By Frater Serpentis Satori 9=2
Sadly, Occultism summons images of Hollywood hocus-pocus, Vincent Price and bizarre rituals from old tomes. It seems safer to view it all as childish make-believe, or Demonic inspired rites. Crowley and many of his devotees have done little to change that image for the masses. And, in the Middle Ages, that was how most Magickians saw themselves.
Today our popular culture is embracing the occult, at least tentatively. Witches and Watchers with old grimoures and equally odd demonic enemies are the basis of several television programs today. Slowly, the Wise Man, knowledgeable about the secret forces within the World is becoming a hero, rather than a villain, as he was a few decades back.
This at least symbolically illustrates the value of Magick for everyone in the World. Those lonely few that do venture into these shadowy spheres of The Great Mysteries serve us all, by allowing those forces to be understood. Those discoveries many not benefit many within their lives, but frequently lead others to see themselves and the world more clearly.
Occultism actually is just that, trying to see yourself and the world clearly. Crowley called it Scientific Illuminism, which is a more accurate label in many ways. True Occult study is partially faith, some part science, symbolic psychology, and benevolent sorcery. It defies all other systems that it spawned both by its mystery and its broad application. All reunited one can begin to grasp the veils and trials that await The Occultist.
The faith of the Occultist is often similar to that of a mystic of the same faith, but darker and more over filled with challenges to the Will. It is science insofar as it can be repeated, and research in any area often produces new findings of similar nature. The alchemic psychology of occultism echoes the inner purifications and dangers of diving so deep within. Much of the actual spirit work has not changed much in decades, so some of the stereotypes are often true. These varied threads of truth, are the metaphors to clarify the darkness and unite these seemingly divergent areas of study.
Choosing any of those areas ultimately does not explain Occultism anymore than saying “the study of the unseen” or “the active element opposite of mysticism”. Mysticism and Piety are important on the Occult path, without them it leads to consorting with those Demonic Powers as Mysticism without Occultism leads to retreat from The Entire World. Occultism is only sensible to a practicing magickian on the path of Initiation- the rest should be uncertain.