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Nullification

I am, by constitution, suspicious of narratives that center around the dissolution of “the Ego”, or (worse yet) explicitly one’s sense of self.  One might make an argument that this is a product of my Western individualism, but it owes as much to my suspicion of any programme so clearly open to abuse by a charismatic leader.  This is one of the reasons I  just can’t love Peter Carroll as much as many of my friends do: what they read as “become more malleable” I read as “become the perfect victim”.

Conversely, on the other hand, we space ghosts – witches, magicians, sorcerers, psychonauts, et al. – spent quite a lot of time conceptualizing ourselves as the center of the universe.  My refusal to give up my individuation is not an endorsement of megalomania.  I, for one, take great comfort in my cosmic insignificance.

The following meditation serves as a reminder of that insignificance.  A grounding before or after ritual, or when the pressure of our obligations to the larger world become too much.  As a note: the phrases “ouden eimi” and “nemo sum” are Greek and Latin, respectively, and mean “I am no one.”

 

Nullification

Ouden eimi.

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

 

I came from nothing.

To nothing I shall return.

I am forged of dirt.

I am a sack of meat.

 

Ouden eimi.

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

 

My mind is a morass

of lies and memes.

My soul is enslaved

by the mad godling Demiurge.

 

Ouden eimi.

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

 

I am made of starstuff.

So are cockroaches

and brain-eating amoebae.

So are gods.

 

Ouden eimi

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

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Public Samhain Ritual 20

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Preparation

Costumes – wear as much black as possible

Altar – altar table, bones, black candles, saturn plaque, seasonal swag, sickle, salt, punch bowl for libations, pomegranate, incense, altar cloth

Opening

Cleanse space with banishing pentagrams in the four directions (Cross & Pentagram rite if feeling ambitions)

Cast the circle with HSA ritual knife and salt water thrown to the quarters.

Quarter-Calls

Keeper of Air – “O Air, breath and thought! O Powers of Air, bright and cold! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Fire –  “O Fire, primal light of creation! O Powers of Fire, keepers of the light! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Water – “O Water, dark keeper of mystery! O Powers of Water, silent guides! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Earth – “O Earth, sustainer of life and flesh! O Powers of Earth, guardians and mothers! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Goddes-touched – “The Circle is cast!  We call upon you, Mother of All Witches, be here with us!  Let your wisdom and your power fill this place!  Bear witness!  Accept our offerings and libations.  We call upon you for your power, your presence, and your protection.”

God-touched – “We call upon you, Father of all Witches, be here with us!  Let your wisdom and your power fill this place!  Bear witness!  Accept our offerings and libations.  We call upon you for your power, your presence, and your protection.”

Invocation of Saturninan Powers for Opening of the West Gate

God-toched – “O you powers of Saturn, powers of perfection and decrease, we call upon you to open the Gates in the West.”

Goddess-touched – “We call upon you in the name of the Witchmother, the Crone.”

God-touched – “We call upon you in the name of the Witchfather, the Horned One.”

Goddess-toched – “We call upon you by these signs and seals: let our ancestors come forth, those mighty dead whence we spring, and accept our libations.  These festivities are held in their honor.  Let them be present with us tonight.”

God-touched – “We call upon you to hold fast these walls, that the dead not wander and become lost.”

Goddess-touched – “O you powers of Saturn, powers of perfection and decrease, we call upon you to open the Gates in the West.”

God-touched (call and responce):

ΑΩΘ ΑΒΡΑΩΘ ΒΑΣΥΜ ΙΣΑΚ ΣΑΒΑΩΘ ΙΑΩ

AOT ABRAOT BASUM ISAK SABAOT IAO

Party With Ghosts

The dead are formally invited to join the party and stay for the duration

God-touched – “Come forth, O ye mighty dead, our ancestors and our progenetors!”

Come forth, O Margot Adler

…. [declaim list]

These festivities are held in your honor.  Be present with us tonight and accept these offerings.

Closing

God-touched – “Oh you Powers of Saturn, as you have brought the dead to us, by these mighty names and signs and seals, lead them back beyond the West.  As you have opened the Gates of the West, seal them again now, that nothing may pass through uninvited.”

Goddess-touched – “Witchmother, Witchfather, you who draw us to and guide us upon the path.  We thank you for your presence, your power, your guidance, and your protection.”

Release Quarters

Keeper of Earth – “Thank you, O Powers of Earth, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Water – “Thank you, O Powers of Water, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Fire – “Thank you, O Powers of Fire, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Air – “Thank you, O Powers of Air, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

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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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Seven Spheres Invocation

I actually haven’t done today’s full Seven Spheres invocation: just my own morning planetary work.  But the Lunar influence was strong with me this morning, and I hammered out a set of seven planetary invocations this morning over breakfast.  Below is the first of them, which I won’t actually get to until next Sunday (obviously), but I look forward to performing the Lunar version this evening.  Also obviously, this builds upon the Saturnine instruction I received over the last two weeks.

INVOCATION: PETTITION FOR ACCESS TO THE SUN BY WAY OF THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

Build your altar and your Circle of Art as instructed by Saturn.

Perform the Titan’s Cross

Perform the Invocation Rite of the Pentagram

Kneel before the altar and light the first candle and fumigation.

Read the Orphic Hymn to the Moon

Light the candles on the Circle of Art and pour a libation

“I call upon you, O Archangel Michael whose sphere is the Sun,

You do not know me: I am Tieresias of the Obsidian Dream,

and I call upon you in the tradition of magicians dating back to Moses,

and in the name of Rufus Opus and the Seven Spheres Group.

By this seal I invoke you, and by the secret names of God

which have been handed down to me and which are inscribed there on.

That I might most fully participate in the rites Seven Spheres Group,

I ask that you lead me to the Gates of the Sun, and vouchsafe me entry.

Permit me a glimpse of Iophiel, he of the eighth sphere.

In return I offer libations and fumigation.”

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Titan’s Cross 2.0

I’ve mentioned before, both pointedly and in passing, that the Judeo-Christian frame of much ceremonial magic does not work well for me.  My attempts to reframe Golden Dawn and ceremonial rituals into my own neo-Pagan cosmology have been guided more by instinct and intuition than by research, and they have met with mixed results.  My Pentagram Rite, for example, works better for me than the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram ever did, and without the unfortunate side effects.  The Titan’s Cross, however, while more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional Qabalistic Cross, never really had the same “umph”.

Last week, however, I had a sort of break through.  Sitting out on the campus lawn, doing my Liber MMM meditation(1) under the sun, the name Abraxas came to mefrom nowhere(2).  The creative juices started flowing, the synchretism got hot and heavy, and the following ritual is the result.

The Titan’s Cross: Satyr Magos’ Morning Invocation

I begin by forming a banishing pentagram and stepping into it to flush my aura.

I reach into the sky and intone(3) the name PHANES as the winged figure of Eros Protogonos descends into you from above.

Drawing my hand down my body, I reach toward the earth and intone the name GE, as the body of the earth opens and engulfs me.

Reaching out my left hand(4), I intone the name HELIOS as a sphere of solar light ignites there and envelops me.

Reaching out my right hand(5), I intone the name SELENE as a sphere of lunar light waxes into being and envelops me.

Brining my palms together I take a deep breath of that cumulative power and intone ABRASAX(6)

Finally, within another full breath, I intone IAO.


1 – Five minutes a day of motionless breathing concentration.

2 – Well, not quite out of nowhere.  Rufus Opus had just mentioned him a few days before.

3 – Or “vibrate”, as it’s called in many circles.  For some reason that word makes my skin itch.  Probably because a lot of twits use the word too much.

4 – Because I have a solar tattoo on my left shoulder, and wear my Solar Talisman on my left hand.

5 – Because I have a lunar tattoo on my right shoulder.  Yes, this is a deliberate inversion that throws of a hillarious and disturbing number of people.

6 – Why Abrasax not Abraxas?  Because that’s what came to me.  Gotta roll with the UPG when it comes to you, folks.

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Conjuration of Baphomet

PRELIMINARY DIVINATION

IMG_5536

I’m not always very good about divining before enchanting, but I thought that this culminating ritual would be an exceptionally good time to observe best practices.  Unfortunately, as you can see, the outcome is less than clear.  Obviously, I decided to proceed anyway.

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Conjuring the Natal Demon

I almost didn’t perform the conjuration yesterday: a series of coincidences and a side of bad planning ended with me not having the apartment to myself at any Hour of the Sun.  So once I’d worked on my scholarship application until my brain was running out my ears, I decided to have a number and work on other projects in front of the boob tube.

With the Fifth Hour of Night, though, the urge to Work fell over me like a weight: I reached for my sketchbook and finished inking the Circle of Art I had designed for the conjuration of my Natal Demon, whose name I had calculated according to Agrippa (using Frater Acher’s lovely spreadsheet) and whose sigil I had drawn using that name and the Rosy Cross.  I was already high, but it was the magic that really clouded my mind:  despite the presence of Aradia’s atheist room mate, which barred me from employing more formal ritual, I could feel the daimon coming on even before I completed the Circle.

circleofart-nataldemon

The names on the Circle (for those who can’t read Greek) are Helios, Phoibos, and Agathos Daimon.  The glyphs are the planetary symbol and Grand Seal of the Sun, and the Seal of Och.  I first conjured my Natal Genius under the auspices of the Moon, so it seemed appropriate to conjure my Natal Demon under the auspices of the Sun.  My Demon’s sigil and name have, of course, been edited out, but they were drawn in the innermost circle.

When the circle was done and empowered to the best of my ability under the circumstances, I pulled the page from my sketchbook and laid it on my lapdesk.  Almost immediately, the sigil appeared to me to become an eye.  Grabbing my sketchbook, I drew that eye on the page and from there the image of my Natal Demon began to flow.  Perhaps it was the amount of time I spent contemplating this ritual; perhaps the stars were just in better alignment; maybe I’ve actually learned something since my first conjuration experiment.  Whatever: the connection was much stronger than it was when I made my first attempt to contact my Natal Genius, ZG.

During that Hour of the Sun, my Natal Demon was able to instruct me somewhat in its nature and image.  It appeared to me as a narrow-faced humanoid, with an attentive expression.  Its body was slender and tall, and from its back sprung two pairs of wings.  Something rose from its head: I thought it a third pair of wings, but it may also have been horns or a helmet.  It informed me that its nature was that of Jupiter, and of the Sun in Scorpio, and the Moon in Virgo.  Perhaps most interestingly, the name of my Natal Genius was echoing through my head for most of the time I was performing the automatic drawing, leaving me uncertain whether the Genius and Demon are, in fact, separate entities or different faces of the same spirit.

When the vision began to fade, I put the Circle on the altar and made an offering of incense and a votive candle, thanking it and bidding it license to depart.  In all, I would call the experiment a qualified success.  I wish I had been able to stick with my original plan, but at the same time: sometimes the magic arranges to be performed the way it wants to be.

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Public Ritual Gone Wrong 5/5: Moving Forward

Before getting to anything else: it has come to my attention that the gentleman I have referred to as House Arcanum is not, in fact, the sole individual to whom that title belongs.  My apologies to my readers, and to the rest of that House: the misunderstanding is entirely my fault.  I will henceforth refer to that gentleman as Bousiris, and edit previous posts to reflect that reality in the coming days.  Again: my apologies to all involved for that misrepresentation.


From beginning to end, the process of dealing with the ritual and the Sacred Experience Committee was terrifying, emotional and exhausting.  Still, I’m glad that I went through with it.  If nothing else, the festival which has been so central to my social and spiritual life over the last fourteen years remains a safe (if now slightly stained) place.  Several in my encampment would not even consider returning had I not secured an apology—though there are still no guarantees that they will choose to attend the festival again.  Above and beyond that, I have been encouraged to follow through with my intention to join the Heartland Spiritual Alliance and get involved with the Sacred Experience Committee, once I have the money to do so.  The apology itself … well, having spoken with Bousiris personally, please allow me to say that I believe it to be more sincere that it may appear[1].

Thank you, Bousiris. Thank you, Mr. Crane, Alexandros, and Aradia for working with us toward closure and progress on this issue.  I look forward to working with you all in the future.

The festival, the email exchanges, the meeting, and the composition of the apology all took place under the influence of Venus retrograde through Gemini.  I cannot believe that this fact did not greatly shape both the ritual  itself and the fallout afterwards.  One wonders if the astrological “weather” of the moment at which the ritual was destined to be performed could shape to process of writing that ritual over the course of the preceding year.

The old hurts which were dredged up by the ritual seem well within the character of the Venus retrograde.  The old ways of responding to hurt—particularly on the part of Bousiris , who would later admit that such behaviors were not only counterproductive but something he wished to excise[2], and on my own part[3]—are even more perfectly aligned with the way Austin Coppock characterized the retrograde through Gemini.  None of this excuses anything, of course, but it does shed light in some interesting places.

With all that said, there remain a few points which I was either unable to bring up in the meeting, and/or which  wish to address to the public at large.  I do this not to try to “score a second victory” but because I think these issues are important to the community as a whole.

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Public Ritual Gone Wrong 4/5: the Apology

XII.  “Garrish Light”

Concerning the main ritual arc at HPF 2012;

The rituals we presented at Heartland this year were unorthodox, did not follow a prescribed tradition or format and left some to ponder our meaning.  And it was, in fact, that very freedom to perform magic in any way the practitioner can find value in that we were trying to communicate.  The ritualistic destruction of the established temple by the disruptive, ill dignified elemental aspects in main ritual was in no way designed to inhibit or castigate participants.  It was designed to do the exact opposite; to liberate.  I value self-exploration as a form of, and a powerful tool in the practice of, magic.  All of this was done by design and in the execution of that part of the design, I personally feel a sense of satisfaction.  It is my wish that people continue to ponder our meaning and explore the heavy, introspective themes we chose to present.

It has, however, come to my attention in a very personal way that my ritual had a wide range of deep impact.  It has been sufficiently illustrated to me (no small feat to do for a Taurus) that some people were made very uncomfortable, even done harm, by the ritual’s execution.  It was built into the intent of the magic we were to create, among other things, to shine light into the dark places of the self.  I did not foresee the full impact that light would have across the very broad spectrum of the festival participants.  Not everyone is at a stage to have light thrown on every part of themselves; not all wounds are ready to heal.  I think Florence said it best, “I never knew that light could be so violent.”

Questions regarding the intent of our ritual have been posed to me and I would offer the two evocations as an illustration of our intent:

We evoke the ever-vigilant Sun; Lord of Light, Heat and Gravity.  We loose your arrows and split the pregnant, fertile darkness.  We enjoy the warmth of your walls; keeping the cold shadows at bay.  Your gravity unifies us into a single, communal force standing together against the vicissitudes and inclemencies of primal waters of kaos.  Will it so!

The evocation of the sun done first and by the Priestess sought to create a yielding, safe place of unification for people to return to after venturing into the darkness we evoked in the next part.

We evoke the fertile Moon; Guardian of the Dark, the Forbidden and the Mysterious.  We seek the heroic perils living in your shadowed breast.  We seek to try ourselves in the courts of our own fear.  We seek to journey at midnight, to witness your uncounted, nameless mysteries and arrive fearless at dawn.  Will it so!

The evocation of the Moon was designed to bring the “Heroic Perils” to the edge of the light crated by the Sun.

I would also offer this from the closing ritual as a further insight into my intent;

We gather back here after the temple crumbled under its own weight.  We are free of trappings and formalities and we bear only the lessons of ill dignified aspects.  It is a new beginning; The Dawning of a New Day.  Free of the dogmas and restrictions of tradition, we are beckoned to explore the self and the world with four simple, powerful tools; one from the howling east, one from the simmering south, one from the deepest west and one from the mountainous north.

I cannot guarantee that my work will not have a similar magnitude of impact in the future.  I am not timid in my exploration of magic and the self and I cannot make apologies for that but, I will certainly go to further lengths in the future to attempt to foresee the entire spectrum of impact.  I cannot share with you the exact phrase that cast light on all of this for me but, I can say it was my intent only to shed light on darkened places.  It was never my intent to summon up demons of the past and stand them in front of people and for that I apologize.

Sincerely,

House Arcanum

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Public Ritual Gone Wrong 3/5: Negotiations

IV. Intermission

I never responded to House Arcanum’s email.  Given the ways in which he misunderstood and/or mischaracterized my arguments, I was uncertain whether any good could come of continuing the exchange.  I honestly considered walking away from the Heartland Pagan Festival and the HSA altogether, and trying to convince everyone I have ever spoken to to do the same.  Before I could decide what the most appropriate and effective response would be, I was contacted by one Mr. Crane, a third party who has thus far recused himself from from the public debate, and informed that H. Arcanum would be writing me again soon to suggest an in-person meeting as a more effective way of dealing with this conflict.  What follows is that exchange.

V.  “Expressions and Healing”: House Arcanum’s Offer of Diplomacy

Now that our expressions of anger have been aired, I would very much like to open a calmer dialogue. If you would be amiable to the idea, I would like to sit down, face to face, and discuss both the main ritual arc and the email exchange that took place as a result.

Contrary to how you may feel about me, I assure you that I am human and as such am receptive to the feelings of others as well as being a complex knot of emotion and conviction myself; just like everyone else. Those same emotions lead me to defend my efforts and those of my team in the manner I felt they were attacked. If your intention was merely one of constructive feedback and not the savage, dehumanizing attack I perceived it as, then I apologize for my tone and would take this opportunity to point out that our intent is not always conveyed successfully through our message; the very crux of the issue at hand.

Those same emotions and convictions also lead me to try to learn to be more sensitive and responsive to those of other people. My own history has taught me how to be callous, damaging and calculating when attacked; all defaults in modes of thinking i’m trying to unlearn. However, I will not apologize for things I don’t feel we did wrong. To do so feels like a simple placation, would be insulting to you, debasing to me and the SEC team and would serve no purpose. I will say that I am truly sorry for what some people took away from our work. Those experiences are not at all what we wanted.

From all the feedback as a whole, it seems the work had a broad spectrum of effect; some desirable and some undesirable. Either way, not all of its effect could ever be calculated or foreseen. The simple fact is, we built a work around death in the tarot sense; around “burying dead horses,” so to speak, and around freeing oneself from unnecessary burdens. That was the theme I was given and that’s what my team and I felt, and still feel, we put together. Not everyone is at a stage with every wound where they can bury them and the timing for some was unfortunate. Each wound takes its own time to heal, I do understand that. I understand that from my own experiences and I know some wounds are not ready to be healed. I personally have some wounds that I am not ready to heal; I’m sure we all do.

The words in your email carried a lot of weight. Perhaps more so because I am keenly aware of the failings in my efforts on the main arc. The things I would do different, which I outlined in my response, are true and just like I said then, I know we didn’t do everything the way we planned it. It is my firm opinion that no plan ever survives impact with reality fully intact. That being said, there are ways to increase the probability of action being more in line with intent and will. In the future I will certainly implement the things I’ve learned both here and over the past year.

Both in your email and the email that was forwarded to me from the vendor, people talk about safety. About how Heartland is a safe place to be yourself; to express yourself. That’s what I did. I’m an artist at heart and the work we offered was an artistic expression of an idea. Those two concepts taken together, Heartland should be a safe place for expression of art on a spiritual level. On that front, I would ask for the same rights as anyone else. Like any offering of the process of art, it is open to interpretation, critique and criticism but in the end, it is all the art and science of expression. However it is framed, criticism is the critic telling the artist how they would have done it. As it was pointed out to me yesterday, to go further into the specifics of ritual, the analogy breaks down and the participants become co-creators. In that respect, after the work is designed, it falls to all involved to execute it.

I hope you will entertain the idea of meeting in person so we may re-humanize each other. I’m sure there is far more to you than I have seen and I would like the opportunity for you to see more of me than a single artistic expression, which you did not care for, and my anger. Please consider it.

Than you for your time.

Yours in Will,

House Arcanum

V.  The Exchange As I Struggled To Come To A Decision

H. Arcanum —

I have received both your emails, and read both multiple times.  I am still attempting to formulate an articulate response.

When I wrote my first email, I was attempting to convey to you how utterly betrayed by the SEC my people and I felt, and to express the very real degree of harm your ritual did, without actually crossing the line into attacking or dehumanizing.  Apparently, I failed at that and I apologize.

I believe that will I need another few days to come to a decision.

— Satyr Magos

***

Fair enough. I will wait a time with patience. I sincerely hope we can come to a resolution that is amiable on both fronts. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of conflict.

House Arcanum

VI.  My Ultimate Response

House Arcanum —

After careful consideration, I have come to agree that an in-person meeting is probably the best way to go at this point. With that said, however, I also think that it would be in both our interests to have a mediator present.  Thankfully, Mr. Crane  has already volunteered himself in that capacity.  When would you available for such a meeting?  I am in the process of contacting Mr. Crane for his schedule.  I have not yet received my work schedule for next week, but in all likelihood I will be wide open.  (One of the advantages of being a semi-employed student on summer break.)

In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to read (or re-read) the links I have already provided you, as well as the following:

http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

http://www.socialjusticeleague.net/2012/04/the-revolution-will-not-be-polite-the-issue-of-nice-versus-good/

http://www.shakesville.com/2011/02/offended-is-worst-thing-to-be.html

They will better prepare you for the arguments I intend to make.  Yes, many of those links are specifically speaking of American rape culture and apologia.  No, I am not accusing you of rape, of making rape jokes, or of engaging in rape apologia; it is simply that all of the fundamental arguments apply to this situation as well.  For instances of “rape” in these essays, read “gendered violence”.

If you have any documentation you would like me to read before the meeting, please, feel free to send it.

– Satyr

VII.  House Arcanum’s Reply

I’m glad to have the opportunity. I think having Crane there is an excellent idea. I love and respect him very much. I would also extend the invitation to any who would like to come.

I do not do this out of any desire to intimidate or “face my accusers” but, out of a genuine desire for healing.

People in my camp have also expressed interest in coming. Probably no shock to you but, my friends tend to be a little militant so, I have asked them not to come. I think their presence would be inhibiting. The only concession I would like to make is Alexandros. He has been on the SEC team for the entire year, he filled the role of male facilitator in the works themselves and has an understandable stake in it. I think it would be a great disservice to exclude him.

In the interest of full disclosure, the FB thread also came to my attention. Not through Mr. Crane but, through other concerned and well meaning sources. There were some very enlightening things posted to it. I learned a great deal and harbor no ill-will about anything said there. Arguably, it could be said that it is a private venue and I did go back and forth on whether I should even be reading it but, in the end the very public nature of social networking won the day. I value the candidness with which it allowed me to view the opinions of people posting on it.

One of my concerns regarding the FB thread is how many people said they were going contact me on this issue. I have not received any emails other than yours and one that was forwarded to me originating from [REDACTED]. I hope after meeting with me people will feel more open to sending constructive criticism. I am very interested in feedback. I know what I would be thinking at this point if I were you; “I offered you constructive criticism and you turned into a giant, flaming douche bag.” We have already discussed the emotions and perceived motivations there. I do learn quickly and in the future, my responses, regardless of perceived intent, will be both tempered and deliberate.

As far as a time goes, I’m currently unconventionally employed and, unless I have a show, I’m pretty open. I am very anxious to put this bed. I think too much energy from too many people has already been expended and am looking forward to taking steps to rectify it. Days are best but, evenings are totally doable. Outside of Kung Fu, I have very little demand on my evenings.

I look forward to meeting you in person.

Your in Will,

House Arcanum

VIII.

H.A. —

You may be unsurprised that my friends can be militant as well.  I think each of us having a “second” (if one will forgive the dueling analogy) to help keep us honest and facilitate discussion is an excellent idea.  More than that, however, would quickly become a chaotic crowd, making genuine dialogue difficult at best.

Given our mutual status as gentlemen of leisure, then, scheduling revolves largely around the availability of Mr. Crane, Alexandros, and whomever volunteers to be my second.  As per Mr. Crane’s request, I am carbon-copying him on this email.  He has suggested scheduling a three-hour block to provide us time both for a full discussion and a grounding rite afterward.  This sounds solid to me.  What are your thoughts?

As to the people who have not yet sent you their letters: they all have full time jobs, as well as second jobs, summer school, and/or children.  Even the ones who (as I do) identify as writers have been a little busy.  There is a reason I told you their letters would be arriving “in the coming weeks.”  Further, although I understand your desire to have this resolved as quickly as possible, the fact is that, as you said, different people take different amounts of time to heal.  It takes a certain degree of healing before addressing the issue isn’t just more salt in the wound.  Their accounts will come in their own time.  Hopefully, though, at least one or two will arrive before our meeting.

I expected that the FB thread would come to your attention sooner rather than later.  While I would have taken the response you provided public eventually, had I not been so infuriated by your utter dismissal of my complaint (and, in fact, the explicit catharsis you took from the experience), it would have been a bit later rather than sooner and I would have informed you before I did so.  The note became public rather than f-listed, honestly, because facebook’s privacy settings are idiotic and difficult to manage.  And, again, because I was furious.  I apologize for that.  As to your decision not to engage in the facebook discussion, I probably would have made the same call, given that the only person defending you on the FB note was not engaging in anything that could be called productive argument.

In the meantime, once a meeting has been set, it is my plan to  post the more recent exchanges to facebook as well, so that your voice is more fully represented.  Ultimately, the entire exchange and its conclusion will appear on facebook and my blog.  This ritual and the responce[sic] to it are iconic of what I feel to be some of the largest problems in the neo-Pagan and magical communities today.

– Satyr

IX.

Again, I bring myself to apologize for my rough-hewn communication skills. It was never my intention to say that it was my dismissal of your feelings that was cathartic. That would be an even bigger douche bag maneuver than what I actually wanted to convey. It was the process of writing the email, not the content in particular, that helped me expunge my pain and anger. You may understandably struggle to separate the two but, it really was not my intention to say, “I hurt you and now that I’ve told you how much I don’t care, I feel so much better.” But, rather to say, “you angered and hurt me and now that I focused that anger, sent it out into reality and am rid of it, i feel so much better.” In either case, it was reactionary and calculatedly hurtful; I own that.

I like the idea of a second. (it reminds me of one of my favorite Firefly episodes) Honestly, I think Alexandros may need a second of his own. Just as my email exploded and ignited fires all over your social landscape, yours did the same on my side. Over all I feel very good about the five number limit. It’s magically significant to me as the number of hagalaz. The needed disassembly of the established paradigm to make room for new growth and moving forward.

I think a three hour block is generous. I will probably clear my schedule for the day, and bookend the meeting with drawing. This is a huge learning opportunity for me and I don’t want to cut it short or minimize it in any way. I also think that a grounding work afterwards would be a fine idea. To me, the entire process is charged with intent and will; my idea of the very essence of magic. I can’t think of a better way to release the energy and allow it to do it’s work.

As for the incoming communications, I will again wait a time with patience. I just didn’t want to continue to appear so callous as to not be approachable in any fashion.

No apology is needed for you anger. I honor it now (something I was not capable of doing immediately following your email) as much as my own. I have been complimented on my wit but, it’s the very thing my default settings turn into a searing weapon first. My response was carefully crafted to make you as angry as I was. (perhaps this is where the magnitude of my asshole-ishness is most apparent. I broke my own tenets and did not honor a principle of the House, the first tenet of the House, that could have had us navigate around the anger but, still through the issue) Again, it’s a setting I’m trying to unlearn. With [Redacted]’s help, as well as others I won’t name simply because I doubt you know them, I’ve come a long way and with this whole experience, I plan to move much further.

Alexandros is currently also unconventionally employed so, I think it falls to Mr. Crane’s schedule and that of who you bring to be the determining factor.

House Arcanum

XI.

Inevitably, a long set of negotiations followed regarding the precise time and place of the meeting.  Perhaps appropriately, the meeting time was acceptable but less than ideal for all involved.  Aradia agreed to serve as my second.

The meeting, as mentioned in the Introduction, was bound under a confidentiality agreement.  I can say that, despite protestations that it was unlikely, we ended up using all of the three hours allotted.  There were definitely tense moments.  At points I wondered if House Arcanum and I were actually speaking the same language, or if we were actually possessed of magical dialects that where somehow composed of exactly the same words but which meant nothing similar.  Aradia, Mr. Crane, and even Alexandros were frequently called upon to bridge the communication gap.  Ultimately, however, my point was made.  An apology was promised.  Within the week, that apology came.

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