Redefine, Man..

I never much identified with other boys or men growing up, at least not any that I met in the waking world of direct and tangible consequences. Sure, I spent some of the countless daydreaming hours of childhood in roles that were decidedly masculine such as saving princesses or leveling battlefields single-handedly, but in most cases I was riding my dragon friend, exploring fantastic new worlds, hanging on every moment of my imaginal high-adventures and even in those hetero-boy dreams the enemies I was leveling were representations of phenomena I was gleaming from waking life observations about human habit and character, and the princess was almost always a swashbuckler like myself. It was not uncommon for me to imagine myself being saved by said princess-wizard or princess-witch, or even princess lizard-warrior-person; whatever I was into that week. I think it was about the intimacy of trust and surrender, more than anything; things I couldn’t find in waking life when I was young.

My brief foray into team sports was forced upon me and consisted of a constant barrage of the very worst of homophobic slurs and hate-speech and a whole lot of chewed-up sunflower seeds projectile-launched into my hair and face, all straight from the mouths of creatures who called themselves “boys” but seemed to me more like mistakes that we had collectively made as a species and a prime directive for birth control for future generations of forward thinkers. Yes, I was that cynical when I was twelve.

Years went by and there was a brief time when I thought it reasoned out for me to forego the title of “man” altogether. Gender-fluidity is an attractive creature. We are all a compilation, an unique master-cut gem composed of varying quantities of elements and minerals, forever blessed with striking the eye differently depending on the light, depending on the angle. In this sense gender fluidity is more honest and more accurate for every human person, but eventually it occurred to me that this distinction is only necessary due to the horrific reduction of “male” and “female” down to an harmful obtuseness, an archetype to which autocratic control of the idea is relinquished.

I mean to say that I could take a stance on the way “men” are overwhelmingly problematic by refusing to identify as one, but therein lies a failure on my part be active within the solution: I disagree with, and take offense to, the common conception of what a “man” looks and acts like, but when I choose to identify as something else all my efforts to re-pattern are no longer working towards the reformation of that definition of man. In essence, it’s just easier for me to abandon the man-ship than it is to fight that current and stand for a better idea of what men can be, how they can think of themselves, and how they can be nurturers as well as protectors. Hell, they can even still engage in psychologically healthy, culturally sensitive, well-placed violence when another man is giving us decent broheims a bad name, whether that be through physical conflict (which is another area seeming to lack an abundance of nuanced non fear-based analysis/thinking) or through strategic blog-posts and simply living well and treating others with respect and consideration (but with that secretly satisfying internal victory over all those who threw abuse in my general direction and expected me to become like them.)

I’m not asking anyone to change anything, to be clear. I just feel that this thought process has something worthwhile therein. The areas that need the most attention are the easiest to abandon, and I get that the concept of imagining a better male archetype is not a one-person job. It’s not even a one-generation job, but it’s one that inevitably needs to be done or I presume the collective spiritually conscious “we” will always be fighting the “men” in one way or another. We may not be able to change hearts and minds, but we are certainly familiar with working with ideas as living things. Perhaps that is an apt place to start. I’m not super comfortable with the versions of male archetypes that are running around in minds at-large these days and I’ll bet you’re not either, but if you believe like it do that the imaginal is a real place that is ever-presently interactive with the tangible, then we have a responsibility to start enforcing better ideas. If we abandon the masculine to the erroneous masses, we allow those archetypes to continue thrashing about throwing tantrums disguised as chivalry unchallenged and unchecked throughout the unconscious. We magicians have the upper hand in the realm because we know it’s real. Use it. Feed the good “guys.”

I know for myself Serapis has been a place to begin because, as it turns out in most cases, the fewer stories there are about a male deity the less there is to dislike.

I would love to hear about your own grapplings with masculinity in the comments. No rules just right.

Anyway, it feels good to talk about this. Because as much as I would love to just opt-out, the facts remain that I’m Man. Now it’s a question of how to nurture a non-toxic version of that and manifest it here in waking life as a collective activism and a living example to the emotionally underdeveloped, the testosterone-tweaked, and the just plain ignorant. Every domino that falls may knock two more down. Every time a decent man can show strength in vulnerability, he does the others a favor in striving for balance and providing an example. If enough of us acted as such, the tyrants could find no purchase on the climb to dominance. 

All Those Felonies Saved My Life

Ever since Nixon was in office, the hippies were hugging, and various black-ops projects on psy research were chugging along full-steam, perspective enhancing substances (whether or not they themselves are alive and have agency) have been on the shelf labeled “DO NOT TOUCH” and “POISON.” Two audacious proclamations; The first, a command that seems antithetical in a world full of plants presumed by most lawmakers to have been created by an omnipotent deity. The second, a lie. 

Propaganda, to be more precise. But we now know, as almost common household knowledge, that hallucinogens (a problematic term) can be, essentially, miracle drugs in some cases. 

Appropriate set-and-setting in harmony with appropriate dosage of entheogens (a far better term, thanks Wasson/Hoffman/Ruck et al.) is proving clinically and empirically to treat depression, PTSD, and addiction.

This is where I come in. Two years ago from this very point in time I was regularly using heroin and crack; an almost entirely unrecognizable human creature from the one writing this today. And most of the perspective needed to undertake the unimaginable amounts of healing and growth I had to face when choosing a better reality was made possible because of mushrooms.

Obviously, they don’t get all the credit. I mean, I did have to lose everything in the wake of the walking disaster that was myself in order to prompt the realization that my reality could, in fact, change. But when your brain is literally damaged and you don’t remember what it’s like to feel much of anything outside of a small spectrum, that initial epiphany is not enough to maintain a path toward health. And 12-step meetings, for me, were always torture. Hearing stories from dudes still kicking in the meeting was always just a window into a world where the high still existed, and could thus be acquired. I mean, hell, that guy had some yesterday. Cognitively re-living the same horror did not lead me to freedom, so I didn’t go back this time.

I have since found that I don’t need them to maintain my perspective anymore, but for the crucial stages of recovery, mushrooms it was. I would mostly microdose to get a sense of being “beside myself” in order to gleam a glance at patterns that needed changing. I could work on them if I could see them. And every once in a while it seemed necessary to undergo a more intense communion with the fungus. 

After we had made a significant amount of progress together they quite literally arranged a meeting, to my utter surprise, between myself and Kali Ma. The deconstruction and reconstruction process since has been far smoother, if not just as difficult, but I feel safe, loved, and cared for by a being that has proven her existence beyond time. That’s something!

I find it endlessly fascinating that the fungi introduced me to exactly who I needed to meet. Saturn, Venus, Mercury, and Pluto are in Scorpio on my birth chart (and my natal Sun is only a day from the cusp,) I steam from the ears when women are disrespected (even in that innocent-negligence way, bruh,) and I do not learn quickly or easily; I have to touch the iron myself. The powerful and fearsome body-parts-as-clothing four-armed demon-slaying goddess of Shakti was the teacher I needed and the mushrooms presented me to her without my prompting them for anything other than whatever they thought was best at the time.

I also find it endlessly fascinating that all of this, the healing of my family relationships, starting college for the first time, getting back into my spiritual practice, writing this blog, owning up to my “life-contracts” (as in the ones we make before we come here,) this metamorphosis was all made possible by a thousand little felonies.

I was a criminal when I was useless, and I had to remain one to get better. 

And nobody can change the irrefutable fact that all those felonies saved my life.

Passover to Panspermia in One Very Hot Take

“Man should not live on bread alone. And also sometimes, fuck bread.” -God.

Growing up in a Christian cult, I was lucky enough to participate in many an Old Testament holiday. That’s right; Christmas, Halloween, Easter, birthdays, and anything remotely glistening with festive innocence was dragged kicking and screaming into the spotlight of historical and dogmatic scrutiny and deemed pagan and forbidden. Because nothing says childhood like cynical asceticism. No, I didn’t get fun holidays. I got things like fasting.

This would have all been a boon to my ritually-inclined side if there had been any sort of coherence to the logic behind these rituals that seemed to serve no purpose other than self-punishment, but for little-bitty-Brian, there were no such reasons. I was offered no explanation that fasting, for instance, induced altered states, but instead given a flimsy logic involving frailty and dependence. There was never any sign in my father or mother’s eyes that it made sense to them, only a sense of duty and expectation. Like with taxes.

Even now that I am fully-grown and have my own practice full of ritual, I thought it might provide a way-in to a means of understanding these customs, but Passover was two nights ago and as I helped my grandmother put all the leavened food in a trash bag (one that would not go into the compost pile due to nuanced biblical law but be sent to the landfill to rot amongst non-biodegradables) I couldn’t help but fall into analysis.

The idea of this holy holiday, as I was always taught, is that yeast represents our sin and that for the sake of a ritual exercise, we will expel all sin from our property and lives in order to better understand what it will be like when Christ returns. Now, even if I ignore the irrefutable fact that from a cognitive sensory perspective this essentially equates Jesus’ comeback story with a removal of variety and enjoyment, I cannot ignore the audacity of both referring to something as ubiquitous and ethereally present as yeast as “sin” nor can I fathom what possesses the keepers of this holiday into thinking that something floating in the air around us all the time can ever be purged. You’re literally breathing it, even when you choose to eat flatbread for one week.

Yeast is our friend. The baker is it’s business partner and many of yeasts’ relatives keep your belly producing the right amounts of dopamine. Yeasts are actually fungi and I could literally write a  book (and I am) about the occult relationship between humans and fungi, and I’m not even talking about psilocybin here. Just fungi. The stuff that almost definitely came here from space and transmuted the rock into nutrients for bacteria and eventually plants to thrive on. I’m supposed to equate that with sin? 

In my mind, the numerous myths about the earth-mother or goddess sending forth a spirit to shape the land, a spirit of breath or air, does little in the way of excluding yeast from this perfect world when we consider that it’s ancestors likely shaped this world for us. There is a popular theory that water first came to Earth in the form of a giant frozen ice-cube, we already know that spores can survive being frozen, and some can even survive the vacuum of space. So let’s take a look at a popular story amongst practitioners of this yeast-banishing holiday, just for the sake of occulted perspective, from the viewpoint of the consciousness of the fungi itself, just floating in a block of ice near it’s spores and looking for a place to create a world. Remember ‘waters’ can be frozen and ‘without form and void’ could easily describe the planet pre-H2O.

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

Now what happens when that consciousness in a chunk of ice careening towards our solar system feels the warmth of our sun? After all, you can’t have biological life without heat as far as we know.

“And God saw the light, that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness.”

Now, if you are floating in space, it would always be daytime. But the second you descend to earth, from your perspective, you would have “created” night and day by “separating” the light from the dark through a change in vantage point.

Then, skipping to verse 6, we get some insight into what it would have been like in the very first days of mushy, water-filled Earth. Hundreds of thousands of years of chemical reactions, gasses forming and expelling, water sinking deeper into the earth before boiling back up into the atmosphere. This was one of the most violent and crazy times on the face of this planet, as the water cycle found its groove.

“And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”

And now we have rain, snow, clouds, etc. Due to some findings in 2019, scientists are fairly certain that fungi crawled onto the land long before the beginnings of plants or animals did thus juxtaposing my Genesis thought-experiment with the various messages transmitted to Terrence McKenna by the mushroom consciousness telling the exact same story. Look it up.

Feel free to follow the rest of genesis through the evolution of plants, then animals, and then finally the break in ice ages with God “resting,” and all the while it’s far too easy to imagine yeast’s common ancestor observing the whole thing unfolding through an experience of time that is wholly unlike our own. Anyone who has communed with mushrooms knows that time is not the same for them and they enjoy showing this off to us monkeys.

All it would take is one person on a meal’s worth of psilocybe asking to be shown where we came from, then passing that story on orally until it became doctrine many generations after it was first told. I probably would have called the voice “God” too after an experience like that.

Back to here and now, as I watched the yeasts being demonized and my grandparents seeming to act more out of obligation to rules they don’t need to understand in order to follow, I realized exactly what ritual means to me. The occulted relationships between us and other living things, like yeasts, already have stories present. Vast, rich stories that tell the true-true of our relationality. When we go ascribing meaning all willy-nilly it’s no different than interspecies racism.

Truly, and above everything else, ritual is about what makes sense to me and making a pariah out of the being that may have actually done all that legwork just doesn’t. The spirit of the power of the air just might be the same one that makes your bread rise. 

Put that in your animist pipe and smoke to your heart’s content.

Thanks for listening. 

Jailbreaking St. Benedict

It ain’t always easy being into what I’ve affectionately coined Christianimism as there are few sources worth pulling from that don’t bleed into, or borrow from, traditions that I’ve no business adopting. A lot of magic involving the saints comes from Afro-Caribbean traditions in which there are often other spirits using the forms of the saints and their iconography to interact with the peoples with whom they have relations. This is generally a bad idea for a white midwestern boy that has no authority with those potentially dangerous spirits, nor any idea what their relational protocol might be. 

There aren’t a lot of saints in hoodoo, and the Catholics in North America refuse to admit to their magical acts of devotion so there is a whole lot of trial-and-error, research, and creative magical thinking that has to come into play to adequately explore this most fascinating of Western magical traditions.

After reading up on the saints I was interested in and setting them up on my altar, of course I get contacted very strongly by two I had yet to even research or find interest in. This time in the blogosphere I want to talk about the occulting or jailbreaking of just one of those two pious characters; Saint Benedict.

It seems safe to think of St. Benedict as a Saturnian influence based solely on the nature of his miracles. He took sickness away from people, avoided sinister plots against him that would have resulted in him “dying before his time,” has a special protective nature against poisons and for the home, performed exorcisms, and had authority over whether or not stuff was physically broken. He also had a way of seeing deep down to one’s true motivations and exposing them for what they were. If that isn’t Saturnian, I truly do not know what is.

It is certainly worth mentioning here, however, that the majority of these miracles were performed by him through prayer, and while he believed very strongly that students should rarely speak and casual discourse was a path to sin, this most strict among brothers also built into his order that different prayers should be repeated for specific times of day, and repeated often. 

He believed strongly in the power of oratory prayer and this makes him a wonderful ally to be called upon to join one in a ceremony of prayer. This is also indicative of a Mercurial current that carries forth as a more minor accent, as well as a Jupiterian one in his renovation of monasticism that carries on to this day. 

So if you are trying to build a community and find self-discipline, he just may be the saint you’ve been looking for. Just remember, it was Benedict of Nursia himself who told his would-be underlings when they begged of him his leadership that they would only regret their request of his authority, for he would be too strict for their tastes in short time. To which they replied, “Nay! We will have you as our leader!” Attempting, of course, to kill him via poison not long after his acquiescence.

Turns out he was right.

He also became uncomfortable with being noticed for his miracles and disappeared into solitude a couple times throughout his life. One of which times was spent in a cave, mostly fasting, and could thus be an ally if one needs to spend a lot of time in solitude. Potentially if, say, quarantined.

I’ve saved you the trouble of reading The Life of St. Benedict and made a list of potentially magically relevant miracles and plot-points to consider both in the sense of narrative and apparent metaphysics. 

  • Fixed a broken sieve through prayer.
  • Dramatically threw a glass bottle out a high window to make a point to a monk, and because his cause was just, the bottle did not break – thus preserving the small amount of oil that remained.
  • Raised a boy from the dead.
  • Returned a dead zombie boy to his grave after he arose from it (different boy, probably.)
  • Cured folks of leprosy.
  • Discovered wine hidden by his brothers.
  • Multiplied food.
  • Multiplied Oil.
  • Prayed over a bowl/glass in which poison had been slipped in a conspiracy to kill him. Upon making the sign of the cross the dish cracked in two, spilling the contents and saving his life.
  • Avoided notoriety like the plague, knew when to walk away without shame, and made the most of his alone-time.
  • Patron saint of cavers and probably the influence for Tarot’s the Hermit.
  • Untied the knots of a bound captive with just a will and a glance.
  • Exorcised a monk who had lost his way by hitting him with a “wand.” – That’s so wizard.
  • He seemed to be able to tell when things would end through prophecy and vision, including the monastery he built as well as, down to the day God told him it would happen, his own life.
  • Had visions. And I mean visions. Check this out: “Benedict, being diligent in watching, rose up before the night office and stood at the window making his prayer to Almighty God about midnight, when suddenly, looking forth, he was a light glancing from above, so bright and resplendent that it not only dispersed the darkness of the night, but shined more clear than the day itself. Upon this sight a marvellous strange thing followed, for, as he afterwards related, the whole world, compacted as it were together, was represented to his eyes in one ray of light. As the venerable Father had his eyes fixed upon this glorious lustre, he beheld the soul of Germanus, Bishop of Capua, carried by angels to Heaven in a fiery globe. Then, for the testimony of so great a miracle, with a loud voice he called upon Servandus the Deacon, twice or thrice by his name, who, troubled at such an unusual crying out of the man of God, came up, looked forth, and saw a little stream of light then disappearing, and wondered greatly at this miracle. Whereupon the man of God told him in order all that he had seen, and sent presently to Theoprobus, a Religious man in the town of Casino, ordering him to go the same night to Capua, and learn what had happened to Germanus the Bishop. It fell out so, that he who was sent found the most reverend Bishop Germanus dead, and on enquiring more exactly, he learned that his departure was the very same moment in which the man of God had seen him ascend.”
  • He was also made psychically aware of a boy getting carried away by a stream, which he then telepathically communicated to brother Maurus, who was so motivated and justified by his psychic hero-mission that he didn’t even notice himself running on the water to save this kid by the scruff. Consider the shape of this, metaphysically. Perhaps he’s the kind of saint that will help you out in an emergency, to exceed your own limits and rise to impossible tasks with single-mindedness. 
  • When one of his monks decided to leave the monastery he began to pray for him. Upon leaving the monastery the monk saw a great dragon which frightened him into remaining with Benedict in the pious life. This sort of manipulation for positive influence is morally tenuous, and truly fascinating tactically. 
  • Consider this story for inspiration on emergency St. Benedict petitions for finance: “So he came to the Monastery, where finding the servant of Almighty God, told him how he was extremely urged by his creditor for the payment of twelve shillings. The venerable father answered him that, in very deed, he had not twelve shillings, but yet he comforted his want with good words, saying: “Go, and after two days return hither again for today I have it not to give thee.” These two days, as his custom was, he spent in prayer, and, on the third day, when the poor debtor came again, thirteen shillings were found upon a chest of the Monastery that as full of corn. These the man of God caused to be brought to him, and gave them to the distressed man, saying that he might pay twelve, and have one to defray his charges.”
  • Or this one if you live off-grid “…went up to the rock and there prayed a long time. Having ended his prayers, he put three stones for a mark in the same place, and so unknown to all he returned to his Monastery. Next day, when the Brethren came again to him for want of water he said: “Go, and on the rock where you shall find three stones one upon another, dig a little, for Almighty God is able to make water spring from the top of that mountain, that you may be eased of this labour.” When they had made a hollow in that place, it was immediately filled with water, which issueth forth so plentifully that to this day it continueth running down to the floor of the mountain.”
  • There is also a known cunning tradition of burying a St. Benedict coin at each of the four corners of a property for protection and fortification.
  • His iconography includes a raven, lending his appearance to sometimes resemble Odin when coupled with his staff and hooded robe. Saturn and Mercury, indeed.
  • Other Benedictine symbols include a broken vessel and book, though anything could be used from these narratives if they resonate with you, in theory.

Bringing up these narrative points as a means to consider potential ways of collaborating with St. Benedict is my sole intention, as I am only beginning to actually get to know him myself. I claim no authority on the matter and should very much like to hear from anyone who has worked with this saint.

One last point to consider:

PETER. I would know whether he obtained these great miracles always by prayer, or did they some times only by the intimation of his will? 

GREGORY. They who are perfectly united with God, when necessity requireth, work miracles both ways, sometimes they do wonders by prayer, sometimes by power. For since St. John saith: “As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become sons of God.” What wonder is it if they have the privilege and power to work miracles who are exalted to the dignity of children of God. And that they work miracles in both ways is manifest in St. Peter, who by prayer, raised Tabitha from death, and punished with death Ananias and Sapphira for their falsehood. For we do not read that he prayed when they fell down dead, but only that he rebuked them for their fault committed. It is evident therefore that these things are done sometimes by power, sometimes by petition; since that by reproof he deprived these of their life, and by prayer revived the other.

Experiment away, wyrdos. ❤

Thought For Food

How often do you wonder where your food comes from? Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a piece on GMOs, or even health at all. No, friends, this is a piece on the character of your cuisine. This is about the stories we eat everyday without reading.

Throughout the course of the 20th century humans have industrialized, commercialized, migrated and globalized both our economy, as well as our eats. And as our cultures have intermingled and our trade routes turned into chain restaurants and Amazon boxes, the foodstuffs that we grew up with have become a source of identity and pride. Whether that be from your far-away native land, or a few blocks down the street. 

Either way, the chances are, nobody makes it like your grandmother.

When you’re out there in the world, and something you find tastes like home, there’s simply nothing else like it. The intermingling of cultures means that our chances of running into familiar fare are greater these days than ever before. This also means that we have the opportunity to try and share so much more between cultures. And with delivery services you don’t even have to leave the park (or Netflix if we’re being very, very honest.)

The evolution of food items are also fascinating to follow in some cases. The ubiquitous Nacho, for instance, was actually invented by Ignacio “El Nacho” Anya for a couple of U.S. soldier-wives when they tried to eat at a mexican border hotel-restaurant which had already closed for the day. Clearly white-girl dining etiquette has undergone little evolution since 1943.

By tricking the intrusive patrons into enjoying a no-preparation plate of chips with cheese tossed on top, they had unknowingly created what would become one of the most beloved snack foods of all time.

The fortune cookie, the blessed poor man’s prophecy, actually originated from a modification of the I Ching called the Ling Qi Xing which featured a form of divination that was outlawed in its region of origin. That’s right, the fortune cookie was an illegal outcast in its own home. But those semi-sweet starchy vaginas of fate became immigrants as well, flourishing in their new land and into American strip malls from sea to shining sea.

There’s always the fanatically documented yet widely misunderstood history of the evolutionary lineages and delineations of pizza, with no end in sight to the hot debate on proper crust depth. And you can bet your best mozzarella that debate is heated by a wood fire. Ask anybody who cares about pizza. They will all tell you something different and exactly why everyone else is an idiot. It’s beautiful. The spirit of pizza is clearly an elitist, purist, blue-collar hero, peerless among the cool-guys of consumables.

And while we’re at it, I have a particular love for the story of the lobster. Yes, that deliciously expensive high-society dish that we now drown in butter but the British once referred to as the “cockroach of the sea.” 

When the British inquired of the natives on the coast of Maine what possible function these hideous creatures could possibly have, the natives then kindly instructed the British on how to crush the lobsters into a fluid and fertilize their crops with them.

Everybody agreed.

Lobsters weren’t food.

Until the railroad stretched across the U.S. and changed everyone’s lives forever (especially the lobsters’.) I don’t mean the pillaging and massacres of the “civilizing” west, I mean canned goods!

That’s right, before the settlers out west were, well, settled they needed protein to keep them going. Hunting and farming and murdering the indigenous is hard when you’re living in a tent next to a steam engine running all hours of the day (with hammers swinging), so we did the only American thing: We canned and shipped them sea-roaches fer eat’n reasons!

A few years later affluent gold-prospecting families were taking trips of novelty out East to try the famous lobstrosities fresh from the sea, and the rest, as they say, is industry.

If you find yourself remembering this article the next time you’ve got hand-to-mouth disease, stop. Take a second. Look at what you’re eating, and do a quick search. Both in your soul and maybe also on the internet.

You just might find an occult adventure taking place inside your mouth.

Bon appétit.

Tradition Vs. Aesthetic

I like my coffee like I like my magic; Stong, dark, and ethically sourced. Folks! It was the ‘ethically sourced’ part that roused me to ruminate on an issue which has been crawling under my skin for some time. I have grown to abhor that seemingly inevitable question which one encounters when meeting a group of occultists for the first time. A question which always feels, to me, as abrasive as a thunderous fart shattering the mood of a riveting Sunday mass;

“So, what tradition do you practice?”

I know, I know, it’s just an innocent conversation starter, and I can certainly relate to the feeling of novelty by which one is enrapt when they finally take their spirituality back from their parents (or whoever) at long last, but there is no way around this being discourse which falls well over the line into laziness and this particular vernacular record-scratch is, I dare say, also damaging.

The word “tradition” implies a lot more than an aesthetic with which you resonate. Tradition is not merely the adaptation of cultural and spiritual lifeways according to one’s understanding, but implies the total immersion in a worldview which is passed on through stories, practices, and cosmologies. There is no amount of solitary study or praxis, no amount of books that could be read which would suddenly induct you into a tradition and there never will be. Tradition implies ways of life; a life which, in most cases, we simply have not lived.

Sure, everyone has aesthetics they resonate with more than others. Use that to your advantage, absolutely do, but don’t say it’s hoodoo because of your Florida water. It isn’t. 

I have personally had experiences of being visited by a couple minor, and one major hindu deity through no will of my own, but I do not know their customs or lifeways nor have I experienced their culture. I wouldn’t dare call myself hindu, though the initiation of contact by another entity or form seems to reach a level beyond appropriation so long as it isn’t misrepresented as a cultural understanding.

Giving a shout-out to the traditions in which you find inspiration without simultaneously colonizing them is something of an art unto itself, but there is a whole world of Christian and Catholic magic, grimoires, saints, prayers, curses, and “folk” magic all relating to traditions you likely have actual claim to, so the more  research and effort put into jailbreaking these avenues the better off we will all be, and what better way to transmute your relationship with Christianity than using scripture and psalm for magical ends?

Until then, perhaps we can summon a little true-speak and sharpen our tongues to something like “What aesthetic are you into?” or “What traditions do you draw inspiration from?” it’s wordy and doesn’t flow as well, but belittling the entire worldview of a people through negligence doesn’t flow too well either once you start to hear it in action.