Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leonard de Lux --the Young Hero of Novel 1 of the Sorcerers and Magi series

Leonard had been fantasizing about being Sofia La Maga’s apprentice. It was an absolute impossibility, of course. He felt increasingly bitter about it, but who could he blame? He was a fuck-up after all—but so was the professor, according to his father.

Impossible fantasies about becoming her apprentice gave way to dreams about being her sexual friend. How weird to have a crush on that woman, but, man, was he filled with a strange fire when he jacked off to the thought her. Part of the thrill was desiring someone who his father hated.

Now Leonard would have to slither home and wait for his father to notice that he had gotten in trouble at school again. The wrath that de Lux junior would incur from de Lux senior would be silent and seething. Leonard was trying to figure out how the rigmarole would go without admitting that his “crime” was related to a dispute about participating in an illicit Phaeton maneuver match. That would be a monster. That would be a lot more than what his father could endure, even if the moral of the story was that Leonard had come to his senses about it.

Leonard didn’t go home after the codes and keys class. He did not leave the school premises. Rather, he skulked around the second floor corridor, keeping clear of hall guards and teachers—especially Professor Lossius whose classroom was at the far end of the floor.

He was waiting for Professor La Maga to wander by in her usual way, limping along with a burden in her arms. He was braced for a bold act, considering that he would not be able to see the professor for another two weeks. Or perhaps he would never see her again, depending on what his father did to him when he found out what had happened and why. So it was important for Leonard to find the professor and make an impression on her before departing to be crushed by fate.

At about a quarter past three, moments before the close of school, Leonard caught her. She was carrying a huge stack of overstuffed hanging file folders and limping along as if hoping that the awkward toting of heavy, slippery things would at last lead to calamity. Leonard emerged from a hiding spot in an alcove and sidled beside her.

“Professor La Maga!” he uttered robustly. She turned slightly. The folders flipped out of her grip and splattered yards across the floor. Both he and she placidly watched this occur. Leonard even slightly nodded when his gaze met the professor’s. 

“You do this on purpose, don’t you, Professor?” Leonard said.
The professor looked away at the mess and seemed to distantly smile. What folks around her—even other professors—were too dumb to see, was that she was engaged in a magical act. It was a set up—this behavior in the halls.  It was a deliberate link in a chain of events related to the activation of a magical spell. That’s what Leonard thought. He had helped her accomplish a magical act. That must’ve been worth something to her.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thought-Forms, Tulpas, Servitors, and the Like

Thought-forms are important tools in sorcery. What are they? They are purpose-directed thoughts that are so strong and well-defined that they seem to manifest as concrete objects or otherwise take on a life of their own. In post-modern magic, they are often referred to as servitors. To this American, “servitor” sounds like a great dystopic term coined by a sci-fi writer, but it is simply a synonym for “servant,” more commonly used in British English (and coopted by the patriarchs of Chaos Magic and used as part of the lingo). A great essay on servitors that has been web-accessible for decades is Sigils, Servitors and Godforms at

 The idea of making concrete objects appear out of thin air and of conjuring purpose-directed phantoms not only exists in fantasy and sci-fi and magic that, in part, draws inspiration from pop culture memes, but in the reality of sorcerers and shamans the world over.  Yogi “godmen,” such as the late Sai Baba (1926-2011), for example, have been reported to miraculously materialize objects (although episodes are often revealed to be hoaxes). I was once close to a very pious elderly Hindu lady who, although a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna (1833-1886), found herself miraculously covered in rose petals at the conclusion of a group devotional to Sai Baba that she attended at her daughter’s home. She was the only participant at the event who was showered in rose petals but did not come away with a one because, according to her, every scrap was scarfed up by devotees who felt entitled to hoard the miraculously manifesting flotsam.

Probably most noted in discussion about thought-forms are Tibetan yogis, lamas, and shamans for which the phantom or materialization is sometimes referred to as a tulpa. It is an extension of the sorcerer/shamans consciousness. Virtually no discussion about tulpas in Western pop lit on the subject goes without mention of the 19th-20th century explorer and esotericist Alexandra David-Neel (1868-1969), who spent several years roaming Nepal and Tibet as a “lady lama.”  In her memoirs, David-Neel occasionally relates anecdotes about sorcerer-lamas who communicate with each other over long distances by dispatching fancifully shaped phantoms to deliver news or else simply surround themselves with servant-like creatures almost reminiscent of the genetic designer in Blade Runner, F. Sebastian, who created comical little beings to keep himself company. David-Neel also frequently reports episodes in which lamas  miraculously make things appear out of thin air (which also was a popular topic of doctrinaire discussion when Soror ZSD23 was involved with a Nygmapa [Dzogchen] Buddhist sangha about 10 years ago).

 David-Neel warns that, sometimes tulpas can turn rogue—completely independent of their creators—and go off to run amok. She relates an anecdote in Magic and Mystery in Tibet, in which she, as an experiment, created a tulpa—a “Friar Tuck-like” fellow who began to be sighted within her traveling party. Over time, though, his appearance began to change, becoming sinister-looking, according to David-Neel, and it took some effort to dissolve the thing.

I haven’t come across any anecdotes of servitors in material form among Chaos or other modern/post-modern magicians—and, in fact, a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner mentioned to me that you don’t hear much about tulpas ala David-Neel’s take on them because it does not capture the true idea of a tulpa and what is really going on.  Nevertheless, some servitors are legendary, such as the time-warping entity Fotamecus ( or the "Red Queen" Ellis, the use of both of which went viral until Fotamecus and the linking sigil Ellis, like Pinocchio, seemed to become conscious and independently operating forces. A current project in the occult community is the egregore-like manifestation of Atem, “a self-created entity that human minds participate in” for the purpose of being empowered to create more mimetic entities—new godforms to interact with in a new paradigm. (see Philip H. Farber, Meta-Magick the Book of Atem. San Francisco: Weiser Books. 2008).

I have attempted servitor creation with mixed results. The very first one she ever created took the form of a lion and was meant to be a type of protection. It came through for her at party in which a young woman was treating her in an amazingly rude fashion presumably because she wanted the attention of my companion. The girl ultimately put me in danger of physical injury and so, the otherwise long-suffering, patient, and polite me unleashed her lion servitor, which took a bite out of the nasty girl’s ass.I then watched the girl’s expression drop. Her face turned away from where she stood before my companion. The girl and her entourage abruptly walked to the other side of the room, after which the girl kept great distance from me whenever we happened to be in the same environs.

Excerpt from Chapter X A Very Reluctant God -- La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi

Leo spent a great deal of time in his uppermost studio—the turret of his tower. He needed the quiet. He needed the sublime and took solace in gazing into the shallow, round, crystal-lined tank that he had installed up there.

Sometimes the water within it was clear and still. Sometimes it was rippled by the wind and marred by leaves, drowned insects, pollen, and dander. Sometimes raindrops plunked into the tank to make designs before merging with its contents.

Whatever the condition, the tank was a source of fascination and mental calm for Leo. It helped him know his mind, the contents of his mind, and the difference between the two. Magical prowess depended on acuity of mind. It depended on thriftiness of thought, unambiguousness of motive, and unwavering momentum.

It was this presence of mind that made Leo a master of materializations. Unless he specifically willed it, his thought-forms were not affected by instability or decay. They were not flimsy or slight. There were creations like those of an artist—or like those of a god.

But the person who could create things of substance on a whim and with ease was tasked with maintaining sobriety, self-restraint, and self-censorship. For this reason, Leo was a subdued person, although his subtlety went unnoticed and unappreciated, as already mentioned.

As he matured, however, he increasingly wasted his gift on small entertainments and the manufacture of collectibles coveted by Outer Plane folks. Whether because he enjoyed the extra income or taking advantage of Commons and their vulgarities, his manufacture of objects precious to them had become a robust hobby over the years.

Was that newly discovered van Gogh by van Gogh or Leo de Lux? A slew of Tiffany lamps, Venetian glass and Goebel Hummels, Mesopotamian seals and Mayan gold, Black Madonnas from Romanian grottoes, excavated Buddha icons from jungle ruins—even dinosaur bones.

When Commons marveled at such objects and muttered that they were “out of this world,” they might have been right. Unlike replicas and forgeries crafted by Commons, the true origins of things materialized by Inner Plane peoples and planted in the Outer Plane were somewhat untraceable. Hence, stories (woven with fascination charms) given about their history were unopposed.

True masters of this art, like de Lux, engaged in high-end antiquing and lucrative museum acquisitions. Amateurs and mischievous dabbling young adepts deposited supernatural creatures and phenomena in the midst of Commons: sea monsters in lakes, neo-cavemen in snows, and little green men that went bump in the night, not to mention mermaids and unicorns, and various other apparitions. Unlike entrepreneurial schemes, mischievous materializationalism in the Outer Plane was outlawed but hard to enforce.

It, like Phaeton maneuver offenses, fell into de Lux’s jurisdiction. This meant that Leo had to engage in public lectures and news briefings in which he spoke on the danger of introducing inexplicable phenomena into the world of Commons. It confused and perverted their cultural and spiritual beliefs, he contended.

“Such sadistic practices result in long lapses of instability, conflict, hardship, and intellectual decline among these lower peoples. We are tasked as a more evolved race to treat these peoples with tenderness rather than disdain, for their plane is valuable to us and the eventual home of Outer Plane denizens is with us,” Leo would say. Meanwhile, placard-carrying college students and Expansionist Party sympathizers would protest outside wherever he was presenting. They continually accused him of hypocrisy and double-dealing and also demanded an end to the entrepreneurial oppression of Commons.

This was Leo’s lot as a resident and magistrate of the North Atlantic Sovereignty, Terra Novit, Inner Plane Regions. It was wearing on him.

In addition to his job, another heavy burden was parceled with his gift. It was another element that demanded flawless control. Being an entity who could create anything, Leo had the power to destroy anything as well—not merely his or another’s thought-form, but all forms, any entity, all of which were essentially some expression of thought.

La Maga, the first book in the Sorcerers and Magi series
The third book in the series:  Chaos Magic
meets Jesus Christ Superstar


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And just for fun: A clip of the Fantasia Sorcerers Apprentice.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Pyr Sacra Empowerment, Holy Fire, and Kundalini-Shaktipat Experience

In the Sorcerer’s and Magi mystical fantasy fiction series, the Pyr Sacra is an important empowerment that is transferred between high-ranking sorcerers and magi and their would-be apprentices. The Pyr Sacra, which is garbled Latin for “Holy Fire,” is depicted as a profound transformation of consciousness that results in a certain level of “enlightenment.”

Energy of the Depths  16 x 32 inch digital
image by Dee Rapposelli
Many people in the West now look to Eastern paradigms and jargon to explain enlightenment experiences and dabble in practices to achieve these experiences. The terms shaktipat and Kundalini are bandied about. People receive shaktipat—a transformational empowerment—from spiritual adepts—and engage in yogic practices to “awaken” Kundalini.  These esoteric Eastern ideas filtered into Western consciousness during the New Thought movement and occult revival that occurred at the turn of the 20th century. They especially gained notoriety during the 60s counterculture era.  Now, the web and bookshelves are overflowing with rhetoric about them. As it happens, Soror ZSD23 herself spent several years—more than a decade, in fact—engaged in study of literature (scriptural, academic, and “pop”) and yogic practice related to the Kundalini phenomenon.

In her view, shaktipat and the so-called Kundalini experience is a sudden reformatting of consciousness; indeed, a reformatting of neurochemical pathways that, ideally, undo the conditioned robot that you became shortly after you popped out of your mother’s uterus. The experience is described in this way in the Kashmir Shaivite classic the Spanda Karikas:

He sees the totality of objects appearing and disappearing in the ether of his consciousness like a series of reflections in a mirror. Instantly, all of his thought-constructs are split asunder by the recognition, after a thousand lives, of his true, essential nature, surpassing common experience and full of unprecedented bliss. He is struck with awe, with mouth agape. As he experiences vast expansion, his proper, essential nature suddenly manifests.
            --translation adapted from Jaideva Singh. Spanda-Karikas The Divine Pulsation. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 1980. 

It is a profound paradigm shift that can be caused, not only as a result of dogged spiritual practice but a wide variety of means, including person-to-person transmission.  Variants of shaktipat/Kundalini awakening exist in many other esoteric cultures and are explained using different names and descriptors. In classical Greek mysticism, it may have been referred to as the speirema (“serpent power,” which is what Kundalini [literally, “she who is coiled”] is said to mean). In medieval Western Hermetic esotericism, it was dubbed Holy Fire. In more pedestrian ecstatic forms of Christianity, it called the Holy Spirit. And these examples are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

In the extreme, the shaktipat/Holy Fire experience is a full-blown transformation. Otherwise, many people involved in spiritual practices experience self-limited enlightenment experiences. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I will quote myself from an article published in the January 2001 issue of Yoga International magazine:

In the kundalini-rising episode, the pathways become clear; a subjective sensation of heat and energy ascending through the body often occurs and culminates in an exalted meditative experience. It is typically self-limited—the energy seems to filter back down and you go back to ordinary life.  After each episode, however, you may be left with the impression that a change has taken place or some insight or initiation has spontaneously arisen. More interesting, the quality of life and encounters in the days, weeks, and even months following more intensive episodes may be marked by a peculiar graciousness. This suggests that the kundalini-rising experience itself, though coveted, is not the end-goal of the process but its epiphenomenon. It is the effect of a quantum leap in mind and body that can occur again and again and evolve in quality.
            --Excerpt  from Kundalini Rising by Dee Rapposelli. Yoga International. January 2001:70-75.

What might a shaktipat-Holy Fire experience feel like?  In Chapter VI of La Maga A Story About Sorcerers and Magi, Leonard de Lux Junior  has the life-changing experience:

Excerpt from Chapter VI The Pyr Sacra Empowerment

He was pretty sure that Professor La Maga had forgotten about him. He was poised to conclude that she was jerking him off with her glamour—the girly cuteness, the familiarity, the sappy, stumbling false vulnerability. It was a complex ruse to undo Leonard and his father. Leonard had fallen into the trap. Stupidity.

He was in the kind of mood in which a person questions why he was born and whether staying alive was worth it. He pricked his finger on a splinter of wood gouged from the floor. He wanted to feel the sting and watch a bead of blood well up.

A black hole, a dark night. Leonard felt a tingly sensation fizzle over the left side of his body that became especially strong when it reached his cheek and then his ear. A heat, as if he had taken a shot of hard liquor and ignited his insides swelled in his stomach and leeched up.
This heat and a tingling pressure pent up at his neck. It forced Leonard’s spine to elongate as if he were a marionette tugged on a string. As the sensation burst into his head, he was enveloped in a scintillating flood of light, fluttering, and profound depth. Thunder roared inside his ears like the sound of a furious tide. His heart beat hard, and his breath rhythmically billowed in a way beyond conscious control.

Arrested in terror and elation, his eyes fluttered and teared to the vision of vast light and stroboscopic effects. He uttered an amazed sound as if gazing upon something magnificent—an entity of breathtaking beauty and hospitality, a communication of utter reassurance. He could neither see nor hear it, but he witnessed it nonetheless.

Everything about his life and circumstances—and everything about everyone else’s life—suddenly seemed incidental and pathetic. Reality, on the other hand, seemed to be pure happiness, and it was in his grip.

The seizure subsided. The thunder resolved into sheer calm and the strobing into radiance. The episode was probably much briefer than it seemed. It left Leonard refreshed and full of breath like he might have been at the moment he was born.

The room seemed illuminated. Leonard himself seemed illuminated. He could only laugh however disoriented, because it was as if he didn’t know himself. He pressed his thumbnails into his fingertips and examined his hands. They seemed to be glowing. He had to find a mirror and look into it. He hardly recognized himself.

His eyes ran with tears. Tears of laughter, tears of awe. It seemed all the same, and then of gratitude when he pulled together enough to realize what had happened.

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