Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Book of Abrasax, The PGM and REAL Ancient Magick

     Just a few short years ago, there was no definitive work on the Magick of the PGM in print. A few authors had touched on it briefly, recognizing the limitless untapped potential of this most ancient and venerable of systems, and others incorporated bits and pieces of it into their own work, albeit with a Thelemic or Golden Dawn flavoring to suit their own worldview; but for the aspirant seeking not to "use" the odd bit or piece of the system, or who wasn't content to simply throw some of the voces magicae contained exclusively in the PGM into their own rites and actually wanted to practice THE Magick of our forefathers, not as part of another system but AS the system it was and is, there was no definitive "Go To" book. Betz' translation, while great for the academician for presenting the unaltered text as it appears, is all but unusable from a practical perspective. Flowers' "Hermetic Magic" was about the best of the bunch, and certainly provided one of the stepping stones and points of reference when I set out to build, or rather rebuild, a whole and complete system of Magick from the PGM, but beyond this volume and perhaps Seven Faces of Darkness (which in and of itself was heavily flavored to the authors LHP taste), there was nothing even resembling a practical, workable manual from which one could actually LEARN Graeco-Egyptian Magick, and the aspirant was left to fend for themselves in a noble but lofty quest to make something of the scholarly works available. For this reason, many turned from this path, electing to pursue a field more "user friendly", or for which such instructional materials abound.

     In 2012 I had the honor of releasing what was immediately touted as THE definitive work on the PGM and related Papyrii for the practicing magician, and which has remained the "go-to" guide for anyone interested in the genre of Magick to this day. Much to my surprise, The Book of Abrasax was accepted by even my critics. Hell even those who find me personally rather unsavory, lacking the social graces, sensitivities and formal group training a right and proper magician must surely have, committing frequently the sins of telling my contemporaries and fellow authors when their work just plain sucks instead of calling it innovative and groundbreaking, not being born a Brit, etc., even THEY had to admit Abrasax was a classic. But I digress...

     While I have loved the warm reception The Book of Abrasax continues to receive, and moreso the now 167 success stories I've received from its readers, those of you familiar with the work will recall that in my introduction I said that chief among my motivations was the hope that the readers would be inspired to continue building upon its framework, and my gdeepest wish was for one of those greater than I to take on the task and supersede my book, producing an even deeper treatise than anything I would be capable of.

     Today I am quite pleased to report that the latter has indeed occurred, and the business of making a practical, workable, credible and formidable system and a veritable manual of training for it has indeed been taken up by one who I look up to in the same way a student of military strategy and war might look up to Sun Tzu. While I don't presume to think he was in anyway inspired or motivated to take on this task by my work with the PGM or The Book of Abrasax, (or for that matter even aware of its existence). And NO, I'm not a fucking groupie, I'm just that rare bird who actually appreciates QUALITY over horseshit bound in gnome scrotum and sold for $300 a copy, the pages of which are useful only if one unfortunately runs out of toilet paper, and to any serious student or practitioner who intends to USE the material, one of this gent's old titles in user $5 paperback from Amazon is immeasurably more valuable than a specialty press' deluxe $400 "Order of Astaroths Unholy Assrabbits Edition"

     I am happy to surrender The Book of Abrasax' Crown to Stephen Skinner, who has just announced the release of Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic later this month. While I have yet to read the book, I am perhaps more familiar with Stephen's books than my own, and I can say in all honesty and without a shred of doubt, 390 pages of his caliber of work on the subject of the PGM will be the best book of the year, bar none, and if it is in the aspirant's budget too by only one book, look diirectly past my Book of Abrasax and GET THIS ONE. I will be doing a full review of the book as soon as it is released to discuss it in more detail, and as always I will be dead on honest, but I can say truthfully that I fully expect this title to be a classic. 

     Disclaimer - Lest ye, oh skeptical reader, begin to think this review is less than objective, let me state emphatically that I have NO acquaintance with Stephen Skinner. I have him as a Facebook friend, along with 600 other people I don't know, but the only time I have ever spoken to him one on one was to say "I would love to review this book. I have a blog with a very large following, most of whom are highly interested in the PGM having found me and the blog after reading my own "Book of Abrasax" which is on the same subject, and I'm quite sure they'd be precisely the type you want hearing about your book", to which he replied "Sure. Let me have your address and I will send you a reviewers copy. By the way, "Frater MC", whats the MC stand for?"


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Something I Had To Share

     A few weeks back, I began taking on students for a beta program in distance learning Magick. For those of you who are long time readers of this blog or followers of my work, you'll recall that for years I had spoken of students whom I tutor offline, and the Magickal Education I offered them, yet despite the hundred of emails I received asking how one could apply, I always responded that I was not yet accepting any students who were not in my geographical area, or who could not travel for face to face instruction. The reason for this was, quite honestly, I didn't know *how* to teach in my style without having the student here present. This because my style of training is tailored specifically to the individual; I do not provide a series of written lessons that applies to all under my tutelage, because I don't know how to write an instructional lesson that fits everyone. Anyone, long story short, after much brainstorming I opened the doors to a beta group of students who would receive weekly skype meetings, one on one instruction, and be handled as if they were my only student. 

     In order to provide as much room for success as possible for each individual and to not allow the course to be thwarted by outside interference or obstacles, when I accepted someone into the program I perform a series of rites, one of which uses this statement of intent:

"...That N. be freed of all that restrains him/her, that all obstacles be removed leaving his/her path  clear of hindrances and all that could impede their studies, practice and ascension. Let all opposition, be it in the form of another, be it manifested as hardships or distractions, or be it geography, be torn asunder, so that N is free to pursue this noble and sacred art unencumbered"

     Last week, as the new students and I began our weekly Skype meetings with a Tarot reading and preliminary lesson on the fundamentals, the following was sent to me by one who has rapidly become endeared to me. Typically, when posting such reports, I would omit the sender's name and any circumstances or specifics that could identify them, however as those of you on my Facebook page or her own are aware, she's been very vocal and more than willing to be known. 

     THIS, this right here, is why I do what I do, and why I love the art of magick for taking me as one of its children. 

August 7th, 2014
Dear Frater MC,
I have been sitting here, struggling to find the words to express to you the immeasurable gratitude I am feeling right now.
How do you properly thank the person who saved you from being sued into oblivion?
How do you properly thank the person who saved you from legal extortion?
Call me a cynic, but the sad truth is if you do not have the money, if you do not have the political connections, or have a fierce, competent attorney at your disposal, you are screwed.
What about the Truth? Please.
What about Justice? Don’t make me laugh.
Money is what determines the outcome of a trial. He with the bigger war chest wins. It’s not fair. It sucks. BUT we’re not left without hope, are we, my brother? There are magicians who can turn any hopeless situation around. Talk about alchemy!!!!!
YOU are one of these rare, blessed souls, MC.
On July 18th, you announced on your blog that you were looking for six new students to mentor. I decided to apply and I was completely open, honest and upfront about myself and all my fucked up baggage, including a frivolous lawsuit I’m currently involved in. Why?  I wanted you to know exactly what you were getting into. I like to tell it and like it told to me straight, with no fucking chaser. I also told you I was heading to court. I applied and on July 23rd, I was shocked to learn that you had a slot for me. I was FLOORED. I cried like a baby. I was so grateful.
Please note that this was July 23rd, 2014.
Like I stated above, I was being pressured to sign a settlement agreement that was unfair to me and only benefited the man suing me. My former attorney even asked and was granted a motion to relieve himself as my counsel. I was headed to trial in just a few short weeks with NO attorney. In other words, I was fucked. Sure, I could go Pro Se. But the adage “He who represents himself has a fool for a client” is true. I was up against the wall but I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Shit, if I was going down, I wasn’t going down without a fight. I was going down SWINGING!!!!
On July 25th, 2014, just two days after you informed me I was going to be one of your students, I received a letter from my former attorney. He informed me that the man who had steadfastly refused to dismiss this lawsuit, decided to DISMISS IT ENTIRELY!!!!!  
Then today, August 7, 2014, I see the “Notice of Voluntary Dismissal” on the civil case database. This makes it OFFICIAL.
Words fail me as I struggle to find the words to properly thank you, MC. This horrific ordeal almost cost me my son when he was hospitalized for a suicidal depression. This ordeal almost broke up my marriage. My son has left the country and no longer even speaks to any of us.
BUT he is still alive.
My marriage is still together.
And now, with this lawsuit dismissed, we can all, FINALLY, try to move the hell on.
Now, if the evil bastard ever tried to re-file, you think I’m calling an attorney?
Please, be serious.
I’m calling YOU, MC!!!!!!
May your beloved gods, goddesses, and especially your Mother Isis, continue to bless, prosper, and protect you and yours.
Gratefully and Respectfully, EB