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Sun, Apr. 10th, 2011, 05:17 pm
Magical Journal: Some Hipgnosis techniques

This is from the I-thought-I-invented-this-until-I-saw-it-in-a-book1 dep't:

A few years ago, I started doing magical hypnosis work. Right away, I hit on the idea of programming keywords by way of post-hypnotic suggestion. I recently picked this up again, with better technology for self-hypnosis and a couple of books under my belt (Leslie LeCron2 and Adam Eason3).

The set of keywords I use most often and most successfully are:

DOWN -- used to get into the flowing relaxation state, just as if I had done a full progressive-relaxation program.

PARAGATE -- used from the DOWN state to drop into working trance (WT).

PANORAMA -- used from WT to open up visualization (astral light). For me, this often comes in as if I had only my right eye open (when, physically, they are both closed) since that is my "spirit eye" ever since it got baptized with a raindrop.

SUNYATA -- used from WT or DOWN to drop into deep meditation.

I have names for my conscious and subconscious minds (my magical name and a pun on GNOW, resp.) which comes in handy for programming and for doing various kinds of offhand magic.

My problem with this is the typical one of finding time to do it when I am not sleepy. A couple of other keywords need to be done for that (SLEEP and WAKE).

Credit for rekindling my interest in using hipgnosis for magic goes to Fr. Thabion of the OTA (Poke Runyon).

1. There's something very much like it in Jason Augustus Newcomb's The Book of Magick Power (The New Hermetics Press, 2007) for one.
2. LeCron, Leslie M., Self-Hypnotism: The technique and its use in daily living, Signet 1970 (first edition 1964).
3. Eason, Adam, The Secrets of Self-Hypnosis: Harnessing the power of your unconscious mind, Network 3000 Publishing, 2005. Don't get on Adam Eason's mailing list unless you like a LOT of promotional mail.

Fri, Dec. 31st, 2010, 03:50 pm
Poetical anecdote

Many years ago now, I went to a party with my daughter. Her magnet-school creative writing teacher (Bonnie Roberts) invited her students and their parents to a reading party. I was seated on the floor near the floor furnace (if you don't live in the South you may not have seen these, but it's a metal box in the floor with a gas heater inside and a grate over the top).

As we talked and people read, I could hear my voice very faintly echo from the furnace chamber. I should mention that I have a deep "radio voice," which is good for poetry readings and rituals.

I contrived to read last. I had a piece that needed one word emphasized in the last line. I read the poem looking up at the group ... until that word, which I "threw" into the furnace.The resulting boom was very satisfying.

After that, one of the students caught me in the kitchen and seriously wanted to know if I had conjured a demon or something to do that with my voice. Ha, ha! I didn't think it was too wise to confess anything so I told him the mundane explanation.

Mon, Oct. 11th, 2010, 03:05 pm
Pagan Hermetics

Listening to Poke Runyon's Hermetic Hour on blogtalkradio, the episode entitled "Hermetic Yoga." Runyon is the head of the Ordo Templi Astartes (OTA). He's describing how to map his Phoenician deities onto a chakra system and Tree of Life.

I've got a mapping of my (six) deities onto directions that came up naturally, so this is already close. I'm getting all sorts of wild ideas from this.

He also mentioned the Hebrew Mother letters, and that made me notice that Akkadian/Hebrew Shamash is spelled with only mother letters. Hmmmmmm. I still call Him Utu, but ... and both names are phonetic palindromes.

Wed, Jun. 2nd, 2010, 03:33 pm
A key

My friend Densho wrote recently about the 16 combinations of
traditional elements and how they map visually onto the geomantic
figures. E.g., Laetitia displays "Fire over Earth" with its point-up
triangle in the top two lines and a square in the bottom two. The
other possible "bigrams" are a point-down triangle for water and a
vertical line for air. This gives a quite different way to look at the
figures, one which doesn't neatly map onto the traditional
interpretations but which allows for some new and intriguing insights.

One thing I got stuck on early, though, was the meaning of "over" in
this context. It's obvious (the top two lines "sit on top of" the
bottom two), and yet arbitrary. We traditionally generate the lines
from the top down in a reading, so isn't the bottom just as much
"based on" the top as the other way around?

While spending some time in the Death Posture recently, I got my
answer. The elements corresponding to the four lines are, from top to
bottom, Fire/Air/Water/Earth. The first two feel like a rising
tendency vs. the denser elements on the bottom, so the upper bigram is
tending to be pulled away from the lower one, and the essence of "Fire
over Earth" (or any of the other fifteen) is to be sought in the gap.

Much more is explained if you think of the single-dot (active) lines
as projecting/radiating and the double-dot (passive) lines as
receiving/absorbing. o-o attracts -o- and o-o, whereas -o- attracts
o-o and repels -o-. This asymmetry is reflected in the way of adding
two figures, where -o- + -o- => o-o but -o- + o-o = -o-. There is much
more to be said about the mathematics of geomancy, but I haven't
finished working that out and it is probably only of nerd-wizard
interest anyway.

Sun, Dec. 27th, 2009, 01:38 pm
The Tempest in a Parliament

Contemporary Pagans taking sides in Semantic Squabble

Defining contemporary Paganism is essentially impossible, or it would already have been done. I took a shot at it years ago during a spell of online wrangling; I thought my attempt was fairly precise, but it was also more than 50 words long with no clear way to reduce it. Since then, I have contented myself with a Potter Stewart definition of Paganism (can't define it but I know it when I see it). The main thing to note is that any definition of contemporary Paganism which defines it as "a religion" is on the wrong track, as it denotes a wide variety of religious traditions under one very large and perhaps odd-shaped umbrella.

Some of the Pagan attendees at the latest Parliament of the World's Religions figured that their ability to network with leaders of other faith groups was hindered by this fuzziness, so they put forth Andras Corben-Arthan's definition, that Paganism consists of revivals of "indigenous European" religions, explaining away all of the non-indigenous components like Wicca as "New Religious Movements" and utterly ignoring any non-European components.

I haven't seen any feedback from non-Pagan PWR attendees or their co-religionists on whether this helps them understand contemporary Paganism better or respect it more. It would be especially interesting to hear candid responses from the significant Indigenous delegation.

There are three components to even the simplest communication: the speaker's intent, the signal itself, and the hearer's understanding. A good communicator has a reasonable model in mind of how the message will be heard, whereas a poor communicator expects the words to be understood the same by all hearers, or otherwise mis-estimates the impact of the message.

Depending on how you assess such things, I am either highly qualified, or disqualified by reason of subjectivity, to testify in this matter, as I am Indigenous (enrolled Cherokee), a follower of Mesopotamian (distinctly non-Euro) deities, and part Euro-mutt by heritage.

My first issue was with the word "indigenous" itself, for three reasons:

  1. As applied to Neopagans, it's not correct. All of contemporary Paganism is either newly synthesized or revived from what is known of pre-Christian ways. Some reconstructions have more to work with than others, as I have been reminded many times by Heathen brethren.

  2. If you want to know why it's a bad idea for a bunch of mostly-very-White folks to be encroaching on the "Indigenous" label, do a Google search for "Wanabi," and for extra credit, "twinkie."

  3. "Indigenous European" is already in use as a White-supremacist codeword (see for example). I really don't think we need to be invoking this sort of thing in our terminology. And, yes, I already knew this, it's not just a revelation from Google-fu.

As if that weren't enough, we have the Eurocentric piece to introduce more dissonance. All of you people whose Gods were first revered by people uncomfortably far East, or by people with dark faces or other undesirable features can just consider yourselves defined away. Please find another term to describe your religion.

And, of course, the indigenous vs. NRM sort-out is just the old "reconstructionists are purer than thou" debate of which I thought most of us were heartily tired. I have already seen one Heathen blog where the writer was crowing about this great victory at the PWR, you know, finally some recognition of our claim to be the "natural religion" of persons of Teutonic blood, and ... ewwwww.

I have heard a lot of responses from Pagans who may not have immersed themselves in the discussion but who honestly resent being redefined, and a fair number of others who file the whole thing under "Who cares? I know what I am."

I would be doing the latter if this hadn't made its way to the PWR and therefore to a much wider public than our usual internal debates. We'll all be getting negative feedback from this for years,
perhaps longer.

Thu, Oct. 29th, 2009, 02:06 pm
Freeman the Examiner

I'm pre-announcing this here and on Facebook and Twitter: I'm going to be covering the Birmingham (etc.) Pagan "beat" for the Examiner: My space is set up, and I will upload my first article tonight an the Creeks don't rise :-)

Mon, Oct. 26th, 2009, 03:58 pm
Followup on Sacred Marriage post

During the celebration, Her Eminence followed through on an earlier
promise to give me a new Name. I made sure I heard Her plainly when
she spoke it. It was obviously Sumerian, although I had no freaking
clue what the translation was, and I didn't want to spoil the moment
with questions about the meaning when there was a Sumerian dictionary
15 feet from our nuptial couch.

Without specifics, since I want to keep the name private, it turns out
to have been a terrific pun in Sumerian, since its surface meaning is
one thing (an almost embarrassingly strong honorific) but the same
characters can also be translated as a compliment to my prowess as a
cunning linguist.

Sat, Oct. 24th, 2009, 11:54 pm
Sacred Marriage

I didn't know how much I was going to want to say about this beforehand, but we just got finished with a ceremony long in the making: a Sacred Marriage between me and Lilitu. I'm flyyyyyyyyying …

We wanted another bottle of wine so I went out and got Ménage à Trois :-)

Wed, Sep. 23rd, 2009, 09:14 pm
Fwd: [neos_alexandria] Festival of Inebriation (E), 9/30/2009, 12:00 pm

Gotta love this festival ...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 1:55 PM
Subject: [neos_alexandria] Festival of Inebriation (E), 9/30/2009, 12:00 pm
Reminder from: neos_alexandria Yahoo! Group

Title: Festival of Inebriation (E)

Date: Wednesday September 30, 2009

Notes: This festival celebrates intoxication in all of its forms –
both physical drunkenness and spiritual ecstasy. According to the myth
Re had bowls of beer dyed red with ochre set out to pacify the
rampaging goddess Sekhmet. She lapped them up, thinking them blood,
and was instantly transformed into the beautiful and joyous Hathor.
Spend the day enjoying the pleasures of life, drunkenness, and the
transformative powers of ecstasy through music, dance, and ritual.

Tue, Sep. 15th, 2009, 07:56 pm
Fwd: [neos_alexandria] Hermaia Propulaia (G), 9/22/2009, 12:00 pm

Ha! This festival actually fits in nicely with the Temple Zagduku
calendar, which simply reserves the equinoxes for "shamanic work" or
the equivalent. We wouldn't specifically dedicate it to _Hermes_, per
se, though; perhaps Ningishzida as the nearest equivalent, or one
could argue that most of us would do this function with Ereshkigal or
with our own ilu or ishtaru.

From: <>
Date: Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 2:02 PM
Subject: [neos_alexandria] Hermaia Propulaia (G), 9/22/2009, 12:00 pm

Reminder from: neos_alexandria Yahoo! Group

Title: Hermaia Propulaia (G)

Date: Tuesday September 22, 2009
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Next reminder: The next reminder for this event will be sent in 5
days, 23 hours, 57 minutes.
Notes: "Before the gate" - a time of boundaries between life and death
as we head into the winter months. A day of introspection when one
searches out their soul and life for things that have become stagnant
and outgrown, but which we cling to out of a longing for safety and
security. Set up an offering embodying those things to him on the
outskirts as well as a gift of mutton for Hermes and the spirits.

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