Purification Ritual Draft

Last October I wrote a purification ritual in anticipation of Samhain rites and led it at the October Spirit Circle.  The original ritual was set up with participants encircling a raised altar.  The initial results were positive, but not really in line with the amount of effort it took to put on the ritual.  The following week, I adapted the ritual for an outdoor setting, encircling a bonfire.  The participants moved in and out of the center, each taking their turn in contemplation at each of the four elemental stations.  Participants were deeply moved, and the energetic results were spectacular.  Yesterday, I adapted the ritual for a smaller, more intimate indoor setting.

The ritual went smoothly, and all participants reported a feeling of weight being lifted from them.  I, myself, even as the facilitator of the ritual, felt strong effects in the moment.  After the ritual, I was overcome by a deepening sense of calm.  I slept well for the first time in weeks.  I felt fantastic in the morning, which is something that almost never happens.

I think it’s safe to say that the ritual is ready for wider testing.

Clever readers will recognize elements from a variety of sources.  The altar construction and layout has its roots in eclectic Wicca.  The blessings of the elemental components are adapted from Agrippa via Rufus Opus.  The magical Names and barbarous words are drawn from the Stele of Jeu.  The concluding meditation on the Light is drawn from Thelema and modern Gnosticism.  The decision to mix all these things together, of course, is rooted in my study of chaos magick.

Please check out the ritual behind the cut.

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Light in Darkness: A Long Unanswered Call

The temple space was erected in my craft room: an altar flanked by couches and sitting cusions, air thick with incense, and lit only by candles.  I stand outside over a secondary altar, lighting a bundle of sage to fumigate each participant before entering.  A line is forming behind Aradia, awaiting my attentions.

I know all these people: they trust and respect me.  I began the night by returning to the Headless Rite.  I should be at the top of my game.  I am not.  Neither the fumigation nor the anointing packs the punch that it should.

At last, everyone is in the circle.  Aradia takes charge and we cast the circle hand to hand.  She has been feeling less than herself, as well, and asks the group for healing and purification.  As she takes her position in the center of the circle, all rise and reach out to offer what aid they can.

One by one, most of us take our turn in the center.  This is not my strong suit.  Somehow, despite a couple spectacular successes, I have never devoted any real time to energetic healing.  Mostly, I try to keep the energy level in the circle high, so that our less experienced participants are not draining themselves needlessly.

At some point, I, too, take my turn in the center.  I feel everyone reach out to me, feel them brush the edges of my energetic body.  I try to let them in, to do the work that needs to be done.  I can’t.

At last, all who feel the need for purification have taken their turn in the center and it is time to move on.

I put on a drum track and don my visionary mask and we all drift into trance.  Well, they do.  I go nowhere.  I cannot even find the Void or my own Inner Temple.  I drift, aimlessly, trapped in my own head.   Finally the beat shifts, signaling the end of the track.  I take off my mask and wait for everyone to return to themselves.

Now is the time for divination.  My guests pair off quickly, trading tarot readings while I sit dazed.  There is a song stuck in my head again.  It’s been there off and on for days.  This is something that almost never happens to me, but it has happened like this once before.

I have to wait a while, and end up ignoring too many of my guests as I remain lost in my own head, but I finally get a reading from Odyssia – one of maybe a handful of witches I have met in the KC metro whose skills are on a whole ‘nother level than Aradia and Chirotus and myself.  The reading covered a lot of territory, but one thing stood out: in the wake of my experience over the last five years, I am without a worldview.  I have no system of reference by which to contextualize my experiences.  I need a frame.  I need a direction in which to explore.

Looking for something concrete to give me, rather than simply affirming my laundry list of questions, Odyssia pulled a new trick from her bag: a pack of note cards she is drafting for her own oracle deck.  At last, a clear image emerges.  A name.  Melek Taus.

I laugh.

The Peacock fucking Angel.

That song, you see, has been stuck in my head before.  My senior year of college, it was there for more than a solid month before I realized what it was: an offer; an invitation; a call.  From the one Power I had never, ever considered.  I grew up in the Satanic Panic, you see.  I spent the first decade of my practice defending against accusations of Devil Worship.  And now Lucifer is reaching out to me?

And yet …

The Yezidi Peacock Angel (who may or may not be Lucifer) features prominently in modern Gnosticism.  I have been flirting with Gnostic thought for more than a year.  It’s all over my art, and half my favorite writers and thinkers have been flirting with it for years.  The alien God who made everything and walked away is hard for me to embrace, and the desire to root itself in Christian heresy is not aesthetically or ethically appealing to me.  But the Archons and the Blind Idiot God who rule over the hologram of the Empire and everything that falls under its shadow … yeah. I can see that in the world.

Melek Taus, I learned that night, also features prominently in the Feri tradition, which I have looked into on more than one occasion.  Just to make things interesting.  Because I need another source of queer art and power.  (Actually, yes, I really fucking do.)

So here we go.  Down the rabbit hole I’ve been dodging since 2014.  I wanted a direction.  Now I have it.

I’m giving in to the Luciferian Gnostic urge.  I will write my own gospel and live my own myth.

Let’s wage war against the world.  Awaken the sleepers.  Fistfight heavenly powers.  Engage in cosmological terrorism.  Set ourselves ablaze and be lights in the darkness.

I’m in it to win it.  Who’s with me?

 

 

 

Altar to Eros, Aphrodite, and Dionysus

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Last night I finally unpacked my second Dionysus statue–the one that went with me to Indiana and back–and dedicated the altar he now shares with Eros and Aphrodite.  This is not their final home, but the vanity I wish to appropriate for this purpose is still full of heirlooms.

No, your eyes do not deceive you: that is a penis-shaped bottle opener front and center.  I got it in Athens.

Further Experiments With The Stele of Jeu

beneficial moon
Third night of the full moon, 15 Apr 2014. Neither my most nor least successful attempt to photograph the moon.

Excepting the Valentines’ Day Full Moon, when I was laid low with the literal flu and a fever of 104, I have performed the Stele of Jeu the Heiroglyphist (or one of my experimental variants) at least twice at every Full and Dark Moon Esbat this semester.  It has, to my own surprise, become the centerpiece of my magical practice over the last few years.  The results of the ritual, however, have been in no way consistent.

I have written about the ritual before–perhaps more than anyone on the internet except Mr. Jack Faust, who introduced me to the ritual–and I don’t want to re-tread too much ground, but there have been some interesting changes, particularly lately.  In my two years of research, now, I have found about a double handful of people who mention or advocate the ritual.  Only two have talked about the effects of the rite, or their personal experiences with it, and they have spoken to me mostly in private.  I don’t know if this in any way resembles the experiences that others have had with the ritual.

When I first began performing the ritual, I could feel it sending shockwaves throughout my world.  My web of power trembled.  Cracks emerged in the foundations of my reality.  I got so high on power that sometimes I could barely walk to bed at the end of the ritual.

As I became fore familiar with the ritual, the effects seemed to diminish.  The earthquakes were fewer, further between, and came mostly when I was either performing the ritual at a place of power or making the most radical changes to the structure and performance.  It became a sort of touchstone, a powerup, and I had to push the power out into my web.  I began to use the power to help the people in my web transform their lives.  Then I hit a breaking point.

In the last months, I’ve been keeping the power of the ritual to myself again.  And, rather than being disruptive–rather than earthquakes and cracks–the power of the Headless One has been regenerative.  The cracks in me, the cracks in my life, have been filling with that golden-white power, and they’ve been starting to close.

 

 

Full Moon Musings–November 2012

Over the course of the semester three new magical tools have come into my possession: a pentacle, a staff, and a black-handled knife.  The pentacle I picked up at a swap-meet hosted by the local pagan store.  The staff is hand-made by a fine gentleman in the local community, and was given to me as a gift.  The knife was also a gift, a birthday present from another friend here in IMG_5583Sunrise.  These were my first clues that it was time to get back to my basics.  I didn’t ignore the message, per se; I just couldn’t figure out how to enact it in the context of my current workload.

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Listening to Spirits II: Full Moon Visions of the Cosmos I

Although things haven’t quite gone according to plan over this full moon at the cusp of Aries and Taurus, it’s been pretty epic.  I hesitate to say that I’m “back on top of” my visionary practice, because every time I say that, I fall back off.  Instead I’ll just say that I’ve been doing a good job of keeping up with in over the last few Esbats, and that I’ve been having really powerful experiences as a result.

As I mentioned yesterday, the spirits on my altar have had a lot to say to me in the last week during my meditations and daily rituals.  One such spirit, which has housed itself in a Cycladic figure that I have been using along with my Kouros figure to meditate on my relationship with the archetypes of the divine feminine and masculine respectively[1], informed me that it was time for us to have a sit-down.

Trying to make room for a full three-night Esbat and still leave room for both Samhain and homework, I started my Full Moon rituals Saturday night.  I opened with the Titan’s Cross and Pentagram Rite, performed the Stele of Jeu, then made offerings from my new bottle of absinthe to Dionysus and the as-yet-unnamed Cycladic figure.  I louched the absinth, put on Michael Harner’s Drums, and began my descent.

From the beginning, my vision was off-script.  Stepping out into the void where I usually find the World Tree manifesting as a crystalline spire which rises into the “sky”.  Instead, the world tree appeared as the intertwined bodies of an opposite-sex pair—an image I wear around my neck and have used in art as one way of conceptualizing certain Mysteries, but which I have never used magically—emerging from the void about their thighs and with light streaming upwards past their heads.  The male figure was … blurry and passive, but the female figure beckoned me forward.

At first I attempted to enter the world tree as I usually do: stepping inside and descending as light moves through fiberoptics.  I passed through her thigh and descended … but rather than landing at my Inner Temple, as I had intended, I was confronted by images I could neither comprehend nor describe and landed back in my body.

On my second attempt, I climbed into her outstretched hand and she swallowed me whole.  I was briefly suspended in a dark, watery void, before falling down through more indescribable visions to land at the outer reaches of my inner temple.

The grounds surrounding my Temple were overgrown, and my Natal Demon, SKM, was standing on the parapets—grotesque, gothic fortifications which my Inner Temple did not used to possess and which it may or may not possess when next I descend.  I entered the front gate and knelt at the base of the vast Cycladic statue just to the right of the entrance, opposite her consort Kouros to the left.  In between them is a door that sometimes leads to the basement and sometimes leads to Mysteries; that night it led to the basement, where I sat down cross legged and waited.

Soon, a slender female figure descended and sat opposite me in the circle on the floor.  I could not discern her face.  I greeted her warmly and asked what I should call her.

“Witchmother,” she told me.

I asked her what her nature was, and she showed me a vision of deep forests and swamps and caverns, and flashes of secret rites taking place therein.  I asked what she would ask of me in terms of rites and offerings, and she didn’t quite answer.  I was left with a strong impression of “we’ll see where this goes,” but told me to continue the offerings I was already giving.  Finally, I asked if she had anything else to show me, and tat’s when things got really strange.

She turned and went back up the stairs.  I followed, and she led me past a series of places I half-recognized.  Finally, we passed through a network of interwoven webs or light and glass-like two-dimensional planes which intersected at odd angles.  I recognized the webs of light as relationships: when I’m at the top of my game, I can see those webs stretching between people and places and ideas: more intricate than any lace ever imagined.  We crossed into a dark void.  Up and  up we went, vast nothing stretching above and behind us.  Then she turned me around, and I saw the vast mass of webs and planes below, so distant as to appear small: the earth, and the worlds and relationships that make up all the people who live there.

Having shown me this, the Witchmother vanished, and I fell back to my body.


1 – I know I’ve talked about this before somewhere, but can’t find the posts.