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Wednesday 24 May 2017

Real Occultism in RPGS: How to Identify Crazy Wizards by Their Occult Team

I haven't done one of these in a long time, but long-time readers may recall I have done a whole series of entries (archived here) that detail how to incorporate elements of real occultism in your modern occult/horror RPGs. Today, I'm looking less at the theory, practices or mechanics of magick, and more at the social side of occultism. Just like in Harry Potter has Gryffindor and Slytherin, modern wizards have their own rival houses that are very different in look, attitude and ideas. They're all nuts, though. I should know, because I am one. So let's take a jesting look at the four major teams of the modern western occult scene, so that you can learn how to correctly interpret them in your occult RPG game!

1. Traditional/Grimoire Ceremonial Magicians

These guys are old-schoolers. They're divided between wizards that think magic should be done the 19th Century way, versus those who think it should be done the 15th Century way (and a couple who want it the 4th Century way). Regardless, they think new stuff is crap, and constantly showboat online about who's doing it the more old-school way. I say online because 99% of them never actually interact with anyone outside a computer screen.

Their magic involves trying to meticulously recreate the complicated tools and methods of Victorian or Medieval magicians, which sometimes involves a ridiculous amount of hand-crafting weird tools.

Some of them ain't got no time for that, so they just buy them. There's a whole Etsy industry catering to these guys.

It's especially funny because medieval magic is almost entirely Christian or Jewish, and almost none of these guys are. The whole "super authentic" thing goes out the window if you don't really mean all those psalms you're supposed to pray before invoking angels. But it gives you internet props anyways.

Hallmarks: Least likely to ever meet you in person. Most likely to have beards but dress like a square.

2. Thelemites

The modern wizards. Thelemites are magicians who use the techniques of Aleister Crowley, the greatest magician of the 20th century.

Like their founder, they enjoy being shit-disturbers, but fundamentally have disciplined views on magick. That said, 90% of Thelemites don't actually do very much magic, just read books and look for some fleeting partner to have "sex magic" with (Thelema is big on sex magic, though actually very few of them do that either).

As occult libertarians, they're big into free love, free drugs, and free thought; but they're also big on trying to spook the normies (and Wiccans). They can either be the life of the party, or totally insufferable know-it-alls.

Hallmarks: Most likely to wear black. Most likely to dig Alan Moore. Most likely to hit on Wiccan chicks at a Pagan festival.

3. Chaos Magicians

Chaos magicians are the post-modern magicians. It started as a kind of revolt against Thelema because the Crowley stuff was too "square" (by which they really mean "too hard"). Some of the big names in this movement are decent, because they're disciplined and studied other stuff. But 90% of Chaos-magicians have done anything at all outside of acting all pomo.

Granted, at least most of them have done some magic. Unfortunately most of them have only ever done one kind of magic: the one-trick-pony of Chaos Magic that involves masturbating over a sigil. Not even some ancient sigil, carefully selected and to deal with significant crises (where, in fact, the use of sexual energy to power the operation, even if just by masturbation, is traditional), but just one you made up yourself this morning for, usually for any old kind of bullshit.

(this is why people laugh at you, Chaos-magick wankers)

They also try to claim magic is scientific, by blurting out so much nonsense about quantum physics it would make Sam Harris' brain explode and Deepak Chopra blush. Then right after they tell you how scientific it all is, they tell you that it totally makes sense to invoke Wonder Woman in a ritual instead of Athena.

Hallmarks: Most likely to dress like a reject from an '80s movie. Most likely to dig Grant Morrison. Most likely to practice all their sex-magic solo.

4. Meme Magicians

Meme magick is post-post-modern magick. It is the art and science of creating, posting, and spreading memes to create change in your life and the world. It's either complete and total bullcrap or the most powerful sorcery of our modern era. Either way, it got Trump elected.

(Praise Kek!)

Meme Magicians operate through the power of sigils, like Chaos Magick, but instead of wanking over them, they use the power of the internet: their sigils are memes. The more popular a meme becomes, the more powerful it becomes. Of course, a lot of Meme Magicians are ALSO probably wanking over their sigils, because... you know, the internet.

So memes to them are a kind of hypersigil, and a meme that gets enough fame can achieve a kind of life of its own, or even a consciousness of its own. This is not some kind of new idea, it's called an Egregore, and it's essentially the artificial creation of a spirit through the application of group/collective consciousness. Egregores can be quite powerful, and useful, but can also sometimes be difficult to keep under control if they get TOO big. The most famous Meme Magick example of an egregore is of course Pepe the Frog. He went from being a goofy meme to beinga manifestation of an ancient Egyptian god, Kek

These memes can spill over to have effects on the real world. Some are very personal and can have very personal effects, changing things in small ways. Others can have massive world-changing effects. The most obvious case of this was the meme magick that helped the election of Donald Trump.
Other examples include the "Slenderman", and the "He'll be fine" meme, which is a meme that can be capable of killing celebrities. It may have been what killed Lemmy Kilmister.

Advanced Meme Magicians combine online memes, symbols of their intent, and more traditional occult symbols, as seen in this Jupiter Trump-Pusheen Sigil:

Obviously, you will now want to ask "are you fucking kidding me?", and the answer is yes. 
But kidding doesn't make it not real. Meme Magicians work on the basis of humor, to an even greater degree than the chaos magicians did before them, and the Thelemites did before them (old-school ceremonial magicians, on the other hand, tend to rely on being super-serious). The fact that even most meme magicians don't seem to take themselves seriously doesn't actually mean they aren't being 'real' meme magicians: meme magicians straddle a strange line between being dead-serious and totally fucking with you.

Hallmarks: Most likely to perform magick in their underwear. Most likely to weigh as much as two normal men or be stick-thin. Least likely to bathe daily. Most likely to want to Make America Great Again. Most likely to create an egregore to use for a waifu.


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  1. This chaos magician does not use sigil masturbation.

    1. But you do think Cthulhu is real.

    2. They're all equally imaginary, so why not Cthulhu?

    3. As a regular /pol lurker, i totally agree with the "meme magician" definition. And they also try to get a waifu...probably with a "femenine benis".