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.


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:


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. 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

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.


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


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

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

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)