Magick and Society

When two or more folks get together, the conversation inevitably turns to modern society and how decadent it has become. It’s no secret that since the early 1980’s the morals and principles we once took for granted are now nearly non-existent. This decline is not limited to the United States, though the US is the standard bearer for such a decline, it is now clearly evident all around this world of ours. We now live in a world society that is extremely self centered and in many aspects is quite artificial in relation to spiritual reality. The human population has raped much of Mother Earth to the point where she is starting to fight back by such means as global warming and of the dreadful consequences that such an adverse reaction brings. We as a species have become extremely arrogant and self serving in many different aspects in regards to the me, me, me, society that we now endure.
As a witch, I am constantly in search of answers to such a downwards spiral in societal values, which are no longer limited to a certain geographic area or population, but which now affect what is in essence a world-wide village.
Having practiced mysticism for nearly five decades, one would think that one possible solution is self evident. And that is that in general, Pagans should consider using magick or energy work as it is known by some to help counter balance the massive amount of negative energy that our self indulged human population has brought upon this weary planet. However this lends itself to several wakeup calls as it were.
The most obvious is the fact that a society has to have certain influences in place for it to go one way or the other. The Roman Empire found this out when they went down the path of self absorption and personal satisfaction at any cost. To my mind the two most obvious influences in place during their rapid decline and indeed during our own times were and are politics and organized religion. I personally see both of these institutions as the same animals but with different names. In my view, I see both of these concepts as implements of control over the population. And when such devises are allowed to proceed unfettered, well the results are fairly evident.
A simple example of this is trying to drive down an interstate anywhere in the world while doing the posted speed limit. You will need more then two hands to count the number of middle fingers that will be directed your way. Or else you will be gritting your teeth as some moron attaches themselves to your rear bumper. Which may in some cases, prompt you to return the gesture of the ever popular middle finger.
Such a decline in self respect and indeed, respect for others has come about because in part, these two institutions, which affect virtually every aspect of ones life are themselves in rapid decline. The power of the few has become the focus and priority over the needs of the many.
And in most instances, these institutions work side by side. There is no realistic separation of the two. You may have doubts about this but ask yourself this, can someone who is openly pagan ever become a president or prime minister of a country in our life time? Or even in two lifetimes?
The next thought that comes to mind is far less apparent and again it is in part because of the overt influences of these two institutions.
We now find ourselves in a period that some call the New Age. Where there were once small covert groups of folks quietly and secretly practicing their mystical spirituality, there are now droves of folks who for the most part find them seeking a level of spiritual satisfaction that was unattainable in conjunction with their former beliefs.
What was once for the most part a secret society practicing under a repressive and at times a dangerous state of organized religion and its partner, politics, has now become available to everyone. The internet has of course been the main contributor to opening the floodgates.
And as an undesirable side effect, we now have a deluge of 20 and 30 something’s who crow to the world about how they are masters of this or that discipline. It is the lack of discipline in a society that thrives on instant gratification that concerns me the most.
After 2000 years of blatant repression and a concerted effort by organized religion and their political partners to cloud the minds of folks to the mystical arts and all of its possibilities, well, I seriously doubt that there are any true masters of the mystical arts left in this world. This is not to say that there are not Adepts around who have devoted their lives to the magickal arts. They are around, but I personally think that for the most part they shy away from the pagan community in general. There are far too many issues such as bloated egos and drama for such adepts to take an interest in anything outside of their own comfort zones. And this is quite understandable.
These folks focus on what really matters in their lives to the exclusion of all of the emotional detritus that so many folks seem to savor in place of a more meaningful reality.
And so if my personal assumptions are correct, that there are no masters of the arts, currently living and that the small number of adepts that are around tending to avoid the morass of drama that characterizes the pagan community, what does that leave us?
The pseudo masters who have lived but a third of their expected lifetimes?
The reality may upset some folks, but many folks who now call themselves pagan, continue to put artificial material needs ahead of the reality of spiritual growth.
After some twenty plus years of teaching the mystical arts the one thing that stands out clearly is that many folks do not have the patience and/or discipline to apply themselves to the demands of the mystical arts. And this lack of substance affects the quality of magickal and/or energy work. An example of this is visualization. This is a basic tenet of energy work. And yet after two centuries of suppression, it is one of the most difficult aspects for a new comer to the magickal arts to learn. Reading auras is another basic tenet of the magickal arts which at one time was as basic as taking a breath. And yet I have personally met very few folks who can see that which is present quite clearly in their minds eye.
But then the purpose of this treatise is not to judge or criticize folks. Rather it is to raise awareness of where we are today as a mystical community.
Even if we could put aside our numerous ego issues and myriad differences, could we as pagans make a difference in the world using magick as we currently know and understand it?
Do we have the inner strength to admit that perhaps we don’t know all there is to know about the Craft and to find the discipline to get back to where we were prior to the predatory intervention of organized religion and its ever present arm of enforcement known as politics?
Can we attain the level of maturity necessary in time to make a difference in this decadent world society that we so often lament about but then do nothing of substance to change it?
In closing I would like to say that as an old man and old witch, I don’t see this change taking place in what is left of my life in this realm. But like many of you I also have children who will have to endure the spoils of our bitter crop. And while I don’t have the answers to the questions asked here, I do have hopes for your children and mine. And that hope is that enough of our children will wake up and see what is happening to Mother Earth and her denizens by the hand of her very own children. It is my hope that those of us who raise our children in the pagan ways will inspire them to seek a deeper sense of understanding then what we now see in the world village.
And that they will find the discipline and patience to become effective tools of such a badly needed change in the current waves of negative energy that is sweeping us ever closer to repeating the mistakes of the ancient Romans and indeed other ancient and perhaps not so ancient civilizations.
If not, then what is the alternative?  
Of course there are some individuals who do make small contributions to try and balance the ocean of negative energy that grips this world, such undesired energy that we ourselves are responsible for. But when one takes a look at the insanity that passes for society, it obviously is not near enough. It will take the concerted effort of many, many more folks to bring us back to a semblance of sanity and quality of life for ourselves and our children.
And of course there are those who will sit on their laurels and say that such self imposed insanity is the natural way of humans. And to that lame assumption I once again point to the unfettered amassing of power by politicians and their partners, organized religion. These two institutions simply love such apathy by the very folks they seek to control. And so the downwards spiral continues…