Greetings True Believers!
The Sorcerer Supreme
It might seem a bit odd – unless you are Dr. Strange or some other magickal denizen of the comic book universe – to associate modern occultism with straight-up super powers. And we’re not talking about something metaphorical like “to become more than human” – which means to become a self-actualized metaprogrammer who is literally awake inside their own skull. Nor are we talking about operative magick by which we invoke the spirits to manifest things that we need, or protect us from harm or even to heal the sick.
No, we’re talking about a belief in Hollywood-style super powers – like the ability to fly, dodge bullets, shatter prison walls, transform substances*, to live without food or water, direct lightning, become (literally) immortal and more.
(* And by “transform substances”, I don’t mean alchemy or anything spiritual like the Eucharist. I mean things like transforming illegal substances – locked in evidence lockers – into harmless legal substances to upset court cases. And, yes, that is an example of a claim I recently heard.)
Yes, it seems quite odd that anyone could approach magick from this kind of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons or Hollywood fantasy standpoint – and take themselves seriously, let alone anyone else take them seriously. But it happens – maybe even more than you think it does. There are even would-be gurus out there who promise those kinds of super powers to their followers – for a price – and it appears they are not lacking in signed checks to cash, either.
Just this week, I have been dealing with one of these types on the Abramelin Yahoo Group. He swooped in from nowhere, his long cape fluttering in the winds of the Hoary Hosts of Haggoth, to inform the entire group (and especially me) that we don’t have a gnat’s ass clue what we are talking about. Where we discuss a “faux-HGA” that slowly guides and teaches an aspirant in the mysteries of magick, the real HGA is supposed to appear and (like Aladdan’s Genie) grant one instant super powers and unlock all the “secret keys” to make use of the Abramelin word-squares and even the Seals of Solomon.
The mere fact that we are sitting around discussing the HGA on a Yahoo Group, says the Great Master, illustrates that we don’t have a clue. He is here to (and I quote) “keep it real.” He “knows people” who can wave a pinkie finger and deadlock juries, dodge bullets, transform illegal substances and more. Not only this, but according to him real magicians don’t read books, nor should any who do read or write books be taken seriously. So not only does your Holy Guardian Angel make you a thunderbolt-wielding super hero, but you have to be illiterate to even get there. lol
Ok, yes, it’s funny and we can easily laugh at someone who is so obviously entrapped in his childhood fantasies. But there is also a more serious side of the coin: sometimes these types of people get their followers hurt or killed.
Peregrin Wildoak recently wrote his own blog article on this subject. In it, he brings up the practice known as “Breatharianism.” This is a practice whereby one gazes into the Sun each morning – a little at first, but increasing the time each day until one is staring into it for nearly an hour or more. The goal is to eventually take all of your necessary nutrients directly from the Sun, and leave behind your need for food or water. Why, I even read one article that suggested it would also give you psychic powers, telepathy, the ability to bi-locate and much much more!
And before you scoff at the very idea anyone could fall for that kind of nonsense, you should know that people have bought into it and even died in the attempt. One Breatharian leader was even challenged to prove she could go for a mere seven days without food or water - and the experiment was called off a few days in, as her body began to break down and lawyers told them they could be legally culpable for her death. She, meanwhile, spent the entire time insisting she was just fine and wanted to continue!
It is people like this that drag the entire subject of occultism down into the mud. Sometimes they get people hurt or killed. But most often they just swindle people out of a lot of money. You don’t know how many times I’ve been contacted by people who went to a self-proclaimed “healer” for a cleansing, only to be shown some kind of stage-magic trick and told they were cursed – a curse which could be removed for several hundred dollars. (And then several hundred more, and then…) Just read through the comments made on my Egg Cleansing post for a few examples. And they are just a few I’ve been able to warn away from being taken – I shudder to think of how many aren’t so lucky.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I know we’re dealing with a gray area here. As one who practices “operative magick” – that is magick done to make things happen in the real world – I know there is something of a fine line to walk. I deal with angels and spirits as if they were as real as you and I. I speak about jumping between realities as easily as an episode of Sliders. I speak of doing magick to bring money or physical objects when they are needed. I believe in curses and possession and hauntings, as well as in my own knowledge of how to break them.
Besides, miracles do happen. Maybe some of those old Saints or Eastern Gurus really did manage to levitate. Maybe Jesus really did raise Lazarus from the dead. Hell, for that matter, maybe Dee really did brew up a storm and sink the Spanish Armada. Anything is technically possible, so far be it from me to call every claim ever made hogwash. I’ve certainly seen my share of physics-defying events – blessed salt turned into pure light, disembodied sounds, ghosts. Why, once I even time traveled (though it only lasted a second and I was not apparently physically present in the time/place I traveled to).
But I find the charlatans are usually the ones insisting on the super powers. They’re trying desperately to sell you something, or to sell you on something. They, like our “Dr. Strange” from the Abramelin Group, loudly proclaim everyone else to be false pretenders while only they have access to the True Secrets of the Universe(tm). (And, most often, they follow that with a promise to teach them to you, and where you can send your check or money order…)
Real spiritual leaders will likely tell you the miracles and magickal powers are mere side-effects of the Great Work. They can happen, but they are something you earn by long years of practice and a hell of a lot of trial and error. And some of the more spiritual traditions (like some Buddhist sects) tell you to avoid them altogether.
Me, I’m striving for miracles on demand! But, seriously, the minute I start claiming that I can “eat sunlight” or fly up to the local 7-11 for a soda – just toss me in a padded room.
Greetings wasters-of-time and mental masturbators!
Lisa's Angel Fossil
Recently, an old essay from 2002 written by Alan Moore has been making the rounds on Facebook and the blogosphere. It is entitled “Fossil Angels” and it focuses upon the – supposedly – sorry state of modern occultism. You can read the essay here, if you’re stout of heart:
I did not actually begin by reading Moore’s essay. Instead, I was introduced to it via an article written by Miguel Conner called “Moore Evidence for the Death of Occultism.” It attempted to (blessedly) summarize Moore’s essay, outlining all of the major points made in the original piece. Frankly, I felt the article would have been better placed in the 1990s, as it seems to have missed a lot that is going on today. Here is what I had to say about it on Facebook:
This article reminds me of the Naked Ape. The author of that book made some great points – I highly recommend the book to anyone. Yet, at the same time, the author – writing in the late 60s – seemed *entirely* unaware that the 60s were happening. He insisted that humans had never attempted to do the things that young folks were trying at that very moment…
Same here, folks. The article is spot-on about the shortcomings of modern occultism. Or, to be more specific, of late 20th-century occultism. However, the author seems utterly unaware that new occult movements are rising as we speak – have been on the rise since the late 90s – that address and seek to correct these shortcomings. In other words, occultists are fed up with modern occultism too – and now they are looking into the Old Magick again. The Keys of Solomon, Dee’s records, the ATRs and much much more – all of these are currently “in vogue” among occultists who know damn well that our modern culture lost something along the way. Yet, the author seems to be unaware this is happening…
After posting that, I was told by many people that I should read Moore’s “wonderful” essay before I make up my mind about it. I was given the link to livejournal and so headed over to read the original. Then, I posted this:
Ok, I have read about two-thirds of the way though Moore’s original essay. Frankly, I’ve given up. I’m exhausted after slogging through the over-written text, endless adjectives, pointless metephores and digressions without destination. This dude should NOT have taken writing lessons from A.E. Waite, but he sure seems to have…
As for his ideas – sorry, folks, but I have to call BULLSHIT on every last bit of it. I thought perhaps I would find an essay that was slighty outdated but still full of sound points about what the modern occult movement lacks. It wasn’t. What I found instead were concepts like: “if magick works so well, why do all pracitioners still have day jobs and lives that suck?” That alone tells me this guy is as clueless as it gets. I assume all of those ancient shamans he admires didnt’ have day jobs or troubles in their lives? For the sake of the Gods, magick arose as a method of dealing with a hostile and hard world. If this idiot honestly thinks magick is about making your life “easier”, then he doesn’t have the first business writing on the subject. He should go join up with Randi and the other de-bunkers.
The rest of his ideas – once you mine them out of the text – are just as far away from the point. For example, he quotes Arthur Machen’s negative opinion of the Golden Dawn – but sidesteps the fact that Machen was writing long after the GD fell apart and its Temples had lost their way. Machen encountered the same GD as Regardie did, and that was NOT the GD of Mathers and Wescott. Machen met the GD and bad-mouthed it for its fallen state. Regardie saw the same things and DID something about it. Yet Moore goes with Machen…. surprised?
He almost made some good points when comparing the GD/OTO/etc with the work Dee and Kelley did – showing how Dee and Kelley were working magick as a cutting edge science, while the GD and those who followed were looking toward the past. Of course, Moore ignores all of the years Dee dedicated to gathering the oldest occult texts he could find. And, in saying the GD was just “historically re-enacting the past” he seems to forget that no magickal system had EVER taken the form it did in the GD. So these ignorant past-gazers somehow came up with something new? Well, sure, and so did Dee. But in both cases the material was based on what had come previously.
Moore doesn’t understand magick. He doesn’t understand what it was in the past, and he doesn’t understand what it is today. And, like many who fail to understand, he chooses to poke fun instead. Well, more power to him. Meanwhile, I’ll persist in my rituals to call down and commune with the Angels, and to work with the spirits. I’ll accept help from them anytime they want to offer it. I’ll let them save my very LIFE as they have done in the past. And we’ll all do so while we laugh at Moore and his outsider’s opinions of magick.
Moore makes the common mistake of believing the BS that magick simply fell by the wayside after science came along and made everything “better.” If he’d pick up a copy of Yate’s “Rosicrucian Enlightenment” he might learn that magick was forced underground by religious authorities and “science” arose as a result. Or, put better, a false rift between “magick” and “science” was created at about the time of the age of enlightenment. No one decided magick didn’t work – it was people who were convinced that it DID work that sought to eradicate it. Science struggled to be accepted in the same environment (because it wasn’t originally a separate pursuit from magick), and it came out on top. That says nothing about the efficacy of magick, friends…
It is very esay for Alan Moore to sit comfortably within the fantasy of the modern Western world and poo-poo all modern magick, claiming that it just isn’t relevant since we figured out all of this nifty science. But just wait until this fantasy finally comes crashing down, and the Western nations are faced with the reality of living on Earth once more. Just wait until it is common for Western people to be unsure from where (or when) their next meal is coming. Wait until medicine becomes something we aren’t allowed to have at all. Wait until we are living in tent colonies and going to the bathroom in a hole we dug out back. THEN we shall see Mr. Moore going to his local witch or wizard, offering in hand, in the hopes the spirits can help his family in times of need. If I were those spirits, I’d tell him to go find a scientist.
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.
A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 4 times
In 2010, there were 36 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 3 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 227kb.
The busiest day of the year was November 28th with 167 views. The most popular post that day was Moderner Magick.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, groups.yahoo.com, evocationmagic.com, and blogger.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for “grimoire of armadel” forum -ebook -download, chic cicero, aaron leitch, enochian magick of dr john dee, and uncrossing – 51st psalm.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Moderner Magick November 2010
Uncrossing and Magickal Defense November 2010
Egg Spell for Spiritual Defense November 2010
More on Blood Substitutes – Gosling and Black Cat December 2010
Blood Substitute – Solomonic ‘Omiero’ November 2010
Sorry for all the outdated posts I’ve been making, folks. I’ve just been importing everything of importance from the old MySpace blog over to this one. From now on, anything posted here should be new. (At least the post, if not the material! lol)
Just testing out the new blog. I am finally leaving MySpace behind forever!