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Occulture: Exploring The Left and Right Hand Paths Through The Lens of Star Wars

Updated: May 14, 2023




The philosophies of the left-hand path and the right-hand path have been debated among occult practitioners for decades. These two paths represent fundamentally different approaches to spirituality and Magick. While the right-hand path seeks to achieve spiritual enlightenment through selfless actions and obedience to higher powers, the left-hand path embraces individualism, self-deification, and the pursuit of power.

The right hand path, as presented in various mystic and religious philosophies such as New Age spirituality, Christianity, Wicca, and Buddhism, emphasizes the attainment of spiritual enlightenment and the surrender of the individual ego to a higher power. The right hand path is often associated with the practice of “White Magick”, which involves the use of spiritual practices to achieve inner peace and harmony with the universe, and service to others. The goal of the right hand path is to attain a state of transcendence and unity with the divine, while also serving mankind.

In contrast, the Left Hand Path, as described by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible, embraces individualism, self-gratification, and self-deification. This path is often associated with Luciferianism, Satanism, and Chaos Magick, which emphasizes the use of willpower and personal desire to achieve one's goals. The Sith also embrace individualism and the pursuit of power, with characters like Darth Bane and Sidious seeking to dominate and control the galaxy.

Interestingly, the philosophies of the Sith and the Jedi from the Star Wars franchise align quite neatly with these two paths, and in fact the Star Wars universe is packed full of Occultism in general. In Star Wars The Sith are the embodiment of the left-hand path, seeking power, dominance, and individualism above all else. Meanwhile, the Jedi embody the right-hand path, focusing on selflessness, service, and obedience to the Force.

Most Schools of Occultism recognize that the universe is made up of two opposing forces: light and dark, creation and destruction Order and Chaos. In the field of occultism, these forces are often personified as the Left Hand and Right Hand Paths. In Kabalistic tradition these paths are known as The Pillar of Mercy, and the pillar of severity. Or it could also be argued that the Right Hand Path is exemplified by the Tree of life itself, whereas the Left Hand Path is embodied by The Qlipoth or “The Tree of Death” However reliable sources on The Qlipoth are virtually non existent.

In Star Wars, these forces are embodied in the light and Dark sides of The Force, and The Force itself is something very akin to the Tao.

But the reality is not so black and white. Both paths have their strengths and weaknesses, and neither can fully grasp the true nature of the Force. As Peter J. Carroll writes in Liber Null, "The sorcerer must regard the universe as a collection of interrelated processes, not as a collection of things." This means that both paths are simply different ways of understanding and interacting with the universe.

In Star Wars, the concept of the Grey Jedi takes this idea further, as characters like Qui Gon Jinn and Ahsoka Tano embrace both the light and dark sides of the Force. The Grey Jedi recognize that the Force is not inherently good or evil, but simply a natural energy that can be used for either purpose. They seek to maintain balance by embracing both aspects of the Force and rejecting the dogmatic teachings of the Jedi and Sith.

In the real world, mystics and occult practitioners must also strive to find a balance between the left and right hand paths in order to attain true power and enlightenment. The concept of the "grey magician" is similar to the Grey Jedi in that they utilize both "White" and "Black" Magick in order to achieve their goals. Similarly, Peter J. Carroll's concept of Chaos Magick emphasizes the use of individual will and the manipulation of reality in order to achieve one's goals, rejecting dogmatic teachings and seeking to find their own path by experimenting with various techniques and philosophies.

After many years of experimentation along both of these paths I have come to the conclusion that in order to truly know the secrets of the universe and the occult, one must embrace both the light and dark aspects of reality and of "The Force," and strive to find balance between these seemingly opposing energies. The Grey Jedi and Grey Magician both recognize that the universe is made up of opposing forces and seek to maintain balance by embracing both aspects. As the character of the Bendu from Star Wars Rebels says, "I am the one in the middle, the Bendu. Balance is what I seek." or, as Anakin Skywalker said during his descent into the dark side “From my point of view the Jedi are evil!”. But then again.. Only Sith deal in absolutes.

Ultimately, the left and right hand paths, as well as the philosophies of the Sith and Jedi, are all valid approaches to spirituality and mysticism in fiction and reality, They are simply different ways of understanding and interacting with the universe. Neither path is inherently “good” or “evil”, For example "Service to others" becomes egoic platitude when you cant even pay your own bills or take care of your self. Like wise, the concept of self deification has lead to an army of "left hand path" edge lords playing thinking that they have mastered reality whilst living in their moms basement. True power lies in embracing both aspects of reality, and from taking personal responsibility for the state of your own life and circumstances.

As we occultists seek to understand the mysteries of the universe, let us take a more wholistic approach and seek balance within in “The Force”.



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