Sunday, December 4, 2016

Lodge vs Grimoiric Occultism

There are two main different branches of occultism found within western occulture. On one hand you have the lodge-system which is quasi-masonic and almost as a rule uses the qabbala as a spiritual map. Then you have  grimoiric-system which tends to use a neoplatonic/goetic spiritual map. Both have a different approach to the unseen world, and methods in which to accomplish their tasks.
I will try to divide each system into their two main functions, that being mysticism and magic as far as I understand them from my practice..

Within the lodge-system, you will find the mysticism of that branch of occulture within their initiatory structure. Here all tools held by the officers, including the roles of the officers, their respective movements on the floor, their spoken words or songs, divine names intoned, the colored vestments worn by their members, and incensing odors are all combined to impart a grand message onto the psyche of the initiate which will lend to spiritual growth and advancement. I know that many in the occult world will read "psyche" and think it is less real, primarily due to the renaissance going on currently in the grimoiric side of the western occulture whom are actively rejecting the modern idea of psychology with respect to magic. But to say that the symbolic totality of these ceremonies are less effective because they recognize the modern idea of psychology would be missing the point completely. Both systems and maps(Neoplatonic and Qabbalistic) involve the theory of emanation and in both maps, the mental realms precede that of the spirit and physical. So it is here that the long-magician is working, not with the spirits per se, but of the mental realms where symbols are things and the root of what will come about.
Like the approach to mysticism, the lodge-system can use the same concepts to produce practical magical results in their lives by ceremonial pulling ideas and symbols together at auspicious times and allowing those the manifest physically.

Opposite of the lodge-system, we find the grimoiric-system where magicians tend to focus their work on the spirit world instead of the mental realms.. While the tools used by the grimoiric magician still have symbolic value, the goal is merely to use the tools as a method to contact spirits and sustain the magician while in the process. The task of acquiring the tools, performing the consecrations, exorcisms in order to contact a spirit and then the gaining of knowledge in the process makes up the mystical aspect of this system.  The practical magical is of course is accomplished when said spirit accomplish the tasks set out by the magician via threats, bribes of offerings, or contract.

There are of course some overlap. While the lodge-magician will use divine and angelic names as part of their symbolic language, some spirits no doubt might be attracted to and or work with said magician. These spirits may interact along with the magician on a mental level through visions, dreams, or auditory hallucinations which are very similar to some grimoiric-magician experiences.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

There has been some discussion lately about political worldviews and occultism. I must say that I am increasingly annoyed with the predominant liberalism found in occult organizations; it has certainly become such a barrier for someone with more conservative views like mine own.  Most importantly, if your are into culturism like me you can forget about joining any occult organization; you just won't get very far. This is how one-sided the occult world is. So let me express mine openly.

Liberal occultist: We are all one people, one race.

Me: Well, perhaps at one time we were, but we have all diversified since then. Each racial group has a set of unique gifts and genetic evolutions that are specific to their culture and environment. You see when we were all in Africa we were photo-racial(non-racial), but as we departed and journey we entered different climates and encountered different experiences that shaped who we are as people, genetically, not just psychologically and technologically. This is evident in forensics where the investigator can guess the racial group of the skeletal remains, and also why one will have difficulty receiving bone marrow from other racial groups, or why cyclical anemia is almost exclusively found in african(non-white) population to protect against malaria. To deny the existence of races(genetic family groupings) is kind of misleading at best, and a lie at worst.

Liberal Occultist: Multiculturalism is about embracing and respecting the diversity of the world.
Me: Wrong. Multiculturalism destroys cultures and identity. It is admirable to want to embrace other cultures and learn about them, but true diversity means letting those cultures exist without interfering.  Here is what happens. Lets say you have Japan, full of Japanese people, and therefore Japanese culture. Now, lets say you start pouring in thousands of Nigerians. At first the Nigerians will participate in the greater Japanese culture because they have to, to work and to survive. But, once there are enough Nigerians in Japan to support a pocket Nigerian culture in Japan, they will no longer have to participate in Japan's culture. Now lets say that the Nigerians have a higher birth rate than the native Japanese. Now the Nigerians potentially present a threat to the existence of Japanese culture and the Japanese people; they will eventually cease to exist as a culture and a people. No. Multiculturalism is the opposite of diversity and respect. It destroys unique cultures by forcing other cultures in like a cancer to eat away at the previously sovereign and unique native culture.

Liberal Occultist: Opposing multiculturalism is racist.
Me: Well maybe. But don't you think all races have the right to exist on their own as unique expressions of God? Or do you think we have to thrust every race upon eachother  and encourage miscegenation until there is only one mediocre, boring single race of people? Where is the diversity in that? And don't you think that is a step backward in evolution, since that is how we started and we have evolved into diverse, unique racial groupings?

Liberal Occultist: You must hate non-whites
Me: Nope! Quite the contrary. I enjoy all racial groups as each have their own unique gifts and cultures with which the world is seen through. I just think they should all be allowed to flourish, and multiculturalism will not allow that to happen.

At this point conversation ends with the Liberal Occultist continuing to shout names and shutting doors. You see, liberals talk a big game about being tolerant, but somehow they end-up being some of the most intolerant people I ever meet. I only wish that there was a place for Culturism to also flourish in the Western Occult world.

Friday, July 25, 2014


I'm not sure why so many occultist a are Far Left liberals, nor why they are self defeating any-white racists!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Recent Struggle

A few years ago I dumped Qabalah for a couple of reasons.
The first reason was that I was going down a more grimoiric style of practice, and most of the grimoires are not qabalistic in nature.
The second reason is purely political, which I don't think this is a proper place to write about.


As I moved forward in a more neoplatonic style and approach to magic, I began to really understand the writing of Agrippa's with much more clarity. The reason being is that many concepts that are hinted at in the grimoires and expounded upon in Agrippa's Occult Philosphy are not found in the qabalah. For Instance, the World Soul, and the Great Chain of Being are key neoplatonic concepts which are the bedrock of most grimoiric works.While Agrippa does mention the qabalah with certain aspects of angelology and numerations, it is certainly not a cabalistic text. And so I felt quite vindicated in my approach of dumping qabalah for neoplatonism.

Now fast forward a few years..

As I was steadily working my grimoiric work and studying neoplatonism via Iamblichus, Proclus and Agrippa I found myself realizing that the origins of Qabalah are neoplatonic. The Letter number associations had to come first from the Greeks. The Greeks were the ones known for number mysticism. The Greeks were also the first to come-up with emanations through the Neoplatonic schools; and as the Greeks once occupied what is now Israel, it is safe to assume that a lot of the concepts were absorbed by the local population. And by the medieval/renaissance era, the glyph was created.

So now the struggle…

Now that I can see some similarities between the two paradigms(Qabalah and Neoplatonism), I find myself in a struggle between the two. One one side, I find myself missing the lodge-style mysticism of the victorian period which is built around the qabalah such as the Golden Dawn. On the other hand, I find the ladder of spheres within neoplatonism a slightly better model when working with spirits.
Whats a magician to do??

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Understanding Agrippa's Scale of Four.

Agrippa's scale of four is a simplified scheme of Great Chain of Being.
It starts off with Original World. This is the world the First Mover aka God.
It then moves into the Intellectual World. The Intellectual World is the world of Angelic beings.
Flowing from there we enter the Celestial World, the home of the celestial bodies which imparts the virtue upon the Elemental World below. Not all neoplatonists separate the celestial and intellectual worlds, but Agrippa does. Below the Elemental world comes the Infernal world, home of the evil and destructive demons(though that doesn't mean they can't be put to good use).

Now currently there is some discussion in the blogosphere about whether or not the demons are in a sense elemental spirits, as RO puts it here:
But this theory does not fit in with Agrippa's scheme, the grimoires of the renaissance, nor the Elizabethan world view.

Let's go back to Agrippa's Scale of Four for illustration.

The argument that the demons/infernals must be elemental in nature because Agrippa lists "Four Princes of Devils, offensive in the elements", doesn't hold much water.
Because if you notice, (in Agrippa Book II, Scale of Four) you will see that the "Rulers of the Elements" also appear in the intellectual world. Does that mean that the angels of the intellectual world are elementals? Absolutely not.

Notice also that the Intellectual World and the Infernal World are opposite reflections of each other. For instance:
In the Intellectual world you first have the Four Angels ruling over the four corners of the world, then you have the Four Angelic rulers of the Elements.
In the Infernal World you have the four princes(which also means ruler) offensive in the elements, followed by the four princes ruling over the four angles of the world.
See how they are inverse reflections?

What that tells us is that the Demons/Infernals are not elementals any more than Angels are, only that the elements have roots in both directions from the elementary world, a world in which Agrippa refers to as where the law of generation and corruption is.

So the Elemental world being a middle ground between the Angelic and the Infernal makes much more sense for terrestrial being of mixed nature, the kind mentioned in the the Theurgia-Goetia of the Lemegeton.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Visualization, and the Traditional Art of Magic??

Now, I like to consider myself as being a more traditional magician rather than a "modern magician" as the latter usually comes along with some preconceived notions of Golden Dawn techniques and fringe-freemassonic styled occultism. Though there are some who are much more hard-core traditional than me, as I will never own a lion-skin belt any time soon. But, for the most part I would say I am traditional.

I like to create a dividing line in the history of magic by the use of Mesmer. So occult practices are usual either considered (by me of course) to be be pre-Mesmer or post-Mesmer.

The reason I do this is that it seems to me that Mesmer's Animal Magnetism was the starting theory that led to the modern use of "spiritual energy" (not to be confused with philosophical "energia") in the west. This then was carried onward by the Theosophists, to Lodge-occultists, to the new-age section of your bookstore.

Prior to Mesmer there was no concept of energy as a form of spiritual force like we hear about today in the occult field, but instead what we had were the concepts of Soul, Passions of the mind, and Phantasy. These concepts at times have similar results and actions.

According to Agrippa, the phantasies work upon the passions of the soul, and the soul of course works upon the body. And certainly when the phantasy works upon one's soul it could definitely produce effects called today as self-hypnontic states of hypnotic auto-suggestion. Agrippa hints at this in his opus, Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

"So the soul sometimes is, by a vehement imagination or speculation, altogether abstracted from the body, as Celsus relates of a certain presbyter, who, as often as he pleased, could make himself senseless and lay like a dead man, so that when any one pricked or burnt him he felt no pain, but lay without any motion or breathing; yet he could, as he said, hear men's voices, as it were, afar off, if they cried out aloud."--Agrippa

Not only that, but one's own phantasies and passions can certainly work on another's soul and thus their body.

"The passions of the soul which follow the phantasy when they are most vehement, cannot only change their own body, but also can transcend so as to work upon another body"--Agrippa

So where am I going with this? Well what I am eventually trying to illustrate to some hard-core traditional magicians is that visualization(phantasy) is still a useful part of traditional magic, and its effects are pre-Mesmer even when spiritual energy of the modern magician school is not.

So while I agree that visualizing an entity during a conjuration is purely mental-masturbation and useless, I also know that visualizing the divine names while uttering them or visualizing Christ while speaking of his divine attributes can and often does raise the passions and exert a sense of enhanced divine authority by its action upon the soul/body.

"and, lastly, they have much greater power in the mind; for this, when it is fixed upon God for any good with its whole intention, doth oftentimes affect another's body, as well as its own, with some divine gift. By this means we read that many miracles were done by Apollonius, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Philolaus, and many prophets and holy men of our religion, which things we shall now consider."--Agrippa

This definitely does not mean that circles drawn on the ground via phantasy(visualization) will protect you from ghouls. And it certainly does not mean visualization is the key to make magic work, but within its context can in fact be helpful to those working within the traditional magic field.

P.S. This of course also has an import on scrying, which I will try to get to later.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Via Media Evocation

Ok there is a lot of talk on the blogosphere about whether physical manifestation of spirits during evocation is necessary and or needed. And I have to say that I agree mostly with what Inominandum stated on his blog here:

I agree with his stance and levels of experiencing spirit contact during evocation. I would like to add that within the levels, as he puts it, there are also sub-levels in each one. For instance in level three he says that the spirits are external to the magician's mind. But this can also happen on several sub levels. Lets say that S1 of 3 means that the magician sees a misty form of the spirit, but the other attendants in the ritual space can not. SL2 of 3 would mean in my opinion that the magician sees a fully complete form and the attendants in the space see perhaps a mist or shadow. SL3 of 3 would mean that all of them see/experience the same image of the spirit evoked.

And then Inominandum turns the topic from physical evocation into the actual practice of evocation. First let me state that I do not agree with his stance that the word "Tetragrammaton" on the wand was meant as a clue for the magician to write YHVH on the wand instead. If this were the case, why wouldn't they just write that. Clearly YHVH(even the form of Jehovah) is written-out in other grimoires of the same era. And the word "Tetragrammaton" itself is used in the text some grimoires of the conjurations themselves, which means that particular word was deemed as powerful in its self. Basically I don't buy into the theory that "blinds" were included into grimoires to throw off casual readers. That is such a victorian after-though to reconcile errors and or changes in various grimoire manuscripts.

Ok moving back to the topic. I do agree with Inominandum that there are currently different approaches to using evocation, and that it isn't necessary to have all the traditional tools, though the traditional tools do create more spirit activity(paraphrasing here).

Yes there are in fact different approaches to evocation and I will give my personal definitions to each practice below:

1st: The Traditionalist will go completely by the book(which ever grimoire he is using), and will not make any substitution or deletion in any tools, conjurations, and or curses.

2nd: The Modernist may either dispense with some of the traditional tools and combine the instructions of grimoire with massonic/lodge style occultism, or the modernist may in fact dispense with the book(which ever grimoire used) and lodge style altogether and just "wing" it in a minimalist style.

3rd: Then there is what I like to call the Via Media Magician. This VMM will more often than not go by the book, but is not afraid to make small tweaks and changes when needed. These tweaks and changes has nothing to do with laziness or short-cuts, but instead is based on a knowledge of what those elements being changed really mean and making appropriate alternatives using sound reason and logic.
For instance, when we look at Lemegeton's Goetia with its requirement of the lion skin belt, obviously there may be future magicians out there who will have no way of obtaining that. Afterall it is illegal to hunt lions in most countries(some countries allow for it but in unethical means), and the remaining antique lion skin rugs will eventually be gone or stored away in private collections.

So, a wise magician would break down what the lion-skin belt means, its associations, its practical aspects, and then formulate an equal alternative which s/he can use effectively in its place(making sure to stay within the spirit of the grimoire). That and I would say that a reasonable VMM would try to keep from making tweaks and changes if at all possible.

I would almost say that the Via Media Magician is probably even more traditional than the Traditionalists, because it is a fact that even the same grimoire(take your pick) had variations from one manuscript to another manuscript.