Tag: stephen flowers

Words of the magi: an interview with Alan Chapman and Duncan Barford

By Cole Tucker | April 10, 2013 | Leave a comment

Altered States, photo by H Koppdelaney

Alan Chapman and Duncan Barford of The Baptist’s Head and Open Enlightenment were kind enough to answer several questions I put to them.

Did you formulate the Core Practice techniques immediately after attaining the Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel [K&C], or did it follow your successful crossing of the Abyss?

ALAN: I attained the K&C using a free-form ritual technique, but I came to develop a simpler method based on Father Thomas Keating’s centred prayer as I persisted in invoking the HGA through the years.

The bare-bones Core Practice described in Alan’s essay bears a strong  resemblance to vipassana meditation, and Duncan has mentioned a long-standing interest in Buddhism. In your work, each of you pay homage to Daniel Ingram and his fantastic work. At what point did you pick up the links between wisdom traditions and decide to adopt vipassana into your regular practice? Continue reading


What is Magick?

By Spiral Nature | August 8, 2008 | 2 comments

“Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.”
– Aleister Crowley

“Magick is the art of causing changes in consciousness in conformity with the Will.”
– Dion Fortune

“…We will confine ourselves to an extension of a well-known definition by Aleister Crowley and state that, “Magic is the Science and Art of causing Change, on a material as well as a spiritual level, to occur in conformity with Will by altered states of consciousness.”
– Frater U.: D.:, Secrets of Western Sex Magic

“A magical act may be defined as causing reality to conform to will.”
– Phil Hine, ‘Undoing Yourself with Chaos Magic’, Rebels and Devils

“Magick is just the art of changing the focus of consciousness at will.”
– Robert Anton Wilson, The Earth Will Shake

“Sorcery: the systematic cultivation of enhanced consciousness or non-ordinary awareness & its deployment in the world of deeds & objects to bring about desired results.”
– Hakim Bey, T.A.Z.

“Real magick is not merely an assortment of skills and techniques. It’s more like an open minded attitude, a blend of interest and dedication, which allows each honest mage to observe, to learn, to adapt, and to invent unique ways of changing idenity and reality from within.”
– Jan Fries, Visual Magick

“Magic is a set of techniques and approaches which can be used to extend the limits of Achievable Reality. Our sense of Achievable Reality is the limitations which we believe bind us into a narrow range of actions and successes – what we believe to be possible for us at any one time. In this context, the purpose of magic is to simultaneously explore those boundaries and attempt to push them back – to widen the ‘sphere’ of possible action.”
-Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos

“Magic is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents being applied to proper Patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effect, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.”
The Goetia of the Lemegeton of King Solomon.

Courage is the criterion of belief. To back one horse and fancy another means willing one thing and believing another. Magic (faith) is simply a means of unifying Desire and Belief. The subconscious mind is employed to create your belief and unite it to a real desire.
– Austin Osman Spare, Two Tracts on Cartomancy

“Causing change by directing energy with one’s will.”
– Kerr Cuhulain, Full Contact Magick

“Everything works by magick; science represents a small domain of magick where coincidences have a relatively high probability of occurrence. Half of the skills in magick consist of identifying probabilities worth enhancing…Magick will not free itself from occultism until we have strangled the last astrologer with the guts of the last spiritual master.”
– Peter Carroll, PsyberMagick: Advanced Ideas in Chaos Magick

“Magic is not necromanteia – a raising of dead material substances endowed with an imagined life – but a psychological branch of science, dealing with the sympathetic effects of stones, drugs, herbs, and living substances upon the imaginative and reflective faculties – and leading to ever new glimpses of the world of wonders around us, ranking it in due order of phenomena and illustrating the beneficence of The Great Architect of the Universe.”
– Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie

“The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable.”
– Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible

“Magic is the socially unauthorized use of the will and imagination to partake in the powers of the universe.”
– S. Jason Black & Christopher S. Hyatt, Pacts With the Devil: A Chronicle of Sex, Blasphemy and Liberation

“The true practice of magic depends on the legitimacy of the individual human will. The magician wills something to occur which under ordinary circumstances would not occur, and thereby demonstrates the reality of his or her own individuality. Magicians make the world dance according to their tunes, religionists seek to find the tune of the world and have it teach them how to dance.”
– Crystal Dawn and Stephen Flowers, Carnal Alchemy

“Unless a man be born a magician, and God have destined him even from his birth to the work, so that spirits do willingly come of their own accord – which doth happen to few – a man must use only of those things herein set down, or written in our other books of occult philosophy, as means to fix the mind upon the work to be done; for it is in the power of the mind itself that spirits do come and go, and magical works are done, and all things in nature are but as uses to induce the will to rest upon the point desired.”
– Cornelius Agrippa

“Magick is the art of belief.”
– ludrikos muttleyos, on chaoskaos

“I honestly can’t conceive of why anyone would want to ‘make’ magick into ‘anything’ […] [d]on’t attempt to put it into static terms. Use it an mutate it. At least I see people debating it, which assures me that the idea itself isn’t losing all of it’s transient nature. Part of the divine mystique that shrouds the essence of magick is the fact that it is unexplainable and undefineable – magick transcends reason, duh. Reason and time […] magick transcends LOGIC. (Discordianism, anyone? Fnord.) Logic, is also a workable paradigm, but not a necessity to understanding or compreheding a concpet. There are plenty of things in life not worth explaining in words. There are plenty of ideas one can procure to realise through self-discovery and learning that no one can represent effectively with words – non-verbal uinderstanding. ‘Intuition’ and ‘gut’ comes to mind as being one of those things. Yes, apparently idiots -are- still trying to make magick into a science – but idiots are also trying to confine it as an ‘art’ as well.”
– triskele, on the zee-list

“Magic is the most useful too for bending the odds to our favour in an given circumstance, but does not go beyond the scope of being a tool concurrently aiding your mundane efforts.”
– Joshua Wetzel, The Paradigmal Pirate: Liber Lll And Liber Ventum

“Magick is the practice of imposing one’s will upon reality in order to create change. The changes created by magick can take place in the outside world, but the most potent changes occur inside the self – changing attitudes, expanding abilities, pushing accepted limits – all through the exercise of willpower.”
– Michelle Belanger, Psychic Dreamwalking: Explorations at the Edge of Self

“Magick…may be defined as the process of projecting psychic energy into physical reality where it can then take shape as a spirit. The higher spirits, such as angels, derive from superconsciousness, the oversoul in which the mind exists as a part, whereas the lower spirits, such as demons, derive from subconsciousness, the repressed fears and traumatic experiences of the practitioner.”
– Frater W.I.T., Enochian Initiation: A Thelemite’s Magical Journey into the Ultimate Transcendence

“Magic is a psychological art form not a belief system (unless, of course you consider the concept of ’cause and effect’ to be a belief system).”
– Lon Milo DuQuette, The Key to Solomon’s Key

“…[R]eal magic is attuning your spirit and intention with the holon of the universe by gaining a deeper awareness of its parts.”
– Clea Danaan, Sacred Land

“Magic is a set of techniques (skills which you can develop) which allow you to create a change in the world around you and yourself by means that are not understood by scientists, religionists, or psychologists.”
– Nicholas Graham, The Four Powers

“Magick may be described as a system of communication, a language used exclusively between the conscious (the logical mind) and the subconscious (the thinking mind). During the dialogue, the magician’s objective is to use his logical mind to convince the thinking mind to reveal a method by which to directly access the superconsciousness, the higher mind…the Holy Guardian Angel.”
– Gerald del Campo, The Heretic’s Guide to Thelema

“Magick provides the tools to accomplish two things: First is to “know thyself” – to use techniques like journaling, meditation, ritual, and invocation to identify your personal strengths and successes – and thereby discover your true Will. The second is to use the same tools to accomplish your Will.
– Richard Kaczynski, The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley


Review: Carnal Alchemy, by Crystal Dawn and Stephen Flowers (2)

By Taylor Ellwood | December 7, 2004 | Leave a comment

Carnal Alchemy, by Crystal Dawn and Stephen Flowers
Runa-Raven Press, 1885972040, 86 pp. (incl. appendix, glossary, safety notes, resources, bibliographies, & advertisements), 1995, 2001

This book is an intriguing read, particularly if you’re into sex magic and BDSM. It’s well written, informative (in a general way), and offers some ideas of how to incorporate BDSM into sex magic. The authors also offer a lot of theory in this book, explaining what carnal alchemy is and even offer a bit of practical advice in terms of how to play safe in BDSM and how to work sex magic through the dominant-submissive paradigm. I particularly like the list of recommended readings, which give readers some more reading they can do.

Also the explanations of the tools and various techniques will prove useful and illuminating, for anyone into BDSM. I also like that the authors stress the importance of having some experience with BDSM and being both a submissive and dominant.

However, while I did like this book a lot, I would’ve liked to have seen more focus on the physiological/psychological aspects of BDSM and how those aspects could be applied to carnal alchemy. Given that alchemy is a transformation, I would like to know how the authors factored in physiological changes and how those changes could be purposely used by either the dominant or submissive. The same applies to the psychological aspects.


Reviews: Carnal Alchemy, by Crystal Dawn and Stephen Flowers

By Psyche | July 24, 2004 | Leave a comment

Carnal Alchemy, by Crystal Dawn and Stephen Flowers
Runa-Raven Press, 1885972040, 86 pp. (incl. appendix, glossary, safety notes, resources, bibliographies, & advertisements), 1995, 2001

Dawn and Flowers clearly state that ‘this book is not intended as a “training manual” for dominants, but rather a commentary from a magical perspective on various methods common in Sadean sexuality’, and in this it certainly fulfils its role.

They detail a rational approach to self-exploration, noting that ‘breaking the tabus of society is one thing, but in breaking internal tabus great storehouses of magical power are to be found’. Stating that ‘the way to increase or give rise to sexual energy is simply to generate it in ways the individual finds most pleasurable and appealing’. From a practical point of view the main thing about sex-magic is that it works on the basis of sexual energy or arousal.’ Always coming back to the understanding that ‘the higher the level of arousal or excitement, the more sexual energy the magician will have to work with’.

In Carnal Alchemy two forms of magick are recognized; that which affects the objective universe (through the subjective interpretations of others), and that which affects the subjective universe, one’s personal mental, emotional and physical state of being. The roles of the dominant and submissive parties are explained comprehensively, with the former being best suited for objective, and the latter for subjective magickal workings.

A general history of sex magick is outlined, from its ancient pagan roots to modern practices, with special significance given to what the authors term ‘sado-magic’ and ‘sado-shamanism. Also briefly detailed is the creation of a chamber or dungeon, as well as the inclusion of popular furniture and toys.

The authors constantly remind the reader that ‘sexual magic is a form of physical knowledge’ and that it must be experienced in the flesh and ‘made physical, or carnal in order for it to be impressed on you soul and spirit’.

Overall, this is an intelligent primer on sex magick incorporating S&M, and well recommended.