Monday, December 31, 2012

Shit Works Out

I have a positive outlook on life, and I have found that this perspective, in turn helps me have a pretty positive life as a result. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I expect life to be awesome because I can see how awesome life has been to me. I've experienced it, so I expect it, and sure enough, I find it.

But I have a positive outlook on life because I have shit work out in my favor all the time. It's really easy to be happy when you lead a charmed life. I'd like to give you examples, but I sound like I'm bragging if I do, and that's not cool. I've written it up a couple times, and the level of awesome in what's happened is so huge, I can't put it in any kind of nonchalant wrapping that makes it look like anything but braggadocio.

See, even that sounds terribly arrogant. Everybody doesn't lead a charmed life. Some people are in a lot of pain all the time. Some people are depressed, or have other forms of mental illness in varying degrees. I posted this picture the other day on FaceBook:

Fictional Life is Fictional
And one of my friends who is aware of the reality of mental health issues rightly pointed out that this isn't possible for a lot of people with depression. And he's totally right, this is a fictional character from a sit-com. It's entertainment, not real life.

This is a fictional character, but wouldn't that be awesome if it were possible to just do that?

For most people, people who aren't clinically depressed, most of the time it is possible. You just have to keep in mind that the quote up there is a summary of a lot more steps because it's funnier to say it that way, and it reflects Barney's character*.

You can go from sad to awesome for one very simple reason: shit works out. It's a basic principle of the universe at large. Sooner or later the things that we're worrying about work out. We make more money, we get what we need, the source of the problem goes away, something happens, and next thing you know you're not worried about issue A, you're totally focused on issue B, which has taken priority... Because shit worked out for issue A.

Knowing that shit works out is important. Since shit will work itself out eventually anyway, you might as well get rid of it now, eh? Why keep it around any longer than necessary? Fuck it, out the door!

First, you have to figure out what's making you sad. That's not as easy as it sounds. Hell, sometimes people don't even know they're sad in the first place, let alone why they're sad. It can be anything.

A good way to figure this out is to say to yourself, "God, I fucking hate ..." and then finish the sentence. You'll be surprised how quickly the brain leaps to fill in the blanks. Track that down and analyze it, where did it come from, no matter what it was. What do you hate about it, why do you hate it, how do you hate it, how long have you hated it?

Then look at what you can do about whatever's making you sad. Can you kill it? End it? Destroy it? Or maybe... fix it? Transform it, heal it? Is it a valid thing, or is it maybe you that's broken and you should maybe transform and heal yourself? What approach do you want to take to get rid of the sadness?

This is where magicians have an "in." See, we understand the chain of manifestation. We can see what kind of magic we need to do to accomplish the desired change. We know the paths of the the Devil, Temperance, and Death. We know the way to awesome lies through the gate of the Sun. We can craft the solution and implement it, transforming or eliminating the sad thing.

And when it's gone, we can make sure that what takes its place is something that is good, something we find to be awesome.

But even though it's that easy, it's not that simple, is it. I have a friend who I nearly stopped talking to over the autumn. He's in a bad situation, and has told me about how terrible it is for years. We talked about magical solutions to his issues, and he implemented some brilliant strategies. He crafted this awesome set of rites to get rid of what made him miserable, and they worked beautifully...

And he freaked the fuck out. I can't get into details, but all of a sudden the threat of that thing that makes him miserable being taken from him drove him insane. He undid all his magic. He could have said one sentence and ended a terrible situation, and instead he ensured that he would continue to suffer for years.

And then he tells me he's sick of his magic not working. I almost crawled through the phone to kill him myself. I couldn't talk to him for weeks. I was disgusted that he would do all that magic, have this amazingly obvious supernatural sequence of events happen to get him exactly what he asked for specifically, and then ruin it all at the last second.

Eventually I got to wondering how many times I've done that same thing. And I realized yeah, that sucks, but shit. People. We fuck up.

The results we think we want scare the shit out of us when they show up and explain that, oh yeah, everything in your world is going to change now, and you don't know how it all ends for sure. It might all end badly!

But it might all end awesomely too! Especially when you have invisible friends who help, secret occult practices that give you an advantage, and ready access to several kinds of alcohol!

In fact, I promise you that if you do magic to get rid of or transform the things in your life that aren't awesome, you will find yourself growing in confidence that you can, indeed, go from being sad to awesome. Because shit works out.

* Barney, who is a ...

wait for it...

wait for it...

awwww yeah, here it comes...

a magician!

Mage-five, come on!

How to be a Living God

Live like a god.

A couple of years ago, my friends and I started doing Jupiter magic once a week. A couple of years later, most of us are making a lot more money than we did when we started, and most of us are living dream lives.
It's no secret what we did. Conjured up a deity or intelligence or archangel of the greater benefic, said the Orphic hymn, meditated on a set of sigils, and talked about money and opportunities that came our way to each other.

The last part of the Orphic hymn is the part that became our statements of intent, a request for health and necessary wealth. Once a month we do the rites, some of us once a week. Blessings accumulated. Wealth flowed. The 'health' of Jupiter is a zaftig kind of health, so we all got a bit pudgy.

Money didn't fix anything. I was still in a miserable marriage for various justifying reasons, like for the kids, or for her health, or it's cheaper to keep her, or something. Always something. It was an unpleasant life, but familiar, and I really thought it was my fault things were bad. And in a way it was my fault.

Because I didn't leave. Divorce was scary. Splitting up was scary. The house we owned together, the kids we had together, the history we had together, all that made it really hard to split up. Divorce would be harder and more painful than staying, I thought.

Eventually things got so bad that it hit a crisis point. I was planning on leaving my ex when the kids were 18. Figured it was the best thing I could do for them. I had checked out of the relationship in my head, but was letting it zombie shuffle around for like a decade to avoid the expected painfulness of a divorce.

Of course it fell apart.

In July.

And everything went to shit. I crawled into a bottle for a week. Or so. I got a shitty one bedroom efficiency. I signed a terrible agreement with the ex hoping we would reconcile, because fuck, it was so different it hurt.
And I did a lot of magic. Magic to bring me and my ex back together.  It worked, but we still hated each other and couldn't handle it. So I did other magic, black evil magic, and it worked, and I had to call on Deb to teach me how to undo it, because it made me feel worse, not better.

And then I gave up on that life. Fuck it, said I. And I did more magic, seven spheres in seven days with the intent to be reborn, rededicated to the hermetic great work as I understood it.

And then shit got weird.

I started having fun. I drank and smoked and went to social events and met interesting people and did interesting things. I found out who I was without my ex and all the definitions I had taken on, husband, father, home owner. I discovered that the names I had let myself be called and internalized for 12 years were bullshit. I embraced a term I knew was right and fun, 'magician' and let it take me where it will, Schmendrick style.

Since then, it's been a trip. I do magic, my world gets better. I make a lot of money. My divorce goes well. My magnum opus is on track to manifest in 2013. I lost thirty pounds and have taken control over my body's shape.

It's pretty awesome.

It's not always fun though. I live in a shit hole apartment in Baltimore. I wept one night a couple weeks ago looking at it. I am an occasional emo wreck in many ways. I miss my kids, I worry about them. I have trust issues. Working out the divorce is not fun. Some days my ex hate-texts me for hours. Though I haven't in a while, some days I respond in kind.

But things keep improving. It's a matter of perspective. Divorce sucks compared to hot red-headed sex, for example, but it is way less painful than living in a terrible relationship was on a daily basis. I have something good to think about every day, something awesome if I remember to look for it. Something that makes the bad shit not so bad, really. 

I figured something out, we actually buy our experiences, we purchase every moment we experience using the only currency that matters: our attention. What we spend our attention on becomes magnified in our experience. I can pay attention to how I spent 12 years sinking literally hundreds of thousands of dollars into a house, cars, clothes, and a really cool kitchen and now I'm starting over from scratch with nothing but a battered Volvo and not even a stick of furniture to my name, and I'm going to have a shitty time. I can pay attention to the fact that if this is what I have to show for my career, my life's decisions, my time and effort for over a fucking decade, then I am obviously a failure, right? I can buy that for myself.

Or not.

I can pay attention to the fact that I can write my epic books now without interruption or guilt. I can pay attention to how I do magic and shit works itself out in my favor (more on that later). I can pay attention to my lover, and how things started great and have only gotten better in that area of my life. I can pay attention to the fact that I'm in transition from one bad phase of life to whatever I want my life to be, with my imagination and work ethic the only limitations standing between me and complete domination of the entire universe.

So ... I feel pretty great most of the time, not miserable most of the time. For 12 years that was not the case! I didn't even know I was miserable or that I didn't have to be miserable. I didn't know life could be fun.

So I'm excited about it. If you are unhappy most of the time, I want to tell you it doesn't have to be like that so you can wake up and start having fun with me. Because it's contagious. And if everyone caught it, wow what a world, eh?

So here's the trick to being a living god:

Live like a god.
  • Figure out what you want.
  • Do magic to get what you want.
  • Look for what you want to manifest.
  • Do what it takes to get your results.

The last part is the hardest. You won't succeed most of the time because of that fact. Doing what it takes is not usually ecstatically blissful. It's usually boring, irritating, or fucking painful. It always feels like it's taking too long, and until you have what you want, you worry that you won't get it. Often.

That's normal.

Also, magic is like strength training. You do more magic and you can do more magic. But you don't start out a god-level magician. You get stronger, you learn to us it better, you aim for the right goals. It's a process.

And like developing muscles, you are usually sore from one initiation or another. You can pull a muscle working on it too hard, and then you have to heal. It hurts. You can't pull down forces of creation without them changing you, and change isn't easy.

It's work. But ... it works.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Motion in Motion

One of the things I stress in the Gate of Mercury is the flowing nature of the home-sphere of the Hermetic Magician. It's all about flowing, movement, exchange, transfer, embodiment, discernment, planning, processing, and above all, moving, going to, coming from. It's maps of the connection points, schematics of the process, but the process itself being represented in Mercury is the flow of information to and from its ineffable Source.

This flowing nature of our home sphere is important to keep in mind. It's a vital part of the Mystery at the core of Hermetics.* Our paths never stop. The "accomplishment" of the Great Work is a phrase we toss about as if it were possible to ever do more than finish up a part of it before moving on to the next. There is no end. As my gnostic friends say, "The Eucharist never ends!" That's important to remember.

We are constantly in motion, all of us, as long as we exist. We don't really stop moving. We're growing, shaping, changing, processing, evaluating, planning, executing. We are always doing something. Even when we are deep in no-mind meditation, we have not stopped anything necessary. Which is an understanding that is sort of the whole point of no-mind meditation, in my humble opinion.

In our magical paths, we are also growing and changing. Jason and I were talking about the Seven Spheres in Seven Days exercise recently, and he mentioned that we tend to forget that we didn't start out where we're at today, and the things we can do now were once intimidating for a reason. It's like weight lifting, the more you do, the more you can do. A weight that you could barely move today can be lifted easily by a future you who has built up the muscle over time.

And that's what I've done over the last few years, I've built up a pretty strong set of spiritual muscles. I did that by performing spiritual exercises regularly, as part of an overall goal, i.e. the "accomplishment" of the Great Work. That's still the framework of my operations. I haven't stopped pursuing the next level, and I do not think that I have "arrived" at any end goal.

I'm going to be talking about some crazy shit soon. I want to make sure that people understand the crazy shit I'll be talking about is taking place within the greater context of my performance of the Great Work. The Crazy Shit is a specialization, a subset of the overall Great Work, and it is by no means taking the place of my continued efforts to keep moving forward, onward and upward. It is a means towards a goal, not the goal itself.

Some of the stuff I'll be talking about isn't "safe." Well, honestly, nothing I talk about is "safe." Even reading my words here on the screen is changing you forever in small ways that will bear fruit in your life starting now. It's the nature of existence. Transmissions of information through symbol change the world. And change is never guaranteed to be safe, painless, or uncomfortable.

But the stuff I'm going to be talking about will be more dangerous than reading a blog post. Jumping into some of this stuff without having gone through the stuff I teach in the Red Work series of courses could cause some really unpleasant shit to surface if you haven't spent some time figuring out who you are, and how you relate to the forces I'm going to be talking about.

The actual intent of these exercises is experiencing joy by creating my universe to increase my conscious understanding of that essential interface at the core of my awareness. Knowing myself, as it were.

But remember, these exercises are part of the Work, taking place in an environment I've spent years developing, and as part of a greater process. This is like the process of creating rocket fuel, something cool and fun and dangerous to do, but still only a supporting process in the launch of the rocket. And the launch of the rocket is still only a supporting process of the primary mission.

I keep moving forward, modeling my practice and my understanding on the flow-motion of the home-sphere of the Hermetic path.

And I never. stop. moving.

* The Mystery is that we're like gates through which pass the Will of God from Above to Below, and the Experience of Existence from Below to Above at the same time, allatonce. It's in constant flow between the two, but really there's not two. There, you're illuminated.

The Prayer of RO

Speech, thou tongue, thou voice, oh thou sacred informer, creator of the world, be kind and serve me well, that no idleness should pass my lips, nor any word fall to the ground and without bearing fruit.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hermetic Soteriology

Hierophantic Psychopompery

At Its Finest

Soteriology is the study of religious* doctrines of salvation

Salvation. That's a fun thing to think about, isn't it? What exactly does it mean? 

Who, or perhaps, what are we saving? From what danger or threat are they being saved? What does this "salvation" look like in real life? How can you tell if it worked?

In the Hermetic doctrines, we learn that people are gods, extensions of the First Father created to be an intelligent companion/vessel through whom the cosmos could be simultaneously created and experienced.** This answers that first question, who are we saving? We are saving humans. 

But what are we saving them from? What is the threat or danger? What problem is being solved by Hermetics? That's kind of more complicated. 

People live and die, creating and experiencing their world whether they know it or not. Remember, Hermetics teaches that our purpose is to simultaneously create and experience the cosmos, including, but not limited to, the material world. The most materialistic, unspiritual person you know, the dumbest clod-hopping troglodyte who has ever mocked you for having spiritual beliefs is no less a manifestation of god than you are, and has no less power to create and experience their world than you have. The most mundane people on the planet still make decisions and perform actions that materialize their world, just like you do. 

So the problem that Hermetics solves is not whether or not we are able to accomplish our spiritual purpose. The salvation of Hermetics is not the creation of empowered gods. That's totally not the problem.

In the core Neoplatonic philosophy, we learn that the problem we have is that we have lost and forgotten our race and value.*** We live in ignorance of who we are. That's the problem. We behave badly and make things bad for ourselves and others because we forgot that we have the power to create and experience our lives. We do not fail to create our worlds, we fail to create our worlds consciously

Hermetics gives us a framework to reclaim our race and value. It provides the means to create and experience the universe on purpose. Like the god you are. This is the point of the Great Work. It cleans up the things that separate you from your highest potential, and it changes your consciousness in the process. 

And it is a process. You don't start out ignorant, and then have one thing happen that makes you instantly conscious of being a god. You hear about something, and you perform an experiment. During the experiment, you have an experience that confirms what you heard. The words have become a solid known thing because you have experienced it. This is "gnosis." 

Gnosis is the method of the Hermetic "salvation" process. We conjure spirits for this and that, and we learn more and more about them, how they work, and how we work. We learn about our relationships to them, and over time, we pick up their patterns, behaviors, and abilities. We change by interacting with them, by learning from our experiences, by getting to gnow them, getting to gnow all about them...

And it is a gradual process. It doesn't happen over night, and it never truly completes. You can finish phases of the Work, but as long as you're still in the flesh, you still will have the opportunity to learn new things, to experience new frontiers, and to create new things to experience. It never stops. There is no end in sight, and that's awesome, because ultimately it is the most fun thing we can do with our lives. It is always fulfilling, it never leaves you empty or alone.

And sometimes we are more aware of being creator gods than others. Some days we feel magical, other days we feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it's all bliss and fun and JOY, and other times it's walking through the necessary material steps to resolve an undesirable manifestation, and those times can be long and boring and not very fun at all.

If you think about them too much. Fortunately, as on long boring car trips, our Dad has given us things to keep ours minds off the monotony. As long as we keep on traveling towards the destination, it's fine to enjoy the distractions, in my humble opinion.

Just don't mistake the distractions for the end goal.

Someone asked me recently point blank, "Have you accomplished the Great Work?" I don't like to talk about it because as soon as I do, people will suddenly forget reading anything I've written above, or in any other blog post for the last 6 years, and will nearly hurt themselves in their eager rush to leap to the conclusion that I am an ego-enslaved delusional black brother.

I shit you not. 

I'm about to perform an experiment to demonstrate this on FaceBook. I am going to post the following as a status:
I have successfully accomplished the Red Phase of the esoteric Great Work. I have:
* Created the Philosopher's Stone
* Ground it into powder
* Projected it into the world
Behold, I heal the sick, raise the dead, and make the blind to see!
Thus am I the salvation of the world.
Watch what happens, and feel free to play along. I ask that no one mentions this blog post in the comments, and that if you have already commented, then found out that it was an experiment, that you do not go back and change or remove your comments in the interest of science. 

And remember, it's all in fun.

I find it absurd that anyone can read all the stuff I've written over the last six years and still think anything I write in an ecstatic state of gnowing I'm a creator god is somehow the equivalent of "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light, no man cometh to the Philosopher's Stone but by Me!" I mean, I put the "RO Bullshit Zone" warning right there on the front of the blog. Sic Magus cavete, let the Magician beware.

But here's the real deal: 

I, Rufus Opus, have accomplished the Great Work

I really have. I have completed the full cycle. I have taken my sorry lazy ignorant ass through the Black, White, Green, and Red phases of the Great Work, refining and perfecting myself until I created the Philosopher's Stone, healed the sick, and turned shit bricks into solid gold.

Some aspects of that statement are more literal than others.

Did I say I am enlightened, perfect, a manifestation of pure perfectly functional conscious godhead now and forever, in RO's name you pray amen?

Nope. I just said I created the Philosopher's Stone, and used it to heal my world and the people in it. It's not that big of a deal. It doesn't make me perfect or better than any man or woman on the planet besides the sniveling wretch I used to be. It doesn't mean the Work is finished either. Cycles repeat. A Stone I create today becomes the Prima Materia of the Stone I create tomorrow. It doesn't stop. 

Now, this post is working on your mind, making you think about things I'm talking about. Some of these things line up, some don't. You're figuring out which parts you agree with, and which parts you don't. Some people are focusing on the parts they disagree with, and are thinking up arguments. Others are focusing on the parts they do agree with, and are thinking up ways to test it, put it into practice, implement it.

But everyone is thinking about how they are creator gods experiencing the universe now. Remembering this fundamental TRVTH of your race and value is the core Salvation offered by Hermetics. By bringing it to you, talking about it, getting you to think about it, I have performed in a very small way the salvation of the world, and those within it.

Aww yeah, bitches! Ungh! 

But here's the thing: so what? It's what I do. I talk about magic, if you haven't noticed. I remind people they are gods and they can do magic to change their world. I teach an approach to getting good at it, and recommend other approaches that seem to work pretty well too. That doesn't make me very special. It's just me doing my thing. Some days I do it well, some days not so much. Just like everyone else.

I don't get any ego boost out of any of this shit. Being aware that I'm a creator-god is not an accomplishment for which I should be proud. It's like being proud of the color of your skin, or being proud of breathing, or being proud of taking a shit. These are all things that are natural. 

Rather, I get an ego boost out of doing it particularly well. When I create something really awesome that I LOVE to experience, I am thrilled to death, and love it so much. I am also grateful, and I don't lose sight of the role I play in relation to every other role played in the manifestation of my awesomeness, but I also don't sell it short. Ego boosts aren't all bad. You don't check your brain at the door, of course, but it's ok to enjoy it when you're awesome.

The trick is not to stop though. Never think you're finished, or that you've arrived. Never cease to strive for MORE, more fun, more pleasure, more joy, more awesomeness. Bigger badder better, even if it's just more bigger badder better experiences of no-thing-ness. Strive for excellence, strive to always do better than before. Hunger, thirst, yearn for perfection...

And most important of all ... 




* Religions relate humanity to spirituality through narratives, symbol sets, and rituals, among other things. They tell a story about how humans relate to eternity, death, and various rank and file invisible entities that influence the manifestation of the world. Whether you consider "Hermetics" a religion or just a philosophy and set of practices doesn't matter for the purposes of this post. The point is that "Hermetics" comes with a doctrine of salvation.

** See the "Neoplatonic Basics" series of blogposts, also available as an ebook or for free online.

*** New readers, note that "race and value" are not references to the flesh suit you are wearing or its unique genome. It is a reference to the race and value of the invisible god looking through your brain at the material world.

Monday, December 17, 2012

On Things that Suck

I don't want to talk about guns or mental illness or problems in the world. I want to go back to funny pictures from I Fucking Love Science, or Intelligent, classy, well-educated women who say F*ck a lot. I want to argue about the nature of enlightened attainment, and the pros and cons of Charismatic Hermetics and the Ecstatic path.

I don't want to think about problems that simply cannot be solved with magic, therapy, words, reason, rationality, or heartfelt appeals to an allegedly better nature. I don't want to think about how sometimes you can't make things better, and that there are just some things that suck no matter how you look at them.

You Don't Always Get What you Want

But this shit's real. People hurt. The mind shattered by trauma doesn't heal, doesn't ever go back to not being broken and wounded, it just learns to function in spite of being broken. Like a vet with a missing leg, a prosthetic can help him function, or a wheelchair can get him around...

But "functional" is not the same as "healed."

There is no cure for most "mental illness." There is only treatment. Treatments include medication, which works a shockingly small amount of the time, or therapy. Successful therapy isn't about getting rid of the blackness of the episodes, it's about learning to get through the blackness to the light on the other side. It's about getting to a point of being functional. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

A lot of my ecstatic posts lately focus on the joy of living. Joie de Vivre for the motherfucking win! Because I like being happy, and I like having fun. It's exciting. And I found out some really cool ways to be happy and have fun this year that I want to write about and talk about and share, because being happy rocks, and I want you to be happy too! Because I've been around you when you're miserable, and that sucks! Fuck that! Get happy, FFS!

But my focus on this stuff shouldn't be taken as the entirety of the Hermetic path. Doing this stuff that I do does not guarantee all joie all the time. It doesn't make all the bad shit go away. You still have to face it, and deal with it.

That is, in many ways, the actual point of Hermetics, and the best thing we can get out of this path: the tools to deal with things that suck, and the wisdom to use them effectively.

No one is going to buy anything I write, put the rites into practice, and never suffer any sadness, pain, fear, or trauma ever again as long as they live. But if I can pass on the skills and knowledge I've picked up that get me through the blackness, that mitigate the worst of the suck-ness, then I'll consider it a win.

Bad shit happens, we feel terrible, and then we deal with it. We cope. We get through the blackness, and when it has gone past us, we turn and see its path, just like in the litany. We study it, observe it, and learn what triggered it, and we go after that with our magical rites, shoring up defenses, attacking the source, banishing people, or just finding ways to avoid the shit that sucks.

Avoiding Shit that Sucks

Hm. Quick tangent, but this is important:

Remember this: there is no problem in life that is too big to run from. At least, temporarily. You can leave the bad situation and get your head on straight. You can divorce the idiot. You can quit the job. You can live in a shelter. You can wash up on a foreign shore, and start a new life from scratch. You can go completely off-grid and live in the shadow culture that's just around the corner of Everystreet, Everywhere, Planet Earth. It's not going to be easy, but it might just be better.

You can always quit. And sometimes, that is the solution that works. We are told, "Never quit!" We are told not to give up, to keep trying to reach our dreams and goals, to never accept failure, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! We have Edison's failed light bulbs shoved in our faces. We are encouraged to be eternal optimists.

And I'm guilty of doing that, too.

But sometimes the only solution is to quit and go do something else. Something more fun. Maybe you'll learn something that lets you finish this project later, or maybe this project just isn't supposed to happen. Whatever. You're free to go, you don't have to stay. If dealing with that shit is something you're supposed to do in this lifetime, it will no doubt wash back into your life sooner or later, right? So fuck it. Walk away for now, and when you feel better, think about it and how you'd use your magic to deal with it. And THEN deal with it.

I don't think that should be your first option every time, but don't toss it out of the toolbox arbitrarily. Just remember it's an option you have available.

Most of the time though, quitting is way too extreme of an option. Sucky shit just crops up out of nowhere, and needs to be addressed. Most of the time, the best way to deal with shit that sucks is the tried and true magical approach.

Practical Hermetic Process of Dealing with Transient Evil (a.k.a. Shit that Sucks)

Evil needs darkness to survive, so you shine light into the situation: that's the Sun. Solar rites scatter the darkness and reveal the things hiding in the shadows. It brings the evil to the surface where it can be seen and dealt with. The light of the Sun is enough to make most evil things wither and die immediately, or run to the hills where there is shadow. It gets rid of most shit right away.

But not always. Some shit, when revealed in the light, gets really mean and ugly, and goes on the attack.

Cut that shit with iron. This is the Martial rite. You get some help from the forces of Mars to defeat that evil shit like a boss. Legions of Martial Angels will fuck some pasty pale shadow-creeping crapulentities right the fuck up. And then they will form a hedge of protection around your sphere, all bristling with pointy swords and spears and missiles and rockets and cannon and guns that hurl pieces of the next sphere you go to when getting rid of evil...

Saturn, the sphere of DEATH. Mr. Grimm. This is the Greater Malefic, and there is no better place to go to learn the nature of an evil thing. Here you see how this evil was able to be born into your life, and the things that must occur for that evil to die in your life. All things have their beginnings and their endings defined in the sphere of Saturn.

Also, Saturn is your border, your defense, your wall of protection. Here you can make it much more difficult for the evil to assail you.

Note that the Saturn rites are focused on gaining wisdom, insight, understanding, and defense. Note there's nothing said about sending out evil to get rid of evil. Note that well. There's a reason.

The Sun, Mars, and Saturn. It's a progressive approach that lets you triage the situation immediately, root out the evil, and then keep it out. At that point you go into healing and rebuilding rites of Jupiter, Mercury and Venus, reshaping things in your world through the Moon.

Practical Hermetic Process of Dealing with the Other Evil

Some shit isn't going to go away, no matter how hard you try. There are some things you just can't get rid of. Chronic, recurring shit that sucks. Other shit that just descends on you out of nowhere that leaves you devastated and wondering what ... the ... fuck ...

The only effective way I've found to prepare myself to deal with the Big Bads in life is through the actual practice of the Great Work. It's like training your body to be able to react well in an emergency rather than training for a specific event. You go through all the spheres regularly, you pursue god, you reclaim yourself, your race, your value, you take back your divine heritage so that when the evil comes, you are able to pull yourself together, put out the secondary and tertiary manifestations of the evil, and deal more constructively with the forces of things that you don't want in your life that you can't keep out.

As you do more and go higher, you're able to integrate the forces that would otherwise bring you pain, and work around them, minimizing their negative impacts, transmuting some aspects of it, and finding ways to make it positive even though it fundamentally sucks at the core.

Passionate ecstatic pursuit of God conditions your spiritual muscles, and trains you to interact with things in ways that are beneficial. It teaches you to look for good things in bad situations, to see the world as your oyster, to be able to pick up on the potential opportunities that are lying behind the scenes in every situation. It raises your vibration and builds up the skills and tools to find your way through the bad and into the good. It gives you the power to create something better to take the place of the bad, to put it into perspective, to rob it of its power over you, if you can't get rid of it entirely.

But that's not easy, and it's not all fun, and it's not entirely safe.

But it is entirely awesome.


Shit things that suck are going to come into your life, and you're going to have to deal with it, forever until you die. You have the power to do that, to deal with it. You have a framework of symbols and tools that let you channel the powers of the forces of creation. You have the phone numbers of the most amazing experts on the powers of creation ever.

You can't make all the evil go away all the time. But you can always deal with it until it's over.

And remember, sooner or later, everything ends.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


If you order something from me that I have to send you by email attachment, do not bitch at me about not receiving it when you've got your fucking email settings set to reject email from unknown senders.

Are You Illuminated?

I'll hold off on Enlightened because there's baggage that I'm not ready to claim that comes with that word. For today, we'll just talk about whether or not you're Illuminated.

Most of the readers of my blog know how the universe works. Ideas from the "ABOVE" are made to manifest into the material realm "BELOW" where they are experienced before they return to the Mind from whence they came. Magicians are the folks who Hermes has seen fit to grant the call of teh magicrafts to travel between the "ABOVE" and "BELOW" working with the entities that also use Jacob's Ladder to transit between the Earth and the Heavens. We're all manifestations of the divine, we are lower-case gods, we are beyond good and evil and what we do is right because we do it, right?

A few of the audience are still struggling with that last part, and I totally understand; it's not nice and it doesn't fit in with what we've been taught by our spiritual systems, and there's a whole LOT of room for misunderstanding and fucking shit up when you start tossing "good" and "evil" out the window. Yeah, "here there be dragons" and shit. Don't go there without plenty of light.

But for the most part, you guys understand that we human beings create our reality, we make what we see in our minds happen in our worlds' shared experiences. If you've done some practical magic that works, you know you're a creator god who has the power to shape your world as you see fit. At least some of the time.

But fuck. We don't act like it very often.

Part of that is because we're always learning how little we know. As we progress, we learn a lot, and then we see how much more there is to learn. We get humbled by this, and pay more attention to what we want to learn than what we already know, and that's awesome for learning new shit.

But what you already know is important too. It's ok to act like you really are illuminated, a powerful and wise spiritual leader. It's ok to behave as if you were really as empowered and experienced as you really are. It's ok to be an Illuminate.

Take a look at your actions, are they bringing you the world you want to live in?

Take a look at your desires, are they what you really want?

Take a look at the harmony of your desires and your actions in your life. Do you do things to get what you really want?

You know how this all works. You really do. Thought becomes word, becomes plan, becomes action, becomes experience, becomes memory, becomes resource for future plans and actions and experience, on and on and on, and you're the fuckin' boss.

It's ok to remember who you are, and what you're here to do. It's ok to be Illuminated.

When the light's flowing through you, you won't have to worry about the dragons, lurking in the dark.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Super Advanced Drunken Magus Style

The corners of the Universe are supported by what?

Those Four fixed signs, who else do they represent?
"the Greeks used to represent Dionysus in four distinctive forms: one as a bull, one as a lion, one as an eagle and one as a drunken, joyful man!" -Thomas Gazis
And what's that going on in the center there, with that woman and that snake? Who is She supported by the Serpent Fire? What is that in her right hand? What the fuck is it that is being expressed in Dionysian revelry?

But FRATER RO is nothing but AN EYE; what eye none knoweth.Skip, witches! Hop, toads! Take your pleasure! -- for the play of the Universe is the pleasure of FRATER RO.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Gabriel, the Aeon, and the Shamanic Death Trip

It took a full day to receive it all, to experience it in full, and to reach understanding.

It began in the morning, as I sat enjoying coffee and breakfast with Harper. We were talking about what we wanted to do today. We had been planing an evening conjuration of our favorite entity from the Theurgia Goetia for days. The temple space was already adorned in red roses, a seal embroidered, and an offering made. The lights flickered throughout the house, a now-familiar indication that this spirit was present and ready to interact with us.

And then it came to me, that prickling at the edges of my sphere. "I also want to do a Lunar rite today, something with Gabriel," I found myself saying. It was Monday, after all, and there was something I needed from the Moon. No clue what it was. Just a feeling.

Harper smiled*, and we talked a bit about it, and the conversation turned. Soon it was time for her to go to work, and we each drew a tarot card of the day, as we are wont to do. I drew the Aeon of the Thoth deck, formerly Judgment. You remember the Judgement card, the one with Gabriel blowing his horn, raising the dead to their resurrection bodies, calling us to our Judgment Day, and beginning our new eternal life? That one. That one with Gabriel on it.

His vibe was upon me, and I laughed.

The day passed. I turned the remains of a rotisserie chicken into soup. We had started boiling the carcass the night before for stock, thinking of cooking lentils in it, or something. Sliced carrots and onion moved on thermal currents among the bones and skin and fat as it bubbled on the stove. Before she had left, Harper and I had decided it would not do as stock, but must become soup. I strained the stock, separating the bones from the meat and veggies, Harper's familiar assisting me in the task as a good feline co-chef should. To the fridge went I, and scavenged more veg to toss in. Fresh spinach leaves, and leftover cauliflower from the night before. Sliced mushrooms. Some long grain black rice, a handful of quinoa. Salt, of course, and coarse ground black pepper. Rosemary and ever so little oregano, ground in the palm of my hand.

Harper came home for lunch, and we ate the soup that had turned out so well. I was surprised how delicious it was. At how a well-picked pile of bones could be transformed into something so wonderful. The essence of the old transmuted into something new, something even better than it was before. The rotisserie chicken was good, don't get me wrong. But the soup was so much better.

I had a conference call in the Lunar hour in the afternoon, and so I couldn't conjure Gabriel when I wanted. Harper and I chatted online about conjuring him out of hour, and I was about to do so at the close of the business day, when client needs took precedence over my own. I ended up spending a couple hours performing a Hermetic Diagnosis in the temple instead. Harper returned home, and we worked in parallel on the things we needed to do into the evening. We broke for dinner and a bit of a movie, before returning to the Temple to conjure the spirit of the Theurgia Goetia. She took the role of seer, and we received the information we needed to receive.

And it was time to ground out and go to bed, but I felt it again, at the edges of my sphere. I checked the time before we left the temple, and it was still within the third hour of the Moon. I conjured him, Gabriel, and we received the vision, heard the voice. It wasn't any more strange and wonderful than any other conjuration we performed. Images in the crystal. A statement received, "this dream is real," a reference to something that had happened on the weekend. No further communion that I recall now, beyond that silent hymning that goes on when Magicians and Spirits spend time together.

And we went to bed, and we slept.

And the dreams came.

"This is how you must explain the quality to others," he said, showing me an aluminum or steel block being machined into a piece or a part. "You cannot see the finished piece by looking at the block of metal. It is shaped in phases. You cannot see the finished function of the form if you look at it before it is complete. It happens in phases. And there are two of you, and the process must be aligned, coordinated."

And I woke. And again, I slept.

And again, the dreams came.

"You are remade. You are reborn. The trumpet has sounded, and you are raised from your graves. Your flesh is transformed. Your bones taken, and you are recreated into a new thing. You were dead. You were decayed. Your corpse was picked clean. But now you are made anew. The old you remains within the new, but transformed. You are given a new body, an eternal body. You are Judged, and rewarded. You receive the power and responsibility of the Saints of New Jerusalem."

And as he spoke, I saw it was so. I experienced it in the dream. I had lived a life, and I had died. I was bones. A clarion call woke me, and I rose, shaking the dust from my bones. And I was made anew, given a new life in which to accomplish Joy.

"The 'old Aeon' has passed, that life is over. You are dead to those things that came before. You have died, and you are being remade. What you are now is not the end. You cannot see the finished function of the form if you look at it before it is complete. It happens in phases. And there are two of you, and the process must be aligned, coordinated."

And I awoke again, the vision complete, understanding received, and transmitted over coffee from a bed shared with my lover.

* Something happens when she smiles. It's not just me. Other people see it too.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Puttin' on yer Gear

I was reading through the latest Astrological forecast by Austin Coppock, and I got to thinking about some of the stuff he was saying, and how it impacts me personally. Because that's what people do. When they read forecasts. And horoscopes.

I read through his stuff every week. I love it. He includes planets that I don't believe in (Pluto doesn't exist), but in spite of such modernistic adaptation, his predictions are solid and reliable. I have yet to read a forecast that isn't accurate in my personal life in some way.

Now, I don't take it all literally, as if everything he says will come true for me personally. If you read it carefully, he doesn't even phrase shit that way. Instead what he does is explain the effects of the astrological factors that are going on throughout the week, and how they might impact someone who was not aware of the forces, and was not prepared.

For example, Mercury Retrograde is over Monday. How was your Mercury Retro this cycle? Calamitous? Lovely? Didn't even notice it? Personally, I had a few Mercurial issues arise, and when they did I conjured Mercurius. I had  martinis with him after he got me out of a bureacratic snarl I'd fallen into. Later in the week, I felt some Mercurial tension, and made another offering to him, not asking for anything, just spending time in his presence and giving him some gin. Things smoothed out rapidly. I was talking to a friend/student, and she was having some issues, and I recommended some Mercury work, and later she wrote thanking me, saying it was just what she needed.

See the trend? Bad astrological weather causes discomfort, so magic is done to make it better. I can do that, my student can do that because we have relationships built up with these spirits. We aren't the average oblivious folks suffering the pressures of the Fates.

Ok, shift gears. When you're packing to go on vacation, or travelling for business, you'll check the local weather forecast of the place you're visiting to get an idea of what to pack. If the forecast is for rain or snow, you'll pack your rain gear and rubber boots, scarves and warm hats and coats. You're not stupid. That's why you check the weather.

Astrological forecasts are the same way. When he talks about the Venus conjunction with Saturn on Monday, he talks about how the forces at play are going to influence you. Pay attention to that shit, it's important. Knowing what the forces will be influencing you to do, plan to accommodate them. Forewarned is forearmed.

If you were paying attention when Saturn went into Scorpio, you read Austin's warnings about what to expect in general over the next couple of years, and you've already planned on harnessing those forces and putting them to use in your Great Work rather than being their victim.

Do the forces at play have a tendency to build pressures up in relationship? Defuse those pressures now. Talk to your partner about stuff, check in with them, see how they're feeling, talk about how you're feeling. If someone you love is being snappish, defensive, or overindulging in pleasures to deal with the pressures, you understand they're under the influence of the weather, and you can guide them to more creative solutions.

And this applies to any kind of divination too, not just Austin's awesome astrology. Tarot readings, gematria, conch shells or crab claws, the things you see are mostly influences that you have to deal with, adjust yourself to interact with. It's a weather report, and if it's going to rain, you put on your rain gear.

And what I've found lately that works the best is a mix of specific requests as necessary, and propitiation rites in general at an appropriate time. A martini poured for Mercury in a Mercury hour on a Friday helps a lot. Scotch that tastes like graveyard dirt when Saturn's being all afflictive can do wonders. General propitiations work well enough, specific requests are also good. I found I had prepared well for the Venus Saturn stuff when it came to my favorite and most important relationship, but other stuff all fell to shit because I had only prepared in one area of my life. It doesn't just rain on you when you're with the person you love when it rains. It rains on you wherever you go. Oooopsie! quick rite to Anael (on the fly, in fact, and done astrally, and sealed with some port), and things were instantly better across the board.

Put on your gear when you know it's going to rain, magician. It only makes sense.