Friday, August 16, 2019

Psychics in the Gig Economy

This article is from last month, but it is becoming more and more relevant as the discussion goes on about how the gig economy does not work well for many folks out there just trying to make ends meet. Drivers in particular - both for taxi services and food delivery services - complain that the companies exploit independent contractor exceptions, appropriate tips, and so forth. Workers that do appear to be doing well, though, are app-based psychics who offer services such as Tarot readings.

Calley Nelson has been reading tarot cards for over 10 years. She never expected to go into business when she was younger, fortune-telling just “kind of happened.” Today, it is her full-time job. “I mostly read at parties and special events, but I also have a private practice in Brooklyn where people meet with me either in my home office, over the phone or video chat,” Nelson told Salon. Some clients she finds through Gig Salad and Gigmasters, which are apps for entertainers for parties and events.

“My business started unofficially through word of mouth after I graduated college,” she said. “I started reading professionally at a popular Chicago dive bar in the Boystown neighborhood.” She said people kept asking her where they could find her online, but she didn’t have a website yet. So she made an Instagram. At the time, she was working two jobs: one as a bar back, and the other as a web editor at a healthcare company. “I was apprehensive about putting tarot on my professional editorial website at first so I kept the nightlife version of me separate from my day job,” she explained.

A friend recommended that she look into Gig Salad and Gigmasters, which staffs entertainment at parties and special events. Vendors can book the talent through the sites, a similar model to TaskRabbit. Nelson said she thinks apps can help “elevate spiritual businesses.” For her, she estimates half of her business is coming through apps. Nelson said Gigmasters and Gig Salad have membership fees around $200 for the year. Gig Salad takes a cut depending on your membership. For Nelson, that is a little less than 10 percent. Gigmasters, she said, takes $20 from each event she books. Nelson charges $120 for a 60-minute reading.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Aleister Crowley's Wardrobe

Years ago a document billing itself as "The Thelemite Test" was being circulated online. One of the questions, for which you presumably got a point towards your "real Thelemite" status, was "Would you purchase a collection of Aleister Crowley's laundry lists?" The idea being, of course, that you gained points as a Thelemite for being willing to purchase anything, no matter how trivial, connected with The Great Beast himself.

According to this article, Crowley's laundry lists may remain lost but what he actually put his laundry into might not be. The article recounts the tale of a "spooky haunted wardrobe" that might have once belonged to Crowley. Unsurprisingly, the wardrobe allegedly has had something to do with various paranormal phenomena over the years.

The ornately carved cupboard has a large satanic head carving on the front in the style of furniture carved by Crowley, who called himself 'The Great Beast 666', lived in Torbay at two periods of his life and made heavily carved furniture. It was bought by a Winner Street shop in a house clearance but within weeks the shop owner was so spooked by spooky goings on that they put out a desperate appeal in the media for somebody to take it away.

The shop was trashed in the night and owner Linda Bell gradually became convinced the wardrobe was causing poltergeist activity, there were spinning chandeliers and the wardrobe doors would either refuse to be forced shut or would open by themselves when locked shut. It was so bad that Linda couldn't wait to find a buyer and shifted the ornate old cupboard from her shop, the curiously-named 'Olden Ewe' (near the Oldenburg pub).

This all happened shortly before Halloween in 2015. Eventually Linda managed to sell it at cost with no profit. Step forward new owners, Zena Corden and her daughter Tabitha Wright, who bought the piece and shipped it home to Derby where it went on display in their museum of the weird, Curiouser and Curiouser, in a listed building dating back hundreds of years.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Nicholas Cage and the Holy Grail

If you ever watched the movie National Treasure and found Nicholas Cage so believable as a historical treasure hunter that you thought he might have done it in real life, it turns out you were right. According to this article from Salon, the actor explained in an interview that he did in fact run around the world at one point hunting for the Holy Grail. And apparently, there wasn't even a single coconut involved.

“That was the time when I almost went on — you might call it a grail quest,” Cage said. “I started following mythology, and I was finding properties that aligned with that. It was almost like ‘National Treasure.’ Of course, that didn’t sustain.”

Cage continued by saying he became obsessed with figuring out the Holy Grail’s location. Asked by Marchese to clarify his “quest,” Cage explained, “You read a book, and in it there’s a reference to another book, and then you buy that book, and then you attach the references. For me it was all about where was the grail? Was it here? Was it there? Is it at Glastonbury? Does it exist?”

The research led Cage to the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, where “legend had it that in that place was a grail chalice, or two cruets rather, one of blood and one of sweat.” Cage said the water tasted like blood, just as the story of Joseph of Arimathea says. Legend has it that Joseph hid the Holy Grail in the Chalice Well and thus the water would taste of Christ’s blood. Cage added, “I guess it’s really because there’s a lot of iron in the water.”

Cage’s trip to Glastonbury sparked buzz that his quest for the Holy Grail would have to go to Rhode Island, where the actor ended up buying property. “I don’t know if I’m going to say that’s why I bought the Rhode Island property. But I will say that is why I went to Rhode Island, and I happened to find the place beautiful,” he said. “But yes, this had put me on a search around different areas, mostly in England, but also some places in the States. What I ultimately found is: What is the Grail but Earth itself?”

So the Holy Grail is in Rhode Island? The Mormons must be thrilled. Yeah, I know he didn't actually say that in the interview, but he's a famous Hollywood actor with tons of money and the ability to travel pretty much anywhere, and Rhode Island is where he stopped looking. In true conspiracy-theory fashion, I'll ask the question - do you think that him stopping there was a coincidence? He also bought a piece of property. Is that where the Grail resides today?

More seriously, though, I do find it kind of interesting that the whole tale sounds just like a Hollywood film. Famous actor embarks on a quest to travel the world in search of the Grail, but at the end of the movie he concludes that really, the Grail is everywhere because it's the Earth itself. That's almost a script treatment right there.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Back From NOTOCON XII

This last weekend I attended NOTOCON XII, the United States national convention of Ordo Templi Orientis. I am a member of the now rather small club of folks who have attended every single national convention starting in 1997, when the United States Grand Lodge came into existence and decided to hold a conference. That first conference was held in Akron, Ohio and was hosted by Black Sun Lodge. This last weekend's convention was held in downtown Cleveland, Ohio and was hosted by the same local body.

I'll happily report that I had a great time, as always, and came back with some new ideas to play around with in my ritual work and OTO activity. It's always a lot of fun meeting OTO members from all over the country, and seeing how US Grand Lodge has grown since its founding all those years ago. The Gnostic Mass held at the conference was probably the largest one ever held, with (I think) somewhere between 200 and 300 communicants. Yes, that took awhile, since everyone communicates individually in our Mass.

This time around I wasn't presenting anything. I did think about it - my Heptarchial Evocation presentation at the last convention in Orlando was well-received. But I wound up missing the deadline for presentations and decided not to scramble and send something in late. I will submit something for the next one, though, probably either a Great Table or Thirty Aires operation. My new Enochian book should certainly be out by then.

If you want to read the official version of my Heptarchial presentation, you can order a copy of For the Chance of Union: Proceedings of the Eleventh Biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference right here. It's similar to what's posted here on the blog, but cleaned up and refined a bit for print publication.

I want to thank everyone who helped make the conference a big success, especially the members of Black Sun Lodge who hosting this amazing event. NOTOCON is always a blast for me, and this one was no exception.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Consequences of Yellow Journalism

You can try to make the case that yellow journalism is harmless. But the problem with histrionic articles is that they motivate people who are already on the edge. Sure, these people aren't exactly stable, and they probably would latch onto something extreme regardless of what's in the media, but still. Today's news is that another fire has hit Boleskine House, which the previous article I critiqued claimed in the headline was to reopen as a "sex magick retreat" - and then, the author admitted in the article itself that there was no evidence of any such thing.

Boleskine House along, overlooking Loch Ness, was badly damaged by a blaze in 2015 and the ruin was sold earlier this year. Crowley was said to have performed occultist rituals at the property when he lived there between 1899 and 1913. The B-listed Georgian building was later owned by musician Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said the alarm was raised shortly before 16:00 and two appliances were sent to the property. Crews tackled separate blazes in Boleskine House and the neighbouring coach house. The Friends of Boleskine House later posted on Facebook that the coach house had been saved but what was left of the roof of Boleskine House had collapsed. The group said the fires were started deliberately.

So here's my question - does anybody in their right mind think that this fire wasn't started by somebody who read the tabloid article and completely freaked out? There are other possibilities, sure, but I'm pretty sure at this point that it's by far the most likely one. Just like the argument I made with Alex Jones, the fact of the matter is that speech that incites is inciting speech, full stop. I don't know exactly how free speech laws work in the UK, but arson is clearly a crime and it's hard to think there's no relationship between it and the article.

As the renovations go forward, the site clearly needs better security - especially if more exaggerated media nonsense about the place is on the way.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Via Solis Leo Elixir Rite - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Leo Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday July 30th, 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.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Storm Area 51!

Do you know where you'll be at three in the morning on September 20th, 2019? If you're anything like these brave chaps you'll be busy storming the gates of the notorious Area 51, ground zero for alien conspiracists everywhere, looking for proof of extraterrestrial life. The whole idea is basically something like a Project Blue Book flash mob.

Over 120,000 people have pledged to meet up and ‘storm Area 51’ in the Nevada desert to try and find evidence of alien contact. The audacious plan is set for September 20, 2019 at 3am and is being organised through Facebook. Those taking part will meet at the Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley, Nevada and then proceed to Area 51 – a classified remote part of the US Air Force’s Edwards Air Force base.

Now, far be it from us to be cynical of such a plan, but the fact the Facebook group proposing the event is called ‘S***posting cause im in shambles’ gives us some cause for concern. Nevertheless, at the time of writing, 129,000 people have indicated they’ll be taking part in ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us’ and a further 163,000 have said they are interested.

Facebook RSVPs are notoriously inaccurate. "Interested" doesn't mean anything. "Going" is a little more reliable, but still can't be counted on. If 120,000 people claim they are "Going" and ten show up I wouldn't be even remotely surprised. Much as Douglas Adams once observed regarding numbers in restaurants, numbers on Facebook behave entirely differently than numbers anywhere else in the universe.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Yellow Journalism at its Finest

Mysterious Universe is not exactly known for reasonable and accurate reporting of events. And by "not exactly" I mean "not at all." The website is the home of various articles on the weird and potentially paranormal. It features hyperbolic commentary that is fun to read and which also often falls short of this pesky little thing called "truth." This article, though, is one of the worst examples that I have come across. Follow my section-by-section commentary here to find out why.

Back in April, the former home of occultist Aleister Crowley went up for sale. Boleskine House, a reportedly cursed Loch Ness estate where Crowley famously conducted Satanist rituals and black magick ceremonies between 1899 and 1913, has been the subject of lore and legend for decades partly due to the reputation of its infamous former owner and partly due to strange events reported at the site.

Much of this is the basic boilerplate that shows up in every article about Aleister Crowley. He was a Satanist. He performed "black magick," whatever that is. Weird and disturbing events are reported at places associated with him. But I dare the author to get in touch with somebody like Aaron Leitch and ask whether the Abramelin operation (which is the magical operation Crowley actually started at Boleskine House) is "Satanist black magick." I would pay to eavesdrop on that conversation, because I expect it would be hilarious.

After Crowley sold the house in 1913, its next owner committed suicide with a shotgun. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page then bought the home, and the caretaker hired to oversee the estate reported witnessing strange occurrences that seemed to suggest Boleskine House was haunted or otherwise cursed.

Again, classic sensationalism. Note that the "strange occurrences" are never really detailed. Also, mental illness and suicide are a lot more common than many people realize. One suicide at a house is not exactly a trend. Jimmy Page owned the house for years and he's rich and successful, so totally not cursed.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Magick Competition Banned

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It's a Curse!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 8, 2019

Via Solis Cancer Elixir - Year Three

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

0. The Temple

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

I. Opening

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

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

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

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

All: MAKAShANaH

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

All: ABRAHADABRA

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

All: AUMGN

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

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


Bell chime.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Against Good Omens

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 17, 2019

Facebook Friendly Mass of Nuit and Babalon

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

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

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


0. The Temple

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

Mass of Nuit and Babalon for 2019


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

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

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


0. The Temple

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Lizard People Can Kill

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 7, 2019

Sorry, I Don't Date Reincarnated Evil Witches

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

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

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

Monday, June 3, 2019

Via Solis Gemini Elixir Rite - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Gemini Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday June 4th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of the last two 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

Friday, May 31, 2019

Thoughts on the Rose Cross Ritual

A reader asked me for some thoughts on this ritual, since I have yet to post a commentary on it. I don't personally use it as written, which is why I haven't posted a commentary up until now. With the Thelemic rituals Aleister Crowley combined the functionality of this ritual with that of the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram in the Star Sapphire. Still, the ritual is part of the Golden Dawn tradition and a subject of online discussion. As always, my take on these rituals is my own, and should not be taken to represent the interpretation of any particular individual or group. Furthermore, I am not a Golden Dawn initiate, so if you are and your group interprets it differently you probably should stick with that, unless what I have to say here really resonates with you and your magical practice.

And yes, I know that it's Thursday. I originally planned to put this up on Monday, but I wound up having a little more to say than I expected and it took longer to write. Next Monday will be the elixir rite for Gemini, so I didn't want to post it then either.


The stated function of the Rose Cross ritual in the Golden Dawn tradition is to anchor the consciousness of the magician in Tiphareth, the sephira of the Sun that occupies the center of the Tree of Life in Golden Dawn and Thelemic Qabalah. It may be thought of as having a similar effect to the sephirothic version of the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for the Sun, to which is attributed The Vision of the Harmony of Things, The Mysteries of the Crucifixion, and the Beatific Vision. The difference seems to be that the latter is more effective for reaching this state, while the former is supposed to be more effective for maintaining it - especially when performed on a daily basis.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Ark Encounter Sues Over Rain Damage

I guess it's not that good a Noah's Ark replica after all. Ken Ham's Ark Encounter attraction is suing its insurance company over, of all things, rain damage. Or flood damage, depending on who you ask. Either way, it's pretty ironic considering that the legendary Noah's Ark supposedly endured forty days and nights of rain and a (patently impossible) flood that covered the entire world. I thought that Ham's replica was supposed to be accurate!

Ark Encounter, which unveiled the 510-foot-long model in 2016, says that heavy rains in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide on its access road, and its five insurance carriers refused to cover nearly $1 million in damages. In a 77-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Ark Encounter asks for compensatory and punitive damages.

The ark itself was not damaged and the road has been rebuilt, according to the suit. The park is open, said Melany Ethridge, a spokeswoman at the attraction’s Dallas-based public relations firm, who only laughed when informed that Ark Encounter had sued over flood damage. "You got to get to the boat to be on the boat," she said.

But to Ark Encounter’s lawyer, Amanda Brooke Stubblefield, at the Cincinnati firm Keating, Muething & Klekamp, the suit is no laughing matter. "We are not going to comment to the press on this case," she said. Ethridge subsequently issued a statement that said: “The lawsuit speaks for itself. We don’t have anything to add at this time, other than to say that we are highly confident of the merits of our case as we seek a fair resolution to the matter."

Okay, so it's the access road, shown above, that was damaged and I'm being excessively snarky. Still, it should be pointed out that if the ark actually floated it wouldn't need an access road. And there's at least one floating ark in the world already, so it clearly could be built. I find it pretty clear, too, that a working replica ark is a lot more impressive than a building that is just kinda shaped like one.

As far as the merits of the suit go I have no idea. Ham may be a big joke to me, but it also is true that lot of insurance companies will do just about anything to avoid paying claims. My guess is that the policy doesn't include coverage for flood damage - which you have to buy separately - and Answers in Genesis didn't buy supplemental flood insurance. So they're saying this is rain damage and the insurer is arguing it's flood damage. That's actually a legal distinction with wide-reaching implications and not just a snappy punchline.

Still, the snappy punchline is pretty darn funny.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Mixed Field Tuning

Over the years I have experimented with various versions of "mixed fields" - that is, trying to tune ritual spaces with multiple Greater Pentagram and Greater Hexagram rituals. What I have managed to work out is that mixing elements or planets or signs does not seem to work well. My current model for this is that tuning the space is like taking a flashlight and putting a colored filter in front of it. If you cover the flashlight with a red filter and then cover that with a blue filter, you'll get barely any light coming through.

So as an example, if you perform a ritual where you are trying to use, for example, the GIRH for Mars and the GRH for Jupiter (chosen only because they match the flashlight example of blue and red), the first GIRH (Mars) puts the red filter over the "white light" invoked by the LIRH that precedes it in the operant field opening. Then the second GIRH for Jupiter tunes the red to blue - but the red has already filtered out blue. So little light, if any, remains and your ritual is likely to fail.

Where this doesn't necessarily apply is when you are combining a sign and a planet or a planet and an element. The elements, planets, and signs form complete systems of attributions in their own right and operate on different "levels" of magical reality. So you can use, say, a GIRH for Aries followed by a GIRH for Mars and wind up with a space tuned to Mars in Aries. Those happen to be about the same color, but that doesn't always hold and anyway it doesn't seem to matter.

What does matter with this method is the condition of the planet in the sign. You'll get a strong energy when your planet is dignified in the sign (Rulership or Exaltation) and a weak energy when the planet is debilitated in the sign (Fall or Detriment). Mars in Aries is a powerful energy because Mars rules Aries. The Sun would also be powerful because it is exalted in Aries. But Saturn (Fall) and Venus (Detriment) in Aries would both be weak. Jupiter, Mercury, and Moon would all be somewhere in between since they are neither dignified nor debilitated.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Fake Joel Osteen is Now a Thing

Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston has been sending out warnings about a fake Facebook account billing itself as "Joel Osteen Ministries." The account has been soliciting people to open "prayer request accounts" that are alleged to cost up to $50 per month. It's a clever scam, precisely because this is essentially what "Prosperity Gospel" preachers like Osteen imply that their parishioners should do. They just aren't quite as blatant about it.

Lakewood Church has been warning people about a Facebook account posing as "Joel Osteen Ministries," which has been asking people for donations up to $50 to activate prayer request accounts. The message has been circulating on both Facebook and Twitter, church officials told Chron.com.

"Unfortunately, your Joel Osteen prayer request account has not been activated," the message said. "In order to activate your account, you will need to add a monthly donation of $24.99, which will give you access to 3 prayer requests per month..." The message goes on to offer "platinum prayer request" account to anyone who pays $49.99 per month.

A church spokesperson said she didn't know where the post originated. She said the Lakewood social media team saw hundreds of people receiving the fake messages. The church quickly notified people that that they do not, in fact, charge for prayer requests.

So no, Lakewood Church does not charge for prayer requests and you shouldn't be sending these scammers money. But if you are donating to Osteen's church on the promise that God will give you back many times the amount of money you donate, you shouldn't be doing that either. Jesus never said anything about God wanting his followers to accumulate wealth or liking rich people. In fact, he taught the exact opposite.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Boleskine House Has Been Sold

Boleskine House, Aleister Crowley's former home on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland, has been sold. Back in 2015 a fire believed to have started in the kitchen burned down much of the structure, leaving behind the remains shown in the image above. The site was placed on the market several months ago.

The former Highland home of occultist Aleister Crowley that was largely destroyed by fire four years ago has been sold. The new owners of Boleskine House near Loch Ness will be hoping for a new peaceful chapter in the property's story with it understood the house is to become home to a charitable foundation and opened up to the public.

Those who have bought the property have not been named but they plan to fully restore the house where Crowley centred his black magic investigations after he bought it, aged 25, in 1899. It was later bought by Led Zeppelin founder and guitarist Jimmy Page in the 1970s with the rock god owning the "most notorious home in the Highlands" for around 20 years.

As a point, describing the Abramelin operation as "black magic" is not very accurate, but that's to be expected. Crowley has never really gotten a fair shake in British media.

A blaze in 2015 caused extensive damage to Boleskine House with the fragile building now a danger to the public. It has long drawn those curious in the occult but the new owners have urged people to stay away until the house is fully repaired and restored to a safe state.

The new buyers have remained anonymous so far, but I imagine that they are likely Thelemites or at least occultists of some flavor with an interest in Crowley's work. Fixing up the site and opening it to the public is a great idea, and as I mentioned to a commenter here on Augoeides, if I was rich enough to afford buying the place and repairing the damage I might have done something similar.

Best wishes to the new owners, and I look forward to someday being able to visit.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Pat Robertson Opposes Alabama Abortion Ban

It's not every day that I agree with evangelical leader and longtime Augoeides punching bag Pat Robertson. In fact, make that just about no day ever.

Sure, I pointed out that he made sense when he responded to even-more-laughable Augoeides punching bag Ken Ham's debate with Bill Nye. I also noted awhile back that he correctly referred to a piece of scripture that's widely misunderstood by the evangelical community at large. But that's about as close as I've come - at least until now.

In response to the draconian abortion ban recently passed in Alabama, Robertson actually criticized the measure, commenting that he though the state went too far and that the law was "extreme." This is a pretty telling criticism, as Robertson has been one of the big evangelical leaders pushing to overturn Roe v. Wade for decades.

Could there be hope for him still?

Televangelist Pat Robertson, who is opposed to abortion, criticized an anti-abortion bill passed by the Alabama legislature Tuesday as "extreme."

“I think Alabama has gone too far," he said during a Wednesday appearance on "The 700 Club", referencing the bill's 99-year maximum sentence for doctors who perform abortions and the fact that it does not provide exceptions for rape or incest cases. He added that he does not think the bill would be upheld by the Supreme Court.

"It’s an extreme law, and they want to challenge Roe vs. Wade, but my humble view is that this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because I think this one will lose," he said. “The Alabama case, God bless them, they’re trying to do something, but I don’t think that’s the case that I’d want to bring to the Supreme Court," he later reiterated.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Exorcism Summit Open to Non-Catholics

Sadly, though, you still have to be Christian.

In a move that I imagine can only be positive for non-Catholic reverse-conjurers everywhere, the Roman Catholic Church has opened up its annual exorcism summit to exorcists belonging to other Christian denominations. By exploring techniques from other strands of their tradition, they hope to improve their methods and develop "best practices." You know, like a great big Agile team or something.

With a rise in reported demonic possessions and devil worship in the era of social media, the Roman Catholic Church opened its doors to non-Catholics for the first time during its annual exorcism training conference.

This article is from Fox News, so I want to interrogate some of its implied assumptions a bit. Is there really a "rise in reported demonic possessions and devil worship in the era of social media?" Members of groups like The Satanic Temple are atheists, and while there are theistic Satanists their numbers are much lower. "Lifestyle witchcraft" is not "devil worship" either - nor is it really even magick or witchcraft as I think of it, just a fashion trend.

I do realize that conservative Catholics think anybody who isn't a Catholic, and certainly anyone who isn't Christian, is basically a devil worshipper or might as well be one. But to be clear, I'm a Thelemite and I don't "worship the devil." I actually don't really "worship" anything. I work with deities and spirits as a peer, not a supplicant. And I have to say, in the occult community I don't think literal "devil worship" is much of a thing for the most part.

Also - has there actually been an increase in "reported demonic possessions?" I scour the Internet for anything that looks like a real case of possession so I can cover it here on the blog, and I can't say that I've seen any increase in reports over the course of at least the last decade and probably longer. It was rare before, and it remains rare now.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Colors For Kamea Sigils

One of the reasons there have been fewer Magick Monday posts up lately is that I am no longer sure what information I need to publish here. I've posted practical operations, initiatory rites, and a comprehensive model of how magick works that seems to stand up to the data I keep compiling as a practical magician. But I got a question from a reader yesterday about something that I have mentioned but not covered in as much detail as it probably deserves. The subject is how to use the four scales of color from Liber 777 when drawing sigils on the kamea squares for the various angels, intelligences, and spirits.

The basic method works like this. The four color scales represent the four Qabalistic worlds. King = Atziluth, Queen = Briah, Prince/Emperor = Yetzirah, Princess/Empress = Assiah. I'm not clear why Aleister Crowley decided to change Prince and Princess to Emperor and Empress in Liber 777, but that's how the scales are named in there and it can be a little confusing. It might have to do with the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child, so the Prince becomes an Emperor or something like that, but it is also useful to point out that in the Thoth Tarot you do see Princes and Princesses rather than Emperors and Empresses.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ba'al Chemtrails Enhance Devil Frequency

He's finally done it. "Firefighter Prophet" Mark Taylor now has his own tag here on Augoeides, just like evangelical elder statesman Pat Robertson. He must be thrilled. For that matter, maybe they both are.

His latest is this gem, which... well, just read it.

During an appearance on the Bless to Teach show this weekend, Taylor declared that chemtrails are not just a secret government program designed to quell an unruly populace, they’re also a tool used by Satan to cut people off from God, or something like that.

In a video clip flagged by Right Wing Watch, Taylor said that “everything in life gives off a frequency” and that “all of creation cries out to God in the frequency,” which is how humanity worships God. To counteract this, Satan uses chemtrails to turn humans into “giant antennas” receptive to a devilish frequency that’s designed to tune out God’s frequency.

“All the spraying is to detract us from hearing God’s frequency,” he said. “They are spraying aluminum and barium in the chemtrails and if you look on the periodic table—barium is BA, aluminum is AL; it spells BAAL.”

Of course, Taylor is referring to the Old Testament Canaanite god Ba’al, which was often portrayed as the main enemy of the Hebrew god Yahweh. According to Taylor, this is “no coincidence.”

The levels of wrongness here are just staggering, even for Taylor, who has said some doozies ever since he decided that he was a honest-to-goodness prophet.

My comments follow below.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Via Solis Taurus Elixir Rite - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Taurus Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday May 7th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of the last two years by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the oasis know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Taurus. The power attributed to Taurus is "the secret of physical strength," so if you have a specific intent, something related to health, healing, vitality, and so forth would be 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

Sunday, May 5, 2019

May Day Parade 2019!


For those who don't know, my home town of Minneapolis, Minnesota is the site of a unique event that happens on the first Sunday in May - the MayDay Parade and Festival held at Powderhorn Park. This is a park that happens to be right next to my house, so we can enjoy the parade and festival without really leaving home.

This is not just any parade, either. It basically is a public pagan ritual that attracts twenty to thirty thousand people, and it has been going on since 1976. The parade travels through South Minneapolis, arriving at Powderhorn Park. There, a ritual is performed for the rebirth of the Sun, during which a huge Sun puppet is rowed from across the lake by attendants in canoes. This article from the local City Pages newspaper describes the event further.

Get ready for a mega-dose of joy, puppets, and community as In the Heart of the Beast hosts its annual MayDay Parade and Festival. With art bikes, giant puppets, stilt dancers, marching bands, costumed characters, flowers, and glitter, this is Minneapolis’ quintessential spring celebration. So find a spot on Bloomington Avenue for the parade, make your way to the Tree of Life Ceremony afterward, and stay for a festival filled with peace and love at Powderhorn Park.

MayDay is a must-see event, and a chance to revel in beauty, wonder, and social activism. This year, with news of HOBT’s financial struggles, you definitely won’t want to miss the party. If you can, be sure to give a donation to ensure this lovely event continues for years to come with help from the community. The parade starts at the corner of 25th Street East and Bloomington Avenue South, travels south on Bloomington to 34th Street East, and ends at Powderhorn Park.

The video above shows the "battle train," one of the most impressive floats (or really, a group of floats being pulled together like train cars) that I have seen. My friend Michele also took a bunch of Facebook videos of the parade, which you can find here, here, here, here, and here. As the quote mentions, there are looking to be some financial challenges if this event is going to continue next year. I think it's worthwhile - to my knowledge there is literally nothing like it anywhere in the United States.

The deal is that the organization that has been sponsoring the event for decades, In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, is having some financial problems and is doing fundraising towards next year's parade. If you are able to make a donation, you can do that here. We're all hoping that this fundraising effort will be successful and we will be able to keep enjoying the festival for years to come.

One idea that I had was to move the parade to a model like what's been going on in New Orleans for a very long time with their Mardi Gras parade. The parade is supported by "crewes" who create floats, costumes, decorations, and so forth. There are already a few groups up here who enter something in every parade - the "battle train" was built by a group who work out of a garage with a full metal shop a few blocks west of where I live, and there are a number of others. That might be a viable way forward, seeing as the New Orleans parade has been very successful.

Here's wishing you all a Happy MayDay! Hopefully there will be many more festivals to come.

Uri Geller Brings Down The House

If by "bring down" you mean "made a pipe leak" and by "house" you mean the House of Commons. I missed this story back in April, but I'm catching up now.

After posting an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May stating that he would stop Brexit with his psychic powers, the famed (and debunked) psychic made good on his threats. He claims to have caused a pipe to leak, which resulted in the temporary closure of the House of Commons. This is a logical extension of his old spoon-bending powers, but it also is a little sad. If I were going to try and influence a political body with magick, I could do so much better than a leaky pipe.

He shared a video on Twitter this morning of a leaking pipe at the Uri Geller Museum in Tel Aviv, taken at about 12.40PM UK time. He says this gave him the inspiration to carry out his sabbotage of Parliament.

‘This is when I got the idea! PARLIAMENT! I can’t sack them but I can soak them,’ tweeted Uri, who is a British citizen but lives in Israel. Uri Geller said coffee shop leak 'inspired' him to sabotage Parliament

It’s not like you couldn’t see it coming, after the 72-year-old self-proclaimed psycic warning sent an open letter to Theresa May last month saying: ‘I love you very much but I will not allow you to lead Britain into Brexit. ‘As much as I admire you, I will stop you telepathically from doing this – and believe me I am capable of executing it.’

At this point, many hardcore remainers might think that anything is worth a try, but it probably would have helped if MPs were actually talking about Brexit at the time of the flooding and not the introduction of the 2019 Loan Charge.

It's almost as if Geller were an ineffective superhero from The Tick or Mystery Men with the power to "kind of bend metal a little, you know, some of the time," like a super-super-low-budget Magneto. And speaking of The Tick, "Spoon!" should totally be Geller's battle-cry. But could he really not think of anything better to do than mess with a pipe? Mind-to-mind influence is way more effective than random parlor tricks like this, and the House of Commons wasn't even discussing Brexit when he alleges he did it.

Yes, psychic abilities are just like spells in that sometimes their effects don't manifest the way we expect. Now it could be that he's spent the last month using mental influence to defeat each of May's attempts to get a Brexit plan through Parliament, and the idea is now as unpopular as it's ever been. So maybe I'll cut him a little slack. You know, maybe

Because let's face it - I was hoping for something really dramatic once the spoons started rolling. Instead, I got a leaky pipe. It's a bit of a letdown, almost as if he didn't really do anything and just took credit for something that happened on its own.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Sweet, Sweet Alien Blood

Sabrina Sabrok is not just an adult film star, television personality, and satanic cult leader. She also claims to be the offspring of humans and aliens, due to her sweet, sweet alien blood. That's the kind of blood they would call "Rh-negative" if you were in the hospital and needed a transfusion, you might have it too, and there's absolutely no scientific evidence that it has anything to do with beings from another world. But then, that's exactly the sort of thing an Rh-positive full-blooded human like me would say, right?

Sabrina Sabrok, a self-styled psychic and medium who has recently set up a Satanic cult, appears to believe that her blood came from outside sources. "I worked with researchers who told me that my blood type is not from this planet," the 43-year-old former Playboy model told the Daily Star. "There are even theories that aliens carried out experiments with humans, mixing DNA and things like this. As a result, some people are Rh-negative," she was quoted as saying.

Rh-negative blood refers to the type of red blood cells that do not have a protein called the Rhesus (Rh) factor on their surface. Nearly 85 percent of the world's population is estimated to have Rh-positive blood, while the rest are Rh-negative. Rh-positive individuals can be given transfusions of both types of blood, but Rh-negative people should only get Rh-negative blood, because there's a chance that an incompatibility might happen otherwise.

Scientists believe that Rh-negative blood is the result of a mutation that happened during our evolution, but some conspiracy theorists suggest that Rh-negative individuals have evolved from aliens who mated with or experimented on humans when they came to our planet.

It's not clear where the Rh-negative = alien thing came from, but I have heard it floating around the Internet for awhile in the context of stories about alien abductions and the like. The "Rh" stands for "Rhesus factor" based on the erroneous conclusion that the human Rh factor was the same as a similar factor found in Rhesus monkeys (even though, in fact, it's not - but the name stuck). So maybe somebody might think that people without it didn't evolve from Rhesus monkeys? That would mean aliens had to be involved - even though, you know, humans are apes and none of us evolved from Rhesus monkeys.

Augoeides readers interested in Sabrok's satanic cult can find (a little) more information here, though not a lot of details are forthcoming about what kinds of practices membership actually entails. A lot of it seems to have to do with following Sabrok on Instagram.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Scientology Cruise Ship Under Quarantine

Clearly the dark space lord Xenu is at it again. The cruise ship Freewinds, which is owned by the Church of Scientology and used for religious retreats, is currently under quarantine in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia because a passenger with a case of measles was discovered onboard.

"Given the highly infectious nature of measles, along with the possibility that other persons onboard the vessel may have been in contact with and are now possibly infectious due to this disease, a decision was made not to allow persons to disembark," said Merlene Fredericks-James, the island's chief medical officer.

She added that the infected patient was a female crew member and that the ship was the Freewinds -- a 440-foot (134-meter) vessel the Church of Scientology says is used for religious retreats and is normally based in Curacao.

The ship asked for 100 doses of measles vaccine, which Saint Lucia authorities are providing at no cost, with the patient under observation. The church, founded by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard in 1953, did not respond to requests for comment. Its teachings do not directly oppose vaccination, but followers consider illness a sign of personal failing and generally eschew medical interventions.

Tony Ortega, who runs a blog about the group, told AFP: "When a Scientologist gets a cold, they would be asked to write an essay about who they think that is against the church that is making them sick. "They would definitely be interrogating that person and they would punish that person because when you're sick like that, in Scientology, it's always your own fault."

It also should be pointed out that Scientology is explictly opposed to psychiatric treatment, on the grounds that anybody suffering from mental illness should just go for a bunch of Dianetics auditing to overcome their "engrams" and/or "body thetans." The only reason everybody doesn't do that is the corrupt psychiatric establishment is suppressing the work of the greatest man who ever lived, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

None of that necessarily means that the infected crew member is an anti-vaxxer, as a few early reports suggested. It is possible to still get measles even if you are vaccinated, the odds are just a lot lower. It is true, though, that continuing to believe in Andrew Wakefield's study linking autism to the MMR vaccine when Wakefield himself admitted that he made the whole thing up is perilously close to mental illness territory these days. I would suggest any Scientologist who does should get themselves to an auditor at once.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

I Suppose It Takes All Kinds...

You want to talk about frivolous lawsuits, it sounds like the man you want to talk to is Howard B Wright Jr. of central Pennsylvania. Or maybe he's just the guy to talk to about flat-out crazy lawsuits. Wright alleged in his complaint that the police were using "voodoo and witchcraft" to place him under mind control, and sued for $5 million in damages.

In a shocking twist, the court didn't believe him and the case was thrown out - even though he explained in an entirely reasonable fashion that the same people were looking to reanimate an army of dead police officers as part of an insidious plan for world domination.

Howard B. Wright Jr. claims in his rambling complaint that he was targeted for the paranormal attacks because one of his relatives was convicted for the slaying of a police officer during the 1969 York race riots.

“Wright’s allegations of witchcraft, voodoo and mind control are fantastical and obviously have no basis in fact or law,” Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab wrote in urging U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane to give Wright’s suit the heave-ho. Wright, 42, of York, filed his complaint, along with about 100 pages of various photos, letters to state officials and other documents, in February.

As Schwab noted, Wright claimed that once under mind control, he had been forced to impersonate a police officer. There is a Walking Dead angle to the supposed conspiracy as well. “Wright alleges that the ultimate goal of the mind control is to use reanimated police officers to ‘take over the country’,” the magistrate judge wrote.

To be fair, there really are such things as mind control spells - but they really work more like mind-influence spells. Most magical effects are not deterministic enough to be accurately described as "control." The version of mind control that you see in movies or on television is not something magicians go around doing. As far as I know it's not even possible, at least to that extent.

And if somebody has a spell to reanimate dead police officers and turn them into an infernal army of the night I totally want to know how it works. I find it a little suspicious, though, that this allegation is being thrown around at the same time as the new season of Game of Thrones, which features a conveniently similar plotline involving an army of reanimated corpses trying to conquer the world.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Copenhagen Qabalah

I am sharing this for two reasons. First, because I want to make a record of the website archive link so I don't have to look it up every time I want to refer back to it, and second, because the material here had a lot of influence on the original magical practices that we developed for the magical working group. The website in question is Copenhagen Qabalah, which if you never heard of it or never saw it when it was up you should at least check it out. The site went down a while ago, but I managed to find the archive link that is included above. So I'm posting it here for reference.

In particular, the Copenhagen material had a lot of influence on how we did pathworking, which was one of the earliest practices that we did as a group. That in turn influenced how the "Rites of Approach" in my Path of Initiation articles work along with material from the Aurum Solis, Golden Dawn, and other practitioners. While I don't necessarily agree with every point on the site, I think if you compare it with what I have presented here on Augoeides it should be easy to track the various influences.

I posted our basic pathworking methodology here and here. What the Copenhagen material adds is the basic structure of the entire operation, in which you start at the bottom of the Tree of Life and work upwards. The sephiroth are visualized as "temples" containing the various aspects with which they are associated, and the paths are visualized as outdoor "landscapes" made up of elements from the corresponding Tarot card. To get to a path, you always begin in your "Temple of Malkuth" and navigate through the paths and sephiroth to get to your destination.

This practice (1) develops the body of light, (2) prepares you for more involved work with the "travel in the spirit vision" method employed by the original Golden Dawn and its successors, and (3) builds up a comprehensive "astral temple" that you can use for all sorts of operations that don't require an elaborate physical temple space. Using the operant field with this technique also allows you to do practical workings on the astral that will propagate effectively to the material plane. Microcosmically, it aligns the Tree of Life with your aura or field of consciousness, another key practice involving Magical Qabalah.

So this is a great resource for any aspiring modern magician working with the Golden Dawn or Thelemic system. I and my working group got a lot out of it, and I expect if you work with it your results will be good as well.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Via Solis Aries Elixir Rite - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Aries Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday April 16th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of the last two years by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. The script is mostly the same as last year, with one small tweak to the elixir charging section. Like before 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 Aries. Items to be consecrated may be placed on the altar by any of the attendees, as Aries is attributed to the Power of Consecrating Things. 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