In today’s podcast, Brandon, Christine, and Justin discuss the various paths of magic. It is useful to know your path, so that you know where your power is coming from, and can develop on that path even more. We discuss the categories of low magic vs. high magic, the right-hand path vs. the left-hand path, and white magic vs. black magic.
Music composed by Collective Intelligence Music
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
- Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies, by Stephen E. Flowers
Discussed in today’s podcast (click the link to jump to that section of the transcript):
- The value of labels
- Low magic
- High magic
- Kinds of low magic
- Kinds of high magic
- Right-hand and Left-hand paths
- Antinomianism in left-hand paths
- Applying the concepts to the law of attraction
- Be honest about your path
- White magic and black magic
Brandon: Welcome to The Unseen World. This is episode 5, “How to Discover Your Magical Path.” I am Brandon Olivares.
Christine: And I’m Christine Olivares.
Justin: And I’m Justin Williams.
Brandon: Today we are discussing all about the various magical paths out there and how really to find which one is most closely attuned to who you are and how to discover which one you would like to follow, just as a guideline.
Before we go into that, let me make some announcements. If you would like to see today’s show notes or read the transcript or make a comment on the podcast (we always love comments), you can go to darkascent.org/unseen005.
It seems like so long. We started it back in January, but we’re only on episode 5. [laughs]
Christine: It’s because we do it every two weeks.
Brandon: I know, but it’s just so slow!
I was racking my brain, trying to come up with a topic last week. I asked the universe, “Hey, I need to come up with a topic for ‘The Unseen World.’” I have no problem with Co-Create Your Life and the law of attraction. I’ve been writing about it for a year and a half now. I was trying to figure out a topic for this one.
Then, as it always happens with the universe, I started randomly finding things that were of interest. I started looking into differences between the occult and witchcraft and magic and ceremonial magic and all these things, really trying to label myself. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly who I am as a magical user, where I belong on that path. There’s Wicca, there’s witchcraft. Paganism is more of a religion than a magical path. There’s the occult, ceremonial magic, chaos magic, all sorts of different paths. I wasn’t really quite sure where I fit, so I started doing some research on that.
It brought up a lot of interesting things, so I thought, “That’s probably a good topic, actually.” [laughs]
Justin: I agree.
Brandon: We’re all trying to figure out where we fit on this whole thing. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re going to be talking about three general distinctions of magic, at least. The first one is low magic versus high magic, plus a few misfits like chaos magic; the right hand path versus the left hand path; White magic versus black magic, and any other random colors that might be introduced.
Christine: Red, and yellow, and…
Brandon: Those are the major distinctions. We’ll be talking about sub-distinctions, subcategories of those two and what defines those. Justin, you’re my guy on low magic more or less. You’re going to be taking it up there. I’m the high magic person. Otherwise, we’ll figure things out.
The Value of Labels
Brandon: Justin, you were making an observation prior to the podcast about labels. I thought that was really interesting. Even though for me, I don’t want a very specific label, but Justin and I both agreed it’s useful to have some sort of label at least, some sort of basis or foundation. You don’t have to say, “I’m specifically Wiccan,” “I’m specifically ceremonial magic of the Golden Dawn tradition,” or “I’m specifically shamanistic.” You don’t have to necessarily do that, but at least have an idea of who you are, what your principles are, what path you follow, just to know where you’re coming from.
Justin: You want to know where you’re going to get your power from or base, because all of this stuff looks cool when you have time and are sort of messing with it. When you have to get something done or the chips are down and you have an issue at work or you’ve got something going on with your life with your girlfriend or whatever groups you’re dealing with, where can you go and get results right then? Under pressure, what can you automatically go to and know that it works? Not something you’ve got to hang around and mess with and draw out. What can you do?
That’s what your label is for. It’s an internal thing that makes itself external, so that when you have to get something done, you can get it to work.
Brandon: Right. Exactly.
Justin: Without it, you’ve got all this hodgepodge stuff. It might work from time to time, but when you need it, you have to know where you’re going to get your power from. Not that you can’t blend it, but where you get it from.
Brandon: Right, exactly. I think that’s really important and a really important distinction to make, just so you know where you’re coming from. A lot of people, especially in Co-Creation Coaching, might be coming from just the basic law of attraction standpoint. I’ll kind of mention where I see law of attraction sitting in all this later. It still is useful to know how you see magic. We have these law of attraction principles, and you follow whoever you follow: my teachings or Abraham-Hicks or Seth or Napoleon Hill or Neville Goddard or whoever. I’m sorry?
Justin: Or Brandon Olivares.
Brandon: That’s what I said. Or myself. [laughs]
How does that fit in to the larger magical context? That’s really where it’s at. Magic is thousands of years old. I just learned the other day: “magus” comes from an Iranian word, an ancient Iranian religion. I think it was “magu” or something.
Brandon: No, the word was M-A-G-U, magu.
Justin: Oh, magu, okay. I know it came from Iran, though. I remember that.
Brandon: Yes, and it means “priest.”
Christine: Oh, cool.
Brandon: And that’s from thousands of years ago. This is pre-Christian times. This stuff is ancient. It goes back to ancient Egypt, Babylon, it goes way far back. As I’ve said before, the law of attraction is more of a recent newcomer on the scene. You have to see where you fit into the larger magical context, just so you know what you’re doing and how you can maybe add to your practice and how it all fits in.
Brandon: The first distinction, as I mentioned, low magic, high magic, some other odd assortments, chaos magic. We’ll discuss that later. Low magic. With all of these, these distinctions are different with each person. It depends on who you ask. There are some general distinctions and general qualities that they share, but I’m going to try to give an overview of them.
Low magic and high magic. It can be easy to fall into the illusion that it’s a ranking scale. It’s not like high magic is better than low magic or one’s more powerful than the other. It’s not anything like that.
What happens, basically—let me just give a brief history. Low magic is probably better defined as folk magic.
Brandon: That’s your basic peasant or someone in the village living everyday life who just wants to make things work. You have your love spells. You have your money spells. You have whatever. You just want to make things work. That’s your basic low magic. It’s not a lower form. It’s just how it was classified.
Some people might disagree. It sounds like it’s only low magic. Sometimes magicians, to be fair, can have that kind of arrogant….“Oh yeah, that’s just low magic.” [laughs] It’s not that at all.
Low magic includes, basically, witchcraft. I would include shamanism, any native traditions, voodoo. Justin, you can speak to that one.
Justin: The Vodun is a religion, though. It’s a little bit—it tends toward low magic, but it’s sort of a blend.
The one I think you would want to mention is hoodoo, conjuring. That’s a better definition of low magic than voodoo would be. Hoodoo, or they call it “conjure”, is true folk magic. That’s very effective. That’s low magic.
Don’t call anyone who does hoodoo a witch, because they’re different and they don’t like that.
Brandon: Do they have a negative connotation of witch?
Justin: Absolutely. A lot of them do. But hoodoo and witchcraft would be some of the far traditions and some of the Indo-European old magic traditions that are the commoner or common class.
The other word for hoodoo and some of the conjures would be root doctors.
Brandon: Right, medicine men, that kind of thing.
Justin: Root doctors. Medicine man would be more shaman. Root doctors…
Brandon: Interesting. That all falls into low magic. I’ll give the distinctions. I’ll go into the categories of low magic later.
Brandon: High magic, now, is your more structured. High magicians (it makes it sound like they’re on drugs [laughs]) or magicians of the high magic path—you could also call it ceremonial magic—were typically people of the aristocratic class, very highly educated, usually men.
This isn’t just recently. Yes, it goes back a few hundred years, but it also goes back to ancient Greece.
This is very structured and ritualistic. They’re all about getting everything just right. The planetary aspects have to be just right. The symbols have to be just right. You have to get all the words just right. It’s very formal and very structured, which is really why I was never able to get into it very much. It’s just so involved.
You need all these tools. Your average peasant couldn’t afford all those tools. They just worked with what they had: herbs and whatever.
Justin: That’s what they used.
Brandon: Right. But high magicians go all out. They get the robes, the wands, everything. That is more what they call high magic.
Christine: It’s like a very expansive energy, almost, it feels like.
Justin: They did it because they had time to do it.
Brandon: They had time. They were, again, typically aristocrats. They probably didn’t have to work very much. They had the free time to just do whatever. Again, high magicians can definitely look down on low magicians, witches, or shamans, or whatever. They typically didn’t work with everyday issues. Yes, in the more recent times you have those who would call upon demons and things like that to bring them more money and things like that. Typically, it was more spiritual pursuits. They saw magic for everyday reasons as sort of too mundane.
Justin: Because they didn’t need it.
Brandon: They didn’t need it, right. The peasant’s like, “I need to eat for the winter. I need food.”
Justin: “I need food. I better do something.”
Brandon: [laughs] The high magicians like, “Everything’s set. Let’s call on some demons. Let’s call on some angels.”
Justin: The peasant was like, “Let me burn this allspice.”
Brandon: That’s the general distinction between the two. High magic especially started back in the ancient Greek period. There was a renewal of it back in the late 19th century. That’s the big difference.
Christine: You know what it kind of reminds me of? It’s probably not correct. It feels like if you go to a Catholic Church, and it’s like this structure. You have to do A, B, and C to get A, B, and C. I’m not saying the Catholic Church is high magic.
Brandon: Yes, but it’s very structured.
Justin: It’s similar. [laughs]
Brandon: It’s similar?
Justin: It’s got something there.
Christine: Oh, I know. I know.
Kinds of Low Magic
Brandon: To low magic, I’ll discuss witchcraft first, because it’s the one I’m most familiar with. Witchcraft is such a complicated issue. It really depends who you ask. Here’s the thing with witchcraft. People in general in history didn’t call themselves “witches.”
Justin: No, they did not.
Brandon: People didn’t call themselves “witches.” The word was almost always…
Brandon: A negative term. The church used it in medieval periods and onward to accuse people of basically cursing others, cursing the animals and the land and the crops and whatnot and burned them at the stake. It was pretty much never, as far as I know, a positive term.
But in recent times, you have this revival. I think it started around the time in England when they repealed the law against witchcraft.
Justin: In the 50s.
Brandon: I think it was earlier, because it was before Gerald Gardner came out as a witch.
Justin: Yes, that’s what I was thinking. Yeah, it was before that.
Brandon: Early 20th century, probably. England did that. They repealed the law against witchcraft. It was no longer punishable. [laughs] People started going back to ancient religions and started calling themselves witches.
Gerald Gardner is the founder of Wicca. I’m sure most people know this. He called himself a witch. He wasn’t even in favor of the word “wicca.” He just wanted to call himself a witch. His religion was witchcraft. It was later after his death when people started adopting the word “Wicca.” They thought “witchcraft” had too much of a negative connotation to it.
Justin: Just to let you know, the name of what they used to call people back then who say they weren’t witches, the other word was cunning folk.
Christine: I like that.
Justin: The other thing is that if you had a setup and the church favored you, you weren’t a witch, especially if you had the lights burning that looked like a church. You could do whatever you wanted. They called them cunning folk. Until they got mad at you—then you were a witch. [laughs]
Brandon: Right. Witchcraft in general is almost exclusively a modern phenomenon. I did read an article recently about pre-Wiccan witchcraft. There were certainly some traditions out there, but by and large, people just didn’t call themselves “witches.” It was never a positive feature. You didn’t want to be called a witch. There are non-Wiccan witches, definitely.
Justin: Plenty of them.
Brandon: A lot of it’s based off of Wiccan tradition. It just depends. Now the other thing to point out, Wicca took a ton of its stuff from high magic. You’re casting a circle. These cunning folk didn’t do all that stuff. You didn’t need it. Casting a circle, all that stuff, calling on the quarters, all that kind of thing was strictly ceremonial magic. Gerald Gardner was very familiar and acquainted with Aleister Crowley, who is the prime person in ceremonial magic in the early 20th century. A lot of that stuff came from ceremonial magic. Wicca, though I would classify it as low magic, has extremely high magic roots.
Justin: And it’s a religion. It’s just its own thing now.
Brandon: It’s its own thing. It’s so broad that you can’t really….It has certain things that almost all Wiccans have in common. You have the rede, “Do what you will, as long as it harms no one,” which also, by the way, was taken from Crowley. His thing was, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” but Gerald Gardner wanted to add in a safeguard “as long as it doesn’t harm anyone.” [laughs]
Justin: What was Crowley’s? Do what thou will?
Brandon: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” That’s his main thing.
Justin: The other thing he had was “follow your own star.” So when you’re doing your own will, you follow your own star. If you’re doing that, you shouldn’t interfere with anyone else, unless they’re not following theirs.
Brandon: The thing is—and this is what Gerald Gardner got mistaken—is that when Crowley says “will,” he means the true will, being on your true path. He doesn’t mean do whatever you want. That’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s not saying do whatever you want.
Justin: Because there’s no excuse to actually interfere with anyone else.
Christine: So your true will is like a divine will type thing?
Brandon: Your true will is basically your path.
Justin: Your higher path.
Brandon: You’re meant to do.
Christine: I wanted to clarify because I wasn’t even sure.
Brandon: Wicca is sort of in a class of its own, but I would classify it as low magic. I would ask Justin. You’re the guy on shamanism.
Justin: I’ll go ahead and describe hoodoo, too.
Brandon: I also wanted to ask: What do you see the difference between these other traditions and modern witchcraft is, besides almost everything?
Justin: Hoodoo. One big difference in hoodoo—now this is going to depend on what tradition of hoodoo you follow and the conjure you follow (because I’ve got friends that do different things, mix deities)—conjure is a combination (especially if you read some of the other websites) of African-American spirituality with Scottish, German, and Native American spirituality added in. Basically it’s very heavily influenced by the Bible, very heavily Christian-based. People add their own thing to it.
The basic one is Christian Bible-based, there’s roots, angels, God, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. There’s talking to your ancestors. There’s talking to spirits in the graveyard. The saints aren’t really a part of a lot of the basic conjure, because a lot of them are Baptist priests. Not priests, but black Baptists. Basically the saints got in there a little bit later. That’s more Catholic. It’s just that some people do conjure and they’re Catholic, so they use saints. There are the roots and the plants. It’s a little bit different. I don’t know how succinct that explanation was, because it changes as you go to different places. You might see hoodoo conjure, but then somebody might throw in some African deities.
Brandon: That’s the thing. Low magic is not formalized like high magic is. It’s folk. That’s the whole thing about it. It’s often passed down through families, wasn’t it?
Justin: A lot of it actually was passed down. Once again, somebody might describe it different, but a lot of it is Bible-based. It’s Christianity and Bible-based. It has what we just described: spirits of the dead, angels, Jesus, Father, Son, stuff like that. There’s a lot of different things to it. It’s not high magic at all. Somebody might put some high magic in there. They depend on the Holy Spirit for protection.
Brandon: Right. What about shamanism?
Justin: Shamanism is a way of connecting to everything through the web, through spirit. What you would do with shamanism is, you would do something called “journeys.” In a basic sense, you could go to your astral palace or whatever you want to call it. You go and you find in spirit you can go to the upper world, the middle world, or the lower world. You go with your power animal or angels—whatever you use. A lot of them use power animals.
What you do is you find the attributes of what you’re looking for, and you bring it back. There’s a lot of soul retrieval. There’s a lot of roots and plants and animals and animal magic and whatnot. You can also use angels or even deities. You don’t see a lot of deities.
The Vodun, that’s fairly shamanistic, some of it. Voodoo. There’s a book called Voodoo Shaman, actually. I’ve read it.
Brandon: Oh, cool.
Justin: That’s a little bit different from the classical shamanism I’m talking about, but it’s shamanism. You go and you journey. You bring back those attributes or you call those attributes to you. The bear, the panther, something like that. You ask that animal to do a certain thing for you in your life or in someone else’s life. You might send Raven and use it for divination. It’s connecting through the world through plants and animals and the spirit of everything around you, through the lifeforce of the rocks and the crystals. Everything around you, you use it to connect. It has a lifeforce to it.
Brandon: I want to point out that most low magic users will see the power coming from either deities, angels, or saints, as Justin discussed, or animals, spirits, whatever. That’s where the power comes from to do magic. You call on certain elements, certain spirits, whatever, to do certain things.
Kinds of High Magic
Brandon: High magic is again very formalized, structured, and ritualistic. A lot of times, only is in pursuit of spiritual aims for the development of the self. In fact, Crowley said (though I don’t think he practiced) that if any ritual was for something mundane—for something other than the annihilation of ego—then it was black magic. The thing is, in his records he did plenty of money rituals and whatnot. What you say and what you do…
Justin: Wait a minute. He didn’t say he didn’t do black magic. He said that’s what it was. He was rather free with his black magic, according to him. [laughs]
Brandon: He’s a rather confused individual. He claimed very, very strongly to be on the right-hand path. We’ll talk about the right-hand path soon. His actions are very left-hand path oriented. He’s just kind of confused. I think it was a difference of how he saw himself and how he wanted others to see him. I don’t know.
Justin: Or he was a right-hand path magician with a lot of left-hand path influence. [laughs]
Brandon: If you took it objectively, it was almost exclusively left-hand path. Even Madame Blavatsky, who founded the Theosophical Society, was very left-hand path. She even had a magazine for a while called Lucifer. Pretty left-hand path right there. Again, she claimed to be only on the right-hand path. It’s sort of difficult to categorize all these people. Again, ceremonial magic is almost exclusively for spiritual aims. Usually, you have some sort of higher narrative.
What I mean by that is that in Crowley’s system you might have what’s called “the great work.” The great work is essentially first, the knowledge and conversation of your holy guardian angel, what he called it—basically your higher self or external being. Then, to cross the abyss. The abyss is basically this part of the tree of life in Jewish Qabalah where this is the point in magic (it’s thought) where the ego is annihilated. You become awakened or whatnot. The first goal is to have a conversation with your holy guardian angel. Then, for that angel to guide you to cross the abyss. That was the aim of Crowley’s system. Many of the occult systems of that day, as well—Golden Dawn. Their approach differed.
The OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) was very much into sexual magic. That was in their higher degrees. The lower degree members didn’t really know that at first. [laughs]
Justin: “Didn’t know that before I joined.” [laughs]
Brandon: I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Justin: I don’t know.
Brandon: [laughs] They were very much into that. So was Crowley, really. He was very much into that kind of thing, too.
Again, the aim is self-annihilation and total union with the divine or whatnot. That is ceremonial magic. It’s some kind of narrative: my enlightenment or the great work or ascension or whatever. It’s not just, “Oh, I need some money.” It’s not just that. It’s a greater narrative, a story of the spiritual progress that you’re making and that kind of thing. That’s ceremonial magic. Chaos magic…
Justin: I’m going to have a question about that really quick.
Justin: What’s the difference between what Crowley did and what the Golden Dawn did?
Brandon: Crowley was initiated into the Golden Dawn. He took a lot from them, a lot of his system. After a few years, he had a falling out and a disagreement with them. He went his own way and discovered his own order. He had a magical order. In 1904, in Cairo, Egypt, he supposedly received information from a being about a new system, which was Thelema. He called this the new eon. He was the prophet of the new eon. Again, it was very grandiose teaching. It was based on Egyptian mythology, especially Horus and those sorts of gods. That’s how it was. He developed his own system. Then he kind of partnered with the OTO later on. In general, he took a lot from the Golden Dawn, but he also developed his own system. He was a very, very individualistic person, so he definitely had his own ideas.
Christine: That would make him left-hand path, then.
Brandon: Very left-hand path. He called himself the “beast 666.” This is how he was.
Justin: Yes, that’s left-hand path, all right.
Brandon: Right. Very left-hand path.
Justin: I’d love to read to see some of the things he actually did.What do you do with that?
Brandon: Right, right.
Now, chaos magic was a system developed later on. Basically, chaos magic says, “These rituals only work because you believe them. It’s all in your subconscious.” Chaos magic says the gods are an invention of the subconscious. They’re basically Jungian archetypes. All this stuff is just your own projections.
Christine: I don’t like that.
Brandon: But you create your own rituals. You do your own thing. It doesn’t really matter. They’re very much into sigils, which is basically a symbol representing your wish that you charge with energy and then you meditate on it. It’s a very new system. It’s neither high magic nor low magic.
Christine: Because you can take from either one, right?
Brandon: You can take from either one. You can do your own thing. If the gods are an invention of your mind, then you can take your own god like Optimus Prime. Anything. Literally anything. Superman. Anything that is a representation of what you want to be. That’s chaos magic. It’s a middle approach and very much a newer approach. That’s low magic versus high magic.
Right-hand and Left-hand Paths
Brandon: Now we have the right-hand path versus the left-hand path. I think what kicked this whole thing off for me is that I’ve been thinking for at least a few weeks (if not longer) about where I was on this whole spectrum. I identify more with the left-hand path. [laughs] Before people freak out about that…
Justin: “Oh, no!”
Brandon: “He’s evil!” [laughs]
The right-hand path doesn’t mean good, and the left-hand path doesn’t mean evil. That’s not how it is. Plenty of evil has been done on the right-hand path, plenty of evil. And plenty of good has been done on the left-hand path. It’s just about your focus.
For example, Christianity is very right-hand path because it’s all about God’s will, but look at all the evils that Christianity has done. The right-hand path can be extremely, extremely evil.
Basically what it is is what your focus is. Is your focus union with God or is it the deification of the self? That’s the basic difference. Is your focus others or self? That doesn’t mean selfish versus selfless. There are left-hand path people who can be very kind and giving.
It’s about where your power comes from. Is it that you’re serving God and giving yourself over entirely to God and losing your sense of individuality? Or is it that you want to perpetuate your individuality so much that you want to basically rise to the level of a god? Like an ascended master or a literal deity or something. That’s the difference.
I got this book called Lords of the Left-Hand Path.
Justin: I definitely want to say one thing. You can accomplish your goals with either focus. If you want to be an ascended master, you can use either path. One way is more in alignment with whatever god you follow. The other way is more working in partnership with the god you follow. The shaman way is a little different from both right hand and left hand. Oftentimes, you’ll hear people not refer to them as exactly magical. I just wanted to throw that in there. I don’t want people to think, “I can’t do it.” No, you can do it either path.
Brandon: The whole distinction comes from Hinduism, specifically tantra. The right-hand path is where you follow ethical norms and did all your practices you had to do and stuff. The left-hand path is where you specifically, deliberately broke the taboos. The right-hand path was about merging with the divine or the universe. The left-hand path was about raising yourself as an individual to that level but maintaining your individuality.
That is the important distinction. That is the important distinction, that you’re maintaining your individuality. On the right-hand path, you are seeking to lose your individuality in the whole. If you’re seeking to maintain your individuality, you’re left-hand path. If you’re seeking to lose it, you’re right-hand path.
I want to read from this book. He gives a wonderful definition of the left-hand path. I cannot replicate it. I want to read this quote:
There are two major criteria for being considered a true lord (or lady) of the Left-Hand Path: deification of the self and antinomianism. The first of these is complex: The system of thought proposed by the magician or philosopher must be one that promotes individual self-deification, preferably based on an initiatorily magical scheme. This first criterion will be seen to have four distinct elements:
- Self-deification: the attainment of an enlightened (or awakened), independently existing intellect and its relative immortality.
- Individualism: the enlightened intellect is that of a given individual, not a collective body.
- Initiation: the enlightenment and strength of essence necessary for the desired state of evolution of self are attained by means of stages created by the will of the magician, not because he or she was “divine” to begin with.
- Magic: the practitioners of the left-hand path see themselves as using their own wills in a rationally intuited system or spiritual technology designed to cause the universe around them to conform to their self-willed patterns.
Basically, you’re wanting to deify the self and raise it to a point of enlightenment or awakening but keeping your own individuality.
Antinomianism in Left-hand Paths
Christine: You didn’t mention antinomianism.
Brandon: I’m getting there right now.
The second criterion, antinomianism, states that practitioners think of themselves as “going against the grain” of their culturally conditioned and conventional norms of “good” and “evil.” True lords and ladies of the Left-Hand Path will have the spiritual courage to identify themselves with the cultural norms of “evil.” There will be an embracing of the symbols of conventional “evil,” or “impurity,” or “rationality,” or whatever quality the conventional culture fears and loathes. The lords and ladies of the left-hand path will set themselves apart from their fellow man; they will actually or figuratively become outsiders, in order to gain the kind of inner independence necessary for the other initiatory work present in the first criterion. The practice of this second criterion often manifests itself in “antinomianism,” that is, the purposeful reversal of conventional normative categories: “evil” becomes “good,” “impure” becomes “pure,” “darkness” becomes “light.”
I had to look up that word “antinomianism” because I had no idea what it meant. You go against the grain, like Crowley, the great beast 666. Very antinomian. You’re going against the norms of the culture. That’s the left-hand path. Right-hand path is basically everything else. [laughs] That’s a pretty distinctive definition and pretty nuanced and pretty new, as far as I know.
Again, a lot of people don’t have that courage to say, “Yes, I’m left-hand path.” Like I said, Madame Blavatsky—even though she probably was left-hand path—very much identified with the right-hand path, at least publicly. Same with Crowley.
Justin: I never thought about figuring out what path I was. I’ve always heard of it. I’ve always thought I’m the middle path. I am a gray shaman. People don’t like that. “Oh, that means you’re black.” You know what I tell them? “Okay, I’m black.” [laughs] If they say that means you’re on the dark path, I say, “Fine, I’m on the dark path, but I don’t consider it. I’m the path of gray, which means you use what you have to.”
Brandon: Exactly. All this stuff is a spectrum. Like I said, you don’t have to be 100% left hand or 100% right hand. I would consider leaning one way or the other, but then you can use some things from the other path along your way. You’ll have to, sometimes.
Justin: I think I’m probably right-hand.
Brandon: Most of the time.
Justin: Dark right-hand. I was reading a book recently. I’m going to go through it. It’s about dragons. In order to practice this art, they explained a true white magician is great for healing, but if something serious comes along and you’re only practicing white magic, you’re going to have a difficult time handling it unless you’ve got a very good grasp on white magic. I don’t totally agree with that, but I see their point. Yes, if it’s just pure white, it may have a hard time dealing with certain things. Once again, I kind of disagree with that, but their point is well taken. In order to truly practice what we’re talking about, you have to be of the gray. You can’t be dark, either.
Christine: You have to be balanced. It reminds me of a book I read (actually a series) called The Walker Papers. It’s about this woman who is a shaman by heritage. She is a healer and on the warrior path. She does both.
Justin: I like that. Did I mention what I was on this call yet? On this podcast? I would call myself more of the divine shaman. I think I said chaos shaman, and then for those of you who might have heard both, when I was in meditation with Archangel Michael, that is what….I said, “What am I really?” and he said, “Divine shaman.” I said okay.
Brandon: Like I said, I consider myself very very left-hand path. I’ve always been against the norm. I’ve never liked authority. I’ve never liked being traditional. I’ve always been very different. With Christine, she doesn’t like people to disapprove of what she’s doing. With me, I’ve always either not cared or sometimes even “I hope they do.” I don’t know. I like opposing the common traditions. That is just how I’ve always worked. I very much identify with the left-hand path. I’m not saying I’m always that way. Obviously I’m in a business that is about helping others and that kind of thing. Then again, a lot of focus in my business is how to get your desires. That’s a somewhat left-hand path.
Justin: That’s a left-hand path. For the shaman, or at least for me, you have to decide you don’t care if somebody approves or disapproves, sometimes. If they approve, great. If they don’t, great. That’s how the shaman is. He doesn’t really oppose it, and he doesn’t really go with it. He goes with his spiritual flow. He grounds himself with his spiritual allies, and he lets the rest do what they’re going to do.
Brandon: Another thing with left-hand path versus right-hand path: left-hand path is going to be someone who says, “I will it.” This is really what I’ve taught the past few months. I will it, and therefore it’s going to be done. I see my progress from when I started Co-Creation Coaching in 2015. The first year or so was strictly right-hand path—all about surrendering to the flow of things, surrendering to the divine and the universe. Back in late 2015 and 2016, it was all about….If you go back to my steps of effortless manifestation process, it was all about surrender and getting what you want through surrender.
Now after I started working with Hades—Hades is himself very antinomian, is he not? [laughs] I mean, Hades…
Justin: Hades’ not right-hand path? [laughs]
Brandon: Really? [sarcastically] Hades is all about compassion and kindness. [laughs]
Justin: Hecates’ not right-hand path? [laughs]
Brandon: [laughs] After I started working with Hades in October, wonders never cease. I started teaching about the will and your power as an individual to choose what you want. Not to just surrender to it and let go of your attachments and blah blah blah, don’t care about what happens. No! That’s not really what people want. People come to this and aren’t generally wanting to surrender to something higher. They are looking to get what they want out of life. I’m saying here’s how to get what you want: you will it, you choose it, you don’t just say, “Well, whatever happens, I’m just going to surrender and let go and hope the universe brings it to me.” No! You will it. It’s very, very left-hand path there. It’s self-deifying because you’re saying, “I am God, who can choose what is in my reality. The world will conform.” The quote I read about reality conforming to your will—very left-hand path.
Since probably last October, I would consider myself left-hand path in that way.
Justin: I would agree. That’s not to say you can’t get everything you want there, because you absolutely can. But you do have to be in stronger spiritual alignment a lot of times.
Brandon: It’s more about God’s will.
Justin: You have to be able to perceive the divine path.
Brandon: The higher path.
Justin: The higher path or a divine path that leads you to that specific goal. It’s a little bit different. I think in some respects, it’s no less powerful, but in some ways it can be a disadvantage. In some ways it’s an advantage, so it just depends. But you have to be a little more perceptive.
Brandon: Christine, you might know the source of what I’m talking about. Something—it might have been from a Catholic source or a Christian source. Something about certain people who say “thy will be done” and others who say “my will be done.” Christine, do you know what I’m talking about?
Christine: MacNutt, maybe?
Justin: I never say “thy will be done,” though.
Christine: No, he says to not pray…
Brandon: It’s not that. It’s not that. It’s how you should say “thy will be done,” not “my will be done.”
Christine: It might have been that priest that got excommunicated, that Catholic mystic.
Justin: That sounds like somebody I want to keep up with. I’m going to find him.
Christine: The way he changed the Lord’s Prayer.
Brandon: No, they were saying, “You should say ‘THY will be done.’” But that someone who’s with Satan will say “my will be done.” Like Satan will say, “My will be done.”
Christine: I don’t know.
Brandon: It’s really the Christian view, right?
Christine: No, then I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Brandon: It’s from somewhere. The Christian view is basically that the angels would say “thy will be done” to God. The demons or Satan would say “my will be done.”
There’s a story about Padre Pio when he was doing confessions. Someone came in and it was actually Satan. Padre Pio said, “Kneel.” He said, “I don’t kneel to anyone.” Do you remember that story, Christine?
Christine: I do.
Brandon: “I don’t kneel. I don’t bend to anyone,” Satan said. That’s pretty much what I’m saying. Don’t bend to anyone. Don’t bend to anyone else’s will. It’s your own will that matters. That’s how it works.
Applying the Concepts to the Law of Attraction
Brandon: I want to mention law of attraction in this because I think a lot of people are afraid of going all the way to really the point where they can actually get what they want. People want to be nice and light and right-hand path and whatever, and also be millionaires and in a happy relationship or getting all the stuff they want in life and have the nice beach house and whatnot. They want both.
Justin: Takes more skill.
Brandon: Or they want to give lip service to the right-hand path, but secretly walk the left-hand path, if that makes sense.
Justin: It takes more skill to do it with the right-hand path. I would advise most people, if you really, really want your desires, go a little more left-hand. [laughs]
Brandon: You have to decide. I found this a lot of times in the Sedona method when I was studying the Sedona method. People will say, “Can I actually get my goal?” The teachers would say, “It actually doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter if you do.” That’s nice and all, but it sort of does. These teachers are very right-hand path. It doesn’t matter if you get your goal; it just matters that you let go of your attachments to your goals. The people are saying, “But I want the goal!” [laughs]
Justin: Yes, it just doesn’t work like that.
Brandon: They’re trying to merge them. What I want to say is claim what you are. Neither one is right or wrong. If you want what you want, that’s who you are. You can’t do that and give lip service to “I want to help the world.” They’re trying to soothe their own guilt. I want to help the world. “I only want money so I can serve others.” Oh, come on, no, you don’t. That might be part of it.
Justin: Some people may be like that. That may be part of it for others. If it’s not why you want money, then please don’t do that. You will not fool God.
Brandon: Not at all. If you want money because you want to buy a brand new car and you want to go on vacation around the world, and you don’t want to give a dollar of it to charity, that’s your right.
Justin: Then do it.
Brandon: That’s your choice. But that’s very left-hand path. But embrace it! Embrace who you are.
Justin: You’re not going to do evil stuff. You’re not. Stay within universal laws and you’ll be okay.
Brandon: Right, exactly. You can’t anyway because it would backfire on you.
Justin: Don’t worry about it.
Be Honest About Your Path
Brandon: Universal laws are not geared towards the right-hand path. God does not say, “Aw, this guy’s following the left-hand path. It’s too bad.”
Justin: [laughs] No, He’s not doing that.
Brandon: Your spirit guides, your higher self, the gods aren’t judging you because you’re walking one path or the other. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It just matters what you want. You have to have the boldness to walk your path. You have to have the boldness to walk your path. If you really just want to do what you want to do, that is okay, but you have to embrace it because….This is why, again, know who you are, like we said in the beginning. If you’re trying secretly to walk the left-hand path but also give lip service to the right-hand path, your energy is split.
Justin: You cut your power.
Brandon: You’re not wholly behind where you are. I think this is why a lot of people have trouble with the law of attraction. They won’t actually get behind what they actually want and admit it’s just a desire. It’s not for some higher good or something.
We had a commenter a while ago who kept saying you can’t get what you want unless it serves the higher good. Yes, you can.
Justin: Yes, you can.
Brandon: Unless you give to charity.
Christine: I never knew about this person.
Justin: I saw this dude. I don’t remember who it was, but I saw. I don’t remember who it was, though.
Brandon: Yes, you can. It’s not popular, but yes, you can. My focus is if you want what you want, admit that’s what it is and go for it. Choose it. Don’t give me this stuff about “I’m going to be detached from my goal” and whatnot. No. You want your goal. You go for it. You choose it. You will it. Your will is what counts if you’re on the left-hand path, because you’re your own God.
It doesn’t mean you don’t work with gods. I work with Hades, obviously, and Hecate and whatnot. But my will is my will. Reality is going to conform to that. That’s what it’s all about. You want to admit where you are and go for it.
White Magic and Black Magic
Brandon: The last distinction, really quick, is white magic versus black magic. Another tricky one, because the common definition is “white magic doesn’t do harm, black magic is stuff that does harm.”
Justin: Absolutely not quite true.
Brandon: The author of this book The Lords of the Left-Hand Path defines it basically as right-hand path white magic, left-hand path black magic, but it’s not a bad thing either way. I don’t know. I define it as either that there is no distinction or, like I’ve said before, that you’re going against the flow.
Now when I say you’re going against the flow, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have what you want. That’s not it. There’s a certain way of getting there. If you want to drive to the store, white magic is following the roads that are already existing. Black magic is crashing through the forest. [laughs]
Justin: This is going to be great. Black magic is…[laughs]
Brandon: Just crash through all the walls through the houses.
Justin: I’m going to smash up everything. [laughs]
Christine: I like that.
Brandon: You can get to the store either way.
Justin: It’s not bad, though. It’s black magic. You got one chance to do that.
Brandon: White magic is driving down the road and getting there that way, safely. Black magic is “I’m just going to crash through and do it anyway.” That’s how I define it. You can do it that way, but it’s going to hurt.
Christine: And other people.
Brandon: And other people. You may or may not care about that. It’s going to hurt you for sure.
Christine: People that do white magic also do curses. They have to. They can.
Brandon and Justin: They can.
Brandon: I was watching a show the other day. Christine likes watching this “Obsession Dark Desire.” It’s these guys, mostly, who stalk these women.
Christine: You should see Brandon. He gets so scared.
Brandon: I get so creeped out. The guy was so evil. At the end, he gets prison for 5 years. I said, “That is a case where I would perform a curse.” For a while, the police weren’t getting him. They were just sitting on their hands and couldn’t do anything. That’s where I would do a curse. [laughs]
Justin: Here’s the thing people don’t get: if you were justified, you can actually do what you have to. You can curse someone if you’re justified by either your culture that you follow (the tradition you follow) or if you’re in line with the higher universal laws. This is when it’s really good to have a tradition on your side, though. If you’re in trouble, Hades can intercede with the universe for you. Hades will say, “Brandon is under my protection and he is doing this according to my will. This is how I align with the universe. This is okay.”
Now, as long as you don’t go too far in the situation, you’re fine. If you’re out there on your own, and you don’t have anyone to intercede like that, you really better understand the high universal laws the right way. You are allowed to defend yourself, but in the universal context, you’re just allowed to restore balance. In, say, for example, conjure or another tradition (it doesn’t really matter; whatever tradition), you do what that tradition says you’re allowed to do. As long as you’re justified under your auspices, you’re okay.
This depends on some stuff, so that’s not a complete blanket permission to go and do. That’s kind of how that works. At that point, that’s not against the flow.
Brandon: Right, exactly right. I would see white magic as using the path of least resistance that gets there. Let’s say I’m wanting money. The path of least resistance might be working more, winning the lottery, someone giving it to me.
Justin: You may have to move. You may find another job.
Brandon: If you’re doing freelancing, getting another project or something like that, getting another client. Black magic would be like, “I’m just going to go rob a bank.” [laughs]
Justin: It’s not quite that black and white. He’s giving you a good example: just go rob a bank. I’m going to just straight go scam someone.
To give you this distinction, the left-hand path would be….The right-hand path would be, “God, what’s the best way for me to make this money? I really want this money. I’m going to let you help me make this. Tell me the best way to do it.” Brandon, you can describe the left-hand path.
Brandon: Left-hand path. The right-hand path, I want to add the distinction, you would say, “God, I want to do this, provided it’s your will and in alignment with my highest good.” According to a deity’s definition. The left-hand path says, “Look, I want money. I’m going to get money. Find me the easiest and quickest way for as much of it as possible to come to me.”
It doesn’t mean it’s going to harm others. It’s not a curse. What matters is not what God wants, what matters is I’m going to get money and it’s going to happen. My will is final because I’m my own God in my own reality. It’s going to happen. It could be, again, getting a job opportunity or getting a client or any of those factors. It could be any of those, or it could be something totally unexpected.
It doesn’t mean you’re going to do something evil or are going to curse someone to give you money. It doesn’t mean that. That’s more black magic, in my opinion. The left-hand path just means I’m going to get money in the quickest, easiest way possible for this specific purpose and to serve myself. The right-hand person might say, “Yes, I want to get some money so I can serve others or whatnot.” It might be for yourself, but you’re again saying…
Justin: For your highest….It’s for myself, but it’s also for myself on my highest path. That doesn’t mean you’ll get it any slower than the left-hand path, guys. You won’t get any less of it. It just means the money you get will be aligned with your higher causes.
Brandon: Again, the left-hand path magician will just say, “I will it. It’s going to happen because I want it. It’s not because I’m going to help others with it or anything. It’s just that I want it for my own purposes because I need to pay the bills, go on vacation, whatever.” It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to justify. People say, “I just want it so I can take care of my family.” No one cares why you want it.
Justin: Do you want it or not?
Brandon: [laughs] Do you want it or not? That’s the question.
Justin: “I’m going to take care of my family.” Great. Do you want it? [laughs]
Brandon: Right. Do you want it? People think they have to justify. No. There’s no God saying, “Hmm, is his reason good enough? I don’t know.” No one’s judging your reasons. That doesn’t matter. Only, really, a right-hand magician would care about the reasons. The left-hand path magician will say, “I want it, and that’s what matters.” That’s the difference. Hopefully that outlines the difference between right-hand path, left-hand path, white magic, and black magic. You can do white magic on the left-hand path, for sure.
Justin: And you can do black magic on the right-hand path. You can also be a right-hand path practitioner and use left-hand path methodology for something, and vice versa.
Brandon: Yes, it’s not all-or-nothing. What is that?
Justin: That’s a fire truck with a horn riding by my house. I’ve nothing to do with that.
Christine: Sounded like a dog.
Justin: I did not cause that to happen, I don’t think.
Brandon: I don’t think. [laughs] Hopefully those distinctions make sense. I think that was a very useful discussion about all the distinctions.
Christine: Yes, that was really cool.
Brandon: Like I said, the big thing to get out of this: want what you want. Follow the path you follow unapologetically. That’s really what matters in all of this. See what path matches you the best not because you think it’s the highest most moral path, but because it’s the path you want to follow. The other stuff doesn’t matter. Who cares? That’s what you have to do. I hope that this makes sense to everyone. I think it was a really good discussion.
I appreciate, Justin, your giving your input because you’re the low magic guy. [laughs] You’re most familiar with that path. I’m not too much, besides witchcraft. Again, witchcraft is mixed in with high magic, too. It’s sort of all mixed up.
Justin: Of course, today what did I do when I got up this morning? I did the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram when I got up.
Brandon: That’s awesome. By the way, for those who might not know, that’s a high magic ritual. [laughs]
Justin: [laughs] From the low magic guy. [laughs]
Brandon: Mix and match.
Justin: Mix and match.
Christine: That’s how you do it.
Brandon: I hope that everyone enjoyed this. Again, some announcements. If you would like to see the show notes, head over to darkascent.org/unseen005.
If you would like to rate, review, or subscribe to us on iTunes, you can go to darkascent.org/unseenitunes and that will take you to our iTunes page. With all of that, I hope everyone has a great weekend. I am Brandon Olivares.
Christine: And I’m Christine Olivares.
Justin: And I’m Justin Williams.
Brandon: Anything is possible!
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