Friday, February 25, 2022

Ritual Night Talk for February 23rd

Here is the video of the latest Ritual Night Talk, on the Star Ruby. The Star Ruby article link is here and the donation link is here.

The Star Ruby is Aleister Crowley's "improved ritual of the pentagram." It works in roughly the same way as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, but with Thelemic godnames and a couple of additional steps. Like the LRP it is a general microcosmic ritual and as such works well for daily practice in conjunction with the Star Sapphire, Crowley's corresponding general hexagram ritual. As the Star Ruby is a banishing ritual and the Star Sapphire is an invoking ritual, the combination of the two represents prior usage of a structure matching that of the operant field that I write about here on Augoeides.


Monday, February 21, 2022

This Occult Cold Case Also Wasn't

Vice posted an article last week on one of the most influential cold cases in British history that was attributed to "witchcraft" and somehow went on to fuel a pop culture sensation. In 1945, a 74-year-old farm worker named Charles Walton was found murdered outside the town of Lower Quinton in England. Because his body was found in an odd position, police decided that occultism had to be involved - and the media ran with it. Let's just say that the United States in the 1980's and 1990's wasn't the only place where law enforcement liked to connect anything remotely weird at a crime scene with witchcraft, magick, satanism, or whatever the paranormal flavor of the day happened to be.

Lower Quinton subsequently gained a new level of media attention, and the newspapers relished in turning the story of Walton’s death into an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery about backward-thinking, sun god-worshipping rural folk. Salacious headlines about human sacrifice were abound, and the local Coventry Telegraph referred to the case as a “whodunnit witchcraft murder”.

“The then 87-year-old Margaret Murray [author of the popular but much maligned The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology] believed the Walton murder was likely a ritual act, performed with the purpose of replenishing the soil,” explains Darren Charles, a historian from the Folk Horror Revival project. Touching on some of the wilder rumours that circulated, he says: “Apparently the year before Walton’s death proved to be a difficult harvest and the beer brewed from those crops was undrinkable. Walton was seen as an unusual fellow, who had bred Natterjack toads in his garden and tamed wild dogs with just his voice.”

Although this might all sound far fetched as a motive for murder, Charles says it was much more logical in the context of the time; of a remote region re-connecting with its ancient superstitions amid the dread and fears of World War II. To some locals, unsure of the future, looking backwards, and outside of the Christian church for philosophical guidance, was far more appealing. “Near [to where Walton’s body was found] is the Rollright Stones [an ancient stone monument] and the Burhill Iron Age Hill Fort, which give the whole region a sense of being ancient, magical, and strange,” adds Charles.

The crime remains unsolved, giving it a certain mystique to filmmakers, and arguably acting as a nucleus for the booming folk horror genre. David Pinner’s 1967 novel Ritual was loosely based on the Walton murder. When it was adapted into 1973 cult classic The Wicker Man, the idea of a rural town harbouring pagan beliefs and merrily sacrificing dissenters solidified itself as a narrative device in horror cinema, with a through line that can be traced all of the way to Ari Aster’s Midsommar (2019) and Ben Wheatley’s In The Earth (2021).

And here's the thing - it's very unlikely that Walton's murder had anything to do with magick or witchcraft, just like the also-famous and also non-occult murder of Jeannette DePalma that took place in the United States in 1972. As in the DePalma case, police looked at the Walton crime scene and decided that there had to be a sinister occult motive behind the crime. This was because he was killed with farm implements (that he might have just been carrying with him, since he was a farm worker) and had a mark like a cross in his chest (when any two intersecting cuts form a cross).

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Aquarius Elixir Rite for 2022

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

The sign Aquarius is attributed to the Star card in the Tarot, and to "Astrology" in Liber 777. This includes learning about the practice and significance of astrology, and also working with and directing astrological forces. The latter is a very broad and general power that can be used for many different applications. Finally, Aquarius rules the qualities that you will find related to the sign in any book on astrology. Those sorts of intentions should work fine with this ritual as well.


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Baptism Fail

I often have noted here on Augoeides that religions who claim to be opposed to magick use magick themselves, all the time. The simple act of praying for a particular outcome is exactly the same as what we do when we call on deities to accomplish particular things, and in some situations that can involve intercessory entities like saints and/or angels. That's magick, and as far as I can tell the only reason religions are opposed to magick is that they want to uphold their monopoly on it.

But here's a really weird story out of Phoenix, Arizona. Apparently, Roman Catholic ritual isn't just magick, it's basically Harry Potter magick. That is, one wrong word and it doesn't work. I have noted on a number of occasions that this isn't true at all about ceremonial magick, horror movie tropes notwithstanding, so it's surprising to find it in the Catholic system.

A Catholic priest has resigned after a church investigation found he performed invalid baptisms throughout most of his more than 20-year career, according to Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix. Father Andres Arango, who performed thousands of baptisms, would say, "We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." But Olmsted explained the words "We baptize" should have been "I baptize" instead.

"The issue with using 'We' is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather, it is Christ, and Him alone, who presides at all of the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptizes," Olmsted wrote in a message to parishioners posted last month. The error also means that because baptism is the first of the sacraments, some people will need to repeat other sacraments, according to the diocese webpage for frequently asked questions. CNN has reached out to the diocese for comment on other sacraments.

Arango resigned as pastor of the St. Gregory Parish in Phoenix as of February 1. "It saddens me to learn that I have performed invalid baptisms throughout my ministry as a priest by regularly using an incorrect formula. I deeply regret my error and how this has affected numerous people in your parish and elsewhere," Arango wrote in his own message on the site.

I guess he needed to say it levio-SAH, you know? This seems to me to be a pretty fine distinction. We-singular has been used by royalty for a very long time, and isn't Jesus supposed to be the King of Kings in the Christian system? That would certainly imply that the word doesn't necessarily have to connotate the community. "We" could also refer to Jesus doing the baptism and the priest making the motions. For example, I use "our" in the elixir rites even when it's just me working, because "our" still refers to myself and the conjured angel.

My guess is that this isn't actually a magical problem, but a bureaucratic one. I am highly confident that any Thelemic baptism I might perform would be an effective ritual even if a few of the words weren't the same as the official script. Real magick is actually pretty tolerant that way. Spirits can read surface thoughts, after all, and divine your intent, and this is just as true if not moreso with respect to deities. In fact, in the Christian system, Jesus as one member of the trinity is officially omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. So there's that.

This demonstrates a big problem with the idea of trying to standardize magick - and I say that as someone who has devoted a fair amount of time to developing modular templates and so forth for both Thelemic and Enochian magical work. As with anything, it's possible to go too far and the real test of any operation should be whether or not it works and how impressive the results are. While I do understand that "works" is a difficult thing to measure with a ritual like baptism, it seems to me that it's ridiculous for a single pronoun to negate the whole thing.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Via Solis Aquarius Elixir Rite - Year Five

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Aquarius Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, February 15th, at the Tuesday ritual workshop starting around 8 PM CDT. I will also be posting a video of the ritual on the Leaping Laughter YouTube channel tomorrow evening, which can be found here.

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 Aquarius. The sign Aquarius is attributed to the power of "Astrology." This includes both learning about astrology and astrological methods, and working directly with specific astrological forces, aspects, and the like. As such, this is a general power with many possible practical applications. 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, February 9, 2022

Ritual Night Talk for February 8th

Here is the video of Tuesday's Ritual Night Talk, on the Elevenfold Seal. The donation link is here.

The Elevenfold Seal is a ritual that is part of another ritual - it serves as the opening and closing for Liber V vel Reguli, the most elaborate of Aleister Crowley's pentagram rituals. Over the years I have adapted the Elevenfold Seal into my daily magical practice and use it kind of like a lot of magicians use the Middle Pillar Ritual. It can serve the same function, calling the energies and qualities of the divine into your body of light and facilitating identification with the divine.


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Still Against Fiction

Christian book-burners are at it again. Do they ever stop? For a little while there it seemed like the more dramatic stunts had dropped off, even if schools were still receiving plenty of requests to have books removed from libraries by a lot of the same folks. But controversial Tennessee pastor Greg Locke held a book-burning event just last week, in an effort to save his religious beliefs from the scourge of fictional magick.

Greg Locke, head pastor at Global Vision Bible Church, held a book burning event Wednesday night, and urged followers to burn “evil garbage” like young adult fantasy books, tarot cards, “voodoo dolls and crystals.”

“Bring all your Harry Potter stuff. Laugh all you want haters. I don’t care. IT’S WITCHCRAFT 100 PERCENT,” Locke said in an Instagram post Monday. “All you ‘Twilight’ books and movies. That mess is full of spells, demonism, shape-shifting and occultism.”

In a video livestreamed on Facebook, churchgoers hurl books and other items deemed associated with “witchcraft” into a massive bonfire on the church’s parking lot in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. The burning begins about an hour into the livestream. At least one counterprotester claimed to throw a Bible into the flames, Nashville Scene reported.

“We have a constitutional right and a Biblical right to do what we’re going to do tonight,” Locke said in the livestreamed video. “We have a burn permit, but even without one a church has a religious right to burn occultic materials that they deem are a threat to their religious rights and freedoms and belief systems.”

Now J. K. Rowling has shown herself to be problematic of late, and Twilight is just plain bad. Still, I'm absolutely and unswervingly opposed to book burning regardless of content, and as a practicing worker of magick I can also assure everyone out there that both the Harry Potter and Twilight series are fiction. The "spells, demonism, shape-shifting, and occultism" portrayed in those books has nothing to do with magick in the real world.

And these folks honestly have to know that the magick in these books is actually 100% fake and poses no real occult threat. The reason they persist in this nonsense is that to some kinds of Christians - to be clear, the wrong kind - there's nothing more dangerous than imagination. It's no wonder that so many young people who grow up in those churches leave. I have trouble contemplating an existence in which no one is safe even in their own thoughts, and can think of few things more existentially depressing.

Obviously, a belief system that awful is under threat from anything fun. It's not just fantasy fiction, which remains popular because people like it, but anything at all enjoyable. As I see it, joy and spirituality should go hand in hand, and any belief system that can be destroyed by something as trivial as fantasy fiction should just be destroyed and get it over with.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Ancient and Illuminated Seers of Nigeria Exposed!

I know that lately the sorts of articles I used to post here have fallen by the wayside. It turns out that it takes time and planning to put together the material for the Ritual Night Talks, especially now that I am running the workshops in-person and am also creating and posting the Tuesday night videos. I hope to get back to some content besides the Ritual Night Talks soon, and here's a bit of a preview. Have any of you ever been contacted by the Illuminati? My guess is that many of us have probably seen this particular spam email. It's been around for a long time - I even posted an article on an earlier version of it all the way back in 2014.

While I always have dismissed this as a scam (and it is), I also have idly wondered what happens if you actually reply. Back in 2019, intrepid YouTuber Pleasant Green did just that - he responded to see what would happen and recorded his results in the video embedded above. As it turns out, it's a whole lot less weird than you might expect, and is pretty much a straightforward advance fee scam that can be linked back to - you guessed it - Nigeria. Just like the spam email I mentioned in my 2014 article. The scammer did go to a little more effort than some of the others I've seen debunked, though. In order to make it look like the scammer was in New York, they were using a server farm there located that passed a cursory investigation.

There is of course no "real Illuminati" today. At this point the rumors endure because it's become something of a joke in the music industry. The real Illuminati order was founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776 in Bavaria as an alternative to Freemasonry, and didn't even last twenty years. Far from being an all-powerful secret society, it quickly folded in the face of repression by the Bavarian government. The modern idea of the Illuminati owes a lot to Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's Illuminatus! trilogy than to anything historical. While it's true that there are a few very wealthy people who run a lot of things all over the world, most are simply pursuing their own self-interest rather than coordinating on some grand scale.

As I've noted here on Augoeides multiple times, the way to get power in the world is to get vast amounts of money, and people who are that focussed on getting vast amounts of money are not generally going to be occultists. You might find some interest among the super-rich who inherited their wealth, but to be a successful entrepreneur at that level requires a degree of obsession that leaves little time and energy for other interests that are time-consuming and require significant effort. That pretty much rules out super-rich magicians - or at the very least super-rich effective magicians.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Ritual Night Talk for February 1st

Here is the video of Tuesday's Ritual Night Talk, with more on Thelemic Ritual Structure. The latest ritual template article is here, the Planetary Work - Jupiter article is here, and the donation link is here.

This video continues the discussion from last week of how to assemble the various ritual forms into larger operations. It includes working through an example, a planetary ritual for Jupiter similar to the one from the article linked above. I also talk a bit about formulating intents and the sorts of magical goals we should be aspiring towards.