The Rosicrucian Scandal is incredibly amusing. Mathers at his best. I think the whole idea behind the court case was so that if Mathers lost the Golden Dawn, all the secrets would be laid bare in the legal proceedings. Thanks to FB to showing me this.
Nick Farrell has a decent read over on his blog how the Enochian Angels (really the “good spirits”) might relate to the Planetary Angels. Unfortunately he’s spending time trying to justify the GD’s ‘innovation’ (read: hammering new material into an old system instead of exploring it) instead of crediting Stenwick for doing the same thing years ago. I suspect it’s because Stenwick leans more towards the OTO instead of the GD. It would have been nice if Farrell had at least hat-tipped Stenwick for doing his legwork. Maybe Farrell hasn’t read the book. Who knows?
The latest issue of Speech in the Silence has a really cool bit on Kenneth Anger – someone actually went to the trouble of going through his movies frame by frame to pull out all the various subliminal messages. I’m really digging the program format recently – it has thelemic pop culture (if there is such a thing) and then actual hands on magic stuff. They manage to dovetail these things together nicely. For the Kenneth Anger stuff, sure he’s a Crowley fan, but they also bring up towards the end that Anger took 777 and added his own correspondences to it on top of the existing framework. Scenes have music, tones, colors, and themes which Anger added to the book. Since 777 is a kabalistic text, it’s no surprise when they have the second half of the program devoted to the tree of life.
While it sounds sort of hokey – managing life crisis with kabalistic magic – it got rolling around in my head. I have two ritual modes in my model of magic, which is banishing or invoking on the microcosm or the macrocosm. This works well for me, I want to push things away/draw things in on the physical/spiritual realms. Maybe we want to do both! The model isn’t static – I can and do make on the fly changes to it based on what sort of results I think are appropriate based on what spirits (or classes of spirits) I want to talk to or operate for me. Around the 46 minute mark in the program, the host gives the listener the key to the system but doesn’t explain in-depth why things are how they are. In fact, to the novice, this probably appears backwards. The comment is something like “Have too much Mars in your life? Call on Jupiter!”
On the face of it, that’s dead easy. Mars is severity, Jupiter is mercy. OK, I get it – they’re on opposite sides of the tree. There’s even a good reason to operate this way: The forces are impossibly large. If we’re dealing with just the raw force of the planetary energy (Mars), it needs to be balanced with the equally raw force of Jupiter to produce something nice. In fact to limit the force of Mars in this particular method of working, the magician would seek to invoke strongly the force of Jupiter. This works in terms of currents, but I think it also only works as blind forces. From an elemental perspective, I think it’s fantastic. For the tree of life, not so much. From an elemental perspective, it would be a good idea to invoke fire to combat watery states, or earth to combat airy states. This is very Kraig, and wholly legitimate. The difference here is elemental forces are blind forces. There’s no “Angel of Fire” (there are Angels which deal in fire) but there’s no rulership. The Enochian system from the GD tries to assign rulership to the elements but that wasn’t tabled in this talk. I think while this whole notion presented works well for this particular example, I also think the tree stands above the elements, and we can do better.
If we believe we can regulate forces, then we can also petition Gods and Angels to regulate forces too. Ares knows how to make war by encouraging hostilities, but he also knows how to unmake war by discouraging hostilities. His office is severity (or strength), and he regulates the thing the entire way from open war to a complete lack of hostility. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean mercy. This ends entirely at “leave me alone”. Similarly if we wanted to encourage mercy in an environment filled with hostility, if we get Zeus working for us, we might find mercy in our current situation. However it would be more effective, in my mind, to appeal to Ares first to subdue hostility, then once the tables are even, appeal to Zeus for mercy in negotiations. Otherwise we might find Ares fully realized and we’re beaten down to the point of requesting mercy, and finding we only have scraped enough together to get right back up and back into the fight.
This second form of magic is also the attitude classical magic takes. In Agrippa, we have “classical elements”. We have the elements represented we’re all familiar with, but the list isn’t exclusive or destructive. He lists “fire, earth, water, and air”, but I really think it’s much better to think of these as “hot and dry, cool and dry, cool and wet, hot and wet”. Think “inside of a furnace”, “a rock fresh from the earth”, “a dip in the ocean”, “opening your front door in summer”. Why air? The hot air is always the rushing air. It identifies the fundamental fact that heat always wants to move towards cold. If we think about our elements in Agrippa’s mode, then thinking about the Tree needs to follow the same lines. If we think about elements in a Golden Dawn sort of “opposites cancel” mode, then the Tree needs to run along those lines too. As below, so above. I personally like the Agrippa model more. I can think of plenty of times I’ve observed a commingled version of a force, but I can never think of a time magic has been as simple as “evoke fire, get popcorn”.
I started to write this for a (non-magical) friend on Facebook and it got so deep it actually exceeded the available space in an Facebook Message.
I had casually mentioned that Jay-Z was probably a member of the illuminati. While I felt it was funny at the time, she started googling, then asked me point on to explain it.
Uh oh. Someone else wants to see the rabbit hole. First things first…
You’re going to have to pause the video several times. Me not being Mr Web 2.0, you’ll have to figure it out yourself.
The Vigilant Citizen has an OK write up of the lyrics but is not a part of any order and they miss things which are really obvious to me. To paraphrase Crowley (see chapter 3), “Make your mind dug out as an Island, Prepare for yourself a war machine”. Jay-Z is doing exactly this, the warlike imagery is present from the bullets around everyone’s neck and the clubs. The clubs are held high and crossed, this is almost certainly a reference to Osiris. He is the ruler. There’s a second allegory here where Jay-Z talks about “Maison Martin Margiela” clothes. The MMM is the Master Mark Mason, or a Mason who can assume a supervisory and planning role. The clothes are the mark. Furthermore Rhianna in the video starts out as Isis (notice the hat and comically long torch), and it’s safe to say there’s double meaning here and she is also Lucifer. All this in the first 40 seconds, there’s going to be a norgy of occult imagery here.
They throw the triangle (or the eye) several times in the video. This doesn’t particularly mean anything except that in Magic the eye represents God or the spirit. How they throw it (arms outstretched) suggests to me he is projecting force. My guess is that he’s saying that he is God and you are to see him in the triangle.
Later in the video Rhianna is dressed in what looks like funeral garb, with a vaulted ceiling above her reminiscent of a tomb. At the 2:10 mark or so it really does look like a tomb. This looks like it’s trying to follow the Gnostic Mass to me – The preistess and preist consecrate one another and the preist is reborn as a consecrated host to adore the preistess. This doesn’t ever seem to be fully explored in the video.
At the 3:16 mark, Rhianna is making a fylfot cross, either representing energy or representing the Arrow of Set (magical salute). This is the other gesture which represents occult knowledge. Yes, it looks like a Nazi salute. It really looks like she’s throwing a circle how they animate her but I also think it looks like The Magician. Again, note the wand.
Missing from the video is the adoration, so I don’t particularly see a Gnostic Mass in the video despite Jay-Z’s newfound love of Crowley. I don’t see anything which looks like it represents the pillars, I don’t see anything to imply the dove or the serpent, and I don’t see the altar or the traditional seating in a Masonic, Golden Dawn, or Ordo Templi Orientis temple. If I had to make a judgement call, I would say Jay-Z is familiar with the imagery but hasn’t actually joined any particular magical order. The music would be more like TOOL’s Lataralus in content if he did, and it’s just not present. Plus he’d have to become a hermaphrodite to be God, so I just don’t think it’s high on his list.
I’ve been trying to reply to Nick Farrell’s blog but wordpress doesn’t play well at all with blogger and two of my comments have vanished off into space. He wrote a post reviewing Contacts of the Adepts and it got my mind rolling around about the methods of magic.
He reviews the book and talks about the insides and outsides of magic, which boils down to ritual without internal work is vanity and internal work without ritual is likely to be ineffective. On ritual: Anyone can have a “magic book” and speak empty words without feeling and usually this is a lot of people’s exposure to magic. The adults tend to do this as a scientific foray in a midlife crisis, kids tend to do it finding their first spellbooks in the new age section of the Barnes and Noble. Either way it’s not going to work. The adults don’t have their temple built, or worse their temple has been destroyed (whether they know it or not) and the kids don’t have enough life experience to build the temple, let alone the doorways to the temple.
On spiritism: This is something that teenagers are likely to encounter with drugs but it has the same problems. How does any of the experience relate to the world? How can we trust what spirits we do encounter are the correct spirits? How do we even know we have spiritual contact and not simply a flight of the imagination?
These are two important topics and magic books tend to fall into one side or the other. Neither is right, we need to come up with something in the middle. We need the spiritual side of things to actually understand the difference between internal voice (imagination) and external voice (spiritual influence). These are sublime and subtle. We need the ritual to both provide us with a clean break into inner reality, but also push our experiences to new heights. Magic is, quite simply, a glass of water. The spiritual side is the water and it possesses great force, but without the ritual side of the temple to give form to the water and direct it, nothing can be done.
Now, how do we do the internal work?
There’s the rub. Without some sort of direction to the basics, someone looking for a ritual experience might attend a church and be turned off at the lack of spiritual movement, and someone looking for a spiritual experience might turn to drugs and be turned off at the lack of structure in the experience.
The reader’s interesting fact of the day is that DMT doesn’t produce dependence because most users don’t quantify it as “fun”, and that should be the first clue. Spiritual development is often not “fun”, but rather an exploration of contrasts. This is the unity of ritual and spirituality – if I look at everything I experience as the ritual, and everything I feel or how it affects and changes me as the spirituality, then we get to Crowleys quote that “Every act is a magical act”.
Once we decide we see God in a grain of sand and the universe on the head of a pin, things become much easier for us as magicians. We’ve entered the required mode of thought to explore ourselves, then explore what isn’t ourselves. Now we could stay here and live in malkuth, and everyone should for a bit of time. Eventually we start to wonder where our spiritual tools come from, and suddenly we’re aware of more in creation. This is where any good ceremonial magic system comes into play – there’s more out there than just “the stuff” – so what is it?
The first book I encountered which actually does this correctly and manages to even attempt to cross the abyss is By Names and Images. It’s a recent publication, and it should be read by every aspiring magician. While it has a Golden Dawn bent, we shouldn’t short change ourselves and ignore their contribution. Frankly, there is precious little material out there which doesn’t have an influence from the Golden Dawn. Take it, read it, love it. Most importantly, the book includes the rituals (but what book doesn’t) and it includes the internal work. This is the wheat and the chaff – the ritual is what was written down and anyone can pick it up and read it and publish a book on it. The internal work you only may experience by action. The book encourages you to get up, do the rituals, and then think about how they work. The internal work sections are what got me moving personally. Rather than copy them verbatim and doing them “wrong” or “right”, the reader is given enough hints about the internal work to see how it’s “supposed” to work but not so many details that the book takes over. Rather than use it as a bible, it should be a signpost, and it does it extremely well.
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.