Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is the occult killing America?

Hello everybody, this is an excerpt from my book about the 'Folklore of the Occult'. Enjoy!

On October 17, 1999, Roberta Harrington wrote an article for the Sunday Herald addressing a new book that details the sinister aspects of ceremonial magic. Wicked, dark, and evil are just some of the words used to describe this apparent grimoire. As fears arose among conservative religious parents, many wondered whether the book should be thrown out of school and public libraries. One parent wrote in a letter to the Atlanta-Constitution Journal that, "The problem of witchcraft and sorcery exists and is something neither parents or adults should play around with" (Sunday Herald- Oct. 17, 1999). The book of course, was the latest Harry Potter novel by J.K. Rowling. The backlash and controversy surrounding this book led a vocal minority of Americans to suggest burning the work in an attempt to stop dark spiritual forces.

What is it about magic and the occult that is so fearsome in modern society? Why does fascination with the occult lead many conservative Christians to attack books that promote child self-esteem such as the Harry Potter series? Is the occult as dangerous as it seems? These are questions that saturate popular media throughout the world. Books and movies such as Harry Potter fuel the fundamentalist fire and provide a scapegoat for conservative Christians in their war against the devil.

The News-media frequently carries stories about the danger of the occult on children. On November 11, 1997, Peter Jennings ran an episode of World News Tonight that dealt with 'children s fascination with the occult.' The broadcast included an interview with a convicted murderer that claimed occult influence was a leading factor in why he killed his mother and stepfather when he was sixteen years old. According to interviewer Erin Hayes, the murder "happened after he became deeply involved in the occult, in a belief system that worshiped evil and death". The convicted killer stated that he "made decisions based upon  that belief system. If someone hurts you, you hurt them back worse. If someone is in your way, you move them out of  your way, whatever it takes". The broadcast went on to describe how the murderer became 'lost in the occult' and that parents need to keep a sharp eye on the behavior of their children.....

There's a taste of what we'll be discussing in my book and in Magus Magazine. Stay tuned for more excerpts and blogs about all aspects of occult phenomenon! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Hello everybody! This is the first blog so I thought I should probably introduce myself. I'm Preston. This blog is gonna be an ongoing account of my life and the life of my magazine. I thought it best to document everything because I've found that my best inspirations and ideas come while writing. I believe that discussions are incredibly important in the learning process so feel free to leave feedback and comments.

I went to Atlas Shrugged Part 1 today. I thought it was great!  I'm a huge fan of the book and seeing the characters there on screen was an incredible experience. It's funny, I've been asked by friends 'how do you reconcile the occult and rationalist philosophies?' And it's a good question. It does seem counter-intuitive to adhere to an Objectivist ideology yet embrace the Occult arts. I typically answer that it's possible to be both rational and a proponent of esotericism.

When I was writing my Master's Thesis of Folklore, I discussed how the concept of 'rational liminality' pertains to UFO abduction narratives. Playing off the ideas of Van Gennep, I suggested that the liminal rites of passage are predicated on rational acumen of an abductees trauma. In other words, the abductee stays in a liminal experience until he/she comes to terms with a trauma in their lives. At this point, they begin the process of reincorporation into society.

I think this idea also applies in occult studies. Aside from the idea of 'trauma' that accompanies a UFO abduction narrative, the occult plays off the Separation, Liminality, and Reincorporation paradigm of a Rite of Passage. When a ceremonial magician begins a ritual, they experience a separation into the numinous. Liminality consists of the procedures of the rite, and reincorporations occurs with finale of the ceremony.

Now where does the rational come in? It occurs to me that the occult arts are based on a kind of liminal logic. The rituals are designed to perfect the Self through use of the Will. Although it's an idea that I'm still working on, I do believe that the rationality of conducting an occult ritual lays in self-awareneness and/or perfection. Striving to achieve some personal goal or achievement through the use of ritual is really a rational endeavor. Although the methods may seem illogical or without reason, their is a logic to being in the in-between state of liminality. Simply by acknowledging that one is experiencing rites of liminality shows the reasoning behind training the Will.