A Witch by Any Other Name…

Lately I have been following a thread on the Witches of Melbourne website ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WitchesOfMelbourne/ ) that has dealt with the subject of using the name Paganism or Wicca to signify the new age religion of witches and witchcraft. The debate has centered, on the one hand, around the need for an identifiable label that can be attached to an amorphous group of beliefs, citing the benefits that would come with official/government recognition of Wicca and, on the other hand they argue that no one label could possibly be sufficient to be inclusive of all of the modern Pagan groups, nor do 21st Century witches necessarily need such labels- “indeed”, they ask, “is that not where all of the trouble started with the mainstream religions? the attachment of relatively meaningless labels to spiritual ideals?”

The most interesting aspect of all of this, to me anyway, is the progress that it shows that these new-age religions have made towards mainstream acceptance. Twenty-something years ago when I first became interested in the occult, Paganism was almost an underground religion and its adherents fretted over whether their friends and colleagues would find out about their occult activities. Mistrust of mainstream religion was probably the most significant factor in most of the old-school Pagans turning to Wicca in the first place. Now Wicca is mainstream and beginning to clamor for some of the same consideration that society shows to more traditional religions. Does this mean that Wicca has sold out? Have the Pagans evolved into some sort of parallel existence with the Christianity that they thought to escape?

The SQ model of human consciousness

Serendipitously, I have recently made the acquaintance of a fellow who is promoting a scientific method of spiritual attainment based on sound psychological principals. Called ‘Spiritual Intelligence’ ( http://sqi.co/ ), his method seeks to achieve the same enlightened perception, the identical presence that many of the new age practices seek as an improvement upon their traditional religious experiences. In contrast to the almost informal teachings of Paganism, Spiritual Intelligence creates a technical language for its practices and defines labels for its basic tenets in order to make it accessible to the maximum number of people possible. In this way the SQ movement has been able to develop a stable discipline with clearly defined objectives.

From this it would seem that labels may do more than define a group but also they might delineate that group’s methods or disciplines and thereby imply their goals. For this reason perhaps, the question of semantics is central to the main issue facing all new age practices at the moment- the lack of disciplined methods and clearly defined goals. In the infancy of the Pagan/Wiccan movement these aspects were powerfully present but as witchcraft has entered the common vernacular the strict discipline of the craft, inherited from its Hermetic forebears, has diminished greatly as the definition of a witch has become broader and more inclusive of a wider variety of practitioners. Ironically it may only be when we transcend the need for any labels that we begin to truly touch on any sort of enlightenment at all.

Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.  But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all! –The Book of the Law, Aleister Crowley

images:

Sexy Vintage Witch: http://www.girlontheright.com

SQ : http://sqi.co/

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About dgmattichakjr

D G Mattichak jr was born in 1963 in Syracuse New York and immigrated to Melbourne Australia with his family in 1972. He was educated in one of Melbourne’s exclusive private schools before studying art at Preston Technical College. D G Mattichak jr has been a student of the occult arts since the early 1980s and has become well known in Australian magickal circles and, in recent years, around the world due to a string of essays on a variety of occult subjects http://www.scribd.com/dmattichak/shelf . He discovered the “key to the order & value of the English alphabet” from Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law in 1983 and has since used this English Qabalah to unlock the secrets of Thelemite magick. Success in these methods admitted him to the highest levels of attainment in various Hermetic disciplines and until recently he has been passing on his knowledge to private students, many of whom have gone on to become notable occultists in their own right. After almost three decades of study and development D G Mattichak jr has finally been able to distil his knowledge of magick and Thelema into a book- A Comment on the Verses of the Book of the Law, the first in a planned series of books on Hermeticism and Thelemite magick, revealing, for the first time in over a century, the secrets of magick that have been hidden in Crowley’s magnum opus, the Book of the Law. D G Mattichak jr currently lives in Melbourne Australia with his artist wife Michelle and their two cats. He has had a long career as an al a carte chef in Melbourne’s vibrant hospitality scene and now spends his time writing blogs on cooking, writing and, in the guise of Master Ankh af na Khonsu, about magick. He is also one of the founding members of the Mt Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering and regularly contributes to its official website http://mountfranklinannualpagangathering.blogspot.com/ as both an administrator and as an author. D G Mattichak jr’s first book Loot was released in 2009. His books are available through amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=D G Mattichak&x=13&y=20 .
This entry was posted in authors, blogging, Book of the Law, D G Mattichak jr, Magick, paganism, Thelema, Wicca, writers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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