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In the past few weeks, I’ve talked about ascention and magick fighting. Both times, I almost didn’t put the post online. And so, I have to decide: Is this blog written by adults, for adults, or should I stick to safe, sanitized topics.
Connecting to my ethereal software is a safe topic. You might not find it interesting, but it won’t hurt anyone. And manifesting is sanitized: We talk about causing ourselves to make better decisions (which really is 90% of my manifesting), and just ignore the part where it also influences the decisions of others.
Manifesting, energy healing, and the basics of ethereal software are safe and comfortable to discuss in public. Ascention is not. As Ona points out:
I do think the ascension-type beliefs you described are not generally very healthy for modern westerners, as they have a tendency to encourage escapism. Or power trips. Or disdain for “lesser” people.
And magick fighting definitely isn’t — not once we get beyond shielding, and into offense.
I’m tempted to stick to safe, sanitized topics. After all, most other writers do, and most readers wouldn’t know what they were missing. And yet, those aren’t the conversations I want to have. I want to discuss ascention, and how it’s an excuse for some mages to act elitist. I want to discuss magick fighting, and how important it is when you explore areas of magick you don’t yet understand. I want to have a full discussion about magick with other experienced mages, which means discussing topics that can be scary, threatening and dangerous.
But I can’t be the first writer to think about this. So, I’m curious: What’s your approach to all this? Particularly for other writers, but please, everyone should feel free to chime in. Thanks!If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.
When I wrote my book I pretty much just cut and pasted from a year + worth of personal journals. I edited for flow, but I didn’t leave out ugly bits or scary bits or stuff that would make my mom cover her eyes in horror. It’s what I was going through. It’s what it is. My mom got over it. My sister thinks I’m very weird. That’s okay. Everyone’s quirky in their own ways. Keeps the world interesting. :D
On my blog I tend to be pretty open in terms of talking about personal, scary or uncomfortable experiences and also pretty clear on when I think certain types of practices are not appropriate or helpful for someone on a wisdom path or in contemplative practice. I do not think there are many instances where hostile action is beneficial, for instance. If someone is a physical threat (ie breaking down your door, etc.), call the cops. If you are caught up in some kind of power/anger/fear game with another person (ie you hate your boss because he makes you feel stupid) then that’s an opportunity to change yourself, not keep playing the game by using “magickal revenge.” Thus all the more boring posts on my blog about dealing with life’s annoyances by working on your own spiritual development…
Where I do not speak freely is when something is held in confidence with others who were participating, such as ritual work I’ve done with friends or colleagues. Sometimes it’s private just because not all of them are “out” about their spiritual lives; sometimes because the work that was being done related to very personal problems someone was having. So those events or activities don’t get discussed at all or only get discussed in a generalized or fictionalized way.
Personally I never hold anything back if I’m talking about the technology of magick. Secrecy about those aspects of the work has probably the biggest impediment to magical development for centuries. I wouldn’t want a scientist holding back some finding because he or she is worried that it might be possible to do something harmful with it. The same goes for magick.
As an aside, is there a particular reason you’re spelling “ascension” as “ascention?” At first I thought it was just a typo, but you keep doing it so now you’ve got me wondering if it’s something specific to your system like Crowley’s spelling of “magick.” Did you address that at some point in a post that I missed?
“Secrecy about those aspects of the work has probably the biggest impediment to magical development for centuries.”
Well said, Ananael.
[…] don’t really like to specify magick as for “adults” only…..more so for the mature […]
I don’t censor myself for my audience. I figure the majority of them are adults, but even if they aren’t it’s not my responsibility to stick with safe topics. I figure my audience will either get what I’m writing about or not get it. I’m really writing for myself first, and my audience second, because a lot of my blogging is just a way for me to describe current projects and ideas I’m discovering.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. (And be sure to check out Mr. Black’s post reply http://beyondchaosmagick.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/rated-m-for-magick/ )
I’d actually thought that most mages did hold back, that the traditions of secret societies were still alive and well. Thought I suppose those folks don’t start blogs. Good to know that bloggers I respect are sharing everything. Maybe I’ll reconsider what to share, too.
@Ananael: Misspelling “ascension” is just me being an idiot. I’ve been spelling it with a T for years, never realized it was wrong. Thanks for pointing it out, I’ll try and spell it correctly from now on.
[…] Mike recently posted about audience, and specifically writing for audience, in terms of what topics should be covered and who might read what he writes. It’s an interesting quandary and one I’ve occasionally thought about in regards to this blog. What do I choose to say? What do I choose to reveal? How responsible am I to my audience for what I write about? This isn’t just about sharing magical techniques but also experiences on a variety of topics, many of which might be considered adult only. […]
On altmagic I discuss all topics, even things most magicians would keep secret or consider more advanced topics.
I don’t find these topics to be unsafe. I think treating them as unsafe just deceives beginners and the magic-curious. Example: protecting yourself from dangerous entities. A magician is simply not going to encounter some horrible demon that will do lasting damage to them, and if they think they do it has a lot more to do with their overactive imagination than actual dangerous entities.
I believe many magicians play up the danger level of magic in order to aggrandize themselves and their art. Others have honestly bought into the idea because it’s how they were taught, which is a shame.
Not that I haven’t had scary moments. I’ve been practicing magic 17 years and my style was once to get in way over my head and figure it out as I go. There are times I encountered things that threatened me or made me seize up with fear.
But the only power they have over you is the power you give them.
Every time, I’ve found that confidence and a refusal to tolerate it was sufficient protection. Most of magic is in the mind of the magician, including most of the threats.
So, for me, any topic goes.