Ask Angus 25: Occult Knowledge, from the Ends of the Earth!

Tehachapi: Where, exactly is “The ends of the Earth”?

Dear Tehachapi:

MAN folks get esoteric in Winter.

Well, there are many different coats we can try on here. Being as how the Earth is fairly globular in shape, finding its ends can be a tad iffy.

  • On the maps I grew up with, the good ‘ol U.S.of A. was always smack dab in the middle, with Europe and Russia (part 1) off to the right and Russia (part 2) and the Far East off to our, um, West. If the Ends were opposite America, that would put them at the margin of the map, usually around Mongolia.
  • If we are speaking Chronologically then the newest parts of the Earth would be the ends, as the Earth verrrry slowly turns itself inside out. Try the crust being thrust out of the Marianna Trench in the Atlantic for that. Not very romantic though.
And then I’ll take a Selfie and post it to your Timeline.
  • If mountains are more your speed (and on a globe the pointy bits could be considered ends), try Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain. That depends on your definition though. Hawai’i is taller than Everest, but almost all of it is underwater. If you measure from the center of the Earth, then the Andes are taller than either the Himalayas or the Hawaiians, because the Earth bulges considerably around its middle. (And not just during the Winter holidays.)
  • The Arctic & Antartic regions have some claim to the mantle, but thats just a cultural/biome thing: Cincinnati may be the ends of the Earth if you ask a Puffin.

    No more ‘waxing gibbous’. Eclipse THIS, mofos!
  • For you poetic types, anything West would do. Racing eternally after the setting sun as each day approaches its END in the metaphorically watery West, equipped with an epic longing and a sackful of heaving sighs. All very Rrrrromantic and drippy and useless and whatever.
  • BUT, if you want to find the most remote place in Earth’s jurisdiction, The very farthest we hu-mans have traveled, the place responsible for any and all life on the planet, and what will eventually cause the earth’s physical destruction, then we need look no further than ‘up’:

The end of the Earth is our Moon.


Another type of Full Moon.

Ruth: Does the word “occult” still apply? How much of the Craft is still hidden at this point?

Ah, Modern Times. In my day a “Spoiler” was the waysupercool (pronounced “useless”) thing on the back of sports cars. Now-a-days it refers to the tendency of humans to give away the secrets of anything they encounter, instantly, with no malice aforethought, and indeed no aforethought whatsoever.

All it takes is one disgruntled initiate to spill the beans and suddenly your whole Trad has a bad Yelp review. It’s really hard to be a waysupercool secret society with spookyscary initiation rites when your novices keep showing up for their degree ceremonies armed with video cameras on their phones.

And that’s a shame. The ‘leveling up’ in a Tradition was more than a right of passage and a pat on the back. It was the entrance into an inner sanctum, a hidden position of privilege because now the Adept was in posession of knowledge that had been denied them earlier. That is a very powerful tool for any Tradition to bestow, and the binding forces amongst those ‘in the know’ are strong and long-lasting.

The Keeping of the Secrets is the glue that keeps these kinds of groups bound together.

But thanks to our amazing technotoys everybody and their LOLcat is a reporter/publisher/journalist/author. And so the secrets keep. leaking. out.

You are not qualified to view this photo. Look away now, please.

But there is something else at work here, dear Ruth. “Occult” means “Knowledge of the Hidden” and this does not always mean a Society with the ways and means of the paranormal. It can also refer to the journey of a Solitary.

A lot of the fun of becoming a pagan is realizing that there are no rules. You decide what is right for you, where your parameters are, which avenues you will go down and which trails you will blaze. You uncover your religion and construct a practice, a liturgy, a pantheon and a system that resonates fully and completely with yourself. That journey of discovery, to me, is also very much within the definition of “Occult”.

Deep, Mysitcal, rites…….in fact, don’t look at this photo either.

It’s a lot of work to do this – as much work as it takes to advance with a defined Tradition, but a whole lot less than a “revealed” religion where the questions have all been answered and if you need to know something you just look it up in the book.

Finally, Ruth, a caveat: You ask how much of the Craft is still hidden. I will acknowledge that it is very much possible that much of the Craft is STILL a secret that is known to only a few Adept Magickians.

Because, after all, what is understood need not be discussed. (*wink)

~Ask Angus

Angus McMahan


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(Pics from:,, Kagaya,, Authors collection {final 2})


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