New year, new spells, new people…

Over the weekend, a piece of jewelry came into my possession. It’s a little necklace with a pentacle hanging from it. It is too small for my rather beefy neck, and I don’t think a guy my size would look good in a makeshift choker. Yes, it’s crap jewelry, but I like it anyway.

Last night I decided to bind the object to me. It was my usual sort of deal for the binding: Meditation, fetishes, whiskey, bleeding, and incense. There was only one thing out of the ordinary, and I think it was a sign that I was really in the right state of mind from the meditation. For the first time, I had absolutely no pain when bleeding myself. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but my Athame is about as dull as you can get. I never remember to sharpen it unless I’m about ready to make a cut, which is not the time to pull out the whetstone.

In the past I’ve had to work for several minutes to get the blade deep enough to draw blood, but not this time. I just pushed the tip in, flattened out the blade, and kept applying gentle pressure until it was deep enough to get the job done. There was no pain at all, even though I could still feel every sensation. It was awesome.

While I was having quality time in my sacred space, my wife and brother-in-law were out in the dining room. This was only my bother-in-law’s second set of readings from the cards, and it was my wife’s first time doing them for someone else. After I was done with my binding, I snuck out to the kitchen and listened in on what they were doing. She was doing a very credible job of interpreting the cards, and he was sucking the information up like candy.

It was quite a cool way to start out a new year, and everyone had a good time. My wife seems to be growing in her curiosity about what I do, but I’m still keeping her in the dark about how I do it. I’ll be general with anyone, but the specifics need to be figured out by, and tailored to, each individual. It’s not because everything is a big damn secret, it’s because everyone has to do things differently if they want it to work.

I hope this year will be great for everyone. I plan on finishing the last part of my Liber KKK training, and then it’s off into the completely delusional life of chaos. May you all find what you’re looking for too.

The use of blood in magic…

The magic community seems to have a very large divide in opinion about the use of blood in magic.  Some people think it should be used sparingly as it can be dangerously powerful, others believe that it shouldn’t be used at all because it instantly opens up your spells to some sort of dark power.  I have my own philosophy about the use of blood, which is still being developed by testing and observation.

I had only a little bit of experience with magic before I started my training with the Liber KKK.  It mostly involved sigils with a bit of circle magic stirred into the mix.  I always wondered with this type of magic if the incorporation of blood would be a beneficial thing, and how one would even work it into the process effectively.  I slowly started to test the effects of sigils with and without the use of blood, and I noticed that my blood sigils tended to be more likely to succeed, and with a greater effect than my normal sigils.

As I started training with the Liber KKK I decided to work blood into my conjurations wherever I felt appropriate, and also the other methods I had learned to charge sigils effectively.  I guess that’s one of the things I really enjoy about Chaos magic, Carroll doesn’t give a lot of guidance, so you are forced to take your own beliefs and practices and use them to create your own personally distinct style of magic.  It just so happens that my personal style of magic uses blood in nearly every conjuration I do.

I strongly believe that if the blood isn’t yours, don’t bother using it.  According to my beliefs, the whole reason to use blood is to commit to the outcome of your intent with a sacrifice.  What have you sacrificed if you are using someone else’s blood?  Nothing.  Even if they willingly donate it, it really doesn’t serve any purpose unless the outcome of the spell is designed to target them, in which case: bleed away.  This also brings up the topic of intention.  Saved blood does you very little good.  For the most powerful effects, it needs to be drawn with intention for each different spell you are going to cast with it.  Much like in sigil use, the more broad you make the intent, the less effective it will become.

The final points that I thought I would bring up is the method and timing of acquisition of blood.  As I stated before, one of the big reasons to use blood is because it’s a sacrifice.  So, doing something that makes you bleed easily is a bit of a shortcut.  My preferred method is to make a fresh wound and draw out a bit of blood for my intended purpose.  I make it a bit of its own ritual, using my Athame to make the cut.  I never need much, typically a drop or two will suffice.  Part of the trick to it, is when you have to concentrate on wounding yourself, it helps push that intent into your subconscious.  You have to make sure you don’t go too deep, you don’t want to be too gentile or you will have to sit and hack on yourself all night, and all of that takes concentration, which takes your conscious mind off of your intent.  I find that bleeding myself can be its own form of gnosis.  I never just grab the knife, make a deep cut, and be done with it.  I’m very methodical in how I do it.  I take my time as my intentions are never to do major damage to myself, I just want to let out a little bit of my life essence to help me in what I do.  I also tend to do it as one of the final steps in my enchanting/binding/charging rituals.  It is a powerful finish, and with a gnosis-like secondary effect, it can help put the cap on the intentions of the entire conjuration.

Again, as with all Chaos Magicians, this is what I believe, and it may vary wildly when compared to what others believe, perform, and practice.  Take from it what you will, or take nothing.  It’s all just my point of view.  I just go with what works for me, and cast out what doesn’t.  There may be a time when I save the powerful effects of blood for special purposes, but at this point in my learning it is great to be able to have such strong effects that I can’t just attribute them to coincidence.

Wand Building: Phase One

As I’m still figuring out what I’m going to build as a lamp for my Illumination, I decided to start constructing my wand last night.  I had a brain-melting day at work yesterday, so I figured something fairly simple was just what my mind needed to unwind for the evening.

I selected the wood for my wand a little over a week ago out in our woodshed.  I found it in a wheelbarrow that just had random wood chunks in it, leftovers from a dead tree removal we had done over a year ago.  This made the wood ideal as it was bone dry, and it hadn’t developed any splits.  I stored my selected piece with my sacred objects while I waited for an opportunity to work on it, hoping it would become accustomed to the other items.

I started by removing all of the bark with my AthamÈ.  Even though it’s still not consecrated, using the AthamÈ in the creation process will help bind the two objects together.  After I removed all the bark I went out to our shop and used a bit of modern equipment to finish the rough shape and the first round of smoothing.  I don’t mind doing things the old way, but using a dull knife on the bark was enough for me.  After basic shaping and smoothing, I did the final steps with plain old sandpaper.  I didn’t try to get every little nick and bump out for a couple of reasons.  First, I think it adds character to something to have those little imperfections in it.  Second, most of the harder to remove marks were caused by my AthamÈ, and I didn’t want to remove its influence from the wand.

Just to keep the wood from getting wacky after I removed its natural protection, I put a single layer of a light oil finish on it.  It’s not the final finish it will receive, but it will protect the bare wood from insects and other harm until I finish it.  I also anointed it with a couple drops of blood to start the processes of binding the wand to my will.

Before I consider the wand complete, I will engrave some relevant elements on the shaft.  I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet, but both my AthamÈ and the wand will need some form of personalized inscription before the process is finished.  If fact, the other two objects I have left to make (chalice, pentagram) will also have to be etched/engraved before I perform the consecration ritual.  I’m just happy that I don’t have to hurry in this process.  Yes, it is taking me a while to get to everything, but I feel like I’m making more thoughtful decisions, which should help the efficacy of the entire journey.

Athame in my possession…

I’m not usually a fan of birthdays, but when one is really well-timed, they can be pretty handy.  For my birthday this year I got a beautiful double-edged dagger.  How fortunate that I was in need of a ceremonial dagger (Athame) and it all just seemed to work out.

Now I just need to consecrate the silly thing and I’ll have a tool that I can use in some of the rituals that I perform.  The only problem is, I haven’t decided exactly what my ritual will be yet.  There is such a wide array of opinions as to the consecration of magical tools that it makes me feel like I’m at a buffet.  I’m thinking I’ll start with some candles and incense, take a large serving of focused meditation for the main course, perhaps a side of an appropriate incantation, and finish it all off with a bit of blood anointing for desert.

It’s nice to not be bound to one single magical paradigm, as I can pull together the pieces that will make it a meaningful ritual for me.  I have never found any one discipline that I have found all-encompassing, but all of them contain something there I find interesting, and can find use for in the future.