Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sorting the tool box

As we head into the warmer parts of the year, and spring is making everyone all flirty, crazy, and out to get shit done, I thought I would sort out my magical tool box. I usually do this in my pen and paper ritual log, but since I haven't posted in two weeks, and want to keep in the habit, I'll be doing that here.

I take after my Dad, he was a saver, a hoarder, really. His garage and workshop was full of stuff. Honestly, I have no idea what more than half of it did. But he saved it, because he might need it. It was all in a very nicely organized chaos. His filing system was a stack of old pigeon (he flew homing pigeons) based periodicals with slips of paper, blue prints, and schematics stuffed into them. He knew right where everything was too, "Fifth book down, page twenty five, those are the plans for the new lighting system." And there the plans were, in detail, with arcane drafting notes and squiggles.

I am the same way, but with the spiritual traditions I study. Those I live with are really good about my piles of notebooks and magical texts, as well as the 25 gallon tupperwares full of reference books. Things are rarely moved, unless I move them, my standing altars are usually flanked by books on at least one side that are tall enough to be altars themselves. But those bits are already organized. It's the internals that need work.

Having a hoard of arcane knowledge encoded in my think meat, is awesome, but it can get out of control. Thus, the sorting of stuff I do.

Omnimancy: A non ritual, energy based system of magic that rose from my home state of NJ. It's been compared a lot to Chaos Magic, but that comparison isn't very accurate. Those folks who work with Psi energy are closer, but still off the mark. It focuses on magical energy of all kinds, not just Psi, with a definite working paradigm, that is all its own, though in a weird way subject to peer review through scientific method, and testing. There is a saying that "All things find their natural level", and I think I might have found mine in Omni. No interest in leaving, but I don't see myself venturing much farther than I am, aside from finishing out the tier that I am currently on.

Runhaniat: Arabian Sorcery. In my case Arabian Initiatory Sorcery. On temporary hiatus. I really do enjoy these practices, but since it was one of my first magical ventures while I was still a punk ass kid, some of my mind is still a punk ass kid when doing those things. It's like seeing an old friend and you feel those old tendencies bubble up from a previous version of you. The culture gap was also a big obstacle, as well as the lack of a definite, stated cosmology for a long time. A lot clicked when I started to study Neoplatonism as a spiritual practice.

My mentor does his absolute best to help make the practices available in a living way to people in the modern west. I see how it is slowly becoming a system of its own. My interest is mainly in it as a branch of Hermetic thought and practice. I resonate really well with Ibn Arabi, Al Buni, Ibn Sina, and the Sabeans of Harran, but I have a lot more learning and research to do before I personally have a system, as opposed to a collection of techniques.

I also have certain cosmological differences with my mentor. He is of the "We do not work with demons. Ever. Why would you want to work with the spiritual equivalent of a mob boss, or a serial killer?" school of thought. No underworld work. Nothing like that. Now he can work a Martian current like the proverbial house on fire, don't get me wrong! But I am way more skull bowls, and blood on the walls than he is.

I view most of the "evil" Djinn to be pissed off for a very good reason: Talking primitive monkey meat bags are fucking up their living spaces, carelessly destroying everything, and using their sorcery to enslave them as a people. I'd be pissed off too! Are their the genocidal mad men, mob bosses, and serial killers amongst the Hidden People, yes. Yes there are. But about in ratio to the ones we have. I don't think of them as evil, I just think of them as fucked up and dangerous.

There are Celestial, Terrestrial, and Underworld Djinn. Beings like us, complete like us, images of God like us, possessing free Will like us, but made of a different substance, and far far older as a people. "Demon" gets tossed around all too casually in some circles. I reserve that for what Tibetans call "Hell Beings".

I've always been drawn to Cthonic practices, and Gods of the Burning Grounds, it comes naturally to me. It's like coming home. Underworld work is transformative, healthy (in moderation), and not a thing to be left out, IMO. If you are going to try to see Divine Reality (Al Haqq) in all it's splendor, you've got to see it all.

Western Hermetics: V. Recently became a Probationer in the Astrum Sophiae, and will do the work there, and see where it takes me. I've loved working through Denning and Phillip's books, and over the past few months have gotten so much out of working through the Magical Philosophy series. I am very excited to see where this will take me.

Going to keep on keeping on with the Bardon work.

Reading and Working through Mark Stavish's books as well, with interesting results. Would like to start Lab Alchemy as soon as I can get the supplies, and undisturbed time in the kitchen.

I also plan on forcing myself to learn more about my old bane, Astrology.

Nath Practices: They are simple, take discipline, and build a solid foundation in me. It also gives me a nice shift in perspective, and what I like to call a "Natural Morality". I'm not an initiate, but I am working with a very nice Nath who is helping me deepen my meditative practices.

Taoism does similar things for me, but I've just read up on that, and it's too big, awesome, and old for me to say I practice it without someone who is an actual Taoist Priest, Alchemist, or Master guiding me.

Also this year I'd like to visit the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufis in NYC to see if their groove matches with mine. I really enjoy Sufism, but again.. the cultural divide. I'm not Muslim, or intend to be one. I want a better understanding of Sufism, one that my reasoning mind can grasp. Which can be a little daunting with such an ecstatic tradition. Also want to start talking to folks from the Universal Sufi Order about their practices and view. Most of the Arabian things I do, only make sense to me from a Neoplatonic, or strictly Mesopotamian Pagan lens. If I can grok it, who doesn't need more ecstatic Love in their life?

Looking over that bunch of.. stuff.. I am sure someone will call me a dabbler, a dilettante, a punk! I say not so! In my view, Reality is One. "La Ilaha Ila Allah" "There is no Reality but the Divine Reality" As Sufi and Author Laurence Galian has translated the beginning of the Shahada. Maybe in a profound meditative state, I will see Reality as it is, but I have fun seeing Her through new eyes, new angles and perspectives.

Our Binocular vision and depth perception is possible because we have two eyes. Imagine the depth and angles from three or ten eyes, or sets of eyes! Though I suspect to see Her as She is, She'll leave me with no eyes at all.


Suecae Sounds said...

A very interesting read. You must've spent quite a lot of time to be able to penetrate more then the outer aspects of each tradition. My hat is of to you.

Jow said...

I started studying occultism since I was in my mid teens, actively practicing for over ten years now. I've just been really fortunate to have come into contact with so many good teachers.

Suecae Sounds said...

That explains a lot. I've had very few teachers; to guide me in the esoterica. But all that is changing as I go along. I've also studied the occult for quite some time, but it is only recently when I look on it 'again' that I have the maturity to move on to the practical without getting heavy bruises.

Thanks for sharing.

Gordon_Finn said...

>>It focuses on magical energy of all kinds, not just Psi, with a definite working paradigm, that is all its own, though in a weird way subject to peer review through scientific method, and testing.

Do you really find it a requirement to have magick peer reviewed? I'm just wondering. There's a lot of interpretation and coincidence in magick.

Jow said...


Not a requirement, but external validation goes a long way to warding off delusions of grandeur. It's just one way of doing things. Omni tends to take the Science side of Magic as opposed to the Art/Poetry side.