Friday, January 27, 2012

A Strategic Sorcery Field Report

      In addition to the many hats I wear is that of a student. Despite the fulfillment I've found in my Grimoiric work, I am always looking to expand my horizons and enhance my own magickal repertoire, and to that end I study diligently the work of other successful practitioners such as Jason, RO, Aaron, Nicholaj and Conjureman, always more than willing to experiment with new tech I can possibly build into my own practice. 

    To that end. I am a student of the ever evolving system of Strategic Sorcery espoused by Frater Inominandum, both in his ongoing SS course and via his books. Yesterday, however, I had the privilege of "beta testing" some of his new material which you can expect to find in his forthcoming work on Financial Sorcery, and it is that material I'm going to talk about today. 

       As you'll no doubt recall from previous  posts here and across the blogosphere, many of modern magick's most practiced and innovative minds have come together under the auspices of Jupiter, two of which are Jason and I. During his work with Jupiter, he has been blessed with an arcana uniquely Strategic Sorcery in flavor, which enables the magus, or  Sorcerer, to tap into each of the four core aspects of Jupiter's areas of expertise, to wit Victory and Triumph, Abundance, Liberty and Harmony, by invocation of the four Goddesses associated therewith - 

       Victoria, the embodiment of victory and triumph 
       Libertas, the embodiment of liberty
       Concordia, the embodiment of harmony
       Abundanta, the embodiment of abundance and prosperity

      Last night, in addition to my own offerings to Jupiter and Marduk earlier in the day, I devoted one of Jupiter's hours to working  towards a relationship with these four Goddesses. I say "working towards" because in my experiences, deity, and in particular Goddesses, need to be "wooed" for lack of a better term, or courted perhaps, and one's intentions must be proven, for the good graces of the divine are generally not simply given to anyone who decides to casually invoke them, but rather to those who have a genuine interest in them. 

      What surprised me last night was that, when invoked using Jason's method, these four radiant deities seemed quite eager to appear and be of assistance. This I attribute to the manner in which Jason came in contact with them to begin with, which is after inquiring of Jupiter as to other means of harnessing his energies. This was both refreshing and encouraging, and it proved to be a portent of good things to come, as I was provided a bit of advice relating to an interview I have next week for a new position within my company, which I believe will be of great help to me. 

      Another piece of his new corpus that I intend to test drive over the next week is a set of seals which he has termed Lightning Glyphs of Jupiter, which further break down the many abilities of Jove to address specific needs, such as holding on to money, entrepreneurial work and development of financial discipline. The one I will be using, though, is one intended to facilitate promotion at ones place of employment. 

    Given the experiences I've had so far in test driving this small portion of his work,  I'm looking forward to the release of Financial Sorcery, and will keep the blog updated on how my use of the aforementioned seal progresses. 




Last Jupiter Talisman

Clearing out some space for a huge influx of books, and among the items to go is the final Jupiter Talisman. Since  the initial batch of three which RO spoke of here, I've sent nearly a dozen of these out, and only one remains. This one is cast in bronze unlike those pictured in the links above, but like the originals it was consecrated and given its initial charge using methods I drew directly from Crossed Keys. 

So, anyone who has been on the fence, or those handful who've expressed interest in the last couple of weeks, this is the last of the mohicans, and its discounted to $100. Interested parties shoot me an email or comment here with an email address and I'll get back to you immediately. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Best Thing I've Read All Year

     I am moments away from hopping on a plane (something I'm doing altogether too much lately) but wanted to share something I'd just read, which is unequivocally the best thing I've read this year. It was posted at a blog of which I hadn't heard, and I was introduced to it by way of JSK's having shared it on his FB page. The piece in question deals with the predominant belief among many that Magick is an internal process only, that the spirits do not really exist outside of our own psyche (something I've spoken on extensively) and that any change brought about by Magick is limited to changing the practitioner, and not capable of making tangible changes in the fabric of reality or the world at large. This relegates magick to a form of self-help or self development, as the piece's author mentions, and is wholly detrimental to the aspiring Magus who takes it as fact. It is, quite frankly, BS.

     The piece of which I speak is to be found here, and I highly recommend it to one and all who are embarking on a Magickal path. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crossed Keys Wins Balkan's Book of the Year For 2011

Sitting here at Nashville's airport awaiting my first flight of the day, I decided to open google reader on my Droid to catch up with some blogs. I am very happy I did, as the first one I read provided the news that Crossed Keys had been chosen as Balkan's Book of the Year.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my friends at Scarlet Imprint for their commitment to this project and for bringing it to life in so powerful a form.

Thank you to Balkan as well for the honor!
More info here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More On Manifestation!

     As is often the case after I finish what I believe to be a thorough exposition of my beliefs on any particular subject, one of my fellow blogger/ practitioners chimes in and I realize that I've left out something important. In this case, the blogger in question is RO, and the "something" I'd left out is actually plural. 

     RO reminds us that Ashen has stated clearly that he doesnt believe your average joe walking down the street could peer on in the window and see the evoked spirit. In this I agree fully, and also in RO's assertion that the ability to see spirits is one that is developed, not something even those among us who are more magickally inclined typically "just have".  For quite some time I was among those who got their desired result, but with no greater contact than some of what you'd call "poltergeist" phenomena. I "knew" I'd been heard by the spirit I'd intended to reach, because "obviously" something had been there, and I'd achieved what I set out to do, so of course I'd succeeded, right? Not necessarily. As Ashen correctly points out, this is flawed logic; akin to sending out an email to the entirety of the world wide web saying "Hey Frieda Pint@, I'd love a picture of you" and, upon receiving one, assuming it's from her. 

     My ability to perceive clearly those spirits I evoke came all at once, almost as if a switch had simply been flipped within me, but this only after a huge amount of effort on my part and years of work towards that end. In essence, it was both the culmination and the beginning of a magickal career. 

     Is it necessary to reach this point or to be acquire this ability to succeed in your magick? NO. Not at all.  Despite having not laid eyes on a spirit I'd sought, I did achieve great results, and even now when working towards specific, material goals or for a single end I do not typically resort to a full on evocation, simply because it isn't necessary. Why use a grenade to destroy an anthill? If I have a good chance of succeeding with much less work, why wouldn't I? Evocation is, for me, a higher magick. A means of communing with higher beings, learning, initiation, ascension and empowerment. 

     Achieving visible manifestation, for me at least, isnt about overcoming doubts about whether or not I've succeeded, nor is it about knowing WHO in the spirit world granted my petition - when my work is directed at achieving a specific goal or obtaining a specific change I dont really CARE which spirit helped or by what powers my goal was achieved. In these cases, knowing when to take YES for an answer is indeed a virtue. Evocation for me isn't done for any specific goal - i.e. I don't plan, prep and execute an evocation of Bune to ask for $500 that I'm lacking for my rent. 

     I also agree with RO's assertion that the "divine bliss" Ashen speaks of, which comes with the culmination of a successful evocation, is something that can't be described accurately. And thats probably half of why achieving visible appearance is of such importance to me. Simply because it IS a transcendent act, and one that brings with is a state of euphoria no drug can match. You'll recall, during the HGA debates, I stressed, quite vehemently in fact, that achieving that contact, reaching that level and standing before your HGA for the first time was something beyond words and which, by its very nature changes the Magus. That comment was met with a flurry of "no its really not that hard" and "I did it and its not that big a deal, why do you make it sound like something that big". Well, because it IS something big. Bigger than an aspirant who hasnt yet been there can fathom, and I will say once again what I said and received flack over, those who speak of it nonchalantly and as if it were a casual everyday experience are quite likely full of shit. Perhaps unknowingly so, actually believing they are correct, but nonetheless wrong.

     So, I guess what I'm trying to say, albeit in my usual long winded way, is:

  • It is NOT necessary to visibly see a spirit in order to achieve your magickal goals. 
  • Achieving visible manifestation is a developed skill and ability, not likely something you "just have"
  • Despite this, visible appearance, differing as it does from the improbably physical appearance, IS not only possible, but fact. And it is an experience you'd really have to have to understand. 
  • Agreeing with Ashen, those who speak of it casually, like "Well hang on I'll go ask Metatron and see what he says" or "Yeah I have K&C, no biggie" are most likely (my words, not Ashen's) full of shit.*
This refers NOT to those who genuinely believe they have succeeded, but those who know they havent, who likely havent even made the attempt, but love to speak as though they are the reincarnation of Abramelin in order to aggrandize himself. A modern example of this sociological phenomena is the high school football player who, being a virgin, brags that he has bedded half the cheerleaders in the school. 

Manifestation of Evoked Spirits, Physical or Visible?

     Over the weekend that's just past I had the pleasure of participating in a discussion with several respected practitioners with regard to the nature of manifestation of spirits. Those who know me, as well as those who read this blog and my other writings, may well know where I stand with regard to this issue, as I am quite outspoken on this, vocalizing clearly my contempt for the new age concept that visible manifestation does not occur and that all communication between man and spirit is done through "like, waaay cool and totally clear messages just popping right into my head man, way trippy". 

     This is fallacy, and is as harmful to the student of true evocation as Crowley's assertion in his preface to the Goetia that the spirits therein are akin to repressed areas of man's own psyche. On both I vehemently "call bullshit".  Fr. Ashen expresses my own view on both groups quite clearly when he says "I've found the people who argue the most against physical appearance and audibly hearing the spirit are those who have never achieved it and who have never taken the time to TRY the operation as it is given in the Grimoire. Claiming something does or does not work a certain way without really having the experience in it is obviously faulty reasoning"  This, for the most part, sums it up. While I am always open to modification of traditional grimoiric ceremonies, as is evident upon perusal of Crossed Keys, and have been known to substitute logically when prudent, or modify wordage, I remain in agreement with Ashen that those who decry visible appearance in favor of mental communication are, in the main, those who simply haven't tried or havent succeeded in the work as it was intended. 

     In fact I'm on board with almost all of Ashen's article, and so for brevity's sake I wont repeat here, instead referring you to it here

     While I support the efforts of modern practitioners to find new ways with which we can work with the spirits indexed in our classical grimoires, such as applying practices derived from the ATR's, Hoodoo and Conjure crafts (In fact I have built many techniques of theirs into my own work) I also affirm that they bear no resemblance to traditional grimoiric evocation and magick. They work, they can yield the results we desire, but they aren't examples of successful evocation. 

     For my own purposes, and in the path of grimoiric magick I teach, Evocation is an act of magick wherein a spirit (angel, demon, god, or what have you) is called forth to visible NOT physical appearance, where two way communication is clearly and indisputably achieved. Much of the confusion between reality and fantasy of evocation, I think, lies in the interchangeable use of the terms physical and visible when used to describe the appearance of spirits. Physical denotes flesh and blood, corporeal manifestation wherein the evoked takes on actual form and mass, and this is, at least in my own experience, not likely. VISIBLE appearance however, and even audible appearance DO happen. By this I mean the evoked spirit takes shape, not in flesh and bone, but as book 2 of the KOS says, "the spirits have neither flesh nor bone, and have to be created of some other matter". Call it ether, call it a body of light, call it what you will, but it does take shape and is perfectly visible. It wont be PHYSICAL, you wont shake hands with it and if you happen to offend it you need not fear a punch in the nose, but it will be as visible as you or me. 

     This I can say in 100% certainty and beyond any shadow of a doubt, because I have done it. No "expert" or authority, no matter how articulate and learned he may be, can convince me otherwise, because this is not theoretical knowledge, not presumption, but experience. For a long time, until I achieved actual appearance and manifestation, I was perfectly content with getting the results I desired, regardless that I never SAW my spirit benefactor and had no way of "knowing" that it was they upon whom I called that delivered for me. For many magicians that may remain the case throughout their lives and they may never seek further, simply because their needs are met without the appearance of the spirits. But for me and those I've taken on as students, that is just not enough. 

     I expand greatly on all of this in my forthcoming book, of which I've spoken before, which is at present tentatively titled "The Art of Veritable Evocation", which I have told myself each of the past 4 years would be finished by winter. I mean it this time, I promise! Maybe. Hopefully. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Janus Is Honored First As We Enter The New Year

     Having taken a cue from my cultural ancestors, each New Year I "Honor First Janus". This, I've found over the years, is a good way to formally "close out" the previous year and simultaneously usher in the new in a traditional, ancient way which honors the Gods of my own earliest ancestors. From time immemorial, Romans venerated Janus as the patron of all beginnings, and was to be named first in all sacrifices for it was through Janus that the other Gods and Goddesses were to be approached. In Ovid's Fasti, he writes "See how Janus appears first in my song, to announce a happy year for you, Germanicus. Two headed Janus, source of the silently gliding year..." 

     Rather than delving further into the history of this God and the custom of opening the New Year through his Magick, I will present my own method of doing so, adapted from the traditional sources and made both practical and familiar for the modern Magus. Though the new year has already come, this rite is still valid for use in the coming week. 

     Take the ritual bath, purifying yourself throughout with the words "Haec aqua a corpore impuraties! Purga mentam, purga carnem, purga animum!"*

     Stand facing East, in front of your altar on which you've placed two white candles representing the two faces of Janus, and the censer in which you burn frankincense or abramelin incense. On the altar, place 2 small cakes, the cake being a traditional offering to Janus. Before you, visualize a door, secured and impenetrable. Behind you another door, open wide.

 Invoke as follows:

     Ianus, Pater! Hear Me!
     Ianus Consivius, Hear Me!
Ianus Bifrons, Hear Me! 

In all matters, beginnings and ends are the vital factors, therefore I honor first Ianus, the beginning and end! 

"Iano, Pater, te hac strue ommovenda bonas preces, precor uti sies volens propitious mihi liberisque meis domo, familiaeque meae"

Ianus Clusivus, as the passing of the year has come, I invoke thee, Janus The Closer, that by thy mighty nod I may proceed! 
(Visualize the door behind slamming shut at the will of the God)
Ianus Patulcius, The Opener, I invoke thee that by thy mighty nod the New Year may be opened unto me! 
(Visualize the sealed door before you being opened and the God Janus welcoming you within)
Ianus Matutinus, Dawning of The Light, I approach thee!
(Visualize the troubles and difficulties of the passing year fading as the light of the new overpowers them)


*Religio Romana uses a longer version of this in the Ablution Prayer, which is also of value and can be used here interchangeably