Vodoun. Norse Magick. The Path of Smoke (Black Magick of Ahriman). Qliphothic Magick. Santeria. Chaos Magick. Draconian Magick. Folk magick. Quimbanda. Qabbalah. Necromancy. Lovecraftian Magick.
There are more currents than any one human being has time for. Each one of these currents is unique in their own right.
Each has its strengths, and weaknesses.
The question is, how do they stack up against each other?
Many people equate this question to Martial Arts. Many people say that it is not the martial art, but the martial artist that matters. I believe that these people are wrong.
I believe that not all martial arts are created equal. I believe that certain martial arts are not only more practical, but more effective than others.
Everyday, competition and warfare prove beyond a reasonable doubt which martial arts are more effective. For example, if you take a guy who has trained MMA 5 days a week for 10 years versus a guy who has done Aikido 5 days a week for 10 years, and both of them have the same height, weight and reach, the Aikido guy is getting going to sleep one way or the other.
In other words, there is a reason why no Aikido or Ninjitsu “fighters” have ever (or most likely will ever) win a UFC championship belt. For another example, there is a reason why no soldier deployed in Afghanistan is going to use Kung Fu or Tai Chi instead of military combatives involving firearms, body armor, explosives, and fixed blade knives etc.
The reason is that certain Martial Arts are more effective, practical, and proven to work both in competition and on the battlefield. I believe such is the case with magickal currents as well.
I am sure many of you reading this may disagree with my opinion, and that is okay.
For the sake of academia and helping other members of the community, imagine a hypothetical situation where you HAD to rank and evaluate Magickal currents based on five simple criteria. These criteria are:
- Practicality - Consider ease of use, simplicity, applications within the ritual space and in daily life, initiation, immersion, strenghts and weaknesses, applicability, reliance on tools/fetishes, length of incantations, etc.
- Potency - Consider raw power of the current itself and the entities within it, effectiveness of rituals, the amount of time it takes for rituals to manifest, etc.
- Potential for spiritual growth - Consider alchemical change in the practitioner, whether or not the current is a lifetime of work, etc.
- Danger - Consider what/how much is on the line when working within said current, the nature of the entities within that current and how they interact with humans, the necessity of devotion, potential health risks, etc.
- Dogma - Consider the philosophy, beliefs, lore, goal(s) of the current and its practitioners, etc
If it is easier for you to compare hypothetical practitioners of a particular current against hypothetical practitioners of another current, assume that each hypothetical practitioner has studied for 5 years in order to level the playing field.
In order to tangibly quantify and simplify such a herculean and complex task, pick a few currents you have at least some experience in and use a 5 point rating system for each criteria point. 5 being the most practical/dangerous/potent, one being the least.
Let your biases show, but feel free to add a short little blurb explaining your evaluation of a current if something in particular stands out to you. Try to stay away from currents you are not experienced with.
Path of Smoke- Practicality (3), Potency (5) Potential for Growth (5), Danger (5), Dogma (4)
Qliphothic Magick- Practicality (4), Potency (5), Potential for Growth (5), Potency (4), Danger (4), Dogma (2)
Vodoun- Practicality (5), Potency (5), Potential for Growth (5), Danger (5), Dogma (4)
Right Hand Path Qabbalah- Practicality (1), Potency (2), Potential for Growth (3), Danger (3) Dogma (5)
Demonolatry- Practicality (4), Potency (4), Potential for Growth (5), Danger (3), Dogma (2)
I gave the Path of smoke a 3 in practicality because it relies heavily upon fetishes that can be difficult to obtain (large amounts of soil from underneath a tree struck by lightning and/or graveyard, a living snake to be sacrificed etc.) I gave it a 5 in potency because it is one of the most powerful currents I have ever experienced. etc etc
I have Qliphothic Magick a 4 in danger because health risks may manifest in your life and quite honestly the forces of Gamaliel nearly destroyed my life during Lilith’s vetting process. etc etc***
The idea is not necessarily to say one current is simply better or worse than another, as we all know each current excels in different areas (much like individuals themselves).
The idea is to give newcomers to the community valuable information on which path or current they should choose first, and to give more experienced magicians an idea of which path or current to work through next.
Everyone should know ahead of time what they do and do not want to call into their life.
Based on the aforementioned criteria (practicality, potency, potential for spiritual growth, danger, dogma) what are your top 3-5 currents and why?
Obviously, with E.A. being among the most (if not THE most) experienced magician with regards to pathworking through various currents, I would love to hear what he has to say. However, I would also love to hear from Timothy, Asenath Mason, Kurtis Joseph, the other authors at BALG, and all of you out there in the community!
Let’s keep it honest and friendly out there folks. We are all on the same team here and we can all be of so much help to each other.
Much love and respect to you all. Keep practicing, keep kicking ass and taking names, wherever you are.
May you all find what you are looking for and Godlike power to you all!