The Intricacy of Practicing Magick
by Saint Reverence
Not all occultists are the same, and yet whenever many of us, including Santeros, Wiccans, Satanists, Yerberos, etc, publicly admit to practicing "The Craft," we're met with bewildered expressions, fear, and lots of judgment. Despite most of us being great people and not all "different" from others, we're occasionally met with hatred and bias. It's because of this that for many of us, being public about our practice is a dangerous decision to make, and thus a very courageous act.
Historically, occultists have been around since long before the Judeo-Christian theology developed. In fact, modern day religions have taken practices from pagan worship, repackaged it, and passed it off as their own. For Catholicism, for example, they cleanse during mass with either copal (frankincense) resin, or sage smoke. They worship saints, angels, and deities through lighting candles, holding festivities on their designated dates, or bowing to them in prayer for specific needs. These practices are all either stolen or "adapted" from native practices of indigenous cultures around the world. They are then villainized, along with the cultures stolen from, and used to support racism and socioeconomic disparities.
In my collegiate studies, we read into the birth of Christianity. What started off as a genuine revolution, quickly became a plot and ploy by the greed of men. They reached out to other smaller culture groups, that coexisted relatively well with the Roman court, and convinced them of power if they trusted and followed in Christianity. There are written records of how those cultures were allowed to practice as they wished, so long as it was a private practice within the home or their local communities.
This isn't to say that religions haven't all become weaponized due to corruption, but the biggest organized religions in the world are now the major culprits of oppression and violence against minorities. They've created their structures and protections in ways that are heavily intertwined in our governments, our society, and our cultures. In fact, there are, and will be, several records of how interested modern governments are in magic and the occult, constantly practicing and learning in private. Their heavy interest in our practices, while vilifying them, has me heavily suspicious that they have heavy mojo in their pockets, not just weapons and money.
We're currently in the beginning phases of a revival. Masses are returning to their roots, deities, Earth and nature, and ancestral worship. The trouble is evident in different ways: we're still villainized and ostracized by a society that has grasped onto religious candor and this rebirth is happening in a highly commercialized time where it's all about financial power and worship. Cultures are stolen from and commodified, slow and methodical approaches are abandoned for fast turnover, sacrificing ritual and quality for the sake of a dollar.
We're clashing with the older generations that are still intertwined in religious order - not religion itself - and allow it to dictate their views of society. The need for our ancient practices - those that truly honored the Earth, the Spirits, Life and Death, is greater than ever. Many honest people are turning to magic to save themselves from the toxic patterns of our society, and in return, breaking generational curses and trauma to revolutionize the future.
Which leads us to these questions: if our practices are still seen as evil and bad, how can we move toward a society where we can practice safely in public? How can we seek out reparations for the cultures that are constantly stolen from for the sake of social order and financial pursuits? How can we participate in saving ourselves and others, and not waiting for others to save us, while not being a martyr? How do we practice magick wholeheartedly in an honest way, while not crossing lines or participating in appropriation? How do we remediate and create new environments where races and cultures can be equal?
These are heavy questions but vital and important ones to tackle while we practice. Many of us are coming into this resurgence of magick without prior knowledge of proper etiquette or ritual, and thus can easily and/or innocently disrespect others. It's important to practice regular research with experts, and being actively mindful when we practice, to do right by others, not only ourselves. Be careful when you share information that you read online, as most of it may come from people that are echoing what others have said. It quickly becomes a game of telephone, and places many at risk - especially those who are new to the craft or have their defenses and protection down.
We at Saint Reverence strongly encourage practicing MINDFUL magick and developing actual rituals. Don't force yourself into cultures that are not welcoming of strangers or are commonly known to being closed off, eg. Voodoo/Vodou. Don't half ass things either, especially summoning, burning things, or blood related things. It shouldn't have to be said but don't burn things that give off too much smoke or fumes in small, enclosed spaces. Don't participate in purchasing herbs or tools that are mass produced and not sourced from indigenous cultures - not only are they putting those cultures out of financial gains, which they rightfully deserve, but these are also weaker knock offs and often times fake.
Start very simple in your journey. Daily meditation and reflection, daily healthy habits and switches for healthier foods and habits, are intertwined with your spiritual capabilities. Daily ACTIVE practices of self review is crucial - write your thought processes down, identify your habits, and identify if they come from a place of desperation, victimization, or survival. Actively work on changing your habits and thoughts. It's the most powerful form of protection and spiritual strength.
With mediation and time, will the answers to our questions come. We can change the future, but it will require our efforts and our courage. Healing ourselves is the strongest act of love and humanity we have to give to the world.