Friday, July 30, 2010


Jason's running a class on Hekate. Being the good Christian that I am, I would never, ever be at a crossroads at midnight leaving juicy meat for black dogs, but for those of you interested, this course looks pretty cool. He's presenting the historical, traditional stuff and the stuff he received in direct revelation from her, expanding and detailing (I assume) the stuff he references in Protection and Reversal Magic. Check it out:



What if your ritual results were always children? How would they manifest? A wealth spell kid would be what, greedy? Pragmatic? Beautiful so you can put her in modeling and make a fortune? A CEO with razor insights? A great actor? Probably would depend on the ingredients and formative belief structure.

A love spell child that's just lust... what kind of kid would that be?

Interesting to think about that. What kind of kids do you want to bring into the world? What kind of future will they bring about in 30 years, all the spell children you've brought into the world over your magical career? Are you particularly proud of what they've become? What do they say about you as a person?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Green Work Course Outline

I just realized I never posted the Green Work Course description. That would explain some things. I believe I assumed people would be able to just read my mind. Since registration is still open (until Friday!), I might as well post it now.

Ok, so the Red Work series of courses takes you through four phases of the Great Work. Phase 1 is the Black Work and Phase 2 is the White Work.

In Phase 3, the Green Work, the magician undergoes a series of initiations into the celestial spheres of the planets and fixed stars. You begin a technique of traveling through the spheres, and receiving spiritual attunements that bring you into harmony with the spheres around you. You’ll meet the Intelligences of the Planets, the Archangels of the 12 Signs of the Zodiac, and you’ll be on speaking terms with spirits whose names won’t be mentioned at this time. At the same time, you’ll be getting deeper into your understanding of who you are in the grand scheme of things in the universe at large.

You’ll also be performing practical magic with these spirits, learning the ways each of the Planetary legions of spirits manifest things here in the material realm. During this stage of my Work, I began manifesting the kinds of abilities that normally get classified as “psychic phenomenon” in the secular world, or the “Gifts of the Spirit” in Charismatic Christian circles.

This is also the phase that involves a lot of crafty talisman making, strange tool creation, and the fun stuff that looks a lot like Hoodoo and Pow Wow if you stare too long. You’ll meet gods and goddesses, angels and spirits, and entities that exist at every level consciously at the same time.

In this course, we'll be focusing on both the macrocosmic initiations and the physical manifestations associated with each of the Archangels of the Planets and their legions of Spirits.

We will be using the Modern Angelic Grimoire as the primary text book, and we will progress upwards through the spheres based on Ptolemy's model of the cosmos. I'm thinking we'll spend about two weeks on each planet, receiving the initiations into the sphere, receiving attunements and instruction in accessing the powers of the spheres in our daily lives, and actually getting stuff from each planet in our physical lives.

The course will include anecdotal insights I've gained about creating talismans, and I'll detail the steps I take to create the planetary talismans in the appropriate metals, or their equivalents. Heat, beat, repeat, and engrave sums it up nicely, but I'll go into more detail in the course.

Looks like it will be a 17-week course, altogether. The Lesson Plan is as follows:

Lesson 1: Traveling the Spheres - The path of the Hermetic Magician's ascent through the spheres is described in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, and detailed in the Corpus Hermeticum. The system I'm teaching in the Green Work utilizes a relatively simple system of conjuration, initiation, and contemplation to accomplish the Hermetic Great Work. This lesson provides a detailed overview of the Great Work within the Hermetic discipline, and the functional tools necessary to accomplish it using the techniques of the Modern Angelic Grimoire.

Lessons 2-8: The Planetary Spheres - One lesson for each of the seven spheres of the planets. These will include a conjuration ritual for each Archangel of the Planet, a sample oration, and tips and tricks on receiving initiations into the spheres. These lessons will include personal experiences with the entities, the skill sets I've seen improved by working with the specific entities, and suggestions of manifest things to ask for from these spirits. Each lesson will have an initiatory piece and a practical piece.

Lesson 9: On the 8th and the 9th Spheres - This lesson addresses the Sphere of the Zodiac, and the Sphere of the Prime Mover.

Making Planetary Talismans - An eBook summarizing my experiences in creating talismans in the appropriate planetary metals or other materials. Most of my techniques are crude and primitive, but there will be no sculpey. If you want to use plastic clay, go ahead, the spirits don't care, but lately I've come to hate the stuff.

Triage the Symptoms, but also Diagnose and Cure the Disease

As magicians, we have at our fingertips all the angels and daimons and legions and tribes of spirits that make things happen in the material realm, and the impulse is to conjure the ones directly related to the things we want or need right now to make our lives better, like money. Conjure lunar spirits who govern growth and recession at the right time to grow your business, Mercury and Jupiter spirits for financial luck, Venusian Dukes to procreate wealth in our spheres, Expedite to hurry up the arrival of cash owed, Solar spirits to manifest gold, the Holy Guardian Angel to get a lifetime's supply of comfort, and so forth.

But while these specific spirits might play a crucial role in the manifestation of these things here and now, they are still working together in concert with all the other spirits of the spheres extending all the way to the Nous, or Mind of God in the higher levels of existence. Getting these particular end-gate guardians/facilitators involved can end up unbalancing the overall process, impacting the stability of the results.

But working with the Archangels or Intelligences of the spheres on gaining initiation into the higher spheres results in shifts in the magician's fundamental approach to life. Sachiel of Jupiter can provide an initiation that brings a "wealth/health/good fortune" harmony to your sphere that subtly changes how everything in your life manifests. The results aren't as flashy or immediate, but they eliminate the ongoing crises that result in the perceived need for an Expedite or Bune to provide a fast-fix. Go to the Archangels and get the initiation that changes you, and you won't need to do a specific conjuration of Bune or Expedite, you'll already have the forces they represent balanced and working for you as you integrate the powers of the different spheres of manifestation.

Most thaumaturgical rites for immediate physical results are treating the symptoms of the problem, not the cause(s). That's fine, and should be done, in fact. If you broke your arm, you'd get it set and put in a cast first, and then start checking on whether you're getting enough calcium and exercise to make your bones strong. You've got to treat the immediate symptoms as they arise, but if the same symptoms keep coming up you need to address the disease. 

We live in a world where we experience the ongoing effects of causes that began days, weeks, months, and years ago, stretching back to the beginning of time. (Or at least that's what it looks like from here.) The path of the Hermetic Magician outlined in the Corpus Hermeticum moves us from only experiencing and reacting to the end results, the effects, to being the causes of specific intended outcomes. Probability math and chaos science demonstrate how many millions of variables go into any given outcome, and no human can consciously direct all of them at once. But the conjuration of spirits to obtain initiations and favors on our behalf, results in the magician getting the skills and talents to direct the forces from higher levels in the chain of manifestation so that the causes all work together to form the intentional results. We become forces of Cause, conscious participants in the causal process rather than simply reactionary recipients of the effects.

That's what the Hermetic Magic path outlined in the Corpus Hermeticum provides. Agrippa's Three books of Occult Philosophy is a catalog of the data you need to become a Power operating consciously on the planes of premanifestation as well as manifestation. The end product of the Hermetic process is a magician capable of not only treating the symptoms, but also adept at identifying and treating the cause before the symptoms can manifest.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy: A User's Guide

I realized today that the Red Work series of courses is basically a user's guide for the Three Books of Occult Philosophy, only structured in a way that provides the Hermetic initiatory ascent through the heavens to accomplish the Great Work. Many of the Black Work course topics I'm covering are basically how to take the information from Books 1 and 2 and put it to use, and the White and Green Work courses are about Book 3.

Years ago, someone said I should write a book that explains how to use the information in Agrippa to accomplish the Great Work in easy to understand steps. I guess I'm finally getting around to it.

I've been trying to figure out how to run the courses, how to schedule them so I don't get backlogged, and people can join at any time, but not bog down the more advanced students on the group lists with a bunch of questions that have already been addressed. So I'm thinking of taking a page from Jason's course structure and I'll be starting new course "cycles" every three months. Or so.

Anyway, the courses just started, and if you want to join, you still can. Registration for this cycle will have to close July 31 though, I must retain my fingernail grip on my sanity. Registration will reopen Nov. 1 - Nov. 30.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mercury Retrograde Schedule

For a magician, I'm not very superstitious (knock on wood).

Nevertheless, long time experience has shown me that the weeks prior to Mercury going retrograde are full of online conflict, argument, and failure to communicate. The obstinate ignorant are more so, and no matter how I phrase things, it gets misinterpreted to mean something fundamentally offensive to someone, somewhere.

So far things have been good, but Mercury slows starting August 1, and goes retro August 20 this cycle. I expect to see things get hairy over the next week or two. Then things should calm down, and then go back to being mildly hairy as Mercury begins speeding up again.

Hopefully being aware of the cycle will allow me to break out of the normal reactions I go through.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

To Blave

Love is on my mind a lot. Not the emotion, although that's a cool thing indeed, when you get to it. No, I'm not talking about relational feelings towards other people here, I'm talking about something higher. The LOVE that gets mentioned in places like the Corpus Hermeticum, where we learn that Man is Mortal and Immortal, and that we die for the sake of Love. Or Crowley's presentation of the Christian AGAPE love, which he placed in the role of the divisor in his formula, LAW=WILL/LOVE, stated, "Love is the Law, Love under Will. By that formula, LOVE=WILL/LAW, and is the key to unlocking the mystery that is "Do what thou Will shall be the whole of the Law."

I agree with the Thelemic assumption that Love and Will are intimately connected. "Will," as expressed in Thelema, is what I call "Fate" or "Providence." Fate, or Providence is manifest through our choices made in ignorance of the future outcome. That's why it looks like free will.

One of my favorite songs, Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) has this line in it, "Remember, half of every choice you make is pure chance. Just like everybody else's." I agree with it, though I see chance in that line is a reference to Fortune, Providence, or Fate. Kismet. Destiny.

The point is, Will is expressed when you do what you know is right in a situation. You're in harmony with your reason for existing when you are performing your True Will. And Will and Love are different faces of the same thing.

Another popular truth is phrased "God is Love." We magicians usually understand what this means. It is LOVE when you feel God's presence. The beginning of wisdom is the Fear of God, but that Pachad-Fear is really talking about the awe, the deep-penetrating wonderment you feel in the presence of God when you see his LOVE pourning out and through all that is. The love of God causes intense reactions, and they resemble fear. You can't move. You can barely breathe. Your body trembles. You look a lot like a deer caught in headlights, but with a huge shit-eating grin on your face and an almost visible light of divine madness pouring out through your eyes to illuminate all you perceive. And it flows through you and to you and out of you in accordance to your own choices and actions, and they are really your own because you don't know what the outcome will be, even though God already knows.

So we have Will being God's Plan, and Love being the Power of God. Will and Love combined are the power of manifestation of God's plan. It's a beautiful thing, as all things of Love are beautiful.

Love is always manifest in procreation, as well.* Procreation is something I don't talk a lot about, being the good Puritan Christian that I am**. There are too many pitfalls and distractions around the topic of procreation because it feels so GOOD to procreate. It's a very magical act, but I cringe when I see people say that sex magic is screwing while thinking about a sigil. That's like saying Hermetic Magic is making a talisman. There's so much more to it, the movement of kundalini, the clearing of the channel, the motion, the sensation, the mental focus... Sex Magic proper is much more... initiatory than just getting off in the flesh while you think about a symbol.

I use the term "Procreation" for sex as an awareness trigger in my life. Every time you have sex, it's a procreative act. Every time you have sex, a child is created. That's why thinking of a sigil while screwing works at all. You're inseminating the idea into manifestation, or seducing it into your womb.

Sex is a manifestation of Love and Will, Creative Power and Providence***. You know how good it feels to have sex? That's how good it feels to be living in a way that intentionally expresses LOVE and WILL as you fulfill the LAW of "DO WHAT THOU WILL."

That's how good it feels to be a magician. You become the channel through which Providence and Love create the universe. You are the Promethean tube that carries the sacred fire. Into darkness you bring illumination, you bring heat where there is cold, you bring purification and refinement, you make the world a better place to live in, personally for yourself, but also for the other poor bastards stuck here with you.

Back to the maths. Love is the Law under Will, or LOVE=WILL/LAW. Do what you Will is the whole of the Law, or DO WHAT YOU WILL=LAW. Plug that back into the equation, and you get LOVE=WILL/(DOING)(WILL). Love is doing what you Will under Will itself. Do the math.



Love is One, Doing.

One Doing. Not two doings, or three or four. Just One, One time, Once, forever. That "doing" is being done right now, this very second. It's been one "doing" forever, and it's going to take forever before it's "done."

And there's only One doing it. That One takes on many forms on many planes, but it's still One who is Doing. You and me, we're a couple of the forms it takes, and we're living consciously in a few of the planes this Doing has manifested so it has some "where" to do in.

And It's Doing it right now. You are doing it, and "you" are its doing. Love is a verb, and it's everything that happens. All the time.

* I'm not saying you've personally, emotionally loved everyone you fucked, that would be silly. Again, it's Love that we're talking about, not the nephesh shade of love we feel in the Meat Suit.

** It's true; Puritans rocked the Holy Spirit in ways no one understands today.

*** Every sexual act you have is half choice and half chance; in other words, you're lucky you even got laid.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Frame It, that last post

Lavanah totally inspired the previous post with her Framework post. I saw the title of her post and thought it would be neat to see the blogosphere run a series of framework posts to provide insight into who they are and why they do magic the way they do it. Then I realized everyone is already doing that in their daily (or less frequent) blogs anyway.

Then my brain leapfrogged a bit, and the Frame It post got written.

And THEN I read her post. Cause that's how I am, sorry.

I've been following Jason's Evangelism posts (here, here, and here) with mild interest, but I haven't been reading the comments. I caught a whiff of drama when he had to make a second post, and a stench of it on the third. Being a Christian Magician, I've had to deal with plenty of the anti-Christian sentiment, and honestly, I'm just not that interested anymore. Many people have deep and painful emotions about Christianity because people either misrepresented or abused the belief system in their youth to get some kind of jollies. Others are just stupid and jump Christianity because they think it's cool and they're working out their issues with their mommies and daddies.

I'm not equipped to heal the damage done by my fellow Christians to you, if you're one of the wounded. I'm not interested in your adolescent games if you're one of the Christian bashers who don't even know what you're bashing.* Chances are pretty good you're only bashing your own beliefs about Christianity based on whatever you've read and experienced anyway. Loser.

But when I read Lavanah's post, I literally wept. Had to wipe the tears away with a napkin before any co-workers wandered into my cube and saw me blubbering. What happened to her and anyone with similar stories really, really sucks. I'm personally sorry, deeply and painfully sorry that any of "my people" ever hurt you that way if you're one of the many who suffered. I can't make those people go away, or take away any pain you felt because of their treatment, but know that at least one Christian is sorry for what was done. It wasn't right. You deserve better.

For the record, the Good News, the Gospel we're supposed to be taking to all the world (based on what JC said to me) is simply this: God can be a friend. Whatever it is you think separates you from him is gone, now and forever, and he loves you and wants to be with you. No matter what you've done, or think you've done, and certainly no matter what anyone told you.

If the Christians spreading the gospel really believed that, if they understood what it means that "GOD WANTS TO BE FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE" ... Well, they wouldn't be hurting people, or thinking badly of them if they don't "accept it," they'd value every person and their personal relationship with God as much as God does, however God manifests to them.

But most people out there evangelizing haven't even met God, face to face. They don't know what they're talking about, only what they've been told, or read in a book they've made an idol to worship because it's too hard or (more honestly) frightening to meet the alleged Author. They don't know. They evangelize out of fear, because it's a requirement, or an obligation, not out of Joy of being with God daily, being the Observer and the Observed at the same time with their Source. And then they feel all self righteous or something, not even noticing that they're the reason Jesus wept.

It sucks.

* And honestly, if you're NOT a Christian, you cannot understand it. Even most "Christians" don't understand it. Those who explore the mysteries of Christianity in faith, hope, and earnest desire to know and be known by God might understand part of it, sometimes. But no one agrees with everyone else about what Christianity is "really" all about, when you get into the doctrines, scriptures, schisms, and all that stuff, no one. We Christians, just like everyone else, are all adept at creating our own core beliefs that are unique enough to be different in at least one way from any other Christian when compared point by point. Even if, like me, you think you fully understand it, you don't. We can't even see "it."

Frame It

Can you write a beginner's guide to your belief system? It's harder than it looks, especially when your belief system isn't canned fantasy pulp fiction smeared liberally over Regardie's oath breaking revelations of mysteries he wasn't initiated enough to understand. It's even worse if you've gone back more than 100 years to figure out the roots of your system and tried to integrate as much of the original content as you can.

But it's amazingly interesting to do. I'm finding incredible shit that I forgot all about as I write up the Black Work course material. It's awesome.

Try it some time, write up the core doctrines that summarize your beliefs, provide a general explanation for everything that is, and then specific methods of interacting with it to get the results you want, or the methods of progressing through the various stages of the path your belief system advocates. I've always believed you don't really understand anything until you can explain it to someone else. It's a good test of your true relative position within the belief system you claim to adhere to.

If you can't write up the basic creation myth and core cosmology of your system, if you don't know what the stages of progression are, or where you're at in it, or what order they're supposed to go in and why, think about that.

Then sign up for my courses. ;)

Blog Layout Updates

Heading into the 21st century and Web 2.0 (it's not just a buzzword, it's not just a buzzword), I decided to try out a template that was created in the last couple of years rather than just sometime in the last decade.I think it's beautiful, but the dark red text on the gray background is irritatingly hard to read. Light red is just lame though, really really lame.

I've cleaned things up over on the right too. Condensed some stuff, took out the garbage, dusted, hung some new pictures, oh, and I updated my blog list with the people I read regularly these days. SOME OF THEM DON'T POST OFTEN ENOUGH, but when they do, it's worth it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Friendship and Integrity

(Last older post for today, a tribute to my friends. Yeah, OK, maybe I did talk more about me, but it's about THEM. This one was from back in November of '09.)

Integrity is, in my opinion, the foundation of all relationships, whether they are with your family, social groups, spirits, or God the First Father. As I discovered painfully from the establishment of my relationship with God, there can be no foundation for any relationship that isn't founded firmly in the truth. You have to know who or what a thing is first and foremost before you can decide if you like it, love it, or want it to be a part of your life.

In my life, I've had few friends. Part of that is because I moved around a lot as a child, and I quickly learned that when you move, your friends quickly forget you. You became "that guy that moved away in 1st grade," or fifth grade, or tenth grade. The people most important to me in my elementary school couldn't pick me out of a line-up two years later. I realized then that "friendship" wasn't what it was cracked up to be. It's nice, but you can always make new friends. Your old friends will forget about you, and if you pop up again, you'll both be strangers because so much shit has gone down. There may always be a core of shared experiences to fall back on, but life has a tendency to change people, and there's truth in the old proverb: you can never go home again.

But the things that make people really be your friends are all based on truth. If you have a relationship with someone where you have to limit what they know about you, you're limiting the depth of your friendship. I can't tell my boss about my occult studies, even if she understood it wasn't Satanism. But I can talk about what happened on Dexter. We can have a level of friendship, but it can never be complete because there are some things that neither of us would share with colleagues in the Government Service industry.

And that's ok with me. I don't really want to be friends with a lot of people. I don't mind being friendly with a lot of people, but my circle of close friends is small and will remain so. All these relationships are based on truth, integrity.

There are times that integrity demands discomfort. Everything that is true is not necessarily fun. It doesn't always mesh well with what we want to believe. Sometimes we think in certain programmed patterns that leave us blind to some piece of the programming that might cause problems, and when people point it out, we want to kill them, even when they're friends.

Since most of my friends are magicians, there's an added element of danger to pointing out uncomfortable truths. Some of my friends are megalomaniacs, though in a mostly harmless way. I find that personality trait appealing, for some reason. Can't imagine why.

But the problem with megalomaniacs is that we, er, they can be a little touchy. So there are times when I'm tempted to keep things to myself to be nice. I've learned that it doesn't help things at all. Eventually I get so annoyed it comes out anyway, and seldom as peacefully as it could have been had I said something earlier.

My problem is tact. I don't have a lot of it. I can, sometimes, but when it comes to magical things, I tend to be a bit of a dick. I'd blame usenet, or Golden Dawn Yahoo Groups, but the truth is, I was always like this when it comes to spiritual things. I've been a Crowned Child (code for Brat Prince) in spiritual matters since I first learned that Jesus Christ died on a cross for my sins. I mean, if the earthly manifestation of the freakin' LOGOS that created all things by speaking the thoughts of his Father loved me personally enough to die like that so we could spend time together... .

And I've always heard the Voice of God. Not in a crazy way, but I've always had a good and close relationship with the Holy Spirit. I've been in tune with God's Spirit on Earth since I was a young child, and I knew a lot more than I understood, or understood a lot more than I knew. I learned to listen to the Still Small Voice in a Bible camp in Oklahoma, and I heard it n the winds, and heard it in the stones, and heard it in the whisper of fallen pine needles beneath my boots. Sure, I forgot, and spent hard times ignoring it or drowning it out with booze and other stupid choices, but I got better. I got a lot better.

So I feel pretty goddamned privileged, frankly.

When I speak on a subject, I do so when I have had experience in it, and tested it, and discovered something about it that is valuable. I speculate on things from time to time, but I don't offer a conclusive opinion, or present a conclusion until I've got some experience to back it up. As a result, I expect people to take what I have to say about some topics with a little more weight than some average guy in the street.

So I can be a bit touchy about things too. It's pride, not arrogance though, when I do it. I've earned the right to my pride. I deserve it. I've done a lot to be proud of. It's not hubris, and it's not vain glory either. I know the things I've done so far are good, but they aren't where I really want to be. I'm in constant danger of stagnating in the Peacock phase, and that's not what I want to do. It's fun here, but there's more at hand.

These are the same traits that I value in my closest friends. Confidence in their abilities, pride of workmanship, or craftsmanship, and dedication to getting better, seeing more, being more and more themselves in every way. My friends have traveled the world in pursuit of spiritual insight, or painstakingly delved into the Secrets of the Grimoires, or demonstrated their beliefs in active cultural ministry. My friends are leaders, and when they speak on a subject, I listen carefully.

Integrity is the foundation of these relationships. They demonstrate the integrity of their beliefs in the actions of their lives.

I've got some pretty awesome friends.

On the Brink

(Another old post, from back in August of 2009, before recent events. Interesting to me, maybe to you, to see where I was from where I am. I was doing a lot of Work with the Lemegeton's Goetia at the time. Kinda shows.)

Recent stupidity has me wondering about what the best option is. I look at this stupid world and the stupid people in it, the intellectuals debating, the middle class clashing at rallies, the lower class getting blown to bits as the ideologies work their way through society, and as a magician I'm faced with this question: What am I supposed to do with it?

Being moderately illuminated, having done the Work to refine my sphere and get in touch with God, am I supposed to try to bring my insight and understanding to the world and make it a better place by getting political and shit? I see what happens to people who do that. Even if I took over the world and instituted a Hermetic Illuminist global utopia, I'd still fuck something up and some people somewhere would get screwed and want to kill me and take over. Or some member of my government would stage a coup, or I'd turn into some insane despot who burns the feet of my nation's soccer team if I don't think they ran fast enough. The human brain is deficient. No sensible person would want the responsibility of running a planet, which leaves it in the hands of the senseless.

Should I just write about what I think and hope it makes a difference? Like I said, people who discuss things on an intellectual basis end up starting ripples that move throughout society, eventually ending in some mother weeping by a closed casket because the corpse of her baby doesn't have enough face left to have an open casket funeral. If I advocate Judeo-Christian ethics, am I innocent of the death of the abortionist shot by the pro-life zealot? If I advocate a woman's right to choose, am I innocent of the death of unborn children? There are real life consequences to writing about what I think. I may not be Manson telling Tex Watson to launch Helter Skelter, but I might end up being a part of what influences someone to do something insane.

Voltaire's solution from Candide appeals to me, tend my own garden, address the issues that arise in my own sphere and resist the urge to get involved in the wars, politics, and adventures of the remote world. I could bury myself in my Hermetic Magical Pursuit of the Great Work and let the rest of you turn the planet into a living hell. But there is no escape. What right would I have to protest Big Brother sending a gov't case worker in to monitor my diet and exercise if I do nothing at all? What right do I have to protest someone taking my children and placing them in a molesting foster parent's care because I practice a form of Christianity most Christians call Satanic?

And my kids... I owe them more than that. I'm supposed to be getting them ready to make the best possible life for themselves when they leave the relative safety of my sphere of influence. They deserve to be able to succeed in this fucked up world to the best of their abilities. I need to equip them with the wisdom, the knowledge, and the skill to interact with the rest of you without getting themselves shot, brainwashed, or imprisoned.

The worst option I can see is just going along with it all, day in, day out, work until I can't anymore as a wage slave cog in the machine that's aimed firmly at global misery. The thought of just living out my life, doing the best I can and hoping things work out alright in the end is maddening. It's like being trapped in an insane asylum where the inmates are the guards and everyone thinks they're free.

There's another option, and I just can't see it. I'm blind, or drugged by the limits of the flesh to the best option, walking around in the equivalent of a thorazine sedation, where the drug that keeps me docile and non-violent is genetically engineered to be produced by the body I'm trapped in.

The Party of the Yellow Sign

(Note: Still publishing old posts. This one was from earlier this year when I was a bit miffed about some political shit. I'm not starting any parties, but I'm definitely doing My Part to make the world a Better Place.)

I'm starting the Yellow Party, and I'm gonna start havin' all kinds of Yellow Signs all over, cause it's damned important.

The platform of Yellow Party is unique. It's made of a rare metal called "Afraidium." It's yellow, and it tastes like chick-en.

Cause I'm kinda scared.

I look over at the Republicans who deregulated corporations to the point where they could start a global fucking economic meltdown, start wars we can't afford or pay for based on lies, and STILL BE ABLE TO GET PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR THEIR DUMB ASSES ANYWAY.  15 million unemployed Americans will work together to get the fuckers that cost them their jobs put back in power. Cause the banks, who fuck me regularly, personally, with no vaseline, are putting them back into power because Obama's taxing the CEO's, but not even to the level that they were taxed under Clinton. These FUCKERS don't even want to pay anything. I look at the economic policies of the Right, and I get kinda nervous.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party -- I'm a Democrat."
Roy Rogers
I look over at the Democrats, who can pwn Congress, the House, and the White House, and they still can't put a public option out there for us. I worked in Healthcare, they're rolling in the money. The for profits AND the non-profits, they're fucking rolling in BILLIONS.  I look at their leadership skills, their cooperation skills, and I get kinda anxious.

I look at the Tea Party and see a mixed bag of malcontents with the same level of organization skills as the Democrats. I see Democrats dressing up like monks and showing up at Tea Party rallies carrying signs that say "God Hates Taxes" because they think it's going to undermine the Tea Party's political clout. I see the liberal media turning the Tea Party into a major force with their attempts to demonize when it would have just dispersed if they'd never have made such a big deal out of it. I see racist rants in the name of the Tea Party, and I see every retard and their brother's inbred cousin jumping on the bandwagon to push their agenda and claim it's Tea Party doctrine, and I get kinda queasy, deep down in my cowardly guts.

I look at Obama, who could have stopped the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and didn't. I look at how much his policies mirror and mimic Bush's, and I'm like, wait, what? The most reviled president in living history did the same shit and was hated, but no one says anything when Obama does it except the same people who supported Bush doing it for 8 years. I look at McCain who lost all credibility by becoming a Bush Clone in the election, and at Palin who is nothing more than a beauty queen with faith in Jesus who got talked into becoming a political power, and see the hatred and hope directed at her, and god damn it, I puke a little bit in my mouth.

I look at the oil spill, the 17 approved permits to drill for oil issued since the "moratorium" on underwater well drilling went into effect, and the mine collapse, and the rampant corruption in the MSHA and other agencies that are supposed to regulate industry, I see that the administration's been in power for 2 years and hasn't cleaned house and is still trying to blame Bush, but there's no excuse, and people are buying it anyway, and I get kinda frightened.

I see my corrupt Baltimore government, the mayor who was recently convicted of stealing gift cards donated to the poor, a state employee doing time for sexual assault of a minor taking sick leave and having his bosses cover for him so he can keep his job, a cop not charged for raping a minor, and I get kinda pissed.

No one here gives a shit, no one on the ballots is going to make a difference, no one is going to do the hard thing and fix the problems. No one is going to pull the teeth of corporate leeches, no one is looking out for the middle class, no one is muzzling Wall Street, and everyone of the talking heads on the Left and Right talk shows is just loving the attention they get, and the money, and they don't care that their bullshit yellow journalism is polarizing America.

And I'm kinda scared.

But I have a vested interest in how things turn out. This is my life they're fucking over. And I'll be god damned if I let my fear keep me from doing something to make the world a better place.

What kind of spirits...

(In case you're wondering, I'm going through the blog and publishing/deleting old draft posts that are hanging around. Most suck and get deleted, but some have a bit of value, like this one. I wrote a lot in the time I wasn't publishing, I just kind of got distracted a lot.)

In The Genie Syndrome, St. B. talks about how people can slip into the mindset that their spirits are wish-granting machines, and put them into a role of a co-worker who just provides a service or good in exchange for payment, like it's just their job or something.

That idea really makes me wonder, what kind of spirits are these people conjuring? Demons, Angels, even the Dead have a presence, a palpable sphere of influence that comes into the room, or triangle, or crystal, or whatever you're conjuring them into, and it's right there with you, like a being in the room.

Not physically, mind you, but spiritually, it's there. You can't help but know that you're in the room with a living being. You see things, smell things, feel the temperature change in the room. The air gets thicker, or thinner.

And if you've got a long-term relationship with a spirit through an icon or spirit pot, or they've got a place of honor on your altar for Christ's sake, the thing that physically represents your spiritual life, you're going to have a deep relationship with that being that reminds you of its presence at the strangest times. Even astrological talismans of the Fixed Stars have a personality that makes itself known.

When you conjure spirits, you enter into a relationship with them, a relationship that goes very deep. It changes you at a fundamental level by working with them. It creates a bond, and an affinity between you and the things that are in affinity with the spirit. It's true of spirits with necromantic affinities the same way it is with spirits with Solar, Martial, or Elemental affinities.  Repeated conjurations and interactions strengthens the bond with the spirit, and you commune with it in subtle ways all the time.

But you get to know the spirit too, and it's a lot like a friendship. Chances are good that you know something personal about all your co-workers that you spend time with on a project. You can't help but get to know one another over time, even if your purpose for working together is strictly business.

Even with Bune, the spirit I probably did the most practical magic with over the last few years, I never got to a point in our relationship where I could take him for granted. For every time I'd light a few candles and tell him what I wanted this time, there were many conversations, dreams and ... not really training, but in a way, training that went on in between. And when he manifested the practical requests, he made sure I knew it was him. He's got a flourish about him that is recognizable.

Is it different with other kinds of spirits than the ones I've worked with? It must be, if people can get into the Genie Syndrome. I just don't think any of the spirits I've worked with would have put up with me thinking they were a simple sigil-contacted dispenser of desires. There are introductions that were made, explanations and planning that went on, negotiations and love songs...

Oh wait, that's Paul Simon.

But still, I wonder. If I found I'd fallen into this Genie Syndrome, I'd take a step back and ask if I were really dealing with the spirits, or if I'd just been mumbling to myself.


Did you ever notice that Witchdoctor Joe always signs off his posts with thanks?

That's cool.

Political Assassinations Continue Unabated in 2010

Wow, man. I thought this kind of thing didn't happen these days. A scientist killed, made to look like an accident, and over what? Billions of dollars and countless political speeches influenced by his theories and data sets, that's what.

Embarrass me and die, fucker! Cost me billions in updates to make me environmentally sound, and DIE FUCKER!

I don't know if it was the transoceanic corporations or political activists, or hell, it could be some dissed scientist who got no peer review because his research didn't tow the line. I mean, scientists know science, and there's all kinds of toxins that look like "heart attacks or embolysms" when they kill, you know?

The Nature of Deity

Personally, I think I'm technically a monotheist because I believe that there is only ONE GOD. However, I've been told I'm really a Henotheist because I acknowledge that the ONE GOD manifests as gods and angels and demons and rocks and animals and trees and other self-aware entities on purpose.

I find it alien after all these years of Working with gods, angels, and demons of various ranks that anyone would think there's no single unifying Source that exists within each of the other manifestations. Yet there are people who believe that Deity can only be experienced as multiple entities, that the embrace of monotheism itself somehow blinds a person to the "true nature" of Deity.

I think that's as limiting as the monotheist who rejects all other manifestations of God as delusional or demonic. Hermetic theology is monotheistic, yet makes room for many other gods. As a result, the Hermetic student can experience the multiplicity of the many gods and spirits, and still reclaim their divine race and value that comes from remembering the Source in whose image we were made. We can develop a bi-directional relationship between the Nous and our own minds, we can participate actively and consciously as observer and observed, we can play with the sprites and fairies, the gods and goddesses, and still maintain a unified existence within and as a manifestation of the Good.

We aren't limited to the forms and structures that happen to define "us" and "not us." We can see, from a unified perspective, that all that interacts does so in time to a tune that began long before we were born and will continue long after we've moved on. Insisting on limits to anything can only result in limitation.*

The point of Neo-Platonism and Hermetic magic is to understand who we are, and what it means to be made in the image of The Divine. Divinity is One, and it cannot be understood if the perceiver insists otherwise.

*This is, unfortunately, a "lesser truth." With Greater Truths, the opposite is also true. Insisting on "no limits" by itself does not result in "no limitation." It does, however, lead (more often than not) to methods of transcending limitations.

Hermetic Work

The Earth is a prison. You've been sentenced here to work out whatever issues you've got that kept you from completing your cosmic responsibilities in previous incarnations in higher spheres. You're descended from the One, and you're supposed to be on a higher plane doing something that involves maintaining the continued existence of a multi-dimensional, multi-planar universe that is far larger than any portion that has the misfortune of existing in the physical time-space we're stuck in.

You fucked up, and until you work out whatever it was that you fucked up up there, you're stuck down here, and killing yourself only puts you further back in line for Ascension.

The only way out is to remember the truth, and to work with extra-terrestrial consciousnesses to work through your karmic debt, attain spiritual awareness, and earn your way back up to your natural state of Oneness with the One who is One and not Two.

Sound familiar? That's a summary of the Revelations of an Insider. I ended up on that page while perusing old links in my bookmarks Sunday, July 4th. 

What struck me about the long exchange was that everything the dude was saying lines up perfectly with Hermetics, except for the bit about the Earth being a prison planet. Of course he would put it that way, he was talking to a conspiracy theory group, after all. Context demanded it be couched in those terms. That stuff about aliens and the popular conspiracy theories at the time it was written, bloodlines, ruling families, etc. is all bunk, but the core of the spiritual doctrine he's giving there is totally in harmony with Hermetic doctrine.

It's neo-platonism all over again. You're really a manifestation of God, the world distracts you, makes you forget, and you just need to be reminded of that. You conjure spirits from other realms, higher spiritual planes that teach you, remind you, grant you access to your memory of your true self, and then you join with the Powers that Be so you can meet even greater responsibilities in the higher realms.

It's a common theme in New Age teachings too. That crowd speaks of alien intelligences, and channeled wisdom. We speak of Planetary Intelligences, and entities from the Sphere of the Fixed Stars. The only difference between "Martial" and "Martian" is the last letter, when you look at it. And the experiences of the people who receive initiations (they call them transmissions) from the spirits (they call them alien entities) are pretty similar to the things we get to do when we have been through the proper clarifications and initiations, when we've been harmonized with the spheres.

I guess what I'm saying is that the core "truths" of Hermetics keep popping up in different forms for different generations. The end product is that people get in touch with "higher" intelligences, entities with a broader view of existence than we have, and then we receive spiritual training and empowerments as a result. The effects are pretty potent.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Courses Launching This Week

The Green and White Work courses will be launching this Friday. For a brief overview of the courses and to sign up, see this link.

Note that if you were interested in the Black Work course, you can still sign up. I won't be closing enrollment until Friday due to some personal requests received offlist.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Course Stuff

Lesson 1 is available at the Black Work yahoo group.

It looks like there are some people who have signed up for the course who haven't joined the group. Please feel free to join, or shoot me an email and I'll send you another invitation.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cool Stuff (or WTF is an Etsy?)

So someone mentioned they have an Etsy store. WTF is an Etsy store? I asked all innocent. Looks like an online flea market kind of thing. People selling (shudder) merchandise. Physical products you can't just email out to the world. WEIRDNESS!!!

But I took a look at their Etsy store, and it's got some cool shit. An Alice in Wonderland tarot deck, and a bunch of "vintage" stuff. The 80's nautical fanny pack is possibly my favorite item on there. Or maybe the Alice in Wonderland tarot deck. Kinda curious to see where it puts the Cheshire Cat.


Tomorrow's the launch of the Black Work course. If you've signed up, please send me the time and location of your birth for creating the Genius name.

The course sign-up site is located at this link.

I'd write up a bunch of salesey stuff, but it's been a long day after a long night, and I'm wiped out. I'll repost the outline of the course below, but that's about all I can muster at the moment.

I've broken up the Black Work Course into three phases (eliminating the pretentious names cause it's too much like an Order, and I got good advice about that idea that I'm taking for once). This is still a tentative outline, because there's more I want to cram in there somewhere. I can't seem to think of everything just yet, but this is the minimum of what I plan to cover*:

  • You have Cleansed me with Hyssop, Oh Lord: Banishing and Cleansing Rites
  • The Art of Contemplation
  • Self Assessment: Whoever therefore shall know himself...
  • In the Beginning: The Creation of the World
  • First Father, Nous, Logos, Workman, Governors, Man
  • Spheres of Emanation
  • The Emerald Tablet: Map of the Great Work
  • Meet the Family: Dad and the Uncle-Aunts
  • Where are you from?
Spiritus Mundi: Hermetic Animism
  • Chain of Manifestation
  • Genii Loci
  • Meet the Family: Mom? Is that you? And you had kids!?
  • What are you?
  • Elemental Hierarchy
  • Four Angels of the Corners of the World
  • Princes of the Four Angles of the World
  • Meet the Family: The Cousins
  • What makes you tick?

The Altar: Table of Manifestation
  • Altar Layout
  • Elemental Weapons
  • Planetary Talismans
  • Constellations and Mansions
  • The Lamp
  • Miscellaney
  • What do you do?
  • The Table of Practice
  • The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals
  • Variations
  • Elemental Initiations
  • What do you want?
Magic without Tools
  • The Astral Temple
  • Dream Work
  • Path Working through the Spheres
  • How are you going to get what you want?
About that Great Work
  • Who are you?
  • What's wrong with you?
Meet the Genius
  • The Threefold Keeper
  • The Genius and the Evil Daimon
  • Conjuration of the Genius
On Working with the Genius
  • Spiritual and Practical Applications
  • An Introduction to the Seven Planetary Governors
* I really need to update this outline, there's a lot more to it than is listed. As I started developing the materials, more stuff insisted on being included.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Video: Teh Elburp!

While I don't advocate the rite personally, a friend posted his version of the LBRP on YouTube, and I'm all for seeing my friends get publicity for their Work, even if I don't do that flavor of stuff myself.

He's a higher-ranking OTO member who's done a lot for the local OTO lodge, and also the editor of Heaven and Hell Fifth Edition Volume One: The Official Organ of William Blake Lodge, which contains an essay/article by yours truly.

So check out his video on YouTube. I'd embed it here, but it IS the LBRP after all. (And I don't know if it counts viewers that watch it on my blog.)

He's got more advanced stuff on there too, a four-part video series of the Gnostic Mass. Check out his whole channel if you're into OTO style Crowley rites done right by trained and experienced professionals.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A reminder

The Black Work Course will be starting this Friday.
The Green Work Course will start July 23rd.
The White Work Course will ALSO start July 23rd.

Enrollment for courses is done through this site.


Thanks, V.V.F. Thanks a lot.

Saw something neat at the VVF blog, thought I'd check it out, run the old Head for the Red posts through a text analyzer to see who I write like...

I write like
Dan Brown
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

But do I get paid like Dan Brown? Fuck no.

But that's just some posts I tested, the majority, granted, but on others I get:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

(Lots of quotes from the Corpus Hermeticum is what returns that result.)

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Heh. Erisian influences can last years, apparently.

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Fuck you, man, I'm sober!

Ok, out of time to play with that thing.

Monday, July 12, 2010


One of the long time hallmarks of my blog has been the occasional good spirited, well-balanced, thoughtful compassionate rant regarding the complexity of human incarnation.

Lately, I just haven't had it in me. I thought it might have been the heart problem, mortality shoving itself into your sphere can make you a different person. I thought it might be getting rid of the demons and their various symbols from my home and hearth, and having the cleaner atmosphere not influencing me to hate other people quite so much. I thought it might be the Eighth Sphere Work I was doing, that somehow managed to clean me out and fix some misanthropic points of view.

I don't know which, if any, of those things it was. I just don't feel like laying into people anymore. People are still stupid chunks of talking dirt most of their allegedly "waking" hours, but I just don't care anymore. It doesn't bother me the way it used to.

Little bothers me the way it used to, in fact. I still argue with people, but more out of habit than anything else. I don't know what else to do. I know I'm not going to change anyone's mind, and I don't feel compelled to even try at this point. I provide information, people will use it, or not.

Whatever it was that happened, I just don't feel quite as entitled to rage as I used to.

But knowing existence the way I do, I'll quote the sage in closing...

This too shall pass.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Physical Planets and Other Forms of Matter

Yes, still yet more on planets.

A friend of mine once asked me if I considered the physical planets like batteries for the forces of the Spheres. Like if a person went to Mars, they would be overwhelmed with Martial "energy." Colonists there would live like Spartans, by Law and Order and Structure, but they'd always be belligerent and probably at war, near war, or recovering from war. Like America, but not fat and stupid.

We won't talk about what Colonies on Venus would be like (coughcoughFrancecoughcough).

The question surprised me. I hardly ever think about the physical planets in terms of their spiritual significance. I mean, Mars is rock and iron. Venus is covered in bad gas. Some moon around Jupiter would be an awesome source of methane to power the planet. If they ever had the technology while I'm young enough to do it, I would totally go looking for an asteroid made of solid gold.

But the planets being literally the manifestation of a spiritual force? Fuck no, it's a metaphor. The planets are symbols of the spheres, things that indicate what types of powers are hitting the planet spiritually based on their relative positions to us on Earth. They're cosmic weather vanes. Thinking they are the thing they point to is like thinking the weather vane is the wind.

But when I think about it, an old weather vane would make a pretty awesome Wind Talisman. A meteorite from Mars would be pretty awesome in a Martial talisman too. But I don't really believe colonists would exhibit the planet's associated character traits because they lived there. It's not like they are the spheres we use them to represent. It's symbolic, like everything else here in the physical realm, an indicator, or an arrow pointing to its higher aspect, an image of the thing, not the thing itself.

Even though images of things can be powerful in rituals, they aren't the things they represent. Confusing the two can lead to idolatry. I think idolatry is dangerous because it leaves you missing the actual relationship with the spirit represented by the object. The damage it does is measured in the missed opportunities, missed time you could have spent learning about who/what the symbol represents, how it manifests in you.

I think that's why I don't get concerned about the significance of the planets in the Chaldean Order not lining up with a heliocentric astronomical cosmology based on laser-accurate locations of the planets. They're more like referents to me. As long as they get good results, I'm fine with it.

If I do get to a point where I need to start using the planets actual order for something, I'm not opposed to it. I've run into some weirdness I'd like to investigate at some point at different times in my Work, and I shelved it for further research when I'm feeling dry or stagnant. For now I'm still achieving with the system I've got, and I'm happy with that.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Planetary and Celestial Spheres

Ok, chances are good that you've read Jason's "What If" post. I think it's interesting and raises some very good questions about things that are worth thinking about. Knowing Jason, he's got some very, very good reasons for thinking about things this way.

Personally, at this stage of my Work, the classical order of the planets is more appropriate within the context of Hermetic magic than the actual, material, astronomical order of the planets. The Ptolemaic geocentric cosmology is based on how things look from the Earth. You see, it's a very specific relative interpretation of manifestations in the heavens. The whole system is based on how things affect us while here based on a terrestrial point of view.

It doesn't matter where thing happen to "really" be, it matters how they affect you in your daily activities. The interpretations of the Chaldeans are accurate and appropriate to the magician performing Hermetic Magic while incarnated on the Earth. The system has more explanatory force, it provides more power to predict outcomes of Hermetic rituals and processes than any emerging magical system that takes the planets actual positions relative to the Sun into account, or relative to the black holes in the centers of galaxies into account. We don't live on the Sun, we don't live on the black holes. We live here on Earth.

If you look at Astrology, you'll see that every chart is created based on a place, a physical location on the Earth, at a specific time. You can't cast a horary or natal chart without those two pieces of information. They are the base of the chart, literally. It starts with where you're at on the Earth, and then you start plugging in "where" the stars and constellations line up relative to that particular place and time. It's all relative, to put it in Einstein's terms.

Astrological charts are used to gain insight into how things are going to manifest here on Earth. Likewise, the classical order of the planets provides insight into how things are going to manifest within Hermetic magic. The approach, the model, the map influences the overall subjective experience of the journey towards the destination. The events along the journey influence the experience of the destination when it is reached. After the time is spent at the destination, the journey as well as the experience at the destination are remembered and continue to influence your experiences as a whole.

I think that whatever system an incarnated magician living on the Earth uses should be based on their perspective from the Earth. The Altar Glyph that I found in Agrippa's Scale of the Number Four lines up your altar in harmony with the the apparent locations of the planets and elements as seen from the Earth. It becomes the bridge between the macrocosm and the microcosm from the perspective of a soul incarnated in a physical body, a consciousness that spends most of its time aware of the physical realm. That, in my opinion, is practical. You aren't going to experience existence as if you were physically in a black hole, I would hope. Jason understands this, he touches on that towards the end of his post.

At some point in my Work, I fully expect to be travelling spiritually to the stars. I've already begun, in fact. I'm in the early stages of exploration and integration, and the Intelligences I've met so far have only been the ones with direct contact, links, or a current that runs through and into the physical Earth that I experience in my "waking" life. As long as I am incarnated, I think I will continue to frame my spiritual experiences from the perspective of an incarnated being. I think that's the point of the classical order of the planets.

Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto aren't included in the traditional system. There are also a few billion stars that aren't part of any of the named constellations that aren't included in astrology or Hermetics. Their gravitational effects, the light they emit, the cosmic radiation they generate, the streams of neutrinos that emanate and bounce off them do hit the Earth regularly, causing some form of effect on the physical plane at a really microcosmic level.

But like the stars that aren't in named constellations, the trans Saturnian planets don't play a major role in Hermetic magic within the spheres of the planets. I believe their influence and meaning are reserved for exploration of the Sphere of the Fixed stars, the Eighth sphere in Hermetic Cosmology, and the Ninth. Whatever their influence on the physical realm might be, I think it is so subtle, or so intricately wrapped up with everything that it is more important or practically useful to work with the things that are tapping into it than it is to focus on the source. Like Chiah, the fifth part of the soul in Kabbalistic terms, or Quintessence in Alchemy, the forces from these spheres by themselves may not do any "work," but without them nothing else can do any "work" either. I honestly don't know though, this is all based on current experiences and interpretations.

But I'm probably right. Within my current context, any way.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Catastrophic Failure vs. Catastrophic Success

Jow's post about entropy made me laugh and got me thinking about catastrophic failures and my own catastrophic successes.

The atomic bomb was a successful project, a successful experiment, a successful result based on a lot of work and research. It's pretty catastrophic. On the whole, I'd say catastrophic failure is much better than catastrophic success. I can't help but wonder if he did a Goetic rite to get a new car, based on my experiences. The "Want a new car? Ok, I'll break the one you have!" type of manifestation is right up their alley. Asking them to keep it in good condition and still running is also likely to cause it to break down so you take it to a mechanic and get it fixed, thus keeping it running and in good condition.

And demons aren't the only ones who brought me catastrophic success. Early Jupiter rites with Tzadqiel for more money resulted in getting a job that paid less money and forced me to budget and realize how much extra money I had that I was wasting on things. Last summer I did a Solar rite with Michael and all the Sun angels from the Heptameron to get me wealth without having to work; I lost my job and spent three months unemployed, and still made a lot of money. I could have turned it into a huge success, over a year or two, but I had some urgent needs come up. So I did a Bune rite for a lot of money fast, and got the specific amounts I requested in my insurance check for the fire that destroyed my house.

In retrospect, I should have stuck with the lessons Tzadqiel was trying to teach me. Would have been better all around.


After my Eighth Sphere stuff started up last month, I was in a hurry to jump to conclusions. A friend told me I needed to get both feet on the ground before running anywhere. Came at a good time. I interpreted that to mean I should keep silent, and I probably should have more than I did.

If I told you how things work, or tried to sum it up, or tried to make a process out of this experience and the results, it wouldn't work at all. There are too many intricate and subtle forces at play, and I'm just a part of them. It's not like I thought it would be, but it's exactly what Hermetics teaches it's all about. The way to it is the way I went, for me and people like me. Spirit conjure does things to you. It changes you, prepares you. For the next level. Which is a lot like the last.

But saying, "Conjure the Intelligence of Venus and commune with it, and then express your desire in specific words or images, and then ask it's aid in manifesting those things, and then thank it and say goodnight," is telling you exactly the process I would use now to manifest a Venus result. Only it means something deeper now.

I haven't finished getting ready yet, for all the transformations that will take place. I realized that there is no "end" or "goal" that is attained in this process. It's a series of revelations and integrations, often of the same material in different formats. It's an ongoing process of revelation. So beautiful, so sweet. And sometimes it's dreams and pathworking, other times it's hamonizing with Nature and serving the gods. It can be spirit conjuration and Ruach-Nous interface with God Forms and symbols of manifest divinity, gods and goddesses, angels and demons. Sometimes it's burning heat (upon heat, upon heat) and crystal cities, other times it's Divine Law and seeing that it, too, is Love. It's a direct relationship with the First Father through the Logos, and the joy of creation and existence. And sometimes it's death.

Then it's Understanding.

But that understanding isn't complete, there's more around the corner. It's really quite a wonderful process, all things considered.

After what I saw, if I'd tried to put it into words, it would have sounded almost Kybalion in its annoyingness. I would have done so anyway, try to put it into words that is, if I didn't know the words wouldn't work, and they'd leave the wrong impression. The words don't have the right meaning without context, and for me, it's been a very specific context.

There are goals in this Work, specific levels of attainment that are progressed through, and it works to accomplish its aims. It enables the magician to reclaim their (divine) race and value. As we go through the stages, we see reflections and slices of the Whole Thing, and How it Works, and it's easy to say I'm done now, I made it. I've accomplished something and learned something. And it's true! We really have.

But it's not over yet, and jumping to conclusions before the end is not a safe practice. So I keep silent and process, and conjure, and contemplate. And I wait to see what happens next.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Other Services

On the Solomonic yahoo group, there's a bit of discussion about pamphlet publishing, Lulu, and how occult writers don't want to have to set up book widths, and format their stuff for publishing. They want an editor or publisher to do that for them.

I'm thinking, I do that for a living! I'm a tech writer by day, mad occultist by night. Maybe more people would publish their stuff on Lulu and Amazon's Create Space if they had someone who would do all the final editing and layout of their manuscripts for them.

So, if you've got a manuscript mostly written, but the technical details are beyond your patience or tech savvy, let me know. I'll do proof reading, copy-editing, layout, and formatting for you. All you'll have to do is upload the files and figure out how much you want to charge. I'll even put together a quick reference guide for you that walks you through the process.

Layout and formatting is a flat fee of $150 and includes page numbers, a Table of Contents, Introduction (you write it, I make sure it's on pp. i-whatever, not page 1-whatever), and getting it lined up with whatever online publisher's template you want to use. Note: the publisher you're using must supply a template.

Copy-editing and proof reading is $0.02 per word. This takes a while, and honestly, no editor catches everything that's wrong in a manuscript. There's also no such thing as a final draft, there's only the one you sent to print and then found errors in later. I can make sure the basic grammar rules are followed, and that exceptions to the rules add value rather than make your work look like some kind of pre-schooler got a hold of the keyboard, and that the spelling is consistent (Aethyrs, Aethers, Ethers, and so forth). This gets you a readable book.

So for a manuscript of 60,000 words, the whole package would come to $1,400. For a pamphlet of 10,000 words, a complete package would cost $400. It's the copy-editing and proof reading that cost the most, and it's strictly optional.

If you have it "ready enough" and you just want it laid out and formatted to the specs of the print on demand place, it's a simple $150 fee. You tell me how big you want your book to be, and I'll go from there.

Note: If you pick a cover template offered by the site, I'll make sure it's formatted right too. I don't do all that graphic manipulation stuff though. It has to be a template.

Maybe someday I'll start a micro-publishing house that only goes through Amazon's CreateSpace. Or something.

The White Work Outline

As I said previously, the Supernatural Assistant was moved to the White Work course.

This course picks up where the previous left off. At this point, the student will have gone through the important parts of the Black Work. Along the way, we'll have performed Natural Magic, Ceremonial Magic, and attained the guidance and begun integrating the harmony of the Genius. Major issues to deal with will have been identified and the process of working through them will already be under way.

So, in Alchemical terms, it's time to turn up the heat.

If you've been through an initiatory system that provided you with the basics outlined in the Black Work course, you're ready to begin here at the White Work. This Course is designed to put you in direct communion with the Supernatural Assistant. This is a trimmed down version of the original Supernatural Assistant course. Some things have been shifted to the Black Work, so it costs less too.

Tentative Course Outline (Subject to change):
  • Lesson 1: Intro and Overview - Reviews the evolution from the Supernatural Assistant into the HGA over the last couple of thousand years, some general myths vs. realities of having the Supernatural Assistant, and a general understanding of what we'll be doing throughout this course on the esoteric level of your soul. 
    • Homework: Self Assessment - You'll get a template to fill out that prompts some self-assessment and contemplation that will help you prepare for the process to come. 
  • Lesson 2: The Power of Prayer - Includes an explanation of "enflaming yourself with prayer," the key to building up an ecstatic relationship with God. 
    • Field Trip: Visit a Charismatic Christian Church (totally optional if you think you'll burst into flames when you cross the threshold, or have bad experiences you don't want to remember)
    • Homework: Daily Face-Time with God. Here beginneth the transformation that leads to attainment.
  • Lesson 3: Can you smell that smell? (a.k.a. Conjuration of the Supernatural Assistant) (Delivered when appropriate) - Includes an analysis of the Stele of Jehu, the Greek Magical Papyri that's actually called "Acquiring a Supernatural Assistant," and Crowley's Liber Samekh. Also includes the conjuration rite you'll be using.
    • Homework: Solar Initiation by Michael, Archangel of the Sun
    • Homework: Continued daily prayer
    • Homework: Nightly conjuration ritual of the Supernatural Assistant (Should take 10-30 minutes)
    • Homework: Update self-assessment.
  • Lesson 4: Working with the Supernatural Assistant: Practical Applications of your blossoming relationship.
    • Homework: Solar/Saturn Initiation by Michael and Cassiel.
    • Homework: Continued daily prayer
    • Homework: Continued Nightly conjuration ritual of the Supernatural Assistant
At this stage, chances are pretty good that you'll be going through some serious hell.
  • Lesson 5: The Map of Hell - Personal observations on the landscape of Hell as it manifests in your life; includes some advice and techniques I found were useful in dealing with the layers and layers of crap that tend to come out in the process.
    • Homework: Stay Alive. Keep at the Work. Even when you hate it. Even when you're convinced it's all in your head. Even when you think it's all from Satan. Even when you really want to quit. 
  • Lesson 6: The Stairway to Heaven (is Sitting in Hell) - Reflections on the initiatory journeys we've been through and preparation for the Green Work. 
Follow up...
  • Lesson 7: Theurgy et Goetia - At this stage, the successful student will have a one on one communion with their Supernatural Assistant. In this final course, I will discuss various possible next steps for the magician. This is a point in the Work where the student can stop and spend some time, as I did, exploring the various applications of the new relationship. I think it's good to spend a while here Working with the Supernatural Assistant. 
    • Theurgy: The Supernatural Assistant serves as a direct manifestation of aspects of Deity that you just don't get any other way. It is a gate as well as a key to higher powers, and provides understanding of deep mysteries.
    • Goety: The Supernatural Assistant does a lot of the same things that the demons of the Goetia can do. It saves a LOT of time and pain. The relationship you develop with this spirit also provides a level of protection that is very useful if you happen to run into infernal spirits in general, as you're taking a walk in the park on a sunny day, or dabbling in demonology - you know, the casual demonic encounters one faces in life. This section discusses some lessons learned over the last few years, as well as exploring the practical niceties that come with having the SA as an active and conscious friend in the Work.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Colors of the Great Work

So I was telling someone about my courses, and I was talking about the Black Work phase, and they asked me if it was Black Magic. I was surprised, because I am so into my own way of seeing things, so immersed in my way of talking about the Great Work that I didn't even see that there was a correlation between the name of my course and Black Magic.

I'm pretty sure my regular subscribers will know, but for any recent additions to the blog, here's a little intro:

When performing the Great Work, alchemists began with raw materials and began refining them through a variety of different processes. The raw materials could be ore containing a precious metal, or chemicals that needed to be refined to be put to industrial use, or they might be plant or animal tissues. No matter what the original material or the processes used, the first stuff they started with, or Prime Materia, underwent a process of dissolving (solve) and then reforming into something else more refined (coagula). Lavanah has been doing a series of Spagyrical (plant alchemy) extraction of the essences of planetary herbs, which can be found at Practically Magic.

Alchemists used "wet" and "dry" methods. Some were immersing the material in strong acids that dissolved it, then reconstituting it through chemical processes. Others set the Prime Materia aside in a controlled environment and then observed it as it decomposed. Others used pure heat at varying temperatures for extended periods of time. As the Prime Materia changed, the Alchemists observed the metamorphosis and recorded their results. They compared notes, and found that four main stages could be identified and classified (generally) according to the color the Prime Materia changed during the process, regardless of the methods used.

The Prime Material would first turn black, as the impurities rose to the surface. Metal oxidized, plants decayed and grew black molds, and when you burn something, the first color it turns is black. This is the Black Work. It's the beginning of the transformation process.

Then the Prime Materia turned white as the carbon turned to ash, or white mold began growing on decaying things. The impurities were refined, dissolved down to their core essence.

Next, the Prime Materia went through a quick succession of color changes, ranging from blue to green like a peacock's tail feather. This is the Green Work. If you heat copper slowly to lower temperatures and then let it cool, you can see it go through the green phase. Higher temperatures yield a dark red. Pretty cool.

Finally, the Prime Materia would turn red, entering the Red Phase. This is the final product, the creation of the Philosopher's Stone. This final material would then be ground up and used.

If you can find a medieval recipe for making red paint out of cinnabar (mercury sulfide), you'll see that it goes through all the color stages of the Work. Some alchemists didn't recognize the Green Work as a separate stage of the Work, and others didn't end up with a red-colored Stone as their final product, but the phases stuck and they work as a classification tool for people performing the metaphorical, esoteric Great Work using themselves as the Prime Materia and Magic to perform the refinement process.

The Great Work of the Alchemists may look like a labratory and a scientist puttering away, but these guys weren't just interested in the chemical process and refined Stone. They were performing these experiments in a spiritual context, looking to find in the natural processes the true manifest Laws of God, and by so doing become closer to him. At each stage of the Work, the Alchemist was observing the transformation of the Prime Materia. As they observed the processes in the controlled environment, and the changes that the materia underwent, they found that they too underwent a purification process by proxy. Just seeing the Prime Materia get refined caused changes in themselves, brought understanding that could be applied to all areas of their life, and made them wise in the workings of the manifest realm.

So there's nothing "black magic" about the Black phase of the Work. It's the beginning of the process, is all.

[Edit: I just read Jow's most recent post on Natural Philosophy, and I think it helps explain what the Great Work is all about. The Great Work is a facet of the thing he's talking about, and the steps we go through in our magical Hermetic approach, or interpretation, are going to result in the same kind of exploration and discovery. Jow's post helps put the Alchemical Work in context.]

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Hee hee hee...

I'm rebuilding my occult supplies now that we've got most of the house put back together. Incense burners, tarot cards, a new crystal ball... I had to rebuild The Box, too. Most of my talismans are gone, and I get to rebuild everything, pretty much, from the ground up. It's kind of weird, but at the same time, it's exciting. 

It's coming at a time that I'm writing up the Black Work Course too. As I write about the basics of Hermetic Magic, I get to go through them myself. Electing times to create talismans of the planets, consecrating new altar tools, breaking in a new mini-Rider-Waite deck, tuning a new pendulum, conjuring up old familiars and new...

It's a very exciting time to be a magician in the RO house, I guarantee.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Room for Demons

You know, my recent leaving behind of the Lem's Goetia spirits may have left people thinking my approach to the Spirits doesn't have room for demons. Nothing could be further from the truth at all. The Hermetic System has plenty of room for Demons. They fit right into the cosmology. Recognizing they exist and are responsive to the conjuration techniques we use is essential for long-term success and the accomplishment of the Great Work. Ignoring their existence, not making room for them in your system doesn't eliminate their influence from your life at all. Plugging your ears and going "no demons no demons no demons" isn't going to result in acquiring the Philosopher's stone any more than an ostrich poking its head in the sand keeps it from getting eaten.

You've got to have room in your system for demons, that's the bottom line.

My personal opinion is that the room in the system should look something like this:

See? Plenty of room for demons!

Does that mean no Hermetic Magician should ever let them out to go to work for them? Heck no! If you need something done that you haven't acquired the initiations or empowerments to accomplish without the use of Demons, then by all means, conjure up the demons if you're that impatient. Jason advocates having a laser-specific goal in mind before turning to them, and that might help too.

But what I've seen is that the demons don't deliver what you want or need in the long term. I've found that turning to them for anything is likely to look really appealing in the short term, but eventually circumstances will arise that negate whatever benefit you received from them. You end up extending the problem, postponing some of the effects you want to avoid in the short-term, while adding more problems to clean up later. Eventually, and it might take a couple of years, you'll end up wishing you'd spent the weeks or months Working with nicer spirits with better intentions developing the resources and powers you need to accomplish the goal without infernal influence. Better to leave them in the vault.

I wonder sometimes though, whether my experiences with them has given me some level of protection from stupid magicians sending them against me. A couple were hanging out a month or two ago, and they went away when I noticed them and told them to be gone. They took some things that I needed, but they left.

The thing is, my HGA could have gotten rid of them too. So could my relationship with God. Or Michael. Or holy water. Or even the LBRP.

Nope, I really can't think of anything really useful that came out of my Work with them. Maybe there's something I can't see right now, but if there is... I don't see it.