I’ve been looking for new books here lately because I’ve gotten bored with reading silly fiction and want something that will engage the intellectual side of me. I’ve looked through a lot of the older stuff like Crowley and Mathers as well as the more modern stuff that you can find at Barnes and Nobles and have pretty much come to the conclusion that there has been no progress in the Pagan community since Crowley’s time–except Chaos Magick (though I’m not all that interested in reading about it too much right now). There have been almost no new innovative magickal techniques since the days of the OTO and Golden Dawn, and I think that that is a serious issue.
Everyone has heard the stories of the Middle and South American shamans who were able to shapeshift. What about the druids who could mystically cure people’s illnesses through dances and trances? What about the medicine men of Native American tribes that were feared because it was said that they could bring ruin to an entire tribe simply by doing a bit of magic? Why has no one tried to progress at least to the point that these people seemed to be? Everyone who’s been in the magickal world for any significant length of time has realized that as it stands, people are not able to do the things that were common 1000 years ago. Why is that? Where are the innovators of our community? Where are the researchers?
I feel that we as a community should be able to do incredible things. We don’t have to stay hidden like the past secret societies were. We don’t have to write letters back and forth for months to have a worthwhile idea exchange because we can do it all via email and instant messenger in the matter of a couple days. We have places like this blog where anyone and everyone can comment and tell me that my ideas are stupid, or can tell me that if I turned my left foot a certain way that I’d be able to levitate.
I know that there are currently hundreds and thousands of forums, organizations, covens, and groups of people that communicate regularly about Pagan topics. What exactly have they done? Where are the books that have the new innovative ideas in them? The Golden Dawn and Wicca are the only two groups that have come up with systems in the past 100 years and they were formed from secret societies. Their systems have influenced a great deal of the Pagan beliefs, but why has everyone decided that it’s okay for us to stay stagnant and never progress towards being even more effective in our magickal pursuits?
I feel as though we, as a community, have the potential for so much more than anyone before us has ever had. We should embrace the fact that we can communicate so easily with millions of people through the internet and the ease of printing books. We should be outdoing everything that our ancient ancestors even dreamt of doing as we have in all of our scientific pursuits. Magick is a science and should be treated as such.