a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Magic and Fiction

To: alt.magick.tyagi,rec.arts.horror.written,alt.magick,alt.magick.chaos
From: 7cifnon 
Subject: Magic and Fiction (was Sigils, Jurgen, Spare)
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 04:31:49 GMT (Robert Scott Martin):
>Such a study of how Crowley's love of fantastic fiction infected his own
>fantastic "nonfiction" would not only give us a toehold into the analysis
>of Crowleyania as text (not religion), but help us move beyond the
>conventions of how we think about genre and the imagination. 

it would also inspire a deeper look into how each affect the other.

>Where do we draw the borderland between "fantasy" and the "occult"? 
>Is the distinction ontological, in the sense that "fantasy" is always 
>fictitious and the "occult" makes claims to factual basis? 

no really, because fantasy isn't always completely fictitious.
some of its elements are drawn directly from the real world.

>Or is the distinction more arbitrary? Where does myth fit in?

the distinction is not arbitrary, though the categories sometimes
will overlap. it can be found on a practical level, somewhat akin
to your ontological conjecture above: fantasy is primarily an
entertainment (fiction), whereas the occult is primarily active
(engineering or orientational).

>Ironically, I expect this adventure would be most beneficial to the
>occultists, who have in the past failed to understand a work like Kenneth
>Grant's "lovecraftian" myth (as well as works like Sun Ra's, Robert A.  
>Wilson's, Jack Parsons's, Castaneda's and arguably those of Spare and
>Hubbard). The fantasy fans might get a bit of a thrill from pondering the
>"occult" function of The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or late Heinlein,
>but they seem pretty well fixed on that front.

this feeds also into CkaoZ Madjik tradition of experimenting with
'fictional' entities in ritual (Bugs Bunny, the Pizza God, etc.).
typically the converted separate myth from fiction while missing
the symbolism of the expression, whereas the cynics toss the whole
as worthless unless it ties into something they deem 'real'.

Dan Clore :
>>The course of
>>reading outlined in _Magick in Theory and Practice_ includes
>>a great deal of fantasy fiction, such as works by
>>Bulwer-Lytton, Lewis Carroll, Machen ("Most of these stories
>>are of great magical interest."), Meredith's _The Shaving of
>>Shagpat_, George MacDonald's _Lilith_, Huysmans, Wilhelm
>>Meinhold, etc. etc. etc.

>The funny thing is that so much of this would be considered such febrile 
>trash, Crowley's generation's answer to Grant's (and your own) beloved 
>pulp. It took a real hunger for the bizarre for an Edwardian to find a 
>LILITH or a SHAGPAT amid the otherwise deadening but voluminous output of 
>Georges Meredith and MacD (well, MacDonald did have a few other good 
>"weird" tales, to be fair).

whether it is febrile should be neglected for the character of the
suggestion. today's magician should engage the masters of fiction
involving MAGIC, for example, like Hardy and LeGuin and McKillip,
while paying attention to masters of the past like "Once and Future
King", "Zanoni" and other works influential upon the masters of 
one's study. how these might be integrated into one's internal
symbol-set (operational machinery of symbolism interior to one's
psyche) will vary and those accepting a dogma will suffer 
according to the weaknesses of their choices.

>How hungry was our Mr Crowley? And was the same hunger for the fantastic 
>at work when he acted out those fantasies in his various ritual 

presuming all of them to be fantasies (and I tend to), the joy is
in the reading of what he imagined and the style of his reflection.
the method is already outworn and his cult taken into the evil
clutches of his Malevolent Eidolon despite his lack of success.


two of my favourite posters to this newsgroup

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races