Reflections on sorcery…

Now that I have completed the Sorcery section of my training and am preparing myself to move on towards Shamanism, I figured it would be a good time to reflect on the Sorcery experience as a whole.

I can understand why Carroll wanted beginners to start with Sorcery.  It’s a very mechanical, physical approach to magick.  Since we are all so bound to the physical, it gives the beginner a great place to start, and something tangible to work with.  That tangibility helps to connect us with our intent the way we are most connected to our reality.

The only complaint I have about the Sorcery part of the training, is the part that makes it so great for beginners:  the tangibility.  The problem I find with it being so tangible, is that others can see what you’re doing as well.  Curious fingers can get in and stir around in your workings.  While there may not be any malice involved, just pure curiosity, there is something immediately sacred about the objects that are constructed.  At least in my experience, when someone messes with a fetish or enchantment it feels like they are far too deep inside your personal space.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that anything physical has that potential, it was just a bit of an abrupt wakeup the first time I walked into the kitchen and someone was handling Socrates.  Part of that stems from knowing that people have no idea what they’re touching, and I really don’t want to be the one that has to explain it to them.

Luckily, my new home will have a lot more private place for me to display my creations while keeping them out of harm’s way.  Good thing I’m almost done with the renovations.  Only two weeks until we move!

To share, or not to share…

As as Liber KKK instructs, I am keeping records of what I do in my training.  One part of that record is this blog, and another part is the grimoire that I’m currently building.  The grimoire is where I am recording all of the successful techniques that I am developing, and any other pertinent information that I glean along the way.  The question that I am facing is this:  When I am done with my training, should I share this information with others?

The part of me that says ëno’ to the idea thinks that I should keep my magickal workings secret for a couple of reasons.  The first is, if people don’t know what I’m doing, it makes it harder for them to counter my efforts.  The other, louder part of me says that I shouldn’t confuse people with my workings, because they could hinder them on their own path.  As far as countering my magick goes, it is a matter of countering my will, not countering my conjuration processes.  So, that argument is easily discounted.  The second argument I have with myself is not quite so easy to brush away.

Being no exception myself, people are inherently lazy.  If they can read something that gives them instructions, they will gladly follow it rather than learning for themselves.  I’m not saying this is a bad trait, it’s just the way it is.  If I’m going to change the brakes on my car, it’s a lot easier to look up how to do it than it is to figure it out as I go.  The problem is that magick is about the journey, and less about the end result.  Even if people are focused on the result, the journey is what will let you achieve your goal.  If I put out information on the specifics of how I work my conjurations, I’m afraid that others will just mimic them rather than searching for practices that are meaningful and powerful to them.  I do things differently than most other people do, but because I have made that customized set of practices, even my early results are very powerful.

What I want for others is for them to find their own path of practice, and not simply copy what anyone else has done.  Luckily, it will be a while before my grimoire is completed, so I can ponder the answer until I’m truly comfortable with the decision I make.

Things are getting a bit awkward…

As I move forward in my training, the one thing I notice more than anything else is that I’m starting to build belief in the process.  This belief has changed my outlook on life very dramatically, and it is becoming quite difficult to keep my mouth shut at times.

A little bit of history about me:  I was raised in a loosely Christian household.  We went to a Methodist church, which is about as loose as you can get and still be a Christian denomination, and God/Jesus were not really talked about as a part of our daily lives.  We never talked about religion, we never said grace; I guess other than the fact that we went to church on Sunday, you never would have guessed we had any religious beliefs at all.  My dad was the primary reason we went to church.  It was something he grew up doing on Sundays, and he figured it would be good for us to be exposed to it.  My mom’s side of the family never went to church or spoke about religion that I can remember.  My grandmother and grandfather were immigrants, and were very secretive about everything that had to do with their homelands.

A couple of years after my mother died our church got very internally political so we stopped going, and never went back.  It made no difference in my belief system at all.  I never believed anything they said at church, so I really didn’t have any faith or belief to move away from.  It eventually evolved from apathy to atheism, which fit me just fine, and lasted me well into my mid-twenties.  In my mid-twenties I decided that I wanted to be a part of something, so I hooked up with the local Catholic church and went through their RCIA program.  Why the Catholics?  Well, there were a couple of reasons.  First, I liked the fact that their services were very respectful and didn’t have people flailing about like the evangelical jackasses do.  The other thing that I really like is most of the people were very, very active in practicing what they preached.  I know other areas may be different, but in our community the Catholic church parishioners do tons of excellent stuff.  Despite my changing beliefs, I still know many of them and respect what they do for people in our area.

Being a part of this group had me doing missionary work inside of our state prison, playing and writing music for services, and volunteering where I was needed on a regular basis.  I had a good time, I enjoyed the people, and I liked the work we did.  So what was the problem?  I didn’t believe any of it.  I spoke a good game and I even walked in the path, but inside I knew it was all garbage.  Hell, I was even really, really good at apologetics, even if I didn’t agree with them at all.  I eventually parted ways with the church and went back to my original mixture of apathy and atheism.  It served me well until I had an interesting experience.

I had heard of EVPs for years and had just written them off as rubbish.  Then, I had an opportunity to go hunting for EVPs.  I decided that if I was going to go, I was going to debunk them.  It was my duty as a rational human being.  So, for the hunt I bought all new equipment, new media, and kept them under my strict control until the time of the hunt.  I was within visual range of every piece of equipment during our outing, and to my surprise we got a really clear EVP.  The truly shocking part is that it came off of my recorder.  I know that nobody tampered with it because it never left my sight.  I controlled everything through the experiment, and we got one anyway.

This made me think that there were things I couldn’t explain out there, and being a knowledge seeker (almost to a fault), I decided to learn more about what was out there, and the ideas surrounding them.  To be honest, most of what I have found is total crap.  I wouldn’t give you a nickel for more of the information that’s out there.  Getting a hippie high, rubbing stones on his nipples, and treating what he says as gospel is even more unreliable than mainstream religion; and that is very, very sad.  I’m glad that some people are fulfilled by that stuff, because it makes me giggle and then want to throw up.

The primary reason that I am drawn to Chaos is because I can control the input and record the output.  Are the results a placebo effect?  Could be.  Do I care?  Nope.  For me, it works.  There is no dogma, there are no rules, there is nothing but the way you choose to affect your reality.

I’m becoming so comfortable in it that I find myself taking little jabs at other religious groups, at times even to their faces.  I try to be respectful, and I’m really, truly happy for those of you that find comfort in other traditions, but you just can’t hop around and jabber at people like they agree with you.  Outside of this blog, I will never be the guy that brings up religion, but if you start trying to flail me with your beliefs I will do what I need to get you to stop.  I’m not usually overtly rude, I just like to stymie people a bit because it tends to shut them up long enough for me to escape.  I laughed out loud at a guy who ran up to me and declared that Jesus loves me.  He stopped dead in his tracks and just looked confused.  An evangelist accosted me in the occult section of our local Barnes & Noble and asked me if I knew Jesus.  I simply told him that I knew all about him, but I was more of a Batman fan.  As he stood there, mouth agape, I just walked away and went about my business.

I’m not in this to torment people, to turn their faith, or even to make them question what they believe.  I just want people to leave me the hell alone.  When asked what religion I am I usually say,  “I’m something different. “  When pressed I usually just tell them that the specifics are not important and I move on to something more pleasant.  If people ask at the office, I just tell them that religion and politics are two things that I refuse to discuss at work.  It usually works just fine, and people let me go on my merry way.  It’s the ones that insist on being a part of my personal life that get messed with, but only to the point of creating an opportunity for me to exit.

In some areas of this country there is true religious freedom, where I person could walk around with a ëHail Satan’ shirt on and not get into an altercation.  In rural America, that’s not the case.  Christian beliefs are embedded into government and businesses, and there isn’t one thing anybody can do about it.  They know the rules, and they know how to have things happen behind the scenes so it is very discreet, and there are too few people in our community for you to get away with being a whistleblower.  My strategy is to do my homework so I can fit in when I need to, and it has served me well.  I can be what I need to be at any time to get ahead.  For those of you who haven’t tried it, invocation can be one of the most powerful forms of magick available.

Remember:  Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

Meditation, visions, auras, and whiskey…

On the mundane front, it was quite a weekend.  Any time you work on an old house, never expect things to go as planned.  There are terrible things that can lurk behind 91 year old walls, and they all need to be fixed if they are to see the light of day again.

On the more esoteric side of things the weekend was also quite busy.  The most notable of these happenings was last night while I was wrapping up from my weekend.  I decided that I should do a little bit of meditation to help me unwind from so much work over the weekend, and to help me mentally shift gears back into my normal work mindset.  As I was a bit sore from the physicality of what I had been doing for three days, I decided that a bit of whiskey would hit the spot to help relax the muscles.

With all that in mind, I decided that I would use the whiskey as part of a small conjuration to promote healing and relaxation.  I filled my shot glass, lit my incense, fired up a candle, set my binaural beat, and off I went into meditation land.  Lately I have been starting my meditations with my eyes open, and I just let them naturally close as the relaxation hits them.  I have also been incorporating some visualization techniques to help me to focus my mind when it is darting in uncontrollable directions.

As I started to settle into my zone, as usual, my vision started to change.  It used to take a mind-aching act of will for me to see auras, but with the addition of Horus (my eagle fetish) I can see them much easier, and sometimes unintentionally.  In my limited experience, most inanimate objects have auras that range from white to black.  Plants, people, animals and other living things are the only ones that I have experienced that have any kind of colored aura.  Well, the exception to that comes from rocks and crystals.  I have no idea what is up with those things.  I have seen rocks and crystals that have nothing more than a simple white/grey/black aura, very thin, and I have see samples of the same kind of rock/crystal that have a distinct, stable color.  But, we’ll save that discussion for another day.

The first interesting part of last night came when I noticed that my candle had color in its aura.  It was still the usual, thin aura it normally has, but this time it had a distinctive green color in it.  As the eyes-open part of my meditation went forward, I thought I saw a swirl of red move across the face of the candle, but it was only fleeting and never returned.  The green was still there and very apparent.

The big deal isn’t so much that it was there, but why it was there.  There are a couple of explanations that I can think of right off the top of my head.  The first being that it has always been there, and the additional gift of vision provided to me by my fetish is letting me see things easier and more clearly.  The second explanation that I can come up with quickly is that the candle has been a part of so many conjurations and meditations that it has absorbed some of the energy.  If this second option is the case, what does that mean?  Does that mean that the candle is unintentionally enchanted?  Does it hold some sort of power that I don’t understand like certain crystals/rocks do?  At this point, I don’t know enough to answer any of those questions, let alone why it now has a colored aura.  Perhaps I need to have my fetishes and other items join me in my next round of meditation and see what they look like when my vision changes.  I think that will help me move towards an answer.

Somehow, that didn’t interrupt my meditation.  I quickly slipped further into my meditation.  My eyes slowly closed, and I started my visualization techniques to help corral my thoughts as I got into the deep, dark recesses of my own mind.  Part of my visualization technique is I go into my sacred place to relax and meditate within my meditation.  It may sound bizarre, but the technique works very well for me.  It is a much different technique than I used to use, but the old technique led me to astral projection more than true meditation, so it was been reserved for that specific purpose.  My current technique gets me into a very still state of mind, even if my thoughts are not entirely stopped.  It seems to take so much mental energy to create this multi-layered state that all I’m left with is a single voice with no background noise.  If that voice stops talking, there is nothing but silence.  These glimpses into the absence of thought are powerful.  They make the visualizations that you receive seem more powerful and realistic.  When you still the mind, all you can do is watch what’s happening, without judgement or consideration of any kind.  It just is.

During my meditation last night I did a tarot reading.  It may sound odd, but it’s a great way to receive communication from your subconscious.  You need to plan for it ahead of time, and it needs to happen when you are devoid of thought.  Yes, this is a part of the Conjuration Seven  – Shamanic Divination from the Liber KKK, and last night was kind of a trial run.  I had no specific question, I just wanted to see if it worked, and what kind of information came out of it.  I have not spent the time to really figure out what the four cards I pulled were trying to tell me, but that will give me something to do this evening.

The whole process may sound a bit convoluted, but it’s all techniques that I have figured out thanks to the help of my fetishes and my meditation enchantment.  I haven’t done a ton of research on the topic, but I haven’t found information on anything like it.  But, it works for me so I’m not going to complain.  The best part is you can also multitask.  The primary intention of the meditation and conjuration was actually to help my whiskey work as a muscle relaxant.  I can’t take any aspirin derivatives, Tylenol doesn’t do anything for me, and my work tests constantly for drugs so I couldn’t take any of the old Vicodin I have laying around.  On top of that, I have a medication that doesn’t allow me to drink any large quantities, or even very often.  So, one shot had to do it, and after all of that it really hit the spot.

It was a lot to have happen in a single evening session, but I think it’s a sign that all is going well.  After about six weeks in my training, I would expect things to be happening more than they did in the beginning.  It’s all just a part of the experience of learning and doing.

Conjuration Four – Sorcery Invocation

Dress different, act different, be different.

Sorcery Invocation is a simple concept really.  People instantly judge you based on how you look, act, and speak.  Once they make that judgement, it takes a long time to convince them otherwise.  Our minds tend to gravitate to what we already know, so not changing our mind about someone is a whole lot easier than changing it.

My wife likes to call a specific outfit that I have my  “Billy Badass “ gear.  It’s really nothing more than a pair of shoes and a leather jacket, but it changes my entire look so much that we have been fascinated over the years by the responses.  I know a lot of it has to do with my size.  At over 6 1/2 feet tall, and a little over 300 pounds, I’m a big, big dude.  When you throw me in a biker coat, shave my head, and throw on the work boots, I look like a totally different person.  I have been accused of being a bouncer, part of a rock group that was about to perform, a biker, and (my personal favorite) a professional wrestler.  The guy who thought I was a wrestler was so convinced that I was, that my attempts to deny it made him even more convinced that I was, and that I just didn’t want people to know.

With the county fair going on, I will have the opportunity to mess with the public at large for the entire weekend, and I’m sure the results will be fun.  At the Sorcery level, I have been playing with invocation for many years, only I never really knew what to call it.  I only knew that if I changed the way I looked, walked, spoke, and acted, I could get away with it every time.  I also clean up very well, and learned proper manners as a child, so I have performed my little stunt as everything from lowly ghetto thug to making friends (and having a couple of smokes) with the late, great Frank Kelly Freas at a $150 per plate awards banquet  I had no idea it would be classed as magic when I did it in the past, but it has provided me with some of the best memories of my life.

So, I’m not going to wait for my results from this weekend, I’m simply going to call it complete now that I have a better understanding of what it is I actually do.  I’ve been doing it for years, so (much like the tarot) it will be an ongoing practice of mine.