Looking for something new to learn?

If you haven’t yet, and have the money to spend, I would highly advise that you give Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery class a try.

Why you ask? Well good, I’m glad you did.

1. You will likely learn at least three new things that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Things that you will use.

2. Jason is a great dude to learn from, and very approachable.

3. You can’t tell over the internet, but he smells delightful.

4. Your fellow students: Interacting with a variety of folks and seeing their results and experiments is not just fun, it is useful. It’s also a good place to meet new “camp friends”.

5. It starts Friday! Get some!

On a serious note, it really is a great class. Very informative, and done by a dude who walks his talk. If you are new to occultism/Magick and want a place to start with more interaction than a book, this is a good choice. If you are already a seasoned practitioner and just want to do some continuing education, this is a very good choice.

So.. yeah! Do something new. Class is almost in session.

A Beautiful Mother’s Day (Observed)

My Dear Friend,

Today was quite a lovely day indeed. Deb and I took my mom to New Hope, PA for a magical adventure. Literally. Mom wants to get her witch on.  It was Pride week so the city was virtually wrapped in rainbow flags, overflowing with bikers, and a spirit of celebration was all around.

We first stopped for lunch at Marsha Brown’s which is a Cajun/creole restaurant housed in an old decommissioned church. Mom and Deb had some really kick ass burgers, and I had a passable crispy eggplant po’boy. A trip was taken to Twist for fiber arts purposes, and of course the main event: Witch Stores.

We stopped at Mystical Thymes and Gypsy Haven. On the way up mom shared with us some of her problems with her current landlord, and we decided to make a plan involving spell work, and thanks to the proprietor of Mystical Thymes, it also involved some strategies on renter’s rights.

Back home we went to make some Magick and eat some bread pudding and have some coffee. Deb read Mom’s cards, and we both took turns at cleansing the magical tools and such that my mom confiscated from my aunt who was trying to save her very unwholesome marriage with Magick.

I have to say, my aunt had a pretty good arsenal. Sage, herbs, curios, goofer dust, cards, runes.. It looked like a satchel Giles would carry in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, except no crucifixes or wooden stakes. Maybe Mom left those for my aunt. I am not too certain what exactly my aunt was trying to do (not sure she knew either. ), but she was sure well supplied for.. whatever it was.

We returned much of the cleansed goods, and kept those that were donated to our cause.

Mom is really finding her own in her Cronehood. I am really proud of her for some reason. She always reverenced Mother Earth as her Goddess, but I really love that she is leaning in to this new phase and taking this phase of her life to be all about her.

It was such a blessing to have such a wonderful day.

The Favor of Kings… and how to avoid it.

My Dear Friend,

A few years ago I lobbied that the place of the Worker was at the left hand of power. Serving Kings and elites. John Dee syndrome. Everyone wants to hustle to better themselves. That isn’t shocking. However, I have since changed my tune.

There is a pseudo-Chinese curse that goes thus: “May you gain the notice of those in high places.”

Aghori Vimalananda warned: “Never become friends with a King, a Yogi, Water, or Fire.” A King can kill with a word, a Yogi with a glance, fire burns all it embraces, and water drowns all it loves.

To have the favor of kings is to be made a chess piece for designs more convoluted than you can imagine. Even our modern power elite have their uses for you. They may not be the uses you want to be used for.

It’s also the problem with fame. Fame can become infamy very easily. I am sure Zen Jen got a bit of a boost being Energist to the Housewives. But if Zen Jen was Energist to the Clintons.. I think it would be a bit different, and much less light-hearted. Maybe some weather control for smooth skies for a flight from Nicaragua to Arkansas. Or something even less friendly.

Marilyn Monroe had the favor of the Kennedy clan till she didn’t, and was found dead in her home.

John Dee had the favor of Gloriana till she died, and then he retired to Mortelake, selling his possessions to eek by.

Jack Parsons had the favor of the military industrial complex until the unfortunate explosion in his home lab.

The tallest tree is always cut first.

It is a grand temptation to power, to be that close to the hand that pulls the strings, but those strings are tangled. What moves the puppets can wrap the neck just as easily.

There is wisdom in smallness. There is sense in simplicity. There is longevity in uselessness. It’s easy to think that a useless thing is destroyed first, but that isn’t usually so.

A gnarled tree is useless to the wood-cutter, as it is a lot of work for them to cut, and no one can make anything useful of the wood. Being useless means that you can’t be used.

Let me say that again: Being useless means you can’t be used.

To court the favor of Kings is to make yourself a tool for those Kings. Good tools do their jobs. Good tools are useful. Good tools are used until they break.

Useless trees grow while their useful siblings are cut to make useful tools.

How to Pay Attention.. and maybe get a refund.

My Dear Friend,

I am currently on mini break in the wonderful Lovecraftian state of Rhode Island. Jamestown to be precise. We did a brief drive by of Coventry, which boasted no less than three occult book stores! Two of which were closed and one of which you must need a token of some kind to find, as it has several addresses.. none of which led to an actual store.

However, at the moment I am sitting at a lovely cafe by the water, on a retreat mini-break to collect myself, renew my vigor, and sharpen my focus. My better half is on her laptop right across from me, and it looks to all outside parties as if we are engaged in a really serious game of Battleship.

I needed this get away more than I can describe to you. Let’s be honest. Life can be exhausting. Just the day to day business of living. It is easy to feel pulled in 10,000 directions at once, because most days.. we are. So many things compete for our attention that are completely valid and useful, and ten times that number that are just useless distraction.

Remember, where the mind goes, power goes. Where is your power going? Take a few deep breaths and say it out loud: Where is your power going?

Your attention is a commodity. It’s a thing that can be gathered, spent, taken from others, or stolen by others. You literally pay attention when you focus on someone or some thing. The stronger your ability to focus, the stronger your mind, and the more deftly you’ll be able to control your vital energies. Also the more invisible connection and information you will be able to get in general, be it from a conversation with a friend, a Yantra, or a complex sigil array.

Sacred art and architecture are things that are used to capture and direct your attention to the Divine. To provide ease of communion and contemplation. They focus the observer, and can give by design a sight of the Invisible. A spiritual imprint is left, like a witchmark, a token, an invisible sign that you have done something, and been somewhere special.

Television is pretty much the exact same thing by design. At one time a means of distributing information and entertainment, it is now a clever box that takes your attention and imprints it with images of the designer. It is an engineered experience designed to produce a change.  Either way it’s programming.

Look for old tropes, catch phrases, patterns, triggers, memes that have infested you, and are using your Life to play themselves out. They aren’t you. They are just patterns. They are just programs. They are just a snarl in the weave. Easy enough to untangle with time.

You can also call back the attention taken from you by the things themselves, reach out to those things that diminish you, feed off of you, and take back what is yours.

When you are centered in your body without pouring out your Life through your sense organs, you will have a sense of quiet observation. From there you can generate more Awake/Awareness, and have stronger faculties of focus and attention.

I know that sounds rather austere. However it’s not like you won’t be using your senses. Think of it as staunching blood loss so you can enjoy your favorite bodily functions.

Once you’ve found a way to build up your faculty of attention,   attention you have spent elsewhere, and untied knots of complexes and habit, you will find yourself more alive, not less. More aware, more plugged in. Gifted with an increased capacity to enjoy.

After all, don’t we pay our best attention to those things which are enjoyable? Isn’t that why we go on mini-breaks in the first place?

 

Magick at the Ends of Empire:Part I – Causes and Conditions

My Dear Friend,

Right now I am sitting in my dining room, listening to Melody Gardot’s “Your Heart is Black as Night”, and having a good think. I started writing this letter days ago, but never finished it. I would use life stuff as an excuse, as if we didn’t all have lives that took up our time. I’m compulsively concerned with wasting time lately.

I know I go on often about us living in strange and interesting times, but I don’t often elaborate. I’ve entrusted Gordon to do that for me. (And by entrusted, I mean he was doing that anyway, so why should I add my own pedestrian two cents?)

I was thumbing through “Magick Without Tears” the other day and musing on the life and works of the TGB. Meddling, it seems, falls under the purview of Wizards. We can jenga Fate, we can tilt the wheel, we can find the Red Queen more often than not. I’ve been wondering what we’ve been doing with all of our vaunted prowess.

An associate of mine proudly quotes that all he wants our of Magick is “Unfair Advantage”, and as an honest answer, I can respect that. There however seems to be a certain lack of social responsibility there. Enlightened self interest when carried to its logical conclusion must end in some kind of civic duty, as no person is an island.

For ultimate good or ill, at least TGB tried. He lived by his principles and did so quite to the end of his rather eventful life. Globe hopping, game of thrones-ing. It all sounds rather glamorous, and if we are keeping score he did do a decent job of influencing movers and shakers to great effect.

Is this the Aeon of Horus that he wanted? Probably not. Not with less freedom, more restriction, and more surveillance. However we are where we are. Now the big question is what do we do about it?

We can do what we’ve done: meet in back alleys and in basements. Set up in field and festival. Join hands and try to levitate the pentagon. Unless our efforts are spilling out into the greater field of activity, they aren’t strong enough to survive the current of the world as it is, and the world as it is, is incredibly broken. If all we are going to do is fiddle while the world burns, then we better be cranking out a masterpiece.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” -St. Paul – Also one of the many reasons he was favored by many Gnostic sects.

Whatever powers and principalities run the world don’t like random pieces on the board. Things need to go as planned. Except the plan is terrible. Whatever horrible game of global realpolitik is going on depends on distraction. It’s a slight of mind trick. Three card monty with the pot being the life of the planet. (“Aviary”, by Ego Likeness just came on, btw)

We don’t see the hands that pull the strings. An Alchemist I greatly admire once said to me in passing that the greatest enemies that humanity faces are invisible in one form or another. He isn’t wrong. The Path is Cash and Prizes. The Path is Self Development. The Path is carving the future. If we don’t others will for us.

I’ve said before that the world is an interesting place. Both good and bad. And I worry for us. I worry for you. (It’s how I show Love, Dear. ) Because without action, nothing changes. What are we to do in a world that is at once out of control, and at the same time set completely with control mechanism after control mechanism? Some might worry about disturbing the balance of things, but to be frank, the balance is already disturbed, and the scales are doing a jig trying to find equilibrium. Remember last letter where I spoke of Indra the Adamantine? This is not Indra’s order. This is the consequence of a dire corruption. This is dangerous time, and the world sickens because of the deeds done, and looks for a remedy.

It will take more than prayer and spellwork. It will take more than just you or I being amazing. (Who are we kidding, we are already far more than amazing, darling. ) It’s going to take action, and before that it will take community. It doesn’t have to involve masturbation and costumes, (later then.) but there does need to be a conversation, and whats more, connection. Without connection old ties fall apart. Without connection we stay silent, or scream lonely at the ether.

There is a lot to think of for both of us, because agree or not, something needs doing.

“Save Your Serpent” just came on, and I am tired. I think it’s time to call it a night.

I hope you are well, look out for yourself, and stay safe,
J

Catching Up..

My Dear Friend,

I’ve gone a bit off book lately. I know there are a few blogs that manage to stay on message AND interesting at the same time, and mine has not been one of them. What’s a boy to do? Well.. wine helps.

I’ve decided that I’m making this more of a love letter, an intimate sharing among friends, rather than screaming at the internet. I figure if I am talking to you, instead of yelling out the window, it may pique your interest more. It’s not that I am pandering for an audience (though it is nice to be appreciated, Dear.), because these letters will be here weather you read them or not. It’s more about finding your voice, and voices change over time. This is my latest iteration.

Let’s catch up. Since we’ve last talked I’ve made a career shift into managing a sales team and running a clinic. It’s much different than simply being your friendly neighborhood bodyworker/healer. Many mantras, a lot of hard negotiations, and a few difficult days later to get it. I do wish I did a bit more prep on myself before I got there, but here we are. You get what you worked for and now you must manage it. Getting your spot in the future is a lot like buying your own home: you never realize how much work it truly is until you get there.

Don’t worry, I won’t be beating my breast and lamenting my successes too hard. It’s just a change, and all changes need a period of adjustment. All caterpillars to butterflies. All that dissolves, reforms.

I’ve been focusing on my Alchemy lately. Combining all I have under that umbrella, as for me it blends all things and makes them whole. It’s been slow work, even with such a heated calcination, one must be careful not to crack after all. If you choose to tread the Royal Road, please be aware that your outer world will twist to shape your inner work. In some ways it would be easier to contain it all in a simple crucible. But when you are the materia the world is your athanoor.

And keep in mind as the heat of your Tapas gains notice, obstacles will be put in your path. The world wants to crack your vessel and steal your work. Steel yourself! Remove those blockages or outwit them. As I found out to my detriment, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. Indra sends His minions to restore blessed order. Persevere. I’m not saying the world is out to get you. I am saying the world resists large jumps of progress. The world resists inertia until you have enough inertia to move the world. Too many movers rips things up, causes too much Chaos. You can’t especially blame Indra the Ever Bright, Indra of the Blinding Magnificence. He just doesn’t want to see too many fires raging out of control. It disrupts the flow of things, and I can appreciate that.

Speaking of the Order of things lately, Interesting times, eh? It’s like the world is playing a strange combination of Russian roulette and combined with three card Monty. That needs another full letter; too much to go into here.

In other news: I’ve obtained a find copy of The Hermetic Garden, and have enjoyed its study dearly. We can go over that at length in my next letter unless other matters are more pressing.

Anyway, I’ve talked enough, please, tell me about you!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming..

Dear Reader,

Define for me the word: “Listless”.

I have been wondering for a while where I wanted to take this blog. Not this post, but this blog. Admittedly I’ve been all over the place lately. Most of it washing out as either heart-breakingly sentimental bleeding all over the internet, a hint of slapstick, and powdered sugar self help dusted on top. You’re sweet to say it isn’t so, but we both know that it is.

I know every entry can’t be Oscar gold. (Is there an award for blogging? Will blogging eventually be rolled into a legit form of journalism? Am I wearing pants while I write this?) However, I do think that they should be at least passably good, and have some sort of point to them. It’s a struggle with the melancholic temperament, the search for meaning. There needs to be a point.

It’s time for some changes in programming.

I’ve also been reading less of the interblag in general lately.

There are a few I keep up on, and a few I wish I would post, but my interest and enthusiasm in general is at an all time low.

I’ve been phoning it in, I’ll admit it. I’ve been so wrapped up in other things that I’ve been there for you less and less. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. I’ve been doing me. Exploring my horizons, working to put food on the table, and I know that’s left you lonely.

I’m back from the road now, and I know there are few tried and true ways to jump start a relationship like ours. We’ll go back to basics, you and I. A little you, a little me, a little Magick. I can’t promise I won’t stray sometimes, but I can promise I’ll always come home..

That’s how we get the machine to go, n’est-ce pas?

eldermittens

Infinite Mittens.

While driving down a scenic NJ highway:

Deb: What do you think you want to blog about today?
Jow : No idea. The well is dry, unlike my sinuses.
Deb: You can do the Alphabet game. Just think of something meaningful that begins with “A”.
Jow: Alphabet, Aardvark, Apple.

Deb: Something meaningful..
Jow: Angina!
Deb: Angina?
Jow: Heart Pain.
Deb: Uuuughh.

 “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh
wgah’nagl fhtagn!

Deb: …You can write about being infinite! (As per a previous conversation)
Jow: Being Mittens? What does that even mean?
Deb: Being INFINITE!
Jow: Ohhh.. Well that is a good idea.

It’s good to know that we have our hard of hearing octogenarian banter down now.

Aside from being a meme, “in that moment, I swear we were infinite” is from the book/movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, which is expertly done. I respectfully disagree with those who don’t like it.

Infinity is a problematic concept. Usually it’s a qualifier bounded by a noun: “infinite time”, “the infinite universe”, etc. In truth it’s something that needs to be experienced rather than talked about or defined by a formula. The only quality that Infinity would possess is that of boundlessness. No boundaries.

It’s a pretty deep thing. We’re talking the Ain Soph here. Ginnungagap. Wuji.

In most cosmological models it’s the base on which creation is built. Any time you loose a boundary, you are one step closer to the Infinite. However, every time you loose a boundary it is a little death. It’s that tricky thing where you gain by losing and lose by gaining.

It seems to be the mystics problem with “The World”. We are all infinite, put into finite forms and situations delineated by time/space. That push/pull causes apparent suffering as we get attached to things that will eventually disintegrate and fall apart.

It also highlight’s most folks problems with “Mysticism”, in that it runs counter to everything that nature urges us to do. Most people want to “be someone”. They take pride in “defining traits”, and when they have to make a stance, sometimes respond with “That’s not the kind of guy I am.” Boundaries give us security, a literal leg to stand on, and a way to navigate the world we live within without being trampled.

As a kid I had very poor boundaries. I would regularly give away too large portions of myself, my time, my money, for the sake of others to my own detriment. Then the pendulum swung the other way in young adulthood, where I was isolated, cold, distant, and selfish. More than once when being asked for help from someone I would respond with the heart warming:

Frieeeeeends Huuuuuug..

 “If it’s so important to you, do it yourself. You can’t do it yourself? Then you better think about things that are easier for you to manage.”

I was a cuddly as a face hugger, no? I am surprised I have any friends left from that period.

Now that I’ve mellowed some, and stopped being such an insufferable brat, I’ve realized that I need to do both. Being infinite doesn’t mean giving up everything as much as not identifying with it.. which is harder to do when you don’t give it up. “Being someone” isn’t constantly and violently living with a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” stuffed into your ass, (better in your ass than your mind, IMO) all the while policing your boundaries so hard that you chase off every bit of emotional warmth available to you.

Part of being infinite means that I realize that those were both me, and now I am something new. A chain of experiences and perspectives that shift like a great worm moving through space/time. A waveform of the Infinite.

That’s the fun part: I get to choose. When I was a violent, awful, miserable husk I did have an experience of the Infinite, like I had when I was a child in prayer, and that was the outcome: Choice. I was choosing to be this. I was choosing to be miserable, and I made the conscious choice not to be that way. I could be either. I could be anything. I could go out tomorrow and hunt down neighborhood children and turn them into sausage. I could leave the house and never come back, wandering the earth like Kane from Kung Fu. I could go to work and have leftover stew for lunch, and prepare for our yearly Operational Standards Review.

I can do any of those things.

It’s my choice, because in this moment, I swear we are infinite.

Eris

Mutations of NeoTheosophy

I have strange notions. One notion is that Gordon and Deb should get all the things they want out of life. We did share the grande sacrament of Teacup Vaulderie together, after all. Less blood though, and more gin. Mostly they wish for things that are reasonably sensible things that would cause little harm and a great deal of fun. 
When Gordon trotted out the term Neotheosophy I was stoked! What fun! Let’s play around with this and see what it looks like when we are done, shall we? If anything can be said about me, I’ll try just about anything twice. As a Nath in the American Nath Society, I totally dig the vibe. We tend to not take ourselves so seriously.
Speaking of seriously, apparently in Theosophical circles Neo Theosophy has already been made a derogatory term for the less pure teachings of Leadbeater and Besant, and anyone not Blavatsky. Oh Fundamentalism. You are no fun at all. Which you know.. is hillarious considering some of the immensely non cannon things that the Theosophists believe. Evil Drukpas! Mountain Mahatmas! Luckily they are very Indo-focused and India has a history of tolerance. 
I’ve got no problem with the non cannon bits, but it is a bit like saying that someone else fan fiction is totally WRONG, because those characters would NEVER do that. EVER. But YOUR Harry/Snape/Hermione three way is TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE! Everyone can have their own headcanon. All Gnosis is UPG until you can Verify it. Verification can be pretty easy. It doesn’t take a few televised celebrities and a stage magician to verify these things. We just use the scientific METHOD. 
We just did a thing. What the hell happened? Can we repeat it? 
Honestly, that is all a spiritual tradition is. THAT is it’s veracity. It doesn’t matter if it’s from Merlin, or Sai Baba, or Eris. Does it work? How does it work? The rest is just exposition. 
We can’t be afraid to get weird up in here. The world is waaaay weirder than we can even imagine. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try whatever works. Building a new framework out of bits and pieces that you find is a time honored Occult tradition. As a Spiritual Dumpster Diver myself I pride myself on it. 
If I only stuck to established formulae, and only worked within the confines of a particular tradition I wouldn’t have had nearly the breadth of experience I’ve had. I’ve generally had a hard time working the systems of others and having them actually work without me taking them apart and tinkering with them. Cross pollination and mixing have always been ways that practice evolves. Everything is from somewhere, and some things don’t work everywhere unless you MAKE them work. 
Stand up! Get Weird! Build something NEW! The world is changing, and pretty damn quick. We’ve got to be ready to change with the times, and admit new information, new findings, and be willing to put the blinders of previous ages down in order to see things as they are. 
We also can’t ignore the past of what works. And a lot did work, but maybe not in ways that we understand as moderns. Maybe the ancients got it a bit wrong as well. And just maybe we’ll never be able to understand how some of it works, but certain acts produce certain results. 
Get weird. Get results. Get moving! 
Theories are built and changed by results. Use all data points. Don’t be afraid to consult the Yogini on the Buffalo for advice, or consult your Pinael gland. Whatever works.
blair-witch-2-book-of-shadows-wiccan-girl

New Goods, Old Problems.

Slowly but surely I am plowing away through Apocalyptic Witchcraft by Peter Grey. The book is making me read it slowly. Just something about how Peter writes it forces you to slow down and taste every word. Bravo Mr. Grey!

Blair Witch 2 was pivotal in my Magical practice..
because of reasons.

I admire the call to arms in the work, and the pointing out of pivotal problems. It also addresses the role of the Witch in society, which can be a hard thing to pinpoint, as Witches are totally IN right now. Lots of media coverage of Witchiness. Hell, even a Real Housewife is a Witch. What makes the Witch? Is it the doing, or the consuming of Witchy goods.

We are still in a community that is marginalized, but it is a marginalization by commerce now. Just one more thing to be bought and sold. Usually in a way that doesn’t make actual Witches any money on the regular. Do we want to be respected? Do we want to be respectable? Will that hurt our practice? Will that hurt our community.

We’ve seen the same thing in every marginalized community. The LGBTQ community, the African American community, where culture becomes a product. And make no mistake we do have a culture. It isn’t all good. It isn’t all glam. It’s mostly marked by a certain “otherness” of not being able to fit in. Is all this blabbing about injuring the virtue of Silence in our community a help or a hindrance? I know Mr. Grey’s answer, but I honestly don’t know mine yet. As someone old enough to remember the Satanic Panic, I know what being on the outer fringe can look like. It looks like being hunted. When confronted with a perceived threat it’s natural first to attack, and then try to assimilate. Usually that assimilation works in favor of the majority culture who plucks out all offensive bits and leaves things sort of.. neutered.

Witchcraft is sex, drugs, and rock and roll to some extent. It’s about being natural, which by default means not always being friendly. What do you give up to fit in?

It’s a strange question to ask.. are you selling out or are you buying in? Is there a difference? Can you change a culture so radically out of synch with the natural word, or do you have to let it come crashing down first?

Honestly, I don’t know the answers. I do know that there is much in the world that is terribly wrong, and much of it unfixable, and will just run its course. It can get depressing. Powerful depressing. But we must use that as fuel for our fires. Decay, after all, is Nature’s slow burn, and the work of Saturn purging old structures in favor of a new compost.

I had a revelation recently, while watching the Rocky Horror Show in Bucks County Playhouse. I looked out over the organized chaos on the stage, the Actors all arrayed in their finest freak ensembles, with the audience doing the same.. I realized that is what I’ve been missing. That freakishness, that break from normality.

For a lot of folks in the 70’s through the 90’s Rocky Horror was THE place where you can be yourself publicly, and just have it accepted. When one person does something it’s madness. When a community does it you have a culture. You might still be one of “those people”, but you are still a community of those people who help, support, and accept. A place where you can take off your every day drag and just.. be natural.

The commercialization of culture is a way to neuter that cultural force by diluting it, by making it about only fashion, or food, or any other exportable thing. It exports a corpse, because the soul is gone from it.

Is that the price of acceptance, to have a homogenized soul put into a body that is now just a curiosity? No sense of struggle, no sense of history, just the outer trappings exported en mass for profit through consumption. All mysteries laid bare with no work done.

Make no mistake, Occulture is a thing. Today I almost bought a talking board t shirt. I didn’t not buy it because I thought it was bringing us down as a people.. but more because I thought it wouldn’t look right when put on.

 Occulture should not be a thing to be picked up and put down. It’s a spiritual practice, more important than the trappings or tools of that practice. It’s easy to get excited by the thought of really being accepted. But commercialization isn’t acceptance. It’s someone not of your folk making money off of your culture and history.

On the flip side, I remember the Goth/Witchiness of the 90’s (well.. I remember the parts I remember.. some are kinda blurry), and that commercialization is part of what made me brave enough to delve head first into the subject, into the culture. My first readings were from Time/Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown. Spellbooks were in Hot Topic right next to the pleather pants I would wear to my first showing of Rocky Horror at sweet sixteen. Everyone mourned Borders because that is where we would slack and discuss and stock our library if there were not occult book shop near by.

People feel that selling out means losing your soul. People don’t want to buy your soul, but they do want a piece of you. They want your jacket, your book, your experience lived vicariously though trappings. And as gross as that is, it can be THE stepping stone for them onto the Path. I know it was mine, and I am better for it.

That’s the thing about contagion, we both infect each other.

The life and musings of a modern Pagan, Magician, Alchemist, and Householder