Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Ophiel approaching...

Tonight I returned from the second Arbatel ritual for the Olympic Spirit of the planet Ophiel (Mercury).

It was an  absolute amazing and humbling experience, similar and yet very different from the first ritual of Phul. There are so many things I could have done better and hope to improve on in the future. Yet, there are also a few things where I found new and better approaches than during the first ritual.

Over the course of our communion Ophiel shared his secret name and allowed me to understand his nature and way of functioning... I just wrote everything down in a sketch version in order not to forget any details. I will share a full report once the influence has settled and I had time to integrate the new energies and insights. However, I have the funny feeling that this will happen rather quickly with Ophiel's energies...

Talk to you soon. 

(picture source: http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~mnc3z/images/astro121/mercury.gif)



Sunday, 26 December 2010

On the nature of the Qliphoth

Recently I had time to bring together this page on the nature of the Qliphoth on myoccultcircle.com. On reading through the article again I was a concerned that it could easily be misread as an encouragement for practical work on the Qliphoth. This concern increased when I read about some magician's attitude when it comes to this type of qliphothic work in various relevant forums... Therefore let me take some time to make my position really clear.

Reading through a forum or email group posting really just gives you a brief snapshot of an opinion and lacks a lot of context. Maybe many magicians who propagate practical work with Qliphoth have decades of thorough magical training and a proper psychotherapy under their belt - as well as a group of loving people around them who provide checks and balances by direct feedback on the effect of their magical work on their personalities... That is certainly possible and I would love for it to be true - yet, my personal experience tells me to doubt it.

My personal experience tells me instead to rather accept that these days many people want to walk over the Abyss just like they hiked a mountain in the Himalayans during holiday, just like they lost 10 pounds on a diet or got a promotion at work... My point is, some things are hidden and hard to access for a reason. While the Qliphoth certainly contain huge potential for one's personal, spiritual and magical growth, first and foremost we have to be ready for every challenge we face... So the question over which I seem to disagree with many magicians these days is: When is one ready to work with the dark side of the tree or face the Qliphoth?



I like to keep thing personal here, so let me share a personal story: Since childhood I was afraid of open waters. In my little mind 'open waters' unfortunately used to be a term that could be applied to a swimming pool or even a bathtub on bad days. It simply was my version of these fears most of us seem to be born with: Fear of height, fear of spiders, fear of the dark - or in my case fear of open waters... When I started my magical training more than a decade ago I knew I had to overcome this fear. Yet, I also knew how deeply engrained it was in my personality. Well, this year for the first time in my life I swam through a lake. Every day when the sun came out in the morning my wife and I would drive over and I would go for a long swim that could take me anywhere I wanted to go to in this open and remote lake... What a wonderful feeling. But I am not sharing this because of the great feeling it gave me. The reason why I am sharing this story is: I am a grown up just like we all are, I live my life on my own feet just like we all do and sometimes I think I can take and handle much more than I actually can - just like we all sometimes do. Being ready to swim through a lake took me how many years until I could do it? And it filled me with a wonderful sense of pride and happiness. But it doesn't make me ready to pathwork or summon the Qliphoth. Not in any way. Having conquered one challenge doesn't mean I can conquer all challenges.


Take a moment and consider this: If you were your own teacher what type of student would you prefer? 
  1. The bold student who is brave like a rock but tends to over-estimates himself in new situations? The one who runs into each challenge with the assumption that previous success, faith and willpower will make him succeed again? The one who looks down on your experiences cause he thinks they don't apply to him?
  2. Or the one who knows his own limits. The one who is swift in learning and adopting new skills because he know that not all challenges can be solved with the same tools? The one who seems less of a hero because he respects his (inner and outer) opponents. But the one who attacks like a sniper in warfare, one shot at a time, and like a lover in life with a curious heart, one encounter at a time.

I guess the answer is not about which student you would prefer. The answer is about knowing which of these two you resemble more to? A good teacher - just like yourself - will adopt his training style to the student he is working with... So what is the advice you can give yourself?

The best advice I could give myself was the following: If you need to prove yourself that you are a grown up and that you can face what other people fear - then start with what you fear most, not with what you desire most. Sometimes our simple fears matter most. Swim through that lake, caress that spider, climb that mountain. Whatever adventure we are embarking on let's do it with respect for our own limits and lives. Only then can we...
  • come back and report,
  • teach others about what we have learned,
  • grow our skills and experiences,
  • and be proud about what we achieved.

I think what I am really asking for is: Please treat your life and your fears with respect. Because your world is also my world. Anything you do affects me, whether I want it or not. But as we can't take responsibility for each other, let's start by taking responsibility for ourselves.

This world deserves far more great teachers. Be one of them - by not starting your journey at your desires, but your fears.


Saturday, 25 December 2010

Olympic Spirit Evocation Notes

Earlier this week I came across this account of another magician evoking the Olympic Spirits. Excellent work in my humble opinion and a great account of the Olympic Spirit  conversations. Unfortunately the page seems to be down and only accessible via www.archive.org... 


Link: Olympic Spirit Evocation Notes


Phul's advice on silver and silver nitrate is highly interesting... It seems this magician achieved a very precise level of communication and even saw pictures of the spirits. His name is only given as Demian - which could be a reference to the protagonist Demian in Herman Hesse's book of the same title - or maybe just his name.


Well, unknown Demian - here is to you and your wonderful craft!



Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Holiday Gift!

In case you think you cannot afford all the magical sourcebooks and works of reference you had on your holiday wish-list, I might have just the right hint for you. Archive.org is a well know website for its incredibly rich content and the slogan 'universal access to all knowledge' - which one could easily mistake for a mirror of Wikileaks. But let's not get into this here...

If you search Archive.org for your favorite grimoire or sourcebook you might be surprised about the results that come up. Avoid the link to GoogleBooks as these aren't for download due to copyright reasons in many cases. Yet, most of the best sourcebooks are out of print and without copyright these days and you can find the direct PDF download link on the page.


Here are just a few of my all-time favorites:
   
English language:

  • The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, Vol 1-14, available here 
  • The Books of Enoch, book 1-3, available here
  • E.A. Wallis Budge, collected works, available here
  • Various works on Babylonian Magic, available here  

German language (extremely rare editions!):

  • Johann Scheible, Das Kloster, Vol. 1-12, available here
  • Georg Conrad Horst, Zauberbibliothek, Vol. 1-6, available here
  • Theodor Hopfner, Griechisch-Ƥgyptischer Offenbarungszauber, Vol 1, available here

Well, if you now think of coupling these PDF versions of extremely rare or expensive sourcebooks with an iPad - your reading list for the next couple of years should look pretty good.

Happy holidays!


 

On communicating with spirits

Thanks for your feedback on my account of the Arbatel Experience - Ritual of Phul. Let me follow up on a specific question I received from several readers.

Many of you asked questions on the chapter that I called 'Communion' and specifically about communicating with spiritual entities. Now, before I go a bit further into this topic I need to repeat that all of this is my personal experience and opinion only. E.g. I haven't worked with Goetic daimons and therefore cannot talk about their ways of interacting with us. However, I did have a chance to work with many kabbalistic, planetary, elementary and shamanic entities and all of these experiences confirmed the below.

Let's start at a source most of us think of as a trustworthy authority on this subject. Agrippa of Nettesheim speaks about the 'tongue of angels' and shares the following:


"But now how Angels speak it is hid from us, as they themselves are. Now to us that we may speak, a tongue is necessary with other instruments, as are the jaws, palate, lips, teeth, throat, lungs, the aspera arteria, and muscles of the breast, which have the beginning of motion from the soul. But if any speak at a distance to another, he must use a louder voice; but if near, he whispers in his ear: and if he could be coupled to the hearer, a softer breath would suffice; for he would slide into the hearer without any noise, as an image in the eye, or glass. So souls going out of the body, so Angels, so Demons speak: and what man doth with a sensible voice, they do by impressing the conception of the speech in those to whom they speak, after a better manner then if they should express it by an audible voice."

(Agrippa, Henry Cornelius, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book III, Chapter XXIII, link to Joseph Peterson's full online version or ref. page 530 in Donald Tyson's highly recommendable edition with comments)


Now, there is little left to say after this very precise description of how one communicates whit spiritual entities: Their words come from within. We are our own little radio station; our heart is the transmitter and our mind is the receiver.

All of the banishing, the hexagram work, the charging of our consciousness, the tight choreography of bodily movements and divine words to be vibrated - these are the tools that allow us to tune into the right radio frequency in order receive the signals sent by the entity we wish to communicate with. If one compares this approach to other traditions like Shamanism, Merkabah or e.g. the kabbalistic exercises compiled by Abraham Abulafia it becomes apparent that there are many more methods to achieve the same state of mind and 'sacred communion'. 

At the end of the day 'truth is what works' - as Jodorowsky put it so simply. We all have to find the method that is most accessible for us and our own predisposition... This reminds me of the early days of my magical training. We were working all on our own but had a teacher and would meet at his house once a month to discuss progress, challenges and insights and receive new instructions for our work. On many of these occasions I learned how different our disposition as humans are with regards to magical operations. Some of the students sat down for a 2h asana meditation - and by chance left their body and entered into the astral realm. That is to say without any prior training; this experience was highly disturbing to them and it took a good teacher to learn how to handle their talent. Unfortunately I wasn't one of them and didn't know what I have understood today...

Back then I worked feverishly to 'see' with my physical eyes into the astral realm. I studied Tratak methods and stared for hours against a single spot on the wall or tried to see the aura of a random object like an apple or a egg. I assume this was a good training of willpower and concentration and does help me in my work today. However, I made very little progress and felt highly frustrated after months of daily training.

At some point I decided to let go and simply continue with my magical operations - as a 'blind'. Rather than giving up or getting stuck any deeper, I decided that if I couldn't accomplish to gain astral sight I would enter in blindness. This was a hugely important change of mind at that point in time for me: To never get stuck, but to practice Aikido with your own mind and goals as required.

The results I achieved since then as a 'blind magician' worked very well for me - and I don't feel blind anymore at all even though my astral sight still isn't any better. I discovered that my astral sense of 'hearing', i.e. being a precise yet adaptable radio station was very good. I guess I would have never discovered this talent, had I not decided to let go of pursuing to become a magician with astral sight...

What I am trying to say is: find your own talents and discover your astral senses without goals in mind. Your sense of sight or hearing might be numb or rudimentary, but maybe your astral sense of touch or even taste will work great for you. 

This is not to say that hard work isn't necessary and we don't have to endure moments of frustration or even desperation. Any 'Great Work' is a rough and tough journey at times. Yet, there is a difference between a living tradition that we allow to fill our personal lives and experiences - and banging your head against the wall at the end of a dead end path.

I guess that is the only thing I would add to Agrippa's quote: The 'tongue of angels' can be heard with any sense in our bodies that is sufficiently evolved. The transmitter of our radio station will always be our heart, yet the receiver is to be found by your own practical work and explorations.


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Baphomet

Look who dropped by to say hello.... good old Baphomet, still alive and kicking!


I actually think he wants some stroking - right below the pentagram on his snout. Give it a go, don't be shy. In case he bites off your hand I am sure he will heal it instantly with the caduceus between his thighs. The risk still might be worth it...


Personally, I can't think of a nicer guest at my house during holiday season.


Happy holidays everyone.




Monday, 20 December 2010

The Crazy World of... AOS

... just following up on the earlier post on Alejandro Jodorowsky.


Having compared him to Austin Osman Spare, I felt I should also share this wonderful report on a recent AOS exhibition for everyone who isn't familiar with his works yet.


If you are interested in buying AOS books two very good places to start out from are Robert Ansell's Fulgur and Mogg Morgan's Mandrake. Alternatively, this is a great place to find information online.


If you wish to immerse yourself deeper into the strange and wonderful lives of AOS and Jodorowsky I recommend these biographies as great starting points. Actually, it's not too late to put them on your holiday gift-wishlists... 



  • Baker, Phil, Austin Osman Spare - The Life & Legend of London's Lost Artist, 2011 (forthcoming in January, pre-order on Amanzon.co.uk here)
  • Jodorowsky, Alejandro, The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky, 2008 (available on Amazon.com here)





Dweller on the threshold

Last night I decided to take on a larger project over the holiday season to be published on www.myoccultcircle.com in early January. 


A few years back I was deeply involved in practical work and research on the concept of the 'dweller on the threshold' as introduced by Bulwer-Lytton. Immersion into this concept and its practical appliance in context of kabbalistic operations was a major element on my journey from Yesod to Hod on the Etz Chiim (tree of life) - which in essence took almost 2 years.


While there is a good chunk of information available on the internet already (the most obvious being the Dweller article on Wikipedia) my focus was to bring together the kabbalistic and psychological perspective to make this concept more accessible. I would have loved to use the publications of other people from this viewpoint but unfortunately couldn't find anything. 


With additions over time this resulted in a 19 pages article with lots of references and footnotes. I will try to bring most of it online (footnotes are a pain with iWeb!) and probably split it into three main chapters. Most of the work will be the actual translation as all of it is in German currently.


So in case you are interested in working on the veil of Paroketh, stay tuned.





Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Crazy World of...

Well, I think this might serve well as an introduction to this blog...


These two videos give a wonderful insight into the cinematic work of Alejandro Jodorowsky's. Jodorowsky is a mage of his own kind. In my eyes his approach of tearing down the borders between magick and everyday life can only be compared to Austin Osman Spare's approach in the early 20th century. 


Both of them didn't accept limits to what they could achieve, both were perceived as outcasts from mainstream society and both of them created something absolutely new and wonderful.


Here is to the outcasts, to creativity, to being free thoughts of efficiency and open to what comes next when we consider ourselves at the end of the journey.


"Creativity, on the other hand, drives you toward what you do, what you should do. 
And what you do, you project. And if you project it, you receive it back. 
Everything you give to the world, the world gives to you. Everything you do not 
give to the world, the world does not give to you."

(Alejandro Jodorowsky)

PART 1


PART 2







Arbatel Experience - Ritual of Phul

On Monday, 22nd of November, a night of full moon and during the first hour of the moon I performed the first ritual of the Arbatel series. The ritual of the Olympic Spirit of the Moon whose governor is Phul.
A close friend and I had been working since the beginning of the year, with multiple interruptions of our day jobs, to bring together the full Arbatel ritual structure as well as all necessary paraphernalia. Both of us are practicing magicians since many years and so we had the usual stock of ritual equipment. As I am living on the countryside we also had the luxury of a spacious temple, fitted into an old saddle factory barn next to my house.
The following account is my personal report on the preparation, completion an conclusions of the evocation of the Olympic Spirit of Phul. Everything expressed is an accurate and honest account of the preparation and work done between December 2009 and November 2010. Everything stated is also nothing but my personal experience and opinion. Still, I hope it will serve others in their practical work and can contribute to further maintain both of pillars of our craft - science and art.

The full article can be found on www.myoccultcircle.com --> Circles --> Arbatel Experience