Tuesday, October 23, 2018

It's No Game

There's so much stupid out there that sometimes it gets pretty hard to figure out which particular flavor of stupid takes the cake. But my vote goes to all these idiots who dick around with black magic in hopes of scoring virtue points with Twitter bluechecks. 

And by that I mean numbnuts who screw around with hexes and curses in hopes of making some kind of political statement, however garbled.

I mean, why not just try juggling chainsaws? It's probably a lot safer in the long run.

On the face of it, this little LARP is little more than silly, an obvious publicity stunt for a Brooklyn boutique that will probably be gone this time next year. And it looks rather doofy and inert, at least to me, on a magical level.

What's more, I seriously doubt most of these people really believe in any of this. It's just a minor Millennial fad, really. Nothing to think twice about. Well, nothing for you or I to think twice about, unless we're hankering for a good smirk.

But here's the thing; these symbols and names have been around for a very, very long time. So for the sake of argument, let's assume that there may be spiritual entities lurking behind these spells and icons. Very, very old entities that have seen empires off. 

If so, do you really think they'd appreciate some hyper-privileged dysphorics constantly ringing them up and demanding that they take sides in some dumbass partisan pissing match?

And why -- oh, mother of fuck, why -- do these morons always assume that someone like Trump or Kavanaugh doesn't have a bunch of these entities (if not cabals of Kabbalists) in their corners already? It beggars belief. I guess for the same reason they need to believe that no one might be throwing any hexes back at their dilettante asses, like maybe someone who actually knows what they're doing?

I realize these emotional cripples are programmed entirely by the corporate media-- who are usually only slightly less stupid than themselves-- but do they really think those Republican types actually believe in the religions they give lip service to for Bible Belt votes? 

And how often do these spells need to fail before these folks shuffle back to their Maoist macaroni art or their Syndicalist interpretive dance (or cashing their trust fund allowances)? I guess some folks just don't get the message.

We saw the exact same kind of foolishness back in the 1980s. The parents of these poseurs actually believed that Reagan and his coterie were all a bunch of Bible-bashing yahoos who were out to create some ridiculous Handmaid's Tale fantasy world. Risibly stupid, I know.

Still, you heard this gibberish morning, noon and night for bloody years until former White House Chief of Staff Don Regan revealed that a San Francisco astrologer was the real power behind the throne and that the Gipper couldn't even wipe his ass without her writing up a chart first.

And that was Reagan, who was raised in a far more innocent age and place than the current occupant of the Oval Office. Does anyone believe for a second that Trump isn't deep into some weird shit, or at the very least pays someone to be into it for him? 

A New Yorker from a weird and connected family who spent his career in Atlantic effin' City gambling and Manhattan real estate? A guy who shot his game show at Mithraic Shrine Central (aka Rockefeller Plaza) for a decade and change?

I mean, get real.

Now, I don't want to give this nonsense more credit than it's worth, but it speaks to a larger issue that's been weighing on my mind lately. And that's the fact that more and more people out there seem to be acting as if they're demonically possessed. It's actually starting to get a little concerning.

I mean, you can look it all in purely secular and psychological terms (and in most cases, you probably should) but that's just a question of your own personal bias. 

But the constant barrage of occultic symbolism out there-- overt or covert-- isn't being shoved down everyone's throats for shits and giggles. These symbols have also been around for a long time and have been pretty well road-tested. They do stuff, however you choose to explain how or why.

Toss that in with all the divide-and-rule tactics-- which are by far the most egregious I've seen in my lifetime--and you've got a handy recipe for mass psychic meltdown.

As cliche as it might sound it is very much like ancient Babylon, particularly during the Neo-Assyrian period. And that's what troubles me, since even a cursory glance at some of the literature from that era depicts a population teetering on the verge of --you guessed it-- a mass psychic meltdown.

Demons were said to be absolutely everywhere at all times. And witchcraft and/or magic were practiced by pretty much everyone. In many ways, that was the religion of the people.

Some great magical literature came out of this time, such as the more metal-than-Morbid Angel Maqlû (which Peter Levenda gleefully appropriated for his Necronomicon) and the Šurpu. But you also had a corpus of laments that seem to paint a picture of a culture trapped in the teeth of the black dog of depression:
My god has forsaken me and disappeared,
My goddess has failed me and keeps at a distance.
The benevolent angel who walked beside me has departed,
My protecting spirit has taken to flight, and is seeking someone else.
My strength is gone; my appearance has become gloomy;
My dignity has flown away, my protection made off...
And we all knew how it ended up not long after all this. Namely with a Persian fellow named Koresh blowing into town and making Babylon, the envy of the world for centuries, his personal footstool. 

That's the thing with trafficking with spirits; they're fickle as hell, or so I've been told.

Now, any random Babylonian kindergartener was probably better-versed in magic than these poor squibs with their sad Trump "spells", but that same kid probably was taught to be a good deal more circumspect about using it. I have no doubt that these people don't actually believe in magic because if they did they wouldn't be nearly as thoughtless about using it.


Because the only way you believe in magic is having experienced it and that usually entails a lot of having your ass kicked by it. That's my understanding, at least.

I mean, think about it for a second; let's just posit there's some ancient entity with the power to change the course of history. Why the fuck would they care if you sat around and lit candles and blew smoke up their asses? What's in it for them? How exactly would you even get their attention?

How did real witches get the spirit world's attention? Well, I hate to break the news to everyone who's thrilled to the feminist vegan wicca wisdom of Marjorie Von Wombat-Raven and Gertrude Silver-Squirrel, but real witches got themselves noticed by killing things and offering them up to whatever demon they wanted to throw a curse at their husband's mistress or catamite.

I mean, god-damned housewives thought nothing of slitting a lamb or piglet's throat at some minor ritual to some minor god or goddess as some minor shrine. You think actual witches settled for less than that? I mean, I realize you don't think that, but those Tumblrista feebs in Brooklyn seem to.

So, yeah, the spirits are most definitely not vegans. Have I said that before? Well, it bears repeating.

That's what's so brilliant to me about A Dark Song. Sure, the gates get good and opened but only after long, excruciating months of pain and terror. Angels and demons (but I repeat myself) seem to enjoy human suffering as much as they love blood and death. If you want them to fudge your tax returns you'd better be willing to pony up the pain, bitch. Just natural facts.

And no half-measures, either. Half-measures seem to earn you double the life-fucking, for some reason. I can't quite explain it but I'm sure someone like Gordon White or Paul Weston could. Ask them.

You see, however you choose to define or explain it, all this shit has real consequences. It's not a hobby and it's not a game. Fuck around with it with imperfect courage and a lack of humility and best-case scenario, you'll go insane. Worst case, you kill yourself. But only after everyone you care about is destroyed.

But even if you approach it all with utter dedication there's still no guarantee it won't destroy you. There's a very long line of brilliant magicians, men with IQs that'd make Einstein or Hawking weep in desolate despair, who were annihilated by their commerce with angels and/or demons. Look it up.

Again, think about it rationally. I mean, I fully realize that's a raging oxymoron but humor me; if you really believe there are powers that are able to overrule the laws of physics on your behalf, what's in it for them? I mean, why would they? 

The only reason I can think of is that they're fixin' on eating your fucking soul, only they're not going to let you know that until they've set their table and poured the bubbly.

And again, if you want to take a reductionistic, psychiatric kind of POV on all this, be my guest. It all ends up going down the same hole either way.

One of the most sobering books I've ever read is Mysteries and Romances of the World's Greatest Occultists by the Irish pop-esoterica author Cheiro. It's a grim account of desolation and destruction for the most part. It doesn't deal with Crowley or Parsons but I suppose it doesn't need to.

Because Cheiro dives into the histories of folks like Dee, Paracelus and Cagliostro and catalogs the wreckage they made of their lives. I'm sure you all have plenty of your own examples to cite. Maybe these folks were trainwrecks to begin with but I'm sure you could find a lot of folks who were riding high before the spirits took notice of them

Don't get me wrong, there really isn't an epidemic of dimwits screwing around with black magic out there. Not by any means. But there actually doesn't need to be for things to get good and fucked up. 

Terence McKenna once said that a healthy society could only afford to have some minuscule proportion of the population seriously involved with psychedelics. I forget the exact figure but it was something like .025% or something. Double that number to .05% and things got kind of shaky, or so the Bard seemed to think. 

For my dollar the exact same can be said about the occult.

Which may be exactly why so many people out there seem to have become demon-possessed and/or ragingly psychopathic. (I mean, is a bluecheck some kind of new-model demon's brand? Let me know in the comments). You can only bend a paperclip so much before it breaks, if you get my meaning.

So, Tarot cards, Ouija boards, ritual magick, astrology? I say leave them to the adepts, the ones willing to accept the consequences if it all goes tits up.  Same way climbing skyscrapers and diving off cliffs can be quite thrilling to watch but in my opinion they're not really something you can dabble in. 

The best thing that could happen otherwise is that you just waste a lot of time and money and those pesky spirits pay you no never mind. And Satanism? Ugh, forget it.

Call me a square, call me a stick in the mud, go to town. But I believe any halfway qualified magus will tell you the exact same thing. I wouldn't bother to say anything if I didn't care. 

I realize this sounds facile and ridiculously corny but I only want everyone to be happy and enjoy their lives as best they can. I'm sure that will be my ultimate undoing.