Do what thou wilt or whatever.

I guess we’re talking about neo-Nazis this week? Awesome. Of all the things we could be talking about, it’s my favorite topic.

Barack Obama at the White House Corrospondants Association Annual Gala saying "That was a joke".

I don’t really care to rehash what’s been in the Occulture this week; suffice it to say that the fascists have wormed their way into a lot of people’s heads, and now we all have to deal with that.

What I really think is worth it to talk about is how the Occulture, and specifically Ceremonial spaces, builds space for some of the worst kinds of reactionary dillholes, and why that both reifies and reinforces the diversity problem I mentioned before. So the following is a list of things I think contribute to making our spaces fascist friendly.

  1. Appealing to the authority of traditionalism – In a deep way, most forms of western occult knowledge presuppose that there’s something important in some conception of The Old WaysTM that, given we return to them, will give the imagined us something that we don’t currently have. As you’ll see me reiterate a few times here, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. We have to be able to admit that somebody at some point in the past may have had a good idea and that we should revisit it. That said, it’s also true that fascists build their ideas around an imagined utopia that once existed for people like them, and that this utopia was taken from them. It’s not a subtle difference, but those two logics aren’t far apart enough that a space built around looking backwards to older cultural and spiritual practices could find some Nazis hanging around.
  2. Rejecting modernity – This goes hand-in-hand with the first bit. It’s foolish not to admit that there are aspects of contemporary society that aren’t working well. There are all sorts of challenges that western society faces, and I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with trying to pull from humanity’s past to look for answers. The challenge is that fascists don’t want to bring SOME ideas from the past and refresh them for the present. They view movement away from that utopian past as deluding some kind of ethno-cultural purity, and that the only way to get that purity back is to reject anything that caused it. Which leads into the next bit nicely.
  3. Ethnoreligious communities – Here again, there’s nothing INHERENTLY wrong with preserving cultural institutions. And there’s nothing wrong with individual people feeling pulled to the cultural practicies of their ancestors. What helps build room for Brown Shirts is when these sorts of communities transition from having initiatory and completly free components that anyone can participate in, to becoming explicitly and exclusively exclusionary. This is another method by which fascists attempt to restore ethno-cultural purity.
  4. Rejecting politics – This might seem counterintutitive, but I think this might actually be the biggest deal of these 4 concepts. First, I think it important to be explicit: politics is not merely the partisan contests of western style democracy, nor is politics constrained to the workings of government. Politics is the sum of all of the ways in which power is distributed throughout society, as well as any attempts to either maintain or change that distribution of power. Even if you believe that certain spaces can (or should) be apolitical, there is no way that one can claim that the aims of occultisms/witchcraft/esoteric practices aren’t aimed at changing the balance of power. Those changes may be subtle, they may theoretically involve creating some idealized balance, and they may center changing things for individuals. But it is nevertheless about power. When we divorce practices and philosophies that are concerned with giving people power from conversations about who ought to have power and why, it leaves space for fascists to do their thing without challenge.

This is obviously not a comprehensive list; it’s more of a conversation starter. Keep this list going in the comments. Next time, I’ll share some things about what I think we can do to fix some of this stuff.

In the mean time, you should check out some resources to learn more about anti-fascism and what you can do to push back against the bullshit. This list will be pretty US-centric, because that’s where I live. And I won’t pretend that I agree with or endorse 100% of the positions of the organizations that are included here, or that I’m a big fan of all of the books on these reading lists; this is more of a set of jumping off points.

Love is the law, or something like that.

Nick the Melaninated Magician


Nick AKA The Melaninated Magickian (They/Them) is a Thelemite and explorer of existence. They write observations about High Strangeness, Occultisms, and how those things intersect with race, gender, disability, and other social identities on their blog and on Twitter. In their normie work, they are a professional DEI practitioner, avid film watcher, and home cook.