Friday, February 26, 2010 Sanity and Insanity

You seem to be relatively sane for a magician who has experimented with what seems to be a wide variety of systems, and who continues magical work regularly. Have you ever slipped into insanity? If so, did you fear you'd not return?

We like security. It's why we live the way we do. We like feeling safe. We don't like to be vulnerable. It could lead to pain.

And most people don't like to talk about the relative sanity of magick. This subject is the big taboo. When you hear first big “pop” of the Golden Dawn, you can see insanity in the wake of all that nonsense. But, really, who can have expected anything else?

Crowley was too busy getting laid and trying to prove how brilliant he was to consider the waves he was making. A. E. Waite was probably as boring in person as his books are to read. (Dull. Boring. One is unable to keep awake when reading Waite's prose. Even when he's discussing things like pacts with the Devil, he's fucking horridly boring. Just. Plain. Boring.) Moina Mathers? Dude, she refused to consumate her marriage with loopy Mcgregor because she wanted to bone angels. (I really need to talk about that sometime. Because good Lord is it hysterical.) Yeats? Well... Some day someone needs to "rediscover" his trance techniques. Because he went from nothing to one of the Greatest Irish Poets quite... fast...

But there was no way any of them were ever going to get along. And you can easily imagine when the egregore went haywire. I mean, read "John St. John" by Crowley if you want a good look at what NOT to do.

I've felt like I was going crazy plenty of times. I wandered over to other, live, real people and grounded myself out by hanging out, laughing, being amongst those that aren't lost in their thoughts and trying to figure out what's what.

A few years ago, I asked another friend with more experience than I: “I mean, what if we don't cross the Abyss?! What if Choronzon eats us?!” He just shrugged. Which freaked me out more. “Well, man?!”

There wasn't an answer. Just a long stare. At least in my memory. These days I get it. If you ever go off the deep end, to the point of not coming back, chances are you won't really know it anyway. It just happens and that's that. If you come back it will be with more experience, and the wariness you lacked before.

The risk of insanity was there from the onset. The first time I bought Liber Null, at 17, I felt I was buying a forbidden text. I was sure that there were thumps on the walls of the house that night in the darkness, I'd spent so much time worrying over it. Sometimes you actually need that to make it work. You can't sit 'outside' the system or what you're doing. You have to be inside. Inside the messy, gory core. Where there's no doubt that it's real. Where it works. And then you shamble back inside you house, having taken a long walk through empty lots and past darkened houses where others are asleep, in from the deep labrynth of the city. You take your coat off, fetch a cup of coffee. Write it all down. Banish before bed, maybe, or however you want. And you fall asleep near those you love, and what you call family. Even utterly alone, you're amongst family.

There's no fear here, sometimes. And those are some of the best times. If you can't get to that place... shut it all down and just meditate until you figure out what's missing. Relax, man. It's all good. That fear is to be used later, for other things...

Ask me anything

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