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Bullshit Siddhis

Nsala malongo, So.....powers. They exist. You work your alchemy, and they start popping up. It isn't what you expect. It's not like the comics. Subtle things happen. You get a little something here, a big something there. Some of them appear useless at first. Some years ago, after work in the upper cinnabar field, I gained the dubiously awesome ability to see a sort of spirit double floating around people. At first I was BEYOND stoked, and thought I was well on my way toward ascension from my normal state into a vicious and powerful spiritual overlord, as was foretold. By me. When I was like, fourteen. Then, after the wonder wore off, I realized that this was absolutely useless. The double gave me no information about the person, no power to manipulate myself or the other. It was just there. So. Countless hours of heat and concentration, and the end result was this? Of course it *was* useful in the long-run, as a mark of my developing spiritual s
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Working brujeria for others is often thankless and time consuming.

Sala Malongo, Man, y'all. I find that I now spend the vaaaaast majority of my sorcerous/meditative time doing work for others. Which is awesome in many ways, as I've gotten very skilled at what I do. I've got no time for the experimentation, though. No time just fooling about. Sometimes I'm tempted to just say fuck it, and return to just doing things for myself....but I'm a priest, a Tata Nkisi. So I have duties beyond entertainment, and beyond my own development. Gotta balance this stage in the life as well. It's interesting, at the very least. I would have been overjoyed when I was a young aspiring wizard in my 20's to have this kind of problem, haha. Now I look back wistfully at the days when I could meditate for 4 hours straight--or at all-without scheduling a meeting with myself on Google Calendar. Many of the folks who are clients become good friends, some become students, others end up becoming sorcerer/priests themselves. And they are a bless

Review: Alchemy Rising, The Green Book by Heliopholus

Sala malongo, So. The writer states (in summary) quite early in the book that his aim is to revitalize alchemy in the UK. I don't know why he's leaving it at just the UK. This book has the potential, assuming you all aren't a bunch of lazy gits, to revitalize modern alchemy *period*. I've been an alchemist for some time. Well past the decade mark. I legit spent the first half of that in a state of near perfect confusion. No two books were alike, no meanings the same, progress was near glacial. I grew in understanding in the way a paleontologist does, slowly brushing off old bones in hopes of revelation, unable to move quickly for fear of screwing up the whole mess. I had to learn the hard way, to study spagery in Orders and then of course the laboratory. I worked Junius, I studied Philalethes. From the Golden Chain on down to modern works. Spent roughly eleventy-billion dollars on glassware. What you end up with is an understanding that there are a thousand me

Old Pacts, Nfumbe, and Modern Continuances.

Working the Dead Sala Malongo, Working spirit for a student / client this weekend, and a few thoughts came to mind. One in particular was about the nature of bone, spirit, and pact as it has moved through time....and how Cuban Palo's history has manifested itself in American Palo. There were many Chinese in Cuba working during the slave times, and the societies of Cuba, the Munanso, the cabildo, etc often contained members who were of partial or full Chinese Ancestry. Many of us, Mayemberos and Brillumberos alike, count Tata ndi bilongo "Chino" Arriete as an ancestor. There is an old line of co-working and powerful Cuban spirits of Chinese ancestry in the current of Palo. Their influence flows in interesting ways though practice.  As I'm working with the remains of an individual to bring forth his spirit from the un-manifest and pregnant darkness, we begin to connect. His identity starts to press against reality, like a finger pushing against wa

Working Nature

Sala maleco, Medicine is messy. Sorcery is messy. Lot of times you see folks posting images of pristine altars where they have their work's going, and that's cool. However,  I can't help but notice that these altars are regularly almost purely about symbol, with little in the way of materia. *Warning: There will be ranting. Feel free to disagree....just don't share your opinion if you cannot handle debate.* This can work, and often does. Nothing wrong with it. It is, in my opinion, lacking depth. Working spirit without Materia, in my experience, just plain doesn't get the same result as working with the virtue of natural, fully-manifested substances. Now, there is plenty (-endless reams-) of textual evidence for materia's ascendancy in practical work in near every text written about actual practical sorcerous work. See *all* of your grimoires nearly, see Picatrix, Alexander's Treasure, Agrippa, etc etc etc.  This isn't a Black-African sorc

Jupiter and Inequality.

Hey y'all, We're having ourselves a cocktail party which is ostensibly about Jupiter....but really seems to be about power. Jupiter being a particular manifestation of that principle has been seen and experienced as vicious, benevolent, cruel, graceful, jealous, magnanimous, but always Powerful. All these other qualities have more, from what I've seen, to do with the perspective of a person at one end or the other of the power wielded. I don't think Jupiter is a person . The image is a stand in for ease of connection. Jupiter is a conscious force of nature . Jupiter does not have feelings. It's beyond human experience.  A bolt of lightning contains no sentiment, and neither does the electricity that powers a home. Power has no sentiment. Wealth is a stand-in for power, and cares not who possesses it. It cares not if it is used benevolently or otherwise, only that it is used and expressed. Make your offerings, and make your virtue like that of Jupiter's. As y

Animal sacrifice and the power of Life and Death

Nsala Malongo, Death and ritual sacrifice are very large components of my magical and religious practice, and I find that very seldom are they explored with any deep understanding of why they are useful and necessary for certain rites and practices. There is definitely a repugnance for the sacrifice for animals in the frankly White-er side of Western magical and religious practice. I've heard a number of persons rail against it as cruel and entirely unnecessary, that it is uncivilized and barbaric. Obviously I think these persons aren't examining their views deeply; rarely are these individuals persons who abstain from eating animals...they just don't get their hands "dirty". I never hear them complaining about how Jewish folk practice kosher religious slaughter, or even much about the Halal practices of some Muslim folks. Read a newspaper in any city with neighborhoods that have a  decent amount of ATR practicing folks and you'd think the death of a chicken