Of Magick, Money, and More Effective Magick

September 29, 2007

Looking at my website stats and talking to readers, I’ve noticed that a good percentage of my readers are coming from spiritual systems that are supposed to lead to financial success (i.e. Law of Attraction, Tony Robbins, ect.). Oddly I’ve never been a part of one of these systems, and I was almost completely ignorant of this segment of the community prior to getting web traffic from it.

I’m not about to endorse any particular system, but from what I’ve seen most of the systems, when used correctly, should result in some success. It’s up in the air if any of these systems are really channeled works, but even if they are channeled works I haven’t seen anything new in any of these systems. The systems combine basic theories of self-help (like making a list of goals and then following through on them) with certain basic magickal laws of the universe (such as like attracting like). There may be some room for dispute with the accuracy of the magickal laws and there may exist exceptions to them, and at the same time the various systems seem to simplify the laws and ignore the greater complexities that may exist within them, but at the same time the laws these systems utilize are the most fundamental laws of magick that have been tried and tested and have pretty much become axioms of magickal work for eons. So long as you aren’t trying to do something weird with them, they should hold up. Combine these with the various self-help systems, systems that have been around for decades or longer and which have been well tested with proven results, and you’ll have a system that should work and the dedicated practitioner should achieve at least some of their material goals.

But is it a complete spiritual system? No. Financial success through magick isn’t one of my stronger areas, and I don’t often post on it. I’ve noticed that most of the people that have come from these sites aren’t coming to my blog looking for that kind of information though. They want to know about things like meditation, kabbalah, and tarot. These systems only give their practitioners a taste of spirituality. The systems themselves don’t even teach a true mastery of the system. For example, most of these systems claim to be acquired through a channeled being. And yet as far as I’ve seen, none of these systems focus on teaching the practitioner how to directly channel this being themselves, or how to channel their own separate being, either of which would result in a true mastery of the system as presented.

These systems don’t create adepts or even initiates, instead they create neophytes, people who are open and actively exploring spirituality without yet acquiring any real purpose or direction. But there are also good reasons for this. Firstly, most people don’t come into these systems looking for spirituality, they are typically looking for some sort of material success. However the utilization of spiritual methods to achieve these material goals results in certain practitioners being spiritually awakened to a degree and evolves their spiritual path. Secondly, most people come into these systems with spiritual and religious views. Although some minor spirituality can be included (such as channeling a spirit or using magickal laws) without offending most people, as the system becomes more spiritual less people will be willing to adopt it into their already established spiritual views.

It’s easy to look at the practitioners of these systems and liken them to the kinds of people who buy into get rich quick schemes. I’m almost certain that the get rich quick people do find their way into these systems, it’s the sort of thing they’d be attracted to. But I think that a lot of the people using these systems are hardworking and dedicated individuals who, on their own, have failed to achieve their goals, and these systems offer them a means to direct their hardwork and dedication in such a way to achieve success. It’s this later type that will most likely find spiritual success when they move beyond the system. Magick isn’t the easier path to doing something, it’s the more difficult path.

The universe is like a river. There are three ways to swim in a river. The first way is to just swim across the thing. It gets you from point a to point b based entirely on your abilities and strengths. This is how most people swim the river, and this is why it’s so difficult for most people to find success. You almost have to be born naturally talented to achieve even modest success in life using this route. Through hardwork, perseverance, and dedication you may eventually end up better off than most by doing things this way.

The second way to go is to swim downstream. This is the equivalent to moving with the universe. The universe moves in certain directions and it does so with great force. When you swim downstream the river can carry you far and at high speeds and it requires little effort from you to do so. One of the tricks to performing powerful magick and appearing stronger than you actually are is to move in the same direction as the universe. When you do that the universe carries you and lends you its power to be used towards your own ends.

The third option is to swim upstream. This is to move against the natural order of the universe and to have it constantly push against you to put you back in your proper place. This is the most difficult option. Swimming downstream gives the practitioner far more power than they’re naturally capable of, but a magickal path typically goes upstream more often than it goes downstream. Where the downstream swim is used to acquire large amounts of power, the upstream swim is used to acquire strength. The practitioner swimming upstream will become stronger and stronger until such a time as they’ve obtained a complete mastery over swimming upstream a particular river. If they fail to do so, the river will consume them. It’s this mastery over opposition that results in strength. This is how magick makes practitioners powerful. The road is largely an upstream swim, and strength becomes a necessity to survival, and those that can’t acquire that strength don’t survive. The magickal path isn’t the easier or safer path, it’s the difficult and risky one.


Of Groups and Rituals

September 24, 2007

 

Most people start magick groups as a means to gain instant authority within a segment of the community without having to earn this through acts and accomplishments. That isn’t everyone though. Some start groups because they feel they are bringing something that is either needed or will be appreciate into the community. Some are just lonely and want friends. And some are morally bankrupt and have questionable ulterior motives. Regardless of the motivation for group creation, that isn’t what this article deals with.

Most of the time these groups are at least partially created for some selfish motive, and even when they aren’t the group leaders rarely try to offer what their members want.

Most people don’t want social gatherings and meet-ups that go nowhere. They already have outlets for friends and loved ones to come into their lives. Groups that offer nothing but meet-ups tend to fall apart quickly, or they develop into a small but dedicated group of friends. Initially these meet-ups were meant as a means to get to know potential members before allowing them to be initiated, and to get to know outer circle members before allowing them into inner circle activities.

Although a lot of people may show some interest in classes, in practice this doesn’t usually work out too well. To begin with, most groups don’t have teachers qualified in the subject matter, and without qualified teachers classes won’t work. Even if a group does have good teachers, most of the students probably won’t be compatible with the teacher. And most students won’t have the dedication to attend classes even under the best circumstances.

Talking to various people at these groups it’s clear that what most people want are rituals. When a new member enters a group one of their first questions is usually if the group offers rituals. When new groups form the first members usually want to know if the group leader plans on having group rituals.

A ritual is something that everyone can benefit from if it’s done correctly. Generally unless a group has strict and discriminating entrance requirements, at least 90% of its membership is going to be unable to achieve results through magick on their own. It’s important to members of this segment of the group to find an outlet for rituals so that they can fully experience their spirituality. Some neophytes may be able to achieve results on their own, but they’re also interested in exploring their spirituality and group work can be a unique experience. Initiates meanwhile can learn from rituals while at the same time having access to more power than is normally available. Even adepts, who should be well versed and able to produce results through solitary work, come out ahead getting an entire group at their disposal to utilize.

But many groups do offer rituals, and usually this isn’t enough to make the group attractive to new members. This is because most groups don’t do rituals correctly, and if a ritual isn’t being performed correctly than it has little value to most people. What follows are guidelines to performing a working group ritual. Sadly most of these should be common sense to an experienced practitioner, yet most groups will not employ these methods.

1. A ritual needs purpose – This should be a cardinal rule of any ritual, ever. A ritual is an extension of spellwork, and like spellwork it should have a purpose and work towards some end result. Most of the rituals being done by various groups have no actual purpose. Observance of a holy day is not justification for a ritual, although it would be justification for a party. Looking back at pre-Christian religions, rituals performed on holy days did have a purpose, usually something tied to that day. Likewise raising energy is not a good justification for a ritual. In a good ritual raising energy is a means to achieving some greater end, not the end itself.

With spellwork, which is typically done in solitary practice or with, at most, a handful of close practitioners, the ends are usually targeted towards the individual. With ritual work however the ends, with some few exceptions, need to benefit the entire group. When determining what purpose a ritual should work towards think about things that would generally be considered positive to most people. Examples include prosperity, good luck, fertility, and group glamors to make all members more attractive. Another good example of a ritual is to try to bring specific members or the entire group into another state of consciousness. This can mean trying to contact a divine being, channeling, mediumship, or astral projecting. There are also initiation type rituals which are meant to bring members of the group closer together through ritual, but these should be reserved for member only rituals within closed groups.

Do stay away from grandiose world accomplishments. Even a ritual composed of several hundred members isn’t going to be enough to end world hunger or war.

2. Find a private place – Rituals need to be held in private. Participants need to feel that they are safe and that they can be open with what they do. If a person feels nervous or worse humiliated it will be reflected in the results of the ritual. Meanwhile certain ritual practices, like performing skyclad and drug use (even alcohol) are forbidden in many places. Indoor rituals should be held in someone’s home, in a temple, in a private area of a magick store (ideally after closing), or in a rented space. Outdoor rituals should be held in a private backyard, secluded private property, or if on a campground far away from other campers. Public places really aren’t appropriate for holding rituals.

3. Pay attention to the day and time – Certain days hold more power to do certain things, and sometimes rituals are written to take advantage of these days. Unfortunately these days are specific and related to certain astrological phenomena, and in order to utilize them correctly the ritual needs to be performed on that day. You can’t move it to next Saturday because more people will show that day.

If your ritual begins by praising Luna or the moon, you shouldn’t be performing that ritual prior to sunset.

Planetary days and hours meanwhile are a bit iffy. It’s not a necessity that they be followed, but it helps, and not following them can result in a major hindrance. Planetary days and hours are however a whole subject unto themselves and something that needs to be looked at more in depth in a later post.

4. Know your ritual – As a ritual leader you should both know and understand the ritual completely before attempting to do it. All of your principle participants should know the ritual completely. All participants should at least know their part and what is expected of them long before performing the ritual. Everyone needs to know what they’re doing and what their intent is, and everyone needs to be on the same page. No one should be reading lines or following directions during the actual ritual.

5. Know your players and utilize them accordingly – You need to know who will be attending your ritual and what they’re capable of. The majority of the group will be their mainly to raise energy. A good ritual may be able to manipulate the energy raised or direct it to some degree. For most this is all they will be able to do, and they shouldn’t be given any greater task.

It’s the role of the stronger members to manipulate the energy, direct it, and utilize it towards the end goals of the group. They will also be responsible for evocations, protections, channeling, using themselves as conduits, and whatever other greater magical needs are necessary.

To this end you need to know what everyone is capable of. Ideally the ritual should be designed to fit the members you have and their individual strengths. You don’t want to give someone a task that they can’t possibly fulfill. If the ritual is to work with an ill-placed member then one of the other members of the ritual will have to perform that job along with their own, which will split their resources and, depending on the strength of that practitioner, may lessen the impact of the spell.

6. Keep it short – Every effort should be made to keep the actual ritual (not the prep time) as short as possible. Fifteen minutes or less is always best, although with certain types of rituals this isn’t always possible. Longer rituals tend to result in participants becoming bored and losing focus, lessening the over all impact of the ritual. At the same time raising energy and manipulating it (in other words performing magick) can be exhausting and may be difficult to sustain for extended periods of time. The ritual should seek to reach its objective as quickly as possible while all participants are still in their prime.

7. The event can be longer however – Just because the ritual is short doesn’t mean everyone has to go home right after. In fact this is probably a bad idea. People will most likely be charged and in somewhat altered states after a ritual. They should be allowed some time to cool down and also allowed access to other participants who can understand how they feel. Plan time for a general meetup post-ritual, or even a party with food and drinks.

8. Make the ritual available ahead of time – This goes along with number four. Your participants need to know the ritual and what is expected of them before hand, and they should be given all the prep time they need to get ready, which means giving them a copy of the ritual and an explanation of what’s intended to happen well in advance. At the same time participants are lending their energy and ability to the ritual, and they need to be sure that the ritual is ethically sound according to their moral and spiritual beliefs and that their deities or entities they work with aren’t being profaned by the ritual itself.

9. Disclose any objectionable material – If the ritual involves nudity, sexual contact, blood magick, drug use, evocation of deities, evocation of other entities, or anything else that may be considered objectionable or is illegal this needs to be disclosed to those planning on attending prior to arriving at the ritual.

10. Speak normally – Words have a lot of power to direct intent. However it’s the intent that matters, not what’s actually said. It doesn’t matter if you speak in old English, Latin, Egyptian, or Hebrew. And even if it did hold power, most pagans can’t speak old English or middle English anyways. They sound like a cross between Yoda and a renfair knight, and it hurts my literary senses to see the language mangled so. It is important that you know what you’re saying in ritual, and that the words flow naturally from you. You don’t want to be reading script of memorized words, you want the ideas to naturally flow from your mind into the symbolism of language as you understand it. You should feel the idea behind the words flow through you, and hopefully the other participants should understand and feel the idea too. The best way to do this is to speak in your normal dialect.

11. Don’t just say it, do it
– When you say, for instance, that you want to bring forth the element of air in a ritual, it isn’t enough to just say you want to do this. You have to actually pull that element through you, and then direct it towards something. Some things can be done symbolically, but a lot of stuff you have to have some psionic ability in order to do it. Some ritual leaders don’t seem to understand this.

12. No one should break ritual – To attend the ritual is to agree to perform the ritual as it should be performed. Some minor improvisations may occur, such as a person adlibbing certain lines while keeping with the meaning and intent of the original lines, or one member covering for another member who for whatever reason, in the midst of the ritual, could not complete their given task. But for the most part the ritual should not be altered by any participant in any major way (including changing the deities or entities utilized). The offending member is attacking all participants and attempting to manipulate them beyond their will. If any major alteration occurs during the ritual the ritual should be ended as soon as possible (with all proper respects given to anything summoned forth and all raised energy properly dealt with) and the offending member should be dealt with accordingly. A ritual should never be allowed to continue after it has been altered.

13. Observers are a nuisance – This is kind of a touchy subject. For many responsible practitioners, they’d like to see a ritual performed by a group before they participate themselves. But at the same time, you don’t want people who are just watching and not participating. They add nothing, and they tend to distract participants from the ritual itself. By giving out detailed information about the ritual to all participants beforehand there is less of a need for a potential participant to watch a ritual first. If you still have some who are adamant about first observing a ritual you should plan easier specifically designed rituals for observance.

14. Protect your group – Rituals are easy prey for a lot of nasty things. People show up to rituals with the intention of vampirically draining participants, stealing the energy raised by the group, and silently manipulating the ritual to their own ends. These people need to be immediately identified, dealt with, and removed from the current ritual and banned from all future functions. This job falls mainly on the ritual leader, but stronger participants should also do their best to identify and remove these people, and the ritual leader should encourage members to report whatever they have been able to identify. This is essential to both effectively performing rituals and to protecting your participants.


Let Us Bring Some Evil Into This World (A Call to End Inaction)

September 10, 2007

Within the realm of my blog, my book, when I speak with people, when I write people through email, I’ve been rather free about the magickal information I give out. I am very much aware of the danger this information can pose to the practitioner if it’s put to use. I’ve been hurt badly in the past, and I’m no doubt at least partly responsible for injuries that have occurred to others. Still, I continue, and will continue, as I have been, offering what information I have to anyone who truly wants to learn.

There is a disgusting trend that has emerged where information is being hidden away in fear that it may be used in such a way that the practitioner is hurt. Books are being burned or otherwise taken off the market, stores refuse to carry certain titles and authors, people are being told not to read certain works because of the ideas discussed within them, and some are asking, or even demanding, that people stop teaching spellwork, astral projection, channeling, mediumship, and the like to just anyone. Meanwhile practitioners are being urged not to practice. They are being told that they aren’t strong enough or learned enough yet to protect themselves if they chose to utilize magick. In some instances practitioners are being urged to give up magick completely as it’s far too dangerous to ever be used and instead to just be a part of a neopagan religion.

Change is upon us. If you can tap the energy of this place, the vast ocean of energy that exists around us, and fall into it, and follow it a bit into the future you’ll notice that it starts to twist and turn, that it’s twisting and turning right now. We’re heading towards an apocalypse of sort, this world is going through a great change. I can feel it, my teacher felt it, my peers feel it, and almost a hundred years ago Allister Crowley felt it. This isn’t something new.

A lot of people like to talk about this change. I’ve become certain that most can’t feel it, they’re just repeating what they’ve heard from others. They have no understanding of it. A common belief is that, once this change occurs, the veils will break and we’ll all be blessed with magickal and psychic powers. Another belief is that this effect is generational, we won’t gain these powers, but our children or grandchildren or whenever this happens will be born with it.

The truth is this change isn’t something that’s going to happen. It’s happening right now, and it’s been happening for some time. Those waiting to just wake up with their magick powers one day should give up now. It isn’t happening. No new power is coming into this world. The power has always been there, and it will always be there. Having power is a matter of grasping that power which has always been there to be grasped. What has changed is an increase in opportunity.

In the 19th century Levi’s works were only available to those who could speak French. In the early 20th century translations started appearing, but these translations along with their French counterparts were still difficult to find and treasured among those who owned them. By the 1970s increased interest in the metaphysical and cheaper printing techniques meant that Levi’s works were now more widely available, assuming you knew who he was and knew of a place that sold good occult books or a good mail order company. Today Levi’s works can be found at the local bookstore, they can easily be downloaded online, and even if you don’t know who he is typing magick into a search engine along with a week studying online should lead you to him.

Nearly all of the most famous magickal and spiritual works are available online. Every year more works are translated and better translations appear (compare Mather’s Sepher Yetzirah to Kaplan’s superior translation). Finding the exact book you want isn’t much harder than typing the name into an Amazon or Ebay search, or asking your local bookstore to order it. Meanwhile inventions like the Internet, HTML, and cheaper and more efficient POD techniques make publishing and distributing ideas, techniques, theories, and teachings easier.

Right now it is easier for a neophyte to find the information they need to begin solitary practice or work towards initiation than it has been in thousands of years. It is taking less and less work to find the necessary information, and more and more the information is simply presenting itself to people, no work required. And the situation is only going to get better, or worse depending on your perspective of it. No one is going to be gifted with magickal powers. Rather we’re being gifted with a better opportunity to acquire those powers.

This world is in the process of shifting. It’s moving towards some unforeseeable end, and currently it’s ripe to be influenced. I’ve seen factions of otherworldly beings forming. They’re parties that have an interest in where this world is heading and the final outcome of these events. They will take what they can by influence and they will take what they can by force. Wars will be fought between these powers that be, actually the battles have already started, and in the end their strength will determine the fate of this world.

Humanity has been castrated and robbed of the right to determine its own destiny. They’ve taken from us our gods and angels and heroes and villains and demons and old ones, the very things that were meant to show us what we could aspire to become.

And now the world shifts, and the power long ago taken from us is offered to us again. Some believe that we’re destroying this world, that we are a parasite to it, and that it seeks to expel us. This world clings to us and I hear it pleading with us to realize our potential and again become masters of our destiny and determine this world’s fate.

We are among the elite, and we are growing. We are those that have chosen not to cower behind a higher force, but rather to throw ourselves into the universe allowing our strength, our talent, our merits, and our character to lead us to our salvation, or our damnation. We are supposed to be the strong and the powerful who walk the path to enlightenment unhindered by fear, not the cautiously weak who chose ignorance out of fear.

A time will come when these battles come near to an end, and they will have taken what can be taken by influence, and they will have taken what can be taken by force, and the victor will determine what fate befalls all of humanity, and the only hope humanity will have to determine its own fate will be to prove themselves stronger and uninfluenced and take back by force what is rightfully theres.

Inside each of us is the potential to achieve power beyond that of even the gods. Those incarnate here have a greater right to determine the fate of this world than any other entity, and with that right comes the power to claim and defend it if we chose to.

This world does not need caution. It does not need fear. This world needs strength, and it needs practitioners that are practicing and growing in power so that they may face what is yet to come against them.

Power can only be achieved through experience. Risk is an essential element of progress. Read books. Read everything. Don’t be swayed from a particular author because they have been labeled as evil or dangerous. Look at their ideas and determine for yourself their validity. And cast spells, astral project, summon things, channel, in other words practice magick. Get into fights and mix it up with entities. Yes, all of this is dangerous. Do it anyways. Don’t wait to do things because you doubt your abilities. Your abilities will only grow through experience, and doing things now is the only way to grow your abilities. Time spent waiting for your abilities to develop from an armchair will only be time wasted.

We need to walk our paths fearlessly. We need to allow ourselves to grow spiritually. We need to have confidence in our abilities and faith not in higher powers but in our own power to protect ourselves and find salvation.

When we see ourselves as weak, we become mastered by our own limitation. When we believe that we our strong, strength tends to manifest within us.

The true master teaches empowerment, not subjugation. The true master preaches of the strength of his disciples, not their weaknesses. The true master sees himself not as having ascended to a point above others, but of having reached a higher point that others will hopefully exceed.


A Word About Elders

September 9, 2007

If you have been elected as an elder, if you have failed to be elected an elder, if you have ever voted for an elder, if you are or have an elder who will hold the position of elder for a predetermined amount of time, you are a dumb-ass.

An elder isn’t an elected position. It isn’t a position that requires that kind of validation. And more so, idiots ruin democracy for everyone. This is why the Catholic church doesn’t allow its followers to elect a pope.

A position of elder is acquired through the dual acquisition of power and experience. When a person is powerful and they have gained enough experience they ascend into becoming an elder. This is not something that can be bestowed through appointment, winning an election, or any other such silliness.

However just because someone is an elder doesn’t mean that they’re your elder. In order for a person to be your elder they do need validation, from you. Your spiritual elders are the people you have validated through respecting as your spiritual elders. No one can force their eldership upon you, regardless of titles, past validations, or election results. You have unlimited power to make someone your elder, or not.

Some people do confuse elders with the elderly. Simply because someone is old doesn’t mean that they are an elder. Many people in the community are coming in after hitting a mid-life crisis, which means there are a lot of forty, fifty, and even sixty-somethings coming in as pure neophytes, who after a year or so of studying try to claim an instant eldership.

Meanwhile it should be noted the two criteria that need to be met, power and experience. The older an individual the more likely that they meet the second criteria of experience, but this criteria can possibly, albeit not as commonly, be met within a very short amount of time resulting in an elder coming into being at a very young age. The converse is also true, and a bit more common, some people learn and move spiritually at a turtle’s pace, meaning they can spend decades on their spiritual path and still not be an adept, let alone and elder. At the same time a person may come into their spiritual path at a very young or old age, once again creating a major variance in the ages of an elder.

And age doesn’t take into account the first criteria at all, that a person needs power in order to be an elder. Experience begets power. Power allows for more and greater experiences. Only one who has attained and mastered power can be put into a position to guide others to attain and master power.

Moving past criteria we come to a more pressing question, what is an elder, and what do they do? How do they differ from a group leader or spiritual teacher?

Some view an elder as being a spiritual master who has since retired from their spirituality and now exists to move and guide other masters along their path. However this situation is an impossibility. No true spiritual master can retire from their spirituality. They are intimately aware of their spiritual path, and they are at least aware enough to realize that it is an ongoing process that will last beyond even this lifetime, and that as long as they walk this earth they are also walking their spiritual path.

An elder is a person who has achieved beyond the state of an adept, and as such can now work to aid and direct the community as a whole.

How does this differ from a group leader? Although an elder may be active within the community and may direct and lead the community, it is not their place to lead the group. Group leaders are ultimately tied into group politics and inter-group politics within the community, and as such have a major bias in dealing with spiritual issues. Further constraints are placed upon their time and energies as they have to deal with the more mundane aspects of running a spiritual group (acquiring a meeting place, scheduling events, dealing with disruptive members, ect.). And lastly, leadership of a group does not denote power or experience. As such group leadership may be gained through appointment or election.

Divorced of these concerns and bias, an elder is free to focus their energies on directing and moving the community where it should go unconstrained by the necessity to grow, conserve, or destroy any particular group, and without regard for endangering the respect or acknowledgement they receive from fellow practitioners.

How does an elder differ from a teacher? An elder may also be a teacher, but it isn’t required that a teacher be an elder, and the two roles are separate and distinctive. A teacher has a very intimate relationship with their student, and it is their job to spiritually train and guide the student. A student-teacher relationship requires a strong compatibility between the student and teacher. Each of us is different, and each of us has a different spiritual path to walk. This means that both the teacher and the guidance they give need to be specifically molded to the needs of the student. The teacher-student relationship should be viewed as more of a mentorship where the teacher focuses on the needs of a single student and aids that student to achieve a higher degree of enlightenment rather than a modern student-teacher relationship where a teacher gives a one size fits all curriculum to a large group of students.

The role of the elder is exactly the opposite of that of a teacher. If an elder is active in the community, their guidance is broad with consideration of the whole of the community. Although they aren’t beyond giving out specific advise to an individual, in their role as elder they fail to achieve the intimate connection necessary for their teachings to be specifically focused on the attainment of enlightenment for a single individual. Rather they’re teachings are meant to move the entirety of the community into a higher a higher state of attainment.

But none of this is meant to imply that an elder is somehow indebted to or required to actively participate in the community. And elder has every right to also turn his back on the community and refuse to help or aid it or move it in any direction. This is a right inherent to freewill and the freedoms we are all granted.