Friday, June 5, 2020

Penis Candle Toad Venom WHUT???

Possible captions include "Don't lick it, man!" and "Does this toad look high to you?"

This story from AV Club seemingly has it all - penis candles, rituals, toad venom, and manslaughter. Oh, and Spain. If you're wondering what the hell I'm going on about, you're not alone. But here's deal, according to the article:

Today, in ritualistic toad venom death news: A man best known as a prominent Spanish adult film actor—but who also has a sideline selling candles shaped like his own penis—has been arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter in relation to, well, a death from ritualistic toad venom ingestion.

Ignacio “Nacho” Vidal—a well-known porn performer with several AVN awards, and more than 1,500 credits to his name—was, per The Guardian this week, reportedly arrested in relation to the death of photographer José Luis Abad, in July of last year. Abad died after inhaling vaporized secretions from Incilius alvarius, a species of North American toad that secretes multiple hallucinogenic compounds (and also a few different potentially lethal poisons) when threatened.

Incilius alvarius (a.k.a. the Colorado River toad) has a long and complicated history as a controlled substance (or provider of same), and is both endangered and illegal to transport in a number of states. In addition, Bufotenin, one of the primary hallucinogens excreted by the animal, is considered a Class I controlled substance in the U.S., although it’s not immediately clear whether it carries similar restrictions in Spain, where Abad’s death occurred.

Spanish police have arrested three people in relation to the incident, with Vidal believed to be one of them. Police have accused Vidal of serving as a guide for a “mystical ritual” using the venom, and argue that he encouraged participation from “highly suggestible people who were especially vulnerable and were seeking alternative ways to cure certain ailments or addictions.” (They also claimed he downplayed the potential lethality of the secretions.)

Thursday, June 4, 2020

He's Lost Pat Robertson

Here's a moment that I never expected. Donald Trump has apparently lost Pat Robertson, who called out Trump's response to this last week's protests. Trump floated the idea of sending in the military to police American cities, which is banned under the Posse Comitatus Act. It's a truly terrible idea regardless of your political ideology.

Televangelist Pat Robertson scolded President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his threat to send the U.S. military into American cities to control civil unrest. “You just don’t do that, Mr. President,” Robertson said on his “700 Club” TV show, then he raised his voice: “It isn’t cool.”

In comments posted online by Right Wing Watch, Robertson also called out Trump for getting the tone all wrong in dealing with the people protesting against racial injustice in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, last week.

“You know, there’s a purpose to everything under heaven, you read in the Bible, and there’s a time,” he said. “And I think like now is the time to say, ’I understand your pain, I want to comfort you, I think it’s time we love each other.”

But Trump, he said, took a very different approach.

Whether Pat Robertson should the arbiter of what is or isn't "cool" is a whole other question, but it's surprising to see this because up until now Robertson has been a big Trump supporter. Trump's response was also called out by several prominent Republicans over the idea of sending the military into American cities. At least they're cognizant enough of what that would mean to know it's a very, very bad idea.

I neither want nor need the military in my neighborhood. And keep in mind, I say that as someone who lives on the north side of Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis. That's a block and a half from Lake Street for those of you who don't live here. We had the National Guard here over the weekend and that was already more military presence than we needed.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for June 2nd

Here's the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, covering Liber V vel Reguli. I realized when I went to put this together I don't actually have a version of this ritual here on the blog with my comments, so that's on my list to get done soon. Until then, this video covers my take on the ritual. It's a little more of a presentation, since I walk through the script that I have linked to up above. I also could have been a little more prepared in spots - this is a ritual that I haven't done regularly (aside from the first part, the Elevenfold Seal, which I do as part of my daily practice) in almost twenty years. So I couldn't quite "wing it" to the same extent as I have done with the previous talks, and I suspect it shows at least in a couple of places.

Enjoy, and I'll be putting together a "Thoughts on Liber V vel Reguli" article here on Augoeides including these remarks soon.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Cracked on Krishnamurti

When I was kid I read Cracked magazine and found it pretty hilarious. Sure, it was kind of a knockoff of Mad magazine, but it did have some very funny writers and good bits. And for whatever reason, I didn't find Mad quite as funny - though I think I was a bit of an oddball there among my friends. In the Internet age, Cracked has reinvented itself as a site for articles that are funny, but often also educational. Today they have a piece up about Jiddu Krishnamurti and the efforts of the Theosophical Society to promote him as "world teacher" - until he got fed up with the whole thing and walked away from it.

Theosophy had tens of thousands of adherents, ranging from serious devotees to celebrity dabblers like Thomas Edison. Blavatsky argued that every major religion contained some element of truth, and she made that argument in books that were based on her invented travels to Tibet and that liberally stole from earlier occult works.

For today, all you need to know about is her idea of a World Teacher, a supposed being from a higher plane of existence that routinely takes human form to guide the development of our species. Blavatsky speculated that our Teacher previously popped down in guises that included Confucius, Plato, Seneca, and Jesus, and in 1909 the Theosophical Society claimed to have found Jesus 2.0.

One of the most damning points regarding the "Tibetan" teachings of Theosophy is that once Tibetan Buddhism made its way to the West, it became clear that the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism did not really resemble the teachings of Theosophy in any way. I will say the idea that "there is no religion higher than truth" is a good one, but if your "truth" is something you're just making up as you go along it undermines your argument entirely.

Let's provide some more context, because otherwise claiming to have found the reincarnated Christ just sounds weird. In 1880, Blavatsky moved to India to establish a new Theosophical lodge. And while "White woman explains India's own religious beliefs to the locals" is normally just the basis of an obnoxious spring break, she attracted supporters who appreciated her interest in Hinduism at a time when British authorities were trying to suppress local beliefs to spread Christendom.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Is the QAnon Conspiracy a Religion?

I've made fun of the QAnon conspiracy a couple of times now here on Augoeides. A recent article from The Week now argues that QAnon has evolved into a full-scale religion. To be clear, it doesn't fit my definition of a "real religion" - a system designed to produce spiritual awakening and experiences. But it also is true many of the more dogmatic traditional religions out there don't fit that definition either. Broadening the definition to fit the conventional connotation of the term, the claims made in the article do seem to have some merit.

The QAnon movement started on 4chan, an anonymous message board influential in online culture but generally considered outside the bounds of the respectable internet, not least because it has repeatedly made the news in connection to child pornography. That makes the site an odd first home for QAnon, whose narrative centers on a cabal of powerful figures in government, business, academia, and media who make time for child sex trafficking and satanic sacrifice in their busy schedule of world domination. Q is the movement's anonymous digital prophet whose forum posts ("Q drops," now migrated from 4chan to a similar site called 8kun) reveal both the nature of the cabal and Trump's heroic plan to defeat it. QAnon's most fervent followers reach a point of obsession, clinging to it even at cost of total estrangement from their bewildered families.

An in-depth report on QAnon in The Atlantic's June issue closes with the suggestion that QAnon could become the latest in a series of "thriving religious movements indigenous to America." But research from a Concordia University doctoral student, Marc-André Argentino, shows the church of QAnon already exists and seems poised to spread. Argentino attended an online QAnon church where, he reports, two-hour Sunday services with several hundred attendees consist of prayer, communion, and interpretation of the Bible in light of Q drops and vice versa. The leaders' goal, Argentino says, "is to train congregants to form their own home congregations in the future and grow the movement."

As an aside, how very Scientology of them. The original Dianetics Foundation came under fire for practicing psychotherapy without a license, so L. Ron Hubbard reincorporated it as the Church of Scientology and re-branded dianetics as "spiritual counseling."

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Gemini Elixir Rite for 2020


This is Part One of the Rite, through tuning the space.


This is Part Two of the Rite, from the conjuration to the end.

These two videos are the full Gemini Elixir Rite from last night. We had a technical issue partway through and I had to restart the livestream, which is why there are two of them. I suppose it's appropriate that for Gemini there would be two videos instead of one. It could also have something related to doing this ritual on a void-of-course Moon, as I discuss in the video. To see the full ritual, watch them in the order that they appear above.

Regarding the void-of-course Moon, those comments are specific to the livestream I was putting on. If you want to watch the video and follow along for yourself, check the astrology and see whether the Moon is void-of-course or what the final aspect is for the time you will by watching. Those are the astrological conditions that will be in effect, rather than the ones at the moment the ritual was recorded.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Lockdown Hauntings

As I see it, this is entirely expected.

CBS news here in the Twin Cities is reporting that there has been a rise in reports of hauntings during the lockdown. It's expected because, first of all, homes are probably more likely to be haunted than offices, and second of all, that spending more time at home provides more opportunities to misinterpret odd sounds and so forth as evidence of ghosts.

Lockdowns across the country have left many people spending more time in their homes, and that’s led to a sharp increase in reports of possible hauntings.

Jason Hawes is a paranormal investigator, and host of Travel Channel’s “Ghost Nation.” Since lockdowns around the U.S. began in March, his website has seen a 35% jump in reports of hauntings.

While he believes some are likely the real deal, he thinks others have simpler explanations.

“People are spending more time in their home and everything from woods drying out, you're getting popping sounds, cause were getting into the warmer months of the year,” he said.

Hopefully at least a few of these new reports will be investigated once the pandemic restrictions are lifted. It's probably too much to expect something really spectacular to come out of this - any haunting that significant would probably have been reported already, even with residents out of the home for much of the day.

Still, maybe a few interesting cases will come to light that might otherwise have been missed.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Via Solis Gemini Elixir Rite - Year Four (Streaming)

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Gemini Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday May 26th. Like the last couple of elixir rites, it will be streamed on Facebook Live at the Leaping Laughter OTO page. The page can be found here. I will be starting around 8 PM CDT, but I barring any technical difficulties I will archive the video after the ritual so you can view it whenever you have time.

A brief comment about the timing. At 8:05 PM CDT the Moon will go void of course. I could hurry up and start right at 8 PM to catch the Moon's final aspect, but it's not good (Moon opposing Jupiter) so that isn't helpful. Void Moons are not good for most direct practical operations, which is why I recommend avoiding them for practical work, but they don't necessarily interfere with "works of illumination" - such as obtaining mystical states of consciousness and/or receiving information.

The power of Prophecy certainly falls into this category, both in the sense of engaging with prophetic consciousness and obtaining information about the future. If you want to apply your intent to something like astral projection, I would change it from "make me better at astral projection" to "show/teach me how to do astral projection better" in order to account for the void of course Moon.

Note that this is a general intent adjustment that you can make for any spell that you have to perform while the Moon is void of course.


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.

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.

All: MAKAShANaH

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.

All: ABRAHADABRA

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.

All: AUMGN

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

Friday, May 22, 2020

A New Quantum Entanglement Record

One of the points I make in discussing my quantum information model of magick is that if consciousness is indeed a manifestation of higher-order quantum information structures, the creation of such structures must be physically possible. So far, what we've found is that it is possible to create quantum entanglement within relatively small sets of particles. That's significant because in effect, a set of entangled particles is exactly the sort of higher-order structure that I'm talking about. The greater the number of particles involved, the greater complexity of their entanglement links, and the greater resilience those links have, the more likely it is that consciousness could indeed be such a structure.

A recent physics experiment scaled up the number of entangled atoms that can be observed into the trillions. This is an important finding for the quantum consciousness model and by extension the quantum information model of magick. If this sort of large scale entanglement had been shown to be impossible, it would probably have been back to the drawing board for me and my model of magick, spirits, and pretty much everything else esoteric. The researchers also discovered that the entanglement links created were more robust than previously thought - another key finding supporting the notion of higher-order quantum information structures.

Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that’s as bizarre as it is fragile. Entangled particles are thought to lose this inexplicable link when exposed to outside factors. But now, physicists have managed to produce hot clouds of trillions of entangled atoms, breaking quantity records and showing that entanglement isn’t as fragile as previously thought.

Pairs or groups of particles can become so intertwined that measuring the state of one will instantly change properties of the others, no matter how far apart they are. That sounds weird enough already, but the implications threaten to undo our entire understanding of physics. Somehow, information seems to be sent between them much faster than the speed of light, which is meant to be impossible.

Einstein himself didn’t believe it at first, deriding it as “spooky action at a distance” and instead blaming hidden variables. But decades of experiments have shown that quantum entanglement is indeed the real deal, and we’re already starting to exploit the phenomenon for new technologies, such as faster and more secure communication networks.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Hobby Lobby Stole Gilgamesh

Well, sort of. The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores are also the owners of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. As reported here on Augoeides, the museum got in trouble in 2017 and 2018 for displaying stolen artifacts. Now the museum is in trouble again, over a cuneiform tablet known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet that was stolen from Iraq.

U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking the return to Iraq of a roughly 3,500-year-old clay tablet purchased by the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain for display in the Washington, D.C.-based Museum of the Bible. The cuneiform tablet is described as "stolen Iraqi property" in a civil complaint filed Monday.

The complaint details part of the journey of this fragment of the oldest known creation tale — from a palace library in ancient Mesopotamia to its present location in a Department of Homeland Security warehouse in Queens, New York. It alleges that a major international auction house, unnamed in the complaint, obscured the provenance of the tablet, known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, when it sold the tablet to Hobby Lobby in 2014.

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations seized the tablet last year from the Museum of the Bible, which, it said, cooperated with the investigation. Hobby Lobby's owners are the founders of the Museum of the Bible. The prosecutors said the 5-by-6-inch tablet, which Hobby Lobby purchased for more than $1.6 million, is considered the property of the Iraqi government and should be returned.

How many times does somebody have to get in trouble over stolen goods before it becomes clear that they are a thief? I ask this because, as I pointed out in my previous articles, Hobby Lobby was able to obtain a "religious exemption" due to their "sincere religious beliefs" that allowed them to deny contraception coverage to their female employees.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for May 19th

Here's the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, focusing on energy work and the Middle Pillar Ritual. I also spent some time on the Elevenfold Seal, which I'm convinced has a similar function using explicitly Thelemic godnames and symbolism. Learning some form of energy work is very important if you want to get really good results with your magick.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

UFO Videos Declassified

A couple weeks ago the United States Navy declassified two videos of "unidemtified aerial phenomena" encountered by fighter pilots in 2004 and 2015. The videos have been circulated online for some time now, but this official acknowledgement confirms that versions on the Internet are the real ones and not fakes created using special effects.

The U.S. Navy has officially acknowledged three incidents reported by F/A-18 Hornet fighter pilots of "unidentified aerial phenomena" -- what most refer to as UFOs -- and released video of the encounters.

The Defense Department on Monday published the videos of the separate incidents, one taken in November 2004 and the other two in January 2015, "which have been circulating in the public domain after unauthorized releases in 2007 and 2017," officials said in a statement.

"After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena," according to Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough.

The Navy has previously stated the videos did belong to the service, but did not give credence to the idea its pilots have confronted alien spacecraft.

I like to give Robert Anton Wilson's answer whenever I'm asked if I believe in UFOs - of course I believe in unidentified flying objects, because I encounter numerous unidentified non-flying objects in the course of my regular life. The real question has a similar answer - I believe that it's practically a given that intelligent alien life exists somewhere in the universe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for May 12th

Here's the video of my Ritual Night Talk from yesterday evening. In this one I cover the Lesser and Greater Rituals of the Pentagram and talk a bit about elemental magick. A lot of students seem to want to "get through" the elements so they can work on planetary magick, but in fact you can do pretty much anything with the elements that you can do with the planets.

The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is the general pentagram ritual that you use to set up your space, and the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is the specific ritual that you use to tune your space to a sephira (generally Malkuth, for the Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel) or a path corresponding to the practical power of a single element.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Occult Crime Isn't

The whole idea of "occult crime" is something that gets tossed around by the media and law enforcement, but the truth is that for the most part it doesn't exist. While you will sometimes come across a murderer with severe mental illness who happens to be fixated on occult and/or ritualistic themes, the "occult" components of what they do are nonsense from the standpoint of genuine esotericism. Magick is a technology and it works a certain way. "Occult" murderers are basically the same thing as someone who sacrifices their neighbor in order to pour their blood over a laptop with a fried motherboard - because, you know, that'll totally get it running again.

To be clear, there are spirits out there who like blood offerings and so forth, but if a spirit demands that you go out and murder someone before it will work with you the solution is simple - find another spirit to work with. They're everywhere, and most of the old grimoires have been published, so it's not like it's hard. And there's absolutely no evidence that spirits who like blood are more powerful than ones that don't need and/or want it. For example, the Enochian angels and cacodemons are famous for being especially powerful. They don't demand offerings at all (though they will accept them), and I've written a couple of straightforward books on how to contact and work with them.

At any rate, here's a story from the British tabloid Mirror that illustrates how law enforcement's poor understanding of magick and occultism can result in all sorts of incorrect assumptions.

A blue moon – a rare second full moon in a lunar cycle – only occurs every two or three years, hence the saying, ‘Once in a blue moon.’ It is considered a spiritual time to many and authorities in Pensacola, Florida, were convinced it had triggered the murders of three family members. ‘It’s witchcraft, I’ll say that right now,’ a sheriff declared at a press conference to an astonished room of media.

It was July 2015 and Voncile Smith, 77, and her two sons, John, 49, and Richard, 47, had been slain in their home with the blue moon fast approaching. The brutal killings were described as being ‘ritualistic’ by the local authorities. It seemed something beautiful was being blamed for causing something very tragic indeed.

How were they "ritualistic?" No, nobody found any evidence of a magical ceremony. Here's what the police had to say about the crime scene:

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Taurus Elixir Rite for 2020

Here is my video of the Taurus Elixir Rite from last night. The ritual itself went well and I think I am finally getting some of the camera settings working the way I want. Like the Ritual Night Talks, I will be posting these here on the blog going forward.

If you have been reading these elixir rites and wondering what they look like when I do them, here's your chance. As I mention in the video, normally we would be doing these with a group standing around the altar rather than one person, and since east is behind me I have made a couple of modifications to the ceremonial forms.

Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Via Solis Taurus Elixir Rite - Year Four (Streaming)

Due to the ongoing stay-at-home situation in Minnesota, I will be streaming the Taurus Elixir Rite tomorrow night, Tuesday May 5th, at around 8 PM on Facebook Live at the Leaping Laughter page. You can find the page here.

The ritual requires some modification for a streaming performance. Years ago I presented one of these elixir rites at Paganicon here in the Twin Cities, and I adapted it for a presentation at the front of a room as opposed to a central altar. I'll be making some of those changes so I can present it more easily, and I'll explain the differences before I get going with the ritual tonight. Aside from those modifications, the script is the same as last year's.

My plan is to keep streaming the Elixir Rites going forward until we can go back to business as usual at Leaping Laughter Lodge. Hope to (virtually) see you there!


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. 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.

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.

All: MAKAShANaH

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.

All: ABRAHADABRA

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.

All: AUMGN

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 29, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for April 28

Last night I gave my second Ritual Night Talk, covering the Lesser and Greater hexagram rituals. I'm planning on keeping these going as long as we are unable to hold the in-person Ritual Workshop events on Tuesday nights, and I will be posting the videos here on Augoeides on the following Wednesdays.

Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

5G COVID Conspiracist is an Evangelical Pastor

Among the goofier conspiracies out there is the claim that 5G cell phone signals somehow cause people to become infected with the COVID-19 virus. Not only does this make no medical sense at all, there's also no actual evidence to support it. Nonetheless, a video making those claims showed up on the Internet back in March and has been widely circulated. According to this article from The Guardian, the video is the work of Jonathon James, an evangelical pastor from Luton.

A recording spread around the world at the end of March, purportedly featuring a former Vodafone executive claiming to let the public in on a secret that the coronavirus pandemic is cover for a global plot to install 5G mobile phone masts, track the world’s population through vaccines, and then destroy human society as we know it. In reality, the Guardian can reveal, the voice on the tape making the baseless claims is an evangelical pastor from Luton who recently tried to convince Zimbabweans to use cryptocurrency in their economy.

Jonathon James, who regularly preached at churches in Bedfordshire, is the previously unidentified individual who reached millions of people with his detailed but nonsense claims that Covid-19 is a fake disease covering for the impact of 5G. “It has nothing to do with biological warfare but is our bodies reacting to radiofrequency radiation,” he told listeners to the 38-minute recording, claiming the real cause of global deaths was new mobile technology causing cell poisoning. “They are using coronavirus to try to hide the fact that people are dying from the 5G frequency.”

Although James was not the first individual to attempt to connect the pandemic and 5G, the popularity of his recording grew at the end of last month, just as people believing the conspiracy theory began to burn down phone equipment and harass telecoms engineers. In the recording he suggests that Bill Gates is involved in a plot to produce coronavirus vaccinations that will contain computer chips to track individuals, a move he claims will ultimately herald the destruction of society.

There's a reason I constantly make fun of specifically evangelical Christians. For whatever reason, they seem to be incapable of minding their own business. Their mindset appears to be that they cause all the annoyance (and even carnage) that they want, but whenever somebody like me puts up an blog post saying that what they're doing is dumb, they're "under attack." It's a vicious circle, because if they would stop behaving that way I wouldn't have grounds to criticize them and would stop.

I don't know exactly how the laws work in Britain, but in the United States "inciting speech" is not protected speech - as I've brought up here multiple times in the context of Alex Jones and the whole Sandy Hook mess. If you're a religious leader and you tell your followers to go and burn down cell phone towers and then they do it, that seems to me to be a clear case of inciting speech. That is the sort of thing that religious leaders need to be held accountable for - religion can't be an excuse to commit crimes.

It also amazes me how much of the really ridiculous "fake news" floating around out there comes from the evangelical world. There's a difference between religious beliefs and facts - there's no objective way to prove or disprove the existence of divine beings beyond the scope of the natural world, but it should be pretty easy to run an experiment and show that nobody is going to get infected with a virus because somebody nearby turned on a 5G phone.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Church of Bleach?

Okay, I'll admit it. One of the reasons for this post was to share "Bleach Boys" by the Dead Milkmen one more time, which has become bizarrely topical given some of the president's recent comments. But it also is true that according to this article from The Guardian, the story behind it is a lot weirder than Donald Trump just being ignorant about medical science. There's in fact an entire church founded on the idea that bleach is a miracle cure for all sorts of illnesses. Unsurprisingly, their main source of income is selling bleach. And they've been writing to Trump.

Trump did not specify where the idea of using disinfectant as a possible remedy for Covid-19 came from, and the source for his notion remains obscure. But the Guardian has learned that peddlers of chlorine dioxide – industrial bleach – have been making direct approaches to the White House in recent days.

Grenon styles himself as “archbishop” of Genesis II – a Florida-based outfit that claims to be a church but which in fact is the largest producer and distributor of chlorine dioxide bleach as a “miracle cure” in the US. He brands the chemical as MMS, “miracle mineral solution”, and claims fraudulently that it can cure 99% of all illnesses including cancer, malaria, HIV/Aids as well as autism.

Since the start of the pandemic, Genesis II has been marketing MMS as a cure to coronavirus. It advises users, including children, to mix three to six drops of bleach in water and drink it. In his weekly televised radio show, posted online on Sunday, Grenon read out the letter he wrote to Trump. He said it began: “Dear Mr President, I am praying you read this letter and intervene.”

Grenon said that 30 of his supporters have also written in the past few days to Trump at the White House urging him to take action to protect Genesis II in its bleach-peddling activities which they claim can cure coronavirus.

I should point out that to be fair, this church of bleach does NOT advocate just chugging chlorox or eating snowy bleach "right out of the box." They advocate diluting it down to levels that aren't going to kill anyone. But it's still not unfair to point out that there's no evidence this actually works and a lot of evidence that this church is selling a bunch of snake oil to their followers. And now they've gone and got the president involved.

As a scientific-minded person, I'm all for doing studies on weird potential cures of whatever sort. If somebody wants to do a medical study on diluted bleach for treating COVID-19 or any other illness I'm all for it. But until we can show that it actually has an effect, it's irresponsible to promote it as something people should be trying out.

UPDATE: The activities of the "church of bleach" have not gone unnoticed. Last week an injunction was issued to stop the church from selling their "miracle" bleach cure. While I'm generally in favor of religious freedom for all, it shouldn't extend to groups instructing their followers to poison themselves.

Friday, April 24, 2020

God Fixed My Toilet

Yes, it's true. God is apparently a plumber. I understand that in theory, if God is omnipotent, he can do anything - but seriously, I can't stand plumbing and have no idea why it's something the almighty would choose to do. I guess I must be ignorant of the Divine Plan, because God apparently fixed evangelist Sid Roth's toilet. On his YouTube show, Roth shared the Good News.

Sid Roth hosts a YouTube show where he interprets and explores people’s supernatural encounters with God. In a video posted this Wednesday, Roth shared his own experience, where he recounted how God took care of common plumbing issue for him.

“Last night, I’m ready to go to bed, and I look at the toilet, and I forgot to flush it,” he said. “And so I flushed it again, and then it totally backs up. I didn’t forget to flush it — it’s all backed up, and this is just before I’m going to bed.

After finding out there wasn’t a plunger in the house, Roth decided against the usual route of calling a plumber and instead decided to pray. “I prayed and before God, the toilet flushed perfect!” he declared.

I keep pointing out that when you call on a deity with a specific intent, that's the exact same thing as a spell - whether or not you call it "prayer." It's exactly what we occultists do, our procedures are just usually more optimized and as a result work better.

Also, as an unrelated aside, that's Roth up above. Doesn't he totally look like the kind of guy who would randomly strike up a conversation with you in public about about how God made his toilet flush? You know, like at the bus stop or something?

But even if this was basically a spell - come on! I've seen toilets back up and then flush without any divine or magical intervention whatsoever. If it's a miracle, it's a pretty sad one.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Haunted Quarantine

Here's a novel way to keep people from going out and contracting/spreading the COVID-19 virus. In Indonesia, quarantine violators are locked up in houses that are believed to be haunted. And odds are, at least a few of them probably really are. It remains to be seen if confining people to such places for extended periods will lead to an uptick in paranormal experiences, but the government is counting on fear of such events to help keep the population in line.

A local Indonesia politician found a unique way to punish quarantine violators amid the coronavirus pandemic. Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati, head of Sragen Regency, has begun locking those disregarding the quarantine inside abandoned houses that are believed to be haunted.

Sukowati noticed that many people traveling to Indonesia's densely populated Java Island were disregarding orders to isolate themselves for at least two weeks after arriving. So, the regency head decided to rely on local superstitions and fear to punish violators, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).

"If there's an empty and haunted house in the village, put people in there and lock them up," Sukowati told AFP on Tuesday. Villagers were ordered to convert abandoned homes into temporary detainment centers. Locals have a widespread belief that the buildings are haunted, a superstition connected to Indonesian folklore.

Heri Susanto, who came to Java from neighboring Sumatra, was locked up after disobeying the quarantine rules. He told the AFP that he'd learned a valuable lesson, although he hadn't yet encountered any ghosts. "But whatever happens, happens," Susanto said. "I know this is for everyone's safety. Lesson learned."

Whether or not the buildings are haunted, coronavirus mitigation strategies of whatever sort are for everyone's safety. The long window during which you can be an asymptomatic carrier is particularly problematic. It means that the equivalent of stay-at-home and social distancing orders are necessary, whether they involve haunted buildings or not. They will need to be kept in place until we can ramp up widespread testing - or even better, a working vaccine.

I'll be checking the new from Indonesia for ghost sightings and other paranormal events. It seems to me that putting a bunch of people in the proximity of spirits should at least lead to something of an uptick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for April 21

One of the takeaways from this pandemic situations is that I am working on getting better at streaming events and creating videos. Since we can't meet in person for Leaping Laughter's weekly Ritual Night event, I will be streaming "ritual night talks" on Facebook Live. The video shown above is from Tuesday, April 21.

The format is kind of like what I usually do in the first portion of ritual night, which is talking about whatever magical topic happens to be on my mind and/or in response to questions from participants. It's a little disjointed and informal, but my students tell me they get a lot out of it and I enjoy it so I keep doing it.

This week's video talks mostly about the "Lesser" rituals, opening procedures, and daily practice - a lot of which you probably are familiar with if you are a longtime Augoeides reader. Next week I will be talking about the hexagram rituals, based on a request from a viewer. Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2020

A Note on the Star Sapphire

Now that the Office of the Readings is wrapped up, Augoeides is back to business as usual. I appreciate everyone who checked out our streaming ritual series, and next year we are going to see if we can incorporate some sort of streaming component with the live version of the rites so that people who are not local can still participate.

At any rate, the other day I came across an interesting point regarding the Latin in the Star Sapphire from my OTO brother Kitos Digiovanni, who teaches Latin. I have added it to my analysis of the ritual from 2018, but it strikes me as important enough to call out on its own because it points out a subtle but significant translation error in most published versions of the ritual. Here's what I'm talking about:

Crowley writes in Step 9:

"Then let him say: OMNIA IN DUOS: DUO IN UNUM: UNUS IN NIHIL: HAEC NEC QUATUOR NEC OMNIA NEC UNUS NEC NIHIL SUNT."

Without naming names, I have noticed that the Latin is almost always incorrectly translated into English by editors as:

“All in Two, Two in One, One in Nothingness, These are neither Four nor All nor Two nor One nor Nothing.”

However, the way the number words are written, the correct translation would be:

“All into Two, Two into One, One into Nothing. These are neither Four nor All nor Two nor One nor Nothing.”

This is because the word IN can mean either “in” or “into,” depending on how the word connected with it is inflected (that is, spelled). IN UNUM would mean "into one," whereas IN UNO means "in one." The grammarians out there know this is the difference between the accusative (indicating motion towards or into) and the ablative (indicating place where). You remember this from your Latin I class, yes?

So, the nuance of difference is that the utterance in Step 9 is emphasizing not states of being, but transformations: All BECOMES Two, Two BECOMES One, and so forth. (It is obvious that Crowley was sensitive to the difference, since he correctly alternates between UNUS/UNO/UNUM and DUO/DUOS, depending on the grammatical context.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Via Solis Aries Elixir Rite - Year Four (Streaming)

We just wrapped up streaming the Office of the Readings, and tonight I will be hosting another experimental event. It's time for Year Four of the Aries Elixir Rite, and we still have a stay-at-home order where I live in Minnesota. So I will be streaming the Aries Elixir Rite tonight, Tuesday April 14th, at around 8 PM on Facebook Live at the Leaping Laughter page.

You can find the page here and the setup is similar to what I have been using over the course of the last three weeks for the Office of the Readings. I also have archived the video at the page so you can watch it later and don't have to join in real time to see it. A link to this script is included with the video so you can follow along.

The ritual requires some modification for a streaming performance. Years ago I presented one of these elixir rites at Paganicon here in the Twin Cities, and I adapted it for a presentation at the front of a room as opposed to a central altar. I'll be making some of those changes so I can present it more easily, and I'll explain the differences before I get going with the ritual tonight. Aside from those modifications, the script is the same as last year's.

My plan is to keep streaming the Elixir Rites going forward until the stay-at-home order is lifted and we can go back to business as usual at Leaping Laughter Lodge. I'm working on other ideas like lectures and so forth for my Ritual Night event so I can keep that going as well. Hope to (virtually) see you there!


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.

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.

All: MAKAShANaH

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.

All: ABRAHADABRA

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.

All: AUMGN

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

Friday, April 10, 2020

Office of the Readings for 2020

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 starting with zero 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. According to this, the year that we're about to enter into is V:vi, attributed to The Lovers.

This post will remain the top article here for the duration of the Thelemic Holy Days which end on April 10th. The Rite of the Office of the Readings is performed for all of the readings beginning on March 20th. This year we have a modified ritual that we are calling the "Year B" rite and a (slightly) different list of first readings from M. Dionysus Rogers. The second readings are mostly unchanged from previous years.

This is also a weird year in other ways, with the COVID-19 pandemic currently underway. We had originally planned to hold these rites publicly at Leaping Laughter Lodge, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis, and at Paganicon 2020. But Paganicon has been rescheduled to September and in-person OTO events in the United States are currently on hold.

Therefore, we will be streaming the Office of the Readings instead via Facebook Live. You can like our Leaping Laughter OTO page on Facebook here. We will stream the readings every evening starting around 8 PM until April 10th, but we will leave the videos up once they are created so you don't have to watch them at that exact time.

Rituals

The Invocation of Horus
The Rite of the Office of the Readings - Year B

Readings

March 19

Liber VII, Prologue of the Unborn.

March 20 - Saturn/Earth, The Universe

Liber VII, Cap II.
Liber Libræ.

March 21 - Fire/Spirit, The Aeon

Liber LXV, Cap V.
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. Cap I, II, and XIII.

March 23 - Pisces, The Moon

Liber VII, Cap VI.
"The Dark Night of the Soul" 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

Liber DCCCXIII, Cap I-III.
From “The Vision of the Universal Mercury” by G.H. Frater S.R.M.D.

March 28 - Scorpio, Death

Liber Stellae Rubae.
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 LXV, Cap IV.
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 LXV, Cap II.
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 B vel Magi.
From Liber DCCCXXXVII, The Law of Liberty.

April 5 - Taurus, The Hierophant

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

April 6 - Aquarius, The Star

Liber DCCCXIII, Cap IV-VII.
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.

April 9 - Mercury, The Magus

Liber AL, Cap II.

April 10 - Air, The Fool

Liber AL, Cap III.

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.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 7

April 7 – Daleth (Venus, The Empress)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap VII.


Officiant: Then at the end appointed her body was whiter than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat like the heat of the midmost sun.
All: Glorious, glorious, glorious art Thou, O my lover supernal, O Self of myself.
Officiant: They that ever desired Thee shall obtain Thee, even at the End of their Desire.
All: Glorious, glorious, glorious art Thou, O my lover supernal, O Self of myself.

Reading II: From Liber CDXVIII, The 7th Æthyr.

Officiant: Since the Black Brothers and their Cults set themselves against change, do thou break them asunder.
All: Every Change is an act of Love under Will.
Officiant: Heed not then whoso crieth Anarchy, and Immorality, and Heresy against thee, and feareth to destroy Abuse lest worse Things come of it.
All: Every Change is an act of Love under Will.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 6

April 6 – Heh (Aquarius, The Star)

Reading I: Liber DCCCXIII Cap IV-VII


Officiant: The great goddess that bendeth over the Universe is my mistress.
All: Our loves have brought to birth the Father and Creator of all things.
Officiant: He hath established His rule in His kingdom.
All: Our loves have brought to birth the Father and Creator of all things.

Reading II: From “The Thunder, Perfect Mind”

Officiant: I was sent from the Power, and have come to those who think upon me.
All: I am the name of the voice and the voice of the name.
Officiant: I am the hearing that is acceptable in every matter; I am the utterance that cannot be restrained
All: I am the name of the voice and the voice of the name.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 5

April 5 – Vav (Taurus, The Hierophant)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap I.


Officiant: Thou wast long seeking Me; thou didst run forward so fast that I was unable to come up with thee.
All: To await Thee is the end, not the beginning.
Officiant: "Come unto me" is a foolish word, for it is I that go.
All: To await Thee is the end, not the beginning.

Reading II: From ““On Christ and Antichrist” by Hippolytus, Cap II.

Officiant: All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked.
All: Blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!
Officant: But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.
All: Blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 4

April 4 – Zayin (Gemini, The Lovers)

Reading I: Liber B vel Magi.


(No Responsory)

Reading II: From Liber DCCCXXXVII Section III, "The Law of Liberty."

Officant: Yet know this, that every Opposition is in its Nature named Sorrow, and the Joy lieth in the Destruction of the Dyad.
All: Leaving only that Nothingness which was before the Beginning.
Officiant: Yet rest not in the Joy of the Destruction of each complex in thy Nature, but press on to that ultimate Marriage with the Universe whose Consummation shall destroy thee utterly,
All: Leaving only that Nothingness which was before the Beginning.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 3

April 3 – Cheth (Cancer, The Chariot)

Reading I: Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni.


Officiant: Oh Babalon, thou mighty Mother, that ridest upon the crownèd beast; let thy kisses wanton me unto death, that even I, thy cup-bearer, may understand.
All: O my God, in one last rapture let me attain to the union with the many.
Officiant: And this is the secret of the brothers of the Rosy Cross; and this is the heart of the ritual that is accomplished in the Vault of the Adepts that is hidden in the Mountain of the Caverns, even the Holy Mountain Abiegnus.
All: O my God, in one last rapture let me attain to the union with the many.

Reading II: "Maha Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra" (The Heart Sutra, Buddhist text. Translation by the Kuan Um School of Zen).

(No Responsory)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 2

April 2 – Teth (Leo, Lust)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap II.


Officiant: Every breath, every word, every thought, every deed is an act of love with Thee.
All: Let there be nothing! Let all things drop into this ocean of love!
Officiant: Then at the end appointed her body was whiter than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat like the heat of the midmost sun.
All: Let there be nothing! Let all things drop into this ocean of love!

Reading II: From “The Daughter of Fortitude” received by Edward Kelly.

Officiant: I am the daughter of Fortitude, and ravished every hour from my youth.
All: For behold I am Understanding and science dwelleth in me.
Officiant: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun,
All: And the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Reading Supplement for April 1

April 1 - Yod (Virgo, The Hermit)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap V.


Officiant: There is a solemnity of the silence.
All: There is no more voice at all.
Officiant: Only Thy silence and Thy speech that worship me avail.
All: There is no more voice at all.

Reading II: "The Emerald Tablet of Hermes" by Hermes Trismegistus.

(No Responsory)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 31

March 31 - Kaph (Jupiter, Fortune)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap III.


Officiant: The leaven taketh, and the bread shall be sweet; the ferment worketh.
All: And the wine shall be sweet.
Officiant: Wail, O ye folk of the grey land, for we have drunk your wine, and left ye but the bitter dregs. Yet from these we will distill ye a liquor beyond the nectar of the Gods.
All: And the wine shall be sweet.

Reading II: From Liber CDXVIII, The 20th Æthyr.

Officiant: The Great Wheel of Samsara. The Wheel of the Law. The Wheel of the Taro. The Wheel of the Heavens. The Wheel of Life. All these Wheels be one; yet of all these the Wheel of the TARO alone avails thee consciously.
All: And lo! thou art past through the Abyss.
Officiant: Then, when thou know'st the Wheel of Destiny complete, mayst thou perceive THAT Will which moved it first. (There is no first or last).
All: And lo! thou art past through the Abyss.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 30

March 30 - Lamed (Libra, Adjustment)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap IV.


Officiant: Thou art the Word, O my darling, my lord, my master! O come to me, mix the fire and the water, all shall dissolve.
All: Thou art the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.
Officiant: Arise, O serpent Apep, Thou art Adonai the beloved one!
All: Thou art the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.

Reading II: From “The Spiritual Guide” by San Miguel de Molinos.

Officiant: Know that the straightest, most perfect and secure way of proficients is the way of darkness.
All: He made darkness his secret place.
Officiant: Proceed, persevere, pray, and hold thy peace, for thereby thou mayest enter into thine own nothingness.
All: He made darkness his secret place.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 29

March 29 - Mem (Water, The Hanged Man)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap III.


Officiant: But for me the lustral water, the great ablution, the dissolving of the soul in that resounding abyss.
All: O Thou light and delight, ravish me away into the milky ocean of the stars!
Officiant: I have bathed in Thee, and lost me in Thy stillness.
All: O Thou light and delight, ravish me away into the milky ocean of the stars!

Reading II: "I. N. R. I." by Frater Achad.

Officiant: INRI, Yod, Nun, Resh, Yod
All: Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother. Scorpio, Apophis Destroyer
Officiant: Sol, Osiris, Slain and Risen. Isis, Apophis, Osiris
All: IAO!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 28

March 28 - Nun (Scorpio, Death)

Reading I:Liber Stellae Rubae.


Officiant: But in the Sacrament of the Gnosis, which is of the Spirit, is there naught hurtful.
All: And at its Manifestation thy Lion is consecrated by pure Light of Ecstasy.
Officiant: For its Elements are not only Food, but a true Incarnation and Quintessence of Life, Love, and Liberty
All: And at its Manifestation thy Lion is consecrated by pure Light of Ecstasy.

Reading II: From Liber CXI, Cap 192-194.

Officiant: Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our agelong love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice!
All: We are one; we are none.
Officiant: There is no dread hereafter. There is the dissolution, and eternal ecstasy in the kisses of Nu.
All: We are one; we are none.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 27

March 27 - Samekh (Sagittarius, Art)

Reading I: Liber DCCCXIII, Cap I-III.


(No Responsory)

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

(No Responsory)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 26

March 26 - A'ayin (Capricornus, The Devil)

Reading I: Liber A'ash


Officiant: Who worshippeth me must worship me with many rites.
All: Come, O my God, and let us embrace!
Officiant: There is no act or passion that shall not be a hymn in mine honour.
All: Come, O my God, and let us embrace!

Reading II: From Liber CXI, Cap 174-175

Officiant: They that walk upon their hands shall build the holy place.
All: For they shall be filled with the vigour of the goat.
Officiant: Blessed are they who have turned the Eye of Hoor unto the zenith,
All: For they shall be filled with the vigour of the goat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 25

March 25 - Peh (Mars, The Tower)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap I


Officiant: Violent and vivid smote the levin flash. Once the tower rocked and cracked beneath its lash, caught inextinguishable fire; was ash.
All: Ascend in the flame of the pyre, O my soul!
Officiant: Up! The ruddy clouds hang over thee! It is the storm. There is a flaming gash in the sky.
All: Ascend in the flame of the pyre, O my soul!

Reading II: From Liber CDXVIII, The 16th Æthyr

Officiant: And every mystery that hath not been revealed from the foundation of the world he shall reveal unto his chosen.
All: And the spirit of prophecy shall come upon me
Officiant: The angels shall come unto them and walk with them, and the great gods of heaven shall be their guests.
All: And the spirit of prophecy shall come upon me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 24

March 24 - Tzaddi (Aries, The Emperor)

Reading I: Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.


Officiant: With courage conquering fear shall ye approach me: ye shall lay down your heads upon mine altar, expecting the sweep of the sword.
All: My blood shall stain Thy fiery feet with litanies of Love in Anguish.
Officiant: But the first kiss of love shall be radiant on your lips; and all my darkness and terror shall turn to light and joy.
All: My blood shall stain Thy fiery feet with litanies of Love in Anguish.

Reading II: From the “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu, Cap 37 and 39.

Officiant: The law shall give light to every one that hath it in his heart,
All: and by that wisdom let him govern himself.
Officiant: What is Happiness but the Issue of the Harmony of our Consciousness with our Truth, and the Conformity of Will with Action?
All: And by that wisdom let him govern himself.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 23

March 23 – Qoph (Pisces, The Moon)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap VI.


Officiant: The night falls like a spangled cloak from the shoulders of a prince upon a slave.
All: He rises a free man!
Officiant: And at last I smite myself into him as a vision smiteth into a stone, and whom I call must follow.
All: He rises a free man!

Reading II: "The Dark Night of the Soul" by San Juan de la Cruz.

Officiant: The Body of Man is but his Shadow; it cometh and goeth even as the Tides of the Ocean.
All: He only is in Darkness who is hidden by that shadow from the Light of His True Self.
Officiant: For thy Changes are not Phases of Thee, but of the Phantoms which thou mistakest for thy Self.
All: He only is in Darkness who is hidden by that shadow from the Light of His True Self.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 22

March 22 - Resh (Sun, The Sun)

Reading I: Liber VII, Cap IV


Officiant: Blow, all ye trumpets, for the Angel will loose his hands from the mouth of the lion.
All: And his roaring shall enkindle the worlds.
Officiant: Then was the countenance of time darkened, and the true light shone forth.
All: And his roaring shall enkindle the worlds.

Reading II: From "A Mithraic Ritual" translated by GRS Mead. Cap I, II, and XIII.

Officiant: Hail Lord, thou Master of the Water!
All: I pass away in being made Great, and, having been made Great, I die.
Officiant: Hail! Founder of the Earth! Hail, Prince of Breath!
All: I pass away in being made Great, and, having been made Great, I die.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 21

March 21 – Shin (Fire/Spirit, The Aeon)

Reading I: Liber LXV, Cap V


Officiant: And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne in his father's house.
All: Yet the music of my spears shall be a song of freedom.
Officiant: In that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall.
All: Yet the music of my spears shall be a song of freedom.

Reading II: St. William Blake -- from The Four Zoas, "Night the Ninth, Being the Last Judgment."

Officiant: How is it we have walk'd thro' fires & yet are not consum'd?
All: How is it that all things are chang'd even as in ancient times?
Officiant: The dark Religions are departed & sweet Science reigns.
All: All things are chang'd even as in ancient times.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Reading Supplement for March 20th

March 20 – Tav (Saturn/Earth, The Universe)

Reading I: Liber Liberi Cap II, Cap II.


Officiant: Long hast thou slept, O great God Terminus! Awake Thou! wait no more!
All: There shall be an end.
Officiant: Lazily, hungrily, ardently, patiently, so will I work.
All: There shall be an end.

Reading II: Liber Libræ.

Officiant: Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture!
All: There is no Rule, but that of Balance.
Officiant: The Problem is ever to bring the Appetite into right Relation with the Will. Thus thou mayst fast or feast;
All: There is no Rule, but that of Balance.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rite of the Office of Readings - Year B

It's that time of year again, for the Office of the Readings!

This year we will be shaking things up a bit and going with a new set of "Year B" readings assembled by M. Dionysius Rogers. Going forward these will be alternated with the "Year A" version from the Companions of Monsalvat that we have been using up to this point.

We also have made a few "Year B" changes to the Rite of the Office of the Readings, which can be found here. The updated list of readings for the 2020 season and "B" years will follow soon.

This ritual is adapted by Lalitha from the ORDO SUNYATA VAJRA’s DIAMOND SAPPHIRE GEM of RADIANT LIGHT, Version 8.0; Vernal Holy Days: Office of Readings by M. Dionysius Rogers; and Office of Readings for the High Holy Days by the Companions of Monsalvat.


0. PREPARATION

Consecration of the People with holy oil upon entry.

Purification of the Temple by Water and Consecration of the Temple by Fire, with Introit Music: March 20 through 25, Depth of Catastrophe by Alizadeh; March 26 through April 1, Ninth Aethyr Canticle; April 2 through April 7, 169 Cries; and for the Days of the Feast: April 8 - Sirt im Sasani, April 9 - Horus, and April 10 - Annua Gaudia by Moore.


I. OPENING

Officiant: BAHLASTI! OMPEHDA!


Officiant performs Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or Star Ruby. Bell Chime.

Officiant: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

All: Love is the law, love under will.

II. FORMULATION of the LIGHT


Officiant performs Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram or Star Sapphire.

Officiant: If they say to you, where did you come from?, say to them, We came from the light. If they say to you, Is it you?, say, We are its children, and we are the elect of the living father. If they ask you, What is the sign of your father in you?, say to them, It is movement and repose. (Gospel of Thomas, Saying Number 70)

All: Now I begin to pray, thou child
Holy thy name and undefiled
Thy reign is come, thy will is done
Here is the bread, here is the blood
Bring me through midnight to the Sun
Save me from evil and from good
That thy one crown of all the ten
Even now and here be mine.
AMEN.


Bell Chime.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Jim Bakker's Phony Virus Treatments

Televangelist Jim Bakker never met a survivalist product he didn't like. So naturally he's treating the COVID-19 virus as a great opportunity to make a quick buck. The FDA has warned Bakker to quit promoting various alternative remedies as treatments for the virus. There is no evidence that any of these products work against the virus, and the FDA is concerned that people may use them in place of seeking medical treatment.

“The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health. We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in announcing the enforcement actions.

The products include teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver, which have been cited as not safe or effective for treating any disease, the agency said in a statement with the Federal Trade Commission. The FDA said it was particularly worried that the products may cause people to delay or stop appropriate treatment, “leading to serious and life-threatening harm.”

Maybe Bakker always was a total huckster, but in his old age he's gotten a lot more blatant about it. Remember the potato soup? That look on his face as he tastes it just screams "delicious," doesn't it? There's also not a lot of explanation of how a tub of fully hydrated potato soup is expected to survive the apocalypse. Similarly, his bogus health treatments have a lot in common with faith healing.

Even if I were Christian I would have a hard time putting my faith in Jim Bakker, but apparently that's not true for everyone. Somebody must be watching his show.

UPDATE: I totally missed this when I posted the article, but a reader pointed it out. The FDA Commissioner's name is Stephen Hahn. This isn't the first time somebody named Hahn has gotten Bakker into trouble...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Cult of Power

I don't personally have a problem with Christianity in general, or with people who follow Christianity as a spiritual path. As a Thelemite, I believe that everyone's spiritual path is entirely their own business. It does me no good to disparage someone else's spirituality just because it doesn't work for me. Now if you read Augoeides, you might be a little puzzled by that statement. I do post a lot of articles making fun of a certain group of people who I call "Poor Oppressed Christians." This group is generally made up of evangelicals and fundamentalists - but I should stress that not all evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians belong to it.

Salon has an article up today about a new book that articulates exactly what I find objectionable about these particular Christians. They don't worship God or Christ as much as they worship political power. The "Oppressed" thing is basically a narcissistic ruse, in that the whole point is to gain special rights and privileges that they can use against those they see as enemies - atheists and agnostics, the LGBT community, and even other Christians they consider heretics. The bottom line is that if they were willing to leave the rest of us alone and quit trying to write their beliefs into laws that everyone has to follow, I would leave them alone.

Author Katherine Stewart has the answer: Because the true god these folks worship is power. In her book, "The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism," Stewart details how she traveled around the country, getting to know the various Christian conservative figures that are whipping support for Trump and his agenda. She deems the "Christian nationalists" and demonstrates how their supposedly Christian values always come second to their endless quest for power. Stewart spoke with Salon about her new book. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.