Occult means “knowledge of the hidden” I understand this in the context of understanding non-verbal communication and its importance as data. Data injects nuance. The ability to integrate all of the discernible data and subtelty into observation and conclusion and then apply informed will tempered by context and self awareness to our interactions and presentation to shape, inspire, or intimidate people around you is… magic, spelled with a k if you wish.
Your personal style, space, and aesthetic represents how you want others to perceive and react to you. It is a form of non-verbal communication. Witches, Queers, and Satanists often use their personal style to convey power and confidence (even if it is a bluff) and ward off the unworthy or wasteful from interaction. In the case of many like myself, this is because we are compelled to conserve energy or social currency. Social interaction for the neuro-diverse, or those with abuse and trauma in our background is by necessity and emotional development…different.
However, our resultant talents are absolutely necessary for progression of the entire social collective dialog and culture. We have a heightened ability to combine words, actions, body language, symbols, and style presentation into total scene for a more comprehensive insight. For instance, we inject a healthy wariness and skepticism regarding the intentions and motivations of people that helps keep monsters who operate solely within the realm of immediate individual self interest from getting elected as president of the United States of America.
Or that’s what we provide when we aren’t being spread thin simply defending our right to express ourselves the way we are developmentally and emotionally compelled to.
Religion and the Occult are expressions of art, especially if you remove subscription to superstition from the equation while still allowing yourself to appreciate and honor the historical context of superstitions and stories to humanity. Like art, religion cannot exist without culture. Religions are formed when a group (culture) of people seek to make sense of themselves and the world around them through symbols, aesthetics, and stories (art) and then form communities in which to explore meaning, relationships, and identity outside of base level existence and survival. In this way art, ritual, and religion (much to the chagrin of capital-A atheists) is intrinsic to human culture and cooperative species evolution because they serve the same needs regarding community building and social cohesion.
Our logical evolutionary and technological conclusion as a cooperative species is towards a more collective consciousness. Our challenge is to evolve toward this goal without homogenizing the individual components and experiences that provide diversity, which is as important to social justice and progress as it is to a gene pool. In the grand scale of things-working-as-intended irrelevant or harmful ideas and practices are discarded or inactivated like genes that no longer serve a purpose. Philosophies and religions long discarded or dismissed can and should be reactivated and updated when they contain insights or approaches that inject healthy informed skepticism and resistance into the discussion.
Many of us contextualize our lives much more strongly around the collective knowledge, archetypes and stories of humanity than most. We are more adept at non-verbal communication and observing the patterns, relationships, and cycles in human behavior on both individual and community scales. Those of us with this talent seek epiphany by analyzing our own tendencies towards apophenia . We extricate our more anecdotal and hyperbolic revelations or prophesies and explore the darker paths of paranoia, fear, lonliness, and hatred in an endless effort to understand why people hurt and disappoint each other and what adversity teaches us about strength, resolve, and progress.