Corn Moon Musings I: Recovery

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I’ve come at it sideways from more angles than I can count, and have probably even said it outright once or twice before, but: I have been struggling.  Since I closed down the Sunrise Temple and moved back to Kansas City and began backing my way out of the rigorous but ultimately toxic-to-me ceremonial pracctice I had there, I have been wounded and flailing and desperate to refind my path.  Without the rejuvination of ecstacy, the majority of my magical work was dedicated toward material prosperity, and it was exhausting.

Moreover, culminating in March, I enchanted myself out of a job.

And, it’s worth noting, into a new one — one which pays only half as much, but has left me with the time and energy to puruse my writing more seriously than I have done since the first months back from Indiana.  And the time to promote my photography, if not the money to pursue it.

But the ice-bath of sudden and unexpected unemployement left me shocked and twitching   Combined with some structural issues with my house, and some mental health issues …. well, I’ve been limping from one crisis to the next, barely keeping up.

Last Thursday, though, as one of my many duties with the Sacred Experience Committee, I hosted and participated in a chant workshop and Full Moon Ritual led by Shauna Aura Knight here in Kansas City.  An hour and a half of light trance followed by an hour long group ritual of singing ecstacy, with someone else doing the heavy lifting so that I could have my own experience.  The ritual’s central conceits were seeking healing in the Sacred Well beneath the World Tree, and then descending further into the underworld to find and recclaim our power.  Despite the public forum, I was able to go deeper and clearer than I have in months.

I was brought to cliff where my astral temple used to stand — shattered and burned more than a year ago now (have I ever told that story?).  I called the Well up to the center of where my temple used to be, and the Well moved the landscape to suit its purposes, drawing the cliff face down into the earth so that what had once been a mighty bastion of stone overlooking the astral sea now stood only as a low wall against a high tide.  The borders of the realm collapsed, or perhaps moved outward beyond my sight.

I submurged myself in the waters of the Sacred Well, let them fill me and wash over me and run through me.

The next two days were a hard crash.  Friday I was hung over like I’d been on a whiskey bender, not participating in a ritual.  I was sick to my stomach, weak and light headed.  Saturday I was hit hard by depression and anxiety.  I felt useless and alone.

Yesterday, though, despite getting up early to help with some heavy lifting, I felt increasingly myself throughout the day.  Private, custom jewelry commisions started falling into place: I expect at least two down payments within the week.  I meditated last night without having a panic attack.  As I examine my aura, now, I find I am more stable, more full, than I have been in months.  There’s a …. spot on my back that may need help from a more practiced healer than I, but it may also sort itself out if I can re-establish a daily practice.

For the first time since coming back to Kansas City, in general, and since losing my old job in March, in particular, I feel genuinely ready to face the world.  There are enough irons in my fire that it is time to stoke the forge, and to begin striking as the irons grow hot.

The lesson, here, is threefold:

  1. Yes, sometimes you fuck  yourself up doing magic.   Particularly when you are getting results.
  2. More magic can be the solution.
  3. Even knowledgable, practiced witches, sorcerers, and magicians benefit from letting others take the helm.  Speaking for myself: I believe that I need a great deal more of that right now.

Nullification

I am, by constitution, suspicious of narratives that center around the dissolution of “the Ego”, or (worse yet) explicitly one’s sense of self.  One might make an argument that this is a product of my Western individualism, but it owes as much to my suspicion of any programme so clearly open to abuse by a charismatic leader.  This is one of the reasons I  just can’t love Peter Carroll as much as many of my friends do: what they read as “become more malleable” I read as “become the perfect victim”.

Conversely, on the other hand, we space ghosts – witches, magicians, sorcerers, psychonauts, et al. – spent quite a lot of time conceptualizing ourselves as the center of the universe.  My refusal to give up my individuation is not an endorsement of megalomania.  I, for one, take great comfort in my cosmic insignificance.

The following meditation serves as a reminder of that insignificance.  A grounding before or after ritual, or when the pressure of our obligations to the larger world become too much.  As a note: the phrases “ouden eimi” and “nemo sum” are Greek and Latin, respectively, and mean “I am no one.”

 

Nullification

Ouden eimi.

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

 

I came from nothing.

To nothing I shall return.

I am forged of dirt.

I am a sack of meat.

 

Ouden eimi.

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

 

My mind is a morass

of lies and memes.

My soul is enslaved

by the mad godling Demiurge.

 

Ouden eimi.

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

 

I am made of starstuff.

So are cockroaches

and brain-eating amoebae.

So are gods.

 

Ouden eimi

Nemo sum.

I am no one.

Public Samhain Ritual 20

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Preparation

Costumes – wear as much black as possible

Altar – altar table, bones, black candles, saturn plaque, seasonal swag, sickle, salt, punch bowl for libations, pomegranate, incense, altar cloth

Opening

Cleanse space with banishing pentagrams in the four directions (Cross & Pentagram rite if feeling ambitions)

Cast the circle with HSA ritual knife and salt water thrown to the quarters.

Quarter-Calls

Keeper of Air – “O Air, breath and thought! O Powers of Air, bright and cold! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Fire –  “O Fire, primal light of creation! O Powers of Fire, keepers of the light! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Water – “O Water, dark keeper of mystery! O Powers of Water, silent guides! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Keeper of Earth – “O Earth, sustainer of life and flesh! O Powers of Earth, guardians and mothers! I ask you, come to my circle as friend, guardian, and witness!”

Goddes-touched – “The Circle is cast!  We call upon you, Mother of All Witches, be here with us!  Let your wisdom and your power fill this place!  Bear witness!  Accept our offerings and libations.  We call upon you for your power, your presence, and your protection.”

God-touched – “We call upon you, Father of all Witches, be here with us!  Let your wisdom and your power fill this place!  Bear witness!  Accept our offerings and libations.  We call upon you for your power, your presence, and your protection.”

Invocation of Saturninan Powers for Opening of the West Gate

God-toched – “O you powers of Saturn, powers of perfection and decrease, we call upon you to open the Gates in the West.”

Goddess-touched – “We call upon you in the name of the Witchmother, the Crone.”

God-touched – “We call upon you in the name of the Witchfather, the Horned One.”

Goddess-toched – “We call upon you by these signs and seals: let our ancestors come forth, those mighty dead whence we spring, and accept our libations.  These festivities are held in their honor.  Let them be present with us tonight.”

God-touched – “We call upon you to hold fast these walls, that the dead not wander and become lost.”

Goddess-touched – “O you powers of Saturn, powers of perfection and decrease, we call upon you to open the Gates in the West.”

God-touched (call and responce):

ΑΩΘ ΑΒΡΑΩΘ ΒΑΣΥΜ ΙΣΑΚ ΣΑΒΑΩΘ ΙΑΩ

AOT ABRAOT BASUM ISAK SABAOT IAO

Party With Ghosts

The dead are formally invited to join the party and stay for the duration

God-touched – “Come forth, O ye mighty dead, our ancestors and our progenetors!”

Come forth, O Margot Adler

…. [declaim list]

These festivities are held in your honor.  Be present with us tonight and accept these offerings.

Closing

God-touched – “Oh you Powers of Saturn, as you have brought the dead to us, by these mighty names and signs and seals, lead them back beyond the West.  As you have opened the Gates of the West, seal them again now, that nothing may pass through uninvited.”

Goddess-touched – “Witchmother, Witchfather, you who draw us to and guide us upon the path.  We thank you for your presence, your power, your guidance, and your protection.”

Release Quarters

Keeper of Earth – “Thank you, O Powers of Earth, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Water – “Thank you, O Powers of Water, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Fire – “Thank you, O Powers of Fire, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Keeper of Air – “Thank you, O Powers of Air, for bearing witness to our rite.  We release you.”

Project Null: Satyr’s First Servitor

projectnullI have been planning to experiment in servitor creation since I first set out to study Chaos Magick.  Unfortunately, none of my major sources treat the subject in any real detail.  So I went that vast repository of knowledge, madness, and wisdom which I we all know and love: the Internet.  My hope was that a variety of perspectives would allow me to identify the core techniques by triangulation, and from there come up with my rite.

Here are the sources I found most useful:

* Servitor Creation at Atreus World of Wierdness

* Pope Michae’s Basic Servitor Creation

* Servitor Creation at Spiralnation

CAVE CANEMFile:Pompeii - Cave Canem (4786638740).jpg

Between native talent and practice bordering on paranoid, protective magic has always been one of the things I am best at.  Thus, it was always my intention for my first servitor to be a household guardian.  Because I’m an asshat, I ignored all suggestions to start simple.  I chose the form of a dog in order to tap into the “guard dog” egregore, and in order to use a foo-dog shaped teapot, which I happened to have, as a vessel.  I named him for one of the great guards of myth, in order to tap into that stream as well.  Hereafter I will refer to him as Cave Canem[1], or CC for short.

I wrote and sigilized ten lines of “code”, and chose its master sigil from a number of glyphs which I had produced through automatic drawing last semester.  I wrote a incantation containing the servitor’s name, the instructions I had sigilized, and the terms of the contract between us.  I then drew a stele-image of CC bearing his nIMG_5635ame and all his sigils.

I placed that penciled image and the vessel on an improvised altar in the middle of my temple.  I banished and purified everything.  I got out my Abramelin oil and the brush I use for sigils.  I raised the power, declaimed the incantation, inked the sigils on the drawing, and painted the vessel with the master sigil.  Then I called down an amount of power that easily put this in the top ten most powerful rites I have ever performed, possibly the top five.  I anointed the vessel with the Oil of Abramelin, and the dog awoke.

His presence was immediate, almost tactile.  He responded warmly to my attention.  The next several times I drove, CC sat in the back seat behind me with his nose on the back of my head.  When I drove to Kansas City for Spring Break, he made much of the drive with me, though he grew … thin across Illinois.  Even in Kansas City, though, he appeared instantly when I spoke his name.

I would consider this an unqualified success, except that I haven’t actually seen much of him since I got back from Spring Break.  But I came back from Spring Break ill enough that I probably shouldn’t have driven.  I missed (another) two days of class, and ultimately ended Break even further behind than I started.  So I haven’t really had time for more than a bare minimum maintenance of my spiritual obligations; I hadn’t seen much of any of my Friends Upstairs, actually, for that reason, until last Wednesday when I received instructions on how best to rearrange my altar.  So one is uncertain if he didn’t “last” or if one’s head is merely stuffed up one’s own ass.

Still, I’m pleased enough with the outcome of this attempt that I’m planning a second, more ambitious servitor project: an army of flying monkeys.


1 – Classical Latin:  “Kah-way ka-nem”, trans:  “Beware the Dog”.

Seven Spheres Invocation

I actually haven’t done today’s full Seven Spheres invocation: just my own morning planetary work.  But the Lunar influence was strong with me this morning, and I hammered out a set of seven planetary invocations this morning over breakfast.  Below is the first of them, which I won’t actually get to until next Sunday (obviously), but I look forward to performing the Lunar version this evening.  Also obviously, this builds upon the Saturnine instruction I received over the last two weeks.

INVOCATION: PETTITION FOR ACCESS TO THE SUN BY WAY OF THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

Build your altar and your Circle of Art as instructed by Saturn.

Perform the Titan’s Cross

Perform the Invocation Rite of the Pentagram

Kneel before the altar and light the first candle and fumigation.

Read the Orphic Hymn to the Moon

Light the candles on the Circle of Art and pour a libation

“I call upon you, O Archangel Michael whose sphere is the Sun,

You do not know me: I am Tieresias of the Obsidian Dream,

and I call upon you in the tradition of magicians dating back to Moses,

and in the name of Rufus Opus and the Seven Spheres Group.

By this seal I invoke you, and by the secret names of God

which have been handed down to me and which are inscribed there on.

That I might most fully participate in the rites Seven Spheres Group,

I ask that you lead me to the Gates of the Sun, and vouchsafe me entry.

Permit me a glimpse of Iophiel, he of the eighth sphere.

In return I offer libations and fumigation.”

Titan’s Cross 2.0

I’ve mentioned before, both pointedly and in passing, that the Judeo-Christian frame of much ceremonial magic does not work well for me.  My attempts to reframe Golden Dawn and ceremonial rituals into my own neo-Pagan cosmology have been guided more by instinct and intuition than by research, and they have met with mixed results.  My Pentagram Rite, for example, works better for me than the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram ever did, and without the unfortunate side effects.  The Titan’s Cross, however, while more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional Qabalistic Cross, never really had the same “umph”.

Last week, however, I had a sort of break through.  Sitting out on the campus lawn, doing my Liber MMM meditation(1) under the sun, the name Abraxas came to mefrom nowhere(2).  The creative juices started flowing, the synchretism got hot and heavy, and the following ritual is the result.

The Titan’s Cross: Satyr Magos’ Morning Invocation

I begin by forming a banishing pentagram and stepping into it to flush my aura.

I reach into the sky and intone(3) the name PHANES as the winged figure of Eros Protogonos descends into you from above.

Drawing my hand down my body, I reach toward the earth and intone the name GE, as the body of the earth opens and engulfs me.

Reaching out my left hand(4), I intone the name HELIOS as a sphere of solar light ignites there and envelops me.

Reaching out my right hand(5), I intone the name SELENE as a sphere of lunar light waxes into being and envelops me.

Brining my palms together I take a deep breath of that cumulative power and intone ABRASAX(6)

Finally, within another full breath, I intone IAO.


1 – Five minutes a day of motionless breathing concentration.

2 – Well, not quite out of nowhere.  Rufus Opus had just mentioned him a few days before.

3 – Or “vibrate”, as it’s called in many circles.  For some reason that word makes my skin itch.  Probably because a lot of twits use the word too much.

4 – Because I have a solar tattoo on my left shoulder, and wear my Solar Talisman on my left hand.

5 – Because I have a lunar tattoo on my right shoulder.  Yes, this is a deliberate inversion that throws of a hillarious and disturbing number of people.

6 – Why Abrasax not Abraxas?  Because that’s what came to me.  Gotta roll with the UPG when it comes to you, folks.

Conjuring the Natal Demon

I almost didn’t perform the conjuration yesterday: a series of coincidences and a side of bad planning ended with me not having the apartment to myself at any Hour of the Sun.  So once I’d worked on my scholarship application until my brain was running out my ears, I decided to have a number and work on other projects in front of the boob tube.

With the Fifth Hour of Night, though, the urge to Work fell over me like a weight: I reached for my sketchbook and finished inking the Circle of Art I had designed for the conjuration of my Natal Demon, whose name I had calculated according to Agrippa (using Frater Acher’s lovely spreadsheet) and whose sigil I had drawn using that name and the Rosy Cross.  I was already high, but it was the magic that really clouded my mind:  despite the presence of Aradia’s atheist room mate, which barred me from employing more formal ritual, I could feel the daimon coming on even before I completed the Circle.

circleofart-nataldemon

The names on the Circle (for those who can’t read Greek) are Helios, Phoibos, and Agathos Daimon.  The glyphs are the planetary symbol and Grand Seal of the Sun, and the Seal of Och.  I first conjured my Natal Genius under the auspices of the Moon, so it seemed appropriate to conjure my Natal Demon under the auspices of the Sun.  My Demon’s sigil and name have, of course, been edited out, but they were drawn in the innermost circle.

When the circle was done and empowered to the best of my ability under the circumstances, I pulled the page from my sketchbook and laid it on my lapdesk.  Almost immediately, the sigil appeared to me to become an eye.  Grabbing my sketchbook, I drew that eye on the page and from there the image of my Natal Demon began to flow.  Perhaps it was the amount of time I spent contemplating this ritual; perhaps the stars were just in better alignment; maybe I’ve actually learned something since my first conjuration experiment.  Whatever: the connection was much stronger than it was when I made my first attempt to contact my Natal Genius, ZG.

During that Hour of the Sun, my Natal Demon was able to instruct me somewhat in its nature and image.  It appeared to me as a narrow-faced humanoid, with an attentive expression.  Its body was slender and tall, and from its back sprung two pairs of wings.  Something rose from its head: I thought it a third pair of wings, but it may also have been horns or a helmet.  It informed me that its nature was that of Jupiter, and of the Sun in Scorpio, and the Moon in Virgo.  Perhaps most interestingly, the name of my Natal Genius was echoing through my head for most of the time I was performing the automatic drawing, leaving me uncertain whether the Genius and Demon are, in fact, separate entities or different faces of the same spirit.

When the vision began to fade, I put the Circle on the altar and made an offering of incense and a votive candle, thanking it and bidding it license to depart.  In all, I would call the experiment a qualified success.  I wish I had been able to stick with my original plan, but at the same time: sometimes the magic arranges to be performed the way it wants to be.

Public Ritual Gone Wrong 5/5: Moving Forward

Before getting to anything else: it has come to my attention that the gentleman I have referred to as House Arcanum is not, in fact, the sole individual to whom that title belongs.  My apologies to my readers, and to the rest of that House: the misunderstanding is entirely my fault.  I will henceforth refer to that gentleman as Bousiris, and edit previous posts to reflect that reality in the coming days.  Again: my apologies to all involved for that misrepresentation.


From beginning to end, the process of dealing with the ritual and the Sacred Experience Committee was terrifying, emotional and exhausting.  Still, I’m glad that I went through with it.  If nothing else, the festival which has been so central to my social and spiritual life over the last fourteen years remains a safe (if now slightly stained) place.  Several in my encampment would not even consider returning had I not secured an apology—though there are still no guarantees that they will choose to attend the festival again.  Above and beyond that, I have been encouraged to follow through with my intention to join the Heartland Spiritual Alliance and get involved with the Sacred Experience Committee, once I have the money to do so.  The apology itself … well, having spoken with Bousiris personally, please allow me to say that I believe it to be more sincere that it may appear[1].

Thank you, Bousiris. Thank you, Mr. Crane, Alexandros, and Aradia for working with us toward closure and progress on this issue.  I look forward to working with you all in the future.

The festival, the email exchanges, the meeting, and the composition of the apology all took place under the influence of Venus retrograde through Gemini.  I cannot believe that this fact did not greatly shape both the ritual  itself and the fallout afterwards.  One wonders if the astrological “weather” of the moment at which the ritual was destined to be performed could shape to process of writing that ritual over the course of the preceding year.

The old hurts which were dredged up by the ritual seem well within the character of the Venus retrograde.  The old ways of responding to hurt—particularly on the part of Bousiris , who would later admit that such behaviors were not only counterproductive but something he wished to excise[2], and on my own part[3]—are even more perfectly aligned with the way Austin Coppock characterized the retrograde through Gemini.  None of this excuses anything, of course, but it does shed light in some interesting places.

With all that said, there remain a few points which I was either unable to bring up in the meeting, and/or which  wish to address to the public at large.  I do this not to try to “score a second victory” but because I think these issues are important to the community as a whole.

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Public Ritual Gone Wrong 4/5: the Apology

XII.  “Garrish Light”

Concerning the main ritual arc at HPF 2012;

The rituals we presented at Heartland this year were unorthodox, did not follow a prescribed tradition or format and left some to ponder our meaning.  And it was, in fact, that very freedom to perform magic in any way the practitioner can find value in that we were trying to communicate.  The ritualistic destruction of the established temple by the disruptive, ill dignified elemental aspects in main ritual was in no way designed to inhibit or castigate participants.  It was designed to do the exact opposite; to liberate.  I value self-exploration as a form of, and a powerful tool in the practice of, magic.  All of this was done by design and in the execution of that part of the design, I personally feel a sense of satisfaction.  It is my wish that people continue to ponder our meaning and explore the heavy, introspective themes we chose to present.

It has, however, come to my attention in a very personal way that my ritual had a wide range of deep impact.  It has been sufficiently illustrated to me (no small feat to do for a Taurus) that some people were made very uncomfortable, even done harm, by the ritual’s execution.  It was built into the intent of the magic we were to create, among other things, to shine light into the dark places of the self.  I did not foresee the full impact that light would have across the very broad spectrum of the festival participants.  Not everyone is at a stage to have light thrown on every part of themselves; not all wounds are ready to heal.  I think Florence said it best, “I never knew that light could be so violent.”

Questions regarding the intent of our ritual have been posed to me and I would offer the two evocations as an illustration of our intent:

We evoke the ever-vigilant Sun; Lord of Light, Heat and Gravity.  We loose your arrows and split the pregnant, fertile darkness.  We enjoy the warmth of your walls; keeping the cold shadows at bay.  Your gravity unifies us into a single, communal force standing together against the vicissitudes and inclemencies of primal waters of kaos.  Will it so!

The evocation of the sun done first and by the Priestess sought to create a yielding, safe place of unification for people to return to after venturing into the darkness we evoked in the next part.

We evoke the fertile Moon; Guardian of the Dark, the Forbidden and the Mysterious.  We seek the heroic perils living in your shadowed breast.  We seek to try ourselves in the courts of our own fear.  We seek to journey at midnight, to witness your uncounted, nameless mysteries and arrive fearless at dawn.  Will it so!

The evocation of the Moon was designed to bring the “Heroic Perils” to the edge of the light crated by the Sun.

I would also offer this from the closing ritual as a further insight into my intent;

We gather back here after the temple crumbled under its own weight.  We are free of trappings and formalities and we bear only the lessons of ill dignified aspects.  It is a new beginning; The Dawning of a New Day.  Free of the dogmas and restrictions of tradition, we are beckoned to explore the self and the world with four simple, powerful tools; one from the howling east, one from the simmering south, one from the deepest west and one from the mountainous north.

I cannot guarantee that my work will not have a similar magnitude of impact in the future.  I am not timid in my exploration of magic and the self and I cannot make apologies for that but, I will certainly go to further lengths in the future to attempt to foresee the entire spectrum of impact.  I cannot share with you the exact phrase that cast light on all of this for me but, I can say it was my intent only to shed light on darkened places.  It was never my intent to summon up demons of the past and stand them in front of people and for that I apologize.

Sincerely,

House Arcanum