Friday, June 18, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for June 18th

Here is the video of Tuesday's Ritual Night Talk, on Astrology and Exotericism. The Chart Victor Calculation link is here, the Simple Electional Timing link is here, and the donation link is here.


Skeptics hate astrology because it is one of the few practices from the Western Esoteric Tradition that has gone mainstream in our culture. James Randi organized efforts to get astrology columns removed from newspapers back in the day on the grounds that it was a sort of "gateway to the irrational," even when marked "for entertainment only." As any astrologer will tell you, reading a short horoscope based only on your Sun sign (like what you see in newspapers) is not very useful even if every tenet of astrology was verified by empirical science, so really, those horoscopes pretty much are only for entertainment purposes.


Because astrology is generally accepted by the culture, even people who think it's complete bunk know what it is and don't find it sinister or threatening. If somebody tried to start up a conspiracy theory about astrologers sacrificing children it would be laughed out of the room. But replace "astrologers" with "Satanists" and enough people will take it seriously to ruin lives. So it seems to me this is evidence that exotericism - the idea of de-mystifying magick for the general culture - is the way to go if (A) we want more people to be interested in magick and (B) we want to insulate ourselves against wild accusations.


Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for June 8th

Here is the video of Tuesday's Ritual Night Talk, on Cult Versus Culture. The donation link is here.


The main difference between cults and culture in new religious movements is that cults are generally understood to be toxic organizations that exploit their members. These organizations thrive best in an "esoteric" world in which magical and mystical technology are kept secret from anyone deemed "unworthy" - that is, anyone the leader is looking to exploit.


In an "exoteric" world this would be different - a culture that includes magick as part of day-to-day life would mean that anyone who wanted to practice, to whatever degree it might be their will to practice, can do it. One way to implement a culture like that is to present an inspiring vision of the world we want to see, through the arts of whatever sort and demonstrating how we successfully integrate magick into our lives.


Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Gemini Elixir Rite for 2021

Here is the video of last night's Gemini Elixir Rite hosted on our Leaping Laughter YouTube channel. The donation link is here.


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, the ability to see into the future. In a mystical sense, it also corresponds to prophetic consciousness. Also, keep in mind that those powers are descriptive rather than proscriptive, so intents related to any quality you might find listed in an astrology book under Gemini should likewise work fine.


Enjoy!


Monday, May 31, 2021

Via Solis Gemini Elixir Rite - Year Five (Streaming)

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Gemini Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday June 1st. Like the previous elixir rite, it will be streamed on the Leaping Laughter OTO YouTube channel. The channel can be found here. I will be starting around 8 PM CDT, but I barring any technical difficulties I will post the video here and on Facebook after the ritual so you can view it whenever you have time.


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.


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.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for May 25th

Here is the video of Tuesday's Ritual Night Talk, on Exotericism For Living Part 2. The donation link is here.


Practical magick is about solving problems. If we lived in a world where people employed exoteric magick as a matter of course, we would see practical spells added to any situation where the outcome depended in part on luck and chance. Nothing needs to be kept secret or out of peoples' hands in order to make that approach effective. The "sorting problem" idea also means that you don't necessarily keep your magick to yourself in order to maintain an advantage over people who don't use it - which is one reason I've heard suggested as to why magicians should maintain secrecy about their work.


Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for May 18th

Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, on Exotericism For Living. The Learning Daily Practices link is here and the donation link is here.


I am convinced that a world in which a significant percentage of people use magick just like they use any other technology as they go about their day-to-day lives is not only possible, but desirable. This goes beyond basic literacy about what magick can do and what it can't do, and into practical applications. Daily practice, as outlined in the linked article, is reasonably simple to learn and integrate into your life - though that doesn't mean it's always easy to stick with.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Learning Daily Practices

This article is an expansion of a comment I wrote to a reader regarding some unexpected issues coming up while working on learning daily practices. I think much of what I'll be talking about here can be found elsewhere on the blog, but I wanted to put it all in one place.


The daily practice regimen that I usually recommend to students is:


1. Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

2. Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram

3. Middle Pillar Ritual

4. Meditation

5. Qabalistic Cross


For Thelemites like me, the following is analogous:


1. Star Ruby

2. Star Sapphire

3. Elevenfold Seal (from Liber Regului)

4. Meditation

5. Qabalistic Cross (Star Ruby version)


In my personal work I usually employ a mix of those two sequences, opening with the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram followed by the modified Comselh Ananael version of the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram and then the Elevenfold Seal.


The function of each step is as follows:


1. A banishing lesser (or, more properly, general) ritual of the pentagram is a microcosmic ritual that "cleans up," aligns, and purifies your sphere of consciousness. Rituals of this sort do not affect anything beyond the bounds of your personal aura (or body of light or whatever other term you prefer) and act primarily upon you personally. Some people erroneously use these rituals to clear or banish ritual spaces, which doesn't actually work well. Yes, there is a connection between microcosm and macrocosm so you might be able to get a small or limited effect, but it's like blowing air at a heavy object in order to move it and not even remotely efficient.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for May 11th

Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, Part Three of the Exotercism discussion. The Magical Instruction link is here, the We Must Say What We Mean link is here, and the donation link is here.


The idea of "Exotericism" is a powerful one. If we lived in a world where people had basic literacy about the magical arts, and understood that the various fictional and popular culture ideas about magick are entirely ridiculous and have nothing to do with real magical practice, I am convinced we would living in a far better world.


The ridiculousness that I'm talking about includes everything from movies about "devil worship" to misconceptions about foundational practices such as meditation. It also includes the secrecy that has hamstrung advances in magical technology for centuries, and the annoying elitism and gatekeeping that discourage people from learning what magick is all about for themselves.


Enjoy!


Thursday, May 6, 2021

We Must Say What We Mean

Nick Farrell recently posted this article in which he unpacks some of the ways in which magicians all-too-often obfuscate the truth and sometimes outright lie. While this list, along with an earlier one that was specific to Golden Dawn, is presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner, many of the entries are also far too recognizable from my experiences in the larger occult community. I will say that both posts are amusing - go check them out and see how many of Nick's obfuscating statements you recognize. My guess is that it will be more than a few if you've spent time among fellow occultists.


I have stated repeatedly that one of my goals in writing about my work and my practice is to develop magick as a technology and improve it along similar lines to what we see in the physical sciences. I also have pointed out that secrecy and gatekeeping and the like has set us back centuries. While it is true that there are more issues involved in measuring a state of consciousness than in measuring how long it, say, takes an object dropped from a high tower to hit the ground, it also is true that modern science began to develop in the 1700's, and it wasn't until Aleister Crowley's Equinox in the early 1900s that "secret order teachings" were offered to the public in a comprehensive manner.


That the physical sciences had a head start of almost 200 years, meaning it's no surprise that magick today is about where the physical sciences were in the early-to-mid 1800's. Given the availability of information and speed of communication in the modern world, I think it is possible to catch up, at least to a degree. But when people misrepresent magick and what magick entails, when they misrepresent their results, and when they put out misleading information about their own practices to make themselves look better on social media or whatever, those people are doing a lot of harm to the cause of subjecting magick to meaningful scientific investigation.


The problem today is not too little information, but too much. Online, true and false information commonly mingle together, and to a degree this is unavoidable. But we do ourselves no favors as magicians by contributing to misinformation, or by refusing to accurately answer questions - at least according to our own experiences. We don't have anything like a generally accepted theory of magick at the moment, and more accurate data that can be subjected to peer review can only get us closer to how all this stuff really works. There will likely be false starts and proposed models that turn out to be at odds with the data, but testing to determine those is exactly how the scientific method is supposed to work.


And we all want better magick, don't we? Better probability shifts. More effective expansion and elevation of consciousness. A faster path to enlightenment, as it's commonly understood. I remain convinced that testing and compiling data can get us there - but only if the data we are working with is as accurate as it can possibly be.


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Taurus Elixir Rite for 2021

Here is the video of last night's Taurus Elixir Rite, now hosted on our Leaping Laughter YouTube channel instead of on Facebook. YouTube streaming worked fine, with the only technical foible that I look weird in the screenshot because I wasn't ready for it and couldn't figure out how to change it. But that's a pretty minor problem all things considered, and I'll do it right next time.


The sign Taurus is attributed to "The Secret of Physical Strength" in Liber 777. So appropriate intents would be related to health, healing, wellness, fitness, and so forth. Also, keep in mind that those powers are descriptive rather than proscriptive, so intents related to any quality you might find listed in an astrology book under Taurus should likewise work fine.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Via Solis Taurus Elixir Rite - Year Five (Streaming)

Tonight, Tuesday May 4th, I will be presenting Year Five of the Taurus Elixir Rite. I'll be trying something a little different this evening - streaming live from YouTube instead of Facebook. I'm hoping that by using a YouTube channel instead of Facebook Live we will see more stability in our video presentations. This isn't usually an issue, but we saw some catastrophic failures during the Office of the Readings that we all hope to avoid in the future.


Here is the link to the Leaping Laughter YouTube channel, which is currently empty but will be hosting tonight's live preentation at 8 PM. I will also post any relevant announcements and updates on the Leaping Laughter Facebook page here. YouTube Live should work just like the streaming we have been doing on Facebook Live, except on our YouTube channel rather than our Facebook page.


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.


I. Opening


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.


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 28, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for April 27th


Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, on with more on exoteric magick. The donation link is here.


Continuing the discussion from last week, this video goes more in-depth on the idea of "exotericism" and covers some more real-world examples. An exoteric magick movement might look something like the "psychic powers" craze in the 1970's - and in fact, much of magick and psychic abilities are pretty much the same thing. This sort of magick consists of a structured, disciplined approach to working with those abilities.


Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for April 20th


Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, on exoteric magick. The donation link is here.


Occultism and esotericism are both terms that allude to that which is hidden or obscured. But magick is a technology - a technology that involves consciousness, but a technology nonetheless. This is the point of "exoteric magick," the application of this magical technology without all the unnecessary secrecy that has hindered the discipline for a long time.


Enjoy!


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Real Techno-Magick

This article from Vice is from back in February, but I figure it's still relevant because it includes a link to a fascinating Internet tool for creating unique sigils. The Sigil Engine is designed to automate the process of sigil creation in a manner similar to that used by chaos magicians, but with a couple of pretty cool additional ideas for keeping sigils unique and distinct. This consists of writing out a simple phrase as your magical intent, eliminating the vowels and repeating letters, and then arranging those letters in a way that obscures the meaning of the phrase.


Users of the Sigil Engine, though, rely on code to do much of the legwork. When visitors land on the URL, they're greeted by a sparkling black background and a prompt to type their "intention." Doing so will set the Engine in motion, drawing the sign in bright red. Co-creator Darragh Mason, who hosts the Spirit Box podcast, describes this flourish as "a prayer or a moment of reverence to the goddess Babalon," found within the Thelemic system first synthesised by British occultist Aleister Crowley. The backdrop alludes to "the great expansive void from which all things spring".


"We wanted to create something that actually felt magical when you used it," Mason told Motherboard. "For a lot of people in their magickal practice, the aesthetic helps give it more potency, so we were very conscious: we wanted to have the process of creating a sigil—removing the vowels, removing repeating letters, creating the actual symbol itself—to be experiential, something that drew you in and [gave] it a sense of wonder." To ensure the final sigil is almost guaranteed to be unique, the application logs the speed of typing, the time between keystrokes, and compares these to the entirety of the Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni, a Thelemic text that's contained within the code.


The measurements are combined to return a unique value for each of the base characters, says co-creator David Tidman. More number-crunching normalizes a very large figure to between 0.0 and 1.0, which is finally used to position each character on a point around the circle—for example, a character with a value of between 0.51 and 0.54 would be located at the 11th of 21 points in total. At the moment, whatever the user types is stored temporarily and then deleted, but Tidman says in future this information won't be stored at all, and that there are no personal identifiers logged when visitors type their intentions.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Free Speech, Christian Style!

I guess when you get right down to it, "free speech" isn't really free. That's the takeaway from MyPillow guy Mike Lindell's latest statements regarding his "free speech" social media platform that he is working on launching. According to Lindell, the site will be moderated along "biblical principles." What does this mean? Well, it seems pretty clear to me that this will be a social media platform specifically for the Poor Oppressed Christians, since I suspect no "free speech" besides theirs will be allowed.


With his new Frank Speech platform set to launch on April 19, Lindell appeared on Eric Metaxas’ radio program Monday to promote it. During the discussion, Lindell revealed that speech on his new platform will not be quite as free as one might have imagined, announcing that users will not be allowed to swear or use the Lord’s name in vain because Frank Speech will be “a Judeo-Christian platform” founded on biblical principles.


“People asked me, ‘You’re going to let everything go? Porn? Swearing? Everything?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not,'” Lindell said. “We have a thing we found in the Constitution and our founding fathers that defines what free speech is. And Eric, get this, this Judeo-Christian platform we’re going to have here, they go by biblical principles—you know, you get to the Supreme Court, you have the 10 Commandments there—so, in other words, you’re not going to have porn up there, you’re not going to have these sites that contain material that go against our Constitution, go against what our founding fathers put in there.”


So let's say I got on and there and pointed out "America is a Christian Nation" is not true because (A) there is no mention of God in the Constitution, and (B) this was affirmed by President and Founding Father John Adams in the 1796 Treaty of Tripli. Would I be allowed to post that bit of "free speech" according to the guidelines above? If the answer is "yes," I'd be forced to give Lindell some props - which I sincerely would hate to do. But it would also surprise me if it's anything but "no" based on how the Poor Oppressed Christians conduct themselves around dissenting opinions.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Aries Elixir Rite for 2021


Here is the video of yesterday's Aries Elixir Rite. The donation link is here.


The sign Aries is attributed to the Star or Emperor card in the Tarot, depending on whether you flip Heh and Tzaddi, and its power is "The power of consecrating things" in Liber 777. This is a power that can be used to consecrate magical tools and implements, and more generally magically empower and dedicate items and operations to the Great Work.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Via Solis Aries Elixir Rite - Year Five (Streaming)

Today's post is a full script for the Aries Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, April 13th. 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.


We did have some technical difficulties with the Office of the Readings, so hopefully things will go smoothly tonight. If the feed does go down, I will be restarting it and picking up where I left off, so be ready for that just in case. I have made some adjustments to my camera and other settings that I hope will resolve the problem, but we'll have to see. Going forward I do want to be able to stream these on FB instead of relying on Zooms, which some people have trouble using and which are more difficult to post here on the blog.


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.


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.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Office of the Readings for 2021

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:vii, attributed to The Chariot.


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. We will be switching to a "Year A" ritual this year, which is the ritual we performed up until the "Year B" ritual we did last year last year with a few modifications. The first readings are according to an arrangement by M. Dionysus Rogers. The second readings are from the Office of the Readings by the Companions of Monsalvat with some switches and substitutions we have made over the years.


Like last year, we will be streaming the Office of the Readings this year, mostly via Facebook Live. You can find these virtual events on our Leaping Laughter OTO page on Facebook here. We will stream the readings every evening starting around 8 PM from tomorrow evening through April 10th, but barring any technical issues and/or difficulties, 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 A


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.


Gay Satan an Abomination

Conservative Christians have been up in arms lately about a rap video by Lil Nas X, in which he seduces Satan and makes himself King of Hell. The video checks a lot of boxes - most conservative Christians don't like rap to begin with, and imagery of Hell and Satan in music usually attracts their ire. But one conservative Christian, tracked down by the crack reporting staff at The Onion, explained the real outrage behind it all - the music video dared to accuse Satan of the abomination that is homosexuality.


Decrying the depiction as “sacrilege,” local conservative Christian Elizabeth Dillon told reporters Tuesday she was deeply offended by a music video from rap artist Lil Nas X that implied Satan was a homosexual. “Nowhere in the Bible does Satan receive a lap dance, least of all from another man,” said Dillon, who was just one of thousands of worshippers across the country outraged by the depiction of the fallen angel as anything other than a devout Christian. “Satan embraces sin, but not that sin. He has a wife, you know, and three young demonic children. And sure, he tempted Christ, but never in a sexual way. Satan simply couldn’t be any straighter.” At press time, a horrified Dillon had realized that Satan was bisexual.


It simply is amazing to me that even the Prince of Darkness doesn't get a break from these folks. Who cares if Satan is gay? It seems to me that if you're not looking to date someone, their sexual orientation is none of your business. So are conservative Christians really wanting to boink the Devil? It seems to me that would be a much bigger story than an allegedly offensive music video, and when it breaks I'll be reporting it for you right here on Augoeides.


Happy April Fools Day, folks!


Monday, March 22, 2021

Demonic Voter Fraud

If you ever are trying to track down evidence for my assertion that success in America is almost entirely attributable to luck, you need look no further than my fellow Minnesotan Mike Lindell. Lindell is the wealthy founder of the MyPillow company, a prominent media conservative and Trump supporter, and a complete idiot.


To be clear, I'm not calling Lindell an idiot because he's a conservative. Lindell promotes every bizarre conspiracy theory that supports his political beliefs, and is now working with a former occult expert who knows nothing about occultism to root out voter fraud in Arizona. I suppose if you're an occult expert who knows nothing about occultism, being a voter fraud expert who knows nothing about voter fraud is just par for the course.


The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reports that Lindell is now working with Dr. Lyle Rapacki, who pitched himself to law enforcement agencies as an expert on devil worship during the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s, and who is now apparently pivoting toward being an expert in election fraud.


In particular, Rapacki has been working with the Arizona Republican Party in its effort to obtain ballots and voting machines from Maricopa County, which is the most populous county in the state and which delivered the state to President Joe Biden last November.


"It's been unfair, it's been unreal, it's been demonic," Rapacki said in an interview earlier this month. Rapacki has also adapted his purported expertise on Satanism to the QAnon era, as he's endorsed conspiracy theories claiming that the Democratic Party runs a Satanic pedophile ring.


Rapacki is one of those guys I talked about in this recent post, who presented themselves as "occult experts" back in the 1980's and early 1990's. As far as I can tell none of them knew anything about real occultism and were in fact experts on the various lurid and mostly made-up versions of occultism and "Devil Worship" promoted by evangelical Christians. A lot of that information came from frauds like Mike Warnke and Bill Schnoebelen who seem to have been caught up in making lots of money by telling Christians that what occultists do is exactly what they see in horror movies.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Rite of the Office of the Readings - Year A

For 2021 we will be performing this "Year A" ritual for the Office of the Readings.


We debuted the "Year B" rite last year, and having two versions of the ritual is an attempt to shake this series up a bit and also to provide options for anyone who would like to perform this series and prefers one over the other.


This is mostly the same as the ritual we performed up until the "Year B" last year, but we've made minor changes so I figured a new post was warranted. For online streaming in 2021, some of the directions pertaining to the congregation and physical temple space will be amended appropriately.


This ritual was adapted by Soror Lalitha from Ordo Sunyata Vajra's Diamond Sapphire Gem of Radiant Light and The Office of the Readings for the High Holy Days by the Companions of Monsalvat.


0. PREPARATION

The ritual uses two altars, one in the center of the temple and one in the east or in the direction of Boleskine. The ritual is divided into four phases. The first three are based on the principle stages of alchemical work: Nigredo (March 20-25), Albedo (March 26-April 1), and Rubedo (April 1-7). The final stage is the three Days of the Feast (April 8-10), the three days of the writing of The Book of the Law. The Officiant wears black during Nigredo, white during Albedo, and red during Rubedo. A candle of the same color should be left burning on the eastern altar during each of the three phases along with a statue of Horus and optionally one of Ahathoor. The colors are cycled through in the same order for each of the last three days - black for April 8, white for April 9, and red for April 10. The Officiant directs the ritual from the central altar. On this altar are placed any desired magical tools and a bell or gong. The Lectionary containing the readings is placed on the eastern altar for most of the rite and is retrieved by the Officiant when the readings are given from the central altar. It is then returned.


I. INTROIT


Music is played as the congregation is admitted to the temple. Each member of the congregation is purified with water and consecrated with incense as they enter the temple. The same is then done to the four quarters and the two altars.


II. OPENING


Officiant: BALASTI! OMPEHDA!


Officiant performs the Star Ruby, and when finished strikes the gong.


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


All: Love is the law, love under will.


III. FORMULATION OF THE LIGHT


Officiant performs the 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.


Officiant strikes the gong.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Pisces Elixir Rite for 2021


Here is the video of yesterday's Pisces Elixir Rite. The donation link is here.


The sign Pisces is attributed to the Moon card in the Tarot, and its powers are listed as "Bewitchments" and "Casting Illusions" in Liber 777. This is a power that can be used to cast "glamors" and any other sort of magical operation related to influencing perception in general. As such, it has a wide range of potential practical applications.


Enjoy!


Monday, March 15, 2021

Vis Solis Pisces Elixir Rite - Year Four (Streaming)

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Pisces Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, March 16th. Like the latest 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 Pisces.


The sign Pisces is attributed to the powers of "Bewitchment" and "Casting Illusions." So this is the power that you would call upon to cast classic magical operations such as "glamours" and the like. Spells that act directly on your own mind or those of others would also qualify. And, since magical powers are descriptive, not prescriptive, this can be scaled up to include all sorts of contemporary issues in our society.


I. Opening


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.


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, March 12, 2021

Occult Cold Case Isn't

I'm a big fan of the true crime genre, but the one thing about it that drives me a little nuts is the notion of "occult murders." I've written about several cases here on Augoeides where law enforcement suspected "occult involvement" and - of course - turned up nothing. Because there is literally no viable occult reason to murder someone. Generally when detectives look at a suspect, they put in a lot of effort to assess means, motive, and opportunity. But if they knew anything about magick, they would understand that "occult" is not a motive and cannot be considered as such.


I recently came across this article about a cold case from 1972. A young woman was found dead under unusual circumstances, and law enforcement apparently suspected satanic or occult activity based on "ritualistic elements" found at the crime scene. But recently review crime scene photos show a classic case of pareidola. In the photos, the sticks that were supposedly arranged in the shape of crosses in a "coffin-like" arrangement around the body are just random brush that the body was found in. You can click through to the article and scroll down to see the crime scene photo for yourself. The brush is clearly not arranged in any particular pattern.


When the unrecognizable body of Jeannette DePalma, 16, was found atop a steep, wooded hill that the locals called the Devil’s Teeth in 1972, rumors spread quickly that the Springfield girl was killed in some sort of satanic rite or witchcraft. Police sources leaked to the press that they had found signs they thought might be related to the occult, including crosses made of sticks and branches arranged in a coffin-like outline around her body. The coroner’s report mentions a “rock formation surrounding the body.” The Star-Ledger reported that police even brought a witch to the site to inspect for signs of the occult.


But crime scene photographs released for the first time this week seem to debunk those claims, showing that DePalma’s body was simply lying in a dense, brushy area in Houdaille Quarry, facedown with an arm draped over a downed tree branch. There are branches lying across one another by her head, but they do not appear to be arranged in a purposeful way. Jason Coy, a history professor at the College of Charleston who researches witchcraft and superstition, said he can’t find any sign of the occult or any other symbolism in the jumble of brush and branches. It suggests that investigators, looking for something sinister, saw patterns that weren’t there, or perhaps their initial descriptions of the branches near her body became exaggerated or misconstrued in the retellings of the scene.


Coy was one of several experts featured in “Death on the Devil’s Teeth,” a 2015 book by Mark Moran and Jesse Pollack, who had written about the case for Weird N.J. magazine. Coy recalled being shown a sketch of the crime scene then, drawn based on the memories of people who were there, depicting many crosses around the body. “Everything in that sketch that was marked out as a cross, in these crime scene photos just looks like a pile of underbrush that happened to be in a kind of pattern,” he said. “I think it’s a perfect example of how sometimes in someone’s memory, if they are influenced by the idea that something could be occult, they remember things that way.”


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Witchy Beer

Any magician will tell you that much of the "witch" imagery from fairy tales doesn't seem to have anything to do with magick. It's obviously a caricature of something, but until I recently came across this article I had no idea what it might be. It turns out that the explanation is pretty simple - it has to do with making beer and the history of women in the brewing industry.


From the Stone Age to the 1700s, ale – and, later, beer – was a household staple for most families in England and other parts of Europe. The drink was an inexpensive way to consume and preserve grains. For the working class, beer provided an important source of nutrients, full of carbohydrates and proteins.


Because the beverage was such a common part of the average person’s diet, fermenting was, for many women, one of their normal household tasks. Some enterprising women took this household skill to the marketplace and began selling beer. Widows or unmarried women used their fermentation prowess to earn some extra money, while married women partnered with their husbands to run their beer business.


So if you traveled back in time to the Middle Ages or the Renaissance and went to a market in England, you’d probably see an oddly familiar sight: women wearing tall, pointy hats. In many instances, they’d be standing in front of big cauldrons.


But these women were no witches; they were brewers. They wore the tall, pointy hats so that their customers could see them in the crowded marketplace. They transported their brew in cauldrons. And those who sold their beer out of stores had cats not as demon familiars, but to keep mice away from the grain.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for March 9th

Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk on Magick, Psychoanalysis, and Consciousness. The donation link is here. The post I mention in the talk on "Psychoanalysis - Science or Pseudoscience?" is here and the article I mention summarizing the quantum information model is here. I also included a link to yesterday's post on support for the quantum information model, which you can find here or just by scrolling down to the previous post.


To wrap up the conversation on psychoanalysis and magick, I wanted to be clear that even though I have issues with the scientific validity of the psychoanalytic model, I'm not down on anyone getting psychotherapy or working with the therapist of their choice. Models aside, we've known since the 1950s that some therapists are just shockingly better than others and the biggest variable there seems to be their individual personalities. I also invite anyone to check out both last week's article critiquing Freud along with the one I included with this video. They outline my objections to the theory with much greater detail and precision than I did last week.


Moving on from the psychoanalysis conversation, there continues to be movement on the consciousness research front. So in the second part of this video, I compare and contrast how modern models of consciousness suggest that we do magick with how magicians of the last century tried to shoehorn magick into the psychoanalytic model. The process turns out to be simpler and a lot less mysterious than you might think. I expect that once we get past the hard problem of consciousness and develop a "consciousness measure" of some sort, we should be able to build an accurate and comprehensive model of magick pretty quickly.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

More Support for the Quantum Information Model

I recently came across this article, describing a paper outlining the discovery of scale-invariant fractal patterns within the information dynamics that are believed to give rise to the subjective experience of consciousness. Yeah, that's a mouthful. The ramifications of this study, should it stand up to peer review and all that, are huge for my quantum information model of magick. So far all the latest discoveries related to consciousness have been consistent with the model, and I actually have been a little surprised at how close they seem to line up. I'm pretty sure none of the folks behind this research are familiar with my work, so it's significant that results emerging from the scientific community and results emerging from the study of magick seem to be coming together.


Major breakthroughs in the study of the physics of consciousness—and information dynamics in general—are occurring through the discovery and elucidation of holographic and fractal principles underlying fundamental properties of nature. For instance, in a fractal organization the degree of complexity of a system is scale-free, or invariant under any translation of magnitude. This means that one can “zoom in” or “zoom out” forever and the same degree of complexity will be observed—patterns of patterns reiterate ad infinitum. This has implications for the science of consciousness, as it is often assumed that consciousness emerges in a system once it reaches a significant threshold of complexity and integration. Yet, if the complexity is scale-invariant, is it not possible that the same information processes engendering consciousness at one observable domain are occurring at smaller scales as well?


The authors of the paper—Dr. Meijer, professor emeritus at the University of Groningen; and Dr. Geesink, a biophysicist who has developed novel EM-shielding technologies and led projects on polymer development and mineral nanotechnology DSM-research —have been performing ground-breaking work in biophysics research that is answering some of the most difficult outstanding questions in biology and other major scientific fields. From a meta-analysis of more than 500 biomedical publications relating to electromagnetic (EM) radiation and interaction with the biological system, Geesink and Meijer identified a novel and specific pattern of coherent EM frequencies that have statistically significant bio-resonances. With the identification of specific EM frequency domains that have significant effects within the inter- and intra-cellular system, the researchers were able to correlate their data with known wave resonances of nucleotides in aqueous solution, proteins and enzymes, as well as sound-induced vibrations evoked in bio-polymers and cellular membranes.


The research describes in detail the interplay of light and sound within the biological system—how photonic, phononic, and solitonic waves are instrumental and integral in maintaining and directing coherence and order of the inter- and intra-cellular system in development and information processing. Solitonic oscillations in large bio-molecules can result in quantum coherence, known as Fröhlich condensation, which Meijer and Geesink have explained can create quantum geometric wave patterns that guide biomolecules and cells much like the pilot-wave structure of Bohmian mechanics. Showing how the living system, and the information processes underlying life consciousness reside at a much deeper, intrinsic level of the universe.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for March 2nd

Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk on Psychoanalysis and Magick, probably Part One of a longer conversation. The donation link is here. The post I mention in the talk on "The End of the Unconscious Mind" is here and the article I mention discussing the various shortcomings of the Freudian model is here.


In the first half of the Twentieth Century, Freud's psychoanalytic model was considered both cutting-edge and scientific. However, the neuroscience of today has made various discoveries about the nature of memory and cognition that show the model cannot possibly be correct. Unfortunately for those of us who practice magick, during the period in which the model was considered respectable and scientific, there was a lot of effort expended on integrating psychoanalytic ideas into esotericism.


It is long past time that we as magical practitioners recognize that if we want to cultivate a scientific understanding of magick, integrating completely unscientific models like that of psychoanalysis does not help us. Instead, we need to look at the latest discoveries in neuroscience and consciousness research and adjust our models of magick accordingly.


Enjoy!


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Magick Without Fears Interview

This last Thursday I sat down the Magick Without Fears podcast for an interview that covered a lot of material related to my magical work, Enochian and otherwise. I was trying to figure out how to do a direct link to it, but that's turned out to be more work than I expected so I'm just linking to the main page. You can click here or on the image to get to the site where you can listen to the interview. This was another fun conversation - it's always nice to connect with other practitioners and share notes, even virtually.


Enjoy!


Friday, February 26, 2021

Behold the Golden Calf

I have a serious question for my regular readers. Does this feel like some sort of a joke to you? Because it sure does to me. I mean, if I were the sort of person who wanted to make fun of fundamentalist Christians (which I am) and had ample opportunity to get it done, a statue of Donald Trump seemingly deliberately created to resemble the "golden calf" of the Bible would be exactly the sort of Borat-style prank I would pull at CPAC. The joke would be to see if any of the fundamentalist Trump fans got the reference, and then make fun of them when they didn't. Which is exactly what's going on all over the Internet right now.


The Golden Calf is one of the most famous stories in the Old Testament. The Israelites, newly freed from Egyptian slavery, have a crisis of faith while God is speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai. They melt down the golden jewelry to construct a physical god — a statue in the shape of a calf — to worship in place of their abstract, invisible deity. It’s a story about the allure of idolatry, how easy it is to abandon one’s commitments to principle in favor of shiny, easy falsehoods.


This biblical tale trended on Twitter in the US Friday morning because of the following video, filmed on the first day of the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Someone involved in the conference constructed a golden statue — not of a calf, but of Trump — and wheeled it out to cheers from conference attendees. “That is so cool,” one of the onlookers says.


There are so many reasons why this is a perfect metaphor for the state of the GOP after the Trump presidency. The party sacrificed its commitment to political principles, including previously cherished ideals like free trade, on the altar of Trumpism. White evangelicals abandoned their alleged commitments to godliness in public servants and embraced a man accused of serial sexual assault who had an affair with a porn star and paid her hush money to cover it up. Conservatism, once seen as a high-minded intellectual tradition, became undeniably base and degraded in the Trump years.


Other indications that this might be some kind of Obvious Plant trolling is that it's not an even remotely dignified statue of Trump. He appears to be wearing a suit coat, dress shirt, and tie along with American flag boxers, red flip-flops, and no pants. Come on folks, this has to be a joke! Because it isn't, I'll be forced to admit that my opinion of Poor Oppressed Christians who follow Trump is actually too high. I hadn't previously considered that possible. So I'm waiting with my fingers crossed for the truth to come out.


Because if this is totally for real, and totally serious, and not intentionally designed to resemble the idol of the Bible as closely as possible, the level of stupidity just astounds me. And as anyone who knows me will tell you, it's really hard to astound me with stupidity.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Evangelical Leaders Condemn Christian Nationalism

Here's a welcome development. A group of evangelical Christian leaders has come out against "Christian nationalism," which they describe as "heresy." Wow. I have to say, I didn't see that coming. I mean, the whole concept is obviously heretical if you read the Bible and understand Christian theology and all that, but I'm not a Christian so when I say it, even over and over again, none of them listen to me. Hopefully they'll finally listen to members of their own religious leadership.


A coalition of evangelical Christian leaders is condemning the role of "radicalized Christian nationalism" in feeding the political extremism that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of former President Donald Trump.


In an open letter, more than 100 pastors, ministry and seminary leaders, and other prominent evangelicals express concern about the growing "radicalization" they're seeing, particularly among white evangelicals.


The letter notes that some members of the mob that stormed the Capitol carried Christian symbols and signs that read, "Jesus Saves," and that one of the rioters stood on the Senate rostrum and led a Christian prayer. The letter calls on other Christian leaders to take a public stand against racism, Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories and political extremism.


The letter reads, in part: "We recognize that evangelicalism, and white evangelicalism in particular, has been susceptible to the heresy of Christian nationalism because of a long history of faith leaders accommodating white supremacy. We choose to speak out now because we do not want to be quiet accomplices in this on-going sin."


Christian nationalism has a special appeal to Poor Oppressed Christians, that minority of Christians who feel oppressed by the mere existence of anyone different. By claiming that the United States was founded as a "Christian Nation" (when it was really founded on the idea of religious freedom), they can justify their un-American (and really, un-Christian) eliminationist beliefs as part of their religion. But they're really not.


It's good to see evangelical leaders recognizing this and speaking out against it. Let's hope that a lot of these folks take heed and rein this nonsense in before more bad things happen.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for February 23rd


Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk with More on Gatekeeping. The donation link is here. The post I mention in the talk on "Blinds and Innovation" is here and my Path of Initiation articles can be found here.


I find the whole notion of gatekeeping in the esoteric world pretty silly. The whole notion of "occult authority" is fraught with pitfalls and always has been. Your best guide is to approach magick in as scientific a way as possible and let your results be your guide. Traditions have a place because they give you a starting point for your practices, but to really become good at magick you have to make it your own.


Gatekeeping is problematic because it can keep people from starting a magical practice until they fulfill whatever requirements the gatekeeper deems "worthy" or "good enough." But really, the requirements are just that you learn how to do the rituals and start practicing them. You're not likely to be a virtuoso right out of the gate, but hardly anybody is. And the way to get better is to practice as much as you can.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Exorcise Your Cat!

No, not exercise, exorcise. Today's article can't help but remind me of Bill Murray in Ghostbusters 2 pushing his no-budget paranormal TV show. "Next week on World of the Psychic, hairless pets. Weird." The joke, of course, being that there's nothing paranormal or psychic or ghostly or demonic or whatever about having an unusual-looking pet.


Now that joke would be even funnier if there weren't clueless people out there taking it way too seriously. The article concerns a cat named Pixel who is a Cornish Rex. Cornish Rexes are a breed with far less hair than regular house cats, and they're fairly rare so a lot of people aren't that familiar with them. Pixel's owner, Alyson Kalhagen, recently posted some photos of the cat online and got some pretty bizarre responses.


One such message was from an exorcist who told Kalhagen that a demon was using her pet as a 'puppet' and instructing her to keep Pixel caged and pray 'over and over' in front of him to get the demon out. 'I had a message from this person telling me that they were an 'exorcist' and Pixel had been 'taken over by a demon that was controlling his face'.


'I think he was trying to tell me that's why my cat is making all of these crazy faces,' Kalhagen said. 'In that photo he's got kind of a blank stare with his weird little grin on his face - like maybe the lights were on or no one was at home, or whoever was at home wasn't up to any good.


'All the time people say 'this is the creepiest cat I've ever seen', 'my sleep paralysis demon has come to life' and if they saw him in the middle of the night they'd have a heart attack and it would scare them to death.


'People say all the time that he's a 'demon cat' who 'must be possessed' and that the devil's taken control of him. It's kind of a recurring theme. I think it's pretty funny because I usually just say 'imagine coming face to face when you're trying to scoop the litter box'.'


Friday, February 19, 2021

Praxis Behind The Obscure Interview


Yesterday I sat down for an interview with the Praxis Behind The Obscure podcast and covered a bunch of stuff related to my Enochian work and magick in general, plus my current ideas about consciousness and scientific approaches to magick. It was a good talk - give it a listen.


Since I mention it on the podcast, I'm in the process of working with my publisher to get the final technical issues resolved with Mastering the Thirty Aires, which means it should be out soon now. I know I've said that before and I apologize for the delays getting it out, but the book is going to be worth the wait.


Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for February 16th


Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, on Doing Magick Right. The donation link is here.


As a follow-up to last week's talk on Doing Magick Wrong, here's my take on Doing Magick Right. In this talk I explain what I have found to be "best practices" when approaching magick, especially as a beginner. A big part of that is ignoring wannabe gatekeepers trying to police your practice and doing what works for you.


To be clear, I'm not trying to come across that way myself either. If you have a practice that's working for you, keep it up - regardless of what I or anyone else tries to tell you. But if you're not sure where to start, I can recommend some good jumping-off points and basic rituals to get you on your way.


Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Ritual Night Talk for February 9th


Here is the video of yesterday's Ritual Night Talk, on Doing Magick Wrong. The donation link is here.


Lots of folks on the Internet will tell you that you're doing magick wrong, no matter what you're doing. From authors arguing over whose book is the right way to do it, to people pushing their own special secrets that only they can teach you, these sorts of argument - especially online - are to be avoided as a beginning practitioner. It's much more important to do the work than it is to worry about making minor mistakes.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

More Legal Trouble for Museum of the Bible

Whatever happened to "Thou Shalt Not Steal?" The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC is owned by the oh-so-Christian Green family of Hobby Lobby Craft Stores fame. It also has a serious antiquities theft problem going back many years involving stolen and illegally trafficked artifacts. In the latest chapter of this entirely un-Christian saga, the museum has been forced to return over five thousand Egyptian artifacts that were illegally smuggled into the United States.


The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC has returned some 5,000 artifacts to the Egyptian government, after years of talks between agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The objects have been held at the Museum since its opening in 2016. Egypt has been seeking repatriation of the objects, which it says were smuggled illegally out of the country, for just as long.


The objects include funerary masks; fragments of coffins; a set of portraits of the dead; heads of stone statues; manuscripts of Christian prayers written in both Arabic and Coptic, and just Arabic; and pieces of papyrus with text in Coptic and Greek, as well as hieratic and demotic script. The pieces will be displayed in Cairo’s Coptic Museum. According to Hisham Al Laithi, who heads the country’s antiquities registration center, the objects were not taken from Egyptian warehouses or museums. Instead they were smuggled after being illegally excavated.


The Museum has been plagued by issues of suspicious and incomplete provenance and has returned thousands of artifacts to Iraq and Egypt since opening in 2017. Founder and board chairman Steve Green is also the president of Hobby Lobby craft stores, and has a personal collection valued at $30 million, which he began amassing in 2009.


In 2015, the Green family was investigated for importing looted clay tablets from Israel, which were shipped in 2011 to Oklahoma City, where Hobby Lobby is headquartered, with plans to be displayed at the museum when it opened. The shipment was labeled as “tile samples.” Despite the fact that the museum maintained that clerical and paperwork errors were to blame, Hobby Lobby returned more than 5,000 artifacts smuggled from Iraq and paid a $3 million fine.


Friday, February 5, 2021

Werewolf Trials in France

One of my claims to being fame-adjacent is that I was in college with Mark Rein-Hagen, creator of the World of Darkness series of role-playing games including Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The reason I bring this up is to point out that the World of Darkness was one of the first places in popular culture where the vampire and werewolf myths were combined into a single story. This trope has gone on to become a mainstay of modern paranormal fiction - vampires and werewolves are treated as part of a single unified myth, often as adversaries.


In real life, though, it should be pointed out that werewolves and vampires are separate myths and come from completely different parts of Europe. The vampire is myth is from Eastern Europe, which is why in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula is originally from Transylvania, a region in modern-day Romania. The werewolf myth is from Western Europe, particularly France. And I will say that I'm getting kind of sick of the whole "paranormal slush" genre that lumps vampires and werewolves together, and then brings in basically every other paranormal creature on the damn planet. It makes a good scenario for a role-playing game in which you want players to have a lot of options, but in terms of real-world mythology it's kind of a mess.


At any rate, I came across this article today about the Beast of Gévaudan and the "werewolf trials" that took place in sixteenth and early seventeeth-century France. I was familiar with the story of the Beast of Gévaudan from cryptozoology circles and also with a couple of the most famous werewolf trials, but I was quite surprised to find out just how many actually went on. You'd think that a "werewolf panic" would be even more implausible than the witch panics that happened in other parts of Europe. It's one thing to accuse someone of casting spells or "communing with the devil," which can't be proven by empirical means, but these trials purported to be about observable physical transformations - which either happen or don't.


As Dangerous Minds notes, the period between roughly 1520 and 1630 saw “France’s version of Europe’s witch trials and executions, but with werewolves. For 110 years, 30 thousand people were accused of being werewolves, tortured in exchange for their confessions, or lack of admission of guilt, and died at the stake.” The panic persisted long afterward. In the most famous case of wolf terror, La Bête du Gévaudan, or the Beast of Gévaudan, supposedly killed and partially ate over 100 people in the span of three years, beginning in 1764.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

QAnon Has Lost Its Shaman

This article is from a week ago, but with Donald Trump's second impeachment trial not yet underway, it's still relevant to current news events. After not receiving a pardon for storming the capitol on January 6th along with a violent MAGA mob, the (apparently now former) "Q-Shaman" has announced that he is willing to testify against the former president.


"QAnon Shaman" who was seen in pictures of the Capitol riot wearing horns and red, white, and blue face paint is willing to testify against former President Donald Trump — because he feels "betrayed" he didn't receive a pardon for what he thought was following Trump's orders. Jacob Chansley, of Arizona, is accused of breaking into the Senate chamber and leaving a threatening message for former Vice President Mike Pence — who became a target of the rioters' wrath due to his refusal to overturn the election certification using a fringe legal theory.


"Lawyer Albert Watkins said he hasn't spoken to any member in the Senate since announcing his offer to have Jacob Chansley testify at Trump's trial, which is scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 8. Watkins said it's important for senators to hear the voice of someone who was incited by Trump," said the report. "Watkins said his client was previously 'horrendously smitten' by Trump but now feels let down after Trump's refusal to grant Chansley and others who participated in the insurrection a pardon. 'He felt like he was betrayed by the president,' Watkins said."


One of these days I hope to be able to quit posting about all this QAnonsense, but it's important to keep it in perspective at the moment. The fact that people believe in it at all is ridiculous, and I should point out that "Q-Shaman" must not have believed it that much if he's now willing to excuse the child-torturing and adrenachrome-huffing that he was advocating against only weeks ago. Is he now suddenly okay with torturing children?


I mean, so much of this QAnon stuff isn't really happening, but it's a serious question. If he really believes it's a thing, or even really believed it was a thing, would he just give it up the minute he felt betrayed by his beloved president? I think - or at least hope - that on some level a lot of the people involved realize it's not happening and were just pushing the narrative because they thought it helped Trump, the focus of their obsessed personality cult.


Every movement has dead-enders, and I expect QAnon will be no exception. But if the whole thing really was mostly a cynical ploy to demonize liberals, at least it means a lot fewer people have completely lost their damn minds - even "Q-Shaman," who sure looks like he has in the footage from the insurrection.


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Aquarius Elixir Rite for 2021


Here is the video of yesterday's Aquarius Elixir Rite. The donation link is here.


The sign Aquarius is attributed to the Star card in the Tarot, and is attributed to "Astrology" in Liber 777. In addition to ruling reading and interpreting astrological charts, Aquarius rules astrological forces in general and therefore has many practical applications related to aspects, transits, natal chart elements, and the like.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Moral Panics, Old and New

Here's a blast from the past. Remember when religious prohibitionists tried to crack down on "backwards Satanic messages" in popular rock music? It happened decades ago, so if you don't recall or weren't even around back then, Ars Obscura has an in-depth article covering the moral panic over these alleged messages that peaked in the early 1980's. That may seem like ancient history, but the tale also holds some important lessons for today and for the current political situation.


On April 27, 1982, members of the California Assembly’s Consumer Protection and Toxics Committee gathered in Sacramento to hear Robert Plant endorse Satan. This was not a straightforward testimonial. For one thing, the Led Zeppelin frontman wasn’t actually in attendance. Also, his pro-devil paeans could only be heard when you played “Stairway to Heaven” backwards.


After circulating pamphlets with the “backward masked” declarations spelled out, that’s precisely what Assemblyman Phillip Wyman and panel witness William H. Yarroll II did. The relevant portion of the eight-minute classic was first played forward for committee members and then reversed. Here’s what Wyman claimed could be heard:


“I sing because I live with Satan. The Lord turns me off. There’s no escaping it. Here’s to my sweet Satan.” Yarroll, who identified himself as a “neuroscientist,” noted that a teenager need only listen to “Stairway to Heaven” three times before these backward messages were “stored as truth.”


One of the biggest problems religious prohibitionists face is that many religious prohibitions exist only for religious reasons and cause no real harm to anyone in society at large. As an early-eighties teenager who enjoyed both classic and progressive rock, it made no difference to me whether someone who belonged to an evangelical church believed that such music was sinful and therefore chose not to listen to it. Logically it should go the other way - I listen to the music I like, they listen to the music they find acceptable. We're done, right?