Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Dangers of Belief


            Sitting around a study group session discussing an upcoming evocation and various roles that each of us initiates would undertake, one of our members piped in with, "Still looking for people to run equipment?" To which I replied, "Yes" and they, "Good, because I don't believe in this."  I've seldom been split in my emotions of agreement and hurt like I was at that moment.   Delighted that they didn't hold profane beliefs and hurt because maybe they thought that I did.  I do not want to turn this into a diatribe or a "know-it-all" session, as a few of my better known colleagues are so apt in doing but, I do need to explain why belief is a dirty word and a blessing in the same breath.


           To a student of the subjective and occult sciences, belief is a tool.  Belief is a series of reasoning and thought brought about consciously, albeit emotionally.  So, when understood, belief can be manufactured and used.  A mentalist can manufacture a belief...(I've seen Youtube videos where Darren Brown converts atheists).  So in this light, belief is a blessing to the occultist because the occultist understands that by using various systems and by invoking certain emotion on purpose they can manufacture and use belief.   In other words, they trick themselves into making a belief, a reality.

            To paraphrase a cliched quote, 'even if there are no Gods in the universe, the universe behaves as if there are'.  So, if the mood struck me and I felt so inclined I might evoke the great spirit of the Italian sausage meatball using the various liturgies, mantras and prayers to the great God named The Flying Spaghetti Monster.  What's more is that with the right frame of mind, setting and some skill I could evoke the Italian sausage meatball spirit into physical appearance for an entire group of people.  Once done successfully, the occultist can then ask the serious questions like; was reality just bent by belief or is this a case of mass hysteria?  Which leads us into the discussion that Belief is a dirty and profane word.


            Once an occultist understands the fact that belief can be manufactured then, a revelation that it has been used like a crack whore on the mass populace of the profane occurs.  If I can materialize the great spirit of the Italian meatball for a group of people then, the great spirit of the Italian meatball is, for them, a reality.  The great meatball is other worldly and elusive, it is the living representation of substance in a dish full of chaos.  Round, like the Earth, it holds a sacred geometry and therefore is a divine messenger of fullness.  It is at this point in this ridiculous situation that I can implant ethics and platitudes such as; chicken is a forbidden food, the mixing of ranch with marinara is also forbidden and eating the main course is a cardinal sin in the eyes of the Flying Spaghetti monster.  As preposterous as this scenario sounds, it is only ridiculous because humans cannot identify with a plate full of spaghetti like they can a bearded man in the sky, a sacrificed martyr or any number of the prophets from bygone eras.  


          Belief is a human construct.  When belief is philosophical or theological and not based on inference, it can be a tool for study and use by the occultist but, the bane of the profane.  You can find this tool being used in main stream religion, pagan religions, and systems such as the kabbalah, enochian and even Tarot.  
Take what you need, Discard the rest



Reflecting on past failures and accomplishments in Hermetic Magic.
Hope you find some of these useful.

On Practice

  1. Magic is a personal experience.  No other person will experience life the way you do nor, will they experience magic exactly from your perspective.
  2. Theugery and Thaumatergy, pick one.
  3. Grand ceremonies and complicated ritual are often unnecessary to achieve the results required.
  4. Perfect meditation is the goal of magic that should never be accomplished.
  5. Keep open flames off of unstable structures and make sure your working area is big enough to avoid tripping hazards.
  6. Obsessions, as written about by Mathers, will make you feel and seem mad.  When you feel this way its important to realize that no one else is suffering your form of madness.  Take a break.
  7. Obsession, as written about by Mathers, is a real issue and the only cure for this affliction seems to be either to take a long break from ritual or to make sure you verbally state an intent to every ritual.
  8. Verbally state an intent to every ritual.
  9. Most current popular authors on the occult are knowledgeable but, suck as human beings.  Never take their suggestions at face value.
  10.  Evil magic backfires....rather than tell you not to perform any evil magic I recommend that you try a hex or two and see if I'm not right.  
  11. Try not to spend your entire paycheck on magical hardware.  Often the best wand is the finger and the best robes are the work clothes.
  12. Learning the arcane symbols and alphabets is a process that is slowly perfected with study and use.  Try not to get bored, overwhelmed or frustrated.  
  13. Physical rituals are not always possible as much as we would like to perform them, meditating on physical rituals (i.e. performing them in altered state with your imagination) is just as effective as doing them physically as most physical rituals are at least 80% visualization techniques.
  14. Take breaks but, don't give up.
  15. When making a salt for an herbal spagyric tincture burn the left over herbs and then fry them in a pan over an open flame.  You will get the white ash needed.
  16. Doing the LBRP, LBRH and middle pillar exercise daily will accomplish memorization and allow you to tinker with intents and visualizations until you find what works for you.
  17. When starting ritual magic on a consistent basis you may see hallucinations and feel certain ways that seem odd.  This is a form of obsession, be sure to state your intent aloud before ritual if this is happening to you.
  18. Write down the results of your divinations....you can come back and re-evaluate them later.
  19. Do not try to boss around entities you invoke or evoke that you identify as angels.
  20. Do "clean up" with banishings and the like after you have performed a ritual or ceremony which invokes energies and spirit.  If you don't, I promise you'll be sorry.
  21. Synchronizations are about as useful as deja vu if you are not constantly trying to recognize them before they happen.  Pay attention to your surroundings and you'll be able to predict events out of thin air.  Impress your friends at parties.
Don't take anything seriously...if you are not enjoying what you are doing then, whatever it is, is not for you.