Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for November 17th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk on magical metaphysics. The donation link is here.

This is probably Part One of a longer conversation about how the metaphysics of magick work and how our models of consciousness necessarily relate to that process. If we start with the assumption that magick works - since we know it does - we can take a look at some of the ideas that are out there and see which ones qualify as possible explanations for our observations. It allows us to narrow down ideas from both quantum physics and consciousness research in order to build an accurate model of how what we do interacts with the world.


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HalcAre said...

In my experience, nothing will drive a materialist skeptic into a rage faster than a discussion on metaphysics.

Interesting stuff. As a hypothetical, how do you think the way magick is practiced would change if it were ever scientifically confirmed? How would society react?

I had a couple other questions. In mastering the mystical heptarchy, you mention that a powerful and skilled magician could make a probability shift of 100 to 1. Also, that enochian kings and princes could also make shifts of at least 100. Do you have a general estimate of the magical shifts of elemental kings and planetary/zodiacal angels? Also, do you have any general test to see how great a shift you can accomplish? Lottery tickets results against statistical probability, maybe.

I remember reading a quote from the chaos protocols by gordon white, something along the lines that tossing a coin and getting heads was 0.000042%, so a decent magician targets each coin flip individually, where the probability is 50%. Needing to do a full evocation before each coin flip would be a pain, it might be interesting to make a talisman that increases the chance of a coin landing on heads any time one is flipped by the person holding it. You could even do 1,000 flips with the talisman and 1,000 flips without it, and see if there's a significant difference. If you wanted to, you could even incorporate double blind methodology by giving the talisman to someone unaware, getting them to do both the talismatic flipping and the control flips, and get an impartial unaware person to record the results. Or multiple people to do flipping, but 1,000 flips might be overkill. Heads around 50% of the time would be average, what would count as a significant statistical deviation for the talisman flips? An extra 5%?

I also had a question about a magical name/motto. What's the purpose, or intended effect? Is it better to have a single name, or a full motto? And do you need to do a ritual to announce it? I think I remember modern magick having something like that.

Scott Stenwick said...

Some people think it would be especially cool if magick were scientifically confirm, and other people have worries about it. I actually think that not a lot would change.

The whole reason that Randi and his crew got so worked up about "flim-flam" is that tons of people already believe in psychic powers, astrology, spirits, and so forth. Compared to that magick is just a little weirder. It would mean that we would have a solid understanding of what magick does and doesn't, which might deter people from making up fantastic claims about "Satanic rituals" and the like. So that would be positive. But I also think if it was clear up front how hard it is to learn and the amount of practice it takes to get good, there might be even less interest in it than there is now.

Lottery ticket results are exactly how I measure this stuff. As a rule of thumb, your more powerful spirits can add a shift of about 80-100 to your magical strength as long as you conjure them right and they get along with you. You get less of an effect if you have to bind or force them to work, which is why I never do that in my own operations. If I conjure a spirit and it's being resistant to doing what I want I find another spirit that's more willing. I also keep that thought in my mind - since most powerful spirits can read thoughts - so the spirit knows all it needs to do to get out of working with me is to be resistant.

Lottery results are better than a coin flip for several reasons. First of all, the amount of work that goes into making sure the results are random is quite extensive. With coin flips you can't really be sure - it's possible to flip a coin in such a way that you influence the results and the coin could be weighted in such a way that it lands on one side more than the other. Also, there's no real upside to success. With lottery numbers, you actually can win money if you get enough numbers correct. Also, the idea of winning the jackpot has the same kind of inspirational effect as casting any other practical spell for something you really want.

Magical mottos are entirely personal and there isn't a lot of guidance in the tradition about it. Kraig basically made up his instructions, and I don't know how necessary or relevant they. Basically you want to go with something that you really resonate with, whether it's one word or many. You don't need to do any special ritual for it, but you can if you want.

As far as the purpose goes, some magicians find that cultivating a full "magical persona" associated with the motto is useful - for bypassing bad conditioning or whatever. I never really got the point of that. I have a motto, but for me it's more like a "vision statement" for my magical work. I expect nothing would really change about my work if I stopped using it. I just like it.

For reference - how this worked in the original Golden Dawn is that the initiate would come up with a new motto each time they took an initiation, and in effect the initiation would become the ritual "announcing" it. Outside of that lodge structure, I don't think it's clear how effective that process is in terms of individual magical work.

HalcAre said...

Yeah, the benefits of meditation are well known, but some people still knuckle down and claim that it's nonsense. I think Randi was one of those people, actually.

People know how difficult meditation can be, but people are still drawn to it. I think similar things would be true for magick. Besides, breakthroughs in science haven't created more effective forms of meditation (to my knowledge, at least). It's probably up to us to determine what is and isn't effective, but a unified theory would probably help.

So for testing probability shifts using lottery tickets, you charge a spirit to make a lottery ticket successful, and if it is, check the probability of that draw occurring, and then that's the probability shift you achieved? That's pretty interesting. There are a lot of different lottery draws with varying probability, so it's a good testing method.

I understand that with elections timing you'll want to avoid casting on the void of course moon, and avoid a negative dignity. But is it particularly important to get a positive dignity? That narrows down the possible timing of quick casting.

In fact, how much of a negative effect on a probability shift would a negative aspect have? Compared to void of course moon, neutral aspects and positive aspects. I know a general estimate is all that's possible, but a vague rule of thumb would be nice, especially when odds are close.