Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Histeria: The-Know-It-Alls

No seriousness in this post.

As a child, I watched this cartoon show obsessively. And I think, aside from my fondness for reading, that somehow it contributed to my love of history and learning about it.

Certainly dated, but it made me grin to see segments of the show (if not entire episodes) on Youtube. I'd actually forgotten that I'd ever watched it until reminded earlier today.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Phrensie: Agrippa's (Occasionally Ecstatic) Vehicle for Oracular Knowledge

I recently wrote about my theory about using the Muses, and their placement in Agrippa against the Platonic celestial bodies, and about trying to make fluid condensers based on those planetary considerations.

It seems that the primary reason that Agrippa includes the Muses in his Phrensie sections, however, is for the transmission of oracular knowledge. There are about five total sections in his Third Book that concern this process:

All of these are terribly interesting, but for the purpose of this blog entry I'm going to be focusing on the general state, ad the first two forms of Phrensie/Ecstasis (the Muses and Dionysus).

On the general nature of Phrensie, he tells us that:
“Soothsaying is that which the priests or others were stricken withall, and discerned the causes of things, and foresaw future things, viz. when Oracles and Spirits descend from the Gods or from Demons upon them, and are delivered by them; which descendings the Platonists call the falling down of superior souls on our souls; and Mercurius calls them the senses of the Demons, and the spirits of Demons. Of which sort of Demons the Ancients called Eurideae, and Pythonae, who, as the Ancients believed, were wont to enter into the bodies of men, and make use of the voyces, and tongues, for the prediction of things to come; of which Plutarch also made mention in his dialogue of the causes of defect of Oracles. ... Now that the foretellings of things to come are properly the fallings down of the Gods. Isaiah affirms, saying, And tell unto us those things that are coming, and we will tell them, because ye are Gods; But these kinds of fallings down, or senses, come not into our souls when they are more attently busied ahout any thing else; but they pass into them, when they are vacant. Now there are three kinds of this vacancy, viz. phrensie, extasie [phrensy, ecstasy], and dreams, of each of which in their order.”

He goes on, in the next section on the Muses to tell us that:
“Phrensie [phrensy] is an illustration of the soul coming from the Gods, or Demons. Whence this verse of Ovid,
God is in us, Commerces of the throne
of God, that spirit from above came down.
Plato defines this by alienation, and binding; for he abstracts from those by which the corporeal senses are stirred up, and being estranged from an animal man, adheres to a diety [deity] from whom it receives those things which it cannot search into by its own power; for when the minde is free, and at liberty, the reines of the body being loosed, and going forth as out of a close prison, transcends the bonds of the members, and nothing hindring of it, being stirred up by its own instigations, and instigated by a divine spirit, comprehends all things, and foretells future things.”

He then proceeds to explain the relation of the Muses to the first form of Phrensie. He states that the Muses are “the souls of the celestial spheres, according to which there are found several degrees, by which there is an attraction of superior things to inferior,” at least as he is concerned. While in my previous article, I merely listed the page of JSK's rendering of the Muses to the Platonic spheres (p.186), I'm now going to list them and add in Agrippa's comments about what the Muses teach through each of the spheres, combined with the name of Bachhus that JSK supplies:
  • Primum Mobile – Calliope – Cribonius
“The ninth degree answers to the primum mobile, viz. the ninth sphear [sphere], as the very universe: this possesseth things more formal, as Numbers, Figures, Characters, and observes the occult influences of the intelligences of the heaven, and other mysteries, which because they bear the effigies of celestial dieties [deities], and invocated spirits, easily allures them, and compelleth them being forced by a certain necessity of conformity to come to one, and detains them, that they shall not easily go back, of which we read in the Oracles in Porphyrie [Porphyry].
Cease now at length, spare words, to life give rest,
Dissolve, and leave old shapes (I thee request),
Dishape the members, and the winding sheet
Unloose -----
And in another place in the same book.
Ye Garlands loose the feet, with water clean
Let them be sprinkled, and the Laurel green
Be taken off from th' hands, and every line
And Character be blotted out -----”
  • Fixed Stars – Urania – Picionius
“The eighth degree resembles the starry heaven; this observes the situation, motion, raies [rays], and light of the celestial bodies: it possesseth also images, rings, and such like, which are made after the rule of celestials, as we have abeve spoken.”
“The seventh degree resembles Saturn: this possesseth the more secret intelligencies, and quiet contemplations of the minde. I call here, the contemplation, the free perspicacity of the minde, suspended with admiration upon the beholding of wisdom. For that excogitation which is made by riddles, and images, is a certain kind of speculation, or discourse belonging to Jupiter, and not a contemplation.”
“The sixth degree answers to Jupiter: this possesseth the discourses of reason, deliberations, consultations, and moral purgations: of these we have spoken in part above, and further we shall speak afterwards; It possesseth also admirations, and venerations, at the astonishment of which, the phantasie [phantasy], and reason are sometimes so restrained, that they suddenly let pass all their own actions: whence then the minde it self being free, and exposed to a diety [deity] only, whether to any God, or Demon, doth receive supernal, and divine influences, viz. those concerning which it did deliberate before. So we read that the Sybils [Sibyls], and the Priests of Pythia were wont to receive oracles in the caves of Jupiter, and Apollo.
  • Mars – Clio – Bassarius
The fifth degree is answerable to Mars: this possesseth vehement imaginations, and affections of the minde, conceits also, and motions thereof, of all which before.”
The fourth degree belongs to the sphear [sphere] of the Sun; this possesseth voyces [voices], words, singings, and harmonical sounds, by the sweet consonancy whereof it drives forth of the minde any troublesomeness therein, and chears [cheers] it up. Whence Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, advise us to compose a discontented minde, and chear [cheer] it up by singing and harmony. So Timotheus is said to have with sounds stirred up King Alexander to a phrensie [phrensy]: so the Priest Calame (Aurelius Augustus being witness) was wont at his pleasure by a certain shrill harmony to call himself forth out of his body into a rapture, and extasie [ecstasy]; of these also we have before spoken.”
  • Venus – Erato – Lysius
The third degree answers to the sphear [sphere] of Venus; This possesseth subtile powders, vapours, and odours, and oyntments [ointments], and suffumigations, which are made of these of which we have spoke above.”
“The second degree resembling Mercury, possesseth those things which are from animals, and which are compounded of the mixtion of divers natural things together, as Cups, and Meats; upon this account the heart of a Mole, if anyone shall eat it whilest it is warm, and panting, conduceth, as it is said, to the foretelling of future events. And Rabbi Moses in his commentaries upon Leviticus tells, that there is an animal called òåãç Jedua, having a humane shape, in the midle [middle] of whose navel comes forth a string, by which it is fastened to the ground like a gourd, and as far as the length of that string reacheth, it devours and consumes all that is green about it, and deceiving the sight, cannot be taken, unless that string he cut off by the stroke of a dart, which being cut off, it presently dies. Now the bones of this animal being after a certain manner laid upon the mouth, presently he whose mouth they are laid on, is taken with a phrensie [phrensy], and soothsaying.
The inferior of these resembling the sphear [sphere] of the Moon, possesseth those things which are from vegetables, as plants, fruits of trees, roots, and those which are from harder matters, as Stones, Metals, their alligations, and suspensions. So it is said that the stone Selenites i.e. Moon-Stone, and the stone of the Civet-cat cause divination; also Vervain, and the Hearb [herb] Theangelis cause soothsaying, as hath been ahove said.”


He goes on to tell us in the next chapter that: 
“Now the second phrensie [phrensy] proceeds from Dionysius: this doth by expiations exterior, and interior, and by conjurations, by mysteries, by solemnities, rites, temples, and observations divert the soul into the mind, the supream [supreme] part of it self, and makes it a fit and pure temple of the Gods, in which the divine spirits may dwell, which the soul then possessing as the associate of life, is filled by them with felicity, wisdom, and oracles, not in signs, and marks, or conjectures, but in a certain concitation of the mind, and free motion: So Bacchus did soothsay to the Beotians, and Epimenides to the people of Cous, and the Sybil [Sibyl] Erithea to the Trojans. Sometimes this phrensie [phrensy] happens through a clear vision, sometimes by an express voyce: So Socrates was governed by his Demon, whose counsel he did diligently obey, whose voyce [voice] he did often hear with his ears, to whom also the shape of a Demon did often appear.”
This seems to me to be oracular revelation via Genius or Daemon; and to this end, I shall quiet myself, as I've already written enough on the topic of attempting to conjure or find the Genius in the past. However, he also goes on to write that:
“Many prophesying spirits also were wont to shew themselves, and be associats with the souls of them that were purified; examples of which there are many in sacred Writ, as in Abraham, and his bond maid Hagar, in Jacob, Gideon, Elias, Tobias, Daniel, and many more. So Adam had familiarity with the Angel Raziel. Shem the son of Noah with Jophiel; Abraham with Zadkiel: Isaac and Jacob with Peliel; Joseph, Joshua and Daniel with Gabriel; Moses with Metattron [Metatron]; Elias with Malhiel; Tobias the younger with Raphael; David with Cerniel; Mannoah with Phadael; Cenez with Cerrel; Ezekiel with Hasmael; Esdras with Uriel; Solomon with Michael. Sometimes the spirits by vertue of the souls enter into, and seize upon organical bodies, whether of brutes or men, and using the souls thereof as the basis, utter voyces [voices] through organical instruments, as is manifest in Baalams Ases, and in Saul, on whom the spirit of the Lord fell, and Prophecyed. Of these Apollo in his answers in Porphyry thus;
Phebean fulgor charmed, did from on high
Come down, and through pure air was silently
Conveyed; came into souls well purified
With a sonorous breath, a voyce uttered
Through a mortal throat -----
I am not entirely sure what to make of the last section in this chapter. It seems to confirm that the Daemon could be anything, and that it acts on the man, but... I don't know if what I'm reading in this section is the same as what Agrippa is writing.

Finally, on the topic of Phrensie in and of itself, in the last chapter linked he writes that:
“Therefore we must know, that (according to the doctrine of the Aegyptians,) seeing the soul is a certain spirituall light, when it is loosed from the body, it comprehendeth every place and time, in such a manner as a light inclosed in a Lanthern [lantern], which being open, difffseth it self every where, and faileth not any where, for it is every where, and continually; and Cicero in his book of Divination saith, neither doth the soul of man at any time divine, [except] when it is so loosed that it hath indeed little or nothing to do with the body; when therefore it shall attain to that state, which is the supream [supreme] degree of contemplative perfection, then it is rapt from all created species, and understandeth not by acquired species, but by the inspection of the Ideas, and it knoweth all things by the light of the Ideas: of which light Plato saith few men are partakers in this life; but in the hands of the gods, all: also they who are troubled with the syncope and falling sickness, do in some manner imitate a rapture, and in these sicknesses sometimes as in a rapture do bring forth prophesie [prophecy], in which kind of prophesying we read that Hercules and many Arabians were very excellent, and there are certain kinds of soothsayings, which are a middle betwixt the confines of naturall predictions, and supernaturall Oracles...”

EDIT: One more link, via Melita Benu, entitled A Quasi-Ceremonial Orphic Banishing Ritual. Totally worth looking at.

And let me add that that blog, in general, is made of goddamn win.

Moar on Otherkin

The seventh chapter of Dion Fortune's Psychic Self-Defense is entitled “The Pathology of Non-Human Contacts.” In it, she makes some astounding claims; but then, this is hardly unexpected since when Fortune's discussions veer off into the unknown, they take on a fantastic veneer. The book is less about how to defend yourself psychically, as it is a warning about what to look out for and selections of stories about Things That Go Bump in the Night: Ghosts, psychic vampires, sodomite-drug-taking-drug-dealing Black Magicians, and “Evil Tibetan Buddha statues.”

In any event, the seventh chapter contains some points that I wished to raise. In it, she writes:
There are many of us who have met people who might well be described as non-human, soulless, in that the ordinary human motives are not operative with them, nor do the ordinary human feelings prompt or inhibit them, We cannot but love them, for they have great charm, but we cannot but dread them as well, for they spread an infinitude of suffering around them...” (p.79)

At the moment of sexual union a psychic vortex is formed resembling a waterspout, a funnel-shaped swirling that towers up into other dimension. As body after body engages, the vortex goes up to the planes. In all cases the physical, etheric, and astral bodies are involved; the vortex therefore always reaches as far as the astral plan; a soul upon the astral plane may be drawn into this vortex if it is ripe for incarnation, and thus enter the sphere of the parents. If the vortex extends higher than the astral plane, souls of a different type may enter this sphere, but such extension is rare, and therefore it is said that man is born of desire, for few are born of anything else.

But this vortex may not only extend vertically up the planes (speaking metaphorically), but it may also, under certain conditions, be deflected, as it were, out of the normal human line of evolution, so that its open end extends into the sphere of evolution of another type of life. Under such circumstances it is theoretically possible for a being of parallel evolution to be drawn into incarnation in a human body. Occultists hold that this occasionally occurs, and explains certain types of non-pathological abnormality which are occasionally met with.

These non-humans are either adored or hated by their human associates. They have a peculiar fascination for certain types of temperament, the types that psychologists the unstable. In these types the subconscious comes very near to the surface, deep calls to deep, and they are instinctively drawn towards the elemental kingdoms.” (p.80-81)

This is not to suggest that every Otherkin that claims “non-human” origin is telling the truth, or such. In some cases, we can probably assume that the desire to be “non-human” is rooted in trauma and the use of a narrative structure of associations to deal and cope with the pain. In other cases, escapism is another possible solution. But Fortune does raise the question of the possibility “non-human”... evolution... in a human body. I remain a deep seated skeptic, but it is one of the things that always comes to mind when I encounter people who complain about Otherkin.

There is also the history of looking for “elementals” in a human body; operations such as this were performed by Jack Parsons at the start of the Babalon working that led to Liber 49 and his Book of the Anti-Christ. Parsons claimed his elemental was Marjorie Cameron, who assuredly lived up to such a label in unexpected ways.

Finally: non-human metempsychosis is, as far as I know, possible in Hinduism and Buddhism, where one might 'fall' from there place in man, or rise – at a new birth – from the animal realms. I don't really know a lot about such theories; I am just, at best, aware that they exist. If this sort of rise/fall dynamic is actually prevalent in such theories, then it would not be uncommon at all for someone to feel drawn to the “animal world.”

While I have met more than a few nutty Otherkin (and psi-vamps, and for that matter, people that claimed to be the Reincarnation of Aleister Crowley or Austin Spare), the less nutty ones that I met years ago convinced me that more and more of the teenagers calling themselves such were, in fact, trying to get to a place to deal with Totemic or Atavistic magic, and that they were engaged in very minor early trance and ecstasis/“Shamanic” experiments. This is not to suggest that such experiments won't drive them nuts, but it's not my place to tell someone what not to do or think.

On this subject, I feel compelled to note that the best discussion with Otherkin I've ever had occurred at Pantheacon, following a group deciding to harass me (for reasons unknown to me) after seeing one of Lupa's presentations on Totems or somesuch. Far from being insane, the three seemed to be pretty grounded – for anyone under 25 years of age, anyway. Compared to the 40-something Witch women I've met that have told me about being crystal healers in Ancient Atlantis, they actually seemed very grounded (at least they didn't insist that I also had an animal soul; the Atlanteans always insist you were there with them. Forgive me for not remembering ever being on the Shores of Atlantis.) They were just convinced that their soul, or some portion of it, was not entirely human.

I don't know. Compared to an ancient land where people ruled the earth with all-powerful Crystal Magickz, and then accidentally blew themselves up or offended the gods or something, this didn't strike me as inconcievable.

That said: every avenue of occult and magical thought has some straight up insane sets of associations and ideas. Tons of folks believe in ancient aliens, that we'll evolve as a race in 2012 (I am a serious skeptic), & etc.

It should also remembered that early magical experiences and ideas will be fundamentally altered at the point when any practitioner reaches the Tower. After the Tower experience, just once, everything seems to be hypothetical at best, and the utter ignorance of the practitioner becomes well known to himself or herself.

To my mind, we all go to the Tower eventually, normally led down a path of our own unique and half-mad delusions. So, no, I don't get concerned all that much about the Delusions of Otherkin. I'm way more concerned with my own and how they impact others.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why I Like Otherkin

“The satyr as well as the idyllic shepherd of our more recent times are both the epitomes of a longing directed toward the primordial and natural, but with what a firm, fearless grip the Greek held onto his man from the woods, and how timidly and weakly modern man toys with the flattering image of a delicate and gentle flute-playing shepherd! Nature on which no knowledge had yet worked, in which the walls of culture had still not been thrown up—that’s what the Greek saw in his satyr, and so he did not yet mistake him for an ape. Quite the contrary: the satyr was the primordial image of man, the expression of his highest and strongest emotions, as an inspired reveller, enraptured by the approach of the god, as a sympathetic companion, in whom the suffering of the god was repeated, as a messenger bringing wisdom from the deepest heart of nature, as a perceptible image of the sexual omnipotence of nature, which the Greek was accustomed to observing with reverent astonishment. The satyr was something sublime and divine: that’s how he must have seemed, especially to the painfully broken gaze of the Dionysian man, who would have been insulted by our well-groomed fictitious shepherd. His eye lingered with sublime satisfaction on the exposed, vigorous, and magnificent script of nature; here the illusion of culture was wiped away by the primordial image of man; here the real man revealed himself, the bearded satyr, who cried out with joy to his god. In comparison with him, the man of culture was reduced to a misleading caricature. Schiller was also right about the start of tragic art: the chorus is a living wall against the pounding reality, because it—the satyr chorus—presents existence more genuinely, more truly, and more completely than does the civilized person, who generally considers himself the only reality. The sphere of poetry does not lie beyond this world as a fantastic impossibility of a poet’s brain; it wants to be exactly the opposite, the unadorned expression of the truth, and it must therefore simply cast off the false costume of that alleged truth of the man of culture. The contrast between this real truth of nature and the cultural lie which behaves as if it is the only reality is similar to the contrast between the eternal core of things, the thing-in-itself, and the total world of appearances. And just as tragedy, with its metaphysical consolation, draws attention to the eternal life of that existential core in the continuing destruction of appearances, so the symbolism of the satyr chorus already expresses metaphorically that primordial relationship between the thing-in-itself and appearance. That idyllic shepherd of modern man is only a counterfeit, the totality of cultural illusions which he counts as nature. The Dionysian Greek wants truth and nature in their highest power—he sees himself magically changed into the satyr.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy.

Now take these thoughts and apply them to Otherkin. Simply because Gnosis might be odd, and you might understand things a bit literally when you're young, does not mean that you're destined to always do so.

Furthermore, discouraging people from creating a type of “Thereomorphic Shamanism” – and that is what the Otherkin community, with their many Atavistic expressions, may eventually become – seems to me to be a very disastrous thing to do.

The lunar realm of No-Time, where ideas shift in the dreamlike trance of Gnosis, is a pain in the ass to get out of. When I spent my horribly lengthy stint there, I looked more crazy than anything else. People would tell me that I was ungrounded, etc. They never actually managed to indentify the goddamn problem - I was stuck in Luna - but they always had helpful hints about what Qabalists would do. Especially if you're not around someone with an idea of what happens in ecstatic moments of trance. And most of these experiences are ecstatic, which is why they become so powerful to the individual that does it.

... Then again, Nietzsche eventually claimed to be Dionysos reborn in his later “Mad Letters.” But hey – madness is a part of some realms. What someone may be telling you, when they claim to be an Otherkin, is that they've found a type of aesthetic battery: a place where their microcosm has aligned with a set of primordial, poetic, and fictitious (but useful) ideas which power their trance and experiences. Rather than discouraging them from the experiences and writing about them, it seems to me to be better to encourage them to read Nietzsche (whose fanbase is never short of a few Ubermenchii), or look into Wolf cults in the ancient world (and there were plenty, motherfuckers), & etc.

I'm sure plenty are already doing it. That said, the path of trying to integrate Gnosis and understand why specific spiritual experiences are meaningful is a lengthy road – and not one easily taken, especially when you're subjected to the speculative eyes of the public and to their derision.

I don't claim to be an Otherkin, but I'm sure a few of them will mutate or evolve into something... Very interesting.

EDIT: People are always harping on Gnosis and delusion. The EGO is just so powerful that there can't POSSIBLY highly emotional moments where a spiritual charge intrudes, and something resonates massively and you can't let go of it. Clearly that could only happen in the trained Magickal Elite, or some shit. It's not like everyone's seen a fucking play that made them laugh or cry, or been at church when a topic near to their heart evoked a spiritual moment, right?

I'm expected to tag along and applaud when serious spiritual work is harped on, and enmeshing in the godhead, and a ton of theories are expanded upon - but when approached by some kid who has no idea what's going on, I'm also expected to remind him that he's likely mired in delusions.

Of course he is! He's a fucking kid! What the fuck do you expect? We're lucky he doesn't think he's fucking Blade and try hunting Psi-vamps "on the astral"! (And some of those crazy fuckers do! ... Try to, that is.)

I'm also expected to sit around and agree when someone mature talks about how delusional they were, and how grown up they are now, and then tells other people to keep their mouths shut. Yes, your crazy is your own business. But jesus, name one person that hasn't done something spiritually crazy. That person? He's probably an armchair magician.

I always thought we were supposed to supply mechanisms for use: to actually make use of crazy gnosis (create art with it!), to actually supply details on how to meaningfully integrate spiritual experiences (try being less literal! It may help!), and to supply protective tactics and suggestions for evaluating what one has done. How about testing spirits with elemental pentacles?

None the less, most of what I see is routine poo-pooing and mindless chatter about delusion. Delusion is a constant, a part of life. Either offer how to actually overcome it (from personal experience, as the suggestion goes), or stop complaining.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bernabe on Plato on the Orpheotelests

Eros and Dionysos
Because that's not a mouthful or anything.
“The locus classicus for Orphic τελεταί* is a famous passage in Plato:
They adduce a hubbub of books by Musaeus and Orpheus, descendants, as they say, of the Moon and of the Muses, according to which they arrange their rites, convincing not only individuals but also cities that liberation and purification from injustice is possible, both during life and after death, by means of sacrifices and enjoyable games, to those which they indeed call “initiations,” which free us from the evils of the Beyond, whereas something horrible awaits those who have not celebrated sacrifices.
The passage mentions books of Musaeus and Orpheus, that is, written literature supposedly used in initiations intended to liberate the soul from its sins. Those who are charged with carrying out these rituals, obviously the same as those whom other sources call Orpheotelests (italix mine), depend on the holiness of the written word; in other words, it is the possession and control of Orphic writings that confers on them their authority.

We are also told that initiations could be applied to individuals and to entire cities, which implies their value was recognized and was not exclusive to one sect: the seers and reciters of oracles were specialists that could be hired by whoever needed them. The practices of the Orpheotelests were not secret, and to Plato they seemed to be a game, and therefore contemptible for a serious person.

We must interpret the expression “both in life and once we are dead”, in the sense that these rites claimed to project their validity to the Beyond.” (Bernable, 91.)

I found this passage to be especially interesting, as it's included in the author's discussion on the inclusion of sacramental wine and the blessed state of happiness it can incur in the individual. This 'state' of happiness was reciprocal of both life and death, and the 'happy' state is something that Plato took pains to mock. This state is, without a doubt, the state of intoxication. He writes: “Here, wine drinking was no simple pastime or pleasure, but a solemn sacrament, in the course of which the wine was converted into a liquor of immortality... In a sense, drinking wine entails drinking the god: thus, Cicero does not consider it an exaggeration that some should believe they are drinking the god when they brought the cup to their lips, given that the wine was called Liber...” (p.85)

This recalls the earlier comments I pulled from Otto's Dionysus Myth and Cult: “Folklore has given us much evidence for believing that the pleasure man takes in the fruits and flowers of the earth, the enjoyment he has in her intoxicating liquids – in fact, that gaiety, in general, can be linked with those moments when man salutes his dead...”

In this sense, the presence of the God (and his attendant sensation of intoxication), is linked with the increasing perception of the Beyond. To cull a last set of comments from Instructions for the Netherworld: “Outside of Greece, we find parallels for the initiatory use of wine and the belief that access to spiritual intoxication, that causes forgetfulness of the self and engenders true knowledge, begins with physical intoxication. The Irish Samain think they get closer to the world of the gods by means of intoxication.” (p.86)

*Teletai – referring, I believe, to the ability to perform divination, and skill in the rites of priestcraft, e.g. purificatory rituals and sacrificial rituals – JF

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Know Your Saints; Know the Response to Them

History has a troubling tendency to repeat itself. The struggles of the 1960s, and their broad effects, may have become submerged in our cultural narrative, but they have finally returned. As we have seen a backlash against women's rights, against various minorities, and the rise of what might be called (at times) a Police State in the last decade, so to have we seen a return to the massive protests of the 1960s and the 1970s. With this return has come the desire to discuss how far we have not come as a society, and what it just might take to get to that point.

But a new version of COINTELPRO is right around the corner, if it hasn't already sprung up. Always be aware that if you threaten the Powers-that-Be, they will deploy themselves against you. With pepper-spray, and hoses, and batons, and tear gas. And if that fails? There are always more sophisticated weapons.

Still, know your Saints. If all of this has happened before, then that means that there are voices in the past worth looking to.

Fred Hampton was a rising member of the Black Panther Party in 1969, when he was gunned down in his apartment by the Police. Hampton had recently criticized his county's State Attorney, Edward Hanrahan, who Hampton claimed was using speeches about “wars on gangs” - a war that Hamptom claimed really allowed Hanrahan to carry out a “war on black youth.”

While the current situation with the Occupy Protests has not yet reached this height of violence (possibly owing to less occasions for outright racism, in my less than humble opinion), it should be remembered that they may reach this height if the power of the police is not actively monitored by both fellow citizens and the media. This is why it is so utterly important to discuss what it means when the police overstep their place as protectors of the populace, and become bullies to the populace. But then, there is a bit more than meets the eye to the Davis incident.
 Articles via Krimhum, image via VI, and the rest from me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Giving Thanks

I am thankful to have known (before they passed):
Victoria P. - Who I will always love, at least in memory.
Casey T. - who was the best damn drum player I've ever met, and should have been a rockstar.
Vivian R. - who convinced me, at 16 or 17, that I had the talent for magick and sorcery. And convinced me, long after she was gone (via memory, at least), to pick up the Magic Mirror/Black Mirror and peer into its depths.
Helena Z. - Who I do not have appropriate words to describe.
Chris G. - Who told me, not long before he passed, that he claimed as a child that he would travel to California and become a witch. I will see you again in Time, Brother.
Tom V. - The best damned Uncle a guy could have asked for.
Mauricio M. - The kindest damned Uncle a guy could have asked for.

And this is to say nothing of my family and friends, who are still alive and don't necessarily need a dedicated entry. And of course, I'm most thankful to have met and fallen in love with VVF, who I have had the luck to live with in the days since our meeting.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

“I've read this myth before.”

Medusa: Royal Palace of Turin

I've always felt bad for Medusa, honestly. That's one of those myths that just sucks, all over.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Heroic Dead in Agrippa?

I was hunting for the section of Agrippa's Three Books where he says that sometimes a spirit called by a name shows up, and sometimes another spirit (bearing the same name) also arrives. R.O. had shared it with me, like, forever ago and I wanted to add a blog entry to cement where in Agrippa the section was, as well as make sure I understood what he was talking about.

So I kept scrolling through his Third Book, looking for it. And then I found this:
After the Quires of the blessed spirits, the Animastical order is the next, which the Hebrew Theologians call Issim, that is, strong and mighty men; the Magicians of the Gentiles, call Heroes and Demi-gods, or [half] gods half men: whom Fulgentius, an Author not to be contemned, supposeth were so called, either because that for the meanness of their desert they are not judged worthy of Heaven, nor yet are accounted Terresterial for the reverence of Grace; of this kind in old time were Priapus, Hippo, Vertumnus; or because they being eminent in this life for divine vertues, and benefits for mankinde, after this mortal man put off, are translated into the quire of the blessed gods; alwayes providing for mortal men the same vertues and benefits which they long since had in this life: or because they were procreated from the secret seed of the superiors, whom they think were begotten by the mixture of Gods or Angels with men, & therefore obtaining a certain middle nature, so as they are neither Angels nor men: which opinion Lactantius also followeth; and there are even at this time those who have commerce and conjugall mixture with spirits; and all now believe that Merline, a British Prophet, was the son of a Spirit, and born of a virgin: and also they imagined, that Plato the Prince of wisdome was born of a virgin, impregnated by a phantasme of Apollo. And it is delivered in Histories, that certain women of the Gothes (which they call Alrumnæ) eminent both for beauty and ingenuity, long since at Filimire, or (as others say) at Idanthresie, going forth out of the tents of the King of the Gothes, wandred in the desarts [deserts] of Scythia in Asia beyond the Marshes of Meotis, and there being Impregnated by Fanni and Satyres, brought forth the first Hunni; more over Psellus is the Author, that Spirits sometimes cast forth seed, from the which certain little creatures arise: Therefore these Heroes have no less power in disposing and ruling these inferior things, than the Gods and angels, and have both their offices and their dignities distributed to them: and therefore to them no otherwise than to the Gods themselves were Temples, Images, Altars, Sacrifices, Vows, and other mysteries of religion dedicated. And their names invocated had divine and magical vertues for the accomplishing of some miracles: which thing Eusebius declareth that many tried by the invocation of the name of Apollonius of Tyana; and more of this kinde we read of, both in the Poets, and also in the Historians and Philosophers, concerning Hercules, Atlas, Aesculapius and the other Heroes of the Gentiles; but these are the follies of the Gentiles; but as concerning our holy Heroes we beleve that they excel in divine power, and that the soul of the Meschihæ doth rule over them (as the Theologians of the Jews also testify) that is Jesus Christ, who by divers of his Saints, as it were by members fitted for this purpose, doth administer and distribute divers gifts of his grace in these inferior parts, and every one of the Saints do enjoy a particular gift of working. Whence they being implored by us with divers prayers and supplications according to the manifold distribution of graces, every one doth most freely bestow their gifts, benefits, and graces on us much more readily, truly, & also more abundantly than the Angelical powers by how much they are nigher to us, and more allyed to our natures, as they who in times past were beth men, and suffered humane affections and infirmities; and their names, degrees and offices are more known to us; Therefore out of the number of these almost Infinite, there are twelve chief, viz. the twelve Apostles of Christ, who (as the evangelical truth saith) sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, who in the Revelations are distributed upon twelve foundations, at the twelve gates of the heavenly City, who rule the twelve Signs, and are sealed in the twelve pretious [precious] Stones, and the whole world is distributed to them; but their true names are these; the first éôëä ïéòîù Symehon Hacephi, this is Peter. The second éñòìà Alousi, whom we call Andrew. The third äá÷òé Jahacobah, this is James the greater. The fourth ùåôéìåô Polipos, whom we call Philip. The fift äéëøá Barachiah, this is Bartholomew. The sixt äðäåé Johanah, whom we name Iohn [John]. The seventh is éðîú Thamni, whom we call Thomas. The eighth is called ïåãî Medon, for whom we say Matthew. The ninth is á÷òé Jahacob, this is James the less. The tenth is àôéèë Catepha, that is Thadeus. The eleventh íàîù Samam, who is Simon the Canaanite. The twelfth äéúúî Matattiah, who is called Matthias. After these are the seventy two disciples of Christ, who also themselves do rule so many Quinaries of Heaven, & Tribes, People, Nations and Tongues. After whom is an Innumerable multitude of Saints, who also themselves have received divers Offices, Places, Nations and People into their protection and patronage, whose most apparent miracles at the faithfull prayers of those that Invocate them, we plainly see and confess.”

Fair enough, Agrippa. Fair enough. I'll continue my hunt through your works later.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christianity and I

I have been reading Dr. Raven's last blog entry and thinking about how what he's talking about applies to myself.

In my last entry, I commented on how I got side-tracked from the message of love I had wanted to write about, and include the Tannhauser piece with, by ranting about Paul and what a fucking asshole he could be. Or whoever it was that is claiming to be Paul in the letters. There's some contention that Paul himself may have been a Gnostic teacher, and that the Pauline letters are attributed to him to cover up his past as a Gnostic. I have no idea if those ideas have any veracity or not, I'm simply aware of them.

But – it becomes hard for me to sort my loathing for the poison that I was introduced to as a child and teenager, with the actual message of Christ: which, ultimately, is a message of love. It also becomes hard for me – especially if I've become emotional about the subject – to express the distinction between Christ's message, and that of some his followers. And, when I really become riled up and ranting, I forget about all the people out there who actually have spiritual uplifting experiences as a Christian.

And that the ideas which are spread around today, might not exist (as an edifice of the church) in a hundred, or a thousand years.

And when that happens, I pretty much treat the entire history of Christianity as a thing of dogshit and horror. Which is, honestly, wrong.

The real fact of the matter is that cultures and civilizations, and the religions within them, play against one another constantly. They dance with one another, in a sense. And this dance includes Christianity, Islam, classical cultures, and everything else around us. We are – as humans – social creatures. Discounting the religious significance of Christianity is wrong.

That doesn't mean that I don't think I can have objections about various matters, which I do. But when I get caught up in my loathing toward things I was exposed to in the past, I do further injustice to the matter by passing on my hate to others.

My hope is that in the future, when writing such things, I will better maintain my awareness of my emotional state and how it dictates what flows out of my keyboard. I doubt that I'll always succeed, but henceforth I'm going to talk less about what I loathe in Christianity, and more about what I like (when the moment dawns).

The Tannhäuser Gate

In the Venusberg by John Collier
 “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.”
- Roy Batty, Blade Runner.
“Although the viewer is given no additional clues as to where this gate is or what it might be a gate to, the viewer nevertheless recognizes the allusion to Richard Wagner's opera, Tannhauser, about a “minstrel-knight” who has fallen from the graces of not only his fellow man but God as well... We can read Roy's mention of this gate as an aligning of himself with Tannhauser, a character whose fate and predicament seem just beyond his immediate control...”

It was at the height of a major Venus transit in the last year that I became obsessed with the Venusberg. It was a brief, if fruitful (heheh), encounter. The major request that was made of me was to re-write a scene of Wagner's Tannhauser and dedicate it to her. This has been done; though the way I'd hoped to mesh that result failed utterly. I'd hoped to hide the narrative inside a longer essay, but got side-tracked by hating on Paul's views of Christianity.

Nonetheless, I have wanted to talk more about the Venusberg since the attempt, and was going to use the alien discussions of late as a convenient excuse. But once again, I have discovered myself to be wrong. When I noted that the Clerici Vagantes (we'll get there shortly) claimed to be “on” the Venusberg, I imagined it as an airship, and my brain patched it into the Airship sightings of the 1890s that were eventually replaced by today's flying saucers.

Alas, the Clerici Vagantes are not talking about airships. They are still talking about a mountain. Or perhaps a mysterious otherwordly realm. Or both, at once. But not airships. My bad.

Still, All Aboard the Venusberg.

Regardless of that problem, it's still possible for me to talk about the Venusberg at length, and to talk about how myths and folklore changes shape over time. The best known depiction of the Venusberg is, of course, Wagner's Tannhauser. Wagner located the cave of Frau Venus on the Horselberg, but this is actually a relatively late location. He presumably got these ideas froms the Grimm brother's Deutsche Sagen, where they tell the folk-tales of the Horselberg: “in which the Devil lives, and to which the witches make pilgrimages. Sometimes fearful shrieks and howls come from it, made by the devils and the poor wretched souls. In the year 1398 three great fires broke out in broad daylight near Eisenach, burned for a long time, joined together, then separated again, till at last all three made for the mountain. Country people who were later passing by with a load of wine were enticed into the hill by the evil fiend, and there they were shown several well-known characters who were already sitting among the flames of Hell.”

Earnest Newman, in his The Wagner Operas, explains:
“The place became known as Satansstedt, which name was gradually transformed into Sattelstadt. So much for the Horselberg as the Middle Ages saw it. The modern identification of this fearsome mountain with the Venusberg, however, was a mere flight of fancy on the part of some nineteenth century German scholars. There is nothing in the Horselberg legend connecting it with either Venus or Tannhauser; and it is not an earthly paradise, like the Venusberg, but the haunt of devils.

Classical antiquity ad loved to dream of mountains or caves inhabited by beings whose life was one long round of delights, and of favoured mortals who had been permitted to taste of these. Naturally the longer these stories were in circulation the more circumstantial the details of them became. One mediaeval Italian legend, which was possibly the source of that of the German earthly paradise is what is still knoiwn as the Monte della Sibilla, a peak in the Appennines between the modern Norcia and Ascoli. We have a romantic description of the place by an adventurous Frenchman, Antoine de la Sale, who essayed, though he was finally beaten in the attempt, to penetrate the innermost depths of the mysterious cave of the Sibyl. From the people of the neighbourhood he learned the legends connected with the place, and particularly the story of a German who had actually succeeded in penetrating to the recesses of the mountain, where he found the queen of this paradise seated on a magnificent throne, surrounded by nobles and ladies richly dressed; the felicity of these people, who never lost their beauty and never grew old, would endure, he was told, to the end of the world itself.

The rule of the place was this: a visitor could stay eight days, and depart of his own free will on the ninth, but if he did not leave then he would have to remain until the thirtieth, and so on until the three hundred and thirtieth day; if he did not depart then he must stay there for ever. There was only one little blot on this captivating picture: from every Friday at midnight until midnight on Saturday the queen and the other ladies transformed themselves into snakes and serpents, Strangely enough, it was only on the three hundred and thirtieth day he bade his charming hostess adieu and went off to Rome to confess...” (p.64-5)

He then recounts some basic parts of the Tannhauser tale which are known today, including the Pope being an ass. This version of the tale is believed to have made it's way to Germany, but in this version after the German has been rejected by the Pope, he returns to the Paradise of the Sibyl. Today, the Monte della Sibilla is not far from Narn, Italy. You might recognize the name of Narn as it was written on ancient Latin maps: “Narnia.”

But Were There Visitors to the Venusberg?

The short answer is, more than simply one German fellow claimed to have made his way to the Earthly, Hidden Paradise, of Venus. For more of these details, we might turn to Historian Carlo Ginzburg, who was kind enough to bury helpful details about the Venusberg and it's visitors in his The Night Battles:

“For in the year 1544, Martin Crusius, in his Annales Svevici, cites a curious tale, borrowed from an older chronicle. Wandering about the Swabian countryside were certain clerici vagantes who wore yellow nets draped about their shoulders in the place of capes. They had approached a group of peasants and told them they had been on the Venusberg and had seen extraordinary things there. They claimed knowledge of the past and could foretell the future; they had the power to discover lost objects and possessed charms which protected both men and animals from witches and their crimes; they could even keep hail away. With such boasts, intermingled with fearsome words mumbled ominously through clenched teeth, they shunned both men and women, especially the latter, and extorted money from them. As though this was not enough, they also declared they could call up the 'Furious Horde', made up of children who had died before they were baptized, of men slain in battle and of all 'ecstatics' – in other words of those souls who had had to abandon their bodies, never to return. These souls, they said, were accustomed to gather in the deserted places on Saturday nights of the Ember seasons and on Thursdays of the Advent, andering about, sorrowing, until the appointed timeof their deaths, when they could be received amongst the blessed. These clerici vagantes claimed that they had two lenghts of rope, one for grain, the other for wine: if one of them was buried, the price of grain or wine would increae that year...

Once again, if this evidence had come from the Fruili instead of Swabia, we can be certain that these clerici vagantes would have added being benandanti to their boasting. Here too there are obvious similarities: the journey to the mysterious kingdom of Venus (where, in the popular mind, there was believed to be a real afterlife as we shall see later) gave them the power to cure spells, and, during the Ember Days, to summon the ranks of those who had died prematurely, to which 'ecstatics' like themselves belonged, whose souls had not been able to return to their bodies; it also gave them abilities to obtain wealth for farmers by working their magic, not on the fertility of the fields, as did their Friulian counterparts, but curiously enough, on the prices of agricultural products. This was the year 1544... At any rate, groups of clerici vagantes who claimed to have been on the Venusberg appeared at Lucerne in 1576... and again in 1599 and 1600. A similar group, belonging to an association called Johannesbruderschaft, was tried at L'vov in 1694: like their Swabian fellows of a century and a half before, these clerici vagantes searched for treasures, claimed to have seen the souls of the dead on the Venusberg and tried to call them forth.” (p.55-56)

Fuck. I was gonna write more, but now I've made it so I have to think on this subject for a bit. More on this later. Maybe. Edit: I did not expect what I was writing to get necromantic as fuck. But I probably should have noticed some details sooner. Christ. Caves and cthonic deities and those that claim to meet them. Lmao.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Morality, or why I'm not interested in discussing your thoughts on it.

I am responsible for no one's actions, but my own. And furthermore

Before you perform any ritual, spell, or trance work for an objective, there is a question you ought to ask: “Will doing this act make me a shit person?”

If the answer is no? Worry not. If the answer is yes, and you care? Don't do it. If the answer is yes, and you don't care? You won't listen to me anyway, and will probably still perform said action.

If you need more of a moral discussion than that? Go read Aristotle's Ethics. Go read Marcus Aurelius. Or the fucking Bible (depending on the section). This blog isn't about morals, though, it's about sorcery, witchcraft, and chaos magick, and anomalous “Greek stuff”. Those are the subjects I prefer write about in it. If I'd wanted a blog on ethics, I certainly would have made one.

Finally, and lastly, if you try to force your ethical code on someone else – even if you believe that you are right – then you're what we call an asshole. Assholes don't get to wear good guy badges.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Digital Link

Concept Art from the Neuromancer film that never happened. Via IO9.
 “Lucas knows, yeah. The last seven, eight years, there's been funny stuff out there on the console cowboy circuit. The new jockeys, they make deals with things, don't they, Lucas? Yeah, you bet I know; they still need the hard and the soft, and they still gotta be faster than snakes on ice, but all of 'em, all the ones who really know how to cut it, they got allies, don't they, Lucas?”
Lucas took his gold toothpick out of his pocket and began to work on a rear molar, his face dark and serious.
Thrones and dominions,” the Finn said obscurely. “Yeah, there's things out there. Ghosts, voices. Why not? Oceans had mermaids, all that shit, and we had a sea of silicon, see? Sure, its just a tailored hallucination we all agree to have, cyberspace, but anybody who jacks in knows, fucking knows its a whole universe. And every year it gets a little more crowded, sounds like...”
For us,” Lucas said, “the world has always worked that way.”
“Yeah,” the Finn said, “so you guys could slot right into it, tell people the things you were cutting deals with were your same old bush gods...”
“Divine horsemen...”
- William Gibson, Count Zero.

“USERS of social media sites should not post their pictures online as they could be used for witchcraft, said Kelantan Darussyifa' Islamic Medicine Association chairman Zaki Ya.

He said that djin (spirits) are able to “connect” with humans through the Internet, including Facebook, Sinar Harian reported.” - The Star.
But, you might ask, how possible is such a thing? Some quick background: between the mid-to-late 1990s, there arose “TIAMAT-L”: Testing the Internet As a Magical/Aetheric Tool List. A bunch of occultists populated the place, and did things from building MUSHs that functioned as astral temples (Damascus Mush – by the way, it is possible to put that MUSH back online, but I need to find a box that runs on UNIX to do so, which I do not currently have) to basic magical rituals.

Their basic conclusion matches my own, which is why I bring it up: can you use the internet for your magic, and sorcery? Can you plug certain spirits into the 'net?

Totally. You can do other shit, too. (That was actually written forever ago, and is one of my lazier bits. But whatever.)

If you're a practitioner, you should have some protections in place. But if you're afraid some crazed bastard on the internet, such as myself, might cast horrible hexes upon you and unleash the spirits of the dread lunar realm (or something) upon you?

Consider this: make a poppet of yourself. Specifically baptize it in your own name, and establish the link. Then put it in a box (not a mirror cage), and bury it in your backyard. It will now act as a lightning rod for some of the crap thrown your way, and which you come across. If you want, you can even plant a bunch of horribly toxic (like Belladonna) plants above it, so that there's an additional layer horrible protection above the lightning rod for sorcery. You can also make a witch-bottle, or something along those lines.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Necromancy: Sources!

Tiresias appears to Odysseus

Medieval/Grimoire Necromancy:
Magic in the Middle Ages by Richard Kieckhefer.
Forbidden Rites by Richard Kieckhefer.

Magic in the Middle Ages specifically has a chapter entitled Necromancy in the Clerical Underworld, which discusses some of the sources for necromancy in the Grimoires, and who was practicing it. Forbidden Rites, on the other hand, is a republication and discussion on CLM 849 “The Necromancer's Handbook,” or “the Munich Handbook” as it's respectively known. Conjurations from this Grimoire may well trigger a horde of spirits that come to beat the fuck out of your circle. So, y'know, have fun with that. You may also reach the much vaulted vision state, by which the manuscript appears to operate. It includes directions for scrying and other forms of divination, and a whole slew of angry medieval demons, for you to screw your life up with! And it's all in Latin. Owen Davies' book on Grimoires is more of a general overview of the various forms of magical books, but is helpful in certain instances by examining the contents of some of the various Grimoires and the sources they drew off.

Classical/Graeco-Roman Necromancy:
Jesus the Magician by Morton Smith

I am still making my way through Ogden's Greek and Roman Necromancy, and so I cannot comment on his second book. His first is a recompiling of literary and historical examples of Greek and Roman practices centered around necromancy. Insofar as information surrounding the practices go, it's been incredibly helpful toward my sorting of information on the subject. It also helps give you a general idea of why the practice was so widespread in Greece and Rome. I have not read Luck's book at all; it sits on my shelf, neglected for now. Betz's tome contains more than a few rituals for dealing with the dead. Morton Smith's Jesus the Magician was my first reference point for the subject of Goetes, the guys that practiced classical Goetia. (Betz dedicates his tome to Smith.)

I have raved about how great the Geosophia is more than enough. However it's precursor, the True Grimoire by Mr. Stratton-Kent, has been long praised by more than a few individuals. Like Luck's Arcana Mundi, it also sits neglected on my shelf. That said, the Grimoirium Verum is probably my favorite of the Grimoires.

Note: I am being extremely flippant with my treatment of CLM 849. Not all conjurations will occasion a horde of marauding spirits, nor will all of the demons/spirits categorized as demons, fuck with you. However, in the event you've supposed that classical necromancy was just divination involving the dead, you might want to consult the historians. Who seem to disagree with such assessments. Most classical necromantic events (according to Ogden) were precipitated  by a spirit beating the shit out of someone, forcing them to go and consult an oracle that dealt with such things. Ogden writes that this is the most common reason for consulting an oracle at a Nekyomanteion. Secondarily, Ogden suggests that at most of the Nekyomanteion oracular sites there was an individual referred to as a Psychagogeo. Ogden specifically translates the term as evocator. He cites a play by Aeschylus entitled The Psychagogoi, which recounts Odysseus' Necromancy, but with a slightly different flavor than usual:
A lake takes the focal role in the fragments of Aeschylus's account of Odysseus's necromancy, Psuchagogoi.The “evocators” of the title announce themselves with the words,“We, the race that round the lake, do honor Hermes as our ancestor.” Like Circe in the Odyssey they instruct Odysseus in necromantic rites:
“Come now, guest-friend, be stood on the grassy and sacred enclosure of the fearful lake. Slash the gullet of the neck, and let the blood of this sacrificial victim flow into the murky depths of reeds, as a drink for the lifeless. Call upon the primeval earth and chthonic Hermes, escort of the dead, and ask chthonic Zeus to send up the swarm of night-wanderers from the mouths of the rive, from which this melancholy off-flow of water, unfit for washing hands, is sent up by the Stygian springs.” - Aeschylus, Psychagogoi (F273a,TrGF)
In this case, the Psychagogeo are mythic individuals (the sons of Hermes), but in most historical incidents they were real people, apparently trained in raising up and dealing with spirits.

Edit x2: I feel there is one more issue that bears discussion. In the event of sacrifice, many misunderstandings arise. One is that the the sacrifice is a wasteful occasion.

In the event that, say, a Ram would be sacrificed:
- The blood appears to have been used, primarily, to empower a disempowered spirit or ghost.
- The body of the Ram would be immolated in the name of the Nether gods after it had been skinned.
- The skin of the Ram would then be worn into the Nekyomanteion, and the individual would sleep and incubate an experience of discussion with the ghost.

The fleece would thereafter become a ritual instrument, but the entire process has meaning and utility. I am not suggesting that anyone immolate Rams in the name of the nether gods; however, I do think you must be, very, very careful about how you categorize sacrifice and what you think is going on. After all, it still happens routinely today. The giving of something of value, to feed the gods and help establish the connections by which you are operating, is something which is never done lightly. It is done for specific purposes, and in specific circumstances.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

One Last Thing: Dear Newbs.

Mandrake - and we're talking Mandragora officinarum, not mayapple - is fucking poisonous. If you do not know your dosages, do NOT fuck around with it. Period.

Seriously. Fucking. Period.

Do your research or do not fuck around. You can die, or seriously make yourself very sick.

Inspiring Goddesses

So, I've been eyeing Mr. Stratton-Kent's sequence of Orphic Attributions (Geosophia, vol 1., p.186), taken from Agrippa, and trying to figure out what to do with them. These attributions fit a name of Dionysos to a neoplatonic Sphere, along with a relation to one of the Muses. (He seems to indicate that previously the Sirens filled such a role. But I'm not really sure what the music of the spheres is, frankly.)

Earlier in the summer, I made a couple experiments with trying to incubate the Muses into various liquid drinks, which then functioned as libations and instruments for dream incubation. (I would charge up the cup of a drink with the sigil of the Muse – all personally constructed – sitting beneath it, read a custom made prayer to the muse, and then drink the liquid and libate the last 3rd or so.) But I think, instead, I may try something new.

The last season of fluid condenser work ended without much success. However, a second rainy season is about to descend on my home city, and that means more rainwater to catch for fluid condenser work. Rainwater seems to work better for making then condenser than simply distilled water. I know some magicians also capture dew the old school way for their fluid condensers. This time, I'm going to use the seven basic planetary hours, along with the Agrippan attribution of the Muse, and see if that process (however lengthy – I probably won't have enough water to start until late December) yields greater results than my previously hodge podge attempts to further certain connections.

I may also sing praises to the appropriate name of Dionysos before beginning said work.

What I'm not sure to do about is the Muses attached to the Premum Mobile and Fixed Stars, Calliope and Urania, respectively. I don't know. Maybe the other condensers will help me solve the puzzle, or I'll be left even more befuddled.

As for the question of, “why?” Lemme quote Theoi's article:
“They were originally regarded as the nymphs of inspiring wells, near which they were worshipped, and bore different names in different places, until the Thraco-Boeotian worship of the nine Muses spread from Boeotia over other parts of Greece, and ultimately became generally established.”
And thus I now have more reasons to boil gold. At a later date, at least.