4 August 2010

Moore, Magic and Me

I just read this bit from the Wikipedia article on comics writer Alan Moore, which is very descriptive of my own views and experience:

On his fortieth birthday, in 1993, Moore openly declared his dedication to being a ceremonial magician, something he saw as "a logical end step to my career as a writer". According to a 2001 interview, his inspiration for doing this came when he was writing From Hell in the early 1990s, a book containing much Freemasonic and occult symbolism: "One word balloon in From Hell completely hijacked my life… A character says something like, 'The one place gods inarguably exist is in the human mind'. After I wrote that, I realised I'd accidentally made a true statement, and now I'd have to rearrange my entire life around it. The only thing that seemed to really be appropriate was to become a magician."

I've been a big fan of Moore's comics for some time (his run on Swamp Thing, Watchmen and others being some of the best works of fantasy and science fiction ever created in any medium), but I wasn't really aware about his ideas on religion/magic before. The statement above, and other thoughts summarised in the article, only increase my respect for him.

I've written about various occult topics in this blog, and other parts of my website, before, but lets say it publicly for once: I practice ritual magic. I don't practice it frequently or well, because I'm just too darn lazy and crap at really concentrating on anything, but it is still something I have a real interest in. I don't subscribe to any particular school of thought or tradition, but have been influenced in particular by Wicca, hermetic/qabalist traditions and Aleister Crowley.

As for my views on religion, one might say that I'm externally an agnostic, but internally a neopagan. Moore's statement, 'the one place gods inarguably exist is in the human mind', is a perfect description of my views. Why should anything we can imagine be less important or powerful than what we perceive in the world around us? Without a balanced internal world we're unable to function properly in the external world. And the way we communicate with the internal world is through words, symbols and actions in the external world, i.e. ritual.

This seems like a very shallow summary of deep issues I've been thinking a lot about over several years, but that's really the gist of it, and I can't really think of anything worthwhile to add at this point.

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