Thursday, July 11, 2019

Magick Competition Banned

I had no idea anything like this went on in the world today, and it sounds like a great idea to me. But unfortunately the government of eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, decided otherwise. It recently banned a proposed event that would involve practitioners of witchcraft and magick competing against each other in a test of paranormal powers.

Organizers had planned to hold the competition in Manzini, the second city of eSwatini, a land-locked country in southern Africa ruled by King Mswati III, one of the world's last absolute monarchs. "The proposed competition of witchcraft and magic spells was unheard of in the country and it was regarded as an anomaly in the lives of the people of eSwatini," government spokesman Percy Simelane said in a statement.

"Government will not sanction any competition of that nature. Anyone who will persist with any activity related to witchcraft will face the full might of the law." The statement, released Tuesday, said the Witchcraft Act of 1889 defines witchcraft, sorcery or the practice of voodoo as a punishable offense."Government cannot sit back and watch while the lives of the citizens of this country are exposed to illegal and weird practices that have the potential to poison the minds of [Swazi people], especially children," Simelane added.

And this right here is one more reason that magical research is centuries behind the physical sciences. Imagine if the World Fairs of the last two centuries were banned by their respective host countries because they believed that science and technology should be prohibited! It sounds like a bizarre proposition to any modern person, but this is in fact precisely what is going on here.

Magick is a technology, and when people are prevented from doing legitimate research involving practices and techniques the whole discipline suffers. Likewise, a competition can be a great way to spur such research, along the lines of what the X Prize Foundation has done for space travel and other breakthrough research areas.

We need to work to get rid of the stigmas surrounding our work so that solid research can move at a faster pace. That's the only way that the paranormal arts are ever going to catch up with the state of mainstream science.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It's a Curse!

One of the things about living life as a practical magician is completely forgetting how freaked out non-magicians can become when encountering anything out of the ordinary. This story from Australia is case in point. A woman digging in her garden found an ugly ceramic ball that looked like a bad high school pottery project. But her friends on social media were convinced the object was part of some sort of curse.

A graduate found a "terrifying cursed" object in her garden after moving into her new home. Pals believed Kerri Moran's house may be haunted after she shared pictures on Facebook of a massive ceramic ball with a small coffin. She claimed she "dug the treasure up" but social media users said it is a sign of a creepy curse.

"I recently bought an old house and dug this treasure up in the garden. I have no idea what it is but my daughter hates it and says it’s bad juju," the woman wrote on Facebook. "It’s huge and heavy." But Kerri, of Brisbane, Australia, investigated the find and contacted the house's previous owners. And she soon found the object wasn't as sinister as it first appeared.

"She said her son did pottery in high school a number of years ago and was forever bringing 'crap' home. She would put them in the garden where the earth claimed this piece," Kerri posted. "My yard smells like burnt sage, my house of vinegar. All precautions were taken. Anyway, I have contacted my home’s previous owner. Mystery solved."

Alan Moore once commented that art should be considered magick, but I really don't think this thing has anything to do with what he was talking about. Sometimes a bad high school pottery project is just a bad high school pottery project. It is far more remarkable to me that so many people were apparently convinced that this weird object was some sort of sinister spell.

Actual curses just aren't that common in real life and objects don't cause bad fortune just by looking strange. This is one example showing that people should really know more about magick and how it works so they won't jump to bizarre conclusions.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Via Solis Cancer Elixir - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Cancer Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday July 9th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of the last two years by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the oasis know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Cancer. The sign Cancer is attributed to "The power of casting enchantments." As I interpret it, this is related to the ability to magnetize or draw things into your life in accordance with your will. So those sorts of intents are most appropriate. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.

I. Opening

All stand surrounding the altar. Officiant inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. All rotate accordingly.

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.

All: MAKAShANaH

Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.

All: ABRAHADABRA

Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.

All: AUMGN

Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence. So mote it be.


Bell chime.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Against Good Omens

It's been one of the most predictable go-to storylines throughout the history of Augoeides - you know, along with evangelists saying dumb things and creationist evangelists saying really dumb things. The fact is that there are some Christians out there who have such nonexistent senses of humor that they consider satire and comedy dangerous in some mysterious way that they can never quite articulate. The latest comes from a Christian group that I have never heard of called "Return to Order" who are calling on Netflix to cancel the new Good Omens television series.

The six-episode series premiered on Amazon prime last month, and is adapted from the 1990 fantasy novel of the name name, written jointly by Gaiman and Pratchett. “Good Omens” stars David Tennant as the demon Crowley and Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale, who work together to fight the powers of Heaven and Hell and prevent the looming apocalypse. In addition to McDormand as God (praise be), “Good Omens” features Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel and Brian Cox as Death; as well as appearances by Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, Mireille Enos, and Nick Offerman.

In the petition, titled “Tell Netflix: Cancel Blasphemous ‘Good Omens’ Series,” a Christian group called Return to Order calls the series “a mockery of God’s order and religion.” Among their gripes are the fact that “an angel and demon are good friends,” “God is voiced by a woman,” and “The Antichrist…is portrayed as a normal kid that has special powers.” The petition concludes with a demand to “Stop promoting evil!” No stranger to controversy, Gaiman took the petition in stride. “I love that they are going to write to Netflix to try and get #GoodOmens cancelled. Says it all really,” the author tweeted. The user who directed Gaiman to the petition joked: “I think Mr. Gaiman and Mr. Pratchett would be very pleased with this complaint.”

Good Omens in fact airs on Amazon Prime, so how Netflix is supposed to do anything about it is anyone's guess. But nobody - especially me - has ever accused these humorless imbeciles of being smart. Good Omens is a parody of the Christian apocalypse. It's comedy, not theology. It also has some very funny bits, and I really appreciate that it was made into a television series. The story is great, and even though I like a lot of Terry Pratchett's other work I was never able to get past the first couple chapters of the book for some reason.

But of course I would like it - I'm a heathen afflicted by the dire sin of enjoying a laugh now and again. These Return to Order folks (or, I suppose, folk, since this could very easily be one particularly dour person and not a group of any kind) should give it a try.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Facebook Friendly Mass of Nuit and Babalon

On the latest installment of "Law and Order: Nipple Police" the folks at Facebook have decided that the image I have been using for this post for years now, "Babalon" by the amazing Kat Lunoe, violates their "community standards." Goofing around with the post this morning, I found that if a link gets flagged, you can't just change the image and repost because it's the same URL. Since blogger locks in the URL when you post, there's no way to fix it without creating a whole new "Facebook friendly" post without the nipples.

So this post here is a nipple-free duplicate of the previous one. Also, go ahead and check out Kat Lunoe's work here. All of her work is great, nipples or no nipples.

This Friday is the Summer Solstice and we will be performing the Mass of Nuit and Babalon to celebrate it. This is the full script for the ritual, which we have been celebrating for a number of years now with some pretty impressive results. This year the ritual will be taking place at Leaping Laughter Oasis in Minneapolis at 7:30 PM this coming Friday, June 21. This is a public ritual, so if you live in the Twin Cities area and would like to attend you are welcome to do so. Contact me or someone else from the Oasis for details.


0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with the Holy Table and Sigillum Dei Aemeth in the center. The banishing dagger, invoking wand, and bell chime are arranged on the Table. The chalice containing the Eucharist is placed in the center of the Sigillum. Holy images of Our Lady Nuit and Our Lady Babalon, including the Star of Babalon, may be prominently displayed. The Lust card from the Crowley/Harris Thoth Tarot can be used as a meditation focus, if desired.

Mass of Nuit and Babalon for 2019


"Babalon" by the amazing Kat Lunoe. Check out this and other works by her here.

This Friday is the Summer Solstice and we will be performing the Mass of Nuit and Babalon to celebrate it. This is the full script for the ritual, which we have been celebrating for a number of years now with some pretty impressive results.

This year the ritual will be taking place at Leaping Laughter Oasis in Minneapolis at 7:30 PM this coming Friday, June 21. This is a public ritual, so if you live in the Twin Cities area and would like to attend you are welcome to do so. Contact me or someone else from the Oasis for details.


0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with the Holy Table and Sigillum Dei Aemeth in the center. The banishing dagger, invoking wand, and bell chime are arranged on the Table. The chalice containing the Eucharist is placed in the center of the Sigillum. Holy images of Our Lady Nuit and Our Lady Babalon, including the Star of Babalon, may be prominently displayed. The Lust card from the Crowley/Harris Thoth Tarot can be used as a meditation focus, if desired.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Lizard People Can Kill

Or at least online trolls who manage to convince gullible YouTube viewers that lizard people exist can. Cults are famous for killing their followers - that's practically the definition of a cult versus a garden variety new religious movement. Think Jonestown or Heaven's Gate. But up until now the loose online group of conspiracy theorists dedicated to the wacky notion that the V miniseries from the 1980's was real history - meaning we're ruled by evil lizard people who masquerade as human - remained death-free. But recently all that has changed.

Barbara Rogers, 44, will spend 15 to 40 years in prison for murdering Steve Mineo – who she said asked her to kill him because he was ‘having online issues with the cult.’ Rogers said both she and Mineo were members of the ‘Sherry Shriner’ cult, which relied on YouTube to promote the idea that a race of reptile aliens – commonly called ‘lizard people’ or ‘reptile humanoids’ – are controlling humanity.

After the cult reportedly ousted the couple and branded Rogers a ‘witch,’ she said Mineo, then 32-years-old, was so distressed that he handed her a pistol and asked her to shoot him point-blank on July 15, 2017 at a home in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. In a frantic call to 911, Rogers could be heard telling a dispatcher: ‘My boyfriend had a gun. He told me to hold it here and press the trigger. Oh my God, he’s dead!’

I have never heard of this particular group of lizard-people enthusiasts, but people like them have been proliferating ever since British television presenter David Icke basically lost it and decided that it was his life's work to expose imaginary reptile people. Whoever the group is, it's true that Rogers' case is quite a bit different from the organized mass suicides that I mentioned above. Still, the idea that somebody could be so worked up that they wanted to be killed over something so stupid is troubling. Where does this nonsense end?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Sorry, I Don't Date Reincarnated Evil Witches

I've been a little behind on the weird news lately, but this last week Slate's "Dear Prudence" column included a doozy of a letter that is apparently for real. There was some discussion in the comments over whether or not it was fake, but as a member of the Twin Cities occult community I can vouch that there are plenty of deluded people out there like the boyfriend in question. Check it out:

My boyfriend, “Peter,” wants to break up with me. Obviously that’s his right, I know that, but it feels like I’m actually being irresponsible by just leaving. Peter has always had an interest in the paranormal and things like that. So do I, although I prefer M.R. James to actual, real-life creepy places. Over the past six months, however, Peter has moved further left of the socially accepted idea of normal. He’s become convinced that I’m the reincarnation of an evil witch. And sure, maybe he just thinks I’m an evil witch and wants an excuse to dump me. I’d actually be relieved if that were true, to be honest. Peter really seems to believe that I’m an evil soul, though, and is quite sad over this.

I just don’t know how to navigate this breakup ethically and respectfully. He’s not violent or a risk to himself, and there are plenty of worse conspiracy theories out there. On the other hand, he also wants to end a three-year relationship because he’s realized he’s dating an evil spirit. That doesn’t seem like the decision of a healthy psyche, and this has all just happened in a relatively short space of time. He doesn’t talk to his family—he’s always said they were weirdly religious, which seems relevant now—and he’s distanced himself from his old friends so he could find ones with the same interests. Right now it feels like I’m the only person in his life with a healthy dose of skepticism, and that it would be irresponsible to just … leave for saner pastures.