Thursday, June 14, 2012

Escape Velocity

In a recent post, Jason writes about five things modern Western Occultism needs to get over already. I agree with most of it, but with some comments. The five things are:

  1. The HGA
  2. The Goetia
  3. Wicca Bashing
  4. Quantum Physics
  5. System Hubris

1. The HGA...

I both agree and disagree with the notion that we need to escape the gravity of the HGA. On the one hand, it's totally overblown in modern Western Occultism, or at least, it was until people started achieving it and talking about it. We should totally escape the gravity of the overblown myth of the HGA.

But today we're seeing a sea change where the HGA is concerned. People aren't treating it like the final goal of all magic and expecting to get fully Enlightened when they talk to it once. And people are understanding it better too. It's not a Gateway to Enlightenment, it's an entity, a spirit, a familiar spirit. It's your chief go-to spirit. It's like Scirlin in the True Grimoire, or like the Head Spirit in ATRs. It's also a lot like the Spirit Guide of the New Age movement, if you listen to it.

The system of magic I practice is your basic European Renaissance conjure magic. While K&CHGA is not necessary for this system to work, I promise it makes it so much easier.

2. The Goetia

Hell yeah, I totally agree with Jason on that one. "Goetia" isn't even a book, it's a type of magic, like ... Conjure Magic, Hoodoo, Necromancy, and so forth. Jake Stratton Kent has written a lot about this in Geosophia and The True Grimoire, and if you really want to understand "Goetia," you've got to read what he's written, imo. Goetia can be beautiful, but not if you're talking about a single book when you use the word.

3. Wicca Bashing

Also totally agreed. I thought Wicca was stupid based on my experiences as a Wiccan in my teens. Turns out it wasn't Wicca that was stupid, but teenage RO. In my adulthood, I had the good fortune of meeting some actual Wiccans who practiced it and had something to show for it. Joe changed my mind about it a lot, demonstrating that there is something of awe about Wicca, something that is totally and completely of Deity at work in the system, not just a bunch of pretenders and political statements about Christianity and Patriarchies in general. Jack also helped change my mind, showing me that Wiccans aren't all basing their practice on fairy tales, and with Nicole, demonstrated convincingly that the ones who were working the Fairy Tales were probably doing cooler magic than me.

4. Quantum Physics

Yeah, just, yeah. Totally.

5. System Hubris

I had a bit of a problem with this one for a long time. When I started finding magic that really worked, really well in the grimoires, I was fucking bitter about the years I wasted on GD and Chaos Magic. I bashed both with equal vehemence, not because I had to bash 'em to make my system look better, but because I was fucking pissed, and didn't want anyone else to waste their time like I did.

But like Wicca, I met people who practice those systems and seem to get something out of it. I don't generally bash the entire systems anymore. I haven't bashed Chaos Magic since I found out it's essentially Agrippa's methods presented in early-90s slacker lingo. Nothing wrong with that.

I'm still pretty bitter, though. Sort of like ex-Catholic Wiccans are bitter about their time in the Church. The more I try to write about how I'm over this one, the angrier I get. I'm ridiculous.

So fuck it. I may very well bash the systems for being weak again in the future, but that's just me and my issues with it. I know and understand that the system I practice is the very best ... for me, and that others will find their happiness in the GD where I did not, the same way I find happiness in Christianity where so many others do not.

But knowing and understanding this fact doesn't make me over my personal bitterness that the GD system and its children didn't work for me. I haven't reached escape velocity on this one, not yet.

But it's not because I have to piss in someone else's water to make mine taste sweet. It's because I went to the well and drank their water, found it bitter, and then found a sweet well with pure water. One day I might get to the point where I can say, "Oh you're drinking GD Water? Have you tried Hermetic Springs? I find it sweeter, myself," but today I'm still in the "I drank that, and it tastes like SHIT!" phase.
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