Thursday, May 6, 2021

We Must Say What We Mean

Nick Farrell recently posted this article in which he unpacks some of the ways in which magicians all-too-often obfuscate the truth and sometimes outright lie. While this list, along with an earlier one that was specific to Golden Dawn, is presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner, many of the entries are also far too recognizable from my experiences in the larger occult community. I will say that both posts are amusing - go check them out and see how many of Nick's obfuscating statements you recognize. My guess is that it will be more than a few if you've spent time among fellow occultists.

I have stated repeatedly that one of my goals in writing about my work and my practice is to develop magick as a technology and improve it along similar lines to what we see in the physical sciences. I also have pointed out that secrecy and gatekeeping and the like has set us back centuries. While it is true that there are more issues involved in measuring a state of consciousness than in measuring how long it, say, takes an object dropped from a high tower to hit the ground, it also is true that modern science began to develop in the 1700's, and it wasn't until Aleister Crowley's Equinox in the early 1900s that "secret order teachings" were offered to the public in a comprehensive manner.

That the physical sciences had a head start of almost 200 years, meaning it's no surprise that magick today is about where the physical sciences were in the early-to-mid 1800's. Given the availability of information and speed of communication in the modern world, I think it is possible to catch up, at least to a degree. But when people misrepresent magick and what magick entails, when they misrepresent their results, and when they put out misleading information about their own practices to make themselves look better on social media or whatever, those people are doing a lot of harm to the cause of subjecting magick to meaningful scientific investigation.

The problem today is not too little information, but too much. Online, true and false information commonly mingle together, and to a degree this is unavoidable. But we do ourselves no favors as magicians by contributing to misinformation, or by refusing to accurately answer questions - at least according to our own experiences. We don't have anything like a generally accepted theory of magick at the moment, and more accurate data that can be subjected to peer review can only get us closer to how all this stuff really works. There will likely be false starts and proposed models that turn out to be at odds with the data, but testing to determine those is exactly how the scientific method is supposed to work.

And we all want better magick, don't we? Better probability shifts. More effective expansion and elevation of consciousness. A faster path to enlightenment, as it's commonly understood. I remain convinced that testing and compiling data can get us there - but only if the data we are working with is as accurate as it can possibly be.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Taurus Elixir Rite for 2021

Here is the video of last night's Taurus Elixir Rite, now hosted on our Leaping Laughter YouTube channel instead of on Facebook. YouTube streaming worked fine, with the only technical foible that I look weird in the screenshot because I wasn't ready for it and couldn't figure out how to change it. But that's a pretty minor problem all things considered, and I'll do it right next time.

The sign Taurus is attributed to "The Secret of Physical Strength" in Liber 777. So appropriate intents would be related to health, healing, wellness, fitness, and so forth. Also, keep in mind that those powers are descriptive rather than proscriptive, so intents related to any quality you might find listed in an astrology book under Taurus should likewise work fine.


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Via Solis Taurus Elixir Rite - Year Five (Streaming)

Tonight, Tuesday May 4th, I will be presenting Year Five of the Taurus Elixir Rite. I'll be trying something a little different this evening - streaming live from YouTube instead of Facebook. I'm hoping that by using a YouTube channel instead of Facebook Live we will see more stability in our video presentations. This isn't usually an issue, but we saw some catastrophic failures during the Office of the Readings that we all hope to avoid in the future.

Here is the link to the Leaping Laughter YouTube channel, which is currently empty but will be hosting tonight's live preentation at 8 PM. I will also post any relevant announcements and updates on the Leaping Laughter Facebook page here. YouTube Live should work just like the streaming we have been doing on Facebook Live, except on our YouTube channel rather than our Facebook page.

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 sign Taurus is attributed to "The Secret of Physical Strength," and therefore intents related to strength, healing, vitality, and so forth are most appropriate.

I. Opening

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.

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


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


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


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

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for April 27th

Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, on with more on exoteric magick. The donation link is here.

Continuing the discussion from last week, this video goes more in-depth on the idea of "exotericism" and covers some more real-world examples. An exoteric magick movement might look something like the "psychic powers" craze in the 1970's - and in fact, much of magick and psychic abilities are pretty much the same thing. This sort of magick consists of a structured, disciplined approach to working with those abilities.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for April 20th

Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, on exoteric magick. The donation link is here.

Occultism and esotericism are both terms that allude to that which is hidden or obscured. But magick is a technology - a technology that involves consciousness, but a technology nonetheless. This is the point of "exoteric magick," the application of this magical technology without all the unnecessary secrecy that has hindered the discipline for a long time.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Real Techno-Magick

This article from Vice is from back in February, but I figure it's still relevant because it includes a link to a fascinating Internet tool for creating unique sigils. The Sigil Engine is designed to automate the process of sigil creation in a manner similar to that used by chaos magicians, but with a couple of pretty cool additional ideas for keeping sigils unique and distinct. This consists of writing out a simple phrase as your magical intent, eliminating the vowels and repeating letters, and then arranging those letters in a way that obscures the meaning of the phrase.

Users of the Sigil Engine, though, rely on code to do much of the legwork. When visitors land on the URL, they're greeted by a sparkling black background and a prompt to type their "intention." Doing so will set the Engine in motion, drawing the sign in bright red. Co-creator Darragh Mason, who hosts the Spirit Box podcast, describes this flourish as "a prayer or a moment of reverence to the goddess Babalon," found within the Thelemic system first synthesised by British occultist Aleister Crowley. The backdrop alludes to "the great expansive void from which all things spring".

"We wanted to create something that actually felt magical when you used it," Mason told Motherboard. "For a lot of people in their magickal practice, the aesthetic helps give it more potency, so we were very conscious: we wanted to have the process of creating a sigil—removing the vowels, removing repeating letters, creating the actual symbol itself—to be experiential, something that drew you in and [gave] it a sense of wonder." To ensure the final sigil is almost guaranteed to be unique, the application logs the speed of typing, the time between keystrokes, and compares these to the entirety of the Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni, a Thelemic text that's contained within the code.

The measurements are combined to return a unique value for each of the base characters, says co-creator David Tidman. More number-crunching normalizes a very large figure to between 0.0 and 1.0, which is finally used to position each character on a point around the circle—for example, a character with a value of between 0.51 and 0.54 would be located at the 11th of 21 points in total. At the moment, whatever the user types is stored temporarily and then deleted, but Tidman says in future this information won't be stored at all, and that there are no personal identifiers logged when visitors type their intentions.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Free Speech, Christian Style!

I guess when you get right down to it, "free speech" isn't really free. That's the takeaway from MyPillow guy Mike Lindell's latest statements regarding his "free speech" social media platform that he is working on launching. According to Lindell, the site will be moderated along "biblical principles." What does this mean? Well, it seems pretty clear to me that this will be a social media platform specifically for the Poor Oppressed Christians, since I suspect no "free speech" besides theirs will be allowed.

With his new Frank Speech platform set to launch on April 19, Lindell appeared on Eric Metaxas’ radio program Monday to promote it. During the discussion, Lindell revealed that speech on his new platform will not be quite as free as one might have imagined, announcing that users will not be allowed to swear or use the Lord’s name in vain because Frank Speech will be “a Judeo-Christian platform” founded on biblical principles.

“People asked me, ‘You’re going to let everything go? Porn? Swearing? Everything?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not,'” Lindell said. “We have a thing we found in the Constitution and our founding fathers that defines what free speech is. And Eric, get this, this Judeo-Christian platform we’re going to have here, they go by biblical principles—you know, you get to the Supreme Court, you have the 10 Commandments there—so, in other words, you’re not going to have porn up there, you’re not going to have these sites that contain material that go against our Constitution, go against what our founding fathers put in there.”

So let's say I got on and there and pointed out "America is a Christian Nation" is not true because (A) there is no mention of God in the Constitution, and (B) this was affirmed by President and Founding Father John Adams in the 1796 Treaty of Tripli. Would I be allowed to post that bit of "free speech" according to the guidelines above? If the answer is "yes," I'd be forced to give Lindell some props - which I sincerely would hate to do. But it would also surprise me if it's anything but "no" based on how the Poor Oppressed Christians conduct themselves around dissenting opinions.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Aries Elixir Rite for 2021

Here is the video of yesterday's Aries Elixir Rite. The donation link is here.

The sign Aries is attributed to the Star or Emperor card in the Tarot, depending on whether you flip Heh and Tzaddi, and its power is "The power of consecrating things" in Liber 777. This is a power that can be used to consecrate magical tools and implements, and more generally magically empower and dedicate items and operations to the Great Work.