Ultraculture University

Consciousness Ultraculture | Open-Source Occult

Published on April 15th, 2013 | by Woody Evans

11

Is it Time for the Occult to Go Open Source?

It’s Time for “Occult” Things to Come Out of Hiding. Permanently.

Browsing the Z call numbers, I found a great book on the history of printing (The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, Eisenstein). I ran through the index and found a bit on alchemy. It turns out to be Francis Bacon complaining about magic and alchemy—not on the grounds of content, or about alchemical methodology—but on the grounds that the methods of transferring knowledge to the public about the processes of alchemy are opaque, closed, and not subject to falsification or even verification.

What Bacon’s complaint snaps into focus is that, 400 years later, there is still no Open / Libre system for sharing “occult” work in the way that the sciences do. Almost all of the esoteric and occult books you’re likely to read have been “closed” communications in the sense that they are obscure, self-referential, subjective, coded, guarded, etc.

Occultists still write like they’ll be persecuted… and that makes their writing sound very ominous and spooky, and ironically maybe even persecutable under certain circumstances. Maybe it makes some occultists feel grandiose to avoid plain talk. But a) it’s just bad writing, and b): the occult world needs an “open” and plain spoken outlet for discussing various fields of “what is hidden.”

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Something written in language more akin to journalism than anything else would do a hell of a lot of good for bridging the (very bridgeable) divide between psychotherapy and alchemy. What’s needed is a plain-spoken discussion for mid-brow well-read freaky folks. Not sensational freewheeling talk with gigantic metaphysical claims—just observations, lists, reflections, straightforward explanations of correspondences between states of mind and the symbolic language of “what’s hidden.” A charting of synchronicities and mystical experiences for critique and discussion in the sober light of day, please.

Francis Bacon’s ghost might not be pleased with such a project, but at least he’d be less displeased. Occultists, get Free and Open Source!

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About the Author

Woody has written for Boing Boing, Blip, Motherboard, American Libraries, Rain Taxi, & The Journal of Evolution and Technology, among others. He lives near Al Awir, in the United Arab Emirates. Loves to tinker. Follow his tweets.




  • darius sohei

    maybe we need a WikiMagick, or a Wikinomicon… something to help people cleanly navigate these ideas and practices

    • http://xxiivv.com Devine Lu Linvega

      Wikinomicon. I’m game.

    • http://facebook.com/sans47 noey

      thanks ultraculture, for another great tool/idea! brilliant. your blog rocks!

    • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      Great word! I myself came with Wiccanleaks ;)

  • http://twitter.com/woodyevans Woody Evans

    Wikispaces as the tool, maybe? Looks like wikinomicon.wikispaces.com is taken… but I like some of the variations. A place to doc “in plain english” translations of important old stuffy texts. Lesser Key of Solomon in Plain English, etc…

  • Travis

    Occult imagery has once again become a hipster pop culture fad. The ideas and philosophies behind hundreds/thousands of years of research and dedication are meant to be studied with patience and devotion. Turning these ideas into easily accessible “Occult for Dummies” is an insult to those whom spent their entire lives dedicated to The Art.
    Releasing these already accessible practices and teachings will not enlighten the public instantaneously.

    • http://www.mythosmedia.net Neko S.

      On the other hand, the pop culturization of occult imagery can make it much easier to “find the others”, and at the same time, provide some common ground as a launch pad to deeper conversation so that one can weed out the hipsters and figure out the ones truly worth connecting with.

      “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  • http://www.xp8.org Marco Visconti

    No, it’s not. And Chaos Magick is indeed the perfect example of a great idea went wrong. To Stay Silent is still the most important of the four imperatives of the Sphynx.

  • SassyGnosis

    http://www.scribd.com/collections/3206889/Occult
    http://www.scribd.com/collections/3381212/Occult-2
    http://www.scribd.com/search?query=grey+lodge+occult
    Here are some free occult book resources. There are +1800 books available within those links. There used to be some amazing email lists but in fighting often ruins these things for me. I love irc for discussions now. I am in witch house, transhuman and occult rooms. Most of the rooms are public. There are thriving communities of us discussing the occult and reading voraciously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/turia.madi Turia Madi
  • http://twitter.com/RealPenzilla Stephen dela Cruz

    Fuck yeah! Right on bro! :)

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