Last Call for Sorcery of Hekate

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The response for Sorcery has been HUGE, and it looks like this second group is going to be as large as the first, which I was not expecting at all.

Tomorrow is the new moon and I will making the necessary offerings to kick off the new cycle on Monday. If you want to sign up, you have this weekend to jump in. Monday Morning the first lessons will be mailed and it will have begun.

Here again are the details:

WHAT DOES THE COURSE CONSIST OF?
The course will be taught through Bi-Weekly Audio Lessons and Ritual texts. There will be periodic videos to support the material. This is followed by a recorded Question and Answer session the following week where I answer any questions you submit about that lesson.

WHEN DOES IT RUN?
The first lesson will be released on June 6th. The class will run for 7 months – a Total of 13 Lessons and a special wrap-up ritual..

WHAT ARE THESE COMMITMENTS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?
There are three main commitments:

1. You MUST do 100 repetitions of IO HEKA IO HO per day. It doesn’t matter if you are at your altar, it doesnt matter if you are in the right “headspace”, just do them. Do them in the car for all I care, it is about keeping this particular thread of fate running through your life during the practice. It take less than 5 minutes – if you can brush your teeth you can do the mantra. That said, there is a way to repair mistakes if you miss a few days.

2. You need to make an offering to Hekate on every New Moon during training. This can be a large ceremony, or a very simple offering of Incense and Wine while saying the Mantra just to keep the commitment. There will be other things that are strongly recommended for these days, but this is the commitment.

3. As with all my classes the material is under a vow of Secrecy.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$100 a month, for seven months, payable via paypal subscription.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Yes. This material is based on received Arcana. Much of it has ties to her cult in Greece and Rome, but the practice we are doing departs significantly. If you are looking for Hekate worship or reconstruction of ancient practices, this is not what you are looking for. The reason Hekate approached me during a period of Tantric training is because the teachings she wanted to transmit required someone with that background. She is a living Goddess with a vibrant history before and after her worship in Greece and Rome.

CAN YOU GIVE ME ANY BACKGROUND ON THIS MATERIAL?

If you follow my work chances are you already know about a vision of Hekate that I received in Nepal during my Tantric training in 2000. When I came back to the States I began a relationship with the Far Beyond One that has lasted 16 years. She began to transmit a system of Sorcery to me through visions and short verbal teachings, which I would then flesh out into workable rituals and meditations.

Early on I was eager to share this, and released some material in Behutet Magazine, but it quickly became apparent that this was a mistake, and that I should take the time to develop and test this arcana in secret.

In 2006 I released some material in my book Protection and Reversal Magic, and if you take a look at the Seal of Sorcery I use as the logo for my business, you can see the influence of Hekate in the Torch and Key. Still though, the dedicated system I was working with Hekate remained secret in the background, until this year.

Over 70 people are now finishing up the first cycle of Sorcery of Hekate, which was only open to members of the Strategic Sorcery Course, and I can officially call it a success. This is the best thing I have ever produced and it is just going to keep getting better. I am now opening it to anyone that wished to join.

Unlike my other courses though, this needs to be transmitted in a similar way to a Tantric Lung – through voice rather than writing. The Sorcery of Hekate training revolves around a Mandala of Hekate – a mandala with moving parts if you will. Students need to tackle this Mandala one facet at a time. There is a precise order to it, and commitments from the student that need to be kept.

 

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Field Report: Steady Work and Debt Free

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I got this field report from a Student today and wanted to share it. While this may seem like instant magic, I want to mention that the Financial Sorcery methods he mentions include mundane as well as magical work. On both of these fronts the work is, well, work. I have no patience for those who claim instant and easy results, but for those willing to do the work, results follow:

“I wanted to thank Jason Miller for being an influence through the methods presented in both his Protection Magick book and his Financial Sorcery book. A few years ago I found myself in a place of some really nasty crossed conditions due to fallout with a couple cultish groups I had been entrenched with for over a decade. This dark time was also the beginning of a period of no steady work which resulted in me amassing a good deal of loan and credit card debt. I first had to undergo the process of untangling myself from the crossed conditions and then I was able to start applying the financial sorcery techniques, which has resulted in practically miraculous steady work since Autumn of last year and obtaining the goal of paying off all my debt by my birthday last week.

Although I’ve been an avid student and practitioner of the arcane arts since the 90s, some elements had been missing in my practice and Jason’s books and Strategic Sorcery course have definitely given me tools to piece together new and potent elements that helped my overall practice really click into consistent success mode.

Two things I highly recommend for people seeking steady employment: the Jupiter glyphs and the two week planetary operation that the Strategic Sorcery group undertook in the beginning of February. The planetary operation worked amazingly well and I’m baffled why in all my hermetic studies and practice I never did anything so simple and potent like this before.”

– C.S.

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The Rooms You Get Stuck In.

 

“That’s what life is. It’s a series of rooms and who we get stuck in those rooms with adds up to what our lives are.”

Its a good point and something to consider about magic. During Rufus’s interview with Jake Stratton Kent they had a short discussion of the training that they brought to the table before grimoire work, and how difficult it is to parse that out for others. Each of them went through a series of experiences that impact their work in Grimoire based Magic, whether its the IOT, the AA, Bardon, Apostolic succession*, and so on. None of them can really say that any one thing was optimal for Grimoire work, or that they would recommend this to everyone. Its just the rooms that they passed through to get to the room they are in.

Sometimes people who have stuck to one tradition or religion their whole life can be critical of those who have engaged in multiple traditions, but in this world of jet travel, multi-multiculturalism, and internet access, its easy to find yourself in a lot of strange rooms that might look like an odd mish-mash to others. By the time I was old enough to drink I had a teacher with a Rosicrucian/High Magic background, a mentor Ngakpa-lama, and a relationship with the owners of a conjure shop and a botanica who were willing to teach me how to use anything I bought.

Someone recently asked me how I can possibly simultaneously call myself a Buddhist/a Christian/ and a Pagan. My answer is that they are all rooms I have been in, and they add up to who I am now. If you simply remove the idea that any of these paths is complete and absolute, there is no conflict. Or at maybe there is; as Walt Whitman said: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes” 

When I was coming up this was more or less the case with everybody. Generally speaking there were so few people into any one thing in a given area that you met Witches, Thelemites, Chaotes, Santeros, and all manner of people at any type of occult event. The irony is that while the internet makes wild eclecticism possible, it also allows people to build very focused and even insular communities around a specific thing and lock out anything else. Makaya? Jonagkhapa? Bokulla? Dugmas? There are probably forums for each of these.  You can isolate to just that group if you want. But thankfully most people don’t. It was trending that way for a few years, but I think that its ending.

You can also keep yourself busy running from room to room these days out of mild interest, and not really go deep in any of them. There are a lot of things that I am interested in that I have not gone deep into simply because I have not been stuck in that room, at least not yet. I am fascinated by Kapo, the Hawaiian Goddess of Sorcery, but I haven’t found myself in that room.

So I guess what I am saying is respect the rooms that you have been stuck in. Even the ones you have left in disgust and disinterest, they have effected you more than you may know. Even when we both study the same tradition or text, the rooms we have passed through to get there will make it a very different experience for both of us.

As you continue to move room to room, make sure its organic, that one things grows into another. Because of the age we live in, it will naturally be faster than it was in the past. This is a good thing as long as we don’t just race from room to room getting surface level knowledge of everything we show mild interest in, like that link for Kapo you clicked on two paragraphs ago :-)

Like House in the pic above, you might rebel against the idea that the room you are in should determine anything about your life, but like it or not it does. What you take from that room and how long you linger may be up to you, but sometimes you don’t even get to decide that. But it’s all impacting what you do next.

*Ordained by me in fact, so hopefully its true that the quality of the Bishop does not effect the transmission.. :-)

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What People Are Saying About The Sorcery Of Hekate…

Courses-SOH-featured3“This is so incredibly complex and beautiful and just so….BEYOND!!!
-K.S.

Enter it with eyes wide open and with sincerity of heart… that is all. You will be transformed physically, emotionally and mentally.”
-V.S.

“Radical insights from a totally new perspective. The transmissions are nothing I have seen elsewhere, and the direct involvement and connection with the current in the ways outlined has revolutionized a practice I thought I had with Hekate already. I may have had a relationship with her before, but this turned it up to 11. You want to take this. I wouldn’t even call it a class, but more a receiving of transmission. Absolutely worth it, people.”
– The Holiest Percher

Its hard to review this course because it is a very real and personal connection. All I can say is that it is effective, powerful and it opens doors that are normally shut !!
-Mark Owen

“This course empowered me to not only worship the Goddess but also to experience her in every aspect of my life. This course provided me with the necessary tools to accomplish this…the Hekate Rosary, the Dagger, the Key …they are all now an integral part of my regular spiritual practice. Life can be challenging at times but now I feel that I am better equipped to face these challenges. “
– N.G.

Here are the details:

WHAT DOES THE COURSE CONSIST OF?
The course will be taught through Bi-Weekly Audio Lessons and Ritual texts. There will be periodic videos to support the material. This is followed by a recorded Question and Answer session the following week where I answer any questions you submit about that lesson.

WHEN DOES IT RUN?
The first lesson will be released on June 6th. The class will run for 7 months – a Total of 13 Lessons and a special wrap-up recording as a 14th lesson.

WHAT ARE THESE COMMITMENTS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?
There are three main commitments:
1. You MUST do 100 repetitions of IO HEKA IO HO per day. It doesn’t matter if you are at your altar, it doesnt matter if you are in the right “headspace”, just do them. Do them in the car for all I care, it is about keeping this particular thread of fate running through your life during the practice. It take less than 5 minutes – if you can brush your teeth you can do the mantra. That said, there is a way to repair mistakes if you miss a few days.
2. You need to make an offering to Hekate on every New Moon during training. This can be a large ceremony, or a very simple offering of Incense and Wine while saying the Mantra just to keep the commitment. There will be other things that are strongly recommended for these days, but this is the commitment.
3. As with all my classes the material is under a vow of Secrecy.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$100 a month, for seven months, payable via paypal subscription.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Yes. This material is based on received Arcana. Much of it has ties to her cult in Greece and Rome, but the practice we are doing departs significantly. If you are looking for Hekate worship or reconstruction of ancient practices, this is not what you are looking for. The reason Hekate approached me during a period of Tantric training is because the teachings she wanted to transmit required someone with that background. She is a living Goddess with a vibrant history before and after her worship in Greece and Rome.

IO HEKA IO HO!

 

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Sara-La-Kali

Today in the French town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the statue of Saint Sara-la-Kali, dressed in seven latyers of gowns, will be brought from her shrine by Roma men on white horses and bathed in the ocean. This event will be attended by hundreds of Catholics and is particularly important to the Roma people. Readerss will take crystals and even cards in bags and dip them in the ocean at the exact moment that the Statue of Saint Sarah is dipped into the water. Across the Ocean, I will be at the beach offering my own prayers and offerings, and anointing myself with her oil. 

Who is Saint Sara-la-Kali?

The statue depicts a black woman or girl, decked in a crown and blue and white clothes, much like Mary, and indeed no discussion of Black Madonnas is complete without including this statue of Saint Sarah. But the question of who exactly this is supposed to be is a mystery.

I first heard of her many years ago as the secret daughter of Jesus and Mary Magdeline. She arrived on the shores of Camargue on a fragile boat with no oars with Mary Cleopas, Mary Salome, and Mary Magdeline. She is black indicating that she is hidden offspring, and her name is Sarah, meaning Princess.

Later I learned the more popular legends that claim her as an Egyptian girl that served the three Mary’s and is venerated for her charity. Egypt of course represents a land of mystery and magic and the Talmud even claims that Jesus had Egyptian secrets tatooed on his body.

Still other legends claim that she was a Roma Queen already in France, and that the shrine where her statue is now located was once a place of Mithraic Sacrifice.

And of course some claim that she is a Christianized Kali, whose veneration the Roma carried with them. Indeed recent genetic studies have shown the Roma throughout Europe are descended from dalits in India 1400 years ago.

So how do I honor her? D) All of the Above.

To my mind there is an honesty and even power in saying “I do not know” or “I cannot quite pin it down”. Indeed I feel that the mystery of the Black Madonnas overall is an invitation to contemplate how much we do not know, how much we cannot know, and how our ordinary methods of knowing fail us when faced with the ineffable.

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A Tale from the Hekate Course, and some light reading…

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I have been getting a lot of requests for field reports from the course, and I have some testimonials up and ready for next week, but I thought I would let two students share a report of how Hekate interlocked their lives and fortunes during the course.

The two students will go by T.F. and L.C. Their comments will be in bold. Mine will not.

Two Dogs, Two Students, and a New Venture

T.F.:  “I got these 2 male black pups dropped in front of my house, now at the time I was in financial distress so I told her that if she want me to take care of these 2 pups she`ll have to provide me ways to take care of it.

A  few days after that, a fellow member of the Hekate Sorcery course contacted me to see if she can help with the puppies, I gladly accept it. Then she asked me what I do and what skills do I have, it turns out we`re at the same exact industry and we can fulfill each other`s needs. A BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP was offered to me even though shes very very experienced in the field, and now its already running and pursuing more clients.

L.C.:  “I can attest to everything he said, she is a power house and has changed his life. She brought me a biz partner that I desperately needed to expand and is eager and willing to learn and grow. The pups visit me often in lucid dreams and it’s always the two of them. Business is growing and we’re both making more money!! There are sooo many synchronicities that it’s hard to deny it’s not Hekate at work.”

T.F.: “This course and the relationship with Hekate is life changing. If you have been called by her, I suggest you get your ass moving and sign up. Its a particular / specific way of relating with her and manifesting things. All ready to go courtesy of Jason.”

Dogs are of course sacred to Hekate, and lots of people who work with her in any capacity report lots of Dog wierdness, but its rare that she actually delivers black dogs to your doorstep :-)

If you want to sign up for the 7 Month Hekate Course, click here for more information. 

A Hekate Reading List

I have been getting a lot of requests from people who have signed up for the new cycle (thank you BTW), as well as people who want to know more about her, for a reading list.  Let me say that because I was working on revelations she presented me, and did not want to pollute my head with too much, I made it a point to avoid any other modern writing on her that did not comment on her cult in antiquity. I have not read any modern Grimoires, Devotionals, or Pagan Musings on her. There is a LOT of it, and I am sure like anything else, some of it is good and some of it is bad. If you want to start getting a good grip on Hekate though I recommend the following:

There is more but this will get you started on a fantastic journey whether you join my course or not.

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Enlightenment is Progress, not Perfection.

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Was walking on the boardwalk this weekend and came across this nugget as I looked down. I snapped this picture because its an important lesson for magic, mysticism, and the Strategic Sorcery approach specifically. It also happened to be the answer to a question a student posed to me this weekend: WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT?

What is Enlightenment?

I can tell you what different traditions define their final goal as: liberation from karma, absorption in God, dissolution of the ego, Moksha, Rigpa, etc. To be honest though I don’t really believe or even care any of that anymore.

What is Enlightenment? Here is the truth: fuck if I or anyone else REALLY knows.

I don’t think about a final goal anymore. No more racing toward Buddhahood for me. For me its about progress not perfection.

Here’s what I know:

Meditation helps my mind not fall victim to habitual patterns. The more I do it, these patterns of monkey mind get revealed at deeper and deeper levels. What seemed like genuine gnosis and clarity five years ago now just looks like yet another sheath of patterning that I am able to cut through.

Contemplation helps the mind rest in its innate clarity without the need of a focused meditation. There is no subject or object, just clarity-as-such. It is the ULTIMATE ORDINARY. The more I do it, the longer I am able to maintain it.

States that you touch on the cushion are not the goal. Crossing the Abyss is useless unless it informs your everyday state of mind. The process of making the mind clearer and making that a living reality is the path of progress.

Do You Need a Goal?

Some will say that without Buddhahood or Christ-Consciousness to measure ourselves against we have no way to know if we have gone astray or not. I call Bullshit on this. Its too easy to mistake a state of clarity for the final goal if you aren’t always looking to go further. Did Buddha or Christ, or Al-Hallaj real the ultimate, final, total state? I dunno, but if they thought so, it might discourage going even further.

You cannot step into the uncharted by clinging to a chart.

Look for practices that reveal the mind to itself. Ones that make you different at the end of those practices than you were at the beginning. You may have pitfalls on the path, but like other types of optionality, in general there is an asymetric upside to practice that will push you into a more refined state of being.

If you turn on a lamp in a dim room, you have “enlightened” it. Open a window to warmth of the southern sun and you have “enlightened” it further. You can always enlighten it further still…

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“All Shall Be Well, and All Shall Be Well, and All Manner of thing Shall Be Well”.

Today is the feast of Julian of Norwich, the saint whose writings hit my heart as heavily as Meister Ekhart’s hits my head. If you are looking for the good in Christianity, looking for a genuine message of love and peace about a god who is Omnibenevolent, this is the place to start.

We know so little about St Julian that we don’t even know here real name: Julian is the name of the Church that she was an Anchorite, a woman who was walled into a cell in the Church, with only a small window to the outside and another facing inside to the church . In 1373 she became deathly ill and received last rites. She was literally staring up into heaven when a curate brought her a painted cross and asked her to look at it. The Cross began to bleed, and soon her visions started.

These 16 visions, she she called “Showings”, depict a god who loves mankind, all of mankind, not just professed Christians. In fact these visions of love led her to struggle with the Churches teachings on sin, because while she could perceive sin, she could not perceive God’s anger over it: “It was the more surprising that I should see the Lord God regard us with no more blame than if we had been as pure and holy as his angels in heaven.” 

While she does not outright declare a doctrine of universal salvation, which no doubt would have exhausted the tolerance of the 14th century Church, the breadcrumbs to lead you to that conclusion are all there. This liberal view of Gods love, as well as her referring to god in feminine terms, could have easily gotten her excommunicated or worse Our Savior is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come. It was only her status as an Anchorite, and the fact that her theology could be dismissed because she was a woman, that she was able to get away with it.

In answer to her questions about why God allows sin she receives the following answer, which is probably the most famous quote from her Showings of Love: ““Sin has its place – but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”.

She struggles her whole life between what Christ showed her directly and what the Church teaches, and on the rare occasion that she does write about condemnation to hell she clarifies that it is what the Church teaches, and not necessarily what has been revealed to her: “all these shall be condemned to hell without end, as Holy Church teacheth me to believe. And all this [so] standing, methought it was impossible that all manner of things should be well, as our Lord shewed in the same time.” Why does she go out of her way to throw in a nod to what the Church teaches and that she accepts it? She is a woman in the 14th Century. To do otherwise would be counterproductive and self-destructive. When reading the mystics you have to read between the lines.

A Practice

There are lots of practices and meditations that people have derived from the Showings of St Julian. My favorite is a simple breath meditation I received while meditating on her words at a small Episcopal Church in Killington VT.

Begin with a short prayer from her:

“God, of thy goodness, give me Thyself;
for Thou art enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less
that can be full honor to Thee.
And if I ask anything that is less,
ever Shall I be in want,
for only in Thee have I all.”

Inhale deeply through the nose using a vase breath and and think that this breath is itself a prayer which says “All Shall Be Well”

Hold the breath in for a few moments, dont close off your nose like you are under water, simply let the breath hang in your lungs and think “And All Shall Be Well”.

Exhale the breath through the nose for an even longer time than you inhaled and think “And All Manner Of Thing Shall Be Well”.


End the practice with a simple “Amen”. 

This manner of linking the breath to mantra or prayer is very common and exists in many religions. Hindu Yogi’s that breathe the words “Ham Sa”. Tibetan Naljorpas who link the breath to “Om Ah Hum“. Eastern Orthodox practitioners who link the breath to “Kírie Isú Christé, Ié tu Theú, eléison me, ton amartolón” or “Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me, a sinner”. 

If you have any inclination to the Christian tradition at all, I urge you to take a few moments today reflect on divine love, read a little bit about Julian of Norwich (there is plenty online), and perhaps to do this practice while reflecting on what you have learned.

Be Well.

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SORCERY OF HEKATE – 7 Month Course.

Courses-SOH-featured3If you follow my work chances are you already know about a vision of Hekate that I received in Nepal during my Tantric training in 2000. When I came back to the States I began a relationship with the Far Beyond One that has lasted 16 years. She began to transmit a system of Sorcery to me through visions and short verbal teachings, which I would then flesh out into workable rituals and meditations.

Early on I was eager to share this, and released some material in Behutet Magazine, but it quickly became apparent that this was a mistake, and that I should take the time to develop and test this arcana in secret.

In 2006 I released some material in my book Protection and Reversal Magic, and if you take a look at the Seal of Sorcery I use as the logo for my business, you can see the influence of Hekate in the Torch and Key. Still though, the dedicated system I was working with Hekate remained secret in the background, until this year.

Over 70 people are now finishing up the first cycle of Sorcery of Hekate, which was only open to members of the Strategic Sorcery Course, and I can officially call it a success. This is the best thing I have ever produced and it is just going to keep getting better. I am now opening it to anyone that wished to join.

Unlike my other courses though, this needs to be transmitted in a similar way to a Tantric Lung – through voice rather than writing. The Sorcery of Hekate training revolves around a Mandala of Hekate – a mandala with moving parts if you will. Students need to tackle this Mandala one facet at a time. There is a precise order to it, and commitments from the student that need to be kept.

Here are the details:

WHAT DOES THE COURSE CONSIST OF?
The course will be taught through Bi-Weekly Audio Lessons and Ritual texts. There will be periodic videos to support the material. This is followed by a recorded Question and Answer session the following week where I answer any questions you submit about that lesson.

WHEN DOES IT RUN?
The first lesson will be released on June 6th. The class will run for 7 months – a Total of 13 Lessons and a special wrap-up recording as a 14th lesson.

WHAT ARE THESE COMMITMENTS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?
There are three main commitments:
1. You MUST do 100 repetitions of IO HEKA IO HO per day. It doesn’t matter if you are at your altar, it doesnt matter if you are in the right “headspace”, just do them. Do them in the car for all I care, it is about keeping this particular thread of fate running through your life during the practice. It take less than 5 minutes – if you can brush your teeth you can do the mantra. That said, there is a way to repair mistakes if you miss a few days.
2. You need to make an offering to Hekate on every New Moon during training. This can be a large ceremony, or a very simple offering of Incense and Wine while saying the Mantra just to keep the commitment. There will be other things that are strongly recommended for these days, but this is the commitment.
3. As with all my classes the material is under a vow of Secrecy.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$100 a month, for seven months, payable via paypal subscription.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Yes. This material is based on received Arcana. Much of it has ties to her cult in Greece and Rome, but the practice we are doing departs significantly. If you are looking for Hekate worship or reconstruction of ancient practices, this is not what you are looking for. The reason Hekate approached me during a period of Tantric training is because the teachings she wanted to transmit required someone with that background. She is a living Goddess with a vibrant history before and after her worship in Greece and Rome.

IO HEKA IO HO!

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7 Rules Regarding Tradition vs Ingenuity

In the last post we spoke aMagic in the 21st Centurybout the need and roll for tools. So now is probably a good time to talk about WHAT those tools should or can be.

There is a debate between strict traditionalism vs modern ingenuity not only as far as tools, but in magic in general. As usual, I do not fall into either extreme, so people on the traditional side tend to see me as wildly eclectic, and people on the “anything goes” or Chaos Magic end of the spectrum see as too strict.

To outline my approach to this problem I have a few rules I hold myself to.

#1: There is always a gain and a loss.

The pic above (Thans to Julio Cesar Ody, again) is a great example of sliding too far to “anything goes” end. Let’s leave the offering aside and imagine the slide that this took:

Handmade candle > Storebought candle > Electric candle > Candle App.

In every stage of this slide you lose something and gain something. The Handmade candle can be constructed at an appropriate time, be prayed over as it is being made, and have herbs and oils worked into the wax as it is made, you lose that with the store-bought candle but gain time and ease. The electric candle you lose the flame itself, which changes the nature of the light and what is consumed, you also lose the “feel” of doing something ancient if that is worth something to you.  On the other hand you gain the ability to keep it burning for days at a time without worrying about burning your house down. Using the candle app you lose even the idea of an item, and you only have what amounts to an illuminated picture, on the other hand its really convenient and if you wanted to do a spell while traveling this might be an interesting way to do it.

Whatever you are doing you are losing and gaining something by the way you are doing it. This is as true for following a grimoire or sadhana to the letter as it is for doing something completely off the map for shits and giggles. Knowing what you are gaining and losing should be the first step in guiding you to what you need to do.

In every advancement there are people who complain about losses and tout gains. Today we have people complaining about how computers and the internet deteriorate education, but these same arguments were used when books began to be printed, fearing that it would destroy peoples ability to memorize. They were right of course, but it was worth it.

#2 Do not confuse laziness or convenience for ingenuity

Ingenuity is done to gain something. Convenience makes something ea
sier, and probably more likely to be accomplished. Laziness is just not being willing to put in the effort.

Take a look at this Dzambhala prayer wheel run by a candle flame. You might be accused of laziness by someone who only uses hand spin prayer wheels. It might even seem pointless if you consider the mojo to be primarily in the mind and the recitation but then why bother with the prayer wheel at all?

On the other hand, if you consider that the mantra can be empowered by prayer and left to spin, keeping the power of the mantra flowing, this becomes a rather ingenious thing.

I use systems like this myself not only for Buddhist dieties, but with other spirits as a way to keep their presence and influence after a significant ceremony or session rolling.

If however your primary interest is in just lighting something, saying a few words, then leaving it go, you are just being lazy and not really doing any magic at all.

I very often see people skip tools, change directions, or remove instructions because they simple do not want to be arsed. This is no good.

Convenience is often a factor and most of my teachers have stressed finding a harmony between tradition and circumstance – which in fact has ALWAYS been the way of traditions. This harmony can only be struck however when you understand the gains and losses as #1 above.

Ingenuity and experimentation is done to see if something can be made better than it was. It may wind up being more convenient as well, but in the end the motivation is for improvement.

#3 Remember Parkinson’s Law

Its not just new innovations that need to be critically evaluated, we should also turn a critical eye to the past. There is a term called Parkinson’s Law that appeared in The Economist back in 1955 and states that work expands to full the time available for its completion. What does this have to do with magic and religion: everything. I would add that in our case it is not only time, but other resources like space and money.

If you are a householder doing a Tantric practice, your practice looks one way, and at times you go one retreat or maybe even become a wandering Yogi and spend even more time in meditation and really vital ceremony. When Tantra comes to Tibet and gets blended with monasticism it begins to look very different. Lots of outward chanting and large scale equipment gets used. Things get increasing baroque, and soon even the householders start to practice in a way that more resembles this. I remember being told that “we are lucky because all we have to do is chant the meditation. In the old days they would have to actually hold the visualization and work the prana”…

If you look at the Grimoire tradition in Europe you can see some of the same things going on. Some rites are clearly designed to be performed by Priests and others by people who have lots of money and leisure time. Imagine Mr. Darcy as a Necromancer instead of a classical romancer and you get the picture…

You would imagine that cunning-men and witches had much more streamlined and less expensive procedures, and from what we know, you would be correct. If however you were to look to the “trad craft” as it is today you would imagine that you need an endless array of expensive texts filled with words that would make an Oxford scholar break out his dictionary.

If you look at some procedures in the PGM, which people always seem to forget is a collection of Papyrii not a book with a single author, some of them are rather complicated and others simple for achieving the same ends. This might be because some of those rites are designed specifically to be performed for clients that you wish to impress with what is now generally termed a “dog and pony show”. It can also be a way to drive up costs and therefore an excuse to charge more.

I am not trying to dismiss complexity, expense, or time investment as un-necessary. Simply pointing out that at times an abundance of any of these can drive ceremony rather than necessity. The problem is that once something is established as taking 18 months, anything less can be accused of being inadequate when in fact the reasons for the extended time (or money, or people, or other resources) is simply there to use what is available. THis gets held as the “perfect”, which often winds up being the enemy of the good.

#4 Quit your Era-Fetish

Do you absolutely need your Hoodoo presented in old-timey ads and fonts that look like props from the set of Oh Brother Where Are Thou? Do you need your Goetic Temple to resemble the 18th century as much as humanly possible? Was the 2nd Century the pinnacle of magic because that happens to be around when the PGM was collected, and that is what gets you “wand” waving?

Thats fine, but don’t delude yourself that things were truer, more effective, or anything else at that point. They were simply different. I have written about this elsewhere, so I won’t spend much time on it.

A similar idea to the Era-Fetish is the Elder-Fetish. Simply put: older is better. More often than not, this is an article of faith more than logic, but it really cuts to the heart of how you see magic: is it something that was perfect in the past that we are trying to replicate, or is it something that can and should evolve with the times?

Primary Sources are re-interpreted as simply “old sources” rather than what they are meant to be, sources created in the time under study. As a practitioner of magic today, there are many primary sources created TODAY.

#5 Look for things they wished they had

I am a big proponent of people having an internal energy practice even if they are primarily interested in spirits. Things like Tummo can act as a catalyst for spirit contact and dream transmission in a way that you would have to do a SHITLOAD to praying and purifying to match. If you live today, you have easy access to teachings that people 100 years ago would have killed for. Do not ignore them just because it wasn’t a thing in Italy during the 1800’s.

#6 Learn from Living Traditions without Mimicking them

In the last 10 years various African Traditional Religions have had a huge impact on western magic. This is, for the most part, a much needed and good thing. I myself draw heavily on Living traditions of Tantra in Nepal, India, and Tibet, which impacts the way I practice magic.

What we have to be careful of is not mimicking them outright or fogetting differences that may be important. There are some people out there who, under the guise of practiding magic or witchctraft, really wind up practicing “Santeria-lite”, or “Quimbanda-Lite”. This does a disservice to the tradition you are drawing from (note the people who do this are RARELY initiated in these traditions), and also a disservice to Western Magic which does have differences from African Traditions and should not necessarily seek to emulate them in every way.

In fact, I have known a more than few initiates of both African and Asian traditions who also engage in Western Magic specifically because it offers a little more room for creativity and freedom.

#7 Balance Tradition and Revelation

Ever meet someone who smugly says “I don’t need to study X, because the SPIRIT taught me directly“? I hate that. It’ arrogant and 90% of the time it is just a cover for laziness.

But, I also allow for the fact that spirits do teach directly, and can teach things that differ from tradition. My own teachings on Hekate* are largely based in what she taught directly.

The ideal though is not to ignore tradition in favor of revelation, nor to ignore revelation because it’s not passed down. The ideal is to wield both and let them inform each other.

There are times when a tradition leaves a place or people specifically because the tradition becomes so ossified that it no longer allows for the spirit to manifest nor change. For a tradition, especially an sorcerous one, to remain active and potent, it needs, revelation from the spirits.

That said, when people come up with “spirit taught” things that contradict or have no relation to the tradition we have to give it a critical eye before we accept anything.

The Hekate Course material was vetted and tested and compared to traditonal sources for 15 years before I was ready to release it. This is how you take your UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis) and at least seek some level of verification. Sadly I rarely see people taking the time or effort to test themselves or critically examine what they are given.

*Pay attention to the blog here for an announcement about this later this week.

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