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ritual | The Real Twilight Zone

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TRTZ no 55 Chaos and Chaos Magic

Good Evening, and tonight’s show will be Chaos – well what’s the difference I hear you say?

Well – as well as being Chaotic in terms of production and chat-room management, we’ll be talking about CHAOS and CHAOS Magic!

But first some news …

UK

April 21st:  A sonar picture of an object following a boat 23 metres below the surface has reignited Loch Ness Monster theories everywhere after it was taken by Loch Ness boat skipper Marcus Atkinson.

Atkinson took the picture of the sonar anomaly using his mobile phone and consequently won first place in the ‘Best Nessie Sighting of the Year’ Awards by William Hill Bookmakers.

Loch Ness Monster fans have scrutinized the sonar image and believe it is not a case of misidentified fish, seals or debris.

Atkinson explains that, “The device takes a reading of the depth and what is below the boat every quarter of a second and gradually builds up a picture, so it covered a time of about five minutes.

The object got bigger and bigger and I thought “bloody hell” and took a picture with my mobile phone. There is nothing that big in the Loch. I was in shock as it looked like a big serpent, it’s amazing. You can’t fake a sonar image. I have never seen anything returned like this on the fish finder.”

However, Dr Simon Boxall from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton points out that it may have a mundane explanation after all.  “The image shows a bloom of algae and zooplankton that would exist on what would be a thermocline.

Zooplankton live off this algae and reflect sound signals from echo sounders and fish finders very well.  They will appear as a linear “blob” on the screen, just like this.”

But while Boxall seems to have potentially solved the mystery,

Atkinson has shown the image to other experienced skippers who haven’t seen anything like it before and, of course, Nessie hunters remain hopeful that this is finally the real deal.

 

April 23rd:  A recent story of a monster rat found in a basement in the US has been trumped by another enormous discovery on UK shores.

Brian Watson, a grandfather from Consett, County Durham discovered the giant rat near his home after the boyfriend of his granddaughter spotted it.  Unfortunately, Watson proceeded to beat it to death with a plank of wood, which he then attempted to use to lift the body from the garden, only to result in the plank breaking under the weight of the mammoth rodent.

Watson believes the rat might’ve been about to have a litter of babies and that this may be why it was so large and slow.  Some have suggested that the animal was actually a coypu and not a rat.

Watson has also been heavily criticized for killing the creature in the manner that he did, as many feel his reaction was excessively cruel and that it could’ve been rescued or simply moved from the area.

 

International

April 13th:  Dawa’a, an 18-year-old-girl from Cairo, Egypt, claims to have been touched by a tribe of a thousand Jinn after she wept tears of blood.  Appearing on Al Nahar Television to tell her story, she describes how Amr Al-Laithi, a Muslim scholar, recited verses from Qur’an as she fell unconscious and how when she woke up after 20 minutes of the ritual she could not remember anything of the preceding events and had an intense headache.

Amr Al-Laithi describes the jinn as having only an external influence on Dawa’a, and that she had not been possessed.  Some have expressed concern for the girl’s health, as crying blood could also be the symptom of infection or even cancer.

April 16th:  Jose Chinchilla and his fiancée Michele Callan of Toms River, New Jersey, claim that they plan to sue the landlord $2,250 (The total of their security deposit) after paranormal activity forced them out of the newly rented property only a week after moving in.

The couple says that they ‘hear eerie noises, that lights flicker, doors slam and a spectral presence tugs on their bed sheets.’  They decided to call Shore Paranormal Research Society to investigate their strange goings on.

The Team from the Society came to the conclusion that while they believe there is something paranormal going on, they do not believe it indicated a full-blown haunting.  The landlord has reacted by filing a counter suit; of the opinion that the couple was actually unhappy with the $1,500 a month rental fee and that they invented the ghost to escape their lease.

The case will go to court by the end of this month.

Earlier in the year, we reported the announcement made by Telecommunications giant Qualcomm in reference to the ‘Tricorder X-Prize Contest’ in which the company would offer a $US10 million prize to anyone able to make a functioning medical ‘tricorder’ similar to those used in all generations of Star Trek.

Dr. Peter Jansen, a PhD graduate of the Cognitive Science Laboratory at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, says that he has been working on such a device since 2007.

Though his prototypes are designed more for scientific research than medical alone, Jansen said it can so far measure ambient temperature, pressure or humidity, take electromagnetic measurements to test magnetic fields, and it make spatial measurements of distance, location, or motion.

Jansen states that the idea of making a tricorder has been with him since he was a child and that Star Trek was what inspired him to become a scientist in the first place.  His favourite version of the fictional device appears in Voyager, though his favourite series in all is the Next Generation.  Jansen has posted schematics and designs of his first and second prototypes, (Mark 1 and Mark 2) for anyone to see and build in the hope that others will try to create something similar.

He expects to have his latest version (Mark 4) produced for about $200.  Think you’d like to try?  Visit www.tricorderproject.org for all the details.

 

April 17th:  UFOScandinavia have helpfully released a compilation video of all the recent youtube footage of UFO’s in St Petersburg.  Any theories?

Danu Fox – Earth-Singing

Danu was a guest on our show a couple weeks ago when she told us of the forthcoming event.

On Sat 5 May at 3pm groups of singers and dowsers are gathering all along the lines to perform and measure the effects of a short ceremony with the intention of singing thank you and giving love and appreciation for our lands.

Inspired by the Songlines tradition of Australia, Danu Fox, singer, musician and founder of Earth Singers, a pioneering programme for stewarding land, has instigated this event and it is the first time anything like this has been done on a national scale across the UK.

If you’d like to join in please go to the Earth Singers Facebook page or email Danu: info@songbearmusic.co.uk. Enjoy!

 

Chaos & Chaos Magic

Chaos Magic – A Primer by Catherine

Chaos magick is difficult to explain in full.  It is also a relatively recent notion, its’ birth seeming to have occurred only in 1976.

A general description of Chaos Magic outlines the contradictory nature of belief and reality and the idea of there being no real set of rules by which to achieve something.

The gnosis state is the aim for a chaos magician, whatever type of trappings you choose to employ doesn’t really matter, ‘just as long as they inspire you.’

Chaos Magick as we currently know it was first formulated in West Yorkshire in the 1970s as a consequence of a meeting between Peter Carroll and Ray Sherwin in Deptford in 1976.

In 1978 Carroll and Sherwin also founded the Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT) a chaos magic organisation.

The name of the organization is derived from the Greek gods of sex and death: eros and thanatos, apparently in accordance with the notion of these two methods being the positive and negative ways of achieving ‘magical consciousness’.

The group was criticized for its use of hierarchical and traditional ritual, things which should technically be rejected by most chaotes, many of whom believe the entire concept to be somewhat un-chaotic.

The group is also renowned for being, perhaps somewhat paradoxically, rather difficult to get into.

Chaos theory and magick primarily have their roots in theories outlined by Austin Osman Spare, artist and once a member of the A∴A∴, created in 1907 by Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones after they left the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

However, it is also important to note that they do not replicate his beliefs exactly.

While sources such as Wikipedia call him the father of chaos magick, other sources instead call him the grandfather of it, and instead believe Peter Carroll to be the ‘father’ of chaos magick.

Spare disapproved of religion and of science as well, relating religion to ‘chains’ and feeling both were restricting in their self-proclaimed ‘truths’.

One of Spare’s most significant contributions to the theories of chaos magick is probably the use of his sigils, that is, his notion of a ‘symbolic representation of the magician’s desired outcome’.

His ‘alphabet of desire’ was adapted by Carroll in his Liber Null & Psychonaut.

Spare’s use of sigils involved designing a symbol over which to obsess, something that would occupy the mind as he felt that the mind was a hindrance to magic.

Gnosis, therefore, is loosely defined as an overwhelming of the parts of the mind involved in rational function.

His other main contribution to the overall belief system of Chaos magick is the rejection of traditional magical systems and ritual in favor of achieving a Gnostic state.

Chaos magick is anarchic to some degree, hoping to negate the effects of religious structure and allow one to build a structure of their own to some degree – ie, whatever works for you.

It emphasises the importance of belief, summarising it as a form of magic in itself, though many self-proclaimed chaos magicians do not feel that belief is necessary to participate in that form of magic.

Reality is not important, then, as if a belief results in the desired outcome it is often accepted as truth or taken to heart.  Only subjective truths are available – nobody knows what is absolutely true, only beliefs are available.

Chaos magick is, at its heart, about freedom, but it is filled with opposites and paradoxes.

While the notion of belief is important and the freedom that comes with choosing any helpful belief is key to chaos theory, it is also temporary.

A chaote will believe something before changing that belief for the next one that becomes useful.

Therefore, a chaote both truly believes and does not technically ever really believe at all.  This approach was propagated by Carroll, Spare would have spoken differently.

This could also be called ‘paradigm shifting’, in that often opposing rites or rituals are used and entirely believed in their context at that time.

The saying ‘Nothing is True, and Everything is Permitted’ (A saying popularised by William Burroughs, though its’ origin was a line from a character in ‘Alamut’ by Vladimir Bartol.) plays into these principles, a self defeating statement that could be interpreted as meaning that there is no absolute objective truth to tell us what is entirely right or wrong, there are no rules.

Sigils are fundamental to chaos magic, a form by which magic can be personalised to some degree.

It begins with focusing on a wish or aim or writing a ‘statement of will’, such as ‘I will get an A on the paper I wrote’, then using the letters in the statement to form a symbol or design of some nature which must be achieved without intense focus.  It should ‘come to you’.

Carroll added to this process by suggesting removing the letters that repeat in the sentence to make it easier.

This done, gnosis must be achieved, to ensure total focus on the goal.

This can be achieved by one of several techniques which are as follows.

Inhibitory gnosis: similar to what we know as mediation, to achieve a trance-like state.  This involves self-hypnosis, regular breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation and absent thought-processes.  It could be achieved by fasting, not sleeping, sensory deprivation or even drugs.

Excitatory gnosis:  Perhaps almost the opposite of the first mentioned, involving a degree of intense arousal that could be achieved via flagellation, dance, song/ chanting, hyperventilating, sexual excitation, or, again, drugs.

Indifferent vacuity:  This third method was added later, and involves casting said spell almost as a sidenote so that there is little thought involved to suppress in the first place.

Of course, this implies that there are some rules involved in a kind of magic that prides itself on being ruleless to some degree, therefore these methods are viewed more as ways of inducing gnosis only as opposed to processes that’re valuable or significant by themselves.

Chaos itself is not a label used to specifically describe mayhem or disorder, but acts to chaotes as a description of something all-encompassing.

It is described by one researcher as “…what you love, but it’s also what you hate. Chaos is fire, and it’s water, and it’s those things whether that’s good or bad. This doesn’t just mean that it’s objective, in that it is beyond good and bad (although it is held to be) – but it also contains the subjective aspects also. It contains all opposites. As everything is of chaos, so everyone mirrors it.”

Many aspects of chaos magick have become incorporated in to the even more confusing paradigms of discordianism.

So that’s Catherine’s Introduction….

 So let’s take things a bit further…

DETERMINISM is the notion that every event or action is the inevitable result of preceding events and actions.

In many ways, the spiritual movement embrace this concept within the “Laws” of what is commonly known as “Karma”.

In science determinism suggests, at least in principle, hat every event, or action, can be predicted in advance or in retrospect. This is a view point which can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and became part of modern science around 1500AD with the establishment of the idea that cause and effect completely govern all motion and structure on the material level.

The deterministic view of the universe suggests, therefore, that the universe unfolds in time like the workings of a machine and subject to predetermined ‘laws’.

Newtons Laws of Motion are perfect examples of deterministic thinking and it is an approach which still underpins much physical science. These ‘laws’ can be defined by measurement and expressed mathematically.

Now, one of the fundamental principles of experimental science is that no real measurement is infinitely precise but includes a degree of uncertainty in the value. The question ‘how long is a piece of string?’ is not so simple to answer – it depends upon how we measure it and what we are measuring…

In 1900 the physicist, Henri Poincare commented upon a special kind of behaviour in time found in certain physical systems. In essence he pointed out that there would be imprecision in all astronomical predictions made by Newtons equations and ‘laws’. Simply put Poincare challenged the assumptions made by his peers that such imprecision would become less significant the more accurate the   system of measurement…. in astronomical systems when the measurements became more precise the ‘shrinking of the initial conditions’ shrank from he final predictions in a corresponding way.

He summarised his arguments thusly :-

in ‘complex systems’  the only way to obtain precise predictions with any degree of accuracy would entail specifying the initial conditions with absolute infinite precision.

The extreme “sensitivity to initial  conditions” became known as ‘chaos’.

In 1963 the meteorologist wrote a basic computer program to predict weather patterns. In short he found that no matter how he altered the variables he could never quite recreate expected patterns from the initial conditions. By the late 1970′s he discovered that even the smallest discrepancy between initial conditions would always result in a huge discrepancy at earlier or later times – the hallmark of a chaotic system. The well known and oft quoted ‘Butterfly Effect’.

The discovery of chaos seems to imply that randomness lies at the core of any deterministic model of the universe. Also, although seemingly counter-intuitive, is that chaos may produce ordered systems on large scales.

It is against this scientific backdrop that Chaos Magic was born.

Simply put, if Magic (as a ritualistic act) is about ‘bringing about change in accordance with will’ the way we define that change and the actions we undertake to bring about that change will, necessarily, not have a simple cause and effect relationship.

Chaos Magicians are generally of the opinion, as far as general opinions can be stated, that belief is an active magical force. There is an emphasis on flexibility of belief an the ability to consciously choose ones beliefs – so, you do not have to have ‘belief’  in order to make magic work.

Austin Osman Spare stated that will formulates desire which promulgates belief.

In Peter Carolls works not only does he talk about magic being related to increasing the probability, not a certainty, of a specific outcome, but also the importance of the ‘gnostic state’.

This state, similar to the Buddhist notion of Samadhi, is achieved when a persons mind is focused on a single point, thought or goal.

Gnosis is said to be achievable through Inhibition or Excitation.

Inhibition would include deep meditation, trance, fasting,sensory deprivation.

Excitation would include sex, flagellation, dance, drumming, chanting, sensory overload, hyperventilation and the possible use of drugs.

Despite its ‘nod’ to Thelemic (Crowley) and Golden Dawn, OTO and A:A traditions at the core of Chaos Magic is the notion that the ‘magic is within you’ and that whatever ritual path you choose to take is more to do with choice of belief, tradition and opportunity.

I would go a step further, perhaps, in suggesting that ‘doing by not doing’ and ‘being by simply being’ is the state of gnosis ritual attempts to create. It is from this state of knowing that we can really understand what is meant by the phrase ‘to bring about change in accordance with will’.

In order to work with ‘will’ there is the need to question the nature of will – being detached from simple ‘desire’, ‘lust’ and ‘ego-need’.

There is an inbuilt responsibility to bring about ‘change’ through action and that any action, no matter how small will have some effect upon the environment in which the magician operates – mind, spirit, body, home, town, planet, solar system, cosmos. The dictum ‘as above so below’ recreated and restated within the context of Chaos Magic and non-deterministic philosophies.

You may act with belief and conviction but the true effect of that action can have consequences beyond any original intent. To attempt understand one’s own desires in the context of free-will, personal-will and cosmic-will is an interesting challenge.

To be both at once philosophical and naive is the challenge…. and now we’re back to thinking about the ‘Fool’, the ‘Cosmic Joker’ and our own, personal journey.

Alan

 

Music from tonights show : THE IS – available from Aardvark Records

 

 

 

 

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TRTZ no 51 13th March : Magic, Ritual and Relevance…

 

Tonight’s featured topic will be on ritual magic : the rationale, the cultural considerations and relevance in the 21st Century.

Magic has been defined as ‘the art and science of bringing about change in accordance with will’.

This apparently simple statement is a bit of a philosophical and metaphysical minefield – but more of that later.

First Some News

March 1st: A man from Brantford, Toronto, was arrested after he pilfered an 8ft tall fiberglass chicken from outside a chicken farm.  He cut off its legs in the process of stealing it, leaving behind a rather odd looking set of stumps.  Police recovered the rest of the chicken from the suspects home and removed it on a flatbed truck which must have been quite a strange sight to anybody passing by.  Charges are pending.

March 5th:  Anthony Braglia has today published a two year investigation about two child witnesses to the infamous Roswell Crash.  They were reportedly the first to discover the debris of the whatever it was that crashed at Roswell in New Mexico in 1947, and since the event Vern Brazel and ‘Dee’ never publically revealed any information about what they witnessed and both of them, according to this report, seemed to have suffered for what they knew, additionally dying at a young age.

Vern sadly committed suicide in his twenties and Dee died of a heart attack at the age of 66.  The report attempts to discern what happened to the children after their experience and involves contributions from many family members of their behavior in general and in reference to the alleged crash.  To read the full report and draw your own conclusions, you can click here.

March 6th: A man from Coralville has been accused of stealing from the First Avenue Hy-Vee whilst intoxicated, in particular a jar of cheese that he spread all over the men’s restroom.  He was caught by security cameras stealing a jar of Tostitos Salsa Con Queso Medium Cheese, chips and beer, after which he slunk off to the men’s restroom to consume them.

The complaint to the police included the somewhat ridiculous sounding accusation of his ‘committing criminal mischief with the cheese’.  Investigation by the police found the accused with some of the beer he pinched still in his pocket!

He admitted to spreading the cheese on the walls of the bathroom because ‘he thought it would be funny,’ which to him, given his level of apparent intoxication, probably was.  Police have charged him with public intoxication, third-degree theft and criminal mischief.

The Men In Black 3 trailer was also released today

March 7th:  A dead creature washed up on the shore of San Diego is being called a chupacabra.  Josh Menard, a 19-year-old snowboarder from Lake Tahoe who found and snapped photos of it described the animal as had having ‘the body shape of a pig – kind of a fat stomach, middle area. And the canines were just ridiculously large’.

Earlier in the week Mexican farmers discovered 35 of their sheep slaughtered with claw and tooth marks around their necks and also blamed the chupacabra, one witness tending to the sheep overnight in the town of Paracuaro even went as far as to say that he saw fanged, winged creatures kill the livestock.

There were also pigs and horses in the same enclosure which were unscathed.  Comments regarding the photos of the San Diego creature point out that it is most likely to be a dog, the body of which has swelled with gas from the rotting of the corpse and the teeth appearing larger than normal as the skin is drawn back.

March 8th:  A local FOX TV affiliate cut to a live traffic report web cam and unwittingly captured something of a mystery in the background of the shot.  A bright flash of light is seen in the background of the traffic footage and despite being witnessed by anybody who happened to be watching the television at the time, nobody’s sure what it was neither have Phoenix officials been able to identify it.  It appears to be an explosion of some nature, which makes the flash so baffling as nobody reported an explosion and no damage or other evidence has been found.  FOX 10 is asking for the public to suggest the possible cause of the mysterious explosion of light.

UPDATE: The flash caught on KSAZ-TV Channel 10 traffic report has been put down to a damaged Arizona Public Service Co. power line which fell and caused a short power outage in the area according to APS, who were originally perplexed by the event as they weren’t aware of any power line issues or blown transformers that might’ve caused such a bright flash.

Russian photographer Andrey Pavlov has added to his macro-photographic series ‘Ant Tales’, a series of whimsical images carefully constructed to capture ants appearing to use props designed by Pavlov.

The photographs in the series are especially impressive because they feature careful choreographing so to speak, rather than arranged dead insects.  Pavlov studied ants and became aware that they follow a specific path when they’re working; therefore, he put his props in their trail and was rewarded with some incredible shots.

 

 

A video on YouTube is claiming that a photo of what appears to be a twister or similar on the surface of Mars is actually a Martian worm.  The worm-shaped object is so enormous; it casts its own gigantic shadow as it sails the surface of the planet.  The video magnifies the NASA still photo of an unidentified area of the red planet taken as a reconnaissance satellite orbited overhead.

 

We’re going to start our discussions of ritual magic with the assertion that… Magic Kills

 

Victoria Climbe died February 25, 2000.

The picture above portrays a happy little girl 8 years old, who was sent by her parents from the Ivory Coast to live with an aunt in the UK. The parents believed that she would have a ‘better life’ here. Nothing could have been further from the truth…

The BBC reported that when Victoria died of hypothermia in February 2000 she had 128 injuries.

The Home Office pathologist who examined her body, Doctor Nathaniel Cary, says it was the worst case of abuse he has seen in his career.

“This poor little girl had scars all over her body, on the head, on the trunk, front and back, and on all four limbs.

“And many of the scars suggest they’d been due to weapon-type injuries so you can see from the nature and the extent of injuries why this would be the worst case I’ve encountered.”

Victoria – called Anna by her killers – was forced to live in a freezing bath in her own excrement. Her hands and feet were bound and she was naked except for a bin liner.

Manning has admitted hitting her over the head with a bicycle chain. She was also regularly beaten with weapons including a belt buckle, hammer and wire.

Victoria’s blood was found in the hall, bedsitting room and bathroom of the cramped flat where the three lived in Tottenham in North London.

In his diary, Manning describes Victoria as Satan and says that no matter how hard he hit her she didn’t cry or show signs that she was hurt.

The Victoria Climbie murder revealed a catalogue of disastrous decisions made by the local authorities, the social service and the police. It led to criminal charges being brought against not only her guardians but also upon members of the local authority. It sparked a major review of child welfare procedures.

At the heart of this case was a little girl who was beaten to death by guardians whose stated motivation was to drive evil out of her.

You can read the various news items about Victoria Climbie here

Ten Years On …

Kirsty Bamu died December 2010

Kristy Bamu, 15, was killed by his sister Magalie Bamu, 29, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, 28.

He died in a bath at their tower block flat in Newham, east London, on Christmas Day 2010 after days of being abused.

He had come to London from Paris with his two brothers and two sisters to spend the festive season with Magalie Bamu.

Things turned sour when the couple, who were said to be obsessed with kindoki, the word for witchcraft in their native Democratic Republic of Congo, accused him of putting spells on a younger child. At their trial at the beginning of March

Football coach Eric Bikubi and Magaile Bamu were found guilty of murder.

Bikubi was ordered to serve at least 30 years and Bamu a minimum of 25 years.

Judge David Paget told the couple the case was particularly serious and involved sadistic behaviour.

“It was prolonged torture involving mental and physical suffering being inflicted before death,” he said.

He told Bikubi that he accepted that brain damage may have made him more inclined to believe Kristy was a witch and a threat to the younger child.

But Judge Paget added: “The belief in witchcraft, however genuine, cannot excuse an assault to another person, let alone the killing of another human being.”

He told Bamu he did not accept her denial of belief in witchcraft, nor that she was forced to attack Kristy by Bikubi.

“It is only explicable if you shared Eric Bikubi’s belief. It provides some explanation for what happened, but it does not excuse it,” he told her.

More information about Kirtsy Babu can be found here

Why have I started this topic in such a negative and distressing way?

Simply because there two cases alone remind us that magical rituals are part of life in the 21st Century. These particularly distressing and extreme examples of ritual also, unfortunately, shape public perception about the ‘occult’ and ‘magic’.

It is interesting to note that both of these cases involve the murder of an individual thought to be ‘a witch’ or a ‘servant of satan’. Both cases thus could be said to involve violence being metered out by “Christian” identifying ‘believers

Religious extremism and bigotry exists and continually disturbs as to the violence resulting from it. Neither Muslim, Jew or Christian (whose beliefs are described as belonging to the Abrahamic Tradition) can claim that their history does not contain examples of persecution and murder of ‘non-believers’.

Neither is the New Age or Alternative movement without it’s violent or death inducing practices. The website, www.whatstheharm.net, catalogues 368,379 people deaths , 306,096 injuries  and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages which are the direct result of spiritual practices, New Age beliefs or Alternative Therapy Treatments.

In all of these cases what motivates the killer is not necessarily their belief, but in my opinion, their ignorance…

It doesn’t take too much effort to come across presentations like these on the Internet..

AND this particularly disturbing one …

What we are seeing and hearing here is exactly the opposite of ‘freedom of belief’ and the right to explore ones own spiritual path. Each of these Christian sermons are using fear, prejudice and more than a smattering of ignorance to rally believers to a particular way of thinking and being.

I guess there are numerous ‘Born Agains’ who celebrate and focus on the literal interpretation of the Bible…

Hence…

Exodus : 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

Leviticus : 21:16-23 Handicapped people cannot approach the altar of God. They would “profane” it.

To be more specific :

Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. (21:16-23)
God can’t stand the sight of handicapped people.
The blind, the lame, dwarfs, people with funny noses or blemishes, with damaged testicles, or broken hands or feet, crooked backs, or who have scurvy or scabs, or who have anything superfluous must not approach the altar of God.
What the Bible says about blind and handicapped people.
21:18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
21:19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,
21:20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
21:21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.
21:22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.
21:23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

Leviticus : 24 : 16 Anyone who blasphemes or curses shall be stoned to death by the entire community

Of course the New Testament is also of reasons to punish others, including the Jews, for either their ‘willful ways’ or ignorance of ‘the truth’ as delivered by their saviour.

Removing the emotion from the issue and looking coldly and carefully at any ‘text’ thinking folks will easily see that interpretation of what has been written is where the problems lie; especially if that interpretation is taken out of context.

Hence the verse from 2 Corinthians 10 which says:

10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Could be read as a call for Christians NOT to imagine anything outside of the ‘knowledge of God’ and total ‘obedience’ to Christ.

And then we read…

10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Surely a call to be ready to smite those who disobey…

But how can we interpret …

10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.

Which seems to me to invoke a degree of thought and dare I say imagination.

Surely the argument that ‘the scripture’ needs to be understood and then taught by those who call themselves apostles and prophets actually calls into question the clarity of Gods word.

We could suggest that the wrongful nature of the human imagination is replaced by blind obedience to those who have had the imagination to translate ‘the word’ and indoctrinate their followers with one specific interpretation. If this were not the case how can we explain the schisms, disagreements and fragmentation of Christianity.

Now don’t get me wrong here… I’m not trying to demonise Christianity, but to call into question the behaviours of some who preach it. If I had been brought up in a predominantly Muslim or Jewish culture I may well have been raising the same questions about the Koran or the Torah.

ALSO I respect without hesitation those whose adherence to any particular text or doctrine which preaches peace and forgiveness at its core and do not fall into the fundamentalist trap of believing that they alone are the holders of ‘the truth’ (which I can accept but not agree with) and that they have the right therefore to shun, destroy or even “aggressively convert” others (something I find personally abhorrent)

As Corinthians 2 says..

13 : 11 “Live in peace.”

 Ritual Magic

Coming back to the topic at hand…

MAGIC is, as said elsewhere, the art and science of causing change in accordance with will.

In it’s broadest sense then any change that we make in our lives that we bring about by will or actions (behaviours) is a magical act. Of course this will disappoint most people who really want to hear about wand waving, sword wielding, candle burning and naked chanting… or chanting whilst naked..

Undertaking symbolic and/or practical acts to bring success to any venture has a long history. The cave paintings of our ancestors probably served symbolic and ritual purpose, and of course spells are cast by some of the Biblical ‘heroes’.

Genesis – Jacob is ‘tricked’ into bedding and conceiving children with sistes…

30:16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.

“Surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes’…

Well as any herbalist (or witch) knows mandrake has both hallucinogenic properties and is (was) used in love potions.

As Wikipedia tells us..

“Mandrake contains deliriant hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids such as atropinescopolamineapoatropinehyoscyamine and the roots sometimes contain bifurcations causing them to resemble human figures, their roots have long been used in magic rituals, today also in neopaganreligions such as Wicca and Germanic revivalism religions such as Odinism.”

But more interestingly, perhaps, the two key references to mandrake in the bible use a hebraic word which translates as ‘love plant’.

So good old Leah was practicing ritual magic.

In fact the Bible is full of  references to magical practices. Some very obvious such as ‘sacrifice’ (including that of Jesus) to less obvious examples such as ‘prayer’.

A wish is a prayer which is a ‘spell’ by another name…

A verbalisation of an intent made to some deity or some source of power.

Of course when we think about Ritual Magic we are frequently drawn to the ideas and images created by the horror and sword and sorcery movies. Robed or naked figures calling out arcane verses read from a spell book or ancient grimoire.

Actually this image is easily adapted to any Church or Religious Congregation in the world.

What makes OCCULTISTS different from the everyday Church is, I would argue, is the metaphysical and mythical framework in which the ritual takes place.

Christians, Muslims and Jews (and no doubt other ‘conventional religions’) have a monotheistic basis. A single deity to which prayers are ultimately directed. Of course some ‘flavours’ of  Christianity will have a ‘host of minions’ to which specific  requests could be made. Catholicism has its Saints and Angels as well as Mother Mary, Jesus and The Trinity.

The reinvented neo-pagan tradition has a creative power behind the Universe which is knowable to us, as human beings, in the forms of a God and Goddess. (see the TRTZ episode on Wicca).

Many of these Earth Based religions, including Druidry, are concerned with the connections between people, spirit and land. Rituals tend to focus on seasonal festivities; healing; fertility and material survival.

In a non-derogatory way this can be considered as Low Magic in that it’s focus has an Earthly, practical and physical motivation. Ok there is the idea of ‘spirit’ in terms of the animistic ideals of ‘spirits of land, plants and animals’ and of ‘ancestors’.

During the Renaissance there was an explosion of interest in mystical traditions. The Natural Philosophers (who were later to become the scientists) were working to bring together spirituality with the growing knowledge that scientific discoveries were bringing. As part of their search the ‘enlightened ones’ (which may or may not have been members of the Illuninati) sought inspiration from older mystical writings. Some Jewish in origin (Qabbala), some older Sumerian and Babylonian – most reinvented and re-written specifically for the growing magical intelligencia.

The overall aim of these magicians was to gain insights into the nature of the Universe and reach some kind of understanding with God. There was, as always, a secondary goal for some of personal development (see TRTZ on Alchemy) and power.

Magical organisations like the Rosicrucians, Freemasons and later the Golden Dawn (O.T.O) and Crowley’s A:A draw heavily upon Judaeo Christian mysticism. All have a ‘hierarchy of initiation’ which may well be earned by learning or as frequently did happen through paying the right person…

In these orders the rituals were always ‘theatrical’. Have a look at this Golden Dawn ritual and see how many symbols you recognise as being part of Freemasonry and even Catholicisn.

The real issue for me is that so many magical groups and organisations become so involved with the ‘outer workings’ or the theatricality that they actually forget what the symbolism is all about. For example I was giving a talk to a ‘spiritual development group’ recently on the Qabbala and related ‘magical ideas’. At the end of the session a gentleman approached me and identified himself as a Mason (I am not a Freemason by the way). He said that he was surprised by the ‘quality’ and ‘insight’ of my talk and that he had not realised the origin of so many of the symbols that exist within his own ‘temple’.

 

In these organisations the ‘magical’ purpose of the initiate was generally to become closer to God or to access the God within. This may well result in ‘earthly power’, but as a by-product of what their studies and experiments rather than as an end in and of itself.

Catherine has been researching a couple of ‘magical traditions’ for your information and interest…

I asked her to look at Odinism, a modern interpretation of Norse mythology and Discordianism – which has a decidedly unusual take on all things magical… in fact one wonders if there’s more than an element of taking the p**s.

The Odinic Rite

The Odinic Rite are a Polytheistic Religious organisation founded in England in 1973.
The organisation was initially called the Committee for the Restoration of the Odinic Rite or the Odinist Committee.
In 1979 they disbanded and reformed as The Odinic Rite.
They have their roots in Germanic paganism and Norse mythology, though they apparently reject the label of ‘Viking religion’.

They describe themselves as a ‘life-affirming’ religion.

The term ‘Odinism’ comes from the name of the chief God of Norse mythology, Odin.
The Odinic Rite website describes them as being concerned with ‘…the ethics of social behavior, our relationships with one another and nature, with the whole of life,’ as well as pointing out their ideals of ‘Faith, folk and family’.

They also value the number 3 as a holy number, similar to many other sects, and use the Triskel as their symbol of choice.

They feel that the number 3 can represent a family unit (Mother, father, child) and it fits with their ‘Faith, folk and family’ motto. The triskel symbol itself is on a red background, meant to represent 3 drops of blood that tie again, into the faith, folk and family motto as they are bound by blood. The symbol as it is used now first appeared on the back page of an Odinic Rite briefing, specifically number 112, October 1991.

The Miollnir, or Thor’s hammer, is also used as a symbol of Odinism.
Their moral code is known as the Nine Noble Virtues and is as follows:

“Courage is my strength, To withstand wretched foes, To sail against the storm, And the will to insist, Honour is my will, To defend my dear folk, My moral in battle, And the drive to do Good.”

So: courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, self-reliance, industriousness and perseverance.

These virtues were “…codified from The Hávamál and The Sigrdrífomál (poems from the Elder Edda) in the early 70s.”

The mythology of Odinism is said to be held in five acts that’re often compared to the seasons and using the god Balder who is (again according to the Elder Edda) the son of Odin and Frigg, the God of summer and of all nature and one of the most famous of the mythology, doomed to an early death.

The five acts are Creation (Spring), the time preceding the death of Balder (Summer), the death of Balder (Summer’s end), the time immediately after the death of Balder (Autumn) and Ragnarok, the decline and fall followed by a renewal of the world (Winter, then spring).

Of the other gods included in the mythology Thor is also one of the more famous, though other examples include Brage, Heimdal (Watchman of the gods), Vidar (The silent god), Frigga (Queen of the cards), Vali (God of vengeance and rebirth), Frey (God of fertility), Freya (Goddess of love), Tyr (God of war), Idun (Goddess of youth) Njord (Stiller of storms) and Forsete.

Each of them represents ‘powers of nature’ and are collectively called ‘Aesir’, ruling over the world they created.

Modern day Odinists point out that they do not partake in the elaborate rituals or animal sacrifices that once were, understanding the symbolic nature of the rituals and observing their priniciples and applying them in other ways.

Discordianism is something of an enigma…

It worships the notion of chaos, personified by the Goddess Eris, or Discordia in Roman. It was founded circa 1958–1959 after the publication of the holy book Principia Discordia. It focuses on the belief that order and disorder are illusions and that neither is more accurate than the other.

There are suggestions that the whole thing was created as an antithesis to religions such as Scientology, or that it was made at the same time purely to see which could come up with the next popular new religion.
It’s many quoted mottos include ‘no two equals are the same’ and ‘There is no Erisian Movement but the Erisian Movement and it is the Erisian Movement.’
The website of the Discordian Society consists of a page with their logo and the words ‘there is no definition’.
The idea of a Discordian Society is therefore a paradox in itself. Discordian doctrine is known as Pentabarf and is as follows:
There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.

A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.
A Discordian is required to, the first Friday after his illumination, Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Roman Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).
A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.
A Discordian is Prohibited from Believing What he reads.
Joining apparently consists of doing what you like and telling them about it, or not, and keeping in mind that there are no rules anywhere.
The principles of Discordianism also outline the idea of everybody being a pope, and that any pope can completely rewrite the Erisian church…
According to the Principia Discordia, the birth of the Erisian Movement occurred when Omar Ravenhurst and Malaclypse the Younger received a vision of a chimpanzee while drinking coffee in an all-night bowling alley, followed by a dream of the Goddess Eris Herself a few nights later.

In relation to rituals, Discordian ceremonies tend to be difficult to unravel and non-sensical, though that appears to be the point.
Perhaps the most famous, if you can call it that, is the turkey curse, which is designed to counteract the curse of Greyface which is as follows:

In 1166bc, a malcontented hunchbrain decided that the universe was as humourless as he was and began to teach that play was sinful because it contradicted the ways of the serious order. He deluded honest men to believe that reality was a straightjacket affair and not the happy romance as men had known it. Thusly, Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and destroyed their opposers, the result of which is that mankind has been suffering from imbalance, causing frustration, causing fear, which makes for a bad trip, and that man has been on a bad trip for some time now. This is the curse of Greyface.
The Turkey curse, thusly, counters greyface and his curse of destructive order as he“…absolutely requires an aneristic setting to function and that a timely introduction of eristic vibrations will neutralize their foundation. The Turkey Curse is designed solely to counteract negative aneristic vibes and if introduced into a neutral or positive aneristic setting (like a poet working out word rhythms) it will prove harmless, or at worst, simply annoying.”

The Aneristic Principle is that of apparent order; the Eristic Principle is that of apparent disorder. Both order and disorder are ‘manmade concepts and are artificial divisions of pure chaos, which is a level deeper than is the level of distinction making.’

To perform it, you must “Take a foot stance as if you were John L. Sullivan preparing for fisticuffs. Face the particular greyfaced you wish to short-circuit, or towards the direction of the negative aneristic vibration that you wish to neutralize. Begin waving your arms in any elaborate manner and make motions with your hands as though you were Mandrake feeling up a sexy giantess. Chant, loudly and clearly: GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!”

It should be noted, apparently, that this ritual can backfire. Positive motivation is essential.
This is just one example of many rituals, others of which list as The Baptismal Rite, Tarot, The Sacred Erisian High Mass of the Krispy Kreme Kabal, and the Gourdfest.

Coming back to something which may seem less ‘mocking’, Odinic ritual often involves mead, as it believed to be favoured by the gods and drank by Odin. Group rituals can include mead-drinking from a horn after a blessing and a nature of prayer, perhaps for assistance from the wisdom of Odin or in better understanding runes.

The Sumbel is an example of ritualistic drinking and toasts to one another.

The Blot is a sacrifice ritual, usually a blood sacrifice, which is not often partaken in now as it has been replaced by a more symbolic practice.

The rite of Bragi seems the most famous of the rituals, designed to honour the gods of Odinism and bring the perpetrator into a better relationship with them as Odinism teaches that its followers are friends of the gods, not inferior beings.

The ritual begins with purification, by washing the body and dressing in pure white, red or black, then waiting for night.

As night draws in, the next step involves positioning yourself before a source of light.

You must then stand with your eyes and arms raised and declare: “A man without gods has a desert in his heart.”

You must then remain motionless for a time, as during this time you are meant to be moving ‘through time without moving through space.’

Next, you must touch all the gods and goddesses of Asgard by naming them as naming is a kind of touching because the name is a part of the thing.

The final and most mystical part of the rite involves, while still standing before the light source, selecting one god or one goddess from the sacred pantheon then visualising yourself as the deity you have selected.

If the visualisation is successful and you literally see yourself as the imagined god or goddess, you will experience ‘The Glimpse of Extraordinary Beauty,’ and you will be ‘enveloped and penetrated by the thoughts of a god or a goddess.’

Ritual items are also important in these processes, from feathers, beads, bones, books, herbs, honey or beeswax, shells, turtle shells, candles and the more important of which include thor’s hammer, runes and drinking horns.

Thanks must go to Catherine for the above notes on Odinism and Discordianism who left the studio a few moments ago looking dazed and confused having invoked the spirit of Chaos in her attempts to determine meaning from the apparent non-meaning of the Principia Discordia.

The point about all magical systems is the attempt to ‘shock’ the individual awake either by  is methodological approach to what appears to be a logical metaphysical framework or by their attempt to change perception through its illogical and incongruent assertions.

I suspect that some of the more ‘out there’ approaches owe much to the Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley inspired LSD experiments which sought to open the doors of perception …. AND herein lies the key. Magic is about changing perceptions and exploring the illusions we accept as reality.

The work of Robert Anton Williams is as relevant to many magicians as the works of Crowley.

One of the more recent magical systems is that of Chaos Magic.

Liber Choas draws its inspiration from the world of probability and quantum physics …. but time doesn’t allow for more talk on this topic.

So what about the relevance of magic today…

Music

Mountain Mirrors : A Spell to Block The Sun

Buddy Guy : Are You Losing Your Mind

 

 

 

 

 

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