Ok, so Jake Stratton-Kent has done some phenomenal work in tracing back Goety through the mists of time in Geosophia and True Grimoire, excellent work I highly recommend you purchase and study these books, referencing them regularly. I think in historic context, it ranks right up there with Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and gives an insight into Agrippa that you just can't understand without integrating the worldview Jake reveals.
As I've been reading through them, I keep on getting this warm glow, and the hairs on my arms stand up. He tracks our history of magic back to the animistic beginnings that resemble Shamanism more than any other system, and pieces it all together from surviving historic documents. He then builds a story around the pieces of historic remnants that reveals a mystery about the current we Work with as magicians of every type.
The following graphic is my interpretation of this current we're working with, and how it's manifested in societies and cultures across time. I could throw on a bunch more nodes, but I think this is a good representation of what I'm talking about. It's one current that pops up again and again, putting on the faces and facets of the culture and time it's manifesting in.
I think of the current as Miracle Juice. It's what fuels all the miracles in all the religions, what condenses as self-aware Angels and Demons, Gods and Spirits with powers and realms and specialized spheres of influence. It's what provides the Heat in our internal spiritual Alchemical Process of the Great Work. It's the ecstatic state we feel, the force that shapes the Quintessence of existence. It is the Nous and the Logos and all the celestial, terrestrial, and chthonic spirits, all at once, including us. When we plug into it and direct it with our minds and bodies through symbol, word, and rite, it's that ecstatic thrill of being and moving in tune with the creation of the Universe, it's the power that flows through us and turns into what we experience, revealing the Nature of God, and the God of Nature.
In our various practices and approaches, we dip into the current at different points, through different interfaces. We go through whatever filters harmonize with our own preferences and experiences, but we tap into the same current. Jason used to accuse me of speaking about magic as if the way I did it was the only one true way, and in the exuberance of my successes, I may indeed have done so on occasion, inadvertently. I always understood at the core that what I was talking about was my interface with this current, and when I criticized other people's approaches, I was talking about how their interfaces are limited in some ways from accessing some aspects of the current. I'm sure equal criticisms can be offered about my own approach. They'd be wrong and naive, of course, but they could still be made.
But fundamentally, it's the same current. Each interface provides access to specific aspects of the current, and they can be mingled and adapted harmoniously in different ways to get more of the current. Even this is an interpretation, so take it with a grain of salt.
The current itself has no culture of its own, it touches on many cultures and manifests however it needs to in each. Root doctors, Goets*, Charismatic Christians, Sufi mystics and Victorian Ceremonial Magicians are accessing the same current to accomplish their miracles and synchronicities, they just access it through different nodes.
The nodes they use are like lenses, filtering out some aspects of the current, and focusing specifically on other aspects. Our practices, our approaches distill the Miracle Juice into the stuff we want it to be, and like any distillation process, the final taste is influenced by every step of the process along the way.
The current has no ethics. It is neither good nor evil, it simply is. Parts of it are light compared to other parts, which in turn seem dark. But this dualistic perception of the current is false. It's a lens we put on it to see different parts, but angels aren't always good, and demons are nice to little old ladies who live alone on the edge of town.
In the Astral Warrior's Handbook, I mention that in an astral combat, the magician stuck in dualism will be limited in what they can bring to a fight. What I meant by that is if you're an Angelic Hermeticist who only works with Archangels and their legions of spirits, or a Demonic conjurer who only uses the True Grimoire, or even a balanced Solomonic magician who's at home with Angels and Demons alike, you're still limited to Angels and Demons, supposedly "Light" or "Dark" spirits with whatever kinds of effects they're capable or comfortable manifesting.
If you've seen through the illusion of Light and Dark, recognizing that both are looking at the Current through different parts of a single lens, you're not limited to the constraints of the lens.
And ultimately, we all create our own lenses, our own nodes. Mine is mostly Hermetic, Neoplatonist, with a balanced relationship with the "terrestrial" and "celestial" spirits alike, while leaving the "infernal" spirits alone unless necessity demands. But it's hoodoo-ish too, and Catholic, and Charismatic Christian. There are necromantic aspects, Orphic aspects, and bits and pieces of Crowley and Thelema in there too. And there's even stuff that's been personally revealed to me by extra-galactic entities with more tentacles than Cthulhu. Shh.
We aren't limited by anyone else's lenses. Jack wrote about some of the objections people have made to his path over the years. In reading it, I was shocked to think people were really that naive and spiritually unaware, but then in the comments he explained a lot of those objections came from his youth, presumably from other youths. I hope. Because he's living in the land of stupids if they're still saying shit like that.
You can't judge other people's lenses. It's stupid. You can critique them, help those who are interested build better nodes that get them access to different concentrations of the Miracle Juice than they've got now, but only if they're interested. Otherwise, it's really none of your business.
And cultural appropriation issues... "This is my lens, you can't look through it because you're white/black/green/unholy/uninitiated/circumcised/uncircumcised..."
Some of that shit's valid, some of it's not. The current has no culture. As long as it's harmonious and gives me a better view of the current, I'll look through whatever lens I want to, because I love the Miracle Juice. I won't pretend I'm something I'm not, and I won't hack, slash, and burn for profit the holy traditions of people who give a shit about that kind of thing, but in my personal practice, it's all fair game.
* That's the Goets who are the goetic magicians. Read Jake's books for enlightenment on the proper usage of the terms. A Goet is a name for a type of believer who works with spirits of the underworld, which didn't used to just mean chthonic or dark, the Underworld contained the Celestial Heavens and all their denizens. I'm simplifying a lot. Jake tells it better.