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Review: “High Magick” by Damien Echols

Re-blogging this now as I feel the story of a man who was stuck in solitary confinement for eighteen years practising Magick has great relevance for us occultists who are being obliged to self-isolate at home!

Other relevant books would include the Book of Abramelin, the Sworn Book of Honorius, etc etc etc.

Sol Ascendans - The Website of Alex Sumner

“High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices that saved my Life on Death Row,” by Damien Echols.

Damien Echols has forcibly wrested the kind of superstardom of which most occult writers dream but never see. But then – has has paid a far higher price that any other magician – myself included – would ever want to pay, i.e. spending eighteen years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

Whereas most would-be occultists might want to cast spells for money, sex, power, and all the rest, Damien has been using his magickal skills for the considerably less frivolous ends of avoiding being executed; preserving his life, health and sanity; winning his eventual freedom; and coping with severe PTSD after having been released.

The blurb of this book describes Damien as having been initiated into a lineage of Zen Buddhism whilst incarcerated: however, almost none of this…

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Review: The Hermetic Science of Transmutation, by Giuliano Kremmerz

Giuliano Kremmerz (born Ciro Formisano, 1861; died (at least physically) 1930) was one of the most influential Italian Occultists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His writings have been translated into French and Spanish, but he remained largely unknown amongst Anglophone magicians as they were never translated into English – until now.

Giuliano Kremmerz, 1861 – 1930

“The Hermetic Science of Transformation: The Initiatic Path of Natural & Divine Magic,” was first written by Kremmerz in 1896, apparently in the hope that acquainting Italian readers with the power of the occult would lead to a new Renaissance of the mind. His reaction to the events of the subsequent twenty years betrays his bitterness that this did not happen. Anywho, the main points that Kremmerz makes, as I understand them, may be summarized thus:

  • The goal of the Magician is to Transform oneself into a God. But this is not the “become a living god” rhetoric that has blighted the credibility of modern occultism, for Kremmerz also stresses that the first duty of a magician after acquiring god-like power is to use it for the good of humanity in general, or one’s neighbour in particular.
  • Likewise, Kremmerz stresses continually that only Magicians who are pure in heart and intention can participate in the Divine Magic. Kremmerz’ morality is thus almost Christian in outlook, and he himself professes great admiration for the figure of Christ. But not so much for the Church, which he criticises for having lost the keys to magic, whilst yet clinging to meaningless dogma.
  • The key to this apotheosing is the Transmutation of the Sexual Force. However, far from entailing wild and reckless orgies, this actually entails careful conservation of the sex-force – even to the point where Kremmerz says that only absolute chastity can enable a participation in the Divine Magic. This results in Kremmerz’ sexual alchemy coming across as prudish compared to the smut of later authors such as Crowley, etc.
  • A consequence of actively attempting to make of oneself a God is that the Magician acquires the ability to perform works of Thaumaturgy.

Now that we have an actual work of Kremmerz in our hands, it is interesting to compare it with some of the lurid, and quite frankly disgusting, writings attributed to him which have been circulating on the internet and other places for several years (mostly in Italian), referred to variously as the Dossier Segreti or Corpus Totius Magiae.

In this “Hermetic Science…” book, Kremmerz speaks of his Myriam Fraternity, the aim of which is to perform works of Healing and purification.

Kremmerz does not however mention or even hint at the existence of the “Egyptian Order of Osiris,” which is the subject of the purported Corpus Totius Magiae.

I am reliably informed – by several different people – that the Corpus Totius Magiae is a hoax insofar as it claims to represent Kremmerz’ practices.[1] The present book, “Hermetic Science…” does however give an accurate flavour of the philosophy underpinning the Myriam work, without obviously giving away any of its secret rituals. Reading it myself, the difference in tone between “Hermetic Science…” and the Corpus Totius Magiae becomes one of sharp relief – as if no-one could believe they belong to the same organisation without epitomising the essence of DoubleThink. And yet, the most widely cited academic source, Hans Thomas Hakl in Hidden Eros,[2] seems to conflate Kremmerz’ own writings with the contents of the Corpus Totius Magiae uncritically.

(As an aside, it is within my personal knowledge that at least one Big-Name-Occultist has been duped by some passing salesman of magical charters into buying the Corpus Totius Magiae as The Ultimate Secrets of Magic. What bewildered me was not that he necessarily believed this to be the case, but that he paid good money for a document that had been floating around for free for several years on the internet. The moral of the story is – first learn to speak Italian, before buying something written in Italian).

In short, I would recommend this book purely on the basis that it forms a key link in our understanding the History of continental Occultism, and I look forward to more works by Kremmerz becoming available in English in the future.


Notes

[1] Whether or not the practices described therein are genuine at all, however, is another matter entirely.

[2] Hakl H T, Hanegraaf W J (ed.), Kripal JJ (ed.), 2008, “The Theory and Practice of Sexual Magic, Exemplified byFour Magical Groups in the Early Twentieth Century,” from “Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism,” Brill, Leiden / Boston.

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BREXIT Astrology Problems OR What a difference 6 minutes makes!

Chart for BREXIT: 0000 GMT, 1st February 2020, Westminster

So here’s my dilemma. BREXIT officially happens at 0000 GMT on 1st February 2020. In trying to draw up a chart for it, and taking London as the “place of birth,” I notice that the Ascendant is in Libra, but right on the cusp of Scorpio. In other words, if BREXIT happened six minutes later, it would actually be in Scorpio.

Why is this a problem? Because if Libra, then the Lord of the Ascendant is Venus, which I interpret to mean that the public face of the new BREXIT-regime will be all smiles: it will be dominated by the arts and popular entertainment, in particular the National Lottery, and PR campaigns fronted by glamorous young women. There will be a honeymoon period in which people are idealistic about it, at least at first.

However, if Scorpio, then the Lords of the Ascendant are Mars and Pluto, which means moody frowning instead of smiles. The same persona of the new regime will either be all armed conflict, civil unrest and economic instability (i.e. Mars); or perhaps Government upheaval and lone terrorist attacks on Britain’s transport networks (i.e. Pluto).

So please, my loyal blog-followers! Which sign do you think will exert the most influence over the new political situation? Vote now in my new poll!

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Cosmic Ordering Calendar 2019

So now I’m collating and preparing my Cosmic Ordering Calendar for 2019! Here’s what I wrote about the concept this time last year…

Sol Ascendans - The Website of Alex Sumner

Some eight years ago I first came up with the idea of devising one’s own Cosmic Ordering Calendar. As a reaction against some of the cynical and trashy novelty calendars that were then doing the rounds, I thought, why not create one’s own calendar to do something noble like manifest one’s goals and aspirations?

Example of a blank photo calendar

Needless to say, I am currently using the break between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to prepare my Calendar for 2018. I’ve found that a great deal of the work can be done for you by getting photo calendars, which are available from major stationers: their intent was for you to put twelve cute pictures of your family on it and send it to your relatives. However, the Cosmic Orderer can subvert this and put twelve pictures of what one wants to manifest in the forthcoming year.

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Deo, Non Fortuna – Dion Fortune, Psychic Warfare and the Magical Battle of Britain

EXPLORING THE OUTER EDGES OF SOCIETY AND MIND

“What mathematics are to matter and force, occult science is to life and consciousness…” – Dion Fortune, Sane Occultism*

Dion_Fortune_Golden_Dawn-mp83c0mq99wwycukllv8n6ywkjyilhyavy2gxup8co Penry Evans and Dion Fortune

The 21st century for all of it’s scientific propensity rivals past civilizations in the widespread and popular acceptance of what is commonly called occultism. From indie bands like the Klaxons, to mainstream artists like Lady Gaga and Jay-Z, occult imagery and philosophies are spread far and wide with a surprising lack of reaction from all but the most fundamentalist branches of culture.

Christian leaders like Rick Warren “cast their visions” on the culture, popular Kabbalah is a mainstay in Hollywood, Scientology (L. Ron Hubbard’s association with, and betrayal of, the occultist Jack Parsons is often overlooked) holds sway over established actors like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, even Oprah, a household favorite, is knee deep in mysticism and channeled teachings.

When we begin to look there appears…

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How do you explain Kundalini Awakening to a rational person?

This was originally on Quora.com, but it was removed because they didn’t like me linking to an external website.


Give the so-called rational person a copy of Wilhelm Reich’s The Function of the Orgasm: Sex-Economic Problems of Biological Energy (The Discovery of the Orgone, Vol. 1) and explain to them that Kundalini awakening is similar in purpose and function to the release of “orgone” which Reich describes as occurring when a neurosis is abreacted.

You might also point out, however, that a traditional Yogi would view the process in far more spiritual terms than Reich would ever have countenanced: for example, a Yogi would not say neurosis so much as karma, and moreover would see the whole process as a spiritual one, whereas Reich only viewed it as a psychiatric one.

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Alex Sumner in the UK

Updated Link for UK readers searching for my books on Amazon.co.UK

Alex Sumner’s UK Author Page.

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Can some one give me any information on how to give a doll/puppet a soul/life?

This was originally posted on Quora, but got deleted, apparently because they didn’t like me including a link to an external website. Oops!


Can some one give me any information on how to give a doll/puppet a soul/life?
I am interested in any ritual or any way to do this.

My answer:

Why? Seriously: why would you want do such a thing?

Initiation into Hermetics, by Franz Bardon

If you want to create a fetish, for accomplishing simple magical tasks, then the process is similar to creating a Servitor. For example: Franz Bardon outlined a method for doing so in his book Initiation into Hermetics – it involves filling the doll with a “fluid condenser” which attracts an appropriate astrological or elemental force into it.

If, however, you want to create an actual “Chucky,” then I’m afraid you’re out of luck.

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Alex Answers Fan Mail

Names etc redacted because even *I* am not that big a bastard.

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June 25, 2018 · 3:30 pm

Review: The Sworn Book of Honorius (Liber Iuratus Honorii) – by Joseph H Peterson

The Sworn Book of Honorius / Joseph Peterson

(First published on Amazon):

Joseph H Peterson always produces high quality versions of classic grimoires so I was very pleased to be able to get hold of this, which I did with the aid of a gift voucher I manifested from the universe (there’s magic for you! 😉 ). Anyway, so here is my analysis of “The Sworn Book of Honorius” which I will hereinafter abbreviate as TSBOH:

TSBOH dates from the 14th century (i.e. 1300s). Now at that time in Europe there were only two types of men – and unfortunately they were men, not women – who could get an education and hence be able to read a grimoire: Religious (monks and priests); and the sons of Royalty and Nobility. Correspondingly, if you survey the various grimoires dating from the pre-Renaissance era, you will find that they fall into one of two types, which I term Sacerdotal and Royal – reflecting the assumptions that the grimoire-writer makes about his intended audience.

TSBOH is a -Sacerdotal- grimoire – it not only assumes that the operator has the willing assistance of a Christian priest, but that he will also lead a life identical to that of a cloistered monk and be familiar with the daily office as a man in monastic orders would be. (Another example of a Sacerdotal grimoire would be the Heptameron of Peter Abano – but TSBOH is *far* more intense in the preparation it prescribes, and far more ambitious in what it sets out to achieve). Examples of what I would term “Royal” grimoires would include the Keys of Solomon both Lesser and Greater, which do not seem to require such a dependence on priests, but do promise to confer magical powers especially useful to princes and noblemen.

Like other pre-renaissance grimoires such as the Heptameron and Greater Key of Solomon, TSBOH assumes that the spirits manifest to visible appearance in the air before the circle, without the aid of a particular skrying medium.

The actual structure of TSBOH is as follows: first, the Operator should consecrate the “Seal of God” (actually the prototype of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth) and complete a forty-day operation to attain the Beatific Vision. In this sense it is akin to a shortened version of Abramelin, except that the required prayers are more sophisticated. This being achieved, the Operator can then progress on to an elaborate series of conjurations of Planetary and Elemental Spirits of both an Angelic and Demonic nature – for achieving more conventional “low-magic” goals.

Regarding Peterson’s edition itself, this contains both the Latin and English editions (newly translated) as well as the relevant diagrams, and a scholarly introduction which makes the point that many of the barbarous words of evocation which crop up in later well-known grimoires come from Byzantine sources, which I personally find fascinating. Peterson’s text does a good job of making clear that TSBOH directly inspired several Solomonic grimoires such as the Greater Key and multiple parts of the Lesser Key (Goetia, Ars Notoria) as well.

IMHO, there are two main difficulties to turning TSBOH into a working grimoire for the modern grimoire magician. Firstly, the number and complexity of the various prayers and invocations, and their need to be compiled and collated before use (but – thanks to Peterson’s edition – at least this can now be done!). Secondly and more unfortunately is the need for a monastic lifestyle, and more specifically a Christian monastic lifestyle – the operations in TSBOH are closely connected with the theology of the Christian religion to separate them.

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