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Showing posts from 2010

De-constructing the Ritual Battery

Ave, It's worth taking a moment every season or so to examine your daily-ish ritual battery. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Does it actually do what it's supposed to do?  I had to sit down and take a good   hard look at my battery the other day, and examine it's contents against what I was trying to accomplish. That part is isn't good enough to feel better, you have to be better. And what is "better"? Is better for you a matter of improved elemental/planetary/astrological balance, and if so, what does that look like? Is better increased awareness of/connection with the spiritual (these are not the same things)?Is better a closer relationship with your spiritual contacts (the Gods and Angels with whom you regularly commune)? .......What exactly are you doing? And Why are you doing it? One wonderful thing about the Golden Dawn is that we've got a full toolkit for pretty much whatever you want to accomplish. It just requires

The Bain of the Magician...dreaded Burn-out

Ave, Pardon my lengthy silence.....I have been as un-magical a fellow as I could be the last two months. This was not, in the beginning, a choice.  I've spent them re-balancing my family life (things got a little crazy, and I had to take care of business. Everything else took a quick trip to the backburner) and approaching the Art from a different angle. A slightly more grizzled angle, with lot's of five o'clock shadow and parchment-colored eyes. (This was the more pleasant description my wife gave me, haha. It seems I have a tendency to overdo the studying bit.) I've had to learn to be present in my relationships, which are the actual drama of one's life.....and this is not the first time. Being a family man and an active Magician is a balancing act, and I'm not always the best at it.  Sorry if I haven't been responsive in my communications, Fraters and Sorors; life decided it needed my full attention. That being said, I've learned some really cool

Quick Conversation with Saturn

Ave, So...I found myself concerned with things going on at work, and wanted to summon assistance from Saturn. Interestingly, as I turned my mind toward the idea, the hour of Saturn came around. I took up a purple candle and incense, put them on a stand. Cast a quick chart, turns out Old Man Saturn is in his Exaltation. He is also trine the Moon, as benevelont an Aspect as your getting with him. The Moon is the general significator for eventsts in Horary, and as the question was one of work/livelihood it fell under Saturn's purview. This isn't his day (it being Tuesday) so I dress the candle in Honey to sweeten him up a bit. Lord knows he doesn't have much sweetness on his own. It's Mars' day as well, and the last thing I need is a combatitive Saturn. Dealing with these Planetary Gods is always a bit nerve-wracking. I further dressed the candle with Five-Finger grass for good luck and Cast-off Evil powder for....well, casting off evil. Performed the Qabalistic

Talkative and tricksy Salamander

Ave, I've been working feverishly on refining my personal system (based in and informed by the Golden Dawn, with tentacles wrapped about Hoodoo and Bardonian Magic, which are my roots), and in an effort to do so have taken to conducting some experimental Magic. Nothing that's going to blow any minds, just putting things in practice. I think there is a tendency among some magical writers to write about theoretical magic as if they'd put it into practice because the principals upon which their theory is based are sound. I say this because, more than a few times, my own experiences with magical work have come out somewhat different from what the Writer has written, often in subtle fashion but sometimes in a more pronounced way. I'm planning on being extremely thorough, because I'm writing for two very important reasons. One being that this is going to be the manual of instruction I use for my children, who are mostly quite young...but getting close to teaching age.

The disastrous effect of Pornography on Theurgy

 Ave, First off.....I'm no Puritan. I'm a huge fan of sex and its healthy expression. I'm a 31 year old American fellow; I practically grew up on the interwebz, and that means plenty of nudity and porn. Especially during my relatively barbaric early twenties. Lots of men my age will tell you they never enjoyed porn, or rarely watched it when they were young. These men are filthy,  filthy liars. It didn't become so mainstream because it was watched so seldom. There may be the occasional gent who avoided partaking, but I give him no credit; that sort of avoidance, built on fear of discovery and hidden shame, is shameful in itself. Like with most things, better to dare, be burnt, and learn than to sit in front of the fire with a trembling cowardice in the face of overwhelming curiosity. Just stay off of /b on 4chan, and you'll come out alright. The issue with pornography isn't a Moral issue. As long as everyone involved is a willing participant, mor

The Golden Dawn, Intoxicants/Entheogens, and the Consequences of Fueds

Ave, So....this is something that's always bothered me a bit, which I'm going to go ahead and address now. There is a consensus in the Golden Dawn that all use of intoxicants or entheogens is completely negative and terrible, and will result in horrid and deleterious consequences like possession, a weakening of the will, service to the Old Ones and the rising of Great get the picture. I think there are a couple of reasons this is so, and I think that unfortunately they are not primarily based on effectiveness in Magic.  Because Golden Dawn Magicians use entheogens pretty often (mostly unaware that they are doing so, much in the way Roman Catholics are unaware of the Ceremonial Magic they witness once a week) and there is a long standing tradition of doing so in the Western Mystery Tradition. Within my Order we teach that using intoxicants as a substitute for discipline is unacceptable, and with good reason. My superiors within the Order are quite clear

The Golden Dawn as a School of Magic

Ave, I've had an interesting last couple of weeks; I've been doing a fair bit of energetic exploration (although not enough full on ceremonial), and have found myself in a bit of an odd place. The vast majority of the Magic I perform at this point in my life is informed by the Golden Dawn, but not actually the traditional rituals. My rituals for raising and balancing the LVX  are rooted in the visual/vibrational method of the Middle Pillar, but aren't actually the Middle Pillar. My ritual for summoning the Archangels and gently invoking the balanced Elements is rooted in the methods I learned performing the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, but again, are not actually the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. Hardly a single ritual has been left unscathed in my personal practice. Although I've evolved my personal system in directions  that are improvements for my own development and system of magic, I recognize the rituals I learned from the Golden Dawn as foundational to m

Hermes, Communications, Lord of HTML , CSS and PHP

Ave, One of my gentleman-sorcerer friends (the good Jack Faust, who's excellent blog may be found here )has been working on further tuning up the visuals he has going. This being the interwebz, that means fun with programming languages. As a web designer/developer I regularly have to stare at flickering screens searching for errors in the code that I write, and spend even more time searching around for code I can use to solve problems/add features to clients' websites.(This is when I'm not working my regular job as a Chef/Manager). It never occurred to me until recently that I should get Magic involved in this process. Hermes, God of Communication, is perfect for this. If you find yourself stumped take a moment to request his help. Below is a quick method I use: Light a sweet-smelling incense. Say the following prayer to Hermes, whilst meditating upon an image of him: Orphic Hymn to Hermes Angel of Zeus, son of Maia, you judge every competition. Good shephe

Keeping Moving, Secrecy, Cookies

Ave, So, I'm in a strange position as far as my development in the Alpha et Omega go. I've completed the Outer Order work, having balanced and brought into awareness the forces of the Four Elements, the 12 Signs, and the Planets Saturn, Luna, Mercury, and Venus within my life and personality. It has been brutal and beautiful. There is of course regular maintenance necessary...don't think for a minute you can balance a force within your self once, and then forget it. Regular maintenance is required, but the nudges are gentle and light in comparison to the first time. There was a point when I would dread moving forward into the next Grade, knowing all the upheaval in my life that would come with it. As I've progressed, the changes have been more gentle; turns out that when you're paying attention, you notice that there are  many opportunities to learn the primary lesson an element/force may teach you. The longer it takes for you to figure it out, the grosser and m

Jack's New Digs, Plus Gordon, and RO's course

Ave, Fra Jack Faust has a new blog space, which is definitely worth checking out here.  Also, check our Fra. Gordon's blog here.  I think these fellows are great examples of where modern Magic is going, or should be going. Lots of deep thinking, lot's of practical work. I especially enjoy that Jack has studied Neoplatonism and Astrology--dude is setting a good example for the young'uns. If you don't know anything about the Neoplatonic/Hermetic world view, you have no business calling yourself a Magician. Sorcerer, maybe ...but definitely not Magician. And Heavens knows, not Wizard. You may not accept it, but you need to know of it, because that is where the roots of our Magic in the West lie. "Tech" is not enough. On that note, if you are interested in learning this stuff the right way, check out Frater RO's new course . He's been up and down the Spheres (and has documented a good chunk of it), and that's the only kind of person qualified to

The Traditional Understanding of the Elements

In the modern Magical world view, it is common (from what I have observed) to view the Elements as a force operating below or separate from the Higher; we speak of Elementals existing on their own plane and as part of our own, but rarely consider that the Elemental Virtues penetrate the Heavenly Planes as well, being part of God itself on All levels.  There is a tendency to view the Planetary and Astrological forces as "higher", and the Elements as the visceral, manifesting force. I think this sort of thinking is rooted in over-simplification, not just of the Traditional world view but also the Qabalistic view that is more studied in the Western Tradition these days. The inter-penetration of existence by the Elements, whose virtue is expressed differently depending upon the Soul in which it manifests, is made clear in the Traditional texts. Henry Cornelius Agrippa teaches: " It is the unanimous consent of all Platonists, that as in the original, and the exemplary world

The Soul of the World

In his book "On obtaining Life from the Heavens", Marcilio Ficino of Florence teaches the Hermetic understanding of the World Soul, and the nature of soul in general. He makes reference both to the soul as a plastic entity that conjoins the Intelligence and the Body and to the Soul as a spiritual force that joins all things together, including the Heavens and the Earth. This understanding is particularly enlightening for the modern Magician and student of the Western Mystery Traditions in that it becomes clear that a proper understanding of the Alchemical Texts--known to be incredibly difficult to understand, but full of our culture's Hidden Wisdom--requires understanding of the Traditional world view. I personally struggled for years to penetrate the alchemical emblems and texts, and the hard-won success I attained (what there has been of it) was enabled by changes in my own world view that brought it closer to the world view of our Western forebears.  In the aforementio

Occult Virtue-Homework!

The classical understanding of the word virtue differs in important ways from the modern meaning of the word. Proper understanding of the word as it is meant by the classical authors, in particular Henry Cornelius Agrippa, is extremely important if we are to lift the deeper meaning from the classical texts. Occult Virtue is extremely important in the classical view, and seems to have occupied for our forebears some of the same territory that modern concepts like "energy" and "vibration"  do in the current popular magica lingua. It is so important, in fact, that it is the first thing addressed in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy. He gives the Key to Astrological Magic on the very first page of the first Chapter of the first Book, saying: "Hence it is that they seek after the virtues  of the elementary world, through the help of physic, and natural philosophy in the various mixtions of natural things, then of the celestial world in the rays, and

Longboarding, Duke Kahanamoku, and Magic

Ave, So...I'm an avid longboarder (of the concrete-surfing variety.) I picked it up a while ago. I spent many of my formative years in Hawaii, and I sorely miss it. I long for it. Hawaii is more than a place...anyone who's spent some real time with her knows what I mean. Living on the mainland has it's joys, but there is something in Hawaii that is no where else. I can't take up surfing. The ocean has made it clear that it wants to eat me, and I can't fully trust her in the fashion that makes for great surfers. I'm a Taurus, and my nature is earthy and dense--ever seen a bull swim? He might, but not for long... I use my longboard to commute, but also to reconnect me with the spirit of Hawaii. Everytime I ride, even a short ride, it feels like home. I was reading a biography of the good Duke Kahanamoku, Father of Surfing and therefore all Boarding sports and I got to thinking....Why not reach out to his Spirit? Why not honor him, for giving us this, that we

Western Healing System

Ave, I've decided to go ahead and post my small pamphlet on healing "The Book of the Blossoming Flower" .  I wrote it because I felt we were lacking in an organized system for energetic healing. ( I have read and used Isreal Regardie's Art of True Healing...I think it's a nice start, but found it lacking. It comes down to "Raise energy, and then communicate you're healthy energy state through alchemical contagion/proximity". That just seems lazy to me; we can do better than that. Instead of bitching about it, I figured I'd try my hand and contribute.) We have herbalism, but that is more a body of knowledge than a multi-layered system, and I wanted to include the ceremonial methods I've learned as a Magician of the Golden Dawn. It's short, but incorporates parts of my personal practice that I think may be of use to others.  It's written for folks familiar with the Golden Dawn ritual battery; if you do read it and have any questions


Ave, So, I've created a few short works on magic-namely a small pamphlet with instruction on Kameothic Magic, and another pamphlet detailing my healing method, The Book of the Blossoming Flower (which I've only released to a few fellow Magicians almost a year ago....mostly to get some peer review.)  I've got a little distance from them now, and decided to take a look back at them. I learned a few things: 1. I am a little over-zealous in my self criticism. 2. I am a bit of a lazy writer. 3. Both pamphlets are good, because they work . I'm planning on continuing to create small pamphlets (the size of a few book chapters), and hope that I'll look up and have written a book about my personal system of practice without really having had to Write it. Examining Why someone writes these sort of things--when there are plenty of books teaching magic already--is interesting. I feel it is important for me for a number reasons. I want to be able to teach my sons and da

Steampunk Enochian Keyboard

Ave, I though I'd share another interesting piece of gear I've been blessed with. I commissioned this a couple of years ago from a gent named Datamancer; I had an idea about typing Enochian incantantions using it as my Wand....I was experimenting at the time with using electronic communication to work magic.  This first experiment involved  an attempt to communicate visionary information electronically. The idea was to  communicate/induce visionary experiences within the recipient. I thought this would be especially valuable for a cell-based modern Order that I'd been batting around, where there are no Lodges, just webs of interconnected Magicians, much like our current Blogosphere. More of an Association than a proper Order, I suppose. Perhaps I'll write the idea up, it needs much more fleshing before I could. The technique involved creating a Sigil with the description of the planetary/astrological/elemental vision, empowering it with the Enochian incantation, and

Materia Magic, Catherine Yronwode, etc

Ave, Outside of the rituals I need to do for my gradework as a Golden Dawn initiate (the GIRP's and GIRH's), the vast majority of my personal magic involves using Materia. My personal rituals are a combination of Bardonian-style power raising, Ceremonial-style Incantation (stop saying "mantra", westerners! Our word is cooler),  Vibration, visualization, and Materia magic (Hoodoo). I create summoning powders, use candles to activate Kamea for planetary works, use anointing and blessing oils...almost all of the work I do uses materia.  I believe and have experienced the efficacy of materia magic (Hoodoo for me, although there are other traditions available in the West), and have noticed that my evocations and invocations create more powerful connection and manifestation when I burn Summoning powders and utilize their inherent power. There is power intrinsic in certain things that have come down from the Hoodoo tradition, and learning from this tradition would add tr

My glorious Wand

Ave, Jason and some other mages in our circle of association have talked a bit about the creative wands they've I thought I'd show off my pride & joy in that particular department! Here she is, in all her bronze and coppered glory... It's made primarily of brass and copper, some tin alloy. There are two additional spots within the Wand that accept crystals, and all of the crystals and their compartments are connected by copper wiring. Everything is nicely conductive, haha. Cost me a ridiculous sum, but worth every penny. It's  acquired a presence over the last couple of years, a weight. Using crystals and metal, in my opinion, allow for a Wand/Tool that can "take a charge" in a fashion beyond what the dowels at Home Depot have to offer.  I have always loved the idea of the Magical tool as not just a focus, but as a participant in the magic being done. In order for that to happen, it has to be singular, it has to begin to take on a pe


Ave, Lot of talk lately about Chaos magic lately (see Fra Jack's excellent blog )...which got me to thinking. This is the style that I started with; it was the most accessible. I was a teenager, and the first book I read and attempted to use for magic was Crowley's Goetia. Uhh....yeah. This was not such a good thing...I knew nothing of magic at the time, and wholeheartedly expected dudes to show up physically and start bargaining. I did a few conjurations before moving on. I was not aware of the subtleness of contact between physical beings and spirits, and assumed because no one physically showed up and appeared before my open eyes, that nothing happened. I suspect I was more successful then I realized; that time was full of bizarre mood swings and rages. Mind you , I was a teenager at the time, so those swings could have been natural. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a little bit of push there, though. I made my way to Chaos through Liber Null and Liber Chaos..