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LIBER THETA – THE DISCIPLINES OF SORCERY – Magical ritual itself is ultimately a kind of physical meditation employing the interaction of individuals and objects. Its purpose is to achieve prolonged and directed trance; whether as a group or focused through one individual. The essential disciplines given here allow for the systematic development of the necessary psychic faculties.
This book manifested after a number of people asked me for advice on the disciplines of sorcery; in particular where to begin if one is just starting out. My reply was the same as that given by any magical teacher worth their consecrated salt. Begin where you are – at the start, with the exploration of consciousness and the control of one’s own mind; meditation.
Several people then asked for recommended reading material on the subject.
My own magical training came through many sources; from my background in Essex witchcraft, my involvement with a certain magical order, visitations to and from certain other orders, through to direct contact with cults of Voudon, Makaya, Quimbanda, Orissa, Obeah, Tantra, Taoism, and Buddhism, to name but a few influences. None of these sources seem to have written any books I could recommend to an aspiring sorcerer with no intention of joining any specific cult, coven, temple, or order.. and I have no desire to form another one.
Whilst there are books on magic that have inspired my personal practice, many of these are hard to find and long out of print; we are talking here about the classical grimoires of antiquity. Whilst some of the more important texts, such as The Lesser Key of Solomon, have been made readily available they are easily misinterpreted – their authors having deliberately confounded the works with omissions, red herrings, and lapwings. The rituals they describe are entirely involved with medieval Christianity; culturally specific and of little relevance to the modern sorcerer. Furthermore, although magical trance is essential to the success of the operations, no instructions are given for meditation. This can only be deliberate – to anyone not trained and initiated into such Mysteries the instructions are useless, whilst all talk of spirits and their powers seems ludicrous.
Which left me considering the works of the more influential contemporary magicians, many of whom have indeed given instruction regarding meditation, and nearly all of whom I have – at some time or other – had good reason to fall out with. After due consideration I realized there were no books I could, in all honesty, comfortably recommend. This might seem arrogant to some, but my reasons are as follows;
Whilst any student of magic should at least make a passing study of The Great Beast Crowley’s works, I could not recommend it as a starting point for several reasons. His instructions given in Magick in Theory & Practice are much wrapped up in his personal philosophy, little of which I am in agreement with. The further one gets with his work the more one becomes drawn in by the charismatic force of his self aggrandizement. His intention was to form a cult, which he was profoundly successful at, even if only posthumously. I have no desire to direct the novice to end up joining the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O), the magical order that prospered after his death. Thelema, the religion he founded, is an ossified current.
Crowley’s works owe more to Theosophy than many will admit; about whom also the less said the better. All that remains of that current is a library of unreadable dreary books and – hidden away on a dusty back shelf of Grand Lodge – an enshrined helmet-dented turd of the young Krishnamurti.
Next I considered Peter J. Carroll’s Liber Null & Psychonaut. Written during his early years as a training manual for the Illuminates of Thanateros (I.O.T.), his failed magical order, Liber MMM contains many misguided presumptions that have never been redressed. Neither his version of the Chaos Magic or the I.O.T. have stood the test of time. Whilst Carroll’s work may initially appear to provide a clear map of a straight road towards Illumination, anyone attempting to navigate by it eventually discovers the map is deeply flawed. The road turns out to be as crooked as they come, and the journey ends with an actual as well as metaphorical cul-de-sac.
(No sleight is intended toward Ray Sherwin, whose Book of Results instigated the original Chaos current. Having retired from the scene in the early 80s he had nothing to do with what happened to the Id-I.O.T.s.)
Although I have a fondness for the works of Austin Osman Spare, and am a great admirer of his talent, the instructions he gives regarding the Death Posture (meditation) are vague and deliberately obscure. Never intending to write for the masses his natural inclination was hermetic; as he said in The Anathema of Zos; “I would rather counsel closed ears.” But there is a worse problem than this – Spare’s misappropriation by both Thelema and Chaos Magic. He was never a member of any magical order; however often Crowley or his secretary Kenneth Grant begged him to join the O.T.O. they were (it is told) always met with the same rebuff; “I can’t afford the robes”. It is safe to say he would not have approved of the I.O.T. either. Nevertheless the mention of his influence is liable to find my work lumped in with their drivel; despite its many fundamental differences.
I could hardly recommend my novices to explore Wicca. Whilst drawing from aspects of the grimoires and shamanism it is nevertheless a modern religion based upon misguided research. Founded by nudist swinger co-Masons in the 1950s, there is no evidence of any such a pagan fertility cult ever having existed in the U.K., let alone secretly surviving for hundreds of years in secret. It is whispered among initiates that when Gerald Gardner needed magic done he paid Austin Spare to do it for him.
– If the reader is interested in the genuine magical traditions of the UK they are recommended to seek out the works of Professor Owen Davies, whose book Cunning Folk, 2006, was the first ever academic study on the subject, and to refer to the classical grimoires – there may be no argument concerning their historical validity, but see my previous comments.
Israel Regardie’s The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic is perhaps a more reliable work. The research carried out during the construction of their system provides an invaluable resource to any Western sorcerer, with contributors such as Waite, Graves, and Major General Fuller – whose research into John Dee’s Enochian magic was ruthlessly plagiarized by Crowley. Nevertheless, I am not – and have never been – an initiate of the G∴ D∴ and find the work rather dated. It is also, once again, co-Masonry; this time merged with inaccurate pseudo-Egyptian magic, the classical grimoires of tradition, and a rudimentary grasp of Kabalah.
Works pertaining to the Ordo Fraterni Saturni have been translated from German into (American) English over the past few decades, but I am not inclined to advise my novices to study the philosophy of occult fascists. Their doctrine of Compassionless Love Under Will is more than a little sociopathic. The antinomian philosophies of the (so called) left hand path strike me as the equivalent of the moody isolate teenager who turns away from their parents in denial. Such is a necessary part of maturation, perhaps; the process of individuation. Yet later in life, having defined ourselves, we tend to also gain a better understanding of who our parents actually are and return to them with more respect.
Nor am I impressed by the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set, or any of that sleazy circus show; I have read, and heard, disclosures of MK Ultra survivors identifying LaVey and Aquino as child abusers and mind control handlers, counting a number of these transcendent survivors among my friends; Theta shaman that have broken free of control. Others might find such crimes unimaginable – and hence unbelievable – but I do not. The lie we are sold that Satanism is the only religion in the world that harbors no paedophiles – the logical conclusion of denying the existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse – is nothing short of absurd.
The list goes on, but I am sure you get my point.
Finally, I considered giving the advice to read everything and extrapolate from between them all; a Nephilim task to expect from a novice, who cannot be expected to distinguish good advice from bad. I concluded the only answer was to provide such instructions myself, and got typing.
As far as possible I have presented the techniques of sorcery stripped of cultural significators or dogma. What I have not done is developed a new system of magic, or cobbled together an eclectic belief system. Instead I have explored the commonalities between the various traditions to show that, whilst the language and symbols may vary, their approach is essentially the same – they are not different paradigms ripe for cultural appropriation by white middle class ‘magicians’, but a shared pool of knowledge of which the West is largely ignorant.
For example; whilst the reader might consider the Aghori sorcery of India, the Vagabond kung-fu of China, and the Makaya of Haiti to be incompatible belief systems that cannot be held at the same time, the Aghori, Vagabond, or Makaya would have no worries about learning from one another and exchanging methods or techniques. Similarly, they would have no problem employing the rituals of the medieval grimoire Le Dragon Rouge, and in doing so would not consider themselves to be eclectic, post-modern, or practicing some form of trendy Chaos magic.
Although my observations regarding these disciplines are my own I claim no ultimate originality regarding the nature of the instructions given; and that is the point. They follow an essential practice common throughout all cultures and ages. Having been practicing for over three decades it is also hoped my work will be of value to the more advanced sorcerer, who in any case should never allow their disciplines to fall away; particularly if in a position of mentoring others.
But let this be clear; Liber Theta is a continuation from tradition, informed by many different currents, rather than a continuation of any one tradition in particular. Rather than involve itself with the preservation of ancient belief systems the work very much belongs to the 21st century.
I have included conclusions relating to my lay studies in psychology, neurology and physics, which provide at least a modicum of scientific rationale without negating the possibilities of more intuitive belief systems. Although I myself am unqualified my sources are not. Some are even funded by the military complex; in particular I have referenced the published works of Dr. Michael Persinger, whose God Helmet has brought the C.I.A.’s remote viewing experiments to a whole new level. His research is anything but pseudo-science, even if it sounds like something from a comic book.
I have also invested in mind-control technology of my own, performing experiments with myself as the test subject. These have mostly been achieved using a programmable mind synthesizer such as are readily available on the market. I class these operations as Neuromancy, a term borrowed from the fiction of William Gibson. The spiritual and political implications of these discoveries are explored in The Neuronomicon; Magic & Mind Control.
There are reasons I have consciously borrowed from popular culture. My aim is to employ language the reader is likely to be familiar with, but does not alienate with presumptions of belief. Rather than speak of gods (implying pantheism), demons, angels or saints (implying monotheism), or archetypes (implying a psychological interpretation), I employ the broader term Mysteries, because quite honestly this is what they are. The instructions in Liber Theta are as valid given a materialistic interpretation, although my personal opinion is in agreement with Carl G. Jung, who wrote in Seven Sermons of the Dead; “All things considered, all these metapsychic phenomena would be explained better by the hypothesis of spirits than by the qualities and peculiarities of the unconscious.. in the long run I have to admit that the spirit hypothesis yields better results in practice than any other.”
I also speak of the Invisibles; a term some might recognize from the graphic novel by Grant Morrison, which he in turn borrowed from Voudon. However this is not to imply any one cultural form over another. In referring to the Mystery of the Red Ray, for example, I mean that force that manifests as Ganesh, Mercury, Hermes, Nabu, Thoth, Exu, Simbi-Makaya, or Odin, among other masques, who is cross culturally found at the crossroads, is master of magic, who teaches through trickery, and is always served first before any other of the Invisibles.
The irony is that les Invisibles – the lwa or laws of Voudon – have no problem wearing masques and names from popular culture; I myself have attended Voudon ritual where Erzulie was honored as Princess Diana. Others have performed sorcery evoking the Old Gods of the Cthulhu Mythos, or invoked the Divine Trickster through a masque of Bugs Bunny.
The source of the Mysteries is the Ultra-Violet Ray or Greater Mind, a term also employed in The Neuronomicon, used to imply what might otherwise be called Siva, Bhodi-Mind, Obatala, Oludamare, God, Hyper-Gamma brainwaves, or the reverberations of the Big Bang. As Albert Einstein put it, “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a Spirit is involved in the laws of the Universe – a Spirit vastly superior to that of man”. And as Erwin Schrodinger agreed, “Quantum physics reveals a basic oneness of the Universe.”
Rather than talk about the collective unconscious (psychology), female mind (Kabbala), Waters Beneath the Earth (Voudon), Pandemonium (Goetia), the Astral Plane (Theosophy / New Age), the spirit realms, or the aetheric field, I refer to the movements or thoughts of the Greater Mind.
In this same manner I refer to to what science calls the holographic universe (where waves can be particles and visa versa depending on who observes them), being what the Hindu of India call Maya, the Buddhists of Tibet call Samsara, and the heathens called the Web of Wyrd, as the Matrix. This phenomena is generated from the Greater Mind; in the words of physicist Maxwell Planck, “All matter originates and exists, only by virtue of a force. We must assume behind this force is the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” Just as humans strive to greater consciousness, so are we also the dream from which the Greater Mind will eventually awaken.
I maintain the contemporary term Gnosis to signify magical trance, rather than employ some exotic phrase such as Samadhi, or create a new meme such as Theta-Mind. It is also employed in its original Platonic sense; Gnosis as a form of self knowledge transcending the rational. The culmination of Gnosis is referred to as Illumination, being what others have called Enlightenment or the culmination of Samadhi in Sahaja-Samadhi.
As a Hindu monk once said to me, all religions and spiritual systems are ultimately maps with which to navigate Maya (Matrix), without which the seeker may easily get lost in endless possibility, or suffer any of the countless pitfalls that threaten the unwary. Yet there will always be those who insist on striking out on their own, learning from their successes and errors along the way. Such a journey is bound to be filled with hidden wonders, but also many painful lessons. Yet it is only by straying from the beaten track that you will ever find the path direct.
This book is dedicated to all those prepared to take the risk!
Long live the New Flesh,
Fra. A ∴ I ∴