Sunday, May 27, 2018

Wizards Don't Rule the World

As a matter of fact, members of large mainstream religions like Christianity do. But Poor Oppressed Christians apparently have a deep-seated need to be oppressed by things that don't actually oppress them in any way - like occultists. There are so few occultists in the world that even getting a few thousand of us together is a difficult chore that only a couple of national conventions can pull off - and there are individual megachurches bigger than that. Recently author Paul McGuire appeared on The Jim Bakker Show and told the evangelist and potato soup peddler about all the wizards and "supernatural multidimensional" beings oppressing him and other good Christians.

“The physical battles that we see in our world and nation right now are a direct manifestation of the spiritual battles going on in the invisible realm,” McGuire said in an audio clip flagged by Right Wing Watch.

“There are people very high up in what is called the globalist occult or globalist Luciferian rulership system, and this rulership system consists of what used to be called the Pharaoh-God Kings, it’s what Aldous Huxley called ‘The Scientific Dictatorship,’ and these are advanced beings who know how to tap into supernatural multidimensional power and integrate it with science, technology, and economics,” he continued.

McGuire even had the hierarchical structure of these advanced beings pegged, saying they are at the “highest level of the pyramidic organizational structure in which the highest ranking officers, if you will, of the New World Order and Mystery Babylon are ruling the earth through an organizational structure that looks like the pyramid on the back of the U.S. dollar."

"And they control the world because they understand that the true control of the world is done through supernatural mechanisms.”

Now there are such a things as magical powers, and some of us are even pretty good at using them. But they aren't anywhere near as instantaneously powerful as what you see in fantasy novels, and hardly any of the richest people in the world are practitioners. "Globalism" is basically about free trade - that is, money. When you know a lot of really rich people, or went to high school with their kids like I did, what you learn is that the key to being rich is to think about money all the time. That doesn't leave a lot of time for magical practice.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

It's Tough Out There for an Avatar

Behold Lord Vishnu!

In Thelema we say "Deus Est Homo" meaning "God is Man." Or, if you will, "Every man and every woman is a star." We strive to see divinity in everyone - but one thing we don't generally do is use our own as an excuse to get out of work. Indian engineer Rameschandra Fefar has come up with a novel way of justifying time off from his job. He claims that since he is the tenth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, he has more plenty of way more important things to do than show up at the office.

Rameschandra Fefar made the claim after being served with an official notice asking why he had only attended his office in Gujarat for 16 days over eight months. “I am Lord Vishnu’s 10th incarnation as Kalki,” he responded in writing. “I am doing penance at home by entering into the fifth dimension to change the global conscience. This work I cannot do in the office. Thus I don’t remain physically present in the office.”

The engineer repeated his claim that he is an avatar of the Hindu god, usually depicted as having four arms and blue skin, when questioned on Indian TV on Saturday. “Even if you don’t believe, I am indeed the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and I will prove it in coming days,” he told reporters. “I realised that I am Kalki avatar when I was in my office in March 2010. Since then, I am having divine powers. Just like everybody laughed at me at the time of Mahabharata, you guys are doing the same because you’re unable to see God in me”.

He also claimed he was saving the country from drought, adding: “Just because I am Kalki avatar, India got good rains.” Fefar was appointed superintending engineer with the Sardar Sarovar dam project on the Narmadar river near Navagam in Gujarat in September 2017. This month his employers at the Sardar Sarovar Punah-Vasvat Agency sent him an official notice warning him he faced disciplinary action. “You have remained highly erratic ever since you joined duty on September 22, 2017,” the notice read.

I'm not sure if "the fifth dimension" is a term that exists in Hinduism. Does anybody here know? At any rate, as a Thelemite I'm not about to deny the divinity of anyone. At the same time, Fefar's contention that he and he alone is an incarnated god is probably not accurate either. You never know, maybe he just did the "Become a Living God" online course and things went very, very badly. Or, I suppose, very well if he really has the powers that he claims. But honestly, I doubt it.

If I were Fefar's boss, I would use much stronger language than "highly erratic." I would probably tell him that being a god is great and all, but he agreed to do his job full-time when he was hired instead of working a mere sixteen days over eight months because he had more important god stuff to take care of. Seeing as his magical powers should be capable of providing for his material needs, it seems pretty obvious that he neither needs nor wants the job. Or maybe he's just an older, more Hindu Ferris Bueller.

You know, "How could the great and powerful Lord Vishnu possibly be expected to handle work on a day like today?" Over and over again.

Friday, May 25, 2018

June 24th Now, For Sure!

On June 24th our cities will look absolutely nothing like this.

They keep setting them up, and I keep knocking them down. Guess what! There's a new date for the apocalypse - June 24th of this year. About a month ago David Meade's latest Nibiru rapture prediction flamed out, and this new one comes from a totally different Christian conspiracy theorist, Mathieu Jean-Marc Joseph Rodrigue.

The end of the world will come on June 24 of this year, according to Christians who believe that we have entered the end times. By analysing passages in the Bible, many believe they have been able to pinpoint the world will end – and that is June 24, 2018.

Christian conspiracy theorist Mathieu Jean-Marc Joseph Rodrigue examines a passage in the Book of Revelations which reads: "And a mouth was given to [the Beast], speaking great things and blasphemy, and it was given authority to act forty and two months.” Mr Rodrigue then says: “I heard a voice in the middle of the four living beings. This is wisdom. He who has intelligence can interpret the figure of the beast.

“It represents the name of a man. His figure is 666.” Mr Rodrigue then performs a series of complex calculations and when combining 666 with the number 42, concluding with the date June 24. However, the conspiracy theorist was unable to detail how he reached this figure or how exactly the world will end.

I think by "many" the original article means the handful of idiots who are still trying to make William Miller's calculations work after almost two hundred years of failed predictions. Give it up, folks! Seriously! At this point every single one of these predictions sounds dumber than the last one, and every failure just makes evangelical Christianity look like more of a joke.

I mean, I don't necessarily mind nutty theocrats discrediting themselves, since they spend so much time trying to pass laws that would deny me and my friends freedom of religion. But let's be honest. Isn't this getting even a little embarrassing?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

More Legal Trouble for Alex Jones

Alex Jones' legal situation just got a whole lot worse. After one of the families who lost children in the Sandy Hook mass shooting filed suit against the performance artist or truth teller or delusional conspiracy nut or whatever Jones is calling himself these days, six more families have filed suit for the exact same reason - Jones' support of the "Sandy Hook Truthers" who argued on his show that the shooting never happened and no children died there because they had never existed in the first place.

The families of six victims of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School along with an FBI agent who was among the first to respond to the shooting sued InfoWars’ founder Alex Jones and several of his businesses on Wednesday, alleging the radio personality had defamed them by repeatedly claiming that the shooting was a hoax.

The new lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Bridgeport, Connecticut, comes on the heels of two defamation suits filed in Texas last month by two other Sandy Hook families. Jones, who could not be reached for comment, responded to the Texas lawsuits on his show last month, acknowledging that he believes the massacre “really happened,” but that the families were being used by the Democratic Party.

The complaints from all eight families allege that Jones used his internet and radio platforms to push the conspiracy theory that the shooting, in which a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults at the school in Newtown, Connecticut, was a staged event. The lawsuits claim that Jones’ false narratives have brought him attention and money, while the families have suffered deep personal pain as well as abuse from fans of Jones.

While it's true that this and other shootings have been politicized by gun control advocates and minimized by the NRA in an all-too-familiar back and forth that gets played out over and over again, that isn't what was said on Jones' show. He gave air time to a group contending that none of the kids at Sandy Hook died, and may never have even existed. As a parent, I find this one of the most heinous and deplorable things Jones has ever done, and he deserves everything that's coming to him.

I can't even imagine how horrible it be to grieve the death of a child in the midst of hundreds of death threats from crazies telling me my kid never even existed - and Jones is media-savvy enough regarding his audience that he had to know this was precisely what would happen if he aired the story. If he never really believed that the shooting was imaginary - as he now claims - then this was simply a cynical attempt to get attention by cultivating awfulness. Now that same awfulness is coming back at him, and it's time for him to pay the check.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Loch Ness Monster DNA

Totally not a sturgeon or a catfish. Also, totally fake.

I haven't done many cryptozoology posts for awhile, but this story from Reuters caught my eye. Scientists are planning a DNA hunt for the Loch Ness monster, which may finally settle the sturgeon versus catfish debate between longtime monster hunter Steve Feltham and myself. I say sturgeon, he says catfish. Whatever turns up, I'm hoping that it turns out to be more enlightening than the "bigfoot DNA" that turned out to be possum from back in 2013.

Whenever a creature moves through its environment, it leaves behind tiny fragments of DNA from skin, scales, feathers, fur, faeces and urine. “This DNA can be captured, sequenced and then used to identify that creature by comparing the sequence obtained to large databases of known genetic sequences from hundreds of thousands of different organisms,” said team spokesman Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

The first written record of a monster relates to the Irish monk St Columba, who is said to have banished a “water beast” to the depths of the River Ness in the 6th century. The most famous picture of Nessie, known as the “surgeon’s photo”, was taken in 1934 and showed a head on a long neck emerging from the water. It was revealed 60 years later to have been a hoax that used a sea monster model attached to a toy submarine.

Countless unsuccessful attempts to track down the monster have been made in the years since, notably in 2003 when the BBC funded an extensive scientific search that used 600 sonar beams and satellite tracking to sweep the full length of the loch.

Supporting Feltham's side, we know for a fact that Loch Ness is home to a population of Wels catfish because the Loch was seeded with the fish back in Victorian times. It is speculated that the Wels catfish can grow to thirteen feet or so, though the verified record is more like nine feet. Still, that's a big catfish.

But many of the pictures I've seen of the monster look more like a sturgeon to me. European sturgeons can grow longer than the Wels catfish, up to twenty feet. They also look a lot weirder and less like a fish that's easily identifiable, and they go back and forth between rivers and the ocean to spawn, like salmon. But we don't know whether or not sturgeons live or spawn in the loch.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Regarding Confidence

So not Monday. Again. "Magick Tuesday" seems to be turning into a thing as of late. I have another project that I've been spending time on here at Augoeides that I think you all will like, but I'm not announcing it just yet. That may mean my Monday post will be delayed for a few more weeks, but such is life. There are only so many hours in the day, right?

One of the original assumptions put forth by chaos magicians is that belief powers magick. There are a lot of reasons to think that this isn't true, and it probably arose from the Christian idea of "faith" accomplishing all things. But what is true is that doubt will wreck your magick pretty quickly. You might read that and wonder what the difference is, since belief and doubt are basically opposites. The difference is this - once you believe in what you're doing, you can't "believe more." That is, once you have banished all doubt, you're as coherent as you're going to get. This means that a better way to think about the "belief" idea is to treat doubt as a kind of resistance that you overcome with successful practice.

An important related point is that psychoanalytic models of magick - like the "psychic censor" model found in early chaos magick - are nonsense not just because they are psychological and magick is bigger than psychology, but because psychoanalysis itself is a very, very inaccurate model of cognition. That's why in controlled experiments it performs no better than "sham therapy." There is no "unconscious mind." The brain does some unconscious processing, mostly in the form of running autonomic systems and conditioning loops, but that's all there is. No "repression mechanism," no "psychic sensor," no "unconscious self" that has its own agenda.

A more accurate model of cognition treats it as the interaction of three distinct systems - thinking, feeling, and conditioning. The thinking system is also called the declarative mind. If I ask "what are you thinking about?" your answer will be based on what is going on in your thinking system. The feeling system produces emotions. If I ask "how are you feeling?" your answer will be based on what is going on in your feeling system. Those two systems basically represent "the mind" as we usually understand it.

The mind is actually quite flat. It's not the tip of some giant iceberg of "repressed material" and it's the only mind you have. For example, Freud's whole model of trauma is fundamentally wrong. If you look at actual patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, you find that the problem isn't that the trauma is "repressed" - i.e. the patient is unaware of the trauma and can't consciously think about it. The problem is usually that they can't stop thinking about it, which is why it causes distress in the first place.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Secular Ritual Design?

Add a third box for "Consciousness/Probability Shift" and they'd be on to something

I recently came across this article from The Atlantic discussing the idea of "secular rituals design." On the one hand, it seems to me that some of the ideas being bandied about by this group might be useful for designing better and more efficient magical rituals, but on the other, from the contents of the article it sounds like these folks are entirely missing the point.

At the Ritual Design Lab in Silicon Valley, a small team of “interaction designers” is working to generate new rituals for modern life, with an eye to user experience. Created by Kursat Ozenc and Margaret Hagan, the lab crafts rituals for both individuals and organizations, including big hitters like Microsoft. The team’s website offers a Ritual Design Hotline with a tantalizing promise: “You tell us your problem. We will make you a ritual.” Meanwhile, its Ritual Inventory invites you to add any interesting ritual you’ve made or seen to its growing database. And its app, IdeaPop, helps you brainstorm and create your own rituals.

This is an interesting concept, but at the same time what's missing is a way of evaluating how these rituals work. That is, the point of a ritual is to transform some aspect of yourself or your environment that you are unable to transform by any other means. A good ritual has macrocosmic resonance, and should shift probability in your favor in such a way that it at least has the potential to fix the problem. The "user experience" idea, while useful in terms of ease and efficiency, is meaningless without an eye towards the change that the ritual is intended to produce.

Ritual Design Lab has its roots in Stanford’s Institute of Design, where Ozenc and Hagan both teach. In 2015, they proposed a new course on ritual design. To their surprise, more than 100 students signed up. Most were secular. “The interest was huge—so we thought, we should harness this interest,” Ozenc told me. “The new generation, they want bite-size spirituality instead of a whole menu of courses. Design thinking can offer this, because the whole premise of design is human-centeredness. It can help people shape their spirituality based on their needs. Institutionalized religions somehow forget this—that at the center of any religion should be the person.”

This is the kind of approach that could be useful from the standpoint of designing better spells and so forth. Also, the critique of institutionalized religion is accurate and well-placed. However, the whole point of (effective) religion is to (A) produce the experience of Gnosis or metanoia or enlightenment or whatever you want to call it and (B) employ spiritual forces to shape your external circumstances. I don't see any evidence of either in what the design lab is putting together. Which is a shame.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Via Solis Taurus Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Taurus Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday May 15th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of last year by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the lodge know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Taurus. The power attributed to Taurus is "the secret of physical strength," so if you have a specific intent, something related to health, healing, vitality, and so forth would be appropriate. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.

I. Opening

All stand surrounding the altar. Officiant inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. All rotate accordingly.

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.


Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.


Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.


Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence. So mote it be.

Bell Chime