Psst. I’m going to tell you a secret. I’m a bibliophile. SHOCKER! I know! Okay maybe not so much. I’d be willing to wager that most pagans and occultists are bibliophiles. How else can we expect to plumb the depths of the mysteries both religious and spiritual that make up our realms? Many, if not most, of us rely on the words of those who have come before us or those who are on a different path but can offer tantalizing bits of insight from where they are.
But here lately I’m noticing a few things I must have missed when I disconnected from the internet occult world in favor of combing the library for academic texts; these days it’s all about the Spooky Ooky and the obscenely priced. Oh yes my friend. If you can conjure visions of demons, hell-hounds, Dean Winchester, the Boogie Man, and a touch of Samael in your book not only will it sell, but it will sell for hundreds and then thousands once the artificially scarce text hits the auction sites.
And occultists are gobbling it up left and right and I guess I’m just a little perplexed because it all seems so suburban and contrived. Then I remember that this realm of grimoire and magic circles, this silent cacophony (fuck yeah! You like that?) called Western Esotericism was originally the realm of the suburban, well-off, European male and much of the cultural attitudes attached to this brilliant heritage has trickled down to the modern day. So you’re scoffed at as not a “real” magician if you’re not willing to put a car downpayment’s worth of money on a text. And PDF’s? Why, think of the authors! (Never mind the fact that the scarcity price never really reaches the author anyway.)
And for what? For this? So you can have what essentially looks like a crap White Zombie cover with usually subpar writing? “But it’s demonic! And LHP! And OMGZ ENOCHIAN BANISHING SIGIL!” Calm down Asstiel, Magus of the Lord. It isn’t that serious.
So why am I even saying anything? I mean, if I think the current trend of book-sellers hocking 150 paged tomes for $200 so someone can get their Hellraiser on than I just shouldn’t buy the books. And you’re right. I don’t. I’ll scoop up something interesting if it’s under $50 (especially if not’s an academic work) and go about my merry way. But I think this “current” as some would call it is making occultism seem like the most pompous game of Magic the Gathering ever. Who can collect the most expensive books instead of who is doing the most work? Who can come across as the least “fluffy” or “RHP” instead of who can actually produce material WORTH the money they charge.
I’ve read the torrents. Some of these people have A LOT OF nerve.
And in the end I guess my eyebrow raises at the attitude within parts of the occult community that scamming fellow occultists with outrageous text prices for subjective information (most of which is UPG to the nth. You have no idea how many times I’ve read about someone purchasing a Super-Spooky-Grimoire-of-+4-to-Satan’s-Balls only to have nothing in it work for them) is a form of “wealth magic” when, any place else, we’d just call it “being a dick.”
Occultists can be dicks too you know. So I guess this will be the last time I ever mention how much this whole thing irks me ever again. Because I wrote about it, talked to my husband about it, posted on Facebook about it, and questioned my cats about it and I think it’s totally out of my system.
Well, at least until I see another ass-clown attempting to sell a magic circle in a “demonic tongue” for over $200.