Saturday, June 5, 2010

DCotE: Uncle Kenneth's 'Orrible Seekrits? (And a few notes.)

So, I woke up today around 8 AM. I stumbled out of bed, rustled through my clean closed, and selected (as per usual) a black t-shirt.

I pulled on a hoodie for the whole one hour I could wear it today... And upon removing it, I discovered through the opiate haze that I was wearing a t-shirt with the Sign of the Elder Gods on it. This was amusing as all morning I'd been toying with finally giving out one of Uncle Kenneth's 'Orrible Seekrits. So I decided: what the Hell. Clearly I'm, like, “protected.” Might as well make the most of it, right?


***

But first I want to take a moment to talk about something I had to remain mum about until now. So, I was (not so long ago) made a Neophyte in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (because I think dressing up like a Victorian Pharaoh is, like, cool. Don't mock me.) With every grade comes a test, a lesson, and a kick to the face from the Secret Chiefs.

So. I had my test, I think. And then came the lesson. About two or three weeks ago I offered to make some “witch talismans” for a few friends to test out a new little trick. One of them requested a healing Talisman, which I plan to make.

And then I got a call from my mother. She definitely had a... growth... in her breast. And so I found myself doing my first healing ritual with “those folks I don't talk about.” They were very gracious, and I would like to take a moment to thank them all. Anyway, I'll have a post later this weekend titled “Know Your Delivery System” about why I occasionally use outright Christian “magickal” methods, some things I picked up from Owen Davies, and maybe even a picture of a talismanic Psalm (to go with the other Talisman for my mother) that's being designed as part of the delivery system of said talisman. And, by the way, the growth has turned out to be totally benign. Which, of course, puts a huge smile on my face.

Anyway, it looks like I've got even more healing rituals coming up in the future. (With different folks...) So let me take a moment to say that while it may be cheesy, and sometimes even painfully outdated (not to mention those moments of bad source material – see the “History of Geomancy”), the GD system really does work. I'm learning healing. What the Hell, man?

That was not intended to be in my skillset.” Well... I guess it is, now. I think I can deal with it, too. Use what works, right? (Also: google searching for “Golden Dawn” images will bring up a picture of a pal of mine in his Victorian Pharaohic Magus Garb on the second page. I wonder if he realizes that? … I wonder if I'll tell him?)

***

First, you can't beat a book review by Alan Moore. So I won't even bother trying to do that.

During my stay in LA, Der Baron convinced me that I absolutely had to read Kenneth Grant's Against the Light. I'd put it off for a while because I wanted to read a physical copy of one of his books first for once. (I later realized I had: I read Hecate's Fountain outside a coffee shop in Fresno's lovely Tower District.)

Anyway, we even visited the Bodhi Tree with my having high hopes that I'd be able to nab a copy. Alas: they only had used copies of Grant's books, and the used bookstore was closed. So I bought a copy of Doreen Valiente's The Rebirth of Witchcraft and Anne Finnan's The Forge of Tubal Cain. (I recommend the first; the second I plan to review... Some day.)

So I ended up reading Against the Light in PDF anyway. At first this was the typical Kenneth Grant reading experience. And then... and then... I felt the horrible shudders from beyond the veil; Mauve seeped out of my monitor, the open doorway into Their World, and I felt the desire to look at...

Witch porn. What?! Don't you judge me! Anyway, I rarely actually look at, err, “witch porn.” But when I do feel the desire, I visit one of my favorite blogs: Sexy Witch (NOT SAFE FOR WORK) at Wordpress. The website isn't a porn gallery... usually. It's actually a blog dedicated to images of “sexy witches” throughout time and culture. As such you see everything from porn stars to pop-art appear. As I went through the huge backlog of entries I'd missed in the intervening six or seven months I came across... this.

For those of you who haven't read Grant's narrative: a large portion of it revolves around a “Grimoire,” written by Uncle Kenneth's family members called “Grant's Grimoire”... This being due to the fact that the Grants have, of course, had a strange desire to contact Things Beyond the Veil that pops up in almost every generation.

“If you hold it against the light,” he suggested, “an altogether different picture will emerge.”

- Against the Light: Part II, Section 4.

The Grimoire, as suggested by Uncle Phineas (I believe?), 'changes' when held Against the Light, an entirely different structure emerging... At which point it becomes much, much more than a book.

You can imagine my shock when I came across these postcards, then:



Is it possible that Grant has one of these postcards in his possession? Is it possible that they formed one of the links in his occult-art-genius-madness? Who knows. But when you hold them against the light, another picture begins to emerge...

… I like to think that Grant does have one of those postcards in his possession. Maybe something given to Austin Spare by the spectral Mrs. Patterson? Or perhaps, even more weird and wildly, a postcard from Helen Vaughan... From Beyond?

3 comments:

Frater A.I.T. said...

Awesomeness. I've never been bitten by the Grant bug, but Alan Moore reviewing one of his works is solid gold.

Great news about your mother, btw!

I'm stoked to hear you joined the GD, Frater. The tradition needs all the mad youth that it can acquire. And they/we (I'm 30....not too sure if I still qualify as a youth of any sort, but I'm certainly somewhat mad) need it a little bit, as well. Also glad to hear that someone enjoys the Nemysses....I can't stand the damn things.

So....Fresno? I hadn't realized there was anything lovely there at all. Saw Tool play at the big venue there some years ago, and that was great--like going to church. Perhaps Fresno gets a bad rap. All it seems to export are crystal meth and boredom. I live a couple of hours away, in Campbell,Ca. I'll have to consider giving her another visit.

Those postcards are a wonder; also makes me think about a project. Bardon talks on and on about creating "living pictures" in Initiation to Hermetics (or perhaps his Magical Evocation)....I think I'll have a go at it. Mix an appropriate elixir into the paint, an evocation...thanks for the inspiration! Have you ever given the living painting thing a go? Must have crossed your mind, much as you've studied Spare.

Jack Faust said...

@AIT: Here's a special crazy proposal that you'll enjoy: we might have been at the same Tool concept. Especially if it was during the Lateralus tour. As I was in the audience, as a teenager. Just sayin'.

Fresno is a nice place. It's had a lot more going on than most realize, and I loved the neo-Pagan scene there. It was through those folks that I got to meet Jason in person, as well as Greer, Lon, and a few others.

It's a nice little hub for the chaotically inclined to begin before they get exiled by certain Deities for being Jackasses. Ahem.


I'm not enough of an artist to do a living painting, but I've worked pretty extensively (cough. cough. That's a lie.) with the Alphabet of Desire. By which I mean I've got twelve of my eventual 56 Sacred Letters already. >.> All that divination and trance takes time, man! Jesus!

Also: you're way too hard on yourself in your Chaos Magick entry. I have a request as such: mind telling us what you did right?

Frater A.I.T. said...

We were definitely at the same concert....awesome. I remember Maynard being a blue-skinned Imp, whirling about like a madman on a revolving stage; you've got good taste in music!=)

I hadn't realized Fresno had a big magical community. Makes it tempting, as the real estate here in Campbell/San Jose is beyond ridiculous. Nice to have another option.

I am hard on myself, but I have to be. The memory is a tricky thing, and I have to be ruthless in applying the Sword so that I know exactly where I'm at and where else I need to go. Even then, shit's still fuzzy, haha. I did do plenty right at the time; that was the period in which I transitioned from armchair/occult book purchasing fellow into an actual Magician. Finished Bardon's steps, accomplished Evocation to perceptually the physical, full-on Astral projection.....my entire life was consumed by magic, and I loved that. I just think it's important to highlight the flip side of the accomplished sorcerer/magician coin.

It was a big realization for me that being a skilled magician alone wasn't going to solve all my problems. I needed to actually do things, make internal changes. I realized that I wasn't seeing myself clearly, realized that being a Magician didn't make me better than any of the "sheep" I'd been looking down on and reviling for what was at the time my entire adult life. Being humbled was the best thing that could have happened to me. It's so easy to remember the good things and bury/gloss over the bad, I go out of my way to highlight the difficult areas, so I don't forget them and repeat the mistakes. That's where the most important lessons are learned, anyway.