Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh, and did I mention...

Another thing on the EOGD schism thing...

You KNOW both sides are going to call down terrible curses on both sides, right? No matter who you side with, you will be cursed just for being on one side or the other, if you've got the misfortune of being involved.

Regardless of your grade in the EOGD, chances are pretty good that Zink hasn't trained you in lifting curses, especially the kind he's fond of. I've run into them on a number of occasions. Remember, he prefers poppet magic. His personal curses generally manifest in Venusian/Netzachian ways because he prefers the paths of Natural Magic when he really does magic. The uncrossing rites of hoodoo are particularly effective on his stuff.

Also, look for the manifestation of Peh in your general sphere, the Lightning Struck Tower. Cognitive dissonance, lack of focus, inability to think about anything magical for long, forgetting things you've known for years are symptoms of this influence. Transmute it through the forces of Samekh, meditations on the Temperance card of the Tarot, and conjurations of Michael the Archangel will help with this. So will conjurations of the Genius.

The rebel lieutenants are likely to curse Zink and his efforts, so even those loyal to Zink's EOGD will be under crossed conditions. I don't know what they're tossing about, but expect it to be similar in essence to the kinds of things Mathers and Crowley went through. Watch your plants and pets for signs of curses, and pay attention to your dreams. Cleanse, banish, strengthen your filters. Apo apo kakodaimones is an excellent way to cleanse the air quickly, allowing you to focus on more potent methods of breaking this kind of thing.

And did I mention I break curses, hexes, and other "crossed conditions"? Low low rates! War is hell, but it's good for business!

Hey there, disillusioned EOGD initiate...

You feeling bad? Your Order is either run by a excommunicated looney, or his lieutenants have staged an illegitimate coup. Accusations fly, and bad magic hurled inexpertly by the inepti is getting all over everything.

Beginning to feel that maybe the "Golden Dawn" is fundamentally a poisoned well, and any who dip their spiritual ladles into it for a cleansing sip of pure spiritual relief are doomed to repeat the same old Order-Schism-Order vaudeville act throughout all time, and never get around to the Great Work?

Well snap the fuck out of it! Shit happens. Move along.

But do get yourself cleaned up. You've been initiated into a schismed Order, and you need to fix anything that's been passed on to you from that particular poisoned initiation. As above, so below, things break up along fault lines, flaws in the crystalline matrix of the universe. Your Order blew up, take it as a sign. Clean up your sphere before you schism too.

I recommend going to the Intelligences of each of the spheres of the Tree of Life and asking them to specifically cleanse any impurities or malfeasance from your personal sphere. Let them work that out.

Then ask your Genius/HGA to clarify your communion with it. If you haven't gotten that communion yet, let me know. This spirit will finish cleaning up the remaining bullshit in your sphere.

Finally, pursue the Work with a gusto, and don't get all involved in the political crap that's going on. Gossip, character assassination, revenge for sleights both real and imagined... It's ugly. Fascinating in the same way an accident is fascinating, and equally disgusting when you realize an infant was killed in that accident you're ogling. When this shit goes down, it's devastating to more than one or two of our Hermetic brothers and sisters. People will be dealing with this horse shit for fucking decades. Some will be unable to even pursue the Work until they deal with the bitterness of this betrayal of their hopes and ambitions. Sad times, my friends.

Anyway, if anyone wants a Hermetic Shower, a cleansing, banishing, and protection rite aimed at getting rid of the EOGD's particular poison, let me know, I've got something I've used for years.

And in my opinion, this is another coffin nail in the whole "Lodge Structure" method of passing on esoteric information. The "Lodge" needs to adapt. I think it should look a lot more like a system of lessons that people do or don't do, who work together like on an open source program. No hierarchy to get entangled in, no man or woman above or beyond you, only equal humans working together to achieve Illumination, empowerment, and the accomplishment of the Great Work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ongoing Energy Discussion

Patrick Dunn and Jason Miller have continued the conversation regarding "energy work" over at the Postmodern Magic blog. Some interesting things regarding consciousness and the actual physical stuff that makes things move and change in the material realm as a result of our magic has come up, and I'm looking forward to where it leads.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Different Strokes

All your magic are belong to us!

Over the years we've known each other, there's one thing I do that really gets on Jason's nerves. When I talk about magic, I tend to use language that makes it look like I'm talking about all of magic, every bit of it practiced here, there, or anywhere on the Earth for all time.

I assure you, I'm way too enlightened for that. I know different systems get results, and different approaches work better under different circumstances. The problem is when I think about magic in general, I tend to think only within the boundaries of what I do when I do magic, and that's your basic Hermetic Conjure, and the effects of that. When I get excited and the passion flows, I can make bold statements about magic in general, and really only be referring to Hermetic Conjure magic as I've experienced it specifically.

It happens.

The way I see it, we magicians of various traditions are all called to the occult practices. We're called in languages and symbols that we can understand and work with to unlock the secrets of existence and to find and fulfill our reason for being here. It's all very personal. The language and symbol set I work with is Hermetics, because it's what I believe best explains the universe. To me. There's no system I've found that works better. Again, for me. I'm content within this system because it is complete - that is, it provides everything I need to be spiritually and physically fulfilled.

The reason I get into the "my kung fu is better than yours" is because for too long people have tried to add things to Hermetics instead of finding the things that are already there, things that open specific gateways and advance the Work. You get rid of some of the more modern accumulations in Hermetics, and you find that there's a path to becoming a Power, and that there are specific initiatory rites that transform you into this entity. In the process of transformation, I've found that a lot of the things that are sought in the Eastern traditions by modern magicians can be found in Hermetics. In fact, everything I wanted when I got into magic is right here in Hermetics, and a lot of stuff I pursued along the way was just a waste of time, and I'm bitter about that. I gots issues, man.

So if I talk about it, and get excited, and speak, on occasion, as if what I'm saying is true for everyone everywhere no matter what, remember that I know that's not necessarily true. It's just my experience, my preference, my thing. Your thing is your thing, and I hope you read my blog and take from my experiences whatever brings you further along in your pursuit of the Work, however you were called to it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What I learned about Magic This Week

Jason mentioned that Gordon hasn't done any "What I learned from Magicians this Week," probably because he's been too busy dealing with some shit in his life, either good shit or bad shit, or just the standard ordinary bull shit. That happens to online people occasionally, we get things happening in meatspace that unplugs us for indeterminate interludes.

And I've been dealing with too much of the latter category of shit to really spend a lot of time reading and learning from other magicians, although I did learn that I was right all along about the use of the term "Energy Work" last week; it's got so many meanings to different people in different contexts that it's useless to even use the term. But it's interesting to learn what you can about people from their different interpretations of the phrase.

Oh, and another thing... I wanted to mention that the spectrum I put up with Jason on the left and Balthazar on the right in terms of syncretism had no "bad" side, and that the use of the word "rational" in the center didn't mean to imply that anyone further left or right was any less rational. I just meant it to mean that in the center you weigh everything against the extremes before syncretizing carefully. Jason in his position on the far left would still be doing his syncretizing rationally, he would just be more comfortable working with multiple traditions than I would be. And the main point was it reflected my opinion of where people were at in their personal approaches to sycretizing traditions.

And I think syncretization is a good thing, and anyone who can operate in the Pure Chaos realm is equally entitled to and deserves respect for being able to handle that much at once. I get thread-processing errors often enough from "straight" Hermetics, because it's as far from straight or pure as you can get. I couldn't function the way Jason does, but that's ok because I'm not Jason. The spectrum thing was only supposed to be a reflection of a person's comfort level in terms of what they can plug together and make work in harmony. I can handle Greek, Roman, Hebrew, and Persian influences mingling under the proto-Christian banner, but only because the parts that work together do so in a harmony I can relate to.

Ok, enough of that. The thing I learned this week in magic is for those who have been working on getting K&CHGA, or the Supernatural Assistant, or who have been working with the Three Fold Keeper of a Man, or who has received a Solar Assistant, or the Agathosdaimon or whatever. There's a part of the Stele of Jeu that Crowley made into the rubric in Liber Samekh that makes for an awesome all-purpose conjure rite that brings fast luck, nearly instant wealth, opportunity, blessing, and uncrossing. Here's a sample for getting some moneys when you need it quickly:

Come thou forth, and make all Spirits subject unto Me so that every Spirit of the Firmament, and of the Ether, upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land, or in the Water: of Whirling Air or of rushing Fire, and every Spell and scourge of God, may be obedient unto me!

Now, all you Spirits subject unto me, bring me the money! Cash, piles of gold, overflowing! Let my purse not be empty, let my bank accounts remain black, open my eyes to the opportunities you will provide, and above all, bring me cash and coin and checks and money, without harm, injury, or stress to myself or any that I love. I'll do the Work, you make straight the way.
Agathosdaimon! See to it!

See? Easy as pie. Worked great for me to get rid of some bad juju I stepped in while cleansing a client.

Which brings up another thing I learned about Magic, that Mexican curses by the brujos y brujas is some bad-ass shit! In taking apart a multi-layered curse that was also hidden from casual divination, I learned a lot about layering your efforts on a matter. You can design a web of aspects to a rite that affects multiple people simultaneously so they are all characters in a story, each carrying out actions prompted by what looks like a minor hexing if taken individually, but turns out to be a massive curse when you see its effects start coming together. It was a work of art, man, and getting rid of it was literally exhausting. I slept for 12 hours plus naps for a couple days this week just recuperating. I did some Solar Work to revitalize today, and that's helped a lot.

But man, these magicians don't play. They have integrated the things Jason teaches about in his Strategic Sorcery courses and his book Sorcerer's Secrets in a massive way. Hats off to the brujos, man. Respect. Cleaning that mess up was, as a friend warned me, hard!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's on, like Donkey Kong!

AIT, myself, Jason, Jack, and now Balthazar are in the thick of it now!

It's like WWE on blogs.

Ok, so in this episode, RO addresses syncretism, and some other stuff.

AIT, Jack, and Jason are in the more radical syncretism camp, and Balthazar and I are in the more purist camp when it comes to mixing traditions. The spectrum (in my opinion) goes something like this:

AIT posted that we should read the Western texts right alongside the Eastern texts to interpret one another, basically to "fill in the gaps of the Western Tradition." I'm paraphrasing. Jack uses Mudras from Franz Bardon when he reads the tarot (and you should also read the comments on Jack's post). Jason argues that we should drop the East West divide and say it's all magic, and embrace radical rational syncretism.* Balthazar calls him out on it and levels the charge of cultural appropriation. Then Gordon comes in swinging a folding steel chair! Oh wait, not yet. I'm getting ahead of the story.

Now I know these fellows, and I'm basing my placement of us on the scale on the things we've written over the years. Jack's the most chaos mage of all of us and would be further out than Jason towards the chaos end of the spectrum if I didn't also know he's a Traditional Witch too, and has written with respect for traditions' traditions. AIT would fall further on the purist side if he weren't Golden Dawn, and Jason would be further towards the Purist side if I only looked at his experiences with hands on transmission of spiritual empowerments. I would have thought Balthazar would fall more towards the chaos side of the spectrum because root doctoring itself is a syncretic system that took the things that worked from multiple systems and put them together as a complete thing.

As for me, I think I'm dead center, and in my ideal head, I might really be that way. But in my mind and heart, I lean towards traditionalism, getting everything out of a system from that system and don't dilute the potential by blending it all together.

The irony is that my system is pure Hermetics, ideally sucking the marrow from the 1st through 3rd century materials, but using the techniques of the Renaissance magicians who honed it and left us more detailed materials.

But what were those Hermetic materials that were honed? Greek, Hebrew, Persian, Egyptian, Christian, Gnostic, Neo-Platonic, Pagan... All crammed together in one empire that had magicians travelling, studying, and exchanging information in their version of the internet! It was a hotbed of syncretism. I'll do rites that include names of spirits from three or four cultures that can be interpreted in six completely different ways depending on which mystery cult you're coming from. My traditional tradition is a complete syncretic work. People like me from back then and there would have been horrified! Yet here I am arguing that it's a tradition of its own that should be adhered to...

Heh. I'm well aware of my hypocrisy.

I don't, however, feel it needs to be corrected. See, I think the 1st-3rd century stuff is the raw ore, and the Renaissance work was a refinement of that ore, and that there's a ton of shit to be gathered from the system as it is, if only it was more cohesively presented. I acknowledge the inputs from the East and Near East over the centuries, and I'm grateful for them. I believe, however, that it's at a point where the things that needed to be imported were imported, and it doesn't need anything else at this point. I'm fine with the neoplatonic hermetic tradition and all it has to offer me. I think it's a complete system. It tells a whole story of the advancement through ritual and initiation. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you do specific work, you get specific results, which enable further work, and that in turn provides specific other results, which enables further work, and so on up the chain of manifestation. It's like you mine the ore, smelt the pellets, purify it into steel, shape it into the tool, and then use the tool. Each phase has specific operations that get done to the material so it can become its final product.

I love the Hermetic path, and I've found that everything offered in other systems has a correlary in this system, it just has to be found and recognized. Everything your system can do, mine can do too, in other words. Nyah nyah.

But it's not about that. It's about getting to the goal. AIT calls it becoming an immortal, and I share the goal. I like it. I embrace it. All the steps are laid out here in the Hermetic stuff I do, where I'm at, and the addition of other things is, to me, a distraction. I'd rather specialize than generalize. Other systems with similar goals may help me understand the subject, if needed, but it wouldn't replace the methods I have at my disposal from my own tradition because I appreciate the harmony of what I've built so far, and I don't want to fuck it up. By keeping to the same bucket of practices that are labeled Hermetic, I've built up a momentum that I don't want to lose by including stuff I don't understand that requires something I might not have to get to a goal I might not share.

Now, Balthazar has implied that cultural appropriation and a sense of entitlement is a bad thing. I don't agree with him in this regard. I think we really are entitled to pursue our spiritual paths, that we are free to answer God's call on our life in whatever language or symbol set he calls to us from. No one has the right to stop another person from pursuing God as they feel called. We're all free to make commentary and air our opinions, but what's between you and God is between you and God. That's sacred. My opinion on your relationship with god matters not shit at all.**

That said, I'm strongly opposed to being rude and insensitive in your syncretization. You're royalty in the kingdom of God, but you don't have to act like a brat prince/princess. Jason appropriates tech from different systems with respect and sensitivity. He doesn't make any claims about his interpretation or use being better than the source he borrows from. He integrates and syncretizes rationally. He puts things together that match and align in harmony, not in a way that brings insult, or disharmony to himself or his students. He's careful about it.

Balthazar himself does much the same. After all, his blog name is Gnostic Conjure. It's syncretization at its finest, and I don't think he would object to Jason's actual practice of syncretization in the slightest, even though they may seem at odds this morning.

So for me the bottom line is if you want to syncretize, by all means do so, I recognize that it's perhaps the TRUEST traditional tradition there ever was. Personally, I'm fine for now with exploring where the Hermetic System takes me, and I don't need all that mudra mantra yantra stuff. So far I've found the spirits leading me to things that are similar enough in result and even the look/feel of other people's systems, but really it doesn't matter to me what your system does.

*By Rational syncretism, I mean to acknowledge that he's not a fucking idiot, and knows you don't put shit together that doesn't belong together in ignorance just because it looks cool.

** With the understanding that if you infringe upon my divine rights in the name of your relationship with God, I will kick your ass.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Energy Work: Mostly Bullshit, and Beyond your Grade

In today's post, Fr. A.I.T. brings up excellent arguments for including what he calls "energy work" in your daily practice. He makes a bold statement in the title that if your personal practice doesn't include "energy work," it's bullshit.

Since I can't comment on his post from the office, I've spent the day trying to hammer out a coherent post (in between all kinds of business responsibilities too numerous and damned boring to list) to address my issues with his statements. I'm not convinced I'm arguing with him as much as I'm arguing against my perception of what he's said, and none of this is personal or anything, I love me some AIT, yo. He's the man. I just have some shit to say about this topic.

Let's begin with a perusal of the practices we have handed down to us within the Hermetic Tradition. Take a good look at the Picatrix, or Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Practice. Examine the Greek Magical Papyri. Take some time and go through the Sefer ha Razim, or the Testament of Solomon. Wade through the dense symbolism of the alchemical texts. Check the Corpus Hermeticum. Read the grimoires from the Renaissance.

Do you see the detailed instructions on visualization techniques? Aren't the methods they provide to circulate the energies of the spheres through your own sphere fascinating? The key images they provide to incorporate into your body of light, and how to use it to travel through the spheres are so handy and useful, aren't they?

What's that you say? There's nothing there about "energy work"? No instructions, processes, methods, techniques, visualizations, or guidance in any way regarding anything about "energy work" whatsoever?

Why, you're right! There's not. Fancy that. It's almost as if it weren't even a part of the personal practice of the magicians for thousands of years, right? So their practices were apparently bullshit.

Well, no, not exactly. The whole "energy work" term is a recent addition to this thing we call magic. It's a different way of looking at what we're doing, so of course there's nothing clearly about energy work in the traditional sources. Because, get this... back in the day, it just wasn't necessary to mention it. These books focus on Rituals and Initiations as the keys to power because all that "energy work" stuff comes as a result of the rites of initiation. You can't even have the structure or the power to do any of the "energy work" without the initiations received through the rites. And if you've gotten the initiations, you'll find yourself doing the "energy work" and the meditations naturally as a result.


You know, I have several problems with what gets called "Energy Work" in the personal practices of magicians. My main issue with it is that it's mostly bullshit. 99% of the meditations, visualizations, or chakra activation/purification techniques out there are made up horse shit that exists mainly to beef up the word count of the manuscript, or to meet the publisher's requirements for the inclusion of practical exercises for the students. Or it just sounded neat to the guy writing it.

Ok, maybe not 99%, but a lot of it.

And what isn't bullshit is probably beyond your grade. By that I mean it's a specific practice native to a specific culture's belief systems with a specific intended outcome that applies to the folks in that particular path, the things that have been revealed to them in order to draw them closer to the One, the Source, God, the Monad, whatever you want to call it. They're practices designed to work with your beliefs and the general harmonies of your sphere. They came from a system, and apply primarily to that system. They prepare you for specific things that come later in the system, and they are predicated on the accomplishment of specific other practices that were supposed to come before.

For example, any "energy work" that involves chakras is lifted from spiritual practices that had a specific framework and intent behind it that you (most likely) don't have and can't hope to fully understand by reading books about it. Likewise, any "energy work" that involves building a Body of Light using techniques from the Golden Dawn are part of a specific initiatory process that shouldn't have been made public. If you're learning about it on the internet, it's a good bet that what you're learning is being passed on by someone who never received the initiations required to understand and use the practices being taught. If they were qualified to teach it, they'd be bound by oath not to.


I actually agree with AIT's exhortation to more devotional time to accomplish the Work. I just have a problem with the idea that you put "energy work" exercises first and foremost as the answer to whatever ails you. You've got to have context for the symbolism to be meaningful. You need guidance, structure, you know, a plan. AIT mentions creating the Solar Body and the Lunar Body, for example. Do you know WTF he's talking about? Probably not. It's not exactly common knowledge. He mentions it's a vehicle you jump into after death to become an Immortal. Is that an alchemical process, an interpretation of an alchemical process, or is it a specific Mystery of the Order he belongs to? Do you know? I don't. How do you build a Solar Body? Does this Solar Body he mentions require the consistent building of access points and nodes within your spiritual sphere using rituals like the LBRP or Middle Pillar rituals? I dunno.

And what the fuck is "energy work" anyway? I have these forces come out of my hands that bring relief to my spouse when she's in pain. I received them when I visited the Eighth Sphere and began learning the Hymns of Silence. They're released by tensing certain muscles, holding my hands in certain ways, while "hymning in silence," that is, holding a particular vibration in mind/body/spirit, or by holding a specific image in my mind's eye while moving my awareness through the inflamed tissues and nerves in my spouse's spine.

I'm pretty sure people who use the term would call that "energy work." I prefer to think of it as "magic."

I didn't learn that shit by meditating. I learned it by conjuring and getting initiated. I got that by Ritual and Initiation alone, brothers and sisters. They were the keys to the power. They opened the gates.

Understanding how to use it comes from practice, exercises done under the tutelage of my Supernatural Assistant, with requests for further explanation or initiation from the spheres of origin as needed. If that's what AIT means by meditation or energy work, then ok, I agree, you've got to get your ass in gear and do that shit to see any major progress in your Work. But honestly, for me at least, I didn't need any motivation to get my ass in gear. I had an appetite for that shit, a hunger to learn and integrate what I'd received in the heavens here on Earth. And it came from the rites and initiations. It didn't come from me trying to make myself want it, it came from tasting it and needing more.

And as I've gained initiations, I've found a pleroma of practices that could be called "Energy Work" listed clearly in the links provided above. As my subtle experiences have grown, I've gained the perspective that reveals what is hidden in plain sight in the Language of the Birds. It came naturally.

And it all began with Ritual and Initiation alone.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Magic: It Smells just like Spring

The heat wave has hit, we're up to the 50's and climbing higher, thank god. We made it through another East Coast winter. this morning on the way to work, I could smell Spring in the air. I've felt it coming for a few weeks now, when the days started getting longer and the quality of light improved, but this morning marks the first day I could smell that fresh Spring smell.

Which is much better than the fresh mulch smell that comes when Spring proper hits the 'burbs. Feh.

But today finds me thinking of planting the pumpkin seeds that will become this year's jack o lanterns and thanksgiving pies, and I can't help but notice it's that same feeling that comes when I set about a magical project. Even in the depths of winter, that feeling of newness and potentiality fills the sacred space as I begin to travel up through the spheres to converse with my cohorts and plot the manifest goal. It's invigorating! The life's blood flows, and signals that it's time to put forth and prosper, time to grow, time to come forth into being! Come forth!

I love the smell of magic.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Source of Your Power

It's not a Power Trip. It's just Power Observation.

I once said something about having how you can have complete conscious control over everything in your life through the Power of Magic. After a while, I modified that a bit and said there's nothing in existence that is beyond your ability to influence through the Power of Magic.

These days I reside somewhere in between the original statement and the modified stance. I've seen every aspect of my life fall under complete conscious control and manifest exactly as I communicated to the spirits in a concert of conjuration. Every aspect! Relationship, health issues, finances, automobile failure, social interactions, professional intrigues, parenting, learning and teaching, everything I do, everything I am, and every circumstance I go through in any given day has been directly changed according to my stated direction through magical rites.

But at the same time, it happened under stress. When everything culminated at once in a crescendo of stress, I called on everything and everyone I knew from a position of ... authority is too authoritarian of a word for it, it was more like I just accepted that I am the steward of all aspects of my Sphere of Influence, and started communicating my plan to the forces at my disposal. It took the heat of the moment to motivate me, to push me to the level where I was not only able, but also fully conscious enough to actually do the Directing. I had to rise above the circumstances and have them pushed into more comfortable positions. I couldn't do that without the stress of that moment. Life wasn't hard enough for me to require that kind of response up until then.

It's kind of interesting, when I hit that moment, I felt alone. I wasn't alone, I felt and heard and communed with the spirits through Word and Symbol, the familiar presence of my Supernatural Assistant was with me, and I could hear the Still Small Voice of the Father clearly enough. But I also felt completely alone. Not the scared and cut off alone, but that good feeling of being alone you get when you have your first apartment or house you're paying for with your own money earned at your own job, and you're not depending on anyone else directly, even though everything everyone who has ever taught you, cared for you, and supported you is still there with you.

Holy crap, I'm ... growing up?

Yeah, right.

Regardless of my debatable maturation, I'm still hesitant to say everything is completely under our direct conscious control as magicians because I'm not at that point of awareness all the time, and even a couple days after that experience, I don't see any reason to even try to control everything. I want to see how my direction manifests, and enjoy the process.

I also have work to do to make some of it manifest. There's a time to experience conscious control of everything that manifests, and a time to go/be/do as the "observing experiencer." A time for acting Above and a time for acting Below. There are things I'm not in direct conscious control of in my life, and I think that's a good thing. I want to see how it unfolds as a part of the process, not just as the director. If life were a movie, I'd aim to be the director who stars in his own film, and wins the Oscar for Best Actor and Best Director for the result.

Of course, if life were a movie I'd find the damned monkey that keeps stealing the script and nail his feet to the ground.

And you know what? That's how I think we all got here in the first place. God designed it all, and then wanted to experience it as it unfolded, so he manifested Mankind to be able to do that, an eternal spirit with access to the powers of Creation, yet existing within a mortal suit capable of forgetting all about that part of their essence. He created little amnesiac vessels out of himself, and then poured himself into them. He teaches us how to access our divine birth right and our immortal heritage, but he lets us also step into the process as it unfolds to experience it in all its richness of layered flavors, choreographed routines, and blessed ignorance of outcome. Because it's him, and it's all about him.

Just like it's us, and it's all about us, from our perspective.

And that's it, really. The Source of our Power. The Father, the One, the Good, the Source. Eheieh. That moment of power I had, when it crackled through me and into this world was there because I was being what I am meant to be. I accepted my role as the Steward, I took on the responsibility of my world, and I took ownership of what is mine to have, to hold, to shape and to mold. Felt good, too, being what I am. All this magic stuff is remembering, reminding, reclaiming what we forgot. The conjurations establish the relationships and provide access to the ones who teach us the skills required to be ourselves in fullness. We learn Who we are, Why we're here, and How to do what we're here to do.

And we get to experience it all on top of that. Gravy!

Writers who Review

I like to read book reviews by readers of books who read because they like to. I get insight from their disappointments and criticisms that I can weigh against my own preferences as a reader. I enjoy reading encouraging reviews by readers who were impacted positively by the book, whether it's a how-to, an esoteric exposition, or a work of fiction or literary art. It's neat. I'd say a good 90% of reviews by readers are useful in some way.

But I have become wary when I'm reading a review by a published author, or a would-be published author. Writers can be mean about things that don't matter to most readers, like grammar and editing (I'm guilty of that). We read from the perspective of a fellow craftsman, not just as an audience. We think about how we would have said something, and if the author we're reviewing has said it worse than we would, we feel cheated, "I could have written that better, and here this a-hole is getting published for it!" Or if they write it better than we could, it rankles.

The worst, in my opinion, is when I read something in the exact style, format, level of diction, and artistic license with the grammatical guidelines that I would have used if I had written it. DuQuette does that to me a lot, writes the same way I do, thinks about things the same way, and says things that I would say. He finds the same things fascinating that I do, and the insights he shares are exactly the ones I would share too. Gets right on my nerves.

Some writers give too much praise for what they've read because they understand how fucking hard it is to get something out, and give the author credit for even being able to get as much across on a dense subject as they manage to, even if it's weak. Other times writers will go off on barely related tangents about what they would have written instead, things they think are missing that they would have included, and basically review a book that exists in their own mind only, that's only distantly related to the actual book they are supposed to be reviewing. To these types, I say write your own book if that's what you want to do, but in the review, fucking review the book you're talking about, not the book you would have written. Don't waste my time, eh?

I've been really enjoying Jow's reviews lately. His reviews are from the perspective of a seeker, and he shares what he got out of the book, as well as a summary. Jason's a writer who can review a book honestly as well*. There's another blogger, Karmaghna, who has been reviewing Jesus the Magician, and I'm enjoying that a great deal. It's like the Cliff's Notes version of the book, and I'm learning a lot in small chunks, delivered neatly to my Google Reader in easily digested chunks. I like that project a lot. It's a different style of review, almost more of a summary, but it's interesting and entertaining as well. Like a Book Report, but by and for grown-ups. I think those are my favorite kinds of review. The Book Reports.

I don't review books much these days because the last few times I tried, I couldn't stop being a writer enough to be able to really focus on the important thing, the experience of reading the book and how it affected me. Also, I haven't had time to read shit. When I read, it's emails and blog posts mostly, news articles on occasion, or something work-related. The magical stuff I read is almost all Agrippa these days, with some Trithemius or Corpus Hermeticum as needed. Maybe I'll start reporting on those things more often. Maybe not, I don't know.

* Have you updated your RSS feed and links to point to Jason real blog site? Hurry up and do so, he's posting videos!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Power of Magic

Ok, so I forgot. Shit happens, and you just get distracted. Even when you're seeing it regularly like I have been in my clients' lives, you can still forget, and I'll bet real money I'm not the only magician helping others who has momentarily forgotten.

I forgot the power of magic.

When my house got all burnt down from the demons, I withdrew from magic a bit. I still did ascension-type theurgical stuff, and I'd do some neat tricks with the stuff I've been learning in the Eighth Sphere here and there to get ahead at work, to cut through traffic, and to remain invisible to cops and robbers (I was delivering pizzas in the 'hood for a while), but I kind of shied away from doing magic to help myself much.

Last week when my loved one wound up in the hospital, I did an uncrossing rite one night, you know, just in case I'd picked up something without realizing it. The hospital was only one part of a three-pronged attack, and the other two prongs were equally painful and stressful. As soon as I did the rite, each of the prongs was addressed. Made me want to write a blog post about how when magic creates issues in your life, you can tell when you've fixed the source of the problem when the issues caused by the crossed condition seem to resolve as magically and mysteriously as they appeared. Might still get to it, but if not, there it is in one sentence.

Not long after that, I was driving home and dealing with some remaining loose ends related to the issues brought on by the crossed condition, and I had one of those RO moments. Just got sick of all the bullshit and called on everything I know to fix my life up, addressing each of the issues individually and in specific detail, while leaving enough wiggle room for the spirits to do their work on my behalf. I called into being a new reality, and set all the forces under my direction towards building that reality in my life, ASAP.

And it worked like magic. I mean, truly miracles and wonders, extreme coincidences and powerful manifestation of things I said I wanted to happen. And yeah, I had to put some work into making it happen, I had to take the opportunities that presented themselves, and I had to, you know, DO the Work, and it wasn't any easier than usual, but it totally paid off huge. Every seed I planted grew into a huge harvest, and it was overnight. Literally for some things, and figuratively for the longer-term plans. Overnight.

And I've been doing Work for my clients all this time, and they've had strange coincidences that could only make sense in the context of the magic I'd done on their behalf. They got what they wanted in spades too. One lady even had a guy pop into her life whose last name was one of the choirs of Angels after we did some angel magic. Subtle? Nah.

But magic for myself? Practical, get rich and make my life easier because I deserve it magic? I just didn't think about it much. When it did cross my mind, it got swept under the rug as I took care of other people's problems and desires.

Well, fuck that shit, man! Seize the booty, says I, with a pirate wink and a swashbuckler's smile. If you're doing a bunch of magic for others, or you've been focusing on Ascension when you do have time for magic, take some time for your self, some ceremonial ritual time and conjure up your Supernatural Assistant, your Genii Loci friends, your Elemental Familiars, the Seven Archangels of the Planets, the Seven Winds, the Seven Flames before the Throne of God, and put in your requests, submit your invoice for services rendered, get those budget charge codes for the upcoming scheduled tasks in your project, get that girl/boy companionship you need, put in your room service order, and soak in the jacuzzi for a bit while they go about making things happen for you.

Those piles of gold aren't going to conjure themselves, yo.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

For Writers of Blogs, Books, and Other Publications

Perhaps the most useful guide to writing I have ever had was the government's Plain Language guidelines. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton issued a memo stating that people should write things better in the government because no one could understand what was being said between agencies. Inside the agencies, specialized vocabularies had developed that no one outside understood.

I've recently started to review these guidelines, and man, I was in desperate need of review. Clients have been asking me WTF I meant in my responses to them, when I thought it was a clear as day. Come to find out, I haven't been COMMUNICATING. The thing I think I do the best. Heh. Woopsie!

Anyway, if you write anything, the ideas in this manual are excellent. The things I do that you like about my writing are within the guidelines. The things that don't make sense are the places where I've gone outside the guidelines. If your goal is to convey information to people, this book helps a lot.

And it's free. Can't beat FREE.

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Normal Shit

I spent the last week in the hospital caring for a loved one, and had a little realization that's probably not new or original or particularly unique: in the midst of stressful times, it's the normal shit that makes everything better.

I called a good friend and just listened to him talk about his job and stuff, and talked about what was going on with me, and then about magic and healing, and it was the kind of conversation he and I usually have. It was so normal, and it gave me a little bubble of sanity when everything else in my life seemed upside down.

It was a spontaneous thing, not preplanned to turn out that way. It was almost instinct to reach out and touch someone, it's only in hindsight that I understand what I was doing. I don't know if that kind of thing can be engineered. Personally, even knowing a moment of normalcy will help won't convince me to take that moment when I'm stressed to the gills. It had to be a nearly-unconscious act for it to have diverted my attention from the issues at hand long enough to recharge.

I'm the kind of person that only looks for solutions to the problems when problems are occurring, I have a stress-relief machine I operate in a crisis, and I don't stop to think about taking care of the machine. I just use it to eliminate the stress, to solve the problems. In this case, the machine is me, my thoughts, awareness, as well as my flesh suit I walk around in. Mind of Me and all that resembles it.

But that moment of normalcy with a friend was like giving the machine preventive maintenance, and gave me the boost I needed (without knowing I needed it) to stay the course and get through it in victory.

Uh, so yeah, the point of the post is "it's good to have friends." Friends to do normal shit with.