Thursday, December 20, 2007

The "Whimsical Little Wizard" - What Gives?

I like to think I have as much of a sense of humor as the next person, and I try not to take myself and my magical practice too seriously. In fact, I don't have a lot of respect for practitioners who never crack a smile, wear all black, and go on and on about how people or either scared of them or should be. I think that if H.P. Lovecraft were around today he would be amazed at how close to the truth his stories were - working magick involving his Great Old Ones may not reduce the unwary to gibbering lunatics, but it sure makes them deadly dull.

That being said, the "whimsical little wizard" really bugs me.

First off - what the hell am I talking about? Here you go - check the upper right corner of the page.

When I was putting together my bio for the previous version of Augoeides I included a link to the Church of Light, an organization to which my great-grandmother belonged. I didn't bother to click on the link since it wasn't all that important in the overall scheme of things. It's a historical family note, not a group with which I'm affiliated in any way, and from the Google text it was clear that the link was for the right organization. If you go to the page, though, you will notice on the top right a "whimsical" cartoon wizard with the caption "our whimsical little Wizard will speed you into the next dimension."


How is it that this kind of thing gets associated with magical practices? I don't think I've ever met a member of the Church of Light and my great-grandmother died before I was born, but according to my father they were sincere and reasonable people back when she was still alive in the early sixties. I'm sure the cartoon was added with the best intentions. "Hey, people will think this is cute and they won't find us scary." That's all fine and good, but it also gives the impression that the group is a bunch of yahoos. There's no reason to put up a "scary" page, but some degree of scholarly decorum gives a better impression than childish, cutesy drawings.

The page, even as it is, would be substantially better without the cartoon. The Tree of Life diagram is nice, even though I can't really work with the Church of Light system very effectively because all of their Qabalistic associations are different than the Golden Dawn/Crowley model that I have worked with for many years. For all I know the "wizard" may help their recruiting of regular folks and the Church of Light may have the numbers to prove it. I can just about guarantee, though, that the sort of people who are likely to become highly skilled magical practitioners will be turned off by anything that makes magick look cute and silly. Real magick is anything but.
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