Part 1: the latest Black Flame Immersion podcast was on the topic of curses and hexes. It’s nearly 3 hours long so I wanted to cover various topics in different articles. This would be my part 1 of analysis and notes on their podcast.
This was a very interesting podcast and I really enjoyed a lot of what the host and the co-host had to say on the subject. I also thought it was very interesting that they mentioned Dr. Flowers’ work “Lords of the Left Hand Path.” That book was one of my early introductions into the Left Hand Path philosophy and I write about various concepts from that book, throughout this blog.
Below is the episode from Black Flame Immersion and beyond that will be my own thoughts, notes and opinions:
As this podcast is 3 hours long, I’m going to break up my analysis and opinion into different parts. This is part 1 of my analysis.
Attack vs. Defense
One of the first things that comes up in the episode is the idea of defending vs. attacking. For practical purposes, I’ll use the host’s idea that a curse is a form of destruction.
With that definition in mind, is it useful to curse? If so, when?
I’m thinking of the natural world here, and examining the role of a law enforcement officer. Imagine a cop, or jail guard, who has two ways of dealing with criminals. The first is to use Aikido to control someone unruly. The second is the use of Escrima.
While Aikido allows the cop to hold someone, without serious injury, the use of Escrima would hit or stab the victim 50 times a minute. For me, this is a great example of defense vs. attack.
By all means, someone can go Jason Bourne on someone in an elevator, stabbing them 50 times with a pencil, or maybe they could handle the opponent in a better way.
Obviously, the natural world has natural repercussions. A cop stabbing an inmate 50+ times with a pencil would be considered excessive and they would become the criminal.
Does the non-natural world have an equal repercussion? The answer to that comes up in the podcast. But first another issue is raised early on:
3 Fold Law, Dogma & Karma
Is there a natural return for the intent one does magic? In Wicca, there is the rede, which is mentioned by the host. In the episode it is referred to as an act of dogma. In other words, it’s just a feeling that this is wrong, without a logical view that magic returns in the way it was cast. The host’s felt that there is no return in this way to magical work.
I’m not so sure, and I’d like to lay out the groundwork of my thoughts. Certainly I’m not dogmatic, but I want to consider a few things, not the least of which is unconscious self programing our magic with the seeded idea of a return. Could the law of return occur, because of one’s expectations of it as part of the non-natural world? First, I want to consider the natural world…
Returning again to the idea of the natural world as our example, is there any sense of cause and effect at play in the natural world?
Newton’s second law of motion states that if a net force acts on an object, it will cause an acceleration of that object. The law addresses the cause and effect relationship between force and motion commonly stated as F = ma, where m is the proportionality constant (mass). Force is measured in SI units of newtons, abbreviated N.https://www.dummies.com/education/science/physics-newtons-laws-of-motion/
Newton is the earliest scientifically defined notion of cause and effect that I know of… the famous F=ma equation. This is often hailed as the “Law of Cause and Effect,” although Newton here is really speaking about motion. Still, he is saying that things move, due to something acting upon them.
This seems logical, it can be tested, and it is something most of us are in agreement with.
While cause and effect it doesn’t quite state a return to action. Which is where Newton’s third law comes into play:
Formally stated, Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object
Psychology is another avenue of cause and effect. We all have experienced the scenario where one person’s attitude triggers a response in someone else.
If one has a view that the natural world is a reflection of the spiritual worlds, they would feel this is a logical extension of such thought.
In Hermeticism (such as the Golden Dawn) this philosophy was founded supposedly by Hermes in the writings of the Emerald Tablet:
“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”Emerald Tablet
We may disagree with the sentiment, but that sentiment is a very old one. It declares some relationship between all worlds, and by identifying the material world at hand, we can somehow figure out the spiritual worlds beyond. Such was the work of the Hermeticist groups like Crowley’s A.’.A.’., the Golden Dawn, Aurum Solis, and so on.
Such a person, with such a viewpoint, believes in the laws of one land (such as Newton’s) are represented in another land (such as the esoteric land of spiritual workings.)
To Return or Not to Return… that is the Question
In my younger years, I was once a Buddhist. It was my first jaunt from Christianity. In one message from our lama, he talked about Karma – or the Eastern view of cause and effect.
A person in the audience stood up and said, “you’re wrong! As an example America went to war with Japan and we finished what they started when we dropped the bombs on Hiroshima & Nagaski.”
The Lama replied, “did that end American war? Wasn’t it not so long after that America entered Korea… then Vietnam… now we go to Iraq….”
Who’s right? I mean, I can’t say. I don’t have the vantage point to stand outside of reality and say, “oh yes he’s right.” Both have logical premises. One says, that war begets future war, as evidenced by the continuous stream of wars. Another says that each war was ended through a process and all other future wars were the product of a different chain of events.
I raise this as a musing. A point of consideration on the philosophical reasoning that will either believe in a return of action, or not. But in either case it need not be dogmatic. Rather it can be a viewpoint based on the facts of the witness.
Back to the Witches
I’ve never been a “witch,” well… as I think of it at least. I’ve been in the occult, but I never was someone who worked with natural forms of magic like earthy witchcraft or Wicca. I have no ill feelings towards it, I just hadn’t found that as my path.
Yet… this rede of theirs… it sounds a lot like the Buddhist view of karma, except they add this 3 times worse to it. But is it true? Or is it a form of control of the practitioners? One could argue that it’s real, and another could argue it was added so that members didn’t curse each other, which kept them under control.
Natural and Non-Natural Law
I’m not stating that the Hermetic idea of cause and effect is at play. For some though, they believe this to be true and for others they do not. This will be a dividing line between those who curse and those who do not.
After all, if someone thought that ruining another’s life, would come back to them at some future point in time, they’d probably abstain from the act itself.
My Crazy Idea
I’m going to raise a crazy idea now. This is something I’ve recently thought about, in regards to karma (or return of one’s psychic/magic action.).
What if the Wiccan Rede was put in place to keep people’s magic from getting out of hand. In other words, if brother Grim hates on sister Sally, and cast’s a curse upon her maybe it comes back to brother Grim, because his belief in the Rede has seeded the result of return into the magic.
In other words, what if the belief in karma, (the rede etc) works because of the belief and intent? It itself would be a form of magic – in believing it to be real it could infuse the working, so that the result always returned likewise.
This might explain why someone who rejects such a notion, doesn’t feel the return, while at the same time one who believes in the return of the work and causes someone to lose their job, loses their own job.
Why I ponder this, is due to my own life situation in one of the few times I’ve used magic to harm another:
The Curse of the Job
When I was much younger, just after leaving Buddhism, I joined a group of people in an order called The Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn. This group did not believe in karma. However, they also didn’t push the destruction line of magic on us.
The Golden Dawn focus was on the goals of spiritual growth… so magic towards another was not common – but it was done. We did have meetings to discuss “defending” and “projecting back” to enemies of the order.
At that time I was in a situation at work. I worked for a global public company and I had seen situations where one executive was sexually harassing a friend of mine. She had complained to me, and I told her to deal with HR. The person harassing her was pretty difficult a person.
In fact that executive had attacked my own job on some ego trip and he’d yelled at other employees for taking sick time during family tragedies. He was a person nearly everyone hated.
My friend went to Human Resources in the company and filed her complaint. As I was a witness to some of the behavior, I was called in to testify to HR.
About 3 months later, my friend told me that HR informed her that if she pursues the complaint, she would be fired. They said that her work record showed she was missing a lot of days, and this would come up in the compliant and they would have to fire her. It was pretty awful, and she was too naive to know how to fight that so she gave up.
I probably would have given up to, if it weren’t for the two HR people who sat across from in the closing of the complaint. They smiled and laughed about how this executive was not going to be harmed by the likes of us. God I was mad. I was filled with a hate I’ve never felt before.
I wouldn’t call this a curse per se, but maybe it fits the description. As the Golden Dawn is all I knew of magic at the time, I decided to work with the elemental energy of fire. I was going to create several artificial elementals of fire and program them to reveal the executive for what he was.
However, I had a different intent when it came down to it. I sat in meditation that day… alone in that room. Everything was ready. Incense was burning, red candles in place… red decorations…. and I meditated.
My meditation though wasn’t clearing my thoughts, but rather my mind kept returning to my hate. My utter hate of this man. I don’t know the time I spent in that hate filled meditation, but when I opened my eyes… God the room was so different.
It was like it silently hummed with hatred. It was an experience I had never felt before. As though all my hate from the inside of me was now externalized and ready to go. To be honest, I was frightened. However, I didn’t turn back.
When it came to creating the artificial elementals, I went off script. Instead of “revealing the executive,” I changed it to be my hatred of him to burn away his job. His job was his life, and I wanted to hit it hard.
At that moment – this came through my mind, “If you harm his job, you will also lose your own.” It was my old views of karma and return of intent. In rage, I said, “If this is the price to be paid, so be it.”
Within 3 weeks, the “untouchable” executive was asked to step down by corporate headquarters – a complete reversal of where we left off. It was unbelievable. I came in to work to find parties everywhere. Everyone was celebrating this executive leaving the corporation.
About a month after his departure, this company had a layoff, and I lost my job. I’ve never been laid off from a job before, nor since. The coincidence of his losing his job, and me mine are too much for me to consider as happenstance. I feel this was the result of the work I used.
But the question here, for me (and maybe others), why did I get the return?
As sympathetic to Buddhism, I thought perhaps they were right… my actions created an equal opposite reaction back to me.
But now I wonder…. maybe I got the response back to me, because it was part of my expected belief system. Ever wonder why one man see’s UFO’s on UFO hunts, and another only see’s ghost’s on ghost hunts? Sure, there’s crazy people out there… but there’s also something about the tapestry of belief.
What if my belief in karma, even latent, is what caused the return to me this way? If I had no belief in Karma, perhaps I wouldn’t have experienced a return or loss of work coming back to me.
Incidentally, losing that job was the best thing for me.
At any rate, it raises a lot of questions…. because if magic returns to those who believe it will, and such people are secretly programing that result into the magic, then one’s thoughts can leave one undone… After all, we all see cause and effect play out in our day to day lives. We see it in natural world, in psychological situations, and in human interaction. On some intrinsic level, most of us believe in a return to action – a cause and effect… how could we possibly purge that out entirely? Perhaps we can delay it, with conceptualized non belief in return…. but does it ever really go away?