The night before the Orlando massacre, I got into a fight with my best friend and we said some pretty nasty things to one another. The whole thing hinged on her dissing my religion. Once we’d unhooked the barbs we’d thrust into each other’s hides and smoothed things over, it occured to me that her assumption that I was “going off and being a fucking hippie” (with all the presuppositions of flightiness that entails) wasn’t entirely unreasonable.
You see, I don’t discuss my religion much. Fellow Facebook travellers (observant ones, anyway) will note the occasional solstice posting, or Thelemic marginalia but I mostly keep it low key. The truth of the matter (morality be damned!) is that I consider public displays of religion to be in very poor taste. And, regardless of how broke I often am, good taste is something to which I still aspire. How well I succeed in my art is up to my peers and readers. At least thus far no one has choked to death on my religion.
So, for the record …
I am a Wiccan and a Thelemite. My initiatory path is via the Alexandrian tradition, my First Degree presided over by a student of Jan Farrar’s. From that basis and training, I pursued a spiritual life grounded in the Western esoteric traditions. In 1994 I accepted the Law of Thelema and two years later committed to what is generally known as the Left Hand Path. I am a pagan, an alchemist, a student of the Mysteries and a magical researcher. My area of specialization is reconstruction of Ancient Sumerian texts and ritual forms. Although this work is primarily intellectual in nature, my Wiccan training keeps me grounded and provides an outlet for – well, let me put it this way: “research and development”.
Because the nature of our public life enjoins us to not discuss religion, I refrain from doing so except around the like-minded. But sometimes religion finds appropriate expression in public life. Although we on the Left Hand Path scoff when we hear the pallid “thoughts and prayers” of smarmy politicans (and laugh when you threaten to pray for us), there is a time and a place for all things. And a more public expression of my religion and involvement in the occult has now become appropriate.
I am increasingly inclined to view the man-made institutions of the liberal Western democracies as dysfunctional and – where wholesale corporate ownership of government is concerned – antithetical to the interests of (and ultimately fatal to) human life. I have been and remain a committed socialist, but am now convinced the electoral apparatus in both Canada and the USA is sufficiently broken so as to preclude an accurate representation of the peoples’ will. Furthermore, the corruption of the elites, worship of money and deepening subversion of civil society in the interests of the wealthy and powerful have caused the Western democracies to enter a death-spiral toward a neo-feudal – and quite possibly fascist – future.
What then must we do?
I, for my part, am increasingly inclined to turn inward for answers. But because I am a witch, turning inward does not preclude, but rather amplifies, my capacity to cause change in the physical world in conformity with my will. And because I am a Thelemite, I want that change to work for the benefit of all. I have therefore decided to abandon traditional political action for the time being and seek a place where social and spiritual activism intersect. Going forward, I will be working collaboratively with other occultists to seek radical, transformative solutions to the increasingly urgent problems plaguing our society, and our planet.
See you on the other side.
By the Witchcraft,