Monday, November 16, 2009

A Twilight Cult?

Disclaimer: I found this discussion over on LiveJournal without any external links documenting the existence of a "Twilight Cult." However, the whole idea is so ridiculous that even if it's all made up it's still amusing.

I'm seriously hoping that this is a joke. Because if it isn't, "Cullenism" has to be just about the stupidest thing ever. It's one thing to be a fan of a particular author's work, but another to go completely nuts and decide that the works of an author you admire are TOTALLY REAL. That sort of delusion can lead to some seriously messed up situations in no time flat. Just ask Mercedes Lackey. On the other hand, if it is a joke, it's pretty darn funny.

I've had little trouble avoiding the Twilight books because my oldest daughter is still too young to be interested in teen fiction, but I did wind up seeing the first movie because one of my neighbors has a teenaged daughter who's a fan of the series. I liked the cinematography of the film, which did a wonderful job of capturing the atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest, but otherwise found the characters totally flat and the story lacking where it wasn't cliche. The only real innovation to the vampire genre that Stephanie Meyer seems to have managed to make is that her vampires sparkle in the daylight rather than burst into flames or die in some other manner - and honestly that just strikes me as dumb.

Anyway, according this LiveJournal article there are now Twilight fans who have started their own cult, Cullenism, in which they offer prayers to both Meyer and her fictional vampire, Edward Cullen.

The people who make up prayers to Edward Cullen, the ones who basically worship the whole God-damn series and Meyer herself. Some may be joking, but I am convinced that there is a sizable portion who takes worship of the series pretty seriously. Now, I'm not knowledgable of the Mormon church and their beliefs, etc...but I am aware that Meyer is a fairly strict Mormon. Is anyone in her church concerned that she has basically spawned a cult? Does anyone in her church care that there are people who turn prayers to God into prayers to Edward and Meyer?

Well, Mormonism does teach that:

as God's children, mankind may, through the merits and mercy accorded all through the Atonement of Christ, become like God the Father. As Paul taught the Romans, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."[7] Eternity will be spent in a process of eternal progression becoming more like the Father (God).

One could perhaps argue that prayers offered up to Stephanie Meyer are all part of her personal process of deification, but I'm nonetheless pretty sure that such practices bear no resemblance to what any of the Mormon church fathers intended.

Some chaos magicians insist that you can make magick work by invoking fictional entities like the deities of H.P. Lovecraft's C'thulhu mythos, or, I suppose, Stephanie Meyer's characters, but in my own work I've found that there is a big difference between fictional entities and the spirits of the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you're working with your own internal magical power it is true that you can use just about any vaguely archetypal character to shape it, but when I work with spirits from the tradition the probability shift that my rituals produce is usually significantly higher. That suggests to me that the spirits of the tradition have some sort of external reality to them that fictional entities do not.

Meanwhile, I'm snickering to myself imagining what sort of practices following the teachings of Cullenism would entail. Would it be something like a fluffy-bunny version of the system laid out in The Psychic Vampire Codex where you drain psychic energy to increase your powers but only from animals (because, for those lucky enough to have avoided the whole thing so far, in the Twilight series the "good" vampires only drink the blood of animals)? Maybe you would sparkle when your psychic energy level gets high enough and that would give you cool sparkly-vampire powers that mysteriously resemble the effects of glitter makeup. Or something equally ridiculous.

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Sator said...

Well, congratulations for your book, I think that if it is as interesting as your blog it will be a sucess.
Last week I finished Alan Moore s Promethea, Next time someone ask for a good read in magick I will sugest to start there.

Scott Stenwick said...

Promethea is cool.

I'm not that into comics or graphic novels or whatever the hip term for them is these days, but I'll make an exception for that one. It's a lot of magical information packed into a small space with great artwork.

ChandraNova said...

I've plowed through the books of Twilight & its sequel New Moon, and oh boy are they LAME!!

Makes me wonder though, one of the reasons they're so dull is because the vamps are really insipid, so what are the mystical connotations of all these hormone-charged teenagers worshipping (aka feeding energy to) beings whose dharma if you like is to be evil predators who prey on humans - and yet who choose to take a gentler course, out of compassion?

Interesting possibilities and/or implications there, maybe...

Anyway, just found your blog (I'm a pagan & shamanic practitioner from London, England) and liking your style so far!