Archive for the ‘don kraig’ Tag

My Llewellyn Blogs   5 comments

Greetings, faithful blog followers!

You’ve probably noticed that my posts to this blog have been fewer and farther between over the past year or so.  This began when Don Kraig became ill.  He was in charge of the Magick Blog on the Llewellyn website, which was suddenly in danger due to his absence.  Therefore, Llewellyn called on a group of their popular authors to help out by submitting guest-posts while he was away.

 

magick_blog_updated

I was honored to be among those asked to fill in for Don, and since that time I have submitted many posts over there that would otherwise have been posted here.  Since his passing we have all continued to submit posts when we can, to keep the blog alive.  As a consequence, I have resorted to using this blog mainly for event announcements and any essays or commentary that wouldn’t be appropriate for Llewellyn’s site.

Of course, I understand that many of you following this blog may not be following the blogs over there.  (Well, why aren’t you?! lol)  But, seriously, I’m not one to insist you keep up with two blogs (and my Facebook page, and my Solomonic Group!) just to follow my work.

Therefore, I have been considering cross-posting my Llewellyn blogs over here.  Not immediately, of course – I would only bring the older posts over here, mixing them in with the usual posts you see from me.  New posts will have to remain exclusive to Llewellyn’s website until an acceptable amount of time has passed.  But at least you folks who follow me here would finally be able to see and discuss them.

So what do you folks think?  Are all of you already reading my posts over at Llewellyn?  Or are there some of you who would like me to archive the Llewellyn posts here as well?

Posted December 1, 2014 by kheph777 in blogs

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Donald Michael Kraig Passes   4 comments

To All in the Western Mystery Tradition,

 

don1

 

A shinning star of the modern occult movement has faded away.  😦  Donald Michael Kraig not only changed my life with his book Modern Magick, he changed the face of the entire occult community.  Whether you are a Pagan, a Ceremonialist or both, whether or not you’ve read his work, you or someone you know has been affected by his work.  Most occult authors – any authors, really – only dream of having that kind of impact!

And, you know what?  The man accomplished his life’s work without ever resorting to politics or hostility.  No matter who you are or what tradition you follow, you knew Don Kraig had your back.  That’s a significant achievement for anyone in any field!

 

Donald Michael Kraig

Donald Michael Kraig
August 17, 1951 – March 17, 2014
We Love You, Don!

 

My occult career didn’t truly begin until a friend handed me a copy of ‘Modern Magick’, and I decided to follow Don’s course.  A couple of decades later, it all came full circle when Don and I both hosted workshops at the same festival.  (It was Green Song Grove, right here in Florida, in fact.)    I got to attend his workshop, and he attended mine.  🙂 🙂 🙂

 

ModernMagick

Godspeed, Frater!  You have left a legacy and achieved immortality.  Great Work!

If you are one of #DonsKids, use the hashtag!  🙂  And, please, continue to donate to the fund raiser.  Let’s make sure Holly is taken care of through this difficult time!

Posted March 18, 2014 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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Chrysi Avgi is not the “Golden Dawn”   7 comments

Greetings Seekers!

Does this really need to be said?  Sadly… yes it probably does.  <SIGH>

 

Seriously... Fuck These Guys

Seriously… Fuck These Guys

 

Frankly, I don’t think anyone who has ever heard of the Golden Dawn is going to confuse us with the Greek neo-fascists Chrysi Avgi (which translates into English as “Golden Dawn”).  But, those folks aren’t the problem.

The real problem is for those who have never heard of us before, and whose first introduction to the term “Golden Dawn” is through the popular media talking about the Greek party.  (Do a Google search on the term now, see what comes up and in what order!)  Then, if those people encounter an actual Hermetic Order of the G.D. book, website, or member they will jump to the immediate conclusion that they are seeing something fascist.

And that can bring real problems.  Previously, if your boss or landlord or (in some cases) extended family discovered that you are into some kind of mysticism called “Golden Dawn”, they would likely think you were way too into Harry Potter and move on.  Now, if those same people were to hear that you practice “Golden Dawn” they might think you’re a closet nazi – which could lead to serious problems for you.

And the real downer is that I don’t think we can do a damned thing about this.  We can make all the noise we want – but the media is not going to take the time to say “…by the way, this Greek Golden Dawn party is not the same as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” after each news story about the Greeks.  And most muggles are going to hear about those fascists long before they ever hear about us.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest we change our name.  (Don Kraig and Nick Farrell, I’m looking at you! – find links to their blogs below.)  Personally, I can’t support that course of action because:

 

Damn Skippy

Damn Skippy

 

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make some noise.  Sure, by all rights these extremist whackjobs should be beneath our notice.  But we might as well take the effort to state, in no uncertain terms, that we are not associated with these douchebags nor do we sympathize in the least with any fascist or nazi philosophies or tactics.  In any country (or online).

My Order – the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – has just released this disclaimer:

No Welcome Mat for Extremists

It has come to our attention that an extremist right-wing group in Greece has been making news lately. That in itself would not usually raise a blip on my radar screen, however this particular group calls itself “Chrysi Avgi” which unfortunately translates into English as “Golden Dawn.”  They appear to be a Greek right-wing extremist group, employing many racist, xenophobic beliefs and repugnant tactics. You can read all about them here.

There is absolutely no connection between Greece’s fascist Chrysi Avgi political group and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Greek extremist group does not in any way represent the ideals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

I would like to state categorically that the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn does not support the ideals and goals of Chrysi Avgi or any other extremist political group in any way, shape, or form. Anyone holding right-wing extremist beliefs or sympathies would be both unsuited and unwelcome in the HOGD. The HOGD has no political leanings in any form or fashion.

Normally I would not even address this topic. I’m certain that students of the Golden Dawn, the Greater Golden Dawn Community, and even casual students of alternative spiritual paths in general, already know instinctively that there is no connection between a Greek political group and any sincere Golden Dawn magical group devoted to the teachings of Westcott, Woodman, and Mathers. However, in this Internet age of abundant information combined with scant comprehension, I feel that I must act to dispel any possible confusion by the general public.

Other articles on this topic can be found here:

Donald Michael Kraig’s Blog

Nick Farrell’s Blog

Ba Iset Order Blog

-Posted by Tabatha

‘Nuff Said.

LVX

Aaron Leitch (Isis Urania)

Posted October 5, 2013 by kheph777 in golden dawn, politics, social commentary

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The ‘Golden Dawn Wars’ – Or ‘Much Ado About Nothing’   5 comments

Greetings Faithful Readers!

Nick Farrell recently posted a blog about the upcoming Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls anthology.  He called the post Flying Rolls Book Reveals Golden Dawn Community Secret.  The big secret he believes has been revealed can be summed up in this quote from the post:

Wading through [the list of contributors to the anthology] and the wide range of Golden Dawn groups that these people belong you start to realise that the level of cooperation that exists between these different orders must be considerably higher than many would have you believe.

If you’ve been around the various communities of the Western Mystery Tradition for the last 20 years, then you likely know what Nick is talking about.  I am sad to say that all too many people outside of the Golden Dawn have the impression that our Tradition is overflowing with arrogant jerks who would rather call each other names and accuse one another of outlandish crimes than concentrate on the Great Work. 

I’ve personally run into any number of dedicated occultists who proclaim they wouldn’t give a Golden Dawner the time of day.  Or even that there must be some something flawed in the G.D. system because it “keeps producing spiritually damaged people.”  Perhaps you even feel this way youself.

And that is a very sad thing – becaue the reality of the Golden Dawn is so much different than what you might have seen on the internet.  (Is that really a surprise?)  I’ve been involved in the greater Golden Dawn Community now for the better part of 20 years – and I have yet to see any of the hateful in-fighting that has been proclaimed so loudly on the ‘net.

Oh sure, there have been disagreements.  There have been expulsions.  There have been groups that split up due to irreconcilable differences.  I’ve even known individuals that flat out decide not to work with one another ever again.  All of this is expected from any movement of this size and scope.  But, what is the overall reality of the movement itself?  Is there really something “wrong” with the Golden Dawn?  Does it really produce an endless parade of overblown egos?

Not that I’ve seen in real life.  While the hate gets spewed around by a few trolls on the internet (most of them from outside the Tradition), I’ve seen the various Golden Dawn Orders and independant Temples quietly getting along, and largely ignoring what is going on in the cyber-world.  As Donald Michael Kraig recently posted on Facebook:

I’ve had the honor of knowing some of the people who have written for this [Golden Dawn Commentaries] book. It’s true. There really are no “Golden Dawn wars” today. There will always be those who try to invent them in order to develop an us-vs-them mentality—a common method used to create cults. There will also be disagreements—that’s why there are different GD groups. I take that as a sign of the vitality of the tradition and the passion of those who participate. But most real GD people I’ve met look at those trying to spark controversy and wars that don’t exist and think of what Puck said in Midsummer’s Night Dream: “What fools these mortals be.”

So Don feels the same way Nick and I feel – and we aren’t alone either.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that the true fraternity of the Golden Dawn community has been slowly seeping onto the internet.

Take, for example, the 30th Anniversary of the Consecration of the HOGD Vault of the Adepti  that took place last year.  A document was drawn up to offer congrats and thanks to Chic and Tabatha Cicero for their work and dedication to the Golden Dawn Tradition – and it was signed by dozens of folks from a host of different Orders, Temples and some unaffiliated individuals.

Later, a Facebook event was created for the same Anniversary – and what started out as dozens of well-wishers turned into hundreds as people from all walks of life added their names and thoughts to the list.  (Click on the link, and you can add yours as well!)

Most recently, the Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls anthology was announced – a book created by members and leaders of several different Golden Dawn groups, all working together to create something worthwhile for students everywhere.

And it isn’t going to stop there, either!  Even now there are projects in the works that transcend all Order affiliations and philosophical differences and illustrate that the Golden Dawn Community is working together in harmony toward the Great Work, with all of you in mind.  🙂

So the next time you run into a Golden Dawner, before you jump to any conclusions about what kind of person he or she might be, consider the old addage:  “By their fruits shall ye know them.”

Obtaining Money Through Magick   7 comments

Greetings Ye Seekers of Gold!

So my last couple of blog posts have been about magicians facing (and dealing with) various hardships that life on Earth naturally brings about.  And one of the primary examples was poverty – especially since many occultists prefer to remain relatively poor (as compared to, say, a corporate/criminal CEO), and because so many who just “don’t get it” view poverty as some kind of proof that magick isn’t worth the wood the wands are made from.

So, perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me that the discussion has turned specifically toward money magick.  Don Kraig talked about it a bit on his blog, Morgan Eckstein referred to it as well.  (See my previous post for links.)  Even Nick Farrell has weighed in – so don’t miss out on his insightful post.

Meanwhile, it was the recent contribution on Alex Sumner’s blog that has inspired me to make this post on the subject.   In Alex’s post, he relates an anecdote I have come to call the Tale of the Lottery Enthusiast – wherein he makes some vitally important points on the subject of money magick and how it really works.   I find it to be more than worth repeating here in full:

It so happened that I was having a good-natured discussion with fellow members of the Illuminati in a pub about whether it was possible to use our combined magickal skills to collectively win the Lottery. Or more to the point, the other people at the table were having a discussion, whilst I was trying to eat my dinner.

The discussion was getting quite heated between one person who insisted that we try it, and just about all the rest who were saying “No, it’s not possible,” etc. I finally finished off my food. “I have made a study of people who have cast successful money spells,” I said.

The Lottery-enthusiast was arguing so enthusiastically that it was several seconds before someone realised that I had said something interesting. “Go on, Alex! What is the result of your study?” they said.

“Well,” I said, as everyone became silent, “I’ve collected examples of people who have successfully used magic to make money. They include:

  • Professional people, getting an idea how to find themselves a new job;
  • Having been invited to interview, using magick to boost their confidence and help them say and do the right thing at the interview;
  • Businessmen seeking inspiration for how to bring new customers to their business;
  • Inventors, ‘dreaming up’ a new invention;
  • Songwriters coming up with the idea for a new hit song;
  • Novelists coming up with the plot for a new story.

“In short: none of these people invoked Money itself, they invoked a Money-making opportunity. The point being that when the said Money-making opportunity appeared seemingly miraculously in their lives, they converted it into actual money in a conventional manner, to wit: hard work. This, incidentally, is why there are so many ‘arty’ people in the Occult or people with artistic flair  – painters, writers, musicians, self-employed professionals, and so forth – because magick is all about drawing upon ones inner creativity.

“The one thing I have never heard of is people using magick to win the lottery. Therefore, if we were to use our magick skills to think up a money-making scheme, I’m certain that we would actually succeed! Whether we would be able to put the scheme into practice, however, would be another matter entirely. So my best advice would be to concentrate on the opportunity first, and forget the Lottery altogether.”

“But playing the Lottery is a money-making opportunity!” the gambling addict cried. At this point the argument erupted again. I immediately got the impression that no further good would come from trying to press my point, so I just let them get on with it.

Damn good points!  And I couldn’t help but offer the following reply:

Alex, I think anyone who ever wishes to use magick to make money should read your tale of the lottery enthusiast.  It hits the nail directly between the eyes.  🙂  Magick can certainly be used to bring in money – either by bringing about a money making opportunity (Jupiter and/or Mercury) or even by bringing in a one-time windfall of some kind (Sol).  But, either way, once it arrives it is then up to the magician to know what to DO with it.

Especially in the case of a windfall, if you don’t know how to work to make that money grow, then it will simply drain away – and fast.  Anyone in the world who has money will tell you the same.  You have to work for your money – not just to GET it, but also to KEEP it.  If you want to be rich, then managing your money will become a full time job in its own right.

This is why so many occultists who have done money magick will tell you that you usually get just what you need and then it goes away again.  It is because most of us don’t desire to do “money” as a full time job.  Instead, we tend to ask for what we need and then go on with our lives until the next need arises.

Yet, there are times when magick is used to get a better-paying job.  Or to attain money to invest in a new business, etc.  In those cases, yeah, you get money that sticks around as long as you keep doing the work to make it stay.

But to my knowledge, no one has ever achieved the creation of the magick purse that has fresh gold coins in it every day.  😉

LVX

Aaron

Posted May 30, 2013 by kheph777 in magick

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What Good is Your Magic – Clarification   22 comments

Greetings Seekers of Magick!

As I have said in previous posts, the first rule of writing is that if someone can take something you’ve written the wrong way, they will.  And the second rule is that someone will always take what you’ve written the wrong way.  😉  And, of course, that has happened in the case of my most recent blog post about magick and life’s hardships.

This time, it was no one less than Donald Michael Kraig himself!  Now, before I go on, let me stress that I consider Don to be a friend.  That is, in real life and not just someone with whom I’ve had an exchange or two over the internet.  So please, dear reader, take everything you are about to read in the spirit of one brother confronting the other.

That being said, I’m afraid Don really missed the boat on my last blog.  If you want to update your score card, you can go read his post before going on with this one.  But I’ll also sum up the issue briefly here:

My previous blog was intended to address a specifically Western (and I dare say capitalist) misconception of magick and magicians.  That is, if magick really worked (or if a particular wizard were really any good at it), then certainly one should be rich, never sick, never harmed, never psychologically off-balance, etc, etc.  He should, in effect, be immune to all the down sides of life here on Earth, able to deflect all hardships with a simple wave of his wand and a hearty wingardium leviosa!

The point of my post was to say that this isn’t how reality works.  Magick doesn’t stop bad things from happening.  Cast all the spells you want, and I promise you hardships are going to come your way.  In fact, I would go so far as to say, as one who walks the magickal path, you’re probably going to have more than your fair share of shit to deal with.

Sadly, Don seems to have taken that a step further and into a direction I never intended.  He rebuts as follows:

I have to respectfully disagree with the implication here. It may not be the intent, but the idea I get from this is that [Aaron] is saying if things are bad, tough. Just deal with it. Don’t do magick to improve your situation. Instead, do magick to mentally and emotionally deal with hardship. To me that sounds like a sort of religious approach: “We can’t help you, but if you pray to our God[s] He [they] will give you courage.”

No, no, no and emphatically no!  My post merely addressed the fact that bad things are just plain going to happen in life – and that this fact neither proves that magick is false nor that any given magician is a fraud.  Never did I say, or even imply, that one should not use magick when those hardships arise!

Quite the contrary – I stated that “magick exists because bad things happen.”  And that “when bad shit happens, you inovke the magick to get through it.”  Magick is a toolkit that mankind has developed over thousands of years, intended to help us through the hard times.  Magick can allow you to live where you might have died.  It can allow you to eat where you might have starved.  It can even allow you to achieve things in life where you might have otherwise failed or faded away into obscurity.

My stance is exactly the opposite of what Don has suggested.  Here is the response I made on his blog:

I think you misunderstood my post entirely. I was not at all suggesting that magick should be only for the spiritual, and that one should just allow bad life situations to continue. In fact, if you look at the rest of my blog, it is chock-full of uncrossings, exorcisms, cleansings, defense spells and angelic invocations all geared toward dealing with real-world practical problems.

My post was addressing a specifically Western concept that, if one were truly a powerful magician, then one should be rich, never be sick, have a perfectly balanced psychology, etc. In effect, the concept is that a true wizard should glide through the world like Dumbledore or Neo, having hacked reality and therefore risen entirely above the hardships that life can bring.

Yet in the real world, magicians are as prone to hardship as anyone else. For example, I’m a wizard – but I still got into a nasty car accident a couple of years ago. There was no “invisible wall of force” around me to repel the oncoming car so that my car remained untouched. The car was totaled, and all the legal and financial hassles and hardships that followed were the same for me as they would have been for anyone else.

*However*, I firmly believe that my practice of magick is what allowed me to walk away from that car accident relatively untouched. There is just no logical reason at all for me to have lived through it. I believe without a doubt that my Guardians intervened in that situation, and tweaked reality just enough so the oncoming car hit mine just *in front* of where I was sitting, instead of t-boning directly into me. In fact, I have reason to believe that either some kind of time-travel took place, or that I was yanked out of one reality (where I died) and into a nearby reality (where I walked away).

Magick saved my life that day in a *very* real sense. It didn’t “magickally” make the bad thing “not happen.” But, where it *really* counted, it kicked in and saw to it that I made it through in one piece. And it’s not the first or last time that has happened either.

To say that I believe practical magick just shouldn’t be done is frankly ridiculous. Yet, I feel it is equally ridiculous to suggest that magick should make one 100% impervious to any and all hardships in life. It just doesn’t work that way.

Of course you should use magick to improve your situation!  That’s what it is for.  Whether it is to rectify your soul and allow you to better serve humanity (see Peregrin Wildoak’s blog on this discussion), or to just keep the proverbial wolves away from your front door (see Morgan Eckstein’s blog), or to advance your social station in life or any combination of these things – magick should indeed be used to improve your life.

I’m a big advocate of down-to-earth practical nuts-and-bolts magick (aka witchcraft) that makes things happen!  Even my pursuit of the high magickal arts intended to elevate my soul closer to God is undertaken to obtain the spiritual authority necessary to direct the forces of nature right here in the material realm.  (That, and to give me a choice over where I go after I pass on – but that’s a concern for later.  Much later, I hope!  lol)

On the other hand, one cannot point to a wizard (or even an entire culture) and say “well they aren’t rich” or “things aren’t so great in their lives” and assume that means their magick is worthless.  Magick proliferates in situations where people need it to survive.  And the existence of poverty or other hardships in the lives of those who use or rely upon magick is no proof the magick isn’t working.  The fact that they are still alive, still eating and still making it year after year might just be evidence that their magick is working pretty damn well.

 

Posted May 29, 2013 by kheph777 in magick

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Moderner Magick   Leave a comment

October 23, 2010:

Greetings readers!

I imagine that most of you likely think of me as a Solomonic or Enochian magician.  A good number of you also seem to remember that I began my path among the ranks of the Neopagans (specifically you Pagans, Witches and Rennies out there in Denver, Colorado).

However, depending on which occult sub-culture you come from, you may be less likely to know that I am also a student of Hermeticism, the WH Qabalah, Rosicrucianism and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.  (Yes, Virginia, there are Golden Dawners who do not try to cram everything in existence onto the Tree of Life, nor interpret all magick everywhere strictly through a Golden Dawn filter.)  😉

My Hermetic path began in the same time and place as my Neopagan adventures – when a close friend handed me a copy of Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts.  I was dumbfounded by the magickal techniques outlined in the book (and who was this “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” anyway?), and immediately began to put myself slowly and whole-heartedly through the lessons.  That was the very book that launched me upon the path that led me here.

And now it is gone.  That’s right, the second edition of Modern Magick has completely sold out, and will not be re-printed!  In its place, Llewellyn is offering this:

http://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738715780

Yep, as if you hadn’t already heard, Don has released an expanded third edition of Modern Magick – now containing twelve lessons in the high magickal arts.  There is 40% more material in this edition than in the previous two, and even what was already there has been revised, updated and clarified.  (Hence the title of this blog- Moderner Magick- in case you thought that was a typo!)

Not only did the book get longer, it got bigger too.  At 8 1/2 x 11 inches, Modern Magick can now be found in any bookstore on the highest or lowest shelf (ugh!), right next to Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires!  :):)  I haven’t checked, but Modern Magick and Secrets… are the only two Llewellyn books I know of with these dimensions.  Thus, Don and I are now stuck with each other on the store bookshelf!  LOL

(That’s actually a good thing for students.  Now when you get to Don’s lesson on grimoiric magick, you can reach right over and grab Secrets… to explore the subject in greater depth.)

Talk about coming full circle for me.  Well, that and the fact that we recently attended each others workshops at the Greensong Grove Samhain Festival – the first time either of us has had the opportunity to do that.  And though this isn’t the first time I’ve met Don, it is the first time (after the workshops) that he and I got to spend any real time shooting the breeze about magick and friends and old stories about him I probably shouldn’t know.  😉

Don wrote a blog about his Greensong Grove experience – and even gives my books a plug and a thumbs-up – right here:

Back From Florida
http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2010/10/back-from-florida/

And make sure you lock away that old copy of Modern Magick, second edition.  Especially if you have one signed by the author!  It’ll be worth a pretty penny someday.  And, in the meantime, check out the latest and greatest third edition:

Modern Magick, Third Edition
http://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738715780
 LVX

Aaron