Monday, October 02, 2017

Omaha

'Omaha...

Somewhere in middle America
Get right to the heart of matters
It's the heart that matters more
I think you'd better turn your ticket in
And get your money right at the door"

- Counting Crows

Tonight my son, who is 15, is going to be teaching a class on the Magus Card of the Thoth Tarot deck, as a part of Thelema 101, a class he's presenting with Harper Feist. She'll be teaching the gematria of Love and Will in the Greek and doing some Isopsephy with people's names. It's going to be cool.

Listening to him prepare has got me thinking about the Magus card in general, and magicians in particular. I've been doing these classes on Thursdays that are about Hermetic basics, and the Magus card of the Thoth deck is totally us. All the symbols on it are the symbols of Magick. They are the tools of the Magician. Elemental, scriptorial, the things necessary to take a thought and make it manifest in the material world where it can be experienced. All the Hermetic Magick Stuff.

But guys, where is the Magician? Right there in the center. All the symbols that represent the elements circle around him. The Magus is the center of the universe, and all the things that manifest in it.

And I heard in my head Counting Crows singing about Omaha, somewhere in the middle of America, and the heart of the matter, and the heart that matters more.

The Magus is all air and Mercury, and it doesn't talk a lot about the heart. But before the Mind of Air, or the powers of Mercury can focus on making a thing manifest using the symbols of the spiritual elements of our daily existence, there has to be something you want. Something you desire.

And that's the heart. And it's the heart that matters more.

To me, the heart is the source that tells us what we want, and what we like, and what we love. It beats in the middle of the Magus. It's the source of the ideas that manifest. It's the instructor of the mind. It's the indicator of success and failure. It's what tells you whether you're doing it right. And whether you're fucking up.

Joseph Campbell talked about following your bliss to find enlightenment. In Thelema, the phrase goes "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love is the law, love under Will."

That love, our hearts are the only real guides we have in this path of magick that means anything. Gotta listen. Gotta be in the middle, balanced within the symbols we use as tools to make this world as we see fit.

And we can't be without listening to the Heart.

It's the heart that matters more.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Holy Crap. The Air Force Rocks.

Browsing the news feed, I found Lt. General Jay B. Silveria's recent response to racist comments written on the doors of black human beings in the Air Force Academy's prep school. Dude has some powerful things to say, and they are simple.

Watch it, it's great.



But guys, this is not just a speech. This is a sermon. And I find in his words the current, the power, the force that I tap into to accomplish my great work on the daily. He's talking about something that matters. He's talking about it in the context of his institution. He's speaking from moral outrage. He's speaking from the heart about how his community, his tribe is behaving. He's talking about doing better, being better, or gtfo.

And guys, this is what I think we're all about in this Rosicrucian Hermetic Great Work schtick. this planet, this shared space we all inhabit, this is our "institution." We are the leaders, the members, the followers that make up humanity. We are the people that create and experience this world. We are the owners of this existence. It's ours.

And we have a better idea. Those of us into this thing. Our idea is better, because it is compassionate. It is clear. It is fair. It is cool, for us, for our partners and allies, and for our children. This idea is that we are something divine, who have taken on the form of mortal humanity, and that each of us is worthy of respect, no matter where that person is at in their path, no matter how stupid they might be in this incarnation, no matter how bad their decisions might be, compassion, illumination, enlightenment itself is not about being good, feeling good, or doing good.

Dude nailed it. Right on the head.

If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Applied Hermetics for Masters

I've been running a weekly broadcast on Facebook from the local O.T.O. lodge called "Applied Hermetics." The goal of this effort isn't necessarily to teach magick, or even Hermetics. It's to talk about what we're all about in this Hermetic thing.

Illumination - Easy as 1-2-3
This Magick thing.

Now, there are a ton of people teaching the fundamental processes of magick these days. Plenty of folks will teach you advanced methods to get laid and paid. I think Jason Miller's courses are probably cutting edge, but many of my former students have branched out into the world of teaching magick, and they are doing a fine job of it.

And honestly, I'm sick of teaching magick. I have a limited spiel on the subject, really. Get into the four elements, get initiated into the Seven Spheres of the planets, take the plunge into the Eighth Sphere and learn to Hymn in Silence and become a Power. Make the freakin' Stone. Make it into medicine, and heal the world.

I mean, honestly, that's it. There's a few years worth of Work involved, but it could be condensed to only a couple, depending on how fucked up you are about things. Each initiation comes with a purification period that influences your mind, body, and experienced reality. It's a process. I hope you're doing it.

But when you've done it, then what? What are you? Who are you? Why are you here?

Most of the answers to these questions get answered as you do the Work. We know we're god-flesh-all-at-once, we know we're here to create and experience our realities. We know we're illuminated masters, curious Eyes looking at everything, and beaming our manifest wills into the raw potentiality that becomes our daily lives.

We get that part, it's not that hard, really. Like the image of the levitating yogi. Tools, techniques, and making it look good. That's about it, seriously. We just have better tools. And we make it look better.

But this kind of thing seems to be rather muddy when it gets applied. There's confusion, doubt, and a lack of personal discipline that results in thinking we're nuts, or other people thinking we're nuts.

I've learned first-hand that you can't just say you're Illuminated and you've made the Philosopher's Stone, and that you have all the answers that vex the average person without getting flack for it. Some people attack you for having the gumption to admit it publicly, because they haven't got it yet. Other people attack you for having the gumption to admit it publicly, because they have it, and they don't think you're supposed to go public.

Basically, both those groups of people can go fuck themselves, in my humble opinion.

I worked my ass off to get here, and so did you. I'll be fucked if I am going to sit by and pretend like I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. Fuck that shit. Life happens as I speak it into being, and I'm supposed to pretend like I'm a cube farmicle? We can do better. I can do better.

I just think it's useful to talk to other people about this stuff. Do some exercises and relaxation meditations. Rise through the spheres. Talk shop. You know, work together to get things going, in our own lives, in the spheres that we manage, and together for all the plebes and troglodytes who just haven't done the work yet.

It's arrogant, and assumes a lot. I get that, and I'm ok with that.

Join me on Thursday nights, we'll be going over Hermetics and the application thereof. Like pros. Not like noobs.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Offense and Defense in Post-Trump America

Wow, what a week, eh? I'd like to be on record as saying, "That was total bullshit, man."

So:

THAT WAS TOTAL BULLSHIT, MAN. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, AMERICA?

Ok. That's mostly out of my system, but I'll probably be saying that again. Often.

Already my friends and colleagues in the occult community are facing piles of steaming feces. One woman magician living in a very blue state, in a very liberal town, had this happen:
"Yesterday in broad daylight a total stranger, a man, came up to me and told me that he could do anything he wanted to me because "Donald Trump baby" and as I walked away said "What the hell lady, you aren't anything special."
That's bullshit.

Lesbians, gays, the trans community, women, and people of color and alternate religions are feeling at risk after this election. Powerless. As if the support they felt they had last week disappeared.

It has not.

We are still with you. Most of America supports gay marriage, most of America believes Black Lives Matter, most of America still thinks your gender and your sexual proclivities are your business. We still live in the country we lived in last week.

We just learned, as Harper put it, that Boss Hog lives next door, and we never realized it until he burned down the fence.

So what do we do?

REMEMBER: You have the rights and privileges to being treated decently that you had a week ago. The laws haven't changed. The courts haven't changed. The business policies haven't changed.

1) File charges. Assault, harrassment, whatever you can think of. Put it in writing, make it a federal case. Demonstrate that you aren't going to put up with that shit. Call the cops if someone threatens you. Press charges. Don't back down.

2) Pepper spray in self defense. Make them suffer. The cost of pepper spray did not increase as a result of the election yet. Go get some. Use it. Make a stink out of inappropriate interactions. Defend the rights you've achieved.

3) Magick:

Magick has always been the resort of the oppressed. The Goetia, arguably, is the non-freeman's access point to the education we were denied by society. It is the equalizer. It is the invocation of the invisible powers of creation and maintenance of the universe we experience to protect us and to provide the privilege society would deny us.

First thing: Next Tuesday at dawn, or in a Mars Hour, make yourself the "Sixth Pentacle of Mars." Draw the seal in red ink on some virgin parchment, and on the back put the First Pentacle of Mars, the one with Gheuriel, Ifiel, Barchafiel, and Madimiel on it. These are the four spirits (in my understanding of this stuff) that will actively work to achieve the intent of the Sixth Pentacle on your behalf. Light some incense and a candle in front of it, offer a shot of whiskey to it once a week, and tell them to continue your defense. If you want a metal engraved version of this, properly consecrated, I'll be making them next week.

Next: Start doing Jupiter rites. Conjure the spirits of Jupiter at least once a month on Thursdays, and request Health and Wealth, and the Favor of those in positions of authority over you. Pay attention to opportunities afterwards, and use your resources. People will like you, and they won't even stop to consider why they like you. They will listen, and your influence will just grow, naturally. You'll find yourself in a position of authority, you'll be respected, and you'll be able to help others.

Then: Keep doing the Great Work. Make yourself better. Talk to your allies. Get better tools. Develop a cadre of invisible friends that give you the tools to change the world as you see fit. Jupiter spirits for wealth and prosperity and the favor of kings, Martial spirits for defense and offense, Venus spirits for love, harmony, and the community of support you need. Mercury spirits to break through obstacles and bring you transactional forutnes, Solar spirits to purify yourself and the world you live in. Saturn spirits to build your foundation, guard your borders, and rain death down upon your enemies. Lunar spirits to look good doing it.

It's Work, it's a process, but stake out the ground we've claimed, and don't let them take it away. We'll have to be more vocal, more adamant, we'll have to write letters to representatives, protest, fight, and make a stink of things in the streets, in the office, at the coffee shops and fast food restaurants. We'll have to call the cops, call H.R., deal with the backlash against us, and keep on making strides towards liberty and justice. We'll have to drag all the scared disenfranchised mouth-breathers with us into the bright future kicking and screaming until they learn that equality and respect works out for them personally much better than their mental and financial impoverishment ever did.

Same as last week, but more apparent.

But remember:

We got this.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

On Scarlet Imprint and Disagreements between People

I really have to ask, what the hell is wrong with people?

I disagreed with some things one author at Scarlet Imprint said in one piece that was presented in one place without, when I read it, any other context.

Yesterday I get informed that people are taking that one thing and turning it into some kind of fucking crusade against the entire corpus of their work. People are bashing all the authors, all the books, everything they've done.

Look, grow the fuck up people. Nicholaj Frisvold did some amazing work, and he's getting panned? Seriously? What's next, Gordon White? Jake Stratton-Kent? Scarlet Imprint has been a vehicle for many of this generation's best writers to present information to the community that has changed our lives, and how we understand and work with magic itself. They are a huge resource, and the occult community owes Scarlet Imprint a huge debt for the positive impact they have made on our understanding of magic.

Yet some people have lost their entire sense of proportion.

There was a time when you could call someone on bullshit and not have the entire world come crashing down on people's head. You could have civil discourse. You could criticize one work without criticizing the people who wrote it, and having that get turned into the demonization of everyone they ever worked with.

But those days are apparently gone.

I don't like *the way* Peter Grey made his points in the Forging of the Body of the Witch presentation. I don't agree with some conclusions he reached in Lucifer Princeps, and I don't agree with some things he said in Red Goddess, either, I experience Babalon a lot differently.

That doesn't mean the man is shit, his work is shit, his partner is shit, the entirety of everything he's done is shit. Christ, we're writers, we make things to read, and like any craftsperson, some people will like our work, others won't.

But if you don't like something, don't like the thing. Don't try to ruin it for everyone else. In the original critique of the single piece I made, I closed the piece with respect to the people who get something out of that approach on purpose. People get to do what they want to with their bodies, their spiritual path, and their lives. That was entirely my problem with *some* of the things he was saying.

And when you read it with the "sister pieces" of his presentation written and presented by Alkistis Dimech, you realize that they aren't intentionally saying things to oppress women, their intent is the same as every other writing magician I know, to free people from the traps of their own minds so they can reclaim their personal power.

The worst thing I can say about Peter Grey is that in one piece that I've read, I found his choice of words and the implications of those words disturbing because he sounds like too many of the voices people hear growing up that tell them they aren't good enough, and they aren't good enough because of their bodies.

It's ok for me not to like what he wrote there, and it's ok for me to like other things he does, and it's important to be able to have civil discourse about things that you disagree with.

I offered Scarlet Imprint a chance to talk to me about all this stuff, and they said they had no interest in it. Then they accused me of deliberately misinterpreting things because I have previously expressed disagreements with Peter Grey. I think that's ridiculous, but I understand, when you see the shit people are doing on social media over this. They're angry and upset, and it's apparently all my fault, but whatever.

They suggested I needed to make a retraction and apologize, because of what other people have turned this into. I disagree. My critique of his presentation stands. There are probably holes in my critique that could be filled with a conversation, but that isn't going to happen.

But people need to back off on attacking Peter, Alkistis, and the authors of Scarlet Imprint. There is no need for a witch hunt and wild accusations. If you don't like his approach, don't use it. If you do like it, and it works for you, go for it.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Really.