introduction to witchcraft in politics20 Dec 2022
As I was listening to an interview on Rune Soup with John Michael Greer, I was remembered that witchcraft was not only the legacy of poor people and women, not only my childhood obsession. When Greer mentionned that the occultists he was surrounded with were from the managerial class, it opened my mind’s eyes again to the political dimension of witchcraft. I started to dive into Greer’s books and realised that he was shockingly prolific. Many traditions and conspiracies came into focus in his writings, and there was also a whole lot of title about politics. I felt compelled to read some of them eventually, to see how it might sound.
One think Greer is conviced of is that we are experiencing the fall of our civilization. This is an idea I somewhat share with him (see Russel Means’ speech at the end of this entry). At least, it’s the imminent end of the American hegemony (hello USA’s Pluto return!), and hopefully, of the capitalist society at large. I think that the cyclical nature of human life and civilization is something important to ponder about again, like the Ancients did. Greer is explaining well where we are at, in our collective thinking. Indeed, we forced people to be convinced by the idea of progress, progress becoming the religion of our time, so what does one do when they realize we aren’t progressing anymore, and, worse, that we are even regressing?
When I’m asking myself those questions, I usually think about the working class, from which I am part : what are we thinking ? What could we collectively be thinking in this frenetic and precarious life that don’t give us the time to think that much?
But it’s true that we could also ask the question to the upper middle class and rich people. It’s true too that we could decide we don’t care what the “uneducated” working class thinks and try to enforce ideas upon them.
While I was still trying to make up my mind around Greer — is he someone I shousld cheer on? for popularising the occult, the magic, this other episteme I also defend with all my heart? or should I not put my trust in him at all, as he is a supsicious old white man? —, I stumbled upon a video that helped shape my opinion. The video in question was about how Greer was actually nurturing a climate where ecofascism could easly thrive. (On this topic, see digital entry fascism and conspiracies theories.) I’ve learned that he predicted Trump’s election and was ever since quite popular in the right and far-right spheres. I sighted without surprise. Of course, he wouldn’t be the magician ‘‘hero’’ I want to see in the world.
But I guess I am still grateful to him for putting back in my horizon that rich people believe and are using withcraft too. Can you believe he’s written a book named The King in Orange about the presupposedly magical war that shaped american politics behind the scenes since 2016? I need to read that.
I wrote ‘‘presupposedly’’ but, the thing is, I do believe in magic for real. I believe in mine, I believe in my fellow QTBIPOC’s one, but do I believe in the magic of the rich? Deep down, I think most of rich chaos magicians — or whatever name they may used for themselves — aren’t able of real powerful acts of magic, that they are probably just living in delusion, craving for more and more power, always. But, at once, I know that their traditions and mine share similar symbolism, that of tarot, astrology, kabalah, etc. and, of course, I do believe in those symbols and systems. I would invalidate my very own practice by completely discrediting theirs. Superpower or not, we both read the same stars in the sky.
Though, parts of me really believe that humans aren’t that powerful and that, therefore, we mostly rely on the magic of the nature around us. I also strongly believe that it is better, in the long run, to try to work with those magical forces of nature (association), rather than trying to tame them in order to harness them (domination). (See Eisler’s association vs domination framework here.)
When I was in my Youtube rabbit hole, learning about Greer and Atlantis theories, I stumbled about a video named Does Remote Viewing Work How To Be a Psychic Psy. The video was around 6 min and there was this old guy invited to a TV show to prove that the was able to remotely see where someone was and he was there to prove it. So they set up a woman who would wo go anywhere she wanted in London and the old man would write “thousand of pages” to get clue of what he saw “through her” to finaly disclose her possible location.
First, it wasn’t impressing nor convincing. Second, psychic spy, really?
Although I would adore to be able to spy on fossil fuels psychopaths, and that I do believe remote viewing is possible, please, someone, save me from myself if I ever go on a TV set pretending I’m James Bond or somethig to get attention from a potentially very sacred craft. I will not elaborate any further, I think it speaks for itself of how white men can think of magic. A mere other skill, self-promotion trick, potential passive income, name it.
So all of that to say that I felt called to go back to my unfinished work around witchcraft as political strategy for the left. Oh, how I crave more than ever a decolonial chaos magic by and for the people!
It’s been a while I’m mad at this sanatized paradigm of scientific thoughts and nothing else. Initialy, I was mad on the basis that the people in power who shaped history forced an idea upon us. But now I am even more mad because, it’s not simply a matter of pushing in. Picture a quite full suitcase : they didn’t try to push the idea in that suitcase, sat on it to make it close, and then forcefully zipped it. It if was what happened, maybe our suitcase-mind would be a bit crowded, uncomfortable with contradictions, but we would still be able to work it out. No, rather, they took out all our belonging that were in that suitcase without asking if we cared about them and burned it (actually, they secretly kept a part of it for themselves), filling the now empty luggage with only what they care about, only what would benefit them, not caring a minute about our needs.
What I mean by that is that they had to violently destroy in order to create their worldview. A bit like AI art today is destroying in bits of data meaninfulg art to render new meaningless art in the hands of capitalists.
The first time I’ve stumbled upon this emphasis on destruction this week was when I was reading the book Kitchen Witch : Food, Folklore & Fairy Tale by Sarah Robinson. In it, the author compared the witches’ trials to a second burning of Alexandria.
Today, I’ve heard another phrasing of that destruction that really triggered that ancient sacred anger. In a video by Advaya, Dr. Vandana Shiva geniously synthetized the evolution of thoughts since the colonization by Europeans. She went back to Bacon and said that, by enforcing a mechanic worldview, with the help of the State and the Church, they rubbed us up of so much. Killing the animistic nature of what surrounds us was the beginning of the end, or in Shiva’s terms, it was actually the begining of a genocidal epistemology.
Everytime my vocabulary to express sacred anger expands, I shout.
So yeah, going back to Greer… He might be an hyper archiduide or whatever, like yes, he might truly loves nature and enpower people to connect on a deeper level with it, but still. Still, I refuse to let people anchored in the paradigm that killed everything to benefit from witchcraft, witchcraft they systematically tried to take away from us.
Which brings me to say : if we need a magical class war, I’d be happy to help lead the way.
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