Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Goetia: The Bill of Rights

I have been most amused in scanning the blogosphere. Apparently, the famous lodge that had some difficulty has inspired some former or current members to begin developing a Bill of Rights for those in esoteric groups. I will not discuss my views on that matter specifically. I have also noticed a Pagan Bill of Rights trying to make its rounds on Face Book. I look at these and figure that I tapped into an emerging stream of thought well in advance.

Such a Bill of Rights is integral to the American Goetia (tm) system I am developing. The difference is that it has nothing to do with group structure. Practitioners are required to develop their own bill of rights. This document, expresses things so fundamental to the nature of the practitioner, that reciting or declaring them begins to build the authority necessary to do this sort of work. These have to be deeply held core principals essential to the integrity of the practitioner's soul manifestation in this lifetime as far as s/he is capable of understanding it in the moment. Obviously, any given set of declarations can be amended or redacted over time. This is no small work. Serious soul searching is required. Those who have not done this work, may find the practice of American Goetia (tm) very problematic.

I did note that Crowley, in Liber Oz, may have had the same sort of idea. I am working on my own such bill now and so are my partners. At the moment, I am patterning my ideas on my own thoughts plus these works. I expect the list to expand over time but the eventual document to be rather short and concise.

  • Crowley's Liber OZ
  • The United States Bill of Rights
  • An Early Document in US History about Religious Tolerance and Freedom. This was enacted in North or South Carolina about the time of the Revolution. I am tracking it down.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Four Freedoms.
Most of the research and ideas of the system, not just the Bill of Rights, comes form the peculiar "American experience." By that I mean the United States of America, culture views, myths and thoughts. It would be an error to assume these will be lauded in some patriotic system. Patriotism has nothing to do with it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Follow-Up to Tarot Magick Post

Our UK friend asked some follow-up questions to yesterday's post.

UK Friend, "...just a clarifying point though, when you talk about talking your words through the cards, you could adapt it to a physical situation as well, for example I think the one in your previous post talked about getting organised and doing a lot more using the Ace of Pentacles, would you just visualise the card whilst you go about cleaning the house, or for example visualising the Ace of Swords whilst you were revising to gain clarity of mind for example?

Robert: Yes, that is exactly correct.

UK Friend, "Also, one more question (I hope you don't mind) but you talk about gaining skills before implementing these things, is it possible to try doing these methods with the cards as you work on focuisng and ritual skills, or do you need to be at a certain level before it is possible?"

Robert: I have always been 100% in favor of new magicians doing magick that impacts themselves personally and has very little (preferably no) direct impact on others.  Your examples are classic ideas of this. Especially, if you really have a firm understanding of organization, to use your example specifically. In fact, I'd meditate and visualize the Ace of Pents in front of me. Then, let the Ace cover myself, which is a more difficult visualization. During this visualization,  pray for an understanding of organization. This will likely result in deeper insights into how to organize yourself in a way that is best pleasing or useful to your personality. It may even reveal why you are unorganized or a host of other things. Then yes, use that understanding but express it only in a word "Organize," as you use the card as you suggested.

To clarify, I am dead set against new magicians doing magick that impacts others at all. I remember reading when I was young, "So called doing good for others should be eschewed for the time being." I don't remember who wrote that but I do remember thinking, "Then what good is magick?" Now, I understand.

Young magicians doing magick for others, even altruistically, are usually coming from a place of inflated ego, a gross misunderstanding of the self, or massive control issues. None of those things is conducive to further progress on the path. Even the blow-ups that normally occur from such things tend to be less instructive. Most likely because the starting point was an exercise in ego inflation. How things start can really impact the outcome.

Finally, magick is a tricky thing to learn to use wisely. No one with a shred of human compassion and decency will advocate doing so while being an active detriment to others. To be fair, those that are about to disagree with that statement will have a much different definition of "active detriment."

To answer the very end of that question, "...or do you need to be at a certain level before it is possible?"

Mileage varies on this. This is a very good way of understanding your basic abilities with this technique. Try it and find out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tarot Magick Question

I received a nice little note from a reader that hails from the UK. She wrote, "I have recently been going through your back posts and noticed you mentioning working with the tarot cards (particularly the Ace of Pentacles) to affect your day to day life, and I was wondering how you went about that? Was there some sort of meditation or visulisation or a path working of sorts?" While I am not sure of the post she is referring to, I will give this a shot.

This is one of those questions that could get a very basic answer. Tonight, I don't feel like giving a basic answer.

In order to perform this sort of thing, I needed to become proficient at a few skills.

Skill One: Debullshitification

From very early on, I could see and hear thing on the astral.  However, my early group beat all confidence in that skill out of me. They were both right and wrong. They were right in that what I was hearing was often, but not always, flattery. They were right in that I was not very good at discerning the meaning of what was said. For instance, I'd take metaphor literally. They were wrong in that I was actually reaching the lower astral. My engagements were not delusional but they were approached with a lack of discernment.

So, overtime, I learned to perform a bullshitectomy. Slowly, I built myself up so that I'd attract spirits of a higher order and took what they said with a grain of salt. I also learned to keep my mouth shut about messages that I knew others would disagree with. I simply let the correctness or incorrectness make itself apparent over time.

Skill Two: Reverse ADD

I cannot speak for our UK friends but your modern American has the attention span of your average house fly. This is doubly true when you're communicating with the better parts of yourself in a meditation or magickal working. One has to be able to stay in contact with whatever it is you are working with.

I developed this longevity through meditation and energy work. The latter took the form of a lot of middle pillar exercises.

Skill Three: Getting it Rite

Developing ritual skills is paramount for the magician. I don't care if you can write them. Sooner or later that will come. However, you must know how to perform a ritual in whatever area you're working in. Tripping over your own robes, especially while sitting down, is not only embarrassing but it gets you out of the proper mind set. Know what you are supposed to be doing. Know each step. Have it fully memorized and if that isn't possible, have things so organized that finding what you need isn't a distraction.

Skill Four: Match Game

Read more than one book on topic with your goal. These books should be written by people of the same general perspective. I tend to stick with folks that use the qabala. The trick is to find specific sub-topics and compare each author. You can find patterns that give you huge clues to understanding. Read this stuff side by side. Compare their exact words. Compare what they hint at and ask. Reading between the lines is a hugely underrated skill.

Skill Five: What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG)

Learn proper visualization techniques. If you can't close your eyes and see your card, you'll have a harder time doing this.

Skill Six: Get Way Down Low

Come up with one idea that exemplifies the card you're working with. One idea. Be able to state this idea in one or two words. It doesn't matter if it is more complicated than that. If it is, you don't know it well enough yet but no matter. Hang on to one idea.

Skill Seven: Nike

Just do it! Find a situation in your life where you need that one idea to manifest. While you're amongst people that can make it happen or whose minds you need to convince visualize the card between you and them. Speak so your words go through the card. See them doing so. Let their words flow through the card as well.

Magick is easy.

Edit: There was a follow-up to this post: Follow-up to Tarot Magick

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Naked Wand - Part Duex - The Smell of Fear

As one deals with elemental initiations, one is often faced with dreams of said element. One form of theses dreams indicates success. You have learned what you’ve needed to learn. It may not be time yet to move on and face the next challenge but the ground work has been laid for success. The other form of dreams does not indicate failure but that more work needs to be done.

I had a latter such a dream over the weekend. In the early stages, one’s HGA has a tendency to show up in the guise of a cop or some other authority figure in one’s dreams. I’ve experienced that. I’ve read about it as well. I think Stavish makes a mention of it. I never noticed, I suppose because I’m am black hole dense sometimes, that they never mention the forms the HGA uses at later stages. My HGA used one in the dream. The imagery was so obvious that some light escaped from the gravitational pull of my personal black hole.

I was scared. Terrified. I woke up in sweat. My heart was pounding as this beast corralled me. He showed up because I’ve been adding to the Prayer of Jabez asking for utter and complete manifestation of my HGA. As I have said, I’ve met him. I know him. Of this, there is no doubt. My contact has never solidified to the point I believe it should. Yes, it is only a matter of remembering as my mentor says but part of that remembering is a FULL willingness to live that life. To do that, other parts of life must fade away. The remains of the lower self that still has control sometimes must be corralled and placed within the proper hierarchy.

This is more subtle than it sounds. Accomplishing this is a series of adjustments. Yes, it involves putting a leash on the lower but it also means tuning up the higher mechanisms or maybe creating the proper slot, in the proper place, so tabs A, B and C can fit in grooves D, E and F. It is more than desire, more than willingness, more than need. Doing this implies an indefinable readiness. I keep thinking I am there. And yet, that dream proved I had more work to do.

This is why I laugh at my past self when I believed I was ready so very very long ago. This is why I am proud of my past self when I truly knew I was not, which was longer ago than most of my associates and maybe my mentor would realize.

Naturally, this all links back to the Prayer of Jabez which has been very active in my life. Very active. So active in my life that I’ve been forgetting to say it and when I remember, there is a block. This block is so bad that I can begin the prayer and become so distracted that I will not remember that I tried to perform it for ten or fifteen minutes. Once I remember to perform the prayer, often after forgetting several times that I’ve started it, the long memorized words need to be ripped out of my brain before I can speak them. There is a word for this phenomenon, fear, cold, hard, fear.

As I have performed this prayer, my life has changed radically. Friendships have strengthened. I am calmer. My family life has improved. I enjoy life. And despite Jason Miller’s claims that magick does not get you a hot girlfriend, I am dating a woman that can melt my trifocals with a glance. She will be referred to here as The Gentle Soul. What is there to fear?

Is it destruction? .

No. I’ve done that and lived

Is it Death?

 Nah, I’ve done that and lived. Heck, I’ve gotten healthier.

Is it the Devil himself?

Hell, no!

Is it this guy in red?

Most probably. I have a path to walk. The path of Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter. Will the fear I didn’t know I was feeling be gone after walking this path? I don’t know. I do know that walking this path means I will be progressing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Ways to Measure Your Magick

In response to yesterday's post, Ananael made a comment that I am reproducing here for those of you that normally don't read the comments.

Ananael Qaa said...

Quoting myself he said: The idea is fine actually plugging in numbers may have little value.
Then he added: That's pretty much my take on it as well. It's an interesting analysis that takes into account some factors that are often overlooked, but the factors themselves are too subjective and with the way you multiply them together small errors can have huge effects on the overall number. For example, if your objective score on one of the first four factors was 1 but you misestimated it as 2, your final score would be double the objective value even if you got everything else right. This is true for all of the factors, meaning that without perfect estimates on the part of everyone involved the final scores won't really be comparable with each other.

Personally I rely on probability testing. Cast a spell versus a known probability, check the shift above chance, and repeat to get a decent sample size. A bigger shift at least implies that you're a better magician, and it has the advantage of being an objective measurement.

I have to agree. Then again, I'd have to ask what you're so far away from that you'd have to make big shifts like that.

Another idea I'd like to add is the better magician you are, the less magick you have to do. 

It is possible to reach a connected zone in which the thought of doing magick manifests all by itself. The mere act of considering an effect of magick manifests. I've been in such zones from time to time and it is frosty balls cool.

After that, comes a stage where you don't even have to think about magick. Things just hum. You're in the Tao. If you get there, you don't do magick; you are magick.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How Good a Magician Are You? Try This Formula

Maybe I am just cranky as I have a cold. Maybe. However, every time I see a debate on magick, model X versus model Y or "is belief necessary" I have the same question. Who cares?

Crowley said it doesn't matter if spirits are real because the universe behaves as if they do. That is good enough for me.

This is why I responded rather tongue in cheek to the do you need to beleive debate. Of course you believe in magick or you wouldn't do it! I know the rest of the world was asking if it is purely mechanical or purely belief. Yawn. Who cares? As long as your tech works.

My belief is that attitude is what matters. If you get into magick for power over others, you'll get a measure of that. If you want power over your environment, you'll get a measure of that too. The same holds true for authority or any other form of power you are seeking. That said, there are other factor that can be made into a formula. This just fell out of my head as I typed. So, some revisions are likely necessary. That said, plug some numbers into your spread sheet and see how you rate.

The Formula

One component is attitude or perspective. Perspective is seeing what you've programmed yourself to see. You'll see what you're looking for be they spiritual cues from the universe, methods of climbing up the tree, self-purification, spirits doing things for you, raw power etc. Perspective is a blessing in that in aids focus and a curse in that it limits what you see. For the latter reason, it is the denominator in the formula. In this case the more narrow the perspective, the higher the number used. This is a 1 to 10 sliding scale

Another factor is wisdom. Wisdom is not binary. Instead, wisdom exists on a sliding scale. Those residing on the lower end of the scale will do silly things that distract them from the work they are doing. They also have a tendency to believe they are important. Those on the higher end of the scale tend to be much more subtle creatures, use measured force less often, and are quieter. Since unwise actions can really derail one, this scale can go into the negative. The scale used is -5 to 5. This is still a 10 point scale.

The rest of these are a simple 1 to 10 point scale. The larger the number the better you are on that particular item.

Effort counts as well. This may also be termed applied energy. Simply put the more you put into it the more you get out of it.

Immersion is slightly different. Immersion is living the life totally. If someone says, "What do you do?" and you're first thought is "volley ball salesman" you are not immersed. You are a magician, witch, etc. Immersion gives you a 24/7 input/output cycle that aids in focus, accumulated wisdom, and technical compentancy.

Knowledge matters. This is no slam on the intuitive practitioner. Book knowledge helps you teach others, gives you are credibility and other like things. That said, the value of knowledge to the individual practitioner is that magick has a way of connecting the dots to create enlightenment. The more dots you have the more connections you can make.

So the formula of magick is this

 Wisdom x  Effort x Immersion x Knowledge / Perspective = State of Magickal Being

The best score you can get is 5 X 10 X 10 X 10 / 1 = 5,000. If you think you are that good, may I suggest you lower the wisdom scale a bit? The worst score you can get is -5,000. If you think you are that unwise, see a therapist. For God's sake see a therapist. You'll be doing a world a huge favor. A lack of wisdom can really mess you up. Odd that the better you are in other areas the more the lack of wisdom hurts you. I like this part about this formula.

So this is my formula, it is only fair to see how where I fall on this from my own perspective.

Wisdom - I have grown here. Five years ago, my rating would have been dumb ass. I am going to give myself a 3 here. A year ago it would have been a 2 or 2.5. Calming down the anger/debate tendency helped a lot.

Effort - I work hard at this stuff but I fall off at the study portion of things, 7.

Immersion - This is a high score for me. I am always considering magickal ramifications to things and ascertaining if I can do magick in any given situation, 9.

Knowledge. This is a low one one for me. I've used the Ignorance Method of confirming my magickal abilities. This meant that I'd encounter a deity I knew nothing of, get info, and then study. If things matched up, that confirmed the contact. If not, I missed. I think this is a very valid method of determining one's skill level with magick and invocations, evocations in particular. That said, it became a habit to my detriment. My score, 4.

Perspective - my focus is narrow. Spiritual evolution, theurgy, personal alchemical work.  I am spreading out a bit with things like the Geomantic Working and American Goetia. My score: 7. Remember the less 'specialty focus' you have the higher the denominator. This is the wonkiest part of this formula. I may change it.

Hyper focus can be a very good thing but it is discounted in the formula for reasons mentioned above.

3 x 7 x 9 x 4 / 7 = 108

I am sure my readers and fellow bloggers can kick this around and make it much better or determine it is a useless. I thought it was rather fun. The idea is fine actually plugging in numbers may have little value.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Wise

It has been my experience that wise men (and women) truly do exist. Yet, they are not always wise.

It has also been my experience that these people are aware of their own failability and in that awareness is strength and, of course, wisdom.

The advise of these people should be heeded though never without due consideration.

I have also found, the most dangerous of advisers, are those that are true believers in their own wisdom.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Belief in Magick

There is another meme that has bonded to the blogger world. This time it has to do with one question: Is belief necessary to magick? Hell Yes/No!

My partially flip answer is that who the heck would perform magickal acts consistently if they didn't believe those spells work? Therefor belief in their efficacy is a primary motivator behind magickal acts. Yes yes, a few people put things together not believing they work and get surprised but long term, the magician has to believe magick works in order to fully engage in the process.

Engaging in the process is not the same as performing a magick act. Engaging means that one is so immersed in the process that one's spirit and soul slowly get refined. Though, I prefer to say the soul opens.

My personal example is with my work with the Helpful Deity. When I started doing magick, I was afraid of it. I feared ramifications both directly from misplaced magick and the peril of my soul (i.e. Christian cultural baggage). I distrusted gods and spirits. Yet, I persisted. I fully engaged in watching the magick work and watching the magick slowly change who I am as a human being. Now, I work with the Helpful Deity and Hermes without a net. We don't cast a circle. We don't do much of anything. I simply pray and They respond. If we want an invocation into our bodies, we meditate and I chant whatever mantra They inspire me with. I have full trust in what we are contacting. The more I immerse myself in the experience, the richer it becomes.

At some point, it isn't even magick. The process just is and it is wonderful.

My personal view aside, I really liked the comment below which stemmed form the Post Modern Magick post on the topic The comment was from Scott Stenwick.

I think the problem with the “belief powers magick” idea is that people figure out that doubts can get in the way of doing it successfully and then generalize from there. But once you’ve put your doubts aside you can’t really “believe more” to get a better result. It’s not a power thing, it’s a consciousness thing.

How doubt inhibits magick can be explained well using your information model, belief = power not so much. Doubt in effect divides consciousness against itself so when you communicate your state of consciousness to the target it’s muddled and confused – a bad signal. So your spell won’t work as well.

The other point related to this is that doubt only needs to be put aside while you’re doing the ritual, or if you will, sending your signal. Once that’s done and your mind is back into mundane consciousness mode skepticism isn’t going to affect your spell because you already sent it out. Folks who are invested in the belief = power model call this “flexibility of belief” but I’m convinced that in reality it’s just operating from a doubt-free perspective for a limited period of time.

That about covers the topic for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Magick of No Turns into the Magick of Yes

Last Thursday night, I spoke at Fresno State University on the topic of the Golden Dawn. The prior speaker was WitchDoctorJoe. The third speaker was a no show. I think it is safe to say that Joe and I had a blast tag teaming a list of questions the professor had for just such an eventuality.

Joe discussed his magick word. NO. "No, I will not drive the get away car," would have kept a lot of the folks Joe works with out of prison. Being able to say no to some things in my past may have made my life easier as well. This is one of those lessons I learned by osmosis. I heard Joe’s “No” speech before but never applied it. I started applying it without realizing it was Joe’s teaching. It was during Joe’s talk that I realized where that came from.

We are taught to please, to share, and to take another piece of cake after you've been offered for the fifth time. Sometimes no is very appropriate.

I have some people I care about very much that I will no longer spend time with. Their long term behavior is just intolerable to my spirit. This is a form of the magick of no. I gave some a chance to grow past things. They refuse. I can only assume that the behavior would be repeated. These types of decisions are difficult, especially when you know the pain it causes the other party(s). I do not seek to cause pain to others. I used to be afraid to live in order to avoid doing so and caused pain anyway. No longer. That doesn’t mean that I will allow myself every selfish moment. Those things cause pain to others and are unacceptable. I mean that I will not deny myself merely because someone else may experience some emotional pain.

The trick to this sort of thing is revealed by the 3 of Wands. The three's exist in Binah which is Understanding, Form and Receptivity. The wands are about creative force. When we combine these meanings we find that we can create our soul-intended life by Understanding the Form we are given, being receptive to things that fall within that form and rejecting that which does not.

These leaves us with the question of what form is. Form is the natural virtue of the soul. We know those virtues through our emotional reactions to our own behavior and how our behavior is reflected back to us. If someone accuses me of something and I have no reaction, chances are that I’m on the right track. If I become defensive, chances are that I may be at least partially off-base. Simple.

I have learned to live within the acceptable parameters of my soul. This has turned the magick of no into the magick of yes. Yes, I can accept the joy of activity A. Yes, I can accept people into my life. Yes, I can adapt with them. Yes, I can grow past things. Yes, I can accept the past. Yes is so much more fun than no. It is healthier. Still, I will say no again someday I am sure. But when you’re on the right track, you don’t have to say no very often. You don’t hear it much either.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Frustration and the Magick of No

I must to confess to a bit of blogging frustration. I have so much to post about and discuss and zero time with which to do it. I had a great time at Fresno State University this week talking to anthropology classes about the Golden Dawn and the initiatory process those that work in that style undergo. Last Thursday night, WitchDoctorJoe and I spoke with a very attentive class. I think it is safe to say that we both had a great time tag teaming each other's responses to questions. Most of the time, Joe and I only vary in the subtleties of our opinions or perhaps the angle of approach. We laughed and had a good time.

He did remind me of his magick of NO. This works very well with my definition of the Three of Wands, Lord of Virture and how my magick is turning into the magick of Yes. I hope to share about that soon.

With thoughts to our brothers and sisters in Japan and those brave people trying to contain those nuclear plants, I must sign off to sleep.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It is a Conspiratude! Follow-Up to Stolen Car

As previously reported:

My car was stolen this morning. Hermes told me that I didn't want my car back. The household spirit or something was PISSED.

At some point this afternoon, I felt that into 'void thump' that told me magick had worked. Twenty minutes later, the cops called and told me they found the car. I have yet to thoroughly inspect it but it appears to be in good shape no property damage at first glance.

How am I to assess this?

A god that has always come through for me in big ways was wrong. Or was he? I got that message very quickly as I was sitting in my temple about to get to work. Was I not clear headed enough to hear clearly? Or, will the other shoe drop?

The odd pissed off voice in my head, was likely a house hold spirit that is feeling awfully pleased with himself but...

The officer told me this the second car he's found in the same location. I can see why a joy rider would leave it there as far as concealment but it is the side yard of a house. The owners called it in to the police. I'm not sure how many folks normallly steal cars and leave them in the same yard as other cars they have stolen. Most odd. Regardless, if this is the normal pattern for joy riders, the household spirit had nothing to do with it.

That said, I KNOW that void thump. That thump tells me my magick just worked. I didn't do any magick. Even if I did, I'd doubt it for the same reason I doubt the spirit.

So, I ask you, what the heck was that? How would you assess it?


Why the headline? The universe does not want me to own a hat! I like hats. My ex-wife killed my first one with a ketchup based attack! The second one was left in a restaurant last year. Now, my car is stolen and all they take is my hat and a coat.

Magickal Irony

I was very very close to having my car paid off WAY early. I was about $400 away. I woke up today and learned my car had been stolen in the middle of the night  --- FROM MY DRIVEWAY.

Oddly, I am more bemused than pissed off. Maybe I will get mad later.

EDIT: So I go to Hermes who has been ULTRA responsive to my prayers and requests. Hermes freakin' rocks. He tells me, and I quote, "You do not want it back."

My plans were to go to Hermes and a certain spirit of the lesser key to get it back. Yet, Hermes was firm. What is the point of communing with the gods if you don't listen to their advice?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who is Listening?

I read Donald Michael Kraig's blog post today. The post is speaks of vibratory technique. I was struck by a few things that he wrote.

On a personal note, early on in my magickal career, I wrote Don and asked him a question about something in Modern Magick. He was kind enough to mail me a letter in reply. Yes, it was THAT long ago. I remember being in awe. I had received a letter from an adept! I still incorporate his reply in my general philosophy. Now, I am writing to critique of one of his blog posts. Wow. Time changes all things.

Well, it isn't much of a critique. Though, you may want to read his post before reading mine.


First of all, Don speaks of Israel Regardie's question to a student vibrating the Q-Cross, "Who is listening?" Shouldn't all student's of magick be asked that? For the record, I was asked that many times by my mentor but in a different way. Apparently, my mentor is more subtle than the late Mr. Regardie.

There are so many ways to take that question. I will settle on one. Basic communication theory is that a message is encoded, transmitted and then decoded. I will encode my message to my audience according to their needs.

"I am very much living with an awareness of my Neschemah," means the same thing as, "I am experiencing very deep connection to the universe right now," and still the same as, "I feel this overwhelming unity with all that is divine." They all say very close to the same thing to me. I can choose to code the sentence in words I feel the listener can decode with the greatest chance of accuracy. After all, what is the point in speaking if one is not understood?

This implies you have a good idea of whom is listening. When we use a vibratory formula the target of communication is the Universe (i.e. the Creative Divine). If we assume the Creative Divine has our immediate best interest at heart and is omnipotent, it doesn't matter how we encode our messages. If we are working within an egregore, we simply ought to know who or what is listening (over time anyway). If we are working within an energy model perspective, with imperfect spriits or spirits that may decode our messages according to their own perspective, we damn well better know how that message will be decoded.

I have seen more than one magician seriously damage their own health and the health of others by not knowing that. This is why I council folks to begin with small thought-form magicks designed to teach themselves lessons rather than doing so-called healing work or large acts of thaumaturgy. Such encoding may look like this:

"Teach me why I am in this conflict."
"Show me what thoughts allow me to remain addicted to..."
"What pain am I masking by this behavior?"
"Show me other places where these forces are at play in my life."

Doing thought-form magick like this allows one to learn how the message is being decoded by your universe or whomever is listening.


Don's words about volume of vibration did concern me a bit. He seemed to be stating that for one's vibrations to be effective they must be loud. I fully disagree. Over the length of his post, he slowly begins to qualify previously declarative statements with words like, "...that while volume does create vibration, the important part of vibrating words is having them cause the universe to vibrate through the laws of resonance. While volume helps in this, it is not required."

It has been my experience that shouting has much less impact than a controlled vibration. Shouting is shocking. Therefore, I can see how in some rituals it could be a useful tool. For the most part, a study stream of vibratory force is more effective. I'm usually to effect simple change or adjustments to the universe not cause an avalanche.

One of Robert's Rules of Magick is that all magick is relational. Ask yourself, how many relationships have you changed for the better by shouting?

That said, Don is a musician. He may have a different meaning for 'shouting' than I. I know a man that can sing at a volume that can be heard over vast distances. It has the volume of a shout but my friend is signing operatically. 

Ass Kicking

Don mentioned that in an effort to get someone to vibrate louder, he literally kicked someone in the butt  while that person was vibrating. I almost used the same technique not long ago to get someone out of her own head during such a practice session and I thought I had an original idea!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh My...What Have I Done?

Living the Results of Magick

The title of this blog is Doing Magick. Of late, I’ve been living the results of magick, not doing it. That Prayer of Jabez has left me busier than a one ant army in a picnic ground.  I asked to have all distractions removed and I got it. I couldn’t get distracted right now if my home was invaded by a troop of midgets playing tambourines. 

This week, I am engaged to deliver five classes, three on tarot and two on the Golden Dawn. Since some of them are repeats, I only needed to write or review three of them but still. 

My work problems seem to be over. I’ve been calm, accepting, diligent, fun and efficient.  I am not fond of my actual duties but going to work is fun and I am having a good time. It took a lot of personal alchemy to get there. 

My territory is expanding in the form of new friends. Even the Conclave of the Greek Key has an applicant for admission. 

Last year I did a spell to make sure I’d pay off my car this year. I maintained discipline all year and will be successful within 30 days. All I have to do is write the check. I want to time things so that on the day I pay it off. I re-up that magick to begin paying off the house at a faster rate while increasing my savings. If it worked once, why not use the same thing again?

I am not one for doing magick and then pissing on the results. I’ve been following through as best I can. Though, I have noticed that my blog hits over the past month have dropped eighty to ninety percent. Given that I haven’t pissed anyone off of late, I’m assuming that is because I’m not posting much.  Though, the actual posts aren’t being read at the same clip either.  Most peculiar. 

The living the results of my magick can be expressed by a couple of tarot cards. The three and nine of disks. I will be explaining that on Qabalistic Tarot soon. 

That isn’t something I can really be concerned with. I’m going wherever that prayer takes me for now. It isn’t just that prayer. It seems like a lot of forces are converging right now. Various magicks bearing fruit all at the same time (spring).  

There is a lesson to be learned here. I am not fully sure what it is. Have any readers had an experience where multiple and apparently disjointed magicks all came to pass at once creating a bit of a psychic shift within? If so, I’d appreciate you sharing what you learned. If that sounds vague, it is because it is.  I am too close to this to really see it. 

I am longing to get back into the temple room though and walk the path of Sagittarius. Maybe next week.

Robert’s Pun of the Week

A friend was sharing with me her experience teaching conservative Christians. She said that she tried to point out that some prayers for ‘stuff’ from Jesus necessitate something being taken away from someone else. For instance, praying for a promotion means someone has to get fired or some other business must lose some income to create a new position. Yes there are holes in that argument but work with me.  She went on to say that means there must be negative miracles. I asked, “Would a negative miracle be called Miracle Whip?”

Yup, if you think my puns are bad in writing, you should have to hear them in person!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Exploding Lodges

Recently, a very public Golden Dawn Lodge blew up. I have a long held position that I do not comment on such things. First of all, I do not know any of the people involved. Second of all, I wasn't there for any of it. Thirdly, I have no first hand experience with them. Lastly, saying anything about it all means someone is likely to think I am taking sides. When it comes to GD order disputes be they leaking internal messes or external disputes between orders, my policy is that I chose not to participate.

I have made my point on public Golden Dawn silliness here.

What I will comment on is Gordon and RO posts, generally speaking, for they remind me much of Ellic Howe. For those of you that don't know, Mr. Howe wrote some very well researched books on the Golden Dawn. Like, RO and Gordon, he is educated in his field, Masonry. Yet, his anti-Golden Dawn bias was obvious. I believe he viewed the GD as a poor offshoot of Masonry. With that I am not saying RO and Gordon have an anti-GD bias. I am merely stating their stances remind me of Howe's.

In his books, he too commented on some poor behavior, downright stupidity and boarder-line insanity as an indicator of the Golden Dawn's unworthiness. Such comments, I feel, miss a large part of the Great Work. This ugly stuff is what makes the Great Work, work. Let the silliness reign!

The Great Work is often about finding things about yourself that are simply not acceptable to your own spirit. These are things you make excuses for. Yes, it is okay to fly off the handle because they deserve it. Yes, it is okay if I take some money out of the till at work as I am underpaid. Yes, it is okay if I ignore my mate when s/he needs me because I will help her out later anyway. We will even overcomplicate simple issues as an excuse to do nothing at all or worse do something actively stupid. I used to be good at that one.  Someone may even tell himself that it is okay if I break my fraternal oaths to that person because he is not only a dick but stupid. I mean they could make mountains out of his stupid. Stupid, I say, on a planetary scale! I mean black hole stupid. Stupid so stupid that the heat of a thousand suns could not burn away all the galactic stupidity emanating from his ever orbiting Uranus!

We all have a thousand excuses for our poor behavior. Most of us condemn others for things we'd let slide if we did them ourselves. Many of us, will make excuses for person A doing X because A is our friend and blast person B for the same offense because we don't know him.

These are things you may get away with for years, or so it seems. For each of them, slowly closes your soul. Each time you perform those acts, you separate yourself from other humans, your spirit and the divine forces, as they will stop responding after a while. And will stop in their own good time, usually, when you need them most.

The alchemical nature of the Golden Dawn method works much like a alchemy. You start with evenly distributed heat as in the sand bath. Things get more volatile in the water bath. Sooner or later, often later than observers would like, your flame is applied directly to your leaden ass. If you haven't gotten the lead out previously, BOOM! The universe is much gentler and neophytes than higher classman. Higher classman, in theory, really ought to know better.

When explosions happen, when insanity (yours or someone else's) happens, when bad behavior happens, when you're lost because every falsehood you thought was real isn’t, when your ego ass dissolves around you, when you cry out in the darkness, you grow.

Growing in the entire point!

Yes it is ugly. Yes it is harsh to look upon. Yes, it rips your heart out to experience and watch. Why?

Because, "it" is you.

You have been this ugly. You have been this harsh. Yes it is has been tough for everyone else to watch, mostly because they forget how ugly they have been too. The lodge structure isn't ugly in itself any more than one can consider a smelting pot ugly as the melting lead releases its slag. That slag is scrapped off leaving a liquid pool of lead that looks much like a mirror. MIRROR..."He who sees muck is muck," says Mr. Crowley to Mr. Waite.

The difference between the lodge system and the smelting pot is that the goal of a lodge isn't to just purify lead for immediate use but to make gold over the long term. 

When it is successful you rarely see it because it is so easy to spot the slag. Unfortunately, people are very good at remembering the ugliest moments and seeing everything through those distorted lenses.

Further, the lodge system is not for everyone. There are many other methods of making a temporary jackass out of yourself. In fact, I'd say it is guaranteed to happen no matter what form of the Work you do. If you are a solo practitioner, no one has a label to put on your form of work and therefore cannot paint it entirely with tar and black paint made from the ashes of your own self-immolation.

If you are working a system, they not only have the black paint, they will use it. Sometimes, I wonder if they are trying to cover up your ugliness, their own or the beauty of the Work itself. I guess that is for those holding the paint brush to answer.

NOTE: I am not saying that Gordon and RO are doing any painting. I was speaking in general terms.

Another Note: Comments to this post will be carefully screened. Any reference to ongoing or past silliness of any magickal group that I currently know to be in existence will not be published. If a name of a group is mentioned, please tell me that all involved members are now dead or I won't publish it. There is no way I will let my blog be part of GD wars, witch wars, trad wars or Star Wars.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Frater Barrabbas Asks: Is the Helpful Deity Internal or External?

Frater Barrabbas and I chatted at Pantheacon. He asked me if I thought the Helpful Deity was internal or external.

Part of me wants to respond with Crowley's line about spirits when he said it doesn't matter if they are real the universe tends to work as if they are. From a practical point of view, I cannot argue with that.

To my mind, there are two approaches to this question. The first revolves around our external reality. The second involves ritual perceptions and internal realities. There is a third thing that reconciles these two.

Externally, yes I believe any deity that exists does so external to that which I normally define as myself. If you view time as linear, this is obvious. The cheesy argument goes like this. There is no way Zeus cannot exist external to me because this me was born long after he became known. More germane to my point of view is that I do know that she that I call the Helpful Deity and Hermes have caused change to come about through other persons. This appears to make them external to me.

Internally, yes I believe those deities I work with are inside of me. When I work with them I can feel and perceive their thoughts and emotions. I can feel them move my physical and astral bodies with little or no control on my part. They present ideas and knowledge I do not believe I possessed a moment before. My partners have remarked how my physical form changes in ritual. All these things tells me the deity is within me during rituals or when I focus on them in a certain way.

The third thing is the Qabalistic idea of the Neschemah. This is part of the soul associated to the sephiro of Binah, Understanding. This is what connects us to everything else. From this point of view, my Neschemah is open enough that I can perceive and interact with them from both points of view. While the first two opposing approaches to the question involve their state of being, the later involves my own and the particular condition of my soul or spirit at this time.

This question, though appearing to be about the gods or my intellectual understanding of them, is really about my abilities as a magician and, as I said, the current state of my soul. I hope this answers the frater's question.