Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Is Koetting Spamming?

Look what showed up in my spam folder over the weekend! It's a spam/phishing email running the classic review scam, in which you are asked to fill out a survey from Costco or Amazon or some other retailer. Another common version of this same scam offers you a gift card that you can redeem by going to a link - which, like the survey, collects phishing information and can download malware onto your computer.

These sorts of scams are really easy to spot - even though the name of the sender usually says Costco or Amazon or the name of another retailer, the domain that the email is coming from and where the message presumably links to has nothing to do with that retailer. Usually it's something random that doesn't look particularly significant - but check out the domain up there! Isn't that the domain of E. A. Koetting, Mr. "Become a Living God?"

Honestly, I hope not. Yes, Koetting is over the top and ridiculous and charges a bunch of money for basic magick instruction that you could find in dozens of books, and adds a layer of hype to it that is pretty much unmatched anywhere in the magical community. But if he's to the point where he's resorting to phishing scams? Well, then I just feel bad for him. That's a pretty sad way to make a living, and it also is a sad commentary on the state of magical instruction in general. Yeah, most of us can't make a living at it, full stop. But descending into email scams is a whole new level.

As I'm typing this up, I'm noticing that the domain is actually misspelled, missing the "e" in "become." But if this isn't Koetting, that's kind of weird too. Why would an email spammer want to pretend to be Koetting? "Become a living god" can't be the sort of domain that inspires much confidence in prospective marks. I would think that if somebody was going to do this, They would want to spoof a domain that is at least neutral. In fact, I would think that smart spammers would want to spoof something that at least looks like retailer's name - though I've never seen them do that.

I suppose spammers aren't smart. If they were smart, they probably would be in another line of work. There was a brief period in the late 1990's, before people got sophisticated spam filters, when spamming was easy and profitable. But that hasn't been the case for almost two decades now. These days, it's just kind of pitiful.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Via Solis Sagittarius Elixir Rite - Year Three

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Sagittarius Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday November 26th, 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 Sagittarius. The sign Sagittarius is attributed to the power of “Transmutations." It is also the only sign attributed to a vision, the "Vision of Universal Peacock." This vision is a significant step in alchemical processes. Transmutation is a general power with many applications, since in a sense all magical operations represent attempts to transmute or transform some aspect of yourself, the external world, or both. So any intent along those lines would be in harmony with the power of the sign. 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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Doing It Wrong

These two idiots are making all of us authentic spellcasters look bad. A mother and daughter in Tyler, Texas are charged with stalking and harassment after creating "objects related to voodoo, witchcraft and satanism" and placing them on property belonging to their target. Here's the bottom line, folks - if you want to cast a curse on someone, you're doing it wrong if they see it coming. Real magicians don't bother to threaten anyone, because they know that their curses work.

Detectives with the Tyler Police Department claim Feagin and her mother, 46-year-old Kristina Ferguson, created the objects and then placed them in a property shared by the victim, her current boyfriend and the man's daughter.

One of the items was a picture of the victim with a red pentagram drawn across her face, with a burned blue candle beside the picture. This was placed on the couple's front porch on June 15, 2019.

The suspects allegedly placed a pair of black male boxer shorts with a note stating, "just thought you should know," on the victim's vehicle on August 1, 2019. Police said the mother and daughter also used a small voodoo doll with pins in its head, face, and heart, a burned blue candle, and symbols or "sigils" from the Raven of Antimony literature.

Each sigil represented "horror, death, pain, insanity, delusion, and destruction." A mason jar filled with sand was covered in these sigils and left on the victim's vehicle on September 13, 2019. According to the affidavit, the mother and daughter also left behind a black leather scroll wrapped in rope and dipped into a red substance.

Inside the scroll was a photo of the victim with a message written in Latin, along with the victim's initials and birth date. The Latin curse was threatening pestilence, bloodshed, fire and death. It was left on the victim's car on September 24, 2019.

According to the affidavit, using surveillance from the home of the victim and her boyfriend, detectives confirmed the dates of the offenses and saw Ferguson on the video placing some of the objects and then jumping back into the car with the daughter and leaving.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

This Won't End Well for the Christians

Now this is freaking ridiculous. Last week the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill that prevents students from being penalized for wrong answers in their work so long as those answers are based on their religious beliefs. It's one more salvo in the war by evangelicals on everyone who is not a Biblical literalist, and one more attempt to enshrine their idiotic take on empirical science into law. But for Thelemites, there's a silver lining to all that.

On Wednesday the Ohio House of Representatives passed the “Student Religious Liberties Act,” a law prohibiting students from being penalized when their work is scientifically incorrect so long as they attribute it to their religious beliefs, a local news outlet reported. Rather than using silly metrics based on logic and demonstrable facts, teachers should instead grade students on “ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance” in these cases according to the bill. It doesn’t elaborate on how to parse that brazenly doublespeak decree.

The bill now moves on to the state’s Republican-controlled Senate for the final OK.
With this legislation, any religious content a student includes in their homework or other assignments can’t be considered incorrect regardless of whatever that content may contradict. So, for instance, if a test asks what started World War II, and a student claims it was the flying spaghetti monster—as, after all, this invisible cosmic being has used its noodly appendages to orchestrate mankind’s history behind the scenes since it created the life, the universe, and everything—then they legally can’t be marked wrong.

Or if, say, you were part of a religion I just founded after hearing this news that believes all written numbers are demonic iconography that summons tiny gremlins who will stop at nothing to burrow into your eyeholes, countermand your brain, and force you to reenact viral TikToks in perpetuity, then I guess sorry Miss Sanders but Timmy can’t do his math homework. Ever.

I'm sure the evangelical Christians who wrote this thing were sitting there thinking that there's nothing in their religion that could be construed as a "religious belief" surrounding numbers and math, and that a religion founded after the passage of this bill could easily be attacked as insincere. Sure, none of the major world religions have anything in their holy texts that can be construed as a belief surrounding the idea that numbers and mathematics don't matter. But Thelemites do.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Enochian Workshops in Omaha, Nebraska

On Saturday, November 23rd I will be presenting three workshops on Enochian magick at Roar of Rapture Camp in Omaha, Nebraska. The presentations will include lectures on the three portions of the Enochian system - the Heptarchia Mystica, Great Table, and Thirty Aires - along with a ceremonial evocation of angels associated with each portion.

If you are in the area, this will be a great opportunity to see me present the material I talk about in my books in person. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook here. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Nobody Does This Either

This article is from a little over a month back, but for I'm just seeing it now. Maybe it's the law of attraction or something, because just like yesterday's post this one is about another Christian media host who is spouting ridiculous nonsense. Donald Trump complains about "fake news" all the time, but the news that is the fakest of the fake comes from folks in evangelical Christian media - most of whom support him.

For today's post, I'm going to point out that prominent Democrats don't drink blood and cast evil spells. Really? That I have to explain that to anyone is pretty amazing. When I differ with Republicans it's on policy - it's no secret that I'm a lefty and that therefore I don't vote for them. In fact, if I'm a single-issue voter it would be that I'm an anti-theocrat who won't support any candidate who caters to the religious right.

But while I can't stand Trump and do make fun of him on a pretty regular basis, you'll never see me posting that, say, he sacrifices hobos or eats babies. Not only are those sorts of allegations toxic to all reasonable political debate, there apparently really are people out there who are stupid enough to believe that they are literally true.

On the Wednesday edition of his TruNews TV show, Wiles mentioned that Hillary Clinton is looking much better these days than she did when she was on the 2016 campaign trail.

“Physically, she’s looking much better,” Wiles said to his co-hosts. “She must be drinking a lot of blood. … I mean, because she’s definitely getting transfusions because she’s stronger.”

Wiles went to say that Clinton was “definitely pretty weak back there in 2016.” “That woman was falling apart. Obviously, they’ve been taking her to a lot of spirit cooking events, and she’s been revived.”

As New York Magazine pointed out back in 2016, Wiles’ sinister interpretation of “spirit cooking” first debuted on InfoWars, which referred to it as “a sacrament in the religion of Thelema” founded by Aleister Crowley.

In reality, spirit cooking was conceived by world-renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic, and it “included absurdist recipes featuring such ingredients as ‘fingertips of the artist’ and ‘a ruby that has been soaking for three days.'”

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Absolutely Nobody Does This

You know what I was saying yesterday about evangelical Christians who believe in some sort of gigantic "Satanic conspiracy" are either engaging in propaganda or are flat-out nuts? Here's a prime example. Dave Daubenmire is one of those self-proclaimed "prophets" who hosts a Christian talk radio show. He recently explained that abortion is evil because "many women" have abortions "for Satanic rituals." I would like to think he's being a propagandist, because if he's not and he really believes this stuff he's completely delusional.

Christian Right activist Dave Daubenmire knows something about Planned Parenthood that is news to me. He said on his “Pass The Salt Live” show yesterday that many women who have abortions are actually doing it as part of a Satanic ritual.

"I don’t know if you guys know this or not. Many of the people who go into Planned Parenthoods, to have their babies killed, are what they call “breeders.” Breeders! They do it over and over and over. They’re paid to get pregnant to abort the baby for Satanic rituals. Did you guys have any idea of that? Did you know that? Did you understand that some of those women walking in there aren’t just troubled women, aren’t just caught-themselves-in-a-bad-situation, they’re breeders! They do it over and over and… but we don’t want to believe that, do we?"

I've been an occultist for more than thirty years, so let me set the record straight here. Absolutely nobody does this. Actual Satanists don't. LaVey Satanists are mostly atheists who don't believe in the supernatural, period, and theistic Satanists like the Setians and others who practice magical rituals don't do it either.

Even discredited accounts based on recovered memories that involve giving birth to babies for Satanic sacrifices (recalled, thanks to unethical therapists during the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980's, by women who medical examinations showed had never been pregnant) don't have anything to do with medical abortions.

I mean, if you can't believe the lying therapists that you trained to induce false memories of Satanic rituals in unwitting subjects, who can you believe? Come on, evangelicals!

From a practical standpoint - if you have an abortion at Planned Parenthood, do you think that they hand you the fetal tissue afterwards? How do you do magick with something you don't have, even if there was a ritual that called for it? And, of course, beyond that there isn't such a ritual and it's not even remotely clear how it would work.

I think I understand what's going on here, and it's pretty damn ugly. Evangelicals like Daubenmire are so confused by the idea that women might have rights to bodily autonomy that the only reason they can think of for a woman to have an abortion is to be evil for evil's sake - which is, of course, not a real thing outside of Hollywood melodramas.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Wizardry for Trump

According to this article from Newsweek, Donald Trump's court wizard Paula White has launched a new magical initiative to protect the president from his enemies, who "operate in sorcery and witchcraft." Sure, White calls herself a "spiritual advisor" and describes her spells as "prayers," but those of us who practice the spiritual arts know that prayers and spells are the exact same thing. We magicians just do in a more disciplined and structured manner.

Alongside fellow Christian leaders Cindy Jacobs, Dave Kabul and Dutch Sheets, White has launched the One Voice Prayer Movement, starting the initiative on Tuesday with a prayer for Trump. "Lord, we ask you to deliver our president from any snare, any setup of the enemy, according to Ephesians 6:12. Any persons [or] entities that are aligned against the president will be exposed and dealt with and overturned by the superior blood of Jesus," she said during her prayer in a conference call with other Christian leaders.

"Whether it's the spirit of Leviathan, a spirit of Jezebel, Abaddon, whether it's the spirit of Belial, we come against the strongmen, especially Jezebel, that which would operate in sorcery and witchcraft, that which would operate in hidden things, veiled things, that which would operate in deception," she continued. "We come against it according to your word."

White's prayer continued by saying that anyone who stands against Trump "would be exposed and dealt with and overturned in Jesus' name." She said that believers know that Trump and his Christian supporters "do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this age, hosts of wickedness in heavenly places." White went on: "Stretch out your arm and deliver President Trump and rid him of any bondage the enemy would try to bring against him."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Haunted Grey Cloud Island

Like most places, Minnesota has its share of allegedly haunted locations. One of the most infamous of these is Grey Cloud Island, a three-square-mile island in the Mississippi River about twelve miles south of the state capital, Saint Paul. I've heard a lot of wild stories about the place over the years, and in my novel Arcana I wrote a scene there specifically because of the island's alleged spiritual energy.

City Pages has an article up today about a ghost hunting trip to the island. It's a good article, and the sort of thing it's nice to see make it into the media. Personally I have been to the island a few times, and while I have sensed some energies there that are kind of funky, I never have seen anything like an apparition or encountered anything that I found particularly scary. So even though the place does have an unusual spiritual presence, I think that a lot of the stories are probably exaggerated.

The St. Paul Park Police Department is aware of the area’s reputation. In a Facebook post from June, they attempt to address the “attention in the media lately about Grey Cloud Island being haunted,” reassuring everyone that “they have never encountered these ghosts, poltergeists, spirits, or weird happenings.” They go on to warn visitors that “unless you want to explain to a Washington County Judge... why you were running around a cemetery in the dark looking for ghosts at you’re [sic] hearing1 [sic] please stay home.”

Despite these warnings, I’m intrigued. This was two years ago, around Halloween of 2017. I email a local historian, asking if it would be possible to photograph Grey Cloud Cemetery and chat about its history and hauntings. “I would be glad to show you around!” he responds jovially later that day, sending along a map with the precise geolocation of the cemetery. The following day, I ask when he’ll be free to show me around. No response. The day after, I follow up. Nothing.

Several days later, I receive a clipped response. “They do not allow investigations of their cemetery,” he writes. “There are insubstantial rumors about the cemetery. [The Grey Cloud Township Officer] is fearful of what might happen later.” I assure him that the piece I was considering writing would be purely informational, not exploitative in any way. “I only wish I could do this,” he responds in his final communication to me, “but my Grey Cloud friends would never forgive me.”