Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Spell Failure

These days I don't put up many articles about African witchcraft. For a while I did, but the same basic themes kept coming up - some poor outsider in the community who was accused of witchcraft for no clear reason, and then run out of town or killed by an angry mob. I also put up a few posts about lawmakers trying to rectify the ongoing situation, and how fundamentalist Christians were usually the ones egging the mobs on. It got old, and it got sad, and it was hard to say how much things were really changing and how quickly.

But here's a story out of Kenya that's more embarassing than tragic. A woman accused of stealing money from her employer went to a professional magician for a spell to keep her from getting arrested. Unfortunately for her, the spell was a bust. Police showed up in the middle of the ritual and hauled her off to jail. When police arrived, the magician kept up his chanting so that they would be unable to see the suspect (who was right there in the room) but this likewise proved ineffective.

Detectives have arrested a woman suspected to have stolen Sh4 million from her employer three weeks ago. The suspect, according to the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, was nabbed at a witch doctor's house in Gachie, Kiambu County, during a ritual to help her evade arrest. She was accompanied by her husband as she sought protection from police arrest. "The detectives arrived in time as the suspect was being immersed in a basin containing a concoction of blood drawn from a dead fowl, whose features resembled those of a cockerel," Kinoti said.

"Upon noticing the detectives, the elderly witch doctor pronounced endless incantations in an attempt to keep them at bay, but that did not deter the sleuths from executing their mission much to the bemusement of Mwelu, who had closed her eyes expecting the sleuths to vanish. She couldn’t come to terms with reality after the in-charge of the operation told her ‘mama bado tuko hapa vaa nguo twende (We're still here, put on your clothes and let's leave)."

This is a good point to segue into a word about how invisibility spells work. They are sometimes misunderstood as magick that bends light around a person and makes them impossible to physically see. The truth is that they work by directing the attention of others away from you or your target. With an effective invisibility spell you really can walk through a crowded public space without anyone taking notice of you. They physically see you, but the spell prevents them from paying attention to or remembering you.

On the other hand, these spells won't fool a security camera because they don't affect the light around you or how it refracts. They also won't generally work in a situation where the people you are trying to disappear from know where you are and specifically come looking for you. A really good invisibility spell might have worked if the suspect had actively tried to hide, since these spells can influence others to overlook particular hiding places, but otherwise the suspect was pretty much guaranteed to be caught.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Another Satanic Panic Source

As I have covered previously here on Augoeides, the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980's and early 1990's largely originated from porn. This is why so many of the things "Satanists" were accused of aren't real techiques of magick or occultism, and why magicians looking into those claims don't understand how their alleged rituals even worked. They didn't, because real magick had nothing to do with the panic. It was all about fabricating accounts and accusations based on material presented in "Satanic pornography" from the 1970's.

The New Yorker has an article up that explores yet another piece of the puzzle that I previously knew nothing about, a Mormon housewife named Beatrice Sparks. Sparks was a literary fraud, kind of like James Frey and other recent authors who have passed off made-up stories as memoirs or factual accounts. The New Yorker article is a review of a recent book by Rick Emerson that discusses Sparks' work.

Sparks published a book called Go Ask Alice in 1971. Sparks claimed that the book was a real diary kept by a teenage girl and that she merely "edited" the text. The book was presented this way to the media and, of course, became a huge bestseller - because the market rewarding writers for fraud is practically a cliche. At any rate, the book tells the story of a young girl's descent into horrific drug addiction and ends with an author's note describing her alleged death by either suicide or accidental overdose.

Go Ask Alice provided fuel for the drug war of the 1970s, as it implied that the lurid and exaggerated events of the book were "what the kids were up to" or something like that. It was Sparks' next project, though, where this story moves into Augoeides territory. Sparks was contacted by a family who wanted her to edit and publish their son's diary, who had died by suicide at the age of sixteen.

A few months later, Sparks was back in the diary business with “Jay’s Journal.” She claimed, in the book’s introduction, that a woman had read an article about her and then called to ask if Sparks might take the journal of her son—a deceased sixteen-year-old who’d had a genius-level I.Q.—and use it to expose the dangers of witchcraft. Accepting this solemn task, Sparks sorted through the boy’s possessions, interviewed his friends and teachers, and organized his journal into more than two hundred entries. A small disclaimer on the copyright page indicated that “times, places, names, and some details have been changed to protect the privacy and identity of Jay’s family and friends.”

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Blood of Christ

Europe is littered with alleged relics from early Christianity. While it is hard to say how many of them are genuine, one that is considered among the most holy is an ornate box contgaining two vials that are supposed hold the blood of Christ from the crucifiction. Recently the Dutch church that housed the box was robbed, and the relic were stolen along with a collection of other atrifacts. But the box was soon returned with the vials intact.

On June 1, thieves stole ancient artifacts from the F├ęcamp Abbey, a historic church in France. The artifacts included dishes, a gilded copper box covered in religious art, and most notably, two vials supposedly holding the blood of Christ, collected during his cruxifiction, Artnet reported.

After the artifacts were stolen, detective Arthur Brand told Artnet that he began receiving anonymous emails from a person saying they were in possession of the valuable relics.

The thieves most likely hid the art at a friend's house after learning that it was bad luck to steal religious artifacts, Brand told ArtNet. The friend then emailed him asking to return the artifact, Brand deduced. "To have the ultimate relic, the blood of Jesus in your home, stolen, that's a curse," Brand told AFP.

Brand told the email sender to leave the art at his doorstep and waited in his home for a week until he heard the doorbell ring. He told Artnet News that he didn't see anybody outside, but saw the box on the ground and ran downstairs. He then notified Dutch authorities.

Whether stealing the vials actually cursed anyone is not known. I can see where the thieves might have taken the box because it looked valuable, and only later discovered that they had a priceless religious relic they could never sell. Curse or no curse, I can also see where a Christian would fear some sort of judgment for stealing the literal blood of Christ. Then again, maybe it did take something paranormal to get the thieves to return the relic, and finding out what that was mioght show whether the relic actually has some sort of cursing power.

At any rate, the relic is a piece of history and I'm glad to hear it was returned rather than disappearing or turning up destroyed. I'm sure the church is happy about it too. As for the other stolen artifacts, though, the thieves remain at large. When they're caught, I hope that Dutch police ask them about curses, since I would be very curious to hear why they decided that the box had to be returned and what led up to that decision.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Because Bigfoot

An Oklahoma man recently charged with murder came up with one of the most unusual self-defense claims I have ever heard. He admitted to killing his fishing partner, but explained that it he had to do it because the man was summoning Bigfoot to kill him. I was previously unaware that summoning Bigfoot was even a thing, and in this case it's likely a product of the killer's mental state and nothing to do with any "summoning" that the victim was attempting.

Larry Sanders, 53, stands charged with first-degree murder after allegedly admitting first to a family member and later to police to killing his noodling fishing partner Jimmy Knighten, who Sanders claimed wanted him dead by the hand of the mythical monster Bigfoot. Noodling is a popular fishing technique used in the southern United States to catch a fish by sticking one’s hand in its mouth.

The local sheriff, John Christian, told local media that Sanders “appeared to be under the influence of something” when he told police he had struck, strangled, and then drowned Knighten. “So, his statement was that Mr. Knighten had summoned ‘Bigfoot’ to come and kill him, and that’s why he had to kill Mr. Knighten,” Christian told local reporters.

And now I totally want to know how all this was supposed to work. If we assume that Bigfoot is a real and physical animal, summoning and controlling one would probably fall under Leo, "the power of taming wild beasts." If we also take Sanders at his word - and to be clear, it sounds like that's maybe a bigger "if" than whether or not Bigfoot exists - his friend would have to habe been some sort of wizard. Without real magical skill summoning Bigfoot won't work, and regardless of magical skill, nothing is going to happen if there's no Bigfoot out there to summon.

But regardless of what Sanders thought was going on, this seems like a really weird conclusion to leap to. "I feel like my friend is acting suspiciously. Clearly he's summoning Bigfoot to kill me!" And as a point, you can't always expect a spell to die with the caster - any operation anchored to an external object like a talisman will endure after the caster's death. But I digress a bit there. At any rate, we probably will never know what exactly happened in the lead-up to this murder. But my guess is that it must have been pretty weird.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Cancer Elixir Rite for 2022

Here is the video of the Cancer Elixir Rite. The donation link is here.

The sign Cancer is attributed to the Chariot card in the Tarot, and to "the power of casting enchantments" in Liber 777. Enchantment is a general magical technique by which you can draw or "magnetize" just about anything into your life, and as such is a highly versatile powwer with many practical applications. In addition, intents corresponding to any quality attributed to Cancer by astrologers will also work as appropriate intents for this operation.

Sorry this took so long to get done. I had to resolve some audio issues with my recording setup, but they should be fixed now. Thanks for your patience.


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Not That Kind of Bomb

Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney is one of the few Republicans in congress willing to stand up to Donald Trump. While I disagree with her on almost every issue, I will say that I respect her for doing what so many others in her party refused to do, both in standing up to the former president and serving on the commission investigating the events of January 6th. For anybody who doesn't know, Liz Cheney is the daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney who served under George W. Bush.

Another fact I know with great confidence is that she's not a witch.

Apparently, though, a fan of Cheney described as "crazy" by Wyoming law enforcement thinks she should be. A suspicious package recently arrived at Cheney's office, and her staff feared the worst. The bomb squad was called in to check the package for explosives and found nothing. When the package was opened, it contained a book on witchcraft and another book on "absolute power" along with a newspaper article and two weird handwritten notes.

Cheney’s Riverton employee on June 30 received a package addressed to Cheney, according to a report by the Riverton Police Department. The employee, whose name is redacted from the report, originally thought nothing of the package, until she noticed a strange message scrawled on its outside.

“Pelosi/Cheney 2024 ‘To win a sword fight you must not care if you live or die’ Lancelot-First Knight Movie released 1995,” read one of the cryptic, hand-written messages on the package. “A Special 4th of July Surprise. Pitcher Get Ready, Batter up. Not Guts No Glory AOC Knows!” the writing also said. Cheney’s employee brought the package, which had been in the back of her car, to the police department. Adjacent businesses were evacuated. RPD redacted the sender’s name from the police report but included a harsh assessment of him from Montana law enforcement.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Magicians Are Not Criminals

One of the most disturbing events in the recent history of esotericism was the so-called "Satanic Panic" of the late 1980's and early 1990's. Back in 2015 I covered a bizarre law enforcement training video from the period that associated nonsense like graffiti pentagrams (that is, stars) with serious criminal activity. The period was a disaster for anybody who had even a passing interest in the occult and caught the eye of investigators. As just one prominent example, in the HBO documentary series Paradise Lost you can see courtroom footage of Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three being convicted of murder on the basis of merely having an interest in Aleister Crowley.

DNA evidence eventually showed that the murder committed by someone else entirely, but the West Memphis Three nonetheless spent eighteen years in prison - all because of the idea that people who use magick are criminals, so evidence of interest in magick is evidence of a crime. And that brings me to today's story out of Phoenix, Arizona. A new initiative is underway to help law enforcement identify occult practices employed by Mexican drug cartels. While it is true that cartels use magick, this quote from the article makes me nervous.

"They use prayer, icons or candles as a tool to facilitate criminal activity such as for drugs, human smuggling and weapons," Almonte tells the Tribune. "Officers frequently run into these icons and items of their spiritual underworld and they don't know what they're dealing with. We want to make officers aware of these indicators of criminal activity so they can know what to look for that also can lead to other avenues in an investigation."

The Tribune notes that as recently as last month, Mexican drug cartel violence was found in the Valley when a 38-year-old illegal immigrant was found beheaded in his Chandler apartment after stealing 400 pounds of marijuana from a drug cartel. Candles and a Ouija board were reportedly found at the scene, which -- along with the beheading -- Almonte says is "just another day at the office."

The problem here is not that cartels don't really make use of occult practices - it has been thoroughly documented that they absolutely do. The problem is treating anyone who has items related to esotericism as a criminal. Magical items are not "indicators of criminal activity." They are elements of spiritual and religious practice and need to be treated as such in the eyes of the law. If police searched my home, they would find more magical paraphernalia than you can shake a stick at. Does that make me a cartel member? Of course it doesn't, any more than somebody who spray-paints a pentagram on a tree is engaged in human sacrifices.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Georgia Guidestones Bombed

All the way back in 2012 I posted an article here on Augoeides about the Georgia Guidestones, a monument erected in rural Georgia by a mysterious rich guy in 1980. The Guidestones have figured prominently in conspiracy theories usually advanced by conservatives about some sort of "New World Order" that apparently made the bizarre decision to post its entire secret agenda on stone tablets for everyone to read.

This sort of paranoid thinking always amazes me - evil villains who are supposed to be so smart that principled Americans stand no chance against them, but so dumb that they give away the plot immediately to anybody who can read letters on a stone monument. And that paranoia now seems to have peaked. Today a bomb was detonated at the Guidestone site, causing significant damage to the monument.

The preliminary information indicates that someone detonated an explosive device at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

GBI officials said officials with the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office found the explosion destroyed a large portion of the structure. The Elbert County Sheriff's Office asked the GBI to assist with the investigation.

The guidestones sit on a site 7 miles north of Elberton on Georgia Highway 77 and are often referred to as an American Stonehenge.

In my previous article, I talked about how this whole thing was basically a rich guy posting his ideas on a monument, and that was it. I noted that the statements on the stones range from ridiculous to unworkable to watered-down meaningless platitudes, and wrote up my own set of similarly nonsensical principles. I talked about how conservatives freaking out about the message on the stones was silly, and how paranoia surrounding them was entirely misplaced. But a recent investigation by John Oliver's team at Last Week Tonight set me right. The stones really do have a sinister origin, but not for the reason conservative conspiracy theorists think.