Sunday, August 30, 2020

Evangelicals Denounce QAnon

The QAnon conspiracy cult of Jim and Ron Watkins has finally become prominent enough in the news that Evangelical leaders are starting to denounce it. Not all Evangelical leader, as one commenter defiantly pointed out, but it still is good to see some of them coming around. QAnon has seen its greatest popularity among Evangelical Christians, so this denunciation is a significant and hopeful new development. This article from Christian Post includes statements against the movement from several prominent Evangelical leaders.

The theory has garnered criticism from multiple Christian leaders, including Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr. On an episode of his podcast, “The Briefing,” posted online on Monday, Mohler compared QAnon and conspiracy theories in general to the early church heresy of Gnosticism. “Gnosticism is the belief that only a few, an elite, a privileged few are able to see, have inside information,” explained Mohler.


“The ancient Gnostics believed in one way or another that this particular secret knowledge was the key to salvation or illumination, or whatever would be the promise of this particular information. Christianity has nothing to do with the secret truth. It has everything to do with a public Gospel,” the theologian added. “Christians don't have secret beliefs we hide from the world. We're not saved because we have come to some secret knowledge.”

Since this is Augoeides, I do want to point out that "secret information" of the sort Mohler is talking about had little to do with the idea of gnosis. Sure, it means "knowing," but the "knowing" consisted of direct experience, the "baptism of fire" that conferred salvation according to the early Christian gnostics. This isn't "information" that you could read off a tablet or a scroll or in the modern era look up on the Internet. It consisted of spiritual practices that resulted in the gnostic experience. But that's a whole other conversation.

Tyler Huckabee, senior editor at Relevant Magazine, a Christian lifestyle bimonthly, wrote in a piece published earlier this month that QAnon’s claims are “farfetched” and fueled by “confirmation bias.” Huckabee also considered QAnon “a logical extension of the culture war, providing real plot and vocabulary to the ‘us vs. them’ model that became popular with the rise of the Moral Majority.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Virgo Elixir Rite for 2020

Here is the video of last night's Virgo Elixir Rite.

The sign Virgo is attributed to the powers of "invisibility, parthenogenesis, and initiation." Magical invisibility has to do with directing attention away from you (so it will fool people, but not a security camera). Parthenogenesis refers to the creation of life without the usual process of sexual reproduction, and can be used to create spiritual entities like the "servitors" of chaos magick. Initiation is a general power that can be used in the service of ceremonial initiation, or to start (that is, initiate) some new phase, process, or practice in your life.


Monday, August 24, 2020

Via Solis Virgo Elixir Rite - Year Four (Streaming)

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Virgo Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, August 25th. 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 Virgo. The sign Virgo is attributed to the powers of "Invisibility, Parthenogenesis, Initiation." Magical invisibility is more about avoiding being noticed than transparency, parthenogenesis can be used to create artificial spirits such as the servitors made by chaos magicians, and initiation is a general power that can be employed to set in motion just about anything in your magical or mundane life. So those sorts of intents are most appropriate. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963. The Via Solis Elixir Rites were written by Michele Montserrat in 2010 for the Comselh Ananael magical working group.

I. Opening

All stand surrounding the altar. Officiant inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. All rotate accordingly.

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.


Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.


Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.


Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence. So mote it be.

Bell chime.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for August 18th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, on magical misconceptions.

There are a lot of weird claims and ideas about magick out in the world, especially in discussion forums and on social media. In this video I discuss a few of the bigger ones, including the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980's and early 1990's that asserted some ridiculous percentage of the population was engaged in what was basically a cartoon version of "Satanism" that nobody actually practices. I also discuss some notions that can create obstacles to magical practice, and how the alleged dangers of magical work can be massively overstated.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Interrogating Many Worlds

The "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics is an idea that gets thrown around a lot in physics. It also has made it into models of magick and how magick works, such as Lon DuQuette's famous statement "it's all in your head, you just have no idea how big your head is." As I pointed out a while back, DuQuette is not putting forth a purely psychological model of magick with that statement. Instead, he is proposing that practical magick works by means of a sort of "reality selection."

The many worlds interpretation of quantum physics is a way of modeling quantum interactions without employing the "wavefunction collapse" of the Copenhagen interpretation. In Copenhagen, until we measure a quantum event it exists in a superposition that includes all possible values. This superposition is shown to be wavelike by simple experiments such as the slit experiment. When the superposition is measured, this wavelike superposition "collapses" into a single value.

In many worlds, on the other hand, every possible value in the superposition happens in its own "world," or really "universe." By measuring a quantum event, we select which of those worlds we wind up inhabiting. But they all are out there - a practically limitless number of universes, each of which "cleaved off" from the others based on single quantum interactions. Many worlds resolves the issue of what wavefunction collapse "really is" by asserting that it doesn't exist. It only looks like it does because we only perceive the universe we end up in.

DuQuette's idea exploits this concept by viewing magick as a way to "direct" which universe you wind up in, or maybe "navigate" through the various possibilities. He explained in one of his talks that in order to make something happen, you transform yourself into the sort of person that those things happen to. This frames his model of practical magick as a sort of magnetizing influence that results in you experiencing the world that you want to experience - or in Thelemic terms, the world that is in harmony with the change you are casting for.

My model of magick uses a single-world interpretation simply because it is easier to represent "near misses" in single-world where something more like a wavefunction collapse happens. This is more conceptual than mathematical, since many worlds returns the same mathematical results as a single-world interpretation. From a magical perspective, though, it's problematic. Let's say that you cast for a thousand dollars and get a hundred dollars. How does the universe in which you would have gotten the full thousand relate to the universe in which you only got the hundred?

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Devil Masks

No, not the kind of devil masks that Anton LaVey once recommended purchasing in large numbers from drug stores on the day after Halloween. Today the masks I'm talking about are regular masks, the kind you wear to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Elmbook school district in Brookfield, Wisconsin has decided to re-open in September, with the requirement that everyone wear masks and practice social distancing. The debate over whether re-opening schools is a good idea, even with masks, is ongoing. Where it falls into Augoeides territory is the claim made by a parent that wearing masks and "six-foot distance" are "pagan rituals of satanic worshippers."
The Elmbrook School District will reopen five days a week to in-person learning. The decision came after three and a half hours of discussions by school board members.


Along with returning to in-person learning, the board also made a decision on requiring students to wear masks. However, not everyone liked that idea.


“Six-foot distance and wearing masks are pagan rituals of satanic worshipers,” said parent Heidi Anderson. “My kids are Christian they are not subject to wearing masks.”

This sounds really dumb to any normal person, but it makes sense to Poor Oppressed Christians because they seem to have this idea that actions and objects have immutable "essences" that cannot be changed. An example of this is yoga - Poor Oppressed Christians think it's evil even if you remove all of the Hindu context and do nothing but stretching.

That's because those particular postures are somehow immutably Hindu and therefore pagan. The corollary is that they can't do a stretch that is used in any yoga routine - in any context, knowingly or unknowingly - without committing the sin of idolatry.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for August 11th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, on kamea and sigil.

Kamea are magic squares, figures in which the numbers from 1 to the maximum value of the square are arranged in a pattern in which the horizontal and vertical rows all sum to the same value. So, for example, the magic square of 3 is 3 x 3 = 9 squares and contains the numbers 1-9, the magic square of 4 is 4 x 4 = 16 squares and contains the numbers 1-16, and so forth.

Agrippa proposed a method for tracing names onto these magic squares for use in planetary magick. The technique can be extended to zodiacal and elemental operations, or even encoded statements of intent.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for August 4th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, on ritual design and construction.

Every magical operation begins with a problem - that is, some sort of change that you want to see within your own consciousness or in the world at large. Rituals that are not intended to produce some specific change may be rituals, but they aren't magick. This is the real reason intent is important - not because it necessarily has a huge effect on how the technology works, but rather because it determines whether you use the technology at all and how you go about applying it. I cover how to work out the kind of change you want to manifest in terms of the magical powers outlined in Liber 777. I also cover circles and containment structures, and why you should generally use the latter.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Revisiting Magical Metaphysics

I'm finally starting in on the process of reworking my Operant Magick manuscript for publication. Back in 2006 around the time I started this blog I put the finishing touches on the original version and started sending it out. The occult publishers I sent it to jerked me around for years and never actually published it because it was "too advanced" for beginning readers. At the time I thought that was terrible - there was already plenty of beginner material and I was of the opinion that the market could use at least a few intermediate and advanced works.

When I finally got my Enochian books published and saw real sales numbers I started to understand the reality of the situation better. Magick is pretty much the definition of a niche interest. The reason that occult publishers favor beginner material over everything else is that there's barely enough of an audience to support that, let alone the subset of that audience who reads those books and then goes on to become more "advanced" practitioners. This of course creates something of a vicious circle - no advanced material means that there's likely to be less of an advanced market, and so forth.

But I will say that to some degree I'm glad the original version didn't make it out there. A lot of the ideas in that manuscript were good, and I've tried to elucidate those here on Augoeides. At the same time, the book suffered from working with brain science that is now twenty or more years old. Brain science moves fast - between 2000 and 2010 there are a lot of significant breakthroughs that Operant Magick version one would have entirely missed. Also, many of the ideas, while good, were not developed how I now feel they should be at this point in my magical development.

This post is one example. In the original Operant Magick I proposed a slightly modified version of Kant's metaphysics that I dubbed "Hermetic Metaphysics" as the metaphysical basis for magick. I wrote up a post about my "Hermetic Metaphysics" that you can find here. In revisiting the material, though, I found that in fact Kant doesn't need any changes at all to account for paranormal phenomena. I also am glad I didn't throw something out there called "Hermetic" that is about as "Hermetic" as The Kybalion, but that's a whole other conversation.