Magick and racism

There are huge amounts of cultural appropriation in occult circles. So many magickal traditions base themselves on ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, Indian gurus, or “Gypsies” (which is the Romany equivalent of the n-word, so don’t use it. Ever). They romanticize non-white spiritual practices while simultaneously not giving a shit about the people of that culture. Sure, there are things that can be learned from those groups, same as knowledge of any subject can come from many sources. But (for example) writing off modern Egyptians as being “Muslim terrorists” while simultaneously believing that the ancient Egyptians held all the sacred wisdom is insulting and racist. And you see that a lot in some occult circles, especially ones rooted in European traditions like the Golden Dawn. 

Part of it comes from a desire for continuity — following a trail of secret knowledge established in prehistory, the wisdom of the ancients. But a lot of it is just a racist penchant for the exotic, codified into “tradition” by Victorian whites. It bugs the hell out of me.  

(I brought this up with an Egyptian-American friend last week, as I’ve been thinking about it a lot. She says she’s had people ask her who the current Pharoah is. WTF, white people?)

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