Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No Rest For The Wicked!

For the past few months, since having completed CK, I've been able to relax, to an extent, and I have avoided taking on much in the way of new responsibilities, or projects. I have a couple dozen that I fully intend to complete, just daunted by the prospect of selecting one over its peers. 

Some of these undertakings are of monumental proportion, piecing together a functional whole from a half dozen fragmented manuscripts; Others less so. Should I focus on completion of a book I started years ago as a study guide for students of Evocation and which has evolved into a freakin' massive, voluminous effort; or should I leave it on the back burner and take the Strategic Sorcery Course like I've been promising myself since the beginning of time? 

Contrary to my own nature, I've been very indecisive in this regard, and loathe to select one of these worthy goals as my next major endeavor. A few times, I had actually decided on a course of action, and in one case even begun to work towards the goal, only to have unforeseen circumstances force a change in course, sending em right back to square one, reviewing my mental notes and trying to select another instead. 

Being overly contemplative and cautious in itself is not a horrible thing, and I've always prided myself on my meticulous nature; always planning everything down to the very last and most intricate detail. The problem, then, is inertia. Once something is moving, it tends to stay moving unless its motion is affected by another force or element. Or something like that. Hey, I'm not a friggin scientist, ok? The reverse is also true; What isnt in motion, tends to stay motionless. And meanwhile, as I'm sitting here contemplating what to spend my newly found free time on, additional smaller responsibilities are piling up and occupying more and more of it. If I wait too much longer, by the time I choose a project to focus on in my idle time, I won't have any idle time because it will all have been given to things of lesser importance. 

So, having understood that I need to stop procrastinating and choose, I am brought back to my conundrum; WHICH to choose. For guidance, I sought neither celestial nor infernal aid, nor did I employ complex and involved methods of divination. No tarot, no pendulum, no nada. I took the advice of a man whom I've never met, but whose philosophy made me a much, much better man and leader. I was introduced to his books when I first joined the US Army, and both his "fictional" and nonfiction works have had an amazing  impact on my life, as the solid, practical and beneficial strategies he provides throughout are as effective in managing ones personal and professional lives as they are for going into battle and tearing the enemies of your country a new asshole. The author is Richard Marcinko, and while I'm not going to sit here and espouse the man's greatness ad nauseum, suffice it to say that the strategies and wisdom he shares have been uniquely motivating and effective for me in mundane, professional and magickal life. The particular piece of advice of which I'm speaking now is not a long and eloquent, beautifully worded mantra; Its really quite simple; "When there are too many wheels in motion, too many targets in the air, your only question should be which to shoot first" He further goes on to explain that if a soldier is faced with overwhelming odds and spends too much time deciding which of his assailants to shoot first, he's likely to get killed before making a decision, and therefore the only acceptable choice is to pick the first one that meets your eye, aim and fire. 

So thats what I did. The first one that popped into my head is the one I shot and the one I'm going with, and I'm pretty friggin happy about it. In retrospect, I have no idea why this decision was so difficult for me, as now that I've begun the creative process involved with manifesting this idea, it seems as though there should never have been any doubt. 

So, a bunch of printed and digitized manuscripts in hand alongside a latin lexicon and other tools of the trade, I begin my next project, having been aided in overcoming indecision by the father of SEAL Team 6. The result will, hopefully, be the rebirth of another Grimoire to add to our corpus. 

GrimoireMagick.com is coming along well; I've enlisted the aid of a couple like-minded friends to assist in getting it together and so far the forums section promises to be one hell of a resource. Between the new book, the website and the new position at work, this looks to be shaping up as a busy back half of 2011. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Indexing The Grimoire Tradition - www.GrimoireMagick.com

Inspired by RO's posting in the G4J Forum on Planetary Charity, I've been thinking over the last few days on a way to make use of this method of tapping into the current, and also performing some form of charity in the name of my patrons, Aset, Asar, Anpu and Heru for all they do for me. 

After reading Conjureman Ali's post yesterday I was reminded of a project I have been planning to undertake for a few years now, but which was pushed to the back burner by the events and obligations of mundane life. Over the next weeks, and quite possibly months, I'm going to be working this, and I expect it will occupy a great deal of time, but should be well worth it. The project of which I speak is a comprehensive listing of valuable and reliable resources and information for the aspiring Grimoric Magus. Throughout the many years I've been in study and practice of Magick, I have come to the realization that no where is Sturgeon's Revelation more true than in the world of the occult. At the moment, a google search for "Grimoire Magick" will yield 211,000 results. 90% of which, as advertised by Sturgeon and proven by years and years of research, "is crap", and a huge number of which are controlled by the charlatans of which Conjureman Ali spoke.

Originally, it was envisioned as an appendix for Crossed Keys,  but it quickly became obvious that this would make the book prohibitively long, as the sheer magnitude of the appendix would in all likelihood rival the corpus of Crossed Keys. I was contemplating an abridgement, possibly presenting only the bare minimum, when Peter Grey at Scarlet Imprint suggested that, like the Grimoire Tradition itself, such a listing would be a living, changing thing. Also that presenting an abridgement thereof would be redundant as Scarlet Imprint's readership has proven to be among the most educated and well versed in the field, and will already be familiar with the "best of the best" which is what I'd intended to offer in the shortened version. Those who would benefit most from such a comprehensive list, separating the gold from pyrite, are those new to the occult, aspirants who are just starting out as was I when I began my search. Peter further suggested that the most appropriate venue for such a resource would be a blog, open to all and adaptable as things change.

As has consistently proven to be the case, his words rang true and the idea of a printed listing transmuted into that of an online, living and growing site where the aspiring magus, student, practitioner or researcher alike can go to find resources that have proven themselves NOT to be classed under Sturgeons 90%. I also decided that it should be a collaborative effort, where I would not be the only contributor and those whose experience dwarves my own could offer their own insight.

Being a project manager and organizer by trade, I am always looking for ways to build on and expand "good" plans and morph them into "outstanding ones", so while the pragmatic portion of me was standing on my left shoulder in the form of a little angel, as you see frequently in comedies, the organizer part of me stood atop my right shoulder cursing and  flinging obscenities at his counterpart saying that if a thorough resource listing was sufficient, an entire community would be freakin' awesome.

Right now it looks as though it will be hosted on its own domain which I have just purchased, www.GrimoireMagick.com, and presented on a phpBB style bulletin board, a format I've grown fond of in my time using the superb Evocation Magics forum. This will allow for comment and discussion on any of the topics and resources listed, as well as new additions to be posted by selected moderators.

In the interest of maintaining credibility and objectivity, this site will NOT be a commercial endeavor. There will be no advertising, no pay per click banners and no paid promotions. Having received a hell of a boon over the past few days as a result of my G4J work and with the help of my patrons,  I'll foot the bill, and all the resources listed will be there because they've earned the right. The forums will be open for discussion, mentoring and guidance, but this site is NOT being designed to rival Evocation Magic, Lashtal or any other; it has one primary purpose and that is providing as vast and comprehensive a database of resources as possible and helping sincere seekers separate the shit from the shinola.

Some of the sections I had included in the printed manifestation of this project, and also some newly inspired additions which will take shape on www.grimoiremagick.com are:

  • A thread for each known Grimoire including; 1. Complete listing of all published editions including notes, commentaries and differences between 2. As complete a listing as possible of the MSS of the Grimoire in each of the Libraries and collections, 3. Exhaustive list of online and in print resources, blog entries, articles and bibliographies related to it 4. Sources where required materia magica for working with the Grimoire can be acquired 5. a section for workings and rites which have been written or used by practitioners 6. a section for discussion
  • A thread listing booksellers and antiquarian dealers of good repute from whom one can obtain rare or out of print books without the standard 500% ebay sellers' markup
  • A listing of the publishers of related works and their contact info, titles, and reviews thereof by the community members highlighting the best works being brought forth in our times. 
  • Listings of reliable and honest online and offline venues, botanicas, and distributors carrying products necessary for the practices of Grimoric Magick. 
  • Online classroom, for instruction sessions and lectures by prominent practitioners
  • A Book discussion group
  • Live chat
  • Anything else anyone can suggest that will add value to the site. 

The first and very rough draft of the site can be found here; It is nowhere near complete as all I've done so far is lay out about 1/5 of the total forum topics. 

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    A Night For Me To Remember - Crossed Keys Available For Pre-Order

    My Friends at Scarlet Imprint announced the opening of Pre-Orders for Crossed Keys, my first foray into the world of publication. Today, then, is a day of celebration for me and one I plan to commemorate with a very involved working to begin this evening and culminate in the wee hours of the morning. Coming on the heels of my first work with the Gentlemen For Jupiter group, about which I wrote last night, I am expecting it to be an entirely different experience for me, as I am still overflowing with , for lack of a better term, Jupiter Juice.

    Tonight, however, will not include planetary magick. Instead, I will be memorializing the day with a repetition of the culminating ritual of the Black Dragon, which I executed years ago, to great success.

    Because S.I. has broken their silence and announced the book formally, I can now answer a question I've received a half dozen times since word first spread that I'd undertaken this work. The question is: Why I chose Black Dragon for my first published work. The answer is that through extensive experimentation therewith, I chanced upon the key to the grimoire that made the entire system make sense. This transformed it from a "pick and choose" collection of workings to a viable, practical and effective system, to be undertaken similarly to the Abramelin Working. That is, in a very specific order, culminating in an "initiation" into the system of magick of the Black Dragon. It follows a very particular structure and sequence; Start here, unlock door #1 to get to door #2, unlock door #2 to get to door #3, unlock door #3, and so on until the Magus completes the whole, unlocking the final door and walking through it into ascendance, whereupon the spirits of the Black Dragon are at his service.

    So, having now segued into my personal history with the manuscript, the answer to the questions is that I chose this as my first published work because I found in it something that has been long overlooked. That something is the key to a sarcophagus within which I found a fully established magickal current. Make no mistake, it is a very powerful current, which has lain dormant for centuries as the manuscripts which held its secrets collected dust.

    Ol' Jove Is a Baaad Mofo

    Tonight, on the day in the hour of Jupiter, I had the honor of taking part in my first weekly Group Working as a new member of The Gentlemen For Jupiter. Although G4J is still in its infancy (not yet a month old), I have to say that I am startled by the force and current it seems to have attracted so rapidly, and I am greatly honored to have been invited to join. In keeping with my full disclosure, no punches pulled attitude toward the manifestation of this blog, I have to admit that while I readily accepted the offer to join with no hesitation, I did so with little expectation of any real or tangible magickal advantages coming of my participation.

    Perhaps because I've never worked in such a group (long distance) before, I had doubts about whether Magi of such different flavors as Exorcists, Neo-Platonists and Grimoiric Magi like myself, working hundreds and even thousands of miles apart, could form a cohesive unit and contribute to each others empowerment under such circumstances. I have to say that although my first actual work within the group is only a few hours old, I was wrong. I don't understand the mechanics of how it works, but I know that it does.

    In tonight's work, each of the participants was free to make use of whatever conjurations and rites we prefer and are most comfortable with; Each of us operating in one of the hours of Jupiter most convenient for us individually. The only thing linking the work I did to RO's, Jason Miller's, and everyone elses was a set of common sigils. This link, albeit a small one considering the great variance between our styles of work, was apparently enough to tie us in and unite us under a friendly and benevolent Jovian current. Although I take pride in my powers of articulation, I am, at the moment, struggling to come up with a way to express what I mean and why I say this was a success, so for lack of a better metaphor (and because I am goddamn tired) let me settle on tonight's work "tasted" different. I have only ever approached the Sphere of Jupiter from one angle, in one way, MY way. And so the resultant "taste" of my success was equally one sided. It provided me with what I sought and got me the result I needed, but was representative of only one aspect of Jupiter's power, and thus it was less than what it could have been.

    In order to better explain just what the hell it is I am trying to say, let me compare the situation to something we can all relate to. FOOD! Yeah I'm a fat kid on the inside despite my athletic and greek-god like figure. Now... Wait wait, you in the back with your hand raised, what is it? What..? Well, yes I did say greek-god like fig.. Hey bite me wiseass its my blog I can take literary license with such trivialities whensoever I please, now sit down and shut up!

    Ok ok forgive the interruptions, back to the point at hand. Imagine you're hungry. Skipped lunch and you're having a serious big mac attack. It being late and you being too lazy to explore other culinary options, you decide to go with your old standby - A microwaved hot pocket. Will it satisfy your immediate need for sustenance? Absolutely. It has worked for you on countless occasions. Get hungry, nuke a hot pocket. Got the job done, nothing special or overly exciting, but it does work so why mess with success?

    Now imagine the same scenario, skipped lunch again, aforementioned big mac attack in full force and in serious need of nourishment. Except this time, you happen to be with a group of your friends, and just as you've mastered that delicious hot pocket, each of them happens to have their very own such dish. So rather than making yourself a 2 minute microwave masterpiece and being content with being full, even if in a rather tasteless way, each of you sets about hooking up their own specialty. Different cuisines, different styles, different perspectives, all working in their own way, but collaboratively. In the end, rather than your filling but rather limited usual, you have a freakin buffet on your hands.

    Such was my conundrum in my past approaches to planetary magick; I got my fill, got the result I wanted and was successful in what I did, but allowed myself to become content with what I had and forgot the cardinal rule which is NEVER settle for what you have, always reach higher. Tonight when working with the Jovian current alongside practitioners of such widely varying forms, I got to taste a little of each floating around in the Sphere of Jupiter, and I gotta say I like it. It was like one complimented the other. It was like Grimoiric, Neo-Platonic, Planetary, GD and Thelemic Magics all merged with Strategic Sorcery and wrapped me up in a big blue glowing ball of Jovial goodness.

    Still love the hot pocket, but for the love of god RO's cheese fries kick ass!

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    An Ongoing Quest For Ancient Power & A Rite Thereof

    Anyone who knows me knows that I have nearly always been a Grimoiric Magus; Not a fundamentalist, but a Purist. (I do use Aaron Leitch's method to differentiate between the different breeds of Grimoiric practitioners) While I always have practiced many forms of Magick, my passion and focus has always been Grimoiric. Although I have achieved some amazing things with other forms, nothing but nothing I've found packs the sheer, for lack of a better word, power of the Magick of the Grimoires. I mean, just pure, unadulterated, exhilarating POWER...

    And, call me what you will, but I absolutely love that power... In that instant, when the unseen forces of the universe are rushing through my veins, coursing through my body, when it feels as though a long dormant volcano within has suddenly awakened and is compelled to release or else explode and shatter the very fabric of time and space... I cannot conceive of any feeling coming close to that, a sentiment echoed by Frater RO in his recent post.

    That being the case, I am always actively in search of undiscovered manuscripts, unknown works of ancient magick. Several months ago, I was considering the ritual of the Headless One, (For those who aren't familiar, this is the rite that Crowley & co.  so arrogantly mutated into the Bornless Invocation) and how it started life as an exorcism. Despite being an ancient rite designed to expel demons in possession of an innocent, this rite has taken so many different forms and been successfully applied in so many different ways that it behooves us to consider that it is but one in a an immense corpus of such rites, and that if it is so adaptable, it is likely that its contemporaries are equally so, and that by rediscovering, restoring and, where applicable, correcting them, we can bring forth a plethora of workings of as much or even greater value than the "Bornless" Ritual.

    To that end and with that in mind I began looking through such manuscripts; The PGM among them and one of the best examples, but not at all the sole source. After finishing Crossed Keys, I began work on restoring dozens of such rites, attempting to trace their lineage and the origins of the "Barbarous Words of Evocation" and "Words of Power" contained therein, and I have to say I am very impressed. Beyond that, I am also amazed at the apparent continuity of the traditions espoused within them, as shown in the similarities to more modern medieval Grimoires.

    One such rite that I've compiled from these sources is below; Taking my cue from the flexibility of the Headless One Invocation as discussed above, I have experimented with this in various ways and applying it in differing ways, using it as a preliminary invocation and summoning with great success...

    I adjure you, Great ___________
    I adjure you by Orphamiel, The Great Finger of the Father!
    I adjure you by the Throne of the Father;
    I adjure you by Orpha, the entire body of God!
    I adjure you by the Chariots of the Sun!
    I adjure you by the entire host of angels on high!
    I adjure you by the seven Cherubim who fan the face of the Father!
    I adjure you by the great Name of God, who no one knows except the Camel!
    I adjure you by the seven archangels!

    I adjure you, by the 24 elders whose names are:
    Achael, Banuel, Ganuel, Dedael, Eptiel, Zartiel
    Ethael, Thatiel, Iochiel, Kardiel, Labtiel, Merael,
    Nerael, Xiphael, Oupiel, Pirael, Rael, Seroael, Tauriel,
    Umnuel, Philopael, Cristuel, Psilaphael,  and Olithiel
    Who sit upon 24 thrones with 24 Crowns upon their heads and 24 censers in their hands, that they may stretch out their right hands to me, each of them by name!

    Send to me the 4 creatures, with 4 faces and 6 wings! 
    Alpha Leon Phone Aner, 
    Paramara, Zorothion Periton Akramata,
    That they may stretch out their four fingers to me in the Name of the Father!

    Send to me your 7 holy archangels, 
    Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Suriel, 
    Zetekiel, Solothiel, and Anael
    That they may stretch out their hands to me!

    Send unto me your 3 holy youths,
    Ananias, Asarias, Misael,
    Setrok, Misak, Abdenako
    Each of them, by Name!

    Send unto me __________
    Through the power of 
    Eloei Elemas Sabaoth, 
    Abaktani, Abnael Naflo,

    Hear me, for I call to you this night! 
    Hear me and join me, by these holy names!
    Hear me, great spirit ________!

    I have used it very successfully as an exorcism and cleansing, expelling a particularly virulent little shit of a malefic (who I am quite confident would pimp slap anyone attempting to send him packing by way of the "famed" LBRP or its "greater" counterparts) by appending the following piece from an Exorcism in an MS Biblioteca Nazionale

    Draw for me your sword and banish the profane!
    Bend for me you bow against he he opposes me!
    Cleanse for me the whole of this place!
    Cleanse for me the depths!
    Cleanse for me the East!
    Cleanse for me the North!
    Cleanse for me the South!
    Cleanse for me the West!
    Cleanse for me the heights!

    By the great name of the Father, and to his Glory!
    And that of those who stand in his presence, 
    Athonas Siak Ksas Sabak Kaab Kaesas Ekoe

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Magickal Reunion With An Old Friend

    Back in the beginning of March, the good Frater RO, of Head For The Red fame, posted brief instructions for a Working about which I was quite skeptical, yet very intrigued. The rite in question is intended to establish actual, two-way communication between the Magus and an animal. Anyone who knows me could tell you that I am a dog lover. In my humble opinion, this species represents one of the great successes of creation. Dogs are, in my experience, the only beings capable of unconditional love. Wait, wait, wait... I hear you already, protesting that we as humans are equally capable of such deep levels of love, but the fact is we are not. I'll leave that debate for another day, for now let it suffice to say that I have an immeasurable affection for dogs in general, and for pitbulls in particular, who I've found to be the most loving, loyal and devoted of the species when raised with love. I have raised 'bulls since my early teens, the first of which is pictured above. His name was Domino, and he was the worlds greatest dog for more reasons than I could count, and like his son and grandson, I was present when he was born and raised him as a member of my family. He had, and his offspring still have, their own bedroom in my home complete with air conditioning and a king size bed which is rarely used since the spoiled beasts have decided that they much prefer MY bed with their heads planted firmly on myself and my Queen's chests or on the pillow next to us.

    Anyway, before I get too far of track - One of my largest regrets in life is that I was not present when Domino died. I was sentenced to a five year term in prison shortly after Domino had a cancerous tumor removed, we thought, successfully. About a year into my sentence, the cancer returned and my friend Domino died. While I freely admit that I am quite literally devoid of empathy for the vast majority of mankind, the suffering of a dog is something I find intolerable, and to know that Domino died without me there has disturbed me quite deeply.

    While I have used Evocation to communicate with those known as Angels as well as Demons, with Gods and with "Devils", despite a fair amount of experience with Necromancy, I had never considered using Magick to reach my dog. When RO posted his  "Communion Between Mage and Beast", the wheels immediately began turning in my head and, while hesitant to believe traditional Grimoiric Evocation could make this happen, I knew I would make the attempt. While he was speaking more about communing with a living pet or familiar, I had to apologize to Domino, and also I wanted to explore the possibility of obtaining a better understanding of the thought process of a dog.

    The project began.

    I decided to use the method RO outlines in his post as the basic structure; A simple evocation using a lamen created for Domino:

    The lamen adheres to RO's basic design as taught in his excellent work The Modern Angelic Grimoire, with the exception of adaptation of the Great Names to fit my own Will. After opening the temple using a Graeco-Egyptian rite from the PGM, lighting appropriate incense as an offering to my own patrons and to all spirits who would guide and facilitate the working, reciting the following:

    "I conjure thee, oh thou creature of fire! by him who created all things both in heaven and earth, and in the sea, and in every other place whatever, that forthwith thou cast away every phantasm from thee, that no hurt whatsoever shall be done in any thing. Bless, oh Lord, this creature of fire, and sanctify it that it may be blessed, and that it may take the shape and form of that which my honored guests find most pleasing"

    Both the above consecration of the offering and the evocation I used are derived from from Trimethius' Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals. This text was also the basis for RO's method in the Modern Angelic Grimoire.

    "Oh, God! who art the author of all good things, strengthen, I beseech thee, thy poor servant, that he may stand fast, without fear, through this dealing and work; enlighten, I beseech thee, oh Lord! the dark understanding of thy creature, so that his spiritual eye may be opened to see and know the spirit of his companion, now departed this plane, descending here

    In the name of the Headless One who alone holds together the whole of creation, I do desire thee, My great friend Domino, unto whom I have dedicated this Lamen, that if it be the divine will of the Holy God, the Father of all who is greater than all and the creator of all, that thou take upon thee some shape as best becometh thy present nature, and appear to me visibly here in this crystal, that once again I may know your presence"

    Despite my initial skepticism, I am pleased to report that this rite, unorthodox as it was, was a success. From a practical standpoint, communication was much easier than I expected. While I was prepared by RO's post to interpret images and other such methods of communication, this proved unnecessary and I've discovered that, at least based on what I learned here, dogs are far more intelligent than I ever imagined. Domino had no problems communicating and did so exactly as have the spirits with whom I've worked. I also learned that although they don't communicate in the same way we do, they do communicate and understand all that goes on around them. 

    To Frater RO I owe a great deal of thanks, for I doubt I would ever have thought of this, and yet its success has provided me not only peace of mind, but also a remarkable opportunity to reunite with an old friend, if only for an hour.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Magick - One Hell of an Anti Depressant

    Bottle it up, stock it en masse at every pharmacy. Fire the psychiatrists and give the Magi license to prescribe and dispense small doses of their craft to the huddled masses suffering from depression, anxiety, and those like myself who were just having a shitty day. We'll put freakin' prozac right out of business.

    Today, from the time I woke at 9 (hey its my day off, I deserve a little friggin sleep once a week) until about 11pm, I was having the proverbial shitty day. Nothing in particular wrong, just longing for the days when I had life by the short hairs, remembering when I never rolled out of bed 'till 11am and never got back in it till 3am, when I could spent more in a weekend than the average job pays in a month, and how much has changed since 2003 when the sky fell in. You know, the weight of the world settling in on my shoulders; Heavy is the head that holds the Crown and all that. So rather than doing anything productive or attending to one of my many projects, I sat around in a decidedly pissy mood, in silent protest of the world's lack of cooperation with my plans. In the interest of ending this poor excuse for a day, I decided to hit the sack early at around 11. Screw this day and the horse it rode in on!

    On my way to bed I stole a glance at my altar and remembered I need to pick up more incense and Abramelin oil as I am running low. So, angry at myself for the wasted day, I decided I'd do at least one productive thing and take inventory so I could hit Botanica San Lazaro tomorrow and pick up what I'm short on. Doing so, I noticed that I had one cone each of Frankincense and Myrhh, and really, who the hell leaves a whole box laying around with just one cone in it? Waste of friggin space. So I decided I'd make a quick offering before I call it a night, since I'd admittedly been a little neglectful of my patron over the past week.

    Fast forward 30 minutes, after a quick shower and anointing myself with what remained of my Abramelin oil, I'm in the temple to do just that, intending to do nothing spectacular or complex, just a quick offering and invocation. After a quick zoning rite, I stand before my statues of Aset, Asar, Heru and Anpu, incense lit, reciting each of their hymns. Rather than ending here, as I'd fully intended, I decide to meditate among them until the incense cones burn out. Taking my seat in the god position, I do just that. Shortly into the meditation, I look up and away from the burner and discover I'm no longer alone. Immediately abandoning the meditation, I make the sign of deference (as seen in the book of the dead and innumerable other sources; Both hands held in front of me, palms facing forward), as I always do, and greet my benefactors, whose presence was neither expected or requested, but is always welcome.

    Fast forward again; after closing the temple I return to the main room to discover that 2 hours have elapsed rather than the half hour I'd expected, and that the glum, pissy mood in which I spent the day has been shattered completely and I am happier than a fat kid having a sleep over at little debbie's house. Fired up and full of energy, I walk into the living room to break open the digitized Harley MSS I received from BNL for my next project, where I'm greeted by very own modern day Nefertari looking radiant as always, who, in her inimitable way, proceeds to remind me that, in her words, "I've spent the day looking like someone peed in my wheaties" and demands to know just what antidepressant I've come upon that has cheered me so...

    My answer, of course; "It's Magick baby, Magick!"

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    The First Step in a Long, Arduous Journey

    Peter and Alkistis at Scarlet Imprint recently announced the impending release of my translation of two largely overlooked Grimoires, The Black Dragon; The Infernal Forces Subject Unto Man, and The Enchiridion of Pope Leo III. This is a work that kept me occupied for the better part of a year while in prison, and I am still in awe of the manner in which S.I. have brought this work to life. While it was a great book in and of itself when I finished the English translations, Peter and Alkistis have astounded me with their editorial masterwork and the fact that they and I have, from day one and without exchanging a word, shared a vision on exactly how this book must be incarnated in every way - from appearance to editions. Although the appearance and design of a book is traditionally the purview of the publisher I allowed myself to formulate an image of how it would look in an ideal world (i.e., MY world). Hoping to, at some point, throw a suggestion out there in hopes that they'll agree, I asked:  "How does the design, layout and appearance process work?" Whereupon Alkistis almost immediately replies, "Well we have a vision of the work completed, how does this sound to you?" and proceeds to describe exactly what I had dreamt, detail by detail, down to the colors and cover design.

    Were I a layman, mundane in existence and not in the business of doing the implausible and making the impossible commonplace, this would quite frankly have scared the bejeezus out of me. Now, however, after several months of mutual work and brainstorming, after having shared our visions for this and other works, the flow is seamless. Even with regard to the fine editions, there need be no discussion as Peter and Alkistis have anticipated everything I could possibly conceive or imagine and brought it to life.

    Now, as Crossed Keys nears birth, I can say to those who continue to tell me how "insane" I am for going with a publisher instead of following the trend of the day and "self-publishing" so I could keep editorial and design control , you simply have not met Peter and Alkistis.