Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Admitting when you're wrong!

If you're doing this, the responsibility for both your actions and your words fall squarely on your shoulders. You can't duck that.

As such it's now my duty to make a comment that VI pointed out last night:

I was wrong about Peter Carroll. Man. That was harder to write than I thought. When I read "Psybermagick" years ago, the truth was I felt betrayed by someone who's writing I'd placed some silly blind faith in. Given my near constant comments on various matters, I should have noticed. But because I was busy giving in to opiatic vitriol (ALMOST DONE!!!! ALMOST FREE OF THE HAZE!!!!) I didn't. Thankfully, I place real and actual trust in my friends. And VI, living up to his reputation, promptly deconstructed my comments and pointed out the flaw in my thinking.

So. When Pete's new book comes out, I'll buy it and the latest to read back to back and review my thoughts as they stand. And then I'll discuss them here or on the up-coming site.

You may point and laugh at me now. In fact, I do encourage it. Really! You'll feel great! Stick it to the stuck up Black Magician!


Frater A.I.T. said...

Who ever heard of a Black Magician admitting he/she was wrong about ANYTHING? ;-) No one will make fun of you, Frater, only stare and point in amazement......

Just kidding with you. This sort of thing makes it clear that you've spilled some Theurgy in there with your Thaumaturgy. (Hooray for labels and boxes!) You're kind of messing up the traditional definition of a Black Magician, bro. Quit being reasonable and wise, and self-destruct already. You would't want people to get the wrong idea.

Gordon said...


Then Gordon's Nerd Tour of London (patent pending) is back on. :)

Have you read the Apophenion yet? It is absolutely amazing.

I would think about stalking Pete if I wasn't so damn lazy. But I am.

Jack Faust said...

@AIT: Actually, that's precisely the reason I use the label so much. It's to poke fun at a concept which rarely, beyond the domain of the psychotic, wounded, and self-righteous, comes fully into play.

Added to this is the little factor Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Ride Out brings full circle: a lot of what we call "black magick," is... uh, how to put this nicely. Oh, hell. It's pretty much straight up racist and in many cases is a juxtaposition of Ceremonial Magick vs. say, Voodoo. This thought permeates The Devil Rides Out and is what I think makes the novel a very effective tool for analyzing how the failures of our predecessors need to be addressed and brought to the fore-front.

We forgot that the assumptions of the past can continue to rule us if we fail to notice them. "Black Magick" is a concept which best shows how Dion Fortune and Crowley failed at determining aspects of Magick. They are still worthy of our notice, and our praise, but we need to shed their baggage before we can progress onward.

By declaring myself a "Black Magician," I'm openly stating that I'll blaspheme the past to point out it's power over others and try - through humor - to make them cognizant of those factors. Sometimes it works. Sometimes people freak out.

As for "self-destruction" - most of what we call that is a good sorcerer's education. His or her trail by fire. The sometimes slow and painful sacrifices of self unto Self, if you will. A lot of people point at the toxicity in others, and mistake what they might actually be seeing: the seeds of transformation, previously lain dormant, taking root and spreading through one's life as a ripple from a pebble dropped into a deep pond.

And they flex forward and backward in time in my estimation.

@Gordon: I haven't. I'll be picking it up when his next book comes out, as I have the odd feeling the two will belong together. The rumors VI had heard seem to allude to this as well. It gave me some new appreciation. But we'll see: I may be wrong in my prognosis and still need to avoid Pete. I'll do my best to with-hold judgment until the Evidence is At Hand, if you will.

Also: I'm totally pig-headed at times, man. It's okay to point it out. I try to remain cognizant of it, but when I fail at that I enjoy when another tries to lend a hand and say: "hey, you need to re-think this." (And sometimes I react badly to that, so be warned. Humor works best, it seems!)

Frater POS said...

Frankly, I have to admit I'm wrong on a regular basis. I really hate that. However, if you can't say it out loud, you're not doing the alchemical work. Somehow that makes it more real than just knowing it internally.

Rufus Opus said...

Black magic is only racist if you look at it through racial ispaklarioth. Crowley and Fortune's "Black Magicians" were white folk. Unless Mathers was black. Pretty sure he's a whitey though.

It's really just plain old EVIL. Selfish, mean spirited, incompassionate, self-aggrandizing, greedy power-mongering.

I wanted to start a blog called "Towers in the Abyss" and only focus on the real take over the world shit, but then after I started a few posts, I realized how stupid it is to advertise. The kind of folks I'd get as an audience would be the lamest of the lame, and I've learned through hard experience the lamers make poor persons of hench.

Jack Faust said...

@RO: That's only one of the interpretations. This comes from a bit of reading between the lines, too.

In the pre-1990 editions of "Magick Without Tears" Regardie's introduction had a section discussing Crowley's flagrant use of the N word. Likewise, Fortune's Psychic Self-Defense is filled with hysterical moments of Pure White Dread. Such as when she discusses the "cursed Tibetan idol," and so forth.

That said, they also referred to white folk as Black Magicians. You're right on Mathers; Fortune maintained that Moina cursed her. (And Moina comes across as a Grade A Crazy in the biographies I've read.)

Likewise with Crowley discussing Spare. However, the Tower is not the correct symbol for what you want. The Basalt Tower is certainly a construct beside the ocean of the abyss, but I'd be very leery about proposing what it does. Especially since I've, uh, been there. A number of times.

Kenneth Grant likes to insist it's the Giant Raging Cock of Set, but then Kenneth Grant tends to think plenty of things are in the Giant Raging Phallus category.

And sometimes he just goes straight up loopy. (What's actually creepy is that whenever Grant discusses Spare he suddenly becomes lucid. Frighteningly lucid.)