Chaos Magick

Git ‘ard magick.

Servitor Management

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From: Xi O’Teaz
To: zee-list

>>Sentient entities as a general rule will strike out
>>if you try and put them “under control”. Much the
>>same you or i would. The only difference is the
>>mutlipurpose servies have the advantage of access to
>>a whole range of nasty non-physicals.
>>Squink

>thus, my hesitance at making something too ‘multi’ in
>purpose it could get muddled & angry, like me :)
>d bananZa

See, I read about this, but I don’t find that to necessarily be the case. First of all, if you harbour Doubt and Fear and MisTrust in your Own Creation, the chances are good that the servitor may indeed become unruly.

Perhaps I got around these problems with a strong Belief in the following:

I have always treated my servitors as Creations, whose DNA is its Intent; i.e., just as we humans have certain *drives*, e.g., sex, food, water, shelter–“that is what we do”; so too do my servitors perform their functions because “that is what they do”. That’s their purpose, Intent, and Destiny. Part of their Intent is to generally be likeable, agreeable, and protective of me. Thus I generally give them Personalities, and we “talk” (sorta). I call them, and think of them as, my “Friends who take care of things for me” ;-) They take care of things they are good at, and I take care of things I’m good at.

And as far as “servitors getting pissy ‘cuz they’re not getting ‘fed’ enough” theory, I have yet to find that to be the case. But then again, I guess I generally say some sort of “thank you” (energy exchange) whenever a Friend does something for me, but that’s just having good (energy exchange) manners, IMHO.

That being said, I have never had any real problems with a “serfie revolt” or some-such-thing, anymore than any of my physical friends would do such a thing.

But then again, I would never really try and put a friend under “my control” in a slavish manner as is suggested by many a Grimoire and Manual of Magick!

Perhaps the key to the whole “getting along with servitors” thing is to Percieve the servitor relationship from a different Perspective…

Know
Thy
Selves

~~~
3 Coyotes Dancing
~~~


Judeo-Christianity and chaos magick

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The chaote is free to adopt any system (s)he so pleases and deconstruct it on whim. It is generally considered taboo for any chaote to develop any sort of personal dogma. I thereby call into question the doctrine of personality and its implications. I posit that the personality is as undefined and arbitrary as “god”, “spirit” and “love”. Since these are left entirely for the individual (or not-so-individual) to interpret as they please or are told, i recommend another approach to the socio-religious status quo, and namely Judeo-Christianity. This approach is encouraged in the interest of originality and inclusion, useful qualities for any chaote.

“Self” remains as undefined as “God”, and is equally arbitrary in definition and significance. Although personality can be defined as the collective character, behavioural, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person, the bases of such – thought and emotion – remain only classifications of experience, not definitions. It is therefore belief only that defines the personality. Time and experience, the fundaments of memory, which is possibly the single most important factor in the development of personality, are not static. It is absurd, then, to assume that the product of such ever-changing conditions should be anything but impermanent and malleable. Personality is little more than a doctrine, a set of beliefs that one has adopted to differentiate their self from others. This dogma is developed around mostly inescapable experiences but is entirely open to re-interpretation as any other belief system.

It is easily argued that originality itself is an illusion. This remains undisputed here. There is nothing new under the sun. However, there is much to be said for deciding one’s own order – or disorder – of reality rather than ignorantly accepting any of the provided options. There is also much to be said for advancing one’s own likes rather than digressing on dislikes. Those who do are usually considered “original”, or at least “strange”, and thus have a particular if illusory claim to uniqueness.

Those who merely criticise and attack what they do not like are unoriginal. They have created nothing; they are merely reacting to what someone else has done. Furthermore, to utterly dismiss any paradigm on the basis of personal preferences is to assume that the personality is absolute. Thus, those who can not or will not at any time adopt any particular view on any topic presuppose two dogmatic truths: 1. Their personality is an absolute truth that cannot change. 2. The particular view in question remains absolutely irreconcilable (does not change) with their personality.

“Nothing is true; all is permitted” (Hassan I Sabbah). This paradoxical credo (that it would remain undisputed is also paradoxical) of the chaote demands that the very self be called into question. Since there is no such thing as a True Self or personality, one is free to explore all that was previously believed unacceptable for whatever reason, and is encouraged to do so. In the context of North Americn (Western) society, this typically results in exploring so-called alternative paths and the occult. However, this is a one-sided approach that excludes a wide variety of options. By ignoring or directly attacking the socio-religious status quo, and namely Judeo-Christianity, one originates nothing but merely reacts to what others have already established, and furthermore confirms unquestioned faith in the doctrine of “self”. In doing so, one remains as equally limited as if bound to meet the requirements of that status quo. This reflects poorly on the very basis of chaoism.

Christians limit themselves by considering their theology the only truth and refusing to explore other faiths and ideas, and are thus considered closed-minded. Likewise chaotes, who suppose a larger degree of freedom in the ability to choose whatever works, invariably limit themselves by refusing any serious inquiry into Christianity. To assume the meta-belief that belief itself is a tool for achieving effects but not allow oneself the option to explore all the tools available is to presuppose a truth (the personality) and incur a specialization that may ultimately hinder the effects desired. Thus inclusiveness becomes a desirable quality for anyone who wishes to maintain as much potential as possible.

Inclusion suggests, indeed, that nothing is true–not even the self. Incorporating Crowley’s Qabalah and Spare’s sigilisation into one’s personal grimoire is no measure of originality; not only is it adopting pre-set formulae with historical credibility, it is appropriating some of the most common occult alternatives to the Judeo-Christian paradigm. Taking on Emperor Haile Selassie I as one’s personal deity while adopting a Sikh mindset and using Islam’s jinns for servitors, on the other hand, could be something original and interesting. Moreover, inventing systems of philosophy and magick that are in no way related to any other system (eg, no astrology, no gematria, no sigils) would seem an ideal exercise for the aspiring chaos magickian. All in all, one should not be so constrained by their doctrine of personality as to explore only that which is obscure or unpopular.

It is therefore in the chaote’s best interest to retain Judeo-Christianity in the catalogue of possibly useful paradigms.

Copyright 2002. saintstephen. Permission to reproduce this article granted under the condition that this copyright notice is included.


Acoustic Sigils

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Music and !0Magic!1

I’ve stumbled on what seems to be an excellent system for creating ACOUSTIC sigils to go along with a respelling of intent. I’m sorry the explanation is a little long and maybe difficult to understand for the musicially uninitiated. Like many things, it’s much easier to put into practice than explain unfortunately.

Before I get into the actual process, I wanted to talk about the importance of instrumentation in “magical” music.

I’m attracted to the trance producing capabilities of music and so have gotten interested in 1) the gamelan music of Indonesia. It’s stated goal is to place the audience in a half-awake half-asleep state. 2)the ecstatic qawali singing of Persian music and 3) the polyrhythms of Africa and therefore Voudou.

What is interesting to me is that gamelan instruments are played in pairs which are roughly a quarter step apart and this creates binaural beats which are in the range of the alpha or theta brainwave frequencies. Also, the gamelan is tuned to a scale that is divided into 10 equal parts instead of the normal 12 of western musical practice. The number 10 has magical correspondences which I will leave up to you to extract. In a related topic, the music of Thailand, with a very similar rhythmic structure and instrumentation to that of gamelan, is in 7 equal steps to the octave which relates to Uranous and 7 headed dragons if you’re into that sort of thing.

The scales used in Persian music are in 24 or 48 equal but have most of the notes tuned to normal notes like the music of India but the Setar (not sitar) has two of it’s strings tuned to C and C1/4sharp producing the binaural beats again. The setar is the preferred instrument of Sufi mystics!

African music for ritual and worship is always polyrhythmic in a western conceived measure of 4/4 played simultaneously with another measure in 12/8. The 12/8 polyrhythm is characteristic of all voudou drumming. Another interesting facet is that in Africa, the Amadindas xylophone is tuned to a scale of 5 equal steps. When creating rhythms and melodies on a wheel as I’m about to show you, it makes a PENTAGRAM! for the Paganly inclined. This is just a subset of the 10 equal of gamelan music. The 5 equal tones to the octave from Africa are what gave rise to the “blue” notes in blues music when African slaves were deprived of their native instruments and had to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of an instrument like the guitar.

Having music in “weird” tunings separates it from the music of mere mortals and adds to its potency in magical work. So, I have started combining these elements to produce the ritual music I’m looking for.

The music I come up with is not difficult to play but requires at least 2 people to get increased efficacy out of but preferably 4 people should be used and ideally 8. However, 1 person playing in 12/8 is enough to throw something unusual into the music because we’re so used to hearing and playing music in 4/4 or 3/4.

When creating a statement of desire, I use the method of first eliminating any repeat letters to create a “mantra” which has no recognizable similarity to the original statement. It’s important that it have at least 2-6 consonants because these will end up as rhythmic events. This is what “well-formed rhythms” have every 5 seconds which roughly equals about the span of one measure. Another interesting aside is that Masks of Alaskan shamanism are always distorted to show the “magical” source of the spirits they’re fashioned after, so there is a historical justification for this method of distorting the magical tool prior to that of Osman Spare.

Anyway, I will eliminate the vowels as well and like to add my own again later to create the “mantra.” If eliminating letters reduces the mantra too much then it’s not necessary to do it and the substitute method of only eliminating the vowels is used. If either method leaves you feeling that the word is still too recognizable then a method of extrapolating permutations is used. So, if the statement of intent is, “I want to love myself better. This is simplified to “I love myself” and the vowels removed with the result “lvmslf.” This has a duplicate letter “l” so I eliminate the second one. I like to reinterject the vowel “a” with the result “lavamasafa.” For me, this is staisfactorily unrecognizeable but if you didn’t think so then you could take lvmsf and rearrange them putting every other letter on a different side such as lmf/vs. This results in lamafavasa. If your mantra is longer than 6 consonants then you can use both methods and do anything else you have to do to make it come down to 6. I’ll use the first one which goes lavamasafa because I was happy with it.

Now draw a circle and mark the quarters and cross quarters. This represents both the diatonic melody and also the rhythm in 4/4. For ease of reference I’ll use the C major scale but any mode of this scale or Persian scales such as Rast or Indian Ragam could be used instead which have microtonally flat scale degrees, as long as it has 7 notes to the scale and the includes the octave. This will also work for the Thai tuning.

The point at the top is the notes “C.” The next note going clockwise around the circle is “D.” The one after that is “E” etc… all the way around until you get to the 8th position which represents the “C” an octave above.

Now, I write the alphabet around the circle starting at the top with “A” going clockwise around. Next, I look for the correspondences between the alphabet and the notes of the scale. The mantra is lavamasafa so the first LETTER I’m looking for is “L.” When I find it I see that it corresponds to the NOTE “F.” The next letter is “V,” since I’m avoiding all the vowels, which corresponds to the note “A.” I draw a line from the “F” on the circumference cutting across the circle to the note “A.” The matrix created by the note/letter correspondences also produces the SIGIL! by drawing a line from note to note Cool!!! Another side comment is that advertisers for products like Marlboro cigarettes know there are gender differences in logo attractiveness. Designs with sharp points, like this method creates, are likely to appeal more to a males unconscious and not as well to females, at least the ones living in North America.

After you’ve plotted the whole thing you’ve got the order the notes should be played in and only PART of your sigil because you will have to create the rhythm for the 12/8 cycle to superimpose over this one in order to create a polyrhythm.

You’ll be happy to hear that the rhythm for the 4/4 portion is already contained in the design of the sigil. The notes “C” of the scale is also the first beat in the measure if you now treat the circumference of the circle as a rhythmic matrix instead of a melodic one as we have been doing up to now. This sigil shows that its rhythm has NO events on the first and second eighth notes but DOES have events on the next four. We are finished creating the rhythm for the part which is in 4/4.

Before we go on to the 12/8 portion, we can place the notes of the melody in the linear form of the rhythm i.e standard music notation. So, not only is the rhythm the first drum part, it is also the rhythm for the melody associated with it.

In this case we have one note left over which doesn’t fit onto the rhythm so I alternate playing it and not playing it to help create a little variety.

The melody should be played on gamelan instruments, Thai instruments or Setar. Or, if you’re capable, sung, as the voice is the preferred instrument for communicating intent in Shamanism.

A 12 string guitar can also be adapted to play binaural beats by detuning the sets of double strings by a 1/4 step, Persian musicians outside of Turkey usually tune to 1/8 steps and this still corresponds to acceptable brainwave frequencies for magical use. Or two instrumentalists can play purposefully out of tune a bit on western instruments of any kind in a pinch.

African music also has a pattern played on bell(cowbell, agogo or otherwise) which I derive by rhythmic diminution of the part I already have. In laymans terms it means to play one part twice as fast as the drum part on an obnoxious bell, if you’re into traditional African music, or on a shaker or rattle if you’re crossing over into shamanism.

The Shaman often holds the rattle close to his head because the random, multiple strikes occuring inside the rattle also affects brainwaves placing himself into a magical state or if you shake it above a patient, putting them into the alpha “healing” frequency.

Next we create the melodic and rhythmic patterns in 12/8 the same way we made the ones in 4/4 except we make a new circle marking the quarters but this time we don’t mark the cross quarters and instead ultimately have 12 stations on the circumference of the circle.

Plot the alphabet around the circle and draw the sigil based on the letter associations from the statement of intent.

If you wish to derive a melody from this, the most natural way is from the chromatic scale which has 12 notes or you can devise some other scheme.

Again, the station at the top of the circle is the first beat of the “measure.” This word is in parenthesis because African musicians don’t conceive of their music in measures or of even having a downbeat. Anyway, rhythmic events are known because of where the sigil makes tangents with the circle.

Most rhythm around the world is additive and not necessarily divided exactly in half as is western music. It’s easier to play in 12/8 if you think of it as 3+3+3+3. This rhythm has a rhythmic event on the first beat in the first group of three. An event on the last beat in the second group of three. On the first beat in the third group of three. And on the first and last in the second group of three.

I forgot to mention that the kind of repetetive music which sigilization constructs is very similar to avante guarde music and the music of John Cage who is mentioned on some of the Chaos “magic” websites I’ve seen. I forgot to mention previously that instruments can be acquired or made inexpensively or free. A gamelan metallophone/xylophone can be constructed out of electrical conduit and a pipe cutter or out of discarded wood. Just experiment with the lengths until you get the right pitches providing a whole range of tuning possibilities very cheaply. 5 gallon plastic water bottles make great drums and the small ones also work well as a kind of bongo. Anything can be used really such as foot stomping or an upturned garbage can. Salt shakers or toothpick vials make nice shakers. Different lengths of ABS pipe with end caps make stamping tubes which can function as a drum part producing different pitches. In Cuba a brake “drum” taken from a car is often used which can function as the bell of African music in this context. I use big circular saw blades as gongs since they are prominent in the rhythmic structure of gamelan music playing on every fourth beat with the lowest pitched gong playing before everyone begins and as the last stroke of a piece of music. A fretless instrument like a guitar or violin can be made from some wire, a broom handle and a coffee can for a resonator/body. Use two strands of wire and tune them a quarter step apart. Use coloured tape to indicate different places where to put your fingers. Mapping out The Thai tuning, gamelan tuning and standard scale steps or whatever is your preference. If you want to play it like a violin or cello, a bow can be made from a dowel and any piece of fabric that you can put dried tree sap on.

If anyone wants to post this on their personal website has my permission.


RPG Magick 101

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Subject: Resend: RPG Magick–101 (long)
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 15:53:21 -0800 (PST)
From: “Xi O’Teaz” < xi_o_teaz[AT]yahoo[dot]com >
To: zee-list

What follows was originally sent in April of last year, both the original “RPG Magick–101 (long)” and the addendum (which immediately follows):

* * *
Okay, here is the best that I could recall of my experiences with role-playing (e.g., D&D; vs. a video game).

To begin with, I want to say that I tried to write this for “everymage”, not just for those familiar with rpg’s–hopefully I was successful. I should add that my role-playing experiences over the past 12+ years have been primarily in magick-rich worlds, such as in Dungeons & Dragons or Mage: The Ascension (cf. Battletech)–so many of these ideas may not be applicable to all rpg’s. I also think that many of the following Magickal exercises are equally applicable to Acting, and therefore also very important in Invoking.

As always happens, I will forget many things until after I send this post (especially since I haven’t played for almost a year), but this post should be a good sampling of ways I use role-playing games, tools, and related ideas for “Magickal” means:

As stated above, role-playing is basically a form of Acting or Invocation to me. The main differences between acting and role-playing are that role-playing doesn’t have a (physical) stage, and you get to Create the character’s Destiny as you go along.

Unless you are playing Live-Action-Role-Playing (LARP), you are generally seated around a table, with a bunch of dice, papers, and pens. So the entire Reality of the game is dependent upon group creation–similar to writing a novel, with the Storyteller (i.e., Game Master–GM) being the main writer, and the players all representing/writing differing primary characters (i.e, a Player Character–PC).

This is very similar to Path-Working, or what could be called the Active Imagination, with the GM performing the part of the Guide to this Imaginal Realm. Merely *playing* rpg’s is a great exercise for the Imagination and all relevant extra-sensory-perceptions (e.g., “astral sight”, etc.)

Playing rpg’s is also good for conditioning you to understand the comprehensive rules for a complete Paradigm/Reality (e.g., the rpg’s rules). Because the games are much more simplistic than real life, but still attempt to re-create it on a certain level (even if Fantastic), it is easier to see loopholes (i.e., “ways to cheat”) in the system and exploit them. Or to paraphrase Morpheous from the Matrix:

“In the Matrix, as in real life, there are rules that can be *bent*, and those that can be *broken*.”

Such critical thinking is great mental exercise, and improves problem-solving skills and Creativity. I think that understanding Reality’s rules (however you choose to see them) is required before being able to “sidestep” them, as chaos mages are wont to do.

In addition, when you’ve played enough of a certain game (paradigm), you find out that there are many things that the game in question didn’t cover, but should have (not really loopholes as much as *gaps* in the rules–i.e., a game “design flaw”). Seeing what parts of a paradigmatic Reality must be covered to properly feel “realistic” (to you) is also a great exercise in not only “knowing thy selves”, but useful in the development of comprehensive personal paradigms. This could include Magickal and/or Divinatory paradigms, a la Runes or Tarot.

I think my favourite part of playing rpg’s is actually *Creating my PC* (Evocation), which is obviously done before any true “playing” commences.

I usually have a few “character concepts” floating around my head, of different characters that I want to play. So, understanding the game’s rules, you have various ways that you can Create your character (Evoke a Self?), with different abilities, powers, character flaws, etc. These character statistics and role-playing notes basically become the genetic code for the character. I.e., the character sheet becomes both the Statement of Intent and Magickal Link to the PC. Miniatures can also be used as adjuncts for Contacting your character, although I personally prefer to use a small Stone (that resonates with the character) or Sigil to act as a Magickal Link to the PC.

The way you begin with a character concept, and then assign attributes/statistics to the PC is truly to “flesh out” your character–especially when you consider the time and mental Energy spent thinking about the character and all of hir details. Obviously, the more Energy you spend on the PC’s Creation, the more powerful and Real your Creation becomes.

I should note here that the steps used for Creation of a PC can also be used for Creation of Servitors. I.e., by taking a blank character sheet and filling in all of the stats of a serfie you desire to Create–assigning powers and traits, etc.–you can also Evoke any type of sentient entity you wish. Of course, the entity will have some of the resonance of the game system used, but this is true of any and all paradigms–not just game systems.

To get back to the actual playing of the game (post-character creation), playing different personalities than your normal one(s) also helps to better Know Thy Selves. Ask any Actor. This exercise alone can be very powerful and broad-ranging in effects upon one’s perceptions of one’s selves, and how we truly *do* have an infinite number of ways that we can perceive and react to life’s varied situations.

I often Create a character that has a particular personality trait (or many traits) that I am lacking. By playing/Invoking the character, I release the aforementioned suppressed parts of myself, proving to myself that I *can* Act in such a way, etc. This is pretty basic deprogramming via Invocation, and should be familiar to all chaos mages. This is not to diminish its impact, however, for it is a very Powerful tool for releasing repressed Selves.

I have also used this technique for refining/acting-out ideas that I wish to explore further. A great personal example is the character named “Why?” that I created about the same time I started experimenting with the chaos current (3 years ago). This was also the game that had another (real-life) mage playing as a fellow player (not GM, dammit). Why? was a member of the Cult of Ecstacy (kinda like a cross between chaos mages and hippies) in the game Mage: The Ascension, and one of the most Poweful and Fun characters I have ever Created:

other players: “Hey Why?!”

me: “Because it is in accordance with my prophecy.”

op: “No, I mean–hey, Why?, will you help us out?”

me: “Because you need it, but I didn’t say I would.” etc. (gotta love those verbal games–thanks Abbott and Costello)

His personality was such that he not only questioned everything (a previous sig line for me was “…or maybe not. Question Everything!!!”), but he Created Doubt in Sleepers’ minds as to the stability of their Realities (e.g., “Magick doesn’t really exist”) via Memes, Ericksonian Hypnosis, the Socratic Method, and other Tools. During the time I played/Invoked him, we both opened many many minds to a great many things (and we both learned a lot in the process, as well).

One of the most intriguing side-effects of playing Why? was that he had a “supernatural flaw” called “Echoes”. Echoes are basically ripples in Reality (glitches in the Matrix) caused by the Mage’s very Existence. In the case of Why?, he had an aura extending to his immediate surroundings (e.g., a room) that caused people to “mildly hallucinate” via various senses. E.g., people often thought they were walking through spiderwebs when there were none, they thought they saw something in the corner of their eye, they would more readily notice Synchronicities normally psychically censored, or some other similar odd occurrence (to them). When they acknowledged the Echoes, Why? would use the occurrence to go off about the subjective nature of reality (or something else to expand the Sleepers’ Realities/wake the Sleepers up).

After Invoking Why? a great many times (and not just while playing the rpg), I noticed that I, too, had developed Echoes. This had a very Powerful impact upon me for a variety of reasons that you can probably guess–I thought it was pretty cool, too ;-)

Another way that I use the actual playing of the game is to program myself with various NLP anchors (e.g., mantras, mudras, sigils, etc). To give an example, if I have a character that can become invisible by reciting a specific mantra, then by actually *repeating* the mantra over the course of game play, I have associated/anchored the mudra with invisibility. It is then a small mental step for *me* to use this mudra in real life to invoke invisibility.

The character I just made for our new Thursday night game uses singing and drumming to access his magickal “bard songs”. The effects of these spells can translate quite easily into real life Magick, so i Intend on Creating a mantra, rhythm, or similar anchor to access the spells/effects that I myself would like to use in the “really real world”.

As an aside, often when programming anchors (e.g., martial arts sparring), you must “pull the punch” when practicing. IME, this can create anchors that program you to *fail* at the Intended result. Programming an anchor via an rpg, however, often has the opposite problem–being “overly dramatic”. But being overly dramatic is *good* for NLP purposes, and the differences between effects rendered in the game environment and the real world work themselves out quite naturally, whilst still stimulating the Imagination in the same manner as when it was played out in the game.

Another way that I have used rpg’s in my Magick is by actually treating a particular game’s magickal paradigm as I would any other magickal paradigm. IME, the only rpg particularly useful in this regard is the magickal system of Mage: The Ascension, with it’s 9 spheres of magick and the subtlety necessary for avoiding Paradox. I.e., I used this system for Magickal Workings. Why? had good control over the magickal spheres of Time, Space/Correspondence, and Probability/Entropy, which I naturally found much easier to manipulate than the other 6 spheres (although we were also pretty good at the sphere of Mind, too).

I eventually integrated/permanently-Invoked Why? into my Selves, even adapting and modifying his Sigil into the Sigil for 3 Coyotes Dancing.

Finally, it should be noted that the standard rpg dice are all made of regular polyhedra, with the exception of the d10. Somewhere long ago I posted a Magickal Paradigm using these, but I find merely Gazing at them while enTranced with the rpg is very stimulating:

  • d4-tetrahedra (the element Fire to the ancient Greeks)
  • d6-cube (Earth)
  • d8-octahedron (Air)
  • d12-dodecahedron (Spirit)
  • d20-icosahedron (Water)

In addition, it is a good Magickal exercise to not only communicate with the dice themselves but to practice Probability Manipulation whilst rolling/Casting the dice, pushing the Probability patterns in your favor. Why? helped me a lot in this matter, as well.

I hope this post gives some insight as to how rpg’s can be used for personal evolution/Magickal purposes, and will be of use to at least a few of you.

I’d be interested to hear any other things you’d wish to add, or questions you have…

Play Well…
* * *

* * *
This was originally from Thee Shadowmage/Omega Psi Cult HQ, and was dated 02 May, 2001. We were talking specifically about the game Mage: The Ascension, and his post, unedited by me, was the following (after the post are some additional comments by me):

*********

in my view, Mage is not good as a starting paradigm, because in essence it makes more sense to use as a META-paradigm (just like the chaos magick theory) By virtue of it’s metaphysical theories, you have to be one of the awakened to work magick, hence it stands to reason that you need to have had at least SOME “magickal” experiences (though not neccisarily PLANNED ones)

interestingly, one could use Mage as a meta-paradigm withing a chaos paradigm, and following suit, the chaos magick would again become the paradigm used by the mage in his “Mage the Ascension” persona…meaning that you can adopt YET ANOTHER paradigm withing that purview. confusing, no?

and THAT is EXACTLY what makes it work, (IMHO) you use SO MANY (meta) pardigma to filter reality through, that your psychic sensor (or whatever you like to call it) hasn’t A CHANCE to resist (insert evil cackle)

Also; the neccesity to work through coincidental pathways (a good idea ANYWAY) only helps to teach one to enchant smartly instead of tac-nukeing everything (which is notoriously unreliable anyway)

it is worth noting that PARADOX WILL OCCUR if you push to hard, far, or even work too much subtle magic (domino effectg) this can be an interesting experience, if somewhat painful/dangerous.

I’m also quite interested in what effects Resonance will have after I’ve done more work in this way…

*********

I would have to agree with this post, and Why? did just what you were talking about in the second paragraph.

I think the 3d paragraph would also apply to me, at least while I was playing Why?.

If I haven’t already mentioned the “necessity to work through coIncidental pathways” (4th paragraph) as being an *excellent* Magickal exercise, then add it to the list of things I should have posted, but didn’t, in my first essay in this thread. Such an exercise not only helps to teach one to “Enchant smartly”, but also trains the conscious mind to be Aware of more subtle Paths to Manifesting one’s Intent:

A simple example would be a “teleport” spell. Instead of simply disappearing from one place and re-appearing in another (like in D&D), perhaps a taxi “just happened” to pull up, just as we needed to “disappear”.

Or instead of throwing lightning bolts at our opponents, a loose power line could come tumbling down upon our foes.

One of Why’s favorite offensive Effects was called “Christine”. He would manipulate Time, Correspondence, and Entropy/Probability to insure that a drunk/reckless driver went hurtling into his opponents. Obviously, this can only be done once or twice within a given area, or the “domino effect” would invoke Paradox. But imagine the damage done to the opponents that just got ran over by a sleeping driver behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler! Who needs a fireball when you’ve got this?

ETC…
* * *

Play Well

“Know Thy Selves”

~~~3 Coyotes Dancing~~~


New age or chaos magick

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Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 08:28:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Abadon23[at]aol[dot]com
To: zee-list
Subject: New Age or Chaos Magick

In a message dated 97-09-05 08:44:06 EDT, Gentle writes:

<< Ooooh..just outta curiosity (and the overwhelming desire to start a heated debate on my favorite list), what is the difference between NewAgers and normal freaks like us?! I mean, where is the line that turns someone from a pagan (or whatever title) to a NewAger? >>

Oh, i’ve played the “lurking newbie” long enough. This is one i feel compelled to comment on.

I’m loath to try to offer any absolute definitions (no offense, but these arguments on “denotative issues” don’t really thrill me), but i would like to offer a few distinctions i’ve discovered between New Age-ism (NA) and Chaos Magick (CM).

For one, most NAers subscribe to an “absolute” theory of meta-reality, particularly in regards to reincarnation and past-lives. They tend to see this system of repeating lives as premiere, the centerpiece of all their other beliefs. Indeed, i once had a NAer tell me, after i indulged his wishes to do a numerology chart on me, that ALL numerology and astrology was founded on reincarnation… that without a foundation of the ‘absoluteness’ of reincarnation, numerology and astrology “made no sense at all.” As i’m still sceptical on the notion of reincarnation, i’ve foreverafter had a bad taste in my mouth about these two sister-systems (just as well, considering how they tend to degenerate into fatalism and determinism).

NAers tend to see their particular system as universal: “Everybody has seven chakras, whether they know it or not.” “Everyone is reincarnated, whether they know it or not.” “Everyone is subject to karma, whether they know it or not.” They’ve even tried to assimilate all the other “big name” prophets of all the major religions. “Oh, Jesus was a mystic proponent of reincarnation… Really! But it all got edited out of the Gospels by various unenlightened sods, after the fact.” This has actually been a strong selling point to NA dogma, that it can absorb other doctrines, keep what they can use, and dismiss what doesn’t fit as a ‘pollution’ to the original espoused belief, regardless of whether they have any historical evidence to back it up. But this also fosters a blithe arrogance towards “traditionalists,” who just aren’t ‘cool’ enough to ‘see the whole picture.’ To paraphrase Yabro’s “Messages From Micheal,” “A plant needn’t understand photosynthesis to turn green in the spring.” That pretty much sums up the NA attitude, in a nutshell. Which, if i’m not mistaken, elevates it to the level of “religion.”

CM, of course, doesn’t promote any kind of absolute theory of the afterlife, or any ‘cosmic’ code-of-conduct (karmic or otherwise). This alone draws a wide distinction between it and NA.

Secondly, most of the popular mockery that the NAers have been subject to is the caricature that they’re basically “pollyannish,” that they have a skewed, unrealistic perception of the gritty “real world.” But i find this image fairly accurate. They don’t really want to acknowledge the ugliness and brutality of the world they find themselves in. And their strategies, their pastel-gilded “everything is love” attitude towards every scenario, every situation, seems naive at best. In a world where rightist death squads kill school teachers in the middle of the night, where transnational corporations irradiate our water table for the sake of fiscal expediency, where one out of every five children are officially malnourished and one out of every three women have been raped at least once before their 18th birthday, the general attitude and strategies of the NA community seem woefully ineffectual and outright ludicrous. In fact, it doesn’t even LOOK like a strategy for change… its looks more like a complex system of denial.

This may be why so many NAers lapse into a state of paralysis and impotence, having to rely on their divinatory tools, their rune stones or their tarot cards, to make the simplest life decisions. Or perhaps they’ll wind up meditating for 5 or 6 hours a day, every day… searching for some revelation, some conceptual ‘grail,’ that will give their lives some purpose, to fill some vacuum that they can’t otherwise fill. (This doesn’t look like ‘results magick’ to me.) Rather than offering them useful techniques to “take charge” of their own lives, it often winds up offering them intoxicating avenues to help FLEE personal responsibility, to avoid having to make the tough decisions that everyday life demands. These are the fruits of the New Age, as i’ve seen them.

Murray Bookchin, an eco-anarchist out of Vermont, once wrote of the NAers, calling them ‘lotus eaters,’ comparing them to those characters that Odysseus bumped into in Homer’s “Odyssey;” an island of stagnant, apathetic addicts, chewing on flowers all day, largely unaware of their ‘outside’ world. Not an altogether inappropriate description.

The CMs are (or seem to be) far more open to the full range of human experience, good and bad. They can see the world both for what it IS, and what it COULD BE. They don’t rely on celestial determinism, and they don’t pretend things are prettier then they are. In this regard, i’d say that CM has a far more practical relationship to this “default reality” then NA, and many other paradigms. It offers a wider range of pragmatic options for dealing with the genuine problems of our world. It says, up front, that an individual has to have the strength of will, the resolve, to take command of their own lives, to steer the course of their own personal evolution, regardless of how acary that might seem. As opposed to the NAers, the Chaotes don’t shirk from the responsibility of commanding their own destinies. They welcome it, because they have the vision to recognize this dizzying spectrum of options. CM doesn’t make a very good ‘escapist’ paradigm… but NA seems pretty well suited to escapism.

The efficacy of NA as a magickal belief system is as potentially viable as any other belief system, i suppose. Why wouldn’t it be? And they use several techniques that many chaotes have found value in. (I, for one, can still carry on a conversation with a ‘lotus-eater,’ and walk away with some valuable insights.) But frankly, the ‘religious baggage’ that tends to come with a full-blown acceptence of the NA ideology seems no more liberating (to me) than a full-blown acceptence of orthodox christianity.

Or so i’ve seen. Just an opinion.

Amor Vincit Omnia
Rev Abaddon


Egregores: notes on the role of the historical egregore in modern magick

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It is quite easy to poke fun at the historical claims of most magical and mystical orders, especially when they purport to have derived from “very ancient”, possible even “Atlantean” or, to top it all, “pre-Atlantean” brotherhoods for whose existence even the most sypathetic historical scholar worth his name would be very hard pressed to find any significant proof. Actually, it is rather a cheap joke to cite, for example, AMORC`s claims that even good old Socrates or Ramses II (of all people!) were “Rosicrucians”. However, the trouble only starts when adepts mistake these contentions for literal truths. “Literal”, of course, derives from literacy and the letters of the alphabet. And, as Marshall MacLuhan has justly in his “Understanding Media” and perhaps even more so in “The Gutenberg Galaxy”, western civilisation has a very strong tendency towards linear thinking, very probably due to – at least in part – the linear or non-pictographic nature of our alphabet. The very structure of this alphabet informs us at quite a tender age to think in terms of linear logics such as cause and effect, or, more intersetingly in our context, PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE. This is not at all a “natural necessity” as most people are wont to think, for the ideographic or pictographic “alphabets” as used for example in ancient Egypt or even modern China and Japan tend to bias the correspondingly acculturalised mind towards what MacLuhan terms “iconic thinking” – a perception of holistic factors rather than the systematisation into seperate (preferably indivisible) single units. Western thought has formulated this problem as the dichtonomy of the analytic and the synthetic approach. But it is perhaps no coincidence that our contemporary culture tends to associate “synthetic” with “artificial” , vide modern chemistry.

Now magical and mystical thinking is quite different; in fact it is not half as interested in causality as is linear thought. Rather, it strives to give us an overalll, holistic view of processes within our perceived space-time continuum; an overall view which includes the psychology of the observer to a far stronger degree than even modern physics seems to have achieved in spite of Heisenberg`s uncertainity principle and Einstein`s earlier theory of relativity. In other words, mythological thinking is not so much about literal (“alphabetic”?) truth but rather about the “feel” of things. For example, a shaman may claim that the current rain is due to the rain goddess weeping because of some sad event. He might predict that her phase of mourning will be over in two days` time and that the deluge will then end. A Western meteorologist might possibly come to similar prognoses, but he will of course indignantly deny using any of “this mystic stuff” in the process. His rain godess takes the form of barometric pressure, wind velocity and direction, air humidity and the like – but who is to say which view is the “truer” one, as long as abstract and mystic predictions prove to be accurate? From an unbiased standpoint, the modern demons “barometric pressure”, “wind velocity” and factors of a similar like are just as abstract and mythic as the shaman`s hypothetical rain goddess – especially so for us laymen who religiously follow the daily indoctrination via the TV weather forecasts and satellite photograph divination: all we can do is believe in what the expert tells us is the truth. The non-shaman in a shamanic society shares a very similar fate when he has to believe simply that the rain goddess wants to be comforted say, by a substantial donation of meat or tobacco in the course of a fully fledged tribal ritual.

There is an important difference however. If we accept the model (strongly propagated by A.O. Spare, who was, of course, in his very special manner, quite an orthodox Freudian) of magic primarily taking place within the subconscious (Freud) or, less ambiguous, the unconscious (Jung); and if we furthermore agree that said unconscious is not only the source of personal magical energy (mana, or, as I prefer to term it, magis) but tends to think and act in symbols and images, we might come to the conclusion that our shaman`s explanation may perhaps not be scientifical more satisfying in Western terms, but it is surely more in accord with the way our unconscious tends to perceive reality. In that sense it is not only more “natural” but, one suspects, even downright healthier for psychic hygiene. It is, so to speak, more “ecological and holistic” in terms of psychic structure.

As an aside I might mention that it is the better explanation for practical magical reasons as well. For at least rain goddesses can be cajoled into happiness by magical technique, ritual trance and the like until they stop weeping, a task a meteorologist will hardly be able to imitate. (Actually I have preferred the magic of rain prevention to the more classical example of rain making because it is far more relevant to our own geography and experience).

In recent years Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphogentic fields has raised quite a hue and cry, not only within the confines of the scientific community but strangely enough among occultists too. I find this latter reaction quite astonishing, because a lot of what Mr. Sheldrake basically claims is nothing more than the old, not to say ancient, tenet of philosophical idealism: namely that there is what in both German and English is called “Zeitgeist”, a form of unique time-cum-thought quality, leading to surprisingly similar albeit completely independent models of thought, technical inventions, political truths and so on. One would rather expect the people to be profoundly intrigued to be among materialist/positivist biologists or physicist rather that occultists who have traded in the Zeitgeist principle ever since occult thought proper as we understand it arose in the Renaissance.

From a pragmatic point of view Mr. Sheldrake is behaving very much like our meteorologist, replacing mythic explanations with crypto-mythic “scientific” factors. Unfortunately, most scientific scholars tend to fear a devaluation of scientific termini tecnici; once they are mentioned in the wrong “context” (almost invariably meaning: by “wrong” people) they are readily labelled as “non-” or “pseudo-” scientific – which is, after all, precisely what happened to poor Mr. Sheldrake amongst his peers in spite of all his academic qualifications. This example goes to show how very much estranged occultists can be from their own sources even when working with them daily.

Reality too is always the reality of its description: we are marking our pasts, presents and futures as we go along – and we are doing it all the time, whether we are conscious of the fact or not, whether we like it or not, we are constantly reinventing our personal and collective space-time continuum.

Space seems rather solid and unbudging; even magic can do very little it seems to overcome its buttresses of solidity and apparent inertia, occasional exceptions included. (May it be noted that I include matter in this space paradigm, because solid matter is usually defined by the very same factors as is space – namely width, length and height.) Time, on the other hand, is much more volatile and abstract, so much so in fact that it is widely considered to be basically an illusion, even among non-occultist laymen. And indeed in his famous novel “1984” George Orwell has beautifully, albeit perhaps unwillingly, illustrated that history is very little more than purely the description of history. (Which is why it has to be rewritten so often. It seems that mankind is not very happy with an “objective past” and prefers to dabble in “correcting” it over and again. This is quite an important point I shall refer to again later on.) History is, after all, the defining of our past own roots and our present position within our linear space-time continuum in relation to past and future. Very often, unfortunately, the description and interpretation of history seem little more pathetic endeavour to obtain at least a minimum of objectivity in a basically chaotic universe. The expression “ordo ab chao” is more or less a summary of Western thought and Weltanschauung, of the issues straining and stressing the Western mind since ancient Greece. Chaos is considered “evil”, order on the other hand is “good” – then the political philosophy, if you care to dignify it by this terms, of “law and order”, appeals to people`s deeply rooted fears of loss of stability and calculability. (“Anarchy” is another widely misunderstood case in point.) The ontological fact that everything is transitory has never been particular well-received in Western philosophy and theology.

Now before you get the impression that I am only trying to impose a typical exercise in heavyhanded Teutonic style philosophical rambling upon your overbusy reading mind, let me hasten to point out that if past, present and future are, at least in principle, totally subjective, we as magicians are locally perfectly free to do what we like with them. For the magician is a) the supreme creator of his own universe and b) the master of Illusion (ref. the Tarot card “The Magician/Juggler”). This freedom of historical choice, however, is seldom realised let alone actively applied by the average magician. Maybe one of the reasons for this has to do with the somewhat pathetic fact that most of us tend to live our lives in a more or less manner, being mild eccentrics at best, distinctly avoiding becoming too much over the top. There are a number of possible explanations for this, ranging from “every magician is just another guy/gal like me” to “prevention of insanity”. As we deal all the time with insanity – i.e. extremely unorthodox states of consciousness by bourgeois standarts, we magicians prefer some stability in our everyday lives and makeups, but this is not really our topic.

Rather than delve into social normality of the average magician I should like to investigate the many bogus claims to antiquity as put forward by a multiple of magical and mystical orders from this point of view. Such orders range from Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and Theosophy to such venerable institutions as the O.T.O., the Golden Dawn and many others. Their historical claims are usually quite stereotyped: the spectrum covered includes Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, Solomon, Moses, Dr. Faustus, St. Germain, the Gnostics, the Knight Templar,the Cathars, the Illuminati, the Holy Grail myth, prehistoric witchcraft, matriarchy, shamanism etc.

Now it is quite common for shamans, to cite one example, to claim that in the good old days (usually, of course, dating back to a non-calibrated, non-defined time immemorial) things used to be much, much better. One of the more profane reasons for this contention may be the fact that most of these shamans have already achieved quite a venerable age in their trade; and don`t we all know the typical attitude of old crones towards modernity ? It may not sound particular spiritual or holy but maybe all we are seeing here is the primitive`s parallel to the “Now when I was in Poona with Royal Indian Army, young lad…” reported occasionally to be heard in some of today`s pubs.

But there is more to it, I think. By calling up “bogus” ancestors from Moses via Solomon to Dr. Faustus and St. Germain, the magician not only reinvents his own history, he also is summoning up the egregore of these “entities” (along with all their powers and inhibitions of course) – or, to put into Mr. Sheldrake`s terminology, their morphic fields. By violating all the painstakeing endeavours of the meticulous historian, by simply ignoring a number of tedious and possibly contradictory facts and questions (such as whether Moses and Solomon have ever really been sorcerers of some standing in their own time) the magician becomes God in the fullest sense of the expression: not only does he choose his relatives in spirit quite arbitrarily, he even claims the right to do what not even the judaeo-christian god of the old testament is ever described as doing, namely changing “objective past” at will.

This type of creative historicism appeals, so it seems, very strongly to the unconscious mind, supplying it with a great deal of ideological back-up information, thus reducing its conscious-mind-imposed limits of “objectivity” to at least some modicum of superficial probability. It is only when the occultist mixes up the different planes of reference, when he purports to speak of “objective linear truth”, instead of mythic or symbological, decidedly non-linear truth, that serious problems arise.This should be avoided at all costs in order not to strain our psychic set-up by contradictory evidence, which can easily result in an unwilled-for neutralisation of all magic powers.

But this, of course, is the same problem as with occult scientism. “Rays” are quite a convincing hypothesis to base telepathic experiments on, as long as you don`t try to overdefine said rays by epitheta such as “electromagnetic” or the like. For if you do, you become the victim of scientists’ zealous inquisition boards. Or, as Oscar Wilde might have put it, it is not truth which liberates man`s mind but lying. (Which, again, is one of the reasons why Aleister Crowley entitled his magnum opus “The Book of Lies” in the first place…)

Let us then resort to creative historicism whenever we find it useful. Let us not have “historical objectivity” dictated to us by the powers that be. Let us accept our fuzziness of expression which is, after all, little more than a honest acknowledgement of the fact that symbols and images are always more than just a little ambiguous, as our dreams well prove every night. As in divination, it does not pay to become overprecise in magic: the more you try to define a spell, the higher probability of failure. It is quite easy to charge a working talisman quite generally “for wealth”; it is quite another to charge it to “obtain the sum of $347.67 on March 13th at 4.06 p.m. in 93, Jermyn Street, 3rd floor” and still expect success. While the latter may strangely enough succeed occasionally, this is usually only the freak exception of the rule. However, by systematically rewriting our past in fuzzy terms, possibly eventing past lives and biographies for ourselves consciously or arbitrarily, we are fulfilling the final demand of Granddaddy Lucifer`s “non serviam”. Let nobody impose his or her time and history parameters on you!

And for practical exercise, allow your clock occasionally to be well in advance of your contemporaries`; let it sometimes lay behind for a few hours and minutes (do not just change the hour hand as this would make it easy to recalculate into demiurge’s “real” space-time continuum, making you yet again its slave!) Do this to learn about your former ill-advised humility towards the current time paradigm – and about the illusory character of time and its measurement in general. Rewrite your personal and family history daily, invent your own kin and ancestors. “Problems with Mom and Dad? Pick a new couple!” Experiment with retroactive spells, try to heal your friend`s flu before he even contracted it. But do this in a playful spirit lest your censor should whack you for your constant violations of the rules of this game by again confusing the frames of reference. Jump from one parallel universe to the next one, never permit yourself to stand still and become enmeshed by Maya`s veil (you are supposed to be the Master of illusion, remember?). And don`t panic: for nothing is true, everything is permitted.

* Origin: ChaosBox: Nothing is true -> all is allowed… (2:243/2)


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