“The occult, as both a collection of practices and beliefs as well as overarching symbolic language, has long provided artists and composers with a grammar for realising a means of pushing up against the mainstream, of creating music and art that is not bound by convention. Just as occult practices provided people a more direct and immediate way to engage with the divine, it made sense that avant-garde and experimental artists would feel a kinship and an inspiration in occult ideas and symbols. Satie and Ravel were Rosicrucians, Mucha was a theosophist, Pierre Schaeffer was follower of Gurdjieff, and William Butler Yeats was a member of the Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn. The list goes one. As rock musicians experimented with sound and performance, turning towards alternative spiritual practices and images made perfect sense. It was not enough to be socially and politically rebellious. A spiritual rebellion was needed for a foundation. The occult imagination is one that is heterodox, sometimes heretical. What better way to feel as if your art is charged with a deeper spiritual meaning than to attach it to a spiritual identity that itself has often been about rebellion?”
— Peter Bebergal
If we wish to see and understand what lies beyond the everyday, we need to expand our symbolic repertoire. Symbols are the language of our deeper consciousness and the more we expand our language base, the deeper our knowledge becomes. Expansion may be something as simple as learning a new language. The letters and words we use our symbols so by making the shift to a new language we shift and expand how we talk and think. Another powerful source of symbolic language is in the stories we tell and the types of beings that reoccur in them. Learning the mythology of another culture and how it relates to our own expands our way of expressing ourselves even more. Occult means nothing more or less than hidden. When we bring hidden things into the open we expand. This is true whether we are talking on the level of our unconscious shadow selves or the material we culturally refer to as occult. Operating on these deeper levels is a rebellion since everything in our day to day culture including the religions most of us were raise in tells us that this is taboo. Of course the last thing any authority wants is to have its foundations questioned. That can lead to the horrific practice of thinking for ourselves.
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