Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Magickal Workings and Other Things

Conan the Barbarian fighting the Frost Giants

Ides of March have come, but outside the world is still locked in the frigid embrace of the frost giants, who have ruled this long winter with a cruel disdain for any human creature comforts. While the snows of December and January seemed proper and picturesque, they are unwelcome and tedious now in March. More snow is on the horizon, as we who live in the Northern Midwest continue to endure a very arduous ordeal of cold, ice, snow and a lack of the solar blessings of warm and balmy breezes. Yet, even as it seems like the middle of winter outside, I know that this time of darkness and frigid weather will pass, to be replaced by warmer weather, the melting of the snow and ice, and the return of leaves, flowers and all of the outdoor wildlife represented by the growing season. Each sunny day grows brighter and warmer, melting some of the ice and snow. Yet my soul will certainly rejoice when I hear the sweet sounds of the “Spring Peepers,” the first indication that life has returned to the barren winter landscape. They usually are heard in the second or third week of April, around the time that I will be starting to complete the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal.  

Now that I have gotten the last ritual in the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal completed, I can plan for the final set of workings that will aid me in finally completing this ordeal. I started this working in November 2009, and completed the first phase at the last days of December of that year. Throughout the year of 2010, I have experienced a series of remarkable events, all of which appear to have built up to this final magickal conclusion. How odd that I have worked this ordeal for many months and experienced all of its intense phenomena at various strategic times, and now in April and May of this year I will perform the final rites in this series. This mystical and magickal journey has taken me nearly eighteen months, from beginning to end, which ironically is the same duration of the German version of the original Abramelin ordeal.

As I think and meditate on what I have experienced during the last eighteen months, I am amazed at all that has occurred to me. Certainly, I have opened doors that were not even conceivable to me. For instance, I now know that I am not alone on my spiritual and magickal quest, having received more than qualitative hints that there are individuals who know vastly more about the occult and ritual magick than I. So amidst hints and dreams of the promise of the mysterious masters (those remarkable mortal men and women), the acquisition of new knowledge, and the materialization and revelation of new friends and important contacts, I have started this year with a tremendous amount of anticipation and excitement. There are many projects that I will seek to apply some final efforts so as to realize their total fruition, and I am looking forward to their completion.

Dates for the concluding Abramelin Lunar Ordeal have been set for the full moon of April (April 16th and 17th) and just before the full moon of May (May 14th and 15th). The weekend of the full moon in April will be when I’ll perform the Ogdoadic Godhead Vortex Ritual and the Triple Tetrahedral Gate Ritual, then the next day following with the Stellar Gnostic version of the Bornless One Invocation rite. That will re-active all of the components of this ordeal that have been previously established in the workings of December of 2009. The weekend of the near full moon in May will be where I will complete the Abramelin Lunar ordeal, first with the Alchemical Hierogamy Rite of Union, and then on the following evening, the Bornless One - Rite of Envisioning. The moon will be waxing, gibbous and will have entered into the sign of Scorpio by the last night, which will be a most auspicious sign for the final rite. That final rite has been delayed all of these months, but in May, it will be finally completed.

It is my assumption that with the conclusion of this ordeal, the various powers, authorities and prerogatives of the Bornless One will be completely mine to command. I will have envisioned my higher spiritual purpose and know the ultimate meaning of my life. The magickal squares that I have chosen from the Book of Abramelin will be fully charged and activated, and I will begin to wield specific magickal spells to achieve my long term goals.    

I am planning, after this month of March, to begin some other magickal workings, research and writing. The reason why I will be starting after March is because I will have to pull together two workshops that I will be giving at Pagancon in the Twin Cities. For those who might not know about it, Pagancon is going to be held on the weekend of March 24, 25 and 26th.  I suspect that the coordinators are attempting to create a convention that will become the Midwest version of Pantheacon. I plan on being there for most of that weekend, so if you happen to live in the area, please come by and be welcomed at my classes, and while you are there, join in the other venues. I will talk more about this event in the next week or so. Needless to say, I am looking forward to it.

Some other workings that I would like to attempt would be to perform some invocations and evocation of a selection of the angles of the Shem ha-Mephorash and Daemons of the Goetia, which I would see as tying into the completion of the Abramelin Lunar ordeal. I would also like to incorporate the spirits of the Goetia Theurgia into a comprehensive system of evocation magick. In order to do this, I will need to tap into the mythic themes and underlying symbolic attributes of these spirits, probably by invoking one of the hierarchical leaders or princes, who I would seek to aid me in this project. Building a system of accessing the spirits of the Goetia Theurgia would represent the final piece of my project to present a comprehensive system of invocation and evocation for the entire spectrum of angelic and daemonic spirits in the hierarchy as I have determined it. This would also include a completed system for the Grimoire of Armadel, which I would also seek to distribute in some fashion or another.

So there is a lot on my plate for this entire year, which also includes more mundane things such as my career, family, friends and my ever important relationship with my lady. I look forward to these tasks and events with a great degree of optimism and joy. I find that I truly relish my time spent with friends, since my social life has been highly attenuated by the fact that I live so far away from the city and have so much to accomplish every day.

On another note, my newly made friend Robert, of the blog Doing Magic fame, has responded to a conversation that I had with him at Pantheacon, where I questioned him about his reports and experiences with what he calls his “Helpful Deity.” You can find the link to his blog article here. Since his descriptions and interactions with the entity have been quite suitably vague, I decided that I would question him about this spirit, since we were socializing, and engaged in face to face communication. I started my questioning by asking him if the Helpful Deity was just an aspect of himself (higher self) or a distinct deity. Thus my question began by seeking some clarifying insight. I wanted to know if the HD was completely internal (part of himself) or external (a distinct deity).

This prompted Robert to write up a blog article posing whether the HD is internal or external and by expansion, the nature and experience of spirits as a whole, which wasn’t quite what I asked. He went on to say that in his experiences, spiritual entities are both internal (subjective) experiences as well as external phenomenon that can be (objectively) experienced by others. Of course I would have to agree with him, but unfortunately that wasn’t quite the point that I was trying to make when I was questioning him. Robert did indicate to me that the HD has a distinct and specific name, as well as a mythology and lots of known attributes, but that he had not wanted to share that name in his blog, so he called it the Helpful Deity. I now know the name of the entity, but I will be discreet and not reveal it to my readers. I figure that it’s none of my business, and if Robert wants to reveal that personal bit of lore to his readers, he can do so at a time of his own choosing.

A few other controversies are raging on the web world of blogs, and I would like to mention a few comments on each.

First, it appears that the members of the second (inner) order of Robert Zink’s Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn have almost unanimously expelled him as their chief, posting a consensus based announcement as such in the blogosphere. This has been much discussed by various Golden Dawn factions, and it appears that Robert Zink has replied, although not very forcefully, saying essentially that as chief of his order, he can’t be expelled by subordinate members of that same order. Unfortunately, I would have to agree with him. The Golden Dawn, in most of its variations, is not a democratic institution, but a hierarchical organization where the top post is held by a chief (or chiefs), until he or she either retires, quits, or dies. It would be assumed in such a situation that a new chief would be named, often by the previous chief. The GD in most cases doesn’t either elicit or act on the advice of its members, even if the greater majority seek a certain direction or end, unless, of course, the actual leadership decides to do so.

Therefore, the second order members of Robert Zink’s EOGD can’t expel him or choose a new chief - it’s just not written into their bylaws, which all of them agreed to when they joined. All they can do is leave the EOGD and form a new organization, hopefully, one that won’t be modeled on any kind of autocracy. This kind of tragic situation can also be repeatedly found in pagan groups and Wiccan covens, where the leader or leaders hold a kind of absolute power over their members. In such a situation, the only recourse that a member has is to quit and found another group or work as a solitaire practitioner. None of these groups function as a democracy and they often eschew any kind of consensus. I also know that there are groups and organizations in the pagan and witchcraft world that don’t function in this manner, but the enlightenment of democracy is still spreading slowly to the rest.

What all of this brings to my mind is how important it is to establish groups and organizations based on democratic principles and consensus. We are mature adults living in the post modern era, so being a member of a group that functions as a rigorous hierarchical autocracy should probably be seen as a strange, insidious and anomalous atavism. I don’t know about you, but I, for one, wouldn’t ever join a group unless my opinions and thoughts about various internal issues were at the very least heard, if not brought into a consensus with the other members and the ruling polity. I really despise all forms of tyranny, especially those that are enforced within so-called occult spiritual and magickal organizations. The purpose of belonging to a magickal or spiritual group is mutual support, objectivity, peer review and the encouragement of transcendence and conscious evolution. So how can one engage in these activities if they are tyrannized and kept in ignorant bondage by some flawed and superficial leader? That’s the ten million dollar question!

A group that is democratic and ruled by consensus is, in my opinion, far more powerful and cohesive than one that is an autocracy, because everyone in the group feels empowered and an important part of the whole group. Such a group, as I have stated in this blog more than once, is called a Star Group, and it is much more representative of how a group should be organized and conducted in the 21st century. I believe that occult groups, temples and other organizations should be completely democratic, and if they are smaller intimate groups, they should also be egalitarian and ruled solely through consensus. Authority should be vested in the group and never in one single individual.

A Star Group avoids all of the terrible excesses of spiritual and magickal tyranny that seem to plague other types of groups or organizations. So, I guess that what is problematic about the EOGD, or other analogous groups, is that they are not run as democracies. Hierarchical organizations that are run by a single individual or an elite clique that doesn’t have any accountability, or checks or balances on that authority, are doomed to the natural corruption inherent in human nature. Even a supposed benign dictator in such a group is still a tyrant and will have to be overcome, often by one’s own feet through leaving that group, in order to facilitate actual spiritual and magickal growth.

I wish the second and inner order members of the EOGD, who have thus rebelled against their chief, good luck and good fortune as they seek to build a new consensus and a new organization. I hope that they have learned a valuable lesson from their experience and will decide to form a new organization that is democratic and ruled by consensus, instead of just choosing a new chief or a ruling clique, which will do nothing more than just start the whole mindless process all over again.

Another issue being hotly discussed in the blogosphere is the tragic event that happened at the recent Pantheacon, where some trans-gendered women were excluded from a women’s only mystery working involving the deity Lilith. There have been some rather passionate and hurtful arguments going around (and very some sober reevaluations), and the fact that I am a male might actually exclude me from even having an opinion. What I do feel is that a convention like Pantheacon should be open to all pagans and witches (or those who are sympathetic), and should exclude none. Is it a proper venue for an exclusive ritual, lecture or workshop? That question is for the Pantheacon staff to decide, who very likely seek to accommodate their fellow pagans, within reason, of course. However, to exclude trans-gendered women from a women-only rite is probably over the top, since the gathering is open to the public who are willing to pay the entry fee. If a mystery is to be presented that is so exclusive that it must exclude trans-gendered women because they are supposedly “not born women, but made so through surgery,” then I think another venue should be chosen for that same rite.

The purpose for Pantheacon is to bring all of the various pagans together into some kind of harmonious accord, not to create boundaries and exclude individuals. I can somewhat see the value of having mystery rites exclusive for certain groups, however, short of making individuals strip or somehow prove themselves as valid participants, I believe that by their will and mutual acceptance, they should be allowed to experience the mystery. Acceptance and inclusion overrules creating hurtful boundaries that cut across vague and shadowy demarcations of gender, sexual affiliation and ethnicity that affect us all, especially at a public venue like Pantheacon.

Finally, there is still more discussion going on over the great energy debate, and I think that both the Scribbler (at Magian Rumination) and Jason Miller (at Strategic Sorcery) have brought up very useful points in its defense. The first point is that the heart appears to be an incredible  source of quantifiable energy, and the second point has brought up eastern systems of healing where that healing methodology is explained by the occurrence of chi acting in the nervous system. I think that both of these articles are excellent, especially the one about the power of the heart, so I would highly recommend that you look them over here, and here. It would seem, based on these two articles, that there seems to be some kind of energy operating in these various healing techniques and the scientific examination of the greater function of the heart, and so maybe it’s not just a metaphor as some would think.

Still, it may also require a considerable advancement in science (quantum biology?) to pull all of these threads together and make overall sense of them. However, the power of the mind to conceptualize through models and function as if they were concrete facts (even when they are not) can’t be dismissed either. This brings us to the kind of vague and unsatisfying conclusion where the concept of “spiritual energy” must have a provisional definition of potentiality being a kind of energy not yet known or quantified by science, but it can also be seen as a metaphor for something that is either partially or wholly within the framework of the mind. Either perspective must also perceive the mind as being a far more powerful mechanism than previously thought.

We should also be reminded that there are two ways of looking at reality; using either the mind before matter model or the matter before mind model. Depending on which model is used will produce a very different perspective in regards to life and the boundaries of objective and subjective reality.     

Frater Barrabbas


  1. We should also be reminded that there are two ways of looking at reality; using either the mind before matter model or the matter before mind model.

    There's also a third way, which is to view matter and mind as locked in a reciprocal relationship in which neither comes "before" the other. As above, so below!

  2. @Ananael Qaa - Yep, there are probably more than three ways. But I would be quite interested if you would write a blog article about your viewpoint.

  3. I already did, back in 2008. Here you go:

    Hermetic Metaphysics

    Let me know what you think of it. It could represent a "fourth strand" of metaphysical thought, distinct from Plato, Aristotle, and Kant - though it resembles Kant the most.