BEHIND the veil of all the hieratic and mystical allegories of ancient doctrines, behind the darkness and strange ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling stones of old temples and on the blackened visage of the Assyrian or Egyptian sphinx, in the monstrous or marvellous paintings which interpret to the faithful of India the inspired pages of the Vedas, in the cryptic emblems of our old books on alchemy, in the ceremonies practised at reception by all secret societies, there are found indications of a doctrine which is everywhere the same and everywhere carefully concealed. Occult philosophy seems to have been the nurse or god-mother of all intellectual forces, the key of all divine obscurities and the absolute queen of society in those ages – when it was reserved exclusively for the education of priests and of kings. 

—Eliphas Levi, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, trans. A.E.Waite, 1896

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A follow-up to my “Necromancy of the Heart” post.

If you follow this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that in addition to my own services, I believe in promoting others who impress me or seem sincere in their practices.

I’ve written about Baal Kadmon (recently), Ray “Doctor Hawk” Hess, Sen Elias, Brother Moloch, Lon Milo DuQuette, Damon Brand, Ajahn Brahm, Headology & the Witch, Molly Roberts, The Digital Ambler, Kelly-Ann Maddox, Josephine McCarthy, cat yronwode, Debra Katz, and Sonia Choquette, among many others.  I recommend you seek these people out online and in print.  Listen to what they have to say with an open mind because they can teach you a lot.  And that is a big part of being a public magician and overall spiritual worker—spreading insight and helping people find their own truth by giving examples and suggestions.

Today, I also want to add this ancestral altar video by Sshivani Durga, an occultist who also offers spiritual services.  I can’t endorse those services because I have not experienced them firsthand.  But I think her videos are very good and would like to recommend them at least as starting points.  You may want to investigate the services she offers as well.

In “The Necromancy of the Heart,” I talk about a quiet way to help your ancestors “wake up” to you.  But if you can make a traditional ancestral altar, this video may be inspiring.

The Occult Communities Are Falling Apart | Baal Kadmon

The more I get to know Baal Kadmon through his books and commentary, the more I like him and think he’s a sincere practitioner.  After meditating on my 7 Spiritual Practices this morning, I noticed Kadmon’s post in my RSS feed and see his message here as an expression of my first practice, “Live and Let Live.”  He’s a good writer and I think he deserves our attention. – S+A

 

Source: The Occult Communities Are Falling Apart | Baal Kadmon

Spirituality is not a question of intellectual property. No one owns it.

The image above was taken from the blog of an occultist I respect.  He didn’t write this, but he’s talking about it quite a bit.  In case you can’t read the text in the image, it is: “Dear NonNatives: Nothing is your spirit animal.  Not a person, place or thing.  Nothing is your spirit animal.  You do not get one.  Spirit animals derive from Anishinaabe and other tribes deeply held religious beliefs.”

This is why I have to wear masks to talk with some people about spirituality.  My appearance doesn’t conform to the “appropriate” stereotypes for the magic I do.  And yet it works for me.  I didn’t have to be “chosen.”  I chose myself and the world agreed.

As soon as you combine spirituality with ANYTHING (politics, race, national identity, sexuality, money, who gets to police whom about what, who gets to speak and what is allowed to be said, what someone says is real and true vs. what we must all believe is delusional and false if we expect to be considered good citizens), you’re taking something away from someone and giving it to yourself.  If you’re doing this as part of a consensual exchange, so be it.  If you’re doing this to someone without their consent, you’re enacting spiritual violence.

Stop that.

Granted, there are good politicalsocial, and economic arguments to be made about cultural appropriation.  Granted, it’s time for certain groups to take power back in political, social, and economic areas.  But please keep those political, social, and economic considerations off my altars.  My spirits don’t care.  They want offerings and interaction.  They want to work.  They don’t ask what color my skin is. 

And you know what?  I don’t care what color your skin is.  I’m open to everybody by default.  I don’t care where you were born or what you look like.  Come over to my house with that same degree of openness and we can sit down over some matcha tea or one of my cups of rocket fuel coffee and talk about philosophy all day long.  I’ll bet we have something to learn from each other that will make us both better people.  But come at me with hate in your heart and you will seriously regret the journey.  I promise you that.

Can a gay black African woman do Golden Dawn magic?  Are you kidding me?  Of course. 

Can a straight white European man do hoodoo?  Yes, indeed, he can.

Can a non-Native person have a spirit animal?  Who are you to say no?  Are you sitting on that non-Native’s altar?  If you are, what are you doing there?  Were you invited?  If you aren’t or you weren’t, please take your political, social, and economic concerns elsewhere and let the non-Native talk to her spirits. 

More non-Natives should be talking to spirit animals (and spirits in general).  I suspect that the more spirituality we have, the better things get.  Think about that.  It might make you a little less angry and a little more motivated to feed your loa.

If you want to do what I do and charge for spiritual work, be my guest.  If you want to express your concerns about post-colonialism and cultural appropriation, that’s a good thing, too.  Have at it.  But never assume you can tell people what kind of spirituality they “get” to have based on some aspect of their identity

In that, all you’re doing is revealing how politically, socially, or economically upset you are.  All you’re doing is trolling.  You’re not bringing more Spirit into the world that way.  Quite the contrary.  You’re burning bridges that should cross cultures and bring people closer. 

And, if that is the case, I feel sad for you.