One grows tired of bullshit occultism on the internet, designed to juice every last drop of disposable income out of the desperate, the uneducated, and the depressed. I personally find the suburban Wiccan crowd to be the most repellent, but it comes in all varieties, colors, and flavors. It always follows the same form: there is an exclusive practice / system / group that is better than your practice / system / group. It's sales and it can use anxiety, racism, sexism, classism, and any other -ism as fuel. Calibrate your occult marketing bs-detector with some examples:
- Someone attacks a system or practice that many people are involved with or have been in the past: "The LBRP is worthless." "This is why grimoires don't work." "This is why Goetia is stupid." "You can't manifest abundance in your life because of X, Y, and Z." Amazingly, they have alternatives to teach in their e-courses. I call this the "Rufus Opus Gambit."
- Someone plays the race card to a predominately suburban white audience: "White people can't do magic. This is why . . . " which either culminates in a racist put-downs (just give it up, soft clueless white person!) or ejaculates in a pitch that sounds a lot like the old vo-tech edu-business advertisements of the 1970s: "Are you in a job without a future? Consider an exciting career in electronics at Shineola Technical Institute!" Are you hopelessly practicing rituals in your attic when hubby goes to work but still not seeing that bitch, Susan, suddenly get leprosy like the website promised? Consider Authentic Haitian Non-Caucasian Voo-Doo with an Authentic Haitian Non-Caucasian Voo-Doo Expert!"
- Someone plays the race card to a predominately poor white audience: "No one can do magic except those from this particular Indo-European tribe (from which I happen to be a descendant). Volk! Blood! Anger! Street fighting! Midnight parades! Screaming in bad German! Horrible hair! Sign up today!"
- Some plays the exclusive lineage card: "You don't have the special transmission / initiation / darshan / head spirit so you can't do magic. Funny that I DO have that because I'm worthy. Don't you want to be worthy?" I call this the "My Group is a Spiritual Movement With a Compound Not a Cult Strategy."
- Someone plays the Euro philology card: "You have to speak 3 ancient languages and 5 modern ones and read the grimoires in their original editions or you don't know what you're doing. Buy my translation." The person saying this is usually trying to pass his or her humanities BA off as magical experience. Such translations usually suck balls, by the way.
- Someone plays the BALG card (which is a meaner internet version of the old Finbarr back-cover): "You can become a LIVING GOD [A LIVING FUCKING GOD!!!] if you bend over for Lucifer and buy this $800 spell kit. Now, it just happens to be that my name is J.Q. Lucifer Holmes, a certified Priest of Dark Damnation (tm). If you bend over now and let me go in bareback, I'll throw in this pre-printed vinyl Dark Circle of Ancient Eldritch Protection floor mat to keep the demons you're worshipping from acting like the demons you're worshipping. Hail Satan! Evil, evil evil!"
- Someone plays the Only Post-Masonic Lodge Magic Is Real card, a variant of the lineage card: "Our lodge is directly descended from this famous Victorian swinger’s club who dressed in funny Egyptoid costumes and had a secret handshake. Here are 50 books talking all about it [inaccurately, usually obsessing about Aleister Crowley and all the unprotected butt sex], but if you want to learn how to obtain the Knowledge and Conversation of Your Imaginary Guardian Angel, you’re going to have to send $50 to a PO Box in Akron, Ohio, where the Supreme World Imperator's duplex is located. Then you will be required to undertake a tedious tarot correspondence course that will last no less than 2 years and require weekly posts to our ‘magical journal’ forum that no one ever reads. Salutem Punctis Trianguli! Beware the Dark Brotherhood!” This particular hustle is (thankfully) going out of style. But it’s still around.
- Someone plays the ooey-gooey New Age Napoleon Hill Success Bullshit card, which encompasses watered-down Christian Science, Norman Vincent Peale, New Thought, Law of Fucking Attraction, Creative Visualization, The Secret, and Ramtha shit from the 80s: “Child, the Crystalline Star Lords have been waiting to impart the Secret of the Cosmos (tm) to you since your fifteenth Lemurian incarnation. It is merely this: think good thoughts at all times without interruption and only good things will come to you. Yes. You can manifest an Acura Legend, unlimited sexual partners, a new RV, and big wins at Poker-Keno today. The only reason you always fail is that you have a bad thought and feel anxious. Are you feeling anxious? See?”
- Someone plays the ooey-gooey Wiccan fluff card (still being played, amazingly): “You are a radiant goddess and Nature (tm) wants you to have cuddles in warm suburban comfort where everything is taken care of and the weaponized Christianity that fucked you up as a kid is only a distant memory. Burn some sage and buy an adult coloring book of fairies. We have a monthly subscription box for $500 that contains a tarot card, a candle, five different sticks of Hem incense, and an affirmation worry stone! Blessed Be!”
- Someone plays the Miller card (perhaps an even more opportunistic and demented version of the BALG card): “I was in [exotic region few people have ever visited, probably for about a month at most] Tibet and got initiated into the Vajrakrishnamuddhiparasvatachanahala method of traditional [sorcery / demonology / healing / witchcraft] by [the trendy ancient deity of the moment] Hekate and you, too, can have this wisdom for a $700 e-course that will help me put my kids through private schools and fund my vacation to the Bahamas. I am one of the least attractive males on the planet and yet, look at this, my sex tantra book! Don’t question my gnosis! My secrets are not for everyone, like I repeated over and over on Glitch Bottle last week! Om shanti shanti om by the power of Vaginakrakala of the Flaming Mala Beads!”
- Lastly, someone plays the Dark Fluff card (also going out of style but still strong with the younger BALG-specialty grimoire crowd): "Bound in distressed [no kidding] goat-skin, the Infernal Grimoire of the Dyspeptic Demons of Baator's Suppurating Uterus is now on sale. Regular version: $300. Ninth Layer of the Abyss Version [different color + devil bookmark]: $600 dollars. Black metal rules!"
Bullshit. All bullshit marketing. All designed to part you from your cash.
Instead: get a single occult book, work it front to back, keep a diary, avoid attention seeking and insecure online validation strategies, test your practical abilities, meditate regularly, and then see where you are. I recommend New Avatar Power, New Ishtar Power, the Mystic Grimoire, Mastering Witchcraft, and / or the Satanic Bible—whichever appeals to you emotionally. Or just learn to cast sigils from YouTube, get a spiral notebook from the grocery store for $5, and follow Grant Morrison's "POP Magic!" The point is to look for yourself, make up your own mind, don't fall prey to sales tactics, and save your money. Keep your BS detector honed. Post your findings on Studio Arcanis. And rule the world. Or at least your basement.