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



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.