In my PhD chapters on the historical development of modern (1945 onwards) magic I’m confronted with the slight problem that no-one agrees on exactly what the Left Hand Path actually MEANS anymore, either philosophically or practically…
Some of you are authors who have written about this in published works and-or on the net, which I have hopefully already quoted in proper context, but I wonder if you have the time to answer the following, in as much length or brevity as you wish. I am attempting to identify some core characteristics of the terminology, so far as current magicians are concerned, to contrast to some of the older ‘book’ definitions, which may or may not have been written by practicing occultists (there is a pretty laughable series of comments on the LHP by the novelist Dennis Wheatley, for example)…. or which may have been modified over time as the practice of magic evolves.
You can be quoted in my thesis as under your real name, a pseudonym, a magical name, initials (either your own or made up initials) or as “an anonymous magician” as you wish; if you don’t indicate otherwise I will cite you as the forename and surname that I have for you, or the name with which you sign your email.
I’m also copying this request to several e-groups, which some of you may be members of as well, so please only respond once! And Offlist, to save jamming the lists up.
If you don’t know me either in real life or from any previous e-contact i would appreciate it if you make clear your gender if you are remaining anonymous (or if your email name does not necessarily make this clear), as i would expect there is some mileage to be had from comparisons of male and female answers to the matter. You may also state your age in years if you wish, as I suspect that will provide another factor for analysing the results, but stating both age and gender are entirely optional.
Since I am interested in individual beliefs and definitions, no conferring please!
There is no “right” answer, in this instance, other than your own truths.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give
For those who read this on an e-group, please respond to me OFFLIST, to avoid cluttering up the e-group, thankyou the address for replies is
Gender: m or f
Age in Years: (both optional)
Qu 1: In your own words, how would you define the Left Hand Path?
Qu 2: Conversely, what does the term Right Hand Path mean to you?
Qu 2a: You may answer that there is little distinction between the two, in which case, why (in your opinion) is that?
Qu 3: Do you consider yourself a Left-Hand Path magician – under your own definition?
Qu 4: If you do not think yourself to be on the LHP, have you ever been called a LHP magician (or some similar distinction) by others? In which case, (if you know) what kind of definition were they using? And why did they give you that label?
Qu 5: Does the LHP have any stigma in the magical group(s) or environment(s) you inhabit? If so, why? If not, why not?
Qu 6: Have you ever received any unwanted attention from legal or official bodies for participation in, or promotion of what you believe was perceived by them to be LHP Magic(k)? Since this is obviously a difficult and highly sensitive area i will treat all replies to this query with utmost confidentiality as required, if you wish to give me any details. Equally, same question for what was perceived to be RHP magic?
Any anecdotes pertaining directly to LHP experiences which might be of use to me are also most welcome.