Greetings wasters-of-time and mental masturbators!
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.