Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rite of Asclepios


A friend of mine wished this ritual reproduced, and I asked if he wanted me to reproduce it as well. The friend affirmed that this was the case, and so here it is.

Readers who also subscribe to Robert's Doing Magick blog will note that he has also reproduced it. This is not an attempt by me to steal his thunder, but rather to pass the ritual to those readers of my blog who don't also read Robert's.



I did not write this ritual, but I have helped perform it once. I can attest that it works, and that it was used successfully by it's originator at least twice. If you find you may need to try and use it: please do!



BACKGROUND


The overall framework for this ritual is based upon a healing temple path working from Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki’s Servants of the Light, supplied to me by a fellow magician who had modified it for ritual healing work back in the ‘80s. I modified the ritual further still with various bits of ceremonial magick technique and historical invocations culled from my friends’ suggestions as well as bits and pieces from my own ingenium. It is, needless to say, a bit eclectic; but (I hope) in the best sense of the word.

The core of this ritual relies on a priest (HP) and priestess (HPS) acting as conduits for healing energy sent from a large number of healers. The magician who supplied the outline version assured me that it had been effectively performed “remotely”; i.e. with the HP and HPS present with the subject of the ritual and people who care (in particular good healers) visualizing the scene and sending healing energy to the HP/HPS team who stand at the head and feet of the subject.

TIMING

Ideally done when Luna is waxing in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent[1]) on the day and hour of the Sun[2]. Obviously this must be altered to circumstance. I managed one of the three: the correct planetary hour.

SETUP

This rite takes place in an Astral replica of the Asclepieion, which is a healing temple located at Epidaurus in Greece. All participants who will be remotely sending energy should be provided with a picture of the subject and the Asclepieion. Just prior to the established time, these “Senders” should set up their personal circle (LBRP, BRH, etc) and raise energy using the Middle Pillar or similar technique.

At the established time, the “Senders” should use the images as a meditative focus and visualize themselves sitting in the Asclepieion and the HP and HPS on the stage, standing at the head and foot, respectively, of the subject of the ritual. The Aesclepieion will be full, not just with those who are incarnate who are adding to the energy but also those healers who have passed beyond the Veil but still turn back to help and heal the living. Torchbearers at regular intervals help guide people to their seats.

A low, relaxing tone fills the Aesclepieion. The Senders should now project their raised energy from their Tiphareth center as a beam of golden light to the HP/HPS team.[3] The tone rises and falls. As the tone rises, the energy flows from the healers to the HPS. As it drops, the energy flows out of the HPS, through the body of the patient, to the HP. The HP takes the energy in and purifies any negativity.[4] As the tone rises again, the energy from the HP flows back into the subject as the energy flows in again from the healers.

The pulses of energy become almost hypnotic for the HP and HPS - waves of love and healing, washing away that which is negative, ill at ease, or diseased. The energy builds in the back and forth movement again and again.[5] Back and forth like a tide.

Time loses meaning during the rite. So the remote Senders should stop at a pre-determined time through use of some form of alarm clock. When the ending alarms go off with the incarnate participants, they stop sending energy, the torchbearers dim their torches (except those on the stage) and the healers quietly leave. Exit the visualization, banish, and ground.


THE RITUAL

The HP/HPS visualize themselves going into an ancient bathhouse in Epidaurus. As they walk to the room where there is a healing bath, they pass imagery of healers from all times and places in the rooms they pass. Before entering the room with the subject:

HP: PROCUL PROCUL ESTAI PROFANI

Both stand at the foot of the subject. The following is a variation of the LBRP[6] to be performed by either the HP or HPS as the circumstances and skills of the operators dictate[7]:

AB IGNE CAELESTI
AD AQUOSUM PROFUNDUM
VIA TERRENA
VIA ARIA
SEMPER IN MEDIO MANENS
FIAT!

When inscribing pentagrams vibrate the letters of the word SALUS associating one letter with each line. Divine names in the traditional LBRP are replaced as follows:

East - ZEUS
South - HESTIA
West - POSEIDON
North - DEMETER

The Invocation of the Archangels in the traditional LBRP are replaced as follows:

ANTE, APOLLO
POST, ARTEMIS
DEXTRA, ATHENA
SINISTRA, PAN

Annoint the forehead and feet of the subject with a damp cloth to symbolically wash them.[8] Now visualize them on a litter, which acolytes carry into the Aesclepieion.

HPS
"I begin to sing of Asklepios, son of Apollo and healer of sicknesses. In the Dotian plain fair Coronis, daughter of King Phlegyas, bare him, a great joy to men, a soother of cruel pangs. And so hail to you, lord: in my song I make my prayer to thee!"[9]

HP
Oh, blessed Asklepios, God of Healing, it is thanks to thy skill that [name] hopes to be relieved from [condition], to no longer [describe condition], but to [describe healed state] as thou hast decreed.[10]

HPS
Be gracious, blessed Paion, you who fashioned the remedy, whether the Triccaean ridges hold you, O demigod, or Rhodes, or Cos and Epidaurus on the sea; be gracious, send your always gracious daughter, Hygeia[11], to [N], who will propitiate you with pure sacrifices for the everlasting freedom from pain which you can grant.[12]

HPS assumes godform of Hygeia.

HP
I [NN] call, therefore, with my vows to hear me each one of all the gods, who anywhere in the world provide present and prompt help for men; who anywhere give their aid and show their power in dreams or mysteries, or healing, or oracles; and I place myself according to the nature of each vow in that spot where the god who is invested with that power may the more readily hear.[13]

HP assumes godform of Asklepios.

HPS
“Great Asklepios, skilled to heal mankind,
all-ruling Paian, and physician kind;
whose arts medicinal can alone assuage
diseases dire, and stop their dreadful rage.

Strong, lenient God, regard my suppliant prayer,
bring gentle health, adorned with lovely hair;
convey the means of mitigating pain,
and raging deadly pestilence restrain.

O power all-flourishing, abundant, bright,
Apollo’s honoured offspring, God of light;
father of Hygeia, the constant foe
of dread disease, the minister of woe:
come, blessed saviour, human health defend,
and to mortal life afford a prosperous end."[14]


Manipulate energies as described in setup section. At agreed upon end time HP and HPS continue to roll energy back and forth until it dissipates. Seal it with the symbol of the Staff of Asclepios on the subject’s forehead and feet using healing balm, spagyric tincture, or blessed water. Exit godform. Do NOT banish.

ADDITIONAL/ALTERNATE TECHNIQUE NOTES

“As the energy builds, I've seen a single snake appear entwined around the
patient, as though they were the Staff of Asklepios. I've seen it transform
into a DNA strand where there have been a number of shamanic healers taking
part.”

You can also visualize the energy 'sticking' in the area of problem, shining
a spotlight on it so that the doctors can find out exactly what is wrong.
Like a PET scan, it lights up the problem so the doctors say, "why didn't we
think of that before?"

Visualize yourself pulling a live snake across the subject’s chest and stomach area. Hold the snake first by the tail with the snake's head at the subject’s throat area. Draw it vertically down their body. Then hold it by its head and draw
it vertically up their body towards their head.

The Rod of Asclepius is a direct representation of ancient traditional treatment of Dracunculus medinensis, the winding worm of death. This parasite peeks out of ulcerous blisters to lay eggs, primarily when the wound is placed in water to cool and soothe it. The practitioner would pull the worm out slowly by winding it around a stick.[15] There may be a useful somatic ritual component inherent here.

In a fuller implementation of this ritual it may be possible to utilize Asclepios’ children (who are aspects of Him) to fine-tune the effect of the rite. Note: When the Athenians invoked Asklepios, they called him “sire” and his offspring, “blest”.


Asclepios SIX daughters
1. Hygieia – disease prevention
2. Meditrina – longevity (later roman accretion)
3. Panacea – cures, universal remedy
4. Aceso - recovery
5. Iaso - recuperation
6. Aglaea – natural beauty, radiance (c

Asclepios FOUR sons
1. Podaleirus – diagnostics
2. Machaon – surgery
3. Telesphoros (aka Enamerion ?) – “Accomplisher” or “Bringer of Completion” convalescence
4. Aratus – “

There are a number of possibilities for elaboration here including planetary banishment/invocation through either a GD hexagram ritual or the Star Sapphire or possibly a composite ritual utilizing the unicursal and greek words of power. I made several notes regarding the use of alchemical tie-ins that are probably worth exploring.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON ASKLEPIOS

Those whom the god cured of their disease offered a sacrifice to him, generally a cock[16] (Plat. Phacd. p. 118) or a goat (Paus. x. 32. § 8; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. ii. 380), and hung up in his temple a tablet recording the name of the sick, the disease, and the manner in which the cure had been effected.

Asklepios appears as a kindly, bearded man holding a serpent-entwined staff. Sometimes also a boy is represented standing by his side, who is the genius of recovery, and is called Telesphorus, Euamerion, or Acesius.

Asclepius (pronounced /æsˈkliːpiəs/; Greek Ἀσκληπιός Asklēpiós [askliːpiós]; Latin Aesculapius) is the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia ("Hygiene"), Iaso ("Medicine"), Aceso ("Healing"), Aglæa/Ægle ("Healthy Glow"), and Panacea ("Universal Remedy"). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today, although sometimes the caduceus, or staff with two snakes, is mistakenly used instead. He was associated with the Roman/Etruscan god Vediovis. He was one of Apollo's sons, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean ("the Healer").

Asclepios was married to Epione, with whom he had six daughters: Hygieia, Meditrina (the serpent-bearer),[disambiguation needed] Panacea, Aceso, Iaso, and Aglaea,[7][8] and three sons: Machaon, Podaleirios and Telesphoros. He also sired a son, Aratus, with Aristodama. The names of his daughters each rather transparently reflect a certain subset of the overall theme of "good health".


----------------


[1] This constellation, between Scorpio and Saggitarius, is associated with Asklepios.
[2] Associated with healing and Apollo, the father of Asklepios.
[3] Again, this Solar symbology is consistent with both healing and the solar (Apollonic) paternity of Asklepios.
[4] Visualize it as the energy being muddied as it flows from the subject to the HP then being cleaned by the presence of the invoked Asklepios.
[5] Compare this to the optical amplification technique of a laser.
[6] Based on “RITUS OLYMPICUS PENTAGRAMMOU MINOR AD EXPELLENDUM”, (c) 1993, John Opsopaus
[7] The Star Ruby would, of course, be equally appropriate here. I’ve used Opsopaus’ ritual for greek-themed work before on a number of occasions and opted to use it here out of expediency.
[8] Ideally this would be a spagyrically prepared tonic utilizing one of the plants of the Asclepias genus (i.e. milkweed)
[9] Homeric Hymn 16 to Asclepius (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic ca 7th to 4th B.C.) :
[10] adapted from Pindar, Pythian Ode 3. 45 ff. - “Oh, blessed Asklepios, God of Healing, it is thanks to thy skill that Diophantes hopes to be relieved from his incurable and horrible gout, no longer to move like a crab, no longer to walk upon thorns, but to have sound feet as thou hast decreed”
[11] See notes on children of Asklepios in Additional/Alternate Techniques section.
[12] adapted from Galen
[13] Emma J. Edelstein and Ludwig Edelstien's, “Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies” (Johns Hopkins, 1998, reprint of 1945 original two volumes in one volume)
[14] Orphic Hymn 67 to Asclepius (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)
[15] Blayney, Keith (Sept 2002). "The Caduceus vs. the Staff of Asclepius". Alternative Journal of Nursing July 2007, Issue 14, page 4.
[16] “Be prepared to offer a cock in sacrifice to Him afterwards. Seriously. I know animal sacrifice is not common these days but the Old Gods appreciate the table of offerings being rekindled from time to time.”

Put Drugs in the Candy!

“For if it were not Dionysus for whom they held their processions and sang their songs, it would be a completely shameful act to the reverent; Hades and Dionysus, for whom they go mad and rage, are one and the same.”
- Heraclitus







“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...”
- Walter F. Otto, Dionysus: Myth and Cult (P. 116)

*Note: I am not actually advocating putting drugs in candy for kids. Obviously, drugs should only be used by adults aware of the potential hazards that they bring. I would include in this category the ADD meds you force your children to take daily, and that they probably sell at school to spite you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

For TeslaQuoyle: Orphica

“Here, Bacchus is situated midway between the world of the living and that of the dead, because initiation in the mysteries carried out during life obtains its recompense after death, with liberation from the painful cycle of reincarnations.”
- Bernabe, Instructions for the Netherworld (p. 75).

This is the work of Mnemosyne. When he is on the point of dying
Toward the well-build abode of Hades, on the Right there is a Fountain,
And near it, erect, a white cypress tree.
There the souls, when they go down, refresh themselves.
Don't come near this fountain!
But further on you will find, from the lake of Mnemosyne,
Water freshly flowing. On its banks there are guardians.
The will ask you, with sagacious discernment,
Why you are investigating the darkness of gloomy Hades.
Say: “I am a son of Earth and Starry Heaven;
I am dry with thirst and dying. Give me, then, right away,
Fresh water to drink from the lake of Mnemosyne.”
And to be sure, the will consult the Subterranean Queen,
And they will give you water to drink from the lake of Mnemosyne,
So that once you have drunk, you too will go along the Sacred Way,
By which the other mystai and bacchoi advance, glorious.
- Orphica Tablet from Hipponion (c. 400 BCE). Museo Archeologico Statale di Vibo. First edition, Pugliese Carratelli (1974) 108 f. (Taken from Bernabe, p.8)

In the discussions on the first part of My Name is a Heart Encircled by a Serpent, TeslaQuoyle wrote:
“Re the Orphic Hymns. I've used these quite a lot. IMHO I think the fumigations and the hymns themselves get hold of a particular aspect of the deity in question, the Orphic aspect, call it...

Also, in my use of them, the Orphic Hymns give access to these deities' powers that I might not be able to attain otherwise due to troubles such as illness or, yes, toxic spells that have messed me up. Finally, just maybe, the combination of the hymn and prayer get around undesirable astrological configurations, good for working at any time with those deities with an associated planet.”

At the time, I was still trying to sort through information I was attempting to make sense of in Bernabe's Instructions for the Netherworld: The Orphic Gold Tablets (Brill, 2008). The book is a collection of Gold leaf tablets, along with other similarly identified Orphica remains, and a discussion on what, exactly, they appear to mean. Along with some other reading material, the book has gone a long way toward furthering my understanding of the Orphic movement (in a previous entry I referred to it as a “religion,” which it turns out is the wrong point of reference to take with all the evidence of bricollage involved in the Orphic remains). While this blog is my promised response, I'm going to cover more general ground that I typically do in an attempt to be systematic.

One of the things that has occurred to me is that one of the associated triggers for dealing with the “Orphic aspect” of the deity that Tesla is referring to, appears to be sympathy with what be might called the Orphic mindset. In fact, I'm more and more leaning toward the idea that this sympathy defines a type of relationship with the spirits, or pantheons of spirits, and the Gods that the individual is coming into contact with.

In this respect, the Orphic Gold Leaf Tablets (which have a range of differences, depending on the time and place that they were found) propose a few potential solutions. To a certain extent, Bernabe's research sits on an opposite pole to that of Gary Zabel's, but between the two is plenty of ground forth both of their views to be more or less correct (rather than one simply right, and the other wrong). One of the points of contention that Zabel appears to have is that Bernabe draws on 19th century views of Orphism, which was treated initially as a type of “Protestant Paganism” (with Orpheus replacing Martin Luther as the prophet of the sect, and the Orphic materials constituting a type of Pagan Bible). Bernabe does not necessarily adopt this stance to the extant material that we have in Instructions for the Netherworld, but rather makes use of some of the 19th scholarly research when going over what the instructions may have meant with regards to those that left them behind. One has to be careful to avoid adopting the “Protestant Paganism” stance for several reasons:
  1. Orpheus was not always directly referenced by the sects referred to today as “Orphic,” which was an ancient category and one that was often publicly disparaged, such when Plato referred to the Orphics dismissively having a “babble of books,” which were “purported” to having been written by Orpheus and Musaeus. One of the things that such disparaging remarks may indicate is that there were many Orphic texts, and that the Orphics may have treated their texts with poetic license in much the same way that mythographers and poets of the ancient world did.
  2. The totenpässe, that is to say the various Netherworld Instructions, differ based on region and timeline. This may indicate syncretization with various local underworld mythos, or be the effect of the aforementioned poetic license.
  3. The general category for those were deemed as Orphic was unfortunately wide-ranging, involving those who were obsessed with purity to an extreme degree (which was seen as a type of deviant behavior), as well as including positive self-definitions that also reach us (which also involve purity to one extent or another). Some individuals who were called “Orphic” may thus not have actually have been members of one of the various sects such as those that left behind coded instructions for initiates.
  4. There may be some connection between the Goetes – whose name descends from their method of action (Goetia), which was the mournful cries that they sang at funerals – and some Orphic initiates, who were occasionally held to be “excellent mourners” such as by Pindar in his Dirges. How far these connections go is well beyond me to even speculate on at the present time.
Nonetheless, the Orphica we have at our disposal does make clear at least some of the relationship of the initiate with specific spirits. The first to cover is Mnemosyne, who is dealt with initially in the above Totenpass. It should be remembered that there are five major tributaries in the Greek underworld:
Mnemosyne by Rossetti

In addition to these is another, hidden tributary, which is Mnemosyne. In addition to being the Titan Muse of Memory (and hence memories of past lives), Mnemosyne was also held to be (variously) an underworld river or lake which acted on the deceased differently than the rest. (There were also other potential resting places for the dead: the Asphodel Meadows, and the Isle(s) of the Blest being two. And then there was the possibility of getting stuck for one reason or another, which was generally held to suck hardcore by all accounts.) At the beginning of the Totenpass, the author declares that the Orphic work at death is “the work of Mnemosyne.” This is one of the reasons, presumably, that the instructions were bequeathed to the dead: so that they had something to help them act on memory, which they had spent their life preparing for. In particular, a cultivated relationship with Mnemosyne seems quite likely. Barnabe explains:
“The goddess takes care that the initiate recalls what he must do, and the instructions that have been revealed to him while alive (probably in the course of initiation), thus becoming the protectress of souls and the guide of his journey.

Mnemosyne presides over the poetic functions, insofar as he daughters, the Muses, are responsible for poets' “recalling” the contents of their poetry. The σοφία (wisdom) that Mnemosyne dispenses to one is an “omniscience” of a divinatory kind. However, just the fact that the poet sings through the inspiration by the Muses does not exclude him from a difficult preparation and learning of the art of a see, so a similar preparation is demanded of the initiate who invokes the divinity at the entrance of Hades.

Yet there is something more. The coincidences between Mnemosyne and Orphism are clear. In the domain of myth, Mnemosyne is related to Orpheus concretely, she is his grandmother – since her daughter, the muse Calliope, was Orpheus' mother. Like the mythic bard, she is a native of Pieria, and like him she is related to poetry and music, since she is the mother of the Muses.

It would not be outlandish to think that for Mnemosyne, the daughter of Earth and Heaven, it is almost a sacred duty to help her sister/brother, the fellow initiate, achieve the happiness of the Elysian field. Yet in addition to this mythic relation, which we might consider superficial, there is a deeper one, of a religious character, which affects a system of beliefs. In an Orphic hymn, dedicated precisely to this goddess, the function we are supposing for Mnemosyne in the tablets is made explicit: Awaken in the initiates the memory of the pious ritual, and send forgetfulness [Lethe] far from them.” (Bernabe, 2008. P. 16)

He continues:
A further meaning may also be found for the reference to Mnemosyne. Given that the concept of truth in Greek means etymologically the “absence of forgetting,” to remember also therefore means “to know.” Memory breaks down the barrier between present and past, thus extending a bridge between the world of the living and the Beyond, to which all who have abandoned the light of the sun return. Whereas Forgetfulness is the water of death, because no one can approach the realm of shadows without having lost memory and consciousness, Memory, by contrast, is the fount of immortality since he who conserves the memory of things in Hades transcends the mortal condition.
To remember in the other world also means to overcome the divisions of time that mark this brief mortal life. In its mnemonic faculty, the intellect recognizes its ability to overcome what is limited, sensible and mortal, in such a way that the soul becomes aware of the identity by means of memory, that is, by means of the knowledge of its own experience, its responsibility for its actions, and their consequences after death. With memory of the entire series of his previous lives and the faults he may have committed therein, man can pay the price for his injustices in full, and bring the cycle of his individual destiny to a close. The exercise of memory is thus transformed into a means of salvation and liberation with regard to the world of becoming and death.”
While I have thus far not mentioned Dionysus it bears mentioning that his subjects, the Maenads, used ecstatic dance at celebrations specifically to get themselves out of body, and catch a glimpse of their God in the Other World. This successive stage of spiritual evolution would presumably also allow them to maintain their memory after parting from this world, and thus showing a bit of a link between the two. Later totenpässe instructions also include the instruction to tell the Three Infernal Judges (also encountered in Jake Stratton-Kent's Geosophia) that “Bacchus himself has released you,” showing that Liber's role in “liberation” remains intact for some Orphic initiates. One final point, which I may expand on at a later point, is that the individual who “remembers in the Other World,” is considered a Hero. The act of maintaining memory alone after death is seen, at least by Bernabe, as something which only a Hero is capable of.
Hades and Persephone

The relationship with Mnemosyne is not the only thing that Orphic salvation, as an eschatology, is also concerned with. In addition to working with the Titan Muse of Memory (and possibly her two sisters, Aiode and Melete) the initiate also has a particular relationship with the Subterranean Queen, Persephone. To discuss this end of the relationship, Bernabe slips into discussions on the Zagreus myth:
In reality, the goddess had already been alluded to in the first group we studied, since she is the 'subterranean queen' before whose presence the deceased had to present himself, after correctly answering the guardians' question, but here she is called by her name...

Although her name does not appear in one tablet from Pherai (L 13), the presence of the Brimo (one of her invocations) and the allusions to the 'sacred meadow' evoke 'the sacred meadows and groves of Persephone' cited in the tablet from Thurii (L 8, 6). She is also, no doubt, the 'queen of the underworld beings' mentioned in the tablets from Thurii and Rome, and she appears as such in the Orphic Hymns (29, 6): Mother of the Eumenides, queen of the underworld beings...

According to the Orphic tradition, Persephone is born the result of the rape of Demeter by Zeus. Zeus in turn violates her as well, and she gives birth to Dionysus Bacchus. As the mother of Dionysus, Persephone can be considered the mother of mortals, who, according to the Orphic myth, descend from the Titans who had devoured her son. Indeed, according to our intrepretation of the “great” tablet of Thurii, it is she that the deceased addresses, calling her “mother” (L 12, 6-7): mother, hear by prayer.

The goddess fulfills salvific function, and the initiate confides in her.” (p. 67-69)

Persephone is the judge in the ultimate decision over the soul's destiny, as seems to be deducible from the expression we find in two Thurian Tablets: “Now I come as a suppliant before chaste Persephone, to see if, benevolent, she may seend me to the dwelling of the limpid ones.” (L 10a-b, 6.f)

And it is to her that the initiate declarations of purification and liberation are addressed: “I come from among the pure, pure, queen of subterranean beings.” (L 9-10, 1.)

That is why, in the tablet to which we are referring, she is the one who must be informed that Dionysus has liberated the soul of the deceased. In the tablets from Hipponion and Entella (L 1-2), the soul must confront the questions of the guardians, but their function does not go eyond the mere transmitters of the correct answer to the goddess, who must make the ultimate decision. In the tablet from Pella (L 16b), her name appears in the dative, which is to be understood in the same sense as the texts from Pelinna: the goddess attention is attractioned, and Posidippus' condition as an initiate in the mysteries is communicated to her, so that she may guarantee him a favorable position in the Beyond...

Since human beings issue forth from the ashes of the Titans, united with the earth, we have within us
residues of the Titanic nature, but also of the Dionysiac nature, since the Titans had eaten the flesh of the god. Consequently, Bacchus, the very victim of the Titanic crime, is the only one who can liberate the human race from the guilt of their ancestors. This is why the tablets from Pelinna say explicitly: Bacchus himself has liberated me.

That is, the principle figure affected by the crime of mankind's ancestors, the god, considers that the initiate has now expiated the crime inherited from his Titanic lineage, for which reason Persephone, the victim's mother, will be able to accept the soul that arrives before her. This is the same situation alluded to in a Pindaric fragment (133 Maehl), in which we are told of: the souls from whom Persephone accepts compensation for their ancient sorrow...” (p. 72-75)

To a certain degree, it seems to me that gaining access to the “Orphic response” from spirits called in the Hymns has more to do with establishing relations with the spirits and deities that are principle to the Orphic work, as well as acting in a specifically “Orphic” manner (which seems contingent on forcing the Titanic factors in man which make him “afflicted, miserable, race of man.” (Orphic Hymn #36, To the Titans). Generally speaking, it would be good for me to pause on a matter I brought up previously, but was unable to explain well: not all of the Titans, and their relations with the individual, are seen as toxic or dangerous forces. As Mnemosyne and the relation between the initiate and the Daemon would show, some of the Titanic forces are specifically called upon so that the initiate is prepared for the realm Beyond. In this respect, my personal experiences thus far have shown that most of the pantheons and spirits (even the negative ones!) begin responding to the call of the Hymns differently than might be anticipated as long as I maintain the Orphic stance. (One of the few things that was forced on me was a heightened attention to purity – e.g. purifying baths and meditative sequences – before using the hymns or calling on the spirits. This hasn't been particularly hard, and some of that demand has relaxed from at least one spirit since I initially encountered it. This is not to say that I'm not crazy or being deceived.)

You can probably expect me to talk about these matters again soon. Except that next time, I may invalidate 90% of anything contained herein. Since, I'm still working out how the relationships all work together.

J.F.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

#Occupy Reality

Via Harlequinade
We went down to City Hall where Occupy Philadelphia is going down. This perfect spot was just waiting to be blown up. Hopefully it will keep the momentum up for the movement and give the space a little extra “umph.” We’ll have some in progress shots posted up soon too. Twas fun! - Nox.
Expect a sigil for the Genius Loci (of Cesar Chavez Park), as well as possibly an image of the spirit itself (we'll see what turns up; can't count your chickens before they're hatched) to appear on this blog, to show solidarity with the Occupy movement. I'll be sure to make sure the spirit is also willing to make a deal with me before presenting it's sigil, too.

- J.F.

P.S. This is also my response to Gordon. Who is awesome.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You Reap What You Sow

Jovial Jupiter Inspects the Prospective Fields.
Maybe, just maybe, he'll plant a Garden of Pomegranates. Or maybe he'll put down some Coffea, to help with those late nights. Who knows?

Stern Saturnus Inspects the Fields to be Reaped.
It's all about how the cycle, I guess. Not all harvests are things of ill portent, however, and the harvest season has often been one of great joy in the West.

This is the rather uninspiring result of today's attempt to Gnostically work out the relationship between the two. Except that it was a series of beautiful images in my mind, rather than the above.

Also: check out Jow's blog entry, along with the entry by The Unlikely Mage.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lux e Tenebris

Saturnus by Polidoro da Caravaggio


“I am concealed with all concealments; when the Most Holy Ancient One is stripped and driven through the marketplace I am still secret and apart.
Whom I love I chastise with many rods.
All things are sacred to me; no thing is sacred from me.
For there is no holiness where I am not.
Fear not when I fall in the fury of the storm; for mine acorns are blown afar by the wind; and verily I shall rise again, and my children about me, so that we shall uplift our forest in Eternity.
Eternity is the storm that covereth me.
I am Existence, the Existence that existeth not save through its own Existence, that is beyond the Existence of Existences, and rooted deeper than the No-Thing-Tree in the Land of No-Thing.”
- Aleister Crowley, Liber A'ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici.

Lately I have been getting a semi-quiet feedback loop of gnashing teeth from individuals all saying the same thing: “I hear you like Jupiter, dawg. Why do you hate Saturn?”

So due to the fact that I never, ever talk about Saturnian astrological magickand I do mean never! – I figured I'd put these blasphemous thoughts to rest: astrological magick is a system, yes? To simply remove a planet because you don't like what it represents, or don't think it's important (and if you think you can do that, let's not chat at all) is to perhaps blunder into a world of hurt. Suddenly you might become convinced, because of your Jupiterian boons, that something like infinite growth exists. Or like you can't err – ever.

Saturn tends to, in my experience, provide the outer limits within which growth is possible. Saturn delineates the point at which growth simply stops, and to ignore those limits is to set yourself up for a problematic situation.

It has been my experience that there are periods where it is best to stop practicing magick – all together – and give it up as a durational oath and test in the name of Saturn. During this period, you specify only specific prayers or meditative sequences which will be allowed (and during which you use to sort your shit, as were) and to make further concrete the things and areas of your life in which you've been attempting to spark growth. Thus, rather than actively practicing magick, you instead simply read or meditate. And now that you've found that man or woman that you love, you take them out to dinner or spend time focusing on them. You focus on your job, and make your commitments to it concrete. If you have kids, you take them out and have a good time with them. You maintain your dream journal. You make sure to pick an hour of Saturn to read that Orphic hymn, or simply meditate on Saturn. You step back and take stock of the situation, effectively.

And then, at the end of the period, you return to your normal practices. Lest all of this sound easy, let me state that it is easier sound than done, and if you've gotten used to active and regular practice, it can be an extremely bitter experience. Saturn has a funny way of kicking all those problems that you were busy ignoring while you were being an amazingly talented (or amazingly modest) magician, and throwing them right on your doorstep.

But in the end, that shit needs to get sorted, too. And ignoring it just tends to make things worse.

If you don't regularly practice and simply dabble, feel free to ignore this entry. You should probably leave Saturn the fuck alone until you've done some other shit. Or just ignore my commentary altogether. What the hell do I know, anyway?

Monday, October 10, 2011

In Praise of Cynicism

 Diogenes by John William Waterhouse
 “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” - Matthew 19:24

Do you wish to know the shortcut on the path to leading a Virtuous life? Take all your unnecessary shit – all the things you don't need, and which do not allow you to lead a self-sufficient life – and burn it. Burn your home to the ground and buy a large car and live in it. Do not attempt to gain money, power, or status. Devote yourself instead to knowledge and self-knowledge, and thus you will enter into the domain of Truth and live a life of virtue.

While it is true that it is virtuous and possible to accumulate wealth to benefit one's fellows – it is also true that this is also a lie many tell themselves to justify their actions, or their participation in a morally bankrupt system of thought. So many devote themselves to the ideas of their nation that they ignore the terrible reality around them, and instead choose to see their actions through rose colored glasses. They are lying to themselves. Wealth can be a trap, in which the belief is that the accumulation of it will lead to happiness, while in reality the person is miring themselves in a morally bankrupt system and choosing to instead value general economy over, say, his fellow man. This is the right of any individual to do: and many will. It is not, however, virtuous.

Many believe that power and status will allow them to live happily. They, too, lie to themselves. Those who wish for power will never love or treat their fellows as if they have worth – unless they have something to gain from that person. And therefore to seek power from the supposedly “Powerful” (which are but wordly individuals) is to mire oneself in the traps of politics and public opinion. All too quickly that power – so forcefully fought for – will suddenly vanish if one does not become, in reality, a Tyrant and instead expects the general goodwill or love of others.

To be a celebrity remains the desire of all too many, despite the fact that our “Stars” are in fact unhappy, pitiful, crippled things that we jeer and poke at. There is no quicker way to lose all sense of self and love for life than to become a part of the public spectacle, the terrible Fool who is ever-present.

To live a life of virtue is an act of courage – and it is not in accord with the laws of the land when they are unjust, nor with the notions of those around living around one. One is not allowed to pretend that shallow ideals will simply be enacted, nor is one allowed to pretend that one is holy or better than anyone else. To live this way is to serve oneself, above the notions of those around one, and to be subject to their derision.

There are no rewards for such a choice, except knowing that you abided by your code and refused to be drawn into systems which you object to. There is no good karma for this: you will suffer as others suffer, and face problems which others will not have to face. That is why so few manage to act this way; and that is why there is so little virtue in the world around us.

In the end, the easier choice is to follow along blindly, and to believe that Power, Privilege, Titles, Fame or Wealth will make you Happy. And perhaps it is possible to be happy in such a state. But it is not, nor has it even been, virtuous.

And for those who wish to deceive themselves on this matter, there is nothing but contempt.


Edit: I do not wish to sound as if I am proselytizing, because I am not. The above is an intentionally constructed extreme of the Cynical philosophy, not by any means something most – if anyone – actually manages to do. The path of cynical thought is to spend one's life disentangling the value judgments that society places on status symbols versus what is actually of worth, and allows for virtue. In this case the primary prizes are knowledge (which can be used any time, any where, and passed along) and self-knowledge (which is used to help disentangle ourselves at the places where are hard to deal with.

The biggest thing I wish to make clear is that acting on this line of thought may very well be highly praised in some eyes, many find it pointless. It neither satiates their personal desire (which some of us find pointless), nor does it give them any visible reward. This is why almost no one acts in such a fashion. Chasing wealth leads to a visible reward, but will always come at the cost of greed. Every time you engage in the process of working to facilitate and maintain wealth, you will run the risk of being greedy. So, while I do think it's a great thing that certain folks are getting their message out there about being a King, and serving your community by being prepared to part with the wealth you've worked for when the time is right – I feel compelled to note that this comes at a higher risk than, say, spurning wealth all together and focusing on other things. Which is not to say that spurning wealth and luxuries is by any means easy.

It is harder to do right by your fellow wo/man when you are consumed by greed, or envy (by far) than it is to simply give up what is necessary to maintain the state you wish.




Enough barking. I'm done for the night.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

(It is October, which means that I have to get all B-Movie and intentionally freak people the fuck out. Over-the-Top-Occultism, with a motherfucking vengeance.)

Peruvian Moche Funeral Mask
The Handfish


Yes, this fish scuttles across the ocean floor... On its hands.

I mean, it may very well be that the species we once were - when our atavistic predecessors crawled out of the sea and into the primeval world - was just like that fish.

And that in distant aeons, that species of fish will crawl upon the land and birth a new race, to inherit our long forgotten planet, long after humanity is ash and memory.

Do you think they dream yet, in the deeps? Or does that happen later?

***

[x2] Years ago, I had a friend who took some Salvia Divinorum in an attempt to figure out what, exactly, was wrong with his life. After some probing, he finally revealed that the drug had given him a vision, in which he met a spirit - looking somewhat, he stated, like an elf - who had told him that the problems he was having revolved around not having performed a Rite of Passage ritual.

Lacking any type of spiritual leader, he determined that he'd do what his ancestors had done - fish.

So, to make himself a man, he joined an Alaskan fishing vessel and spent the summer learning the fine art of modern fishing.

He admitted, upon his return, that for the most part he didn't feel more manly as a result of his self-made rite of passage, but that he did feel changed after a certain point. He told us that one night - it was getting late, and with the darkness gathered a quick storm, and they were worried about being stuck in such a sudden storm. So they were pulling, quite furiously, the nets up. As they pulled one of the last nets that they'd dropped, one of his fellow fishermen cried out. He'd been struck on the thigh by a poisonous spine from a fish. They removed, quickly the spine, and sent the fellow to sit down and rest until they reached shore. But they also probed the net for fish, and as they did the assailing species came to light.

It was, my friend said, a mottled gray color and spines covered the thing. He insisted that he could find no discernable place for eyes, and that it didn't even really look like a fish at all. As he gazed upon it, one of the older men came up and told him it was either a good omen, or a bad omen - but they wouldn't know which until they got back to the shore.

What is it, my friend asked? The older fisherman at first only shook his head, refusing to even name the thing. He'd seen things like it, he said, but he didn't think they were fish.

Well, my friend asked, what else would it be? It didn't look like a serpent, or any sort of jellyfish.

No, no, the older fishman told him, that thing aint even real. It's the spawn of the nightmares of children, which take root in the deep.

My friend said that he was seized by something, and that he immediately grabbed a near by knife and struck the thing, careful not to get hit by the spines. Then - when he was sure it was dead - he took three of the spines from and put them in a secret place. He told me that he was sure it was the fulfillment of his personal Rite of Passage, and that he'd slain the result of his childhood nightmares and became a man.

He said he'd kept the spines as a trophy. Like any sensible soul, I advised him to get rid of them. For all he knows they have some sort've crazy neurotoxin on them that will kill an elephant in ten minutes or something...

[EDIT]: Many thanks to Mr. King for the original link and his many praises to our Lord of Many Tentacles and Psyche Destroying Menace. (IA, IA--!)