MAGICAL CONSTIPATION seem to be profoundly affecting pagans and magicians alike. I suspect that the attitudes I am about to describe persist within global magical scene. I definitely noticed some of them in Poland as well as online magical communities. In here I limit my comments to the magical scene the U.K. because I experience it first hand. Over 8 years of life in Great Bririan and participation in magical community I found that all spiritual paths and groups suffer from some degree of magical constipation expressed by the following symptoms:
1. Racist/fascist attitude
One of the very fundamental issues I encounters relates to my origins and nationality. I have been made to feel that my roots are not of this land by many pagans and magicians. The sense of superiority some folks feel because of being ‘native’ seem to contradict the history of British Isles. Everyone living here has an ancestors from the mainland if you look far back in time.
This Nationalistic or Ethnic pride extends to patronising attitude about local traditions and beliefs.
It often expresses itself by the assumption that because I live here I should be interested in Celtic and other local traditions but also that because I do not come from here my knowledge must be inferior. Many times when engaged in conversation about British folk customs etc. I drew a parallel to Polish or Slavic traditions I know of. What I often found suggest that for many people my experience of Slavic culture seem unimportant and not interesting. They don’t want to hear about other cultures.
2. Discrimination on the grounds of Age
I moved to the U.K. Few months after reaching age 18teen. My declared magickal path began around 4 years earlier. I mean declared in a sense that I understood my practices through the lens of occult writings and began experimenting with less or more formal forms of ritual and divination techniques. Looking back at my life I can clearly see that some of the more significant magical initiations happened in my life prior to my interest in the occult and that ultimately they led me to my interest in magic. I have been practising magic all my life. However, whenever I found myself between magicians/pagans of much older age I have been made to feel that I lack experience and should look up to them. Some magicians have practised magic for twenty years when they reach their forties and some when they reach their twenties but surely when you’re just finished high-school you have nothing to say.
3. Cult of Authority
The issues of age relate strongly to issues of authority. For many magicians the validity of initiation depends on authority figures that can validate it . This can be expressed by grades in a magickal order or by following some great magician’s instructions. Whenever I talk about my experience of Liber Astarte I get respectful nods, whilst my descriptions of spontaneous initiations coming from real life experiences do not seem to get the same respect. Initiation rituals serve to recreate emotional and mental circumstances of real life experience to produce gnosis. This enables us to gain magickal insight without going through traumatic events in our everyday life. Life itself provides us with the most challenging and significant forms of initiation. Magician who truly experienced initiation will understand this and will see parallels.
4. Gender Bias
Another aspect of constipation relates to gender. Sadly gender prejudice holds itself very strong within both magical communities and traditions practised. The sexist aspects of magical correspondences, symbolic systems and related practices deserves possibly a volume to itself. The people who express such prejudice can be of both genders determined by our societies as male and female. I personally met with more prejudice coming from male population. This comes from two factors, one being the patriarchal culture and other the gender attributed to me by others. Every individual possess unique qualities independent of such factors. I also recognise more forms of gender than male and female and do not identify myself with female gender. It upsets me to see people so often being dismissed simply because of identification with one of the two.
5. Lack of acceptance of different Sexualities
This relates closely to gender but also expands to sexuality in general. The issue comes down to who fucks whom and connected debilitating notion that sex has something to do with ownership and dominance. I have no problem with people having sexual fantasies as long as they aren’t forcefully projected onto unwilling others. I do not like such fantasy being treated as objective reality or fundamental truth.
The issues of sexuality also regard prejudice against homosexual, bisexual and other forms of ‘unconventional sexualities’ where practitioners of one form of sexuality see the other as less valuable or plain wrong. Another aspect to this comes from opposite angle and expresses itself as disregards for people who decide to practice ‘conventional’ forms of sexuality such as heterosexual, monogamous, vanilla relationship or individuals who decide to live without sex all together.
6. Holier-than-thou & Dirtier-than-satan
Both seem to be two horns of one demon. Many magicians and pagans see themselves as superior because of what they choose to practice and how they choose to live their life. Both attitudes demonise the other extreme placing it at the very bottom of imagined hierarchy.
Holier-than-thou often expresses itself through magicians talking of love and compassion who at the same time act selfishly and very unfriendly. Dirtier-than-satan expresses itself through magicians who try to out compete each other in socially despised practices such as illegal drugs, unconventional sexualities etc. This seem to be some sort of Crowley-inferiority syndrome. I met individuals affected by both horns at the same time. In such cases holier-than-thou attitude sees dirtier-than-satan as the superior method of learning compassion and love which in reality result in a highly psychopathic attitude.
7. Social standing
In some cases I observed a prejudice against different social class. The dichotomy seem very similar to the point 6 issues. On one hand we have magicians following yuppie model. In their minds successful magician has to do well within social hierarchy. Individuals convinced of this would have you belief that if you can’t make money this proves you can’t do magic. The other horn proclaims that anyone who ‘sucks up’ to the system has to be corrupted and this proves their lack of illumination and insight. Both attitudes described here pair very well with both of the point 6 attitudes. For example holier-than-thou can be paired with asceticism and glorification of working class and unemployment. It can also pair with business and making money in which case the material success suppose to express level of illumination.
8. Personal Grudge
This last point refers to magical groups, orders and individuals who seem unable to get over the past and move on with their life. The politics of British occult scene reveal a petty state of matters. Quarrels, curses, gossip, blackmail and obsessive competitiveness suggest a low morale of the community. Overall lack of confidence and mild to severe paranoia express themselves in suspicion and grandiosity. People seem unable to openly discuss issues and explain misunderstanding with each other.
I suspect that most magicians experienced at least some of these symptoms. In many cases presence of one symptom reveal presence of another. I met quite a few individual affected by all of the mentioned symptoms. This reveals something rather worrying about the state of the occult scene. If practising magic doesn’t help us to transcendent our conditioning then it only serves as a short term relief of personal complexes and angsts. In a sense the magician in such case becomes a consumer of magic rather than practitioner of it.
Some interesting reading related to points 4 & 5 can be found here: