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an introduction t o chaos m agic by phil hine

O ccult/R eligion

U .S. P rice$14.95
to Ch a o s Ma g i c

An Int roduc t ion

W illiamS. B urroughs, author of N aked L unch says:

"P hil H ine's book is the m ost concise statem ent ... of the logic of m odern m agic. M agic, in the light of m odern physics, quantum theory and probability theory is nowapproaching science. W e hope that a result of this w ill be a synthesis so that science w ill becom e m ore m agical andm agic m ore scientific." "P hil H ine is one of the leading exponents of w hat is likely the fastest grow ing school of thaum aturgy: C haos M agick." Jam es M artin, A brasax M agazine "M ost m odern books on m agic are not w orth reading. T o his credit, Phil H ine has produced a tour de force w hich should be studied." Ian R ead, E ditor, C haos International "Phil H ine show s him self to be one of the leading thinkers in the field, and one of the least dogm atic." Steve M oore, F ortean T im es "T he author is one of the risingstars of C haos M agic." Peter J. C arroll, author of L iber K aos and P syberM agick Phil H ine is a form er editor of the internationally acclaim ed m agazine C haos International. H e divides his tim e am ong doing m agic, recovering and then w riting about it afterw ards. H e has facilitated w orkshops and sem inars on m odern m agical practice in A m erica and E urope. H e is the author of P rim eC haos, T he P seudonom icon, and C haos Servitors: A U sers G uide. H e lives inL ondon, E ngland.

ISB N1-56184-117-X



R ebels &D evils: The P sychology of Liberation

Other Titles From New Falcon Publications

P syberM agick By Peter J. Carroll Secrets of W estern Tantra: The Sexuality of the M iddle P ath The Tree of Lies: B ecom eW ho You A re By Christop her S. H yatt, Ph.D. The P athw orkings of A leister C row ley By Aleister Crow ley, D. Cheru bim , L. M. Du Qu ette, and C. S. H yatt P acts W ith the D evil: AC hronicle of Sex, B lasphem y and Liberation U rban V oodoo: A B eginner's G uide to A fro-C aribbean M agic By S. Jason Black and Christopher S. H yatt, Ph.D. B uddhism and Jungian P sychology By J. Marvin Spiegelm an, Ph.D. C osm ic Trigger: The F inal Secret of the lllum inati R eality Is W hat You C an G et A w ay W ith The W alls C am e Tum bling D ow n By Robert Anton Wilson E quinox of the G ods E ight Lectures on Yoga G em sF rom the E quinox Tem ple of Solom on the K ing By Aleister Crow ley N europolitique G am e of Life The Intelligence A gents By Timothy Leary, Ph.D. Zen W ithout Zen M asters By Camd en Benares The C om plete G olden D aw n System of M agic W hat You Should K nowA bout The G olden D aw n By Israel Regard ie The M ysteries R evealed By And rew Schneid er B eyond D uality: The A rt of Transcendence By Laurence Galian A strology &C onsciousness
By Rio Olesky

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by Phi l Hi ri e An I n t r o d u c t i o n t o C h a o s FoweLOowb by P eten ). C arznoLL Ma g i c


Copyright 1995Phil H ine A ll rights reserved. N o part of this book, in part or in w hole, m ay be reproduced, transm itted, or utilized, in any form or by any m eans, electronic or m echanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any inform ation storage and retrieval system , w ithout perm ission in w riting from the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical articles, books and review s. International Standard B ook N um ber: 1-56184-117-X Library of C ongress C atalog Card N um ber: 94-69291 First Edition 1995 Second Printing 1996 The author m ay be reached by w riting to: Phil H ine, c/o B MG rasshopper London W C 1N3X X , England B ook design by N icholas Tharcher C over design by S . Jason B lack The paper used in this publication m eets the m inim um requirem ents of the A m erican N ational Standard for Perm anence of Paper for Printed Library M aterials Z 39.48-1984

A ddress all inquiries to: N EWFA LC O N PU B LIC A TIO N S 1739East B roadw ay R oad Suite 1-277 Tem pe, A Z85282 U .S.A . (or) 1209South C asino Center L as V egas, N V89104U .S.A .

W ith thanks to C hristopher H yatt, R obert &Stephanie W illiam s, Ian R ead, E dW allis, H annibal the C annibal, V ishvanath, M aria Strutz, B arry W alker and R odney O rpheus

T able of C ontents
Forew ord B yP ete C arroll C hapter O ne Is C haos M agick? C hapter Tw o M agick In The M aterial W orld C hapter Three B ecom ing AM agician C hapter F our A nother C rack In The W all C hapter F ive P laying W ith C haos C hapter Six C haos Servitors C hapter Seven E go M agick C hapter E ight K ali In The D isco C hapter N ine C F or urther hapter F urther A C Ten re R onquering eading You Inform Illum ation D em inated? ons 9 11 26 39 58 80 105 125 143 160 191 176 192

by P ete C arroll T he paradigm shift now occurring at the cutting edge of m agic has m any roots. T he sym bolic syncretismof the G olden D aw n a century ago, w hichfiasedrenaissance H erm eticismw ith oriental esoterics draw n fro m the E uropean im perial experience, only fully flow ered w hen A leister C row ley added a battery of gnostic pow er techniques culled fro m diverse cultural sources. T hen along cam eA ustin Spare, w ho identified the basic sleight of m ind techniques underlying all form s of m agic, and show ed us that w e couldtreat the w hole baroque sym bolismof m agic as entirely optional. S pare invented the Postm odernist approach to m agic w ell before the cultural advent of Existentialism or Postm odernism . T he theories of Special and G eneral R elativity added little to esoteric theory although the idea of cultural relativism m anifested in syncretic occultismlong before it found general social acceptance. H ow ever, that other m ain pillar of tw entieth century science, Q uantumPhysics, provides enorm ous support fo rm any areas of m etaphysical theory and,, indeed, suggests considerable scope fo r its extension. S o far, only C haos M agic seem s tohave w elcom ed it onboard. Shortly after the launch of the C haos M agic paradigm ,C haos M athem atics developed fro m C atastrophe T heory and confirm ed the C haoist hypothesis that som em echanismm ust exit to scale upsubatom ic indeterm inacy intothem acroscopic w orldof our experience. So m uch of w hat m agicians have taken fo r granted this century stem s fro m the w ork of the G olden D aw n and A leister C row ley. M uch of w hat w ill constitute standard m agical theory andpractice inthenext century w ill derive fro m thestate-of-theart ideas and techniques currently under developm ent in C haos M agic. T his book, bya rising star of the newtradition, represents anoutstanding contribution tothe revolution nowoccurring.

F orew ord


T he w orld is m agical; w em ight get a sense of this after clim bing am ountain and looking dow n upon the landscape below , or in the quiet satisfaction at the end of one of those days w hen everything has gone right fo r us. M agic is a doorw ay through w hich w e step intom ystery, w ildness, and im m anence. W e live in a w orld subject to extensive and seem ingly, all-em bracing system s of social and personal control that continually feed us the lie that w e are each alone, helpless, and pow erless to effect change. M agic is about change. C hanging your circum stances so that you strive to live according to a developing sense of personal responsibility; that youcaneffect change around you if you choose; that w e are not helpless cogs in som e clockw ork universe. A ll acts of personal/collective liberation are m agical acts. M agic leads us into exhilaration and ecstasy; into insight and understanding; into changing ourselves and the w orld in w hich w e participate. T hrough m agic w em ay com e to explore the possibilities of freedom . Surely this is sim ple enough? B ut no, m agic has becom e obfuscated under aw eight of w ords, a w elter of technical term s w hichexclude the uninitiated andserve thosew hoareeager fo ra 'scientific' jargon w ith w hich to legitim ise their enterprise into som ething self-im portant andpom pous. A bstract spiritual spaces have been created in the m idst of w hich tow er the B abel-like L ego constructions of 'inner planes', spiritual hierarchies and 'occult truths' w hich forget that the w orld around us is m agical. T he m ysterious has been m isplaced. W e search through dead languages and tom bs fo r 'secret know ledge', ignoring the m ystery of life that is all around us. S o fo r the m om ent, forget w hat you've readabout spiritual enlightenm ent, becom ing a99th


level M agus and im pressing your friends w ith high-flow n gobbledygook. M agicis surprisingly sim ple. W hat can it o ffer? 1 . Am eans to disentangle yourself from the attitudes and restrictions youw ere brought upw ithandw hichdefine the lim its of w hat youm aybecom e. 2. W ays to exam ine your life to look for, understand and m odify behavior, em otional and thought patterns w hich hinder learningandgrow th. 3. Increase of confidence andpersonal charism a. 4. Aw idening of your perception of just w hat is possible, onceyouset heart andm indonit. 5. T o develop personal abilities, skills and perceptions the m ore w esee the w orld, them ore w e appreciate that it is alive. 6. T ohave fu n. M agicshouldbe enjoyed. 7. T obringabout change in accordance w ithw ill. M agic can do all this, and m ore. It is an approach to life w hich begins at the m ost basic prem ises w hat do I need to survive? howdo I w ant to live? w ho do I w ant to be? and then gives a set of conceptual w eapons and techniques fo r achievingthose aim s.

W hat doyouthinkof w henyouhear the w ord "C haos?" "A state of things in w hichchance is suprem e" "A n unorganised state of prim ordial m atter before the creation" "A confused state or m ass" "C haos w as theprim al source,first of all" "This isn't anarchy, this is C haos " "In the beginning, there w as only C haos " "A gents of C haos cast burning glances at anything or anyone capable of bearing w itness to their condition... " "O ne m ust have C haos inone to give birth to adancing star" "M atter is illusion, solidity is illusion, w e are illusion. O nly C haos is real" "In the lim itless heavens, shines the countenance of C haos" C haos is all this and m ore. Atermw hich m eans som ething different fo r everyone, none of us can ignore C haos. O ver the

last tw enty years or so, C haos has becom e the buzzw ord of a revolution in thought and m ethod, spaw ning a new form of science, newtechnologies; a w hole newem erging w orld-view . W hile C haos T heory has been generating debate w ithin the scientific com m unity, C haos M agic has been creating controversy w ithin occult circles. It has been labeled variously as "E nglish T helem a", "the blackest fo rm of dark pow er" and "git 'ard m agic". A t the core of this revolution is the recognition that the scientific w orld-view w hich has set the lim itations of acknow ledged hum an experience is crum bling, that newvisions and m odels are required, as are neww ays of being, and m ore im portantly, neww ays of doing. C haos M agic is a newapproach to "doing" m agic. W hile m agical system s usually base them selves around a m odel or m apof the spiritual/physical universe, suchas theT ree of L ife (w hich can som etim es be described as aC osm ic F ilofax), C haos M agic is based on avery fe w 'C ore Principles' w hich generally underlie its approach to m agic (they are not universal axiom s how ever, sofeel free tosw ap 'emaround). 1 . The A voidance of D ogm atism .C haos M agicians strive to avoid falling into dogm atism (unless expressing dogm atism is part of a tem porary belief systemtheyhave entered). D iscordians use 'C atm as' such as "U sD iscordians m ust stick apart!" T hus C haos M agicians feel entitled to change their m inds, contradict them selves and com e up w ith argum ents that are alternatively plausible and im plausible. It has beenpointed out that w e invest a lot of tim e andenergy inbeingrig h t.W hat's w rongw ithbeing w rongoccasionally? 2. P ersonal E xperience is param ount. In other w ords, don't take m yw ord that such-and-such is the case, check it out fo r yourself. M agic has suffered extensively from 'arm chair theorists' w hohave perpetuated m yths andout-of-date inform ationpurely due tolaziness of onekind or another. Som etim es it's interesting to ask aw kw ard questions just to see w hat the selfappointed experts com e out w ith. S om ew ill em it a stream of verbal diarrhea rather than adm it to not know ing the answ er, w hereas a true adept w ill probably say "I haven't a f****+ g clue." Q uite early on, C haos M agicians cam e to the startling


discoverythat once youstripaw aythe layers of dogm a, personal beliefs, attitudes and anecdotes around any particular technique of practical m agic, it canbe quite sim plydescribed. 3. Technical E xcellence. O ne of the early m isconceptions about C haos M agic w as that it gavepractitioners carteblanche to dow hatever they liked, and sobecom e sloppy (or w orse, soggy) in their attitudes to self-assessm ent, analysis, etc. N ot so. T he C haos approach has alw ays advocated rigorous self-assessm ent and analysis, em phasised practice at w hat techniques you're experim enting w ith until you get the results that you desire. L earning to 'do' m agic requires that you develop a set of skills and abilities and if you're going toget involved inall this w eird stu ff, w hynot do it tothe best of your ability? 4. D econditioning. T he C haos paradigmproposes that one of the prim ary tasks of the aspiring m agician is to thoroughly decondition hirself from the m esh of beliefs, attitudes and fictions about self, society, andthe w orld. O ur egois afictionof stable self-hood w hich m aintains itself by perpetuating the distinctions of 'w hat I am /w hat I amnot, w hat I like/w hat I don't like', beliefs about ones politics, religion, gender preference, degree offreew ill, race, subculture etc. all helpm aintainastable sense of self, w hile the little w ays inw hich w e pull against this very stability allow s us to feel as though w e are unique individuals. U sing deconditioning exercises, w e can start to w iden the cracks in our consensual reality w hich hopefully, enables us to becom e less attached to our beliefs and egofictions, and thus able to discard or m odify them w hen appropriate. 5. D iverse A pproaches. A sm entioned earlier, 'traditional' approaches tom agic involve choosingone particular systemand stickingtoit. T he C haos perspective, if nothing else, encourages an eclectic approach to developm ent, and C haos M agicians are free to choose fro m any available m agical system , them es fro m literature, television, religions, cults, parapsychology, etc. T his approach m eans that if you approach tw oC haos M agicians and ask 'em w hat they're doing at any one m om ent, you're rarely likely to find m uch of a consensus of approach. T his m akes C haos difficult to pindow n as onethingor another, w hich again tends to w orry those w honeed approaches tom agic tobe neatly labeledandclear.

6. G nosis. O ne of the keys to m agical ability is the ability to enter A ltered States of C onsciousness at w ill. W etend to drawa distinct line betw een 'ordinary consciousness' and 'altered states', w here in fact w em ove betw een different states of consciousness such as daydream s, 'autopilot' (w here w e carry out actions w ithout cognition) and varying degrees of attention, all the tim e. H ow ever, as far as m agic is concerned, the w illed entry into intense altered states can be divided into tw o poles of 'Physiological G nosis' Inhibitory states, and E xcitatory states. T he form er includes physically 'passive' techniques such as m editation, yoga, scrying, contem plation andsensory deprivation w hile the latter includes chanting, drum m ing, dance, em otional andsexual arousal. T he C haos M agic m ovem ent had its first stirrings in the late nineteen seventies, in E ngland. W hile the newphenom ena of punk rock w as grabbing the new spaper headlines, and scientists across the w orld w ere beginning to delve into the m ysterious m athem atical w orld of fractals and non-linear dynam ics, a new approach tom agical practice w as being synthesized inthe w ilds of W est Y orkshire. A t the tim e, E nglish occultism w as very m uch dom inated by the three strands of popular W itchcraft, W estern Q abalah, and T helem a. A t least, there w ere enough people interested in these approaches to spaw n supporting m agazines. In one such m agazine, The N ew E quinox, there appearedthe earlyw ritings of Peter J. C arroll, w hois considered the forem ost exponent of m odern C haos M agic. B y 1978, there appeared the first advertisem ents for the "Illum inates of T hanateros", anorder w ho's practices w ere com posed of a blend of sham anism ,T aoism ,T antra andT helem a. T he announcem ent of this new order w as shortly follow ed by the first edition of Peter C arroll's Liber N ull, w hich w hile describing the basic philosophy and practical approaches, did not contain the term 'C haos M agic'. LiberN ull w as closely follow ed by The B ook of R esults by R ay Sherw in, w hich lucidly explained A ustin O sm an Spare's great m agical innovation sigil m agic. A ustin O sm an Spare is considered by m any to be the "grandfather" of C haos M agic. A n obscure figure, brought to light by the w ork of K enneth G rant, Spare w as a superb m agical artist, sorcerer, and


spiritualist. A t atim ew henm any of his contem poraries sneered at table-tapping and contacting 'spirit guides' in favour of elaborate R osicrucian cerem onies, S pare w as painting the spirits he w as in contact w ith, and using his ow n systemof 'sentient letters' sigils to m anifest his desires. S pare w as not particularly enam oured of the G olden D aw n-style approach to m agic, andm akes som e veryacidcom m ents onthe subject in The B ook of P leasure (1913). T he B ook of P leasure (subtitled: The P sychology of E cstasy) contains the essentials of Spare's m agical philosophy, and the keytechniques w ithw hichhe applied it. It is not aneasybookto read, and Spare is often referred to as an "incom prehensible m ystic." H is vocabulary is w ide, his use of gram m ar is strange, and he uses m any term s in w ays that give them a different m eaning fro m their usual context. N or w as he attem ptingtow rite in a "textbook" style that m odern readers are used to, and The B ook of P leasure is very stylistically rem iniscent of an old G rim oire before it has been tidied up. Fortunately, The B ook of R esults gave a very clear exposition of sigil m agic, andLiber N ull also dealt w ith Spare's concept of the alphabet of desire. A nother pow erful influence of the developm ent of C haos M agic w as the w ork of A leister C row ley. C row ley synthesised a m agical w orld-view a psychocosm out of his studies in m agical and esoteric fields such as the G olden D aw n, Y oga, A lchem y, K abalah, and fro m his experience inother disciplines. M oreover, it is C row ley's life, rather than his volum inous m agical and m ystical w ritings that is of interest. C row ley took his personal experience, m agical andotherw ise, and created his ow n enclave, beyond the boundaries of conventional m orality. H e deliberately sought extrem es of experience, concealing, and at the sam e tim e, revealing him self through a series of colourful personalities. Part of C row ley's attraction fo r the m odern m agician is that he created som ething w hich has enduring pow er a psychocosm w hich continues to be developed and tw isted intodifferent form s. C row leydid not som uch 'follow 'a tradition, he em bodied a dynam ic process of reality engagem ent creating his ow npathfro mw hatever he happened tofin d infron t of him . T he early grow th of C haos M agic w as characterised by a loose netw ork of inform al groups w ho cam e together to

experim ent w ith the possibilities of the new current. W ith the dem ise of T he N ew E quinox, the 'chaos kids' reported their results and heresies in the pages of a new B ritish O ccult m agazine, The Lam p of Thoth. T he early C haos books w ere joined by tw o tapes 'The C haos C oncept' w hich discussed the basics of C haos M agic, and 'The C haocham ber', a sciencefiction Pathw orking w hich com bined elem ents of Star Trek, M ichael M oorcock, and H .G .W ells. T he Sorcerer's A pprentice P ress then re-released Liber N ull an d The B ook of R esults, as w ell as Pete C arroll's P sychonaut. T hese, together w ith articles from the grow ing C haos corpus in The Lam p of Thoth, drew m ore people intoexperim enting w iththe newapproach. T hanks to the effo rts of R alph T egtm eier, the C haos approach w as also receivingattention incontinental E urope. T he sim ple m essage of C haos M agic is that, w hat is fundam ental tom agic is the actual doing of it that like sex, no am ount of theorising andintellectualisation can substitute fo r the actual experience. C arroll's Liber N ull, therefore, presented the bare bones of the m agical techniques w hich can be em ployed to bring about change in one's circum stances. Liber N ull concentratedontechniques, sayingthat theactual m ethods of m agic are basically shared by the different system s, despite the differing sym bols, beliefs and dogm as. W hat sym bol system s youw ish to em ploy is a m atter of choice, and that the w ebs of belief w hich surround them are m eans to an end, rather than ends in them selves (m oreonthis later). A n im portant influence on the developm ent of C haos M agic w as the w riting of R obert A nton W ilson and C om pany, particularly the D iscordian Society w ho revered E ris, the G reek goddess of C haos. T he D iscordians pointed out that hum our, clow ning about andgeneral light-heartedness w as conspicuously absent from m agic, w hich had a tendency to becom e very 'serious and self-im portant'. T here w as (and to a certain extent rem ains) a tendency fo r occultists to think of them selves as an initiated 'elite' com pared totherest of hum anity. T he D iscordian Society is, in its ow nw ords "...a tribe of philosophers, theologians, m agicians, scientists, artists, clow ns, and sim ilar m aniacs w ho are intrigued w ith E R IS G O D D ESS O F C O N FU SIO N and w ith H er doings." T he existence of the D iscordian Societyw asfirst popularised inR obert A ntonW ilson

and R obert Shea's blockbusting Illum inatus! trilogy, andalso in M alaclypse T heY ounger's book P rincipia D iscordia w hichsets out the basic principles of the D iscordian R eligion a religion basedaroundtheG reek G oddess, E ris. T raditionally, E ris w as a daughter of N ox (night) andthe w ife of C hronus. She begat a w hole bunch of G ods Sorrow , Forgetfulness, H unger, D isease, C om bat, M urder, L ies nice kids! T he ancient G reeks attributed any kind of upset or discord to her. W ith the fall of the ancient em pires, E ris disappeared, though it is suspected that she had a hand in 'm anifesting' the first bureaucracies, triplicate form s, and insurance com panies. S he didn't put ina personal appearance againonspaceship G aia again until the late 1950's, w hen she appeared to tw o young C alifornians, w ho later becam e know n as O m ar R avenhurst and M alaclypse T he Y ounger. E ris appointed themthe "K eepers of the Sacred C hao" and gave them the m essage to: "Tell constricted m ankind that there are norules, unless they choose to invent rules." A fter w hich O m ar and M ai appointed each other H ighPriest of his ow nm adness, anddeclaredthem selves eachto be a Society of D iscordia, w hatever that m aybe. E ris has since clim bed her w ay from historical footnote to m ythic m ega-star, and the D iscordian M ovem ent, if such a thing can be said to exist, is grow ing on both sides of the A tlantic, helped by the D iscordian tactic of declaring that everyone is a genuine Pope. M ore people are getting intothe idea of a religion based on the celebration of confusion and m adness. T he central G reek m yth that E risfiguresprom inently inis theever-continuing soapopera of 'M ount O lym pus H om e of the G ods'; the episode w hich inadvertently brought about the T rojan W ar. It seem s that Z eus w as throw ing aparty and did not w ant to invite E ris because of her reputation as a trouble-m aker. Infuriated by the snub, E ris fashioned a golden apple inscribed w ith the w ord K allisti, ("to the prettiest one") andtossed it intothe hall w here all the guests w ere. T hree of the invited G oddesses, A thena, H era, and A phrodite, each claim ed the apple fo r them selves and started fighting and throw ing fo o d around. T o settle the dispute, Z eus ordered all threetosubm it tothejudgem ent of a m ortal overjust w how as 'the prettiest one', andsaidm ortal w as Paris, sonof the K ing of T roy. Z eus sent all three to P aris, via H erm es, but each G oddess tried to outw it the others by sneaking out early and

offering a bribe to Paris. A thena o ffered Paris victory in battle, H era, great w ealth, w hile A phrodite 'm erely loosened the clasps by w hich her tunic w as fastened and unknotted her girdle,' also o fferin g Paris the m ost beautiful of m ortal w om en. S o, A phrodite got the apple, and Paris got o ff w ith H elen, w ho unfortunately happened tobe m arried toM enelaus, K ing of Sparta. T hanks to the m eddling of A thena and H era, the T rojan w ar follow ed and the rest, as theysay, is history. N ow adays, inour m ore chaos-positive age, E ris has m ellow ed som ew hat, and m odern D iscordians associate her w ith all intrusions of 'w eirdness' in their lives, fro m synchronous to m ischievous occurrences, creative flashes of inspiration, and w ild parties. S he does get a little bitchy at tim es, but w hodoesn't? It w as the D iscordians that pointed out that am idst the long list of dualism s that occultists w ere fo n d of using, the opposites of hum our/seriousness hadbeen left aside. H um our is im portant in m agic. A s a colleague of m ine once said, w e're too im portant to take ourselves seriously. S om em em bers of the I.O .T . Pact, fo r exam ple, use L aughter as a fo rm of banishing, and of course there is nothing like laughter to deflate the pom pous, selfim portant occult w indbags that one runs into from tim e to tim e. Im portant: rituals, w hensilly, canbenoless effective than w hen youkeepastraight face. M agic is fun otherw ise, w hydoit? U nlike the variety of m agical system sw hich are all based in som em ythical or historically-derived past (such as A tlantis, Lem uria, A lbion, etc.), C haos M agic borrow s freely from Science Fiction, Q uantumPhysics, and anything else its practitioners choose to. R ather than trying to recover and m aintain a tradition that links back to the past (and form er glories), C haos M agic is anapproach that enables the individual touse anything that s/he thinks is suitable as a tem porary belief or sym bol system .W hat m atters is the results youget, not the 'authenticity' of the systemused. S oC haos M agic then, is not a system it utilises system s and encourages adherents to devise their ow n, givingm agica trulyPostm odernist flavour. N eedless to say, C haos M agic quickly began to acquire a 'sinister' reputation. T his w as due tothree factors; firstly that its "pick'n'm ix/D .I.Y " approachtom agicw as frow ned uponbythe 'traditionalist' schools, secondly that m any people associated chaos w ith 'anarchy' andother negative associations, and thirdly

that som eC haos M agic publications w ere hyped as being 'blasphem ous, sinister, and dangerous' in a w ay that they w ere not, w hich proved all the sam e to be an attractive glam our fo r those w horequired such a boost tothe ego. A lthoughthere w ere Satanic orders around at the tim e of C haos M agic's early prom otion, they certainly did not prom ulgate them selves as visibly as other occult groups. C haos M agic w as thus both attractive fo r those people looking fo r a "dark" glam our to becom e involved w ithand equally, those w honeeded a "satanic opponent" to bolster up their fantasies of being "w hiter-thanw hite." W hat is notable concerning the grow th of C haos M agic is that from its beginnings, it has been very m uch perceived as "experim ental" m agic. T his m eans not only experim enting w ith m agical techniques and practices, but also questioning and testing a great m any of the concepts w hich m any people w ho becom e involve inthe occult accept as im plicitly 'true'. T he late nineteen-eighties gave rise tothe secondgreat surge of interest in C haos M agic, w iththe riseof specialist occult m agazines suchas C haos International inw hichpractising C haos M agicians m ade their technical and philosophical findings know n to their peers. T his period w as one of a great surge of interest in occultism , w ith the availability of affordable D esktop Publishing system s leading to a surge of self-publishing and special-interest occult m agazines being a contributing factor. T he diversification of esoteric studies into separate (and alm ost m utually exclusive) fields continued, and the late eighties also gave rise to the m ushroom ing of interest in sham anismof one type or another. A nim portant (but often overlooked) elem ent of grow ing occult m ovem ents is the availability of inform ation in the public dom ain. If yougointoanybookstore cateringtooccult interests, thereis likelytobe a w ide range of titles cateringtovirtually any subject, from A strology to Z en. C haos M agic has not, sofar, reached such a high level of visibility. Instead, the ideas have spread by w ord of m outh, through the inform ation-highw ays of Internet and C om puserve, through lim ited edition books and specialist m agazines. In a subculture w here com m ercial trends tend to create the illusion of 'separate' occult traditions and approaches, C haos M agic texts represent the m ove tow ards

diversity of approach and fluidity of m ovem ent betw een the colour-coded zones of the occult belief-m arket. T he developm ent of C haos science and C haos M agic do go hand in hand, w ith uncanny (or fortuitous) synchronicities; fo r exam ple, in 1987 the U niversity of L eeds, E ngland hosted an exhibition of the scientific possibilities of C haos. L ater that year, L eeds w as the venue of the first ever "Sym posium of C haos M agic" and, aroundthis period, appearedtobea centre of C haos M agic activity, w ith groups such as the aforem entioned I.O .T ., the 'C ircle of C haos' and 'Leeds O rder of N eurom ancers' operating aroundthecity. Ina very m agical w ay, 'C haos' has becom e fashionable the buzzw ord of the N ineties. Fractal designs havecraw ledtheir w ay fro m com puter screens ontot-shirts, rave posters and postcards. T he chaos science of non-linear dynam ics is nowused in fields as diverse as econom ics to linguistics and has been w idely popularised through the character of IanM alcolmin Spielberg's Jurassic P ark. It is som ehowappropriate that, just as the rise of personal com puters assisted the paradigmbreakthroughs w hich allow ed chaos science to em erge, sothe practical application of chaos form ula has led to im provem ents in com puter developm ent from the use of fractals to m odel threedim ensional landscapes to fractal-based data com pression form ula. A t a very basic level, C haos challenges the w ay in w hichw e habitually experience the w orld. If anything, the fractal has becom e both the m ain m otif of the em erging sciences both adem onstration of its principles andat the sam e tim e an im age of popular culture. T he staggering beauty and com plexity of im ages such as the M andelbrot set arises fro m the application of a sim ple rule (x+x2+c). T he term 'fractal' m eans self-sim ilar at any scale. W hen you look into a fractal form , you see variations ontheoverall shapeof the set, no m atter howm uchyou increase the scale. It seem s that thedeeper into the im age you go, the m ore there is to see. E verything is connected to everything else in the set. T his sim ilarity can also be seen in natural phenom ena such as m ountains, clouds, and coastlines. It can be seento occur inthe shape of m olecules and galaxies. T he fractal is fast becom ing one of the m ost pow erful


m etaphors fo r explaining and understanding the w orld. C onsciousness can be m odeled as having a fractal nature. C ertainly m uch of our learning arises inour m inds inthe sam ew ay that a fractal is m odeled on a com puter screen. T he processes of creative thinkingconstitute oneexam ple. W ehave isolated ideas, andgraduallythe relationships betw eenideas andconcepts grow , until w e suddenly perceive the 'shape' of a newidea. T he w ays inw hich w e look intosom ething affects the possibilities of w hat w ew illfin d . If one's learning or attention is broad, rather than narrow ly focused andspecialised, thenone w ill see the sim ilarity of ideas across different disciplines and specialisations. A lso, sim ilar ideas crop up in different cultures, at various points in history. In som ew ays, the Fractal is a tw entieth-century icon of the idea that all things are, at som e level, interconnected at any given m om ent. C haos T heory is itself a m ulti-disciplinary theory. It is being applied inaw ide diversity of fields, fro m the study of epilepsy to the fluctuation of stock m arket prices. In som ew ays, C haos Theory's m ost striking im plications concern our im plicit experience of the w orld at a day-to-day level. W e have com e to accept as 'natural' that events happen in a logical, linear sequence, andthat anything w hichhappens outside of this sequence is som ehowoutside of the natural order of things. T his linearity is portrayed ineverything fro mm athem atics to popular fiction, to the level w here it is em bedded in our consciousness and taken fo r granted. It is the w ay that w e tend to think about our experience of the w orld, but it is not necessarily howw e really experience the w orld. C haos T heory, ina w ay, points out the obvious: that oneevent canchangethosethat follow ina w ay that can have atrem endous im pact upon us. W e tend tothink of ourselves, fo r exam ple, as being fairly constant day after day, only changing over a span of tim e. C haos T heory show s us the com plexity w hichunderlies the apparent sim plicity. L ookat how w em odel conscious aw areness. W e talk about 'norm al' consciousness andthat w hichis distinct fro m it as 'A ltered States of C onsciousness.' Y et w e continually shift fro m one condition of aw areness to another; m oving in and out fro m being aw are of w hat is goingonaround us, aflash of m em ory, a dashof fantasy, giving attention to a piece of inner dialogue, a loop of song fragm ent or advertising jingle, daydream ing, w ondering about possible futures that w e are m oving into, and m ore. W hen you

consider that at any given m om ent, your consciousness can be engaged in m any directions at once, the idea of 'norm al consciousness' that w e all talk about becom es som ething of a facade. C onsciousness behaves inananalogue (gradual) fashion, not like som ethingdefinite. T hepow er of C haos T heory as am odel is that it can approxim atelym odel aw ide variety of phenom ena that previous theories could not. Pre-C haos science approached phenom ena interm s of isolatingoneelem ent of anevent or situationandstudying it. For exam ple, the dom inant approach to understanding our senses is to study each sense in isolation of the others. T his can tell us a lot about each sense, but it is not an accurate w ay of describing how w e experience our senses. It is a very com m on hum an tendency to confuse the m ap w ith the territory, that is, to act as thoughthe m odels w e use tointerpret experience actually are the experience. O ne of the points that C haos T heory m akes is that no m odel can describe som ething utterly accurately w e can only m ake approxim ations. M uch has been m ade of H eisenberg's U ncertainty Principle, w hich dem onstrates this concept at a m athem atical level. Aversion of the U ncertainty Principle w hich has becom ea w atchw ord fo rC haos M agicians is that fam ous phrase, attributed to H assan I Sabbah, that N othing Is True, E verything is P erm itted. If "N othing is True", then questions of 'proof becom e irrelevant, and the responsibility "Perm ission" fo r one's actions and beliefs is throw n back upon the individual. If "N othing is T rue", then everything becom es art, play, or m akebelieve. S o you can choose your beliefs and attitudes w ithout feeling the necessity of validating them as "Truth" or scientifically valid. A gain, this is a rather obvious statem ent, although it seem s that w e tend to agree to act as though the situation w as otherw ise. Single "T ruths" w hich have anessential character, can only be m aintained by rigorously ignoring anything w hich does not conform to a particular belief-system . T hus beliefs survive, even if there is a relative absence of evidence to support them .C haos M agic recognises the pow er and m alleability of belief, andconsequently uses belief as atool fo rm agical action. T hat w ecanquicklyallowbeliefs tofo rm the bedrock of our interpretation of reality allow s us to m anipulate the abilityfo rm agical purposes.

T he w ay that m agic is generally conceptualised changes as general paradigmshifts in thinking occur. U ntil fairly recently (ina broad historical sense), practitioners of m agic subscribed to the 'Spirit' M odel of M agic, w hich basically states that the O therw orlds are real, and are inhabited byvarious pantheons of discrete entities elem entals, dem ons, angels, goddesses, gods, etc. T hetaskof the m agicianor sham an is todevelop (or inherit) a route m ap of the O therw orld to know the short-cuts, and m ake afew friends (or contact relatives) over there. H avingdone this, theyhavetointeract w iththese spirits ina givenw ay, toget themto execute your w ill. S o clergym en pray, sham ans stuff sacred m ushroom s into their orifices in order to m eet their ancestors, w hile dem onologists threaten entities into subm ission bythundering out bits of the O ld T estam ent. B ytheE ighteenth C entury, andthe rise of Science, the idea of 'A nim al M agnetism ' arose inthe W est, the first m anifestation of the 'Energy' M odel of m agic. T his m odel places em phasis onthe presence of 'subtle energies' w hich can be m anipulated via a num ber of techniques. A long cam eB ulw er L ytton and his idea of' V ril' energy, E liphas L evi andthe A stral L ight, M edium s and ectoplasm ,W esternised 'popular' accounts of Prana, C hakras, andK undalini, andeventually, W ilhelmR eich's O rgone energy. T he next developm ent cam ew ith the popularisation of Psychology, m ainly due to the Psychoanalytic fads of Freud, Jung and com pany. D uring this phase, the O therw orlds becam e the Innerw orlds, dem ons w ere rehoused into the U nconscious M ind, and H idden M asters revealed as m anifestations of the 'H igher Self. For som e later exponents of this m odel, T arot cards w ere sw itched fro m being a m agical-divinatory systemto being 'tools' fo r personal transform ation, just as the goddesses/ gods cam e to be seen as not 'real' entities, but psychological sym bols or archetypes. T he current up-and-com ing paradigm is the 'C ybernetic' m odel, as w e sw ing into being an inform ation-based culture. T his m odel says that the U niverse, despite appearances, is stochastic in nature. M agic is a set of techniques fo r rousing a neurological storminthe brain w hich brings about m icroscopic fluctuations in the U niverse, w hich lead eventually to m acroscopic changes in accordance w iththem agician's intent.


See C haos Science, the B utterfly E ffect, and all that. A nother m anifestation of the C ybernetic M odel com ing tothe fo re is the newage assertion that crystals w ork 'just like' com puter chips. T here are signs that theC ybernetic M odel dovetails back intothe spirit m odel, and onceyou get past the m athem atical proofs and w eirdjargon, the m odel does display a sim ple elegance. E achm odel has its ow nattractive glam our, w ithexponents or opponents on either side. M any occult textbooks contain elem ents of the Spirit, E nergy, and Psychological m odels quite happily. Should you ever fin d yourself in the position of having to 'explain' all this w eird stuff to an non-aficionado or skeptic, then the Psychological m odel is probably your best bet. T hese days, people w hoascribe tothe S pirit m odel (if they are not of a Pagan or O ccult persuasion them selves), tend to think that they have anexclusive copyright over the useof Spirits! If the person is a com puter buff or Fractal phreak, thenbyall m eans gofo r the 'cyberpunk' paradigm . Scientists only tend to accept som ething if a scientific 'rationale' can be w heeled up. A cupuncture, fo r exam ple, w as until recently explained using the E nergy M odel, and poo-poohed by the scientific establishm ent until som eone cam eupw ithE ndorphin stim ulation. N owm ost hospital physiotherapy departm ents havea set of needles. W hile som em agicians tendtosticktoone favourite m odel, it is useful to shift am ong them as the situation befits. Som e m odels have astronger 'explaining' pow er andaccount fo r som e aspects of m agic 'better' thanothers. T he S pirit m odel, byfar the oldest, can account fo r just about any aspect of m agic. T he Psychological m odel, w hile being useful fo r looking at m agic as aprocess fo r personal developm ent, has difficulty w ith situations suchas tribal sham ans cursing W esterners w ho (a) don't believe in m agic, (b) didn't see the sham an squinting at them , (c) and break out in hives anyw ay. If you use onlyone m agical m odel, sooner or later the U niverse w ill present youw ith som ething that w on't fit your param eters. W hen you are spending m ore tim e defending your m odels than m odifying them , thenyou knowit's tim e fo r another spot of toR oom101.


T he 19th C entury revivalists of M agic have bequeathed to us, their 'm agical children', a false dichotom y of H igh m agic and L owM agic. H ighm agic is about becom ing m ore 'spiritual', and L ow M agic, or Sorcery, is m erely the m anipulation of the m undane, m aterial w orld. T he philosophical roots of this dichotom y lie in post-E nlightenm ent C hristianity; w herein a w edge w as driven betw een the Spiritual (the dom ain of the C hurch) and the T em poral (the playground of the em erging Scientists). T he occult revivals of the last century sought to reconcile the spiritual yearning w ith the newpow er of science, w hile the pow er of orthodox religion m elted in the flam es of w ar, rapid social change, and the rise of technology. O ddly enough, it is science itself, once the enem yo f the spiritual im pulse, w hich nowoffers reconciliation. T he revolutions of Q uantumPhysics and N on-L inear D ynam ics are nowreturning us tothe aw areness, long hidden, that the w orld is m agical. T hat w e are, as A lanM oore so eloquentlyput it unpredictable beyond the dream s of H eisenberg. T he 'Traditional' H igh M agicians created tow ering edifices in abstract space, w hich they used to clirnb tow ards their idea of 'G odhead*, seeking transcendence fro m the em braceof the m aterial w orld. Afew notables am ongst these architects of the Spirit have spectacularly fallen fro m the heights they scaled, andbiographers haveprovided us w ith neat encapsulations of their blazing passions, w hile legions of clerkish scribblers still present us w ith the gleanings of their visions, their notations, andsystem s. B ut their tim e has passed. M agic is no longer the dom ain of the w ealthy, and w e need no utterances fro m rebel angels to announce the uncertainty of the

future. A lthough it is ever the folly o f the young to sneer at the m istakes of their forebears, let usnot forget that, inessence, their m agics w orked; that w e are here. E vennow , I feel the stirrings of the next generation of m agi, and it is m y fervent hope that they too w ill surpass the present generation; that they w ill not be seduced bythe past, but w ill takem agicforw ards. Just as the transcendental em phasis of the 19thcentury m agi reflected the driving passions of their age, so too does contem porary m agic showupthe dom inant characteristics of this latter end of the 20th C entury: a faith in T echnology and a m agpie's view of culture. In any of our W estern cities, w e can daily experience the cultural m elting pot of stylesfro manyw here in thew orld,fromanyplaceor tim e. Sotoo, w e seethe tendency to reduce m agic toaprofusion of techniques, as the w ould-be m agi increasingly search fo r 'better' techniques; quicker results; instant enlightenm ents. T hepresent technologists of the spirit run the sam e risks as the previous generations' architects of the abstract; of narrow ingtheirvision; of im balance. M agic is pow erful; it is dangerous, as is anything w hich provokes change. O ne m aybe driventow ards m agic, be seduced by its glam ours, or w ashed up against its shores through crisis, but it is m ost definitely not for all. N om ore than one w ould indiscrim inately feed people pow erful psychoactive drugs, or leave children to play w ith dangerous m achinery. T his is the seduction of technology, that its creators distance them selves from the uses to w hich their creations are put, and its glam ours are seductive in the short-term ,w hereas the consequences are som ew hat different. Inthe Sixties, w ew ere fed the glam our of U to p ia through the harnessing of N uclear Pow er. T hirty years later, the glam our has soured som ew hat. It is the sam ew ith m agic. "W h a t -w e im agine m agic w ill enable us to becom e, and w hat w eactually becom e after yearsof practice, are usually quite d ifferen t. Theability toperform advanced acts of m agic requires years of effort; yearsof study, training, practice, analysis, and grow ing self-aw areness, these years are valuable; th e passage of tim e allow s us to grow , tocreateourow ncodes o f ethics andhonours, form ing the roots of our pow er, andthebedrock upon w hich w e "b u ildour m agical reality. A s is often said, apow erful m agician stands alone in the crow d, to som e degree alien or inhum an.

M any yearn fo r this state, feeding the ego w ith feelings of superiority and the w ish that others m ay see them as 'w ise'. W hat is less often stated is that the adept m agician, w ho feels his separateness all too keenly, is m ore likely to m ourn the loss of innocence, if only secretly. O ne cannot shape the w orld w ithout being reshaped in the process. E ach gain of pow er requires its ow nsacrifice. T hegam eof m agical consequences never ends. T he em ergence of C haos M agichas givenrise toashift inthe em phasis of m odern m agic. S orcery, or m agic w hich is directed tow ards an 'observable' result in the 'real' w orld, has, up until recently, thought tobe "not quite the done thing", as opposed to the quest fo r 'Spiritual Perfection'. In the sam ew ay that scientists and m athem aticians turned aw ay fro m trying to get to grips w ith nature, w hich w as, w ell, m essy, and w ouldn't alw ays conform to neat form ulae, and instead chose to exam ine events w hich w ere so sm all and abstract that it is difficult to see how they relate to everyday life. S om uch of m agical practice relates to inner experience that it is all too easy fo r an individual to convince him self that he is a 'great m agician' on the basis of inner experience alone, and not the ability to phenom enize that experience into action. T hus one tends to run into people w ho proclaimthem selves tobem agically potent, although it becom es clear that theyare w oefully im potent w henit com es tom atters of ordinary life. C onsequently, if m agic is to be effective, w em ust be able to A ssess our perform ance, and m oreover, relate the m agical techniques that w euse, tow hat em erges out of that use. W hichis to say that if fo r exam ple, you perform a ritual invocation of a particular entity fo r a specific purpose, youneed tobe able tobe aw are in w hat w ays that ritual w ork resonates into your life. C haos M agic addresses this issue byplacinga rigorous em phasis on T H E ST A T E M E N TO F IN T E N T .A ll form alised acts of m agic require aStatem ent of Intent, w hichis basically structured along the lines of "It is m yw ill to [do som ething] fo r [a designated result]..." I w ill explore the practicalities of this in due course.


In addition, C haos M agic places an em phasis on SelfA ssessm ent. U nfortunately, each individuals' capacity fo r selfdelusion andblindnesstoproblemareas does not som ehowcease w hen a certain level of m agical proficiency is attained. It is alw ays easyto ignore or sw eep aside that w hich does not fit into our dom inant im age of selfhood. In som em agical or m ystical system s, the responsibility of assessm ent is shifted ontoam aster or guru, som eone w ho is supposed to have special insight into ones' character andknoww hat isthe 'right' thing fo r the student to do next. W ithin the C haos approach, responsibility fo r action and m ovem ent rests ultim ately w ith each individual. C ertainly youm ayseekadvice or d ifferen t perspectives through anym eans open, fro m consulting w ith spirits, divinations, or asking your friends w hat they think, but the responsibility lies w ithyou. T he ability to exam ine your behavior, thoughts and feelings w ith a degree of dispassion and objectivity is a skill w hich, once you begintouse it, canbeapplied inanyareas of your life. D espite the seem ing com plexity of occult theories the hierarchies of inner planes, chakras, energy lines, archetypes, souls, akashic records, karm ic debt recovery agencies and so forth, they tend to share a com m on tendency of rendering descriptions of the phenom enal w orld (w here w e spend m ost of our tim e) into very sim ple term s. C haos M agic tends to reverse this kind of m odeling, andtends togenerate very sim ple m odels fo r describing abstract experience, w hile recognising the som etim e need fo r using com plex m odels fo r getting to grips w iththe phenom enal w orld. Peter C arroll, the forem ost exponent of C haos, points out that it is characterised by a "C avalier" approach to m etaphysics, based o n the recognition that m etaphysics are, after all, subject to belief. M any O ccult belief system s consist o f a hodge-podge o fm etaphysical speculations w hich are accepted as "truth", and w hich have additional bits 'bolted on' as those w ho create themtry and cramanything and everything into the sam em odel. Scientists once believed they could arrive at a grand theory of everything and anything. O ccultists are attem pting the sam e thing, although it tends to

S E L F -A S S E S S M E N T


m anifest as attem pts to m erge divergent system s such as the T arot, R unes andI C hingtogether. C haos M agic how ever, is characterised by a w illingness to use different m odels and learn from them . Thus C haos M agicians usem etaphors fro mC haos T heory, E cology, B iology, Psychology, Science Fiction, com puter program m ing, m anagem ent theory, and anything else w hich m ight prove interesting or potentially useful. T he chapter inthis book dealing w ith C haos Servitors is a result of m y studying the principles of program m ing a com puter using the C O B O L language. I never actually becam e adept at C O B O Lprogram m ing, but it gave m e a useful perspective w ith w hichtoexam ine the m agical techniques I w as usingat the tim e. U singthis particular m odel ledm e tow onder if som e properties of the m odel w ere possible to transfer into m agical action, and by experim entation, I found they w ere, although not quite inthe w ay I had expected. E ncounteringnew m odels andm etaphors cansom etim esfireus w ithenthusiasmfo r new explorations and creative leaps into the darkness of the unknow n. B ut m odels, m agical or otherw ise, can becom e subtle traps. It seem s all to easy fo r us to em brace a new m odel or reality-m ap, yet to suddenlyfin dthat w e have bound ourselves w ithin its lim itations. B ut som em odels areparticularly suited fo r specific tasks and situations. R ather than attem pting to stretch one m odel sothat it canaccount fo r everything andanything, the C haos approach encourages one to use the m odel w hich is m ost appropriate to the situation. S om e years ago, I w as approached by an acquaintance w ho requested that I create a 'protective' talism an fo r her hom e. N owthere are m any d ifferen t approaches tothis kind of m agic. It w ould have perhaps been easiest fo rm e tocreate a 'shield' about her hom e, w hichcould have been done w ithout too m uch fuss or props. H ow ever, I w anted m y acquaintance to 'feel' that som ething definite hadbeen set up, so w e optedfo r a ritual of angelic invocation usingall the pom pand form ality of the Q abalah, w hich left them in no doubt that m ighty forces had been m arshaled in order to protect the hom e from anythingor anyone w hom ight intrude w ithm align intent. If our basic m odels of reality are changed, then suddenly, m uch of w hat w e take fo r granted about the w orld can be called into question. It is a com m on tendency to behave as if our m etaphors and m aps are "T rue." If w e choose to live according

to the statem ent "N othing is True," then w e are bound to acknow ledge the fragility of am etaphor as being nom ore than it is. C haos has shifted the em phasis fro m seeking that w hich is 'm agical' as that w hich lies beyond the know nw orld, but recognising that thew orld itself is m agical. O ne of the m ost basicrelationships is that of Self and O ther; m e and everything else; us and them .E ven this relationship is inform ed by the dom inant m odel of reality w hich is based on nineteenth century notions such as the absolute separation of m ind fro mm atter; the m echanical nature of the physical w orld and the distinction betw een subjectivity and objectivity. In this m odel, w hich is our consensual description of experienced reality, the m ind m akes sense of random , chance events w hich happen in the exterior, objective w orld. T his is not so m uch an accurate description of the w orld, but a description that, on the grand scale, confirm s and supports m uch of our self-conceits about hum anities' relationshipw iththe rest of the planet. M odels tend to m ake the w orld a sim pler place, shape experience to conform toour expectations, and alsodoa neat job of justifying our 'superior' position to everything else. Agood exam ple of suchreductionist m odeling is the creation of stereotypes. W eall use stereotypes to varying degrees. T hey can be positive, acting as role m odels or ideal types, or negative stereotypes, w hich are responses to anxiety loss of control. Asim pler exam ple yet is the tendency to describe our ow n behavior as a response to a given situation w hile attributing the behavior of others to their personality. A specific exam ple w ithin the m agical context is that w hile you m ight w ell invoke deities, interpreting themas archetypes or subpersonalities, howfa r do you accept that those deities m ight have an existence, purpose and intentions that are separate and beyond your ow n? T hus, on various levels w e ascribe m eaning, intentionality and purposiveness to ourselves, and 'forget' about the 'O ther' be it other people or other species. W here is this relevant to m agic? Like m any other basic patterns w ithin our consensual reality, the consequences of the S elf-O ther distinction are rarelyquestioned. H ow ever, theC haos M agic perspective dem ands that the m agician be capable of


looking 'behind the facade' of param ount reality fo r the underlying com plexities andpatterns. C haos places an em phasis upon attention todetail, tobeingw ary of the tendency tobecom e uncritical of that w hich seem s, onthe surface, tobeself-evident. O nthe m ore practical level of sorcery the use of enchantm ents toactualise desire, it is all toeasy toviewasituation interm s of our ow n view point being the m ost im portant, or that our perspective of an event is the only one that counts. T he E go M agic techniques of C haos M agicallowyoutoshift perspectives and look at a situation fro m another person's view point. T he relativistic perspective of C haos M agic em phasizes that situations and events are rarely as clear-cut as w ew ould like them to be. T here is also the question of how the 'Self is regarded. A lthough science has m ore or less driven out the religious concept of an im m ortal soul, it still tends to m ake a distinction betw eeninner andouter experiencebyupholdingthe M ind-B ody divideThe G host in the M achine. M agical theories w hich, like scientific theories, w ere codified and generalised in the N ineteenth century, tend to reinforce this division to various degrees. In contrast, C haos supports the view that the M ind arises from the body. O n the surface, this appears to be a reductionist argum ent, w hich is a criticism w hich has been leveled at C haos M agic on m ore than one occasion. H ow ever, there is m ore to the concept than divesting ourselves of essentialist qualities. M anym agicians use the termB odyM ind to signify that M ind and B ody should be considered a unified w hole. If this can be accepted, then the w hole subjectiveobjective distinction is called into question. M oreover, this view point is supported by C haos Science, w hich has not only highlighted the fact that the 'objective' w orld, w hich w as once thought tobem easurable, quantifiable andexplainable follow ing m athem atical rules, has a high level o f 'fuzziness' and indeterm inacy; but alsothat the 'subjective w orld' of the m ind can be exam ined using analytical tools. N ot only is there no 'G host' in the m achine, but the idea of a physiological 'm achine' m oving through a passive environm ent has been show n up to be rather sim plistic. C haos philosophy is developing the idea of interdependent system s ecologies w hich have the inherent capacity fo r self-organisation. A s a purely practical exam ple, go

out intow oodlands or asim ilar 'natural' space. Y ouare entering adynam ic ecosystem ,w hose elem ents include flora, fauna, local history, geographical and geological features, m ythic associations, seasonal variations andw eather. W henyouenter it, youbecom e another elem ent inam esh of interrelated dynam ics. Y our experience of being w ithin this place w ill depend upon your interaction w ith other elem ents, m any of w hich you are likely to be unaw are of (at least initially). B efore you start to im pose any 'm agical' significance onto the place, observe it, be aw are of your ow n relationship w ith it, and you m ight be surprised. T his illustrates another basic point about the Self-O ther dynam ic; that w e can often be too eager w hen it com es to attributing m eaning and interpretations onto a situation, and not allow ing fo r other m eanings tom ake them selves know n. R ather than upholding 'differences' betw een Self and O ther, C haos M agic supports a celebration of diversity and difference. If "N othing is T rue, E verything is Perm itted", then there is no purpose or grand cosm ic schem e tolife beyond w hat w e choose to im pose or believe. T o som e this is cynicism . For the C haos M agician, it is abreathof dizzyingfreedom . M agic is a set of techniques and approaches w hich can be used to extend the lim its of A chievable R eality. O ur sense of A chievable R eality is the lim itations w hich w e believe bind us into a narrowrange of actions andsuccesses w hat w e believe tobepossible fo r us at any one tim e. Inthis context, the purpose of m agic is to sim ultaneously explore those boundaries and attem pt to push themback to w iden the 'sphere' of possible action. D oubt and cynicismare dom inant social attitudes in this last decade of thetw entiethcentury. O ne of thefirst barriers that you w ill encounter is the doubt over w hether m agic canpossibly 'w ork' inthefirst place. L ikesex, rnagic needs tobe experienced directly before it canbe fully understood. Asingle act by w hich you dem onstrate that M A G IC W O R K S to yourself is w orth a thousand books o nso-called occult theory. M uch of w hat passes fo rm agical theory is a hodge-podgeof borrow ed concepts, ranging fro mm aps of the Inner Planes derived fro mT heosophytopopularpsychology and 'alternative'


physics. For the C haos approach, the questionof howm uch of it is "True" is irrelevant, since is the adoption of a belief w hich m akes it viable, rather than its coherence. M ost occult theories are treated in the sam ew ayas general scientific descriptions of the w orld. T hat is, they are presum ed tobe"true" independently of hum an experience and passed dow n from book to book w ithout being questioned, and eventually pass into general acceptance, to the level that som e people becom e quite upset if you don't appear to subscribe to them .T his type of theory is know n as Theory-of-A ction. O ne of the problem s that som e peoplefin dw hen encountering C haos M agic, is its tendency to discount orthodox m agical theory, in favour of personal experience. H ow ever, there is another type of theory, Theory-inU se, w hich is of greater use to the contem porary m agician. Theory-in-U se relates to the guidelines and patterns that a m agician learns, through personal experience and practice. T heories-in-U se cannot be taught, but arise out of the results of applying m agic inyour life. W hile books and other people can giveyou a know ledge of m agical techniques, it is uptoyouas to howyou apply them , and w hat theories and beliefs you w eave around the results of your application. T here are no 'correct' w ays to perform m agical acts, just the ones that w ork fo r you. M agic is about becom ing m ore flexible, therefore youshouldnot be surprised if you find yourself changing your ideas about m agic fro m tim e totim e. It should also be understood that m agic is not only concerned w ithpushingbackthe boundaries of A chievableR eality, but also understanding that som e self-im posed lim itations can beas m uch asource of pow er as a restriction. W hat is 'pow er' anyw ay? It is one of those w ords w hich gets throw n around a lot, and in m agical w ritingtends toim plythat am agician w hois 'pow erful' can sum m on dangerous dem ons, sm ite his enem ies, and be attended uponb y glam orous partners. T here is alsom uch talk of m ysterious and subtle energies through w hich this pow er m anifests. T hew ordpow er h as various definitions, am ongw hich are "the ability to act or produce an effect, the possession of control, influence or authority over others," and, as B ertrand


R ussell put it, "the abilitytoachieve intended effect." T his latter definition is closest tounderstanding 'm agical pow er.' Aconfusion has arisen in recent years over the relationship betw een pow er andthecore tenet of C haos M agic, that "nothing is true, and everything is perm itted." S om ecritics havechosento interpret this as m eaningthat the w hole point of C haos M agic is to throw aw ay all restrictions and find pow er in absolute freedom .T his is botham isunderstanding of the C haos approach, anda m isunderstanding of the nature of pow er. A bsolute pow er, w ithout restraints, is a fiction in the m odern w orld. A nyw here that you choose to look fo r an exam ple of som eone w ho is 'pow erful,' look closer andyou w illfin dthat pow er is severely constrained. T ake fo r exam ple the A m erican hostage crisis in Iran. T heoretically, the then president, Jim m yC arter, had the pow er to reduce Iran to sm oking rubble w ithin m inutes. A lthough C arter had the m ilitary pow er to do this, it could not actually be done. In the light of this, a m ore appropriate definition of m agical pow er m ight be that it is the ability to achieve intended effect w ithin the constraints of a given situation. Acom m on m isunderstanding of m agical pow er is that it som ehowallow s the m agician toexercise control over aspects of reality, and a distinction has arisen betw een "pow er-over" (bad) and "pow er-from -w ithin" (good). T he term "pow er-over" is used to describe the w ielding of pow er against another, by physical, legal, or financial m eans. W hereas "pow er-from w ithin" is the very personal sense of 'being able' w hich arises out of acts of creativity or m agic. T his distinction has its value, in that it enables us to understand that m agical pow er is som ething that w e feel w ithin, rather than an external agency. N ext, there com es theissue o f so-called m agical pow ers such as telepathy, levitation, influencing people (and events) at a distance, sensing auras, precognition or fo r that m atter, bending spoons. In T antra, such abilities are know n as Siddhis, a w ord w hich is generally translated as "achievem ents." Som ething w hich is an achievem ent is the result of practice, discipline and patience. If you ever dom eet a m agician w hocan seem ingly do m arvelous things at the drop of hat, it is a fairly safe bet he has beenpracticing fo r averylongtim e. M agic is the quest fo r pow er the ability to achieve intended effect. Y ou becom e 'pow erful' inthis sense, w hen you have

dem onstrated to yourself (and others, if you are w orking in a group or in touch w ith other m agicians) that you can m ake m anifest your intention, tothepoint w hereyouare confident and relaxed that m agic is not som uch som ething that you 'do', but anexpression of your being. T he understanding of the lim its and constraints w hich channel your pow er, is the difference betw een the effective m agician and the m egalom aniac. C haos M agic is not about discarding all rules and restraints, but the process of discovering the m ost effective guidelines and disciplines w hich enableyoutoeffect change inthe w orld. M agic is a tw o-w ayprocess; youuse it to changeyourself andin return, it changes you. L ettingyourself enter am agical reality is not about creating an enclave of m agic beyond your everyday life, but of allow ing m agic in allow ing fo r the intrusion of the w eird, the irrational, the things you can't explain, yet are undeniably real. Y ou m ay w ell learn the sum m oning of spirits using ritual m agic, but w hat happens w hen the spirits sum m on you? E ncounters w ith strange lights, half-glim psed figures, rushing presences and flickering lights; these are very m uch associated w ith the w ilderness they com ew ith the territory. B ut w hat do you do w hen m agic com es a'calling around into your house? T here is no script or teaching on this subject. Y ou learn by live experience and listening to your fellow s. T his is truly the intrusion of the T w ilight Z one the fuzzy borderlines that w e drawbetw een com m on, everydayexperience, andthe m ore-thanreal. W hat is it about theseexperiences that is im portant? Firstly, that they are real in aw aythat overcom es all rationalisations to the contrary. W henever I amin the presence o f strangeness, I shiver and tears prick up at the corners of m y eyes. 1 knowand value this response, as it allow sm e to sort out the difference betw een 'real' strangeness and an over-active im agination. Secondly, theyare often shared byothers. Am agician deals w ith gods, dem ons, spirits, elem entals and w hat haveyou. It is easy, therefore, to slip into a m ental attitude of thinking that all these diverse entities are only at your beck and call, and have no existence or w ill beyond yours. T his attitude tends tofragm ent w hen a spirit turns upunannounced, especially if other people


m eet it too. Acom m on feature of such experiences is that w e tend tobehave 'norm ally' w ithinthem . It is only afterw ards that w e realise and say "w hat the Fu...". Afew years ago, a visiting friend cam eback fro m the bathroomandtold m e that there w as a "thing" onthe landing. Intrigued, I w ent out tohave alookat this "thing" and found a m oving shadow , roughly six feet high and m an-shaped, in the half-light of the stairw ell. W e proceeded to question this entity and found it to be evasive, although prom ising that it w ould "give you pow er". U nsatisfied w ith its answ ers, w e told it toleave us alone. It w as only afterw ards that the uncanniness of the w hole experience hit us. It w as particularly am using that although w e accepted the presence of the unknow n entity unreservedly, w e had been highly skeptical of the answ ers it hadgiven us to our questions, and dism issed it w hen it w ould not give us the quality of inform ation that w e required. T his sort of behavior appears tobe com m on, at least from the people I havetalked toabout such intrusions of theuncanny. W e dow hat seem s tobe appropriate at thetim e, and only afterw ards does the shock of the bizarre hit us. A nd it m ay be a shock indeed. W henpeople askm e "is m agic dangerous?" I rem em ber anexperience of afriend som eyears ago. Shew asjust getting to grips w ithgoddess-consciousness, havingcom ethroughfem inist politicization, but still dealing w ith C atholicguilt. I had lent her boyfriend acopyof A leister C row ley's H ym ntoP an. She found it one night, and read it. She said it stirred m ixed feelings of excitem ent andrevulsion as em otional sparks andbeliefs w arred w ithin her. Filled w ith a curious tension and apprehension, she reached up to a bookshelf and knocked dow n her boyfriend's T arot pack. 'TheD evil' landed face up, dow nat her feet. A t that m om ent, she said, her entire w orld cracked apart. N owI could say that the experience w as a m anifestation of C haos, or a synchronicity but such term s are alm ost irrelevant. W hat m atters isthat it happened, andnothingw as the sam e again. T his is m agic indeed. I don't think it is possible to go o u t searching fo r suchencounters they com etous. H ence the term'T w ilight Z one* the U FO nauts never appear to the believer, but to the 'ordinary person' next door. B ut there do seemto be som e shades of aw areness and perception that help, w hile others hinder. Physical exhaustion w hich leaves you alert seem s tobe

beneficial, fo r instance. M ental exhaustion, on the other hand, appears to dull your sensitivity to intrusions fro m the outside. T he appropriate m ental attitude 1 w ould say is very m uch onthe level of "w hat happens, happens." T his is echoed by A ustin O sm an Spare's doctrine of "D oes not m atter N eed not be" again, a fo rm of relaxation inthe present environm ent. Y ouneed to have a level-headed 'm atter-of-fact' approach to this kind of experience. Explanations don't m atter, experience does. Som eone asks "D oyou believe inG hosts?" N o. W hich is not to say that I've never seen things w hich could be explained as ghosts. N ot at all. It's just that I haven't taken up the com m on beliefs and explanations of ghosts. A gain, this is acore m essage of C haos M agic. Y ou don't have to believe in Past Lives, C hakras, R eincarnation H idden A depts and the A stral Plane to w ork effective m agic. If you w ant to believe in any/all of this and m ore, then it's your choice. Sim ilarly, you don't have to believe insom ething to suddenly have it w alkuptoyouandask fo r a light. I used tobelieve that m agic w as m erely psychology dressed up. T hat is, until one night I aw oke tofind som ething heavy and m isty sitting upon m ychest. Y es, okay, I adm it it I w as scared shitless! I laythere fo rw hat felt like aneternity until Im entally visualised a pentagramandprojected it forth, and the 'thing' prom ptly fad ed aw ay. I w as in shock fo r days. N owI've heard lots of different explanations fro m other people, but w hat is im portant fo rm e is that it show edm e, m ore convincingly than any argum ent or book, that m agic is som ethingreal.


B ecom ing a m agiciantakes tim e, andpractice, andexperience. It is not just a m atter of reading a few books, trying out a few exercises, rituals, and soforth, andthen declaring yourself tobe am agician. Sadly, it is all too easy fo r us toconvince ourselves about our suitability fo r som ething. W hen A leister C row ley w rotethat "m agic is fo rA L L ," fe w seemtohave considered that hew as possibly overstating the case. Athorough exam ination of C row ley's life, particularly the num ber of his associates w ho triedtobe m agicians, yet failed; w ho's lives ended inm adness or m isery clearly indicates that m agic is N O T fo r everyone. A m agician is a person w ho recognises that the w orld he m oves through is an extrem ely com plex place; that all that seem s apparent and clear-cut, inactuality, hides a seething com plexity, the fu ll depths of w hich he m ay never grasp. Such a person, by necessity, is continually onguard against that w hich m ight lim it his ability to adapt and survive in this w orld. A m agician is constantly aw are of his inner structures, andthat w hich is around him .H e constantly strives to extend his possibilities fo r action, patient, yet aw are of thenecessity som etim es, of going toofar in all directions. M agic, in som e senses, is the science of extrem es. M any people are attracted to the occult as an attem pt to escape from the responsibility of being hum an. M any seemto w ant to gain m agical pow ers im m ediately, w ithout sacrifice or responsibility to that pow er. B ut the kind of abilities that a m agician m ay develop cannot bebought over the counter like a Saturdaynight special. M agical 'pow ers' are literally the result of one's discipline; they are the result of practice, study, and the application o f theories and techniques in one's ow n life. M oreover, this process is one that changes you. W ith pow er, com esthe understanding of responsibility. It is m y responsibility

as a w riter to say that no one ever becam e am agician from reading books. Sure, you can learn from other people, but you don't becom eam agicianuntil youbegin to tw ist som ething that you have read or learned, and apply it successfully w ithin your ow n life. A nyone can convince them selves that they are a m agician inthe safety of their ow n heads; it helps som etim es to have a few follow ers or friends w ho agree but the test here, is to go som ew here else andbe am agician there. O ne of the m ost significant 'pow ers' a m agician develops is a certain poise a degree of self-assured assurance of m anner. Agood m agician m aintains this poise, nom atter w here he is, or w ho hehas about him .T his is a pow er that other m agicians can recognise and respect, as it says m uch m ore about a person than w hat he says about him self. In m agical circles, there is som etim es a degree of confusion over the distinction betw een 'basic' and 'advanced' m agic. T he form er is associated w ith 'beginners', w hile the latter is associated w ith adepts or m agi. S om e people seemto have the opinionthat 'basic' techniques of m agic should onlybepracticed fo r a set period, andthen discarded in favour of som ething m ore arcane. In the C haos approach, the term 'basic' applies to any technique or practice w hichis sim ple, effective, andw hich, once understood, can be applied throughout your life, no m atter how far advanced am agicianyoum aybecom e. T olearn anym agical techniques and skills requires Practice, just as does learningtoread, w rite, or drive a car. Practice is difficult, especially now adays, w hen w e are increasingly becom ing used totheidea of 'instant' courses, rem edies, andtherapies. O ne w eekendw orkshop does not m ake youa 'm agician', any m ore than one w eekend of driving a car w ould m ake you a proficient m otorist. T obecom e skilled requires tim e, effo rt, and self-discipline. W hen learning m agical techniques, w e are o ften going through a process of extending our everyday range of abilities, often in w ays that m ay not have occurred to us previously. T his requires a level of determ ination that w ill, at tim es, seem onerous, or 'm ore effo rt than it's w orth', and the benefits m ayonly seemobvious inthe long-term .


T here are tw o elem ents that are w orth considering w hen it com es toPractice. T hefirst is that w eare learningnewskills that w ill fo rm a sound basis fo r further w ork. T here is little point attem ptingtow orkentirely onthe 'astral plane' if you cannot sit still fo r five m inutes or hold an im age in your m ind's eye w ithout w andering o ff onto another track. Practice requires discipline, andthegrow thof self-discipline is in itself apow erful m agical ally. If nothing else, by assiduously doing som ething w hich you have prom ised toyourself that you w ill do you are increasing your confidence in your ability to do things and confidence is akeytosuccessful m agic. T he second elem ent to consider is that in setting yourself a goal of regular practice, you are pitting yourself against w hat is probablyyour m ost deadlym agical adversary your ow n inertia. If you have a conversation w ith yourself that you are "lazy, unable to concentrate, and can never finish tasks off', then the only w ay to break out of that self-im posed lim itation is to set yourself a regular practice and doit! Y oum ay w ell b e surprised at your ow n ingenuity in trying to w riggle out fro m doing the practice: that it'd be m uchbetter to have alie inthanget up and m editate, that you'll do it tw ice tom orrowfo rm issing out today, that youdon't possibly havethe 'spare' tim e. A t tim es the lim itations w e im pose upon ourselves seemto have a life of their ow n. T hey resist being changedby fighting against the changes that w e are trying to m ake in our lives. It m ay be that, if w e donot fin d a newtaskdifficult and im posing on everyday life, w e are not taking it seriously enough. O nly w hen w e take up som ething that threatens our established patterns do our lim itations seek to preserve them selves, so the fact that you m ight becom ingup w ith attractive excuses to keep you fro m practice canbe taken as agood sign. B ut th e only w ay you w ill change the pattern is to keeptryinguntil y o uchange it. T his often requires determ ination, tenaciousness, and sheer bloody-m indedness all in them selves, qualities that are useful fo r thebudding m agician.

T he M agical D iary is an ally to practice, a w ork record, and confessor. A stronom ers often say that "if it w asn't w ritten dow n, it didn't happen," andthis is a good axiomfo rm agicians to take

up. K eeping a m agical diary is agoodhabit toget into, enabling you record all of your attem pts at different exercises and techniques, any ideas and insights that arise from them , and anything else that you fin d significant. Y ears later, you m ight look backat your early attem pts and squirmuncom fortably, but equally, youw ill fin d that having a record of w ork inthis w ay is veryuseful, sincem agical ideas andinsights often loopback into earlier experim ents. It is not unknow n fo rm agicians to start developing an idea, put it aside, and com e back to it years later w ith a fresh understanding and insight into w hat it w as about. T he sam e thing tends to happen w ith books. Y ou m ight read a book and have no idea w hat the author is really saying then com e back to it later, and find that, in the light of your accum ulated experience, it m akes m uch m ore sense. It is also w orth bearing in m ind that, as m ost m agicians bring their ow n insights and personal view s into developing their ow n approaches and specialties in m agic, a diary is a record of your doings that oneday, historians m ight fin d a valuable docum ent! Y ou shouldchoosea m ethod of keepinga diaryw hich is m ost convenient toyou such as ina bound, blank-page book, a ringbinder folder, or even on a com puter disk. The sort of inform ation that shouldbe included indiaryw rite-ups includes: 1 .W hat w as done 2. D uration 3. W here it w as done 4. A ny pertinent w eather, M oon phase, A strological conjunctions (if you feel these aresignificant toyou) 5. H owyou felt it w ent 6. A nyideas arising fro m it 7. A nyother com m ents Som em agical teachers and groups insist that students be prepared to present their diaries fo r scrutiny. It can be a useful spur to keep your diary 'as though' som eone w as going to look at it at som e stage.

R egular practice takes tim e, w hich is a com m odity that not all of u s have inthe sam e degree. F or exam ple, m any practical m agic w orkbooks recom m end that you assiduously do a particular

practice at the sam e hour, each day. T his isfin eis your lifestyle allow s you to rigorously plan your day, but fo r others, it is im possible. In setting up your ow n schedules fo r practice, it is essential that youberealistic about theam ount of 'free tim e' that you can allot to practice. If you absolutely cannot do a daily practice, thengive yourself aschedule that you knowyouhave a better chance of keeping to. It is only useful to set practice schedules if you knowthat you can realistically find the free space tosticktothem . If you set anunrealistic practice schedule then it is likely youw ill not be able tokeeptoit w hich w ill not im prove your confidence. I have found that on average, it is better topractice anexercise fo r ashort tim e frequently, than fo r a longperiod infrequently so thatfivem inutes of m editation on a daily basis is m ore beneficial than half an hour every three w eeks. L ikew ise, it is easier to begin som e exercises by attem pting themfo r a fe wm inutes, and then to slow ly increase the duration, than totry and strain yourself. There's nopoint in trying to run before you can w alk, especially w hen it com es to m agic, w here it is veryeasytofall flat onyour face. O ne point that m ust be taken intoaccount is that it is veryeasyto get into a situation w here youfin dthat you have 'overloaded' yourself w ithm agical w ork todo. T his is not good practice, as it is increasing the possibility that youw ill get bogged ininertia. If youfin dthat this is the case, then take a 'holiday' fro m active m agical w ork. T his is particularly useful if you find yourself readingtoom anym agical books, w ithout givingyourself tim e to assim ilate their contents. T aking a break fro m active m agical w ork can be a m agical act in its ow n right. S et a period during w hich you don't read any m agical texts, or do any active practice, other than perhaps, a sim ple daily m editation. Paradoxically, you m ayfind this difficult to do, particularly if you have placed a good deal of im portance on 'becom ing' a m agician. B y giving yourself a short breathing-space, you w ill find that you canapproachpractice w itha renew edfreshness.


W hen learning a new skill, there are three stages that w e go through, w hich it is w ell tobe aw are o f. W henw einitially begin

som e new practice, there is (hopefully) a high level of enthusiasm .T he results of the practice are good, andw e can feel thebenefits of w hat w eare doing. S ofar sogood. A t som e stage though, w e pass into the 'dry' phase of acquiring the skill. A t this point, it becom es B O R IN G .T his is the tim ew hen all the excuses fo r not doingsom ething, all the little get-out clauses that w e resort to are at their m ost pow erful. It is the 'hum p' that students on longdegree courses experience, andthe phase w hen it seem s easier to give up rather than push on. Indeed, m any people do quit m agical developm ent at this stage, as they suddenly find that the benefits they have experienced earlier, suddenly dry upand vanish. O ur advice is togrit your teeth and hang oninthere it w on't last forever (though at tim es, it m ight seemlike it). If you canget over the 'hum p', then you m ay w ell be surprised tofin dthat gradually, you feel different about w hat you're doing that you cansee the benefit of som ething that, fo r a tim e, you felt w as pointless and boring and, even, that you're quite enjoying it. Alot of our early learning is like this, though w e tend to fo rg et howteachers pushed us toread, w rite and add up the process m oves fro m being a new , enjoyable 'gam e', to being a boring im position, to being som ething that w e one day realise that w e can do 'w ithout effort'. Agreat deal of m agical skills and abilities, fro mm editation to clairvoyance, are learned inthis w ay.

S E L F -A S S E S S M E N T
T his is the ability to m ake judgem ents about your ow n progression. A sm agic can be at tim es, a nebulous subject w ith vague term s of reference, self-assessm ent can be difficult. A great part of som em agical system s is the developm ent of a sym bolic fram e of reference in w hich the student can place herself interm s of w here she is, w here shew as, andw here she is going. A s you w ill see in the follow ing section on 'M agical D angers', it is all too easy fo rm agicians to develop aninflated senseof their ow nenlightenm ent, but equally, it is sim ilarly easy to deny according yourself w ithm aking anyprogress at all. T he m agical diary is a great helphere. Y oum aynot thinkthat you've progressed in agiven length of tim e, but providing you've been keeping arecord of your practice, then you should be able tosee som e differences betw een w hen you began the practice, and

w hereyouare now .B eing able toassessyourself is an im portant, yet som etim es underrated aspect of m agical developm ent. Som e students turntoteachers or 'gurus' to tell them'w here they are', w hich can bring its ow n problem s, especially if one com es to expect the guru to take total responsibility fo r everything, and som e so-called teachers are only too w illing to dothis. W hen it com es dow n to it, the one w ho know s you best, of course, is yourself. T hus you m ust grit your teeth and be prepared to acknow ledge (in your diary) your w eak areas and the conversations w hich youhavew ithyourself to convince yourself that you "can't do..." It can be useful to divide apage into tw o colum ns and list your perceived strengths and w eaknesses; w hat youw ould like tochange, andhowyouperceive m agic as being able tohelpyouchange. "K nowT hyself' w as the adm onition to the initiate inthe G reekE ulesianM ysteries, and it rem ains a core axiomfo rm agicians tothis present day.

T hough it is rarely adm itted, there are certain pitfalls that m agicians are prone to, and even the m ost advanced of us can end up inthem . Som e of the pitfalls associated w ith the practice of m agic are: Isolation precedes m adness yet m ost 'howto' books on m agic are w ritten fo r the solopractitioner. A lthough m agicians tend to be individualists, it is w ell torem em ber that w e are social beings too, and w e rarely grow in isolation to others hence a m ajor reason fo r the existence of m agical orders, groups, and courses. A lthoughnot everyone likes w orkingina group, it is nonetheless useful to have som eone w ith w homyou can discuss your ideas, progress, problem s and feelings w ith. E ven if people do not share your interests, a sym pathetic ear is o ften helpful. M agic is not about retreating fro m thew orld, but a w ayof becom ing m ore effective w ithin it. If you can't com m unicate w hat's going on inside you toanother person, and likew ise, are unable to 'hear' other people's opinions, then it is veryeasytoend up in som e of the other pitfalls.


Som e books on m agic tend to give the im pression that a M agus is som eone w ho can do 'anything', fro m crossing the abyss overnight to balancing his checkbook. M agus-itis covers the syndrom e fo r peoplew ho, despite w hat their peers thinkof them , feel them selves to have reached som e exalted state, w hich is usually synonym ous w ithbehaving like a com plete arsehole. It is very easy fo rm agicians toconvince them selves that they are the best thing since 'sliced bread' and hence 'above' everyone else, given autom atic respect, and are obviously m ore 'im portant'. Sadly, the su fferer of M agus-itis tends to be seen by others as a figure of scorn, pity, fu n, or som eone toavoid at all costs. T heir inflated sense of their ow n im portance is rarely sharedbyanyone else, and their antics often put other people 'off the idea of becom ing a m agician. S u fferers often displayanintense desire to be a G uru or T eacher, presum ably so that they can acquire a captive audience w ho w ill reinforce their sense of being 'right' inthe face of all evidence tothecontrary. A s they fin d it difficult to accept that anyone could possibly be at their level of 'illum ination', they lack the ability to develop the em pathy, com m unication and social skills that m akes fo r an effective teacher. Inshort, if youthink that you are w onderful, but noone else seem s to agree, then it's tim e to have a very close look at yourself. O bsession is not a danger that is exclusive to m agic. Y ou can becom e obsessed about anything, fro m sex totrain-spotting, but the com m on factor present inall obsessions is that you can't talk about anythingelse. B eingobsessed w ithm agic is a popular trip; I've done it m yself constantly going onabout m agic toall and sundry, regardless of w hether or not they're really interested and, if the conversation turns to som ething beyond m agic, suddenly feeling uncom fortable. T hen there's the 'sinister' behavior that som etim es m anifests, cultivating a glam our of being an 'outsider', and staring into people's eyes. T his is often a cover fo r alackof social skills, and agnaw ing sense of inferiority.

M agus-itis

O bsession

T hose w ho enter the w orld of m agic often feel a sense of trem endous urgency to put the w orld to rights, becom e 'illum inated' and do all m anner of idealistic things in a trem endous hurry. Suddenly, everything that happens, takes ona 'm agical' significance. S otoo, one's fears, w orries andproblem s take ona cosm ic dim ensiontothe level w here you're not m erely 'going through a bad patch', but are having a cosm ic initiation that noone else canpossiblyunderstand, and is vital tothe future of the hum anrace. It's am azing how quickly w e can, either alone or in a group, generate an atm osphere of m agical paranoia, w hich tends to create a situation w here som ething 'odd' is likely to happen w hich of course is then going to be seen as 'evidence' fo r an attack being under w ay. A nd then w hat happens? That's right, you start looking fo r 'enem ies'. A h, but, youm ight say, m agical attack does happen. W ell yes it does, but I w ould argue that nine tim es out of tenone onlyhas tolookina m irror tosee the source of the 'bad vibes'. O ver the last fifteen years or so, I've only detected three m agical attacks (w hich is surprising, given the talent I seemto have fo r upsetting people) of w hich, each has been corroborated by other people and w hich fortunately, I've been able to do som ething about at the tim e. B ut I've m et any am ount of 'occultists' w how ere convincedthat they w ere under attackby Satanists, B lackL odges, C haos M agicians, etc. etc. G nostic B urn-out occurs w hen you have been 'overdoing it' m agically. O ften this is acase of toom any rituals ina very short space of tim e, or a result of not thoroughly grounding yourself after aparticularly heavysession. S om e people are of theopinion that if you're a 'good' m agician, then this shouldn't happen. Personally, I amof the opinion that if you're a 'good' m agician, then you have to expect this sort of occurrence as your practice propels you into w eird states of consciousness, strange bodily sensations, and dow nright w eirdness. M y ow n response to episodes of G nostic B urnout is to go o ff an d have a good lie dow n, andsupport fro m other peoplehelps, too.

C osm ic T ragedy

P aranoia

G nostic B urn-O ut

W here possible, C haos M agic uses sim ple explanations fo r m agical techniques, relating them very m uch to aspects of everyday experience. B elief in concepts such as chakras, the astral plane, karm a, reincarnation, auras, m agical energies, cosm ic pow ers and sofo rth is optional and am atter of personal taste. B ut you don't have to believe in any of this to w ork effective m agic. N or is m agic som ethingw hichstands apart fro m the rest of your life. M agic is not som uch som ething w hich you do occasionally behind closed doors or inthe space behind your closedeyes, but a w ayof livingyour life aw ayof approaching the w orldyoum ove throughandeverything init. Som eM agical W orkbooks tend to give the im pression that you becom eam agician by experim enting w ith practical exercises, taking on particular beliefs, and learning a specialist vocabulary w ith w hich you can talk toother m agicians. F or the m om ent, I w ant to pose the question, "w hat m akes a good m agician?" A s I have intim ated, being a m agician is som ething m ore than m erely dressing upina black robe, attem pting tocast spells, invoke gods and use strange term inology that only other "initiates" understand. B eing a "good" m agician, at least fro m the relativistic perspective of C haos M agic, is being effective and adaptive in as m any areas of one's life as possible. T o expandonthis definition further I w ill exam ine fiv e key qualities associated w itheffective m agicians. T his acronym represents C onfidence, H onour, A ttentiveness, O rganisation and Sensitivity. T hese qualities are of use in not only specifically 'm agical' situations, but in life generally, and soareof'global' application.


C onfidence
C onfidence is usually a trait associated w ith m agicians. It is generally acceptedthat a goodm agician is 'confident' but w hat actually does this m ean? C onfidence is usually described as a quality that people possess to varying degrees. W e "gain" or "lack" confidence, yet it is also perceived that being "overconfident" is anegative trait, sothat overall, confidence seem s to be som ething w hich is finely balanced. For the present discussion, I w ill define confidence as a skill: the skill of being

relaxed in the im m ediate present. I shall explain w hat I m eanby that as follow s... Aperson w ho lacks confidence in general, tends not to attem pt som ething w hich lies outside his rehearsed repertoire of behaviors he fears the possible consequences of m oving into an unknow n area be they im agined, or predicated fro m past experience. Sim ilarly, aperson w ho is over-confident m ay attem pt som ething and fail, as he is lim ited by 'gazing' into a future w here he has already succeeded, and sohis attentiveness to the im m ediate present is blunted. If one is relaxed w ithin the im m ediate present, then one is neither projecting/anticipating future scenarios, nor is one lim ited bythe boundaries created by previous experience and past conditioning. H ere, the ability to relax refers tobeingaw are attentive, of the im m ediate present, w ithout rigidlypatterning that present as it unfolds. C onfidence is also situation-dependent. W e tend to say that confidence is required through practice at som ething. O ne m ay practice a ritual until one m ay perform it totally seam lessly, but that does not autom atically im ply that one w ill be totally confident perform ing it w hile three hundred people are w atching. People tend tobe confident in areas w hich are fam iliar, and not so confident w hen they enter newterritory. T his is particularly true of m agic, w hich alm ost by definition necessitates a m ovem ent into uncharted territory. I have often observed how people w ho are very m uch 'experts' in their chosenfields can becom e spectacularly nervous and unsure of them selves w hen placed in a "m agical" situation. If w e lack confidence in a situation, w e are not relaxed, and so tend to m ake m istakes. T here is a very pow erful conditioning-directive w hich says that "m istakes are bad." B eing seentom ake m istakes is bad fo r one's ego, and w orse interm s of social status. If w e do som ething, w e have tobe seentobe "good" at it, if not "expert". A nything else is anathem a tothe self-im age. T his is a potentially dangerous trap to fall into. M any a m uddled m agical theoremhas m anaged to m aintain itself against attem pts at analysis or destruction, precisely because such a m em e, w hen delivered byfigure w ho has authority status, is extrem elydifficult tochallenge. G urus andbelief-system s fo rm a safety-net fo r those w ho, w hile feeling a needtostepbeyond the boundaries o f their consensus reality, yet feel m assively afraid at the sam e tim e. C onsider also, the experience of 'viability of

m agic' as an issue of confidence. O ne occasionally hears people m aking rem arks to the effect that they are confident about m agic's viability w hen it is 'w orking' fo r them , but that w hen life 'goes w rong', then explanations such as karm a, tides, psychic attack, etc. are trotted out. O ne of the core com ponents of confidence is a recognition that the w orld is chaotic, rather than linear. W e tendtom odel events inalinear fashion, andthen behave as though everything w ill alw ays conform to our expectations. O f course, it is often difficult torem ain relaxed as a crisis bursts over us, as em otions, m em ories, fantasy projections, internal dialogues and learned response patterns struggle fo r suprem acy. T his recognition of chaotic flo w canbe discerned in the w ays in w hich w e "fram e" new experiences particularly, new learning. N ew situations tend to generate perform ance anxiety, due to their unfam iliarity. Stepping into a situation w here there are m any unknow n possibilities and contingencies, w e fin d it difficult totransfer confidence; that is, tostay relaxed, andtostill the little doubts and fears. If onecan w ork w ithin the proposition that such new situations are not 'difficult', but "novel", then any physical sensation can be refram ed as excitem ent. W hen interest and curiosity are engaged tow ards a novel situation, w e tend to pay m ore attention to w hat is going on in the environm ent, rather than the dem ons of the ego. In other w ords, there is a com m on tendency to, w hen faced w itha new or unfam iliar situation, to label it as difficult and frightening, and then retreat fro m it. T his raises anxiety and hence difficulty becom es a self-fulfilling prophecy. If, on the other hand, the unfam iliar can be approached as novelty, then aw areness is engagedtow ards the situation. C onfidence is alsotransferable. If one is skilled inconfidence, then one can project it, so that others becom e confident. N um erous exam ples of such occurrences canbe discerned in all areas of hum an activity. T his phenom enon plays an im portant role ingroup m agical events. A s discussed above, confidence is a skill w hich centres around relaxation. R elaxation prom otes attentiveness to subtle conditions inthe environm ent. A s is w ell-know n, relaxation also short-circuits "L ust of R esult." w hich, interm s of confidence, is equivalent to the tendency to generate fantasy outcom es. B ut L ust of R esult can be m ore than sim ply w orrying about the

outcom e of a sigil. L ust of R esult can cover individuals' concerns over group perform ance, anxiety over the unfam iliar, forgetting one's lines, etc. A m agician skilled in confidence projection can act as an 'anchor' fo r others present, sothat they m ay relax into the present, and interpret bodily arousal as excitem ent, rather than anxiety. U nderstanding the dynam ics, and becom ing skilled at being confident is a basic requirem ent fo r effective m agic. H aving stressed the relationship betw een confidence and relaxation, it should be rem em bered that Preparation is also necessary fo r confidence. N ot only m ust one be attentive of subtle changes and chaotic fluctuations, but one also has to B e P repared. T his m eans know ing your m aterial, and having a range of strategies opentoyou. O ne approach tothe refram ing of anxiety-based projections is to use themto m entally rehearse scenarios. R esearch fro m the A m erican D epartm ent of D efense indicates that people w ho m entally rehearse their range of responses to difficult situations calm ly, tend tobe m ore relaxed w henplaced ina'live' situation. For a m agician then, being confident is the ability to relax w hen faced w ith unfam iliar or anxiety-creating situations. It is alsorelated totheabilitytoexperience theunfam iliar as novel or exciting. C onfidence is alsoa keytosuccessful m agic, and I w ill discuss techniques that dem onstrate this shortly. If som eone is (apparently) confident perform ing m agical rituals alone, yet nervous and ill-at-ease in any other situation, then they have m issed thepoint of C haos M agic. Abyproduct of confidence is N eophilia the tendency to be open to new ideas and concepts. G enerally, people w ho are relaxed and confident do not feel that they have to defend them selves or their chosen beliefs/ideologies. T hus good m agicians tend to be open-m inded and relaxed fanaticism and the need toproselytise tendtobe the behaviors of those w holack self-confidence unless surrounded bythe sa fe andfam iliar.

H onour
M ost quasi-religious or transcendentalist m agical system s are characterised byan ethical code w hich is external to individuals, laid dow n in som e 'holy book', and alm ost alw ays broken. Far better, then, todevelop one's ow npersonal rules. It m ay seeman

odd statem ent fo r aC haos M agician to m ake, but I believe that having a personal honour code enhances one's ability as a m agician. For exam ple, over the years I have developed m yow n personal 'rules' about m agical acts directed at other people, and w ill not deviate from them unless a situation fulfills fairly specific criteria. Furtherm ore, being seen to be 'honorable' in specific w ays im presses other people, building one's credibility as an effective m agician, and as som eone w ho can be relied upon. A sense of honour determ ines ones actions, and it is usually by actions, rather than w ords or postures, that one is judged by others. If you like, the points of honour that you decide to live by are the foundations of your personal psychocosm . It is also w orth rem em bering that w ords have pow er. If you believe that your w ords can unleash pow er and bind entities to your w ill, then it follow s that your ow nw ords canbindyoutoo. Your W ord is Your B ond. A void placing yourself in a situation w here your integrity can be questioned. B e aw are that other people, particularly other m agicians, are continually looking at your reputation. It can take years to establish yourself as an m agician; but you can blowyour reputation aw ay in a single evening. If I sayso, I w ill try If I sayI shall, I w ill do If I say "I prom ise", lambound If you say you w ill do som ething, then you M U ST do it. If you are dependable, people w ill have confidence in you. T he m ore confidence theyhave inyou, them ore pow erful am agician you w ill becom e. E qually, if you cannot realistically do som ething, then it is a m ark of quality to say that you cannot do it. T his point is particularly pertinent if you choose to perform m agic onbehalf of other people. R esolve P roblem s. If problem s occur, they should be dealt w ith as soon as possible. T he longer a problemis left, the less likely it is that it w ill be resolved. If a problem relating to another person cannot be resolved, then contact themas soon as

P oints of H onour

possible anyw ay. Prom pt dealing w ith problem s is generally appreciated. A dm it E rrors. It is better to adm it a m istake, freely, and w ithout reservation, than to attem pt to cover it up. T his also builds credibility, providing, of course, you do som ething about the problem . T hese points are m ostly related to howyou deal w ith other people. F romthe perspective of C haos M agic, the m ark of an effective m agician is the ability to deal effectively w ith other people, inaw ide range of life situations. If you strive to uphold these points of honour (and others) tow ards other people, then youw ill bem ore likely toapply themtoyourself. Situations are m ore com plex and subtle than m ost people are w illingtorecognise. It pays tobeattentive tow hat is happening around you. B ew are of being over-confident or too tense. B ew are of anything that dulls your attentiveness to others. T he practice of D econditioning (w hich I shall discuss in due course) is im portant in this respect. Y ou m ust be able to distinguish betw een the w orldas it is, and howyou w ould like it tobe. O ne exam ple w hich dem onstrates this necessity is C onversational F eedback. If you are talking to som eone else w ith a specific purpose in m ind, suchas convincing themo f the needtobuyaproduct, then it shouldbe fairly obvious that youneed topay attention to the w ay in w hich they respond to w hat you are saying. Such feedback can be verbal (w ords, tone o f voice) and non-verbal (facial response, body posture, etc.) and, inorder to be effective, youw ill need tobeable tocorrectly interpret the other's reaction andchangeyour tactics accordingly. O ften though, people donot pay attention to feedback, as their attention has been diverted. T his m ay bedue to lacko f, o r over-confidence in the situation. Inother w ords, they have alreadydecidedtheoutcom e (either as success or failure) andareunw illingto let anything that theother person says alter their conclusion. A nother reason m ay be that the speaker has invested so m uch self-im portance in w hat he is saying, that the listener'sresponse is not im portant.

A ttentiveness

It m ay help, in this regard, to discuss the quality of Intuition as a refined fo rm of attentiveness. Intuitionis often referred to in term s of being a m ysterious "sixth" sense w hich is som ehow related to psychic pow ers and the like. T his reflects how w e m odel the cognitive patterns w hichw e use tom ake conclusions, rather than anything m ysterious or paranorm al. Partially, the ability w e call intuition is the capacity to arrive at decisions w ithout m oving through the process of conscious logical deduction. A nother key part of this ability is our skill at being able to recognise very sm all sensory cues and gain an overall im pression (a gestalt) again, w ithout using linear cognition. W hat is alsoof interest is that "intuitional" responses often seem toappear w ithout being prom pted w hen w e are relaxed, or not thinking about the subject of the thought. Intuition is also contextual. W hen I w orked as a therapist in a busy psychiatric departm ent, I found that I w as beginning to m ake 'snap' diagnoses of clients, w ithout having had access to their case notes and that in at least eight out of ten cases, I proved to be right. A few years later, I began to lead sem inars in m agical training, and I fo u nd that in tim e, I could m ake fairly accurate distinctions betw eenpeople w hohad, duringanexercise, entered a fairly deep level of trance, and those w ho w ere 'faking' it. In each case, I kneww hat signs to look fo r, and w as processing, very rapidly, a w ide variety of feedback cues w ithout being aw are of anything but the cognitive outcom e. L ike confidence, attentioncanbe considered tobea skill. O ne level of the skill is training yourself to be very aw are of your environm ent at any tim e, w hile at the sam e tim e rem aining detached, em pty of preconceptions and expectations, and above all, relaxed. A nother level of the skill is learning to accept w hatever im pressions arise in your m ind w ithout dism issing them , or, fo r that m atter, latching onto themto the extent that later im pressions are excluded. T obe effective, a m agicianneeds to be attentive not only to his external surroundings, but to his ow n em otions, m otivational com plexes, desires, habits and internal dialogues.

O rganisation
Acontem porary definition of m agic is that it is "an organisation of the im agination." T obeeffective inthe w orld, organisation is

required, w hatever one is doing. In the course of w riting this book, I have had to lay dow n a sequence of them es w hich I w anted todevelop through the narrative. Sim ilarly, toperform a m agical ritual, I have to prepare a fram ew ork of organised coherence. A s noted earlier, there is a great tendency to view approaches to m agic as system s. T here are the variants of Q abalah, W icca, Sham anism , Satanism , etc. M any of these system s have m odels of sym bolically ordering and representing the universe. S om e are highly abstract, suchas w estern Q abalah, w hile others have varying degrees of interpenetration w ith everydayexperience. G enerally, w e usesuchm odels tostructure, interpret, and evaluate m agical experiences. S om e cham pions of these approaches have criticized C haos M agic as they feel that the term C haos im plies disorder and that A dvocates of C haos M agic are proposing a disorganised approach to m agic. T his is largely due to a m isperception of the C haos approach, w hich tends to viewthe useof m agical system s as a m atter fo r personal preference. A s I have already show n, the termC haos need not refer to disorder, and sim ilarly, being organised need not m ean that you have assigned everything to a rigid place and cannot deviate fro m it, but that youhave prepared yourself in readiness fo r action. Is organisation a skill? O bviously so, fo r it im proves w ith practice, and your effectiveness in organising yourself w ill depend onyour skill at being relaxed and attentive. If you m ake organisation an im portant point inyour honour code, then other peoplew ill viewyouas effective andcom petent, w hichw ill tend to increase your effectiveness even further. O bviously, there is a feedback loop in operation here. If you have organised yourself in preparation fo r a task, then you w ill fin d it easier to relax w henperform ing thetask, andconsequently, the m ore confident youcanbe concerning its outcom e. Y our abilitytostructure your thoughts, and identify key areas in a situation w hich require particular attention is alsoakeytopractical sorcery. Strivefor E xcellence. In a w ay, this is the axis of the w hole issue of being a m agician. B eing a m agician is not a state of being, but a dynam ic engagem ent. T here is no zero state of having"m ade it" there is onlym oretodo. B ecom ing anA dept, inm any w ays, is tantam ount tobecom ingverygoodat doing lots of things. T he m ore you practice m agic, the m ore you w ill

discover about yourself, other people, and the w orld in general. D ow hat youw ill to do, tothe best of your ability. E rudition. If you w ould aspire toteach, tolead, or to inspire, thenyou needtohave not onlyknow ledge o f, but confidence in, your chosen field. A w orthy com m ent from R obert A nton W ilson in this respect is that "specialisation is fo r insects." Pow erful m agicians have a w ide-ranging interest that crosses intom any different fields, but they are bound by none of them . Sim ilarly, it is not enough to have access to specialised know ledge. G reat care m ust be taken as tohowthat know ledge is expressed. B eing sensitive does not m ean that you are fragile; that as a result of an adverse com m ent, you shrink aw ay and spend the next six w eeks hiding from everyone else. N o, here I am referring toa w ide range of skills w hich include discrim ination, prudence, tact, care, and em pathy. T o be sensitive requires that you have an aw areness of the needs and em otions of other people. Indeed, sensitivity canextend intothe level of perception w hich w e tend to associate w ith psychic pow ers and intuited thoughts w hichturnout tobe correct. A gain, sensitivity is askill w hich can be learned. A t its sim plest level, it is the art of listening tow hat others are saying. M uchof w hat I have w ritten about A ttention is pertinent here, but Sensitivity requires that you not only be aw are of subtle nuances in a situation, but that you can react appropriately w ith intelligence, prudence and tact. T he skill of sensitivity is a further illustration of the S elfO ther distinction discussed inthe previous chapter. W eare often too 'caught up' inour ow n self-im ages toreally pay attention to other people, or even to take account of other people's feelings in a situation. If fo r exam ple, I amtoo concerned w ith w hat I think other people are thinking about m e, then I amnot goingto be sensitive totheir actual reactions. M oreover, it is unlikely that Iw ill be able to respond effectively if I amtoo concerned w ith m yself. A gain, sensitivity requires relaxation. Sensitivity also requires that w e are aw are of com plexities, especially given the com m on tendency to reduce any situation so that it conform s w ith our expectations. F or exam ple it is all too easy tobelieve that people w ho share com m on interests w ith us w ill be sim ilar


inother w ays. T his is obviouslynot the case, if w e stopandthink about it, but ina 'live' situation, it is easytoforget this andm ake am istake w ithout evenrealizingthat youhave erred. A gain, this relates tothe S elf-O ther divide. If youareconfident and relaxed, then you w ill be inabetter position tobe sensitive tothe differences of another person and adjust your ow n behavior accordingly. Sensitivity is useful w henever youare ina situation w here youhave topayattention toanything other thanyour ow n inner dialogues, w hether the 'other' be people, anim als, ecosystem s, or spirits. T he sensitive are the ones w hosurvive. Avery practical w ay inw hich sensitivity canbedeveloped is to cultivate a danger-sense. Y ou m ight have this sense already, particularly if you are given to w andering around dangerous neighbourhoods ininner cities. A ll toooften, w em ay experience this inner 'w arning' anddism iss it, as there m ay be nological or rational reason that w ill uphold the 'scent' of danger. Inm y ow n experience I have fo u n d that ignoringthe prickings of m ydanger sense is a m istake. T his can apply not only to situations but to people. T his latter is m ore com plex. If you have a sudden perception that som eone you have just m et is going to be 'trouble' it canbe verydifficult toact onthat basis, w henthere is no explanation to support it, but I have alw ays found that it is a m istake not to. T he danger-sense often has an elem ent of prescience to it the danger m ay not be im m ediately present but it's out there w aiting. If you pay attention to your dangersense and learn to trust it, then you w ill find that at tim es it expands, becom ing an aura of expectation a foreshadow ing, that som ething is about to happen. Such sensitivity is an achievem ent it arises as a byproduct of your discipline and aw areness. D on't try to explain it or force it to be there, just listentoit. It m ight saveyour, or som eone else's life. Afriend of m ine w as on a bus w ith his girlfriend ontheir w ay hom e fro ma party. Suddenly they both had the feeling that som ething undefinable w as 'w rong' and sothey did not get o ff the bus at their usual stop, but at the next one. W alking back hom e, they passed their usual dropping point, only tofin dthat tw o cars had collided nearbyand flattened the stopsign. H ad they left the bus at that point, theycouldhave beenkilledw henthe cars collided.


Akey feature of contem porary approaches to m agic is the use and exploration of practical techniques, the aimof w hich is to bring about changes inperception, attitude, andw iden our possibilities fo r action. T his requires the developm ent of particular abilities and skills w hich fo rm the foundations fo r further w ork. T he old saying that "you cannot run before you can w alk" is particularly apt w hen it com es tom agic, w here it is necessary to be able todevelopparticular skills before onecanm ake the m ost effective use of techniques w hich require them . Avery basic exam ple of this is just sitting still. If you are unable to sit still and silent, you w ill not have m uch success w ith any m agical technique w hichrequires, at the very least, that you sit still. M any core m agical 'training' exercises seemtrivial or boring. M ost of us w ould probably prefer to do som ething stim ulating and varied rather than sitting in an aw kw ard posture doing nothing. In a w ay, part of the rationale fo r such an exercise is that it is boring or seem ingly difficult. S uch exercises are a w ay of testing the lim its of your A chievable R eality. Y ou are challenging your inherent resistance tothe possibility of change, andw ideningthe cracks inthe facade of param ount reality.

D .R .A .T
T he keys to becom ing a m agician are relatively sim ple. S o sim ple in fact, that people tend to overlook them in search of com plex system s of belief and abstraction. A n exam ple of such sim plicity is the D R A Tform ula fo r action: D D iscipline R R elaxation A A ttention T T ransform ation

W ithout discipline w ew ould not learn. W ithout discipline w e probably w ouldn't get up out of bed in the m orning. W e need discipline to conquer our greatest m agical adversary inertia, w hichtends toappear inthe fo rm of little voices w hichsw ayour resolve byarguingthat w hat canbe done right nowcaneasilybe put o ff until tom orrow .Y et, w hilea littlediscipline helps spur us onw ards, too m uch discipline can actually lead us back into inertia, particularly if the goals w e set fo r ourselves are unrealistic. S o discipline requires R elaxation if it is to be used w ell. It is possible to be both relaxed and disciplined sim ultaneously. For discipline to be effective, w e have to be relaxed about it, and w ithin it. If w e are to be disciplined and relaxed, then w e alsoneedtobe A ttentive. A ttention is a skill. It is difficult to be attentive to w hat is happening around us; it is hard to be attentive to our ow n bodily sensations, behavioral habits, and attitudes. It is very difficult to be attentive of m any things sim ultaneously. T o be attentive requires D iscipline and R elaxation. T ransform ation is the synthesis and outcom e of the other three qualities. If w e are disciplined, then w e transform ourselves. If w e are relaxed, w e transform ourselves, and if w e are attentive, w etransform ourselves. T ransform ation, of course, requires D iscipline, R elaxation and A ttention. D R A Tcanbe applied w ithin a w ide variety of life situations, but is particularly useful w hen learning newskills and abilities w hich require practice and repetition. Agood deal of m agical training is the learning of new skills and abilities w hich are applied, atfirst, w ithin a ritual space. H ow ever, it is a lim itation to be com petent and confident only w ithin a ritual space. T he trick is tobeable toapplythese skills and techniques into w ider and w ider areas of one's experience, until m agic becom es not so m uch som ethingthat you dooccasionally, but a set of principles fo r dealingw iththew orld throughw hichyoum ove.

R elaxation is itself a good starting-point fo rm agical training, particularly as to relax, you have to be aw are of your body. T here is a great tendency to forget the body and live 'inside' one's thoughts, to the level w here w e feel that the body is som ething w hichcarries our m inds around. W estern approaches to m agic have, over the last fe w decades, becom e very cerebral

andabstract. R elaxation is a goodcounter exercise fo r this. A lso, learning the ability to relax can be seen as the beginnings of Sorcery as an act of w illing a change in one's reality. R elaxation technique rests onthe skill of unitingthought, breath, and action. O n a very practical level it requires that w e understand the relationship betw een thoughts, feelings, and physiological changes inthe body. T hroughthe course of eachdayw e tend toexperience stresses of one kind or another. O ur responses to stress are very individual som e peopleenjoya level of stress that others w ould find difficult tocope w ith. O ur ability tocope w ith stress factors changes according to environm entalfluctuations. Stress factors are also cum ulative, and the general response to stress overload is to trigger theflight-fight response: the L iver releases stored glucose into the bloodstream , the heart pum ps faster, m uscles prepare of action, and the digestive systemshuts dow n. If the body is geared upfo rflight orfight, but there is nopossibility of physical or psychological resolution, chronic problem s can develop. For exam ple, m uscle tension can develop into headaches and pains. Afurther problemis that often, w e do not m odify our expectations about w hat w e can realistically achieve, even w henw e are nolonger operating at peakperform ance. T his is know n as P erform ance D issonance. T here is a gap betw een w hat w e think w e can do, and w hat can actually be done. T he struggle to m eet unrealistic expectations reinforces feelings of anxiety and lowself-esteem ,w hich of course places m ore stress ontheB odyM ind. T o be able to relax effectively then, requires the ability to identify the sym ptom s of stress. Secondly, you have to exam ine your habits andattitude andaskyourself are theylikelytoreduce stress or increase it? Y ou m ust be prepared to change factors in your environm ent, your lifestyle, andyour habits. Y oum ust also be prepared to accept that som e factors w ill be beyond your control, andm ust bedealt w ithbyother approaches. A nxiety has three interrelated com ponents w hich fo rm an anxiety loop. Firstly, Stress factors give rise to physiological arousal. (T hought: "O hN o! I get really upset w hen this happens"). Secondly, this arousal is interpreted as anxiety. (T hought "Just as I thought! I'mgetting anxious!"). T hirdly, the identification of the physiological arousal as anxiety triggers

N egative Self-Statem ents. ("I'm going to faint/be sick/cause a scene"). W hich of coursetends toleadtofurther stress. So how can this anxiety loop be broken? A gain, effective relaxation requires three com ponents. Firstly, there is the physical. L earning to breathe deeply and easily, applying the sim ple breathing techniques of basic m editation techniques is excellent, as arepatterns of m uscle relaxation. Secondly, there is the C ognitive elem ent. T his relates to thoughts and feelings w hich arise out of physiological changes. It is necessary to be able to identify these habituated thoughts and change them . M uch has been w ritten inthe newage m ovem ent about 'positive thinking' and affirm ations, and these concepts should not be discounted. It is all too com m on fo r us to deliberately invoke anxiety by visualising a potentially stressful situation and anticipating all the things w hich could go horribly w rong, and thus prepare fo r a situation by w orrying about it. S elf-affirm ing thoughts reduce stress. E qually, w hen anticipating a potentially difficult situation, it is m ore effective to visualise yourself m aking arealistic assessm ent of the situation, trying out suitable approaches and considering possible alternatives. A cting out or rehearsing by visualisation tends to m ake the real thing less aw esom e. T hirdly, there is the B ehavioral elem ent. T he w ays in w hich w e respond in stressful situations are often inadequate or inappropriate. B eingableto relax m eans that w e usethe skill ina w ide variety of situations, and alsoevaluate other behaviors and change them . Agood exam ple of behavioral m odification is to be aw are of unnecessary tensions, and elim inate them .T he steps to relaxation outlined above have m uch in com m on w ith other, m ore 'm agical' skills. A s a core m agical technique, relaxation is very m uch about bringing about "a change in accordance w ith w ill," yet even such a seem ingly basic change can have w ider ram ifications. T he relevance of R elaxation tom agic has already been discussed in relation to C onfidence. It is also highly relevant tothe practice of Sorcery. B ody A w areness R elaxation training dem onstrates howm uch of our bodily experience w e block out of consciousness. A s a sim ple exercise in w idening body aw areness, attem pt to focus your attention onto distinct areas of your body. It is very easy to start this w hen you are com pletelyrelaxed focusing aw areness into your fingertips or your toes. Y ou can also try this exercise anyw here. If, fo r

exam ple, you are standing up, and very aw are of your aching feet, try andm oveyour aw areness toyour arm pit or thebacks of your knees. Y ou can develop this exercise further by attem pting to cast your aw areness behind your back, or across as m uch of your body surface as possible. Exam ine the w ay your posture m akes you feel. D o you habitually slouch, stoop, sw agger? T ry different w ays of w alking: cocky, casual, m anic, sexy. A pply the know ledge you gain to your m agical practice. A lso, be aw are of any habitual seating patterns that you have. B e aw are of your ow n bodylanguage w ith regard to other people. S ee if you can discover your ow npostural habits, andthentry som eothers out. D oes this lead to any changes in your behavior? T ry adopting the body language w hich you feel is appropriate to qualities w hich you w ish to develop. It is also useful to be attentive of how other people respond to postural changes. A s a developm ent of this exercise, try keeping your posture upright and relaxed (not easy try t'ai chi or the A lexander T echnique if you have problem s). T hen try leading w ith different parts of the body. D on't stick themout, just im agine you are being gently pulled along by the part in question. G ood ones to try are groin, belly, chest, nose and forehead. Forget everything you've read about chakras andexam ineyour ow n feelings. A s an extension of relaxation training, exam ine any action that you m ake, no m atter howsim ple, andfind the easiest w ay of doing it. A pply this m ethod to everyday actions dressing, undressing, picking up objects, perform ing routine tasks. Y ou w illfin dyourself expending m uch less energy, and being aw are of w hat youare doing, rather than 'rushing' through a task w hile your thoughts are projecting intoa future beyond thetask. W hen you touch som ething, pay attention to the brush of your fingers uponit, feel the object throughyour fingers and m ove it w ithjust the right am ount of energy. L ookat objects w ithacool appraisal and visualise w hat you w ant to do w ith it andfind the easiest w aytodoit.



D oE asy exercises dem onstrate how w e classify tasks as boring or routine, acts to be stum bled through as w e project ourselves intoa m ore interesting future. D irect the attention into actions that w e usually think are unw orthy of consideration; opening a door, picking up a glass, slicing bread. T here is an E asy w ay to D o everything and anything. W e are unusually unaw are of perform ing sim ple tasks until som ething happens w hich ham pers us. H ow w ould losing an arm affect your everydaylife? A lthough w e experience T im e as a separate dim ension, it is in actuality a byproduct of C onsciousness. W e are constantly m oving backw ards and forw ards in term s of experienced Past (m em ory) and anticipated futures (fantasy). A lthough m uch of m agical practice is concerned w ith the ability to rem ain in the im m ediate present, it is alsouseful tobeable tom ake use of our personal P ast andF utures. R em em bering significant instances, nostalgia, or reliving events from our past triggers em otions and physiological changes. T o do this requires the ability to assem ble a gestalt of sensory m em ories. For exam ple, bring back the m em ory of a form er lover. R eplay a m om ent of eye-contact and feel the shadow -shock of your excitatory response. R ecall the sensation of a caress, the ghost of a voice, the thum ping of your heart. A llow your feelings to intensify and be aw are of bodily sensations. T his 'evocation' of em otion through m em ory has num erous applications. For exam ple, if you have 'unfinished business' w ith som eone out of your past, you can evoke them and enter a dialogue. A nother use of this technique is to bring forth an intense em otion and then allow the trigger source to fade, w hile intensifying the em otion, so that it is freed of identifications. T his 'free' em otion can then be used fo r further acts of m agic. W em ove forw ard in tim e using fantasy, anticipating and rehearsing situations according to em otion and expectation. If youare depressed, thenyouw ill tend toslide into a future w herein all your fears and w orst-case scenarios have prom inence. Fantasy becom es a fo rm of selective feedback, reinforcing andreflecting thoughts until w e 'convince' ourselves of the m om entary "rightness" of an intention. Sim ilarly, w e


create fantasies w hich effectively create a vision of a 'future' space that w e are m ovingtow ards, but that is alw ays, som ehow , out of reach. Inoccult system s of belief, this tendencym anifests in term s of the N ew A ge, A ge of A quarius, A eon of H orus, C haos, B ugs B unny or w hoever/w hatever you like. W hen there is an idealised future projection that w e are w orking tow ards, it w ill rem ain forever just out of reach. T he G reat W ork of M agic is the collapsing of the future into the im m ediate present; the m agician seizes realityand lives now , free fro m thebonds of his past, andknow ingthat the future is them anifestation of his W ill. E xploring andunderstanding one's relationshipw ithT im e is a basic requisite of m agical practice. A t a basic level, this involves the observance of shifts in aw areness and perception according to seasonal and diurnal cycles. W e tend tothink of ourselves as unchanging, despite the tim e of the day and the season of the year, but these can have very subtle effects on us. O bserve, understand, and m ake the best possible use of your fluctuations in perception. T here is no single, objective T im ew hich is 'out there' distinct fro m us, andunderlying our 'natural' experience, there are hiddendepths of com plexity and am biguity. A s an extension of the m agical diary experim ent w ith a record divided intofo u r colum ns. Inthe first colum nrecord the physical elem ents of ajourney or situation. Inthe second colum n record any m em ories w hich arose during this tim e. Inthe third colum n record any fragm ents of reading phrases from a book, new spaper or advertisem ent, and in the fourth, any snatches of conversation you m ay have overheard. T his practice w ill dem onstrate the non-linear connections betw een events that w e often censor fro m aw areness. O nce you begin to go look behind the scenes of 'norm al' experience, there is no stopping. Just as w e tend to experience T im e as an objective dim ension, w e tend to think of perception as som ething passive, a bridge betw een the internal T and the w orld beyond. Y et perception is dynam ic; it fluctuates and changes according to m ood, environm ent and cognition. T here



are tw obasic approaches to exploring perception, w hich m ay be characterised as narrow ing and w idening. T he first approach involves the exploration of each sensory m odality inturn. O bject C oncentration is the ability tofixedly hold one's gaze on a particular object fo r prolonged periods of tim e. Som e degree of proficiency at V isualization is a basic requirem ent fo rm agical practice. B egin w ith sim ple shapes and w ork up to detailed scenes. E xplore your relationship w ith colours. F or exam ple, I knowthat I live in aradically-different universe to m any of m y peers as I see colours differently. T he sense of sm ell also plays a key role in m agic. Sm ell is a direct hotline to m em ory and association. N otice how sm ells evoke m em ories and build your ow n correspondences betw een perfum es, em otions, andsym bol system s fo r use inorchestrating experiences. E xtend your ability to hear sounds by focusing on different elem ents of sound. S pend a w eek listening tothe pitch of people's voices. Is therea difference betw een w hat people say and howthey say it? E xplore the sense of touch by being aw are of all objects and fabrics. E xplore surfaces w ith your eyes closed. Insteadof reading or talkingat the sam etim e that you are eating, let the taste of fo o d dom inate your aw areness. E at a slice of lem on and then, a couple of days later, evoke the m em ory of theact. There are num erous m agical program m es of exercises designed to explore the senses in turn, but it is just as easy, and m ore fu n tom akeyour ow nup. A lthough w e tend to isolate each sensory m odality, our actual experience is that of a gestalt (w hole). I a mw riting this sentence, eating abiscuit, aw areof the chair against m ybody, listening to cars pass outside the w indowandaw are o f the roomtem perature. A lthough the im aginative faculty tends to be discussed as prim arily visual, w e can also, of course, evoke tastes, proprioceptive (pressure, tem perature), kinesthetic actions (orientation of the body in space), sm ell, sounds, andtastes. If fo r exam ple, you w ished to im agine yourself paddling in w ater, you could assem ble a perceptual gestalt w hich com bined visualisation of



yourself inthe scene, the feeling of your feet being in w ater, the m otion of the w ater against your legs, an appropriate sm ell, feeling of sunagainst your back, anda soundtrack. A ssem bling, andtherefore creating suchscenes constitutes the basis of w hat is know n as P athw orking. In this form , the m agician constructs a narrative w ith a m ythic or instructive subtext into w hich he steps, identifying w ith the experience to such an extent that it becom es personally m eaningful. T he assem blage of im agery can be undertaken consciously or can occur spontaneously as the m ind has an am azing capacity fo r constructing com plex scenes usingverylittle inform ation. T here are generally, three types of Pathw orking: Structured, Sem i-structured, and U nstructured. A n exam ple of a Structured Pathw orking is given inC hapter S even. T hese Pathw orkings are com plete narratives, providing perceptual, em otional and behavioral cues, w hichthe user sim ply follow s passively. T hese Pathw orkings are especially useful as training exercises, particularly w henyou are beginningtow orkw ith a belief-system w ith w hich you are unfam iliar. T hese Pathw orkings are useful if read ontoaudiotape, or, as is m ore usual, readbyanother person. Sem i-structured Pathw orkings have less detail. T hey tend to begin w ith an 'entrance sequence' w hich sets up the place or zone w hich is to be explored, and w hat the point of you being there is, after w hich you are left to your ow n devices. For exam ple, the narrator leads you to a strange castle, giving you enough perceptual cues tobuild the im agery, and then tells you that you m ust look fo r som eone w ho w ill give you a 'key' to your ow nm agical pow er. A fter w hich, you're onyour ow n. T his approach gives you m ore freedom of m ovem ent and creativity w ithin the exercise. U nstructured, or spontaneous Pathw orkings m ay consist of a single three-dim ension im age, suchas a tarot card, or evena rune or I C hing hexagram .T he idea here is to use the sym bol or im age as a doorw ay or gate, and to project yourself through it intoa m ythic landscape w hichlies beyond it. W hat can Pathw orkings be used fo r? A part fro m training and belief-system fam iliarisation, one of the basic uses is to place you into a situation w hich triggers em otional and cognitive reactions tothe level w henyou identify com pletely w ith w hat is happening. APathw orking in w hich you die, are buried and go

throughthevarious stages of decom position w ill, if nothing else, rem ind you of the inevitability of death, and perhaps help you w ork onyour fear of death. Pathw orkings can also be designed w hich have 'free areas' fo r scrying, talking to entities, or perform ing enchantm ents. A w areness of our orientation in space, and of how m uscular m ovem ents com bine in m ovem ent can be used to heighten aw areness of w hat is generally called the B ody of L ight, A stral B ody or D ouble. R aise your left arm slow ly, being aw are of changes in m uscles, the slight air resistance, and the m ovem ent of the joints and bones. D o this a few tim es, and then vividly evoke those sensations, w hile im aginingthat youare raisingyour left arm .T ry this until you can experience raising your 'kinesthetic' left armalm ost as vividly as raising your 'real' left arm . If you continue to try this practice w ith a range of body m ovem ents and orientations, you w illfin deventually that you canm ove freely around inthis body. T heD oublehas a great deal of m agical applications. It can be used to 'rehearse' potentially difficult situations or tasks (as anextensionof relaxation and D o E asy). It can also be used in shape-shifting and invocation (see C hapter E ight) and also inthe exploration of dreamand lim inal trances. B uilding an astral tem ple com bines elem ents of perceptual gestalts and the useof K inesthetic m em ory. T he astral tem ple is w here you 'go', using your im agination, to perform acts of m agic. T raditional descriptions of astral tem ples m ake m uch use of quasi-M asonic andherm etic sym bolism , but there is noreason w hy you cannot develop your ow ntem ple using sym bolismand background ideas w hichyou feel tobem ore appropriate, suchas a cyberspace zone, space stationor skyscraper. T he astral tem ple canbe used fo r all w orks of m agic that y o uw ould norm ally do on the 'physical,' and as a starting point fo r exploration of inner w orlds and landscapes. T his is arealmw herethe only lim it is the span of your im agination. W ith practice you can build into it em otional associations so that, w henever you enter it, you becom e calm , relaxed, andfeel yourself at your m ost pow erful.



T he Star C ham ber is sphere of transparent crystal suspended in deep space. Its dim ensions are capable of being enlarged to suit different requirem ents. T oenter the Star C ham ber, visualise the eight-rayed chaos star w hirling infro n t of you, sothat it becom es aw hirling vortex, w hich draw s you into the cham ber. In the centre of the cham ber is a crystalline pillar, set at w aist height. If youplaceyour hands onthe pillar, the C ham ber shim m ers w itha brief flash of purple light, and you have full control of its functions. T he Star C ham ber is both an astral tem ple and a vehicle fo r traveling through the m ultiverse. Y ou can m ove to any point in tim e-space by placing your hands on the control pillar and asserting your w ill. Y ou can also extrude various devices from the w alls of the cham ber to perform different tasks globes fo r scrying and generating Servitors, bizarre energy projectors fo r the projection of desires, or baffles and collectors fo r collectingthe radiation of blackholes. W e shift in and out of different shades of perception continuously throughout each day; daydream ing, fantasy, concentrating on a difficult task, listening to m usic, becom ing absorbed in a situation so that background noises disappear. W hen w e talk of entering trance, w e are referring toa deliberate or intentional act of altering perception according to specific param eters. In m odern W estern Society w e tend to have very fixed ideas about w hat constitutes a trance state w e tend to think of som eone w ho is passive, eyes closed and lim p, or oblivious to their surroundings. W e tend to think of hypnotised people (the w ord hypnosis derives fro mH ypnos G reek god of sleep) as quiescent and aw aiting instructions. T he term 'trance' is often understood as a state of profound absorption w hichfills one's aw areness com pletely. T he ability to enter and prolong suchstates at w ill is another prim e requisite fo rm agical living. T here are m any routes into trance, m ost of w hich can be classified as E xcitatory or Inhibitory techniques. E xcitatory techniques, such as hyperventilation, dancing, chanting, drum m ing or any other strong stim ulation, w hen prolonged, have distinct physiological effects, and enable the m agician to attain an ecstatic peak w herein aw areness of anything other w hat is



held in the m ind as a projection of w ill collapses. It is at such m om ents that spells m ay be cast, the persona of agod m ay take shape and voice, or beliefs em bedded inthe D eep (unconscious) M ind. Inhibitory techniques serve to silence the internal dialogue, confuse linear tim e-sense anddisturbthe boundaries of the ego-sense through sensory deprivation, sleeplessness, fasting, or slow , rhythm ic breathing. A ll these techniques have distinct physiological effects, anddem onstrate that physical aw areness is a prim e necessity fo rm agic. Aproblemthat w e acquire fro m our culture is that w e tend to be very 'head-oriented' in our experience caught up w ith the continual com m entary of the inner dialogue, andthe w ords and im ages of the H yper-real. O ur sense of being a stablepersonality is m aintained by transactions, both real and im aginary, w ith others. M ove som ew here isolated andthe self becom es m ore m alleable another classical m agical gam bit fo r enteringtrance states. T hepersonality w e acquire sets the lim its on w hat w e can, and cannot do. O ften, by entering trance states, w hether intentionally or not, w e can perform feats or tasks that are norm ally outside our norm al repertoire. If the self-referential aw areness is frozen by shock, or distracted, the body seem s to take over, m oving us out of the w ay of danger. W e like tothinkof ourselves as being 'in control' of our bodies. This is in itself a problem , as 'letting go' and becom ing disinhibited (especially in a group setting) is very difficult fo r som e of us letting it all hang out is generally frow ned upon. In other cultures, how ever, disinhibition is sanctioned and is the m ark of a successful event. H ere's L ucian's description of a Priestess of D elphi entering trance: S he w ent blundering frantically about the shrine, w ith the godm ounted o nthe nape of her neck, knocking over the tripods that stood in her path. T he hair rose on her scalp, and w hen she tossed her head the w reaths w ent flying over the bare floor...her m outh foam ed frenziedly; she groaned, gasped, uttered w eird sounds, andm adethe hugecave re-echow ithher dism al shrieks. Intheend, A polloforced her tointelligible speech. E ntering trance is not alw ays a pleasant experience, particularly trance states involving possession. T he feeling that som ething else is using your lim bs, and that your voice is not

your ow n, is very odd. T he natural tendency, especially fo r W esterners, is to resist the experience, even w hen the incom ing spirit is abeneficent one. O ften, people w hoare possessed have no m em ory or aw areness of w hat happened tothem .M agicians have, over the ages, resorted to drugs, physical exertion or prolonged ritual totem porarily blot out the personality, m aking possession easier.

H ere are som e goodreasons: 1) K now ledge (i.e., that w hich cannot be gained in other w ays). T his ranges fro m asking auntie F reda w hat's it like onthe other side, to asking a specific question about herbs to a particular healing spirit. T his can som etim es involvejourneying toparticular parts of the innerw orlds toconsult w ith a particular entity. 2) E nhancem ent of A bilities. Possession by a w ar-god enhances m artial prow ess, or tem porary authority over other spirits. For exam ple, I had a client w ho had a recurring throat problem . I exam inedher ina light 'vision' trance andsawa toadlike creature that had sw elled itself up and lodged in her throat. N ow ayw as it goingtocom eout w illingly. M yallies advised m e (again in trance) that the onlyentity the spirit w ould take notice of w as anevenbigger toad, sow e perform ed a healing cerem ony during w hich I becam e possessed by a toad-spirit, in order to interact w iththeoneinm yclients' throat. 3) C om m unal E cstasy. T he m agician provides a very im portant task fo r tribe or com m unity m ediating betw een the everyday w orld and the larger-than-life w orld of m yth and com m unal lore. T he m agician becom es, or allow s others to becom e involved in sacred m ythic participation acting as the guide navigating the secret paths of the com m unity's cosm ology. T his brings uponeof the biggest stum bling blocks to assum ing m agical roles in our culture the fact that W estern societyhas anextrem ely com plexpool of m ythic im ages todraw upon. This is not to belittle the m agical innerw orlds. For exam ple, a T am ang Sham an of T ibet participates in a m ythic w orld shared by other m em bers of the com m unity its history, m yth and accum ulated stories actualised and intensified by

years of training, visions, andrites. C ontrast this w iththem ythic w orld available to som eone in m odern B ritain an island that has been fo r centuries am elting-pot of m any different cultures, w ith the electronic arm s of the videodrom e bringing in inform ation from all over the planet, across both distance and tim e. It is possible fo r som eonetohave a good academ ic graspof Tam ang sham anistic beliefs, not to m ention SF, fantasy, m ythology, upbringing and the m yriad w ays of expressing spiritual endeavours. A lso, m odern society has tended to hand over the realm of the m ythic to professionals: therapists, entertainers, philosophers and w e are to a large extent, cut o ff from participation in the m ythic w orld, except (for the m ost part), sanctioned and sanitised escape routes w hich support consensus reality even as they provide the illusion that they challenge it. A nyw ay, all this leads to a pretty com plicated m ythic life. Fortunately, som em ythic im ages and processes, such as the U nderw orld Journey are fairly universal. O thers how ever, becom e 'lost' as people fo rg et or garble the routes into experiencing/understanding them . W e rely so m uch on 'secondhand daylight' reading and w atching other people's experience that the oral transm ission of know ledge is com paratively rare. T hefirst W itch C oven I w as involved w ith set a good standard w henever the priestess w anted to im part the 'feel' of m agic, w ew ould go out into the open a park, m oon-lit street or the sea shore. D irect, physical experience, especially w hen accom panied by a guide w hoisn't into fucking you over, is better than sitting indoors reading a book any day! A nyhow , I digress. 4) C onnectivity. T his is concerned w ithm akingconnections finding links betw een different ideas and subjects; m aking a creative leapthat brings onafloodof newideas and enthusiasm . I often enter atrance state to overcom ew riter's block letting fragm ents of conversation, poetry or im ages slipacross m yinner eye. Som ething w ill w ell up fro m the inside, and ideas and connections leapuplike ironfilingsontoa m agnet. 5) D em onstration of A bility. In our culture, you m ay be able to get aw ay w ith im pressing people as a m agician because you've plow ed through the com plete w orks o fA leister C row ley (no m ean feat!). A pprentice m agicians how ever, are som etim es

required to enter trance states as a dem onstration of their prow ess. It is quite com m on fo r spirits totest youbyplacingyou under extrem e psychic pressure, sothat the experience becom es a com pressed version of the underw orld initiation. S om e spirits, dem ons, anddeities w ill do their best todrive youbananas, only yielding their w isdomw hen you have proved yourself equal to the task. T he spirits of psychotropics are particularly prone to that kindof behavior. Y oucan't becom eam agician inisolation fro m everyone else, although periods of deliberate isolation are necessary fro m tim e to tim e. A lso, there aren't m any instructors in m agic hanging about (not unless you com m it yourself to an endless round of w eekend w orkshops), so you w ill have to learn fro m everyone and everything. It's im portant to learn to recognise the onset of changes inaw areness, andexploreall possibleroutes intotrance. L earntotrust your ow n senses andyour intuition, rather thanthe internal dialogue or w hat youthinkyou"ought" todo. A gain, these techniques serve to free aw areness from the lim itations of linear perception and solar tim e. Stare into a m irror, gazing at your reflection, until the m irror darkens and you feel yourself sliding into the m irror. A t first this m ay seen agonisingly difficult due to the ego's requirem ent of know ing how m uch T im e has passed. T he ego needs a sense of tim e passing to keep itself together as a 'fixed' entity. A ny technique w hich serves to disturb linear aw areness and the internal dialogue m oves the m agician intoso-called L im inal Perception. L im inal perception is a borderline state of aw areness. O ne route into this perceptual state is the half-aw ake, half-dream ing condition that often results fro m physical exhaustion. Im ages or sounds arise into aw areness, seem ingly from 'elsew here,' beyond the one's volition. Auseful technique fo r becom ing proficient at enteringthis state is scrying. Scrying is a basic divinatory technique w hich is useful fo r exploring lim inal perception. It can be perform ed using any reflective surface, such as a m irror, preferably a shiny black surface, or a bow l filled w ith dark fluid. Scrying requires that you be able to enter a light trance state w here im ages arise in your m ind, rather like day-dreamvisions, or the pictures that you


see before falling asleep. T he 'trick' of scrying is to try and relax, and let any im ages appear before you, gazing steadily into the m edium that you are using, w ithout staring too hard or intensely concentrating. T his onlycom es w ithpractice. A tfirst it should be enough to let randomim ages w ell up, and later on to try and answ er specific questions. T he area in w hich you are practicing should be dim ly lit, and lights (candles are excellent, being less harsh than electric lights) placed sothat they do not reflect inthe m ediumyouare using. Incense canalsobea useful aid, particularly thoseresins andoils w hichact as relaxants. Y ou m ayfin dit useful toperform a m editation or relaxation exercise prior to attem pting to scry. D ivinatory techniques such as these help develop the intuitive and psychic faculties, and the trick of relaxing and letting im ages arise in your m ind is also a key to other talents such as psychom etry and aura reading. O nce you have tried the basic m ethod, then regular practice w ill help you develop it. M irror and crystal gazing is a strong m agical tradition, occurring in sham anic cultures fro m the A m ericas to A frica, m edieval E urope and ancient G reece. N ot only have m irrors and crystals been used to divine the future, but also to com m unicate w ith ancestral spirits. O ccasionally people experience scenes or entities leaving the reflective surface and m erge w iththe surrounding environm ent. E xploring the possibilities of D reamM agic is a pow erful and effective w ay of breaking aw ay fro m linear consciousness and allow ing m agic into your life. Prospective m agicians m ay even be identified by virtue of the content of their dream s, and it is not unusual fo r people to m eet their guides in dream s. W e tend to think of dream s as a verypersonal aspect o f our experience, soit is som etim es disconcerting w hen som eonethat w e knowappears in our dream s. In dream s, historical tim e is abolished, and distance is no object. W em ay w itness events from the past, future, or alternative presents. D ream s are a useful starting point for entering the innerw orlds. It can be useful to induce prophetic dream s, or m eetings w ith spirits so that you can discuss a particular problem . Afriend o fm ine w ho m akes incense and perfum es reports that she occasionally dream s of aunique sm ell, w hichon


w aking, she can then analyse and m anufacture. T he m agical artist A ustinO sm an S pare w rote that he w ould som etim es aw ake to fin d him self standing in front of a finished picture, having draw n it inhis sleep. T he first step to exploring dreamm agic is to keep a record of your dream s, w hich should be, if possible, updated as soon as you aw ake. O ver tim e, keeping a record of your dream s enhances your ability torecall themingreater and greater detail. It is also invaluable fo r checking out the degree of confluence betw een dream im agery and w aking experience. K eeping a dreamdiary w ill also enable you to identify recurrent sym bols, im ages and situations w hich appear in your dream s, and can fo rm the basis fo rw illed exploration of astral zones or m agic done w hileyouare aw ake, basedondreamim agery. It is rem arkably easy to m ake the content of dream s conform to expectation. People w ho are undergoing Freudian analysis tend to have 'Freudian' dream s, w hile people w ho are undergoing Jungian psychotherapy w ill tendto experience 'Jungian' dream s. Y ou m ight choose to begin experim enting w ith D reamC ontrol by setting a 'them e' fo r your dream s such as a particular subject, location, or person. T here are several different approaches to intentionally guiding dreamcontent. Firstly, prior to sleep, perform a relaxation exercise and clearly form ulate the Statem ent of Intent w ith regard to your dream -experience. For exam ple, "It is m yw ill to dream of m y father." O nce this is done, youcanallowyour m indto'w ander' until you fall asleep. A lternatively, you could try visualising a scene or im age as you fall asleep. T his need not be a strong visualisation, just the subject of attention as you fall asleep. Athird w ay of w illing dream -content is to use a graphic or m antric sigil, using the techniques explained in C hapter Five. W hatever technique you use, rem em ber that the point is not to im pose your w ill intoyour dream s, but to be relaxed at the sam e tim e as form ulating your intention.



T he possibility of transm ission of telepathic inform ation into dream s has beenthe subject of a gooddeal of para-psychological research, usually in the fo rm that a "sender" attem pts toproject som e kind of inform ation toa dream er. H ow ever, it can happen that you w ill have a dream about som eone in a particular situation, w hichtheydoexperience. O f course, the onlyw aythat you canfin dout w hether anot adreamhadtelepathic content is to check out the person(s) concerned andfin dout if your dream has any m eaning fo r them .A nother possibility is to establish a telepathic link betw een yourself and another person by using sm ell. If tw opeople use a particular fragrance or perfum e, tothe extent that the scent of it evokes the im age or m em ory of the other person, then this can be used to create adream -link. If the scent is inhaled prior tosleep, w hile relaxed and form ulating an im age of the other person, and a Statem ent of Intent fo r the dream , then it is possible that the other person can experience that sm ell in their dream , and be m ore receptive to telepathic experience. I have usedthis technique ina series of experim ents, w here a partner and I found that w e could aw aken each other during a pre-arranged hour of the night, by using scent as a telepathic signal 'booster'.


A shared dream is an event w herein tw o or m ore people experience the sam e dream , or elem ents of a sim ilar dream . A lternatively, you m ight dream about yourself and another person ina dream , andfin dout later that they too dream t about you w ith them , perhaps in a different context. A gain, the only w ay to validate this is to inform thepeople concerned. A ttem pts to orchestrate group shared-dream s can be an interesting exercise, perhaps usinga sem i-structured Pathw orking toprovide the basic setting w hichparticipants could later attem pt todream them selves to.

T hat dream s have thepow er tow arnus of the future is anancient idea, and precognitive dream s played an im portant role in ancient civilisations. O n the basis of a dream , the destiny of a country or state couldbe shaped. D ream s about the future canbe

sym bolic, distorted, or even highly detailed and clear, but it is often difficult beforehand todistinguish the im portant elem ents of the dream . Afe w years ago, som e friends of m ine decided to undertake an experim ent indream ing the future. T hey planneda visit to a tow n that none of themhad ever visited before, and then attem pted to dream them selves there. O ne person kept seeing the im age of a long-necked cat, but fo r the life of him couldn't figure out how this w as relevant. W hen he actually visited thetow n, alm ost thefirst thinghe sawafter getting out of the car w as an antique shop. Inthe w indoww as a glazed m odel of a long-necked cat. L ucidity in dream ing is the point w here you realise that you are dream ing, and so nolonger experience the dreampassively, but canchange it. M om ents of lucidity can be triggered by different things. F or exam ple, I once dream ed that I w as in a house w hich I had not lived in fo r over a decade. T he dreamw as perfect in every detail, except that w hen I looked dow n at m y feet, I saw that I w as w earing a pair of shoes that I did not possess at that tim e. This incongruity jarred m e into realising that I w as dream ing. L ucidity can also be triggered by recognising dream elem ents. It is not uncom m on fo r people to becom e lucid ina dream w hen they realise that they have had the dreambefore, canrem em ber howit develops, anddo not w ant to re-experience it. People tend to experience m om ents or flashes of lucidity w ithin dream s, but it is of course possible toextent this facility, enabling you to direct the content of the dream fo rm agical purposes. L ucidity canbe brought about using suggestion w hile aw ake, o r rather obliquely, bym etaprogram m ing oneself so that if a particular im age o r scene appears, this w ill trigger lucidity, i.e., "I w ill becom e lucidw henever I see ayellowsphere floating tow ards m e." T he sphere couldbe directed byanother person, o r act as a Servitor (see C hapter Six) designed to trigger lucid dream ing. It can b e rew arding to approach dream ing fro m anonw estern point of view , such as that of the A ustralasian A borigines or the Senoi of M alaysia. Som e anthropologists believe that the Senoi dreampsychology is the source of the tranquillity of their lives. W henfirst contacted by W esterners in


the 1930's, the Senoi had had no violent crim e or conflicts w ithintheir com m unity fo r som e tw otothree hundredyears. T he A xis M undi is the central axis w hich unites all zones of experience and states of consciousness. It has m any sym bolic representations, such as the W orld T ree, S acred M ountain, pole or C rossroads w hich is the centre of them agician's universe. It is not som ucha place, but a m atter of howyou 'place' yourself. T o be relaxed in the present m eans that you are at the "centre" of your m agical reality. T he act of centering yourself can take the fo rm of an elaborate banishing ritual or a m om ent of no-m ind relaxation before you begin a task. T he core elem ents of centeringaresim ple: 1 .G ivingattentiontoyour physical presence. 2. Establishing the gates, cardinal points or dim ensions (according to your chosen schem e of representation) of w hich youare at thecentre). 3. Self-identification w ith a chosen source of inspiration m erging the m acrocosm(total experience) w ith the m icrocosm (self). A n exam ple of an orthodox B anishing R itual is given in C hapter Six. It is useful tofin da range of exercises w hich w ill serve in a variety of situations. C entering exercises should give rise to a feeling of relaxation and being prepared and poised fo r action. T hese can range fro m elaborate banishings w hich are used as preparation fo r intense ritual w ork, to sim ply exercises w hich canbeusedanyw here, at a m om ent's notice. T heA xis M undi m ay also be considered the access point to the different innerw orlds of the m ythic cosm ology. It seem s reasonable to assum e that the Q abalistic T ree of L ife evolved from a sham anic w orld-tree. T he crossroads is another A xis M undi sym bol, appearing in C eltic, G reek, and H aitian m ythologies. T he innerw orlds are populated by hosts of spirits, dem ons andancestors. C ontact andknow ledge of theseentities is part of the shared totality of experience of a tribal society, m ediated by the sham an. T his is rarely the case in W estern culture there is a v ast variety of innerw orlds w hich m ay be explored. T he D eep M in d is very receptive to suggestion (after all, that's how w e learn), and can clothe itself in any kind of


im ages. U sing the astral tem ple and body form ation techniques discussed earlier, you canexplore any m agical innerw orld, fro m the m ythic landscapes of the N orse G ods tothe pristine gardens w hichcanbeentered throughthe C hinese I C hingtrigram s. C onsciousness arises fro m perception, w hich arises from our direct engagem ent w ith the environm ent. T he W ill can be sim ilarly understood as the engagem ent of intentionality alonga given vector. W hen you say "It is m yW ill to..." you are projecting into the future. T he M agical W ill should not be confused w ithso-calledw ill-pow er or concentration. It is useless to set yourself stringent tests, oaths or prom ises, as if the desire to overcom e a habit or behavior is w eaker than the desire to m aintain it, then you w ill surely fail, and thus reinforce your sense of beingw eak. T he keys to the W ill are in relaxation in the present, unity of desire andunity of purpose. A s youw ill see inthe next chapter, proficiency at S orcery requires that you can isolate, identify and focus upon specific desires, w hile at the sam e tim e, becom e detached fro m them .D esires m anifest w hen they have been isolated, exteriorised and then forgotten. A cts of ritual m agic, w hich involve the orchestration of perception andaction alonga directional vector, serve as exercises in unity of purpose. F or exam ple, I project fo rth an intent: I visualise the sigil w hich is m y desire. I slow ly pushm y hand forw ards, asthough the air is resisting its m ovem ent. A t the sam e tim e, I visualise a beamof energy leaping fo rth fro mm yhand. I exhale w ithacry of "K ia!" A ll these actions are united in the single purpose of projection intothe future. T hought, w ordand d eedare one. To doyourW ill requires a relaxed single-m indedness of purpose, w hile rem aining detached fro m the results you intend to bring about. InZ en B uddhism , this is know n as 'Im m ovable W isdom ,' w herein one's m ind is freed fro m attachm ents, of the bonds of the past, and anticipation of thefuture. T his practice does not com eeasily to m ost of us, and it requires m uch patience, discipline and practice. R efinem ent of the M agical W ill arises from practice andthe constant vigilance against falling intohabituatedpatterns of thinking and behavior. T he value of sim ple m editation practices, such as are found in Z en practice should no t be


discounted, as they can be agreat help in developing bodym ind aw areness, relaxation, and aw areness of the im m ediate present. M any m odern m agicians do practice form s of m artial arts, and suchpractices are invaluable fo r developing m agical abilities.


Sorcery is generally understood as the useof m agical techniques and perspectives to bring about a change in one's m aterial environm ent. T raditionally, the use of m agical techniques fo r direct results has been thought of as 'Low 'm agic, w hile the quest fo r spiritual grow th, uniting w ith one's 'H igher Self or attaining transcendence fro m the m aterial w orld w as, of course, 'H igh' m agic. T his distinction perpetuated the division of the w orld into m atter versus spirit, subjective versus objective, reflecting a general philosophy (shared by science and religion) w hich regarded the dem ands of the everyday w orld as being inferior toabstract m etaphysics. F or the C haos M agician, sucha distinction is artificial and very m uch a sign of self-lim itation. F romthe C haos perspective, S orcery is valuable fo r a num ber of reasons. Firstly, that success w ith sorcery techniques em beds in one's m ind the certainty that M A G IC W O R K S in a w ay that intellectual argum ent or practice w ithout clear purpose cannot. Secondly, that inw orking w ith sorcery techniques, the rigorous analysis of one's ow nm otivations and desire-com plexes is itself enlightening. T hirdly, that the practice of sorcery itself leads to considerations of personal ethics; if one is serious about bringing about change in the w orld, one m ust also accept responsibility fo r those changes. M oreover, bringing about change inthe w orld tends to lead to personal changes. If I enchant fo r fam e, then I m ust be able to change in order to m ake the best use of that fam e. Fourthly, practical sorcery dem ands identifiable results; if I choose to enchant fo rW ealth, I m ust be able to at som e point be able to say howthe sorcery has contributed to m yw ealth. Finally, successful sorcery requires that w e pay attention to the w orld as it is, rather than howw ew ould like it to be. O ne of the great pitfalls in m agical developm ent is the tendency fo r people

to, w hen the going gets tough, w ithdrawthem selves into a safe fantasy and count them selves kings of infinite space. Sorcery, w hich is concerned w ith the everyday w orld, can help us keep our feet on the ground, w hich is very im portant fo r those w ho w ouldreach fo r thestars. Sigil M agic, derived fro m the w ork of A ustin O sm an Spare has becom e a core sorcery technique associated w ith C haos. In a w ay, the technique represents the basics of the C haos approach, inthat it is sim ple, results-oriented, and is effective regardless of one's beliefs or m etaphysical speculations in general. M any of Spare's contem poraries believed that m agic could not be "done" w ithout all m anner of props robes, m agical w eapons, banners, altar, etc., and also that one had to be conversant in m agical system s suchas the Q abalah. Inusing sigils, Spare dem onstrated that effective m agic can be done at a m om ent's notice, virtually anyw here. Sigilisation is one of the sim plest and m ost effective form s of results m agic used by contem porary m agicians. O nce you have grasped the basic principles of sigilisation and experim ented w ith som e of the m ost popular m ethods of casting sigils, you can goontoexperim enting w ith form s of sigil m agic w hichareunique to you. T he basic process of Sigil M agiccanbe divided into six stages, w hich I w ill explain using the acronym S.P.L .I.F.F. S S tatem ent of Intent P P athw ays available? L L ink intent tosym bolic carrier I Intense G nosis/Indifferent V acuity F F ire F F orget T he first stageof the process is that youshould get your m agical intent clear as precise as possible w ithout, at the sam e tim e, beingtoo overcom plicated. V ague intentions usually give rise to vagueresults, andtheclearer the initial statem ent of intent is, the m ore likely y o u are toget accordant results. A n acquaintance of m ine once dida sigil to m anifest a lover, an d gave very precise details on howthis paragon should look, w hat kind of car he



should drive, etc. N eedless to say, her 'desire' m anifested exactly as she had specified, and she discovered too latethat she had forgotten to specify 'intelligence' in her sigil, and that her 'dream lover' could only talk about him self and his car, to the extent that she found him com pletely boring! O ne of the byproducts of the process of D econditioning discussed earlier, is that it becom es progressively easier to disentangle your ow n habitual patterns of thought and em otion, desires and fantasies. T here is a popular idea that m agicians are continually casting spells andperform ing rituals tobringtothemall that they desire. T his is a m isconception of m agic, and m agicians tendtoenchant fo r desires selectively and carefully, being m indful that hasty enchantm ents m ay often bring com plications that w ere not considered beforehand, as the above exam ple show s. H ere are som e techniques w hichcanbe of usew henyouare deciding how todeal w itha desire or intent. U sing a divination systemcan be very helpful w hen exam ining your ow nm otivations underlying adesire. W hat type of system you use is very m uch am atter of individual taste, and T arot, the R unes, or the I C hing seemto be the m ost popular. H ere is an exam ple of howdivination canbe useful. S hortly before w riting this book, the com puter w hich I use fo rw riting suddenly 'crashed' to the extent that it required repair. T his left m e in a pathetic state w hich any hardened com puter-user w ill surely sym pathise w ith. Suddenly, the thought struckm e that this w ould be an ideal opportunity to 'upgrade' to buy a new system .I im m ediately began to try and generate strategies w hich w ould allowm e to purchase a newm odel, w ithout overburdening m y financial resources. A t the sam e tim e, I began tocast around fo r suitable m odels at a good price. I rapidly created a situation w here the desire to gain a newcom puter w as prom inent in m y m ind fo r a good deal of the tim e. Soon, the situation becam e frustrating. M y bank declined to loan m e the m oney I required, andother possibleroutes fo r generating the m oney required w ere not im m ediate enough Iw anted a com puter now !H aving enm eshed m yself in this tangle of desires and becom e frustrated and annoyed, I decided to see w hat m y tarot cards had to say about the m atter. T he result w as very explicit and shocking. T he


tarot cards pointed out that m e trying to sustain a loan at the m om ent w ould have poor long-termconsequences; that I really didn't need a newcom puter anyw ay, and that it w ould be m ore realistic torepair the current m achine. L ooking at this reading, I felt a great sense of relief and am usem ent at m yself. This incident alsogavem e aninsight intohoww elet our desires 'take control' of asituation andblindus toalternative possibilities. If you perform divinations, you m ust be prepared fo r answ ers or perspectives that do not necessarily fit in w ith w hat you 'w ant' to see. Auseful w ay to regard divination system s is that they are old and trusted friends people w hose view s you respect and w ho's advice you w ould readily accept. B y ignoring the results of a divination, you are fooling no one but yourself, dem onstrating that you w ere not really interested in having another perspective o nthe situation inthe first place. The SW O T acronym stands for Strengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities, T hreats. It can be useful som etim es to exam ine a situation, prior to taking m agical action, in term s of these four points. Strengths refers tothestrengthof your positionas regards the desired outcom e of the intention, suchas Pathw ays A vailable (see below ), any inform ation that you have access to that w ill strengthen your position, or anything that allow s youtofocus on the m ost appropriate factor to attem pt to influence. A ll these things should be listed. U nder W eaknesses you m ight consider possible w eak areas w hichm ight interfere w ith the actualisation of your intent. W hen considering O pportunities look at factors such as tim ing w hen is the optim umtim e to enchant fo r? Is there a situation w hich is likely to increase your chance of success? Finally, Threats refers to any possible negative consequences of your enchantm ent. T ouse the S W O Tanalysis, first fram e your general or surface Statem ent of intent, and then analyse it in term s of the above divisions. If you find that there are m ore W eaknesses and Threats to your enchantm ent, then it m ay w ell be w iser to consider another approach tothe problem .W ith regard to m y "I w ant a newcom puter N ow !" desire, I quickly found that, w hen subjectedto the rational S W O Tprocedure, that there w ere m ore W eaknesses and T hreats to the success o f an enchantm ent to

S .W .O .T .A N A L Y S IS

bring ina large am ount of m oney, than there w ere Strengths and O pportunities. O bviously, another approach w as called for. In this particular instance, I cast a sigil to call forth "help" from other people, w hichw as indeedforthcom ing. A part fro m usingdivination or situational analyses, other sources of inform ation canbe useful. A skingother people their opinions, fo r a start. T he m ore inform ation you have about a situation, the greater flexibility you w ill have w hen you approach it fro ma m agical angle. F or exam ple, I w as recentlyapproached bya third party on behalf of a client w ho w anted som e kind of enchantm ent perform ed to m eet a partner. I spent a couple of hours asking about the client's habits, social m ovem ents, personal qualities and soforth, all of w hichhelped m e todecide not only w hat kind of enchantm ent toperform , but also in w hat w ay the spell should influence m atters tobring about the desired result. P erform ing sorcery on behalf of other people is very good fo r your ow npractice. G enerally, sigils areexcellent fo r bringing about precise, short or long-term results, w hich m akes them excellent fo rw orks of R esults M agic- healing, habit m anipulation, inspiration, dream control, and the like. It is generally considered useful if you 'open' a path fo r the intent tom anifest along. T here is a standard m agical exam ple about w orking fo r 'm oney' that goes alongthe lines o f: Frater B ater does a spell fo rm oney and w aits fo r the m ultiverse toprovide himw iththecash. Inthe follow ing m onths he gains financially after the sudden deaths of relatives, receiving industrial com pensation after falling into a com bine harvester, and soon. H ad hem ade surethat there w as a possible pathw ay or route fo r the result tocom e inon, like w ritinga book (ha! ha!), applying fo r a newjob, or entering a lottery, he m ight have had a better tim e of it. T his is the w ay m agic often w orks, andshow s that the m ultiverse, if nothing else, has aslappy sense of hum our.



O nce you have decided upon your intent, it can then be turned into a sym bolic code a signal on w hich you can focus varying degrees of attention on, w ithout recalling your initial desire. T he tw om ost com m onapproaches tothis are: (a) M onogram w rite out your intent, knock out all repeating letters, andfro m the rest, designa glyph. (b) M antra w rite out intent, scram ble into m eaningless phrase or w ord, w hich can then be chanted. A lternatively, you could rearrange the letters of your statem ent of intent so that it becom es another sentence, w hich can be used as a m antra. For exam ple: "I D esire A ssistance inH ouse-H unting" could becom e "T he S uncan Sing." Inaddition to the above, youcanalsouse other m edia suchas sm ell, taste, colours, bodylanguage, andhand gestures. Sigils canbe projectedintothem ultiverse via anact of G nosis usually, but not necessarily, w ithin som e kind of ritual/m agical context. Popular routes to G nosis include: spinning, chanting, dancing, visualisation, sensory overload or sensory deprivation, and sexual arousal. T he other 'altered state' is that of Indifferent V acuity a sort of 'not-particularly-bothered' state. A n exam ple of sigilisationbythis route is todoodle sigils w hile listening to a talkw hichis boring, but youhavetotake notes on.



This is sim ply the projection of the sigil into the void or m ultiverse at the 'peak' of G nosis/V acuity. E xam ples of this include orgasm , reaching the point of blackout fro m hyperventilation or being asked a question about the boring talk that you w ere supposed tohavebeenlisteningto. T he projectionof a sigil can, of course, be the m ain them e of a m ore-or-less orthodox m agical ritual. L ess orthodox m ethods include visualizing a sigil glyph as you feel a sneeze about to burst from your nose; or projecting a sigil at the m om ent w hen, after holding your bladder to the point w here the need to urinate becom es physically painful, you let go and feel the absolute bliss of relaxation. A popular approach to em pow ering a sigil is during the peak of physical orgasm (or at the point w here pain becom es pleasure

and vice versa). A s you peak into orgasm , visualise the sigil glow ing brightly and then shooting o ff intothe depths of space (photon torpedo!). If you are trying to influence a particular person, youcantryim agining the sigil glow ingontheir chest (or w hatever organ you fin d easiest to visualise). N ote that sexual partners don't have to know w hat's happening it does help thoughif theycangive youthenecessary stim ulation! O nce your sigil has beenfired, you're supposed to forget the original intent and let the B utterfly E ffect take its course. Forgetting w hat youjust didcan often be the hardest part of the process. It's not sobadif theintent is som ethingyoudon't really care about (hence beginning w ith sigils fo r things you aren't reallytooattached tois a goodw ayto begin experim ents), but is m ore difficult if it's som ething you really w ant to happen. A s long as you don't dw ell on the thoughts w hen they arise, it shouldn't m atter toom uch. T im e fo r another analogy. T he ever-changing tangle of desires, w ishes, fears, fantasies, etc. jostling around in our m inds can be likened to a garden, albeit a som ew hat unruly and overgrow n one; flow ers, w eeds, creepers, and the occasional buried gardening rake. G oing through the sigilisation process can be likened to becom ing suddenly enthusiastic about tidying the garden up. Y ou isolate one plant (i.e., your intent), separate it fro m the others, feed it, w ater it andprune it until it standsout fro m the rest an d is clearly visible on the landscape, and then suddenly get bored w ith the w holejob and goindoors tow atch television. T he trick is, next tim e you look at the 'garden', not to notice the plant you so recentlylavished attentionon. If the intent gets tangled upw ith all the other stu ff in your head, you tend to start projecting various fantasy outcom es w hat you'll dow ith the m oney w hen it com es, howw ill it be w iththeboy/girl/anteater of your dream s, etc. andthe desirew ill get run into all the others, thus decreasing the probability of it m anifesting inthew ayyouw ant it to. Auseful attitude to have w hen casting sigils is that once you've posted one o ff to the m ultiverse (w hich, like Santa, alw ays gets the m essage), then you're sure that it's going to w ork, so that youdon't needtoexpend an ym ore effo rt o nthat


particular one. S uch confidence tends toarise out of having had som e success w ith sigils previously. T he result often com es about w henthe intent has becom e latent that is to say, you've com pletely forgotten about it and given up on it com ing about. T he experience is sim ilar to trying to hitch a lift on a deserted road in the dead of night. Y ou've been there fo r hours, it's pouring dow nw ith rain and you 'know 'w ith an air of dread certainty that no one's going to stop fo r you now , but you stick your thum b out anyw ay. W hat the hell, eh? Five m inutes later, you get a lift from the boy/girl/anteater of tw o sigils back, driving a Porsche and asking you how far you w ant to go. M addening isn't it? B ut sigils often seemtow orkout likethat. If you are em barking upon a series of experim ents w ith sigils, it canbe useful torecord the sigil experim ent in suchaw aythat it does not im m ediatelybringtom indtheoriginal desire associated w ith the sigil. A fter w riting up the details of your experim ent, tape intoyour diary a scrapof paper w ith the sigil draw n onone side, andthe original Statem ent of Intent penciled ontothe other side. Inthe past, I have prepared half a dozen sigils at once, then filed them and deliberately lost them .C om ing across them w eeks later, I havetotally forgotten the original desires, andchoose one at randomto em pow er. Ifin drepeatedly doodling a sigil w hen m ost of m yattention is elsew here canbe effective. T he best tim e Ifin dto perform sigil m agic is w hen I amreally busy and have lots to think about, sothat I don't get into the trap of thinking about the desired-for-effect. Sigils can alsobe incorporated into photographs, cassette recordings, video or draw ings. T attoos, ear-rings, w all-hangings an dclothing designs are alsopossible.



T his is a sim ple application of Sigil M agic technique that you can try out. Firstly prepare tw o Sigils one for som e desire you w ish toenchant fo r, and th eother, fo r som ething along the lines of "I w ill see a w om anw ith longred hair carrying a sm all dog." U nless you are a particularly refined fetishist, this is som ething

that should be fairly easy to forget. N ow'fire' this second sigil first. Prepare your other sigil andcarry it around w ith (preferably onasm all piece of paper). It m ight w ell happen, as yougoabout your daily affairs, that you w ill suddenly notice the person (or object) fitting the description you have sigilized for. A t this m om ent, the recognition of the subject of thefirst sigil w ill slip you into a m icroburst of G nosis at this point, 'fire' your other Sigil-intense visualization of the sigil into a w hirling black chaosphere (or anyother preferred sym bol) is one w ay of doing this. It can be useful occasionally tofind another person w ho uses Sigil M agic and to exchange sigils. T his m eans that you have a sigil w hich is entirely m eaningless to you and therefore, is readily forgotten. E ven if som eone else casts a sigil w hich you have com pounded, then there tends tobe a result in accordance w ith your original intent. T his seem s to indicate that the m ost im portant part of the w hole process of sigilization is fo r you to fram e your statem ent of intent and then relax 'aw ay' from thinking about the outcom e of the intent. T hese are the elem ents of the process w hich define the param eters of success, rather than any m ysterious forces, sym bolism , or m agical 'energy'. T his dem onstrates an idea em erging w ithin the C haos corpus: that the explanation an individual holds fo r a phenom enon should not necessarily be taken as a 'true' description of w hat is happening, but nevertheless, that explanation generates the context by w hich that phenom enon takes place. In other w ords, theconvoluted m etaphysics w hichhas grow nuparound m uchof contem porary m agic provides a context of belief, w ithin w hich the m agician learns to relax. A s discussed in C hapter T hree, relaxation and confidence are keys to m agical success. T he role that belief plays in creating a m agical context is exam ined in C hapter Seven.


W estern approaches tom agic have becom e, over the last century or so, thoroughly pervaded bythe Protestant W ork E thic. M agic is generally thought of as a serious, w ork-like pursuit. Indeed, m agicians talk about rituals as being 'W orkings'. T he C haos

approach stresses that fun and pleasure are im portant, yet often neglected dim ensions of m agic. C anm agic beentertaining? Play and entertainm ent tend tobe undervalued, yet they are arguably tw oof the m ost significant of hum anexperiences, andm agic and play share com m on features. B oth are defined incontrast to the everyday w orld. B oth serve to drawtheparticipant out fro m the ordinary w orld intothe m ythic, larger-than-life dim ension. Som e aspects of the m agic-play perspective have been m entioned already, but play can give auseful perspective on sorcery. W hat is the difference betw een a child playing w ith a doll and an 'adult' sorcerer enchanting over aw ax im age? T he sorcerer m ay be concentrating hard upon the enchantm ent. H em ay knowall about sym bolism and theories w hich enable him to suspend disbelief and w ork w ith the w axen im age 'as if it w ere his target. T he child appears tobe absorbed, serious, intent upon its play, but the chances are that the child finds it m uch easier to believe in the doll as being som ething other than w hich is im m ediately apparent, thanthe m agician can invest belief inthe efficacy of his w axim age. M agic has gam e-like aspects, yet it is rare that w e can approach it on the level of being a gam e. It is a serious endeavour, yet it can be serious fun. W ith regard to sorcery technique, it is possible to use both a rigorous approach to structuring enchantm ents and a playful approach to actualising them . It's as easyas AP IE :

A ssessm ent
Stop. D on't do anything. L ook at the situation and at all possibilities fo r action. U se techniques that w ill show you different angles or perspectives on the situation: divination, dream -oracles, asking your favourite deityor visualising various possible courses of action.

P lan
O nceyou have chosenacourse of action. P lan w hat youneed to do. W hat resources do you need? T hese m ay be m agical, m aterial, financial or theassistance of others. D oyouneed m ore inform ation andif so, w hereis it goingtocom e from ?

N owthe hardest thing of all to doit. L aziness and inertia m ay w ell intervene at this stage, w hich m ay often be the surface m anifestations of fear (of failure/success). R em em ber, each m om ent of success gives m ore m om entumto the next attem pt. E ach barrier breached brings a rush of pleasure and expanded possibilities. W em ust be able to evaluate the results of our m agics. T o look back into the w ake of your passing and be able to identify how one's w ill has brought about change. Akey here is the ability to understand and integrate one's experiences in the light of one's m agical w ork. T he useof the M agical D iary is m ost im portant in this respect. E valuation of the results of one's m agics, andof the techniques used is often difficult, unless one is prepared to be scrupulously honest. It can som etim es becom e a balancing act betw een one's ideal m anifestation of desire, and w hat actually occurs. For exam ple, I once perform ed a sigil enchantm ent fo r "new sources of pleasure." N ow I adm it that underlying this intention w as the hope of new sexual entanglem ents. Shortly after the ritual, a friend gave m e som e new com puter gam e program s, w hich did indeed provide m ew ith m any hours of pleasure, so I w as w illing to count that sigil as a success. If how ever, I had specified a desire tobefucked senseless, and then had com puter gam es turn up, I w ould count that enchantm ent as a failure. T here is no all-em bracing explanation fo r failure, although people often resort to justifications such as karm a, destiny, cosm ic tides or fate or eventhe w ill of the gods inorder to explain 'w hy' it is that som ething hasn't happened in accordance w ith expectation. O ddly enough, there seem s to be the im plicit suggestion that w henenchantm ents are successful, it is a reflection of one's ow nm agical ability, but w hen spells go aw ry"it w as your karm a not tohave that happen." T hus the preparation and core procedures w hich are im plicit in an act of sorcery depend upon discipline, attention and the aw areness of the consequences of any resultant transform ation. T his leaves us w ith the option of being fairly relaxed over the actual im plem entation of sorcery technique, as a rum m age throughthecontents of a sorcerer's toybox dem onstrates.

Im plem entation

E valuation

Plasticine gives endless possibilities as a m agical tool. H ere is an exam ple of enchantm ent w ith Silly-Putty. O nce you have your Statem ent of Intent, roll the plasticine into strips and fo rm the letters of your Statem ent. A fter m editating upon the Statem ent, m ashtheplasticinetogether androll it intoa ball again. C ontinue to shape and reshape the plasticine w ith your hands, w hile also using hyperventilation, and glossolalia. Sigils of intent can be gouged into the plasticine, shaped by rolling it, and then destroyed again. A s you enter gnosis, divide the plasticine into tw ohalves. O ne half is you, the other, your desire. A t the clim ax of the ritual, m ash themtogether. T he sam e lum p of plasticine canbekept and re-usedover andover againinsorcery w orkings. Y oucanaddbits of your bodyintoit (nails, hair, bloodetc.). U sing candles fo r casting spells is a popular approach to m agic that has inspired m any books on the subject. Y ou can inscribe sigils, runes and any other sym bols on a candle, and leave it to burn itself dow nw hile you go o ff and do som ething else. M aking L ove by candlelight is m agical in itself, and indeed, if you think far enough along these lines you m ay com e up w ith 'm agical' uses fo r candles w hichtendnot tobe m entioned inthe spellcastingbooks. T here is m uch that can be done w ith a piece of string. Enchantm ent using knots is w ell-know nw ithin m odern w itchcraft revivals, as is the use of string to create w ebs, labyrinths, 'cats cradles' and other com plicated tangles, w hich have spells w hispered into themor have becom e the focus fo r enchantm ents. B raidedpieces of hair can also be used as pow er tools, particularly if the hair w as 'sacrificed' to assist in a particular goal (for exam ple, cutting one's hair to im prove job prospects). T he hair of d ead relatives or associates canbe easily im bued w ithm ythic pow er.

IN SID ET H ET O Y B O X P lasticines

C andles


'G ivens'
T his termdenotes anything w hich you have been given, w hich does not have anim m ediate purpose, yet is significant due tothe circum stances inw hichyoureceived it, or the associations w hich youattachtoit. It becom es 'm agical' due toit beinga 'gift' the sort of thing w hich you m ight never form ally im bue w ith m agical pow er, yet w hich ends up in your toybox/pow er bundle/altar anyw ay. F ound O bjects are sim ilar tothe above, but tend tobethe things that youpick up fo r noverygoodreason, andthenfin dyourself loath to throwaw ay. E ventually, you w illfin da 'use' fo r them . Y ears ago I fo u n d part of an old telephone handset. I carried it around fo rm onths, and eventually fo u n dm yself 'listening' to it at odd m om ents. A t first this w as just a playful form of "w eirding out" w hoever I w as sittingnext to. B yandby, I found that bym ake-believing that I w as listening toa particular friend using the phone, she w ould invariably turn up w ithin five m inutes of m e 'chatting' to her. O f course, the m ore I tried to deliberately use the phone to call her, the less likely she w as to appear. O ther exam ples of 'Found O bjects' include bits of anim als, odd shards of circuitry, things w hich are probably pieces of som ethingbigger. C rystals have been m uch-hyped as item s of alm ost universal m agical application (depending upon w hat you read). C rystals have curative pow ers, can be used fo r 'safe sex', buried in the earth as gifts tom om m yG aia, used inconjunctionw ith ley lines tocontact dolphins, andtheir m isuse has even beenclaim ed as a deciding factor inthe fall of the A tlantean E m pire! O naperhaps less prosaic level, crystals can beused fo r Scrying. D octor John D ee, fo r exam ple, used a ball of O bsidian crystal inhis m agical experim ents. C rystals have also, fro m ancient tim es, been used as T alism ans, and any 'good' book oncrystals w ill provide you w itha list of sym bolic attributions fo r crystals. O nem agical use of crystals w hich has been ignored by new -agers is the use of crystals as spirit traps. A gain, this is a very traditional use, there being m any tales of entities being lured into crystals and other

F ound O bjects

C rystals

types of receptacles. It is certainly possible to 'trap' anentity ina crystal, and you can also designate a crystal as a 'hom e' fo r an entity. T hey can be used as personal pow er objects and, if nothingelse, theylookprettyonanaltar.

D om inoes A ndD ice

D om inoes anddice haveobvious associations w ith gam es there arealsodivination techniques usingthem . Pieces of W ood canbe useful at tim es. T he stick fro m a lollipop fo r exam ple, w ith runes or sigils added, can be used to m ake a nondescript talism an. T he act of ham m eringanail intoa piece of w ood can becom e the physical com ponent of an act of enchantm ent. C halk is the unsung m agical tool of traditional m agical approaches, w hich called fo r circles, triangles and com plicated nam es to be laid dow n upon floors. C rayons, obviously, can be used increating pictures, yantras, etc.

W ood

C rayons 'n' C halk

P endulum s
A pendulum can com e in handy occasionally, especially fo r finding lost or hidden objects. O n at least tw o occasions I have turned up at friends' houses tofin dthemm ethodically turning the place upside-dow n in search of som e sm all but apparently item . Acalmscan around the roomw ith a pendulumturned up the lost itemin unexpected places. Y ou can also use pendulum s todow se a m ap, or toansw er sim ple yes/noquestions. It is often useful to be able to perform acts of divination w ithout using com plex system s such as runes or tarot cards, and even tea leaves, w hich tend to be scorned by m agicians as unw orthy of contem plation, canhave their uses.

B alloons
T he act of blow ing into a balloon can b e used to project a m agical intent. A lternatively, you could cast a sigil by attaching it to a balloon filled w ith helium , and launch it into the atm osphere. B ursting a ballooncanbe usedto 'clim ax' a ritual, andof

course you could use balloons in accordance w ith colour correspondences. T he truly adept could even fo rm them into shapes to represent fetishes or anim als. Several years ago, I hadaround m yhouse aceram ic pixie figure. Asouvenir fro m a holiday. O ne day, I decided that I w ould give this pixie the ability to 'find things' that w ere lost around the house. W henever I m islaid som ething, 1 w ould go and ask the 'pixie' w here it w as, and then keep looking. A fter I found the lost item , Iw ould go and thank the pixie, and som etim es put a silver coin under its base. O ver tim e, this routine w orked very w ell, andI persuaded other m em bers of thehousehold to"goask the pixie" w here they had m islaid household objects and, w hen they had fo u n dw hat they w ere looking fo r, togoandthank him . T his is a very basic approach to m agical evocation, and I have found over theyears that the m ost effective w ayto 'feed' aspirit is to attribute any successes w hich relate to its sphere of operation to its action, andtodevelopa relationship w ithit. T he above arejust a few of the possibilities fo r using everyday objects in sorcery practice. In addition, there are the m ore 'form al' w eapons of m odern m agic, being the dagger, the w and, the chalice, the pentacle and the lam p. It is possible to discourse at length o n the sym bolismw hich has grow n up around each of these item s, but I'm not going to, as you don't need to have digested heaps of sym bolismtom ake effective useof them . T he W and or S taff is a physical representation of the act of projectingone's w ill fo rth (intentionality directed along a given vector). The key to understanding the m agical w ill is in the concept of unity of desire. W hereas the sw earing of oaths, prom ises and abstentions serves only to set up conflicts w ithin the m ind, the m agician seeks unity of desire before he acts, hence the im portance of preparation inacts of sorcery. T he w and alsorepresents theinitial drive tobegin aproject. T he D agger is often used in ritual m agic as an extension of one's finger. It is used to draw sigils, pentagram s and other m agical sym bols in the air. T o the dagger is attributed the qualities of analysis and discrim ination. A ny m agical dagger is

F igures


thus only as effective as your ow n skill at analysis and discrim ination, w hether this is applied toyourself or a situation, hencethe im portance of planning, andbreakingdow na goal into its constituent steps andelem ents. T he C halice is used as aphysical receptacle of transm ission. T hus it m ay be used inritual tohold w ine (or otherfluid)w hich isfirst 'charged' via anact of invocation and then consum ed by the celebrants, or it canbe used fo r scrying. T hus tothechalice is attributed all techniques w hereby perception is unhindered bythe internal dialogue or bylust fo r a result, suchas oracular states of consciousness, the use of tarot, dream ing, or m ental silence. T he Pentacle represents the process of synthesis and is the object w hereupon the results of one's m agical w ork are m ade m anifest and understood. In rituals, objects w hich are to be charged w ithm agical pow er w ouldbe placeduponapentacle. Finally, the L am pis thephysical representation of inspiration. It often appears in the fo rm of a light-bulb over the head of a cartoon character. In traditional w estern m agic, the idea of G odhead or the H oly G uardian A ngel are tw o aspects of the L am pw eapon, although it could just as easily be a 'prim itive' fetish object or a sym bol w hich, over tim e, one com es to associate w ithgnosis and inspiration. It is im portant to rem em ber that the developm ent of the requisite qualities are m ore useful thanthe physical shells w hich serve to encapsulate them .T here is an old adage that m agical w eapons should either be m ade bytheir user, giventothem , or at least fo u n d inunusual w ays. E qually, the act of saving m oney so that you can buy an itemof occult equipm ent, especially if you have m ade som e kind of sacrifice (such as w alking tow ork), w ill also confer the association of 'specialness' upon it. W hile it can be useful to have physical 'w eapons' for use in ritual, it is also instructive to understand their operation in other spheres. For exam ple, m y desire to w rite, and the decision to w rite about sorcery, is the operation of the w and. T he use of language to order and analyse m y thoughts; the act o fw riting itself is the dagger. T he com puter screen upon w hich m yw ords appear to m e, prom pting newideas andassociations even as I w rite, is the chalice, and the resulting printout, w hichm anifests thew hole, is the pentacle. T he lam p in this case, is any form of illum inatory technique w hich I useto aidthe free-flow o f creativity.

L ike any gam e, sorcery relies m ore on the qualities and skill of the player, rather than the physical surroundings or the equipm ent beingused. Sim ilarly, both gam es and m agic have an absurd quality about them .Y ou m ay fin d it incredible that other people seemto invest so m uch im portance in the outcom e of a football gam e, yet have no problem yourself believing that scratching planetary sym bols onto a candle w ill bring about a change in the w orld. A lternatively, you m ight vociferously cham pion your ow n teamand w onder w hat the fuss is about w henbatty occultists argue over w hohas the 'authentic m agical tradition.' B ut both sorcery and gam es require practice, suspension of disbelief, andgnosis, that cessation of the internal dialogue w hichm aylast fro m a fe w seconds toseveral hours. T obe effective, your approach tosorcery needs tobe responsive tochanges inyour life situation. It canbest be understood as not so m uch an approach to getting a "free lunch" out of the universe, but as an approach to m axim ising your effectiveness w ithin different spheres of action. F or exam ple, there is little point in enchanting fo r a newjob, if you lack confidence to the extent that you are going to bloweach interviewthat you w ork fo r. It is often saidthat m agic seem s tow ork through the easiest route possible, and this should be borne in m ind. Finally in this introduction to sorcery, I w ant tolook at som e popular areas fo r sorcery intervention.


P rotection
Protection spells are popular, but w hat exactly does 'protection' m ean? Protection fro m earthquakes, m ugging, m eteor strikes, or w hat? D oes then protection m eansafety? A ll questions of safety are relative. W hy is it that you desire protection? Is it that you are clum sy, or that you don't lookw here you are going? If this is the case, use techniques w hich drag your attention to w hat's around youat anyone m om ent. C ultivatethe danger/alert senseI discussed in C hapter Three. T here is also the issue of "protection" against m agical attack, to w hich som e people becom econcerned w ithtoanobsessivedegree. W ell don't w orry about it, because there isn't any. N inety-nine percent of'm agical attack' is self-inflicted, and, no effective m agician (w ith an eye

to his street-cred) w ill ever adm it to being 'm agically attacked' and not doing som ething about it at the tim e. U sually, people w ho go on about m agical attack are covering up som e glaring inadequacy w ithin them selves, and also suffering fro m an overinflated sense of im portance. A gain, having a finely-tuned 'w arning sense' is of m ore use here, as is being able to keep one's feet onthe ground, as it w ere. Finding a partner, soul-m ate or one-night stand via m agical m eans is extrem ely popular, and the ability to bring lovers together or cause themto fly apart, as part of the sorcerer's repertoire of pow ers, goes som ew ayto explaining howboth can be subjects of respect and fear sim ultaneously. T here are m any shades of L ove M agic. A t a basic level, it does help if you are observant, have skills in reading all the subtle signs of nonverbal com m unication, and knoww hen to speak, and w hen to keep silent. L ove M agic is very m uch about w orking w ith other people. It is also im portant to be able to clearly distinguish betw een a sexual im pulse and a relationship that is, are you enchanting to m ake a link betw een yourself and the target person, fro m thebasis of a quickknee-trem bler or the possibility of a long-term relationship. It's surprising how m any people confuse the tw o. It should be recognised that often, our 'desires' about w hat constitutes an ideal lover are usually contextual, and very often, differ fro m our actual needs. In m y experience, casting L ove M agic spells w itha particular person inm ind never w orks out satisfactorily. I have personally found it m ore effective toenchant fo r "the lover I need" rather than"the lover I w ant." I dofind it slightly odd that, in W estern approaches to m agic, L ove Spells are thought to be fairly innocuous, w hile cursing m agic is generally heldtoreprehensible. H as noone ever thought howm uch of a curse becom ing involved w ith another person canbe? If you are ever tem pted tointerfere in the dram a of som eone else's relationship troubles, do bear this in m ind before you w ade in, w and blazing to m agically influence the relationship, think howyou w ould feel if you fo u n d that som eone had donethe sam ew ithyou? A lthough youcan influence people into dropping their trousers/knickers fo r you, it is generally m ore effective in the long-term to w ork on your ow n pow ers of

L ove, A nd G etting L aid M agic

seduction and attraction. S ex is m agical, and can be m ade m ore so, but if you are a short, spotty herbert w ith the charism a of a brick, then all the spells in the w orld are not going to m ake P layboy m odels faw n at your feet unless you perhaps enchant fo rw ealth and have m ajor plastic surgery, or discover som e other quality or aspect w hich you can enhance tow ards this eventual goal. B yw hichtim e, like as not, sexw ill not seemquite som uch anim perative as it once did. Issues of L ove and S exare particularly im portant fo rm agicians as, indealing w ith them , at som epoint w e have toacknow ledge the presence and com plexity of other people.

H ealing
H ealing is again, a difficult area. It is an area that dem ands results, and approaches to m agical healing tend tobecom efairly m ethodical and com m on-sense. It is interesting tonote that such dow n-to-earth techniques and m ethodologies tend to have been squeezed out fro m the m ain body of W estern O ccultism , into areas such as W itchcraft or Spiritualism ,w here participants are not afraid to com e dow no ff the astral plane and do som ething practical. D espitethe gross industry innew -age spaw ned healers, the use of m agical techniques in healing is an area w hich requires m uch w ork and investigation. If you are interested in this area, forget past-life regressions, diagnosing auras, chakra m assage and all the other exotic stu ff, andjust go fo r a sim ple 'client gets better' result. T here is an exam ple of a Servitor fo r healing inthe next chapter and it's w orth bearing inm ind that, if you becom e an accom plished healer, then people do sit up and take notice. D eveloping a 'H ealer Persona' can be useful, both for projecting a certain am biance and fo rm aintaining a 'professional distance' betw een yourself and your clients (see E go M agic). T he desire to be a healer m ust also be rigorously analysed fro m tim e to tim e. T he desire to heal can becom e obsessive to the point w here you are m ore interested in preserving your self-im age as a healer than the actual needs of your clients.

C ursing
O ffensive or aggressive m agic is oneof those areas w hich, w hile controversial, nonetheless, requires looking at. A com m on

reaction tocursing is tosay that it is w rong, unethical, or incurs karm ic consequences. T hese argum ents neatly ignore the fact that curse-m agic is of am ost ancient lineage, and often appears, in its m ost sophisticated form s, intribal and sham anic societies. H istorically, curses are throw nw hen recourse to other form s of retaliation are not possible if standing up to being oppressed gets you a rifle-butt in the face, then m agical action m ight w ell be the only option left. It's difficult to talk about ethics and karm aw ith som eone w ho keeps kicking you. A gain, m agic is about taking responsibility fo r your actions, so if you dohave to curse som eone, beaw are that (a) it is the m ost appropriate course of action (b) you can handle any consequences, and (c) you get the result you w ant. R em em ber that life situations are alw ays going to be m uch m ore com plex than any w hite m agic/black m agic dichotom ies, hence the chaos em phasis on developing your ow nguidelines. Is it a curse if youcause a m ultiple-rapist to becom e increasingly clum sy in his activities, so that eventually he is exposed and identified? Is it unethical to perform a R equiemM ass inabsentia fo r a friend w ith term inal cancer w ho has clearlyexpressed toyouhis w ishtodie?

T w in G lam ours W ealth A ndF am e

W ealth tends to be a condition w hich one aspires to, or a condition w hich has been (to varying degrees), attained. T hus one m ay look at one's life and say "I have w ealth" or "I w ish I w as w ealthy." B efore w egom uch further, the questionof'W hat do w em ean by w ealth?' should be dealt w ith. D ictionary definitions of W ealth go along the lines of 'abundance of m aterial resources.' H ow ever, m oney is only one aspect of W ealth M agic. It is not m erely about accum ulating m oney and consum er goods. D esires canbe deceptive. B efore looking at the desire fo rW ealth, let's take a look at som e other m anifestations of desire. S ex is a good place to start. T here is a tendency to behave as though sexual desire is sim ple a knee-jerk stim ulus"Phw oarr!"-response w hich sets the heart a-pounding and horm ones racing around. D esire falls upon us, im m ediately and physically it can be anything from a w istful glance in som eone's direction to a palpable shock w hich leaves you gasping fo r breath. Y et, as w e all, inour introspective m om ents know , sexual desire is very com plex, very pow erful, andsubject

tochange w hen least expect it just w hen w ethink w e are safe. A 'gay' m an suddenly finds him self w anting a w om an. A 'straight' m anrealises, tohis horror, that hefindshim self unable to take his eyes o ff the boy next door. Sexual desire can be dangerous, and m uch depends on how the ego survives such transitions. F am e is another goodonetoexam ine. Particularly so fo rm e, as, w ithout appearing prideful, I knowthat I have, over the years, attained adegree of acclaim , acertain reputation, and, albeit w ithin a sm all subculture, a degree of recognition. N ow fam e has m uch in com m on w ith W ealth. It is som ething w hich you have either attained, or you aspire to in the sense of thinking "L ook at so-and-so, I w ish / w as fam ous." N ow , although it is entirely possible that, som ew here, back inthe days of m y neophyte-hood, I m ay have perform ed an enchantm ent to bring fam e. B ut, as far as I know , I did at notim e say to m yself 'by doing this I w ill becom e fam ous', or, 'I w ant to becom ea nam e on the O ccult Scene. It m ight sound ingenuous, but I did not realise, fo r a long tim e, that I w as beginning to gain a reputation of sorts. W hat did I do? Firstly, I began to w rite. I began to w rite because I w anted to get occult m agazines, and could not affo rd the subscription fee. I w as encouraged to w rite. A ll occult m agazine editors are onthe lookout fo r neww riters. M yH igh Priestess encouraged m eto w rite. I foun d that w riting w as an excellent w ay of ordering m y thoughts. I began toenjoy w riting. A fter all, w hodoesn't get athrill fro m seeingtheir nam e in am agazine? It is evenm ore satisfying toreceive paym ent fo r w riting. Secondly, I began to speak inpublic. T he reasons w hy I did this are m orecom plex. I w as crapat presenting m yself topeople, and, as I w as doing a course w hich necessitated that I present m yself topeople, I deliberately put m yself inaposition w here I had to present m yself to an audience. I becam e the student representative fo rm yC ourse, w hich m eant that I had to deal w ith the S tudent U nion C ouncil, the lecturers, andthe A cadem ic B oard. Slow ly, I began to adjust to these dem ands, and even m ore slow ly, I began to enjoy it. From lectures, I jum ped to doing courses andw orkshops, andfinallybegantoappreciate the skills and techniques that I hadbeen trained toutilise, albeit in a different setting. W hen you begin to raise your profile into the public dom ain, you attract attention. I w as genuinely shocked

w hen som eone said to m e "w ell you do have a reputation fo r being such-and-such." I w as dism ayed and angered w hen details of m y private life becam eam atter of com m ent in certain m agazines. A t tim es, I w ould enjoy hearing rum ours and strangers' opinions of m e fro m another source, but fo r a long tim e, I resisted, even hatedthe suggestion that I w as becom ing a public figure on the sm all, incestuous occult scene. B ut also, I w as learning som e im portant lessons, w hich I w ill com e onto shortly. T he problemI have w ith the idea of W ealth M agic is that it is too nebulous, too m uch of a long-termvision. Sexual desire is physical andim m ediate. B ut w ealth and fam e have a lot in com m on. I look into the w indow of a com puter store at the latest m odels and w ish I had the m oney to buy one, w ithout having to save or do overtim e. Sim ilarly, I have looked w ith envyuponsom eone w hois apparently popular, easy incom pany, and appears to attract the girls/boys w homI dare not speak to. W ealth and fam e are glam ours. T hey are desires w hich have pow er over us because w e feel that w e lack som ething. T hey rem indus that w e are not at easew ithour present circum stances. M uch has been w ritten about the relationship betw een W ealth M agic and Jupiter, to w hich is attributed the quality of expansiveness. Y et it is im possible tobeexpansive if you feel at odds w ithyourself. B efore youcanbecom e expansive, you have to have w orked w ith the Solar quality of C onfidence. I have found that a useful w ay toapproach C onfidence is to identify it as a skill the skill of being relaxed in the im m ediate present. R elaxation, of course, is essential if you are going to present yourself topeople. It is alsothe unacknow ledged key to m agical success. If you are relaxed, thenyouhave freed yourself fro m the patterns of your past, and ceased to project desires in the im m inent future. If youarerelaxed, thenyouseeany situation as it is, not how it 'ought' or 'should' be. Y et even this is not enough. C onfidence requires a degree of Self-L ove, w hich in turn requires self-aw areness, particularly of your ow n nested desire-com plexes. S urface desires are often blinds throw n up by the Ego, to disguise som ething w hich cannot be adm itted into aw areness. Such conflicts eventually becom e the m agician's nem esis. Am an m ight sublim ate his desire fo r young flesh by becom ing a scoutm aster, priest or youth w orker, but howlong w ill the facad e hold up? F romthe S elf-L ove of Solar m agic w e

jum p tothe dynam ics of L ove m agic. U ntil you accept yourself, you w ill never be able to accept other people as independent beings, and so you w ill be continually disappointed w hen other people fail to act inthe w aythat they 'ought' to. T obe expansive to others, you have to learn howto interact w ith other people successfully. Y ou have to be attentive to others, and aw are, of course, of howthey see you. W hat else is required? M ars, the m agic of energy, drive, determ ination, discipline, cool-headedness. T he poise of a sniper w aiting fo r the right m om ent to fire. A lsoT hought M agic, thew ayof planning, strategy, of beingable to exam ine a situation and w orking out Plan A , Plan B ,w hat I w ill doif things goaw ry; the abilitytolookat resources, w hether they be m aterial, skills, or contacts. A nd then there is D eath M agic. I have a plan. It is exciting. I can see how it could go veryw ell. B ut, after all the planninghas beendone, it looks m ore unfeasible. D oI goahead anyw ay? O r have I the strength to kill it and do som ething else? D eath M agic is also the m agic of boundaries, of self-im posed lim itations. N ot forgetting Sexual M agic. In Q abalah, Sexuality is attributed to the sphere of Y esod, w hich is also the sphere of seduction, glam our, and illusion. S ex rem inds us of our vulnerability, and w e can all too easily becom e caught up in the desire fo r fast clothes, big cars, attractive partners and four-poster beds. B ut if you need these things to feel sexy, then it'sjust possible that som ething is going w rong. T heroots of feeling attractive lie inS elf-L ove, and w e're backtoE goM agic again. If you desire W ealth, don't dw ell onit. T here is anold axiom that if you are bound bysom ething, you w ill never attain it. T he U nconscious (w hat Spare called "the greatest m agician") does not understand this concept. E ach tim e you desire w ealth, you arerem inding yourself of things w hichyou lack. Sim ilarly, those w hogoaround declaring that theyw ant tobefam ous w ill endup being aprat. W hich is not the kind of fam ew hich is going todo you any good. W ork in the other spheres of m agic. If you are involved ina business or enterprise, do B usiness M agic, w hichis m erely the applicationof the other rays intoyour w ork learning about people, learning how to lead, how to m anage, how to inspire, howtoeffect your w ill. L earn howtohave doors 'open' fo r you. L earn howto speaktothe right people at the right tim e. L earnthe subtle arts of Im pression M anagem ent.

Auseful archetype in this respect is the E m peror, Prince or M andarin. R ead M achiavelli, fo r a start, and then exam ine the histories of great im perialfigures. H owdoes one act tow ards an em peror? W ith reverence, fo r insolence is courting death. A n em peror likes flattery, but not obsequiousness. A n em peror has great pow er, but is also aw are of the responsibility w hich that pow er brings. E m perors are fam ed fo r their expansiveness. T hey m ust give the best gifts, as their reputation is at stake. A successful em peror know s howtom ake use of his resources, and know s how to generate respect in others. A nd respect is im portant. It is the basis of trust. T rust is not im m ediate. It m ust be earnt. H owm ust you act to w in the respect of others? Find out, anddoit. W ealth is som ething w hich you either look forw ards to, or have attained. Inthe Indiantradition, it is, like w isdom , a siddha, w hich is to say an achievem ent som ething w hich happens gradually. O nthe T antric path, all so-called m agical pow ers are m erely by-products of one's passage through the w orld. O ther people m ay w ell attribute those things tothe m agician before he him self realises it. G anesha is a useful deity. H e brings w ealth, but he is not attached to it or w eighed dow n by the necessity of it, he is relaxed in the w orld. S o howcan w e obtain auseful definition of W ealth M agic? I w ould say that W ealth M agic is the process of learning to recognise and enjoy one's im m ediate circum stances. E xpansiveness is characterised as "high spirits, generosity and w illingness to talk," all of w hich im plies a sense of relaxation inthe im m ediate present. T he m ark of an advanced sorcerer is the use of the so-called 'E m pty-H anded G esture', w hichis acts of sorcery w ithout use of any physical props or form alised settings. Practice in visualisation, a quiet confidence w hich falls just short of being arrogance, and the ability to free an established desire fro m the ties of the ego-com plex are requisite skills, all of w hich are developed through m ore form al sorcery practice. T he advanced sorcerer m ay only use a series of gestures, and rely on visualisation and m ake-believetocreate the spaceherequires fo r m agical action. A 'successful' sorcerer need not be surrounded byicons of m aterial w ealth, but all the sam e, tends to appear to


be "lucky", or seem ingly have a facility fo r being "in the right place at the right tim e." T he effective sorcerer pays attention to w hat happens in his life, noting the hidden patterns that run through the apparent chaos of everyday life, and acknow ledging the intrusion of fortuitous coincidence intohis life. W hile he m ay claim a high success rate, the chances are that he is selective about w hat he chooses toenchant fo r.


T he term evocation m eans 'to call forth' and it is used to describe all m agical techniques w hich serve tobring fo rth som e kind of entity into a defined space, such as a bottle or a crystal, or sim ply a visualised fo rm w hich has shape and character. T he practice of evocation has generally com e to be associated w ith the so-called 'dem ons' of G rim oires such as The K eys of Solom on, andhas, insom e quarters, acquired a dubious reputation. W hen you evoke a spirit, it is usually to get it toperform som e kind of 'task' fo r you. A gain, such pragm atismis seen as 'unspiritual' and therefore an act of 'lesser m agic'. In other quarters, evocation is sim ilarly frow ned on, as it is felt that m agicians shouldnot 'order' spirits about. N either argum ents are convincing, and evocation is a very useful m agical technique w hich, once thebasic elem ents have beengrasped, has num erous applications. AServitor is anentityconsciously createdor generated, using evocatory techniques, to perform a task or service. In the W estern E soteric T radition, suchentities are som etim es referred to as 'Thought-Form s', w hile in T ibetan m agic, fo r exam ple, they are know n as 'Tulpas'. Servitors canb e usefully deployed top erfo rm a w ide range of tasks or functions onyour behalf. T he follow ing gives a basic approach todesigning Servitors fo ra w ide range of tasks, and dem onstrates howy o u can utilise som e of the techniques presented earlier. In this sequence, Servitors are treated very m uch in cybernetic term s, as though they are som ekind o f program m able astral-m achine.



T he first step in designing a Servitor is to decide the general sphere of influence into w hich your intention falls, such as healing, protection, binding, harm ony, luck, divination, m ood enhancem ent, success in..., and so forth. D efining your general intent w ill assist you if you w ish to use sym bols and m agical correspondences in creating your Servitor. For exam ple, if you w ere interested increating a Servitor to act w ithin the sphere of H ealing, then you could assem ble any associations, sym bols, em otions, m em ories, etc. w hich you relate to the concept of H ealing. B yconsulting abook of m agical correspondences such as '777', you could build up chains of correspondences planetaryfigures, scents, colours, planetary hours etc. H owfar yougointhis direction is verym ucha m atter of personal choice. H ere, you are creating the core of the Servitor's purpose the Statem ent of Intent w hich is analogous tothe Servitor's aetheric D N A . Form ulating the Servitor's Statem ent of Intent m ay necessitate a good deal of self-analysis into your m otivations, desires, realistic projections of goals, etc. A s in all sorcery operations, it is appropriate to use techniques such as SW O T outlined inC hapter Five, or askadvice fro m your preferred fo rm of divination. T ocontinue the exam ple of aH ealing Servitor, an appropriate Statem ent of Intent m ight be "T o prom ote rapid recovery andhealth in...(nam e)..." O nce you have determ ined the appropriate Intent to fo rm the basis of your Servitor, the Statem ent can be rendered into a sigil, as explained in the previous chapter. This exam ple show s how the Statem ent of Intent w as turned into a sigil, w hich, during the 'Launch' of the Servitor, w ill becom e part of its fo rm . T here is aw ealth of m agical andm ythic sym bols w hich you can draw upon w hen creating a Servitor, w hich can be used to represent different qualities, abilities and attributes. A nd there is

1. D efine G eneral Intent

2. D efining Specific Intent

3. Sym bols A ppropriate T oT he Servitor's T ask

the sym bolismof colour, sm ell, sound and other senses to draw upon. T o refine the 'program 'w hich form s the basis fo r your Servitor, youcouldem bellishthe sigil byadding other sym bols.

T his illustration develops the H ealing Servitor. Its core sigil has been placed w ithin ahexagram , and the num ber 7has been added to it. H ere, the hexagramrepresents balance, health, life enhancem ent and Solar qualities, and form s the elem ental sym bols of Fire (representing healing fire, the burning up of fever) and W ater (representing expulsion of toxins through sw eat, calm ing influences). T he num ber 7 represents the idea of harm ony, and also represents the duration of the Servitor's operation. T he entire figure form s the 'instructions' fo r the Servitor w hich w ill be visualised as form ing apart of it, during its launchphase.

S ym b ols: T h eL an gu age O fT h eD eepM in d

T oget togrips w ithhowsym bols w ork, perhaps the best analogy is of the D eep (unconscious) M ind of beinglikean ocean w hich is dotted w ith "islands" each island being an individual self. This analogyem phasises howindividuals, events and im ages are

connected at a deep level, in contrast to the prevailing psychological m odels of m ind, w hich tend to em phasise the division of the psyche into subjective and objective, inner and outer, m ind and body. T o extend this analogy further, the island of selfhood from w hich arises our sense of being unique individuals; of "I-ness" canbe likenedtoaniceberg. M ost of the m ass of w hich, is below the surface that is, below selfaw areness. T his iceberg arises fro m the D eep M ind and is in continual interaction w ithit. B othiceberg andoceanare com plem entary expressions of consciousness. T he iceberg is a m ass of psychic structures w hich fo rm from the internalisation of experience into thoughts, feelings, m em ories, attitudes and beliefs. T here are those w hich w e regard as uniquely Personal, those structures w hich are form ed through the process of education and enculturation, w hich are Social, and those archetypal im ages w hich are of a M ythic nature. T he term em bedded is used torefer tothe m ass of psychic structures that fo rm the basis of our w orld-view , yet are belowthe surface of the D eep M ind. T his w orld viewis aproduct of our culture, but it alsohas inbuilt contradictions w hich depend fro m the M ythic w orld. For exam ple, w etend to believe that M agic is im possible or supernatural, yet the M yths that society tells itself, through books,film sand stories gives us, at least tem porarily, the "hope" that this is not the case. T he iceberg of individuality arises fro m them ediumof m indw hichw e all share. T he iceberg itself canbe seenas a com plex lattice, com posed of the interconnected psychic structures, fro mw hich arises the sense of personality, and our sense of unique "I-ness". T hese icebergs are not im m utable or static entities (though w e tend to regard ourselves as such). T hey are continually being shapedby experience. O nem ight evensaythat M agic, as a w ayof inducing change andtransform ation, w orks byheatingupthe iceberg fro m w ithin, so that the individual becom es m ore responsive and adaptive to the tides of consciousness that flo w around the psyche, rather than rem aining frozen andrigid! E xperiences that rem ain closetothe "surface" of w aking aw areness are organised using the faculty of language, the m ain resource by w hich w e com m unicate experiences toeachother, and order experience to ourselves. H ow ever, the deeper that an experience becom es

em bedded below the surface into the D eep M ind, the m ore likely it is tobecom e encodedas a sym bol. W e react far m ore quickly to sym bols than w e do to w ritten inform ation; very sim ple graphic sym bols can convey a great deal of inform ation that w ould take up m uch m ore space if w ritten out. R oad signs are agoodexam ple of the im m ediacy of sym bols im agine the chaos that w ould ensue if road signs w ere all com posed of w ords! Sym bols are defined as non-linguistic graphic figures, w hich represent a m ore abstract quality, idea, principle or concept. In term s of the iceberg analogy they are encapsulations of experiences, w hich "contain", bound intotheir structure, em otions, m em ories, and other associations. A ll of w hich canbe "freed" w henthe sym bol is focused upon. Sym bols play an im portant role in M agic, as they are the com m on "language" w hich is shared by both the W aking A w areness and the D eep M ind. M agical system s are bodies of technique and fram ew orks fo r ordering experience, w ith recourse to specific sets of sym bols, w hichgradually becom es em bedded inthe D eep M ind. M agical exercises, fo r exam ple, m editation onT arot card im ages, serve to"fix" sym bols inour m inds, andthe D eep M ind often clothes itself inthose sym bols tocom m unicate insights and inform ation tothe w aking m ind. S om em agical sym bols, suchas the pentagram and hexagram , fo r exam ple, appear in m any different cultures. It does appear that som e sym bols are "universal", in that the understanding of themis not lim ited to cultural barriers. T he pow er of sym bols is that they give access to strata of the D eep M ind w ith an im m ediacy and intensity that w ritten or spoken language cannot. T heybring intoaw areness vast am ounts of inform ation w hich m aybetooabstract or com plex to process sem antically. T hey can also be used to tap m em ories of experience that has very pow erful em otional associations, w hich are brought intoaw areness w henthe sym bol is focused on. A lthough sym bols areusually thought of as graphic designs, there are other "carriers" of inform ation w hich can be thought of as types of sym bol. T hese sym bols are m edia w hich have a very pow erful effect onus (although w e are not alw ays aw are of it) and carry associations w hicharebrought intoaw areness (or at least stirred) w henw eencounter them .S uchm edia have a veryim portant role in M agical practice, andexam ples are: Sound, S m ell and C olour.

G raphic Sym bols

T he designof G raphic sym bols inM agic is verym uchpart of the glam our andm ystery theoccult has fo rm anypeople books fu ll of w eird sym bols and figures w hich are purported to have all kinds of m ysterious, inherent pow ers, and geom etric figures chalked on the floor to sum m on D em ons. E xam ples of G raphic figures can be fo u n d in m any m agical textbooks, and fall into three categories: i) T hose w hichderive fro mm agical or religious system s ii) T hose constructed bythe m agician fo r aspecific purpose. iii) Figures w hicharise fro m the D eepM ind. T he first category includes the type of figures referred to above, exam ples of w hich include astrological and planetary sym bols, geom etric patterns such as the pentagram , and "secret" alphabets. It is generally held that personally designed (i.e., Sigils) or, as in the third case, "discovered" sym bols are m ore beneficial thanusing som eone else's sym bols, as the form er w ill have m ore personal associations and reflect the users psychocosm m ore accurately than anything fro m a book. If you are already assim ilating m agical sym bol system s how ever, there is no reason w hy you shouldn't incorporate them into Servitor design. A gain, this com es dow ntopersonal preference. H ere, you should consider the duration of the Servitor's operation. In other w ords, do you w ant the Servitor to be 'w orking' continuously, or only at specific periods? H ere, you m ay w ish to take into account phases of the m oon, astrological conjunctions or planetary hours, fo r exam ple, w hich could be added into the Servitor's sym bolic instructions. T he H ealing Servitor above fo r exam ple, w as instructed to be active fo ra period of seven days, affecting its target recipient fo r seven m inutes, at seven hour intervals. T his instruction serves to reinforce the num ber sym bolismand association w ith harm ony. It is also at this point that you should consider w hat happens after the Servitor has perform ed its task. G enerally, there are tw o form s of Servitor; those w hichare task-specific, andthose w hich have a general-purpose nature. For the m om ent though, I'll concentrate ontask-specific S ervitors. T hese are Servitors w hich

4. Is T here A T im eF actor T oC onsider?

are created fo r aspecific task, suchas the exam ple of the H ealing Servitor created to w ork on a particular person. It is generally heldtobepreferable that w henaServitor has com pleted its task, the Servitor shouldbedisassem bledbyits creator. T here are tw o approaches to doing this. Firstly, one can encode a "selfdestruct" instruction into the Servitor at the tim e of its creation, w here the duration of its existence is defined in term s of the duration of its task or the fulfillm ent of a specific condition. For exam ple, the H ealing Servitor could be defined so that it's sigilised Statem ent of Intent is: "T oprom ote rapid recovery and health in. ..(nam e)...w orking at 7/7/7intervals, the sumof w hich is the spell of your life." A nother approach is to perform a ritual 'reabsorption' of the Servitor, m entally draw ing it back fro m its task, taking it apart by visualization, taking back the original desire w hich sparked its creation, and taking apart or destroying any m aterial base w hich youhave created fo r it. W hile classical occult theory says that if you do not look after your thought-form s, they w ill w ander around the astral plane annoying people, there is good psychological sense fo r term inating the 'life' of Servitors w hich have com pleted their assigned task that you are reclaim ing responsibility fo r that desire-com plex w hich you used to create the Servitor. T he Servitor can be givena nam ew hichcanbe used, inaddition toits sigil, fo r creating, pow ering, or controlling it. Anam e also acts tofurther create aServitor's persona. Anam e can reflect the Servitor's task, or be fo rm ed fro m am antric sigil of its Statem ent of Intent. T he exam ple H ealing Servitor w as given the nam e T U M M Y H U M , arather w him sical reference toits function.

5. Is AN am eR equired?

6. Is AM aterial B aseR equired?

T he M aterial base is som e physical focus fo r the Servitor's existence. T his can help todefine the S ervitor as an individual entity, and can be used if you need torecall th e Servitor fo r any reason. E xam ples of a m aterial base include bottles, rings, crystals, sm all figurines as used infantasy role-playing or figures crafted fro mm odeling com pounds. B odily flu id s can be applied to the m aterial base to increase the perceived link betw een

creator and entity. T his is very m uch a m atter of personal taste. A lternatively, the Servitor can rem ain freely m obile as an aetheric entity. I tend to find that one-shot, task-specific Servitors canbe left as aetheric entities, w hile fo r entities w hich have m ore of along-termuse, a m aterial base is often helpful. For others, it m ight be possible to link their use to a specific, identifiable, state of consciousness, w hich fo rm s part of the core associations w hichone builds upfo r aServitor. It is alsopossibletolinkaS ervitor toa specific sm ell, suchas a perfum e or essential oil, sothat eachtim e theoil is applied, the Servitor is activated. T his can be particularly useful w hen creating Servitors for general H ealing, Protection, or enhancem ent of aparticular m ood. Adabof the perfum e can be put ontothe Servitor's m aterial base, andthe perfum e should be inhaledduringthe launchof theentity. Servitors can be created to have any desired shape, from tiny hom unculi tom orphic spheres capable of extruding any required appendage. T he shape youchoose toidentify w iththis particular thought-form canaddanother level of representational identity to the entity. Acom m on practice though, is tovisualise the Servitor as a featureless sphere, pulsingw ithenergy, glow ingw ith appropriately chosen colours, into w hich has been im pressed, its sigilised instructions. O nce you have designed a Servitor, the next step is to 'Launch' upon its appointed m ission. T here are m any different w ays of doingthis, andyoucanexperim ent w iththe techniques described earlier inthis book. T he follow ing sequence canbe experim ented w ithas an introductory exam pletoServitor W ork.

7 . Is ASpecific Shape R equired?


1 .B anishing 2. Statem ent of Intent 3. L ightning F lash E xercise 4. A irburst Servitor L aunch 5. B anishing R eprise

B egin facing east and stand, w ith your arm s byyour sides, head tilted slightly upw ards, breathing slow ly and deeply. C lear your m indof thoughts. 1 . Inhale, and reachupw ards w ithyour right hand, visualising apoint of lightjust beyondyour fingertips. 2. B ring your hand slow ly dow n the centreline of your body, topoint betw een your feet. E xhale, andvisualise abeamof w hite light passing dow n your body, fro m above your head to below your feet. 3. Inhale, and stretch out your arm s sothat they fo rm a Taucross. E xhale, andvisualise a beamof w hite light running across your body, fro m left toright. 4. Inhale, and fo ld your arm s across your chest. E xhale, and as you do so, visualise a blaze of light spreading across your body, expanding fro m the tw oaxis previously form ed. B reathe in and out deeply, feeling yourself tobe charged w ith energy. T his com pletes the first stage of the banishing and is generally know n as the C ross of L ight. 5. N ext, inhale, and trace a pentagramin the air before you, beginning at the apex, draw ing dow n to the low er left-hand point, then across to the right, across to the left, dow n to the low er right point, and back to the apex. E xhale, vibrating the letters I AO (E E E -A H -O H ), visualising the pentagramglow ing brightly w ithw hite light. 6. R epeat this fo r the S outh, W est, andN orthcardinal points. 7. T henraiseyour arm s anddeclare the litany: A bout m eflare five-pointed stars A bovem yhead the infinite stars E very M an andE very W om an is astar, B ehold, a circle of Stars. "

B anishing R itual

Statem ent O f Intent

N owthat youhavecentered yourself w ithin the ritual space, you can m ake the Statem ent of intent, fo r exam ple: "It is m yw ill to evoke aServitor for...(m ission)..."

T his exercise is used fo r 'energising' oneself. It com bines, breathing, visualisation, bodily aw areness and the build-up and subsequent discharge of tension. It is loosely based on the M iddle Pillar exerciseusedinW estern Q abalah. 1 . Stand, feet apart, arm s reaching upw ards, eyes closed, head tilted slightlyupw ards. 2. V isualize yourself as anoaktree, standing alone in a bleak and desolate landscape. It is night, and the stars are above you. B e aw are of your breathing, deep and slow ; that you stand firm , rooted inthe earth, yet reaching fo r the sky. 3. A round you, a stormbegins to build. L et your breathing quicken. Aw ind w hips up around you, beginning to shake your firm ness. E lectrical tension grow s, and you can feel a distant throbbing inthe earth. 4. L et these sensations build to a fever pitch; your breathing becom es faster and shallow er. L et yourself rock forw ards slightly on your feet, so that you are straining upw ards but feeling yourself shake w ith grow ingtension. 5. W hen you can stand this no m ore, there is a deafening crack, and a bolt of lightning shoots dow nw ards from the heavens. It strikes you, causing you to shudder violently. Y ou feel the trem endous energy of the lightning bolt course through you, passing dow n through your roots and intothe depths of the earth. 6. Fromthe deep earth there com es an answ ering trem or of force. Apulse of energy surges upw ards, flashing up your body and carrying your consciousness upw ards intothe sky until you becom e, fo r a brief m om ent, a star shining ininfinite space. 7. L et your arm s com e slow lydow ntothe sides of your body. B ring your feet together, and place thefirst tw o fingers of your right hand to your lips. Feel yourself to be calm , yet superchargedw ithenergy. T his is a sim ple exercise w hich can be used fo r launching Servitors and enchantm ents. It can easily be adapted fo r group use, and is based on the idea of 'R aising the Pow er-C one' in m odern W icca.

L ightning F lash E xercise

A irburst Servitor L aunching

1 .B egin, seated ina com fortable posture the D ragon A sana is ideal. B reathe slow lyandeasily. 2. Feel your body to be charged w ith energy, and let this energy coalesce intoa sphere of w hite light, inthe region of your solar plexus, as youbreathe inandout. 3. A s you breathe, visualise a cord of light extruding from your solar plexus, until it is at least tw ofeet infro n t of you. 4. A nd now the cord begins to grow upw ards, form ing a colum n of pulsing pow er, rising tow ards the ceiling (assum ing you are doing this indoors). W hen you feel confident in your visualization, let the colum n of energy becom e free-standing, so that it is no longer attached to you. T his sphere is the rawm ass fro mw hichyouw ill fo rm your Servitor. 5. N ow focus your aw areness at the top of the colum n. It begins tobulge as youconcentrate upon it, form ing an enlarging sphere w hich, as it grow s, draw s the rest of the colum n upw ards. 6. O nce the sphere is form ed, you can begin to 'program m e' the Servitor by form ing the sphere into a shape (if you have chosen one) or visualising the Servitor's instruction sym bols m erging into it. If you are using a nam e fo r the Servitor, this can be chanted as a m antra, w ith each utterance feeding pow er into the Servitor. It canalsobevisualised asflashingw ithanychosen colour sequence. W hen visualising the Servitor form ing, it can be useful som etim es to visualise the core sigil/sym bols w hich m ake up the Servitor's instruction code as a strand of D N A , w hich develops into cells, m usculature, or a nervous system . A lternatively, youcould visualise theServitor's fo rm buildingup fro m chains of sigils, inappropriate colours. 7. A s you dothis, let your breathing becom e faster and m ore intense. Feel that you are m oving tow ards som e kind of clim ax. B egin a m ental or vocal countdow n fro m1 0 to l...w ith each num ber, the feeling of tension intensifies, the Servitor begins to pulse as though it has a heartbeat your visualisations, chanting, etc. becom es m ore frenzied. A s you reach 1.. .take a deepbreath and shout "B L A STO FF!" visualise the Servitor shootingfo rth intospaceat high speed, andlet yourself collapse. 8. L et yourself relax fo r am om ent. If you feel it is necessary, repeat the B anishing ritual w hich you used at the beginning of therite.

T he exam ple given earlier is that of a task-specific Servitor; that is, one specifically created to perform a task relating to one particular individual. H ow ever, a Servitor could be created w hich had a general provenance of H ealing, w hich w as not targeted at one person. T here are a num ber of advantages to usingm ore generalised S ervitors. Firstly, theycanbe regarded as 'expert' system sw hich learn from being given a task to execute as if the m ore healing tasks you give a Servitor, the better it seem s tobecom e at healing. Secondly, continued use of the Servitor, w ith successful results, builds up"confidence" inits activity onthe part of those w house it. W ith a m ore generalised Servitor, anyone w hoknow s its activation sequence (such as a m antra, sigil, or visualisation sequence) canem ploy it tow ork at a giventask. O ne exam ple of this fo rm of Servitor is the entity IC A N D O O . IC A N D O O ("Ican-do") w as created at an open group w orkshop in Servitor creation. T he nam e of the Servitor w as also its m antra fo r sum m oning it, and its general brief w as toassist those w housed it fo r overcom ing any obstacles that crossed them . IC A N D O O w as created by a group of tw elve people, and all of themused the Servitor throughout the day, toassist themw ith problem s of one sort or another. In the design sequence, the Servitor w as given the ability to divide itself holographically, so that each segm ent contained thepow ers andabilities of the original entity. O na still further level of generalisation, youcancreate Servitors w ho have no specific function or provenance, saving that they serve to increase the success of one's ow nm agics. Such Servitors canbe usedinbothm ajor andm inor acts of m agic, and are particularly useful in acts of enchantm ent, divination, or illum ination. A nexam ple of sucha Servitor is G oH u, w hich w as given the appearance of a black, slightly concave, m irror. A ctivated by visualisation and m antra, G oH uw as used as a receptacle into w hich w ere projected sigilised desires and other enchantm ents. B y changing the angle of orientation to its surface, it could be visualised as though it w ere a bow l, out of w hich ideas and im ages floated, and I often m entally activated it prior tousingdivinatory system s.


It is generally held that eachusage of aServitor serves to 'feed' it, and that each result w hich is rated as a success, serves to enhance its pow er. It is also a good idea to get into the habit of attributing any occurrences w ithin the sphere of activity of that Servitor, to its w ork. T his can leadtoproblem s, though. In 1992 I created a Servitor called "E ureka." Its given sphere of activity w as that of Illum ination inspiration, newideas, the boosting of creativity and brainstorm ing in general. Initially, the Servitor exceeded all m y expectations of its perform ance. I used it to stim ulate new ideas fo rw riting, lecturing and facilitating sem inars andw orkshops. W ith a colleague, it becam e afocus fo r brainstorm ing acting as a T hird M ind arising from conversation. E ach tim ew em ade a creative leap, or an idea form ed becam e som ething w orkable in practice, the pow er of the Servitor w as boosted. In 1993, the activity of E ureka w as linked w ith the N eptune-U ranus conjunction w ith the result that, on A pril 22nd, as N eptune and U ranus began to retrograde, E ureka w ent "off-line." T he im m ediate result of this w as that I suddenly found it m uch harder to get into a flo w of creative thinking. It seem ed that E ureka hadbecom e sucha dom inant elem ent in the dynam ics of m yow n creative process that, once it w as rem oved, I found it m uch harder toget intotheappropriate fram e of m ind. I had becom e dependent upon the Servitor. E ventually, the Servitor w as recalled and disassem bled in such a w ay that a 'splinter' of its original pow er survived as a focus for illum ination. H aving beenm ade w iser by this experience, I only occasionally use this fragm ent of the original Servitor as a focus fo r creativity.


It is possible toinstruct Servitors toreplicate or reproduce them selves. A pproaches to this include instructing the Servitor to replicate itself as a fo rm of cell-division, follow ing cybernetic or viral param eters, or to create a Servitor w hich 'gives birth' according toparticular param eters, such as tim e-units, astrological transits, or w hen the target of the Servitor carries out a particular behavior. A n early test of this concept w as that of a Servitor despatched toassist inthe recovery of property w ithheld from its ow ner. O nce a set deadline h adbeenpassed, the Servitor

began to generate a field of 'confusion' lost keys, electrical blow outs andother m inor but annoyingproblem s. A fter a second deadline the Servitor replicated itself sothat the confusion field intensified. A s soon as the recipient of the Servitor returned the property, the Servitors ceased to function. E vidence of the Servitors' actions the intensification of m inor problem s into strange poltergeist-type phenom enon w as gathered by talking to associates of the target. V iral Servitors are particularly appropriate fo r long-termenchantm ents, such as increasing the probability of one's m agic being successful, or in healing and general protection w orkings. C hao-M ines are not, strictly speaking, Servitors, but are form ed using the sam e techniques. T hey can be considered as localised aetheric storage and transm ission units fo rC haos energy. T hey are generally visualised as spheroids w ith eight arrow s or antennae radiating from them ,w hich flash random ly w ith all possible colours. C hao-M ines are created to m anipulate probability in favour of fortuitous occurrences, bizarre synchronicities, andthe generally w eird andw onderful. T heyare usually created at places w hich are habitually used fo rm agical activity, or w hich generally have an association of 'good vibes' andpleasant happenings. T he use of Servitors w ithin a quasi-cybernetics paradigm w as originally only sem i-serious, as I w rote a brief "U ser's G uide" to w orking w ith Servitors, inthe styleof a C om puter M anual. O ver tim e how ever, approaching Servitors fro m the perspective of Inform ation T echnology did generate som e interesting ideas fo r developing their use. O ne of these ideas is the analogy already m ade betw een the sigilised S tatem ent of Intent w hich is the core of the Servitor its raison d'etre, if you like and com puter code the instructions w hich it carries out. T his analogy has been developed in tw ow ays. T hefirst w as to develop the code intosigil-circuits, anexam ple of w hich is given below .H ere are the Servitor's basic instructions:



(i) has been enhanced using the nine O thel (ii) the K am ea of M ars (iii) andthe rune T ir (iv). T he infinity sym bol (v) keeps the sequence looping. T hem ixing of sym bols fro m different system s does not seemtom ake anydifference you use the sym bols that you fin d appropriate, and obviously the option is there to create your ow nsigil-circuit elem ents. A nother developm ent, related to the above, w as to look at Servitor action (and later, enchantm ent in general) in term s of flow charts. C om puter programflow charts contain options such as "IF...TH EN ..." If x=1 , theny ="print screen" If ydoesn't equal 1 , then no action is taken. A Servitor can be given an IF...TH EN option. For exam ple, if a particular condition is fulfilled, then the Servitor becom es active. D eveloping this idea led to the creation of extrem ely detailed flow charts, w ith 'controller' Servitors com m anding subroutines and subprogram s form ed fro m Servitors given specific tasks w ithin an overall program .

basic considerations of howw e approach Sorcery operations in general. T he general approach to 'results m agic' is to locate one point inanunfolding situationand 'nudge' it (gently or not) until a result w hich is m ore or less in accordance w ith your stated desire m anifests. S om e operations m aybe fairly specific intheir scope, w hile others m ay be of a long-termnature, but generally speaking, it is of a "one-shot" nature. O nce you start to look at situations fro m the perspective of a programor flow chart, you have the possibility of taking into account a diverse num ber of elem ents w hichhave abearingonthat situation.

A nother approach to E vocation is w orking w ith Spirits w hich have a provenance over a particular situation or experience. Entities such as these are detailed in G rim oires such as The

Lesser K ey of Solom on the K ing, w hichare handbooks of spirits, giving details of spirits' typical form s, nam es, sigils, and howto conjurethem .T he spirits in books such as the L esser K ey have bizarre nam es, even m ore bizarre appearances, yet their pow ers are directly functional and useful. For exam ple, R A U Mappears as a blackbird, andcancreate love, reconcile enem ies, or destroy cities and reputations. T he standard approach to sum m oning these spirits is to use the tim e-honoured m agical ritual, w herein the entities are called forth into a triangle, and cerem onially bound to the m agician's w ill. H ow ever, there is also another possibility, w hich is sim ply that of sum m oning a Spirit w hen you find yourself in an appropriate situation. T he follow ing exam ple illustrates this process. A ll of us, at one tim e or another, su ffer fro m being stuck in traffic, from freew ay jam s to slow -m oving queues of people. W ouldn't it be nice to be able to w histle up the assistance of a spirit w hich enabled you to start m oving? Abig hand please folks fo r the spirit G O F L O W O L F O G , the spirit w hoeases traffic blockages so that you can continue your journey. G oflow olfog typically appears in the fo rm of a shades-w earing cat riding a skateboard. H e brings w ith him a w ind, and a noise w hich sounds like "N eeow w w ." H e is of a cool, stylish disposition. G oflow olfog can be sum m oned w hen you are in a situation w hich falls under his governance, such as being stuck in a very crow ded train(during aheat w ave) w hichinaccordance w iththe snafu principle, has stoppedand show s nosignof m oving again. Insuch asituation, listen out fo r the "N eeow w w " and w atch out fo rG oflow olfog as he zips past you onhis skateboard, leaving the ghost-sensation of a breeze. If nothing else, this act of sum m oning m ay take your m ind o ff sources of stress such as the desire tom urder the guyw ith theboom -box standingnext to youas you slow ly m elt inthe heat of the carriage. A s the spirit slides past you, attract his attention bytransform ing yourself (if only inw ardly) into a dude w ho is alm ost as cool and stylish as G oflow olfog him self, and visualise yourself for a m om ent standing w ith him on the skateboard as it flashes through the blockage. Then let go of the 'vision' and relax, allow ing the spirit toget o nw ithhisjob. If you shouldsum m onG oflow olfog toget the traffic around you m oving, and he perform s his task

(even if you only m ove a fe w yards), then you are beholden to o ffer himsom ething in return (it's only good m anners). W hile there are m any form s of appeasem ent to spirits, the tw om ost pleasing toG oflow olfog are firstly, toallowsom eone else space to m ove. T his could take the fo rm of stepping back to let som eonew hois ina hurry w alkpast you, or allow inganother car driver tom ove intoyour laneby leaving himaspace. Secondly, be kind tothe next cat you see. W here does G oflow olfog com e from ?H ew as identified andassem bled duringam agical sem inar in L ondon, on anevening w hen B ritain w as experiencing a heat w ave, and everyone w ho had attended the sem inar had experienced traffic problem s in getting there. T he design sequence w as as follow s: 1. G eneral Situation: T raffic. 2. F unction R elated to Situation: E asingtraffic stoppages. 3. N am ing the Spirit: Several suggestions w ere m ade fo r an appropriate nam e, and G OF L O Ww as chosen. T his nam ew as m ade suitably 'barbaric' by m irroring it, thus G O F L O W O L F O G . 4. Shape of the Spirit: Anum ber of possible shapes w ere suggested, suchas aw heel or set of traffic signals, but the im age of acat riding a skateboard w as both m em orable, and sim ilar to the bizarre incongruous shapes accorded to spirits in the G rim oires. 5. D isposition or C haracter of the Spirit: It w as decided that G oflow olfog could be nothing but cool, stylish and relaxed, speedy and graceful. It w as felt that he w ould respond kindly to anyone w hoattem pted totake onthese qualities ina situation as frustrating as beingstuckina traffic jam . T he soundassociated w iththe m ovem ent of the spirit canalso act as a m antra to help call him to you. H is sigil, a circle containing tw o opposite-running arrow s, can be used as a talism an, placed on cars, cycles or other m odes of transport to draw the favour of G oflow olfog or as a focus fo r evocation. U sing this process, you could easily create your ow nG rim oires of helpful spirits. It canbeinteresting (and fim !) todo this w ith a group of friends, sothat not only are the spirits 'assem bled' by m any people, they are also used in different w ays. T he m ore successful usages of the spirit that are reported, the m ore

'confidence' in the spirit w ill be raised. G iven tim e and w ide usage, it m ayevenhappenthat the im age of your spirit enters the general cultural m em e-pool. If you ever see a report in the N ational E nquirer or F ortean Tim es about sightings of cats riding skateboards, rem em ber G oflow olfog!

O ne of the consequences of this approach to w orking w ith Spirits is that it is easy toadopt the belief that 'spirits are everyw here.' T here is a com m on tendency fo rm agicians to fall intothe trap of thinking that the various spirits G ods, D em ons, A llies, Faeries can only be contacted in strictly m agical situations and not at other tim es, and that they are there solely fo r our convenience and have no existence other than in our ow n heads. So w hat other form s and circum stances m ight have spirits associated w ith them ?A gain, I have begun to viewsom e behaviors, attitudes, andbeliefs as S pirits in the senseof m em es ideas that take on an independent existence of those w ho carry them , and, in som e senses, behave like viruses propagating them selves through hum an hosts. I have, fo r exam ple, considered 'A ddiction' tobe a Spirit, andhave inone or tw ocases 'barred' the S pirit of heroin addictionfro m certain houses. A nother developm ent of this approach has been to look at T arot C ards as a structure fo r defining Spirits. I've often noted howtw opeople canow nthe sam edeckof T arot cards, yet each pack is subtly different from the other. W hen you get a new pack, it has a 'virgin' feel, andneeds tobebroken in. I've begun to look at w ell-used T arot Packs as a collection of Spirits that arise from the user interacting w ith the cards. If you can adopt thebelief that a T arot cardhas aspirit attached, tbenby extrapolation, it follow s that all copies o f that card in existence have

som e kind of spirit attached tothem , andthat youcall 'sum m on' these spirits usingyour card. A nother point: w e have been m agically conditioned into thinking of Spirits interm s of the fo u r classical elem ents Fire, W ater, E arth and A ir. B ut w hat of the 'new ' elem ents petrol, electricity, nuclear pow er? W hat Spirits arise from these processes, and can w e interact w ith them ?T hat is fo r you to decide. S o, all the cyberneticjargon I beganthis chapter w ithhas led back to the classical Pantheist m odel of Spirits. T hey are everyw here, andtheyare 'independent' of us. Y et theyarise, like the taste of sw eetness fro m anapple, fro m our experience of the w orld, consciously or unconsciously. W em ay, to som e extent, give themfo rm and force by deciding that they are there but often, once w e have done so, then they stay there. N ot so m uch in som em urky 'astral' realm , but as part of the vast field of inform ation throughw hichw em ove.


O ur sense of being an individual em erges from clusters of beliefs, attitudes, self-definitions, inner conversations, boundaries and projections of 'otherness'. W em ove each day through a highly com plex field of social relations, assum ing roles, w earing carefully-crafted m asks, and tacitly agreeing toplay by the rules of C onsensus, or P aram ount R eality. Param ount R eality is a realmthat has received very little attention, at least from a m agical perspective. It is the reality that w em ove aw ay from , andreluctantly return to, and is regarded by m any as 'm undane' or 'm aterial', as though it could not be a source of pow er or ecstasy. O ne of the strengths of C haos M agic is the em phasis placed on identity w ork w ithin the dim ensions of C onsensus R eality, dim ensions w hich, after all, resem ble the sim plicities/ com plexities of Fractals. S om eC haos M agic exercises em phasise being able to adopt different belief system s, to change attitudes not m erely intellectually, but also in term s of em otional feelings and physical action. A s in T antric practice, w e em brace that w hich w ehave rejected, and by sodoing, push backthe boundaries of w hat w e consider possible. T odothis successfully requires great determ ination, as entering adifferen t belief systemrequires that w eenter a new fieldof social relations, adopt newm asks, accept newself-labels, and the behaviors andem otions that accom pany them .P rolonged practice insuch social paradigmshifting brings hom e one veryclear point; that identity is fragile. T he sense of individual identity em erges from a com plex series of interw oven social interactions. W e internalise a series of self-labels andalliances, and fro m these arises our experience of selfhood. W em ay define ourselves in term s of w ork, status, race, nationality, or gender preference. O ften , one particular set

of social relations becom es the core of identity the label w hich w e fall backontodefine ourselves toothers as 'w hat w eare'. A s thepatterns of post-industrial society becom e increasingly fractal in their behavior, so identity com es increasingly fluid a position w hich im plies both possibilities of freedom and great alienation and fear. A s the fluctuations of social change becom e greater and greater, so there is an increased tendency to desire 'solid' connections w ith a historical past. V ide the obsessions w ith 'roots', 'getting back to nature' and the current vogue fo r cultural rom anticismand invocation of'Traditions'. A ll attem pts tofin d points of anchorage; tocreate islands of order w ithin w hat A ustinO sm an S pare called "the chaos of the norm al." W ithin the social m aelstrom ,m any seek stability w ithin subcultures, seeking to bolster up the sense of identity by m erging w ith a group w hich has a clear 'style' dress codes, beliefs, attitudes, em otivepatterns, behaviors. M oving w ithinthe lim ited expressions of a distinct social systemb u ffers us against chaos, andw e candrawstrength fro m the senseof being 'part' of a com m unity, w ith varying degrees of a sense of 'separation' from 'm ainstream ' society. M agicians often report a grow ing sense of 'alien-ness' fro m consensus reality, a core perception w hich can all too easily m anifest as ego-bound elitism or aloofness. H owm agicians deal w iththis experience of difference is thus, a source of great interest. T his is particularly im portant w ithin the C haos and T antric Paradigm s, w here the em phasis is on deconstructing identity rather than continually seeking to reinforce it through m aking stronger attachm ents to any one set of social relations, andthus lim iting oneself toa particular range of expression and m ovem ent. B yentering am agical universe, w e seektoim pose order onto chaos. W e enter M ythic T im e, or E ternal T im e a link w ith the past through sym bol, im age, and continuity. A n escape route, w hereby w e can gain a breathing space, a sense of order and continuity. T here w e canfin didentity, and root ourselves intoa structure. T he m agical revival is pow ered by tw o related undercurrents. Firstly, the search fo r a personal and collective past, and secondly, the needfo r escape routes fro m the perceived tyranny of Param ount R eality. T he desire to uncover and preserve the past is part of the im pulse to preserve the self. W ithout know ing w here w e have been, it is difficult to know

w here w e are going. T he concern fo r uncovering the past, through ruins, m useum s, etc., has grow n since the N ineteenth century. T he past is the foundation of personal and collective identity. It o ffers the sense of continuity, of E ternal T im e. B ut history is nolonger truth. T he past canbe re-w ritten, re-forged in a new im age to feed our dream s of G olden A ges, of N ational B oundaries, of A geless w isdom .H istory turns into com m odity. T he preoccupation w ith roots has grow nrapidly since the 1970s, ever m ore so because of w idespread insecurities in areas nom inally seenas stable labour, credit, technology, skills. M agical universes return to us the prom ise of a m eta-theory through w hich all things can be represented. T his runs contrary to the spirit of the age, w hich turns increasingly aw ay from global projections; w here a m eta-narrative is illusory. The sciences are suddenly uncertain; nolonger able tochart the void through m athem atics, theyfind sm aller and sm aller w orlds to discover. T he one-w orld dream of the E nlightenm ent is fragm enting, into w orlds colliding and w orlds apart; w e don m asks and enter the different reality-gam es, the social w orlds layered through each other through w hich w e pass each day. T he alien w orlds w e glim pse reflected fro m the eyes of others w homw e cannot touch; w ho's existence w e can only guess at, refracted through the m edia net of stereotypes and labels. Im ages flicker across our eyes and inour heads. B ecom ing a m agician, im plies continual change, m odification of identity, entering different paradigm s of belief and behavior, learning new skills, and shedding life-patterns w hich have outw orn their usefulness. T here is thus a shift from a core 'Ego' w hich is based on m aintainingdifferences the self-other divide, tothat of 'Exo', the self ina continual process of dynam ic engagem ent. T he logical progression of this process is to reach the point w here identity is continually being deconstructed w hen a m easure of fluidity of expression is attained and one is released fro m the necessity of having one's sense of self validated by others. T his, is w hat A ustin O sm an Spare referred to w hen he w rote of his doctrine of "Self-L ove." T his is nonarcissistic selfreflection of the glam ours of the ego, rather, it is the void at the core of anidentity w hich is freely able tom ove into any desired

S E L F -L O V E

set of social relations, w ithout becom ing trapped or identified entirely w ithin them .A s the core of the sense of self is 'Selflove', rather thanany label w hichencapsulates anyparticular set of behaviors, beliefs, andlife-patterns, oneattains astate of great freedom of m ovem ent and expression, w ithout the need fo r selfdefinition. S elf-love does not necessarily im ply alienation or w ithdraw al fro m consensus reality. M odern culture is saturated w ith 'escape routes' by w hich w e are encouraged to resist the routines of reality. D rugs, sex, fantasy scripts, com m unal living, separatist ideologies, therapies, m indscapes, and historical or U topian rom anticism all w ell-signposted escape routes that ultim ately, can be show ntobe dead-ends. T his is especially true of revolutionary escape routes political, lifestyles, or 'm agical' endeavours. T hey support, rather than threaten, param ount reality, w hile feeding us the illusion that w e are 'escaping'. M any of these escape routes require a change in social scripts and m asks, and actually do little m ore than create tem porary enclaves of activity w ithin consensus reality. A nd consensus reality inevitably recaptures these enclaves as seen w hen 'revolutions' inevitablybecom e fashions andtrends. M agic is the great 'escape route'. T hrough its structures w e can project ourselves into M ythic T im e, m ake place and space sacred project futures benign or otherw ise. W hile political structures say 'change the structure and identity w ill change accordingly', m agical realities em phasise 'change enough identity and the structure w ill follow '. T ransient individualists all, w edreamnewtow ers fro m the bedrockof param ount reality. T he difficulty com es w hen w e need to convince others to share and support the dream .T hus the paradox of the current A eon personal identity has been rendered fluid, ephem eral, and endlessly open tothe exercise of the w ill and im agination. T his can be liberating. It is also, of course, deeply unsettling and stressful. N ostalgia fo r com m on values becom es a cultural force, as m uch fo r the counter-culture as the establishm ent. A s our spatial andtem poral w orlds becom e increasingly com pressed, so w e respond w ith denial, cynicism or a blase attitude to it all, sensory screening, yearning fo r a lost past, andthe sim plification of representation. T hesearch fo r escaperoutes yields yet another m arket of com m odities drugs, sex, the occult, therapies,

m indgam es, politics. T here is noescape fro m the Society of the Spectacle. T ounderstand the C haoist approachtoidentity deconstruction w em ight lookat theexam ple of A leister C row ley, w hohas left a good deal of useful m aterial fo r exploring the boundaries of identity. C row ley's life can be understood as a continual battle betw een him self and consensus reality; a battle to create a personal enclave fo r him self beyond the lim its of conventional m orality. C row ley sought to escape fro m the Society of the Spectacle by becom ing him self a Spectacle. H e used his lovers, pupils and w ritings to create a free area in w hich he could express the m yriad facets of selves w hich he had uncovered by his m agical living. C row ley's approach to the problem of identity w as an extrem e one, and part of his drive tow ards the extrem ities of experience m ay have com e fro m his desire to create a newsociety. L ike m any visionaries, he sawhim self as the herald of anewphase of being fo r all hum anity. "M atter is m y playground. I m ake and break w ithout thought. Laugh andcom eU N TO m e. " E ris, the S tupid B ook M odern society has exhorted the notion of individualism alm ost toa pathological degree. W ithinthis urge tobe individual are the continual dem ands to fin d 'real', 'higher' or 'true' selves. B ut if "N othing is T rue" and "E verything is Perm itted" w em ay com e todiscover that behind the m asks and roles w e slipintoas w em ove through the social dynam ics of Param ount R eality, there is only a w hirling void. T he C haoist paradigmo ffers the freedom to be m any individuals, andtofin da sense of freedom , not through attem pts to resist param ount reality or to create a free area beyondit, but toem brace it joyfully. W hile the m ajority of m agical perspectives seek to transcend or reject Param ount R eality in favour 'higher' states of being, the C haoist Paradigm m akes Param ount R eality into a Playground fo r the phenom enizing of w ill and desire. B y experiencing Param ount R eality fro m the basis of S elf-L ove, w e begin the long and fascinating process of bringing toearth w hatever shards of the future attract our gaze. B y definition this is the activity of anelite group since few have the drive, stam ina, and determ ination to continually stripaw aylayers of identity infavour of freedom of m ovem ent.

T he Process of D econditioning is very strongly em phasised w ithin the C haos Paradigm .W hy? E ssentially, this is a process of S elf-A w areness finding out 'w ho' you are, interm s of your acquired beliefs, attitudes, andpatterns of behavior. A sw em ove through life, sodow ew eave aroundourselves a com plex w ebof beliefs, self-identifications and internal conversations out of w hich arises that sense of being anindividual w hich is generally called the E go. O ur sense of self is draw n from the 'solid' buildings of consensus reality the patterns of thought, em otion, and behavior w hich fo rm the basis of our interaction w ith the w orld, yet our senseof beinga unique individual com es fro m the little w ays in w hich w e resist total assim ilation into these structures. T he D econditioning Process is one w hich never ends, fo r evenas w eshake ourselves loose fro m lim itingbehaviors and beliefs, sotoo, w e tendtofo rm newones. It is relatively easytoreprogram'm agical beliefs'. T his is not to say, how ever, that all belief-shifting is sosim ple. Som e levels of our attitude/belief structure are rem arkably resilient to conscious change. Indeed, som e structures are able to 'resist' change by rem aining elusive and 'invisible' to conscious aw areness, andm ust be dragged, kicking, intothe painful light of self-revelation. If I m ay use the analogy of beliefs as buildings (the city of S elf), around the w alls of w hich how ls the w ind of change, then the continual process of D econditioning m ay be likened tochipping aw ay at the tow ers, w iththe occasional 'tacnuke' provided byrecourse toa pow erful fo rm of gnosis such as sexual ecstasy, pain overload, or A lbert H offm an's elixir. D econditioning is a continual process even as you discard one set of lim itations (in T antra, this is know n as K lesha-sm ashing), you m ay fin d that you acquire newones, usually unconsciously. O ften, belief-structures are 'nested' w ithin each other, and m ay have their roots in a pow erful form ative experience. T im othy L eary calls this process 'Im print Susceptibility', w here the im print form s a baseline response to experience, and establishes the param eters w ithinw hichanysubsequent learning takes place. Leary's 8-C ircuit m odel of M etaprogram m ing can be em ployed as anaidto deconditioning. B em indful that the D econditioning Process is not m erely an intellectual experience. It is relatively easy to 'intellectually


accept' som e experience or belief w hich you have previously rejectedor dism issed. It takes m oreresilience totake action fro m your new position, and risk the em otional upheaval that m ay result afterw ards. For exam ple, a young m ale m agician of m y acquaintance exam ined his ow n beliefs about his sexuality, and decided that he w ould focus upon his ow n distaste/fear of hom oeroticism .H efo u n d that he couldaccept 'intellectually' his repressed attractions to other m ales, and thus thought him self liberated. H e then w ent on to have several hom osexual encounters w hich he said, did not give him any physical pleasure, but m erely fed his 'belief that he had sexually liberated him self. T his kind of situation is all too easy to get caught up in. T here is a com m on internal conversation w hich runs onthe lines of "I amam agician, soI ought tobe abletodo anything w ithout feeling guilt, nausea, uncom fortable" etc. T his is m erely another ego-identification w hich w ill give rise to intrapsychic contradictions. H abit and belief restructuring only tends tobesuccessful w henthe desiretoovercom e alim itation is stronger thanthedesire tom aintain it. It is one thing to intellectually adopt different beliefs and attitudes, but quite another tolivetotally according tothem .O ur w eb of beliefs and attitudes quite often contradict each other at som e level, and w e don't tend to notice this until w e begin the slowandpainful process of self-exam ination, it's fairly easy, fo r exam ple, to shift fro m being a 'fanatical' C hristian to being a 'fanatical' m agician. A ll that has shifted is the surface beliefs, the deep pattern of reinforcing an identity by rejecting anything that does not fit w ith the self-im age rem ains. D econditioning necessitates that the 'core' patterns the threads around w hich w ew eave our self-im age, be unpicked and untangled, that w e understand how w e have conditioned ourselves into a set of patterns fo r dealing w ith day-to-day experience. Som e try and throw o ff all the shackles of conditioning at once, and declare them selves to be 'am oral' w hich is often a self-deception in itself. So too, there are those w ho claimto have conquered the E go another fiction, since w ithout a strong sense of personal identity, w e are pow erless to act, and m agic is very m uch about doing. O ne approach to D econditioning is toadopt new'm asks' to take on beliefs, attitudes, and identifications w hich are very

m uchoutside of your dom inant self-im age. C hangeyour political ideas, shift fro m introvert toextrovert behavior, shed established habits and addictions (a feat in itself!) and adopt new ones, m odify your range of sexual behavior, consciously adopt new gestures and body postures, or becom e passionate about things you w ould norm ally dism iss as 'trivial'. Inthe cultural m eltingpot of m odern society, it is possibletom ove through a m yriad of subcultures, eachw ithits ow nattitudes, beliefs, w ays of defining reality, and social codes. B ut be w arned, youcan't get out of bed one m orning and say, 'today I'm going to be a hedonistic, pleasure-seeking Satanist.' B elief-shifting takes tim e tim e, and the investm ent of em otional energy and determ ination. A lso, it's too easy to m erely belief-shift w ithin the safety of your ow n head you m ust w ear this new m ask continually w ithin that m ost difficult realm the w orld of social relations. Y ou m ay take it as a sign of success w hen other people are convinced by your newidentity, and accept you (or reject you) on that basis. O ne of the resultant insights fro m belief shifting in this w ay is that of em pathy being able to understand another person's w orld-view . It is also instructive to realise that your beliefs, w hen com pared to those w ho you once considered as diam etrically opposed to you, are equally nonsensical. C ynical, perhaps? W ell, I prefer to see this as a fo rm of liberation, if 'N othing Is True', then you m ight as w ell adopt newselves and beliefs w ithjoy, know ing that, w hile your w ear them , they are as 'true' as anythingelse. D econditioning is rarely sim ple. O ften people w ho have had anexperience of'Illum ination' report that all their old repressive structures have dropped aw ay. T ear dow n a building in the city of identities and it grow s back, som etim es w itha different shape. O ne of the effects of intense G nosis is the shattering of layers of belief structure, but it is generally fo u n d that unless follow -up w ork is done, the sense of shattered belief-structures is transitory. Y ou should also consider the effects this process is likely to have on others see L uke R hinehart's The D ice M an fo r an am using and instructive tale of one m an's approach to deconditioning. T he E go, a self-regulatory structure w hich m aintains the fiction of being a unique self, doesn't like the process of becom ing m ore adaptive to experience. O ne of the m ore subtle 'defenses' that it throw s upis the sneaking suspicion

(w hich can quickly becom e an obsession) that you are 'better' than everyone else. In som e circles, this is know n as 'M agusitis', and it is not unknow n fo r those afflicted to declare them selves to be M aguses, W itch Q ueens, avatars of G oddesses, or Spiritual M asters. If youcatchyourself referring toeveryone else as 'the herd', or 'hum an cattle', etc., then it's tim e to take another lookat w here you're going. M yself, I prefer the benefits of em pathy and the ability to get on w ith other people than the lim itations of being areclusive w ould-be R askalnikov dream ing of the serving slaves. W hile w em ight echothe w ords of H assan I Sabbah that "N othing is T rue, E verything is Perm itted", acting totally fro m this prem ise is likely tobringyou intoconflict w ith those individuals and authorities w hohaveprettyfixedview s on w hat isn't perm itted. Thus, despite the glam our, C haos M agicians are rarely com pletely am oral. O ne of the basic axiom s of m agical philosophy is that m orality grow s fro mw ithin, once you have begun to knowthe difference betw een w hat you have learned tobelieve, andw hat youw ill tobelieve.

H ere are som e prelim inary exercises in Self-E xam ination. A ll they require is the honesty not to flinch fro m those parts of ourselves w hich w efindunpalatable. W rite an account of yourself w ritten in the third person as though another person w ere w riting about you. D iscuss your relative strengths and w eaknesses, as though you w ere w riting a w ork reference fo r yourself. D ivide a sheet of paper into tw o halves. O n one side, list your 'strengths', and onthe other, your 'w eaknesses'. T o gofurther, you couldconsider 'L ife Successes' and 'L ife Failure', Fears and Fantasies. C ontinue, by listing 'things' w hich attract you, and that w hichrepels you. Find a blank book, and pour into it every instance in your life w hichyouhave fo u n d em otionally painful, feel 'guilty' about, or

1. T hird P erson

2. L ists

3. AB ook O fB lunders

em barrassing. T he idea is not totryand 'rise above' such events, or to w allow in self-pity, but to gain an honest catalogue of 'negative' events w hich lurk inyour personal past. A gain, try to com pile a list of those aspects of your self w hich you struggle, to varying degrees, to repress. Fears, fantasies, desires, 'm ad' thoughts, etc. A good deal of our self-im age is w oven from the 'internal' conversations w e have w ith ourselves. Stories w hich w e tell ourselves about w hat w e can, andcan't do, or could do, if only... Identifying these conversations and how w e uphold them , is another steptow ards self-aw areness. W hen you encounter som eone w ho provokes your tendency to label them as an exam ple of a stereotype hippy, red-neck, skinhead, fag etc., quickly fire 'alternative' suggestions to yourself about w hy that person m ight look as they do. See how m any alternative identifications you can com e up w ith fo r an individual. W atch other people in a roomtalking. H owm any 'stories' can you create around them ?A re the couple in the corner talking conspiracy, business, extra-m arital affair?

4. Suppressions

5. C onversations

6. D estroying T he Stereotype

7 . Storytelling

A sw em ove through life w etend todevelop habituated patterns of thought and behavior. O ne area of experience w here these patterns canbe dysfunctional is inrelationships. F or exam ple, if you have becom e used to an 'open' relationship w ith a partner, you m ightfin dapartner's desire that you becom em onogam ous a restriction upon your sense of freedom . It is com m on to take habituated patterns of adaptation and survival across relationships, often tothe detrim ent of newsituations. O bviously, identify in g these patterns is useful, particularly as w etendtohold onto themw ithout realisingthat theyare nolonger viable.

W e are bound by our ow n past, bound to repeat patterns; program sw ritten long ago. Flow charted in an infant's crabbed hand; m eshed like kitten-pulled w ool; a language of critical m om ents inour personal histories. Y ears later, a gapopens inthe w orld, and creatures of free w ill and freedom that w e think w e are, our sudden vulnerability surprises us. C aught o ff guard w e pause, and in that silence, ancient-innocent fingers deep w ithin us pluck at strings, sothat w ejerk aw kw ardly inthe gripof selfspaw nedm onsters of the m ind obsessions. T he m ore value that w e place on upholding a particular em otional pattern, the m ore likely it is that all am biguous signals w ill be perceived as supporting it. E vidence w hich counters it w ill m ost likely be overlooked or rationalised into a m ore m alleable form .C onflict arises w hendissonance occurs betw een desires and existing m ental constructs (have you ever feared the strength of your ow n desires?). T o cope w ith such conflicts, a variety of D efense M echanism s canbeadopted:


A ggression
Atypical response tofrustrated desire andloss of control; loss of devouring dream s. W e can direct it at the source of our frustration, or direct it ontoothers.

A pathy
L oss of control loss of face and self-w orth. T hem achine stops.

R egression
A dult, w ho m e? Areturn to achild-like m ien. C ry hard enough and som eone w il1com eandcom fort us. Perhaps w ehave learned that through tears, w ecancontrol others.

Sublim ation
In other w ords, putting a brave face on it. R e-directing the energy into a m ore acceptable form .B ut dem ons are cunning. K ick them dow n the front stairs and they w ill com e sneaking round of your the m ind back, ajar. w aiting w ith spider calm until you leave the door

D isplacing feelings w ith w ords. A quick lie fo r the aesthetic becom es a fast buck fo r the layanalyst. Such strategies are norm al; that is until they becom e obsessive: a locked-up loop autom atic as breathing. O ut of control.

Fantasy is the cornerstone of obsession, w here im agination is trussed up like a battery-farm ed chicken; catharsis eventually becom es catastrophic. W alter M itty lives in all of us, in varyingly-sized corners. W e use "starter" fantasies to w eave m eaning intoa newsituation, "m aintainer" fantasies topropupa boring task, and "stopper" fantasies to persuade ourselves that it's better not to... A fantasy has trem endous pow er, and in a period of high anxietyw ecan im agine athousand outcom es, goodandbad (but m ostly good) of w hat the dreaded/hoped fo rm om ent w ill bring u s. T he fantasy exists ina continual tensionbetw eenthe desire to fu lfill it, andthe desire tom aintain it tokeepfro m losing it. O f course, any m ove to realise it threatens its existence. Aclosed loop is the result, shored up by our favourite defense m echanism s, w hippedonbyfear of failure andlust of result. T he obsession clouds all reason, im pairs the ability to act, m akes anything secondary to it seemunim portant. It's a double-bind tug o'w ar. T he desire to m aintain the fantasy m ay be stronger thanthe desire tom ake it real. In classical occult term s I amdescribing a thought-form ,a m onster bred fro m the darker recesses of m ind, fed by psychic energy, clothed in im agination and nurtured by um bilical cords w hich tw ist through years of grow th. W e all have our personal T unnels of S et; set inour w ays through habit andpatterns piling on top of each other. T he thought-form rides us like a m onkey; its tail w rappedfirm lyabout the spine of a self lost to us years ago; an earlier version threshing blindly in a m om ent of fear, pain, or desire. T hus w eare form ed; and ina m om ent of loss w e feel the m onster's hot breath against our backs, its claw s digging into m uscle and flesh, w e dance tothe pull of strings that w ere

w ovenyears ago, andinalightning flash of insight, or better yet, the gentle adm onitions of a friend, w em ay see the lie; the program . It isfirst necessary to see that there is a program .T o say perhaps, this creature is m ine, but not w holly m e. W hat follow s then is that the prey becom es the hunter, pulling apart the obsession, nam ing its parts, searching fo r fragm ents of understanding in its entrails. Shrinking it, devouring it, peeling thelayers of onion-skin. This is in itself a m agic as pow erful as any sorcery. U nbinding the knots that w e have tied and tangled; sorting out the threads of experience and colour-coding the chains of chance. It m ay leave us freer, m ore able to act effectively and less likely to repeat old m istakes. T he thing has a C hinese puzzle-like nature. W e can perceive only the present, and it requires intense sifting through m em ory to see the scaffolding beneath. T hegripof obsessionuponus has three com ponents: C ognitive our thoughts and feelings in relation to the situation. T hese m ust be ruthlessly analysed and cut dow n by self-assessm ent, banishing, or som e sim ilar strategy. P hysiological anxiety responses of heart rate, m uscle tone and blood pressure. T he body m ust be stilled by relaxation and m editation. B ehavioral w hat w em ust do(or m ore often, not do). O ften our obsessive behavior is entirely inappropriate and potentially dam aging to others. U sually it takes other people to point this out. A nalytictechniques suchas I C hingor T arot m aybe useful. A sim ple, yet effective approach to E go M agic is to use a positive ego-identification to overcom e a negative egoidentification. For exam ple, I hate m athem atics. A s a teenager, I often cut school classes in m athem atics and w ould go to any lengths to avoid anything w hich involved algebra or logical form ulas. A ccording to a child psychologist I had developed a m athem atics 'block' w hich has, up until recently, rem ained prettyunshakable. T he "I knowI cannot do m athem atical things" self-statem ent is the negative ego-identification here. M y exam ple of a positive ego-identification is "I can get com puters to do w hat I w ant them to." Since m oving to m y present com pany, I have gained the reputation fo r being the person to


ask about com puter problem s, m ainly due to the fact that I read the m anuals, experim ent w iththe program s and like custom ising themw hen allow ed. T he tw o ego-identifications cam e together quite suddenly w henI w as askedtodevelop a series of databases to cover a series of tasks. T his w as no problem initially, but suddenly I fo u n d that I had to set up m athem atical form ula fo r calculating V alue A dded T ax or differing percentage discounts on products. H ere, the tw o ego-identifications cam e into direct conflict. I should point out that m y aw areness that this w as the casearose graduallythroughthe task, andinthe end, the stronger of the tw ow as the identification that I can m ake com puters do things, w hich has in turn, w eakened m y resistance to m athem atical things. T his is not som ucha conscious process of setting one identification against another, but m ore of becom ing aw are of w hat is happening during such a transaction. T he breaking of such conditioned 'barriers' can be observed w hen an individual assum es a sexual identity particularly if the identity has been associated w ith negative conditioning such as being hom osexual or a transvestite. T here is usually aconflict betw een one's ow nperceived 'nature', negative ego-conditioning, andthe desire to act upon the basis of self-identification. S o the selfstatem ent "A mI really one of those" becom es associated w ith bothdesire and self-loathing. O ne idea that is becom ing m ore popular, is the concept of the legion of Selves som ething that both N ewA gers and C haos M agicians find attractive. R ather than pursuing the dualistic fondness fo r higher and low er selves, egos and superegos, etc., there is the idea that w e are a m ultiplicity of identities out of w hich the sense of self-identity em erges. Asim ilar idea exists in som eT antric philosophies that Shiva (C onsciousness) is surrounded bya 'bag' of Shaktis, but that he's not fucking all of them at once. H ere, the approach is to identify the different selves, andgive themall, as your situation befits, aturn at being the onew hich is the 'seat' of identity. It can be helpful to define a num ber of distinct personalities w hich you can flip in and out of as theneedarises.


Y ouholdyourself as slightly distant andaloof fro m other people, sothat youcanobservethemcovertly, finding out their strengths and w eaknesses. Y ou are quiet and econom ical in your m ovem ents. E very w ord you speak is m easured and you are not given to verbosity by any m eans. Y ou rarely dem onstrate disapproval or, fo r that m atter, approval, and seemto accept other people's behavior as a m atter of course. O ne aspect of C haos M agic that seem s to upset som e people is the C haos M agician's (or C haoist, if you like) occasional fondness fo rw orking w ith im ages culled from non-historical sources, such as invoking H .P .L ovecraft's C thulhu M ythos beings, m apping the R ocky H orror S howonto the T ree of L ife, slam m ing through the astral void in an X -W ing fighter, and 'channeling' com m unications fro m gods that didn't exist five m inutes ago. S oyou m ight see w hy using this sort of thing as a basis fo r serious m agical w ork raises one or tw o eyebrow s in som e quarters. Isn't after all, the L ovecraft stuff fiction? W hat about linking in w ith 'inner planes contacts', 'traditions', etc. surely you can't do m agic w ith som ething that doesn't bear any relation to history or m ythology? In the past, such criticism s have been raised over the subject of m agicians w orking w ith 'fictional' entities. In this section, I hope to argue the case against these objections. T he first point to m ake is that m agic requires a belief system w ithin w hich w e can w ork. T he belief system is the sym bolic and linguistic construct through w hich the m agician learns to interpret her experiences and can range from anything betw een goodoldtraditional Q abalahtoall this N ewA ge "I-heard-it-offa-R ed-Indian-Sham an-honest" stuff that seem s so popular now adays. It doesn't m atter w hichbelief systemyou use, solong as it turns you on. R ead that again, it's im portant. E ventually m ost m agicians seem to develop their ow nm agical system s w hich w ork fine for thembut are abit m ind boggling fo r others to use. A ustin O sm an Spare's A lphabet of D esire is a good exam ple. Akey to m agical success is veracity of belief. If you w ant to try som ething out, and can com e up w ith a plausible explanation as to how /w hy it should w ork, then it m ost likely


w ill. Pseudoscience or Q abalistic gibber (or both) it m atters not so long as the rationale you devise b u ffers the strength of your belief in the idea w orking. I fin d that this happens a lot w hen I try to push the lim its of som em agical action I haven't tried before. O nce I com e up w ith a plausible explanation of howit could w ork intheory, then, of course, I amm uch m ore confident about doing and can often transm it this confidence to others. If I'm 110%certain that this ritual's going to 'bloody w ell w ork' then it's all the m ore likely that it w ill. Y oucanexperim ent w ith this using the technique of belief-shifting or m etaprogram m ing for exam ple, use the chakras. T he popular view of chakras is that w e have seven. O kay, so m editate on your chakras, ham m er the sym bolisminto your head and hey presto! you'll start having seven-C hakra experiences. N ow sw itch to using the five Sephiroth of Israel R egardie's M iddle Pillar (Q abalah) as the psychic centres inyour body, and sure enough, you'll get accordant results. G et the idea? A nybelief systemcan beusedas a basis fo rm agic, solongas youcan invest belief into it. L ooking back at m yearlier m agical experim ents, I guess that w hat used to be im portant fo rm ew as the strong belief that the systemI w as using w as ancient, based on traditional form ulae, etc. Abelief systemcan be seen as a m atrix of inform ation into w hich w e can pour em otional energy w e doas m uch w hen w e becom e soengrossed inw atching a play,film , or T Vprogram m e that, for a m om ent, it becom es real fo r us, and invokes appropriate em otions. M uch of w hat w e see onthe silver screen is pow erful m ythic im ages and situations, repackaged fo r m odern tastes, w hich is a cue tostart goingonabout Star Trek. M ore people are fam iliar w ith the universe of Star Trek than any of the m ystery religions. It's a safe bet that m ore people knoww ho M r. S pock is than knoww ho L ugh is. T he Star Trek universe has a high fantasy content, andseem ingly few points of contact w ith our 'everyday' w orlds of experience. Y et Star Trek is a m odern, m ythic reflection of our psychology. T he characters em body specific qualities Spock is logical, Sulu is often portrayed as a m artial figure, Scotty is a 'm aster builder', and K irk is anarbitrator. A sw e"get into" the Star Trek universe, w e find greater depth and subtlety. W efindthat the universe has its ow n rules w hich the characters are subject to, and is internally consistent. In each episode w em ayfin dthat w e are being given

insights into the Personal w orld of a key character. L ike our everyday w orlds, the universe of Star Trek has a boundary beyond w hich is the unknow n the future, unexplored space, the consequences of our actions w hatever w ild cards that w em ay be dealt. S ow ew atch andenter, as anobserver, the unfolding of aM ythic event. W e can increase this sense of participation through a role-playing gam e, w here group belief allow s us to generate, fo r a fe w hours at least, the sem blance of the Star Trek universe, in the com fort of our sitting room . It's relatively easy to generate the Star Trek w orld, due to the plethora of books, com ics, videos androle-playing supplem ents w hichare available to support that universe. O ne of m y colleagues had to sit fo ra com puter exam , and w as w racking his brains trying to think of an appropriate god-form to invoke to concentrate his m ind on program m ing. M ercury? H erm es? A nd then he hit on it the m ost pow erful m ythic figure that he knewthat could deal w ith com puters w as M r. Spock! S o he proceeded to learn all he could about Spock and w ent around saying "I never w ill understand hum ans" until he w as thoroughly Spock-ified. T he result he achieved in the exam ination w as higher than he otherw ise w ould have expected. A nd so, back to the C thulhu M ythos. L ovecraft him self believedthat fear, particularly fear of the unknow n, w as the strongest em otion attached to the G reat O ld O nes. I like to w ork w iththat M ythos occasionally because the G reat O ld O nes are 'outside' m ost hum an m ythologies, reflecting the shadow s of the G iants in N orse M yths, the preO lym pian T itans inG reek M yths, and other groups of universebuilders w hoare thought tobe toochaotic fo r the polite com pany of the gods of theordereduniverse. F or m e, too, the nature of the G reat O ld O nes as shadow y beings w ho can only be partially glim psed is attractive they can't beassim ilated andbound into any orthodox system s of m agic and I get m uchfu n fro mw orking out suitable approaches fo rw orking w ith them .T he G reat O ld O nes have a very 'prim al' nature, w hich fo rm e provides the em otional b u ffer fo rm agical exploration. H aving said all that, and perhaps left you thinking "uurgh, w eird person, he likes m essing round w ithtentacled slim ies," I m ight alsom ention that I've had som e interesting results from w orking w ith a M ythic systembased o il (blush) C .S .L ew is's 'N arnia' books.

T he interesting thing about m etaprogram m ing is that you can adopt abelief fo r a relatively short tim e, and then drop it again. W henpractising ritual m agic it's generally a good idea tobehave as if gods are real w hatever you think about their being archetypes or reflections of bits of yourself or w hatever. S oin a C thulhu M ythos ritual, nothing w ill help build the necessary tension than the adopted belief that if you get it w rong C thulhu w ill slim e you! O f course, outside the ritual you don't have to believe in C thulhu andthat evennowaslim ypawappears at m y w indow! N o!...ahem , sorry about that. R elated tothis is the idea that 'Suspension of D isbelief canalsobe useful. T odothis take a book w hich expounds an idea that you find totally crap (every m agician has their favourite 'crap' author) and try to see the w riter's m essage w ithout your inner voice hurling abuse at the page. O ne of the m ost difficult 'suspensions' fo r fledgling m agicians is overcom ing the nagging doubt that "all this stuff doesn't w ork." D espite hours of talk and reading vast tom es by C row ley et. al., that nagging disbelief can still be heard, and can only be dispelled by experience one act that show s you that M A G IC W O R K S is w orth a thousand argum ents. Intensity of belief is the key w hichallow sm agical system s tow ork, w hether they are related to historical traditions (w hich are, let's face it, often rew ritten anyw ay), esoteric traditions (w hich have evolved dow n the centuries as w ell) or based on fiction or T V . It's your ability tobe em otively m oved or touse themas vehicles fo r the expression of your w ill that counts. If it w orks fo r you doit.


Agood exam ple of practical m agic inaction involved afriend of m ine w ho w anted to increase her pow er of attraction fo r other w om en by w orking w ith aparticular G oddess. S he decided that K ali, the H indu G oddess of sex and death w as the m ythic figure w ho represented the qualities she w anted to boost in herself, so w ew orked out a Pathw orking w here she m erged w itha m odernday im age of K ali, and strode, chains rattling, into the w om en's disco, laser-beameyes sw eeping the crow d at the bar, w ho w ere naturally aw estruck by her poise and all-round pow er. O n one level, this is nom orethan w hat adolescents dow hen m odeling a culture hero im agining them selves to be that person, and thereby gaining a little of their pow er. A ll G ods and G oddesses arepersonifications of physical and m ental attributes w hich w e can engender in ourselves by a variety of techniques collectively know n as Invocation the process w here w e identify ourselves, fo r a tim e, w ith am ythic fig u re to such anextent that w e gain access to abilities and qualities associated w ith that entity. Invocation is one of the m ost w idely used of m agical techniques, and to get the best fro m it, requires som e ability in visualisation, use of voice, aw areness of the use of posture and gesture, kinesthetic m em ory, practice in the various routes into gnosis, relaxation, and self-aw areness. O f course, perform ing invocations is avery practical w ayof developingthese skills. T he benefits of boosting one's confidence and poise, by identifying w ith a larger-than-life (m ythic) figure, should be obvious from theopening anecdote. B yusinginvocatory techniques, you can givem ore prom inence to a shadow -self by bringing it into


full aw areness. Y ou can invoke anentity about w hich you know com paratively little, in order togain insights into its nature and character. A nother use of invocation is to 'boost' your capacity toperform other acts of m agic. A cts of sorcery, fo r exam ple, can be perform ed follow ing the invocation of an appropriate entity w hich allow s youtofeel charged w ithpow er and single-m inded to a supernorm al degree. Inform ation m ay be sought via the invocation of a deity w ho's province is oracles. Invocation is a further dem onstration of the operation of controlled feedback to alter theperception of your im m ediate reality. B asically, you are usinga com bination of techniques toreinforce thebelief that you are becom ing som eone or som ething 'other' thanyour dom inant self-perception. H owis this done? T hebest w aytoillustrate this process is by w ay of anexam ple. R a-H oor-K huit is an E gyptian deity w ho is an aspect of the haw k-headed god, H orus. H e is of som e significance w ithin the m agical paradigm of T helem a, w hichhas evolved out of the m agical w ork of A leister C row ley. A m ong other things, he is described as the god of "strength and silence." H e appears as a haw k, or as a haw k-headed m an. R aH oor K huit is generally associated w ithm artial prow ess. H e is a w arrior-god, but w e can gain a further insight into his nature by looking at the qualities of a haw k. A haw k is pow erful, aggressive and predatory, but in a very controlled sense. It hovers high above the land, until it spots its prey, w hereon it sw oops info r the kill. R a-H oor K huit alsohas solar associations, and a pow erful representation of himis the 'A eon' card in the C row ley-H arris T hoth deck. S o, w hen invoking R a-H oor-K huit, w e are identifying w ith these qualities; the pow er, confidence andpoise of the god, the perceptual acuity of the haw k, and also a sense of freedom and detachm ent fro m the object (target) of ourw ill. A first step in this direction m ight be to perform a Pathw orking, w hich enables us toattune ourselves tothe appropriate 'am biance' fo r invoking R a-H oor-K huit.

T his Pathw orking should beprefaced w ith arelaxation exercise. It should be done in a position w hich allow s you to be relaxed and attentive to the narrative. F or best results, read it onto a cassetterecorder. Y ouare beginningtorelax listen tom yvoice

and let yourself be carried along feel yourself drifting in darkness, and slow ly becom e aw are of a gentle rocking sensation... Y ou find yourself sitting upright in a boat the w ide, blue w aters of the N ile stretch before you. T he sky is bright blue above your head, andyoucan feel the w armrays of the noonday sun about you. Acool breeze w afts fro m the sails as the ship drifts dow nthe w inding river. Inthe prowof the boat stands the tall figure of a m anw iththe headof along-beaked bird it is the godT H O T H , your guide onthisjourney. A s you drift along, you can see people w alking along the palm -bordered banks of the river, and glim pse the tall colum ns of som e distant tem ple. A head of you, risingover the dunes, you can seethe apexof som em ightypyram id your destination. N owyour craft is gliding to rest by a w ooden jetty. T hoth gestures w ith his right hand, silently pointing you on your w ay. Y ou clam ber out of the boat and ahead, you see the path to the pyram id, a stone-paved avenue, guarded by a statue of the inscrutable sphinx. Y ou w alk slow ly tow ards the sphinx and pause briefly, reflecting on its fo u rm agical pow ers: toK now , to W ill, to D are, and to K eep Silent. F or a m om ent, it seem s that the sphinx's stonegaze is testing your resolve, andthenthe spell breaks and you continue on your w ay. Y ou w alk slow ly along the stone path, feeling the heat of the stones against your feet, until you reachthefo o t of thepyram id. T he entrance is above you, high inthe side of the pyram id; a dark yaw ning archw ay, at the top o f a staircase of m arble. Y ou ascend the steps, feeling the rays o f the sun against your back. Y ou reachthe archw ay, and you see that it is decorated w ith the im age of K hephra, the S carabB eetle w hocarries the sunthrough the darkness. The archw ay is veiled w ith a curtain of purple, flecked w ith silver. Y ou raise your hands to part it, and step through ontotheother side. Y ou are standing ina dark, cool passage, w hich slopes dow nw ards. A ll is silent and still, and your breath seem s to echo around thestone, sothat youtouchyour fingers toyour lips, as if to hush the air escaping. O nce m orefirmin your resolve, you begin to w alk dow n into the bow els of the ancient tom b. A lthough the passagew ay is dark, you begin to see the w ay ahead, illum inated by a strange, starry radiance w hich dim ly

glow s about you. Y ou can feel the w eight of the centuries pressing upon you as you w alk, so that your ow n sense of tim e passing is clouded it feels as though you have been w alking dow nthis passage fo rm illennia. A ndthen the starry glowreveals anarchw ay ahead. Apair of scales hangs above it the sym bol of judgem ent. Y ou pausefo r am om ent, m indful of the fate of those w ho are tried andfound w anting. G athering up your courage, you step inside the archw ay. Ablack feather falls at your feet, and you bend dow n to pick it up. A s you stand up, you see that you have entered a tem ple. T he tem ple has fo u r square, stone w alls. T he ceiling glow s w ith the radiance of the night sky, filled w ith stars. T he floor is com posed of alternating tiles of silver and gold. In the centre, close to w here you are standing, is an altar. It is shaped in the fo rm of a double cube, m ade of brass. U pon the altar is a sm all green cross and a single red rose. In the east quarter of the tem ple, there is asolidgreen throne. T he air inthe tem ple seem s charged w ith energy, yet it is calm ing and soothing. It fills you w ith feelings of pow er andjoy. Y ourest here aw hile, im m ersing yourself in the force of he w ho resides here, the haw k-headed lord, R a-H oor-K huit. Y ou look dow n and study the black feather inyour hand, and you silently repeat the nam eR A -H O O R -K H U IT .A s you repeat the nam e, the air about you seem s to shim m er, and you are surrounded by a golden radiance, speckled w ith stars of deepest black. Y ou feel that the radiance is spreadingthrough your body, and you can feel a tingling, as tiny m otes of gold shim m er all over your body. Y ou turn once m ore to the throne, and now , seated upon it, it a large, regal figure. H e has the body of a tall, pow erfully-built m an, but w ith the head of a haw k. Y ou are in the presence of R a-H oor-K huit, the lord of the A eon. H e notices you, and fixes you w ith his gaze. H is eyes seemtoburn intothe verycore of your being. H espeaks: I amthe H aw k-H eaded L ord of Silence and of Strength; m y nem yss shrouds the night-blue sky. I amthe L ord of the D ouble W and of Pow er; the w and of the force of C ophN ia but m yleft handis em pty, fo r I have crushed anuniverse; andnought rem ains.

T hefirebehind his eyes leaps higher, and you feel yourself trem ble, alm ost in fear. T he god rises and raises his arm s his hands stretch out tow ards you. E nergy flow s from his outstretched fingertips a constant streamof force directed into your heart. Y ourockbacko nyour heels as the energy floods into your being inflam ing your spirit w iththe divine essence of R aH oor-K huit. T he w orld seem s to spin around you you have fleeting visions of w hat youm ight accom plish w iththis pow er. T hen the flood is stilled, and once m ore R a-H oor-K huit is seated before you. Asingle star nowhangs abovethe altar, the sym bol of your aspiration. Y ou raise your fingers toyour lips in reverence, and feel your body glow ing w ith silent strength. Y ou can see now that each of the four w alls about you has an archw ay in its centre, andyou realise that you are standing at the crossroads of the U niverse. Y ou rest aw hile, preparing yourself to go once m ore into the w orld. Y ou are calm , yet you feel the energy w ithin as a leapingflam ew ithin your breast. Y ou hold up the black feather and o ffer a silent prayer of thanks to R a-H oorK huit. Y ou feel yourself draw n intothe golden radiance andyou are transported across tim e and space. T here is a m om ent of blackness, and then, in your ow n tim e, you can open your eyes andstretchyour lim bs. Y ouhave returned. Perform ing this Pathw orking w ill allowyou to 'get the feel' of the qualities and feelings associated w ith R a-H oor-K huit. H aving experienced his pow er in this w ay, the next step is to drawit intoyourself. D eterm ine your intent and state it clearly. A n appropriate Statem ent of Intent fo rR a-H oor-K huit m ight be: "It is m yW ill to invoke R a-H oor-K huit, fo rm agical pow er and the vision to see m ynext steponthepath."

T his is a sim ple technique fo r identifying yourself w ith achosen deity. S tand up, and find a posture w hich fo r you represents relaxedpreparation fo r action. V isualise R a-H oor-K huit standing behind you. B reathe deeply and slow ly, andw ith eachbreath let the sensations, m em ories and feelings you experienced in the P athw orking w ell up. F eel his terrible gazeupon your back. F eel the pow er of his presence behind you. W hen you can stand this

pressure no longer, im agine R a-H oor-K huit stepping forw ards, as he did in the Pathw orking, but into your body. Y ou stretch your arm s out infro n t of you, andfeel the pow er and fo rce of the god flooding into you. L et your body outline becom e his, and feel his pow er as yours, so that you feel supercharged w ith energy, yet calmand distant. R epeat the speech that R a-H oorK huit gaveinthe P athw orking. In respect of your statem ent of intent, you should first feel charged w ith confidence and pow er, and then, w hile experiencing this state of aw areness, you can exam ine your m agical w ork, and m ake a firm decision as tow hat you w ill do next. T o 'earth' yourself follow ing the invocation, you could give a short prayer of thanks to R a-H oor-K huit, and perform a short visualisation w hich separates yourself fro m the god. A n exam ple of this is to visualise the god transform ing into a haw k, andflying intothe sun. A s you dothis, the sensations you feel change toa sense of peaceful calm , and a sense of accom plishm ent that you achieved your purpose. T he departed god is carrying the seed of your w ill intothe future, andyoum aynowbanishandgo forth. Invocation and acting have a lot incom m on. Indeed it is som etim es appropriate tothink of ritual invocation as a perform ance aim ed at the entity you are attem pting to invoke. If youput ona good perform ance you w ill be rew arded. B lowyour lines and you w on't be asked to com e back fo r a second season. I often find it useful to w atch actors or com edians on television, particularly to look at their posture, use of gesture, and voice. T hese three abilities are pow erful w ays of com m unicating nuances of m ood and expression, and play a key role in the theatre of m agic. It's not so m uch, w hat you say, but how you say it; in other w ords, the Structure of the invocation. C lassical m agical invocations have three parts to them .F irst the deeds and history of the entity are spoken of in the third person. T hen the qualities of the entity are spoken of in the second person. A nd finally, the pow ers of the entity are given, in the first person, so that you graduallyidentify yourself w iththeentity. A nexam ple m ight be:



1 ) "W olf, w ho ate R ed R iding H ood's grandm other, I invoke you." 2) "Y ou w ho have the big eyes, the hairy pelt, the terrible teeth, I invoke you." 3) "I amthe big bad w olf, ravenous and hungry, keen-eyed andcunning." G et the idea? Further, to m ake effective use of the voice, you need to be aw are of tw oaspects of voicetechnique: R hythmand D elivery. R hythm s carry our consciousness along, fro m heartbeats, to cycles of breathing, sleeping, night-day and the passage of seasons, rhythm s prom ote associated body m ovem ents and adjustm ents, and act as a signal to begin m ovem ent w ithout conscious effo rt, sothat less energy is expended w henyoubegin; fo r exam ple, it has been show n that soldiers can m arch further, w ith less fatigue, w hen accom panied by a m arching band. T he feeling of being "carried" com es fro m the structure that rhythm gives to our tim e-sense, and the pattern gives a sense of continuance. It becom es a m otor attitude, and one's attention is freed (if this is desired). R hythm s are everyw here around us, and chants and songs reflect this fact and bring us tow ards an enhanced senseof participation inthe w orld. D uring invocation, the w ay in w hich w e deliver speech is different fro m our usual habits of talking inthat there m aybe an enhanced deliberateness in our enunciations, or greater care taken inprojectingthe subtle nuances o f em otion aw e, ecstasy, gentleness or m artial prow ess. W hether our w ords w ell up, unbidden, fro m the D eep M ind, or have been carefully linked together inprolonged brainstorm ing sessions, it is highly likely that w ew ill try andfin da certain distinct rhythmaround w hich tofram e our w ords. The D eep M ind often speaks to us in verse. C ross-cultural studies of the vocal patterns of people inthe throes of possession showa striking sim ilarity: a rising and falling intonation at the end of eachphrase, each phrase punctuated by a pause or groan. T his pattern em erges regardless of native language and cultural background. T he E nglish version of this rhythm is know n as Iam bic Pentam eter. Y ou can hear it in the frenzied oratorical deliveries of evangelical preachers and in the apparently m eaningless gush of w ords fro m thosew hohave beenseized by

the 'H oly Spirit'. It w ells forth from the D eep M ind as unconscious or deity-inspired poetryand com m unications. A s the D eep M ind calls to us w ith a particular rhythmand m eter, so do w e attem pt to call into the depths of our being by rhythm ically pulsing our speech. Sound, like light, sets up rhythm s in our brains, as experim ents w ith electro-encephalographs (E E G s) have show n. T hese internal rhythm s reflect the sounds w hichpropel us intovaryingdegrees of trance, w hether it is the gentle, w atery lapping of the M oon or the thundering frenzy of Pan. If w e are caught o ff guard, and susceptible, their effect can be devastating. W hen designing invocations, rhythm and delivery should be considered. If you design a verbal invocation fo rR a-H oor-K huit, you w ould consider how you w ant the qualities and pow er of the god to be reflected in your voice. Astrong, m artial rhythmm ight be appropriate, perhaps repetitive, calmand confident, w ith a sense of gathering pow er. H owdo you think the god w ould speak? It's a safe bet that he w ouldn't m um ble, stam m er or say"er..." betw een sentences. S om e beautiful invocations appear inm agical textbooks but the best kind of invocation is the one that w orks fo r you. W ords spoken confidently, fro m the heart, w ill be m ore effective than half-rem em bered lines fro m abook. A lthough you can get good results reading invocations, unless you have a lectern to put the book on, it is difficult to w ave your hands around, w hich can negatetheuseof gesture to reinforce w hat youare saying. G estures and postures reinforce other elem ents of invocation. Akey elem ent of invocatory practice is learning to associate postures and gestures w ith appropriate em otions and sensations. T heuseof postural shifts is fairly easytograsp.

F ind aposture w hich, fo r you, reflects a sense of calmreadiness fo r action. Y ou should be relaxed, attentive to w hat is around you, and prepared (but not tensed ) fo rw hatever is going to happen next. Y ou should be able tofin dboth a standing and a sittingposture. L ying dow n is not recom m ended though, as it is difficult tospring intoaction fro m a proneposition. T his posture represents youat yourA xis M undi, them ind at rest. Finding this posture is useful as it is the posture w hich you can m ove in and out of to dem arcate betw een different m agical

acts. For exam ple, in the A ssum ption of G od-Form s described above, you w ould m ove out of this posture and take on the posture of the entity you are invoking upon yourself, and back intoit, w henyouhave finished. H owm ight your body posture change w hen you invoke an entity into yourself? M ost entities have characteristic postures. H ow ever, if you don't its a characteristic posture, youcandecide on one in advance. A s you experience a change in perception, your body posture w ill change inw ays of w hichyou m aynot (at first) be w holly aw are. A n enhanced feeling of confidence and poise tends todrawyour shoulders back andyour head up. Y our chest cavity w ill expand as youbreathe deeply and slow ly; your lim bs w ill be further aw ay fro m the centerline of your body. Standing w ithyour feet apart andyour arm s spread upw ards and outw ards, fo r exam ple, is the classical posture fo r invocation you are extendingyour body space toits lim its, m aking yourself vulnerable. C onversely, standing w ith your arm s folded across your chest, and your head bent slightly dow nw ards is the classical posture fo r 'closing' after w orks of m agic, as you close yourself o ff toexternal influences.

G estures are a key elem ent in non-verbal com m unication, w ith a w ide range of uses fro mm aking a sim ple, yet em phatic, gesture at the m otorist w ho overtakes you, to the elaborate signing languages used by those w ith im paired speech. T he gesture w hich is used m ost in m odern m agic is that of jabbing one's dom inant hand sharply outw ards from the shoulder, representing the m agical w ill projectingfo rth intothe future. E xperim ent w ithusing gestures until you fin d ones w hich fo r you, eloquently com m unicate relaxation, draw ing inw ards, projecting forth pow er, and so on. For exam ple, cupping one's hands can signify the gathering of pow er. Focus aw areness into your hands and feel a faint tingling sensation, and a slight resistance w hen youtry and bring themtogether. Im agine a ball of energy form ing in this space, and im agine a sigil form ing in its' m idst. T ake adeepbreath, clapyour hands loudly and m ake a gesture of flinging outw ards. Avery sim ple w ay of casting an enchantm ent. Find others, and create your ow n battery of gestures. In m odern W estern culture, m asks are reduced to objects of art, to be hung on w alls or displayed in m useum s. A t best they are usedas disguises. In surviving sham anic cultures how ever, m asks are considered to be extrem ely pow erful m agical w eapons. Som e A frican tribes, fo r exam ple, keep their m asks locked aw ay, to protect people from the pow er of the m asks gaze. Som e Polynesian m asks are carvedw iththeir eyes looking dow nw ards, sotheycannot stare directly at onlookers. Am ask hung on a w all m ay be beautiful to look at, but has very little vitality until its "personality" has beenactivated. B oth tribal sham ans and m odern dram a teachers im press on their students that m asks have their ow npersonalities. W hena m askis donned, thepersonality of the w earer is overshadow ed bythat of the m ask, and once the w earer becom es used to this idea, a trance statem ayensue w herethe "spirit" of them asktakes over. A sam agical object, the purpose of the m ask is to drive out the individual's personality, and allow a "spirit" to take over. B oth overshadow ing and fu ll possession m ay be experienced in w orking w ith m asks. It's not so m uch that you w ear the m ask,


but that the m ask w ears your body. It is the m ask that is responsible fo rw hat happens, rather thanthe w earer. M ask teacher K eith Johnstone em phasises that m asks do not, at first, have access to their bodies skills, nor can they talk newm asks m ust be given "speech lessons". Am ask acquires a repertoire of gestures, props and postures as it develops its personality. L ike any other grow ing person, m asks can be playful, aggressive or obscene, often behaving in w ays that are very m uch "out of character" fo r the m ask's user. T his can becom e a pow erful w ay of "m eeting your ow n dem ons", and realising that not all the behavior w eare capable of is inkeeping w iththew ayw elike tothinkof ourselves. M asks can lead rituals, representing an invoked spirit or "leader" of "the sabbat". G roups of m asks candeveloptheir ow n m yths, andperform rituals fo r anunm asked audience. M asks can also be used as "guardians" at a ritual site or tem ple, and if placed on stands turned inw ards tow ards the ritual, they can seemtobe "participating". It is com m on fo r "guardian" m asks to "call out" toritual participants that theyw ant to"join in".

T here are tw o basic types of M asks: Full-Face and H alf-Face M asks. Full-face m asks do not have a m outh, and so cannot speak, relying on physical language to com m unicate. O n the other hand, once H alf-face m asks learn to speak, they hardly ever stoptalking!

M ask-w ork cannot be done "cold". It should alw ays be directed by a leader w ho acts both as an anchor, should people fear that the experience is becom ingtoom uchfo r them , and w ho canlet participants feel com fortable enoughto"let go" and allow the m asktotake over. T he follow ing exercises can be used as preludes to m askw ork:

A nim als
T his is a gam ew here group m em bers take on anim al roles and act themout, w ith appropriate noises and gestures. It tends to give rise to very stereotyped behavior, such as m ock fighting or groom ing, but occasionally people do get very "caught-up" in their anim al roles, and as such, can be used as a prelude to exploring shape-shifting.

F aces
A sw e grow up, w e tend to adopt characteristic facial expressions they helpestablishthe sense of personality. T hese "faces" becom e etched into our m uscle patterns so that they effectively act as "m asks" them selves of fear, pride, anger or resignation. "Faces" begins by all participating m aking a w ordless, em otional noise, then m aking and holding the face that is

appropriate to this noise. T he group then m ills about fo r afew m inutes, before stopping and exchanging feedback about how people fo u n d the exercise. O neof the very observable effects of invocation is that often, a person w ho is invoking uponhim self, or alternatively, havinganother person invoke anentity into him , w ill be seentoundergo m arked facial changes. T his canbe taken as apositive indicator that thesubject is becom ing, m om entarily, som eone 'other' thanhis everyday persona. Face-painting canbe auseful preparation tow orking w ithm asks. Som e quite startling effects can be created w ith practice and even subtlyappliedpaint canhave a dram atic effect inenhancing an invocation. T heapplication of face m ake-up has been in itself a ritualised act from the m ost ancient tim es as a w ay of invoking and projecting an im age that one w ishes to identify w ith. It canbe extended tobody-painting, fo r exam ple, and used to enhance the anim als exercise m entioned earlier. The possibilities are lim itless, once you start to explore the different m edia. It can be surprising howeffective usinga sim ple prop can be as an aid to playing other roles and projecting different im ages of yourself. A nexercise used inaM ask E xploration group w as fo r one person togive everyone else in thegroup a single prop, and ask them to use it in such a w ay as to suggest a particular character or stereotype. T his w as both am using and instructive. For exam ple, a faded poncho gave rise to C lint E astw ood, com plete w ith slow , purposeful w alk an d gunfighter's poise. A pair of m irror-shades threwupa M r. C ool character as you m ight see inany A m erican cop-show . Ashabbyovercoat brought out a w heezing tram p. T hese characters w ere displayed through participants altering their bodily posture, m ovem ents, voice and m anner. It is quite easy to m ake yourself into other characters this w ay, and the skill o f doing so can be put to good use in m agic. N ot only is it a useful exercise in overcom ing habitual patterns, but it allow s one to be m ore flexible in assum ing d ifferen t personalities inbothgroup andsoloevents.

F ace-P ainting

P rops

Inm ask-w ork, rather thantryingtothinkyourself intothe role of the m ask, as m ight besuggested byits appearance, atrick is to stop thinking, and let the m ask do the w ork. T he m asks personality m ay arise from the D eep M ind, w hile the w aking aw areness is distracted. T his canbe done byhum m ing loudly to blockthoughts w hiledonningthem ask.

M ask-w ork needs tobeapproached carefully if it is tobe done at all. It is a pow erful aspect of dram atic experience and should be respected as such. S om e fo rm of B anishing ritual canbe a useful m ethod of bringinggroup sessions toaclose. M ost of the foregoing has been w ritten fro m the stance of group w orkings, but m asks can also be used in solo m editation and ritual. U sually, the degree of m ask-trance is not as intense as the group-generated effect, but nonetheless it can still be a pow erful experience. T hem ost obvious useof m asks in solow ork is as an aidtoinvocation m ade toa particular entity or force. T he use of a full-face m ask fo r exam ple, tends to affect the w ay one m oves the head has to tilt slightly upw ards to balance the added w eight, and it draw s ones attention aw ay fro m the rest of the body. A lso, the ritualised donning of the m ask as part of the event can heighten aw areness of the sacred nature of the experience. T he m ask becom es a sacred object, recalling the feelings, im ages and sym bols associated w ith a particular ritual or event. Invocation, like other techniques of m agic, w orks through building up chains of association. T he use of incense, oils and perfum es, food and drink, colours and clothing are also w orthy of consideration. Sm ell is probably the least understood and m ost undervalued of our senses. W e rely so m uch on sight and hearing that sm ell affects us alm ost sublim inally. T his is in contrast to m ost other anim al species. M any anim als receive m uch m ore inform ation about their environm ent viasm ell than sight or sound. T he pow er of sm ell is that it evokes associations m em ories, hunger, sexual



arousal and fear, canall be brought intoconscious aw areness by a particular sm ell, ina w aythat is bothim m ediate andintense. H encetheuse of incense inbuilding aritual atm osphere. O ver the last decade or so, the investigation of the properties of sm ell has increased. A rom atherapy is becom ing increasingly popular, and m ost hospitals now have 'com a kits' w hich contain very strong synthetic sm ells w hich are usedto stim ulate patients w ho are indeepcom a follow ing atraum a. O ne of the difficulties w ith sm ells is that, unless youare usedtow orking w iththem , they are difficult to describe. It is m uch easier to recall a sight than a sm ell, andw hentryingtodescribe asm ell fro mm em ory, w e rely heavily on sym bolic associations. T his m ay be due to the fact that, inhum ans, only asm all region of the T halam us (the area of the brain dealing w ith sensory inform ation) is concerned w ith sm ell. W om en are m ore sensitive tocertain sm ells than m en; fo r exam ple the m enstrual cycles of w om en w ho live together often becom e synchronised. T his appears to be facilitated by the secretion of pherom ones (external chem ical m essengers). T he offering of incense and fragrant perfum es todeities is one of the m ost ancient form s of w orship and invocation. T he question of w hat is the m ost appropriate fo rm of incense or perfum e fo ra deity is very m uch a m atter of personal choice, and there are basically three approaches tochoosing scents. Firstly, there is the w ay of historical authenticity. Secondly there is the path of m agical correspondences, w hereby som e 'authority' has already decidedw hat sm ell corresponds tow hichgod, planet, colour, etc. T hirdly, there is the T ao of choosing w hatever scent you decide is m ost appropriate. Som e scents do have distinct physiological side-effects, such as clearing the nasal passages or raising skin tem perature. O thers m ay be artificial, but no less evocative there is nothing like the sm ell of a dentist's w aiting room to arouse apprehension andtension fo r som e people, and if youcan use such a com bination tohelp build anappropriate am biance, thenbyall m eans use it. Food and drink are often used as sacram ents, allow ing participants to absorb the divine essence of the invoked entity, andw hat kinds of fo o d anddrink are usedcan depend very m uch on the overall am biance of the ritual. M ead, for exam ple, is the


chosen quaff of the N orthern (G erm anic) T radition, w hile som e of the L oa of V oudoun are partial to a tot of rum . In D ionysian ritual, the very act of drinking m ay itself beconsidered an act of invocation, w here the spirit of D ionysus w ould m ake him self present in the first celebrant to reach an appropriate state of consciousness. E ating and drinking are them selves sacred acts. O fferings of food m ade to the gods during ritual is often consum ed as part of the general grounding fro m the w orking. M oving from 'serious' m agical w ork to feasting and revels is a tim e-honoured w ayof closingacerem ony. Arobe (usually hooded) is considered the basic uniform of the w orking m agician. T herobe serves toconceal one's body outline and provide a further level of reinforcem ent that one is doing som ething 'different' toacts perform ed w ithnorm al clothes. For m ost m agicians, it seem s to be the case that one either w orks robed, or naked (skyclad). W orking naked has its ow n effects especially in groups, w here new com ers m ay w ell experience hang-ups about their ow n body-im age, or harbour the suspicion (usually unfounded) that a group w ho w orks naked is going to end up in bed together. W orking naked also leads to perceptual changes the area of skin exposed m akes the body surface a m ore effective sensory organ, andthe fact of beingnaked usually ensures that one is m ore alert topossible dangers. In addition to these basic approaches to clothing, you can also consider 'dressing up' for invocatory ritual. W hile m ost m agicians tend to m ake do w ith visualising them selves w earing the appropriate garbfo r invoking a particular deity, youcanhave a lot of fun and achieve som e stunning effects by using costum es, m asks, face paints, etc., the preparation of w hich can beas rew arding as the ritual itself. T he use of m usical instrum ents as anaid to invocation, or even as the m ain form of invocation, again has an ancient lineage. W hile tape-recorded m usic can add am biance toaritual, there is




nothing to beat actually producing sounds yourself. H ere are som e exam ples of easily-obtainable instrum ents. T he G recian lynx is basically a sm all w heel, suspended at the m iddle of a loop of string. T he string is w ound up and, as the string unw inds, the w heel spins, m aking a rushing, hum m ing sound. The lynx w as used to invoke (and banish) deities, draw ing themdow n topossess a celebrant. It is thought that the T hessalian w itches usedthe lynx to 'drawdow n the M oon', and it w as w idely used in rain-m aking, binding dem ons and lovem agic. R elated tothe lynx is the B ullroarer, w hich, at its sim plest, is a piece of heavy w ood w ithcham fered edges, at least ten inches long, w ith athick length of cord attached. W hen w hirled slow ly over one's head, it m akes a droning noise, and if w hirled at speed, a rushing, hum m ing sound. It is an outdoor instrum ent, and the user should place him self w here unw ary onlookers are out of danger of being clouted!

W hirlers

R hythm -M akers
T he use of drum s, shakers or handclaps tocreate rhythm s is the sim plest and often the m ost effective enhancem ent to ritual invocation, particularly in neo-sham anic styles of m agic. D rum m ing itself can sw eepa ritual celebrant into possession by a spirit. Inthe pseudo-M asonic ritual styleof post-G olden D aw n m agic, handclaps or strikes upon a bell or gong are often used to punctuate different stages of ritual. T he singing bell of T ibet is basically a bell w ith a handle. Y ou hold the handleandrubthebell w itha roundblock of w oodvery quickly, producing a prolonged singing tone. L ightly tapping a gong w ith aso ft ham m er w ill alsoproduce sustained notes. A lso in this categoryfall breath-pow ered instrum ents suchas didgeridoos, bugles, w histles, conches andthighbone trum pets.

Sustained N otes


Personal dem ons are latent structures w ithin the psyche, unresolved com plexes and repressed 'voices' throw n up by the ego as a defensive m easure. T hey act seem ingly independently of our conscious volition sothat w e experience themas beyond our control. T hese structures are habitual em otional or behavioral patterns w hich are experienced, at tim es, as problem atic som ething w hich has not been successfully integrated, possibly because it has resisted exam ination or analysis, or through lack of aw areness of a habit or pattern, or indeed, howtodeal w ith it. In T antric practice these 'dem ons' are know n as K leshas and theprocess of w orking w iththemis know n as K lesha-Sm ashing. In a broad sense then, D em ons are blocks of behavior em otional and cognitive responses to life situations. T o give an exam ple, Jealousy: in this context, Jealousy is less som e tentacled m onster that arrives suddenly from another dim ension, but rather aresponse toa situation you com eout of aw orkshop and have a row w ith your partner because it seem s to you they've been responding to the speakers' flirtatious behavior. Personal dem ons are sum m oned into stressful situations. If jealousy is an issue fo r you, then w hen you are presented w ith the evidence w hich confirm s and supports your fears about this issue, out pops the JealousyD em on ina flurry of accusations and em otional storm s. U nlike the traditional dem ons fro m the G rim oires, Personal dem ons often do not have a shape, sigil, or nam e, yet they can exert trem endous pow er over us. A nd, like the m ore traditional dem ons, they can be identified, bound, and, through m agical procedures, transform ed into som ething w hich w orks for us, rather thanagainst us. T his is w here 'C onquering' com es in.


It can be useful to identify these intrapsychic structures as 'dem ons' fo r the purposes of w orking w ithandintegrating them . If you find how ever, that you are using the idea of having a 'dem on' as an excuse fo r behavior fo rw hich you are loath to take responsibility, then you have gone seriously astray. Saying "O h dear, m y Jealousy D em on slipped out w hich is w hy I hada tem per tantrumw hen you spoke to so-and-so" is not the m ost effective w ay of dealing w ith Personal D em ons: you are adm itting that thedem on has m ore control of youthan youdo of it. R ather, by isolating the tangle of inner conversations, attitudes, fears, reflexes and fantasies; giving this tangle a distinctive nam e, shape andsigil, it becom es progressively easier to observe the circum stances in w hich the dem on appears. T his involves aw areness of the relationship betw een your ow n feelings, other people's responses, and howyou perceive those responses, contribute to feeding the dem on pow er. T he fact that these dem ons appear in everyday situations rather than the isolated conditions of a m agical ritual, often m akes themharder todeal w ith. A sA leister C row ley once said, it's easy fo r us to sum m on dem ons. S om akeyourself com fortable, andbring intoyour m ind a situation w hich invokes a dem on that you find difficult to subdue. It needn't be anything m onum ental any situation w hichprovokes aresponse w hichyouw ould like todeal w ithin ad ifferent w ay. Y ou w ill notice that stressful situations often provoke these dem ons to rise upw ithin us. T hefight/flight response kicks inas does depression, fear, anger, etc. A ll are em otional/cognitive patterns w hich arise fro m a condition of physical stim ulation a bodily gnosis, if you like. T here is a feedback loop betw een the physical sensation and the context w hichkicks o ff the em otional/ m ental response. This gives the first clue fo r transform ing dem ons fro m an overw helm ing, uncontrollable experience into som ething w hichyoucanunderstand an dbind toyour w ill. S uch dem ons are often related to knots of tension in the body, knots w hichare draw n ever tighter w itheachappearance of thedem on. S othefirst stage is to short-circuit thefeedback loop betw een physical anxietyand the m ental andem otional responses.

V isualise yourself in a situation w here one of your personal dem ons is evoked. M ake it as m uch a w orst-case scenario as possible, w hile rem aining aw are of how your body feels as m em ories, fantasies, "w hat if s" and "w hat happens w hen's" w hirl you into physiological arousal. Y ou interpret that arousal as som ething anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy, possessiveness w hich becom es the basis of your aw areness and perception. T o begin em otional engineering, don't identify the physiological feelings as one thing or another just experience them as an 'odd' sensation w hich you cannot define. For exam ple, that nagging sensation w hich you have com e to identify w ith the desire to sm oke a cigarette is m erely an 'odd' sensation, the source of w hich you are not sure o f. T his process is sim ple: 1 )W henyoufindyourself gripped bya pow erful em otion, do not attem pt to suppress it, but allowyourself to fully experience it. 2) B eaw are of physical sensations as the em otionintensifies. 3) Still your inner dialogue's generation of fantasies, or tendency to drag m em ories out of the past, w hich serve to perpetuate and intensify the state. 4) B e aw are of bodily sensation alone, and still all cognitive attem pts toidentify this sensationas one em otionor another. T his leads tow ards a state of Free E m otion, w hich could, fo r instance, be redefined as pleasure or ecstasy. T his technique can be used generally in E go M agic, but is particularly useful fo r denyingpow er toP ersonal D em ons. Further clues fo rw orking w ith Personal D em ons com es fro m understanding the d ifferent layers w hichm ake themup. D em ons are not m erely physiological identifications, but also behavioral and cognitive. T his can be seen w hen w e look at an addiction such as sm oking. A ll excuses about having a cigarette fo r the special reason of... are inspired by the dem on, as are behaviors that m aintain the addiction and rationalisations about w hy w e need to m aintain the habit. N ot only are such D em ons contextual, they also collude w ith each other to ensure each other's survival. Aperson w ho is having difficulty resisting alcohol m ight o ffer a drink tosom eone w hohas had a history of

such problem s. T his is not just m utual support; it generates a tacit understanding shared by both, and excludes non-alcoholics as they "don't really understand." Sim ilarly, a "Jealousy" D em oninone personcancollude w ith a "Fear-of-R estriction" D em on in his partner, sparking a tug-ow ar w here both dem ons becom e stronger, each seem ingly defending its ow n ego-territory, but both com m itted to surviving and grow ing.


G anesha is one of the m ost popular deities of the Indian subcontinent. Prayers toG anesha precede all other acts of w orship

and cerem ony. H e is invoked to rem ove obstacles fro m one's path and topass luck, he grants prosperity tothose w ho deal in com m erce, and freedom to those w ho seek liberation. G anesha: verm ilion coloured, w ith the head of an elephant; the body of a m an. In his four hands he holds a tusk, a noose, a goad, and m akes the gesture of granting boons. H e holds in his trunk a pom egranate and the crescent m oon is upon his forehead. A serpent is entw ined around his split belly. H e has the strength of an elephant, the intelligence of m an, and the subtlety and cunning of a m ouse, w hichis his vehicle. T he U pa P arana details eight incarnations of G anesha, w ho fought and overcam e obsessional dem ons: K aam aasura (lust), K rodhaasura (unjust anger), L obhaasura (greed), M ohaasura (infatuation), M aatsara (jealousy), M am aasura (attachm ent), and A bhim aansura (egotistic pride). G anesha is often depicted as dancing, fo r he is playful and filled w ith joy and delight. A lthough he subdues dem ons, he lacks gravity and pride. T he son of Shiva and Parvati, he is the beloved one of all the G ods, a very Puckish figure respected by all. Place G anesha in your belly, and m editate upon his ecstatic dance, fo r he is freedom personified. H e grants w ealth, but he is free of attachm ent to w ealth. H e is w ise, yet not ponderous. H e has m any talents, yet he is not fettered by them . In m ost parts of India, he is considered tobe celibate, although som eT antric icons of the god showhimseated w itha S hakti (pow er). Inthe aspect of L akshm i G anapati (the giver of success) he is flanked by the goddesses Siddhi (achievem ent) and B uddhi (w isdom ). In one of his m ost popular contem porary form s heholds a noose, anelephant goad, a vessel of sw eets, andgives a protective gesture. T here is a rich variety of sym bolism contained w ithin the figure of G anesha. H is huge, pot-bellied body represents the U niverse N ature, m ankind, and the gods them selves reside w ithin his belly. H is elephant's head represents the qualities of the elephant thus he is affectionate, w ise, gentle, and loyal; yet w hen aroused, he can be extrem ely ruthless and destructive. H is large ears 'like w innow ing baskets', sift truth fro m fiction, and recall the V edic axiom that learning can only take place by listening at the feet of the G uru. AT antric interpretation of this ideais that liberation canonlybeachievedbypaying attention to w hat is around you by stilling the chatter of the internal

dialogue and experiencing the w orld as it is, rather thanhowyou think it is. G anesha's trunk is sym bolic of the quality of discrim ination the first great lesson fo r anyw ould-be m agician. T he elephant canuse its trunk fo r heavy tasks, such as m oving a log, or very delicate acts. T he curved trunk also sym bolises the root m antra O M , the sound fro mw hichthe universe w as created. T he broken tusk has m any associations. It show s, fo r one thing, that G anesha is not bound by the desires fo r balance and sym m etry (w hich are central obsessions in H indu philosophy). B y breaking o ff a tusk to use as a w eapon or pen, G anesha dem onstrates the sacrifice of deities tohum anity. O ne of the m ost com m on 'vehicles' (m ounts) associated w ith G anesha is the m ouse. T his is a strange relationship, as, unlike other vehicles, such as the G aruda bird onw hich Shiva rides, the m ouse is never venerated in its ow n right. T his m ay hearken back to G anesha's aspect of a harvest deity, w hen he w as propitiated todestroy rodents that threatened crops. T hem ouse is often associated w ith sm all desires and doubts the kleshas w hich w econtinually assail ourselves w ith. T he m ouse m ay also represent cunning, and the ability to achieve desire in nonobvious w ays. Place yourself in a com fortable position, perform anypreferred relaxation exercise, and give attention toyour bodily sensations. C lose your eyes and turnyour m ind inw ards, tow ards your belly. Feel that part of your body tobe a void,filledw ith red m ist. A s you breathe in and out, im agine the fo rm of elephant-headed G anesha taking shape w ithin your belly. R epeat internally the m antra "O mG anapati N am ah." O nce G anesha has form ed inside you, im agine that you are becom ingyourself an im ageof G anesha your nose lengthens to becom e a trunk, your ears becom e those o f an elephant feel your body outline changing. W hen this m etam orphosis is com plete, turn your attention once again inw ards, and then visualise asituation w hichstirs the evocation of a dem on w ithin yourself. S ee the situation occurring w ithin your belly and see yourself there in it. B e aw are of body sensations, but still any thoughts and identifications that arise. L et your breathing


becom e slowand deep, andbe aw are of howyour body feels as pure sensation, w ithout anidentification or label. Slow ly, feel that physical sensation tobe one of pleasure a grow ing sense of joyfulness w hich you can relax into. Feel that sensation as asource of pow er, andallowthat pow er tobuild up inside you until, finally, you have to give voice to it. R epeat the sound that issues fro m you. Aw ord or m antra m ay form . If it does, keep hold of it in your m ind. A t this point, begin the socalled 'Elephant D ance' w hich is nam ed from the habit of elephants m oving their heads fro m side to side at a w ateringhole. A llow your head to loll fro m side to side, keeping your neck-m uscles loose, and m ove your torso left and right. T his m ovem ent prevents residual tension settling into the body follow ing the catharsis of the above exercise. T his exercise is useful fo rD em on w ork intw ow ays. Firstly, you can use it to free yourself fro m the grip of a dem onic response that continues long after the initial trigger-event has passed. Secondly, by m entally projecting a situation w here a dem on m ight arise, youare learning toidentify the characteristic thoughts, feelings, and behavior appropriate to that dem on, and sobecom e aw are of w henyou are allow ing its responses tocarry you aw ay. O nce you knowthe points of the feedback loops, it is easier tobreak out of them . It is useful, fo r this kind of w ork, that G anesha is very m ucha P layful G od as it seem s to be m ost effective to approach m ost kinds of E go m agic fro m a condition of P layful R elaxation than G rimD eterm ination. A gain, visualise asituation that provokes aD em on but this tim e, let the thoughts, feelings and im ages w hirl around inside your m ind project the appropriate fantasies w hich give the dem on pow er let it run aw ay w ith you. A s the feelings churn w ithin your bodym ind, see anim age takingshape before you the huge shape of G anesha tow ering above you. H is eyes tw inkle w ith hum our he lifts his trunk and blasts the air w ith a ear-splitting trum pet w hich rips apart the im ages and thoughts filling your m ind the sound of the trum pet vibrates through your body, until it becom es a sound that you can hear, a sound that you can

S T O P -L O O K -R E L A XW O R D

m ake, and it w ells through you, up into your throat, and out of your m outh. R epeat the sounduntil it becom es clear fo r you. T his sound canbe usedas a S T O P -L O O K -R E L A Xw ord. T he idea is that each tim e you feel a dem on rising w ithin you, hurl the sound at it to stopit inits tracks, andto stopyou feeding it pow er through fantasy and other reactions, if you can stop yourself from feeding a dem on, and relax in its presence, then you are halfw ay to getting it to w ork fo r you in other w ays. D em ons m aintain them selves against discovery and dissolution. If you hurl a w ord of pow er at a dem on, and relax, view ing the situation calm ly andclearly, thenyouare ina position analogous to G anesha and the M ouse. A t this point you m ay consider entering into dialogue w ith the dem on and they have a sim ilar nature to a R ussian D oll a dem on w hich at first seem s fearsom e, can be stripped aw ay in layers, as you w ork w ith it, understanding w hat part it plays inm aintaining you as you 'are' (rather than w hat you could be). It m ight be possible to w ork w ith it inanother w aythanthat w hichyouhave beenusedto.

It can som etim es be useful to feed Personal D em ons to exhaustion. O ften dem ons retain their pow er to holding us backfro m investigating the entire consequences of the fears they stir w ithin us. I recall a possession by m y dem on of jealousy instead of suppressing that jealousy or turning it inw ards into fear, I let it rage through m e, taking everypossible m anifestation, generating m adplans fo r revenge andretribution toabsurd lengths. Intim eI w as exhaustedand fo u n d that suddenly, the initial trigger fo r this possessionw asn't im portant anym ore in fact it w as laughable. Personal D em ons m ay occasionally be surprised into im m obility if youo ffer themdeath "If.. .is w ithsom eone else, I'mgoingto kill m yself" and then youreach out fo r th e razor or sam urai sw ord. Suddenly placing yourself in a situation w here the threat of real death is present places everything else in context. R em em ber, D em ons do not w ant to die, and if you o ffer them death (and m ean it) they are likely to freeze, allow ing you to exam ine themclosely.

M A G IC A LR E SP O N SE S 1. F eed T oE xhaustion

2. O ffer It D eath

In the com m on folklore of the occult, there are strict w arnings about the 'danger' of Pacts w ith D em ons, as anything rem otely 'dem onic' belongs to the L ow er (base) S elf, rather than the H igher (Spiritual) S elf, and consequently should be banished. T his is equivalent to the V ictorians insisting that w om en keep their ankles covered, lest they inflam e the passions of m en. If you repress a dem on, it becom es all the m ore pow erful and beyond your control. M aking a Pact w ith it, how ever, im plies som e kind of tacit understanding betw een you and the entity. D em ons arepow erful sources of 'energy' certainly they are too potentially useful to be banished (suppressed) or given free rein topull us this w ayandthat. T o enter into a Pact w ith a D em on, it is first necessary to expose it to identify its com ponents, sensations, thoughts, behavior; to relate to m uscular tension, and even to treat it as a shape, a personality, and give it a m agical nam e and sigil. B y deliberately reliving a situation w here that dem on has overw helm ed you, you learn to understand the points of your relationship tothe dem on, and howm uch of that relationship is reciprocal. S uch realisations are rarely pleasant, as they involve acknow ledging your responsibility fo r the dem on in the first place. T he sim plest fo rm of such a Pact is to acknow ledge the presence of a dem on and transform its action into som ething w hich enhances the free expression of your pow er, rather than hindering it. A n exam ple of this process is the transform ation of anger into creativity. If som eone really annoys m e, I amvery m uch tem pted toreturn retribution inthe fo rm of a curse. N owto beeffective insatisfying this desire fo r retribution, this curse has to be particularly horrible and devious. A ny old "off-the-peg" curse w ill not suffice. S oI begin to start thinking up som ething really ingenious and unique. W hat happens is that the desire fo r individual retribution is supplanted by the desire to create som ething interesting and new .W hen I hit upon som ething w hich, fo rm e, is a novel perspective o nm agic (such as the viral Servitors described inC hapter S ix), the original 'trigger' here, the anger and desire to curse the person w ho triggered that anger is forgotten. Instead, I focus attention on the newidea, howto integrate it w ithin m y existing m agical theories-in-use,

3. D em onic P acts

howtotry it out and its w ider applications beyond m ere cursing. It is a m istake, although a tem pting one, to label 'negative' em otional responses as dem onic. Y our anger in a situation m ay be perfectly legitim ate it's the w aythat you express that anger that is im portant. For exam ple, youcouldconsider your tendency to suppress grow ing anger until you have an uncontrolled outburst as dysfunctional, and w ork upon it accordingly. R edirecting andchannelingthe pow er of a dem on is satisfying as both of you are w orking together. A t one office w here I w orked, one of the secretaries seem ed tobe particularly good at annoying m e, m akingw hat I fo u n d tobe asinine com m ents at the least appropriate m om ents. T his tended to lead to a situation w here I suppressed m y annoyance until I shouted at her, w hereupon she becam e defensive and shouted back a situation w hichquickly escalated beyond the point of sanity. O ne m orning how ever, as soon as she began her tirade of rem arks during a com plex and intricate repair job, I took a deep breath and said "M ary, if you don't shut upI'mgoingto bangyour head against your com puter m onitor" in a very calm , quiet, and m easured voice. "That's not very nice" she replied, w hereupon I said "It's not m eant tobe. T his is a difficult job that I'mdoing andyouare annoyingm e." T heresult w as that she shut up, and I w as able to acknow ledge m y anger forcefully, convey m y feelings to her clearly, w ithout becom ing tense or carrying that anger around w ith m e fo r the next hour or so, m aking m y job all the m ore difficult. W hile it is necessary to identify, knowand integrate your ow n Personal D em ons, it is arguable how far you can take this process w ith other people. It m ay occur, for exam ple, that a friend or lover is clearly harbouring dysfunctional dem ons, be they E godem ons suchas Jealousy or Possessiveness patterns, to m ore physiological dem ons such as alcoholism , drug addiction, or pathological violence. If som eone you are having a relationship w ith is clearly subject to thew ill of adem on, suchas an alcohol or H eroin D em on, then despite all protests to the contrary, that dem on has a potentially greater influence upon them than you ever w ill. A ll addiction-dem ons survive by dem onstrating unequivocally to their hosts that their panacea is

4. B anishing W ith E xtrem eP rejudice

ultim ately m ore reliable than anything else. W hen there is an em otional attachm ent m ade to another person, it is difficult to have the necessary detachm ent, objectivity and cruelty to act as an effective therapist/exorcist. T hus the adm onition B anish w ith E xtrem e Prejudice. G et them out and keep them out. P ow erful dem ons suchas thesew ill doanythingpossible todraw you into the host's behavior patterns. It can be useful here to separate addict anddem on intotw oentities. B anish the dem on if onlytom ake it aw are that youare aw are of it. T heconcept of the Personal G enius, the creative source of pow er and inspiration, has beengiven m anydifferent m asks and labels. H ealers often saythat the pow er that flow s through themis fro m G od or a particular A rchangel. S om em agicians call this experience the 'K now ledge and C onversation of the H oly G uardian A ngel' w hile som e psychotherapists and N ewA gers talk about contacting the H igher S elf. T he m ost useful reference to the experience I have found is in A leister C row ley's novel, M oonchild. T his is analogous to a T antric exercise called "Feeding the Fire." Y ou im aginethat your body is hollow , andthat w ithin it is a flickering flam e, w hich feeds on all your experience. E ach breath fans the flam e, each m om ent of aw areness feeds the flam e, all em otions, thoughts, victories, defeats, identifications, revulsions all feed the flam e. A ll experience becom es the fuel fo r this inner flam e, from w hich em anates the pow er to illum inate. T he aimof all such exercises is to attain a degree of non-attachm ent to your actions and w orks. In Tantric m ethodology this flam e is also K undalini-Shakti, the organising and creative pow er that is equally present in hum ans and stars. Such pow er is not under the control of the ego, and any tendencies to identify it as belonging exclusively to you w ill w eaken its expression through you. Auseful attitude to cultivate in this respect is that by rem oving all tendencies to create identifications and blocks w ithin yourself, you are m aking yourself into a hollow pipe through w hich pow er m ay flow freely.


T his term covers all types of entities to w hom is attributed advanced w isdom and teachings; spirit guides, enlightened m asters, space beings, H igher Selves and G uardian A ngels. M aking contact w ith such entities m ay be useful, up to a point. T he old saying "it doesn't m atter w hat you say, it's the w ay you say it" is certainly true of the channeling phenom enon. T he m essage from these cuddly cosm ic beings is overw helm ingly one of love andharm ony. L ove yourself, be yourself. W e are all im m ortal and w e can all be healed by using the pow er of the N ew A ge cliches rays, chakras, auras, colours, and pseudoscientific jargon. Aw elter of im pressive term s and m eaningless catch-phrases. Platitudinous pap fed to an uncritical audience eager tobelieve ina cartoon universe w here noone really dies, noonereallygets hurt, noonereallythinks fo r them selves andI suppose, N apalm doesn't really stick to kids. R apping w ith R am tha w ill heal you of your m ental troubles, and everything w ill becom e ginger-peachy. Afunny thing about those higher beings, their m essage stays the sam ew henever theyappear, but eachneww ave of popularity gives thema new m ailing address. T he Spiritualists had their R ed Indianguides, theT heosophists tunedintovibes beam edout by T ibetan "M asters". A leister C row ley claim ed tohave beenin contact w ith extra-terrestrials, and by the nineteen-fifties the G ods w ere using flying saucers to get about. Jesus is alive and w ell and living on V enus! N owit's the day of the dolphin. It's interestinghow ever, that veryoften, the founts of w isdomappear tobe endangered species. D olphins, R edIndians, and A borigines have all su ffered extensively at the hands of us w ell-fed W hite folks. W e ripped off the w ealth of the A sian subcontinent and then sw arm ed over there in droves to seek spiritual enlightenm ent, M aybe behind all this newage bit is the guilt of the overfed trying not to feel im potent w hile the w orld changes around them . That's w hat is so attractive about the channelers' entities. T heydon't askus todoanything as unattractive a s look at w hat's happening behindthe scenes. N o , they w rap reality up inribbons an dglitter sothat life becom es a continuously-looping W alt D isney dream w orld. W hat seem s tobe im plicit here is that m essages from "higher beings" (w hatever their alleged source) are autom atically benign


and helpful. Q uite a turnabout fro m the 'fifties, w hen the aliens brought to us by H ollyw ood cam e dow n out of the skies to ravage, rape our daughters and take over the w orld fo r no very good reason. M aybe they've just changed their act. A fter all, they shouldknowbynowthat if theycom ebarging inw ithdeath rays blazing w e'll just nuke them into radioactive debris. So they've adopted the soft-sell approach they're going to love us to death, 'till w e're sm othered under a security blanket of bliss. They've also found a m essage that is attractive one that says it's O Kto have m oney, a Porsche, etc., and that spirituality is about lovingyourself. C hanneled entities w ill tell youabout your w onderful past incarnations in L em uria or A tlantis, w hat you did, w hoyour partner w as andso forth. T he quality that the C hannelers often seemto lack is that of discrim ination, w hich is very necessary w henever one approaches com m unications betw eenhum ans andhigher entities, w hether they be dolphins, deities, extra-terrestrials or intelligent poodles fro m Sirius B .M agicians w hoem ploy the m agical techniques of post-G olden D aw n system s tend, in m y experience, to approach the w hole area of inner-plane contacts w ith a good deal of healthy skepticism (another quality w hich seem s to be sadly lacking in newage philosophy). T helem ic m agicians often test the validity of acontact bypronouncing those fatefu lw ords "D o W hat T hou W ilt S hall be T he W hole of T he L aw ," tow hichthe entity m akes the suitable rejoinder, or disappears, shrieking, into the nearest astral discontinuity. A sim ilar check involves m entally projecting the seal of the A .\A .-. onto the entity. T he cross-exam ination of entities using sym bolismand G em atria is alsooften resorted. S uch m ethods, together w ithritual (or other) techniques help ensure that the beings invoked are w ho they claim they are. L ike m ost other m agicians w ho go around invoking all m anner of 'orrible things (sorry, inner-plane adepts) I've received a w ide variety of com m unications from various entities over the years. T hese com m unications are only relevant to m e and I'm certainly not going to o ffer them up as great cosm ic insights. W hat I do dem and is that they m ake sense, if only in term s of w hat I've been doing recently. A ny one cango on about cosm ic love, harm ony, beauty and heavy karm a (...m aan) but it's m uch m ore instructive w hen the m essage is

inform ative, in term s of pointers on howto look at a particular issue, problem , or internally-consistent sym bolic m essages. T here does seemtobe a kind of cum ulative degeneration of the quality of such com m unications. H aving read quite a w ide variety of such stuff recently, I see a kind of pattern em erging. T he initial contact w ith an entity can produce som e quite startling transm issions in term s of synthesising inform ation in neww ays. T hen, as the recipient becom es m ore andm ore bound upw ith the com m unications, they degenerate interm s of quality of inform ation until one is hearing the kind of cosm ic m indm ush w hich, though it sounds good, is rather obvious. It seem s that, the m ore a person identifies (in term s of ego-involvem ent) w ith an entity, the less original the topics of com m unication becom e. B efore long the recipient of such m essages begins to hail them selves as Priest/Priestess of the "m ysteries" revealed exclusively to them , and the foundation of a sm all cult that is goingtosave the w orld shortly follow s. A ll of w hich begs the question of just w hat is going on w hen w e contact these entities? Adifficult one, this. H oww e try and answ er it says m ore about howw e structure m eaning than any actual organisation of inner realm s. T he C hanneler-type answ er of course is that all these entities are actual, separate beings hanging about around the astral planes (no doubt at a neverending cocktail party) until theypopdow ntodeliver reassurance toagroup of yuppies about heart disease, second m ortgages and the D ow -Jones index. A nutter skeptic m ight answ er that theyare all im aginary andtherefore unreal. Am agician m ight answ er that w hile these entities do not have a w holly objective existence, they are not fictitious either. People still tend to speak of the im agination as a source of experience that is som ehowless real than everything else. A n interesting m odel fo r exam ining innerplane contacts can be fo u n dw ithin W illiam G ibson's novel, N eurom ancer. O ne of the m ajor characters is an A rtificial Intelligence w hich m anipulates a cast of hum ans to further its ow nends. T o successfully dothis it m ust establish a rapport w ith those it w ishes to m anipulate. It does this by generating constructs personalities w hich it w ears like m asks, creating themout of the m em ories of the hum ans it w ishes to contact. It explains that it needs thesem asks toestablisha point of access

an interface betw een its ow n experience and the perceptual lim its of hum anbeings. R eading this brought very m uchto m ind accounts of hum anentity contacts. Particularly a sentence in D ion Fortune's The C osm ic D octrine w hichreads: W hat w e are you cannot realise and it is aw aste of tim e totry anddosobut you can im agine (italics m ine) us on the astral plane and w e can contact you through your im agination, and though your m ental picture is not real or actual, the results of it are real andactual. D ion Fortune m ade extensive use of inner-plane contacts to synthesise her m agical ideas. A lanR ichardson, inhis biography of D ion Fortune, P riestess, discusses the various historical figures that Fortune claim ed to be in contact w ith. T he m ost interesting entity is one "D avid C arsons", w homaccording to Fortune, w as a young B ritish o fficer w ho w as killed during the first W orld W ar. Fortune provided a good deal of biographical inform ation concerning C arsons, and after thorough research, A lan R ichardson states that C arsons did not exist! R ather, it seem s, hew as actually, interm s of the above m odel, a construct; a personality generated out of D ion Fortune's experim ental m agic and experiences, and hence an interface fo r accessing inform ation. If you im agine the sumtotal of your personal m em ories and know ledge as a sphere in space the unknow n then to extend your sphere of inform ation it is as though a w indow m ust be created, through w hich the unknow n, or raw data, can be translated into inform ation that is m eaningful in term s of perceptual lim itations. Inner-plane entities are howw e tend to conceptualise these w indow s into chaos. T hey appear as independent entities sothat w e canm ake sense of the incom ing data. Their personalities are usually concurrent w ith the recipient's belief system .H ence the m any form s of the entities, depending on w here you believe the seat of w isdom is, be it E gypt, Sirius B , or som e draughty m onastery inT ibet. U sually, it seem s, these entities are autom atically generated as one focuses w ill and im agination tow ards any one vector, but occasionally entities canbe generated as anact of w ill, sothat "outposts" can be established w ithin w hich personal ideas and innerw orlds can

be explored and eventually integrated intoone's psychocosm .A t this point the w hole issue of the "reality" of the experience breaks dow n, as these entities are not sim ply "secondary personalities" inthepathological sense, but constructs w hich are em ergent properties of our inform ation-processing capacity interacting w iththat w hichlies beyondit. S o howdoes this relate tothe higher beings contacted by the N ewA ge C hannelers? I feel that this is a question of degree. M ost m agicians I have encountered w hom ake use of innerw orld contacts are doing so as part of going beyond the lim its of norm ality; finding an edge and pushing them selves repeatedly over it, sifting fo r insights in abyss after abyss. O n the other hand, the N ewA ge C hannelers seemtow ant nothing m ore than the spiritual equivalent of acandy-flavoured infant pacifier. It is as though they are channeling not so m uch inform ation from outside the hum an know ledge-pool, but very m uch fro mw ithin it the "higher-authority" control program s of a culture inneed of a m ysticismw hich em braces m aterialismand a bland, "I'm O K so there!" view of the w orld. Strip aw ay the therapol jargon and the diluted E astern m ysticism , and the N ew A ge consciousness is revealed as just another scam of the SlaveG ods. A n escape route that leads now here, because it does not involve risking or challenging the ego. H ence its attraction fo r those w ho need to follow creeds and gurus. Let's face it, the w orld can be a pretty daunting place. If som ew ise adept in the body of aJoanC ollins lookalike toldyouthat 'life' onthe astral plane w as an endless round of D ynasty-style parties, w ouldn't you signupfo r a course inA stral Projection?


M agic is often referred to in term s of being a path, a spiritual quest, avoyage of self-discovery, or anadventure. H ow ever you w ant to dress it up, one point is clear, it is a m eans of bringing about C hange. For this changetobe effective, it is im portant that you be able to set the effects of your m agical w ork w ithin a context to be able to m ake sense of themand integrate them intoa dynam ic interaction w itha m oving, flu id universe. T his requires a sense (how ever tenuous) of w here you have been, and w here you are 'going'. A t tim es these anchor-points w ill seem to be solid, and at others, ephem eral and faint. Initiation is the term w hich m agicians use to exam ine this process of integration, and Illum ination is one of its m ost im portant by-products. T here appears to be som em isunderstanding over w hat exactly the term'initiation' m eans. O ccasionally one bum ps into people consider them selves as 'initiates' and seem to consider them selves som ehow 'above' the rest of hum anity. Particularly irritating arethe self-styled 'initiates' w holet dropteasingbits of obscure inform ation and then refuse to explain any further because their audience are not 'initiates'. T he termitself seem s to crop up ina w ide variety of contexts people speak of being 'initiated' into groups, onto a particular path, or of initiating them selves. Som e holdthat 'initiation' is only valid if the person w hoconfers it is part of a genuine tradition, others that it doesn't m atter either w ay. D ictionary definitions of initiation allude to the act of beginning, or of setting in m otion, or entry into som ething. O ne w ay to explain initiation is to say that it is a threshold of change w hich w em ay experience at different tim es


in our lives, as w e grow and develop. T he key to initiation is recognising that w e have reached such a turning point, and are aw are of being inaperiod of transition betw een our past and our future. T he conscious aw areness of entering a transitional state allow s us to perhaps, discard behavioral/em otional patterns w hich w ill be no longer valid fo r the 'new ' circum stances, and consciouslytakeupnewones. W hat m agical books often fail toem phasise isthat initiation is a process. It doesn't just happen once, but canoccur m any tim es throughout an individual's life, and that it has peaks (initiatory crises), troughs (black depression or the 'dark night of the soul') and plateaus (w here nothing m uch seem s to be going on), becom ing aw are of your ow n cycles of change, and how to w eather them , is a core part of any developm ental process or approach to m agical practice. T he key elem ents or stages of the initiation process have been extensively m apped by anthropologists such as Joseph C am pbell. W hile they are m ostly used to describe stages of sham anic initiation, they are equally applicable toother areas of life experience. In sham anic societies the first stage of the initiation process is often m arked bya period of personal crises and a 'call' tow ards starting the sham anic journey. M ost of us are quite happy to rem ain w ithin the conceptual and philosophical boundaries of C onsensus R eality (the everyday w orld). For an individual beginning on the initiatory journey, the crisis m ay com e as a pow erful vision, dream s, or a deep(and o ften disturbing) feeling to fin d out w hat is beyond the lim its of norm al life. It can often com e as a result of a pow erful spiritual, religious or political experience, or as a grow ing existential discontent w ith life. O ur sense of being a stable self is reinforced by the "w alls" of the social w orld in w hich w e participate yet our sense of uniqueness resides inthe cracks of those sam ew alls. Initiation is a process w hich takes us "over the w all" into the unexplored territories of the possibilities w hich w e haveonlyhalf-glim psed. T his first crisis is often anunpleasant experience, as w ebeginto question and becom e dissatisfied w ith all that w e have previously held dear w ork, relationships, ethical values, fam ily


life can all be disrupted as the individual becom es increasingly consum edbythe desire to 'journey'. T he internal sum m ons m ay be consciously quashed or resisted, and it is not unknow n fo r individuals in tribal societies to refuse 'the call' to sham anic training no sm all thing, as it m ay lead to further crises and even death. O ne very com m on experience of people w ho feel the sum m ons in our society is an overpow ering senseof urgency toeither becom e 'enlightened' or to change the w orld in accordance w ith em erging visions. T his can lead to people becom ing 'addicted' to spiritual paths, w herein the energy that m ayhave been form erly channeled into w ork or relationships is directed tow ards taking up spiritual practices andbecom ing im m ersed in 'spiritual' belief system s. T he 'new ly aw akened' individual canbe (unintentionally) as boring and tiresom e as anyone w ho has seized on a m essianic belief system ,w hether it bepolitics, religion, or spirituality. It is often difficult, at this stage in the cycle, to understand the reaction of fam ily, friends and others w ho m ay not be sym pathetic toone's new -found direction or changes in lifestyle. O ften, som e of the m ore dubious religious cults take advantage of this stage by convincing young converts that "true friends" etc., w ould not hinder themintaking up their newlife, and that anyone w hodoes not approve, is therefore not a 'true friend'. T here are a w ide variety of cults w hich do w ell in term s of converts from young people w ho are in a period of transition (such as w hen leaving hom e fo r the first tim e) and w ho are attracted toa belief/value systemthat assuages their uncertainties about the w orld. A nother of the problem s often experienced by those feeling the sum m ons to journey is a terrible sense of isolation or alienation from one's fellow s the inevitable result of m oving to the edge of one's culture. T hus excitem ent at the adventure is often tinged w ith regret and loss of stability or unconscious participation w ith one's form er w orld. O nce you have begun the process of disentanglem ent fro m the everyday w orld, it is hard not to feel a certain nostalgia fo r the lost form er life in w hich everything w as (seem ingly) clear-cut and stable, w ithnoam biguities or uncertainties. A com m on response to the sum m ons to departure is the journey intothew ilderness of m ovingaw ay fro m one's fellow s and the stability of consensual reality. Aproto-sham an is likely

tophysicallyjourney intothe w ilderness, aw ay from the security of tribal reality, andthough this is possible fo r som eW esterners, the constraints of m odern living usually m ean that fo r us, this w andering in the w aste is enacted on the plane of ideas, values andbeliefs, w hereinw e lookdeeply w ithin andaround ourselves and question everything, perhaps draw ing aw ay from social relations as w ell. D eliberate isolation from one's fellow s is a pow erful w ay of loosening the sense of having fixed values and beliefs, and social deprivation m echanism s turn up in a w ide variety of m agical cultures. In sham anic cultures, the sum m ons tojourney is often heralded by a so-called 'initiatory sickness', w hich can either com e upon an individual suddenly, or creep slow ly upon them as a progressive behavioral change. W estern observers have labeled this state as a fo rm of 'divine m adness', or evidence of psychopathology. In the past, anthropologists and psychologists have labeled sham ans as schizophrenic, psychotic, or epileptic. M ore recently, w estern enthusiasts of sham anism(and anti-psychiatry) have reversed this process of labelingandasserted that people as schizophrenic, psychotic or epileptic areproto-sham ans. C urrent trends in the study of sham anism now recognise the form er position to be ethnocentric that researchers have been judging sham anic behavior by w estern standards. T he onset of initiatory sickness in tribal culture is recognised as a difficult, but potentially useful developm ental process. Part of the problem here is that w estern philosophy has developed the idea of 'ordinaryconsciousness', of w hichanythingbeyondthis range is pathological, be it sham anic, m ystical, or drug-induced. Fortunately fo r us, this narrowviewis beingrapidly underm ined. Individuals undergoing the initiatory sickness do som etim es appear tosu ffer fro m fits and 'strange' behavior, but there is an increasing recognition that it is a m istake to sw eepingly attach w estern psychiatric labels onto them (so that they can be explained aw ay). Sham ans m ay go through a period of readjustm ent, but research show s that they tend to becom e the m ost healthy people in their tribes, functioning very w ell as leaders andhealers.


T ransitional states show ing sim ilar features to the initiatory sickness have been identified in other cultures' m ystical and m agical practices, w hich w estern researchers are beginning to study, as practices from other cultures gain popularity in the w est.

St. John of the C ross, a C hristian m ystic, w rote of this experience: (it)...puts the sensory spiritual appetites to sleep, deadens them , and deprives themof the ability tofind pleasure in anything. It binds the im agination, and im pedes it fro m doing any good discursive w ork. It m akes the m em ory cease, the intellect becom e dark and unable to understand anything, and hence it causes the w ill tobecom e arid andconstrained, and all the faculties em pty and useless. A nd over this hangs a dense and burdensom e cloud, w hich afflicts the soul, and keeps it w ithdraw n fro mG od. W henentering the 'D ark N ight' one is overcom e bythe sense of spiritual dryness and depression. T he idea, expressed in som e quarters, that all such experiences are tobe avoided in favour of a peaceful life, show s up the superficiality of so m uch of contem porary living. T he D ark N ight is a w ay of bringing the soul to stillness, sothat a deep psychic transform ation m ay take place. In the W estern E soteric T radition, this experience is reflected in the T arot card 'T he M oon' and is the 'hum p' in an individual's spiritual developm ent w here any early benefits of m editation, Pathw orking or disciplines appear tocease, and there is an urge to abandon such practices and return to 'everyday' life. T his kind of 'hum p' w hich m ust be passed through can be discerned in different areas of experience, and is often experienced by students on degree courses and anybody w ho is undergoing a newlearning process w hich involves m arked life changes as w ell.

G enerally speaking, there are tw o kinds of initiatory experience M icroscopic and M acroscopic. M acroscopic

initiations canbe characterised as beingm ajor life shifts, traum as that sw eepuponus the collapseof along-termrelationship, the crash of a business or the sudden know ledge that you have a term inal illness. S uchexperiences areglobal, w hich is tosaythat they sendshockw aves intoevery aspect of our lives. M icroscopic initiations are m ore specific intheir actions. O ne day I w as sitting tapping figures into the com pany accounting program ,w hen I suddenly found m yself thinking "I'd like to do an A ccounts C ourse." N ownorm ally I w ouldhave regarded that as no m ore realistic than a w ish to fly to the M oon tom orrow . A ccounting is one of thosetasks I amonlytoohappyto leaveup to som eone else, and suddenly, I w as becom ing interested in it! Such new -found interests, particularly in subjects that you have acceptedthat you dislike or are uninterested in, canbe likened to a sm all flam e (sym bolised bythe A ce of W ands inT arot) w hich could easily burn out again if sm othered or ignored. T he trick is torecognise that youare standing at a crossroads a threshold of change. T his recognition is the keytoall initiations. A gain, the A PIEform ula is of use:

A ssess
Stop. L ook around you and assess your situation. E xam ine all possibilities for future action there w ill alw ays be m ore pathw ays available than is at first im m ediately obvious. W hat possible futures canyoujum p into? U se any technique that w ill gather useful inform ation options lists, divination, dream oracles or asking your favourite deity. O ften, all you have todo is openyourself tobecom evulnerable tothe forces of C hange.

P lan
O nceyouhave chosena course of action plan w hat youneedto do. W hat resources do you need? T hese m ay be m aterial, m agical, financial and perhaps m ost im portantly, the support of other people. B eprepared tocarryyour planonw ards.

Im plem ent
T his isthehardest thing of all -to dow hat m ust be done. O ften, fear w ill intervene at this stage. B e prepared to look at your m otivations for not continuing upon your chosen course. U nacknow ledged fears often take the form of inertia and

laziness. E ach step forw ards gives further m om entumtothe next effort. E ach barrier breached releases a rush of pleasure and freedom .

E valuate
T his is the stage of assim ilation not m erely the practice of w riting up one's m agical record, but being able to look back at your course through the initiatory period and realise w hat happened and how you dealt w ith it. H ave you learned any im portant lessons? T he value of such experience is to m ake know ledge flesh assim ilating experience until it seem s perfectly sim ple andnatural. Akey to understanding initiatory states is that they bring w ith them varying degrees of fear. O ne of the characteristics of M acroscopic Initiations is that suddenly, our current repertoire of coping strategies are useless. If som ething into w hich w e have invested a good deal of em otional com m itm ent and self-esteem is directly threatened or rem oved, andw e areplaced ina position of being unable to do anything about this, fear is often the dom inant em otion. Fear is the bodily gnosis w hich reinforces any em otional and cognitive patterns w hich serve us to hold change at bay. Fear is basically an E xcitatory state the fight/flight reflex of the A utonom ic N ervous System firing up. U sing the E m otional E ngineering techniques described in the previous chapter, you can deconstruct fear into excitem ent, w hich can then be used to gather m om entum fo rm oving over a threshold into change, rather than reinforcing your ow nresistance.


T his is a process of orientingyourself sothat youare sufficiently open to all the different possibilities that each m om ent of experience offers enm eshed in the w orld in an attitude of receptive w onder. T his is the know ledge that at any tim e, w ithout w arning, any life event could spin you sidew ays into Illum ination. T he sudden-ness of such an experience is one of the underlying them es encapsulated in the G reat G od Pan. Pan represents creative derangem ent, the possibility of m oving fro m

one state to another, from ordinary perception to divine inspiration. P an can leapupon you any tim e, any place w ith the sudden realisation that everything is alive and significant. In such an experience, physical arousal is a strength, rather than a w eakness. A llow ing yourself to be vulnerable to the possibility of change m eans letting intoyour life w ild m agic and the pow er of surprises. Initiatory states often tipus intom ental entropy and confusion, andthis is agoodtim e tofree yourself fro m the bonds of the Past and the fetters of anticipated futures, and live in the nowof your physical presence. T ransform fear intow onder and open yourself to newpossibilities. T ransform fear into fuel and exam ine the thresholds and personal dem ons w hich hinder m ovem ent. T his state is a fo rm of ecstasy aw ord w hich m eans "aw ay fro m stillness," im plying som ekind of agitation. Sahaja is a Sanskrit w ord w hich can be translated as 'spontaneity.' If you can learn torelax w ithin initiatory periods, abandoning all set routines and learned responses, you can act w ith a greater degree of freedom . Periods of initiation can be looked upon as w indow s of opportunity fo rm ajor w ork upon yourself. So w hat kind of techniques are appropriate here? A nything that enables you to m ake shifts in your A chievable R eality threshold. Procedures borrow ed fro mN L P, V ivation, B ioenergetics or the various psychotherapies m ight prove useful here. W hat you should bear inm ind is that recognition that you are entering a threshold of change is all-im portant. It is difficult to intentionally propel yourself into such states, particularly as at som e point during the experience, it is necessary to surrender control. T he initiatory crisis tends to drive hom e (often very forcefully) the aw areness of the fragility of day-to-day experiences, andof the hidden com plexitybehind that w hich w ehave taken for granted as norm al. W e have becom e addicted to a 'sam eness' of experience, and thus have difficulty coping w ith noveltyor change. H ence thetendency, w henfaced w ithacrisis, to rely on learned habits, rather than actually observing the situation. C onversely, the m agician has to recognise that there m ayw ell bean abyss around every corner, and that w hat rushes full-tilt at us m ust be faced head-on. In tim e, you w ill com e to


recognise that youhave your ow npersonal cycles of initiation peaks, troughs and plateaus; you m ay w ell com e to recognise that you are about to enter an initiatory period, and brace yourself accordingly. M any w orld m yths feature the descent intothe U nderw orld as a central them e fo r transform ation and the quest fo r pow er and m astery of self. T he recognition of the necessity of 'rites of passage' is played out both intribal societies w here the death of childhood and the rebirth into adulthood is m arked by a rite of passing, and in W estern m agical and religious societies w here 'follow ers' are reborn intoa newselfdom .D eathby dism em berm ent is a strongly recurrent them e in sham anic cultures, w here proto-sham ans are stripped of their flesh andtornapart by spirits, onlytobe rem ade anew , usually w ith som e additional part, such as an extra bone, organ, or crystal as an indication that they are nowsom ething 'm ore' thanpreviously. Insom ecultures (suchas in the Tibetan Tantric C hod ritual), the dism em berm ent experience is a voluntary m editation, w hereas in others, it is an involuntary (thoughunderstood) experience. This kind of transition is not uncom m on in W estern approaches to m agical developm ent, both as a w illed technique and as a (seem ingly) spontaneous experience that results from w orking w ithin a particular belief-system . I have fo r exam ple, been burnt alive in the pyre of K ali, and m ore recently, had an eye ripped out by the M orrigan. Periodic descents into the U nderw orld are a necessary phase in the cycle of personal developm ent, and is also associated w ith depth psychotherapy. A ccording to the W estern E soteric T radition, one of the key stages of initiatory confrontation is the encounter w ith 'The D w eller onthe T hreshold'. L ess prosaically, this phrase refers to the experience of our understanding of the gulf betw een the ego's fiction of itself and our selves as w e truly are. T his necessitates the acceptance of light into the dark corners of the self, and the acceptance of our short-com ings, blind spots and personal w eaknesses as aspects of ourselves that w em ust take responsibility for. T he recognition that w e are, ultim ately, responsible fo r all aspects of ourselves, especially those bits w hich w e are loath to adm it to ourselves, is a step that m ust be


taken if the initiatoryjourney is toproceed. It is not uncom m on fo r people torem ain at this stage fo r years, or tocom ebackto it, tim e and tim e again. S uch ordeals m ust be w orked through, or they w ill return to'haunt' us until theyare tackled, elsethey w ill becom e 'obsessional com plexes' (dem ons) that w ill growuntil they have pow er over us. T here are a m yriad of techniques bothm agical exercises andpsychotherapeutic tools w hich canbe actively used to exam ine these com plexes, but the core of this ordeal is the beginnings of seeingyourself. Insham anic cultures, physical isolation from the tribe is often reinforced by physical ordeals such as fasting, sleep deprivation, and exposure to rigours of heat or cold all pow erful techniques fo r producing altered states of consciousness. T he initiatory cyclecanbe likened toa snake sloughingo ff its skin. S o too, w em ust be prepared to slough o ff old patterns of thought, belief (about ourselves andthew orld) andbehavior that are no longer appropriate fo r the newphase of our developm ent. A sw e reach the initiatory stage of descent into the underw orld, sow eare descending intothe D eepM ind, learningtorely onour ow nintuitionabout w hat is right fo r us, rather thanw hat w ehave been told is correct. A s the initiatory process becom es m ore and m ore intense, w e reach a point w here w e have (to varying degrees) isolatedourselves fro m the S ocial W orld, (physically or m entally), and begun to dism em ber the layer of our Personal W orld, so that the M ythic W orld becom es param ount in our consciousness, perhaps in an intensely 'real' w ay that it has not been, beforehand. W hen w e open up the floodgates of the M ythic W orld, w em ayfin dthat our D eep M ind 'speaks' to us using w hat psychologists call 'autosym bolic im ages'; that is, sym bols w hich reflect the churnings w ithin us. T hese m ay w ell be entities or spirits fro mm agical or religious belief system s that w e have consciously assim ilated, or they m ay arise 'spontaneously' fro m the D eepM ind. T hese 'entities' (w hatever their source) m ay becom e the first of our 'allies' or guides through the inner w orlds that w ehave descended into. A ccounts of sham anic initiation often recount the neo-sharnan being 'tested' invarious w ays by spirit guides and helpers, and, if she or hepassthe testing, theybecom e allies that thesham ancancall upon, onreturning fro m the underw orld. N ot all of thespirits one m eets w hile undergoing the underw orld experience w ill be

helpful or benign; som ew ill try tom islead or m isdirect you. In this kind of instance you w ill need to rely even m ore on your ow n 'truthsense' or discrim ination. G hosts are notoriously capricious, and an 'elder brother' once told m e to 'be w ary of spirits w hich herald a false daw n under the dark m oon'. Particular 'm isguides' to w atch out fo r are the spirits w ho w ill tell youthat youare 'm ystically illum inated' beyond a point that anyone else has reached they are 'parts' of the ego attem pting to save itself fro m destruction. Y ou m ay have to 'overcom e' som e of these spirits not so m uch by defeating themin astral com bat, but by recognising that they have no pow er over you that you understand their seductions and w ill not be sw ayed by them .T he danger here hearkens back to the necessity of attem pting toshed light onas m any of your buried com plexes as possible 'm isguide' spirits w ill attem pt to seduce you into feeding those com plexes sothat youbecom e caught up in them . Spirit guides and helpers usually com e inavariety of form s and shapes. T heir m essages m ay not alw ays be obvious, and m ay only becom e clear w ith hindsight but then you cannot expect everything to be handed toyou on a plate. It is not unknow nfo r spirit guides toput the initiate through a pretty roughtim e, again to test their 'strength', as it w ere. P ow erful spirits don't tend to 'like' sham ans w ho w on't take chances or face difficulties and overcom e them .T his is a hard tim e to get through, but if you keepyour w its about you andhang oninthere, then the rew ards are w orth it. G uides w ill often showyou 'secret routes' through the underw orld, and 'places of pow er' there w hich you can access at a later point. Som eA m erind sham anic traditions involve the sham an descending intothe underw orld periodically to learn the nam es of spirits w hich, w henbrought out again, can beplaced inm asks or other ritual objects. A nother benefit of the 'ordeals' stage is Inderw orld M apping obtaining (or verifying) a sym bolic plan of the connecting w orlds that fo rm the universe. W estern occulture gives us conscious access to a w ide variety of universal route m aps, the T ree of L ife that appears in m any esoteric system s beingjust onew ell-know n exam ple. W estern-derived m aps seem to have a tendency tobecom e very com plicated very quickly perhaps this reflects a cultural tendency to try and label everything neatly aw ay. T he interesting (and intriguing) thing

about using innerw orld m aps is that youcan m etaprogram your D eep M ind to accept a num ber of different m aps im ages and sym bols w ill arise accordingly. O ur 'tradition' fo r receiving innerw orld m aps (and indeed, any other esoteric teaching) is largely through the w ritten w ord, rather than oral teaching or the psychoactively-inspired com m union w ith the tribal m em e-pool w hich are the m ost com m on routes fo r sham ans. B ut it is w orth rem em bering that all the d ifferent innerw orld m aps hadto com e fro m som ew here, and the m ost likely source w ould seemto be the initiatory ordeals of very early sham ans, w hich eventually becam e condensed intodefinite structures. T he 'peak' of the initiation experience is that of death/rebirth, and subsequent 'illum ination'. T hat such an experience is com m on to all m ystery religions, m agical system s and m any secular m ovem ents indicates that it m ay w ell be one of the essential m anifestations of the process of change w ithin the hum an psyche. Illum ination is the m uch-desired goal fo rw hich m any thousands of people w orldw ide, have em ployeddifferent psycho-technologies, and developed their ow n psychocosm s. Illum ination has also been linked w ith the use of L SD and sim ilar drugs, andperhaps m ost m ysteriously of all, it can occur seem ingly spontaneously, to people w hohave noknow ledge or expectation of it. W hat characterises an experience of illum ination? Som e of theprevalent factors are: 1 . Asense of unity a fading of theself-other divide 2. T ranscendence of space andtim eas barriers toexperience 3. Positive sensations 4. Asense of thenum inous 5. Asense of certitude the "realness"of the experience 6. Paradoxical insights 7. T ransience theexperience doesnot last 8. R esultant change inattitude andbehavior. In neurological term s such experiences represent a reorganising of activity inthe brain as a w hole. T h e loss of ego boundary and the involvem ent of all senses suggests that the R eticular Form ation is being influenced so that the processes w hich norm allyconveyasense o f beingrootedinspace-tim e are


m om entarily inhibited. T he "floating" sensation often associated w ith astral projection and other such phenom ena suggests that the Lim bic system of the brain stem (w hich processes proprioceptive inform ation about the body's location inspace) is alsoactinginanunusual m ode. W hat are the fruits of this experience the insights, perceptions and m essages brought back dow n to earth by the illum inate? E volution of consciousness, by such m eans, could w ell be an im portant survival program aw ay of going beyond the inform ation given aw ay of learning how to m odify the hum an biosystemvia the environm ent. Ilya Prigognine's theory of "dissipative structures" show s howthe very instability of open system s allow s themto be self-transform ing. T he basis of this idea is that the m ovem ent of energy through a system causes fluctuations w hich, if they reach a critical level (i.e., a catastrophe cusp point) develop novel interactions until a new w hole is produced. T he systemthenreorganises itself intoanew "higher order" w hich is m ore integrated than the previous system , requires a greater am ount of energy to m aintain itself, andis further disposed tofuture transform ation. T his can equally apply to neurological evolution, using a psycho-technology (ancient or m odern) as the tool fo r change. T he core stages of the process appear tobe: 1 .C hange 2. C risis 3. T ranscendence 4. T ransform ation 5. Predisposition tofurther change. A lso, the term'illum ination' is itself, significant. V isions of light that suddenly burst forth upon the individual are w elldocum ented from a w ide variety of sources, from sham anic travelers to S t. Paul; acid trippers topeople w ho seem ingly have the experience spontaneously. Sim ilarly, the experience of being 'born-again' is central to sham anism , religions and m agical system s. O ne's old self dies, and a newone is reborn from the shattered patterns and perceptions. T his is w ell understood in cultures w here there is a single predom inant M ythic reality. D eath-rebirth is the key to sham anic developm ent, and m any sham anic cultures interpret the experience quite literally, rather

than m etaphorically. W estern psychologists are only just beginningtounderstand the benefits of such an experience. W hat is clear, is that fo rm anypeople w houndergoit, the experience is unsettling and disturbing, especially w hen there is no dom inant cultural backdrop w ith w hich to explain or understand the process. Agood exam pletolookat (w hich alw ays raises hackles in som e quarters) is the L SD death-rebirth experience. Som e w estern 'authorities' onspiritual practice holdthat drug-induced experiences are som ehow not as valid as ones triggered by 'spiritual' practices. Fortunately, this som ew hat blinkered view is receding as m ore inform ation about the role played by psychoactive substances insham anic training is brought to light. T he positive benefits of L S Dhave been w idely proclaim ed by people as diverse as A ldous H uxley, T im othy L eary, and Stanislav G rof, all of w homalso stressed that acid should be used in 'controlled conditions', rather than, as is sooften the case today, indiscrim inately. W hat m ust bebom e in m ind about L SD (like other psychoactives) is that its action and effects are highly dependent upon individual beliefs and expectations, and social conditioning. D ropping acid can lead to lasting change and transform ation in a positive sense; equally, it can lead to individuals uncritically accepting a set of beliefs and patterns that effectively w all them o ff fro m further transform ations w itness the num ber of burnt-out acidheads w ho becom e 'B ornA gain' evangelicals, fo r instance. It's not som uchthe experience itself, but how individuals assim ilate it in term s of cultural expectations. A s anexam ple of howthis process operates, contrast aprotosham an against a m em ber of a postm odern, industrial culture such as is our ow n. T he proto-sham an undergoes death-rebirth, and, follow ing illum ination, is reborn intothe roleo f apractising sham an, w ith all its subsequent status affiliations and expectations. W ould that it w ere as sim ple fo rW esterners! O urs is a m uch m ore com plex set of social relations than the tribal environm ent. T hough one m ight be tem pted tothink of oneself as a sham an-in-the-m aking, it's a safe bet that not everyone else is going to accede that role to you. It's tem pting, and entirely understandable to think: "R ight, that's it. I'm 'illum inated' now I've beenthere, done it, etc." and sit backo none's laurels, as it w ere. W hile fo r som e of us, one death-rebirth experience

alone is enough tojolt us into a newstage of developm ent, it's m ore often the case that w hat w e do afterw ards is critically im portant. Z ero states of having 'm ade it' are very seductive, but our conditioning patterns are insidious creeping back into the psyche w hile our m inds are occupied elsew here. T he price of transform ation is eternal vigilance. V igilance against being lulled back into conditioned beliefs and em otional/m ental patterns that w e think that w e have 'overcom e'. Illum ination m ay w ell be a 'peak' in our developm ent, but it isn't the end point, by any m eans. T hose undergoing the initiation cycle inthe W est tend to find that m any periodic death-rebirth experiences are necessary, as w e reshuffle different 'bits' of the psyche w ith each occurrence. Y et the death-rebirth experience can bring about lasting benefits, includingthe alleviation of a w ide variety of em otional, interpersonal, and psychosom atic problem s that hitherto, have resisted orthodox treatm ent regim es. Iw ould postulate that the death-rebirth experience is an essential fo rm of adaptive learning, as it is a pow erful process of w idening our perspectives on life, our perceptions of the w orld, and of each other. T he illum inatory insight m oves us tow ard a H olotropic perspective (i.e., of m oving tow ards a w hole) w hereby newinsights about self inrelation to the universe, and how ideas and concepts synthesise together, can be startlingly perceived. A t this kind of turning point in our lives, w e can go beyond w hat w e already know and begin to m anifest new concepts and constructs. W e are all capable of the vision w hat w e dotorealise that vision is equally, inour hands. R elated to the experience of Illum ination is the term G nosis, w hichcan be read ondifferent levels. First, G nosis is that 'peak' experience of no-m ind, one-pointedness or sam adhi w hich is the high point of any route into m agical trance. Second, G nosis can be understood as K now ledge of the H eart perceptions that are difficult to express in language, yet can be grasped and shared. T his is the secret language of m agic to grasp the m eaning you have to gothrough the experiencefirst. G nosis is not m erely the act of understanding, it is understanding w hichim pels youtoact in a certain w ay. T hus as you w ork w ith m agic, som agic w orks uponyou. S uchis the nature of C haos.


F urther R eading
A m ookos, Tantra M agick (M andrake of O xford, 1990) A ngerford &L ea, Thundersqueak (T M T S, 1987) B ey, H akim , T.A .Z. (A utonom edia, 1991) B urroughs, W illiam ,E xterm inator! (V iking, 1973) B urroughs, W illiam , The A dding M achine (C alder, 1985) C arroll, P eter J., LiberN ull &P sychonaut (W eiser, 1987) C arroll, P eter J., Liber K aos (W eiser, 1992) C arroll, Peter J., P ysberM agick (N ewFalcon, 1996) C row ley, A leister, The B ook of Thoth (W eiser, 1973) C row ley, A leister, The B ook of Lies (H aydnPress, 1962) Falorio, L inda, The Shadow Tarot (H eadless Press, 1991) Fries, Jan, V isual M agick (M andrake of O xford, 1992) Fries, Jan, H elrunar (M andrake of O xford, 1993) G leick, J., C haos (C ardinal, 1987) G rant, K enneth, N ightside of E den (S koob, 1994) H ine, Phil, P rim eC haos (C haos International, 1993) H ine, Phil, The P seudonom icon (C haos International, 1994) H ofstadter, D ., M etam agical Them as (Penguin, 1985) H urley, J. Finley, Sorcery (R K P , 1985) Johnstone, K ., IM P R O (M ethuen, 1981) L ee, D avid, M agical Incenses (R 23, 1 9 9 2 ) Sherw in, R ay, The B ook of R esults (R 23, 1992) Spare, A ustinO ., The B ook of P leasure (93 Publishing, 1975) Svoboda, R obert E ., A ghora (B rotherhood of L ife, 1986) S tarhaw k, D ream ing the D ark (U nw in, 1990) W alsh, R .N ., The Spirit of Sham anism(M andala, 1 9 9 0 ) W ilson, Steve, C haos R itual (N eptune, 1994) C H A O SIN T E R N A T IO N A LM A G A Z IN E B MS orcery L ondonW C 1N3X X ,E ngland (SendInternational R eplyC oupon&S elf-A ddressed E nvelope)

F or F urther Inform ation

T he M agical Pact of the Illum inates of T hanateros (IO T ), know n colloquially as "T he Pact", is an international m agical organization dedicated to the developm ent of m agic and the pursuit of excellence inall spheres of life. Inaugurated in the 1980s through the w orks of its founder, Peter J. C arroll, T he Pact exits to provide a forum fo r the m agical developm ent of its m em bers, and to pursue those aim s andgoals w hich fo rm the collective aspirations of its m em bers. T he Pact does not adhere to any single m agical philosophy or doctrine, other than the general m eta-approach of C haos M agic. T he Pact places anem phasis ontechnical m agical com petence in m agic, gainedthrough personal andgroup experience. T he Pact is structured using a hierarchy of grades, w hich reflect both technical m agical skill, proven com m itm ent to the Pact, and increased responsibility fo r organization and adm inistrative decision-m aking. T he P act is organized intoT em ples and Study G roups com posed of m em bers w hohave agreed to follow the guidelines of the organization.

T he N ovice/M entor P rogram(N M P) is a correspondence course in basic C haos m agic technique and a prelim inary step to initiation in the IO T .W ithin the N M P, apersonal M entor is assigned to the N ovice to assess their progress and m ake further recom m endations fo r their studyprogram . F or further inform ation about the IO T , the N M Por C haos M agic w rite to: Illum inates of Thanateros P.O .B ox 17995 Irvine, C A92623 U .S.A .