Here are seven pillars of sorcery, as I define it:
1. A Passion for Power
Power is the sorcerer's raison d'être. He understands that in this hostile universe, only greater power offers him any hope of immortality. The sorcerer embodies the dark force or Lucifer Principle that has driven life upward from primordial slime to the beast called man, and which will drive it further still to superman, self-annihilation or far-flung cosmic empire. He is the ultimate transgressor, the enemy of every status quo, the creative destroyer and destructive creator who stands outside the mundane world of “good” and “evil” in his quest for godhood.
The sorcerer is also a spiritual predator, ever-ready to swoop in and attack wherever he finds weakness. Just as predators play a vital role in nature by culling the weak members of their prey species, sorcerers cull weak memes from human civilization and thereby make it stronger.
2. Mastery of Demons
In modern parlance, demonology is the art of implanting dangerous memes in your own mind and the minds of others. Using meditation, chants, rituals, sigils and other psychic techniques, the sorcerer programs his own passions at will. By creating books, songs, symbols, videos, works of art, political slogans, religious mantras, occult rituals, etc., he also implants memes in other minds to serve his ends. Particularly dark and virulent memes might be called "memons": memetic demons that drive people to extreme acts of fear, hate, love, lust, etc. One common memonic tactic is to encourage what Jung called "shadow projection", in which one projects one's own fears and weaknesses upon someone else.
An example of a potent memon is the "Jewish conspiracy" trope, which has ignited pogroms and genocides for thousands of years. In the modern West, the "racist" memon is frequently used to demonize people for the purpose of acquiring power, and may incite race riots and wars.
Every power structure understands the potential danger of explosive memons and works to control them. The sorcerer may, if he is opposed to a given regime, unleash memons in an attempt to overthrow the existing order. If he supports a regime, he may unleash counter-memons that demonize his opponents in particularly virulent ways.
3. Diabolical Drive
|"The old world will burn in the fires of industry. Forests will fall. A new order will rise. We will drive the machine of war with the sword and the spear and the iron fist of the orc."|
4. Mental Domination
A sorcerer is a mental dominator. Like Count Dracula or Rasputin, he wields hypnotic personal power and taps into subconscious fears, lusts and dreams to bend weaker minds to his will. The sorcerer may also work his black magic upon society as a whole, by producing art, ideology or religion that furthers his agenda, or commanding kings, cults or covert armies to carry out his will. Once in power, his rule is absolute and his reign is eternal, or until some more powerful sorcerer topples him. The sorcerer is the implacable enemy of democracy, liberalism, utilitarianism and compromise, which to him are the shibboleths of weak wills and mundane minds.
5. Forbidden Knowledge
A common motif of sorcerers is that they are keepers or finders of ancient or forbidden knowledge. The discovery of some occult book, sect, artifact or entity opens up a dark new world for them, and awakens their magical will to power.
In the current age of information explosion, when virtually every kind of knowledge is readily available, it might seem that this pillar is no longer so relevant. What could past civilizations possibly have to offer we enlightened moderns? What knowledge is truly forbidden today?
The issue for moderns is not so much that dark knowledge is unavailable, but that it is strongly tabooed or simply ignored. Entire ideologies, religions and cultures of great power have been dumped into the dustbin of history by "progressives" since the conquest of the Enlightenment (and Christianity before that) and forgotten. Facts which don't fit existing narratives are routinely discredited and marginalized. Modernity therefore has gaping holes in its story, and fails to account for the deeper, irrational motivations that drove men of old to build great temples, orders and empires that still awe us across millennia. It is into these dark places that the sorcerer delves, in search of the keys to power by which he may once again ignite the fires of passion in a slumbering humanity and build magical empires anew. But whether he seeks forbidden knowledge in books, nature, temples, cults, drugs, gurus or what have you, all are only pathways into the dark depths of his own mind.
6. Atavistic Imperialism
|"In his time, Genghis Khan conquered half the world. I intend to finish the job."|
The sorcerer often identifies with an ancient order, cult or civilization that retains the conquering spirit of his ancestors. Finding himself in an emasculated, dispirited, decadent modern world and confident in his right to rule, he boldly sets about building a new empire.
There are many fictional examples of this: Sauron and his servants Saruman and the Nazgûl, Count Dracula, Fu Manchu, Xaltotun, Thoth-Amon, Kathulos and Shiwan Khan. An example from the "real world" are the Islamist sorcerers: imams who seek to revive the spirit of the Prophet and his Companions, and conquer a weak and decadent West with a potency of will rarely seen in today's world (similar examples could be given for most other religions). Another example were the occult architects of the Axis powers, who sought to revive the lost imperial glory of their mythical forbears.
7. Dark Spirituality
The sorcerer usually has a dark spirituality or religiosity animating his work. He is not merely seeking power for its own sake, but for a greater metaphysical purpose beyond the ken of mundane minds. He may serve a dark god, demon, force, philosophy or tradition, or see himself as a man in the process of becoming his own god. His spirituality will usually be draconian, nihilistic and focused on power. If he acquires significant worldly authority, the sorcerer may set about establishing a dark theocracy, with himself as the high priest and/or god-emperor. Notable fictional examples of this include the religions of Sauron and the Sith; historical examples might include early Judaism, the Roman imperial cult, the Aztecs, medieval Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, Imperial Way Zen, Wahhabism and Nazism.
I am drawn to sorcery for all of the above aspects. In an age of wretched rationalism that starves men's souls, deadens their spirits and weakens their wills, I crave the potency of dark sorcery. But where many are content to role-play as sorcerers or enjoy their depictions in works of fiction, I seek to build a real empire upon these seven pillars, or at least to lay its foundation. Sorcery is not about fantasies of shooting lightning bolts from your fingertips or summoning bat-winged demons from the Abyss; it is a real world art of the highest order, with profound power over matter and minds, now and for all times.
A final warning: Each of us chooses to live for the mundane or the magical; the ephemeral or the eternal, the small or the great; the light or the dark, the weak or strong. If you choose the latter, you are a sorcerer. If you choose the former, beware: you are our enemy, and will be the object of our sorcerous scorn, now and forever, worlds without end!