The Occult - A Rise in Ancient Practices

The word “occult” has negative connotations for many people. Somehow it became a dark topic that when spoken of aroused thoughts of black magic and witchcraft. However, “occult” basically refers to that which is unknown. It is a category that was created to contain ideas and philosophies that extended beyond pure reason and the physical sciences such as spiritualism, astrology, extra sensory perception, divination and channeling (among others). 

The truth is that we have discovered parallels between science and spiritualism and have even confirmed information received from channeled messages in the past but yet some fear remains because we don’t fully understand it. Unfortunately the past (actually, and the present) has shown us that fear is the root behind all things deemed bad/misunderstood which more often than not leads to hatred, racism and blind destruction.

So, how do we eliminate the fear surrounding magic? The answer is exposure. I have been seeing a beautiful trend around spirituality lately - chakras, crystals and moon rituals…which is amazing! It has spurred curiosity and a more open attitude towards ancient occult practices and medicines, and more and more people are testifying to their healing qualities. 

This month’s muse editorial is inspired by the questions and conversations I’ve shared with individuals who have been exposed to the occult and want to understand these practices a little better.  The editorial was shot at the beautiful Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA. to keep it witchy (if you’ve never been, I highly recommend it as there are great views of the Bay and sunset). 

My muse, Megan Luis, is a fellow mystic and practicing Tarot Reader who comes from generations of seers. I asked her to share some words on the topic: 

EV MARQUEE: The moment I saw you I knew I wanted to shoot you for my October muse editorial. Everything about you reads “occult”. Can you share your story and how you got involved in this lifestyle? 

MEGAN LUIS: “My grandmother is a psychic medium/channel. I grew up around Mystics and healers at the spiritual center where she worked. My mother enrolled me in a psychic pre-school in Berkley, Ca called yin-yang. They taught us to pull in our auric field, different healing techniques etc. 

My interest in the occult was almost immediate. I used to give healings to people in my grandma’s workshops as a toddler. I had night terrors, and had a lot of entities trying to speak to me. As a result, I burned my “monster smoke” (sage) to keep them at bay. My mother ground various herbs into incense, and taught me how to cast spells/perform ritual magic around 11-12 years old. Around this same time, I began to study the tarot and practice reading on my friends. I studied the lore and the history of tarot, and got a lot of experience over the years. People kept saying that I should go professional with my readings, so I did.” 

EV MARQUEE: I spoke a little bit on fear of the unknown and how that essentially leads to greater disconnection. I truly believe in the power of exposure and the sharing of knowledge and experiences. What are your thoughts on this? 

MEGAN LUIS: “There are so many misconceptions surrounding the occult, most of these misunderstandings come from Christianity. The bible condemns any sort of divinatory means as “evil”. Most likely because taking power into your own hands (which is essential in paganism and the occult) invalidates the power of “God”, therefore the institution of the church. There is a sense of personal responsibility with the occult knowledge. It is very existential in the sense that you are alone with no excuses, and you are the master of your own reality. I think it is important to educate people, to remove the stigma. People condemn what they don’t understand. Ignorance is the root of many of the evils/prejudice in this world.” 

EV MARQUEE: Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

MEGAN LUIS: “As you mentioned before, “occult” means that which is hidden. Secret knowledge. The roots of ritual magic lay in ancient Egypt. They practiced ritual magic on a daily basis, it was a very important part of their society. Paganism, focuses on the connection with the earth. Most people condemn “witchcraft” as evil, however most witches practice white magic, which does no harm to anyone. Wiccans believe in the three fold law, which states that any harm inflicted by a witch onto another will return to them threefold. Unfortunately, the satanists and black magicians have eclipsed the artistry of white magic in the cultural perception. The horror stories we hear about satanic cults (often exaggerated or sheer fantasy) have warped the cultural perception of what the occult truly is. In my opinion, it’s the same as creative visualization or manifestation. Energy flows where your focus goes. My belief is that words have great power, they shape consciousness and therefore–reality. That is why incantations are used in spell casting, and the reason why self help mantras are so effective. The power of language, is it’s own branch of magic.”

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Also, if this set resonates with you and you’d like to share your thoughts, please comment below - I’d love to chat. 

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