My wife happened to notice I had bookmarked a Meetup site which was offering a Pre-Vatican II Mass. This is fairly important because after 1960 or so, the Catholic church changed considerably. The long and short of it is that the Roman Catholic church decided to reconcile itself to the modern world, and made the rituals more “accessible”. For me, who is some sort of Hermetic Gnostic, reconciliation to the modern world is important (I live here after all) but robs the Western Mystery Tradition of it’s teeth. Making things “easy” is not making it “right”. Easy tends to do one thing well and gloss over the subtlety, so it’s “easy” to follow Christ. Or it’s “easy” to follow Mohamed. For those of us seriously thinking about stuff, not only is the path not easy, but it can be downright lonely. Who do we share the universe with? Since our universe exists within ourselves and we realize the physical world is only a small part of a greater reality, the manifest of that reality has almost a Buddhist reduction to nihilism wherein we are only populated to ourselves and our godhead.
I love my wife and kids, but it’s a rare moment I truly understand whats in their hearts, or any persons heart for that reason. I don’t think think the majority of people know what is in their own hearts let alone anyone else’s. Unfortunately this is a minor bullet point to the much larger problem where people don’t acknowledge the world inside. A rare number do. Even a scant few of those acknowledge a spiritual realm to the interior world. I suppose this is a problem with the West, which is why I tend to hang out with pre-industrial revolution religious texts. How recent or high tech can I get in history where people still write about religion without wandering into either new age revival or materialism?
The New Age revival (and the “fixes” applied to Abrahamic Religions) have resulted in two serious problems – hostility towards Abrahamic religions, and the abandonment of literally aeons of Theological thought. Remember that there’s overlap between Christianity (or Islam, or Judaism) to “pagan” religions. Christianity takes a lot of Roman holidays. Islam owes a lot of it’s origins to old Arabic, which had only 22 letters – similar to some rune sets, and now has 28 letters, which makes it useful for working with the Mansions of the Moon. Judaism has contributed immeasurably to the progression of too many things in Ceremonial Magic to list. But the point is, magic is doing decidedly pagan things with Abrahamic religions and it gets results and speaks to people. Being hostile towards Abrahamic religions and not wanting to study them tosses the baby out with the bathwater, there is some seriously cool stuff in the Old Testament, for instance.
The abandonment of Theological thought I can sort of understand. Picking and choosing things from religious texts to use them for my own ends is typically frowned upon by doctrine. The rub here is that this is exactly what everyone did organizing their own religions and sects. I tend to interpret this as more a prohibition about modifying the religion and calling it “The” correction version rather than an interpretation. However I think picking and choosing is perfectly valid. A screwdriver is still a screwdriver no matter what other tools it hangs out with, so use it for what value you might find in it.
I realize I’m arguing against myself – this is the old “nothing is an absolute reality, everything is permitted”.Hopefully next week when I’m not working 30 hour days I’ll have time to catch up with someone who has authentic natural magic not influenced by New Age thought and be able to write some of that. Other running projects include an actual cloth with a circle printed on it (something I’ve wanted to do forever) and the evocation of some pernicious spirits to haunt the crap out of the sex offender who just moved into my neighborhood.