Posted by Stephenie Crowe on 2/28/2016 to Occult Weekly
The Left-hand Path
The topics of Black Magick and the Left-Hand path have often come up in our conversations with some of you. While there is a great stigma attached to an individual who has strayed onto this path, it is unfair to assume that this individual is inherently malicious.
Sometimes the individual has had treacherous life experiences which he or she is unable to shed. These feelings build up within the individual until they feel as if there is no resort other than to find vengeance for the problems that life has imposed upon them.
There is also an individual who first seeks to practice for the benefit of others and themselves. They begin in the same manner as other practitioners. They seek to better understand the Universe and to extract all of the meaning that they are able. However, sometimes this is not enough. They are left with a void feeling despite what they have accomplished. They become obsessed with the "something more". It is at this point that they stray from the path that they had initially chosen.
What is Theurgy?
This path begins with theurgy, or the performance of miracles through the search for divine intervention in human affairs. The concept of theurgy in itself is innocuous. It is the utilization of Magick to better oneself internally. This does not mean to Cast a Luck Spell upon oneself nor to help another through Magick and identify the practice as self-betterment. Rather, Theurgy usually infers the invocation of the Goddess to enhance one’s understanding of Her. Most qualified practitioners who have mastered the art of invocation have sought to enter this medium state in order to feel the presence of the divine. Others have done so in the attempt to acquire a piece of knowledge from the Goddess. Usually, this interaction is sufficient, and just to know that the divine exists and is within reach brings enough satisfaction that the goal can be considered achieved and no further action is required.
What is Henosis?
Then there is the rare breed of humans who seek something more. Henosis can practically be called Mad Magician Syndrome, as those who attempt it are willing to risk everything on Earth as well as their connection with the Universe. Fundamentally, Henosis is deification. The magician (for we shall no longer call him or her Wiccan at this point) seeks to not only invoke the Goddess, but to retain the Goddess until She fuses within the practitioner and becomes one. Here, the magician’s body continues to serve only as an avatar, but this avatar reaches a point of true apotheosis, or being exalted to the level of a deity. There have been no reported cases of the success of Henosis, but many cases in which the practitioner died trying. Self-asphyxiation are everyday forms of Henoism, where an individual is no longer content with who they are, or the meaning of their existence. Rather, they take drastic steps to try to shed their human form and become something superior. There is always a better way.