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Testing a secret chief

One of the reasons I have insisted on my secret chiefs test is because it is very important that there is some form of scientific testing of the concept.  One of the reasons I have kept banging on about it is to knock a particular problem on the head. If you are running a group you can tell the world that you have a Secret Chief which gave you extraordinary information.   You can say that out of all the other magical orders, this superman gave you the best occult information which is available which “he” refuses to let other magic groups have.  What you are telling the world is that you are better than others because

Signs that you might not be a real magician

Everyone who follows this path wants to believe that they are a real occultist or a magician.  It is a bit like those people who tell you at parties that they are “writers” and when you ask them what they have published it turns out that they have been sitting on their autobiography for 40 years.Being a real magician is like being a real writer. It is not as easy as claiming you are.   So here is my list of indications that you might not be a real magician1.    You always wear black, have a pentagram, or an esoteric tattoo which can be seen.A real magician is someone you would think was an ordinary person.  The Rosicrucians actually swore to

The myth of the perfect teacher

There is a myth in esoteric orders that the teacher of any esoteric order is perfect and knows everything.To prop up the fantasy when it is fairly clear that teachers do not know anything, or even can’t tie their own shoelace, there has come about backup plans.   These plan b’s include things like secret chiefs, contacts or anything else a group leader can blame for not knowing the facts. You will find that when pressed, such a leader will say “it is below your grade” or “I am pledged to keep that secret.”Honesty is not something such leaders can cope with.I get into all sorts of trouble because I ask questions.   Now as a leader of an Order, I am

A Godwin’s Law for Occult discussions

Mike Godwin (thanks Wikimedia) In 1990 Mike Godwin stated the Internet adage that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.Although he was mostly talking about Usenet groups, he thought that given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.  These days the law is evoked to end a discussion when a Nazi analogy is made.  The writer who made the analogy is usually ruled as having lost the argument.Over on Facebook Níall MacSiúrtáin suggested that there should be an occult addendum to Godwin’s law to cover esoteric discussion.  Some of the list below I have nicked from that conversation.  Unfortunately

Book review Graeco-Egyptian Magic – Everyday Empowerment

 The Egyptian Papri provide us with very important authentic magical techniques.  The only difficulty is that they are hard to approach from a modern mindset.  The biggest issue, besides having to drown some unfortunate street cat, or endangered species, are the names of power which are a mixture of Coptic, Middle Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Hebrew.  Most of them are pronounced using a form of classical Greek. Graeco-Egyptian Magic – Everyday Empowerment  by Tony Mierzwicki provides a way into this really interesting system of magic.  Mierzwicki calls the book “intermediate level” and while I would hesitate to call it a book for beginners it has a few things which rule it out for advanced use.The bulk of the

Purging masonry from the Golden Dawn

Jake Stratton-KentToday the Goetic magician Jake Stratton-Kent posted an interesting statement on his Yahoo group where he derided ritual magicians tendency to form masonic style groups. Like many of us he find the 'Masonic' model a dead loss in the many, areas of modern magic where it applies. He said that the masonry was only any good when non-attendance at Anglican church was an imprisonable offense in England and there needed to be somewhere to go for freethinkers.Stratton-Kent thinks that the Secret Society model is not only unhelpful, but actively counter-productive. It is the principle reason why so much energy is expended fighting tiny little wars between factions (between witch groups, between rival Golden Dawns, between thelemic groups etc

Offending the Secret Chiefs

One of the dangers of having a system based on Secret Chiefs, either internally or externally, is that you are able to offend them. In this respect they certainly are similar to Godforms. There are cases where people are said to have lost their contacts or Secret Chiefs often for the strangest of offenses. Dion FortuneSometimes it is because you leave a group.   Dion Fortune regarded her Golden  Dawn contacts lost to her until she joined the Bristol Temple of the Stella Matutina.  Interestingly she regarded these contacts as the same ones she met when she joined the AO.  It would appear that as far as she was concerned, the AO and the SM

Physical secret chiefs in a modern world

Needless to say no physical secret chief has knocked on my door or arranged any appointment.  Still the door is open for the supermen to prove they exist.One of the statements that relate to the concept of physical secret chiefs is that they may not be supermen.  They may simply be adepts from outside the order, who only talk to the senior members of of an order and might what to remain secret.As someone who is involved with running a group there are certain problems with this idea which might not be obvious to those who have not tried it.    There is nothing wrong with taking advice and teaching from outside your own group and working it within your

Secret Chiefs the gods of the occultists

  The idea of secret chiefs is in evolution. In some cases they have become more involved and more complex, with Secret Chiefs being obliged to develop ever more difficult rules.  In other cases they have become completely dumbed down to the point where their role is meaningless in comparison to other similar constructs such as holy guardian angels.Very few groups believe in the construct of supermen living amongst us.  Part of the reason is that they do not seem to.  With today’s technology it is increasingly difficult for a physical plane secret chief to stay off the grid.  For example it was possible for RW Felkin to write with confidence that he had met Mathers; secret chief LeT and

The democratic secret chief: Dion Fortune’s view

Since I still have not met any secret chiefs in the flesh, I am continuing my series on how the idea of secret chiefs evolved.Dion FortuneThe ideas of secret chiefs evolved under the British mistress of magic Dion Fortune into something which was more elaborate than had been seen even under Theosophy.Fortune regarded masters or contacts as the most important part of magic but rather than keeping them as the preserve of the chiefs of an order, made them a key part of any student’s training.Her system of three degrees emphasized the importance of contacts.  In the first grade, a student would learn the theory of magic and start to develop the psychic skills necessary to start making contact