Wednesday Webshare: Suppliers, Satanists, and Shamans

2014/08/06


Mercury Web
The wonderful Polyphanes created a list of places to buy occult supplies that aren’t Lucky Mojo. I’ve refused to use them for years due to a variety of reasons, and in the last day several more issues with them have come to light that I can’t agree with, from broad perspective things, to targetted attacks on people both smear and cursing. So go support the awesome places Polyphanes listed, whenever possible support smaller independent, local, and awesome suppliers.

Over at the Strategic Sorcery blog Jason continues to address eclecticism in magickal practice. He addresses competency and dilettantism, which while I agree with his point, part of me feel that he’s a bit lax there. Or maybe I just underestimate competency in some people because as is often the case the loudest person in the crowd (eclectics in this case) is generally not the best person to represent them.

Since I wrote the draft of this post Jason has also posted Part 3 of Sane Eclecticism (Alas, his naming convention, not mine) It’s actually a repost of his rules from way back with one additional one.

Occultists debate about how much technology should be a part of what we do, but it’s time we catch up because a priest in Poland claims to be getting text messages from demons. And here I am using a black mirror like Luddite!

While not really magickal or occult, a wave of dolls have been left in front of houses, and they resemble the little girls that live in those homes. Definitely creepy, and my first thought was what a great way to nocebo someone into a curse. Don’t do anything to the person you want to curse, but leave a doll that looks like them in front of their house, they’ll freak out and probably do more than your curse would.

Another ancient temple has been found in the Near East, but it’s in danger cause its in a war zone. Seriously these temples are awesome things, hopefully this one survives long enough to really be studied. (Don’t forget, I have a history degree that in part focused on Near East history, so I have a bias)

Speaking of, Sounds from Silence is a CD that includes information on ancient Sumerian music, and instruments, with an example song on a recreated traditional lyre type instrument. I shared a version of this song a ways back, but this is a more complete product.

Also a Shamanic festival was held in Tuva, with the goal of revival of shamanic cultures It sounds really amazing, shamans from Mexico, to Greenland, to Korea, to Russia came to teach, learn, and share. I think it’s also great that they can share and learn. It makes me think about the Christian/Buddhist gathering in the 80s (I think) were all the more booky preacher types got into dogmatic arguments, but all the monastics who practice and meditate could relate to each other. (Also, you have to love that the article says the “World’s strongest shamans” I’d love to see that competition)

In the midst of the Hobby Lobby fiasco in the States (I’m Canadian, like a reasonable person, but I keep an eye on what my boot is up to) there is some good news via the Satanists (who are often the bearers of good news). Women, under the religious rights of the Satanists are allowed to be exempted from the “right to know” laws. Which if you’re unfamiliar basically means doctors are allowed to feed their patient any kind of bullshit (no, seriously, it’s not medical information, look it up) around the “reality” and dangers of abortions. It’s a pro-fetus law meant to coerce women in emotionally fraught positions to not go through with their choice. I don’t know if it will hold up in practice, but good for the Satanists trying to sidestep one religious law with another one.

Also, in the midst of the horrors going on in Israel, an odd story comes out. The Second Temple was destroyed about two thousand years ago, and there are a lot of prophecies and beliefs about the Third Temple. So how will the Third Temple be built? Welcome to the 2010s, where we can crowdfund the Third Temple, via indiegogo.

Harry from The Unlikely Mage replies to my HGA posts with his post Who Has the HGA? I Don’t. In it he addresses having similar experiences and contact, but that it isn’t the same thing, and how it was different. What amused me (as you can see in the comment) was both of our experiences pushed us into Buddhism. (That’s right, a centuries old Jewish ritual summoned an angel that told me to go Buddhist.)

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Wednesday Webshare: Exorcists, Experimenters, and Eclectics

2014/07/16

Mercury WebI blamed the chip dip, for the possession mentioned last time, while I was wrong about the dip I was right that it was a chemical contaminant and not spirits. Drinking tea spiked with Brugmansia (a hallucinogen used in South American Shamanism) was the culprit.

The Vatican appoves an international association of exorcists, I assume to handle all the drug-laced tea drinking Ouija board playing teenagers? Actually this is interesting, because it shows the Church is embracing, to an extent, the more mystical/magickal side of Catholicism which they’ve been distancing themselves from slowly over the last while

Like many occultists/magickians/pagans I find the traditional Wheel of the Year doesn’t work where I live. Toronto is a lot colder for a lot longer than the British Isles where the Wheel came from. Anyways Rua Lupa took it upon themselves to make one that is more universal. Here is an entirely redone Wheel of the Year based on Polar astronomy, complete with new months and days and holidays. While I don’t know if I’d adopt it personally (There is no one particular individual who possesses the right allocated time frame to partake in the activity in question) because I’m not in a community that uses the standard Wheel anyways, but I just love seeing innovation and experimentation.

Speaking of innovation and experimentation, my friend Polyphanes has realized/decided that the standard Qabalah doesn’t translate well with Greek, so he’s trying to build a “Greek Qabalah” which he calls the Kampala from the ground up. He’s been doing it for a while, and slowly introducing it. So go check that out, he just started talking about the Tetractys today.

Judge rules against creationist teacher who called Buddhist student’s faith ‘stupid’ and Christians around ‘Murica realized how oppressed they are…wait, no…not at all. Glad to see more reasonable voices prevailed.

A beautiful photo set of what Shamanism looks like in modern Peru. Really cool.

Jason Miller tackles being eclectic, and how it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I really enjoyed this, not just because of my own eclecticism, but because of how well he illustrates some of the ways it really doesn’t work, and how to be eclectic reasonably, and responsibly.

I’m pretty excited, another ancient temple discovered in Iraq, granted it’s only 2,500 years old, but I’m still interested.

The ancient skulls of children found buried near a lake in Switzerland. Perhaps an early offering to the lake gods? Interesting but short look at some evidence of early European religious beliefs.

As someone who meditates, and teaches meditation, I’m really not surprised that most people would rather do anything than sit and think for 15 minutes. Let’s face it, dealing with ourselves can really suck.


Wednesday Webshare: Bad Mages, Divination, and Lack of Angel on Man Action

2013/03/27

Mercury Web

Cultural appropriation is rampant in a lot of occult circles, and generally irks me. So have an article on cultural appropriation of Lukumi. What I find interesting is the difference between “innocent” cultural appropriation, and people who blatantly steal and make shit up, I always wonder about the second group.

Non-invisible bank robber caught because his sorcerer for hire didn’t come through. Always investigate people you’re buying your magick from before important service purchases.

Speaking of which, an alleged psychic steals thousands from a client.

I grew up believing that early Christians were a horribly persecuted group, and that their strength of faith sustained them. Hell I was also told how tough it was for modern Christians. Both are bullshit though. The myth of early Christian persecution covers just that.

Polyphanes tackles divination related disorders. Worth considering for those of us who give, or receive divinatory services. Personally I don’t let people get multiple readings from me in a short period unless I know they actually followed through with the advice. If it’s been less than a month, and you haven’t done anything, nothing much has changed, I’m not supporting your need for an illusion of control through knowledge.

Shifting gears on divination. Psyche gives a run down of the top five foundational books on tarot. Those I’ve read I would say are good to work through even if you’re very familiar with the tarot.

Om Mani iPadme Hum. Buddhists and technology. During my chöd training I remember going to a cemetery with my lama and another student. I pull out my pecha, he pulls out an iPad with a stand, with the text as a pdf. The only i is the Pad.

A reader responded to my review of Yoga Body with a small talk countering the text, suggesting there was a posture tradition before the modern error. I didn’t find it as convincing, but that may be just due to the difference in length, but it was worth a read. So give it a once over if your curious about yoga, and the relationship/nonrelationship to posture.

Lastly, because I love me some angels…and I mean love (wink)… Why didn’t female angels have sex with men? Just a short look at that wonderful scene in Genesis, the language, and the physical (so to speak) sex of angels, and their sexuality.


Wednesday Webshare: Ghosts, Gnostics, and God-Fights

2012/08/29

Tsem Tulku Rinpoche (formerly known as the Neon Lama) answers some questions from students about ghosts from a Vajrayana Buddhist perspective.

Speaking of ghosts, are you dead and lonely? Do you want someone to fill your nights with long walks through walls? Then check out Ghost Singles, where you can find the love of your life…so to speak.

Having trouble believing in your magick? Maybe that’s cause it doesn’t take long enough? People are more likely to believe in spells that take longer.

Help out the Occult Guide by listing occult places of interest (My bedroom isn’t marked oddly enough)

There is a Noah movie coming up (I didn’t know either, the drunk scene at the end has me worried) and it’s going to include giant Angels called the Watchers, and as someone a fan of the Watcher myths, this has me intrigued.

Since I know some readers will find interest in this, Polyphanes from Digital Ambler gave a run-down on a lot of books on geomancy if you’re trying to figure out what to start with, or if that book is worth getting.

An interesting look at Judaisms (yes plular) and their view of demons.

Ebay cans the sales of spells and potions and divinations. It’s a move I’m torn about. On one hand have you read 95% of the magick listings on ebays, super-powerful-haunted items to kill friends and give you that good ass? On the other hand the day before I started listing stuff on ebay. (Though for readers I say stick with my etsy) My stuff is in an odd place, cause it’s physical craft items, just with stuff done to it.

Smite (or SMITE?) is an upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game where you play as Gods from diverse pantheons battling each other. I must admit any game where I can play Kali and kill Ra, Zeus, or Odin is a winner in my book. (Since it took me a while to track down, this is the current system requirements for the game but as it is still in beta this may change. If I get a beta key, or when they game comes out, I’ll share my profile information so I can slaughter my blog readers)

Looking to integrate spirituality and technology? A comic on why Siri shouldn’t be your psychopomp. Though in Siri’s defense a lot of Tibetan words are tricky

Looking for a non-threatening Thelemic icon for your desk at work? How about Hello Kitty Aleister Crowley?

Marvin Meyer, a Biblical and Gnostic scholar and translator died last week at the age of 64. I have several of his translations and enjoyed them, and the understanding and passion he put into them.

To counter that downer; a short four minute film on a young demon conjurer. I appreciate the fairly authentic seals, also Demon Summoning for Kids really is a book idea I should get working on… how intelligible should a child’s speech be before you start teaching them conjuration?


Invisibility, Swords, and Cemeteries

2012/03/06

Polyphanes posted “Be a ninja! Remain unseen! Here’s How.”  Inspired by this post I wanted to talk about three examples of what I’ve done to hide myself, and share one of my favourite stories of (possible) magickal invisibility.

For structured and clear rituals, there is the Rose Cross. I don’t know how traditional it is, but I was taught it with the instruction that it can be used to deflect attention, to make you invisible, and I’ve had good results with that.

I admit I'm clueless to what this says, hopefully something witty and ironic.

Another method I have takes a bit of practice. Go stand against a wall and press yourself flat against it, try to hide against the wall, even if there is nothing to cover you. Then reach out and try to draw the wall around, the energy, the perception, the concept of the wall, pull it across you like a curtain. This is all well and good if you have to hide against walls, but it’s not very portable, but the idea is. That is the training. Get used to the sensation, physical, mental, emotional, energetic/spiritual of pressing against the wall trying to avoid notice. Now stand in the middle of a room and try to flatten yourself against the centre of the room. It’s hard to explain, but just as you pressed yourself against the wall, away from the room, now you are pressing yourself away from everywhere at once. To use a sci-fi analogy by backing away from everything at once you’re pushing yourself out of phase (what does that even mean?) of our physical reality. In this state draw the room around, as you did with the wall, covering yourself in the same way. If you keep your focus on being drawn away and covered you can actually move around with this, leave the area, and pass beneath notice on the move.

The last technique is a bit simpler to pull off. All you need is a few small candles, a mirror, and a dark room. Light the candles (I prefer nine, for Lunar associations of illusion, and the ability to go unseen like the New Moon) place them within easy reach of you and turn off the light. Sit in front of the mirror (you can stand, but subtle swaying makes it more difficult) and just stare at your reflection until it starts to blur. Once it blurs for a moment blow out a candle, and see the light from the extinguished flame being drawn into you. Repeat this for each candle. The idea is you’re associating a blurred harder to see image with yourself, and you’re drawing the light from the candles, what allows you to be seen, into you. The light which illuminates you is being taken into you, is in your control.

Now, invisibility and my humorous past. No surprise, I do a lot of work in cemeteries. While there are several closer to me, there is an excellent cemetery for rituals a 20 minute walk away. This cemetery has several streams, open fields, forests, it’s great. There is one spot in that cemetery I love for rituals; two roads intersect making a crossroad, two streams go underground near there and seem to cross underneath this area at the cross-quarters, and between the roads there are small walls sealing in this crossroad. I love it. Now sometimes rituals are small…sometimes not so much. When I had a big ritual to perform there I did the Rose Cross and the Mirror/Candle to make me invisible, or so people won’t pay attention to me.

So I put on my backpack, filled with my ritual items, and limped to the cemetery -as my ritual sword was tucked in my right pant leg so it can’t be seen, but obviously limited my range of movement. I get to the cemetery about two hours after it closes, other than around Halloween security only patrols it for an hour after closing. Waiting for a lull in traffic (no need to push my luck) I snuck through the gate they never lock.  I finally arrive at my crossroads, and unpack my ritual stuff. Pillar candles set at the crossquarters of the intersection, incense in the eight directions against the wall, black silk robes put on, and of course my ritual sword now safely out of my pants. (That sounds wrong, but I’m keeping it in.)

It was a clear full moon night, so it was very bright and easy to see. I called to the Guardians of the Cemetery, set up my magickal boundaries, and dived into the ritual. About half an hour into the ritual, I’m standing in the centre of the crossroads, the walls are a good 20m at least away from me, bright moonlight while I contrast it in solid black, sword thrust toward the sky, when suddenly at the road just south of me the security guards drive by. It’s only 80m away (260 feet), nothing between us, they drive by slowly, and passed out of site.

Artist's rendition

Artist's rendition

Being confident in my magick I just stood there… okay, not really, I ran and grabbed my backpack and knelt against the farside of the wall in the shadows. This put me as far away from them as possible if they either did a U-turn, or took the next corner to loop back. And a minute passed, and another, and another. After maybe five-ten minutes, far longer than it should have taken them to get back there was still no sign of them. I move back to the centre and resume the ritual and complete it, the security guards never drove by again. Really they should have, they didn’t patrol the quarter I was in, and I was there long enough that they had enough time to cover the entire cemetery more than once.

This is always my favourite story about magickal invisibility. Though, a friend (or possibly my brother, I forget now) did give a less magickal alternative that I’m still fond of. “If you’re a security guard in a cemetery, and one full moon night you see a black robed shadow wielding a sword on the top of a hill, your first thought is ‘Fuck no. I’ve seen this horror movie’ and you keep driving.” Of course, even if they saw me and were unnerved, they paid me no attention, so in that way still a success.


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