Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Year to New Year - Welcome 2011

Well, today is the last day of the old year, 2010, and rather than go to some party and drink my face off, I usually stay home and see the New Year in with reflection, meditation, some quiet celebration, thankfulness for the good that has occurred during the fading year, and a hopefulness for the coming year. I particularly like to work magick and be in a fully empowered magick circle just before the year turns, so I can sense the time displacement and mind bending qualities of briefly stopping time and existing within a nexus between the old and new years. This practice is something that I have done every year for the last couple of decades, and each time it is quite amazing and delightful. It also has the benefit of not producing nausea or a hang-over the next day, nor does it require me to travel home from some party and brave both the elements and the hazards of drunken drivers.

New Years for me is a quiet time, without any revelry, madness or much intoxication. I want to experience the lintel time of change without being bleary with drink or distracted by social buffoonery. It’s not that I don’t like to party or socialize, in fact I do! But there is something so very sacred about this time that I can’t just blow off steam or mindlessly celebrate, so at this time I forgo the usual custom of going to a New Years Eve party and socializing with friends. Instead I just stay home, and reflect, meditate, quietly celebrate my accomplishments, think about the things that I didn’t get done or failed to accomplish, and to plot my course for the coming year. In fact, when the hour of midnight strikes here, I can feel the past and the future merging into the present, and for at least just that moment in time, they seem coequal to me.

One thing that I didn’t get to do during these last two weeks of December is to re-engage with my HGA and perform again the Bornless One invocation rite on the same day that I performed it at the climax of the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal last year. There were too many things that demanded my attention, plus some minor annoying health issues. and also, I strongly sensed that now was not the time to re-engage with that working. I have received dreams and impressions that informed me to wait until the final working in that series is ready to be used, and then I must re-connect with all of the previously established elements before performing it.

The final ritual working that I have been researching and acquiring in strategic pieces has finally started to come together, so I will soon be able to write that up and add it to the lore of the ordeal. What really helped was reading “The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz” translated by Joscelyn Godwin and introduced and commented on by Adam McLean (Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks, Phanes Press, 1991). Adam McLean’s commentary is absolutely brilliant, and it really helped me to understand the structure and the meaning of the obscure symbolic elements found in that work. From that commentary, I should easily be able to write up a ritual working that will allow me to pull all of the elements of the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal together into a final rite; where the three-fold aspects of me as eternal and ageless youth (spirit of the HGA), the bronzed fair haired nonpareil who is the goddess aspect, and me again as I am today, a middle aged ritual magician, all these will drawn into a seamless union. I believe that the Chemical Wedding put into a ritual working will do just that. Accomplishing that rite will allow me to complete the final working in the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal, which is to project my true will into my final destiny, which shall powerfully impact and color the last remaining years of my life. So I have something very important to accomplish and look forward to in the coming year.

Another thing that I have accomplished only yesterday was to put together a proposal for a beginner’s book on the Qabbalah and pitch it to a publisher. That task is done, and I look forward to the response because I suspect that it may be positive. My previous proposal for an introductory book on ritual magick for witches and pagan was rejected, so I have decided to put together my own publishing company and seek to publish that book as the first project for that new entity. The rest of my book projects may also get published under my own label, whose name and logo I will refrain from revealing at this time.

My reasons for going the direction of self publishing is because I wish to conserve my writer’s voice and to keep my content from being overly edited or omitted altogether. I have matured over the last year as a writer, so I don’t believe that I will need much more than a copy editor, layout artist and illustrator, as well as a reliable on-demand printer to put my several book projects into print. I have all of these resources already pretty well nailed down, so the rest is just up to me to assemble and execute. I am assuming that I may have more than one book in print by the end of next year, but we will see how things progress.

What I am thankful for and what I have accomplished this year represents quite a mile-stone for me as a writer and occultist. It seems that many things that I had studied years ago and had taken for granted are being looked at again, and in that way, I have discovered a lot that I either didn’t learn the first time around or overlooked for various reasons. I suppose that being more mature and having brought together a lot of new material in my mind is powerfully impacting the re-examination of that old material. A case in point are my current researches and articles about the Qabbalah. I have decided to take a decidedly Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean perspective, and I have found insights and deeper meaning in the Qabbalah than what I had previously determined. Here is a list of what I have managed to complete this year:

  • Publication of “Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick - Greater Key” - this completed the trilogy that I sought to publish back in 2007, and first wrote back in 1995. To publish this series was a dream that I had fifteen years ago, but I am glad that it was finally realized this year.
  • Wrote 119 articles for the blog “Talking About Ritual Magick” - many of these articles were long and substantive. I apologize for the length of my blog articles, but I think that many of them have been well received and found useful to my readers. These articles have also helped me to improve my overall writing skills.
  • Successfully completed five online courses for writing fiction, including a grammar refresher and research techniques for writers. All of these courses required a passing grade on a final exam, so they did test what was supposedly learned.
  • Began to plan and formulate writing occult, horror and fantasy stories. I have a lot of stories and characters swimming around in my head, but now I have the tools to put them into actual fictional writings. I will be working on these projects in the coming year, and I hope to get a few of them to a final form before this coming year is over.
  • Attended and presented workshops at four venues - Pantheacon, Heartland Pagan Festival, Milwaukee Pagan Unity Conference’s Ostara convention and the Twin Cities Pagan Pride gathering.

Next year I will be presenting workshops at four venues - Pantheacon, Twin Cities Pagancon, Heartland, and Twin Cities Pagan Pride. There may be others as well as presenting regular workshops at my home town. I have also volunteered to design and direct a public ritual for the upcoming Samhain gathering, put on by the local chapter of COG. I will also be availing myself as a resource for the COG planned events in the coming year, either as a role player or as a musician. I am also in the process of developing an entire battery of workshops that will aid me in transferring the knowledge and experience that I have in the area of ritual magick to others. I feel that this is a special calling for me, and so I am drawn to share what I know with others.

This year was the start of the rebirth of the Order of the Gnostic Star. A new temple, the first in over a dozen years, started up in Massachusetts. The old mother temple, long dormant, has started to become reconstituted in the town of Kansas City. There are some old members who have recently come back together and some new members who have recently joined forces. A number of tasks will need to be accomplished before this group will be able to become fully functional, but I am looking forward to that time. A challenging set of ordeals have already been selected and agreed to, so I suspect that some of those ritual workings will be completed in the coming year. I look forward to their stories and experiences as these rites are performed.

Finally, various elements of my life on a personal level have been falling into place. I can’t talk about them, of course, but it would seem that the positive far outweighs the issues that still need to be worked out. I can look forward with optimism and excitement about the coming year. There will be a lot of amazing things to experience and learn in the next twelve months.

I also hope that the year 2010 has been fruitful and productive for you, and that the new year, 2011, will be even more blessed, fruitful and productive for you as well. We live in interesting times, but it is my hope that my words posted here will help you in your ever unfolding destiny, so that you will be able to experience and know the very highest of magickal and spiritual achievements. May we all achieve our dreams and realize our highest aspirations in this year and in the years following it.

Happy New Years 2011 -

Frater Barrabbas

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