Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of 2011

With the New Year's holiday coming up (or, at this point, upon us), I've been looking back over 2011.  I've been thinking about everything I experienced, and the lessons learned.  Magically and mundanely, 2011 has been very...contrasted.  I'll show you what I mean:


...I hated 2011.  It's been another one of the worst years of my life.  If it were a person, I would shoot it in the crotch with a double-barrelled shotgun, douse it in gas as it's squirming in agony and set it on fire.  I would sit in a lawn chair as it burned and sip a fucking cocktail.  Then, I would bury it right next to a shallow grave with salted earth.

Sounds quite severe, huh?

See, 2011 was one of those years, for me.  I haven't really been able to catch a break.  Things I have done to better my situation have been fouled at every turn.  I lived in a bad situation that fulfilled my fear about ever becoming roommates with a friend.  Even when things did get better, there has always been something there to ruin it for me and keep me miserable, whether that was something in my own head or outside of me.  The forces of Jupiter have helped reverse that a lot, but even then I've still been in an in-between place.  I've been constantly broke and, due to internal and external factors, have been knocked on my ass every single time I tried to catch things up. 

My magical efforts to turn things around have been effective, don't get me wrong.  But it's been like plugging up leaks in a ship, with a new leak springing up for every one you stop.  I've been working hard, mundanely and magically, and it has been paying off.  Proverbially plugging the leaks just a little fast than they spring up has been working...just slowly.

All the above makes me wonder about my uncrossing and how effective it was.  I'm going to have to do some divination to explore that.

But anyway, the good news is that I'm in a better position now.  If I can keep things going well at my job, it's only a matter of months before I'm back on steady ground again.


...I have loved this year!  The Strategic Sorcery course, the angelic initiations I've gained, and all the people I've met/interacted with/learned from this year have been absolutely amazing!  I started this blog, and it's been a major boon to my life.  I've been busier and busier with magical work, and have become much more effective than I have ever been since riding the n00b wave back when I started dis shit back in 1997.

My magical efforts helped me quite a bit this year during some really rough times, even though it often seemed like trying to stop something that was nearly unstoppable.  See my leaky ship metaphor above.

I had some really interesting experiences.  My interactions with the archangels of the elemental and planetary spheres, for one.  I solidly got my feet wet with evocation.

Through working with Robert Bruce's techniques, and Inominandum's overal procedure...I experienced astral projection in a new, interesting, and vivid way.

Talismans!  I learned a much better way of making and empowering talismans than doing the Golden Dawn Neophyte ceremony over them.

I could go on and on, and maybe I'll make an upcoming post where I illustrate my own Tech Tree (a la TGB's post here), but for now I'll just say this:

I'm letting the hellishness of 2011 go.  I'm taking the lessons and benefits, and moving on now.  I've been dwelling on this year and how sucky it's been in so many ways...but it's time to give that up and move forward.  I've got the rest of my life to look forward to, and work to do.  I'm gonna do it like a boss and I'm going to thrive.  

So mote it be.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year New You - A Response About Goals

For prompt 2 of the New Year, New You experiment in radical magical transformation, Deb is talking about goals and asking all of us about ours.  But she's not just asking about what they are, but how we intend to work toward them.  In addition, there is an element to it that asks us what we have already done.

This is the kind of goal exploration that I learned from the likes of Nancy B. Watson, Jason Augustus Newcomb, and Inominandum.  As I mentioned in my first New Year, New You post, I am focusing mainly on my finances, and that will be no different here.  My goals revolve first and foremost around them to the point that even my self-confidence/self-esteem/self-improvement goals are almost on the wayside.

Here is an overall summary of my financial goals:
  1. Get a higher-paying day job.
  2. Set up secondary income.
  3. Budget
  4. Catch up on my bills and get them out of collections, where applicable.
  5. Set up an emergency fund of $1000
  6. Reinstate auto insurance
  7. Pay off my credit card debt
  8. Build my emergency fund up to $4500 or three months of living expenses
I've estimated that all of these will take a year.  And since the New Year, New You experiment is only running until Valentine's Day 2012, I'm going to focus on completing 1-4 on the list, and get a good start on #5.  I've had setbacks thus far, but I'm trudging onward.  Now, it may seem like cheating when I tell you that I already have items 1 and 3 on the list completed.  However, if you know my financial history for the past year and a half, you'll know that item 4 has been one hell of a bitch for me.

Deb has the exploration of our goals split into 4...I dunno, aspects?  Here are items 1-5, explored through each aspect:

The Bite-Sized Pieces
  • Since I already have a higher-paying day job, I am focusing on keeping it!  I am mostly paranoid about this, but I don't want to take any chances.  I've begun to focus on re-honing my skillset and learning newer skills.  My company has training available, free of charge, and I'm going to take advantage of that.  My uncle recently offered to pay for half of the Dale Carnegie course if I take and stick through the whole thing.
  • The first idea I had for secondary income was secondary part-time employment.  This will consist of putting in applications, doing follow-up calls (and possibly pre-application calls), and hunting in sources other than job sites (craigslist, newspaper, checking with friends and associates, etc)
  • The second idea I had for secondary income is Delano Services, where I sell my sorcerous services and products online and possibly at certain local magic-friendly shops and events.  This, however, will require research and development (for the services), and require that I have some kind of money to put into it (for products and spellwork services).  On the upshot, with the prices I can reasonably charge, I will turn a profit if there's enough business.  It will also require some good time area I'm not-so-good at yet.
  • My Budget is not a conventional budget.  I based it largely on Carmen Wong's Budget Calculator, although I have it as a Google Doc spreadsheet that I can plug in my anticipated income into and it will calculate my spending across Wong's categories, according to percentages I adjusted to my needs and obligations.  It's simpler yet requires a bit more homework and insight on my part, but I prefer it.
  • The bills are the beast of burden here.  I've been chipping away at them, but haven't gotten as far as I would prefer.  So, in combination with budgeting and all my income from all sources, I'm going to set aside even more to throw at them.  I will live frugally, refrain from eating out, see what I can sell, and scrape together as much as I can.  It is possible for me to get my tax refund before march, and if I do and if it is sizeable enough, it will go toward any action in my bills.
  • I am only aiming to get started on my emergency fund by Valentine's day.  Even so, my personal aim is to have $200 in a savings account or a money market account by V-Day.  The money for this will be gathered via the same means used to catch up the bills.

The Magical Acts
  • I used a combination of temple magic and field magic to get my higher-paying day job.  Since getting it, I have deployed a combination of field magic and temple magic aimed at influence and personal success.  I'm still working there, and glad for ever hour of it!  However, I'm also going to do work on better luck, better ability and memory.
  • For a part-time job, I will work magic much like I am looking for a day job, just with small adjustments.  For starters, magic to find likely opportunities that will actually fucking call me back.  I will enchant my resumes and applications with the power of Jupiter and Venus.  During interviews, I will deploy influencing field magic and Venusian enchantment.
  • For the prospect of my own business, I'll need to cast for better time management and discipline.  In addition, I'll need to work for discovery of knowledge and research to help me know how successful I might be.
  • For my budget and for my bills, I will work magic for discipline, abundance, and for limits on my spending.  On top of that, I'm going to start preparing enchantment and influencing magics for when I have to deal with bill collectors.  Finally, I'm going to be working Jupiterian and Mercurial magic for flow of money into my life, which I will continue for my emergency fund.
On top of all this, I'm going to be doing Gentlement for Jupiter-type work every Thursday, focusing on macro-enchantments and guidance on micro-enchantments from the spirits of Jupiter.


To be honest, I haven't really done any yet, apart from inquiries about whether I'm likely to still have a job in three months, or even one (I'm seriously THAT paranoid).  But here are some areas of inquiry that I'm going to look into shortly:
  • Areas in my day job that I can target to cause me to stay as long as I wish, apart from avenues I've already worked on.
  • Divination to help find the places that will most likely hire me and will work around the schedule of my day job.  Also, people I can talk to and even sources of unconventional work.
  • For Delano Services, use divination to explore its viability and explore how I can specialize in order to gain a niche and thus a potential advantage over other sources of spiritual services.
  • Divinations about my budgeting will focus on upcoming events and possible unforeseen expenses.
  • Same thing with my bills.
  • The one thing about my emergency fund that I haven't been able to figure out is what kind of account to keep it in.  Should I go with savings or a money-market account?  One way or another I want it to be something that gathers interest.  Also, which bank?  Or credit union, perhaps?  These are what I will explore through divination.


This is another area that I haven't put much effort into...yet.  Here is a list of spirits I am going to conjure to ask for assistance:
  • My Genius - For general life advice and direction, as well as to put me in touch with the genius of my career for help with my day job and getting a part-time job or furthering my business idea.
  • Tzadkiel, Yophiel, Hismael - I'm going to be doing regular work with the spirits of Jupiter in a fashion similar to the Gentlemen for Jupiter to up the flow of Jupiterian force in my life.
  • Strategic Sorcery Mini-Grimoire Spirits - I won't mention them by name here, but there are two spirits from the SS Mini-Grimoire who would be good for my goals.  One is a spirit who helps with mundane knowledge and efforts, and the other is a spirit of money.  Now that I'm thinking of it, there is also a spirit who opens doors, but I already have a lot of help in that regard.

So, I have a lot of work, mundane and magical, to do toward this goal.  While catching up my bills and setting up the emergency fund will only be the beginning, it will definitely be a good start that will help me to become healthier and happier while I work on the larger goal.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Year, New You - Prompt 1, Making Way

This is in response to Prompt 1 from the illustrious Deb, as part of the New Year, New You project.

New Year, New You is about radical change and magical transformation.  The first place to start with such changes to one's life is in 3 basic (but not simple) areas:

1.) Home

First things first, then.  The focus of home, in this case, is having a clean home.  Many people can attest that having a clean home lends rather well to having a clear mind.  There are exceptions, of course, but in general a clean home that is tidy enough and well enough organized can lead to greater relaxation, support well-being, and thus let the mind be its sharp little self!

Of course there's also the magical side of it.  A clean house has a nice flow and pleasant feel.  One could say the energy flows freely, which can be very nice.  Of course, being magic-workers, we can enhance housecleaning to make it even more effective!

One of the main things I have done is empower several of my cleaning supplies.  First and foremost is a spraybottle of household multi-purpose surface cleaner and disinfectant.  It's really easy to make, and part of it is mentioned by Devi in her post I go back to the most.  She mentions some ways to work with original Pine-Sol, but I came up with one that suits me even better!  To my bottle of pine-sol, I added some VanVan extract made of pure essential oils.  Shake it up, empower it, dilute and use it; it makes an excellent cleaner that has a side benefit of drawing steady cash due to the pine, in addition to the clearning, luck-turning properties of the VanVan.  Mop with it, dilute and surface clean with it, wash the walls, baseboards, spritz the carpet before vacuuming, etc.  VERY versatile!

While that is the main thing I use with the magical aspect of housecleaning, I also do small empowerments to my other cleaning supplies to boost them.

When it comes to decluttering, I've a lot of it over the past few years.  It began as shaving down my collection of occult books and branched out into other books, DVD's, CD's, and anything else I didn't use anymore nor anticipate using/needing.  It took a lot of thought and attention to determine what to keep and what to toss.  But eventually I did it, and felt better afterward.  Of course, there was the period that my roommate-at-the-time had taken off work for 2 months for his big getting-over-a-boy-and-suicide-attempt drama where I had to get rid of WAY more than I wanted to, and that hurt a lot, but I still survived.  There are some things I could still stand to get rid of, but I'm working through them.

2.) Time

Time management.

Yep, the feeling of shame is still there!  LOL  But in a little more seriousness, I am definitely in need of better time management skills and technique.  This is a major area I need improvement in.  So, for a first step, I have decided to delve into the wisdom of others.  Tim Ferris, for starters.  I'm also tempted to delve into more Getting Things Done literature.  For now, however, I'm pulling away from the internet a bit more, trying to stay aware of time that I waste on such things, and try to look for ways in which I can get the most out of my time while still taking regular Me Time.

3.) Rocks

Those things that are heavy, dense, and stay in place.  We all have our rocks that we're chained to, and I have some of my own.  See, my problem is not an abundance of people who are overly demanding with me.  It's that I try to get around to everyone I know, to make connections, to refresh friendships, to appease THEM, to do for THEM.

On top of that, there are habits and behavior patterns I have that are not only time-consuming, but are pointless as well.  Identifying those and working to change them is another current goal/priority of mine.

Finally, in areas that directly relate to my financial goals...I don't know what my deal is.  I haven't tried very hard to stay educated about certain things, and to update/refresh my knowledge on a semi-regular basis.  I can't think of much that is more destructive or negligent than this on a personal lifestyle level.  So, I've resolved to change that!  Starting in January, I'm going to work on refreshing those things I've become rusty at, work on those things that would enhance my abilities in my job and financial sectors, and hone this awesome brain of mine.

So, in short, most of my rocks have  Not in an emo way, but I've come to realize that I get in my own way a lot.  Many of us do, and it's not so surprising.  Maybe it's related to fear of success?  I don't know, but I have sign of the obstacles, and it's time to start busting them.

Lord Ganesh, may I borrow your axe?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Nice Piece Of Tech

Recently, I came across the blog of The Sorcerer and read through a lot of his posts.  Aside from amazing me that I didn't read it sooner, it really helped stoke the fires of inspiration, and provided some good tech!

In this case, I'm talking specifically about his post about creating a Witch's Jar.

In this context, a Witch's Jar is a type of jar/bottle spell in which is placed a petition for something you want to manifest or have happen.  No herbs, oils, or other objects are kept inside; just your petition, worded in a particular way.  Instead of quoting the technique wholesale here, I direct you to click the above link to the post.  I went ahead and followed the directions in that post last night.  However, I personalized it as follows:

  • Physically washed it and then spiritually cleansed it using florida water.
  • During step 1 of the process outlined in the post, I expanded on it thus: 1) Performed the Universal Center from TSS; 2) Performed the Pillar, also from TSS; 3) Recited the Invocation of the Agathodaimon (again, from TSS), personalized and with conviction; 4) Cast the Adamantine Temple; 5) Invoked Hecate and recited the invocation from PGM V 459-489, appending with a request for aid in empowering the jar.
  • After step 2, and before step 3, I used the Triangle of Manifestation gesture along with the Song of the Serpent to fill the jar with power.

For the incense, I went with one of his suggestions, as it was the only one I had!  I never used 3 Kings incense before, but as it turns out, it's pretty good stuff!  I just wish I had some Master Key products to use for stuff like this!

The end result is pretty damn cool.  An initial reading with my pendulum a day later suggests that it's got some good potency.  I'm already starting to see signs of the initial petition I placed inside it working.  The best part about that is the particular sign not only indicated it was working, but also pointed me to an area that would really boost my efforts!  I'm not posting a pic of it because when I went to do so, I got one of those strange urges not to, and fairly strong at that.

Nonetheless, I will post about my results using it, and I look forward to further work with it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Year, New You - The Time Is Now

Initially, I wasn't going to join in on Deb's 'New Year, New You' call for action and all kinds of magical ass-kicking.  Although it's a great concept, I just didn't think I could do it.  I've been mired in stress that I'm sure is at least partially my own doing, and I've been wandering aimlessly for the past month.  My writing here, in my opinion, has not been what it used to be, and I've been feeling very uninspired.

But it turns out that Deb's muse is infectious!  I'll let it speak for itself:

Don't wait until that stupid glitter ball drops and you're already making drunk and/or sentimental mistakes, start now.  Start now when it's hardest.  Start now when you feel so weighed down with emotions better left to glittery and not so glittery vampires and when you feel like you could sleep forever.  Now is the time you need to wake up.  Get up, get up!  Don't miss this moment.  Create magics great and small, mundane and mystical.  Find everything you've been looking for, mysteries revealed in every form of divination and song and when you fuck it up, when you are too tired to try, bring each other up from bloodied knees to get back up smiling.  You are all made of stars and you have stardust in your veins.  Do something about it.

Here is what you'll do.  You'll write prompts.  You'll explore.  You'll fall down.  Sometimes you'll lay there awhile, finding things under rocks that you never wanted to know.  They'll pull you back, using yarn, glue, cajoling and stern words.  You'll keep sewing yourself into who you'll want to be and you'll tell them, sometimes too much, because that's your way and what's needed.  You'll find how far you can really fly when you've made wings to carry you and be breathless from your accomplishments.  Besides your words, you'll give something made from your hands.

And that, dear readers, is what it's about!

But here's the thing:  New Year's may be coming up, but of course that is not the only time to work on one's goals in life, and it's not the only excuse to be a Billy (or Betty) Badass in whatever you do.  I for one am working on bringing back the Ocean Delano who started this blog, the one who put together strands of different spellwork and wove them together into something awesome.  I let personal catastrophes get in my way, thinking that I'll start doing my awesome thang after the next bill I pay off or catastrophe I avert.

But that's not right!  We are magicians, shaman, witches, SORCERERS!  It's almost a duty to us to do our Crafts and to work our wills all over our spheres, reaching out to the world to take part in its creation and destruction.  New Year's is a marker, and an excellent one.  It's a time that's supposed to carry the promise of renewal and success, and I'm not pulling punches anymore.

Now, with all the pump-up speak done...exactly how am I going to do this?  WHAT am I going to do to cultivate and express my magical badassery, and HOW am I going to change my life for the better?


Finances - This is, first and foremost, the topic at the center of my life and my attention, and that's not going to change much in the near future.  My whole life before adulthood I was raised in a paycheck-to-paycheck world by a single mother.  As an adult, I've furthered that lifestyle and given it new dimensions with the sheer number of ways I've wasted and screwed myself out of money.  It's time to take control back, and once I do this, I will be a lot happier and healthier.

By extension, my Career needs some serious work.  When your job makes you feel like an axe is constantly lingering over your head...something isn't right.  And it's not just the fact that IT infrastructure support is a sucky-ass, completely insecure field to work in.  I'll be working on staying successful in my new job, as well as learning more and honing my abilities.

In addition, I'm looking into secondary sources of income.  One such possibility is going into my own small (and I mean, tiny) business.  Given my love for the magical arts, one thing that immediately jumps to mind is offering my services online and locally.  I've been tossing around name ideas, but so far "Delano Sorcery" has sounded the best ("Delano Products" being second).

Me - Yes, me.  Now, now, I know that on here I'm all kinds of humorous, exciting and awesome ;) - However, I could use a little polishing up in several ways.  I'm not as confident in person as I am on here, I'm not pleased to admit.  If I had more confidence, hoo-boy I'd kick that much more ass!  And probably get more of it too!  >:D

But yes, I need more confidence, especially after the wringer I've been through the past couple years.  In addition, health is more of a concern of mine.  My weight is something I've battled since childhood, and although the past few years have seen me the most successful with it's still just barely, and I've been backsliding since March!  I want to look good, dammit!!!


Levels - One thing about Strategic Sorcery that I've been giving more attention is touching each of the levels of reality more directly.  Out of these, Mental and Causal sorcery has been of most interest to me.  I want to explore these, especially the Informational Level. 

Talismans & Amulets - Amazingly enough, I don't have a ton of experience with amulets and talismans.  It even sounds shocking to see myself writing that!  But, it's true.  So, coming up, I am going to work on making talismans for the more long-term aspects of my goals.

Initiations - Looking back, the elemental and planetary initiations I was inspired to seek by Rufus Opus have been a godsend (pun not intended, srsly).  Things about me have changed and made me into more of who I want to be in regard to handling the negative things that come our way.  This relates to the "Me" goal above.  I've shaped myself more out of who I don't want to be anymore, and so I want to begin doing a little more shaping into who I want to be.

Once I complete the first series of planetary initiations, I'm going to start working more in-depth with each power.

Results, Results, Results! - That's what I started this blog for, and it's what I'm going to keep working on: Effectiveness in my magic!

Magically, this has been my busiest and most developmental year ever!  I'm not stopping, either.  I can't remember if it was Rufus Opus, Inominandum, or Gordon who stated that this is an exciting time for us magical folk.  Hell, all three of them might have said it.  But it really is.  We've never been more connected, and capable of reaching out as far as we now can.  We're following in the footsteps of all the great magi who came before...we're making the new traditions and systems, and it fucking rocks!

And you thought the pump-up speak was done...silly readers.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Frustration Abounds

To be honest, I've been more than a little frustrated lately.

Ever since I started my new job, my life has been a ball of stress and paranoia where my mind has been preoccupied almost totally by my job situation and the possibility of losing it over flimsy bullshit.  I've also been frustrated by my own "new guy" screw-ups, especially on Friday.  On top of all that, my financial situation hasn't really improved.  I've still been broke most of the time, mostly because it's been rent time.  I really hope I can get things to turn around soon.

"What magical things have you been doing to improve the situation", I hear some of you asking.  To start with, I've been deploying field magic at my workplace by deploying things like High John oil in my cubicle, and Commanding oil to strategic areas that my coworkers and boss will walk across and touch.  In addition to that, I've resorted to some informational magic by injecting an idea into my boss (That I should keep working there).  So far, my principle focus has been my boss, as my coworkers have been much more forgiving of the foibles of a new person, especially since the place I work at has one of those loose, play-it-partly-by-ear IT departments.

However, there are aspects of my own skillset that I've been intensely dissatisfied with (mostly stuff that got rusty with disuse), and with the recent instability of the department I work in.  So those are what I'm going to focus on further with more temple work and a little bit more field magic.  Financial and economic instability, hindered performance...these are things that are related to the influence of Jupiter and Mercury when they're retrograde, if I'm not mistaken.  And Jupiter and Mercury are currently both retrograde, of course.

Things have been complicated further by a recent bout of aimlessness and complete uninspiration with my practices.  I'm trying to overcome that and get my engines going again.

On a practical note, in the past few days I came across tech that I think would be useful to me over at Magick of Thought, which I found through the blogroll of the awesome Mr. Black over at Beyond Chaos Magick.  Namely, I've been working with the technique of finding and adopting my Mental Posture for working magic.  So far I've only given it a limited test run, but it looks promising.  I'm looking to do some practical work with it soon and see what happens.