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Author Topic: The Occult  (Read 1873 times)

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Offline NyelaTopic starter

The Occult
« on: May 15, 2017, 07:06:53 PM »
What's your opinion of the Occult? When I say that I mean, your opinion on those who use magic and cast spells. I really don't like it myself because I've had bad experiences with it but what do the rest of you think of it? Now my opinion being said, I don't judge you for using it if you do, I just really prefer not to myself or be around it.

Offline DominantPoet

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 11:49:08 PM »
I'm all for people believing in things they want to believe in, so long as those beliefs don't bring harm or misery to other people. I believe in ghosts, and I hope when we pass over/die, we at least get the choice to be an incorporeal spirit...or our energy simply collects in a dimension side by side with our own but that we can't access while alive.

So in general, the occult, magic, magick, demons, supernatural things in general, all of that - I'm all for it. Personally, I wouldn't mind a world where the supernatural and spirits and what not existed and were real, not unlike one of my all time favorites, Ghostbusters. Freaky as hell? Sure. Awesome as hell though too? Definitely.

Having said that, I've certainly run into my fair share of people who take their beliefs a tad far for my liking. I've run into women who are absolutely hardcore about magick (and would have just soon cut my head off for spelling it without the k), who adamantly refused to listen to any opposing view about nature, or powers, or what they were capable of and what not. I can understand enjoying something to the point where you fancy yourself an expert and like to correct people on their uninformed beliefs or how they do or even say certain things (take me for example, I love anime - I will adamantly argue, in good fun, that is not a cartoon!).

But if it's to the point you blindly disavow and refuse to listen to any opposing theories, arguments, or just flat out get angry/violent because someone doesn't do it your way, then I definitely draw the line there.

I've had great conversations with people who were decked out in full goth clothing, and looked at first glance like they'd just as soon rip your heart out and offer it up to satan in a ritual sacrifice. People who, I admit, freaked me out a bit at first, but were more than willing to share their views, why they believed what they believed, and admitted that it was quite unlikely their beliefs would ever come to fruition. Nor would they have ever harmed any living thing.

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 12:56:10 AM »
Like anything, I need some proof it exists before I'll believe it, otherwise virtually anything can be taken as real regardless of the lack of proof.

That said, I love fantasy of all kinds, from Alice In Wonderland to Lord of the Rings, and everything in-between.  Much like how my ex and I taught our son about Santa--it was a fun story, and great to pretend about, but not something that should be accepted as reality.  I even wrote letters from Santa and left them on the dining room table with the crumb-filled cookie plate and empty glass of milk.

If people get something positive out of it, great.  I'd prefer people not follow things that have no basis in fact, or could lead them to do silly, foolish, or dangerous things--but I'm not king of the world, nor would I ever want to be.

Offline Scribbles

Re: The Occult
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 04:01:40 AM »
I've seen some of the worst the occult has to offer, so can understand why you might be hesitant around it. My opinion on it is similar to that of religion, it's a seemingly harmless distraction that can unfortunately be twisted to some pretty grim ends. Mind you, that's more a fault of humanity than the practices themselves.

Not sure what else I can say, DominantPoet nailed my thoughts in one aspect, if it doesn't hurt anyone, who cares?

Oh and I actually enjoy observing occult or religious practices, or hearing them get all fussed over seemingly benign events. A friend of mine actually insisted on casting a protective spell over me at one point, which was simultaneously nuts, amusing and sweet. I absolutely envy that sort of whimsy.

Offline Lustful Bride

Re: The Occult
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 11:33:45 AM »
Im kind of with both Poet and Hannibal on this. :P So long as no one gets hurt they can believe as they want...too an extent. There are some beliefs out there (such as people rejecting medicine in favor of using Crystals for healing) that I just shake my head at.

But for the most part they can do as they please so long as no one is harmed or being harmed for not following what they want.

I personally don't really believe in magic, and yes I know, ironic given I believe in a virgin birth and etc. But until I see someone pull some Sith Lightning from their hands and pull some Gandalf level magic I wont really believe it. :/ (Or better yet if a lot of scientists came out with real hard evidence for it, id buy it I guess. Depending on the evidence.)

Offline NyelaTopic starter

Re: The Occult
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 11:36:38 AM »
thanks all. and i do agree with those of you who said as long as they're not harming themselves or anyone. i should have been more specific in my original post. what i mean is what's your opinion on the occult and those who just dabble in it. I have several friends who do practice in the ways of the Occult but they know my view on it and do their best not to have me around it but they like me, hate dabblers. Those are the people who pose the most danger we believe.

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 01:16:26 PM »
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I think that is true regardless of whether its someone who has had half a dozen martial arts classes and thinks they're now a UFC cage fighter, or someone who thinks finishing the first three chapters of Sex Magic for Dummies means they're ready to start fireballing the cat :)

Any kind of power has the potential to be dangerous, both to the individual with it and others. With power comes responsibility (to misquote Spidey ;) ), the responsibility to know how to use it, and perhaps more importantly, when to use it.

Offline NyelaTopic starter

Re: The Occult
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 01:23:51 PM »
very good point

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 01:36:52 PM »
For reference, I'm Asatruar, have been for over 20 years, and I work with the Elder Futhark runes. I do rune readings when asked (and have been called scarily accurate :) ), and craft the occasional bindrune charm for people. Anything I've ever done I would only consider done to help, and only when it was asked for.



Offline NyelaTopic starter

Re: The Occult
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 01:41:17 PM »
cool :)

Offline Lustful Bride

Re: The Occult
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 02:02:05 PM »
For reference, I'm Asatruar, have been for over 20 years, and I work with the Elder Futhark runes. I do rune readings when asked (and have been called scarily accurate :) ), and craft the occasional bindrune charm for people. Anything I've ever done I would only consider done to help, and only when it was asked for.




X3 Now you make me want to get my Dresden Files books out. :P

Offline midnightblack

Re: The Occult
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 03:37:25 AM »
thanks all. and i do agree with those of you who said as long as they're not harming themselves or anyone. i should have been more specific in my original post. what i mean is what's your opinion on the occult and those who just dabble in it. I have several friends who do practice in the ways of the Occult but they know my view on it and do their best not to have me around it but they like me, hate dabblers. Those are the people who pose the most danger we believe.

It's certainly fascinating to explore anything related to the occult or supernatural within the realm of make-believe. I guess it can be fun to pretend that putting a wizard hat on and chanting things at midnight can impact your real life, just as it is fun to believe that Santa rides across the nightsky on a sledge driven by a red-nosed reindeer and swoops down chimneys with a bottomless sack of gifts. However, I don't think that taking things too seriously and forgetting that they are just mere fantasies can ever end up in anything good.

Your destiny is governed by the laws of physics together with the choices that you and the people around you make. You can't really do too much about the former, but you do potentially have a great deal of influence on the latter. It's just that things will never turn your way if instead of taking action you choose to hide within a fantasy.  I've had friends and relatives end up with their lives completely destroyed after getting lost in these things, instead of standing up for themselves and facing their problems.

Offline Mathim

Re: The Occult
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 09:04:15 AM »
I don't understand how anyone can ever make the leap to there being anything occult or supernatural if they can't confirm that whatever it is they experience is in fact just that. Even if it's something you don't understand, doesn't mean there will never be a way to understand it or that it will forever be outside the reach of science to test, study and confirm, so there's no real justification to ascribe any such labels to whatever it is people are convinced are occult/supernatural. I had a very long discussion with my friend yesterday, actually, about this very thing. He is convinced he is able to astralproject and I asked him how he could confirm that it was just that and not simply a dream or other vivid trick of the mind or imagination, and he admitted that he couldn't confirm it personally, but still believed it. That was all that really needed to be said-the acknowledgment that belief in it was unwarranted. But then he claimed there was evidence for all kinds of this category of phenomena and it largely gets ignored (which sounds like horseshit on its face for so many reasons) because scientists who study it don't get attention or won't risk bringing up their findings because they would be risking their reputations coming out publicly with something considered unscientific, which is ludicrous because of all the religiously-inspired pseudoscience, you'd think one of those charlatans would have been able to prove something with that if there was even a sliver of actual evidence that couldn't be debunked.

My bottom line - if you can't verify you know for certain what something was or what its cause was, you're unjustified in concluding it's occult/supernatural. And even if it was just that, if its nature is something that cannot be studied and therefore nothing known or understood about it, what the hell is the point of giving half a crap about it?

Offline Blythe

Re: The Occult
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 02:56:58 PM »
Like anything, I need some proof it exists before I'll believe it, otherwise virtually anything can be taken as real regardless of the lack of proof.

If people get something positive out of it, great.  I'd prefer people not follow things that have no basis in fact, or could lead them to do silly, foolish, or dangerous things--but I'm not king of the world, nor would I ever want to be.

I was trying to think of a reply to this thread earlier, but HannibalBarca's summed up what I think pretty well, so I'll echo his sentiments. The quoted sections here are pretty darn close to my feelings on the matter.

Offline GothicFires

Re: The Occult
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 09:36:51 PM »
I'm pagan; it allowed me to set up my dogma. I'm also a high believer in science. I have had personal experiences that can't be backed up by science but I don't think it makes my experience have less value. I keep an alter but I haven't performed rituals or spells in a while. In fact watching others perform rituals makes me uncomfortable when they are done for show.

The biggest thing I can tell anyone who wants to know if magic and spells work is yes they do. But they work much better if you put the work in making what you want happen rather than doing a spell to make it happen. You need more money? Find a better job, sell things you don't need... figure out a way. Doing a spell and then doing nothing is worthless. 

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2017, 09:52:49 PM »
Do I believe? Perhaps, I tend to keep an open mind.

Though from experience with things, some doors are better left closed or researched beforehand.

Years and years ago, me and my friends messed around with an ouija board. I don't precisely remember all the questions asked, of course with the piece moving anyone can claim someone else was just pointing it and messing around. That night nothing abnormal seemed to happen, but not all the rules with the board were really followed. Pretty sure saying goodbye was something that was supposed to be done, but wasn't.

Let's just say when I got home, I felt something smoothering me when I tried to sleep. This instance didn't happen one night, another night felt like something was pressing against me. Another night felt like something was trying to drag me from my bed. I was a lot younger then,  late teens, but it is still a freaky experience when you feel like you are awake, trying to scream out, with nothing happening. How I resolved it, I just got a night light, it seemed to pass. Not sure if the light helped at the time or whatever it was if anything was done making a point. Of course, I haven't used a night light in many years and haven't had that problem since.

But this wasn't just on my end. My friend says he experienced seeing lights blink when he drove by them. The place we were at, there was a certain guy that said he saw dark spirits around there. Can't remember what they called him. Not a priest, maybe some other form of 'clergy?'

I haven't touched with such things since and have no intention of doing so. Again, depending on what occult activities or methods, some doors are better left closed. Nothing could happen, but something could also and not always for the better.

Offline Captain Maltese

Re: The Occult
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2017, 07:30:05 AM »
I am something. It is a little difficult to be precise because every time I look into a different set of faith and practices, I find things that are in common with the other faiths and practices I am aware of. And I mean throughout the history of humanity, not just some specific time period. So at this point I refuse to take any single belief set or their holy book as THE truth. At best, an aspect that reflects elements of truth. So when or if someone ask me, I say that I am a heathen, a heretic, a haram, an infidel, a goy, a pagan. Most of all I am free. But I still respect the right of others to pursue their faith through the practices they find meaning in, as long as they do not require the same of me. So I will leave the occultists to their rituals in the same way I leave the christians to go to their churches. The forest is my church, the sea will be my grave and the seagulls will sing my requiem.

As for spells and rituals - I have a few myself and I find meaning in them. The spiritual world is not entirely intangible to me, and I have had some experiences. Am I an occultist, just because I consider these experiences and rituals private? Refusing to go under ladders might sound like superstition until the day a ladder falls on your head. If a prayer gives you new strength to deal with something, has it been a waste of time even if no angels appear wearing work overalls and tool belts? I guess I struggle a little with the whole occultism definition because regular religions are so similar once you look past the color of the robes, the size of the candles and the fonts in the officially approved literature.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 07:39:35 AM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Iniquitous

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2017, 09:43:01 AM »
Like Hairy, I am an Asatruar and have been for going on 19 years now.  I have had, and will continue to have, others read my runes for me when I seem to be at an impasse in my life.  As for spells and such?  I made a choice when I first began my path to stay away from such - mostly because I feel like using magic is forcing your will upon whatever or whomever you are casting the spell for.  I also have a very firm belief in doing for myself instead of looking for an easy way to get what I want/easy way out of a situation/easy fix to a problem. I feel as if my communications with my deities and the offerings I leave them are enough.

Offline GothicFires

Re: The Occult
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2017, 07:19:20 PM »
Since Drake mentioned ouija boards, those should be avoided. The problem being that you have to be physically connected to them. I fooled around with them when i was 15 because my friend had done it first and became terrified by it. What ever you connect with through it also has a connection with you. Answers tend to be what someone in the group already knows or what you want to hear. My friend firmly believed that a spirit was going to come kill her. i had to sleep with her until I convinced her that I scared it away.

I met another person who said that something would jump on their bed and pull the covers off them as they watched after using an ouija board. This was years before i knew them so it could be just a story but it is best not to use them. 

Offline NyelaTopic starter

Re: The Occult
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2017, 07:44:18 PM »
Since Drake mentioned ouija boards, those should be avoided. The problem being that you have to be physically connected to them. I fooled around with them when i was 15 because my friend had done it first and became terrified by it. What ever you connect with through it also has a connection with you. Answers tend to be what someone in the group already knows or what you want to hear. My friend firmly believed that a spirit was going to come kill her. i had to sleep with her until I convinced her that I scared it away.

I met another person who said that something would jump on their bed and pull the covers off them as they watched after using an ouija board. This was years before i knew them so it could be just a story but it is best not to use them.

I hate ouija boards with a passion! my husband messed with one when he was in high school and thank God he's okay. the other kids who messed with it were killed in freak accidents. I still keep a close eye on him because of it.

Offline Whowhatwhere

Re: The Occult
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2017, 08:56:29 AM »
What do I think of the occult? I am skeptical of any form of gnostic spirituality. To pray is universal, to expect to have magic powers from it is hubris. That is why I don't say I have "religion", I say I have "faith". I won't pray to ask for a new car, but I will pray to give me the strength to work hard for a new car.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 08:57:53 AM by Whowhatwhere »

Offline Kuroneko

Re: The Occult
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2017, 12:51:06 AM »
I'm pagan; it allowed me to set up my dogma. I'm also a high believer in science. I have had personal experiences that can't be backed up by science but I don't think it makes my experience have less value. I keep an alter but I haven't performed rituals or spells in a while. In fact watching others perform rituals makes me uncomfortable when they are done for show.

Like Gothic, I'm a pagan, mixed in with the Buddhist tenets brought along with many, many years of dedicated martial arts study, a hefty dose of Shintoism (which is, essentially, a Japanese form of Paganism) and enough Native American teaching to have brought me to my current place of practicing Druidry for the past 20ish years. Like her, I am a firm believer in science. I keep an altar. I do ceremony. I practice shamanic journeying. I work with the spirits of place, and our relations along with the Futhark and the Ogham. Spells are outside of my practice. I have experienced things that cannot currently be explained by science. I expect that one day, they will be. Quantum physics has made amazing discoveries about the nature of physical reality that spiritual teachers have known for thousands of years.

I personally dislike the term supernatural; it implies these things, these experiences are outside the nature of ordinary reality, when that simply hasn't been my personal experience. YMMV.

Quote
The biggest thing I can tell anyone who wants to know if magic and spells work is yes they do. But they work much better if you put the work in making what you want happen rather than doing a spell to make it happen. You need more money? Find a better job, sell things you don't need... figure out a way. Doing a spell and then doing nothing is worthless.

This is my experience and my advice as well.

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2017, 07:03:49 PM »
One of your resident witches chiming in.  My life has only improved since I began to walk this path. You see it is about more than simply crafting rites and rituals to achieve desired ends for me. For me it is about having a nuanced view of life, developing an understanding, and having a more personal relationship with the sacred whether it is Spirits, Deities, or righteous Ancestors. I've seen and experienced things that I've not had any negative experiences, though admittedly, there are some fools, whether they are truly malicious or simply incompetent who misuse the arts associated therewith. The biggest problem lies with people who don't understand what the hell they're doing. One of the first lessons I learned was not to delve into anything you do not have a working understanding of. Let me put it this way. Would it be a good idea to try and perform even minor surgery without any sort of proper medical knowledge? Occult knowledge can be misused, but it has been nothing but helpful to me and the people around me. I would be a worse person without occult teachings in my life.

Though as a word to the wise, do not screw around with ouija boards. I know of people who engage with things that many would rather steer clear of (working with Devils for example) who won't touch them. There are many safer methods for communing with the ancestors. Another thing is love spells, specifically the kind where you try to force someone to love you. Aside from trying to force your will on someone in a rampantly unethical fashion, there's also the danger of not knowing what sort of effect it might have.  You also don't know how their behavior toward you might change.

Offline GothicFires

Re: The Occult
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2017, 09:02:53 PM »
I had a boyfriend cast a love spell on me. It took me 4 years to get out of that relationship. He was actually pissed when I discovered what he did with MY hair. Apparently I had no right to find out that he did something other that what was discussed when it was cut. He raised his hand to hit me. I told him if he was feeling manly enough to go a head and swing but i would kick his ass all the way to California (I live in the upper middle of SC) and have family lined up for his return trip. He dropped his hand. I can't blame his spell for staying with him for 4 years but I did feel like a bigger idiot to think I had wasted that much time with someone who would try to do that to me.

(edited to correct a misspelling)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 12:54:37 AM by GothicFires »

Offline Kuroneko

Re: The Occult
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2017, 10:24:56 PM »
Wise words Lux.

I'm sorry that happened to you, Gothic. What he did was reprehensible. Thankfully, Karma is a bitch ;-)

Offline Various

Re: The Occult
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2017, 02:41:21 PM »
I do not believe in magic.

 

Offline Oniya

Re: The Occult
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2017, 03:50:21 PM »
I do not believe in magic.

 

Not even in a young girl's heart?  *cue earworm*

Offline RedRose

Re: The Occult
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2017, 01:20:24 PM »
I was raised with all kinds of stories. Did people really believe in them... lol. It depended who you asked, and the answer could vary  ::) Still. There are weird things.

Offline GothicFires

Re: The Occult
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2017, 04:04:25 PM »
Real world magic definitely doesn't happen the way it does in movies and fairy tales. I can best be described as religious belief. It's a feeling that makes it real. I've felt the spirit of god in church and in the middle of the woods at night. I had a friend ask me to do a protective spell for her children. I choose the appropriate deities and shouldn't have had an issue, yet nothing would go right until I chose to also invite the deities of the man I was supposed to be protecting her children from. I almost forgot to dismiss them but the deity candles refused to go out until I thanked them. It's nothing that would pass a science test but potent for the people there who had a little belief to begin with.

Offline Sirian Eve

Re: The Occult
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2017, 10:06:50 PM »
I'm not sure  I can call myself anything just yet. A spiritual seeker would be the best term for me. I work with angels, faeries and ancestors. All is with the intention for a better existence. That's  what I believe  magic is, it's to help draw out intention for the user's exact purpose. I have met interesting people with stories that are amazing. I lean more towards ancient african spirituality.

Offline Various

Re: The Occult
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2017, 11:24:11 PM »
Not even in a young girl's heart?  *cue earworm*

Romantic love is a construction of Hallmark.

Offline Lustful Bride

Re: The Occult
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2017, 12:02:25 AM »
I will say that I firmly believe in a thing called love!  ;D

Offline Mathim

Re: The Occult
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2017, 12:06:24 AM »
Romantic love is a construction of Hallmark.

Actually it's a detectable biological condition in the brain and other parts of the body. That's one less hiding place for the intangible or occult.

Offline Oniya

Re: The Occult
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2017, 12:18:11 AM »
Actually it's a detectable biological condition in the brain and other parts of the body. That's one less hiding place for the intangible or occult.

And can also be simulated by appropriate doses of theobromine - found, coincidentally, in chocolate.  And you thought that heart-shaped box was what did it.  xD

Offline Mathim

Re: The Occult
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2017, 12:27:33 AM »
And can also be simulated by appropriate doses of theobromine - found, coincidentally, in chocolate.  And you thought that heart-shaped box was what did it.  xD

Well, the heart-shaped box is actually a butt, so...

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2017, 11:05:02 PM »
Religion and Occult really don't have a pure connection from the history on it all, they might intercept at times but just because someone is a practicing pagan or a witch doesn't really make me think of the occult.  Semantics aside; media, stories, and second hand fables paint very different pictures of what you see when you touch into things that you see that you can't explain with science or logical facts that the adult world tells you are the confines that everything is supposed to fit.  I don't know what you would call me but I know of and have seen plenty that can't be explained by anything a man of science can put their finger directly on (looking at you infrasound).  That said, when you start really digging into it and get really deep it gets pretty grim and weird in my experience, that's why a few years ago I decided as interesting and cool it felt to just relegate myself to be a bystander and a watcher of sorts.  Most self proclaimed "occultists" are either complete bullshit or die mysteriously, and neither sound fun to me at all. 

Offline SidheLady

Re: The Occult
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2017, 05:11:47 PM »
Okay, I thought I'd chime in here.

I'm spiritual, very much so. I'd call myself a pagan shaman. I work mostly with spirits. I live in a home which sits on a lay line, next to some extremely ancient woodland, and my mom is a practicing clairvoyant medium and my brother has some talents as well. My home always has some kind of presences in it, ghosts and spirits (some of them totemic spirits and familiars, and family pets which have passed).

I do think this, scientists who go out and say "there is no such thing as X" are stupid. It's like they can't accept there is something they dont know, or can't explain yet. I mean, if your a ghost, are you going to do tricks for people just to prove you are there?

I mean, maybe if we looked at it in different ways, maybe such as energy fields

Offline Trevino

Re: The Occult
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2017, 06:31:28 PM »
I do think this, scientists who go out and say "there is no such thing as X" are stupid. It's like they can't accept there is something they dont know, or can't explain yet. I mean, if your a ghost, are you going to do tricks for people just to prove you are there?

I would say that their tendency to do this has much more to do with Ockham's razor, rather than with whether or not they understand an unknown phenomenon.

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2017, 07:37:49 PM »
I do think this, scientists who go out and say "there is no such thing as X" are stupid. It's like they can't accept there is something they dont know, or can't explain yet. I mean, if your a ghost, are you going to do tricks for people just to prove you are there?

Indeed. Quite a good point. The Spirits and Ancestors do not have the exact same priorities as living mortals. They aren't inclined to show off just because and they tend to be more subtle in their actions.

Offline midnightblack

Re: The Occult
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2017, 12:41:28 AM »
Okay, I thought I'd chime in here.

I'm spiritual, very much so. I'd call myself a pagan shaman. I work mostly with spirits. I live in a home which sits on a lay line, next to some extremely ancient woodland, and my mom is a practicing clairvoyant medium and my brother has some talents as well. My home always has some kind of presences in it, ghosts and spirits (some of them totemic spirits and familiars, and family pets which have passed).

I do think this, scientists who go out and say "there is no such thing as X" are stupid. It's like they can't accept there is something they dont know, or can't explain yet. I mean, if your a ghost, are you going to do tricks for people just to prove you are there?

I mean, maybe if we looked at it in different ways, maybe such as energy fields

Well, putting anyone of a different opinion together with "stupid" is usually not the best way to start things off, even if it seems justified by all laws of nature, common sense and reason. In particular, I'd say that anyone who is at least a half-competent scientist in the 21st century can be suspected of all the flaws inherent to man, except stupidity.

Now, the professional part of a scientist's life, which in my opinion needn't have any influence on personal/spiritual beliefs, is concerned with things that can be objectively observed, i.e. measured. If a phenomenon does indeed take place, its manifestation must leave some kind of observable trace. In turn, if properly understood, this trace will allow the phenomenon to be replicated in controlled conditions. This alone establishes the phenomenon as a part of objective reality.

Call it a professional flaw if you will, but in order for a scientist to acknowledge a "spiritual" presence, he would have to take laboratory measurements of its manifestation and rule out simple, mundane causes. In particular, those energy fields that you mention should leave some measurable trace of their existence.

In any case, as someone who on rare occasions touches upon the spiritual (I wake up in the dead of night with very vivid nightmares of bad things that I can read of in the news the next day, or discover that they happened to someone close to me), I still think that this and anything related to it is more of a matter of photon physics and the human brain still holding many, many mysteries, rather than it being something completely off the charts of how we learned to understand the world.

Offline GothicFires

Re: The Occult
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2017, 02:52:55 PM »
There is actually a discipline of magic that is practiced without a dogmatic relief and many that practice it consider it in line with scientific practices. They call themselves magi. Their symbol is a seven pointed star with a continuous line. I knew one in my early 20s. In the past these men could have been called alchemist or an apothecary. Today that would be chemistry and doctors.

Here is the one thing you can walk away with no matter what you believe. The universe works by a set of rules. Some rules we understand some we don't. Practicing magic isn't going to change these rules. What it can change is yourself and your understanding of those rules. If you don't practice magic or believe in it's existence the laws of the universe still work the same way. 

Offline The Vessel

Re: The Occult
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2017, 11:47:04 PM »
I consider myself Pagan: Disorganized Type. Throughout my life, I've been Wiccan, Druid, Taoist, Satanist, Xaote, and dabbled in several more things.

Nowadays I just cheekily refer to myself as a "New Age Crystal Waver".

That said, I've never had an experience with spellwork that unambiguously worked for me in a way that I can claim anything other than coincidence. I've seen others do some things that made me go "hmm", but for myself, in the clutch, the results have always been inconclusive.

I try to be very careful with my occult practice; I have a tendency towards suggestibility, so it's easy to get me riled up over bupkiss. The only practice I've had consistent, statistically significant success with is divination. Elder Futhark, Tarot, and to a limited extent Astrology (only working with natal astrology right now, haven't moved into horary) have impressed me and others on several occasions, and I'm one of those who calls it slop if you give me any information I could use to cold read you during the process.

I'm not against the idea of magic(k) in modern times, but I am pretty sure I can't do it.

Offline NyelaTopic starter

Re: The Occult
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2017, 07:29:18 AM »
very interesting. thanks everyone!

Offline laurelverse

Re: The Occult
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2017, 12:43:53 PM »
It was really interesting to read everyone's point of views. 

I now have a completely open mind.   As a teenager, Wicca and the tarot fascinated me.  During various periods of my life, I studied and dabbled in all kinds of spiritual paths, learned Biblical Hebrew, joined the Unitarian Universalist church but also a left-hand path organization.  I read Scripture, I read Anton LaVey, I read and talked about everything in between.  I've settled into a place where I think cognitive behavior therapy techniques and ritual magic use different forms to create the same functions.  I think that hateful or paranoid or narcissistic people are neither more or less likely to be occultists than anyone else, but when they put that negative mojo into faith or magic, it tends to hurt them and the people they love.  A lot. 

I embrace positive people who love/worship positive gods or Powers That Be, regardless of the Name or rituals involved.  They seem to embrace me :)

Offline Serephino

Re: The Occult
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2017, 10:48:39 PM »
I am Pagan.  As said earlier, I do believe a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  A person can't just read one book on magic and spell work and be ready to preform grand rituals.  I took my time, read lots of books, and talked to many other Pagans before I discovered what works for me and started doing spells.  I lived in a very haunted house most of my life and saw and experienced strange things.  I even got a spirit to communicate with me.  Then I got into doing tarot readings, and was told I was pretty accurate.  It really is too bad I lost the little book that told me what the cards meant.  I've done a psychic reading for someone and knew something about them no one could guess in a million years.

I am pro Science.  I feel that Science is a tool for understanding the world around us, and it works pretty well for the most part.  But as you can tell from the above paragraph, I also firmly believe that there are many things scientists cannot probe in a lab or explain with scientific means. 

Offline DelightfullyMAD

Re: The Occult
« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2017, 12:01:29 AM »
I find the concept of occultism and the occult to be interesting, but more from the insight into human psychology rather than the notion of occultism itself.  Of course, as an avid roleplayer, the occult often plays a large role in many of the games I run, especially since I tend to like running Call of Cthuhlu games and the like.

But what really fascinates me is that notions like occultism, alchemy, astrology, and other such pseudo-sciences actually are interesting to me because they demonstrate a sort of 'Evolutionary Link' in our species growth of knowledge over the centuries.  When it comes down to it, all of these things were created by people in order to try and explain and exert some degree of control over the world, reality, and our immediate environment.  Of course, these disciplines were flawed, often flat out incorrect, but we had to start somewhere.  We didn't go from making the wheel to immediately creating NASCAR after all, there was a process.  In many ways, occultism is a vestigial remnant of that process.

Who knows, centuries from now what we currently hold as true and concrete may very well be regarded by the people in the future as being the very same as the occultism that we now consider just a fun little bit of imagination today.  But once upon a time, occultism, alchemy, astrology, all were considered every bit as scientific as what chemistry, astronomy, and mathematics are now.  Some things, such as math, are likely to progress most unchanged but merely built upon into the future, but other ideas like chemistry or astronomy could see massive shakeups in our understanding.  Hell, already we are discovering stuff out in the universe that pretty much makes us rethink a lot of our preconceived notions, so just imagine what a century or two would bring?

Offline Regina Minx

Re: The Occult
« Reply #46 on: August 19, 2017, 10:36:42 AM »
But what really fascinates me is that notions like occultism, alchemy, astrology, and other such pseudo-sciences actually are interesting to me because they demonstrate a sort of 'Evolutionary Link' in our species growth of knowledge over the centuries.  When it comes down to it, all of these things were created by people in order to try and explain and exert some degree of control over the world, reality, and our immediate environment.  Of course, these disciplines were flawed, often flat out incorrect, but we had to start somewhere.  We didn't go from making the wheel to immediately creating NASCAR after all, there was a process.  In many ways, occultism is a vestigial remnant of that process.

It's not a vestigial remnant, though. Science rightfully enjoys a special epistemic status that pseudo-sciences and occult practices do not get to enjoy, even if they attempt to claim that they do. Astronomy is a science. Astrology is a pseudo-science and occult practice. It's not appropriate to say that when we were doing astrology we were doing the same kind of thing that astronomy tries to do, just less well. The difference between legitimate science and non-sciences isn't just a difference of degree or a difference in quality. It's fundamentally a difference in kind.

If you must use an analogy, it's not that astrology and occultism are vestigial organs of our quest for understanding. They're evolutionary dead-ends that weren't biologically fit to pass on their methodology and premises to the current population of knowledge-seeking behavior.

Offline midnightblack

Re: The Occult
« Reply #47 on: August 19, 2017, 11:24:21 AM »

Who knows, centuries from now what we currently hold as true and concrete may very well be regarded by the people in the future as being the very same as the occultism that we now consider just a fun little bit of imagination today.  But once upon a time, occultism, alchemy, astrology, all were considered every bit as scientific as what chemistry, astronomy, and mathematics are now.  Some things, such as math, are likely to progress most unchanged but merely built upon into the future, but other ideas like chemistry or astronomy could see massive shakeups in our understanding.  Hell, already we are discovering stuff out in the universe that pretty much makes us rethink a lot of our preconceived notions, so just imagine what a century or two would bring?


What happens when scientific understanding progresses isn't really a case of "previous conclusions being wrong", but rather defining the domain of validity of those conclusions and successfully generalizing them to a broader context. As an example, there's nothing wrong with Newton's insight nearly 400 years ago about the way things move, as long as you remain in a domain appropriate for his observations, namely velocities that are small in comparison to the speed of light in vacuum and dimensions much larger than the size of an atom. Einstein's broader theory about the way things move, developed about 100 years ago, reduces to Newton's results in the appropriate context. If need ever arises for a theory of motion beyond that of Einstein's, this new theory will encompass and reduce to it in the contexts with which we are familiar today.

This isn't true for methods lacking a logical structure that is grounded in observational data.

Offline DelightfullyMAD

Re: The Occult
« Reply #48 on: August 19, 2017, 11:52:38 AM »
It's not a vestigial remnant, though. Science rightfully enjoys a special epistemic status that pseudo-sciences and occult practices do not get to enjoy, even if they attempt to claim that they do. Astronomy is a science. Astrology is a pseudo-science and occult practice. It's not appropriate to say that when we were doing astrology we were doing the same kind of thing that astronomy tries to do, just less well. The difference between legitimate science and non-sciences isn't just a difference of degree or a difference in quality. It's fundamentally a difference in kind.

If you must use an analogy, it's not that astrology and occultism are vestigial organs of our quest for understanding. They're evolutionary dead-ends that weren't biologically fit to pass on their methodology and premises to the current population of knowledge-seeking behavior.

I wasn't necessarily suggesting that occultism and astrology were actual 'science'.  I probably wasn't clear on that.  More what I meant was that the intent behind them was basically the same, even while occultism, alchemy, astrology and the like were fundamentally different in their methodology.  Most of those either predated the scientific method, or were still in practice when science was still a bit fledgling.  It still stems from a fundamental need that humans have; to understand the world and make sense of it, even if the method used is fundamentally flawed.

Basically, what I wanted to express is that I find occultism and the like fascinating because it reveals something of human nature that I think is very interesting.  Even when steeped in superstition or flawed thinking, it was still an attempt by people to put some form of logic or coherence to the world.  My descriptor as an evolutionary link may not be correct, I grant you, but I'll be honest and say I wasn't too concerned with being terribly specific with my wording.  Calling it an offshoot may be a bit closer to the point, but that wasn't really my main intent on making the statement.  It was more of an observation on human desire for knowledge, a desire which can take many forms depending on just what tools and methods they happen to have available at the time.

Offline SaturnCeleste

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Re: The Occult
« Reply #49 on: August 19, 2017, 12:26:25 PM »
For the past year and a half I have devoted my life to the Tarot.  Not only is it a way of life, I am building my career as a Tarot Reader.  But I grew up in a family that was very strong with psychic connections.  My grandmother was an astrologer, my mom was a dreamer and psychic and I am who I am now because of them.  I am the only one left alive in my family except for my son (I'm divorced) and sometimes when I sit down at my table to read the cards, I greet my ancestors.  The occult is my way of life.  I live in a sanctuary of spirits.

As for Ouija boards, someone has to move the planchette.  I've never seen it move by itself, don't waste your time with the Ouija.  >:)

PM me for a reading!  ::)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 12:37:01 PM by SaturnCeleste »