An old friend of mine, we’ll call her Stacy, converted from Demonolatry years ago. She decided it wasn’t for her. That’s cool. It’s not for everyone. So she finally thought she found her path in another occult/magickal based tradition. This time it was an Afro-Caribbean tradition. Well, part of what she didn’t like about Demonolatry (and why she allegedly left) is she felt we were too strict in the way we practiced. Basically, we wouldn’t allow her to do just anything and then call it traditional/generational Demonolatry. That foundational knowledge still needed to be learned (as it is with all magickal practices). So she gets into these other religions and none of the teachers there would take her on. Why? Because again, she didn’t want to learn the foundation. She wanted to make up the rules as she went. Learning the foundation and the existing rules (before you run around breaking them) is kind of one of those fundamental things about magick in general.
You can’t run around raping other people’s traditions by throwing the rules out before you’ve even learned them. That’s not only bad manners, but I wonder if people like this realize that the rules are often there for a reason? Sure – everyone, if they practice long enough, is going to learn the rules on their own. But that’s like offering someone a free direct flight (no strings attached) and them saying, “Fuck you! I want to take a 200 mile detour – AND I want to walk to my destination!” I guess it’s the individuals choice.
Once you learn the rules and why things are the way they are – you can commence becoming the master by breaking those rules in meaningful ways. This is only logical. Again – I see this as symptomatic of my own generation and the ones after it (in varying degrees). People just don’t want to work for anything anymore. They want to read a book and crown themselves “Master Magus Supreme”!
This, of course, leads me back to the training manual I found yesterday. What surprised me is how small the chunks (lessons) are. But back then – these 16 page booklets were studied laboriously and practiced. We literally would spend a month on each booklet with several practice sessions each month. Then, once you mastered a booklet you became tasked with helping those starting that same booklet master it while continuing to your next booklet. And it went on like that for about 10 different booklets and THAT was how you completed your pre-initiate training back in the day. It was hands on.
So much has changed…