Tuesday, July 24, 2012


A person's greatness is measured in their success, not their attempts.

As a father of three, I see a lot of the "as long as you tried your best, you succeeded" bullshit propaganda pushed down kids' throats to make them feel good about whatever they did, even if they sucked at it. I see it's the mediocre kids' parents that make sure this shit is served up daily. The ones who do nothing to encourage their kids' academic success, or athletic prowess, who go through the suburban routine (rec center soccer/dance, summer camps, a membership at the Y) while never actually investing anything in the development of their child. Disney Channel kids, Disney Channel kids everywhere!

I blame Rocky. The first Rocky, Rocky I. Rocky lost when it counted. He was a presented as a hero because he went the distance, not because he won. He was a loser.

Or maybe Rocky was just a sign post, some two-bit actor paying the rent in California making porn, writing a script about a boxing movie in his spare time, all the while tuned into a cultural wavelength, wrapping a boxing story around it.

Magicians have to deal with similar bullshit, because it pervades our culture too. We understand a spiritual TRVTH, that it's not the Goal, it's the Journey that matters. We appreciate and value the gathering, indexing, and distribution of organized information. We learn skills, we learn our lessons, and as a result we can do things that are far more meaningful through the scope of eternity, regardless of where we are socio-economically by our culture's material standards within any given lifetime.

While that's a TRVTH across many belief systems in one form or another, and there is value and merit in understanding this TRVTH, it's still your success that makes you a great magician, not your attempt.

It might take you an Edison's-light-bulb of number of attempts before you succeed. Every time you fail, you have to try again. Learn your lessons, yes, but then turn around and apply those lessons to getting it right this time.

The Great Work is a process that has no single landmark of success or accomplishment. I aim to be a Power when I die. I think I'd already make a decent enough one, but not the kind I want to be. There's a lot more to go, no matter how far I've gotten.

But there are points of success in my Work that have built up over time, like steps on a ladder that I've successfully taken. Learning a cosmology, conjuring the entities, applying the results to my life. Receiving an initiation, integrating the forces, and being able as a result to reach the next level of initiation and continue the process. There are Gates in the process, check points. It took many attempts to achieve success, to pass through the Gate, but it is the success that makes the next thing possible.

Don't settle, my friends, for "as long as you tried your best, that's all that matters." It matters a lot to try your best, but you haven't succeeded just because you tried.

Maybe your goal was wrong. Maybe you were trying to achieve the wrong thing, maybe that's the lesson you need to apply. Don't think I'm saying you have to get neurotically caught in a loop of trying to accomplish an ignorant goal. Don't throw yourself at a concrete wall until your atoms pass through the atoms of the wall. You'll batter yourself senseless. Don't do it metaphorically either. If the goal is to get on the other side of the wall, and you can't phase through it, find a door, make one, or climb the wall. Maybe you just aren't near the Gate.

Find another way to succeed. Don't settle.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Same as the old boss

RO here, knowing that many in his audience won't recognize the title, and still having faith in humanity.

Bleak dark days, it's terrible, the financial time of plenty is over, and it's gonna be hard, harder than it was, woe woe woe...

All true.

Nevertheless, life was never easy. In the last 10-15 years, we had a boom time, and things aren't going to be that easy after the great recession, which ain't over, and we're slipping back into.

But I worked my ass off through the boom time and came out making less than my bills anyway. I had to shake my money maker to break even. I may have squandered away opportunities I missed at the time, in honest ignorance, missed the boat, missed the fad.

But so the fuck what? 

The same principles that made money in rich times make money in poor times. Apply what you've learned in the spiritual worlds to your physical life, and make some bank, if that's what you need.

Money isn't shit to the magician. That ain't why we're here. Focus on the End Goal, and you'll find money is just ... I mean, it's as common as dirt. You want money, you work for it. There are patterns that work, A+B=C and shit. Jason's just written a Sorcerer's guide to money, Financial Sorcery. I haven't had friggin' time to read it (because I decided to spend 18 lame-ass months making money to launch my international occult rock star career), but if it's anything like Strategic Sorcery, or his Financial Magic talks I've seen at Crucible, dude, you can't lose. He lays shit out practically, focused on the things that work, and he names names to call on for help.

Money's easy. Especially for magicians.

It's time that's the motherfucker. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Post Apocalyptic Living

Jason and Gordon have been writing really cool stuff about the world we live in for the last couple of years. Gordon's been at the whole Apocalytpic living thing longer, I think, but Jason's always had that fundamental premise behind his work too. These are reasons I love them both.

Jason wrote something incredibly lucid about the world we live in today. He sums up a lot of things that I've been seeing and thinking in a really understandable way, as usual. I really appreciate his insight into the politics behind the current events, it was a piece I've suspected but never really understood. Definitely worth looking into, if you want a comprehensive understanding of what's going on.

At the end of the post, Jason does something that's so fucking Eristic at its core that it will go completely ignored by most folks, except for those with knee-jerk reactions.

He dares to think for himself.
The people at the top are cheaters and liars and play dirty. You might need to do the same. Use magic. Invent something. Be clever and mobile if you can. Stash gold in Singapore and invest in businesses in Mongolia. Hustle. Christ, lie if you have to.
Remember the débrouillard posts I made a long, long time ago? Piracy, living outside the box... I stopped writing about it because of a comment Jason made, about how the first rule of dèbrouillard club is don't talk about dèbrouillard club. I'm down with that. Figured you'd get the point and move right along.

Hermetic Mage, you aren't in society the way everyone else is. Your patron god, Hermes? He's a trickster. You cheat at life. You are a magician. You use the knowledge of your self, your true self, your family connections, your divine nature to get ahead. You manipulate unseen forces to make Fate and Fortune your bitch.

At least, you should. Doesn't make much sense not to if you really think about it.

Wake the fuck up, brothers and sisters. Life is what you make of it with the resources at your disposal. It's (mostly) entirely up to you what you do with it.

Jason't post points out some shit you need to know about the world you live in. The closing comment is important to consider. I don't think you have to lie, you have to tell the TRVTH. In a way that expresses the TRVTH to people in their language, vocabulary, taxonomy. Are you a brilliant artist with an understanding of complex marketing and design techniques? You could make a lot of money with that, if you could convince the hiring managers of that fact. You need to put it to them in language they understand, the same way you have to phrase your statement of intent in terms incarnate Archangels with little understanding of the viscera of human existence to get what you want. Jason's got a friend who will vouch for your ability and skill set in a way that presents the TRVTH in terms the HR rats can comprehend.

It's time to live by your wits, ladies and gentlemen. It's always been that time, but maybe the "New Normal" will provide sufficient catalyst to initiate the natural achemical reaction.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Why it Hurts

[Edit: I started writing this when the linked posts were current. Things happened, and it's just now getting posted.]

Man, read these:
Excellent stuff.

Perspective. We need it.

I need it.

Jason's original point, the thing I agree with him about... shit gets blown out of proportion when that shit's the HGA.

Pain. Suffering. Refining through the Fire. The agony of the attainment.

It's real. For some of us.

For others, it's not that bad at all. A couple students, a few fellow wise old magicians didn't go through a ton of shit, just some minor shit, because they got the point quicker than I did. I bet Jow, with his appreciation of the important things in life, his honest gratitude, his humility, his kindness... I bet for people like him, it's a walk down the beach, and the heat of the Sun is a pleasure, not a pain at all.

Michael mentioned that he required his experience to attain the HGA, in a way. I needed the suffering of my initiation too. It was right for me. It was right for my first "student," now long-time friend, who I "helped," whose life fell to pieces as I encouraged him to do more magic and call down more fire.

But people go through worse shit without ever conjuring their HGA. You know anyone over thirty who hasn't had some shit to deal with, something traumatic, something huge that you think about and wonder if you'd be able to handle it? I've got magician friends with more experience and empowerment than me who I respect and love who are facing or have faced more terrible things than I can imagine being able to deal with. Shit that doesn't just go away in a year or two.

Shit. Happens. Regardless.

My take is that it's better to walk away with a spiritual assistant who can help me do the stuff my ancestors in the Hermetic current taught were possible with a supernatural assistant. Might as well get some magician goodies out of the suffering, you know?

But I'm a shit-oriented person. Mostly because I don't think I should have to suffer. Suffering sucks. I hate to suffer. I think I shouldn't have to suffer, honestly, because I'm cool. I deserve better. I have a high opinion of myself. If I suffer, it ain't right.

As a result, when I suffer, it's the worst fucking thing that can happen, and I bitch about it a lot. I'm like, can you believe it? I had to suffer? ME!

But honestly, it wasn't that bad. I lived through it. Lots of people have had worse shit to deal with than losing their girlfriends and their jobs, you know? I didn't even lose my girlfriend. My relationship with my ex got really shitty and SHOULD have fallen apart, but I was stubborn in my stupidity, and held on to it anyway. And jobs, money... I had issues to work through with that. I'm over it. I have an awesome job. If I'm not over it, I'll go through more shit, and end up with a more awesome job.

Regardless I got my HGA, so whatever, I'm good.

Yay, Faith in Fate Debate!

So Jason disagrees with me about FATE.

Or... does he?
Basically, I reject the notion that this is all some pre-written fucked up kabuki dance where  there are people we are meant to be with, things we are meant to do, and things we are not meant to do. If that fatalistic idea of God as micro-manager is true, then any alteration thereof is also part of that plan so it is not even worth thinking that way. If it is not true, then we have to take some responsibility for ourselves, including our initiatory paths.
That's the quote I'm aiming at. Especially the italicized parts.

Jason's expressing the belief that "fatalism" and "free will" are "opposed." One must negate the other.

But... think about it.

Jason and I agree that there is the Body and the Not-Body aspects of the Complete Human Entity. There is something that continues to exist after the body is gone. Conjurations of the dead, exorcisms of the same, veneration of the dead as saints, ascended masters, or what-have-you tend to indicate the belief that the death of the flesh is not the end of the entity.

The Body and the Not-Body coexist while we're living. It's an intimate partnership between two beings operating on different levels of existence. The Not-Body gets certain desires and necessities met, and the Body likewise gets to claim its due. It's symbiotic, and it goes both ways.

Does the Body have Free Will? Can it make me do anything it wants? Am I its puppet?

Or is it Fated to do what I tell it to? Can it deny my commandments? Can it refuse to obey?

The only honest answer to any of these questions is "sometimes."

And I say that's because "fate" and "free will" don't matter in the discussion of the human entity. It's the wrong language to talk about the relationship between the physical and spiritual manifestation of the human being.

I think the relationship between the Body and the Not-Body parts of the self is very much an analogy of the relationship between the Source and the Image of the Source, between God and Man. God-the-micromanager is really the Big Chief, and he really sets everything in stone the way it has to be. And then he manifests in it, and becomes His Own Self and Not His Own Self at the same time. He follows his will and materializes, becoming us. His Will manifests through "us" the same way "our" will manifests through the flesh.

So is everything predestinated? I think so. But it can't happen without us. Yes, it will happen, but as a result of us making it happen. And we do it because we really want it to happen.

Fate? Free Will?

Do you feel fated? Because I don't. I feel like I get to do what I want when I want to. And things always seem to fall together as if there were a plan. A purpose. Maybe that's my Body framing the experience so it can be processed logically and stored for increased probability of survival in a hostile world.

Does it matter? Ultimately, it does not.

Back to Jason's main points:
If that fatalistic idea of God as micro-manager is true, then any alteration thereof is also part of that plan so it is not even worth thinking that way.
Why isn't it worth thinking that way? You're doing what you meant to do, exactly what you want to do. And if you don't want to do it, you can do something else, and you can't fuck anything up, no matter what. Knowing whatever you want to do is the Will of God makes you more free and powerful than anything else I've experienced. And knowing that even if you're "wrong," it will be ok anyway?

I think it's totally worth thinking that way.

And second point:
If it is not true, then we have to take some responsibility for ourselves, including our initiatory paths.
If it's true, we still have to take some responsibility for ourselves, including our initiatory paths, because the Will of God doesn't manifest without us making it happen.

I'm a relatively powerful magician, in a lot of ways. I can make pretty much anything happen that I want to, within reason, almost always through totally "natural-looking" means, even though I totally cheat by calling on powerful relatives in high places who understand me better than I understand myself. 

But the magic doesn't do itself. The wands don't up and cast the circle, the spirits don't conjure themselves, and the whiskey doesn't make itself a libation without my immortal will and my flesh working together with these material spirits, any more than the body fasts on its own to bring spiritual attainment, or the spirit wills to ascend on its own without the Source willing it to ascend at the same time.