Ishtar, Botis, the Graveyard

It has been an interesting week to say the least.  I will detail the issue of a recent psychic attack in a subsequent post.  For now, I want to talk about more positive things by way of a general update in my activities.

  • New Ishtar Power: I have been performing the Ishtar Mantra, the Ishtar pentagram ritual, and the invocations of the deities of the system using the Star of Ishtar on a nightly basis.  Moreover, I have integrated the “psychic center” clearing chants into my daily chakra cleanse.  The energy balancing rituals of the system have been working well and I have learned a great deal, especially during the Ishtar Mantra.  Like most Parker publications, Manning’s system is packaged in a corny 1970’s pop-occult way, but it is a powerful initiatory process for those who can see through the marketing.  I suppose this is good because it discourages dilettantes who lack nice judgment.  In any case, the power is there.  Someone needs to buy the rights to this text and reissue it.
  • NAP: the system seems to be working incredibly well since I began the Ishtar work.  I suspect that there is a harmonious kind of synergy between them and the Mystic Grimoire that has a lot to do with the magical current of the 1970s—a time when initiatory magical systems had grown from the faltering drug-fueled exuberance of the 1960s into a formidable industry.  While there are obvious drawbacks to this (pop-occultism, an overall decline in quality, dilettantism), the good thing is that such an industry could give people like Gray-Cobb and Manning a way to make a living doing what they did best—teaching and writing about magic.  Sure, we must remain skeptical and everyone thinks these people are charlatans at first.  But the best survive the test of time.  There are always dedicated students out there who have heard about these systems and who are willing to hunt around for out-of-print copies so that they can actually begin the work with sincerity.  Those people are the true heirs of the occult renaissance of the 70s.
  • Botis: ever since my earlier experience in the graveyard, I’ve been meaning to evoke Botis, but one thing or another has gotten in the way.  I may have to resort to using correspondences and the planetary hours (which I don’t normally use for evocations to astral appearance).  I feel like there is some (internal?) resistance to connecting with him at this time.  But what exactly that is remains to be seen.  I have resolved to perform a divination on this soon.  One thought is that the upsurge of (lingering) Ishtar energy in my magical chamber is getting in the way.  If this were the case, I would be very interested to know why.  I will have to explore this point with the Tarot also.
  • The Graveyard: yesterday, I performed an entry ritual and a walking meditation in the local cemetery.  Again, I was surrounded by the dead—not as vividly as before but there were partial images all around me.  One interesting aspect was a black cat moving parallel to me the whole time.  I’m fairly sure it was a tangible, real live cat and not something spectral.  But it moved along with me the entire time I was there.  I wonder if I will see that cat again.  I had some other experiences with the dead while I was there that I cannot yet reveal.  More soon.

New Avatar Power: Nitika

In The Miracle of New Avatar Power, the occultist Geof Gray-Cobb draws from a number of magical traditions to formulate the workings of his grimoire.  And perhaps the heaviest influence on the book is the Judeo-Christian mystical tradition of Kabalah.  Many of the beings referenced and processes used are Kabalistic, even through their origin isn’t explicitly mentioned.  And so, despite the fact that a complete beginner can follow Gray-Cobb’s instructions and successfully work the system without looking much farther than the text at hand, the more experienced practitioner has the opportunity to work on a higher level as well.  Essentially, the NAP system provides an index to some of the more interesting discarnate entities in Western Hermeticism—entities who can be approached in sophisticated ways and with whom very useful relationships can be formed.

One of the more interesting (and obscure) entities is “Nitika,”described in Apollonius of Tyana’s Nuctameron as “a genius of precious stones … [who] presides over the 6th hour of the day.”  The Thelemapedia describes him (from Levi’s Transcendental Magic) as “one of the Jinn of the 12 Hours,” found on the Path of Yod.”  The Jinn of the Hours are not the most famous (which is to say, not the most described, concretized, or approachable)  spirits in grimoire magic. This may be what makes them so intriguing.  Compared to Belial or Haniel, for example, very little is known about them.  They haven’t been chronicled in apocryphal religious texts (like the Testament of Solomon); they do not have their own cults (like the Lovecraftian egregores); nor have they made appearances in 19th and 20th century popular culture ( like Lucifer or Lilith).  In fact, one can safely say that if they are thought of at all, it’s by ceremonial magi interested in magical timing and Kabalistic pathworking.

Apart from questions about how Gray-Cobb chose one of spirits in the first place,* one might ask whether it wouldn’t be more useful to invoke more defined entities.  For example, if one wanted money, wouldn’t the working stand to be more effective if the demon Mammon were involved?  If love, why not Hathor, Venus, Pan, or any number of other more clearly defined entities?  One reason might be that it’s precisely because obscure spirits like the Jinn of the Hours are not well known that they’re so effective—because they are effective.  The knowledgeable magi over at Evocation Magic have been experimenting with NAP for a few years now and it’s fair to say that if even some of the results posted there are accurate, Gray-Cobb’s system is terrifyingly, stunningly powerful.  It may be that forming a subjective synthesis with less-known entities forces the magician to take a more prominent role in the working.  As he imagines and therefore defines the entity for himself, more of his own essence goes into the shape of the work.  In other words, it is more powerful because it is more personal.

My recent experience with Nitika proved this out.  Lately, I’ve been short on cash.  The emotional fallout of the holiday season was bad enough.  But the collateral damage on my bank account left me with some hard decisions for the new year.  Like: do I live off reserve canned goods for a month (or two) and secure the rent or do I wing it as usual?  Instead of making such a call, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Crowley and simply assume that I could produce the necessary rent via magic.  If I failed, well, I’d deal with that when I had to.  Looking back, that sort of “magical” thinking seems reckless and stupid.  But part of leading the magical life is believing in your own abilities.

So I went forward and began performing the “Invocation for Money.”  My practice of NAP has remained fairly consistent over the years: NAP Power Ritual; Ritual for Opening of the Gates; Power Circulation Ritual; Power Fountain Ritual; Bornless Invocation; Main Invocation (where Nitika is invoked); and ending with the Seal of Dee Hay Thooth.  The first day of the Invocation, I located $20 that I didn’t know about.  The second day, I received a back paycheck from a freelance gig for $450.  With $470 more added to my bank account, I could afford utilities, rent, and basic groceries for January.  Amazing?  Certainly.  But not surprising.  The magic truly is real.

But I didn’t stop there.  Feeling curious about Nitika, I entered the Path of Yod via the Hermit tarot card and actually had a conversation with the spirit.  Without revealing the entire conversation, I will note that one way to thank him is not through the usual offerings of candles and incense.  Rather, one should inscribe his sigil and name on a piece of paper and sink it in a goblet of water, letting the water evaporate somewhat.
There are many secrets in Gray-Cobb’s text that a diligent magician might discover.  Moreover, using the text as a basis for more advanced work is perfectly legitimate and will repay the practitioner many times over.

* In his text, Gray-Cobb explains that over many years, he gradually “learned to apply the practical teachings of old mystics, psychics, and occultists” (12); though, I have it from a very respectable source that Gray-Cobb’s magical mentor (a kind of tutelary daimon one acquires while working the NAP system) led him to the spirit names associated with each of the workings.

Sight Beyond Sight

Exhausted.  Today, I meditated in the local graveyard, seeking illumination regarding Deggal and the best way to evoke him.  Instead, I was entertained by the dead.  I experienced the same moment of vertigo I always experience when I visit graveyards—as if certain graves are pushing upward beneath the earth.  And then just as suddenly I noticed, in the Sight Beyond Sight (the Astral Sight), the dead standing atop their graves.  They were looking at me.  Most of the graveyard had risen up, and things had become very still.  The light itself was different—not spectral, as one might imagine, but clear and cold while remaining sharp and bright from the midday sun.  Some of them looked as they had in life.  Others looked as if they had come straight out of a horror movie.

I asked them why they were regarding me this way.  And they simply stood there, looking at me.  Their answer came through a trick of perception.  When I looked around, the names on the headstones had changed.  What I first read as warlock look to yourself had actually been formed from large last names over various graves in my field of vision: “Warnock” “Locke” “Tolouse” “Self.”  I am no stranger to this kind of subjective communication.  I took it seriously.  My response was to ask what this meant.  No answer was immediately forthcoming.

On my way out, I noticed the name “Botis” on a headstone.  I thought it curious that someone would have the last name of the seventeenth spirit of the Goetia.  When I approached the grave, I looked again and the name read “Booth.”  So I assume that Botis is the answer to my earlier question.  When I looked back across the graveyard, the Sight revealed that the dead had gone as suddenly as they’d appeared.

Of Botis, MacGregor Mathers writes,

The Seventeenth Spirit is Botis, a Great President, and an Earl. He appeareth at the first show in the form of an ugly Viper, then at the command of the Magician he putteth on a Human shape with Great Teeth, and two Horns, carrying a bright and sharp Sword in his hand. He telleth all things Past, and to Come, and reconcileth Friends and Foes. He ruleth over 60 Legions of Spirits, and this is his Seal, etc.

This merits more research.  I may evoke this demon before I begin with Deggal.