The Flying Scrolls of Logos

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.



This blog is intended to represent some of my ideas concerning brotherhood, peace, and proper learning. I invite all who read my posts to respond with their own opinions, including disagreements. It is my hope that others will find my ideas appealing, take up the torch and carry that light in the path of their own glory.


Love is the law, love under will.


Cheers,


Davin Maki

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

At the Armchair.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
     I have noticed a terrible disturbance in the nature of how the work of the initiate is portrayed, since I started practicing about eight years ago. There is a philosophy that is proving to be a bar to noble results and occult understanding within the modern magical current. Too often, I see novice magicians electing Enochian and Goety as introductory works, lest they be labeled as "armchair magicians." This faulty logic--where if the magician lays down a solid edifice of understanding before going on to do advanced work--gives the novice the erroneous impression that results are more important than the understanding of the system with which they are working. And what do we consider a solid result anyways? Many of the great practitioners I have come upon claim that they lack the visionary experiences associated with, say scrying the Aethers, calling Ourabas, or scrying on the Tree of Life. This is a problem!

A Brief Synopsis of My Training

     Practice must be prefaced by the appropriate study and prepatory work. It is not sufficient to claim that one's occult praxis is good enough because "it works!" What is meant by "it works"? Being that I'm very much active in my physical fitness, I shall use my experiences from that as source for anecdotes.
     Certainly, doing a barrage of regular situps in the evening does represent some benefit to your health. That kind of regimen pails in comparison to eating a healthy diet and doing a variety of abdominal and oblique workouts with a health trainer and goals in mind. Nothing is more humorous to me than the sight of the overweight weight lifter in the gym, who can press 245 lbs, but cannot do a single pushup or run around the track. In martial arts, a similar motif may be seen. Too often are students overly anxious to do high kicks, break boards, and do complex forms before learning and mastering their basic stance work. Most martial artists I know think that remaining in a horse stance for five minutes is an epic feat. Martial arts has become a joke in the westernized world because they are easy targets for much larger bullies. Working on solid stance work and physical fitness then becomes important.
      In the style of Kung Fu that I learned, there are five essential styles: the leopard, the tiger, the snake, the crane, and the dragon. Each of these forms represent, not only specific forms, but have philosophical tenets encapsulated within them. Each should be learned and practiced with balance and due diligence in order for the martial way to culminate within the student. In the style that I learned, there was a symbolism which was meant to serve as a balance in a students practicum: this was the balance between the Sword of the Warrior and the Sword of the Scholar; the Tiger (Force) the Crane (Mind). Although I haven't seriously practiced martial arts--except as a form of martial self expression--I still find this arrangement noble and bring it with me into my occult life.
     I began as a solitary practitioner. My practice consisted of reading the works or Israel Regardie, Frater Achad, Mathers, Westcott, Dion Fortune and the Ciceros, among others. Along these lines, I began my work as was prescribed: memorizing columns from 777, visualizations, meditating on a pillar of salt, practicing the LBRP, constructing a cube in space with my mind, and memorizing the knowledge lectures of the Golden Dawn, etc. The moment I began studying the initiations from Self Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition, I was immediately daunted. "How am I to attain to the initiation and mastery of the sublunary realms** in any timely manner?" I asked myself. It was then that I began to formulate my own self-initiations, based on the knowledge that I had obtained from a variety of texts. I began with the Neophyte ritual.
    The ritual took some time to understand--and replacements for its requirements took a considerable amount of thought on my part--but I preserved to the end. Through careful study and an understanding of the work before me, I was able to make magick "a living weapon in my hand," as it were, and construct a novel ritual which would propel me further into the mysteries.
    The layout of the temple is arranged according to the sub-angles of Malkuth; thus, the directions correspond to the Sephiroth, not to the classical cardinal attributions. 
  1. The candidate mediates quietly, thrice bound and hoodwinked, on the Yod Lamp of Anubis. 
  2. The candidate invokes his/her aegoides. 
  3. The Candidate is the purified and consecrated. each time an element is invoked, the candidate goes to the appropriate sub-angle. 
  4. The candidate affirms the metaphor of the light shining in the darkness.***
  5. The candidate swears an oath to keep the craft secret and sacred.
  6. The candidate is barred from the East and the West, Effectively balancing the fire and water invocations.
  7. The candidate is purified and consecrated two more times: once in the West and once in the East for a total of three purifications and consecrations.
  8. The candidate understands that the bondage of the oath represents the purest freedom in respects to manifesting the will****. The triple cord is removed*****.
  9. The candidate affirms his/her understanding of all the regalia and furniture, along with with certain maxims and axioms as "above, so below."
  10. The Temple is closed.
From this formula a great many rituals may be created, including self initiations. My self-initiation was more thaumaturgical, using seals and fervent prayer as my devices. I still use this formula today, as did Crowley in his day. The point of this recounting is that the magic truly became an expression of my soul (my self) once I was determined to unravel its meaning. This was a good enough beginning, where results are concerned.
     As a result of my initial rigor, my magical practice has been characterized by the highest levels of intoxication, visionary experiences, general good fortune and well being, not to mention the uniqueness of my craft.

A Brief Synopsis of My Philosophy on Occult Training

     I believe that philosophy plays an important role in magick. Nay, philosophy and magick are reciprocal forces. To what end do I practice magick, if not gain a deeper understanding of my own spiritual nature, liberate myself and others, and break the illusory boundaries of division between myself and everything else in the universe? To what end to I call upon the spirits of the sublunary realms, or the planetary or zodiacal angels, if not to gain wisdom in the ways of doing my will towards a particular end? I stated that philosophy and magick were reciprocal forces--suggesting that there was a flux of some sort--this was not accidental. Perhaps I should explain.

    In an essay I wrote concerning my personal history, I capture my meaning just fine. Instead of writing it all down twice, I shall simply paste an excerpt for you here:

"I focus very much on creating my own system of magick. It is my belief that the most powerful magick is that which is as “a living weapon in your hand.” I am a philosopher at heart. I believe that careful study should be balanced with practical ritual work. Sometimes I work solely on the pursuit of a philosophical problem; while at other times, I’m very much into my experimental work with practical magick. Dion Fortune, in her book The Training and Work of an Initiate uses an interesting analogy. She states that initiates moves along in their initiatory path much like the raising of a barn: some build their barn as they receive the resources, while others wait until all is ready and then raise the barn all at once[2]. I am of the latter variety."

I tend to enter stages of dryness (somewhat), where my sole focus is to build a solid understanding of new magicks, or to study a particular branch of philosophy. During these times, I tend to keep my practice down to the basic works, e.g. Mass of The Phoenix, Liber Resh, Yama, Niyama, Asana, and the LBRP. I'm just now emerging from one of these phases. As I go back into my more advanced practices, I shall have a much broader repertoire of tools to experiments with; my visions will be much more complex than was previously the case. All this, and I haven't died before having had the chance to do my first Goetic or Enochian working!

    Some of you who are reading this have gone through the terrible experience of memorizing all of the pentagrams. All twelve of the pentagrams are in fact simple to memorize, if you understand but a few of their principals. Let me explain: All of the elemental pentagrams work by drawing the highest possible angle (drawing the spirit down) towards the Kerubic figure you're invoking, and away from the Kerubic figure (return to the spirit) you're banishing. With this knowledge under your belt, you not only understand a significant amount about the elemental pentagrams, but they should suddenly become much easier to remember. Now for the Spirit pentagrams: you trace from Cold and Dry (Shor, Earth) to Cold and Wet (Nesher, Water) for the passive invoking pentagram and from Hot and Dry (Arye, Fire) to Hot and Wet (Adam, Air) for the active invoking pentagrams--vice versa for the banishing.  Remember the following "...and the Face of the Elohim moved over the Waters of Creation..."[3] These simple formulas should not be overlooked, for you would run the folly of making a simple (yet very important) matter unduly complex. Was it not Crowley himself who said, "Those who regard this ritual as a mere device to invoke or banish spirits, are unworthy to possess it. Properly understood, it is the Medicine of Metals and the Stone of the Wise"[4]. This statement, I take seriously.

     To recapitulate, it does not follow that because you study the philosophical or mechanical aspects Hermeticism that you don't ALSO actually do magick. Don't let any idiot tell you any different! You shouldn't rush into advanced work for the purposes of recognition, nor should you rush into advanced work without first applying yourself in the prepatory work. The results the veritable forces of nature are talking about are no doubt poor and shoddy imitations of the real thing, if not mere emotional excitation. To understand the work is to have the ability to make magick like the Samurai Sword--a living extension of your very own being.

Love is the law, Love under will.
Truly Yours,
Davin Maki
**. This is in reference to the grades of 0=0 - 4=7 degrees. For those who aren't farmilliar to the G.'.D.'. system, this may seem confusing. In fact, each of the four grades--from Zealator (Malkuth in the new G.'.D.'. system) to philosophus--actually represent one of the four sub-angles of Malkuth. More appropriately, they represent the influences of Earth of Earth,Air of Earth, Water of earth, and Fire of Earth, respectively [1]. 
***See my previous essay The Fall of Modern Hermeticism.
****See Crowley's writing concerning the Oath (from Magick in Theory and Practice), the wand from Book 2 of Liber ABA, and the virtue, "Liberty," from Liber LLLLL.
*****Notice the Triple cord and Trice purified and consecrated.

1. Cicero, Chic and Tabatha       Self Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition, 1st ed.
2. Fortune, Dion                         The Training and Work of the Initiate.
3. -                                               Genesis
4. Crowley, Aleister                   Collected works: Temple of the Holy Ghost, The Palace of the world.

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