Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hacking the Elemental Hexagrams

Most Augoeides readers are familiar with my operant field system for using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. To briefly recap, as I see it the "Lesser" rituals are general rituals that you use to set up your magical working space or "field," whereas the "Greater" rituals are used to conjure specific magical forces. I am not fond at all of the "Lesser" versus "Greater" nomenclature, because there should be no implied hierarchy between the types. You do want to learn the "Lesser" rituals first, but that's only because they are the first rituals you use when doing magical operations. They are in no way inferior or less important - they are foundational to the work.

But one of the things that some of the Golden Dawn groups teach these days does not fit very well with this concept of the forms, and to my way of thinking just confuses things. This is the idea of "Lesser Rituals of the Hexagram" for specific planets. From a technical standpoint, what you do is pretty straightforward. You trace the four elemental hexagrams from the point attributed to the planet, according to where the two triangles that represent each elemental hexagram map onto the Tree of Life when placed in the "standard" or star configuration. But if the Lesser rituals are general rituals, how should that even work?

To be clear, my operant field model is developed from Aleister Crowley's versions of these rituals published in Liber O, which in turn is Crowley's adaptation of the Golden Dawn rituals he learned from S. L. MacGregor Mathers during his time in the order. Thus, my system is based on material that effectively diverged from the Golden Dawn tradition over a hundred years ago. So what I am not trying to say here is that the modern Golden Dawn teachings are wrong in some objective sense. I have no idea where the idea of specific "Lesser Hexagrams" came from, or what experimental testing was done to verify that the method works.

So going forward, keep in mind that I am talking about my own operant system and offering no comment one way or the other on how other traditions such as the modern Golden Dawn orders teach these ritual forms. I naturally believe that my methods work better based on my own experimental testing and that of a number other magicians who have tried it out and compared it to more traditional methods. But my suggestion is, as always, if it works it works. If you learned these forms from a Golden Dawn group and they work for you as you learned them, that's great. But I also invite anyone to give the operant system a try and see if it works for them as well as it does for me.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Not "Mass Hysteria"

Well, that was quick. Just as I predicted, researchers examining the Cuban "sonic weapon" brain injuries have concluded that what is going on is absolutely not a case of mass psychogenic illness, or if you will, "mass hysteria." To be clear, there's no evidence that any sonic weapon was employed to cause these injuries, but it is also clear that they have some sort of physical cause. That should have been obvious from the start, but skeptics just love to muddy the waters by insisting that anything they don't understand is "psychological."

While the exact cause of these concussion-like symptoms remains unknown, these individuals appeared to have sustained injury to "widespread brain networks without an associated history of blunt head trauma," report clinicians from the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Brain Injury and Repair in Philadelphia, which was selected to coordinate evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of affected patients.

Importantly, note Randel L. Swanson II, DO, PhD, and colleagues, there is no evidence that the symptoms reported by US embassy personnel in Cuba can be attributed to mass psychogenic illness, as some skeptics have suggested. Mass psychogenic illness typically involves uniform symptoms that are of short duration and are often benign in nature, with no consistent physical exam findings. This is completely opposite of what is seen in the Cuba cohort, they note. Although not systematically excluded, viruses or chemical exposures are unlikely, they say.

"While there are many open questions that remain, we are collectively convinced that these individuals, as a group, sustained a neurological injury. So, the constellation of signs and symptoms and their response to rehabilitation mirrors what we see in patients with mild traumatic brain injury, both in the civilian population and in our military population," Swanson said in a JAMA podcast.

As a point, there are equally misguided folks in the magical community who do the same thing. There's no clear consensus on the nature of spirits, for example, so some practitioners dismiss them as "psychological projections." But my point is that what's going on with both spirits and the Cuba case is that we just don't know for sure. If you automatically dismiss everything you don't understand as "psychological," you are going to make a lot of mistakes evaluating any paranormal phenomenon - or even unusual ones.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Calm Before the Stupid

Donald Trump may be a bad president for many people, but the one group that he has consistently delivered for is conspiracy theorists. I don't mean the garden-variety "big business is colluding with the government to make money" kind of conspiracy theorists (those sorts of conspiracies happen all the time), but rather the complete and utterly batshit insane variety. More and more implausible allegations come to light every day. Is it fake news, or is it just flat-out stupidity? I expect that you already know my answer to that question. I recently came across an article about a conspiracy theory floated last year called "The Storm." It was a sort of meta-conspiracy that set the bar quite high for future efforts.

Part “Pizzagate,” part New World Order, and part hyper-partisan wishful thinking by defenders of Donald Trump, “the Storm” is a sprawling meta-conspiracy, with actors ranging from Hillary Clinton to model Chrissy Teigen, in which everything you know about the current investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign is upside down.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, in this alternative universe, is in fact preparing to indict hundreds of Democrats (including Clinton, Barack Obama, and financier George Soros) and Hollywood celebrities for their roles in a massive worldwide pedophilia ring, operated by “globalists” who are conspiring to destroy Trump — and that the president himself is himself masterminding this “countercoup.”

“What we have come up with is a possible coup,” explained conspiracy theorist David Zublick in a late-November video, “not against Donald Trump, but by Donald Trump, working with Robert Mueller to bring down the Clintons, the Democrat Party, and the entire U.S. government involved in pedophilia and child sex trafficking.”

In just a few short weeks, the theory has grown from a handful of posts on fringe Internet chat forums to become the overwhelming obsession of nearly every conspiracy theorist in the business, notably Alex Jones and his Infowars operation, as well as social-media figures such as Liz Crokin. In addition to being a constant focus of discussion on Infowars, dozens of YouTube videos and thousands of Twitter posts exploring various facets of the conspiracy, and presenting the usual dubious “evidence” to “prove” it, have shown up on the Internet.

The origins of “The Storm” lie in Trump’s cryptic remarks on October 6, saying that a gathering of military leaders represented “the calm before the storm.” When asked what he meant, Trump responded: “You’ll see.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

Via Solis Aquarius Elixir Rite

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Aquarius Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday February 13th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. Going forward, we will be performing one of these per month, once for each of the twelve signs, in a ritual series called Via Solis (the way or path of the Sun). I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the lodge know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Aquarius.

The sign Aquarius is attributed to the power of "Astrology." Since astrological divination is a fairly mechanical process, it seems to me that in addition to being the proper spirit to call on in order to learn astrology or understand it better, the angel of Aquarius should also have a more active aspect. So what I am going to experiment with when we perform this ritual is to see if Aquarius has some degree of influence over astrological forces in general. That would have practically unlimited applications - if it works.

As just one example, there has been a lot of discussion back and forth here about magical strategies to neutralize and/or mediate negative aspects and debilities in natal charts, and I'm going to see if I can just use the power of Aquarius to accomplish something along those lines. It would be very convenient if, say, you could just call up Aquarius and say "neutralize/mediate XYZ in my natal chart" instead of working out a remedy involving a particular planet or element. Of course, I don't know how well this will work, but that's the whole point of experimentation.

This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.


I. Opening

All stand surrounding the altar. Officiant inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. All rotate accordingly.

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.

All: MAKAShANaH

Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.

All: ABRAHADABRA

Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.

All: AUMGN

Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence. So mote it be.


Bell chime.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Fun With Yoga Demons

I've written a number of times here on Augoeides about the hatred for yoga among some fundamentalist Christians. They tend to be the kind of Christians who insist on living in their own little bubbles consisting of Christian television, Christian movies, Christian music, and so forth. So according to their sad ideology, anything that's not explicitly Christian is depraved and evil. Yoga does not fit that bill, even though I have come across so-called "Christian Yoga" practitioners who rename the postures and open with Christian prayers. Recently a Christian blogger warned that yoga - apparently, no matter how you do it - creates a "demonic trance" and is just like playing with a Ouija board.

A Christian blogger is warning those who follow his faith that practicing yoga is like playing with a Ouija board.

“You may perform the moves without consciously seeking the demonic trance they were designed to help you attain, but it would seem you are playing, quite literally, with fire,” Matt Walsh wrote for the Daily Wire.

He repeatedly called yoga a pagan practice. “I don’t think all yoga practitioners go to Hell,” he wrote. “But neither do I see how a pagan ritual could ever help someone get to Heaven, and maybe that’s reason enough to leave it alone.”

I'm going to say this again, because I keep saying it and nobody seems to listen - there is such a thing as non-sectarian yoga. A lot of people practice it. While some yoga classes do include elements like simple Hindu prayers that a strict Christian could reasonably object to participating in, without any of that yoga is just stretching. There's nothing "demonic" or even Hindu about the postures themselves. As I also have mentioned in previous posts, modern "exercise yoga" is not even entirely Indian. It is a mixture of Hatha Yoga, which simply consists of holding the postures for sustained periods of time, and European calisthenic exercises. The Europeans who practiced the latter were almost certainly Christian.

Sadly for those of you looking forward to getting your demonic trance on at the local Ashtanga studio, Walsh is full of it. Even for those of us who like working with spirits, there's nothing about yoga that's going to help us connect with them. It's good exercise, but that's about it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

That's Really Too Bad

It sounds like the African nation of Zambia won't be conducting cutting-edge paranormal research any time soon. In response to rumors that the government was considering investigating witchcraft - that is, magick - as a science, its chief spokesperson issued a strong denial on the grounds that Zambia is officially defined as a "Christian nation" in its 1996 constitution. As I see it, this is one more case where having a state religion is just a terrible idea. Western academic institutions are highly biased against paranormal research on entirely different grounds, so little of it goes on here. But in Africa, it could be a more plausible area for study if not for all the religious prejudice.

The Zambian government on Tuesday denied media reports that it intends to consider research on witchcraft as a science. Witchcraft or witchery broadly means the practice of and belief in magical skills and abilities exercised by solitary practitioners and groups. Witchcraft often occupies a religious divinatory or medicinal role, and is often present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical world view.

Chief Government Spokesperson, Kampamba Mulenga, said such reports were blatant falsehoods. Mulenga said: "We are aware that there is a group of people that is spreading malicious statements through various media platforms, bent on destroying government’s image." According to her, the government could not start advocating for witchcraft practices as the country was a declared Christian nation. She added: "Christianity and witchcraft are poles apart and cannot co-exist."

In other words, as long as Zambia is a "Christian Nation," no paranormal research will ever be conducted. That's too bad, because paranormal research touches on all sorts of areas that I remain convinced will become important areas for study in the future. At the very least, consciousness studies has taken off as a discipline over the last decade or so, and one wonders if that would fall under "witchcraft" as well according to the Zambian government. After all, consciousness is the key to working with every magical system I've ever come across, and I highly doubt that the African form of witchcraft is any different.

It should also be pointed out that this is exactly the kind of nation that the Poor Oppressed Christians are fighting for here in the United States. As they are "oppressed" by the mere existence of people who don't share their beliefs, any paranormal research in a "Christian America" would be right out. I might not even be allowed to discuss it publicly in a forum like this blog. And as I see it, that simply is unacceptable.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Flat Earther Fails to Launch

Is there anything more ridiculous these days than a flat-earther? I'm not sure, but I think the answer might very well be "no." People have known since ancient times that the Earth is round. It simply is not true that we've only known the Earth was round since the Middle Ages. If you live on any coast, anywhere, you can easily observe this for yourself just like the ancient Greeks did. Just watch a ship as it disappears over the horizon. You'll see that the bottom of the ship disappears first, because the Earth is curved.

Given that, I'm still not sure whether Mike Hughes is a serious flat-earther or just taking advantage of stupid people. For a while now, Hughes has been raising money online from flat-earthers to launch his own rocket. The rocket is powered by steam, which has limited effectiveness as a propellant, and can reach about five hundred miles per hour and sustain that speed for a short period of time. Hughes claims that this is part of a plan to eventually reach outer space, but given the technology he's using it's hard to see how that's going to happen. Especially since, after many delays, his attempted launch completely failed.

In fairness to Mike Hughes, he knows how to build a rocket. He built them for many years under the precepts of classical physics, when he was still a relatively conventional daredevil, which is to say, one who believed the Earth is round. But Saturday marked Hughes’ third aborted launch since he declared himself a flat Earther last year and announced a multipart plan to fly to space by the end of 2018 so he could prove astronauts have been lying about the shape of the planet.

The Washington Post, like many news outlets, covered Hughes’ plan. In retrospect, there was never any chance he’d pull it off. Hughes blamed technical difficulties – possibly a bad O-ring – for his steam-powered rocket’s failure to ignite this weekend in the Mojave Desert. But even if it had, and even if he managed to subsequently rocket-pack himself into space by the end of the year, his mission would have ended at worst in death, and at best in disappointment as he realized what ancient Greeks and schoolchildren already know: The world is round; it has always been round; Mike Hughes will never see its edges.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Custom Spirit Boxes!

If you are interested in claiming perks for backing the upcoming Enochian and Goetic Online Master Classes, you only have a couple of days left. And now, a last minute perk has been added to the campaign - a custom spirit box by occult artist Mani C. Price! Here's what she has to say about these remarkable talismanic boxes:

"There are a variety of spirit boxes I do. They are a type of high-end talisman. They are created to house spirits and have a physical anchor on this plane. When you want to contact someone or resolve an issue immediately, a spirit box will do just that. When you go to open it, you are 'putting the spirit to work for you.' You make a request and send the spirit to work. Communication becomes smoother and faster. These spirit boxes can be treated as traveling miniature altars. I have one client who is a performer and she takes her box everywhere."

"...These are solid pieces of wood made to be heirlooms. They will last a lifetime. I’ve done mahogany, purpleheart, maple, ash, cherry and birch thus far. I start with a simple wood burning ritual around the main sigil. Then I start painting on the sides of the boxes.These images are usually related to aspects of the spirit the box is meant to work with. For example, a box for Venus may be covered with depictions of sex and lust, while a box for Jupiter has more images of money and kingship. In the end you have a masterpiece in its own right that you can do with as you please."

"...Clients are given instructions on offerings, prayers, rites and general upkeep to maintain that connection. Items pertaining to the spirit can also put inside the box such as oils, herbs, stones, or dirt (like from a bank to attract money). Animal products such a teeth, claws, feathers, or bones can also be incorporated."

If you are interested in claiming this or any of the other perks associated with the campaign, click right here to check it out. Remember, the campaign is ending in a couple of days, so act now if you've been putting it off. You'll be supporting a great series of classes with some truly outstanding magical teachers - you know, like me!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Magical Powers are Descriptive, Not Prescriptive

I talk a lot about the magical powers and visions from Liber 777 as the basis for the magical operations posted here for the elemental, planetary, and zodiacal work. Reading over the powers, you can see pretty clearly that they are derived from the attributions of the corresponding Tarot trumps. For example, the power for Leo is given as "the power of training wild beasts," which is a pretty good description of the Strength card in the Rider-Waite Tarot. I went a little metaphoric there in my description of the Leo operation, and surmised that this was a power that could be used to alter conditioned responses in general - and I will say that my first experiment along those lines worked quite well.

So as far as I can tell, the powers given are descriptive rather than prescriptive. In other words, they are examples of what can be done rather than lists of what has to be done. Leo is the fixed sign of Fire and is ruled by the Sun. Neither of those is particularly related to "training wild beasts," but they are valid attributions for the sign. If you find yourself with a really strong election for a Leo operation, that means you could call on the angel of the sign to do both fiery things and solar things in addition to Leo things. An example would be a case where you have a good Leo election, but the Sun is afflicted in the operation's chart. In such a case, the angel of Leo would be a better choice than the angel of the Sun for a solar operation.

The key here is that as long as you keep your attributions straight, you can call on all of the angels of the elements, planets, and signs to do far more than what is given for their specified powers. It goes both ways, too. In the Leo example, you could call on the angel of Fire or the angel of the Sun (both of whom happen to be Michael for practical operations) to do Leo things, such as working with conditioning. The angel of Taurus, "the secret of physical strength," can also be called on for things related to Venus and Earth, and both the angel of Earth and the angel of Venus can do things related to Taurus. And so forth. Keeping all that in mind helps when you are trying to get the best possible election for your operation.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mass Hysteria is Paranormal

"Mass hysteria" is the skeptic's go-to explanation for anything they don't understand. According to its proponents, mass hysteria arises unexpectedly, is poorly understood, and is a relatively rare phenomenon. It is supposedly "mental" or "psychological," and yet it can apparently produce significant physical changes within the human body. In short, it is pretty much the same thing as "mind over matter" or "faith healing" in reverse - as generally speaking, it tends to cause illness rather than cure it.

The cause of mass hysteria is said to be "the mind," but to be clear, the same exact thing can be said about psychic phenomena. So I contend that mass hysteria is essentially a paranormal explanation. It's just a paranormal explanation that skeptics happen to like. Slate has an article up today arguing that the alleged "sonic attacks" that affected U.S. embassy workers in Cuba back in 2016 were the result of this phenomena. But I think the author of it has failed to consider all of the ramifications of his conclusion.

A few weeks after the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump, several people working for the U.S. Embassy in Cuba fell mysteriously ill. Some lost their hearing. Some had headaches and a pain in one ear. Others reported feeling dizzy or nauseous, having trouble focusing, or feeling fatigued. Later, some would have a hard time concentrating, remembering things, sleeping, and even walking. These symptoms were “medically confirmed,” as the State Department’s medical director Charles Rosenfarb put it, and brain scans were said to show abnormalities in the victims’ white matter, which transfers information between brain regions. The illnesses were believed by the government to be “health attacks,” carried out by a foreign power, though as Todd Brown, assistant director at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “investigative attempts and expert analysis failed to identify the cause or perpetrator.”

Nonetheless, investigators concluded the illnesses, which ultimately affected 24 people, were likely the result of a “sonic device.” This conclusion seems to be primarily due to the fact that some diplomats reported hearing a high-pitched noise in their homes and hotel rooms. Despite a lack evidence for such a weapon, or any known way it could affect white matter, the sonic weapon theory proved irresistible for both media outlets and for Cuba hawks like Sens. Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez, both of whom immediately transformed the sonic weapon into a handy political weapon. In the months following the “attacks,” new diplomats arriving in the country were warned of this sonic danger. Embassy employees were played a recording of what was thought to be the sound so they knew what to listen for. Soon, people at the Canadian Embassy in Cuba began reporting symptoms similar to what the Americans had experienced, as did a few tourists there. A husband and wife at the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan became ill as well. Whatever it was, it seemed to be spreading.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Against Linguistic Quibbles

I've written a number of articles here about the relationship between linguistics and magick. More to the point, I've written that I think any such relationship is entirely based on personal thinking styles and cannot be generalized in any meaningful sense. In other words, linguistics can't tell us much about magick at all except in the context of your own personal work - and only then if you happen to be a linguistic thinker, which not all people are. Since I'm not a linguistic thinker, this has been obvious to me since childhood. But apparently, there are a lot of folks out there who believe otherwise.

Most available evidence suggests that language is descriptive, not prescriptive. This has been pretty well-established by science, as what is called the "strong version" of linguistic relativity has been pretty much disproved at this point. The words and sounds we use to communicate do not carry inherent meaning apart from usage, and the best studies showing the influence of language on thought has found only weak effects. One example of this that I posted on a while back is Jules Davidoff's study on the Himba people of Africa, whose language does not include separate terms for the colors blue and black. Davidoff discovered that, on average, Himba children had more trouble distinguishing between black and dark navy blue than English-speaking children.

A BBC documentary took that study and used it to argue that ancient people "couldn't see" the color blue. Which is just stupid. On top of that, the documentary was incredibly poorly done - somehow in scripting the show, the Himba's single term for blue and black got turned into a single term for blue and green, and the producers included some misleading graphics to "demonstrate" the effect. Which wasn't even the effect Davidoff observed. This got turned into the Business Insider article that I skewered in my piece by simply quoting Davidoff presenting his own work. And to be clear, Davidoff's study of linguistic relativity is the best one out there. The others are worse.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Actually, It's Totally Frivolous

I honestly am still surprised that I get people asking me from time to time about "The Illuminati." If you haven't already figured it out, there's no such thing. The Illuminati order was founded as a competitor for Masonry in 1776, was basically dead by 1800, and its last gasp was an attempted revival in the late 1800's by Theodor Reuss, who would go on to found Ordo Templi Orientis with Karl Kellner. But Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea wrote some novels in the 1970's, so it has to be real, right?

As I've covered here on Augoeides, the Illuminati order has been mocked by Weird Al Yankovic, turned into an advance fee scam by Nigerian confidence artists, and treated as a big joke by the music industry. Most recently, it was turned into Taco Bell commercial. Come on folks, if there really was a sinister, powerful Illuminati order secretly running the world, none of that would ever have seen the light of day. But that's not what musician Charlie Daniels wants you to think. In response to the aforementioned Taco Bell commercial, he issued a warning to the fast food franchise.

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” musician and noted conservative Daniels took some time out of his evening on Monday to issue a grave warning to the fast-food chain. “Hey Taco Bell The Illuminati is not a frivolous subject,” Daniels cautioned. While Daniels failed to elaborate on his warning — perhaps out of concern for saying too much — the musician was presumably referring to Taco Bell’s recent “Belluminati” campaign, which employs conspiracy-themed language and imagery to reveal the “powerful connection between the dollar and Taco Bell” — namely, a line of menu items available for $1 each.

Taco Bell has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment on Daniels’ words of caution — possibly because they’re awaiting guidance on a response from the Lizard People who control the Pentagon — but Daniels’ doom-signal to the brand drew its own responses on social media.

“Charlie how do you know Taco Bell isn’t a part of the Illuminati, making commercials mocking it to throw you off from the fact that they are a part of it? Explain THAT to me,” asked one observer. “Wait until you see the Bilderberg ad from Arby’s,” another commenter warned the musician. “And the Bohemian Grove ad from Hardee’s,” chimed in another. “Deals with the devil are not a frivolous subject,” cautioned another commenter, referencing Daniels’ trademark song.

In fact, "deals with the Devil" are pretty frivolous too, since they're the sort of things that happen in horror movies but not in real life. While you can make deals with various chthonic entities, there's no point in "selling your soul" because you can't really do that. Usually, spirits just want regular offerings or something similar as part of the deal. Also, there isn't one singular "Devil" who is essentially the god of all things evil. That's just a nonsensical piece of Manichean theology that worked its way into Christianity. There are many chthonic entities out there, and they aren't all "evil demons."

But I digress. It's not that there aren't conspiracies out there, but I'm in agreement with Alan Moore's contention that they all are run by "ham-fisted clowns." There certainly is a caste of wealthy folks out there who network with each other and have disproportionate influence over world events, but for the most part they are not occultists and don't do anything like conduct evil rituals, sacrifice babies, or whatever. It's true that some of them wind up doing a lot of harm, but usually it's totally banal - they just are looking to maximize their profits without any concern for other people.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dinosaur Tantra

So this is a real thing in the world. Actor David Joyner, who played Barney the Dinosaur in the popular children's television program, is now a tantric sex guru. More accurately, he practices what some folks have dubbed "neo-tantra," the New Age system of sacred sexuality that actually doesn't have very much in common with authentic Tantric Buddhism. Regardless of what you call it, though, it's a pretty big career change.

American actor David Joyner, 52, told Vice that his decade-long stint playing a dancing purple dinosaur was helpful for his current career. “The energy I brought up [while] in the costume is based on the foundation of tantra, which is love,” Joyner said. “Everything stems, grows, and evolves from love."

Joyner only accepts female clients for his services, and charges $350 for a four-hour session. On his website, Joyner, a former software analyst offers clients the chance to reach "a higher and more blissful state of awareness [of their] sexuality." According to Vice, Joyner believes this "blissful state" is best achieved through unprotected penetrative sex, and claims that condoms "block the energy".

He reportedly asks clients to declare whether they have any sexually transmitted diseases, and sign a consent form, before their sessions. "Lisa", an anonymous source contacted by Vice, said she had been one of his regular clients for three years, after first making contact with him through the dating app Tinder. She added that she had sexual intercourse with Joyner during their third session, and described the experience as a "spiritual awakening".

There already is such a thing as dolphin tantra that apparently was directly transmitted from aliens in the Pleiades - without any real explanation of how dolphins evolved in parallel on some other world over four hundred light years away. Can dinosaur tantra be far behind? I do realize that Joyner is not actually out there working with his tantra clients while dressed as a giant purple dinosaur, but you have to admit it's a pretty hilarious image.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Thoughts on the Fixed Stars

While I remain convinced that the template works for everything, there have been a couple of questions over the last week about working with the fifteen fixed stars. What I am going to post here is my best guess as to how fixed star operations would work in the context of the template, but to be clear, this is a guess. I'm not some sort of "enlightened master" who knows everything there is to know about magick, and these are a series of operations that I have never tried. So they might work well, they might work poorly, or they might not work at all. And this is an important point - you can never be sure that a magical operation will work based on speculation or even what seems like airtight logic. You have to experiment with it, full stop.

I mentioned in the comments that I came across a system once that attributed angels to each degree of the zodiac. A system like that with some traditional authority would be ideal, but I haven't been able to find it again. In Liber 777 there are angels attributed to the 36 decans, and that's as granular as it goes. So that is what I'm going to use here. I suspect it won't work as well as if I had an angel of the exact degree, and if at some point in the future I work out where I saw that system, I will be sure to let you all know. It also occurs to me that you could conjure the decan angel by the method I'm going to outline here and ask which angel rules the degree in question. That would give you some additional routes for experimentation.

The Shem angels were also mentioned in this context, and it is possible that they might work. With the Shem angels you can break up the zodiac into half-decans, but there's some confusion as to which system should be used. The Golden Dawn system starts the Shem angels off in Leo, but the Bardon system starts in Aries. To me Aries sounds more logical, but again, logic is not really what we're about here. We're talking technology, and objectively one arrangement should work better than the other. An example of this is the Golden Dawn system for tracing pentagrams versus the one used by the Aurum Solis. The latter is more logical, but according to every test I could come up with back in the day the Golden Dawn system makes for more effective magick.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Paranormal Investigators Hate Witches

Or at least, this one does. I'm talking, of course, about Zak Bagans, host of the paranormal train wreck that is Ghost Adventures. Bagans is not like the paranormal investigators on shows like Ghost Hunters, who always start by looking for normal explanations and often find them. Bagans runs into ghosts and spirits all the time, mostly because he appears to lack critical thinking skills of any kind. Bagans is the only paranormal investigator about whom I have ever agreed with James Randi - and let me tell you, I can't stand Randi's smug dismissal of everything from ghosts to psychic abilities to meditation (!).

To recap that story, back in 2014 I posted about an allegedly haunted house in Indiana. Bagans hyped the case a whole bunch, purchased the house, and was planning on making a documentary about it. Meanwhile, the Randi Foundation and many other commenters on the Internet noted that the only photos of the alleged ghost had been faked with a popular iPhone spirit photography app. It's possible Bagans is not so stupid that he fell hook, line, and sinker for a hoax that could have been unraveled with a simple Google image search, but then again, his opinions about Wiccans and Pagans also demonstrate a complete lack of comprehension.

After experiencing an encounter at night in the abandoned Golden church, the archbishop and Bagans discuss “what might be feeding the malevolence that permeates the entire area.” Bagans asks Cloud, “Have you ever heard about this sanctuary out here in the woods somewhere that is very close to this? They do these rituals; I know it’s Witchcraft. It said Pagan rituals. Have you heard about this group?”

Cloud answers he has and that the Witches are all over, and that the ritual practices are “steeped in Witchcraft,” and that he is sure that “they are conjuring demons.” Another interviewee later confirms that by saying that she “knows” it is caused by the local Witches. During the discussion between Cloud and Bagans, there are flashes of various images of people at night in the woods obscured by branches and trees. The entire sequence, which includes hanging stick figures and dramatic sound, is reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project (1999).

“Could the unusual number of violent acts in this area be caused by the dark entities conjured by this group of Witches?” asks the narrator. Interestingly enough, there actually is a Witch camp not far from Golden. Bagans is right; the area does have modern Witches performing modern Pagan rituals. It is Free Cascadia Witchcamp, one of Reclaiming’s annual retreats. Last year, the week-long event happened in late June, quite possibly at the same time the show was being filmed. However, that has not yet been confirmed.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Canada to Legalize Witchcraft

After a long process of legal review, Canada is moving towards eliminating many outdated laws. One of those laws is the prohibition on pretending to "exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration." This is an old law that was probably originally put in place to target fraud involving claims of paranormal powers, but the law is so vaguely written that it can be applied to cases where no scamming is involved. It could, for example, render any performance of Shakespeare's The Tempest illegal - because after all, any actor playing Prospero is pretending to use magick.

“One of the provisions that’s being removed in this bill is pretending to practise witchcraft,”Steve Coughlan, a professor at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, told the House of Commons committee that studied the bill. “It probably hadn’t been prosecuted for 30 or 40 years, and about six months ago, some police officer in Toronto laid that charge. At some level, there’s an element of randomness as to when the lesser-known offences come up,” Prof. Coughlan added. “It’s somebody looking at the index, doing a search online, and trying to find it. It’s possible that the crown can then look at it and say, ‘You know what? That’s the wrong one.’”

The plan to repeal archaic laws from the criminal code was well received in Parliament. “One must wonder about the existing laws regarding the practice of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration” Wayne Stetski Kootenay, the NDP MP for Columbia, BC, told parliament. “In addition to the fact that it impinges on the rights of some religions, and would confuse the U.S. President who is certain that he is the target of a witch hunt, this might also hurt Harry Potter cosplayers; Dungeons and Dragons “larpers”, which I do not know much about but which my staff assure me is a thing; and others for whom sorcery is an entertainment. This is a good law to be rid of.”

But some opposition Conservative Party members were not thrilled with the idea. “We all chuckle and laugh, but I can understand why the party of Mackenzie King would want to make legal the practice of witchcraft, sorcery, and talking with people who have passed from this world, as Mackenzie King enjoyed doing,” Peter Van Loan, the Conservative MP for York, Simcoe, Ontario, said. “The concern is, and we have all heard stories like this, that people use these kinds of fraudulent witchcraft powers to persuade people that, for example, if they put $10,000 in an envelope, which they say will be burned but they slide it under the table instead, he or she will be saved from whatever curse they say the person is under.”

The thing is, I'm well aware that there are scammers who claim paranormal powers in order to hoodwink their targets. But shouldn't the example cited just be charged as fraud? There's no reason for Canada to have a special law for "fraud involving witchcraft" when fraud in general is already illegal, any more than there would be a reason to have a special law for "fraud involving envelopes." It's not like once this is repealed, there will be nothing left to charge these scammers with.

Furthermore, the idea that laws like this do no harm is just not true. Keeping them on the books means that law enforcement can go after Wiccan, Pagans, and anyone else who practices magick as a spiritual discipline any time they want. Canada is not necessarily as progressive as a lot of Americans think, especially with regard to religion. Wicca, Paganism, and even larger polytheistic traditions like Hinduism are not considered "real religions," and therefore have no legal protections.

A while back I covered the case of Dominique Smith, a Winnipeg woman who runs a metaphysical shop. Her shop was repeatedly vandalized by Christians, but the police were slow to take action. Technically, a police force more willing to persecute Smith could easily claim that her entire business is illegal under this law, and even though that hasn't happened, the fact that it could should be extremely troubling. Canada needs to step up and start protecting members of minority religions, and repealing this law will be a good start.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Via Solis Capricorn Elixir Rite

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Capricorn Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday Januray 16th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. Going forward, we will be performing one of these per month, once for each of the twelve signs, in a ritual series called Via Solis (the way or path of the Sun). I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the lodge know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Capricorn.

The sign Capricorn is attributed to the powers of "The Witches' Sabbath so-called, the Evil Eye." The latter is a general form of cursing cast by line of sight, but keep in mind that as Capricorn rules the Evil Eye, this sign can be employed both to cast such curses and protect you from them. Seeing as the "Witches' Sabbath" is not a real magical operation, but rather an invention of Medieval witch hunters (as the "so-called" likely acknowledges) the latter requires some explanation.

According to the imagination of witch hunters, the Witches' Sabbath was a ritual in which witches copulated with the Devil in order to obtain magical powers. So in the context of real magical operations we are talking about sex magick in various forms, whether symbolic or actual. Liber A'ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici, for example, is attributed to this sign and describes in (only slightly) veiled symbolic language a sex magick technique similar to Spare's well-known sigilization method. The Great Rite in the Wiccan tradition would be another example.

In addition, one of the magical weapons attributed to Capricorn is "the secret force" which is a reference to internal energies such as kundalini, whether employed in sex magick operations or otherwise. So another application for Capricorn would be to develop and/or strengthen those energies by magical means.

This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.


I. Opening

All stand surrounding the altar. Officiant inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. All rotate accordingly.

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.

All: MAKAShANaH

Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.

All: ABRAHADABRA

Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.

All: AUMGN

Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence. So mote it be.


Bell chime.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Paula White Wants Your Money

Prosperity Gospel preacher Paula White is alleged to be one of President Donald Trump's spiritual advisors. It's really no surprise that they get along. She's pretty and blond - exactly his type - and just like him she seems to have a real talent for relieving people of their money. This month, White explained to her followers that they should donate their first month's salary of the new year to her, because otherwise they would face "consequences" from God.

Each January, I put God first and honor Him with the first of our substance by sowing a first fruits offering of one month’s pay,” White writes. “That is a big sacrifice, but it is a seed for the harvest I am believing for in the coming year. And God always provides! Every year many others join us and sow a month’s pay, a week’s pay, others give a day’s pay, but everyone gives their best- The results are miraculous!”

White explains that it’s important to donate money to her at the start of every new year because it helps you get off on the right foot with the Lord. “All Firsts belong to God,” she says. “When you honor this principle it provides the foundation and structure for God’s blessings and promises in your life, it unlocks deep dimensions of spiritual truths that literally transform your life! When you apply this everything comes in divine alignment for His plan and promises for you.”

However, White also warns that bad things could happen to followers who don’t send her money this month because to not do so would contradict God’s word. “When you don’t honor it, whether through ignorance or direct disobedience there are consequences,” she writes.

Now the thing about this, though, is that if you follow this advice your first month's salary won't belong to God. It will belong to Paula White. The whole Prosperity Gospel thing is basically a scam, and it's a scam that exists only to enrich Prosperity Gospel pastors like White. She's probably just mad because Creflo Dollar has a nicer airplane than she does or something. It should be absolutely obvious to anybody who has read Jesus' teachings in the Bible that there's no way God would want anybody to enrich these charlatans.

It may be a good spiritual practice to donate significant amounts of money to the needy at the beginning of each year. That, at least, would be in line with Jesus' teachings, and if done right it can legitimately make the world a better place. But donating to a pastor who is already rich, just to help them sustain an extravagant lifestyle, is an entirely different thing that no sincere Christian should take seriously.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Enochian and Goetic Online Master Classes!

A while back Jason Newcomb approached me and a number of other magical practitioners with the idea of crowdsourcing online classes for Enochian and Goetic magick. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I signed on with the project. And now, the Indiegogo campaign is live if you would like to back the project. There are a lot of cool perks available, so check it out.

I'll be teaching on the Enochian side since my experience with the Lemegeton is pretty limited. But expect the same level of clarity and transparency that you can already find in my books on the Enochian system. In addition, I expect that my third book, Mastering the Thirty Aires, won't be available before we do the classes. So assuming the project gets funded, this will be the first time my work on the Aires will be presented publicly and in detail.

So these classes should be a lot of fun, and I think you'll get a lot out of them. Everybody on the list here has been practicing for a long time, and while we have our disagreements, exploring a variety of perspectives is always the best way to learn any subject.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Template Works for Everything

I got a question a couple weeks back about working with the pentacles from the Key of Solomon using my ritual techniques. Back in October, I published my latest ritual template, which I will be referring back to in this post. Next week I should be back on track with the magick posts on Mondays, with the script for the Capricorn Elixir that we will be doing on January 16th.

One of the best things about modular ritual templates is how versatile and effective they are for all different kinds of workings. If there's a "magical secret" out there, how to put the various rituals and forms together into a coherent operation is probably it. Many published books on magick include instructions on how to do the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. Some include the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. Some include the Middle Pillar. And so forth. But there's little instruction on what to do with them aside from recommendations that you practice them daily.

The Greater Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram are much more elusive in print. I met Donald Michael Kraig on his book tour for the second edition of Modern Magick, and told him that the biggest problem with his book is that he did not include how to do those rituals and he really needed to include them. But back then I wasn't a published author, just some random guy, and he obviously didn't take me very seriously. In the third edition, he devotes a whole (oversized) page to slamming Poke Runyon when he could have at least outlined the Greater rituals in that same space. Seriously, nobody ever really cared about Kraig's personal feuds, but adding even a page on the Greater rituals would have made Modern Magick a far better and more useful book.

At any rate, what I found when I published Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy is that nobody else publishes that stuff, either. I was told time and again how useful my book was because it laid out the whole structure of a ceremonial operation including the basic components that go into actually getting stuff done. I've gone ahead and published the whole magical and mystical series here on Augoiedes for precisely that reason. We really don't need any more occult books that teach the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and then don't really even tell you what it's for or what it's supposed to do.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Thoughts on Sigil Magick

So this is a "Magick Wednesday" post. Monday was New Years Day and stuff has been kind of crazy around here over the long weekend. One of the things I did get around to, though, is starting to read through Gordon White's latest book, The Chaos Protocols. For anybody who doesn't know, Gordon is the guy who runs the excellent chaos magick blog Rune Soup, which I have been following for many years.

The Chaos Protocols basically represents what I consider the cutting edge of chaos magick techniques, and as Gordon quips in the book, people who pick it up off the shelf will probably flip right to the chapter on sigil magick. For better or worse, sigil magick has become the defining technique that most people think of when you mention chaos magick. It has the "bang for buck" advantage over a number of other techniques, it that it may not be quite as effective as a full ceremonial operation, but it is far simpler to perform.

Gordon writes that this is akin to the work done by pioneers of human-powered flight who finally solved the problem by designing a flying machine that could quickly be reassembled and reconfigured every time it failed a flight test. Since their machine could be rapidly modified every time it failed, they were able to go through far more iterations in less time than other engineers working on the same problem who put a lot of time and effort into designing and building what they considered the perfect flying machine, only to have to start again from scratch when the machine failed.

At any rate, Gordon mentions several points that I find highly useful for understanding sigil magick and how it works. Unlike a lot of chaos magicians whose work I have read, he points out that the whole psychic censor/forget your operation idea is based on an outdated model of psychology and should be abandoned. The psychoanalytic schools have this idea of an "unconscious mind" that is akin to a sort of "separate mind" from what you experience as your conscious awareness. That is, it has goals and purposes, and in some meaningful way "thinks."

But this just isn't true, and I've been teaching my students accordingly for years. Neuroscience has shown that conscious thinking processes already consume the vast majority of the brain's resources. There is an "unconscious" in humans akin to what is found in other animals, but it is essentially just the conditioning system that runs on something like four rules. It prompts you to repeat behavior for which you have been conditioned in the past, and that's it. That's all it does. It has no goal, no awareness, and no capacity for "thought" as we generally mean it.