so you want to be a writer of the occult

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
just poking fun at "occulture writing" and it's tropes.

Submitted: June 15, 2016

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Submitted: June 15, 2016



So you’re going to be a writer of the occult. Maybe you got shanghaied into it? Maybe you realized there isn’t any other way to force people to accept that you are a wizard? Maybe you lost your job and that money attraction spell you cast seems to be working the wrong way round? It doesn’t matter because you’re going to do it and nobody can stop you. So the question now is how does one write semi-professionally about the occult. That’s what I am here to help you with. It might seem like this subject should be something very personal and, hence, very free form. The truth is nothing could be further from the truth. There are rules you have to follow. For the readers and future occult writers who doubt my last statement, please go to your local seller of printed words in paperbound rectangulars, and read a few tomes. You’ll see that, although not openly stated, there are clearly very well-defined and immutable rules and patterns to occult lit.

  The first rule may be the most important, as it is the one that will establish your credibility. Not only do you need to establish your credibility, you also need to make sure readers know why they should read your book over any of the many other books that will state basically the same fundamentals that yours will. There is only one way to do this, and no other way. You need the misunderstood guru. Your m.g. (misunderstood guru) must be someone that even neophytes and adepts alike have probably already read. Crowley and Gardner are probably the two most popular choices and, really, there is no reason to stray from either choice. The thing is, although many people have read either of your two choices, if they understood them they wouldn’t need to read your book. So it’s essential that you point out to the reader that they didn’t properly understand either guru. This is key, not only to give a reason for your book to exist, but also to show how much more evolved you are about the subject than the poor fool buying your overpriced nonsense. Also, show that you and you alone have truly gotten to know the mysteries on an intimate level, either unlike the guru, or just like the guru. It’s important to state that this mastery can only be shown through implications and not through any form of practical demonstration. You might ask why that is. Well, it’s just the rules, and if you were not such a flaming neophyte, you’d know why that is.

  After fixing on a misunderstood guru you must point out that they are misunderstood. There are only two options for this. The most popular and, hence, the better of the two paths is to state that they were an amateur and not really, really a real, bonafide magician like the sheeples think they were. The first mistake you can make is to think that the best way to do this would be to point out flaws in their magical system or inconsistencies in their philosophy. That would be a very big mistake to make – there is only one way to prove your point! First, make vague and unprovable assumptions about how far they went on the path (despite the fact that such a notion is completely ludicrous and comes from a critical misunderstanding about how life works) and yet, how unlike you, they never went all the way with their personal “tao” (tao is just a word that means path). The second and most important step is to point out whatever personal flaws they had. Make sure to exaggerate this to the point of asinine judgementality. Example: If your m.g. wrote a few questionably racist statements, make it sound like the Klan and Hitler’s ghosts would try to hold interventions asking them to chill out and be more open-minded about other races. If they used any type of drug ever, even if for clear-cut therapeutic and life-saving reasons, make sure to point out that this makes them nothing more than a full blown junkie who lived in a delusional bubble. Do not for a second demonstrate any flexibility on your self-awareness or assessment of the fact that your life is dull, boring, and totally insignificant when compared to the accomplishments made by your mark. The less preferable option is to state that, while the guru is pretty much as amazing as you’ve been told to think they are, for some reason you are the only person who ever truly understood what they were doing. Everyone else, including the people who knew and worked with them, missed the subtle clues about what the real key to their system and ideology were. These keys should be so subtle as to best be described as clutching at straws. And in no way should the fact of your special understanding of their system (contradicted by everything they said and did in any way) prevent you from feeling like you are proving your mother right when she said you’re such a special child.

  Second rule is do not bring anything new to the table. You can pretend to bring something innovative and illuminating, but do not in any way actually do so. For example, you can come up with a new term for something basic and traditional. Example: “I don’t cast spells, I throw spellunckers!” If you did something new it could be doubted, or even worse, be proven wrong or ineffective.

 Third rule, make sure to imply as much as possible that you have the kind of social life that makes teenagers think you’re really cool (well, nerdy teenagers who could still have fingers left over after counting all of their friends on their one hand that had the fireworks accident). But, most importantly, it must be implied that this social life of yours leads to you having the type of sex life that Penthouse forum wouldn’t have thought possible. This is really important because you already face daily embarrassment over your paravirginity every time strangers look your way. And more importantly, if the reader doesn’t believe that following your slight variations on established occult orthodoxy might lead to them getting a hand job or a hug, you’ll have already lost them. Plus, that’s the clearest way to demonstrate your prowess as a magical messiah.

  Fourth rule, you must bring up your useless hobby and connect it to the spiritually uplifting side of sorcery. You don’t just like cooking – your use of spices brings everyone slightly closer to nirvana. You must show that you have a life and that the most important part of your life is being holy. You cannot just enjoy something, because that’s what the pedestrians do. You can’t do something just for the mundane effect it has – that would be shallow. This next bit might seem contradictory, but it just isn’t! You have to brag about your hobby and your skills at it. You must make it sound as if chefs the world over regularly offer you their firstborn child for ten minutes alone with one of your recipes. You can’t just be into hiking or marathoning – your humility and dedication to the craft of wizarding must be the only reason you’re not considered the prime tippy-top ranking person at your hobby. Example: “You know that being a famous rock star would just get in the way of my meditations and perspective, and that’s what I tell the made up A and R guys that just won’t leave me alone.” Don’t worry about the fact that the simple act of looking into it would prove you full of shit. You can always claim that you are just too otherworldly to be worried about such petty and Malcouthian jealousies (a wizard never misspells things, they just come up with a more layered butchery of the English language – one that is nine months pregnant with meaning).

  Fifth rule. Pick a type of magic. Doesn’t matter what type, they’re all fundamentally the same and it really doesn’t matter which one you pick. Once you’ve picked your type, make sure to drill home that, despite the truth of what I said right before this, your chosen path is the only real type of magic. All the others are, of course, kindergarten stuff. If someone is sincere in their desire for enlightenment, they will eventually turn on to the real deal. The real deal, of course, is the one you’ve chosen to write about. I recommend Chaos magic, mainly because it’s still popular for some reason and it’s set up in such a way that is easiest to fake knowledge about. For example, if you pick Hermetic magic you’ll have to make sure that your basic math skills don’t flub up and reveal the cut and paste job you’ve actually been doing instead of writing your own thing. Best to avoid some “reader” noticing the same mathematical mistake  that Crowley made in his first major book. More important than that, which type of magic you choose to write about will determine the type of people that will talk to you about your book. The most important consideration is, of course, what type of clothing choices they make. If you think you look your best when talking to hippies, for example, write about Wicca (not witchcraft, despite the fact that you refer to yourself as a witch every single chance you get). So, as you can see, that step is crucially important.

  The last and most important rule. Confidence and arrogance are more important than internal consistency. Write like you are better than everyone and you’ll be a great occult writer. Help people delve into the mysteries and gain insight into life and it’s hidden aspects, and you’ll get no sales while only impressing that 4 or 5 percent of your readership that isn’t into all this shit because it helps them pretend that their life has some meaning in it.

  See, it’s not that hard. You just have to make sure you don’t break any of the rules and that you regurgitate what’s been said already in a more honest and lucid manner then you could ever pull off.

© Copyright 2018 Robert Owen. All rights reserved.

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