Friday, March 15, 2019

The Invocation of Horus


The Holy Season has arrived! Next week we will be starting up the Office of the Readings on Tuesday, March 19th and my usual Office of the Readings post will go up on March 18th, the preceding Monday. Normally I just include a link to the Invocation of Horus in that post, but this year we have decided to do the invocation tomorrow evening, March 16th, at 7:30 PM. So because we're doing it early, I'm posting the Invocation of Horus today so folks can take a look at it before attending. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

The text of this ritual is by Saint Aleister Crowley according to the vision of Ouarda the Seer, and has been adapted for group performance by Ananael Qaa and Lalitha. Crowley's original version can be found here.


0. CONFESSION

All stand facing east. A flaming sword (flamberge) is placed on the altar. Horus is visualized appearing in the east as a human figure with the head of a hawk in the east towering over the participants. A statue or image of Horus may be placed in the east to assist this visualization.

Officiant opens the ritual with the Star Ruby.

All assembled then read the Confession.

Unprepared and uninvoking Thee, we are here in Thy Presence – for Thou art Everywhere, O Lord Horus! – to confess humbly before Thee my neglect and scorn of Thee. How shall we humble ourselves enough before Thee? Thou art the mighty and unconquered Lord of the Universe: we are the sparks of Thine unutterable Radiance.

How should we approach Thee? But Thou art Everywhere. With unwashen hands therefore we come unto Thee, and lament our wandering from Thee – but Thou knowest!

Yea, we have done evil!

All bow to the east.

We bow our necks before Thee, so are we in Thy hands. Strike if Thou wilt: spare if Thou wilt: but accept us as we are. Our trust is in Thee: shall we be confounded? For that All is in Thee and of Thee; it is enough if we burn up in the intolerable glory of Thy presence.

Rays of golden light shine forth from the figure of Horus and enter the crown chakras of all assembled, moving through their bodies all the way down to the feet and purifying all actions taken that are out of harmony with the operation of True Will. There is a short pause for this visualization. Each person rises as he or she feels the purification is complete. When all have risen the rite continues, led by the Officiant.

Enough! We turn toward Thy Promise. Doubtful are the Words: Dark are the Ways: but in Thy Words and Ways is Light. Thus then now as ever, we enter the Path of Darkness, if haply so we may attain the Light. Hail!

The figure of Horus responds by sending forth golden light that fills the temple. This visualization continues until the end of the invocation. The light becomes brighter and stronger as the rite goes on.

Officiant then opens the invocation proper with the Star Sapphire.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

"QAnon" Now Has a Book


Whut???

It amazes me that anybody still believes the "QAnon" conspiracy theory, but for whatever reason it seems to be a ridiculous idea that nonetheless refuses to die. After many failed predictions the theory has died down a little online, just like those fake "End Times" pastors who predict the end of the world over and over again and are always wrong. Maybe because the online version is starting to fade, some clever con artists have come out with a book that aims to "educate" (that is, defraud) anybody who buys it.

The book, which says it was written by a dozen “anonymous Q followers, decoders and citizen journalists known collectively as Where We Go One We Go All (WWG1WGA),” claims that Democrats murder and eat children and that the government created AIDS, polio and Lyme disease. Then there’s the belief that the world is run by a Satanic cabal led by Hillary Clinton.

There’s more. So much more. But we’ll leave it there. QAnon emerged from the dark corners of the internet and into the national spotlight thanks primarily to supporters of Donald Trump who would show up at his rallies wearing clothes and holding signs referencing the “Q” conspiracy.

Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy-theory expert, told NBC that the book is just another way for the QAnon movement to cash in on its gullible followers, calling it “a bold new step in the endless grift at the heart of Q.”

Nevertheless, the book keeps selling and racking up questionable glowing reviews, which Jason Kint, CEO of the trade association Digital Content Next, chalks up to manipulation and the lack of oversight on Amazon’s part.

“To be clear, they absolutely shouldn’t be censoring the availability of books like this,” Kite explained to NBC. “But the fact we’re left only with the publisher’s own description of the book and a clearly gamed set of 5-star reviews — how is the average shopper supposed to know this is toxic garbage?”

Monday, March 11, 2019

Via Solis Pisces Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Pisces Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday March 12th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. Going forward, we will be continuing to perform one of these per month, once for each of the twelve signs, in a ritual series called Via Solis (the way or path of the Sun). 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 Pisces.

The sign Pisces is attributed to the powers of "Bewitchment" and "Casting Illusions." So this is the power that you would call upon to cast classic magical operations such as "glamours" and the like. Spells that act directly on your own mind or those of others would also qualify. And, since magical powers are descriptive, not prescriptive, this can be scaled up to include all sorts of contemporary issues in our society.

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, March 7, 2019

Christian Witches are a Thing

You might think that being a Christian witch would be a contradiction. However, according to this article from CBN they do exist and are planning their first convention. Reverend Valerie Love is a former Jehovah's Witness who now identifies as a Christian witch. In the article, she talks about her beliefs and how they fit together.

"For as long as I can remember I've always been 'magickal'... seeing things that people said 'weren't there' or daydreaming in far-away worlds as a child and being constantly 'snapped' back to 'reality' by teachers and other big people," she explains in a post on her website. "The word Witch engenders power in some and fear in others. The determining factor in what comes up for us when we hear the word 'Witch' is consciousness. One person is ecstatic about the possibilities of Magick while another is stricken with terror."

Love says she left behind the Jehovah's Witnesses and found the freedom "to be the Goddess I AM today." It's worth noting that Christian theologians and church leaders do not consider the Jehovah's Witnesses to be a Christian group, labeling it as a cult. Meanwhile, Love says she wrestled with being a witch and being an alleged Christian. She claims she found inner peace by writing "The Christian Witch's Creed," which says "I am a Christian Witch; I love my cross and my wand. I consult my Tarot deck and my Bible. I adore & am devoted to Christ and the Goddess."

A man named Calvin Witcher, who calls himself a "prophet," will also attend the conference. He claimed during a Facebook live-stream two months ago that the Bible is full of witchcraft. "The Bible is a huge book of sorcery. You literally can't get around that. You can't get around Jesus being a magician. There's just no way," he said.

Now before you laugh, I should point out that this idea is nothing new. Modern fundamentalist Christianity with its insane obsession with "purity" - listen to all Christian music, read all Christian books, have only Christian friends, and so forth - is a relatively recent movement. At most it dates back to about the mid-1800's and the latest incarnation is largely a backlash against the social movements of the 1960's.

What this reminds me the most of is Appalachian hexcraft, which is a thoroughly Christian tradition of folk magick. For example, the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses provide magical uses for the psalms, which are widely used in that tradition. Also, books like the Long Lost Friend, one of the main hexcraft sources, are full of Christian references. Since modern witchcraft includes a lot of folk magick, the two systems probably look quite similar.

You can argue that Christianity forbids magick, but the reality is that this is only true of conservative literalists who do not make up even the majority of Christians. There's even some question over the meaning of "witch" in the injunction given in Leviticus. As I've pointed out here many times, the minute you pray for something to happen you are doing magick anyway, so why not study your craft and get good at it?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Flat Earthers are Dumb

Yeah, I know, not much of a revelation there. Anybody who lives near the ocean can prove that the Earth is at the very least curved with a simple spyglass. Train it on a ship traveling away from you on the water and you will see the bottom of the ship disappear before the top. This is because of the curvature of the Earth, and it's probably how the Greeks initially figured out that the Earth was round. Nobody really believed it was flat until Medieval Europeans came along. But anyway...

A flat earther decided to fund a scientific experiment that would demonstrate the Earth does not rotate. But according to a new Netflix documentary, all his experiment managed to prove was that the Earth does indeed rotate. So like any good scientist would do, he went ahead and ignored the results.

One of those Flat Earthers is Bob Knodel, who hosts a YouTube channel entirely dedicated to the theory and who is one of the team relying on a $20,000 laser gyroscope to prove the Earth doesn't actually rotate.
Except... It does.

"What we found is, when we turned on that gyroscope, we found that we were picking up a drift," Knodel explains. "A 15-degree per hour drift. Now, obviously we were taken aback by that - 'Wow, that's kind of a problem.' We obviously were not willing to accept that, and so we started looking for easy to disprove it was actually registering the motion of the Earth."

You know what they say: If your experiment proves you wrong, just disregard the results!

"We don't want to blow this, you know?" Knodel then says to another Flat Earther. "When you've got $20,000 in this freaking gyro. If we dumped what we found right now, it would be bad? It would be bad. What I just told you was confidential."

I suppose in this day and age of fake news a resurgence of this nonsense was inevitable. You have to wonder, too, how much of it is a scam. The flat-earther who was going to prove the Earth was not round by flying a rocket less high up in the air than the top of the Willis Tower in Chicago is a good example. You're going to fly a rocket when you could get better data by riding an elevator up to the top of a tall building. Better still, get on airplane with the cheapest ticket you can find. Even shorter flights usually still climb to around seven miles.

But maybe my problem with this has to do with some residual resistance to the idea that people are this stupid. I have to keep reminding myself to look at how smart the average person is and then take into account at least half of them are dumber than that.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Not The Pineal Gland

There is so much nonsense on the Internet about Ordo Templi Orientis and magick in general that we get people coming in the doors of our local bodies with a lot of weird beliefs. Here in the Twin Cites, we once had an individual show up who was convinced that there was a "five-foot pineal gland" in the Vatican archives.

We pressed said person - do you mean a carving or a statue? No, they replied, it was a "real pineal gland." I entertained whether this was even possible for a second or two. But I don't think there are any animals on the planet with a pineal gland that big, even a blue whale. The only reason I gave it any credence at all, in fact, was that whale organs were harvested throughout the nineteenth century, and the Vatican archives are supposed to house some weird stuff. But no, none of it made any sense.

Later on I think I found the YouTube video this individual was referring to, and it was about a statue of a pine cone that was supposed to represent the pineal gland. It isn't all that weird that the Vatican might have such a statue, simply because Rene Descartes believed the pineal gland to be "the principle seat of the soul" based only on its position in the brain and its geometry. Descartes first published this hypothesis in 1637 and it has proved surprisingly enduring, even though pretty much everything he knew about the function of the pineal gland is now known to be incorrect.

Friday, March 1, 2019

John Oliver Versus Psychic Mediums


John Oliver recently posted a great takedown of the psychic industry, particularly television mediums, on Last Week Tonight. The full video of the segment is included above. Oliver goes over cold reading and hot reading, and shows some pretty impressive failures by celebrity mediums. While Oliver scoffs at the entire notion of psychic abilities, whereas I do not, the segment is entertaining and educational. For every real psychic out there, it sounds like there are dozens of scammers hiding in the woodwork and waiting for opportunities to make some quick and easy cash from grieving families. And that's just awful.

One of the reasons I stay out of the magick/psychic business is that everybody I've seen who's been successful in that area has a bit of the huckster in them - not to say that their abilities are fake, or that their techniques don't work, but rather there is a certain feel to them that I just don't like. I don't want to be one of those people, and I would honestly feel bad about taking money from someone for a spell if it doesn't work. Sure, I could try the whole "charging for success only," but I know how that goes because I've run several small businesses. If you give anybody an opening, they'll try to weasel out of paying. So that's not a viable option either.

I would rather just publish my magical techniques either here or in print and let them speak for themselves. Either my methods work, or they don't.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Book Production - What Haunts Us

Augoeides has been quite for the last week and a half because my publishing company, Moonfire Publishing, has been finishing up the rollout for our latest title, What Haunts Us by Loren Niemi. Loren is a storyteller who performs all over the country, and What Haunts Us is his first-ever published story collection.

This book was challenging to produce, but if I don't say so myself the result is pretty outstanding. From a literary standpoint the narrative style comes from performance storytelling, which gives it a fundamentally different feel than your standard anthology of short stories. Some are adapted from existing folklore and others are entirely original compositions. This is a work that has been long in the making, as Loren has been performing for more than forty years. You can check out his website here for more information about him and his background.

All of these stories touch on various elements of the paranormal and metaphysical, and should be of interest to magical and spiritual practitioners. I know that a lot of us don't read much fiction, but this is a book that grounds the fantastic firmly in the real world as we know and understand it. As magicians, that is, after all, precisely what we strive to do with our practices. So I think that What Haunts Us is definitely a book worth checking out, and on top of that the stories themselves are quite good.

Loren will be performing tomorrow evening, Wednesday February 27th, at Tillie's Farmhouse in Saint Paul, Minnesota. If you are local to the area, come by and check it out. It promises to be a good time with opening music starting at 6 PM and Loren's storytelling starting at 7 PM. He also travels around the country, with his upcoming events posted on his website. If you get a chance to see him, you should - there aren't a lot of storytellers around any more, and Loren is an excellent one.

Now that the book production project is mostly wrapped up, I'll be getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. Also, the Office of the Readings is coming up in a few weeks and as always you will be able to follow along here. I have to say, with all the snow we've been getting this February I really am looking forward to spring.