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16/10 BEYOND THE WORD AND THE FOOL Pt3
TEMPLE artefact #008
What is banishing?
When you perform Mag!c successfully you will radically alter your conscious state, which can be delightful and enlightening but often disorienting and even alarming. Therefore, it is advisable to have a method which allows you to return to conventional awareness after any Mag!cal ritual.
There are numerous elaborate and well-constructed rituals which work to bring your consciousness back to the foursquare world of elements, jobs, and material responsibilities that is Malkuth. You can look them up online.
A stripped-back ritual:
Enter the prepared temple space. “Temple” is simply a shorthand way of describing the specific environment in which you choose to work Mag!c. Some Mag!cians have access to a dedicated room or space, others must improvise. Indoors. Outdoors. The Mag!cian and the Temple can be one and the same. All it takes is to imagine a space where suddenly anything is given leave to occur.
Imagine reaching out and opening an invisible door into your personal ultimate Temple. Your own unique signature astral door – it could be a vast wooden castle rampart with vampire-teeth portcullis fangs of rusty iron, or a nightmare HELTER SKELTER-scrawled suburban family horror door, or a radiant gate of diamond light manned by angels and aliens.
Place yourself at the imagined eternal pivot around which your perfect personal cosmos revolves. Extend around you a subtle blazing globe of almost-visible transparent material, extending through the walls, under the floor below, to completely enclose you in its wondrous light. At the four Cardinal map directions, you will now place images of the guardians and protectors – these can be archangels, gods or superheroes, or your revered ancestors. Wise old Uncle Tom. Tough, kind Granny. Superman. Lara Croft. Unbeatable ideas basically maintaining the limits of your personal individual Mag!cal universe. They stand in for the four fundamental forces of the universe, the four elements and directions, the four dimensions of spacetime. Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.
These four corners define the limits of the Mag!cal scale model of the universe you are building. It is a miniature simulation of the real world with which you will interact. The changes you make to your microcosmic model will – by the action of “sympathetic Mag!c’, otherwise known as holographic self-similarity (where each fragment of a hologram contains all the information of the whole but on a smaller scale)– will be mirrored in the real, or a macrocosmic world.
Then comes the ritual.
It can be as simple or as elaborate as you feel you need to achieve the desired result. Some Mag!cians are good at “empty-handed Mag!c” which involves no props or disguises and gets straight down to business. Others like to get in the mood with major quasi-theatrical productions involving special atmospheric effects, ritual clothing and furnishings. In the Temple, you may feel free to exercise your personal creativity, imagination and individuality without judgment.
Within this space, you are now prepared to enact your Will and perform your chosen ritual.
Afterwards, having concluded with a banishing sequence of your choice, you may step out of the Temple and close the door, re-entering the real world where you may be judged for your mad ideas and weird behaviour. Set down your experiences in the form of a journal or, if especially creative, include them in a story or other work of art. You may now call yourself a Mag!cian, or an Art!st, or some fabulous, new century combination of both.
To sum up: You open a door and summon the state of consciousness required to enact your Will. You can dress this process any way you choose to make it work for you. You enter the ritual space and collaborate with the rest of the Universe in manifesting a specific outcome. You close the metaphorical door behind you when you leave the ritual space. When the ritual is over, carefully dismantle the protective sphere in reverse.
Then go watch TV, eat, have a laugh with friends. Do not think about what you have just done.
Having said that, it’s also possible to stay with it, and to allow the heavy atmosphere of a ritual to linger and spend the rest of the time in contemplation of the feelings.
There are guidelines but no rules.
I hope you are by now beginning to understand what Mag!c is and what it can achieve.
Is this some kind of therapy for mad people?
Mag!c embraces levels of rigorous self-analysis and self-realization that tend to weed out the deranged or disordered. It may also offer narcissistic collapse, obsession, zombification of the ego and madness - but so can art, or football, or love.
And who am I to put anyone off their hobbies?
Most of the pitfalls of Mag!c can be avoided by paying attention to a few pointers –
Maintain a cynical sense of humor; this is your ultimate number one shield and weapon as a Mag!cian and is where your Ape comes into its own. Learn to TAKE THE PISS. Ruthlessly.
Relentlessly question and/or interrogate any so-called “beliefs”, including, and especially your own, and those of people you regard as experts or role models. Expose yourself to opinions and ideas that you do not share and develop a high-altitude kaleidoscopic view of this multi-faceted, contradictory, prismatic thing we call reality. Having said that, keep in mind that not all ideas are of equal value and practice discrimination.
Examine as many alternate ways to explain your experience as you can.
Learn to practice mercy but never expect it in return. Judge not lest ye be judged. Be strong and be kind.
Treat yourself as prey; stalk yourself. Study your weak spots, your habits and patterns, and use the knowledge you gain to successfully hunt, kill and feast upon the parts of yourself that hold you back, or alternatively to tame and make allies of those same elements.
Keep your feet on the ground and your roots in the material, workaday world (the “Malkuth” of the Qabalists). Never forget to pay the bills, feed your lovely pets, do the shopping, or visit your gran in the hospice with a card. Also perform Mag!cal devotions attendant to each of these acts so that they have an effect in the metaphorical spheres above Malkuth.
If you begin to suspect you are the singular, special Messiah or Chosen One, remind yourself that SO IS EVERYONE ELSE.
Be inspired by and always learn from others where you can but don’t fetishize charismatic personalities, fall for guru narcissists, or follow leaders.
And try not to become them.
What do I need to get started?
Read Pop Mag!c by the current author, available online. Read as much as you can about Mag!c and its practitioners. No one Mag!cian has all the answers or the full picture and by practising and assimilating a wide spread of opinions, approaches and disciplines you will soon establish your own personal style.
Take it all very seriously for as long as you need to get results – and never take it for granted. Don’t run before you can walk, unless you’re willing to risk injury.
Ceremonial Mag!c makes use of various symbolic objects. These Mag!cal tools can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish – the cup can be a plastic tumbler or the skull of a Renaissance mage fashioned into a gem-encrusted goblet.
Assemble your personal, powerful collection of Mag!cal tools and equipment as follows:
The altar stands for the physical universe, from microcosm to macrocosm.
The altar can be as grandiose as the Taj Mahal or as practical as a simple mass-produced brick. The altar is a scale model of Malkuth, the material sphere.
I use a chunky block of a book – the Dorling Kindersley Science Encyclopaedia. It contains information on everything from quarks to large scale astronomical structures and, as such, the book makes a simple, potent stand-in for the entire physical universe. Colors on the cover include red, blue, yellow, and black, the four elemental hues of matter.
Speaking of the 4 elements, the Mag!cian’s principle tools are each assigned to a different quadrant.
STONE – GRACEFUL BODY
The Stone, sometimes called “pantacle”, represents the Earth element and the physical body.
I used to carry a little green stone everywhere with me around the world, absorbing, as I liked to pretend, influences from all over. It got lost somewhere along the way and now throbs with unearthly emerald power in some unknown corner of the globe.
During my most recent ritual, I used a Lego brick as a stand-in for the transcendent philosopher’s stone - the Stone the Builders rejected.
CUP – KIND HEART
The Cup stands for the emotions and for the element of water. It is the Holy Grail, the Cornucopia, the Ever-Giving Bottomless Cauldron.
I tend not to use different vessels depending upon the nature of the work - a glass of pink champagne makes a great cup of blood when summoning “female” gods. Whisky in a shot glass might be more appropriate for a Mars ritual. A can of Red Bull can help summon Hermes.
SWORD – KEEN MIND
The pointed sword or dagger stands for the intellect, the element of air, or analytical, dissecting function.
This tool can be used for drawing banishing pentagrams, Mag!c circles or sigils.
I use an ornate dagger brought from Istanbul and given to me as a gift by a good friend. You can use any utensil you feel most embodies your intent. Whether represented by a knitting needle or a cooking implement, the sword is your personality condensed down into a ruthless critical blade.
WAND – STRENGTH OF SPIRIT
The wand stands for and represents spirit, or “motivation” and the element of fire.
The wand is often seen as standing in for the point-and-shoot function of the erect penis (or “will-y”) but it could just as easily stand-in for the genderless pointing finger which isolates and identifies objects, distinguishing digital parts from the analogue smear of perception.
To focus and direct will – like a conductor’s baton, where the symphony is the world. Your wand should be an extension of you yourself in all your originality and uniqueness.
I use a black and white conjurors wand from an illusionist’s kit I was given when I was a little boy.
Study the various maps of consciousness created by Mag!cians who have in times past made careful study of the interior domain and left us with charts of human conscious states - often personified by various, gods, devils, demons, angels and symbolic beings - that show increasingly more subtle detail.
Familiarise yourself with the basic shamanic three worlds model, the four-quarter elemental model (which shows up everywhere – from the four archangels and the four evangelists in the Bible, to the Four Worlds of Qabalah, the Four Quadrants and the Transactional Analysis personality grid), the various 8-stage models of Buddhist consciousness (which are even more finely-grained upon closer inspection), Timothy Leary’s “Circuits”, Spiral Dynamics and Chaos. Study the ten spheres of the Qabalistic Tree of Life (this can become the work of a lifetime but it’s well worth it), the 30 Aethyrs of the Enochian system, the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching divination system, the 78 cards of the Tarot deck etc.
Cultivate a working knowledge of the many gods, demons and angels of the world’s religious and mythic traditions. Read up on the various forms of Mag!c practised by shamans, witches and sorcerers over the centuries and even millennia; Australian Aboriginal dreamtime ideas, Hindu cosmology, pre-Buddhist Bon Po sorcery, Gnosticism, Wicca, Enochian Angelic Mag!c, Goetia, Voudon, Crowley’s Thelema, Spare’s Zos Kia, Satanism and the dark side Typhonian schools, the Chaos curent of Carroll, Sherwin, Hine. You must be willing to absorb and synthesize of all this contradictory information into your own personal prismatic worldview.
Subscribe to New Scientist or Scientific American and maintain a good working knowledge of cutting edge developments in science. String theory, multiverse theory; all the frontier disciplines are fertile ground for Mag!cal metaphors, speculation and practise.
Remember these are only guidelines and above all -