Cognitive dissonance in the occult world

You would think that occultists would be at the cutting edge of thought and be ready to look and adapt to new ideas. In fact, new ideas are hard to come by and when introduced are met with a great deal of resistance. Some of this is down to the idea of preserving traditions, but mostly it is due to what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. For those who came in late, cognitive dissonance is a simple theory which suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and behaviour in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance). So, when something appears that is new, which runs counter to what we thought we knew, we will ignore it just to

A candidate for the maker of your higher genius

According to the Iamblichus' [1] The Higher Genius is made by the Master of Daemons by the King of the Underworld it is important when trying to contact this Daemon to also contact being. Unfortunately, there was no God named as being the master of daemons and many people think he was Hades, which makes a far amount of sense. But another candidate could be the Egyptian god Tutu who related to (amongst other things) to the the Higher self of the Pharoah. He was a popular and accessible God to whom people could turn for help in their everyday existence. He was shown in side view but with His head turned to be viewed frontally, emphasising this approachability. Tutu  usually is

Godforms of the Golden Dawn review

Pat Zalewski’s books on the Golden Dawn are always worth getting and reading.  Lately, he has not written that many, preferring to focus on this correspondence course, so his new one is a rarity.  I was going to write a review of it, and Pat asked me to “let him have it” so here goes. Godforms of the Golden Dawn tradition is very much a Pat Zalewski book with similarities to his classic Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries.  When I read Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries (in the 90s)  his descriptions of the use of Godforms provided me with a link between the inner work which I was doing and the Golden Dawn. This book looks at Zalewski’s approach to Godforms which

The new Golden Dawn fundamentalist trend goes no where

In the last few years, a clique of fundamentalist occultists has emerged who claim that they are following the Original Golden Dawn system. They cut off all developments after Mathers was expelled. For those who don’t know, the central focus for this change means that the god-awful portal ritual in which the student is subjected to a boring lecture on diagrams and the Masonic style of giving the passwords and a funny handshake is superior to the longer more magical ritual which most people know about.  The original ritual can be seen in my Mathers Last Secret Book because the AO could not be bothered changing it themselves. So is there anything in the original Golden Dawn teachings that is better

Beyond the Sun is out

The rewrite of the history of Dr Felkin and Whare Ra, along with the 7=4 and 6=5 rituals is now out through Skylight Press, who also did my Magical Imagination book. For those who saw the now improbably rare first edition, the book is much larger.  It goes much more into the Whare Ra history from its beginning to closure.  it looks at its involvement with Anne Davies and Paul Case and looks the the reason for its demise. It also looks at the rituals and recounts some of the experiences of those who went through it and provides some of the teachings that they receieved.   It also deals with some of my own experiences meeting and working with Whare Ra people. Felkin

THE LESSER BANISHING RITUAL OF THE HEXAGRAM

Within the Golden Dawn corpus, there is a slightly odd ritual called the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram. It is performed after a lesser ritual of the pentagram by adepts and various reasons have been provided for its existence mostly centred on an apparent need to neutralise any planetary energy before beginning a working. Based on the drawing of two different triangles in different positions in the quarters it is the most used of a collection hexagrams. However, the root of the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram might provide us with some clues as to its use and why it is an important daily practice for the modern magician. One of the founders of the Golden Dawn took the triangle

Don’t rush to burn Bonewits

When I first became interested in magic, I was 17 and the only book I could find in the library was “Real Magic” written by Isaac Bonewits. While in hindsight it was not what I would end up as believing magic to be, but it fired up my imagination enough for me to start. Decades later I wrote to him and thanked him for that, and he politely replied. This week Bonewits’ name has been named in a paedophile sex scandal which he cannot fight because he has been dead since 2010. Many of the associations he worked hard to create have rushed to distance themselves from him. But the people who knew him are bewildered, two of his wives and his

Vepar the demon spirit of Augustus’s tenth

How useful are the spirit lists for identifying what each spirit does?  Where they are given descriptions, they are often at odds and we are left with trying to find references to the limited amounts of symbolism we are given. What I found was that some of this symbolism might be a little obscure. Vepar is a demonic spirit whose name means “Boar.” Yet the spirit lists describe him appearing as a mermaid who is a “guide of the waters” and in charge of shipping weapons and infecting wounds. What does that have to do with a boar? How does infecting wounds, so they kill people in three days become part of the remit for a spirit who guides troop ships? It

21ST CENTURY MAGIC – a lecture given at the XVIII Foro ACCE in Nerja

The following is the speech I wrote for the XVIII Foro ACCE in Nerja Spain in 2017. In fact I tinkered with the talk considerably "on the fly" to adjust for the audience. I went over time and was only about half way through what follows. Still it was a great time, and my first time in Spain. Magicians living in the 21st century are living in a time of transformation where the structures upon which magic is built are changing. Magic has emerged from an effective 2000-year-old slumber where practitioners lived in fear of their neighbours reporting them to the authorities. There was a flowering at the end of the 19th century with the likes of the Golden dawn, Alister

Venus Cloacina — the purification goddess… and poo

Venus Cloacina was the Roman goddess of sewers and she is a darn useful Goddess to have a contact with. She originally came from Etruscan mythology and is a truly ancient force was a spirit of a small stream called the Cloaca which ran through the early Roman Forum. Rome was city built on a marsh and the Cloaca stream, which drained into the Tiber, was said to have seven tributary brooks that drained all the valleys of the Esquiline and Quirinal hills. Where now the Forum lies, were pools of water and marshland, Streams from the Tiber's flood swelled high the banks of this brook... Where now through the Velabrum processions move toward the Circus, Was nothing but willows and reeds that shook in

Top