Darkness befalls the room. They blow out the candles and demand everyone to remain silent. You can hear whispers and murmurs coming from a small room in the back; unintelligible gibberish to the ears of the uninitiated.
A few rows of people wearing black robes are standing in a circle, waiting outside.
You’re enthralled by the atmosphere. Something big is going to happen.
Suddenly, a man wearing a white robe embroidered with golden textures and jewellery steps out, bearing fire. A thunderous voice echoes throughout the tall room, bells start ringing, people are shouting.
This isn’t a Witch’s Sabbath or a pagan ritual. It’s the celebration of Easter.
From the perspective of an outsider, someone who isn’t familiar with the Paschal troparion, the Holy Fire, and the rest of the traditions, this doesn’t look much different from what the very same Church told them is evil and satanic.
Religion, new religion, was always smart in the way they proselytize potential devotees. Forcing someone to adopt your beliefs is foolish. But slowly replacing their traditions with yours is strategy.
It’s no secret that Christianity was able to spread throughout Europe by carefully wearing the sorcerer’s cloth and hiding in the pagan calendar.
The results after a few hundred years are a mosaic of different religious practices and overlapping worldviews. But given the nature of human consciousness, trying to expand and synthesize, this doesn’t seem all that unnatural. It becomes problematic only when we start blending inherently paradoxical narratives to piece together a crippled religion to serve an unholy purpose…
The 20th century saw a rise in the New Thought movement, with people like Napoleon Hill, Neville Goddard and William Walker Atkinson writing books and giving lectures on the power of our mind, spirituality, and personal achievement through manifestation.
I’m sure you’ve heard or even read some of these writers. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill is probably the most listed book ever printed.
These spiritualists tried to find validation for their ideas in the Bible, allegorical passages that supposedly point towards a universal Law of Attraction.
“And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”Matthew 21:22
In fact, there were different Christian denominations that adopted a ritualistic version of the “Law of Attraction” but used different terminology. Prosperity Theology, for example, involves “faith, positive speech, and donations”. Some people even argue that praying for a specific outcome is the Law of Attraction, but there are contradictions.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense.”Matthew 6:7-8
In any case, as the post-modern era sought to “cleanse” the impurities from religious logos and create a safe diaschisma to the secular afterthought, the Law of Attraction needed a new platform.
The Secret and the New Age Movement
The Secret is a movie that was widely viewed and adapted by life-dyspeptics, trying to cope with their own shortcomings using the power of belief. Rhonda Byrne created a framework, an alternative Bible, for the universal New Age Religion. A way to change the malleable reality through the intangible influence of your mind.
Contemporary advocates like Eckhart Tolle, Esther Hicks, and Deepak Chopra instead of relying exclusively on sacred texts, focused on the scientific evidence; quantum physics and quantum mysticism. All are welcome to shower in the light of abundance and prosperity. If you think positively and everything will come to you.
The Law of Attraction teaches us that things with a similar vibration will attract each other. An entire industry was formed around this concept, permeating our culture so deeply we began to shame those who aren’t always positive and upbeat. If something bad happens to you, it’s YOUR fault because you were tormented with negative thoughts.
Millions of people created dream boards, repeated affirmations (what happens in your mind, will happen in reality), and practiced self-hypnosis in order to ‘manifest’ money or a new house. YouTube videos with athletes, actors, and businessmen ‘confessing’ to using the LoA became popular, alongside motivational material, and eventually extreme self-improvement.
But what hides behind the Law of Attraction?
Manifestation, altering reality, creating favourable outcomes, negative thoughts causing adverse effects. I feel like I’ve encountered these terms before…
Not the fireball-casting, goat-sacrificing, broom-flying version we’ve been accustomed to by watching Hollywood movies.
The kind of witchcraft practiced for thousands of years, beginning with the Greco-Roman mysteries, Celtic and British folklore, North American Hoodoo, the Papyri Graecae Magicae, and Egyptian cults. The religious practice that was co-opted by Abrahamic religions, as I alluded to in the introduction.
That’s exactly what the Law of Attraction is. An ineffective form of witchraft.
“Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”Luke 5:33-39
The very term, Law of Attraction, was put forth by Helena Blavatsky, an occultist and a leading figure in the Theosophist movement to describe a Hermetic principle and law of magic.
Much of the above describes three Hermetic principles from the Emerald Table (as appeared in the modernized Kybalion):
- The principle of mentalism
- The principle of correspondence
- The principle of vibration
The issue is that the bastardization of this, extremely diverse, thaumaturgy practice creates a limping pseudoesoteric system that lacks the proper foundation and integrity to be consistently effective and beneficial. Consequently, those who blindly follow it become vulnerable to marketing efforts and ideological hijacking, always looking for the right answer that will complete the puzzle.
The New-New Age Movement and Starseeds
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”Ecclesiastes 1:9
Beginning in 2020, there was a shift in the way people talked and interacted. Terms like “vibration”, “raising consciousness”, “lightworker” and “energy” re-entered our vocabulary. Only this time, instead of suburban, yoga moms trying to manifest a handsome pool boy with a six-pack, it was right-wing forums and communities using them.
When the shaman, wearing horns and Valknot tattoos, stormed the Capitol back in January, I didn’t pay much attention. I figured he was another aesthete patching together different radical views to draw attention to the Trump movement. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized how deep the roots of this Franken-ideology are. In reading this article, everything became clear:
“Starseeds (also known as starchildren, star people, lightworkers, crystal children, et al.) believe that they’re human bodies inhabited by advanced extraterrestrial or interdimensional souls.”
Starseeds are a symptom of the postmodern tendency to strip away all traditions and deconstruct concepts to their essence, abandoning the very principles that make complex structures functional.
The same way Christianity rebranded pagan traditions and the Law of Attraction rebranded witchcraft, Starseed ideology is the syncretism of all occult and religious thematology but with the science-fiction/alien twist to make it palatable to our current status quo.
Religion, idealogy, and pseudoscience always took advantage of the naive and simple-minded to further the goals.
From reappropriating pagan traditions to the Law of Attraction to Starseeds, human nature is vulnerable to big promises, familiarity, and novelty.
That makes you and me open to manipulation.
Old wine to new bottles.