I was an arrogant, ignorant ass way back in the day. At seventeen I was already trying to write manuals of what little I knew about magic. I didn’t know shit, not that I could put into words, but I tried anyway. But I was also a little precocious: the very first book was subtitled “A Path to Madness”. Yeah. I was also pompous … even more than I am today. That said, however, there does seem to be a strong correlation between the practice of magic and the appearance or experience of insanity.
For myself, that correlation predates my study and practice of the occult. Although many, even in the United States, had it much worse than I, my childhood was far from idyllic. The living hell that most people experience in Junior High was my experience of elementary school; in retrospect, I was always a little queer, and I imagine that the other children knew before I did that I was Other than they. As I’ve mentioned before, some years of my magical practice—age twenty-one through twenty-five, in particular—revolved around getting a grasp on my sanity more than anything else, but the more Project Null brings my early experiments back to conscious recollection, the more I wonder if the first two or three years of my practice didn’t destabilize me more than I realize.
Although I cannot help but think that there is a certain amount of self-aggrandizement in the framing of it, Chaos Magick, in particular, has a reputation for shaking the foundations of one’s sanity. Stephen Mace, Peter Carroll, and Phill Hine all mention it. The good master Jack Faust had some things to say about it, as well, which resonated with me deeply.
I’ve mentioned in greater and lesser detail that over the last few weeks, my paranoia and social anxiety have been off the rails. I’ve been so out of sorts that I dedicated the Dark Moon to banishing more than anything else: performing the Stele of Jeu two days in a row, and three days in a row of my LBRP variant. I felt fabulous … until I encountered people. There’s a lot of astrological garbage going on right now, but a lot of it’s kinda where I live, anyway, and it doesn’t seem to be affecting everyone else as badly. You, my readers, are clever people: you already see where this is going.
Somewhere last week, I started entertaining the idea that I might be under magical attack. And yesterday I was almost certain that was what was going on.
Now, it fifteen years of magical practice, I’ve been attacked (not counting the whole B situation) maybe three times, tops. Probably only twice. But shit’s been exploding in my brain for almost a month, now. Still, I exercised appropriate caution with that idea. I asked ZG about it during my Dark Moon journeywork … unfortunately, her answer was unintelligible. Yesterday, when I was about ready to unleash the hounds on whoever or whatever was coming after me … I sat down with my tarot deck, got a little gnostic with my pipe and my porto, and laid down some cards.
No. I’m not under attack. I’m short-circuiting myself and suffering from psychic weather. College campuses are not healthy places, psychically speaking, and my shields aren’t strong enough for my increasing sensitivity. There may or may not be a particular person or persons who are exacerbating the problem (Immediate trigger: Princesss of Disks), but the root cause is my own magical work (Early cause: 2W)—possibly my get-laid enchantment, or even the Chaos Magick project as a whole. Interestingly, the solution seems to be blazing forward at full tilt boogie (Conclusion: Queen of Wands) until I achieve some sort of balance (Next step, surprising experiences: VI the Lovers, XIV Art). Sadly, the result (8D) will not be as epic as the process. The spread, for those unfamiliar with it, is the Ankh layout from Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler’s Keywords for the Crowley Tarot.
So, in the spirit of charging ahead, I finished up the first of several talismanic enchantments I have in the works: turning my bi-pride triangles into a protective talisman which doubles as a giant neon-flashing sign, “Hey, I’m fucking queer,” since so many people seem to miss the point. In the next weeks, I plan to lay some sort of sigilized enchantment on every piece of jewelry I wear on a regular basis.
I’m also escalating my meditative practice and my daily devotionals. This morning it was suggested to me, as I performed the Rite of General Offering, that I add a small daily shrine to my seasonal altar. That seems like a good place to start.
1 – Mace in Stealing the Fire From Heaven; Carroll in Liber Null and Psychonaut; Hine in Condensed Chaos. Probably more people elsewhere, as well.
2 – Yeah, Jack: I been creeping’ yer blog, cruizin’ yer archives.
3 – pp.35-6