Scientific revolution aside, I don’t think sorcery ever really went away. I think it has been a bass note to all of human culture and has been practiced in various forms by the ruling class especially, updating as new traditions and techniques have become available. I have been practicing Hermetic Cabala and a magickally related sorcery, Solomonic magick, for over twenty years and have acquired some proficiency of reading and/or guessing about what Crowley described as THE NEW EON that I notice has principally taken the form of not so much English Hermetic magick — which is both not as intelligently designed while also being public and therefore accessible to the hoi polloi — but private, select, and based on the greatest living systems of meditative (~Buddhist) and operative (~African Traditional Religion) magick available in the West the world. This sorcery has evidently been built by some of the greatest minds and souls living today, and is therefore very fine — though not perfect. As William Buckley once said, “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 people on the faculty of Harvard University.”
I am merely guessing, because I have refused to slip into its groove. While also not.
Normal growth and syncretization is healthy and expected, and I am glad the new sorcery is taking off. We need it, and it is certainly revitalizing my work. The new magick seemingly involves the use of laboratory-synthesized and overly powerful hallucinogenic drugs to obtain quick entry into states that used to be called the astral plane wherein operators are able to perceive and influence the collective unconscious via a virtual reality type “holodeck” based in African imagery without having to endure the 20-odd years it takes to achieve a similar level of proficiency with ritual, study, and meditation in the context of open groups and accessible solitary work in western art magick. This is good in that there are a lot of formerly secular people of my acquaintance who are newly psychic and available to interact with me — even in a blog — the way I have lived my life, and that is magick. It is not good when magicians are moved along too quickly to gain the skill commensurate with the power that often flows simply from gender, social status, and the use of a living witchcraft that works, though its overuse in this context will certainly cause it to become increasingly effete. I also worry about the irony within irony of the wealthy using the magick of the oppressed to oppress. A lot of the magick being used on Rosicrucians like myself is dark and hard, and that is a pity when most of us are well-meaning and generally mind our own business in our own work.
I call the new magic(k) THE GAME in reference to a Star Trek TNG episode of that name wherein such a thing was used to invade Star Fleet.
At the same time, I refuse to believe that people I have known and had good relationships with for decades are intentionally doing stupid things. WE NEED A LIST OF NAMES, MORE NAMES, BETTER NAMES, STRIKE THOSE NAMES. It is merely that the new sorcery seems to be somehow frequently associated with paid spiritual workers, some of whom can earn upwards of six figures a year charging hundreds if not thousands for magickal experiences on the quick that used to take years, whereas the lodge crowd pays $20 a month and has a very nice atmosphere and an emphasis on teaching — which is what this blog seeks to do.
Ancillary to the BUSINESS of the witchcraft is the necessity of perhaps often recondite mind-altering substances that no doubt have to be purchased and who is getting rich here?
An effective technique for magickal mind meld is sexual union, perhaps with a competent practitioner, and can we anticipate the possibility of remuneration in exchange for such initiations that we would COW as dark arts no?
A parallel technique is the use of sex magick which, over time, given the gender-based physiological energy structure of the human brain, and the success of astral experience in monastic settings, tends to trend toward homosexuality and the overemphasis of male participation and masculine traits in magick. In the context of normal human life, gay love is wonderful and extremely common in prevalence; it is perhaps also a genetic variant that appears for good reasons and offers an adaptive advantage. Crowley predicted a trend toward androgyny and homoeroticism in magick in his manifesto The Book of the Law. EPICENE. Furthermore, due to the mores of this era — and justly — it is not explicitly stated that astral drug and sex magick may be healthier for males and not as suitable for females, who I think may be finer working in waking psychism that can be developed to a significant degree to play our GAME most beautifully.
It is not surprising that homoeroticism is front and center, because this sorcery was no doubt invented and perfected by male homosexuals and its fundamental template is THEIR psychospiritual configuration. Many of the foremost sorcerers in Hermetics, Kabbalah, and witchcraft were and are male homosexuals, but our work is not entirely permeated by that psychospiritual structure with all that that entails. It is also not unethical to expand one’s sexual orientation and/or practices for the sake of a rubric of very fine magick.
I compare the entire movement to gentrification.
Gentrification has certain principles that seem to be also playing out in the “gentrification” of the old magic. First of all, there has to be a neglected housing stock that is of extreme inherent value, that was well-built to begin with, and has retained certain enthusiasts as the neighborhood was abandoned by those seeking better neighborhoods in the suburbs. The first wave of gentrifiers are always the gay men (!) who want elegance, followed by the artists looking for cheap rent in an ambiance that enables them to think their own thoughts, followed by the upper-middle-class with all those shi-shi coffee shops and expensive strollers. Meanwhile, the normal down-at-heel residents, who have a tendency to move in and out anyway, usually just figure out how to pay the higher rents and receive the benefits of improved infrastructure, better policing, nicer places to shop, and now everyone is running around with a Starbucks, not just the rich.
We must not lose sight of the fact that the old Hermetists who stayed put in the neighborhood are CALLING IN to remind everyone that, yes, the gay men magicians are important, but not everyone is going to do things THEIR WAY; the artists are coming in but should not be always PAINTING THE TOWN RED; the upper middle class no doubt believe the entire system should be under their control and this is how things are, while the old Masons like my Latino (Mexican Jew) father and his STRONG CHILD are just trying to stay in the swim.
Nor is it inherently unethical to voluntarily involve oneself in sadomasochistic practices for the sake of magic. This was done much in western art magic, and the mainstream media’s participation in FIFTY SHADES type propaganda will no doubt facilitate the transmission of the magick into the mainstream. I worry about the side effect of CAN’T SAY NO that might result in a maelstrom of destructive consequences, including HIV infection, serious financial involvement, other types of sex offense, having a baby you did not intend to have, and the loss of women’s rights. When it is done on the astral without knowledge or consent, it can probably cause someone to behave self-destructively. The old work would call such a practice “psychic attack.”
I am also glad to see the magick of the descendants of the African “forced inhabitants” of the New World achieve the recognition it deserves. I am half Mexican-American and my family has always had very fine relationships with our African-American co-workers and friends. My childhood in the Mexican neighborhood –the barrio — left an imprint on me that is decidedly ethnic and much of my artistic career has explored that culture. DAD. I want people in witchcraft, even if it is of African stamp. However, I feel it is being abused by some non-ethnic people and misunderstood by others, and that the ethnic magicks of Europe — wicca, the lodges, and European paganism — are being irresponsibly hindered. I have been in lodges my entire life. There is no reason for me to leave an energy world that functions beautifully FOR ME albeit differently from that of ethnic witchcraft. I received an invitation FROM GUIDES to work in Germanic paganism due to scholarship in ancient studies including Germanic, family members with Scandinavian and Anglo ancestry, and much world of Mormonism which is predominately Scandinavian, have honored that, and continue to WILL so. The new sorcery which is Anglo + African does not work in the same way for people of Native American ancestry who are often better in a mixed setting with much physicalized magick as part of the psychic overlay. American spirituality should not BORG OUT in fake African magick practiced by the rich — often to the detriment of African and ethnic people themselves.
Some of these ideas are no doubt SILLY AND NOT REAL and some are, but who knows? I am also an IMAGINATION power and have been dealt with by many different sects OF YOU RAUNCHIES, and when you use me as a fuel source for a spell then the DAMIENS might figure stuff out and TAIL it!!!
One favorite DARK activity is to STEAL power, talent, money, sex, and health through the creation of thought worlds where various mean stuff is done to unwitting victims — often lovers. THOU SHALT NOT COVET. Though the benevolent aspects of this work are to be much desired, the dark work is quite effective, and when practiced with normal witchcraft and godform veneration, now including the more recondite and dangerous practices of animal sacrifice and the involvement of the deceased in magick, a.k.a. necromancy or graveyard work — WE HAVE A MILLION GRAVES! — can be abused with significant efficacy. Such dark work is a get rich quick scheme that will, in five minutes, be grasped by its victims in the mainstream and written a strongly worded letter, I think. I am exploring this sorcery shift via my home in western art magick and describing it in this blog, some of whose content is R-rated. This has been done extensively in Hermetics for hundreds of years and is widely chronicled in our work. What I seek is to set up a way for our worlds to be good neighbors, not COPS AND ROBBERS. Some say this is also East meets West, where they are installing a new thing called astral worlds.
The Viking powers point out that all it costs TO BUILD VALHALLA is the sun, the moon, and the love goddess Freyja, having done this several centuries earlier and only lost our sheep.