So this is a DOWN world, huh?
My father’s old one THE SOLOMONIC MAGICIAN says that Solomonic magic inevitably leads to collisions with wealth and power that must be strictly controlled.
Now they tell me.
The old ones and the demons are not fully cranial without a very specific mix of energies in the ambient surroundings. There must be wealth, especially of the old money type, but there must also be wilderness, and it helps if there is a bit of the laboring class nearby as well. These are the essential energies of the European demon work, and the magic needs the effluvia and ghosts of this specific mix. There is an old neighborhood in Newark called Forest Hill that I particularly love for this reason, especially with the African-American neighbors a few blocks away. The ghosts come into those old homes and tell their plangent stories. They are almost palpable in those lovely old houses. We should build our houses to last for generations, then we could have the great chthonic work. It is partly in the buildings themselves. We should also have more mediums and more seances. The ghosts wanted to set me up in business with seances and help me get my act straight. I could have a witch shop in the ethnic neighborhood a few blocks away and the consultations for the well-heeled in their world. It would have been wonderful. I was just not put together well enough at that point in everything. I would like more trees, though. Wild ones. The lovely old cherry trees of Branch Brook Park are too tired with humans and pollution most of the time to do so much heavy lifting. But they are very nice and have many memories as well. Parks are where the dead go to dwell. Graves are not popular if you have a park and lived nearby.
You have to be able to see into a world to do its magic, and vice versa, a magic enables you to see into an underworld. My magic has had to come up with a lot of inventive ways to see into people’s worlds, because I step on a lot of toes with all these motley ghosts hanging around. I also can’t function. Not everyone is used to their soul’s past lives, especially if they are from long ago. We emit different value-energy-command effluvia, and this is disconcerting. I keep getting kicked out of everywhere. The good people of Forest Hill no doubt did not want the ladies and gentlemen of 1910 telling them to turn off the television and go visit the neighbors. It is one of the biggest losses. We cannot hold our souls together because we do not visit anymore. It takes a village . . . .
One of the collisions I had in the situation of a certain man was not so much THE MAN as his neighborhood, which was exactly like Forest Hill and which flipped the switch of Solomonic magic at a time I least anticipated it. I knew I was going to do it someday, because I had already started gathering the tools. It is a scary magic, with spirits willing to cause wounds to fester and much scolding from Regardie the hypocrite, but it also seemed like something that had to be done. I had studied European literature and it is all there in Shakespeare. You just don’t know Shakespeare is speaking of REAL THINGS THAT HAPPENED until you hit hoodoo and real things happen. I can vouch for this–after spending all that money on psychology books. That’s why I went into scientific training. The rest of it probably has something to do with fly agaric.
I always thought Crowley was unwise when he jumped into fly agaric too soon. You need a LOT of Cabala to make the fly agaric behave. Either that, or stringing yourself up from trees or not sleeping for three days or spending thousands of hours in black masses–my drug of choice. There is too much cheap pharmakia in this field. You can’t make REAL things happen without the physiological changes caused by repetitive exercises that Paul Case lauds. Stare at those cards–don’t eat fly agaric until you have stared at those cards.
I had a lot of crapout at 5,000 hours. It really is 10,000 hours. I’m sure all of Hermetics is looking at my life and saying, Howl, you still have a lot of crapout. No. This is actually the cleanup from the crapout of crap that is now called occult training. You cannot transplant the heavy hitting chthonic magic of Europe to North America without a few . . . accidents. It is all still a work in progress.
I was halfway through meditation and magical eucharists on the Hermetic Cabala, working my way through every symbol in John Michael Greer’s lovely handbook Paths of Wisdom. I loved JMG’s work. It was all about the style of that writer; his magic is CHEAP. I am a writer. I can’t get past bad style. It is what kept me in Mormonism for so long, the elegant gravity of it all. Christianity should have a handkerchief in its pocket. It is not fine otherwise.
The entire Cabala took ten years, with more time necessary for the higher Sephiroth that cause one to become insane otherwise.
We don’t know to plan for the Cabala. JMG didn’t say anything about the Cabala being rooted in a particular place, with one’s family, ancestors, friends, work associates, neighbors and the local ghosts being PHYSICALLY a part of one’s Cabala. If he had, I would not have had all this crap about being near death from it all. This is equally true of many things that are not said in Hermetics and the reason for this blog. When I broke the Cabala of Seattle, I set myself up for a big fat can of beatdown as everything adjusted in ways that sought to make the Cabala IMPOSSIBLE.
But I digress.
I set about making the Cabala in that man’s house and was basically stuck until I finished Kether, when a magic switch seemed to flip and the entire thing exploded into a wonderful new life for everyone, even the house.
Trade secret: the Cabala must end in
Solomonic OPERATIVE and inventive! magic or it eats the world. So Solomonic magic it is. Enochian magic can work here because it is SOLOMONIC MAGIC; it is just more blinded and tweaked by Buddhism than the older stuff. AND MORE FUNDED.
THE WORLD points out that straight-up Solomonic magic is a making of ANCESTORS, and if you have some snide ones like mine, the Aztec Jews, you can make Solomonic magick with a great POW POW of Irish Catholic along for the ride. Enoch binds the Lesser Key of Solomon because most of its practitioners are Christian, and the demons need a little FUN.
That is why Enoch feels different. Working from the underworld is safer in many ways, even if the biological energy of the living is a bit too taxed in it and the sex magick too overdone. Witchcraft was always done with these things, along with astrology. You never just had one spell. The powers need lots of little ways to tweak things and they need to hang around a lot.
The gods love making.
You should practice Buddhist meditation if you are going to do this. The Buddhist empire has conquered everything. It is time to call it: Chinese war magic stuffed into Buddhist monasteries = absolute empire from the astral. I will relate what Lama Bob says about this and why he is both proud and full of complaints about his bodies. They need to get a job.
Where was I?
I had just won a national grant in the art of playwriting and was high as a kite on FINALLY having made it. Now that I had made it as far as I needed in my art, I was going to do the thing that everyone did when they got past the apprenticeship: establish a home. That is the life cycle of the theatre artist.
I was a retread in theatre. My stint as a Mormon child bride had changed my college major to English and I had not gotten the all-important training I needed. I had a fine classical and liberal education, however, which made me a valued asset in the world of theatre which is full of technicians who don’t have enough of a sense of the tradition of civilization until the best ones build their education show by show. It is a glorious way to learn about the world, and I respect my fellow theatre artists with their patchwork quilts of great learning.
So I had to come back into theatre at first Saturn return, the 29-year point where you either fix your life or get broken by Saturn. This made me ten years behind my peers, not a good thing, since we all track on each other, so I was doing the thing most people do at 30 at 40, which threw me off. It also reduced my field of possible mates. They were all either taken, retreads with teenaged children to trouble about, or unpalatable.
Into this came a physicist-engineer built like a Greek god with a snifter full of WILD. I had missed this in my youth and could not come up with a reason not to have it with my picture in the paper and a ticker tape parade on every corner. I decided I deserved this man — I decided it too quickly. We all did. It was a bad call.
Friends have accused me of “selling out” for a rich husband. The truth is, I was not selling out for a rich husband. I had had plenty of offers from unappetizing rich men and didn’t go for it. I had ridden the bus to have a hot young guy, and he was well worth the trip.
I was swamped by the fundamental energy of the national level of creative writing–the upper middle class.
I had had friends who had “made it” to the top of our field, and they all had upper-middle-class lifestyles. The handsome leather goods, the smooth, creamy notebooks with that thick off-white paper, the trips to Europe, the new electronic gizmo every five minutes. These are the objects of power, I had noticed, and they were now within my grasp.
THE CREAMY WHITE PAGES OF THE UPPER MIDDLE CLASS.
My father’s Jewish being says that you cannot build the soul with Cabala alone–some of your stripes you must make in actual life, or the demons can never manage you.
I had to negotiate the trial of the upper middle class in life because it is the trial that the greatest of artists usually fail–and one that most occultist never face, so they could not help me.
The finest of my artist friends had mostly failed it. There they were, at my age, with all of their pretty things, and they were no longer making great art. They were merely the elder statesmen and the sitters on committees. (I hate committees. They are important, and I hate them. I would rather go to a show and drinks afterwards. Those are the fine committees.)
The best and brightest in my field were gunning for me in the underworld. You can’t stay weird with all that technique and power. It reduces the profit and causes the tiny audience that is left to become embarrassing FANATICS. I was blessed with fans who would drive hours in the rain to see my shows.
Where are they now? Waiting for me, I hope.
A man bunny could not have done this to me, nor could the Dark Golden Dawn which cursed me, or the many witches who had stuck pins in dolls, or the pranathirsty old immortals who wanted to eat the world. It was only my peers who could have called in the power of The Trial.
Are you an artist or a card-carrying member of the upper-middle class?
It is an insidious trial, because the upper-middle class is so very fine. Educated, cultured people who consume the art we make and give us every reason to believe they respect us. They don’t. They envy us and want us to fail, because some of them could live much better lives if they listened to what we have to say. They do and they don’t. Art makes gently with them. It should. And I like human civilization with many of its bells and whistles. We have too much junk, but I do want to keep a few of the necessities of civilization, and these folks are necessary to keep any of it, or the rich will send us back to the feudal age.
But you can’t let them win.
The upper-middle class are essentially mercantile people. They are part of the deal of the system. The artist is always Diogenes living in a box, tearing through the streets of Athens with a lamp at midday looking for one honest person and finding . . . my audience.
So it is a delicate battle with the upper-middle class, and one that needs to be won once you reach the point I did. Everything else the gods did to make lemonade out of the lemon I could relate but don’t need to. The demons are very good at jiu-jitsu if you just keep working.