Behind Every Great Magician is Not-a-Magician (or a magician who doesn’t mind staying in the background).
People are often surprised when they learn that I didn’t marry a Daemonolater or occult practitioner of any ilk. My significant other is a proud, but open-minded atheist. Meaning, he can understand why people have religion and spirituality, and he’s open to having a religious/spiritual experience. But, being the pragmatist he is, he would need scientific proof of the spirit world. In the meantime, he proudly identifies with the mission of the Satanic Temple, can get behind atheistic Satanism, and doesn’t mock or berate me for my beliefs or experiences. He can even see the benefits of magickal practice from a psychological point of view. And you know what? That’s enough for me. I don’t ask that he carry my beliefs, only that he stands beside me and supports my Great Work as I will stand beside him and support his.
When I was young, I dated my share of occult practitioners. But it always ended when I realized all the men in my area, at that time (early 1990’s) into magickal and pagan practices tended to be on the unambitious, aspire-to-nothing side of things. I mean, I didn’t expect them to want to serve in public office or change the world, but at least have a goal of some sort aside from their hobby occultist image. I wanted to be with someone who wanted to do something with their life, whether that something was writing poetry, creating art, opening their own business, or traveling. Whatever. It didn’t have to be grand. It didn’t have to be interesting (to me) necessarily, but it had to be something they were passionate about. Most of them weren’t even really passionate about the occult. It was a lifestyle and image obsession, not so much a belief or practice obsession.
By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I stopped dating magicians all-together because by then I’d realized several things:
First – I have always been very ambitious and passionate about my interests, and I needed the same in a partner (passionate about their own interests, not mine).
Second – there’s only room for one ambitious and successful author/magician in my house. I say this not because it’s an ego thing (okay, maybe a little), but rather, it’s hard for an occult power couple to be sufficiently nurturing when it comes to one another’s careers. One person needs to step back to take on the nurturing, caretaker role to support the other’s career — and that person isn’t me.
Now before you freak out, let me say that YES, I supported my husband’s career as a software engineer for years. I went to all the corporate parties and did my role as doting wife and sexy armpiece, as you do. But when I was doing that, I wasn’t yet a successful author. Once my husband’s career started waning, mine finally took off, and it was his turn to support my career. I guess what I’m saying is that when you both work in the same field, the less successful partner has to be willing to step back and be supportive of the more successful partner. If one is willing to take on that supportive/submissive role in the career, things will usually be fine. But what you often see is either partners competing, or one developing resentment toward the other.
The author, Stephen King, is married to a woman who is also novelist. But Stephen King is the one with the bestselling career. His wife stepped back from her writing career to raise the kids, and support his success. I often wonder if she feels resentment toward him because she wasn’t able to nurture her writing career alongside his.
Likewise, look at most of the successful occultist couples you know. Notice the dynamic. One successful, one supportive. Couples where BOTH are successful in the same field are rare, because usually the relationship self-destructs. If you need proof of this, just look to the occulture via social media and you can watch it happen. Yikes!
Magician power couples where both are highly ambitious in the same career are a bad combination. When both are highly ambitious and successful, the relationship can’t work because neither is getting the support they need from the other. As I mentioned to a friend – it’s hard to be immersed in your own career shit and be supportive of another person who is immersed in their career shit. As an example – when I’m on a deadline writing, I’m on a deadline and unless my husband desperately needs me (think life or death) he’s shit out of luck. I will forget to feed myself, skip sleep, etc… when I’m that deep in my creative process. In instances like that, you need a partner who will gently prod you to eat, remind you what time it is, and pull you out of your work so you don’t burn yourself out. That’s what I mean by support. If you’re both immersed in the same work, not only will you never see one another, but it will be all work, all the time, and no one is nurturing anyone.
Which is why I opened myself up to non-occultist options when it came to my dating pool, and I’m thankful that I did.
Look, I’m not saying occult couples can’t work. They certainly can. I know a few. But all the couples I know, still, one is the more ambitious, outspoken one. And the other supports. Or they take turns. Even in the instance of a couple where one is well-known, the one who isn’t may have some popularity in their own right, but they’re not trying to outdo, outperform, or talk over the other. And THAT is the thing.
[Note: I’m not saying one should use their spouse like a servant either, nor that you shouldn’t support your spouse if your career is one in the limelight now. I’m just saying that two ambitious occultists who want to write/teach etc… will not work unless one is willing to give a little and maybe step back and give their partner the spotlight. And ambitious people usually attract other ambitious people, or people who want to be in the spotlight.] I’m not even sure I’ve really explained what I’m trying to say correctly.
To put it simply: There isn’t enough room in my house (metaphorically speaking) for two ambitious, successful occult teachers/writers, as it’s highly unlikely I would have attracted someone in occult-world who wasn’t attracted to me for my ambition, notoriety, or because they saw me as a means to reach their own ambitions. Or perhaps even vice versa. I am attracted to passionate, ambitious people generally. Relationships between people like that just work better when your partner and you have enough in common to have fun, but enough difference in careers and passionate interests that you can have your own things, too. Plus, differences keep a relationship interesting IMO. Also – I’m not sharing my ritual space, tools, or books. If I want to look something up in a book, I don’t want to have to search for it (because someone didn’t put it back on the shelf in the same spot), or wait for someone else to finish using it. I don’t want to go into the temple to find someone has used all my incense and didn’t bother putting it down on the shopping list or telling me we were out. LOL
So if you’re having issues finding the right person – open up to the idea that your ideal mate may not be interested in the occult at all. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised who you find outside the occulture.
I completely agree. Granted I’m not now, nor will I likely ever be, a well known occultist in any form. However, I married an atheist in infrastructure architecture. I don’t need to be with my spouse all the time, I enjoy that we both have our passions and can explore them under the same roof, but separately.
In past occult relationships it always turned into one person trying to argue against the other person’s point of view or beliefs (usually them against me.) I couldn’t stand it. I dislike neediness almost as much as a I dislike being told what to do, or worse what to think!
This way I’m free to explore my own path without being interrogated, questioned, or “corrected.” I’m all for constructive criticism but if I want it I’ll ask. My husband is the same.
Just wanted to share that I found it amusing we both married open-minded atheistic computer geeks 😉