Friday, February 24, 2012

Venus Talismans - 2 Left

Only 2 left of the Talismans mentioned earlier in the week, so if you're mulling it over, know that they're almost out. Also beginning work on two Tables of Practice and some other things, since I've spent the last week and a half moving to the new house and am finding an abundance of supplies and materials I'd bought and never used. 

The last Table of Practice I made is pictured below, as a reference. If you're interested in one of these, do let me know. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tuba Veneris: Libellus Veneri Nigro Sacer


     Having had some down-time this week I finally had an opportunity to dive into a Grimoire I'd long sought and only as recently as a couple of months ago located - Tuba Veneris: Libellus Veneri Nigro Sacer. To my knowledge there are only two English editions of this work, the sold out handmade version of Waning Moon, and the one I was fortunate enough to find, brought to life by James Banner over at Trident Books. Ironically, my discovery of the copy which now sits in front of me also led to a book project which is now nearing completion. 

     Having looked high and low, hither and thither, to and fro for this edition for the better part of a year, and finding only a couple of copies, exorbitantly  overpriced, far more than I was willing to pay, and since I'd thought Trident Press was no more I had all but given up on ever owning a copy, when, miracle of miracles, I happened upon one on eBay of all places, at the original retail price. After buying it I received an email from the seller, to wit:

Hi Mike
Thanks for your interest. Also thank you for your work with Crossed Keys, I bought it when it  came out and I love it. If you ever want to do a book with Trident, let me know. 

                                                                                                                               Jim Banner 

     Coming back to the subject at hand, Tuba Veneris, I love this work, to say the least. The Grimoire itself if a treasure, made more precious by Phil Legard's illuminating essay and Michael Putnam's preface. Also intriguing to me is that while the predominant belief is that the conjurations contained herein contain examples of what have been, in our day, termed Voces Magicae, or strings of words having no meaning in any language known to man, or "barbarous words of evocation", yet another school of thought is that they represent something different altogether - Steganagraphia. As Dee is known to have had a particular interest in this hidden writing, made popular by our beloved Trithemius, I find this not at all unlikely. While decoding this enigma is beyond the scope of my ability, I do find it a puzzle of great interest. 

     Also of interest to me is Charles MacKay's essay on the life of John Dee, which I enjoyed immensely. While I can't comment on the veracity of the magickal practices espoused in this work, since I haven't practiced from it YET, it is a book I am happy to have and in which I find great value. 

     While Trident no longer maintains a website, their hardcover and paperback books can be purchased directly from the owner, Jim Banner, via his eBay store, and he also takes special orders for the beautiful handmade leather editions for which trident has come to be known. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quick Update On Forthcoming Venus Talismans

3 out of 7 left, so if you're on the fence and undecided, now is the time to contact me. I'm grateful for the overwhelming response and for the requests for custom pieces and other planetary talismans I've received, they've come at a most fortuitous time indeed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Venusian Talismans In Preparation - Only 4 Left

     While working on my forthcoming book, which contains instructions for the creation of a Venutian Talisman as found in a BCE papyrus, I was moved to create a handful or so of these pieces for myself and a few others who work with me on the restoration of this ancient system and testing the magick thereof. 

     Since the materials I ordered came in quantities sufficient for creation of a dozen of these talismans, I'm extending an offer to the readers of this blog, and 7 of these are being offered  at $75 each. Because of the difficulty involved in obtaining the needed materials, the least expensive of which is authentic handmade papyrus imported from Egypt (as opposed to the cheap mass produced crap on ebay), I do not foresee myself making these again. Among the other items I procured for this project are, yet another 1/2 lb of sand from Giza, writing reeds as used in Egypt during the period from which the ms dates, ink made using Nile water, gum arabic and soot, small scarab beads and more*. 

      So, should anyone have interest in purchasing one of these 7, feel free to shoot me an email or comment on this post with your own email address and I'll contact you directly. 

     *If anyone is interested in such items I have a new acquaintance, Ani, who lives minutes away from the pyramids and is willing to take pictures of himself collecting them for you before you pay him.

     UPDATE - 3 have been claimed, 4 remain



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When The Spirits Speak, Listen...

     I've received an email inquiring as to why a Grimoire Magus such as myself  "puts any stock in the wiccan concept of patron deities and offering to them instead of the Solomonic approach of simply commanding them about".  Over the past week I've twice had the deities with whom I've built relationships intervene in my life. Once subtly,  once in a very direct manner. I offer these two faithful relations of recent events in my own life as illustration of the value in building ongoing and intimate relationships with the spirits with whom we work.

     The first of these events relates to the job I'd applied for within my company, of which I spoke of a couple of posts back. Initially I was excited about the prospect of further advancement and a new challenge. During the interview, however, it was explained to me that a requirement of the position was that I'd be travelling between 4 of our North America sites up to 60% of the time. Those who've read this blog for more than a month or two know that being sent hither and thither by my company is not new to me, and that I even enjoy these mini vacations, as was the case in my trip that allowed me to visit The Parthenon. Despite this, the idea if travelling more than 2 weeks of the month was not appealing. Airports piss me off. The near rectal exam required of would be air travelers pisses me off. And I have dogs. When I return from being gone more than a day or two I get the silent treatment from them until I concede defeat and offer them a steak or pork shoulder as my penance.

      Following my interview, I was offered the job. Although I was not quite looking forward to it, the fact that the job came with a raise that amounts to an extra $180 a week in my pocket. That and my conclusion that declining a position I'd applied for wouldnt be the best way to assure my continued advancement led me to accept the fact that I had to take the position, and I decided I'd get in to see HR and accept the job that day.

     Marduk, however, didnt agree. He seemed to think I should wait until Friday to accept, but wouldnt expand on this or provide any justification, instead doing the spiritual equivalent of an eye-roll, to which I ascribe the meaning "Dude, I'm a god." I acquiesced, despite my belief that it was merely postponing the inevitable, and made an appointment to meet with the VP in charge of the Dept to which I had applied that Friday. On Thursday, however, I was called in to meet the VP to whom I presently report. It was a very brief conversation wherein he did most of the talking, to wit "Mike let me be honest. Bill told me he picked you for the BPO job. Congratulations, I think you'll do a great job. But I dont want you to take it. I went to Adam and sold him on the fact that we need you here at operations and got him to OK a raise. I can offer you the same salary you'd be getting over at bpo to stay here. Only thing you'd be giving up is the travel, but I'm hoping your comfort level here makes up for that. What do you say?" Fuck yes, I say.

     Second story, one that began this past Sunday and ended the following day, is one that requires a brief backstory, and regards the intervention of my first patron, Aset on my behalf in a much less subtle way. Sunday evening I received a call from my ex fiancee. She and I have a very long history stretching back to 2000. She is a good person, yet one who is unwittingly an extremely destructive influence on all those brave enough to become intimate with her. Her most recent lover is now deceased, having been killed by his predecessor who apparently convinced himself that shooting her current love interest was indeed the best way back into her good graces. In her defense, she really doesn't cause such troubles intentionally, she's just a magnet for male madness, much like Helen of Troy. I myself proved vulnerable to her particular charms back in 2000 when we hadnt yet begun our love story and were still just friends, and she arrived at my home in tears, having been struck by her boyfriend and given a black eye. Being a man of honor and having been raised in a traditional Sicilian home where such actions were viewed as the lowest of the low, and seeing her beautiful face tarnished, her in tears, I took great offense to this man's actions, and expressed my outrage at his behavior by beating him about the head with a blunt object, getting arrested shortly thereafter. During my detention following this incident, we quickly fell in love and became engaged. Long after our engagement ended and we each took up with others, we continued to get together on and off for romantic interludes and affairs which, without variance, left tornado like damage in their wake. Begging the forgiveness of my female readers for the crude analogy, and any horticulturists among you for any disrespect to the Dioneae Muscipula, the best way to describe her is a penis flytrap.

     So why, after receiving her call this past weekend, did I find myself en route to her home? Why even give it a months thought when our every interaction has concluded with disaster? Well, because the sex is legendary. She is the one with whom I first practiced many areas of Sex Magick, and with whom the result was by far the most intense. She has no interest whatsoever in Magick, but has a voracious sexual appetite, and has no problem at all with my efforts to practice magick during our interludes, seeing it instead as a challenge, the point of which is to distract me from my purpose.

     Leaving the bar where I found myself that evening I got on the highway headed toward her. Preparing to veer right toward the exit that would take me to her, my car engine stopped, steering locked and I simply rolled right past the exit. The fact that I drive a brand new car and have never had a bit of trouble with it did not enter my head as I was, perhaps, thinking with its southern counterpart, and I simply hit the button, started the car and kept on to the next exit where, instead of heading home since it is my own exit, I took a U-Turn and hopped back on the highway. Getting off her exit I proceeded toward the object of my desire, until, again, my engine stopped. Thinking I'd have to get this checked out when I leave her house in the morning, I again hit the ignition button and kept on. Coming to the next red light, the light immediately before her street, my car stalled yet again, this time resisting my pleas for it to restart and promises of a full interior detailing and waxing if it cooperated, remaining lifeless in the center of the road where the people behind me were none too pleased to be thwarted in their own paths.

     My car now being no more helpful than a paperweight in getting me to my destination, I resigned myself to the fact that I'd need to push it to the shoulder of the road call for a tow. 2 hours later, when the tow truck  arrived, I was informed that because I did not have the registration in my possession, I would need to go home and retrieve it in order to collect my car.

    Monday, upon  arriving at the dealership to which I'd towed my car, hoping my warranty would cover whatever work they'd be doing, I was informed that no such repairs were needed, as they'd simply hit the ignition button, started the car, given it a full inspection and found absolutely nothing wrong. Thankful but bewildered, I hit my little start button, heard my engine purr and drive off. Arriving home, I was surprised to see that the 7 day candle before Aset's throne on my altar, which burns in perpetuity, being extinguished only when its flame is used to ignite its successor, had gone out. Touche, Isis, Touche. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Random Thoughts On Recent Blogosphere Fun

     Although I haven't been posting over the last week and a half, I've managed to keep up with recent events among my fellow bloggers and as I have a few moments before my next meting this afternoon I wanted to touch on them before they grown even more stale than the time thats elapsed already has made them. 

     The first thing I wanted to cover, or rather rant about, is a brief discussion in the comments section of my last post with regard to the validity of Strategic Sorcery and its value to one such as myself whose path is Grimoiric, and who has been an unabashed critic of all things "New Age". 

     I won't rehash all of whats already been expressed in greater detail in the comments section, but in summary, one of my readers was surprised that I'd posted a field report for Strategic Sorcery, his own belief being that Jason's system is part of that New Age fad-magick for which I have expressed so much disdain. Jason and others replied to this, and after a couple of days the discussion died off, but before it did so it provoked one reader to contact me via email to say:

".....I agree that Strategic Sorcery is very a good path and it has been very useful to me but I can see why Benzimienny might think differently since it is very different. And maybe he thinks you just gave this field report because you and Jason are known to be friends and in the same order of gentlemen for jupiter, so you will always be generous with your words and not so much critical?"

     This pissed me off.  Here is the thing. Yes, I like Jason and consider him a friend, as much as its possible given that we've never met offline. That being the case, however, if I read something of his work with which I find fault, I'm going to call him on it, just as I know he would do, and in fact has done, when he reads something of mine that irks him. I don't shill for anyone, be it friend, foe or anything in between, and as my profile to the left attests, I have absolutely no problem calling bullshit wheresoever I smell it, regardless of from whom it was shat. 

     I dont make a living through my books or any other source of income related to my practice or writing, nor do I have any expectation that I ever will. I do not hold my tongue based on who my words might offend or what areas of the occult market I might alienate, or which big name author or publisher's wrath I might incur. Simply put, I write about Magick because I enjoy doing so, not for primary or secondary sources of income, not to build popularit, but because I have something of value to contribute. Because of this, since it matters little to me if I ever make another dollar through writing or not as long as what I release reaches those few for whom it is written, I am in a unique position wherein I can speak absofuckinglutely what is on my mind without regard for who it might anger. 

     When I go out of my way to post a review of a product, book or service, I do so because I find it to be of value and think that readers of this blog will too. I have been studying and experimenting with Strategic Sorcery for ayear now, and for 16 weeks as a student of that class, and I find it extremely relevant and useful in my own Grimoiric practice.  I dont promote for friends or anyone else. If someone I consider a friend publishes something I find flawed or nonsensical, I will tell them so, as I know they would tell ME. 

     This is an issue that nearly kept me off the blogosphere when I initially thought of opening this blog. I hate the current atmosphere in the occult community where it is almost obligatory to "like" everyone elses work, or to find no flaws therein. This is not only counter productive but also downright destructive. Occult books and blogs are being produced at a faster than ever before rate, it has become in fashion, and all the rage. Yet instead of a wealth of new and valuable material emerging from the darkness of obscurity, we are seeing 90% of whats coming out just plain trash for cash, dressed up in beautiful wrapping with powerful marketing and big fancy words like "necromagidarkitizing sorcery of the ancient dark wyzzyrds of hell" meant to tantilize readers into thinking they contain something of value when  in fact they are gold plated turds, and only 10% of new material being released of quality. Stephen Skinner and Golden Hoard are releasing some of the most valuable material we've seen in decades, perhaps even this century, and doing so in inexpensive editions, and for some reason beyond my scope of comprehension there are more raves and excitement in the occult community for the aforementioned $150 paperweights others are releasing than for the single most important release of my lifetime, The Magical Treatise of Solomon. 

     Lending to the success of these unscrupulous individuals is the fact that, as I've just mentioned, we seem to be in some sort of stagnation by which no one seems capable of uttering a word of criticism publicly, even while privately amongst friends we readily vilify them for their idiocy. 

     The moral of this story, dear reader, as long as it has run on, is that when I decide to write up an opinion on someone elses work, whether it be a book, a course, or anything else, you can be sure every word of it is a genuine representation of my opinion and in no way flavored by anything but.