My thanks to all participating Knights, Dames and Squires of the KoC, and to all participating allied magical support. Thank you for your conjurations.
Herewith our next target:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_United_Nations_Climate_Change_Conference
Having returned from Cyberpurdah in deepest Wales I notice that Comrade Corbyn got elected as labour leader. Splendid, the labour party can now return to doing what it does best, providing opposition and nurturing grievances and introducing young people to the extremities of ideological debate. Hopefully we shall not see it in government exercising its customary economic mismanagement for some long while yet. Now that the UK conservative party has adopted social liberalism, the labour party has only fiscal fecklessness left to offer.
Anyway, to the more significant questions of Esoteric and Magical Theory.
Some people seem to think that they basically know everything about magic now so they have nothing left to research or to teach.
I get mad at this and assert that we still don’t know a fraction of it, and so herewith a few of the things that remain unanswered or unasked.
I should point out that I consider that the whole universe runs on magic but the bits of magic that work fairly reliably we now call science; so I’ll try to confine myself to the bits of magic that work rather unreliably and which we still call magic.
The Tree of Life gives a map of the solar system, so one up to the wizards for anticipating the planets beyond Saturn, but our kabala doesn’t look big enough now.
What about the geometry and topology of the whole cosmic caboodle?
Do we have room enough for the other worlds of Giordano Bruno?
Or the Mad Indifferent Demon Gods of HP Lovecraft?
Do we treat the Space Gods as incarnate, discarnate, or imaginary?
Can we communicate with them by quantum telepathy or whatever, can we specify?
Do we divine the future states of reality directly, or do we divine our future experiences of them? (We could devise tests for this.)
Should we enchant for direct effects on reality or should we enchant to enhance our mundane abilities to get those effects?
In what form does the past persist? In memory, in records, and in physical traces obviously.
But what about in the aether, in the astral, in morphic fields, in the akashic records or whatever wizards call the stuff?
What do we actually get when we try out antique gods, ancestors, and necromancy?
The Pasts Plural
The future seems to open like a garden of forking paths of various probabilities.
Does delayed choice quantum erasure and retroactive enchantment suggest many paths behind us also?
A garden has a width as well as a length. Does time have a sideways as well?
Do we exist in and as an interference pattern between all the possible pasts and futures?
Does consciousness consist of a superposition of several states at once?
I find myselves in two minds about this.
Stuff plainly develops properties and behaviours which don’t seem inherent in its component parts.
The Universe exhibits Imagination.
For example: -
Hydrogen consists of a colourless odourless gas that slowly turns into people, - if you leave enough of it lying around for long enough.
Emergent phenomena seem to slip out between the interface of deterministic and random behaviour, from between order and chaos, and take on a life of their own, raising BIG magical questions: -
How much top down causation (or chaos) can emergent phenomena exert on their component phenomena?
Do we inhabit a Panpsychic Universe?
Can an apparently emergent vitalism or life force have real effects?
Does Chi or Vril or Prana or whatever you call it, meaningfully correspond with anything to do with ‘Energy’, or does it correspond more to something like ‘Intent’.
Does the apparently emergent ‘Self’ have real effects, or does our emergent free will remain largely subconscious?
How far can we take the idea of Magic as The Real Effects of Imaginary Phenomena? (Imaginary in the psychological sense, and Imaginary in the sense of orthogonal time vectors.)
Does this much maligned and frequently ignored magical art actually offer the possibility of inspiration to learn all sorts of knowledge in support of a magical quest?
Style and Technique
Psychedelic autognosis can reveal the self as a contingent construct, the subconscious as a well of creativity, and the belief system as somewhat reprogrammable. Yet these things should occasion the Buddhist or the magician no surprise. Psychedelics seem unsuitably imprecise and dangerous for work in psychotherapy or psychiatry. The idea that societies have generally banned them out of fear of mass enlightenment seems undone by the observation that massive illegal use has not had this effect.
Did a whole generation get taken in by the sixties myth and marketing hype that psychedelics could confer mystical and magical powers?
Does Apophenia serve as a more suitable goddess for magicians than Eris?
What differentiates a top world class university from a bottom class university?
Intense competition and selection operate in a top university, both for the academics and for the students, both have to work very hard and many of the students compete to stay on and become doctors and professors themselves.
On the other hand in some crummy jumped up polytechnic none of these things applies. The mediocre students just muck about, the teachers just go through the motions teaching second-hand stuff, and they usually have to cover a lot of admin duties as well.
Basically RESEARCH differentiates between a top university and a bottom one.
Prestigious institutions do the difficult research and create knowledge, and intense competition exists to either work there and to help create it, or to go there and receive it first-hand. Mediocre institutions merely recycle it. Most academics teach in institutions less prestigious than the ones they qualified in. Only outstanding research keeps you at the top.
Research can look impossibly challenging and difficult, but basically you just have to look for unanswered questions, or even more challengingly, for unasked questions.
All of the above applies to magical traditions and orders.
The magical revival which began in the 1880s came from the massive research efforts which created the Golden Dawn corpus, a great synthesis forged mainly by Macgregor Mathers, and from it flowed most of the western esoterics of the 20th century.
However, fairly soon after it ceased to research and innovate the GD disintegrated and its alumni took its ideas and applied them elsewhere to create other traditions. Wicca, Neo-Paganism, Druidry, Thelema and most of the new age ideas derive directly from it. Aleister Crowley actually added surprisingly little to the theoretical magical paradigm he learnt in the GD but he added techniques of erotognosis and chemognosis and a dash of Islamic flavour in his creation of the OTO, but with basques replacing burqas for the ladies. Of the GD alumni perhaps only Austin Spare tried something radically different. We still find his theory impenetrable and obscure, (it seems to have some relationship to Freudian ideas of the unconscious and/or unconscious mind) but his stripped down practical techniques proved a remarkable innovation.
If everyone had settled for Mathers’ great GD synthesis as the final word on Magic the subject would have become moribund and capable only of preserving itself as a minor religion that no longer attracted the influential minds that it did in its early days.
Some groups seem to have developed the idea that Magic or Chaos Magic has become a closed art, and that we know it all now, so research and the attempt to develop new teachings have become pointless.
I believe that we have barely scratched the surface of Magic and that thousands of questions remain unanswered and unasked.
I consider it the duty of anyone aspiring to the rank of Magus, to Research, to Teach, and to promote the Great Work of Magic.
Research and Teaching drive each other.
Magi and Initiates should live in terror of each other, with the Magi forced to create to attract Initiates, and the Initiates eager to catch out their Magi and to eventually surpass them.
So do you have your own top ten list of unanswered or unasked questions in Magic?
Discordianism seemed a major influence amongst the people I worked with from the mid-nineteen seventies till the mid- nineteen nineties and it still seems to have a big appeal for some Chaos magicians, but what at one time seemed a source of liberation, inspiration and innovation seems to have subsequently developed into a serious flaw.
This short Wiki entry summarises Discordianism fairly concisely: -
We used a bit of Discordianism when it seemed fashionable in the early days but it got out of hand later. I think our misunderstanding of it led to a lot of problems. Discordianism does two things. Firstly and mainly it pokes sacrilegious and in-defferent fun at religions and power structures. Secondly it allows a group to poke a bit of fun at itself and to make light of its own pretensions. Unfortunately the second facility of self-parody eventually proved self-destructive.
A little self-parody can give a ritual or a hierarchy a bit of an edge, but an excess of it will undermine both eventually.
The Discordian approach led to people styling themselves things like Sorror Preposterous, groups called things like Temple Misanthropy, me getting called His Pestilence Pope Pete The First of the Zero Degree, Banishing by laughter, and spoof, surrealist, and neo-Dadaist rituals like the Eris Rite which invoked bizarre and unpredictable consequences.
Discordianism promotes a humorous lack of deference towards organised religion, monotheism, patriarchy, sexual prudery, and religious and political power structures and conspiracies.
To do this it exploits ‘Camp’ and ‘Transgressive’ themes, both by using them to parody what it seeks to provoke in-deference to, and also by using such themes to establish its own alternative subcultural cult, or in-group, or fashion as ‘A joke masquerading as a religion or a religion masquerading as a joke’.
‘Camp’ means useless or ineffectual in a way that seems vaguely humorous or self-parodying. A Goddess who provokes creative disorder may have some value, but invoking a Goddess who merely screws things up, like Pratchett’s ‘Anoia’, seems either a parody of religion or an invocation of useless ineffectuality, or worse; an excuse for it.
Chaos magic already had a fairly ‘Transgressive’ attitude to organised religions and towards Thelema and Crowleyanity, and it partly defined itself by its opposition to these things. In adopting the god-form of Baphomet it had followed Eliphas Levi’s blasphemous conception of a supreme deity. However transgression easily goes stale, particularly among the converted for who it becomes merely a tired in-joke, and it can descend into little more than a compulsion to annoy outsiders.
My Liber Null & Psychonaut and Liber Kaos included many antinomian themes but little or no Discordianism. However Discordian practices had gradually tended to come to the fore amongst the groups I worked with and probably contributed much to the problems that developed. These days I have ceased to recommend experimentation with the Eris Rite.
The book Psybermagick that I wrote in the middle of my career whilst on extended sabbatical seems the most heavily influenced by the Discordian perspective, although it also contained the seeds of later research in other directions.
My last three books, The Apophenion, The Octavo, and The Epoch contain only minor references and appendices about Discordianism, as Apophenia began to assume far more importance for me than Eris.
Discordianism basically served to attack the old aeon paradigms. I think we should avoid it as a model for the coming Pandaemonaeon.
Discordianism seems dead or dying, having served its purpose. Any new serious currents and orders seem unlikely to use it again.
Herewith Nodens and his Hound, a study in faux bronze (milliput over iron and copper) made as part of my continuing druidical studies of the ancient pagan Gods and Goddesses of my area.
Nodens had a large temple by Romano-Celtic standards; just over the River Severn at Lydney on a promontory they call Ludd’s Island.
This temple probably functioned to invoke the healing powers of Nodens, it contained numerous votive offerings of models of body parts and some exquisite bronze models of hounds which the ancients venerated as agents of healing for their ability to lick their own wounds free of infection. The temple also appears to have included an Incubatio; a place in which to take ritual sleep, for perhaps prophetic or healing purposes.
Few images of Nodens have survived so I have given him an Asclepius style staff with serpent for his medical powers and the appearance of a grave and learned elder wizard. I do not intend to stray any closer to self-portraiture than this, and incidentally my normally shaggy hound did actually look like this two summers ago when the groomer gave her an all over haircut.
Nodens does however have a complex theometry. The hound may also symbolise an association with hunting, some mythologies associate him with the sea as well, and he has etymological and mythological associations in the Irish myths with Nuada , king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and the Welsh king Lludd (Nudd) Llaw Eraint from the Mabinogion.
Both these figures lost a hand in battle and acquired a magical replacement made in Silver which enabled them to regain their kingships. Perhaps this relates to some sort of wounded-healer myth, or to a magical healing hand.
Nodens appears briefly in the Lovecraft Mythos as a sea god who can command Nightgaunts and who opposes Nyarlathotep, perhaps this relates to his powers to dispel nightmares.
Summer is Coming.
George Martin’s marvellously entertaining Game of Thrones series takes part of its inspiration from the 15th century English Wars of the Roses. The fictional land of Westeros vaguely resembles Britain and the great wall in the north of it has echoes of Hadrian ’s Wall.
The English Wars of the Roses arose as a dynastic conflict for the English throne between feudal lords with their own private armies who fell to fighting each other in large part because of the loss of their holdings in France following the English defeats in the Hundred Years War, as the French gradually consolidated their kingdom and eventually threw the English out.
The Game of Thrones has a different trigger for war, the advent of a decades long winter which creates a resource conflict. This scenario resembles the 17th century wars which raged across Europe and notably included the Thirty Years War which sucked in all the European powers, and the English Civil War era which also involved Scotland and Ireland.
Historians sometimes call these extensive and very bloody 17th century wars ‘The Wars of Religion’. However wars between Catholics and Protestants had simmered since the various reformations for some time before, and continued long afterwards. The major outbreaks of war in the 17th century also involved conflicts between the Great Houses and Monarchies of Europe which often led to alliances and rivalries which cut quite across religious lines and led to the most bloody and destructive wars in European history, far in excess of the destruction achieved in WW1 and WW2.
A period of Global Cooling leading to massive crop failures coincided with the disastrous wars of the 17th century and the armies of the time ravaged the lands, plundering food and resources and committing genocide as they went. Central Europe suffered appalling devastation and the English Civil War seems very far from civil, as half starving armies requisitioned and devoured all resources in their path and executed anyone standing in their way.
This period of Global Cooling, sometimes called The Little Ice Age probably had an anthropogenic origin. The European invasion of the Americas initiated a massive population crash there of perhaps 90% of the indigenous peoples, mainly through diseases imported by the Europeans. This led to a vast reforestation of previously cultivated areas and the sudden CO2 uptake crashed the climate.
As someone once said of the French Revolution, 'there's nothing more political than the price of a loaf of bread', and the more closely one examines the wars of the 17th century the more they look like a resource conflict with religion serving only to justify aggression. Political and religious opinions of course harden during resource conflicts but they do not initiate them. Any alien anthropologist examining WW2 would probably describe the whole event as simply an inter-tribal dispute about oil resources. Germany and Japan would probably not have developed extreme ideologies and gone to war if they had had access to copious supplies of cheap oil, as did their main adversaries America, Britain, and Russia.
The current situation in the Middle East, and to some extent in the whole Islamic world, derives from problems of resources. Most of the countries involved now have very high populations but not the industrial or agricultural resources to maintain them comfortably, particularly in the face of climate change.
Syria suffered severe droughts which destroyed much of its agriculture and livestock just before the civil war broke out there, now it suffers from a baroque conflict involving at least three major factions and interference from foreign powers, now including Turkey apparently bombing all three factions. Political and religious opinions have hardened into extremism, mass deaths of adversaries have become the unstated aim of the combatants, and it all begins to resemble the 17th century all over again, except that the drying of the area rather than the freezing of the area seems the underlying cause.
If we cannot as a species get Global Warming under control we can expect far more of this.
Beware the Long Summer.
The Shell Oil Company now starts to move its drilling equipment to the Arctic for another attempt at drilling, despite widespread condemnation of this act from all the major conservation and ecology groups. Humanity should immediately begin to curtail burning fossil fuels, and invest in renewable alternatives rather than devastate the planets remaining wildernesses.
The environmental damage looks set to become severe, particularly if this reckless venture 'succeeds' and many other drilling operations begin as a result of it.
The Knights of Chaos will conjure for the failure of this expedition on Midnight 26th July.
So we appear to have a cowardly fudge of a ‘temporary fix’ for the Greek Euro-Crisis which pleases nobody and which will not address the underlying problem that a currency union between widely different economies cannot work, unless of course the Eurozone does as Francoise Hollande suggests and creates a Eurozone Government.
The spectacularly incompetent President of France perhaps merely provokes or teases with this suggestion, or perhaps he speaks out of exasperation or fear.
It becomes increasingly clear that a Eurozone Government would effectively mean The Fourth Reich with added Synarchy.
Hollande’s more robust French ancestors would have put him to the guillotine for treason as a quisling.
German loan sharks now effectively run the Greek economy and will do so until the Greeks rebel, default, and reclaim their economic sovereignty by reissuing their own currency.
Part of the motivation of the whole EU venture lay in trying to ameliorate or comfortably accommodate the rising industrial power of Germany within Europe. This has plainly failed now since the Germans realised that the Euro would prove more useful to them than Panzers.
In 1939 Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, mainly to gain control of the huge Skoda motor works. In 2000 they simply bought it without firing a shot.
I have an enduring memory of West Berlin prior to the fall of the wall. West Berlin had supposedly filled up with creative-alternative-bohemian types living lives subsidised by a government determined to keep the difficult to live in enclave fully populated. I had sat up till 4am in an all-night café having a punishing philosophical, metaphysical, and magical debate with my host. We set off for his flat and came to a pedestrian crossing on a totally deserted street with no sight or sound of a vehicle for half a mile in either direction. The pedestrian sign showed red; my creative-alternative-bohemian host stood to attention on the pavement. ‘Shall we go?’ I asked. Any sane Englishman would have simply crossed the completely empty street. Nein, iz Verboten! He replied sharply.
I seriously do not want to live in a Europe that runs on such an authoritarian mind-set.
Below see the preliminary work on the Hound of Nodens. The Celtic God Nodens comes next on my list of Druidical study, contemplation, statuary, and visitation (he had a substantial temple in this area, just across the Severn River). Archaeologists discovered bronze deerhounds in his temple ruins, these may relate to the healing function usually attributed to him. He may also have attributions as a God of the sea, hunting, and dreaming. I currently plan to depict him standing with his hound and holding an Asclepius style serpent staff and perhaps with a silver hand for his connection to Welsh and Irish Myth.
Meanwhile the lifesize mannequin for Hercules has arrived along with fresh supplies of Jemsonite but I’ll probably wait for the re-glazing completion on the large greenhouse and build him in there.
The Hypersphere Cosmology thesis seems to have achieved self-consistency and has so far resisted falsification, see http://vixra.org/abs/1504.0167
Thus Necronomicon Mythos work of an Azathothian and Hasturian nature continues with a view to obtaining some clarification about the three dimensional time hypothesis.
The people who invented Democracy in the first place have just set us all a brave example in saying NO! to the EU-Synarchy.
Let us hope and conjure that this Thermopylae moment marks the beginning of the end of the whole rotten corrupt undemocratic EU through which the Germans have, for a third time, attempted to establish hegemony for their own benefit.
I used to really enjoy holidaying in Greece before it entered the Euro. After that it rapidly became rather expensive to do so. Taverna meals which used to cost about the same as English pub lunches suddenly cost as much as German restaurants.
I do not think the Greece should feel any shame or embarrassment about it debt, after all its creditors shoveled money at it in a greedy attempt to gain profit and control.
If Greece declares itself bankrupt and defaults and reissues its own currency and starts again it will experience temporary hardships caused by lack of imports, however it will quickly recover due to a tourist boom and an export boom.
Instead of technically defaulting it could recreate the Drachma at 1:1 with the Euro, and pay off all its debts instantly before allowing any other use of the Drachma, and then either deliberately devalue it or let it quickly find its realistic exchange rate at maybe 10:1. In effect the Greece would have played back in reverse the trick the EU played on it.
Any other strategy looks like penury and servitude to German financiers forever,
As the Prof has rescheduled the Summer Solstice till this Sunday (a Druid of his calibre can do that sort of thing you know), I’ve basically had a week of Solstice starting with midsummer Highland Games and Ceilidh in the hills above Loch Ness, putting the final touches to the sculpture of Flora, and preparing to hail the new official midsummer formally in a certain private circle of standing stones.
My part in the highland games came down to participation in three demented events that probably originated from military activities designed to break up medieval infantry formations, shot, hammer, and caber. The shot consisted of a stone larger than my head, the hammer of an eight inch iron ball on a hawser. I think that on one of my throws I managed not to come last despite throwing myself twice to the ground as well during the attempts. I had taken the liberty of a trying a couple of practise tosses with a couple of the cabers on the rack, and it seemed do-able. However when we got to the event the MC swept the cabers off the rack, ‘just the ladies ones and the practise ones’ he said, and it turned out that the real deal consisted of the rack itself, an intimidating twelve foot long, hundred pound plus spar. Nobody actually managed to toss it right over and nobody died. ‘The caber wins again’ pronounced the MC. Legend has it that someone in the village once accomplished it. They breed ‘em madly tough in the highlands, competition standard caber apparently involves 19 foot 175 pound cabers and men the size of bears.
As well as the delights of a family reunion I also enjoyed the sight of a rare Pine Marten foraging just outside the window of the croft, and the museum of Pictish art, weird stuff carved on stone that we still cannot decipher as their hieroglyphics or heraldry or religion.
Then back to my garage to complete Cloris-Flora the Greek-Roman Goddess of Gardens. In the absence of a block of white marble and the time and skill to work it, I started with a shop mannequin, concreted her onto a slab of bathstone, and then built up her headdress and accessories and surface detail with Jemsonite, a weatherproof sort of plaster like material, and then finished her with white masonry paint.
Meanwhile on Arcanorium College efforts to penetrate the Neconomicon Mythos of the Elder Gods by a team of intrepid psychonauts proceeds apace, we seem to have revitalised the old magical arte of Ars Notoria in this quest.
Along with a number of other survivors of the magical revival, I have for the last few decades wondered what became of Charlie Brewster, Frater Choronzon 333.
He cut an extraordinary figure amongst the London Illuminati of the seventies and eighties.
I met him after he got out of jail over a misunderstanding about a credit card. Whilst in jail he took a course in electrical wiring and somehow blagged his way into working as a wireman for Reuters. He moved into a squat near to mine in Deptford sometime after we met at Stoke Newington Sorcerers, (an experimental magic group based in Giles’s flat that included Gerald Suster). I distinctly remember he scrounged a door from a local derelict cinema for his squat which bore the legend ‘Projection Room’, nice.
Ah what we got up to in those days, whole spit roast goat party on the adjoining wasteground, pitched street battles with the gypsies and the national front, crazy metaphysical speleological expeditions to invoke Gwyn ap Nudd in the depths of welsh caves, some inadvisable experiments with deadly nightshade. All the usual follies of youth.
Then I set off for India and Australia for a couple of years, came back to Yorkshire for a couple more years, went to India for another year and finally wound up in Bristol and started my business.
In the meantime Charlie had a spectacular trajectory. From a Reuters wireman he blagged his way upwards till he apparently became one of their top technicians, by, he claimed, going to work in a very posh suit and carrying a combination lock pigskin briefcase (containing his soldering iron). He ended up buying a mansion, performance cars and motorcycles (his huge frame cutting a dash in what looked like a Dune stillsuit). At the height of the curve he funded extravagant OTO events, had a craftsman start building him a pearwood Enochian chess set, drank vintage Laphroaig single malt from pint mugs with his joints, had a bizarre scheme going dealing futures on the Chicago stock exchange (inadvisably), and his own electronics company. Plus he acquired an enormous Tibetan Thunderbolt-Axe for magical purposes.
He created some interesting magical writings; see below.
Finally it all crashed bigtime, he went down owing some very impressive sums, and he retreated to obscurity in Wales and cut himself off from everyone he had known in London, including me. (Under pressure from his longsuffering wife I suspect). I had only a couple of brief notes from him thereafter mentioning some maths teaching and heart problems.
Then today I found this obituary today whilst googling for an image of him.
I count knowing Charlie Brewster as one of the great blasts of my early life.
DEATH OF CHARLIE BREWSTER
...on 13th December 2013. Charlie was one of Ken's most important friends. They first met at Reuters in 1978, a firm that grossly underused their talents, which in Charlie's case, were very great indeed. Ken would say that Charlie could do the sort of Higher Maths in his head that would take Ken a week with a pencil. More than that, Charlie & Jane were tremendously helpful to Ken when he lost his 1st wife Jane in an accident. We attended his funeral in Wales on January 6th. Our best wishes to Jane & his children, Emily, Victoria & Demian, not forgetting step-children Bethan & Dominic plus spouses & grandchildren.