Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

So, how about that 2010, eh? Could have been better for a lot of folks, could also have been a lot worse for most of the rest. A few had it as bad as anyone else, or worse, and a few had it just freaking awesome and better than they deserved.

And on other days, it just rained.

Politically, my country is a mess this year. It always is, but the mess seems to be more messy than usual. Of course, I always feel that way about government. I don't think I've met anyone who's ever been completely happy with government and politics, if they really pay attention to it.

Economically... well, times are tough all over. And they aren't getting better as fast as they used to. We're still in the midst of a global transition of power and influence, and it hurts. In time, things will get better, they always do, but things will never go back to what they were. And they never do that either.

Spiritually though, these are awesome times to be alive in! The global economic pressures and political tensions are rarely aligned like this, usually only once a century or so. This is the shit Crowley et al went through in their lifetimes, producing more occult resources than we'd seen since the last time the world's power centers shifted. These are the times that shape the future of occultism.

I mentioned the other day that the stresses of existence provide the Alchemical Heat that acomplishes the Great Work. In times of material wealth and prosperity, people are relaxed and at ease with the world around them. They're shallow, lazy, and usually fat. But when times are tough, people get better. Adversity builds character, unlocks potentials to excel and achieve in ways you didn't need to before. It brings out human ingenuity.

When you do an initiation into a sphere, shit rises to the surface, and the stress is a manifestation of the purification process your sphere is undergoing. Illusions are revealed to be what they are, and new forces come to you, forces that you have to learn to control, and screw up with, at first. There's that learning period, that time when you're clumsy and break things as you learn to control yourself. My daughter's in dance, and I watch her little group of friends learning new routines, going from clumsy tentative motions to confident, strong expressions of the essence of their art. It's neat. We do that as magicians too, as we go through initiations.

And all stress produces heat. If you're not doing the GreatWork, the heat just burns out of control, destroying everything around it. It's the prairie fire that consumes everything, kills everything as it passes, and it's only those that come after who receive the benefits of the flames. That same fire can be directed though, can be sent to burn out only the things that need to go. Controlled burns eliminate massive forrest fires, and return nutrients to the soil. Planning the burns brings the wild force under control, gives it purpose and objectives.

Alchemists used various temperatures of heat at various stages of the Work to complete the Stone. Most of the time, the heat was low and steady for long periods, but in between stages, the heat is increased for short periods of time.A low heat produced slower oxidization and created different kinds of crystalization in the Materia, while a high heat allowed the metals to merge, or to temper depending on what you were doing.

When we perform an initiation, we're releasing that heat into our lives in a specific way, with a directed goal. To gain initiation and understanding of a sphere, its power, its landscape, its application. It can be elemental, planetary, zodiacal, or even spheres beyond the map. The rituals direct the heat that's going to be there anyway in your life into the actual transformation you desire.

Times of great global stress produce a lot more heat, and provide the opportunities to ascend higher, to go deeper, to integrate further aspects of the Work than times of indolence and prosperity. Tapping into this and using it to accomplish the Work, to go deeper into the Mysteries puts you in control of the shit that's going down. That doesn't mean the shit doesn't go down, or that life is any less stressful, it only means that when the stress is gone, and only you remain, you'll be stronger, faster, better, smarter than you were, and not just burned, broken, battered, and bleeding.

By taking control of the Heat, you're putting it to work for you. It's going to burn something anyway, it might as well be something that's holding you back, an obstacle in the way, the darkness of ignorance pierced by the  light.

Now, change hurts, and honestly, when you look around at the world, it can be pretty frightening when you see that you will have to endure pain. Fear of pain, fear of suffering are my biggest sources of anxiety. I might lose my house, car, food, shelter clothing, social standing, esteem, attainment, ambitions, goals, I might fail, or get burned again as I reach out and try to direct the Heat. Fear.

But I've learned from my suffering in the past a thing that has released me from those fears. I've been through terrible shit, and I've found out that as bad as the worst has been, it wasn't that bad. I made it through, I'm ok, and things got better. There's nothing to worry about. Even the pain is brief, and it doesn't kill me. Facing it, directly and dealing with it calmly and with discipline resolves all problems. And by doing the Work, the pain actually helps.

There is nothing to fear, not from Korea, or Iran, not from the TSA or the corrupt city cops, not from the Republicans or the Democrats, or the aliens infiltrating humanity and feasting on our flesh in the dark recesses of underground cities. These things may very well hurt, frustrate, or make life worse in some way, but you can rest in the knowledge that it's working for you, preparing you for the next phase of your existence. Life will go on, in some way, and you will remain.

In the next year, may you remember that above all else, there is nothing to fear.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Money: Getting it Out of the Way

Money is such a pain in the ass. Magicians really need to be spending their time doing magic, and not worrying about paying the bills all the time.

Now, we have to take into account fact that stress provides the heat that transforms the magician. That can't be ignored or alleviated, at least not in any way that I can tell. However, no one ever said the only kind of stress that can transform the magician has to be money-related. It's ok to turn your attention to better things.

Like anything else we do to channel the transformative heat required to accomplish the Work, removing the money-aspect of stress takes a lot of work, both spiritually and physically. It ain't easy. It is dangerous to you as a person, because you will be changed by the process. The person you come out the other end of this trip is going to be someone else, someone different, wiser in many ways. You will change, and who you are now will be a memory of how you used to be. It's really for the best in the long run, but the trip can be a real doozy.

But fortune smiles upon the brave! Don't be afraid of your freedom, and that's really what we're talking about, being free from the stress of money. All it takes is making money.

Making money is pretty damned easy, it just takes a while, and a lot of good old fashioned work. About an inch or so of discipline, and the mental fortitude to endure some discomfort for a greater cause. It takes stamina, but like exercise, the stamina comes from doing the very thing you need the stamina to do! You've got to do it, and you'll find that as you do, you are better able to do whatever it is you're doing.

Starting is the hardest part. It's free, so there's no excuse not to do it. All it takes is time and work. You sit down, you start a blog, set up some pages, and start talking about the things you like to do. You invest a couple of internet afternoons to understanding PayPal and Google Checkout. You set up some means to accept funds.

Then you describe what you love. It's your passion, your Genius. You wax poetic and profane about the thing you love, and the effort you put into it, and you sell the byproducts of your passion, the commentary, the pieces of art or craft you make along the way. You sell the how-tos, and the tips and tricks, and you tell the truth about your pursuit of your love.

And people like you, who are into the same things will come and talk to you, and about you amongst themselves. Your products will appeal to them, and as the things you make accomplish the goals they are created to accomplish, people's lives are made better. And they tell their friends, and your sales grow.

And it takes a while. But it works.

Take an inventory of your interests in life. Really think about what it is that you love to do. What brings you the absolute most fulfillment in life? What thing in your sphere of influence would you seriously consider writing poetry about? What's your art? What's your passion? What are you really good at doing? What skills do you have that you would enjoy developing? What things make you happier when you get better at doing them?

Do them! Do that thing, whatever it is, and do it with all of your heart. And talk about it to people. And talk about how to do it. And sell it. Sell the fuck out of it. Take your love and your passion and make a fucking profit off that bitch. If you're making shit, sell the shit, and let the beauty and meaning of that shit go into other people's lives, and pay your bills at the same time. It's convenient, it's efficient, and it's fulfilling as hell.

And you don't let the selling become your life, because if you do, you really don't understand money at all. It's bullshit, people! Money is just fucking bullshit, a goddamned sick game people play. It's really, honestly, fucking absurd when you think about it. If you lose sight of that, it becomes your master instead of your means. Jason talks about that in his stuff on finances. Money makes a good servant, but a poor master.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Continuing the Work

One of the first things to go when things start getting stressful around the holidays for me is my daily Work, and it's right when I need it the most. I've been fortunate this season because I've had a lot of Applied Hermetic work to do for other people, so I get to spend a lot of time with the spirits anyway. It keeps my sphere tingly and bright. It harmonizes the parts of my soul, and it's harder for the stress of the material world to fracture that link between the rational mind and the emotional survival instinct that just wants to destroy anything it perceives as a threat to its safety and peace.*

So try not to let your daily work slip. People in the Black Work course should be doing that ritual at the end of the first lesson once a week, at least. I know it takes forever, but it's fun. Those who should be conjuring the Supernatural Assistant (yeah, I am talking about you down in Texas, but also some others) should be conjuring it. It's ten minutes, yo. 

And for those who are going through the process of K et C HGA, remember not to speak of the things of the heavens that cannot be understood. Watch your step (have sight in your feet) when you're around others. Shit gets stirred up that doesn't need to be addressed over Christmas dinner. The urge to burn through the bullshit and cauterize the wound so it can heal can be strong. 

*Never one to ignore a challenge, the Stresses of the Material World  redoubled their efforts throughout the season, but I've managed to hold my own against them! Yes, I am happy about that, it's not the norm for me in years past. 

Sorcery's a Dangerous Game

You know, here in the United States where society officially treats sorcery as a harmless delusion (usually), we've got it pretty good. As frustrating as it is not to be able to talk to people at the office Christmas party about what you spend most of your personal time doing, it's better than sorcerors have it in parts of the world where people actually believe in magic.

I've been monitoring Google's news stories lately for occult stories. The news occultists make globally is bad news for the sorceror. 45 people accused of using sorcery to spread cholera were lynched by mobs in Haiti. A guy was expelled from a country because the government suspected he was doing sorcery to aid his friend in an election. And he probably was, honestly, but getting him expelled from the country won't likely lessen his meddling.

Kinda sucks to be a sorceror, in most places, especially when shit goes wrong.

Of course, that's true in our private lives too, isn't it? Even among pagans and magicians, if you're going through troubles, don't your friends or family assume it's your fault, that you've done some magic that is having some kind of unexpected consequence? And it really doesn't help that they're right sometimes either.

Still, at least I don't get lynched and shit.

Sanity Clause

I saw a present from the kids marked, "To Dad, From Sanety Klos." I thought it was funny, and then I thought maybe the universe was trying to tell me something. Fortunately, I never took that Oath.

But this time of year, who couldn't use a visit from Sane-ty Klos, come to spread some Sanity to stressed out moms, dads, and kids (of all ages) all over the world?

And honestly, it's not just at Christmas. All year long, the pressures of life are pushing people beyond the boundaries of sanity and into the realms of being out of control. There's only so much stress the mind can take before it begins to fracture, and when it finally cracks, the Ruach and Neschemah influence is gone, and we're all in the power of the Nephesh and the Guf. By the time we get back to being a mostly unified being, we've said shit, done shit, and generally made a mess of our lives.

So, I propose a contract modification to the Universe. I think we incarnate humans should have the right to invoke the Sanity Clause at any point in time when the pressures of existence have fractured our sanity. When things start getting bad, we should be able to say, "I invoke the Sanity Clause" and have a brief respite from the stresses of the moment. Or a reset moment.

While the Contract Specialists in Jupiter work out all the legal details with Mercury and such, all we can do in the mean time is continue the Work.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Astrology and Hermetic Magic

In the Solstice Lunar Eclipse Stuff post, I passed on some astrological information about the Eclipse, and Patrick Dunn brought up some really interesting points in response.

Astrology is the art and science of reading the relative positions of the stars and planets to determine what forces are at play in general, and specifically at any given place and time on the Earth. It's a method of reading the signs so you know where you're at.

For Hermetic Magicians, astrology is a way for us to look around at the tools we have to work with at any given time to accomplish our magical aims. A chart of a given place and time will tell the trained eye which influences are strongest and which are weakest. Historic observations can tell us what kinds of things generally manifest when the planets are arranged in similar patterns. It lets us know what the tendency of things that manifest under these conditions has been according to astrologers who were paying attention throughout history.

When Patrick did his ritual, he did it exactly the way a Hermetic Magician should do it.

The first point Patrick makes in his post is that he conjured intelligences and didn't just make a talisman. His point that they might be in a certain mood because of the weather is insightful and true. When working with the intelligences, you're moving beyond the forces of manifestation and into the pre-manifest realms, sort of. And he did it the right way, asking questions and seeking a favor. He didn't say, "Take now thy powers manifesting in the Earth and direct them to manifest my desires, forsooth!" By performing his magic the way he did, he became a co-creator, a worker with the forces. He did it exactly the way a Hermetic Magician is supposed to, and mitigated any deleterious effects.

I agree with his point two, that no chart is an unmitigated disaster, and I have no comment on his point three. Ice cream comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors because people have different tastes.

In point four, he brings up some awesomeness. "Those who have attained any degree of Henosis are free of the “twelve governors of fate” described in the Hermetica." It is the manifest realm that lies under the governors of fate, and as Patrick says, we are free from that realm when we go into their spheres and talk to them. When the favors he's requested come down to the material realm to manifest, they are going to be subject to the forces of the Fates that rule the material realm, just like any other Idea that gets projected into space-time, but he's gone to the Intelligence and focused the way the forces will manifest as they come down relative to his intent. He's right, the Henosis-endowed magician is not subject to the tides and forces of the fates, he is the co-worker with the fates.

I was disappointed with Patrick's point five, that he's unimpressed by magic that tells us to sit still. I completely agree with him, but my last paragraph of the previous post was supposed to address that. I take my goal, look at what's going on astrologically, and see how I can tweak the general forces to work towards my specific goal. Health is obviously Mercury and Jupiter, but it's also Venus, and also Luna, and the Sun, and Mars can be used, and so can Saturn. Finding one of the planets that is powerful in the current astrological weather is easy enough, you just have to be creative, tweak your approach.

In his first post on the eclipse magic, Patrick points out that he's used eclipses to burn through obstacles. This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Eclipses are bad news. The light is obscured, both physically and spiritually. Yet he directed the forces of the eclipse, the negative bad news towards burning through the obstacles. His statement of intent, "I will that America and its people immediately develop greater freedom and prosperity," is great. Using the eclipse's negative forces to burn through obstacles that keep people from freedom and prosperity is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about.

Add to that that he went Above and talked directly to the Intelligences, and you've got a perfect example of how to incorporate astrological weather into a rite. Patrick said he's gotten positive indications through his divinations on the results, and I personally think he's going to have great results.

But for folks who just wanted to absorb the forces that were manifesting and point them towards good things without going up to the highest heavens, without working in harmony with the forces, there's going to be shit to clean up. Just because a moment is full of power doesn't mean that power is going to automatically translate into what you want. It takes effort and insight.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice Lunar Eclipse Stuff

The blogosphere's been abuzz with things to do on eclipse-solstice night, but I didn't do anything special with it. I don't understand astrology well enough to know what the effects will be, and I've learned not to work from a position of ignorance and assumption when doing magic, it can have really bad effects.

On the Spiritus Mundi list, the topic came up, and John Michael Greer pointed out a couple of interesting things:

  1. The eclipse is not on the solstice. It finishes more than 15 hours before the solstice, so it's just an eclipse near the solstice.
  2. Greer quoted William Ramesey's Astrolgia Restaurata, and then made some analysis of the actual chart as it is, not as it seems to folks not familiar with astrology. See the group for more information, but he summarizes thus: Political troubles, poor public health, and a bad vegetable crop.

This matters because hen we're talking astrological magic, we're talking about the specific forces that are affecting a particular moment. As soon as you start conjuring up the forces of the heavens that are being projected through the Earth, you're taking a snapshot of the moment and saying to the universe, "I want the forces represented right here, right now to apply to the following things," and then you list the targets of the forces available, i.e. political troubles, poor public health, or bad vegetable crops.

So any magic you may have done to channel these forces will succeed, but maybe not the way you wanted them to.

Now, I wish I had time to read the posts before the eclipse, but I didn't. I wish I'd posted a warning ahead of time, because this kind of magic is tricky, and can lead to bad things if you don't know what you're doing, but I didn't. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and I missed the chance to give an ounce of prevention. Sorry about that.

But at least you can take into account the traditional meaning of the eclipse near the winter solstice and maybe make some adjustments to any rites you've done if necessary, or have a clue to figure out the source of any political, health, or ... uh ... vegetable crop issues you may have if you've done some Work on the occasion in hopes of getting something good. You'll have to find a way to turn that into a pound of cure, if anything bad surfaces.

And remember, when you do astrological magic, you're taking your idea of what you want to the tool shed, and then seeing what tools and materials you have to work with. At that point, you have to figure out how you can build your desired intent with the tools at hand. Based on your personal ingenuity, you can usually find a way to structure a rite that will get you what you want with the forces and materials available. It takes thought, planning, and understanding of the forces at work to be successful at this kind of thing. And ingenuity.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rectificatur Invenies Ocultum Lapidum

Pallas Renatus, frequent commenter and interesting blogger who should post more, mentioned on my last post, "Oh dear, it must be Mercury Retrograde again."

And then I felt all Satanic.

Which is because I'd been reading Wake World again, and was reading the entrance to the Sun via a Gate from Mercury, which is Ain on the Kircher Tree, the path between Hod and Tiphareth, the Devil card of the Tarot:

"But in the first we came to a mighty throne of gray     granite, shaped like the sweetest pussy cat you ever saw, and set up on a desolate heath. It was midnight, and the Devil came down and sat in the midst; but my Fairy Prince whispered: "Hush! it is a great secret, but his name is Yeheswah, and he is the Saviour of the World." And that was very funny, because the girl next me thought it was Jesus Christ, till another Fairy Prince (my Prince's brother) whispered as he kissed her: "Hush, tell nobody ever, that is Satan, and he is the Saviour of the World."

We were a very great company, and I can't tell you of all the strange things we did and said, or of the song we sang as we danced face out-wards in a great circle ever closing in on the Devil on the throne. But whenever I saw a toad or a bat, or some horrid insect, my Fairy Prince always whispered: "It is the Saviour of the world" and I saw that it was so. We did all the most beautiful wicked things you can imagine, and yet all the time we knew they were good and right, and must he done if ever we were to get to the House of Gold. So we enjoyed ourselves very much and ate the most extraordinary supper you can think of. There were babies roasted whole and stuffed with pork sausages and olives; and some of the girls cut off chops and steaks from their own bodies, and gave them to a beautiful white cook at a silver grill, that was lighted with the gas of dead bodies and marshes; and he cooked them splendidly, and we all enjoyed it immensely. Then there was a tame goat with a gold collar, that went about laughing with every one; and he was all shaved in patches like a poodle We kissed him and petted him, and it was lovely. You must remember that I never let go of my Fairy Prince for a single instant, or of course I should have been turned into a horrid black toad."

Good times! And then after she goes through the other two paths to the Sun, via Luna and Venus, she says,

"We came by and by to the Sixth House. I forgot to say that all those three paths were really one, because they all meant that things were different inside to outside, and so people couldn't judge. It was fearfully interesting; but mind you don't go in those passages without the Fairy Prince. "

They all meant that things were different inside to outside, and so people couldn't judge. Not shouldn't, but couldn't. Because what things look like is not what they are. The things in the path of AIN are gross and disgusting, but they are also holy and divine. They are gates to illumination, even though they are debaucherous. There's a danger, of course, for those who let go of their HGA for even a second on this path. People can turn into horrid black toads if they are pursuing Illumination through depravity, but there is a way through it that makes even the most depraved act holy if it's done for the right reasons, and you never lose sight of the goal. The Cainite Gnostics come to mind. So easy to slip into utter oblivion on that path, but still a viable method of attainment if you can hold onto the Guide, and not lose sight of the Goal.

The depraved acts are, in truth, Evil. The depraved acts, done in innocence and without malice are, in truth, Good. It's dualism at its finest, really. Truly evil and truly good. But there's more to it than the apparent evil and the occult good. Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis. The Third Truth is that you cannot judge them to be either good nor evil, whether by merit of their appearance or the result. The real truth is that there is no good or evil other than your likes or dislikes.

This third truth is essential to the accomplishment of the Art/Temperance tarot card that represents the path of SAMEKH between the Moon and the Sun. You cannot make the Philosopher's Stone unless you have rectified the Red Lion and the White Eagle, if you haven't found them in a pit of nasty filth where they were savage, if you haven't raised them to be faithful and good by always treating them kindly. You have to see beyond the apparent filth and savagery to get to the point where you have the refined faithful companions, the refined pure ingredients to create the Stone. You have to reach the third truth, that appearance and essence are often at apparent opposite ends of the spectrum, but their utility is only attained by balancing both.

The third truth is essential to passing the Third Path as well, the Path of NUN, the Death card of the Tarot. All who incarnate will walk down this path, and only one will emerge from the end, and yet the One and the Many are again the Outer Appearance and the Inner Truth, and again they are both illusions, references to the thing and not the thing itself.

So when Pallas Renatus said, "Oh my, Mercury must be retrograde" in response to the previous post, I realized that I'd better make some things clear, just in case. The apparent hubris of the post is the outer truth, the message it contains is the inner truth, but its true purpose was simply to entertain.

Ceremonial Hubris and Self Centeredness

Jow's observation on the self-centered nature of ceremonialists got me thinking. Ceremonial Magicians have earned a certain degree of contempt from the pagan and occult community at large because we do tend to be dicks, or haughty bitches on occasion. We spend all this time learning ancient forms of astronomy and correspondence tables, and we take the time to study the writings of magicians and mystics that can be difficult to understand, and some of us, at times, can get kind of arrogant.

But sometimes we just seem that way. When you've taken the time to actually read the source material Crowley references in his Book IV for example, you learn to understand a great deal more of what the man was saying. The jokes become apparent, and then when you point it out to people they get all offended because they don't get the joke.

And on top of that, you're a social retard who spent a lot of your time in books and communing with spirits, and most humans don't understand what you're trying to do. You finally meet some occult-people who seem to have an interest in what you've already done, and you try to talk to them, and then you figure out they're just starting out, and you want to help, but you don't know what they know, and you don't want to offend them by patronizing them, but you're excited to tell them something that would really help them, and so you try to make it sound like it's something they might already know, you refer to it at a high level so it just reminds them what you're talking about if they already know it, but if not leaves you open to go into more detail, and then they just look at you, and you try not to burn out their eyeballs with the glittering brilliance of your sphere as they gaze upon you with their stupefied inbred deer in the headlights look, and later on you learn they thought you were just being an asshole when you were trying to do a good thing. They aren't capable of understanding it, let alone appreciating it or participating in the real good times, and they walk away thinking YOU'RE the dick.

Or the haughty bitch.

So bear in mind, sometimes when the Ceremonial Magician seems like an arrogant prick, it's not on purpose, he just knows more than you, and hasn't, necessarily, interacted with anyone face to face in a bit.

Oh, and we only seem self-centered because we've seen what it really means to be "self-centered." I mean, we're only doing this for you.

Which you'd know if you'd used the Dehn translation, I swear.*

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Emperor Rudolph II reincarnated in Kazakhstan

Fellow alchemists and other magicians seeking the opportunity to get state funding for your alchemical experiments, please note that Kazakhstan is the place to be.

Sure, it's a little unstable, but if you believe all the hype, the US will be in just as bad of shape shortly. The UK too, I'm sure. So you know, ex-pat seekers, throw together an Elixir of Life formula that looks plausible, and you've got a free ticket for as long as it lasts.

Note the fate of those who failed Rudolph though. Things to remember.

The Hacktivist Revolution

Please, oh hacktivists, tell me you're smarter than this.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Driving Reality: The Faith Steam Shovel

You know why Hagbard Celine says, "I steam-shovel when it's steam-shovel time"? Because the Steam-Shovel was invented in about three different places at the same time by three different parties who were not working together. It was the next step in Engineering, and as the environments and education allowed for it, it emerged around the world because it was time.

First assumption then: That when something happens like that, it's happening for a reason. The convergence of technology and innovation and necessity, plus experience and education ensure that somewhere, the steam-shovel will be invented. It happened simultaneously because it was just time for it to happen, and nothing could prevent its manifestation.

But Hagbard takes it a step further, doesn't he? "I steam-shovel..." He makes it personal. The statement changes a phenomenon of technological development and turns it into a universal principle that has personal applications. It was destiny that the steam shovel manifest, he says, and if there is a destiny for that huge innovation that leveled mountains and paved the way for global communications and the exchange of information across time and space, by god, there's a destiny for all things, even me. As a result, what I do matters and has global implications on par with the coming of the steam shovel.

It's a leap of logic that can get kind of difficult to support if you spend too much time thinking about it. He is an Erisian, after all. But it's a statement that has stuck with me over the years.

I've been playing with Luck lately. I've been exploring the paths or tunnels between Saturn and Mercury and the Moon. Very fun and interesting stuff. There's a simple way to screw up really badly looking for Luck and good Fortune in the sphere of the Greater Malefic, and avoiding that particular trap has taken a lot of focused intent. It's like a gravitational constant that tries to wrap you up in the decaying orbit that leads to the Terminus. Lots of adjustments need to be made, and you really have to watch the proportions of the mingled forces.

But what I've found is that when you've got it right, you become the driving forces of Fate itself. It's a matter of getting your mind in harmony with the forces of Fate. There are Seven forces of Fate, the Governors of the Planets. Getting the initiations into the Seven Spheres is imperative, I think, and I wouldn't have been able to integrate those forces without my SA* to guide the process. But when I've been "on," and in harmony, I can feel myself changing the warp and weave of existence in every action. I can feel the extended efffects of my moions and mutterings in my basement affecting the mechanisms of the whole around the universe. I can feel the forces moving me right along, and I am as much the Mover as the Moved. It's an at-one consciousness thing with some Right Action thrown in to boot.

And it's not like I'm just doing what I'm told, I'm doing what I want. And yeah, "what I want" is the result of coming to terms with why I'm here, and it's not what I wanted in terms of selfish want, but it's what I WANT from an eternal perspective, and it's even better than the lower-case want I thought I wanted when I started out.

There's a power that is both giddiness-inducing, and humbling at the same time. To be the hand of fate, to Steam-Shovel when it's Steam-Shovel time is to become the creator of the universe for as long as you can hold onto it.

And I think we're all there at some level, but we're not fully aware of it except when we're at-one-ing. The rest of the time we're as much pawns as we are hidden chess masters, and it's not the same thing as conjuring spirits, or meditation, nor is it the same thing as producing whatever it is we produce to earn our paychecks in the mundane world.

But you've got to go through at least an intro level into each of the Planetary Spheres, get familiar with those forces and get them in their proper positions relative to one another in your sphere. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, so let's use the Microcosm in the Macrocosm example that summarizes things for me best: The Altar Glyph.

Ok, see how everything is laid out in relation to the four corners of the World? The glyph represents how you would see the world if you were looking out from Agrippa's Scale of the Number 4, from Book 2, chapter vii of the Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Because the Altar is always in the physical realm, you lay out your representation of the things Above as if you were seeing them from here Below.

Now we know this isn't "really" how things are. It's a representation of everything as seen from one point of view. The planetary groupings in the Elemental kingdoms follow Agrippa's elemental attributes from Book 1, chapters xxiii-xxix. It doesn't follow the normal elemental attributes assigned by the planetary rulerships of the Signs, and it threw me for a while, until I realized Agrippa is using this to explain how the forces of the Planets primarily manifest in the physical realm. (shit, just hit cntrl-P which apparently publishes the post. woopsie! someone's reading a draft right now. Come back later and see what I meant it to look like if you're reading this before I repost it. And no, I don't know how you're supposed to know that. I guess just look and see if there's more below this point besides the asterisked footnote.)

Ok, so the image is a representation of the relative locations of the planets and elements to one another in the physical sphere based on how the forces of the Planets primarily manifest. The process of initiation into all the spheres builds in a kind of Altar Glyph into your own sphere. The forces are all integrated relative to one another, and you're able to tap into them more directly and clearly, and consciously as you go along in the Work. The forces are purified, strengthened, and you gain knowledge and skill in applying them as needed.

Once they're integrated and you've got a frame of reference for each of the forces, you can start to catch the waves of their mingling and manifesting consciously. It's a lot like surfing. You've got to be aware of where you are in relation to the wave, you have to estimate where it's going to break, position yourself in the right place, and then stand up at the right moment and let the wave take you, guiding it, riding it, moving with it and being at one with the most powerful forces of existence.

But the surfer is passive, sort of. The feeling of being at-one and directing the integrated forces of Fate is much more active. It's easier to start out with one type of force at a time and then start playing with the others as you progress.

Ok, back to the Luck thing. Notice that Saturn and Mercury are both in the same quadrant as Water in the Altar Glyph? Weird, huh. I mean, most GD Hermeticists will tell you Saturn is of the element Earth, right? And they are right too. Agrippa says Saturn is Water and Earth. But he lumps Saturn in the quadrant of Water in the Scale of the Number 4 because that's how it begins to manifest, like fluid flowing down, and it's as resistable as the tide.

Speaking of the Tide, the tide is ruled by the Moon, right? And the Moon is in the element of the Earth in the glyph. Why? Because in the chain of manifestation, the outward form of all Ideas that are manifesting from the Ideal REalm into the Physical is determined and ruled by the Moon. The Moon is the definer of the final shape and outermost form of all ideas as they come into being. So the Earth and the Moon are one in the glyph to represent this aspect of the process.

So my luck experiments consist of taking small amounts of Saturn, large amounts of Mercury, charging the Watery manifestation point, and pouring it out into the Earth through the Moon. When I'm consciously riding the Luck Wave, I can feel the surges from the other spheres I've been initiated into, like hearing the communications between the other governors, but most of my attention is focused into the manifestation of the luck-fate current.

And when it all clicks, and I'm doing here below what I'm doing up above, the feeling is incredible. It is the steam-shovel, it is the creation of the lucky series of events that lead to moments of joy and relaxed reaping of rewards.

And here's the thing: When you're doing it, it's faith. You just know what to do, you believe it, because you're doing it. Like riding a wave, you know you can because you are, and the longer you can do it, the more you know you can do it longer next time. "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed," the old saying goes, "you can move mountinas." But this faith is a gift, as well as a thing earned. It allows the conscious control of Fate, but at the same time demands the conscious acquiescence that the controller of Fate is more than just the part of the Whole Thing that is temporarily manifesting as you or me. It's believing on purpose in what is really true, in spite of the symbolic nature of the things we're using to represent it all.

*SA is the Supernatural Assistant. It is the entity that became, in later revelations, the Holy Guardian Angel. It's purpose, at least, one of its purposes, is to "embalm you as befits a God" when you die. I've mentioned before that this is a reference to the transformation process between a human and a Power of the 8th and 9th spheres. Gods don't need to be embalmed. I see this as a process of aiding in the integration of the purified forces of the spheres into the sphere of the magician, an integration that transforms the whole of the individual being into the next level of incarnation, if they are on the path that leads to through this particular gate. Different strokes for different folks, and all, but for Hermetic magi, the goal is to become a Power.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

War and Rumors of War

Within my sphere, I've felt rumblings and churnings. My friends and family, colleagues and students are feeling the winds of change, catching the acrid odor of burned nitre and sulfur wafting down the halls from the future. The general diplomatic and economic sate of the world at large has people getting ready for the things to come, and I've had a number of people asking me for advice and help, training for this coming phase of life on earth. They feel like they need to have their spiritual powers honed and sharpened, and ready for the trials and tribulations around the corner.

My standard and official response to the rumors of the end of the world are the same as they have been since Y2K failed to bring about the promised collapse of Western Civilization:

Don't Panic.

Rome didn't collapse in a day, and by the time the barbarians are at the gate, it won't be the first time you've seen them. Chances are pretty good that you'll have a lot more indications between now and the day it hits than you have had yet, it won't be surprising. Especially if you've taken Gordon's advice and honed your divination skills.

Nevertheless, after you've accomplished the above, move right along to the next part:

Be Prepared.

Do your daily rituals that you're supposed to be doing. If a spiritual apocalypse comes and the Reincarnated Warriors must step forward and take their destined places in the annals of history, they should have the following things taken care of in preparation:

Divination skills in at least one medium you can carry with you, tarot, runes, i ching, or omnimancy. See Gordon's post for more reasons to pursue this anyway. 

Full ability to channel elemental forces at will. Manifesting fireballs and ice daggers would be super cool, but for our purposes being able to direct the elemental forces to charge talismans, bring healing, and to energize our companions at need will be useful. You need to be initiated into the spheres of the Elements, and have balanced and integrated the forces they represent.
Astral Warrior Training - In the coming days, you'll have ample opportunity to wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with powers and and principalities in high places. Getting some experience wandering around the astral reflection of your area, learning to identify spying spirits, and how to drive off, defeat, or coerce enemy spirits to join you will help a great deal. Also, most of the people trying to be magicians who don't understand the Work will be really good at these kinds of cheap tricks, and there's no point in being a powerful Hermetic Magician if you get your ass beat by a White Wolf master of mental moon magic, is there? Get initiated and trained in the Lower Lunar Realm ASAP.
Working relationship with the Supernatural Assistant. You aren't going to have TIME to attain K&CHGA when the zombie apocalypse arrives. Get it taken care of now. The Supernatural Assistant can take care of the maintenance shit that you won't have time for, like protecting from spiritual forces of darkness, driving off evil spirits, and making a path through the wilderness that doesn't set off the proximity sensors of the New World Order's security forces.
Initiation into all Seven Planetary Spheres. You'll need to be familiar with the forces represented by the Seven Flames that stand before the Throne of God to be able to roll with the punches as they pour out their cups and bowls upon the Earth, if they're FINALLY going to get around to it. If they don't, being on speaking terms with them will help in so many ways I can't begin to list them here. 

Conveniently for my blog readers, and in honor of Rule 34, all these things happen to be available through my Hermetic Courses. I'll also be finishing up an Astral Warrior training guide that just focuses on getting some fun astral powers down, you know, observation, data gathering, weapon creation and empowerment, combat techniques, and mastery of the sphere that will allow you to bend the astral realm itself to entrap, bind, and destroy any enemy you happen to come across. Useful stuff for those going through that phase of their development. All the stuff I wish I'd had when I was dealing with it, that's for sure.

Oh, and the eBooks I sell wouldn't hurt either.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Taking another stab at it...

Ok, so I had this fast track to taking over the world and making it dance to my mad piping. It ran into some snarls along the way and was temporarily derailed by a momentary concern that should have been dealt with in better ways. My bad. Ooops and shit. Now that that's taken care of, we'll just be moving right along.

Things are... mmmm, Good. Beard stroking, warm beside the fire as the cold winds blow outside, enjoying a quality cigar and pondering the future as I listen pyromantically to the whispers of the flames as they dance across the embers. That kind of Good.

My Elemental Spheres have been balanced by some recent Work, and I've relearned some things about manifestation that I had forgotten lately. I've reclaimed a great deal of the things I'd let slip away in the Distracted Time, and as my Above has gotten sorted out, my Below has been keeping steady pace. Assuming I haven't fucked anything up, in a few short weeks, I'll be back where I was before things got screwy, and I'll be able to pick up where I left off and move right along to the next phase of my plans...

Gee, it's almost as if I brought about a purifying fire refining me and purifying my essence to better accomplish the Work.

Fuck, I hate this process sometimes. As far as world-views go, perhaps a cosmology that requires calcination as a precursor to massive achievement and reward leaves something to be desired. I would much rather have discovered that the secret methods manifestation and empowerment came from eating Kit-Kats and drinking Monster on the beach in a land where it never gets fucking freezing outside. Is it asking too much that my personal pleasure and instant access to infinite resources at whim be the key to global human transcendence forever without any suffering on my part at all, ever? Apparently.

Whatever, I've been through the fire, damnit, and I'm ready to reap the rewards. There had better be a fucking Red stone that turns everything to fucking gold when this shit works out. Signs indicate this is indeed the outcome, but if not, I will be kicking some ass.


Things are indeed getting better though. Inventory updated, progress noted.

Five Columbia students busted for selling drugs at three frat houses and dorms -

Five Columbia students busted for selling drugs at three frat houses and dorms -

Those wacky college kids with their dealing-drugs-for-tuition! Oh, but wait, see, drugs are ACKSHULLY dangerous and on par with VIOLENT CRIME. Read the article, it tells you so.

In case you're wondering, this is indeed a direct result of California's attempt to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Since it didn't raise enough of an outcry in the nation at large, apparently people need to be reminded that drugs are bad. Bad drugs.

Expect to see a lot more media presentations of recreational drugs in an evil light. With plenty of beer commercials in between.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Directing Forces from Talismans

A friend of mine posted on his Facebook status something about when you're carrying around a Saturn bag, don't be all shocked when you start feeling depressed and gloomy. Excellent advice!

One of the biggest dangers in magic, at least, right now as I write this because I'm thinking about it, is forgotten magic. You do a spell or make a talisman, or conjure up a spirit and ask it to do something, and then you go on about your life. Two weeks later when it's starting to manifest, you've forgotten all about it and miss out on the opportunities you've engineered, or you're not directing the forces you've put together into the original intent anymore.

When you make a talisman and start wearing it, like my friend above did, it begins influencing your sphere immediately, but the cumulative effects take a while to start manifesting. A luck talisman will start filling your sphere up with luck, but it's like pouring hot water into a bowl of cold water. It takes a while to warm up, but if you keep the source flowing, keep pouring hot water into the bowl, eventually the bowl and the water in it will all be hot. A luck talisman is pumping luck into your sphere, but it can take a while to hit full potency.

With the Saturn bag, I doubt he started feeling gloomy and depressed all at once. I didn't ask, but there are a lot of good reasons to carry around a Saturn bag. If you want occult wisdom, or longer life, or there's something you're working on shutting down and you could use a little more binding power in your actions, you can carry it around and direct the forces it's emanating into your actions.

I do this by paying attention to what I'm doing. I picture the force in my mind as a sort of mini-star. It's sending out light and other forms of radiation, and is also a gravity well, drawing things into orbit around it so that its effects can be regulated, the way the Sun's solar effects are regulated on each of the planets in our solar system by the duration of the orbit and the distance from the sun.

It's your job to direct these forces. I've made a Solar Talisman before and consecrated it to Michael, and put it on a shelf, and forgot all about it. The talisman was directing general Solar forces through the Michael seal right about into my brain as I sat in front of my bookshelf working. Mart of the seal was the symbol for Leo, and it wasn't long before I began manifesting decidedly Leo-ish personality flaws. Being a Taurus, the influx of Leonine forces was strange and new and different. I was a Royal Pain in the Ass at that point, and it took people familiar with Leo issues to help me understand what was going on.

A little more direction of the forces was applied, and things got remarkably better. I had intended the talisman to fill my office with solar forces that would keep the parasitic spiritual Larvae accumulation under control. I didn't have a lot of time to spend on maintenance, so I tried to automate it. I assumed that the Michaelian forces of the Sun would just automatically drive off the negative spirits, which it did, but I didn't anticipate the other effects. So I had to take the steps to attune the forces more specifically.

We, being in the image of the First Father, create the same way he did. We use the Logos, we speak things into being. When you make a talisman, you consecrate it to a specific purpose, generally speaking. Whatever that purpose is, you set it in place by speaking it over the thing you've created. You draw on the appropriate symbols, taking the idea and giving it a symbolic form in the physical realm. A luck talisman may have an image of Mercury, the Caduceus, or the wheel of Fortune, something that directs the forces emanating from the sphere of power anchored on the talisman.

When you're carrying something that is that specific in its final form, it puts out the forces it represents through those symbols. But a planetary talisman, or a talisman of a spirit is a pretty general thing, and you've got to be directing the forces it represents, otherwise it just fills your sphere, and like water, seeks the lowest point to manifest.

When you put on the talisman, tell it what you want it to do. Tell it the specific aspect of the forces it represents that you want it to manifest. While you're wearing it, remember you're wearing it. Every once in a while, repeat the intent you have in wearing it, and direct the forces represented to manifest in specific ways. Saturn, bind the efforts of [business man X] in this meeting, or Saturn, provide the wisdom to see what hidden forces are at work in this situation.

Likewise with spirit conjurations. When you start seeing your results manifest, it's a good time to revisit the spirit and continue to work with it in the manifestation process. If you've got a job lined up after doing a ritual for prosperity, call it back up and talk to it about how you want things to go next. Get advice and give further direction.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Divination Post over at Gordon's Rune Soup

Ahoy me hearties!

Behold, the Spirit moveth upon the Waters, and yea do ripples move across the surface, hinting at currents stirred up beneath.

Today's Rune Soup is a good read. Remember this post about the decade-ish long recession cycle? Bear that in mind when you read about what he's talking about.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If I forget to mention it...

Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone celebrating it tomorrow.

I am thankful for my blog readers, every beautiful one of you.


Now, back to the housecleaningcurtainhangingfurnituredustingbathroomscrubbingandsweepmoppery that must be done before we begin the piebakingcookiemakingsidedishpreparingcheeseandveggietraymakingcaserolebakinglastminutetripstothestoreforthingsIforgotstivities.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last chance for discounted courses

Tonight's the night the course prices revert to normal. You've got until 11:59:59 EST tonight to get the 20% discount.


Do the awesome accomplishments of other magicians leave you feeling ... inferior?

MANSPELL can make that feeling go away! For only $199.95, you too can feel like a MAN.

The MANSPELL kit comes complete with two stone spheres that are oddly comforting to hold, a roll of duct tape, and absolutely no directions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cluster posting

Once upon a time, RO had a lot of time on his hands to post and set up posts on his blog in a way that brought a steady diet of ideas and interests he wanted to share to his audience. Then he got really busy, and these days writes a ton of posts in a morning and then nothing else for a week.

Uh, anyway, I can't set them up to post sequentially like I used to from work, and I want to get stuff posted before I run out of time or forget, so sorry about the post clustering. As I adapt to my latest circumstances, I'm sure things will get back to a more even keel.

The Elements

I think writing the Red Work Series of Courses has been the best thing I've ever done in my life. As I go back over the things I've learned so far and try to find a way to put it into meaningful words, I keep on finding all these cool things I picked up and forgot about over the years. It's so cool.

I'm writing the Elemental Hierarchy lesson for the Black Work course now, and it's amazing. Things I thought I understood years ago are making so much more sense now when I go back over them from my current perspective. Agrippa writes about things that are fascinating after you've been initiated into the Spheres and spent some time Working with the things he talks about, but until you have, it's boring, complicated, and confusing. So much of his writing is referential to the actual experiences of a magician that I have no doubt that he was a practitioner and not just an occult journalist. His detailed understanding of how things work in the occult arts can only be explained by direct experience.

The first time I read through his stuff on the Elements, in the First Book of Occult Philosophy, chapters ... uh, three through nine, I just didn't get it. I understood the words, and I thought I grasped the concepts. I could read a correspondence table and understand the implications and the logic behind the linkages between things, but I didn't have that gnosis, that knowledge that comes from experience to make it all really click.

After actually experiencing the three levels of the elemental spheres, the cardinal, fixed, and mutable aspects of each element, it makes perfect sense. Gates, Forces, and Manifestations. It took me years to understand what Agrippa says so plainly. It's like someone says, "Put slot A in tab B," it's simple instructions, but until you understand tabs and slots, you won't understand what he's saying. But now I get it. Neat stuff, really neat stuff.

Anyway, for those like me going through this Great Work thing on their own, read, apply, and then go back and re-read is my advice. Helps put things into perspective a lot. I keep finding myself saying, "Oh, THAT'S what he was talking about!" as I go back over the basics.

Hermetic Checkup

Someone asked if there was a lighter version of the Hermetic Diagnosis available for those who didn't want to do the full diagnostic, something more affordable and at a higher level.

Sure, why not? The point is to help people.

Hermetic Checkup - A quick divination and consultation with the Powers That Be on your behalf. Can be a general status update or specifically about a single aspect of your life. $25.

I'll have to update the web page later, but for now if you're interested, just select Hermetic Diagnosis and when I get in touch with you, I'll ask if you want the full diagnosis or the checkup.

The link to the services is over on the right at the top of the blog page, or you can click this link to get to the order page.

Hermetic Economic Forecast

Ok, take a look at THIS LINK showing the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1900 through 2010. Then click the little links towards the bottom of the page that shows the time period in 20-year increments. Look at what happens every single decade. Towards the beginning, a big dip, followed by a slow recovery, followed by a climb for the last half of the decade, and then another crash, correction, recession, depression, whatever. Then slow recovery, rapid growth, correction/crash, slow growth, rapid growth, correction/crash, slow growth and so on and so forth.

Pretty much.*

Ok? Every 10 years. This ain't rocket science. Our ancestors could figure out the astrological timing of the stars to set up neat tricks with the lighting and architecture of major massive monuments, right? You think economists could look at one simple graph and see that things are going along the same way they have as long as we've been keeping records?


Anyway, folks, as summer follows spring, and winter follows autumn, so also will growth continue to be slow until around 2015-2016, at which point things will get better faster, especially for those who have prepared themselves to be in a position to invest when things start picking up. Invest heavily around 2015, start selling off the riskier stuff in 2017, pull out of the market by 2018, and then get back in when things are at the bottom. There's not better time to have a lot of money than when the economy is bad. You get such deals on everything. Minions that cost $125k a couple years ago are going for $70k and no benefits now. And they're working harder because they know they're LUCKY to even have a job.

Think of your financial lifecycle as a farm. You start out with a few seeds, plant them, harvest them, sell a lot of the produce, but keep as many of the seeds for the next year's crop as you can plant and take care of. Each year, plant, grow, harvest, and save. This is the time you build up your seed stores, and then when it's time to invest, you'll have plenty of seed money. Sock it away now in savings, only take sure bets, and work your tail off for meager profits that go right into savings for when it's time to invest heavily. The more you've got on hand to put into the market in five years, the better.

Cycles, harmony, passive observation and working with the currents to strategically get ahead. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. IHVH. Get to work.

* "Pretty Much" means that yeah, there are exceptions, and it's not exact, but I mean, come one, it's close enough to be a good indicator, you know? Generally speaking.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Witch Doctor

I get it. I know why they call them Witch Doctors and Root Doctors. You're giving the person a checkup, an evaluation based on years of specialized training that have required a great deal of education and various degrees of pain, and then, if there's anything wrong in the areas you've specialized in, you offer a diagnosis, a treatment, or a cure for what ails them.

It's just like going to the doctor.

Hippocrates was a contemporary of Plato, who called him an Asclepiad, which could mean a follower of Asclepius, god of healing, or it could have just meant he was a healer like Asclepis was a healer. The practices of Hippocrates were neat. They preferred to let the body heal itself, and they focused on the humors of the body, which were based on the four elements. He believed that the body had the ability to harmonize its own humors, and let the body do so. He taught passive treatment for most ailments, and developed the phases of disease still followed today. Crisis and relapse are based on his observations that diseases followed a pattern, and the crisis point happened a set number of days after the ailment began.

Neat stuff. Very in theme with Hermetic Magic and the application thereof. Modern magicians are fascinated by Science and the exploration of the Natural World, but perhaps we'd find more and better harmony in the medical field than in astronomy or physics. I mean, Physicists don't even take an Oath before beginning their practices. Medicine is obviously closer to a Mystery Tradition or secret lodge in that regard.

"Applied Hermetics" is what one person suggested, and that sounds about right as an adjective. I'd rather have a proper noun, a title that described what we do. Asclepiad, the healer was called. Hermesthetician, I thought was closest. Well, whatever. I don't know. Mage, diviner, shaman, therapist, conjurer, herbal treatment recommender, talisman smith, emissary to the divine and sub-divine realms, balancer of elemental disproportions, lifter of curses, exorcist, psalmist, hexencrafter, fixer, whatever you want to call me, that's what I do these days. All the things the spirits of the Goetia were supposed to grant one the powers to do. Odd, eh? But interesting.

It seems Hermetic Magic is the spiritual medicine of the West.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hey Writers

Ever wish you had a really simple old-school text interface tool that you could use to write a chunk of text without any distraction? Trying to recreate that late-eighties mood for your latest writing project, but you can't fine a copy of WordStar anywhere?

Check THIS out.

I love this stuff. Brought to me by Life Hacker, a link I'm sure most of you visit, and especially Jason and Gordon have probably shared it on more than one occasion. I know Jason was into using the term Life Hacking for what it is he does and teaches for a while. Thoughts on what to call magic had reminded me of that, and a google search later turned up pages of useful interesting tips and tricks. Love it.

hmmmm... what to call it, what to call it...

Hermetic ... counseling... no, therapy, ah, no... rehab?

scratch all that...

hermes... toth... ape chaser? heh. no, tothic engineering, tothtastic thotherapy, thothic analysis, thothity thoth thoth... sheesh. forget thoth.

hermes, hermetic counseling, hermetic doctor, hermengineering, hermeticology? hermeticologists! LOL. "We're here to audit your spheres and bring clearness... To yo bank account!"

Ok, no. c'mon focus here. Hermetic shamanism? nah. Hermesthetics? Hermestheticians? probably the best one, but who'd be able to pronounce it? aesthetics are what magic is all about. remind me to write that art-magic post some time in response to VVF.

crap! how the fuck do you come up with something like this. ahhh, forget it. It's just hermetics anyway. hermetic practice. The implementation of hermetic doctrine, the result of hermetic magic, the Great Work on the field of play. What do you call that? What do you call someone who does that, and applies the related disciplines to the lives of others?

Oh yeah... a magician.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

204 Followers? This calls for a Celebration!

Hey everyone, I broke the 200 mark for followers through Google's blogger follower thing while I was all distracted from my beautiful blog. That's in addition to the 388 subscribers through the Feedburner thing. I think. Maybe there's some cross over though. I dunno.

But officially passing 200 followers for the blog is a big thing for me, so to celebrate I'm going to offer a 20% discount on the Red Work Series of Courses.

The discount will last between right now and next Tuesday. All orders must be received no later than 11:59:59 PM EST on Tuesday, 11/23/2010 to qualify for the discount.

Click THIS LINK to get the discounted price. I updated the buy now buttons for both Google Checkout (my preferred method of taking payments) and on PayPal (everyone else's preferred method of making payments). The prices shown on the Courses page include the discount. I'll be reverting to the regular page and regular prices after the 23rd.

There is a Crack in Everything...

That's how the Light gets in...

Ok, so you know how the final stage of the Great Work is Projection, right? After you've made the Philosopher's Stone, you're not finished with the Great Work until you've taken the stone, ground it up or distilled it down, and then started using it to provide longevity, cure ills, and generally increase the purity of the world. That's the true goal of the Great Work: To Make the World a Better Place.

Personally, I think the The Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist sums up where we end up as we progress in the Work pretty well.
"I am the headless daimon with sight in my feet; I am the mighty one who possesses the immortal fire; I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll. I am the one whose sweat falls upon the earth so that it can inseminate it; I am the one whose mouth burns completely; I am the one who begets and destroys; I am the Favor of the Aion; my name is a heart encircled by a serpent; come forth and follow."
Now, many of you know I can't stand a lot of the parts of existence. I'm sure there are things you can't stand too. Some forms of hatred can be noble. The hatred of evil, like racism, torture, and tyranny. The hatred of ignorance. The hatred of the idiots we share the road with.

In the Stele, it's presented as hatred of the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world.

I just realized the path of the statement above traces a spiral on the Kircher Tree of Life. Starting at Immortal Fire in Tiphareth, the Sun, you then hit hatred of injustice in Geburah/Mars, thunder and lightning in Chesed/Jupiter, inseminating sweat in Netzach/Venus, the burning mouth of enflamed prayer and energetic communication in Hod/Mercury, the begetting and destroying or waxing and waning of Yesod/The Moon, and ending in the Favor (or Fortuna, Fate) of the Aion in Binah/Saturn. And then you've got the Heart encircled by a Serpent.

Interesting little things like that are neat. I don't know if it means anything, it's pure speculation and observation of possibly related things. Pretty cool though.

Anyway, everything's cracked. Look around, and there's a ton of shit to hate, plenty of opportunities to see things that could use improvement. Calvinsim, my favortie brand of Christianity, explains it all with the Total Corruption of the manifest world. I think that's pretty harsh, personally. I don't think all of existence fundamentally sucks. I've been high on a mountain in Colorado too many times to think existence itself is fundamentally flawed. It's just too beautiful to be basically broken.

But it needs to be managed better. Who among us hasn't thought, "If there is a God, he's fucked UP to create an existence like this!" I mean, all of us hit that point sooner or later. Those of us who do the Hermetic Work of getting through the spheres get a somewhat more useful understanding of the Fucked Up nature of existence. Shit's mostly fucked up because PEOPLE have forgotten Who they Are, Where they Came From, and Why They're Here. So no one is making sure things work out the way they're supposed to.

Humans are part of the hierarchy of entities who have a role to play in the manifestation of all that is. As we progress through the Spheres, receiving initiations and getting the powers of each integrated into our daily lives, we are able to see the process of manifestation and how things could work better. Being in the World, the realm of the Spiritus Mundi, we have an insight into the way things feel when they actually get here that the spirits of the higher planes don't necessarily have. We can finesse and finagle the final stages of the waxing and waning of manifestation here on Earth. We can do the Right Action at the Right Time to inseminate the world with our sweat, because we've seen the Visions of the Spheres, met the entities that manage manifestation, and can provide feedback from "in the field" to our co workers further "up" the chain of manifestation.

Our "Charge to the spirit" phase of conjuration is the part of the rites where we provide feedback from on the ground. A fully initiated, consciously aware human can be on the scene painting the target with the laser beam that guides the laser missle to the right target at the right time. We need finances, so we do a rite, but we tell the spirits not only what we want, in amounts, but how we want it to manifest because we can see it, we can feel it.

All those gifts we get in the spheres, the psychic powers to do remote viewing, or psychometry, all that stuff is there for a reason, and it's not entertainment. We're supposed to develop those things so we can participate in the creation of the world more fully. You scan an object to get more information in how to direct forces to fix the cracks where they appear. You use the favor of Kings to change political policies that are unjust. You use the health and longevity to accomplish long-term goals that take years to complete. Every gift or power received from your initiations into the spheres is given to you so that you can do your job. The results of the purification and transformation is a being, a human being who can coordinate the forces of the manifest and unmanifest realms to create a complete and better world.

That's what Projection is all about. You take the cracks, and project the Light into it and make it better, a cleaner, more just, more empowered, more harmonious version of what it was, closer to the Idea that spawned it.

Man's awareness of "shit that sucks" is a tool to be used, an indicator, the same way pain is an indicator that something's wrong with the bodies we live in while alive. Magicians end up with very acute senses of things that are right and wrong.

Which can suck terribly when you're not doing regular magic. I'm thinking now of Jow's recent post about sharpening the tools but not using them. He mentioned that irritation that builds up when you're always doing the maintenance, but you're not using the techs or forces you're conjuring up to do anything.  We get angsty and irritable, bored and annoyed.

When you get those feelings, do what Jow did, recognize it for what it is and figure out something you should be doing. If you can't think of anything, here are some suggestions:

  • Figure out what your major obstacles in life are. What's blocking your ability to accomplish your goals? Once you've got a list, ritually destroy them with a little gunpowder rite. KABOOM is a magic word.
  • Do some strategic Sorcery. Figure out what you want, and then break it down into phases, and then into specific steps. Do the magic for each step, cover your bases, and see how it works out.
  • Politics always offers good targets for working out injustices. Somewhere near you, right now, there is a corrupt official waiting to be exposed.
  • Social causes: racism, gender/sexual orientation discrimination, bullying in general, there are all kinds of things you could focus on in the daily news. 

For the more patient, compassionate, and wise among us (don't know how close I qualify on this, but... sigh, here it is anyway), there's also what I think of to myself as "Hermetic Counseling."

One of the things I've learned over the years of doing magic is that the insight I've gained through the Great Work makes other people's problems, and the solutions, pretty easy to figure out. I'm too emotionally attached to myself to regularly be able to solve my own issues, but when it comes to others, I'm spot on.

The Work provides us with not only the wisdom and insight to identify people's problems, but also access to the forces that manifest reality so we can change people's lives. Not everyone is called to be a magician, and those of us who are (who are also gifted with the ability to stand listening to other people's problems) are in a position where we can actually help people in more esoteric ways to have a better life.

This is not for everyone, and should come with lots of caveats, because really, most people aren't equipped to help others out until they've done some serious work on themselves. It takes years of Work and refinement to be able to help people, and to know when you can't, no matter what.

But we can conjure the Geniuses of the clients' natal charts and just ask them what's going on, we can bind the Evil Daimons who are bringing challenges to them, we can direct the ministries of the Spirits on behalf of those who need it. It's like the Sorcery for Hire stuff a lot of us already do, but it's more objective. We won't necessarily do only what the client asks, we'll also do what the spirits and our experiences and insights indicate needs to be done for them. We'll divine the true causes of their suffering, and take appropriate action on their behalf.

This particular effort comes with a lot of dangers, though. A lot of us (self included ) can be blind to our own ignorance, and with the best intentions in the world, completely fuck someone else up. If we lack the discipline to perform divinations regularly, to see past the dollar signs to the things that really need to be done, we're not ready to help others regularly. Offer sage advice, but include the warning that you could be wrong. Offer to do magic you think is right for the client, but don't just do it all willy-nilly. If you think something is good for someone, but also suspect they'd fail if they tried it out where they are right now, don't push them into it anyway with the assumption that the fires released that consume their lives will also refine them enough to take the next step on their own. Sometimes when people's lives are consumed in a refining fire, they just quit while their lives are still in ashes because they weren't ready to face the issues you've tried to deal with for them. You can seriously fuck some shit up.

But really, this is the kind of thing a magician is best equipped to do. Fill in the cracks. Make the world a better place. Help one another.

Jesus, it sounds so ... nice. And really, it is. For those who are more into magic to get rich, get ahead, or whatever, all I can say is that urge to acquire and advance is a really good thing, but I've personally found that the only way to consistently assuage that urge is to use your magic to make the world a better place. That includes getting rich and meeting your personal ambitions, because then you're in a better position to use your knowledge and skills effectively. Those who conjure spirits to get in good with local politicians and leaders will be in better positions to help communities struggling with poverty and crime. Those who conjure up their soul mate will have their emotional and sexual needs met, and have all that time they would otherwise spend pursuing gratification free to put to proper work.

And the Work we do is the most fulfilling thing we can do in life. It's pretty awesome.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blog, beautiful blog...

How I've missed you! I haven't been able to blog regularly in weeks. It's killing me.

This too shall pass.

In the mean time, let's all pretend I'm writing really deep and insightful blog posts about really interesting things.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Halloween came and went, and I didn't conjure up my spirit pot of deadites as planned. I got tired and went to sleep instead. I was rawther disappointed with myself, but I am a loving and forgiving self, and have absolved myself of all remorse. Some day I'll get around to it, on a smaller scale though. The plan is to subject the nepheshim to a series of alchemical processes, using the spirit remains as the Prima Materia, and seeing what I end up with after walking them through a series of consecrations and purifications in each of the Spheres.

I figure there are two possible outcomes:

1. An awesome and powerful spirit assistant with a well-rounded set of skills, and the human empathy to be able to accomplish some tasks with a little more focus on what I want instead of what I say.

2. The dissolution and reabsorption of the spirit's essence into the Prima Materia, cause it's mortal and should have returned to the dust it was formed from.


Three! Three possible outcomes.

3. Something unanticipated entirely.

But for now, time is at a premium and I don't have much to spare. When I get some, I'm usually sleeping the sleep of the overworked and underpayed, and that's ok right now. So this project is back-burnered until further notice, though anyone interested in performing it themselves is welcome to, of course, and I'd love to correspond about the results as time permits. And I'm only telling you about it because a couple someones asked. Otherwise I'd merrily move along and forget I'd mentioned it until I got back to it.

Like those Shem angels I'd planned on Working through 4 years ago.

Can anyone remember recently reading or writing...

Someone in the blogosphere posted something about why we got into magic in the first place, and how magic turned out to be something different than what we expected, but what it really turned out to be was freaking awesome so we stuck with it anyway.

That might not be the exact words, but that's how I remember it. I can't find the freaking post though, and I'd love to link to it (and re-read the post because now I think I'm mis-remembering it altogether and I want to verify the context, and see how the author put it together and all that).

Does anyone remember reading something like that recently, or writing something along those lines? A link in the comments would be much appreciated.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thanks, Ancestors. Thanks a freaking lot.

Excellent piece today over at Rune Soup.

After reading it, though, I couldn't help but think, yeah, ancestors, thanks SO MUCH for everything, assholes. We come from a lot of really prick people. Serious major dick heads. Unenlightened violent thieves, rapists, and murderers. And CANNIBALS.

And we wouldn't BE HERE if it weren't for them. We wouldn't have to deal with trying to remember we're free from all suffering at all if they'd just kept their dicks in their pants. Fuck wads.

I found out a little about the Bodhisattva vows recently. You swear to keep on incarnating until everyone reaches Enlightenment.

Fuck. That. Shit.

Human beings have a racial history of being stupid, mean, and vile. Especially to people who try to teach them how to not be stupid, mean, and vile. I've even done it myself, so what does that say about the sad state of affairs?

So I'm putting together a "raise an army of the dead" ritual for Halloween (it's been in process for a couple of weeks, was going to post it, but likely won't finish until a few minutes before I do the rite anyway). I've got dirt from various graveyards around the area, and some other stuff from haunted places, and it's all going into a big old huge fucking Spirit Pot that will be home to my Army of Deadites to send around and do whatever petty shit needs to be done.

The level of spirit I'm aiming for in the rite is pretty base, the shades who haven't managed to dissolve into the parts that make them up, the Nepheshim. Individually, they're pretty weak.

In large numbers, I'm hoping they can do more than just drop the temperature of the room a few degrees when they show up. My hopes and expectations are decidedly low, though, because they're only human after all, and not even the thinking or eternal parts at that. Just some damned souls left to howl in the night when the veils are thinnest.

And why am I doing this? Because like my ancestors, I'm a fuck wad asshole prick who would eat human flesh to survive if necessary. And magic is fun. And who WOULDN'T want an army of the dead to send out at whim to curse the local 7-eleven owner for running out of BFC Monsters when you really need one?

So that's how I'm honoring the dead this year. I'm giving them something to do, and I'm keeping the family tradition alive.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Now your nightmare comes to life...

Ok, so this is a fun song and all, but the lyrics aren't exactly 100% accurate. However, it's still pretty cool. When I dropped demon magic, I found all kinds of stuff touched on in the lyrics of this song just sort of went away. Borderline personality disorders, mental illness afflictions and such just faded. Even a learning disability my daughter had evaporated into nothing, and she's doing great in school this year, with no particular changes in how we do things at home.

Money is coming in and actually staying in for a change. No major catastrophes are leaving us all broke every time we get a windfall.

And I'm over a lot of personal issues that plagued me for years. A friend commented that I'm calmer than ever, even though I've managed to retain my wit. Personally, I don't know how witty I am, but as long as I'm not getting less witty, I'm happy. I was a little concerned about that, since Bune had made me more eloquent. I was afraid I'd end up less loquacious, or dull.

I do write less on the blog, but that's because most of my attention and writing is going into courses these days.

Anyway, I thought the song was fitting. One of the things about demon magic is that people heavily into it are living nightmare existences, one drama or crisis after another, all the time... and they think it's normal. It's not! Life doesn't have to be shit, all the time. Into each life a little shit must fall, don't get me wrong, but it's not supposed to be all the time, every month, year after year.

Now, some magicians seem to be able to work with demons with either no problems, or they're at least adequately prepared to accept the consequences. Hey, if that's you, more power to you. Awesome.

For the rest of us, if you're sick of the drama, but you're hooked on the power and apparent control of your life the demon magic brings, the RO Guide to Demon Magic Recovery is for you. It provides a way to get clean, and to replace the perks of being a magician that you've grown accustomed to with better allies and sources of power. Cleaner stuff. The "good" stuff.

Recent conversations on Evocational Magic had me reviewing my position on demons this week. I mean, I'm kind of the poster child for the guy who gets into demon magic, has bad shit happen, and then goes all anti-demon as a result. There are lots of explanations about why that happens online, and when I was into demon magic, I even wrote a few myself. My take was people weren't initiated enough, or something.

After carefully re-evaluating my position, I've come to the conclusion that demon magic still sucks, but I've clarified my use of the term "demon." Demons are any spirit who is designed to bring destruction or delusion. Focalor, who sinks ships and brings disease, is clearly a demon. Maybe every spirit listed in the Lemegeton's Goetia is not necessarily a demon, but I think enough of them are to make it a poor resource for finding spirit allies. Instead, I advocate working with the Planetary Governors/Intelligences directly, the "Winds," the Princes of the Spirits, and the Genii Loci. I recommend creating your own list of spirits the old fashioned way, finding them, getting their details, and recording their contact information in a Spirit Book.

Be a Goes magician practicing Goety by all means! After all, that wouldn't be an inappropriate description of my own Work, from certain perspectives. But avoid any spirit whose primary role in existence is the manufacture and maintenance of suffering. Putting them to work for you is effective, but it comes with a price. For most of us, anyway.

Freedom from All Suffering

When you are free from all suffering, it does not necessarily mean you will never again suffer. However, once you are free from all suffering, suffering will never be able to imprison you again.

You are free to leave the prison of suffering any time. The gates are not locked.

The question faced while suffering occurs is no longer "Why am I suffering," but "Will I suffer through this or not?"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Hunt Party

It's that most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! Samhain! All Saints! Walpurgisnacth! Raise the dead, joke with the damned, walk the Paths of Hel, Hella, Hades, shudder in dread in the shadow of Cromm, and dance to the maddening beat of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes!

I suggest a Hunting Party. Gather up some heathens, a couple of coolers full of ice, and camp out at a farm of an accommodating friend of similar beliefs, or who will at least turn a blind eye and deaf ear to a night's revelry. You'll need a bonfire, and some hay bales to sit on. You'l need sparsely wooded "wild" areas to wander through in the dark, and a shallow stream someone can fall into and laugh about later. You'll need shadowed hidden places near enough to see the fire, but secluded enough for lovers to have their quality time together without intrusion.

Conjure up the Master of the Hunt. (Did I mention the Master of the Hunt?) You'll definitely need some Hunt Master. Also known as der Jaegermeister, this charming concoction must be stored in the coolers with the ice. Shot glasses are optional, because alcohol kills germs. Figure a minimum of a pint per attendee, and a chaser per person, and you'll bring about enough. I prefer Fraoch Heather Ale as the chaser. So good.

Meet at dusk and pitch the tents. (Did I mention the tents?) Note: pitch the tents BEFORE you start drinking. For serious.

Light the fire, cook some bratwurst on sticks. (Did I mention the bratwurst?) Crack the Ale, pour the first round of shots, and together toast the Spiritus Mundi, the Spirit of the World. Pour one shot on the ground. Another round is poured, and together toast the Genii Loci, the Spirits of the Land. Pour one shot on the ground. A third round is poured, with great solemnity, in silence, and the final toast is made to those who have come before, the honored dead who have passed over. Pour one shot on the ground.

After a moment of contemplation and somber reflection on the dead (which gives the alcohol time to permeate the blood stream), break out the fiddle and the bow, the flute and the drums, and let the drunken revelry commence! (Did I mention the fiddle and the bow and the drum and the flute?)

Note: At no point should anyone perform a conjuration as part of the Hunt Party. This ritual honors the Spirits, but is primarily a celebration for the living. Raise an army of the dead on your own time, with no booze involved.