Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Books, Books, Books - and Book XIII

Books Books Books.  I am in the process of upgrading the library temple suite - Indonesian lanterns; Walnut bookcases; antique desk, barrel and chest.  Going to pick me up a Thoth statue too.  Its going to look gorgeous fam.  Having removed the IKEA bookcases I had, the entire floor is just covered in heaps of books - many of them ex library books.  I pick up the Texts of Taoism and randomly open up a bit of Chuang Tzu to take to the bathroom and what am I offered?

What the world thinks the most valuable exhibition of the Tâo is to be found in books. But books are only a collection of words. Words have what is valuable in them;-- what is valuable in words is the ideas they convey. But those ideas are a sequence of something else;-- and what that something else is cannot be conveyed by words. When the world, because of the value which it attaches to words, commits them to books, that for which it so values them may not deserve to be valued;-- because that which it values is not what is really valuable. Thus it is that what we look at and can see is (only) the outward form and colour, and what we listen to and can hear is (only) names and sounds. Alas! that men of the world should think that form and colour, name and sound, should be sufficient to give them the real nature of the Tâo. The form and colour, the name and sound, are certainly not sufficient to convey its real nature; and so it is that 'the wise do not speak and those who do speak are not wise.' How should the world know that real nature?

Chuang Tzu, Book XIII, Part 10

He's right you know.  I question the value of the books lying scattered around me.  It seems to me the theory here is Tao then Ideas then Words then Books (highly similar to the KBL and cell biology/genetics) but the Tao is beyond our comprehension so we cannot name the ultimate source of ideas. Is Tao consciousness?  I don't know, that seems to be going a bit far although ideas are noetic and the implication is they originate in Tao.  We can't define consciousness either.  Dennett thinks its an illusion but I think Chuang thinks Dennett is an illusion.  Tao is the ultimate indescribable nature of reality.  Thinking of only indirectly contacting this reality through my senses I realise its some kind of science day as well and all my liberal progressive friends are in a science veneration trance on social media.  I am reminded of Parmenides ''On Nature'' where he suggests science is at best informed opinion.  Hmmm.  He continues:

Duke Hwan, seated above in his hall, was (once) reading a book, and the wheelwright Phien was making a wheel below it. Laying aside his hammer and chisel, Phien went up the steps, and said, 'I venture to ask your Grace what words you are reading?' The duke said, 'The words of the sages.' 'Are those sages alive?' Phien continued. 'They are dead,' was the reply. 'Then,' said the other, 'what you, my Ruler, are reading are only the dregs and sediments of those old men.' The duke said, 'How should you, a wheelwright, have anything to say about the book which I am reading? If you can explain yourself, very well; if you cannot, you shall, die!' The wheelwright said, 'Your servant will look at the thing from the point of view of his own art. In making a wheel, if I proceed gently, that is pleasant enough, but the workmanship is not strong; if I proceed violently, that is toilsome and the joinings do not fit. If the movements of my hand are neither (too) gentle nor (too) violent, the idea in my mind is realised. But I cannot tell (how to do this) by word of mouth; there is a knack in it. I cannot teach the knack to my son, nor can my son learn it from me. Thus it is that I am in my seventieth year, and am (still) making wheels in my old age. But these ancients, and what it was not possible for them to convey, are dead and gone:-- so then what you, my Ruler, are reading is but their dregs and sediments!'

Chuang Tzu, Book XIII, Part 11

I like this Wheelwright - books are just bits of corpses and bibliophilia is, in essence, no different to necrophilia.  I look around my blasted temple and see nothing but a catacomb, the leaves of various texts like bits of rotting flesh.  I am decorating my new library temple with their mummified remains. It certainly puts the grim back in grimoires. Thanks Chuang for peeing on my parade.


So it all comes down to ''the knack'' and the relative speed of the hand motions?  What is this knack, our wheelwright is talking about?  Well as I understand it Taoism is all about letting things take their natural course.  Knowledge at its heart is a natural understanding and must be applied.  Talent, a gift for understanding, which is at the heart of all knowledge is inherent, genetic, natural.  In venerating books and authors we're in danger of missing the wood for the trees, of losing our own knack - unless, paradoxically, that happens to be for writing.  An anti-intellectual corrective, Tao style. Although the book pile right now looks like it could easily be set ablaze, Chuang, I think I'll keep them intact, they look nice - and sediment eventually becomes stone.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Time Travel - A.P.E.X. and the War of the Twins

So we were wondering what to watch the other night, trying to decide between It and Day of the Dead when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, I had a flashback to a film I had watched when I was younger and which had confused the hell out of me.  I could only remember the name A.P.E.X. and that it was vaguely about time travel paradoxes and killer robots.  I found it online and I suggested we watch just half an hour because I remember the plot being both confusing and bad - we eventually ended up watching the whole thing.  The reason I am posting this though is that after we had finished watching it my partner noticed that the events of the film take place on April 3rd and it was April 3rd. I was surprised at just how much is stored in the memory, how subtle the triggers can be, and how often our magickal work is about exercising this vast potential, and through memory to time itself.


Does the movie A.P.E.X. itself matter?  Was my angel attempting to draw my attention to something? Well the themes of the film do fall within the realm of what Raziel has been exploring with me.  A.P.E.X. stands for Advanced Prototype Exploration units, robots that were designed to go through portals for the purpose of exploring a new physics of time travel.  If things went wrong then a sterilization unit would be sent to contain any paradoxical timelines by annhilating the people involved in causing them.  An experiment goes wrong and an alternate timeline is birthed on April 3rd 1973 which robots are then sent to sterilize.  This degenerates into these robots being continuously sent from the original timeline which now exists only as that moment and the Earth descending into a Terminator like war for survival with humanity against these machines.  Our protagonist falling through the portal from the original timeline then has to go to the timelab in the paradoxical timeline and try and connect the two 2073s together.  Suffice to say this film does not produce a brilliant treatment of the paradoxes of time travel.

However, Raziel's apocalyptic vision of the end of the world via time traveller swarm does have resonance with the movie as does the appearance of the time travellers themselves and the time of their arrival. I have discussed several times how the insectoid nature of the appearance of certain beings may in fact be time travelling suits of some form.  In my experience, and from dialogue with Raziel, although they have carapaces like the A.P.E.X. units they also have wings, complex eyes and are entirely iridescent.  In the movie, the robots, appearing one after another, systematically lay waste to the Earth with explosive weaponry, but in Raziel's description, the end of humanity comes about due to the wholesale madness induced by suddenly being engulfed in the host of trillions of time travellers - this event coinciding with the death of language.  As my good friend Paul has pointed out this also resonates with the first few chapters of the Book of Enoch.


I have also been rereading the War of the Twins, the 2nd triology from Weis and Hickman, another work which features time travel as the dominant theme.  In this the magic spell that is used to send the twins back in time can only be used for research purposes and no changes can be made in the timeline unless a dwarf, gnome or ''kender'' is sent.  Since these creatures are considered ''mistakes'' of the Gods, they can cause paradoxes.  Raziel would agree with the first point and has detailed as much but would disagree with the second - as the account of the Angel of Secrets is paradox free.

This wasn't in the histories.  Perhaps this means that time has already been altered?  No.  The pitiful sacrifice of these poor creatures was left out not because it did not happen.  It was left out simply because... no one cared.

Raistlin Majere, The War of the Twins, Weis and Hickman

Reflecting on the role of memory one could see how these seed ideas could be used, by Raziel or myself, to bear fruit in this later part of my life.  I found A.P.E.X. confusing when I watched it many many years ago because I had no vocabulary at that point for exploring these issues, just like The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera had such a dramatic impact on me because I had never asked the questions asked in that book - at least not in this life.

One of the reasons why the Tree of Life, explored and rectified, is such an effective tool for the magus is that it allows one not only to tap into one's own reserves of memory in this life and before, but that it provides lightning reflexes when it comes to referencing that memory.  A deeply religious Kabbalistic friend of mine once objected to this notion of the Tree of Life as ''tech'' for psychic boosting and I took his point to heart - the Tree cannot be untangled from religious aspects and in attempting that you are robbing yourself of an incredibly rich part of the experience.  However, this aside, work with Kabbalah and the Tree of Life does improve the working of the mind and leads directly to the development of psychic or prophetic powers.  Although our minds seemingly remember everything that ever happened, these memories are mercifully filtered so we aren't incapacitated by grief, by regret and by nostalgia.  When we work with the memory and increase our sensitivity to stimuli we are also working with the selectivity of it, the judgement to know if you really need that memory right now, that it has utility, that it won't bog you down.  We work with the filter as much as the fluid and its filtrate.*  

I like to think, like many of us do, of the strong influences on my mind and its workings - the corpus of the WMT, Hermetica, Kabbalah, literature, the Great Works, etc - as I favour a strong hypothesis of myself but I often forget or rather do not select ''lesser'' memories like A.P.E.X. or the War of the Twins.  Just because something is eminently forgettable doesn't mean we should forget it. I maintained and still maintain a very militant, unsentimental attitude towards my memory and in 2001, I  destroyed memories through the use of a conjuration of Chronos. This seems like a savage, brutal act but at that point I believed that certain memories I had were encumbering me. I chose an appropriate astrological time and took symbols of the memories (photos, etc) and then ritually destroyed them under the stars - the direct effects of the removal of these blockages were rediscovering a lost soul and the channelling of the text the Metabolism of Time.  But in this act, what difference was there between myself and an APEX robot destroying an aberrant timeline?

*Luna - fluid, Mercury and Venus - filters of remembering and forgetting, Sol - filtrate.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Time Travel - Spirits and the WMT

The first questions that Dr Faustus asked Mephistophilis were about his true nature and that of the other damned spirits.  The conclusion of the scene comes when he asks - if spirits are damned/trapped in hell then how can Mephistophilis even be conjured to Earth? - whereupon he is told, Why Faustus, this is hell, nor am I out of it.

Faustus, repent, and God will pity thee.

Good Angel, Dr Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

Its very tricky for a relative outsider such as myself to really gauge whether questions like this have been satisfactorily answered by occult practitioners, or whether anyone has ever really dared to ask them - where do you ''live'', where do you ''come from'', how is it possible that you are here, etc.  The concerns of most so-called sorcerers seem to be about the ''physical'' result of the conjuring i.e. what they are going to get - the cute broad, two homes, becoming Head of Production, 15 million dollars - whatever the ''material'' need/desire was that initiated the conjuring in the first place as opposed to deeper knowledge of the universe and its spiritual workings. When practitioners are pressed for answers, and don't try to evade, either the answers become very woolly or needlessly complicated. Even our more experienced, well spoken practitioners seem to descend into references to different types of plane(s) with lists of cool sounding names (etheric plane, spiritual plane, astral plane, informational plane, noetic plane, logoic plane, ad nauseam) and very little understanding.

Presentism suggests that if the spirit is identified as once living then it is either trapped in the present somehow and carried forward with us from this moment to the next, or in the case of spirits considered non-living (hypercosmic gods, various demons) somehow contacted in/from some other realm/dimension (beyond the hazy veil of whatever plane - see above). Eternalism though provides a lot of explanatory force - entities, including us, are in fact communicating across or through time. This model seems to work really well and I have been applying it to entities encountered through practical work - classifying whether they are from the past or the future. For example with Eternalism a classic repeating ''ghost'' is not trapped in the present, those events occured in the past which still exists/is happening and became entangled with various different points in the timeline.  You can stretch this to say that all spirits are ''humans'' at different points in the timeline.

The problems I encounter with this line of thinking are the spirits (and ''aliens'') which are described as monstrous/non-humanoid and so-called egregores although they are not unsolvable.  As I have mentioned before the Mothman and Mantis like entities I have encountered could easily have been wearing some kind of suit, and this suit may be a necessary feature of whatever means they are using to travel/communicate through space/time - in that sense they could be post-human ''spirits'' from the future.  Similarly reptilian creatures or elementals could be pre-human entities from the past - our common ancestry in DNA weaving us together through time. Egregores would be a projection of the future, as well - so if you are involved with a successful group project that becomes more successful and you communicate with the egregore you are in fact communicating with your own selves in the future and/or viceversa.  A form of mass entanglement if you like.  The same could work with the notion of Gods as real people vs egregore/thought form - in one type of work you are entangling with the actual person the God was originally derived from in another type of work you are mass entangling with the cult itself.  When we are trying to make judgements about the relative truth of these statements and whether they are in line with observations we also have to factor in anything we have imagined on top of the real image/sense effects and the actual lensing/distorting effect of time-travel itself.

I have explored this practically when living at Edward Kelley's Tower.  The Time Phone was going to be used to attempt to communicate with the past and change what had happened by providing Edward Kelley with information that would have led him to be able to avoid some of the incidents that led to his death.  This experiment was never tried because of the untimely death of Vincent Bridges himself.  I personally tried numerous magickal experiments with the phone before that however.  Theoretically the ''phone'' can be used to build a link/connection to the future or the past and then serves as a portal (only for information) between these two positions.  I first discovered this idea when I realised that many of the so-called spooks and spectres of the tower felt like they were alive and were in fact co-locating with us as opposed to something in the past that had been carried forward, I also became increasingly aware of Kelley's (and company) attempts to communicate with the future from his position in the past through observation of these echoes and overlaps.

I am not an Enochian practitioner but one of the experiments involved sending the Calls* back to Kelley, from the future.  After establishing the link by opening the phone, I got the strange sensation that I had to disrobe.  As I lay there naked next to the tower, I was keeping my mind very still and my body perfectly relaxed and as the music grew I observed a tiny white square open in space/time/my mind(?), which opened out into a softly glowing white rectangle about the size of an envelope - this stayed there for about 5 mins as I watched it.  This was the only discernable effect other than a weird blend of tranquility and disquiet.  About three hours later in the evening, there were a series of extreme electrical effects with the power in the tower going crazy, some objects staying on during these oscillations, others cutting off, things powering down and then suddenly roaring back to life with a weird zing sound alongside other lesser but noticeable poltergeist activity, small objects moving around, other strange noises - I was pretty terrified.  There were other experiments with exchanging information in this way but they will be explored in subsequent posts.

It seems to me then that there is no dichotomy between spirit and man and that we can dispense with other ''spiritual'' realms entirely.  We are all spirits or, if you want to flirt with Mephistophilis' darker perception, that we are all damned spirits in hell right now. From the perspective of an entity in the future you would seem, perhaps, to be a ''ghost''; similarly, an entity in the past could be ''conjuring'' you from the future.  How would you know you have been conjured? Where the person in the past may feel the normal effects of conjuring a spirit (they would be some communication, manifestation, etc) from your perspective you may just enter a trance or it could all take place during a dream.  Who is conjuring who? Following this line I would expect in fact that two entangled ''magicians'' where one thinks the other one is a ''spirit'' are likely to both be engaged in some kind of magickal practice at the time, especially in the case of the more legendary experiences.  It is entirely possible that my experiences in the Tower occurred because I was conjured - rather than my own volition sending the Calls back to Kelley, Edward Kelley conjured me.

Thou art a spirit.  God cannot pity thee.

Evil Angel, Dr Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

*These are samples but an entire set of calls was recorded by Vincent and his group and used during that experiment.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The WMT - What I believe

Its not a bizarre idea..?  Tell it to me... Come on.  You can't tell it to me in one sentence they can't put it in TV Guide.  What is this movie you are going to make?  Come on, ''A Boy Joins a Cattle Drive and Learns to Be a Man''..?  ''A Couple Finds a Million Dollars Buried in their Yard...''?  Come on, come on... What is this movie?  Tell me the story.

Charles Fox, Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet

So I was watching a documentary on Scientology the other night and looking down on the egomania, gullibility and general collective insanity that must be necessary to connect with this cult.  Then I had a moment of clarity turned to my partner and confessed that for all my rational over-tones my beliefs are themselves deeply weird and outlandish and I was not one to judge:

 - There is no matter and we exist inside hyper-spherical cells of consciousness that overlap forming a tissue of consensual reality through collective observation

- We have never moved in our entire lives, have always faced forwards, have never perceived anything but our own perception, and have always (felt like we) remained in the effective centre of our cells

- Beyond the edges of the cell membranes of our consciousness lies the bloodstream of time, accessible by lucid dreaming and astral projection

- That this cellular nature extends to the world we seemingly inhabit

- The nature of our being, stripped to the core, is the intertwining of time and anti-time, with anti-time being ''consciousness'' and time being ''matter'' as we know it

- Our imperfect anti-time/consciousness is used to interpret the present, remember the past and predict the future, and work on the Philosopher's Stone thus constitutes refining/perfecting anti-time with the end result of producing universal remedies, elixirs of youth and ultimately time travel

- Our individual characters/personalities/physiologies derive from the ten principles of time necessary in order to digest a single moment and that these characters persist at all scales of existence from simple cells to animals to higher beings

- That you can name/identify a character by looking at their face and body - physiological features being time signatures

- All magickal phenomena including manifestation of spirits result from temporal entanglement - with elementals being a product of entangling with the deep past and angels being a product of entangling with the deep future

- That the future(s) pre-exists and our belief in general free will is an illusion generated as a side effect of anti-time, the free will that we do have rests in being able to select from a small variety of surviving alternate futures at certain key moments with most of the time-stream being effectively dead/non-realisable

- That the world will end by time traveller swarm


As Occulture becomes more and more absorbed by the mainstream and we see various forms of peer pressure, vapidity, chat, bullying and conformism explode in the community it might be worth reminding yourself what you actually believe and doing a quick check for logical contradictions as you go about policing normality. And as our community is increasingly overran by ''spirit-workers'' I can't help but liken it to a Biological Sciences faculty staffed only by Zoologists - cute/fierce animals living in ecosystems with bizarre and interesting feeding habits are fascinating for sure, but do you guys really know what is going on?  If so I have seen precious little evidence of that.  Maybe its time to alter our recruitment policy and bring in a few more who are exploring what's going on on a molecular level, figuratively speaking.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The WMT - Literature, Theatre, Mathematics, Kabbalah

All these little people, out there, that we see.  Y'understand? Fellow asks ''what are they there for?'' Well, Charl, We Don't Know.  But we think, you give the thing to your boy, he gives it to my boy, these people get to eat , they don't have to go beg and get in everybody's face at the airport the whole time.

Bobby Gould, Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet 

Leaders, mentors, teachers and authors have all contributed to the decline in the quality of Occulture by spurning the Blogosphere in favour of other social media in their various attempts to privatise parts of the community.  I do not think that these attempts are inherently bad nor am I condemning attempts to cash in on occult services but the way in which they have manifested have had negative as well as positive implications. Most of those who attempted this, failed, but they did their damage anyway and in their cases there was nothing lasting gained.  The Blogosphere is the single best gift Google could give us, a platform which allows for a diverse spread of different approaches - journalling, essays, theses.  It provides a level playing field, in that you don't have to already have an existing ''brand'', but requires a certain level of sophistication to use and doesn't fall so readily to the lazy demon of chat which has claimed so many of my fellow bloggers. I arrived fairly late to the Blogosphere and was amazed at its richness/diversity and am now unsurprised by the nostalgia for it as Occultniks face another day of interacting in Facebook's generic and demeaning Skinner boxes. People were moving in the opposite direction though - to other platforms more ''accessible'' than Blogging - as on the one hand Facebook allowed authors/teachers who had a product to sell to massively increase their traffic (although it inevitably deflated their allure/mystique and drew traffic from the blogs) and on the other it gave an equal voice to everyone, since it requires no skill or thought to use. I can completely understand those with a financial interest as I use Facebook myself (as an  effective marketing tool in a non-occult area) but I have to ask  - at what cost?  I restrain myself as much as possible from chat, or futile political statements, but I watch with horror at the degrading effect facebook conditioning has had on the quality of my peers and their thinking.  If Blogging is the gym, then Facebook, my friends, is McDonalds.

The ''Third method is the Dramatic,'' perhaps the most attractive of all; certainly it is so to the artist's temperament, for it appeals to his imagination through his aesthetic sense... In the third, identity is attained by sympathy.  It is very difficult for the ordinary man to lose himself completely in the subject of a play or of a novel; but for those who can do so, this method is unquestionably the best.

Magick in Theory and Practice, Aleister Crowley

When Gordon talks about literature as a possible high ground to retreat from the encroaching homogenate I think he is on to something but I would like to add a few other points.   I have been involved with the Theatre scene in Prague for the last ten years and have established myself as an actor and director.  Theatre is an interesting alternative/complement to literature as it allows like minded people to meet in public and the conversations that are stimulated by a particularly interesting play are really rewarding.  Its like literature/philosophy sports for the extroverted active learner. Back in the financial crisis Gerald Celente, in one of his ''recession proof'' economics rants, discussed theatre as one thing that would do really well - as people would be insecure in their atomised state and actually crave the real social network that theatre brings along with the entertainment.  It turned out to be true. This said you have to shop around and I think Theatre of the Absurd has really come of age.  If you can't access the likes of Pinter, Albee, Ionesco, Havel, Stoppard etc on stage then you can always read them (and sometimes watch the National Theatre in the cinema).  I accept that a lot of theatre is a bit shit, but then so are most tv shows, bands, video games, films, etc etc etc.

If you really want dry land then go where virtually no one wants to go - Pure Mathematics.  Various philosophers have made attempts to suggest that maths is a form of language (and therefore proofs could be considered a kind of literature) but I would argue that language is really a form of maths. Think about all the words that describe position in space and time, or sequential order or size, etc - if you include physics then even such qualities as colour/sound can be considered numbers. Other philosophers criticise maths in the same way they criticise science -  as an ideological construct of capitalism which attempts to quantify and qualify everything on the planet and ends up robbing the world of meaning through number.  Maybe this is why there is no love lost for our dynamic duo in this ''animist'', ''shamanic'' contemporary Occulture.

For me the elephant in the room in these kind of discussions always remains Kabbalah.  Such an amazing melting pot of mathematics, science, literature and mysticism that has been left relatively unexplored.  To be fair I would rather the Grimoire hipsters didn't go there but I am still surprised by those ''western'' magi who don't know anything about Kabbalah.  I appreciate there are resources you can access without Kabbalah but, to my mind, those going into areas which are inherently heavily Kabbalistic while lacking basic understanding score very high on the Sphinx test on daring and dangerously low on knowing.  Kabbalah, for me, remains one of the great barriers in Occulture as without a solid foundation in science, linguistics, semiology, history, philosophy, mathematics its not easy to do much with it.  After that the hours of analysis, comparison/contrasting, memorisation and practical work is enough to put off most of the twats. The air is thin up there and thankfully so is the population.   Back in the glory days of Dee, Kelley and Shakespeare - Theatre/Literature, Mathematics and Kabbalah/Alchemy rubbed shoulders freely and they continue to make fine bedfellows.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The WMT - Newton vs Dee, Jupiter vs Saturn

The history of magic is like a Greek tragedy, a parade of incredible minds who paid a heavy price for trying to crash Olympus.  John Dee is a good example. Paracelsus is another.  More recently, we have Crowley and Parsons.  All of these guys were brilliant polymaths and under different circumstances probably would be sitting in the history books next to Newtons, Galileos and Einsteins.

Christopher Knowles, the Secret Sun

Dee saw further than Newton and he paid the price.  Dee was one of the giants, no titans, upon whose shoulders Newton stood, but the Queen's conjurer still maintained a better view.  The people of Saturn are different from the people of Jupiter.  They have sacrificed personal prosperity and the favourable gaze of history to risk staring deeper into the Abyss.  Dee 'read every book in the world' and so was forced to channel one from the future, Liber Logaeth, in order to satisfy his biblio-mania.  They may not remember him that well in the 21st century but Dee is a household name in the 31st.

There's a danger in judging people who were absolutely blown out by magic to have failed in some way.  People dismiss Crowley sometimes saying words to the effect of ''well he died a penniless heroin addict so he can't have been much of a magician.''  Crowley did not haggle for the egg, the price was his sanity, health and personal wealth and he paid it in full.  For a moment the vortex abated, he gazed clearly and knew.  If I am not willing to be stripped to nothing, a skeleton in a cell, then can I ever see what they saw?

Unlike Dee and Crowley, I consider myself, largely, of Jupiterian spirit.  I am committed to prosperity for my community, service to others, easing the labour of my friends, enriching their lives and, most importantly, having fun.  I spend a great deal of my time every week creating comedy with a group of actors and making people laugh.  I have responsibilities to my tribe and my loved ones that I cannot freely abandon to chase Chronos across the cosmos - however much I feel I might want to.  In my mind, Einstein and Newton, like a great many gentlemen scientists, were Jupiterians too - harnessing the forces of the universe, bending them to the service of mankind and dying as men of honour forever enshrined in history.  The Kabbalistic Tzaddikim, the Righteous Ones, could be translated as Jupiterians.

Do you understand anything about electricity Richard?  Well neither do I, all I do is establish a theory about it based on a natural observation.  I write down this theory in the mathematical idiom and obtain several formulae.  Then the engineers come along.  They don't care about anything except the formulae.  They treat electricity like a pimp treats a whore.  They simply exploit it.  They build machines - and a machine can only be used when it becomes independent of the knowledge that lead to its invention  So any fool nowadays can switch on a light or touch off an atomic bomb.  And that's what you want to arrest me for Richard, and its not fair.

Newton, the Physicists, Freidrich Durrenmatt

On this blog, I exercise my secret passion for the Saturnian.  The vast majority of material here is devoted to dealing with life, death, consciousness and time - all Saturnian themes and not those I can freely discuss with the people around me.   The eye will only see what the mind can apprehend and I have learned not to drag people into the void who are not willing to let go of the Earth.  I have a great deal of respect for those who do push out on the path of Divine Melancholia in order to more closely apprehend the truth.  I know that I lack some bravery in this respect and during 2013-2014 the Saturnian dangers of magic were made very real to me - death, madness and heresy.  I fled and lived to try for the mountaintops another day.  To dare is a power of the Sphinx, and without daring, without risk, without challenge, reward, whatever it is, is surely meaningless.  I am reminded of Pan's Labyrinth - here on Earth the lives of Dee et al seem incredibly tragic, on the Astral though, the place they truly called home, their deaths were but the conclusion of a wonderful romance.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Legendary Magick? Curb Your Enthusiasm!

I have noticed a disturbing trend amongst my peers over the last few months - a ''limit your expectations'' screed that is being applied to both magick and technology.  Those on the technological side are telling people to not get excited about the possibilities of virtual reality, etc and that science is entering a period where there will be no genuine innovation and on the magickal side they are telling people that magick is generally a very subtle influence on probability so please don't get into this expecting too many fireworks.

Going back in the day a bit here, there was an argument between various magicians about the manifestation of spirits and what to and what not to expect when it came to them materialising in the room with you.  I was, and still am, on the side of Fr. Assan Chassen who believes that if you don't see them (or sense them in some way) you are not doing it right.  I am not disputing that you can experience results from the work without observing the spirit its simply that you are only experiencing a portion of what is out there.

The truth is that if you are not getting extremely interesting and perhaps ''legendary'' experiences you are probably doing it wrong.  You have ''haggled for the egg'' and therefore cheapened your magic; you have made various compromises in the acquisition of the specific ingredients - which are important moreso as a test of your wits and determination than any intrinsic material quality. You will have cut corners when it comes to ritual purity, astrological timing, repetition of your spell, etc and the experience and results have become weaker.  ''Enflame thy will'' means just that and when you are immolated by this will, this intense blinding focus, this devotion, then your results will not be those of the half-assed casual magus.

Believe me, I understand the need for the screed.  I understand that many delusional people wander into the world of magick and need to learn to discern between reality and their imagination. However, imagination is as vital a tool in the magus as the will and the way in which we curb the enthusiasm should not be deleterious to it.  Wonderful things are possible.  Aspire to them!  Such visions, such splendour, such wisdom.  You will learn to remember the deep past, project into the future, into other worlds, into other souls.  Spirits will bring you knowledge you never had, you will learn to think outside of your mind.  Your life will be alchemically transformed.  Fate will twist in upon itself and carry you to secret places within it.  The skies will open and thunder will crack in ecstasy but only if you are elite. If you are not there, then to get to there you will need a montage.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Theory of Knowledge - The Archdruid and Parmenides

When I first started writing the Hermetic Lessons, I assumed the readers would have a great deal of knowledge that simply isn't there.  Subject knowledge that I thought was effectively required by the WMT, namely Mathematics, Science and Philosophy, isn't there at all or is way below the level that one would need to seriously navigate the field.  The adage of ''What they do not know they fear and what they fear they destroy'' explains a lot of the bizarre animosity against science and mathematics that occasionally emerges as anti-intellectualism in our community and is further revealed by the way these topics are assiduously avoided in mainstream occulture.

On that note over at the Archdruid Report JMG is taking his readers through a powerful introduction to  Philosophy of Mind and I highly recommend reading his work as a refresher if you are well grounded in the topic and as a solid foundation if you are not.

For those who are reading it there are a couple of points I'd like to address.  A lot of the arguments that JMG is discussing, and partially critiquing, are based on a development of core ideas in philosophy that may or may not have been fundamentally misunderstood at the outset - similar to the way in which errors and misinterpretations totally destroyed understanding of the Kabbalah in the WMT.  For instance to be able to distinguish between Plato and Socrates is itself a challenging task and to interpret exactly what either of them meant is problematic due to translation. Compounding this the problem with working with the Pre-Socratics, for example Parmenides, is that the work that has been passed down to us is extremely fragmentary.

In a book called ''To Think Like God: Parmenides and Pythagoras, the Origins of Philosophy'' Arnold Hermann argues that Parmenides was actually a lawyer so that when he was distinguishing between Truth and Opinion in ''On Nature'' he was not developing a metaphysical argument but a legal one. To what extent Socrates/Plato knew or did not know that is up for dispute (they may have reinterpreted this for their own needs) but all the way up to Popper etc we have been reading this [fragment of a] text as metaphysical in nature.

As Hermann argues, in Elea, Parmenides' home town, they enjoyed legal disputes and had a bizarre method of legislation by hanging, where the legislator stood with a noose around their neck and if the court didn't like the legislation then they would immediately be hanged.  Situated on this litigious peninsula what Parmenides was really talking about was what really happened (i,e. the truth) in a given crime as opposed to what witnesses thought they observed (i.e. opinion).  In his discussion of the logic that follows what he is really doing is laying the foundation for the cross examination of witnesses and the way in which lawyers will attempt to expose logical loopholes in their testimonies to disprove their worthiness.  In the final sections of the fragments we have he discusses how science (as it was back then) is still in the realm of opinion - this is why scientists etc at court are referred to as expert witnesses.

We can, and many Gnostics and Kabbalists do, believe the universe is a crime scene or at least the aftermath of some tragic accident or catastrophe.  Here I think there is mileage in continuing to transfer the legal explorations of Parmenides to a more universal metaphysics and indeed the system of Cellular Consciousness and the Metabolism of Time  relies heavily on his work ''On Nature''.  JMG argues that to suggest there is no such thing as movement or size, as Parmenides does, is fairly ''questionable'' but when you connect with Cellular Consciousness and understand that the universal substrate is Thought (like Anaxagoras) then you can easily show that the representations are made of one immobile undifferentiated substance.  The system of MoT then builds on this as its foundation, in fact the Allegory of the Cave does too.

The truly tricky problem is what we mean by thought, or mind or consciousness and by focusing on Schopenhauer JMG is certainly pointing us in a good direction to a more advanced discussion of the topic even though based on the Archdruid's other posts I don't think I am necessarily going to agree with his conclusions.  Although I agree that there is a ''thing out there'' I do not believe that it is ''matter'' persay but an interstitial fluid existing between the cells of consciousness, a bloodstream of time, which is co-created consensually from the stuff of the cells themselves  i.e. according to his definition I am a reductive or possibly an eliminative idealist.

I must admit though that the work with Raziel and fully grasping that matter and consciousness can be best understood as time and anti-time (which is in fact the same thing, going forwards and backwards simultaneously) may shift my position as it unveils itself - probably ending in something truly esoteric like Zurvanism, which, in the way JMG is suggesting this all results in high end mysticism, I may in fact be proving his final point.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Small Movements in Time - Response to Golem Builder

At the starting of the week
At summit talks you'll hear them speak
Its only Monday
Negotiations breaking down
See those leaders start to frown
Its sword and gun day
Tomorrow never comes until its too late

Six Days, DJ Shadow

As explained in the Metabolism of Time the human being/body is quite literally the expression of the necessary steps in the Metabolism of Time.  From this perspective the head is located in the future, planning and anticipating, the torso is located in the present (heartbeat, breathing and appetite) and the lower abdomen and genitalia located in the past (digestion, excretion and reproduction).*

By placing the diagram of Feelix the Perfect Helix next to the diagram of the Metabolism of Time one gets a sense of exactly how this breaks down - for instance it relates the function of the immune system (and the position of the thymus gland) in our reaction to the present, or the action of the kidneys (salt retention, cleaning the blood) in our ''forgetting and remembering'' of the past.  In Secret Powers of Time posted by Trainee Golem Builder, the presenter discusses six archetypes of time-based personality (2 present, 2 future, 2 past) and argues for differentiation of type being largely the result of culture, education and to some extent exposure to technology.  As you can see above, the system espoused in the Metabolism of Time differs in that it is based on ten archetypes (3 future, 3 past, 2 present and 2 bridges - the inner mind, and the experience of the moment) and that differentiation between types occurs mainly as a result of genetic and ultimately temporal factors.**

In the quote from Abraham Abulafia in Small Movements in Time we see that the great Kabbalist believes that the body, cycle and world are created with 10 sefirot each and that these are scales reflected in the 4 worlds model of Kabbalah.  The total of 30 Sefirot discussed in the quote are 10 x 3 so we have a Tree of Life of Atziluth, a Tree of Briah, a Tree of Yetzirah etc but if we included Assiah this would correctly be 40.  As time is the primary axis of the Saadia Tree (Depth of the Future, Depth of the Past) I relate the property of time to Atziluth and understanding time in the way explored in the diagram is an attempt to understand the activity of the so-called ''highest world''.

The world of Briah (Self/Consciousness - Depth of Good, Depth of Evil)) is populated by the ten character archetypes that are derived from the ten temporal archetypes of Atziluth so we have the character of the Altered Future (known as the Ignorant Genius) or the character of the Altered Past (known as the Many Mannered Mind Man).  This idea of them being derived is important in Kabbalah - temporal factors first, then genetic factors, then social factors - in the same way Atzilith can be considered the highest or perhaps more accurately deepest world which the other worlds emerge from.

The world of Yetzirah (space) is where we have this sense of characters interacting and therefore building into communities, or if we want to use a more Kabbalistic term from the world of Yetzirah - hosts.  For the purposes of getting closer to understanding the population can be split into ten, with a host of people gravitating towards one of these archetypes, and another host gravitating towards another, the range of the host and the specific distance individuals are from the pure type, spawning the 22 paths or spectra.  In the 3rd Act of the Metabolism we look at the way in which communities of differentiated individuals work together in order to complete their metabolism.  Any group - a company, a military division, a country - can be expected to contain all of the archetypes although not always in equal measure and this may lead to problems.***

In Assiah we have these three components (time, self/consciousness and space) working together to form our personal sense of the world.  In the final act of the Metabolism of Time we discuss the way in which the individual can both complete their metabolism as a part of the host and how to begin to seek the whole within themselves and begin rectification, Tikkun, and ultimately achieve return, Teshuvah.

To conclude Time is indeed the fundamental property of the four worlds and the only property that runs throughout them all.  The spiral of our DNA is in fact the literal expression of the world of Briah, derived from Atziluth, the root of consciousness as a crystallisation of the principles of time which then goes on to form individuals and populations that interact with each other in space or Yetzirah.

Ten Sefirot of Nothingness
Their end is embedded in their beginning
And their beginning in their end
Like a flame in a burning coal
For the Master is singular
He has no second
And before one what do you count?

1:7 Sefer Yetzirah, Gra Version

*Your experience of your body is in fact a map of the mind that contains it.  Thus your memory is located in the physical sense of your gonads, your ''present awareness'' is located in your breathing your heart beat etc.  In the same way you never feel anything only feel the feeling.
**There are some overlaps in type between the video and the MoT - for instance present based hedonist translates to ''Shellfish'' * (archetype of Chesed or ''reaction to the moment'') although I would argue that the tendency to be that way comes from an underactive immune system which will come with a whole host of other problems, advantages and physiognomic qualifiers.
***Certain groups like the police would be expected to have more ''Confused Venutians'' (immune cells with a ''crime detection'' speciality) than other types and in fact a shortage of Confused Venutians in the police force would be considered a bad thing.  Similarly an athletics team may be expected to have more ''Jays'' (i.e. adrenaline based characters) than average - maybe even exclusively ''Jay''.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Teaching the Metabolism of Time

Last year I presented a three part series of lectures on the Metabolism of Time at a local teahouse with a reputation for hosting esoteric speakers.  The lectures were very well attended and I learned about the various challenges presented by delivering this material and also reflected on the idea of teaching and learning within the community and to the public at large.  Although a number of people expressed an interest in wanting to study the material further I decided that no candidate was suitable. As I embark on more student hunting this year its useful for me to go over exactly what it is that I am offering.

When I first received the Metabolism of Time, it appeared to me as a vision of characters living alongside a double helical river (perhaps the Euphrates and the Tigris) and as I contemplated the dream language of this vision and related it to the world around me it began to reveal its secrets.  I learned the cosmogony and the outer edges of the physiognomy.  During university I encountered the Western Mystery Tradition alongside my studies in Genetics and Biochemistry and began working towards a grand fusion of the ideas that culminated in a channelling of the text in 2001. This appeared in the form of 4 Acts, mirroring the notion of the 4 Kabbalistic worlds.  Over the last 15 years I have studied QBL in depth and harmonised a rectified Tree of Life with these discoveries through the use of the Sefer Yetzirah and the consultation of Raziel.

In Act 1 (Atziluth) - The Metabolism of Time - we find the explanations of the hyper-spheres of cellular consciousness: the sensation of the physical body, the sensation of physical reach, the sphere of perception and the sphere of consciousness which completes the occupying being.  Closely examining the occupant we discover how each individual moment of time has to pass through ten steps in order to be understood and how these steps differentiate into characters.


In Act 2 (Briah) - The Book of Fantastic Lies - we find the physiognomical descriptions of the characters, i.e. The Cast, their underlying associations with the endocrine system and also various details of how those characters interact with other characters, i.e. the Scenes. The Scenes describe a shattering of the primal self (the Fool) into a collection of characters that seek unification through dialogue around the two rivers which are the personification of the Metabolism of Time itself.

The Cast
  • The Ignorant Genius - Pituitary
  • The Ignorant Fool - Pineal (serotonin)
  • Mr Fernando, the Bloodless Being - Pineal (melatonin)
  • Bobblepin the Treefrog and her woolly unicorn - Thyroid/Parathyroid*
  • The Shellfish - Thymus (immune recognition of self)
  • The Confused Venutian - Thymus (immune recognition of foreign bodies)
  • The Prisoner and Anarchist - Pancreas (insulin and glucagon)
  • The Mime - Adrenal Cortex (cortisol)
  • The Semi-psychic Jay - Adrenal Medulla (adrenaline)
  • The Many Mannnered Mind Man - Gonads*

The Scenes**
  • The Early Works of an Ignorant Genius
  • The Treefrog's Hopeless Quest
  • The Observations of the Shellfish and the Principles of Trade
  • From Conversations with Mr Fernando
  • The Prisoner's Voice
  • Compassion in the Face of the Jay
  • The Final Works of an Ignorant Genius

In Act 3 (Yetzirah) - Conflux and the Zeitgeist - we find descriptions of the processes that all spheres of consciousness undergo (on any scale) and how the occupants now differentiated into characters interact with other characters to acquire nutrition and to complete the metabolism.  We also encounter the concept of masks and how through spoiling/abuse a small percentage of the population do not have ''masks'' that fit with their underlying genetic structure.  We learn how to identify this and to provide healing.

The Processes

  • Flux - Change, Energy, Fuel - glucose, Experience, Cycling
  • Shards - Stored Energy, Fat, Memory
  • Rifts - Imbalance, disharmony, exhaustion, starvation, stress, infection, breach
  • Veil - Mortality, finitude, apoptosis
  • Colour - Infinite experience derived from the finite, archetypes derived from mortality 

The (natural) Masks

  • The Director - The Ignorant Genius
  • The Angel - The Ignorant Fool
  • The Timelord - The Bloodless Being
  • The Magus - The Shellfish
  • The Demon - The Confused Venutian
  • The Dreamer - The Prisoner
  • The Lover - The Mime
  • The Immortal - The Jay
  • The Vampire - The Many Mannered Mind Man
  • The Gambler  The Treefrog

In Act 4 (Assiah) - Interactive Theatre and Strategic Drama - we find a selection of various practical activities based in the idea of removing/countering blockages or knots in the soul (similar to the Yogic concept of Granthis).  The magickal applications discussed in this section are almost entirely medical, in the sense that they seek to heal the self/other people and the approach is firstly bio-psychological building towards the psychic as we move people from a material model towards a Mind model***.  The idea of initiation as healing is discussed and we see that as ''blockages'' are removed various powers are released, unlocked or tapped.  These powers include charm/magnetism, enhanced memory and referencing from ''outside the mind'', discernment, mind control/telepathy, remote viewing, astral projection and time travel.

I think the material contained in the lessons is useful for a number of reasons a) It provides an illustration as to how spirits and/or magickal memory can communicate ideas/abilities across time and between incarnations and b) it updates a lot of the material we have with the modern findings of endocrinology and biopsychology providing unique bridges in understanding and solutions for problems in healing.

*In the crossover to The Kabbalistic Tree of Life, The Treefrog (Thyroid) occupies the position of Daath because of where Briah (the 2nd world) is in relation to the Shattering, i.e. ''Malkuth'' has not ''fallen''.  In Yetzirah there is no position for Daath and the mask of the Gambler, the Natural mask of the Treefrog is in the position of Malkuth.  This is complicated :-)
**The scene list was incomplete in that it did not deal with all possible interactions between the characters leading to the idea of ''secret paths''.  Some interactions are highly unlikely in natural conditions although various strange hybrids and distortions of nature can be created in synthetic ''high pressure'' environments.
***I don't mean psychological I mean panpsychic.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nick Bottom, Midsummers Night Dream

Let me play the lion too: I will roar that I will
do any man's heart good to hear me: I will roar,
That I will make the duke say 'Let him roar again,
Let him roar again.'

Nick Bottom, Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare

I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare as I consider him to be a poor dramatist compared to contemporary writers.  Bardolatry dominates theatre in the UK and across the world often excluding incredible playwrights and their stories from the stage.  Although I am very familiar with his work and have a great deal committed to memory I have only directed the Tempest and the Winter's Tale and the only character I have played in a Shakespeare production is Nick Bottom.*

Who is Nick Bottom?  When I first encountered this character in Midsummer Night's Dream I thought he was a bit of an arrogant goon, Shakespeare mocking a ham actor, and played him like this. In hindsight and with age, I can see that he is a charming fellow who is loved by his friends and driven by his goofy passion for theatre.  His desire to play all the roles in the play of the mechanicals is driven not only by ego but that he knows he will give his all to any part he plays, he is driven by love.  This could even have been Shakespeare projecting himself into the play.

If you are unfamiliar with the Prague Shakespeare legend created by Vincent Bridges, the Bard was said to have spent time in Prague as a spy (during his so-called lost years) and stayed at Edward Kelley's Donkey in the Cradle House.   Some of the supposed evidence for this can be found in several Prague legends, stories and folklore that ended up in Shakespeare's works particularly Midsummer Night's Dream - for instance Oberon is related to a sorcerer from central European legendary history called Alberich, or the fact that a group of guilds-men were in competitions producing plays for Rudolf II at the same time that Shakespeare was said to be in town, or the story of the head of a baby that Edward Kelley turned into a donkey.

Chet, you're surprised - her name is Lille, she's my mother's sister's girl. Good luck Chet! Sam you stick with Chet, he's got his own M.O., modus operandi.

Gordon Cole, Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch

Not by choice, but through virtue of collaboration with other departments in my college, I am studying this text in class at the moment and it made me reflect on only ever being Nick Bottom (as far as Shakespeare performances) and how that connected to my time in the Donkey in the Cradle house.  I have never made the connection before (!) and its quite curious to me, another little element tying me to this place.  Last night I watched Fire Walk with Me and the dream language of Lynch helped me to unpick the dream language of the Bards' Dream. As I reflect on this at the moment I note that Nick Bottom is a weaver, with the esoteric links to the Cathars that this suggests.  It was the weaver that was translated, whose head was turned into an ass and who was subjected to the delights of the company of fairies rather than the bellows mender or any of the other mechanicals.  It was the weaver, driven by love, who was willing to play any part.

I need to give this more thought and there are things that relate to the 231 Gates project at the Tower that I still cannot reveal, the details of certain Enochian rituals during Midsummer and their effects, although I will in due course.  As I promised to myself I attempted my weekly astral work last night - ascended to the astral plane to find some kind of faerie kingdom.  The space weather was decent (although in two days we should have a nice boost of cosmic energy from the Sun), I ate very little meat and also a lot of strawberries and blueberries.  Still on some painkillers.  Managed to see a kind of white fuzz of tangled threads that resolved themselves into some kind of thicket.  I was looking at a glade from the grass level and managed to focus in on some grass and bluebells.  A snarling goat appeared in the thicket and banished me.  When  I tried again, I kept getting memories as opposed to escaping my own gravity well.

I don't consider this to be a particularly successful attempt.  Some of the failure I put down to destination again.  I no longer think** that there are various locations on the astral plane like a kingdom of fire elementals etc, in the same way that I used to although when I was plotting my course it was this redundant thinking that guided me.  Next time I attempt to project to the fae I will plot my course into the past or astral past.  Saying that though, I definitely ended up somewhere and was possibly remote viewing an actual glade where some faerie activity went down way back when and there is very little there now.  This connects to something in Fire Walk with Me***, when Cooper goes looking for another agent and asks what was in a particular place in the trailer park and the trailer park owner goes what do you think was there a trailer! -  my point is that there are probably epic legendary places where there are car parks and dumpsters now so there must be a destination in time as well as space if you really want to get something.

I am curious about the fae in general but I don't know it this is enough.  I am curious about my own history with the fae, and how or if it relates to my prior experiences of life as a weaver**** but this is the exploring of a deep personal memory as opposed to astral work, or at least I expect it to be.  I am curious as to how the Cathars relate the Kabbalists as there has to be some kind of connection there (via the south of France, Sefer Ha Bahir, etc), even if it is virtually impossible to explore from a research perspective.  I will give this more thought, the synchronicities are strong enough for there to be some kind of looping of the thread here so I need to ask myself what I really want to get out of the experience.  What is my destination?  Or like an actor, what is my motivation?

I have had a most rare vision I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was: man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.

Nick Bottom, Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare

*I have played Dr Faustus a couple of time though by Shakespeare's contemporary Kit Marlowe.

**Due to the influence of Raziel.

***Possibly something similar in Mulholland Drive where the hag is hiding in the alley behind the restaurant.

****I have strong connections to the Cathars (past life memories, etc), one of the few plays I have written (I am primarily an actor and director) relates to the legend of the escaping Cathar monks and the text they carried with them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Metabolism of Time - Physiomancy

A few years back I made a post based on a competition from Patrick Dunn's Post Modern Magic blog entitled physiomancy which involves predicting your future based on the faces of people you encounter.  I had an extremely interesting encounter over the last few weeks which relates to this topic and I wanted to address it here.  I was working as an actor for a film that is being made in Prague at the moment and one of my old friends and mentors from Edinburgh contacted me out of the blue.  What was strange was that there were strong physio-gnomic commonalities between him and the director of the movie - they were both clearly Treefrogs i.e. the character that is referred primarily to the thyroid gland.  I knew how to relate well to this character employed that knowledge in my transactions and received an extra day in the film, an extra scene, another line and was upgraded to a named character.

Let me explain a little about how physiomancy works and how it can improve your understanding of the mechanism behind the Metabolism of Time.  As we have discussed at great length in the Hermetic Lessons you as an individual are at the centre of your own cell of consciousness - you have your awareness of your physical body, your awareness of your physical reach, your perceptual bubble and finally the membrane which encloses this in your mind.  People who enter your cell, while having their own cell of consciousness themselves act as a chemical messenger inside your cell, the message's underlying code being revealed by the physiognomy of the person.  From this knowledge of the message you can predict with a great deal of certainty the kind of scripts, physical acts and other transactions that person will engage in.  Similarly you are also acting as a chemical message on any other cell that you interact with and your chemical message is also written in your face and body.

I'll furnish you with a simple example.  Lets say I am living with a Prisoner - a character derived from insulin and the pancreas who can be expected to have a rich imagination (sometimes appearing as boundless creativity, sometimes as a tendency to day dream), typically introverted, have a strong inner monologue, the propensity for abdominal fat storage, a certain ''piggish'' quality to the face (this sometimes can be a cat-pig) and a very sweet-tooth.  Knowing this I can expect this person to be frequently lost in their own thoughts, probably write in a diary or other medium and either fill the house with sugar or vocally wrestle with the desire for sugar.  Simply put as they act on me as a chemical message, I might become more like them by sheer dint of the fact that there is more sugar around and therefore I am more likely to gain weight.  I will also be exposed to the richness of their imagination and, depending on my own tastes, being inspired or tired by it. Conversely they will be influenced by the chemical messages that I am emitting.

The reality is more nuanced - in order to understand physiognomy more precisely I have to be able to use the paths and place people on various spectrums between physiognomic archetypes (partzufim) associated with the Sefiroth.  I can immediatly differentiate between types of prisoners just from thinking about the path between the Treefrog and the Prisoner (Daath and Tifereth) as opposed to the Prisoner and the Many Mannered Mind Man (Tifereth and Yesod).  The former character is likely to have more ''resting nervous energy'' and be more inclined to travel and the visual arts, and the latter is likely to be prone to frequent bursts of energy, wildness, anarchy (stimulated by glucagon and testosterone) and be more into musical arts.  We can expect dead centre prisoners to be interested purely in writing (which on a cellular level correlates to the Prisoner as nuclear membrane).  As you can imagine these nuances will produce different types of chemical message - different scripts, different habits, different psychodramas - so I want to be clear this is not about simplifying people this is about ways of understanding their complexity.

The foundation of the system explored in the Hermetic Lessons is Chokmah ha Partzuf (the Wisdom of the Face) and is certainly related to whatever Isaac Luria was practising in Safed where he was known to read people's karma from looking at their face and body.  Physiomancy is one application of this knowledge but there are many more for example combined with a form of logotherapy it can be the foundation for a system of healing.  These ideas are fundamentally tied to my ideas of initiation where I expect physical representatives of these archetypes (partzufim) to be closely associated with me as I approach and unlock the Sefiroth they are tied too - that in their scripts and psychodramas are various secret clues to understanding if I see with eyes that see and hear with ears that hear.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Tree of Life - Summoning the Letter M

Three Mothers Alef, Mem and Shin
are Air, Water and Fire
The nature of the heavens is fire
The nature of air is wind
The nature of water is earth
Fire ascends and water descends
And wind balances between the two.
Mem is silent, Shin is sibilant
And Alef balances between the two.

Sefer Yetzirah 3:3, Saadia Version

During the Sefer Yetzirah study myself and my fellow students worked with a letter per month over the course of 22 months.  We followed this for a further 22 months studying their Kingships.  The original impetus behind the work was the request from Raziel to ''study the letters of our names''.  I felt that the letters in the name of each angel formed some kind of code and by understanding the letters I would understand more of the totality of the angel.  The details of such work varied between the students - some more research based, others meditative and others more practical.  Various Kabbalistic/Yetziratic methods were used - Tzeruf for example - alongside others with a more hermetic bent who continued to explore them through associated forms like Tarot.  Letters were pursued in vision and along the paths.  During the work each letter seemed to resonate like a glass or ceramic vessel until it cracked open and released a spirit - more often than not physical phenomena associated with the letter accompanied this spirit. In sharing a small account of an example of this work I hope that other practitioners will find new ways of working and different ways of looking at their Arts.

I had been working on summoning Mem (the letter M) for a few days - letting my mind obsess over it and its accompanying symbols/kingships of waves and water (MYM), thinking of words that began with the letter M, humming (M hums, Sh hisses), writing out the letter over and over, and whenever I broke from these concentrations guiding myself back on to the path.  My mind thus excited I pursued the letter on the astral - carving into the membrane of my vision and letting the light spill through the gate.  The letter would fluctuate, change shape, elude me, multiply, flash and then it was held.  A letter engaved on the clay of the mind carved out, quarried, and finally sculpted from the stuff of the astral. People speak to a variety of lunar deities, some speak to the Moon, but very few seek to speak to the letter M herself.

After several days of this, one afternoon I returned from work to find that a giant M had been constructed in scaffolding over the back of the building I was renting, the landlord was doing some work on the windows in my upper floor flat.  I entered the room and looked out through my window, through the M, and was amazed by a beautiful sunset that cast a golden light on a pyramid shaped building in the city, an approaching rainstorm and a gigantic double rainbow.  The letter cracked open like a chocolate egg in my mind and a delicious caramel of mystical ecstasy flowed through my blood.  I left the flat walking through the M on my house towards the M in the sky over the city.  My heart was racing, and my mind, stunned but beginning to interpret the phenomena as I went towards it.  As my mind operated on the experience of the event, I could feel it working like an enzyme, breaking down the experience through analysis, turning it into words, robbing me of direct experience and as this happened the rain clouds drew ever closer.  I turned a bend in the road and a swan, out of nowhere, fell from the sky and crashed into the pavement.  I stopped.  This swan was a symbol for my heart, brought down from the mystical, magickal experience through too much interpretation and analysis in those first few minutes.  It turns out that when the emergency services arrived to rescue the bird that it had crashed because it was dehydrated.

It is difficult to maintain what Kaplan refers to as Chokmah consciousness or non verbal consciousness.  One of the leading causes of failure in astral work is that you will analyse the experience you are having (turn it into words) causing it to break up or corrupting it with your preconceptions and judgements.  Judgement is the root of the shattering. In learning how to explore visions and experiences like this, Kaplan suggests that your consciousness is a penduluum you learn to swing longer into Chokmah ever extending your time in this state but when your heart runs returning to the place.  Mystical and magickal pursuit of the letters themselves enriches your mind and your experience of reality.  Rather than simply spending your time with spirits and other characters from the Book of Time you are reaching into the principles of the enchanted language itself - a chemistry of spirits, not a sociology.  You learn to see past the exterior of the being and into the code itself. Like the genetic physiognomy discussed throughout the Hermetic Lessons, Kabbalistic work with the letters lets you reach into the physiognomy of spirit itself.  And like the last fifteen years of experiences, I am ever thankful to Raziel for showing me the way.

He bound the twenty two letters to his tongue,
And revealed to him their foundation.
He drew them in water,
He flamed them in fire,
He gave them sound with breath,
He ignited them with the seven planets
And directed them with twelve constellations.

Sefer Yetzirah 6:4, Gra Version

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Astral Projection - Failures and Analyses

Since my recent experience with the angelic alien insects I have made several attempts to go on the astral plane that have resulted in failure.  I want to describe and analyse my failed attempts now and what I can learn from the mistakes.

On my first attempt after the experience, I managed to get on the astral although the plane was not as inviting (the weather was not as good I suppose you could say) and I didn't really have a clear intention when I went on.  As I cleared the ''psychic gravity well'' of Earth I decided to attempt to astrally project to Venus because it had been very clear in the sky.  I stated my destination and began to move through the astral.  I felt like I had entered some kind of flesh-coloured pulsing tesselating tunnel which seemed very Venutian.  I travelled down the tunnel and then ''saw the light'' at the end. The tunnel opened out on to what was some kind of viciously hostile atmosphere, I could see clouds of gas lit by lightning and I worried that if I left the tunnel I might be consumed.  After getting the fear like this my experience broke up.

During the second attempt I made a big mistake.  I was lying on my back staring forwards and used a ''climbing the ladder'' model of pulling instead of the more recent innovation of the ''rowing'' model of pulling.  What this effectively had me do is ''climb'' at 90 degrees to my intended direction (up) as I was imagining my hands actually climbing and I was lying down.  I was so into my climbing that I was concentrating on the ladder model more than where I was in the astral.  When I stopped ''climbing'' and decided to look around me it was clear that I was still very much on Earth as nothing was happening - I had moved in completely the wrong direction.  I reverted to the rowing model and also just focused on my head as the ''boat'' and the oars being where my ears are.  I moved forward (up) rapidly in this manner, but again I was more focused on practising technique than on destination. I stopped and looked around me and the astral environment was rich with potential but I realised I didn't have any goal so I just let myself float back down.

I just want to discuss some matter arising from this:

  • Does the activity of certain planets and the Sun make for a more difficult/easy launch? I will make sure to make notes on astral weather using my planetary calculator (paying attention to the Moon) and also check spaceweather.com before working to see if there is any correlation between the richness of the astral environment and solar activity (geomagnetic storms, CMEs, flares, spots, etc)  
  • What's in my blood/brain?  For the last few weeks I have been taking painkillers for my teeth and the excessive use of ibuprofen definitely dulls the light.  Note what is in my blood.
  • State your destination?  There are two types of people when it comes to remembering long forgotten things.  People who go ''it'll come to me'' then forget that they are trying to remember and then the information comes to them in a few moments vs people who actively try to remember and sit there straining at it for five minutes.  I think this is the difference between using your mind/brain and being your mind/brain.  Since I am one of the former I have been increasingly training my mind/brain to do tasks that I do not have to concentrate on, stuff that it can just run in the background so to speak.  I have been applying this to the astral for some time, not worrying too much about which angle I am facing to make it to my destination but asking my brain to do the necessary maths on trajectory for me.   This generally works really well.
  • Have a destination?  I am intending to be systematic about my astral work this year and get to know local space as intimately as possible.  In the recent case of the insects I have a feeling that I moved so fast that I not only projected in space but also in time.  I got the sense that I was really far out there, remote from Earth and the present - what Mage the RPG used to call the Deep Umbra.  Although I think I will find things on the planets that will kick me off, I am going to dedicate an evening each week to attempt to project to one of them. 
  • Is the rowing model better than ladder model?  In Egyptian Mythology and elsewhere we have this notion of rowing through the Underworld bearing in mind that the Underworld can actually be referring to space and in Jewish mysticism the idea of Jacob's Ladder is frequently used when describing scaling the heights of heaven.  I have generally had more success with the rowing model although I have not described or directly experienced it in this way before the feeling of rowing seems to resonate more than the feeling of climbing.  It seems easy to imagine rowing with your ears (I know how weird this sounds, but in muscles of the mask Raziel made some good points on how to use facial muscles and so on to ''inflect'' the astral and I have made great headway with this technique) and less likely to make a mistake by attempting to use your body, deviate in your perception to an objectified view of the self and thereby negate the astral view.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Fourteen Minotaurs - Response and Clarification

Andrew, in his discussion of the Fourteen Minotaurs makes some really useful points and I want to address some of them here as well as clear up some possible errors in understanding regarding my methodology and my own interpretation of the results. 

To be clear the work that I am doing with Raziel is actually with the entity known as the Archangel Raziel as opposed to the Book of Raziel.  This work is undertaken through contact on the astral plane (using Kabbalah) and takes the form of telepathic messages (regarding the nature of time travel) that appear in the form of a ''compressed'' sentence or a ''lesson'' on astral work.  I started work with Raziel back in 2002 when after systematically working my way through summoning the Archangels of the Sefirot I received the message ''Abandon the tarot work with the letters''. I followed this command and studied the SY intensely for around seven years but didn't receive another communication for ten years by which point I lived in Prague, Czech Republic and was working on Jupiter Magic with Miller, Salem, Opus, Ashen Chassan, Magdalene, Bradford et al.  The messages and lessons became more frequent when I moved to Edward Kelley's Tower in 2013 and began the 231 Gates project, died off again for about a year after I fled in terror, and at the moment they are happening around once or twice a month.

According to Raziel then, the reason the possible timelines of your life end up reducing to 14 (from the various infinities offered us by the many worlds interpretation) is that the vast majority of alternate personal timelines are dead (unrealisable) because they do not take place in timelines which end in the ''invention of time travel'' and therefore never ''cohere'' in the first place.  The 14 surviving possibilities of you (our minotaurs) are derived from the aggregation of various yes-no decisions that end up culminating in the same set of significant events. That these 14 are planetary seems to be bound up with the notion of them being derived from the essence of story itself.  Magick, allows you to move between these variations at ''robust branching moments'' but each one has a future which is preexisting, therefore you are selecting a universe as opposed to creating new ones, or ''influencing probability'' in this one.  Only fourteen minotaurs run through the labyrinth of your soul.

Raziel is being very clear that everything in this plane is absolutely determined including the planets. They are not determining us anymore than we are them - we are in sync, everything is in everything - and it is more useful to think of them as a clock as opposed to the causative agent or source of influence.  Most magicians see this idea of destiny as life threatening to the notion of magic itself which is the declaration of supreme free will.  There is an assumption that free will is true, even if nearly all the evidence goes against it, because the ego rebels so strongly against the idea that it has no agency. Not many magicians have really had that conversation with themselves to the extent that they could be having it - for instance temporal entanglement has to come up in the critical analysis of any ''retrocausal'' magickal effects i.e. when you did the magic but the effect had to already be happening before the cause for it to mesh with your life in the way it did - so how does that work?  After thinking about this for a long time now, admittedly under the influence of Raziel, I have come to the conclusion that destiny is a necessity in the construction of the universe that the prison of destiny safeguards the freedom of the astral (deep future) from the pinchpoint which is ''the invention of time travel'' and also that this is worth the sacrifice.  The experience of time in the astral is often much much slower than the real world, if time passes at all but one needs the prison of time in order to step outside of it. As I learn more about my 4d self and how it operates I understand the freedom that will exist after I am dead.

I think what Andrew is talking about (and the ideas for different activities he has) is an entirely valid exploration of these ideas within the model of free will and possibly destiny although I don't think he quite gets the implications of the ''fixed in stone approach'' as he makes frequent references to luck, choices etc and seems to come more from the probability model. I am not saying this to disparage him I am struggling with these implications myself. I have thought a lot about and played around with planetary hyper rituals (rituals for all planets on sacred day and hour, every day) and I am certainly reflecting on the kingships during the day that they reside under but if it has already been determined that I will do that, I am not responsible for those thoughts or actions in quite the same way as before.

When we think of the kingships and their transpositions, e.g. Powerful vs Enslaved, we need to look at them from the personal local perspective as opposed to the global perspective.  I think a lot of magicians these days are way way too caught up in politics and I can't help but think its time taken away from other pursuits, other lines of enquiry.  As you know power and slavery I place under Venus and maybe its better to look at this as to what extent you are hooked on drugs, booze or controlled by a dominant lover and in what sense you use narcotics as opposed to abuse them or are the dominant lover in a relationship - this should certainly vibe with my Thelemic friends - as opposed to whether you are a techno-serf in the global empire.

The connection of Mars to the Kingship of Seed is because Mars was originally an agricultural deity who was converted into a war god because the original Roman soldiers were farmer-soldiers and these farmer-soldiers were organised according to family, clan etc on the Field of Mars.  So seed is central to the Martian ideal although I am not disputing ''energized'' with its link to Martian athleticism or other alternatives.  On this note the Kingship of Peace and War is attributed to Mercury (through the ruling factor of communication both interpersonal and intrapersonal) although this is the one we often think should be with Mars.

This said I think there is a ''self improvement'' danger in occultism where all positive kingships are sought after and the transpositions avoided. We know that being a billionaire or a beautiful star is not necessarily going to make you happy and its strange for people to automatically think it would.  Even being Healthy is not the key to happiness - some of the most anxious and/or boring people I know are health nuts - I would hesitate to describe them as happy. Wisdom is no guarantee - intellectual superiority, the conceit of knowledge are all challenges to true happiness. The Kingships and their transpositions are all about story - you can be happy and poor, you can be happy and sick, likewise you can miserable and healthy.  So I would question Andrew's ''changing life for the better'' - having jumped track a couple of times (through magick) I can't say for sure that the rich track is ''better'' than the ''poor'' track or that dominant is ''better'' than enslaved - honestly - I think all fourteen minotaurs have their stories.  ''Better'' seems to me an aesthetic choice and some people love the grotesque, the tragic and even the evil.  The other thing that is worth bearing in mind is that Raziel seemed to imply that one kingship will always be the dominant one in determining the quality of the archetypal version of yourself you are experiencing and therefore that it is impossible to have all seven switched on to their ''better'' versions. In my understanding and experience Eudaimonia is not about simultaneously experiencing all seven aspects of the good life.