Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Jude: On my Store, Spirit Conjures, and Magick


Some months ago I made a couple of brief posts in reference to the opening of my shop--Metaphysicality Inc Store. But since then you may have noticed, there's been no further news on it. My bad. I have been so busy promoting it in other ways, that I have been negligent in mentioning it here. So I will take this opportunity to bring you up to speed, not only on my store, but also on how my journey through magick is progressing.

By the way--this is an absolute change of direction for me, as in the past, posts published here were rarely from the personal viewpoint of its respective author.

(Metaphysicality Inc's Webmaster)


So, what's going on with my store?...

Let's start at the beginning; you see, when the idea for my store was conceived, it was a place from which to sell metaphysical goods, and also a place to do my tarot readings from. However, since then the focus of my interests has changed immensely, and nowadays the bulk of focus is placed upon the spirit conjures I perform, and also upon the big picture of magick I engage in. I have yet to make my magick listings live--too busy getting all of my conjure listings up for now... all good things in their time, I guess.

The only past posts I've ever made on this blog concerning spirit keeping and spirit conjuring, were published long ago indeed, from a time before I began conjuring entities myself. I entered into magick through my experiences in spirit keeping and through the occult knowledge gained from traversing in that direction, and I kept on going, kept on learning, kept on reading what I could. I do practice what is called black magick, but do resent that the average person uses black magick to describe harmful magick, because it is not necessarily that (although it certainly may be in instances).

It is my personal opinion that no black magick should ever be done without due consideration.

Let me veer of on a tangent, to discuss black magick for a moment. The true definition of black magick, is magick that does not serve the magician's will--or should I rather say, their higher will. [By my definition, higher will is that which one by choice engages in, that serves them to grow and evolve in the ways they would like to--but this will is not decided spontaneously; it is a definitive part of an ongoing larger picture--True Will.] A secondary definition of black magick though, is engaging in magick that contravenes the free will of another. This is an interesting point to consider--as my standing in front of where you intend to walk, is me contravening your free will. So at what point does this sort of contravention automatically equate with black magick? True magick has no color, black, white, shades of grey, it's all irrelevant. However, a magician has to be certain of (and steadfast in) their underlying beliefs to ensure that there are no repercussions, to work within the range of magick that is commonly referred to as black.

A screenshot of Metaphysicality Inc Store

Anyway, back to my update. It took me the better part of three years to build my gorgeous store on Shopify.  I made some choices along the way that hindered me, and had to change direction a few times. I had it in mind that I wanted to work with other magicians in my store. But the truth is, if you are working with people online, it is a whole different ballgame than working with them in real life. It's a real tough row to hoe--I don't know how anyone does it. So now I am on my own, and am truly enjoying it... this feels right.

Spirit conjuring is something that lights me up with joy; and I can conjure beings of any sort that are summonable, and that are willing to agree to participate in agreements. I am still working on putting spirit conjure listings up... but even so any spirit or entity type one could conceive of, is available through my store (if you can't find what you're looking for, use the store's contact form, I'll point you in the right direction). I can and will summon and elicit agreements (not pacts, that's a different service) with any beings from White Arts to Black Arts, and also Immortals, including all gods and daemons, Goetics, and servitors. Not all of these service and entity conjures are listed, but all are available from the listings that are now live.

Jude on Facebook

If you are seriously interested in my services and have one or two questions, contact me and I'll respond (use my store's contact page). However, if you have many questions, I'd rather you join me on FB and post your questions there, as then I can respond in a way that others with the same questions, will see the responses provided. Furthermore, if you sign up for my mailing list, you will receive a monthly discount code. Go to my store, and the signup is in the footer at bottom right.

And on a final note... in near future I will be moving on to, well as I said, adding some magick service listings to my store, so keep your eyes open for more news and updates on that. And also, I will be breathing new life into the spirit keeping forum I set up two years ago. As soon as I had it ready to go, the platform it was set up on changed hands, and I had to move it. To move a forum you have to strip it of certain files, which means that it needs to be thoroughly checked over and new files need to be added. It will take time.

The forum will not be entirely about spirit keeping; that will be just one aspect of it. It will cover magick and related topics, spirit keeping, divination, and many other relevant metaphysical topics as well. I look forward to seeing you there as a participant.

Monday, January 8, 2018

On Crowley, and the Writing of Liber AL vel Legis

Aleister Crowley in Freemason garb; 1915
Aleister Crowley in Freemason garb; 1915

Compiled by Jude & Adam K

The great occultist Aleister Crowley (also "Uncle Al," "To Mega Therion," "The Great Beast," and "Frater Perdurabo") passed long ago - December 1st, 1947, to be exact. There's much that can be said about him, and precious little that remains unsaid. The mere mention of Crowley's name has a seriously polarizing effect, in that people love or hate him with virtually no grey area betwixt. There's little doubt amongst those even moderately well read, that during his days amongst the living he thrived upon the degree of notoriety his lifestyle and works induced.

In the earliest days of the 20th century Crowley received by some sort of divine transmission, a text that would go on to provide the foundational material for the branch of philosophy he later founded--Thelema. But who was Aleister Crowley anyway? As a matter of fact, there's a synoptic overview addressing that in a previous article. Today's post illustrates what happened during a time when two newlyweds--Crowley and his wife Rose, were honeymooning in Cairo, Egypt.

Crowley and his family
Crowley, Rose, and their daughter Lola Zaza, 1910

The Great Beast, it was a title that Crowley well enjoyed. "Prince Chioa Khan" was yet another way to say it--this time in Hebrew, and during his time in Egypt it was how he introduced himself. And imagine if you will--he wore garb that was eastern and regal in style, wore bejeweled accessories, and even donned a turban. The couple did touristy newlywed things, including browsing museums and playing golf. Later on into their journey, they retired to their honeymoon apartment suite.

On March 16th, 1904, at the Great Pyramid of Giza, Crowley decided to please Rose by performing a ritual from the Goetia--to "shew the sylphs." And though Rose did not see any sylphs, she slipped into an altered state. It was thereafter she informed A.C. that the god Horus* wished to connect with him, and that "they are waiting for you!". Other things she conveyed were "it's all about the child," and "all  Osiris"; and furthermore, that Crowley had offended Horus (which was later deemed to be due to that he was not initially invoked).

Crowley was resistant to the possibility that Rose's message was authentic, thus he posed her with a set of questions. See here under the heading "Summons." Rose had done no previous studies that would allow her to know or to guess responses to the questions; thus that her responses were all correct is remarkable. And still Crowley was not satisfied. Next Rose was taken to the Bulaq Museum and was asked to point out an illustration of Horus. She did, but in no superficial way... it wasn't one of the most easily recognizable depictions she referred to, but instead was an ancient funerary stele--a 26th dynasty piece (to Thelemites, now referred to as the Stele of Revealing). The stele depicted Horus, but in the form of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, being offered a sacrifice by Ankh-af-na-khonsu. In such a form the god is "Horus of the two horizons." The stele had been inventoried by the museum, with of all numbers, 666; which surely upon discovery had Crowley proudly beaming.

The Stele of Revealing
The Stele of Revealing

As a sidenote, I wish to publish a quote from Wikipedia:
"In Thelema, The Book of the Law (I, 36) says:

'My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it.'

Based on this, Aleister Crowley used the "magical" name "Ankh-f-n-khonsu" (from the "Stele 666" translation prepared in 1904 for Crowley by Egyptologist Émile Brugsch) to sign "The Comment" of The Book of the Law, and also used it sometimes when referring to himself as the prophet of Thelema and the Aeon of Horus. Kenneth Grant wrote that 'Crowley claimed to have been a re-embodiment of the magical current represented by the priesthood to which Ankh-af-na-Khonsu belonged.'"

The point of sharing the above quote, is to demonstrate but one example of how astute and observant Crowley's mind was, and how interconnected, logical and ordered, so many of the concepts presented by Thelema are. I mean, here is the priest from within the Stele of Revealing image, who is furthermore Crowley's scribe and alter ego, and is additionally an energy stream that enabled Crowley to connect with Aiwass, Nuit, Hadit, and Heru-ra-ha, for the purpose of transcribing perhaps the most important document Crowley ever wrote.

But back to the story... Rose at some point conveyed that it was an entity named Aiwass that spoke to her. And on April 7th she was given directions on how Crowley was to receive a message. It was to be three days of writing within "the temple," which was in fact a room within their honeymoon abode. A.C. was to note what was heard within a period of one hour, beginning each day at noon. As well there was a specific invocation ritual he was to perform. A.C. was not impressed by the nature of the rite, as it was not in line with what he knew of magick; but even so he followed it precisely.

The invocation ritual that Crowley held so little faith in, failed upon the first attempt, which was in daylight and around noon. A second attempt was made at midnight, and it was successful. Thus a connection was established with Aiwass, whereby Crowley was informed that he was to be the prophet that would bring awareness to man upon entering a new astrological age, which was the Aeon of Horus.

Crowley did not see Aiwass, but he described an impression of a fine and diaphanous being; he was fit and strong, was in his thirties, and had a brutal but kingly face. He had eyes veiled so that their glance did not destroy what they saw. And the voice, that came from behind A.C.'s left  shoulder, was accentless, passionate and deep, hurried yet sincere, and with a voluptuous and musical quality. The entity was dark, and his clothing was suggestive of him being perhaps Persian or Assyrian. Crowley experienced his messenger as an entity, and believed it possible that the being could have been an aspect of his higher self. But he felt that Aiwass would've had to have been a deity as well, given the epic proportions, complexity, and supernatural nature of the message delivered.

And thus the transmission that in time would become "Liber AL vel Legis," or "The Book of the Law," was transcribed from the 8th-10th of April.

In the early days of describing of how Liber AL vel Legis came into being, Crowley is quoted as having said, it is "a highly interesting example of genuine automatic writing." However, thereafter he outrightly denied that the text content was delivered through automatic writing, and disclosed that in fact at times it was required that certain questions be asked, for clarity and understanding. Furthermore, he pointed out that as an entity conveyed the message and that he was not in an altered state of consciousness, it could not have been automatic writing.

Beyond the precise description of how the content was delivered though, anyone reading the resulting book could clearly see that it's far too complex and riddlesome to be a forgery, and that this complex work was written within such a short timeframe. Over time there were various changes made to the text, and some were made long after its transmission. Crowley claimed that the reason for this was that certain changes simply could not be implemented at earlier times, in instances because the necessary technology was not available.

Once the message had been fully transcribed, Crowley did not initially resonate with it. It stood far from cooperating with his Buddhist and Osirian beliefs. Also, he was raised during the Victorian age in England--a setting wherein women were certainly not treated as equals (and that was to change). It's easy to imagine the hard time he had dealing with the gravity of it all. However, within the next years he came to regard the information as the gift to man and the responsibility to himself, that it indeed was.

In 1906 Crowley returned to England, re-met with his friend George Cecil Jones, and due to their combined efforts the A∴A∴ (Astrum Argenteum) was born. It became the foundation to Crowley delivering his spin on magick, as well as his Thelema, to the world. The first publication of The Book of the Law was in 1909. The following year Crowley joined the OTO in Germany, which was a branch of the Freemasons. He in time took over the helm, broke away from Freemasonry, and had them embrace his Thelema. It was not all fun and games; his taking over the reins of the OTO was not supported by all, and it caused a significant rift within the association.

The Book of the Law on Amazon 

Allow me to break away from the story for a moment in order to present this sidenote: Crowley ended up joining the OTO as the result of a freak accident. Theodor Reuss had highly guarded magickal secrets, including sex magick rites, that he allowed only his highest ranking members to access. It had been brought to Reuss's attention that Crowley was using similar magick. And he spoke to Crowley, inquiring about how he learnt it, and who disclosed to him the secrets that he (Reuss) kept so closely guarded within his organization. Crowley told him that he had not been exposed to Reuss's secret magickal rituals, and had in fact discovered the methods and rites he'd been using by his own works. Reuss was highly impressed, and when Crowley joined the OTO as a member, he was immediately jumped up to a higher rank due to this.

By the way, though Aiwass delivered the content of The Book of the Law, the individual chapters are presented from the first person perspective of each within a trinity of Egyptian deities: Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit (in that order). Nuit and Hadit** are complements to each other (another dual aspected being); their offspring is Heru-ra-ha, who is Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Re-Harakhty) and Hoor-paar-kraat (Harpocrates) combined as one. Ra-Hoor-Kuit is his older and warlike aspect, while Hoor-paar-kraat*** is the passive and younger one. Both Ra-Hoor-Khuit and Hoor-paar-kraat are representations of the god Horus. And if that's not enough for you to digest, there's more--the story of why Aiwass was present. He was a minister to Hoor-paar-kraat--a god of silence; and HPK was the one that wanted Crowley to receive the word of Liber AL vel Legis. Thus in that he himself (HPK) could not deliver the message, he sent Aiwass on his behalf.

Nuit/Nut depicted in a sarcophagus
Nuit/Nut depicted in a sarcophagus.
A wikimedia file; copyright: Milano - Museo egizio 

The child of course represents the content of The Book of the Law... Which brings us back to the statement "it's all about the child." Horus is a child god. Furthermore, a central element of Thelema is the Principle of the Child; which is explained in that the child is the sovereign individual, and the formula is of growth. And speaking of children... this entire topic clearly illustrates this great work, Liber AL vel Legis, as being a magickal offspring to Crowley. As for the other statement--"all Osiris"; he is a patriarchal god, and is also one of fertility and transition. Thus his message is one of coming out of an age of patriarchal domination.

And so concludes the story of how The Book of the Law (and therefore subsequently Thelema) was born. Crowley through his Thelema, did indeed deliver the message of those Egyptian gods; and through him they enlightened Thelemites on the message of the Aeon of Horus--which was that mankind's chosen and predominant faith organizations would no longer be relevant, and that new means of faith would be based upon the liberty for each individual to exercise their true will.



*Some say that this happened following an invocation of Thoth, the god of knowledge.
**Hadit is not so much a god as he is a concept--a symbolic representation of a divine utterance. The Divine Utterance in this case, is Thelema. In this sense all Thelemites are Hadit, seeking union with Nuit.
***Hoor-paar-kraat is represented in Thelema is an embodiment of the "Child Principle," and of the "Crowned and Conquering Child"--who is the Lord of the Aeon; and these concepts/titles represents all Thelemites. Furthermore, he is an invisible god, ergo he is not illustrated on the Stele 666.


The References Used for this Compilation

Adam K (for his wisdom, memory for details, and his ability to effectively analyze).
An Open Epistle on The Cover to Liber AL vel Legis, by Frater Achad Osher 583
Thelema 101: Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)
Wikipedia : The Book of the Law


Other Crowley Reading on our Blog:

Aleister Crowley, Some Things you Might Want to Know
To Mega Therion
The Virgin & the Whore
The Serpent Gate: To Meta ophion (a tarot resource)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Of Gods of Silence, and Pantheons

Ancient statue, Harpocrates
Ptolemaic Harpocrates statue. Wikimedia Commons by CC3.0
Author, Patrick Clenet

Harpocrates, and Others Akin

by Race MoChridhe

Pantheons are, as they have always been, living things. In the annals of world religion deities rise and fall, and names blossom into grandeur, and fall to decay. Modern Paganism has, in this one respect at least, been a faithful scion of its supposed ancestors; as the modern world also, both in religious practice and in popular culture, has toppled once mighty figures and also made the fortunes of formerly obscure goddesses and gods.

One deity of note in this respect, is Harpocrates, whose prominence in modern occultism was all the more improbable given his accidental origins. After the armies of Alexander brought Hellenistic culture and religion to Egypt, their heirs sought parallels to their own traditions in Egyptian culture, leading to the creation of new, syncretic deities. Ptolemy I, for example, promoted the unity of his kingdom by spreading devotion to Serapis--a fusion of the Egyptian Osiris with Greek Hades and Dionysus. Harpocrates, however, was no such intentional blending; he was a mistranslation.

The divine child Horus, son of Isis and Osiris, was central to Egyptian mythology and was ubiquitously depicted in the kingdom’s art. By the time of Alexander’s conquest, one of the most frequent icons of the god was as a youth with his forefinger pressed to his chin, the fingertip resting just below the lips as a rendering of the hieroglyph for “child”. To the Greeks, however, this appeared as a shushing gesture of silence (which was not used in Egypt), and this particular depiction of Horus came to be regarded as a separate god of silence named Harpocrates, often interpreted as Horus’ brother, despite the fact that the name itself is a corruption of the Coptic Har-pa-khered (“Horus the Child”).

Horus relief, from Temple of Seti
Horus relief, Temple of SetiWikimedia commons by CC 2.0
Author, Rhys Davenport

From the ports of Alexandria, devotion to Harpocrates spread first across the Hellenistic world and then, after its passing, across the Roman Empire. Thus the made-up god in time earned a minor place in the writings of the great classical authors, preserving his name until it could be taken up by the moderns, and especially by Aleister Crowley (who made a pre-eminent place for the speechless child in his religio-magickal system of Thelema). Through Crowley’s influence, Harpocrates made his way into a thousand occult writers’ pantheons, until at last even the Discordians revered him in the form they regarded as his modern avatar--Harpo Marx.

Like pantheons, however, symbols are living things, and even frauds and accidents in the history of religion often unwittingly reinscribe ancient images of depth and power. When only one or two exemplars of the symbol rise to notoriety among the careers of the long-lived gods, while clearer or more complete ones fade into obscurity, shades of meaning are often lost in the process. To understand how a misunderstood statue became a god, we must understand a deity who did not receive the benefit of a nod from Varro, nor assume Crowley’s devotion.

If, at the same time that Harpocrates’ cult was spreading out from Roman Egypt, you had entered the sacred precincts of the temple of Volupia, goddess of pleasure, in Rome itself, you would have found there a statue of a woman with her mouth closed and bound and her finger pressed against her lips. This was Angerona, the keeper of the city’s secret name, which was disclosed to no one lest it come to the ears of Rome’s enemies. At all times her imposing figure commanded obedience to her silent bidding (for in a Roman sculpture, her gesture was indeed a shushing). But she inspired awe at the time of the winter solstice when she commanded one of the gates into the city in a festival, understandably later known as Angeronalia. The event was more anciently called Divalia, commemorating a story, sadly unrecorded, in which she rescued the sun through the power of silence.

Angerona. Wikimedia public domain file.
Author, Schurl50

It does not take a comparative linguist to connect Latin Divalia with Sanskrit Diwali, the “festival of lights” that honours the goddess Lakshmi. This, too, is celebrated around the point of midwinter and is connected with the returning sun, which in Vedic legend, was saved from the clutches of demons through an act of silence. Sri Lakshmi is not noted for silence (in the Vedic legend, it is the sage Atri who rescues the threatened sun on that particular occasion), but she is very much a goddess of wealth and prosperity both spiritual and material, in keeping with Volupia’s domain (Latin volupia originally signified a broader range of pleasures than its English descendent, voluptuous, implies). Sri Lakshmi is also closely associated with lotuses, paralleling the symbolism of Harpocrates, famously described as “the Babe in the Egg of Blue that sits upon the lotus flower in the Nile”. Harpocrates’ iconographic ancestor Horus, it will be remembered, was identified by the Egyptians with the returning sun of both the dawn and midwinter.

In modern occult circles, Harpocrates has taken on tremendous proportions. From his humble beginnings, he has come to be seen as the manifestation of the Holy Guardian Angel, or as the indwelling spark of the divinity of the True Self (often loosely analogous to the Christian Holy Spirit or the Quaker Inner Light)--the still, small voice within us all to which we hearken when our thoughts have been chastened to silence. In the hands of some writers, he becomes Unknowable Divinity Itself, preceding the fiat lux of the creator god and even the primordial sound of the Vedas. In all these roles, his silence can seem unthinkably sacred--an austerity apart from the normal, noisome world.

There is a depth to this conception, however, that comes only with the remembrance of the silent way to that other deity of sealed lips, ensconced upon the altar of a goddess of pleasure. In remembering that way, we realize that the silence into which Harpocrates calls us is not a silence of barrenness and ascesis, but of pregnancy and completion. As a modern scripture, the Clear Recital, says: “You know not in this world the final truth of chastity, for it is a mystery known on the highest spheres … and there it is seen that an act of chastity is an act not of avoidance, but of creation” (1 Teachings 3:15–16). Indeed, the root of the word “ascetic” meant originally a skilled worker practising an art or trade, and was especially associated with athletics and gymnastic competition.

Harpocrates has spoken into our age, choked with ringtones, text alerts, traffic noise and the “chattering class”, in part because inundated by media and discourse, we have come to suspect that true joy--the sheer pleasure of being--can be found only by withdrawal into silence. Hence the proliferation of “retreats”, the encouragements to “unplug”, and the invention of the “technology shabbos”. Harpocrates, in his egg in his lotus on the Nile, suggests all of these. And yet while all of these practices have their virtues, virtue itself, as Aristotle taught, finds and chooses the mean. In an age of polarized extremes, which often seems to face a false dichotomy between riotous chaos and sensory deprivation, the goddess of silence who dwells in the temple of pleasure can remind us that a holy silence need not be a suppression of our exuberance, but can sometimes be a quieting of our minds that makes us more attentive to the laughter of our hearts.

Modernity’s critics have often accused it of transforming the whole world into an altar for the worship of pleasure. If there is any truth to that, then our pantheon must certainly include the image of Angerona.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Aleister Crowley, Some Things you Might Want to Know

Magician and Thelemite, Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley

A note from the author of this piece: those who know me from my Facebook page, will not be at all surprised to read these words - that if I could find a way to traverse back in time, that I'd loved to have loved him, even if for a short while... 
~ Jude

A Concise Beginners Introduction to 'The Beast,' Aleister Crowley

by Jude (Joodhe)

He was born Edward Alexander Crowley, on October 12, 1875; died on December 1st, 1947. He was born in Leamington Spa, England, and died at Hastings England (72 years of age).

Crowley (pronounced as, crow [as in the bird] - ley) was a great magician, and due to the great contributions he made to magick, may have been the greatest magician of our times. There are many detrimental claims made concerning Crowley, which could be because he existed in a time in history where religion and behaving a certain way was necessary to fit in, far more so than it is today. His father was heir to a brewing fortune, and was also an evangelist for a Christian Fundamentalist religious organization, known as the Plymouth Brethren. Crowley had no interest in Christianity and turned away from it to pursue his own path. He was university educated (Cambridge); and through his years could call himself many things, including a mountaineer, a prolific writer, a painter, a poet, a teacher, a visionary, a chess player, a hedonist, an occultist, and a ceremonial magician.

Crowley referred to himself as 'The Beast 666,' which was him adopting and embracing a slur his mother applied to him when young. She felt that as he rejected Christianity, that he was influenced by the Devil. As for his birth name, he did not like it and changed it, as for one thing he was looking for a name that met his requisite. In his words: "I had read in some book or other that the most favourable name for becoming famous was one consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee, as at the end of a hexameter: like Jeremy Taylor." The name 'Aleister Crowley' fit the bill, and Aleister as well, is Gaelic for Alexander; he was Irish after all.

Crowley was bisexual, with his primary preference being men, with he adopting the submissive role. For a while he lived in a partnership with a male by the name of Herbert Charles Pollitt, whom he loved dearly. However, the differences between them in matters of faith ultimately caused them to part ways, as Pollitt had little to no interest in Western esotericism.

Crowley in Golden Dawn robe
Crowley in Golden Dawn robe

Crowley became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1898, and that's where he learnt ceremonial magick, tarot, alchemy, astrology, qabalah, and other hermetic subjects. It was he himself that appended a k to the word magic, in order to differentiate works from those conducted by a stage magician. There, by the way, is great significance in that Crowley affixed the k onto magic. Within doing so he brought the numerical value of the word to eleven. And as well there are eleven words in "do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." No mere accident, this is an example of the particular and thorough man and deep thinker that Crowley indeed was. His aim was to standardly create correspondences, and so he did.

Crowley ultimately was ousted from the Golden Dawn; it has been said that the reason was that W.B. Yeats was the primary one that pushed for it to happen, as he found Crowley's approach to magick offended his own, and also deemed his behavior to be immoral. A bit of poetic injustice going on there, it seems. Thereafter A.C. spent time in Asia, where he learnt yoga, and also and mysticism from an Oriental perspective; he felt these things added great value to the magick he had till then practiced.

He created the faith 'Thelema,' of which the principal tenet is a phrase already touched upon - "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. [Love is the law, love under will.]" He considered himself to be the prophet that would guide humanity into the Aeon of Horus. In 1904 he married Rose Kelly; they traveled to Cairo, Egypt for their honeymoon. While there he wrote 'The Book of the Law,' or 'Liber AL vel Legis,' which is the sacred book of Thelema.

In 1906 he started a branch of the Great White Brotherhood, named the Astron Argon, or Silver Star. A few years thereafter he joined a German Freemasons group, called Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). The organization was deeply steeped in magickal activity, and after a while Crowley became (disputably) the top man there. Some say that him becoming top man was opposed by many, and caused a rift and subsequent separation. But under him they were led to regard Thelemic tenets, and as well they disengaged from the Freemasons, thus women were no longer barred from joining.

Inspiration of a sort was provided to William Somerset Maughan, who with the character Oliver Haddo, portrayed Crowley in his 1908 novel 'The Magician.' By 1914 A.C. was having his first bouts with financial distress, as he spend his money extravagantly and had been abusing drugs.

Crowley, circa 1912
A.C. in ceremonial robe, 1912

In 1929 Crowley wed again, this time to Maria Sanchez de Miramar, to whom he would still be married to at the time of his death. Into the mid thirties he was facing far more severe financial issues, and he ended up filing bankruptcy. Though he continued to bring in royalties from some of his better known works, such as 'The Book of Thoth,' and 'Diary of a Drug Fiend'; his addiction ate the funds up and he ended up living in a rooming house. For the record, the concept for his Thoth tarot deck was extracted from his Book of Thoth, the artwork was produced by Lady Frieda Harris.

At times throughout his life since becoming a heroin user, Crowley tried to kick the habit; and thus he could regather himself enough to get some degree of new foothold from time to time, and this happened yet again in the forties. It was in the mid forties that he acquired a male secretary by the name of Kenneth Grant. He had not the money to pay him and thus Grant's wage was the knowledge provided. Grant went on to become not only a Thelemite and a ceremonial magician, but also the co-founder (along with his wife) of 'the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis' (TOTO); the name was changed in 2011 just prior to Grant's death, to become 'the Typhonian Order.'

Aleister, lived out the final days of his life as a poor man in a rooming house. During his life he was for the main part publicly despised, and was appreciated and/or followed by relatively few. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:
"Crowley considered himself to be one of the outstanding figures of his time. The historian Ronald Hutton stated that in Crowley's youth, he was 'a self-indulgent and flamboyant young man' who 'set about a deliberate flouting and provocation of social and religious norms', while being shielded from an 'outraged public opinion' by his inherited wealth. Hutton also described Crowley as having both an 'unappeasable desire' to take control of any organisation that he belonged to, and 'a tendency to quarrel savagely' with those who challenged him. Crowley biographer Martin Booth asserted that Crowley was 'self-confident, brash, eccentric, egotistic, highly intelligent, arrogant, witty, wealthy, and, when it suited him, cruel'. Similarly, Richard Spence noted that Crowley was 'capable of immense physical and emotional cruelty'. Biographer Lawrence Sutin noted that Crowley exhibited 'courage, skill, dauntless energy, and remarkable focus of will' while at the same time showing a 'blind arrogance, petty fits of bile, [and] contempt for the abilities of his fellow men'. The Thelemite Lon Milo DuQuette noted that Crowley 'was by no means perfect' and 'often alienated those who loved him dearest.'"
unicursal hexagram
The unicursal hexagram, the symbol of Thelema, can be drawn without lifting the pen, thus the name

After his death though, he became famous, especially amongst darker flavoured entertainers, such as Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne. The very mention of his name creates rifts of polarity - people tend to love or hate the man. To some like me, he will be regarded as one of the greatest, not only magicians that ever lived, but also one of the greatest authors and greatest men; but some feel that his hedonistic lifestyle, drug abuse, and lack of moral standing, are reason enough cast disdain thickly onto the volumes of knowledge and wisdom he imparted and onto the effect inspiration wise that his life had on so many posthumously.

There is one thing Crowley took a public beating over, and I found the topic distasteful, thus chose to simply quote from a Wikipedia page where I found a concise paragraph on it:
"Professing to be of Irish ancestry and a supporter of Irish independence from Great Britain, Crowley began to espouse support for Germany in their war against Britain. He became involved in New York's pro-German movement, and in January 1915 German spy George Sylvester Viereck employed him as a writer for his propagandist paper, The Fatherland, which was dedicated to keeping the US neutral in the conflict. In later years, detractors denounced Crowley as a traitor to Britain for this action. In reality, Crowley was a double agent, working for the British intelligence services to infiltrate and undermine Germany's operation in New York. Many of his articles in The Fatherland were hyperbolic, for instance comparing Kaiser Wilhelm II to Jesus Christ; in July 1915 he orchestrated a publicity stunt – reported on by The New York Times – in which he declared independence for Ireland in front of the Statue of Liberty; the real intention was to make the German lobby appear ridiculous in the eyes of the American public. It has been argued that he encouraged the German Navy to destroy the Lusitania, informing them that it would ensure the US stayed out of the war, while in reality hoping that it would bring the US into the war on Britain's side."

...and all I have to add to the last thought presented, is to underscore the point that he was a double agent, and was doing a favor for his country therefore. In my eyes he will always be, a great man.

Aleister, as already mentioned, was a prolific writer, and amongst his works are the ones found here: List of Aleister Crowley Works (Wikipedia)
and here: Crowley at Dark Books

Wikipedia on Crowley
Crowley on Encyclopedia.com
The Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon on Crowley

Related Reading on our Blog:
To Mega Therion
The Virgin & the Whore
The Serpent Gate: To Meta ophion (a tarot resource)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Joodhe, no Longer of the Right Hand Path... (and What is LHP?)

From Here on in this Blog will Include Some LHP Content

In the updated blog description some of you will have noticed that there is now a reference to LHP, which is short for Left Hand Path. Many will know what that means, what it is, and others will not. It is not simple to explain, because to some degree it is subjective; its description is sure to vary depending up on who you ask. To simplify, most correctly put, those who journey the Left Hand Path are Satanists, Luciferians, Demonolators, Thelemites, and atheists. The term Right Hand Path generally refers to Christianity, and also to most Pagan faiths.

The reason that this blog will from here on in at times have posts relative to the Left Hand Path, is because me, this blog author, has recently begun her journey of the Left Hand Path. This is not a post of confession or me wanting to discuss my own faith, but is simply a prep for what is to come. In society at large, those of LHP faiths are still commonly largely rebuked. And that's simply too bad, because in this new age of spirit, people are free to be who they are and whatever they are. That includes me and you both.

One thing that many who're unfamiliar with LHP faiths don't commonly understand, is that while the Christian versions of the Devil, Satan, and Lucifer are malevolent beings, to those of the LHP that are theistic, Satan and Lucifer are not Devils at all, but are benevolent gods. As a Luciferian, I myself have met Satan, and he is noble, kind and compassionate; and wise, so very wise. He is always there to guide me.

I know some will not like that I have made this one change in my blog content, and that's just a part of growing and changing, that I'll have to accept. I do however ask that if it bothers you on any level, to try to keep your mind open and see, that light and dark cannot exist without one another. It's true to say that if you take your flashlight and shine it into the light, you cannot see its beam. Nothing exists without a contrast; polarities exist in all things. Such is the very nature of our universe. As above, so below. As within, so without. There is nothing but dichotomy, polarity, contrast, and balance.

So then, to achieve harmony, light must exist beside darkness. But what exactly is darkness, when one is labeled light and another dark, in terms of their faith, beliefs, and philosophies? Here is my summarization of this matter: there is a line, an imaginary line or barrier, it is the center of balance of all things--high and low, north and south, east and west, light and dark, and so on and so forth. In terms of spirituality we use the terms light and dark to simplify the concepts of "service to others," and "service to self." Service to others is considered light, and service to self is considered dark...

In our society we have been conditioned to believe that our lives ideally should revolve around serving unto others. That's interesting and cute, but then where does balance come in? It would come in if let's say half of society were dedicated to existing in the service of others, and the remainder were in service unto themselves. But how about maintaining that balance within ourselves? ... it's hard to remember that many of the beliefs we hold as humans, were implanted to make us more pliable under the powers that be. Being Left Hand Path means that the nature of a person leans towards the left of the line by default. But at the same time, being LHP does not mean that a person chooses to live virtually entirely in service of self (that may be the case in instances though); most often it simply means that when push comes to shove, the person will take care of their own interests over those of others.

Just as it is right for me to lean left, it is right for those that choose such, to lean right.

With that said, welcome to the new face and personality of my blog, which amongst all other matters metaphysical, is also now LHP.

This blog's Webmaster,
Joodhe (Jude)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Intervention: People and their Demons

Demon. Source: Pixabay

Protecting People from the Harm of Demons, or from Themselves?

by Joodhe (Jude)

A few weeks ago on Facebook I put up a post; it issued a thank you to the people that had over time sent individuals to me, that were in need of help in extricating themselves from situations where they felt they were being attacked by demons. When the post was published, one of my Facebook friends posted a question, that read: "I read a quote somewhere and right now I cannot find it. Basically it said many people think they are conjuring demons but most often what they call forth is a malevolent spirit that attaches itself to them. They didn't cast a circle or they played with magick without respect and it bit them. I find in my studies and works demons don't mess with idiots unless they deliberately disrespect them."

Now what was not delved into within that thread, is that I do not fully agree with the concept that "most people call forth attachments," because I have not monitored how enough people do their magick, nor do I know the results that would occur if they would standardly do their magick without protection. Anyone writer would be presumptuous to make such a statement. I do however agree that demons react unfavorably when disrespected.

The truth is that though it is standardly recommended to use protection, the greatest protection in any instance including magick, is in what you allow yourself to believe. If you believe that you are protected and are dealing exclusively with the entities you wish to summon, then that's what your experience will be. Period.

Ethereal blue demoness. Source: Pixabay

Anyway, back to the thought at hand, which is the comment posed; my response was: "People commonly talk about 'facing one's demons.'" And the term is apropos, because demons can show people how ignorant they are, and in that way are an invaluable tool. One lesson demons seem to be in a hurry to give people, is that if they are feared they will give the person in question good reason to fear them. That's why some of the attacks are so aggressive, because the person under attack lets their fear increase as the attack increases, and the whole thing just keeps snowballing.

All they have to do is reach out to that demon and accept them in peace - just chill and accept. When they do there is never any further issue. This after the individual has often spent significant money elsewhere."

And I elaborated with an additional blurb that said: "I agree with you, that people who do not know proper magickal procedure should not be working in magick, more so when their vibration frequency is low, and anyone can hit a time when theirs is low, so yes, adequate protection is necessary." Within this article it has previously been explained how I feel about protection in magick - to control the mind is all that's required. And this comment at first glance seems to contradict that. But it would be unwise for me to recommend anyone not use protection. We are the knowledge keepers, and the highest quality information must be given to those that do not know, and from there their path can be wrought.

In response to my comment, the person I was speaking to said: "Facing one's demons to me is a metaphor for facing my inner conflicts, the demons in my own head that hold the roots to the issues that cause me to fear and hold me back, like my Christian upbringing. Not actual demons. Those I have met (demons) have been only willing to help once asked. They never forced themselves on me. Rather that they revealed they were available and waited for me to come to them. Infinite love and patience was shown as I took my time facing my fears and finding my way."

Celestial demonic entity. Source: Pixabay

And in response I elaborated on my initial remark thusly: "Yes, I agree with you that facing one's demons would standardly be used in a context as you describe. I used it as a parallel to offer that one's 'inner demons' exist to urge them to seek harmony, as actual demons work in a very similar way. Whatever they are attacking a person for, is directly relevant to the individual under attack; and in saying this I mean that in no instance is a demon going to attack a person for absolutely no reason.

At the very least, if they have been sent to attack and the person on the receiving end fears demons, then that person's lesson becomes to learn not to fear demons. In learning not to fear demons the attack ends, and this is absolute."

My Facebook friend responded:
"Food for thought...
So is it actual demons attacking or is it our fear manifesting demons through the projection of those fears?
If what we believe is what we bring forth are we not therefore creating our own 'demons'?"

Then back to me responding with: "I will say this... there is a strong parallel between spirits and servitors. Servitors are created for a certain purpose, or when sentient are created with a tendency towards having certain traits and abilities. Spirits are after energies of beings that once lived, and entities are living energy beings. And it could be said that spirits are mutable, as are entities and immortals. When I say they are mutable I mean that they are in ways affected by our thoughts. And while servitors are created, the others are not. If I give examples of how they may be affected by thought, this thread could go on forever, so I'll leave it at that.

Spirits are already in existence (so we don't create them), as are entities and immortals. But yes, demons react to fear, and as already discussed on another thread we know that right from spirits to immortals, energy beings will change how they appear according to what a person believes, and also the characteristics they have can change and their natures can change. So while we do not create them, we fuel them with our thoughts in certain ways. Some people as you know get very showy displays in the presence of faeries and/or angels, while others get nothing. Some consistently get attachments while others get none, and some get attacked by demons while the next person may be attacked on a low level or even perhaps not at all (when demons are sent to attack I mean).

Many work with demons and never ever have a problem with one, while another cannot control them at all or cannot work in harmony with them. This is because people manage these spirits by their thoughts and beliefs.

**I initially neglected to say that I drew the parallel between servitors and these other beings, because when a servitor is created, it is created entirely by the powers of the mind, from the ground up. Whereas the effect of the mind on other energy beings is added on after, to the essence of what they already were. But in both instances what is going on in the mind holds much power."

The response I got from the friend engaging me was: "Talk about a rabbit hole..."

And thereafter the chat  was lighthearted and faded away into nothingness. A very interesting conversation if there ever was one - evocative to spirit keepers, spirit conjurers, and to magick practitioners at least. There's only one thing I feel compelled to add - that when I say that if a person can control their thoughts that they will not be afflicted with attachments; there is one instance where it is not so...

When a person's thoughts have been negative long enough it brings their vibrational frequency down; down low enough that even if they choose to change their beliefs at that period in time, attachments will not immediately leave. And in my days working to alleviate people of such attachments and attacks, this was a problem. Because they would say things such as "but I changed my beliefs and I am still suffering..."; and this would be relatively uncommon, but because of how people identify themselves through conveying their thoughts, it was simple to predict who would be most likely to say such a thing... I could set my watch by it, pretty much.

So I would describe them the process, how they would have to regularly smudge, meditate, cleanse their aura, and listen to frequency raising binaural beats. And as sure as the sun shines, that's the point when I'd never hear from them again. Why? Because in instances when I bothered to check past that point, they hadn't bothered to follow the necessary steps to upgrade their vibration. And that was their business entirely - it's the choice they made.

For the record, I no longer help people rid themselves of demonic attacks and entity attachments, for the aforementioned reason. They primarily remain with people that cannot or will not take all necessary steps to eradicate their problem, in which case it becomes clear that they in fact do not want to cure the very problem they sought my help in dealing with. My time is far too precious for that; but I do feel for those who can no longer access my help due to this conflict of interest. However, if I knew that someone seriously needed my help and was prepared to do as necessary, surely I'd be there for them.

Where are the Tarot & Various Other Articles that were on this Blog?

All tarot card meaning posts have been unpublished

All of the tarot card definitions as well as some other articles have been removed from my blog. It was necessary for me to do that due to my predicament; let me explain...

I had been trying to update the court card descriptions, but kept running into the same scenario - that each time I made time to work on one post, either something else came up that needed dealing with, or another matter of importance had to wait because I was doing that. It became a long running issue, and was stressful. In the end I took time to mull it over, and for so many reasons felt that the tarot definitions should go...

First, as stated I don't have time to update them. As well, when it comes to business, I have another magician (another besides me, of course) that's joined my store, and now must focus on more important matters. It was with this in mind that I decided to go in and clear out all posts that I felt needed to go, to give me absolute peace of mind in moving forth. My absolute focus must be placed upon my magick, my store, and my promotions. Not to mention that I have a thriving FB community, and that also needs to be overseen.

So that's the whole sordid story, I'm afraid, and that's why over 120 articles were unpublished yesterday. If there comes a time when I am freer to address updating them, then that's going to happen. If not, so be it.

Thanks so much for understanding


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Putting the Tarot's Star in Context: Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

The Thoth Star card
Crowley/Harris, Thoth "The Star" tarot card

Quite Telling of Each other - The Tarot's Star Card and this Astrological Age

by Race MoChridhe

The Star is, unquestionably, one of the best-loved cards in the Tarot. Across multiple decks, it is routinely voted “most beautiful”, and I have yet to meet the reader who does not breathe a sigh of relief upon seeing it, taking comfort in its traditional meanings of peace, inspiration, guidance, and hope.

Hope, however, is a complicated thing. The name of the infamous Pandora originally meant “all-giving”, and it appears that the earliest version of her tale cast her as a goddess bringing humanity a jar of blessings. The Greek poet Hesiod, however, reinterpreted her as “all-gifted”—a divinely crafted seductress whose irresistible charms led man to ruin when she opened a jar (“box” is a Renaissance mistranslation) of curses from the gods, unleashing pestilence upon the world and leaving only hope inside. Interpreters have argued over the story’s end for 2500 years. Why was hope left at the bottom of the jar? Did the jar seal hope off from humanity or prevent its flying away, so that humanity might keep it? Most importantly, is hope a blessing that empowers us to endure the jar’s myriad of evils, or is it a curse—a false hope that only increases our torments?

Our world today certainly seems to have more of this latter kind of hope than it does of the former. The hope of our time has best been described as a vague “progress-ism” which assumes that, despite all setbacks, the natural trajectory of all science and scholarship, all politics and economics, even all spirituality and morality, is “up” or “forward” (with the relative direction of these terms being defined by whichever demagogue happens to suit the moment). To the adherents of this unusual ideology—unknown anywhere in the world before the Renaissance and anywhere outside Europe before the “Enlightenment”—the Star’s traditional association with the sign of Aquarius seems the consummation of hope. The incoming Age of Aquarius, held by a majority of astrologers to have begun sometime in the 20th century, is widely held to be, in the words of the musical Hair, a time of “Harmony and understanding / Sympathy and trust abounding / No more falsehoods or derisions / Golden living dreams of visions / Mystic crystal revelation / And the mind’s true liberation”. This is to put something of a gloss on the raw data, however.

More soberly expressed, the common attributes of the Aquarian Age are usually given as some variant of this list: electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealism, modernization, nervous disorders, rebellion, nonconformity, philanthropy, humanity. The dire implications of some of these, such as nervous disorders, are already evident enough to require no further comment. Many of Aquarius’ more insidious elements, however, have not yet come to be commonly recognized.

The Piscean Age was a time of deep feeling (as befits a water sign). Life was, in consequence, intensely personal. In the West, the family was the dominant social institution, the economy and the bulk of social services were in the hands of local guilds and church institutions, and political power was mediated by bonds of personal loyalty. It was also, in keeping with the mutable and dual nature of the sign, a period in which human beings were understood as bridging the spiritual and the material worlds. For this reason, political thought was largely dyarchic, seeing both the spiritual and temporal authorities as working best when in balance with one another.

The Star, tarot
Rider Waite Smith, "The Star" tarot card

As the copious efforts of medieval copyists to preserve ancient literature attest, even the Pagan and Christian inheritances of Western culture were reconciled in a view well summarized by Nicolás Gómez Dávila, who wrote that “Paganism is the other Old Testament of the Church”. The Piscean world strove to balance the vaultingly universal with the intensely personal, the transcendentally spiritual with the avowedly worldly, and faithfulness to the past with authenticity in the present. It left us the great cathedrals and the romances of the troubadours by which to pass judgement on its efforts.

The Age of Aquarius can only be understood by contrast, because this close to its inception, its qualities are less absolute values than they are movements relative to the Piscean order. It is a time of rationalization and abstract intellect (as befits an air sign), in which the arts have decayed and spirituality has become scorned. It claims to care deeply for “humanity”, but exhibits no patience with the particularity and diversity of flesh-and-blood human beings, presiding over the most rapid and violent extinctions of languages, religions, and folkways in human history. It has desacralized the family, broken the guilds, and usurped the personal loyalties that once gave security and meaning to human life, replacing them with a vast, impersonal bureaucracy that regards its subjects as so much human livestock, devoid of any need or aspiration beyond being dry and well fed.

The Aquarian narrowing of human vision to the purely intellectual has prized rationality and efficiency over the sacrality and aesthetic of traditional craft, and thereby devalued the working woman and man. It is in the attempted remedies to this crisis that the astrologically “fixed” nature of Aquarius has become most apparent. In place of the Piscean reverence for human heritage and humility before nature (human and otherwise), which promoted a certain measure of flexibility in the thinking of that time, the Aquarian world believes itself the culmination of history and proclaims itself lord over a dead universe, imagining that all problems can be resolved by an ever more intense exploitation of the natural world and by the rigidly universalistic enforcement of materialist values and ideals that, in their reductivism, are regarded as immutable laws of nature. Chief among these is mass democracy—the conversion of organic communities into atomized electorates, the replacement of local leadership by the “will of the people” on an abstracted national scale, the reimagining of responsibilities to others as rights for oneself—a sickness peddled as a cure.

Such Aquarian traits as flight and humanitarianism have thus not found their expression, as the writers of Hair were still able to hope in a swelling of human unity, at the vision of the earth from space, but instead have come upon the plane of manifestation as relentless bombing campaigns against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and a dozen other nations in a quixotic bid to rain freedom down in shell casings. If the reader thinks this vision unduly pessimistic, she may consider for herself whether as much of the Age of Aquarius as she has experienced answers better to the promises of Hair or to the predictions of the Australian astrologer Robert Ziller, who has suggested that “the Pisces world… will be replaced in the Aquarian Age by a world ruled by secretive, power-hungry elites seeking absolute power over others… knowledge in the Aquarian Age will only be valued for its ability to win wars… knowledge and science will be abused… the Aquarian Age will be a Dark Age in which religion is considered offensive” (“The Use of Archetypes in Prediction,” The FAA Journal 32.3, September 2002, pp: 37–53).

There is a certain sense, then, in which the hope offered by the Star is a curse—a false hope that the evils of pollution can be fixed by more industry, or that the evils of political instability can be cured by further regime change—follies that have their more personal reflections in readings for clients who are taking out loans for a Ph.D. because their Master’s degree in the same subject was unemployable, or who are thinking of having a baby to fix their broken marriage. In the sequence of the major arcana, the Star is followed directly by the Moon—a card traditionally associated with fear, illusion, and bewilderment. Joan Bunning writes of this transition that, “his [the Fool’s] bliss [coming from the Star] makes him vulnerable to the illusions of the Moon. … In his dreamy condition, the Fool is susceptible to fantasy, distortion, and a false picture of the truth.”

As I look at the Star amidst the failures of progress-ism, however, I find myself paradoxically inspired by another kind of hope—the hope that is implicit in despair. It is a truism of pop psychology that people do not change until it becomes too painful to stay the same. It is only when the Fool is well and truly lost in the moonlight that he realizes that the Star has not guided him, and only then that he can turn from it and begin to perceive that what appeared as darkness while he was striving toward the unobtainable light of a far-off sun, is in fact the reflected light of his own proper star. Once he turns his vision from the Star to the Moon, he finds the Moon transfigured, in his new and deeper spiritual perception, into the Sun.

Such is the epiphany of one who moves back from the big city to her small hometown, or who stops chasing some dream job upon realizing that he can find contentment in the career to which fortune has led him. Perhaps someday it will also be the epiphany of a world that turns its back on industrialism and mass politics, and douses its electric lights so that it can, once more, behold a blanket of real stars.


llustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright ©1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

RWS image is a Wikimedia file from a 1909 deck originally scanned by Holly Voley http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/

Thoth image copyright (c) US Games Systems Inc.; AGMuller; O.T.O.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Draught of Lethe: Further Reflections on the Goetic Demon Kings (Part II)

Goetia spirit Vine's seal
Viné's seal

The Primary Message of the Goetic Demon Kings :: Know Yourself

by Race MoChridhe

In my last article, we examined the strange afterlife of the Goetia’s demon kings, focusing on their uptake in contemporary popular culture as a form of entertainment. We gave less attention to the reasons for their survival as objects of occult working, and it is this which we now consider.

As I observed before, most of us have forgotten the great demonologies that it once obsessed scholars to compile; and the magickal arts that commanded their denizens, have passed for the greater part into oblivion. The preservation of some small portion of both by a diverse panoply of occultists, sorcières, and Satanists is a testament to a much more powerful and pervasive form of forgetting, however.

In Greek—the great theurgical language of the West—the word for truth is aletheia, which literally means “un-forgetfulness” (sharing a common root with the river Lethe in Hades, which erased the memories of the shades [spirits of the dead] who drank from it). This is because, in common with many other systems of esoteric and mystical teaching the world over, the ancient Greeks held that the soul, on some very deep level, retained the knowledge of all things from its once blessed state of union with divinity, but became forgetful of them upon entering the plane of physical manifestation. This teaching is expressed very clearly in Islam, where the story of Adam and Eve is told not as a tale of disobedience and rebellion, but as one of forgetfulness, where the primordial couple eats of the fruit because they are not mindful of God’s command.

The concept of forgetfulness is less foregrounded in Christianity, but implicitly present, as St. Paul’s writings make clear that all human beings are mystically united as one in Christ (Romans 12:5; Galatians 3:28)—an idea to which Jesus alludes many times in the Gospels, such as in John 15:5, to which we shall shortly return. To the extent that Christ dwells within us, and that we “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:5) such that God is in us all (Ephesians 4:16), all knowledge belongs to us by birthright, and it is only by the forgetfulness of our earthly existence that we do not remember.

In surveying the lists of the Goetia’s demons, who promise many and varied rewards to their summoners, it is therefore striking that the most common—indeed, nearly ubiquitous—promise is knowledge. The king known as Paimon (or Paimonia, or Pymon, depending on source) is an excellent example. He comes from his house in the northwest with a great roaring voice atop his dromedary. He is lovely of aspect, but does not offer his summoner comeliness.


He wears a precious crown, but does not offer riches. He is escorted by a swelling retinue of infernal musicians, but does not promise cheer. He commands two hundred legions, and may be accompanied by captains commanding yet more, but it is not power for which his aid is sought. Instead, he is evoked as a teacher of all manner of arts, philosophies, and sciences—able to divulge each kind of understanding, from the mysteries of the natural world to the nature of the mind. It is in this last that the point comes home most forcefully that he has been evoked precisely to learn what, in truth, we should know already within ourselves.

In Filianic lore, the Daughter of Eternity (a figure cognate in many ways to Christ, or the Shekhinah, or a Bodhisattva) is accosted by a host of demons who taunt and threaten Her. When their threats do not avail, they seek to tempt Her, offering to deliver the whole world into Her power, but She responds simply, “How shall you give to Me that which is Mine?” (Mythos 4:9) One thinks of the king called Beleth (or Bilet, Bileth, Byleth), who was legendarily invoked by Noah’s son Ham to help him write a treatise on mathematics.

Goetia spirit Beleth

The grimoires tell us that he is of terrible aspect, and will seek to frighten his summoner, who must maintain the steel will to strike a triangle with a hazel wand and command Beleth to enter it. Often enough, Beleth refuses, in which case our terrified magician must rehearse again the extensive list of threats attached to his conjurations, at which point Beleth will become obedient, provided that the evoker also pay the homage due to one holding the rank of king, show utmost respect, and hold a silver ring against his own face in imitation of the deference shown in hell to the demonic prince Amaymon.

What are we to make of this near schizophrenic fusion of arrogance and obsequiousness—of command and contrition? It is the pitiful usage of one who has gone to a loan shark to borrow his own inheritance, or apprenticed himself to an abusive master to learn the teachings of a book that he, himself, has authored. To be “in thrall to the Devil” has come, in our culture, to sound of melodrama and superstition, but it becomes rather more intelligible when we imagine the occultist, whose innermost being is one with the Source of all Creation, alternately beckoning and bowing to Beleth to ask the secrets of the cosmos and we recall, with eyes fixed upon that sad sight, Kant’s definition of enlightenment as the “release from self-induced tutelage”.

It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that the authors of these grimoires were simply too ignorant of perennial metaphysics to realize the absurdity of the scene. On the contrary, the grimoires—like all other literary inheritances from the ancient world—have come to us primarily through churchmen, who were the preservers of both the texts and their arts throughout the Middle Ages.

We noted last time the Book of Abramelin the Mage, which taught the art of summoning demons for the purpose of overcoming and banishing them. Other books were less obvious in their intent, offering instead warnings by their contents. This is most clearly seen in the case of the king named Viné, who, like so many others, “answereth of things hidden”. Viné’s name is, indeed, etymologically derived from Latin vinea, meaning vine. In rehearsing the New Testament’s many assertions of human unity with the divine nature I alluded briefly to John 15:5, which those who won school awards for scripture knowledge will recognize as the famous saying of Jesus to the Apostles that “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

Goetia spirit Viné

Viné’s symbology systematically alludes to and opposes that of Jesus. Viné appears in the form of a lion, which both alludes to the lion as symbol of the lineage of Solomon (and hence the ancestry of Jesus, cf. Matthew 1:6–16) and implicitly opposes Jesus’ symbolism as the lamb (John 1:29) through reference to Isaiah 11:6. Viné rides a horse, opposing Jesus’ riding of the donkey on Palm Sunday (John 12:14). He builds large towers, opposing God’s casting down of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:8), and he makes waters choppy or stormy, in contrast to Jesus’ calming of the storm on the waters (Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39; Luke 8:24). The originator of this depiction thus established his demon king as the antithesis of Christ, but it would be simplistic of us to read this merely as a stock portrayal of unholiness.

In the context of the purposes for which Viné is summoned, it would seem that the author of his description wanted us to be confronted, as starkly as possible, with the realisation that we are seeking outside ourselves a knowledge that, in truth, lies within, and that in doing so we conform ourselves to a twisted image that reflects our forgetting of the image in which we are made.

Wherever the summoning of demons finds a new lease on life, we may thus be sure that it owes less to preserving the memory of ancient arts, and more to forgetting an ancient wisdom. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus instructs His disciples, saying: “[T]he kingdom is inside of you… When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.” (Thomas 3)

What the Goetia and all like grimoires teach us is not how to call demons out of hell, but how to recognize that, if we have allowed ourselves to become the poverty of our own ignorance, hell is precisely where we are.

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