“If we want to discover our own creativity and ability to change ourselves and the world, it is imperative that we learn from those women and men who practiced such transformative magic before us.” ~Mary K. Greer
Tarot scholar Mary K. Greer is the author of numerous books on divination and the Tarot. She is also an authority on The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the magical women who were the heart and soul of that Order. Greer presents the intertwined biographies of Maud Gonne, Moina Bergson Mathers, Annie Horniman, and Florence Farr in Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and Priestesses. Her book is an inspirational account of these women, who she refers to as “spiritual foremothers of women practicing magic today.” Near the end of her book, Greer presents ” twelve resources these women shared in common in their personal histories of liberation: twelve conditions that name their powers and describe the factors working for them.” Here is her list of what these four mystical pioneers had in common:
Most known for his non-fiction book The Outsider in which he writes about social alienation, English novelist and philosopher Colin Wilson also wrote several books about spirituality, chief among them The Occult: A History. His beliefs on modern man are capsulized in this quote by E.E. Rehmus in The Magician’s Dictionary under the entry for Magic:
Modern civilization induces an attitude of passivity. When a Stone Age hunter set out to trap wild animals, he was aware of his will as a living force. When the prehistoric farmer scored the surface of the earth with a crude plough, he knew that his family’s survival through the winter depended on his effort, and his will responded to the challenge. When a modern city dweller walks down a crowded throroughfare, he feels no sense of challenge or involvement. This city was built by other people; all these shops and offices are owned by other people. He can get through an ordinary’s day work in a state approximating sleep. Most of his routine tasks are carried out by the ‘robot.’ There is neither the need or the opportunity to use the will.
“In order to be able to make it you have to put aside the fear of failing and the desire of succeeding. You have to do these things completely purely without fear, without desire. Because things that we do without lust or result are the purest actions that we shall ever take.” ~Alan Moore
I have a great appreciation for Alan Moore. It is an inarguable fact that he helped transform the medium of comic books into something quasi-respectable. His run on Swamp Thing alone brought a new consciousness to comics. With the help of the inimitable illustrator J. H. Williams III, he created my all time favorite series Promethea. He is the architect behind Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell (if you’ve only seen these works adapted as film, you have not experienced the genius of Alan Moore). However, as much as I love Alan Moore the writer, I am most interested in the Alan Moore the magician.