One issue that occurs with both Western and Eastern sex magick is the polarization of the sexes. This kind of thinking about the sexes can be found in nineteenth century occultism (and even further back), “One calls the forces positive and negative, and one rediscovers them in good and bad, emission and reception, life and death, idea and action, man and woman (positive and negative magnetic poles) in the material plane and, conversely the woman (active pole) and man (negative pole) in the mental plane.” 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
Space/time Magic, by Taylor Ellwood
Immanion Press, I1904853269, 204 pp. (incl. appendices and bibliography), 2005
It’s refreshing to see a book on magick which focuses on a specific topic rather than a general introductory text, and further, one which steps outside the realms of the traditional grimoires on Enochian, kabbalah, or ceremonial workings.
Until now, time magick has been a fringe branch of exploration, with writers such as Peter Carroll and Frater U.: D.: writing brief treatises on its theory and applicability. Space/Time Magic represents the first full length, in depth study of the subject, and Ellwood’s done an admirable job.
Chapters cover everything from divination, to writing, art, music, science and meditation, and each chapter concludes with exercises to be performed to put the theory to use. Appendices detail further explorations, and the extensive bibliography could also serve as a great recommended reading list.
Ellwood writes in a familiar, personal tone, detailing many of his own projects, both historical and current at the time of writing with projections for the future, which the reader will presumably be updated on in future works.
With Space/Time Magic it’s clear that Ellwood is beginning to come into his own; I look forward to reading his future works.
Creating Magickal Entities: A Complete Guide to Entity Creation, by David Michael Cunningham, with contributions by Taylor Ellwood & Amanda R. Wagener
Egregore Publishing, 1932517448, 143 pp. (incl. appendices, glossary, selected bibliography and index.), 2003
Perhaps the only work of its kind solely dedicated to entity creation, Creating Magickal Entities offers step-by-step information and instructions on servitor creation. Everything from possible uses and precautions, practical advice and examples of entities previously created by its authors is discussed in depth.
While Creating Magickal Entities assumes the reader knows little about magickal entities, it is not designed to be a beginner book. It offers little introduction to general magickal theory or technique; the authors expect the reader to know a thing or two about what they’re doing beforehand – and it is highly appreciated.
A created entity is noted as being an extension of a thought-form, which is described as “a symbol that represents a concept or thought for the person…It is entirely in the realm of concept until the person makes the thought-form manifest into reality.” A created entity is defined as being a “vital principle held to give life to an immaterial essence, which has been created to have a self-contained and distinct existence with a conceptual reality, by the deliberate effort to personifying segregated thoughts and emotions.”
The methodology authors lay out for entity creation details that by “taking specific thoughts and emotions and identifying them with things like names, symbolic attributes, etc., we are better able to work with them in a conscious manner.” Advising that it is ‘very important that we wisely chose our thoughts and the way we understand them. If we do not understand our thoughts and emotions and try to use them for our own benefit, the results can, and more often than not, will be counter-productive.
I do, however, have a few minor quibbles. While it is refreshing that the authors do expect a certain intelligence of the reader, footnotes may have been a good idea. For example, not everyone may be familiar with the Pythagorean system of numerology mentioned frequently throughout the book, and while a brief description is given in the glossary it wasn’t noted anywhere prior to that.
Beliefs common to chaos magickians such as “the important thing is to use whatever feels right to you, and works best for you” are frequently stated, though there is no formal mention of chaos magick by name. Despite the subject of the book. Creating Magickal Entities does not use the chaos magick terminology. Common chaote terms such as “servitor” and “sigil” are curiously absent from this work, words like “entity” and “programming symbol” are employed instead. While not bad, it is curious that the have authors have gone out of their way to avoid these terms. Perhaps it is due to the negative connotation that chaos magick has, and the desire to appeal to a broader audience?
Several practical examples are given in the appendices, using various methods employed by the authors are likely to make for excellent reference for the novice entity creator.
Cunningham, Ellwood and Wagener offer a concise, methodical approach to entity-creation without pandering to the lowest common denominator. With practical advice and step-by step instructions, Creating Magickal Entities is well written, and may be of interest to magickians interested in learning more about servitor creation.