Society and occultism

Putting together ones life with the modern world.
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Heith
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Society and occultism

Postby Heith » Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 pm

I was going to reply on another thread Partners with different belief systems when the discussion brushed on how open about occult interests one can be in their own country, and how this varies quite a lot. I am interested to know how you view the situation in your country or society? Or perhaps place of work.

It seems to me that it is slightly more accepted in Nordic countries to be interested of esoteric subjects than some years ago. For example there has been a lot of quite good articles and interviews in Finnish media with Nefastos and/or SoA members, as well as other occultists / people interested of the subject. I still see some kind of divide that while in some ways the society is more ok with occultism or spirituality, it at the same time resists it even more. Perhaps this has to do with that for example alternative -that is to say, non-organized- religions can no longer be simply said to be a bunch of teenagers being rebellious, which was a easy way to belittle things in the 90s. So while I now see more people openly speaking of the holiness of nature, occultism, satanism, etc. there on the other hand seems to be a even larger amount of low brow people who do their very best to deny the need or place for anything spiritual or the experience of holy being in any way valid or real.
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Cerastes
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Cerastes » Tue May 21, 2019 5:09 pm

It is not easy to differ personal experiences from current social development at this point because the former had a big impact, so this negativity may slightly distort my overall picture.

Anyway, I do not think there is a growing openess towards occultism around here and „esoteric“ has become an alternative word for „stupid“. (Literally) An esotericist is someone who naivly beliefes in flying unicorns and ignores scientific approaches because most likely s/he is too uneducated to understand them. I never read a non-hysterical article in the mainstream media. It is usually pretty obvious if an article is made for sensationalism or information and the latter is relatively seldom.

A flying unicorn told me that the human mind likes to connect unconciously produced emotions to something concrete, just to keep up the illusion that they are having a well-known, controlable, rational reason. It is interesting how many behaviours and beliefs are based on different kinds of fear, even though they manifest as something else. In a homogenous group this mechanism can easily lead to problematic or even violent outbursts.
That said, I decided to keep quiet about occultism because I just have better things to do with my energy than constantly explaining myself to people who already have a fixed opinionon about it.
It seems, that occultism is still connected to no-go dogma that is no longer soley religious but based on another sort of illusion that people like to hold- The illusion of the own rationality.

PS: In my imagination all Scandinavian countries are an occultist paradise, so don’t you dare destroy this illusion, Finns!
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Smaragd
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Smaragd » Tue May 21, 2019 8:09 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:09 pm
PS: In my imagination all Scandinavian countries are an occultist paradise, so don’t you dare destroy this illusion, Finns!
I'm glad we've had so many educated people introducing occultism in the media, so that it would look obviously moronic and sad just barking at it. Well, atleast to me who has heard and seen those introductions.
Cerastes wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:09 pm
Anyway, I do not think there is a growing openess towards occultism around here and „esoteric“ has become an alternative word for „stupid“.
A word with elusive meaning is extremely vulnerable to losing it. Atleast in my small circle of acquaintances I'm glad it is relatively rarely used and unknown. I'm trying to convince myself that we Finns – the proud spirit of the culture – with our bad self-esteem elevated to careful nature, are prone to have respect for the unknown like we have for our forests. It's almost like there's this curtain that people don't dear to look behind. I have carefully poked many fellow Finns from various age groups with related subjects that ground well and I find this respect there. There's just the fear of going for the forbidden fruit or rightful fear of madness among the usual laziness, incoherence of ideas and voids of existential questions that prevent a look on what occultism really is. Also many of the more visible attempts on spiritual practice are pushing up from so feeble ground that, for some, these movements destroy hope of any real path existing. Ofcourse we have also those fear ridden rational teeth-biting control freaks, but usually they don't dear to cast their attention on occultism (except the occasional ignorant laugh-and-run every now and then) as long as its' not used as a weapon to break their small world. Silence protects the meaning.
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Polyhymnia
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Polyhymnia » Tue May 21, 2019 10:24 pm

Canada is weird in the sense that it's so big that it seems the level of acceptance towards the occult varies from province to province, and that level of acceptance is often based on political ideals of the province as a whole. The province I live in is overall quite conservative, and we're known for our "rednecks" (do you guys have rednecks in Europe?) who drive big trucks with metal testicles on the back, who don't care about the environment, and who worship the oil patch and the prospective money it can bring in. I can't speak for Silvaeon, my fellow Canadian, but I can say that I have quite a few friends who have moved from my province to the province he's in to pursue lives rich in nature, the arts, and to some degrees, the occult. The islands in British Columbia seem to particularly be a hub for artistic, metaphysical types, and even I one day hope to make a home out there surrounded by people more of that ilk.
The city I'm in has a little magic community comprised mostly of people into witchcraft, and that's pretty neat. We have quite a few occult markets that happen, with quite a few occult lifestyle vendors. The last few years have shown a massive revival of occult imagery in fashion thanks to certain brands like Killstar, Blackcult, Cvlt Nation, etc, so the ability to superficially look like a magical, witchy being has been more accessible than ever, so the fashion witch or the fashion occultist is certainly a thing. I might notice it more because of my profession, which has me surrounded by alternative people all of the time, but I've noticed a general trend towards the witchy aesthetic in my "normie" friends as well. Like most trends, though, it will probably fade within a couple of years, but I definitely sense a broadening of minds overall thanks to this last resurgence.
Aesthetics and superficiality aside, there's still a community of practicing occultists. Again, mostly people who identify as witches/pagans. Working at an occult shop for many years had me meet all types of individuals, but I found the people who studied the same things as I were all older people who looked like professors, haha.
Coming from a very Christian background, the only family I speak to about my beliefs is my mother, and she had a really hard time at first accepting some of my beliefs. Ultimately, she realized that her converting to Christianity from Islam was difficult for her family, so she found herself more accepting of my occult lifestyle after some soul searching, which I'm very thankful she was open minded enough to do. We are studying the old testament together right now, and enjoying where our faiths intersect. I can honestly say I don't think we've ever enjoyed each other's company more.
I often wonder how Canadians differ from Europeans because unless we're of First Nations descent, most of our population are immigrants from other places, and we've only been a country since 1867. Judeo-Christian principals were established only due to colonialism, which very much wiped out the ancient sacredness in the practices of our First Nations people. But I'm getting off topic now. I guess what I'm getting at is there's still alot of that hyper-christian conservatism, especially in rural areas where families settled and many stayed a few generations in, so there's still quite a bit of resistance to the occult in many places in Canada. A good portion of my family are this type of people, and though they don't know anything about me, they already think I'm going to hell because I have a few tattoos.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Polyhymnia
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Polyhymnia » Tue May 21, 2019 10:32 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:09 pm

A flying unicorn told me that the human mind likes to connect unconciously produced emotions to something concrete, just to keep up the illusion that they are having a well-known, controlable, rational reason. It is interesting how many behaviours and beliefs are based on different kinds of fear, even though they manifest as something else. In a homogenous group this mechanism can easily lead to problematic or even violent outbursts.
That said, I decided to keep quiet about occultism because I just have better things to do with my energy than constantly explaining myself to people who already have a fixed opinionon about it.
It seems, that occultism is still connected to no-go dogma that is no longer soley religious but based on another sort of illusion that people like to hold- The illusion of the own rationality.
Yes! There seems to be a belief over here too in many circles that atheism=the smartest of the smart because they don't need to succumb to any kind of fairytales of made up whatever to feel whole. I conserve my energy as well. I do like to read books on secular humanism, as I think most occultists feel a certain degree of skepticism is healthy, but I got a real kick out of a book I read last year that said occultists were the most dangerous of all people who believe in something because they're disguised as very well read, intelligent people. I'm going to try and remember what book this was. I feel it was a Richard Dawkins title, but I'll find it and quote it without paraphrasing. I laughed pretty hard.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Silvaeon
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Silvaeon » Thu May 23, 2019 6:46 am

Heith wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 pm
I was going to reply on another thread Partners with different belief systems when the discussion brushed on how open about occult interests one can be in their own country, and how this varies quite a lot. I am interested to know how you view the situation in your country or society? Or perhaps place of work.
Where I live, it is very difficult to be open about my beliefs. My family is very Lutheran, and they are not the type of people who would be open to discussing spirituality outside of their own worldview, especially if it involves Satan in a positive light. There remains a large Christian population here, although it could also said to be shrinking and replaced by atheism or just indifference to spirituality in younger generations.

As a result, I am very private about my beliefs with my family. My friends of course know, but I have had no deep discussions regarding anything with them. It's accepted and supported, but beyond that there has been no engagement with it. Again, sort of this indifference to spirituality I suppose. I keep things especially private in my workplace. The one time I mentioned to someone that I was reading an occult book, without even going into any details, I was met with a blank stare like I was insane. I've never tried to open the discussion again. I work in manual labor, which is maybe not known to be an environment which harbors deep thinkers. And I share the sentiment that my energy is better used elsewhere, instead of constantly trying to explain and justify myself to those not willing to listen. I think the majority of people are just too focused on their mundane lives and material well-being to ever give any deeper thought to the spiritual.

Even within the "black metal community" here, being a somewhat "safe space" of people already exposed to Satanic ideas, where I appeared publicly to sell our publications - for every interesting and positive conversation I had, there were probably more "oh, you actually believe in this sort of stuff?" type reactions. I think people are overall just more interested in entertainment and talking about metal than engaging with ideas. At least in my experience so far, but there are exceptions of course.

All of this means that when selling books and posting to facebook or whatever, my posts are extremely restricted from anyone who should not see them. It's annoying, but it has to be done.

Polyhymnia wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 10:24 pm
I can't speak for Silvaeon, my fellow Canadian, but I can say that I have quite a few friends who have moved from my province to the province he's in to pursue lives rich in nature, the arts, and to some degrees, the occult. The islands in British Columbia seem to particularly be a hub for artistic, metaphysical types, and even I one day hope to make a home out there surrounded by people more of that ilk.
All of the above said, BC does have a little bit of a reputation as an "occult hotspot". We have some interesting stores here and on the island. And I do have some acquaintances that share an interest, though they're few and far between. But as far as any sort of community goes, or wider societal acceptance, I myself have not experienced it. This could easily fall to my own limitations and desire for privacy as much as anything else though. Unfortunately I can't speak on this further.

Polyhymnia wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 10:24 pm
The last few years have shown a massive revival of occult imagery in fashion thanks to certain brands like Killstar, Blackcult, Cvlt Nation, etc, so the ability to superficially look like a magical, witchy being has been more accessible than ever, so the fashion witch or the fashion occultist is certainly a thing. I might notice it more because of my profession, which has me surrounded by alternative people all of the time, but I've noticed a general trend towards the witchy aesthetic in my "normie" friends as well. Like most trends, though, it will probably fade within a couple of years, but I definitely sense a broadening of minds overall thanks to this last resurgence.
I've noticed this sort of thing as well. And on the one hand, it's great that the "idea" and "image" of the occultist might be starting to get some more exposure, but on the other, if it's all only fashion and superficial interest that never develops deeper, I think that it's more damaging than good. It's hard to weigh the net results and ultimately I can never come to any concrete conclusion about this.

Polyhymnia wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 10:24 pm
(do you guys have rednecks in Europe?)
This is something I have sometimes wondered myself :lol:
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Kenazis
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Kenazis » Thu May 23, 2019 8:47 am

Silvaeon wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 6:46 am
Polyhymnia wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 10:24 pm
(do you guys have rednecks in Europe?)
This is something I have sometimes wondered myself :lol:
Similar Word for similar kind of people in Finland is "juntti". So, we have rednecks in Europe, but I think the cultural background shapes these rednecks to be more or less "redneck". Rednecks in some cultures are able to be more deeply in the redneck-mindcape because of the environment. Are there some historical studies of redneckism? That would be nice..
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
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Cerastes
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Cerastes » Thu May 23, 2019 4:32 pm

Smaragd wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:09 pm
A word with elusive meaning is extremely vulnerable to losing it. Atleast in my small circle of acquaintances I'm glad it is relatively rarely used and unknown. I'm trying to convince myself that we Finns – the proud spirit of the culture – with our bad self-esteem elevated to careful nature, are prone to have respect for the unknown like we have for our forests.
There are cultures which support a mindset that is more likely to implement an openness towards occultism. The most interesting part - especially when put in a panentheistic frame - is how language and nature/climate have an effect on these cultural bias. I’m planning to observe the Finnish culture as soon as I manage to take part in a SoA meeting, so be prepared for that. 8-)
Smaragd wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:09 pm
Ofcourse we have also those fear ridden rational teeth-biting control freaks, but usually they don't dear to cast their attention on occultism (except the occasional ignorant laugh-and-run every now and then) as long as its' not used as a weapon to break their small world. Silence protects the meaning.
This talk about rationality/irrationality reminds me on the discusion about love and hate. Hate is the bad part so we just deny it because hate is for bad people. The irony is that this flight from negativity causes outbursts of hate, that leads directly into violence. I actually learned to love the childishly-playful irrationality in myself as well as in other people. It leads the thoughts in many different unknown directions and offers so much more possibilities that the strict in-line thinking.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Society and occultism

Postby Kavi » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:57 pm

Heith wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 pm
I was going to reply on another thread Partners with different belief systems when the discussion brushed on how open about occult interests one can be in their own country, and how this varies quite a lot. I am interested to know how you view the situation in your country or society? Or perhaps place of work.
I have felt in a way that I have lived significant amount of my life being "possessed by society".
By this I mean "the imaginary concept of society's will or opinion" inside my brains that have dictated what is normal and therefore good thing to do and be etc. And it's (was) quite hard trying to keep some kind of mask on all the time in social conventions.
If I am correct. In the past, Finnish society was quite homogeneous and it only tolerated differences to some extent, but I believe that after 90's shift has been more rapid towards accepting differences, different kinds of belief systems. i.e
And maybe in the 2010's even more so?

During last two years, I think this kind of shift has happened also in my mindset.
I have been able to accept that some parts of society or individuals are not particularly keen on occultism and satanism.
The most conspicuous moment has been my openness towards my significant other. While I proclaimed myself to be a theistic satanist, I got so neutral feedback that I felt a little bit anticlimactic about it.
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