I can’t say all writing does this for me, but I’ve had a few experiences in my life where I’ve felt that reading the books of a given author has put me in touch with that author directly, in a way that I’d think of as spiritual transmission of sorts. It’s actually happened with four different authors, although I’ve only actually met one of those authors in the flesh.
The first author it ever happened with was William S. Burroughs. He was dead by the time I read his books, but reading his books put me in touch with the Old Man on the Mountain. Burroughs was there in the text, ready to come forth if the right person read his works. It’s no surprise to me that his work has influenced my own approaches to magic, both in terms of textual magic and design and in other forms of practical magic. Even though I never met him in person, my encounter with him via text was one I’ve never forgotten. He is always there, ready to be found in his writing.
The second author and the only one I’ve ever met is Storm Constantine. I read her Wraeththu series and while it was a fantasy series, it was one that nonetheless felt channeled. My encounter with the spirit of Thiede, who became a permanent part of my pantheon was a powerful one, and subsequent books in the series have continued to embody that. But I also got a sense of Storm the writer and when I contacted her via email there was an immediate connection between us that is sustained to this day in the work we do together via Immanion Press. It’s fair to say that Storm is one of those people I needed to meet in order to move forward with my calling and spiritual process.
William G. Gray is another author who’s spirit I’ve encountered via his books. It’s fair to say that there has been something of a spiritual transmission, at least in terms of how I approach the process of magic. Gray, in his own writing, is very systematic in his description of magical processes and I’ve felt his presence as I’ve read the books. In discussions with several people who actually knew him, I’ve described his presence and they’ve indicated it was an accurate description of him. I don’t feel his presence as much now, because I think I’ve gotten the gist of what he wanted me to know via his writing, but as with Burroughs I can still sense his presence when I read his works.
The last author is one I’ve recently started reading, and I’m not sure if it’s so much a spiritual transmission from him or just the fact that I can pick up something of William Gray’s influence in the writing. I haven’t met R. J. Stewart at this point, but when I read his writing I feel a sense of familiarity with it, and with the systematic descriptions that he provides, and it turns out that at one time he did study under Gray. So with this one I’m less certain as to whether its really a spiritual transmission or just the fact that there is some resonance in the writing that reminds me of the spirit of an author I have encountered.
I’ve met many other occult writers and read their books and I’ve gotten a lot from their works, but this kind of intimate connection is something that has been rare for me to experience. Have any of you had such experiences?