Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Jupiterian Experiment - Anybody Want In?

So today I'm looking for 2 volunteers, and I'm hoping to find them here. While my blog is still relatively new and has only 18 followers, the number of pageviews it receives each day leads me to believe more than that number are visiting. I'm hoping that a pair of them will be the ones I need for an experiment suggested to me by a Jupiterian Spirit during this past Thursday during my G4J work.

While seeking new ways to work with Jupiter, and ways that I can do so even when free time is limited or nonexistent, a method of consecration was suggested to me with which I can empower candles using specific names of Bel Marduk and a rite from the Babylonian equivalent of the biblical genesis. In a nutshell, the ritual recreates the creation as it was believed to have taken place by the Babylonians, using the creative forces that formed the world from the body slain one to take the inanimate candle and empower it generally, and more specifically with the energies of Jupiter as that is the planet with which Marduk is associated.

What I'd like is to send two volunteers each a 7 day candle which I will fully consecrate ritually using this method, and upon which I have painted sigils of angels which have become the defacto patrons of G4J.

I have already painted the sigils on both of these candles, as you can see from the photo. This Thursday I will devote about  hours to consecrating each candle. While I can't go into specifics as to methodology, it will involve 333 recitations of 3 different names of Marduk for each candle, dressing  the candles using Abramelin Oil I make myself, and the aforementioned ritual of creation. This is not a quick bada bing bada bang consecration and will involve about 4 hours of Magickal work to prep both candles, and I will send them to the two selected volunteers for free, no charge whatsoever. I will even pay the shipping. In return, what I ask from each of the two who assist me with this is a commitment to do the following;

*Light the candle on Thursday during the hour of Jupiter, and over it recite a Sabian Prayer to Jupiter and short Invocation of Jupiter which I will provide. Let it burn 1/7 of the way down, and extingush it.
*On each of the 6 following nights, during the hour of Jupiter, repeat the process, reciting the only Invocation and burning another seventh of the candle.
*On the last night, which will also fall on Thursday, in the hour of Jupiter, you simply offer thanks to Jupiter in general, Marduk and Tzadkiel more specifically in your own way. (Could be something as simple as burning some appropriate incense and reciting the Orphic Hymn to Jupiter and saying Thank You, O Jove, O Marduk and Tzadkiel For Your Blessings, or as elaborate as you're moved to take it)
*In a month, you shoot me an email letting me know how the blessings of Jupiter have manifested in your life after the working. Or, if you really do not see any tangible improvement, letting me know that.

Thats it. I will provide you a fully consecrated candle, emblazoned with the sigils of the Jupiterian Angels and empowered in a very specific and very effective manner, which I've been assured will manifest Jupiterian blessings in the life of the practitioner burning it. In exchange, you spend 10 minutes a night for 8 nights giving Jupiter a little attention, and later on let me know how it went.

Anybody interested?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Something Good CAN Come Out of This Rapture Business!

Just copy and paste to modify as necessary;

Dear Collections Department;

I am both sorry and elated to inform you that the subject of your repeated phone calls, your debtor, (Insert Name) has been raptured and will therefore be unable to remit payment on Account #_______. Per his contractually given rights afforded by divine promise, having been a good and god-fearing christian, he has been forgiven all trespasses and debts, to include the sum of $____ owed to your company. For precedent, please see KJ Bible. It is requested, therefore, that all contact attempts by your company cease and desist.

Should you have any questions or concerns, or for verification purposes, please contact (Insert Name)'s immediate supervisor, Jesus Christ, Chairman and CEO of Heaven, Lord and Saviour.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Techniques of Willpower, Self Control, Discipline and Conditioning

After Fr. Inominandum's post on Monday with regard to Willpower, I left a comment wherein I mentioned that several years ago, in the interest of cultivating willpower and conditioning myself, I had made use of Crowley's formula from Liber III. For those who are unfamiliar with this technique, it includes the student prohibiting himself from using a certain phrase or word, such as "I", "Me", "My", "And" or "The" for a specific amount of time. The technique further requires that when you slip up in this and use the prohibited word, and you will, you must cut yourself on the wrist or forearm with a razor, "Even as though shouldst beat a disobedient dog ".* After posting that comment I got a handful of emails from different people who shared a common question, "Are you effing nuts? You really did that shit?" And the answer, as my upper arms attest, is yes, I did.

The theory, and yes it is an effective one, is that by training the body and learning to control the same impulses that cause you to react and withdraw your hand when it is put over the flame of a candle, you can unlock previously unknown aspects of your psyche and better yourself. In this way it is thought that you can train yourself to associate pain with a conscious activity, the activity you've chosen, and hence teach your nervous system to respond consciously rather than automatically. I'm probably not explaining it as clearly as others have, but fuck it, you get the point right? Its negative reinforcement and it worked really, really well for me. Since then I've learned other techniques and modifications of this one that work just as well and even better, and I sincerely regret not having found them BEFORE using Crowley's method, as they can accomplish everything his can and without the scars. I will outline a few, so if behavior modification, conditioning and cultivating your willpower are something you'd like to work with, you'd be a moron to use Crowley's.

When I used the technique, I did so to remove what I deemed weaknesses from my personality and strengthen aspects of my character I valued and found beneficial. I won't go into great detail on all of the specific goals, suffice it to say that two of those qualities I sought to remove were sympathy and hunger. Hunger, because I have always found fasting to be of tremendous value, but after 24 hours with no intake but water, I always succumbed to hunger and gave in. I sought, therefore, to condition myself so that this reflexive and instinctive response to fasting no longer applied. The work with Crowley's technique lasted several weeks, and while I do regret having undertaken it in this way due to the physical scars, it worked out better than I'd hoped. To this day, when fasting in preparation for an extended rite of evocation or other magickal work, I feel no compulsion to eat whatsoever. When NOT in ritual prep mode, however, no modification whatsoever has been made and I hunger normally and my appetite is intact. (Ok, as my belly would attest, maybe a little more than just "intact")

The moral of todays post, good readers and friends, is that working on improving your self control, discipline, and willpower is a very beneficial thing. Not only for Magi, but for everyone. Negative reinforcement is a very powerful tool, as is physical pain and these can be your greatest allies in this process. When combined with positive reinforcement, the power is redoubled.

Here is a framework for you to play with as suits your Will.

  1. First, you'll need to select a behavior you'd like to eliminate from your personality. Alternatively, if your goal is not to remove any one aspect of your character, but rather to begin the process of conditioning your self control and reflexive reactions, you may use the aforementioned, prohibiting yourself from use of a common word such as I, or Me.  
  2. The Magickal Component; IF you are working to remove part of your personality, it is first necessary that you give life to that aspect of of your being. Sigilize it using whatever method you prefer, be it the Rose Cross, Spare's alphabet of desire, or what have you. Once you've created a graphical representation of it, identify an appropriate rite from within your magickal repertoire and curse the sigil. For example, I did such a working to rid myself of an explosive temper for which I was known and which often limited my ability to respond to unfavorable situations logically and productively. When presented with disrespect, opposition to my will or obstacles impeding me from reaching my goals, my reflexive reaction was to immediately and forcefully attack. Once I'd identified this as, or rather admitted to myself that this was a counter productive tendency, I created a sigil as mentioned above and went to work. I evoked three specific spirits, called "demons" in the Grimoire from which I pulled them. I then made a rather elaborate offering and asked that they tie pain and torment to the sigil I'd created. I asked that they associate the sigil with sleeplessness, restlessness, discomfort, anxiety and distress. I further asked that in any case where I allowed myself to be controlled by this sigil, they afflict me with sharp physical and emotional pain for the duration of that day. My thinking was that with such unpleasant and painful sensations tied to the sigil and what it represented, the human survival instinct and the reflexive reaction to withdraw from that which causes us pain (as the hand automatically pulling away from the flame) would go to work on my behalf, and force the source of my pain away from me. 
  3. Adding positive reinforcement to the equation, I selected something from which I derive pleasure but which I do not regularly treat myself to due to the price. I have a bottle of Louis XIII Cognac which I bought quite a while ago, and I traditionally allow myself only one drink on special occasions since Ol Louie 1951 is now fetching $1500 a bottle. During this experiment, on the few days when incidents occurred which would previously have ignited the aforementioned explosive temper and I instead remained calm, I treated myself to a drink and a good cigar. 

As you can see, this method goes further than Crowley's in that it provides not only negative reinforcement in the form of pain and discomfort, but also provides pleasure for performance. Both are controlled and experienced by the Paleomammalian brain, and by using Magick to kick that primal portion of my being into high gear, I used the same resevoir of power that allows a parent to lift a car when their child is under its tire.

I assure you, for myself and those of my students who have used this method, it has proven very, very effective.

For those who are still determined to make use of Crowley's method, there is a very simple, effective way that doesn't yield any scars or affect; Buy yourself a bag of rubber bands, the skinnier the better. Wear one on your inferior wrist as a bracelet, and every time you break your commitment, pull it back as far as it will go without snapping and let it go, snapping on the inside of your bare wrist.

To some of you, this may seem a far cry from Crowley's original method of slicing yourself, but having used both with equal success, I can assure you that this technique actually hurts much, much more. Don't believe me? Give it a try. Give yourself a dozen good snaps, then tell me it doesn't. The affect is equal to that of Crowley's, yet no scar is made and no injury lasting longer than a minute or two. The component of the original that produces the requisite psychological reaction is sudden, sharp pain, not the presence of a permanent scar; and that is something the rubber band does better than the razor.

*(That last quote "Even as though shouldst beat a disobedient dog "  fucking infuriates me, by the way, and were I to happen upon someone doing so I would take great pride in beating them about the head with a crowbar, tire iron or similarly shaped object) Shit, maybe I haven't completely conquered that damned temper.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Further Adventures With Furry Familiars

A while back I posted a summary of my experiences using Frater RO's "Communion of Mage & Beast", detailing my use of Magick to obtain a few moments with an old friend, now deceased. Following the success of that working, I knew that Animal Magick would become a part of my Magickal repertoire as a whole, since I am a true blue dog lover. The next experiment I undertake, though, will not involve dogs at all.

I've decided that it behooves me to secure a familiar from among the animal kingdom. Despite the success of the former rite, I remain somewhat reluctant to attempt such a communion with either of my two pitbulls. Until I've perfected this technique and have studied any & all longer term ramifications, I don't think I'll work with them in this way.

I do, however, have a "pet" I'm comfortable working with. Quite frankly, he's the scariest little shit I've ever had, despite my having raised and rescued dozens of pitbulls. More creatures have succumbed to his merciless attacks than I can count, most much larger and more feared than him. Allow me to introduce you, gentle reader, to

SPOOK. The one eyed, throat-less, raccoon killing cat. 

Seriously. No, really. This is one mean SOB. My pitbulls are absolutely terrified of him, and to taunt them he likes to walk up to them whilst they are eating, make a guttural and horrifying growl, and then proceed to eat their food while they watch in horror. Spook had a celebrity deathmatch with a raccoon which he won, killing the raccoon and losing his left eye in the process, balking and refusing treatment when I discovered his eye hanging by a thread and attempted to pick him up to take him to the vet. His recuperation consisted of 3 days in solitude in the garage, after which he walked out, less an eye, and went about his usual daily routine of bird killing and squirrel stalking as if nothing had ever happened. Several months later he challenged a possum, getting his throat torn completely out, and while he didnt kill the possum, he sure as hell put up a good fight. After I got outside and hosed the prickish possum off sending him scurrying up the street, Spook calmly walked in the house with a huge chunk of flesh hanging from his neck and his teeth clearly visible from the hole whence it came. Despite this, rather than submitting and allowing me to pick him up and take him to the vet, he again took off running, only to return 3 days after we'd given up looking for him, minus a chunk of flesh and  with a oh so nasty countenance, but otherwise undaunted.

As you can see, this isn't your average cat. I'm not a cat guy, never been particularly fond of the elitist little shits and their attitude problems; But I like this little guy, and I think he'll be a kick ass familiar if I can make it happen. For methodology, since I'm completely alien to Magick of this particular nature, I'm going to stick with what seems to work and use RO's script with very little alteration. It's ironic that a Magus whose practice is straight from the Grimoires, who both evokes and invokes spirits others call demons, and who prides himself on being perfectly at home in the darkest of darkness should be nervous about employing techniques of Magick to summon and communicate with the spirit of, well, of a kitty cat. But there it is. Asi es, asi sera.

Right now this work is set for Mid June; And because the previous post described above, Magickal Reunion With An Old Friend, was one about which I've received a great deal of feedback, I'll keep you all posted on how this turns out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Magickal Levity At Its Best

Over at the Evocation Magic Forum yesterday, someone posted a link to a novel on Amazon, called Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. Having a few minutes left on my break, I headed on over to see what it was about this novel that was so exciting.

Reading the preview of the book offered by Amazon I came to a section towards the very beginning where the protagonist summons the great Lucifuge Rofocale in all his glory. Its been quite a while since I had a good laugh brought about by the written word, but this one is hilarious. I offer it here, for your amusement, under the Fair Use guidelines as part of my review of the book

Damn You Blogger!

After writing the previous post, when I jumped on over to the preview section to check out the updated page, I discovered that two posts I did yesterday are missing. The first was an outline of the Jupiter work I planned for yesterday evening, and the second was a more in depth analysis of it post-work. Even more infuriating is that I spent two hours last night writing the second, as I had to do it on my little android keyboard which, while wonderful for texts, just wasn't created for blogging more than a paragraph or two.

Just another occurence of Blogger instability, or an act of Friday the 13th Fuckery?

2011 - A Magickal Year? Just For Fun...

When 2011 began, I was pretty psyched since 11 is a very powerful number for me personally, and one with very deep Magickal meaning in my life. Not because Good Ol' Al says its the number of Magick, but for other far more meaningful reasons to me.

Excited as I was about the rite I've planned for 11/11/11, a twelve hour marathon working beginning at 11:11am and ending at 11:11pm, I've become even moreso as events have transpired convincing me that this will be a very special and empowering year for me, not just symbolically but tangibly.

Between being invited to join G4J and the publication of my first work Crossed Keys (and subsequently its remarkable sales), my dramatic and unexpected promotion at work and the boost in my magickal work, many blessings have been manifested in my life so far this year, and the second half promises even more.

I received one of those infuriating chain emails this morning, to which I usually respond with a picture of my left hand giving the middle finger. However this one gave me a moment of entertainment as it is about this year, which, apparently has several phenomena which occur once every 823 years and has been called a "Money Bags" year. Whether or not the "Chinese Feng Shui" association holds and water I do not know (or, frankly, care) and I havent bothered to check out the claim about it happening only every 823 years, but it is pretty interesting that a year I had been decidedly enthusiastic about Magickally has some precedent.

For the record, I tried the mathematical equation and my year of birth and age do add up to 111 as do those of several people whose age and DOB I remembered.

Check it out:

This year, July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags. Based on Chinese Feng Shui.

This year we're going to experience four unusual dates.

1/1/11, 1/11/11 , 11/1/11 , 11/11/11 and that's not all...

Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born - now add the age you will be this year:

The results will be 111 for everyone in whole world.

This year October will have 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This Week's Rites of Jupiter

In keeping with my inclination to experiment with varying forms of Jupiterian Magick each week for my G4J work, this week I've decided on something relatively new to me. This week I'll be practicing with methods dervived from the Aurum Solis tradition.

Although I've read and re-read Denning & Phillips' series, and used their correspondences (which are superb and exhaustive) I've never put the techniques themselves to much use, and thus tomorrow's work will be my first full on experiment with the system. For this work, I'll be using first the Rite of Approach for Jupiter, followed by the Rite of Contact, and the Attunement, and will be using the Aurom Solis traditional pantheon of Zaraietos, Orthoter, Kapaios, Zathanat and Demoros which represent, respectively, the Deity, Archon, Power, Intelligence and Spirit of Jupiter.

The inclusion of Gnostic deities is, by in large, what attracted me to the Aurom Solis system several years back. While on my little vacation, I wrote to a number of groups requesting a list of suggested reading material, and Aurum Solis was one of very few who responded. They even went so far as to send me a paperback of Denning & Phillips Planetary Magick, and some print outs of their basic practices and rituals which I still have and hold very dear.

What struck me first was that in one of the rituals sent to me, the deities called upon were those I'd previously seen only in the Gnostic scriptures, mostly in Willis & Barnstone's "Other Bible". The rite in question was one of Saturn which called upon Ialdabaoth, much maligned and considered by some Gnostic sects as the wicked and rebellious son of Sophia.

All in all, tomorrows works of Jupiter promise to be exciting and add further depth to my overall practice.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Birhatiya of Al Buni

Over the past few days I've been researching the rite known as  The Birhatiya, or Conjuration Oath, as found in Al Buni's  "Wellspring Sources of Wisdom", and I have to say I'm intrigued. Its origins are largely unknown, although it predates most of the classical grimoires. Al Buni classifies it with the earliest of Solomonic material, and it has appeared in such widely differing tongues as Persian and Albanian. Other than this, little is known of it and yet Mages of the Ruhaniya tradition revere it greatly, ascribing to it immeasurable power as one of the three greatest rites in their school.

Quoting the translator's notes "Finally we should emphasize the importance of the conjuration oath - and specifically the names - should never be underestimated by practitioners, students or scholars...."

I am surprised that more Grimoiric Mages don't make much effort to work with these rites; They do seem more involved than their modern widely accepted counterparts, in some cases requiring several thousand repetitions of a divine name during the course of the working. But despite that, something about them fascinates me and I am moved to attempt to incorporate them in my own magickal repertoire. I have made use of some of the lesser workings from The Grand Key of Solomon the King and from The Book of Deadly Names, and been both surprised and pleased with the outcome as well as the power that seems to emanate from them when correctly performed. (I actually had to find an Iraqi born practitioner from Boston to coach me on correct pronunciation and other elements since the Ishtar series offer little guidance) That being the case, I am looking forward to getting deeper into this field of practice; Despite being of the Ruhaniya line, it very closely resembles the early Grimoiric material, and understandably, makes use of many of the same divine names as the Solomonic materials I'm more accustomed to.

I don't know precisely when I'll get to work with The Birhatiya, given the number of other pots in which my hands are presently occupied, but it's going to be as soon as possible and I am going to begin the planning component immediately.

The Great Work - A Whole Lot of WORK

Whoever gave this the name "The Great WORK" Wasn't kidding. Contrary to what you'd expect, there's a hell of a lot of work involved. This weekend I stayed home and focused on that Work, crafting more Materia for use in my G4J work on Thursdays, and in my general evocations. (I use the term Materia very broadly, covering everything from oils, incenses, candles, dagger, scrying mirror and everything in between). For some reason which hasn't yet been made clear to me, it was important that I craft a few new tools using woodburning rather than my s.o.p. of appropriately colored paints. While they're clearly not the product of a professional craftsman, I'm pretty happy with how they came out; especially since it was my first time ever holding a woodburner. I wasn't looking forward to this, and was toying with the idea of buying tools already crafted so I could instead spend the weekend out and about, enjoying the weather. I was, however, urged to create them myself and reluctantly, begrudgingly acquiesced.

Here is one of the tools I made

The design itself is based on a classic, but I've chosen to use Celestial Script as opposed to Hebrew, and separated the names of Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel with the symbols of the elements. (I didn't just start changing things arbitrarily, there is a method to my madness)

Despite spending the better part of two days working on this and a half dozen other items, which is far more time than I can usually devote to any one thing without growing nauseatingly bored at the monotony and tedium, I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it. Perhaps its my anticipation of using my new tools. Maybe its because handcrafting your materia adds power to it. Maybe I just loved turning off the android and being completely free of distractions and thus able to focus on one thing for once. Whatever the case, I liked it. Its been a while since I sat down and created something Magickal for myself, and I miss that. I remember the satisfaction I used to get in prison, melting bars of soap and shaping them into candles, and then lighting them with battery from my AM radio and a wire torn from the light fixture in the shower room. Using perfume inserts from magazines to make improvised incense. Despite the tools I used in those days being the most absurdly conceived of objects you can imagine, they worked out pretty freakin' well, and I think thats because of the time and effort put into creating them. Maybe I endowed them with power simply as an act of Will, maybe it really isnt WHAT you use, but HOW you use it and the intent with which you do so.

Whatever the case, now that I've remembered how much I enjoy creating Materia, AND  I'm unrestricted in my creativity and limited only by my imagination, I'm gonna be a busy man...