A Confession

Posted on July 10, 2008
Filed Under identity, Magic, mystical journeys | 2 Comments

I have a confession to make.  I’m not really a magician. I realized this the other day, when in the process of decluttering my house, I decided to take my Golden Dawn and Crowley books, as well as copy of Agrippa’s Three Books of the Occult into Powells to trade them in for credit. I’d read the books and done the practices years ago, even re-read Book 4 by Crowley recently and the most profound thought I had was, “This is taking up a lot of space and gathering a lot of dust.” So when I turned those books in, which could be considered classics of western occultism, I realized my focus about magic had changed. I realized I’d become someone who happens to do magic, and uses it when appropriate as opposed to being someone who is defined as a magician.

Of course I still have plenty of occult books that, as far as I can tell, I probably won’t get rid of. I’ve got my William G. Gray, my Franz Bardon, my Pascal Beverly Randolph, my various books on alchemy, Taoist practices etc…but I’ve also been gradually filling those bookshelves with books on NLP, communication techniques, semiotics, cultural studies, multimodality, Neuroscience, physics and other areas of interest that are relevant to my spiritual practice.

It’s not even so much that I no longer have books by Crowley or the Golden Dawn that doesn’t make me a magician. Those are just books. They don’t confer status, beyond what meaning people read into them. It’s the change in focus, the change in attitude, the realization that my spiritual path has grown to include a wider range of studies and interests than traditional ceremonial magic could offer. Instead of limiting myself to one particular paradigm for how life should be lived, I’m interested in discovering the variety of paradigms available and have been for a long time.

I explored the paradigm of Crowleyian and Golden Dawn Western Ceremonial magic a long time ago. I got stuff out of it, but I moved on to other paradigms of western ceremonial magic that I found more useful (and still do to this day). And I continued moving on, but when I reread Crowley and his fervent desire to rehabilitate magic, I realized I wasn’t a magician, because the result of his attempted rehabilitation of magic hasn’t even remotely occurred, and yet it seems that so many people still operate on that current. I’m just not one of them. I haven’t been for a long, long time, so why continue pretending to be something I don’t feel fits me?

I happen to practice magic, along with a lot of other practices. I think that works as a better descriptor of the place of magic in my life and the current I’m exploring.

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