26 May, 2016

Magic and Familiars (Part 1)

Magic has been a focal topic for scholars, mystics, occultists and theologians for centuries. The theories behind magic have evolved as they have responded to changes in the world, both social and environmental. Texts have been written, proven, gained favour, lost favour, been debunked, and been refound by new generations. Authors have been persecuted by the powers of the day, whether church, scientists, or military. The only commonality among those drawn to the mysteries of the arcane is the fact that they are outsiders. Those who feel their needs satisfied by the status quo do not yearn for deeper mysteries or hidden knowledge to fill a void in their lives, they live oblivious to the strangeness in their midst except for the occasional instinctive urge, flash of deja vu, or remarkable circumstances processed mentally as mere coincidence or happenstance.

If the middle classes are content with their lot in life, reined in by a herd mentality, kept in check by threats from invisible and unknowable gods, fear of demons in the shadows, or dazzled by superficial shows of sportsmanship or reality TV, then the outsiders are those on the fringe. A stereotypical fringe element might be the Wiccan or Freemason communities, but like Christians or other religious groups, there are far more Wiccans and Freemasons who will never touch the true mysteries of magic because they are simply too content with their lives, they don't have the yearning and simply consider their association to be a social dalliance. When it comes to true magic, there are far more practitioners among the homeless and the criminals, who desire far more than mainstream society has reliably offered them. There are probably at least as many practitioners of the mystic arts among the extreme upper classes of the world, consisting of those who yearn for things far beyond what society is capable of offering them. Historically, such outsiders might have been hermits, prophets, religious leaders, visionaries, patronned artists, explorers, anyone who lived apart from society... in modern times they might follow similar paths, or might be RV nomads, eco-warriors, or hackers. Being associated with outsiders, and those who desire something more than that offered by mainstream society, many practitioners of the magical arts would have traditionally been deemed by the authorities as the insane, now they might be deemed extremists or terrorists.
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