I wish I had 1/10th the visionary power of this guy – this is possibly one of the best things I’ve read in a very long time: The Raagiosl Working.
Pictures forthcoming if we ever get them. I’m currently rolling with a generator I
looted liberated from my parents who never really lost power. We’re two days until we see artificial light from the grid again, so I figured I would power up my bare minimum and go from there. Annoyingly, my job didn’t close, but my boss is refusing to hold it against anyone who doesn’t show.
My house – Trees fell within literally feet of the place but it was completely untouched otherwise, including the sump which I totally forgot about.
That first picture might be a bit hard to see bit it’s the neighbors pine and thats the corner of my house. The second picture is a tree which fell and was caught perfectly in the crook of another tree so that it hit neither our house nor our neighbors house nor damaged any property.
Father in laws house – Totally fine, he remarked it was weird it didn’t flood this time.
Parents house – So fine that two squirrels took up residence in the attic and my father had to go roll around up there with a broom to shoo them back out.
Step father in laws house – No problems.
Mother in laws house – This is the one I will update this post with pictures of if we get them. She lives in Ocean City, NJ, which is right up the street (not anymore) from Atlantic City. It was so bad they went door to door throwing people on busses to get them off the island. Then they closed the bridges because of the winds. She left her two cats (not by choice – they just didn’t let animals on the bus), my wife was really broken up about it. She finally persuaded the cops to let her back on the island today, and when her and my step father in law got to the house, they not only found the cats alive, they found that the water had only come up to the porch. In poor planning on my part, I forgot the kitchen is an addon and lower than the porch, but it’s all linoleum and tile anyway so it just drained. According to her, “It’s strange the water came up to the stove but the carpet is bone dry”. Also “The neighbors got a lot more water than us”. It’s an island. The neighbors are literally five feet away. The water had to have been literally driven back to have the neighbors get more water than she did.
“Not by my power, but by the power of the LORD GOD…”
I figure I at least need a little angel figurine I can label EXARP and leave some gratitude on, I am interested in what other Enochian practitioners are doing. Someone had suggested a “pay it forward” sort of scheme and since we do see homeless near where I work, I figure I’ll buy them some sandwiches some day soon.
Third magical action of last night – if you’re asking me if I’m totally drained the answer is yes. I couldn’t open my crown with a shotgun right now.
With the previous evocation going so hilariously wrong, I said to heck (hur hur) with lower spirits and decided to reach for the Enochian tables. The Enochian tables give me fairly mixed results in the past, I’m becoming much more comfortable with them now that I’ve gotten over the various props you’re advised to build. Also I found that the higher rank the spirit is in the Enochian tables, the easier it is to get ahold of it. I’m not sure if this is because they’re more conscious or they’ve got more freedom to operate or what, but the Seniors always come readily when called. The lower ranked the Angel, the harder it is to get ahold of. I haven’t even tried to play with Ave’s “unbalanced angels” yet, it just seems like a bad idea.
On the note of props and other claptrap – you don’t need them to talk to the Seniors especially once you’ve made contact with the Seniors. The Enochian angels tend to be benevolent, although they definitely have their own agenda and they definitely stick to the point. If the Goetic spirits bounce around in the sublunar world to get things done, the Enochian angels are the opposite end where they represent the raw forces themselves. Even the planetary spirits can command some larger concepts, but the Enochian angels themselves control the firmament and shape the Light as it flows through the tree. I really have no idea how to describe this, except go read everything you can about the Tree of Life and you will be scratching the surface.
Pondering time – either the Enochian angels are the connections between the spheres (an idea I don’t entirely like because the elements don’t nicely line up with the tree) or they regulate or control the Light as it enters the tree and somehow polarizes it so it flows through the tree properly. This is an idea I like much more because almost all attempts to “stitch” the tables either result in bizarrely untenable 3D shapes – sort of an interesting idea for another thread – or a pyramid. To the guy who made an “Enochian Prism” by putting the tables “around” the tree, that’s close but no cigar because a prism only works when you shine light in from the side. In typical magical fashion we’re handed the solution and we have no idea. It’s not a pyramid with a truncated top – it’s a funnel into the tree.
Enochian is really fertile ground for the experienced magician, it’s also subject to piles of new age crap.
I opened the temple with the LBRP with the Hebrew Godnames. Why not the names on the table of union? Because we have to command cleanliness with something more powerful than what we hope to evoke. I probably could have banished with EHNB but it doesn’t seem to carry the weight with me. If I were going for a specific spirit in the table, I would use the tablet of unions godnames. I had actually considered using the Air tablet and picking a Subangel of Water, but I have no working relationship with any of them (I’d have to dig out all my toys) and Angels I haven’t called before tend to take awhile to come. The Seniors I’ve all called before so they remember my authority. It also helped I had maintained rabbinical purity (no ham, no coffee or alcohol, no sex) that day.
I used my copy of Enochian Vision Magick, which I didn’t appreciate at first. I started with the book several years ago and to say I was out of my depth is an understatement. Don’t start with Enochian magic. You’ll be frustrated to heck if you can even understand what you’re doing. What is nice about it, once you get your legs, is that it’s complete, has nicely reproduced tables, nice pictures, and Lon tells you where he filled in the gaps for himself so you can pick things which work for you to get the system moving. Where it tends to fall short is where most enochian books fall short – if you don’t know what else to substitute in place of Lon’s substitutions, you’re working with his system. If it works for you, great. The meat of the book is the chapter in the back where he outlines which calls to use when. This alone will justify the price of the book. He tries to make some educated guesses about the second call but that goes with any attempt to use Enochian.
I decided to use calls 1 through 3 in that order, and I like to insert the name of the spirit into the call where I feel it’s appropriate. I also use English for the calls once I’m familiar with a spirit. For the names, I go with the pig-latin pronunciation. EXARP is then EX-A-RAP. Thankfully for the calls themselves, the phonetic pronunciation is published, and they’re incredibly beautiful.
I reign over you, sayeth the GOD OF JUSTICE, in power exalted above the firmaments of wrath: in who’s hands the SUN is as a sword and the MOON is as though a thrusting fire: who measures your garments in the midst of my vestures, and trussed you together in the palms of my hands: who’s seats I garnished with the fire of gathering, and beautified your garments with admiration. To whom I made a law to govern the holy ones and delivered you a rod with the ark of knowledge. Moreover you lifted up your voices and swore obedience and faith to him that lie with triumph and who’s beginning is not, nor end can not be, which you shine as a flame in the midst of your palace, and reign amongst you as the balance and righteousness of truth. MOVE, therefor, AND SHOW YOURSELVES: open the mysteries of your creation. Be friendly unto me for I am the servant of the same – your GOD – and true worshipper of the Highest.
I got most of the way through the first call and felt the hairs stand on my arms. Soonafter there was a wind in the room my wife did not perceive. It definitely blew in from my left, as she was seated on my right, and I felt it distinctly. From past experience, the first call should give you the impression of the Angel you’re evoking.
Can the wings of the winds understand your voices of wonder, O you the second of the first EXARP, whom the burning flames have frames within the depths of my jaws; whom I have prepared as Cups for a Wedding, or as in the flowers in their beauty for the Chamber of Righteousness? Stronger are your feet than the barren stone, and mightier are your voices than the manifold winds. For you are become a temple such that is not, but in the mind of the All Powerful. Arise, sayeth the First: Move therefor unto his servants; Show your selves in power; And make me a strong seething; for I am of him that lives forever and ever!
At this point the feeling of wind as a raw force subsided and seemed to become contained.
BEHOLD, sayeth your God, I am the circle on who’s hands stand 12 Kingdoms. Six are the seats of the Living Breath, the rest are as sharp as the sickles and horns of Death, wherein all the creatures of the Earth are to and are not, except by my own hand by which they sleep and shall rise. In the first I made you Stewards and placed you in the 12 seats of government, giving unto every one of you power successively over the 456, the true ages of time, to the intent that from your highest Vessels and the corners of your governments you might work in my power, pouring down the fires of life and increase continually upon the Earth. Thus you are become the garments of Justice and Truth. In the Name of the same as your God, EXARP, lift up yourselves. Behold His mercies flourish and EXARP is become mighty amongst us! In whom we say: MOVE, DESCEND, apply yourselves unto us, as partakers unto the secret wisdom of Your creation.
The wind came back as ice, and I immediately sat down and closed my eyes. The angels rarely come to me as beings clothed in white or little kids with wings, but rather as a tornado (or rushing form) of whatever element is being evoked. When they do come, they show up promptly and forcefully. When I’m not doing it right, they don’t show up at all. EXARP came quickly and the connection was clear. I immediately asked EXARP to protect the five houses – ours, my parents, my wifes mother, her father, and her step father. Our house looked fine in the vision, my wife’s mothers house I saw the water come up to the porch but no further, her step fathers house looked fine, her fathers house I saw water pouring down the back but then into the drain which was OK, and my parents house weirdly enough had a pink cylinder around it. I had no idea what it meant and further questioning of EXARP simply produced, “It’s already prayed for”. A friend commented that pink is the color of resurrection, and since my parents are devout Christians, I can only assume it means they got right with Jesus before the storm showed up.
My wife wanted to know if he could turn away the storm, in standard Enochian fashion the answer was, “It must happen”.
My wife wanted to know if her mothers cats would be OK and I had a vision of her mothers house again with the water only up to the bottom of the porch.
I asked if EXARP would also dispatch an Angel to keep the water down here and I got an affirmative.
Finally my wife decided to play fast and loose and asked if EXARP could hook her up with Neptune. I immediately got the image of the flaming sword of Eden (the division) and told her the angel wasn’t impressed with her request. She said she would ask again in her minds eye, and I got the image of a saber in a scabbard being rattled. I told her to knock it off. She wanted one more question on the topic and knowing the Senior was likely to bail if she did it again, I cut her off and thanked the spirit and asked it to come quickly when called and said we put our trust in it. I closed the circle. It’s always best to end on good terms with the guys who regulate the will of the universe.
The wind, after the evocation, completely subsided. It was bizarre, it was like the eye of a hurricane where the force was palpable, but just not manifested here. I took it as a positive sign. Overnight the winds and rains picked up per usual, but now looking at the plants near the house versus the woods behind the house, it seriously looks like we’re getting less wind over here and 50 yards away in the wood things are whipping around. It’s not to say it’s dead calm here today, but I think we’re getting less of it by whatever reason. Also I haven’t heard the sump kick on. It actually was worrying me that the pump might be dead so I went down to check it, but sure enough we’ve got almost no water in the thing. I figure I’ll have to write a song to EXARP or something as thanks.
Phergoph: Ceremonial Magic Musings, and Outbursts of Song.
My wife really wanted to invoke a spirit. Riding high from the Mercury rite from the lodge I figured why the heck not. She wanted to pick a spirit relevant to the storms, and who’s got a stormy face but Tzadkiel?
Tzadkiel is the angel who held the dagger of Abraham. He’s the planet Jupiter. He’s got a giant raging storm on his face the size of America. He also is good for business (but in my personal system business is all who you know, so that would be Mercury). We figured he could regulate the storm and I could also ask him for business help for a friend who’s publishing a book. I grabbed my usual copy of the Modern Angelic Grimoire. While it doesn’t produce earth-shattering evocations, the seals in it are nice. I wish more periphery information was included. With planetary stuff, the more toys you have, the better. In this case I knew his number was 4, I had the kamea, and I drew out the seal. I was going to use silver sharpie (tin) but it was dried. I paged through the old standby of 777 to get the rest of the numbers and correspondences and felt good about it.
One of the more interesting things which is fun about invocations versus evocations is that the old books are almost always written for evocation. The whole invocation thing came much much later. Also I’ve found that (especially with things like the rite of mercury) that the planetary angels are subtle. Really subtle. I thought it was just the Modern Angelic Grimoire but even in the rite of mercury I doubt I would have gotten so into it without all the theater. That being said, we did the circle and the prayers and I substituted “my seer” for things like “inanimate object”. The other rub is I like to stick to tradition, which means “thou” and “thyne” and my wife really wants to contact greek spirits in their original format as a pagan thing. I felt it was interesting to see if we could contact planetary sprits in the wiccan format.
When the spirit came, I wasn’t getting my normal warm and fuzzies I expect from Gods. I didn’t immediately shut it down because I figured with the storm raging, any spirit even loosely attached would be uppity. I queried the spirits name, she said tzedkiel. OK. I asked the spirits color, she said “Green or yellow”. I asked the spirits number, she said “14”.
For those of you playing along at home, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t immediately banish. The bottom line is I was unprepared and my nook’s battery was dead so I didn’t bring the associations into the circle. I decided to roll with it. Further questioning about the storms revealed the spirit had knowledge of the storm to the north but had no knowledge or control over the storm at sea. This is where I figured out something was very, very wrong. Either the spirit (especially a planetary spirit or anything else high up the food chain) has control over this stuff, or it doesn’t. Getting mixed mode messages is a bad thing.
I announced my intentions to banish the spirit and my wife was going “wait, wait”, at this point I was pretty sure the spirit was just talking for the sake of talking. After a few “wait wait”s I just decided we were done here, and gave it a stern license to depart (skipping the flowery, thankful stuff and making it clear I actually would get out the chain curse this time) and grabbed the paper lamen and kamea off my wifes clothes. I took these outside and burned them. The cat spent a decent amount of time looking at the door.
Turns out after we did this, my wife later said “Well, the spirit was asking for a bird”. The planetary spirits don’t ask for sacrifices in my experience but I know other bloggers (damned if I can’t find the link at the moment) have other experiences. Since we didn’t actually ask anything of this spirit, I found the request odd and a bit disturbing.
Now, even with the whole pissing contest about switching jupiter and saturn in ceremonial magic, “green” isn’t an option, neither is “14” for the number. If the spirit doesn’t respond properly to the normal queries about it’s number and place on the tree of life, it’s probably not a good idea to continue. It’s a spirit who is pretending to be another spirit, and all queries to it will not be truthful.
What particularly bothers me is “how does this happen”? I’m guessing the problem is the circle. I should have done the LBRP as the nu-sphere with the Egyptian godnames since those guys are planetary deities, instead I used Rufus’s own process which, standard to magic practice in general, works for him but not for me. An acceptable and frankly better alternative would have been to banish using the hexagram since that was fresh in my mind from the Rite and frankly I broke the axoim of “go with what you know”.
That being said, we successfully banished the spirit and that was the end of that. I’m really curious as to what other people think of this whole thing, especially the folks who do it regularly like The Digital Ambler.
I attended the Rite of Mercury at the Thelesis Lodge. The Rite works on many allegorical levels, but the presentation of the invocation was fantastic. Mercury was played by a wonderful guy who seemed to really get it, he had most of the lines memorized and put a lot of effort into the costume.
The twins were well played including Gemini who dies at the end. The two things which really made it fly was the incense and the lighting. The incense, whatever it was, skipped the sandalwood which everyone is tired of and went for the storax. When it’s burned hot it tends to smell like burning plastic, but someone knew how to use it and it smelled divine, literally.
The second thing which was awesome was a laser grid. It sounds cheap and hokey but the laser grid was set to purple and played slowly. The effect was as intended, it ended up being hypnotic and really helped get into the atmosphere of the place. I think this is an important point in ritual, the original ones are mentioned with things like “Candles” and “banners” and such but there’s no reason why the subtle use of technology can’t bring a lot more to the table.
The east coast lodges are doing these and while I probably would have gone to the ones in NY and MD had I been a bit more co-ordinated, I missed out. Luna is in Massachusetts, I just don’t feel like making the drive.
Just an aside: Completed evocation of EXARP. Asked for the houses to be spared, received vision of the water pouring down the back of my father in laws house but going down the drain. Received a vision of the shore-house with the water up to the stoop (bottom of the porch). Parents house was “prayed for” with a vision of a pink(!?!) column around it. Didn’t really see my step-father in laws house, but was told it was OK.
My wife approached me and asked if she could borrow a spirit. I don’t keep familiar spirits (although the idea has apprehended me on a few occasions) but I am familiar with some spirits. Mostly tequila.
“What for, I asked?”
“Well I have some questions I would like to posit to a spirit and I wanted to know if I could use Agares.”
Me and Agares have a fun relationship, he was the first demon I managed to evoke and tipped me off my daughter was supposed to be born several days early. He also acts as my intermediary spirit for contacting other (goetic) spirits. The initial contact was DuQuette’s “on the same thought” method of scrying where the thought has the answer on the same thought has the question. It’s really hard to describe but it’s as though a sentence is interrupted by an external voice with the answer. This is the “open handed” scrying technique, but it’s also the hardest one to use. I figured out quickly that burning quite a bit of incense relevant to the spirit with a candle behind it and the seal behind that produces much better results where the incense provides sort of a 3D chalkboard for the spirit to work with. Unfortunately this is much less conversational and much more syncretic where one person may perceive one thing and another person may perceive another, or even nothing at all. It is, however, better in a group setting where two people have something to look at rather than one person being in the groove and having all the fun. Traditionally, this also jives where one person is an orator and one person is a scryer. One of the questions which came up was “How do I learn to do this?” and the finger was pointed to me. Clearly the proper technique was to have my wife as a scryer and me be both the orator and observer to try to both collaborate our impressions and teach her solomonic evocation.
While Agares knew pedantic answers “like when will my kid be born” and “where did the TV remote go”, I tend to think it’s within the realm of the goetic to work in a practical, if not completely lazy way. They get things done, they get things done as quickly as possible while being as lazy as possible. Need $4000? Set your house on fire! For higher workings which require finesse and planning I tend to try to talk to Angels and Planetary Intelligences. That being said the smoke was doing it’s best to answer my wife’s questions, but they tended to be overly broad. Eventually I figured out the smoke was emulating hand gestures for “I don’t know”, “frustrated”, “more of this”, or “some of that”. My impression, weirdly enough, was like Cake Boss. Agares was talking with his hands for a good portion of this, and sometimes would put up an image. A fox, a bird, a smiling face, a human heart, a finger to point to indicate this or that. The problem was for every short and to the point question, it would usually be the result of a broad question which resulted in two swirls of smoke rising in a gesture of “I don’t know”.
About the only time we got a serious answer was the question about what the spirit wanted as an offering for this working, I clearly got “beer” and we distinctly saw a pumpkin rising in the smoke. Agares wanted my last Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale.
What are the offices of the spirit?
The second spirit is a Duke called Agares, he is under ye power of ye East and cometh up in the form of a fair Old man riding upon a Crocodill, very mildly, carrying a goshawke on his fist. he maketh them runne that stand still, and fetcheth back ye runnawayes. he can teach all Languages or Tongues presently, he hath the power also to destroy dignities, both supernaturall & Temporall; & cause Earthquakes. he was of the order of Vertues; he hath under his government 31 Legions &c: & this is [his] seale or Character wch is to be worne as [a] Lamen.
What does this tell us about the spirit?
I tend to use hermetic ideas of equals and opposites (“as below, so above”) when I read these. He can send things away, he can fetch things for you. While it might be a bit bizarre to conduct an hour+ evocation to find the TV remote, I’m fairly confident it would turn up if we did lend ourselves to such frivolous ideas. Agares can improve communication, he can confuse communication. He can also teach you things. This is different from other spirits who afford you wisdom, but I think it would be safe to say his office is educational. He can cause earthquakes! OK he probably can’t cause earthquakes, but he can smooth transitions and relationships between forces, he can cause problems with relationships and forces. It would be appropriate then to ask him to smooth transitions and improve diplomacy. Similarly he can dignify people and undignify people in the eyes of themselves and others.
Once my wife was done her queries to the spirit, some of which he clearly knew and were in his office and some not so much, we gave the spirit the license to depart. I wasn’t through the entire license to depart before the smoke visibly retreated up the chimney and was greatly reduced. My wife noticed that the stick incense also went out immediately after the license to depart and there was an unburned portion. I poured him a beer and put it on the mantle and dunked the seal, the unburned portion of the candle in it and the leftover incense sticks. They’ll be buried in the woods shortly to return things to their natural order.
Last night was the first night I actually managed to do the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and actually got the formless fire. The visualization books make it sound so easy – Just draw some pentagrams and see them in some colors and you’ve done it!
Anyone who is even reasonably experienced will tell you that’s bunk. The outer work is just that, an expression. The inner work is what actually makes it effective. To this end I got the idea that maybe I shouldn’t be walking around the bedroom with my knife and wand and swinging cod and I should be doing this “in the astral”. Also of note, my body was pretty tired but I was in the condition where my mind was still reasonably quick.
My previous problems with this were twofold: The evocation of the Archangels had left me with too many shades of Christianity, and it’s way too easy to get wrapped up in the Golden Dawn style attributions and colors and visualizations. Being an engineer in real life, I have a strong attention to detail. This also means when I try to learn something, I pay way too much attention to the detail. The nu-sphere per Rodney Orpheus in Abrahadabra was the tipping point – while I completely flip flopped on the LBRP, the nu-sphere generated the “cleaning” experience it’s supposed to generate. I then took that and used the LBRP as it appears in By Names and Images and it was fantastic.
This was one of these nasty places where I had all the pieces and I couldn’t make it fit. I knew the QC worked, I had the Nu-Sphere, but I didn’t have a working, complete ritual. I’m still of the opinion that the Evocation of the Archangels is an outmodel, so that doesn’t count. My opinion here also has changed drastically, sometimes I feel like it’s an attempt to legitimize the ritual to Christian eyes and sometimes I agree the Archangels are actually much older Gods. I digress. In Names and Images, the formula is given as “Visualize the LIGHT OF GOD above you, and vibrate ATEH while yearning for the embrace of GOD” or similar. This is why that book is a gold mine. It tells you the Word of Power, it tells you the visualization, but then it also tells you the emotional state you’re supposed to reach. In short it’s attention to detail brings the complete and successful experience. It heightened my QC a little, I was already comfortable with it. But then using the LBRP as an actual banishing, using the power raised from the QC, in the astral I can only say it looked like fire.
With the light flowing, the energy was seen as black a white, like electricity moving across a surface or through space, flowing and flashing about. Or perhaps it was the light of stars, flitting about the universe in a dense fluid, each with their own vector. Upon drawing the pentagram it organized itself first into a many pointed geometric shape and then the pentagram “stabilized” as flashing, electrical color. The line was carried to the next pentagram, et al. Once I had established a “clean” space I did the QC again and the power this time replaced the old light (which until now I assumed was “clean”) and was clearly more potent and aligned with the universe at large. I pretty much just cut the circle and sat there admiring it, I have to say I was a bit dumbfounded to the point of forgetting the evocation of the archangels.
Every time I do this I get myself deeper into the groove. I would suggest for anyone who’s struggling to figure out how to get here – go buy a book. I started with Kraig’s Modern Magick. If that doesn’t speak to you, go buy another one. Although I think you can hardly go wrong with By Names and By Images, I realize the Golden Dawn isn’t for everyone. The point is – practice, practice, practice.
Who else prefers to work in the astral instead of dancing about the room?
This started out as a call for content from Mikes Prattle. I started to write the last question and it turned into an essay and a half. I figure its worth sharing so readers might better understand where my personal system came from. There’s more to tell, much more. There’s forays into Enochian, there’s hilarious experiments in skrying. There’s ghost hunting and all sorts of diversions, but there’s always the golden thread in the background.
I skipped the story details, not because I have no particular story but because the practice for any magician is ongoing and continuous or that person shouldn’t claim the mantle of “magician”. What is a nonpracticing magician? “Where does Harry Potter vacation?”
There is no single event I can point to where I came to GOLDEN DAWN JESUS. I think that’s how it was supposed to be designed, which is why it was so attractive to me. “The goal of religion and the methods of science” or something like that. I was raised Presbyterian, but the church offered little in practical application and training aside of “talk to my buddy Christ over here”. My neighbor was Jewish and didn’t attempt to convert me but obviously understood my disillusionment and was happy to lend me an ear and a book. I embraced that for a bit and thoroughly enjoyed mainstream Jewish thought, but to the Chrisitans, God is some soft, buddy-buddy sort of entity, and I did not hear his whisperings of encouragement or admonishment in my ear. To the Jews, God is unknowable and the whole thing rests on the fulfillment of prophecy. It felt like a gap to me, and how do we bridge that gap? I had read up on the occult but it was XFiles brand McOccult stuff and I wasn’t ready. I became an atheist through college when I left home. How does a deck of cards empirically tell the future? How do so many empty words summon the devil?
Sometime after college I started listening to this new band TOOL, and while the old stuff is steeped in Jungian psychology – something I deeply appreciated having tried for (and eventually dropped) a psychology minor in college – the new stuff was talking about planets and hermetic philosophy. At the time I didn’t have a name for it, I was just listening to the music and wondering what all this was about “as below so above” as a concept. This really renewed my interest in the occult. The bands newsletters were interesting if not spastic, but there were enough nuggets there I was convinced whatever they were tuned into I wanted to be tuned into. At the time, 55 gallon drums of LSD were sold out at Amazon, so I opted for the next best thing and started reading what they were reading. Similar to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, and most great artists before, they were into Crowley.
Crowley proved to be impenetrable. To the uninitiated, and I was, it was impossible to make heads or tails of him. Determined to get into this occult stuff I started shopping around and ran into wicca. Wicca was just far too lightweight for me. Unbeknownst to me this was the first “test”, some people are completely comfortable throwing around ‘spells’ and ‘blessing things’ and generally enjoying the pagan scene – and there’s nothing wrong with it, but at the time I just knew it wasn’t for me having been exposed to psychology and heremetics and kabalah in my own small way. Digging deeper I hooked up with the Asatru groups, and found they still had shades of racism they weren’t able to exorcise. However this gave me another important tool – a mystical alphabet. Similar to wicca, it has some precepts of philosophy but it’s sort of auxiliary to the faith. The distinctions in druidic and asatru heathen orders persists today because of this – reconstructionist versus pagan. But there is an important idea here – if we can reconcile the opposites, we can build something. My experience here however was soured by the racist overtones and Stephen Flowers (Edred Thorsson) who attempted to hammer Golden Dawn/Temple of Set ideas into heathenry into a disaster that looked like neither. I knew enough, though, to know he too had encountered Crowley and the Golden Dawn and attempted to take the framework and apply it. Just because I personally disagreed with the application simply meant it wasn’t right for me. By this time, however, I has a practical knowledge of what would be considered low magick. I owned several sets of runes which is my preferred method of divination and really learned divination from the runes. I also prefer the runes for my low magick spellwork and sigilization. Finally the whole ideas of the occult virtues of things jived with Agrippa, who I would encounter later.
This is really where the lightbulb went on that we needed a formalized system. Eclectic wicca was missing it, asatru was ignoring magic at best and offered no guidelines at worst, I knew Edred had touched-the-hem so to speak, so I started looking for formal systems. I read Kraig’s “Modern Magick” and it was an eye opener, I read everything by DuQuette which was great too, and eventually happened across Regardi’s books. Regardi’s books really helped, along with Cicero. Where Cicero is missing the nuts-and-bolts, I filled it in with Kraig. Where Kraig is missing the system, I filled it in with Cicero. There were detours in there too, Enochian entities seemed to have their own agendas, the Goetia was helpful – seriously too helpful sometimes. The low magick worked, and became better as I learned tricks like doing divination before and after and paying attention to the moon or the day and hour of the planet. The high magic worked – I could evoke Goetics entities almost on command and query them for answers. Agares in particular predicted my kid would be born almost three days early a month before the due date.
That’s really the state of the art. I do magical working for myself for issues at work and in my social life where I have little or no conventional influence. I do workings for my friends. But it’s not about having “magical powers”, it’s about the philosophical questions raised by each working. Was my kid supposed to be born three days early or did Agares affect things as a show of power? I was told by another magician that Agares had “something big planned” before I successfully evoked him – this would certainly fit the bill. Do the spirits represent metaphysical or spiritual forces in the universe or are they intelligences doing a job? Who is God to have these spirits and why? Why does Tarot work even when I casually play with the cards versus before which surely was a random draw? The golden dawn (and related organizations like the OTO) seems to have understood these questions, people were asking them, people got the magic to work, and people wrote about and reflected on these very issues. That’s why I think the Golden Dawn is the way to go.