Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spiritual Trauma and the Shamanic Death Trip

I love me some HGA talk!

Acher's recent publication of his initial research on the origins of the HGA has sparked more discussion on one of my favorite topics. You'd better not go Gordon and be all, "“meh, I’ll catch it next time around. Might have something new to say then.”

This is important to you personally because you've been fed a line of total bullshit about the HGA all your occult life, and if you're going to understand it and be able to work with it the way god intended, you'd damned well better be reprogramming yourself by reading these discussions when they come up.

I'll try to keep it entertaining, and interesting though, I know how you are.*

So Rose wrote a post today about the HGA and her take on it. She expressed concern about potential blogosphere backlash for expressing her belief that the published rites and rituals aren't required to gain K&CHGA, and I feel her pain.**

Rose is right on when she says the HGA is there from birth, it says so clearly in the Abramelin manuscripts. Check Mathers and Dehn, if you don't believe me. See Chapter thirteen of the Mathers version, it's online and handy so I can look it up. Look at what happens on the 7th day, what he tells you about your life with him that you've never known. Couldn't happen unless Rose is spot on accurate about the spirit being there all the time from birth.

It's there working with you and for you whether you know it or not. All the rite provides is conscious interaction with it, and the ability to see it.

Rose expresses her thoughts on the relationship between trauma and spiritual experiences, gifts, and insights, and how sometimes they can serve to kick off the ability to see, hear, and interact with spirits. I think that's not only accurate, but a key insight into understanding what actually goes on in these HGA rites anyway.

The rites and rituals that are designed to put you into contact with the HGA in modern times are functionally designed to induce a traumatic event so intense that you are able to see, hear, and interact with your HGA. You spend your six months or eighteen months ritually creating the circumstances necessary to instigate a psychic breakdown, to create a reframing experience that allows your whole perception to be altered. You use special oils and perfumes to put your brain into a particular state, and there's some speculation that you get high to help. Aaron Leitch very carefully doesn't mention that he uses Marijuana as a psychoreagent in his Work with the Holy Guardian Angel. He also carefully doesn't show it in a picture on his blog.

In my experience with gaining K&CHGA, I started doing Liber Samekh, minus the GD line dancing, and two weeks later I had the experience that indicates contact has been made. Two weeks! That's not 6 months, or 18 months. It's not even close!

But it happened after 2 fucking years of spiritual hell. I'd been pure fundy, pouring my heart out to god, literally in tears in his presence on a daily basis looking for answers, help, peace, succor. I was on an ecstatic mystic's journey to the heart of the Sun for years before hearing a still small voice telling me to go back to the occult and looking at it through the eyes of a born again new creation in Christ. The framework was laid, the pump was primed, I'd spent years enflamed in prayer, systematically destroying my psyche through the well-intended but spiritually bereft advice books of the modern Charismatic-Puritan movement in the Church. I mean, I was basically living like a Plymouth Brother, Crowley's home religion. It makes perfect sense that his rite would work for me, when you think about it.

But the trauma is the key. You've got to get yourself all hyped up, all psyched out, and maintain it for a while to hit that moment of breakthrough when you smell that smell and say, blessed is the day of the Lord! It's not a once-and-done kind of thing. It's a full on rebirth experience that drives you a little bit crazy to make you a little bit more sane.

It's just exactly like the Shamanic Death Trip, at least as far as I understand it. The shamans were ritually buried and hopped up on psychoactive drugs to get through to the spirit world, receive a vision and an ally or two, and return able to cross the bridge between the realms to fight spiritual battles for their community. I'm sure that's not exactly historically accurate, but that's basically the understanding I have. The Masons recreate the Death Trip as part of their initiations too. You go through something traumatic.

But here's the thing. These rites and rituals create specifically designed traumatic experiences. Think about it. How did they figure out they needed to artificially create trauma to establish conscious communion with the spirit realm? From real life trauma.

They saw that when someone got hit in the head and started seeing spirits and speaking in tongues. Yeah, maybe it was brain damage sometimes, but other times the weird shit they said came true. Putting a leaf in a fire under the right stars and mumbling gibberish made the hunts more successful, and when that guy died, they had to figure out how to replace him. Physical trauma didn't always work, but drugs and ritual death seemed to, and next thing you know, a few thousand years later, we have Abramelin and Liber Samekh.

They're artificial recreations of real life trauma events, modified, toned down, but geared towards the same result. And anyone who's been through attaining K&CHGA will tell you, it comes after pain. Solar initiations are represented by the Cross for a reason in Rosicrucian symbolism. Death and resurrection, man. Death hurts, even when it's temporary.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, the things that caused trauma didn't go away. As technology improved and populations grew and spread, new forms of psychic-vision-producing trauma evolved. Severe emotional and physical trauma ranks pretty high up there in the list of things that bring visions of angels to this very day. In a lot of ways, they're actually the more natural method of obtaining K&CHGA. Less predictable, less reliable, but still effective in creating re-framing experiences that allow you to see things that no one else can see.

So I'm with Rose. I think the rites and ceremonies are a much more preferable way to induce the trauma that results in the Vision and the Voice, but they aren't the only way at all.

* Tiny little attention span, pressed for time, and hungry for something fun and useful at the same time. Like me.

** I don't write up a whole lot of stuff that goes on in my practice and life because the results of the Traditional Grimoire and Aggrippinian Neo-Platonic Hermetic Magical Practice(TM) looks a WHOOOOOLE lot like the kind of stuff I've made fun of when it happens to New Agers and Paranormal Investigators. And we're supposed to be a dignified bunch, who are above that kind of poppycock. No pre-17th century documentation? It's bullshit!

That's the law.

I realized I had boxed myself into a prison of my own creation recently when I found myself jealous of Ian for being a neopagan who can just make shit up and get away with it, as long as it works. I make shit up all the time, and it works great, but I don't write it up or talk about it or sell it from the blog because it's damned hokey, and I've got an image to maintain or some shit.

Yeah, fuck all that shit.