional).
  • Chzo Mythos: The overall plot of the game involves the creation of a bridge between the realm of Technology (our world) and the realm of Magick.


    Web Original 
  • The Fake AP Stylebook has this pointer for you:
    "Magic" for entertaining tricks. "Magick" for genuine spellcasting. "Magicqk" for seriously, really real spellcasting. Why are you laughing?
  • ImageMagick. Though this might actually be closer to Xtreme Kool Letterz, knowing the Web, it's more likely an equivalent of Writing Around Trademarks: the most probable explanation is that the domain names for ImageMagic were already taken and would've cost considerable sums of money to purchase.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Aleister Crowley called his teachings "magick" in order to distinguish his "real" magic from "cheap parlor tricks". (He also added the K for numerological reasons, with lots of predictably sexual symbolism: the letter can stand for kteis [κτείς], ancient Greek for, among many other things, "public hair", "penis", or "vagina" [ancient Greek was a confusing language]. Considering that Sex Magic was a significant part of his system of magick, the sexual symbolism is appropriate. Conveniently, it's also the eleventh letter of the alphabet and the number eleven is highly significant in his system of numerology.) He is in essence the originator of this trope, or at the very least, the popularizer of it.
  • "Magique" can be seen in some medieval or renaissance English text - before "modern" English standards and back when a lot of borrowings were spelled the French way.
    • Internal consistency was optional before regularized spelling came into vogue, and in fact one of the things done by the people responsible for regularizing spelling was making the spelling reflect the origin of the words. Even if the result did not make that much sense phonetically, and it meant you got silent letters which would make learning to read even harder than before, they felt obliged to spell it rather like it would be spelled in French. Thankfully, later dictionary editors decided to not try to inflict some of the more bizarre ones — thus why, for example, we use the spelling 'Shinjuku' instead of the (technically) official transliteration of 'Sinzyuku.'
      • It's not spelled either way in Japanese as it uses a different script (actually three different scripts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji). Kunrei-shiki transliteration is more faithful to Japanese grammar than the more common Hepburn (which makes certain regular word endings irregular), but its transliterations do not match the actual sound of the letters in Western languages, making it useless for anyone who is not intimately familiar with Japanese.
  • It's worth noting that when adding a suffix beginning with a vowel to a root ending in "c", the usual action is to add a "k" after the "c". Thus, just as "picnic" becomes "picnicking", "magic" (when used as a verb) might become "magicking".