Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Oh Wait, It's Next Month!

Wow, the doomers didn't even stop to take a breath this time. The apocalypse scheduled for last Sunday never happened, so now they're saying the real date is a month from now - July 27th. According to this article from the British tabloid Mirror, evangelists are now say that the July 27th lunar eclipse will mark the end of the world, really, seriously, for sure this time!

A spectacular blood moon is set to light up the sky next month - and it will be the end of the world as we know it, according to doomsday preachers. End-of-days religious leaders who have incorrectly predicted the apocalypse time and time again are back at it ahead of a lunar eclipse on July 27. The 21st century's longest lunar eclipse will last almost two hours and feature a blood moon where the moon has a red tinge.

While stargazers enjoy the dazzling phenomenon, doomsdayers will be preparing for armageddon. The hypothesis was originally made famous by Christian ministers John Hagee and Mark Biltz who said the ongoing "tetrad" - four consecutive lunar eclipses which began in April 2014 with six full moons in between - is the indicator of the end of earth as described in the Bible in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12. However the tetrad ended in September 2014 and we're all still here.

Lunar eclipses aren't actually that rare. And ever since Hagee's blood moon apocalypse prediction failed in 2014, evangelists have trotted out their end times predictions whenever one comes around.

The bit about the moon becoming as blood probably does refer to a lunar eclipse, but so many of them have happened since the writing of Revelation that it's pretty hard to pick one. I figure the evangelists keep doing this because it would be really, really embarrassing for them if the one lunar eclipse they didn't mention turned out to be the End of Days.

But as a Thelemite who doesn't believe it's ever going to happen, I'm going to keep pointing and laughing. After all, they provide me with so many opportunities!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Not Raptured Yet!

Check it out! Nibiru is so gigantic that it's impossible to detect!

With all the ritual stuff going on last week and this weekend, I totally forgot to post this on Sunday. June 24th has passed, and still no Rapture! To be fair, the whole Rapture idea is Millerism from the early 1800's so even if the world does end, it probably won't happen. But the point is that the world didn't end. Again. I keep making fun of these would-be prophets, but they keep coming out of the woodwork.

This latest one was yet another version of the Nibiru nonsense, in which a completely undetectable extra planet in our solar system is supposed to appear without warning and collide with the Earth, or pass by the Earth and mess stuff up, or something like that. Seeing as no astronomer has ever found such a planet, one might think that means this whole set of conspiracy theories should be moot. But it's undetectable, see? Just like the invisible giant spider hiding out in your spare bedroom. Watch out!

Time is getting short for the Christian literalists. The last sign that had never happened since Biblical times was fulfilled after World War II, the founding of an official state of Israel. That happened in 1947. What the Bible tells us is that the generation that sees all the signs fulfilled will not pass away, but will see the end of the world before they die. There was speculation that the end of the world would come seventy years after the last sign (the founding of Israel), but that would have been in 2017.

Literalism has to break eventually. Once nobody born in 1947 is alive and the world is still here, that will constitute a hard break from the text. I have no illusions that will cause folks to abandon their beliefs - after all, in a lot of cases people keep following these failed prophets even though I have no idea why. Way too many people double down on their beliefs when faced with contradictory evidence, which to me is really, really weird. But it's been documented experimentally over and over again. I guess I just don't understand regular people and how they think.

Of course, it the Thelemic take on the apocalypse is true, my religion predicts that a physical rapture/cataclysm that ends the world in preparation for the return of Jesus is never going to happen. And let me add that so far, these so-called prophets have been wrong and we Thelemites have been right.

But at any rate, go ahead and celebrate surviving this imaginary disaster. One more apocalypse down, and who knows how many more to go. Probably a lot.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Last week I was corresponding with a reader who was trying to work out how to do the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram from online sources. Apparently, these are a lot more confusing than they need to be, so I figured that for today's magick post I would put up my own explanation of the ritual so that I can point people here and not expect that they can just work it out from other stuff on the Internet that I have no control over. I'll be adding this to my list of ritual instructions as well.

The first and most important thing that you need to understand about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is that, as I've written here in a number of places, "Greater" does not mean "awesome" and "Lesser" does not mean "lame." There's a lot of information online from people who treat the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram as a "better" Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram - and that is entirely wrong. The two rituals do two completely different things that should not be conflated.

The Lesser rituals are general or foundational. They are used to set up the base "field" in which you work magick, even when you are working from more traditional methods than my operant field technique. The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, like the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram, is used to tune that magical space to a particular force or quality. The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram has five traditional forms, four of which correspond to the paths of the four elements and one which corresponds to the sephira of all four elements, Malkuth. Like the planets, the elements can be attributed both sephirothically and by path, but unlike the planets all four elements correspond to the tenth sephira.

This is especially important when you realize that some people use the version of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth (that is, with all four elemental pentagrams traced to their corresponding directions according to the winds model) as an "upgrade" to the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. But this is not the case. The magical power associated with Malkuth is "The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel, or of Adonai." The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is general and foundational, and therefore it is not attributed to a traditional power or vision.

This is not to suggest that the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth is a bad idea for daily practice. Aleister Crowley's Liber Reguli is basically a souped-up Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, and Crowley did teach that beginning students should focus on HGA work. This is very likely the intent of Reguli - to cultivate the vision of the HGA as a preliminary for doing the full HGA invocation found in Liber Samekh. The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth can be used in this way as well, but not as a replacement for the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mass of Nuit and Babalon for 2018

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

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

This year the ritual will be taking place at Leaping Laughter Oasis in Minneapolis at 7:30 PM on Friday, June 22. This is a public ritual, so if you live in the Twin Cities area and would like to attend you are welcome to do so. Contact me or someone else from the Oasis for details.

0. The Temple

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Yoga. Meditation, and "Ego Inflation"

The occult community tends to be a little behind the times with respect to modern psychology. As I've covered here before, the psychoanalytic model of cognition is still something that some occult traditions work with, or at the very least a model on which some esoteric ideas are based. The trouble is that the psychoanalytic model doesn't work. Not only has it been shown to be ineffective under controlled conditions, it is mostly rendered meaningless by what we now understand about memory and so forth.

One psychoanalytic concept that has a lot of staying power in occultism is the idea of "ego inflation." After all, who hasn't seen idiots going on and on about how awesome and powerful they are, especially on the Internet? And one of the ideas is that, in theory, spiritual practices are supposed to prevent this. The problem is when people don't really understand how egotism works, or where it comes from - usually because they accept one or more of the many incorrect assumptions that are endemic to the psychoanalytic model.

Today's story is a perfect example. Two Australian studies claim to show that practicing yoga or meditation leads to "ego inflation." This is an interesting area to look into, but it seems to me that both studies have significant problems. The biggest is that it appears the researchers have assumed that high self-esteem is the same thing as an "inflated ego." On the other hand, I don't think this is true at all. While it is possible to evaluate egotism from a behavioral perspective, treating "the ego" as a "thing" that gets bigger or smaller has almost nothing to do with how cognition really works.

In the paper, published online by University of Southampton and due to be published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers note that Buddhism’s teachings that a meditation practice helps overcome the ego conflicts with US psychologist William James’s argument that practicing any skill breeds a sense of self-enhancement (the psychological term for inflated self-regard.) There was already a fair bit of evidence supporting William James’s theory, broadly speaking, but a team of researchers from University Mannheim in Germany decided to test it specifically in the context of yoga and meditation.

As a point, yoga as currently practiced in Western countries does no such thing. It's not really even Buddhist. It's (sort of) Hindu, and the spiritual goals of Hinduism are different than those of Buddhism. Furthermore, modern yoga is not even a traditional Indian spiritual practice. It is a synthesis of poses illustrated in Hindu scriptures combined with European calisthenics that was really only assembled into a system in the 1960's. Yoga from before that time was very different than what we have today. Yoga was practiced during meditation, which is maybe where the authors' confusion comes from, but meditation is a discipline in its own right that was performed in addition to holding the poses for long periods of time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Culture War Loses Southern Baptists

Remember back when Donald Trump signed an executive order signaling his intent to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from endorsing political candidates or parties? And remember how I said that if it goes through, "non-political" will most likely become a selling point for Christian churches on par with what "non-denominational" has been for many years?

It's happening, folks. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America's largest Protestant denomination with fifteen million members, has moved to distance itself from the Republican Party. According to The Atlantic, the denomination is shifting to accommodate younger members, many of whom reject the (fundamentally ridiculous) "culture war" rhetoric that the SBC has been pushing for decades.

“The generational shift happening in the SBC has thrust the group into the middle of an identity crisis,” says Barry Hankins, the chair of the department of history at Baylor University and co-author of Baptists in America: A History. “The younger generation thinks differently than the old-guard Christian right about culture and politics, and they are demanding change.”

To enact this change, young Baptists nominated 45-year-old pastor J.D. Greear from North Carolina to be president of the denomination. In a campaign video, Greear called for “a new culture and a new posture in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Refusing to cede power without a fight, fundamentalist Baptists nominated Ken Hemphill as an opposition candidate. But Greear won with nearly 70 percent of the vote, becoming the youngest SBC president in 37 years.

Greear has promised to lead the denomination down a different path, which, he has said, must include efforts both to repent of a “failure to listen to and honor women and racial minorities” and “to include them in proportionate measures in top leadership roles.” If the meeting in Dallas is any indication, his vision is resonating with a large number of the next wave of Baptist leaders.

Of course, this doesn't mean the Southern Baptists will become liberal overnight or anything like that. Much of their membership is still quite conservative. But as I've noted here many times, there's a difference between being Christian and a conservative, and being a "Christian conservative." The former is a set of religious belief and a set of political beliefs. The latter pretty much means you're a Poor Oppressed Christian who is "oppressed" by the mere existence of different beliefs and doesn't see anything wrong with suppressing them - all the while claiming special rights and privileges for the Poor Oppressed only.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Via Solis Gemini Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Gemini Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday June 19th, 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 oasis know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Gemini. The sign Gemini is attributed to "The power of being in two or more places at the same time, and of Prophecy." As I interpret it, the former is related to astral work and the latter is related to precognition in all its forms, the ability to see into the future. In a mystical sense, it also corresponds to prophetic consciousness in general. Therefore, these sorts of intents are most appropriate. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963. 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 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, June 16, 2018

"Ringmaster" Ghost Torments Wannabe Exorcist

This story sounds simultaneously so over-the-top and so plot-of-a-bad-eighties-sitcom that I think it's probably fake, but what the heck. According to this article from the British tabloid Daily Mirror, a woman broke up with her exorcist boyfriend after a ghost followed him home. It wasn't just any ghost either - it was the ghost of a "seven foot circus ringmaster." Cue the hordes of evil undead clown minions!

A heartbroken man says his girlfriend dumped him because the ghost of a 7-ft tall circus ringmaster followed him home from an exorcism. Ed Booker, 37, took part in the sinister ritual to rid a home of evil spirits - but he never realised the horrifying consequences it would have on his life.

He claims his health rapidly went downhill and unexplainable things started happening after he participated in the paranormal cleansing. He says 'DIE' was scrawled on the inside of his windows and he even snapped an image showing the menacing circus worker lurking down a darkened corridor.

You know, I take that back. It's not a bad eighties sitcom. It's basically a bad eighties horror movie that's unintentionally hilarious. Now maybe that photo is of a ghost. Or maybe it's just a shadow that freaked the guy out. It sort of looks like the outline of a person, but it could be a lot of other things too.

I understand that being around the paranormal can seriously unnerve people, and that spirits can get pissed off at people and basically harass them. Spirits can usually read minds, so if they have the power to manifest something and they want to mess with you, it usually will be something you're already scared of.

So that makes me wonder if this guy has a circus-related phobia. Probably not just a fear of clowns - that's way too pedestrian for a case like this.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Illuminati Heart Attack Gun

Here's another guy who's giving Alex Jones a run for his money in the crazy department. Pastor Paul Begley recently claimed that the heart attack suffered by Donald Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow could have been caused by "Illuminati assassins" wielding a "heart attack gun." Because of course, in the real world, seventy-year-old men never have mild heart attacks that require three-day hospital stays. Right?

During a livestream broadcast yesterday, right-wing pastor and rabid conspiracy theorist Paul Begley raised the possibility that “Illuminati assassins” may have targeted White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow with a “heart attack gun.”

Kudlow was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack earlier this week and Begley wants to know if it was somehow related to his criticism of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau following the G7 summit.

“I want to know,” Begley declared. “Are there Illuminati assassins and would they kill people to continue their agenda? I’m wondering, are there such things as heart attack guns?”

Begley claimed that right-wing publisher Andrew Breitbart mysteriously died of a heart attack the night before he was supposedly going to release a damaging video and wondered if the same forces may now be targeting Kudlow.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Movie Review: To Dream of Falling Upwards

This is both a magick post and a movie review, for the film To Dream of Falling Upwards by Anterro Alli, author of Angel Tech and several other works on modern occultism. As I've mentioned previously, Hollywood movies tend to get magick hopelessly wrong. The usual practice is to replace the "science of the magi" with lots of flashing colored lights and garish CGI, with sigils flying all over the place and things exploding. Real magick doesn't work that way. It is less flashy, but deeper and far more profound than anything mainstream films usually address.

Here's some background before I get started with my review. Have you ever wondered why the world now has both New Falcon Press and Original Falcon Press, which look like they sell books from some of the same authors? That's a story unto itself - two weeks before the death of Christopher Hyatt, his estranged biological son somehow managed to get him to sign over the company. The folks who were previously running New Falcon along with Hyatt started up Original Falcon, and recounted their side of the preceding events here.

To be clear, I have no inside information regarding the veracity of these claims and am not trying to push one side or the other. I don't know if the legal issues are still ongoing or if they have been mostly resolved now, ten years later. If you really want to know, you'll have to read up on the situation and decide for yourself.

But the story as presented by Original Falcon is significant to my review because Alli loosely bases the setup for To Dream of Falling Upwards on it, replacing a publishing company with a Thelemic magical order. When the Chief Magus of the Temple of Horus dies, his estranged son takes over the order with plans to commercialize its teachings. Jack Mason, the Chief Magus' chosen successor, is thus cheated out of his rightful position and vows to take revenge. He performs a sex magick operation against the son and hires a Russian hit man to have him killed. The assassination succeeds, but Mason finds himself haunted by a demon that takes the form of the deceased son and must find a way to exorcise it.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Stuffed Lion Provides Bad Legal Advice

Some stories are so ridiculous I can't help but share them. According to this article from the Edmonton Journal, a "religiously extreme" Christian couple lost custody of a child after they refused legal aid and instead accepted the assistance of a stuffed lion that they believe came "directly from God." There's that old saying - a person who acts as their own attorney has a fool for a client. But what about a person who lets a stuffed lion act as their attorney? Clearly, it did not prove to be a winning legal strategy.

After the woman found she was pregnant, she told a social worker her husband sometimes choked her to make her stop crying, had once tied her hands and covered her mouth with tape, which scared her, and occasionally beat her, court heard. She told the worker her husband grew up in a cult and believes sexual relations between children should be encouraged and that they “role-play” sins where she plays the victim and he plays the perpetrator, court heard.

When interviewed by police about the allegations, she denied them. Her husband said that once, when he was frustrated with her and had had a few drinks, he put one hand over her throat and the other over her mouth. This led to a complaint to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. It appears that, due to their strong religious beliefs, they are intolerant of those who do not espouse identical views. This includes other Christians.

After the birth of their daughter, the parents refused all medical tests and procedures for her, including a hearing test, blood test, eye drops and a vitamin K shot. The mother also said she was unwilling to have her vaccinated. Because of concerns over family violence and mental health, the ministry monitored the family. The couple refused to have parental capacity assessments, despite a court order.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Introducing Magical Instruction

This week's magick post is a short one, but it points to something bigger that I also have been putting together this week. Take a look at the top of that page, and you will see a new "Magical Instruction" link between my Enochian source material and author website links. This new page was assembled to organize the various articles covering basic rituals, practice work, and initiatory work that I have posted on Augoeides over the years. I wanted to have it done yesterday, but it wasn't quite ready to announce just yet.

I've been blogging since 2006, and as I am posting right now this site hosts over eighteen hundred articles. There's a lot of good material here, but it can be hard to find without messing around a bunch with Blogger search - and even then it often pulls articles back in a weird order where what you want is a ways down the results page. There's at least one Facebook group that I know of archiving and organizing my posts, but it makes a lot more sense to have something like that right here on the site.

Note also that the page is not complete as is. I plan on adding more to it over time, so that this site can have one main landing page for readers who want to learn magick according to my methods. I've been kind of reluctant to bill myself as a teacher in any formal sense for quite a long time, but it also is true that there are plenty of "teachers" out there who put out material that is far inferior to what I post here. So I guess that makes me a teacher in addition to just a guy who likes to do cool spells and happens to be pretty good at them.

Click here to check out the new page, or on the link up above. I think you'll like it.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Another One?

It sounds like Creflo Dollar may have started a trend. Preacher Jesse Duplantis has called on his followers to donate $78 million to his ministry for a top-of-the-line Falcon 7X private jet. That's even more expensive than the $65 million Gulfstream G650 that Dollar was trying to raise money to buy.

A gospel preacher in the United States is asking his followers to help him to buy a $78 million Falcon 7X private jet. Jesse Duplantis has owned three private jets throughout his life and says he is "burning them up for the lord" and needs a new one. For the critics who say he has no reason to own a private jet, he says: "I really believe that preachers ought to go on every available voice, every available outlet, to get this gospel preached to the world."

In a video series on his website called This Week With Jesse, the preacher said he needs a jet so that he can be free to preach the gospel all over the world. He said God asked him to believe he would provide the private jet. "Jesse, I didn't ask you to pay for it. I asked you to believe for it," he says God told him. "If Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn't be riding a donkey," Mr Duplantis said.

As I said back when Dollar posted his appeal, it might make sense for a preacher who travels all over the place to have a private jet. I just think it's ridiculous that the only planes these folks will even consider are brand new, top-of-the-line models that are super-expensive. There's a big market for used private jets that can be had for a million dollars or so, and Duplantis is asking for seventy-eight times that much. And even if he has to have a new plane, $78 million is about as expensive as they get. There are a lot of cheaper new models out there - like practically all of them.

I understand that he probably wants to one-up Creflo Dollar, but come on, man. The dude's name is actually Dollar! Duplantis can do everything in his power to be a money-grubbing scumbag and I still really don't see how anybody can compete with that.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Is This a Spell?

While we're on the subject of occult crime, or possibly occult crime, or for that matter just weird crime, here's a bizarre story from Boston, Massachusetts. A woman out walking her dog came upon a severed goat's head on the hood of her car, along with a photograph of her under the windshield wiper blades. Goats are commonly associated with the occult, though this also reminds me of that scene in The Godfather with the severed horse head in the bed. It might be less a magical ritual and more a terroristic threat.

Boston police said they received a report around 6 a.m. from a woman who said she was out walking her dog on Garfield Avenue when she noticed blood and the head of an animal, later identified as a goat, on the hood of her car. The 48-year-old woman also found a photo of herself tucked underneath the vehicle's windshield wiper blades. The woman told police she doesn't recall taking the picture or the time frame when it might have been taken.

Iris Robles says the victim is her cousin, a mother of four with a young son. "Like any other mom, she has a child she has to protect," Robles said. Animal control responded to the scene and removed the dead goat from the woman's vehicle but Robles says her cousin and family are left with questions, like who would do this? She has no idea whatsoever, and she has no enemies," Robles said. Why would someone want to terrify this mother of four?

Robles said, "They are insane, this is insane. They are so disturbing." People in the neighborhood are also confused and concerned about the gruesome and gory discovery. “Shocked, very shocked. Where would they even get something like that?” one woman asked. “Today with the horror and stuff, someone’s probably just trying to mess with someone’s mind to intimidate them,” Tom Flanagan said. “And that’s not OK,” a woman added after Flanagan’s comments.

Hopefully I'll be able to follow this story and post an update once the culprit has been apprehended. I'm wondering if this will turn out to be a (crude) attempt at magick related to, say, Capricorn - which rules the Evil Eye - or just a garden variety threat that some heavy metal kid or somebody like that thought would be scary. As I've mentioned here before, so few people are actually interested in occultism that it probably is the latter, but I'm not going to rule anything out without more information.

Personally I wouldn't cast a spell this way because I try to evaluate my results scientifically. If you let your target know that you're cursing them, they might change their behavior based on that knowledge rather than due to the spell itself. But I also know that not all magicians are concerned with such things.