It's been four full years of ritual magic abstinence for me. Now this time is coming to an end. Next week, I'll be consecrating my new temple, and then slowly from there begin to engage with it. Based upon almost 20 years of experience as working as a lone-ritual-practitioner, here is the advise I’d give myself.
At the end of day, there might be no virtue these days which is more subversive, more counter-culture, more occult for lack of a better word, than mastering one's patience. Nothing more seditious, then engaging in the art of pleasure delay. Not for the sake of it alone, but in service to the acts of significance that may come from it.
In Speculum Terræ we examine an original 17th century Earth-Mirror. We excavate previously overlooked magical seals contained in the mirror, retrace their divine and angelic names, are being led into Italian Palazzos and to the masquerades of Swedish queens, and finally discover authentic connections to the artefacts of the early Rosicrucian movement.
Just recently in 2017 FULGUR added a set of 10 outstanding doorways to the already existing body of magical expedition maps. Their breathtaking book 'Decad of Intelligence' is a beast so rare and precious, it actually is not a book at all. It is the kind of object you will not want to place on a shelf, but rather allow it to breathe in your temple.
Once we have spent a considerable amount of time at the edge of Abyss a few things become incredibly clear. They become obvious not like a truth derived from philosophical speculation or from scientific hypothesizing, testing and retetesting. They become obvious like a truth that is part of who we are, of our own being, our very own flesh. We cannot call it faith, because we have seen it with our own eyes.
Everyone of us is forced to learn how to live life before we die. What as a toddler seems like constant play and discovery over the years turns into a raw and essential struggle. A struggle for one's own place in this maddening world. A struggle for a clear image in that mirror of knowing who we have become. A struggle of balancing what we want for ourselves with what we want to be remembered for by others. The difference for magical adepts lies in a simple choice. It lies in the choice that on top of learning how to live life they also choose to learn how to die before dying.
(...) Since the publications of Wilhelm Quintscher and Franz Bardon these spirits have come to be known as the ‘360 Genii of the Earthbeltzone’ (die 360 Genien der Erdgürtelzone). Unfortunately outside of the tight boundaries of the German speaking countries, they remain almost unknown to this present day. This is even more surprising considering that the first mentioning of their 360 names stems from one of the original manuscripts of the infamous ‘Book of Abramelin’.
Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to someone whose magical work - as well as hermetic worldview - is very dear to me. Through my conversations with him as well as through experiencing his magical amulets firsthand, he offered me a completely fresh perspective on what it truly means to walk the hermetic path and to master magic. Even if few of us will ever be able to follow him in his footsteps, it is all of us who we can ensure it's genuine adepts like him who leave a deep mark on our Western Mystery Tradition.
(...) Now, to make this project happen everyone's contribution is required. Whether you want to help through pre-ordering your copy now or instead through a crowdfunding donation - every little helps! This project has been carried for years by very few people, they have brought it a huge way - and so close to its realisation. I truly hope in the next 21 days we can bring it over the finishing line jointly.
Magic was never meant for men. We made it our own. We tore it ouf the earth and pulled it down from the skies. Think of Prometheus as a man who volunteered for a death of fire. Walking up the pyre all by himself, lighting the torch, throwing it down to his feet. Offering himself in the pursuit of what he believed to be withheld unrightfully.
(...) Magical paraphernalia are like four-dimensional recordings of a ritual event. Think of a sacred space filled with a handful of such implements - and now switch positions and look through the eyes of the spirits: Can you see how incredibly busy and noisy this place is? Because from the spirit’s viewpoint these implements, these material tools of spiritual recordings, are in constant playback mode. Without ever stopping they express the rhythms, utterances, forces and living beings recorded into them.
(...) what I had misunderstood is what the term ‘work’ actually stands for. The Latin word ‘producere’ can be translated literally as to ‘bring forth’ or ‘draw out’. So in my simple Western mind ‘work’ was something that flowed from the inside outwards. From intend to action and from action to result. I understood work as the process of achieving a state of change by means of applying ourselves to the world. May it be through the help of our hands, of our minds or words. Whatever interface between us and the world we choose to use, work was an active noun, the opposite of death almost, and altogether a pretty safe sign for being alive.
'What becomes important in the end only, should create the beginning: The magical awakening! Book-spectre and ritual-larvae otherwise find a welcome sacrifice in any student, and associations will begin to serve nothing but the life force-hungry group egregore as well as their own leaders - most of which ultimately live on the breadline themselves and keep above water by offering pseudo-positive thinking, knowledge and imagining of various configurations. The history of magic has proven it over many centuries - what comes out at the end is mostly wasted and precious life time, without having enriched one’s own life or the world. The institutionalising of magic is a delicate matter indeed.' -- Walter Ogris
Over the last months Josephine McCarthy and I have been working quietly on a project we called 'Quareia'. This Medieval Latin term refers to 'a place where stones are squared'. It seemed a fitting metaphor for a place where also we are shaped and born as magicians. And that is what Quareia is meant to become: a new and completely open magical school - without fees, structures of hierarchy or imbalances of power between students and teachers. A place to be shaped for every magical practitioner who is searching for a new way of learning, integrating and practicing magic. All the way from beginner to adepthood.
"Magic and training? Are these two not contradictory and incompatible concepts? Are the two terms not mutually exclusive? Can you be trained in something that according to the general conception and representation is a discipline of self-responsibility, of active self-awareness and thus a process of self-knowledge par excellence, that defies any specified instructions or even preconceptions?" -- Agrippa
Whenever the topic of magical titles or grades comes up I felt pretty divided. On the one hand I couldn't care less about symbols of hierarchy invented by humans and labeled onto other humans. At the same time, the way my mind worked for the first decade of magical training I really needed something that acted as milestones to map out the magical path I was following. At IMBOLC we used the classical 10° system mapped onto the Tree of Life. I remember the first three years, practicing daily for at least an hour and probably having done about 16 practical and theoretical exams before I was granted the grade 1°=10 Zelator... -- So what does it mean to me today, if someone calls me an Adept? Is this a title I should accept or refuse?
Josephine and I have been collaborating on various magical projects for several years now. A side effect of this partnership is that I receive wonderful lessons from a true adept and she gets a brick wall to bang her head against. Or almost. At least it's fair to say that initially our approaches to magic were diametrically opposed: Josephine teaching a very organic, though incredibly pragmatic approach to visionary magic - and me having just emerged from more than a decade of rigorously structured ritual work and occult philosophic studies. So when we first met it could have easily been the perfect clash of paradigms. Yet, it turned out to be the opposite.