DuQuette on Practicing Goetia “by the book.”

This month, I am giving private lessons in Goetic evocation.  Whenever I teach this (or, really, discuss it at any length with serious grimoire magicians), the question arises as to how strictly one should adhere to the methods given in the medieval grimoires.  Lon Milo DuQuette, in Aleister Crowley’s Illustrated Goetia, expresses my views exactly:

There exist today, Goetic magicians (both solitary practitioners and organized groups) who operate strictly ‘by the book.’ The Circle, the Triangle and all the diagrams are constructed exactly as illustrated in the Goetia. They recite (or most often read) the conjurations, constraints and curses exactly as written in the 1687 text. Ceremonies of some of these magicians are a thrill to behold and, without a doubt, the Art will forever be perpetuated in its classic form because of their dedicated labor.

It must be pointed out, however, that there is absolutely no necessity (nor particular advantage) to blindly conforming with the Conjuration scripts of the ancient texts. The Spirits are no more impressed if you say ‘thee’ and ‘thine’ than they are if you say ‘you’ and ‘yours.’ Aleister Crowley was aware of this and crafted several versions of his own conjurations. In fact, as we shall see later, in his own copy of the Goetia he simply hand copied the Second Key of the Enochian system. It is our opinion (and that of other Crowley scholars) that for personal Goetic conjurations Crowley most likely in his later years discarded the traditional conjurations and simply recited the First and Second Enochian Calls.

It is also our opinion that the most effective conjurations are of the magician’s own design. We encourage the reader, once the fundamentals of the system are thoroughly grasped, to create your own conjuration which, like your Temple, equipment, and procedures, is uniquely yours.

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A Card from the Halloween Oracle Today

I haven’t shared a card from my favorite oracle deck in some time.  This one doesn’t come up very often, but it’s interesting: The Veil.  Like all the cards in this deck, it has multiple layers of meaning.  On the surface, it indicates a time of year when there are “high spirits,” particularly Samhain or Beltaine.  But it can also signify “another world” in the sense of one’s personal, subjective world changing.  This might mean an initiatory shift in perspective or values.  It might also mean a literal change in surroundings—like, “It’s a different world out here in Tasmania.  I never thought I’d own a farm . . . ”  Ultimately, this card suggests the idea that the separations between things, worlds, selves, places, states are but veils through which we can see, if imperfectly.

Adam Blackthorne interviewing Damon Brand

ADAM: Are some people more talented at magick?

DAMON: Yes, but not because of anything to do with magickal ability; at least not at first. It’s more to do with your personality, the way you approach magick, how you feel when you first try. People often come to magick in a state of panic, desperate for one result and that result may be elusive. But if you sense that magick is real you just keep doing magick. If you like the idea of bicycle riding, you buy a bicycle and you learn to ride. Even if it takes some time to learn how to balance, how to avoid traffic, what to do when you get a puncture, how to recover if you fall off – you never stop bicycling. Treat magick like that. The results will come. And don’t forget the inner work. Change the slightest aspect of yourself that’s holding off your desired future, and results can just start cascading into your life.

You can read the rest of the interview here:

https://galleryofmagick.com/2018/02/20/an-interview-with-damon-brand/

I think it’s a good one.

Know That You are Loved

If something works for you, it’s yours.  Use it.

I’ve kept this blog going, in one form or another, since the early 1990s.  And two types of feedback have been consistent: people who want to connect and add to what they believe / know by discussing, agreeing, or disagreeing with something I’ve written, and people who want to tell me I’m an idiot, damned, deluded, or all three.

This morning, contemplating my 7 Practices, the first of which is to “live and let live,” I thought of these types of feedback and smiled.  The first (positive, constructive) type is most welcome.  I always enjoy fellowship with others, coming together to push the boundaries of the known.  But I also welcome the negative attacks because there is nothing that forces us to grow more than adversity.

Therefore, in my spiritual exercises today, I have sent blessings to all those who have interacted with me in my capacity as a spiritual writer and a sorcerer for hire, whether or not the interaction has been positive or negative:

May you remain on the path of wisdom.
May the light of truth shine upon you.
May spirits guide you on the way.
And may you know always that you are loved.

The sigil below contains the essence of this invocation.  The mantra used to activate it is “Ueykenvah,” pronounced OO-EE-KEN-VAH.  Those who gaze on this symbol and repeat its mantra until they feel it is right to stop, will carry such blessings for 24 hours.  This can be done daily as many times as desired and the effects will increase.

It is my wish that you attain self-realization.

S+A

An Evocation of and Dialogue with Camio, the 53rd Daemon of the Lesser Key of Solomon

Of this daemon, Mathers writes the following in his 1903 edition of the Lesser Key

CAMIO  or CAIM : The Fifty-third Spirit is Camio, or Caim. He is a Great President, and appeareth in the Form of the Bird called a Thrush at first, but afterwards he putteth on the Shape of a Man carrying in his Hand a Sharp Sword. He seemeth to answer in Burning Ashes, or in Coals of Fire. He is a Good Disputer. His Office is to give unto Men the Understanding of all Birds, Lowing of Bullocks, Barking of Dogs, and other Creatures; and also of the Voice of the Waters. He giveth True Answers of Things to Come. He was of the Order of Angels, but now ruleth over 30 Legions of Spirits Infernal.

Camio is an excellent spirit of divination, though his responses can be highly complex.  An evocation of the daemon was performed in the Camden district of London by me and a fellow magician acting as a scribe on 19 January 2018, commencing at 6:50 PM.  The purpose of the evocation was to learn about disturbing magical energies recently sensed in the city and also the nature of the impending super blood moon eclipse in Leo.  The following is an edited dialogue with the spirit, beginning after the opening ritual and associated mantras were performed to make contact.  Non-verbals appear in brackets.  Double-verbals are indicated with the “ / ” as words being heard simultaneously—something only possible when communicating with spirits.

Conversing with a spirit during an evocation can take place in many different ways—in the mind, partly in the mind and physically, or wholly physically.  A spirit will often (though not always or completely) draw on the language and vocabulary of the magician to build speech.  The information exchanged during an evocation is subjective and primarily of value to the summoner.  Nevertheless, I think it is important to sometimes share the less-private parts of spirit communications when they have not been done for a client.  I never reveal personal information about a client.  So it’s good to be able to share this with the readers of the blog as an example of this kind of spiritual work.

Keep in mind that spiritual evocation is one of the most difficult kinds of magic and so I am not divulging aspects of my art and methods publicly.  An important part of spiritual evocation that is often overlooked in the mania of immature practitioners seeking money, sex, status, and other forms of power is information.  Many of the daemons of the Goetia are excellent teachers—not only of the dark arts but also of a variety of mundane and obscure subjects.  A true practitioner of the art will summon them not just to get things but to learn the secrets of creation.  But remember also that information obtained from any spirit must be tested in the crucible of common sense and everyday objectivity.

Lastly, spirits will converse with strange syntax, can shift into languages the magicians do not know (which has happened to me in several evocations), and supplement their “speech” with images.  Most of the images conveyed by Camio during this evocation have not been included here.  But I think there is enough material here of interest to practicing or aspiring students of grimoire magic.

Q: What is the nature of the strange magical feelings we have had from shifting energetic currents?
A: [Regarding the “magical essence of the day and night”], there is nothing you can do to see / say anything different / to change this.  It is fated.

Q: But what is it?
A: It is the district of your desire.  It is what you get, ultimately.  [Your desire] grinds on / against the nature of things going their own way.  You feel strange because you are not flowing with [the flows of energy].  Rather, you are going your own way [as they are going theirs].  Let them be and do not worry that you are / feel strange.  Just settle back into yourself.

Q: How do I settle back into myself?
A: Begin and end with your own perceptions.  Instead of focusing on the contrast, focus on your own goals and inner [concerns].  Be self-contained.  For the alternative / rest is to waste yourself / throw yourself [your energy] away on that which doesn’t concern you.

Q: I understand.  But what is the nature of the way things are going right now, of this energetic moment in time?  Surely, understanding that is worthwhile.
A: The moon twists the waters of the earth.  [The] fire burns upwards to the sky. Within these [elemental] changes / transformations , spirit moves in currents over the earth [and through other planes].  There is no object to it other than the movement itself, just as the air moves over the plains or birds fall / dive from the sky.  It moves because it is fated to so move. And that is the unfolding of creation.

Q: Can I harness this movement as a way to achieve something?
A: Yes.  You can move with it.  But you have to then accept its conditions / rules / laws.  To move with something is to be part of it, to share with it.  Better to remain [within] in / of yourself.  You have enough power all on your own.

Q: You seem to be very familiar with me.  Are you always present?
A: I’m part of you, in your mind.  But [I am also] beyond you as a symbolic resonance that connects to the great machinery / mechanism of the universe.  I am eternal and necessary the way a color is or the image of a bird [seen through a high window] in flight.  And, as much as such things / images partake of the human mind and the human mind partakes of them, there is a fiery / glowing web of energy / power / meaning that surrounds, contains, and interpenetrates the human mind.  The human mind works within and through [this web] architectonically, holographically operating at the level of the whole as well as on that of each discrete part.  Thus, it is a symphony [within each cellular organism / life form].  Consequently, one does not do anything apart from the singularity of the whole.  Though it is [still] necessary to function within the fiction of cause and effect in order to isolate [holographic] aspects of the whole that correspond to various effects [/ manifestations]. 

Q: I think I understand.  But then why discuss movement and being self-contained if all is one?
A: Have I not said it?  Through isolation of perception, one shifts perspective / frame of reference and highlights aspects [of reality] that seem like results.  You have the right to [move with] the results that please you.  It is unwise to dwell in that which is unpleasing / miserable.

Q: So what does this mean about death?  If all is one, then what is death?
A: All is one.  But you are also an isolated result / aspect of the whole.  The whole is so vast that it encompasses all experience / movement in space and time.  Therefore, it encompasses you as a part, [yet] you are unique.  As am I. 

{At this point, the conversation turned to private matters of interest only to the practitioners.  These have been edited out.}

Q: Thank you for answering my questions.
A: You are surely welcome.

Ajahn Brahm talks about depression.

Ajahn (“teacher”) Brahm is a very smart man.  He’s a Thai Buddhist monk of English-Australian origins.  Don’t be put off by his down-to-earth manner and sense of humor.  He does not take himself too seriously and yet the things he has to say are incredibly useful.  Although I do not identify as a Buddhist, I think Buddhism has great insights into the human mind and what it means to find tranquility in life.  I recommend this video in particular, especially his famous “2 Bad Bricks in the Wall” story.