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Archive for October, 2013

Just when you think you’re done and over with a blog, with a lifestyle, something grabs your attention and makes you swing back over for one last hurrah. A last time for everything, and this will be the last time.

So, I’ve been seeing a ton of posts lately on other blogs (I won’t quote or point them out since I still don’t like being a jerk) that talk about how magick and Christianity really mix well, how Christianity is naturally magickal in many of its forms and there is no reason why you can’t be a good Christian and practice magick.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call bullshit.

Hey, I used to do something like this! (The Witch of Endor)

We can talk theory, we can talk how philosophies and religious practices have mixed and mingled over centuries (and they have: I’d be a moron not to acknowledge that pagan and Jewish religious practices did not inform my own religion and that my own religion could not have gotten where it is today without them), we can talk about how SO MUCH magick comes from Christianity or Christian authors. Enochian is a good example. A lot of the grimoires is another. I know there’s a Pope or two who authored some magickal texts and of course EVERYONE and his mother has heard of Simon Magus.

And then, of course, Christianity has a plethora of folk traditions that are witchcrafty or sorcerous in nature, as well as African Tribal Religions such as Voodoo, Santeria and Palo Mayombe which have mixed with Catholic elements from back when slaves were being brought to the various places in the Americas.

So, you know, I suppose it is POSSIBLE that you can be a magician and a Christian.

Can you be a GOOD Christian and a magician? Not so much.

(Simon Magus is trying to get St. Peter to charge a cover fee.)

I’m not getting into the Bible. I’m not getting into any of that. You can look up what the Bible says and argue interpretation with someone else. I’ve had enough Bible study in my day to hold my own but I do NOT have the energy tonight. Look up the Witch of Endor. Look up Simon Magus.

My main point is simple mechanics.

You’ve noticed by now that I keep saying “my religion”. Yes, much to my shock, have fully returned to the Roman Catholic Church. I couldn’t be happier, to tell you the truth. But one of the things that struck me strongly about my renewed faith was just that…FAITH. There are a lot of people claiming that Christianity is theurgy is magick…but theurgy by magick and a mystery worked by faith have different mechanics and while they may seem similar, are honestly two different things.

When you are a magician, you’re focusing on your own will and your own building up, correct? I mean, in theurgia, I remember always hearing about becoming the god that you are, a little god, and building up your own will so that it can lift you up from the state that you’re in and elevate you. When you are trying to reach the gods through theurgy, you are doing so through your own, or a co-operative will.  I will use the OTO’s Gnostic Mass as an example: when you consecrate the “hosts” in the Gnostic “Mass”, you use your will in drawing down whatever God (Hadit, Nuit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit, I’ve heard of others) to empower what you use. It tends to be an active process. (The ECG priest I live with attests to this, but also says it can vary.)

The Catholic Eucharistic Host

Christian mysticism and its esoteric mechanics are exactly the opposite of that. Their mysteries work via negation of the self and faith in God’s Love for man, which will move Him to see to our needs. The focus is upon doing the Will of God and being as an empty chalice for Him to fill. You may direct the power as his mortal emissary (say, as a priest), but this power is not yours- it belongs to God. When the priest seeks to consecrate the Host for communion, he doesn’t use his own power- God acts through Him and the Host is consecrated because God wills it to be so. The process is passive and cooperative.

This is kind of the lynch-pin for why magick and Christianity don’t really work well. Christianity already has it’s own esoteric practice, and it is based in mysticism: its goals are the negation of the self, union with God. The Christian seeks to empty themselves of them self to make room for the Presence of the Beloved, and does not resort to using magick since faith in the Beloved is enough- the sweet and the bitter. All actions done by the esoteric or mystically inclined Christian are done as a matter of faith, not will. Magick, by its nature, is based on the will and with the self as a focal point. This is true whether or not you’re conjuring a goetic demon to get help with whatever temporal matter you want help with, or wither you’re using theurgy to reach a certain god for assistance or henosis. And, well, from what I remember of my theurgy days, as well as my days in other magickal traditions, one of the primary goals is to become a “little god”. You know, what is that weird biblical saying that I kept repeating to myself three months ago? OH YEAH!

The first commandment. THOU SHALT NOT HAVE OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.

That doesn’t only speak to pagan gods, you know. It speaks to money, power, love, lust, temporal matters. It speaks to spiritual and emotional and mental things like wisdom, knowledge, etc.

It also speaks to taking ourselves as a god. Kind of a violation of the first commandment and a bad, bad mortal sin.

The Ecstacy of St. Teresa…she thought that God had the God-thing down and didn’t need her help. Nope.

If you want to call Christianity “theurgy”, you’re not that far off the mark…but understand it is a theurgy (or rather “mystery”) by FAITH, and not MAGICK. Very different. One of the articles I read explicating Christianity as Theurgy and Christ as the Initiator was very well done. I didn’t agree, but the guy has some serious intellectual chops.

Anyway…

With Christian mysticism, you ascend to God according to His Will…Who thankfully wants you there enough to do the heavy lifting. No need for Neo-Platonic world maps, no need for understanding the song of the sirens afixed to their wheels, no need even for candles, books, or words. No need for your own will. It’s really, in the end, between you and God, and how much you’re willing to trust.

Disclaimer: I am not saying pagans are bad (that would make me a hypocrite and an asshole), I am not saying magicians are bad and while I’m vehemently saying why I don’t and will never agree with Christian Magicians, those of you who are? Your business. Not mine. Jesus also said something very important about how it really sucks to judge other people. And while I am stating my opinion here (being a new Christian and a former magician, it kind of hit me close to home), I have not called you out since I didn’t want to bring any grief to you. (Or potentially. Whatever.)

So there you have it. Here’s 10 cents- my 2 cents is free.

And I promise, this *IS* the last entry before total shut down.

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