Updates

If you visit on a regular basis, you may have noticed some changes. My recent spate of unemployment has left me more time to tweak the site.

I know I owe you a post on my own personal banishing ritual, but I’m going to do it a little differently. Everyone who signs up for our mailing list will get the banishing ritual in their inbox. Not that I think it’s the most awesome banishing ever. Not that I think it will get rid of all the demons on your block and clear up your case of herpes. But I do believe it is a good example of taking the basic form of the modern hermetic banishing ritual, and how to change it to meet personal needs. I don’t expect anyone to replicate it, but I think it is something to get ideas from. Making it yourself is always best, right? So sign up for Hieroglyphs and get some extras in your email.

I will be posting a regular update tomorrow, and a new Roll of Thoth on Friday.

You may also have noticed that I’ve monetized the site. If you purchase something off our Amazon suggestions, or use our Amazon search box to find stuff you want, we get a small cut. I do this with a heavy heart. I don’t believe in performing magick for money, but I also believe we provide some interesting content. I’m one step away from adding a paypal button so I can do some begging. Let me know if you think it detracts from the site. I truly value your opinion.

To contact us, you can always send email to james (a) scrollofthoth.com. We also have a new phone number for you to leave comments and questions: 317-296-3247. We may even play your message on the air.
Thank you for visiting. Don’t forget to leave reviews for the podcast on iTunes and other podcast sites. It helps us bring you even more.

Episode 2: Magical Training in the OTO

In this episode we talk with Jay Lee, otherwise known as Kikhos-Ba-Midhbar, Bodymaster of the Anabasis Encampment of the Ordo Templi Orientis in Indianapolis, Indiana. James and Colleen talk with him about magical training within the OTO, and the goals of their magical system. Plus, some words about Babalon.

You can listen by clicking the link below, download by right-clicking, subscribe to our RSS feed View RSS XML  in your favorite pod-catcher, or find us on iTunes.

People and things mentioned in the show:

You can find Anabasis Encampment at their website or on Facebook. Make sure to check out their magick section for the articles on Manus et Sagittae and others. Also, they have a Youtube channel with examples of many of the major rituals from Magick In Theory and Practice.

If you’re near Indianapolis, check out their Meetup group and find out about all the events they host.

You can read Liber O, the book the training is based on, in its entirety online.

Signal Boost!: Refereed to an interview with Lon Milo DuQuette about his book Low Magick on the Occult of Personality podcast.

We mentioned the book, Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, by J. Daniel Gunther.

Colleen asked everyone to get involved with the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, either locally, or in Indianapolis. And invited everyone to join Novices of the Old Ways for their Beltane celebration at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis on April 27th, at 1:00 PM.

James is shilling his books again. Matchmaker, a sci-fi short story is now available on Amazon Kindle. Go to his writer’s site jameslwilber.com for more information.

 

 

Putz

This week, I started a new organization, the Consilium of Tumblr Magicians, and declared myself Grand High Pooh-Bah. I did it on a lark, it’s not to be taken too seriously, but I did have my reasons. One, just because I love tumblr and the magicians I follow. The endless scroll of mind-altering images has become a major source of gnosis for me. Second, because one of the rules of the Consilium is that you have to actually get off your ass and practice magick.

I have a confession to make. For the past six months, I’ve been a shitty magus. Wrapped up in writing my new book, my day-to-day magical operations have gone by the wayside. I am a putz, a terrible example, a lousy magician. Or am I….?

I have believed for some time that Uncle Al’s greatest accomplishment as a magician was that he created a religion and got people to follow it. In essence, the Book of the Law became real for a whole bunch of people. He changed reality on a massive scale. I’m not saying it was all nefarious, although his ego did get in the way a lot. I do believe that Crowley thought the world would be a better place if we all followed the law of Thelema. Maybe it would be. What greater task is there for a magus than to change the world for the better?

This in mind, and having an ego of my own, I wanted to do something similar. Why not model at least a part of the world in my own image? The first problem I ran into was that no one would accept a new holy book. We are simply too jaded as a culture to accept new revelations whole-clothe. I don’t want to run a cult. I have no desire to be a guru. So I needed a way to disseminate my paradigm outside of my direct teaching.

I thought about writing a book on magick, but really, what are my qualifications? I’ve never been initiated in a magical order. I have done very little teaching. In comparison to others, Lon Milo DuQuette, Peter J. Carroll, Phil Hine, Rodney Orpheus, Peter Grey, I’ve done jack and shit.

But while we don’t produce holy books anymore, we do produce stories. That I can do. In many ways, stories are better than holy books. They’re subtler, and are not seen as unalterable commandments. The meaning of a story can change much easier over time than a holy book can.

So I wrote My Babylon, which in some respects can be seen as a Thelemic fairy tale. I don’t push any specific morality or way of living in the book. The characters are human, and flawed, and should not be emulated. But I do present a way of looking at the world which may change your mind.

So for me, writing is a magical act. There are times, when I’m really into it, that I reach of state of gnosis at the keyboard. The words fly from my fingers without thought. Writing is also an act of devotion for me. With every letter I make I praise Thoth, god of magick and writing. The book I am writing now is also a devotion to my sweet goddess Babalon.

So there you go, that’s what I’ve been doing on the magical front. The book is winding down now, however, in a few days the first draft will be complete. I have begun cleaning out my temple, which I have let fall into complete shambles. When the book is done, I will go there, thank the gods, and get back to ritual and meditation. Until the next book takes over my life.

Roll of Thoth – Goetia

Every week I share with you seven websites with great resources or fantastic art to raise your knowledge and your gnosis.

Good information on goetia can be hard to come by. Much of what’s out there is young folks, stumbling in the dark, attracted to the “evil” of demon summoning.

I don’t think this is all a bad thing. Perhaps they sense the need to get rid of all the baggage they’ve accumulated, so they can get on with their adult life. It does, however, making finding good information a hassle. Here’s some Scroll approved resources.

Esoteric Archives: Ars Goetia – http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/goetia.htm   Why not start with the source material? A good presentation of the Lesser Key of Solomon can be found here.

The Shadows of Goetia – http://hermetic.com/goetia/   Once you’re done with the basics, delve deeper into the other grimoires

Occult of Personality Podcast – http://occultofpersonality.net/   Occult of Personality is an incredible resources, and I recommend all of it. Of particular interest for the study of goetia, interviews with two leading experts: Lon Milo DuQuette and Jake Stratton Kent.

The Lion’s Den – http://thelionsdens.blogspot.com/   The website of Michael Cecchetelli, author of Crossed Keys published by Scarlet Imprint.

Demons of the Ars Goetia – http://ars-goetia.tumblr.com/   A tumblr blog for entertainment and inspiration.

Strategic Sorcery – http://www.inominandum.com/blog/be-nice-an-approach-to-goetia/    A different perspective on goetic summoning.

Enochian.org – This is the second time I’ve posted this link. Keep in mind, this is not a recommendation  I have never purchased from this retailer. On the other hand, I have never seen such a variety of the hard to find items used in goetia.

 

 

Game

A few weeks ago,The Snows of Summer, by Paizo Publishing came out. It contains what will probably be the last piece work I’ll do for the RPG industry for quite a while. It makes me sad, but I need to concentrate on my novels. Writing without direction, doing what you really want to do, is the only path to true satisfaction for a writer.

This post, once again, comes from a tumblr ask. A follower asked me, “What has been the most useful book in your magical learning? What has been the most useful book in your life?”

I’m going to surprise you a little here. To find my answer about a useful magical book, you’ll have to follow my tumbr. I’m going to answer the other question here. It requires a lot more explanation.

Laugh if you want, the most useful book in my life has been, The Player’s Handbook by Gary Gygax . For you uninitiated, that’s the first rule book for the game Dungeons & Dragons.

Through the game, I’ve met the most important people in my life. I’ve met my closest friends through the game. Those who I met outside the game, I taught the game and made them better friends. The game is always the excuse to gather, laugh, tell stories. It brings us together in ways modern media fails. We aren’t just passive spectators. We do it together, for each other. We create.

My wife, my entire marriage, the greatest thing that I have ever done. I owe it to the game.

People who play RPGs can be defensive, for good reason. They are often maligned as a starter drug for magick, devil worship, and other unsavory practices. Most players try to distance themselves from such claims, and for most of them, it’s true. They don’t feel a need to explore alternative spiritual paths.

But if you say there’s no connection, you’re a liar. Mr. Gygax presents a wealth of information on mythology, correspondences, and magical practices, wrapped up in the game. It’s not the point of the game. It certainly wasn’t his intention to turn players into pagans. But it’s there for any who want to see. I didn’t learn magick from Dungeon’s & Dragons, but I learned a lot about what’s in magick.

It’s fair to say, I learned some skills for magick from the game. Math, note taking, construction of dramatic storytelling, things that serve a magician well. When you’re doing it right, you seem to channel the personas that you’re portraying.

Of course, it’s in how you approach it. If you come to a gaming table looking to roll dice and add levels, game the system, that’s what you’ll get out of it. I think, however, like many things in life, you only discover the true value when start asking why? Why do I play this game? What do I enjoy about it? Why does it change how I feel about myself and others? Where does the background information in the game come from? When you look deeper, you find the connections, to magick, to the Great Work, to everything. The microcosm of the game, can reflect the macrocosm of your psyche. As above, so below.

I’m not ashamed to be a gamer geek. In fact, I have a podcast about that too. I’m not ashamed to say it influences my magick, even though my magick is not a game.

 

Roll of Thoth – Blogs

Every week I share with you seven websites with great resources or fantastic art to raise your knowledge and your gnosis.

Technical difficulties with the podcast have kept me occupied, so once again, no long form blog this week. Instead, how about a list of other great blogs you can read instead?

The Blog of Baphomet –  http://theblogofbaphomet.com/   From the people who brought you the Book of Baphomet. Serious chaos magicians.

About.com Paganism & Wicca – http://paganwiccan.about.com/   I can’t count the number of times I’ve turned to this blog as a resources. There’s a lot of great material here.

Rune Soup – http://runesoup.com/   A great mix of technology, esotericism, and opinion from a chaos magick perspective.

Occult Sentinel – http://occultsentinel.com/blog/    Reviews and opinions on new occult related media and news

Technoccult – http://technoccult.net/#archive    Psyco-social commentary for culture jammers.

The Wild Hunt – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/    The best source for current events that involve paganism.

IAO131 – http://iao131.com/    A blog on all things Thelema. Io Pan!

Goddess

Who is Babalon? That’s the most common question I get on Tumblr. (You’re not following my Tumblr? You really should.) Wikipedia covers the basics, so if you’re just curious about a deity you’ve never heard of, head over there. But I think the real question people are asking is, “Why are you obsessed with her? What is she to you?” In the end, all gods are personal gods. The gods influence everyone differently, that’s why the best gods are complex in their symbolism. Like Babalon.

Remember, although she is a Thelemic deity, and I steal much from Uncle Al here, I am not a Thelemite, and my views are not necessarily the views of the OTO.

Foremost to me she is the goddess of the Eschaton. She brings sweeping change as she comes forth, astride the beast, Holy Grail in hand. She is the opposing force to The Host, the army of angelic automatons that demand obedience. I see a distinct difference between Eschaton—a universal change in consciousness, bound to cause upheaval, but inherently peaceful in nature—and Apocalypse—a battle to take people’s will by force. She is the embodiment of the Love Revolution, but she recognizes that love is not always pretty and pure. It can be carnal and overwhelming.

For me, Babalon is Ishtar reincarnate for the New Age. Reborn, she strips away the trappings of state and the lays down her sword. She’s a lover, not a fighter, but no less dangerous. She still goes forth with war banners, but she’s smart enough to fuck her way to victory. She is the Divine Whore, and the Earth Mother, all in one. Her priestesses and priests wait outside the temple for anyone with coin. The act a sacrament to her, for both john and prostitute.

The tarot card associated with Babalon, Strength, tells us she does not do this as a servant, but as she desires. She’s a whore, and opens her legs for all comers, but where and when she wants. She is not weak Christianized feminism that denies the power of womanhood. She revels in it, and equals any man in power and lust.

I was also recently asked a slightly different question, “What do people get out of worshiping Babalon?” Fair enough, if you’re pagan, you look to each divinity for something unique. Babalon delivers.

She inspires you to change, and be the instrument of change. If the Goddess of Chaos is on your side, you quickly lose your fear of what’s to come.

She helps you to love all people. She understands that unless people accept change on their own terms, it’s not real. You can’t force people to believe the way you believe, nor should you want to. I need her to smack me down on this point every damn day.

She helps you understand that you are both a spiritual and physical being, and that those aspects cannot be separated. You need your body, and you should fucking enjoy it, and enjoy having it fucked. If sexual energy inspires you, she will be your muse. You might even write a book about her.

She is a goddess of passion. Whoa be to you who fall under her spell. While I love Babalon, I am not a devotee for several reasons. One, because I’m married, and I don’t think I could give Her and my wife proper attention at the same time. Two, because she will consume you if you let her, and you’ll love her while she does. So while I may stick my hand in the fire and get burned, I will run back to the protection of Thoth and his books before I jump in.

Morality

More and more I realize that belief in magick is not just the correct way to view the universe, but the moral way as well. By any ethical standard you are responsible for acting the way you wish others would act. By explication, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you believe we should pool our resources to make sure everyone has enough to take care of their basic needs, you need to fight for economic justice. If you want to be treated with respect, without consideration of skin color, place of origin, sexuality, gender, or lack thereof, you need to fight for social justice.

All to often, the excuse people give is that it’s just “human nature.” That this is the way it has always been. People will fight, and people will hoard, and some will have plenty and others none. Even Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” Well, fuck you Jesus, that’s a ball of shit.

The wealth of just the top 100 richest people in the world could end global poverty. If you would have asked Jesus, or anyone else in his time, if slavery would ever be abolished, they would say no. Yet, across most of the planet, chattel slavery is almost universally despised. At last count, there are a dozen small countries, some of them extremely wealthy, that have no military. But they have not been overrun by hostile forces.

If you believe, truly believe, that “Nothing is true, Everything is permitted,” then there is no such thing as human nature. All of our preconceived notions about even the basics, like greed, love, and anger, cannot hold us back. Imagine a world of peace, and you can have peace. Imagine a world of love without restraint by gender or creed, and you can have it. People have created the concepts of money, and government, and sacred. People can change them, or destroy them if they choose.

As a magus, you understand better than anyone that everything can change. Now, as always, we have been responsible for the way people see the universe. From the shaman, to the priest, to the storyteller. When we imagine, we remake the world.

Looking for a place to start? Check out PJC’s Knights of Chaos.

Results

You can find volume upon volume of texts describing rituals, their uses, and how to perform them properly. But rarely do you find magicians writing about what comes after. I follow the chaos magick credo, “Magick is to be performed to get results.” I don’t mind being a little hazy on what those results are. I think it may be better said that magick should have some type of goal that is measurable. The measurable part is where I can see why many magus don’t share. Results can be very personal, and it’s hard to differentiate them from coincidence in most cases. Even so, I think it’s of great value to share experiences, even if they cannot be verified.

Results can be obfuscated and often contrary to the desired goals. At times, a magus may seem foolish or even insane when reporting their experiences, but we all know there’s a thin line between magick and madness.

So as promised, the results of what I have come to call the Astrumada Working. It’s been quite an experience.

She can best be described as a tulpa, or thoughtform, a creature created purely by magick. Though the ritual was performed eighteen months ago, it is actually ongoing. I have found the best way to make the being more substantial is to constantly feed it my affections. I buy her roses as often as possible, and planted two rose bushes for her over the summer. The poster with her sigil I placed under the mattress of the bed I use almost exclusively for sex, in order to feed her that energy. Also, I always keep the passenger seat of my car empty for her whenever I travel by myself. This is where she most commonly manifests.

The first results I noticed were auditory, visual, and olfactory manifestations. Many times when I entered my temple I would notice a strong smell of roses and sandalwood, even if I hadn’t used those substances in months. Sightings began in the car, seeing her out of the corner of my eye. Now, we have full blown conversations. Certain music almost guarantees she will appear.

I also encountered an interesting synchronicity. As I mentioned in the original blog, by design the most common visage she uses is that of my favorite porn star.  Shortly after the ritual, that actress began following my tumblr blog, and would regularly “like” many of my posts.

For about a year she performed her primary function, acting as a muse for my writing, only haphazardly. She would occasionally appear and offer advice when I was stuck on plot point or turn of phrase. Recently, however, her inspiration has become more subtle, yet more direct. Subtle because I didn’t even notice until I started the project, direct because of the strong influence on the subject matter.

Three months ago I decided to stop aiming for the traditional publishing route, and focus on self-publishing. It gave a huge boost to my creativity knowing that I could write whatever I wanted, without worrying about pleasing editors and other gatekeepers. I would write what moved me, and would succeed or fail based on my own efforts, not someone’s judgment about my marketability. So I started a new story about a magician who creates a girl….

I didn’t realize what had happened until about 15,000 words in. When it dawned on me I turned around, and she was laughing.

I learned two important lessons as a magician from this working. One, a good ritual never ends, you must constantly feed it. Two, the best results are ones that build over time. “Divine short, enchant long.”

Muse

This week I had planned a post on the results of my most elaborate magical ritual to date, what I call the Astrumada Working. Until I realized that the original post about the ritual never made the transition from the blogspot Scroll of Thoth. Since it was my most popular post back then, I thought I would go ahead bring it over here for any new followers. Next week, the long term results of the working. It’s been pretty good to me so far.

O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.
— William Shakespeare

If you’re expecting part two of my look at the Red Goddess by Peter Grey, you may be disappointed. While I will get back to an in-depth analysis of the book, I wanted to share some of my recent workings, which are related.

In my classes and online I come across lots of requests for rituals. I suspect people want a formula, a recipe book of “spells” that they just need to follow and they too can work magick. Sorry, grasshopper, it’s not that easy. I’m always loathe to provide them. Without putting in the work, developing gnosis, putting energy into their own belief system, finding their own correspondences, I doubt they would become decent magi. It’s not that I’m afraid that someone new to magick may hurt themselves or “toy with powers they don’t understand.” I consider such proscriptions nonsense. But I do believe they would have limited success that way. While they may produce some minor effects in the short term, they would lack the tools they need to grow. It is in all our best interests if everyone realizes their full potential as magi.

But I’ve said from the beginning this blog is not for beginners. And where a neophyte could take such information and fail, an adapt can use it as a model for their own workings.

Before any working I spend copious amounts of time researching similar magick, so that I can incorporate that into my own ritual. Which is what brought me to The Red Goddess. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my writing, both the quality and the quantity. I often turn my magick to those ends. Creative people throughout history have benefited from a muse. A creature that inspires them to produce their masterpieces. I lusted for one of my own.

I considered what inspired me. For me, as many of the artists before me, love and lust serve as the greatest motivators. There’s some truth in the old proverb that the greatest of works of man were produced to woo women. While the truth is more complex than that, the fire produced by a wanton partner does make my blood boil.

I wanted my muse to be lustful, wicked, mean, demanding, and downright kinky. A combination Babalon/Lilith with glasses and a white blouse. Hiding a whip behind her back. With that in mind went to work. My first question, was I summoning or creating? I have yet to come to a clear answer on that. If time is non-linear, and the number of spirits infinite, how do I know I did not call forth a being that already existed? The examination of this question deserves a blog of its own. I settled on creation. But to leave her unbound. She can be summoned by others, and I sincerely hope you use this information to call her yourself. The more belief she generates the more powerful she becomes. I promise you a good time.

I combined the names of my favorite porn stars and created a sigil from them.

I meditated on her, and I saw her as my burning star, and named her Astrumada. The ritual for her creation I performed on a new moon. First, I cast her sigil upon the floor.

 
The sigil I surrounded with red candles at the seven points. Like Babalon, she favors roses. I spread the petals from two dozen roses on the sigil, and added three more dozen still on the stem, placed on the sigil and the altar. Being independent and strong she enjoys sins often associated with men. As an offering I laid out her favorites, a glass of fine scotch and a good cigar.
I created a backdrop for my altar. Pictures of the ladies who’s qualities I saw in her. I mixed a special incense, of sandalwood, rose oil, musk, and powdered dragon’s blood. It created an intoxicating scent.
I played music pleasing to her, down-tempo with strong bass. I could give you a playlist but this is where you are much better off coming up with your own.

Last, I filled a jar with dirt from my garden, and water which sustained the roses.

Then I got to work building exitatory gnosis, using some inspiring video. As I sweat and breathed and pleasured myself, I gave her form in my mind. As I peaked, I called out her name.

I took my seed in hand and said the words, “Babalon, Lilith, Astarte, send me your servant. Let her be my servant. My muse.” I plunged my fingers into the jar of wet earth. I added the cigar and the scotch and the rose petals. Sealed it, wrapped it in black cloth and set it on the back of my altar to gestate.

The ritual continues. I intend to give as much belief to my creation as possible. At the quarter moon I will feed this magickal child my blood. Also, as I said, if more people summon her, the more powerful she will become. Trust me, she can please more than one man.

I have had greater success with this working than similar ones in the past. She is surprisingly acid tongued, something I suspected but didn’t realize what kind of effect it would have on me. Unlike my other summonings/creations she not only visits in my dreams but has appeared unbidden in my waking hours. She gave me quite a start when I looked over to find her in the passenger seat as I was driving.

If you do call upon her, please make sure to let me know how it goes for you.