Monday, May 31, 2010

So you're not a big fan of the Middle Pillar, do you still have time for the other rituals (lesser/greater, pentagrams/hexagrams, etc.)? If you had the opportunity to hand over a completely different set of basic exercises, what would they be?

Well I have time for them, but I no longer do them on a regular basis. Not my cup of tea anymore, though they are perfectly fine rituals. I do not have the low opinion of them that I do of the Middle Pillar.

As to the different set of rituals... you know I write books and have a year long course right?

Ask me anything

What is your favourite religious, mythical or sacred text?

The Gyalwa Chaktri by Druchen Gyalwa Yungdrung

Ask me anything

Have you ever heard of a 'fetterer'? Or someone who 'fetters'?


Ask me anything

What are your top five books, besides your own, that all magicians should read and understand?

Heartdrops of the Dharmakaya by Lopon Tenzin Namdak

Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

What is the best and worst idea for a spell you have ever heard?


Best Idea: Hard to say. I know one of my favorites was the creation of the Hoodoo Sniper Rifle. I was trying to lay powder on someones doorstep but couldnt get close enough because of Floodlights. I purchased a super soaker, repainted it with fluid condensors and appropriate sigils. I put the powder in some water and re-consecrated it. Than at 3am used the Super Soaker to "dress" the targets front porch without ever setting foot on the property.

Worst Idea: This would have to be the time a friend came to me just after listening to a Lon Duquette lecture on Goetia where he pushes the "its all in the mind" thing. My friend was approached for help by someone that had severe emotional problems and mental disorders that kept him in and out of institutions, both legal and medical, for most of his life. Based on Lons lecture he was going to suggest this person take up Goetia as a type of therapy so that he could "deal with his demons".

Ask me anything

God, Gods, Spirits, and Cosmos Part 2.

COSMIC SET UP: If all explanations in the last post seem to be less neatly set in place than RO's explanation, than good. That is how I meant it. I do not view the cosmos in the same way as he does. His models work for him, but for me most hermetic scenarios are just a little to neat and tidy and, well, small.

To quote a respected scientist, "There is not only more out there than we know, there is more out there than we can know."

I mention this because systems of magic with various models of other planes such as the 7 planets or 30 athyrs can make the world seem rather small. Just pop out of your body and zip through these seven layers making sure to say hi to the guardians along the way, and you get to the top. Then you are a master magus and can just go about being all enlightened and crap. With all due respect to these models and other systems that are built on this kind of thing, it is my experience that they mistake the boundaries of their own explorations for the entirety of existence.

This is a terrible mistake. You should assume that no matter what your level of realization, or how far you have traveled, there is always more.

Think about our own planet using just the normal senses that everyone has. You can travel your whole life and not see it all. Even if you do manage somehow to see it all, you will not get to know it well. Now think about the entire physical universe. The whole world that you could never visit in one lifetime is just the smallest speck of dust amidst just the bit of physical universe that we are able to see with modern equipment. If you add to this multiple overlapping layers at different vibration levels as well as possible alternate probable universes, it just awes the mind when you try to imagine it all.

While many religions and magical systems claim to be showing that there is more to the universe than people suspect, in most cases the cosmologies and mapping that they do make the universe smaller, not larger. This happens because they attempt to claim that they have a complete picture.

Am I saying throw out the maps? No. The maps are all good. They are just incomplete. Even systems like the seven planetary layers of the ladder of lights have lots and lots of variations. If you approach them using the system laid out in the Necronomcion, you will have a very different experience than if you travel them using the Archangels as your guide. Magicians that try to take the particulars of their system and pretend that those spirits are universal and those realms represent a complete picture of reality are fooling themselves. Their small glimpse beyond what most people are able to see has fooled them into thinking that their vision is ultimate.

For instance, in my experience all the 7 planetary layers mentioned above, are part of what I would consider the mid astral. Hermes Trismegistus's 8th and 9th would touch upon the higher astral. You could use different systems for viewing the divisions of these spaces such as the Sephira, the 30 airs, or others. Even more subtle than this however are many many layers of mental planes that do not manifest in terms of 3-d space. Beyond this are realms of pure experience which do not manifest in terms of linear time either. Beyond this are Causal levels which do not manifest in terms of subject and object.

In just the astral levels alone are infinite variety of places and zones that can be experienced laterally. If you shift yourself from being geocentric in your wanderings you can come accross sets of the lower astral that exist around other planets are stars, each containing Gods, Avatars, Ascended Masters, etc of their own.

Again, there is not only more than we know, but more than we can know.

THE PLANETS: Gordon posted that one of the reasons that he like Chaos Magic is that it can conform with modern science better than most ancient systems that are married now to mystical interpretations of what was once thought of as hard science. I know exactly what he means. When I considered myself a Chaos magician, it was one of the things that I liked as well, and is one of the things that I make sure to integrate into Sorcery.

 For instance, unless specifically dealing with a view of the mid astral as 7 layers (as in hermetic magic) that adopt the planetary names for convenience (or some cases relate to the starts of the big dipper) I tend to view the planets as actual planetary bodies in the sky, which is what they are. Each of them exerts an influence on all other bodies around it. This influence can be tuned in, tuned out, or tweaked as necessary. The best times for working with them are when they are right overhead or at least above the horizon. This is much more in keeping with how Asians tend to work with the planets and stars than the Hermeticists, which is WAY to geocentric for my liking.

THE ELEMENTS: I do utilize the four elements, because with all due respect to Gordon, he is wrong about them ever being viewed as literally the four elements in a way that we view elements on the periodic table. The tradition came to Greece  and to China through India where they are seen as forces. It is based on the very real experience of seeing reality break up into four or five colored light when you meditate enough or cleanse the prana in the body. This will happen whether you expect it to or not.

Unlike RO I do not see the four elements as being lower than the planetary spheres or something earthbound. If anything I see them as being more important than the planets as they are the basic building blocks of manifest reality, including every astral plane that manifests with dimensions of space.

I should also note that while I try not to blend or even go out of my way to make connections between magic and physics, the four elements do match up reasonably well to the four forces:

1. Gravity of course relates to the element earth. It is the weakest of all the forces. Its weakness is easily demonstrated. Rub a comb over your shirt and give it just a bit of static electricity, than hold the comb over a piece of paper, which should lift off the desk from the static. The entire planet is using gravity to keep the paper on your desk, but the comb only needs a bit of electromagnetism to break its hold. Though weakest of the forces gravity has the largest range as everything in the universe is exercising gravitational pull on everything else.
2. Electromagetism equates to air. Electromagnetism comes in positive and negative charge which allows for the attraction of opposites and the replusion of same charged particles. It is the binding force that holds an atom together.
3. Weak Force equates to water and is responsible for radioactive decay and operates on the scale of the atomic nucleus.
4. Strong force relates to fire and is the strongest force with the shortest range. Its duties are keeping quarks together and keeping protons and neutrons inside atomic nuclei.

I try not to let this color how I work with the elements in magic, but it is worth noting when considering whether magic matches up with modern science.

God, Gods, Spirits, and Cosmos Part 1.

Lots of heavy questions this past week in the blogs. Lots of rumination on God and the cosmos. Stuff that I generally cannot resist. Unfortunately it has been crazy busy and other than answering formspring questions over breakfast, I haven't had time to make a "real" post. There is a backlog of those questions BTW. I will answer them all in due time, but you may not see your answer for several days. Keep them coming though, I really enjoy them.

Now since basically people have been posting their beliefs about God, Gods, and the Cosmos, I thought I might do the same. I had to give a lot of thought recently to the cosmos because I just finished up the lessons on the Astral Planes for the SS Course. Here than are how I deal with or treat some of these subjects in my practice:

WORSHIP: In terms of reverence towards a God or Goddess, I try to show reverence for all of creation. In terms of tying myself in service to the will of a God or set of Gods - no thanks, not for me. My favorite quote on worship is from the Hevajra Tantra; "the only worship fitting for me is to become as I am". When Hekate was first contacting me 10 years ago I told her in no uncertain terms that I would not worship her as a servant except in the most mystical interpretation. She answered with that exact quote. In terms of Christianity I live by the axiom: God became man to show man how to become God.

GOD: Most people would say that I do not believe in God, at least not as they understand it. I do not believe in some intelligence from outside the universe that created everything. Investigation through meditation has revealed ultimate reality to be more than just empty however. There is an awareness that permeates everything that has definite qualities: compassion, wisdom, bliss, clarity.

There is a problem in physics that is hard to solve. The problem is that the Universe is just a little to perfect and right for life. Most physicists that I have spoken to go to the multiverse theory: there are an infinite number of them, so one of them had to get it right. I prefer Paul Davies idea that  consciousness is a fundamental building block of the universe and that it exists the way it does because consciousness itself evolves to a point that it can insure it was created. We are part of that.

Some people have said that I am not a real Buddhist because I acknowledge these qualities as having ultimate nature. If you believe in Rang tong (essentially empty), than you would be right, but I would say that you drift too close to nihilism to be a real Buddhist. If you believe in Zhen tong (empty of other than) than you can dig what I am saying about these qualities that are essentially "enlightenment qualities".

THE LOGOS: I do use the term Logos to represent the divine seed in man, and also those beings who perhaps were born with it fully flowered. In Buddhist terms I see this as the same as the Tathagatagarbha. I do not however see this as an emanation of God or lower than god. Simply our own real nature, that is obscured by our ignorance. It can be uncovered and realized by a number of methods. Among them:
1. Renunciation of everything that obscures it. Think Monks and such.
2. Refinement by constantly traveling from the gross to subtle. This is the primary Hermetic and Khabbalistic Method.
3. Transformation of the energies that normally obscure it. This is the Tantric, Kundalini, Taoist and such methods.
4. Radical Relaxation. This is the method of Dzogchenpas and Christistian Mystics. It my main method, with some support from numbers 2 and 3 above.

GODS: I have no problem working with Pagan Gods. I do not however worship or in Buddhist terms "take refuge" in them. I try to understand that many (though not all) have cosmic and transcendent natures, just like humans do. For instance, Hekate when she is spoken of in the Chaldean Oracles is clearly a Cosmic force akin to the Sophia or Shekina. In the PGM or Definiones Tablets however, she is very clearly an immanent persona with likes dislikes and ego. It depends upon how you approach them, but a lot of trouble comes if you mistake one aspect for the other. On one level the Gods and Goddesses of the world are the cosmic forces and beyond all grasping conception. On another level the pantheons are the archetypal dysfunctional families. Just like us, they exist on multiple levels and planes at once and just like us, they spend most of the time ignorant of that fact.

It all depends upon how you relate to them.You see this in the Old Testament as well. In Genesis 2 and the rest of the Y narrative you have YHVH who is a very Egoist god who is concerned with a special group of people and obsessed with how close they follow his rules. In Genesis 1, which though first in the final edit actually is not as old. and the Elohist and Pristly narratives, you have God refered to as Elohim and every attempt made to make YHVH into the Cosmic God of ALL just like the Babylonian El. He is the god of everyone and creator of everything, not just the Israelites and the Garden of Eden. He is less concerned with the Law, and as history progressed you see this start to be reflected in the prophesies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.

Anyway, the universe and lower astral planes (see below) are filled with Gods. These are either beings that have some connection to specific cosmic functions or simply beings that were reincarnated onto higher planes where people have immense powers, and live for hundreds of thousands of years. They can however, be just as ignorant about ultimate nature as anyone else. In fact it can be argued that those born onto higher planes are so blinded by pleasures that they are less likely to do real spiritual work than humans are.

ANGELS AND DEMONS:  In some cases they are beings that are created by higher beings and given specific tasks. In other cases they are bound to specific traditions. In yet other cases they are simply Gods known by other names. What makes an Angel and a Demon? Their nature. Angels tend towards the ennobling, ouranic, intellectual, balanced, and benevolent. Demons tens towards the atavistic, chthonic, emotional, unbalanced, and yes, malevolent. They are for the most part not evil for evils sake, but working with them can be a bit like hiring Hells Angels to run your concert security. If left to their own devices, they may choose the most troublesome path.

ASCENDED MASTERS: Horrible term, but appropriate. These are beings that have either escaped the wheel of rebirth and have become fully enlightened beings or were so powerful and wise in life that they left behind shells that will last for hundreds of thousands of years and which can assist or guide those on similar paths. A Christ or Buddha would be an example of the former. A saint or Guru or some Lwa would be an example of the latter.

SPIRITS OF PLACE: This would include most nature spirits, spirits of the dead, and other non physical beings that can actually be said to take up space. What I mean by this if that when you evoke an Archangel into a room, the archangel may be seen to approach from a specific direction, but will soon fill all space and even the minds of those in the ceremony. RO is quite right when he says the line between invocation and evocation is not firm. If you invite Ghosts and most nature spirits into a temple however you can usually point to an area and say "they are over there."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What is the most useful bit of advice you've ever been given?

To observe the 80/20 rule, also called the Pareto Principal. Basically that 80% of effect is generated by 20% of a cause.

This was established by an economist as a rule of business: 80% of profits tend to be generated by 20% of customers. 80% of problems tend to be generated by 20% of customers. Thus if you can identify and handle the appropriate 20% accordingly you will increase effectiveness. This is why I no longer do phone consultations.

The rule holds true elsewhere - almost eerie in its universality. 20% of almost any languages vocabulary will allow you to handle 80% of conversations. 20% of the seeds planted in a garden will generate about 80% of the plants that grow. 80% of Crimes tend to be committed by 20% of criminals. 80% of Health Care resources are eaten up by 20% of the population.

If you know where to look for that 20% you can increase profits, reduce hassle, and establish skill competency way faster than if you don't.

Ask me anything

where's the syllabus for the Strategic Sorcery Course?

It doesn't exist yet. The first cycle is part of the writing process itself. I have an overall arc of how it is going to go, but I wanted it to grow organically rather than be set from the start.

Cycle 2 gets the same course, just with a few corrections. Cycle 3 will hopefully get a much better edited course, and when it is all done, future cycles will get a class that may be re-arranged a bit.

Members of all previous stages will always get all future corrections mailed to them.

Ask me anything

Is self-initiation... really possible? Just give me a yes or No. lol


But... I can't just give a yes or no.

It really depends upon what you mean by initiation. You cannot mimic a lineage. For instance you cannot self initiate as a Catholic Priest - you need Apostolic Succession. You cannot self-initiate as a Tantrika, you need the Samaya of the Lineage. You cannot self-initiate as a Dzogchenpa, you need the pointing out instructions from someone else.

That said, all of those things are helpful but not necessary for enlightenment or spiritual illumination. For that you were born with everything that you need.

Even if you decide to use methods of a initiatory lineage, you will be doing so out of context. So if you for instance read lots of books on Tantra and decided to make a practice out of what you read you are not a Tantrika, just someone using some of those methods. Those methods may be just as effective for you as they would be for an initiate. I have seen people work that way. But you will not actually be practicing Tantra. The same is true for any lineage that relies upon Apostolic Succession, Baraka, Samaya, etc.

Hope you don't mind the extra explanation.

Ask me anything

Any books and/or projects in the works?

Books: I have a "Financial Sorcery" book in the works to be published by New Page and am finally putting the finishing touches on the "Hekataion" which is my Hekate Grimoire that I have been working on for about 10 years now. Not sure yet how I want the publishing for that handled.

Projects: We are exactly mid-way through cycle one of the Strategic Sorcery Training Course. I am planning some specialized, shorter term courses after that.

Ask me anything

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Philosophers

Dear Readers

Tonight I intended to treat you to a  really interesting post that touched on Theological and Cosmological themes that have been bandied about this week by RO, Kenaz, and Gordon (who makes me want to just reach across the Atlantic and hug him sometimes his posts are so good). Followed by some answers to the 12 remaining formspring questions in my inbox.


 I decided to try the "Three Philosophers" beer from Ommegang and am now fit shaced.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Saga Dawa Duchen

Today is the full moon of the fourth month. Its Buddhas birthday. Dharma actions are said to be multiplied 1000000X

Good day to start or finish accomplishing a practice.

I am all over Red Jambhala today.

Have you ever been part of a formal Order?

I answered this last night but decided to trash that response and answer again.

If you mean western masonic style order than yes. I was a member of the OTO for about 14 years.

Though not masonic influenced I am also a member of the Chthonic Auranian Temple (formerly the CAOTO) and the Sangreal Sodality.

If you want to extent the definition of magical order a bit than there are a few more.

I hold initiations into every major school of Tibetan Dharma, some people call these orders. I mainly practice within the Nyingma and Bon lines.

I have also been initiated to the 2nd degree in a coven that worked more or less along the lines of Paul Husons system.

I had answered before that I like Orders for networking and group magic, but as teaching bodies they have failed.

Thats the part of the answer that I needed to address. I think the OTO has failed in its original mission of teaching the secrets of the upper degrees or evolving their current. However I have met a few people who seem to have learned a lot in various GD and AA lineages, so I really cannot say that they failed at their task.

That said, even within the context of these orders, I think the best approach is to find a mentor or two to work with both in and outside of the orders system. Most really dedicated and motivated people in highly structured magical orders seem to wind up learning in spite of the group rather than because of the group. Just my experience I could be wrong.

Argent asked in my last attempt if I was an advocate of purely self study. I am not an advocate of self study at all. It is a last resort. Even with all the crap that sometimes comes along with being in a group, studying with others and from capable teachers can greatly speed your progress.

Ask me anything

when i started doing the middle pillar it was amazing. Now, 6 years down the line I it doesn't do squat. Can you suggest a good exercise, previously unpublished in your books, that will I can do? Along the Tummo-kundalini lines?

It doesn't do squat because you have internalized the ritual and made the necessary changes to the subtle body.

Just like with exercise if you stick with the same 5 motions without upping the weight, it wont be long before you are not feeling any benefit from something that just a few weeks back was difficult to lift.

I would recommend my Pillar and Spheres exercise, but you specifically asked for something not from my books.

In that case I would simply say "go east young man!" Mantak Chia has AMAZING internal energy exercises and excellent instructions in his books. They are easily adaptable to people from a western background and do not require you to get involved in a special lineage or initiation like studying Tsa Lung or Kashmiri Kundalini Yoga would.

I am not a Middle Pillar fan. At the time it was written Eastern Mystecism was all the rage and John Woodruff (Arthur Avalan) was publishing books, and the Theosophical Society was presenting their spin on eastern practices. I see it as the GD's stab at making a Chakra like system for their order that aligned with the Khabbalah. The thing is that eastern subtle body systems (taoist, buddhist, hindu, jain, etc) are based on direct observation and not attempts at forcing everything in the known universe to conform to a glyph like the Tree of Life. I mean, c'mon, extending the middle pillar down the legs to the feet like its part of the torso? Thats just silly.

I did the MP twice daily for over 5 years so I know it well. Trust me, it sucks in comparison to just about every other internal energy system out there- even the lame ones.

Ask me anything

om kurukulle hri soha in this mantra for Red Tara or Arya Kurukulle.... how do you say phonetically "kurukulle" (I want to say it right). From reading your blog I thought you might know. Thank you


Ask me anything

Why is Philadelphia seemingly so oppressed by the heavy rein of Saturn?

I have never seen it as such.

Ask me anything

If one is working a ritual that will take several weeks to complete (e.g. performing a ritual every new moon or giving offerings every Thursday), under what conditions is it advisable or inadvisable to incorporate other workings for the same outcome?

You can work the same issue from a different angle. For instance, if you had a ritual to build wealth by doing a jupiterian rite every Thursday you can and should do individual enchantments aimed at specific opportunities like promotions, drawing customers, cutting costs, saving money, or starting secondary income streams.

I always attack the same issue from different angles.

Ask me anything

have you used sorcery on your kids and if yes, what kind and with what result?

Just healing and protection. Positive results on both.

Ask me anything

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is there any reality in any of the Ong's Hat legends?


For the record I live near Ongs Hat, but not actually in it. I just got tired or listing "Jersey Shore" as my location.

Ask me anything

LOL@ Ong's Hat! I didn't know anyone else read that shit. Shrooms and sense-dep tanks (I tried to make mine in a bathtub, failed, but had good times) and quantum physics. Doesn't get better. Question: Were you always this cool?

I have very rarely been described as cool.

Even so, as relativly uncool as I am, I was dramatically and tragically even less cool as a teenager. I am sure that anyone the knew me in high school would agree.

Ask me anything

Have you ever been part of a formal Order?

 I wrote the answer to this a bit late at night (or morning) and I am changing the answer. I will re-post. 

How do you reconcile traditions that teach giving offerings to ancestors with traditions that teach reincarnation? In other words, you might be feeding an ancestor that is no longer on the other side because he has taken rebirth.

In most cultures the spirit is seen as having multiple parts. In Tibet for instance there is the Namshe and the La. In Vodou there is the Ti Bon Ang and Gros Bon Ang. In Catholicism you have Augustines Soul and Spirit as distinct parts.

It is quite possible for the lesser part of a soul, or shade of a being, to linger - especially if remembered and fed with offerings. The essence or more integral parts if the stream of being reincarnate.

Or you could argue for non-linear time and say that you can access any incarnation at any time.

Either argument works.

Ask me anything

Ask me anything

What is the strangest or most odd piece of esoteric information you have come across?

The Necropants Ritual from Iceland.
You literally wear someone else's skin from the waste down as pants. You place a coin stolen from a widow along with a magical stave into the scrotum. Than the scrotum supposedly just magically fills with money when you wear them.

The best part is, there is actually an example on display at a museum.


I am now on Formspring. So go ahead and ask me anything...

What's your favorite drink?

"Death in the Afternoon" - Absinthe and iced Champagne.

Ask me anything

Would you rather vacation at the beach or in the mountains?

Mountains. I live at the beach. I would rather live in the mountains and visit the beach.

Ask me anything

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bon Retreat

This was a great weekend. Not only did I get some good teachings from the Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung, Geshe Gelek Jinpa, and my most important mentor Lama Vajranatha, but I got to see several friends I haven't seen in a long time. 

I also had one moment that you can truly only have here in America: walking with the Khenpo and Geshe, who are Tibetans and dressed in Monks robes, through Originals Botanica the largest Santeria supplier in the North East. Just surreal. I so wish I had my camera. 


I owe Patrick Dunn an apology.

My last post was largely a comment on Patric Dunn's post here

The way I read his post was that if someone did not recognize the concept of “The One”, the Demiurge, and the Logos he would doubt their understanding of magic.

I did not not the words “and denigrate this particular diety”, which was really the key to his whole point.

While for me, such denigration would not cast doubt on their understanding of magic so much as their overall character and level of wisdom, I think my reaction to his post was largely off point.

My apologies.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jesus, The Logos, and Magic

I know I am going to regret this because I will not in front of a PC for two days, but there is a bit of a thing going on right now on the blog go round that I just can't resist commenting on. 

First POS posts this, which does in fact misrepresent Frater RO's thoughts on a subject quite a bit. It also presents a pretty limited understanding of mystical Christianity and I think that he falls into the trap that many occultsists and pagans do of not extending Christianity the same depth of attention to the mystical interpretation as they might another religion. 

Frater RO comments below in the same post, not only explaining what he meant, but also explaining the interpretation of Jesus as Logos, and thus his universality even to those not Christian. 

Next Patrick Dunn, posts this, which is more or less a presentation of the Gnostic/Neoplatonic emanation theory of creation and the place of the Logos within it. He than states that "Any magician, of any variety, of any religion, who does not understand this and would denigrate this particular deity casts doubt upon their understanding of magic." 

With all due respect, that is going more than a little too far. There are two problems with this thinking. 

The first is that oodles of people all over the world do magic without any concept close to this theistic emanation thinking. Buddhists for instance would not at all acknowledge the statements in Dunn's post and they do magic just fine, thank you. 

The second problem is a little more nuanced. You may recognize the concept of the Logos. You may also however be adamantly opposed to the idea that the historical Jesus is in any way representing it. Take the Mandeans for instance (which we are in Iraq btw) who believe that John the Baptist is the Logos and Jesus is a corrupt Sorcerer that stole his thunder. The Logos is a cosmic title. Christ is a cosmic title. Jesus however refers to a specific person that may or may not have existed at a specific time and preached a specific thing and than did or did not do the whole rise from the dead thing. So while I think it is dumb to do so, I think it perfectly reasonable that capable magicians may not jive with saying "Jesus is Lord". 

While I am at it, I will put my Christian Priest collar on and mention that if you are a Christian and using the term Jesus, it can be a bad mistake to look at him solely through the cosmic lens filter so that you only see this universally applicable "Logos". Christ is indeed the Logos, but to really explore the beauty, power, and meaning of Jesus as the Logos you need to get comfy with Jesus as that specific manifestation. You must come to terms with what Kierkegaard called the Scandal of Specificity, otherwise you are missing out on a lot of the really good stuff in favor of a very saccharine, vague, but universally acceptable cosmic Christ. 


This has been one crazy ass busy week. Sorry for no blogs or tweets, but between the course, the class I taught, the twins, and the new clients I am completely swamped.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bonpo Teaching in the Bronx

If you come to this, not only will you get to meet two Bon Khenpo's but my main mentor in all things magic and spiritual: John Myrdhin Reynolds aka Lama Vajranatha.

Himalayan Bon Foundation Presents

The Four Words, Wheel of Bon:
Way of Life and Liberation

By Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche

Where: Magickal Realms- 409 E 189Th
1 flight up above 2486 Webster Ave Bronx, New York 10458
Times and Dates: Free Public Talk on Himalayan Bon
May 21, 2010 Friday 7pm-9pm Tibetan Bon Teaching
May 22, 2010 Saturday 9am-12noon and 2pm-5pm
Tibetan Bon Teaching May 23, 2010 Sunday 9am-12pm

TO REGISTER: please contact Sandra 917-340-6194 or Rhea at the Magickal Realms 718-892-5350

The Tibetan Bon tradition treasures many teachings pertaining to ancient wisdom and knowledge. These include teachings and practices ranging from temporal well being to profound esoteric spiritual knowledge leading to ultimate liberation and peace.

Practicing Bön is to develop positive attitude and action in general and finding of ones real meaning of life and to reveal the pure, luminous nature of the mind, the Great Perfection.

Originally expounded by Buddha Tonpa Shenrab, the founder of Bön Religion, these Bön teachings are classified in nine levels according to the adapts’ capacity, known as Nine Ways of Bön. These have been preserved in written form known as Bön Kan-gyur, which consists of 178 volumes of manuscript survived from the Chinese cultural revolution and recently published and distributed world wide.

Buddha Tonpa Shenrab summarized his teachings into four Words concerning perfect wisdom of View, righteous Conduct, benevolent Base and skillful Methods called “Four Words Wheel of Bön” as it said:

“Set up the View from the highest point.
Step up the Conduct precisely from the low point.
Generate Great Compassion as the Base.
Practice the Ten Perfections as Method”.

This concise instruction gives comprehensive ways to integrate individuals’ life with spiritual knowledge and experience enabling us to overcome both the temporal and spiritual negative conditions and bring inner peace.

Additional Presenters John Reynolds author of “The Oral Tradition from Zhang-zhung” and “Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings.” Geshe Gelek Jinpa author of “Sacred Landscape and Pilgrimage in Tibet: In Search of the Lost Kingdom of Bon.”

DIRECTIONS: please contact Sandra 917-340-6194 or Rhea at the Magickal Realms 718-892-5350

All proceeds for the retreat are donated to the Himalayan Bon Foundation.
Suggeste Donation of $40 per session. No one will be turned away for lack of Funds.

The Viability of Vagabonding

Tim has a great post this week entitled Living Well vs Doing Well, but is really about the viability of vagabonding.

I was lucky enough to do this twice in my life and was happy to see a lot of resources at the end of this article dedicated to managing it with a family.

Below are some photos of my own adventures in the Poverty Jet Set. I hope to have many more as soon as the kids get a bit older.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lunatic Tarot

Does anyone else wake up in the morning with the sensation that a particular Tarot Deck needs to speak with them?

Had a long series of readings with the Lunatic Tarot today that was quite illuminating.

Also the art is just amazing.

In other divination related news, a close friend is sending me a set of Mo Dice and text translated into English. These particular dice were blessed by Chokyi Trichen, who was one of the Dalai Lamas mentors, and who I used to visit in Boudhanath. When they arrive I will be offering free MO readings for a bit until I get the hang of the new system.

Protection and Security class in Montclair NJ!

Protection and Security Magick Course 
Teacher: Jason Miller 
2 Wednesdays
May 19th and May 26th
7pm - 9pm
$60 for both classes (only $30 per class)
Please call us ahead of time to reserve a seat (seating is limited)
Must be prepaid by May 16th 

Psychic, magickal, and spiritual attacks happen more often than even most Witches and Magicians realize. The circumstances of attack vary but include: "crossed conditions" brought on by visiting disturbed or haunted places, aggression from spirits in retribution for human actions like pollution, experimental magick gone wrong, accidental attacks by psychics, and intentional curses by Witches and Magicians. All people, Witches or not, are susceptible to these attacks. The difference: Witches and Magicians can do something about it.
In this two part intensive Jason expands upon the material in his first book, revealing material too intense to be published. You will learn how to:
• Recognize the signs and the source of an attack
• Set up early warning systems
• Appease angry spirits through offerings
• Make magickal "decoys" to absorb attacks against you
• Summon guardian spirits or gods for help
• Reverse curses and other attacks back upon their sender
• Bind, confuse, or expel a persistent enemy that will not leave you be
• Even how to curse in those rare circumstances where the stakes are truly dire.

Jason Miller (Inominandum) has devoted the last 20 years to studying magick in its many forms. He has traveled to New Orleans to study Hoodoo, Europe to study Witchcraft and Ceremonial Magick, and Nepal to study Tantra. Miller is a member of the Chthonic Ouranian Temple and the Sangreal Sodality, as well as an initiated Tantrika in the Nyingma and Bon lineages of Tibet. He is the author of Protection & Reversal Magick: A Witch's Defense Manual and The Sorcerer's Secrets, Strategies in Practical Magic.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mc Donald's Salads

Yesterday I turned on Facebook and was confronted with about 12 people announcing they had joined a group called:

"Going to Mc Donalds for a salad is like going to a whore for a hug"

This kinda got under my skin a little bit so I made some posts of my own:

Going to McDonalds for a Salad is like getting a fairly nutritious and filling salad from what might be the most convenient and accessible place if you live in the inner city. There are NO grocery stores in Camden NJ.

Going to McDonalds for a Salad might be the only way to get a decent meal when the rest of your family is eating crap.

Going to McDonalds for a salad might be upsetting to ethnocentric yuppies who think that everyone must overpay for food at artisian farmers markets.

Getting a salad from McDonalds is like telling one of the worlds largest and most accessible franchises that you would like them to carry more nutritious food.

So what the hell does any of this have to do with magic? Nothing unless you think that widening perspective has to do with magic. When I hear a bunch of white, well-off, suburbanites mocking the salads at McDonalds my mind instantly goes to the family who are always dragging him to McDonalds because it is one of the few places they can afford to treat their family of four or five to a meal out and let the kids have a good time. I think of people who live in areas of Philadelphia where the produce at even the name brand stores is so rotten that I would much rather get it at a McDonalds.

It would be nice is everyone could eat at Chez Panisse every day of their lives and have organic locally produced food. Unfortunately this world is not like that. The problem is rather than work to make that kind of food less expensive and more available, food elites like Alice Waters and Michael Pollen and their hoards of foodies are working to make other foods more expensive. What do they say to people who are struggling with food bills already? Alice Waters suggestion is to "Make a sacrifice on the cell phone or the third pair of Nike shoes."

Now, for the last two months I have been cooking almost all of my food at home. I have been buying organic and as much as I can have been buying local. I can afford to do it. But I am certainly not going to mock the person who wants to get a grilled chicken salad at the most convenient and possibly best place for them to do so. There is nothing wrong with the salad other than the chicken having a little too much sodium. The rest of it is all natural down to the Newman's Own dressing.

Its all about perspective folks.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Twitter Tips

So, I am going to be trying something new. Two posts a day to twitter, one of which will be a piece of advice or a tip.

Follow me on twitter if you are interested. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gratitude and the importance of offerings

Last weekend a lot of stuff crapped out. Our lawnmower died, our drier died, my ipod died, and a few other things cropped up that required immediate attention and money that, if spent, would have made us late on a few bills.

I was developing a strategy of sorcery to take care of this and post as a field report, but as the week progressed, that did not become necessary.

What happened was that on Tuesday I added a note about the situation during morning and evening offerings and suggested to all and sundry that any help would be appreciated. That was Monday. Since then a family member offered to buy us a new dryer which was delivered today. My neighbors boyfriend took the mower on Tuesday and brought it back fixed today including new blade and some new parts for others that were wearing out. This morning I got 3 new clients, and another that I am still making my mind up about.
I have said in the past that meditation is the most important practice in my repertoire. Offerings are the second most important. It is a deep subject. I devote two lessons to it in the course and will probably revisit it again soon during the sections on Spirits. Suffice to say that by making consistent offerings to the four classes of guests you build a favorable relationship with many beings, limit the damage from hostile relationships, and build up connection to the universe itself. When you have that going on, you may find that you dont have to do as much deliberate magic as you think.

Thanks to the Family member and neighbor who helped me out so much
Thanks to the La, Tsen, Lhu, Shidak, and other spirits of nature
Thanks to the Guardians, Allies, and familiar spirits.
I offer up clouds of offerings in gratitude.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last Chance to get the Course for $100

At the beginning of June I will start advertising cycle 3 of the Strategic Sorcery Training Course. The cost will go up at that point to $200.

You can still get in on the reduced pricing of $100 for the rest of May, so if you have been thinking about joining, now is the time.

As always, if you want in on the fun, send an e-mail to me at with the words STRATEGIC SORCERY TRAINING as the subject line.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Taoist Yoga

A while ago Gordon had predicted that Chinese magic would be the next big thing in the occult. I don't know whether I agree with that or not, simply because the magic system - even the talismans and spirit work - is so tied to body work that the generally physically lazy western magician set would be hesitant to pick it up.

If you did want to delve into Chinese magic, especially chinese alchemy, let me recomend a book: Taoist Yoga by Lu K'uan Yu. 

My friend Matt (Illustrator of TSS, Expert Sorcerer, Kung-Fu Master, Tattoo Artist, and Philadelphia Flaneur) gave this book to me a while ago when I first started studying the works of Mantak Chia. I have't picked it up until now, but let me just say that I wish I had picked it up immediately.

Taoist Yoga is exactly the kind of book that I love: accessible to readers unfamiliar with the subject matter, yet filled with more information than ten other books combined. If you are interested in Taoist immortality and internal alchemy. This is the place to begin.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ganesha Bottle

Since there was interest in seeing it I got permission from the client to post a picture of it.

This is the Ganesha Spirit Bottle for Portection and Counter Magic that I was speaking of.

Conan Quote

I pulled this quote from a blog called "Songs from the Wood". Found it via RuneSoup.
I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he trusts them too deeply. I seek not death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom’s realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer’s Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and the stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let the teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."
-Robert E. Howard, from “Queen of the Black Coast.”

This quote from Robert Howard speaking as Conan is simply delicious. It is as worthy of discussion as any religious, magic, or mystical text. 
Now, seeing as I am a Buddhist, one might think that I completely disagree with the quote above. If I was into Sutrayana that would indeed be the case. The meat eating, intoxication, and killing would be considered poisons to renounce and antidote (accorsing to Hinayana and Mahayana respectivly). 
Even from the Tantrayana perspective the only reason to engage in these poisons would be to use them as trans-formative activities. Just as vaccines are developed from the skillful use of disease, the poisons themselves can be a platform of transformation is used correctly. 
From the Dzogchen perspective though, which is a vehicle unto itself, we are free to realize pure awareness for what it is and enjoy all phenomena as the play of awareness. Of course the trick to this is to actually be resting in the primordial nature of mind, which is beyond subject and object. If you are not, than you are still mired in the cycles of attachment and aversion which inevitably lead to suffering. 
In other words, if Conan is resting in the true nature of mind, than he realizes that both he and the world are illusion, and he is free to act as he wills and enjoy the fruits of his actions fully. Without this realization I doubt Conan is as content as he states.