Monday, August 13, 2018

Via Solis Leo Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Leo Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday August 14th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. Going forward, we will be continuing to perform one of these per month, once for each of the twelve signs, in a ritual series called Via Solis (the way or path of the Sun). I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the 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 Leo. The sign Leo is attributed to "The power of training wild beasts." As I interpret it, this power is related to working with conditioning of whatever sort, yours or that of others, in accordance with your will. So those sorts of intents are most appropriate. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.

I. Opening

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

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

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

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

All: MAKAShANaH

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

All: ABRAHADABRA

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

All: AUMGN

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

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


Bell chime.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica Conference 2018

Augoeides has been quiet since last week, and it's not just because of the issues with Facebook's new sharing policy.

Leaping Laughter Oasis is hosting the 2018 Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica Conference in the Twin Cities this weekend. This is a national-level Ordo Templi Orientis event, and it's been all hands on deck for a couple of weeks here to make sure that everything runs smoothly. I'll be at the conference all weekend and my next post will be the Leo Elixir Rite next Monday.

It probably is too late to arrange transportation if you live out of town, but if you are an active Ordo Templi Orientis member living in or around the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) you can still register and attend. Click here to find out more.

If you will be attending the conference I'll see you there, and if not I'll catch you here on Augoeides next week.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mummy Juice!

This is either one of the funniest things I've ever seen, or one of the dumbest and most disturbing. Petition-spamming site change.org has a petition up to, and I quote, "let people drink the red liquid from the dark sarcophagus." This is the same mystery sarcophagus that was recently discovered in Alexandria, Egypt.

According to archaeologists, the red liquid is a mixture of sewage water and the decomposed remains of three bodies that were buried together more than two thousand years ago. Why would anyone want to drink this crap? Well, I'll let the petition explain.

we need to drink the red liquid from the cursed dark sarcophagus in the form of some sort of carbonated energy drink so we can assume its powers and finally die

Truly, that's a compelling rationale right there. According to the page, more than twenty-seven thousand people have signed the petition. So this is either funny as hell, or there are more than twenty-seven thousand Darwin Awards sitting on the shelf, just waiting to be handed out. I think I'm going to go with funny as hell, since the alternative is pretty damn sad.

Yes, if you drink it, you'll get very sick and you might die. You're not going to be transformed into a supernaturally powered mummy who can wield the ten plagues of Egypt at will. Yeah, I know, that would be cool, but these bodies were buried almost fifteen hundred years after the alleged date of the Exodus. There's no connection there, and anyway it wasn't Egyptian magicians who summoned the plagues, it was Moses.

And it's not even clear that these bodies were mummified. So maybe what we're looking as is zombie juice instead. Or just dead body juice diluted with sewage. Drinking it might be a novel way to kill yourself, but other than that it's hard to see the appeal. It's not going to give anyone special powers, because we don't live in a comic book. Even we magicians who cast spells and the like live right here in the real world.

On top of all that, the red liquid is not carbonated and I'm sure it tastes nothing like an energy drink. It most likely just tastes like shit.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

If You Build It, They Won't Come

It's been a while since I made fun of Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, and of course Ark Encounter. Frankly, it's been too long. This recent article from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State points out that basically, the giant replica of Noah's Ark that took so much work to get built just isn't meeting the attendance projections used to justify the tax breaks Ham obtained from the state of Kentucky. Ham offered a bunch of rosy projections when he pitched the idea to the state, and apparently the attraction is having trouble meeting even half of its projected ticket sales.

To help cover the cost of emergency services the small town now must provide to the visitors of a large amusement park within its borders, city officials last year initiated a 50-cent fee on the tickets sold at the ark and a few smaller amusement venues in Williamstown. (This is the fee Ham and his company, Answers in Genesis, tried to avoid paying last summer by briefly switching the park’s status to nonprofit – a move that would have had a crushing long-term impact on property tax generation for the community but also nearly resulted in the park losing its $18 million state tourism subsidy.)

The local newspaper, the Grant County News, reported this month that Williamstown had collected about $374,000 in amusement fee revenue from the Ark Park during the first 11 months of the 2017-18 fiscal year. While that’s a nice chunk of change, it’s barely half of what town officials had been led to believe they would collect from the attendance projections submitted by Ham. “Last year, we based [our] budget figure on attendance at the Ark Encounter at 1,400,000,” Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner told the paper. “This year, we are more conservative and using 870,000 visitors.”

Ham initially projected 1.2 million people would visit the Ark in the first year after it opened in July 2016, and that average yearly attendance going forward would be in the range of 1.4 million to 2.2 million people. On the first anniversary of the park’s opening, Ham said about 1 million people visited in the first year, about 16 percent fewer than expected. But, Ham said he expected the 2017-18 attendance to be “closer to the high end” of the projections – in other words, close to 2.2 million people.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Secrets of Solomon

One of the really cool things about living in the Twin Cities is that the wonderful Joseph H. Peterson only lives a couple of hours away.

This last weekend, he came to Leaping Laughter Oasis in Minneapolis and gave a presentation on his latest book, The Secrets of Solomon: A Witch's Handbook from the trial records of the Venetian Inquisition. Peterson is one of the few authors in the grimoire field doing academic-quality research, and his books on the various texts and their histories are always illuminating.

I bought a copy of the book at the presentation and have not had a chance to read it, but I figured for today I would summarize a couple of takeaways from Peterson's presentation that are relevant to issues that keep coming up in discussions of the grimoires.

The Secrets of Solomon is a grimoire that is explicitly dedicated to working with chthonic spirits. It appears to be one of the sources used by the original author of the Grimoirium Verum, and it is clearly aware of the Key of Solomon. It positions itself as a grimoire for working with chthonics, whereas the Key of Solomon is dedicated to working with "aerial" spirits (which I usually refer to as celestial). Here are a few takeaways related to issues that have come up in the grimoire community that The Secrets of Solomon may help to shed some light on.

The text is clear that chthonic spirits are supposed to communicate visually, and aerial (or celestial spirits) do not. In other words, if you're charging up your Key of Solomon pentacles and trying to get the spirits to appear visually, according to the tradition you are doing it wrong. I doubt this is an absolute rule, and I also know from experience that the modern scrying techniques I use work fine, but it's a nice point to be able to pull out in those arguments over the whole visual appearance thing. It The Secrets of Solomon is to be believed, the celestials from the Key of Solomon don't necessarily appear and in fact are not supposed to.

According to the text, chthonic spirits can generally accomplish more than celestials. I can't personally say that I've found that to be the case, since I'm able to do about the same level of effects with both, but it's no surprise that the author of the text is going to say that the methods they are outlining are the best, whether or not that's true. The trade-off is that celestials can be "bound into a ring and carried with you" for performing ad hoc magical effects. This is an interesting idea for the Key of Solomon pentacles - what if you made a ring for one of the pentacles, enchanted it for general effects related to its function, and wore it around? It seems to me that could be a very useful technique.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sorry, No Mummies!

Well, actually not sorry. As horror movies have shown us, mummies are bad.

When archaeologists opened the mysterious black sarcophagus found in Alexandria, no mummies sprang up to loose evil spells or plagues of Egypt or whatever upon the world. In fact, the whole thing was pretty underwhelming. They found that water had seeped through the seal even though it looked intact from the outside, filling the box and speeding decomposition of the bodies inside. So there were no mummies, just three skeletons.

Despite warnings of an ancient curse to those who would open the 2,000-year-old sarcophagus, archaeologists went ahead on Thursday, enlisting the help of Egyptian military engineers.

"The sarcophagus has been opened, but we have not been hit by a curse," Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of Egypt's antiquities ministry, told Egypt Today, which published live updates of the sarcophagus opening. Waziri added that the sarcophagus was unusual for its size; it's the largest ever discovered in Alexandria.

What the archaeologists found inside the sarcophagus was grisly - but it was not the earth-shattering discovery some had hoped it would be. The three skeletons found in the sarcophagus were most likely soldiers, according to Egypt's antiquities ministry, and one skull showed signs of fractures caused by a sharp instrument. Beyond the skeletons, the sarcophagus was inundated with sewage water, which accelerated their decomposition. The skulls will be further analyzed to understand their age, the cause of death, and where they came from.

Alexandria was the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt after Alexander's army conquered the region and deposed the old pharaohs. The Ptolemaic dynasty famously ended with Cleopatra's suicide during the Roman conquest of Greece and Egypt around 30 BCE.

So the sarcophagus appears to be of unusual size because it was used to bury three people, not one person of high status. Maybe the skeletons will yield more information about the Alexandrian period, but for that we will just have to wait and see. I suppose technically we have to wait and see about a curse, too, since spells sometimes take time to produce results. But that seems less likely now that we know the sarcophagus doesn't hold the body of the sort of high-ranking leader that might justify setting a curse.

It's also interesting that the sarcophagus was opened with the Sun in Cancer - because this story is a reminder of the power of cardinal water. Over time, it gets into everything.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Somehow, I Don't Think So

Conspiracy theorists seem to be obsessed with scenarios that are farfetched at best, and for the most part downright laughable. A couple weeks ago it was Alex Jones revealing "the truth" that Democrats would start a civil war on July 4th. Obviously, that never came to pass, because no Democrats were actually planning such a thing. On the other hand, Jones' stupidity did launch a bunch of funny tweets claiming to be dispatches from the "second civil war." So at least some good came of it.

The latest bit of conservative conspiracy-mongering comes from evangelical broadcaster Rick Wiles, a seeming endless font of ridiculous assertions that appear to be entirely disconnected from reality. According to Wiles, we are only "72 hours away" from a coup in which Donald Trump and his family will be beheaded on the White House Lawn. Does anybody else agree with me that somebody has watched too many of those Christian-produced films in which the only real answer to all the world's problems is feckless melodrama? I mean, come on. Sometimes politicians do get removed from office, but we've never beheaded one.

After ranting that the prominence of people like Maddow and CNN’s Anderson Cooper on television is evidence that America has been “homosexualized” and is “no longer a Christian nation,” Wiles declared that a recent segment in which Maddow argued that this nation must begin to prepare for “the worst case scenario that Trump is compromised by Russia” was really a signal that a leftist revolution is imminent. “She was spewing out, last night, calls for revolution,” Wiles said. “She was telling the left, ‘Take a deep breath, we’re at the moment, it’s coming, we’re almost there, we’re going to remove him from the White House.'”

“We’re about 72 hours—possibly 72 hours—from a coup,” Wiles warned. “Be prepared that you’re going to turn on the television and see helicopters hovering over the roof of the White House with men clad in black repelling down ropes, entering into the White House. Be prepared for a shootout in the White House as Secret Service agents shoot commandos coming in to arrest President Trump. That is how close we are to a revolution. Be prepared for a mob — a leftist mob — to tear down the gates, the fence at the White House and to go into the White House and to drag him out with his family and decapitate them on the lawn of the White House.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Meditation Works

Last week's dramatic rescue of twelve teenage soccer players and their coach from an underground cave system in Thailand was all over the news. Not as well-reported, though, is how the coach managed to keep the boys calm throughout what must have been a pretty terrifying ordeal. As Vox reports, the coach had spent ten years at a Buddhist monastery and taught them meditation.

Rain trapped the group in the cave on June 23rd, and they were not found until July 2nd. That's eleven days during which they literally had no idea whether or not they would be found alive. The rescue effort took eight more days, and was not complete until July 10th.

“Look at how calm they were sitting there waiting. No one was crying or anything. It was astonishing,” the mother of one of the boys told the AP, referring to a widely shared video of the moment the boys were found. Turns out that their coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, who led them on a hike into the cave when it flooded on June 23, trained in meditation as a Buddhist monk for a decade before becoming a soccer coach.

According to multiple news sources, he taught the boys, ages 11 to 16, to meditate in the cave to keep them calm and preserve their energy through their two-week ordeal. And British diver Ben Reymenants, who was involved with the rescue operation, told Vox on Thursday that each of the boys did an hour of meditation with the coach before they were brought out of the cave between Sunday and Tuesday. “He could meditate up to an hour,” Ekapol’s aunt, Tham Chanthawong, told the AP. “It has definitely helped him and probably helps the boys to stay calm.”

Ekapol, 25, went to live in a monastery at age 12 after he was orphaned. According the Straits Times, he trained to be a monk for 10 years at a monastery in Mae Sai, Thailand, but left to care for a sick grandmother. He then was hired to be the assistant coach of the team, known as the Wild Boars. Coach Ake, as he is known, still maintains close contacts at the monastery. The abbot there told the Wall Street Journal he’s “a responsible young man who meditates regularly.”

As a teenager I loved caves and I still do. I dragged my parents to every cave tour on every vacation we ever took. I never have felt lost underground, or claustrophobic, or anything. But I can tell you that my high school self would have found this absolutely horrifying. Even being violently murdered is over quickly. This is sitting in the cold and damp, wondering if any future awaits you besides slowly starving or suffocating in the dark.

But meditation works. Focusing on the practice helped the boys remain as calm as possible under the circumstances, such that when rescuers arrived they seemed confused that they had been underground for as long as they had been. Keeping your attention on the present moment helps to pass the time, and helps you feel less depleted by boredom when all you can do is wait. And hey, it works great for practicing magick too!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Via Solis Cancer Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Cancer Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday July 17th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of last year by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the oasis know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

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

I. Opening

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

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

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

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

All: MAKAShANaH

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

All: ABRAHADABRA

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

All: AUMGN

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

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


Bell chime.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fetus Blood on the Rocks

Just in time for Friday the 13th, Wonkette is reporting that webcaster Dave Daubenmire is on to us. Or, at least, he thinks he is. According to a recent webcast, the religious activist claimed that the reason liberals are opposed to putting Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and support legal abortion is because liberals get high by drinking the blood of fetuses.

No, really! This is apparently not a joke!

Hey fellow liberals. I hate to break it to all of you, but the jig is up. Dave "Coach" Daubenmire has got us figured out, and he knows that the whole reason we support abortion is because of how much we love drinking fetus blood in order to get high on "adrenochrome."

On his show this week, the one where he sits in front of a weird green screen of a football field and makes up weird shit, he asked his "audience" why the Left was so upset about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and the fact that it means we will be losing our reproductive rights by next year or so.

"Why are they so upset about abortion? Why are they so interested about death? Why do they want so much, the most important right they are ever going to have is the right for a woman to be able murder her unborn baby?"

Being far too clever, clearly, to even consider the fact that maybe people just don't want to be forced to give birth against their will, the "Coach" then brought in his buddy Vinnie to talk all about our thirst for fetus blood. "These people are Satanists," Vinnie explains. "What they do is they sacrifice children and they use the children's blood for their drug adrenochrome."

I sometimes wonder if I should just do my own YouTube channel and put up the most outrageous lies I can imagine on it. Then I would see if anyone takes the bait. According to my religious webcast, when Aleister Crowley became the Ipsissimus he was promoted to the One True God of the universe. He never died in 1947 - that was all a ruse! After all, how else could he have run for president in 2012?

Yeah, I know, the website there says he's dead and British. But the Ipsissimus transcends all limitations, man! Christians are the ones sacrificing babies by the millions - in secret, of course - because they believe that it will stave off the full flowering of the Aeon of the Child. Vain hope! We will expose them all so that...

Oh hell, I just can't do it. This is all too stupid for words. Instead, I'm going to try to tease out everything that's wrong with Daubenmire's whacko theory.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Mystery Sarcophagus Found in Alexandria

A large black granite sarcophagus has been discovered in Alexandria, Egypt. The sarcophagus is one of the largest ever found from the Ptolemaic period, when the Greeks ruled Egypt. More importantly, it is sealed - and nobody knows what they will find inside. It probably won't be alien bodies or anything bizarre like that, but it still should help us understand the burial customs of the time.

The 6-foot tall (185 cm) coffin was found buried about 16 feet (5 meters) underground, along with an alabaster head of a man whose features were worn beyond recognition.

It was discovered on July 1 at a construction site during a routine archaeological inspection by government officials, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced, in an official Facebook post. The news was reported by Al-Ahram, Egypt's state-run newspaper.

Egypt is governed by strict laws to protect and preserve national antiquities. Under the Protection of Antiquities Law, all antiquities are considered property of the State.
Archaeologists date the site back to sometime within the Ptolemic era, between 305 and 30 BCE.

Ancient Greek and Roman artifacts are not unusual discoveries in Alexandria, the famed home of Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great. But unlike other ancient Egyptian tombs that have been opened and looted, the 2,000-year-old sarcophagus has until now, remained undisturbed.

Archaeologists are particularly interested in the sarcophagus because the period from which it dates was a time in which Greek and Egyptian burial customs were intermingled, and because it appears to be undisturbed. Greek-style portraits were common on sarcophagi during this period, and I suspect in this case that may have extended to Greek-style statuary - the alabaster bust probably was originally an image of the deceased, and it looks like it was made in the Greek style.

Some Greeks also took up the practice of mummification, with varying degrees of expertise. A number of the burials found from this period show signs of poorly-done mummification, and it will be interesting to find out if that is the case here or if the body was simply entombed. The Greek and Egyptian concepts of the afterlife were very different, and during the Ptolemaic period it looks as if people often adopted customs from each.

Of course, aliens would be more fun. Or a functional engine for a flying saucer. Or an anti-gravity ray like the ones used to build the pyramids. But the most likely possibility, that it's a regular human body, can still tell archaeologists a lot.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Thoughts on the Star Ruby

As I continue compiling and commenting on the various rituals here on Augoeides, I realized that I never have done a commentary on the Star Ruby. For the longest time I have been linking to other versions of the basic ritual forms online, but it has been pointed out to me that some of these pages are confusing and in cases contradictory. Also, they sometimes just disappear and have to be tracked down through the Internet archives. As such, I've decided that having my own versions here is probably for the best.

Aleister Crowley published the original version of the Star Ruby in The Book of Lies, and in his commentary on described it as "a new and more elaborate version of the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram." The Star Ruby, therefore, performs a similar function to the banishing form of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. This is an important point to take note of, given that some commenters claim that the Star Ruby is an invoking pentagram ritual or a combined banishing/invoking pentagram ritual. It is not. Crowley specifically describes it as a banishing pentagram ritual.

This is also important in the context of my operant model of magick, in which rituals are opened by combining a general banishing pentagram ritual with a general invoking hexagram ritual. Looking at the Star Ruby, a banishing ritual, and the Star Sapphire, and invoking ritual, it is pretty clear that whether or not he thought about it same way that I do, Crowley hit upon the same basic structure. In fact, no invoking form is given for the Star Ruby and no banishing form is given for the Star Sapphire, which implies that he used these ritual pretty much the same way that I use them.

The basic operant ritual structure uses the operant field - that is, a banishing pentagram ritual and an invoking hexagram ritual - almost exclusively. The other combinations have specialized functions, but for the most part the operant field is the way to go. According to the practical experiments that I have done, this method is far more effective than any of the other sequences taught by the various Golden Dawn orders - at least for me. I don't feel like I'm at the point where I can say that the method will always work best for everyone. However, I invite every magician out there to try it and see for themselves.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Trump Card Would Make a Better Movie


The Poor Oppressed Christians are at it again. In their quest to create their own little media world in which nothing non-Christian - and therefore impure - ever has to darken their poor, sensitive souls, Liberty University is planning to release a film called The Trump Prophecy. Of course, it will be released in October just ahead of the midterm election, because Liberty University is totally apolitical like that. The movie tries to make the case that all the Christians who love our distinctly-un-Christian president aren't actually terrible Christians at all for doing so - because Trump being president is part of God's plan.

In post-election interviews in 2016, voters often expressed a belief that God had some role in the dramatic, unexpected outcome. For the many people of faith who see God’s hand in their own lives — from their triumph over alcoholism to their luck in finding a parking spot — it’s not such a stretch to believe that God has a hand in determining who wins the Super Bowl or the White House. That may help explain why Taylor’s and Mary Colbert’s 2017 book, “The Trump Prophecies: The Astonishing True Story of the Man Who Saw Tomorrow . . . And What He Says Is Coming Next,” won a following.

Taylor in the book recounts his traumatic experiences as a firefighter, and how, suffering from anxiety and depression, he began to hear from both God and evil spirits. God told him in 2011, he wrote, that Trump would win the election, though he expected that to happen in 2012. Trump won in 2016 despite widespread belief among pollsters and voters alike that Hillary Clinton would beat him easily. He won in great part because of the support of more than 80 percent of white evangelical voters. Taylor gained attention and made more predictions.

Trump will win a second term, he said. God has also told him, he said, that the dollar will become the strongest currency in the world and that the news media will come to see that Trump is in the right. Producer Rick Eldridge and his Charlotte-based ReelWorks Studios heard Taylor’s story and imagined it as a compelling movie for Christians who feel secular filmmakers offer them too few choices. Over Thanksgiving, he met with Schultze, who was visiting family in Charlotte. The two talked about a collaboration with Liberty in which students would get weeks of hands-on experience doing such tasks as camera work, lighting and makeup.

I don't know that God was necessarily responsible for Clinton's decision to divert campaign resources from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in an effort to win North Carolina and Florida. That decision proved disastrous to the Clinton campaign, as Trump won all five, the former (neglected) three by very small margins. It's easy to imagine a scenario in which Clinton could have won by pouring resources into those three northern states in which Trump was campaigning very hard. That sounds more like a flat-out strategic blunder to me rather than anything divine.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Not So Bullet-Proof

A couple of people over the years have e-mailed me about making "bullet-proof charms" like those sold by traditional African healers. Since I'm not a spellcaster-for-hire or anything like that, I've corresponded with them and speculated a bit on the kind of magick that would have to be involved. I am of the opinion that it would be very difficult if not impossible to create a spell that would physically flat-out stop a bullet. The probability gradient there is ridiculous. On the other hand, a general protective talisman, bound to a spirit charged with keeping its owner from being shot by whatever means, could be effective in combat situations.

But even if your talisman works, the absolute worst case to defend against is a bullet fired at close range in a non-combat situation - as a traditional healer in Nigeria recently found out.

A self-styled traditional healer in Nigeria has died after one of his clients tested his "bullet-proof" charms on him.

Chinaka Adoezuwe, 26, was killed after instructing the man to shoot him as he was wearing the charms around his neck. Police in the country's south-eastern Imo state say the client has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Charms are popular in Nigeria, where traditional healers are consulted for cures for various ailments. But there have been several reports of people being killed after testing "bullet-proof" charms and medicines.

"A young man had gone to [the healer] to prepare bullet-proof charms for him, which the native doctor did," a villager told the Punch newspaper. "To prove the efficacy of the new charms, [he] positioned and handed over a gun to his customer. Tragedy struck."

My reasoning regarding combat situations is this: not only are most people terrible shots, combat is one of the worst places to be a shooter. It's chaotic, people are running all over the place, it's loud, and there are not a lot of opportunities to really set and line up a shot. Also, weapons are exposed to dirt and grime, and depending on the type of gun may become prone to jamming or misfiring. Finally, there are a fair number of people who just won't fire their weapons for various psychological reasons. All of those things are subject to magical influences at probability levels within a reasonable range.

Now I have no idea how this demonstration was supposed to work. It seems to me that if the healer was a fraud, he would not have deliberately handed the client a loaded gun. Maybe it could have been some sort of magic trick, like the famous "bullet catch" which is always faked - but sometimes in pretty ingenious ways. There have been cases in the stage magic world where people were accidentally handed guns loaded with real bullets instead of blanks, or where people brought up from the audience reloaded the gun without the magician's knowledge to "beat the trick." Or maybe the talismans these healers make are good enough that most of the time they work even under these testing conditions.

Whatever the case, I will say that it's dangerous to rely on a talisman alone to keep you from getting shot. Your best bet would probably be to wear body armor AND carry the talisman. That way the talisman can influence shooters around you so that, for example, a bullet heading directly for you might hit the armor instead of an unprotected part of your body. That gives it one more way to protect you besides keeping the shooters from targeting you and keeping you out of the way of wild shots.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Bob Larson Uses Koetting's FX Guy

Since there doesn't appear to be a civil war going on outside my door, today I'm going to spend some time making fun of Bob Larson. Remember him? He's the evangelical exorcist known for creating the Teen Exorcist Squad and conducting exorcisms via Skype. Back in the 1980's and early 1990's, Larson's show was broadcast here in Minnesota and he was one of the loudest voices denouncing "Satanic Ritual Abuse," a moral panic that revolved around made-up practices of made-up Satanists who never did anything that made much sense to us real practicing occultists.

In the Bob Larson universe, just about anything fun has to do with demons. Dungeons & Dragons? Demons. Rock music? Demons. Making fun of Bob Larson? Demons. So I guess that makes Augoeides pretty darn infernal right now. I'll be sure to inform the angels and other celestial spirits that I work with on a regular basis. And anything that had to do with demons got you possessed, because that's how it works. After all, there's no such thing as mental illness. It's all caused by demons, and fortunately Larson is an exorcist so he has the cure - you know, for a reasonable donation to his ministry.

At any rate, what I find so laughable about the above video is not the video itself, but the ridiculous low-budget special effects that go along with it. Remember E. A. Koetting's video where he's out in the desert and you see low budget CGI lightning and colored filters that are supposed to be "magick?" Well, here Larson is doing the same darn thing. I have no idea if Brenda, the woman in the video, has mental health issues or is just playing along. But she's not possessed by a demon. Have you ever watched video of ATR rituals where people are actually possessed by spirits? Let's just say they don't walk around acting all normal and we'll leave it at that. They also don't turn the room red or "burn" with bad CGI flames.

At some point I'm considering doing some of my own magick videos, and I'm left wondering if I have to do this too to "keep up with the Joneses," or at least keep up with the Larsons and Koettings. Even though I have mad skills with Microsoft Paint, I would have to track down something similar for videos. You know, something that would let me add a possum head to a picture of Bigfoot in real time, not just in the one photo. I'm kind of hoping that's not the case, though, because let's face it - these effects are cheesy as hell.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Civil War Tomorrow!


Okay, I confess. I just can't bring myself to lay off Alex Jones.

At least, not when he's busy posting bullshit like the above. "The Democrats," by which he basically means "the boogymen," are apparently planning a full-on civil war for Independence Day. You know, tomorrow! Lock your doors and windows, folks. There'll be fighting on every corner and bloodshed in every street. Because it's a civil war, man - the last one killed a million people!

Note to Alex Jones - a million people killed is totally different than a million people yelled at on the Internet. And yes, Jones has shown himself capable of doing the latter all on his own. So is this his whole plan?
  1. Accuse Democrats of starting a civil war.
  2. When actual Democrats call him an idiot, insist that's exactly the same as a war.
  3. Go on and on about how "I was right!"
  4. Profit???
I know, I'm playing right into his hand if that's what's going on. The thing is that Alex Jones has a special and unique power. More than just about anyone else out there in the world, he's capable of behaving in such a way that you seriously can't help calling him an idiot.

And I suppose he may be in the one business - talk radio - where that superpower is an asset rather than a liability. Insults create controversy. Controversy drives coverage. Coverage drives listeners. And it sounds simple, but honestly, I don't think I could act as dumb and offensive as Alex Jones if my life depended on it.

So Alex Jones, you're an idiot. That's exactly what you wanted me to say, right?

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Greater Ritual of the Hexagram

Last week's post on the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram got a good response, so I figured I would go ahead and put one up today on the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram. The instructions for this one have not become quite as muddled as the instructions for the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, but there are some differences between the material published in Aleister Crowley's Liber O (which is the version I use) and how the ritual is taught by at least some of today's Golden Dawn orders.

The biggest difference in that in Liber O, Crowley tells you that the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram is used for working with both planets and signs of the zodiac. At least some of the Golden Dawn groups don't do it that way, and instead use the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for zodiac signs and the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for planets only. Beyond that, there are some technical points regarding the use of the Keyword Analysis and how the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram fits into my operant model.

Zodiac signs are associated with both a ruling planet and a ruling element. So while you can work with the signs of the zodiac from an elemental "direction," in the operant model it makes a lot more sense to go with the hexagram. The pentagram is a symbol of the microcosm and the hexagram is a symbol of the macrocosm. Both planets and signs represent macrocosmic forces. I could see the idea that using the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram might get you the microcosmic aspect of the sign, such as associated personality traits, but the macrocosm includes the microcosm.

I have been quite successful affecting my own personality using the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for zodiacal rites, so I know for a fact that even if you are only looking to work with personality traits the macrocosmic approach is entirely viable. As a result, I really don't see the point of working with the signs of the zodiac from a microcosmic-only perspective, and the Liber O method strikes me as the most effective way to work with zodiacal forces of whatever sort. That's what I use the hexagram, and not the pentagram, for the signs of the zodiac and the spirits associated with them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Oh Wait, It's Next Month!

Wow, the doomers didn't even stop to take a breath this time. The apocalypse scheduled for last Sunday never happened, so now they're saying the real date is a month from now - July 27th. According to this article from the British tabloid Mirror, evangelists are now say that the July 27th lunar eclipse will mark the end of the world, really, seriously, for sure this time!

A spectacular blood moon is set to light up the sky next month - and it will be the end of the world as we know it, according to doomsday preachers. End-of-days religious leaders who have incorrectly predicted the apocalypse time and time again are back at it ahead of a lunar eclipse on July 27. The 21st century's longest lunar eclipse will last almost two hours and feature a blood moon where the moon has a red tinge.

While stargazers enjoy the dazzling phenomenon, doomsdayers will be preparing for armageddon. The hypothesis was originally made famous by Christian ministers John Hagee and Mark Biltz who said the ongoing "tetrad" - four consecutive lunar eclipses which began in April 2014 with six full moons in between - is the indicator of the end of earth as described in the Bible in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12. However the tetrad ended in September 2014 and we're all still here.

Lunar eclipses aren't actually that rare. And ever since Hagee's blood moon apocalypse prediction failed in 2014, evangelists have trotted out their end times predictions whenever one comes around.

The bit about the moon becoming as blood probably does refer to a lunar eclipse, but so many of them have happened since the writing of Revelation that it's pretty hard to pick one. I figure the evangelists keep doing this because it would be really, really embarrassing for them if the one lunar eclipse they didn't mention turned out to be the End of Days.

But as a Thelemite who doesn't believe it's ever going to happen, I'm going to keep pointing and laughing. After all, they provide me with so many opportunities!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Not Raptured Yet!

Check it out! Nibiru is so gigantic that it's impossible to detect!

With all the ritual stuff going on last week and this weekend, I totally forgot to post this on Sunday. June 24th has passed, and still no Rapture! To be fair, the whole Rapture idea is Millerism from the early 1800's so even if the world does end, it probably won't happen. But the point is that the world didn't end. Again. I keep making fun of these would-be prophets, but they keep coming out of the woodwork.

This latest one was yet another version of the Nibiru nonsense, in which a completely undetectable extra planet in our solar system is supposed to appear without warning and collide with the Earth, or pass by the Earth and mess stuff up, or something like that. Seeing as no astronomer has ever found such a planet, one might think that means this whole set of conspiracy theories should be moot. But it's undetectable, see? Just like the invisible giant spider hiding out in your spare bedroom. Watch out!

Time is getting short for the Christian literalists. The last sign that had never happened since Biblical times was fulfilled after World War II, the founding of an official state of Israel. That happened in 1947. What the Bible tells us is that the generation that sees all the signs fulfilled will not pass away, but will see the end of the world before they die. There was speculation that the end of the world would come seventy years after the last sign (the founding of Israel), but that would have been in 2017.

Literalism has to break eventually. Once nobody born in 1947 is alive and the world is still here, that will constitute a hard break from the text. I have no illusions that will cause folks to abandon their beliefs - after all, in a lot of cases people keep following these failed prophets even though I have no idea why. Way too many people double down on their beliefs when faced with contradictory evidence, which to me is really, really weird. But it's been documented experimentally over and over again. I guess I just don't understand regular people and how they think.

Of course, it the Thelemic take on the apocalypse is true, my religion predicts that a physical rapture/cataclysm that ends the world in preparation for the return of Jesus is never going to happen. And let me add that so far, these so-called prophets have been wrong and we Thelemites have been right.

But at any rate, go ahead and celebrate surviving this imaginary disaster. One more apocalypse down, and who knows how many more to go. Probably a lot.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Last week I was corresponding with a reader who was trying to work out how to do the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram from online sources. Apparently, these are a lot more confusing than they need to be, so I figured that for today's magick post I would put up my own explanation of the ritual so that I can point people here and not expect that they can just work it out from other stuff on the Internet that I have no control over. I'll be adding this to my list of ritual instructions as well.

The first and most important thing that you need to understand about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is that, as I've written here in a number of places, "Greater" does not mean "awesome" and "Lesser" does not mean "lame." There's a lot of information online from people who treat the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram as a "better" Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram - and that is entirely wrong. The two rituals do two completely different things that should not be conflated.

The Lesser rituals are general or foundational. They are used to set up the base "field" in which you work magick, even when you are working from more traditional methods than my operant field technique. The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, like the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram, is used to tune that magical space to a particular force or quality. The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram has five traditional forms, four of which correspond to the paths of the four elements and one which corresponds to the sephira of all four elements, Malkuth. Like the planets, the elements can be attributed both sephirothically and by path, but unlike the planets all four elements correspond to the tenth sephira.

This is especially important when you realize that some people use the version of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth (that is, with all four elemental pentagrams traced to their corresponding directions according to the winds model) as an "upgrade" to the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. But this is not the case. The magical power associated with Malkuth is "The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel, or of Adonai." The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is general and foundational, and therefore it is not attributed to a traditional power or vision.

This is not to suggest that the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth is a bad idea for daily practice. Aleister Crowley's Liber Reguli is basically a souped-up Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, and Crowley did teach that beginning students should focus on HGA work. This is very likely the intent of Reguli - to cultivate the vision of the HGA as a preliminary for doing the full HGA invocation found in Liber Samekh. The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth can be used in this way as well, but not as a replacement for the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mass of Nuit and Babalon for 2018


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

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

This year the ritual will be taking place at Leaping Laughter Oasis in Minneapolis at 7:30 PM on Friday, June 22. This is a public ritual, so if you live in the Twin Cities area and would like to attend you are welcome to do so. Contact me or someone else from the Oasis for details.


0. The Temple

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Yoga. Meditation, and "Ego Inflation"

The occult community tends to be a little behind the times with respect to modern psychology. As I've covered here before, the psychoanalytic model of cognition is still something that some occult traditions work with, or at the very least a model on which some esoteric ideas are based. The trouble is that the psychoanalytic model doesn't work. Not only has it been shown to be ineffective under controlled conditions, it is mostly rendered meaningless by what we now understand about memory and so forth.

One psychoanalytic concept that has a lot of staying power in occultism is the idea of "ego inflation." After all, who hasn't seen idiots going on and on about how awesome and powerful they are, especially on the Internet? And one of the ideas is that, in theory, spiritual practices are supposed to prevent this. The problem is when people don't really understand how egotism works, or where it comes from - usually because they accept one or more of the many incorrect assumptions that are endemic to the psychoanalytic model.

Today's story is a perfect example. Two Australian studies claim to show that practicing yoga or meditation leads to "ego inflation." This is an interesting area to look into, but it seems to me that both studies have significant problems. The biggest is that it appears the researchers have assumed that high self-esteem is the same thing as an "inflated ego." On the other hand, I don't think this is true at all. While it is possible to evaluate egotism from a behavioral perspective, treating "the ego" as a "thing" that gets bigger or smaller has almost nothing to do with how cognition really works.

In the paper, published online by University of Southampton and due to be published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers note that Buddhism’s teachings that a meditation practice helps overcome the ego conflicts with US psychologist William James’s argument that practicing any skill breeds a sense of self-enhancement (the psychological term for inflated self-regard.) There was already a fair bit of evidence supporting William James’s theory, broadly speaking, but a team of researchers from University Mannheim in Germany decided to test it specifically in the context of yoga and meditation.

As a point, yoga as currently practiced in Western countries does no such thing. It's not really even Buddhist. It's (sort of) Hindu, and the spiritual goals of Hinduism are different than those of Buddhism. Furthermore, modern yoga is not even a traditional Indian spiritual practice. It is a synthesis of poses illustrated in Hindu scriptures combined with European calisthenics that was really only assembled into a system in the 1960's. Yoga from before that time was very different than what we have today. Yoga was practiced during meditation, which is maybe where the authors' confusion comes from, but meditation is a discipline in its own right that was performed in addition to holding the poses for long periods of time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Culture War Loses Southern Baptists

Remember back when Donald Trump signed an executive order signaling his intent to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from endorsing political candidates or parties? And remember how I said that if it goes through, "non-political" will most likely become a selling point for Christian churches on par with what "non-denominational" has been for many years?

It's happening, folks. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America's largest Protestant denomination with fifteen million members, has moved to distance itself from the Republican Party. According to The Atlantic, the denomination is shifting to accommodate younger members, many of whom reject the (fundamentally ridiculous) "culture war" rhetoric that the SBC has been pushing for decades.

“The generational shift happening in the SBC has thrust the group into the middle of an identity crisis,” says Barry Hankins, the chair of the department of history at Baylor University and co-author of Baptists in America: A History. “The younger generation thinks differently than the old-guard Christian right about culture and politics, and they are demanding change.”

To enact this change, young Baptists nominated 45-year-old pastor J.D. Greear from North Carolina to be president of the denomination. In a campaign video, Greear called for “a new culture and a new posture in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Refusing to cede power without a fight, fundamentalist Baptists nominated Ken Hemphill as an opposition candidate. But Greear won with nearly 70 percent of the vote, becoming the youngest SBC president in 37 years.

Greear has promised to lead the denomination down a different path, which, he has said, must include efforts both to repent of a “failure to listen to and honor women and racial minorities” and “to include them in proportionate measures in top leadership roles.” If the meeting in Dallas is any indication, his vision is resonating with a large number of the next wave of Baptist leaders.

Of course, this doesn't mean the Southern Baptists will become liberal overnight or anything like that. Much of their membership is still quite conservative. But as I've noted here many times, there's a difference between being Christian and a conservative, and being a "Christian conservative." The former is a set of religious belief and a set of political beliefs. The latter pretty much means you're a Poor Oppressed Christian who is "oppressed" by the mere existence of different beliefs and doesn't see anything wrong with suppressing them - all the while claiming special rights and privileges for the Poor Oppressed only.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Via Solis Gemini Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Gemini Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday June 19th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of last year by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the oasis know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Gemini. The sign Gemini is attributed to "The power of being in two or more places at the same time, and of Prophecy." As I interpret it, the former is related to astral work and the latter is related to precognition in all its forms, the ability to see into the future. In a mystical sense, it also corresponds to prophetic consciousness in general. Therefore, these sorts of intents are most appropriate. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.

I. Opening

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

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

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

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

All: MAKAShANaH

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

All: ABRAHADABRA

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

All: AUMGN

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

All: All is pure and present 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

Saturday, June 16, 2018

"Ringmaster" Ghost Torments Wannabe Exorcist

This story sounds simultaneously so over-the-top and so plot-of-a-bad-eighties-sitcom that I think it's probably fake, but what the heck. According to this article from the British tabloid Daily Mirror, a woman broke up with her exorcist boyfriend after a ghost followed him home. It wasn't just any ghost either - it was the ghost of a "seven foot circus ringmaster." Cue the hordes of evil undead clown minions!

A heartbroken man says his girlfriend dumped him because the ghost of a 7-ft tall circus ringmaster followed him home from an exorcism. Ed Booker, 37, took part in the sinister ritual to rid a home of evil spirits - but he never realised the horrifying consequences it would have on his life.

He claims his health rapidly went downhill and unexplainable things started happening after he participated in the paranormal cleansing. He says 'DIE' was scrawled on the inside of his windows and he even snapped an image showing the menacing circus worker lurking down a darkened corridor.

You know, I take that back. It's not a bad eighties sitcom. It's basically a bad eighties horror movie that's unintentionally hilarious. Now maybe that photo is of a ghost. Or maybe it's just a shadow that freaked the guy out. It sort of looks like the outline of a person, but it could be a lot of other things too.

I understand that being around the paranormal can seriously unnerve people, and that spirits can get pissed off at people and basically harass them. Spirits can usually read minds, so if they have the power to manifest something and they want to mess with you, it usually will be something you're already scared of.

So that makes me wonder if this guy has a circus-related phobia. Probably not just a fear of clowns - that's way too pedestrian for a case like this.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Illuminati Heart Attack Gun

Here's another guy who's giving Alex Jones a run for his money in the crazy department. Pastor Paul Begley recently claimed that the heart attack suffered by Donald Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow could have been caused by "Illuminati assassins" wielding a "heart attack gun." Because of course, in the real world, seventy-year-old men never have mild heart attacks that require three-day hospital stays. Right?

During a livestream broadcast yesterday, right-wing pastor and rabid conspiracy theorist Paul Begley raised the possibility that “Illuminati assassins” may have targeted White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow with a “heart attack gun.”

Kudlow was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack earlier this week and Begley wants to know if it was somehow related to his criticism of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau following the G7 summit.

“I want to know,” Begley declared. “Are there Illuminati assassins and would they kill people to continue their agenda? I’m wondering, are there such things as heart attack guns?”

Begley claimed that right-wing publisher Andrew Breitbart mysteriously died of a heart attack the night before he was supposedly going to release a damaging video and wondered if the same forces may now be targeting Kudlow.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Movie Review: To Dream of Falling Upwards

This is both a magick post and a movie review, for the film To Dream of Falling Upwards by Anterro Alli, author of Angel Tech and several other works on modern occultism. As I've mentioned previously, Hollywood movies tend to get magick hopelessly wrong. The usual practice is to replace the "science of the magi" with lots of flashing colored lights and garish CGI, with sigils flying all over the place and things exploding. Real magick doesn't work that way. It is less flashy, but deeper and far more profound than anything mainstream films usually address.

Here's some background before I get started with my review. Have you ever wondered why the world now has both New Falcon Press and Original Falcon Press, which look like they sell books from some of the same authors? That's a story unto itself - two weeks before the death of Christopher Hyatt, his estranged biological son somehow managed to get him to sign over the company. The folks who were previously running New Falcon along with Hyatt started up Original Falcon, and recounted their side of the preceding events here.

To be clear, I have no inside information regarding the veracity of these claims and am not trying to push one side or the other. I don't know if the legal issues are still ongoing or if they have been mostly resolved now, ten years later. If you really want to know, you'll have to read up on the situation and decide for yourself.

But the story as presented by Original Falcon is significant to my review because Alli loosely bases the setup for To Dream of Falling Upwards on it, replacing a publishing company with a Thelemic magical order. When the Chief Magus of the Temple of Horus dies, his estranged son takes over the order with plans to commercialize its teachings. Jack Mason, the Chief Magus' chosen successor, is thus cheated out of his rightful position and vows to take revenge. He performs a sex magick operation against the son and hires a Russian hit man to have him killed. The assassination succeeds, but Mason finds himself haunted by a demon that takes the form of the deceased son and must find a way to exorcise it.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Stuffed Lion Provides Bad Legal Advice

Some stories are so ridiculous I can't help but share them. According to this article from the Edmonton Journal, a "religiously extreme" Christian couple lost custody of a child after they refused legal aid and instead accepted the assistance of a stuffed lion that they believe came "directly from God." There's that old saying - a person who acts as their own attorney has a fool for a client. But what about a person who lets a stuffed lion act as their attorney? Clearly, it did not prove to be a winning legal strategy.

After the woman found she was pregnant, she told a social worker her husband sometimes choked her to make her stop crying, had once tied her hands and covered her mouth with tape, which scared her, and occasionally beat her, court heard. She told the worker her husband grew up in a cult and believes sexual relations between children should be encouraged and that they “role-play” sins where she plays the victim and he plays the perpetrator, court heard.

When interviewed by police about the allegations, she denied them. Her husband said that once, when he was frustrated with her and had had a few drinks, he put one hand over her throat and the other over her mouth. This led to a complaint to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. It appears that, due to their strong religious beliefs, they are intolerant of those who do not espouse identical views. This includes other Christians.

After the birth of their daughter, the parents refused all medical tests and procedures for her, including a hearing test, blood test, eye drops and a vitamin K shot. The mother also said she was unwilling to have her vaccinated. Because of concerns over family violence and mental health, the ministry monitored the family. The couple refused to have parental capacity assessments, despite a court order.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Introducing Magical Instruction

This week's magick post is a short one, but it points to something bigger that I also have been putting together this week. Take a look at the top of that page, and you will see a new "Magical Instruction" link between my Enochian source material and author website links. This new page was assembled to organize the various articles covering basic rituals, practice work, and initiatory work that I have posted on Augoeides over the years. I wanted to have it done yesterday, but it wasn't quite ready to announce just yet.

I've been blogging since 2006, and as I am posting right now this site hosts over eighteen hundred articles. There's a lot of good material here, but it can be hard to find without messing around a bunch with Blogger search - and even then it often pulls articles back in a weird order where what you want is a ways down the results page. There's at least one Facebook group that I know of archiving and organizing my posts, but it makes a lot more sense to have something like that right here on the site.

Note also that the page is not complete as is. I plan on adding more to it over time, so that this site can have one main landing page for readers who want to learn magick according to my methods. I've been kind of reluctant to bill myself as a teacher in any formal sense for quite a long time, but it also is true that there are plenty of "teachers" out there who put out material that is far inferior to what I post here. So I guess that makes me a teacher in addition to just a guy who likes to do cool spells and happens to be pretty good at them.

Click here to check out the new page, or on the link up above. I think you'll like it.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Another One?

It sounds like Creflo Dollar may have started a trend. Preacher Jesse Duplantis has called on his followers to donate $78 million to his ministry for a top-of-the-line Falcon 7X private jet. That's even more expensive than the $65 million Gulfstream G650 that Dollar was trying to raise money to buy.

A gospel preacher in the United States is asking his followers to help him to buy a $78 million Falcon 7X private jet. Jesse Duplantis has owned three private jets throughout his life and says he is "burning them up for the lord" and needs a new one. For the critics who say he has no reason to own a private jet, he says: "I really believe that preachers ought to go on every available voice, every available outlet, to get this gospel preached to the world."

In a video series on his website called This Week With Jesse, the preacher said he needs a jet so that he can be free to preach the gospel all over the world. He said God asked him to believe he would provide the private jet. "Jesse, I didn't ask you to pay for it. I asked you to believe for it," he says God told him. "If Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn't be riding a donkey," Mr Duplantis said.

As I said back when Dollar posted his appeal, it might make sense for a preacher who travels all over the place to have a private jet. I just think it's ridiculous that the only planes these folks will even consider are brand new, top-of-the-line models that are super-expensive. There's a big market for used private jets that can be had for a million dollars or so, and Duplantis is asking for seventy-eight times that much. And even if he has to have a new plane, $78 million is about as expensive as they get. There are a lot of cheaper new models out there - like practically all of them.

I understand that he probably wants to one-up Creflo Dollar, but come on, man. The dude's name is actually Dollar! Duplantis can do everything in his power to be a money-grubbing scumbag and I still really don't see how anybody can compete with that.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Is This a Spell?

While we're on the subject of occult crime, or possibly occult crime, or for that matter just weird crime, here's a bizarre story from Boston, Massachusetts. A woman out walking her dog came upon a severed goat's head on the hood of her car, along with a photograph of her under the windshield wiper blades. Goats are commonly associated with the occult, though this also reminds me of that scene in The Godfather with the severed horse head in the bed. It might be less a magical ritual and more a terroristic threat.

Boston police said they received a report around 6 a.m. from a woman who said she was out walking her dog on Garfield Avenue when she noticed blood and the head of an animal, later identified as a goat, on the hood of her car. The 48-year-old woman also found a photo of herself tucked underneath the vehicle's windshield wiper blades. The woman told police she doesn't recall taking the picture or the time frame when it might have been taken.

Iris Robles says the victim is her cousin, a mother of four with a young son. "Like any other mom, she has a child she has to protect," Robles said. Animal control responded to the scene and removed the dead goat from the woman's vehicle but Robles says her cousin and family are left with questions, like who would do this? She has no idea whatsoever, and she has no enemies," Robles said. Why would someone want to terrify this mother of four?

Robles said, "They are insane, this is insane. They are so disturbing." People in the neighborhood are also confused and concerned about the gruesome and gory discovery. “Shocked, very shocked. Where would they even get something like that?” one woman asked. “Today with the horror and stuff, someone’s probably just trying to mess with someone’s mind to intimidate them,” Tom Flanagan said. “And that’s not OK,” a woman added after Flanagan’s comments.

Hopefully I'll be able to follow this story and post an update once the culprit has been apprehended. I'm wondering if this will turn out to be a (crude) attempt at magick related to, say, Capricorn - which rules the Evil Eye - or just a garden variety threat that some heavy metal kid or somebody like that thought would be scary. As I've mentioned here before, so few people are actually interested in occultism that it probably is the latter, but I'm not going to rule anything out without more information.

Personally I wouldn't cast a spell this way because I try to evaluate my results scientifically. If you let your target know that you're cursing them, they might change their behavior based on that knowledge rather than due to the spell itself. But I also know that not all magicians are concerned with such things.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Skulls, Bones, Masons, and Meth

Occult crime is one of those things that in real life is pretty underwhelming. Once the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare was debunked in the early 1990's by the FBI, law enforcement officials were forced to admit that very few crimes involved occultism of any sort. But this story from New Zealand at least touches on a few elements that might very well have freaked out American investigators thirty years ago. Today it's mostly just funny.

A Nelson man who stole a human skull and bones from a Masonic lodge said he would return the stolen goods in exchange for meth. Cayden John Minto, 27, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary and another of blackmail when he appeared in the Nelson District Court on Thursday.

A police summary facts said overnight on December 1, Minto broke into the Southern Star Lodge on Collingwood St. He forced a fire door open, found a key on top of a locked cupboard and used it to access a ceremonial area of the building known as the temple. Once inside, he took a human skull, assorted human bones, cutlery and books, as well as ceremonial knives, robes and marbles. he value of the items was estimated to be between $1000 and $1500.

Almost two weeks later, Minto made contact with a member of a fellow Freemasons Lodge in Nelson via Facebook. He sent messages over several days, claiming he was acting on behalf of someone who had the stolen goods, but was willing to negotiate their safe return. "Tell them be as fast as possible as the person with it will destroy it and dispose of it if he doesn't get 7 gram," one message read.

The demand was passed on to a member of the Southern Star Lodge. It was believed the person was requesting $7000 for the safe return of the items. Police later located the stolen items at Minto's former partner's house in Stoke and they were returned to the lodge. He said that "7 gram" was a reference to seven grams of methamphetamine.

I have to admit, these leaves me wondering if Minto might be a graduate of the "Become a Living God" program run by the online occult scene's resident meth-head slash carpet installer. But that probably isn't even a connection to this crime. My guess is that the security at the Masonic lodge wasn't that good - Masonic buildings tend to be old, after all - and Minto just broke in, stole what he could, and then got in touch with somebody at the lodge from whom he could (incompetently) demand drugs.

Let me tell you, if the Masons really did run the world this sort of thing would never fly. Minto would have been subjected to a dark and secret ritual that would have dragged his soul down to the depths of hell - you know, instead of just being reported to the police like any old thief and arrested.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Regarding Devotional Work


A commenter mentioned devotional work such as Liber Resh on my post about daily practice. I don't include Liber Resh or anything similar in that article because I'm not assuming everyone reading this is a Thelemite, and in my experience Resh is mostly a specifically Thelemic practice. However, devotional work like Liber Resh can be an effective part of every magician's daily work. This is a short article that I wrote up awhile back summarizing Aleister Crowley's Liber Astarte, which is his guide to uniting with a deity through devotion rather than the traditional methods of ceremonial magick.

Devotional practices are part of just about every spiritual system in existence. In the Eastern systems, devotional practices can have a similar function to meditation, but they accomplish the alteration of consciousness by cultivating the emotions rather than pure awareness on its own. Both of these methods are important in developing the capacity for transpersonal or macrocosmic realization, by which the most effective and powerful magick can be wielded.

Devotional methods comprise most of the spiritual practices of modern Christianity - or at least they should. In terms of daily life, Christianity teaches love and compassion toward others as an essential devotional method for realizing your interconnection with everyone else, and by extension the entire universe. Sects populated by Poor Oppressed Christians who teach hatred and intolerance provide no spiritual benefits to their membership, since exclusionary belief systems impede transpersonal realization and in effect prevent salvation.

Prayer is primarily devotional in nature, though people with enough magical aptitude can use it as an operant technique. If the devotional portion of the prayer succeeds in uniting consciousness with the transpersonal and the specific prayer is focused upon with enough intensity and single-mindedness, an effect will be produced in the material world that is analogous to a practical spell. This practice is in fact a simple form of magick, although magick is considered anathema in many of the Christian sects that use prayer this way.

Little has been written concerning devotional practices for ritual magicians. One excellent and comprehensive exception to this is Aleister Crowley's Liber Astarte vel Berylli, which outlines the basics of devotional mysticism and outlines a method for attaining union with a specific deity or constellation of energy through devotion. This article is a brief summary of the practice outlined there, but you can click the link to read the whole thing if you would like.