Monday, October 31, 2011

Mastering Witchcraft

It seems this meme is going around the blogosphere again. You can find a post here on Jason Miller's blog that explains why it is a topic and the various bloggers asked to comment. You can find more here on Into the Mound. Most people I know fully support this book. This includes people I respect. Jason Miller knows this guy and greatly values this book. I like Jason but I will always disagree with him on this issue.

Huson talks about targeting a sex partner. Most of what he says is simply the grand art of seduction. No harm no foul. He then moves on to putting "philters" in the "target's" drinks. This is nothing other than a magickal roofie.

Apologists make three arguments  that I can remember. Frankly, reading about this guy just irritates me. So, I haven't read much of the recent writings on the topic. The first apology is that he is merely showing us how the magick can work, not advocating it. The second is that this  book is great because no one else would dare publish that stuff. The third is that he was trying to reclaim witchcraft from the fluffy types and therefore included harsher things.

My counter argument is as follows: Bullshit

Yup that is about it.

These are all cover up arguments. This is the equivalent of someone asking, "Is water boarding torture," as if there is any doubt on the issue. The point is to get people talking about some question thus defusing any opposition as another side of a legitimate debate. There is no debate. Water boarding is torture. It is clear.

So is giving anyone a magickal roofie. That is called rape. None of these people would argue that it is okay to drop a roofie in some woman's drink or any other foreign substance. Yet, the last time this book was brought up some people are actually said it is acceptable if it is a magickal foreign substance. No. it. is. not. ok. This is not using a glamour to make yourself more attractive. This is putting something in someone's drink they are unaware of. Would these people say this is okay if it was done to their daughter? I think not.

Referring to a potential sleeping partner as a target is dehumanizing and wrong. There should be no debate over that. I call potential sexual partners women. Which do you feel should be used? That isn't political correctness. That is having respect for all human beings.

There may be some good stuff in that book but the outright evil of slipping things into people's drinks negates all of that.

Yup, I will get hammered for this opinion, if any of those that advocate that book still read this space. I don't care. Wrong is wrong and every once in a while, you have to stand up and say it.


Harold Roth said...

He wasn't trying to reclaim witchcraft from the fluffy types. This book came out in 1970. There was no fluff at that time. The only information about magic readily available was about ceremonial, like GD. Llewellyn was occupied with publishing Crowley and Regardie, for instance. So the book should be put into its historical context.

Have you looked at the ingredients in the love philtre? They are all ordinary, safe herbs and spices. I don't care how great a witch someone thinks he is; their magic philtre composed of such herbs does not compare to putting rohypnol in someone's drink to render them unconscious in order to rape them. For that matter, there are highly destructive curses in this book as well.

The post I wrote about this book on my blog was about how it reflects a different relationship between power and witchcraft in society than we commonly see now.

Ananael Qaa said...

I'm not familiar with the book in question, but I'm in agreement with you on this particular issue.

I've long been of the opinion that ethically speaking magical actions are just like all other actions - if doing something by mundane means is unethical, it's just as unethical if you do it magically. There's no difference just because different technology is involved.

Anyway, the best way to craft a successful love spell is not to target a specific person. Instead, cast a spell to bring you a partner who is in harmony with your will and with whose will you are also in harmony with. It works like a charm - pun intended and all.

nutty professor said...

ugh. And as a woman I say ugh. But for anyone, this kind of use of power is...crude and childish. It lacks wisdom. And as you say, it shows disrespect, which is a lack of compassion.

Too bad if this stuff sucks a lot of horny child-mages into it. They will just have to do it all over again. The kind of mistake that can set one back a long time. Hey! didn't you write something similar to this a while ago? The lesson from Daskalos?
(longtime reader)

Robert said...


I didn't specifically link to your blog and I didn't read your post. So, my post was not directed at you. That said, I have heard this argument before. I simply don't care. The moment you put something in someone's drink, you're done in my mind. Anything from an allergic reaction to the magick working is unacceptable.

I have heard the argument before that it is magick and not a drug. However, what is the intent? The intent is to co-opt a person's ability to make his or her own choice of bed partners. That is rape pure and simple.

Robert said...

Nutty, yes you hit it right on the head. Good memory.

Harold Roth said...

I didn't think you were responding to my blog. I only mentioned what I'd written with respect to this book because you said you had not read any of the blog posts out there on it and it seemed you concluded that everyone was praising it unequivocably. I was one of the people asked to discuss the book, and I was glad I did. It made me think. People have taken many different perspectives on it.

To condemn a book--and everything said about it--because you condemn a single thing in that book does not seem like a very helpful response to me. I have read plenty of books I have learned from even if they contained things that I thought were wrong. Nor does this kind of condemnation seem conducive to any exchange of ideas. Seems more like then we are all just posting fiats. But perhaps I am in the wrong in expecting anything else than that from the blogosphere. Probably.

Robert said...

Well, my friend, I have never claimed to be a scholar nor fair. I am all for the exchange of ideas. Never have I said the book shouldn't be read. I didn't say there was nothing of value in it merely that value is trumped by the inclusion of magical roofies.

Magic is a spiritual exercise of unity with the divine. Working with such things that separate a man from compassion and love for his fellow humans is a mistake that can reverberate lifetimes.

I will point that out to my readers as I see fit because some of them learn from this space. And if I teach them anything at all, I hope they learn that setting aside love and compassion for an expedient blow job or fucking someone desirable, derails the soul. The mastered soul gives of itself. The attitude of this work is one of taking and thus falls below the threshold of not only spiritual fodder but common decency.

Praxidike said...

I noticed that most of the people who were most impressed with this book first read it when they were extremely young. I read it the first time in my late 20's, and I thought it was kind of silly and melodramatic.

Robert said...


That is a very good observation that I missed. It rang true. I am partial to some books that I read when young.

Panmankey said...

I think the manipulative magic in "Mastering Witchcraft" is due to the period of time in which it was released. "Occult Books" in the late 60's and early 70's were often a blend of what we might recognize today as Gardner inspired Witchcraft, LaVey-style Satanism, hedonism, and the kitchen sink. That a book released by a mainstream publisher represented Witchcraft in a grey light is about par for the course. (Not saying that Huson included all of those elements, they were just common at the time.)

Does that justify manipulative magic? Of course not, but you can only really evaluate Huson in its historical context.

Robert said...

Well that is true academically but this book is being touted currently.

Brother Christopher said...

I like your approach to ethics and I agree with you. If something is unethical in doing it through ordinary means, then why is it ethical to do it with magic? I know people who would never pick up a gun or a knife and kill someone, but yet they seemed okay with doing magic that would bring about the same result. It's kind of like people who say they are pro-life and yet for the death penalty and encouraging killing terrorists.

However, I think comparing a magical concoction made with edible herbs and spices which have very little physiological effects (unless your allergic) to a powerful narcotic that will put anyone out to where they cannot make their own decisions is not the same at all. If you did make a concoction that had powerful narcotic effects (which there are herbs that can be done with that) then yes, I do see a problem with that. I can also see a parallel with using an excess of alcohol to achieve the same effect. But a tea (barely even that using Huson's method) made with edible herbs and spices, which is bound by the limits of magic and is specifically a love spell (not a lust spell, not a spell for control or domination) is radically different. For one thing, if the target you are giving some of the philtre to is not in any way going to be attracted to you, say because their straight, or they only like inshape wealthy men, or they are only attracted to chubby short women, it's just not going to work, at all, period. Love spells only work on Love, and if there is no love there, it doesn't work, at all. However you want to theorize it, it doesn't work, and it won't work, and at best, it will just give an interesting flavor to whatever dish or drink you mixed for your target.

Robert said...


"However, I think comparing a magical concoction made with edible herbs and spices which have very little physiological effects (unless your allergic) to a powerful narcotic that will put anyone out to where they cannot make their own decisions is not the same at all."

Well, here is the fundamental point of disagreement. I have watched with my own eyes magick done to thwart the will of another. Given that person was obviously about to disrupt a public speaker and impact of the spell was just as obvious, I was impressed. So, I do believe magick can have as big an impact as a chemical concoction.

I believe you are confusing science and magick.

Magick can take those physically inert agents and aid in creating or fully creating a huge psychological impact. So, while they may not have an impact on the physical body as chemical agents, they can thwart the will of another in a different way. In fact, depending upon the psychology of the victim, it can be very harmful. For instance, a chaste person who is in love with husband is induced by a philter to cheat. She does and the guilt rips her up, her behavior changes, her life changes. Probably, the life of her family is impacted as well.