I’ve been writing so much correspondence that I actually had a dream I was blogging. Not sure if that’s a message or not but I woke up and realized some of the material might be interesting to people. As usual, topics will be covered in a general sense (not quoting anyone) and in no particular order. These posts tend to be more practical than philosophical. 

Phergoph, people were laughing during magic class! Magic is serious business!

It’s a class. If we don’t make it fun and appealing to people, people will invariably arrive at the “why am I doing magic” question. From an external perspective if people are turned off by the rigid and impersonal nature of Christianity, or Islam (which specifically states that Allah is unknowable but then provides no provisions for contacting or currying his favor aside of duaa or Rightly Performed Prayer), then people are going to get turned off to magic entirely. Spiritual evocation is already an unpopular topic in magic, there’s no reason to make the material painful. Either people enjoy the flavor of the ritual and the equipment or they don’t. If they don’t, then they shouldn’t do this sorts of magic. It’s that simple. More importantly if they don’t enjoy the flavor of the magic, then they will not take the time to preload their minds with appropriate imagery for the spirits, and they will have a poor visionary state. If they have a poor visionary state, then the spirits won’t be able to communicate clearly, so the little bumps which lead us down the correct path and prompt us to philosophize won’t occur. That’s a bit of a lie, the HGA operation I think is a brilliantly designed experiment as put forward by Crowley specifically to see if spirits with little priming can help.

I can’t find red tape!

The tape in the lesson wasn’t a particular color. It just was a happy accident it matched the altar. I actually would have preferred fully white or black. Alternative: Put down butcher paper.

Did you really consecrate the entire box of chalk?

Yes. In for a penny, in for a pound. If you’re going to take the time to do the ritual, make a ridiculous amount of the stuff. You’ll use it, you will feel good about using it, and it will last awhile. However, the box of chalk is correct in solomonic magic where most of the items are blessed or somehow tied into the ruler of that particular age (Venus for purists, Mercury for us now). The idea here is to invoke the highest authority you can since the demarkation is between the sacred and the impure. It wouldn’t make much sense in my mind to consecrate some purple chalk to Jupiter and then use it for a circle. It would make sense to me to consecrate some purple chalk to Jupiter and then use it to make a talisman or something. Except your Solomonic Sharpie is much better than that since people tend to notice chalk all over things you hand them.

(Someone, somewhere is groaning at this idea). If you didn’t hew the chalk from the earth, don’t complain about the solomonic sharpie.

Those candles didn’t look like beeswax. Or Were the candles white for a reason?

My beeswax candles melted into consecrated puddles last time I ran the woodstove. They’re fragile and they burn quickly. I would be interested in suggestions if there’s a particular brand but I am pretty much completely fed up with beeswax as a material. The first SDAs I made were also pure beeswax and the stuff either dries out and gets fragile or becomes liquidy depending on the mix. Maybe I just suck at candlemaking, who knows. The candles were purchased from the Hebrew section of the supermarket, so I am trying to make some concession towards keeping is sacred, but I also realize I’m probably just paying extra for hebrew all over the box. White is the correct color for candles, but this goes into the whole thing about the archangels and colors – our white is different from “white” for them, which is really sort of a dusky yellow color because… beeswax.

Did anything happen after the ritual?

F eventually got a “wait” letter from the college he was applying to overseas, the letter arrived on the day of Luna, the hour of Saturn. I waffle on the idea if these are interchangeable or not, I eventually settled on the idea that it is similar to parenting. It doesn’t matter which parent someone is asking, they should consult each other. Obviously for scrying it is the same as talking – Hour of Luna is hour of Luna, and Hour of Saturn is Hour of Saturn. However the combination is definitely a product of both influences. This would then be an obvious sync. I asked him if he had asked for anything in the ritual circle. He said no, but this doesn’t particularly mean he didn’t have wandering thoughts and accidentally bring it up. This does fly in direct contrast to the meditation technique I was espousing where thoughts come, but they are not important. This is very Alan Watts, but I think Alan Watts is also not a magician. The easy meditation is to acknowledge the thoughts and let them go, but once someone gets to that point they have to learn discernment. The thoughts are either coming from them or originating from the spirit, and there has to be some sorting and testing going on there. If there has to be some sort of discernment, then the goal of this sort of meditation in this context is to not have your thoughts at all. If he was meditating on the spirit and a stray thought did occur, then the spirit addressed that thought and was aware of that thought.

I think this is why I find it very hard to do magic for and with other people. If I think my self control in this way is merely “good”, I worry other people at worst are worse than me at this or at best they are far better but our goals are not in alignment. Crowley would have his students slash their arms when they did this poorly, I personally use a livestrong armband which can be snapped satisfactorily to the point where I don’t want to do it while not raising eyebrows in polite society. This is a wonderful exercise since the conscious mind has to overcome the unconscious desire not to hurt yourself while at the same time making people mindful of their thoughts.

Hows the new material coming?

OK I sent myself that email. The problem is a lot of the information is fundamentally geometric or visual. We live in the age of youtube and the question really became how do I avoid making a series of posters to avoid Death by Powerpoint – Analog Edition. I decided the best way to teach it was going to be to come in with a whiteboard with magnets and just teach it like I teach my kids the alphabet. Look for a video on this one but don’t expect much in the way of notes.