A collection of ConjureMan Ali's thoughts about magic, the occult, and spirituality.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Syria, Prophecy, and the Downfall of Mages

Anyone who has been following the news knows that we currently are in another state of tense relations with a Middle Eastern nation. While the civil war in Syria has actually been going on for some time now and the relationship between Syria and the United States has been deteriorating for a while, in the past month or so things have escalated and quickly. A variety of intelligence sources have indicated the use of chemical weapons by Assad's elite forces against the Al Qaeda and US backed Syrian rebels. The use of chemical weapons against the rebels and his own people by Assad was a red line for the United States which promptly began planning and considering military retaliation as punitive action against the regime. The process has been stalled as the Obama administration has sought out the approval of Congress with supporters and detractors on both side engaged in debate.

While the United States has been deliberating, it has increased its visible military presence in the region and prepared its military for a strike. France has backed the United States. Opposing the United States has been Russia who has remained an ally of Syria, for its own political reasons. Backing any military action, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has gone from outright denouncing any military action, to appealing directly to the American people, to working through diplomatic means to forge an agreement between all parties. Tentatively an agreement has been reached in which Syria will hand over all of its chemical weapons to be destroyed and therefore avoid strikes from the United States.

To some this came with a sigh of relief, for while tensions are still there and the conflict is ongoing, at least some move has been made to avoid further military engagements in the Middle East after the United State's previous disastrous experience.

Now, while politics is all fascinating, the question is what does this have to do with magical and spiritual pursuits. First, as a member of the Order of Saint Cyprian, I firmly believe that magicians and their gifts are not only meant for personal development, but are best suited when properly guided, aligned, and focused to become a force of transformation in their communities and can steer destiny with a benevolent hand. Indeed, this is the goal of the Order of Saint Cyprian, to act as a spiritual force that guides and checks the mundane forces of politics and society.

But more interestingly, the conflict in Syria poses as an opportunity to examine an interesting phenomenon or series of related phenomenon within the occult and magical community which can only be labelled as apocalyptic and prophetic. Nearly every time there is some world-event, the occult and spiritual community explodes into prophetic and apocalyptic discussions. People prophesy all sorts of things, from the end of the world, to some great spiritual event. Some rely on more subtle and harder proven claims like "shifts in consciousness" and yet others make such outlandish claims that one must wonder whether any degree of critical thinking is present in the online occult and spiritual communities. In the current crisis, I have heard everything from the conflict being a secret magical war, to claims that the goddess was on her way to save Syria. These prophecies prove to be as accurate as the prophecies by certain millenial Christians who have made predictions about the Day of Judgement being on specific days. When these days come to pass, the prediction is simply revised and adjusted. Unfortunately, those in the occult and spiritual community suffer from the same sort of stubborn blindness; when their predictions and prophesies do not come true, they rely on comforting aphorisms like "you can be right and wrong at the same time" or claims that the prophecy came true, "but on a spiritual level."

And this highlights two of the greatest pitfalls of any magus, sorcerer, or witch: hubris and self-delusion. Wielding any sort of power is intoxicating. The very idea that from the comfort of your home you can effect events far away, or that your will can be made into reality is a powerful and heady brew. Any form of power, magical or not, has this effect on our minds, but for us who practice the arcane arts it is doubly so. The very nature of magic makes it a power that springs from the shadows of society and therefore there are no social power checks against it. The magician can become the ultimate thief, spy, assassin, or anything he wants. The truly skilled magician tends to look like your average person, he walks comfortably into his corner office, smiling politely to his colleagues, who have no clue that the very events of the office are shaped by the unassuming man next to them. It is therefore natural that magical power has an even more intoxicating effect on us. Unfortunately, this quickly leads to hubris. Power, in all its forms has limitations and there are checks and balances even if we do not recognize them.

A magician who thinks himself entitled to do whatever he wants because he has in the past wielded power, or a magician who loses sight of his own development, is a magician who has fallen to hubris. Unfortunately for such a magician, the fall from the top is usually long and hard. Such people will usually find that there are bigger fish in the sea and will realize that for all their power, there is always someone more powerful and always consequences for our actions.

But while the nature of power can lead to hubris, the subtle nature of magic can lead to self-delusion. Some of the magical arts border on the subjective, especially divination, and if not checked by a critical and sharp objective eye, will lead to delusions of the worst kind. It is easy to think that because you once did a candle spell and that girl or guy you liked fell in love with you that you are a magician, all subsequent failures however are easily explained by your coping defense mechanisms that keep your precious ego intact. This is the most slippery of slopes because, unfortunately many do not realize how easily it is delude the self. For such people it is easy to jump from having a few magical successes to thinking that you now can shape the course of nations, or that because you are good at reading cards for people that now you can prophesy the fate of nations.

What makes self-delusion so insidious is that even if hubris can be broken by a good fall and hit to the ego, self-delusion is a wormy defensive mechanism that tries to explain away any truth that contradicts the illusions and delusions that are clung to. So if presented with the truth that no, the goddess is not saving Syria or no the events of Syria do not mark the end of the world, such people will find a way to explain away the evidence to the contrary.

These two pitfalls go hand-in-hand. The only way to prepare for them is honesty with one's self. Admit your shortcomings, measure your power and abilities as objectively as possible, and know where your strengths lie. It isn't always about looking at the shortcomings, but also acknowledge what you are good at. Some people are brilliant readers when it comes to reading for a person, but that same ability may not translate to the seership required to see global events. Some people are great at both. Some are extremely talented magicians when it comes to themselves, and others known how to pluck the strings of power that they do shape the course of nations, and some can do both. By admitting where you truly stand, by taking true measure of your ability, and recognizing the true extent of your power and understanding, you walk out of a fog that keeps you wandering aimlessly and instead will find yourself on a path to achieving the very power you conceive of without need for hubris or self-delusion.

For truly, a magician who has an understanding of his own mind and powers is a force to be reckoned with. It is at that moment he goes from being a mageling to a true magus who strides the halls of power shaping the destiny of man.

This is something applicable to all of us in the magical community. I, myself, do readings for clients but as a member of the Order of Saint Cyprian make prophesies about political and world events, but always with meticulous record and always checked critically by what comes to pass to see whether they came true or not. The same with magic done on a global scale, it is always meticulously recorded and observed critically to gauge success or failure. By understanding what we did wrong and right, we improve. I can honestly say that I can attribute my success as a magician and seer to one part talent, one part practice, and one part meticulous record-keeping with a critical and objective analysis of records.

All that said, what can we expect from the Middle East? There are many predictions I've made about the Middle East and Syria, some of which are only for my students and friends, but there are a few I can give publicly. I see the toppling of various leaders in power and the time of Assad is limited. It shall come about through proxy wars and shadowy dealings disguised as popular movements. Look to see outward revolutions, but know that behind them stand puppet-masters. These revolutions will lead to executions and death. There shall be a radicalization of the Muslim Brotherhood; they shall become disillusioned with democracy and go underground. There shall emerge a radical and militarized branch in Egypt strongly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood. Economic and trade embargoes and sanctions will be the tool of the trade for the international community. Aid will be cut to several nations, governments, and sanctions placed, however behind the scenes will be armament. Old alliances will crumble as brother turns on brother and the older guard of dictators will fall before youthful revolution. The clash for the soul of the Middle East will explode into outright civil wars and revolutions between the radicalized and fundamentalist sects with more progressive and youthful movements. This is different from the revolutions that have taken place in the Arab Spring, for it shall be a revolution against fundamentalism. Relations with Iran will improve for a time, but will deteriorate as Hezbollah's actions in Lebanon move from the shadows to open strikes. Fundamentalist groups will become more radical and will spread through cells as the war shifts into Africa until the Middle East and Africa are drawn into larger proxy wars. We can expect 2 major interventions in the Middle East in the next 10 years at least. Eye's should be turned to North Africa as it is drawn into the larger Middle Eastern conflicts. Pakistan will struggle between its democratic, dictatorial, and religious sects until it too enters into a period of civil war, and Turkey will emerge as a military leader.

The rest of the prophecies I keep for those with ears to hear and eyes to see.



ConjureMan Ali said...

Some of these things are already coming to pass.

Iran's willingness to talk about nuclear program and diplomacy for the first time since 1980:

Muslim Brotherhood being forced underground again:

and the rising terrorist groups in Africa:

Anonymous said...

Just came across a headline that one group is pulling out of Syria but another is getting more entrenched.

Footage claims to show Iranians in Syria (BBC)

Syrian militia trained in Iran

ConjureMan Ali said...

Seems very in line with what I've seen. Expect the temporary positivity towards Iran to deteriorate as more and more of this comes to light and the eventual connections to funding of open aggression.

Unknown said...

What about Ukraine and global warming?

ConjureMan Ali said...

The focus of this post was specifically on the affairs in the Middle East. A divination could easily be done for more global events.