Reining In and Cutting Loose: My Unruly Mind vs. Project Null

Project Null officially kicked off a week ago today.  This is the first of what I hope to be weakly updates on my progress through the project.  This week has been more theory than practice, but both aspects have been solid.

Despite classes, my reading has been progressing swiftly.  I have finished Carroll’s Liber Null and Psychonaut.  I have re-read the Simon Necronomicon.  I have read most of Frater U.D.’s Practical Sigil Magic, and the first half of Stephen Mace’s Stealing the Fire from Heaven.  The last two are particularly exciting, because between U.D. and Mace, I have what I feel is an adequate grasp of A.O. Spare’s sigil methods.  I’m waiting on Amazon to get around to shipping Jason Miller’s Sorcerer’s Secrets, and I’m really looking forward to reading that, too, though I don’t yet know if it’s “Chaos” enough to qualify for this project.

Mind Control

Outside of my constant struggle to recall and master my dreams, I have never encountered the Psychic Censor in quite the way Peter Carroll describes it.  Perhaps I struggled against the very perception of the supernatural when I was younger—I did, after all, begin practicing magic at the age of sixteen—but I cannot now recall.

For me, much of my struggle is against what I have often described as my “unruly mind”.  Owing to my overwhelming (and largely irrational) fear of medicine in general and psychiatry in particular, I have never been diagnosed with anything.  But when people complain of their struggles with ADD/ADHD … well, the Rotten Card above is a familiar experience to me.  Outside of my magical practice, I rarely work on only one thing at a time: music or television plays in the background while I study or do housework; rather than see either task to completion before moving on to the other, I will often do laundry and another cyclical chore, such as the dishes, in tandem to create a natural flow of breaks.

Beyond that, I often struggle against the vestigial remains of the protestant work ethic which was instilled in me as a child: the idea that one must, at all times, be productive, and that even in moments of leisure (earned only by suffering) one must still be doing something.  Working on my art does not rouse this nagging voice; even smoking weed and watching television—the most useless and slothful activity in which I engage—does not bring the restless, almost painful feeling that comes from inactivity.  But meditation?  Simply sitting in the quiet of my own presence and listening to my breathing?  That drives my inner Puritan into a mad frenzy.

Since beginning the meditative practice called for in Liber MMM approximately ten days ago, I have rarely managed to perform my meditations two days in a row.  When I have, it was over the weekend.  Around half of each meditation session—which has averaged five minutes, went as far as six once, and as little as three—is spent thinking about journaling or blogging about the experience.  During the first several sessions, my mind was awash with a riot of images.  Counting my breathing has helped with that, but not eradicated it completely.  Regardless of the position I sit in—and I have tried several—my body almost always grows restless, and on two occasions this actually manifested as physical pain.

On the plus side, there have been several days where I was able to carve out small blocks of time to sit and trance, without a timer, in the sun around campus.  Those sessions were actually more fruitful, in some ways, than my planned meditation sessions.

One interesting thing that’s come up while I’ve been doing these meditations is the relization that my aura is loosing its differentiation again: without doing chakra-specific meditations, I’ve dropped down from the “usual” seven to four: a crown above my head which somehow includes my third eye, a point at my heart, one at my loins, and one below my feet.  Also of interest is that, though it’s better now than it was a week ago, my crown feels tightly congested.  (And that was before hayfever season kicked in to high gear three days ago.)

Magic

I have not actually launched any sigils, yet, though I have done a bit of work recharging sigils I have previously fired.  There’s not actually anything new that I want right now.

What I have been doing is daily banishing.  I’ve actually only fucked that up twice, and was on one of those occasions able to go home, do my banishing and card-of-the-day, and put things right.  I’ve been keeping it simple with a banishing pentagram and the Qabalistic Cross, but that seems to be doing me a fair bit of good.

Thursday night, for the full moon, I busted out with the full Pentagram Rite for the Stele of Jeu.  It was fucking incredible, and deserves a post ahttps://i2.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6tl5sNn7A1qe9nxqo1_500.jpg?resize=186%2C252ll its own.

More interesting than any of that, though, are my experiments with creating my own Alphabet of Desire.  Which also deserves a post of its own, but will have to wait until I’ve made it a little further along that road.  For now, suffice to say that I’ve had some interesting and positive results with producing personal sigils by automatic drawing, but because of the nature of some of the work, I am uncertain of what about half of the characters mean.

Dreaming

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...

I have been doing better at recording my dreams on waking than I have done with my daily meditations, but there have still been a number of days where, for one reason or another, I didn’t write down my dreams.  In one instance, it was because the nightmares were so terrible that I was afraid attempting to record them would draw me back down into them.  In at least one other, it was just that I’m a fucking idiot first thing in the morning, and have no idea what’s going on (why, yes, that was one of they days I didn’t do my morning banishing).

So far, though, nothing interesting or significant to report in the dream arena.

Opening Liber MMM

As I described in the launch post for my chaos magic experiment, I am beginning with Liber MMM: mind control, magic, and dreaming*.

Mind Control

Except for the emotional auditing, Peter Carroll’s “mind control” is basically meditation, and I’ve been starting simple with sitting motionless and breathing concentration.  The hardest thing about five minutes a day of meditation isn’t the meditation, itself: it’s sitting down to do it.  So far I’ve been managing about every other day.

I’ve experimented with three different positions to date.  Sitting cross-legged on my bed, with my arms extended and my elbows resting on my knees.  Laying flat on my back on the bed, arms limp at my sides.  And sitting in one of those mini-papasan chairs that they sell for dorm rooms, facing my altar, with my hands in my lap.  I’ve had mixed results with all three.  I have done my meditation in the morning, promptly upon waking, and at night, shortly before going to sleep.  Again, the results have been mixed.

Sitting still for five minutes was, in fact, physically painful the first time I did it as a part of this experiment.  And, for whatever reason, flatly impossible yesterday morning.  I’m not sure why: it’s not like I don’t sit motionless for a lot of my magical workings.  Maybe it’s because I’m not focused on anything in particular.  Ironically, I think this will get easier as I progress, not because of the practice, itself—though that will absolutely help a lot–because shape and object visualization are things I do more often as a part of my visionary practice.

Magic

Coming back to the Sunrise Temple has made it easy to get back into my practice of daily banishing.  For the last week I have begun my day with a banishing pentagram and a Qabalistic Cross.  Except for today, which got off to a fuckered start when I woke from some fairly disturbing nightmares that pretty much threw off my whole morning game.

I have also been working on designing a few sigils, and researching different methods of designing and launching them.  In addition to Liber Null, I have ploughed through most of Frater U.D.’s Practical Sigil Magic, and am delighted to finally have some grasp of AO Spare’s original Alphabet of Desire/Sacred Language.  As someone who has dabbled in conlang, and envies the utility of verbs in inflected languages such as Attic Greek and Classical Latin, I’m really, really, really excited to start developing my own personal magical grammar for complex sigils.  I have some really interesting ideas about how to combine this technique with Hellenistic curse tablets and my own theories of art as an act of magic that I can’t wait to try out.

I have finally designed, but not actually enchanted, a set of talismans to give to my friends and colleagues by which they may offer me magical aid, or call upon me for the same.  Look forward to further reports in that arena, too.

Dreaming

Like meditation, getting back into the habit of keeping a dream journal has been hit-and-miss.  I’m still at a point where, often, I literally cannot remember my dreams even moments after waking.  And then there’s shit like today, where the imagery is so disturbing that I just can’t bring myself to write it down in the first moments of my day.

Magical dreaming has always eluded me, in part because I am so violently dysfunctional upon first waking, and this is going to be a major area of struggle for me, personally.


* – Where’s that third M come from?  “Morpheus”?