Thursday, May 27, 2010

God, Gods, Angels, Spirits, and ... Us

Kenaz wrote an interesting post about the nature of humanity and deity that got me thinking. The Pagan sphere of occultists face a lot of weird issues that I, as a Hermetic-Christian magician do not have to wrestle with. Plato, Plotinus, Iamblichus, and Dionysius the Areopagite laid out the framework of a celestial hierarchy that I use in my regular practices. Between this framework and a couple thousand years of theological debate on the role of Man and God within the Christian realms, I don't have to struggle much with whether I'm a God or co-creator or whatever.

But for those who might be struggling with where things all fit, I'll lay out my understanding of the roles, and maybe that will help you figure out where you're at in the grand scheme of the cosmos.

At the top of the food chain is the Source of all things, the guy I refer to as "God the First Father." I know there's no gender, but I'm more comfortable with the masculine pronouns. It's easier than being politically correct, and if you want to call it a her, go for it, I don't think she cares since it's as wrong to call it a her as it is to call it a him, or even an it.

Below God is the LOGOS, who is also God. In the beginning was the LOGOS, and the LOGOS was with God, and the LOGOS was God. Being the first emanation of God, it's still slightly lower than the First Father.

Below the LOGOS are the gods. In Hermetics, these are the 7 Planetary Governors. It's no coincidence that the names of the planets are the names of the gods. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Helios/Apollo, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon. Many pagans had different goddesses for each phase of the moon, but still. In a recent article on JWMT, Nick Farrell postulates that the 7 Olympic Spirits of the Arbatel are the gods. The Gods. Interesting take on things indeed. I personally Work with the Planetary Governors in the forms of the Archangels or Intelligences of the Planetary Spheres, but Hermetically, this is where the gods fall in the hierarchy. All the brothers and sisters of the gods who don't get planets would also fall into this level, since they're kin.

Below the gods are their servants. Iamblichus refers to these as the Angels, or messengers of the gods. In the grimoires we see each spirit having legions at their command, and each of the gods in the classical pantheons had daimon-servants who worked for them.

Next in the general hierarchy comes the Elemental spirits, the Genii Loci, and the various nature spirits we run into in our magical travels. Some of these spirits fall under specific gods, others are more like us, free to do what they will within their sphere of influence without really answering to anyone.

Human beings are on a different track. We're made in the image of the First Father, and because of this, all the other spirits love us and work with us. We were created, I believe, to appreciate the Works of the First Father, and to continue these Works, functioning as his hands and feet within the material realm. There's nothing in any Hermetic texts to make me think this is true, but I still believe it. It just seems right.

We spend most of our lives unaware of our Divine Race. We forgot that we were created in God's image, and that we have the authority and power to create the world, and we spend most of our time in a stupor, pushed here and there by the winds of fate. The goal of the Great Work is to remember and reclaim our eternal nature, and to behave as if we were God's Image on Earth. It ain't easy.

Iamblichus teaches that there are Gods, Angels, Heroes, and Men. The Heroes are usually those like Heracles who were born of the union of a god and a mortal, but they are also the humans who, through theurgical magic, reclaim their divine nature and become half-divine, half-mortal within a lifetime.

In the Corpus Hermeticum, we also learn that humans can become "Powers," leaving behind the mean nature and becoming like an angel or even a god after they die.

Each class of being is an emanation of God the First Father. We're all related, all in the same family, and the ties that bind us together into a cohesive whole are stronger than anything we can begin to imagine in the flesh. In one sense, "Thou art God" is totally and awesomely true, while in another sense it's hubris to think such things. While we are all aspects of God, we are not all gods or goddesses, any more than we are all angels. We are lower manifestations of a higher power, and I believe we need to be respectful of our brothers and sisters and cousins in the divine family when we work together with them in creating and maintaining the world.

Favorite Quote of the Day

Regarding the oil spill in the Gulf:

"Now that we know how to fix it... Drill Baby Drill!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gettin' me a Bloom Box

Aww yeah, gonna be pumpin' out teh powers, makin' me some cash off BGE for a change, and Ima be chargin' them outrageous. Of course by then they'll be regulating what citizens can charge corporations. Fuckers.

But yeah, as soon as they start selling them to residential homes Ima be all over that.

Not a good time to curse BP

Don't curse BP, they're the only ones who can afford to do anything right now. Wait til AFTER they fix the leak, yo.

EDIT: And wait even after that. Cause there's too much shit going down, as Ron points out.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jollishet, they're serious!

I believe this article is best appreciated if read while listening to this song. (NSFW)

Change we can believe in... depending on how we define "change" and/or "believe."

Head for the Home

I'm in the process of moving back into my house, so the next couple of weeks may see fewer posts. Rest assured any hiatus will be temporary.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working with some fellow magi on an interesting project that is a long way from being publishable, but it's definitely had some cool effects that have got my creative juices flowing.

After I get settled in, I will be resuming the Red Work series of courses. Based on recent experiences and revelations, some aspects of the overall course will be updated. It's coming together nicely, and I believe I'll be able to provide a simple and effective framework to accomplish the aims of the original Hermeticists as laid out in the Corpus Hermeticum.

I'm very excited about the prospects. I expect the Red Work series to provide communion with the Supernatural Assistant, Theurgical and Practical Work through the Four Elemental Spheres and the Seven Planetary Spheres, Access to and Integration of the Eighth Sphere, as well as a Goety aspect, which I may tone way down based on the evidence of current research. A lot depends on the outcome of the project I'm working on. If things continue the way they have been going, the whole Demon-conjure thing may be completely and totally a red herring, unnecessary to the accomplishment of the process depicted in the Emerald Tablet.

But Goety still provides a useful set of tools that are an aid to the magician while s/he masters the practical implications of the Eighth. Assuming they turn out to be more of what I've seen so far, that is.

As you cans see, things aren't coalesced enough to talk about publicly. There's too much "swirl," and not enough data to reach an informed conclusion. But there's more to come!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Post: Argent's Comment on "Enochian Weirdness"

Argent provided the following as a comment, and I think it warrants being its own post. So today's the first guest speaker I've hosted. Enjoy!

I have worked with the Enochian system for over ten years now and I have never -ever- experienced the meltdown effect as described by the internet-urban legends abounding.

The way I see it is that systems, aside from their specific entities also have an overarching hive-mind, or, if you will, egregore. (Now, there are systems, 200 years older than kaosmagick that also work with egregores so don't dis the concept out right).

Each system's egregore, and all egregores for that matter, will have a specific feeling and behavior. At first, the experience will be a mix between your expectations of the egregore and its true flavor. Then, over time, if the practitioner is a mentally balanced person, the true flavor will emerge and the expectation linked experience will pass.

Compare this with a European left-wing person traveling to USA the first time after only seeing American sit-coms and you are on the right track, or the projections people to on their loved ones the first 6-12 months in a relationship.

Enochian has a specific feeling because the egregor IS a form of esoteric Christian amalgamation. Esoteric Christians of all eras have understood the end times to be imminent from a myth perspective, because in a way they are, in the same way as the Logos is ever coming ever redeeming, and not a single reborn Christ. That myth image is just as ingrained in the enochian egregore as duality is in gnostic myths.

The truth is we are all Christ, as the emergence of the Christ-consciousness during some initiatory processes shows, but this doesn't mean we have also done the work needed to truly support this Christ consciousness. We can get megalomaniacal, or exhibit messiahs syndrome or believe that because we understood the one truth by reading page 75 in playboy magazine collected, volume 2, 1975 whilst drinking cappuccino, then that is how everyone else will see the light and we end up a bit odd.

By communicating with the angels of the enochian egregore, we assume the role of someone with a Christ consciousness, and as we know, by faking it you make it. No matter how unbalanced someone is, they will get that sense. If you combine this with a slightly unusual preconception of the egregore projected unto the angels, then you have what some people call the meltdown effect.

As to the nature of the angels, like many practitioners, myself included, usually say that the enochian “angels” are very strange “angels”. 

However, if we look at how the enochian angels of the tablets behave, feel like and what their place is in the enochian hierarchy, we’ll notice that they are what the universe is made of. In Martinez Pasqually’s system they would be the sentient angels who have entered the time-flow and created matter.

Even from a non-dualist non-gnostic perspective this makes sense. If we are all inside the mind of God, hermetically speaking, then everything in The Mind of God is a thought and “living” entities.

The Angels are thus the sentient building blocks of our reality, prison, or whatever you want to view the world as. Their job is to oversee the universe and they like to talk to us, because they love us and they want to teach us the things they can. The egregore is contactable stupidly easily. You don’t need more then the calls and a tablet on paper to start getting a very powerful connection.

Explore and try and see what’s there instead of what I or anyone else says and makes you expect. But keep the context and mythological setting of the system in mind when doing so.

What if Your Magic is all an Unintentional Hoax?

Someone on FaceBook asked me the title of this post in regards to the whole Dee and Kelley and Enochian piece. At first I tried to be all nonconfrontational and just sort of sweep it under the rug, I'm ok, you're ok, no big deal, just old fashioned miscommunication ha ha ha ha.

You know what though, two years ago I wrote a post called "What the HELL is going on here?" In it, I talked about this very subject. People think Dee and Kelley and Agrippa and Levi and Trithemius and Crowley and Mathers were all hot shit on a silver platter, and they were in a lot of ways, but in other ways they were cold turds on a paper plate. They weren't any different than modern occult authors. They were subject to the same temptations and miscommunications we are. They were as base and greedy and noble and awesome as us too. They were human.

People don't want to think Moses shook piss out of his dick with the same hands he used to carry down the ten commandments, but he did. Get over it.

But it's a valid question that deserves to be addressed.  What if I am, with all good intentions, accidentally misleading anyone who buys my books? What if I'm duped and somehow subconsciously making all this shit up?

I ask myself that regularly. I think it's a healthy practice to stop and take stock on occasion, check my bullshit detectors, and test the spirits. I'm brutal when it comes to my own experiences. I don't trust me any more than I trust anyone else. If shit's not working, I try not to make excuses for it, I try to fix it. I'm sure I've slipped on occasion, but I go back and fix it as soon as I can.

I don't just do it for posterity, either, I have an insatiable need to be right. It's so important to me to be right that I won't put up with being wrong. If I'm wrong, I want to know it so I can fix it and be right again.

I've learned there are limits to how "right" a person can be. It's a relative thing, and experiences vary. This isn't an exact science we're playing with here, there's going to be some fudge factor involved. I may very well get something wrong and it might take a while before I fix it.

So the only way you can really be sure that I know what I'm talking about is to try out what I'm doing and see if it works for you. If you get radically different results, let me know. If you can't reproduce the kinds of results I'm getting, then I'm not writing it right, or there's something wrong with my approach, understanding, or interpretation. Or you're doing it wrong. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Prosperity spreads, technology progresses, poverty declines, disease retreats, fecundity falls, happiness increases, violence atrophies, freedom grows, knowledge flourishes, the environment improves and wilderness expands.

That's the prediction of the next century by an optimist. I just read this article and it came at a good time, right after posting my people are stupid post. It's good to get a little breath of fresh optimism to clean out the clogged brain stems.

Sure, he's a fucking Pollyanna, but it's nice to see something positive once in a while. Thought I'd better balance out the last post with something nice and cheery, since God saw fit to send me this article so quickly. Maybe the author's right.

But I'll betcha $20 Greer shoots him down soon. I personally think we'll get through all the doom Greer prophecies is coming down the pike, but I also think that people will still be stupid.

People aren't just dumb, they're fucking stupid.

And I include myself in that.

Ever hear of Picher, Oklahoma? It's a mining town in Oklahoma that produced over 50% of the lead and zinc used in World War II. They dug up lead and zinc ore, took out what was easiest and cheapest to extract, and dumped the remaining stuff in big piles. There was still lead and zinc in the remains, and it just blew across the Oklahoma prairies, contaminating everything.

They dug the mines so deep that they hit an aquifer. To keep the mines from flooding, they pumped the water out. When they closed the mines, they quit pumping out the water. It filled the mines, contaminating the entire aquifer with lead and zinc.

They dug the mines so close to the surface of the ground that they could see tree roots in the ceilings. They did this under the city. The ground collapsed into the mines, shockingly.

In the vote about whether to close the school before the town was officially disbanded, 6 people voted against closing it. 6 people wanted to stay in the town, where they couldn't breathe without getting poisoned, where they couldn't drink without getting poisoned, where they couldn't walk down main street because it had SUNK INTO THE FUCKING GROUND.

On the way to work today, I heard a Diane Rehm show about Aids in Uganda. One dude was pissed at Obama for not following through on a campaign promise to give them $50 BILLION dollars to fight the epidemic. He's only giving them $10 BILLION. They need a lot more.

In Uganda, they figure for every new patient that comes in for treatment, there are 2 or 3 new infections they don't know about. They're losing the fight, badly.

I got pissed. We're fuckin' broke as a country, we don't provide free AIDS treatment to our own citizens, and a dude is going to bitch because we're only giving $10 BILLION? To fight a disease that is primarily spread by men not keeping their dicks in their pants? In another country? REALLY?

The mature, responsible course of action would be to have all the people with AIDS stop fucking people without AIDS. They would need to stop fucking people without AIDS on their own, make the right choice, and then stick to it. And not have babies. It's a huge sacrifice to ask people to make, and it's not fair. But it's the only sure method we have to stop the spread of the disease, to get it under control.

Will people make the smart choice? Hell no. We won't even move out of a poisoned town. We can't be relied on to make sacrificial decisions and stick to them. Some people can and do, for some things, some times, but even they can be counted on to do something selfish and stupid once or twice in their lives, in some area.

Isn't that great?

See, this is one of the primary motivating factors in my pursuit of the Great Work. I'm sick and tired of being stupid. I want something better.

And so far, it's working. I've got "powers" I never had before. I've moved through the Seven Planetary Spheres, and I'm knocking on the gates of the Eighth. Things are going fucking great in that department. I'm developing the abilities that would enable me to handle whatever the universe throws at me and still be able to accomplish a predetermined goal. I'm getting the power to overcome obstacles, or to just tell them to go away and have them slink off to some quiet corner of existence and stop bothering people. It's slow Work, but I've made some progress. I've got a ways to go still, but I'm getting there.

But I still do stupid things. I don't know if it's the meat suit that makes me stupid, or if my soul is somehow retarded or what. I don't give a shit. I just want the stupid to end. Make it stop, God, make it stop. But he won't. Oh no, he just sits there grinning and knowing and loving and shit. I really hope all this crap we wade through between birth and death is just a pre-school, a prep-realm and that when we die, if we pass all the exams and demonstrate understanding and practical application of the lessons of this world that we get to land a job as a Power or something. I really want the "stupid filter" taken off. I want to see the best course of action, and also to want to take that course, to choose it and stay with it, no matter what.

I believe anyone can do anything they set their minds to. I just want the power to set my mind to the right course of action. Is that asking too much, god damn it? I think not.

More thoughts on Enochian

Mmmm, hummus and pita, so good...

Ok, so I got a comment on the last post on Facebook. Roughly speaking, it was "so Enochian's all bullshit then?" I don't think it's that simple, honestly. Too many magicians have had too many good and relatively powerful experiences with Enochian to write it off as a bunch of bullshit. Fraters POS and AIT come to mind. I felt a lot of power flowing from the Enochian Work I did myself, limited though it was.

No, it's certainly not bullshit. The author of the piece I linked to belongs to the Enochian Yahoo group, and if you're a member, you can see his thoughts on the subject. They are interesting indeed. He doesn't invalidate the results people get, but he doesn't buy into the system at face value either. I think that's the best approach.

I know a lot of chaos magicians, and most of them have at some point done some magic that involved Cthulhu. It's just fun and mad, things that appeal to ChMs everywhere. I've heard enough stories to believe they really do tap into something when they do their rites, and having studied the development of grimoires, religions, and cults in general, I think the way Lovecraft received his fictional work is a lot like the way other systems are revealed to humankind.

The Simononomicon is a fiction. I've talked to people who were there when it was written, and it's just plain old made up fiction. I've corresponded with the dude that drew the sigils, and he says he made them up. Yet people have results using the system.

Kerry Thornley, a.k.a. Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, was oneof the founders of Discordia. He contributed a great deal to the Principia Discordia, and in the 1990s he said, "If I knew this would all turn out to be real, I would have picked Venus instead of Eris." Or something like that.

The point is, systems, beliefs, and magical practices that are based on fictional or fantastical revelations generally "work" anyway. Just because the Enochian system is based on what looks to modern critical minds like an elaborate, unintentional hoax, that doesn't mean there isn't something there anyway.

As a Hermetic Magician, I believe there's enough material in Agrippa to explain why this happens. It is the intent of the magician that determines the spirit we receive. When a magician begins conjuring, all the spirits in his area with an affinity for his intent can respond. I suspect that Enochian magic attracts a variety of spirits, sometimes nephesh remnants, elemental spirits, or even more powerful Genii Loci who are fine working through whatever form we depict them in. That would explain why some Enochian magicians get really powerful experiences and others get less impressive results.

The Sigilum Dei Amyth is itself an awesome magical tool. It predates the Enochian system, and within the Enochian system, I suspect it is a method of contacting the Seven Planetary Workers that were created to Work with Man when he incarnated in the Divine Pymander of the Corpus Hermeticum.

Oh, I just read the comments on yesterday's post, and I think Argent's is a great take on things. If you're reading this, Argent, I'll gladly post your comment in full as a separate blog post, giving you full credit of course.

I was in a hurry when I posted yesterday, and picking the urban legend myths of Enochian meltdowns was convenient, but not the best possible choice on my part. My own experience with Enochian is very limited. I made the tools from DuQuette's Enochian Vision Magick, and it was fun and all, but I only ever conjured a couple of the spirits before moving on to systems that resonated more fully with my own practices. The techniques I learned from those conjurations work really well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Enochian: The weirdness explained?

Have you ever noticed that the things experienced with the Enochian angels are a lot different than any other angelic system? For those who have conjured the Enochians and the traditional Celestial Intelligences, you've noticed how different they are, right? I figured the Enochians were at best sub-lunar spirits based on my very limited experiences with them.

The way they adapt and meld to every belief system, and eventually begin playing and preying on the ego of the human doing the Work with them, all these things always struck me as weird. They behaved like Nepheshim, or "lower astral" spirits, not like any particularly ancient and powerful spirits of the apocryphal Book of Enoch would act.

Check out this link. I think this explains why Enochian Magic and Lovecraft Entity based Magic always seem so similar, always seem to match up so nicely with the expectations of the magician doing the Work.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When the Going Gets Tough

Into each life, a little rain must fall. As Kenaz points out in his Hagalaz post,* sometimes it's frozen, weighs a couple of pounds and hits you in the head at terminal velocity.

It seems like there's something going around these days where people are dealing with their fears, insecurities, and other general anxieties more than usual. It's like there's been a hail storm going through some people's spheres of influence that leaves them wounded and wondering why.

My personal method of dealing with these kinds of issues is "Suck it up." I tried to explore my own issues in a sensitive and compassionate way for a while, and I quickly realized that life sucks as much for honest pussies as it does for braggadocios. All that introspection and looking for rational support for my momentary anxieties just left me with more resentment towards my parents than they objectively deserved.

These days when the hail comes I deal with things like a man: I mask my fear in anger, and then when no one's looking I go to the bathroom and cry like a baby.

Once that's out of the way, I start trying to put things into perspective. Clearing out my mind of the momentary wash of emotion and illogic helps get me to a point where I can start planning my way out of the situation using magical or mundane means as necessary. Getting to that point is the hard part.

The following techniques help me out a lot.

Know what you Fear - The root of all fear, I think, is "ignorance of outcome." When I get scared, I try to remember that I've been through shit before, and I'll have shit to go through again. It might be miserable while I deal with whatever's going on, but then it will pass and I'll have some breathing room before the next shit storm cometh. The worst thing that could happen probably will, and I'll probably get through that too. I have so far, anyway. No reason to expect it to be any different this time. If I do die, get fired, get beat up, or even worse, get publicly humiliated, in eternity I really won't be bothered by it anymore, so sooner or later... This too shall pass.

Compassion - When dealing with those who have wronged us, it's easy to look at their actions and pretend they're completely and totally as evil as they must be to do whatever they did to us. I try to take a step back, and remember they're an extension of the same Source that I am. Yeah, they may be fucked up to fuck with me, but I'm damaged too. For them to be so hurtful, they must have either misunderstood me, or they're just mean because their lives suck. This understanding eventually leads to forgiveness. Most of the time.

Compartmentalize - One of the nice things about being a magician is that I can take a look at things and figure out what planetary or elemental sphere they are exhibiting most at any given moment. The process of analyzing a thing or a situation, putting it into little boxes with neat little names reminds me that things are all working together according to a system with rules and behaviors that I have studied and am familiar with. As a result, I can get a better perspective.

Detach - Once things are compartmentalized, I like to see how I'm attached to them, and if it ain't right, cut that bitch off. Detachment isn't a negative trait, it's a really good one when applied properly. Some people think the result of detaching from desires in your life results in apathy, and that's not true at all. That's just an illusion that keeps you trapped in your desires. Look at what's making you scared, or angry, be brutally honest with yourself. It's always something that you WANT that you aren't getting. (Like, to LIVE when you're getting beaten to death, yous selfish bastard.)

Detach from the WANT. Accept that things are going to be exactly what they are (I promise you they will be regardless), and that even if you don't think you WANT them to be what they are, there will be something about the real life reality of what you GET that is enjoyable, unless you're all attached to what you wanted it to be instead.

I've been accused recently of not really caring about people and things in my life because I don't get all worked up about most of it. What people fail to see is that I have detached from the desires for things to be other than they are, and as a result I can fully enjoy what I have for what it is.

You can't be stupid though, and believe me, I've been stupid before, it sucks. Not being attached to a desire for things to be different is not the same as not wanting to improve things to have them reach their full potential. You just have to make sure that you understand what a thing is, and what its true potential is. You can't lie to yourself or cling to hope that an El Camino can become as cool as a Stingray if you paint it smoke gray and tint the windows. It just ain't gonna happen. But you can take your El Camino and fix the engine, change the fluids, repair the radiator, throw in some shag carpet and dangle balls, chop it down, throw in some custom hydraulics, paint it white and have a custom big ol' picture of the Sacred Heart of Christ painted on the hood and roll out on a Saturday night having a good time with your cholos.

You know, keep it real.

Detach from the lies of your WANT, and you're free to address what you have.

* Kenaz' posts on the runes are awesome. I love the treatment he gives each one, and even though I don't use Runes, I actually wanted to start after reading his posts. He understands that each is not a symbol of an impersonal force, but an actual spirit who can be conjured. Realizing this about the Aleph-Bet revealed a lot to me a few years ago, and in his treatment of the runes, Kenaz provides a wealth of information that can be gleaned no matter what tradition you operate from.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ritual: Racial Equality

There's been a lot of talk on the blagosphere about racism. Are we not Magicians? Fuck it, man, let's do some magic.

I'll be Working with Michael on bringing More Light! to the racist masses this Sunday in a Solar hour. Something that raises up the tincture of their spheres in this area.

Whatever your path, whatever your tradition, let's join together in doing something magical about this problem. We don't all have to do it at the same time, and everyone doesn't have to have the same intent. I'll be saying something along the lines of, "Michael, I conjure you to bring illumination to the ignorant trapped in darkness that they may see through their prejudice to the shared humanity of all cultures, regardless of skin color, culture, or creed. Bind those who spread hate, and free those oppressed by the transgressions of the racists."

I've recently caught an inkling of the potential of a mass of little sparks of light all gathered, aimed, and released at a common goal can be, and it's pretty incredible. Even if all you feel comfortable doing is lifting up a heartfelt plea for resolution of the racial conflict and the tearing down of racial divides to the Source of all that is, that will help. Aim it at your local areas and the nation at large, and all humanity while you're at it.

If we all stand together Above, the manifestation Below will be pretty damned incredible.

And before anyone says "Yeah, do the magic, but make sure you do the mundane work too..." No shit! If you're a racist, fucking quit it. Stand up to your racist friends, stop participating or accepting it wherever you are if you do. Quit letting it slide. That SHOULD go without saying, but I know how people are.

That's important, but do the magic. Do it.

I Made It!!!!

Dude, all those rituals for wealth and success and riches? They fucking worked!

Global Rich List

Check out THAT link. I'm in the richest 0.85% of the global population. I'm number 51,263,593 in the world. That only leaves 51,263,592 people to beat for the win!

I'm sure that's not the point of the link, but it's nice to know what my rank is, my standings, and have some idea of how many people there are to take out before I'm number 1.

Actually, the link isn't as accurate as I'd like. It tops out at the top 0.001%. Still, it's a useful guideline.

Thanks to Lavanah for the link.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Steampunky Goodness

An absolutely fabulous presentation of SteamPunking modification skills can be found at this site. A most awesome amplifier to go with a most awesome steel guitar, this guy is damned incredible. The craftsmanship rocks. And his shit's for sale!

That's the Amp he modded out over on the right. He calls it the Advanced Resonant Sound Transducer. It doesn't get much better than this. there are more images on his website.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with Magic?

If you have to ask, you haven't tried building a Table of Practice, Seven Planetary Sigils, or the Seals of the Spirits. That shit takes crafty skills, and watching artistic guys like this put their shit together teaches many useful talents.

And Steampunk is the coolest geek chic evar.

Check out the steel guitar image on the left. Tell me it gets better than this. And he named it "The Artful Dodger!" AND IT'S FOR SALE!! And he's making a case for it now. Dude! How cool is that? I want it. I don't know how to play it, and I don't care, I want it anyway. It's beautiful. But I'll let someone buy it who can do it justice by actually knowing how to play.

Thanks to Susanne Iles for tweeting the link to this blog. It's in my favorites now. The guy does custom work for people too, in case you have a project you'd like to have done that you can't do yourself.

One day I'll have the complete SteamPunk Hermetic Altar. The wand will have a couple of big brass steam chambers to hold crystals or herbs, and I'll call them its Big Brass Balls. The Pantacle will have brass gears set into it, the dagger hilt will too. don't know how I'll do the chalice. Someone will inspire me, I'm sure. I know the Planetary Archangels dig steampunk the most; they'll love their seals all tricked out.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

A looooooong week... and some thoughts

It's been an long week here. Lots of mundane work going on, and some magical type research that's looking promising. I've also had two requests for my services that came in on the same day from different continents. One I passed on to others with more experience, the other is something I'll be taking care of on principle.

Some quick thoughts on things in general:

On Power and Duty*

POS wrote an interesting blog post on Power, and it resonated well with the kinds of things I've been dealing with in life lately. With power comes the responsibility to use it. If you don't actively seek ways to use the stuff we learn and earn in our Work, the universe is happy to fill in the void left by our neglect. I've commented about this before, but it bears repeating.

On Research

Read the grimoires through a few times. I'm finding that I miss a lot on the first couple of read-throughs, even when I think I'm absorbing everything. Many of the gaps in my understanding have been filled by going back over sections while looking for something else. Most of the questions I have about grimoire magic are really addressed in the source grimoire. They aren't as gappy, disjointed, or missing vital bits of information as I might think.

On Magic for Money

The more I look at other people's reasons for doing money magic, the more I learn about my own efforts in that regard. Most money magic is done to achieve something other than obtaining money. People want money to get out of their country, or to get love, or to be free of debt, or to get a new car, or whatever. In every case, the thing actually desired isn't money, the money is simply the means they see for acquiring what they want. We look at stuff and the currency cost associated with it because that's how you get things in mundane reality. You want something, you buy it. But magic doesn't work that way.

Instead of aiming for the means to get something using mundane means, the better approach is to aim for what you really want. There are spirits who get people out of their country, spirits that bring love, spirits that free people from obligations, spirits that provide transportation. The way the spirits bring things into manifestation is not by giving you the money to buy it. For example, you may want a new car, do a rite for a new car, and end up having a neighbor move to Ireland and have to get rid of his car. (See Gordon's Black Swan post for more info on how magic works, excellent stuff.) Go for what you really want, not what you think the means to get it might be.

On Getting What You Want

Patience, man, patience. I'm beginning to see that patience is possibly the best magical virtue you can cultivate. Everything that was stressing me out a month ago (and I did do magic about it) is now working itself out. Everything I wanted to have a month ago I'm getting now. Magic works, but it takes a while to manifest. I know, that's not news, but the application of that truth is pretty useful.

People talk about assuming the magic has already worked as if that sense of confidence is somehow a factor in getting it to work. I'm finding that it doesn't matter whether you think the magic has worked or not, it usually does work. Sitting at rest in the comfort of knowing that your desired outcome is on the way is a lot more comfortable than stressing out over stuff, but I'm pretty sure that's the only benefit.

I talk a lot about remembering that in eternity, everything we're going through has already happened, and trying to achieve and maintain a certain degree of detachment from existence that leads to embracing the Now and living in the moment, but it doesn't have to be eternity that we have to wait. Try to grab that assurance that things will work themselves out een before we die, even before next year, even before three months from now, and you're free to enjoy the moments between now and when you get what you want. At least, as much as possible. It's a lot easier to deal with the stress of temporarily being out of my permanent home than  it would be to deal with being a prisoner of war held by enemy combatants with a penchant for beheading captives and posting the videos online, for example.

On Money for Magic

I'm still open to getting paid to do magic for people, but I find I'm passing up opportunities to charge large sums for things I was actively looking for a month ago on principles. Principles! It seems I have them. Ethical considerations too.

It hasn't escaped my notice that a certain lack of desperation has left me more ethical and scrupulous. I can afford to be ethical now; when I was looking into ways to charge large sums for magic of dubious integrity, I was broke and getting broker. Jason's "emergency magic is always bad magic" rule seems to apply to more than just emergency rituals for cash.

* I have powerful duty. Yeah, I said it. :D