Watcher of the Dawn
Goetic magician slams out of date “secret masonic” magic
July 25, 2013
Respected British Goetic magician Jake Stratton-Kent has blasted what he calls the tendency for ritual magicians to form masonic style groups.
Writing in his Yahoo group, the author of Geosophia, said there were lots of reasons he find the ‘Masonic’ model a dead loss in the many, areas of modern magic where it applies.
Masonry was good as a cover for free thinkers in an age when – for example – non-attendance at Anglican church was an imprisonable offense in England.
“That time is over. The whole Secret Society model is not only unhelpful, but actively counter-productive. It is the principle reason why so much energy is expended fighting tiny little wars between factions (between witch groups, between rival Golden Dawns, between thelemic groups etc etc),” he said.
He believes that energy could be better spent incorporating the real advances in recovering our tradition made possible by non-secretive sources like academia.
Stratton-Kent said that one reason parts of the grimoire community are advancing faster than any other area nowadays is that it doesn’t automatically include the masonic model.
“Whether in Magical Orders or Witchcraft [the masonic model] leads to infighting, stagnation and parochialism,” he said.
He added that he had no more time for ‘invented history’, which the entire occult world seems to rely on to an alarming extent.
One of the things that gets Stratton-Kent’s goat is that witch groups or magical orders have been unable to indicate that they have possessed any privileged information on his specialist subject goetia.
“Since the C19th the goetia has hardly moved at all – at least, not among occultists. Even if someone is jealously guarding material from deeper into the C18th/C19th it still lacks a lot of context, info and insights now available from modern scholarship, the papyri,” he said.
Things have stood still for so long that modern research has got further along without them, and esoteric groups don’t want to catch up.
Stratton-Kent said that there is a major epidemic in recent modern occultism which he dubs the “dark fluff” movement based around the teachings of Kenneth Grant and Michael Bertiaux.
“There are so many ‘darker than thou’ types out there playing silly games with the Qliphoth, Necronomicon, Atlantean initiations and such. The grasp of the roots of magic in this ‘niche’ is even more bogus than the ‘occult establishment’ of the C19th and its offshoots, “Stratton-Kent said.
He said that such types were just establishment “Spookying up the Golden Dawn, Crowley and modern witchcraft with a dash of Lovecraft and Qliphoth.”
None of them was more informed about the real roots of Western magic in goetia.
Stratton-Kent feels that masonry was being used as a substitute for elements of the magical tradition we’d either lost, or felt uncomfortable with in a more orthodox religious environment.
Virtually every western school has relied on Masonry to fill in the gaps for so long that they are no longer very interested in recovering what it that was being substituted.
“There is so much Masonic bathwater that has to go to make room for real babies in the bath, and change frightens people,” Stratton-Kent said.
The masonic approach means creating a bogus history and Masonry predominate, even though there is much better information and different structures available.
He maintained that the roots of what has been called ‘black magic’ by later philosophies and religions, is in fact an incredibly rich tradition distinct from them, not defined by opposition to them, or even reliant on qabalistic or neoplatonic terms.
“By clinging to bogus history and the secret society model, we are selling ourselves very short indeed as Western magicians,” he said.
Weighing in on the side of the “masonic groups” Aaron Leitch, writer of Secrets of Magical Grimoires, told the Yahoo group the magical orders and secret societies did have a place in the Western Mystery Tradition.
He said that they are not using Masonry to “fill the gaps” of anything, if anything they are doing things the other way around.
“Masonry has removed itself from its own mystical underpinnings so far that, these days, young Masons are apt to seek out the Golden Dawn to fill in gaps,” Leitch said.
He cited the case of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn chief adept Chic Cicero who joined the Masons with the intention of learning something about the origins of the GD.
“After reaching the position of Grand Commander of Florida, he found nothing useful in that regard – and in fact found himself teaching them the mysteries behind their tradition,” Leitch said.
He agreed that the orders were not going in the direction that Stratton-Kent was pulling.
“Even my own Solomonic work (which you know is pulling in pretty much the same direction as yours) is done outside the confines of my order. But I just can’t see my work in the order as some sort of detriment to my Solomonic work,” he said.
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