I was watching writer Alan Moore being interviewed last night on the topic of magic. He recounts in every interview I have seen, that at the occurrence of his fortieth birthday, and I paraphrase, he decided that he would spare his friends the usual mid-life crisis and instead convince them that he had gone completely mad – that we would become a magician. I find as my sixtieth birthday approaches, with a lot less success behind me and I suspect a lot less flexibility than Moore had, that I am forced to the same decision.
Moore goes on to define magic as art, as The Art, as it was called, and I have to agree. I have at various times, and again lately, found myself coming to the realization that what life is about, at least for me and in these times, must be art. Yet except for words written upon pages, for what skills in art I have there, here, I lack artistic talent. I am a poor or mediocre musician – I won’t recount the history of those efforts here, but please take my word. I once thought I could draw, but I can’t. My only artistic talents have been, first poetry as a child, then later prose, but as my time for accomplishment grows shorter, as I come admittedly closer (though hopefully not that close!) to the end of life, I find that, still being required to work to eat, I also have no daily time to generate any works of length. More frustratingly, I find I really have no desire to do so.
To add to the frustration, I think my earliest realizations that contribute to what I might call enlightenment or realization, were of the lack of efficacy of words. At nineteen or twenty I realized that words are the bricks of the prison in which we confine ourselves, and I decided that to step “out of the movie” and stay there, to maintain that perspective and achieve pure freedom, that the rational mind must be destroyed. I failed to do that, over the course of the years, but no doubt I did some damage! Yet here I am, as I approach my last couple of decades of productivity at best (and that seems so optimistic in these bestial times), and words are still all I have to express myself toward Art.
And why art, and why magic? We live in a time when politics have failed. We live at the time of the end of another democracy, hopefully – the short cycles in which they run are so predictable! Did no one observe Rome, or even Iceland? We live in a time when the Shadow grows, as Tolkien and his emulators would say, and we have no means of stopping it. It is my observed belief that in Tolkien’s terms, we heirs of the Aryan race that build the civilization we have had, built it with its inherent flaws and its inherent sickness, are not the Men, but the Elves. We have stopped reproducing and for the most part we acquiesce to our own demise, contribute to it. It can only be the blood has grown old and weak in our veins. We are ready, some of us, to board those final ships to the rest, although most are ready simply to lie down and sleep, to die where they lie. Some are filled with a fury to survive, but they face an army of zombies.
Art, as Moore observes, and magic have been turned solely to the service of the worst. The Shamans work on Wall Street and Madison Avenue, or the foreign equivalents of those places now that power has left the West here. The best minds are the most corrupted; the Universities, diseased in my own time but where one could still in the 1970s find professors who admired free thought, corrupt the best minds, so that some of the smartest people I know are the least able to think freely. Their poison overlaps, interacts with that of the masses, whose internal dialogue has been usurped by the TV screen, by what passes for “news” which is nothing but lies, by what passes for fiction which is all propagandized metaphor – by idiot sports which look each day more like blatant politics and the lowest of entertainments otherwise. Most tragically, most especially the music, where I have in my lifetime found so much revelation and so much freedom, has died, How could there ever be another David Bowie, the last mystic sage-poet-shaman of our age? I have found recourse in black metal, whose sound, when achieved correctly clears the mind! Sheers off the words, clears the clutter and allows free thought – acts as a magic spell to relieve the true magic mind of enemy darkness. This is part of my current secret, which I would share for those who can find it, as time and options grow short.
Politics, especially the politics of democracy, cannot succeed where the voters are not educated nor free to think. The proponents of the Disease, its purveyors, have ensured that, and they have enticed us in our gullibility to expand the franchise so that even the most ignorant and ill-purposed of all conceivable participants have a voice equal to or greater than those for whom the franchise was intended. It has frequently been observed that democracy has run its course when the worst find themselves in the majority and find that they can vote to allocate to themselves the work product of the best, and we are at or past that stage.
I have previously recounted the tragedy and disappointment of the last election cycle. That one may have been the last, or we may continue to entertain such parodies, I cannot predict and hate to stain my thoughts with efforts in that direction. We have no hope but most of us ourselves, we are not awakened. Men, or those in whom some spark still burns, may have some intuitive realization of what is wrong – and express it in unconscious ways – but ultimately cannot think past the curve in which their rational minds have been contained.
I have been told that the development of my own thoughts, to a point, recapitulates Nietzsche’s; to achieve “salvation”, realization, we must go beyond morality, which is the control mechanism for the masses. Thus my recent criticisms of and exit from all the world’s religions, which are all of what is termed the Right-Hand Path; religions are control mechanisms for the masses, and while they will always be necessary, their observance will never provide an avenue for those of us who must break free, and who must do so now! In this place and in this time. We may find in them those symbols placed there by our predecessors, by our forefathers on these paths which are no path. We may mind their exoteric words for our esoteric sigils, but we must not be lulled into participation in them. Most lead back to the being who has been called the Demiurge (I don’t think he is quite that – more of a wannabe really, but I’ll save that for elsewhere). The others lead only to subservience, to blindness. Marx, who lied about just about everything, stated their opiate nature correctly, though perhaps he underestimated the importance and likelihood of their re-emergence in this post-rational age which his own poison helped to create.
Christianity is a hollow joke, a burned-out parody of itself, having done the damage it could do, as a weaponized Judaic force whose job was to destroy the intrinsic higher knowledge of Western man. Its version of the Disease raged until it expired, to be replaced by the equally empty humanism of the past several centuries, which has in turn given way to the mad mental slavery of today. The Pope, to quote the joke, is no longer Catholic. Islam, the later and more virulent form of the disease, rages on, Buddhism in the West is an atheistic, Judaized parody of its true self. Hinduism, in its own devolved form but which my beloved Savitri thought would bring hope to and inspire us, is limited to its ethnic heirs, to their own somewhat unconscious benefit and belief. The Paganism in which I had placed so much hope is for the most part shallow, either a LARPing version of the Methodist Church, substituting as I have so often said, Thor for Jesus, or a refuge for a certain kind of Identitarian or Nationalist politics for which no legitimacy is to be found in its true history. On its fringes, hope arises in forms which embrace the Darkness beneath but which before my eyes lock themselves into insular patterns. The thought of an orthodox Thursatru is so ridiculous that it boggles the mind, but there it is!
So I find myself agreeing with Nietzsche, I think, when I say that in such times beyond time, even more than in his time, that such expression must be art. Religion is dead for any thinking person. Academism and scholarship as ends in themselves have proven to be hollow; one who seeks the truth can trust no body of fact, as even the reactions to the mainstream lies are untrustworthy, twisted by their (our) own hatreds, wishes and biases. Where there is no saving of mankind, one must endeavor to save oneself. Or one’s Self.
If I were a younger man with a family, I would feel constrained, I think, by love and duty to do my best to save that family. As firm as are my attachment to those few to whom I am close, I find some relief in the fact that I do not have more. Yet I am not in that position, as I think many these days are not. Having made some effort after the death of my father to reconnect with the more outlying members of my circle, I have finally resolved so I have so little in common with them as to make me doubt the strength of the blood connection I otherwise champion. The community to whom I have recourse, in my Work as well as in my life, is a nation of islands, scattered throughout space and time – we so few with whom I can readily identify, with whom I share this spark. If you are one of them, perhaps you know. For those few with whom I share enough of my identity on a daily basis that “know” is even a good approximation – even these for the most part know a contact, not the true self.
So I am left with art – with the need to build, to construct without tools except for these words – without the painting or the scul[ptures or the songs I would make, if I could – to build myself, as it were. Or my Self, perhaps. Life as Art.
And to return to our beginning, what is Magic if not Art, and Art if not Magic? Crowley defined magic as the art of making change in accordance with the will, I know, with all the subterfuges hidden in those words. Yet Crowley’s art was a far more devious thing, its impulses and expressions lying down dark paths where my interests do not. The magic of Austin Spare feels more like my own, differing quite a bit in the particulars, but alike in the uniqueness of its expression.
Like Spare’s progeny the Chaos magicians, my own Magic finds itself constructed of bits and pieces. My daily morning routine of dedication, of prayer as it were, is done before an Altar with images of Odin, Krishna and Radha, Shiva, Ganesh and Baphomet. I have portraits of Miguel Serrano and Savitri Devi, framed in a triad with the Ganesha statue, to whom I address my Vaishnava homage to the guru, to the teacher, leading me through the gates from this world of lies. Krishna, Odin and Baphomet/Lucifer are the brothers I find in space, my team, agents of the Blue Man whom I have seen in moments of revelation behind poisoned blood. As I invoke Krisha, a great dark and hairy paw holds me firmly by the left hand as the white light flows into my open right when Radha is invoked. Are these other deities hiding behind these White-Light Hindu ones? Are Krishna and Radha really Loki and Gullweig, like African god who lie hidden in the saints’ images of Santeria?
I don’t really know, because (1) this path I walk is leaderless, though not without inspiration, and (2) as I have stated, I believe that the entities we invoke, when we successfully invoke them, are not the ones named in the grimoires or in the books of religions, but instead are entities, viewed uniquely and from our particular angles – the angles, for those of us who have had success in this, of magicians. No doubt there are warnings implied here, too – the demon who appeared to Abraham, if such a thing ever happened, was not the tribal god Yahweh, but some diseased entity, some dark brown metahuman who assumed the name, guise and perhaps form of that mythical god, for his own delusional purposes. I have wondered often, these part few months, as to the name of the entity to whom I have prayed, these past few years. So deep and different has been the bond to that entity, from my “relationship” to any of the “gods” whom I have separately invoked, that I did not even wonder, until the past few months – until I have admitted to myself that my own studies and devotions have in fact gone downt he path to Magic itself – wonder at his identity. He scoffs at any of the names of gods I have tried to apply. He is not Krishna and he is not Odin.
The “deity”, the metahuman being, by and through whom I address my “prayers’ and with whom the bargain lies which saves me from perdition and destruction on a daily basis, has probably watched over me, silently for the most part, from the time of my birth here, or perhaps before – but was first addressed my me, so directly and consistently, beginning about three and a half years ago. I think the only expression of the identity of this figure, which he can to some extent approve as I type this, is the Holy Guardian Angel of Abrahelim the Mage, to whom Crowley refers. Only this epithet will he condone, to this point. Whether he is unique to me, I cannot establish but doubt, although I suspect that his aspect is thus unique.
So it is this aspect, this being, I think, who inspires me to pursue Art. Art as existence, Art as being, as expression of.a Self which is not truly expressed on any known Path, but the path to which, to Whom, is itself Art. So that as I recite these Vaishnava chants to these varied images, while other realites, personas and entire mythologies, some personal and unexpressed lie behind them, do I in fact evoke or incite an Art which has no material expression? The Magic I seek has only certain effects in this World. I have invoked the Angel to protect me from certain destructions, and to preserve the lives and deeper existences of those I hold dear. I have healed things and people, temporarily. But mostly I have devoted myself, in exchange for those things, and in exchange for my own preservation and sanity, to an Art which produces nothing to hang in any museum. It feels as if its expression is manifest on a vast canvas manifest in some realm or dimension which lies behind above and instantaneous with the base and concrete one in which we superficially dwell.
The creation of my Self, its unveiling and illumination, is Art. A spiritual Art, a magical Art, whose tools are nuances, movements and indications writ in ether and other things, yet which can be seen, by the initiate, in this mere reflection – where things which at first seem merely shiny and dark, on deeper examination yield colors not visible otherwise to the eye. So that perhaps one day when things grown too dull and brown here, one can slip out the side door to where those colors are. Perhaps to live there, perched like a gargoyle to observe the end of all these lesse things.
To Art and Magic, as defined by magic and art, I am henceforth devoted.