Friday, April 30, 2010

The Exalted Heart of Ganesha

Since Gordon had a piece on Ganesha, that I commented on, and since I am finishing up a Ganapati Spirit Bottle for a client. I thought it would be auspicious if I posted something on Ganesha or Ganapati. Unfortunately the Tantric sadhanas that I use from the Sakya and Kagyu are only for those with the wang. There is however a Sutra that gives a wonderful, if short mantra.

Below is the Sutra translated by Eric Tsiknopoulos. I pulled it from the Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar Blog

In the Indian Language [Sanskrit]: Arya Ganapati Hridaya
In the Tibetan Language: Phakpa Tsokdakpo’i Zung
In the English Language: Ganapati’s Exalted Heart-Dharani


Thus have I heard: at one time, the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was in Rajagriha, on Vulture’s Peak Mountain, together with an enormous Sangha of fully-ordained monks, who were all abiding together as one skillful expedient device.

Then, the Transcendent Conqueror said to the Venerable Ananda:
“Retain this, the Heart of Ganapati! Those people who read this will accomplish all of their endeavors. All of the aspirations they hold in their minds will be accomplished, as well. They will accomplish all of the secret mantras, too. All of their wealth and resources will become auspiciously abundant. Without asking or searching, whatever food and riches that they themselves want will be found. For this, you must recite this mantra!”


“Ananda! If any son or daughter of noble spiritual lineage, fully-ordained monk, fully-ordained nun, novice monk, or novice nun, or anyone else should intone this Heart-Essence of the Powerful Lord of Gatherings [Ganapati] every day, that person will become endowed with bliss and happiness in this life. They will become endowed with riches and resources. The sufferings of poverty and destitution will not occur. They will be pleasing and delightful to all people. They will accomplish all of their endeavors, no matter what they are, and their aspirations, as well. Both in this life, and in their next life, too, they will not lack wealth and resources.”

“Waking up early every morning in one’s home, if this dharani is chanted three or seven times, one will retain what one has heard. All yakshas, rakshasas, goblins, and dakinis will not snatch away one’s radiance and luster, and they will guard and protect the person who chants this dharani.”

The Transcendent Conqueror spoke those sacred words thus, and the entire retinue: the whole world, with its gods, humans, demi-gods, and gandharvas, rejoiced; they vividly praised what had been spoken by the Bhagavan, the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror.


Translated by Eric Tsiknopoulos (Sherab Zangpo).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Field Report #5: Financial Sorcery at its Finest!

This one is probably my favorite yet. One of my students landed a Six Figure job using the methods outlines in the Strategic Sorcery Training. The best part is that the Course is not even half over yet!

As you read the report, note the way that he learns from every mistake and keeps refining his strategy to ensure success. He even starts to be able to anticipate problems with his magic before they arise.

Below is the story in his own words:

One of the things I like best about SS is the idea of using magic to inform and empower mundane work (from your blog about the nine principles of SS: “Strategic Sorcery reverses this process and tells you to do mundane work first. Form a clear strategy to attain your goal and use magic to support the details of that plan at almost every step.”)

As noted in homework 1, I have wanted to get a new job instead of my current high-pressure one. In that homework I said, “That said, I expect to use the lessons from your course for a number of practical goals. First - I want a new job (I know, really unusual). I have been looking for a transfer at work for well over a year, without success. Nothing that I want has even been advertised. However, I am now already on the way to success. I have really been working on meditation and thought management. My attitude has improved at work (I now even answer the question "how's it going?" with "fine" or "great" or "good," rather than my old responses of "so so" or "not too bad") and that has made it much more bearable through a ripple effect to most aspects of the job. I even created a mantra and used it for my password at work - I use it for several applications and type it (and recite the mantra) easily 30 times per day. Now a new job has been created for me, the new supervisor has approved my transfer, and I am only waiting for the old supervisor to approve the transfer (they don't want to let me go since I am very good at my job, but I have explained that if they do not approve the transfer, the organization will eventually lose me completely as I'll leave). Success is nigh!”

Ha, silly me. The transfer was ultimately denied by our Chief of Staff because “I am too valuable in my current job!” Now the interesting thing is the timing of the denial. I mentioned the mantra password. It essentially boiled down to “I want to leave this job.” That is when the new job was created and the new supervisor wanted to take me on board. But I kept thinking about it and about the frequent admonition to be careful what you ask for, so I added a caveat to the end. Since leaving could be anything up to and including getting fired, I added the phrase “for a better job” to the end. Within a week of doing that, the new supervisor called and told me to read the fine print about any job offer, because the next higher level of management wanted to take me and put me in a job very similar to where I am now, and not the type of job I wanted. Three weeks later, my transfer was formally denied. I’d like to think that was magic helping to prevent a mistaken career move.

So I rethought my strategy. An unofficial transfer request would leave me at the whims of management. Submitting a formal application for a posted position would be a much more targeted approach. The actual position description would be posted and would not be subject to change (barring reassignment). I met with the new supervisor, we discussed options, and he agreed to post an actual position (he legitimately was one person understaffed). I would have to submit an application and compete against others, but I would have a good shot at the job based upon my skills and experience. The job opening was announced on January 24, 2010.

On January 31, I attended your all day intensive class on Protection and Security Magic. During that class you discussed amulets, specifically one of red and black for the sword and shield of Mars and Saturn. While that did not really seem to apply to my situation, it made me stop and think about the Planets (which I had never used before in this manner) and amulets and what I could do. After some review, it seemed like Jupiter fit (not just to accumulate wealth, but for wealth, abundance, and success in general, and for Health, since I wanted a less stressful job to improve my health), as did Mercury (I would need thought and intellect to help write my resume and job application, which would be related to business, and Mercury would help with the movement from the old to the new job). This worked with your thoughts of using these Planets as a pair for financial magic in TSS.

I decided to make a small amulet with the planetary seals (below) traced on paper (I do not draw well, so I printed them first, then traced them on clean paper on top of the printout), Mercury in orange and Jupiter in blue, that I could keep on my desk as I prepared my application. After tracing them I charged them with a slightly altered version of your invocation from page 133, adding lines about getting a new job that would be financially rewarding and in a healthier environment. After completing and submitting the application, I brought the amulet to work, and kept it there to change the atmosphere in my personal office. I also had it with me when I spoke with my current supervisor about my reasons for wanting to leave this position and seek another.

This is long enough, so here is a quick summary of the results. The position was posted for three weeks and was open to any current employee of my federal agency (over 2,500 employees who would have met the minimum qualifications to apply). I was the only applicant for a job that pays $89,000 to $115,000! I was selected for the position, and this time the transfer was approved (with the support of my current supervisor after our meeting above). I start my new job on May 10! So I carefully followed the mundane steps required to get the new job, and supported those steps with magic (the mantra, thought management, and Planetary magic). I’m a believer!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Altar Project thus far

I was talking to a friend on the other side of the country last night who said something along the lines of:

"A few weeks ago you mentioned that you wee condensing all your altars down into one space. In your Financial Hand posts you threw up two photos from the work table in front of your altar, one of which shows just a sneak peak of the altar itself. That's just not fair. I wanna see the whole thing now...."

Fair enough. Here is a photo of the Altar as it exists this morning:

If you click on it you will get a very large picture where you can actually see everything.

It is still very much a work in progress however. Even after giving away or packing away loads of stuff, it is still too cluttered. I want to re-paint the whole thing dark blue. I am considering removing the shelves so that I can fit one of my large Thankas in there, probably Padmasambhava with Kilaya, Yumkha, Ekadzati, Dorje Lekpa, and Rahula surrounding him as this would enable me to ditch some other items. Alternatively I was thinking of getting three sets of shelves that would span the whole five feet and give myself a little more horizontal space. I also dont have the configuration quite right yet

The process has been good though. When you keep separate altars, not only for different things, but for different  traditions, it creates an easy out for blending those forces in your own mind. When I originally had the altar set up, I had a large Cross of San Damiano and Rosary from Medjugorje where the planetary seals are now. It just did'nt seem right to have it there, yet also not right to have it above everything else. I moved out of the altar on the wall, where I will put a shelf underneath it with my Chalice, Paten and other related items. The blending of Christian and Buddhist items did however trigger a cool dream where Penor Rinpoche was tending bar and asked me if I wanted a glass of Zhentong or Rangtong. The Zhentong glass was filled with nectar and the Rangtong glass was empty. In this way Penor, the first Lama to give me refuge and the three vows, helped me put to rest any remaining cognitive dissonance caused by interfacing with the two traditions. I pray for his swift rebirth.

I will post another pic when I decide how to handle the walls and get it re-painted.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Why people Fail at Financial Magic

Over at Rune Soup, Gordon made a post about why certain approaches to money magic are doomed. His post was inspired, at least in part, but my chapter on Financial Magic in TSS. Frater R.O. followed up his post with his own, also noting my theories on financial magic. That is way cool. I like that this approach is catching on.

Since I wrote The Sorcerer's Secrets I have done a lot more thinking on the topic. I have now developed a full day Financial Sorcery Intensive that I launched at Soul Journey in Butler last weekend, and hope to bring to other locations soon. If I ever get the time to submit the required sample chapters, this will also be the topic of my third book with New Page Press.

Obviously the intensive and the book go into greater detail than I can on the blog, but since I was referenced in two posts, and I cannot resist jumping on a meme as it passes through the blog-go-round, I figured I will comment on Gordons original topic of why Abundance magic does not work out for a lot of people.
There are actually a number of flaws in how most people approach abundance magic, or as I like to call it, financial magic. I shall list Four that I find common:

1. The first is the one that Gordon mentioned: perspective. If you call up Tzadkiel and ask to be rich or wealthy (which i count as two separate things) he is going to look at you in the context of the whole world. If you make over 23k a year, you are in the top 10% income earners on earth. If bring in over 40K a year you are in the top 1% income earners on earth. Even if you are way below the poverty line in America you have access to a social safety net, clean free water, free libraries, homeless shelters, free clinics, etc. It's not a picnic. But compared to life making the median income in Nepal you are doing WAY better.

If however you call Tzadkiel and say: "Here is my realistic business plan that I want you to help me impliment so that I can increasy my income to seven figures within the next five years" Tzadkiel has a lot more to work with. Its not that you are too rich more magic to get you more. Its that you are asking for the wrong thing.

2. The second problem people have is unrealistic expectations. They want magic to work like it does in movies - it doesn't. In terms of practical magic you can altar probability and effect people's minds. That's it. The amount of power and realization you have determines how much you can do this. When I gave people in my course the assignment of stating a realistic yet difficult goal to achieve with magic, two of the first ten relied that they wanted to win millions in the Lottery so they would be wealthy for life. It seems like this would be simple to effect with magic because it is random, and maybe is you have mastered telekenesis and can get within site of the drawing it is. In terms of probability though its not easy.

While it varies state to state, on average your chance of winning the big pot in a Lottery is one in 18 million. Your chance of being struck by Lightning is one in 2,650,000. About 45 times more likely than you winning the lottery.If you drive 10 miles to buy a lottery ticket, its about 30 times more likely for you to die in a car accident on the way than it is for you to win the Lottery. Also, given the amount of people that say they want to win the lottery with magic, you have all the competing magic out there aimed at any given pot.

3. Third problem is Financial illiteracy. Let's say that you are the Uberarchmagus that day and manage to bring home several million. The whole reason that you want to win the big one is so that you never have to worry about money again, because you are a spiritual person and dont really like thinking about it. You are like most people who win. Turns out that 75% of people that win the big pots in the lottery end up in deeper debt than they started with just 7 years down the road. They never took the time to learn the laws of money - if they did, they would not have been so focused on the lottery.

This plays out in all money drawing magic. In my experience, drawing small sums works quite well. The problem is that people don't know what to do with money when they get it. If you want mammon to serve you, you must learn its behaviors. It is a spirit. It has likes and dislikes and protocols for being worked with. If you do not learn them, it will kick your ass.

4. Emergency magic is the fourth problem. I would bet that 90% of the money magic worked in the world is done to remedy a problem and maintain the status quo rather than build something new. It is really easy to enchant your way into keeping the same dead end job and slum apartment for the rest of your life. People say they want big things, but too often we focus on avoiding the necessary dissolutions of comfort that will eventually lead to bigger and better things. The last day job I held was one that I REALLY liked. It was easy, took me all around the area, and gave me oodles of free time. It was however not going to get me anywhere in the future. If I stayed for 20 years I would probably be in the same position because it was a position created specifically for me and outside the normal flow of positions in the company. When I got a heads up that it would be ending, I did nothing to prolong it because I knew I would be better off letting it go and building something better. I'll let you know how that turns out :-)

There are other reasons that financial magic doesn't work out for people as well: they don't do anything to move their "Set Point", they turn to much of their life over to spirits, they have anti-materialist leanings, they just have no gift for sorcery. The list could go on, but these four are the main reasons that so much financial magic fails. If you can avoid those you will be ready to work with the real secret of money magic.

What is the real secret of making money with magic?

It's knowing how to make money without magic!

The same rules apply. The same systems of generating income and limiting spending are used. The same balance sheets and income statements are examined. The same income generating assets are acquired. The difference is that magic will increase your chances of succeeding because you can improve probability and plant seeds in people's minds.


The first 11 sold within 24 hours. I am giving the last one away to someone that cannot afford it. If you wanted one, but could not scrape up the 35 clams - send an e-mail to with the words PRO-BONO HAND in the subject line.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Whats this on the worktable in front of my altar?

Why its a bunch of Gator Hands, fresh from the French Market in New Orleans!

Those of you who have been following me for a while know that this many gator claws in one spot can only mean one thing...


For those that don't know what the hell I am talking about here is the deal: Normally I make things or do work for people on a one-on-one basis. Everything is specialized. Every now and then though I make a batch of a particular type of talisman, amulet, or object. Right now, these claws are "cooking" along with several other ingredients. Eventually each claw will be fitted with a mojo bag (the claw is on the outside, sort of holding the bag) and charged with working Financial Magic for its eventual owner. I have received lots of great feedback and success stories from recipients of the these hands in the past.

HOW MANY? Only twelve this time. Sadly I didn't make it down to NOLA this Spring and asked a friend to grab me some. I left the number up to providence and he only brought back 12.

HOW MUCH? $35 a piece, same price as last time.

WHEN? Could take over a month to get out to you. I can't promise them any sooner than that.

If you want one, e-mail me at with a subject line that reads FINANCIAL HAND

I will send payment instructions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The magic of Singing

Everyone knows that the breath is used to regulate and work with the internal energies of the subtle body. Not as many people give as much thought to the way that the voice does as well. In Tibetan Buddhism, they make a lot of reference to Body, Speech, and Mind. Most of the time, they are not referring to actual speech, but to the winds, channels, drops and so on, or perhaps even various energy bodies. Speech is used in this context because it is linked to this level of work. A lot of people are familiar with the chanting of monks, especially Tibetan Overtone Chanting. Ngakpas and Naljorpas (non-monastic Yogis) however are less into chanting and more into singing.

The Singing of sacred songs is believed by some to be a great practice for clearing blockages in the energy body, and a lively object for meditation. One reason that many westerners choose to do some practices in their original language rather than in translation is that often there is a meter that is not translatable. The greek "song of the serpent" that I give in TSS is like this, as is a lot of Buddhist Sadhanas. One pratice that I (and most Nyingma) do several times a day is the 7 Line Prayer to Padmadambhava. I have chanted it, but prefer singing it. I know several different melodies. In Christmas 09 we taught a group of monks to sing it to the tune of "Hark the Herold Angels Sing", which they seemed to enjoy a lot. - Hey its no worse than Amazing Grace to the tune of Gilligans Island...

Anyway, this weeks bathroom reading was reading "Stars of Wisdom" by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, who is a specialist in Yogic Songs. He has composed several himself and teaches widely on the Songs of Milarepa. There was a footnote in the book to check out a link for melodies to some of the songs, sung in English:

Its strange. I love to sing these types of things in other languages, but any time I do them in English it feels Corney, or too much like church. I have no problem singing the Song of the Serpent in Greek, but I hate doing the Sodality Songs that William Gray wrote for the equinoxes and solstices. Go figure. I have however been known to just start singing various pop tunes, and occasionally make up some lyrics on the spot.

What kind of singing do you do in your work, if any?

I leave you with one of Khenpo's Songs called "Auspiciousness That Lights up the Universe

Namo Guru Hasa Vajra Ye!
You see that everything in samsara and nirvana
Is merely dependently arisen
You see the dharmata, the true being
That is the essence of all dependent arising
The power of your great insight
Fills the universe with auspicious light
Oh mighty Shepa Dorje
Please rise up now from within my heart.
Ground's basic nature transcends conceptuality
And like watermoons, appearances arise dependently
May everyone realize that this is true
And dispel the darkness cast by doubt and wrong view
And may their realization's auspiciousness
Light up the whole universe!
The vision of Your wisdom is amazing
You see just how things are, You see everything
As parents love their children, so You love all beings
You bring us benefit and happiness
Your power makes disciples out of Your enemies—
May Your auspiciousness light up the universe!
For samsara's cause, clinging to "I" and "me",
The Dharma realizing selflessness is the greatest remedy
May all beings use it to pacify
Their confused belief that there is an "I"
And by the power of this great happening
May auspiciousness light up the universe!
The ways of ordinary beings, you have left behind—
Noble ones who realize reality, the true nature of mind
May you lead all ordinary beings
Who have not yet entered, to the path of peace
And by this may auspiciousness
Light up the whole universe!
May the yidams who bestow the siddhis
And the protectors who clear obstacles away
Eliminate all harmful conditions—
Everything adverse to the path
And by this may auspiciousness
Light up the whole universe!
May the noble path of non-violence
Flourish in all the worlds there are
When beings meet and interact
May the connections they make be filled with love
And by this may auspiciousness
Light up the whole universe!

At the twilight of this century
That has been one of such prosperity
May struggle over wealth and gain
Disappear and not be seen again
Free from strife and violence
May all enjoy great abundance
And by this may auspiciousness
Light up the whole universe!
This has been a century
When science has advanced incredibly
Amazing and wondrous, these new machines
That have brought the gods' enjoyments to human beings
May they be used with skill supreme
To end violence and cause peace to reign
And by this may auspiciousness
Light up the whole universe!
May the sciences that explore outside
Be joined with the inner science of the mind
To excellently put an end
To mistaken views and confusion
And by this may auspiciousness
Light up the whole universe!
The source of all this auspiciousness
Is the true nature of mind, so luminous!
So may realization of mind, just as it is
Set the universe ablaze with auspicious excellence!
Through all of this auspiciousness
Wherever its light may be seen
With the love and the compassion
That make bodhicitta mind supreme
May this thought arise in everyone:
"Other beings' happiness is as important as my own"
And may excellent virtue and auspiciousness
Always increase, never diminish!

On December 28, 1997, in the Garden of Translation near the Great Stupa of Boudhanath, Nepal, this was spoken extemporaneously by the one only called "Khenpo", Tsültrim Gyamtso. Translated by Ari Goldfield.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tibetan Sky Burial

There is a practice in Tibet of offering the deceased to vultures as a final act of compassion. Sometimes this is done in a ceremony with a lot of Monks and such present. Other times it is a simple affair for family to take care of.

THIS is one of the best galleries for sky burial I have ever seen. Warning: It is Graphic.

Monday, April 19, 2010

MODELS - Its not the models, its how you handle them.

Well it looks like my post on models got people talking. Sadly I was away from home yesterday and could not answer. Rather than play catch up with comments, I will just make a new post.

First, Saturday nights post was the product of Tullamore Dew and a few conversations that happened on the phone and on facebook. It was a topic I have been meaning to address, I was just hoping to do so more eloquently. I will attempt to clarify my meaning now.

 I actually have no problem with models themselves as long as they are treated properly and used to expand, not limit, ones thinking. More on this below.

I am actually surprised that no one brought up the fact that I use models heavily in Strategic Sorcery: specifically the model of Three Levels. Also, I have to admit that I also more or less buy into the Buddhist models of Anatman - lack of essential self, and the Madyamika idea of reality itself being Emptiness-Luminosity that gives rise to appearances that we cling to as real. In other words, the clinging to self and appearance as inherently existing is a delusion of the mind, at least as far as ultimate truth goes. We still however have to keep relative truth in mind - which is what we are mostly dealing with in matters of practical magic. Anyway, the point being - I myself make use of models
WHAT MY OBJECTIONS REALLY ARE: My objections are actually very well summed up by Gordon in his excellent blog that is actually giving me new respect for Chaos Magic: Rune Soup. Still I will try to make my own comments.

It is not the formation of models that is the problem, it is the clinging to those models as firm belief and the misinterpretation of what others are doing that causes the problem. In short, most scientists constantly test their models to find out if they hold up. When they don't , scientists re-think the models. Magicians tend to develop a model and actively believe it rather than test it. When challenges come up: such as people that do energy magic when you believe a "spirit model" (or vice versa) rather than open up the model, what I have seen is people doing everything in their power to shove whatever they encounter into their belief.

You see this a lot of neo-kabbalah and the 777ing of just about everything. For example you get things like: "Legba is a Mercurial being because our model calls for everything to fall into a neat category. Never mind the traditional associations with the Sun, if he is the messenger, than we treat him as Mercury!". Hymaneus Beta was even insisting that the 10 Bhumis of Mahayana Buddhism must line up with the Tree. This than led to all sorts of misinterpretation of those Bhumis
Frater RO in a comment to my last post made an excellent observation: " Personally, I use the spirit model because it fits my belief system. I'm a conjure mage, and the psychological or energy models aren't appropriate for most of my work. They don't work in context. Pick the right map for the area. "

Ok. Here we have our models being based on belief. The key between belief and idea is pretty key because a belief will drive you to interpret data in a way that supports your belief rather than letting the data support the conclusion. Still, I agree with him that his chosen focus and specialization relies on spirits and his model is good for what he himself does.

He illustrates the problem in the next paragraph:
"Where I live as a Hermetic magician, it's appropriate to say 'The spirits are the source of the ability to perform tricks like energy work.' It's appropriate because using the Hermetic Magic I already know, the way to get the kinds of results you might get from Prana training is by consulting the spirits, getting initiated, and receiving training in using the forces."

There are two problems here.

The first is that you are taking your spirit model and applying to every type of magic that everyone does. If the Prana workers are claiming that they are working with the winds that are naturally resident in the body, and you are basically thinking that they are wrong because your work focuses on spirits, that is pretty much the definition of letting your model limit your thinking.

The second issue is that you do not know that you can get the same results as the prana training provides because you haven't done it! You are making a huge assumption based on the idea of your model being universal and your system being a full representation of everything that is available out there. To my mind this is just hubris. To quote some scientist or other whose name escaped me "there is not only more out there than we know, there is more out there than we can know".

One of the reasons that models are less valuable in magic than they are in science is that we are dealing with things that:
A: Cannot be measured as objectively as the phenomena that science measures
B: Often, belief or our own mental activity plays a larger role in the art.

In terms of encountering differing traditions in magic and religion it is really vital to approach each from their own base, and along their own path, if we expect to reach the fruit that they are supposed to yield. If we think that Neoplatonic/hermetic models explain everything, and then decide to investigate a different tradition of magic it is a grievous mistake to start off thinking that it is going to follow a pattern of seven emanations from a supreme source with each level overseen by some kind of Archon or Spirit who mirco-manages everything. You will automatically mis-understand.


I examples of this when I met some Theosophists in Nepal. Despite the fact Tibetans have been teaching widely and opening the authentic tradition to the world for over 50 years, and produced 1000 times more information on the subject than Blavatski did, these folks insisted on viewing everything through the theosophical lens. They even were warry of Druka Kagyu teachers because they were dreaded "Red Hats", despite the fact that modern Tibetans hardly ever have this kind of rivalry, and never had the kind of conflict that Blavatski imagined. I have also seen it with hard core Crowleyites interfacing with Taoism and Yoga. They hold Crowleys models up as more authentic and true to the tradition than what the actual yogins and priests teach!

A more practical example is when we were planning a conjuration of Vassago at Thelesis sometime in the late 90's. I was going to be the conjurer and a sister was going to be seer. Someone that must have recently read DuQuette asked: "Who's Vassago will appear? Yours or hers?".

I noted that he was letting his model limit his working to the extent that he was not even open to the possibility of Vassago being a separate entity. Knowing I was a Buddhist he noted that I myself accept the inherent lack of separation, so what could be my objection to seeing Vassago this way. The answer of course is that Vassago is only as interconnected and inseparable as we were as human beings, and that we were operating within the realm of relative truth.

Sometimes the clinging to models as truth is so radical it completely shuts you off from anything that does not fit. A few years ago I made the aqauinatnce of someone who 's model does not have any room for spirituality, transcendence, or transpersonal mystical states. If he works with the gods at all, it is only as they manifest in the very lower astral - usually beings that are just claiming that name. He insists that all religion is basically the blind worship of these lower beings, and that mysticism and such really doesnt exist. His attitude towards any of these mystical or transpersonal states is: prove it. The problem of course is that if you are clinging to a model that refuses to engage in the work that reveals those states, there is no way to prove them. Its like proving that Russia exists to someone who refuses to get on a plane to travel there.

So now that I accused others of hubris, I am going to go ahead and engage in some myself. As I already noted, In TSS and other Strategic Sorcery Materials I have talked about the three levels as a model for use in practical magic. One of the things that I keep insisting though throughout that chapter is not to cling to heavily to the model. It is good as far as it is useful, but should never limit ones thinking. In the Strategic Sorcery course for instance we start talking more about a seven fold model - which is also something that is just a tool, not a dogma.

The three levels arose out of observing how different traditions tapped into different sources for magic. By observing a lot of different types of magic, and gaining mastery in a couple, and competency in a few more, I was able to see how different paths hit different points in their magic. For example I was able to see how Rootworkers worked primarily with material physica (which we really haven't talked about much yet - how does that work into your models?) and prayer. Modern ceremonialists tend to access Energetic Levels and Prayer. Modern Psionic practitioners tend to only work with the energetic level.

While discussing the Tibetans odd blend of very complex energy work, advanced spirit work, meditation, as well as focus on materia that amounts to very precise hedge magic (something that thows a lot of people off), I realized that what I loved about it so much is that it hit all the levels I was seeing. I than experimented with other types of magic, making them hit all three levels. I came to the conclusion based on the results that this was a good model

So the two differences are:
1. The model is not based on my belief. It is based on my observations.
2. The model can and should be tested constantly to see if it can be improved or expanded.
3. The model should not be used as a tool to interpret traditions when those traditions are themselves saying something different. At least not until a lot of experimentation and learning the base path and fruit of that tradition is performed.

Basically. I am not anti-theory or anti-model. I am anti-clinging and see people misusing their models in ways that limit rather than expand understanding and performance.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What is with models?

Why is everyone obsessed with models?

Spirit Model. Energy Model. Information Model. BAH!

Its like people insisting that all nutrition comes from fruit because you happen to be obsessed with Mango's! Clearly anyone that thinks vegetables, meat, or grains are nutritious are either not really getting the nutrition that they claim, OR are secretly eating fruit that they think are vegetables, meat, and grain.

Seriously. When did we start accepting the idea of Energy OR Spirits rather than Energy AND Spirits?

I want you to go to googlemaps right now and look at your home. Look at the map via, the "Map", "Satellite", and "Terrain" settings. Which one of them is your actual house? NONE OF THEM. They are all just tools used to describe certain aspects of what is really happening.

When you do not keep in mind that a map is not the terrain, you start limiting yourself in really silly ways.

You start believing that Pranic Healing is done by agencies of spirits rather than prana, because that fits your model.
You start believing that Goetic Demons are pieces of your brain that you summon up for therapy, because that is what fits your model.

Next you start to limit what you actually do because of your stupid ass model.

Seriously. Stop.

If you have a model that encourages effectiveness and experimentation than great, but don't start believing it applies everywhere to all things. You wind up completely blind to the things that do not fit your model, which is dangerous.

Entrepreneur DNA

Nice article over at "Both Sides of the Table" on what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The Author is himself an former business owner that is now doing venture capital. Each of the eleven points links to its own article, which is a nice touch.

There are a lot of books out there that push entrepreneurship like it is a religion and that anyone who is an employee is just a sucker. This is  bad policy. Not everyone is cut out to run their own business. Those that aren't and try their hand at it often wind up bankrupt, both corporately and personally. One day I will post about the particular things that I think you should keep in mind before getting into business for yourself. In the meantime, this list of personality traits is a good thing to keep in mind.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Though I have not deliberately sought out new blogs to follow, just this past week I have encountered several that have consistently great stuff.

The first is "PRACTICAL KABBALAH AND SELF CREATION" By Jacobus G Swart.  Jacobus is the man that Bill Gray made his spiritual successor and runs the oldest Sangreal Sodality down there in South Africa. He has been a constant source of knowledge, inspiration, and help to our little Sodality here in NJ. I am so happy that he is blogging about Kabbalah, I just don't have the words. This man knows it itshay! If you have any interest in Kabbalah you need to follow him.

The next one that I am really excited about is "RUNE SOUP, ADVENTURES BEYOND CHAOS MAGIC" by Gordon. This guy understands what I mean Strategic Sorcery. He is not a student of mine or anything like that, but he understands that to make real change with magic requires not only occult skill, but adeptship in other areas as well. His posts on Magic and Economic Laws are worth the price of admission alone. Right now he has a post up detailing 10 things you can do this weekend to make your life better. I recommend everyone take him up on the challenge.

Rob at "ROB'S MAGICK BLOG" has been blogging for a while. I got drawn over there by the recent kerfluffle over the whole "core discipline of magic" thing. If you don't know what I am talking about, than don't worry about it; its not something I ever wrote about or agreed with despite news of the contrary... Anyway, after reading his posts, I want to point people over there. He is a smart fellow.

Tuesday I mentioned Devi, who blogs over at "QUEEN OF PENTACLES, CURIO AND VILLAGE WITCHERY BLOG". Really excellent advice on practical magic, from a very smart lady. She is a fellow grad of cat yronwode's Hoodoo course ( I am #99g from back when it was all e-mail) and a shop owner. Her recent post on the skills used in Evocation made a lot of ripples through the blog-go-round, but her recent post on Mojo Bags is what won my heart.

Lastly, I want to link to St Balthazar over at "GNOSTIC CONJURE". Another fellow Lucky Mojo grad that I found through RO's blog. As a lover of using dirt in spells and spirit bottles, his most recent post is one that you should check out if you like to work with materia in your magic.

They will all be added to the blog roll over on the right asap.


Here is a small article on the history of neurology and demonic possession. 

Its a short read, that debunks the idea that neurological and demonic explanations for behavior were always thought of as separate and competing theories. Mostly it's posted here so that I could have a post titled "Neurodemonology", which is just a great neologism.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



From 10am to 4pm

"It has been said that money is the root of all evil. In my experience it is the lack of money that is the root of a lot more suffering than money itself.

Some claim that spiritual people should be beyond money. The problem is that unless you are a monk or a homeless yogi, you really cannot avoid it.

Some teachers promise to present teachings on wealth magic, only to avoid the topic of money entirely, claiming that wealth is better measured more in friends and health than in currency.

I agree that there is more to life than money, and I agree that many people can wind up enslaved to materialism, but if you can't avoid money and you can't serve money, then the only choice is for you to master it!

In this full-day intensive, Jason Miller will share secrets of financial sorcery that actually work. Every witch and magician know a few good money drawing spells, but few really know how to build wealth using magic while maintaining their spiritual life.

Learn how people have successfully used magic to:
· Get out of debt;
· Find work;
· Find secondary sources of income;
· Get promoted;
· Build assets;
· Escape the need for a 9-5 job entirely.

Never mind the positive-think fairy fluff of The Secret and other wish games, learn how to really take control of your money and make money your slave rather than your master.

Offered on Sunday, April 18, 2010, this class will be held as an all-day intensive,
consisting of one two-hour session from 10-12pm, a lunch break (please bring your own),
followed by another two-hour session from 1-3pm. Question-and-Answer period will follow the last session. Tuition is $60 for both sessions only.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Competence, Mastery, and Perfecting

I have been introduced to a whole slew of blogs that I have been oblivious too for a while now. Really smart voices with great things to say. I will be linking to them shortly.

One of these voices is Devi, the Danforth Villiage Witch. In a comment to Frater R.O.'s recent post here she makes a point about competence and mastery that is really important. In this context she is referring to a list of core competencies she recommends people develop before doing conjure work. I agree with her on all these. Some people may be put off because they want to start doing goetia right out of the gate, and feel that they would need to spend years on all these skills first. This of course is not the case. Honestly with a strong work ethic, a complete newbie could develop competency in all of these within a month or so. Mastery would take much much longer, and as Frater R.O. correctly points out, conjuration could actually help in this.

This concept of competence and mastery is important for all magicians. I would add perfection as a third stage. You can take almost any discipline and make it your life's work. A lot of people who follow one magical system only are very critical of those that interface with more than one. They claim that unless they devote their lives to the one system they will never understand it. This is false.

There is a rule that comes out of economics, which has been noted to hold true for almost everything. Its called the Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. The idea as far as economics goes is important because when you examine a business, you often find that 80% of the problems are caused by 20% of the customers. 80% of the sales, also tend to be generated by a different 20% of the clients. When you start looking for it you see this everywhere. 80% of the flowers in a garden tend to be generated by 20% of the seeds that you put down etc.

When you are learning skills this is an important rule to keep in mind. Tim Ferris has pointed out that 20% of a languages vocabulary will enable you to understand 80% of what is said in that language, and 20% of the moves in a given sport will account for 80% of what is actually played.

In almost any discipline, there is a point that you reach where you experience diminishing returns for time spent working on it. Ferris notes that there is about a 5% difference between someone who has spent 2 years learning Japanese diligently and someone who has studied for ten years at a the slower pace that lifelong devotees take.

In my own study of Tibetan Buddhism I spent five years doing that and only that. By exploiting an already existing personal connection with a Lama, and using interpersonal skills to interview teachers directly and get them to talk about things that they normally do not, I was able to learn more in those five years than most people learn in 20. There are certain aspects of it that I have mastered, others that I am competent in. I have chosen one particular discipline that I want to perfect in this life*. Others, I am not willing to devote the time to perfecting because of those diminishing returns.

I think the world is far too specialized. To quote RAW, "specialization is for insects". Specialization gives a kind of tunnel vision that makes you an occasionally useful resource to those of us with a more general knowledge base, but often cuts you off from a bigger vision. You will note that most CEO's are not specialists, but generalists who have access to specialists when they need them. It takes the generalist with competency in a wide variety of disciplines, and mastery of a few of those to see the interconnectedness necessary to make a company run.

Growing up in Jackson NJ, I encountered a Rosicrucian, a Rootworker, a Witch, and a Ngakpa who were all willing to mentor me to one degree or another. All within 10 miles of my home and all before I turned 21. Because of this general exposure I am able to see certain patterns that a specialist in any one of these disciplines probably cannot. I am not saying that being a jack of all trades is better than being perfect in one. I am saying that the world needs both, and that people should understand the role of each.

*Gyalwa Chaktri

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Top Blogs

The 150 top management and leadership blogs. 

This is the kind of thing that you should be reading along with your occult books if you are really doing Strategic Sorcery.


Since this blog is called "Strategic Sorcery" I think its only fitting that I pay a little homage to the guy that has been representing himself as a working Sorcerer long before I was. I am speaking of course about Moloch.

I have been a fan of Moloch and IGOS since my teens. I did not have them in mind specifically when I started referring to myself as a Sorcerer rather than a magician or witch, but it would be silly to think that his work was not in the back of my mind somewhere.

Another thing that I like about him is the picture he uses for himself, shown above, is the same as a poster that mom bought for me when I was 17.

He seems to be emerging from a long period of reduced public activity while he was getting his training as a Houngan Asogwe, and is now popping up again. Below are just some of the links that intersect with his world:

Mainn website that offers his books and services.

Should be self explanatory


FB group for discussing Sorcery

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Faithful Apostacy

Great article on how most Athiests insist on limiting their definition of God into the most simplistic, fundamentalist, and ridiculous so that they can easily rail against it.

I grabbed the link from Jordan Stratford, and I agree with him that I have never seen an Athiest deal with any of the philosophical, mystical, and for that matter traditional ideas of god.

Sadly even some of us Buddhists fall into this hole when discussing the difference between Buddhism and the "theistic" faiths.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spirituality, Magic, and Money

The current topic lighting our little blog-cabal on fire was started by Kenaz Filan who posted on the topic of compensation for Pagan Elders. Since then he as chimed in twice more. RO has chimed in thrice more. POS and  Jow have made one comment a piece.

Since I make money through magic, you would think I cared more, yet I don't. I make money by writing books, teaching an online course, giving lectures and workshops, providing magical products and services, and actually using wealth magic itself to generate money through investments, assets and so on. You either want to buy what I am selling or you don't. I respect your decision either way. 

Still, I have a few thoughts:

Isaac Bonewits gets brought up a lot because he has been an advocate for paid pagan clergy for a long time, and because he has been known to send around e-mails to the pagan community every now and than asking for money. I like Isaac, but you ain't gonna get paid for being clergy in a religion that has no congregation. Its just simple math. Besides you had ample opportunity:

You graduated with a BA in Magic and Thaumaturgy from UC Berkeley. The novelty alone could have gotten you into a great Grad school and you could have had a lucrative academic career. You didn't

During the height of your career you had the opportunity to write your ass off and have tons of books that would have been out there for decades now. You wrote one.

You started your own religion for crying out loud! Who can't make money starting a religion?* 

I bring this up not to pick on Isaac, but to illustrate the opportunities that people DO have to make money doing what they love. They just need to work. Hard.  If you do not want work your ass off to take advantage of opportunities to make money doing what you love, or just desire more job security, than get a day job. If the issue is that you just don't want to work than I have no sympathy. No one is going to pay you for being an "Elder", which basically amounts to dude that has been around a while that might deign to answer a few questions if you corner him at a Pagan festival.

Jow makes an excellent point in that you can either be paid as a Priest or a Tradesman. Possibly both. 

If you want to be paid as a priest, you have two choices. Become clergy in a religion that has paid clergy already OR start one. Figure out your take on spirituality, write a liturgy, start a church, spread the word and either pass the hat or charge at the door. Usually a bit of both. 

Most Christian Churches pass the hat. They can afford to do so. "How can they afford it you ask? Volume!"
Besides, there is that whole "Simony" thing. 

In Buddhist circles there is a combination of the two. Centers get supported by donations like a church and traveling Lamas offer specific teachings that will draw in a lot of out of towers for specific "requested donations". 

If you are a tradesman than you charge for your craft like I do. Specific teachings and or services for specific fees. 

Vodou is an interesting combination of both, and a model that I always though would work well for Witches. Take donations or Dues from the Coven, but charge for your WitchCRAFT when working for the general public. 

There are of course various taboos that people have on charging for magic. Strangely the same people that do not want to be charged for magic have no problem charging for readings or reiki sessions. I guess those don't count. It's a shame because sometimes a reading reveals a problem that could be avoided by magic, but if you are against paying or charging for spell work you probably are not going to receive or offer that help.

I occasionally get interviewed by someone that is amazed that I do magic for money. They treat it like it is a real novelty or going against tradition. Most Neopagans and Mages are sheltered from the way that magic operates in the rest of the world. The reality is that outside of very modern western neo-paganism and ceremonial magic, charging for magic is the norm. 

*If I ever start a religion, I promise you that I won't be all L Ron Hubbard about it, but I will also make damn sure that it sustains me financially in some way. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Q-Link Review

I learned about the Q-link through endorsements by Robert Bruce and Ken Wilbur. 

Basically it is a pendant that uses what they are calling SRT, or Sympathetic Resonance Technology, to help cleanse, regulate, and shield the bodies bio-field. This is even supposed to help protect from exposure to lots of  Electromagnetic Frequencies that your are exposed to by sitting in front of a computer writing blog posts and books. If you go to the website you will see all kinds of "science" behind this. I havent done the background work to follow up on them all yet. 

The Q link basically consists of a "resonating wafter" that some critics claim is nothing more than a Zero ohm resistor, and a very tightly wound copper induction coil. There  are no electronics because the wafer and coil are supposed to work off of the bodies bio-field - what I would call the Etheric Body. 

In general I am pretty skeptical of this kind of product. I was struck however by the reviews from some people I respect, and also noted that the BBC did a story on it that seemed to verify its claims with a blood study. Golf Magazine named it product of the year a couple years ago, so I was intrigued enough to get one. Rather than get the resin triangle ones with a big Q in the middle, I went for one of the sterling silver ones with the cool gold pattern in the middle of the copper coil. 

I got mine on Saturday and have been wearing it nonstop since except when I am in the shower. 

Despite being somewhat skeptical that this was going to do anything, I noticed the effect on my subtle body immediately. For the first hour or so I could literally feel it trying to tune itself to me. 

The morning after getting it I made my coffee as always but forgot to pour it. Usually my headache kicks in or I am just so dogged that coffee is the only think on my mind. It was over an hour later that I realized I had forgotten to pour it. 

Yesterday I started a new, fairly grueling gym regimen. It wasn't any easier than normal, but I have to say that I was more into it and focused than i would normally be. Given the sorry state of my left tricep today, I probably meditated my way a bit past what I should have attempted. 

Usually I dont like to wear much around my neck for long because it gives me headaches. Though it is by no means heavy, the Q link has not resulted in such a headache, or even made itself noticeable at all. 

I did a sort of inner body traveling last night, where I collapse my consciousness down into a pearl and travel the channels of the body cleansing them and healing them. There was less cleansing that needed to be done in the energy running to and from the major organs. Also the belt channels seemed to be strengthened, almost like the Q link provides a second layer over them. 

I am known to carry different amulets and talismans at different times, but only two that I never leave home without: my Mala and a Phurba*. It's only been three days but I am pretty sure that the Q link is going to be a third constant companion. 

To quote Ferris Bueller : "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

*When you absolutely positively need to "liberate" every last being in the room, accept no substitute!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vodou Money Magic Review

There was a time that I was so enamored of Vodou and the Lwa that I was planning on making it my life's path. I read everything I could and the small offerings that I made to the spirits always had immediate results: quicker than angelic magic, but longer lasting and surer than the Goetic results that I got.  In fact, three of the most important changes in my life were spawned by the intervention of the Lwa. One of those was during a Legba ritual overseen by Louis Martine when Legba told me "The Kanzo is not for you in this life. You can know me and serve me because I know you from another life, but nothing formal. I will show you where your destiny lies tonight". Later that night I sat down with Louis wife Mishlen who had just come back from seeing the Dalai Lama. Even though I knew more about Tibetan Buddhism than she did (John Reynolds is the one who got me involved with the OTO after all) it was that conversation that told me where my main spiritual destiny lay. It was Legba that arranged that meeting. He has been as real and constant a friend of me as any physical person could be.

I tell this story because some of the Lwa (not all) can be worked with by those that do not identify primarily as Vodousants.  I have never read a book that explained how this can be done that was better than Vodou Money Magic.

In Part 1 Filan lays down the basic view of this type of magic in vodou, and for wealth management overall. He explains that Vodou is about power. Without understanding Haiti, and what Haiti has been through, it is hard for people used to religions and new age trends talking a talk of peace (though not often walking that walk) to get used to a religion where the show of power is OK, and even desirable. He notes that a Mambo who's spirits will not harm their enemies or clients, will not have much business over all and that a Boko that is said to be in league with Le Roi Lecif (King Lucifer) may have to endure some neighborhood gossip, but will not likely have to endure burglary or kidnapping.

In Part 2 Filan spends a lot of time detailing the cultural and spiritual influences that have come together in Haitian Vodou. Slavery, Christianity, and Freemasonry all get a chapter. This is one of the best discussions of these influences that I have seen anywhere outside of academic texts.  In a book about Money magic though, you start to wonder why he is spending so much time on it until you get to the end of the Christianity chapter. Filan knows that many of his readers will be Wiccans and Pagans and other stripes of non-chrostian western Occultists. By showing how Vodousants deal with Catholic and Evangelical influence in their own country, respecting it and accepting it while quietly and discretely doing what they do, he points out a major problem that some Pagans have with getting ahead in society in general. When you are encouraged by certain segments to wear your pentagrams openly, make public issues out of getting paid pagan holidays, get pissed off when people wish you a merry Christmas yet wishing Christians a happy yule,  and generally make a big fuss about how you are PAGAN and have a problem with those darn Xtians, you are pretty much guaranteeing that you will have problems in the workplace.  In his chapter on Freemasonry, he drives home the idea of secrecy and silence as a tool in wealth magic. Wicca may be your religion that you are fighting to get accepted, but the use of magic to get ahead will always be upsetting to those that fear it.

In Part 3 Filan takes us through the primary Lwa that he uses in wealth magic: Legba, Dambhalla, Met Agwe Tawoyo, Philomena, Kouzenn Zaka, Ogou, Danto, Ghede, and of course our own Ancestors.  What I really appreciated about this section of the book is that rather than provide generic generic spells for wealth, Filan gives very targeted and dare I say strategic, sorcery. Legba is used to make clean starts and peruse want ads. Dambhalla is used to curb impulse spending and make rational financial plans. Agwe is used to smooth troubled waters. Philomena helps get along with others. Zaka helps save money and mind your business. Ogou helps overcome obstacles. Danto helps self-reliance, provides emergency assistance and is a special help to single mothers. Ghede can get you some small gambling winnings, and heal your failing business. Filan even provides a special spell for Ghede to help "Working Girls". Finally he has you calling upon the ancestors for help being thrifty and to break family money curses.
Kenaz Filan's writing is impeccable. He is at once dazzlingly intelligent and immanently accessible. His approach to working targeted strategic magic through developing relationships with the Lwa will almost guarantee results for expert Sorcerers and new practitioners alike. 

Do yourself a favor and click the link here so you can grab up this book ASAP. 

A week in Review and Thanks

This week I will be reflecting outward rather than inward on the blog.

I will be posting lots of reviews of books and products that I think are great and I will be posting thank you posts to people that have helped me a great deal get to where I am.

We will start off with a review of Kenaz Filans "Vodou Money Magic". Up shortly. 

Friday, April 2, 2010


One of the parts of Sorcerers Secrets that I thought was way too lite was the health section. I meant this to be a whole chapter of its own, but pulled back because I was running out of space, and running out of time for research. Out of everything in the book, that would be the section that would need to rely on research for more than past experience.

I am however doing that research this year and am experimenting with a number of exercises, devices (my Q-link shipped this morning!), and diets.

This article is music to my eggs and bacon loving ears...