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#41 lady_constantine

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 05:14 AM

honestly,I never gave creedance to the Necronomicon because any and everything ovecraft related I reject as utter fiction.I honestly did have a christian/catholic  slant to my leanings with hints of wicca and a touch of voodun /santoria here and there (scared people shitless with paper dolls and the like). Te idea of any of the Lovecraft lore being anything other than false seems absurd.Truly overrated--not to mention that the cthulu mythos was heavily symbolistic of xenophobia.

maybe being a black person gives me the sense to know better .

Only thing I currently have in my possession
is a book of incantations from the psalms and book of moses,
Wanna know what ol' Conjob gets up to nowadays? Read 'The Laughing Magician's Journal http://a-laughing-magicians-journal.blogspot.com/'.Also,check out his latest adventures at 'Elseworlds Legends http://elseworlds-legends.blogspot.com/ http://so-tru-review.blogspot.com/

#42 dogpoet

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 11:46 AM

Didn't Waite insist that Abraham of Worms had inherited Abramelin's book down his family line from somebody biblical? I was sure I'd seen something about him claiming that somewhere.

Lady C: it's surprising how many of the Psalms turn up in lists of curses and banishings, isn't it?

#43 Christian

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:13 PM

Lovecraft insisted time after time that he had no interest in the supernatural, other than as a good source for fiction (based on his love of authors like Dunsany and Machen, who did have a great interest in the occult). He scoffed at people who took the ideas seriously. He did read certain supernatural and occult texts as sources for his fiction....I know he at the very least read Lewis Spence's Encyclopedia, which was popular at the time. He was familiar with the writings of people like Blavatsky, but he came to that from his friends Clark Ashton Smith and E. Hoffman Price, who were more interested in the subject matter. I believe Lovecraft mentioned that Price introduced him to the concepts of Theosophy, and wrote in a letter something about how Price "seems to actually take that sort of nonsense seriously".

Dog-No. The story was that Abraham of Worms met Abramelin while on his pilgrimage to Egypt. There might have been something about either Abraham of Worms or Abramelin being able to trace their ancestry back to Biblical times, hence the hint that it was lore that has existed since the Old Testament. No one really knows who Abraham of Worms was supposed to be anyway. There isn't any historical record of the person, so if he did exist, he apparently was never an important historical figure, whoever he might have been.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
"Life is such a great disappointment."
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#44 dogpoet

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 12:39 PM

I thought there was some such crap in there somewhere. Amusingly, Harms and Gonce have one of the same issues with Abramelin as they do with the Simonomicon, which is pretty funny. Gonce is convinced that both are terribly dangerous systems to try to use, because neither uses a circle or any other protective charms while doing the magic stuff. If the Simonomicon is fake, why should using it be dangerous? Strange argument.

#45 Christian

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:18 PM

To be perfectly honest, I'm not familiar with Gonce or his views, so I can't say for sure. Although, Anton LaVey has a ritual for the invocation of Cthulhu. LaVey doesn't believe that Lovecraft was writing non-fiction, he says that it's all just fiction. However, he says it's still possible to summon Cthulhu. The ritual is supposed to be highly dangerous. So, in that sense, he may be taking up a position within Chaos magic, that even if the Necronomicon isn't real, that its rituals and spells can still produce results in those who believe.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
"Life is such a great disappointment."
-Oscar Wilde

#46 dogpoet

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 07:17 PM

Your font is doing that thing again, Chris.
:wink2:
I think Gonce most likely has that "Mr Norrell" thing I was on about before going on. He knows how ritual magic is done properly, so if anybody is suggesting a system that he doesn't like, then they're obviously doing it wrong and must be stopped. "Simon"/Levenda (quite rightly, imo) feels that this is a big part of ritual magicians' objections to the Simonomicon. If somebody can just buy a spellbook in Walmart and use it to do magickal stuff by themself, then it's a threat to the whole guru system, and means that proper magicians who've spent years chanting bullshit in the correct manner won't get to initiate somebody because they're working from a book that no guru has approved or condoned and probably doesn't even work the same way as they do. A lot of Wiccans came out with exactly the same objections to Scott Cunningham, The Farrars and whatsisface Buckland when they began publishing guides for the solitary witch, rather than taking it for granted that the only way to get hold of a book of shadows was to join an existing coven, iirc.

#47 Christian

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 02:49 AM

I get ya.
At the same time, a name like Raymond Buckland's work is so dumbed down.
It's basically like buying one of those "Guide for Dummies" books, and then acting like you're an expert on said subject, just because you read the lowest-common denominator text.
It's not like it's the early-1900s anymore. It's not just "Simon" and Wicca 101 on the market today.
Or, even the Satanic Bible.
I have a huge collection of occult books that range from something like Abramelin, which once solely existed in museums, to the complete works of Crowley, to the tell-all book about the Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie (which was around since the 1940s), Blavatsky, Manly Hall (in an edition that cost $20 instead of $100), and etc.
So, it's not like the Necronomicon or "Witchcraft for Beginners" is the only path out there for those interested in occultism that goes beyond the most superficial. There really aren't any secrets out there anymore. Most of the secrets are readily available at the local bookstore, or even simpler, a lot of it is archived online for free at SacredTexts.

Which isn't to say that Buckland doesn't know what he's talking about, as he was initiated in to Wicca by Gardner.

Let me end with an example. Algernon Blackwood was a member of the Golden Dawn. A person who reads a lot of Buckland would end up writing something like those Anita Blake books.
It's the difference between spending years trying to master something versus putting in a few hours of your life.
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"Life is such a great disappointment."
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#48 dogpoet

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 12:30 PM

I'm not sure, but I think there is a Wicca For Dummies book, so I'd hope that Buckland has a bit more to add than that. (That said, the Idiot's/Dummies guides are generally quite underrated as references, imo.)

The problem with your point is that you're assuming that having read one of the most basic texts as a primer somebody isn't going to bother with digging any deeper, which could well be a false posit. If you get anything out of something like that, a natural reaction is going to be to try something similar, and having the basics down makes it a lot easier to follow a proper occulty book the bulk of which are very dense texts written as a set of notes by somebody who knows what they're doing already, rather than a how to guide. That said, it isn't like mastering some flavour or other of the art is even necessary if you just want to use a few simple workings or charms. It is quite possible that you're right in that this is all some people want or need, but if so, why should they be expected to learn a load of stuff that doesn't interest them just so that they'll get taken seriously as a proper occultist? In that light, I have very little sympathy for the Norrells when they start bitching about people who aren't mastering the art, because I always get the impression that they interpret "mastering the art" as doing exactly what they say for years and not even thinking of looking at any other sources beyond those they approve of. I'd say that making wannabes less dependent on patronage from a control-freaky asshat like that is more a democratisation of the field than dumbing it down, frankly.

The Waite produces Blackwood and Buckland produces Hamilton argument seems a bit off as well. The only fantasy writers I'm aware of who make a big thing of having studied Wicca are Storm Constatine and Patricia Kenneally-Morrison, and they're both a fair few notches above Laurel Hamilton. Both seem to write at more or less the same level, but I think Constantine is an autodidact, whereas Keneally-Morrison is a product of the '60s coven system. I'd doubt that Hamilton's occult researches, on the other hand, go any further than having watched The Devil Rides Out and a few Hammer Draculas. Unless you're talking about somebody like Eric Ericsson (who seems to have written most of his novels to flaunt his Norrellisms) the author's understanding of the esoteric isn't that big an issue. It isn't like Crowley's detective stories don't read a lot better than the supernatural stuff, after all.

#49 BobafrigginFeet

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:46 PM

@dogpoet Hehe, Constantine

Quote

AN: If Constantine and Lucifer were in a drag down take out no-holds-barred fight, who wins?
MC: Lucifer wins, then as he's walking away he realizes his wallet's gone.

#50 Christian

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 10:29 PM

No, you make a valid point about people who get started with something like Buckland or any of those Llewellyn spell craft crap books that you can pick up for cheap going on to do further research in the field and moving on. I mean, everyone has to start out somewhere. Obviously, you aren't going to jump in to the advanced classes when you're starting out on any subject. There was a time, way back when I was in high school, just starting to dip my toes in to the subject that I was drawn to Wiccan and then eventually spent a lot of time reading and re-reading the Satanic Bible. People grow with time.
Let me add, though, that I avoided the Golden Dawn for a few years after reading LaVey because of the way he attacked Crowley in his books, and I was so interested in LaVey, thinking that he must know what he's talking about, because he's "not afraid of taboos". So, even without what you're speaking about, you'll still find people of different traditions attacking each other in print, which can lead novices to continue to pour money in to one author, even if that author isn't helping their growth. Also, look at how many Wicca books steer students away from buying other source material, because it's "dangerous, Black magic", as opposed to the "peace and love" of witchcraft.

Like I was saying, it's not that Buckland is an issue. It's just people who read Raymond Buckland and think that there's nothing further they can learn. It's basically going to a karate class and getting your white belt and saying, "I am a kung fu master!".
You're right. There may be some people who just want to dabble in something as a hobby. That's fine. Some people may want to read the new Spider Man comics because they saw the movie, and they don't know or care what even Watchmen is. Of course, that's always the case. But, it's not as if these simple traditions weren't available before someone like Buckland came along. Poor farmers in Appalachia who can barely read have been practicing folk magic (alongside being devout Christians even, mind) for years and years. If all you want to do is cast a spell, you don't even need to put down $15 for a "spell book". I can teach you to cast a spell for something simple in 5 minutes, if you really wanted me to. That sort of knowledge is meaningless to me.
Do you have a candle? Do you have a piece of paper? Do you have any sort of creativity at all? If you have these three simple ingredients, I can teach you a spell to get something simple that you want. If you don't have a candle, do you know when the Moon is full? If you don't like the Moon, how about a magnet? I can, basically, teach you a simple spell with anything you have laying around handy, as long as you have a modicum of creativity also. However, I really wouldn't even advise using it.
I mean, if you're going to hunt down a guru, spending that amount of time, energy, and money (which is what you seem to be basing your argument around)...obviously, you must have an interest greater than, "I lost my favourite barrette and would do anything to be able to find it again!".
Don't forget that there are people out there interested in making a fast buck too. The guru system isn't the only control system involved in the occult world. Not that I'm saying it's wrong to make some money off of gullible people if you can get published, because I guess that's just the free market. Look no further than The Secret, remember that? The author repackaged the most simplistic idea found in any occult system...."the law of attraction"....and pretended that it was some huge breakthrough idea that was being presented....and became hugely rich.

I wasn't outright attacking Wicca. Wicca is more of a religious tradition. Most people who consider themselves to be Wiccans are involved with a religion of some type, with magic being more of a secondary form of worship.
I remember reading that Hamilton was influenced by reading Buckland and had converted from evangelical Christianity to Wicca.
There are other authors who were influenced by Wicca whose work I enjoy. Andre Norton was influenced by Wicca. Margaret St. Clair (if you consider her to have written fantasy fiction) was heavily involved with Wicca in her writing. Starhawk is another.
I was making the point that someone like Norton or Kenneally-Morrison seem better read on the subject of the occult, probably having spent years studying or reading, whereas, I'd imagine Hamilton's influence doesn't go much further than one of those "Norse paganism was exactly like Wiccan! Here is a book of spells that are totally authentic examples of ancient Norse pagan magic, and they just seem suspiciously like something I copied from a random Wiccan Book of Shadows, because of coincidence!". And, then, there's one for Celtic pagan magic, and ancient Mexican pagan magic, and etc. And, they're all the exact same book! And, they all describe the "ancient tradition" as pagan!
Most of these authors who are heavily involved with Wicca or Chaos magic or whatever, they have a broad knowledge of different traditions. They were usually members of different occult orders. A person may be heavily involved in a certain tradition, like Thelema or Theosophy, and decide that they don't feel comfortable with that tradition, even though they're well-versed in that area of magical theory, and they might decide that they feel more comfortable as a Wiccan or some other tradition. There are very dew serious Wiccan adherents or Chaos magicians, or etc., who aren't involved with other forms of the occult. In fact, with Chaos magic, it's pretty important that you are well-read in multiple disciplines.
I mean, Wicca, itself, once you get past the "goddess is good" stage, is heavily influenced by the Golden Dawn and OTO systems. That's a big part of what Gardner did when he founded the tradition.

I'm not saying that if you study some occult tradition, you're going to be able to start writing something akin to Algernon Blackwood. Obviously, that's not the case. However, if you are interested in writing and have skills as a writer, if you actually take the time and effort to study an occult system and actually understand, there is no way that it will not enhance your ability to be a better writer of fiction. I'm also not saying it's the sole way to go to becoming a better writer.
If you doubt me, I'm sure Grant Morrison would readily agree with me.
On the subject of Buckland and those like him, Aleister Crowley had a recommended reading list for the OTO. He said that every aspirant coming to him had to have read and have a basic understanding of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. I'd say that Lewis Carroll serves as a better primer for practicing magic than anything written by Buckland.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
"Life is such a great disappointment."
-Oscar Wilde

#51 dogpoet

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 01:35 PM

Fair enough. The main thing that annoys me about Wicca is all of this bullshit about it being a revival of an ancient religion that was almost wiped by the evil patriarchal Christians, rather than something that Gradner invented from scratch by cramming some swipes from Robert Graves and Margaret Murray into a load of dumbed down Crowley with the serial numbers filed off, so I can understand your beef with the Simonomicon on that level.

As for learning simple magic from Appalachian farmers, sure that's possible, but it's probably a bit trickier if you don't live in the Appalachians or know any Silver John types. You're assuming that it's just as easy to find somebody who can teach you a few charms as it is to buy a paperback, which isn't always the case. Published information is a lot more available than an oral tradition in this society. (And that's without even getting into my own issues with the guru thing, where people are more interested in controlling occult knowledge, and through it, controlling their initiates, than they are in spreading it. The loss of this control is, imo, the main reason for the beef a lot of Wiccans have with people who publish workbooks and books of shadows, or ritual magicians have with the Simonomicon and LaVey's bibbling.)

I didn't know that Hamilton had converted to Wicca, but she was definitely still a Christian when she started writing those shitty Anita Blake books: the early ones are stuffed full of religious right mealy mouthing. (Possibly they've been revised since to remove some of that?) I take it her conversion came around the same time she switched from doing that series to churning out elf porn instead? As far as Margaret St Clair goes, I think she was actually initiated into Wicca by Buckland, wasn't she?

#52 Christian

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 04:28 PM

Either Buckland or Gardner, himself. Not really sure which.
Like I said, Buckland was initiated by Gardner, so it's not as if Buckland doesn't know what he's talking about, it's just a lot of the problems you have with Wicca that crop up in my problems with Buckland, to a large extent, although perhaps from a slightly different perspective. I think a lot of Buckland's appeal is the same type of appeal of a typical New York Times Best Selling author. They're writing towards a certain audience, and know how to market themselves and their fiction so they get a lot of readers, even though their work is probably not the strongest or most intellectual works in print.

Right. I know oral traditions aren't as readily available, but there were people writing books containing that information in it before Buckland, that was more my point. I was just making a point that I don't see "Wicca for the masses" or "Simon" or LaVey as being as revolutionary a break with magical tradition as it seemed you were suggesting. Maybe in 1910 the whole "secret society" tradition was still the only way for most people to ever be able to study the occult in any depth, but I'd say that broke down fairly quickly and you started to see more revelations of secret traditions.
I mean, LaVey still kept the "guru system" that you hate in place, with his Church of Satan and its high membership fees, while at the same time having no problem publishing his magical rituals in mass-market paperback books, so that he could make more money. I guess that's what happens when your system is based far more on Ayn Rand than Aleister Crowley.
I'd say Dion Fortune was trying to do similar a few decades earlier, for example. Crowley, himself, did try to maintain his own publishing imprint at one point (Mandrake). Weiser Books, the world's largest occult tome publisher, was started as a book seller in the 1920s, morphing in to a publisher in the 1950s, when they started to make more money. I think the biggest change is really that the counter-culture of the 1960s brought the idea that books on the occult could actually make a profit. It became easier to find an audience willing to buy books that were, at one point, privately published.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
"Life is such a great disappointment."
-Oscar Wilde

#53 dogpoet

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:02 PM

I'd describe it more as a viable alternative than a revolutionary break. Sorry I didn't make that clear.
(The problem isn't just the guru system, btw, but also the rather elitist fantasies that are a big part of the reason some people even want to get involved with the occult in the first place. If you like to think that it is something that's difficult and esoteric, and being initiated actually means something as a mark of quality, then the fact that somebody can just go into a discount book shop and find a copy of the Simonomicon or a generic book of shadows marked up with annotations on how the contents are supposed to work and start doing the same stuff you're doing can be quite a blow to the vanity.)

#54 lady_constantine

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:31 AM

View Postdogpoet, on 05 May 2016 - 11:46 AM, said:

Didn't Waite insist that Abraham of Worms had inherited Abramelin's book down his family line from somebody biblical? I was sure I'd seen something about him claiming that somewhere.

Lady C: it's surprising how many of the Psalms turn up in lists of curses and banishings, isn't it?

I know,right? I'm sitting here looking in translated  copies of the sixth and seventh books of moses .It has the magical uses of psalms and there's an incantation to 'banish Leviathan'.and right after that one for getting vengeance upon one's enemies.
Wanna know what ol' Conjob gets up to nowadays? Read 'The Laughing Magician's Journal http://a-laughing-magicians-journal.blogspot.com/'.Also,check out his latest adventures at 'Elseworlds Legends http://elseworlds-legends.blogspot.com/ http://so-tru-review.blogspot.com/

#55 Christian

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 06:14 PM

Well, you're missing my whole point, Dog. The point is exactly that you cannot do what someone is doing who has studied an involved system of magic for years just by buying a Book of Shadows or Necronomicon off the store shelves, and that's why so many people still don't understand the first thing about magic, even after reading all those mass-market books that promise "power" and "wealth" with a few simple spells. If you have magical knowledge, and you're using it to make money, then you've completely wasted all of any ability you may have gained through taking the time to actually learn magic.
That's why I have a problem with those type of spell books, because they're total come-ons, trying to lure materialistic, gullible people in to spending their cash, then expending a lot of energy for something they can do without ever buying a book of magic.
LaVey's system is based around the goal of gaining power and money, but it's the same thing you can learn in such "magical" tomes as Ayn Rand's entire line of books or The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
Like I said, if you want to understand magic, I'd recommend reading and re-reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland before I'd ever recommend picking up Buckland or the Necronomicon.
However, if you want to become part of a religion known as "Wicca" or just want to pick up something fun, there's nothing wrong with picking up a Buckland book or the Necronomicon, just don't buy such books to learn magic. If you want to learn how to become a selfish asshole who spends his/her time looking down on someone for "attending public school", by all means pick up The Satanic Bible.

I don't understand why you have such a problem with this elitism. Do you have this same problem with ninjitsu? Oh, that damn old ninja master in his dojo, saying he's so powerful! Who needs that? I'll go to the store and buy books and teach myself how to do kung-fu! Look, I found a book that teaches me how to break a piece of wood with my hand! I'm learning to do that! Look at me now, I'm a ninja master now too! Ha, ha! I know everything a sensei can know now!
Is putting in time, effort, energy, and work really that big of an issue with you in life? Do you think everyone just starts out on an equal foot and can accomplish everything easily? Does it piss you off that a brain surgeon is getting paid so much more money than a general practitioner doctor? Do you think that everyone should just be a brain surgeon when they start out in the medical field, because otherwise, the brain surgeon must be some elitist who thinks he's worth more than a regular doctor? Don't you think it takes a lot of time, effort, and energy to learn to be a brain surgeon?
That's the whole point. If you want to actually understand something and be good at something, it takes time, effort, and energy. That applies to pretty much everything in life, whether the mundane or the supernatural. You have to put work in to something to get something out of it. Someone who has been studying something for 20 years is going to have more understanding and skill than someone who spent half an hour for the past five days trying to master something.
Do you really think Chaos magicians think that way? "Oh, I've been practicing this for 5 hours a day for the past 20 years, but that little girl just bought a Book of Shadows and went home to read it for 15 minutes. Now, she's at the same level as myself!". Of course not! Look at Grant Morrison in his "magical" feud with Alan Moore, where he says that he's been involved with the occult since he was a teenager, while Moore has only been doing this since the 1980s.
Can anyone pick up a spell book and use it to achieve something small, if they really want to? Yes, they can. If they think that's the entirety of what practicing magic entails, they're a white belt in karate. A white belt in karate is not going to have the skills and abilities of a black belt in karate. Those are just the simple facts.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
"Life is such a great disappointment."
-Oscar Wilde

#56 dogpoet

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 07:43 PM

The elitism I'm on about here is people refusing to teach what they know, and refusing to accept that people who have studied independently of them can know enough to be taken seriously, however much time and effort they've put into it. People who refuse to disseminate information in order to ensure that their chosen following are in a superior position to all of the scum who have to draw on other sources. Clear now?

#57 Christian

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 08:08 PM

Yeah, I still don't think there's a lot of people involved who refuse to teach....they just will only teach others personally, by accepting applications to join an order. They figure that only someone who is trained by someone else who has already been initiated can truly help someone learn how to do the system, and feel that their system is best. I, obviously, don't subscribe to that theory, and feel it's mistaken. The original Golden Dawn never subscribed to that theory, as many members came from other occult traditions, and many members chose to move on to other systems as they finished with the Golden Dawn. Blackwood was trained in many different magical traditions, for example. Some as part of a society, and some on an individual basis. Some members branched off and founded their own orders, as well....Gardner, for one.
At the same time, if you can be taught by someone who has already mastered something, it's probably going to be easier for you. Hence, the fact that I had to flounder around for a number of years, where, if I had been a member of the Golden Dawn (say), I probably would have understood some things much quicker. Like I said, a lot of books are worthless, just a way for the author to make money. Also, many of the books are still written using a lot of symbolism that has to be cross-referenced and checked and researched to be understood....a lot of things are never to be taken literally, and you'll be lost for years trying to figure out the system by taking certain formulae to be literal rather than something symbolic that has to be understood subjectively. My comparison to karate is apt, I feel. I don't see it as any differently than that type of system.

However, yes, I am glad that everything is published in book form to be researched and read by whomever chooses.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
"Life is such a great disappointment."
-Oscar Wilde

#58 lady_constantine

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 08:09 PM

View PostChristian, on 10 May 2016 - 06:14 PM, said:

Well, you're missing my whole point, Dog. The point is exactly that you cannot do what someone is doing who has studied an involved system of magic for years just by buying a Book of Shadows or Necronomicon off the store shelves, and that's why so many people still don't understand the first thing about magic, even after reading all those mass-market books that promise "power" and "wealth" with a few simple spells. If you have magical knowledge, and you're using it to make money, then you've completely wasted all of any ability you may have gained through taking the time to actually learn magic.
That's why I have a problem with those type of spell books, because they're total come-ons, trying to lure materialistic, gullible people in to spending their cash, then expending a lot of energy for something they can do without ever buying a book of magic.
LaVey's system is based around the goal of gaining power and money, but it's the same thing you can learn in such "magical" tomes as Ayn Rand's entire line of books or The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
Like I said, if you want to understand magic, I'd recommend reading and re-reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland before I'd ever recommend picking up Buckland or the Necronomicon.
However, if you want to become part of a religion known as "Wicca" or just want to pick up something fun, there's nothing wrong with picking up a Buckland book or the Necronomicon, just don't buy such books to learn magic. If you want to learn how to become a selfish asshole who spends his/her time looking down on someone for "attending public school", by all means pick up The Satanic Bible.

I don't understand why you have such a problem with this elitism. Do you have this same problem with ninjitsu? Oh, that damn old ninja master in his dojo, saying he's so powerful! Who needs that? I'll go to the store and buy books and teach myself how to do kung-fu! Look, I found a book that teaches me how to break a piece of wood with my hand! I'm learning to do that! Look at me now, I'm a ninja master now too! Ha, ha! I know everything a sensei can know now!
Is putting in time, effort, energy, and work really that big of an issue with you in life? Do you think everyone just starts out on an equal foot and can accomplish everything easily? Does it piss you off that a brain surgeon is getting paid so much more money than a general practitioner doctor? Do you think that everyone should just be a brain surgeon when they start out in the medical field, because otherwise, the brain surgeon must be some elitist who thinks he's worth more than a regular doctor? Don't you think it takes a lot of time, effort, and energy to learn to be a brain surgeon?
That's the whole point. If you want to actually understand something and be good at something, it takes time, effort, and energy. That applies to pretty much everything in life, whether the mundane or the supernatural. You have to put work in to something to get something out of it. Someone who has been studying something for 20 years is going to have more understanding and skill than someone who spent half an hour for the past five days trying to master something.
Do you really think Chaos magicians think that way? "Oh, I've been practicing this for 5 hours a day for the past 20 years, but that little girl just bought a Book of Shadows and went home to read it for 15 minutes. Now, she's at the same level as myself!". Of course not! Look at Grant Morrison in his "magical" feud with Alan Moore, where he says that he's been involved with the occult since he was a teenager, while Moore has only been doing this since the 1980s.
Can anyone pick up a spell book and use it to achieve something small, if they really want to? Yes, they can. If they think that's the entirety of what practicing magic entails, they're a white belt in karate. A white belt in karate is not going to have the skills and abilities of a black belt in karate. Those are just the simple facts.

i agre actually agree mostly...but being a heterosexual white male with cash gets you places.i never had the money to invest in  the occult like i wanted too,from buying the proper herbs,or going to places to hand pick them (it don't grow near me,etc)...think about this...why do you think constantine wtarted out as a hedge mage and comes up with other ways around his spells (which sometimes back fires).you can have all the time and study all you want but some people are just naturally born with an advantage others don't have.who has the time,money and resources to get as much experience in as some people.

i also believ some of this is natural ability too...there are ghost hunters out there desperately trynna find spirits ,where as someone like myself can walk ina room and get hit by a bad case of vertigo (my mother is especially sensitive to these things) .Also both parents delt with the occult--that is an ADVANTAGE I have over others.the problem sith elitism  is it assumes everyone has the same access to the same resources and has to jump through the same hoops.

and with occultism,it assumes that indivisuals took the same path and studied the same doctrine with the same religion,cult,etc,with practicioners on the same level of skill.

my first introduction was living in a haunted house...from there,listening to stories form my parents,to perceptions of strange things and living around santaria practitioners(latino neighborhood).Then I ran with aguy who was 1/2 navajo,and 1/2 african and began visiting a local occult shop .Things kinda dropped from there when my father found out and a lotta books got torn and a lotta herbs got dumped down the toilets...

also,how are we rating this? by knowledge alone...yes,experience is key (which is again a privelage because who has that kinda time in their life to practice,the money to buy what is needed and knows the right people)....so i believe that the only guage of this could be knowledge of the occult .and some kid who just brought a book ,can't top someone who had been digging around in it for decades....experience is iffy,because what if one person is a voodun practitioner and another does kabalah,and another is a shintoist? or what if someone is a master at divination (which i never practiced because i always believed if the most high wanted me to see the future,it would be and has been shown to me) or someone specializes in conjuration of spirits .What if
you're a jack of all trades,master of none?
Wanna know what ol' Conjob gets up to nowadays? Read 'The Laughing Magician's Journal http://a-laughing-magicians-journal.blogspot.com/'.Also,check out his latest adventures at 'Elseworlds Legends http://elseworlds-legends.blogspot.com/ http://so-tru-review.blogspot.com/

#59 lady_constantine

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 08:16 PM

View Postdogpoet, on 10 May 2016 - 07:43 PM, said:

The elitism I'm on about here is people refusing to teach what they know, and refusing to accept that people who have studied independently of them can know enough to be taken seriously, however much time and effort they've put into it. People who refuse to disseminate information in order to ensure that their chosen following are in a superior position to all of the scum who have to draw on other sources. Clear now?
yup.

said people exist.

i don't believe in this attitude ,because how do you keep the knowledge alive without teaching? ...but then again,many people do not beilieev such a thing.

however,curse and things,i understand not teaching toothers,that could be a problem.I shy away from anything other than mild hexes which are  still scary because my soul isn't worth the price of vengeance; i can simply get street justice on that ass.i just made sure i knew pragmatic stuff like turn-about curses and protection during my run (thinking of getting back more heavily into the occult--life feels kinda empty without it)

and while one doesn't know what happens in the after life...i ain't takin' no chances
Wanna know what ol' Conjob gets up to nowadays? Read 'The Laughing Magician's Journal http://a-laughing-magicians-journal.blogspot.com/'.Also,check out his latest adventures at 'Elseworlds Legends http://elseworlds-legends.blogspot.com/ http://so-tru-review.blogspot.com/

#60 dogpoet

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 09:00 PM

View PostChristian, on 10 May 2016 - 08:08 PM, said:

Yeah, I still don't think there's a lot of people involved who refuse to teach....
Trust me, there's plenty of them out there. It sounds like LadyC's met a few of them.

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At the same time, if you can be taught by someone who has already mastered something, it's probably going to be easier for you. Hence, the fact that I had to flounder around for a number of years, where, if I had been a member of the Golden Dawn (say), I probably would have understood some things much quicker.
Would you have understood these things as deeply, though? Would you, in fact have understood them at all, rather than just being told which bits to learn parrot fashion?

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Like I said, a lot of books are worthless, just a way for the author to make money. Also, many of the books are still written using a lot of symbolism that has to be cross-referenced and checked and researched to be understood....a lot of things are never to be taken literally, and you'll be lost for years trying to figure out the system by taking certain formulae to be literal rather than something symbolic that has to be understood subjectively. My comparison to karate is apt, I feel. I don't see it as any differently than that type of system.
You don't feel that sorting out the wheat from the chaff is part of the effort involved in learning how to do something that you were talking about, then? The first step of learning to do something that's (if we're honest) completely abstract is finding out what works and what doesn't.

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However, yes, I am glad that everything is published in book form to be researched and read by whomever chooses.
Glad we can agree on that much at least.

Lady C:
Sadly, some people believe that knowledge works the same way as physical assets, and so its value can be enhanced by scarcity. Refusing to pass it on can thus make it seem more valuable, and make those few who you do deign to pass it on to feel more substantial as well. These are the elitist fantasies which Christian found my talking about offensive (and apparently misunderstood as me refusing to read Schopenhauer), but your point about the time and expense it can take to seriously dig into this stuff is another issue with this, which definitely shouldn't be ignored. I shudder to think how much you'd spend going through Abramelin's system, to pick an obvious example. In a few cases, the time you'd spend not working because you're spending all day doing preparatory stuff for months on end before you can even start in on the workings that interest you are going to cost a lot more than even the priciest occult text. (And those are pricey.)




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