When I got to chapter three in Don Webb’s “Uncle Setnakts Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path,” I was a bit concerned. The work itself is actually very impressive. It’s a very elaborate practice that spans 9 days. Through the 9 days, the Initiate is keeping a journal, doing a variety of activities and invocations. There is one aspect that concerned me, and I feel that anyone interested in the work should take care to really understand the ceremony.
In my previous post on Magical Oaths, I discuss the usefulness of doing a muli-day operation, especially if one is taking a first dive into a spiritual path or practice.
That aspect of the operation outlined by Don Webb, impressed me. His depth in outlining the phases of his 9 day process are very deep. I really want to impress upon the reader how deep Don Webb really is.
Webb discusses pitfalls, requirements, and teachings you’ll need to undergo. He speaks to actual magical ritual, but also in the balancing act of putting it into one’s life through hard work.
In some places he tells the reader to get involved with MIT Press books on cognition. In other sessions the reader is speaking as Lilith, “I am Lilith, equal to Adam, who Taught Adam magic and love and lust. I am the Secret that when almost all is Known, the Unknown is the greatest stimulant. I am the Mistress of Substance, wise is my brother Nechesh!”
A true full experience is created, from the intellectual to the emotional.
That One Problem
There’s just one problem for me… and it’s a big one. If you have the book, turn to page 48 and read:
…you will have gathered some symbolic item that relates to old belief systems (for example if you were a Christian, the Bible; a Scientologist, Dianetics; a Muslim, the Koran; an atheist, Free Thought Today; and so forth)….Ibid pg 48
Look at the objects of past belief systems. Say the following words and destroy them in whatever manner is emotionally satisfying. Feel free to add more words if so moved. ‘Fetters from my previous life, you pulled me apart, chaining parts of me to yoru wretchedness, and denying my unity. The energy I gave you, I now pull back from the world, so your form is destroyed.’ As you tear them, burn them or whatever, FEEL all the nergy you poured into them streaming back into you…
Book burning… destroying past philosophies… this FEELS very Right Hand Path to me. By that, I mean the RHP evangelical control systems that said, “now that you’re a Christian, it’s time to destroy all those pagan items you once held true.”
When I was a teenager, an older relative came to my house (during the period known as the ‘Satanic Panic.’) He and his wife noticed I had roleplaying games and told my mom that I was being controlled by the devil. It was absurdity, but they demanded I burn the books in solidarity to the Christian faith.
That’s exactly what I feel when I read this passage. I realize that Don Webb is coming at this from a different angle… the angel of breaking with the old… but it is a problem for me.
The old… all those things that I may or may not be connected to anymore, brought me to this moment. Without them, this moment doesn’t exist!
I still respect the teachings of Jesus… the teachings of Buddha, the Tao Te Ching, even some Scientology teachings… But here we’re saying, “BURN THEM!” I can’t do it.
To me it is the old RHP archetype, “now that you are on of us, destroy your past.”