Tag Archives: chaos magick

Let’s Do Cyber!

"Like the handles. Gives me something to HOLD on to."

“Like the handles. Gives me something to HOLD on to.”

So there I was, lying awake at night, tortured by that most exquisite of agonies – “what the hell is Cybermagick?” And more to the point, what is the real difference between cybermagick and any other type of magick? So I tried to find examples of Cyber on the internet, in the hope this would give me some much-needed relief. I was disappointed to discover three things. Firstly, it has nothing to do with Crowley-style Magic-with-a-K but done by internet-messaging service – although I’m sure this could be a fecund opportunity for an enterprising mage with low-enough scruples. Secondly, it has nothing to do with cheap attempts to insert sexual innuendo into a blog post about the occult in a cynical traffic to drive traffic to ones website! Instead, it is all about the Information Model of Magic.

The Information Model, which has been developed by Chaos magicians in the past thirty years or so, is best described by Frater UD thus:

  1. Energy as such is “dumb”: it needs information on what to do; this can be so called laws of nature or direct commands.
  2. Information does not have mass or energy. Thus, it is faster than light and not bound by the restrictions of the Einsteinian spacetime continuum. It can therefore be transmitted or tapped at all times and at all places. In analogy (but of course only as such!) it may be likened to quantum phenomena rather than relativistic mass-energy. It can, however, attach itself to a medium e.g. an organism or any other memory storage device.

So for example, action-at-a-distance such as remote healing – in the Spirit model one would evoke a spirit, ask it to go heal someone, believing that the spirit to be an objectively-real being, who will then travel across time and space to the target to heal them using its own powers. In the Information Model, the spell intention is converted into an algorithm or program which is transmitted to the target in a manner similar to the way scientists hope to exploit Quantum entanglement and the EBR paradox to use Quantum computers to transmit information: the target’s mind then receives and uses the information thus transmitted rather like a computer downloading and executing code.

It was at this point that I realised that the so-called Information Model is actually a lot older than 1987, as Frater UD alleges. It was in fact known to the Theosophists, and to occultists who were directly inspired thereby, such as Dion Fortune. The Information Model is really an attempt to describe how the Akashic Records work, without using the words “Akashic Records” !

Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda

Whereas Chaos magick would have it that the Information Model has been around since the nineteen-eighties, the idea of a permanency of ideas in the Akasha dates to the eighteen-eighties. Parahamsa Yogananda effectively expresses the same concept thus:

All thoughts vibrate eternally in the cosmos. By deep concentration, a master is able to detect the thoughts of any mind, living or dead.

Chapter 15, Autobiography of a Yogi.

This being the case, it follows that the Akashic records do not simply consist of past-life memories, but are continually being written to at every moment by living beings. It should be noted that in the same place Yogananda also claimed of his own guru, “[b]y his powerful will, Master was also a human broadcasting station…” thus explaining why he had been able to silently influence, at-a-distance, a random stranger to carry out an action he had willed.

The Magical Battle of Britain, by Dion Fortune, edited by Gareth Knight.

Dion Fortune used the same or similar principles to develop a telepathic theory of magic, i.e. that by combined effort a group of ritualists could impress a Thought upon the Akasha, which would serve to cause it to influence those sensitive to it. E.g. see The Magical Battle of Britain.

My understanding of “Paradigm-shifting” in Chaos Magick is that the whole point in shifting to a new paradigm is to be able to make use of technology not available in the old one. The best non-occult example being Holograms: no-one was actually looking for Holograms until Fourier, the mathematician, theorised that they ought to be able to exist – their invention followed soon thereafter. Fourier was thus able to cause the creation of a new technology by making a successful paradigm-shift in ideas: and note that he did so not by playing “let’s pretend,” or faking it until making it, but by coming up with a fully-worked out mathematical proof! But I digress. My point is that the so-called “Information Model” is not really a paradigm-shift per se, it is really just a pre-existing paradigm described in different terminology. It is, perhaps, however, a revival of interest in an old school of thought that was not fully appreciated by the wider occult community the first time around.

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The Magical Solution to the Syrian Refugee Crisis | Alex Sumner

ALEX SUMNER: NOW ON HUFFINGTON POST –

Religious leaders across the world have been calling on people to pray for the fate of refugees, whose plight has become a major issue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa recently. However, I decided not to resort to prayer, but take a different approach, to wit: Sorcery.

Source: The Magical Solution to the Syrian Refugee Crisis | Alex Sumner

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Music In Theory & Practice, part 4

Pythagoras

The Harmonic Method

I will just briefly mention this because it is vaguely to do with the theme of associating colours and musical tones mentioned in the preceding blog posts in this series. The main problem with this method is that it was an idea ahead of its time and therefore, as far as I can make out was not taken up in a great way in the past. Ironically however, living in the twenty-first century we are now technologically advanced enough to develop the idea for the future. The basis of the idea lies in Harmonics.

Musicians who play stringed instruments like the guitar or violin will be familiar the concept straightaway – they are the bell-like tones produced by lightly touching a string at the 4th, 5th, 7th, 12th etc frets or the equivalent positions. What you actually have here is a tone which is equal in frequency to that of the open string, multiplied by a whole number. Hence:

Frequency Known as Where on guitar
x The First Harmonic (Fundamental) 0 (Open string)
2x The Second Harmonic 12
3x The Third Harmonic 7
4x The Fourth Harmonic 5
5x The Fifth Harmonic 4
6x The Sixth Harmonic 3 *
7x The Seventh Harmonic 15 *
8x The Eighth Harmonic 17 *

* These harmonics are not as easy to play on a guitar as the other harmonics. But if they were easy, then it wouldn’t be a guitar!

As a sort of aside, it is worth noting that going by Pythagorean Temperament, the various Harmonics would thus be equivalent to: –

Harmonic Note
1st I
2nd I’
3rd V’
4th I”
5th III” **
6th V”
7th b VII” **
8th I”’

** NB: The note-equivalents of the 5th & 7th Harmonics are approximations – probably more suited to a Just Tempered scale, as opposed to a strict Pythagorean one. The strict Pythagorean versions of these notes would be several cents sharper than the corresponding harmonics.

It is here that Madame Blavatsky shoved her oar in: she asserted that the colours of the spectrum correspond to Harmonically to one another, hence:

Harmonic Note Colour
1st I Red
2nd I’ Orange
3rd V’ Yellow
4th I” Green
5th III” Blue
6th V” Indigo
7th b VII” Violet
8th I”’ “The Ghost Ray”

“The Ghost Ray…” Yes indeed, Blavatsky postulated that there was an eighth, mysterious colour of the spectrum, which is where Terry Pratchett got the idea for Octarine from. Hence Chaos magicians have incorporated this into Chaos Magic thinking they are being really ironic, when in fact they are just re-cycling hundred year-old Theosophy!

Anyhoo… now that we have a basis for assigning colours to harmonics, it is possible to analyse the timbre of a musical instrument in astrological terms – e.g. if one particular harmonic is stronger than the rest, one could say that the sound of the instrument is more under the presidency of the corresponding planet or planets than the others. However, in terms of using this for practical magic, this system would have had limited functionality in the late 19th century when it was first proposed. For a particular planetary working one would have to hunt high and low for the particular instruments that sounded just right. Pipe organs would have been more useful in this regard – unfortunately, most organs were not and indeed are not built to accommodate the full range of harmonics as listed above.

Fairlight CMI

So, to fully make use of the system in the 1880s would have been very inconvenient. However: fast forward one hundred years, and the invention of digital synthesisers from the 1980s onwards does now allow one to pick and choose the harmonics with which to imbue your tone. This of course is only if you are prepared to actually synthesise instead of just use the presets. However, such synthesisers can do far more sophisticated things than just “pick a harmonic” – for example, by creating dynamic tones in which the levels of different harmonics alters in real time, thus reflecting that as in music, so in astrology, and so in Life – the influences of the various planets are not constant, but are modulating continually.

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Fiction Is Stranger Than Truth

Working on a new book recently – i.e. the one I intend for publication after “Licence To Depart” comes out on May 11th – I wanted to create a story that combined elements of science fiction and fantasy with the occult. More specifically, I wanted to create a plot-device which would enable one character to teleport from one place to another. The actual method of teleportation was essentially a MacGuffin to introduce the main action of the plot, i.e. the various adventures that occurred at the destination points, and the implications in terms of character development arising therefrom. I therefore threw together something off the top of my head, which as far as I was concerned was unrelated to anything of which I had previously conceived in my study of the occult, but was instead pure fiction.

Then, that night I had a lucid dream about my fictional plot-device – and it worked.

I hasten to add that of course I did not physically teleport from one place to another, it was all action taking place within my lucid dream. Nevertheless using this fictional plot-method in my own lucid dream I realised I had invented a new method of Clairvoyance.

Vayu (Air)

Vayu - the Tattva of Air

At this point I shall just digress on the nature of Clairvoyance. In the Golden Dawn Clairvoyance is not the same thing as “Remote Viewing” or “Auric Vision.” It is not so much about seeing things which are occurring on the physical plane as it is about discerning the contents of the Astral plane. This is why I have to chuckle when I hear about doctors in hospitals putting things on shelves too near the ceiling, so that only disembodied spirits would supposedly be able to see them. When people who have an NDE inaccurately report what is on those shelves, these doctors claim that clairvoyance must be a hoax. To which I have to say, “No: your own definition which you have made up of Clairvoyance is a hoax. I could have told you before your experiment started that it would not provide valid evidence of real Clairvoyance.”

The classic method of achieving Clairvoyance in magic is to astrally project through a “magic door” which consists of a symbol of a magical force – e.g. a Tattva. What one sees beyond that door will be an astral representation of the qualities which that symbol represents. Ultimately, by undertaking this astral journey, one may come to learn how to manifest that magical force in physical life.

The Tattva-method of Clairvoyance is a well known practice in western occultism, but it has a potential draw-back, in that all the phenomena encountered will ultimately remain within the paradigm established by the Tattva symbols. What if, for example, one wanted to explore a magical force which was unrelated to the Tattvas – which was outside the paradigm? I keep talking about “Tattvas” but of course they are only one set of symbols in use in occultism. It is entirely possible that instead of a Tattva one could substitute something else which is more appropriate to the magical force which one wants to explore – and then use the astral projection method on that instead.

However, what if one had exhausted all the known sets of symbols in all forms of occultism … and one still wanted to explore something that was outside the paradigm-limits of all of them – what then? What if, indeed, one wanted to explore the outer limits of what is possible and impossible? It is here that the creative use of Fiction as a Magical Tool comes in useful – as I believe I had inadvertently discovered with my experiences with my plot-device.

Philosophically this is somewhat difficult to describe fully, as ultimately the only way to satisfactorily describe something which is capable of transcending all paradigms of thought is to stand outside all paradigms. But if I do that, am I not then speaking from another paradigm, albeit a new one? Whatever – I shall describe it in terms of the astral plane, as that is what I am comfortable with. What is fundamental to realise is that the so-called astral plane is not tied to any particular belief system, but applies to the entire Universe – the Known, the Unknown, Past, Present, Future, Alternate, Potential, Speculative, Fact and Fiction. From Earth to the far reaches of the Cosmos and all points in between. On the Astral Plane, it does not matter whether something is true or false in Physical Plane terms, but whether it is a Real Astral Phenomenon or not. Moreover, its reality as an Astral Phenomenon again does not depend on truth or falsehood – because if it is perceived it must exist in some sense or other – but on how important or significant it is – which is a subjective value judgement.

To illustrate my point: take for example the Archangel Michael. Is he true or false? Fact or fiction? He is undoubtedly a Real Astral Phenomenon. I imagine that fundamentalist Christian might go further and claim that he is actually true – because the Bible says so, and the Bible as we all know is not fiction. 😉

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

What however about Cthulhu – an entity created by the author HP Lovecraft, who is on record as stating that he himself knew that this Great Old One and the rest of the Mythos were fictional? Is it then valid for people like Kenneth Grant or Phil Hine to go and perform magic rituals based on the assumption that Cthulhu is in fact real? In a certain way – yes it is, because it is no more outrageous than claiming it is possible to create an Artificial Elemental, which has been an established magical practice for more than a hundred years. If we assume that creating Artifical Elementals are possible, then it should certainly be possible to create Artificial Elementals out of characters who are fictional creations, whether they be Cthulhu, Gandalf, or whoever. In fact, it should be easier to create an Artificial Elemental based on a fictional creation – as opposed to say one who has been invented de novo – because the former will have a back-story already written which helps the magician to fully realise them.

The only qualification I would have to make is that whilst such a Fictional Magical being or indeed thing may produce effects on the physical plane – as indeed we must hold out the possibility of it being able to if we subscribe to the validity of Artificial Elementals working at all – the Fictional creation remains on the astral plane. It is not a paradox between truth and falsehood, it is just that truth/falsity only applies to the physical plane, whilst different rules applies to the Astral. So whilst I might be impressed by someone who was able to take a piece of Fiction and make a successful magical operation out of it, I am less than keen on people rabbiting on and on about their astral experiences as if they were “true” in the physical-plane sense of the word.

So the moral of this blog-post is: if you want to achieve anything in magic, do not get hung up on whether it fits in with any particular milieu – or whether you are comfortable working with that milieu at all. The creative magician can always find a solution, because in a very literal sense, you are only limited by your imagination.

Hang on! If artificial elementals are real, perhaps that means the Archangel Michael is an artificial elemental? Perhaps that means that … whisper it… God is both Fictional and Real! If this statement does not get me lynched by both Christians and Atheists then nothing will! 😉

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The Ultimate Sigil

This is a re-post of something which I did last year which appeared on my Facebook page but not on my website.


The Ultimate Sigil

So there I was,  tinkering around with sigils, and I thought to myself: “Hang on! Creating a new one for every new magic spell is a bit of a rigmarole? Why not just create one all-purpose sigil?”

The Ultimate Sigil with elemental colours.

After some experimentation, I came up with this design (see left). Given that there are 26 letters in the English language, it follows that one sigil which contains all of them therefore represents all possible sigils that can ever be expressed in English. The Ultimate Sigil, in which all 26 can be found, thus represents Omneity, in which all things exist in potentiality like an acorn which contains a full grown Oak.

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… but then we shall see face to face.

John Dee, the famous Elizabethan Mathematician, Scholar and Occultist, continues to exercise a powerful hold over the British imagination. So much so that British newspaper The Guardian this weekend featured a nice article this weekend about Dee’s “Shewstone” or black-obsidian disc with which he got Edmund Kelly to skry all the wonders of what we nowadays call Enochian Magic.

The article in question was about a new exhibition at the Tate St Ives (Cornwall, not Cambridgeshire) about magic and modernity. This proved to be somewhat ironic as according to the article, the exhibition neither featured the work of a modern magic practitioner, nor did it feature John Dee’s Shewstone. Ah well, serves me right for reading such a miserable excuse for a paper. Back to The Daily Telegraph for me in future!

But this got me thinking that I should take this opportunity to write a blog piece about Dark Mirrors and their use in magic generally.

A “dark mirror” or Speculum (not to be confused with the medical instrument of the same name) is not so much a conventional mirror but a black shiny surface in which one’s reflection may be perceived. It is used in magic for evocations.

Now a number of magicians seem to think that when performing an evocation, the spirit somehow materialises within the Triangle of Art out of thin air – but a survey of both classic magic texts and modern sources suggests that this is not the case. A great many texts suggest that the object of evocation is to make a given spirit appear in some sort of skrying medium: the most famous example of which would be the classic Crystal Ball.

However a number of other media have also been described as being used – e.g. Dee’s black-obsidian disc, or a bowl of water (a technique favoured by the Ancient Egyptians) or a small quantity of black ink held in the palm of one’s hand. Anything in fact which is black and shiny.

Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825 – 1875) advocated the use of dark mirrors for skrying purposes. He recommended using two sheets of glass, one flat and the other (the skrying surface) concave: the space between the two sheets of glass was to be filled with black ink. Randolph also wrote down practical instructions for getting started in dark-mirror skrying. (See his book Sexual Magic).

Eliphas Lévi (1810 – 1875) famously attempted to evoke the spirit of Appolonius of Tyana into a mirror. Technically he succeeded (he claimed that an apparition of Appolonius appeared) but for all the good it did him he might have just as well tried reading the tea-leaves.

Franz Bardon (1909 – 1958) in his book Initiation Into Hermetics also describes how to create magic mirrors for the purpose of skrying. According to Bardon there are several methods – such a mirror can be made from an actual mirror or glass bowl, a concave glass disc (such as can be obtained from clock-makers), or bowl which has been made by oneself out of plaster-of-paris. Knowledge of what Bardon calls “fluid condensers” – substances which attract magical influences in a kind of very simplified alchemy – is necessary to render the mirror effective. Once prepared – and assuming that one undergoes all of the other steps required for magical training – the magic mirror can be used for skrying the various planes of existence, contacting dead people, contacting magical entities, and numerous other magical effects.

The most famous practitioner of dark-mirror skrying today is Carroll “Poke” Runyon, founder of the Ordo Templi Astarte. Runyon has stated that he re-discovered the practice all by himself in the early seventies, and uses it to contact the seventy-two spirits of the Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon (whilst using a crystal ball for contacting angelic beings). See The Magick of Solomon.

What is being observed when one looks into a dark mirror? The reductionist-materialist would say that it is merely a dim reflection of oneself. However, in every case of evocation with which I am familiar, the magician does not just sit down in front of the object, but prepares himself with a great deal of magic ritual, which involves concentration and entering into an ecstatic or visionary state of consciousness. Runyon for example explicitly states that both raja yoga and self-hypnosis are necessary requisites for proper skrying in the dark mirror. Therefore although the physical cause of the apparition is the dim reflection of the skryer, what the skryer perceives is in fact the sum total of the influences at work on his or her mind at that particular moment, due to the magical ceremony in progress.

There is a description of a dark mirror skrying operation in my novel which I do not recommend readers carry out literally – it is meant to be the direct opposite of what a normal respectable magician would do in real life. On the other hand it is meant to convey an authentic flavour of what a vile, degenerate luciferian ceremony would consist.

Finally I should point out that several magicians claim that it is not necessary to “see” a spirit in order to evoke it properly. Lon Milo Duquette for example has claimed success with Goetic operations, but readily admits that when he evokes a spirit he feels its presence rather than seeing it. In Chaos Magick, an evocation refers to evoking the effects of a magical force to physical manifestation, not necessarily to evoking a visible appearance of the force itself.

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