Archive for the 'Occult' Category

Feb 13 2014

paths

I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that -in for a penny, in for a pound- I’ll probably never stop searching for meaning, for answers, for gnosis, and for ways to find them.

When I was an undergrad, and active in theater, I wound up writing an extensive paper on Jean Genet, focusing on his plays: The MaidsDeathwatchThe BalconyThe Blacks, and The Screens.  At the time, most of the authors I was reading could be summed up as “any combination of gay, criminal, and/or an addict” (Burroughs, Genet, and Charriere were all in heavy rotation, as well as others I’ve since forgotten about). I haven’t read Genet since the late 80s, but have recently reacquired a good chunk of his work. I’ll probably revisit him at some point in the future (currently reading Melmoth the Wanderer by Maturin, and loving it). My final paper on Genet for my second semester of History of the Theater was probably about 15-20 pages about Genet’s idea of “Theater as Ritual” which is an idea that resurfaced for me towards the end of my time in grad school.

Namely, in terms of Antero Alli’s ParaTheatrical Research.

I haven’t worked with Alli (though if I could go back in time, I would have considered this as a possible portion of my grad-school studies), but I’ve gotten to know him a little bit via Facebook. Interesting fellow. You really should check him and his work out.

In any event, I’m not writing about Alli, or Genet here, ultimately, but rather the quest – the need to touch that-which-cannot-be-named, to understand. One of my favorite quotes from Lon Milo DuQuette in The Magick of Thelema (1993) sums it up for me:

“The Magician does not necessarily want the burden of existence lifted from his shoulders; he wants to understand why he is carrying it and where.”

In fact, I used that quote as the opening salvo of my personal statement in grad school.

For a while, as I’ve written throughout this site, I was very interested in Crowley, the O.T.O., Thelema, variations on T.O.P.Y.,  and Chaos Magick.

These days, I find my interests to be much quieter.

One stream that I’ve become very interested is the traditional practices of my ancestors. My great-great maternal grandfather, Albert Hunter, was a Pennsylvania Dutch Pow-wow practitioner. I’ve also been quietly looking into Rune systems as well, and become interested in plant lore, and still have an immense love and respect for dreams and dreaming.

All of this, while working a 9-5 (okay, 8:30-4:30) job, and raising a two year old son.

In fact, part of the reason I’ve become interested in these traditions (and, honestly, I’d say they’re supplemental to my interests in “higher” magick, rather than replacing them), is to pass these traditions on to him. The day will come when he asks us “Mom, Dad, what do we believe?” and I want to have an answer for him.

A little while back, a group entered my awareness. I know none of the players involved, and the literature is prohibitively expensive. On the surface, however, their interests seem to be along the lines of where my own are right now. I have no idea how to make contact, or if I even want to make contact. My experiences with groups tend to inevitably end in disappointment.

That said, I hereby affirm my intention to at least read what literature of theirs that I can come by (and, let’s be honest, when your major texts are going for thousands of dollars on the secondary market, there are .PDFs to be had until other printings surface), and determine whether it continues to appear to be a good match.

One sign, I suppose, was that upon contemplating them last night, I was reminded of The Xenis Emputae Travelling Band. Last night, I loaded their discography onto my iPad, to listen to at work today. This morning, I found that Phil Legard (the main force behind XETB), posted a piece yesterday about a quasi-mystical horseman’s guild from the 19th century (fascinating reading, actually), specifically remarking about the use of a magickal “toad bone” to control the horses.

He provides references to a few works about the toad bone, including pieces by Andrew Chumbley.

Sometimes the universe winks back at you.

I should clarify that I would not call my current interests “Wicca” – I have no use for Gardner, nor his school.

Ultimately, I believe, we all need to find our own ways – our own paths, but they can and should be rooted in those of our ancestors.

If my son rejects all of this, I am totally fine with that.

If, however, he has an interest, then I want to be able to be the best resource and facilitator I can be.

But in the end, this is for me.

It is what I need to do.

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Nov 12 2013

Witch Way

A piece at The Blyssful Witch crossed my path this morning: The Whitewashing of Witchery in American Neo Paganism – The Taming of the Witch.

The author writes:

To understand witchcraft we must descent into the darkness of the deepest oceans of the mind. In our efforts to avoid facing the realities of human evil, we have tamed the witch and made her comic, dressing her in a  peaked cap and setting her on a broom for the amusement of children at Halloween.

Thus made silly, she can easily be exorcised from our mind, and we can convince our children-and ourselves-that ‘there is no such thing as a witch.’

But there is, or at least there was.

I am weary of the weak witch; that watery individual who lurks on the fringes of occult studies and Crafting, proclaiming to take the ‘higher’, moralistic road and for the sake of acceptability and temperance, decides to ignore the history and origin of Witchery in its true form.

The ‘menace’ in the Craft has been taken out and replaced by bland mediocrity; a mouth with no teeth, a religion and practice with no bite, no fervor, no sting and no power.

We are pale, insipid reproductions of the Wise Women and Cunning Men of our past.

How far we have fallen.

This arrived at precisely  the right time for me.  I’ve been undergoing a prolonged case of reluctance.

This reluctance was born out of a sense of betrayal that took over my life in 2008-2009.  This reluctance made me over-reliant on approval of others who either don’t understand, will never approve, or are apathetic. What I somehow forgot in the process is that this is fine.  I don’t need their understanding, I don’t need their approval, nor do I need them to even care. My avoidance of speaking and living my truth has become detrimental to myself, and is decidedly not the example I wish to set for my son. I can no longer afford to let “what will THEY say?” be a concern.

The Blyssful Witch continues:

The white washers have replaced the fear of hell with the fear of ‘karma’ or the three-fold law coming back to bite you in the ass.

They have replaced Christ and the Virgin Mary with the Lord and Lady.

They have replaced ‘love thy neighbor’ with ‘harm ye none.’

Not much difference really. What a fucking sad state.

To quote Peter Grey, “Modern dazed paganism often makes this mistake, choosing to take the palatable aspects of an imagined past and from the fashion an escape into an unrealized fantasy…In order to protect cherished beliefs that have been proved false, we often cling to fantasies…Modern pagan witchcraft… is beginning its arc of entropic decay of locked empty postures and meaningless gestures.”

(The Peter Grey quote is from his 2013 book Apocalyptic Witchcraft published by Scarlet Imprint – note to self: track down a copy).

This has been my biggest beef with just about every “spiritual” system I have come into contact with during my time in California – or at least most of the practitioners of them.  There are four powers attributed to the Sphinx: To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Be Silent.

I will simply say that there is a lot of noise.  A LOT.

As Lao Tzu once said: “Those who know, don’t tell. Those who tell, don’t know.”

There is a line between “shaman” and “showman.”

When your weekend “shamanic” workshop includes a session on how to read animal entrails, then I’ll consider attending.

I am no longer interested in determining who is a huckster and who believes their own bullshit.  Both are equally frivolous pursuits.

It is time to move forward.

Am I giving up on Consciousness Studies and Dream Studies?  Hell no. But I am reclaiming and redefining them on my own terms.

I have a few ideas for projects, including one that doesn’t really have a name or a clear set of parameters to it – I only know it by what I am being called to read (mostly things that Those-Who-Would-Make-Me-Reluctant would hate if I thought for a moment they even knew what some of it was) as background material. 

The Blyssful Witch writes:

I will not be lumped together in the stew of acceptability and mediocrity that has been simmering on the back burners of modern paganism for the last few decades.

Nor will I, though I’m not talking about just paganism here.

I will not bow to gods that have no power and a practice that has no teeth.

Nor will I.

It’s time to push back.

It’s what I do.

“Serenity is a problem / When you get this close to Heaven / But you really want to see / The wonders of the underworld”Jhonn Balance

 

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Aug 12 2013

Network Awesome

Published by under Crowley,La Vey,Musick,Occult

A friend of mine pointed me to Network Awesome’s “offering” for the day…

Assorted Music(k), Magic(k), and Mayhem can be found here.

Current 93, Z’EV, an interview with Zeena Schreck, and Psychic TV‘s notorious First Transmission tape, among other things – sure to curdle your mind.

Enjoy!

Oh, and NSFW.  Duh.

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