Sorcerers and Magi showcases the fantasy fiction series by the same name and also thought-provoking ideas on magic and mysticism. The content is for adult readers drawn to fantasy fiction, magic, mysticism, Eastern spirituality and the Western Mystery Tradition. Excerpts, updates, and wisdom and insight from author, Dionesia Rapposelli aka Soror ZSD23.
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)
(=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,
—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
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
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?"
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!
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 indeed “surpassed 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
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
—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.
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,
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
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