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.
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.
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.