Magick or Pop culture?
Is occultism today a part of the popular culture? Since the day when the wyckedest man on earth got his Mickey Mouse ears, the general interest in dark and forbidden lore has grown considerably.
As I see it, there are two main paths through this desert of dementia universalis: one leads to the often laughable paradigmas of so-called ''new age'' preachers and ''do what thou wilt an' it harm none'' disciples of wanna-be Adepts.Their work has its basis in the power of imagination; many a student of magick or ''magick'' of today readily exposes his or hers experiences on internet forums, blogs and sites, mainly because he or she is satisfied with sharing, but not understanding or evaluating the imaginatory experience in which easily the whole lifetime work and carreer of many a great occultist can be merged.This dreamlike state of mind often leads only to cessation of interest in magick, when the eager student sees that nothing of his or hers work has an effect on his life, or, sadly, to mental problems.Overactive imagination in magick is not advisable, contrary to overactive visualisation.
The other path, as I understand it, leads to another no-good thing: the concentration of a student on lower layers of magick, mainly on spells and things that could be called not very mind-expanding; this is, of course, wholy legitimate; after all, one has the right to use his powers to get under control the circumstances of his own life; but, one should get it under contorl and be over and done with it, and continue down the path.The problem is that the , because of their own imagination, and lack of experience, the young students of today do not see the forest on behalf of the trees, and so either lose interest or are on a good way to become Black Brothers.
Another reason for disappointment lies in the (so-called) Secret Orders of today.There are so many of those, and new ones readily sprout like mushrooms, that I cannot but ask myself is there so many secrets to guard for all those Orders, or is The Secret so divulged that it is no longer a Secret in a true sense of the word?
Many a student enters those Orders with great expectations of Brotherhood, Secret Knowledge. Power, and Wise Masters ready to aid him in this Perennial Quest, but soon finds out that there is nothing at all to be found, except gossip, internal political battles, the race after titles and degrees that often mean nothing, and an eventual orgy or two.
The secret to find out what is worth trying and what is not lies in the Current and Transmission: there's nothing to it, really.Try and do a practice that you have been given and that either works or not, and that should suffice to inform you whether you are in the right companionship or not.So, occultism can be popular, but the true things are always underground, or at least that's my opinion.
What say you?
If you are suggesting that practicing magicians/sorcerers should be evaluating the experiences gained undertaking magical operations then I would wholeheartedly concur.
I remember many years ago when I still believed that magic was simple cause and effect - I do the spell and the result appears that one experience changed that.
I wanted to dream of the future and so did a spell for that result to have a dream within seven days (it's always seven unless it's three right?). Nothing happened and I was chalking up a failure when on the seventh day I happened to look at the TV listings for that day and there was a documentary scheduled about a man who claimed to dream future events. I was naturally struck by the coincidence. Now I knew that TV schedules are arranged weeks in advance so there was no way my paradigm (stated above) could explain it. This is where I had to shift my beliefs to entertain the possibility that a third force outside me or the TV schedulers, a zeitgeist, was operating to inspire me to that particular spell at that particular time.
Now that was a very useful experience and it opened up new vistas without a shadow of doubt. This is not the only such episode. On the one hand it was 'low' magic but on the other hand the insight was quite a profound experience for me.
Now when I am working on a project I use the learning cycle I was taught when training to be a trainer
1. Have the experience
2. Reflect on it
3. Link it to some overarching theory or world view
4. Make adjustments to future work or behaviour as a result.
Because of this (and getting back to your question), I would find it difficult to predict which experiences will give insight and which won't. I have to go on intuition (and use divination). So would be reluctant to 'close down' avenues of experience, particularly for others.
I guess the experience can be shallow but it may well depend on the motivation of the individual for doing it.
Depends on what you mean by Magick and pop culture. Do you mean the gross over simplification of magick turned into new age crystal worship? Then yes. Magick as in the use of grimoires of power and hard core performance and experience of ceremonial magick? No, people are still scared of a "devil", many Thelemites included. For every person I have heard say "I am waiting until I am ready for the LBRP" I wish I had a dollar cause then I'd be rich.
@James: Yes, I was thinking partly on what you said.There is simply no way to predict whether your practice will be successful or not; if there were a way, we'd all be Magister templi, no? :)By ''success'' I mean insight as wellas a ''concrete'' result, be it material or spiritual.Your way is evry disciplined, and I was thinking on the lack of discipline which plagues modern kids.
@uranus: Well, in both cases you mentioned there is fear, I'd say.In the first case, the fear of success, possibly, and in the second the fear of success AND magick itself.
n.o.x. it sounds like you are referring to the popularity of things like Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code. In some ways what have been traditional occult subjects have become popular in the secular world (like Kaballah) and in some ways (like initiatory magick orders) nothing has changed. What it different these days compared to the occult revival of the 1980s is the celebrity/corporate sponsorship of these ideas (and the corresponding lack of deeper ideas). We have been having in the U.S. at least early indications of what could turn into more profound interest in occult subjects. It's still early to tell, there is no youth culture associated with magick other than the usual suspects of pagan teenagers, goths, etc. I'm keeping an eye on it though. One source of inspiration is the Ultraculture initiative at www.ultraculture.org that I hope has gains a wider influence in society.
Force and Fire is not metaphorical. In Prophetes Veritas Venit.
A very inspirative magazine, the Ultraculture.But I was refferring to the profanisation of occult principles and magic by such things as Joy of satan, and the youth (of which you were speaking of) that falls under influence of such things.As a consequence, I think that we have a magick-oriented youth, but it is a youth that has no clue and no means to access the real thing, mainly because of the marketing that JoS and similar put up today.
Well, i'd agree that youth has no clue, but that's the joy of youth (sighs, stares at expanding wasteline and mortgage). As for "no means to access the real thing" what about the interweb. The youth seem rather keen on the interweb and i've always found it fairly useful in the search for hidden knowledge. But I think i take your point though. Basically: Has easy access to the sort of hidden knowlege that Crowley and his ilk would have had to look up in books deminished it? It's no longer "hidden" so does it even count as occult?
I thinks it's a great thing. Having cheap access to esoteric information can only broaden the appeal of the occult. Now you don't need an Oxbridge education, a private library and million pound inheritance to study the wierd sciences. The Law is for all. Huzzah!
As always "Many are called but few are chosen"
To me the internet is a huge crystal ball, and places like this give me all the conformation I need to tread the wizards way. The possibilities of immortaly via stem cell regeneration or quantum teleportation are difficult for the average joe to wrap his head around, but an adept with a foot in both worlds anyway takes these shifting realities in stride.
Pop New Age frap is the 'Ape of Thoth' and many aspirants fall into the abyss of insanity or retreat trembleing to the medioricty of the herd. It's a good thing. The 'fringe' is a tricky place that requires care, patience and humility to approach and most of all the abilty to let go of attachments. It will always be the home of the elect and elite.
The best place to hide something is in plain sight.
Though, personally, I believe the internet has restored the way back to how it was intended : to be accessible to everyone