As I have been not posting for a while, being busy with a new course I have set myself onto into my spiritual work, I did come to a few realisations that reflect to the mundane at the same time. In magic, and the history of various traditions I note that society keeps pace of change along with those venturing into the more occult side of life. Out with the old, in with the new is a reoccurring theme in religions, philosophies and societies. But for a keen analyst like myself, there are more re-occurring themes then meet the eye.
If I look at current developments with the Wiccan folks close around me, some may say that they are “breaking away” as opposed to those “who hold firm to tradition”, but listening to arguments, it seems to me that those that are labelled as “breaking away” are in fact more adherent to the original spirit of the tradition then those claiming they are “traditionalists”. It is a silent movement that is happening, silent but one with focus and resolve to keep high that bit of rebellion, that resolve to push boundaries in opposite to safely walking the downtrodden path. And as it is, the former is exactly how new traditions are founded and how one is to remain true to them.
Todays sociological political field seems to be divided in liberal and conservatism. But what is really the focus? Old fashioned conservatism comes from the word “to conserve”, to keep in place the status quo while liberalism is rooted from the word Liberty, to set free, to be able to head to new directions, to wrestle the shackles of old. But in that context, it seems that both “sides” are dipping into each other territories in what they want to “liberate” and what they wish to conserve. Nevertheless, a single action or opinion will quickly result in you being labelled and categorized in one camp or the other, as society hasn’t figured out yet that labels only serve to divide society, not to unite.
There are many things people like to change. As in the magical tradition point of view, people want to progress, they want to have their spiritual experience match their needs as in their social experiences. I’m all for that, but some people think they need to re-invent things that have been part of occult teachings for hundreds, if not thousands of years. And I have to say, the more “conservative traditions” have this coming to them, for clearly my studies has showed that they have misinterpreted a good few number of things.
When talking about principles, one often refers to analogies. True enough that an analogy only has a certain shelf life in an ever changing society, but some people have the idea, that once the analogy expires in usability, they must discard the principle as well. I have followed quite a few discussions about *social* gender binary issues and how some in the magical circles cannot let go of the outdated analogy and directly discriminate against a broad spectrum of gender identities. That shows me that these people do not understand the principle it refers to.
I had someone explain to me that earth religion in its base is the polarity of man and woman and that this has always been the case. But surprisingly, when study shows me that the actual base of nature religion is conception. Now conception can be a lot of things. It can be a man and a child making a baby; it can be the conception of an understanding through occult work, it can be the conception of a magical force in the craft. We don’t need a new principle, the old one is just fine and it just has been the last 500 years or so that quite a few people started confusing a single analogy with the principle. A true principle is flexible and one who studies the principles will develop understanding of it when one is able to find a multitude of analogies of demonstrating the principle. Another problem is that most people are looking to sexualize everything – or if there is a chance to interpret something sexual, to be offended by it.
Some people are actually reinventing the wheel, trying to formulate new principles because the do not like a potential analogy. That is the same motivation as those who hold onto analogy, not understanding the principle. people get offended by words like “polarity” and “gender” because they accepted the explanation of those who don’t understand the principles in the first place, and with that they get carried away. Even everyday English is not safe and needs to change to reflect all possible gender nuances because he and she don’t cut it anymore.
Funny that, because as English is not my native language, one of the first things I learned that if you want to remain gender neutral, you just use the word “One”. It actually makes real good English, no need for changing to They or Their for a singular person or use these pronouns that will make any grammar sensitive person cringe, Zhe or Hirs. And I like the word “one”. It indicates an individual, but it brings equality in value; you are one, I am one; and often 2 people choose to become as one. See what I did there?
Occult principles are quite like language. Sometimes there is something missing and you do need to make new stuff up to describe things in a modern context. So perhaps if the analogy doesn’t fit anymore, or the word doesn’t do justice to describe someone, why re-invent the wheel? If the analogy doesn’t fit, return to the principle. the answers are always present.