Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Theatre of Magick (Reprise)

Reprise
Magick is more of a necessity today, and has much more scope, than in the shamanistic period, its twentieth century functions and applications being more manifold. It can be used as
1) a therapy
2) an antidote
3) a religion
4) a discipline
5) a way
6) a drama

or any combination of these.
Like all other dramas, the better one’s performance the more interesting it is. The more interesting it is, the more likely an improvement in ones performance. The magician aims for his performance to reach the level of his capacity and it is with this in mind that the following are offered as improvisations which will hopefully tend towards a greater flexibility in the Theatre of Magick.
Anonymity
The use of faceless masks in a ritual has various advantages. 1) Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can do so. 2) In a carefully chosen or designed place, with the celebrants wearing masks time
and disbelief can be more easily suspended. Seeing a face one recognizes, like seeing a familiar object, brings one back to the here and now. 3) The sonorousness of the voice is enhanced by a well made mask.
Sound Effects
The use of unfamiliar noises can have an astonishing effect, especially on those present who do not know the source of the sound. Electronic music or music played backwards is useful but the magician will find more benefit for himself and his colleagues in creating weird sounds in situ. A glass marble rolled slowly around the inside of a slack drum, for example, can have a disorientating effect when used carefully in an outside location, as can a large metal canister containing a little water gently rocked from side to side.
The sound of a well made bullroarer creates a gnosis of its own. This is a piece of wood with chamfered edges about 8” by 3” by ¼” attached by one end to a piece of cord. Whirled slowly around the head it gives the impression of giant wings beating overhead. Whirled at speed it sounds like nothing if not the assembled hordes of Beelzebub. Both sounds are totally peculiar.
Characterizations
1) Adopt the ambience of being totally at cause over the universe and being successful in all ventures and activities. This brings remarkable results. 2) Adopt the ambience of being the most fortunate person on the planet. Good fortune follows such a postulate as a matter of course. 3) Change habits. E.G. Give up nail-biting and take up cigarette smoking for two months. Then change back. After two more months make a different arbitrary
change such as performing particular functions with the left hand instead of the right or vice-versa. Ambidextrous individuals should use their feet.
The Wrong Way of Walking
As a supplement to the foregoing spend a whole day in every few months walking and running backwards. Do not look where you’re going but develop a technique of avoiding large objects or deep holes. Practice in the following may prove useful.
Non-Sighted seeing
Blind people often develop an extra sense which helps them avoid objects in their path. It is possible for sighted people to develop this sense to such a remarkable degree that they can for example ride a bicycle blindfolded. Initially the technique depends on memory and detailed visualisation of the environment whilst blindfolded, filling in forgotten details by attempting to ‘see’ with the whole body rather than with the eyes. After some practice it is possible for anyone to differentiate colours in this manner. Adepts in the technique, having spent ten years or more perfecting their method, can even read books.
Walking over rough country on moonless, starless nights. helps build up this facility.
Stunts
Put yourself in dangerous or precarious situations as often as possible. As well as constantly drawing your attention to how good life has been to you so far this activity enhances the tendency towards premonition. This mind -brink phenomenon is impossible to describe or explain. It must be experienced.
It has the added benefit of increasing the amount of spontaneous liminal activity, during which premonitory flashes are most likely to occur.
The Phantom of the Opera
There is little benefit in this process above and beyond the academic interest in observing its results and the excellent practice in banishing required afterwards.
Theory: A poltergeist is a packet of undirected energy spontaneously and unwittingly created by adolescents of either sex.
Fact: If the attention of a group of such people is cleverly directed towards the possibility of there being a ‘presence’ in a particular place by a charismatic individual poltergeist activity will inevitably break out.
Note: Do not attempt this unless you are capable of controlling the un- subtle energies created and of maintaining the stability required by others during poltergeist activity. Amusing and unimportant at first the behaviour of an homunculous of this sort can easily get out of hand. During the author’s experiment entire windows were blown out and various objects destroyed. Moreover, the people unknowingly connected with the experiment were not the only ones to be affected by it. Parties entirely innocent of any knowledge of the experiment and not in the category of ‘adolescent’ were heard to be having conversations with the author in his absence being apparently able to see and hear him quite distinctly. Sensitive people were affected in ways too diverse to mention.
A very powerful banishing was required to rid the house of its unwanted guest and the author, who found its attention seeking habits irritating in the extreme, would walk over a million miles of broken bottles before he would repeat the experiment.
Crystals
The poltergeist might have been tamed in another way. There is a magical tradition that demons can be imprisoned in crystals and the author made good use of this information to regate the power of a package of unstable energy which had been hurled at him from an unknown quarter. That no-one has since been able to work the Abra Melin system successfully because he had encapsulated an energy recognized and described by the Mage under a particular name is unlikely. Such- energies are excretions or extensions of Kia in the same way as arms and legs; they are archetypes, essences thrown up by the correctly stimulated self.
The technique of magick is to recognize and order these energies some of which seem to be more powerful than the organism itself. Now crystal is one of the most ordered commodities in the universe whether it be natural, like quartz, or chemical, and this sense of order can be used to good effect.
Eutorbulated energy packets (demons) can be concentrated into a solid crystal and there contained until the magician is capable of reabsorbing them without ill-effects. Traditionally the crystal is cleansed in running water.
Conversely, energies or powers in which the magician is deficient may be built up using rapidly growing crystal forms, such as cobalt chloride in isinglass, as sigils; solid sigils which can be observed in their growth and which can be easily destroyed allowing the absorption of the power newly generated in the ritual. For effect chemicals of different colours can be used to typify different functions.
Props
Invent new magical weapons and invest them with magical potency for particular tasks. A stick or wand to assist night-walking might be a good one to start with. At all costs avoid the traditional unless it has a direct personal effect.
Gain through sacrifice
Carefully, sparing no detail, construct a magical weapon of any sort. The manufacture was successful if a) the object is purely personal and b) it successfully assists the performance of a particular magical function.
Restatement: You have constructed a personal weapon using all your expertise. It is beautiful, powerful and an extension of yourself. Over a period of time you have used it and built up its charisma so that you are almost reliant upon it.
Then, when a great deal of energy is needed for a particular operation, destroy the weapon or give it away. The energy released by this sacrifice is much greater than the power generated by using the weapon. Of course, operations requiring such an amount of energy do not occur regularly. Many magicians died without ever having used the instruments they made for this purpose.
Objects as sigils
A stick, a piece of jewellery, any object which can be carried can be used as a sigil. It is programmed into the subconscious function in the same way as any other sigil except that it is designed to exert its influence only in a particular kind of situation or when held in a special way. In view of this it can be multi-functional. The freer the mind of the magician the more versatile the weapon.
Perfumes as sigils
Manufacture perfumes and reify them as sigils for the enhancement of particular functions such as personal power, magnetism, sexual attraction, intellectual capability and so on. In doing these keep in mind the pheromone theory that the olfactory sense subliminally dictates to the organism. It follows then that essences will be chosen only after experimentation and the traditional attributions might be completely contradicted. The magician may find, for instance, that ambergris excites the flesh and not the spirit, camphor the urge to kill flying insects and not the properties of the sphere of Netzach.
The Staircase Meditation (for use in the liminal gnosis)
Image yourself at the top of an enormous spiral staircase whose dimensions are so vast that the curve can only just be discerned. Robed or naked, armed or unarmed, begin to walk slowly down noting details such as the texture of the carpet or the smoothness of the marble. As the gnosis ‘clicks’ in take note of the people who pass you on the way up or down and any other details.
This is a useful meditation for going backwards in time, that is, for training the magical memory, each stair representing a period of time. The images received whilst in the gnosis can be examined later and used as keys for other Liminal experiments.
The Astral Spiral (for use in the liminal gnosis)
Image the dark emptiness of infinity, ‘yourself an invisible dot on an invisible dot’. Image a vast spiral to which you are being attracted and into which you will inevitably be sucked , a la black hole. The spiral leads to a separate universe or anywhere else you care to go and is useful in experimenting with what used to be called ‘astral traveling’. As you are sucked into the spiral construct a strong image of the place you want to be and then key in the gnosis. Empirical evidence can be used in the examination of results.
Divination
Devise new methods of divination, the more bizarre and unlikely the better. Example: examine the shadow cast by a naked woman onto a backlit screen and prognosticate the major news of the following day from the American continent.
All divinatory schemes are arbitrary, serving only to trigger a peculiar and usually dormant ability. The problem is to find the trigger which has the greatest effect on your capability.
Zoological Anathemas (with chymical justifications)
Capture a large toad and enclose it in your mouth. There are two reasons for doing this.
1) The absolute revulsion caused by having a wriggling, perhaps defecating amphibian in one’s mouth brings about a tremendous release of the type of energy useful in sorcery.
2) A terrified toad exudes bucophylin, a hallucinogenic drug the effects of which are well known to Shamans all over the world. Release the relieved batrachian with your thanks.
Collect a number of large snails or slugs and allow them to feed for several days on a plant or herb with magical virtues such as belladoma, borage and so on. Put them in a box of barley to remove the slime and then boil them in water flavour as you will. When the liquid has been reduced by 50% allow it to cool and drink it.
Both of these procedures can be used to effect with magick of the medieval grimoire variety, the creatures used typifying the demons so described in the ancient text.
Sacramental Wine
A bottle of Australian Ruby is not sufficient. The wine affords the magician an opportunity to exercise his alchemical ingenuity. The wine can be wholly made by him using herbs appropriate to particular workings or natural psychedelics in the fermentation or it could contain concoctions similar to the ones mentioned above. Whatever, its flavour should be unusual and provocative.
The Black Mass
The traditional black mass, although it has little magickal value in itself, should be performed at least once by every magician of whatever persuasion; not as an act of blasphemy but as an antidote to the lurking perverted psychocosm of the still extant mediaeval dogma of the church into which all westerners have, to some extent, been conditioned.

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