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That Voodoo That You Do

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The Vicar recently had a dream, sent to him by some capricious sprite for the Heavens know what reason. Dryads belong in vast woodlands, and not in the human head. Synchronic resonances have been echoing. The Brotherhood of Athena’s Men (and we are not all men) has many recent reports of whispers and shifts and changes in the force patterns of the globe. Something small but powerful is moving, and a connection long thought dead has proved instead to be very much alive. We have been hearing for a very long time from the less-civilized, more organic practitioners that the Earth herself is angry.

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The question before us is simple: to what should we be paying attention? Which changes and echoes have merit and value, and which ones are but passing hints of fires that once were; tattered smoke fading against the sky?
Earth spirits are a particularly interesting lot, often forcing us to acknowledge their reality when we least wish to. Of late, there have been some disturbing events in the U.S. and abroad – in particular, in Shenzhen, China, where some of the Vicar’s brethren have at least temporarily located their operations. Most of these events center around sudden formations of sinkholes and related phenomena. The mundane explanations are as always perfectly accurate insofar as they go. But this is always the center of any occult or paranormal issue: the scientific or skeptical purist insists that mechanisms alone are sufficient explanations. The seeker recognizes that describing a mechanism is never the same as providing explanation for a cause.

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Who is the ghost in your machine?

Take, for example, this event, occurring about four days ago in Russia. From a little further back, we have this interesting experience that killed a man in Florida. Then, there’s the recent South China event that really got Athena’s Men talking about the phenomena. Is the Earth eating people?
The point of things occult is never that they do not have a perfectly reasonable explanation, but rather that elements of reporting and occurrence like frequency and attentional market share sometimes make simple, otherwise normal events into very paranormal stories. Why have there been so many sinkhole stories, lately? What exactly is the Earth’s problem with us that it is suddenly swallowing people up? Perhaps Poseidon is angry, or perhaps the ancient mythic Chinese belief that a giant spirit frog is responsible has some merit?
Lest the dear reader think that the Vicar is the only one who has noticed a significant uptick in this kind of catastrophe, I submit this NBC news report for your consideration: Yes, even the mainstream media has noticed that the ground keeps opening up and eating people at an elevated rate.

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Among the ancients, this kind of event was neither darkly funny nor easily brushed aside as “natural phenomena”. From a strictly objective, rationalist perspective, all things are natural phenomena, since they all occur in the real universe as functions of the cosmic systems that govern our existences. Even the weirdest things fit within an overarching framework of the laws of physics. In our public lives, members of occult orders are sometimes even called upon by media or investigatory bodies to reassure the public that events like these are nothing out of the ordinary. But the truth is a different matter; human beings in modern societies rarely play official or accepted roles that reflect their true natures and inclinations. The whole point of living in a society is to adopt a socially acceptable and utterly fabricated identity. This was to some extent less true in early incarnations of the human social order, and perhaps this is why the ancients were so “superstitious” as we would render it. They had the good common sense to note when weird shit was happening, and label it as such.
In conclave, occult wizards will sometimes discuss why it is that a particular phenomena has bubbled to the surface of the collective consciousness. A while back, we were contending with this emergent “Zombie Craze” that never amounted to a damned thing. Currently, we’ve been addressing the whole, “earth swallows you whole” phenomenon. But all of this is window dressing, bound to distract the curious and the more invested researcher from the bigger picture. Here at the Lamp, we focus on the overridingly important element of themes. When a theme is emergent in our world, it is the mechanism by which this happens that ends up mattering far more than the specific and individual events themselves.

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The real question is, why do so many people like the idea of a large percentage of humanity turning into undead, flesh-eating monsters that it’s okay to decapitate with a katana?

Zombies are a big deal in pop culture these days, so there is a perfectly valid social-psychology argument to be made for the weirder people out there getting too attached to the cultural messages and being carried off by their own internalized fantasies. The same argument is applicable to matters of religious visions, UFO sightings, and cryptozoological encounters. What these really constitute are ready and easy means by which those tasked with exploring and studying the world may ignore completely those events and occurrences that do not fit with established wisdom. Ergo, a scientist need not investigate reports involving factors in apparent violation of established scientific laws. Witches do not exist, because important people who do not believe in witches say so.
A serialization of events can often be discarded or otherwise ignored out of hand by those who are paid to spend  all of their time ignoring anything even slightly out-of-the-ordinary. This is the point of being employed as a professional skeptic. Heads of medical schools and/or biology departments are not about to acknowledge that something like a zombie is a reasonable concern in modern life. Yet, we have the tale of Luka Rocca Magnotta from last year. This individual is accused of killing and eating a Chinese international student. In the mental health business, we refer to that kind of behavior as “having issues”. But in the paranormal community and the world of occult orders, we recognize a demonic inhabitation when we see one.

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A key component of the practice of real magic centers upon the recognition of higher forces. We talk often here at the Lamp of the existence of beings otherwise invisible to us, and known as the “Others”. These are not meant to be merely a monstrous, creepy backdrop supportive of horror fiction plots. Instead, this is a catchall term for the varying beings and perhaps even species that must inhabit our universe due to the laws of probability and the general trend of evolutionary biology as we currently understand it and are capable of imagining it. By extrapolation, if the development of a large and highly active brain is an indication of evolutionary advancement and success, then the basis for thought – electrochemical interactions – might also be understood to be subject to the same evolutionary forces. On a long enough timescale, a species might evolve beyond the need for physical, material bodies and structures at all. This is hardly a new idea, and not particularly revolutionary. But it is one to which wise individuals pay attention, because in a vast cosmos, it is so likely as to be a foregone conclusion that such entities exist. That they might additionally be able to either travel to our world, or already inhabit it (whatever that would actually mean for such a being), is also very likely.
DMT trippers will sometimes describe beings called, “machine elves” that are variously described. Sometimes they are perceived by the drug-user as akin to Gray aliens, or as beings not unlike the praying mantis. They are as likely to be real as anything seen under conditions imposed by an altered state of consciousness, and those who scoff at such things would do well to remember that religions the world over are generally founded upon the visions of those who in the modern world would be regarded as either insane,   “under the influence”, or deeply mendacious. If we rule out active madness and the desire to simply deceive (although these are equally valid, we should recall), we are left with the possibility that the use of psychedelic drugs in spirituality may be for unlocking elements of perception not typically accessed. It is possible that this connects one to an understanding of the world that the conscious, uninfluenced mind is at best ill-prepared for.

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Something not dissimilar to this makes space and time orderly and operational.

Demons, angels, gods, spirits and other such things may indeed be nothing more than imaginary explanations for unpleasant or unexplained realities. They may additionally be explainable as aliens in the way “Ancient Alien Theorists suggest.” But it is actually a cosmic certainty that energetic consciousness operating free of any material anchor is out there somewhere. That being the case, we have to give some consideration to the possibility that so-called “glitches in the matrix” are not glitches at all. Rather, they are caused in some cases by beings with considerable power and motives quite beyond our immediate understanding. If a condition exists for which rational explanation falls short – such as the sudden emergence of high-profile sinkhole stories, reflective of an abnormal number of actual sinkholes forming – then other avenues of exposition and discussion must be pursued.
All of this ends up turning on ideas common in Vodun, the composite religion of a great many people worldwide. Some people come to the Lamp for entertainment, others because the internet does shit like that to people if they aren’t careful enough in their searches, and still others for direct instruction in the true secrets of the mystic arts. The Ars Arcanum recognize the validity of Vodun, and for good reason. This is a composite cosmology of shockingly profound and structured logic coupled with sound magical science. If one is not amenable to a term such as “magical science,” as always, that’s cool with the Vicar. You are welcome to go to another site where you can expect to be validated in your objection to such things.

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Meanwhile, in the real world, sometimes things are unexplainable by mundane argument. Systems like Vodun recognize that there are a great many “spirits” in the world and beyond it, with which mortal humans must sometimes contend or else have congress should certain conditions, events, or occurrences be desired. One of the underlying tenets of Vodun has been described to the Vicar in his varied and far-ranging educational experiences in the following terms: Vodun is so real that it is a valid factor in all experiences whether mortals accept the proposition or not. This runs so closely to Jung’s famous, “God will be present whether invited or not,” line that it bears thinking about. The most ancient human approach to understanding the universe includes recognition of the Others. This is really the only rational way to view the universe. If a sinkhole opens under your feet, it could be the result of shoddy construction or subsurface water, from a purely mechanistic view. But the deep seeker knows that this is a discussion of process, rather than a discussion of cause. We should never even bother to ask why the sinkhole opened, since mechanisms and processes will be raised by way of explanation. The more important queries involve matters like, “Why at this particular time?” and “Why did this happen to this particular person?”
Another underlying principle operating in all of this is the idea that individual people have an influence upon the energetic web that all life is considered to be connected by. This idea is primarily salient in Native American shamanic usage, but it is also a factor in Vodun and in a variety of other more occult theories that embrace the notions of elder mystical paths. Connectivity is rendered as a conceptual force in synchronicity theory, and the more causal approaches to connectivity often are unable to address at all the weird habit things have of organizing themselves such that human beings recognize non-causal connections based in meaning, metaphor, and personal interpretations.

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We come now full circle on our path, to the realization that systems like Vodun offer interpretations and explanations of a sort often more revelatory and satisfactory to our ears than those provided by mainstream science and the establishment point of view so loudly trumpeted in all official things. Additionally, the “zombie” came to the modern world from Vodun, and it has clearly succeeded in penetrating beyond the fringes of collective perception. Collective awareness consists in some sort of energetic field – this we know absolutely within the occult schools, since we can do things with it and “read” the collective will to some degree. But what that energy is, and how precisely it works, we have few viable theories for. Perhaps the best explanation is the Shamanic “Web of Life” in which the energies of all beings – organic and otherwise – are woven together.
In the Vodun understanding of things, we do not actually have to believe in the spirits in order for them to have validity with respect to our lives. In fact, we are sometimes utterly defenseless against such things precisely because we trust to skepticism rather than in our own spiritual power and the protective powers of higher orders of positive beings. No less, the human collective consciousness appears also to be directly referenced by Vodun practitioners, since there is an understanding that what we collectively note, make significant, and otherwise concern ourselves with has the power to manifest itself. Cycles of emergence can thereby be generated, and these can be very dangerous when the emergent factors in question are negative occurrences or destructive events.
Did someone unleash a spirit on a mission to swallow up people whole in the belly of terra firma? Or did the first reported event cause people to concern themselves excessively with the matter, thereby setting up a kind of causation resonance that allowed for more sinkhole formation? The mechanisms are – again – largely secondary to this discussion. The earth is “eating” people and we can easily learn by what process a hole opens up in what appears otherwise to be solid ground. Have these holes been opening because we expected them to? Did the rash of “zombie” attacks occur because we were fascinated with them and anticipated a “copycat effect”? Do the “spirits” really draw power from our expectations and concerns as most animistic faiths would argue? Superstitions abound in most cultures regarding avoidance of certain trouble-borrowing behaviors like speaking ill of the dead, predicting negative outcomes to courses and events, and cursing the spirit world.

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Victims of weird deaths, accidents, and afflictions are often identified as positive individuals who were doing nothing at all wrong just prior to their death, maiming, or the emergence of an illness. But the old medical-spiritual mechanics of Chinese medicine, for instance, argues that this is an unlikely assertion at best. How is it possible for a bad thing to happen to a good person in a just universe? The simple answer is that the universe is not just at all. But to certain thinkers informed by a more spiritual, animistic point of view, the universe is inherently just. It and the denizens of the spirit realms may not exist to punish us, but rather it is the case that when we undertake certain actions or patterns of behavior, we weaken the normal protective psychic patina that otherwise defends us against intrusion or manipulation by one of the Others. This same patina can be understood as stronger or greater from individual to individual, and the weird immunity of some magic users to the negative effects of causation, synchronicity, and spell casting may be most readily explained in this way.
It is often described as being the opinions and beliefs of the collective conscious that shape and mold what is possible and what transpires in the world. What we will has some significant influence on the real environments that we choose to surround ourselves with. Fads and phenomena in the psychological, social, political, and entertainment communities often embrace this fundamental outlook without ever acknowledging it – firm argument in support of the idea that at the head of each cultural structure is a collective or hierarchy of occultists. Concerns over “toxic people”, “toxic relationships”, “negative thinking”, and a host of other considerations are reflections of a deeper understanding of this universe and our place within it. If we “think positively” we are probably much more likely to weather the random storms of life. But we may also be reinforcing our own spiritual armor. This is the Voodoo that you do without ever realizing that you do it. So too, you embrace ideas similar to those found in Vodun when you ascribe a personality and a will to inanimate objects. The car that we ask to keep on running long after it should have found a new home in a junkyard is only one example. Our prayers may have greater weight than any mainstream scientific viewpoint would ever permit.
As it is said in every major monotheistic faith – and in every system accepting the existence of minor and major spirits – “Prayer works.”
The only important question is this: Who is answering our prayers?

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