Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Excerpt from La Maga A Story About Sorcerers and Magi Ignus natura renovatur integra

“Who are you, Zosimo Sortiar,” Leo asked, even though the answer was now obvious, just as Mirelle had said it would be.
Zosimo flashed another wide smile. “I’m the brother,” he gloated. “They took the boy, not the girl.” He winked and smirked as if the joke were on “them” for doing so. “I want to be a Lion of Light,” he added. “Are you one of those?”
“I’ve assumed my namesake,” Leo replied. “I don’t know what I’ll become for it, living in exile as it were,” he muttered, adding, “Sofia’s brother?”
“You’re going to be a cult hero, like Jesus—or maybe Lucifer. Something like that,” Zosimo said in childlike verbal gambol.
“A fallen star. Fallen from grace in humiliation,” Leo lilted.
“The same as the rest of us,” Zosimo consoled. “The dust of a falling star fallen. Matter, a cinder, volatile ash poised to be ignited and transformed into its latent potential in pure, fiery light. Ignus natura renovatur integra.You wanted Deep Inner Planes. But they don’t come out of a gum ball machine.”
“I’m not complaining. I’m prepared,” Leo stuttered.

Zosimo grinned thoughtfully.  “’Nature in its entirety is regenerated in fire,’” he softly lilted.  It was an alchemical adage about the nature of transformation. After going awkwardly mute for a while, Zosimo said, “I’m the brother” again.




Available through amazon.com. See tab at the header of this page. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

On Sirens: An Excerpt from The Fallen Fairy





Sirens were creatures that were half-bird, half-woman, in origin, perhaps like the Egyptian ba. To the ancient Egyptians, the ba was the surviving part of a person that flew to the Underworld when a person died, but sirens were renegade creatures. According to classical myth, they lived on treacherously rocky isles off the coast of Sicily. They wanted nothing more than to entice passing sailors. Being lured, these sailors, thinking they’d get good head, instead found themselves in listless, dumbfounded stupors from which they languished and died.

It was portended that if a ship passed in which the occupants were resistant to the sirens’ song, the sirens, in frenzied dismay, would kill themselves. Thus, it is told in the Odyssey that these creatures leaped off cliffs when the epic’s hero, Odysseus, and his crew sailed by.

The sirens descended to the Underworld where they continued to sing, this time in mourning for the dead. Their imagery became mixed up with that of mermaids who themselves, in lore, were the mystical remnants of disposed-of women, who taking vengeance on the violence done to them, lured men to their deaths with the promise of sex through the sweetness of their song.

It all meant something metaphorical about men, women, ecstasy, sense control, and, of course, sex and death. One had to ponder it and trace the theme and imagery across cultures and time. 

--Excerpt from Chapter 2 .[The High Priestess] The Legacy of Lunaris Dracon from The Fallen Fairy by Soror ZSD23





Monday, September 23, 2013

Scrying the Olympic Spirits







Upcoming  FREE PDF booklet in Dionesia Rapposelli's (Soror ZSD23's) series on magic, mysticism, and higher spirituality. 

Contact the author at her Web page for info on this and other available and planned pdfs in the series. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Scyring the Olympic Spirits: A Pictorial Guide


FREE PDF booklet in Dionesia Rapposelli's (Soror ZSD23's) series on magic, mysticism, and higher spirituality. Visit the Web page for the link to the download and for info on other available and planned pdfs in the series. 

Monday
.Phul/Luna/Diana: There is no contrivance in joy. Joy is a pervading, core principle. A living thing is the ephemeral measurement and relationship through which joy can be experienced. Experience the bliss and potency of the moment.

Tuesday
Phaleg/Mars/Athena: Have a single focus and drive it through. An intention must be decisive and unmixed and then directed like a fiery spear or arrow into the heart of its target. 

Wednesday
Ophiel/Mercury: What do you want to know? Observation and careful listening are keys to persuade and confound to accomplish an intention. Single-minded focus, poise, and integration need to be cultivated. 

Thursday
Bethor/Jupiter What do you want to happen? For manifestation to occur, the infinite potential must be funneled into a point of definition and function. 
Friday
Hagith/Venus: I am the Cosmos and Beauty of Being. There is a tender, loving, giving, refreshing, purifying, and enveloping Principle. Meditate on and invoke that Principle for encouragement and solace and to become a source of encouragement and solace for others.
Saturday
Aratron/Saturn “He who is the Intelligible Principle in Whom All Things Rest.”
There is a large, mighty, thoughtful, loving, protective, possessive, and righteous Principle. Manifestation, personhood, and personal power are predicated on concentrating time and space into boundaries and form. 

Sunday
Och/Sol: There is no entity; there is only Self. I am complete openness.


Secrets-World-Adventures-Astral-ebook. Print edition upcoming.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Circles: Excerpt from The Savior at the End of Time on YouTube




He started drawing circles again until he had constructed an ouroboros—a serpent swallowing its own tail.

“If you really want to find peace and make peace, you have to kill this thing,” he said. Everyone nodded.

He made a rose bloom in the circular empty space framed by the ouroboros. A multitude of petals flared out. Watching them became a mesmerizing repast in which the sense of time was lost. A tiny light formed in the center of the rose. Looking at it gave a person an ecstatic and expansive feeling that made everything seem trivial and silly in comparison. Truly, looking into the speck of light in the center of the rose was like taking hold of a giddy and ineffable truth. So the lot of them sat gazing at it.

How much time passed in this pursuit was unknown—short or long—and it could not be measured in retrospect because no one could remember at what time the endeavor began. In any case, the Zosians sat mesmerized in gnostic bliss until, as occasionally occurred with the Entheos Mondo Amanita maneuver in which they were arrested, they began to startle and crash into queasiness, nausea, cramps, and diarrheal output.

Zosi was seething with quiet mirth. “Now that’s an opiate,” he exclaimed, and he bid them to make sure they each left the bathroom clean for the next person. 

Available in Kindle format from amazon.com. 
See the tab in the header at the top of this page.

Monday, July 22, 2013

About the Sorcerers and Magi Series --Listen to the Podcast

I started writing the Sorcerers and Magi series in 2003, which was the time that the Harry Potter series was gaining a lot of momentum.  I knew very many 30- to 60- year-olds who were very enthusiastic about the series.  Honestly, I never read the books, but I really enjoyed watching the movies. They—especially the earlier ones in the series—coddled me in the sweetest nostalgia of childhood and holiday movie extravaganzas—of treats from grandma and Christmas tinsel and that sort of thing.
One day in the late summer of 2003, I found myself watching a DVD of the second movie in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, every night for a week. I was particularly fascinated with the villainous Lucius Malfoy character, played by Jason Isaacs. I kept hoping that, as the series winded down to its denouement, that character would emerge as an antihero. That was not the case, but it inspired the development of my own antihero Leo de Lux. He starts out as a caustic and villainous but complex character and becomes an ambiguous hero and maintains that role throughout the series.
 So, after watching the second movie over and over again one week and wanting more stories but not managing to read the books, I started to make up episodes in my head so I could be entertained in between movies. I realized that I had built up a completely unique story. I dithered about whether I should write it down, because I was reluctant to invest the time in a writing project only to then beat my head against a brick wall trying to get someone of influence—an agent or publisher—to give me the time of day.  I couldn’t help myself, though, and got it into my head that I should simply pursue the  project for my own entertainment and insight.

Listen to me discuss the series and the writing life in podcast #36 The Savior at the End of Time at EatSleepWrite.

The story I was entertaining was not a children’s story. It was a magical fantasy fiction story for adults. My aim, however, was to maintain a tone similar to that found within classic children’s fantasy fiction. My target audience was adults who like classic children’s literature—the work of C. S. Lewis, for example.  I did not initially intend to write a series, but as I completed the first draft of the first book La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi, another story popped into my head, which I originally gave the provocative title.The Sex Lives of Sorcerers but renamed The Fallen Fairy. I ended up linking them in the progression of an underlying apocalyptic theme introduced in the first book that culminates in the third book, titled The Savior at the End of Time. I intend to write at least 2 more books in the series. One will be a prequel and one will begin where book 3 ends.

The Fallen Fairy occult fiction on love, sex, alchemy, and coded messages by Dionesia Rapposelli

My story takes place in a parallel universe called the inner plane. It has a look and feel like our own. The structure of government is loosely based on the classical Roman paradigm. The same sort of powermongering and dog-eat-dog kind of stuff that goes on in our world also happens in this Inner Plane, with the idea that Inner Plane strongly influences how things roll in the Outer plane (our world, that is).  People from our world can enter the inner plane through dreams, trance or altered states of consciousness and through forbidden dabblings in the occult and sometimes they transition from the Outer to Inner Plane in my stories.
The term “Inner Plane” comes from a writer within the Western Mystery Tradition named Gareth Knight, who is an apologist for a type of Hermetic magic originating in the medieval era, called Magical Christianity, which is a type of gnostic—or self-revelatory (as opposed to dogmatic)—Christianity . The Inner Plane is basically the world within the mind. It is a place of archetypal forms, dreams, and ideas in general. This place is more commonly called the astral plane, referring the realm of thought and feeling.  In a sense, it is in incubation place where thought becomes paradigm and Reality.  Reference to the Inner Plane is also a tip of the hat to a form of philosophical Hinduism called Advaita Vedanta, which I have followed for very many years. A strong influence from this philosophy and Buddhism permeates the series.

I’m using fiction as a creative and playful way to express my long-time interests in spirituality, magic, and mysticism. The work is a product of my research, practice, and hands on experience.  My writing is a way to feed information back to myself—reaffirm and integrate it and also to entertain myself.

The main character of the first book, Sofia LaMaga, is something of an alter ego—or maybe someone who I would like to be. At the beginning of La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi, we learn that Sofia has been living in political exile in a parallel plane coinciding with Tibet. Having received amnesty, she returns to her hometown where she becomes a high school teacher and wreaks havoc by forming a friendship with the juvenile delinquent teenaged son of the place’s governor, Leo de Lux. Because Sofia has been living in the environs of India and Tibet, she comes back steeped in the spirituality of those cultures.

When I was writing LaMaga, although I had all long-time background in eastern spirituality, I was also interested in folk magic and had been reminiscing about one of my great grandmothers who was said to be a stregona—that’s Italian for “sorceress.” Another word for that is “maga.” I began to explore Italian folk magic, and so that is why there is a lot referencing to Italian folk culture and evil eye lore in La Maga. My interest in folk magic led to interest in aspects of Western Occultism, including the work of Dion Fortune and Aleister Crowley—big names in relation to the so-called Occult revival that took place at the turn of the 20th century.


By the time I got to writing the second book, The Fallen Fairy, I had become interested in philosophical alchemy and medieval magic, and so we have underlying themes about alchemy and spiritual transformation as well as reincarnation, fairy lore, and sex magic in that book. When I got around to writing the third book, The Savior at the End of Time, I had become an enthusiast of a current in postmodern occultism called Chaos Magick and a related counterculture scene called Discordianism.

No, Really, listen to me discuss the series and the writing life in podcast #36 The Savior at the End of Time at EatSleepWrite.

That story, which recently became available as a Kindle ebook and will be available for download through smashwords.com—and also as a print edition—in the late fall,  is about a character named Aurelio Zosimo who  is being set up to be the poster boy of a utopian political movement, introduced in book 1 of the series. What inspired me to launch that story was the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, which is my all-time favorite theater piece. It was around Easter time in 2006 and I was coming out of the winter blues. I was on a roll watching film and live theater versions of Jesus Christ  Superstar and got the idea to adapt the template of the gospel story to the third novel of the Sorcerers and Magi series. The premise is similar to that of The Who’s rock opera, Tommy or Jerzy Kasinsky’s novel Being There, in which a person who is a little “off” is haplessly fashioned into a leader or cult hero.


 We are told that Aurelio Zosimo has a plaque on his office door that says “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” This is a famous slogan among  Chaos magicians that was picked up from the cult classic novel The Illuminatus! Triology, which is a wild-ride parody about conspiracy theories, secret societies, and the immanentization of the eschaton—that is, the hastening the end of the world—the apocalypse. There is an apocalyptic thread running through my series that culminates in this third book, and we find characters discussing the immanentization of the eschaton and Zosimo’s potential role in it in the third book.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Liber 821 or How I Found the Goddess and What She Did to Me When I Found Her Part II

by Zoe-Sophia-Dione (= 821, “Babylon the Great” :-P)
 23 (=Zos/life [ChiH]; Kia/joy [ChDVH])


Numerous paeans from more ancient times exist that extol the Goddess.  Apuleuis in The Golden Ass (11.25) says of Isis:

You rotate the globe. You give light to the Sun. You govern the world in time and space. You tread down the powers of Hades. By You the seasons return, the Planets rejoice, the Elements serve. At Your command the winds do blow, the clouds do gather, the seeds prosper, and the fruits prevail. The birds of the air, the beasts of the hill, the serpents of the den, and the fish of the sea, do tremble at Your majesty.
                                                           
The Devi Mahatmyam is chock full of statements such as:

You are the sovereign Goddess of all that is moving and unmoving. You are the sole substratum of the world, existing in the form of Earth. Existing in the form of water, the Universe is nourished.  You are pure, limitless courage, the power of the All-Pervading Lord. You are the Manifesting and Limiting Principle, the primordial seed of the Universe. Goddess you have created this living dream that we mistake for Reality. Through your grace we are redeemed from it. (11:3-5)
                                                           
We also find this passage within the very last piece of scrying work that Edward Kelley (1555 –1597) did with John Dee (1527–1608): 

I am the daughter of Fortitude, and ravished every hour, from my youth. For behold, I am Understanding, and Science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They covet and desire me with infinite appetite; few or none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stone, and covered with the morning Clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in my self. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beasts of the field understand me. I am deflowered, and yet a virgin; I sanctify, and am not sanctified. Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many Cymbals, and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not: For Lo, I am loved of many, and I am a lover to many; and as many as come unto me as they should do, have entertainment. . . .
                        —From A true & faithful relation of what passed for many years                                                          between Dr. John Dee and some spirits

Dee, a mathematician and prodigious Renaissance man who was an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, having become immersed in angelology and evocation magic, produced, with scryer-side-kick Edward Kelley, the foundation for Enochian magic. By gazing into a shewstone/black mirror (akin to crystal-ball gazing), Kelley pulled out of the aethers a unique, “angelic” language and Dee and Kelley were given elaborate instructions by presumed angelic entities  about ritual set up for practices; coded, politically charged messages; and a method to “ascend” through angelic planes. But for all the glorious effort, neither Dee nor Kelley had very good luck in the aftermath of their workings. Did they barge head-first through a door behind which was the Goddess practicing katas with her swinging saber?

Immediately following this oft-quoted material (above) scryed by Kelley and Dee on May 23, 1587 (their very last scrying session by the way, occurring about a month after the archangel Uriel allegedly told the men to wife-swap), the Divine-Feminine entity evoked  explains that “Wisdom is a piercing beam, which is the center of the spiritual being of the Holy Spirit, touching from all parts from whence the Divinity sendeth it out . . .” It continues, saying that Wisdom is inherent in what is immortal, including the human soul, and not in things that have an end.  This is standard Hermetic/Gnostic/Cabalist jargon in which Wisdom—the Sophia or Sapientia —transforms soul (psyche) to spirit (pneuma) via the path of the Secret Fire. Further, the patent medieval Hermetic content in the longer citation about the Daughter of Fortitude is rather conspicuous.

Cybele (Roman Magna Mater), who  Revelations is really referring to (her and Rome) when it talks about The Lady Riding the Beast, the Beast being Emperor Nero) .
Fortitude from the Cary Yale Visconti Tarot deck (circa 17th century). The trump cards of Italian Tarot decks may have originated from a philosophical tract called the sermones de ludo and related pageants that were reflections on the meaning of life and death and drew on images familar to early  medieval-era Italians)

The text then goes into doomsday jargon that either could be taken as a prediction about political upheaval or else a veiled way for an affected Kelley to express how really fed up he was with the whole Kelley/Dee trip, as has been speculated by researchers and autodidacts on the subject such as the person who maintains this blog: http://myfavoritemonsters.blogspot.com/2009/07/john-dee-edward-kelley-spirit-world-pt_28.html .

The story goes that Kelley, acquiring fame and fortune as a celebrity alchemist, abandoned Dee and fell in and then out of favor with King Rudolph II (1552 –1612), who imprisoned him for not appropriately proving his prowess as an alchemist. Kelley ultimately died of injuries sustained during a prison breakout—a rather pathetic end to someone who “channeled” such profundity as what is quoted above. But one could suppose that this illustrates the “‘get it’ or get a kick in the head” and “don’t fuck with me” kind of tough love that The Goddess seems to be into.

From here, my mind segues to veritable, no-joke rocket scientist Jack Parsons (1914 –1952) :

The catastrophic trend [the Age of Horus] is due to our lack of understanding of our own natures. The hidden lusts, fears, and hatreds resulting from the warping of the love urge, which underly the natures of all Western peoples, have taken a homicidal and suicidal direction.

This impasse is broken by the incarnation of another sort of force, called BABALON. The nature of this force relates to love, understanding, and dionysian freedom, and is the necessary counterbalance or correspondence to the manifestation of Horus.

            —from the Introduction of Liber 49, The Book of Babalon, by Jack Parsons

Yes, but if I remember it correctly, Jack, even though you were incredibly eloquent, dedicated, waaay ahead of your time, and now are bestowed god-like reverence, almost everyone you knew, loved, revered, and trusted totally dissed and screwed you over. Then you got blown up moments before you were going to run away and live happily ever after with your conjured Babalon-Incarnate Scarlet woman witchy-chick, artist/occultist Marjorie Cameron (1922 –1995).

Yet shalt thou not be therein, for thou shalt be forgotten, dust lost in dust.  Nor shall the ├Žon itself avail thee in this; for from the dust shall a white ash be prepared by Hermes the Invisible. 

And this is the wrath of God, that these things should be thus.  And this is the grace of God, that these things should be thus.

                                                            —Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni, 15-18


But then one could point the finger at dozens of high-profile occultists, “crazy wisdom” teachers, saints, philosophers, and godmen/women through the ages who came to less than beatific endings.

This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
                                                           
                                                            —From The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

One would say that their legacies and legendary statures compensate, but I say not. How can such things serve the dead? Such things are more bread and circuses for the rest of us and often the tool of one or another aggrandizing opportunist. At best, they can be catalysts of insight and transformation for us. Or else, they can be blinds, glamours, and pretentions that complicate our ride through the gastric tube of the Ouroboros. Both options are the purview of The Goddess.

And in the end, the Mysterium Tremendum, for those who are interested, is not about pleasure or pain, suffering in penance or atonement, redemption, the satiation of desire, or the assertion of will. It is about crossing over the Abyss and parting the veil between the Real and the Unreal. 

This Mahamaya [“Grand Illusion”; “Great Measurement”] is the Yoganidra [power of stupor] of Vishnu, the Lord of the World. It is by her the world is deluded. Verily she, the Sovereign Lady, forcibly draws the minds even of the wise into delusion. She creates this entire universe of both moving and unmoving things. When favorable, she proffers boons to human beings for their final liberation. She is supreme knowledge, the cause of final liberation, and eternal; she is the cause of the bondage of transmigration and the sovereign over all lords.

                                                                        —Devi Mahatmyam, I:54-58


But for my final word on all this Babalon and Goddess-mystique stuff, I quote Austin Osman Spare from the Anathema of Zos:

Is there nothing beyond entity? No purchase beyond sense and desire of God than this blasting and devouring swarm ye are?


Oh, ye favoured of your own excuses, guffaw between bites! Heaven is indifferent to your salvation or catastrophe. Your curveless crookedness maketh ye fallow for a queer fatality! What! I to aid your self-deception, meliorate your decaying bodies, preserve your lamentable apotheosis of self? The sword-thrust not salve I bring!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Liber 821 or How I Found the Goddess and What She Did to Me When I Found Her Part 1


by Zoe-Sophia-Dione (= 821, “Babylon the Great” :-P)

23 (=Zos/life [ChiH]; Kia/joy [ChDVH])


Should you find that your own revelations of The Goddess become substantially different than the revelations of Mal-2, then perhaps The Goddess has plans for you as an Episkopos, and you might consider creating your own sect from scratch, unhindered.

                                                —from  Principia Discordia or How I Found the Goddess
                                                   and What I Did to Her When I Found Her.

I had been dedicated to the goddess Durga for very many years.  I was not doing the “eclectic” neopagan thing of adopting a mishmash of foreign deities and making spiritual-practice stew out of them. I was (and continue to be despite my immersion in Western occultism and contemporary Paganism) a long-time adherent of reformed Advaita Vedanta.  I became dedicated to a certain important scripture dated to about the 3rd century called the Devi Mahatmyam, or “Glory of the Goddess.” It is a trilogy of mythologies in which the Goddess, personifying the combined power of the gods, defeats various demons in battles and, thus, restores the order of the Universe.

The full scripture, which takes more than an hour or three to recite, is chanted in the context of devotional ritual (puja) and is prefaced and followed by several auxiliary prayers, chants, mantra, and ritual gestures. I took to performing a much abbreviated version of the ritual, in accordance with guidelines given to me by a senior swami of the Ramakrishna Order of Vedanta. I performed the ritual once weekly for about a year after many years of working with the text. At this time, I also was immersed in disciplines related to Kundalini yoga and had recently removed myself from association with a Nygmapa (Dzogchen) Buddhist sangha where I was being groomed to become a lama.

The ritual and contemplation or chanting of the Devi Mahatmyam is generally done as an exercise in which the Goddess is thought of as a beneficent entity who is being addressed for the sake of gaining favors and for protection from both supernatural evil and the nasty world-at-large. I ultimately took a more Gnostic and literal approach. After all, Advaita Vedanta is jnana yoga, the discipline of spiritual integration through gnosis. In addition, the translations of the names of the demons that the Goddess is battling in the Devi Mahatmyam include The Great Deceiver (Mahahanu), The Aimless One (Parivarita), The Hypocrite  (Bidala), Anger (Kruddha), The Savage (Ugrasya),  He Who Gives  Way to Temptation (Durdhara), The Vicious (Chanda), The Malicious (Munda), Conceit (Shumbha), and Self-deprecation (Nishumbha). And the most famous demon celebrated in the scripture is Mahishasura—the “Buffalo demon” of egoism, the depiction of the slaying of which is an important piece of Hindu iconography.

So, these demons that The Goddess is protecting you from are not oogah-boogah things “out there”; they are negative qualities within yourself. How does The Goddess protect you from them? She rips you apart over and again with a barrage of weapons: the sword of discrimination, club of articulation, bow of determination, arrow of penetration, pike of attention, rod of restraint, axe of right action, net of unity, trident of harmony, and discus of revolving time. Then she cuts off your head and totally obliterates you in a confounding mush of ego dissolution that you ideally recover from changed.


So, a few years before I began to shift gears and look to Western occultism for empowerment and insight, and before I knew anything about Cabala or Crowley or the Abyss, I found myself returning to a particular difficult mind state in my meditation practices. What I would feel enveloped in would be a dark, abysmal space. In it, I would receive impressions of how I became who I am. I would receive visceral sensations and memories harkening back to earliest childhood. As a Tantric Buddhist and Yoga practitioner, I had been trained in how to maneuver such experiences. Nevertheless, and perhaps aggravated by volatility in my personal life, I slipped over the edge and plummeted into the core of a chasm one morning.

I looked and saw a great abyss and a dark funnel of whirling waters or fixed airs, wherein were cities and monsters and trees and atoms and mountains and little flames (being souls) and all the material of an universe.

And all are sucked down one by one, as necessity hath ordained. For below is a glittering jewelled globe of gold and azure, set in a World of Stars.

And there came a Voice from the Abyss, saying: "Thou seest the Current of Destiny! Canst thou change one atom in its path? I am Destiny. Dost thou think to control me? for who can move my course?"
                                                            —From The Cry of the 29th Aethyr in The Vision the    Voice attributed to Aleister Crowley   

I experienced profound ego-dissolution and it was no freaking way like the sunshine and moonbeams of an Eric Tolle New Age best seller. Whereas it was kind of like an “enlightenment” experience, it also was the antithesis of what I’ve ever read about such things.

I realized in that moment in a way that cut far deeper than mere intellection that I was not a person. I was a mask, an automaton, a provisional being not of my own making. Unconscious and automated.  I was a composite of experiences and perceptions, habits, and conditioning that were not necessarily my own. Mere non-conscious karmic momentum of an interdependently arising neurotic fiasco called nature and nurture that stretched back to beginningless Time. 

My spirit is no more; my soul is no more. My life leaps out into annihilation!

                                                            —From The Cry of the 2nd Aethyr

In that moment, to borrow words from Kshemaraja’s commentary on the experience of enlightenment in the Spanda Karikas, “all my thought-constructs were split asunder by the recognition of [my] true essential nature.” The event indeedsurpassed common experience” but was anything but “replete with unprecedented bliss.”  My reaction was rage. Life appeared to be an oppressive lie foisted on me by others who themselves were utterly in the grip of the same lie. I was mostly angry because the way I felt about myself for so long—the way I persistently operated and struggled—didn’t have to be as it was. Everything was mere fabrication born of a delusion about Reality that I was force fed from the doomed moment that I took my first breath.

But what was worse than realizing the prosaic blather that Life Is but a Dream was the notion that the oppression of the illusion would continue to be suffered despite my new insight about it; I was not something other than this inexorable composite of karmic momentum. It was my ways of thought, my emotional responses, my personality, all the structures and nuances of my physiology. 

The Bengali mystic Sri Ramakrishna was known to say, “God is real; the world is illusory.”  I understood what that meant in that moment of crisis because I experienced the profound difference between myself as a personality construct and this organism called Reality.

Herein no forms appear, and the vision of God face to face, that is transmuted in the Athanor called dissolution, or hammered into one forge of meditation, is in this place but a blasphemy and a mockery.

And the Beatific Vision is no more, and the glory of the Most High is no more. There is no more knowledge. There is no more bliss. There is no more power. There is no more beauty. For this is the Palace of Understanding: for thou art one with the Primeval things.

—From The Cry of the 14th Aethyr

Prior to this episode, I had been an “insufferable know-it-all.” In a moment, however, the value of all concepts shattered. It was all vain blather, “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

I was “out-of-it” for several days, weeks perhaps. Humbled, humiliated, and feeling gyped and screwed about life. But when the dust settled, I felt free. Relieved. Off the hook. Nothing was true; thus, everything was permitted. I became relaxed. I put away my beliefs, books, and allegiances. I also arrived at a new sense of compassion, having glimpsed the roots of happiness and suffering concerning the human condition. There was no place to put blame; the cause was an interdependently arising phenomenon that drove the World Machine.


Yea! verily this is the Truth, this is the Truth, this is the Truth. Unto thee shall be granted joy and health and wealth and wisdom when thou art no longer thou.

                                                            —Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni, 13

But, actually, life went on with its twists and turns, joys and disappointments, peak experiences and hard lessons.

There have been other instances in my life in which the end result of fervent goddess work has been crisis: upheaval, pain, loss. Even though things turn out “all for the best” in the end, the pattern has made me skittish about working with goddess energy. So I wince at folks who look to the Goddess for a kinder, gentler kind of spirituality, who look to the self-effacing, ever-doting mother or else the ever-accommodating and never-clinging lover. The contemptible idealized woman. The Goddess is not this. Rather, she is the maw and secret of creation, sustenance, dissolution, and transformation.

O Circle of Stars,
Whereof our father is by the younger brother,
Marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space,
Before whom time is ashamed, the mind bewildered, and the understanding dark,
Not unto Thee may we attain unless Thine Image be Love.
Therefore by seed and root, and stem and bud,
And leaf and flower and fruit do we invoke thee,
O Queen of Space, O Jewel of Light,
Continuous one of the heavens;
Let it be ever thus
That men speak not of Thee as One, but as None;
And let them not speak of Thee at all, since Thou art continuous.


                                                            —From Liber XV (Thelemic Gnostic Mass), Aleister Crowley 
 
 
***
This essay appears here:
 
Available in Kindle format at this amazon.com page
 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Savior at the End of Time 3rd in the Sorcerers and Magi Series now Available in Kindle format

Chaos Magic meets Jesus Christ Superstar. The Savior at the End of Time, the third book in the Sorcerers and Magi series, will be available in Kindle format on July 4, 2013.

The tale is a veiled take on the Christ-story in which the unassuming and disheveled but oddly charismatic iconoclast, Professor Aurelio Zosimo, introduced in book one, is haplessly rendered into a new messiah for the Lions of Light agenda and the “Immanentization of the Eschaton.” The novel references the post-modern magical counterculture current of Chaos Magic. In this installment of the series, Leo de Lux and Sofia La Maga are at odds about their designs regarding Aurelio Zosimo. Both find themselves in over their heads as plot line of the series progresses toward an apocalyptic showdown and the revelation of portentous secrets.




The Sorcerers and Magi series offers thought-provoking ideas about finding oneself and one’s true purpose in the context of mystical magical fantasy and will be interest to adult fiction readers drawn to magia, mysticism, and spiritual philosophy. Book 1 in the series, La Maga A Story about Sorcerers andMagi, introduces us to the Inner Plane and its fragmented society of sorcerers, magi, and folk practitioners. There, the binding quality of love, transforms a father and son, shifts a paradigm, and gives a jump start to a utopian movement The Lions of Light. Magical fantasy is deftly woven with Eastern mysticism. In Book 2, The Sex Lives of Sorcerers, a hapless fairy incarnates as a woman in the world of “Commons” in the Outer Plane. Sorcerers from the Inner Plane swoop in to vie for her affections in the interests of love and occult power and opportunism. . As savior, a redeemer, and a siren, the story’s heroine circumspectly aids the Lions of Light and sets the stage for radical and illuminating transformations of all who come into contact with her. References to alchemy, medieval occultism, steganography, and sex magic permeate the text.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Arbatel Working

                                      



The Arbatel is a medieval treatise on how to live in harmony, ease, and intimacy with the energies of the Multiverse. Behind the Christian piety is a more ancient, Pythagoric and Neoplatonic spiritual paradigm that views the world as a multilayered place full of spiritual beings: some elemental, some celestial, some angelic, and some demi-godlike, archonic, or patriarchal.

At first glance the Arbatel is a simple of book about magic that seems to be an introduction to a more robust text that does not exist or does not exist anymore. Except for the suspicion that the Arbatel was written by an Italian mage, the author and original date that pen was put to paper are unknown. What we have of the text was commercially published as part of an anthology in 1575 in Basel, Switzerland, on one of the first printing presses. 

The Arbatel can be freely accessed at http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/Arbatel.htm thanks to Joseph H. Peterson who provides a side-by-side annotated version of the original Latin text and an English translation, published in 1655, by the 17th century Cambridge University scholar Robert Turner.



The subtitle of the Arbatel says that it is made of nine books or chapters (tomos), each of 7 parts (totaling 49 parts in all). But it seems as if the only  existing book is of the Arbatel is the first, titled the Isagoge, which the author explains means “Book of the Institutions of Magic.” It consists of “the most general precepts of the whole Art.” The other eight books are supposed to delve into:

● Microcosmic magic, which is described as being about how a person may gain wisdom and insight about purpose through contact with the “spirit and genius addicted to him from his nativity” (that is, an augoiedes or “guardian angel”).
● Olympic magic, which presumably delves deeper into how to work with the Olympic Spirits than what is presented in Septenary 3 of the Isagoge, and, thus, relates to planetary or astral magic.
● “Hesiodic and Homeric” magic, which claims to be about working with spiritual allies and benefactors, using the Greek term calodaemones, which is a synonym for eudaemone and also augoiedes, all more or less equivalent to “guardian angel.”
● “Romanic or Sibylline” magic, which, we are told, is about working with the tutelary spirits and lords that tend and govern planet Earth and is said to be similar to Druidic magic.
● Pythagoric magic, which relates to the sciences of physics, medicine, mathematics, alchemy, and other arts, we are told.
● Magic related to the work of the Neopythagorean Apollonius of Tyana (circa first century—a legendary person whose birth and miracle-working was suspiciously similar to that of another, far more popular legendary figure: Jesus of Nazareth). The magic referred to would be thaumatergy. The author of the Arbatel also notes that Appolonian magic is Microscosmic (about the individual self) but also gives a person powers over hostile spirits (presumably a reference to exoricism).
● Theurgic magic, described as “Egyptian magic” and “divine magic.”
● Prophetic magic, which is said to be “wisdom that solely depends on the word of God” and, given the jargon, may be a reference to Cabala, the medieval Christian variant of Kabala that was wholly absorbed into Western Occultism instead of Christianity.

Rather than being an incomplete book, it may be that all of the themes described above are really secretly layered into the book and waiting to be discovered like buried treasure. That is, the Arbatel may be an example of medieval steganography in which messages are encrypted and buried within "cover texts."

The Arbatel is most noted for its information about the Olympic Spirits. The Olympic Spirits are introduced in the third chapter of the Isogoge. The spirits are described as Governors associated with the seven classical planets named after Roman deities: Luna, Venus, Mercury, Sol, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. This is the aspect of the Arbatel that modern and postmodern-era occultists focus on, somewhat overlooking a more pervasive, underlying message about working with the tutelary spiritual entities, the role of the Olympic Spirits as rulers of psychodynamic processes and fate, and the role of the Olympic Spirits as symbols of and archetypal structures that form the holographic Multiverse.

I took interest in the Arbatel in the spring of 2010 after stumbling upon an article by Nick Farrell in the spring issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. The article was titled Olympic Spirits: The Hidden Gods. It can be accessed online at http://www.jwmt.org/v2n18/olympic.html. Like Farrell and others who have explored the Arbatel, many questions arose about its meaning and application.

My background in Eastern spirituality influenced how I approached the Arbatel, which was openly, with an understanding that what I was attempting to access “out there” was an intimate part of myself or vice versa. So I dispensed with the more elaborate traditional ceremonial formalities regarding evocation and planetary magic derived from Solomonic and Late Modern-era Hermetic paradigms that others have applied when working with the document. See the Everything Arbatel Digest of Internet Links at http://seethingamongthesuits.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/everything-arbatel-digest-of-internet-links/ for an index of what is available about the Arbatel on the Web.  

I began what was to become the first phase of the work on Monday March 22, 2010, which serendipitously was the eve of that month’s new moon. This first phase of the project continued through to Sunday April 18. It consisted of daily evocation and meditation on one or another Olympic Spirit. The YouTube below is a distillation of this phase of the Arbatel working.





I posted the first month of my experiences on a blog.The posts garnered some interest, and I found myself being invited to join three other people in a group magical working related to the Arbatel. The first phase of this Working took place in May and the second in July 2010.

The group's focus was a part of the Arbatel that I had initially overlooked: The Seal of Secrets of the World described in aphorism 27, fourth septenary:

Make a circle, with A at the center, which is BCDE. At the East of the square is BC. At the North CD. At the West DE . At the South EB. Divide each of these quadrants into 7 parts so that there may be 28 parts total. Then divide each into 4 so that there will be 112 parts of the circle, as so many are the true secrets to be revealed. This circle divided in this manner is the Seal of Secrets of the world. Projecting from the center A, this is the invisible God in the entire creature. The Prince of the Eastern secrets is in the middle [of the Eastern quadrant] and has 6 Nobles, 3 on each side. Each of them, including the Prince, has 4 Nobles under him. In the same way, the [other] Princes and Nobles have their quadrants of secrets, with their four secrets.



My cohorts pointed out that the 28 parts that each quarter of the diagram is cut up into correspond with the mansions of the moon. The mansions of the moon are the daily moon phases that ancient esotericists across cultures were very much attuned to. Each phase of the moon, day-by-day in a 28-day cycle, carried with it a certain mood and theme that was thought to have a fateful effect on people’s lives. Activities had to be deftly synchronized with daily—and even hourly—planetary and lunar events. The early medieval Arabic magical book known as the Picatrix covers this in detail.

My cohorts and I feverishly pondered the Seal of Secrets and mansions of the moon hoping to alight on a grand revelation. We decided to gain insight by contacting the entities associated with the moon mansions through dream work, but thinking contacting the angels associated with the mansions too ambitious or risky, we opted to connect with the associated planetary rulers--the Olympic Spirits.

Before retiring, we would acknowledge the moon mansion of the day and its corresponding ruling planet/Olympic Spirit and perform whatever preparatory ritual we each saw fit to do. Then, as we were drifting into sleep, we would visualize the sigil of the Olympic Spirit .

We kept a group dream log on a secure, on-line site and also kept a lively discussion going through a now discontinued Google Wave application.

My experiences with the Arbatel and insights into the text are unique. They have been documented in the book The Seal of Secrets of the World Adventures in Astral Magic (available through amazon.com). Below is a somewhat clunky video of a presentation I gave about the Seal of Secrets at the biannual Metaphysical Forum held in New Haven, CT. A free, concise pdf download about the Arbatel  and Seal of Secrets can be accessed through the Sorcerers and Magi Website