The birth of this updated website, along with a forum to share ideas through blogging, presents the potential for a magickal experiment beyond what has ever been done before. However, to explore this requires a bit of information and history so we’re all on the same cyber-page.
Two Human Needs
Humans and other mammals are social creatures. We physically and mentally need the contact of others, especially those who are similar to us. When it comes to people involved with magick and occultism this has traditionally meant meeting in lodges, orders, covens, etc. For people who can’t meet regularly with groups such as these, or who choose not to, I have strongly urged occasionally meeting with people at meet-ups, festivals, celebrations, conventions and so on. I often attend such events myself. Such meetings provide information, education, support for your beliefs and friendly smiles instead of uncomprehending stares. It can help renew and reinvigorate you. But again, not everyone can get to such meetings.
Besides a need for socialization, humans seem to be different from other mammals in that they have a deep inner need for something…more. For some, this need to seek “more” may be just a feeling of being amazed at the workings of the universe. Others, such as myself, see this as a need to seek the spiritual, the magickal, the divine; to seek God/dess. This was further proven to me in the book Core Transformation by Connirae and Tamara Andreas, which shows how people seeking to solve their personal problems most often, at their very cores, desire this link to the spiritual and intuitively recognize its absence.
Four Decades of Seeking
When I first became involved with occultism and magick as a youngster there were few communication modalities for non-traditional spiritual seekers. I wrote scads of letters to people around the world. Eventually, some people started to produce newsletters. These were usually non-professionally created pages reproduced via mimeographs (ahhhh, that smell!). More expensive ones were duplicated on photocopiers. A few went on to become magazines.
But the bigger they were the longer they took to produce. Some of us began to look elsewhere for more rapid communications. With the availability of relatively inexpensive personal computers, there began a rise in what were called electronic “Bulletin Board Systems” or BBSes. I remember using a computer running at 8 megahertz(!) and a 600 baud modem over telephone lines that took ages to transmit simple text. BBSes, often available only during certain hours or on certain days, were later replaced by “newsgroups” on the Usenet “part” of the internet. As those newsgroups became swamped with spam they were superseded by various forums and blogs, such as this one, found on the World Wide Web.
In a nutshell, that is a forty-year history of spiritually-minded people reaching out to other people with the same interests and who did not fit into what society considered the mainstream. Has this reaching accomplished anything for those who have done it? This requires knowledge of something called an egregore.
If you visit Llewellyn’s free, on-line encyclopedia you’ll find this definition of the term “egregore”: An energized astral form produced consciously or unconsciously by human agency. In particular, (a) a strongly characterized form, usually an archetypal image, produced by the imaginative and emotional energies of a religious or magical group collectively, or (b) an astral shape of any kind, deliberately formulated by a magician to carry a specific force.
The key to this is the idea that the egregore is produced collectively. This energy is unique and has a different “flavor” for each group. For example, every coven, every magickal group, has its own egregore. Among magicians, this is sometimes known as the source of the group’s “current” (as in a “current” of energy). Thus, you could have a Golden Dawn current, an Aurum Solis current, an Alexandrian current, etc. Working with a group naturally creates the egregore—it requires no special ritual or practice for its creation. Working within a group structure also allows an individual to tap into the current and use that energy. Magickally, working with a group satisfies mental needs (information and knowledge), physiological needs (human contact), psychological needs (seeking the divine) and enhances magickal energy (linking with the egregore).
The Llewellyn Experiment
In the past, to link to the egregore required personal contact and being part of a group. Increasingly however, people are connecting via the internet. They share “contact” and communications over a beam of electrons. There has been a phenomenal growth of “astral covens” and on-line magickal orders.
For over a century, Llewellyn has been providing information and technology for magickal practitioners. This has been an amazing experiment in the history of magick. Previously, magick was taught only to initiates. Now, as Llewellyn’s President and Publisher Carl Llewellyn Weschcke has stated, one of the purposes of Llewellyn is the “democratization of magick.” Books and products published by Llewellyn have made magickal knowledge available to more people over the past century than individual teachers have done during the entire previous history of humanity.
But that is only part of what is needed for magickal practitioners. We don’t provide a local group to work with. To survive and thrive, magick needs to evolve to meet the needs of people today. I don’t foresee the abandonment of participation in lodges and covens, but we’ve already seen massive growth in the numbers of people working by themselves. Many of them stay in contact over the internet. Is there a place for cyber-Orders? Can magickal groups successfully exist only in cyberspace? Can they develop and work with an egregore?
I have worked with some small internet groups. We have scheduled rituals for the same time at our separate locations. I believe they have established temporary egregores and that some of the work we’ve done individually and collectively has been effective. But is that due to my individual work or my linking with others, and our egregore, over the internet?
Have you experimented with on-line rituals and internet-oriented groups? What is your experience?
A Proposed Experiment in Magick
But more to the point, it may be time for an experiment to prove, once and for all, the validity and practicality of cyber-magick. Right now, it is quite early in the existence of these Llewellyn Blogs, so if this doesn’t work at this time, I may come back to it later. Specifically:
Would you, the reader, be willing to form the world’s largest cyber-Order?
There would no dues.
There would be no requirements other than your participation.
There would be no vows.
The Grand Experiment
All we would do is plan to each perform a ritual for the same purpose while logged on to the Llewellyn website. We’ll determine the specifics later. If you don’t agree with everything you don’t have to participate. If you want, you could just observe.
But let’s start this grand magickal internet experiment by finding people willing to participate. If you’re willing, just reply to this blog entry by saying, “Count me in.” Again, because these blogs are so new, if we don’t get enough people to join in at this time, we’ll try again in a few months.
Are you willing to participate in a worldwide magickal internet ritual?
You can count me in!
To see how this progresses, come over to my magick blog on this website.