Standing and not Falling – an excerpt

Jun 25th, 2019 | By | Category: Book News, Books

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to Lee Morgan’s sorcerous primer – Standing and Not Falling…

My first teacher was hardline about a lot of things. It was his belief
that you couldn’t practise witchcraft, or any type of occultism
for that matter, if you were suffering from mental illness or
addiction. Like many purists he was himself a disappointment
in these arenas, because close inspection yielded the fact he was
addicted to cigarettes, junk food and bossing people around. It
may have been him who first drew my attention to the Agrippa
quote that heads this book. After two decades in the Craft I
find myself having developed a more nuanced view of what it
means for the soul of man to stand or fall, and the journey I’ve
undertaken to get here is the motivation behind this book.

When you scratch the surface of modern life it is rare to find
anyone that would honestly meet with my former teacher’s
criterion for a suitable student of magic. Would an occultist
from centuries ago like Agrippa have considered their souls
to be standing in their power, or slipping into being less than
themselves on account of this? Would his perspective be relevant
to the pressures of today? Perhaps the uprightness metaphor
is no longer meaningful or helpful today, and we can simply
extract the sentiment, that we have divinity inside ourselves and
it can be found through will and belief in the same.

Most people in this increasingly precarious-feeling world,
even the ones who protest most vigorously, use some kind of
soma or stimulant against the soporific effects of modernity, or
at least struggle with depression or anxiety. Many people arrive
at the door of an occult practice far from ready to learn, but more
in a vein of hoping to be saved and reformed by the practice
or its people. In fact, many who identify themselves as witches
seem to see a close connection between their abilities and what
one may term their adversary, walking a fine line between gifted
and mentally unbalanced.

Some of the most Sighted, inspired and fascinating people
I’ve met in the occult world have also been potentially the most
unstable and sometimes even the most addicted. Unwilling to
throw the baby out with the bathwater I have been inclined to
take risks on people with all kinds of struggles, from former
members of Christian cults, through to those who have been
institutionalized or are heavily drug dependent. Some of these
people find witchcraft acts as a panacea for all their ills, taking
pent up energies that formerly went in other directions and repurposing what they feared was mental illness in a new direction.

For others this is not the case. Some have their symptoms
exacerbated by magical practice and should very definitely
seek concurrent help with a mental-healthcare professional, or
perhaps not practise at all. Others simply continue to struggle
without resolution, with occult practice seeming to neither
exacerbate nor improve their condition.

You can buy Standing and Not Falling from one of these retailers, and from many other booksellers as well:

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