Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for August 18th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, on magical misconceptions.

There are a lot of weird claims and ideas about magick out in the world, especially in discussion forums and on social media. In this video I discuss a few of the bigger ones, including the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980's and early 1990's that asserted some ridiculous percentage of the population was engaged in what was basically a cartoon version of "Satanism" that nobody actually practices. I also discuss some notions that can create obstacles to magical practice, and how the alleged dangers of magical work can be massively overstated.


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V.e.L.V.X. said...

Satanic Panic nonsense aside, what are your thoughts about the possible reality of powerful elites today making use of occult forces in light of Peter Mark Adams' work on the Sola-Busca Tarot in The Game of Saturn (which I've not read, I've only heard a couple of podcast interviews with him about it)?

Clearly (no surprise) there are powerful elites who organize for nefarious purposes (that's essentially the definition of a conspiracy, minus the powerful elites part), as evidenced by the Epstein human trafficking case and many others. I don't buy the ridiculous notion that everyone involved in any abhorrent scandal must be a devil worshipper, robing up every Saturday night for horror movie black mass rituals, but I'm personally not convinced that the idea of powerful elites availing themselves of the benefits of occult power, either directly through participation or indirectly through retainer, if you will, is a complete fantasy.

I also haven't completely thrown out the idea that such individuals wouldn't go as far as human sacrifice (clearly, they have no problem with the concept that achieving their goals will mean death for some people, as demonstrated frequently by the actions of the military and industrial forces they control through policy or command). And though it's not the kind of thing that the spirits I work with are interested in, history provides many examples of civilizations whose venerated spirits demanded human sacrifice, even if we eliminate the exaggerations or outright lies of conquerors who sought to besmirch the conquered.

I guess what I'm saying is, we have precedent for all the parts - powerful elites who are willing to do anything in the pursuit of power and whatever else they're after, spirits which demand blood sacrifice, and now with the publication of Game of Saturn, a record of powerful elites involved in what I'll shorthand as LHP occultism to achieve their goals. What I'm NOT saying is that all rich people are sacrificing kids or are involved in the occult, but what I am saying is that the 'Cabal of Satanists' idea is not as far-fetched as I'd like to believe it is. Except for the 'Satanist' part, I think they'd be sophisticated enough esoterically to operate beyond horror movie tropes.

Scott Stenwick said...

I think that it is very unlikely that most of the super-rich today have any involvement in the occult. A few of them do employ astrologers, which is why we have "celebrity astrologers" in the first place, but that's about as far as it goes.

Obviously, I am not claiming that there are no rich people involved in trafficking. Epstein and Maxwell did it for a long time with practically unlimited resources. I doubt they were the only ones, but given those resources theirs was probably one of the largest out there. The whole pedophilia thing is self-limiting, since only about one in a hundred or so people are pedophiles. Everybody else just thinks it's gross, and certainly wouldn't pay a cent for it no matter how much money they have.

But doing it for occult purposes, harvesting adenochrome, or whatever - I doubt any of that is going on. Maybe one person in thirty has occult leanings, and it's probably lower than that based on the number of books occult authors sell. So mathematically, you would be looking for the statistical intersection of occultism (1 in 30), pedophilia (1 in 100), and vast wealth (something like the .01 percent). Those numbers get pretty small pretty fast. I'm also ignoring that most pedophiles don't actively abuse children, but do stuff like trade kiddie porn online. Since you need ones actively willing to engage in abuse, that lowers the numbers more.

There are spirits who push for things like human sacrifice, sure, but sacrifices and offerings that spirits want are in no way proportional to the power of said spirits. That means any magician who is competent will figure out pretty soon that there are other spirits to work with that can do just as much for a shot of absinthe or whatever. Therefore, there's no technical reason to work with a spirit that wants you to kill people. And if it's being used as an excuse to kill somebody, you have to factor psychopathy into the above numbers. That's another 1 to 3 percent - though there probably is overlap between active pedophilia and psychopathy, so can just strictly multiply out the probabilities.

But I also think there's not a lot of overlap between extreme wealth and magical practice, probably less than the numbers indicate. We live in a society where you can buy almost anything for enough money. Every magical operation starts with a problem that needs solving, and magick is a discipline that requires dedication and practice. If you have more money than you know what to do with, isn't it easier to just pull out your wallet rather than spend years working and practicing to get to the point where you can cast an effective spell? The super-rich don't really have time for that, for the most part, because how you become super-rich and stay super-rich is to think about nothing but money and status all the time.

Aleister Crowley was a total oddball - he inherited a fortune and spent his life developing magick. I've heard of a handful of other rich folks who got into New Age philosophy, like the guy who wrote the Urantia book (which doesn't display any sophisticated magical understanding). But I don't know of anyone who did something similar with magick, even from rumors. One of the issues with conspiracy theories is that they require large numbers of people to keep secrets, which usually doesn't work. The secret does get out, and not in a form where it mysteriously gets talked about but leaves no verifiable evidence.

Macrocosm/Microcosm said...

Hello fellow travellers - I remember the Matamoros Mexico story of sacrifice, I believe even including human sacrifice. Pretty sure it was during the Satanic panic period you mentioned.

I have to say that story rattled me at the time. It did and still does make me wonder about for example, the Mexican drug cartels as using these primitive methods believing that they will be protected from capture and prosecution. But that is simply the context I remember those events being in. So certainly not Satanists, but possibly the closest real world analogy to killing other humans in order to grant what they perceive as some semblance of protection from the law whilst they carry on in their drug smuggling operations. Now they have the labs instead of the fields to make substances like Fentanyl and now I am rambling off topic.
Thank you Scott for the video..Eric S.

Scott Stenwick said...

It is hard to say when talking about organizations like drug cartels whether they are primarily doing this for some magical reason or to intimidate rivals and so forth. My understanding is that they would be killing people anyway who they perceive as enemies, and add occult elements to make it their organization seem "spooky" and powerful.

There probably are at least a few "true believers" in there too, but the purpose is entirely different than what the "Satanists" are/were supposed to be doing. It's done publicly and out in the open to scare people, who whether or not they think it's magical are being told to stay out of the group's way so they aren't next.

It probably does have a legitimate effect on the cartels' ability to avoid law enforcement, since it means people are less likely to come forward and testify against them in court. Any paranormal magical effect they get is basically a bonus.