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Friday 23 November 2012

Playing at Magic

There was a time, in the English language, where you could only dabble in the occult. The implication was that no matter how seriously you took your magical path, as far as the real world was concerned you were only mucking about. The idea of “dabbling” mean that if something went wrong in a magical experiment, it was down to you not taking it seriously.
One of the downsides of the modern age is that beginners have access to more information than they used to and this makes “dabbling” much easier than it was before.
As a result you find views being forged which are based on reading books by “new age experts” or “fantasists”. This type of person shows up on web groups saying that the “know nothing” but at the same time often pontificating at great length in vacuous New Age statements. They usually finish their posts with phrases like “my two cents” as if to hint that they are not really sure what the hell they are talking about, but they will say it anyway. They are also fond of trying to take people down a peg or two if they are disagreed with.
Voodoo has become the new black
when it comes to magic
In addition you can usually tell if someone is playing at magic by their tendency to do a lot of different systems, often employing them all at once. They universally have Reiki degrees, often have trained in a form of martial arts, like Chi Gung or Buddhist (usually Zen) techniques. Weird fashionable magical ideas pop up, in the last few years it has been Voodoo.
But not one of them has focused on a training system to be any good at it, and none of them amounts to much when it comes to magic.
On one web group there was a recent discussion about Goetia, which is another hot topic amongst those who do not understand it. They were talking about a technique which involved sticking Goetic demons into spirit pots. This is a voodoo technique and means that you lure the spirit into a pot with a promise and it will do your bidding.
Rock me Asmodeus.
While I get that this might work with weak, terminally stupid, astral demons, or ancestors, I cant see how it would work with Goetic demons. I had an image of some magician asking Asmodeus, King of the Nine Hells, embodiment of the seventh deadly sin of lust willingly going into a bean tin. Think about it, how can you stuff the concept of lust into a peanut butter jar? When someone with a little more experience pointed this out, he was told that such magical techniques were successfully worked in Brazil, so that was the end of the matter. Even if that were true, it does not mean that they have bottled real demons as if they were preserves.
Part of the problem is a literal idea of magic which most people get kicked out of them by experience, but the rest is simply because they do not think about what they are doing. They are playing with what sounds cool, rather than doing real magic.
The number of people out there who say they have had no teachers, but have actually experimented with heavier ceremonial magic techniques is frankly alarming. It shows, amongst other things, a level of arrogance and a belief that they are so important that training within an esoteric school is not necessary for them. They have the answers already because they have read about it. But it is not as if they have really studied, or done regular meditation work to reach that state. After playing around with systems they did not completely master, they have just moved onto something else.

Ways you can tell if someone in a web group is playing at magic

1. They use out-of-date flowery language in web posts.
Today we will teach you how to mix your traditions until they are light and
fluffy and do what you want them to do.
2. They mix traditions and systems.
3. They use esoteric terms without understanding them.
4. They interpret magical teachings literally.
5. They mention UFOs, or conspiracy theories alongside occult teaching.
6. They refer to their “past lives.”
7. They use books and references instead of personal experience.
8. When personal experience is used as a reference, it is usually conventional, literal, and could have been read somewhere.
9. They write long posts with extensive quotes from other people to give their words authority.
10. They use long sentences which contain phrases that they think sound good, but don't actually mean anything.
11. They revise basic magical techniques without understanding what goes on behind them.
12. They say what they think the web group wants to hear, and will attack who they thing the web group wants to attack. Often they will praise the leader of the web group highly.
13. They often complain that they cannot do practical work because their house is too small, or they are disturbed by their children or spouse.
Pah, Christians, Jews or Pagans, they all taste like Chicken
14. They attack other religions, normally Christianity, because they are trying to rebel against their upbringing.
15. They often try to mention science, particularly things like quantum physics so that they can demonstrate their intellect without having to talk about magic which they know nothing about.
16. They admit that they don't belong to a school, or have a teacher, or if they do it was a group that did not last long, or treated them badly.
17. They go into detail about the nature of their contacts with angels, demons, secret chiefs, God etc.
18. They ask for help from the rest of the group to carry out magical operations, under their directions, for the good of humanity.
19. They recount how they are being magically attacked or been psychically vampired by someone.
20. They take personal umbridge when people disagree with their latest theory. Often “telling the person off.”
21. They think this list and article is all about them.