Thursday, July 30, 2020

Trump's New Covid Expert

Just like my post the other day about Christians protesting dishwasher detergent, the whole religious conservative universe seems determined to degenerate into self-parody. Stella Immanuel is apparently a new "coronavirus expert" supported by Tea Party conservatives and the Trump administration.

Also a relevant point: if these really are the sorts of experts Trump is listening to, the executive branch response to COVID-19 is likely doomed. At the very least it's going to involve somebody stepping up and making a point of ignoring these yahoos. I have to say, this development makes me even happier that Minnesota's governor is a former science teacher who has been handling the pandemic reasonably well.

And look, I know full well that I'm a political lefty and don't like Trump, so I'm biased. But I dare anybody of whatever political persuasion to read this and still stand by Immanuel's claims.

I'm going to quote pretty liberally - no pun intended - from the original article, because, well... it's a whole lot of crazy to unpack. And understand that even with that, I'm going to gloss over some of it.

Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.

Immanuel gave her viral speech on the steps of the Supreme Court at the “White Coat Summit,” a gathering of a handful of doctors who call themselves America’s Frontline Doctors and dispute the medical consensus on the novel coronavirus. The event was organized by the right-wing group Tea Party Patriots, which is backed by wealthy Republican donors.

In her speech, Immanuel alleges that she has successfully treated hundreds of patients with hydroxychloroquine, a controversial treatment Trump has promoted and says he has taken himself. Studies have failed to find proof that the drug has any benefit in treating COVID-19, and the Food and Drug Administration in June revoked its emergency authorization to use it to treat the deadly virus, saying it hadn’t demonstrated any effect on patients’ mortality prospects.

“Nobody needs to get sick,” Immanuel said. “This virus has a cure.” Immanuel said in her speech that the supposed potency of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment means that protective face masks aren’t necessary, claiming that she and her staff had avoided contracting COVID-19 despite wearing medical masks instead of the more secure N95 masks.

There was early evidence from one Chinese study that hydroxychloroquine appeared to be effective as a COVID-19 treatment when combined with azithromycin, a common antibiotic. But a number of groups tried to replicate the study and failed to do so. Because this is science, that means there's no proof that it works. And it is known to have some serious potential side effects, so it's not like taking it is risk-free.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Leo Elixir Rite for 2020

Here's the video of last night's Leo Elixir Rite. Facebook mostly behaved itself on this one and both the ritual and the livestream went well.

Leo is attributed to "the power of taming wild beasts." So it can be used to literally train animals, but it is more generally applicable to working with the brain's conditioning system. Leo can be invoked to change even long-standing conditioned behavior patterns and to inculcate new habits that better serve your will - basically it can be used to work with the unconscious "programming" created by reinforcement throughout our lifetimes.

It should be noted that this is not an "unconscious mind" that does complex processing, but more like a machine that simply urges you to repeat behaviors that were previously rewarded and avoid behaviors that were previously punished - whether or not the actual consequences of those behaviors match the consequences you received in the past. Leo lets us work with these conditioned responses directly, and can be highly effective in that context.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Against Dishwasher Detergent

It has been a little while since we've heard from One Million Moms, the fundie pro-censorship group whose mission statement apparently involves sanitizing the airwaves of all PG-rated content. But never fear, the couple thousand Poor Oppressed Christians who make up the organization haven't gone anywhere. This week they're busy opposing dishwasher detergent commercials. In this case their target is a commercial for Cascade Platinum that uses "do it every night" as a tagline - referring to running your dishwasher.

Using wordplay so milquetoast it would have been acceptable at the beginning of the last century, the spot gives a wink and a nod to the phrases double meaning. Describing the commercial as “vile” and “sexually suggestive,” the group’s mouthpiece gives a solid reconstruction of the ad in an email to supporters.

“We do it every night,” an elderly couple tells the viewing audience. “Every night,” a middle-aged couple adds. “I live alone, but I still do it every night,” a young, single woman says with a smirk. Then the two couples continue: “Right after dinner,” and “Definitely after meatloaf.”

The commercial concludes with this voice-over: “Do it! Run your dishwasher every night with Cascade Platinum. A load with as few as eight dishes is all it takes to save water. An Energy Star Certified dishwasher uses less than four gallons per cycle, while a running sink uses that every two minutes. So, do it. Run your dishwasher every night with Cascade Platinum. The surprising way to save water.”

“Can you imagine what goes through the mind of a child when he sees this ad?” the email asks. “We all know children repeat what they hear. There is nothing funny about kids saying, “We do it every night!” Cascade should be ashamed!”

This is literally so tame that if we decide it's worthy of the censorship these folks are working towards, there might as well be no more media. I think I remember G-rated Disney movies from my childhood with wordplay on this level intended to get laughs out of all the poor adults who were only sitting through them because of their kids.

Of course, these folks don't like Disney much either because of paranormal elements in some of their films, but that's really beside the point. One Million Moms appears to be the sort of Christian group that thinks children are harmed by anything outside their particular religious blinders, and in a lot of cases almost anything even a little humorous.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Via Solis Leo Elixir Rite - Year Four (Streaming)

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Leo Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday July 28th. Like the last few 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 barring any technical difficulties I will archive the video after the ritual so you can view it whenever you have time if you miss it live.

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 Leo. The sign Leo is attributed to "The power of training wild beasts." As I interpret it, this power is related to working with conditioning of whatever sort, yours or that of others, in accordance with your will. 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.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Missing Piece?

As I have mentioned in some of my previous posts, I consider the last big "missing piece" of the quantum information model of magick to be a unified theory that combines contagion and similarity - that is, entanglement and morphic resonance. As magicians, it is clear that both contagion and similarity links work. Contagion links can be modeled relatively easily by quantum entanglement, bolstered by recent findings related to quantum events scaling up to the macroscopic level and new records being set for the number of entangled particles within a single quantum field.

Similarity links are fuzzier. They seem to be based on a mechanism akin to the morphic resonance hypothesis proposed by biologist Rupert Sheldrake. Sheldrake has spent years compiling data and published numerous books supporting morphic resonance, and it is clear that what he is talking about is basically how similarity links seem to work. But finding the mechanism by which similar things can connect with each other has remained out of reach.

At least, that is, until maybe now. I recently came across an article on something called the resonance theory of consciousness could close the gap. I have yet to dig into this further, but if it proves plausible it means that I am finally at the point where a "1.0" version of the quantum information model of magick can be laid out that should cover all magical operations and processes. As longtime readers of Augoeides know, I've been working on this idea for many years now.
All things in our universe are constantly in motion, vibrating. Even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating, oscillating, resonating, at various frequencies. Resonance is a type of motion, characterized by oscillation between two states. And ultimately all matter is just vibrations of various underlying fields. As such, at every scale, all of nature vibrates.
Something interesting happens when different vibrating things come together: They will often start, after a little while, to vibrate together at the same frequency. They “sync up,” sometimes in ways that can seem mysterious. This is described as the phenomenon of spontaneous self-organization.

The "coming together" is the trick for objects at the quantum level. The resonance model of consciousness depends on the panpsychism hypothesis, which isn't really a problem for me because much of what I have already laid out in my model does as well. Panpsychism is basically a more scientifically rigorous version of animism that treats consciousness as a fundamental property of quantum information and therefore matter and energy. The difference is that the complexity of the object or system determines how much consciousness it has.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for July 21st

Here's last night's Ritual Night Talk on talismans. Linking a magical operation to a talisman is pretty simple. You create an object that has an affinity with the force you are conjuring and then instead of a straight charge like "do xyz" you charge the spirit to "empower this talisman to do xyz." There are several advantages to working with talismans this way.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Cursing the Moon?

Over the last few days social media has been going nuts over a group of witches on the app TikTok who claimed to have "cursed the Moon." How that makes any sense at all is anyone's guess, aside from these folks being inexperienced with real magick. It's one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard, but I will say that one thing these witches did manage to do is troll very successfully, stirring up a whole bunch of nonsense in response to their nonsensical cursing. Cracked gives the whole fiasco about the level of snark it deserves.

These be dark time, fellow pilgrims. In every commune are the frightened whispers of mutuals who speak o'er what ought to be left unspoken: witches. Some claim that foolish young waifs have banded together in the grove of copyright-free song and dance to perform dark Satanic rituals, cursing the moon and bringing damnation upon all our heads! Hark! Ye can near hear their mad cackling carried in the winds. Sksksks. Sksksk.

With witches ditching their spellbooks for smartphones, a lot of witchcraft now happens online. And what better place for these covens to congregate than on TikTok, the one social media app specifically designed for chanting and dancing under the pale light of the moon -- or some dorm room LEDs. The platform is particularly popular with "baby witches," the first generation of puka-shelled neophytes to be learning the craft who are actually younger than the movie The Craft.

But with youth comes recklessness and rebelliousness. Recently, online witches started flying about social media cursing (but not actually cursing) a small coven of rogue WitchTok witches. These baby witches had posted videos of them casting foul hexes not only on the Fae, the ancient and fickle fairies of folklore, but the moon itself. And this was no accidental and I oop. These VSCO witches sought out to challenge their elders as if to call them out for being a bunch of dusty old c-words (crones) too scared to clap back at Mother Moon and her Fae boomers.

I also have since heard that this whole idea was posted online as a joke, which makes me feel a little better about the intelligence of these folks. To be clear, it's not that I think what they are doing is dangerous or will invite some sort of retribution, I just think the whole thing is pointless. The intent behind it doesn't make sense and it's not clear how you would even measure success or failure. I expect it will do absolutely nothing to the Moon.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Karma, But Not How You Think

Well, maybe not "you" personally. But definitely a lot of people.

The New Age version of karma comes from Theosophy, in which the real Eastern idea of karma got combined with the idea of "sin" from Christianity. In the United States, this is where the "pop culture" idea of karma comes from. Basically, you have a list of good actions (virtues) and bad actions (sins), just like in Christianity. But instead of being rewarded or punished in the afterlife, these actions are rewarded and punished right away. So if you do a bad thing one day, the next day something unpleasant will happen to you.

In Buddhism, karma doesn't work anything like that. It simply describes the law of cause and effect - stuff like I decide to put off going to the gas station longer than I should, and the karma of that is the risk of running out of gas. Or in social situations, if I treat someone badly they will eventually catch on and start treating me badly. The point is that in the original version of karma the outcomes are directly related to the actions taken in entirely mundane ways, whereas in the pop culture version they are mysteriously coupled by "goodness" and "badness" as defined according to an external ethical schema.

Now here's the story. Folks online are sharing this as "karma in action." I agree, but not the way they are thinking. This has nothing to do with the universe sending a fire truck to kill this person because racism is bad. I mean, racism is bad, but that has nothing to do with this accident.

A North Carolina woman who became infamous for multiple racist incidents caught on video has died after being struck by a fire truck. Rachel Dawn Ruit suffered fatal injuries after she was struck Monday by an emergency vehicle, just days after her arrest for a racist attack on a teenage girl and Muslim woman, reported WLOS-TV.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for July 14th

Here are the videos of last night's Ritual Night Talk, on magical power.

This was another one where Facebook cut out on me partway through, so the talk picks up in Part 2. In this talk I touch on the "operant equation" that I developed based on Peter Carroll's magical equations from Liber Kaos, how magical power can be measured by means of probability shifts, and some of the factors that contribute to powerful magical operations.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Bailing Out Prosperity Gospel

In this article from Twin Cities local news outlet City Pages I came across this particular gem. To be clear, the article is about a much larger issue involving the allocation of funds from the coronavirus relief bill, but I'm not going to talk about any of that. I have opinions about it, of course, but here's the bit that wanders into Augoeides territory.

Churches and religious organizations also tapped PPP money, including Eagle Brook in Hugo ($2-$5 million), the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul ($1-$2 million) and Bethlehem Baptist Church of Minneapolis (also $1-$2 million).

Of particularly delicious note was Living Word Christian Center, a Brooklyn Park megachurch that received a loan somewhere between $2 million and $5 million. Senior Pastor Mac Hammond has been known for preaching the "prosperity gospel," which teaches that God rewards good faith and tithing with the alleviation of sickness and poverty and the deliverance of prosperity and – yes -- actual, material wealth.

Living Word also didn’t respond to interview requests about what role the government plays in the church's prosperity (or lack thereof). Living Word has been on shaky ground in the past, with numerous struggles to meet monthly budgets and repeated investigations by Congress and the IRS.

And what I really want to know here is how Living Word is going to spin this. Prosperity Gospel teaches that (A) God rewards you with money if you're doing a good job and (B) government money doesn't count, because welfare programs are evil. But God didn't give them enough money so they had to take one of those evil government handouts. That's the truth, right there.

There are plenty of legitimate arguments over whether funds like these should go to religious organizations at all, given the separation of church and state. But the funnier point for me is that, basically, in doing this Living Word completely undermined all of that Prosperity Gospel nonsense. It's a scam, and it's time more people realized that.

No matter what these churches preach, the reality behind it is that as long as the church is pulling in money they don't much care where it comes from. And that, in and of itself, should be a complete violation of the actual teachings of Jesus. In Prosperity Gospel, the merchants haven't just taken over the temple, they are the temple.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Heptarchia Mystica Presentation Transcript

The following is my prepared transcript for the Heptarchia Mystica talk that I delivered yesterday for OTO Austria. For this one I actually put together a rudimentary PowerPoint presentation, and the slide images are embedded in the text. It was a fun presentation to do and my thanks go out to the folks at OTO Austria for inviting me to speak and making this happen.

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

Welcome to my presentation on Dr. John Dee’s Heptarchia Mystica. I am Scott Stenwick, author of Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy from Pendraig Publishing.

Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy is a practical guide to working with the mystical heptarchy, an often-overlooked portion of John Dee and Edward Kelley’s system of Enochian magick. I have been an OTO initiate since 1995 and have served as a chartered initiator, ordained priest and deacon, local body officer, and currently as Master of Leaping Laughter Lodge in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have been involved in OTO for almost 25 years, but I had already worked with the Enochian system for years before I joined.

The way that I approach Enochian magick developed over several decades. I started with the Schueler books in the early 1990s and quickly moved on from there to a more “Dee Purist” approach based on Geoffrey James’ Enochian Evocation. At the same time, though, I did not entirely abandon modern ceremonial methods like pentagram and hexagram rituals. What you will find in my books are ritual templates that allow you to work according to the original grimoire structure based solely on prayers and conjurations, but also show where those modern ceremonial forms can optionally be added to the process. This gives the practitioner greater flexibility to approach the work as they see fit.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Heptarchia Mystica Presentation for OTO Austria

Tomorrow, July 11th, at noon CDT I will be presenting on the Heptarchia Mystica for OTO Austria. The presentation will be on Zoom, so you can join in too. I will be covering the basics of Heptarchial magick, the only portion of the Enochian magical system that Dr. John Dee assembled into a usable grimoire and also the subject of my first published occult title, Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy. There will be some time for questions after the presentation - and yes, just in case anybody is wondering, I'll be presenting in English. I do speak some German but not nearly enough to put together a decent presentation in it.

Click here to go to the Facebook event. The link to register is at the bottom of the description. It sounds like you do need to register ahead of time, so if you want to catch the presentation please go ahead and do that. You can also go to the OTO Austria page and scroll down - they have the event listed there as well. This should be a fun one and I'm really looking forward to it.

Thanks to the folks at OTO Austria for inviting me to present and making this happen!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Analyzing Conspiracy Theories

I talk a lot about narratives that can be dismissed as "conspiracy theories" here on Augoeides. Usually the stories I cover are the sorts of things that are outright unbelievable or impossible. And keep in mind, if I take a look at your conspiracy theory and describe it as unbelievable, that assessment is coming from someone who is serious about casting spells. So there's that.

But here's the thing - while many conspiracy narratives are absolute garbage, it also can be an easy hand-wavy way to discredit anything that sounds weird by calling it a "conspiracy theory." Government agencies like the CIA, for example, have a long history of doing just that when information about dubious plots or projects get out into the public eye.

What we really need is an objective way to analyze a narrative and see if it holds up, no matter how weird it might sound. And according to this article, a team of artificial intelligence researchers are on the case. They compared debunked conspiracy theories with real conspiracy narratives that turned out to be true, and found significant differences between them that their algorithm could identify.

A new study by UCLA professors offers a new way to understand how unfounded conspiracy theories emerge online. The research, which combines sophisticated artificial intelligence and a deep knowledge of how folklore is structured, explains how unrelated facts and false information can connect into a narrative framework that would quickly fall apart if some of those elements are taken out of the mix.

The authors, from the UCLA College and the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, illustrated the difference in the storytelling elements of a debunked conspiracy theory and those that emerged when journalists covered an actual event in the news media. Their approach could help shed light on how and why other conspiracy theories, including those around COVID-19, spread—even in the absence of facts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for July 7th

Here's the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, on science and magick. As I suspected and noted at the outset, it is a little less focused than some of my other talks covering specific rituals and/or magical techniques.

The relationship between science and magick is a complex discussion - some practitioners don't seem to think there's much of a connection, but the scientific method is the best tool we have for investigating the natural world. I am firmly in the camp that sees magick as natural just like every other phenomenon, but at the same time I believe things like paranormal abilities, spirits, and so forth are all part of the natural world just like cars, computers, and so forth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Macroscopic Quantum Effects

Here's another new quantum physics experiment that is highly relevant to magick, and especially my quantum information model of magick. According to this article from The Independent, physicists have worked out a way to scale tiny quantum fluctuations up to measurable effects on the macroscopic world. The mathematics of quantum mechanics predicts that this should be possible, but up until now it had never been observed experimentally.

Scientists have seen "spooky" quantum behaviour happening to objects at the human scale, according to a new paper. Researchers have seen quantum fluctuations "kick" large objects such as mirrors, moving them by a tiny degree but one big enough to measure. Such behaviour has previously been predicted by quantum physicists. But it has never before been measured.

The movements are the result of the way the universe is structured, when seen at the level of quantum mechanics: researchers describe it as a "noisy" space, where particles are constantly switching in and out of existence, which creates a low-level fuzz at all times.

Normally, that background of quantum "noise" is too subtle to detect in objects that are visible at the human-scale. But the new research shows that scientists have finally detected those movements, using new technology to watch for those fluctuations.

Researchers at the MIT LIGO Laboratory saw that the those fluctuations could move an object as big as a 40-kilogram mirror. The movement pushed the large mirrors a tiny amount, as predicted theoretically, allowing it to be measured by scientists.

The researchers were able to use special equipment called a quantum squeezer that allowed them to "manipulate" the noise so that it could be better observed.

According to the quantum information model of magick, manipulating these sorts of fluctuation is how magick goes about affecting the physical world. So in a sense, you could say that these effects were produced by a technology that imitates one aspect of magical manifestation. We practitioners just do it with consciousness rather than machines - and I would expect at least a few radionics practitioners to point out that machines and consciousness can work together if you have the right kind of machine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Cancer Elixir Rite for 2020

Here is the video of yesterday's Cancer Elixir Rite. I'm still working with getting the camera settings the way I want them, but I think I'm making progress. Also, not sure why I got tongue-tied there at the beginning - this series is Via Solis, not "Via Sola," which is what it sounds like I'm saying for whatever reason.

Cancer is attributed to the power of casting enchantments, which are operations intended to draw or magnetize things into your life. Those things can be as simple as prosperity or happiness, and pretty much as complex as you can imagine. The caveat being, as with any other magical operation, the more unlikely the thing you want to enchant is, the more difficult it is to successfully manifest.