Those who know me personally are more than aware of my innate connection to both the nature and death currents, as well as my ongoing efforts to create a truly dynamic and empowering hybrid force by blending both of these together into something entropically harmonious. A few who can cite one of my previous online incarnations might recall when I fervently claimed to be a chaos magickian, or even Neopagan in the long years before that. Yet I now realise that I am not necessarily any of these, and still far more than the sum of my parts.
I have never been one to do things the accepted way, an adversarial personality quirk that has burned many a bridge for me in the past. Perhaps that is why I naturally gravitated towards chaos magick, yet my recent research into the second wave of interest in the movement around the time that the internet first flourished has led me to a stark realisation. The system which I once claimed to adhere to was nothing more than a bastardisation of the original idea, an unforeseen offshoot of a concept that was as regimented and dogma ridden in its purest form as anything else. Add to that the misplaced fascination held for it by Alt-Right politicians and I have lost all interest in describing myself as one anymore.
I still find the majority of established systems too restrictive to be of any real use in my day to day life, however, and there will always remain something counter intuitive about lambskin and chalk circles that prevents me committing to these classical paradigms. But I am not immune from the pull of such things on the more mystical aspects of my psyche. I still find myself purchasing texts from the same old sources, duplicating the data like a photocopier on autopilot. My bookshelves groan under the weight of information which would fit into a medium-sized ring binder if I could cut away all the literary and pseudo-religious bullshit that comes right along with it.
In my opinion we buy into these expensive lies because the cheaper truth is too mundane. Occultism is not supposed to be about medieval re-enactment and historical context. It is a conceptual framework that is both intimately intertwined with, and yet distinctly parallel to, the zeitgeist of a given time and place. Western culture is increasingly atheistic. As a nation we are actively cutting away the deities of old in favour of enlightened reasoning and personal empowerment. Science is the new dogma, yet the magickal minority still intone the seven names of God and call on archangels to protect them when journeying beyond the lamplight.
But reviving technopaganism also seems to be a dead end, albeit an interesting one that sings to my interest in the history of the movements which make up the magickal diaspora. It is plain to anyone looking in from the outside that these otherwise unrelated occult groups have only embraced technology so far as it facilitates an increasingly dogmatic exchange of the very same old-fashioned data that is the root of their evolutionary decline. Even the word Pagan used to be a derogatory term for the great unwashed masses outside of polite Roman society, the rednecks of the early Christian era, and now we are in very real danger of becoming that very thing all over again through lack of effort.
On a personal level, I am guilty of committing the very worst sin for a free human being. Like many of my bretheren I have become stagnant in my thinking and mired in past victories to the point of paralysis. Sigils work, so that’s the best way to go. The dead are easily kept at arms length by salt and swearwords, so stick with it. My lady Lilith is the only demonic godform I will ever need, so the rest can bugger off and hump a nun. The chaos current states that results are all that matter. None of this is true, and so much more is permitted as I lurch ever onward towards my hard won enlightenment.
Ultimately, we are all adrift in a sea of other people’s labels, watching the magickal midset drown in division and ignorance. Perhaps on reflection it would be better to just accept that I am never going to find a term that succinctly describes the entropy that flows in my veins after all. Maybe I am safer this way, shielded from the dogmas of those around me as I deny my association with them. Said nebulousness does allow me to sidestep the more uncomfortable aspects of the communities that I once called home, moving on like the Hermit himself when the cards that I am dealt go bad.