Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Self Reflection and Writing Workshop

So, I went to a writing workshop today, "Writing without hiding" workshop taught by Justin in Cleveland.   The workshop was mixed for me.  The content reviewed process problems with writing and using simple direct language.  The content was good and Justin is a worthwhile teacher (although a little more oomph might be nice).

I worked on the fire magic book I am writing, for a bit.   Every "writing" workshop forces me to self analyze, which is a big part of the magic of writing for me.

There are 3 very and distinct things that I noticed.

1.  I am really not comfortable talking about the occult in mixed company.
I know most magicians who are "authors" will say this is not the case for them. Of course I often refer to many people as liars too, no correlation between the two events.

In Ohio, Christian Privilege is everywhere.  The sense of foreboding punishment was worse in Columbus.  People would leave nice burn in hell pamphlets when they found out from the internet I was into Vodou ( and found my legal name attached).  The uncomfortable feeling stems partially from actual issues and partially from internalization.  In this writing workshop, I knew I was working out the hesitation I have with writing on the new book.  My involvement with the public as a public occultist goes through both love and hate phases.   I have good PR resources, but the mixed feelings sometimes leave me uncomfortable.  I feel it is almost time to combine my pen name and birth name, or at least do serious magical work on healing this.  Of course, people were present from my day job at this event.    There remains an underlying fear of being outed.  In the past, I could have lost my job because of those religious reasons.  I know many people in the Midwest who had custody issues because of religion.  It is not like I can say I am a Wiccan either.  I do Vodou, Conjure, Chaos Magic, Goetic, and more... lots of ... well potent sorcery.   This worry is not completely unjustified and it is not something that people on either of the coasts really understand.  Bet my fans in Wisconsin or Kentucky get it right away though.  Owning this is difficult.  Mentoring from an elder coach would be helpful.

2.  My Writing as a craft has suffered because I have not prioritized it and I let too many things get in the way.

Did you know I was a published poet, and short story writer?  I threw all in on the occult to get 'Hands On Chaos Magic' published.  In some ways ( and this is purely personal), doing the occult was a different type of story writing.    The key there is about doing!!! Not needfully, endlessly talking about it.   I always was quite a perfectionist about writing, but never really crafted it.  I had some good ideas, but after being an occultist for 18+ years, I have ALOT more stories to tell between the astral journeys, to actual things that have happened to me.  I just let life get in the fucking way between the daily grind and keeping my personal disciplined magic take my time.  Of course, I have a few other obstacles I am working through that I won't talk about.  Somewhere along the way, I let the harshness of life get in the way of the storytelling.  Couple harshness + perfectionism demon and you get what you get.     Yep time to bust out that Ganesh work, since Ganesh is associated with writing.. .......

"Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva, Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa’’

3.   The Occult is terrible at branding and message crafting as a culture, and that goes back to point one.

Between bullshit artists in the occult and real occultists suffering from point 1 of this blog to a greater degree then anyone would admit, our cultural relevance is like ... zip.  Hollywood occultism and Illuminati conspiracy plays get a lot of air time, but actual magical work - Pretty close to zip.  More people will not admit, especially in the chaos magic sphere, how much this is true in America.  Elitism has not served us well.

So I was talking to a Yoga instructor at the event.  I was having a causal conversation about Yoga and more so mediation.  I basically told him, oh yeah I do tons of meditation and often use a combination of hypnosis, creative sensory imagination, and breathing to push my meditation much faster.  We had a private conversation about 'Hands On Chaos Magic' and how I was struggling to write another book.  I told him later when we were talking about Yoga,  that almost a quarter of my first book was biomechanics of breathing and meditation.  As an aside, that is fact what I got slammed for on Amazon.  This is relevant, cause, well like that reviewer (who does not really know what magic is about or probably was just a hater),  he was like that is a  big part of magic?  Yes. Yes it is.  Maybe some of the most important parts (unless you are a particularly onerous huckster) come from some sort of mind training.   In a way, if we are not really informing people, this is the level of misconception people have about any occult endeavor.  Mind or emotional discipline, nah... whack Hollywood shit,  Yep.  Time for many of us to admit point one is probably why we do not do this and why, well maybe we need to.  It is far more fullfilling to do magic then the common (even people who should know) think.

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