Monday, August 30, 2010


With the recent altar posts popping up, I can't help but throw in my two cents. I just wrote about altars on a yahoo group last week.

Practically speaking, you've got to set your magical apparatus up wherever you can and fit it into your lifestyle. That's pretty much a given. I'm looking at Jason's and Jow/Deb's and Ian C's multiple altars, and honestly, I'm a little overwhelmed. They've got altars on top of their altars, and I can imagine how challenging it is to set up and maintain that many different sacred spaces.

I don't have that many altars at all. I have one altar that is the material representation of all my spiritual pursuits and practices, and then I have an armoire with my other stuff in it. And a nightstand. And a bookshelf or two.But those aren't altars, as much as they are talismans with some space to call their own...

Which, I suppose, would be considered an altar.

But personally, I only worry about having one altar set up in my house. Everything else is more like convenience and decoration, but the formal Altar plays a very important role in my life. I see it as one of the key pieces of equipment in a magician's tool kit.

If you set it up right, you'll have every sphere of existence comprehensible to the mind of man represented. The intelligences and spirits of each sphere will be symbolically present, on site. You'll have conjured each spirit at the appropriate time to consecrate their talisman, which then is placed in the appropriate location to represent the powers of that sphere as they manifest on Earth. You have this for all the planets, the zodiac, and the Prime Mover. You've got the Nous and Logos all represented by the Lamp, and you've got the elemental weapons and the Angels of the four corners of the Earth and the Princes of the four realms there, and you've got it physically represented in one place.

It's the most concentrated manifestation device you could ever design. It represents the point where all the forces that mingle to create our sensory realm actually touch this sensory realm. You've got a super-charged table of manifestation right there.

Drop a symbol of what you want on it, just over on the corner, say a quick oration to the powers represented, and you can almost see reality bend as it works to manifest what you've planted. Uncross a client using their picture, call down wrath on an enemy, empower your business, land a job, make a sale, whatever you can imagine. Pretty much.

That doesn't mean you need a huge table in one room that is totally dedicated to the Great Work. Mine is currently on one shelf, and it fits nicely right there, out of sight from visiting children with big mouths and parents who ask uncomfortable questions when their kids go on about the daggers and cups and crystals and wands at my house.

And really? A whole YEAR has passed since Jason's twins manifested? Crap!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I haven't done any non-astral magic in weeks, it's killing me

I'm about ready to just do some to do some. Feck. I need me some juice. This rising through the spheres shit before bed is great and all, but I need the incense, need the tools, need the lamp and the anointing with the oil and the crystal all toned and resonating with spirity goodness. I misses it, my precious.

Almost caught up

So close to being ahead of the game...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back from Vacation

Well, the last week has been pretty busy. The week before my vacation arrived, my work life exploded. More work to do than God intended. Bleah.

The week of my vacation was busier than hell. We had a "fun" vacation, as opposed to a "relaxing" vacation. We went to the beach, and mornings were spent on the sand, evenings in amusement parks, with some reversals as weather and time permitted. We had a blast, and we needed that as a family. First vacation, real vacation that is, in 10 years! Way too long to wait, in my humble opinion.

But I'm exhausted now. I need a vacation from the vacation, and work has not let up at all while I was gone. One of these days I'll get rid of my real job and be able to spend time just doing what I love. Until then, I gotta pay the bills.

I caught up on all the orders that have posted while I was gone (sorry for the delays) and I've got a couple more things to finish up on the Green Work Lesson 2 (sorry for the delays) and I haven't even started the next Black Lesson (sorry for the delays). But I'm ready! Things should be rolling out shortly.

I've also got to catch up on all the blog posts for the last week.

And at some point, I'd kinda like to do some magic, too. It's been too long. Maybe this evening. I had meant to wake at dawn every day of the vacation and make a talisman, but that didn't work out at all. "Unrealistic Expectations" is what that's called, I believe.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Lugh!

Ok, so I don't know shit about Lugh, except that I read a fiction story about him once a long time ago that was more than likely 99% bullshit. I don't know what Lugnasad is all about, nor do I know how to spell it. You heathens are celebrating something, and if you're anything like us Christians, it's probably his birthday or some shit.

So, Happy Birthday Lugh!

In honor of your birthday (or whatever) I'm taking your Crane Curse quoted by VVF and updating it the way I think you meant it. The language you used is beautiful, and I understand it's a rhetoric-chant type of magic that probably loses something in translation, but I thought it was beautiful, and awesome, and didn't make much sense the way it was, so accept this gift as my attempt to show the world how freaking cool you really are. No one curses like you cursed. Amen.

Spirits of the Land, Hear me! This utterly devastated, war-scarred ruin, stained with the blood of our brothers who fell in battle is the site where our enemies broke us, shattered us, and turned our home to rubble. They shall be utterly destroyed by the heavenly hosts! Come now eldritch fae, come now spirit warriors, come now warriors of fate! Bind our enemies! Their warriors are gathered, and one company cowers in fear, another sits paralyzed listening to you gather, they are petrified in fear, they are tormented in heart and mind, they are crushed with dread. Our strength is multiplied 9 times, and we roar in strength and power! Hurrah and Woe! Leftward, my beautiful warriors! The powerful magic of storm and earth brought up by our wizards shall sustain us. My curse shall drive them until they are defeated. I face my land laid waste by fire, I see it with death’s very form stamped into all things, and without fear I curse them, for from the death they sought to deal us we are reborn. With all the Sidhe, and Ogma, I swear, by the powers of the sky, the earth and the sea, by the sun and moon and stars.  Come now my band of warriors, my spirit army host like a sea, a boiling sea of golden mists, born now to crash upon them upon a field of battle. Their death is the song of battle! Havoc is the song I sing!

Monday, August 09, 2010

You Know... For Fun

Man, magic is supposed to be fun. I don't know how people forgot that, but while this whole Great Work thing is important and serious business and all, we're doing it because we want to have more fun. We want the things that we think will bring more fun into our lives, more pleasure, to be better, live better, feel better, and thrive. Magic is about achieving the awesome and feeling good about it.

Recent posts by Kenaz Filan have been fascinating to me. In my fundie Christian days, we used to go on and on about how the shit of life was really just trials from God, opportunities to be melted down, refined, and reforged as something special in the Kingdom of Heaven. And let me tell you, if you think Evangelical Christians make life hard for Pagans and other non-Christians, they make life even harder on themselves. In worse ways. Their kids are born deformed because they have this "have moar babiez" doctrine in the Evangelical community these days, and women in their forties are having babies long after their zygotes have been corrupted by time on planet Earth. They have to look at their deformed children and give thanks to God for them.

And mean it.

Kenaz and Krasskova discuss a similar mindset, but from a Pagan point of view. A friend and I were talking about it, and his comment was, "If your spirituality regularly fucks up your life, you're doing it wrong." I completely agree. But at the same time I completely understand the reticence to recognize that your spirituality is fucking up your life. It's supposed to be fun, it's supposed to lead to good changes, and the suffering is surprising, but you justify it because you want to believe what you're doing is right and good for you, regardless of the obvious pain and stress and emotional, mental, and physical illnesses it's creating in your life. You don't want to be wrong, and people keep telling you the rewards are great if you keep pressing on. Or you tell yourself.

And see, sometimes in the Great Work, it's true, the suffering can sometimes lead to something powerful and spiritual, it can release something absolutely wonderful that you really need to finish the Work. Attaining the Supernatural Assistant can be a bitch, for example. But it's not supposed to be that way all the time. If it's lasting more than a season of the year, and it's become regular and consistent, there's something seriously wrong.

My foray into Goetia was like that. I kept on suffering, and kept on justifying it, mostly because I wanted to be right, but also mostly because I wanted to be right. You know, right as in "I'm always right," and right as in, "These spirits really CAN bring you a million dollars in cash overnight while you're sleeping and they won't fuck up your life, I mean it!" I wanted the be so freaking right about that.

But I wasn't. For four motherfucking years. Two years longer than I made it in fundy church. It wasn't nearly as bad, though, fundy church is a lot of hell right away in doses that are far stronger than what you need to just plain kill you. Goetia was slower and more subtle. It never looked like it was fucking up your life from up close. Perspective matters.

And I'd lost that. But I got it back, and man, seriously, if your spirituality is fucking up your life all the time, and it's lasting longer than three months, you need to either kick your magic up a few notches and blow that shit out of the water already, or change your approach. If it's a blocked chakra that needs to be cleansed out because it's tormenting your life, then raise the kundalini and blow it out. Lance the boil that's oozing puss into your bloodstream already. If the shit stirred up during an attempt to commune with the Holy Guardian Angel is taking that long to incinerate, turn up the heat. More enflamed prayer from the Moon. Call that Solar Flame down already.

Because it ain't supposed to hurt that bad that long.

If it's not that, if there's no major spiritual goal you're working on, then seriously, reassess your approach. Is your God regularly kicking your ass? That's an abuser, baby. What kind of example are you setting for your kids? You want them to grow up thinking it's ok if God hits mommy when he's drunk, cause he pays the rent on the trailer lot almost every month?


Knock that aluminum can of budweiser out of his hand, turn off the game, and kick him out. You need cops or a big brother to back you up? Call on Michael the Archangel, or better yet, the LOGOS. He don't put up with no shit out of any spirit that wants to play god and beat on women. I guarantee.

a tool so ugly

"It is quite possible to produce something slower, lamer, and weaker than what came before. It is possible to create a tool so ugly that it inspires nothing but shame."
-Jason Miller, Strategic Sorcery

In honor of this statement, I proudly present the RO Gallery of Ugly Tools!

Yeah, a sculpey Bune Seal... THAT was a great idea.

Gold Leafed Plaster Seals of the Goetic Kings... ANOTHER BRILLIANT IDEA!

Note the authentic Goetic monstrousness.
(These cleaned up pretty good though.)

Mercury... No really! Stop laughing!


And again. 

An Asrological Talisman of Something I Forgot.

Ok, now that you've had your laughs, I'd like to point out that yeah, they were ugly, and yeah, they are kinda shameful, but for reals? The spirits were freaking thrilled to have anyone paying even this much attention to doing the magic right.

Except for the Sculpey. That shit is right out.

Hand-Rolled Cigarettes

Years ago, in college, a friend of mine came back to the dorms after a party and said, "Man, people who don't roll their own cigarettes can't roll a fucking joint to save their lives!"

He had been to Rammstein AFB in Germany during high school, and had spent many weekends in Amsterdam. He had brought back the conceit of handrolling his own cigarettes. He got us all hooked on Drum tobacco, the best stuff for hand rolling, and we had all gotten pretty good at rolling our own. Our joint-rolling skills had likewise improved, in spite of the difference in texture and moisture between pot and tobacco. We'd gotten kinda spoiled, only hanging out with our current circle of friends, we always had nicely rolled joints to smoke. Going out to a public party was a rude awakening.

"That's why I don't even go to those things. Keg beer in plastic cups and shitty joints," one friend commented. "Sums up the people, too." And we all laughed.

I found myself thinking about a similar truth today. People who don't depend on their spiritual techniques to satisfy a daily need aren't going to be any better at the magical arts than an occasional joint roller is going to be at rolling a decent joint. It might get you high, but the experience will be, overall, less enjoyable to the connoisseur.

If you've ever had the misfortune of smoking a poorly rolled joint, you know that at inopportune moments it will develop a "runner," where the paper burns up faster than the pot. The paper holding it together gets burned through and a big lump of burning pot falls off, leaving a scorch mark on the upholstery of your car or couch. Or if it's rolled too tight, you can inhale til you're blue in the face, and you still won't get a hit and it'll just go out. You've got to put a toothpick through it to get a channel for the air to get through, and even then chances are good that you'll end up ripping the paper and ruining the joint.

These kinds of shitty joint experiences are annoying as hell. They interrupt the overall flow of the process, adding stress and frustration to what should be a calm expansion of your awareness while catching a good buzz.

When you're first getting started conjuring spirits, the same kinds of things can happen. You get through the opening, turn to grab the appropriate incense, and then remember you left it in the garage last time you were consecrating the planet's seal. Or you get to the statement of intent and realize you can't read your notes and you've got to improvise, and it's just not as poetic and moving as you wanted it to be.

Like the poorly rolled joint, it still "gets you high," but it leaves much to be desired.

If you take the time to do magic regularly, you'll know what things you need to get together before beginning. You'll find your flow of the ritual is improved, the power rises in a nice smooth curve, the veils part smoothly, and the spirits arrive with grace and beauty. Everyone goes through the shitty joint phase in their work, but the difference between a dilettante and a pro is that the pro does it more often.

A good trick to get better at your conjurations is to need it regularly. Now, no one needs to do magic every day. Magic is pretty powerful stuff, and it doesn't need to be tapped into to manage every aspect of your life. We are created with the powers and abilities necessary to get through most of our daily lives half asleep. And most people do so. So people don't really need to do magic every day the way some people need to hand-roll a cigarette 20 times a day.

But setting yourself goals, like "This week I will consecrate seven planetary talismans and perform a nightly contemplation of the Hermetic Aphorisms" can help you develop the skills that will make your magic not only effective, but pleasant and smooth.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Holy crap, I just described myself as an "Initiated Neo-Platonic Animist Hermetic Magician attempting to accomplish the Great Work, without getting too hung up on himself in the process."

With a straight face, even.

This author bio writing thing is fun.

Google Wave Replacement

Hey, if you're going to miss Google Wave the way I will, check out WizeHive. They're giving away 500 free accounts to former Wave users. I may be using this for course work, it looks pretty convenient.

Check this out:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How bout dem O's?

Just got back from an awesome game. The O's beat the Angels 9-7. I was scared the last few innings, but we ended up on top. There was one Angel's fan in our section yelling for her team, and my son "Booed" her with conviction every time she cheered! She and her date got a kick out of it, fortunately enough. He was a big fella, and I still haven't mastered shooting fireballs out of my fingertips. Lightning's coming along nicely though. If I shuffle my feet enough, look out man! ZOT!

There are a lot of baseball metaphors for the Great Work, but seriously? I had a blast watching the home team play like they were pros, eating peanuts and drinking lemonade with my kid. There's something to be said for having a nice, normal, non-fringe belief system social experience...

Thinking now of the kids in face paint and sprayed orange mohawks...

Dude, everything I enjoy involves fanatical freaks! Everything.

Spirit Walking

I just read a beautiful recollection of a spirit walk at The Druid of Fisher Street. One of the things I find really interesting in magic is how no matter what path we take or model we use, the types of experiences we have when we go spirit walking is similar to all of us.

I'm working on writing up the Green and Black Work courses, and I'm at the part where I'm talking about the spirit walking exercises. In my courses, I'm calling them contemplation rites. It's an exercise that combines conjuration of specific spirits with the kinds of visions received by Hermes Trismegistus in the Corpus Hermeticum and St. John of Patmos in Revelations in the Bible. Paul went through the kinds of vision work I use too.

In these examples, the people were all taken up by the spirit, whether in the flesh or in the spirit, they don’t recall. It wasn’t on purpose. The spirits took them up and showed them what they needed to see.

In the Red Work courses, I’m teaching what I do in my own pursuit of the Great Work. I go to the astral temple, and then conjure the spirit, and then ask it to take me where I need to go, to show me what I need to see, and then the visions begin.

My experiences in the seven heavens and beyond are a lot like Gwynt’s. There’s a dreamlike quality to them, and I see things I don’t always understand. I ask questions, seek clarity from my spirit friends, and I don’t always understand the answers, and get “all will be made clear” type responses to further probing. While that has so far always been true, I feel the same kind of emptiness and frustration that Gwynt seems to feel when things don’t make immediate sense. I get scared of what I don’t know, and what it might mean when I see terrible things.

Fortunately, since I stopped my work with demons, my visions have no longer been set in post-apocalyptic cityscapes. That’s helped a whole lot with me getting restful sleep, too.

In ceremonial magic circles, there’s not as much attention paid to this kind of work. There’s more focus on learning the map and then using it to analyze experiences. There’s not a lot of instruction or discussion about the rituals used to get into the visions, or what to do with the information gained. There’s even less public discussion of the visions themselves, the content of the things we see, and I don’t know if that’s an indication of the personal nature of visions received, or an indication that people aren’t generally going on spirit walks in the CM community.

Some of the best source materials for magicians are the diaries of the magicians that record the results of the workings. Soror Acitha’s vision from the Amalantrah working, for example, provides more insight into the magic of Aleister Crowley than all of Book IV. The material from the “Merlin Temple” during WWII is fascinating stuff, providing all kinds of techniques that inform magical practice. How many times have you read of magicians conjuring the Archangel Michael to aid a naval battle off the cost of Great Britain?

Maybe CMs don’t talk about it much because it can be a distraction. I’ve seen people go off the deep end chasing after phantoms from their dreams. I’ve seen people obviously posting their dream work and ritual visions for self-aggrandizement, little “I’m enlightened, see!?!?” posts that are designed to feed the person’s self image more than anything else.

But I’d be willing to say that the bulk of the Great Work occurs in these visions. The time we spend talking about conjuring methods and cosmological models and philosophical implications is grossly disproportionate to the time we spend talking about the actual effects of the magic, the instant experiences during the magical procedures. It’s during these visions that the spirits extend their hands and power flows from them into our spheres. It’s during these visions that we learn techniques to better influence the reality around us. It’s in these visions that we receive guidance on where the next phases of our Work will take us, which spirits we need to conjure, and what applications of these lessons will bring us the things we need to make it to the next level.

Going forward, I’ll try to post more about what I experience in my Work for posterity’s sake. Some of it won’t make sense, some of it might be meaningful to me personally and be completely out of context for you. It’s not about pointing out how advanced or special I am, it’s only because reading other people’s experiences helped confirm my own.

Market Research: What's normally done...

I'm doing some market research on my eBook sales, please feel free to comment with whatever info you can provide.

That persistent reader who's been bugging me for weeks to put paypal buttons on my eBooks site says the way its set up now, the "modern angelic grimoire" would show up on his credit card statement. And that's a problem for him, he doesn't want Visa and Mastercard knowing what he buys with his money. He doesn't want someone seeing his credit card statements and finding out he's into Angelic Grimoires, I guess.

I'm assuming his spouse or parents wouldn't approve, or he's afraid some corporate human resources,  government background investigators, or whatever might not approve of his purchases.

He said "what's normally done for this type of transactions is that the name of the "shop" is mentioned rather than the details of the product sold." Now, I don't know of any bloggers who sell eBooks who even bother going through all this effort to put in a payment option that charges more than another payment option already there. And the names of the "shops" I see selling things online aren't exactly subtle. Lucky Mojo, SomaLuna, Queen of Pentacles, Strategic Sorcery, etc.

So after shooting off a "keep your fucking money, coward!" email, I went on with my life until now. I'm wondering whether I'm fucking up here. Is it a major concern that people might see something occult on your buying history? Is it "normal" procedure to mask the purchases?

And how do my sales show up on your statement? According to this site, a charge on your statement only says "PayPal." It doesn't say what you bought. It's true on my bank statement. Are things different for everyone else?

Comments appreciated. I don't want to get anyone in trouble for buying my stuff.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

PayPal Buttons

After one particularly persistent reader rode my ass for weeks, I've finally added the PayPal buttons to my eBooks page for all the books I'm currently selling. I still prefer Google, they keep less of my money, but PayPal's all popular and stuff.

I also put up a graphic for the RO Guide to Demon Recovery. I was tired when I posted it to the site last night. Er, this morning. Didn't feel like doing much.

[Edit: And now they actually go to PayPal when you click 'em.]

I did some bad magic...

Well, one really good thing has come out of my bad magic experience with the Lemegeton's Goetia demons. After charging headlong into Solomonic magic and getting all into demons, and then getting burned, and then having to clean up the mess, I've developed a nice set of practices that work really well to eliminate the effects of Working with demons from the magician's sphere.

The degree of damage I suffered was a lot greater than I thought. I found issues in all the different parts of my sphere, in each chakra, in each element, in each planetary vibration, just everywhere. None of it was particularly bad, the Intelligences of the spheres and my HGA kept me pretty well safe, but there was crap everywhere that needed to be cleaned out. It was messy.

If you go back over my blog posts, the particularly dark and bitter, angst-dripping and misanthropic posts all came when I was deep into the demonic relationships I had established. Those bitter posts were reflections, harmonic symphonies of the tincture of my sphere. I had gone pretty far, and my sphere was picking up a demonic resonance. I was proud of that at the time.

But after getting rid of the demonic helpers in my life, I had two major problems. One, they had left a huge mess I had to clean up. Two, they had been working for me! Sure, they brought in some terrible shit along with the things I sent them to do, but they were doing what I sent them to do! After they were gone, I had nothing looking out for me on those fronts at all. 

The first thing I had to do was cleanse the spheres, clean up all the crap they'd left behind. Burning out the waste was a little painful, but it was necessary. Once that was done, I had to seal my borders, set up some protection, and then begin the slow and wonderful process of healing the damaged and diminished forces and harmonies within my sphere.

So, as a result of my  own experience, I've written The Rufus Opus Guide to Demon Magic Recovery. It's primarily targeted at getting people cleaned up and restored after an extensive period of time spent in demonic influences, but also provides a decent training piece for magicians who might chance upon a demon or two at some point in their magical careers.

Now, if you're a person who practices demon magic, and you're NOT all fucked up by it, then this obviously is not intended for you. If you ever do start to feel a little shitty about always having one bad thing followed by another no matter how much demon magic you throw at the problem, or if you're feeling all bitter and it's starting to wear down your teeth at night, consider picking it up, it can only help.

Note, this does not contain any information on conjuring demons. While some parts of the Modern Goetic Grimoire are in this, there are no seals or magic conjure circles or rituals for demon magic. There's no advice for getting Bune to win the lotto for you, either.

For those who asked, I'll be publishing a book on Genius Loci spirit magic in a while. That information will return to the internet soon enough.

This ebook is $ 24.99.

Oh yeah, the link:

Rufus Opus eBooks

Monday, August 02, 2010

Just a thought...

In a purely hypothetical context, not saying I have any available, or would consider it myself, but just suppose someone had stumbled on the secret of developing homunculi consistently and and had adapted a procedure to keep them in a stable, dormant state prior to their "birth," at a relatively low cost.

Would it be ethical to sell them on eBay for $4.95 plus shipping and handling? The dormant state would keep them safe during transportation. I figure everyone would want one, but then everyone would have one, and they wouldn't sell anymore. It would likely be a fad, like sillybands, and when the homunculi "died" and reverted to their prima materia, no one would want any more. Kind of a built in lifecycle. Like Sea Monkeys.

Chances are the lucky mage would get about 6 weeks of popularity out of it, and another 6 weeks for news of their stench to get around. Could probably sell a few million in that time, right?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Where you're sitting right now...

How's your heart. Are you aligned properly? The Heart Chakra should be lined up square against the keyboard. The center of the chakra must be perfectly aligned with the center between the G and H keys. If it not properly aligned, the chi will not flow. The words will not work. The language will be boggy and the point will not pierce the reader's thick skull.

There is art, oh blogger. The kata again! Index fingers on the F and the J. Do not look at your fingers! Feel the raised bumps on the keys. These are your touch points, this is your horse. A blogger's kung fu is only as strong as their horse. Break their horse and they have nothing to ride.


Want to see something beautiful?

Go through this Flikr album some time. There's something about the pictures Sucae takes, something both momentary and eternal.