Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The HGA and the Celestials

So another of my students found that the fires of the Sun burn when you're passing through 'em. I know that feel bro. It gets better.

And the thing Jow wrote about celestials and K&CHGA that I read the last time I could get my head above the waters of my mundane job, it's on my mind:
Also if I am risking EVERYTHING in my life, I want a return at least equal to what I put in. If the risk is no home, no family, no job, and no sanity, I want the literal cash and prizes at the end of the book. I want my ass to fly, be invisible, demolish city walls, and have all the powers of a living God on earth. If I risk everything material, and human in my life, my whole material life's work,  in an epic gambit for spiritual power and success, I want an epic reward. I do not want something that is "really useful". Also, I do not want it to be a product of some spirits I've bound into servitude. I want that shit to be MINE.

This is quintuple the case if what i want is a Mystic Union type experience. There are easier, safer, quicker less expensive, and more trustworthy ways of getting that.

Also, the working highlights a problem with Celestial spirits. That problem is, that they are Celestial. They are alien to our experience. This can be problematic when said spirit is re arranging your life, and putting your feet to the fire.
I love Jow. To pieces. He and Deb make me happy in spite of my own weird shit, like the rest of the people I consider friends.* That's partially why it's got to be said:

Jow, really? What the fuck, man?

Literal cash prizes? Yeah, you get those. Flying invisibly through the air demolishing city walls? Yeah, you get that too. And living god on Earth? Really!?

Yes! Motherfucking Yes! Yes, yes, exactly that, YES!


That, too, is yours as a result.


That's why we do this shit. And it's not just one lifetime, one incarnation, one instance of awareness, it's for "everyone else" too, a bit. And it lasts fucking forever. FOREVER.

Hell, font don't matter.

for. ever.

And the Celestials are not alien to our experience. "THEY" are our brothers and sisters. They are our family. They are us, only without the flesh suit and all its concerns. They are us. We are them. Spirits in a material world. Thye have never been flesh, never been matter, but they have an intimate conscious understanding of what "flesh" and "matter" really means, an understanding that we need to remember to be whole.

We already know the material life and lifestyle and all its concerns. Being human makes that imperative, and it's part of the deal. We agree to pay attention to that in exchange for the experience of being incarnate. It's not something we thought about beforehand, I don't think, but it's something I think we owe ourselves. Getting rich and well-laid is the least we can do out of gratitude to the Holy Spirit, for Christ's sake.

But remembering who we are and where we come from is important. The "Holy Guardian Angel" concept wouldn't even be possible if we weren't gods. Why the hell would a spirit of that power and ability assist us if we weren't essentially fucking awesome? We're totally worth it.

All that superhero Neo-controlling-the-Matrix bullshit, I fully believe it's possible. It's not easy, it takes some serious fucking work and intense devotion, and a lot of practice, and I'm not speaking from full experience, just partial, but I swear to God the First Father, if that's what you want to do, I believe it's possible. I've done weird shit consistently, and while I pursued it, the weird shit got weirder. I saw no boundaries of what could be done, with practice, and training by the HGA and other relatives in the Extended Celestial Family. I didn't get that far, there are stories of folks who've gone further. I know I will go further.

I think what worries people (I'm no longer talking about Jow or Skyllaros, but instead a mashup of all the people I've ever talked to and imagined talking to) about this process is the fear that they'll lose their shit. Relationships, jobs, positions of comfort or respect, the results of a lifetime of study and practice... They're afraid to put that shit up on the chopping block in exchange for the potentially empty promise of a "better" life. Especially when they see people who have allegedly been through the process talking about life as if they were still human, still struggling with being enlightened and kind and happy and successful, and remembering to manifest the lifestyle they want all the time. There's no obvious difference in the lives of the magicians with K&CHGA and those without. Except the ones who've been through it have stories of pain and sacrifice.

It's true, the fires of the Sun burn away a lot of shit in your life. Solar initiations can suck.

But nothing burns that you need. K&CHGA, the process of attaining the Supernatural Assistant, it's not about the things you think matter, it's about the things that really matter. The flames of the Sun are processed through the ritual, intelligently, by someone who loves you entirely because you are who you are. The heat of the Solar flame is directed specifically to the things that need to be refined, purified, tempered in your life.

If the person you're with is the person you're meant to be with, the processes of the Work will result in the two of you being more tightly bound, more securely together, more focused on your reason for being together than ever before. It strengthens relationships that are good, it only destroys the ones that suck. I promise.

If your career path is right for you, it will only get better. If it's wrong for you, you'll find yourself in a new career path in no time, amazed that you made it through the rough spots.

It might hurt, transitioning between one lifestyle and another, it might be scary for a while, but the result is a refined, tempered, strengthened, repaired foundation for you to build upon.

I might say K&CHGA is "useful," but not necessary, but that's because I think too many people have presented it as the penultimate goal of magic rather than an early stage. What I'm not saying is how fucking beautiful K&CHGA really is. I'm not talking about how my life changed forever in that moment. I'm not talking about how I get money on demand, or how I've learned to fly invisibly through the Aires, breaking through the walls that really stand in the way. SPOILERS!

Could I have reached that without K&CHGA? Who knows? Not me. I think it's possible, but I wouldn't EVER trade K&C for any alternative. It's great. Totally worth the risk of pain.
Cause if you think you won't suffer the pain of having the things you're attached to threatened if you don't attain K&CHGA, you're not really thinking about what you've seen.

* There are maybe 12, at any given time. I'm sure that's probably a coincidence.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Escape Velocity

In a recent post, Jason writes about five things modern Western Occultism needs to get over already. I agree with most of it, but with some comments. The five things are:

  1. The HGA
  2. The Goetia
  3. Wicca Bashing
  4. Quantum Physics
  5. System Hubris

1. The HGA...

I both agree and disagree with the notion that we need to escape the gravity of the HGA. On the one hand, it's totally overblown in modern Western Occultism, or at least, it was until people started achieving it and talking about it. We should totally escape the gravity of the overblown myth of the HGA.

But today we're seeing a sea change where the HGA is concerned. People aren't treating it like the final goal of all magic and expecting to get fully Enlightened when they talk to it once. And people are understanding it better too. It's not a Gateway to Enlightenment, it's an entity, a spirit, a familiar spirit. It's your chief go-to spirit. It's like Scirlin in the True Grimoire, or like the Head Spirit in ATRs. It's also a lot like the Spirit Guide of the New Age movement, if you listen to it.

The system of magic I practice is your basic European Renaissance conjure magic. While K&CHGA is not necessary for this system to work, I promise it makes it so much easier.

2. The Goetia

Hell yeah, I totally agree with Jason on that one. "Goetia" isn't even a book, it's a type of magic, like ... Conjure Magic, Hoodoo, Necromancy, and so forth. Jake Stratton Kent has written a lot about this in Geosophia and The True Grimoire, and if you really want to understand "Goetia," you've got to read what he's written, imo. Goetia can be beautiful, but not if you're talking about a single book when you use the word.

3. Wicca Bashing

Also totally agreed. I thought Wicca was stupid based on my experiences as a Wiccan in my teens. Turns out it wasn't Wicca that was stupid, but teenage RO. In my adulthood, I had the good fortune of meeting some actual Wiccans who practiced it and had something to show for it. Joe changed my mind about it a lot, demonstrating that there is something of awe about Wicca, something that is totally and completely of Deity at work in the system, not just a bunch of pretenders and political statements about Christianity and Patriarchies in general. Jack also helped change my mind, showing me that Wiccans aren't all basing their practice on fairy tales, and with Nicole, demonstrated convincingly that the ones who were working the Fairy Tales were probably doing cooler magic than me.

4. Quantum Physics

Yeah, just, yeah. Totally.

5. System Hubris

I had a bit of a problem with this one for a long time. When I started finding magic that really worked, really well in the grimoires, I was fucking bitter about the years I wasted on GD and Chaos Magic. I bashed both with equal vehemence, not because I had to bash 'em to make my system look better, but because I was fucking pissed, and didn't want anyone else to waste their time like I did.

But like Wicca, I met people who practice those systems and seem to get something out of it. I don't generally bash the entire systems anymore. I haven't bashed Chaos Magic since I found out it's essentially Agrippa's methods presented in early-90s slacker lingo. Nothing wrong with that.

I'm still pretty bitter, though. Sort of like ex-Catholic Wiccans are bitter about their time in the Church. The more I try to write about how I'm over this one, the angrier I get. I'm ridiculous.

So fuck it. I may very well bash the systems for being weak again in the future, but that's just me and my issues with it. I know and understand that the system I practice is the very best ... for me, and that others will find their happiness in the GD where I did not, the same way I find happiness in Christianity where so many others do not.

But knowing and understanding this fact doesn't make me over my personal bitterness that the GD system and its children didn't work for me. I haven't reached escape velocity on this one, not yet.

But it's not because I have to piss in someone else's water to make mine taste sweet. It's because I went to the well and drank their water, found it bitter, and then found a sweet well with pure water. One day I might get to the point where I can say, "Oh you're drinking GD Water? Have you tried Hermetic Springs? I find it sweeter, myself," but today I'm still in the "I drank that, and it tastes like SHIT!" phase.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Dead are Everywhere!

Duhn duhn duhn!

Ok, so I wrote a big ass post about how my cultures sucks when it comes to dealing with the dead, and it was long and highly detailed and boring as shit.

So fuck that.

I did make a cool graphic for the post that would be a shame to waste:

This shows how many of the different types of ghosts there are that I've run into on a regular basis. The names of the Dead above are based on the Roman classifications.

I haven't run into very many of the Powerful Dead, at least, not knowingly. They're like the local Heroes whose tombs are visited regularly, offerings left for protection and aid. My culture doesn't do that very much. These guys are like the Saints of the Cahtolic Church. Most of my readers are familiar with a few systems that work with the Dead these days, so I won't go over it all again.

Beneath them I put the Lares/Larvae with some coherence. They might remember who they were in life, and they might make good companions to magicians, or work well to protect the hearth and home if they're like Ancestor spirits. You can hold a conversation with them, and they have more influence over the world.

Beneath them are the hordes of the restless dead. They're convenient for magicians, but for most of society at large, they suck. They cause anxiety, and magnify mental illnesses that relate to the functions of the amygdala. I think many depression and anxiety disorders are related to this class of the dead. Everyone gets anxious or depressed some of the time, but it becomes a disorder when it lasts for long periods of time, or incapacitates you in some way.

These are the spirits I think should be regularly exorcised. They don't bother me or my family because I'm a magician and I've set up my kingdom properly, but most people don't know much about this kind of thing. The number of people with a practical eschatology is extremely small.

In my neighborhood, we've got some people celebrating the Dies de las Muertes, but it's not like a festival of the dead, it's just an excuse to get drunk. Halloween used to be about the dead, but these days it's about kids getting the kiddie equivalent of their drunk on with piles of candy.

I'm all for partying and shit, I'm not saying we should stop drinking, or dressing our kids up in cheap costumes and gathering loot because the days are supposed to be holy or anything.

But these holidays served a practical purpose in the community, they cleaned out the accumulated weak/obnoxious dead. I drove down to Virginia a few weeks ago, and some of the little protestant rural towns we went through were heavy with the dead. Modern funerals are for the living, not for the dead. Pastors don't bother praying a spirit to heaven, and their "consecrated" grounds don't really seem to do much to keep the dead from walking. The air was thick with 'em in some places.

Now this makes magic a lot easier to do for magicians. It just takes a little Martial/Saturnian Work to get them to focus on making what you want happen. Most of 'em are weak and pretty useless on their own, but you get enough of them working on something you want, and they can be highly effective. I think it's pretty rad that you can get a spiritual army together that can shake the foundations of the world using a simple nine-day rite.

But with my established relationships with other spirits, it's never been necessary.

For non-magicians, it just sucks. They don't know they're haunted, let alone what to do about it. Red wine and xanax get a lot of people through it, but a regular cleansing would be better for them in the long run. I've started exorcising my secular friends when they start going loopy. It's nothing formal that they're aware of, but when someone in my circle of acquaintances starts exhibiting symptoms of a nervous breakdown, I perform a rite on their behalf to get rid of any Larvae that might be infesting their spheres. I figure it can't hurt.

I'm careful not to accidentally get rid of any positive dead that might be around. I'm not going to just banish everything, blind to the fact that for thousands of years humans have had beneficial relationships with their dead. I know I don't know everything about people's personal spiritual lives, and I certainly don't need any pissed off ancestor spirits gunning for me.

But I do my part to shrive the shades that would have been shriven if my stupid culture wasn't more interested in getting drunk than living well. I'm not doing this out of the goodness of my heart. I personally have benefited from helping out my subjects. It makes my kingdom run more smoothly when the people in it aren't being driven nuttier by the shades of the dead.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

If I posted...

If I posted the kind of blog posts I have time to finish these days, they would be like this:

Boundaries are good.

Exorcism is good. More people should exorcise and get exorcised. Cause there are GHOSTS fuckin' everywhere!!!