theomagica means 'divine magic'. this page is the front-room of my magical workshop. It's the place where I store things that are done. Things that might be of use to others.

- Frater Acher

The Magician as a Hero - or allowing the wilderness to be wild

Here is an interesting idea to make magic a little less chauvinistic. But watch out - if you are a somewhat like me it might result in a spark of disillusionment initially... 

In a newspaper I recently stumbled across an article reflecting on the nature of heroes. The idea and fixed story pattern of a hero obviously is one of the most famous Topos in all cultures. However, the author's reflection on these basic pattern of any classical hero story struck me as quite new and compelling. Here is my English translation:

“From Odysseus to John Wayne the hero has always been the one without a home - or the one who found his way back through a long journey only. His adventures always took place beyond the borders, in the open wild not yet subjugated to any law or civilization. However, open spaces like these have almost completely disappeared in modern times. All seas have been mapped, all mountains have been conquered and all wilderness has been explored before. The classical hero, the one who brought law and order to places that still used to be in a state of raw natural wilderness slowly but surely has become unemployed."

Now, let’s replace the word ‘hero’ with the word 'magician' and make another few adjustments to the quote. And then read it again: 

“From Odysseus to Aleister Crowley the magician has always been the one without a home - or the one who found his way back home through a long journey only. His adventures always took place beyond the borders, in the open wild not yet subjugated to any law or civilization. However, open spaces like these have almost completely disappeared in modern times. All inner realms have been mapped, all demons have been conquered and all magical wilderness has been explored before. The classical magician, the one who discovered keys to places that still used to be in a state of raw natural wilderness slowly but surely has become unemployed.”

Pause for a second and watch your emotional reaction... How does this feel? No spiritual wilderness left to be explored, no new tribes of demons or spirits to be discovered, all magical paths mapped in neatly pocket-sized glossy books for us?

Well, I can tell you how it feels for me. It's a total nightmare! And I immidiaterly have to admit: I really hadn’t been aware about this. But a big part of my fascination for magic seems to be exactly that: the adventures of the hero passing through the unknown (inner) wilderness.... 

Let’s think about it: despite the deep sea maybe the inner realms are the last open space left in our sphere of existence? Maybe the worlds we travel and explore as magicians, the relationships we create and the things we bring back home from our quests - maybe that is the closest thing we have left these days to the journeys of Odysseus or Marc O'Polo?

And another thought struck me immidiately: Let's stop trying to bring the 'law' to places that have been beautiful for millennia without us. I guess that's the attitude that started all the trouble we are in today: trying to civilize the wilderness, rather than accepting it for what it is  and embracing its mesmerizing ambiguity.

But what will it take from us? How does the story of a hero need to change? What type of heroism will it take to traverse the wilderness without trying to change it? Without trying to impose our way of being and fulfillment of our desires, our needs and wishes on the world around us?

Well, I guess the one quality heroes never really stood for is humility. And that's exactly what it will take. If we want the last spots of wilderness to remain wild, if we want to expand rather than erase the last open spaces on this planet our journey needs to stop revolving around ourselves and our greedy egos... We need to stop trying to write history. 

The times of the magician as a hero are over. Our times, however, as keepers of the threshold between confined and open spaces might just about to begin...? Let's read another quote and change it again slightly. Here is what Wikipedia tells us about the term dragoman:

A dragoman was an interpreter, translator and official guide between Turkish, Arabic, and Persian-speaking countries and polities of the Middle East and European embassies, consulates, vice-consulates and trading posts. A dragoman had to have a knowledge of Arabic, Turkish, and European languages.

And here is what it could mean for us as magicians:

A dragoman was an interpreter, translator and official guide between the outer and inner realms, between the spheres of humans, angels and demons keeping various interests in  fine balance. A dragoman had to have a knowledge of human, angelic and demonic languages.

Maybe when our journey stops being about us, about our achievements, our fears and wishes, we can restart allover again and achieve something really meaningful. 

: :

Did I ever mention that the wonderful Virignia Satir held the opinion that all conflicts arise from a lack of self-worth? Maybe that does the trick? Once we don't feel challenged by the wilderness in our own self-worth anymore, we can stop trying to change it into something similar to ourselves...  

What I have, what I have

Is nothing that you want

What I lack, what I lack

Nothing but your love

(It's easy)

Don't try, don't try so hard

My love is easy

Don't be the afterglow

These drugs won't leave me

All we have, all we have

Is nothing but our love

(It's easy)

It's easy, your love is easy

And I get more than I deserve

I get more than I deserve

Baby everyone some worth

And we get more than we deserve

Don't try, don't try so hard

My love is easy

Don't be the afterglow

These drugs don't leave me

Don't try so hard

My love is easy

Don't be the afterglow

Your drugs don't leave me

And I get more than I deserve.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Nothing But Our Love

 

Learning the Magic of my Ancestors - part 1

Less Creation, more Integration!