It is a shame that the majority of newcomers approach the Deep Wisdom of Thelema through the door of occultism, and it is even sadder that almost everyone seems to stay therein. Thelema offers so much more!
Occultism in the present (artifice) context translates to the murky waters of alpha-numerical riddles, wandering around in the dark room all dressed up, performing some ritual, houses, degrees, hours, correspondences, and the abstract symbolism of the various divination methods along with the mix of Eastern theories and Western intellectual might.
And, of course, the occult also seems to embody the scrambled eggs of pretty much everything mystics in the West could come up with (in the absence of the original Kabbalah teachings) over the centuries and molded into one relatively blurred method, Hermetic or Mystical Qabalah. And let us not forget the obligatory elusiveness and mysteriousness of, ummm, I really can not fathom what.
All of that is almost like a childish play with no other aim but to conceivably indulge in the glamour of astral attraction and oh-so-sweet perception where almost all meaning is imputed and no actual progress (higher EQ, more choices in life, deeper relationships, etc.) is realized.
Sitting here and writing about this, how many occult rituals, divination methods, and alpha-numerical riddles are there in the original Abramelin operation? None.
It makes one wonder why.
Having said that, I do declare I spent quite a while in the dark lake of the occult practices. And I do not mean the mix mentioned above of anything that goes (much like in the touchy-feely New Age movement).
It was a strict and focused practice directed by HGA (in Her various emanations): Goetia evocations and Grimorium Verum op.
Those occult practices contributed a lot to the overall development – my underlying intention was always to open up and connect with Reality on more profound and intimate levels. All the operations were employed as a service to my HGA. It took years.
I did not invent anything new; no new sephira was added to the ancient Tree of Life, and no further interpretation of already established systems was formed. Quite the opposite:
I had to let go of much of the ballast accumulated over the years of study. It was about deconstructing my perception of Reality, the dissolution of self-centredness by demolishing my mental fortress.
It was about opening up to a new, unknown, and deeper Reality above reason.
What am I saying here? That my way is the right one and that all other students are wrong?
Of course not.
What do we want, though? What is our deeper intention?
The intention makes all the difference. At the bazaar of genuine spirituality, the stakes are high, and it is not about the action. It is about the intention.
In the Temple of Nuit, the occult practices are unimportant in and of themselves. Getting involved in these practices without profound understanding and viewing the greater picture is an immense oversight.
Occultism is only a path (like the Left-hand path or any other tradition), one of many, and a mix of methods that ought to lead ahead (does it?).
It is not a goal in itself (unless you want to sell your fantastic book to the new age audience, I guess).
Yes, it is indeed exciting to heal a stomach pain instantly, return lost items, or get that hot damsel laid. It is helpful to see the future or the forthcoming sorrows, and getting relevant info about the past can sometimes prove invaluable.
However, none of the above will produce the K&C of the HGA, and most definitely, it will never secure the permanent crossing of the Abyss.
It all depends on the intention.
In our Temple, we tolerate the occult practices as long as they serve the profound identity development and deconstruction (or rather, reconstruction) of relative perception of Reality and attaining the embodiment of that Will that lies above reason.
There is no ambiguity here:
It should never be forgotten for a single moment
that the central and essential work of the Magicians
is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel…
…who can be invariably and inevitably relied upon to lead him to the further
great step-crossing of the Abyss and the attainment of the grade of Master of the Temple.
Anything apart from this course is a side issue and unless so regarded, may lead to the complete ruin of the whole work of the Magician.
– Master Therion, Magick without tears