Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"The Terrified Digestive Tract...

... with a strong urge to fuck."

I was thinking about the human condition and the economy of consciousness* the other day, and the method and process of the Great Work in general. As I considered that ancient cosmic question, "what's it all about, man" it occurred to me that the motivations of your average human can be understood completely when you recognize that humans are an extremely successful ambulatory digestive tract that spends most of its time terrified, and the rest of the time trying to get laid.

Take Maslow's hierarchy of needs, for example. The bottom three layers are all about eating, living and fucking. If you don't eat, you'll die! If you're not safe, you could get hurt, or die! If you're not fucking, you won't pass on your genetic code when you die!

Arguably the fourth layer, esteem, can also be understood as an expression of the terror of existence. We are social because packs of monkeys are more successful than lone monkeys. We're afraid to die, so we built society as a tool to subjugate wild nature and to protect us from other less-successful ambulatory digestive tracts.

The four (and sometimes five) part model of the soul I like to work with from the Qabala identifies the two "souls" closest to matter as the Guf and the Nephesh. The Guf is the actual body, and all its physiological requirements, and the Nephesh is the animal-soul, the autonomous consciousness of the body that keeps us breathing when we aren't thinking about it, and the part the feels the primal emotions of terror, lust, rage, and loneliness.

Together they are the terrified digestive tract with a strong urge to fuck.

Most of the time the deciding factor in where we pay our attention is the command of the wants and needs of the Guf and the Nephesh. These two lower souls are in control of most people's consciousness most of the time.

But Hermetics teaches us to do it differently. From Agrippa to Crowley, there's a process of education and practice that leads to the point where your Neshemah is the source of direction, with the other parts providing appropriate input in the decision-making process.

The point is the gradual shift in the seat of your perspective. A complete change of view. The end-state magician is made of the same parts as the beginning-state mafician, with the same potntial in each moment of pursuing the things that bring them true happiness.

The difference is that the end-state magician has gone through a indoctrination process that not only tells them who and what they are in the grand scheme of things, it gives them examples as they go along to prove the value and effectiveness of the system. You learn the things, you conure the things, and you learn from the things. It's a self-reinforcing system of expanding awareness and ability.

The end-state magician is a consciousness seated in the eternal part of the self, and focuses the attention of the complete incarnated entity on the things it wants to experience in its particular instance. It knows it's a part of everything, and is intently focused on doing what it wants to do, the reason it particpiates in everything as an individuated instance in the first place.

Here in the mundane world it manifests as you being at ease in your situations, aware of what's happening behind the scenes, why it's happening, and how you can turn the situation to your own pleasure. You look confident, and seem to live a charmed life. Things just happen to go your way, and you accept that and move forward.

It doesn't make everything perfect, and there's always some new mystery to examine and process, so you don't really get bored.

You just get to have fun, no matter what's going on.

* For an interesting ride down similar trails, with many of the same roadside attractions, check out Ryan Valentines' post on the Economy of Desire.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Economy of Consciousness

A friend and I were talking about magic and doubt the other day, and specifically that one doubt magicians suffer about our magical practices secretly all being make believe, fantasy fiction and wishful thinking. That "What if I'm just making all this shit up?" feeling. The fear of self delusion.
I would make the argument that this, in fact, is the most important question that a magician can ask themselves, all the time. Self-doubt and observation are key factors in any relative success of a magical practice like this. You wouldn't want to go off the deep end, would you? You gotta keep a sane perspective on things in your life. I think.

But it's secretly even more important than that whole silly "sanity clause" to ask this question. The question itself contains a Hermetic mystery.

"What if..." 

What are the implications of the question? If it were true, would that mean you are delusional? Is that the dangerous possibility that makes the question sort of horrifying to us? Maybe it's the waste of time? I mean, we could be spending years amassing piles of money, or changing the world with social activism and revolution instead of reading fairy tales.

But tighten it another notch and turn it around a bit. 

What if I'm just making all this shit up?

That's the actual premise of Hermetics, and we today understand that point very well. We really are just making this shit up. All of it, all the time. Our experiences are all interpretations of sense interfaces that are not real time. Our brains seem to process everything that happens each moment and turn all that data into a bubble of interactive awareness. We're all living a few nanoseconds in the past all the time, and we think it's now. And the universe and our ongoing experience of the universe, with memory and thought and time and running narrative supports the theory that it is actually real stuff we are experiencing through the senses.

And we can turn our attention to different input sensors. How cool is that? Think about your toes for a second. You weren't thinking about them before, but they were still there, and you can now vaguely recall that part of your awareness was secretly monitoring and reporting all kinds of data to you from your toes the whole time, but you weren't really paying attention to it.

Heh, "paying" attention. Attention and awareness are the currency we use to create and maintain the alleged material world we experience in our sensory bubbles in our brains. It's how the invisible part of us makes things happen to, through, and for the visible part of ourselves.

I mean, here's a mundane example... You can create a high paying job in the tech industry by paying your attention to the tools, techniques, and skills necessary to do the things that people get paid high amounts for in the tech industry. You create and influence your reality using an economy of consciousness wherein the function of exchange is the payment of attention. That's how it works.

And how hard is it to think thoughts? You're doing it right now. My thoughts are flowing into your mind where you're processing them as you interact with them. And I made you think about toes earlier. I created that experience for you by writing on the internet, which is even easier than thinking. 

So... What if we are just making all this shit up? 

Since we are?

Given that as a premise, the question changes to something else entirely: WHAT NOW? What are you going to do, what will you pay attention to, and how will you change your life, and everyone else's? 

What happens next?

And that transformation is the Hermetic mystery I was talking about. That flipping of the switch that takes a doubt and turns it into a virgin in the morning. It goes from a thing of fear and concern and turns it into an expression of that god-image-ness that is the mortal and immortal human being.

Now, I'm not saying it is, but pretend for a moment that this simple switch in thinking from "what if" to "what now" is the mental result of accomplishing the Great Work and is the thing that is different about the human among humans who has created the Philosopher's Stone. 

Now spend some time pretending that's you. What do you do? 

Pay off your creditors, then amass a fortune? That's one thing you could do, in the economy of consciousness.

* The ability to create is not the ability to control. If you don't believe me, have kids.

If you didn't know, the best thing in recent history

I interrupt the continuing indoctrination and expansion of my personal hermetic messiah complex on your lives to bring you this, if you didn't already know. I'm totally sure you knew, but if not, you're welcome.

Episode 1, Season 1.

They better make more of these.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ANYWAY... Spirit pots aren't even the fucking point.

The success stories of working with Buné are pouring in, and I feel really lucky to be the guy who got to tell people about their access to such awesomeness. It's what I'm here for, really, to remind people that they are wondrous beings, truly special, even though they think so poorly of themselves.

So I'm super glad that spirit pots are making people's lives better. That's why I wrote about them. Because I know that they are a quick and effective way to work with spirits to make money, and not having money is the root of many of the things that keep us in ignorant savagery and wage slavery.

But fuck me, man. Money's just bullshit. We can take/make it any time we want. We're magicians, for fuck's sake (FFS). Money is fucking child games. Hopscotch, tetherball. GIGO.

There's rules, and there's rules, and we follow the rules and we make money. I talk about it because it's the carrot that leads you back to your rightful place in life, I teach you how we can make miracles happen in our daily lives, because we need miracles, all of us. Healing of body, but mostly mind and spirit. The evaporation of stressors, the elimination of debt, the freedom of power, and the power of liberty.

The miracles are awesome, and they help immediately remove the shit that's causing us grief and stress. That's cool, practically speaking, and necessary. But the real lesson is not how to do a fucking miracle, FFS.

It's that you can do miracles.

That's right, you, motherfucker, you. You. YOU.

You, with that ledger full of all your personal crap that you know is fucked up about you, you do miracles. You, the little girl or boy inside who gets all low and trots out all the shit you've fucked up in your life, you are holy. You who lost the job, the girl, the bus ticket, the opportunity of a lifetime, you, you are a spirit in the flesh who gets to create the world all the fucking time, for real.

Real? Let's get fucking real.

Who the fuck are you, that you can call a spirit, cut a deal, and change the world? Who are you that they answer, that they come? Who are you?

I posit that you, brothers and sisters, are gods.

But don't take my word for it, research it, experiment learn the god skills and practices, learn to be really good at it, and create your world as you see fit. Or as my brother might have put it:

“If you do not do the works of Our First Father, do not believe me; but if You do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in You, and You are in the Father.” 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Visible College Autumn Festival Coming Soon

If you're in the UK and you've not yet had a chance to go, jump on the chance to hang out with Sef Salem, Gordon White, Jake Stratton-Kent, and many other amazing occultists. They're putting on some incredible shit over at the Visible College. I'm really glad to see Sef making things jump.

Sigh, I really want to have scotch with those guys, and seeing a Dueling Necromancer presentation ... I mean, just... what more could you ask for?

But wait!

It's going to be recorded and available for digital download!

Digital scotch isn't as nice, but still, I'm down for it. Maybe we can set something up local at the lodge and have streaming parties, with booze and cheese. And thin shaved pieces of meats.

Ye-esss. I'm digging this plan a lot.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Working with Spirit Pots

Hey-O! Your friendly neighborhood Hermetic mage Rufus Opus here!

Disclaimer: They Aren't Really "Spirit Pots"

Before going any further with this spirit pot thing, I'm going to tell the origin story of spirit pots for the massive amounts of readers I've attracted lately who weren't here for the first part of my Work when I was going through all this in the first place.

I was on the Solomonic yahoo group talking about Solomonic and other types of grimoire magic with Aaron Leitch, Jake Stratton Kent, Brother Moloch, Zadkiel, Joe Peterson, and a bunch of other people who are noteworthy and should be paid attention to. Aaron and Jake were talking about the relationship of the ATRs and Solomonic magic, and Aaron suggested that a spirit pot would be an interesting way to work with a spirit of, say, for example, the Lemegeton's Goetia. He drew analogies between the brass vessel of the Lesser Key's Goetia and the spirit pot of Palo. And I was like, wow, what a great idea! So I did it, and it worked great.

So please understand, I am not saying this is an authentic Palo Spirit Pot. I am not saying this is how the authentic grimoire magicians actually worked with their spirits. I am not saying the brass vessel of the Lesser Key is actually a spirit pot like the ones I'm talking about here. These are simply spirit pots that are pots with spirits in it along with stuff that is traditionally associated with the same sphere as the spirits are associated with. I say that hoping to stave off "that guy," but I suspect that, like one of the more recent posts, I will again attract "that guy" anyway. I don't really care, it's kind of fun to argue with the unenlightened. I can totally pass it off as Projection of the Stone.*

Ok, so the disclaimer is out of the way, and you folks who skimmed it are probably here already, before I even finished writing it.

Working with the "Not Really Spirit Pots:" Conjuration

The first thing you'll have to do after combining the ingredients in the pot (herbs ruled by the planet, use Agrippa, some dirt from your yard, and the Seal of the Spirit, preferably in the appropriate metal of the planet the spirit is associated with, but also paper works; see my Modern Goetic Grimoire for deets if you don't have them, or for free) is conjure the spirit.

I recommend creating a real life Magic Circle at least one time before beginning this kind of Work. It does things to you, man. Awesome things. Make the one from the Lesser Key's Goetia. It will teach you everything you need to know about the world you are a part of that you should have learned from Agrippa's Scale of the Number 10.

Also, it helps to have K&CHGA. It's not that hard, but it can take a while. Totally worth it.

I'm also digging being an ordained Priest in a lineage that (possibly) goes back to Jesus Christ his own self. I got the power to make things holy by blessing them, even demons. Mwahahahahaha...**

(Thanks Jason and Shawn!)

I use a modification of the Trithemian Art of Drawing Spirits into Chrystals, which is in my Modern Goetic Grimoire, to conjure the spirit. If you want to use this method, I think it's awesome and easy, and useful. It's not traditional and it might kill you.*** If it does, it's not my fault. You can use whatever suits you, if you don't like that particular approach, but again, if you do any of this magic, it's not safe. It might very well change your life, and people, that is dangerous.

Magic, she works.

So be warned, when this stuff kicks in and you're like, wow, just ... wow...

It's not my fault.

So you conjure the spirit. You invite it to live in the pot and work with you from that pot, making it a viable, living talisman, a physical manifestation of that spirit on the material plane. When it approves, you mention you want it to play nice and be a good dude. You constrain it to not harm anyone or anything. You bless its actions and its purpose and its intention. You thank it. You treat it like a guest.

You say at the end, "As you came in peace, so now remain in power."

Think about that before you say it out loud. Make sure you can handle that shit.

After the Conjuration

Now that your spirit pot is live, you'll want to use it right away I'm sure. You'll need to master two things:

  • Clean and clear statements of intent
  • Appropriate Offerings

Everyone I've ever talked to about working with the spirits of the Lesser Key has come away with lessons about being specific in your statements of intent. At a recent talk (MNCON) the thing that the experienced conjurors could all agree on was that working with these spirits is a lesson in loopholes. You learn quickly how you can get everything you ask for, and nothing you want.

Working with these spirits is a bit of ... well, work. They are not human. They have a different set of senses, experiences, values, goals, and senses of humor. They need guidance, training, and a firm hand. They will take advantage of you as long as you let them, but over time you'll learn what works with them the best. Give them lots of offerings, at first, and see how they manifest things. Then sharpen you statement of intent skills, develop the laser focus. And ration the offerings, the way you train animals.

They aren't animals, by any means, and I hope this doesn't come across like I'm saying you should act in any way other than respectful of entities that have been around millenia longer than you have been, who will be here much longer after you're dust. I'm just saying, humans are a part of the celestial hierarchy, same as the Archangels and the Demons, according to Hermetic teachings, and you've got to accept your role as Ishim in the flesh, straddle the heavens and the hells, and direct your legions of spirits...

Like a boss.

Just remember, you're in training too. These guys are awesome, powerful, mischievous, and smarter than you. They will work with you to make you skillful in your mastery of your kingdom if you're not a fool. Listen to them when they offer advice, as you get used to them.

Be measured, don't do "whatever the demon says" because that's stupid. Do, however, learn to listen to them and learn from them. It will pay off quickly.

Practical Stuff

How to make offerings and requests, the 10,000 foot view

  • Four candles placed around the spirit pot, anointed/sanctified in some way (abramelin oil, holy water, florida water, prayer)
  • A shot of something can be fun too, whisky, wine, vodka, whatever you feel is appropriate for the spirit; optional
  • Clear statement of intent ready before you go
  • Say "[Spirit name], hear me and accomplish the desires I bring you, without tricks or deception. Bring me specifically what I desire. Manifest for me in the material world [statement of intent] with no harm or damage to any one. Make me aware of the opprtunities in ways that even I cannot mistake or miss. Receive this offering to make it so."
  • Light the candles.
  • Anoint the seal or pot with the shot, if you have one.

You're done.

If you don't get what you asked for in two weeks, don't rush into blaming the spirit or yourself. Go back and think about what you asked for, and whether you missed any opportunities. Think of another way to say it. Craft your statement of intent carefully, and make the offerings contingent on the success.

Also, take small steps at first, with little risk. The greater the change you request, the more opportunity you're creating for things to go wrong. A series of small steps is much more likely to be successively successful than one huge massive change, and it will give you time to adjust, adapt, and learn what works best with the spirit you have in your pot.

Keep your requests simple enough that they can manifest through natural means, in ways that aren't necessarily obvious that something amazing is going on in your life. Be strategic. Re-read Jason Miller's Strategic Sorcery if you haven't in a while.

Keep a record of your requests and your results, especially as you get to know the spirit and how it works so you can see what works and what doesn't. Review it, because no mater what you think, you will forget something it said, or you thought, or you said, or it thought along the way, and you'll really appreciate it later if you write it down now.

Have Fun

So I made a sort of big to do about the potential dangers of this stuff, but remember, there's nothing you (or anyone else for that matter) can do with magic that cannot be undone with magic. You can't break anything, you can only make new opportunities to do more magic. Everything is an experience, even unto the very brief moments you spend breathing air on the planet in each incarnation. Don't panic. Have fun.

* Me to the unenlightened, Projecting the Stone into their lives: "You're fucking stupid!"

** Or at least I think I do... Mwahahahahahahaha!

*** I'm fine after 8 years of doing this kind of thing, doubt it will kill you, but it might make life interesting.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Scott Stenwick's MNCON Presentation available!

So one of the highlights of MNCON was getting to see Scott present his Enochian material in person.

Granted, it was right after my presentation on wealth magick, in which I made sure to drink a lot of whiskey, so while I enjoyed it a great deal, I have vague recollections of it now.

Fortunately, he's made it available on his blog! 

It's almost like being there. Except without any "amens" from the RO's.

Consecration Ritual of the Bune Spirit Pots

Saturday night, Harper and I performed the consecration of the Bune Spirit Pots. She drove, letting me be free to just sit back and scry.

By "She drove," I mean she did all the conjuration aspects, while I took on the role of the seer. She wore the black robe and I wore the white. I did not do a lot of prep/opening work to receive Bune because I've worked with him so much in the past, and while making the copper seals, I had already felt his presence. I'd even cheated and made an offering to him Friday to help me find the words to put my contribution together for Aaron Leitch's upcoming anthology on Offerings. In the pics, you'll see the stain of a dried up drop of bourbon I'd placed as an offering on the seal.

Harper has taught me a lot about being a seer. The things she writes about on the Adyton of Pythia blog are extremely useful techniques, and getting to watch her in action has been a wonderful opportunity to pick up some best practices she has developed in her years of experience in other witchcraft and faery traditions. I've envied before her ability to let the spirits speak through her and to her without it messing up any of her boundaries.

And we've been together for a couple of years now, and are extremely comfortable in ritual. As a result, I was able to just let go and trust her to handle all the aspects of the rite that required consciousness, and I could just let go and say what I saw, felt, smelt, and heard. It was great. I've never had that kind of opportunity before. Being the sole mage/scryer, I've always had to hold on and not let myself just enjoy the experience.

Suffice it to say, I had a great time. Bune appeared quickly, and strong in the room. He agreed to consecrate the pots, warning me not to sell them to anyone stupid. It seems they are linked, and that ignorant people using them will make it harder to work through. Sort of like these three pots will never be stronger than the weakest link. Harper said I explained it to her in the language of hydrodynamics, which I am not familiar with, but she is. I don't remember saying anything about that, but she assures me I did, for about five minutes or so.

Harper asked what the spirit got out of working with Humans, and he waxed long and in detail about that, and how spirits operate, and how Humans are different. We continued with the rite, and I don' remember a lot of the details after that. Harper blessed the spirit pots in the name and seal of Bune, and he took up residence in them.

For more on the actual session, go read Harper's account on her blog, I don't have the same kind of approach to remembering things she does, and I was pretty gone through most of the rite.

When we closed out our workings with terrestrial spirits lately, we've started doing a thing Jason Miller told us about. Since we were consecrated as Priests, we have the spiritual authority to ennoble demons. We can "forgive sin," and "loose that which is bound" and so forth and so on. I won't pretend to understand what the metaphysics of that entail, or get into the theological implications, but it's something we've started doing when we conjure the spirits, we bless them, ennoble them, and remove any obstacles or imperfections that might lie between them and the Source of us all.

I suspect this sort of makes them no longer demonic at all, restoring them to the simple chthonic state of being a terrestrial spirit, without the baggage of the belief system that made them sinister in the first place. I don't think it makes them any less ... uh, malefic, if they are of a malefic nature to begin with. I think malefic forces are as natural as anything else.

But it does remove some of the stigma I might have in working with them. I think "sins" are secretly just human constructs built of ignorance of self that serve to keep a human from the glorious conscious presence of the Most High God. Sin is not what makes a person less worthy or less noble, but it is what makes a person feel like they are less, by agreeing they are somehow bad in some way. Much of the process of the Great Work results in removing these false understandings about who we are and what we want.

So I think by ennobling the spirits we are working with, by blessing them, we are removing the perceived separation between them and their source that may only exist in our own minds.

Ok, so I went into it anyway, I didn't mean to.

The spirit pots are now consecrated and ready for action! I'll be writing a post on what that actually looks like next.