Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The first guy I knew who was a mother

In my youth, I was homeless for a while, hitch-hiked across the states for a while, and lived on an organic commune for a while. While I was there, I met some uber-neo-hippies, and this one was a white kid with dreads who lived in Maui in the national parks, and in Nicaragua in the rain forrest for a while, just living off the land and being one with nature.

This guy stank. Big time. What holds white-people's dreads together? Dirt. Dirty dirt. Smelly dirty dirt. It's not cool, it's just dirty.

But he had this scar on his shoulder. It was about the size of a nickel. While he was sleeping in the rain forrest, a little bug came along and used its numbing saliva to render the insertion of its eggs under his skin painless. It deposited a few eggs in his back, and flew merrily away. The dude... ok, he had issues. But he let them incubate in his flesh and hatch. They burst through his skin painlessly, he claimed, and flew away. He said he felt like he had given birth. Only his babies were bugs.

I had started this post to be about the anger thing. However, Jack Faust recently posted a link to an article about the holographic culture we live in. Some hippy who lives in Central America was going on about how Americans are stupid and live in a bubble. I responded that there's nothing better that anyone has to offer, and questioned the validity of the opinion that we should return to living in dirty grubby nature. Jack suggests that it's better to get back in touch with Nature. I'd like to offer the above anecdote as a major reason to appreciate our alleged disconnect from Nature.*

When humanity was supposedly in tune with nature, we died young. The main reason for this young death was insects. Filthy nasty germy insects. They suck. They swim up your urine stream and block your urethra. They lay eggs in your flesh. They carry malaria and plague. Insects are the dominant species of the planet.

People who advocate returning to nature to get back in touch with their alleged role in the planet's ecosystem have forgotten the basics. Jack accused me of being a yuppie. I don't have a problem with that. I'm kind of flattered with the "young" part of Yuppie. Yuppies recycle more, buy more hybrid vehicles, and generally contribute less to the destruction of the planet than your average college student, after all. We bathe more regularly too.

Having actually lived on a commune where I was very much a part of an agrarian subculture, living in tune to the seasons and phases of the moon, living dirty, living grubby, I can attest that soap ROCKS. Insecticide? ROCKS! Clean house, nice clothes, central heating and air conditioning? They all ROCK! They rock out loud. Maybe I appreciate these things more for having been a part of the alternative life cycle than the average American, but so what? Who says living dirty and dying younger of infections caused by insects is a better option than living longer and being out of tune with Nature? Some hippy? Fuck him. I'm eating me a Ho-Ho. Mmmm.

*I say alleged because we aren't really disconnected from Nature. As Hermetic Magicians, we know that the Archetypal Man took on human flesh out of Love for the Image of God. We are mortal for Love's sake. We are part and parcel of Nature. We aren't separated. As such, everything we make out of nature, every adaptation of nature, every chemical, plastic, landfill-filling item we discard is, technically, Natural. We can't get out of touch with Nature any more than we can decide to stop having bowel movements. As long as the heart beats, the blood flows, the brain fires electrical impulses through tubes of water matching the salinity content of the ocean, we are very much natural beings. Cars, planes, computers, and global warming are natural. Being out of tune with the planet's cycles is natural. Whatever "solutions" we come up with to address whatever "man-made problems" we created are going to be natural too.

Famed Physicist Schedules Appointment With God

Well, folks, it's about that time again. The scientific community will lose a great mind, but the new age believers of the future will have someone they can claim to have been in a past life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Anger Management

I've gotten some interesting comments on the Anger Magitude post, and I'm thankful to everyone for their comments. They are constructive and helpful.

I'm going to continue to Work with Mars on eliminating my anger issues. I've had similar issues in the past, and Martial work eliminated the symptoms, and I was fine for a while. When the triggers manifest again though, the path of least resistance is rage.

The point for me is to Work with Mars until everything that is anger-related is so pure that there is no room for unrighteous wrath.

The thing is though, "unrighteous" implies that there is a "righteous" wrath. In the Bible, Paul writes, "in your anger, sin not," saying that anger itself isn't a sin, it's the things you do when you're angry that can be sinful.

In the modern Western world, the same general approach is taken. Scientists and Psychologists are quick to point out that Anger is a Survival Mechanism(tm), and that the released hormones help us in the fight or flight response. Her's a sample definition of Anger from angermgmt.com:
Anger is a natural human emotion and is nature's way of empowering us to "ward off" our perception of an attack or threat to our well being.
Check the people they show on the web site. Five people, black woman, white guy, black guy, oriental guy, and a white woman, all smiling, relaxed, and dressed business professional. Obviously EVERY successful person, regardless of race or gender, knows the secrets on this page, right?

Because we accept Anger as a natural force, a natural reaction in our modern culture, the types of techniques for managing anger treat the symptoms. From a Christian Counseling page:
  • Consciously determine to be calm. Don't react, think! Remember your goals and respond appropriately. Choose to remain calm!
  • Communicate. When someone upsets you, tell them. Calmly talk to them about how you feel about their words or actions. Learn to express yourself better -- clear and composed. Choose to!
  • Remove yourself from the scene until you can respond without anger.Your success will not happen overnight. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Remember to relax. Relaxation exercises or music can be helpful. Keep in mind you can reach out to someone you trust for help. Choose to!
  • Frequently take time for yourself. Do something you enjoy like walking in the park, swimming, reading the Bible, or seeing a feel-good movie. Do something nice for someone you admire. It's okay to feel good about yourself. Choose to!
  • Look for the positives. Don't dwell on the negatives. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Learn to be forgiving. This is difficult, but we need to start by learning to forgive ourselves!
Similar stuff can be found in different words below:
My favorite is the "Using Humor" part of the last site above. "Picture yourself a God or Goddess; the idea that you could be such a thing is so FUNNY you won't be angry..." Yeah right, he don't know magicians very well, do he?

But anyway, the basic point of each is summed up in this statement:
The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.

Meanwhile in the Buddhist Orient, there's another interpretation. The very definition of Anger in Buddhist is completely different and presupposes a universal view that is so radically different from the modern West's view of the Mind that there is no easy reconciliation:
Anger is a deluded mind that focuses on an animate or inanimate object, feels it to be unattractive, exaggerates its bad qualities, and wishes to harm it.
That's from the "Anger Management Techniques.org" web site. As you can see, the fundamental approach is different. A deluded mind. Here they teach that the source of anger is something else too:
Anger is a response to feelings of unhappiness, which in turn arise whenever we meet with unpleasant circumstances. Whenever we are prevented from fulfilling our wishes, or forced into a situation we dislike – in short, whenever we have to put up with something we would rather avoid – our uncontrolled mind reacts by immediately feeling unhappy.
Ok, honestly, the West has understood that part pretty well too. They're like, it's pride, dude, self-centered, narcissistic pride that leads to anger. How could something like THIS happen to ME!!!?

Anyway, still, neat stuff.
The other main reason we become unhappy and angry is because we are faced with a situation we do not want or like. Every day we encounter hundreds of situations we do not like, from stubbing our toe or having a disagreement with our partner, to discovering that our house has burnt down or that we have cancer; and our normal reaction to all of these occurrences is to become unhappy and angry. However, try as we might, we cannot prevent unpleasant things happening to us. We cannot promise that for the rest of the day nothing bad will happen to us; we cannot even promise that we shall be alive to see the end of the day. In samsara we are not in control of what happens to us. (Emphasis added by RO.)
So how does the Buddhist deal with anger? What are their anger management techniques? Let me tell you, they are a lot different than the ones listed above from Western sources. Lots of my free-will believing readers are going to puke at the thought of what's about to come, but to this neo-Calvinist, it was pure honey:
Since it is impossible to fulfil all our desires or to stop unwanted things happening to us, we need to find a different way of relating to frustrated desires and unwanted occurrences. We need to learn patient acceptance.(From here.)
WHOAH! How many people read that and were like, "Fuck that!"? PAtient Acceptance of shit that pisses ME off?

It gets worse:
In reality most of our emotional problems are nothing more than a failure to accept things as they are – in which case it is patient acceptance, rather than attempting to change externals, that is the solution.
Yep. You see, they aren't justifying anger as a natural response, instead they are placing the entire responsibility for your reaction to events you don't like squarely on YOU. Because you're a big baby who can't take reality without throwing a temper tantrum.

They understand what we're trying to grasp in the Great Work, that it's MIND that forms reality, and everything else is symbolic. Cool stuff. I highly recommend reading every page on that Buddhist site. It's much more in alignment with the teaching of the Corpus Hermeticum, and the teachings of Christ (not Paul). It doesn't advcocate doing nothing or not taking pragmatic steps to get out of bad situations either, it's not stupid.

So making it a bit more personal, the reason I'm hooked on anger is because I made room for it. I use it as a way to filter out things that I would need to Work on, that is, I use it so I don't have to patiently accept what I have to deal with in samsara, the manifest world.The Buddhist perspective offers a way out of the cycle. The Western methods offer bandaid solutions, treatments of symptoms. The Buddhist solution is much more in keeping with Hermetic values. The modern Western methods are not.To me, it seems like a simple choice.

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Magitude

So, following up on Monday's success, Tuesday night I conjured Kammael of Mars in a similar way to that performed with Gabriel Monday night. I spoke with him more, as I've been having anger management issues lately.

He explained what was going on, and again I "saw" an entity wrapped around me, a black evilness that had become attached. This time it wasn't as squid-like. It was more scorpionish, or insectoid. It didn't just let me go, either. Instead its appendages were burried in my symbolic flesh, and they were barbed. The weird thing was that they weren't like piercing me and causing harm as much as they were embedded in the flesh. My symbolic flesh in the vision had welcomed the evil spirit of self-righteous indignation, made room for it, and grown around the barbs in a way that they couldn't just be removed without causing damage.

Obviously I'm attached to my anger. I like it. Or at least I perceive that I like it. That's the trouble with this kind of Work, differentiating between the subjective reality and the subjective interpretation of the subjective reality.

This time it wasn't nearly as easy to release the evil thing. It is still with me, and I can sort of sense it at any given moment. It feels a lot like an addiction, like that ever-present anxiety you feel when you consider quitting something you're addicted to. Nicotine addicts will likely understand me better than most, but I'm sure a few pot heads who've had to face down their jones will grok what I'm talking about too.

IT's kind of a weird way to Work with this kind of thing. Usually, when I need help with an issue, the spirit just appears and then the issue is gone, as if by MAGIC. This is taking a bit more effort on my part. I'm thinking it's only taking more effort because I like the rush I get from anger. It's not the kind of thing I'm happy liking though, so it shouldn't be too hard to get over. A change of heart is in order, and that's a relatively simple thing to arrange with the powers that be.

But again, I found a lightening of my attitude as soon as I performed the rite. I found myself laughing and carrying on in ways I hadn't in a while.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I had an attitude adjustment Monday night. Don't know what happened, exactly, but I can speculate.

I was falling asleep, and I remembered I was feeling glum about not doing enough magic lately. I got this overwhelming "It's time" feeling/thought that sort of pushed down on my body as I laid there. Looking back, I recognize it as the same feeling I get at Church during the worship service (pentecostal) or during the Transubstantiation (Catholic). It's this warm bath-of-Spirit.

At the time, my reaction was, "Sigh, oh what the hell." I remembered it was still technically Monday, and I believe it happened to be in the hour of the Moon. I decided to conjure Gabriel, and do a little Lunar Work. I went "up" through the elemental spheres into the Lunar realm, met Gabriel, showed him the Silver Key (his seal) and asked for admittance and further initiation into the Sphere of the Moon in the Name of Shaddai El Chai.

Some stuff happened. Fishy-depths visuals, your basic transformation revelations, lots of scenes from The Big Blue, coral, jellyfish, clownfish, and yeah, it was like a scene from Nemo, but darker. Not as sunny-bright.

Next day at work, I noticed how people had REALLY shitty attitudes, and how my own had sort of conformed to theirs. In contemplation, I analyzed where it came from in my thoughts and expectations, took a look at where my desires weren't meshing with the manifestation of God's Will, and took soime minor, mostly symbolic corrective action. The results were immediate. I found myself leading a meeting, which isn't the kind of thing you'd expect to be doing after a Water ritual. At least, not me.

But I was thrust into a leadership role the next day, and inuited my way through it, finding common ground, avoiding bitter cynicism, and generally not being a bitter bastard. People walked away from a rough meeting (rough because all the deliverables are late and getting later, and there's nothing we can do now about it) feeling like they were part of a team, knowing what they had to focus on that day and the rest of the week, and who to reach to get the info they needed. It was a pleasant change from the usual diaspora that follows our meetings.

Later on, I kicked some upper-crust executives out of their "Executive Steering Committee" meeting, which is generally a poor career move. The suits all tend to look the same after a while, and I mistook the air of executive authority the bald suit was exuding as your basic prickness, so I sort of pricknessed him back and got my snotty admin attitude a bit. I'm not perfect.

But in general, I've noticed a much more positive flow to my expectations since the recent Lunar Work. One of the things I remember was the feeling of some black evil shit dissolving from around me in the depths of the sea. slippery slimy tendrils releasing me, like escaping from a black shadow-squid. Or being let go, rather. It definitely wasn't an escape. More like, "ok, you can let go now," and it was all, "ok, talk to you later." There was a familiarity with it, like it was an old friend and partner in my life. As I think about it, yeah, I have some evil phases on occasion, I can be a bit of a bitter bastard once in a while. It makes sense that I'd have a familiarity, a working relationship with being a pessimist.

Fucking Musicals and Shit

Stupid POS posted that frumpy housewife video of the British lady singing the song from Les Mis, and then I wanted to listen to "Do you hear the people sing," and "Red and Black," and then I just sort of got lost in youtube, listening to all kinds of musicals.

I had planned on doing something useful. I stayed up the other night (yes, all night) watching the anime movie Gankatsuou. It's the story of the Count of Monte Christo by Alexander Dumas, but told in sci-fi anime from Albert's perspective, rather than the Count's. It's, uhm, well... It's 24 made-for-TV episodes, each about 25 minutes long. Yes, that's 10 hours, and yes, I watched the whole thing in one night. And then went to work without sleep for another ten hours, because it was already 7:00 in the morning, and if I'd gone for a nap, I'd have gotten fired.

I'm 35, almost, and have two point five kids. Men like me aren't supposed to be doing that kind of thing, staying up all night watching cartoons.

So I crashed when I got home, and woke up wide awake at 3:00 am, ready to piss and do something useful. Instead I ended up watching musicals on youtube, and it's all POS' fault.

So, thanks, Frater mi, you continue to help in mysterious ways.

Musicals. What is it about them that sucks me in the way they do? It's drama, it's music, it's passion plays... They're ridiculous, in many ways, but at the same time they're beautiful. They express raw human emotions, not just the little ones, but the most terrifying, awe-inspiring human character traits that are formed by the emotions, and they examine how that trait can affect a life in magnified, grandiose ways. They capture the drama of our lives and make being human look interesting.

I mean, take the song from Les Mis, "Do you hear the people sing." Listen to the lyrics, the music, ignore the hand gestures, the facial expressions, those are awesome on stage, but in a song like that, it looks weird. It's an anthem of liberty and revolution. Now watch this version. It puts it into a perspective that we can too easily forget. It's not a song capturing the passions of the French Revolution, it's capturing the IDEAL of the best quality of Revolution. The world has seen it in France, America, China, the Soviet Union, seen it done through capitalism and communism, seen it put in action to accomplish good and evil, in both economic and social systems. No mattter how it turned out, you know that THIS was what they were trying to do.

What is it about a musical that can get into a grown man's mind? I think it's that we can see our own petty dramas expressed in ideal form. I mean, when I think my boss is being a prick for expecting me to show up every day by 9:00 wearing the dress code the way we're supposed to, and I'm bitching about it to my friends, it's fucking petty. But in my own eyes, I'm singing the anthem of the oppressed of the world, you know? Ridiculous.

Relating all this to magic, I think we find in the musicals the same things we find in our pursuit of the Great Work. The meaningless trivialities of our daily lives fade into obscurity, and we remember for a moment that Being Human should be capitalized. We see the value in the feelings we share, we see for a moment that there is more to life than what it looks like, and that we are not alone in our moments of triumph or despair.

I guess that's the goal of all theater, film, and art in general. Magic itself is also an Art, as some have noted. Each ritual is a passion play, we are drawing down the Intelligences that embody the primal source of the things we experience, removing for a moment the cheap and paltry manifestations of that Ideal for long enough to experience it, learn from it, become initiated into the fullness of that Ideal so that we can live lives that channel it into our daily activities more purely, enriching our own lives and those of all who come into contact with us.

Maybe musicals demonstrate to us that there is something intrinsically beautiful that can be found in our own lives, that the feelings we have can be put to music, in metered rhyme, and can be made to be holy, noble, Ideal. Maybe that's what a lot of what we do with magic is all about too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hey, it's a Recession, right?

So where, RO, are all the MONEY posts?

Well, now that I mention it...

Today's reminder is about the joys of the BUNE Spirit Pot. I made it a couple of years ago, and it's still my fovorite tool/mini-altar/spirit-human-interface I've ever played with. One brass pot, engraved with some names of spirits, and filled with herbs and doohickeys and gizmos and dates and raisins. It's the home to my favorite Riches-bringing spirit, Bune. I'm with Aaron Leitch (Author of Secrets of the Solomonic Grimoires) when he says the spirits that live in the pots are members of the legions assigned to the main Spirit.

So, when in need of cash, in need of seed money, in need of a decent windfall, I pop over to the shelf on the bookcase with all the Bune stuff (a pot, an incense burner, and a candle holder that holds 9 candles) and I light between 1 and 9 candles while I say the magic words: "Hey, how's it going, I need some more riches, thanks a lot." Within a couple of weeks, I can count on SOMETHING coming my way in the form of an opportunity for a raise or a windfall of unexpected cash. I haven't been listing things for him to finance lately, because frankly, he's done so well I haven't needed him to.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Narrow Minded, Laser Focused

In my posts, I tend to focus primarily on my Work in the Hermetic traditions. I don't do a lot of other kinds of magic. I stick primarily to the grimoires, and the philosophical and cultural roots of those texts. I like to think I'm laser focused on what I'm doing.

However, some folks might find that to be narrow minded. I don't write about things like hoodoo, or the practices of other cultures much. They aren't my thing, and as an outsider, the level of understanding I can get from those cultures is limited by my experiences, my cultural programming. As it is, I have a hard enough time really grasping the grimoires as well as I do. If you want to see posts about chaos magic, Golden Dawn or OTO magic with LBRPs, Hexagram rituals, and Star Rubies and Sapphires, or even Pagan Wiccan Faery magick (with a K), I'd suggest this isn't the blog for you.

I'd also hope that you don't read a single blog expecting to find all you need to Work your magic. I mean, I think I have All The Answers(TM), it's true, but I recognize I have all the answers for me.

Now, regarding the charge that I'm narrow minded, I'd like to point out that I have written lately about Dzogchen, as well as the Hermetic "sacred texts," and that in practice, if you go back over my blog, you'll find that many of the techniques I use are very much similar to the rites and rituals of Hoodoo, Palo, Pow-wow, Curanderismo, Brujeria, and traditional witchcraft. The things I do with the spirits are very much what you'd call "Shamanic" if you weren't particularly careful with your terminology. The things I make tend to look a lot like mojo bags, spirit pots, and even use a lot of crystals, herbs, and incenses that Wiccans will be right at home with. The spirits I work with can mostly be found in Crowley's 777 with all the correspondences you could imagine.

I just have my way of working with them. And frankly, it's the best method I've ever found. Direct communication with the spirits. Direct initiations by the spirits into their realms. Direct teaching from the spirits, informed and framed by the writings of the Masters across human history, the source texts for the magicians of the 19th and early 20th century from before they started syncretizing the beliefs and practices with misunderstood Eastern philosophy from Theosophy and the primitive archaeiological findings from Egypt.

I don't understand the charge that I am too narrow in my pursuits. I don't see why anyone would even want to dabble in lots of systems, gain initiations into several lineages, cross cultural barriers with the intent to bring back some new system when the end result is usually either burn-out, or worse, a watered-down system that produces more magical theoreticians than magicians.

The cliche "Jack of all trades, Master of none" comes to mind. Jacks are knaves, knaves are fools. Dabblers in many systems have a thin grasp of the obvious similarities of each system, but are robbed of the wmpowerment that comes from devotion to any one of the systems. Their magic is weak, and I speak from experience. I've met folks that are BRILLIANT at coming up with syncretic post-modern rites that draw from several cultural traditions that look awesome on the surface, but a little research reveals the pantheons they're blending belonged to people at war with one another, or the gods they're using together were traditionally opposed to one another.

I've been hexed by chaos magicians, cursed by neopagans, and I've even had Focalor tell me a magician who writes a lot about his experiences with spirits of the Goetia tried to kill me by his power. Their magic is WEAK, because their understanding is dime-thin.

So for me, I'd rather be narrow-minded and sure of my standing in relation to God and his many manifestations than be aware of the many manifestations and hae no part in any of them. And I'm not saying anyone who is "eclectic" is a fool; Jason Miller has a broad scope of experiences with multiple systems from multiple cultures, for example. But JAson also has depth in each of the systems he uses, he rarely dabbles. He's spent the time in his core system to develop the power and authority, the gnosis of his place in the cosmos to be able to then move between the cultural manifestations of Deity without losing the impact of his Will. It's not impossible.

But I'm not there yet, so I'm immersing myself in my core system. I haven't run out of interesting things to pursue. I haven't attained full Mastery of any aspect of my activities. I'm at best at the cusp of White stage of the Alchemical Work, where the dross has risen to the surface and begun to be burned to pure white ash. I consider myself an Adept, fer sure, but big dealio. Manifesting wealth and prosperity, binding evil and exorcising demons, that shit's just High School work, Freshman High School at that (9th grade, where you learn basic geometry and read Romeo and Juliette, for my foreign readers). There's more, so much more.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Real A:.A:.

It's us. And the secret is it's what we do. And the initiation is that we're doing it. And if you haven't started doing it, then do.

The pictures beyond have nothing to do with the rest of this post. It's just here to say Happy Easter.

Happy Good Friday too, cause I missed it.

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Urdu-English Translaitons

Ha! I found a place that translates English into Urdu! I totally rock.

Ok, I googled "English to Urdu" and found the site. AND I clicked it. Maybe that's not rocking. Maybe it's pebbling. but I PEBBLE! I PEBBLE OUT LOUD!

Anyway, newest project isn't magical, but I need your help. Target audience: Secular Indian and Pakistani youngsters ready to do their tours of duty in the States to bring money back for themselves, their future wives, and their parents. Holy cow, you don't know how many families there are over there sending their sons over here, or how many older brothers and sisters are already over here paying for the education of their own younger brothers and sisters so they can come over here and write Oracle and SQL and design DB Architecture in Erwin...

Now to painstakingly enter each word of my books into this box...

Anyway! Essays about your local business IT markets would be appreciated. The top five or ten will be included and published in a book that will help folks with their decisions on which parts of the US to move to. I'm looking for 500-1000 word, high level, HAPPY (write while smiling) analyses of the local cultures in the North West (Seattle), West (CA), South West (Phoenix, etc.), Texas (IS ITS OWN REGION OF THE US, DAMMIT), CO, Mid-West (Chicago, Detroit, Ohio), and up and down the east Coast (Boston, NY, Philly, DC, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, etc.).

Talk about the job market, how the brown-skinned, fast-talking, heavily accented are treated in the workplaces you're familiar with. If you know rates of pay, write about that. Talk about the local Indi-Paki community, and success stories of your Indi-Paki friends. Talk about the American lifestyle and perspectives (honest, not media-hyped "outsourcing is the source of the recession") on the influx of the Near-East techies.

I know techies, but if you know the same info on the Medical profession, that would be good too.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I found a photo of a real life fairy captured mid embrace with her lover. He managed to finish his glamour before she did, and looks a lot like a dark stick. Hers was almost finished when Sucae snapped the photo, but you can totally see her there.

I knew they were still around.

Bummers, Baby Bits, and Bigger Hammers

Well, Sunday's post turned out to be rather disappointing. I thought I'd seen through the illusion, and it turned out I had just gotten off on a tangent. While getting ready for church, that is, getting ready to wash my hair as I'd woken up too late for a full shower, I got the song Volare stuck in my head (doesn't everyone in that situation?), and in High School Latin, I always sang the "Do" conjugations to that tune. In a loud lounge singer voice.

I'd been thinking about becoming a Power, and the Powers of the Sphinx popped into my mind. In a flash of BRILLIANCE, I figured out that the Latin word "Do," root of such English words as "donate" might have been the same root for the Dare part in the French manuscript written by Eliphas Levi. Before I could forget, I ran to the computer and posted my insight about giving up being the "secret" meaning behind the Dare, and how it combined with the Silent thing, because like Jason said, it's part of the transition from the 8th to the 9th spheres, one of the final steps before becoming a Power.

See, in each of the Seven planetary spheres, you have something to leave behind in order to be purified in that sphere's powers. They're listed in the Divine Pymander:

25. And thus it is that man doth speed his way thereafter upwards through the Harmony.
To the first zone he gives the Energy of Growth and Waning; unto the second [zone], Device of Evils [now] de-energized; unto the third, the Guile of the Desires de-energized; unto the fourth, his Domineering Arrogance, [also] de-energized; unto the fifth, unholy Daring and the Rashness of Audacity, de-energized; unto the sixth, Striving for Wealth by evil means, deprived of its aggrandizement; and to the seventh zone, Ensnaring Falsehood, de-energized.
If the Four Powers of the Sphinx were talking about the way to attain the goals of the Emerald Tablet and the Divine Pymander and the Discourse on the 8th and 9th, why, I'd finally be able to put the writings of Eliphas Levi (that esoteric bridge between the Renaissance magicians and the Industrial Age Golden Dawn factory-line initiate system) into context and have one contiguous, if still not continuous means of interpreting the various historic, modern, and post-modern Hermetic traditions. I would finally be able to let go of my disdain for the GD and its spawn and start finding things of personal use in that system. I'd be able to TALK to Ceremonialists within those systems without pissing them off! How cool is that?

So imagine my disappointment when I found out that the French word wasn't related to the Latin "do." It kind of took the whole foundation of my new and true interpretation all the way away.

In a lot of ways, I'm tempted to return to my loathing of  Levi. I mean, 19th century esotericist, willy-nilly Tarot attributions, and the audacity to say that "Magic is not a vocation." What the fuck could he possibly know?

But that's just pride. Fuck pride. Or to put in less Marcellus Wallace terms, "Domineering Arrogance can burn in the magnified rays of the Sun."

So, filtering out the baby bits from the bath water, I'm going to shelve the "Powers of the Sphinx" yet again. I enjoyed Jason's exposition of the Inner, Outer, and Secret interpretations of the Powers. I agree with what he said about jumping to assumptions being a trap. Until I can wrap my brain around it in a better way, I'm not going to try to force anything into the system that's evolving in my Work.

At least until I can find a bigger hammer.*

In the mean time, I'm going to return my focus to the Rainbow Body reference, the PGM, and looking deeper into some of the mysteries that I've been able to wrap my brain around so far.

*Note: this link is for the dude's signature line. Perhaps the finest wisdom I've seen, in an Inner, Outer, and Secret kind of way.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Four Powers of the Sphinx Redeux

Dogme et rituel de la haute magie  Par Éliphas Lévi

Ok, so EVERYTHING you know on the Powers of the Sphinx wasn't entirely wrong. "To Dare" didn't turn out to be related at all to the Latin word "Do, Dare, Didi, Datum." (The first two conjugations are traditionally sung to the tune of The Love Boat, or Volare. By me. Traditionally.) OSER comes from Auser, which is like Autem or something. Can't remember. But definitely not Do, Dare, Didi, Datum.

So... There were no blinds or secrets, and I was wrong. But I do have this cool new interpretation. I might even say it is inspired.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Know, Will, Dare, Keep Silent

Don't have a lot of time, running late for church.

Real quick, everything you know about the four powers of the sphinx is most likely bullshit. Here's the facts without the BS blinds (and it's dangerous, it's why it was hidden, but I gots all kinds o' love for you, and I know you're not STUPID like everyone else thinks; besides, you'd have to use the following to get into trouble, and I ain't got time to say how to use it today).

Know: Gnosis. Kind of a no-brainer for most of us.
Will: Again, no brainer, but it's not your want or your desire, it's the Will
Dare: Do dare didi datum. It's not "be daring."
Keep silent: Nothing to do with keeping magic hermetically sealed by not talking about it. BULLSHIT that. It's all about the 8th sphere leading to the Ninth. It's the Silence of the ascended spirits, where you get AFTER you've purified the Four Elements and the Seven Spheres that influence them. Keeping silent while giving up, donating, keeping silent with intent, Willed Silence (but not grasping or striving silence), Gnowing Silently.

It's all about shutting the fuck up.

I'll tell you all about it in too many words some time, because I'm not very good at shutting up.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Facebook Haggadah

Hee hee hee...

If you've ever been to a Seder, you'll get a kick out of this post at Lavanah's blog. I think it's a good thing for Christians to remember around Easter that Christ was asking his Disciples at the Last Supper, "What makes this night different from every other night?"

Except he was also thinking, "...besides the fact that it's my last on Earth in this mortal shell, you ungrateful bastards."

Genius and Evil Daimon Name Generator

Quaro Lux has made a web-calculator available for FREE on his web site. You can now generate Genius and Evil Daimon names quickly and easily using this marvelous tool. In fact, if you buy one from me, the only added value that you'd get from me is that I use traditional astrological settings in my software. It's nothing that special. It's software-generated. I'm not doing any real work here but plugging your numbers into a graphical user interface.

I like the traditional astrology settings, but they aren't necessary. Even in Agrippa's time, there were enough variations on ways to cast a natal chart that you could get different values from different astrologers. Not that different, but different enough to end up with different Genius names using the code he provides that forms the heart of QL's code and my own spreadsheet. It's the intent of the magician that determines what spirit we get, as Agrippa says. There's "wiggle room."

So really, the stuff to do this for free is out there. Run a chart from a free natal horoscope site, like http://www.astro.com/cgi/genchart.cgi. (HINT: Turn on "Part Of Fortune in the Additional Objects list, then click the Blue "Click here to generate chart" button; this will open a window with a link to "guest users" that you use to enter your birth time and location information into).

Get the degree and sign values for the SUN, MOON, ASCENDANT, and PART OF FORTUNE from the bottom of the chart. There's a table.

The only thing missing at large is something to generate the Prevential syzygy value readily and easily. Maybe Quaero Lux will work on a web calculator for that some time.

In the mean time, here's the instructions again on that:
  1. Look up the nearest Full or New Moon immediately prior to your birth using the Naval Observatory's Moon Phase database. It will give you the date and time of the nearest New or Full Moon.
  2. Adjust the time for your time zone (they give you Universal or "Greenwich Mean Time" values)
  3. Run ANOTHER chart for the same location as your birth, but put in the date and time of the nearest New or Full Moon prior to your birth.
  4. Write down the degree and sign value of the MOON in this chart. This is the "Prevential Syzygy" value.
QL was kind enough to ask me before providing a Hebrew feature to his web calculator, knowing I charge for this. I told him he's totally welcome to do so! I don't charge to make a profit, I charge to keep from getting inundated with requests to do the work for you. I encourage you to use the free version. It teaches you something, and the Work you do to generate your Genius's name is Work that will be rewarded in your relationship with the Spirit. I offered it as a service because it's important, in my opinion, to be able to get the Genius's name, and the technique is hard to explain. Easy to do once you've got the tools, but hard to explain. Now the tools are out there for you to do it yourself, and that's a good thing.

And if you want to check your work and pay me to generate a name for you, chances are it's going to be different than the name you get using your own methods, so it's kind of a waste of money. The settings in my software will be different than the free stuff. It doesn't mean one is more valid than the other; it only means that we are using different opinions on the stars. The work done to get the Genius name is what is rewarded, in my opinion.

And Quaero, last time I tried to post a comment, your comments feature wasn't working on your new server.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Some thoughts on Compassion

Fuck compassion!

Them bastards that suffer have it fucking coming, the lazy assholes. Get up and DO something about your fucking issues, for Christ's sake! No one ever helped me do shit! Everything I know, I learned on my own, spent years studying, experimenting, shooting in the dark and hitting my own foot over and fucking over again. Now you want me to just fork it the fuck over to you for free so you can look at it and think about it sometimes and never fucking do anything with it? Fuck you.

I was homeless. I worked my way up to the upper middle class on charm and hard work. It ain't easy, but fuck you, it's possible. I know "flying a sign" gets you over a grand a week, I had to live in shelters with homeless scum. (That's what they call it, those guys with the "will work for food" signs: Flying a sign. Like it's a kite. A fun thing to do. And they bring home $200-400 a day. Or would, if they had homes. But they don't. They buy hotel rooms and crack and booze. When they run out, they fly another sign.*)

Crippled from birth!? No excuse. Get a job. Roll on over to the local Christian Children's Fund and charge them to take your picture to manipulate the soft-hearted gullible Americans into donating our precious $1 a month to them. So you can EAT. Besides, God wanted you to die, that's why you were born that way. To starve. It's his clay, he can make ugly miserable lumps if he wants to. Be thankful you made it this far.

Get the picture? I'm not really a compassionate kind of guy. I'm not quite as bad as I make out above, but on my worst days I can come pretty close. That bitterness behind the lack of compassion you see up there? That's real. I have a lot of things in my life that I had to work my ass off for. But I didn't do it alone, not by a long shot.

I really was homeless. What I leave out above is that I got off the streets because of my family. My mommy and daddy took me back in, gave me a home, and helped me get a job. They were afraid of me at the time, afraid I'd steal their stuff and their car and book it on to Texas or something. Because I was hooked on the "killer weed." Heh. Silly parents.**

I had other things going for me. I'm white. I'm not proud of my race, but I'm damned thankful. White people have it easier in this world; even though Obama's president, we still do. We didn't do anything to earn it, other than oppressing every other color on the planet while we took the resources and used them to build our society.*** There's nothing inherently better, smarter, aware, or more innately deserving about people with white skin. If you don't believe me, check out Essex, Maryland. Or your local trailer park on a Friday night. Still, I get the job when I'm up against equally qualified brown-skinned people with heavy accents. Unless there's a quota.

Another thing I have going for me is the third leg advantage. Women have a "glass ceiling" keeping them from climbing the corporate ladder. Men can climb faster cause we've got three legs. Like my skin color, I'm not proud of my gender. DAMNED THANKFUL though. Even if I didn't get promoted over better qualified women, I'd STILL be thankful. For obvious reasons.

So I can't say "Anyone can make something of themselves with nothing going for them, I did!" because frankly, I didn't. I had a lot going for me. I had to work hard, but not nearly as hard as some people. It's no excuse to lack compassion.

But what is Compassion, really? It's like pity, but without any contempt. It's not "feeling sorry" for someone. "Feeling Sorry" means feeling sorrow. Sorrow is a sign of something being out of whack, ignorance of a bigger picture. Buddhists believe something about attachment being the source of all sorrow. If you look at someone and feel sorrow, it's an indication that you're attached to something you shouldn't be. If you equate sorrow with compassion, I think you've missed the point.

Compassion, in my opinion, is not a negative thing at all. It's not feeling bad or feeling sorry for someone. It's a good feeling, a positive feeling. Compassion, I think, is simply "wanting to help."

I have a great deal of compassion for people. The homeless, people of other-color-than-white, and women. I want to help them succeed, to give them the leg up that I got just by being (mostly) sane, white, and male. I help them out by hooking them up with opportunities I find, and by sharing whatever wealth I might stumble across. I help them out by pointing out the fun stuff that helps us forget the negatives, the fun stuff that refreshes the soul, that encourages, illuminates, and inspires.

I have compassion for everyone to some degree, but some folks get more compassion from me than others. Specifically for the mage-born. We're alive in a world that for the most part rejects magic. We're stuck in a time that has raised to a "science" the idolatry of materialism. The texts we have in the West that claim to teach us magic are for the most part watered down attempts at reconstructing centuries-old techniques. Our Magisters are mere students themselves, students that have caught more of a glimpse of what's possible than we have, surely, but still far from the Magisters of old.

I've mentioned before that I think of myself as a Hierophant. It's not a pride thing at all, in case you're wondering. I don't WANT to be a Hierophant. I WANT to be a nouveau riche American upper class megamillionaire who sends his kids to the finest schools, buys yachts, collects cars, and buys and sells businesses for a profit.

But I have this drive to help people. It's a compulsion. I'm not happy unless I'm sharing something I've learned, passing on an experience, or pointing someone new to magic to a passage of Agrippa that explains what they're looking for. I get serious contentment from initiating people into the Hermetic Occult Traditions. I love finding people's Genius names and guiding them through the travails of Samekh and Solar initations. IT makes me feel goooooood.

I believe it's my purpose in life. When I die, I want to be able to continue in that purpose. That's why I'm so interested in the Rainbow Body. When it occurs, the person experiencing it becomes a teacher of great power on the other side. In Christian terms, they become one of the Holy Saints, not just an ordinary saint, but the kind that can perform miracles for the people that pray to them. The kind the Catholic Church Canonizes.

It's not based on a lust for power, or a desire to continue on after I die as myself. I believe all that would happen is that my Ruach would get empowered enough to continue to act from the spiritual realm on the physical realm while the Neschemah goes on to reincarnate again. Instead of sitting on a dusty shelf in the Akashic Record, I'd be living and moving and having my being in the lives of everyone I could help. It would be uber cool.

If things don't work out that way, I'm fine with it too. I know that God has a plan for me, and whatever it is will make me more content than anything I could dream of in this lifetime or any other. It just seems that all my studies and the things I'm drawn to the most in this life are related to becoming this after-life teacher figure, a full-blown Hierophant.

In the Corpus Hermeticum, it teaches that we are to become Powers. We go up and join with God (remember our race and value, not literally become one with God who emanated us separately for a reason) and then turn into Powers, like the Powers of the Angelic realms.

In the "Celestial Hierarchies," Dionysius the Areopagite atrributes the rank of "Powers" to the sphere of the Sun. He was a neo-platonist, and his works reflect the Hermetic teachings, as did most of the early Christian teachings. As a Christian, Dionysius provides modern Christian Magicians with an insight into the grimoires that even Agrippa lacked, imho. He describes the Powers thus:
The name of the holy Powers, co-equal with the Divine Dominions and Virtues, signifies an orderly and unconfined order in the divine receptions, and the regulation of intellectual and supermundane power which never debases its authority by tyrannical force, but is irresistibly urged onward in due order to the Divine. It beneficently leads those below it, as far as  possible, to the Supreme Power which is the Source of Power, which it manifests after the manner of Angels in the well-ordered ranks of its own authoritative power.

As you can see, this would be an ideal role for me as a would-be supernatural Hierophant. I don't want to become an Angel, I don't think it's truly possible. However, a being of similar intent and function would suit me just fine.

So, compassion: I gots it. I want to help people get ahead, succeed, and be all that they can be without joining the Army. There's a beautiful existence at hand, and the path is through the Solar sphere. Entrance into that particular role is how I would like to see my Great Work turn out in the end. That would suit me just fine.

*The thing about the homeless flying a sign is true, by the way. What I don't mention above is that these people doing that are mentally ill. In the 80s, when Reagan was cutting back big government, he closed down a lot of mental institutions. The inmates were either jailed or just let go, into the streets. They're still there. They can't work because they are mentally ill. They take drugs because they are mentally ill, and the drugs give them a temporary release. They don't save that grand a week they make because they are physically incapable of making plans beyond two days in the future.

**I just wanted a real life again. I was bi-polar and the weed made me almost-stable, as long as I got high every morning and stayed mildly high all day long. I prefer it to the meds I take now, but I can't keep my job if I piss positive, so that's right out.
***Not "Culture," society. We steal cultures.

What is Idolatry?

In our work with the spirits, we often find ourselves lighting candles in honor of the spirits we're Working with. Biblically, this can be construed as breaking the First Commandment, that one about having no other gods before me. I've seen a lot of debate on whether that commandment means you can't worship any God but Jehovah or whether it means Jehovah has to come first, or even if that just means that in the temple, you'd better not have any other god depicted.

Based on what I've learned from my spiritual experiments over the years, God is the source of the springs that manifest as other gods or angels or spirits. There is only One God at the source, and from that God springs everything that is, the Word, the seven Spheres and their intelligences, the Workman, the physical, Nature, animals, and even Mankind. The spiritual traditions of every culture, Christian, Buddhist, Persian, or Aztec teach the same goal: Remembering and Reclaiming our divine heritage; bringing awareness of that source-ness and at the same time our individual embodiment of it to our daily lives, and eventual death. And beyond.

So to me, the idea that you can even have a God before God is fundamentally off. I think the only reason the Jews received that commandment was because they were CHOSEN by God to be an example to the rest of Mankind. That law (and the rest) is for the Hebrews. He offers plenty of evidence in the rest of the bible that he was (and is) revealing himself to other nations, tribes, cultures, and lands in addition to the Hebrews. Melchizadek, for instance, received Abraham's tithe. He was a Priest of the One true God, right? Hell, later on, Jesus is said to be the High Prest in the order of Melchizadek. Dude was pretty important, but not Hebrew, not the Chosen people, and not bound by the Law. Paul mentions too that God revealed himself to the gentiles in their poetry when he's talking to the Athenians. He quotes "in whom we live and breathe and have our being" from a Pagan poem. He also says the altar to the "Unknown God" is an altar to Jesus.

So, when I'm lighting a candle in honor of Bune as I ask him to get me a windfall of riches, I'm not placing a God before God Jehovah. I'm going to a manifestation of the One True God that manifests to every culture as he sees fit, the specific part that is there to bring men riches and eloquence, and putting in a request. The candle isn't an idolotrous offering, it's a way to "lift up the prayer" into the spiritual realms. Heat rises. As the wax is consumed, the request is raised. As the wax is transformed by the fire, the physically spoken request is transformed into its spiritual components. In revelations, we see angels bringing incense before God, and it says the smoke is the prayers of his people. Smoke, fire, prayer, they're all part and parcel of the same thing.

Sacrifices in general intrigue me. It wasn't the meat that God wanted in the old testament. It was the smell of the burning fat. Says so in the Bible. You know how GOOD burning fat smells? Maybe not if you're a vegetarian, but maybe you get the same out of burning olive oil or something, I dunno. That delicious smell that makes you want to consume, that's the offering that's being given to God. Here God, eat the smell of the burning fat, and forgive my sins while you're at it.

Personally, I wish he'd just take my own fat away, without making me exercise or eat less. In a way though, it makes my exercise holy when I think about it that way. Kind of gross, but sacred too.

I'm getting off topic.

Point is, I don't think lighting a candle is idolatrous if you're doing it with the full knowledge that the being you're Working with is a manfestation of the Monad God the Father that makes everything. If you're just lighting candles to images without thinking about it, thinking it's the image that's going to make shit happen, I thionk you've missed the boat and will have a lot less success in your Work. It's the Spirt represented, and it's the the thing that represents itself as the Spirit that you're really working with. The candle's just sort of there as a physical reminder of what it is you're doing in your Work. It's you rising through the spheres and returning in power, rising to the level of the spirit and bringing back via your prayer the result you seek.

I hope this makes sense.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On the BOTA

BOTA. I don't know much about them. Builders of the Adytum. I don't have a lot of experience with BOTA initiates, and I haven't delved into their background or anything. I vaguely remember something about them being the Golden Dawn without all the Egyptian Pagan imagery. Which I guess leaves Christian Rosicrucianism. I know they study the Tarot a lot. I know something about the Cube of Space is in their system, I think. I believe they use the GD-Kircher Tree of Life as their map of the spiritual cosmos.

That's about all I know about the group. Google will likely tell you a lot more than I can about them.

I'd like to focus instead on a person I knew a while ago. His name online was OtterBodyExperience. He was an ER tech, and I had the good fortune of meeting him in the flesh when he came to Baltimore for some training a couple of years ago. Prior to that, we had an online correspondence that lasted a couple of years on The Great Work yahoo list. When it was dead and only two or three people regularly posted, he and I were often two of the three.

Without comparison, this guy knew more about the Western Mystery Traditions than any other man or woman I've ever met. He was so into the depths of the Tradition, the Mysteries, that there was nothing I've run into that he hasn't touched on somewhere in his weird posts. He posted in weird puns, using odd capitalizations, making people have to think about not only the words, but the homonymns that make them up. It took a bit to get through the style to the message, but there was a value to that too. It showed how many layers there were to everything we take for granted, even the simple communications we exchange on the internet.

It seems like his understanding grew out of the Tarot. He could communicate almost any spiritual truth through the imagery of the Major or Minor Arcana. He had gone through the BOTA training, and had learned things about the cards that no one on the planet that I've met has ever demonstrated. He explained the Art/Temperance card and how it WAS Liber Samekh to me in a way that explained Dehn and Mathers' Abramelin, the HGA, and Liber Samekh in a way that nothing else could. He explained Michael the Archangel in a way that I can't begin to describe, and that too continues to haunt my studies.

I personally can't get into the Tarot to the degree that they do in BOTA. At least at my current state of understanding. I have issues. Levi applied the Hebrew Aleph-Beit to SOME trumps of the Tarochini cards that were popular in the European courts as he interpreted them, and applied a history to them that is doubtful, fantastical, and in my opinion, arbitrary. he got rid of some Trumps that he didn't have a letter for, combined imagery for others to make it fit his idea, and published his interpretation as if it were the secret mysteries of the ages.

However, it still holds value to many. I don't think anyone believes there was ever a "real" Christian Rosenkrutz, but Rosicrucianism is still a meaningful path for many. God knows I use a tarot deck for divination on occassion. I have a mini-Rider-Waite deck that suits my purposes well. It's a hold over from y early ceremonialist training. I prefer Joe's Geomantic "tumblers" for divination, but regardless, it works.

I don't know what else went into forming this man into a spiritual adept full of wisdom besides his BOTA training. However, if you have any resonance with the Tarot, based on my experience with Otter, I feel confident recommending the BOTA organization for people looking for a lodge experience. If it led him to the level he was at, then it's got to have something to it that will hold value for you.