Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Should you do that Magical Thing that you're Afraid to do?

When would-be magicians come to me and ask questions, a good percentage of them are about whether or not they should begin conjuring spirits, because it might be dangerous.
  • Will I get possessed?
  • Will I or members of my family get hurt?
  • Is it dangerous?
  • What if they're lying?
  • What if they won't leave and turn your house into Poltergeist?
  • If you really work with demons of the Lemegeton's Goetia, do you become one of their Legion members when you die?
The last one is for real, by the way. Dude had heard it from the guy who was teaching him conjure magic. Heh. I mean, even if that does happen, it wouldn't be all that bad. But I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.

All these are aspects of fear in the magician of the consequences of their actions. They're afraid that it might not work, or worse, that it might work, and they have limited information on magic and its consequences because it's magic, occult, hidden wisdom. It's not like a computer program that you can break down into logical lines of if-then-else statements with all the possible results documented and a start and a stop where it isn't still doing stuff when you're done.

So yea, it's a valid fear. The unknown. But should that stop you?

Fuck no.

Doing things you're afraid of with magic is how you learn to become a good magician, not just some well-studied book-quoting intelligent Magus Psittacus.

Growth

Doing magic can create personal, financial, emotional, and spiritual growth. We grow the most when we are stretched beyond our comfort levels. Magic does that, in a healthy way most of the time, although you might not think it's all that great at the time. Ask the Heptameron's planetary angels of the Sun to help your side project replace your full time job, and bam, your contract is terminated for budgetary reasons, and you have all day to develop your side business, and the motivational financial understanding that you'd damned well better.

And it works.

You can work with spirits that bring peace between people from the Lemegeton's Goetia, and find yourself becoming a peace-maker yourself, first within yourself, and then with you and others, and then with people you know and haven't met yet. The journey can be uncomfortable as you grow, but the things that alter in your life are extraordinary.

Experience

You'll never know anything well in magic when you're inexperienced. You won't understand things like planetary hours, and what happens when you miss it and do it anyway. Or if it even matters for this type of ritual. You won't understand the power that grows between you and the spirits that you work with the most, or what types of unlisted offerings this spirit or that will enjoy by the way they smell when they walk in the temple.

You'll miss all the in-jokes blatant references that make no sense without having stood in or before a circle and spoke to the forces of Nature and the Heavens above. Our predecessors had a sound sense of humor and nuance in their descriptions of paraphernalia, vestments and of course, the spirits themselves. 

Power, Wisdom, all that Jazz

As you do magic, you gain influence over yourself and others and the things that make up the warp and weft of your daily experienced lives. Sometimes a great deal of influence, other times not so much. You'll know what happens when you aren't looking, even if it's miles away. You'll understand how things are called into being, manifest, and fade according to their designed intent. You'll know where people are coming from, literally and figuratively. You'll gradually start to think Trithemius' puns aren't that bad. All the things Magic is supposed to do, all the reasons you want to do a thing you're afraid to do, they all happen, in degrees and stages, as you go through the metamorphosis into the Magus you were born to be.

But Seriously, What if ...?

But those fears, of getting possessed, haunted, causing unintended side effects, and all that though, what about them. Could any of those things happen?

Well, I mean I guess they could, and probably will, but it's not that bad being possessed, and hauntings are cool, and sometimes some family members are askin' for it anyway. Most magic is temporary, but if it's not, all magical systems come with ways out. There are more banishing rituals, cleansing rites, offerings to make, spirits to call on for aid, and ways to undo what you did than you can think. Learn one of them.

And this works because of a basic axiom: 

THERE IS NOTHING THAT YOU CAN FUCK UP WITH MAGIC THAT YOU CANNOT FIX WITH MAGIC.

But take some basic simple steps. At a minimum, specify in every conjuration that no harm befalls anyone, or yourself and your loved ones. It's in the script of most of the conjurations, I think. Take the obvious precautions when you're doing the ritual the first time.

Long term, get you a familiar or HGA or Supernatural Assistant using one of the many rites in the PGM, Dehn's Book of Abramelin, Crowley's Samekh, Agrippa's Good Genius, and at the start of the rite have them provide the spiritual food to the spirits in attendance, and send them as an emissary to make clear the way between you and the spirit.

Have a Banishing Ritual present just in case.

Afterwards, watch for things to happen in relation to your request or the spirit's description. 

Thank it with something appropriate. Make a new friend, or thank it and just send it on its way.

Take notes.

And realize that honestly, it was silly to be afraid the whole time.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

The City of the Pyramids

Actual Photo of Bleeding Edge 19th Century Occultists, Circa 1902, Colorized
There's a reason Aleister Crowley and the Theosophical peers of his day looked around at the world in which we live and breathe, and dreamed of a council of wise adepts looking down on the lot of us as a species, with a plan in mind, and some tools in hand, and Words that might change the outcome, for the better.

It's because they were hanging out with the cutting edge occultists of their time.

And saw, that point in fact, the cutting edge occultists of their times were stupid. Stupid stupid heads, with little grace, ingenuity, inspiration, charisma, or talent. Leadbetter and his pedophilia, Blavatsky and her letters from Koot Hoomie that materialized in her closet, in her own handwriting, Gurdjieff and his blatant frauderies, Mathers running off to Paris to live off his wife's prostitution (nothing wrong with prostitution, but the guy could have tried to get a job), Westcott's buffoonery, Bennett's hippie communism (which was also ok), Waite's incredibly boring ways to talk about things he didn't understand ...

And while Crowley had plenty of faults he didn't care to see, he also knew how stupid he was, referring to himself as "the Imp Crowley."

These were cutting edge magicians, the bleeding edge of their day.

Greedy self-important folk, mostly, renowned for being frauds, liars, thieves, and scoundrels. And yet, Rosicrucianism was supposed to be a spiritual path that perfected the soul, brought wisdom, and healed the world through the alchemical marriage.

Well, OBVIOUSLY NOT THESE GUYS...

So there had to be someone up higher on the foodchain, who had done the magick, and succeeded, and attained the wisdom, and so forth and so on, right?

Thus ... the Secret Chiefs, who hang out in the City of Pyramids being dust and watching over the rest of us little monkeys and imps. They must exist, otherwise ... what?

Me, I'm not sold on their existence. I did some magick a few years ago to get into that space, and it was a lot like visiting Atlantis in a guided meditation when I was 16 after reading too much Cayce and Dion Fortune, and Crowley's Moon Child. Interesting imagery, completely catered to my expectations, and producing no verifiable information that would make me think it was anything more than confirmation bias. I didn't leave knowing anything I didn't know going in.

Harper and I have been doing a lot of conjurations the last few weeks that have been compeltely different. I have 14 years of actual magical experience with spirits that provide info I couldn't know, that effect change practically and pragmatically in the material world, that have an existence outside of my imagination.

So I'm done with them.

I'm a flawed person, doing my own best to make the world a better place, for magicians first, because then we can pass that on for others. I say things other people won't say, because to them Silence is safer, and to keep from hurting others. I get that, I spent most of my early days hiding behind my pseudonym because I didn't want to bear the repercussions that come from being honest.

I got over it.

I talk about what I consider unrighteous action, fundamental juvenility that goes on behind closed doors, and the blatant misrepresentation of fact within the OTO leadership. What are they going to do, kick me out? Yes, that's what they did. Woooooo. I talk about the abuse of Peter Gray's writings, and his unwillingness to address that publicly, because I think that needs to be done. What's going to happen? People who worship him as the savior of British Occultism aren't going to like me? Woooooo.

Everyone in the OTO knows that I care about the Order, how it behaves, and my Oaths. Lots of 'em think I do it all wrong, and even more think I should keep it quiet. But for every dozen hateful despisers of my techniques, there is at least one person who has come to me privately, thanking me, asking what they should do, who to contact within the Order to talk about things, tapping into the courage to stand up and say, no, this is wrong. I send them to the ombudsman, their fellow victims, the women fighting for them within the Order who have been through this for years and are striving to make a change.

For all few thousand Scarlet Imprint fans on the planet, maybe half a dozen people have contacted me to say something to the effect of "finally, someone said it." Hopefully more people will say it, that yea, the BDSM kink thing is powerful, but it's not for everyone, and it can be easily manipulated to remove authority by bad people with ill intentions, and becoming an adolescent fantasy of a sex slave is not the only path to power. Witches weren't powerful because they went to the dungeons. They were incarcerated, tortured, and punished for having power that existed long before they were torn apart and put back together by sexually repressed men who can't see women as people.

I've fallen into the trap of my own imagination when it comes to what I say publicly. I think everyone knows me, knows my heart, has read my thoughtful explorations of things over the last few years, and knows that I'm not just a drunken idiot with a keyboard and a bottle of bourbon, and too much time on my hands.

So I'm toning down the bombastic rhetoric.

I'll take the time to explain what I'm concerned about, in small words, in reasonable ways. Because too many people see the vitriol and toss it out, without thinking about why I am saying these things.

So back to the Secret Chiefs. They had to exist, because people were obviously flawed, and yet they were also magicians. And yet, they don't.

We're in charge of ourselves, our actions, and the consequences. Our evolution. Our responses, our love, and our passion, and our anger. It's us. We are the Chiefs.

Go be a Chief, and I'll keep doing it too. Judge, jury, and the occasional bombast, with or without "all the facts" or the "full understanding" of the situation, with or without "both sides of the story." You hurt my brothers or sisters, you bring harm, I'm going to do something about it, because for some reason I have that impact on people.

And a stable full of spirits.

Lights on the sepulchres, in the City of Pyramids.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ye Olde Magic Shoppe - Soror Mimm

Harper Feist and Soror Mimm at the
Magickal Women Conference in London, 2019
Soror Mimm's got my support, and her services can be found at the following link:

http://store.yeoldemagicshoppe.com/index.php/product-category/services/

While I gotta say, this woman is one of the brattiest princesses I've ever met, she's an amazing magician, a hilarious dinner conversationalist, and not too shabby when it comes to the magick side of things. I got to hang out with her in London at the Magickal Women Conference, where she presented Women of the Golden Dawn, Past, Present, and Future.

We met, and I was like, dude, do I even know you? And then she started to walk away, and I was all, WAIT! YOU'RE SOROR MIMM! She's still mad at me about that one. Sigh.

She's been giving me shit for years, one of the ear marks of someone who's got courage, wit, and charm. It was such a pleasure to meet her in the flesh. Lovely, charming, and carrying a deadly wit she's not afraid to use.

Turns out she's an accomplished magician in spite of her affiliation with the Golden Dawn, and is offering magical products and services, including readings, herbal consultations, coaching in ceremonial magick and witchcraft, and various other implements and wyrdings.

She's one of the few people I'd trust with providing goods and services, and honestly the only GD member I'd take seriously in this kind of endeavor.

For more information, her semi-official bio reads something like:

Soror Mimm is an initiate in the Golden Dawn tradition in the Temple of Thoth Amen-Ra, an independent Golden DawnTemple located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains of Denver, Colorado. She is also the Praemonstator of her Temple and is a Chief of her order. She is the owner and operator of Ye Olde Magic Shoppe where she teaches a variety of classes and workshops on magical herbalism, witchcraft, and ceremonial magic and is the owner of Peacock Publishing, an independent publisher of esoteric and occult subjects.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Practical Occult Jewelery - Alison Chicosky

Alison and I met and hit it off in the old days, when Crucible was still a thing. Feels like we talked all night the first time we met, about everything from ascension through the spheres to Betz and the GMP.

She's continued to grow in her practice and I'd even dare say power as she's accomplished results that appear downright miraculous in her personal work. 

She's put together a service that includes Key of Solomon Talismans, Philacteries, and I understand she's going to be releasing several other traditional grimoiric tools, and items from the Greek Magical Papyri. She is one of the best friends, supports, and allies to have, if you're lucky enough to get to know her. I'd keep her to myself if I wasn't actually trying to help you people have a better world to live in.

Her work can be found at Practical Occult Jewelry on Facebook.

Below are some more samples of her works and wares. I can't encourage you enough to reach out and get her working for you, either on a service level, or through the materials she hand cuts, engraves, and consecrates. the stories I've heard from her clients about how she's changed their lives are amazing.





Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Rufus Opus Guide to Growing a Pair

"Grow a pair" is a common euphemism in my culture for "get some balls,*" which in turn is yet another euphemism for "stand up for yourself, have courage, be confident, and know that if you get beat down and bloodied, fired, left for someone else, or otherwise harmed verbally, emotionally, or physically, it will have been because you stood for something you think matters."

And hey, worst thing they can do is hurt you mercilessly until they kill you. It'll suck, and then it will be over. Big deal, don't be a crybaby. Everyone gets out in the end.

Grow a pair.

But ... how does one do that?

Most of my favorite magicians are scared of people, attention, and fame.

The rest are ballsy, drive the attention they get on purpose, and are actually famous, and they're ok with that. They figured out the secret.**

It's a combination of risk-taking, and trust-in-outcome, specifically a positive one.

Taking risks is hard for a lot of people. Usually they have been abused, molested, bullied, and cow-towed into believing that if they raise their hand it will be chopped off, if they stand up, they will be shot down, in conversation, in social circles, in their careers, so they take the safer path and attempt to manipulate their personal outcomes as much as possible without rocking the boat. I'd say they were great at Martial discipline, because they find the boundaries early, and never, ever cross them, working within the systems and processes to accomplish their aims, or get as close to them as possible.

If that makes you happy enough, good for you. You don't need a pair.

But sooner or later, I always got sick of that shit. I mean, I tried for a long time to fit in, and then I had enough, and did the Big Quit at a job, and found out that not only was my Manager a passive aggressive conformist, but also that he had zero impact on the rest of my life. Didn't need him as a reference, there were plenty of other people there who liked me and thought I did good, because I did good. Fuck him. I never thought about him again, after months of abuse and degrading comments, I never thought about him again for the rest of my life.

The rest of my life.

See, that's the thing, the rest of your life.

When we get scared to say something, it's because we're afraid in the place we're at to say something because we might lose that part of our lives. But that's bullshit. To keep silent (tacere), we have to forget momentarily that telling this friend of many years that they are being a dickhead is no big deal, simply because we have and will continue to have more friends, who will be better. We have to make ourselves forget that we can get another job. We have to actively repress the fact that we will have love, appreciation, and sex again should this relationship fail. Life isn't limited to the thing you're stressing about.
"Your life, your experience of existence is never tied to the Now."
Step 1: Remember Life is Bigger. It's bigger than this right-now-thing you're dealing with, and your jobs, your friends, your relationship, even your children and parents will go the fuck away and you'll somehow end up with others in their place that are better. Your life, your experience of existence is never tied to the Now.

So when you realize this, you aren't so scared of pissing off the person in front of you. The person in "power" at a company or organization. Your lover, boss, friend, body master, Bishop, co-worker, spouse, kid that you brought into this world who you need to love and protect, you aren't scared of pissing them off anymore.

Not when you have something worth saying, about what's right.

Once you're past that point, where you realize that principles matter, you matter, and what you intend to do matters, and the world can take it or leave it without robbing you of joy and wealth and peace and happiness forever, you're free from your obligation to them. You're free to choose whether or not you want to do a thing regardless of the consequences, because you'll just handle them. That's what we do, we handle it. Move on, build more, continue. We don't die til we're dead, so we can make choices that might seem risky to the safeness of conformity.
"Take these risks, and then watch what happens."
Step 2: Take Risks. When you're starting out, take some small risks. Talk back to your employer, post your actual opinion about a stupid post on the internet by a friend, tell the truth, mention names and dates and events that people who are respected in your community actually did shitty things. Take these risks, and then watch what happens. Turns out, there's nothing worse than what you put up with while keeping your head down.

In this process, you'll find that sometimes, rarely, but sometimes you are wrong. Growing a pair also means that you recognize when you're wrong, own it, and apologize. And then move on. No one has to forgive you, but to stand up for what is right, you must be willing to acknowledge when you're wrong, so that you can change, and become right. Be strong in your pursuit of righteousness. Be willing to change.

After a couple of smaller risks, you'll begin to notice that it's not that bad. Not nearly as bad as you thought it might be. Standing up for yourself, you'll begin to notice that you have both positive and negative impacts on your life, the circles of your family, your society, and your career that you move through and within. As with any skill, you'll find yourself getting better at it, the more you do it. In no time at all, you'll begin to feel a thing inside you, growing, and affirming itself with your every choice.
"you're going to start understanding how this whole thing works, this life we lead."
Step 3: Embrace the Confidence. As you do the things that change your life, watch how it changes, and learn how to change it better, you're going to start understanding how this whole thing works, this life we lead. You'll know when you're right, and you'll know when you can advance your aims and objectives with a simple couple of words, a conversation in the hall, and you'll begin to find that you know what you're doing, pretty much, especially compared to everyone else. Embrace that feeling of righteousness when it pops up, accept that hey, actually, you're really good at living your life the way you see fit.

And again, be willing to be wrong and correct yourself. Shit happens, and life goes on. Saying you're sorry only makes you look strong, and willing to do better.

I won't pretend there's three simple steps to becoming a ballsy person, regardless of gender. This shit is hard, for sure, but these things taught me that I am a thing, a force of nature, a person whose words change lives, especially my own. These are the Hermetic teachings that I think mattered more to me in my progress than anything else.

We are not invisible. We are not "don't matter" individuals. We breathe, we eat, we think, we progress. We change the world daily.

We matter.

* For the purposes of this post, we are ignoring the blatant sexism underlying these euphemisms, and focusing on the intent which applies to everyone across the gender spectrum. When "balls" become a cultural icon that is disconnected from the men born with them, the patriarchy will be universally eviscerated as all people claim "balls" and that intent of being courageous behind the word. Cajones. Virility, the insertion of life upon the earth. Women, men, girls, boys, we can all "have balls" in the cultural sense, do what we think is right, stand for ourselves, own it, mean it, and take the consequences with our heads held high.

** I think the best magicians are the latch-key kids, who were abandoned, ignored by their dads and moms, who figured out mostly in a vacuum how the world works and how to feed ourselves, and ended up doing magick because we found out unseen forces react to words and intent, and that regardless of whether we are seen, we have power.

     Just an opinion.