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.
Genuine sorcery requires discipline; for the humble novice who may have little or no anticipation of Attainment, just as it does for the Grand Poobah Magi, 3600 of the O.of.O. Without these faculties all ritual will be empty words and actions; whether they be drawn from Witchcraft, Voudon, Esoteric Freemasonry, Golden Dawn, Thelema, Neuromancy, New-Age, Nu-Aeon, or any other tradition including self created or revealed systems, it will still be merely amateur theater. This is why so much of what passes for magic in popular occulture is little more than an extremely pretentious form of pyramid selling – the ‘eye’ at the crown a confidence trick.
Yet even among the most ancient occult texts the importance of the magical trance has been vastly underplayed. For example; the grimoires of tradition contain many instructions for the evocation of spirits, but rarely inform that unless the sorcerer enters trance they cannot succeed in their endeavors. At the very least they will need the assistance of a medium who will communicate their visions to the conjurer. It can only be assumed that the authors of the grimoires took it for granted that the readers would already understand this.
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There will be those for whom these instructions are wildly inappropriate. Some individuals experience anxiety or dissociation as a result of meditative practice. This may be for a variety of reasons, from a fear of revisiting hidden parts of the self due to trauma, through to the the self denial of the abusive psychopath. Whereas one may be healed through time, and aided through wise instruction, the other is an ossified condition of the ego and often incurable. Such an individual should never be provided with magical training of any kind – they will certainly employ it to the detriment of others, quite probably including their mentor.
It may still be possible – without meditation – to achieve limited success with sorcery, yet such a student will be as disadvantaged as anyone learning martial arts without first achieving inner equilibrium. The results are most often disastrous and extremely painful. Despite the proclamations of certain self appointed messiahs, magic(k) is most certainly not for all.
It is only through regular meditation as an honest reflection that one truly becomes able to maintain mastery over one’s own abilities – entering and leaving trance at will, deepening trance, and coming to Know Thy Self. Through one’s own experience only may these things be revealed – all else is merely intellectual masturbation and ‘re-vieling’.
This strengthening of the will is in essence a bloody mindedness capable of warping reality itself. In another sense we might say that the Will of the sorcerer and the Will of ‘reality’ become ‘as one’- the true secret of At-One-Ment. It is an attitude of complete distinction from mental confusion, quite superior to the mental condition of the uninitiated; Illumination.
The Will is the source of all motivation, and hence meaning. It may be sensed, discovered, and directed by countless means. In essence it is a knowledge that may be grasped through the instincts, directed without conscious deliberation, yet also with intent. In the preliminary this training involves the overcoming of one’s own body; the ability to remain entirely still, calming the breath, heart, and mind.
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Beware of occult teachers who promises ‘power’, yet reject the wisdom traditions – particularly the practices of meditation, introspection, and divination. Those that come under the guidance of such apparently ‘free thinkers’, or those of us who otherwise come under the purview, afterwards have many regrets.
Additionally, many modern teachers do not insist upon the continuation of meditative discipline after a few inner accomplishments have been attained. These mentors often take an easy approach, and do not put what they consider to be excessive demands upon their novitiates. Often, this is out of sheer desperation in keeping their flailing ‘orders’ alive.
The effect of abandoning these early disciplines is reflected in the lives of their novitiates. When they themselves begin to teach, they are not inclined to take their own students through these early stages. They are more inclined to drop their students in ‘at the deep end’, where they themselves are now.
This is a mistake that many occult teachers throughout history have lived to regret. Their own students inevitably compete with them, blaming and turning against them when they are unable to achieve the same results.
In this age we so often want to start at the end of the path rather than at the beginning. Our desire, our lack of wisdom which breeds undue desire, impels us beyond our capabilities and before our time. We want everything right now. We are impatient and perhaps unwilling to wait for the natural fulfillment of desire, for the natural unfolding of consciousness and life. We seek to force it, to strive for greater attainment than we are prepared to sustain. But results cannot be obtained unless we have the patience to begin at the beginning and to follow through systematically. We must take one step and then another.
There are no shortcuts to attainment, but there are detours. Impatience with the natural process is one of them. Just as Eukleídēs could find for his impatient pupil, King Ptolemy I, no ‘privileged path’ to geometry or philosophy, so there are no short cuts to Illumination. A marathon runner cannot begin the race 23 miles from the starting point. A mountain climber cannot refuse to climb the lower, perhaps less challenging, cliffs. The natural laws known to all men do not allow it. The natural law known to himself, his own conscience, does not allow it. It is the same with the practice of sorcery.
The kind of striving that puts aside all common sense and says ‘I shall Attain, no matter what!’ is itself an obstacle to Illumination. The importance of mental focus and self reflection cannot be over stressed. Without these, there may be no foundations upon which the inner temple may be built, and no key stone to prevent its collapsing. This crucial work often takes years to accomplish.
Once the described levels of discipline have been accomplished, it is essential that the initiate intensifies their practice. It should never be abandoned. When we ‘let up’ upon ourselves this way, the lesser mind gains control. We lose our equilibrium and the counsel of the Invisibles.
All powers we have gained will become our undoing. As sorcerers it is required that we maintain control of our instincts, our lesser mind, and steer them to the benefit of ourselves and our peers. To be ruled by immature desires is to ultimately fail in the quest for Illumination.
The higher we have climbed, the further we may fall. Therefore, we must prepare our novitiates for this descent also, that it may be gentle and gradual rather than traumatic. Without this, they will slide further into fear, anger, doubt, and disappointment. Many examples may be found in history to illustrate this. Having complacently given up their disciplines, the lapsed no longer has a sound structure to their inner temple. When difficult personal situations arise, they become entirely subject to their lesser minds. They give in to the whims of ego, becoming a malign influence with no potential for growth; falling subject to the very same dæmons they sought to command.
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Meditative practice reveals, over time, a fresh perspective on all perceptions, ideas, illusions and realities. It provides an intensification of spiritual power, as well as glimpses into those Mysteries central to mastery. The ultimate aim of all true sorcery is an increased comprehension of ourselves and our place in the universe.
Our word magic ultimately comes to us from the Babylonian Magi, and has been much profaned. Its definition is most commonly given after Crowley; “.. the art of causing change in accordance with will.” Yet whilst it is true that unusual abilities may be gained through these disciplines, and any sorcerer should be capable of casting spells, the chief concern of magic is the attainment of wisdom.
There are many who are not ready to accept wisdom. Those who lack it have no means by which to judge it in others. The small minded – those of singular vision – can have no true success in the work of magic. Without wisdom any other powers obtained will only destroy you.
Wisdom chastises and disciplines those who attain. So too does it motivate that ascent from base matter to those lofty heights from whence great distances may be observed. Such is a humbling experience.
The attainment of wisdom is a broad and noble quest. A truly knowledgeable person is one well informed by its fruits. Its attainment carries with it great prestige. Yet such obtainment is not made in order to condescend and control others. The Magi attains each grade, and takes each step, for this reason alone; the love of wisdom. Whoever seeks the Mysteries without this natural preference will never be suitable for initiation; for they do not naturally reflect upon their Self.
Wisdom grows yet never decreases. In imparting our wisdom to others we are in no way depleting ourselves; indeed the most learning is often gained by the teacher. Wisdom is not like money or any of the acquisitions that can be bought with it. If we share our money we may gain, yet if we are too generous we end up impoverished. Yet in sharing wisdom it is only possible that the self be increased.
Whoever obtains such wisdom will lead a happy life, emerging from difficulties and challenges un-scarred by sorrow. Happiness is that wisdom which is sought for its own sake; not with a view to achieving other things – as there is nothing more ideal than happiness.
The essence of all wisdom is Illumination; the force of imagination moving through all the particulars until it becomes fully aware of them. In the ideal the imagination makes itself clear as the surface of a mirror; reflecting and reporting these particulars as they are. Whoever realizes their own perceptions becomes Wise; yet who realizes also the truth of their imagination becomes Magi.
Achieve a condition of relaxation. Choose a posture that is comfortable and relaxed yet alert, the spine straight, the tongue resting against the roof of the mouth. The meditation postures of Tantric Yoga are called asanas, and have esoteric significance. Chinese Taoist meditations similarly employ symbolic postures. Modern Runa employs posture in meditation as a means of spell casting and communion with the Invisibles. In the Western tradition, magical trance is focused through the adoption of the God Forms. For the time being, however, our primary concern is that the posture chosen can be held comfortably, so that the body provides the least distraction.
Whilst the chosen posture is essentially arbitrary, you may find that employing the same posture for a number of successive rehearsals is of more practical value than constantly experimenting in different positions. The body and mind become ‘anchored’, so that to arrange the body in the same way for each rehearsal means that the mind and body recognize what it is being attempted.
Physiologically, the spine is a conduit of electrical signals sent to and from the brain to the rest of the body. This electrical force, although only recently defined by modern science, has long been known to the Mystery Schools. It is the ‘spirit power’ of consciousness itself, and if the spine is not straight and relaxed this energy will be agitated. If this is so, we should not expect the mind to be in any way relaxed and still in response- for even modern science recognizes that the signals passing along the spine and the activity of the brain are effectively the same phenomena. Various techniques of meditation bring this phenomena under our control. The dangers of malpractice should be apparent.
Work first towards complete physical stillness, assuming as far as possible the likeness of a corpse. In the continuum of mind and body, mastery of one implies mastery of the other. Even a simple itch may prove more distracting than ever before thought possible. This position is to be maintained for as long as possible. Do not move any part of the body at all. Seek to control all twitches, twinges and fidgeting.
It will soon become apparent that this task of doing nothing at all requires great determination. What began as a comfortable position may quickly become excruciating to maintain, yet persistence is required. Even movement of the eyes is to be avoided. The aim is to eventually achieve the ability to silence the mind, and such movements are a sign of mental activity.
Focus all attention upon the body and do not allow the thoughts to wander. Those thoughts as arise within the mind should be casually observed. The secret to success here is in the attitude of physical relaxation. It is quite incredible how few people in the modern occident possess the ability to relax.
Awareness focused on the body should thus take notice of all tensions, and release them. Particular attention should be paid to the muscles in the face. When focusing the mind we are concentrating our efforts, yet this should be achieved in another sense without effort.
Beginners often make the mistake of tensing up their muscles. When they are concentrating on something they will screw up their faces, furrowing their brows as if they are exerting themselves. This is not meditation, this is ‘brooding’. What we hope to achieve through meditation is actually a relaxing and silencing of the mind.
Practice this at least once per day. With each effort, try to lengthen and improve the periods of motionlessness. Do not be satisfied with any attempt that is not an improvement on the one before. When fifteen minutes may be achieved with ease, progress is made to the next stage, which is the focusing of the mind upon breath.
Each performance should be recorded within the pages of your Magical Diary so that progress can be honestly measured and assessed; such was required by Abra-Melin of his novice Abraham, just as it is expected of any literate student of sorcery.
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Maintain a condition of relaxation. Continue the practice as above, directing the entirety of the attention on the breath. This in itself provides a powerful key to sorcery. Breath is the carrier of the ‘Life Force’ or spirament, called önd within the Northern Tradition, pneuma by the ancient Greeks, chi by the Chinese, prana by the Hindu, ashé in the African Diaspora, by the Alchemists as the universal plastic medium; it is the vril of modern Theosophy, the orgone of Wilhelm Reich, the odyle of Von Reichenbach. It is therefore worthy of our utmost undivided attention.
Breathing should be rhythmical and from the pit of the belly, brought under conscious control. Begin to make the breathing slower and deeper, using the entire capacity of the lungs without straining. Between inhalation and exhalation the lungs should be held empty or full so as to lengthen the cycle.
All awareness is focused progressively upon the breath, and is to wander to nothing else. Each attempt must be equal to or an improvement upon the last. Do not be satisfied with anything less than fifteen minutes. Breath control should be practiced at least once per day, and whenever convenient opportunity should arise. When twenty minutes may be achieved with ease, progress is made to the next stage, which is the achievement of willed mental vacuity.
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As before, achieve a condition of relaxation. The aspirant now applies the above gained abilities in preparation for the most Daring efforts of mental Silence, applying the Will towards the Knowledge of nothing at all- thus, to Know, Will, Dare, and to Keep Silence.
The mind is withdrawn from all arising thoughts. Whenever a thought arises it is to be banished with an attitude of ‘does not matter- need not be’. During this phase of training, seek to improve the length and quality of mental silence with each attempt. Efforts soon reveal the mind to be a hive of activity, of which we are generally unaware. We are both the source and the subject of our own mental processes, and thus mastery of the mind is mastery of our own destiny. Only through the extremes of rehearsed discipline may even a moment of true psychic focus be maintained.
We achieve mental quiescence simply by relaxing, and otherwise doing nothing at all. Let your mind go blank, all of its own accord, and seek to prolong these periods of non-activity. Adopting an attitude of simultaneous attachment and dis-attachment to all phenomena. This simple shift brings quiet not only to the conscious (mundane) mind, but also to the subconscious fears and instincts. All worries and doubts cease to distract, and a sense of dynamic security permeates all being.
You may experience an immediate influx of intuitive awareness of the Greater Mind, bringing a feeling of oneness with ‘It’, which might be simultaneously witnessed as Infinite Darkness and Infinite Light.
Immediately, all the forces of the mind are brought together. You may become aware of new attributes within yourself, and the limitless potentials that may be tapped through persistent meditation. This condition is what is known by us as Gnosis. It is the principal realization of the Mystic; the essential knowledge of that which lies at the core of the Kosmos as it lies at the core of Self. All else is merely illusion and unverifiable opinion.
Gnosis is the most powerful weapon of the Art. At such time there is no belief, all things are possible, and the Life Force may become manifest. The core of Self and Cosmos being one and the same, the non-awareness and non-experience of one is identical to non-awareness and non-experience of the other. To commune with the Void is to commune with nonexistence, and there can be no difference between one nothing and another nothing. Thus to hurl a conjuration into the core of Self is to hurl a conjuration into the core of reality; if such a things as self and reality can be said to exist in such moments.
This subjective non-experience remains identical if maintained for a minute or an hour. Its achievement may be made by many means other than this. Mental vacuity may also arise at times of complete exhaustion, at moments of surprise, when a familiar activity is interrupted, at the point of orgasm, or the extremes of any emotional and physical sensation.
As above (and so below), these experiments should be performed at least once per day, with all results being recorded. Such disciplined practice is of infinitely more benefit than spending longer periods of time at sporadic intervals. When half an hour may be achieved with ease, further progress may be made within the disciplines.
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Neuromancy; Psychic abilities are accessed during the dreaming / daydreaming Theta state ideally at 7.38Hz; the same pulse frequency as the planet Earth itself. The implication is that the planet is effectively one huge consciousness of which we are individual nodes able to access – and add to – the Greater Mind. Although our brains have finite processing capacity it may be trained to access any information available to any other human brain on the planet.
Magical ‘ritual proper’ is the combination of the following – and similar – techniques to provide conditions of unwavering Gnosis directed towards the focus of intent;
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Focused Awareness; Apply your ability at ‘banishing thought’ in order to keep your consciousness focused upon one subject – around which the free flow of ideas is allowed to revolve. You may find that your mind wanders. Pay attention to the connections it makes, but bring it back to its original theme. Great Mysteries have been revealed by these simple methods. As with most of these disciplines, persistence is all.
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The Gaze; The practitioner next disciplines the mind by rehearsing the fixed and unwavering gaze. An object or image is held at the focus of sight, and the gaze is not allowed to wander from it. Nor should the object or image be allowed to distort to the eye.
At first this may seem simple, but if the eyes are kept completely still then given time all manner of bizarre hallucinations will arise. These are to be fought against with all the mental effort that can be mustered. Once again there will seem to be a billion excuses to cease this practice. Yet the ability provides a key to the use of various magical weapons, talesmatia, and charaktēres, not to mention being an essential feature of the Evil Eye.
In the early practice we recommend that you concentrate firmly upon acquiring this as a skill in itself. Focus on meaningless everyday objects, rather than signs and charaktēres of power. The gaze might then be trained against itself, through fixing the stare upon the eyes of one’s reflection in the Black Mirror. Once a level of discipline has been attained, it is possible to employ such techniques more reliably in sorcery.
The unwavering gaze is of great importance to mediumship, as Robert Kirk has noted in The Secret Commonwealth, the spirits will remain visible ; “so long as they can keep their eye steady without twinkling. The hardy therefore fix the gaze that they might see the longer, But the timorous see only glances, their eyes twinkling at the first sign of the object.”
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Visualization; This is the construction of mental images held fast in the mind’s eye. These should not be allowed to waver or distort in any way. At first, meaningless things should be employed as previously instructed, rather than charaktēres of esoteric significance. The image should be held fixed and unchanging in the mind’s eye and the imagination must not be allowed to wander.
It is advised that you practice these techniques at first with images that are exciting to the imagination. For example, it is relatively easy to summon the images of sexual fantasy. Other images of more neutral emotive response should next be employed, and finally the more abstract shapes that compose of the signs and charaktēres of the Invisibles. Once mastery of these techniques has been gained, they provide abilities that are absolutely fundamental to success in a great deal of sorcery.
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Gesture; The ‘magical pass’ may be likened to the hand gestures or ‘mudras’ of Yogic practice, or the moving meditations of Tai Chi Chuan, as but two examples from the East. Revivalists of Germanic tradition stipulate a similar system of hand and body postures once formed a part of Runa, although there is no real evidence to support this historically many have found these postures effective. The mano cernuto or ‘horned salute’ of Infernal Witchcraft is perhaps a better example.
To explore the raw technique of gesture and meditation, it is suggested the novitiate first creates arbitrary ‘pseudo-mudra’ by placing the thumb together with any finger of the hand, and focusing all attention on the point of contact. Do not allow the mind to wander at all.
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Listening; Throw all awareness to the sense of hearing, striving to become aware of every sound. Rather than considering external noise as a constant distraction from contemplation, it instead becomes its focus. In our mundane consciousness certain sounds will slip beyond our awareness. For example, one may become used to the sound of a clock ticking so that it is no longer consciously registered, or the sound of nearby traffic.
The novitiate thus learns the practice of heightened audio awareness. However, the mind is not allowed to fix itself to any sound but must continue to be receptive to all impressions. In this manner consciousness expands, even if only slightly at first. This ability to allow consciousness to ‘ride’ sound provides a powerful key to mediumistic trance.
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Intoning; A technique that may be rehearsed in conjunction with the above is the art of intoning or vibrating a name or phrase with the concentrated force of Will, empowering and entering Gnosis through its sound. The technique is more easily taught than written of, although it may be stated that the intention is to create shifts in consciousness through vibrating a little like a tuning fork.
Such might easily be called a kind of singing, and indeed the way in which song may move the Spirit is a good example of the effect intended by these methods. Our word ‘Warlock’ has its roots in the High German Varđlokkur, meaning ‘one who knows the Spirit songs’. Consider also the Latin Incantare, ‘to sing over’, giving us our word Incantation, and ‘Carmen’, a song sacred to the Goddess Carmenta, which also gives us the Old English cyrm, the root of our modern word ‘Charm’.
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Vocēs Magickae – Words of Power; The use of mantric chanting is employed to bring under control those mental faculties of internal dialogue, so that the whole of awareness becomes swallowed in the repetition of a single phrase or sound, with all other thoughts being blocked or consumed by it. This is first repeated aloud, then becomes an internal process. This provides the key to the use of vocēs magickae and certain forms of spell casting. Indeed the word mantra itself means ‘code of command’.
Any words of power, or the names of the Invisibles (called in Egyptian magic Hekau), might be employed. Under certain Gnostic conditions words and sounds may become visible, even tangible. In such circumstances the Invisibles may be evoked merely through the repetition and/or vibration of their names.
As with the above practices, there will be a stumbling block where a thousand excuses are found to discontinue, such as that the phrase seems inappropriate and absurd. However, you must persist. With enough repetition any word will become meaningless, and the mind will become temporarily ‘blank’. It is this silence of mind we seek; Gnosis.
Gnosis may also be attained by means of excitation and the extremes of any emotion; be it attraction, repulsion, love, hate, sorrow, happiness, or the pure ecstasy of creation and destruction. Other examples include drumming, singing, physical exertion, pain, arousal, and orgasm.
When consciousness is whipped up in such a fashion an inner vacuity results. As with more quiescent methods this may be directed toward communion with the Invisibles and the Greater Mind; the work of sorcery. Thus ritual may also aim at arousing, accentuating, and heightening emotive response and the channeling of Life Force. The more disciplined the sorcerer is in meditation the better they may direct their Gnosis towards the desired end, whilst the novice is most likely to simply be overcome by the dissolution itself.
Much of the success of exoteric religion relies on its ability to engage at an emotional level and in the manipulation of such responses to engender faith. Their main instrument of control in this sense is the emotion of guilt; based in the larger part on fear of punishment, which is rarely the same thing as recognizing responsibility. The sorcerer has no need of such crippling self denial; those who repress their desires succeed in doing so only because their desires are weak enough to be repressed.
Magical ritual need not always be somber, pompous ceremony. Consider the example of Voudon, with its drums, songs on invocation, sacred dance, costume, and brightly decked temples covered with art depicting the lwa (Invisibles). Although reglimen (discipline) is strict among the celebrants, they still know how to have a good time. Similarly the rituals of Tantra are rarely boring affairs with everyone sitting around chanting and nothing much happening. Consider also the records of the Inquisition, and later Witchcraft Persecutions, with their ubiquitous accusations of midnight revelry and communion with spirits.
Following these examples, at least in essence, this author has lead ritual dances complete with temple d.j. and music chosen specifically for its appeal to the Greater Mind; the Invisibles like to party as much as anyone. Shouts out to all those in Temple Hocus-Pocus back in the 90s. ‘Aving it, Fra!
The ultimate aim of all sorcery is Illumination. This is not obtained through the curbing and governing of passions, and is most certainly never achieved by those with no passions at all. Similarly, it may not be achieved through indulging every lust and whim of the ego. Illumination may only be achieved through the accumulation of understanding and wisdom.
“And the first Soul loved Eros, who was with her, and poured her blood upon him and on the earth. And out of that blood the first rose sprouted up, out of the earth, out of the thorn bush, to be a source of joy for the Light that was to appear..”
– On the Origin of the World
Eros was the first born of Khaos (Homer); it springs from nowhere, unexplainable, subject to no law. Even the other Invisibles fear him, for whilst they may be deathless and beyond the reach of Thanatos they are nevertheless subject to love and desire. Indeed through the influence of Eros they may be drawn into the flesh and mortal incarnation; as with the mythical couplings of humans and gods, and the sacred rites of the Great Rite or Hieros Gamos.
The power of Eros may ignite between couplings of any gender, through self-love, among many people at once, or in any combination of infinitely diverse expressions. It is clear there are direct links between spiritual power and sexuality; thus sorcerers may reasonably be expected to have heightened libido, yet also to channel libidinal energies in a disciplined manner rather than succumbing to every impulsive sexual urge.
Gnostic philosophy and modern psychology agree that the human psyche is most powerfully motivated by the twin forces of Thanatos (death) and Eros (sex). These drives provide momentum and meaning to mortal existence. However unconscious, their influence upon us gives colour to our every decision; all attraction to and repulsion from phenomena and experience. So too have Thanatos and Eros been recognized as the twin routes to Gnosis itself.
The potentials of sexuality are the most profound in relation to our mortal existence. For this reason it was a central concern of the Mystery Schools. Yet while the pagan temples celebrated the diverse sexuality of both their subjects and the Invisibles, monotheism sought to restrict and enslave it. The sexual outsider has been persecuted since the days of the Old Testament. God commands we go forth and multiply, and any man or woman who sought to avoid marriage was committing a sin punishable by death.
Even the most cursory glance at the records of the Inquisition show that the most abhorrent crime commonly attributed to heretical sects was that of sensuality; specifically the employment of sex in their rituals. Such accusations were made against the Gnostics, Cathars, Templars, and during the later Persecutions against the witchcraft cults, whose Sabbats are depicted in the literature of the times as veritable drug fueled orgies.
Consider also that the earliest use of the word pervert was in a theological context. It meant to put the cart before the horse; the reversal of sanctioned values, in this context meaning the coercion, persuading, and placating of the gods rather than obedience to them; sorcery.
Those who are awakened to sexual love will naturally be changed by the experience. Such knowledge is extremely dangerous to the status quo. As Adolf Hitler observed in Mien Kampf, his manual for mass mind-control, “If you want to control a people you must first control their sexuality.”
Thus, if you wish to liberate and empower a people you must first free them from the cultural bondage upon their sexuality. In the modern age many people are left unsure as to their sexuality, and this lies at the root of many of the world’s greatest problems. The blame lies firmly with monotheism, and the exploitation of sexuality within industrial culture.
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At the moment of orgasm the mind becomes temporarily silenced; Gnosis. Additionally, Life Force is present in all the fluids of the body, but is most concentrated in the sexual emissions. The sorcerer may transfer Life Force through their fluids to anoint and feed certain spells, amulets, or talisman.
Sexuality is a fundamental aspect of the psyche; hence its exploitation in media, advertising, and mind-control. As a tool of sorcery it is phenomenal. As a wise magician once said, “If sex isn’t magical, you’re not doing it right.”
However, sex magic should only be employed wisely; any desire conjured for in such a fashion may become attached to the unconscious impulses. Thus sex magic to gain material goods may inspire fetishism for certain objects. If the Gnosis is applied to cursing a hated enemy the ‘splash-back’ effect on the sorcerer may be extremely unwholesome. Conjurations – even sex magic – may sometimes fail for unforeseen reasons (‘lust for result’ being one of them), causing the impulses to become imprinted with associations of dysfunction and impotence. The novitiate is advised to limit the use of such profound formulae to rites of Illumination.
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The sexual fluids, when properly ingested, have psychoactive properties. Such provides the key to the sexual symbolism of the true Rosicrucians; the rose and cross, and the dew of the cross. This dew was considered by the alchemists – most notably Cornelius Agrippa – as the most powerful solvent of gold; the cross in alchemy being also the synonym of Illumination, the three arms being a charaktēre made from the combination of the three letters LVX. This LVX is the menstruum of the red dragon, and properly digested produces gold. Hence the Rosicrucians are those who employed dew to digest LVX with the object of rejuvenation, wisdom, and finding the Philosopher’s Stone (Illumination).
Then I opened my mouth, and lo! There was reached unto me a full cup, which were full as it were with water, but the colour of it was like fire. And I took it and drank, and when I had drank my heart poured forth understanding, wisdom grew in my breast, and my spirit retained its memory.
– IV Ezra 14:39
To fall in Hell or see Angelic, You’ll need a pinch of psychedelic. – Albert Hoffman
The use of drugs contravenes the laws of most of the Western world, their irresponsible use can be extremely damaging or fatal and it is certainly not our intention to direct the novitiate to indulge in illegal or harmful activity. Nevertheless, entheogens have played a major role in the traditions of sorcery.
There is evidence that entheogenic substances were present in the rituals of prehistoric cave dwellers; consider the mushroom-man of Tassilli, Algeria, painted 8,000 years ago. The presence of ergot has been found in the bellies of Iron Age bog people recovered from the peat bogs of Northern Europe.
Scholars believe the Kykeon, being the sacrament of the Rites of Eleusis, was a beverage made from ergot. This same wine may have been the sacrament of the cults of Dionysus. Baring in mind how unpleasant and often deadly ergot poisoning is, such sacraments were quite sensibly kept an initiatory secret.
In medieval Europe ergot was known as St. Anthony’s Fire, implying the demonic visions it often brings. In Germany it was known as the wolf’s tooth, expressing its connection to the phenomena of the were-wolf; atvistic sorcery. Experiences of shape-shifting are not uncommon with ergot, or indeed its modern safer derivative L.S.D.
The Gnostics certainly employed psychoactive substances in their observances; consider the Holy Food described in the Prayer of Thanksgiving among the Nag Hammadi scrolls; described as ‘having no blood in it’ and inspiring Illumination. The Book of Enoch tells of a golden ointment by which men may be transported to Heaven. A similar ointment is mentioned in The Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin. Various passages in the Bible tell of sages being given scrolls by angels which they are directed to eat, resulting in profound visions; most notably Revelations.
In the Heathen traditions of Dark Age northern Europe we find the shamanic practices of the seidr, whose sacrament Alu (the original ale) is known to have included entheogenic mushrooms.
Examples from more recent history include the flying ointments of European witchcraft, and a number of grimoires give details of magical ointments and potions with mind bending ingredients.
It does not seem unlikely that many experiments of the alchemists, who were concerned with transforming base matter (the self) into gold (Illumination), involved the imbibing of entheogens.
Consider the alchemical trinity of Earth (Salt), Mercury, and Sulphur; which may be likened to the three states of matter – solid, liquid, and gas – recognized in modern physics. By this analogy we may consider that most famous formula solve et coaguli in relation to the entheogenic experience.
Salt is ‘earthed’ consciousness, which moves through dissolution of the ego into the Mercury state. Where there is reluctance in this process the results are often a hellish initiatory ordeal; hence the attribution of Sulphur. This is as true with alchemy as with modern chemomancy, yet where the initiate is prepared through the disciplines of meditation the results are quite different.
Combined with disciplined meditation entheogens serve to enliven the inner vision, providing easy access to the realm of the Invisibles. Awareness of sensory input is greatly heightened; magical art and ritual music prove extremely valuable in directing the experience. The knowledge of sorcery, and the iconography of consciousness, provides the map by which such experiences may be comprehended.
Contemporary examples include the continued ritual employment of mescalin and yage by Peruvian shaman, the sacred mushrooms of the Tung shaman, and the Soma of the Tanrics.
However, the use of entheogens remains taboo within the majority of Western tradition. The main objection is that whilst they may indeed provide a short cut to Illumination, they may also lead to delusion. When they are used at all entheogens provide an experiential example of the desired condition to seek through meditation; the novitiate is then required to progress without further use. Dependence upon drugs to achieve Gnosis is greatly frowned upon, and rightly so.
One notable exception to this attitude may be found in The Book of the Law, where we find the instruction, ‘To worship me, take wine and strange drugs.’ This was not intended as instruction to indulge in hedonistic self dispersion. It seems unlikely Aiwass (the Invisible who dictated the work) intended Crowley to decline into drug addiction. The wisdom in the statement is included in the words to worship me, which it seems Crowley – and many of his contemporary emulators – completely misinterpreted.
Let this be made plain; the imbibing of entheogenic substances can be extremely risky and will not guarantee success in sorcery. The experiences they provide vary wildly from person to person, and setting to setting. Many there are who seeking Illumination found only dissolution, madness, and despair.
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Neuromancy; Entheogens work on the brain’s chemistry, particularly serotonin, dramatically increasing Theta brainwaves whilst decreasing Beta; hence language becomes difficult during intense peak hallucinatory experiences. The mind is particularly impressionable during such conditions; words can inspire corresponding visions. The repetition of the names of the Invisibles, for example, may cause their apparent manifestation; this is the secret of the ancient Egyptian Hekau (names of the gods) employed during rites of the entheogenic Blue Lotus.
D.M.T. and yage work directly on the amygdala, the circuit of the brain’s wetware that discerns fact from falsehood, resulting in particularly convincing experiences which are stored in the brain as objectively real events rather than mere waking dreams. This makes them particularly effective tools for mind-control cults, and for exploitative shaman to make a quick buck out of tourists in search of religious experience. Whilst providing a powerful tool for self-reprogramming the dangers of obsession and delusion should never be underestimated.
Then Jesus stood up with his disciples at the water of the ocean and He invoked it with this prayer, saying : ‘Hear me my Father, the Father of every Fatherhood, the boundless light : Aeeiouo-iao-aoioia’.. Jesus was standing at the altar and.. turned himself about it unto the four corners of the world with his disciples.. saying: ‘IAO, IAO..’ – Pistis Sophia
The word sorcery means to encircle, or to ‘work within the circle’, the casting of which forms part of that Grand Arcarnum shared between all schools of sorcery. Much has been written on the subject in recent years, most of it misleading. The purpose of this article is not to add to this confusion, but rather to strip it away.
The most common misinterpretation of the ‘magic circle’ is of being some form of imaginary barrier protecting the sorcerer from outside influence. We are lead to imagine, for example, that its purpose is to defend against magical attacks or intrusive dæmons. In truth, such rituals are indeed intended to defend against the forces of Khaos, yet the source of such threat to the work is from within.
The magical circle is the tried and tested traditional method of controlling one’s own thoughts, that their focus does not stray from purpose, narrowing the psychic field of vision and restricting it to the center of Self; not thought of as the ego, but as the source of all manifest experience, the Timeless in its perfect state; represented in the Greek alphabet as the ‘I’ within the circle, Theta, from the Phoenician Teth and seen also in the Egyptian hieroglyph for Kosmos..
The motif is the premonition of attainment to Gnosis, to which everything is related and arranged, and which itself is the source of all magical power. Its periphery represents the boundaries of everything that belongs to the Self – the paired dualities that make up its totality; earth, air, fire, water.
Inscribed in actions and words, it is in all respects the equivalent of the mandala of Buddhist spiritual practice; indeed the Sanskrit word mandala translates into English simply as ‘circle’. Just as there are many forms of the mandala with esoteric Buddhist traditions, so are there many forms of the circle within the various traditions. The following provides a simple example of the circle and its purpose in meditation. It is intended purely as an example of a principle, rather than as ritual proper;
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Mark out a circle around yourself with a simple spread of the arms or other symbolic gestures. Take your position at the centre and enter meditation.
Whenever a thought or irritation distracts you ‘throw’ it beyond the limits of your circle with a dismissive gesture of the hand and an attitude of does not matter / need not be. Then return to Gnosis.
At the culmination of practice visualize a bright white light, its rays clearing away all previous thoughts (or non-thoughts). Then laugh, and return to mundane consciousness.
Practice this meditation often. With each attempt, try to lengthen the period between distractions, and to deepen Gnosis.