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Project Null: Satyr’s First Servitor

projectnullI have been planning to experiment in servitor creation since I first set out to study Chaos Magick.  Unfortunately, none of my major sources treat the subject in any real detail.  So I went that vast repository of knowledge, madness, and wisdom which I we all know and love: the Internet.  My hope was that a variety of perspectives would allow me to identify the core techniques by triangulation, and from there come up with my rite.

Here are the sources I found most useful:

* Servitor Creation at Atreus World of Wierdness

* Pope Michae’s Basic Servitor Creation

* Servitor Creation at Spiralnation

CAVE CANEMFile:Pompeii - Cave Canem (4786638740).jpg

Between native talent and practice bordering on paranoid, protective magic has always been one of the things I am best at.  Thus, it was always my intention for my first servitor to be a household guardian.  Because I’m an asshat, I ignored all suggestions to start simple.  I chose the form of a dog in order to tap into the “guard dog” egregore, and in order to use a foo-dog shaped teapot, which I happened to have, as a vessel.  I named him for one of the great guards of myth, in order to tap into that stream as well.  Hereafter I will refer to him as Cave Canem[1], or CC for short.

I wrote and sigilized ten lines of “code”, and chose its master sigil from a number of glyphs which I had produced through automatic drawing last semester.  I wrote a incantation containing the servitor’s name, the instructions I had sigilized, and the terms of the contract between us.  I then drew a stele-image of CC bearing his nIMG_5635ame and all his sigils.

I placed that penciled image and the vessel on an improvised altar in the middle of my temple.  I banished and purified everything.  I got out my Abramelin oil and the brush I use for sigils.  I raised the power, declaimed the incantation, inked the sigils on the drawing, and painted the vessel with the master sigil.  Then I called down an amount of power that easily put this in the top ten most powerful rites I have ever performed, possibly the top five.  I anointed the vessel with the Oil of Abramelin, and the dog awoke.

His presence was immediate, almost tactile.  He responded warmly to my attention.  The next several times I drove, CC sat in the back seat behind me with his nose on the back of my head.  When I drove to Kansas City for Spring Break, he made much of the drive with me, though he grew … thin across Illinois.  Even in Kansas City, though, he appeared instantly when I spoke his name.

I would consider this an unqualified success, except that I haven’t actually seen much of him since I got back from Spring Break.  But I came back from Spring Break ill enough that I probably shouldn’t have driven.  I missed (another) two days of class, and ultimately ended Break even further behind than I started.  So I haven’t really had time for more than a bare minimum maintenance of my spiritual obligations; I hadn’t seen much of any of my Friends Upstairs, actually, for that reason, until last Wednesday when I received instructions on how best to rearrange my altar.  So one is uncertain if he didn’t “last” or if one’s head is merely stuffed up one’s own ass.

Still, I’m pleased enough with the outcome of this attempt that I’m planning a second, more ambitious servitor project: an army of flying monkeys.


1 – Classical Latin:  “Kah-way ka-nem”, trans:  “Beware the Dog”.

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After-Action Report for Enchantments of Fall 2012

When I came back to school in the fall of last year, I enchanted heavily for a few things.  Some of those I doubled down on over the course of the semester.  I mostly used sigils, though there were also a few planetary rituals, and a few projects that started over the course of the semester.

Sigils for Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

These results were mixed. 

One sigil was specifically aimed at getting people to give me weed for free, and that worked splendidly: I was given some smoke to bring back to the temple with me from KC, and when that ran out I was able to make it through the rest of the semester on the generosity of friends when I visited their homes and on shake and roaches provided to me by my neighbors.  Hell, I’ve still got some of that left.  That sigil is DEFINITELY getting recharged.

Another sigil was targeted at convincing people to give me booze.  This, too, worked like a champ: people brought booze to my house and abandoned it, they bought me drinks at bars (even when they didn’t know me), and I was even able to get a couple commissions for my homebrew operation.  The effects even continued over winter break, with two different people handing me large quantities of honey to ferment.  Another sigil for the permanent collection.l

Finally, and this may be part of the problem, I had several sigils aimed at getting laid.  I took several different tactics: my sexual needs are met, people feel comfortable approaching me for sex, I have generous and intelligent lovers … all to no avail.  The only people to grace my sheets last semester were my partners Aradia and Sannafrid.  Unfortunately, they were each only there for a week at a time (not the same week; my life isn’t quite that awesome) out of the eighteen week semester.  I was getting a little desperate by the end, and as things stand I have no new prospects for this coming semester.  (Anyone reading this blog is, of course, welcome to volunteer.)

Sigils for Health and Happiness

Again, results were mixed.  I specifically enchanted that I be “sound of body and mind”.  Perhaps that wasn’t clear enough.  I also enchanted for the solidification of old friendships and the establishment of new.

Physically, I was healthy for most of the semester.  I was laid up with a fever for a couple days, once, but it wasn’t that bad.  What really fucked with me, though, was the bouts of insomnia.

Mentally, things were much worse.  Maybe it was the Chaos Magic.  Maybe it was the absence of friends on campus.  Maybe it was Saturn in Scorpio, combined with the psychic backlash of Aradia’s Saturn Return.  Whatever.  I spent the majority of the semester depressed, neurotic, and struggling with paranoia.

I didn’t make many new friends this semester, but I did make one or two, and I was able to really solidify some existing acquaintances.  These are good things.

Sigils for Wealth and Prosperity

These enchantments were utter failure, at least in the short term.  I tapped every resource I had and called in every favor owed me, and I still had to beg for money from friends and family to make it back to KC for winter break.  The school actually threatened to not let me come back next semester unless I paid them part of what I owed them before the start of this semester.

Now, that’s all been worked out.  In fact, I may actually end this semester ahead rather than behind.  But it took a lot of enchantment—some of it by friends of mine—and more than a little hard work in the material world to get there.  And I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sigil for Academic Excellence

I haven’t been invited to Phi Beta Kappa yet, but I did earn an honors GPA this last semester, despite being on the verge of mental collapse.  3.69 for the semester is nothing to sneeze at, particularly given that I was doing two dead languages at the same time.

Shielding Talismans

These, made toward the end of the semester, were a resounding success.  Coming back to classes this semester, in fact, it’s been a little bit of  a shock to me to realize that I actually need them at school more than I needed them in the mall.  Apparently, at least right now, I find the psychic miasma of adolescent angst and the occasional authority-abusing professor to be more toxic than the capitalist nihilist malaise of the indoor mall environment.

Conclusion

So, overall mixed results for manifesting my will last semester.  I got most of what I needed, but not everything I wanted.  Two sigils, though, proved so effective that I’m going to turn them into semi-permanent talismans, which is a definite win.

This semester, I have set myself a challenge of launching a shoal of sigils every Sunday.  For myself.  For my friends.  For politics.  For the world.  For whatever.  Three to five sigils every seven days.

Let’s see how this goes.

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Full Moon Musings–November 2012

Over the course of the semester three new magical tools have come into my possession: a pentacle, a staff, and a black-handled knife.  The pentacle I picked up at a swap-meet hosted by the local pagan store.  The staff is hand-made by a fine gentleman in the local community, and was given to me as a gift.  The knife was also a gift, a birthday present from another friend here in IMG_5583Sunrise.  These were my first clues that it was time to get back to my basics.  I didn’t ignore the message, per se; I just couldn’t figure out how to enact it in the context of my current workload.

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Project Null: What Am I Doing Again?

projectnull

Much like the ceremonial experiment, I started Project Null thinking that I knew what it was I would be studying, and turning out to me more than a little bit wrong. There are certain key techniques of Chaos Magick: fewer and, in some cases, easier to define than those of traditional Western ceremonialism. As the Ptolmaic, enspirited paradigm centers and frames the Hermetic magician’s practice, so, too, do certain beliefs and attitudes make up the base and superstructure of the Chaos Magickian. So early in my studies, I am no more qualified to pontificate on the latter than the former. Still, I think I have reached a point where I might make a few observations. What follows below are just that: my observations and half-researched opinions, and if any of the self-identified Chaos Magicians who read this blog take my statements amiss, I apologize in advance and ask that they correct me.

Most central to Chaos Magic as I have studied it so far are one tenant and one strategy: first, the belief there is no fundamental truth, and the corollary that belief itself is a tool; and a dedication to experimentation in search of measurable results.

“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” I see this mantra everywhere in the Chaos theory I study, and it is here that Chaos Magick’s roots in the 1980s and 90s are most evident. There is wisdom in it, but also hubris: a fool’s absolutist misinterpretation of cognitive relativism and and postmodern thought. I like the newer version better: “Everything is true, everything is permitted.” The variation seems less open to materialistic nihilism, a trait I have observed in many of the Chaotes and former CM practitioners I have known in the physical world.

Much more valuable, and arguably even more iconic of the CM paradigm, is the second point. Experimentation is hardly unique to Chaos Magick, but—to the best of my ability to determine—Chaos Magick is unique in the way in which pseudo-scientific experimentation and the incorporation of scientific theory to achieve reliable, demonstrable results is central to its self-identity. And it is this point which I find most appealing about the paradigm.

After these things, what Chaos Magick seems to be best known for is sigils, which seems to be the central technique of the Chaote as spirit evocation is to grimoire ceremonial magic.

I had a plan when all this madness started. I knew what books I was going to read and had a pretty solid idea of what experiments I was going to perform. Things have already gone a bit off the rails, though. The results of my previous experiments weren’t done moving through the pipeline—a fact clearly demonstrated by the various spiritwork and visionary experiences that have devoured my last couple weeks.

Chaos Magick is results magic, first and foremost, and my experiments in Chaos Magick have turned into an engine for synthesizing the ongoing results from the ceremonial experiment into my larger personal practice. I thought about ignoring those results in favor of the original plan, but only for a moment. That dumb shit would blow up in my face so fast it would actually be be funny, and it would fly in the face of the spirit of Chaos Magick besides.

Chaos Magick is results magic, and by all the gods: I’m getting damn results.  I’m hearing spirits more clearly, and they’re damn sure hearing me. I’m seeing auras again AND suffering less from the effects of psychic weather. I’m having legit gnostic experiences—one after another, each more brain-borking than the last—which is … well, short of my ongoing relationships with Aradia and Sannafrid, pretty much the most awesome thing to happen to me. Ever.

Here’s to magic, y’all. Here’s to breaking ourselves, breaking the world, and putting it all back together so that it’s more interesting than it was before.

Here’s to forging ahead even when it’s terrifying.

Here’s to Chaos.

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Liber Lux: Kia: Addendum

Kia: The absolute freedom which being free is mighty enough to be “reality” and free at any time: therefore is not potential or manifest (except as it’s instant possibility) by ideas of freedom or “means,” but by the Ego being free to receive it, by being free of ideas about it and by not believing. The less said of it (Kia) the less obscure is it. Remember evolution teaches by terrible punishments-that conception is ultimate reality but not
ultimate freedom from evolution.

Spare, Austin Osman.  The Book of Pleasure.

For Mr. Jack Faust.  Very belated, with apologies.

Because Kia did not begin with Peter Carroll.

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This is My Brain on Chaos Magick

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[1].  The good master Jack Faust had some things to say about it, as well, which resonated with me deeply[2].

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.

IMG_5574

Hahah.  Oops.

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[3].

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

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Liber Lux: Kia

One of the more interesting ideas contained in Peter Carroll’s Liber Null and Psychonaut is the idea of Kia[1]: that ineffable, unnamable thing which experiences consciousness.  While I’m a little (read: a lot) bothered by Carroll’s anthropocentricism–“Chaos … is the force which has caused life to evolve itself out of the dust, and it is currently most concentratedly manifest in the human life force, or Kia, where it is the source of consciousness.”[2]—the idea of mortal sensation, experience, and consciousness as a material manifestation of primordial Chaos … well, it’s almost poetic.

The “soul” (here “Kia”), as a manifest point of primordial, cosmic ur-substance (“Chaos”) provides us with the mechanic to which Carroll attributes the efficacy of magick: “…[A]s centers of Kia or Chaos, ourselves, we can sometimes call very unlikely coincidences or unexpected events into existence by manipulating the aether.”[3]  Aether, of course, being the astral sea of half-formed matter which corresponds to the entirety of the trans-lunar realms of Kabbalistic and Hermetic cosmology, and of which Carroll says, “Thought gives it shape and Kia gives it power.”[4]

Although basically a stripped-out version of the Hermetic Spheres or the Qabalistic Sephiroth, I find this cosmology much more emotionally satisfying.  Something about the impersonal nature of Chaos helps undermine the implicit anthropocentricism, where  the more traditional cosmologies double-down by attributing their personal ideals of masculine rulership (generally in monarchist frame) to the Source.  Despite protestations to the contrary—that the masculine language is purely metaphoric—this Source/Father/God King ends up looking suspiciously like the hegemonic, patriarchal masculine ideal against which I have been struggling for my entire life.[5]  This is not intended as a dig at those Hermeticists I know and respect, and I apologize if it reads that way: anthropomorphizing cosmic forces is our only way to relate to them, and I think y’all understand the problems inherent in naturalizing male dominance through your cosmology.[6]

Unfortunately, in between these points, there’s the part where Carroll dives  face-first into a steaming pile of Orientalist dualism/non-dualism claptrap.[7]  That pretty much breaks if for me.  Again, don’t get me wrong: I’m not hating on everyone who subscribes to or has an interest in Buddhist thought.  What I’m raving against is the way in which Carroll uncritically reproduces the colonialist racism of his Golden Dawn predecessors, whom he otherwise so loves to hate.  But I’ll leave the in-depth deconstruction of Carroll’s wannabe-zen-thing to someone more well versed in the actual details of the philosophies he’s pillaging.

So, despite the romantic appeal on the one hand, the critical flaws in Carroll’s Chaos-and-Kia cosmology make it impossible for me to actually adopt it.  The anthropocentricism of Kia undermines all the reasons for and advantages of conceptualizing the cosmic ur-substance as Chaos: it leaves the door open for a hierarchal evaluation of life-forms by the degree to which one credits them with Kia manifestation, and thereby within human kind by more subtle margins.  The Orientalist frame within which Carroll articulates his theories—and, even more, his of the fetishization of “Shamanism”, which will get a post of its own—basically takes these potential problems and runs with them to some of the worst possible places, where he—the enlightened white magician—can recreate the marvelous works of the noble savage, synthesize them with the ideas of the brown people his empire subjugated, and produce an ars magicae which is “superior” to either.

Fortunately, it’s not actually necessary to adopt Carroll’s cosmology in order to use the core techniques of Chaos Magick.


1 – Carroll almost certainly got the word from the grandfather of Chaos, Austin Osman Spare–Zos Kia Cultus was published in XXXX–I don’t know how much their ideas overlap.

2 – Carroll, Peter. Liber Null and Psychonaut.  San Francisco: Weiser (1987) . p.28

3 – Ibid. 29

4 – Ibid.

5 – Of course, there’s the whole problem where Carroll takes the feminine figure of Khaos, renders her first neuter, and then quasi-masculinizes her via the anthropomorphic figure of Baphomet … but that’s a post all its own. 

6 – If not, then this IS a dig at you, and you should answer the clue phone and own your fucking privilege. 

7  – Carroll, 29.  For the context to which I refer, cf. Orientalism, especially as conceptualized by Edward Said and those who follow him.

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Project Null is Going Off The Rails

It’s amazing how productive you can be while not sticking to the plan.  My formal daily practice has basically fallen apart in the last weeks, even as my various experiments have increased in breadth and depth.

I have been re-re-reading Liber Lux and am working on several write-ups therefrom.  I have almost finished Jason Miller’s Sorcerer’s Secrets and am in the process of incorporating some of his excellent suggestions into my practice.  Mr. Miller might be slightly annoyed to see him work included in my Chaos experiment—that’s not how he self-identifies—but, really, where is the line between innovative syncretism and Chaos Magick?

Meditation and Dreaming

As I mentioned above, my formal meditation and dream work have basically fallen apart.

Although I have not sat down to meditate deliberately in over a week, I have actually spent hours in trance.  Sitting outside in the cold one day, waiting for a friend, as a trance settled lazily over me for nearly thirty minutes.  I spent five hours at the loom the following day, not even half of which I can remember.  These meditations certainly don’t qualify as the concentrations Peter Carroll (and many other occultists like him) prescribe, but I refuse to concede that they don’t count.  I actually have a whole rant about this planned for the near future.

While my sleep schedule has been restored to the point where I no longer drug myself with chamomile and valerian at 10 o’clock every night, my ability to recall my dreams in the morning is spotty at best.  This is something I have always struggled with, and will probably continue to struggle with for years to come.  Most of my dreams, though—what little I can recall of them—have been clearly mundane: fragmentary remains of my bout with super-hero obsession a couple weeks ago, and my increasing state of holy-fuck-i-need-someone-to-sit-on-my-face.

Shielding

My shielding experiments continue, and I’m fine-tuning a protection talisman. At the suggestion of Chirotus Infinitum in the comments to my last shielding post, I attempted to use the image of a ladybug as shield. The visceral experience was indescribable. And it brought back a series of shape-shifting experiments from my high-school days that I’m in the middle of writing up, and will probably share after I have finished my write-up of Peter Carroll’s chapters on Evocation and Invocation, because they’re highly relevant.

Manifesting My Desires.

While none of last week’s sigils have quite manifested, my experience so far says to wait two weeks before getting antsy.  Also, those are socially complex endeavors, and while I haven’t actually found any new lovers, yet, the value of my social capital (to abuse a metaphor) seems to be rising.

I have another batch, this time aimed just at boosting my social situation, in the works to fire off this afternoon.

In the mean time, I have also been tinkering with my Web of Influence, again: drifting into a trance to tend the threads and make certain that things are moving down the pipeline (to deploy a cliché). Interestingly, though I had not yet consciously begun to incorporate my Web of Influence into my sigil work, I could see my manifesting sigils on the web as glittering lights.

Visionary Practice

I went on a pair of highly fruitful visionary journeys at the Dark and Full Moons that I still haven’t quite parsed.  In the first, I re-established contact with my my chief familiar spirits and discovered, as I had discovered when I was doing some of my work with Elemental Fire, that a portal to Chaos had opened in my Inner Temple.  I didn’t have the nerve to explore it the first night, but I did the second.  Beyond the door was a vast void: not the swirling mass of potentiality I had assumed the Chaos current would appear to me as, but the gaping void of Χαος.  I could barely sense an intelligence to it, it was so vast and alien, but it was definitely aware.

At first, there was nothing there that I could perceive, an I thought that I was walking through a black void like the astral fragment I use to access the Otherworlds.  Slowly, though, the vastness of the space in which I was moving began to dawn on me.  I began to perceive fling things moving through the void at almost unimaginable speed.  There were countless multitudes of them, but the scale Chaos made them seem few and far between.  At that point, Sue, ZG, and SKM joined me, forming a protective triangle, and helping me keep track of where I had come from for when the time came to leave.

We drifted until we came to a lone floating chunk of rock, which we landed on essentially out of my mortal, terrestrial instincts.  Faster than I could think, an insect/crustacean-like creature (I never saw the whole of it), whipped around from the other side of the boulder and impaled me through the heart with a many-jointed limb.  Although we were able to overpower it and reclaim the “blood” that had stuck to its talon, we took that moment to flee back to the Inner Temple.

Gods and Spirits

Since the conclusion of the ceremonial experiment and the Invocation of Baphomet, I now have ten gods and spirits living on my altar.  I speak to fewer than half of them on a regular basis, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.

A few weeks ago, even the gods on my altar demanded a portion of my weekend coffee offerings.  I was happy to oblige, of course: I had only not included them because they had not asked, before, and coffee is such a non-traditional offering that I didn’t wish to offend.  Yesterday, I began incorporating Jason Miller’s Rite of General Offering* into the ritual, and today I will bring back fruit from the cafeteria to add to the offering.

So far, I have rarely asked the spirits I work with for much in the way of manifesting the world I desire.  When I have, though, the results have been spectacular.  When one friend was at risk of being evicted, I got Sue to change the landlord’s mind.  When another needed a specific job, I asked Sue to make sure it happened.  When I was wallowing in a crushing pit of despair last week, I dedicated an evening’s festivities to Dionysus, asking him to purge me of the negativity and obsessive behaviors in which I was engaging; I have since heard that it was the best such party in some time for everyone else there, and I have been pulling out of my emotional morass much more quickly than usual, and am now struggling against a new, but less self-destructive so far, set of obsessive behaviors.

Although I do still intent to built my home defense servitor, and ideally do so before the end of the semester, I think it best that I tend to these relationships before adding anyone or anything else to my altar.

a Change in Plans

Although it might not seem so from my previous weekly reports, my experiment in Chaos Magick has been more productive that I would have anticipated at this early stage. It has also been productive in ways I ever could have imagined, many of which are exceptionally difficult to articulate—a dilemma with which I imagine all my mage-blogging peers can identify.  Some of them have come to light today, some I may never be able to talk about.

I originally conceptualized Project Null as a simple follow-up to the ceremonial experiment: a way of continuing my formal study of the Western magical tradition and of not loosing the momentum I had built up over the course of the previous year.  I set the time frame for the ceremonial experiment at a year because I was originally using Penczak’s year-and-a-day system as a map.  I set a year time frame for Project Null because that was how long the ceremonial experiment had lasted.

It seems, however, that Chaos Magick is even less suited for such a survey than ceremonial magic was.  And I haven’t finished processing or internalizing a number of the lessons from that experiment yet.  And this semester is much, much busier than I had anticipated.  And Project Null is digging things up from my youth that I haven’t though of in a decade or more.  And each and every one of these things deserves my full attention.

Project Null is not being cancelled.  But the deadlines are.  This shit is way too interesting to not let the phenomenal organic growth I’m experiencing progress at its own rate.  Hopefully y’all will understand that this is a carefully considered tactical decision, not just a drunken satyr flaking out.

——

* – Miller, Jason.  The Sorcerer’s Secrets.  Pompton Plains, NJ: New Page Books (2009).  pp53-5

ETA: Jason Miller reference clarified and cited properly.

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Disorder and a Detour Through Nostalgiaville

projectnullSomething about this experiment in Chaos Magick has gotten me thinking about the old days.  Hence the Timeline overhaul and all the post about my teenage years.  I’ll warn you now: there may be more of that coming, though on different subjects.

Aside from continuing my daily banishing, most of my work this week has consisted of the shielding experiments which sent me down memory lane, which I’ll talk about in detail tomorrow.

Friday night, I began another round of mask-making.  In accordance with the season, I was making another Death mask, which I hoped to sell for enough to reup my absinthe supply in time for Samhain.  Sadly, the clay wasn’t quite the right consistency, and shattered as it dried.  Hopefully I will have time to try again sometime this week.

I also fired a shoal of sigils Friday night.  I’m not gonna lie: this was some seriously low-brow shit.  The sort of thing that people get into fights about whether or not it’s beneath a magician’s dignity to do, and which, if approached from the wrong angle, could even be an ethical problem.  Yeah, that’s right: I’m using magic to help me get laid.  Go ahead, judge me.  That’s fair.

Divining before hand, it was almost an unqualified green light.  But … two IMG_5571potential problems came up. In the “coming in” position of the reading was XIII Death, last seen in my monthly reading in the 7th House; a more cautious person might have taken that as a sign not to cast.  Then, 7S “Futility” and I the Magus sat together in the “final outcome” position.  It seems likely that this indicates that, despite my best efforts, success in this arena will constitute a distraction from my school work.

Speaking of distractions from my school work: although the last week has been light enough for me to write this barrage of posts, things are going to get busy again after midterm.  The timeline I established for Project Null was predicated on last semester’s workload.  This semester’s load is much greater, and while I will strive to keep to that original schedule … well, school always has to come first.

Ironically, as I do an increasing amount of magical work every day, my meditation has fallen off completely.  Sadly, time spent staring at people’s auras in the cafeteria or out and about don’t count.

I have been able to remember my dreams upon waking only a few mornings, which is probably largely attributable to the sleeping teas I’ve been relying on for the last two weeks.  The fact that my dream recall has improved since I ran out of valerian tends to confirm this theory.  Most oddly, the night after charging the “get laid” sigil shoal, what do I dream about?  Why, the zombie apocalypse, of course, featuring a number of students from my school that I have never once spoken to.

I live a charmed life, mostly, but a strange one.

My plan for the coming week is to launch another shoal or two of sigils, finish reading Strategic Sorcery, and get back into Liber Null.  I’m also contemplating how to consciously interface my sigil magic with my Web of Influence for improved accuracy and timing.  So far, I’ve begun by tacking my fired sigils up with the maps that have become the visual representation of that web.  I will also continue brainstorming for what, precisely, I want the servitor I’m going to create as a part of this project to do; the general thought right now is bolster my house wards and serve as a guardian/attack dog.

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Rubble, Toil, and Trouble

projectnullWhen I said I hit a wall a couple weeks ago, it was even more true than I realized at the time.  The cold I was fighting weakened me slowly, until Tuesday when I was too sick to go to class.  When the fever passed, it was followed by a wave of insomnia and depression.  Although I’ve managed to largely maintain my banishing practice (about three days out of five), meditation not on the weekends has been sporadic at best, as has dream journaling.

In line with the depression has been the bouts of obsessive behavior: after buying and finally watching the Avengers when it came out on DVD last week, I proceeded to plow through the Marvel Ultimate reboot—an exceptionally dystopian vision, full of (and uncritical of) contempt for consent and creepy sex-negativity, which did nothing whatsoever for my state of mind.  I’ve dreamed about superheroes for at least three of the last seven nights.  I don’t think the Chaos Magic is in any way to blame for this round of madness and obsession: I think the length of time since I last saw my lovers, and my paucity of friends on campus, are owed full credit.

In the middle of all this madness, though, was some actual interesting and productive work.  I have begun experimenting with psychic shields again for the first time in years. I make very, very effective shields, but I hesitate to say that I’m “good” at it: when they’re up, it’s like living in a mad tyrant’s castle: nothing gets in, nothing gets out … even if it probably ought to. But the escalating magic of the last couple years has re-opened psychic senses that I don’t want to loose again, either through atrophy or burn-out, and re-learning effective shielding has become an imperative. That’s a post in and of itself.

This weekend, I honored the Full Moon by completely disassembling and cleaning my altars and by putting them back together in a slightly more effective arrangement.  I started two batches of mead.  And I have successfully incorporated underworld journeys into two Esbats in a row, now, culminating in a journey into the very strange places opened up in my Inner Temple by my self-initiation into the Chaos Current.  No, that wasn’t what I was trying to do there, exactly, but … that’s basically what it amounted to.  That, too, deserves a post unto itself.

After firing off a few rounds of sigils, things in my life are starting to get moving.  I need to keep at it: exercising my will and manifesting the world I want.  A lot of the specific desires have not yet manifested fully, but they’re complex and delicate this time, and I’m not in a hurry.  I can see things working and that’s good enough for me.  Fuller reports will become available as they manifest.

All this has put me a little behind on my original schedule, and it’s time for me to start in on Liber Lux and Nox if I’m to have any chance of being even half done by the end of October.  The madness and illness, though, are not actually to blame for that tardiness.  Instead, they share a common cause: I’ve overextended myself a bit this semester.  I’ve almost got a handle on the work load, and I should be okay by the time I’m done with Midterms, but … well, I’ve already complained about that shit enough, here and elsewhere.  Unfortunately, everything has to take a back seat to my classes.

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