I’m writing this post mostly for my own benefit because I get the question asked so often and I’m kind of getting to the point of laziness where I dread typing and rehashing out my answer. Now in the future I can link to this post.
Everything I share….everything…is set with the intention, the hope, and aspiration that if you’ve found it, resonate with it even when it’s not your culture or even anywhere close to what ordinarily enters your personal path and craft, that you will nonetheless feel an untainted, anxiety-free freedom to integrate it into your path.
Yes, that means I understand some might pick and choose, might break apart the whole of what I share and just pull out what works for them, then integrate it into their personal path in a way that’s totally innovative, unique, and even at times unanticipated and unexpected, maybe even unrecognizable.
Yes, that means I understand you might take just the idea and then apply that idea to your own culture-specific traditions, so the repackaging looks very different from what I’ve shared even though at one point it was inspired by something I shared.
Yes, that means I understand you might copy what I’ve shared exactly as it is and use it exactly as I’ve shared it, and may even teach it to others, or work with it in a professional capacity where there might be financial benefit to you.
Yes, that means I understand that some of you might take the works I’ve dedicated into the public domain, make it your own in some special way, and then develop a tried and true practice or craft around it that now you want to commercialize and sell to the public. I’m totally okay with that. I anticipated that before I chose to share whatever it was I shared and then granted to the public domain.
Yes, I also understand that sometimes you might inadvertently make a cultural faux pas. Before you freak out, just know the most you’re likely to get out of me is a chuckle, assuming your intentions were in the right place and you come from a place of sincerity.
With all that said, please also understand I don’t represent the whole. I can only speak for what I have shared, what I have crafted, and what was proprietarily mine to dedicate to the public domain. I can’t speak for others and I certainly can’t speak to how you should process cultural appropriation issues on the greater collective scale. Some esoteric traditions, especially specific Asian traditions, have built themselves to be exclusive. My opinion is you should probably respect that. What I share, in contrast, is built for equal access.
In exchange for what I share, please acknowledge that not all cultural groups are ready to let go of long histories of hurt, betrayal, mockery, and misappropriation. Heck, a lot of times I slip back into that dark place when once again I have to confront a racialized incident. But for me, I’ve found that the solution to the change I seek isn’t more exclusion. It’s more inclusion, more integration, more diversity, and a more forgiving attitude.
I also speak from a place of my understanding and my relationship with the craft, the divinities, and traditions I work with, that I have personal experience and insights in. It is my understanding that what I share are ideas, concepts, and methodologies divinely intended for anyone, availed so that literally anyone can do as they need to do with it to advance themselves.
From my work, my perspective is that much of these occult technologies are not fundamentally occult because they are intended to be concealed from the public or even exclusively reserved for certain groups. Rather, it’s occult because we humans, we ourselves made it that way (because we’re idiots and assholes). So the work I choose to share isn’t occult because of the nature of the work; it’s “occult” because we as individuals haven’t taken off our blindfolds or haven’t actively chosen to do the work. So I choose to give access and then hope you’ll in turn choose for yourself to do the work.
Is someone who is not Chinese or Taoist seeking to master traditional Chinese or Taoist craft never going to be as powerful or masterful as one who is by some measure of genetics Chinese? The notion doesn’t even make any objective, analytical sense. The notion is tied to ego and discrimination, which only weakens the abilities of the practitioner who buys into such a notion.
I think perhaps to understand the nuances and intricacies of a particular tradition, it’s a lot easier to grasp certain culture-specific concepts when you’re born into that culture, so if you’re not born into that culture or you’re part of a diaspora that has become distant and alienated from your birth culture for too long, then you may have more hurdles to overcome. And that’s a limitation only if you permit it to be your limitation.
I would also like to add that the specifically named divinities I go to concerted lengths to introduce, based on my working and cultivation with these divinities, are archetypal forces sourced from a place of inclusion, who–again based on my working and cultivation–are divinities who have authorized unfettered and equal access, who don’t set up conditional parameters, but rather, will appear by invocation or evocation to anyone whose heart is sincere, who are not so much worried about being misappropriated and much more worried about your personal wellbeing.
So if you’ve found resonance or success with any nugget piece of my culture-specific practice that I’ve taken the initiative to share, please in turn feel free to share alike with others, to work with it openly and unabashedly, to develop your own level and quality of understanding that you are then able to teach your path to others, an integrative path that may be a piecemeal of what I shared, and please feel free to adopt creative, personalized ways of integrating those nuggets with what you’ve already built and cultivated for yourself.