Here’s an interesting post from sorcerer Jason Miller’s blog at his Strageic Sorcery site:
Does the Witch operate outside of what society finds normal, and what science deems factual: Yes, without a doubt. But there is a big difference between operating outside of something and standing in opposition to it. You can in fact just be BIGGER than the thing.
History and legend alike are filled with Witches and Magicians that are fully in society, but also beyond it. Their spheres overlap with society in ways that make them seem successful and respectable to almost everyone, yet also extend beyond those boundaries. Sometimes to the side where they do thing outside the norm, and sometimes above – influencing and guiding the norm.
Yes, the Witch CAN be the outcast living beyond the tamed roads of the village, but they can also be fully within that village. Perhaps they even guide leadership as Merlin guided Arthur.
Forgive me getting a little political here, but right now, so many progressive causes are hurt because those who advocate for them have built up an identity as the perpetual outsider. Yelling for change from the streets, because to take up office and make the changes directly would mean being an insider and betraying the “outsider” identity. In witchcraft and in progressive circles both, there always seems to be a litmus test to weed out those not punk enough to stand with the cool kids. The other side does not have this problem and has been happy to take up the posts abandoned by those who need to be perpetually opposed and outside.
So really, by building an identity that must forever be in opposition to and outside of society – we become part of the reason that our priorities and values are not more mainstream. As evidence I give you….. well the last 24 years..
When your sphere overlaps with mainstream society, but extends beyond it a bit, you might find something else that can be challenging for occult types: we are not special. Most people are like this. The mythical muggle normy that you are so opposed to turns out to be someone that also has some odd interests and practices. They have their struggles and trials just like you.
My friend Cliff told me a story about when Grady, the head of the OTO at the time, came to visit the Philadelphia encampment. He made a joke about none of them being real magicians. When they protested he laughed and said “You all have jobs right?” And indeed they did. Jobs that paid the dues that supported the OTO, and the apartment Grady was crashing at. I have seen this same exchange play out numerous times myself: good Witches and Magicians being told they are somehow not “real” witches because they are not “outside” enough or “opposed” enough to everything.
Just my opinion but if you are a Witch, you can stand in opposition, in accordance, or indifference. You stand wherever the fuck you want and refuse the litmus test.