by Izi Ningishzidda
As occultists we all have to deal with various annoyances from our fellow man, but none are more irritating than those that come from other Occultists who really ought to know better, but don’t. Maybe they grew up without magickally inclined folk to show them proper manners, or they simply can’t put themselves in another person’s shoes, but either way they are fixable. For your perusal here is a short list of the most common and irritating habits I’ve seen even seasoned occultists make, all of which have resulted in me breaking off friendships in a blink of an eye.
1. Touching other people’s magickal “stuff”.
Whether it’s tarot cards, wands, jewelry or miscellaneous altar objects, never approach another occultist’s belongings and touch them in any way, ever. Even asking to touch is considered gauche, not to mention immature (What, are you going to ask next, to buy it?). There is no reason to touch anything, unless you are shopping for your own garments or bedding. Leaning in for a better look is tempting fate, but far more appropriate.
If you have to touch it with your hands you’re doing it wrong.
Magickal objects usually have tremendous personal and sentimental value to the magus or witch, and this is as important as theoretical possibilities such as field alteration or tiny wormholes leaking information. Some Occultists actually believe that touching leaves an imprint that is difficult or impossible to erase. It doesn’t matter if you think so too, or not – it’s rude to touch anyone’s belongings without permission in the mundane world.
Many of these holy objects are “charged” or very beautiful and can prove to be quite alluring and seductive, but if you don’t have enough self control to avoid touching sacred objects, it’s a sign you shouldn’t be in a circle or a ritual yet.
2. Irritating and Baffling Psychological Manipulation Techniques
I find that mostly left hand path identifiers are culprits of this obnoxious habit – of trying to use psychological ploys to influence others. I really hate it because not only is it disrespectful, it’s rude. You’ll be caught. You won’t get what you want (NLP is a pseudoscience and it does not work.) You will look stupid, untrustworthy, desperate and self-absorbed. Occultists who catch you will never trust you again and will probably put up mental barriers everytime you open your mouth. If you find yourself having to resort to NLP techniques to get friends or get what you want, you’re in for a lot of mediocre friends. Most people don’t go through life acting in the weird ways social manipulation gurus insist you must act. To smart people, particularly occultists, NLP smells a lot like rotten fish.
Others will regard it as a personal attack, and will act appropriately.
Just bring her some flowers and stop being creepy.
Good manners, good hygiene and becoming knowledgeable and interesting have worked for those looking to influence people for thousands of years and still work today. Most of the people that I like, and probably the ones you like, are genuinely likeable people. They are likeable because they go above and beyond saying please and thank you to learn real etiquette, or they are unique and interesting, having polished their intellect and character.
If you are not a natural at reading people and manipulating people, you’re not going to learn it from a book.
3. Blind Stereotyping
Occultists often resent Christianity because they were raised in oppressive Fundamentalist Christian homes with all of the weird programming they would like to leave behind, but then, why do you have to be anti Jewish? Because the Christians stole the Jewish bible and claimed it was written by their God now you have to hate Jews as well? Jewish fundamentalism is as obnoxious as any other religious fundamentalism, but occultist Jews also gave us Kabbalah, the Monad and Gematria. Without these, Western Occultism as it stands today would not exist.
This knee jerk stereotyping behavior extends to Satanism as well. Many occultists are very bigoted towards Satanists and forget that many of the greatest Occultists in history were Satanists. They ignore the philosophy – it’s just the title they hate, blindly. They are submitting to societal norms. It’s a herd consciousness and particularly detestable in Occultists because they are supposed to be the ones outside of the herd.
As a Jew and a Satanist at the same time, the friends who have obnoxiously pointed out their bigotry to either have quickly found themselves off my list of people I want to hang out with. I’m sure others have had similar experiences of being warrantlessly and blindly stereotyped.
4. Failing to Credit Work
Just because it’s an Occult work doesn’t mean you may reupload where you please. Many of the grid and mandala work here at The Abrahadabra Institute for example, is unique, found nowhere else in the world. You can’t even find it in past works. People should recognize the astonishing implications of the work here, but few do. Instead they do post it elsewhere, making inane comments about it and how these have been shown throughout history as amazing examples of Sacred Geometry, which is simply a bald faced and careless lie. There are a few groups particularly unwelcome at The Abrahadabra Institute due to many instances of claiming work that is not theirs to claim. They have neither a legal nor spiritual right to it, and rest on the assumption that because they are an old organization they must have assimilated it into their Borg-like collective at one point or another in history. (As if to bely their belief that all Occult research comes to us from 500 years ago.)
The living reality is that the Occult is always on the edge of the far reaches of what mankind knows. So if it’s not current, it’s really not Occult. No, not even Crowley’s work is Occult by today’s standards. We’ve pushed far ahead thanks to his forays, but you won’t become a great Occultist by hovering in the past. Always be careful to check that the work is not currently copyrighted by someone doing obscure research. That is the true Occultist and you should go have lunch with them instead of the guy in the coffin.
5. Taking Magickal Names You Have Not Earned
Taking a Magickal Name is a time honored tradition all serious Occultists take on eventually. Anything people do with intelligence is fine, but people take on names that are not being used to raise consciousness – they’re just being used to throw around at parties to express a certain vain intent. Names can and do turn on people who take them without having a right to do so.
This chick probably doesn’t call herself Lady Akasha Moonraven.
If you use Wolf or Raven in your name, you had better understand what it means. Visiting an oppressive and dubious ”wolf sanctuary” (like Wolf Haven International), or reading Twilight and buying Jacob swag doesn’t really help wolves at all. Organizing a peaceful rally to raise awareness on wolf related issues may be a good start. Learning about wolves and studying to become a biologist so you can help wolves in the wild is tantamount to their survival and is really honoring wolves.
6. Asking for Spellswork or Readings Without Them Being Offered
Also known as “Spell Begging”. Many find readings or spellwork exhausting, so if you have to ask before you’ve been offered one, you’ve already probably crossed the line into rude. Even if they offered in the past, don’t assume they are willing to do it again. Some don’t do work for others at all, and you force the person into an awkward and uncomfortable position. They’ll probably avoid you in the future. All in all it’s a bad idea and considered a social gaffe amongst Occultists, although it is quite common.
If you really desire spell or oracle work, just give them an opportunity to offer by expressing your confusion and concern about an area of your life. If the Occultist thinks you could benefit from a reading they will volunteer to help you.
Also, in the case of oracles, you’re under an obligation to supply a question that really can’t be answered with rationality or a bit of common sense. Chances are if you supply a dumb question to a reader who does fortunetelling for free, they won’t ever do a reading for you again.
People that ask about their future ex-girlfriend deserve to get pocket raped by gypsy gangsters.
You can pay for a reading, sure. But they’ll start responding to your neurotic tendencies by feeding you what you want to hear, just to butter their bread. Tarot readers who do so for money are under a lot of pressure to keep clients coming back, and they do this by withholding information that might scare you away.
Well there you are – 6 things you shouldn’t do. Avoid these faux pas and you will be well on your way to making and maintaining friendships in the wonderful and fascinating world of the occult.
Image Credit, from Top: Dragon Altar by Izi Ningishzidda, Welcome Footsteps by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Magic Circle by John William Waterhouse, The Fortuneteller by Georges De La Tour