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.
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.
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
Telepathy, Belly Fat and Motivation
Dead tired is a funny term, don't you think? Especially so because the Dead I encounter always seem pretty lively. They clang about, throw wrenches into the plans of the unsuspecting and generally demand attention until you really can't ignore them. Furthermore, my ancestors always seem a bit eager to respond when I talk to them (my grandmother especially) — they just don't seem all that 'drained.'
I'm digressing from topic, however.
My point was, I'm still here, and the work continues. Topics ahead? Dreaming, Prayer, thanks & apologies. Perhaps some speculation but we'll see when we get there.
Lesson 7 in the Black Work course is about Astral Magic and features a section on Dreams. FRO points out that there's a good amount of work getting done in your dreams and encourages us to pay attention. Accordingly, I've been taking notice of my dreams and I've learned several things.
For one, my 'dreams' more often than not play out like horror movies. (Which is odd, because I HATE horror movies.) The basic tenor of my dreams is, well... black. In a literal way. Almost all of my dreams take place at night and the few that do involve sunlight, or what should be brightly lit rooms, instead feature a kind of muted, snuffed light and a sort of black haze.
It's actually embarrassing to write that, for multiple reasons. I can quite clearly feel what Jason Miller gets at when he talks about the 'Dork' Paganism trend. I was aware that a good portion of my dreamscape is set in perpetual night, but the realization that most light itself is muted actually makes me feel like I'm describing the Shadow Plane from Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, rather than something I legitimately experience when I go to sleep on a day-to-day basis.
Fantasy characters seem common, but not the ones I actually enjoy. Vampires and Werewolves almost never show up, believe it or not, but in their place I get a lot of necromancers, zombies and demon-like things. Especially the zombies. I hate zombies, so I don't know why they show up so much. The demon-like things tend to make the sorts of messes that you'd expect from horror movie demons when they show up (which is thankfully rare, because I'm already considering if I need to see a shrink).
Another is that my dreams are sometimes interrupted by something outside of the dream plotline and completely derailed. Most commonly I'll be involved in a dream and then, as with the Michael experience above, the dream takes on a greater level of 'reality' as a small figure walks up and starts to talk to me about how my life has been going, explain to me that she's been 'working' or 'on assignment' or some such, etc. I find this even more unusual because the figure almost always manifests as the rotting corpse of a young girl, I'd guess around ten, in a worn/moth eaten and very dirty dress. Another time it showed up as a giant eyeball with teeth where the eye should be. (I have my suspicions as to what this is, but can't really confirm anything)
Finally, my hypnagogic visions are... interesting. One particular time I laid down and, upon closing my eyes, was greeted with a very solid dream-reality image of a lantern leading the way down a dark path. I woke up not long after and, after grabbing a drink, closed my eyes to a bright silver, swinging pendulum shaped like a waxing moon. I later looked up the planetary hours I went to sleep in to find they were Mercury and Luna, respectively.
In other words, interesting. Insane, but interesting :-D
I was quite happy to receive comments on my last entries and I'm incredibly sorry that I haven't had (or more correctly, MADE) time to respond directly to them. Frater RO was kind enough to direct me towards John 1:1-18 and the writings of Paul to help me process some of the links I was seeing between Christianity and Neoplatonism. I went directly to read John and I've been letting it stew in my head for a while while I dig out my old study bible in preparation for rereading Paul's sections.
Speaking of the study bible, it's a mammoth of a thing I was given by a woman I used to look up to as a mother. I love the thing -- I've lent it out to every heavily Christian member of my family, some more than once, and I've always enjoyed it more than any other of the seven bibles I own. (Why a Pagan owns seven bibles I don't have a good answer for :-D) It took me ages to find it but, after a mild panic attack and several hours of searching, I discovered it buried in my fiction books section where it decidedly did not belong.
Jason Miller was also kind enough to weigh in on the subject with an entire blog post which, while very cool and super helpful on many levels, managed to knock me on my butt for about five minutes when I realized that it meant he had actually read this blog. I honestly didn't think anyone was reading this, then RO and Jason respond, other people comment, and I'm pleasantly surprised. And quite helped out.
But I digress. In line with my previous efforts, I've begun reciting several different prayers regularly. In the 'stylized' form, the Orphic Hymns and Elemental Prayers are being said regularly. Frater RO included the Orphic Hymns (to the planets) in the appendix of one of his lessons and I've come to really, really enjoy them for some reason. They jive well with my mindset and the mythology of Greece has always been rather close to my heart anyways.
The inspiration for the Elemental Prayers, on the other hand, comes from Jake Stratton-Kent's translation of the Grimorium Verum. My primary reason for adopting them has been to prepare myself for the coming elemental initiations in the Black Work Curriculum. As they're a recent addition to my regimen I'm not sure if they're actually accomplishing that purpose, but I'm certainly trying. When I actually begin the process of acquiring the initiations my game plan is to step up from once a day to three times a day, as well as kick in some of Jason Miller's tech to help me process.
Free form prayer is what I've been using to attempt to commune with Nous and Logos. Logos feels more approachable from this angle and I get a sense of practicality and genuine good will when I talk. It's always awkward on my end, but I've been honest, I'm trying and Logos seems patient enough. Nous on the other hand seems almost... detached. I suspect my preconceptions of the nature of the divine mind really get in my way here. More on that another time, however. Free form prayer is decidedly harder for me than stylized prayer.
Actually, I do have more to say, but I feel like this is getting too long as it is so I'm going to cut it off here. And because I'm exhausted. Communion is required -- with my shower and my mattress. For now, goodnight.
EDIT: One of my friends has taken issue with my posts due to grammar, and has appointed himself editor. More than likely, this post will change because he's a picky bastard, but I need him anyways :-P
EDITOR'S NOTE: While I appreciate the introduction, you didn't have to take it all that far. Flattery will get you nowhere, after all. ^_^
|Probably the best image I've found which comes |
close to how I picture Haniel.
Still feels like a woman, though.
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 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.
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!"
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.
So I've just discovered yet another seemingly random, but useful little use of energy manipulation while on the job.
Are you running on very little sleep? Does everything look like it's in a fog, dim and hazy? Circulated energy in your solar plexus area, build it into a tight little ball and then direct it up the central channel (along the spine) and disperse it in your head, making sure to hit all the areas and soak the energy in. You should get an instant sharper focus, clearer thought process, the world even literally seems brighter.
Or at least, that's what happened for me. Try it and see if it helps.
The battle fought within my mind
If I can overcome step one
I can face the 99"
-"One More - Superchick"
- 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.
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.