I’m now at www.alchemicalmusings.com!

This site has had its ups and downs, so I’ve moved over all of my old posts and have a bunch of new ones here:



Please update your bookmarks accordingly. Thanks!

Public occultism: is it dying or merely an oxymoron?

Herein I will respond to a post on a public occultism blog which claims that public occultism is bad, and succeeds in demonstrating this but for entirely different reasons than the intention of the blogger and his post — and not just due to extreme irony.

Other rebuttals to this post are fantastic and I don’t feel the need to repeat and rehash their points. I will instead make a couple of points not fully covered which badly need to be addressed:

Firstly, let’s cover the definition of public:

1. of, relating to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole: public funds; a public nuisance.
2. done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole: public prosecution.
3. open to all persons: a public meeting.

Next, the definition of occultism:
supernatural forces, being, and events collectively
hidden from view
The inherent problem of “public occultism” is exposing something to public view which typically isn’t meant to be exposed, and the challenge becomes how much of occultism do you choose to make public and why. It’s a double edged sword. On one hand, you bring about a much-needed body of information and people who have it accessible to those who either want or have need of it, but on the other what is being exposed to the masses isn’t meant to be exposed to the masses, and under the weight of that contradiction there will be problems and friction.

And then you just have the Internet in general, which is inherently a hot fucking mess no matter how you slice it.

Secondly, let’s address this part, shall we?

If you publish anything, whether it’s a public blog, books, etc., on a specific selection of topics and discuss them at great length for everyone to read you are setting yourself up as an authority on those particular topics. And as an authority of these topics, by putting yourself out there online you are inviting people to comment and ask questions. If you don’t want this, then stop writing books, quit writing blog posts, remove yourself from social media, and don’t present topics to the masses like you have any sense of understanding or knowledge about them. The ability to present knowledge to the public is power, and with power comes responsibility. If you don’t want this responsibility, don’t be accessible online or otherwise. Period. You can’t have it both ways; you’re either an authority on subjects people care about or you’re not. If the notion of being a leader and an authority is burning you out and giving you more trouble than you can handle, it’s time to cool your jets and take a much needed hiatus from the whole thing, and I’m going to beg Nick to do just that. Nick, with all due respect as a fellow magician, it’s clear that you’re stressed, frustrated, and burnt out and judging from your numerous “get off my damned lawn” type of posts as of late, it’s high time you logged off and focused on your own personal work and development. No harm, no foul–and no shame in doing so. Please take my advice; you’ll thank me for it later. I learned the hard way about this myself after I got burnt out in the Hellenic pagan community after years of leadership. And don’t trick yourself into believing you have to be here “for others”. Martyrdom sucks, my friend. Don’t fall prey to it (like I did). Rest and recharge, or regret it later. Being a leader, whether self or community appointed or both, is a thankless and stressful task.

Let’s talk some more about this idea of public occultism and positions of authority, actually. It’s rather relevant to the next point. Nick has argued in his blog that occultism has been “dumbed down”, is too accessible online, is too contaminated by a number of issues including over-analyzing, making magic purely psychological, and people on the whole are too lazy, don’t want to do the work, don’t want to properly pay respect to a teacher’s time and energy by valuing their time, etc. A number of these points I agree with, especially the part on armchair magicians and treatment of magic as being purely psychological. I frequently liken these types to the “theoretical magicians” of the Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell novel. I personally would much rather be a practical magician, thankyouverymuch. I think a degree of this “magic is only in your head” nonsense is laziness, some of it is cynicism, and the rest is people not able to do the more fantastical aspects of occultism and declaring it impossible simply because they themselves haven’t succeeded in bringing those aspects out in their own practice and experiences as of yet. And then you have so-called “experts” in the community writing entire books dumbing-down magic and presenting it as being “all in your head”, and it’s not helping.

Sadly many of these issues outlined have little to do with the Internet being to blame and much to do with human nature. But here’s the thing: the problem with the Internet is that absolutely anyone with any degree of clue who sounds intelligent and is able to present themselves well on social media and blogs can set themselves up as an authority on the occult, WMT, or any given topic without much fact or background checking–and pretty soon you have a cult of personality. This problem is absolutely universal online and goes well beyond the occult community. The fitness and nutrition related communities online, for instance, are riddled with bad armchair advice from people completely not qualified to give any sane or sound information and people wind up getting sick, hurt, and almost dying from bad advice from loud people who gain an audience from people who swallow their shit and think they know what they’re talking about. The blogosphere and social media both have the ability to hand anyone a sound box where they can stand and voice off on absolutely anything under the sun, and as a result you have a lot of noise to wade through before you can hear some decent information. The noise amplified is in both directions and the dumbing-down and lack of quality goes both ways, not just in terms of the students but in the available teachings online and the teachers/people in positions of authority whether assumed, earned, or otherwise.

Unfortunately many of these teachers come in, have some good points to make but rather like the blog post I’m replying to make those points along with a bunch of other suspect bits or hastily made conclusions–but due to actually making sense in parts it’s assumed everything’s golden. And with just a spoonful of that sugar, you’ve just swallowed a ton of horseshit. People brand new, unassuming, and perhaps a bit too trusting in their desperate quest to Learn Stuff can fall in with the wrong people as a result. Been there, done that. And then you have the other side of the coin, which is good leaders/teachers/people in positions of authority who have their good nature and patience tried and tested with the scores of people who want the Great Work handed to them on a silver platter on the backs of rainbow-farting unicorns and sides of fries with that. As much as I disagree with some of Nick’s points–especially the ageist ones that pin this on it being a generational issue versus a human one–I can totally understand and sympathize with his frustrations. Some of the questions I myself receive from others as a result of my blog and social media presence range from creepy to WTF. And that’s what I get for putting myself out there online.

So what to do with “public occultism”? Well, make it less public, that’s for sure! Some of the best places online right now are all closed or secret groups on FB, message boards with huge sections only available to approved and registered members, and emailing lists that also weed out the noise, spammers, etc. I run a forum online called The Great Work which has about 95% of its boards invisible except to registered and approved members and is low in noise and high in content. I stick to the quieter corners online and avoid the exceedingly large groups where noise to quality ratio is not to my liking. It keeps my blood pressure low and prevents me from wasting my time online on shit that doesn’t matter.

And for all else? Just log off and focus on yourself, that’s what matters.

The end and the beginning

I completed the final week successfully. Much of my notes, details, and what-not have been logged in my diary offline. A good chunk is too personal to share, some of it I’m uncertain, and the rest I’m still hashing out.

I’m still integrating and figuring everything out. This was a very, very changing experience and I can only understate its impact. Ending it and going into the holidays, being thrust back out into the world was pretty jarring, and being back at the “rest of my life” is both confusing and frustrating. Thankfully the holidays will help me to wind down a bit and figure everything out.

I do plan to put all of this plus some essays into a book. So in the meantime…keep posted.

Abramelin, day 266

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well, but today was a personal struggle. My job continues to go VERY well and I remain blessed in this regard. I’m working with really great people and I thank my gods daily for being here.

I’ve been doing something past few days which I rarely do, which is eat calories at maintenance level. I’ve been in fat burning mode, but that’s no good before I start a week of fasting. Had some chocolate this evening, painfully aware it will be my last treat for a while. But it’ll be worth it.

I’m beyond nervous and anxious. I hope not to fuck this up.

I’ve moved all of the robes, ritual gear, and tools which I need for the last seven days into the temple room.

Evening rite went well. Gods help me.


Abramelin, day 265

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Nonstop meetings pretty much all day, managed to slip out to get myself some coffee. Nothing like doing the noon prayer rite over making myself a cup of coffee. There’s something to that but I haven’t quite managed to put my finger on it just yet. Again, no excuses.

Painfully aware of the fact that one very major, glaring personal issue remains before I start my final week. I am desperately hoping I will be able to get it resolved after the Abramelin. Everything else has been resolved or is in the process of being resolved, not sure why this is so damned special. Ah well. Resolving to just banish the rest of the bullshit with laughter, but for some things it’s just a band-aid.

Here’s to hoping I am successful. Just one day left until I start the final week.

Evening rite went well.


Abramelin, day 264

Morning and noon rite went well.

I’ve read the book over and over again for the last seven days, and it’s not very clear on whether or not you are fasting all seven days and breaking the fast after sundown with little other than bread. Talking with others who have done the rite who did the same for all seven days. This is not the weight loss plan I signed up for but hey, it’s not like I’ll be doing much other than conjuring angels and demons and such. I wonder how many calories that will burn? Funny how I’m worried about the fasting but it was the one part of this entire operation I struggled with the most and never really managed to get the hang of.

I am hoping I have everything all set. I am hoping I am ready. I am hoping I will be properly prepared. Good gods, I’m freaking.

Evening rite went well.



Abramelin, day 263

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Been going over my notes for the last seven days and in the meantime trying to rest up. For some reason I have zero energy today. I did an interview with RO, which was fun. I also got to gather my materials together that I will be using for the last week.

I’m not sure how else to prepare. I think I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I have no idea what to expect and I suppose I should expect that.

Evening rite went well.


Abramelin, day 262

All sorts of HGA related dreams last night. He came in one of the forms he showed up in my dreams years and years ago. So strange.

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Busy day at work today, but very aware that I am working with some really cool people. Incredibly grateful beyond words to have this job. How did I get it again? So much gratitude.

Decided to email the wand maker and get a status, got an email back saying they would look up a tracking number for me. Did some math and looking at the calendar, figured worst case scenario is I start on the 27th.

On my way walking home from the train heard a voice in my head asking if I was ready. Came home to a box on my doorstep, containing…yes. I will be starting on the 17th for sure, and will be in radio silence until done. I am nervous, excited, fucking terrified…gods.

Evening rite went well.

Abramelin, day 261

Morning rite went well. Missed noon prayer rite due to one meeting after another from 11:30 until I left work. Wow. It may be the first one I’ve missed since I started the Abramelin. Gods.

Paranoid as hell about that almond wand, still no word and it’s been over a week. So do I go ahead and start the final week next Wednesday and gamble that it’ll reach me in time for the conjuration? What the hell do I do? I’m a bit panicked. Taking off two weeks as a new employee is beyond problematic; if I can’t finish in conjunction with Christmas vacation/break I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.

Trying to focus on what I need to focus on but so much going on. Readily admitting to focusing on shit that shouldn’t matter, probably because the stuff that does is too stressful to think about right now.

Evening rite went as well as could be expected.

Abramelin, day 260

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Still no word on the almond wand. I know that it needs to arrive by the 21st if I’m going to proceed according to how I planned it, and now the silence is getting nail-biting. Ridiculous.

My new job remains pretty cool. This is a massive stress relief.

I am painfully aware of the fact that I still have a LOT of shit to work on but if I wait to be perfect nothing will ever get accomplished.

Evening rite went well.