Friday, September 7, 2012

What I Did On My Summer Holidays

(And other banalities..)

Despite the humorous depiction on the picture above, I didn’t spend my summer holidays in some satanic grotto worshiping the Devil. I thought that I would throw a bone to Ramsey Dukes for having read through his book “What I Did In My Holidays - Essays on black magic, Satanism, devil worship, and other niceties.” Unlike his book “Secrets of the Black Sex Magicians Exposed,” this one was a bit long winded and not as amusing, but it did have its humorous and brilliant moments.

It is now September and the leaves are already starting to change. The drought that devastated the rest of the country finally came to central Minnesota, and we have had to water the garden daily in order to keep it alive. The rest of nature has decided to shut down somewhat early because of the lack of water, so that is why some of the leaves are already dying and falling to the ground. It is still warm outside during the day, but cooler in the night, and the sunlight is starting to slant decidedly to the south, as it does during this time of year, being a few weeks before the Autumn Equinox.

During the pleasant but brief interlude of summer I was (and still am) engaged with a very complex and difficult rehosting project with my job. It is eating up a lot of my time, including weekends, so I didn’t get much opportunity to spend time outside doing fun things. Instead, I got to view the wonderful summer through my home office window while slaving away at my corporate laptop. I had hoped that this project would be over by now, but it is still at a most critical point, and has been for the last month. I suspect that a bit of chaos and irony are playing havoc with the well defined project plan, especially regarding the red tape in getting strategic individuals to sign important inter-corporate agreements before certain steps can be completed. If I didn’t have a good sense of humor, I would have chewed off my arm in frustration months ago.

Summers in the U.S. are determined by the boundaries of two holidays - Memorial Day (last Monday of May), and Labor Day (first Monday in September). Summer is defined, especially up here in the tundra, as consisting of 90 days, which is all too short a time. If you have a busy business schedule, then summer passes hardly with any notice, much to one’s later regret. My girl friend was focused on her classes in graduate school until the semester ended after the first week of August.And I was busy with my project at work during that interlude.

Our first summer venture was hosting my father’s annual visit. He usually stays for a week or a bit more and gets to mooch off of his son during that time. I guess its a form of retaliation for the years that I mooched off of him. Every year for last four years he has stayed a week first with my older brother, and then takes the bus from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, where I pick him and bring him to my home. My father is very ex-military and must have his three meals at the proper time every day. He spends most of his time reading, relaxing and taking short walks armed with his cane. At a spry 86 years old, he is mentally pretty sharp and is still fairly mobile with a cane. I made sure that he had plenty of reading material and also the use of our television. All in all, he had a pretty good time and was well fed and looked after.

I also managed to generate two more of my four-fold talismanic elementals, one for Venus and another for Jupiter. I had to perform the first rite during my father’s visit, which meant that I had to perform the ritual in the temple in an unobtrusive manner, preferably while he was in bed. The guest bedroom was situated exactly above the temple, therefore, I had to be quiet and discreet so as not to awaken him. My father is something of a strident atheist and he finds all things religious or of an occult nature to be ridiculous superstitions.

I can well imagine that if he had been awakened and had come downstairs, he would have seen me fully robed and performing weird gestures and intoning mumble jumble amidst the clouds of incense and oil lamp light. This was the same man who took all of my occult paraphernalia when I was a teenager and put it into the garbage, including my cherished tarot deck. Luckily, I rescued all of it without his knowledge. So I really wanted to avoid any such encounter, and it did make the performance more difficult. However, considering that my father has become quite deaf and can’t hear very well without his hearing aid, I probably had little to fear from being interrupted. Still, I took every precaution to ensure that I was undisturbed. It even made the ritual working kind of like doing something wicked, perverse or forbidden (instead of completely ridiculous). 

I completed the working without incident and set up the metallic talisman for a three day incubation without any indication that my father noticed what was going on. He passed through his week-long visit and then I took him to airport for his return flight to Phoenix. I was glad that he visited, but I was even more glad that he had finally left. My father has mellowed over time, but he is still pretty cranky and sometimes he is hard to deal with even after all these years.

The very next week, I performed the four-fold talismanic elemental for Jupiter without any problem or incident, but the energy that I unleashed was truly excellent. I set up the talisman for a three day incubation period the day just before leaving for our summer long-weekend holiday. That being completed, I will now have six four-fold elemental talismans for the planets Sun, Moon, Saturn, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. All I will need to do to complete this set of talismans is to generate a four-fold talismanic elemental for Mars, and that is scheduled for the evening of October 25. After the required incubation period, I then will have all seven four-fold elemental planetary talismans. I am planning on using them together in a variation of the Order ritual the Septagramic Vortex Gate.

My lady and I had decided that after my father’s obligatory summer visit during the third week of that month, we would plan a long weekend get-away to see friends and family in Milwaukee. Our sojourn lasted for a scant four nights, and then we had to return home after traveling by car for over six hours one way. It was all too short and too brief, since once Labor Day had passed, we were both hard at it again. Actually, I had to put in around five hours on Monday morning, so I didn’t even get to have much fun during what was supposed to be a national holiday. We did have a great time with our friends in Milwaukee, but all too soon we had to go back home.

I saw my niece’s newborn baby boy, and that was nice. I am now a great uncle, and the mother and child are doing well. I did his natal chart and I found that it indicates he will be quite an amazing artist, metaphysician and musician - he might even become something of an occult prodigy. It’s a pity that I won’t live to see much of his life and in that way determine how I well I have analyzed his chart. The natal chart that I did for my niece years ago had been spot on, and she pretty much turned out how I had imagined that she would. I also got another lesson in the lengthy preparations and stages required for cooking the perfect Ratatouille, which involved me skinning and de-seeding heirloom tomatoes for the crushed tomato base.I even got to crush the tomato pulp with my fingers.

On the last full day we went to the Bristol Renaissance festival and got soundly soaked from a vestige of Hurricane Isaac. Despite the rain, we had a pretty good time, but we were glad that we had decided to skip dressing up in costumes. On our way back to our friends’ home we saw something not often seen - a real urban staple. Since I live in the country, I don't get to see this sight much at all.

While we were waiting in the car for the light to turn green, a homeless man standing at the corner of the Masonic lodge on Prospect (and who had his back to us) was fiddling with the front of his pants. I wondered aloud if he was possibly urinating on the wall. At that very moment, he dropped his drawers, squatted down and exposed his bare butt to all the world behind him. He then proceeded to sit down on a raised brick dias where a manhole cover blocked access to the sewer tunnels below. I don’t what he thought he was doing, or maybe he was so drugged or drunk that he thought that he was in a bathroom or something and was just doing his bit of nature’s calling, but just then the light turned green and we sped off. I guess you could say that we saw the “blue” moon a bit early that evening. 

As for Ramsey Dukes’ book “What I Did In My Holidays,” I found his theories about demons and devil worship to be interesting. I suspect that Mr. Dukes doesn’t believe that there is an existential reality associated with demons. He sees them as existing within us individually, and also within our culture as negative elements given power and precedence through a process of individual or social ostracizing. If you fear something or some group and attach to it a great deal of negative emotional value, then that demonized thing gains a power and an ability to manipulate events even as the group or organization that targeted it has a powerful tool to manipulate others. Since I have performed a number of the of spirit summoning rites to contact these various entities, I can say that my experience has shown me that spirits do have an existential reality, but that they also resonate psychic qualities within us. I think that Ramsey Dukes is working with just half of the equation, in my opinion, and that there is another half that is equally important.

Ramsey begins his definition by stating that some natural quality or function is deliberately repressed, cast out or exiled. It becomes something that is valued as being “bad.” By being suppressed, it does indeed embody the value that it has been given, and being cut off from the parent culture, it reverts to its natural state, being therefore, rather feral. It isn’t bad in an absolute sense, but only bad in a cultural context, having lost its place within the cultural norm, or what we would value as "good."

That is how a cultural devil is created, and the religious and political devils are the worst of the lot. By being demonized and vilified, they can become dangerous, even dominating the very social institution that has targeted them. Anyway, I found this all to be quite logical, and even somewhat useful if not just a bit of common sense. Since Mr. Dukes only discusses one side of the demonic equation, and also that these spirits have a history and a matrix of tradition that has to be dealt with, I found that his often humorous tongue and cheek narratives might be more confusing to the beginner than the experienced magician. Even so, I would still recommend this book simply because it is thought provoking, amusing and examines a thrilling subject matter from a completely different angle.

So, that’s my summer holiday experience, and I can say that this year it was really disappointing. There was just too much work and not enough play. Hopefully, things will be different next year. I will now have to endure another six months of cold and dismal weather to get at the other side of the seasons and have another shot at living a more frivolous and happy summer’s life. I hope that I will be successful next time.

Frater Barrabbas 

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