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Thelemic Magic

From: (333 (nigris))
Subject: Thelemic Magic (was Magick)
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 11:22:13 -0700 (PDT)

50000410 IVom

uncited ('M'?): 
>> - How does one design a ritual to fit a specific purpose? 
>> Does one take an already "designed" ritual and go from there, or ? 

'how' seems to vary considerably depending upon the character of
the individual undertaking the project. I'll assume that the nature
of this question is more of a survey than a question of Correctness.

ceremonialism is prevalent within the community identifying with
the Law of Thelema ('do as you please'). in part this is because
it occupies the minds and time of busy, intellectual individuals
who have been inspired by religious mystical communities such as
Roman Catholic or Buddhist monks and their rites. in part this is
a result of an exultation of the legendary originators of Western
religion and magic (Judaism and its precursors) in the surroundings 
of those who have popularized modern occultism. 

in the 'Thelemic' community, for example, for which this forum 
serves as a medium of contact (T93-L), the expressions of such
organizations as the Golden Dawn and the Order of the Temple of
the East (OTO); as well as individuals like MacGregor Mathers,
Israel Regardie, Aleister Crowley, among a number of less popular
writers, has had a great deal of influence on the recommendations
offered students of the occult and (esp. Hermetic) magic in 

however, there are as many ways to design rituals or spells as
there are people to design them, whether this includes starting
from scratch, being inspired from reading formulae or entire
ceremonies, or tweaking standard ceremonies so as to fit in
with one's character and objective.

many ceremonialists will advance the method of pre-planning,
the construction or use of someone else's construction of a
set of symbolic correspondences (in modern Western occultism
this is sometimes associated with 'qabalah', though this is
often more of a disguise to attract attention than it does a
realistic connection or alternative to Jewish mysticism). for
the recipe-oriented and for those who like to have a clear set
of guidelines to follow or an intellectual lattice for their
contemplation and orientation, ceremonial symbol-sets can be
extremely valuable.

and yet there are those of us who find such constructions
overly-simplistic, extremely artificial, or derived from a
mentality which does not serve our best interests. some of
us will eschew associative symbolism entirely, focussing on
components of spell-casting, personal dedications, and self-
contained symbolic attributions that arise on their own,
intuitively, during the course of one or many rituals. as
a type of 'shamanic' rite, even elements learned within
the ceremonial culture become the "language" of the ritual
engaged in a largely intuitive rather than pre-constructed
act of magic.

the spectrum of ritual may extend even beyond time and place
set aside for influential or aspirational purposes. I have
identified a character of my consciousness which I describe
as 'ritual' that may or may not appear within ceremonies
described as such. it sometimes appears spontaneously, and
sometimes by specific design on my part. typically my
INTENT is what is required, as well as a lack of competing
interests (such as debauch, escape, or entertainments). its
character is marked by a trance that facilitates the observation
of the astral (imaginative-symbolism) realm, signs and
omens, and the communications of nonordinary intelligences.

Anthony Roberti :
> Start with the purpose itself.  Sometimes it gives some hints about what
> direction to go with a ritual.

this is valuable advice if one knows the purpose of any particular
ritual engaged. some find it valuable to select a special or
significant time and place to make a place for the Unknown.
> It helps to have a ritual framework.  You can get a framework from a book or
> a mentor, or design one yourself, though I personally feel it is good to
> start with at least some guidance from someone more experienced.  

different people learn in different ways. for those like yourself the
framework assists, becomes a ladder to climb to where you want to go.
for others it may become a constraint or labor, a restrictive exoskeleton 
which obstructs a burrowing down to the depths of the destination.

RE the construction of such a framework:
> Now -- what to flesh it out with.  You should use elements that have meaning
> to you.  I frequently use Hebrew, or Enochian, or even glossalalia, for
> certain parts, because I like the effect of "chanting strange incantations;"
> but there is no reason why you can't do a perfectly effective ritual
> entirely in your native language.

I have also found it valuable to explore glossolalic utterances,
and I think that this is what may inspire an interest in using
languages and grimoires that originate outside of one's own
culture and history: the alienesque sound communicates something
hidden (occult) and powerful to the waking consciousness which
may catalyze an encounter with one's shadow or deep consciousness
that 'white magic' (as it may be called by those whose ritual
proceeds based on intuitive drives) may never touch. this is one
of the reasons that I place some value on books like the 
Simonomicon and the obvious fabrication masquerading as foreign
mysticism (although I think these should be identified properly
as fabrications).
> you would find in _777_ a large list of elements connected to those themes
> which you could incorporate into your ritual.  This will assault your mind
> and senses with symbolism connected to your purpose.  Thus you can see the
> advantages of being conversant with the qabalah.  

or at least with Crowley's symbolism and some gematria.
> As you acquire experience you will develop your own framework and your own
> elements, taking things from results, dreams, visions, and other personal
> sources of meaning.

this can be a very valuable working paradigm within which to explore
the astral realm and engage visions, encounters with spirits of
various types, and initiate the Adventures of the Magi.

blessed beast!
I don't read everything here; cc me if you absolutely want a response.

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