The World is Changing

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The World is Changing

Post#1 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:53 pm

In some ways, these changes are good; in other ways, they are not, by any standard or metric.

There is a 16th century Latin expression of which I'm particularly fond: tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis, which means, "Times are changed; we, too, are changed within them."

As times change, so do we and so must our magic. Some parts of the magical life have nothing to do with time and place. They are limitless, timeless, and they are usually the most beautiful parts of the Art that we can experience as practitioners. But the larger part of any system is culture- and era-dependent. For example, what would Enochian be without its Elizabethan frame? What would the Golden Dawn be without Victorian thinking making a magical counterculture possible? What would Peter Carroll have to say if conceptual and non-objective ideas in visual art hadn't combined with social constructivist theories and migrated into occult thinking? Anyone can cast a sigil. But to work through TOPY's Grey Book and become an art magician means understanding how certain assumptions about culture and creativity lasted into and converged in the 1980s. It's not just about The Invisibles, but it's about that, too.

A magician loves the lasting, the timeless, but lives physically in space and time, in the here and now. And so we either ride these new changes (not uncritically accepting them but facing them one way or another) or we hide from the zeitgeist and are dragged. I once asked a professor of mine why more people aren't writing the Victorian novel anymore. He said some people are (or are trying to), but he added that it's impossible not to take into account all the aesthetic changes that have come about since then. In other words, we can try to reconstruct what came before but, since we are products of the evolution from then up to the present, it will be our reconstruction, not the genuine article. In a way, this is good; it's what makes magic a living Art. But it can be painful, too.

So I pose two questions to Studio Arcanis (not necessarily to be answered in this thread but as questions to ponder):

(1) Will your magic change in response to what you see going on here and now?
(2) How will you care for the living magical traditions that you love?

If you have power, you have the responsibility of deciding what to do with it. As Crowley wrote: "Consider the Faubourg St. Germain aristocracy—now hardly even a sentimental memory. The guillotine did not kill them; it was their own refusal to adapt themselves to the new biological conditions of political life. It was indeed their restriction that rotted them in the first instance; had Lafayette or Mirabeau been trusted with full power, and supplied with adequate material, a younger generation of virtue, the monarchy might still be ruling France." ( ... ars/mwt_12)

So mote it be.

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