Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Office of the Readings for 2020

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

The Thelemic dates that you may see written online are arrived at by counting the number of 22-year cycles since 1904 to obtain the upper case Roman numeral, and then counting the years of the current cycle starting with zero to get the lower case one. Within each 22-year cycle, many Thelemites ascribe the Major Arcana trumps of the Tarot to the years in order starting with The Fool and ending with The Universe. According to this, the year that we're about to enter into is V:vi, attributed to The Lovers.

This post will remain the top article here for the duration of the Thelemic Holy Days which end on April 10th. The Rite of the Office of the Readings is performed for all of the readings beginning on March 20th. This year we have a modified ritual that we are calling the "Year B" rite and a (slightly) different list of first readings from M. Dionysus Rogers. The second readings are mostly unchanged from previous years.

This is also a weird year in other ways, with the COVID-19 pandemic currently underway. We had originally planned to hold these rites publicly at Leaping Laughter Lodge, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis, and at Paganicon 2020. But Paganicon has been rescheduled to September and in-person OTO events in the United States are currently on hold.

Therefore, we will be streaming the Office of the Readings instead via Facebook Live. You can like our Leaping Laughter OTO page on Facebook here. We will stream the readings every evening starting around 8 PM until April 10th, but we will leave the videos up once they are created so you don't have to watch them at that exact time.

Rituals

The Invocation of Horus
The Rite of the Office of the Readings - Year B

Readings

March 19

Liber VII, Prologue of the Unborn.

March 20 - Saturn/Earth, The Universe

Liber VII, Cap II.
Liber Libræ.

March 21 - Fire/Spirit, The Aeon

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

March 22 - Sol, The Sun

Liber VII, Cap IV.
From "A Mithraic Ritual" Translated by GRS Mead. Cap I, II, and XIII.

March 23 - Pisces, The Moon

Liber VII, Cap VI.
"The Dark Night of the Soul" by San Juan de la Cruz.

March 24 - Aries, The Emperor

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

March 25 - Mars, The Tower

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

March 26 - Capricornus, The Devil

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

March 27 - Sagittarius, Art

Liber DCCCXIII, Cap I-III.
From “The Vision of the Universal Mercury” by G.H. Frater S.R.M.D.

March 28 - Scorpio, Death

Liber Stellae Rubae.
From Liber CXI, Cap 192-194.

March 29 - Water, The Hanged Man

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

March 30 - Libra, Adjustment

Liber LXV, Cap IV.
Selections from “The Spiritual Guide” by San Miguel de Molinos.

March 31 - Jupiter, Fortune

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

April 1 - Virgo, The Hermit

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

April 2 - Leo, Lust

Liber LXV, Cap II.
From “The Daughter of Fortitude” Received by Edward Kelly.

April 3 - Cancer, The Chariot

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

April 4 - Gemini, The Lovers

Liber B vel Magi.
From Liber DCCCXXXVII, The Law of Liberty.

April 5 - Taurus, The Hierophant

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

April 6 - Aquarius, The Star

Liber DCCCXIII, Cap IV-VII.
From “The Thunder, Perfect Mind” (Gnostic text).

April 7 - Venus, The Empress

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

April 8 - Luna, The Priestess

Liber AL, Cap I.

April 9 - Mercury, The Magus

Liber AL, Cap II.

April 10 - Air, The Fool

Liber AL, Cap III.

If you would like to perform this series and have questions, feel free to e-mail me here. All Office of the Readings posts may be viewed here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 7

April 7 – Daleth (Venus, The Empress)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap VII.


Officiant: Then at the end appointed her body was whiter than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat like the heat of the midmost sun.
All: Glorious, glorious, glorious art Thou, O my lover supernal, O Self of myself.
Officiant: They that ever desired Thee shall obtain Thee, even at the End of their Desire.
All: Glorious, glorious, glorious art Thou, O my lover supernal, O Self of myself.

Reading II: From Liber CDXVIII, The 7th Æthyr.

Officiant: Since the Black Brothers and their Cults set themselves against change, do thou break them asunder.
All: Every Change is an act of Love under Will.
Officiant: Heed not then whoso crieth Anarchy, and Immorality, and Heresy against thee, and feareth to destroy Abuse lest worse Things come of it.
All: Every Change is an act of Love under Will.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 6

April 6 – Heh (Aquarius, The Star)

Reading I: Liber DCCCXIII Cap IV-VII


Officiant: The great goddess that bendeth over the Universe is my mistress.
All: Our loves have brought to birth the Father and Creator of all things.
Officiant: He hath established His rule in His kingdom.
All: Our loves have brought to birth the Father and Creator of all things.

Reading II: From “The Thunder, Perfect Mind”

Officiant: I was sent from the Power, and have come to those who think upon me.
All: I am the name of the voice and the voice of the name.
Officiant: I am the hearing that is acceptable in every matter; I am the utterance that cannot be restrained
All: I am the name of the voice and the voice of the name.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 5

April 5 – Vav (Taurus, The Hierophant)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap I.


Officiant: Thou wast long seeking Me; thou didst run forward so fast that I was unable to come up with thee.
All: To await Thee is the end, not the beginning.
Officiant: "Come unto me" is a foolish word, for it is I that go.
All: To await Thee is the end, not the beginning.

Reading II: From ““On Christ and Antichrist” by Hippolytus, Cap II.

Officiant: All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked.
All: Blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!
Officant: But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.
All: Blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 4

April 4 – Zayin (Gemini, The Lovers)

Reading I: Liber B vel Magi.


(No Responsory)

Reading II: From Liber DCCCXXXVII Section III, "The Law of Liberty."

Officant: Yet know this, that every Opposition is in its Nature named Sorrow, and the Joy lieth in the Destruction of the Dyad.
All: Leaving only that Nothingness which was before the Beginning.
Officiant: Yet rest not in the Joy of the Destruction of each complex in thy Nature, but press on to that ultimate Marriage with the Universe whose Consummation shall destroy thee utterly,
All: Leaving only that Nothingness which was before the Beginning.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 3

April 3 – Cheth (Cancer, The Chariot)

Reading I: Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni.


Officiant: Oh Babalon, thou mighty Mother, that ridest upon the crownèd beast; let thy kisses wanton me unto death, that even I, thy cup-bearer, may understand.
All: O my God, in one last rapture let me attain to the union with the many.
Officiant: And this is the secret of the brothers of the Rosy Cross; and this is the heart of the ritual that is accomplished in the Vault of the Adepts that is hidden in the Mountain of the Caverns, even the Holy Mountain Abiegnus.
All: O my God, in one last rapture let me attain to the union with the many.

Reading II: "Maha Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra" (The Heart Sutra, Buddhist text. Translation by the Kuan Um School of Zen).

(No Responsory)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 2

April 2 – Teth (Leo, Lust)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap II.


Officiant: Every breath, every word, every thought, every deed is an act of love with Thee.
All: Let there be nothing! Let all things drop into this ocean of love!
Officiant: Then at the end appointed her body was whiter than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat like the heat of the midmost sun.
All: Let there be nothing! Let all things drop into this ocean of love!

Reading II: From “The Daughter of Fortitude” received by Edward Kelly.

Officiant: I am the daughter of Fortitude, and ravished every hour from my youth.
All: For behold I am Understanding and science dwelleth in me.
Officiant: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun,
All: And the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 1

April 1 - Yod (Virgo, The Hermit)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap V.


Officiant: There is a solemnity of the silence.
All: There is no more voice at all.
Officiant: Only Thy silence and Thy speech that worship me avail.
All: There is no more voice at all.

Reading II: "The Emerald Tablet of Hermes" by Hermes Trismegistus.

(No Responsory)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 31

March 31 - Kaph (Jupiter, Fortune)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap III.


Officiant: The leaven taketh, and the bread shall be sweet; the ferment worketh.
All: And the wine shall be sweet.
Officiant: Wail, O ye folk of the grey land, for we have drunk your wine, and left ye but the bitter dregs. Yet from these we will distill ye a liquor beyond the nectar of the Gods.
All: And the wine shall be sweet.

Reading II: From Liber CDXVIII, The 20th Æthyr.

Officiant: The Great Wheel of Samsara. The Wheel of the Law. The Wheel of the Taro. The Wheel of the Heavens. The Wheel of Life. All these Wheels be one; yet of all these the Wheel of the TARO alone avails thee consciously.
All: And lo! thou art past through the Abyss.
Officiant: Then, when thou know'st the Wheel of Destiny complete, mayst thou perceive THAT Will which moved it first. (There is no first or last).
All: And lo! thou art past through the Abyss.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 30

March 30 - Lamed (Libra, Adjustment)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap IV.


Officiant: Thou art the Word, O my darling, my lord, my master! O come to me, mix the fire and the water, all shall dissolve.
All: Thou art the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.
Officiant: Arise, O serpent Apep, Thou art Adonai the beloved one!
All: Thou art the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.

Reading II: From “The Spiritual Guide” by San Miguel de Molinos.

Officiant: Know that the straightest, most perfect and secure way of proficients is the way of darkness.
All: He made darkness his secret place.
Officiant: Proceed, persevere, pray, and hold thy peace, for thereby thou mayest enter into thine own nothingness.
All: He made darkness his secret place.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 29

March 29 - Mem (Water, The Hanged Man)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap III.


Officiant: But for me the lustral water, the great ablution, the dissolving of the soul in that resounding abyss.
All: O Thou light and delight, ravish me away into the milky ocean of the stars!
Officiant: I have bathed in Thee, and lost me in Thy stillness.
All: O Thou light and delight, ravish me away into the milky ocean of the stars!

Reading II: "I. N. R. I." by Frater Achad.

Officiant: INRI, Yod, Nun, Resh, Yod
All: Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother. Scorpio, Apophis Destroyer
Officiant: Sol, Osiris, Slain and Risen. Isis, Apophis, Osiris
All: IAO!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 28

March 28 - Nun (Scorpio, Death)

Reading I:Liber Stellae Rubae.


Officiant: But in the Sacrament of the Gnosis, which is of the Spirit, is there naught hurtful.
All: And at its Manifestation thy Lion is consecrated by pure Light of Ecstasy.
Officiant: For its Elements are not only Food, but a true Incarnation and Quintessence of Life, Love, and Liberty
All: And at its Manifestation thy Lion is consecrated by pure Light of Ecstasy.

Reading II: From Liber CXI, Cap 192-194.

Officiant: Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our agelong love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice!
All: We are one; we are none.
Officiant: There is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu.
All: We are one; we are none.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 27

March 27 - Samekh (Sagittarius, Art)

Reading I: Liber DCCCXIII, Cap I-III.


(No Responsory)

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

(No Responsory)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 26

March 26 - A'ayin (Capricornus, The Devil)

Reading I: Liber A'ash


Officiant: Who worshippeth me must worship me with many rites.
All: Come, O my God, and let us embrace!
Officiant: There is no act or passion that shall not be a hymn in mine honour.
All: Come, O my God, and let us embrace!

Reading II: From Liber CXI, Cap 174-175

Officiant: They that walk upon their hands shall build the holy place.
All: For they shall be filled with the vigour of the goat.
Officiant: Blessed are they who have turned the Eye of Hoor unto the zenith,
All: For they shall be filled with the vigour of the goat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 25

March 25 - Peh (Mars, The Tower)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap I


Officiant: Violent and vivid smote the levin flash. Once the tower rocked and cracked beneath its lash, caught inextinguishable fire; was ash.
All: Ascend in the flame of the pyre, O my soul!
Officiant: Up! The ruddy clouds hang over thee! It is the storm. There is a flaming gash in the sky.
All: Ascend in the flame of the pyre, O my soul!

Reading II: From Liber CDXVIII, The 16th Æthyr

Officiant: And every mystery that hath not been revealed from the foundation of the world he shall reveal unto his chosen.
All: And the spirit of prophecy shall come upon me
Officiant: The angels shall come unto them and walk with them, and the great gods of heaven shall be their guests.
All: And the spirit of prophecy shall come upon me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 24

March 24 - Tzaddi (Aries, The Emperor)

Reading I: Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.


Officiant: With courage conquering fear shall ye approach me: ye shall lay down your heads upon mine altar, expecting the sweep of the sword.
All: My blood shall stain Thy fiery feet with litanies of Love in Anguish.
Officiant: But the first kiss of love shall be radiant on your lips; and all my darkness and terror shall turn to light and joy.
All: My blood shall stain Thy fiery feet with litanies of Love in Anguish.

Reading II: From the “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu, Cap 37 and 39.

Officiant: The law shall give light to every one that hath it in his heart,
All: and by that wisdom let him govern himself.
Officiant: What is Happiness but the Issue of the Harmony of our Consciousness with our Truth, and the Conformity of Will with Action?
All: And by that wisdom let him govern himself.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 23

March 23 – Qoph (Pisces, The Moon)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap VI.


Officiant: The night falls like a spangled cloak from the shoulders of a prince upon a slave.
All: He rises a free man!
Officiant: And at last I smite myself into him as a vision smiteth into a stone, and whom I call must follow.
All: He rises a free man!

Reading II: "The Dark Night of the Soul" by San Juan de la Cruz.

Officiant: The Body of Man is but his Shadow; it cometh and goeth even as the Tides of the Ocean.
All: He only is in Darkness who is hidden by that shadow from the Light of His True Self.
Officiant: For thy Changes are not Phases of Thee, but of the Phantoms which thou mistakest for thy Self.
All: He only is in Darkness who is hidden by that shadow from the Light of His True Self.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 22

March 22 - Resh (Sun, The Sun)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap IV


Officiant: Blow, all ye trumpets, for the Angel will loose his hands from the mouth of the lion.
All: And his roaring shall enkindle the worlds.
Officiant: Then was the countenance of time darkened, and the true light shone forth.
All: And his roaring shall enkindle the worlds.

Reading II: From "A Mithraic Ritual" translated by GRS Mead. Cap I, II, and XIII.

Officiant: Hail Lord, thou Master of the Water!
All: I pass away in being made Great, and, having been made Great, I die.
Officiant: Hail! Founder of the Earth! Hail, Prince of Breath!
All: I pass away in being made Great, and, having been made Great, I die.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 21

March 21 – Shin (Fire/Spirit, The Aeon)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap V


Officiant: And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne in his father's house.
All: Yet the music of my spears shall be a song of freedom.
Officiant: In that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall.
All: Yet the music of my spears shall be a song of freedom.

Reading II: St. William Blake -- from The Four Zoas, "Night the Ninth, Being the Last Judgment."

Officiant: How is it we have walk'd thro' fires & yet are not consum'd?
All: How is it that all things are chang'd even as in ancient times?
Officiant: The dark Religions are departed & sweet Science reigns.
All: All things are chang'd even as in ancient times.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 20th

March 20 – Tav (Saturn/Earth, The Universe)

Reading I: Liber Liberi Cap II, Cap II.


Officiant: Long hast thou slept, O great God Terminus! Awake Thou! wait no more!
All: There shall be an end.
Officiant: Lazily, hungrily, ardently, patiently, so will I work.
All: There shall be an end.

Reading II: Liber Libræ.

Officiant: Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture!
All: There is no Rule, but that of Balance.
Officiant: The Problem is ever to bring the Appetite into right Relation with the Will. Thus thou mayst fast or feast;
All: There is no Rule, but that of Balance.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rite of the Office of Readings - Year B

It's that time of year again, for the Office of the Readings!

This year we will be shaking things up a bit and going with a new set of "Year B" readings assembled by M. Dionysius Rogers. Going forward these will be alternated with the "Year A" version from the Companions of Monsalvat that we have been using up to this point.

We also have made a few "Year B" changes to the Rite of the Office of the Readings, which can be found here. The updated list of readings for the 2020 season and "B" years will follow soon.

This ritual is adapted by Lalitha from the ORDO SUNYATA VAJRA’s DIAMOND SAPPHIRE GEM of RADIANT LIGHT, Version 8.0; Vernal Holy Days: Office of Readings by M. Dionysius Rogers; and Office of Readings for the High Holy Days by the Companions of Monsalvat.


0. PREPARATION

Consecration of the People with holy oil upon entry.

Purification of the Temple by Water and Consecration of the Temple by Fire, with Introit Music: March 20 through 25, Depth of Catastrophe by Alizadeh; March 26 through April 1, Ninth Aethyr Canticle; April 2 through April 7, 169 Cries; and for the Days of the Feast: April 8 - Sirt im Sasani, April 9 - Horus, and April 10 - Annua Gaudia by Moore.


I. OPENING

Officiant: BAHLASTI! OMPEHDA!


Officiant performs Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or Star Ruby. Bell Chime.

Officiant: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

All: Love is the law, love under will.

II. FORMULATION of the LIGHT


Officiant performs Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram or Star Sapphire.

Officiant: If they say to you, where did you come from?, say to them, We came from the light. If they say to you, Is it you?, say, We are its children, and we are the elect of the living father. If they ask you, What is the sign of your father in you?, say to them, It is movement and repose. (Gospel of Thomas, Saying Number 70)

All: Now I begin to pray, thou child
Holy thy name and undefiled
Thy reign is come, thy will is done
Here is the bread, here is the blood
Bring me through midnight to the Sun
Save me from evil and from good
That thy one crown of all the ten
Even now and here be mine.
AMEN.


Bell Chime.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Jim Bakker's Phony Virus Treatments

Televangelist Jim Bakker never met a survivalist product he didn't like. So naturally he's treating the COVID-19 virus as a great opportunity to make a quick buck. The FDA has warned Bakker to quit promoting various alternative remedies as treatments for the virus. There is no evidence that any of these products work against the virus, and the FDA is concerned that people may use them in place of seeking medical treatment.

“The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health. We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in announcing the enforcement actions.

The products include teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver, which have been cited as not safe or effective for treating any disease, the agency said in a statement with the Federal Trade Commission. The FDA said it was particularly worried that the products may cause people to delay or stop appropriate treatment, “leading to serious and life-threatening harm.”

Maybe Bakker always was a total huckster, but in his old age he's gotten a lot more blatant about it. Remember the potato soup? That look on his face as he tastes it just screams "delicious," doesn't it? There's also not a lot of explanation of how a tub of fully hydrated potato soup is expected to survive the apocalypse. Similarly, his bogus health treatments have a lot in common with faith healing.

Even if I were Christian I would have a hard time putting my faith in Jim Bakker, but apparently that's not true for everyone. Somebody must be watching his show.

UPDATE: I totally missed this when I posted the article, but a reader pointed it out. The FDA Commissioner's name is Stephen Hahn. This isn't the first time somebody named Hahn has gotten Bakker into trouble...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Cult of Power

I don't personally have a problem with Christianity in general, or with people who follow Christianity as a spiritual path. As a Thelemite, I believe that everyone's spiritual path is entirely their own business. It does me no good to disparage someone else's spirituality just because it doesn't work for me. Now if you read Augoeides, you might be a little puzzled by that statement. I do post a lot of articles making fun of a certain group of people who I call "Poor Oppressed Christians." This group is generally made up of evangelicals and fundamentalists - but I should stress that not all evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians belong to it.

Salon has an article up today about a new book that articulates exactly what I find objectionable about these particular Christians. They don't worship God or Christ as much as they worship political power. The "Oppressed" thing is basically a narcissistic ruse, in that the whole point is to gain special rights and privileges that they can use against those they see as enemies - atheists and agnostics, the LGBT community, and even other Christians they consider heretics. The bottom line is that if they were willing to leave the rest of us alone and quit trying to write their beliefs into laws that everyone has to follow, I would leave them alone.

Author Katherine Stewart has the answer: Because the true god these folks worship is power. In her book, "The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism," Stewart details how she traveled around the country, getting to know the various Christian conservative figures that are whipping support for Trump and his agenda. She deems the "Christian nationalists" and demonstrates how their supposedly Christian values always come second to their endless quest for power. Stewart spoke with Salon about her new book. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

RIP Mike Hughes

Back in 2018, I covered the exploits of homebrew rocketeer and flat-earth enthusiast Mike Hughes. Hughes was a daredevil who went by the moniker "Mad Mike Hughes," and despite my article covering a well-publicized launch failure, he did have some success flying homemade steam-powered rockets. And yes, that's as dangerous as it sounds. This last week Hughes was killed in - no surprise - a rocket crash.

Daredevil "Mad" Mike Hughes died Saturday, February 22 after his homemade rocket crashed into the ground outside of Barstow, California. Hughes launched himself inside the steam-powered rocket in hopes that he might sail high enough into the atmosphere to prove that the Earth is flat. He was 64.

Seconds after launch, a parachute can be seen fluttering away from the speeding rocket, which quickly turned back toward Earth. “When the rocket was nosediving and he didn't release the three other parachutes he had in the rocket, lots of people screamed out and started wailing,” Chapman told BuzzFeed News. “Everyone was stunned when he crashed and didn't know what to do.”

Hughes aimed to reach the Kármán Line, where Earth's atmosphere and outer space meet, 62 miles above the ground. From there, Hughes claimed he'd be able to tell whether the Earth is a flat disk (as he suspected) or a sphere. The steam-driven rocket included three heaters that would produce enough steam to thrust the stuntman at least 5,000 feet into the air. He hoped to reach top speeds of up to 425 miles per hour.

As I pointed out in my previous article, 5000 feet is not that much if you are trying to get into space. It's about 1/62nd of the 62 miles that you need to cover. Steam is a poor fuel for a rocket, which is why NASA doesn't use it. His last flight of 1900 feet was not even as high as the top floor of the Burj Khalifa, which clocks in at over 2700 feet.

So how Hughes planned to get high enough to see whether the Earth was flat is a real mystery. Some have speculated that the whole flat-earth thing was a ruse to get flat-earthers to fund him building and flying around in rockets - which admittedly is pretty darn cool until one of them crashes.

What I will say for Hughes is that nobody can argue that he didn't die doing what he loved. Rest in peace, "Mad Mike."

Monday, February 24, 2020

Via Solis Pisces Elixir Rite - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Pisces Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday February 25th, at Leaping Laughter Lodge, 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 Pisces.

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

This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.


I. Opening

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

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

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

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

All: MAKAShANaH

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

All: ABRAHADABRA

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

All: AUMGN

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

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


Bell chime.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Modeling Magick and Remote Viewing

Any time you want to do parapsychology research, skeptics do their best to make you jump through all sorts of hoops. To be clear, real skepticism is important to any scientific endeavor. However, capital-S Skeptics take that a whole lot further. Thanks to their influence, most psychic research that sees the light of day is focused on "proving" whether psychic abilities exist at all, over and over again. Government agencies like the CIA don't bother with that sort of thing. When they find something that works, they exploit it for all it's worth.

The CIA ran a "remote viewing" program up until it was shut down in 1995. Basically, they trained people to function as psychic spies and developed a protocol that helped many people develop what is essentially a form of clairvoyance. They called this method Coordinate Remote Viewing or CRV. And they compiled plenty of evidence that it worked, as revealed in declassified documents from the program. The big question is how, which so far has not been worked out. This is also the big question surrounding magick and paranormal abilities.

According to a CIA document declassified on 08/07/2000 titled “Coordinate Remote Viewing (CRV) Technology 1981–1983,” submitted to the organization August 4 of 1983, coordinate remote viewing “utilized through the methodologies that have been developed…works with remarkable precision,” but the individuals who submitted it admitted that they were “unable to explain in conventional terms why it is that the co-ordinate serves as a stimulus in the manner it does.” Nevertheless, they were convinced that David Bohm’s model of quantum mechanics provided a potentially plausible explanatory hypothesis for the mechanisms that make it possible.

David Bohm was a controversial yet brilliant luminary in physics who argued that the entirety of the cosmos is populated with quantum black holes that lead from the “explicate order” of spacetime to a realm that transcends space and time which he referred to as the “implicate order.” These black holes were termed “holospheres,” and hypothesized as the mechanism which connects the implicate order to the explicate order. From the perspective of the remote viewer, it is possible that the signal line we acquire is mediated by these holospheres, which connects us with an implicate order that is conceptually more or less identical to the Eastern concept of “Akasha” or the “Akashic records,” as articulated in the work of writers such as Swami Vivekananda. The explicate order in which we ordinarily live and move and have our being is “unfolded” from this implicate order and houses the world of ordinary objects and consciousness, which includes what remote viewers known as the liminal, subliminal and subconscious orders.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Satanists Did It!

As you can probably guess, I happen to think that the last thing we need in politics is more Christians. Or, more to the point, more Poor Oppressed Christians who believe that passing laws based on their religious beliefs is a good and noble goal. A group made up of Christian lawmakers (who obviously disagree with me) recently put up a Twitter poll asking if America would be better off if more Christians served in elected office. It did not turn out as expected, which maybe means that there's hope for our country yet.

After more than 16,000 replies, the answer was an overwhelming “no,” which received 95.8% of the vote. In response, the group accused “atheists and Satanists” of “religious persecution” for voting in the poll. Congress is overwhelmingly Christian, far out of proportion with the people they represent. According to a Pew survey last year, the Senate and House are nearly 90% Christian, compared with 65% of America as a whole.

First off, why should atheists and Satanists not get a vote? They're citizens of this country too. How is expressing an opionion "persecution?" And finally, why can't these folks accept that even a lot of mainstream Christians are sick of their nonsense? I'm willing to bet that a lot of Christians who don't consider themselves oppressed by the mere existence of dissenting opinions voted "No" in that poll.

One in four Americans now considers themselves atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” a position publicly held by just one member of the current Congress, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who lists her religion as “none.” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) describes himself as a humanist, while a handful of others haven’t acknowledged a faith or lack thereof.

The National Association of Christian Lawmakers was started last year by Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert (R), who warned about the rise of witches in a recruitment email. It’s not clear how many members the group has, but its board of advisers includes a number of current and former elected officials, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Always Pay Me First

I have to say, as much as I try not to make fun of other folks' religious beliefs, I never get tired of mocking Paula White. Donald Trump's "spiritual advisor" is a Prosperity Gospel preacher who is considered extreme even by other Prosperity Gospel preachers. Although I don't necessarily have a problem with Christianity, I have no problem whatsoever pointing out the obvious - Prosperity Gospel is basically a scam. The idea that God will reward you for sending these preachers money with a lot more money is more like a pyramid scheme than a system of spirituality, and just like a pyramid scheme, the person getting rich is the one at the top. Here's yet another example of White's ridiculousness.

Prosperity gospel minister Paula White is apparently encouraging her followers to live in the dark if necessary to keep the lights on at her church. According to a report by Mother Jones, White, who serves as Trump’s “spiritual adviser,” told followers at her Supernatural Ministry School in Miami that they could earn God’s appreciation by sending her church as much money as possible — even if that meant they weren’t able to pay their electric bills.

White specifically told her followers that if they pay their Florida Power and Light (FPL) electric bill every month in lieu of giving it to her church, then they are treating the electric company better than they are God. “Instead of writing that check to the house of God as I’m instructed to, then what I’m saying spiritually is, ‘FPL, I have now established a spiritual law that put you first,” White told her congregants. “So FPL, save my family, FPL, deliver my drug-addicted son, FPL, kill this cancer that doctors say is in my body.”

The funny thing is, this is absolutely not what people who pay their electric bill before donating to Paula White's church are doing. They are treating their electric company better than they are treating Paula White. Obviously, this heresy cannot stand. More seriously, though, this attitude is the same reason that faith healing is dangerous.

If someone is severely ill and receiving proper medical care, there's nothing wrong with praying for their recovery. When my friends are in the hospital I do healing spells for them too. But if I were to tell them that seeking medical care shows a "lack of faith" that will prevent whatever deity I follow from healing them, I'm committing magical malpractice. Magical and/or spiritual healing should complement conventional medical care, not replace it. The deal is that as with anything else, you take all the non-magical actions you can to make your recovery as likely as possible. Then you use a spell to close the probability gap and "seal the deal."

In the Paula White example, having electricity means that you can heat and cool your home, and do what you need to do to get ready for work where you earn money. Those things are important. You have to make money to be able to donate money. But Prosperity Gospel preachers invert that whole relationship solely to enrich themselves at the expense of their less fortunate followers - who are remain less fortunate than they otherwise might be because they are donating all their money hoping for a payoff that probably will never come.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Power of Luck

Why practice magick at all? Some of us, like me, have been fascinated by it from a young age. For most people, though, it remains a niche interest that they just find weird - if they even understand what it is.

The truth is that there's a really compelling reason to practice that has to do with the power and influence of luck in our society and for that matter the rest of the world. Vox has an article up that talks about just how pervasive luck really is, and how much it has to do with how our lives really turn out.

These recent controversies reminded me of the fuss around a book that came out a few years ago: Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, by economist Robert Frank. (Vox’s Sean Illing interviewed Frank in 2016.)

It argued that luck plays a large role in every human success and failure, which ought to be a rather banal and uncontroversial point, but the reaction of many commentators was gobsmacked outrage. On Fox Business, Stuart Varney sputtered at Frank: “Do you know how insulting that was, when I read that?”

It’s not difficult to see why many people take offense when reminded of their luck, especially those who have received the most. Allowing for luck can dent our self-conception. It can diminish our sense of control. It opens up all kinds of uncomfortable questions about obligations to other, less fortunate people.

Nonetheless, this is a battle that cannot be bypassed. There can be no ceasefire. Individually, coming to terms with luck is the secular equivalent of religious awakening, the first step in building any coherent universalist moral perspective. Socially, acknowledging the role of luck lays a moral foundation for humane economic, housing, and carceral policy.

Building a more compassionate society means reminding ourselves of luck, and of the gratitude and obligations it entails, against inevitable resistance.

Read the whole article - it's quite good, and makes a point that a lot of people, particularly those who happen to be conventionally successful, don't like to admit.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Thoughts on Tarot Divination

I was asked (a while ago now) if I could put up a post on how I do divination. Looking back through my posts I haven't really said much about it even though, at least in my opinion, I use it pretty effectively. Now I also will say that a lot of the time when I'm looking for information I tend to call up spirits and ask questions directly. But one thing that I have found over the years is that unless you are communicating with an entity that is closely related to time, spirits don't actually see the future much better than we do. They also don't always have the best handle on the material consequences of interacting with the physical world, which is why you should always use limitations in your charges that rule out undesirable paths of manifestation for your injunction.

Since you can't ask a spirit something like what the overall outcome of an operation will be from your perspective, divination is the tool that you use to fill that gap. I pretty much exclusively use Tarot for divination, and I'm a Thelemite so I use Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot - no surprise there. What I like about the Thoth is that it lines up better with Crowley's Naples Arrangement of the Tree of Life, and also that it incorporates some specifically Thelemic concepts that I find highly meaningful in terms of my personal spiritual beliefs. I also really like Frieda Harris' art-deco-style drawings, basically because according to my personal aesthetic they just look cool.

And that whole looking cool thing is important. If you don't think the Tarot deck you're using looks cool, it probably won't work very well for you. That's because the Tarot is a tool that primarily makes use of your own psychic abilities to foretell the future and/or the real-world outcome of magical operations. As a human being, one advantage your consciousness has over that of a spirit is that it's more attuned to the physical world in general. This gives you a totally different perspective on the universe than anything you could conjure up, and generally that is the perspective from which you will get the best view of unfolding material events.

As an aside, if you want a good beginner reference for learning the Thoth Tarot, the best book out there is Lon DuQuette's Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot. Crowley's The Book of Thoth itself is one of the most comprehensive books on the Tarot ever written, but it's not really a beginner-level text.

At any rate, since you are more acquainted with the nature of your own consciousness than any spirit is likely to be, operating from your own perspective is also useful in the context of mystical operations. Contrary to what some magicians have told me, I know from personal experience that spirits - especially the more powerful and intelligent ones - can read your mind. But they usually don't really understand your mind. My its very nature, the consciousness of a flesh-and-blood creature is always going be at least somewhat alien to a disembodied entity - and in a lot of cases, very alien. This is why in many cases you have to be literal with spirits. They can read surface thoughts, but not necessarily the context or the full intent behind them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

"Cultists" at the Cafe

The always-sensationalistic Daily Mail has an article up today about a woman name Anya Driscoll who went to use the toilet at a vegan cafe in south London and encountered a meeting of "Satanic cult members" on the way. The alleged cultists were, horror of horrors, eating brunch. But Driscoll knew they were cultists because they were wearing robes and a couple of them had ceremonial daggers.

Anya Driscoll, who works as a copywriter, was dining with her brother at the Bonnington Cafe in Vauxhall on Saturday when she ventured to the toilet and came across the meeting of 20 people in floor-length black robes with ceremonial daggers eating pork pies.

After taking to Twitter to share her story, she discovered it was likely a meeting of Order of Oriental Templars, or OTO - a group which was brought to Britain in the early 20th century by infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, who was widely believed to be a satanist, and was dubbed 'the wickedest man in the world'.

Anya told how she was enjoying her mid-morning meal when her brother went to the toilet and came back urging her to find the bathroom. 'He won't tell me what's up, so - suspecting I'm going to look at some really bad art about veganism - I go,' she wrote.

'I was so wrong. I step through a signposted door that takes me into the terraced building next door. The toilet is apparently on the third floor... It feels I'm walking up the stairs in a private home. At the top of the first flight of stairs is a landing room.

'It appears to be a kitchen. On a table, a Classic British buffet of scotch eggs, breadsticks, cheese etc is laid out. The room is full. A party! Except... All the people - and there are at least 20 of them - are wearing floor-length black robes. Some have ceremonial daggers. They're making polite conversation and chomping on mini pork pies. It's like Eyes Wide Shut meets Keeping Up Appearances.'

Monday, February 10, 2020

Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Ceremonial Forms

A question came up over the weekend regarding the pentagram and hexagram as lineal figures and their relationship to microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects of magical work. The confusion surrounds my discussion of the pentagram as a microcosmic symbol and the hexagram as a macrocosmic symbol, and it was pointed out that surely there are macrocosmic aspects to the elements and microcosmic aspects to the planets and signs - even though elements are invoked with the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram and planets and signs are invoked with the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram.

As I've pointed out in a number of other places, the so-called "Lesser" rituals of the pentagram and hexagram do entirely different things than the so-called "Greater" rituals. A Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is NOT a "better" or "enhanced" Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. Likewise, a Greater Ritual of the Hexagram is NOT a "better" or "enhanced" Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. The "Greater" and "Lesser" rituals perform entirely different functions. "Lesser" really means "General" and "Greater" really means specific.

So the "Lesser" rituals are used to set up your magical field, the space in which you will be performing your magical operations. A "Greater" ritual is used once that field is set up to "tune it" to the specific quality that are working with. Then, once the proper environment is created by the space tuning, you either (A) use your own magical power to focus on your specific intent, (B) conjure a spirit to perform the desired function using conjuration/charge/license to depart, or (C) do both, which usually results in the largest probability shift.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

New Mothman Documentary

The Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia is one of the most famous cryptids in the United States. The creature was originally sighted around the time of the Silver Bridge collapse in 1967. The whole area around western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky has a whole lot of weird activity to this day, as touched on in the Hellier documentary series that I reviewed last month and many other places in the paranormal literature. A new documentary called The Mothman Legacy promises to recount more sightings and shed some light on the events surrounding the mysterious creature.

Per press release, "The final chapter in [Seth] Breedlove's Mothman trilogy, The Mothman Legacy will tell the story of dozens of sightings of a folk legend of dubious origin, who allegedly continues to be seen throughout the area today. With a dozen eyewitness interviews, the film promises to offer some of the most intense and terrifying encounters ever recorded.

"Many believe the Mothman to be a 1960's phenomenon, an omen only appearing before tragedy, and disappearing after a flap of sightings and the subsequent Silver Bridge collapse in 1967. But what if there's more? What if the origins of this omen trace back much further and go much deeper than anyone realized? And what if...the sightings never ended?

"The Mothman Legacy is directed by Seth Breedlove and produced by Adrienne Breedlove. Lyle Blackburn returns to narrate with cinematography by Zac Palmisano and an original score by Brandon Dalo. The Mothman Legacy is being funded through a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter which launches Thursday, February 6th. Rewards include copies of the film on DVD and Blu-Ray, posters, t-shirts, and more."

This sounds fascinating, and I probably should watch the other two documentaries in the series to get up to speed before I check this one out. They are Eyes of the Mothman from 2011 and The Mothman of Point Pleasant from 2017. There have been a few non-paranormal explanations floated for the Mothman, such as sightings of large owls. But while those may explain some of the eyewitness reports, it doesn't really address all the other strangeness that surrounds the Mothman legend. Maybe this documentary will.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Trump Wizard's Easy Spell Succeeds

Here's one from the level one spell books, or maybe level zero. In the lead-up to Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, "prophetess" Amanda Grace called on an "angelic army" to protect the president from being removed from office. That is, she conjured thousands (or more) of incredibly powerful celestial spirits in order to make sure something that was basically mathematically impossible didn't happen.

In a Wednesday night appearance on The MC Files, “prophetess” Amanda Grace told host Chris McDonald that she has called on God to unleash an “angelic army” featuring “warring angels with flaming swords” to protect President Donald Trump from the ongoing impeachment trial that’s currently taking place in the Senate, Right Wing Watch reports.

Jay Sekulow, the right-wing religious attorney who’s part of President Donald Trump’s legal team, was the first topic of discussion. Grace predicted he “will be a beacon of light on the hill, speaking with wisdom that only comes from Almighty God.”

“The den of lions will not touch him, for I have marked him and positioned him for such a time as this,” Grace claimed, speaking for God. “I will give him vision and I will expose to him what is being plotted behind closed doors. Revelation will come forth and he will emerge an incredible witness and mouthpiece for my glory. For I, the Lord, have already ruled in the courts, the gavel has dropped.

Later in the broadcast, she offered this prayer:

“We ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Father God, your army, your angelic army, your warring angels with flaming swords be dispatched, Father God, to shred, destroy, and put down every plot, scheme, contract, assignment, hex, vex, spell, and attempt of the enemy against the president, against those with him, against those praying for him, and against your people. We ask that you send, Father God, the captain of the army of the Lord of Hosts to lead that team right now — that legal team of the president’s — to lead them to victory and to expose and shine your divine light on what is hidden.”

Thursday, February 6, 2020

"Prophet" Dave Daubenmire Suing NFL

Dave Daubenmire has been mentioned here on Augoeides before. He's one of those Christian talk radio personalities who claims to be a prophet and then spouts a bunch of nonsensical crap. Over the years he's covered weather terrorists, drinking fetus blood, and aborting babies for Satanic rituals. As you can probably guess, none of those things are true or real. Daubenmire's latest cause is suing the NFL because the Super Bowl halftime show was too sexy and therefore "endangered his immortal soul."

The halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl, featuring Shakira and Jennifer Lopez dancing in daring outfits onstage, drew fury from right-wing Christians — as two middle-aged women of color showing skin is apparently more shameful to them than the president of the United States bragging about assaulting women.

But according to Right Wing Watch, one Christian activist, Dave Daubenmire, is taking things even further. On his “Pass the Salt” podcast, Daubenmire said that he plans to sue the National Football League because the halftime show threatens to prevent him “from getting into the kingdom of Heaven.” “I think we ought to sue,” said Daubenmire.

“Would that halftime show, would that have been rated PG? Were there any warnings that your 12-year-old son—whose hormones are just starting to operate – was there any warning that what he was going to see might cause him to get sexually excited?”

Well, signs point to "yes," because every year Christian activists complain that the halftime show is too racy. Everybody knew up front it was going to be female pop stars singing and dancing, and anybody who knows anything about such performances knows that they are going to be at least a little suggestive no matter what. So it seems to me that he totally should have known and not let the kid watch, if he really believes what he says.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ireland Abolishes Blasphemy Laws

In a big win for religious freedom in Ireland, the nation has now formally abolished its "blasphemy laws." Humanist groups have been campaigning for the repeal for many years now, leading up to a referendum in 2018 to amend the Irish constitution to remove the relevant clause. The change has now gone into effect, and Ireland is blasphemy-law-free.

The change in law comes after the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in referendum in October 2018 to amend its constitution to remove a clause which punished so called “blasphemy”. It was agreed that the following clause would be removed from the Irish constitution: “blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law”.

Atheist Ireland, a member of Humanists International, has spent more than a decade lobbying for repeal of the blasphemy law with the Irish Government and Department of Justice. Atheist Ireland report that the Irish President has recently signed the Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Bill 2019.

Humanists International coordinates the global campaign to repeal blasphemy laws. The Board of Humanists International made a direct appeal to the people of Ireland in May 2018 when it passed a resolution calling for a ‘yes vote’ to the proposed constitutional amendment. Also, in August 2018, the chief executive of Humanists International also urged the people of Ireland to scrap its “blasphemy” laws in a speech to the Humanist Association of Ireland in Carlingford.

Blasphemy laws aren't just an issue for atheists and other humanists. They can easily be exploited by fundamentalist religious groups to go after anyone who doesn't share their strict religious beliefs, whether their targets are believers or not. With the recent rise of the Christian Right in the United States, I can only imagine how much damage they could do if they had blasphemy laws at their disposal.

Congratulations to the people of Ireland, for protecting the rights of all people to practice - or not practice - their religious beliefs as they see fit.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

This Port Tastes Like Pee

This story is from a month ago, but it's still funny enough to post. A presenter on the BBC Antiques Roadshow television series sampled a bottle from the nineteenth century, believing it to be port. Unfortunately for him, analysis revealed the that bottle was in fact a "witch bottle" containing urine, brass pins, and other tokens intended to ward off evil.

Glass specialist Andy McConnell inspected a sealed bottle from the 19th century on the BBC show, and decided to sample its mystery contents in front of an expectant audience. Presenter Fiona Bruce had unfortunate news for Mr McConnell, telling him that expert analysis of the antique bottle’s “very brown” liquid revealed it to be an unwanted vintage.

The glassware antiquarian sipped the well-aged urine when valuing a bottle in Trelissick, Cornwall, for a 2016 programme, after the item was found buried under the threshold of a local man’s house. Mr McConnell used a syringe to transfer a sample from the bottle to a tumbler, and sipped at the mystery beverage.

“It’s very brown,” he told the audience at the time. “I think it’s port. It’s port or red wine, or it’s full of rusty old nails and that’s rust.” In a programme broadcast on Sunday, Fiona Bruce delivered bad news to the specialist, after experts at Loughborough University had analysed the contents of the bottle.

The idea behind a witch bottle is that it acts as a sort of "lightning rod" to attract curses and negative magick. The urine links the bottle to the caster so that a spell targeting them will hit the bottle instead, and the container itself and the sharp metal objects usually placed within contain and neutralize the spell, rendering it harmless.

After hundreds of years there probably isn't much magick left in the bottle, so the presenter will likely escape any negative effects from sampling the bottle - you know, aside from drinking somebody's ancient pee.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Via Solis Aquarius Elixir Rite - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Aquarius Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday January 28th, at Leaping Laughter Lodge, 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 Aquarius.

The sign Aquarius is attributed to the power of "Astrology." This includes both learning about astrology and astrological methods, and working directly with specific astrological forces, aspects, and the like. As such, this is a general power with many possible practical applications.


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, January 23, 2020

Haunted Elsa Doll

This story is more silly than spooky or even obviously paranormal, but what the heck. The British tabloid Mirror has an article up about an alleged haunted Elsa doll from the Disney film Frozen. Basically, the story goes that the family tried to throw it away multiple times, but it CAME BACK! That's some scary stuff, kids!

A mum from Houston has taken to social media to reveal why she believes her daughter, Aurelia, has a "haunted" Elsa doll. In a viral post on Facebook , that has now been deleted, Emily Madonia explained that Aurelia's toy had first started to freak them out when it began singing and talking in Spanish, while switched off.

Right, the electronics developed a glitch. And? This happens fairly often with cheap electronics.

She and her husband Mat decided to throw the doll out (with their daughter's blessing) but since then it has found it's way back into their home, not once but twice. Emily wrote: "Mat threw it away weeks ago and then we found it inside on a wooden bench.

"Okay…so we were weirded out and tightly wrapped it in its own garbage bag and put that garbage bag INSIDE another garbage bag filled with other garbage and put it in the bottom of our garbage can underneath a bunch of other bags of garbage and wheeled it to the curb and it was collected on garbage day."

The family then went on holiday, thinking the whole thing was behind them, but when they returned home, the doll was back. "We were out of town, forgot about it. Today Aurelia says, 'Mom I saw the Elsa doll again in the backyard'," she continued.

The simplest explanation - the kid likes the doll but doesn't want to stand up to the parents. So instead of arguing, she makes a show of going along with throwing the doll away and then brings it back inside. I have kids. I know how this kind of thing goes. It's even possible that the Facebook post about this was removed because she finally fessed up.

But we'll never know, right? Maybe the ghost haunting the doll logged onto Facebook and took the post down. Sure, that's possible - you know, if this happened to be a ghost with some computer skills...

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Banners At It Again

Last week, a number of news outlets covered an outrageous bill proposed to the State Legislature of Missouri. The bill would empower a "parental oversight board" to determine whether books stocked by public libraries are "potentially inappropriate" for minors. So basically, this would be an elected panel with the power to ban books from libraries. It should come as no surprise to any of my readers to find out that I vehemently oppose such a plan. It's especially heinous in that it proposes fines and jail time (!) for librarians who refuse to comply with the law.

Under the parental oversight of public libraries bill, which has been proposed by Missouri Republican Ben Baker, panels of parents would be elected to evaluate whether books are appropriate for children. Public hearings would then be held by the boards to ask for suggestions of potentially inappropriate books, with public libraries that allow minors access to such titles to have their funding stripped. Librarians who refuse to comply could be fined and imprisoned for up to one year.

“The main thing is, I want to be able to take my kids to a library and make sure they’re in a safe environment, and that they’re not gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable material,” Baker told a local news station. “Unfortunately, there are some libraries in the state of Missouri that have done this. And that’s a problem.” Titles including Sherman Alexie’s award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a young adult novel about the rape of a teenager, have all come under fire in Missouri over the last decade.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Hellier - A Review

It always has seemed logical to me that there should be a lot more overlap between magicians and people investigating psychic abilities and other paranormal phenomena. In my magical models series I discussed aspects of the "psychic model" versus the "spirit model" of magick, and concluded that both play a role in successful magical operations. I suspect that the same is true of other paranormal phenomena ranging from cryotids to UFOs to premonitions and synchronicities. Synchronicities, in particular, seem to strongly correlate with both magical practice and the "strangeness" or "weirdness" that paranormal researchers associate with areas where a lot of paranormal activity seems to be happening.

The television series Hellier, currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is a good exemplar of this idea. The story begins with a group of paranormal investigators who receive a series of emails describing a series of events in the little town of Hellier, Kentucky that sounds similar to the famous Hopkinsville Goblins case. In the emails, the sender describes goblin-like creatures emerging from a local cave and harassing him and his family. He sends photos of the creatures' footprints and some blurry pictures that are supposed to be of the creatures themselves. But soon after that, the emails just stop.

Season One of the series covers the investigation in Hellier. The investigators travel to the town, ask around, and have some trouble running down leads. The locals seem unwilling to talk, and the few people who sound promising at first turn out to not have much to contribute. The series does a nice job of showcasing various tools used by modern paranormal investigators, especially the use of the SB7 spirit box. The team also tracks what they consider to be highly significant synchronicities and general weirdness as they explore the area.

As a practicing magician, I had a lot of moments of "Use some freaking magick!" while watching Season One. I also was somewhat skeptical about some of the synchronicities that the team considered significant, and how impressed they seemed to be by them. Practicing magicians encounter synchronicities at the level seen on the show literally all the time, and the challenge is less recognizing them and more discounting their importance. The reason is that synchonicities are a side effect of both magical practice and paranormal phenomena, and they don't necessarily have any deeper meaning.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Against Freaking Cartoons

Just like with Harry Potter years ago, Christians are complaining about a new animated Disney fantasy series because it dares to have a protagonist who uses (fantasy) magic. I figure these folks must just hate the entire fantasy genre, because fantasy fiction without magic is pretty much not-fantasy-fiction. Also, doesn't Disney have a long history of animated films that include magic and magic-using characters?

This is so beyond Cinderella it's not even funny. Disney has come up with a new cartoon about a teenager who, in their words, "finds herself stuck in the Demon Realm and battles the forces of evil alongside a rebellious witch and a pint-sized warrior."

As an aside, the author of this article realizes that the whole point of Cinderella is that the fairy godmother uses magic, right? And that Cinderella herself benefits from it?

In this so-called fantasy world, the main character, Luz, "pursues her dream of becoming a witch by serving as Eda's (the rebellious witch's) apprentice." It's called "The Owl House" and is set to premiere on January 10th on the Disney Channel. Here is the link to the show's trailer if you're inclined to watch it.

A "so-called fantasy world?" Does the author seriously believe that this fantasy series is real? I sure don't, and I actually cast spells in real life. Fantasy magic has nothing to do with the real thing - because it's fictional.

The show tries to portray witchcraft as a positive tool to fight evil. That's similar to what real-life witches have been promoting over the past few years as they've been putting hexes on President Trump and others in order to fight for their beliefs.

It's also exactly how magic is portrayed in Cinderella. I mean, the evil stepmother is usually actually referred to as "evil stepmother." And the fairy godmother's (fantasy) magic is what allows Cinderella to escape her clutches. I have to ask - has the author of this article even seen Disney's Cinderella?

Monday, January 13, 2020

Integrating the Headless Rite - Jupiter

Lately I have been experimenting with adapting some techniques from the PGM into my ritual templates. This ritual is an example - incorporating the well-known Headless Rite into a Jupiter operation for finding employment. For whatever reason, I seem to be very, very good at job spells and not nearly as good at spells for success in business. So I figured that I would play to my strength here, and besides, I know several people who happen to be looking for jobs at the moment who I think could benefit from a rite like this. The basic formula should be easy to adapted to any of my other operations in the same manner as shown here.

One of the things I've done with this version that's a little different from what a lot of people do when modified this ritual for modern use is that I have left in most of the original exorcism structure. The idea is this: not only does the caster use the Headless Rite as a preliminary invocation during which they identify with the divine in the form of the Headless One, they also use it to simultaneously exorcise the target of hindrances and obstacles that may impede the goal of the rite. This is similar to idea of banishing before you invoke, and whatever traditional PGM practitioners think about mash-ups like this, the hope is that the exorcism component will help to deal with "sticky" problems for which more straightforward magical operations have failed or have been less effective than desired.

Ideally the setup for this should be some sort of containment structure in which the subject can sit or stand, or barring that they should be placed in the center of the temple and the caster or casters should them perform the rite around them. I generally use the Enochian Holy Table for this, with legs removed and placed on the floor. But other structures and configurations are certainly possible.

This is an explicitly Thelemic ritual, employing the Star Ruby and Star Sapphire along with the Prayer of the Aeon and a "Thelemicized" version of some of the Headless Rite text - though the version here is much closer to the PGM original than is Liber Samekh. Like my Planetary Work - Jupiter post, it then calls upon the angel, intelligence, and spirit of the Path of Kaph, attributed to Jupiter and the Fortune card in the Tarot.