Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Crossed Keys

Ok, since Conjureman Ali and Gordon posted their reviews, I figured I'd better get my ass in gear and post mine as well.

Judging the Cover

I think I got a better edition than Gordon did. Mine's covered in cloth, with the crossed keys imprinted on the cover in gold. You can see where the gold has rubbed off on my copy, but that was my own fault. I was looking at how they had printed the gold on the fabric, and I ran my thumb across it, flaking off the ink or paint. If you get the cool version, don't rub it!

See the little yellow ribbon poking out the bottom? That's right, it has a bookmark. Very cool. Mine is set to page 83 at the moment, where as Gordon noted, Michael mentions me.* The book is printed on good thick paper, using a heavy ink. Scarlet Imprint makes quality books, that's for damned sure. I'll need to read through it a lot to get it broken in.

Which won't be a problem, I assure you.

The Review

The introduction puts the reader in the perspective of the author, which I enjoy a great deal. I get more out of a book when I can identify with the author. Set and setting of the work reveal a lot about the nature of the Genius of the work, giving insight into the purpose behind the manifestation of an Idea.

Alright, so as you may know, Crossed Keys is two grimoires, the Black Dragon and the Enchiridion of Pope Leo III. These are the two Keys referenced in the title, and they are crossed because they are on the surface oppositional approaches to magical influence, one demonic, the other holy by Christian theology. They represent two ways of getting the same kinds of things that magicians are usually after, health and health maintenance, sex, and wealth, not necessarily in that order. And divine wisdom in various forms, but mostly to get stuff, to stay safe, and to feel secure in an unsafe world in spite of the many and brutal forms of death and suffering we face daily.

The Black Dragon

The Black Dragon is clearly laid out in this edition. You have everything you need to be able to establish a quick and ready access to the Demonic Kings of Hell.  Mr. Cecchetelli presents the information clearly and concisely. I love the anecdotes he provides, it's the best thing magician-authors can do for their readers to get a comprehension of the magic they're talking about. It makes the magic real, and sets the expectations of the readers so they know whether the results they're getting are typical or if they're failing. He doesn't exaggerate the results, and his experiences with the spirits is consistent with my own. I'm left knowing, as a magician who's worked with demons and angels, that Mr. Cecchetelli's experiences are real.

And, well, risky. It's demon magic. There's a risk. Be careful. This magic is intended for those who are magically mature, experienced, cautious, and wise. Don't do demon magic when you're scared, stressed, freaked out, or angry as hell. Don't do demon magic without giving proper constraints. Don't conjure up deadly entities without a circle of protection and the prescribed talismans that keep you safe, and you should be fine.

So did you hear me? I WARNED you. Demon magic is dangerous. Ok?


That said, this grimoire is fucking awesome. The Conjuration of the Book that it starts out with is great. There's a place for the Mark of the Spirit of the book. I can see it there, waiting for me to record it in the physical realm, waiting for me to conjure the spirit and go exploring the realms with it. Man. Tempting, I tell you, tempting as all hell. I'd like to see Scarlet Imprint publish this with another hundred or so blank lined papers to use in recording the images, names, seals, and characteristics of the other spirits you'll meet if you use this. The Black Dragon Spiritus Libri edition, bound in black leather embossed with the seals...


The Enchiridion of Pope Leo III

As you may expect, I spent a lot more time going over this part of Crossed Keys in more detail than I did with the Black Dragon. Christian Hermetic Magician attending a Catholic Church, what? Yeah. That's me. This grimoire was made for me.

The Psalm magic is awesome. The Orison magic is awesome. The spirit names are fascinating, and I have their seals, and you can bet I'm going to be conjuring them. There's a handy quick and easy conjuration rite outlined too. I'll be including some Trithemian methods in my approach, but I'll go over it in detail as I go along. I'm really interested in a lot of the applications of the rites.

This grimoire has three sections, Psalm magic up front, the Orisons with a quick reference guide for what to use them for, and then a more detailed section on applications of the Orisons. Comprehensive instructions, and really good insights. It's just the kind of thing that I need to have on hand to get me thinking of new ways to do things. I'm loving it a lot. It's the kind of magic you need to know if you're going to be a magician. You should go through each of the Orisons some time and evaluate the purpose of each one. Ask yourself if you have a method of accomplishing the same goals, and if you don't, ask why not. I found out a lot in a few short hours that confirmed some of my practices, and encouraged me to pursue additional ones.


Altogether, Crossed Keys is definitely one of the best books I've read in a long, long time. I highly recommend it to everyone. There's something for all kinds of conjure magicians to be found. I wish all the grimoires were as easy to understand and came with the kinds of anecdotes he provides.

* Can I tell you how really good it feels to be mentioned like that? I mean, really really good. It's an honor, as they say, a weird sense of humbleness and pride at the same time. I may brag about it in the future.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Second Person

Patrick Dunn, author of Postmodern Magic and Magic, Power, Language, Symbol: A Magicians's Exploration of Linguistics has recently announced that his first book of poetry, titled Second Person is available for pre-order. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Dunn and his work, so I asked if I could get a sample for review.

I was looking forward to reading the poem he sent for a lot of reasons. He's a savant. I won't go into details, because he keeps his life private, but the man's a genius. He's a neoplatonist, and he knows what that means. He's a practicing magician, he's done magic and it's made his life better. He's got a postmodern philosophy, which I didn't understand before I met him and still barely grasp, but I appreciate his take on things. It meshes well with my own.

In his announcement about the availability of Second Person, Mr. Dunn says the work "concerns the mystical connection we have with our world as a “thou” rather than an “it.” It’s about not only the relationship between self and other, but between Self and Other."

In the work I've seen so far, this theme is presented subtly, nothing ostentatious or in your face, but implied, rather like the cover of the book. He's not heavy handed in his observations, but still the meaning comes through. 

The poem he sent was a scene out of many of our lives, the occultist contacted by the friend or acquaintance for a tarot card reading. I heard Mr. Dunn's voice as he spoke about the scene, as I heard his internal monologue as he related to his querent, and I heard her requests and understood what it was she was looking for. At the same time, I saw the part of Mr. Dunn who was also asking the same question as the querent as it pertained to his own life, expressing that universal need to know how we ended up where we did, what purpose it served, and why we aren't satisfied. I saw that he was reading himself as well as her in his observation, and in that moment saw that I was also being read.

I don't know how he did it. There's nothing in the poem that says, this is what this means and what it is all about. But there's a sense of knowing and being known that he captures well. He blends the line between observer and observed in many levels, not so much breaking the fourth wall as eliminating its relevance. I'm looking forward to reading the rest when my copy arrives.

To pre-order your copy, you click this link and scroll down to his book.


Mr. Dunn said I could post the poem he sent too, so here it is:


Secrets; Lost Knowledge; A Female Querent

Heather, your hair
was too black, your lips
too ready
to say that liquid word,
your body too young.

Books couldn't tell
you what the boys wanted
to hear, wanted to do.  And you
wanted the boys.

Wanted them to see
something rare in you, something
like an orchid unfolding in the steam.

Now you peck out messages to me, asking
if I have a tarot pack to read
where you went wrong, marrying
a good boy, having a fat baby.

How did you end up
here, unhappy still, with a good husband, a nice life?

This card is the Priestess.  It means everything
will be okay.  I promise.  Somehow, okay.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spirits of Nature

Someone on FaceBook posted that they were writing some black magickal fiction short story, and it reminded me of Frabato the Magician, by Franz Bardon. An excellent story, though it reads like a Simon Iff story. I don't know why that minimalistic story telling style became so popular, but it's effective enough.

I was reading through it and came across the phrase, "the beings of nature are especially fond of the people who likewise feel close to nature." It immediately got me thinking of my youth, when I would go into the mountains of Colorado and hike trails and make friends with the local genii loci, without knowing that's what they were called.

I've always felt connected to nature. From the time I was a child, making mud soup in a five gallon bucket in my backyard, nature has spoken to me, called to me. I wandered in rural fields and sparse forests all my life, hiked trails and climbed granite walls, and more recently frolicked with the undines of the sea as they crashed against the shore. I had friends whose physical bodies were trees, colonies of insects, and streams that passed through counties and states I'd never visited. As I observed nature's processes, I'd hear a running narrative that sounded like a documentary, explaining what was going on and what it meant, how it all worked together in the ecosystem.

I never did anything to conjure these spirits, they were just sort of always there, at the periphery of my awareness. They still are. On the way home the other day, I was feeling stressed out and preoccupied with work on my commute home. I was at one of the last intersections before I reached my house, on a busy road lined with lots of trees to cut the traffic noise down for the residents with homes close to the road. I glanced up at the leaves on the trees, and a face formed, a great big laughing face. The spirits of the trees were getting my attention, sharing the joy they felt as the sun fell down on them and they swayed in their stationary dance in the wind.

I don't know how many other people have that kind of connection to nature. I like to feel special, so I pretend there aren't that many, but I suspect everyone has moments when they feel intimately connected to our spiritual brothers and sisters who incarnate in forms other than human. Our distant cousins who are as much a manifestation of the breath of God as we humans are.

Still, as Bardon says, I think the spirits of nature are especially fond of me, and people like me who take time to participate in that feeling of closeness to them. They are beautiful, and they seem to think we are too.

This evening I'm heading up to one of the highest waterfalls in our state. It's cut a stream through the granite hills (I've lived in Colorado, so I can't call them mountains) and there's a pool beneath the falls that is just deep enough to swim in. The falling water creates a cloud of negative ions that make people feel better. Crashing waves create the negative ions too, and you get a similar feeling of subdued awe and relaxed one-ness with the Earth on the beach. The falls are on a national park, and it's frequently filled with gatherings of teens, but the presence of the spirits of nature there are so thick, and the negative ions so calming that they behave themselves, carrying on conversations in hushed tones, playing diving games (there's a spot just deep enough to accommodate divers) and just having good old fashioned fun, without the cussing, fussing, and general angst they have everywhere else. While I'm there, I'll store up the negative ions in my bloodstream, and create a snapshot in my memory that I can return to in times of stress.

Before I leave, I'll collect some of the physical water, and make an offering to the spirits of place. I'll take the time to recognize and commune with them, as they have with me so many times before.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hot and Cool in Magic

In a comment on Discussions on Y So Srs?, Girasol makes an interesting point about the hot and coolness of the magic that gets balanced in his experience in Palo. The magician does a lot of cooling Work leading up to the conjuration, then he does the hot magic, balancing out the heat ahead of time.

This is so very much in keeping with the grimoire instructions in the Key of Solomon that it isn't even funny. All that abstinence, the baths, the chanting of Psalms... It's got a really cooling effect on a person. You're not doing anything passionate leading up to the rite, except maybe some ecstatic mysticism that might get a little hot once in a while, but still in a cool way.

It got me thinking about my magic. I do a lot of cool magic. I do a little hot magic once in a while. When I do the Gates rites, it can be sort of in between, and influenced heavily by the heat or coolness of the planet I'm working with.

Agrippa gives the qualities of each of the planets in his lists of attributes. I wondered why that was necessary, before, but it makes sense. I tend to stay on the cool side of things in my practices, and it's been more intuitive, a quiet understanding of what needed to be done to achieve specific goals of ... uhm, stability in my life after a prolonged period of doing rather more hot magic in comparison.

You know how people talk about putting cayenne pepper in their spirit pot to heat up the spirit and make it more active? I've talked about it. I did it a few times with Bune. It seemed to give him the fuel to get things to happen more quickly and actively in my life. I put in a dash before my house burned down and I got that money I wanted from him, in fact.

That's called a coincidence.

No really.

Ok, whatever, think what you want.*

Anyway, think about how hot your life is before you start adding heat and hot magic to it. Maybe you can think strategically about fighting fire with fire, put out a financial crisis with some active new customer production magic or something like that, but in general, hot magic provides the Alchemical Heat of the Great Work in addition to everything else you're going through. Heat purifies by melting the good stuff so it flows together and burning away everything else that's of lesser grade.

Sound pleasant to go through when you're already stressed about something in your life? Cause that's what's likely to happen.

Strategize. Strategitate. Achieve strategizm. Think. Think about balance. Perfect balance is perfect stagnation, in my opinion, but if you go too far away from it, you'd better hang on for dear life, cause things are going to get rocky. I try to stay as close to balance as possible, without getting things too stagnant.

Cool magic leads you inwards and upwards. Contemplation about your place in the cosmos, ascending through the spheres, spending time in Mercury, and dipping your toes in Saturn once in a while are good ways to keep cool. Magitate. Keep calm, and re-lax. Aim for balance.

* You're probably right.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Discussions on Y so Srs

Ok, so comments on Y so Srs? have provided good feedback that I think should get more traffic than they'll see if they stay in the comments section. I've pulled together the highlights to give the audience members who only read the posts a chance to see that there's more going on than just what gets posted. And to give advice from others in case my ignorance is more dangerous than I think.

First, I might be totally wrong in all this. One indicator is that someone said I was "in line with Bertiaux's ideas."


But besides that, I've been thinking about my approach to danger, too. I've been through some traumatic stuff as part of my explorations and experimentations, and I'm a bit jaded. Maybe, just maybe, the shit I had to deal with would have been avoided if I'd received proper instruction. Maybe the danger I see as a normal risk of magic isn't really normal.

But I have kind of a mad scientist aesthetic to my Work. Sometimes the whole lab blows up when Igor flips the switch. It's sort of where we're at in this process of revitalizing the Western traditions. As Aaron Letich says in the comments:
Western occultism is currently undergoing a new kind of renaissance. We've come down off our "my mysticism is holier than thine" attitude and are finally saying "Ok, we've wasted centuries, so let's start doing this right!"

Are we going to make mistakes? You bet! Some of us will burn our houses down. Some of us will have our heads eaten by the spirits we try to keep. And you know what? That's just how you ATR folks learned to do it thousands of years ago (and still do today!) - trial and error. Eventually you got it right and developed a sophisticated tradition with full community support.
And there's a lot that I don't know, too. Conjureman Ali points out the following fascinating stuff that I really wish I understood better:
I must disagree with your speculation on the nfumbe of the Palero. The spirit that is placed within the Prenda goes through a nigromantic process that produces a powerful spirit that is akin to a non-blood ancestor, imbued with the power of the Rada and becomes a powerful force of magic and guidance. It is more similar to a HGA then the resltess dead.
So with that useful feedback, I'm going to go back and do some more research. Based on what I know about the HGA and the Supernatural Assistant of the grimoires and the Greek Magical Papyri, I have a better understanding, but I'm sure there's more to it that I'm missing.

And getting back to the subject of danger, Jason's comments about how there's danger, and then there's danger helped me understand what he was getting at:
Dispelling the dead who have been sent in a curse IS a fairly easy task. Dispelling the dead who have been sent in a curse where graveyard dirt has been planted on the victims person and home, and items from that victims person and home have been planted in said grave is more complicated. (BTW definitely don't do that. Unless you really don't like someone.)

Dispelling the dead who have been bound and chained into a pot and a persons life, in a mini universe overseen by a Nzambi, and given a full on superhero like transformation, not to mention their own familiar spirits (there is for instance almost always a dogs bones in the Nganga for hunting down targets) is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

Furthermore in some ways the victim of such a spirit would be LUCKY to have their house burn down. That is a huge wake up call. Most of the time it is slow and insidious and takes the health and persona in a long and twisted fasion that is obvious to everyone BUT the person they are doing it to.
So playing with the dead can be more dangerous than your average magic, and you should be careful.

And finally, there's Dhr. Balthazar's comment from this morning:

Well, it's not that all the dead themselves are necessarily outright dangerous by their very nature, R.O. Nonetheless, the way in which you work with them can get very dangerous. Our discussion was about putting together muerto pots, and as I have been saying, this is something that requires for special care to be taken.

Generally speaking, the dead are a specialised area.

Which is why in the diaspora and in Africa you often tend to find a class of specialists who work with them alone, or in separated sub-system, even though there are other spirits or deities whom are the focus of the religion, such as the Orisa.

In Cuba you might say these are the paleros and more broadly the muerteros/espiritistas. Whilst the Santeros take care of the Orisa. Although, most santeros are also muerteros out of necessity because of what happened in the Diaspora during slavery. However, in addition there are other entirely separate priesthoods for the Egungun (ancestral dead) and the deified force of death, Iku, specifically. One of my godparents is an initiate in this kind of priesthood, for instance.

Similarly, in South Africa you have Nyanga and Sangoma - the Sangoma specialises in the ancestor spirits, while the Nyanga on the other hand is a general magical worker with a focus on herbal magic and medicine.

What I am saying is that in many of these traditions the dead are their own kettle of fish entirely. They are worked separately and in an entirely different way. They tend to have their own set of rules and taboos even though they are almost always considered the corner stone or foundation of the ATR systems. In certain sense you are basically working with the principal of death which, you know, is kinda a big deal if you think about it a bit.
And he's right. I don't specialize in the dead. To me, necromancy is a part of the overall Hermetic Great Work, but not the entirety of the thing. In my practice, knowing how to commune with the dead is enough for my creative work with them, and knowing how to help them out the door when they've overstayed their welcome is the rest of it.

If you want to work the Dead through a spirit pot, you can experiment and take the risks involved, or hold off until you have someone you know and trust who can teach you and be there to clean up any messes you might make of things.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Y so Srs?

Ok, so Dhr. Balthazar's still concerned, and Jason thinks I'm underestimating the danger, and I've just got to know, why so serious about working with the dead in a spirit pot?

I mean, come on, a demon I had in a spirit pot burned my fucking house down. It's more dangerous than that?

We are talking about the spirits of the dead, right? Dead people.

In my experience with the dead, there are two types, the Powerful Dead who made it to a certain point in their spiritual attainment who became demigods, sort of like the Saints and the Heroes of Greece, and the far more common restless spirits, the shades of the dead, the nepheshim.

The Powerful Dead

Saints and Heroes make for the best kind of necromancy, imho. My main goal as a Hermeticist in this incarnation is to become one of them, in a way. The Hermetic texts teach that we go up through the heavens and become Powers, the same kinds of Powers we work with when we conjure angels and Intelligences and Spirits and such.

Saints... well, they're pretty obviously like these Powers. And the catholics have centuries of history working with them through spirit pots too. They call them Reliquaries. Really, not that dangerous, though I wouldn't steal one from a church.

In Voodoo, you learn to work with the Ghede, who I think are like the Heroic Dead, powerful, useful, helpful, and dangerous in the same kind of ways that the demons of the Goetia and Theurgia Goetia and the Planetary Spirits are powerful, useful, helpful, and dangerous. Jake Stratton Kent has talked before about how the spirits contacted in real old fashioned Greek Goetia were the powerful dead, like the tribes of the Ghede, who got promoted. I don't pretend to understand all that, but from what I do know, I know enough to stay away.

I wouldn't work with them through a spirit pot. They're saints and powers and demigods. Candles and altars make more sense to me than a spirit pot. A spirit pot is a more personal thing.

The Not-So-Powerful Dead

And then there's the Nepheshim, the far more readily available and contactable type of dead spirit that you'll most likely end up with in your spirit pot if you try to work the dead through the spirit pot instructions I gave.

I speculate that in Palo, you get a spirit the way Agrippa talks about it in Book 3, chapter 42. He talks about collecting bits of the body of the recently dead and using that to get those who died violent deaths or criminals or those who are yearning for a proper burial to do mean things for you. These are the nepheshim, the mortal parts of the soul that are supposed to fade away and turn to dust in sheol, but don't because they find another food source. They can live for a while after the body dies, up to a year according to some Hebrew and Greek sources, but usually they fade after six weeks if no one's feeding them.

And these spirits do mean things for people because they're angry, confused, scared, and all emotional about shit. They just lost their bodies in a painful or disturbing way, and on top of that, they lost their minds. Because their minds are the Ruachim parts of the human soul, not the nepheshim. The Ruachim have wandered on to the Akashic Records or are "asleep in christ" or something like that. They have no need for the body or the nephesh anymore, so the nephesh is all, "I'm abandoned, my body is dead, and I'm scared! and Angry!" Moody bitches, man, moody bitches.

Necromancers trap these spirits and send them at targets, and they'd go be all moody around their targets. Agrippa says they can "kindle unlawful lusts, cause dreams, diseases, hatred and such like passions." That's about what I've seen people in the Hispanic communities use the dead for, pretty much. They can get pretty powerful if they're fed right and taken care of, exercised and built up. They can be developed. But it takes a while, special training, and you really need to know what you're doing. Because they're toxic.

I've seen these spirits banished with as little as the sign of the cross and a Hail Mary. Some needed more careful exorcisms. One time I went to the Divine Darkness to eliminate a tribe that had been sent against someone. None of them that I've met can stand up to some Saturn forces lined up against them personally. I learned from Bune how to make them appear before me and give me their name, and once I've got that, I can engrave it in lead with some symbols of Saturn and bury it, hold a formal funeral, and the spirit's gone.

They're annoying, frustrating, and emotional, and they can cause the kind of damage in your life that you can cause when you act in frustration, anger, fear, or horror. They're really good at causing mental illnesses.

So yeah, putting one in a spirit pot if you don't know the risks can be dangerous. You've got to shield yourself from that shit, because you might think you've got the whole spirit of the person, but really you've just got the nephesh, the emotional survivalist who is more panic button fight/flight syndrome all the time than anything else.

Again speculation here, but I think Paleros and those trained to work with the muerte learn how to make the nepheshim calm and at rest while they're in their spirit pot, and then all upset when they send them to work mischief. I think they empower them and make them stronger too. Exercise them. Build them up. They also know how to keep any of the mental illness or occasional shifting keys and falling iron pans from disrupting their lives too much. One guy I knew cyber-socially mentioned that he just lived with it, called that kind of stuff the dangers of working with the dead. I wouldn't put up with it, personally. My own nephesh causes enough shit in my life, I don't need any other nepheshim buggin' me.

Now these aren't the ancestor spirits. These are wandering ghosts who haven't been properly shriven, who need to be put to rest, and who can be used for nefarious purposes if that's your schtick. Personally, I can do all the shit they do without using them. Ask my wife if I can cause mental illness, she'll tell you straight up I'm a pro.

Ancestor Spirits

But the ancestors are a different subject altogether. Most people I've seen talking about wanting to work with their ancestor spirits are talking about their dead relatives. Grandpas and grandmas, family legends who were teh awesome. They're looking for ... well, money, most of the time, but they don't say so, but also protection and guidance. Generally they want a house god, someone who keeps the peace, aids in prosperity, and protects the family from other wandering ghosts and anyone in the flesh with evil intentions.

In his Abramelin Ramble, Bill Heidrick talks about working with the nepheshim of ancestors. Good stuff, I won't repeat it here. It's chapter five, under the heading "Kitty just ate the neighbor's dog." Heh. I love Bill Heidrick.

Now remember, I'm not trained in any ATRs, and this is just speculation, but from the way I understand the whole death process to work, the spirits of the dead that you're going to get in a spirit pot are most likely going to be nepheshim. Even if you get the nephesh of the family member you want, it's still not going to be the whole person, their mind and memories and personality. It's going to be the part of them that kept them alive, that felt the deepest, most passionate feelings. It's little more than an animal consciousness. 

The part of them that you want to talk to is their Ruach, and it's moved on to better places. Contacting it and getting it to take up residence in a vessel for you is possible, but to do so properly would take skill and training, and magical experience. And permission to do that kind of thing. Saturn can grant access to these halls, and that path has dangers of its own to face.

So, y so srs?

All those bad things the spirits of the restless dead do that I talked about earlier? That's the worst case scenario that I know of that could happen to you if you try to make a muerte pot without proper training. Your kids will hear voices telling them to "cut the bitch's head off." Your cat will go insane and try to attack you (happened to my uncle after a ouija board experiment gone wrong). You'll hear all kinds of shaking and rattling. You'll be risking your sanity and the peace of your home and your family.

Biiiiiiiiiiig fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckin' deeeeeeeeeaaaaaaal. 

You're a freakin' magician. Wake up and smell the asafetida. This is exactly what you signed on for, and these are the risks that come with it. Whether you're putting together a muerte pot off misrepresented spirit pot instructions from a blog you read or conjuring your HGA, there's always a chance that you're going to pick up a nephesh with all these powers. This shit is risky. We're like archaeologists who found some ancient Greek instructions for building something cool, but we don't know for sure what it did, or how it worked, or whether it was some kind of mana machine or a microwave antenna that will fry our balls off. We're working off intuition, and trusting in an invisible hand that put us on this path to keep us from creating a Three Mile Island meltdown in our garage.

People who never practice magic risk getting these kinds of spirits. They are as common as dandelions. You know all your friends on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and mood stabilizing drugs? I'm not saying all of them, but more of them than you think are suffering from nephesh-created or nephesh-exaggerated symptoms of mental illness. Whether they caused it or recognized it as a free food source, you can bet they're around, and it's part of your job, magician, to clean that shit up. The LBRP will get rid of most of them, that's part of why you learn it first in the Golden Dawn, because they don't need that shit hanging around their temple on the noobs. It's like teaching someone basic hygiene so they can be around other people without getting them sick.

Prayer, having them acknowledge Jesus as Lord, or return the right grade signs of the Golden Dawn, or recite parts of the Book of the Law, or intoning YHVH at them, or tracing the seal of the Archangel Michael over them will reveal them to be what they are and drive them off. And if you can't get rid of them, you've got a mentor somewhere, someone with a shared interest you can check with for help. And if they won't help, you've got your HGA, or your Angel of the Nativity who will get them off you or bring you someone to help.

And that invisible hand that put you on this path hasn't stopped meddling in your life either. He who called you is capable of keeping you. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all this shit will pass by you, and only you will remain. I promise.

And you've got one more thing going for you: common sense. Well, probably not if you're as human as I am, but if you're lacking that, you've at least got a sense of self preservation. If you feel like putting together an ancestor pot is too dangerous, it really is for you right now. You'll be increasing your chances of getting a nephesh spirit by a huge exponential if you put together a spirit pot without enough experience. 

But I firmly believe you'll end up learning how to deal with it. I think that's a good thing, and I think you're up for the task, with all the forces available to you. This magic stuff is dangerous. 

But as Bilbo said, "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Friday, July 15, 2011

More on Spirit Pots

So in the spirit pot post, I forgot to mention that "spirit pots" are a tool that comes from the ATRs, living traditions that have a lot in common with the system I use. There's a harmonic between the grimoires of the Renaissance and the living ATRs today. Some ATRs use the same grimoires I use, in fact. Some use grimoires that I don't use, but were around when the grimoires I use were around, like the St. Cyprian text. I believe it could be argued that the ATRs incorporated the grimoire traditions of the Renaissance, at least in part, and I think there have been periods of time between now and the 15th century where the only place grimoire magic has been performed has been in the ATRs, and maybe some small Dutch communities scattered across the Appalachians.

So, you know, respect to the ATRs.

The Hermetic practices I use are the syncretic result of the beliefs of Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, and Israel bumping elbows in the first few centuries AD. My personal practices are the condensation of the Hermetic beliefs as they manifested in the 15th century. I draw from manuscripts and papyri that have as much or more missing as they have present. Getting the grimoires into a working tradition takes ingenuity, insight, and intuition. Fortunately, it's guided by the spirits we work with, and they show us how to breathe life into some things that are only mentioned in passing in different places.

Vessels used to house spirits are mentioned in a few places in my studies of grimoire practices and the Greek Magical Papyri. The story of Aladdin's Lamp comes from the Persian magical tradition, which has stories of spirits living in not only lamps, but the rings and amulets more familiar to grimoire readers today. The Lemegeton has the famous Brass Vessel to trap the spirits, which shows up in Shaharazad's tale of the man who found the demons Solomon bound in a brass vessel washed up on the shore. The demiotic texts make use of a vessel for divination that you draw the gods into with various suffumigations. Mystics and magicians of medieval times were said to have so many oracular brass heads that people didn't even think there was any magic related.

There's not a lot of info on how the vessels were used, but for rings and amulets of similar functionality, appropriate herbs and stones were gathered and consecrated at propitious times, and put together using the same methods I described in the "spirit pot" post. But there's something that should be noted about these vessels I'm talking about in my Hermetic practices:

They aren't Spirit Pots of any ATR. They are not nganga from the Palo tradition. They aren't ancestor spirit pots. They are vessels used to communicate with spirits that function as high end talismans. My instructions are an adaptation in harmony with the spirit conjure work I do in my Hermetic practices. They are not instructions for performing authentic ATR practices, and using them doesn't make you a hoodoun, voudoun, santero, or palero in any way, shape or form.

What I've done is taken bits and pieces of different aspects of my Work, Aaron Leitch's inspirational notion that the brass vessel of the Lemegeton and the Nganga of Palo were related, and I've put together something that works nicely in my practices. My Hermetic practices. And it works really well, for a reason.

Early on in my work with my Holy Guardian Angel, I had the good fortune of being guided to the Dehn translation of the Book of Abramelin. I read this book at a key point in my magical metamorphosis. I had been reading Pow Wow, or Long Lost Friend, and I'd gotten my hands on a receipt book from a hoodoo worker. I'd been doing Angel magic using the Trithemius method for a good minute too, and conjuring the spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia. I was doing a whole lot of conjure work, and actually doing the things the spirits led me to do to work with them. I was talking to Paleros, Santeria initiates, folks who were at least claiming to be initiates into Hatian voodoo, Curanderismos, Jake Stratton-Kent with his translation of the GV and during the time he put together Geosophia, and a couple people into things I don't talk about, and we were comparing notes about what we learned and the kinds of things the spirits have us do.

Then I read the Dehn translation, which included things the Mathers' manuscript had lacked, and it read just like the receipt book and Pow Wow, and it was exactly the kind of thing I was doing under the tutelage of the spirits. I mean, exactly the same kind of techniques. It was like everything came together all at once. The key manuscript for gaining Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel was a receipt book used by a conjure magician who would have been right at home with my circle of practicing practical magicians.

This put ceremonial magic itself into a whole new light. I was able to read Agrippa and see it as a living, breathing system recorded by a savant who wandered Europe gathering hermetic lore. I saw the tables of correspondences of herbs and planets as the detailed ingredients list for putting together sunthemata, talismans that brought together the harmony of Sacred Geometry, the Intelligence of the Spirits by Name and Seal, and the things of the plant, animal, and mineral realms that all corresponded to the Idea that was manifesting as the Intelligence, the Spirit, the physical materials, and the situations I wished to influence.

I saw it all in a big harmonious flash, realizing that the folk magic of Russian Orthodox and Crowley's primary goal for magicians were different faces of the same magical practices. I saw a single magical tradition that spanned from thousands of years BC to the present day, a tradition that includes the ATRs practiced in South and Central America as much as it includes the Renaissance Karcists, the 1st century Hermeticists, and the Ancient Greek Goes. We do the same things, gathering flowers, lighting candles, chanting, meditating, praying, orating, exorcising, and making talismans of various types to act as physical manifestations for the spiritual powers we work with to create our world.

Our traditions have always enriched one another.

Some folks are sensitive about it. The way the different traditions have nourished each other has almost always been through the conquering and subjugation of one people-group and their culture by another people-group and their culture. The conquering culture comes in and redistributes the conquered culture's property in ways that are most beneficial to the conquering culture. The oppressed culture gets screwed. Over time, the cultures blend with varying degrees of homogeneity, and become something different than either culture was before one conquered the other. The conquered resent the conquerors. Some oppressed people feel like anyone from the conquering culture who expresses interest in their beliefs is pillaging the intellectual property the same way the conquerors pillaged the personal property.

Think about your magician friends though. I was talking to Jason Miller the other day, and he told me about a meditational technique he uses and showed me how to do it. I used it just last night in my Thursday rites. Aaron Leitch's wife is an initiate of an ATR, and it was through his exposure to her practices and discussions with her that he made the link between his Solomonic experiences and her ATR experiences. I talk to Fr. AIT about Hoodoo and Alchemy, and we exchange techniques and tools through our blogs and personal exchanges.

Magicians of the conquering and conquered cultures did the same throughout history. The Egyptians and the Greeks had a lot of conversations about philosophy and magic, and they worked well together. The politics didn't interfere, the magicians made use of their circumstances to exchange information and technology.

Usually it's done in a respectful way, sometimes not so much, and there's always a group of people from each culture who think the result of the syncretism is shit and only their original pure system was worthwhile, and never mind that their original pure system is the result of the last time they conquered someone or were conquered themselves.

I try to be respectful of the traditions of others, because everyone doesn't see it as a single system that spans all space and time, with different dialects in place in different times and places. But there are more practical reasons for being respectful too.

You can't always just drag and drop, copy-paste shit from different systems together and get a harmonious end result. I called the vessels "spirit pots" and probably shouldn't have, because that implies they "are the same thing" as the spirit pots used in ATRs, and they really aren't. The creation of spirit pots in ATRs is a specialized process, and there are rules that need to be followed, traditions that deserve to be treated respectfully. Taking my instructions and applying them to your Ancestor spirits in an ATR kind of way could be dangerous, I don't know. I doubt it's any more dangerous than Balthazar warned in his post, but I could be wrong. I've been wrong before, once or twice.

And look, seriously, listening to me and doing what I talk about can hurt you, because for all I've done and accomplished and experienced, I'm not perfect, omniscient, or omnipotent. Totally fallible here.You're getting information about doing magic that changes the world from a blog on the internet. From a guy who thinks he's right about everything, even though he's got years of failures, explosions, and all kinds of scars covering his hands from playing with fire and metals provign that sometimes he fucks up. And I'm sure I've got some raised toxic metal levels in my blood from all the talismans I make in my garage.

I don't tell you to do anything I don't do or haven't done, so you can at least rest assured that anything you suffer from my instructions, I'm suffering too. I'm sure that will help make you feel better when your world is falling apart.

Now Balthazar accused me of dumbing down the spirit pot thing for Western consumption. I was hurt by that, as it wasn't my intent, and I thought he knew me better than that. But I can see where he's coming from, I didn't say all this stuff in the original post, he doesn't understand how it all came together for me. And maybe even knowing how it all came together won't matter to him because he's worried that I'm going to screw someone's life up by giving them advice that doesn't work in his experience, or he thinks I'm ripping off the ATRs or something.

My whole approach to this process is to present the Great Work in an approachable way, taking it from the realm of the impossible dream/interesting theory to the living reality. Some folks would see that as "dumbing it down for mass consumption," and that's their right to see it that way.

A reminder though, my intent in writing this blog is to get you to personally do magic and interact with spirits because the results will be you personally taking strides along the path of the Great Work. The sooner we all get it done, the sooner we can stop incarnating and suffering, or so I hope. If getting you to do magic is dumbing it down for mass consumption, so be it. I'm guilty as sin.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daimon Traps

Ok, so one of my clients asked me what to do with the Evil Daimon name that you can generate from your natal chart using a table of pretty simple correspondences. I explained to her that the only thing I do with mine is bind him in lead to keep him from making my life much worse than it already is. It also keeps those who know when and where I was born from being able to use it to work mischief against me. She asked me to encase hers in lead for her, and for low low rates, I quickly agreed.

It was not easy. Back in the day, I used a log to make a little Genius altar kind of thing. I made a place of reverence for the Genius, and I hollowed out the base a bit and sealed my Evil Daimon in lead in there. It wasn't that difficult, I put down a layer of lead, tossed in the name of the spirit engraved in steel, and then put down more lead. The steel tried to float to the surface, but I was able to take care of that.

For the client, I thought I'd just encase the steel with her evil daimon name engraved in it in some lead. Damn near impossible, man. I had it totally encased once, and when I went to engrave the seal of Cassiel over it, a chunk of lead went flying and revealed the name of the spirit a bit. Just enough to leave it a toe hold in her life.

So I went back to what worked for me. I took some old wooden disks I have lying around the garage and glued five of them together into a cylinder and clamped it together. They're a couple inches wide or so, and maybe an eighth or a quarter of an inch thick. More toward an eighth, I suspect.
Ignore the mess. Seen here: Disks, clamp, glue, and the
solder iron stand that I use for the wood burning.
And some other stuff.
When the glue dried, I hollowed out a space big enough for the piece of steel with the evil daimon's name engraved in it, and then I melted some lead into the crevice, filling it about half way. Then I put in the spirit name, and covered it in more melted lead. It tried to float up to the surface, but I was ready for it this time, and held it under the molten lead with a thin metal wire, and yeah, it got hot, but not that hot.

I made another one to demonstrate the hollowing technique.
This was after I woodburned the client's, seen on the left.
The Big fishing weight is my lead source. And it really is lead, I checked.
These days they sell tin ones, so you have to be careful.
When it had sealed up, I took the metal wire out, and hit the whole thing with the blowtorch, just enough to melt the surface, filling in the hole left by the wire. Then I melted more lead over that, and when it cooled, engraved the seal of Cassiel over it, in a Saturn hour on a Saturday after conjuring him for his assistance in the matter.

Man's best friend.
When it cooled, I glued another disk over the lead, and woodburned in the Secret Seal of Solomon from the Lemegeton's Goetia, this time under the auspices of Mars and Saturn combined.
First I drew out the Secret Seal in pencil. I can't free-hand
woodburn it in from memory, I'm not that good.
Oh, did I mention I bound the evil daimon to the steel using Mars in the first place? Should have mentioned that. I carefully conjured the evil daimon into the steel piece bearing its name AFTER I conjured my HGA and Kammael of Mars, and bullied it into the metal where it didn't really like to be at all. I needed some help to get it to stay there from Kammael. Oh, and when it wasn't in lead in wood for a couple days, I kept it in a Triangle of Art where it couldn't bother anyone.

Here it is woodburned, before the stain.
When all was said and done, I stained it a nice dark color and let that dry, and then followed up with some clear poly to give it a thick rich gleaming coat. Well, I tired, but the stuff I had was the weak sauce. It sealed the thing, but it didn't give it the luster I was hoping for. It still turned out beautiful, in my opinion, but see for yourself:

Finished Spirit Trap
The client was very pleased, even though it took a month to get to her.

If you're interested, the steps are all here, and it's not that hard, except getting the Genius/Evil Daimon names, and Quaero Lux had an online name generator somewhere that made it pretty easy, if you've got some astrological skillz. It took an hour or two of actual work, and a few days of waiting for the glue to dry, and the stain to dry, and the poly to dry.

If you want me to do it for you, I'll do it for $125. You must be able to provide your full birth details though, where you were born, what time you were born, and the date you were born. I have to have all three. I tried to rectify a chart once for a client, and failed utterly and miserably. That was one of the very few times I refunded a client their money too, I failed so bad. So if you don't have the info, don't ask for one, I'm serious.

[Edit 02/21/2012: I'm not making these for people anymore.]
And honestly, do it yourself if you can. It takes some know how and some initiation, but mostly it takes the willingness to try.

This technique works for just about any kind of spirit that's bothering you, too, not just the natal Evil Daimon. It seals them off from affecting you in your kingdom. Don't go thinking you can trap YHVH with something like this, it doesn't work that way, but it does work to keep them out of your business.

Draft Blogger

Hey fellow Blogger bloggers, have you seen the new site? I'm loving it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spirit Pots

Ok, I'm having a total shit day here at work. I'm totally feeling Martial and want to kick some ass, but it's just not an option. I haven't had time to answer emails or blog or anything lately. Kingdom management is a pain in the ass. I need a break.

So fuck that presentation for a bit. I'm blogging.

Today, Dhr. Balthazar wrote a post about working with the dead, and he mentioned the following:
my warning was mainly directed to those wishing to create spirit pots, spirit dolls, bundles and so forth for the dead. This is a somewhat more nuanced form of muerto work, during which things can in fact go wrong. Trickster spirits love containers. I mean they LOVE, containers. 
That got me thinking about my experience with Spirit Pots, and how the techniques I learned help mitigate that kind of thing, so you get a post about how to work with Spirit Pots safely and effectively, because I can bang it out quick and I need to think about something relaxing, peaceful, and centering, and nothing's better for that than some good old applied hermetics.

Spirit Pot Overview

A spirit pot is basically a high-end talisman. It is a physical object you've dedicated to a spirit that becomes its physical manifestation point in your world. It is a portal through which the spirit sends the forces it uses to influence your world. It is a communication point that you use to send your requests and offerings into its realm, wherever that may be.

By giving a spirit a physical manifestation point in your life, you're granting it your authority to change your manifest reality. You're giving it more power too, because now it has a foothold in your world. It's a really potent way to bring a spirit's influence into your life, and it guarantees that you will experience the forces the spirit represents first hand.

The spirit pot also functions as a mini-altar. You can put whatever items into the pot that relate to the spirit. This seems to give the spirit more power to affect your life, more influence over events that transpire. Anything you put into the pot will affect the way the spirit manifests in your life. Things in harmony with its essence help it function better in your world. Soil from areas you want it to influence extend its power to those areas.

The spirit pot is, in many ways, the body of the spirit you're working with. You feed it, clean it, and take care of it the way you take care of your own body. You can put it wherever you want it to have more influence, or you can put it on your altar to grant it influence over all things that manifest in your life.

The Spirit Pot Itself

Spirit pots can be made out of any container. I like brass vessels because they have a mercurial nature by virtue of being a blended metal, and Mercury/Hermes plays a big role in my Hermetic pursuits (as you can imagine). They can be glass boxes, craft boxes, cigar boxes, clay pots, tea kettles, decorative metal bowls, silver, or organic woven baskets, or even old oil lamps like Ali Baba found. They can be any kind of vessel or container.

The closer you can get the container materials to the essence of the spirit, the better. Iron pots for Martial spirits would be acceptable, but they're no good for ancestor spirits, or most terrestrial genius loci spirits.

The form should be suited to the purpose too. Old brass lamps make sense because they are designed to turn fuel into emanated light. They project what's contained within in a useful way into the world outside the lamp. Very excellent metaphor.

Boxes are used for storage, so if you've got a box you're using, make sure you leave the lid open when you want the spirit active. Round bowls or pots can be used, but circles can confuse and trap a spirit.

And that brings up another interesting point, geometric shapes have spiritual properties. Circles and squares mean something to spirits. Agrippa has a chapter on it, but I don't have time to look it up at the moment. It's important to consider though. Square boxes make sense to me because there are four elements, and if I make a spirit pot, it's to get the spirit access to my material realm. Circles also make sense because they provide a continuous contact point with the rest of the world, projecting in all directions at once. You can get hexagonal and octagonal decorative vessels that might have some numerological correspondence to the spirits of the system you're working as well.

As you can see, the type of vessel you pick is going to depend a lot on the spirit you're working with, so before you even begin picking out the type of pot, it's a really good idea to to get to know the spirit you're making a pot for.

The Spirit

You should have an established relationship already, and have worked with it more than a couple of times before you start moving towards a dedicated talismanic object that you're going to give that kind of footprint in your life.* 

When you've worked with a spirit a few times, you pick up its preferences and its resonance. You'll know what types of things to include, and if you're not sure, you can ask them directly. Be warned though, there's not much that you'll offer a spirit for their pot that they'll turn down. They can use anything, as long as it isn't totally opposed to their nature, and they can even use some of that too.

Also, when you get to know a spirit first, you'll be drastically reducing the chances of getting a trickster spirit. You'll know right away if the spirit that takes up residence in the pot isn't the same one you've worked with before. There are other mitigating techniques to include, but this is the best defense against getting the wrong spirit I've found.

Listen to the spirit when you're picking out the vessel and the things to include. I go to the goodwill, flea markets, garage sales, and this one antique shop where this guy buys stuff from estate sales to pick out my spirit pot, and I take a second to picture the spirit's seal, call it by name, and ask its opinion on the pot I'm picking out for it. It only takes a second, and again, you'll have an established relationship with the spirit that grants you this kind of access to it before you start picking out pots. Can't stress that enough.

What Goes in the Pot

When you're gathering the stuff that goes inside, get the spirit's opinion as you pick the stuff out. I like to shop at the local occult supply shoppe, and they have a wide assortment of crystals. When I pick out Jupiter stuff, I have a wide selection of blue stones available, for example, and I'll ask the spirit I'm working with which one they prefer. The Lapis Lazuli I used in the Jupiter talismans was Lapis and not Azurite because that's what they preferred at the time. Go shopping or gathering with your spirit, and make the spirit pot a cooperative venture from the very beginning.

I like to put together a wide variety of things for my spirit pots. I believe it needs soil from whatever grounds you want it to cover. Money pots should have dirt or stones from your local branch of your bank. Domination pots should have dirt from wherever you want to dominate, like your office, or the local Moose lodge or whatever. You can add dirt to the pot at any time after you make it, so don't stress too much about getting something for any situation that might arise later before you begin. At the very least, you should add some soil from your own home if you want it to affect your daily life.

I like to include a stone that is holy to the entity in some way as well. Lapis, axurite, rose quartz, amethyst, whatever stones are appropriate to the spirit. I always toss in a herkimer diamond because I think they're just funky. I've used orgone generators too, but these days not so much. I think some form of clear quartz is essential, because they are like crystallized light.

I also include incense that's appropriate, usually in resin form. Powders work well too, and you can crumble up a stick incense if you like. Scent is important to spirits. It's invisible, but you can sense it, and that's a very spiritual quality. There are whole tables of perfumes and aromas that are pleasing to spirits in the grimoires for good reason.

Plants are also important to include. Flowers of the appropriate color, sweet smelling grasses, fragrant saps, and tobacco are always good. Herbs, leaves, vines, and seeds are all good to include. Dried fruit is seldom turned down, but you've got to remember to change it out once in a while.

As you go along with your pot, you'll be adding and removing things to suit your current needs. When I needed Bune to work more actively, I put cayenne pepper in the pot to heat things up. For dream communications with the spirit, you can put in a small vial of lunar-consecrated water in it. This can be used to send specific visions to others as well, if you're into that kind of thing. Just remember, whatever you do to others, they'll do to you sooner or later.

Animal products are also things you can put in a pot. Alligator claws, eagle talons, bear teeth, small skulls, or whatever else you think is appropriate that fits in the pot can be used. Just remember, it's like giving your spirit a familiar of its own to work with and through. Toss in a bear tooth, and don't be surprised if your spirit starts sending you the spirit of the bear as a messenger, or manifesting through bear imagery in your daily life or dreams. Do you want your spirit to have a rattlesnake familiar? Think about that shit before you toss that neat rattle you got in Arizona as a kid in the pot.

Consecrating the Pot and its Ingredients

Ok, so you've gathered the stuff and you're ready to put it all together. This is a big deal, and should not be treated lightly. Consider it the moment of conception, when you create a physical body for the spirit to inhabit. You're putting the guts together inside the skin and breathing life into it, sort of. It's very golemish, in a way, and you shouldn't be surprised if your spirit pot grows legs and travels around. I never saw my Bune pot move, but it was often in places I didn't recall putting it, and when I was ready to decommission it, it was stolen.

The first thing you'll want to do is pick a good time for it. You'll need a half hour or so set aside with no interruptions. I work mostly with planetary spirits, so I use planetary hours and days to pick my timing. For your pot, pick an auspicious time that resonates with the entity you're calling.

Begin by consecrating the vessel to the spirit. What right do you have to consecrate the pot? Is it because you're a human being made in the image of God and you are accepting your role as co-creator and therefore the pot will be consecrated because you say so? That's how I do it, so I start with a prayer to the First Father, thanking him for the opportunity to create the world and the authority to do so. Then I conjure my HGA, and get him to help in the process, asking him to make sure the right spirit appears, and that the vessel is prepared according to its requirements. Then I conjure the spirit who is actually going into the pot, and make sure they're present for the duration of the rite.

Then I cleanse the pot.

When you do the conjuration of the spirits using the Modern Angelic Grimoire, there's a part where you command the crystal to only allow the spirits you're calling in. You do something similar when you consecrate the pot. Talk to the pot itself, address the spirit of the object, and tell it that it has been consecrated to the spirit, tell it not to let any other spirit in, and seal it to the spirit itself. I do this by basically sprinkling it with Holy Water while saying, "In the name of the father + Son + and Holy Spirit + I cleanse you and consecrate you to be the physical embodiment of [Spirit Name]. Let no other spirit enter, and serve the spirit well as its embodiment within my world."

Next you mark up the vessel. I engrave the seal of the spirit and any related god-names on the outside of the pot using dremel tools for metal pots, or I use a paint pen. I like silver paint pens, and the spirits don't complain. I know one guy who got decent results with a sharpie. Your mileage may vary.

You know, honestly, the best thing you can do for spirit work is to get all the right ingredients and time it all correctly, and make sure it's all correct by whatever system you're using, but if you can't hit the center of the target, I've repeatedly found the spirits don't give a shit. As long as you're close, or in harmony, they are usually pretty ok with whatever you've got. that doesn't mean you don't try hard to make it as accurate as possible, and it doesn't mean you'll get the same quality of results if you cheat, but it's better to have a paper origami box you made by hand written on with ball point pens than nothing at all.**

Next you consecrate the items. I anoint them with holy water (and usually abramelin oil too) and tell them they're consecrated for the purposes of creating a harmonious vessel for the spirit.

Then you assemble the pot. Put all the stuff in the pot, and formally request that the spirit you've conjured enters into its vessel. Make a show of it, don't be afraid to breathe life into the pot. It's called exsufflation, breathing a spirit into a pot. "As I breathe into this pot, enter now this vessel and take up residence, and through it gain authority within my realm" blah blah blah. You know, make some shit up that sounds nice and embodies the intent.

Working with the Spirit Pot

Ok, so you've got the pot, it's got a spirit in it, and it's time to tap that spirit's influence to get something you want. Go to the pot and conjure up the spirit and tell it what you want. Ask it if it needs anything added to the pot to help it out. Sometimes it will tell you how many candles to light nearby so the light falls on the pot, other times it will tell you what foods to leave on a plate near the pot.

Whenever you need its help, talk to it. Don't be embarrassed, it's there all the time and ready to hear you. Talk to it out loud, because you've given it a body. Thinking at it doesn't change anything any more than thinking at a person in the room changes them. The more you learn to treat it as if it were the spirit, the more you'll be able to do with it.

And don't worry about those people who will think you're crazy for talking to inanimate objects. I mean, you already qualify as insane in their eyes because you really believe you're a magician with the power and destiny to change the world as you see fit. Fuck them and their sanity.

Ok, back to work. Have fun all!

* Remember, creating a spirit pot is granting a spiritual entity a physical form with the expectation that it will have more influence over your material realm. Think carefully about who you want to have access to your life, and don't be surprised when they start using the influence you've granted them.

** Except when it's not. Sometimes you fuck yourself royally taking short cuts or making substitutions in ignorance. Do your best, really, because it matters.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Universal Smackdown: Check

So, you know that smack down I knew was immanent by the way I was all convinced of my god-ness?

Yeah, it took less time than usual to manifest. No couple of weeks for me. Sigh.

At least I was at the beach the last couple of days, and have the bandwidth to endure.

Monday, July 04, 2011

On being a "g" God

"I'm really more of an "og" god."

Ok, so recent events have me considering some shit. Ponderin' on it. Thinkin, but thinkin' deep.

The ethics of doing black magic as I see fit don't really come up when I'm doing it. I mean, it never even crossed my mind that I might be doing something "wrong."  It was a tool that fit my need, and as a temporary measure, it worked. It was like triage. It might not be the best long-term solution, but it's the best until I can get to it.

My long term solution to heal the victim spiritually without their consent or knowledge or active participation was shady too. I sure the fuck don't want to deal with anyone doing that shit to me. I've got a plan, a process, an ongoing experiment that well-intended magics done to bring me enlightenment in another area can fuck right up. No thank you.

In fact, I have a loving, caring, sweet little old lady mom who's a fundy Christian who prays for me regularly. I have to deal with that shit, account for it in my calculations, filter, redirect, and resolve it so it's suited for my purposes. I have to plan around it. Because it matters.

So the fundamental core rule, "would I want someone doing that to me," was broken by my own choice. That's why it falls into "black magic" in my classification system. 

But at the same time, if I needed someone to step in because I was hurting people without realizing it, or caring, then I would thank them for intervening before things got worse, after I got better. 

So I did it anyway. As the king of my kingdom, there's a lot of shit I have to do every day that I don't like. That "ideal world" that we're striving for isn't this one we live in. I don't like to work for a living. I think that's a terrible idea. I don't like paying bills to experience whatever quality of modern life I can afford. Another terrible idea. People suck. I mean, really. Suck. That whole mess... An honestly terrible idea. I hate dealing with all that shit. It's evil, and I am he who hates that evil should be done upon the earth, you know?

But shit happens, and I deal. I'm the king, so it falls to me to take care of my kingdom, and that means solid waste water treatment for potable drinking water and a police force to keep the rowdies in line. Whatever it takes, no matter how distasteful or disgusting, the work to maintain my kingdom falls to me, it's my task, it's my assignment. The High King tasked me with this job, and I'm not going to fuck it up.

So I've been doing the Work of the Gates series regularly for a couple of months now, and it's coming after years of similar kinds of Work that have changed me, raised me through the spheres. I've been progressing, attaining, moving up through the heavens and descending in power to create the world for a while. I do a lot of magic.

I can't walk on waves* yet, but I can make some nice things happen pretty quickly, and I generally take it for granted that what I'm doing is generally right. I have checks and balances in place, my HGA is consulted as are divinatory techniques before I do stuff, and I have a system that lets me do what needs to be done. More than that, I spend time chasing God, the First Father, my Source. I move myself up through the spheres and beyond, through the 8th and ninth, past the Pleroma and straight on into the Divine Darkness where sits the One.

I've seen that evil and good are both things that are used in the hands of God to accomplish his will. The True Will. It's not pleasant. I don't like it. I wish things were designed differently, the same way a surgeon wishes they could operate and heal without having to cut through the skin of the patient. And like them, I seek the higher tech next-gen tool that might make it happen, sonic ultrasound, invisible lasers, microwave scalpels. But in the mean time, I use what I've got. 

And honestly, the idea that evil is evil is wrong anyway. I know a lot of people aren't ready to hear this shit, but it's true, there's no such thing as evil, and everything is good. Even evil things are really good. The whole thing about the sin in the Garden of Eden was that before we ate from that tree, everything was good. Then we gained "knowledge" of good and evil, and things went wrong. It wasn't evil before we thought it was evil. You get it? We were created not to judge things "good" or "evil," just to tend the Garden with the tools at hand. 

Spiritual being extends beyond space and time, up and down, east and west, north and south, in and out, and yes, just like those, also beyond good and evil. It is more than those properties. When you see this and integrate it, you don't spend a lot of time worrying about the ethics of a situation.You just do what you need to do, and because of your training and preparation, it is the right thing to do. 

So yeah, I'm a god. Technically a demi-god, half mortal, half eternal. Like the Heroes of the Greek classics. I'm not perfect, I'm not all-powerful, I'm not ascended and enlightened and all-knowing. I have a larger present than most people I meet, in that I can see more of the operations of the past moving together to form the potential future. I can manifest stuff pretty quickly, and I can hasten the waning away of other stuff I don't like. I can create situations I want, and disperse situations that I don't want. My wants are aligned closer to the reasons I'm here. I can defeat monsters and converse with the angels and the other gods. All in all, I'm pretty good at being the image of God, a lower-case "g" god.

How cool is that? Pretty cool. I've been through the "I want power" part, and then the "What am I supposed to do with this power" part, and then the "Oh, like this!" part. I've ascended and descended and integrated so many forces that I've gotten to a point where people are questioning whether I'm Jesus Christ in my knowledge and understanding of the universe.

And yes, my brothers, I can understand why you might think that. I am pretty cool, after all.

Yeah, so that's what I've been thinkin' about. Ponderin' on. Meditating on and contemplating how cool I am, the things I've accomplished, and that I'm a friggin' god.

So yeah, I expect a massive smack-down in my near future to reveal once again that ok, you might have done some shit, but look how much MORE you have to do. 

That's usually how it goes. 

Trials, ordeals, obstacles, new conjurations, new initiations, new techniques, more power and joy and ecstatic rites of bliss, knowing and being known, you know, biblically, by the Holy Spirit in all her Glory...

I love this job.

*Yes I tried. Of course I tried. I'm at the beach. You wouldn't?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The ocean is a woman

The ocean is a woman
Calling you deeper
Into her embrace.

You don't know
how far you've gone
Into her
Before it's too late.

When you realize
You've gone out
Past the swells and
Still she takes you further

And no amount of
swimming will take
You back to shore
You know in your bones

That you have gone too far.

Let go.

And when she has had
her way with you
She may return you
Where you began

Or not.

But you will be
a better man for letting go
And surrendering
to her embrace.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

At the Beach

The magic of the waves is healing.
All orders are on hold until tuesday, except for one business booster rite done early in the morn.
I might post like this from my phone. Might not. Gotta reboot.