The element of Uncertainty has played a significant role in several aspects of my magical development. Specifically regarding results magic, I’ve had great trouble with divination and possession. Reaching an appropriate state for the interpretive act and releasing personal boundaries in the context of invocation require such a light touch with the symbolic gestalt, it causes me nothing but trouble. With practice, I have progressed a great deal with the art of invocation – through the embrace of Uncertainty.
My first successes with invocation and atavistic resurgence occurred while experimenting with chemognosis. These experiments led to varying levels of possession, which I adopted as my gold standard for invocation. Yet, in other ritual contexts, I found I could not approach these states, leaving me with a problem. Excitatory techniques of gnosis, particularly dance and spinning, would bring on a light possession but required a good deal of room and were not appropriate to certain godforms or qualities I wished to work with. Dependence on them also left open-hand magic completely out of the question. Continue reading
Taylor Ellwood is the author several occult titles to date, and his latest work, Inner Alchemy, will be out later this fall.
This interview took place Saturday, May 20th, 2006 online.
Psyche: How do you define your spirituality these days?
Taylor Ellwood: My spirituality is defined in my drive to experiment and test the edge of magic and what it can do. My spirituality shifts as needed as I continue to experiment with a variety of paradigms and of course with the development of my own systems of magic. A large part of my spirituality is focused on internal alchemy and energy work, specifically working with the internal environment of the human body and consciousness.
P: How is this expressed in terms of your daily life?
TE: In my daily life I do a series of ritual workings everyday, primarily a combination of Far Eastern meditation, breathing techniques and some energy techniques I’ve developed on my own. However, my spirituality also expresses itself in my daily life through my boundless curiosity and interest in learning any and everything and applying it to my spirituality.
P: If you had to pin a label on it, what would you call it?
TE: *laughs* Oh that’s asking the impossible. Seriously if I were to give it and myself a label I’d just say experimental magician and my spirituality a label of experiment in progress.
P: Fair enough. How has pop culture influenced your work?
TE: Pop culture has influenced my work greatly, specifically because it is the contemporary culture I live in and I find it to be very rich and full of media and symbols and possibilities to play with. Pop culture was my initial foray into experimental magic and as such it still inspires a lot of my other forays into experimentation. I’d also say that pop culture, for me, is the embodiment of not just the contemporary world, but also an embodiment of where consciousness could take us, for better or for worse. Continue reading
One of the most fascinating aspects about pop culture magick is the adaptability it grants you. Case in point, recently I’d been reading Disinfo’s Book of Lies, particularly the essays on Austin Osman Spare. The ideal state to be in to charge a sigil is one where the mind is blank, vacuous, and thus open to the influences of the sigil. I began to think about that and how pop culture could be applied to charging and firing sigils. Continue reading
Servitors, psychodynamics and models of magick
Chaos magick, at least if approached by through the Internet and conversation with chaos magicians, can appear a sprawling, contradictory mess of techniques to the newcomer. The relativistic stance of chaos magick, and it’s apparent lack of a unifying template can appear both morally disturbing and intellectually frustrating, especially to occultists coming to it from more traditional paths. Continue reading
Sigils, servitors and god-forms are three magical techniques that chaos magicians use to actualize magical intentions. Sigils are magical spells developed and activated to achieve a specific, fairly well defined and often limited end. Servitors are entities created by a magician and charged with certain functions. Godforms are complex belief structures, often held by a number of people, with which a magician interacts in order to actualize fairly broad magical intentions. These three techniques are not quite as distinct as these definitions would suggest, they tend to blur into one another. The purpose of this essay is to explain these magical tools, indicate their appropriateness for different types of magical intentions, and show how these tools relate to the general theories of chaos magick and of Dzog Chen, a form of Tibetan Buddhism.