Monday, October 31, 2016

Regarding Magical Models - Part Nine

This is Part Nine in a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, Part Six can be found here, Part Seven can be found here, and Part Eight can be found here.

Last time I talked about ways in which the power of a magical operation may be represented, and in the process went over some of the differences between the my operant system and the chaos magick system as proposed by Peter Carroll. Today I'm going to talk about the concept of polarities in the context of information moving between quantum information fields, and address what I think is a significant misunderstanding regarding "Active" and "Passive" magical principles.

The idea of polarity is central to most effective magical operations. Traditionally, we are told that spirit has two qualities, active and passive. These qualities are considered foundational and are mapped across symbol sets. According to the quantum information model, these concepts are still relevant, but they represent an amalgam of ideas that may be broken down into multiple qualities that can describe all magical operations from a technical standpoint.

The first of these is the Material/Spiritual duality. Spirit corresponds to consciousness, and consciousness is represented as a quantum information structure, so Spirit may be thought of as the information component of an object. In quantum terms, the wave nature is represented as information and the particle nature is represented as matter. This is sometimes more technically described as "space-time foam," which is thought to be the fundamental nature of matter with all quantum information stripped from it.

One of the key hypotheses on which the quantum information model is based is the possibility of higher-order quantum information fields, which far exceed in complexity the groupings of particles that can so far be entangled in a laboratory. This is essentially "the big one" - if we can prove it, all sorts of physical effects can be explained alongside magical ones. But the caveat that I keep harping back on is that we don't know for sure if this is something that really exists in nature, and we can't conclude that it does without more data.

Consider for a moment, though, one of the biggest mysteries in physics - the nature of dark matter and dark energy. So far we haven't been able to identify any sort of "weakly interacting" particle producing the effect. But if the effects are simply the result of gigantic quantum information structures that span large regions of space, much of that mysteriousness goes away in favor of a relatively simple explanation. And that's just one example.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Tomb of Jesus Uncovered

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the holiest sites in Christianity. According to tradition, the church is built at the site of Jesus' tomb, in which he was placed following his crucifixion and where he rose from the dead. Inside the church is a tiny building called the Edicule, which is constructed above a cave believed to be the original tomb.

The Edicule has been severely damaged over the years, and a restoration project is now underway. As part of that project, the restoration team will be opening the original cave in order to make sure that the foundation work on the structure is sound. While they are down there, they are seeking to uncover the actual slab on which Jesus' body supposedly was placed.

Future pilgrims to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will be able to glimpse what is, according to tradition, the tomb of Jesus. It’s all thanks to a team from the National Technical University of Athens, which is undertaking critical repair work on the site. The team started excavating the tomb on Wednesday, in an effort to uncover the original limestone slab on which Jesus was supposedly laid.

The project is, according to National Geographic, a $4 million effort to restore the Edicule, the building that sits atop the grave believed to have held the body of Jesus. “It will be a long scientific analysis, but we will finally be able to see the original rock surface on which, according to tradition, the body of Christ was laid,” said Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, a partner in the restoration project.

The history of the Edicule goes all the way back to Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. After conversion, he reportedly dispatched his mother, Helena, to Jerusalem, where locals pointed out a cave believed to be the site where Jesus lay for three days after his crucifixion. According to Christian tradition, he was resurrected after that time and later ascended.

While I'm not going to re-hash the whole historical Jesus argument here, it is true that we really don't know if this was the original site where Jesus himself (or whoever historically inspired the Gospels) was buried. What we do know is that by the third century, this was where early Christians believed that the resurrection took place. That was still three hundred years after Jesus was allegedly put to death, so the attribution might have been folklore even then.

Still, it will be interesting to see what archaeological knowledge can be gleaned from the site, which has been hidden for centuries. Perhaps modern science will be able to shed some light on who was buried there two thousand years ago, and whether or not anything miraculous might have taken place at that time.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

So Is He Psychic?

Recently the Internet has been buzzing with the story of Michael Lee, who predicted that the Chicago Cubs would win the 2016 World Series. Lee's prediction was made in 1993, in his high school yearbook. At first everybody assumed that the quote was fake and the accompanying image photoshopped, but subsequent research has determined that the quote appears to be genuine and may actually date back to 1993.

Some background - the Chicago Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908, and have been considered "cursed" by many fans ever since. But this year, after a remarkable turnaround, the Cubs are in fact playing in the World Series, and as of this writing are tied 1-1 with the Cleveland Indians. If they do go on to win the series, the prediction will be fulfilled. So is Lee psychic, or is it all a big coincidence?

Admittedly, faking a yearbook pic is well in the realm of a capable photoshop hoaxer. However, one Reddit user named number1makeitso claims to have found four other copies of the same yearbook, and that Lee’s prediction is in those yearbooks as well. The user posted them on Imgur as evidence:

And Lee’s former classmate Marcos Meza never forgot the prediction, according to WGN TV. “When [Lee and I] connected on Facebook in 2009 I sent him the photo and told him we were nearing 2016. He posted the photo of his prediction on August 8th,” Meza told the station. “After my Dodgers lost it was time for me to make this go viral and BeLEEve in the Cubs for 2016.”

The station has been in contact with Lee, who, fittingly, lives in the Chicago area and is waiting to see if his prediction comes true.

So it's hard to say if Lee might have had some special insight, or if this is simply a case where one out of potentially millions of predictions happens to have matched the data. The Cubs' playoff losing streak has been a running joke among sports fans, so it's likely that they would be the subject of a humorous prediction. I also don't know if similar yearbook predictions have been made for them in other years as well, since as far as I know nobody has bothered to look.

But assuming the the prediction is genuine, the more unique it turns out to be, the more unlikely it is that Lee would just happen to get the year exactly right. Psychic abilities can be maddeningly unpredictable - somewhat ironically, especially when they involve predictions - and it might just be that when he let his mind wander in search of what sounded like a good year, he actually connected with something.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Signals From Aliens?

It seems like every so often somebody reports on alien signals being detected, and the signals turn out to be coming from some previously unknown non-alien source. The classic case was when pulsars were discovered. These objects send out regular signals, which were first interpreted as possible transmissions from a technologically advanced alien civilization. As it turned out, the periodicity was simply due to the unusual makeup of these objects rather than anything technological.

Also this last year, scientists became aware of a star that appears to be dimming over time in an unusual pattern. One possible hypothesis was that aliens were constructing some sort of megastructure, like a ringworld or a Dyson sphere, around the star. Subsequent measurements showed that there did not seem to be any additional energy emissions from the star that would indicate advanced technology, so the most likely explanation was a natural one.

But that didn't settle the question, either. As it turns out, the star has slowly been dimming for some time, ever since we started making measurements of it. While some of the natural explanations like a halo of comets around the star could account for some of the observations, they could not explain this long-term pattern. Most likely, the star is just behaving in an unusual, star-like manner that doesn't involve aliens, but the possibility is still out there.

Then recently, another set of anomalous signals were recorded. Several scientists have now gone on record stating that they think there is a good chance that this time, what we're seeing is some form of alien communication. But others are not so sure, no doubt remembering cases like pulsars which at first seemed to be such clear cases of regular, periodic signals that appeared technological in origin.

“We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an [extraterrestrial intelligence] signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis,” write EF Borra and E Trottier in a new paper. “The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis,” the two scientists from Laval University in Quebec write.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

RIP Jack Chick

Hey, is that Jack's head there?

Over the weekend, the occult world lost one of its most fascinating adversaries, Christian comic artist Jack Chick. Chick wrote and drew all those weird little tracts about how playing Dungeons and Dragons, listening to rock music, trick-or-treating, and learning about science were all one-way tickets to Hell. Seeing as the Bible says nothing about any of those things, Chick really did have quite the imagination.

In 2014, Chick joined the ranks of comic artists whose work has been made into movies. Okay, it wasn't a good movie in the film school sense, but rather a tongue-in-cheek and thoroughly hilarious rendering of his Dark Dungeons tract describing the spiritual dangers of Dungeons and Dragons - which, of course, don't really exist because it's a game, not a real system of magick, Satanic or otherwise.

Among comic artists, Chick rose to a level of fascination as one of the bestselling underground publishers in the world. Early news of his death on the site Boing Boing launched Chick’s name as a national trending topic on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

In the late 1990s, a media watchdog site described the secular fascination with Chick: “To some, Chick tracts are American folk art, or even a form of religious pornography, titillating and somewhat dangerous. Chick is the ultimate underground artist: single-minded and self-published, passionately committed to his message without regard for external social forces.”

Chick’s 150-plus tracts center around distinguishing the “saved” from the “lost,” the latter represented by various culture war targets over the years.

“Despite claims to eternal truths, tract subjects are frequently chosen in response to contemporary trends and ideas,” said scholar Martin Lund in the book Comics and Power, “references to communism have vanished from Chick’s post-Cold War output, and eight of the twelve ‘Islam’ tracts were published after 2001.”

Unfortunately, Chick's biggest influence on the culture was probably fueling the Satanic Panic of the 1980's, in which hundreds of innocent people were accused of things that basically don't happen, even in the occult world. The FBI debunked "Satanic Ritual Abuse" by the early 1990's, but for those accused during this modern-day literal witch hunt, the damage was already done by then.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Regarding Magical Models - Part Eight

This is Part Eight in a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, Part Six can be found here, and Part Seven can be found here.

In the last installment, I talked about how the "power" of a magical operation can be measured by comparing the natural probability distribution of the event you are trying to influence with the modified distribution produced by the operation. This is challenging to work out because generally you need a large sample size to determine the configuration of a probability distribution, and most magical operations are unique to some degree.

Motivational speakers like to throw around the overused quote falsely attributed to Albert Einstein, that the definition of insanity is "doing something over and over again and expecting a different result." However, reality is far more complex than that. The best strategy for accomplishing some task may only be sixty percent effective, for example, which means that you can't necessarily assume that because it fails a few times that it is worthless.

That also cuts the other way. Just because something succeeds a few times, that doesn't mean it's the best strategy or even necessarily a good one. Tiny samples are notoriously volatile, just on the basis of pure randomness. For magicians, it is vital to develop some understanding of statistics, because otherwise the temptation is to try and develop an entire model from a few examples. The odds that such a model is going to be correct are quite low, simply because it so easily could turn out to be based on statistical noise.

In addition to the absence of a proper "consciousness measure," this is a big problem with the scientific investigation of magick. Magical operations take time and preparation to perform, so in statistical terms most of us don't do that many of them. Even the many hundreds of trials that have gone into working out the particulars of my model is still a small data set as such things go. This is one more reason why I think "magical secrecy" is such a big problem. The only way to really get a decent sample size is to combine the work of many practitioners.

I've done my best to do this over the years, by compiling various accounts of magical workings from many different sources in addition to compiling my own data, but the process remains challenging. One of the issues when compiling data of that sort is that unlike your own findings, you're not working under anything resembling controlled conditions. In general, people tend to remember their successes and forget their failures, so there's no effective way to model those observations. Stories of truly outstanding operations can help to tell you what to explore, but you still need to do the work yourself in as empirical a manner as possible.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Paranormal, Not Supernatural

I post from time to time that while I believe in the paranormal, I don't believe in the supernatural. Some of that is axiomatic on my part - generally speaking, I believe that everything that exists is part of nature, and therefore natural. So you won't find me bad-mouthing science on this blog, because I think science is the best tool we have at our disposal for understanding the natural world. I just think there are phenomena out there that pose particular difficulties to the formal scientific method, or that mainstream science just hasn't caught up with yet.

Recently, I came across this story from the American Civil War. After the Battle of Shiloh, a particularly bloody battle that was fought in 1862, medics on both sides were completely overwhelmed by the number of casualties. Some of the wounded were left on the muddy battlefield for as many as two days. But then, a miracle seemed to occur.

All told, the fighting at the Battle of Shiloh left more than 16,000 soldiers wounded and more 3,000 dead, and neither federal or Confederate medics were prepared for the carnage.

The bullet and bayonet wounds were bad enough on their own, but soldiers of the era were also prone to infections. Wounds contaminated by shrapnel or dirt became warm, moist refuges for bacteria, which could feast on a buffet of damaged tissue. After months marching and eating field rations on the battlefront, many soldiers’ immune systems were weakened and couldn’t fight off infection on their own. Even the army doctors couldn’t do much; microorganisms weren’t well understood and the germ theory of disease and antibiotics were still a few years away. Many soldiers died from infections that modern medicine would be able to nip in the bud.

Some of the Shiloh soldiers sat in the mud for two rainy days and nights waiting for the medics to get around to them. As dusk fell the first night, some of them noticed something very strange: their wounds were glowing, casting a faint light into the darkness of the battlefield. Even stranger, when the troops were eventually moved to field hospitals, those whose wounds glowed had a better survival rate and had their wounds heal more quickly and cleanly than their unilluminated brothers-in-arms. The seemingly protective effect of the mysterious light earned it the nickname “Angel’s Glow.”

If this happened in a movie or on a television program, it would fit right in with a common paranormal trope - the wounds begin to glow, and then are healed rapidly, as if by magick.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Christian Terrorists Arrested

Last week, three Christian terrorists were arrested in Kansas. The three men planned to launch a massive attack on a mosque and a housing complex inhabited by Somali immigrants. They called themselves "crusaders," and the attack was clearly motivated by their hatred of Muslims. Some media outlets, though, were slow to call this what it clearly was - a terrorist plot - because the alleged perpetrators are Christian.

On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it had arrested three white men, Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Stein, who as part of a militia group called the Crusaders planned to bomb a housing complex and mosque in Garden City, Kansas. Allen, Wright and Stein had stockpiled 2,000 pounds of ammunition and numerous homemade bombs to conduct the attack.

Their intended victims were Somali immigrants. In information gathered by the FBI, Stein, the apparent ringleader, told his followers, “If you’re a Muslim I’m going to enjoy shooting you in the head.” Stein also wanted his confederates to “if you start using your bow on them cockroaches, make sure you dip them in pig’s blood before you shoot them.”

The destruction and murder would have been total. Allen, Wright and Stein planned to spare no one from their hateful wrath; babies and children would be killed along with adults. Stein told his fellow militia members, “When we go on operations there’s no leaving anyone behind, even if it’s a 1-year-old. I’m serious. I guarantee if I go on a mission those little fuckers are going bye-bye.”

It should be completely obvious that this planned attack, had it succeeded, would have constituted an act of terrorism. A terrorist doesn't have to be Muslim to be a terrorist. Looking at terror attacks around the world, the real root problem is intolerant religious fanaticism, regardless of the religion that a terrorist group claims to follow. Really, how different is a "crusader" from a "jihadist?"

Radical Christian terrorists and radical Islamic terrorists are basically the exact same thing - people seeking to kill those who don't share their beliefs. It's about time that they were universally recognized as such.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Regarding Magical Models - Part Seven

This is Part Seven in a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, and Part Six can be found here.

Moving on from spirits, this week I will be addressing the concept of magical energy. This concept gets criticized a lot primarily due to its overlap with physics terminology, but most of the alternatives that get proposed are no better. "Power" is one, except that it has a physics definition too - work/time. In fact, I just use "energy" most of the time because physics has definitions for just about any other term that I could possibly use.

At the same time, we need to be clear on the distinction between magical and physical energy. For a long time during the twentieth century, parapsychologists believed that psychic abilities had to be due to some sort of physical energy like electromagnetism. However, nobody has ever been able to come up with an experiment that shows psychic abilities are affected at all by substances that are known to shield electromagnetic radiation.

This result demonstrates that magical energy is something else entirely. The data we have suggests that "energy work" - ie. breathing exercises such as pranayama or qigong - substantially increases the effectiveness of magical operations according to some unknown mechanism. As I mentioned in my original Information and Energy article from 2011, magical operations behave as though information provides the direction and focus, and energy provides the transmission strength.

Energy work does produce physical effects in the body. It increases the amount of oxygen flowing through your system, and I am convinced that many of the "tingling" effects that you experience while you're doing it have to do with increasing the firing rate of neurons. Neuroscience research has shown that advanced meditators exhibit unusually high resting brainwave activity, and most of those meditation techniques do involve some sort of breathwork.

In China, qigong is researched alongside what we would recognize as more traditional medicine. Chinese researchers have found that qigong masters can emit concentrated infrasound from their hands when treating patients. Infrasound consists of low-frequency sound waves, likely caused by subtle vibrations in the hands themselves, which in turn can be linked back to increased neural firing "powered" by energy work.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Terracotta Warriors Show Greek Influence

A new examination of the famous terracotta warriors found near the tomb of the first Chinese emperor has revealed that the design of the statues may have been influenced by Greek sculptures of the same period. This is a fascinating archaeological find, because it means that the transmission of ideas between China and the Middle East happened much earlier than experts previously believed.

Farmers first discovered the 8,000 terracotta figures buried less than a mile from the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang in 1974. However there was no tradition of building life-sized human statues in China before the tomb was created. Earlier statues were simple figurines about 20cm (7.9ins) in height.

To explain how such an enormous change in skill and style could have happened, Dr Xiuzhen believes that influences must have come from outside China. "We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art," she said.

Prof Lukas Nickel from the University of Vienna says statues of circus acrobats recently found at the First Emperor's tomb support this theory. He believes the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great, who died in 323BC.

Alexander the Great extended the Greek empire all the way to the Himalayan mountains and into modern-day Pakistan. His troops attempted to invade India but turned back, and never made it all the way into China. Still, if Greek artisans influenced the terracotta warriors, it suggests that trade between China and central Asia was more active than previously thought during the period.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Zombie Hunter Arrested

The crime scene in North Saint Paul looked absolutely nothing like this

Here's a story that hits disturbingly close to home. Huffington Post reports that a man was arrested just across town in North Saint Paul after firing an AR-15 rifle into a home. The man told police that he was hunting zombies, which I guess are supposed to be on the prowl in an otherwise ordinary Twin Cities suburb. The bullet broke a window, but fortunately did not injure anyone inside the home.

Amid a growing wave of creepy clown sightings, arrests and anti-clown violence, Ryan Stanislaw is taking us back to a simpler, more innocent time. You know, when a zombie apocalypse was the cool thing to have nightmares about.

Stanislaw was arrested Saturday after allegedly firing into a home while “hunting zombies” at around 5 a.m. in North St. Paul, Minnesota, Fox 9 News reports. Police say a bullet from an AR-15 rifle shattered the window of Ken Quaale, who was asleep at the time.

Luckily, the bullet narrowly missed Quaale’s head, ricocheting off the walls of his bedroom, he said.

Stanislaw, 24, allegedly told police he was simply out “making sure my neighborhood is safe” and that he was aiming at “a zombie.” He was also carrying bullets marketed as anti-zombie ammunition.

Wow. Just wow. The article goes on to state that Stanislaw has no history of mental illness, which I highly doubt. There's also no mention in the article of whether or not alcohol was involved, but I suspect that it probably was. Either that, or the undead really have started hunting the living in North Saint Paul, pretty much the last place you would expect to find them.

But then, maybe that's been their plan all along.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Winchester House Has a New Room

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is a marvel of Victorian architecture. The massive mansion is a veritable labyrinth of rooms and corridors, some of which connect in a logical fashion and others which seem to go nowhere. The story goes that Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester fortune, believed that she could keep herself safe from evil spirits by continuously adding on to the structure, which she did until her death 38 years after construction began.

At any rate, the latest news from the Winchester house is that an entirely unknown room was recently discovered. The room occupied an attic space that was boarded up after the 1906 earthquake that damaged the house. A number of items dating back to Victorian times were apparently just left there when the room was boarded up, and were found intact.

A new room has been discovered at San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House, a Victorian mansion that was home to a widow of the Winchester rifle fortune. The home’s preservation team recently opened the new room to the public.

The newly discovered room is an attic space that has been boarded up since Sarah Winchester died in 1922. Winchester boarded up the room after the 1906 earthquake because she was trapped in the room and she thought evil spirits were responsible for the quake.

The preservation team found numerous items in the room, including a pump organ, Victorian couch, dress form, sewing machine and paintings.

Some sources argue that there were breaks in the construction, so it was not continuous as the legend claims, but the result was nonetheless a gigantic, sprawling building of around 24,000 square feet. Oddly enough - or at least, I found it odd when I looked it up - the Winchester house is actually smaller than the largest house in Minnesota, the James J. Hill house. It covers a lot more ground, though, because of how it is built - as you can see from the aerial view above.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Liber Spirituum Deluxe Edition Available

Cross-posted from my author website.

I have just received word that the deluxe edition of Liber Spirituum, the new anthology containing my essay "Evoking Zodiacal Angels," is now available from Azoth Press. It is limited to 28 copies, so if you want one, get it while you can.

The deluxe edition is admittedly pricey, but the standard limited edition that I have in my possession is a beautiful book. I expect that the deluxe edition meets a similar standard of excellence, and it looks fantastic from the images that I have seen at the publisher's web site.

Also, as a collector of such volumes, I can testify that they generally appreciate substantially in value after only a couple of years. So not only do you wind up with a lovely edition of an excellent book, it makes a solid investment as well.

The deluxe edition of Liber Spirituum can be ordered here, direct from the publisher. There are also more images at the link for you to check out.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Regarding Magical Models - Part Six

This is Part Six in a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, and Part Five can be found here.

In last week's article, I mentioned that I had not yet explored how the idea of spirits can be handled within a quantum information model of magick. Over the last week, there has been some discussion on the blogosphere regarding the natures of gods and spirits, so it seems to me that this is as good a time as any to explore the concept more fully.

I'm going to start off with an argument put forth by early quantum physicist Ludwig Boltzmann dubbed a "Boltzmann Brain" by modern physicists. Boltzmann argued that since the quantum physics rendered the second law of thermodynamics as a statistical rather than absolute principle, and since quantum fluctuation was happening all the time across an effectively infinite universe, it was a real possibility that self-aware entities could emerge from that fluctuation despite its randomness.

Boltzmann's math does work, but most modern quantum physicists consider the idea a paradox. From Wikipedia:

The paradox states that if one considers the probability of our current situation as self-aware entities embedded in an organized environment versus the probability of stand-alone self-aware entities existing in a featureless thermodynamic "soup", then the latter should be vastly more probable than the former.

That is, the math suggests that from a statistical standpoint, there should be many more disembodied self-aware entities in our universe than there are human beings. Modern quantum physicists point out that our day-to-day experience in no way suggests that our universe is in fact populated by disembodied intelligences...

Friday, October 7, 2016

It's Just a Hurricane, People!

Okay, maybe not "just." Hurricane Matthew is a serious storm, one of the biggest hurricanes to make landfall in years. But here's what it's not - a manifestation of God's wrath against gays. Unfortunately, Christian extremists are beating that same old drum again. It's just like in the Muslim extremist world, where "immodest women" get blamed for earthquakes, and it makes about as much sense.

For example, one anti-gay Christian extremist declares:

"Hurricane Matthew Is The Wrath Of God Poured Out On The Cities Of Orlando And Savannah For Supporting The Evil Sodomites."

Andrew Bieszad, a contributor to, a popular anti-gay, Christian extremist website, explains that God is sending the hurricane as “a sign of His anger” against America for tolerating homosexuality. Bieszad notes:

"The Bible clearly teaches that in the Old Testament whenever the Hebrews were very disobedient towards God, He would send punishments against them, many times in the forms of natural disasters. Christian history also recognizes the same, where God will use His creation to execute judgment against the wicked. While not all bad weather is necessarily a sign of sin, both sacred scripture and sacred tradition clearly note that it can be so. Now we know that Florida is an area that is infected with sin, especially cities such as Miami and Orlando, which are veritable dens of sodomy."

And while Bieszad and others are blaming the gays for Hurricane Mathew, other Christian extremists blame abortion and Hillary Clinton for the storm.

So let's take a critical look at that. Even if you believe God directly punishes people for sin by sending natural disasters their way, which I don't, is this really anything like what would happen? First off, if God is omnipotent and the hurricane has something to do with Hillary Clinton, why isn't the storm targeting, you know, Hillary Clinton? Why can't an omnipotent God do that?

It should be pointed out, too, that analysts think the storm will likely help Clinton get elected. Her poll numbers show a small lead in Florida following the first debate, and big stories like hurricanes tend to "freeze" the news cycle and prevent candidates from making up ground once they're behind. If this is God going after Clinton, he's picked an ineffective way to do it. Shouldn't omniscience preclude incompetence?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Regarding Magical Models - Interlude

Over the weekend, Frater Barrabbas posted an article discussing "strange phenomena" that he has observed regarding magical operations. He contends that phenomena such as these are what make magick so difficult to model. On that point he's entirely correct; every item that he mentions poses some sort of challenge that must be answered by any viable model, since for a model to work and be relevant, it must fit the data. So here are my answers to those challenges in the context of the model that I am in the process of laying out in this series.

In places, this article will touch on some aspects of the model that I haven't fully laid out yet, so if you see something here that doesn't make sense in the context of what I've posted so far, bear with me. I will get to it, but it takes time and exposition if I want to be able to cover all the bases and make what I am proposing as rigorous as possible.

1. Magical results for a particular working begin to happen before the rite is even performed. I refer to this phenomenon as a causality collapse, and I have experienced other situations where the perception of time has been slowed down or startlingly increased. Time dilation and causality distortion seem to be a part of the typically overlooked attributes of magical phenomenon.

This is probably the most compelling of Barrabbas' challenges, but I believe that it can be explained in the context of a quantum information field model. First of all, it has been established that quantum information fields are non-local in space, so it's not such a big leap to assume that they could be non-local in time as well. So that's the most obvious approach.

However, that sort of supposition may not even be necessary. While it is true that you can often take a magical operation and trace its causes and effects back to some event that was set in motion before you performed your ritual, I think that falls under a modified form of the Schroedinger's Cat thought experiment.