Friday, July 31, 2009

Which finger holds the power of the universe?*

Tools, tools, tools. Simple props or powerful talismans? Initiatory gateways to higher power, or a crutch for the weak? Empowerment or a trap?

To me it's obvious. Magical tools have power. If they didn't, then no one could buy a talisman from a magician and have the kinds of effects they get from a Astrological Renaissance Talisman made to grimoiric specifications or a mojo bag from the local root doctor. We learn in Agrippa of the planetary and elemental traits of things in nature and things refined by mankind. Stuff is symbolic of other stuff, and when combined with similar symbolic stuff in the right proportions, the stuff becomes something more than just the sum of the parts. I've seen it, and at the very least you've heard about it.

At the same time, the magician making the tools is going through a transformation. The making, acquiring, and consecration of the tool are all reflective of an invisible process that is going on in the magician's sphere, in the macrocosm above that they represent. Joe got a Boline, Scott is making his Elemental Weapons, and Jason carries his Phurba. All of these items are symbolic of a change in the magician in question, and indicate a process they have gone through, or are going through.

I call the time you are making or consecrating a tool an initiation. I think once the tool has been made, the transformation in the magician is going to be with them regardless of whether they happen to have the symbol of that change with them or not. At the same time, a ritual done with the tool will be more powerful than one done with a substitute, or one performed relying only on the attunement of the magician's sphere.

Practically speaking, it could be the Magician that has the power, or it could be the tool that has the power, but I suspect it's the tool empowering the Magician who also empowers the tool. Synergy. Regardless, it seems that rituals performed with tools have stronger results.

I believe that when it comes to making rapid changes to the physical realm by influencing the spiritual substrate, it is best to be able to do a ritual with the appropriate tools. It is second best to be able to do the ritual with symbolic substitutes. Least preferred is to have to do the ritual without tools, relying only on the power of the Mind and the resonance of the Magician's tuned sphere.

(Yet Liber Samekh is performed entirely in the body of light. Just something to think about.)

The bottom line is that, while it's fun and educational to debate the function and even necessity of tools in a magician's repertoire, in practice I've found that sometimes I use the tools, and sometimes I don't.

* Whichever finger holds the power of the universe, goddamned straight it's a finger. Even if you don't need a physical tool to do your magic, your body is still an extension of the Mind, which is yet another tool in a box.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Review: The Planetary Magic Program

Don't you just hate it when you go to a lot of time and effort trying to set up a ritual, and then it turns out to be sort of ... lame? You've lit the incense, you've made the seals, you've drawn out the Circles with care, and you even said all the barbarous names using perfect Hellenic Greek inflections, and the spirits still don't show up and your results just plain suck.

I personally never ever ever have this happen. (Ok, maybe once or twice.) But why does this happen?

I think the only reason people's magic fails to provide the desired results is ignorance. The biggest source of ignorance is Astrological timing, because let's face it, it's really hard to learn everything you need to know about astrology in order to do the rituals the right way. It takes less than a day to be able to conjure an Angel of Venus, but it can take YEARS to find out how to chart the best time to do so.

And Astrology affects all your magic, in spite of what you might think. I know folks who claim that they don't believe in Astrological limitations to their magical effects, and they can claim up and down that their magic isn't affected by astrological malefic (or beneficial) influences. They're simply wrong. Every magician I know who went back and checked the astrological interpretations of their failed rituals (keeping a journal helps) has found something in the stars that explains their fucked up results. The real reason people claim immunity from Astrological influences is because Astrology is just really hard to learn.

Recently, Chris Warnock expanded and upgraded his already excellent Astrological Magic Course. Part of the upgrade included the release of the Planetary Magic Program, a really convenient program designed to find good astrological times to make planetary talismans.

Now, long-time readers of my blog know I'm really into Planetary Magic. When you get into the Hermetic foundational philosophy, when you dig into the historic roots of all that we practice today as MAGIC, you will find that to get the real power, the full impact of actual Magic, you have to incorporate the powers of the planetary spheres. The richest realm of imagery, talismans, and raw power of manifestation is found in Planetary Magic.

And it's a lot easier than people suspect. Our days of the week are still planetarily based, and today we have computers to do the astrological computations that unlock the best times to contact the spirits, intelligences, and angels of the planets. Demons too, if you're into that.

The Planetary Magic Program makes it even easier to perform the kinds of magic that I've been doing for the last couple of years. I've been waiting and hoping for something like this to hit the market. I mean, there's SolarFire out there if you A) have $350, B) have a computer science degree, and C) understand Astrology well enough to trudge your way through all the options and settings. SolarFire's an awesome program for the professional Astrologer, but not all magicians are interested in becoming full-time astrologers who can generate charts and talismans to sell to their clients to pay for the initial investment of $350.

So for the rest of us, the Planetary Magic Program provides a convenient, simple, and cost-effective tool for finding astrological elections. Its interface is easy to use and understand, it lets you write to a text file or print your list of elections, and you can narrow or expand your results by clicking on or off options. Chris recommends double-checking your results using some form of professional software, like, which I think runs on SolarFire software anyway. For creating talismans, he has a point, but for the kind of use we spirit conjurors will put it to, I don't think it's entirely necessary. Chris has given us the most useful program for finding good times to plan initiations, schedule conjurations, and of course to create talismans.

Chris is offering the program as a stand alone purchase for only $39.95, or you can get it for free as part of his course in Astrological Magic. I wish so much that I had this program a couple of years ago. If you remember, I used to recommend Timaeus, and then SolarFire, but I used them primarily to find out when a good time to conjure spirits might be. This program provides all the functionality I need to do the computations. It's definitely worth the price, and then some. The first Solar ritual you do with the Moon unafflicted on the right day and hour will result in making at least what you paid for it back, after all.

Now remember, this is an electional tool. It spits out dates and times for your location. You have to know two very important things to get the most out of this program. You have to now where you live. That's important. I think you've got that covered. If not, maybe magic isn't really what you should be focusing on at the moment. Second, you have to know what planet your magic is related to. Armed with these two pieces of arcane lore, you're ready to use the program.

Simply put in your location (it has a really cool little piece that lets you set that up quick and easy), click the radial button that says "When is the next time to make a talisman" and select the planet from the drop-down list that pops up. Click "compute" and in no time the program tells you all the best times for each planet. In the Advanced Options, you can change the degree of orbs, change the time frame searched (from 1 year up to 20), and a couple of other things.

Its main purpose is to get you in the right zone for getting in touch with the planetary powers. Chris intended it to be used in talisman making, but I intend to use it extensively in performing spirit conjurations. It's adept at finding good times to conjure spirits that I would have missed.

Here's the thing about conjuring during the right astrological time: it totally amplifies your results. People who have had lame experiences with spirits from the grimoires can attest that sometimes your magical results are just sort of flaccid. You don't feel a change in the room, feel the spirit's presence, or get any clear communications.

With this handy program, you're increasing your chances of getting things just right, when the stars are aligned, and getting through to the spirit you're looking for with a quickness. I personally believe you can conjure any spirit any time, but the planetary position relative to your position on the earth are good gauges as to how well you will experience the spirit's presence and how well the communication of your intent will go. When the planets are aligned right, the spiritual atmosphere is conducive to clear communications, and this program is fabulous at finding good elections fast.

Whenever I get around to finishing up my online courses, I'm either going to require this program be purchased, or at the very least strongly urge my students to purchase this program when they get to the planetary spheres and begin receiving their initiations. I highly recommend this valuable tool to all my friends, students, and clients.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I started Working in Luna, spurred on by some research I was doing into astral warfare. I was mostly playing, but I needed to verify some of the things I wanted to include in a fun book on astral warfare I'm working on. I conjured up Gabriel by name and seal, and went for a few jaunts through the lower reaches of the sphere of the Moon. Good times... good times.

But it wasn't long before I felt drawn to a particular Gate. Around the Gate were symbold of the Moon from Agrippa and the Magical Calendar, and symbols I haven't seen before and hesitate to reproduce. Much of the realm I was in at the time was projected and created by myself, and I don't want to pretend to have knowledge from the spirit world that I secretly just made up, you know? But they were cool.

Walking towards the gate, I felt a gentle condensation of the the spiritual fabric of the realm I was in, and Gabriel was soon walking with me. We didn't talk, which was rather odd for me. Usually I call on the spirits and we talk a lot. We were simply moving, and I just sort of understood that I was being taken to the next stage of my progression in the Work. We went through the Gate, Gabriel opening it for me, and the realm I was in was completely unlike the landscaped scene I had left. There was no Gate. I saw colors there are no words for, silvery-purple being a grave disservice to the hues I saw. Each color was meaningful, like they are when the synesthesia kicks in on LSD. There was no sense of tripping though, no intense urge to accomplish whatever happened next, no distant slimey nausea hovering in the astral equivalent of my gut. It was tranquil, serene, and infinitely patient.

I felt an image of the disk of the Moon. She was full, and as crystal sharp as if I were looking at her through a telescope. I felt every crag of every crater in sharp relief. I'm using visual language, but remember all I saw was the alien-colored light. I became aware of the chain of manifestation leading up from the physical planet, like a ray of light extending infinitely through the meta-cosmos of the spheres directly to the Mind of God. It was pure Luna, but it had its own heavens to ascend through. The Tree of Life images that show a tree of life within each sphere, implying there is a Binah of Tiphareth, a Chokmah of Tiphareth, and so on is too simple of a construct to represent what I sensed. It's like that, as if there are hevens of the Moon, or ... Mansions... shit. I wonder now if that's what I was going through? Now I'll have to research that.

Anyway, within each heaven of the Sphere of the Moon were beings of progressively more-diffuse intelligence and purpose. As I ascended, my own form changed. I was simply an awareness at first, a sphere of sensation that I prefer to travel through the spheres in. It's much easier to move around.As I rose though, I felt layers being removed, like an onion being peeled. As each layer fell away, I became more aware of how I too was a diffuse Intelligence of the Moon as well. The entities I sensed around me were my kin, distant relatives and friends from ages past.

At each stage I learned something about myself. I'm not talking about some psychological insight into why I do thigs, either. I mean, it could probably be used for that, but I'm talking about learning something about my self. Like learning I had feet, or how to use my hand to pick up a coffee mug. Only it wasn't my body, it was my essence. Divination, for instance, made sense. I just understood divination. It isn't time or space, or probability, it's revelation. Revelation is peeling away the layers so you can see what lies within that works to manifest what happens next. It's like seeing the cause, and deducing the result, only less mechanical.

There were other insights, like understanding how to communicate with spirits using symbols to get the essence across. It was like learning the vocabulary of their language, or the alphabet of their words. I understand why Spare called it an Alphabet of Desire, even though I understood the concept before. I know about it, first hand now. I undestand why the grimoires have specific symbols in each seal. The seals of the Goetic spirits make perfect sense, they are pictographic longhand, a formal style that has become familiar, casual over time.

As I ascended further, through many more than the seven spheres I'm accustomed to traveling, I apprached the veil where the thoguht of God originates within the infinite Mind. Of course, words fail, but there was still a hint of the Sphere of the Moon, like an aftertaste that lingered. My Mind and the Mind of God communed without symbols, in pure exchange of impulse. I'm sure it's apparent that words cannot convey that which lies behind words themselves.

Rising further, I left behind all vestiges of the Moon and pierced through the Infinite Light into the Divine Darkness. Awareness faded, and time, which had lost all meaning a few heavens before, simply ceased. Everything ceased. Everything simply was the Prime Mover. Looking back, it was sort of like the Benben stone within the ocean upon which the Atum stood in the Egyptian myth cycle. Except that even the ocean was the Benben stone, in extension.

Wrapping words around the experience is annoying. It must be understood that these matters cannot accurately be put into words. They must be experienced.

As I went through the following days, I didn't notice much of a change in my manifest realm. I'd like to say there was a spiritual change that made everything bearable and gave me a great attitude that made everything perfect, but the fact is I was still an asshole surrounded by assholes at work and a mountain of work to do around the house. But I was aware of it differently.

Since then, I've been experiencing more synchronicities and "psychic" flashes. Nothing debilitating, but I get images of what's going on behind closed doors from snippets of conversations at work, or I take a different route to work and end up avoiding traffic. If I were one to give readings, I've got a feeling they'd be scary accurate right now. I have a greater awareness and control over the Lunar aspects of my life.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Planetary Magic

Esoteric magic has been my focus lately, as opposed to the more materialistic pursuits I've been on for the past couple of years. I'd like to start a series on some of the experiences I've had in each of the planetary realms.

I think I've explained technique as far as I can for now. From time to time I might do a piece on planetary magical tech, but over the last three years I've detailed my actual practices in sufficient detail for anyone to adapt my techniques into theirs. It's all talismans and circles, baby!

A little backstory leading up to the esoteric Work of late:

I went through a pretty stressful period at work. It sucked me in, and I got wrapped up in the drama of trying to deliver something useful, meaningful, and according to specs. Due to the extreme stubborn ignorance of management, the project continues to fail miserably. The end is near, halleluiah!

My home life has been fairly decent, but I still haven't gotten back into the swing of things since going on vacation. Little things have piled up and become major obstacles, things like property and vehicle maintenance. Petty annoyances, easily fixed, but all piled up together.

So I've been tired and stressed. Money hasn't been an issue. There's always a cash source somewhere in my life, some way of making enough to get whatever I need or want. It would be easier if I had more, but the real stress financially comes from not knowing where the money will come from. It always comes from somewhere unexpected, but it always comes. Still, I worry and it adds to the general miasma of stress.

So lately I've been seeking solace in the spheres. "In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me," Psalm 86:7, and solace I've found.

Within each sphere, I've been through a very gentle period of transformation. It's been quite unlike the dramatic experiences I was having years ago. The visions are more nuanced, less is spoken, and more is shared. It's sort of like the post Dohmail recently made about knowing.* He talks about divination specifically, but think of his point applying to scrying the aethyrs, traveling the spheres, Merkavah.

I'm performing these rituals "astrally," for the most part. On occasion, I'll  use The Box and call the angel specifically by name, then just sort of meditate and carry on the communication on a higher plane as I sit or lie in the glow of the talisman-charged light radiating through the large crystal ball into my physical sphere. The room takes on the resonance of the spirit I'm conjuring to open the gate to the planetary sphere, and it takes less time to "get there."

* I just got back from his site, getting the link, and I got wrapped up in the comments. Good stuff going on there, highly recommended by RO.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Magical Elitists Suck

So recently, on a Grimorium Verum discussion group, someone starts talking about "the Herd."

You know, the Sheeple, the Muggles, the Mundanes. How much Ayn Rand bullshit do we have to put up with? Come on, get over it already. You received a calling to be a magician, big fucking deal. Can you paint like Van Gogh, or write like Robert Frost, or design like Frank Lloyd Wright? Fuck no, you can't. You read some grimoires and some philosophy.

You're out of the mainstream realm of popular interest. That doesn't make the rest of humanity a bunch of drooling animals to be fleeced, shorn, denigrated, or profited from. They aren't less human than you are because you're a magician. You are one of them, and they are one of you. We're all people. Every human being on the planet can do what you do, if they were called to it. You aren't special because you read a book or three.

Now folks who read regularly may point out the number of times I've said something along the lines of "Everyone on the planet is a fucking moron except for a couple magicians here and there." And I may have, on occassion, mentioned that people who don't do magic are about as smart as bags of hair. And I may even have referred to humanity in general as the Herd.

But when I do it, it's different. I make sweeping derogatory generalizations with class.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Never again alone...

It came as I droned aloud the ninth verse of that primal lay, and I knew amidst my shudders what it meant. For he who passes the gateways always wins a shadow, and never again can he be alone. I had evoked- and the book was indeed all I had suspected. - H. P. Lovecraft, The Book

Image: Sleeping Prophet, by Jenny Sargeant

Lo, there it is.

This excerpt is beautiful. It's dark and twisted, but I realized from it today that Lovecraft really did understand the core tenets of the Great Work. He just expressed them darkly. Whether he knew the occult mysteries from his studies, as I suspect, or if it was a revelation from the spirit realm that passed into his dreams, I don't know, but regardless, the occult mysteries are there.

Take the above quote, for example. Clearly, he's talking about getting a familiar spirit as a result of accomplishing a ritual. Those who have been through the Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel rituals will feel a resonance, I think, with this passage. From the moment you pass through the Gate, you are never alone.

Which Gate? I think the Gate the guy in the story passed through was the Gate of Saturn. He undergoes a spiritual transformation that leaves him with a wider lens through which to see time. He saw more of the immediate past and the immediate future in each passing moment:

Nor could I ever after see the world as I had known it. Mixed with the present scene was always a little of the past and a little of the future, and every once-familiar object loomed alien in the new perspective brought by my widened sight.
And of course, it was a horror story, so it had to focus on the spooky possibilities. We can extrapolate and see it through the lens of the seven heavens, and clearly the shift in his perception of Time would indicate a Saturnine initiation. I myself have experienced this altered sense of time after working in Saturn. It's as if the past and future are overlapping everything we see.

Regardless, he passed through a Gate and received a spiritual companion as a result of his efforts.

In a way, I can see the spirits that represent the spheres I have been initiated into, hovering around me as I type. They are present and real, but muted, as if they were waiting for me to call on them. I feel their radiant power in my temple space, and I wonder if they come with me to work, and I'm just unaware because I'm distracted by the "Office" reality I get immersed in five days a week. Oh no, I'm not bitter about that.

(Side note: I went on a beautiful vacation for the Fourth of July. Three days of oceanic bliss, and then I went back to work. That's got to be the most terrible ending to any story, "and then he went back to work." Unless it was something he liked doing. Which clearly does not apply to me. Magic has been done. Results should be in by Wednesday.)

I think they are always with me, and they seem to be agreeing that they are. It is part of the License to Depart, after all, that they come again when called. It's as if they have left a spirit from their legions on call to bring them when needed. And to work with me as necessary on tasks within their abilities.

Admin Note: Comments Part II

For new readers, comments work like this:
  1. You post it.
  2. I review it.
  3. If I like it, I publish it. If I don't, I reject it. It's totally biased and arbitrary.
  4. Then it shows up on my page.
So if you post a comment and you don't see it, you don't have to post it again. I've been getting a few comments that are like 4-5 repeats of the same message. Mostly from a French Brother who steals other people's work.

Save yourself any stress and annoyance, just be patient. I usually post comments throughout the day.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Heartbeat of the Universe

Sucae Sounds posted a neat commentary on the Primitiveness of Techno that got me contemplating the Music of the Spheres. Agrippa talks about it, and a musician friend of mine, Andy Keys, tried a couple of times to get a conversation going on Agirippa's chapters on musicology in the Three Books of Occult Philosophy a couple of years ago. I couldn't keep up. The extent of my musical ability is Smoke on the Water on a penny whistle, and Ghost Riders in the Sky on an acoustic guitar.

But I've been hearing things, and getting more in tune with the harmonies of the universe since then. I still can't keep up a decent conversation on musicology, but I've been experiencing the universe through the metaphor of music, vibration, and resonance.

I think Music is the perfect metaphor for magic.One person does something over here with a specialized tool, and all the way across the room, another person's mood is altered, their mind taken on a journey, and the first guy didn't even touch the second. All he did was emit a vibration, and the consequences unfolded around him.

That's what magic is, to me. We get the tools, we play the notes, we end up gaining skill and talent and become master musicians, only reality itself is our instrument. Each of the planetary intelligences is a master craftsman and musician combined, and tehy mentor us in our efforts to become the next Maestro. Sometimes I feel like the musician, other times like the conductor, and others like the conductor and the whole symphony and the music itself.

Good times. Good times.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Reclaiming your Mind

This post title is referential to Jason's new blog, but only tangentially, because he picked an awesome approach to his new blog and it's in my mind now, festering, and memetically challenging me.

And it's a good thing, that blog title. It's neat. I like the idea a lot. Take back your mind, that's the goal of the magician. Yeah, it's given away and it's your own fault, but also, yeah it's stolen and the bastards have no right to it.

A major push of mine in magicalness is to get people to reclaim their divine Race and recognize their Value. It's a Plotinus thing. It hit me at a sensitive point in my life, that is, I came across the reclaiming Race and Value piece of Plotinus' Enneads at a time in my life where I was understanding new concepts, fleshing out the symbolic map from fundy Christian to Esoteric Ipsissismis of the UNIVERSE. You know, standard practice. I came across the phrase, the concept filled in some gaps, and I still use that push in my magical work, "Reclaim your Race and your Value, and you will receive the Key to the Kingdom."

Pretty catchy, eh?

That state of mind that I was in is a lot like when I was in college. My mind was open to new ideas, I was figuring things out, receiving wisdom and symbols. It was a fun time. I was smoking a lot of pot, tripping on LSD, and my whole universe went through a reframing expeience.

Something else was going on at the same time. It was 1992, Autumn, and we were alll poor college kids. Different fast food services were offering special discounts. By far the cheapest and tastiest food we could easily munch down on was from the 59, 79, and 99 cent menu at Taco Bell.

The people I was with, the drug experiences I had, and the general sense of freedom and liberation of being 18 and away from my parents, it all must have some how gotten mingled together and framed Taco Bell as part of the goodness from that time in my life.

I must have associated Taco Bell with good times, because to this day, every few months or so, Taco Bell begins to appeal to me. I get hungry and get these impulses for what would feel good to eat, what would be fast, cheap, and open late. Mmmm, flashing through my mind, Taco Bell...

And I know it must be some kind of thing that I imprinted or something, I know it's got to be something that I need to take my mind back from, because honestly folks, Taco Bell food full on fucking sucks. It is the ass rumblings of the fast food industry. Their food all tastes the same, like generic, vaguely Southwestern gloop squeezed out of a tube. With Lettuce. Iceberg lettuce!!!

Fuck Taco Bell. They don't get that piece of my mind anymore. It's mine.

Taco Bell, I'm talking to you: Your food sucks. It tastes bad! The texture combinations are nauseating. The beef is so obviously not beef it quit being funny in 2002. You guys have either A) RUINED your recipes with cheaper ingredients that have no flavor, or B) YOU ALWAYS SUCKED.

I'm beginning to suspect you always sucked. Fuck Taco Bell!