Let’s just leave the past in the past…

Information Central

Information Central (Photo credit: pjern)

I was lamenting about the loss of the information on this blog, having to compile all the information I’ve learned, and how to package it and the journey I’ve been through.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get everything in order, but every time I get more down, I realize that there is more for me to write.  Finally, a good friend of mind got me thinking about the whole process.

If you read Liber Kaos by Peter J. Carroll the whole point of things once you get past the foundations of how things work is to use your own processes to make things work.  He gives some guidelines on how to proceed, but he never gives you anything specific, or any ‘correct’ way to do a spell.  You are constantly told to adopt/mix/study practices from other disciplines in what you do, or even just make shit up entirely.

All the links that I provide, all the information that I had on here, the hundreds of pages of personal notes, and even my numerous journals don’t really matter at all.  They were good as a part of learning to do what I do, but when all is said and done, they don’t matter at all.  In the past (before the data loss) I gave a lot of information about my journey of learning, but I didn’t give many details of the practices.  It was mostly a record of me figuring things out for myself, and sharing that process with others.  All the ‘how I did it’ stuff was pointless to give since it was a process that I made for my own intentions and purposes, and was only useful for the execution of my own will.

Just like in the link I provide in the resources section of this blog, everything else is just for ideas to get your own process going.  I’ve read every word of the information that those links give, but I have never once cast a spell that wasn’t of my own design.  I don’t care if sprinkling sage on chicken can cause your dog to be potty-trained, if it’s not part of my structure it’s just interesting.  It may feel right for other people, but I would never cast a spell given/written by others.  I think your own intent is the most important part of casting, and how you express that will should be unique to the situation too.

I’ve known this all along, I guess I just never really formalized it on here.  This blog has been (and will still be) about how I do things, and how I continue to develop, and never about giving a tutorial.

So, my entire guide to magic is this: Figure shit out.

That’s it.

Figure out what works, make it yours, force yourself to evolve.  Figure it out.

I can’t teach you, about.com sure as fuck can’t teach you, and neither can Peter Carroll.  The only one that can teach you is yourself.

That being said, I’m going to stop trying to recoup the old information on here and just move forward with my experiences as I continue my journey.  I’ll post something soon about where I currently am and what’s been going on around me.  I have been far from mundane lately, so it should be fun for everyone.


(p.s: Thanks Becca)

I met my spirit guide…finally…

I know it has been a while since I posted anything that directly relates to my Liber KKK training. The reason is that the Shamanistic portion has been something of a problem for me to work on in my new house. My private space has now been setup to be shared; and while that’s a good thing within the family, it makes it difficult for working magick through meditation, especially while one is still learning to get really good at the process.

The good news is, we have a new understanding about the shared space. My wife and I have both agreed that we each need totally private time every now and then, so we just make it clear and the other does not interrupt unless there is a crisis or the door opens. This has really helped me focus on the Shamanistic portion of the Liber KKK, and has led me to truly feel complete on the invocation part of it.

After much searching, I have finally met my spirit guide. It’s not a servitor that I have created, but an actual spirit, or god-form, that is not of my making. This is awesome to find because it allows me to get information, wisdom, and guidance from something that isn’t tainted by my own opinions and beliefs. Socrates almost fits the bill for this one, but I have him out on so many information gathering errands that I don’t want to interrupt what he’s so good at.

The Shamanic Evocation, as you can tell by many of my other posts, is well-practiced in my relationships with Lazarus and Socrates. That leaves me with a bit more practice on the Divination and Enchantment portions, and then the final piece will be the illumination; the ëvision quest’ as it is traditionally called.

I’m not sure exactly how I will approach the illumination, but I’ll cross that bridge when I feel comfortable with starting that final piece of the Shamanism section. I also see it as the most important part, and is the portion that I feel will be best for me to carry into the Ritual section of the training.

I know my progress looks slow, but I don’t want to be incomplete about my training. If I’ve learned one thing so far, it’s that the more I work on magick, the less I know about everything as a whole, and even my own perception about reality. Cautioned, careful, and complete learning is the key for me, and I won’t consider myself truly finished until I’m comfortable that I can practice and continue to learn in a safe and educated way.

The Math Behind The Chaos

In the early part of his book, Liber Kaos, Peter Carroll talks about the three formulas that are used in Chaos. For those of you who have the book, it starts at the bottom of page 40 and continues through the remainder of Chapter 1.

When I wrote my last post, I made my example of how little I could affect things if the probability of it happening was too low. Well, I was having a problem with his formula on trying to lower the odds of an event happening in the first place, so I had no prayer of using his ideas on dual casting in some situations. I could work the math by hand, but my spreadsheet would never agree with me, and it wouldn’t graph correctly to Carroll’s versions.

I have spent the last few evenings figuring out where I was having problems within the spreadsheet, and finally hit the solution: It was doing the order of operations wrong. Really? Excel, iWork, and Open Office all agree on the wrong damned number? I found it ridiculous, but I added the proper parentheses to force it into the proper order of operations.

The good news is, if you’re good at casting ‘for’ something to happen and you aren’t as skilled at energy ‘against’ something happening, you’re in luck; you can still help your overall success rate by dual casting on the same target. The same is true for the opposite situation.

The book only made a mention of dual casting:

When conflicting acts of magic are performed to both increase and decrease the probability of an event occurring by chance, the respective M must be subtracted from each other and the remaining part of the largest factor substituted in the appropriate equation. For example M = 0.6 for and M = 0.4 against is assessed by entering M = 0.2 in equation two. M = 0.55 for and M = 0.89 against is evaluated by entering M = 0.34 in equation three.

That’s all we’re really given to work with. So, I figured it out. Based on his first example of M = .02, you put that into equation two, and then you use that answer for the probability in equation three. I know, many of you may have figured it out faster than me, but I’m just like that sometimes. For those of you hoping to wrap your head around it, I hope that was enough of an explanation to get you by. If not, please feel free to leave a comment or email me and I’ll do what I can.

For those of you who don’t care about understanding the math, or would like to dissect the way I do it (I can be wrong once every year or two), I have created a spreadsheet in an Open Office format that will do all the calculations for you. I chose Open Office because you can get it for (almost) every platform, it’s free, and it’s done by Oracle, so you know it’s not virus infected junk.

For those of you who don’t have the book, here are what P.Carroll considers to be the three equations of magic, and these are what my spreadsheet is based on:

The three equations of magic:

M = GL(1-A)(1-R)

Superscript looks terrible on this set/font/whatever. On the last two equations, the parts after the M are superscript.

You will have to use a bunch of parentheses, as I mentioned above, to make it work if you want to create a spreadsheet from scratch, and it makes the formulas kind of hard to read. The letters in the formulas are explained in my last post.

The only thing that I found was ‘wrong’ with something, is that the ‘magic aimed at decreasing’ graph (p. 50) didn’t quite match mine, but I wouldn’t blame him for making it look just like the other one to make a point about the magic being inverted and similar. My graph still has the same flow as his, I just think whomever drew it did it that way just for consistency within the reader’s mind.

The spreadsheet will also be placed under the ‘Resources’ page, so if you lose it, you don’t have to hunt for this specific post.

I hope everyone enjoys a bit of the math, and that it helps you get a more clear picture of how hard/easy it will be to change your reality.


There are times when you can’t do a thing…

So, there is some healing magic I want to do really, really bad. It involves trying to helping an extended family member fight some severe mental illness. He is on a high dose of some “last chance “ medications, and the outlook is pretty grim.

I decided to dowse a bit to see which color I should start with to help give some guidance to my work. I got very strange information from my pendulum, and couldn’t make sense of it. So, being the resourceful fellow that I am, I decided to look into things a bit more with my cards. The outlook from the cards was very grim. I knew it was going to be a bad reading, as the depths of the mental illness he has rarely turns out well, but I didn’t realize that things had gone so far that I really couldn’t do anything about it.

So, I was faced with evaluating the probability of the the final outcome that I desire to the relationship of my magic ability and the natural probability of something happening. I remembered there were some rough guidelines in my Liber Kaos that could give you a good idea of how much influence you could have on any particular situation. It’s a fairly easy process; you just take the number M and use a table that also has the probabilities listed. It’s very similar to what we used in my statistics coursework, but without the annoying finite detail.

Here is the formula to find the value of M:

M = GL(1-A)(1-R)

If you haven’t read the book, Liber Kaos, here is a quick rundown of what everything means:

* M = The Magic Factor
* G = Gnosis
* L = Magical Link
* A = Conscious aweareness
* R = Subconscious resistance

I’m not going to go into any more detail about the individual items. This entire portion of the book is quite lengthy and is better to read from the source than it is to get a quick synopsis.

So if we look at three different scenarios, as things can change a LOT if you are too close to the situation and other factors that tend to fluctuate, here is what the odds hypothetically look like.

Great Case Scenario

M = (0.9)(0.9)(1-.1)(1-.1)
So, M = 0.6561
Using a P of 20%:
That only changes the final probability to about 26.2%

Moderate Case Scenario

M = (0.8)(0.8)(1-.2)(1-.2)
In this case M = .4096
Using a P of 20%:
That changes the final probability a lackluster 20.8%

Bad Case Scenario

M = (0.7)(0.7)(1-.3)(1-.3)
In our worst case M = 0.2401
Using a P of 20%:
Our final outcome probability is still right around 20%

So, the odds are terrible, and my estimation of probability may be too high in this case. This means that I would have to be near perfect in my abilities to make any sizable difference. Now I’m quite proud of how far I’ve come with Chaos, but I am still honest with myself. Every time I learn something new, it shows me just how much more I have to learn. I have a couple cheats for Gnosis and Subconscious Resistance, but it still doesn’t make me perfect, and eventually I will have to rely on talent rather than many of the shortcuts that I employ at this time.

My wife is an optimist about these things and gives him a 50/50 shot at it. Although personal experience tells me it’s not that high. The increased odds don’t help my influence very much anyway. The moderate case scenario only raises it by 8%. Honestly, with how much I want him to get better and how close I am to this thing, somewhere around moderate is the best I will be able to realistically achieve. It’s hard to admit such things, but the last thing you want to do in magic is to overestimate your abilities. That’s how people get in serious trouble.

The outlook is grim. The dowsing, the cards, and the math all agree that I can’t do much, if anything, about it. The situation will just have to be what it is going to be, whether I like it or not. Carroll even says in his book that the math can make for a bleak outlook to aspiring magicians, and he was right. It’s not something I can do with my servitors, and it’s not something I can do for someone who is terribly mentally ill and would be resistant to anything that he knew was directed at him.

This situation doesn’t make me lose any faith in Chaos, it just makes me realize how important early action is, and how we can’t control every situation. There are some things I will be able to make a huge difference in, and there will be some situations that will just have to take their course…for now.

Sorry, you’re just wrong.

Stop writing shit like you ‘get it’. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check this shit out:

“[Chaos Magic] is beginning to crystallize into one more specific way of creating magic spells. “ – How to Do Chaos Magic | eHow.com

Wrong. Sorry, you’re just totally and inexcusably wrong. If you read even just a few pages of literature on Chaos Magic, you’ll realize how entirely asinine that statement is. I did laugh at the part about how to “do “ Chaos Magic. Again, read some shit, and there are no rules. It’s the same reason that sigils are often presented as the whole of chaos magic. They are a cool and useful concept, but they are not required in any way within Chaos. In fact, I have found they are only useful for very specific applications, and even that may vary for another caster.

I guess it just irks me that anyone would present Chaos as a ëspecific way’ of doing anything. The whole point is that it’s not a specific way.

Perhaps it’s good that bad information like this exists. Anyone who would search eHow for how to do magic(k) is a danger to themselves and should be kept away from the truth.

Updates and thoughts…

I added a few links to the resources page today.  I’m trying really hard to continually update it as I find interesting articles, resources and other information.  Here is what was added:

* ChaosMatrix.org  – A ridiculously complete collection of spells, theory , and other information related to Chaos.

* Kaos Magick Journal  – Volume 1 No. 2  – An awesome piece on Chaos.

* Kaos Magick Journal  – Volume 2 No. 1 – Yet another awesome piece on Chaos.

ChaosMatrix.org has tons of interesting and useful stuff on it, and it also has some of the lighter side of Chaos Magic.  So many people seem to take themselves too seriously, which cracks me up because it seems a bit contrary to the nature of understanding Chaos.  If nothing is true, then why sweat so much over it?

The second set of links are to a newsletter I found while googling random topics about Chaos.  They have really interesting articles, some about practices, some about more IOT related topics, but they are a fun read.  One of the nice parts about Chaos is I don’t have to care about the personal interjections and beliefs if I don’t want to.  A lot of Chaotes head down a totally different path than I have taken, which is fine, I just really don’t want to head that way.  I’ve never been one to believe in a god, let alone a whole pantheon of them.  My  “fake it till you make it “ techniques are designed around Peter Carrollës information which allows for the free-form use of energies, or even god-forms of our own creation.

“…there is always a perfectly adequate amount of sex, violence, love, intellectual brilliance, death, and everything else going on in the world at any time for the magician to establish etheric resonance with, if one wishes to work in a more free-form manner. “

“Thus Chaoism proclaims the death and re∑ birth of the gods. Our subconscious creativity and parapsychological powers are more than adequate to create or destroy any god or self or demon or other spiritual entity that we may choose to invest or disinvest belief in, at least for ourselves and sometimes others as well. “

So many Chaotes flit about acting like dark pagans rather than the arbiters of reality that they really are. Am I one of the few that is actually spending the time to really learn this stuff? I have had a few conversations with people online that initially claimed to be well-practiced Chaotes, but when I tried to discuss some of the deeper questions I had, they admitted to only having done sigils in their practice. Not that there is anything wrong with a sigil, I happen to think they are an awesome tool to have in our arsenal, but they are not the whole of Chaos Magic.

But, I digress. Enjoy the resources that I have updated on the page, but remember this: Take everything with a grain of salt, even the crap that I post. Make every decision for yourself and you’ll be a better off in all the areas of your life.

It’s not a lamp quite yet…

Last night I set about crafting the lamp for my Sorcery Illumination.  I lamented for quite a while about what I would use for this purpose.  At first I thought about a ring, as I have an excellent goldsmith that I have used for projects in the past.  I decided against a ring because I rarely wear the ones I have, including my wedding band.  I then thought about a pendant, which wasn’t a bad idea, I just didn’t have a terribly good way of crafting one that wouldn’t be the size of a cowboy’s belt buckle.

I finally decided on making a little pocket-sized trinket that I can either pack with me, or sit conspicuously within my normal line of sight.  I made it out of polymer clay and a purple crystal that I’ve had for some time.  The reason I chose that specific crystal was primarily for sentimental reasons.  My wife bought it for me at a local casino at the very beginning of a wonderful, relaxing weekend of play.  As my goal with my illumination is to handle stress in more effective ways, the thought of the peace, happiness, and relaxation is embodied in that crystal seemed like a perfect thing to draw on for positive energies.

The design of my trinket isn’t terribly complex.  The clay comes up around about half of the crystal from the bottom, and resembles a broken eggshell.  It has a simple circular base that it rests in, and the crystal sticks out of the top.  The symbolism of the egg comes from when I was a child.  I used to eat my breakfast while watching television, and I would get so lost in my thoughts and what was going on, that sometimes I wouldn’t have any recollection of having eaten.  This is the same result that I want when I try to relax, especially through short-session meditation.  I want to experience nothing but what I am focusing on, which is nothingness.  I want to be so engrossed in the void that I have no recollection of the what is going on around me, even if I choose to slip into the void while sitting on a bench in a crowded place.  That specific goal will take a while to achieve, but success will be just the first reward of such controlled thought.

I still have work left to finish the lamp; it needs to be embellished, painted, and run through my ceremony/meditation/bleeding ritual that seems to be working so well.

IO Chaos!

Moving forward with the Liber KKK…

I’m still moving forward with my Liber KKK training.  While I’m really excited to work towards later parts of the book, I think I’m moving a bit too fast.  I was rereading Liber Kaos today and ran across the portion where Carroll states that one success with a particular conjuration should be the minimum done, and he recommends that you have five successes before moving forward.  Throughout my college days, I was an A student.  it had nothing to do with being smarter, it was just a matter of dedication and effort.  I have a feeling that if I rush too fast through the foundation level portions of this training that I’m not going to truly have what I need to continue well with the process.  So, I’m going to relax a bit, do a few more enchantments, a few more evocations, some divining and continue work towards my illumination and invocation.

On that note, my Tarot cards are helping me choose the subject for my Invocation.  I haven’t quite narrowed it down yet, but I’m sure it will be a good choice.  For my first Illumination, I have decided that my lamp will be a necklace.  I will start crafting the pendant this week.  In the interim, I have tons to do with work, the new house, and a family that all need plenty of much deserved attention.

On the nature of Chaos…

Yesterday was a beast.  I’m working on a huge project at work that I haven’t had much time to apply myself to.  I got a lot done Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday was a total waste.  I spent six hours trying to figure out how to align some video inside of a 3D environment to eliminate some graphical anomalies I was getting during rendering.  I finally figured out what’s wrong with it this morning, and the term  “facepalm “ is all that comes to mind.  You might be wondering what in the hell a hard day at work has to do with Chaos, but I promise I will eventually get there.

Do you remember when one of our mars orbiters crashed?  The problem was a small oversight in the conversion of measurement units.  This small, nearly insignificant problem, when extrapolated over a massive distance, meant the lander turned into a lawn-dart, instead of doing what was expected of it.  That is a textbook example of chaos.  My problem at work turned out to be a very similar phenomenon.  I forgot that computers start counting at zero, instead of one like we do in our everyday lives.  So, to make a long, very technical story short, I included zero on both ends of my squares, so every damn one of them overlaps by a pixel on both the x and y planes.  A small oversight that caused massive changes in the final outcome of the project.

In Liber Kaos, Peter Carroll suggests that we should change our history to change our present.  While you can’t go back and dig the martian orbiter up, hit it with some Elmer’s glue, and start over, the versioning I do on my project files allows me to do something similar.  I need to revert my file and tweak it (just a little) so my final product will have the outcome and look that I need to be successful.  We attempt to do a similar thing with Chaos Magic when we cast spells.  Sometimes we want to affect the future outcome of a certain situation, but we can also change our present reality, and the only way to do that is by changing the past.

While I’m not saying I can sit down, light a candle, and wave my hands to align all 864 square properly, the concept still holds as a solid comparison to Chaos.  Magic would be more like making a subordinate do the work for me so when I arrive at the office tomorrow, the file is in the state of reality that I desire.  Sadly, there are none who know how to do what I need, so I have no choice but to do it myself.  It’s laborious, but job security is a wonderful thing.

The search for divination…

I’m currently preparing myself to follow the second step in the Liber KKK. Conjuration Two  – Sorcery Divination will be an interesting test. As I have stated in a previous post, I’ve been a student of the tarot for a couple of years, and I am fairly comfortable with using it for divination. The Liber KKK recommends a simple method of divination so it isn’t too complex for Conjuration Seven  – Shamanic Divination. At first I wondered if my knowledge of the tarot would allow me to continue using it through these two steps, but I can see now that it would be a recipe for disaster. While I am confident in my ability to interpret the tarot with surprising accuracy, it’s the speed of my method that concerns me. I like to lay out all the cards in whatever spread suits my needs, and then I look at them as a whole, not just their individual positions. This helps me spot trends and themes that run through a reading, which has been where some of the best information has come from. I’m afraid that if I have a successful  “vision quest “, which is the goal of conjuration seven, that the imagery might come too fast for me to properly interpret, or it may be so subtile that I miss, or forget, it entirely.

So, my new search is to get comfortable with something much more simple, that can give me answers that can be readily interpreted in a matter of moments. I think this should give me a better tool to work with as I advance towards Conjuration Seven. I might just go with the suggestion of the book and use my set of runes. I’m not terribly familiar with them at this point, but with a bit of practice I’m sure I will get in a good rhythm with them. I now understand why the Liber says that people shouldn’t spend less than one year complete the training. As I am being honest with myself in this process, I’m finding out how much more there is to learn. Learning takes time, but it is always a solid investment of time. That’s why I went to college, that’s why I constantly refine my skills at work, and that’s why I try to learn as much about different beliefs as possible.