Thursday, July 28, 2011

And now you can weigh in!

Okay, so here it is:

I am considering establishing a forum, maybe on the site, to explore topics on Greek mythology, Orphism, Dionysian religion, astrological magick, the PGM, and share resources and tactics for making use of such things.

Reconstructionists will probably hate me, as I am a profoundly lazy wanker. And as a warning, I am prone to leaping and then remembering that I was supposed to look, first.

Blog readers can weigh in, here:
A. Great idea! I would consider joining and chatting.
B. This is the worst idea that you have ever had!

You can also drop me a line at my gmail address, if you want to be involved in further discussions on this matter.

I claim no expertise in any of the above, as a warning. And there may be necromancers involved! (Because that's surprising, right?)


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

As An Aside

There is a thin line between too much, and too little asshattery. It was not my intent to make Mr. Grimassi feel or seem to be an outdated dinosaur. If that was my accomplishment, then my communication failed miserably and my delivery was lame. My apologies.

I have read over his comments on traditions and lineage and found them somewhat in keeping with my own. His clarifications to others have been helpful to see.

I do feel that what he initially wrote looked more like a Golden Age tribute than helpful advice. As stated, it obviously annoyed me. However, his intent does seem pure. I am not sure all our local New Age stores need to remain - I think some investment between those locales which offer helpful service and those which do not is ultimately necessary, and a bit out of date in some places.

Likewise with publishers - some of them have produced garbage for the masses, and some have encouraged us to feast on it. But then, books are a business. If a fad is selling, can we really blame the publisher for selling it? Can we blame them for our purchase?

The job market in America shows no signs of improving rapidly. I know plenty of folks who are being hit by this. Some of them wish they had more local assistance, and really will shell out cash for help. If there are people out there trying to help, then my offering disparaging comments does not help the situation. I recognize this and will cease my commentary for now.

Still not your elder, goddamnit.

You're Gonna Go Far, Kid.*

Come now, sweet Daemon, come! Inspire me – oh, effulgent sweetness of my soul – and allow your inspiration to be spoken!

To the Mousai Titanides:
Fair Melete, Goddess and Daemon of Meditation and Practice, let your hand reside beside mine own and raise me from gloom, fill me with the precision to speak my words and be understood!
Glorious Aiode: Queen of Songs, Hymns and Chants, who is beside us as we sing to the outside, let my words flow with sweetness and bitterness of equal measure! To you will I sing, and your song is to become my song! Teach me to speak with a tongue that even Gods and Spirits, Daemons and the Dead Understand! Teach me to sing, Goddess, so that I might sing your songs!
Obfuscated and Hidden Mnemosyne: The Well of Memory and Queen and Patroness of Poets, Philosophers, Priests, and Prophets; fill me with your truth, and let me drink of your Well. Always first you are come to and last, Queen of Memory! In dreams I have seen your drink, cooling and soft in a golden and porcelain cup: allow me access to your well and water, that I might be a spring of immortality!

To the Nine:
Calliope: Lady of Epic Prose, who allows knowledge of the hand of gods in the affairs of mere men and current events –
Clio: Who makes famous and celebrates the events of past and lost time, who holds the book of History in one hand and dips her fingers into the waters of the past in the other –
Urania: Queen of the knowledge of the night skies and the bodies that reside within, who sheds light on distant moons and gives the desire to travel to even further and distant lands and gates –
Euterpe: In who's rhythm we dance, and who's songs endfold all! Teach us of lyrics, and scales, of the connection of rhythm, rhyme, and rote –
Thalia: Mistress and minister of comedy and festivity, two faced and shining: teach us to laugh again, and let the sound of our joy fill the theaters, lodges, and conventions! Embrace us and let our festivals be as your festivals –
Terpsichore: Remind us of the beauty of string and wind in conjunction, and the delight of the Ivory Tower; return us to the summons to sing and made lyrical song, and let not your daughters' (the Sirens) take us off course in the midst of storms –
Erato: Whisper to us of the delights of the sensual flesh and the joys of sweet eroticism! Teach us to mimic again the motions of others, and enter into the sweetest of wordless rapport! Bring forth again your sweet delight –
Polyhymnia: Queen of Cathedrals and the hymns within; pristine and engulfed whispers of holy songs and silence filled with spiritual meaning; allow us access to your hallowed shores, and let us know when the time has come to sing what must be sung –
Melpomene: Lady of the dark night of the soul: open before us the gates of tragedy, so we can see how the failures of the past can best be expressed! Show us your benighted shores, and the trials of before! Open before us the tales of cursed and blighted lives, of trials and strife which can never be undone, and teach us through it to live differently – ...

I Find Myself Awake...”

I have a dream:

Young magicians coming together, secreted away on forums and half-unseen websites and working together for the sake of their own development, and that of the world around them. Of cabals, and covens, and cults shifting and ramping up into gearing and becoming living, vital things which are filled with so much meaning that any who wanders into their direct influence is left thunderstruck and speechless.

Of course I speak of as if they do not currently exist, or are not currently going on. Which is in and itself a lie: I have myself been involved with some of them, and seen many of them spring from the earth as fresh and new, vibrant and beautiful things.

Over the last decade and I half I met members of the IOT, OTO, GD, and whole slews of covens and traditions and spoken with them. I have been bettered by getting to know those around me, speaking to them, trying my best (and I don't always manage to do this) to understand them and what their desires are.

And along the way, many of them have directly aided and abetted me as much as the eclectic, no-order, occasionally atheistic and occasionally “something else,” individuals. I would not cut some of these ties for the world; because the discourses, rants, raves, fights, arguments, debates, and all the rest have helped me out.

I have lurked and chatted on many forums and websites. I have seen the rise of bright, pristine movements and their eventual collapse. I have seen the rekindling of spirit in the public spotlight. I've seen Elders and youths alike involved in some of these, and often quite liked both.

I say these things in reflection to the post recently made by Raven Grimassi on his blog titled How Did It Come to This? I came across it via Jason Miller's response to it, which I quite liked. However, I feel like personally responding because of the sheer level of annoyance I felt upon reading it. I am writing this entry specifically to purge that annoyance from my mind, and because otherwise it's going to sit in the back of my mind annoying me. This entry should not be taken as an attack on Mr. Grimassi, his work, or his person. I don't know the man personally, but I find myself incredibly annoyed by some of the comments that he makes. I will clarify why below.

Tomato, Tomato.”

To avoid copying his entire entry, I will be sampling pieces periodically. To avoid the mistakes of the past, I would take a moment to request that anyone reading this read his entry first, and then maybe even Jason's response to it. It is not my wish to present any material out of context, and if that happens I apologize in advance.

Anyway, he writes: “It is said that Generations come into the world with a like-mindedness. Those of us born in the 1950s were the teens of the 1960s. The 1960s saw the resurgence of the Occult and its related arts - palmistry, tarot, witchcraft, and mysticism. There were few books and materials available on the subject at the time, and fewer places where seekers could find kindred spirits. The lucky few ended up being taught by practitioners of old lineage lines.

The 1960s was a time of great experimentation. We took the available knowledge along with the guidance of those with experience, and we worked hard to integrate such things and to develop ourselves. There was simply no other way to make things happen. We had no Internet, and few cities contained shops that offered anything to people with mystical, occult, pagan, or witchcraft interests.

I should very much like to know how this is different from today? Has the internet made it so that you can automatically find, and instantaneously know, that you've found the Guru or Mentor for you? Has the rise of Wikipedia made it so that you don't still have to work hard to sort between useful and non-useful material? Are people no longer practicing magick in groups? Shit, man, has the End of the World finally arrived? No? I really didn't think so.

The increase of material, scholarly and otherwise, has directly benefited many – if not most – individuals practicing today. It is exactly what the students of the 60s seem to have desired, an not all of it is contingent on handing over your faith or soul to to an individual who might not have your best interest in mind.

Meanwhile the proliferation of material which is not of worth is directly related to the increase of any material – at all. I won't give anyone a lecture on the increase of signal strength versus line noise in Information Theory. You certainly, dear reader, probably do not need that. Especially if you have an engineering degree!

Mr. Grimassi follows this up with the following: “From the1960s and 1970s arose individuals who fought on the front lines against those who condemned the rising interests and involvement in paganism, witchcraft, and the occult arts. Many cities had laws against "fortune telling" and it was a difficult time to practice our beliefs and ways openly. A large percentage of the people who fought for recognition and acceptance in mainstream society, and equal treatment by governments agencies, are now dead.

The 1980s introduced a departure from training and experience, along with an abandonment of lineage systems. Self-styled ways, intuitive approaches, and the philosophy of "do whatever feels right" took the place of time-proven and time-honored ways. It was also at this time that "Wicca" was separated from "Witchcraft" and the new generation dubbed Wicca as a religion and Witchcraft as a practice. This was a severing from the past, where in ancient literature we find references to the witch Medea as a priestess of Hecate, and southern European witches calling upon such goddesses as Diana and Proserpina (along with Hecate).”

And I find myself even more bemused. He doesn't seem to have indicated how some events which occurred in the 1970s, and he was surrounded by, occurred to create the “Traditional” versus “Eclectic” split in Wicca and Witchcraft. He simply suggests that by categorizing Wicca as “religious” it is a divorce from the past... I need to take a few moments to marvel over this a lot more, sorry. I see no mention of the publication of Lady Sheba's Book of Shadows, the horrific splits in Traditional lines, the mistakes of now dead elders, or any of the rest.

So all we're treated to is a brief, “Golden Age” tribute to now by-gone days, with no reflection on how the mistakes of the past might have shaped the mistakes of today. I find this sort of train of thought to be dangerous: first, it glorifies the past without dignifying the reality of potential or otherwise mistakes. Second, it implies that the fights for rights and freedoms in this nation and abroad do not continue on a variety of levels. One need only read The Wild Hunt to realize that this is not so. Third, if there has been a severing of the past it is because certain authors have allowed that to occur. Rather than continuing the fight – which I believe Mr. Grimassi may be actually attempting to do, even if I disagree with his words – and making sure we actually have a future.

So long as these mistakes are not examined, and real and valid grievances on all sides remain, then there is absolutely no hope for growth. Largely because anyone drawn to the culture, upon discovering these things, will decide that what those involved are doing is “all wrong” and move along.

Gerald Gardner never had a Ph.D. Margaret Murray made some shit up (which was, historically speaking, flat wrong). Alex Sanders was generally hilarious (which I mean in the most loving way). Doreen Valiente's contributions to the craft, and her earnest seeking of the truth have long been ignored. Aleister Crowley was not as great a poet as Yeats, no matter what he'll try to convince you of in his books. Dion Fortune was kind've racist. Blavatsky was totally racist. Pascal Beverly Randolph is generally ignored, despite the fact that he directly fed and influenced Franz Bardon.

Part of the reason we must analyze these things and discuss them is so that people don't actually believe we have something to hide. These mistakes are not our own mistakes, as practitioners. But they show that everyone feels pressured to be socially acceptable, everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes influence our ideas about the present time in which we live, even if they are illusive or deceptive.

Ancient, Unbroken Lineages.”

He continues: “What the lineage traditions offered was the understanding of the inner mechanisms that supported the beliefs and practices of our ancestors. This mechanism is sometimes referred to as the inner mysteries or the Mystery Tradition. It is the "why" behind the "how" and the template for understanding and integration. This is what empowers a tradition, and it is what makes practical sense along with the mystical revelation of it all.

Over the past several decades the market has been flooded with material of little substance. What many people believed they would find in the overabundance of books, they did not. Instead they found cute and fun spells, whimsical musings, home spun charm, and a rehash of concepts and techniques that were largely generated by the misunderstanding of non-initiates who were passing them on.”

At this point I should like to know if Mr. Grimassi's mystical eye has unveiled who is and who is not an initiate? Does he know what tradition I am a part of, by reading this blog? Does he have some spells that I do not, which will reveal with perfect clarity who is or is not an initiate of the Witchcraft Traditions? Or is he basing his statements on who reveals themselves in their blog biographies and the back of books as “Sacred Initiates of the (Insert Awesome Tradition Here)”? Because one shows a gross misunderstanding of the “keep your mouth shut” power of the Sphinx, and the other is completely incomprehensible to me. Even if someone tells you that they are not an initiate of something, they might be lying. So how on earth can he say what he's saying with any certainty?

I won't rehash Jason's comments here, but they definitely apply.

As for the “mystery” part of the tradition, I am advised to remain mum about the importance of myth and the predominance of the Muses in the translation of that factor for the public. Suffice it to say that there's something there if you want to ponder about it.

If It Wasn't For Those Damned Kids...”

He finishes with some of the following words (there's more, of course), which I've chosen to to focus on: “I believe that many seekers became disheartened with the available material. They thought "Well, if this is all there is, I think I'll move on to another path" - and many have. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of what is available to them on deeper levels. They assume that all authors are putting out the standard tripe, and that there is nothing of substance, nor anything beyond what they have already read. So they have stopped buying books and they avoid books by authors they have yet to read. This is truly unfortunate for everyone.”

I imagine, viewed from afar and when you only write books, lecture, and teach your chosen disciples – the neo-Pagan scene as exists today may appear to be a lame, hobbled thing. But this brings to my mind Hepheastus – the God of Metalwork. Lame and cast out from Olympus, the husband of Aglaia is an outcast. But he serves an important function: he powers and crafts at the forge of the Gods. Disturbing and odd as he might seem, he is one of those beings who remains necessary to the Gods in Greek Mythology. Who else is going to forge their weapons, jewelry, and and bring that hammer down in the forge?

This oddness now felt is not any End of the World, or End of Neo-Paganism, or End of Neo-Pagan Publishing – but rather the forge and crucible, the strong strokes and blows of the hammer of the Gods on raw materia of the world beneath. And from it, who knows what may or may not arise? New cults? Fine jewels? Weapons-as-yet-unheard of?

Meanwhile, rehashing “traditional” versus “eclectic” approaches does not, in any way, help those around us. It only creates mindless tension, more anger, and more individuals left behind in pursuit of – well, know knows what? I don't know if Mr. Grimassi wants to sell more books, or just to bemoan the death of things as they were.

But I do know that he is wrong. What is happening now – as painful as it may seem to those with attachments – is not bad. It is the same sort've free-moving chaos and potential, social tension, and strife which helped fuel Neo-Paganism in his beloved 1960s. That he and some of those commenting on his blog seem to be unaware of this seems only prototypical of discussions that involve “BEFORE THE RISE OF THE INTERNET” (by people who occasionally don't even know the history of it).

Last of all: some of us work from the shadows, chatting with those who are not initiates yet and encouraging them to consider it. This does not mean that they must or have to join anything. There is room in this world for everyone – those who love gods, the godless, the agnostic and in-between. But some of the remarks that Mr. Grimassi makes annoy me because as someone who goes about this business of ours without always openly beaming out transmissions “from beyond,” his words have the capacity to drive away those very youth (or inexperienced magicians, or whatever) that both he and I wish to see involved in things.

You don't get to just to sit on the sidelines as an Elder (and I am not an elder, man) and cast your judgments and remark on the glories of the good-old-days. Because I have chatted with others who were around, and they had this to say: “It was great fun, but they weren't that great.”

Next time, I'd like to hear about how awesome it was to do rituals and then go see the Doors or Floyd or Hendrix live, or something, man.

* If you were insulted by this entry, my apologies. That was not my intent. Feel free to make fun of me in comments, even if I don't bother to respond.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dead Gods, Dark Gods, Deep Fried Gods*

There is something I feel like saying:

First, it doesn't matter who you are - the Titans probably hate you, even if it doesn't look that way at first. Their rage toward mankind existing and their displacement is hardly at an end. This does not include Prometheus or Hecate, but it does plenty of others who I won't bother to mention.

The forces the Titans embody are indeed hardcore, and they and what few shit forces in the universe still serve them will gleefully tear your life apart. For fun, sometimes.

Nothing I used to do really helped me. It just made shit worse, and worse, and worse. And I kept insisting that was not the case.

In Orphism, there's an interesting story that I will quote:
"This divine son was Dionysus Zagreus, or "the hunter." He was the favorite of his father, and Zeus destined him to become the ruler of the universe. Even while he was a child, the father of gods and men entrusted him with thunderbolts and allowed him to sit on his throne. But the malignant Titans, stung by jealousy and urged on by the vengeful Hera, sought the young child's life. Though he was carefully guarded by the warlike Curetes, the Titans succeeded in luring him away with childish toys, which were carefully enumerated in a quotation from "Orpheus of Thrace, the poet of the initiation."
Having gained possession of the divine child, the Titans savagely tore him to pieces, and cooked and ate the pieces. Athena, however, preserved the heart of Zagreus and carried it away to Zeus who, in his anger, blasted the savage Titans with his thunderbolts. Clement omitted one item of the myth which formed an interesting connection with the Theban legend of Dionysus. Zeus, having received the heart of Zagreus from Athena, swallowed it. So when Semele bore Dionysus to Zeus the new god was but Zagreus reborn. The Cretan provenance of the Zagreus legend was expressly stated by Diodorus. In his account of the various forms assumed by Dionysus, he said: "They allege that the god (Zagreus) was born of Zeus and Persephone in Crete, and Orpheus in the mysteries represents him as torn to pieces by the Titans."

The relationship of this legend to the Cretan rite of eating raw flesh already described in connection with the Dionysus cult is obvious. It was an aetiological myth through and through. The worshippers of Dionysus were familiar with the ritual fact that a sacrificial animal, which in a sense embodied the god, was torn to pieces and eaten. They sought the sanction of antiquity and divinity for their ritual and posited the dismemberment of their god by the ancient Titans. Shocked at the thought of the brutal murder of a god, they had the bad Titans blasted by Zeus for their wickedness. Thus from the ritual fact of a feast of raw flesh, there grew up the myth of Dionysus Zagreus, the god on whom the Orphic cult was focused.

The importance of this myth lies in the fact that in Orphic thought it was connected with a peculiar theory concerning the origin and nature of man, and so ultimately with the thought of man's eternal destiny. From the ashes of the blasted Titans, the Orphic said, man was created. But these Titans had already consumed the god Dionysus, and their ashes contained the vitality of a divine being. Hence man by his very constitution was believed to be a compound of two natures, one Dionysian and immortal, the other Titanic and mortal. His soul was divine, but while in the body it was confined in a charnel house. Plato made full use of this Orphic conception, and in his Gorgias he quoted "a certain philosopher," who said, "We are dead and the body is a tomb."

Pindar earlier stressed the divine origin and nature of the human soul in contradistinction to the mortality of the human body. "While the body of all men is subject to over-mastering death, an image of life remains alive, for it alone comes from the gods," he affirmed. This sharp dualism of soul and body appears again and again in the Orphic tablets, though it is not always clear that the myth of the origin of man from the ashes of the Titans was in mind. On the Petelian tablet (south Italy, third century B.C.) the soul is represented as asserting its divine nature thus: I am a child of Earth and of Starry Heaven; But my race is of Heaven. Similarly, on three Cretan tablets the soul answers the challenge "Whence are you?" with a reiterated declaration of its dual origin, "I am son of Earth and of Starry Heaven." On the Compagno tablets found near Sybaris the soul makes a like affirmation to the "Pure Queen of Them Below . . . .," "I avow me that I am of your blessed race." The dualism thus fixed between body and soul was fundamental in Orphic theology. Though the body was an evil thing, the soul was divine and immortal..."
- Pagan Regeneration (Orphic Reform.)

I have been contemplating this, and my life, and I strongly suspect the time has come for me to work to avert the gaze and notice of things I should probably have left alone.

So. Just so you know. If your life sucks, and you've been practicing Dirty Magickz, then maybe you should consider giving it up and finding something smarter and healthier. But to each their own, of course.
"O Mighty Titans, who from heav'n [Ouranos] and earth [Gaia] derive your noble and illustrious birth, Our fathers fires, in Tartarus profound who dwell, deep merg'd beneath the solid ground: Fountains and principles, from whom began th' afflicted, miserable, race of man: Who not alone in earth's retreats abide, but in the ocean and the air reside; Since ev'ry species from your nature flows, which all prolific, nothing barren knows: Avert your rage, if from th' infernal seats one of your tribe should visit our retreats." - Orphic Hymn to the Titans.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Giving a Shit: It's Important

“When you say I am a force of nature, you're not saying I do not have responsibility. What you're saying is: I have responsibility.
Mr. VI

Beneath the Laughter
Do you know what I hate, man? Other people. Fuck. I swear to God.

Look at them: born into status they don't deserve, with intelligence they don't deserve, with money they don't deserve! With natural skills they don't deserve! Fuck. I hate it, man. How fucking dare they judge me when I've worked this hard, come this far? Fucking Christ.

It comes and goes. Back and forth the emotions go – buffeted from passion, rage, anxiety; underlying it all: why not me?

We judge others a lot over what they have, under the guise of what they do. We tend to come to assumptions that aren't just wrong: they're probably as close to heinous as one gets. It's an easy step: “that person,” who judged you (and how dare they, right?) to “those people.”

Of course, once you've made that little step you've come into a whole new world. Now you can reap wholesale justice and judgment all over. I can't tell you how many times I've heard folks talk about “affirmative action” with barely veiled disgust –

Those people! Lazy! It's not like they were slaves, themselves! And it's not like that mom working three jobs can't work any harder!

We talk about sympathy, sometimes, in the world of magick. Some of us talk about it a lot. Some of us take a new word and pretend that it doesn't essentially mean the same thing. (“I'm not like those eclectic Wiccans. I have rapport. It's adapted, to the New Age. Which makes me totally better.”) But then again, doesn't it mean something else, too?

1. Harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.
2. The harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions.
3. The fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.

Let's take a gander at it's Etymology (while I riff off VI):
Sympathy: 1570s, “affinity between certain things,” from M.Fr. sympathie, from L.L. sympathia “community of feeling, sympathy,” from Gk. sympatheia, from sympathes “having a fellow feeling, affected by like feelings,” from syn- “together” + pathos “feeling” (see pathos). In English, almost a magical notion at first; e.g. in reference to medicines that heal wounds when applied to a cloth stained with blood from the wound. Meaning “conformity of feelings” is from 1590s; sense of “fellow feeling” is first attested 1660s. An O.E. loan-translation of sympathy was efensargung.

To be in harmony with something else: this is the goal of all magick, even if it involves an idea, a God, a group, or simply – other people. It is perhaps humorous at the rabid antipathy which swathes itself in the clothes of sympathy when it comes to magicians in groups: here we are, continually trying to put ourselves into communication with Something Else and suddenly what springs up is pure Hateraid. For fucking everything, man.

And I dig that. I share your rage. Well, I did. I'm sure in a week or two, the rage will maybe return. But it will be changed.

I've realized this game I've been playing. A game I played for a long time, and will probably run the risk of playing again: demeaning others, so that I can seem to shine. It's lame. I'm pretty retarded, you know?

All of that elitism, all the swagger? It was because I couldn't admit that I didn't know everything. Therefore, rather than look into it, I decided to just kick it to the curb. “Who needs that? Paltry moralism.” “But, why the fuck should I?”

And sometimes, that is exactly what things are. Sometimes, though, you're lying to yourself. And you're lying to yourself because – quite frankly – admitting that you aren't fucking perfect is hard. Don't you have the badass skills of super-Magi-hood that you had to tear tooth and limb from the fucking world? Did you not have to suffer to learn? And in an instant, it can be crushed. Smashed on the shores, by someone offering a gift with their left hand.

And that's not particularly auspicious, now is it? So you reject the gift. You say: “only those people do that. I'm not one of them! I'm better! I've done this longer!”

The subtle poison of elitism, fueled by your antipathy to the world around you, drips in. Because now you can just tell people that you're fucking better. You can tell them that, in the end, you went your own way. And look how awesome you are. Hoo, boy. Aren't you ever?

Of course, you're not in sympathy. Not with your fellows, who you will demean. And certainly not with the world, which you hope to influence. And a magician really ought to know when they're not in sympathy with something. When they're actively in antipathy with something. It's kinda like an exorcism, isn't it?

And so you shall exorcise all your friends, your contacts, your fellows. One by one as you run your mouth, repeat how awesome you are endlessly, and then continue on. Swagger into the sunset.


My biggest fear used to be that I'd die alone. That eventually, my rage would consume me completely and I would be lost – forever – and alone. I took a whole lot of solace in the Liber AL line, “I am Alone. There is no God where I am.”

I had no idea what those words meant, beyond what they conveyed. What was being described before me was accepted at face value. Now, at last, I could be Godless and Joyous. That guy was, and probably still is, a total fuckup. A fool who has no idea what he's doing, and can't admit it because then the sham would be up: just human, hardly divine.

So I got to piss on everyone's parade to my heart's content. Go back through this blog. You'll find plenty of it. Constantly shielding the blows with new stories. Constantly saying the same things. Endlessly. A loop – potentially played out for eternity. Antipathy taken to an extreme. I was wrong. But you knew that was the point of this half-mad diatribe, right?

I wasn't the elite. I wasn't as good as I let on. I never have been, I never will be. Only human, but strangely still divine.

Which is a funny thought – here I was raving about my desire for “Cthonic Divinity.” Did I know what the fuck those words meant? No. I still don't. Not yet, maybe never. Maybe I die, and I never finish what I started. Maybe I fall asleep, and just – don't wake up.

It happens. All the time. Believe me, I know. So, here I am thinking about it, and suddenly I wonder: what kills elitism?

Sympathy. Actual sympathy. Not this: I take X and put it in Y, and then it becomes Z. Not some hocus pocus mishmash of thought. Actual sympathy. Also known as “giving a shit.”

When you “give a shit,” that is to say, when you can enter rapport with something else – because you care then it is a great gift. For both parties. This is, as I understand it, the essence of agape. The ability to “give a shit” about the entire community. To love them, feel with them, understand them.

Not telling them that they are shit, and they're fuckups. Not telling them that they're broken because of – whatever. But remembering that you falter, too. That you fall down, and that sometimes you just do not know and this absence of knowledge (ignorance as Anti-Gnosis, if you follow me). Of course – if you realize that you don't know, and that your tacit assumptions are wrong – then you can actually make use of Gnosis. You can seek that information in one way or another, or perhaps, multiple ways. Who am I to tell you how to seek what you seek?

Or you can decide you've gained 100% true knowledge of the universe, and that anyone that questions this is ignorant or wrong. And then you can piss on them for how much they don't know, really let them have it.

Watch the person scuttle off, feeling miserable and injured. Aren't they pathetic? Weak. Willing to give up! And look at you – so powerful.

Of course, you're probably denying yourself something when you do this. You're probably restricting the possible flow of information (and while that's not wrong, as noted above, it has it's own distinct drawbacks). You're probably making a lot of assumptions, constantly. You're probably not asking the right questions.

People told me this, of course. And then they gave up. Because, you know, why bother? Clearly, I was perfect. I'm a little less perfect today. That's okay with me, though.

I know something, now. First: I know that I will not die alone, in a state of isolation. Second: I know that I “give a shit.” Sometimes, I give too much of a shit. But let's take one step at a time.

My name is Jack Faust. I don't know shit about the universe, but not long ago I thought I had it all figured out. Except that part about why my life sucked, and people occasionally hated me.

I'm just like you, maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe you're not like me at all. That's cool, actually. I like that: that means you can give me access to your understanding of the universe. You can help me know it better, if I let you.

But if you're running around talking about “those people,” and “how wrong they are,” then maybe what you need to do is can the hateraid. And start giving a shit.

Of course, that doesn't mean being a doormat, either. Giving a shit is not the same as letting people manipulate and lie to you, and then just taking it. It's not blindly accepting whatever you're told, and just going about. You have a right to tell people antithetical to your development, as a person, to get the fuck out. It doesn't mean they're bad people. But who wants to have the same fights, over and over? Who wants to go through the same bullshit, over and over?

No one. So, seriously, try giving a shit. A little bit of sympathy goes a long way.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

PGM V.459-89

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It is just past the (pacific) morning hour of Mercury. I used said time to plot out today's Jupiterian activities (as best I could, anyhow) and as they began falling into place I felt as if something was missing. So I broke out Betz' The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, and decided to let Bibliomancy fill me in.

I was... surprised to come across the following ritual. It's PGM V.459-89, and is a general invocation to Zeus/Jupiter. The Jupiterian circle folks may recall that after priming my first Fluid Condenser (Sol + Jupiter), I complained that it seemed to have shattered my invisibility glamors. It was upon consulting Bardon's Initation into Hermetics that I noticed a quaint passage where he noted that over-steeping oneself in solar energy may be detrimental to the process of astral invisibility.

The following PGM lists the reasons for using it as: “It loosens shackles,makes invisible, and sends dreams; it is a spell for gaining favor. (Add the usual for what you want.)”

The spell follows:
I call upon you who created / earth and bones and all flesh and all spirit and who established the sea and suspended the heavens, who separated the light from the darkness, the Supreme Intelligence / who lawfully administrates all things. Eternal Eye, Daimon of daimons, god of gods, the lord of the spirits, the invariable AIŌN IAŌ OYĒI, hear my voice.
I call upon you, master of the gods, high thundering Zeus, sovereign Zeus, ADŌNAI, lord IAŌ OYĒE; I am he who calls upon you, great god, in Syrian: 'ZAA-LAĒRIPHPHOU,' and you must not ignore my voice (in Hebrew: 'ABLANATHA-NALBA ABRASILŌA'); for I am SILTHACHŌOUCH LAILAM BLASALŌTH IAŌ IEŌ NEBOUTH SABIOTH ABRŌTH ARBATHIAŌ IAŌTH SABŌATH PA/TOURĒ ZAGOURĒ BAROUCH ADŌNAI ELŌAI ABRAAM BARBARAUŌ NAUSIPH, high minded one, immortal, who possess the crown of the whole world, SIEPĒ SAKTIETĒ BIOU BIOU SPHĒ SPHĒ NOUSI NOUSI / SIETHO SIETHO CHTHETHONI RIGCH ŌĒA Ē ĒŌA AŌĒ IAŌ ASIAL SARAPI OLSŌ ETHMOURĒSINI SEM LAU LOURIGCH.
Tr.: D.E. Aune.

Couple it with the right symbols, gestures, Orphic Hymn, and timing and there's something quite useful in the mix for more than a few people, I think. Enjoy, Gentlemen.