I meditate and do lots of breath/energy work. Every year in VT I try to get some good Tummo sessions in as the air is very clear for that kind of work. Other than that, I do magic as needed,
I bring very little materia with me. I bring a Phurba and my Q-link and my Sibilla deck. Maybe I will bring a zafu, but sometimes not.
Tools are wonderful to use, but you also need to learn to work without them. If you cant go on vacation without bringing an altar or even books with you than you have a problem.
As one Lama asked me "what if you get thrown in prison? You need to be able to take your sadhana down to the essentials and be able to perform it even under the eyes of people bent on stopping you".
Monday, June 28, 2010
your trip brings another question: when u travel, what kind of practice do u bring w/u on the road? i am guessing u probably still meditate while on vacation? (that's easy to bring :) ); anything else? do u bring any magickal materia w/u ever?
I meditate and do lots of breath/energy work. Every year in VT I try to get some good Tummo sessions in as the air is very clear for that kind of work. Other than that, I do magic as needed,
what do you teach about healing or the relationship of magic to healing? I mean healing in the physical and social senses, in its broadest application of helping or balancing others or the self. Should the best magician/initiate have healing on her agenda
The healing section of The Sorcerers Secrets was going to be a lot bigger , but I ran out of space and time.
In the course we will be dealing with a lot of energy healing technues and meditative healing techniques. I will stay away from herbal healing because it is not my area of expertise and I would not want to cause harm,
I think that healing should be near the top of the agenda, I have not paid enough attention to it in my own practice
Some of the work I am doing up here in VT this weekend centers around that. I am also going to be training in a particular style of energetic healing this fall, but I will talk about that later in its own post.
Do you think that your Pillar Exercise or Pillars and Spheres would be an adequate or more than adequate substitute for the classical kabbalistic cross?
Not exactly. The Khabbalistic cross does attune the body to the Ouranic/Chthinic verticle flow as does the Pillar exercise. The Cross also attempts to balance the male/female or left/right flow with the horizontal arm of the cross. The Pillar and Spheres focuses more on establishing the elements on the body in a particular order that causes an alchemical reaction between them. They are different rites that have some similarity, but not exactly the same aims.
If I did, and if they had, there would be no chance in hell that I would talk about it here.
In the meantime I will attempting to answer as many formspring questions as I can. There are currently 26 questions still in the inbox, so expect to see several a day.
I may discontinue the formspring project for a while though.
Im a complete Rookie with Yoga, Tantra, Tibetan Traditions, Etc., and Im interested in learning about them. Where should I start? Greetings :D
Start by narrowing your focus to just one of these.
Yoga? Tibetan Buddhism? Hindu Tantra?
You should be able to do this based on wikipoedia entries alone.
Than narrow it further.
Remember, eastern magic is even more complex and varied than western magic. Find a focus., Than find local resources for teachers. Than read books, When you narrow it down, I will try to recomend some books.
Jason, may I ask for you opinion about Alan Chapman and his 6 step method/paradigm of doing magic? Don't know if it is as such at "The camel Rides again", but it is for sure at "Advanced Magick for beginners".
I just got Advanced Magic for Beginners the other day. I skimmed through it but was exceedingly disappointed so I did not give it a full read. It felt more like a quick brochure of what might be possible with magic rather than instructions itself. Even in that though it pretty well failed.
What is the greatest goal to be accomplished by a successful sorcerer? Enlightenment? Realization of and following of True-Will? Living a happy life on your own terms? Preserving and passing-on of successful tech for future seekers? Or is it personalized?
The greatest goal of the Sorcerer or any human being is the realization of Truth. One could call this Enlightenment if you like, but any meaning of that beyond realization of Truth must be abandoned for it to have any meaning,.
In this state, True Will is naturally and spontaneously accomplished. The ideas that some Thelemites have of "True Will" being a thing that you can grab: like "It is my true will to be a high school teacher" are missing something important. True will cannot be attained through grasping.
Living a happy life is extrememly important for the Sorcerer, and doing so on ones own terms is what separates a Sorcerer from a Yogi, a Monk, or other type of person striving towards truth.
The Sorcerer looks at fortune, wealth, love, etc as the play of awareness and success often means engaging in those fully and successfully without grasping at them.
Preserving and passing on tech for the future is something that some people will be drawn to, but not all Sorcerers will care about such things. Of those drawn to that work, even fewer will succeed.
The details of all this are indeed personalized from Sorcerer to Sorcerer.
Is there any relationship between CAOTO and Cthulhu Mythos? I found this link (Cthulhoid Copulation) among the archives but it doesn’t work!!
Some people in the temple are heavily involved in the 23 current, Some of us, myself included, are also members of the EOD. It is not however part of the work of the CAT. The term Chthonic should not be read as having to do with Cthulhu.
In your opinion is there a real difference between astral projection and, say, Jung's and others' techniques of Active imagination, AKA waking dream, etc? Thanks.
Yes. A drastic difference.
The active imagination technique is a meditative tool for growth. It taps into the astral for substance to create the forms out of, but uses those forms for self exploration.
The work of Astral Projection is in some ways the complete opposite. Since the astral can be so easily shaped by the mind, the Astral Sorcerer must take care to not get lost in self-created images and dramas - this is the true meaning of getting lost in the Astral. Instead, the Sorcerer seeks to purify perception so that he or she can experience the astral as is or at least differentiate between self created expressions and genuine contact,
When practicing the gazes in TSS, as my eyes relax my vision easily becomes blurred, and I even start to see double. Is this a problem? Does it interfere with astral perception?
No problem at all. That is what is supposed to happen.
On your book list, you listed New Avatar Power by Geof Gray-Cobb. This book was my first intro to magic. Do you have any tips for doing the spells in the book which would make them more effective (beyond what the author says)?
Actually I would start off by using the book exactly as he writes it. Do anything you are interested in from it at least 3 times the way he writes it. Than change it according to your findings, beliefs, theories, models, or whathave you,
Way to many mages want to change everything right out of the gate. Why people are so quick to change systems and rituals to confirm and support who they arleadyy are and what they already think, rather than use systems of rituals to grow as people and challenge thought is beyond me.
A mark of mastery is being able to bend and break the form, but one has to know the form in the first place,
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Chris Warnock and John Michael Greer have finished translating the Picatrix. The entire thing.
Go here for more information
Have I read the Picatrix? No. I have been waiting for this. I have actually been waiting for this ever since I saw the book mentioned in "Mastering Witchcraft" when I was 15. This is one of the, if not the, major roots of the Grimoire tradition.
So, okay, magical energy. What do you think it is? Do you think it's an actual, literal energy? If so, why doesn't it behave like any other form of energy? If not, then why is "energy" the best metaphor to describe it?
There is no one "it" to declair it. Just as in the physical world we deal with elecromagnetic, gravitational, thermal, elastic, light etc we deal with numerous different forces in magic that get pigeon holed as "energy".
For instance there is a certain amount of inherent energy or original energy that is in the body, this can be depleted and it is not easy to replace. There is also energy from the planet, from the movement of the sun, from the stars. from sex, from emotion, from thought, even from the other planes of existence and the friction between elements and dimensions.
Energy is actually a bad word for what most of us are describing. It is just better than any other word in English.
On the RO blog, you recently commented, "if you have access to the levels of work that in your system are represented by the Trans-planetary spheres, that the need for evoking demons is nearly non-existent." When do you consider it a necessity?
Actually the need IS non-existent. There are other ways to do just about anything and everything. You just have to know how. Josh is right now learning a system of energy work from the forces of the 8th sphere that will be able to do most of what the Goets did for him and more. The combination of gesture, breath, mental focus, sound, and dimensional access is how I do most magic for myself, when I even do specific magic for myself. At a certain level the need for specific actions on your own behalf becomes far less an issue than it was at the beginning.
Working for clients however is another story. I find it is worthwhile to give them something more material to hold on to as well as more substantial to work with. Experience has taught me that these outer methods are better suited to working for the public and even for most other magicians.
Now, working with Demons is not necessary but It can under certain circumstances be desirable.
The First reason is that not everyone will be able to do the very subtle types of magic that Josh is talking about, especially if they approach magic from a non-energy magic angle. Demons might be their best option for specific goals.
Angels are big picture type beings. Like the CEO of a company they are not all that good at minutia. I use angels to: access certain astral planes and energies, teach information, give overall blessings on projects, initiate me into their sphere of influence so that I am a conduit for that power. I do not ask them to get me a specific promotion at work or increase my customer count by certain percentages.
As long as demons are evoked for short term projects, with well defined parameters, and under the control of binding forces and well established spiritual authority there is no problem.
Another role for demonic evocation is to control and put demons to work that are already at work doing harmful or wild things. This is how they are treated in the Testament of Solomon.
The last role for demonic evocation is when you need dirty deeds done dirt cheap. Angels are not going to kill your neighbor because he plays his stereo too loud. Goetia spirits might. I think its a bad idea, but people do it,
I agree with Josh that demonic evocation is not necessary for spiritual advancement, and I also agree that there are tools that can do everything they do but safer. It is just a question of people having access to those tools. This is why I talk a lot about energy work, meditation, and such before I talk about spirits. I do not even mention Grimoire spirits until lesson 28.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Is 'Sorcerer's Secrets' enough to practice sorcery for a beginner or should I be attending the correspondence course? For someone with a tenacious desire to learn, I feel I'm confident with working with the book alone, what do you think?
It is up to you whether you want to do the course or not, but the material in the book and the course are completely different.
The book is the basic introduction to the principals of Strategic Sorcery. The Course does not repeat any of the info in the book, It uses the book as a jumping point and explored Strategic Sorcery as a complete system of training.
What do you think of UG Krishnamurti and his claim that there is no such thing as enlightenment, and that meditation or any other "practice" is itself a distraction?
That said, there is some truth to his statement, but only at a high level of perception. Meditation and the idea of Enlightenment need to be abandoned eventually, but to do so from the start is usually a mistake.
Any ism must eventually be discarded at the higher stages. But without the ism, it is very difficult to reach those stages.
To tell the truth to those not ready to hear it is often worse than telling a lie.
The religious and occult communities seem biased in favor of the spiritual over the material. Your work has more balance between the two. Do you believe the material and spiritual are co-equals in power/importance or does one dominate the other?
While I do think that it is possible to focus on one at the expense of the other, that is not my way.
I consider the material world to manifest out of the play of awareness and energy. In a sense I am very Taoist in my approach to things like wealth, sex, and health. I think that increasing all of them in a skillful way supports rather than detracts from your spiritual path. If you do not bring them onto the path however, they can easily disturb your spiritual efforts.
I think it is natural that in the main stages of life one focuses on the material world in this way, and that at the latter stages of life, you turn your mind more towards purely spiritual issues in preparation for death.
I realize that there are many teachings, including many Buddhist teachings, that stress the importance of spiritual preparation for death at all times because you never know when the end comes. And I have done enough work that I am prepared well enough for the bardo. That said, I do not like this motivation through fear of death. Even if I did no work towards it, I did'nt mind the 10,000 years before I was born, and I doubt I will mind the 10,000 years after I am gone.
I am however hear now.This life is more than a test, and more than something to escape.
What's your thoughts on using Strategic Sorcery for goals beyond the personal level (local to global levels). Is this doable, by 1 sorcerer or do you need more? What are the considerations for success? Future course topic? Have you attempted such?
If you are working alone than Micro-enchantment is the name of the game. Look to effect a small thing that will have a ripple effect. Sometimes it just takes one person getting fired or one person getting promoted at a company to change policy.
If you can gather a group, than you can aim a bit bigger, but not to much bigger. Gather 100 sorcerers to work towards the election of a candidate. Gather 50 to plant the idea is key peoples minds that they need to build roads in troubled regions before they send medicine, and they need to send Larium and mosquito nets, before they send aid.
Arm teams of activists with talismans to attract news coverage. use the principals of Marketing and Social Dynamics to manipulate the media. For instance, a bunch of people protesting is boring. Even if it is thousands. A few dozen people dumping tea into bodies of water however IS interesting.
Note that Right Wing candidates place a lot of stock in targeted prayer gatherings. They pray against certain judges. They pray against specific propositions. Some, like Sarah Palin, even go so far as to get exorcised and protected against witchcraft. There is no reason the left should not do the same.
I have done this type of work, but I NEVER talk about it outside the people I work with. I recommend you do the same. If you are supporting a candidate and people find out about covens doing rituals, it can hurt your candidate. If you are working against a group, there may be laws on the books that you can be prosecuted under. Even if there are no specific laws about magic (and you would be surprised how many places do have them) things like harassment, conspiracy, and disorderly conduct have very wide definitions
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The would be author is offended. She has an MFA after all and considers herself a very serious writer, not someone interested in seminars on sales.
Kiyosaki holds up a copy of his own book, and says something along the lines of: "You see what they write on the covers of books that make millions? It says Best Selling Book, not Best Written Book. You want to be successful? Learn to sell".
I bring this up because one of my major points with Strategic Sorcery is the melding of magical and mundane methods. Knowing how to sell has been one of the biggest strengths in my life. When I was 22 I got a job at Nobody Beats the Wiz selling electronics. My father bought be a couple Zig Ziggler books for tech and loaned me some tapes he had of sales seminars he had been to. It was my first time applying what is now called "life hacking" skills.
I got so good that I once sold a $299 service contract on a $500 camcorder.
I learned two things from that job. The first is that while you may not be able to get people to do things that they don't really want to do, you can make people want things that they didn't want a few minutes ago. The second thing is that this was a skill that was applicable to almost every area of human endeavor. When you are looking for a mate, you are selling yourself. When you are looking for an investor, you are selling business. When you are looking to get a book published, you are selling your book. Want to be successful at almost anything? Learn to sell.
There are a lot of advantages to having a real publisher that has books distributed to big box bookstores and lists the title with major distributors.Yet, more and more I am meeting potential occult authors who do not even want to try to get their book published widely.
There are a number of reasons that I have been given for this. These are actual reasons that people have given.
1. They are afraid of editors messing up their work - Folks, let me tell you, you are not that good. Unless you are a master writer or doing poetry the editor is not going to mess with your work to the point that it changes drastically. On both my books the editor did nothing but make the book better. I WISH the editor of TSS paid more attention to it, thankfully this should be fixed in the next printing. Chances are that your book needs editing. Almost every book I have gotten from Lulu does.
2. They want to make more money per copy - Yes, its true you will make only a couple bucks per copy if a publisher handles your book. You will however sell a hell of a lot more books than if you self publish. You can make 4 grand from selling 400 copies OR you could make 4 Grand from selling 3000 copies. In the first case you will be pretty much maxing out everyone you know and everyone that they know and you will be lucky to sell those 400 copies in a couple years. In the second case people you have never heard of will be picking up the book from book shelves and spreading your meme way further. Also, you don't have to do any of the actual distribution and shipping crap yourself, leaving time for your next projects.
3. They are afraid of rejection - If your fear of rejection is actually stopping you from trying than you need not to publish anything at all because even if you protected yourself from a publisher rejecting it, somewhere a reader will reject it by giving it a bad review. Either way you are going to go home and cry. Boo hoo. Man-up for Christ sakes. (Unless you aren't a man. In that case do whatever the female equivalent would be).
4. They want the book to be only seen by those that deserve it, and a small run makes it more occult and special - Oh for crying out loud. Who the hell do you think you are? Really? Thats how you judge the value of a book, by how fricking hard it is to get? Pathetic.
5. They want the book to be talismanic and be constructed in a certain way. - This is one of two good arguments that I have been given. I would argue that some books really should be done this way, but no where near as many as there are currently. In the UK for instance, it seems that every occult book of any kind must be bound in goat scrotum and printed with dragons blood on virgin parchment. If that is what you want, than fine, that is what you should do. Just remember though, for all the hullaballo that gets made about the various Chumbley books and their amazing quality printings (which I love) the first edition of the Azoetia was a paperback.
6. No one is going to publish my book on Lovecraftian BDSM Wizardry so it is probably not worth my time trying. Hmmmm. This argument get a maybe. On the one hand, I respect the management of time. If you are doing something really weird that only a very small publisher with no distribution would pick up anyway, than perhaps it is not worth your time. On the other hand not only did magical child publish the Vodou Gnostic Workbook, but Weiser re-published it. If your book is weirder than that, than I fear for your sanity.
So why bother to go through a regular book publisher? Here are a few reasons:
1. Widely published books that are actually sitting on shelves are ADVERTISING THAT YOU GOT PAID TO MAKE. Lots of people that will find you no other way will be interested in contacting you. You can than sell classes, courses, services, as well as more advanced or specialized POD books that you will make more money per copy from.
2. The book will survive longer. Today, my first book, published four years ago is #35,243 in all books on amazon and number 27 in books on magic. I dont check often, but once this year already it broke through to 9,482 in books and #5 in books on magic. My friend who self-published a book at the same time as my book is listed at 3,077,422.
3. You can sell the book before you write it. For me, this is huge. I can tell you for sure that I would never have finished a book if I had not been paid for it first. The motivation to produce was not strong enough to overcome both laziness and the need to perfect and revise endlessly. The motivation to not get sued was stronger.
4. It is just cool to have it on a shelf in a store that you wander into. Sounds silly, but it is fulfilling. Imagine you are on vacation and you wander with a friend into a Barnes and Noble. Whats that on the shelf? Why its your book! Imagine now that you are on date. Thats a big value builder.
5. You might get it translated into other languages, spreading your message even further. Yes, if you self publish you could pay to have someone translate it, but lets face it, wouldnt it be better to actually be paid to sell it to a foreign language publisher? P&RM has been in Spanish for quite a while now, and just last week I received a suprise package in the mail containing 10 copies of my book in Russian. Side note: if anyone reads Russian, I will send you a copy so you can tell me how good or bad it is.
7. Its a qualifier in a way that self-published book just are not. Lets say you want to pimp yourself out to profnet in hopes of getting interviewed as an expert. Or maybe you want to give a lecture at the local college. Having a publisher publish your book says that your ideas and writings were at least good enough to get published. Self published books do not say this in the same way.
Since Crowley was used as an example by Gordon, lets talk Crowley. He did a lot of self publishing and no one can argue that his work has made an impact. There are two important points to keep in mind though. First, Crowley had very little competition. There just were not that many books on the occult when he was writing. Today there are thousands, making it very difficult to find you without good distribution. The second point I want to make is that Crowley died broke. He blew through a small fortune and died in a small public hospice only to have his ashes dumped on a tree in New Jersey by the drunk wife of the man he put in charge of his cult.
By all means, self-publish if that is what you want to do, but don't dismiss the idea of a widely published book.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I assume however that you mean a physical yoga such as Hatha Yoga.
The benefits are innumerable. It opens and regulates the winds and channels. You can do amazing spellwork with just Yogic positions, breathing, and concentration.
It also is a great work out.
There are more benefits of course, but you should probably ask a Yoga teacher,
I'm a lone practioner, not good karma with gurus and groups. I like to learn from examples, manuals, howto's, etc. And practice from them to see how things work and why. Could you tell me if there's something akin to grimoires in the Varjayana tradition?
You cannot learn Vajrayana from books. You can try some techniques out, but unless you have a Guru and an Enpowerment you are not practicing Vajrayana. This is vital to understand. You may get some benefit from borrowing some tech, and that is something that i actually encourage, but you are not a Tantrika without a Guru and an Abhisheka. They tradition is built upon that bedrock.
It is similar to the situation of a Catholic Priest. You can say all the Mass's in the world, but unless you have the Apostolic Succession given by a Bishop you are not a Priest.
None of this has to do with the result BTW. You can attain enlightenment without a teacher, do magic without a teacher, and evolve spiritually without a teacher. You cannot however do those things as a Tantrika or a Priest without the proper creds.
Think of it this way: you can heal people with your amazing knowledge of medicine that you learned from books, but unless you have gone through an accredited med schools and passed the necessary requirements you are not an M.D.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
“The problem is that our ideas are sticky: Once we produce a theory, we are not likely to change our minds… When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate… Remember that we treat ideas like possessions and it (is) hard for us to part with them.”
Frater R.O. recently underwent a major shift in thinking in his attitude towards goeta and towards energy work. I think he would be the first to admit that it was hard to do so. I give him a lot of kudos for it. I have met a lot of other magicians, even good ones, who are too determined to make the data fit the model to ever unstick themselves from their theory.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
what is your opinion of various astral projection aids being sold on the internet, like on www.astral-projections.com ?
I haven't used any. I have used Huperzine-A in some Lucid Dreaming experiments, which have a direct relation to Astral Travel, but I havent ever used it in that context,.
i recently went on vacation to couple of national parks, and the views that they present are of course most spectacular; i was wondering if there is a way to "capture" the sense of awe that one is feeling being in places of beauty for "re-use/feel" later?
Two complimentary methods.
The first is to take a snapshot in the mind and body, Don't just remember the view, Take special note of the smell, sound, feeling of the air. Next look at your body and remember the way that you feel. Where in your bbody do you feel it most? Are you tingling anywhere? etc. Gather these memories and tell your brain to record them. You are more like a computer than you realize.
The next method is energetic. Pore breathe the awe and beauty as per Bardon or my book. Pack it into your channels and run it through your circuits, Pack the energy into your five main organs and your main psychic centers, Pay special attention to your heart as you do this.
Smile through both exercises.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Other than being married to an occultist she is extremely psychic. Twice she has been able to sense the death of friends before I was, and once she saw a child spirit that only a two other well trained practitioners have ever noticed following me.
Other than that, she is uninvolved.
Inominandum means "he who cannot be named". I was given the name by a spirit in the 27th Athyr. It fits my attitude towards magic - the moment you and your work can be completely described by an "ism" or a label like "Buddhist" or "Chaos" or "Hermetic" you are setting yourself up for a huge obstacle to hurtle later in your practice. As Krishnamurti wisely said "Truth is a pathless land" and the last thing that must be given up before crossing to the other side of the abyss is the very boat that took you accross.
I leaned later that a variant of the name, Magnum Innominandum appears in a Lovecraft story called "Dreams and Fancies" which I still have not read.
I am told that the term was used as a bit of an insult in Roman times, indicating a shiftless person or someone not from a good family.
I've feel like I am being pulled to work with Papa Legba, any advice for someone who has never worked with him? I'm not one to dedicate my life to a deity but do give them great honor, am I getting myself into something where tons of worship is required?
Legba is quite laid back. Draw his veve on the ground, offer him something he likes, learn to sing a chant like the one from "Angels in the Mirror, Vodou Music of Haiti" than talk to him like you would any respected elder.
Be up front about what you are willing to do and your fears. I was preparing to go whole hog into Vodou but Legba actually stopped me and told me that my destiny lied elsewhere. He showed me where later that same night.
He is a constant and loyal friend if you are the same to him.
Get Kenaz's book for more info on how to relate to the Lwa outside of a traditional house. Also, and I know some people dont like it, the New Orleans Vodou Tarot was an enormous help in delving into the mystery.
If somebody in your neighborhood (you don´t know who) is making a party at 3AM and the police is not doing anything, what would you do: a) He is Shiva, I am Shiva, the noise is Shiva, my sleep is shiva... b) Curse his ass off. c) "Spirits of Goetia rise.
This has actually happened to me a couple times. In Philly we had downstairs neighbors who would bring the party home almost every night and play their stereo so loud that it shook items off my shelves. One time they were so loud that they could not even hear their doorbell. I walked inthrough their back door , wearing only my boxers, and shut their stereo off. I grabbed a table with some coke on it and said that I would call the cops the very next time they woke us up at 4am. Problem Solved.
The next time it happened I did not wait for long. I asked nicely once. I asked again with a bit of magic. The third time I did a hot footing spell. They were out by the end of the month.
Can you name any references where i can find more about the elemental spheres exercise?and what exactly do you mean with "breathing into the spheres"?more like energy drawing from above and below or more like Hermetic style impregnation of breath?or both?
While loosely based on some Tibetan yogic techniques that I learned from Lobsang Samten directly (ergo, no text citation) it is my exercise. You can find the basics in TSS and of course more in the Strategic Sorcery Course. By breathing into the spheres I do mean a combination of both techniques you mention.
Regarding your opinion of the Holy Guardian Angel, would you say it is an autonomous being or only an externalized projection of ones higher/inner/over-self?
Both actually. Don't think in terms of it existing within your mind. Its the other way around.
I agree with you that the Simonomicon is really no different from other pseudonymous grimoires like the Lesser Key... could you please elaborate on the spiritual value of the book and your experience with it? How about the book Gates of the Necronomicon?
Anyway, as to the specifically spiritual benefits I can tell you that the Walking of the Gates will give you an experience similar in many ways to the planetary initiations that RO talks about undergoing with the 7 planetary Archangels, just with a rougher more atavistic twist.
The really neat thing about the walking rites is that it is one of the newest and most modern rituals for doing it, but uses some of the oldest dieties that mankind has ever interacted with (or invented or both). If you have ever worked Grants "Tunnels of Set", there is a certain element that is similar. The powers behind the gates are alien and mildly unbalanced, it is your work to balance them and move on. I have also used the 50 names to great effect in practical magic.
Those that hate it because it:
1. Claims to be the Necronomicon and an ancient text, which it clearly is not*.
2. Does not adhere strictly enough to Sumerian or Akkadian or Babylonian sources for the likes of whoever has their panties in a bunch about such things
are missing the point entirely.
*I should note that Simon maintains the story about it being in the Cashe of books. he has never said anything privately to me about this that contradicts his story.
I am a Kurukulla Practitioner, for about a year now. I read of your experiences with the influence on the cop - great! Which advice can you give on proceeding seduction for a Kurukulla practitioner?
What I can say in public is that if you get a practice that you love you should be collecting Sadhanas for it. Some Sadhanas will have different action mantras, visualizations, or even amulets, potions, or pills connected with them. Search other Dharma centers for Sadhanas that they sell, and search university library's for people that have published translations on her.
Lastly, I will simply say that you should accumulate at least 10,000 of the Mula Mantra before doing anything practical with it. 100,000 would be better. At that point, simply generating as Kurukulla, and doing the Mula Mantra will be enough to increase your influence. The specific spells, like generating the action mantra around the seed syllable in your groin, than leaving through your mouth, entering the target, circulating through their channels, and returning back to you, will just be gravy.
Also, very important, do not forget to do the mundane work. I am not saying that you can't overcome being unkempt, unstylish, unfriendly, uninteresting, and unclean with Kurukulla Mantras. but it will be a million times easier if you don't have to.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
What you say about astral Watchers reminds me of Denning&Phillips.Have you read their work and,if so,got a definite opinion on it (in general, as related to strategic sorcery etc)?
The experiment that I spoke about was right out of Denning and Philips. Their technique for projection however, creating an astral simulacrum in the shape of your own body is something that warn against.
Other than that I really haven't done enough with their work to say much one way or the other. The magicians from the Aurum Solis I have met were all capable and the group by an large spins GD style stuff in initeresting directions. It did not intrigue me enough to look further, but it is probably the the thing that many people love.
I did the evocation of Bune from your book lastnight. I got the witty part, now to see about the money! Are there any rituals you recommend to make the workings "stronger" or more ecstatic?
When talking about practical magic be careful with equating "stronger" which I would think would be judged from the result, with ecstatic which would be judged from your feelings or experiences during the ritual itself. They are not the same thing, and often the presence of a lot of ecstatic feelings, threshold sickness, or weird phenomena is a sign that you magic is NOT going where it should.
If you do a spell to get a promotion at work, and the ritual is accompanied by candle flames jumping off the wicks, light bulbs bursting, and feelings of being "buzzed" or enebriated and energized by all the energy, you should ask yourself - why is all that energy still hanging round instead of going to its target? It may be associated phenomina, but it may be symptomatic of a misfire due to poor magical link.
If you want to get more ecstatic results with Goetia, you can do the whole shibang as it is laid out in the book. but ultimately the depth of which you "feel" the magic, enter into trance, or see into the astral is more about you than any ritual. Do you meditate? Do you do internal energy work? Do you practice gazes and such? Its better to improve the wizard than the wand if you get my dift...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Lets play more book games fellow bloggers.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I've been learning 'Centering Prayer', which is a form of meditation where the attention is diffused rather than focused. It follows the path of self-emptying as Cynthia Bourgeault puts it. Do you think this form of meditation is valuable to sorcerors?
It is all about emptying the self to allow God space to move within. It accomplishes by simple openness what many months of ritual work often fails to do.
I have been over this in past posts, but simply from the strategic perspective, Sorcerers should be meditating. It will cut through so much else.
That's all, I had it marked as a milestone and felt like shouting it out.
Many thanks to all the students in the course, this has been the most rewarding magical project I have ever undertaken.
Hoodoo seems to be focused on the concept of being able to pray. What tips do you have for for someone who was not raised in a Judeo-Christian background in regards to praying successfulling in hoodoo in order to get the spirits moving?
The real tip is to be sincere and concentrate fully.
As to the voice and such, if you really want to be traditional, you should check out the cadence of some black preachers. There are lots of recordings from the early 20th century. My favorite, if you can find it, is the "Black Lightning Train to Hell". but I cannot remember the reverends name,
In your course you have talked about the use of planetary energy in magic, is it best to not use planetary energy when a planet is retrograde or does that really even matter?
I haven't ever felt the effects of retrogrades to the extent that others do.
I also try to work with the planets in a way that I "tune" their influence myself no matter what the aspect is in at that time.
Monday, June 14, 2010
You are a Sovereign in the Chthonic Auranian Ordo Templi Orientis. What exactly is it, and how is it different from the OTO?
The Chthonic Auranian OTO is now called the Chthonic Auranian Temple of the Chthonic Auranian Templars of Thelema depending upon who you talk to. Some still go the old name. Despite not agreeing on what to call it these days, there has been no schism. Different sovereigns have always been able to represent it however they like. I like Chthonic Auranian Temple.
As to what it is you need to understand its origins. In 1985 there were lots of groups squabbling about who the real OTO was and the whole current in general seemed to be devolving into court battles and politics. In response to this three people: Bill Seibert (now known as Alobar) who was a member of the Typhonian OTO, Cliff Pollick a member of the Caliphate OTO, and Sam Webster also a Caliphate member among other things, decided to form their own OTO, which was meant to disengage from this kind of nonsense and preserve the Radical Freedom that these three men perceived as inherent in Thelema.
Apart from the idea of radical Thelema, and influenced by the blending of the Typhonain/Nightside and Caliphate/Solar approaches, the order was founded on the principal of approaching magic by encompassing opposites. We in the CAT hold the last words of Liber Tzaddi as particularly relevant to our work:
"Many have arisen, being wise. They have said "Seek out the glittering Image in the place ever golden, and unite yourselves with It. Many have arisen, being foolish. They have said, "Stoop down unto the darkly splendid world, and be wedded to that Blind Creature of the Slime. I who am beyond Wisdom and Folly, arise and say unto you: achieve both weddings! Unite yourselves with both! Beware, beware, I say, lest ye seek after the one and lose the other! My adepts stand upright; their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells.But since one is naturally attracted to the Angel, another to the Demon, let the first strengthen the lower link, the last attach more firmly to the higher.Thus shall equilibrium become perfect. I will aid my disciples; as fast as they acquire this balanced power and joy so faster will I push them.They shall in their turn speak from this Invisible Throne; their words shall illumine the worlds.They shall be masters of majesty and might; they shall be beautiful and joyous; they shall be clothed with victory and splendour; they shall stand upon the firm foundation; the kingdom shall be theirs; yea, the kingdom shall be theirs.In the name of the Lord of Initiation. Amen." - AC
There are only three grades:
The Hermit: which can be entered by anyone at any time simply be developing the aspiration to join the sanctuary. The work of this grade is to get your basic training underway and to make contact with members of the order willing to initiate you further.
The Lover: which is conferred by being initiated by one or more Sovereigns. It is almost always done in person, and I am aware of only one exception.
The work of this grade is to become aware of and firm in your true will. This awareness and accepting the responsibility thereof qualifies you for the next stage.
The Sovereign or The Man of Earth: recognition of which is conferred by being recognized as a Sovereign by at least two other Sovereigns. To be clear, no one can make you a Sovereign. To be recognized as one within the order however you need act as one at least well enough that two others in the order recognize it within you.
Though there are certain things which must happen during the course of the rite, the actual initiation into the Lovers grade is tailor made for the candidate by the Sovereigns. Some have been simple circle feasts, others have been formal rituals, some have been all night psychedelic journeys, and others have been kinky sex fests.
Other than the above, different people come to us looking for different things. Some are just looking for tribe. Others, having fallen out with other Thelemic orders are looking for a way to continue their journey without compromising their principals. Still others come looking for the traditional sex secrets of the OTO. Cliff Pollick was passed Emblems and Modes of Use, the primary 9th degree document, by Grady McMurtry and told to do with it what he can. What he famously did was share it with Bill Seibert and publish it in an unauthorized issue of Mezla, which they gave away for free.
I myself went looking for all three and found all three.
The Temple is mostly silent these days, existing as a psychic sanctuary and source for our members. Perhaps one day it will jump to active life again.
I had thought about starting Cabal for those interested in exploring pre-Crowley Thelema with rituals based on the Hypnerotomachia Polifili and using the Nymph Thelemia as our guide. I still may when life allows me the time to travel and initiate interested people.
Is it possible to Astrally project to alternate versions of Earth? If so have you done that and could you please share your experiences?
I think you might be referring to this kind of thing
I hesitate to say that anything is impossible. I have never tried the technique, but I have doubts.
I would be interested to hear from anyone that has had success with this.
In general I am not a reader who loves giving long readings where I amaze you with insight into past events and what your innermost feelings on something are. If I am reading I want to know the who what where what and when and than get done with it.
Which tarot deck do you use the most? Also, which book would you recommend for someone who wants to learn how to give readings?
The ones I use most are the Lunatic Tarot, the Nybor Tarot, the Illuminated Tarot, and the Morgan Greer Tarot. In that order actually.
Also, i should mention that I am not married to Tarot as a divination system. I use Sybilla Cards more often than Tarot and use Mo Dice as well
You indicated in your post that one of the skill you place strong value on is learning how to directly communicate with spirits. What would you recommend is a good way(s) to cultivate the ability to directly communicate with them in said fashion.
Meditation is number one. Most spirits will communicate vis thoughts and it is essential that you be able to distinguish your own from theirs. There are various tests and such that you can make spirits go through, but being adept at meditation is better and easier.
Offerings are also a huge contributing factor. By continuously interacting with the spirits through offerings you attune yourself to them and will eventually grow to perceive them.
The gazes section in the Subtle Keys chapter of The Sorcerer's Secrets is a great way to work on developing the site.
Obviously astral projection is yet another discipline that will place you in touch with spirits on their turf.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I got to thinking. What kind of list would I make if I wanted to make a specific type of magician.
Here are some thoughts:
CHRISTIAN MAGICIAN LIST
1. Different Christianity by Robert Amis
2. Jesus Christ Sun of God, Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism by David Fideler
3. The Cloud of Unknowing by author unknown
4. Legends of the Bible by Louis Ginzburg
5. Modern Angelic Magic by Frater R.O.
6. Secrets of the Magical Grimoires by Aaron Leitch
7. Complete Mystical Works of Meister Ekhart by Meister Ekhart
8. Three Books of Occult Philosphy by Agrippa
9. Jesus the Magician by Morton Smith
10. Ancient Christian Magic by Marvin Mayer
I specifically avoided Gnostic Texts and commentaries. Not because I don't like them, I just wanted to make it simpler.
TIBETAN MAGICIAN LIST
1. Oracles and Demons of Tibet by Rene de Nebesky-Wojkowitz
2. Generating the Diety by Gyatrul Rinpoche
3. Dalai Lamas Secret Temple by Ian Baker
4. Concealed Essence of the Hevajra Tantra and the Yogaratnamala by Mennon
5. Bolt of Lightening from the Blue by Martin Boord
6. Meditations on the Lower Tantras by the TLWA
7. Sadhana Practice of Wrathful Dieties in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra by Lama Vajranatha
8. The Secret Book of Simhamukha by Lama Vajranatha (this actually is not out yet, but I have the manuscript and when it comes out people are gonna go nutz.)
9. Shammanism and Tantra in the Himalayas by Muller, Ebling and others
10. Readings on the 6 Yogas of Naropa by Tsonkhapa, translated by Glenn H Mullin
This list assumes no Sadhanas or restricted texts. For instance if I could just delve into Namkhai Norbu's catalogue of what is available to those with transmission, you could probably make a list just from that.
1. Azoetia by Andrew Chumbley
2. Vidarium Umbris by Daniel Schulke
3. Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson
4. The Roebuck in the Thicket by Evan John Jones and Robert Cochrane
5. Covensense by Patricia Crowther
6. Evolutionary Witchcraft by Thorn Coyle
7. Masks of Misrule by Nigel Jackson
8. The Rebirth of Witchcraft by Doreen Veliente
9. Opuscula Magica, Volume I, Witchcraft and the Sabbatic Tradition by Andrew Chumbley
10. Aradia by Charles G Leland
Again I avoided restricted texts. If you want to replace on or two of the above with the Gardnerian BOS and the Roebuck Trad BOS than go ahead.
Ok. I think I am done now.
Well, everyone is playing Gordons Book Game.
Since I already did a similar list of five books that I wish magicians who are already practicing would read and master I was going to pass on this. After re-reading the rules of the game, I think I will play.
Those rules, clipped from Rune Soup are:
How would you introduce someone to magic using only books? He or she has a month in a lake house and will read whatever you tell them in the exact order that you tell them to. Not even any peeking at other books on the list.
1. Fiction is allowed.
2. You have to specify what brand of magician you want to build beforehand. (Hermeticist, chaos, etc.)
3. You can’t tell the subject this.
4. You must include books from at least three disciplines. (This is to stop you just giving the Complete Golden Dawn and then declaring the subject a GD-style magician at the end.)
5. It’s only books. No guru teaching, no magical training. Just books. (It’s a book game.) Presume they will do the exact same amount of exercises out of the books that you did.
6. The subject goes into the house without any belief in magic. They are a smug, modern agnostic.
7. A maximum of ten titles. Trilogies count as three books
Its the bit about assuming the reader has no belief in magic that makes it interesting. The books I choose are not what I consider the best books on magic tech, but the ones that open the mind to the possibility of something more. They are the books can help serve as Morpheus to a young Neo, whispering in his ear:
"Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?"
As for the type of magician I am going to build, that is a distinction that I don't even really recognize in anything but the most neophyte practitioners. I am going to build a Sorcerer, which pretty well blows all those distinctions to hell.
I will add an Eighth rule to this for myself: I am going to avoid my own books. Obviously I think that they are good or I would not have written them. Since both Gordon and RO were kind enough to list The Sorcerers Secrets in their lists, I will let that stand as endorsement enough.
Now onto my list for opening up the magical universe to someone who hasn't been initiated yet:
1. Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandria David Neel
There are a lot of inaccuracies in this book. I have mentioned the Theosophical bent that led to her misinterpretation of what a Tulpa is before on this blog, All that aside, with the hundreds of books that have been written about Tibet since her time there, none quite captures the flavor of Tibetan Magic like this book does. Tibet has spent as much effort on magic and meditation over the last 1200 years that we have on science and technology. The real masters that spend years at a time on retreat really can do the things that even most magicians think are impossible. I have seen these things with my own eyes. When I was first starting out, other books provided the tech, but this book provided the fire.
2. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation with Demiotic Spells. Edited by Hans Deiter Betz
Ancient Greece was not all high philosophy, democracy, and mathmatics. There was a lot of magic going on that ranged the gambit from visionary rituals meant to carry ones spirit to the stars, to nasty defixiones tablets aimed at getting even with neighbors for stealing your wife or maiming a horse of the team you are betting against at the races. This collection has all that and more. Takes the sort of things that were talked about in the last book and moves it west.
3. Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon
A lot of books give the impression that magic is all about knowing the right rituals and spells. This book presents the idea of Magus as a person that possesses real power, not just knowledge. It also lays out a program of hard work needed to attain that power. One of my favorites.
4. Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson
One of the first books that I ever read presenting Witchcraft as a craft, not just a religion. It is perhaps a little over the top in its delightfully diabolical style, but it gets the juices flowing. It also is a great book for blending practical folk magic with some high magic principals. Reading this after Bardon will give an idea of the kind of variation that the world of magic has.
5. Unkle Setnnakt's Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path - by Don Webb
I reject the dichotomy that the Temple of Set makes between RHP and LHP so this might seem like an odd choice. It is however a great little book that demonstrates how magical skill needs to be blended with real world skill if you are going to get real results. I like his Gurdjieffian approach to liberation. The 90 day self initiation is also a great exercise. I would just advise against buying into the whole Prince of Darkness bit.
6. Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by catherine yronwode
An encyclopedia of Herbs, Roots, Minerals, and Zooligical items used in the practice of Hoodoo. She gives several spells for each. Two reasons for this book making the list. The first is for introducing a type of magic that relies primarily upon materia and prayer rather than energtic and psychic strength, this in turn gives a fuller understanding of the quintessence of the art. The second is that the biggest point of failure for most magic is an insufficient link. Hoodoo is all about exploiting the magical link. If you can learn to harness power from Bardon, and apply it through physical means like Hoodoo, you will be way ahead of most would be Sorcerers.
7. The Magicians Dictionary by EE Rehmus
This book is just an educational and entertaining romp through the occult world. Though a little out of date, our reader will walk away with a greater understanding of magic throughout the world, and have a million things to follow up on.
8. The Sacred Magician, A Ceremonial Diary by William Bloom
This is the diary of William Blooms undertaking of the Abramelin working. It is one thing to read Abramelin, it is quite another to read the account of a modern man that did the operation with success. This book more than any other, more than the book of Abramelin itself, inspired me to do the working.
9. Taoist Cosmic Healing by Mantak Chia
Chia has oodles of books, almost any of which could have gone here. I chose this one because it has a pithy overview of his system as a whole, presenting a view of the etheric body and use of energy that is more developed than almost anything in the west, yet is easily transported. The book also is chock full of some really cool and bombastic color diagrams that can seem silly at first, but will really drive home the tech.
10. Heartdrops of the Dharmakaya by Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen commentary by Lopon Tenzin Namdak
To my mind, Dzogchen, is probably the highest form of spiritual practice on the planet and also the most suited to the modern day. Heartdrops is the ONLY publicly published text in English that covers the whole process of the Mengakide approach to Dzogchen, from Rushans, to Threkchod, to Togyal. For those that have an issue with being "Buddhist", it gets even better because heartdrops is not a Buddhist text, but Bon - the pre-buddhist religion of Tibet. This sets up the view of mind and reality that to my mind, a great Sorcerer will have.
There are a dozen other books forcing themselves forward in my mind, so I feel compelled to mention: Modern Angelic Magic by Frater R.O., Generating the Diety by Gyatrul Rinpoche, Demons of the Flesh by the Schreks, magica Hiera by Christopher Faraone, Cult of Tara Magic and Ritual in Tibet by Stephan beyer, Modern Ritual Methods and the Sangreal Sacrament by William Gray, Modern Magic by Don Michael Kraig, Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson, Roebuck in the Thicket by Robert Cochrane and Evan John Jones, Ars Philtron by Daniel Schulke, Zoetic Grimoire of Zos by RO Spare, Liver Kaos by Peter J Carroll, new Avatar Power by Geoff Cobb, Practice of Magic and Advanced Magical techniques by Draja Mickaharic, and Grimoire Sympathia by Charubel.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
In the last post I mentioned that I have converted two toy replicas of Dr Who's Sonic Screwdriver into Magical Impliments. Psionic Screwdrivers if you will. I got the idea for this from a lecture by Uncle Chuckie (Charmes Cosimano) that I attended at Crucible a couple years ago. Jack revealed that he was doing something similar, and Jhonn was also interested in similar activities. I will be discussing the work I did on the most recent model. The other is similar.
Of course the mere intention to use the implement in magic can make it a magical implement, so I suppose that is the real start. Some would even stop there, but that would be really lazy magic, and not really much fun, so lets start with the batteries.
Both models (the 10th and 11th doctors) have three batteries in them. Before installing them I separated them and charged each one as representing one of the three principals: Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury. I make a small (very small) talisman for each, soaked it in holy oil, and wrapped it around the battery so that the connectors are not interfered with. This is the juice of the tool : the melding of opposites to yield the transcendent result.
Next, if you are not building something to your specs, you need to make an interpretation of what is already there. The tips of both toys have a central shaft with light surrounded by four prongs. This is quite reminiscent of the Tibetan Dorje or Vajra. Each of the outer prongs represents one of the four elements and the central post represents Space. I used an elemental ritual to consecrate each post similarly. If the batteries are where the heart of the alchemy takes root, the tip is where it manifests. Plus, unlike a doje, it lights up and makes a series of cool noises.
Further down the toy, past the black portion, is a white portion that has eight facets. I decided to paint a sigil on each of these to represent the type of magic associated with the eight planets (I include Uranus for purely illiminative work). To the paint I added some herbs and an appropriate condition oil. Now, when I grab the Wand, I can press my lower fingers into the appropriate sigils for the work I am doing.
Lastly I coated the inside of all the housing that I could access with a liquid "fluid condenser" to tie all the parts together. I than held a consecration of the whole tool.
So there ya go. When not in use it rests next to my "Hoodoo Super Soaker" that I made a few years back to deliver some Bend Over powder onto a doorstep that was alarmed. Eventually, I want to make both a Psionic wand from scratch, and a Steampunk style Hyronimous machine. Its all just finding the time for such crazy endeavors.
Friday, June 11, 2010
After about three years of approaching magic through the lens of Chaos Magic (1992-1995 or there about) I found that by following its own logic about belief as tool, and also paying close attention to the results achieved by it, that it was a deeply flawed approach to magic. I wrote an article for Behutet called "Why Not Invoke Superman" which was my parting note to that particular point of view.
Lately however I started to note that I was reading the blogs of a few Chaos Magicians and loving what they had to say. More than that, several people had noted that my own work shares some similarity with Chaos Magic. Two were very surprised that I did not consider myself a Chaos Magician, as what they were reading in my books and course, seemed a lot like Chaos Magic to them.
I can understand this. I value experimentation, even wild or silly experimentation (I actually have converted two Dr Who Sonic Srewdriver replicas into psionic wands). I value the ability to deconstruct rituals down to their aggregate parts and use those subtle keys in different ways. I put a heavy emphasis on measurable results over astral attainment. I refuse to be tied down to ancient systems and draw upon the tools of multiple traditional systems in my magic. You can see my basic view in my essay the 9 Statements of Strategic Sorcery. I admit that my view is probably heavily influenced by my time as a Chaote.
Anyway, since I had been bumping up against the Chaos Magic Egregore so much lately, I issued a call out to modern Chaotes to bring me up to speed on whats the latest and greatest in the movement. I than shut my mouth for the most part and just listened. That post got 20 responses and generated several posts in other blogs.
I still hold by my criticisms of Chaos Magic, or at least what I and most others considered it to be at that time. I re-stated them in the post after my cal out to Chaos Mages. That post got exactly two comments. One from Gordon and another from Yuzuru, basically saying that he agrees.
What I learned from the responses to the first post, and the lack of responses to the second post, as well as several excellent posts on other blogs, is that for some at least Chaos Magic seems to have evolved away from the whole model-jumping, belief as tool, anti mystical, thing that it once was.
Pete J Carroll once wrote that: “…if you want a one-line definition with which most Chaoists would probably not disagree, then I offer the following. Chaoists usually accept the meta-belief that belief is a tool for achieving effects; it is not an end in itself.”
So, given my 6 points of criticism of Chaos Magic, especially numbers 1-4, and the seeming lack of disagreement with them, my question is: Is the above definition still a good one?
If not, than what is the new definition?
If so, than has a new post-chaos magic paradigm emerged?
What shall it be called?
At the book release party for P&RM back in 2006, I was asked the following question: "Chaos Magic was the latest real movement in magic, but seems largely dead now, what is the next stage?"
My answer was that in response to some of the excesses of Chaos Magic (invocations of Scroodge McDuck, etc), people were re-examining older traditions that existed before the industrial age. These included: new translations of Grimoires that were still only just emerging at that time; attempts by people like Aaron Leitch and Joseph Lisiewski to recover pre-French Occult Revival European magic; interest in Witchcraft traditions like the Cultus Sabbati, Via Nocturne, and Clan of Tubal Cain that claimed to draw on pre-wiccan sources; interest in traditional Hoodoo; as well as people taking initiations into living magic/religious traditions like Tibetan Buddhism/Bon, Santeria and other ATR's, Peruvian and other types of traditional Shamanism.
Now, four years later, these explorations into traditional magics are producing three kinds of adepts. The first are people who basically are the magical equivalent of the Amish. They believe that all magic should be done as it was at X time, and everything after that is a corruption. Liesiewski is the most extreme example of this I can think of but there are others. Having recovered the babies that Levi, Mathers, and Crowley threw out with the bathwater of older magic, they are now throwing out babies of newer magic.
The second type of adept is the mage who is still working primarily with that pre French Revival Renaisance and even Hermetic material, but is leaving room for new information to arise from it and for adaptation to the modern world. You won't see these folks obsessing about finding thread spun by virgins. Instead they will be taking Agrippa and Trsimegistus in new directions. Frater R.O. is a shining example of this kind of mage.
The third is the mage who is not trying to skip any stage at all. Thankful to these folks for recovering some of the concepts abandoned during the industrial age we are not attempting to recover what is old and stick to it nor trying to be deliberately new just for the sake of seeming cutting edge. That is where I like to think that I fall in. All I want to do is find what is most effective for both thaumaturgic and illuminative work, and make it even more effective.
Gordons blog RuneSoup is subtitled "Adventures beyond Chaos Magic" which begs the question: What is beyond Chaos Magic?
I am pretty sure we are there. Should we name it, or just leave it undefined?
If we name it as a new stage, and I am seriously suggesting to all who participated in the discussion that we do, there are a few things I would like to see:
I really hope is that we don't form magical Orders for it. I am all for work groups, and even have a very clearly defined type of group based on the structure of mastermind groups used by business professionals, that I will be offering up to people at the end of my Training Course, but I do hope that we don't need to found yet more magical orders with grand sounding titles and secret hand shakes. There are enough of them for those that love them and need them and love them. If we are going to move into a genuine new era with magic, it has to start with changing the matrix of how magic is conveyed.
Another thing I hope is that any new movement or paradigm is not tied to the idea of being young, such as the Psychik Youth and Chaos Kids and most recently in Disinfo's Generation Hex. There is nothing wrong with maturity, and a big part of why Chaos Magic seemed stuck in adolescence is its identity with youthfulness Everyone gets older, and if you are a good magician you get wiser, more powerful, and even more fluid in your thinking than when you were young.
I want to thank Gordon, Jack, and Psyche for posting their thoughts on their blogs. I want to thank ChandraNova, EKB Balthazar, and others for illuminating comments. If nothing else I got turned on to a couple books that I am going to order (such as Advanced Magic for Beginners) and to a new blog www.Plutonica.net
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The Golden Dawn / Crowley teaching that one must make contact with one's Holy Guardian Angel before one can progress in magical and spiritual development has rigidified into dogma in Western esotericism. Do you think this is needlessly limiting?
Yes it is needlessly limiting.
The concept does not exist in 90% of the worlds magic systems, and they get along just fine without it.
It is a useful endeavor, but it should not be seen as necessary.
Loving the formspring questions and answers! Did that book from Ireland ever arrive? I'll probably have more for you.
Yes it did! Thank you so much. I meant to write you a thank you post, but things got away from me.
What's the best way to "disconnect" from the outcome of a working, especially if what you did could be considered "grey" magick (to use Kraig's terminology)?
I am actually not sure I understand the question. Are you talking about disconnecting from Karma of your actions or are you talking about releasing the magic to work?, like the Chaos Magic doctrine of forgetting sigils?
can you talk more on how to make the 7 bowls offering and specifically on what is and how to make an oil (?) Lamp?
From a Palyul Magazine, Summer 2007
Editor: This comes from the Palyul Clear Light. It's a magazine from the Nyingma tradition. The introduction and first article in the newsletter are by Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso, someone whom I have been fortunate to receive teachings from several times. In the back of the issue I found this elegant and simple explanation of a basic Tibetan Altar.
The most basic shrine consists of a statue or picture of a deity or lama elevated above a set of seven offering bowls and one butter lamp. The offering bowls are placed in a straight line along the front of the shrine table, and are spaced apart no more than the length of a grain of rice. Do take care also that the bowls are not too close together or touching; a neat and regular order and spacing is auspicious. A butter lamp, tea light, or decorative electric candle or light is set in the middle of the row of bowls between the fourth and fifth bowl, as the sequence of the offerings represented by the bowls and light are, from left to right: argham, fresh water for drinking; padyam, perfumed water for bathing; pushpe, flowers; dhupe, incense; aloke, light; gendhe, perfume; nevidya, celestial food; and shapda, music.
You may offer fresh water daily in all seven of the bowls, along with a fresh light, or you may have physical representations of some of the offerings that would remain on the shrine from day to day. In that case, you would offer water in the first two bowls (argham, padyam); then place fresh, silk or dried flowers in the third (pushpe); sticks of incense in the fourth (dhupe); then your lamp (aloke); then fresh water in the fifth bowl (gendhe); a torma or piece of fruit or candy in the sixth (nevidya); and finally a shell to represent sound or music in the seventh bowl. The permanent offerings should be placed on a bed of rice or semi-precious stones in their respective bowls.
When opening the shrine in the morning, with the intention that all beings may benefit from your generosity and with the view that all the Buddhas and holy beings are indeed present, fill the bowls from left to right with fresh water. Try to fill them evenly, neither too full, at different levels, nor too empty. Pour the water in an even stream while reciting the dedication prayer shown below. Mentally make your offerings as vast, pure, perfect, and delightful as you can. After filling the bowls, you offer a butter lamp or tea light and a stick of incense.
The shrine should be closed every evening. Close the shrine by emptying the bowls from right to left. No verse is necessary here. Water from the bowls should not be poured down the drain or dumped out where people walk. It may be used to water plants or simply poured out on clean ground. Then the bowls are dried with a clean cloth kept for that purpose and placed upside down in their places on the shrine.
Your shrine may be much more elaborate than this, with vajra and bell placed on the same level as the statues, and with tormas and other ritual objects. Ask a lama for help in properly organizing your shrine and try to make it as clean and beautiful as your means allow.
Below is an example of verses associated with the practice.
OM PADMANTAKRITA HUM PHAT
OM SVABHAVA SHUDDHAH SARVA DHARMA SVABHAVA SHUDDHO HAM
Everything is empty. From the sphere of emptiness appear [eight] BHRUMs that become vast and extensive vessels, each containing a white OM. The OMs melt into light and transform into drinking water, water for feet, flowers, incense, lamps, perfume, food and music. Their nature is emptiness, they have the aspect of the individual offerings, and their function is to give special uncontaminated bliss.
OM ARGHAM AH HUM (drinking water)
OM PADYAM AH HUM (water for feet)
OM PUSHPE AH HUM (flowers)
OM DHUPE AH HUM (incense)
OM ALOKE AH HUM (light)
OM GANDHE AH HUM (perfume)
OM NAIVIDYA AH HUM (food)
OM SHAPTA AH HUM (music)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
What advice would you give to "those with occult interests" to help them "navigate the dharma scene and get what they want out of it"? This is something I've been wanting to ask you about ever since you started writing about Tibetan sorcery tech.
1. Whenever possible relate directly with the Lama NOT the Dharma center. This is huge and probably the most important piece of advice. Everyone that is a permenant fixture at a Dharma center is priding themselves on how close they are to Rinpoche X. To protect this status, they will try to control your access to Rinpoche X and even tell you what Rinpoche X would say if he were here. There are a few dharma centers that are not festering sores of political nonsense but sadly, it is very few.
To accomplish this you may need to be brazen and just walk up to the Lama with a serious question and ask for a private session. You may need to be sneaky and show up when you are not supposed to be there. You may want to offer your services to the Rinpoche directly (NEVER through their representatives at the center).
The best path is often through the translator. Translators are hated by the people in the Dharma center because no matter how much of an patrol or servant they are they cannot have the relationship that the translator has. Not only will the translator enjoy being genuinely appreciated but they will have the secrets bits of the sadhanas that no one else gets.
2. Most people in the Dharma Scene are not serious practitioners of any kind. Ignore them. Most people into Buddhism are simply into feeling exotic by decorating themselves and their homes in eastern crap. Others are into it as a "path of blessings", they run around the world on an endless summer going to teachings that they have had hundreds of times. For them the practice IS getting the teachings. If the very affluent people in the inner circle seem to treat you like a rube because you don't have the opportunity to go to the yearly month long retreats in France before hopping over to Martika for the 3 week retreat, and then back to Manhattan for the summer teachings, you can ignore them or make them feel like idiots by asking a genuine practice related question. These people almost invariably know diddly-squat despite having a million teachings.
This is not just a western thing. In fact many Tibetans and Taiwanese are even bigger offenders at this, only being interested in the chin-lop (magic power) conferred at empowerments. If you ever go to a Tibetan teaching in a very heavily Chinese area you will see 300 people at the empowerment and about 12 at the instruction for how to do the practice.
3. Even amongst the serious practitioners you must realize that if you are interested primarily in magic, you are in it for exactly the opposite of why 90% of the serious practitioner are in it. Most people in the west are interested in Meditation, Ethics, Buddhist Psychology, and just plain old religion. When they don't completely ignore it they tend to treat the shamanic stuff and wilder Tantric stuff as either quaint superstition, or something that they actually wish was not there at all.
If you tell these folks that you are using Kurukulla to help you get promoted at work or get laid at a club, or that you are using Simhamukha to reverse psychic harm back to the sender, they will think you are cracked. They will tell you that only the Lamas are capable of such feats and that anyway the lower actions are a trap. If you actually get to talk to a Lama in private about these things, they will usually be delighted to discuss them at length.
4. The Lamas agree on NOTHING. When people say "All the Lamas say.." or "Tibetan Buddhists all say..." they are talking out of their ass. There was one weekend that a certain teaching was being given by Chagdud Tulku on the west coast and by Lama Wangdor on the East Coast. Chagdud considered the teaching should be restricted to only those who have completed at least their 100,000 prostrations from the Ngondro and would cost $300. Lama Wangdor considered that the teaching should be open to anyone that paid $20 to get into the Carpet shop in Tribecca where he was teaching. Same teaching. If one Lama says one thing, another will say another. There is no party line, especially amongst the more heterodox schools like the Nyingma, Bon, and Kagyu.
5. Despite what some people will tell you very Tantric practice has two aims. The first is the supreme siddhi of enlightenment mchog gi dngos-grub. The second is the use of lower siddhis thun-mong gi dngos-grub. These are mostly divided into four categories ‘phrin-las bzhi. Nabbing a piece from one of my own Gurus here, these are:
"White magic or Shantika-karma (zhi-ba’i ‘phrin-las) has the function of calming and pacifying conditions and healing. White Tara is an example of a deity that specifically has this white function.
Yellow Magic or Paushtika-karma (rgyas-pa’i phrin-las) has the function of increasing wealth, prosperity, abundance, merit, knowledge, and so on. Vasundahara and Jambhala are examples of deities with these functions. Hence they are yellow in color.
Red Magic or Vashya-karma (dbang gi phrin-las) has the function of bringing people under one’s power, of enchanting, bewitching, attracting, subjugating, magnetizing them. This is the primary function of Kurukulla and hence her red color.
Black Magic or Raudra-karma (drag-po’i phrin-las) has the function of destroying evil and obstructions to the spiritual path. This is the specific function of many wrathful manifestations such as the Dakini Simhamukha who is dark blue in color.
These four functions are allotted to the four gates of the mandala palace, namely, the white or pacifying function in the east, the yellow or increasing function in the south, the red or enchanting function in the west, and the black or destroying function in the north. With each of these four magical functions there exists an elaborate system of correspondences."
Later in the article, John Notes:
A text like the Arya Tara Kurukulla Kalpa contains many ritual practices of lower magic to accomplish specific goals, for example:
1. amulets for enchanting and bringing others under one’s power,
2. spells to frighten away poisonous snakes,
3. methods for a dissatisfied wife to subjugate her husband,
4. amulets for protection from evil spirits and bad luck,
5. spells for acquiring wealth and gaining power,
6. the use of cowrie shells in divination and ritual,
7. divinations to find a treasure,
8. methods for walking on water,
9. methods to avoid getting gray hair,
10. cures for frigidity and impotence.
In one Kurukulla Sadhana found in the Sadhanamala(No. 72), there occurs a list of eight great siddhis or magical powers acquired through her practice:
1. Khadga-siddhi (ral-gri), the power to be invincible in battle with a sword (khadga);
2. Anjana-siddhi (mig-rtsi), the power to remove ordinary lack of sight by using a magical ointment that enables the user to see Devas, Nagas, and other spirits;
3. Padalepa-siddhi (rkang-pa’i byug-pa), the power to be swift of foot by using a magical ointment that, when applied to the feet, allows the user to run with incredible swiftness;
4. Antardhana-siddhi (mi snang-bar ‘gyur-ba), the power to become invisible;
5. Rasayana-siddhi (bcud-len), the power of rejuvenation and long life through obtaining the elixir of life by way of an alchemical process;
6. Khechara-siddhi (mkha’-spyod), the power to levitate or to fly through the sky;
7. Bhuchara-siddhi (zhing-spyod), the power to move freely through the earth, mountains, and solid walls; and
8. Patala-siddhi (sa-‘og), the power to have command over the spirits of the underworld (patala).
You can read the rest of this essay by Lama Vajranatha (John Myrdhin Reynolds) here: http://vajranatha.com/teaching/Kurukulla.htm
6. Apart from just the action mantras included in many Sadhanas, there are sometimes entire spell books dedicated to particular Yidams, Guru's, and Dakinis. There is also MO, or divination practice. There are also the higher magics associated with the Dzog Rim or perfection stage practices. These include but are not limited to developing illusory bodies, inner heat yogas, Body transference rites, etc.
7. Approach it from its own base according to its own path. Chaos Magic, Hermetic work, Witchcraft, Santeria, and all other practices are not the base from which you should interpret Tibetan Magic. Only Tibetan magic is. Most of the early translators made lots of errors, some of which persist to this day (tulpas) based on their Theosophical interpretations.
Realize that Tibet has spent as much time on magic and spirituality over the last 1200 years as we have on science and technology. Take a few years and learn it on its own turf. Then later you can compare, contrast, and combine to your hearts content because you will know what the hell you are talking about. I had a personal mentor and it took me over five years to establish the kind of competency I am talking about.
8. Last bit of advice: when you have gotten your introductory teachings from the Lamas that visit where you live, go to Nepal or India, even if it is only for a few months. What do Chokyi Trichen, Chagdud Tulku, Lopon Tenzin namdak, Kunzang Dorje, Khenpo Namdrol, Ngakpa Jampa, Lama Dawa, Khenpo Tenpa Yundrung, and Choknyi Rinpoche all have in common? They are all Lamas that I received teachings from while hanging out in their bedrooms. Nuff said.
I know that I will get this question: "why a few months and not a couple weeks?". Two reasons. First is cost. The plane ticket will cost you more than it takes to live there for a month. It is a very cost effective trip if when you get there you find somewhere that you can pay rent by the month and eat what the locals eat. Even if you do splurge, it will cost you a fraction of what it costs here. The second is simply that it will take you two weeks to a month to even figure out what the hell is going on. The teachings there are all advertized by word of mouth and occasionally a flier up on a restaurant wall. If you haven't ever done third world traveling before, that alone will take a while to get used to. In Nepal, you haven't been there long enough unless you have gotten your chest infection.