This weekend was busy. The sink upstairs had the pinhole leak go from a small drip when you run both taps to spraying water all over. To add insult to injury, the trap was rusted out and I broke off the collar which supports the trap because of the rust. The new trap uses compression fittings and putty to hold it on, after I cut the old trap off. That really set the tone for the weekend. There’s design philosophy here – good people can engineer, great people can repair.

I’ve been interested in joining the OTO just to see what it’s about. I’ve been stalking them online and the publications are generally thought provoking even if you can’t jive with what they’re saying. I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago and the question was, “Why did you have children? What’s the reward?” Well, I had children because I enjoy bareback sex, and there’s consequences! What’s the reward is a lot harder to quantify and I had to meditate on the topic for a minute.

The reward (and challenge) to children is they force you to take a long hard look at your life and moral fabric. There’s plenty of children bred out of lust and they’re bred for welfare paychecks and similar ignoble means and ends. It’s sad, really, and it speaks volumes towards the moral quality of the parent. So what happens when we’re actually interested in raising kids? One ends up thinking about the nature of war and poverty in addition to the joys of untempered discovery and inquisition. What do we tell our children of the problems in Africa and the Middle East? How do we raise children to be tolerant but also stand up for themselves? What is the definition of “polite” when it comes to inquiring about why someone might be handicapped or transgendered? You can tell more about the person under the facade they put forth by their children then thousands of blog posts from them on the web. We’ve confounded the problem with soft identity. Do we really know the people that we meet, on the street, each day?

That being said in order to “beta test” the process I’ve decided that finding a place to have moral discussion which isn’t the standard facebook bumper sticker braindead crap was to throw myself headlong into mixing up my real life circles of friends and joining a place people do have discussions about kids. The irony isn’t lost on me – Crowley thought the average voter was a moron and the lodges have enough progressive morality that gays are overrepresented in the population. The gay population doesn’t bother me but it has the same problem other churches have where either gays are under-represented or over-represented. A gay couple with a kid is a rare bird.

I found the Xanadu Oasis first, OTO bodies are camps, oasises, or lodges. We met at Craft Ale House and had a few beers. What was supposed to be a half hour meeting turned into a two hour discussion, Darryl is a nice guy and came along with a woman who’s name I didn’t catch. She didn’t speak too too much. They typically operate out of people’s houses and host, so it’s a bit like a coffeehouse without the coffee. The big plus for me is that it’s a smaller group and Darryl is an approachable guy who’s knowledgeable to boot. He’s got degrees in psychology and nursing so he’s educated and well spoken. I will probably try to hang out with these guys more.

In contrast I also managed to get the guys at Thelesis to mail me back. The problem with Thelesis is the building isn’t accessible and mostly a jumble of rooms. Howard, the guy in charge, can’t seem to delegate and while the people attending the meeting were friendly and outgoing, trying to get a foot in the door (literally) was an effort in trying to contact them and then trying to wring a response out. If you’re new to the whole thing, little time is spent going over the motions of the mass and I got all of 10 seconds to try to incorporate it. Frankly, it’s not enough. To further add insult to injury someone apparently can’t let things just flow and has to conduct it again this coming weekend. Two in a month? Someone apparently is butthurt about how things went and it’s an unpleasant current. It seems like it runs well enough under the hood so I will probably be back but it’s not newbie friendly. More on the point I suspect at some point this attitude will breed contempt and it’s a bit like sitting on the grenade.

So finally the crux of the topic – I really don’t think Crowley is the be all and end all of these things and I tend to worry people take it way too seriously. The kabalah is completely neglected in favor of chakras, for instance. If you’re saying “Wait, these don’t line up nicely”, you’re correct and I think it’s to the detriment of the practice. However, what is anyone to do? Putting “golden dawn” into google maps results in a bunch of diners rather than lodges and I think the GD is probably dead in the united states (blog readers – prove me wrong). So, I’ll take what I can get for my particular worldview at this time and we’ll see where it goes from there.

Magic, Magick, Magi and Me

I’ve been taking notes on what I like and don’t like out of Michael Kraigs Modern Magick while at the same time reading Aaron Leich’s Secrets of Magical Grimoires. Aaron is an anthropologist and Michael Kraig speaks 10 different classical languages. Between the two of them it’s my favorite topics times 10. It’s a wonderful mix of psychology, classical thinking, mysticism and naval gazing. There’s literally enough material here to smoke all the cigars in hell and still have stuff to talk about.

I had written up the daily ritual (which I frankly get into and out of depending on how I feel) and mailed it out to a group of friends interested in this topic.

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram & Kabbalistic Cross

Touch forehead – Ah-tah
Point down – Mahl-Koot
Right Shoulder – Vih-Gboo-Rah
Left Shoulder – Vih-Gdoo-lah
Fold Hands – Lih-oh-lahm Ah-men

LBRP – this represents the wheel of the universe:
Face East – Pentagram – Yuh-Heh-Vavh-Heh
South – Pentagram – Ah-doh-nye
West – Pentagram – Eh-hah-yeh
North – Pentagram – Ah-Glah
Carry line into the east, completing the circle.

Before Me: Rah-fay-el (God Heals)
Behind me: Gahb-Ray-El (Gods Stregnth)
Right hand: Mih-chai-el (Who is like God)
Left Hand: Ohr-Ree-El (God’s like or emination)
About me flames the pentagram, within the six rayed star
(About me flames the perfection of the elements, within me shines the light of the true god)


Middle Pillar
Eh-heh-yah and see the light in the heavens (or crown)
Yud-heh-vahv-heh el-oh-heem – Neck
Yud-heh-vahv-heh el-oh-ah v’dah-aht – chest
Shah-dai El Chai – Genitals
Ah-doh-nye Ha-ahr-etz – feet
(middle piller riff – breathe while sending energy up and down one side of your body, front, back, right, left, wrapping around).

KC, LBRP to close.

This of course generated more confusion than answers and I was asked to provide commentary. Where do we start? Commentary on this sort of thing is entirely personal and even things like godnames are hotly debated from blasphemy to objections on framework and entomology alone.  The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Literally. If it speaks to you and it works, then use it. To wit, you can’t move mountains, you can stack the die. Thusly, the commentary follows with the omission of the adressees:

We recently made prosperity candles. Someone was offered a full time position out of the blue. I got a six figure offer from Comcast which bought me out of ebay. Mostly this is commentary on the difference between Wiccian rituals and how I prefer to do things. This does not mean one way is right and the other way is wrong. The proper way to execute this is a hack – just do it.
Step zero – YOU HAVE SOMETHING THAT WORKS. Wicca occupies low magic territory and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, I don’t feel like it’s the best screwdriver in the threads-of-fate drawer, so we make new screwdrivers as they suit us.  I feel like the fundamentals of wicca are flat out wrong – “To the harm of none” simply refuses to acknowledge the zero sum universe. You got that full time position because someone else didn’t, etc.

Alright so the question is “WTF is the daily ritual?” It’s a really long answer.

The problem I have with the wiccian version is you ask any of them the important questions and they have no idea. The important questions are “What is eko eko azarak?” and “who are the guardians of the quarters?” Basically questions about why they’re saying what they are saying – and they don’t know.
If you read The Black Arts, eko eko azarak is flat out bullshit Gerald Gardener came up with:
Sorcery has a tradition of “Barbarous names”. They’re traditionally riffs on godnames. So in most traditional magic which has the angelic name which rules the hour of the day, (http://www.renaissanceastrology.com/planetaryhoursarticle.html) and instead of mars, jupiter, etc you would have either the names of angels of the traditional greek/roman gods. Dee got the brilliant idea to mess around with the form of the name where an angel rules the day, but a variation of the angel name rules the hour (http://www.john007dee.com/1250tutor.html – ANGELORUM BONORUM 49). This is not entirely unheard of in grimiore magic and it serves two purposes – when should you do stuff and if you know which spirit you want to interact with you can chant the names until you’re in the appropriate mental state of focus and intent…
So if you have no idea who you’re addressing with eko eko, you have no idea who rules what where for the quarters. So as not to spoil the ritual for you, it’s still all about intent. If you don’t feel strongly about it, it doesn’t matter.
All of this sounds fucking gay, the bottom line is that we have a microscope which determines how much mystical crap we want to pack into the ritual. It’s not always useful to use an electron microscope to look for tadpoles, is the idea. Traditional heathenry only concerned itself with the phase of the moon. Wicca adds full and dark moons to that. Solomonic magic has the ruler of the day. Renascence magic adds the angel of the hour. If you’re saying “WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS” the answer is “yes”. The candle is green. Money is green. Basil is green. We made the candles on a day when Jupiter was in a waxing position (SEE WHAT I DID THAR?). The moon was waxing…
What does this have ANYTHING to do with the reworked daily ritual? I wanted to come up with something extensible. Basically, idling the car in the driveway. You use the machines of magic without doing magic. Since magic is all about intent, WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING? The idea is to do stuff and observe how we feel, then use the framework for spells, and use the observation about how we feel to validate the operation of the spell.
The reading of the ritual is headers in italics, actions in font, names (or vibrations) in bold. To vibrate a name, you “sing” it per syllable and it’s written phonetically. To do it “correctly” it should feel like your head or heart is ringing. Pick a name and just say it while breathing out, or sing it, until you find a tone and breathing which seems to jive with you.
The Kabbalistic Cross is therefor what we replace eko eko with. It’s the gateway to enter the mystical state and tell our brains ITS TIME FOR MAGIC. (If anyone wants to know, it’s Matthew 6:13 in Hebrew. Why Matthew 6:13? A better question is “Why did Jesus pray?”).
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is stolen out and out from Crowley (http://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib6.html). It does two things – it prepares the space as a “Clean” space and it serves to link us to the divine for part 1. The divine is the sum of the universe. If we subscribe to the idea of the Ain Soph, the unknowable god, the universe was created by his word and therefor we cannot understand him with names or concepts in this universe. To call the names of god in each corner is to acknowledge the sum of creation as the entire universe. The names: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism The circle itself represents the zodiac and therefor you’re literally including or excluding forces from your universe when you stand in the circle.
Don’t like it? The guys over at http://www.myoccultcircle.com/ are just sweeping the floor and breathing with each sweep of the broom. So long as the intent is “clean”, that’s about all that’s required.
So then why the names of the angels? In short because the universe defines how we relate to god, the angels are how the universe relates to us. The traditional role of angels is to act as lawyers in the court of god, or the traditional role of spirits is to effect change in forces just out of your control. You could substitute names of familiar spirits, if you wanted, or names of different gods. Frankly this is the part of the ritual I am least comfortable with, and it’s a holdover of the idea that we can’t know god, but we have the authority to command spirits or fates, so what gives us the authority?
Finally the kabbalistic cross again – we’re separating the cleaning from the operation itself.
The middle pillar some people will probably recognize, it’s walking the chakras from yoga. It’s perfectly serviceable as either a prelude to magic or simply filling in the space the heart of the ritual would occupy. Me being an idiot lost where this came from and therefor what the hebrew expands to.
From there, LBRP to close and go.