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Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:08 pm
by Mimesis
I thought that I would post this to the forum, as it prompted some interesting questions to me, and presents an interesting view of the context of witchcraft within the world which we live and practice in today. There did not seem a relevant enough thread for it already in existence, which is the reason for starting this new one, but if one ever comes across that rare occasion of ‘spare time’, this could be an interesting way to spend half an hour or so of it.

I think at times Peter Grey’s conclusions come dangerously close to inferring the practice of witchcraft with politics. However, within a world which is allegedly governed by it, he does present some interesting views of how witchcraft can be seen in context and in opposition to it, if it is forced to come into contact with it at all as a result of the world within which it finds itself framed today.

His idea of a witchcraft that is apocalyptic is interesting in that it does not denote the objective dissolution of all things that many monotheistic religions may suggest, but instead a kind of disclosure of revelation that leads to a unity between practices against what he sees as a common enemy; that which seeks to lay waste to nature and, essentially, spirituality/divinity.
His aim here seems to be a witchcraft that regains strength, rather than the ‘social joke’ he suggests that it has become, via an idea of unity which does in some ways relate to the unity that lies at the heart of many of our paths and searches.

My opinions on this are far from formed, but thought it interesting enough to share, in case others may also find it so.

Re: Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:24 pm
by Silvaeon
Definitely an interesting video. Thanks for sharing.

I am not very familiar with much of what is seen as traditional witchcraft, but still I can offer some very brief comments on things that jumped out at me, which I found relevant:

- In our current age, man has lost communion with nature (and as such, unity/divinity) which is causing vast harm on many levels
- Like you point out, Omoksha, Peter's idea of apocalypse as a path to ascension rather than the dissolution of all.
- The schism between different paths, in this case he mentions "traditional" witchcraft and Wicca, as reflections of wider schisms between people, which we should be striving to bridge instead of fighting against.
- Instead of placing the importance on the form of practice, it is the underlying force which is of real value (unification of the paths).

Maybe a year and a half ago, I read Peter Grey's Lucifer: Princeps, which I thought was a really great book. It's a thoroughly researched and very scholarly approach to the question "who is Lucifer?" but it doesn't come to any direct conclusions, which I really liked. As a result, I later on ending up purchasing his book "Apocalyptic Witchcraft", which is the book in question that much of this particular speech is about. Unfortunately I only got about 1/3 of the way through it before life's interruptions got in the way, but what I did read, I really enjoyed. It's a very different approach than his Lucifer, and it switches tone from polemic discourse to poetic quite frequently and seamlessly. I think his poetic way with words really comes across in the video, and I'm certainly sympathetic to the sense of urgency that he tries to get across regarding the importance of spirituality in this difficult age. I should really get around to finishing it sometime.

My opinions on much of this subject have a lot of room for growth and formation is well, but the video certainly gives a lot to think about, and I can definitely see some similarities to my own approach.

Re: Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:04 pm
by Mimesis
Silvaeon wrote:
- Instead of placing the importance on the form of practice, it is the underlying force which is of real value (unification of the paths).
This, I think is what I took the most from what he says, and think it applies in many ways to other areas, as well as specifically to traditional witchcraft, as is focused on by Peter Grey.
Whilst our approach is important, and how we define that just as so, when that approach and definition become the primary exponent and focus, then it becomes negative, which I think is one element of what he is saying. Then it becomes nothing more than a statement or a status, rather than a work founded on sincerity, an open heart and praxis. It brings not only ourselves, but also those greater and unfathomable divinities down to a level that is neither positive nor really possible.
Silvaeon wrote:
Maybe a year and a half ago, I read Peter Grey's Lucifer: Princeps, which I thought was a really great book. It's a thoroughly researched and very scholarly approach to the question "who is Lucifer?" but it doesn't come to any direct conclusions, which I really liked.
I would certainly agree with this. He treated the question with both a scholarly and a spiritual respect, without making rash and subjective proponents of a presumptuous and arrogant nature. It will be interesting to see how it is approached in its continuum, 'Lucifer; Praxis', when that is published.
As the name suggests, I think it moves onto his approach of working with the question, having 'defined', or rather understood it.

I haven't actually read Apocalyptic Witchcraft. It hasn't previously struck me as having any resounding relevance to me, and I don't know whether it does now even, but my interest toward it has grown exponentially since watching this, so will look to getting it to read. As you say, this lecture is based significantly on his work within that book, I believe.

Re: Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:47 pm
by Abhavani
So far I've only read "The Red Goddess" by Peter Grey, which is excellent. Damn, I need to check out these two as well. I have meant to...

Re: Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:10 am
by Mimesis
Abhavani wrote:So far I've only read "The Red Goddess" by Peter Grey, which is excellent. Damn, I need to check out these two as well. I have meant to...
The Red Goddess is something that I have not, but have meant to read on numerous occasions. I will inform that intention further by your positive words regarding it : )

Re: Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:56 pm
by Mimesis
Abhavani wrote: Damn, I need to check out these two as well. I have meant to...
If it still interests you, I can send you Apocalyptic Witchcraft to read? I have since bought and read it, and had planned on sending it to the library, but could send it to you en route, dear brother.

If you were to, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and impressions of it. Perhaps I am a sour Englishman, too jaded by the rampant Crowley worship, that I think lets the work down : p

Grey comes so close to things that I would resonate with, but always returns to this fanatic chauvinism in way of presentation, which makes me question the sincerity and conviction behind them. Profound and poignant understandings descend into an excuse to profess ‘how art better than thou’.

Having read it, the lecture I originally started this thread with is more-or-less a compacted synopses of the book, and I maintain what I liked about his point of witchcraft, specifically, having become an ‘apologist's social joke’, and his commitment to restoring its arte and practice.
He takes this further in the book, and sometimes has an interesting perspective of Satan. I think it is in some ways valuable to have someone with his audience not apologise or deny the presence of Satan within the tradition he is largely a part of, which I guess would be loosely considered Paganism.

He also at times presents a sense of balance between paths which comes something close to that of the brotherhood’s, but for me at least, this and all of the above are let down by the brash statements he often makes, which seem to come from nowhere, are presented arrogantly and almost aggressively and are not explored even almost enough to engage with.

That said, I do strongly resonate with how poetically he considers his work, and the weight and importance that he gives to the potential of poetry in relation to spirituality. There is one chapter in the book that I would really recommend; ‘A Spell to Awaken England’.

I think if Grey wrote prose poetry, I would find him a lot more relevant, powerful and convincing. His nature would work for me there, but it doesn’t so much in this kind of academic attempt.

Would be interesting to hear how others find it though, perhaps without a ‘Crowleyian’ chip on their shoulder : p
For I cannot deny that I do not resonate with Crowley and writers whom follow in his nature.

Re: Apocalyptic Witchcraft

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:51 am
by obnoxion
I had the time to watch the first 18 minutes of video, and I found it positively surprising. I did not catch the part where he spoke for the common ground between traditional witchcraft and wicca, but that would have something I'd like to hear more about. I am not into traditional witchcraft as a scene so much that I wound spent fortunes on Chumbley (I only spent fortunes on Tantras, and my focus is quite strongly placed in the East, while in the Western Luciferianism my main interest is in the romantic/symbolist/literary satanisms) but Michael Howard & Nigel Jackson's "The Pillars of Tubal-Cain" is for me one of the most important Western treatises. I am also sympathetic on Wicca as a basis for practice.

I heard Jack Parsons mentioned twice in 15 minutes, which does seem a lot to someone like myself, who finds Parsons a curiosity within the larger Crowleyn context, and Crowleyanism - while acknowledging its many virtues - a major hinderance to modern occultism in that its influences have sort of diffused to almost all traditions in such a subtle way that they many times seem to go unnoticed. I think there is a need for a serious academic study of the extent of Crowleyan influence in post 19th Century occultisn in particular, and culture in general. I do not think that anyone really profits from "crowleyan mist" that seems to have descended on the surface of much of Western Occultism, and remains there unanalysed on somewhat unnoticed.

I will not go to Gray's political tones at all, because I would like to stay away from politics as much as possible. But the idea that an apocalyptic collapse would make witchcraft more valid is something the rings true. I mean, I have found the value of my spiritual choices when I have been most deprived of comfort, safety, health and prospects of future. That is where I have my certainty. I know that if I will loose all else, the momentum of my over two decades of commited spiritual practice is a treasure above all treasures.

This was the second time I encountered solipsism mentioned as a negative thing in Western contex this year (the other mention was in Stephen King's "It", where there is a side character, a psychipathic bully called Patrick Hockstetter, who is a notorious solipsist). I practice a Tantric form of nondualism, which is essentially solipsist, but here the inherent Eastern and Western concepts of self are revealed to be vastly different from each other, and I see I have become estranged from the western concept of self to such a degree, that these kinds of ideas about solipsism simply sound alien to me.

The poetic way or representation gives room to many interpretations. It is a strength when expressing complex wholes, but it is a handicap when trying to convay a clearly formulated message. So here it seems to have been both of these things, because I enjoyed the prosody of the presentation, but I am not sure if I understood the agenda as a whole. And there clearly was an agenda put forth, wasn't there?

If I have a chance to get to know this Apocalyptic Witchcraft more in depth in the future, I certainly will. I hope these first impressions weren't unfair to mr Grey. Just on basis of this video, and by what I have read of him, he seems to represent the more brighter lights of West.As such, I hope his message would gain more ground especially in the Western LHP milieu.