Drunken, stumbling, striding forward through a black room. I can hear my breath comming in ragged gasps, can feel the sweat that matts my clothing. I know I'm searching, seeking something in this abyss, but I can't remember what. There's no sense of time, no distance or direction. I force myself forward -- if indeed 'forward' is a way -- through inky, void black. The grime caked to my form is held together by some stange liquid. I realise with a start that it's my blood. Doesn't matter, need not be. Forget. Move onwards, there's nothing else.

How long? I don't know. The darkness retreats, slithering serpentlike, cautiously away from me. The light it once hid from me sits in the distance, and I push onward again, a clear destination in mind. Each step tears a piece of me away, the shadows rending as I move, extracting the price, their just due for the gift of solace. A gift? Perhaps once. There's always a price to be paid. Doesn't matter, need not be. Forget. Move towards the light, there's nothing else.

Radience approaches, the glorious land of light and life. I step inside, the ichor running down my hands, dripping along grey, and then white. The room is pristine, save for the specs of red left in my wake. A shame to destroy something so beautiful. Pure marble floors lay in front of me. White walls, white ceiling, white stairs. A filthly thing like me defiles this place. Doesn't matter, need not be. Walk forward, ascend the steps. There is nothing else.

Step by step, ascending, heavy limbs working by willpower alone. White is replaced with gold. At the top of these steps I'll find what I seek. How? I don't know. Concern, sense, sanity, they left me long ago, ripped away from me by the journey. Determination, the refusal to fail that defies all logic, is my only remaining trait. Each step I lose a bit more of what made me who I was. Doesn't matter, need not be. Reach the top, for there is nothing else.

A mannequin I find atop the steps, whittled of wood, sexless. To the left, knives, chisels, razors. To the right, a small pen, hot as molten steel. "Show us what you see" I hear the voices say.

And I do.

I burn "不稂不莠" across it's limbs.
I burn "неудачник" across it's chest.
I burn "死ね" across it's face.

I tear at my face, coating my hands with the filth resting there, smearing the wooden monstrosity with years of accumulated suffering. I snarl, surprised to find I still have a voice, and tear at my hair, placing strands of it on the dummy. At last the violence passes, and I stare at the thing I've made.

The mannequin ripples like water. Shifts it's form before my eyes. Becomes something else. Someone else.

She's beautiful. I'm not. Beauty cannot remain with me.

The knife, once a tool of craftsmanship, commits it's first sin in my hand. She's still smiling as she falls to the ground. I blink and she's gone. I blink again. A mirror has taken her place, reflecting me in ways I at once love and fear.

The image in the mirror is glorious in ways I could never be. It's skin shines like the sun. It's eyes sparkle like diamonds. It's muscles ripple with strength beyond my imagination. I can see it, hear it's melody playing in my mind. I can hear the chorus singing, angels chanting around me, and the voices crying out to me to end it all.

The knife rises in my hand, lifting to my forehead. The trickle of blood flows down into my eyes as I watch this reflection. I carve four letters.

H. O. P. E.

The reflection smiles at me, though I do not smile at him, and suddenly I understand why I've come so far.


So, I'm a coward

Took me ages to figure it out, but I'm pretty terrified of failing. So I don't usually try.

I tied every ounce I could into a name I adopted, made it another part of me, another life, so that when that person failed, it wasn't *me* who screwed up. It wasn't me who said something embaressing, who forgot (or never bothered) to respond to people even when he really cared about what they said, who threw his (human) idols up on a pedestal and forgot that they're people he could actually hold a conversation with, who made promises he couldn't keep and pretended to know things he didn't because he had to be that one step ahead of the curve in everyone else's mind.

Basically, I was a real douche. That's not spiritual. Hell, that's not even ethical. (And I admit, lately my grasp on what "ethical" is has slipped a bit.) So here's a bit of Magic you can see. I'm taking responsibility for my failures, and my successes, and everything in between. I'm a pagan, not a criminal. I'm not going to hide behind the name I've crafted, and the persona I've lived under for the last six years, because I'm too scared of admitting I've screwed up, I'm human and I'm being outpaced by people who're just more dedicated and confident.

Screw it. I'm living that lie. And now... now I'm not. Zeta is me. I am not Zeta.

My name is David Krone. Nice to meet you. I'll give you by best effort.


Motivation: Mars, Saturn and the Unexpected.

I haven't been goofing off, you know. Okay, that's a lie, I've totally been goofing off. But that's not ALL I've been doing!

I've always had a bit of a problem with motivation. Not only do I have trouble getting the largest muscle in my body up out of my chair (which is conveniently stationed directly in front of my very fun and easy to use computer screen and computer tower, which is itself loaded with more games, anime and books than you'd ever imagine, and for the delight of my lizard brain also attached to the ULTIMATE time waster: The Internet) but I also have a problem keeping myself motivated. It's always seemed like every time I start to make progress at any one given project I fall back down, burned out, and don't leave my chair (and my anime, games, books and beloved internet!) for another five months.

Puzzling myself silly over this problem granted me one vital insight into the nature of my dilemma - my very first insight on the subject in my eight years of occult puzzling. I'm hitting a wall.

Yes, really. It took me eight years to figure that out. I assume that with another eight years I might manage to puzzle out the answers to basic mathematical equations and pass third grade. But don't count on it.

Back to our regularly scheduled topic exposition , however, where we've just found ourselves staring at my glaringly obvious epiphany of "Developmental Wall." Apparently the Gods took pity on my Pre-Pentium cranial processing power because for the twenty minutes which followed my thought train went from a steam locomotive to the damned bullet train! In a fit of utter common sense (!) I remembered that walls are boundaries, and boundaries fall under the auspice of Saturn.

And the amazing thing about Saturn my friends is that as the Lord of Boundaries, Saturn can set, MOVE and REMOVE them. Christmas had come early.

My desires neatly dovetailed into an evocation plan. Although I'd never formally conjured Cassiel I had worked fairly minor magick with him at various points. Most of this consisted of attempts to manipulate Time, or at least my immediate perception of it, because I completely despised my job at the time and wanted to get it over with as fast as possible. And by "as fast as possible" I mean that I *literally tried to bend the flow of time to make it go quicker.* (Don't even try, your puny hatred can never compare to that! :-P) My results had been mixed but ended on the effective side of the bell curve so I was confident that I could, at very least, conjure him well enough to hold a conversation.

Then life decided to show up late to the party. Drunk off his arse and carrying a big stick, Life decided I was gonna play with him for a while or he was gonna kick me repeatedly in the groin. That would've hurt, so I missed three weeks worth of Saturdays where I'd previously had nothing planned and could've conjured Cassiel freely.

I got more than a little fed up with this, and decided to improvise. Cue Monday, June 4th, 2012.

Improvised Conjure

Having just gotten off of weekend and having missed every Saturnian hour on every Saturday, making three straight Saturdays in a row, I made a radical decision. A decision so impossibly out of character for me that I can only imagine the my brain power must have somehow received a Pentium upgrade for some spiritual yuletide holiday whose existence was previously withheld from me.

Borrowing some advice from Gordon of Rune Soup, I decide to say "fuck it".... constructively. In the sense of "I can't seem to either maintain motivation or find free time when Saturdays roll around. Ya know what? Fuck it. I've got a twenty minutes until the hour of Saturn rolls around, and I've got a pen, I've got a sheet of paper, and I've got a copy of the Modern Angelic Grimoire that goes everywhere with me on my Android phone. I'll draw up an lamen and see if I can't get hold of Cassiel while I work. Hey, the worst I can do is fail, right?"

Now, normally I think of conjure as something you do with a nice altar setup, lots of nice tools, or hell, at least quiet time to sit down and journey to an astral temple. My workplace lacks all of these things. In particular it's distinctly lacking in magickal feeling, candles of any sort, stillness, quietness and all notion of attention so divided as to journey to an astral location. In short, I wasn't really expecting much.

Come the Saturnian hour of night I began to alternately chant and vibrate 'Cassiel' while I drew a makeshift lamen on a sheet of paper with a black pen. The result wasn't... pretty... but it was the best I could do freehand. I threw up a majority of the Hebrew god names around the lamen and proceeded to use a box cutter to cut it out. On the back I neatly printed and then signed my name. I continued to chant Cassiel's name while I put the lamen back into my left pocket and visualized a gloss-black astrological symbol of Saturn in the darkness of my mind and got back to work moving product around. Several minutes later I began to feel a shift in my consciousness (a feeling that after having done enough magick is very familiar to me) and distinctly noted that I no longer felt like I was the only person within two feet of myself.

Taking this as a good sign I shifted my visualization just a tad, now visualizing a flat-black wooden door which the planetary symbol was en-blazed on, and began to work faster in an effort to clear a few minutes of time. When I got a spare moment I dropped out of sight and turned all of my focus to the visualization and redoubled my vibrations. Seconds later the door I'd been visualizing opened and I was greeted with the sight of an equally darkly dressed Angel, his features looking rather older than any of the others' I've met thus far.

I was surprised by this, and by the clarity with which we (briefly) spoke. I didn't waste time and instead dove directly to topic, telling Cassiel my suspicions that the boundaries I'm currently operating under are too restrictive to allow me to progress beyond a set point, and asking for his help moving them to allow for personal growth. Cassiel replied in a slow voice, and said that the resrictions I'm under are of my own making rather than imposed by divinity and thus could be safely moved. I was cautioned that I would make no progress without additional aid, however, and advised to summon Kammael of Mars in full ritual the following day. I thanked Cassiel, blessed him in Logos' name and bid him go in peace. The entire conversation took at most four minutes; I walked around feeling the post ritual altered consciousness state for almost a half an hour until I got some food on break.

Sometimes "No" happens for a reason

Following instructions I conjured Kammael in the final Martial hour of the following day, Tuesday, in full ritual at my home. Rather than conversation I saw, and heard, almost nothing during the ritual. What responses I did perceive came in the form of impulses, impressions and emotional jumps -- a somewhat less clear communication to be sure. I'm still not sure how I can get one extreme and another on two separate nights but that's neither here nor there.

After explaining the situation (including my instructions to seek him out) I asked to be introduced to the Martial aspects I would need to utilize to break the chains keeping me in place, specifically asking for knowledge of Martial discipline. I was answered with a strong impression of "NO."

I admit, I'm not actually used to being told "no" by the Angels. More often than not they come across as eager to help, even sometimes refusing my offers to pay them for their services. This was disconcerting, and I explained so. I finished out the ritual with a request for 'whatever aid could be provided me' and promised to pay with any reasonable payment which might be suggested to me. Not receiving any further impressions I let the matter rest and ran through my standard end-of-ritual.

Friday came, and a major anger breakdown was had. In the middle of work. it wasn't very pretty. I probably should've been fired. The aftermath however triggered realizations of just how miserable I really am about my life situation, how desperately I'm afraid of change and how incredibly lonely I feel. Two hours later my brain made the connections required for me to understand how that incredible fear and loneliness is driving me to remain in one fixed place, afraid to change. 

I don't need discipline. I need courage. And I bet Kammael knew it too. 

Saturday night I dreamed of my house. My less favorite relatives had decided to move out and leave the place to me, fully paid, while two of my friends were moving in to replace them. Several rooms were being renovated, and we were looking over tentative blueprints of expanding the house to accommodate not only more people but additional pets, as well as building a private ritual room to be used communally. The other fact that stands out is that the dream takes place on an overcast day, not at night or in unnatural darkness as most of my dreams do. No sunlight still, but definitely a positive, freeing feel. 

Telepathy, Belly Fat and Motivation

Muhammad Ali once said "I hated every minute of training, but I said to myself 'Don't quit! Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion!'" 

Aside from being one of the most Badass things I've ever heard anyone say the quote makes a good point, and a good tie in to the things I've learned about motivation in the last week. It expresses one fundamental truth so well: I do NOT have to be happy with the method used to get what I want. I just have to want the end result bad enough to suffer through it. 

I have reconised that as an America I am a spoiled, whiny little bitch. By virtue of birth I've been given opportunity to sit on my arse and waste my life, going nowhere and being unhappy, because I don't want to deal with the minor amounts of suffering and 'me being unentertained'  states that would come from pursuit of a worthwhile goal. (That is, a goal that will actually do something for me. Getting another Avatar to max level in an MMO doesn't count)

The majority of the world does not have this luxury. The majority of the world gets up day after day for hours of hand, horrible labor that they don't want to do, often going from dawn till dusk, because if they don't do it THEY DON'T EAT. They do not need to be happy to accomplish this goal - they just do it anyways.. You do NOT need to be happy. Happiness and entertainment, fundamental to the average citizen of any first world country, are entirely optional. Ridding oneself of this idiotic notion of entitlement to things like fun and ease of life is surprisingly freeing, even though I've far from mastered the concept.

On the subject of things that actually do motivate I have two words for you: Belly Fat. For the first time in my life I have noticed that I have a minuscule amount of fat building up around my stomach. As someone with an extreme ectomorphic body type, who has been rail thin his entire life with absolutely no need to diet or exercise, this troubles me. It means that my health has fallen below a certain acceptable level. I realized this on Tuesday. And tomorrow,. I start exercising. Because dammit, I HATE the idea of having belly fat, and I don't need to be happy about the process used to get in shape. I'll love the end result and that's good enough. 

Finally, an old parlour trick of mine has made a recent resurgence. Ever played "Guess the Fruit?" It's a game people practicing telepathy play to train their skills. I discovered several years ago when introducing it to mundane/normal people I knew that, so long as I don't allow my mind too much room to intrude I am almost never wrong. An ex-girlfriend used to randomly shout "Guess the Fruit!" at me from across the room, and I would immediately stop and focus on her while saying the first thing that came to mind. It wasn't always a fruit (she purposely concentrated on one thing of any particular nature from food to animals to cars just to see if I had limits), but I currently have an unbroken 50 out of 50 successes.

I'm not bragging, mind you. I think it's really cool, but it's not something I find useful in day to day life. It's been more like a party gag up until now; cool to see, great to hear people gossip about, makes a great impression on people you're just meeting, but otherwise entirely pointless. Earlier today I proved a point to a coworker by calling out several things he concentrated on in a row with perfect accuracy, and in doing so discovered that doing it is incredibly simple. 

So, here's how you do it yourself:: Get some meditation experience so that you can concentrate and your chatterbox-mind can stay silent for a bit. When someone is thinking about something, whether they're playing the game or not, focus every bit of your attention on listening to them. Don't just listen to the sounds, but listen to them as beings, like they're always saying something and you're paying attention to every detail they give off, you don't want to miss a thing. Let your mind stay blank and just *listen* with your whole being.

That's actually all there is to it. Done in a conversation you usually end up with a much deeper understanding of what a person is saying, what they mean and why they mean it than even the other party is generally aware they're giving off. It's as if you pick up their thoughts along with their words and so understand them better. Done while playing a concentration game such as Guess the Fruit you'll quickly get the correct answers almost flawlessly. 

As a warning with that, people who are sensitive can pick up that you're listening far closer than usual and may accuse you of prying -- proceed with caution around magickal, psychic or unusually aware people. 

That's all the updates for now. I'll be back some point or other, definitely more to say as the work  progresses. 



Haniel, a (semi) failed conjuration.

Probably the best image I've found which comes
close to how I picture Haniel.
Still feels like a woman, though.
The room I stand in is dark save for the illumination provided me by two white pillar candles, symbolizing the purity of spirit and the drop of consciousness that pervades all existence. Between them rests a dark bit of glass, a makeshift black mirror. I'm freshly showered, dressed in brown and green. My hair is tied into a loose ponytail, remaining loose blonde strands splaying in what I hope isn't too much of a mess -- I'm trying to be presentable but the parchment dangling from my neck by a cord feels strange and I'm a little self conscious. Okay, a lot self conscious.

Because it's Friday night, three forty in the morning, and I'm lighting the incense for a date with an Angel. In this case Haniel, the Archangel of Venus.

This wont be the first time I've spoken to Haniel. Over a year ago I called in a ritual much like the one I'm about to perform, which resulted in absolutely no visions whatsoever. What I received instead was a running commentary of thought that came from some point outside of my head and had me very convinced that the Archangel of Venus is actually a very chatty woman. That doesn't matter right now.

I've decided for this rite to do things as close to the book as I can -- sadly that isn't very close, but I sure tried! Frater Rufus Opus' ever useful Modern Angelic Grimoire lies opened upon my nook for reference -- I haven't memorized the conjurations just yet. I start with the LBRP -- more for the spiritual effects than for any actual 'banishing' properties. I run through the conjurations with relative ease, feeling a small tinge of excitement that I can now sense the flow of energy in my body pouring out with my will to cleanse and activate every ritual implement; the process is natural this time, not forced and directed.

I swallow my personal hangups and recite the conjurations as written, asking the blessings of the divine, the patience and grace of God, for the sake of myself and his Son, Jesus Christ. It's the first time I've made any request of the Christian God, or Christ, in many years. I sense the change in the air as I stare into my dark mirror; Haniel is present, even if I cannot see or hear her/him.

Frustrating minutes of mind calming, even attempts to move to inner vision, prove fruitless. This isn't entirely unexpected as I've spent the last week working fourteen hour days, and I'm up well passed my normal sleeping point in order to catch the planetary hour. I know I'm not in the best space to participate in the conversation; my need was simply pressing enough that I had to try. Instead, I lay bare the reasons I've come. Some of these reasons relate to spiritual advancement, some to pure interest,  and one in particular to an issue which is, for myself, extremely important to see resolved.

I sense no change in the air as I speak. The candles burn no higher. Still, I get the sense that my requests have been heard. Though I offer to give in payment any reasonable request I receive no visions, nor compulsions. I bid Haniel go in Power and Peace, offer my thanks to the Universe at large and close my circle. After cleaning up I fall in bed, too tired to move, and sleep for over half a day.

In terms of ease of communication, the ability to perceive the Angel, this evocation was an utter failure. Apparently running your body ragged in a mundane American existence does you no favors in terms of your ability to speak with the spirits. Not that I'm entirely surprised by this, but iit did present me quite the difficulty. In terms of manifestation of the things I've spoken about, on the other hand, I believe that conjuring Haniel has helped tremendously.

In the coming days I started reading a lot. My meditation and psychic work habits have once again fallen by the wayside, but in their place has come quite a bit of mundane, pay-the-bills type work and a lot of reading. In the span of three days I've devoured two books, one of which is a little surprising for me: a Christian fiction about the memories of a Demon, who's fall from Grace is recounted in vivid detail.

I normally don't read Christian.... anything, actually... but I happen to love the idea of the "fall from grace." Lucifer in my mind is at very least Milton's anti-hero, if not an outright "Good Guy" in his own right.  One of the things I had (quite cautiously) asked Haniel to explain to me was the connection of Lucifer to Venus within the Planetary Archon context -- I was polite but candid as I explained that I was trying to piece together an understanding of the Corups Hermeticum, the role of my draw to the Devil and goetic practices a la Verum and resolve the underlying problems my anti-christian mindset gave me in regard to both.

One of the things I've noticed about my evocations is that when I ask for something to happen in regards to my understanding of things I often read or hear something that hits me... differently. In an odd way, it often seems like the evocation of an Angel and the request for knowledge primes my psyche to accept information in different ways than I would normally.

As a prime example -- I once evoked Michael, Archangel of the Sun and asked him for initiation into the sphere of Sol. Aside from his assent (and an odd comment of "You just don't give up, do you?") the only thing I experienced directly in the evocation was a change to my sphere/aura. Several days later, however, I read an neuroscience article on the nature of the mind and free will. Even though I'd read roughly the same information before, this time the knowledge hit me. Everything I thought I understood about the nature of free will was completely shredded.

So it seems to be with the information I'm reading now. As I read this work of fiction I found myself identifying with the Fallen, just as usual. I also for the first time understood the nature of the Christian idea of having a 'right relationship with God.' The idea of Divine Love for Humanity actually connected this time. The problem of Evil makes some strange sort of sense, and I think I actually got it when the book was explaining, though a devil's eyes, the nature of salvation for humanity.

I also learned a lot of the nature of Lucifer as an Archon of Venus -- that he represents to a large extent some of Venus' most extreme positive and negative aspects. Actually, I found the author's presentation of his behaviour within the book to be almost completely venusian in nature -- score one for Haniel, lol. I've got a lot to think about in this regard.

But the most interesting thing I found was that the Christian understanding of Jesus really is to a large extent in line with what Hermeticism says about the Logos/Workman. They even identify Christ as 'that  part of Elohim which shaped the clay' -- something that immediately triggered flashbacks to the Divine Pymander when I read it. Re-reading Book Two: Poemander today has allowed me to further place the Christian understanding of relationship with God into a Hermetic context -- the most important thing of which is that I've learned that neither expression of God is based on Fear; both are based on the love Deity has for humanity. I know that probably seems silly since both sources expressly state this, but it was a real eye opener for me personally.

It's been an interesting few days. I have more I'd like to say but I think it'd be best to cut this off here -- it's getting too long as it is. My next conjuration will have to be of Kammael, because frankly, I need matrial discipline and someone to kick my arse so that I can stay consistently on track for my personal goals. Otherwise, 14 hour days will kick my arse all over again, I expect.


The Hermetic Lord's Prayer?

I was reading the Divine Pymander today and I happened to stumble across this prayer to Poemander near the end. The entire 'book' is very interesting, and I'm glad I've picked it up to read it myself in addition to RO's exposition of it within the Black Work course. My impressions will come later, though. Anyways, here's this --

The Divine Pymander, Second Book, called Poemander:

85. For which cause, with my soul and whole strength, I give praise and blessing unto God the Father.
86. Holy is God, the Father of all things.
87. Holy is God, whose will is performed and accomplished by his own powers.
88. Holy is God, that determineth to be known, and is known by his own, or those that are his.
89. Holy art thou, that by thy Word has established all things.
90. Holy art thou, of whom all Nature is the Image.
91. Holy art thou, whom Nature hath not formed.
92. Holy art thou, that art stronger than all power.
93. Holy art thou, that art stronger than all excellency.
94. Holy art thou, that art better than all praise.
95. Accept these reasonable sacrifices from a pure soul, and a heart that stretched out unto thee.
96. O unspeakable, unutterable, to be praised with silence!
97. I beseech thee, that I may never err from the knowledge of thee; look mercifully upon me, and enable me, and enlighten with this Grace those that are in Ignorance, the brothers of my kind, but thy Sons.
98. Therefore I believe thee, and bear witness, and go into the Life and Light.
99. Blessed art thou, O Father; thy man would be sanctified with thee, as thou hast given him all power.

The prayer for some reason reminds me of one I once heard from the Golden Dawn system:

"Holy art Thou, Lord of the Universe!
Holy art Thou, whom Nature hath not Formed!
Holy art Thou, the Vast and the Mighty One!
Lord of the Light and of the Darkness!"

I wonder if the two are related? It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the inspiration for the GD adoration comes from the Divine Pymander. 


EDIT: I came across this wikipedia article on Poemander which asserts that the etymology of Poemander comes not from "Man-Shepherd" but from an Egyptian phrase meaning "Knowledge of Re." I'm going to have to look into what the connection to the Egyptian god Ra means, but it is interesting to see how the name of Poemander has connections to the highest gods of both Egyptian and Christian religion. 


Prayer (or, 'Let me Enlighten you...')

"Let me enlghten you; This is the way I pray:
Living just isn't hard enough!
Burn me alive inside!
Living my life's not hard enough!
Take everything away!"
                                            Prayer, by Disturbed

Does anyone remember those teenage years we all went through? Ever sit down and wonder if you could fill up a book with all that drama and angst? I know I have! And if I were to choose just one band which crystallizes all of the things I felt and experienced in that period of my life if would have to be Disturbed.

Disturbed is a band founded on the suffering of it's members, particularly the singer David Draimen. They have a certain "I'm going to make it though this even if the entire world is against me" attitude that used to really hit home with me, especially in the worse years of my life where the lines between reality and fantasy were razor thin and my safety wasn't guaranteed from day to day. Prayer, quoted above, is one great example.

One of the homework assignments on the practical end of The Black Work lessons is to begin praying regularly. Frater RO does a fantastic job in the lessons of establishing prayer as a communion tool, a method of entering back into relationships with our spiritual family as described by the Corpus Hermeticum (specifically The Divine Pymander) and strengthening them. I have some hangups I need to sort though before I can adequately apply his advice, however. 

In my life prayer has been a violent, angry, bitter thing for a long, long time.

When I think of prayer, I think of begging, groveling and pleading. Prayer is connected in my mind to desperation and broken dreams, and more than once I've prayed not in love or adoration but in hatred and anger. When it seemed like the Divine wasn't listening, even after so many times I'd called, I stopped trying to get in touch. Instead of trying to build bridges I tried to destroy them.  Nothing quite as damaging to yourself or your relationship with the divine as essentially giving the gods a big 'F*ck you' and walking away. 

It took me a long time to get to a point where I could really look at prayer as something valid again, but in recent years I've recognized that something was listening all that time. I can't claim I ever got the salvation I begged for, but every time I really needed a break, something replied. 

Sometimes it was obvious replies. I can remember as a child being terrified of the dark -- I used to see things, you see. Red eyes in the darkness swarming around you when you lay down to sleep is really, really scary to an eight year old. I can remember laying down one night and praying, begging God for moonlight. And believe it or not a completely overcast night turned to soft moonlight in a matter of minutes. I thanked God and slept for the night.

Other times were more subtle than that -- I was at my breaking point once during my high school days; the type of breaking point where you're clawing at your own hair and skin, trying to crawl out of your body just to get away. I can remember a soft prayer to the moon, though tears, blood and ripped out hair, begging them for a break. The next day I for some reason trusted the school counselor a little more than usual. It led to Child Protective Services getting called. I got a week away from my family, a PINS petition that somehow actually did more to ensure my safety physical safety than to damage my character. At the time I had thought it was all me. Looking back, I can see the subtle interactions of answered prayers. 

Regardless of those things, though, I can see the underlying trend. Prayer was about asking something bigger than me to save my arse. It was about me and only me. I never learned how to praise something outside of myself, and aside from impromptu and softly sung hymns to the Night (Nyx) on occasions I found myself overwhelmed by the simple beauty around me I don't think I ever knew how to really interrelate with Deity. 

To an extent that's still true: it feels very awkward trying to have a conversation with, and praise, a spirit or deity outside of a direct invocation. I think it's one of the main reasons I qualify myself as a Left Hand Path practitioner -- because I don't how how to have a relationship with the Divine that doesn't involve begging and groveling, and life has harshly taught me never to beg for anything. All I know how to say to the divine in prayer is 'If you wont help me, I'll find a way to help myself. Bring it on, life's not hard enough, take everything I have and I'll prove to you that I'm strong enough!'

So the assignment to pray daily is going to be... challenging... for me. I have to learn how to reframe my experiences into a context which allows for not begging and groveling but communion, communication that takes place not with the mind but with the heart. My concept of God as a force of... love... is distinctly lacking. Easier to see God as the destroyer, the vengeful and wrathful. Easiest to see the First Father as something beyond understanding -- or as consciousness itself. But that segways into a discussion for another time. 

In the meantime, I'm going to scour my library and the internet for anything that can help me understand prayer in a positive light. FRO provides a great little how to but I have a feeling that I'm going to need a deeper look at the subject before I can come to terms with it. I also picked up a copy of the Corpus Hermeticum for my Nook and am quite eager to get into get into reading it for myself. 

Next post should be more practical experiences than this one. Till then,



The Beginning

In the beginning... Or so begins the Holy Bible. Not feeling like I can measure up to a God just yet I suppose I'll begin instead in a manner more suited to my personality, quoting a song lyric or two.

"I am my own enemy
The battle fought within my mind
If I can overcome step one
I can face the 99"
                                      -"One More - Superchick"

Initially when I created this blog I was going to go on about how I intended to use it as a motivation point and what you could expect to see from me in the coming months. Instead, perhaps it's just better to go with the flow of things and let my mood dictate what I write this time.

My previous occult experience reads as a pageantry of paranoid delusion intermixed with genuine experiences that I cannot explain and a ridiculous amount of theoretical book knowledge. Much of the work I've done up to this point has been to get myself to a place where I'm comfortable even attempting magick again; expect not the wisdom of a magus but the realizations and trials of a neophyte.

My current experience will most likely be coming from one of the courses I'm involved in. Jason Miller and Rufus Opus both have wonderful courses going that I've chosen to take part in and, besides that, I'm doing some things on my own to boot.

Think of this blog as a combination of personal diary, Book of Shadows, Ritual Records and (potentially one day) Grimoire. I'm starting with very little practical magickal experience, some wierd psychic abilities that I have the barest figment of true control over and the knowledge that one way or another I'm going to overcome the challenges set before me.

That means that If I do an evocation for some reason, it will be posted here. If I do meditation that seems interesting, it'll be posted here. Things I'm learning from experience? Here. Things I'm trying? Here. Failures that embarrass the living hell out of me? Here. Like that time I slept in and completely missed my window to evoke a spirit, lol. If you're reading this blog you're reading my learning curve.

Still its likely that there will be random musings every now and then. I love music and I get wrapped up in mundane things every once in a while. I read a decent list of blogs every time they post and I'll probably have something to say about something I've read at some point, the same as everyone else. Occasionally you'll hear about things I've done in the mundane world, or hear me complain about something I think is wrong or lacking in sense.

In the way of warnings I have but three items to disclose: 

  • Firstly, treat what you're seeing as my opinion alone and take it with a small Siberian salt mine. 
  • Secondly, do not expect incredible grammar here. I'm not an English major and, though I love to write, I don't follow standard conventions. Purely as an example: I put commas where I would actually pause in a conversation instead of according to the rules of written English (and as you can probably tell that means there are more commas than usual).
  • Third, and finally, I'm part of a particular subculture or two that even pagans and magicians sometimes have problems with. While I wont be starting out by talking about those aspects I'm positive that they will be mentioned at some point in the future. 

I don't expect to have many people, if anyone, following this blog. For all I know it could be me shouting out into space for the world at large to hear (a gross, rambling approximation of twitter) for the entire duration of this blog's existence. That's fine with me. If on the other hand someone reads this and benefits from it in some way, finds it interesting, has a comment or decides to flame me, that's great too.

Until the next time, I'll sign off. Step one, accomplished.

Edit: I typed this up *ages* ago now, but it's still true. Hopefully something more meaningful, and recent, will follow in the next few days.