My Accidental Motto

[Warning: This gets awfully personal.]

When I chose the name Satyr Magos, it was as a literary convention.  The name was a sort of joke, a ribald recognition of the sensuality which separates me from so many people who call themselves “magicians”.  It was a subtle warning that there was going to be some serious talk about sex and drugs on this blog, in addition to and as a part of the magic (and while there hasn’t been as much of that as I originally intended, there has been enough and there will be more).  It was an excuse to draw a mythic caricature of myself.

I knew that it was bad Greek, even though I hadn’t studied any Greek yet.  It didn’t matter. I already had two (secret) magical names—one I took at the age of 16 (and later made several unsuccessful attempts to get rid of), and one that I took upon my initiation—and while I intended to take a magical (and public) motto in the Lodge style upon my next initiation, I planned on dabbling a lot with languages and ideas and ceremonial magic before doing so.  Rendered into actual Attic Greek, Satyr Magos becomes σάτυρος ὀ μάγος (saturos ho magos), which can be translated as “the satyr is a magician” or “the magician is a satyr” with approximately equal accuracy. 

The definition of μάγος was just as sketchy in ancient Greek as “magician” or “sorcerer” (both of which are valid translations are in modern English) and, to the best of my ability to determine (albeit through the limited sources so far available to me), covers approximately the same range of activities and specialties.  The most noteworthy difference is that, at least according to Pope’s essay in Witchcraft and Magic of Europe: Ancient Greece and Rome, the word μάγος bore strong connotations of services for sale.  And does anybody else remember what it means to be a satyr?

Maybe I just didn’t think it through. I have been blogging under the name Satyr Magos for less than six months, but it’s already seeping into my meatspace identity—both magically and in my “mortal” life.  Although I’m not going back to partying like I did a decade ago, I’m feeling a powerful urge to escalate some from where I’m at now, and I’m absolutely running out of patience with people who disapprove of the way I do things now.  While I have practiced the socially expected form of serial monogamy for my entire previous adult life, I find I simply have no patience for the dynamics and assumptions it entails.  My sense of humor is getting more ribald, and a little bit more cruel.  My libido—for both men and women—is through the roof … and my loves and lusts are well reciprocated.  When I tried invoking the sexless servants of the God of Abraham, I didn’t run into any of the trouble I expected, but I was completely short-circuited physically (TW: semi-graphic contents which may be particularly upsetting to people who know me IRL).  Spirits have started making some pretty wild demands of me that I’m still not sure how to process, much less how to talk about without sounding even crazier than I already do.  And I have been feeling an urge to go into business, magically speaking, which I had never felt before taking the “name”.

By and large, I’m comfortable with these changes.  Many of them are also in line with the things I have been  working on deliberately, and/or are also in line with the Name I took at my last initiation.  Some of them may just be the product of advancing age and sharpening radicalism.  Some of them are freaking me the fuck out, but that’s part of transformative magic.  And that, more than anything else, is what I’m in this game for.

So it seems I have undergone a dedication without realizing it, and took a motto almost by accident.  Well, so be it.  Σάτυρος ὀ Μάγος it is, at least until I’ve worked my way through this stage of life.  But, please: no one address me as Frater S.M.?  I’d take it as a kindness.

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1 Comment

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One response to “My Accidental Motto

  1. You know what they say, names have power. 🙂

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