Saturday, August 08, 2009

Kangaroo Magic

Joe's article on WitchVox is getting a bit of stir in the occult bloggy goodness community, eh? Jason, POS, Annael and the Scribbler have weighed in, even if in comments form only so far (see their comments on POS' post, good info).

I loved the article. Joe's points were valid and need to be made. Dogmatic enforcement of stupid ass bullshit sucks. I think the idea that people are upset with is that there are no "rules" or "laws" of magic in general, and I don't think he was saying anything as broad as that. I think he was referring to particular traditions and specific experiences he's had in the neo-pagan culture, and he's spot on right about what he has to say in that regard.

I think my ceremonial magician friends, whether they are practicing ceremonies of the East or the West, missed the frame of reference. Joe's a Wiccan, and he's writing an article about Wiccan magic on a primarily Wiccan forum. Audience and Purpose, Audience and Purpose. Who is he talking to, and what's the point he's trying to get across?

There are systems designed and taught by people who have never had a magical experience of their own in their lives, egocentric cults, and whole movements influenced by undisciplined new agers who pick up the ramblings of wandering nepheshim and attribute the voices to aliens from the stars. Then there are the real cazies. And they get all jumbled together in the neo-pagan community, and that sucks large, sweaty donkey balls. Joe's dedicated to his religious pursuits in a way that most ceremonial magicians should envy, and his article is important to his community. Rock on Joe.

Anyway, I thought the Kangaroo Magic example he gave was awesome. I'd have turned it into a rant about the posers that make up bullshit and pass it off as legit. Specifically, I'd warn against folks who pass themselves off as experienced magicians telling you something that's plausible that's only loosely based on something real. What I took away from Joe's example was that you've got to examine the sources, check the facts, and don't believe a good story just because it sounds good. Kangaroo Magic. Heh.

Joe's right, by the way: real witches didn't use colored wax across history. If you look at the Wise Women of Russian folk magic, for example, you discover they used blessed white candles from their local Orthodox church. They didn't have colored candles for specific rites, they used what they had and trusted in the spirits (angels, saints, names of God, allies, morphed forms of ancient pantheons, whatever) they worked with to consecrate the stuff according to the purpose. At the same time, there are other real witches that used specifically colored candles to represent specific forces based on revelations they received. But he's not talking about them.

I'd like to emphasize one thing that Joe doesn't mention, and I don't know where he stands on the issue at all. Magical praxis is developed by magicians as a result of their experiences with the spirits. Shamans gather info from their spirit allies, codify it and pass it on. Goets gathered info from the daimons they conjured, and passed it on. The GD gathered info under the influence of their Secret Chiefs, or the GD Egregore, and passed it on.

The magical systems that work are never just made up bullshit. They are always a revelation received from magicians' initiations, or observations of similitudes that came as they experimented with the Spirits. Shit that's just made up is about worthless. You can put together a magical system from any kind of fictional symbol set, but your results will be mediocre at best, or "fuck your shit up," as Jason puts it, at worst.

But if you put together a system based on your work with Raw Deity and its Manifestations (and how they relate to you), then you will have accomplished the Great Work.


  1. I've found the agitation to be a bit odd duck mixed with a touch of funny. While there are certain specifics that are true, there is such a wide range of applications/reactions/conditions/combinations that can be placed with them that there are pretty much no real rules, despite what traditions have done.

    Let's take the idea of getting fucked up because you evoked a spirit in the wrong direction. If that is happening, I gotta wonder just how fucked up you are doing your magick from the get go. I've never really cared at all about the directions. The first time I did the LBRP and once or twice after, but that's it. Never has any spirit been all 'you evoked me from the wrong direction, prepare to die'. No. I don't care how well someone thinks they can do magick, this just does not happen. It's not like opening a box with a piece of radioactive metal inside and you opened it towards you. I've had spirits show up in front of me, come up from my left and around me, come up from my right and around me, from above, from below. If there's one direction I look towards the most that they float towards, if not appearing at, it's south. AND...point in fact...I've faced different directions for the same spirit and they show up exactly in the directions I face.

    None have said 'ho, show the proper respect for protocol before I bitchslap your life back to the stone age'.

    No, it does not happen. If this is happening to you, you have worse problems than getting spirits to show up and give a sense to you that they're there. You shouldn't be anywhere near any ritual, except maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe meditation, but that's a stretch.

    If this is happening, you've allowed every aspect of your life to contribute to the fact that that you are royally fucked and what happens is nothing more than a reflexive interaction between you and your sphere and the spirit. Spiritual chemistry.

    9 times out of 10, when I've fucked up my magick, its not because I didn't follow protocol exactly like others have or as some book says you should. It's because of leftover psychic baggage of everyone biologically related to the physical form I currently have, combined with the interaction (spiritual chemistry) between this physical form and my immaterial self.

    In some respects, some of this baggage is good to keep. Other bits of it aren't.

  2. Gordon, you're wrong. Saying that you've never had something happen so it cannot ever happen and then launching into what you did is worse than bad logic, it's just stupid.

    It's like a man calls you and tells you it's raining on him, and you explain that it's all in his head becasue it's not raining on you personally. feh. Magic isn't psychological, and it does follow rules. In SOME systems, your shit will get fucked up if you do it wrong. In MOST modern systems it won't, because frankly there's so little power in them that crossing a wire is like licking a 1.5 volt battery. Sure you can short circuit, but you won't feel it cause there's no power.

  3. >>In SOME systems, your shit will get fucked up if you do it wrong.

    That's the point. If it goes wrong, you are the one making it go wrong. And if it's major, you've brought something seriously wrong to the situation. If it happens with the tradition every single time it happens, it's on the originators of the tradition, as well as every person that's continued to feed into that restriction. Even if it's explained as not knowing enough about a particular area of magick when the tradition began or the splinter group formed, when you advance enough in understanding, direction nonusage shouldn't be fucking you up. Keeping it for newbs in that system because they had it is a cop out.

    Even when one concerns themselves with directions for astral and physical manifestations of spirits, the direction means nothing when it comes to just coming in contact with the mind of a spirit.

    There's actually a completely logic and facepalm worthy reason why directions that are removed from ancient systems still shouldn't be fucking up your life and I'd post it here...however, the shems keep nagging me that I talk to much about advance magick openly and you know how I love doing that. How I hate that people don't share their experiences and knowledge more with others.

    They're fine with me telling you in private though, but the email I had of yours isn't working anymore. The one you have of mine is still fine, so if you wanna shoot me a line, I'd spill.

  4. Gordo, you're missing the point. Is there some ind of weird bullshit going on in the aethyrs that's leaving people illiterate and unable to comprehend what they're reading?

    It's NOT the psychology of the magician. Get that bullshit out of your head. Jason's example wasn't about the fucking "directions" that you conjure the spirits in, it was about the relationship between the specific spirits conjured. THEY don't get along, no matter what's going on in the head of the conjuror. You're so far i left field, it makes me think you've done no magic, only mental bullshit. If you're not running into spirits that tell you how to correct your magic, you're just making shit up. You're a Kangaroo Magician.


Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.