Archive for the ‘nick farrell’ Tag

Is ‘Public Occultism’ Fading Out?   35 comments

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:. – Acts 2:17

 

Nick Farrell has done it again.  Love him or hate him, you have to admit he knows how to stir things up from time to time.  ;)  This time, it was with a blog post declaring the death of “public occultism.”  If I were to summarize his position, I would say he feels occult students have become millennial wannabes who believe magickal knowledge should simply be on tap.  You just turn on your computer, press a few buttons, and one of the various modern occult leaders will simply deliver their wisdom to your front door in a nice box with a smile printed on it.  You shouldn’t be expected to actually have to study, to practice or (Gods forbid!) actually get up and DO anything.  Nick tells us of one student who canceled their own initiation ceremony because they had to go pick up a new fridge.  He discusses how few people make it through the first lessons of his correspondence course – apparently because there is practical work (beginner stuff like sitting in meditation for half an hour each day) and the students just can’t hack it.

You can bet there have been reactions to Nick’s post from every point of the spectrum.  Some wholeheartedly agree that modern occult students have simply lost the path.  Others suggest there are issues, but that Nick is probably making more out of them than is necessary.  And yet others are downright angry at his implications – possibly because he hit a little too close to home for their comfort?  I don’t know…

I find myself somewhere in the middle.  On the one hand, I’ve actually seen much of this before.  I remember, during the 1990s, it really felt as if the above-quoted Biblical passage had come to pass.  Magick was no longer some dark and dirty underground secret – a taboo hobby which could cost you your job, your home, and your family.  No, magick was back!  Magick was mainstream!  “The Goddess is alive, and magick is afoot!” – so proclaimed T-shirts and bumper stickers.  You couldn’t throw a stick without striking an occultist or someone who personally knew one.  Covens and orders were proliferating.  That stupid movie The Craft happened, I guess.  (It wasn’t all bad.)  For a while there, magick and paganism had become an outright fad – and it wasn’t the first time.

In the history books, we see that occultism enjoyed a boom in popularity in Europe during the late 1800s and into the early 1900s.  However, two World Wars put an end to that.  It revived again in the 1970s and grew quite popular by the 1990s, and then the world went to hell and people found other things to talk about.  Then along came Harry Potter and Hurricane Katrina, and suddenly there was a fad for ATRs (African Traditional Religions) and old-school witchcraft and wizardry (like Goetia).  That latter fad, in fact, is still underway.

The point is that occultism, in one form or another, seems to swing in and out of popularity all the time.  The muggles find the subject either fascinating or terrifying (often both), and it makes great soil in which to plant your fantasy fiction.  Ever played Dungeons and Dragons?  Were/are you into comics?  Star Wars?  How about the works of Piers Anthony?  Or Terry Pratchett?  Lord of the Rings or (of course) the Boy Who Lived himself?  All of these and much more are examples of some point in history where magick grabbed a hold of the public fancy and thus enjoyed a bit of a golden age – just as it did in the late 1900s, and during the late 1800s, and during the 1600-1700s, and during the Renaissance before that.

So the “death of public occultism” is nothing new and shouldn’t really raise any alarms.  In fact, I dare say it is part of the natural order of things.  A fad comes along, during which large numbers of people enjoy exploring the occult sciences.  Then, as expected, the largest number of them move on to the next shiny thing and occultism is left with the very few who were truly called to the Path and have something to offer.  Those few then become the teachers of the next crop of aspirants – once the next Tolkien or Rowling comes along to get everyone excited again.

Some have suggested that it is not magick that is fading away, so much as popular interest in Golden Dawn-style ceremonial.  And that is true to a large extent. “Western Mystery” (read Ceremonial Magick) conferences hardly ever happen these days, and if they do they are small and informal.  (You may remember the SOMA conference in Texas that didn’t happen.)  My current Ceremonial Magick 101 class does not have a single ceremonial magician in it.  (Though that may be more due to the local market being tapped out – we’ve been holding the class in the same place for a few years now.)

But it’s not just the CM community that seems to be in a slump.  Attendance at Pagan Festivals has been down over the last couple of years.  And the class I hosted only a week ago on the subject of working with ancestors (using a boveda, something we learned from our ATR experiences) had a truly dismal turn-out.  Yet the same venue has no problem filling seats for New Age classes.  In fact, my wife and I have both noticed that the shop itself has, over the years, progressed from being an occult shop where Pagans hang out to a semi-Pagan/New Age shop where New Agers hang out.  And this has been in reaction to the market, not a decision made by the owner.  You see, the biggest and fastest-growing occult fads out there today are the New Age (yes, still) and Chaos Magick – both systems of E-Z Occultism that encourage you to just make it up as you go along.  No study.  No work.  No effort.  Just play.

These are the trends that I personally find worrisome.  It all seems to come down to the millennial mindset of on-tap information and instant-gratification.  The belief that anything worth having isn’t worth working or searching for.  And, my all-time favorite, the ridiculous jackassery that leads students to honestly believe they are there to teach the teacher rather than the other way around!  (At that link, the blogger states:  “A core tenet of the WMT is reincarnation therefore there may be some younger people who remember way more than their older counterparts.”  I assume he wrote that with a straight face, but I don’t see how.)  Many teachers are finding it necessary to either stop offering classes, or are dumbing them down and converting them to New Age nonsense in order to sell seats.

The fact is that occult information has become too easy to find.  Worse than that, occult leaders are too easy to contact.  There was a day – even as recently as my younger years – where an aspirant had to seek and quest for many years to find the occult.  The only popular literature out there was a Time-Life series called “Mysteries of the Unexplained” (hey look! you can still buy it!) – anything else had to be sought out one painstaking bit at a time.  And that was just the books!  The possibility of actually meeting or even conversing with one of the leaders of the occult underground was the stuff of fantasy.  And when you did meet one of them, you respected them.  You feared to annoy them with your puny little questions, and you took their answers seriously.

I can understand why students don’t want teachers who walk around like Ascended Masters and talk down to everyone around them.  That’s an extreme.  But the other extreme is to have easy access to nearly any occult leader you could want, where you can just drop them an instant message and have your questions instantly answered. No need to seek for the answer, or even just look it up in a book already on your shelf.  Hell, don’t even bother with Google!  Why should you when the current teachers are right there on demand?

In the early days of the Information Age, we teachers tried to step up and help everyone we could.  We had gone it alone, and we knew how that sucked.  We were in awe of the technology that allowed us to communicate with students like we had never done before, and we used that to help as many seekers as we could.  But what you, dear reader, likely don’t grasp is that this state of affairs just kept growing.  In the beginning, I helped every single person that wrote to me – both laypersons who needed magickal help and seekers asking for guidance.  I even guided a couple of people through their own attempts at the Abramelin Rite.  (And, O’boy, was that a bad idea!)  But, very quickly, I found myself overwhelmed.  Between email, internet forums, and social media sites like Facebook, I was receiving more requests than I could possibly answer.

Not only that, but I also discovered 99% of the people I was trying to help valued my teachings exactly as much as they had paid for them (in dollars or personal effort):  zero.  I was wasting my time and theirs.  In the end, I had to put up a price-wall to reduce the number of requests for help, and (for various reasons) I have completely ceased privately teaching magick to anyone online.  (And by the latter I don’t just mean that I don’t take online students – I’m talking about people who constantly write me with question after question, apparently hoping they can learn magick from me via attrition.)

None of this would be such a problem if occult leaders weren’t so easily accessible.  I believe that we have freely given of ourselves so much that we have inadvertently devalued both our art and our experience.  We have saturated our own markets with free goods (that being ourselves).

I think it is time for the serious occult teachers to consider reducing their availability.  I’m not suggesting we should disappear from the Internet entirely.  But we need to pull back.  We can write books, articles and blogs and even interact in online groups.  We can still give interviews and appear on podcasts.  We don’t have to vanish into obscurity.  But we seriously need to pull back a little, and stop trying to be occult white knights riding to everyone’s rescue.  Students should learn every scrap of magick they can from the written materials before they come to us.  Then they should feel fortunate when they can get a private word or two with us – because that is what makes them value what we have to say.

“Public” occultism is on the way out (at least until it rises again).  So we won’t have the luxury of hosting standing-room only lectures and conferences the way we could just a few years ago.  We aren’t going to get rich.  (Not that we ever were…)  And we will be dealing with smaller numbers of students – but with any luck that will also mean we will be getting higher quality students.

Let the tourists go find the next shiny thing.

Posted October 10, 2015 by kheph777 in history, social commentary

Tagged with ,

Respecting the Regardie Lineage   15 comments

Greetings fellow ‘Dawners!  It is time for a brand new rant!

Israel Regardie

Israel Regardie

Regardie-bashing has become a fad, and I’ve had quite enough of it.

This is a problem I have seen growing for a long time now.  But before I get into that, let me give some background:

The modern Golden Dawn movement got its start when Chic Cicero founded the new Isis-Urania Temple in the late 1970s.  Before long, he established contact with the man who – at the time – was believed to be the last living adept of the old Order: Dr. Israel Regardie.  Chic was building a new Vault of the Adepti, and he wanted Regardie to come by and inspect it for him.  In the end, Regardie not only inspected it, but also performed the Consecration of the Vault and the first initiations within it.  With that, the modern Golden Dawn was born, with initiatory lineage through Regardie back to the old order.  Chic dubbed his new order the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and it stands today as the oldest, largest and most successful G.D. organization in history.  (It has far out-stripped the original order, which only existed between 1888 and 1903.  And will soon be older than the post-schism orders of Stella Maturina and Alpha et Omega – both of which had all but vanished by the Second World War.  There was also a third order that descended from the Stella Matutina and lasted much longer – but we’ll get to them later.)

HOGD Vault of the Adepti

HOGD Vault of the Adepti

However, keep in mind that Chic was/is an American occultist.  He wasn’t too interested in being a guru, handing down dogmatic mysteries to be consumed by an adoring and unthinking cult.  He wasn’t out to impress you with the deep mysteries he knows but refuses to share with you (due to “oaths”).  Instead, he wanted his order to grow and thrive and for the Western Mysteries to be available to anyone who takes interest in them.  To that end, he and his wife Sandra Tabatha Cicero (who would quickly become one of the Order’s three chiefs) have produced an impressive library of books about the Golden Dawn and Hermeticism.

Now over 30 years have passed, and the result of the Ciceros’ dedication and hard work are plain for all to see.  Beyond the many existing HOGD Temples around the world, there are now dozens of different G.D.-based orders or independent Temples out there.  Most of them have some connection to the Ciceros’ group – many were founded by former HOGD adepts, and/or are using the Golden Dawn name and system under our trademark.  (This is freely-given legal protection, so others can run their Temples without fear of lawsuits from those who would “own” the Golden Dawn for themselves.)  All of them have their own unique “take” on or approach to the system, but there is no Golden Dawn group in existence who has not benefited from the vast corpus of written material published by the Ciceros.

Chic Cicero and Israel Regardie

Chic Cicero and Israel Regardie

Tabatha Cicero and Israel Regardie

Tabatha Cicero and Israel Regardie (dirty old man!)

But this was supposed to be about Regardie, right?  It is true that none of us would be here talking about the Golden Dawn today if it were not for Chic and Tabatha Cicero.  Yet, if you ask them who they have to thank, you can bet the answer will be Israel Regardie.  Having initiated into the Stella Matutina branch of the order just before the War, he bore witness to its decline and eventual fall.  He knew that something drastic must be done to save the material from vanishing into obscure history – finally deciding to publish as much of the Order’s papers as he could gather.  The few members who were still hanging on were polarized by this action:  some of them were affronted that Regardie would break his oaths of secrecy and “profane” the Order’s secrets.  Others were actually happy to have a printed version of the Grade Lectures and other material that, previously, had to be copied by hand.  (To get a feel for this last point, just grab your copy of Regardie’s The Golden Dawn – yes, I know you have one – and imagine sitting down to hand copy the whole thing.)

Regardie’s book had a massive impact on the modern Western occult revival.  Long before Chic Cicero came along, the book was being mined by Neopagans, Thelemites and just about every Western occult or mystical group you could name.  (Margot Adler mentions this in Drawing Down the Moon.)  And, it was that very book that inspired Chic Cicero to build his own Temple.  Regardie came to see that Temple (and its newly-constructed Vault) and ended up giving legitimacy to what might have been little more than a camp of Thelemites and strippers in Georgia.  Regardie became the initiatory link between the new Order and the old.

Give all of the above, it might seem strange that anyone involved in anything Golden Dawn would feel it necessary to bash Regardie – and by extension to insult my entire Order and lineage.  Yet, it is happening, and I suspect it is mostly because the HOGD is so large and successful.  Given its authoritative position in the greater G.D. Community, it is sadly human nature to want to “take it down a peg.”  Some take the route of attacking Chic and Tabatha directly – though that’s a slippery slope because they are: a) beloved by nearly everyone and b) still alive.  Regardie, meanwhile, is just some old guy who died before many of you were born (or, in my case, when I was just a little kid).  He’s an easy target.  Thus, we hear much about what an awful oath-breaker he was, or how he didn’t really hold the Grade we thought, or how he had no institutional authority to found a new Order, or that he never participated in any rituals, or that he was once a jerk to some of his Temple chiefs, etc, etc.  Why I’ve even been told, point blank, that Regardie had no lineage to give!

And this is what I’ve been watching over the past few years.  Specifically, it seems to be the popular thing now to be a Golden Dawner but to eschew Regardie entirely.  He got it all wrong, they say.  We have the real mysteries, they claim.  They refer with disdain to the “Regardie upstart orders” and pretend that they represent the “real” Golden Dawn while the rest of us are merely children at play.  It is insulting – not just to Regardie, but to the Ciceros and to my Order.

One of my largest areas of concern lies with another Golden Dawn group – that third off-shoot Order I mentioned but failed to name above.  However, before I do I want to make something very clear:  I’m about to start talking about some good people, and I don’t want to give the slightest impression that I have a problem with any of them or all of them collectively.  For the rest of what you are going to read, please understand my tone is that of a brother bitching about his brothers – there’s nothing but love beneath it, and if you have anything bad to say about them we can step outside.  ;)  So, on with it:

The group in question is generally known by the name Whare Ra – though that was the name of the building housing their Mother Temple, while the temple’s official name was Smaragdum Thallasses (Emerald of the Sea).  This was chartered in New Zealand as Temple #49 of the Stella Matutina, and (after the collapse of the rest of the SM) became the Order’s Mother Temple.  Of the original Golden Dawn Orders (G.D., Stella Matutina, Alpha et Omega and Whare Ra), it can be said without question that Whare Ra was the most successful.  Unlike its sister temples it did not close during WWII (thanks to being tucked safely away in New Zealand), and in fact continued to operate until the late 1970s.  (Chic was building his Temple in America just as Whare Ra was closing its doors.)  Their only failing – and they likely didn’t see it as such – was that they never opened further Temples and eventually stagnated before closing.

Ware Ra Vault of the Adepti

Whare Ra Vault of the Adepti

Fortunately, we know about Whare Ra today because the Order’s adepts didn’t stop being adepts merely because their Temple stopped holding meetings.  Some of the elderly adepts continued to teach and share their mysteries with others who were pursuing the Golden Dawn tradition.  You may recognize a couple of their names – like Jack Taylor and Frank Salt.  While those men have long-since passed away, their students (even if never initiated into Whare Ra itself) have propagated their teachings.  Just a few short years after the HOGD was established by Regardie (who we only thought was the last living adept!), Pat Zalewski made it publically known that the Whare Ra lineage still existed.

That’s a good thing, right?  Damn straight it is!

But this leaves us with a bit of a problem: culture clash.  The Whare Ra people are not American, and they aren’t so fast and loose with information as the Ciceros and those who follow in their footsteps.  They enjoy that old-world feel for their mysteries.  They love their secrecy, and their adept links to the past (Salt and Taylor) never went public like Regardie did.  I would say that, for the most part, the Whare Ra people – folks like Pat and Chris Zalewski and Tony Fuller – feel as if they represent the last vestiges of the old Golden Dawn in the world today.

Before I continue, let me be perfectly clear yet again:  neither the Zalewskis nor Fuller are out there bashing Regardie.  That’s part of a larger trend that I think I covered well enough in the rant above.  No, my real concern with the Whare Ra folks is that I all too often feel an “us vs. them” tone in what they say.  Though never stated outright, they can come across as if they believe they are the “real” Golden Dawn while everyone else is “just following Regardie’s books” and can therefore be dismissed.  The Whare Ra lineage doesn’t seem to have any love to lose for Regardie (it was one of them who stated Regardie had no lineage to give) and it comes through in what they say and write.

As most of you probably know, there have been a few internet trolls out there who have spent the last couple of decades trying to convince us all there are “warring factions” in the Golden Dawn.  You’ve heard of “trademark wars” that in fact never happened.  You’ve heard of decades-long flame wars, though no one can ever find the culprits.  As I have stated over and again, this is all complete bunk.  True Golden Dawn orders do not compete for members, nor do they even hold recruitment drives.  (If you ever encounter a G.D. group that advertises or pressures you to join, just walk away.)  And as for “warring factions”, the fact is that in reality the various G.D. Orders work together nicely and even do projects together.  Yeah, I know that’s pretty damned boring in comparison to the fantasy that we are all powerful wizards having battles with one another in cyberspace and on the astral plane.  Sorry…

But now I am concerned that we could be witnessing the rise of two actual factions of the Golden Dawn:  American/HOGD and European/Whare Ra.  Ideally, these would simply be two schools of the G.D. (and for now they are), but I use the word “faction” because there is a very real danger we could end up enemies.  Not that I can imagine Pat Zalewski or Tony Fuller ever declaring themselves enemies of the Cicero school, but I do fear that if the “us vs. them” tone continues, we could see hostilities develop between the two schools within a generation or two.

I don’t believe for a second that the Whare Ra lineage represents the “real” Golden Dawn at the expense of the Regardie lineage.  And, quibble all you want over whether Regardie was ZAM or ThAM, I do not buy the concept that he had no lineage to give.  (Sure he wasn’t a 7=4 when he founded the HOGD, but then Mathers and Westcott weren’t 7=4 when they founded the G.D. either.  Hell they weren’t even 5=6 – but that’s another discussion.)  Regardie, flawed as he was, is our initiatory link with the old order – he’s our prophet or patron saint, if you will – just as Frank Salt and Jack Taylor are for the Whare Ra camp.

Let’s give all of these old dudes the credit they deserve – for without them what would any of us be doing right now?  And, can we please remember to respect each other and treat one another as brothers?  Yes, that means we’ll duke it out from time to time – but let us never ever allow it to become warring factions, or have one group look down its nose at the other.

If you want to see the Facebook thread that started all of this, see Regardie’s Supposed ThAM Grade by Tony Fuller.  (It’s tone irked me, but he really does make a good historical point about one of Regardie’s papers.)  Plus, Nick Farrell has also responded to this discussion with is own thoughts about Whare Ra and the dangers of factions arising in the G.D.:  Whare Ra and the Modern Golden Dawn.

Stay strong in the LVX, brothers! 🙂

Zorge,

Aaron

RELEASED: Ritual Offerings : Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick   5 comments

Greetings fellow sorcerers!

You’ve been waiting for it… and waiting… and it’s finally here!

Nephilim Press has finally released the much-anticipated anthology:

Ritual Offerings Book Shot

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick

Ritual Offerings:

Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick.

So grab your copy now while supplies last!*

Ritual Offerings Inside-Cover

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)

Spirits are not merely an option or tool to be utilized when the magician deems it necessary. Spirits are the very heart and soul of all magick. A consecrated talisman has a spirit attached to it that contributes to the talisman’s power, the incantations we use work because the spirits heard them and acted. We are not alone when cast our spells; our patrons and familiars are always present, casting the spells with us.

Throughout history, ritual offerings have been the central pillar of all magick and religion. Very often, a magickal ritual consists of nothing more than the making of a prescribed offering to a particular spirit in a specified time and place, yet here in the West, the making of an offering has been equated with the worship of the spirit receiving it. The act of offering a spirit something as payment for services rendered has a close association with the dreaded “pact with the Devil,” by which a magician surely sells his soul to damnation, but to the rest of the world an offering is intended to feed and empower a spiritual entity, and to pay it fairly for its aid.

The art of making proper offerings to the spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings, but if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.

Strictly Limited to 900 numbered copies and filled with over 280 pages of essays and actual photos of authors’ ritual altars, Ritual Offerings unites twelve practicing occultists who share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating and important subject. Traditions from around the world such as Solomonic magick, Tibetan Buddhism, New Orleans and Hatian Voudou, Western Hermetic Theurgy and more are discussed in great detail. Regardless of your tradition, Ritual Offerings will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively and contribute to our overall success and growth as a practitioner.

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Contributors:

Aaron LeitchIntroduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism and Liber Donariorum: the Book of Offerings

Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice

Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan)Whispers from a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings from a Conjured Familiar

Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering

Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path toward the Summum Bonum

Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou

Jason MillerSevered Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism

Nick FarrellOfferings In Roman Deity Magic

Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGDOfferings in Iamblichan Theurgy

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru

Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions

(* – There are currently plans to release a paperback version of this book once the hardbound numbered copies have sold out.  Stay tuned!)

michael-offering-front

Offering Altar to St. Michael

Samael-Offering1

Offering Altar to Archangel Samael

 Click Here To Order

UPDATE: Ritual Offerings : Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick   Leave a comment

Greetings fellow sorcerers!

 

Ritual Offerings Inside-Cover

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)

 

Great news!  I have been contacted by Nephilim Press and informed that Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick has gone to the printer at last!

angry-mob

So calm down already! Sheeesh!

 

I have been told we estimate about six weeks for the book’s delivery.  This will be a limited edition (hard cover of course!), and Nephilim says we might be running a risk of selling out quickly due to the popularity of the individual contributors (see below) and the interest that customers have expressed in pre-orders.

 

Can We Pre-Order the Book??

No, I’m afraid that Nephilim Press still does not take pre-orders.  However, since you are cool enough to be a reader of this blog, you’ll have an opportunity to secure your copy before it is offered to the general public!

Just go to the Nephilim Press Homepage, and subscribe to their newsletter.  When the book becomes available, newsletter subscribers will be notified first – giving you first dibs on your copy of this groundbreaking new manual of magick.  According to Frank over at Nephilim:

“We only send out emails when new titles are available and people who get the newsletter are notified in advance of the general public so that they can be sure to get a copy before sell outs and such. Our subscriber list is 100% confidential.”

So there you have it.  In about a month and a half, if you act quickly enough, you can secure your own copy before they’re gone!

Below is some information and a few excerpts from the book’s introduction, in case you missed them in my last blog post:

 

Throughout history, ritual offerings have been the central pillar of all magick (and religion). Very often, a magickal ritual consists of nothing more than the making of a prescribed offering to a particular spirit in a specified time and place. Yet, here in the West, the making of an offering has been equated with the worship of the spirit receiving it. The act of offering a spirit something as payment for services rendered has close associations with the dreaded “pact with the Devil,” by which a magician surely sells his soul to damnation.

But, to the rest of the world an offering is intended to feed and empower a spiritual entity, and to pay it fairly for the work it does. We cannot expect the spirits to simply manifest what we desire out of thin air—it takes energy for them to accomplish your goals, and they need to get that energy from somewhere.

The art of making proper offerings to spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings for your safety.  But if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

 

In Ritual Offerings, twelve practical occultists have come together to share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating subject.  Traditions from around the world are discussed – from Solomonic magick to Tibetan Buddhism, from New Orleans Voodoo and Hatian Voudou to Western Hermetic Theurgy and more.  Regardless of your tradition, this manual will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively.

Take a look at the all-star line-up in the table of contents:

Aaron LeitchIntroduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Aaron Leitch: Liber Donariorum: the Book of Offerings

Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice

Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan)Whispers from a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings from a Conjured Familiar

Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering

Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path toward the Summum Bonum

Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou

Jason MillerSevered Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism

Nick FarrellOfferings In Roman Deity Magic

Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGDOfferings in Iamblichan Theurgy

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru

Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions

michael-offering-front

Offering Altar to St. Michael

 

Why Ritual Offerings?

Nearly every author in this book has reported that their magick was “supercharged” by the inclusion of ritual offerings in their spells. Likewise, their students have responded with similar results. Spells that used to take weeks to produce results suddenly happen overnight. Summoned spirits that used to appear weak or far away suddenly become strong and very much present.  Talismans begin to have their effect much faster. Why should this be the case?

Because spirits are important to your magick. Today it is quite common to see spirit work listed as a “type” of magick: To accomplish your goals you might choose (for example) a talisman, a spell, an incantation, or summon a spirit. However, this is not how magick was viewed in the ancient world.

Spirits were not merely an option, a tool to be utilized when the magician deemed it necessary. No, spirits were the very heart and soul of all magick. That talisman you consecrated has a spirit attached to it, who  accomplishes the intended goal. The incantation you used worked because the spirits heard it and acted upon it. You were not alone when you cast that spell; your patrons and familiars were present and casting the spell with you. And what about spirit summoning, like we see in grimoires such as the Key of Solomon or the Goetia? Those are methods of first-contact with the spirits, who will then teach the summoner how to do proper magick with things like — you guessed it — talismans, spells, and incantations.

In all of the above, spirits are the common factor. It is the shaman’s relationship with the local spirits that makes his magick work so impressively. He knows how to attract them, gains their respect, and uses ritual offerings to feed and empower them so they can protect the tribe.

Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Some still choose to view spirit-feeding as a symbolic act — a kind of earthy sympathetic magick whereby we use food to activate otherwise non-physical (spiritual) currents here on the physical plane. Others, like myself and many of the authors in this book, feel the Western gods, angels, and spirits have gone without feeding for far too long; thus, if you feed them as part of your magick, they respond in a big way. No matter how you choose to interpret it, the knowledgeable use of offerings will produce impressive results; they will “supercharge” your magick.

 

Samael-Offering1

Offering Altar to Archangel Samael

 

By the way, you can read the entire introduction in the current issue of Hermetic Tablet magazine.

 

 

Ritual Offerings : Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick   6 comments

Greetings fellow sorcerers!

 

Ritual Offerings Inside-Cover

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)

 

As many of you know, since I’ve teased it here and there over the past few months, I have been editing a new anthology for Nephilim Press entitled Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick.

Throughout history, ritual offerings have been the central pillar of all magick (and religion). Very often, a magickal ritual consists of nothing more than the making of a prescribed offering to a particular spirit in a specified time and place. Yet, here in the West, the making of an offering has been equated with the worship of the spirit receiving it. The act of offering a spirit something as payment for services rendered has close associations with the dreaded “pact with the Devil,” by which a magician surely sells his soul to damnation.

But, to the rest of the world an offering is intended to feed and empower a spiritual entity, and to pay it fairly for the work it does. We cannot expect the spirits to simply manifest what we desire out of thin air—it takes energy for them to accomplish your goals, and they need to get that energy from somewhere.

The art of making proper offerings to spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings for your safety.  But if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

 

In Ritual Offerings, twelve practical occultists have come together to share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating subject.  Traditions from around the world are discussed – from Solomonic magick to Tibetan Buddhism, from New Orleans Voodoo and Hatian Voudou to Western Hermetic Theurgy and more.  Regardless of your tradition, this manual will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively.

Take a look at the all-star line-up in the table of contents:

Aaron LeitchIntroduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Aaron Leitch: Liber Donariorum: the Book of Offerings

Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice

Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan)Whispers from a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings from a Conjured Familiar

Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering

Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path toward the Summum Bonum

Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou

Jason MillerSevered Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism

Nick FarrellOfferings In Roman Deity Magic

Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGDOfferings in Iamblichan Theurgy

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru

Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions

michael-offering-front

Offering Altar to St. Michael

 

The final edits have been submitted, and I expect the book to ship to the printer any day now.  Keep an eye on this blog as I will soon announce the release date.  :)  In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from the introduction:

Samael-Offering1

Offering Altar to Archangel Samael

Why Ritual Offerings?

Nearly every author in this book has reported that their magick was “supercharged” by the inclusion of ritual offerings in their spells. Likewise, their students have responded with similar results. Spells that used to take weeks to produce results suddenly happen overnight. Summoned spirits that used to appear weak or far away suddenly become strong and very much present.  Talismans begin to have their effect much faster. Why should this be the case?

Because spirits are important to your magick. Today it is quite common
to see spirit work listed as a “type” of magick: To accomplish your goals you might choose (for example) a talisman, a spell, an incantation, or summon a spirit. However, this is not how magick was viewed in the ancient world.

Spirits were not merely an option, a tool to be utilized when the magician deemed it necessary. No, spirits were the very heart and soul of all magick. That talisman you consecrated has a spirit attached to it, who  accomplishes the intended goal. The incantation you used worked because the spirits heard it and acted upon it. You were not alone when you cast that spell; your patrons and familiars were present and casting the spell with you. And what about spirit summoning, like we see in grimoires such as the Key of Solomon or the Goetia? Those are methods of first-contact with the spirits, who will then teach the summoner how to do proper magick with things like — you guessed it — talismans, spells, and incantations.

In all of the above, spirits are the common factor. It is the shaman’s relationship with the local spirits that makes his magick work so impressively. He knows how to attract them, gains their respect, and uses ritual offerings to feed and empower them so they can protect the tribe.

Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Some still choose to view spirit-feeding as a symbolic act — a kind of earthy sympathetic magick whereby we use food to activate otherwise non-physical (spiritual) currents here on the physical plane. Others, like myself and many of the authors in this book, feel the Western gods, angels, and spirits have gone without feeding for far too long; thus, if you feed them as part of your magick, they respond in a big way. No matter how you choose to interpret it, the knowledgeable use of offerings will produce impressive results; they will “supercharge” your magick.

 

By the way, you can read the entire introduction in the current issue of Hermetic Tablet magazine.

 

 

My Response to Overwhelming Community Support   14 comments

Greetings, brothers and sisters!

I have been pretty quiet over the past couple of days – mainly because I really just “needed a moment.”  What I’ve witnessed over the past 48 hours has utterly floored and humbled me, leaving me (perhaps for the first time ever) speechless.

Umm..... No.

Umm….. No.

But I know I gotta say something, so I’ve been trying to think of how best to share my feelings.  That’s no easy task because I’m really all over the map on this one.  Where do I even begin??

Here’s Looking At You – For Now…

Ok, first let me tell you how all of this came to be.  Last fall, I went to the eye doctor because the vision in my right eye was getting increasingly blurry.  I had to squint one eye closed to do almost anything, and I was getting headaches besides.  I already “suffer” from ocular albinism, which basically means bright light hurts my eyes, I have incredible night vision, but everything else about my vision generally sucks.  Oh, and it means I have a chance of various eye problems as I get older – such as cataracts.  Which I got, in spades.  I was told I have the eyes of a 70 year old man.  lol  Also, I was told that my right eye was already legally blind, and the left eye would follow soon enough.

When it came time to talk payment, my heart sank.  I’m not very experienced with the insurance game (in my youth, I sure as hell couldn’t afford medical) – so I was shocked to learn that my out-of-pocket expenses combined with a ridiculous deductible meant I had to raise over $5000!

And could I spread that out over a payment plan?  Of course not!  This is America, boy!  Cars and televisions come on easy payment plans.  But sick people can just suffer unless they raise the money because fuck sick people. 😦

Bunch of jerks...

Bunch of jerks…

When I told this news to my household, my friend and brother Steve Kinney said, “Screw that, we’ll crowd-source that bitch!”  And that was the last I heard of it.  The Holidays followed soon after, and all of our attention and resources had to focus on that.

Those of you who know me have seen the eye patch I’ve worn for the last several months.  Some of you actually thought I was joking around about going blind, and that the eye patch was a prank or weird fashion statement – which officially makes me the Andy Kaufman of the occult world.  lol

Yep – Seems about right…

Then, just two nights ago, Steve up and published the YouCaring website to raise the funds.  I was at work at the time I discovered it, and thought ‘Well, it’s got a month, let’s see how much it can raise.  Every little bit helps.’

What I saw from that point forward was nothing short of incredible.

The Modern Western Occult Community

You guys know the rest of the story, because you ARE the rest of the story.  I believe the first donation came in around noon the following day.  Then – ye Gods! – I think the entire global occult community responded!  I believe I now know what it’s like to “go viral” – because I was suddenly all over Facebook, Twitter, emails, phone calls, etc, etc.  Even Chic Cicero was getting calls.  Many of you, quite rightly, wanted to make sure this was not a hoax or scam before you committed yourselves.

But, once you knew it was real, you all got together and showed such incredible, mind-blowing support.  The full goal of the fund-raiser was reached in less than a day!  I have also been reading the comments you’ve posted to the YouCaring page as well as Facebook, and I have been deeply moved and humbled by the expressions of love, caring, support and well-wishes I have seen there.  I wish I could respond to each and every one of you personally, to express even a small portion of my gratitude for all you have done. 🙂

youre-awesome

All too often, you guys are going to read about how awful we occultists are.  You’ll be told we are all ego and no compassion.  You’ll hear that we would rather fight and belittle one another than give the time of day.  You’ll even see it said, emphatically, that there is something wrong with occultists that just makes us horrible people.

And every time you encounter that nonsense, I want you to come back here and read this post.  (Or, even better, read the comments made by the Supporters at the YouCaring page.)  In the past two days, I have seen every wall crumble.  Every hatchet set aside.  Every hard feeling forgotten.  And I have seen Thelemites, Golden Dawners, Pagans, Voodoo and Hoodoo practitioners, Wiccans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists and more all come together with one single proclamation:  “We take care of our own!”

Unity-Poster

And you did!  We are certainly a dysfunctional family, but when the chips are down and a member of the family is in need we come together and get shit done. 🙂

And this isn’t an isolated case!  I’ve seen you guys do this before, and I have no doubt whatsoever you’ll (we’ll) do it again when another member of our family needs emergency help.  Because, yeah, we take care of our own.

Thanks.  And Thanks.  And…  THANKS! 🙂

I can’t thank all of you enough!  This Monday I’ll be calling the eye doc to schedule my first surgery.  Within the next couple of months, I will set aside my glasses for the final time since the first grade.  That’s right – you didn’t just step in and keep me from going blind.  They’re going to aim a Buck Rogers laser at my eyeballs and damn well fix them for good.  :)  (I’ll always be an ocular albino, of course, but I’ll be able to actually see for the first time I can remember.)

Ahhhh... Memories

Ahhhh… Memories

Thank you, Steve Kinney, for taking the initiative in setting up this fundraiser.  Without you, I’d still be sitting at home wondering how in the hell I’d save the funds before my left eye finally gave out!  I honestly (honestly!) did not know how many people out there seriously appreciate my work and contributions to the Community.

Thank you Carrie Mikell, my lovely wife, who fielded all the calls and texts and emails that poured in once the fundraiser went live.  If she had a dollar for every time she had to say “Yes, this is real” we wouldn’t have needed nearly as much from the fundraiser! 😉

I also want to thank all of you who shared and tweeted my story over the internet.  Especially Nick Farrell, who took it and ran with it more than any other, both on his blog and on Facebook.  Even those of you who couldn’t contribute funds (believe me I know how it is!) still got the word out there, which was every bit as important.

Some of you even took the fundraising off the net and into your own circles and temples.  I want to thank you as individuals and as organizations.

Keep an eye on the YouCaring page, and this blog, for further updates.  I’ll post pics – especially before and after shots, and maybe a shot of me throwing my glasses in the trash.  lol

Also, remember that any donations beyond the costs of the surgery and associated expenses (like meds) will go directly to the Himalayan Cataract Project.  Steve researched them, and they are top-of-the-line where it comes to your donations actually getting to the people who need help.  So we’re going to make sure that several people get their eyesight back from this. 😉

And, have no fear, I’ll be getting to work on the next book this year.  That’s what you guys were paying for, and I have no plans to disappoint!  (Next in the queue, Abramelin!  Then maybe one final Enochian book after that.)

It’s damn hard to have faith in this world, as I’m sure you know.  But I’ll tell you one thing – I’ve got an unshakable faith in our particular corner of it.  If this is who we really are, then I’ve chosen the right life path.

In LVX

Aaron

Posted January 12, 2014 by kheph777 in social commentary

Tagged with , , ,

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

Tagged with , ,