Monday, April 30, 2018

Lessons from Wild Wild Country

There's been some buzz on the Internet about the new Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country. The series documents the conflict between the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later known as Osho, and the residents of Antelope, Oregon. Antelope is a small town twenty miles from the site where the Rajneeshis attempted to build a city called Rajneeshpuram based on the teachings of their guru.

The series makes it clear that there was all sorts of bullshit on both sides of the conflict. The people of Antelope come off as a bunch of intolerant hicks who hated on the Rajneeshis before they even interacted with them basically because they were "weird" and - gasp - liked having sex. I find it hard to believe that if the Rajneeshis were a bunch of Christians there would have been anywhere near the level of conflict that eventually took place.

The Rajneeshis, on the other hand, made elaborate claims about how enormous their new city was going to be. They promoted estimates of fifty thousand people, when the community at its height was more like maybe ten. In response to those exaggerated projections, the people of Antelope freaked. They put through legal motions to block the formation of Rajneeshpuram, which meant that the Rajneeshis had to relocate their official offices to the nearest community - Antelope. So the tiny town was overrun with Rajneeshis conducting the business of the movement.

Some Rajneeshis started buying property in Antelope to be closer to the group's administrative offices, which stoked fears that they were "taking over" the community. That fueled more conflict and more resentment, and everything escalated from there. It's easy to suggest that if the people of Antelope had just left the Rajneeshis alone they would have built all of their infrastructure in Rajneeshpuram and likely would have left Antelope alone.

As Aleister Crowley commented in Magick Without Tears, ninety percent of "Do what thou wilt" can pretty much be summed up as "mind your own business." Both sides could have used that principle to better effect.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

OTO Member Wins Defamation Case

David Bottrill, a member of Ordo Templi Orientis in Australia, recently won a defamation case agaist a woman who shared a YouTube video accusing him of belonging to a "satanic and pedophile group." As should be obvious to anyone with half a brain who bothers to investigate, OTO is nothing of the sort. It is a fraternal order of magicians dedicated the system of Thelema, which may be approached in many ways - but which bears no resemblance to the cartoon "Satanism" of Jack Chick tracts.

A man who is a member of a little-known religious order has been awarded $18,880 for defamation after a woman shared a YouTube video on her Facebook page that made claims about him and his religion.

Australian man David Bottrill is part of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) fraternal religious order, which follows the writings of the late British occultist and magician, Aleister Crowley. According to Bottrill, members of OTO in Australia number around 100.

Bottrill claimed Katrina Bailey had defamed him by sharing a video on her Facebook page in mid-2017 that suggested he was a member of a satanic and pedophile group, who used his job to import children into Australia to facilitate pedophilia.

On Friday, the Australian Capital Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) found in Bottrill's favour, saying Bailey had defamed him, and ordering her to apologise, take down the post, and pay $18,880.

The reality is that the only people who think that pedophilia and occultism have anything to do with each other are fundamentalist Christians, who made up phony "Satanism" in the 1980's to persecute members of minority religions. The idea was to get "Satanism" defied as child molestation so they could ban it, and then get all non-Christian religions classified as "Satanism" so they could become the American state religion. The whole concept was misguided, unconstitutional, and never would have worked - but there were those who "had faith" that God would make it happen anyway, and it ruined a lot of innocent lives.

I'll add that I've gotten really tired of this online nonsense over the last couple of years. The reason that people keep doing it is that lurid claims get them lots of attention and pageviews, and so far there have been few real consequences for promoting even outright falsehoods that go so far as to put lives in danger. With the upcoming lawsuits against Alex Jones over the Sandy Hook shooting and this successful civil case in Australia, that tide may finally be turning. Let's hope so.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Iraqi Stargate

Here's a weird theory that's been floating around the Internet for about fifteen years now. Apparently, the gods of the ancient Sumerians were space aliens and they provided their worshippers with stargates. You know, those big round gizmos from the 1994 film and the television franchise that ran in three incarnations from 1997 to 2010. One of these stargates was discovered by Saddam Hussein when he ordered renovations to an ancient Sumerian palace, and the United States invaded to take control of the device in 2003.

Essentially, the Iraq War Stargate theory pushes and narrows this idea a little further. Saying one of the technologies that were gifted upon the Sumerians were stargates and their positioning was one of the major reasons for the years of strife in the Middle East. I reached out to Dr. Michael Salla, who wrote an in-depth article about the theory way back in 2003, to learn about it further.

Before we got into the nitty-gritty, I had to figure out if a stargate was just as cool as Hollywood made it out to be. "It's kind of like an instantaneous space-time means of travel where people are instantaneously teleported from one area to another," said Salla. Yup, super cool.

So, the stargate is apparently found near in the Nasiriyah, a city about 370 km south-east of Baghdad—in the ancient city of Ur—within that city is the great Ziggurat, a massive temple, which had a, you guessed it, stargate. Some theories also argue there is a stargate directly in the city of Baghdad, in one of the basements of Hussein's palaces— where he probably did some pretty freaky stuff with it.

While the locations and number of the stargates is in dispute, one thing the theorists do all agree on, is that the Iraq War wasn't the first time that a foreign power showed interest in it. In what sounds like a super sweet Indiana Jones fan-fic, the Nazis were fighting the British in during WWII over control of the Stargate.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mastering the Thirty Aires Submitted!

We seem to have survived the latest Nibiru Rapture in order to allow me to make an important announcement to fans of my Enochian books. Yeah, that's totally the reason! It's kind of like an Enochian Entirely-Other-Than-Apocalypse - so take that, Donald Tyson! Anyway, this is cross-posted from my author website.

It took a lot longer than I ever expected, but my draft manuscript for Mastering the Thirty Aires has finally been submitted to my publisher. Editing and book production usually run around six months or so, which means that the book should be available sometime next fall.

Mastering the Thirty Aires completes my trilogy of books on the mostly-Dee-purist-with-some-additions system of Enochian magick that I have worked out over the last twenty-five years. It focuses on practical results, and uses what I consider the best interpretation of the material in the Dee diaries for attributions and powers of the all the spirits and other components of the system. It deals with how to use the Aires and Parts of the Earth to effect political change, and also includes some valuable and practical material on zodiacal magick.

I'm looking forward to making this final piece of my base Enochian system available to the public, and will keep you all posted when I have a release date. Thanks for your patience, and I think you will like the final result very much.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

New Nibiru Rapture Tomorrow!

David Meade is back. After being relentlessly mocked here on Augoeides over last year's Rapture/Nibiru end of the world conspiracy theory, the dude has no idea when to quit. Now he's made a new prediction that's exactly the same as the last.

Oh, except that it happens tomorrow. Cue the mass hysteria!

According to conspiracy theorists, codes in the Bible suggest the end of the world is imminent, with Earth set to be destroyed tomorrow, April 23. One theory suggests the end times dates back to astrological constellations appearing on November 23, matching the book of Revelation 12:1-2. The passage signals the start of the Rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The passage 12:1–2 reads: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.” It is thought that Virgo is the woman from the passage. On April 23, the sun and moon will be in Virgo, as will Jupiter, which represents the Messiah. Experts at first dismissed this claim when they discovered this alignment happens very 12 years. However, the conspiracy theories claim another planetary alignment, representing “the Lion of the tribe of Judah’, will make this time the Rapture.

Christian conspiracy theorist David Meade is the main expert suggesting the end times are here. Mr Meade also predicts a mythological planetary system known as Planet X or Nibiru will appear in the sky on April 23. He claims it will then pass the Earth in October, causing the start of the Rapture with huge volcanoes and volcanic eruptions due to its gravitational force.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

About Damn Time

Poor Alex Jones! After years of bullshit over the "Sandy Hook Truthers," he finally is being sued by the parents who had to endure death threat after death threat along with the insinuation that their murdered children never existed. As a parent I find it hard to imagine much that would be more awful, and it's also clear that Jones giving a platform to a bunch of crazies is the whole reason the harassment existed. So as I see it, Jones is entirely responsible. Whether or not he personally defamed the families, which appears to be his defense, it should not have been hard to figure out that this is what some of his listeners were going to do. He's never even come out and forcefully denounced those people either - rather, the only real pushback he gave is essentially that he wasn't sure.

The InfoWars host is being sued for defamation by Neil Heslin, the father of 6-year-old victim Jesse Heslin, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, who lost their six-year-old son Noah, for $1 million each over his conspiracy theories and “vicious lies” surrounding the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Responding to the lawsuits on his show, the controversial broadcaster denied that he ever believed the shooting was faked and 20 children were not killed there.

“You’re allowed to question things in America, that’s not defamation,” Jones said. “But what is defamation is to file lawsuits that say I said things I didn’t say and then put me and my whole family through the ringer and lie about us and hold us up against dead children and say basically ‘we hate their families, we hate the children.' It’s almost like I’ve murdered the children and that’s not what happened.”

Alex Jones of speaks during a rally in support of Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 18, 2016. The InfoWars host is being sued for defamation by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre. Jones added suggestions of him saying the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax was merely him playing “devil’s advocate.” He told his listeners: “We looked at it, and I don’t think the thing was a hoax.

“The media jumped on it, they exasperated it, they faked some locations, they did some things in the aftermath… but the new hoax is that I’m saying they’re crisis actors and it didn’t happen. My listeners said a lot of them look like they’re acting, we looked at it and I said ‘I can’t say that’—that’s what I’ve always said.”

Monday, April 16, 2018

Via Solis Aries Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Aries Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday April 17th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of last year by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the 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 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. The Via Solis Elixir Rites were written by Michele Montserrat in 2010 for the Comselh Ananael magical working group.

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.


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.

Bell Chime

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Against Mister Rogers

This post leans a little more political than what I usually do here, but I figure that Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister so it still vaguely falls under my umbrella. A couple of weeks ago, Boing Boing posted this article explaining that yes, there really are conservatives out there who hate Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. This particularly dumb segment from Fox & Frieds explains why. According to "experts" and "studies" that are never really cited, making kids feel good about themselves is a terrible, terrible thing.

Fred Rogers is the subject of a documentary and a biopic starring Tom Hanks, both out later this year. Though most Americans assume he's a national treasure, he's widely loathed by conservatives who center him in their myth of "participation trophy" culture.

I remember one columnist describing him as a saccharine man whose job was to help the education industry tell stupid children they were special—one of the more enduring impressions I got of American conservatives after moving here in the 2000s. (Another: turning on the radio to hear someone muttering, barely in control of his rage, about how much be hates bisexuals, intoning the word "hate" over and over. At first I thought it was a theatrical performance, a character in a radio play, but it turned out to be The Michael Reagan Show.)

Anyway, here's Fox and Friends complaining that young people are entitled and useless because Fred Rogers stressed the importance of love and its absence in their lives.

Now I want to ask a serious question here. Have any of you ever seen one of these mysterious "participation trophies?" Conservatives have been complaining about them since at least the late 1970's, and I've never seen one. I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's and loved Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as a small child, so according to this segment I should have been right in the thick of it. My kids have never seen these mythical objects either.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pat Robertson Dominated by Homosexuals

That's his being dominated face

This story is pretty much par for the course for good old Pat Robertson, who at this point has his own tag here on Augoeides. But the headline was too funny for me to ignore. According to Pat, he and the rest of the culture are being "dominated" by homosexuals who allegedly control the media and are forcing him to watch LGBT folks on television.

Appearing on his program The 700 Club earlier this week, the televangelist went on a rant about a supposed “left-wing bias” in the media. Blaming the supposed bias on gays and lesbians, Robertson declared:

"We have given the ground to a small minority. You figure, lesbians, one percent of the population; homosexuals, two percent of the population. That’s all. That’s statistically all. But they have dominated — dominated the media, they’ve dominated the cultural shift and they have infiltrated the major universities. It’s just unbelievable what’s being done. A tiny, tiny minority makes a huge difference. The majority — it’s time it wakes up."

As usual, Robertson is wrong. The numbers refute any claim that the media is being “dominated” by gays and lesbians. According to the latest “Where We Are on TV” report from GLAAD, only about 4.8% of television roles are LGBTQ characters.

Actually, Robertson's numbers are a little low based on the best research we have regarding the percentage of the population that identifies as gay or lesbian. His 3% estimate is on the very low end, and the real percentage may be as high as 10% - though that's from Kinsey, whose study had some sampling bias. Anyway, the point is that if 4.8% of television roles are gay or lesbian, that probably isn't too far off from the real number. As Stephen Colbert once pointed out, facts have a well-known liberal bias.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is Magick Dangerous?

This is one of those questions that gets asked over and over again on magick forums. I touched on this a little last week, but I figured that having a specific post to point people to would be helpful.

Before I really get going, I should point out that the answer to this question depends entirely on context. If you are asking "Does magick contain an element of risk?" the answer is of course yes, but that's true for all kinds of things that we do every day. Walking down a flight of stairs contains an element of risk because you can fall. It doesn't happen very often, but the risk is always there. And driving a car is more dangerous than the vast majority of activities we engage in on a regular basis.

So the real question should be something more like "How dangerous is magick, and what are the dangers associated with it?" A lot of people online still seem to believe that practicing magick can cause mental illness, which is basically nonsense. Most mental illnesses aren't caused by behavior or environment to begin with. If you have a pre-existing mental illness, anything that increases your stress might trigger an episode, but that's probably more likely to come from, say, job stress than from spiritual practices of whatever sort.

The reason this idea persists is that in the American population, about one person in four has a mental illness and about one person in thirty or so has a serious mental illness like bipolar I and schizophrenia. These mental illnesses can come and go, so if you happen to meet somebody in the occult community who seems fine and then a while later has an episode of mental illness, it's easy to conclude that "the magick did it!" When really, what you're seeing is just the natural cycle of an underlying condition.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Office of the Readings for 2018

There has been some discussion online (again) this year about how it is "problematic" that there are people (who I've apparently never met) who think celebrating the Holy Days in this way comes from Aleister Crowley himself or is in some sense "canonical" to Thelema. To be clear, neither of those statements are true. The arrangement here comes from various modern sources - James Eshelman's Thelemic Tefila, the late Soror Marfiza and the Companions of Monsalvat, and myself and my magical partner Soror Lalitha. Still, having performed this series for many years, we find that it is a great way to better acquaint yourself with the Holy Books and celebrate the Thelemic New Year.

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 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. So the year that we're about to enter into is V:iv, attributed to either The Emperor or The Star depending on whether or not you swap the Tarot attributions for Heh and Tzaddi.

This post will remain the top article here for the duration of the Thelemic Holy Days from March 20th to April 10th. The Rite of the Office of the Readings is performed for all of the readings beginning on March 20th.

This year I'm pleased to announce that like last year, this year's Office of the Readings will be presented at Leaping Laughter Oasis, the Minneapolis local body of Ordo Templi Orientis. This year we will be performing the Invocation of Horus on the evening of March 18th to keep it on the weekend, and the Prologue of the Unborn on the 19th will be followed by the New Moon Ritual for Pisces.


The Invocation of Horus
The Rite of the Office of the Readings


March 19

Liber VII, Prologue of the Unborn.

March 20 - Saturn/Earth, The Universe

Liber LXV, Cap I.
Liber VII, Cap II.

March 21 - Fire/Spirit, The Aeon

Liber LXV, Cap IV.
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.

March 23 - Pisces, The Moon

Liber VII, Cap VI.
From “Dark Night of the Soul”, Book II, Cap 8 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

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

March 28 - Scorpio, Death

From Liber Arcanorum.
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 Libræ.
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 Stellae Rubeæ.
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 LXV, Cap II.
From Liber DCCCXXXVII, The Law of Liberty.

April 5 - Taurus, The Hierophant

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

April 6 - Aquarius, The Star

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.
“Vajrasattva, Primordial Buddha of Diamond or Rainbow Light” From Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas.

April 9 - Mercury, The Magus

Liber AL, Cap II.
“Visvapani, The Bodhisattva and Spiritual Emanation of Amoghasiddhi” From Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas.

April 10 - Air, The Fool

Liber AL, Cap III.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 22nd Æthyr.

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. Our Office of the Readings series is based on this ritual series by the Companions of Monsalvat.

Regarding "Experienced Practitioners"

Last week it was pointed out to me that a lot of magicians online tend to say things like "practice xyz should only be done by experienced practitioners," without any real frame of reference as to what an "experienced practitioner" might be. As I see it, there are a number of reasons people say things like this, and some simple benchmarks you can apply to your own work to see if you "qualify."

First, there is a lot of nonsense in the magical community with people trying to one-up each other to show how "hard core" they are, and this is generally a recipe for disaster - or at least a whole lot of bullshit. You should pay attention to your own work and where it is getting you rather than trying to compare yourself to what others say they do. This is an important point - social media is full of people who exaggerate what they do, and how successful their magical work is. In fact, there is a tiny percentage of the population that are interested in magick at all, and the majority of those folks don't really practice. Also, there is a talent for magick like there is a talent for everything else, and a really tiny percentage of people get great results on their first or second ritual.

Second, anybody who has been a magician on the Internet for any period of time has run into "dark fluffers." Sometimes this is a variant of the previous case, but other times it consists of people who immediately gravitate towards the "evil" parts of magical systems and ignore the others. Enochian cacodemons are a classic example of this. The cacodemons are actually kind of a pain to work with not because they are "evil," but because they are stupid. They are less complex and less intelligent than basically every other class of entity in the system. That means that you are a lot more likely to run into a "monkey's paw" situation when working with them if you are not entirely clear with your injunctions and limitations.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

He is Risen!

You know, whoever he is. In a story that is just perfect for an Easter Sunday that also falls on April Fools' Day, a church in England ordered banners that were supposed to read "Christ is Risen" for Easter Sunday. The printers accidentally omitted the "T" from "Christ." So the proof banner instead read "Chris is Risen." Fortunately the error was caught in the proofing stage, so the church didn't wind up with a big crowd of people gathered this morning to worship Chris. But it was a close one.

A church was presented with signs reading "Chris is risen" after a mix up at the printers. Acomb Parish Church, in York, had ordered four banners saying 'Christ is Risen' but the 'T' was missed off the finished article. However, assistant Curate Ned Lunn said the error was discovered before the signs were delivered. A BBC Radio York Facebook post has been shared more than 3,000 times, prompting one person to reply 'More T vicar?'

Mr Lunn said: "I'm so glad the customer spotted the mistake. It'll save a bit of embarrassment and a lot of confusion. I had to check the four banners when I distributed them though, just to make sure. The pastor at the Baptist Church is actually called Chris and he's got to get up for a sunrise service at 6.30am on Easter Sunday. His predecessor didn't manage to get up for the service last year."

From an April Fool's Day perspective that's too bad, because people showing up at the church to worship Chris would have been just perfect. And if Pastor Chris had failed to wake up on time to meet them, that would have been even funnier. It sounds like everything worked out fine for the church this morning, but maybe Pope Francis had it right. It's April Fool's Day, so let's just not worry about it and have a low-key Easter this year.

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate, and Happy April Fools' Day to boot!