Magick is the journey, not the destination. I forget exactly where on the proto-internet I originally came across that particular bastardisation of a much more well known phrase, but it has stuck with me ever since. Somewhere at the back of my mind throughout all the long years of skulking in the shadows, piecing together what ersatz skills I could from late Twentieth Century bulletin board culture and battered charity shop paperbacks, I knew that my continued growth depended upon an enforced forward motion. Much like sharks, true occultists must remain continuously swimming in the ever widening information ocean or drown instead.
A heavily abridged look at my own backstory will highlight this evolution all too well. At the very outset when I was much younger I considered myself to be an non-practising scholar of various paranormal subjects, mostly ghosts and monsters, similar perhaps to those with an ongoing interest in Creepypasta now. An avid reader of the weird and unusual I sat precariously with feet planted on both sides of the scientific versus supernatural fence. When I state that I once shared a table with die hard Skeptics this is not an exaggeration, not would it be honest of me to pretend that their nihilistic viewpoint has not influenced my own in the long years since.
My reading, like many of my generation, started with the works of Colin Wilson and David Icke, men whose poorly researched and half delusional ramblings on a variety of Fortean subjects raised more questions than answers. Undaunted by the difficulty in maintaining focus while enduring a particularly turbulent home life I struggled to find either a historical or fictional belief system worthy of my patronage. Thus I made the conscious effort to place quality over quantity, moving more towards source material that could shed light on the dusty catacombs of magickal history while also keeping the interest of an overstimulated, grungy and dyslexic teen from the 1990’s.
I searched far and wide for works by Aleister Crowley and Lewis Spence, Fred Gettings and John Keel – while the X-Files, Hellblazer and The Crow were eagerly devoured for entertainment. And yes, I played lots of Dungeons and Dragons too. Eventually the decision was made to put my years of scholarly research to use, and in doing so I found that my longstanding interest in the occult had set me way ahead of others who were just starting out at that time. I essentially becoming a solitary witch in all but name before a shift in focus towards the underlying philosophy and practicalities of magick drew me towards the chaos current instead.
And lets not forget the dark goddess Lilith, an entity that stood as my personal patron for much of the last ten or so years. She was there, of course, as I first struggled to reconcile my nihilistically sceptical world view with the sorcery burning in my veins. As mentioned, my mid to late twenties saw me accidentally stumble upon the chaos current via the patrons of the many online message boards that catered to occult clientele before Nine Eleven. Once I had absorbed their ersatz insights I realised that I was in fact a chaote by nature, a creature of the purest meta-belief, a person who holds nothing true and can make anything seem so long enough to get a reaction.
I quickly became the sort of practitioner held in contempt by others in the occult realm, a heretic unwilling to suckle at the teat of their masters while playing with their toys. For a while I thought I was invincible, seeing little importance in the kind of carefully planned and sequential ritual techniques others saw as instrumental to their survival, though that would eventually change. All it took was one too many misguided and sloppy workings to make me realise that this was a serious business, and one where it is all too easy to get yourself permanently hurt. Hubris almost always kills, after all.
All the coolest angels fall, true, but only the very lucky ones survive the impact to rise again. Yet here I am, a wiser man with the scars to prove it. Through it all I have maintained my forward momentum, sometimes barely carrying my tattered and broken shell to the next stop on my eternal journey but even then refusing to lay down and die. I long ago adopted a variation on the Thelemic Powers of the Sphinx: ‘To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Tell The Whole Fucking World’ and as such have been living by those words ever since. These are the tenets I stand and fall by, and that is but one more reason why I am so focused on my ongoing work here at The Vulpine Portfolio.