Thursday, March 22, 2018

Office of the Readings for 2018

There has been some discussion online (again) this year about how it is "problematic" that there are people (I've apparently never met) who think celebrating the Holy Days in this way comes from Aleister Crowley himself or is in some sense "canonical" to Thelema. To be clear, neither of those statements are true. The arrangement here comes from various modern sources - James Eshelman's Thelemic Tefila, the late Soror Marfiza and the Companions of Monsalvat, and myself and my magical partner Soror Lalitha. Still, having performed this series for many years, we find that it is a great way to better acquaint yourself with the Holy Books and celebrate the Thelemic New Year.

Happy Thelemic New Year, everyone! It's that time again, for the Office of the Readings.

The Thelemic dates that you may see written online are arrived at by counting the number of 22-year cycles since 1904 to obtain the upper case Roman numeral, and then counting the years of the current cycle to get the lower case one. Within each 22-year cycle, many Thelemites ascribe the Major Arcana trumps of the Tarot to the years in order starting with The Fool and ending with The Universe. So the year that we're about to enter into is V:iv, attributed to either The Emperor or The Star depending on whether or not you swap the Tarot attributions for Heh and Tzaddi.

This post will remain the top article here for the duration of the Thelemic Holy Days from March 20th to April 10th. The Rite of the Office of the Readings is performed for all of the readings beginning on March 20th.

This year I'm pleased to announce that like last year, this year's Office of the Readings will be presented at Leaping Laughter Oasis, the Minneapolis local body of Ordo Templi Orientis. This year we will be performing the Invocation of Horus on the evening of March 18th to keep it on the weekend, and the Prologue of the Unborn on the 19th will be followed by the New Moon Ritual for Pisces.


The Invocation of Horus
The Rite of the Office of the Readings


March 19

Liber VII, Prologue of the Unborn.

March 20 - Saturn/Earth, The Universe

Liber LXV, Cap I.
Liber VII, Cap II.

March 21 - Fire/Spirit, The Aeon

Liber LXV, Cap IV.
From "The Four Zoas" by William Blake - "Night the Ninth, Being The Last Judgment"

March 22 - Sol, The Sun

Liber VII, Cap IV.
From "A Mithraic Ritual" Translated by GRS Mead.

March 23 - Pisces, The Moon

Liber VII, Cap VI.
From “Dark Night of the Soul”, Book II, Cap 8 by San Juan de la Cruz.

March 24 - Aries, The Emperor

Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.
From the “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu, Cap 37 and 39.

March 25 - Mars, The Tower

Liber VII, Cap I.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 16th Æthyr.

March 26 - Capricornus, The Devil

Liber A'ash.
Relevant to Liber A'ash is my solution to the mystery of the duck.
From Liber CXI, Cap 174-175.

March 27 - Sagittarius, Art

From “The Vision of the Universal Mercury” by G.H. Frater S.R.M.D.

March 28 - Scorpio, Death

From Liber Arcanorum.
From Liber CXI, Cap 192-194.

March 29 - Water, The Hanged Man

Liber LXV, Cap III.
"I. N. R. I." by Frater Achad.

March 30 - Libra, Adjustment

Liber Libræ.
Selections from “The Spiritual Guide” by San Miguel de Molinos.

March 31 - Jupiter, Fortune

Liber VII, Cap III.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 20th Æthyr.

April 1 - Virgo, The Hermit

Liber VII, Cap V.
"The Emerald Tablet of Hermes" by Hermes Trismegistus.

April 2 - Leo, Lust

Liber Stellae Rubeæ.
From “The Daughter of Fortitude” Received by Edward Kelly.

April 3 - Cancer, The Chariot

Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni.
"Maha Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra" (The Heart Sutra, Buddhist text. Translation by the Kuan Um School of Zen).

April 4 - Gemini, The Lovers

Liber LXV, Cap II.
From Liber DCCCXXXVII, The Law of Liberty.

April 5 - Taurus, The Hierophant

Liber LXV, Cap V.
From “On Christ and Antichrist” by Hippolytus, Cap 2.

April 6 - Aquarius, The Star

From “The Thunder, Perfect Mind” (Gnostic text).

April 7 - Venus, The Empress

Liber VII, Cap VII.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 7th Æthyr.

April 8 - Luna, The Priestess

Liber AL, Cap I.
“Vajrasattva, Primordial Buddha of Diamond or Rainbow Light” From Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas.

April 9 - Mercury, The Magus

Liber AL, Cap II.
“Visvapani, The Bodhisattva and Spiritual Emanation of Amoghasiddhi” From Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas.

April 10 - Air, The Fool

Liber AL, Cap III.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 22nd Æthyr.

If you would like to perform this series and have questions, feel free to e-mail me here. All Office of the Readings posts may be viewed here. Our Office of the Readings series is based on this ritual series by the Companions of Monsalvat.

Can't Evil Just Get Along?

It truly is hilarious to watch right-wing extremists eat their own. According to this story from The Daily Beast, the White Nationalist movement is working to cut ties with an extremist group called Atomwaffen Division. But it has nothing to do with the group being neo-Nazis, or being violent, or anything like that. The problem is that Atomwaffen Division is associated with a satanic group called the Order of Nine Angles. So they're still evil, but they're the wrong kind of evil.

White nationalists are disavowing the murderous neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division—not because of the murder, but because the group can’t shake persistent rumors that it’s a gateway organization for a satanic cult.

Atomwaffen is an extremist group that received national attention after being implicated in five murders from May 2017 to January 2018. But even before the most recent slaying, Atomwaffen was under fire from others on the far right who claimed the group was actually a mouthpiece for the Order of Nine Angles, a satanic group that encourages members to infiltrate extremist political movements, whose members might be susceptible to conversion.

It doesn’t help that, until recently, Atomwaffen pushed the satanic group’s literature on one of its websites. Atomwaffen claims to have been founded in 2013, although its membership surged after a deadly white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, ProPublica previously reported. The group now has approximately 20 cells across the U.S., according to ProPublica. “The satanist group requires members to spend six months either hitchhiking, working as a burglar, working as a police officer, or infiltrating an extremist political group—a group like Atomwaffen.”

The Order of Nine Angles is British-based, but steeped in Nazism. A fringe occultist group whose literature encourages human sacrifices, the ONA champions Nazi Germany and pushes Holocaust denialism. One of the group’s longest-running leaders, Anton Long, is rumored to have been a pseudonym for the known neo-Nazi David Myatt.

And I just have to laugh. I supposed that ONA can be proud that it's being shunned as "too evil" by other Nazis. I also find it amusing, in a darkly humorous sort of way, that being a murderous terrorist group with cells and everything isn't a dealbreaker, but if you mention anything about Satan - well, there's the door. My guess is that it has something to do with Christian White Nationalists getting spooked by anything having to do with the devil, but failing to comprehend that whether or not they're any better remains an open question.

This reminds me of comic book super-villains who try to team up, but find themselves at each other's throats practically right away. Let's hope this trend continues. If it does, the resulting discord might just tear the entire movement apart.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dave Chappelle's Illuminati Clone

Is this guy the coolest Illuminati clone ever, or what?

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame once published a list of all the reasons that "you are dumb." One of those was something to the effect of "reaching bizarre conclusion with no actual evidence," and as an example he gave "My car won't start. I'm certain that the spark plugs have been stolen by rogue clowns." Today's story isn't exactly that, but it's close. It concerns comedian Dave Chappelle, who according to an unnamed "cousin" was murdered and replaced with a clone (a fully-grown, adult one, mind you) by the Illuminati. No, really!

According to his cousin who does not wish to be named, it was not long after the Oprah interview that Dave Chappelle was killed and cloned. The way they did it was by luring him back into the Hollywood executive office, back to the round table of exec types who push the Hollywood agenda, by offering him his show back, with full creative license to Dave. Sounds too good to be true, but Dave fell for it. It was his love for the show that did him in.

His cousin warned him, “don’t do it, it’s a trap.” But Dave wanted to believe. Dave promised his cousin that he would call her right after the meeting with the executives. She never received and still has not received that phone call. She tried calling his cell shortly after the meeting. Someone else picked up, a stranger’s voice, who told her that Dave was not there and hung up. She tried again and the phone became disconnected.

She believes the Illuminati took Dave to an underground base where they sampled his DNA and murdered him. Then through the use of something called organic robotoid cloning, they grew a new Dave in a matter of hours. Now with clones, they are going to look similar but not exact. They had this problem before where family members recognize that the person coming home to them is not their loved one. Oddly enough, Putin’s ex-wife testified about this same thing, a few years back. Since they knew Dave’s wife and kids would not be fooled by the clone Dave, they killed and cloned them as well.

Serious question. It is accepted as a given by Illuminati conspiracy theorists that the Illuminati have access to the technology that the CIA developed under the MK-Ultra program, and the technology works. So tell me why it makes any sense to invest what you would have to invest to develop a means of cloning human beings as adults. Nodody has ever cloned an animal as an adult successfully. Human beings may have been cloned illicitly by groups like the Raelians, even though most experts think they made those claims up, but unlike in comic books any such clone starts out as a baby and has to grow up the normal way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Rothschilds Did It!

I often wonder why critical thinking skills are so poor these days. But maybe they always were, and thanks to the magic of the Internet we're just seeing more examples. It used to be that if a lawmaker said something stupid and/or prejudiced, it might get reported in their district and/or be seized on by an opponent. Nowadays, the world sees everything, and that brings us to Trayvon White Sr., a member of the Washington D.C. city council. During the latest D.C. snowstorm, White blamed the bad weather on "the Rothschilds controlling the climate." Seriously! White later apologized for his remarks, but the damage was done.

D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) posted the video to his official Facebook page at 7:21 a.m. as snow flurries were hitting the nation’s capital. The video, shot through the windshield of a car driving west on Interstate 695 through downtown Washington, shows snowy skies while White narrates.

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

The Rothschilds are a famous European business dynasty descended from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, an 18th-century Jewish banker who lived in what is today Frankfurt, Germany. The family has repeatedly been subject over the years to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories alleging that they and other Jews clandestinely manipulate world events for their advantage.

One of the easiest ways to identify somebody who is an anti-semite is to look for references to how "the Rothschilds" control finance, business, trade - or for that matter the weather. They don't. Today we have a whole new set of rich douchebags running the show.

The reason people keep coming to back to this is that in 1903 when the anti-semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion hoax was published, the Rothschild banking family was much richer and more powerful than their descendants are today. In the nineteenth century, the Rothschilds were bankers to the great colonial powers of continental Europe and the British Empire. But in the twentieth century, the fall of colonialism and two world wars rendered them far less significant. At the same time, America's rich natural resources were exploited to create families with more wealth than the Rothschild banking families had ever seen, like the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Morgans, and so forth.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Workplace Voodoo Dolls

This week's magick post was The Office of the Readings, but I had to put it up on Sunday rather than today because we were doing the Invocation of Horus last night and I was announcing it as part of the post. So this is kind of a weird news post in that it is weird and I found it in the news. Still, I have some real magick thrown in at the end.

A recent study has found that voodoo dolls can have a positive effect on workplace morale. In particular, employees who took out their feelings of anger regarding abusive treatment by their supervisors felt less resentful about their work and performed better on cognitive tests. In particular, their feelings of injustice resulting from the situation in question were reduced.

Some 229 employees who participated in a recent study were asked to think of a workplace interaction that involved "abuse" from a supervisor or boss. As part of the study, some were then allowed to take out their job frustrations on a makeshift voodoo doll carrying their boss's name by sticking pins, burning it with candles and pinching it with pliers. OK . . . now I'm starting to get a little nervous.

The theory is that people (i.e. employees) who feel wronged sometimes wish they could lash out at their abuser (i.e. their boss . . . now just hold on a minute!). The study wanted to prove that giving employees the opportunity to take this anger out on an inanimate object is therapeutic for them - and potentially less painful for employers like me.

And you know what? It worked. A third of the study's participants reported "lower feelings of injustice" and said they were "far less likely to still feel bitter" about their supervisor. Not only that but they performed better on cognitive tests as well.

So let me just get this straight. There is a real study out there that shows employees can be made more productive by giving them a voodoo doll of their boss to abuse. That means employees can make a legitimate argument for bringing a magical implement into the workplace with official sanction from their employer. Sure, it's "harmless," but only so long as the doll remains magically inert and unlinked from any target.

This is interesting from a psychological standpoint because most studies find that "venting" or acting out anger is entire unproductive. It makes feelings of anger worse, not better, and makes the person more likely to act out in the past. The idea that anger is an "energy" that has to be "released" is one more piece of psychoanalytic twaddle that has infected our culture, but which has no scientific basis whatsoever.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Consciousness Truthers

Could anything possibly be dumber than denying the existence of something that you directly experience every single day? I honestly sat here for a bit and gave it some thought, and you know what? I can't come up with anything. But there really are such folks as "consciousness deniers." That is, people who contend that your subjective sense of awareness doesn't really exist. I suppose you can define a world in which "real" and "objective" are synonyms, and since consciousness is by definition subjective it must be unreal, but that's really quite silly.

As the late Stephen Hawking demonstrated in his work on black holes, particles aren't even "objective" in the philosophical sense because their nature is not constant across all possible frames of reference. So that sets up a world in which nothing at all is "real" - and so, in another sense, everything might as well be. The particles making up a baseball bat may not be entirely objective, but they're real enough to hit you in the face. Likewise, your consciousness is real enough to be aware that getting hit in the face with that baseball bat hurts.

The Denial began in the twentieth century and continues today in a few pockets of philosophy and psychology and, now, information technology. It had two main causes: the rise of the behaviorist approach in psychology, and the naturalistic approach in philosophy. These were good things in their way, but they spiraled out of control and gave birth to the Great Silliness. I want to consider these main causes first, and then say something rather gloomy about a third, deeper, darker cause. But before that, I need to comment on what is being denied—consciousness, conscious experience, experience for short.

What is it? Anyone who has ever seen or heard or smelled anything knows what it is; anyone who has ever been in pain, or felt hungry or hot or cold or remorseful, dismayed, uncertain, or sleepy, or has suddenly remembered a missed appointment. All these things involve what are sometimes called “qualia”—that is to say, different types or qualities of conscious experience. What I am calling the Denial is the denial that anyone has ever really had any of these experiences. Perhaps it’s not surprising that most Deniers deny that they’re Deniers. “Of course, we agree that consciousness or experience exists,” they say—but when they say this they mean something that specifically excludes qualia.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Oregon Judge Suspended

Fundamentalist Christians really have a hard time living with the rest of us. I suppose it's no surprise that they work so hard to build their own completely isolated communities in which nothing but explicitly Christian things are ever allowed to intrude. Patheos reported on Thursday that much like what happened to Roy Moore in Alabama, a conservative Christian judge in Oregon has been suspended for refusing to follow the law and perform (civil, it should be noted) same-sex marriages.

Judge Vance Day, the former chair of Oregon’s Republican Party and a conservative Christian who claims his religious beliefs don’t allow him to marry same-sex couples, has been suspended for three years without pay by the Oregon Supreme Court for his refusal to marry same-sex couples. Pacific Northwest News reports:

"The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday took the unusual step of suspending a sitting state court judge — Vance Day of Salem — for three years. The high court found that Day, first appointed in 2011 to the bench in Marion County Circuit Court, committed 'willful misconduct' and made 'willful misstatements' to investigators to cover up the truth. Day acted with prejudice against same-sex couples by deciding he wouldn’t marry them and he instructed his staff to employ a scheme to avoid “public detection” of his plan, the Supreme Court said."

Previously, the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability issued a scathing report urging the state Supreme Court to remove Judge Vance Day from the bench. The 48-page report details what it described as a long list of ethical and even criminal missteps it found Day committed. Among the most egregious was the commission’s finding that Day refused to marry same-sex couples and told his office staff to lie about why.

The absolutely most confusing thing about all these stories to me is that we're not talking about religious marriage. We're talking about civil marriage. Nobody is out there forcing churches that don't approve of same-sex marriage to perform ceremonies - and let me tell you, if the government ever started doing anything like that, they'd get a lot of flack from even progressive me.

I suppose it has to do with the belief held by some conservative Christians (the poor oppressed variety, naturally) that there really is no separation of church and state in the Constitution, but that belief is just wrong. A conservative Christian judge who lets a same-sex couple sign a piece of paper meaning they're married in the eyes of the state is not committing a sin. Presumably, to his or her church the marriage is just invalid.

So this is absolutely the right thing for the state of Oregon to be doing. Day can't force everybody else to follow his religion - that's expressly prohibited by constitutional law. If he can't do his job because of his beliefs that's his choice, but he doesn't have a right to keep the job when he is unwilling to fulfill its required duties.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Scientology TV

As many of you probably know, in 1946 L. Ron Hubbard and Jack Parsons performed a magical operation inspired by the (fictional) Moonchild ritual from Aleister Crowley's novel of the same name. Meanwhile, Crowley himself would write to Karl Germer regarding said operation that "Apparently Parsons or Hubbard or somebody is producing a moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts." As I see it, Crowley was right to be concerned, because as things worked out what the ritual eventually gave birth to was the Church of Scientology. That's a powerful argument right there that it should never be performed again.

Scientology is one of the world's biggest and most famous cults. They're most well-known for hoovering up every spare bit of cash their members come across, going after any and all ex-members who dare to criticize their organization with a vengeance, and threatening to sue people right and left. I might even get a cease-and-desist letter for calling the group a cult on this blog. But I don't use the term lightly. Any new religious movement that requires the investment of the amount of money that Scientology does, and/or harasses members who try to leave like Scientology does, really does deserve that epithet.

Anyway, for those of you who were anxiously waiting for Scientology to get with the times and create its own television network (and, yeah, that's basically nobody), you're in luck. The Church of Scientology is in fact starting its own television network on DIRECTV AppleTV, Roku, FireTV, iTunes, and Google Play. But a number of critics have pointed out that starting up a television network now might not be the best thing for the church to be doing.

Given the organization's decades-long controversies, perhaps there's no great time for it to expand it media platform. But right now does feel particularly odd. For starters, the February mass murder in Parkland, Florida brought a deluge of attention to another niche broadcaster — NRATV — and a wave of threatened boycotts against its platform, Amazon. On Twitter Monday morning, users were already expressing surprise at DirectTV, and saying how to contact the network directly. Then there's the increased scrutiny the organization has faced in recent years, thanks in no small part to its high profile defectors. In 2015, filmmaker Alex Gibney's documentary series "Going Clear" made a splash on HBO, and garnered three Emmy awards. The same year, "King of Queens" star Leah Remini released the bestselling "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology." She followed up with her own documentary series to "give a voice to victims of the Church of Scientology despite public attempts to discredit them."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Psychic Animals Here to Stay

A few years ago, World Cup Soccer went wild for "psychic animals" that seemed to possess the ability to predict the outcomes of matches. The animals would be offered two bowls or containers of food, one bearing the flag of each country. Then the one they selected would be deemed the winner - and a few of those animals proved quite accurate. This year, a Russian cat named Achilles has been selected ahead of the 2018 World Cup tournament as its official "animal psychic."

Achilles, a white-furred deaf cat who lives at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, has been selected to predict the 2018 FIFA World Cup winners.

The male clairvoyant cat was also picked as the official oracle to forecast the traditional pre-match predictions for last year’s Confederations Cup, where he correctly predicted three of the four-match outcomes, reported Russian News Agency Tass.

Hermitage cats press secretary, Maria Khaltunen, claims the feline was chosen for the role because he demonstrated "capabilities for choice, analysis and unusual behavior.” In addition, Achilles is deaf, which means he will not be easily distracted by surrounding noises.

For the 2017 Confederations Cup, the white cat was made to choose between two bowls of food, each with a different country’s flag. “This decision has been made, the papers have been signed,” Khaltunen told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Monday.

According to Khaltunen, Achilles will receive a fan identification card (otherwise known as a fan passport). He will also go down in history as the only animal to have attained the prestigious documentation. "Animals are not given [Fan IDs,] as there are questions concerning photos," Khaltunen said.

Now here's where this gets interesting. The main skeptic claim about psychic animals is that what's really is going on is that hundreds of people have animals doing this, and simply by chance some of them will turn out to be right. Over time, this creates a sort of "sifting process" where the only animals left in the pool by the end of the tournament are the ones that chose correctly. So the most successful animals are not psychic, just lucky.

But when you pick an "official" psychic animal ahead of time, that whole dynamic changes. Since one of the basic tenets of probability theory is that each subsequent pick in cases like this should be entirely independent of past picks. So if this is all due to chance, the odds that Achilles will be able to pick successful matches again should be pretty low. If he's successful this time around as well, I would say that warrants further paranormal investigation.

Rupert Sheldrake has provided some evidence of rudimentary psychic abilities in animals, and has proposed his morphic resonance hypothesis to explain it. If Achilles can repeat his performance this year, with all the experimental variables declared ahead of time, it means that at the very least what is going on is probably not sheer luck.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mastering the Thirty Aires

This week I'm skipping my usual magick post, but I have a good reason. I'm focusing on putting the final touches on my manuscript for Mastering the Thirty Aires so I can hopefully get it off to Pendraig by the end of this week. That doesn't mean it will be out right away or anything like that - the editing and book production process generally takes months to get through. But it's a big step that I've been working on getting to for a long time now. It turn out out to be harder to write than the last two put together.

Mastering the Thirty Aires approaches the system of the Aires or Aethyrs from the original Dee perspective - as a system of political magick designed to influence the general affairs of the various portions of the world. It also touches on more modern practices like "rising on the planes" and so forth, but more from the perspective of giving you the information you need to do the work yourself rather than delving into detailed analysis that you can find in many other books. As with the first two installments in the series, it will include a detailed ritual template that you can use to construct your rituals without a bunch of guesswork. Also, it will touch on some of the basics of zodiacal magick in the context of the Enochian system of the Aires.

So I'm really looking forward to making this new book available, and completing my trilogy of Enochian books. I know that some of you have been waiting a long time for this to be released, and I hope that you will all find it worth the wait.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Haunted Alexa

I have never been a fan of voice interfaces. For all that they let you talk to your computer like on Star Trek or something, there are all sorts of issues that science fiction never really addresses. Let's say you're using a voice interface to run your phone or your smart glasses or really any other piece of tech in public. I don't know about you, but I'm not even remotely interested in having everybody around me know my business. In a group of people it often is weirdly disruptive, too, because everybody around you is trying to figure out who you're talking to and often get irritated when they realize you're talking to literally nobody in the room. There's a reason that the term "glasshole" was invented not long after the beta release of Google Glass - somebody who sits there and talks incessantly to their smart glasses.

Amazon's Alexa is a similar technology. I suppose it's more private to talk to a home speaker than it is to your glasses or your phone when you're out in public, but the thing still has to pay attention to every single thing you say in order to work. Does anybody really believe Amazon isn't logging all that data and selling it to advertisers so they can harrass you with better targeted ads? The other problem with these "Internet-of-things" systems is that they can be hacked or get viruses. Or maybe even paranormal infestations, which is what brings this story into Augoeides territory. Alexa has apparently been randomly laughing at people - a creepy laugh, not a funny one - and nobody knows why.

As Amazon Echo Dot owner Gavin Hightower was heading to bed the other week, he encountered a disturbing Alexa bug. For no apparent reason, the device uttered a “very loud and creepy laugh.” “There’s a good chance I’m getting murdered tonight,” Hightower tweeted after the incident.

Hightower isn’t alone: Numerous Echo device owners have reported their Alexas laughing spontaneously, unprovoked by their wake word (“Alexa”) or any other command. For other users, it’s more than just laughter. Some report their Alexa devices failing to fulfill their spoken requests, performing random other actions instead, and then capping it off with a guffaw.

Now granted, it's probably a bug or some new virus. It almost certainly isn't "skynet" or any of that intelligent AI nonsense - we're still many years away from making anything like that work, and just for reference about the same number of years away that people were saying we were twenty years ago. It also is true that if you were going to sit down and build a virus that would infect the Alexa network, this would be a pretty funny to do, especially if it only sends out the laughs intermittantly enough that the problem is hard to track down and debug. On the other hand, if you could do something like this by conjuring a spirit, wouldn't that be extra-fun?

Amazon has announced today that they have apparently fixed the problem by updating the software. But what if they really just had a wizard come in and do a big exorcism over their whole data center? Integrating magick with technology is usually fairly difficult, but it also is true that as Internet services become more centralized the number of targets you have to hit to get an effect goes down by a lot. If you can make it work, the applications are endless.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Gun Commitment Ceremony

So it's finally happened, folks. Conservatives warned us that same-sex marriage was a slippy slope to letting people marry their toasters, and I didn't believe them. But in Pennsylvania last week, a bunch of men (wearing pink robes and tiaras, I might add) married their guns. Even though the gun debate involves some pretty serious issues, this reminds me so much of Stephen Colbert "sharing his life with a gun named Sweetness" that I have to laugh.

With state police and a smattering of protesters standing watch outside the church, brides clad in white and grooms in dark suits brought dozens of unloaded AR-15s into World Peace and Unification Sanctuary for a religious event that doubled as an advertisement for the Second Amendment.

The church, which has a worldwide following, believes the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the book of Revelation, and encouraged couples to bring the weapons. An AR-15 was used in the Florida high school massacre on Feb. 14.

The Rev. Sean Moon, who leads the church, prayed for “a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing.”

Moon is the son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, which critics regard as a cult. The younger Moon’s congregation is a breakaway faction of the Unification Church, which had distanced itself from Wednesday’s event.

Because of course it is. These cults have more schisms than... well, they have a lot of them. At any rate, yes, I realize I'm being a little flippant here. These guys didn't actually marry their guns. They just dressed up in pink robes and tiaras and took wedding vows while holding their AR-15's. So it's totally different, right? Still, the pink robes and tiaras look pretty gay. I wonder if that was deliberate on their part, or some aspect of their religion that just happens to look like something you might see at a (really bad) drag show.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Where Do They Get This Stuff?

Sometimes I wonder if I should just go all-out and start posting random conspiracy nonsense to get my social media clicks up. The trouble is that I can sit down and make up the most outrageous thing I can think of, and it will still be tame compared to most of what's out there. I archived a couple of these two weeks ago, and am just getting around to them now. I thought about doing them in two separate posts, but basically they suffer from exactly the same problem and really form more of a set.

This first one is from Alex Jones and InfoWars. I know I said awhile back that I was probably going to lay off Alex Jones because most of his stuff is dumber and more partisan than it is funny, but... well... just go ahead and read it for yourself. And try not to laugh - I dare you.

Infowars leader and crackpot conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, contributing to the second phase of the ongoing right-wing smear campaign against the artist who painted Barack Obama’s presidential portrait, claimed that the artist purposefully painted an image of sperm on Obama’s face to fulfill part of a globalist agenda to “have everything be a ritual of abomination.”

Today on Infowars, Jones claimed the artist Kehinde Wiley, who was hired to paint Obama, “is obsessed with sperm” and that “all of his paintings have sperm swimming all over everything.” For some reason, Jones also felt the need to clarify that the alleged sperm shape in question was a “GMO sperm” that was “fully formed.”

“You say, ‘But, it doesn’t make sense, it’s so degenerate.’ It’s a religion of degeneracy. It’s what globalism is. It’s what Satanism is,” Jones said. “So there you go, President Obama covered in sperm in new national portrait, and it’s all part of the joke in your face, because they don’t want upright strength. They want to have everything be a ritual of abomination.”

Repeat after me - finance douchebags are not occultists. They just aren't. And even if there were, let's say that the vaguely sperm-shaped (or really, comma-shaped) space in Obama's presidential portrait is really supposed to be sperm. Let's even say it really is supposed to be "fully-formed GMO" sperm (whatever the heck that is). So what? That's still not occultism, it's not magick, and it's not even a ritual. Basically, all this argument does is freak out people who know nothing about how magick works. Any real occultist knows better.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Via Solis Pisces Elixir Rite

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Pisces Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday March 6th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. Going forward, we will be performing 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 lodge 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. As just one example, a spell to counteract propaganda, or if you will, "fake news," would fall under the power of illusion, since Pisces rules this power and can counteract it as well as set it in motion.

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.


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.


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.


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.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A "Conjuring Arts" Chair

A university in Canada is looking to fill a new "conjuring arts" chair. I was excited for two reasons when I came across the story. First, for just a minute, I thought that the article was talking about Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. I attended Saint Olaf College just across town from Carleton, and I have to say, it really is about time that Carleton College assembled an Aleister Crowley collection even half as good as Saint Olaf's - which, unlike Carleton, is ironically a Christian (ELCA Lutheran) college. Second, before I read it I thought that the university might be trying to a curriculum in Western Esotericism, like only a handful of schools around the world have done. But I was disappointed on both counts. Carleton University is in Canada, and it sounds like "conjuring arts" in this context has nothing to do with, well, actual conjuring.

So what approach will the new chair take? “The conjuring arts” is not a term used by experts in the field, and the job’s terms of reference are somewhat vague. The president of Carleton, Alastair Summerlee, who has a great wizard name and actually looks extremely wizard-like, told CTV News that the scope of the job is “incredibly broad.” He says that the university is open to candidates from a variety of backgrounds, and would, in addition, like to find someone who will “use magic as entrée into the world of perception and deception.” This would include studying the techniques of persuasion used in politics and the media. So you might finally be able to get credit for your essay comparing every Trump administration official to a Harry Potter villain. But also, as Professor Magliocco points out, it could help us understand “how large groups of people come to believe things that are impossible and even dangerous.” She says this is of real value in an era when fake news is rampant and when thoughts and prayers are offered as the solution to school shootings.

The chair is named after Allan Slaight, one of Canada’s richest people, whose family foundation put up $2 million for it. (Carleton matched that sum from its own budget.) Before he sold out over a decade ago, Slaight was the owner of a broadcasting empire that included dozens of radio stations, a couple of television stations, and, at one point, the Toronto Raptors. Slaight spent several years when he was young touring the prairies as a performing magician, and he has remained obsessed with stage magic. He has edited and published two massive books on legendary Canadian magician Stewart James, which one reviewer has described as “the biggest books in the history of magic literature.” If academic opinion is divided over the new chair, the practicing magicians VICE spoke to were, perhaps not surprisingly, all enthusiastic — although one of them admitted he initially thought the Slaight family had donated an actual magic chair, which would have, let’s face it, been even cooler.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Electronic Magnetic Witchcraft?

I really do try to stay away from political posts these days. It's not like there aren't extremists at both ends of the political spectrum, but when assertions this ridiculous comes along I have to say something. It's courtesy of two right-wing evangelical kooks named Sheila Zilinsky and Pat Holliday, who I hadn't previously heard of. They apparently believe in every single fundie bugaboo out there, and on a recent "Miracle Internet Church Radio" podcast they put them all together into one big glob of "what the fuck are you two talking about?" But don't take my word for it - read it for yourself.

“The government had a plan called Blue Beam back in the ’80s where they were going to fake a rapture of the church through blue beams and being able to shoot holographs up into the sky,” Holliday said, insisting that this was evidence of the “electronic magnetic witchcraft” that controls the world through everything from satanism and astrology to holistic medicine and sports. “Did you know that the witchcraft powers in America had total control under the NFL over Obama?” Holliday asserted. “What Trump is doing and has done is he has disconnected the NFL from the powers of the former government.”

First off, why would the government "fake a rapture?" In the 1980's, evangelicals like Jerry Falwell had unprecedented power in the Reagan White House. Maybe they could have suggested it in order to somehow shill for more donations to their ministries, but that's about the only moderately plausible explanation I can think of - and it's not a very good one. People would never be fooled by holographs in the sky, even credulous evangelicals in the 1980's. To this day they still look transparent and really can't be mistaken for people or even solid objects.

Second, if somebody has worked out how "electronic magnetic witchcraft" could possibly work, I'm all ears. I'm familiar with techniques like radionics, but it's not like they're that widespread or popular. Charles Cosimano has some designs that might qualify, but I suspect if he really were supplying his devices to the oligarchy he would be a lot better off. And anyway, you can build one of his radionic devices by learning a little about electronics and modifying an old radio or stereo. It's not like it's technology that's unavailable to most people.

Third, "witchcraft powers" in America barely have enough money to buy more than a few hundred copies of my books in a year. I find it laughably hard to believe that they have any influence whatsoever over big-money organizations like the NFL. Minnesota got conned into spending more than four hundred million dollars on the new NFL stadium in Minneapolis, and that's enough money to buy thirteen million copies of Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy and Mastering the Great Table. In the real world, my sales are A LOT lower than that.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Practical Magick Versus Mysticism

This article is a response to this post over on Talking About Ritual Magick, and is essentially an expanded version of my comment which you can read over there. Frater Barrabbas begins with what I think is a completely reasonable denunciation of hucksters in the occult community peddling magick as an end-all, be-all, instant panacea - to anyone who is willing to pay up. The New Age community went through that whole thing back in the 1970's, and what emerged was a culture of ten thousand dollar "become an instant shaman" weekend retreats. As serious magicians and occultists, we would be wise not to repeat that nonsense.

At the same time, though, I think the post goes a little too far in the opposite direction. Maybe it's something that I'm reading into it, but parts of it come off as a little dismissive of practical magick in general. I'll freely admit to having a bit of a chip on my shoulder regarding that perspective - I have heard it many times over the years from people who start out doing magick and get heavily into mysticism and/or meditation. Now I don't think there's anything wrong with either of those approaches, and there's also nothing wrong with deciding that practical work is not really your thing. But it is mine, and I never have understood why for some, the result of mystical work seems to be that they feel a need to denigrate the practices of others.

To be clear, I do not think that this is what Frater Barrabbas is doing. He's saying that from a non-dual perspective, practical magick is essentially pointless - and to be fair, this is entirely true. However, this is also true of striving for anything in your life, not just magick. Through meditation and mysticism it is true that you can train the mind to accept almost anything. Former OTO head Karl Germer famously relied on his mystical training to help him survive a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. And sometimes it's easier to train yourself to accept your place in the world than it is to transform your situation.

But should you? I'm convinced that the answer there is not "always," but it also is not "never." It's somewhere in between, and I have run into too many folks over the course of my life who at some point in their magical career have decided that "always" really is the best answer. I agree with the general principle that the eventual goal of magick is self-transformation and mystical attainment, but why not make your life circumstances better along the way? It also seems to me that practical work can sometimes reveal the nature of your will more simply and elegantly than meditation can. It gives you a benchmark for your practice that is objectively measurable, which is generally not the case with more subjective mystical work.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Secret Masonic Ritual?

There's a lot of talk on the Internet about Masons and supposed "secret rituals" carried out by "high degree members" that the rank and file don't learn about until they progress far into the depths of the organization. As one of those rank and file Blue Lodge masons, it's possible that stuff like this might be going on behind closed doors without my knowledge - but I have to say, I highly doubt it has anything to do with Masonic ritual.

The story sounds like something out of a bad movie, one of those "comedy of errors" films that asks how embarrassing things can possibly get. A former Australian mason apparently set out to distribute cheeseburgers to the homeless, but wound up naked inside a giant pipe organ with a toy gun and a remote controlled police car. Naturally, alcohol was involved.

A former freemason found drunk and naked inside a huge pipe organ has appeared in court accused of damaging the historic instrument - insured for more than $1 million. Glenn Langford was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly flooding the Brisbane Masonic Memorial Centre and setting off the fire alarms.

The 51-year-old faced charges at the Brisbane Arrest Court on Thursday and was granted bail. But he said his intentions were initially well-meaning and the night had got out of hand after downing a bottle of Johnny Walker whisky, 7 News reports.

The court was told he had been meaning to hand out cheeseburgers to the homeless. Food was left scattered on the floor of the grand hall of the heritage-listed temple in Brisbane's CBD, which features one of the biggest organs in Queensland.

It is feared the organ, installed in the 1930s, may be too damaged to be repaired despite it being insured for $1 million. Mr Langford is charged with allegedly damaging a number of organ pipes and destroying part of a decorative wall.

He was also discovered naked along with clothes, a remote controlled police car and toy gun. The magistrate heard from Mr Langford's lawyer who explained he had last week lost his job and was getting over the breakdown of a 16-year relationship. He was granted bail on the condition that he stayed more than 100 metres away from the centre in Ann Street.

'Things just got a little loose, I was out of it,' Mr Langford told 7 News. He apologised to 'all the righteous Freemasons everywhere'. 'I did have a lot of cheeseburgers to give to the homeless. I'm going to see a shrink and don't drink,' he added.

Maybe he's not drinking now, but if he really was a non-drinker and downed an entire bottle of whiskey - well, I suppose it actually makes sense that he took off all his clothes and climbed inside a giant pipe organ. Can you imagine waking up from that blackout? "Hey, where the hell am I, and what's going on? What am I supposed to do with this remote controlled police car? And where are my cheeseburgers?"

I suppose we'll just have to chalk it up as a cautionary tale of how Masonic charity can go bad. Maybe this is why American masons don't drink at lodge events.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hacking the Elemental Hexagrams

Most Augoeides readers are familiar with my operant field system for using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. To briefly recap, as I see it the "Lesser" rituals are general rituals that you use to set up your magical working space or "field," whereas the "Greater" rituals are used to conjure specific magical forces. I am not fond at all of the "Lesser" versus "Greater" nomenclature, because there should be no implied hierarchy between the types. You do want to learn the "Lesser" rituals first, but that's only because they are the first rituals you use when doing magical operations. They are in no way inferior or less important - they are foundational to the work.

But one of the things that some of the Golden Dawn groups teach these days does not fit very well with this concept of the forms, and to my way of thinking just confuses things. This is the idea of "Lesser Rituals of the Hexagram" for specific planets. From a technical standpoint, what you do is pretty straightforward. You trace the four elemental hexagrams from the point attributed to the planet, according to where the two triangles that represent each elemental hexagram map onto the Tree of Life when placed in the "standard" or star configuration. But if the Lesser rituals are general rituals, how should that even work?

To be clear, my operant field model is developed from Aleister Crowley's versions of these rituals published in Liber O, which in turn is Crowley's adaptation of the Golden Dawn rituals he learned from S. L. MacGregor Mathers during his time in the order. Thus, my system is based on material that effectively diverged from the Golden Dawn tradition over a hundred years ago. So what I am not trying to say here is that the modern Golden Dawn teachings are wrong in some objective sense. I have no idea where the idea of specific "Lesser Hexagrams" came from, or what experimental testing was done to verify that the method works.

So going forward, keep in mind that I am talking about my own operant system and offering no comment one way or the other on how other traditions such as the modern Golden Dawn orders teach these ritual forms. I naturally believe that my methods work better based on my own experimental testing and that of a number other magicians who have tried it out and compared it to more traditional methods. But my suggestion is, as always, if it works it works. If you learned these forms from a Golden Dawn group and they work for you as you learned them, that's great. But I also invite anyone to give the operant system a try and see if it works for them as well as it does for me.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Not "Mass Hysteria"

Well, that was quick. Just as I predicted, researchers examining the Cuban "sonic weapon" brain injuries have concluded that what is going on is absolutely not a case of mass psychogenic illness, or if you will, "mass hysteria." To be clear, there's no evidence that any sonic weapon was employed to cause these injuries, but it is also clear that they have some sort of physical cause. That should have been obvious from the start, but skeptics just love to muddy the waters by insisting that anything they don't understand is "psychological."

While the exact cause of these concussion-like symptoms remains unknown, these individuals appeared to have sustained injury to "widespread brain networks without an associated history of blunt head trauma," report clinicians from the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Brain Injury and Repair in Philadelphia, which was selected to coordinate evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of affected patients.

Importantly, note Randel L. Swanson II, DO, PhD, and colleagues, there is no evidence that the symptoms reported by US embassy personnel in Cuba can be attributed to mass psychogenic illness, as some skeptics have suggested. Mass psychogenic illness typically involves uniform symptoms that are of short duration and are often benign in nature, with no consistent physical exam findings. This is completely opposite of what is seen in the Cuba cohort, they note. Although not systematically excluded, viruses or chemical exposures are unlikely, they say.

"While there are many open questions that remain, we are collectively convinced that these individuals, as a group, sustained a neurological injury. So, the constellation of signs and symptoms and their response to rehabilitation mirrors what we see in patients with mild traumatic brain injury, both in the civilian population and in our military population," Swanson said in a JAMA podcast.

As a point, there are equally misguided folks in the magical community who do the same thing. There's no clear consensus on the nature of spirits, for example, so some practitioners dismiss them as "psychological projections." But my point is that what's going on with both spirits and the Cuba case is that we just don't know for sure. If you automatically dismiss everything you don't understand as "psychological," you are going to make a lot of mistakes evaluating any paranormal phenomenon - or even unusual ones.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Calm Before the Stupid

Donald Trump may be a bad president for many people, but the one group that he has consistently delivered for is conspiracy theorists. I don't mean the garden-variety "big business is colluding with the government to make money" kind of conspiracy theorists (those sorts of conspiracies happen all the time), but rather the complete and utterly batshit insane variety. More and more implausible allegations come to light every day. Is it fake news, or is it just flat-out stupidity? I expect that you already know my answer to that question. I recently came across an article about a conspiracy theory floated last year called "The Storm." It was a sort of meta-conspiracy that set the bar quite high for future efforts.

Part “Pizzagate,” part New World Order, and part hyper-partisan wishful thinking by defenders of Donald Trump, “the Storm” is a sprawling meta-conspiracy, with actors ranging from Hillary Clinton to model Chrissy Teigen, in which everything you know about the current investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign is upside down.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, in this alternative universe, is in fact preparing to indict hundreds of Democrats (including Clinton, Barack Obama, and financier George Soros) and Hollywood celebrities for their roles in a massive worldwide pedophilia ring, operated by “globalists” who are conspiring to destroy Trump — and that the president himself is himself masterminding this “countercoup.”

“What we have come up with is a possible coup,” explained conspiracy theorist David Zublick in a late-November video, “not against Donald Trump, but by Donald Trump, working with Robert Mueller to bring down the Clintons, the Democrat Party, and the entire U.S. government involved in pedophilia and child sex trafficking.”

In just a few short weeks, the theory has grown from a handful of posts on fringe Internet chat forums to become the overwhelming obsession of nearly every conspiracy theorist in the business, notably Alex Jones and his Infowars operation, as well as social-media figures such as Liz Crokin. In addition to being a constant focus of discussion on Infowars, dozens of YouTube videos and thousands of Twitter posts exploring various facets of the conspiracy, and presenting the usual dubious “evidence” to “prove” it, have shown up on the Internet.

The origins of “The Storm” lie in Trump’s cryptic remarks on October 6, saying that a gathering of military leaders represented “the calm before the storm.” When asked what he meant, Trump responded: “You’ll see.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

Via Solis Aquarius Elixir Rite

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Aquarius Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday February 13th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. Going forward, we will be performing 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 lodge 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 Aquarius.

The sign Aquarius is attributed to the power of "Astrology." Since astrological divination is a fairly mechanical process, it seems to me that in addition to being the proper spirit to call on in order to learn astrology or understand it better, the angel of Aquarius should also have a more active aspect. So what I am going to experiment with when we perform this ritual is to see if Aquarius has some degree of influence over astrological forces in general. That would have practically unlimited applications - if it works.

As just one example, there has been a lot of discussion back and forth here about magical strategies to neutralize and/or mediate negative aspects and debilities in natal charts, and I'm going to see if I can just use the power of Aquarius to accomplish something along those lines. It would be very convenient if, say, you could just call up Aquarius and say "neutralize/mediate XYZ in my natal chart" instead of working out a remedy involving a particular planet or element. Of course, I don't know how well this will work, but that's the whole point of experimentation.

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.


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.


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.


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.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Fun With Yoga Demons

I've written a number of times here on Augoeides about the hatred for yoga among some fundamentalist Christians. They tend to be the kind of Christians who insist on living in their own little bubbles consisting of Christian television, Christian movies, Christian music, and so forth. So according to their sad ideology, anything that's not explicitly Christian is depraved and evil. Yoga does not fit that bill, even though I have come across so-called "Christian Yoga" practitioners who rename the postures and open with Christian prayers. Recently a Christian blogger warned that yoga - apparently, no matter how you do it - creates a "demonic trance" and is just like playing with a Ouija board.

A Christian blogger is warning those who follow his faith that practicing yoga is like playing with a Ouija board.

“You may perform the moves without consciously seeking the demonic trance they were designed to help you attain, but it would seem you are playing, quite literally, with fire,” Matt Walsh wrote for the Daily Wire.

He repeatedly called yoga a pagan practice. “I don’t think all yoga practitioners go to Hell,” he wrote. “But neither do I see how a pagan ritual could ever help someone get to Heaven, and maybe that’s reason enough to leave it alone.”

I'm going to say this again, because I keep saying it and nobody seems to listen - there is such a thing as non-sectarian yoga. A lot of people practice it. While some yoga classes do include elements like simple Hindu prayers that a strict Christian could reasonably object to participating in, without any of that yoga is just stretching. There's nothing "demonic" or even Hindu about the postures themselves. As I also have mentioned in previous posts, modern "exercise yoga" is not even entirely Indian. It is a mixture of Hatha Yoga, which simply consists of holding the postures for sustained periods of time, and European calisthenic exercises. The Europeans who practiced the latter were almost certainly Christian.

Sadly for those of you looking forward to getting your demonic trance on at the local Ashtanga studio, Walsh is full of it. Even for those of us who like working with spirits, there's nothing about yoga that's going to help us connect with them. It's good exercise, but that's about it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

That's Really Too Bad

It sounds like the African nation of Zambia won't be conducting cutting-edge paranormal research any time soon. In response to rumors that the government was considering investigating witchcraft - that is, magick - as a science, its chief spokesperson issued a strong denial on the grounds that Zambia is officially defined as a "Christian nation" in its 1996 constitution. As I see it, this is one more case where having a state religion is just a terrible idea. Western academic institutions are highly biased against paranormal research on entirely different grounds, so little of it goes on here. But in Africa, it could be a more plausible area for study if not for all the religious prejudice.

The Zambian government on Tuesday denied media reports that it intends to consider research on witchcraft as a science. Witchcraft or witchery broadly means the practice of and belief in magical skills and abilities exercised by solitary practitioners and groups. Witchcraft often occupies a religious divinatory or medicinal role, and is often present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical world view.

Chief Government Spokesperson, Kampamba Mulenga, said such reports were blatant falsehoods. Mulenga said: "We are aware that there is a group of people that is spreading malicious statements through various media platforms, bent on destroying government’s image." According to her, the government could not start advocating for witchcraft practices as the country was a declared Christian nation. She added: "Christianity and witchcraft are poles apart and cannot co-exist."

In other words, as long as Zambia is a "Christian Nation," no paranormal research will ever be conducted. That's too bad, because paranormal research touches on all sorts of areas that I remain convinced will become important areas for study in the future. At the very least, consciousness studies has taken off as a discipline over the last decade or so, and one wonders if that would fall under "witchcraft" as well according to the Zambian government. After all, consciousness is the key to working with every magical system I've ever come across, and I highly doubt that the African form of witchcraft is any different.

It should also be pointed out that this is exactly the kind of nation that the Poor Oppressed Christians are fighting for here in the United States. As they are "oppressed" by the mere existence of people who don't share their beliefs, any paranormal research in a "Christian America" would be right out. I might not even be allowed to discuss it publicly in a forum like this blog. And as I see it, that simply is unacceptable.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Flat Earther Fails to Launch

Is there anything more ridiculous these days than a flat-earther? I'm not sure, but I think the answer might very well be "no." People have known since ancient times that the Earth is round. It simply is not true that we've only known the Earth was round since the Middle Ages. If you live on any coast, anywhere, you can easily observe this for yourself just like the ancient Greeks did. Just watch a ship as it disappears over the horizon. You'll see that the bottom of the ship disappears first, because the Earth is curved.

Given that, I'm still not sure whether Mike Hughes is a serious flat-earther or just taking advantage of stupid people. For a while now, Hughes has been raising money online from flat-earthers to launch his own rocket. The rocket is powered by steam, which has limited effectiveness as a propellant, and can reach about five hundred miles per hour and sustain that speed for a short period of time. Hughes claims that this is part of a plan to eventually reach outer space, but given the technology he's using it's hard to see how that's going to happen. Especially since, after many delays, his attempted launch completely failed.

In fairness to Mike Hughes, he knows how to build a rocket. He built them for many years under the precepts of classical physics, when he was still a relatively conventional daredevil, which is to say, one who believed the Earth is round. But Saturday marked Hughes’ third aborted launch since he declared himself a flat Earther last year and announced a multipart plan to fly to space by the end of 2018 so he could prove astronauts have been lying about the shape of the planet.

The Washington Post, like many news outlets, covered Hughes’ plan. In retrospect, there was never any chance he’d pull it off. Hughes blamed technical difficulties – possibly a bad O-ring – for his steam-powered rocket’s failure to ignite this weekend in the Mojave Desert. But even if it had, and even if he managed to subsequently rocket-pack himself into space by the end of the year, his mission would have ended at worst in death, and at best in disappointment as he realized what ancient Greeks and schoolchildren already know: The world is round; it has always been round; Mike Hughes will never see its edges.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Custom Spirit Boxes!

If you are interested in claiming perks for backing the upcoming Enochian and Goetic Online Master Classes, you only have a couple of days left. And now, a last minute perk has been added to the campaign - a custom spirit box by occult artist Mani C. Price! Here's what she has to say about these remarkable talismanic boxes:

"There are a variety of spirit boxes I do. They are a type of high-end talisman. They are created to house spirits and have a physical anchor on this plane. When you want to contact someone or resolve an issue immediately, a spirit box will do just that. When you go to open it, you are 'putting the spirit to work for you.' You make a request and send the spirit to work. Communication becomes smoother and faster. These spirit boxes can be treated as traveling miniature altars. I have one client who is a performer and she takes her box everywhere."

"...These are solid pieces of wood made to be heirlooms. They will last a lifetime. I’ve done mahogany, purpleheart, maple, ash, cherry and birch thus far. I start with a simple wood burning ritual around the main sigil. Then I start painting on the sides of the boxes.These images are usually related to aspects of the spirit the box is meant to work with. For example, a box for Venus may be covered with depictions of sex and lust, while a box for Jupiter has more images of money and kingship. In the end you have a masterpiece in its own right that you can do with as you please."

"...Clients are given instructions on offerings, prayers, rites and general upkeep to maintain that connection. Items pertaining to the spirit can also put inside the box such as oils, herbs, stones, or dirt (like from a bank to attract money). Animal products such a teeth, claws, feathers, or bones can also be incorporated."

If you are interested in claiming this or any of the other perks associated with the campaign, click right here to check it out. Remember, the campaign is ending in a couple of days, so act now if you've been putting it off. You'll be supporting a great series of classes with some truly outstanding magical teachers - you know, like me!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Magical Powers are Descriptive, Not Prescriptive

I talk a lot about the magical powers and visions from Liber 777 as the basis for the magical operations posted here for the elemental, planetary, and zodiacal work. Reading over the powers, you can see pretty clearly that they are derived from the attributions of the corresponding Tarot trumps. For example, the power for Leo is given as "the power of training wild beasts," which is a pretty good description of the Strength card in the Rider-Waite Tarot. I went a little metaphoric there in my description of the Leo operation, and surmised that this was a power that could be used to alter conditioned responses in general - and I will say that my first experiment along those lines worked quite well.

So as far as I can tell, the powers given are descriptive rather than prescriptive. In other words, they are examples of what can be done rather than lists of what has to be done. Leo is the fixed sign of Fire and is ruled by the Sun. Neither of those is particularly related to "training wild beasts," but they are valid attributions for the sign. If you find yourself with a really strong election for a Leo operation, that means you could call on the angel of the sign to do both fiery things and solar things in addition to Leo things. An example would be a case where you have a good Leo election, but the Sun is afflicted in the operation's chart. In such a case, the angel of Leo would be a better choice than the angel of the Sun for a solar operation.

The key here is that as long as you keep your attributions straight, you can call on all of the angels of the elements, planets, and signs to do far more than what is given for their specified powers. It goes both ways, too. In the Leo example, you could call on the angel of Fire or the angel of the Sun (both of whom happen to be Michael for practical operations) to do Leo things, such as working with conditioning. The angel of Taurus, "the secret of physical strength," can also be called on for things related to Venus and Earth, and both the angel of Earth and the angel of Venus can do things related to Taurus. And so forth. Keeping all that in mind helps when you are trying to get the best possible election for your operation.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mass Hysteria is Paranormal

"Mass hysteria" is the skeptic's go-to explanation for anything they don't understand. According to its proponents, mass hysteria arises unexpectedly, is poorly understood, and is a relatively rare phenomenon. It is supposedly "mental" or "psychological," and yet it can apparently produce significant physical changes within the human body. In short, it is pretty much the same thing as "mind over matter" or "faith healing" in reverse - as generally speaking, it tends to cause illness rather than cure it.

The cause of mass hysteria is said to be "the mind," but to be clear, the same exact thing can be said about psychic phenomena. So I contend that mass hysteria is essentially a paranormal explanation. It's just a paranormal explanation that skeptics happen to like. Slate has an article up today arguing that the alleged "sonic attacks" that affected U.S. embassy workers in Cuba back in 2016 were the result of this phenomena. But I think the author of it has failed to consider all of the ramifications of his conclusion.

A few weeks after the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump, several people working for the U.S. Embassy in Cuba fell mysteriously ill. Some lost their hearing. Some had headaches and a pain in one ear. Others reported feeling dizzy or nauseous, having trouble focusing, or feeling fatigued. Later, some would have a hard time concentrating, remembering things, sleeping, and even walking. These symptoms were “medically confirmed,” as the State Department’s medical director Charles Rosenfarb put it, and brain scans were said to show abnormalities in the victims’ white matter, which transfers information between brain regions. The illnesses were believed by the government to be “health attacks,” carried out by a foreign power, though as Todd Brown, assistant director at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “investigative attempts and expert analysis failed to identify the cause or perpetrator.”

Nonetheless, investigators concluded the illnesses, which ultimately affected 24 people, were likely the result of a “sonic device.” This conclusion seems to be primarily due to the fact that some diplomats reported hearing a high-pitched noise in their homes and hotel rooms. Despite a lack evidence for such a weapon, or any known way it could affect white matter, the sonic weapon theory proved irresistible for both media outlets and for Cuba hawks like Sens. Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez, both of whom immediately transformed the sonic weapon into a handy political weapon. In the months following the “attacks,” new diplomats arriving in the country were warned of this sonic danger. Embassy employees were played a recording of what was thought to be the sound so they knew what to listen for. Soon, people at the Canadian Embassy in Cuba began reporting symptoms similar to what the Americans had experienced, as did a few tourists there. A husband and wife at the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan became ill as well. Whatever it was, it seemed to be spreading.