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Imperial Arts

Member Since 16 May 2010
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In Topic: Does It Discredit A Famous Occultist To You, If They Ended Up In Obscure Rela...

24 March 2019 - 09:13 PM

View PostOrlando, on 24 March 2019 - 08:43 PM, said:

Absolutely, I agree.

That could be why many of the books, of the particular occult clique I am thinking of, are just rehashes of their previous works, just put through the sentence and paragraph re-mixer, so that they have something to sell to pay for their bills.

That's just the thing: they're not making enough to pay bills, even if they were living in grandma's trailer in the Everglades. Some of the better-known among these people I have known for 20+ years, and their total income from occult sales in all that time would not even pay their car insurance, so they are smart enough to have real jobs too. The two biggest occult merchandisers on the market right now, who are very active in social media selling talismans, books, and spell-casting, both live on government assistance and can barely give their wares away for free. And don't get me wrong, they're both decent people, but the "successful occultist" thing is pure hype, it has nothing to do with reality.

I try not to be that. I have turned down offers from both specialty and mainstream publishers who want to carry my writings, so as to retain both content control and minimal advertising. My writing tends to be the kind of thing you don't get elsewhere, rather than a different version of the same story. Donald Tyson, one of the brighter occult lights of our time, had to watch as his work was twisted and repackaged by publishers who demanded that it go a different direction than the one he had envisioned, and despite being a best-seller in this field he is not exactly raking in the royalties.

In Topic: Does It Discredit A Famous Occultist To You, If They Ended Up In Obscure Rela...

24 March 2019 - 05:50 PM

View PostMutate, on 24 March 2019 - 09:01 AM, said:

well I guess if you think of the popular Law of Attraction authors like the Hicks or Rhonda Byrne (the secret). They have been bestsellers for a while. Compared to say phil hine and peter carol who are only really read by magick fans.

I once listened to a guy talk about how he had run the same resort for fifty years, was really proud of himself. The whole time I was thinking, what a loser, this guy came into life with a sack of money, hasn't yet made a dent in it, and Saturn has gone around the Sun twice since he last left his backyard. Without the "danger and trouble," the heroic path is a lot less heroic.

Fifty goatherds with a flight manual and some cell phone bombs have outfoxed the US military for more than 17 years in Afghanistan. Is the military weak?

There is simply no success in occult business of any kind. None. I don't count "The Secret" as magical doctrine. There are enough actual occultists marketing themselves. Rather than focus on individuals, if we look at their strategies, they fall into a few categories. There are the people who sell books, and talk or market those books, there are those selling spell-casting or divination services, and there are those who sell paraphernalia.

If you want to be a successful author, write a crime mystery and have it published this time of year by someone with deep pockets. There, you're a star. It's a formula. Most publishers these days are willing to gouge their own eyeballs out for content worth reading, which is in very short supply. Writing an occult book is like saying "You know, I could make money as an author, but I choose to do something else."

The people who sell spell-casting are sort of a different topic, and at this point none are well-known enough for this category to even matter. If you think any living spell-caster has an admirable reputation as such, you are living in fantasyland. The miniscule proportion of these people who are not embarrassingly broke would not tell you that their magic has brought them anything resembling fortune and glory.

Dealing occult supplies is probably a lot of fun, but like publishing, it is just a regular sort of business with a niche market. With the same effort and materials, I can make a plain gold band and sell it for $500 to one of possibly millions of interested people, or I could make a talisman or occult doodad and wait fifteen years for one guy to offer me $40 for it.

What I am getting at, in a roundabout way, is that the success of a magician ought not to be measured by how well they make a buck from marketing it, and that the genius of a magician is not found in books. Even Crowley decided, in the end, that it was better to sell off all of his books and buy floor-to-ceiling boxes of rationed chocolate. That's not broke to me, it's enterprising.

In Topic: Does It Discredit A Famous Occultist To You, If They Ended Up In Obscure Rela...

23 March 2019 - 04:09 AM

Mutate: A woman getting into a NYC taxi cab saw the name tag of her driver and remarked, "Phillip Glass... driver, do you know that you share the same name as a famous composer?" He did. The fact had been making him chuckle for years.

People love to talk about how Crowley "ended up broke and on drugs," while neglecting to mention that he was living in an invitation-only home for famous writers and artists, producing The Book of Thoth.

Eliphas Levi believed, for the last thirty years of his life, that his entire preaching mission was a failure, that the populace was as hot as ever for emperors and princes, unaware of the blessings his Theocratic Socialism would bestow upon them.

If anyone can name a "famous occultist" who maintained wealth and comfort throughout life, I'd be interested to hear who you think qualifies. It sure as hell isn't me. I'm at a point in my life where money and property simply doesn't matter to me and is really more of an inconvenience than a goal. The rest of my family finds this appalling, but at least they convinced me to live indoors again.

Orlando: I doubt those guys are really making any money at all, and their "success" is about as limited as that can get. It's basic hype, and they would have fifty times as many followers and subscribers if they were selling hair care products or football jerseys.

I don't want to name any names, but if you want to bring anyone still living up for discussion, it takes about two minutes to discover why their success is not to be envied.

If you have dreams and plan to make them real by magic, your success is determined by how well you achieve that. I doubt any of those guys had the dream of being a webinar guru.

In Topic: The Portal

12 March 2019 - 09:38 PM

View Postvoidgazing, on 12 March 2019 - 06:00 PM, said:

Is that... Raistlin?


At the climax of the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, Raistlin learns the dangers of hero-worship as he falls into the same trap as his predecessor (his sleeves have runes showing the words "Fistan Dantilus"), who is actually just himself caught in a bizarre time loop. He abandons the mortal world and enters the Abyss, saving his brother and the rest of the world from the queen of darkness. She appears as a temptress, surrounded by the five animated dragon statues of the portal into the abyss.

Dragonlance novels are like a collection of dramatic and intriguing elements from fantasy fiction, but with the whole thing repackaged to highlight the moral elements. Loyalty, chastity, and discipline are major themes. I read these novels to my children when they were younger.

I made a version of this picture a few years ago while living in a condemned house, and the paint quality was not so great. Now that I feel a little more comfortable, I gave the same concept another go. For all the pictures of the Portal and Takhisis out there, I did not find any that had the kind of drama and story elements that I wanted to see, so I made one to fill the void.

Why are the floor tiles the Enochian Watchtower of Earth? Because it looks better than dirt.

In Topic: Guidance

28 February 2019 - 04:34 PM

My three suggestions:

1. The psychedelic doesn't really add anything to the spirit conjuration experience. I have speculated in the past that this kind of mind-altering practice is actually contrary to the intent to seek out spirits, as it impairs your judgment. A lot of what goes into spirit conjuration depends on pacts, oaths, agreements of whatever type, and you can't reasonably held accountable for affirmations made while spaced out.

2. These "Explore the Qlippoth" books are popular for a variety of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with their efficacy. You aren't picking a style of music, you are choosing a working relationship with a spirit, and it doesn't have to look cool to work well for you. Give some thought to your sources and what else might be validated by success in using them. For any objective, there are several different spirits represented in as many different theological hierarchies from around the world, so examine your motives for choosing this one over some other.

3. The lore of ceremonial magic is large enough to give us all a fair sample of what you might expect to be involved in the conjuration of spirits. Apart from the last couple of years, almost none of it even resembles the method you describe, which sounds a lot more like Charmed TV show with meditation added. Give your methodology a thorough critique, and ask yourself whether it has a place among the established formats of practical magic, or whether it is something so pared-down as to be irrelevant. There is plenty to be said for the value of innovation, but it must rest on effective engineering.