Friday, December 20, 2013

The Three Modes of Magick in Donald Michael Kraig's "Moden Magick"

*While I was cleaning out my computer recently I happened upon several files that I created ages ago but had forgotten about. Before deleting them I thought I would post them here. Below are some initial thoughts I had about DMK's discussion of magick in its three modes of operation.

I have a problem with Kraig's discussion concerning the definition of magick in Chapter One. I do not have a problem with Kraig's definitions per se. My problem arises when Kraig gives examples of the various magickal modes (White, Grey, Black) in actual practice. In Kraig's definitions of the three magickal modes, each mode of magical operation is seen as a method for bringing about a willed event. In White Magick the willed event is the Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel, whereas the willed event in Grey Magick is something beneficial to oneself or others, and the willed event in Black Magick is something detrimental to oneself or others (irrespective of whether one wills them consciously or unconsciously). Thus, each mode of magic is set apart and distinguished by the particular event that is willed. In Kraig's examples, however, he tries to show how one magical mode can become another as a result of secondary events that are the result of engaging in one of the three magickal modes. For instance, Kraig shows how a ritual to obtain a thousand dollars (good for oneself = Grey Magick) can become Black Magick if, for example, your uncle dies and you are given the money from his estate. In this example, Black Magick results not from that which is willed (attaining a thousand dollars, i.e., a good to oneself) but rather an unwilled negative secondary event to the primary willed event. This is clearly at odds with his definitions regarding the three modes of magick. If we follow Kraig's lead, a Black Magickal operation could become White. For example, a Black Magical operation to make another ill (willing something detrimental to another) is transformed into White Magick when the ill person (or his family members) realizes the impermanent and unsatisfactory nature of existence and seeks out a spiritual path (a good to another). I think this problem arises because Kraig wants to attach some type of moral (karmic) responsibility to a magickal operation irregardless of what is willed by the one undertaking the ritual. According to the Buddhist tradition, however, to receive full karmic retribution three things must occur: 1) the willing of some event, 2) engaging in an action to cause the willed event, and 3) the manifestation of the willed event. If any of these three are missing, one does not experience full karmic retribution.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Dance Of Earth Spirits

While I was cleaning out my computer recently I happened upon several files that I created ages ago but had forgotten about. Before deleting them I thought I would post them here. 

This morning I drove my wife to our veterinarian. As I waited outside in the van I thought that I, being in a rather isolated mountainous area, would work with some earth energy (Franz Bardon style). After completing my meditations, I began to notice my surroundings more vividly and became more aware than usual of the living energy of the neighboring trees and grasses. While observing the scenery I got the impression of something playful weaving around the trunks of the trees. Shortly thereafter, I got the impression of something else dwelling near the ground, at the base of the trees. It was the impression of something very old. It was not a negative impression, but I did feel a little queasy in its presence. I then decided to observe the trees near me. The closest tree gave me the impression that it wanted to be played with. I instantly felt the desire to go up to the tree and feel its needles and bark. I wanted to climb into it. I thought that if I were a child I most certainly would have spent some time exploring this tree. A short distance behind this tree grew two others. The impressions I got from these two were somewhat mixed. They seemed friendly enough but rather preoccupied. They were of different varieties and their limbs were intertwined. The impression I got was that they were new lovers, too busy with themselves to be bothered by me. To their left were two other trees whose limbs were somewhat also intertwined. They too were a couple, but were not new to each other … they had grown old together. The biggest and dominant of the two partially obscured the smaller from my view (though I don't recall having this thought at the time, I think now that the big dominate one was the female of the pair). While I received no negative impression from this couple, I clearly sensed that they wanted to be left alone.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Air Travel, A Tree Spirit and Cake.

I've probably mentioned this at least once or twice over the years, but I hate flying...with a passion! I'll do it of course, if I absolutely have to, but I'd rather drive irrespective of the distance and travel time. So, when I find that I can't avoid air travel I always take along my Archangel Michael Golden Coin and ask Michael for protection during my travels. This time around, however, I got a little unexpected protection from a spirit that manifested in the branches of a tree as I lay gazing out the window hours before my flight.
At first the spirit's "face" seemed pleasant enough, but gradually it began to shift into what I perceived to be a more sinister expression. So, I was a little leery when the "spirit" offered to make sure I was unharmed during my travels. Of course, spirits oftentimes demand compensation for their assistance. This "spirit" did not disappoint! It asked for a "special offering" in exchange for its services. I immediately turned it down as I did not like the sound of "special offering." However, after considering its offer for a minute and realizing that I might be too quick to judge, I decided to enquire as to what it wanted. It wanted me to eat a piece of white cake upon my safe return home. WTF? I mean a piece of white cake. That certainly took me by surprise. Well, anyway, the agreement was made.
Above is a pic of the "cake" I had to choke down when I got back safely (It's coconut cream pie and not technically a cake, but I got the feeling that it would be acceptable despite not being what the "spirit" had initially intended). I have some suspicions as to why it chose this form of payment. Probably had something to do with requiring me to undermine some body magic I am currently engaged in. In this respect it was a little sinister after all.

What strange form of payment has a spirit requested of you?

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Friday, August 30, 2013

A Tibetan Buddhist Spell Book

Chances are that after you have perused a number of books on Buddhism you will have learned something of this religion’s history and philosophical underpinnings. Chances are slim that you will have learned much of anything about the magical practices that appear scattered throughout Buddhist texts and have been put to use by Buddhists since the earliest days of Buddhism’s initial formation (Ok, OK, there are some notable exceptions, but works on Buddhist magic are proportionately small in comparison to other areas of Buddhist inquiry). Just so you know, I’m not talking about Buddhist magic as some do, as a method of personal transformation from an ordinary human being to an extraordinary being, such as an arhat, bodhisattva or buddha, but rather I’m talking about pure practical magic that gets stuff done. I won’t argue against viewing human transformation as a magical act, I only want to point out that there is a more worldly side to Buddhist magic than that. You can find Buddhist dharinis and mantras being used in spellwork, magical amulets (such as Gau boxes in Tibet) being used for protection,* the use of magical daggers,** and many Buddhists who specialize in the practice of practical magic.***
Anyway, in my search for tidbits of information on Buddhist magic I came across an interesting find and I thought I would share it with you…it’s a Tibetan Buddhist spell book that was found among the Dunhuang Caves in Western China. Here is a link to a blog post about the spell book written by Sam van Schaik (the blog post…not the spell book), who is doing work with the Dunhuang collection of manuscripts (link). And here is a link to the spell book itself, if you’d like to read it for yourself (link).

 *If you are interested in Tibetan amulets, you might want to check out Tadeusz Skorupski’s Tibetan Amulets. I looked at this book years ago but can’t recall what I thought of it. It has 2 poor reviews on Amazon, but I don’t find either of the reviews worthy of much consideration.

**For the magical use of daggers in Tibet you could take a look at the dated work entitled Dagger Blessing: The Tibetan Phurpa Cult : Reflections and Materials by Thomas Marcotty or simply look at my blog post about this book here.

*** For Buddhist magical specialists in Tibet, do not pass up the chance to read CIVILIZED SHAMANS: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies (Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry) by Geoffrey Samuel.
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Four-stepped Spirit Offering.

There is a myriad of ways to make spirit offerings. What follows below is merely MY way of making an offering to certain beings that exist outside of the physical realm. It’s not an elaborate procedure, but it works for me. I like to keep things as simple as possible. There is nothing particularly special or powerful about the way I make my offering. I simply outline it here with the hope that it will generate some ideas in the mind of anyone looking to construct their own offering ceremony.
While I have offered incense to the spirits in the past, I currently bestow upon the spirits a portion of the universal energy that I breathe into my body and discharge through my hands. It is my intention that this energy will transform into whatever is most needed or desired by the spirits. This breathing in and release of energy is undertaken four times, with each occurrence being directed at a certain group of spirits.
Offering #1: Hostile spirits.
The first offering of energy is made to those spirits that are hostile towards me. I request that these hostile spirits accept the offering as payment for any misdeed I have done to incur their wrath, irrespective of whether this misdeed was done willfully or in ignorance. I also ask that these spirits join the group of spirits to which I will make my next offering, those spirits that assist and protect me (see Offering #2). I express my hope that they do this so that we may work for the benefit of each other whenever possible.
Offering #2: Spirits that assist and protect.
The second offering of energy is made to those spirits that act kindly towards me, protecting me and assisting me in my life. I offer the energy to these spirits as payment for their assistance and to demonstrate my gratitude.
Offering #3: Neutral spirits.
The third offering of energy is made to those spirits that are neutral towards me, those that are neither hostile nor friendly. I ask that these spirits join the group of spirits that assist and protect me (see Offering #2). I also express my hope that they do this so that we may work for the benefit of each other whenever possible.
Offering #4: Deceased relatives.
The fourth offering of energy is made to my deceased relatives. I offer the energy to my ancestors as an expression of my gratitude for all that they did and sacrificed for their families. I also thank them for their role in bringing about my existence and for their part in shaping the positive qualities of my psyche.
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Body Magic and Temporary Tattoos Revisited

Several weeks ago I blogged about a method of utilizing liquid eyeliner to create a temporary tattoo that could be used in a magical working (read that here). Since that time I have employed that method of tattoo construction to work a bit of body magic (which is, by the way, manifesting far better than anticipated). Consequently, I think it would be a good idea to offer some comments regarding that method.
First, since I did not have tracing paper, I took the suggestion of video #1 and used wax paper as a medium to transfer the tattoo onto my arm. Unfortunately, no matter what drawing device I used (liquid eyeliner, ballpoint pen, sharpie marker), I could not get the image to transfer to my skin. So I give the wax paper technique a thumbs-down! I simply had to free-hand the image.
Second, the liquid bandage used to seal the tattoo actually absorbed the eyeliner and caused it to smear slightly. This was not an issue until the liquid bandage dried and started to crack in places my skin stretched during movement. As the liquid bandage cracked, it actually lifted the tattoo off the skin. If any of the bandage flaked away, it took a bit of the tattoo with it. Of course, I have to admit that I bought the cheapest liquid eyeliner I could find and the type I purchased was not water-proof, so that probably led to some of my negative results. For me, the biggest drawback to using liquid bandage to seal the tattoo is that I “lost” the tattoo when it came time to remove the bandage to fix/repair the tattoo. If the tattoo is only going to be on your skin for a short time, this is not an issue. However, since my tattoo will be on my body for weeks or possibly months, I find it inconvenient to have to completely redraw it each time I want to spruce it up.

I have found that simply drawing the tattoo with liquid eyeliner and setting it with baby powder is sufficient to keep my tattoo visible for about 24 hours, if I am able to keep it dry. Near the end of the 24 hour period (i.e., sometime the next day) I redraw the tattoo using the faded lines that still remain visible. 
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Body Magic and Temporary Tattoos

I am currently in the beginning stages of planning out some body magic and thought it would be helpful if I placed one or more appropriately designed sigils on my body during the course of my working. There are numerous ways this may be accomplished. One could make such temporary magical tattoos using ink pens, markers, paints, etc. If one is going to use these items on the body for a short amount of time, they are probably not going to cause much harm, except for a possible allergic reaction. However, since I am planning to keep the sigil on my body for an extended period of time, I am somewhat concerned over the possible toxicity of any substance I would leave on my skin. I found quite a bit of disagreement on the internet (go figure!) regarding the safety of using pen and marker to mark the body.   While most of the ordinary pens and markers of today are labeled “non-toxic,” they are only declared to be so when used appropriately (e.g., when used on paper, poster board, etc.). Since “skin illustration” is not included among the “appropriate” uses for these items, I am somewhat cautious about their use on my body. After looking around I found a technique for making temporary tattoos that utilizes liquid eyeliner. Since eyeliner is intended to be placed on the skin, I figure it’s one of the better choices with respect to safety. Additionally, as some of the instructional videos illustrating this technique demonstrate, they can look very much like an authentic black/uncolored tattoo.
The items needed for this type of temporary tattoo are:
1. Liquid eyeliner
2. Powder
3. Tracing paper/wax paper (for the non-artist like me)
4. Liquid or spray bandage
5. Rubbing alcohol.    Although neither of the videos linked below shows this, you might consider cleaning the area where you are placing the tattoo with alcohol beforehand.
Rather than try to explain the technique, I have included below two videos that adequately demonstrate this method for making temporary tattoos.
When I begin my body magic, this is the technique that I will be utilizing. If you use another method of generating temporary tattoos, please share it in the comments. 

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Calling All Sorcerers, Witches and Workers of Magick!

What clandestine act of sorcery are you currently brewing in your cauldron? Are you working to seduce your best friend’s gal/guy? Are you conjuring some demon hoping that it will grace you with a gazillion dollars? Whatever self serving magical act you are doing ... STOP IT NOW! Let us, the magical community, do something to bring those responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings to justice. Let’s get this/these predator/s identified and incarcerated as quickly as possible. So…say a prayer, light a candle, construct a sigil, contact your spiritual buddies or beseech your favorite god/goddess. Whatever, your method of working, let your next magical act be directed towards the IDENTIFICATION AND CAPTURE of the party/parties responsible for the callous act of violence at the Boston Marathon.
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Friday, March 15, 2013

A Golden Libation (gser skyems): A Buddhist Magical Rite To Attain One's Desire

This translation of A Golden Libation [To The] Eight-Grouped [Beings] attributed to gNubs sangs rgyas ye shes (9th-10th century C.E.) is based upon a reading of two manuscript copies. The first,  given the Library of Congress Classification BQ7699.G65 S3 1972, is an easily readable manuscript (hereafter referred to as manuscript A) . The second, given the Library of Congress Classification BQ7662.4 S26 1970, is at times difficult to read as a result of the print's visual bleed-thru due to the translucency of the rice paper used in the manuscript's printing (hereafter referred to as manuscript B).  For the most part, there is little variation among the two manuscripts. When they do diverge, it is primarily in regards to variant spellings of proper names. Rather than burden the reader with notations indicating these variant spellings, I have merely chosen to record in the translation what I believe to be the best spelling among the two manuscripts. The notation of other minor variations between the two manuscripts has been kept to a bare minimum. Despite the fact that there exist minor differences between the colophons of both manuscripts, I have chosen to ignore them for the sake of simplicity and have merely included within the translation those portions where the two manuscripts more or less agree. Finally, any insertions into the translation by myself appear in brackets while notation numbers are enclosed by parentheses. 
A Golden Libation [To The] Eight-Grouped [Beings] (1)
First, one should prepare whichever items are to be offered.
[Such items may include:]
[1.] A mound of food [worthy of] the deities of the [Five] Pure Abodes.
[2.] The first distillation of beer.
[3.] The first fruits of the harvest.
[4.] Various flowers.
[5.] Medicinal oils.
[6.] The Three Sweets (2)
[7.] Various meats.
[8.] Various medicines.
[9.] Various grains.
[10.] An assortment of silks.
[11.] Various foods.
[After the offering] materials have been blessed by the six [magical] utterances and the six [magical] gestures and [one has] visualized one’s own tutelary deity while generating the idea of seeking refuge, one should enter into concentration. 
[Then say:]
I make this holy offering to the superior objects of veneration, namely – the three bodies [of the Buddha,] the three lineages, [my] teacher, [my] tutelary deity, the peaceful and wrathful deities, the Three Jewels that are objects of refuge, the Sky-goers, the gods of wealth, and to the Doctrine Protectors.(3) Upon the acceptance of this pure Golden Libation [offering,] I request my desire be granted.
[Next say:]
I make this holy offering to the eight-grouped exoteric [beings]: to brGya byin,(4) the ruler of the gods; to the Demi-god dBang po thag bzang; to the Probable-human lJon rta mgo; to the Dispenser of Evil Gang ba bzang po; to the Sky Glider gSer mig `khyil ba; to the Doctrine Protector Mahakala(5); to the Demon Lang ka mgrin bchu; to the Scent-eater Zur phud lnga ba. Upon the acceptance of this pure Golden Libation [offering,] I request my desire be granted. 
[Next say:]
I make this holy offering to the eight-grouped esoteric [beings]: to bTsan rgyal yam shud dmar po; to Yul lha phywa sang klu sras; to Srog bdag rgyal po snying `byin; to Chos skyong gnod sbyin dmar po; to Lha mo `jigs pa'i glog `byin; to Yab gcig bdud rje nag po; to dKar mo nyi zla`i thod `phreng. Upon the acceptance of this pure Golden Libation [offering,] I request my desire be granted.
[Next say:] 
I make this holy offering to the eight-grouped secret [beings]: to bDud po kha thun rak-sha; to gShin rje gshed po dmar po; to kLu bdud naa ga raa dza; to gNod sbyin bshan pa gri thogs; to ma mo srid pa khram 'debs; to bTsan po yam shud srog len; to bDud po re te 'go yag; to Srog bdag dung gi thor tshugs. Upon the acceptance of this pure Golden Libation [offering,] I request my desire be granted. 
[Next say:] 
I make this holy offering to the eight-grouped supreme [beings]: to Supreme Planet, Gyal po raa hu la; to Supreme Star, Khram shing kha thor; to Supreme Seducer, Ma nu raksha; to Supreme Ruler, Gri btsan `thu bo; to Supreme Mother, lCe spyang mdung `dzin; to Supreme Serpent, Klu rgyal dung skyong; to Supreme Protector, Nag po lte dkar; to Supreme King, Li byin ha ra. Upon the acceptance of this pure Golden Libation [offering,] I request my desire be granted. 
[Next say:] 
I make this holy offering to the eight-grouped apparitional [beings]: to dPung g-yas dgra lhar sprul pa; to dBung g-yon ma mo sprul pa; to Chu so bdud du sprul pa; to mGo bo srin por sprul pa; to mJug marmuru sprul pa; to Lag g-yas gshin rjer sprul pa; to Lag g-yon klu btsan sprul pa; to Mig dang snying dang mche pa gsum gza` bdud nyid du sprul pa. Upon the acceptance of this pure Golden Libation [offering,] I request my desire be granted. 
[Next say:] 
I make this holy offering to the eight-grouped appearance and existence [beings]: to Sa bdag ha la khyi nag po; to Klu bdud gdol ba nag po; to Sa yi lha mo brtan ma; to Phyogs skyong rgyal chen sde bzhi; to mGon po bdun cu rtsa lnga; to Yul `di`i gzhi bdag thams cad; to Pho lha dgra lha srog lha; to Mo lha mo sman. Upon the acceptance of this pure Golden Libation [offering,] I request my desire be granted.  
A Golden Libation was written by gNubs sangs rgyas ye shes because any ritual action, whether it be a hail protection ritual, a step repairing ritual, a ceremonial cake tossing ritual, a cross-threaded stick ritual or a  magical weapon hurling ritual, is, without an offering made to the groups of eight beings, nothing other than the activities of a childish mind. 
Happiness Everywhere!
May This Be A Virtue! 
1. I have retained the standard translation of  gser skyems as “golden libation” despite the fact that the offerings suggested within the manuscript include a variety of food stuff.
2. Namely - molasses, honey and sugar.
3. Manuscript A has “treasure protector” (gter srung) while manuscript B has “doctrine protector” (chos srung).
4. Sanskrit, Indra.
5. Manuscript A has “treasure protector” (gter srung) while manuscript B has “doctrine protector” (chos srung).
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Big Magick With Teeny Tiny Candles

Candle Magick can be a powerful tool in any magickal practitioner’s arsenal. In fact, I’ve recently been incorporating more Candle Magick into my spellwork and can personally attest to its efficacy. Nevertheless, candles make me nervous…well, burning candles anyway. If you’ve been around the occult corner once or twice you have undoubtedly heard of at least one candle mishap. I just can’t bring myself to let a candle fully burn for several hours or even days knowing that it will be unattended for much of that time, even when taking special precautions. For spells that require a large candle I’ve ended up extinguishing the candle when it could not be attended to and then reigniting it again when it could. While this method works, it breaks up the energy of the work and takes a hell of a long time to complete the working. Since I am an eclectic and not a traditionalist, I have in the past substituted a tealight for what would have typically been a larger candle. I simply carved my intent into the top of the tealight with a needle and dressed the top of the tealight with oil, moving in a clockwise direction for drawing things near and a counter clockwise direction for keeping things at bay. But even tealights burn for hours…too long for my comfort. So, recently I went to my local magical supply store (Wal-Mart) and picked up several packs of “birthday” candles.
As you can see from the picture above, they come in a variety of useful colors.
While I can’t carve my intent upon them as one typically does with a larger candle, I still dress the candle with oil. As a substitute for carving the candle I include a personalized sigil within the working and usually place it near or under the candle. Below is a picture of a recent working showing my minimal setup.
 For me there is really no better alternative. These small candles fully burn in about 15 minutes. This short burn time allows my work to be completed during periods when I am able to babysit the flame.  The esthetic of these small candles does, at least for me, pale in comparison to the more majestic candles. Neverthless, the completion of my spell with a fully burned candle and peace of mind far outway any esthetic. So, if you’re nervous about leaving a candle burn for hours in your home, give these tiny candles a try for your next big magick.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

By George...Magick Works!

By nature I’m a passive guy, always have been and probably always will be. I tend to let whatever negativity befalls me set up residence in my life without much resistance. This may be why I was initially attracted to some Eastern forms of thought those many years ago, because you know…”A reed that bends in the wind does not break.”  Sometime after an evocation of great importance failed to materialize (you can read about this failure here) I came to realize just how passive I had become. Without the daily enactment of the evocation rituals or the manifestation of my desire, I found myself floating on a raft in and endless sea where one direction looked as good as the other. It took me quite awhile to realize that floating on an endless sea, well…to put it nicely… sucks. I needed to find a way to navigate the waters and find myself a stretch of land upon which I could set up residence. I ended up returning to magick, a practice I had dabbled in as a teenager.  I thought maybe magick could help me not only brave the ocean but get me somewhere to boot (some comments regarding my return to magick can be found here and here).
Yet, because of my rather passive nature I tend not to utilize magick very often. In fact, I quite often forget that I have this tool available to me. So…when my magick bears fruit it usually comes as a surprise and I have to remind myself that magick works. Although magick works, your desire does not always come about quickly nor does it always come about in a preferred manner. Over the last year I have been doing some reconciliation magick that has just recently borne fruit. Both my honey jar working (read here) and my Karukulla working (read here) were intended to bring about this reconciliation. While honey jar spells are typically slow acting on their own, they are even slower when not worked regularly. Since I only began to consistently work my jar about two months ago, I have no one to blame for the length of time it took for the reconciliation to occur. Needless to say, to help keep the relationship sweat, I’ll be working my jar one day a week from here on out. Though the magick worked, the reconciliation certainly did not come about in a manner that I would have chosen. A breaking point was reached where the relationship was truly and utterly in danger of ending. It took this highly charged emotional event to create a catharsis that allowed for a renewed dedication to one another.
Magick does not always work at a snail’s pace, however. I added a much needed sex magick working into the reconciliation mix two weeks ago (candle magick) and exactly one day short of two weeks after the candle operation the magick worked its mojo. Unimpressed? Well, three years have passed with no intimacy between us, so I consider this a WIN! Though I consider my sex magick operation to have worked rather quickly, magick can also work with lightning speed. On New Year’s Eve morning I performed a combination sigil and mantra money spell for a pay raise in 2013. I had to laugh out loud when I arrived at work that very evening and a co-worker, quite out of the blue, approached me and informed me that he heard I will be receiving a pay raise this coming year. Damn that was fast!
While magick has not brought me to my island yet, it is helping me steer my raft.
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