Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lisiewski’s Ten Axioms of Evocation

Now that we have looked at the basic premises that Joseph Lisiewski has made in his book, Ceremonial Magic and the Power of Evocation, we come to the actual meat of his methodology, placed in ten axioms of magickal evocation. These are the tenets that Joseph has laid down in his book that represent how a magician should go about using the one of the old grimoires, since what he is proposing is that the old grimoire is the final authority in all things, and that the magician should follow what it says in the most literal manner. I believe that these ten axioms contain some really erroneous ideas, that if practiced, will certainly lead the magician to a kind of cycle of failure that will take months if not years to uncover. I have also found the silver bullet hidden in the book that demonstrates how Joseph might be able to get the degree of success that he declares, and why many other magicians would fail to replicate that success. Of course this is assuming that Joseph has been truthful about his own magickal abilities and experiences.

After a rather tiresome and opinionated magickal history lesson, Joseph gets to the real issues of the book, which are his ten axioms for the successful practice of evocation. By successful, he states that only a full materialization of the spirit is acceptable, anything else must be rejected, and in fact, is indicative of failure. I have examined these axioms and have found that several of them are so objectionable, biased and even ludicrous, that I must present them below with my comments. If his axioms are highly questionable, then the manner in which he works magick must also be questionable. The complete set of axioms, taken together, would seem to sink the aspirations of even the most patient and zealous practitioner of theurgy or evocation, and what we are left with is to ponder whether Joseph has proposed a system that works only for him, if it works at all.

Maybe he is able to produce physical materialization of spirits using the old grimoires, but with his scientific credentials, one wonders why he has not produced evidence of his claims. We would expect, perhaps, something like tangible evidence being produced, such as verifiable photographic or video images, energy measurements, infrared images, etc. Instead, he just gives us his word that his methods work while all others, especially those not based on the old grimoires, are fatally flawed and don’t work. After reading through all ten of these rules, pronounced in such a pretentious manner that they may as well be carved in granite, one either feels greatly insulted or incredibly stupid. I have to admit that I felt mostly insulted, somewhat appalled, and also in awe that someone could be so opinionated and narrow minded in regards to the modern practice of magick. Well, we shall now proceed on to the Ten Axioms, or should I say, the Ten Commandments of Evocation.

Before getting into his diatribe of the ten axioms, Joseph lays down the foundation for how he feels the magician should proceed with his magickal work. First off, he says that the magician should perform the evocation as it was designed to be performed by the ancient magicians, expecting success while thriving on the mentally and emotionally harrowing experience. This presupposes that the magician is able to get into the mental space of a late medieval cleric or early renaissance savant, and I have already discussed previously how absurd that is. Joseph goes on to say that the magician should design, perfect and polish the only type of magickal system that will work consistently - the one the magician creates himself. I would agree with this statement, but add that first the magician must master a tradition and gain through initiation an elevated spiritual perspective. Any type of magickal order will suffice, since it is important to be challenged and measured by other initiates. Joseph does not seem to value any kind of initiation or transformation, and yet transformation is at least one of the reasons for working magick in the first place.

He declares that there are no recipes, no simple magickal book that will enable the magician to achieve all that he seeks to achieve. This, of course, is not really true. There are a few magickal systems in print that deal with the mechanisms of magickal evocation and these techniques do work and can be studied in great detail. The best one that I have found so far, a system that is at least similar to my own, was developed by “Poke” Runion, and I invite you to examine it in greater detail. This statement is quite false, showing that Joseph is quite biased in his pronouncements - he obviously has not really researched these various claims, and instead seems satisfied to air his opinions, even if they are dead wrong.

Golden Dawn system, in Joseph’s opinion, is inadequate for performing an evocation because of the flawed and incomplete nature of its lore. I find this statement rather odd, considering that anyone who knows about the Golden Dawn ritual lore would be able to tell you that the highest level of magick that one is able to traditionally perform within this system is talismanic magick. A magician would have to derive something new or expand that lore in order to perform an evocation, and to my mind only Aleister Crowely or David Griffin have actually published rituals to do that. As I have stated previously, the Golden Dawn would have employed some of their own lore along with using one of the old grimoires. This seems to be the case for most practitioners, except a few, such as myself or Poke Runion.

Joseph also compares the old grimoires to “laboratory workbooks” and that the actual “text books” containing the theories and underpinning interpretations are missing and haven’t turned up yet. My theory is that the old grimoires were repositories of various occult lore, including instructions for performing the magick, but did not represent a living system, since they didn’t contain the most essential parts of a magickal practice, which is the spiritual and magickal discipline and their associated exercises. Certainly, if any of this information was committed to writing, it would have survived and be available for historical examination today. One can also assume that much of this information would have been part of the religious culture of the renaissance, and would not have required any documentation, because it would have been common to everyone.

Oddly, Agrippa’s three volumes on Occult Philosophy comes pretty close to representing such a text book, but it omits any instructions for actually practicing magick (this was taken up in the fourth book, which included the Heptameron), but Joseph seems to have omitted mentioning this fact. However, if one considers Agrippa’s book and the old grimoires as text book and lab workbook respectively, then there is still a lot of missing material, such as the periodic practices and exercises that would have developed the magician’s spirit, mind and body, and kept him in top form. There might have also been an initiation into the “sorcerer’s guild”, and other mysteries, but I am speculating here. Being a magician or sorcerer in the early renaissance would have involved a lot more than just the practice of magick, there would have been the practice and honing of divination skills, secret ciphers, symbology, herbal lore, celestial lore, folk remedies and practices, and a host of other rites, spells and secret workings involving the mysteries of the magician’s world. On these matters there is only some historical record, and rightly so, since it was probably a secret oral tradition.

Joseph seems to believe that all we have to do is perform the magickal rites exactly as they are written from a chosen grimoire in order to realize a successful working; but even if this were possible (barring any substitutions), it would require that the magician adopt the world view and internal sentiments of that time in order for the magick to be successful. Joseph also seems to say that we must practice the magick of the grimoires faithfully, but then also says, “develop your own system.” He does not indicate anywhere in the book what that personal system would be like and what practices it would contain, other than those found in the old grimoires. He does say that a faithful practice of evocation as written in the old grimoires is enough to develop a spiritual life style, or perhaps he means a spiritual discipline, and that this life style will suffice to drive the magician’s whole magickal enterprise.

I believe he is referring to the long period of religious purification and atonement that the magician must undergo before actually beginning his work in earnest. If so, then this is a case of the “tail wagging the dog.” The magician must first develop a spiritual and magickal discipline as the basis for all magickal and spiritual operations. It is one of the first things that a magician does, well before he would attempt to work any of the higher forms of magick, such as an evocation. When one examines the ordeal in the Book of Abramelin, the methods that are strongly promoted are pious and devotional, based on prayer, atonement, purification and personal abasement. There are no occult practices nor any magickal rituals performed during the entire period of personal consecration and preparation.

What he seems to be advocating is that a magician begins her practice with a grimoire-based magickal working in a state where her spiritual and magickal perspectives and abilities are essentially undeveloped, hoping that the preparation stage of the working will suffice to make her develop a spiritual discipline. This might be a recipe for personal misfortune, since the magician’s intent would not be grounded within her own personal spiritual perspective, i.e., her own godhead, which is a requirement for many magickal systems. Joseph indicates that he has developed a mechanism for connecting to the godhead in his own works, but does not give the reader the means of developing it for herself over time. This is a weak proposition and it is likely that the preparation stage that an old grimoire lays down for the student will not be enough to develop this kind of internal realization, thus setting up the student for failure.

Joseph’s first two axioms are acceptable, but are probably not as important as he makes them out to be. We have already covered the issue regarding mixing occult systems, since it does create inelegant and awkward ritual workings and may cause conflicting symbolism to coexist in the same framework. It is not enough to abort a ritual or make it completely ineffective, but it does make it inefficient. I have found that as a magician gains more expertise, he seems to produce better rituals. However, if his intent is muddled, the ritual will fail regardless of how beautiful it is or how complete. It is also very important for a magician to understand the ritual that he is to perform thoroughly and completely. A magician who performs a ritual without understanding what it does or how it works is asking for unwanted or unpredictable results, or even no results at all.

The third axiom defines Joseph’s essential mechanism for the successful practice of evocative magick, where one can expect a full materialization to occur. He calls this mechanism a “state of Subjective Synthesis,” which is developed by a thorough understanding and acceptance of all of the elements that compose the magickal working. This synthesis descends into the magician’s unconscious mind, along with her integrated belief system, where they fuse together to produce the physical phenomena that form when the product of that magick is projected out into the magician’s mudane world. It is the combination of the will and beliefs of the magician, as they are digested in the unconscious mind, that produces the subjective synthesis, which causes the physical phenomena to occur. Yet any invalid or erroneous element within that synthesis can cause the evocation process to unravel, producing a failure instead of a successful outcome. Joseph says that this mechanism produces a fully formed spiritual manifestation and associated psychic phenomena through a means “as yet unknown by science.”

It would seem that Joseph has created a very vague and nebulous definition for his system of evocation, more or less saying that it is a combination of beliefs and understandings, allied with the magician’s will that will cause all of the magickal phenomena to occur. I find this theory to be rather incomplete, since a human being is not merely the sum of his various parts, and no less is his magick the sum of his beliefs, practices and understanding. Magick works through synergy! There is no synergy, mystery nor even paradox (other than how manifestation actually occurs) operating in Joseph’s system of evocation. Additionally, there is no developed aspect of Self as Deity and there is no domain of Spirit. This leads us to ask; “Where do the spirits come from, and what relationship is played by the interaction of the magician’s essential spirit to his magick?” These questions are strangely unanswered.

In Joseph’s theory there is only the conscious mind of the magician and her profoundly powerful unconscious mind and these two drive the whole magickal process, which, if formulated correctly, will produce a material manifestation. In my opinion, there are more crucial elements involved in magick than just the conscious and unconscious mind. A magician does not work magick in a spiritual vacuum. Even the medieval magician would have understood that all too well, since he sought the assistance of the Almighty and his angels to make his magick work.

I also have a problem with any system of magick that proposes that theurgy or evocation produces a full physical manifestation. Where is the material substance that is suddenly used to generate the body of the spirit? Some have said that the substance comes from the incense smoke, but that is patently absurd. There isn’t enough matter found in incense smoke to produce a tiny pebble, let alone a human sized entity. It would seem that actual physical manifestation may be scientifically impossible, but a magician could perceive spirits as being physical, even if video cameras or energy detectors fail to corroborate them as a definitive physical phenomenon. A magician could sense and perceive things that others who lack the training or methodology would not sense, and this is because the phenomena is too subtle for most to perceive. However, this would violate what Joseph is proposing, since he judges that if the phenomena is subtle and requires special trance states and meditation to perceive it, then the magician is producing nothing, and the results of such an effort are to be considered delusional. So the gauntlet is thrown down, either Joseph’s methods produce a full blown physical manifestation or they are false.

What we can deduce by all of this is that Joseph’s perspective on magickal evocation is very existential and one that I find not only disturbing, but I doubt that it would work for anyone except Joseph. It would require someone who has his materialistic predispositions, that is, if it even works at all. I am also curious that a scientific mind like Joseph’s would not have set about to prove that his evocations produce physical phenomena. If his magickal techniques produces verifiable physical results, shouldn’t he meticulously document that fact and present it to his scientific peers? It would be a world class revelation, finally making magick into a verifiable and repeatable natural phenomenon. They might also be able to discover the nature of that mysterious mechanism which causes these manifestations to occur, but that’s only if the process is as objective and verifiable as Joseph appears to declare it to be. I think otherwise and place a great deal of doubt on the entire premise that Joseph makes for the third axiom.

Axiom four and five are corollaries to axiom three, and we can deal with them together. The fourth axiom declares that spiritual entities are either objective or subjective based upon the subconscious belief system resulting from the magician’s subjective synthesis. We have already examined this issue above, but we can also declare that all magickal experiences are subjective, whether the magician believes that they are or not. Joseph seems to indicate that by subjective, he means that spirits are merely psychological constructs, but I think that his definitions are in error when considering what is meant by the terms subjective and objective.

As psychological experiments have proven, and common sense dictates, all experiences not grounded on objective and verifiably agreed upon facts are, by definition, subjective. These objective facts are fairly simple and straightforward, and they serve as our shared definition of the physical world that we live in. So there is a quite a large domain of human experiences that occupy the area of what would defined as being subjective. What we have to do is make certain that we don’t adopt the belief that anything that is subjective is somehow not valid or unreal.

Magick concerns itself with the internal world of the psyche and the sphere of consciousness that goes beyond human perception and human containment, i.e., the domain of Spirit. To propose that spirits are objective is to propose that they are a verifiable and agreed upon physical reality, discernable to our senses or instruments as a natural phenomenon. The fact that this is not the case destroys Joseph’s logic, since only when he works an evocation are spirits able to be fully materialized, and thereby gain a degree of objectivity, but only through the artifice of his magick. However, by saying that spirits and their associated phenomena are subject does not in any way declare them to be unreal or just mental processes. Spirits appear to operate as a paradox, they are both internal and external to the psyche that perceives them, but they can’t be proven to have an objective physical existence outside of the psychic experience in which they are perceived. 

Axiom five declares that the basis of all magick is a complex energy field. It is an essential element that drives all of the physical effects of a magickal evocation or any kind of magick. Once again, if magick were a quantifiable energy, it would be able to be measured on the EMS scale and could be proven and verified in an empirical manner. The fact that this is not the case shows that this theory is more about subjective metaphors than objective reality. However, magickal energy is discernable in the context of magickal workings, so even though it is subjective, it is still quite real and it’s effects are observable. It just can’t be measured or quantified in a laboratory.

An interesting point is that science can’t even prove that such a phenomena as psychic energy exists when examining psychometry, let alone that magickal power is objective and able to be measured. Joseph seems to easily confuse objectivity with subjectivity, and this is usually the case when someone falls prey to spiritual materialism. Also, there are many theories about the nature of magick. The energy theory is only one of them and taken in isolation, it is incomplete and somewhat misleading, especially if one adopts this theory literally. Joseph then goes on to criticize forced visualizations and artificially strained emotional states of exaltation as practiced by so called New Age magicians. He also says that daily exercises in visualization, meditation and concentration are unnecessary and even useless for the practicing magician.

First off, I would like to know who he is referring to by the term “New Age Magicians,” since it would seem to be an oxymoron. No one in the New Age community would ever perform any kind of hard occult practice such as a magickal evocation, and in fact they seem too timid to even consider practicing any kind of deliberative magick. So I suspect that he is referring to all of the individuals who practice magick without strictly adhering to the old grimoires. While I agree with this statement in principle (fake practices don’t really help or hinder anyone, they just waste time), I do believe that the magician must have an extensive set of practices that refine her ability to meditate, contemplate, concentrate, and nominally, control her mind and its functions.

 In addition to that, there are a regimen of practices that develop her spiritual perspectives, such as meditation sessions on various spiritual concepts, devotions, communion celebrations, spiritual alignments, and godhead assumptions that are centered around her personal religious cult, with herself as both the priest and avatar of that personal Deity. These practices are worked through the diurnal cycle of day and night, the monthly and annual Lunar and Solar cycles, as well as the magician’s own cycle of initiation, which represents her spiritual and magickal mile stones as well as her progression up the Tree of Life. Joseph does not talk about any of these subjects, so we must assume that they do not exist in his magickal practice, making his magickal allegations of primacy suspect, or worse, fraudulent. He does admit to attending services in his Catholic church, so one might assume that he also prays and celebrates the Catholic liturgical calendar. However, despite this supposed piety, the existential serpent of spiritual materialism keeps on rearing its ugly head whenever we examine any of Joseph’s supposed magickal practices or beliefs.

Axiom six deals with the issues of control and command in regards to the evoked spirit, of course, that assumes that the spirit actually physically manifests. Any departure from the strict rules set down about control, command and manifestation will either cause what Joseph labels “the slingshot effect,” or it will produce no result at all.

The interesting thing about this axiom is that here Joseph reveals a subtle point about how he perceives the action of the Deity in an evocation. At the point of the spirit’s materialization the magician forges a connection between his finite conscious being and the infinite deity that resides within himself. Therein he reveals the key link that establishes the authority assisting one in commanding the spirit. Although this aspect of control really involves one’s own self-control while gripped with the resultant ecstasy and bliss produced through the merging of godhead and magician. The essence of this state is referred to as “Divine Love”, which emanates from that awesome source of godhead within and is the fulcrum of the whole working. A magician must activate that link under a state of complete self-control, and from it he or she may command the spirit and force it to obey. So the basic premise is that without self control one can’t command the spirit. Losing the ability to command a spirit that has fully or partially manifested will also cause the magician to fail to coerce it through a binding process (the charge).This is quite hazardous, producing what Joseph calls the slingshot effect instead of the desired result. A failure at any of these three points requires the magician to immediately abort the rite, extinguish the candles and incense, and seal up the temple for a month before starting the whole process all over again. Although it may be too late for the magician to mitigate a kind of fateful negative blowback.

What surprises me at this point is the fact that only here, the author states what is the real mechanism for evocative materialization, which is the merging, almost sexual, of one’s finite self with the infinite glory of the deity. This is a key magickal component used in this methodology.  It’s a technique of exalted empowerment, but nowhere is it explained or developed in the entire book - so it remains highly obscure to the reader, functioning as a part of Joseph’s personal magick. Since this is such an important key and it is omitted, then it would seem that Joseph is deliberately refusing to share an important spiritual discipline. However, such a mechanism is not unknown to other competent magicians, since it is part of the repertoire of an immanent aspect of deity. The symbolic analogue of this state is the classically defined hierogamos, where the magician undergoes a symbolic wedding between his higher self and lower being. This union generates feelings of ecstasy, since it is a union that merges the magician’s higher subtle and lower causal levels of being.

Joseph briefly discusses  this process as if it were automatic and it can only become that way after many years of practicing it as a spiritual discipline. It is a core rite of spiritual union and there are a number of ways of experiencing it. One method that captures it is the Bornless One invocation rite as shown in Crowley’s Liber Samekh. Other mechanisms involve variations of sex magick or applied Tantra. So if one were to practice one of these methodologies consistently for a few years, it would become internalized and occur automatically whenever one needed to summon it. However, by being obscure with this technique, Joseph is being disingenuous and setting up his erstwhile followers to fail to materialize a spirit. One could almost consider this omission a kind of neglectful cruelty, since it sets a trap for the unwary and unenlightened. However, for those who have practiced this rite and know its power and majesty, they realize that it does not necessarily produce ectoplasmic results, but the resultant ecstatic experience of union could cause one to see or perceive nearly anything.

The magician would then command the spirit to appear in an appealing manner, showing the entity the terrible warding pentacles and hexagrams perfectly copied from the grimoire, and trembling in terror, the entity would comply. It would shed its horrible aspect and assume a beautiful one, all in the twinkle of an eye.

Then the charge, which is used to bind the spirit, would be delivered to ensure that the spirit does exactly what the magician intends. The charge must be perfectly worded, memorized and not contain any loop holes for it to either negate or reverse the objective. One would assume that a lawyer should be hired to examine the charge and ensure that its wording produces a contract that is inescapable and unambiguous. Of course, that would assume that the spirit reads English and has a flair for legal interpretation.

In classical evocation, these operations would fit neatly into the stages of constrictio and ligatio, which are performed after the trials of invocatio. Joseph is not introducing any new material in what he is proposing, except the little bit about operating through the applied union of the Godhead and the magician. 

However, since it is unlikely that the magician will ever be able to perform a full materialization, it is also doubtful that there will be a need to master the art of command and control, or for that matter, even deliver the memorized charge. All of this is just a tease, really, since the omission of critical material ensures that the reader will not get past the initial stages of the rite, unless by either luck or intuition, the magician obtains the required unified state of consciousness. Because the magician is forced to abort the rite if it fails to produce a full manifestation, and then to wait a month or more before starting completely over, this will keep the erstwhile student busy for many months or even a couple of years before finally discovering what was missing from the rite to cause it to fail.

Axiom seven deals with the controversial slingshot effect in its entirety. I found this axiom to be rather strange and even unbelievable. It appears that even a failed evocation working will produce results. However, my experience is that a failed magickal working produces the obvious and shameful lack of any results. However, Joseph goes on to define this phenomena in five parts, and it always happens in this manner, regardless of circumstances.

First, one gains a minor windfall of money, then soon afterwards, one loses at least a third to half of it by some misfortune (easy come, easy go). Thirdly, the magician experiences the breaking up of a long term relationship in a painful and unexpected betrayal, and after that horrific event, one experiences the renewal of an old relationship, which doesn’t last long. Finally, one receives a small amount of cash as a token that the spirit is done torturing the magician. The pattern of the slingshot effect always produces these five sequential phenomena.

In a nutshell, that is the slingshot effect, thus it would seem that a magician who fails in his quest to evoke a spirit is in for some tough times. A successful outcome produces just the expected results and nothing else, undoubtedly due to the tightly written charge. However, in all of the years that I have worked magick, and indeed, anyone who I have ever discussed this issue with, nothing even remotely like this has ever happened. A magician who performed an evocation producing a full materialization of the spirit, heralded with all sorts of poltergeist activity and then made a tactical blunder that caused him to endure five events of outrageous misfortune lasting for weeks should probably leave the practice of magick to others more qualified and less liable or prone to personal stupidity. I would judge such a magician to be quite incompetent. I would also have a hard time believing such a tale in the first place, since it would seem very odd for someone to successfully invoke a spirit, only to have it catastrophically fail in such a precisely dramatic manner. Failures produce no results, successes produce some or full results - it’s as simple as that. Why is this so? Because the intent in a ritual working is so all-powerful!

If a magician told me that this had happened, I would believe him to be quite a story teller or an outright liar. Even my first attempt at Goetic evocation produced results, even though much of the other aspects of the rite were accidently and ignorantly omitted by me. The net overall results of the rite produced nothing tangible, but then again, I was only 17 years old at the time and knew so very little about ritual or ceremonial magick.

What are we to make of this axiom? It seems as if the erstwhile magician who practices Joseph’s system of magick has a loaded gun held against his head, and any error in the execution, understanding or in the charge itself, will cause the magick to go terribly awry. I suppose that I would think twice about performing that kind of magick and would warn others, too. It’s a no win situation and reminds me of the sorcerer’s apprentice, who was doomed to failure before he even stole his master’s hat and started to work his own magick. Why would any one want to contemplate working with such a system of magick if the risks were so dire?

Axioms eight, nine and ten are rather minor considerations, and it is debatable if they would have any bearing on the successful outcome of a magickal working. Axiom eight declares that regular practices and exercises are unnecessary, since they confuse issues of spirituality with psychism. Here Joseph is referring to exercises that develop one’s connection or alignment to the deity and other associated practices, although if written in a New Age perspective, these kinds of exercises would be fairly useless and easily replaced with the more potent practices of assuming one’s godhead, practicing communion, and other liturgy associated with one’s personal religious cult. These are an important feature of modern magick, since they assist the magician in developing the divinity within, the very thing that Joseph talks about connecting to at the climax of his evocation rite. Without a periodic practice and developed capability, the practicing magician would not able to forge such a connection, and the rite would fail.

Joseph also talks about his studies in Freudian psychology. I found this rather interesting, since Freud devalued religious experiences, saying that they were nothing more than an amplification of the id. Also, Freud was an avowed atheist and he was quite cynical about his own Jewish religious heritage. He is hardly the consultative expert for the modern practicing magician, unless that magician is also an avowed atheist. I would have thought that Carl Jung would have been more sympathetic to the practice of ritual or ceremonial magick, but then, what do I know?

However, in the next axiom, Joseph informs us that we should not reject the religious tradition that we were raised in. We should obey the ten commandments of God and follow the faith of our fore-fathers to help forge an effective subjective synthesis with a coherent, integrated subconscious belief system. Of course, if the belief system that we are raised in is completely incompatible with our inner spiritual self then that could pose some problems for the practitioner of evocative magick. Even so, Joseph favors going back to it anyway, since the old time religion is more powerful and complete than some new and fancy theology, like Theosophy, Neopaganism or Wicca. Although orthodox proponents for either Christianity or Judaism would take a very dim view of anyone practicing magickal evocation, following the author’s advice, one would be OK if he or she never publically admits to such a practice. Supposedly, the orthodox rendition of the Godhead doesn’t really have a problem with it either, so it’s all OK. Right!

This, of course, makes absolutely no sense to the individual spiritual seeker, which is an important aspect of a modern occultist, but it does allow one to become immersed to some extent in the religious practices associated with the old grimoires. However, few if any modern magickal practitioners can emulate the mind set of the pious medieval or renaissance magician, so the resultant spiritual fervor will be considerably less than what ought to be generated through the long period of purification and atonement. This lack of fervor would adversely affect the magickal operation, likely causing it to fail at its most fundamental level, i.e., the subconscious interpretation of the subjective synthesis.

In contrast, the modern magician is an avowed heterodox who celebrates her own personal expression of godhead, and she performs her magick with this gnosis strongly pervading her entire being. What could be more compelling than that? The great mysterious source of all magick is gnosis, and as a form of knowledge, it is completely paradoxical and inexplicable. However, it is foolish to think that one can find true gnosis in an orthodox creed; for that, one hs to seek a more esoteric perspective.

The final axiom declares that all magickal workings, particularly magickal evocation, should be performed in a temple with either a dirt floor or concrete covering a dirt floor instead of an elevated structure. An outdoor sequestered grove, a cellar or a ground floor room will provide the kind of earth connection needed for this work. This means that an apartment in a high-rise building would not fulfill the requirement for working magick, nor would a first floor room in a house with a basement.

I find this final requirement distinctly odd. A magician performs his magick through the domain of Spirit, which does not exist anywhere in physical space or time, so it can be accessed from any location, provided the operator is in the correct mind state and has an area that is free of distraction, clean and dedicated to the work. I have seen individuals who practiced magick in their living rooms or bedrooms without too much trouble. I myself have worked magick for many years in high-rise apartment complexes without any problems. One magician that I knew had a temple high up in a penthouse in uptown Chicago with a majestic view of the lake, and his magick was extremely powerful. This requirement is peculiar to say the least and seems to summarize the ultimate improbability of Joseph’s obvious personal magickal idiosyncracies and biased opinions.

Frater Barrabbas


  1. Lisiewski actually explains how to enter Divine Love. In his comments to Heptameron we read that Divine Love state is turned on just by reading all those conjurations prior to actual angel calling.

  2. I read all his books and he left me with somany questions like Judge Judy says if it doesnot make sence its not true