I was recently asked in a private email, due to referring to myself as a “Luciferian,” if I endorsed the work of Michael W. Ford. To which I must respond: no, never. Not ever.
There are several reasons for this, but the primary one is: Michael Ford is a plagiarist. He's openly been cribbing material from Andrew Chumbley and Kenneth Grant for years. While he occasionally mixes in thoughts unique to himself... These thoughts are normally flawed at best. There's nothing wrong with remixing someone else's materials with your own style, or trying to shed light on what they're saying in a new way. There's also nothing wrong with quoting another writer, but you really ought to make citations.
Ford often fails at even these, the most simple tasks of writing. His theories on what the “witch-blood” is... are at best haphazard bullshit, and at worst a flagrant misunderstanding made by an individual who's been trying to cover up his ineptitude at research by selectively plugging in someone else's thoughts without such much as a warning to the reader. This has won him a ton of teenage “Satanist” adherents who are willing to buy his Lulu press books. It's also made the rest of us turn our eyes towards the man with more than a tiny bit of rage. In fact, I've actually discussed Ford before. My opinion on the man, assuredly, has not changed.
“Peter J. Carroll.”
This one is all my own... I love Gordon and his blog. Really, really. While we disagree about Lovecraft, I can accept that. What I found odd was that while Lovecraft got the shaft, however, Crowley was still cool... (Does Gordon realize the extent of Crowley's antisemitism? Possibly not. And where's the hatred of Yeat's fascism?! Ah, well. All the old school had issues, guys. Let's not kick them too hard. They were flawed and human, like the rest of us. And yes, I include Lovecraft in this sentiment) … And so was Pete. [Edit: Gordon is still really cool, and I was wrong. I'm leaving this paragraph up to remind myself not to be a dumbass again.)
Wait, wait. Peter Carroll?! The guy that threw together a bunch of letters from the English alphabet in Liber KAOS and called it “a mathematical equation representing magick”? (It's not. It's an anology. Those variables are neither constants, nor can they be mathematically defined. As a “scientist,” Peter Carroll really ought to know this...) The guy that wrote Psybermagick?!
I recall buying that book. I also recall throwing it in the trash and wanting to demand my 17 dollars plus shipping back from the IOT's “High Magus” founder. And then, when he introduced Michael Ford's Luciferian Witchcraft, I wrote Pete off. Forever. [Edit: Jason brought it to my attention that it was Nathan who wrote the introduction to Luciferian Witchcraft. I know that Carroll wrote the introduction to one of Ford's books that I purchased, but it seems to escape me at the moment. Gah.]
He can write whatever he wants. I won't buy it. He's dicked over his former lodge mates in the IOT. He's the continuing factor in the “those Chaotes and their Ice Magick Wars” B.S. that some magicians toss our way. He's written crap books filled with nothing but his personal nonsense. I assure you, you can't change my opinion on this:
Pete... Thanks for Liber Null, and now get the fuck out. We got one really good book out of you. It's all the credit I'll give you.
This is, actually, quite possible. And so I took a few days to think it over. My final conclusions are thus: No matter how badass I am, I should not be entirely able to put myself into enough sympathy with another magician just by reading three or four blog entries they've written (and inspired me to irritation), especially if there isn't some other form of personal link between myself and the other individual. I mean, it's possible. But it's giving myself and my temper a lot more credit than I'd be willing to do.
The above point is shaped by a vast amount of Incubatic Dreaming experiments which were conducted from my late teens on toward my mid-20s. Included in this was building narratives that would allow for both myself and the other individual to plug into just prior to dreaming. The next step would be endeavor to see your hands in your dreams (as they're the symbol of Will), which could pop you right into a lucid state. Those wishing their own experiments with these methods are urged to take a good look at Peter Lamborn Wilson's Shower of Stars and a few of the rituals in Betz's The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation.
(Just prior to my beginning to date V.V.F. she had one of the first incubatic dream experiences with myself appearing. In the course of the dream, I took her to a passage beneath an overpass and into an area just beneath said overpass. Toward the middle of the dream recollection she wrote: “As we approached that area, we passed by a hill where a giantess of a woman was sleeping on her back upon a black platform. She had long, red hair. “That's Lilith,” you said, and I recognized her. But though you referred to her as a person, she seemed to me like a megalith - a living feature of the landscape. We tried to steer clear of her...” It'd blown me away because that – my affection for Lilith and her kin – was something I kept very, very private at the time due to previous issues. And guess what's weirder? I didn't freak her the fuck out!)
However, as you'll note above, I also discussed building the link between you and your partner. No such thing exists between myself and the blogger I disliked, and so I find it unlikely his defenses kicked in and sent me the omen to knock me out of my mood. It's more likely one of the deities presently influencing my, my daemon, or even my familiar sent it. It's also possible that the universe is sentient and did that shit all on it's own. I don't hypothesize overmuch over how omens occur, so much as what they're telling you. This is largely because you can make yourself quite paranoid doing such things in the beginning.
However: had I built a link, and then initiated negative contact, I'd be far more willing to consider such a thing.
Those blog readers who endured Mr. VI and I having a brief podcast show – Cultivating Madness – may be interested to know we've both been recently harassed about whether or not we wish to return to doing it.
I, personally, can't decide since I'm either extremely busy or extremely bored (depending on the day)... However, I figured I'd toss it out for blog readers to vote “yay” or “nay” on if they so wished. I would like to take a moment to say: Google Buzz Votes Do Not Count. I'm looking at you: Rose, Jez, and St. Justin.
Anyway: briefly, during 2006 or 2007 or somesuch, VI and I worked together on a three or four show podcast series. We freaked out a number of people in our first episode together when we both advocated heading out to the crossroads and waiting for the Devil... If you're afraid of him, that is. (Similar horror was inspired by the release of Sutra II) These days that advocation has changed a bit: I think you should head to the crossroads, adopt the Heron Pose, say the Lord's Prayer backwards... And then wait for the Man-In-Black. [Edit: The actual pose is the “Crane Pose.” I'd actually been right on my first impulse. But Google rejected this as irrelevant. I'm going to go out on a limb and blame all these mistakes on the painkillers. And once again lament that I have a few days yet to shed this ridiculous haze. Right, then. Thanks faoladh!]
… Ahem. Anyway: we've been asked to do it again, it seems. And we both are like: “really? We're like, nuts.”
But maybe that's a good thing?