The obsessive study and practice of the occult is really just a type of playacting at intellectualism couched in ancient knowledge readily available on Wikipedia.
For westerners interested in alternative ideologies, study of the occult is a popular way of expressing a difference from the status quo. With its reputation for hidden, dark and esoteric content, occultism seems like an affront to Judeo-Christian beliefs. It has given rise to an entire counterculture and supports a widespread media industry that cater to occultism as a profitable demographic. As this interest and popularity have grown, the occult has become an identity. A brand name for those living comfortably in the suburbs of the fringe.
The belief that the occult represents some hidden, secretive knowledge is an anachronism. With the advent of the internet, occult knowledge is now widely available to almost every human being alive, and is certainly not difficult to find. No longer must the occultist seek out rare grimoires from underground bookstores and private sellers, then spend months translating and decoding the contents to become an authority on them. You can just Google it now.
Another belief is that occult information is somehow a source of power. There is about as much evidence for this as there is for Noah’s Ark, invisible pink unicorns and reptilian overlords who control the Illuminati. Were there actually any practical benefits of occult studies and practices you can bet your ass they would have been co-opted by corporations long ago and wizards would have replaced CEOs. Of course the people who believe in the reptilian Illuminati overlords think that is already the case.
On top of the obfuscation and uselessness of occultism, it has long been a playground for the very worst sort of people. Misogynists, fascists and an assorted menagerie of fucking creeps have all been drawn into occultism and helped add to its narrative. Much modern occult thinking was conceived of by these ethical outliers, and as such modern occultism is imbued with the values of white nationalists and psychopaths, who have become heroes to occultists willing to overlook these problematic people and their cracker voodoo.
In essence, the occult has become little more than a political identity mostly populated by the kind of people who constantly blame everyone else for participating in identity politics, with no trace of irony, esoteric or otherwise. It is cosplay for people who prefer mythology to superheroes. It is obsessive data consumption and regurgitation that differs only in specific content from the kind displayed by nine year olds who memorize stats from their vast collection of baseball cards. Quite simply, it boils to down to playacting and signaling, while wearing a pretense of intellectual depth and superiority.
However I am willing to be proven wrong. The first one of you edgy goth monkeys that can demonstrate beyond a doubt the power of the occult will receive a hundred bucks that I cannot afford to give away, but am 100% certain I won’t have to. Until then I look forward to angry stammering and unsubstantiated claims, which if were of any value whatsoever, would immediately make the occult a lucrative practice.
“I myself am a magician. My rejection of the occult does not equate with a rejection of magic in general. I specifically reject the prepackaged mass of ideas and symbols that generally fall under the term ‘occultism’ and believe that a magical system should be one’s own creation from ground up, and not just a traditional recycling of ancient religious and mythological bric-a-brac. While I understand that investigating what others have done can help you create your own unique magical systems, my specific issue is with repetitive validation and advocacy of the same old things, which actually deter magical efforts and give magicians a reputation which resembles stock characters out of some silly cartoon. Discussion of the occult (and Crowley) in magic circles is so obvious and expected that the entire culture of modern magicians has begun to feel scripted and stale.”
“To this end I suggest that you stop thinking of magic as something you do on schedule, like Meatloaf Monday, with roughly the same recipe each week. Instead try changing your perceptions and responses by devising nifty tricks that work in the course of your day to day lives. Create good habits instead of rituals. Forget everything you ever thought you knew about magic and make stuff up off the top of your head. You don’t need specific symbols or spirits or archetypes, you need mental discipline. Don’t go looking outside yourself for ways of achieving it, but instead work with what is already happening in your life.”