Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On The Great Work

     Thought provoking discussions and debate are par for the course among the bloggers I follow, and shortly after finishing my post last night on Grimoire Magick, I came across another such piece on which I wanted to touch here. The article in question comes to us via Strategic Sorcery, and is entitled What The Great Work Is, itself a follow up to one begun over at RO's.

     As is frequently the case when I read Jason's or Rufus' blogs, theirs got me to thinking on what my own interpretation of The Great Work would be, and if forced to define my conception of it, how I would do so.

     This is a question I had spent quite some time in contemplation of over the years, and one whose answer has changed and evolved as much as my magickal praxis itself. Initially, when I first discovered my affinity for Grimoiric Magick, if asked what my ultimate goal was, or what the Great Work consisted of for me, I would likely have responded that achieving true evocation was what it was all about. Shortly after having succeeded in doing so, I learned that in fact that was just the beginning of a new chapter, much like it was when I met my HGA. While that had represented the ultimate goal for me until that point, upon accomplishing it, an whole new world opened up to me and the Great Work branched out into a dozen directions. 

     The definition commonly used by some folks of the Golden Dawn, To Become More Than Human, sums it up nicely for me, although I doubt that my definition of "More Than Human" is quite the same as theirs. By "More Than Human", I mean setting goals, accomplishing things and doing what humans are not "supposed" to be able to do. Living as a King, as opposed to in service to one. For me, The Great Work constitutes more than any single act of Magick or goal - it is about breaking down walls, ascending, crossing boundaries and never accepting the "impossible". It is about setting goals for yourself as a Magus, a Man, and as a King, meeting them, and then setting new ones far surpassing them in magnitude. It is about never being content with the level of success and progress we have realized, and never feeling we have accomplished all that was for us to accomplish, instead always striving to go further, soar higher, and be better. Perhaps all of this is, as Jason contends, being human to its highest potential. Whatever the case, this is how I see the Great Work. Not as something that can be accomplished, but as a series of accomplishments, successes, failures and progress over ones lifetime, and his relentless pursuit of them.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grimoire Magick

     Today I had a rare opportunity to sit and read some of the blogs I enjoy, having found some  unexpected time to myself. Among the many interesting and insightful posts my fellow bloggers have shared was one entitled Some Issues Regarding Grimoire Magick, which, as one might expect, piqued my interest. 

     In this article the author explains his views on the subject of Grimoire Magick, positing that there are three sorts of practitioners who undertake to work from these ancient handbooks of Magick, to wit, Traditionalists, Re-constructionists and Revisionists. Rather than repeat his definitions of each here, I recommend the article be read in its entirety, as it is a well written and engaging. Thee author's take on the subject of Grimoire Magick set me to thinking about how dramatically my own feelings on the subject have changed over the last decade as my own practice has evolved. 

     As the reader will no doubt remember from my work as outlined in Crossed Keys, I have been in positions where strict adherence to even the smallest detail of a given Grimoire's SOP has been, quite literally, impossible. In such situations I have willingly and eagerly made improvised tools, at times from the most common of materials such as pencils in lieu of a rod and melted soap fashioned into candles. Despite this drastic departure from the strictures prescribed by our predecessors, I have experienced a large amount of success, particularly in the field that the Grimoires (and myself) hold to be the highest form of Magick - True Evocation. 

     This being the case, never will there be an argument, however lucid and well presented, that can convince me that improvisation, substitution and modification of Grimoiric rites are impermissible. However strongly someone may feel to the contrary, however diligently they present their evidence in support of the theory that the Grimoires should be kept to completely and without deviation, you will never sway me, because to me it is not a matter of faith or belief, but rather of knowledge and first hand experience. I have been there and done that, and achieved results I'd be comfortable stacking up against any man's, and I did so with a freakin' magazine perfume insert for incense. The results come when the Magus is ready to experience them, and when he has done absolutely everything of which he is capable to make his act of magick come to fruition. In my case, the paltry instruments of the art of which I availed myself truly were the very best of which I was capable at the time, and I put more effort into carving symbols and divine names on to that damned pencil than many aspiring magicians put into their world class, by the book and accurate to the letter Solomonic sword, and I honestly believe THAT is why I succeeded. 

     I believe it is more about how much of yourself you put into it than what materials you use. If you are financially stable and well off, and therefore certainly able to spend the money involved in obtaining materials to craft the original tools and weapons of the art and choose not to do so, instead deciding to use that same pencil I did not out of necessity or because its truly all thats available but because you just don't feel like going to the trouble of procuring the real deal, well then lets be honest, your heart isnt in it and regardless of what you're using for materia, you're probably not going to succeed. 

     If, however, you are not in such a position, and spending large amounts of money to obtain your tools in compliance with their original design is just impossible for you, or the item for which the Grimoire calls is impossible to find in the modern world, what gets you results and brings about your success is that you sincerely put your all into making do with what you had, and the requisite devotion it takes to do so. At the time, when those shabby tools were all I could obtain, sitting in that cell, I succeeded in work that others rarely if ever achieve, and I am convinced it was due to the fact that I wanted it with my whole heart and everything I had. It was my every breath. It was what I fell asleep thinking of, dreamed about at night and my first thought upon waking, and occupied every bit of my conscious thought in between.

    Now, however, being once again among the free and having the world at my fingertips via the internet, I endeavor whenever it is at all possible, regardless of the level of effort required or expense to which I must go, to arm myself with tools of the trade befitting a King. Not because it is an absolute necessity, but because if I am capable of it and choose not to simply because of the effort or exertion required to do so, then I am just half assing it and not giving it my all. Its like showing up for a job interview wearing shorts and unshaven, not because you lack a dress suit and razor or the means to obtain them, but because, well, who cares. You get out what you put in. 

     One other point the author of the aforementioned blog post makes is that he believes the authors of the Grimoires we be more than happy to experiment or incorporate aspects of other systems and traditions. I not only "believe" this, but I find it to be fact. As is evidenced by the frequency with which we see Grimoires of one era or genre making clear use of older traditions or those far removed from itself geographically, the fathers of the Grimoires were the very definition of syncretists at times. If Agrippa, Abraham of Worms, or pseudo Alibeck the Egyptian had access to the internet you can rest assured they'd have been as diverse in their praxis as their present day counterparts, despite their (Abraham's primarily) admonitions that forms of magick outside those offered in their writings were spurious. 

     The author also mentions the group of modern aspirants whose idea is that the Grimoires of antiquity were all the product of master magicians, expert in their craft, and should therefore be kept to completely. For evidence that this school of thought is foolish we need only look to the present day. Right now more "grimoires" and working manuals of magick are being released than at any time in history, and magick is as popular as ever it was in the days of the grimoires. And yet of 100 books released, 90% are likely pure fiction, wrapped in silk and masterfully marketed as "the next big thing". We have more frauds and con men selling wolf tickets and making money on those naive enough to buy their pseudo-knowledge than serious practitioners offering genuine instruction. Are we really foolish enough to think there were no such charlatans in centuries past and that every Grimoire  was the true and faithful relation of a master of his craft?

Monday, January 7, 2013

On The Fence About The Strategic Sorcery Course?

     Anyone who may be undecided with regard to whether or not Jason's Strategic Sorcery Boot Camp is for them has an additional incentive to consider doing so now, in that he and Occult Of Personality are now offering a cross promotion whereby you'll get a free membership to that site's paid section with your tuition. 

     As anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows, I'm a fan of this course, and having completed it myself, can attest to its value. What's more, its not just a "Magick for Beginners" class; even a seasoned and advanced practitioner will find it valuable and glean new skills from participation, as I did. 

     The Mini Grimoire in and of itself is worth the price of admission, as are a dozen other pieces of tech you'll learn.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best New Book For The Grimoire Magus

     In a previous post I spoke on a forthcoming book, Gateways Through Stone and Circle, which I had the opportunity to read in its earliest incarnation, as the author is a fellow Gentleman For Jupiter. Following up on that, I wanted to share with you a video Frater Ashen has created which offers a glimpse inside the book, the mind of the magus behind it, and what you can expect to learn when it is released. 

     I intend to post a full review of this work when time permits, but for now suffice it to say that I expect this to be my favorite release of the year, and by far the most valuable. I have worked extensively with the system of magick from which Ashen draws this work, that of Trithemius' Drawing Spirits Into Crystals, and enjoyed a good measure of success, despite having made use of improvised tools and materia, and herein Ashen offers a glimpse into what is possible when one has both the determination and Will to craft the tools of the trade as originally intended. The resultant work is not unlike my own Crossed Keys, in that it brings to life an antiquated system of Magick and makes it wolly accessible and usable to the modern practitioner.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Field Report #1

     With regard to the previously offered service, although I had not intended to post any feedback or field reports from those who have taken me up on this offering, the below email is one that I felt compelling enough to warrant sharing here. The individual with whom I worked on this project has given me his blessing to do so, so long as I redact any personally identifiable information.

Frater M.
I need to update you on the happenings since last Thursday when we did our work!! Like I told you the day after we executed your ritual it was a hell of a powerful experience for me because my experince with deific contact  and communication with the ones I evoke has almost always been stagnated at the level where I can receive communication clear enough but can't usually open much of a dialogue or have any real back and forth type contact. So this was a shock for me but a good one. Anyway back to the update, the work that Tzadquiel directed me to do to improve my situation at work and gain back the accounts my boss stole for himself has worked even better than I asked for!! What happened is on THURSDAY last week, THURSDAY lmfao, my boss got brough in to HR and put on suspension because it was come to their attention that he was using sick days and personal days to cover vacation days which we cant do, and had falsified his time. Then yesterday, [how subtle is that that this part happens on Tuesday when Tzadquiel told us to burn a candle to Kamael,] he was let fired because of the falsification and the investigation into it lead to even more discrepancies. So the accounts he took from me and from others in my unit are all returned to us, and we also get to bid for his own accounts, and since I am the senior I will get the best one which is Office Max and make a ton on the commissions. And get this, the accounts will be rolled over into my portfolio tomorrow, THURSDAY, so I'll even get credit for the sales HE made last week since payroll for them closes out this Friday lol...
 So to make it simple, instead of just getting my accounts back like I hoped for, I got my accounts back, the account and commission theiving boss is fired AND I got his best account and a couple lesser of his customers for myself, I will even get credit for his last week of sales. I'm fucking happy man and my wife was all over me when I told her all of this. I have to complete the final part of the work tomorrow to give thanks for intervention to the Angel and to Jove. But what do I need to do now with the sigil we made that we worked together for?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Happy New Year To All

     Well, folks, despite all the warnings to the contrary, from good old Harry Camping to the Pseudo-Mayan prophecies and Nebiru, we have once again reached the culmination of an exciting and eventful year in the history of mankind, and one that I hope has been as propitious to all of you as it has me and my own circle.

        May we all resolve to enter 2013 as Kings, emerging as such as well, and enjoying each day in between as if it were a gift in and of itself, because let there be no doubt that it is. 

Happy New Year!