Fashion and other alterations of the appearance are mind-altering substances, for both the wearer and the witness. This is magnified in the context of magic, and magic itself is amplified through these.
On Saturday, February 18th at 1:30pm–
Eat Me: Magical Recipes in Medieval Astrological Magic
Though better known for the creation of talismans, medieval and Renaissance astrological magic texts contain further recipes and instructions. Many are intended to be consumed, buried, or burned, with numerous purposes and means of creation. Yet they all point towards a forgotten view of the universe and magic. From counting olive pips to cure illnesses to the creation of wax talismans or incense pills for evocation and influence, such mysteries depend on the philosophies of Al Kindi and his contemporaries. Explore how the outlook of the ancients can enhance our spiritual practices.
On Thursday, February 23rd at 8:30pm–
Astrological talismans from the Scholastic Image Magic tradition often seem as challenging to make as they are powerful. After electing the window of time in which a talisman can be created, one must confect incenses, select appropriate sigils, and obtain tools and materials for the talismans. We will discuss how to create a talismanic laboratory, the process of practical considerations including choosing the best combinations, knowing which substitutions do and don’t work, and time and money saving strategies. Take the theory of talismans into real life creations and applications.
On Friday, February 24th at 4:00pm–
About Time: Basic Chart Calculation
Invaluable to numerous systems of magic, the astrological horoscope is a Swiss army knife for divination, classical medicine, and much else. One of the most advanced achievements of the ancient world, the horoscope can often be perplexing for beginners. This class will focus on the basics of erecting a horoscope chart. We will attempt to demystify the process and render the math easy, while also explaining the essentials of its parts, some of history of its development, and the rationale of the chart from the traditional (pre-1750 AD) perspective.
On Saturday February 25th at 4:00pm–
Fearless Magical Protection
It’s a jungle out there. In most magical systems one of the first things you are taught is basic protection against spiritual attacks, and for good reason. A magical life is a perilous one at times. As you become more proficient, the need for protection grows and takes new forms. This class will survey practical methods of protection from a variety of spiritual systems and methodologies. Some of these techniques are unpublished anywhere and likely to be unfamiliar, but have proven very effective. Magical protection will help secure your success.
A lecture and reading covering the ethos and practices of black magic, a survey of curse methods, and dark paganism– a term which he coined in the early 1990s. (It is a fusion of elements from the PantheaCon lecture of the same name from 2008, the Secret Sequel lecture from 2009, and some unique material.)
Like several lectures during this period, the audio is imperfect. Please accept my apologies.
Part of Clifford Hartleigh Low’s lecture about the deeper ethics, strategy, and practice of curses, black magic and dark paganism. The omitted portion of the lecture was recorded without audio due to technical issues.
I’m going to spare you the labor of kneeling before a mystic guru for decades, joining secret societies and putting up with their drama, and quite possibly reincarnating a few thousand times in order to learn this nugget of wisdom.
I’m cheating slightly by letting you in on the secret, but I’ve been known to bend the rules before.
The process of attaining proficiency in magic is traumatic and shocking. For some, their brains came out wrong at birth and the psychic censor works horribly. Others take strange drugs. Some experience physical traumas, like being struck by lightning or being hit by speeding vehicles. A few have near-death experiences and come back changed. Others put themselves through exteme mental contortions that for variable periods render the initiate batshit insane.
You can’t think like a normal human being, a descendant of mutated apes, and do superhuman things. So under most circumstances your mind– and by extension your spirit– has to change. A lot.
It’s about plasticity. Spiritual plasticity mirroring the neuroplasticity; as above so below. Every time a magician alters their mental state past the breaking point, it’s like having a stroke. After the shock to the system subsides, the magician has to mend and rewire their consciousness like a person learning to walk after a brain injury. This happens over and over and in numerous ways. New abilities and strangeness are acquired along the road.
It’s also about strength. You need to damage muscles through strain in order to rebuild them stronger. The most basic lesson of athleticism.
That plasticity and strength are not for their own sakes, however.
It’s to prepare us for retaining our memories and personality through the death process. Brain death is almost exactly like having thousands of strokes all at once. Instead of oxygen being cut off from one part of the brain and killing a portion, oxygen is cut off from the entire. This is the most extreme trauma a person can experience without uncommon supernatural intervention.
Most people lose their internal coherence at some point after death. It’s no secret that ghostly spirits do not think or behave quite like living people, and some appear to have lost memories and attributes while whooshing about the eerie void. Yet they retain enough that when called up by various means, they have knowledge that only those particular people could possess. In many instances the contact is with an echo of a person or even a trickster spirit, but in others it appears to be a forgetful and confused version of a discarnate human being. (Though sometimes they’re just faking confusion– but that’s a whole different topic.)
When people transmigrate –and I suspect that is a real phenomenon if it doesn’t necessarily happen to everyone– the process of embedding spirit in flesh is similarly disorienting and traumatic. The result is that hardly anyone is born retaining clear memories of their former lives, of spiritual realms– and one’s personality also changes in various ways.
People who have trained themselves to recover from dramatic changes in consciousness, shock, and systemic injury eventually can break that cycle and retain a clear mind, memory, and a stable personality whether they choose to remain in the spiritual realms or return to corporeal existence.
Magic helps us solve problems in many ways. But many things exist which can solve most of those problems which don’t require such extreme and unusual activities. What makes magic unique is that it gradually (and often very uncomfortably) prepares us for a more advanced existence as a spirit.
Maybe the world needs a little more purple magic.
“They then asked of him, ‘What is Perfect Nature?’ He answered, ‘Perfect Nature is the spirit of the philosopher or sage linked to the planet that governs him. This is that which opens the closed places of knowledge, and by which is understood that which cannot otherwise be understood at all, and from which workings proceed naturally both in sleep and in waking.‘“
Picatrix Rubeus pages 153-154.
And this is something I didn’t notice until just now– I think he’s saying that when Perfect Nature is achieved, the magician can perform magic effectively while dreamwalking.
The key to a unifying theory of all magic may well be Picatrix’s concept of Reception.
Clifford Hartleigh Low’s lecture on “Weather And Storm Magic” at ConVocation 2010. This lecture covers calling up winds, the Weather Energy Network, storm spirits, the role of emotions and the Moon in weather control, enhancements to weather magic, the role of weather magic in ecology and eco-activism, the connection between weather and dreams, energetic techniques of weather control, talismanic and hermetic techniques of weather influence, and much much more…