It occurred to me this evening that the year I set aside to study the Western Ceremonial Tradition will come to an end in fewer than thirty days. I wrote the first post on my experiments a year ago yesterday.
It’s been a wild ride. What started as a vague (almost childish) intention to study “ceremonial magic” has wandered across Chaos Magick, the grimoire traditions, traditional astrology, the qabalah, the Golden Dawn, and quite a few things I don’t even know the proper names of. I’ve experimented with the Qabalistic Cross and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. I’ve conjured my Natal Genius, and am planning to conjure my Natal Demon, as well. Although I have struggled with my maintaining my visionary practice, I’ve gone on visionary quests to the Temples of Malkuth and Yesod, striven and failed to reach Hod, and visited the Elemental Realms of Earth, Fire, and Water. I have made Planetary talismans of Jupiter, Venus, the Moon, and Mercury. I have discovered the Greek Magical Papyri and incorporated the Stele of Jeu into my Lunar devotions at both the Dark and Full moons. I have discovered the magical value of the Orphic Hymns. I As my studies progressed, they focused increasingly on Hermeticism and astrological magic, with a bit of grimoire magic on the side.
Shit has been intense. The rituals have been elaborate, effective, and exhausting. Although I’ve been fighting it, I’ve been falling into the trap of armchair magicianhood because, as much as I’ve enjoyed a lot of it, there are parts of my nature that I have to fight to do this sort of Work. And because I’ve been having so much fun getting caught up in the theory that I’ve been loosing track of the practice. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not done with the Western Ceremonial Tradition by any stretch of the imagination. But I think that, when my year is up, I’m going to switch streams.
This coming year is going to be dedicated to Chaos Magick. Stephen Mace and AO Spare. Phil Hine and Peter Carrol. Gordon White and Jason Miller. And probably lots of authors and bloggers that I haven’t even heard of yet. Hopefully some of them ladies.
Lots of things have been pointing me toward Chaos Magick over the last year, anyway. I mean: y’all have noticed that Gordon White is just too damn cool to ignore, right? There’s been this whole post-Chaos thing that Jason Miller’s been talking about, though I think Gordon and Skyllaros have the right of that in a lot of ways. And, even if Chaos Magic really isn’t what he seems to be doing anymore, I’ve picked up a serious torch for Phil Hine. So … I’ll come back to Agrippa, the Picatrix, and the Corpus Hermeticum sooner rather than later. Hell, I’m probably going to keep working on planetary talismans and my illustrations of the Picatrix images of the planets even as I change trajectories, because they’re pretty and they make me happy.