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    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2007 edited
    I started a joke that started the whole world crying...

    Actually, I started a Livejournal community called the Ebon Shelf.
    It's URL, Let me show you it:

    The whole premise of the thing was very simple. I like having interesting props to hand my players in various role playing games and Larps. It occured to me to make a slush pile of "Magick related" text for slipping into documents (with some "Lorem Ipsem" text to fill space in whatever i handed them.) Possibly with some interesting mystick related artwork. And i could always create plots based on the various pieces of micro-to-short fiction that i'd made.

    And as i've gone along, the project has gained a little heft. Because i kept fiddling with it. It's even become a bit of a compendium of my own attitudes and ideas. in the field of magick.

    I am however curious about the attitudes and ideas of the people on this board. Probably one of the largest assemblages of crinkly-minded folk on the internet.
    Maybe if only because i'm at the point where i may need someone or something to bounce off of, in order to get rolling on the project again.
  1.  (30.2)
    I actually have either cribbed ritual or written ritual for my players. Occasionally I dump it into something like Theban or Enochian just to fuck with them, and givethem a mental work out.

    It all really depends on the players and their aptitude. I may start them out with the lesser pentagram or something similar and move them through an adjusted Goetic rite. Again YMMV.

    Good stuff though!
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2007
    Thank you Hank. I appreciate the kind words.
    Since no one has yet seen fit to throw any of their ideas into my soup kettle, I may see how far i can push this material and the Lulu publish it at some point.

    But the main point of this discusion was to hopefully get at some discussion of Magick and the various philosophies driving it.

    See. I'm fascinated by Belief. What is it in a persons make-up that makes them take up snakes as a means of celebrating their faith in the LORD (or whomever)?
    What is it that drives Atheism and Paganism and Zen Chicken Worship?

    That's the discussion i'm kind of hoping to have. Because i figure that can only spur the other and maybe teach me some new stuff along the way.
  2.  (30.4)
    Ah cool. I am not sure if I am letting my freak flag fly too far here, but we will see.

    I subscribe to Thelema, which is a nice container for the belief that the True Will is something to be discovered, and that the Will when applied for effect can make changes in the universe. Never big sweeping changes, but ones that in the end can make a difference.

    I am a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a fraternal magician's order with roots in the Golden Dawn and other esoteric groups. Many of the members of this group are also part of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.), or the Gnostic Catholic Church, and participate in a number of rites including the primary Mystery of both orders The Gnostic Mass. If you want a mission statement check out Liber OZ. Granted there are parts I do not agree with nor does it have to be taken literally for the most part but it sums up the views of the Order in a nutshell.

    Most of what is in the mass has double and triple meanings, so take what you read with a grain of salt.

    Anyway I don't want to sound like some damn proselyte. This was just a reply more in line (I hope) with what you were looking for.
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    Say you have a passing interest in magick, and you want to know more, or even perhaps begin to practice, without coming off as the inevitable poseur schmuck as you will when first starting.

    What would you recommend to get started?
  3.  (30.6)
    (some of the more general personal favorites of mine follow:)
    Isreal Regardie's The Golden Dawn, The Middle Pillar, and Garden of Pomegranates have all been useful to me. Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Lon Milo Duquette's The Magick of Aleister Crowley (used to be Magick of Thelema,) The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford: Dilettante's Guide to What You Do and Do Not Know to Become a Qabalist, Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot: An Authoritative Examination of the World's Most Fascinating and Magical Tarot Cards, (this is indispensable for its deep examination of the Thoth Deck and the ideas behind the illustrations.) and his bio My Life with Spirits are all good books.

    I would say probably get as much info on the basics through The Golden Dawn Book and then move over into what interests you. The Agrippa Stuff is dry but full of concepts. Elphias Levi is good too, if dry. I tend to discard the Cicero stuff that gets appended to many of the Regardie books but the original material is accessible and a good base.

    Some links which contain huge amounts of information:

    best of all that stuff is provided free of charge via the web.

    Some Groups to Check out

    OTO (linked Above)
    Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis
    Golden Dawn (Google them you will find a pile)
    The Argentum Astrum (Hermetic Magick without the fraternal society of the OTO. This is a solitary path and the individual is expected to self direct and create their own conclusions and experimentations.)

    Most of all read and devour all knowledge you can, try to expand your horizons and don't stop asking questions.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    GDwessel: The main difficulty in any pursuit of magickal praxis, hermetic or otherwise is that there isn't any kind of standard modern work that boils down the major concepts for the modern mind. Once, an understanding has been reached, it's always easier to go back and look at older works and absorb what is useful from them. Unfortunately, only the obverse is true. At this point one can only look at the older work and try to translate it into modern understanding, strip mining what is useful from it as you go.

    There are however a few works that are considered standard work within their field that you can parse a lot from. Buckland's book on witchcraft is invaluable if you're just getting your feet wet with paganism.

    Hank: You know, i kind of consider Crowley to be one of my patron saints, but i've only read a few of his books. I wonder if there's an OTO chapter here in Ky.
  4.  (30.8)
    Louisville KY

    Don't know any of them personally, but I am sure they are a welcoming bunch.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    Hmm. I get to Louisville every so often.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    I miss Tim Maroney. Get thee to his website. He used to hang out in a place that was a bit like this once and had many interesting things to say. I genuinely wish he was here. Anyway...

    Buckland's book on witchcraft is invaluable if you're just getting your feet wet with paganism.

    ARRRGH! NO! THIS ISN'T GOOD ADVICE! Buckland deliberately left out loads of stuff, so as not to break oaths, but then filled in the gaps with bad history. His stuff is okay, once you actually know a bit more, but it's not what it says it is.

    There are very, very few good books on witchcraft and paganism. Avoid anything published by Llewellyn Press. Actually, avoid anything that's written by any American, except for one very good beginners' book called 'Where to park your broomstick', which whilst a 'teen witch' book actually displays a surprising level of knowledge on the part of the author.

    If you actually want to really find out about contemporary Witchcraft then Professor Ronald Hutton's The Triumph of The Moon is the seminal work. If you want to find out about the origins of Witchcraft then Owen Davies' 'Cunning Folk' is very, very good and lends a lot of credibility to the idea that there is a rich and varied history of folk magic in the UK, which wasn't all just the invention of bored civil servants in the 1940s, just that there was nothing pagan about it whatsoever.

    Doreen Valiente is about the only other author I could recommend in good conscience.

    Although, if you don't give that much of a fuck about all that, and just want something authentic looking, to add colour, then there are more than a few facsimile copies of old grimoires available. Just have a browse on Amazon. Or look up some Hoodoo stuff. That's quite cool. I wonder if Stephen Grasso is going to turn up here...
  5.  (30.11)
    I think everyone still misses Tim, awkward git that he was. I get angry every time I think about how he died.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    Oops. Well to be fair, i only got my feet wet with paganism. I didn't exactly delve too deep.
    Was not aware that the book had major gaps. Consider my endorsment rescinded.
  6.  (30.13)
    I would like to disagree with you assessment of Llewellyn since they have most of Isreal Regardie's stuff on contract as well as a nice single volume of Agrippa. I think a better bit of advice would be "caveat emptor" with their stuff. Most of it IS tripe, but Regardie is pretty well regarded as a good place to start.
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    Oh Hell, I guess I'll just hunt down Grant Morrison's DISINFOCON talk :-P
  7.  (30.15)
    Wow. I am sad that I never got to meet Mr. Maroney, I think we would have found much to talk about and some in common.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    His essay on forms of divinations is Interesting. Nice linkage!
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    <blockquote>I would like to disagree with you assessment of Llewellyn since they have most of Isreal Regardie's stuff on contract</blockquote>

    Those versions are still fairly poorly edited down from the originals, as I understand it. Although, perhaps it would be better to have said 'avoid anything originating from Llewellyn'.

    Buckland's stuff doesn't so much have gaps, but when he's claiming something is Saxon or Pictish, that's when he's, to be blunt, making shit up instead of revealing oathbound material. However, even by the time he was writing, the oathbound stuff was in the public domain, so it's kinda pointless.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    One of the elements of the Ebon Shelf is that i'm writing a diary of a practicing magus named Emile Belasco and this where my own attitudes about magick tend to come out. This is of course one of the reasons for this thread like for instance:
    There are only 3 pre-requisites for magick as near as i can tell.

    First you must have will. Will is essential. Magick is powered in all ways by the essential energy of emotions. Emotions are fluid, squidgy things and as a result, you must have will to hone them, and shape them, and focus them.

    Next, you must have imagination. Will is pointless without direction, vision, and a desire to create.

    And third, and perhaps most important, you must have patience. Patience is necessary for scholarship, for examining your own intent for purity, and for the gathering of power. Also: Magick tends to work on it's time frame, not ours.

    In this way, magick is like a 3 legged stool. Attempt to sit on a stool with one or more of the legs missing and you'll end up on your ass.

    Note that Ethics, Morals, Common Sense, or even knowing what you are doing are NOT necessary to the practice of Magick.

    There are many people who use magick in their day to day lives without even knowing that they are doing so. I'm not talking about reading one's thrice-damned horoscope. I am talking about the simplest acts of will and imagination and patience. Getting through a bad work day, baking a cake with any degree of facility, writing a sonnet, or any number of things we take for granted.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    Are you lot aware of the Chemical Wedding film that's in production? Written by a British Midlands airline pilot, it's got Simon Callow in as some kind of re-incarnation of Crowley.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
    No. Dish, spill, tell.