Project Null officially kicked off a week ago today. This is the first of what I hope to be weakly updates on my progress through the project. This week has been more theory than practice, but both aspects have been solid.
Despite classes, my reading has been progressing swiftly. I have finished Carroll’s Liber Null and Psychonaut. I have re-read the Simon Necronomicon. I have read most of Frater U.D.’s Practical Sigil Magic, and the first half of Stephen Mace’s Stealing the Fire from Heaven. The last two are particularly exciting, because between U.D. and Mace, I have what I feel is an adequate grasp of A.O. Spare’s sigil methods. I’m waiting on Amazon to get around to shipping Jason Miller’s Sorcerer’s Secrets, and I’m really looking forward to reading that, too, though I don’t yet know if it’s “Chaos” enough to qualify for this project.
Outside of my constant struggle to recall and master my dreams, I have never encountered the Psychic Censor in quite the way Peter Carroll describes it. Perhaps I struggled against the very perception of the supernatural when I was younger—I did, after all, begin practicing magic at the age of sixteen—but I cannot now recall.
For me, much of my struggle is against what I have often described as my “unruly mind”. Owing to my overwhelming (and largely irrational) fear of medicine in general and psychiatry in particular, I have never been diagnosed with anything. But when people complain of their struggles with ADD/ADHD … well, the Rotten Card above is a familiar experience to me. Outside of my magical practice, I rarely work on only one thing at a time: music or television plays in the background while I study or do housework; rather than see either task to completion before moving on to the other, I will often do laundry and another cyclical chore, such as the dishes, in tandem to create a natural flow of breaks.
Beyond that, I often struggle against the vestigial remains of the protestant work ethic which was instilled in me as a child: the idea that one must, at all times, be productive, and that even in moments of leisure (earned only by suffering) one must still be doing something. Working on my art does not rouse this nagging voice; even smoking weed and watching television—the most useless and slothful activity in which I engage—does not bring the restless, almost painful feeling that comes from inactivity. But meditation? Simply sitting in the quiet of my own presence and listening to my breathing? That drives my inner Puritan into a mad frenzy.
Since beginning the meditative practice called for in Liber MMM approximately ten days ago, I have rarely managed to perform my meditations two days in a row. When I have, it was over the weekend. Around half of each meditation session—which has averaged five minutes, went as far as six once, and as little as three—is spent thinking about journaling or blogging about the experience. During the first several sessions, my mind was awash with a riot of images. Counting my breathing has helped with that, but not eradicated it completely. Regardless of the position I sit in—and I have tried several—my body almost always grows restless, and on two occasions this actually manifested as physical pain.
On the plus side, there have been several days where I was able to carve out small blocks of time to sit and trance, without a timer, in the sun around campus. Those sessions were actually more fruitful, in some ways, than my planned meditation sessions.
One interesting thing that’s come up while I’ve been doing these meditations is the relization that my aura is loosing its differentiation again: without doing chakra-specific meditations, I’ve dropped down from the “usual” seven to four: a crown above my head which somehow includes my third eye, a point at my heart, one at my loins, and one below my feet. Also of interest is that, though it’s better now than it was a week ago, my crown feels tightly congested. (And that was before hayfever season kicked in to high gear three days ago.)
I have not actually launched any sigils, yet, though I have done a bit of work recharging sigils I have previously fired. There’s not actually anything new that I want right now.
What I have been doing is daily banishing. I’ve actually only fucked that up twice, and was on one of those occasions able to go home, do my banishing and card-of-the-day, and put things right. I’ve been keeping it simple with a banishing pentagram and the Qabalistic Cross, but that seems to be doing me a fair bit of good.
Thursday night, for the full moon, I busted out with the full Pentagram Rite for the Stele of Jeu. It was fucking incredible, and deserves a post all its own.
More interesting than any of that, though, are my experiments with creating my own Alphabet of Desire. Which also deserves a post of its own, but will have to wait until I’ve made it a little further along that road. For now, suffice to say that I’ve had some interesting and positive results with producing personal sigils by automatic drawing, but because of the nature of some of the work, I am uncertain of what about half of the characters mean.
I have been doing better at recording my dreams on waking than I have done with my daily meditations, but there have still been a number of days where, for one reason or another, I didn’t write down my dreams. In one instance, it was because the nightmares were so terrible that I was afraid attempting to record them would draw me back down into them. In at least one other, it was just that I’m a fucking idiot first thing in the morning, and have no idea what’s going on (why, yes, that was one of they days I didn’t do my morning banishing).
So far, though, nothing interesting or significant to report in the dream arena.