Monday, June 14, 2010

Private Questions and Answers: Round Two.

Michael Ford.”

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.

Sympathy and a Magician's Defenses.

Fr. POS noted, in a discussion with me, that my Bat Omen might have been from a magician's defenses deflecting my anger.

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?


Lady Scylla said...

I'd like to see a nice "no bullshit" or "we admit to our own bullshit" podcast.

I also agree on Ford. Having read Chumbley first I went "Oh... well then" and deleted the PDF.

I'd love to see a good, general, occult forum with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Privately hosted. Hell, I might set up "bitchbox" to be a server in the future.

Jason Miller, said...

I just cracked open my copy of Luciferian Witchcraft, which sucks every bit as much as you say, but Pete Carroll did'nt do the intro. Nathanial Harris of "Witcha" fame did. Another suck ass book, BTW.

Mr VI said...


Jack and I are barbarian bullshitters of the highest/lowest order. The issue became when our bullshit started walking around in others' heads and saying "You know, this would make a lovely place to annex. Let us commence remodelling."

And we said "Oops." Then we got spectacularly drunk and left it to it.

Jack Faust said...

@Jason: I'll edit the entry, then. I know, however, that Carroll wrote the introduction to one of Ford's books.

It seems to have escaped me, however.

@VI: So, who's chips are we gonna piss in now that we're old and boring? *ducks*

@Scylla: *grin* Well... We'll see what happens, won't we?

Mr VI said...

@Jack: No idea, as you bloody well know. And I have always been old and boring. Never stopped me before!

Gordon said...

Hey, hey... All I said was Lovecraft didn't contribute anything to chaos magic.

The Cthulu Mythos certainly did. But it's not like he built it... He just invented the characters.

It was made more coherent after he had died and then built into a reasonably awesome (if looooong) game.

My biggest issue with Lovecraft personally is that he was lazy and felt he was above working for a living. His wife left the state to support him, he wrote maybe one short story a year... As a sometimes-jobbing freelance writer he drives me nuts.

Say what you like about Crowley, the bastard was profilic. :)

faoladh said...

That's one of the reasons that I'm only guardedly fond of Druid Magic. The term isn't "heron pose", though it is a related bird. The word in Irish is corrghuineacht, which means, roughly (according to the Foclóir Draíochta, which is a reasonably accurate source), "'crane magic', briocht, esp. mallacht, on one foot, one eye closed, one hand in belt."

(In the same source, briocht is "spell, largely or fully verbal" and mallacht is "curse".)

So "crane", not "heron" please, unless one is following that specific "Peregrine Druid" system.

Of course, some might say that I am being merely pedantic, but I've never cared about such accusations. Terms are important, words have meanings, and if a different word was intended, another would have been chosen.

Jack Faust said...

@Gordon: Aww. See, now I feel like a complete ass. Shall I edit the entry a bit? That said: I didn't mind your rejection. But I include Alice Bailey amongst the formative mystic/magicians/whathaveyou of the last century, and all she did was chat with angels and astral light. And worry about magicians. Since I do that, I also include Lovecraft and his fucked up nightmares. I mean, why not?

The mythos, though, is quite different. I agree there.

@Faoladh: I'm actually not following any Druid path, nor a Celtic Recon. Hell, my admiration for Celtic things only began recently. Because Austin Spare is an asshole.

That said: I'd actually thought it was "Crane Pose," but that search didn't ping anything with my googlemancy attempt. "Heron Pose" did ping, so I assumed I was wrong. It's good to know my confusion was warranted!

However, I was instructed on how to do something very similar by another spirit. Actually, unless which foot or hand matters, it was exactly the same thing.

faoladh said...

No worries! My feeling is that, if I were to talk about, say, Typhonian matters, I'd want to get them right within the framework of Typhonian Magic. I offer the correction above in a spirit of congeniality and precision, not anything adversarial (obviously, I hope!)

The specific hands and feet are only important within the system (and even there is subject to quite a lot of debate), I think, but the pose is related in ways to that of the Nataraja (Shiva's dance of destruction). My own feeling (based on my experiences with the posture, as well as my comparison of it to the Nataraja) is that the left side is diminished (that is, standing on the right foot, with the left eye closed and the left hand in the belt), but some have argued that the sinister side should be emphasized for such destructive magics.

Jack Faust said...

@Faoladh: I understand completely! And I'm quite thankful for the correction, quite frankly.

As for the favored side: I tend to favor the left for exactly that purpose. I use the right eye as "the Binding Eye," and the left as the "Blasting." Eye-biting. What-have-you.

Not that I've ever actually... had to use that technique before. But like any good madman would say: "It should work. In Theory."

faoladh said...

That's fair, and I will note that my terms "diminished" and "emphasized" are not intended to indicate the relative importance of each side.

In the Gaelic system of thinking, as I understand it, the side I called "diminished" here is the side that has been transferred to the Otherworld, the source of all things, the darkness out of which the light of Being erupts. That's why, in that framework, I tend to favor putting the side which is active in the briocht into the Otherworld, as it were. Similarly, in the Irish story where Lugh dances and chants the corrghuineacht, the Fomhórach Balor had a poisonous eye. It was lidded shut with a heavy lid, and he had helpers who propped it open at the moment of blasting (this is a hint, in my opinion, about the corrghuineacht in practice, as Lugh and Balor are closely related figures, Balor being Lugh's maternal grandfather, and the fight between them being in many ways the central mythic event of the story).

Jhonn Barghest said...

Huh. Michael Ford sounds like the Fred Durst of magic.

Well, I think the idea of podcasts are great and useful. I just never get around to listening to them. I have a ton of Occult podcasts that are still earmarked to be listened to in ITunes. >.> (fail) But, I'd probably break my non-listening habit for a little bit, especially if you and VI are going to tell people to go wait at the crossroads for Old Man Scratch.

Now, Scylla has a totally hot idea. A privately -hosted occult forum would be cool. All one has to do is maintain the quality of the discussion topics. Of course, you're going to have discussions that reflect varying levels of experience which isn't a bad thing at all. AS long as there aren't thirty posts about Lady Gaga sucking the teat of the Illuminati, I think it would be just fine.

Gordon said...

@Jack Shucks... You don't need to do that.

Besides, Now it says that I'm cool. That's stretching it, a bit, isn't it? :)

Jack Faust said...

@Gordon: If a fellow from California says "you're cool," you may trust that you are indeed cool!

It's the land of Dudes and Cool. And sometimes we have Babes, too.

Jack Faust said...

@All: Podcast name: Satanic Atlantian Super-Nazis from the Center of the Hollow Earth.

faoladh said...

For a Good Time: Google that podcast name.

Mr VI said...

We live in a bunker staffed by reptilian wenches intent on extracting our superior Atlantean DNA to revitalize their antediluvian race which while immeasurably potent is nonetheless dying out.

In return they teach us foul sorceries that Man Was Not Meant to Know, by which we commit attrocities against the minds of right thinking folk throughout the world.

And also use to obtain free air miles. And Nazi-decoder rings - the plastic ones.


Jack Faust said...

@VI: Don't forget the Mole People and Dark Elves that teach us how to make Horrid Talismans beneath Old Places.

faoladh said...

My hero, Dero!

Jack Faust said...

@ faoladh:

.... ?! LMAO.

faoladh said...

Oh, that's rich!

Here's what I was talking about:

The best connection of Shaver with something near to mainstream magic and occultism is found in an odd book titled Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts, which I recommend for its sheer bizarre factor. That said, though, Shaver's works could be (and probably are) used as the basis of a fruitful magical practice.

Zeta said...

Erm, I'm somewhat ashamed to say it, but Pete Carroll did the opening introduction to "Book of the Witch Moon."... and I knew that off the top of my head...

I went through a Michael Ford phase, bought like six books and realized about a year later when I was no longer eighteen that Ford didn't know what the hell he was talking about and most of what he said contradicted itself.

I did find a use for them, though. They're useful when Jehovah Witnesses wont leave your doorstep. Beyond that, I'm in complete agreement.