Saturday, September 29, 2012

Uses of IAO, part 1

Before picking up my copy of Jason Miller's "The Sorcerer's Secrets", I had previously heard of IAO, the gnostic version of the Tetragrammaton, consisting of the Greek letters Iota, Alpha, and Omega.  Frater U:.D:.'s "High Magic" contains a discussion of some uses of the IAO formula as a centering exercise and in the creation of mantric sigils.  Even then I found it pretty interesting, and for a short time I experimented with the centering exercise version as an alternative to the Qabalistic Cross.  The name IAO, to me, has always felt less specific to one particular deity or culture, despite the fact that it's derived from YHVH.  Typically it has had the sense of a general source of power and authority.

Since learning from Jason through TSS and Strategic Sorcery, I've included IAO in my regular practices and in numerous workings through various permutations.  Beyond those things I adapted from Jason's material, though, I hadn't explored it much further until recently.  To an extent, that changed when I read the little chapbook called "The Lunar Formula of IAO" by Derik Richards.  He treats the IAO formula a as belonging on a "lower" arc than I normally work with it on, yet there was still some things I gleaned from it that have proven useful.

For example, an explanation of IAO from TSS goes into the Greek alphabet and their associations with the elements, the planets, and the zodiac.  Fitting since IAO is the Greek version of YHVH, this system of the Stoicheia associates I with Sol, A with Luna, and O with Saturn.  From a Neo-Platonic Hermetic standpoint, Jason's interpretation essentially places it as Sol ruling all things between Luna (the first sphere beyond those of the elements), and Saturn (the "highest" of the planetary spheres.  Thus it places Sol as ruling all things.  Taken this way, a practical use of it is as a way to draw the light of the divine (ie. power) down through the spheres.

With that said, a similar way this can be taken is I being a Solar, generating principle with A being the Lunar, transitioning and changing principle and  O being the Saturnine, stabilizing principle.  Of course this parallels the astrological concepts of cardinality, mutability and fixity. 

Thus, the way I utilize this oh, so nifty name in magical work is:
  1. A key with which to draw forth raw, undifferentiated and yet balanced power.
  2. A name of power with which to draw upon spiritual authority that can be applied to different types of work.
Following the logic of some of this, it's not perfect but so far it has worked rather well for me.  I have more to write about this topic, especially in relation to the elements.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Inspiring Blogger

Although it has been a whole month, just about to the day, since this happened, I've been meaning to post about it.

Skyllaros from The Crossroads Companion tapped yours truly as a Very Inspiring Blogger!  I totally didn't expect this, and am honoured, flattered and a bit humbled by it.  :)

There are certain rules to the Very Inspiring Blogger Award which I'll go ahead and run through before I continue:
  1. Display the award certificate on your website.
  2. Announce your win with a post and include a link to whomever presented your award.
  3. Present seven awards to deserving bloggers.  Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
  4. Post seven interesting facts about yourself.
Thems the rules!  I've covered rules 1 and 2 already, so on to the rest!

Now, the problem with listing seven inspiring bloggers is that, in the case of the ones I have in mind, at least three of them have already gotten this award!  Off the top of my head, they are:
  1. polyphanes at The Digital Ambler - A student of Rufus Opus, going through his blog it is obvious he approaches the Art with creativity, intelligence, and quite a bit of scholarly bent.  Highly recommended (of course, that's why he's in the blogroll to the right)!
  2. Kalagni from Blue Flame Magick - Hey!  Hey!  Whaddya get when you cross a Tibetan Buddhist with a Ceremonial Magician???  Actually, you get a smart, nuanced and interesting practitioner going by Kalagni who presents some pretty awesome material on his blog.
  3. Skyllaros from The Crossroads Companion - If you hear the call of Hekate, you will be led to Her devotees, and you will see and read some interesting stuff!  It's been fascinating seeing Skyllaros' journey from a very Chthonic path to one more Ouranic, and back to a balance between the two.  We sometimes seem to overlap, so I've found his material very interesting and inspiring (!) as well!
Those aside, here are my seven picks as Very Inspiring Bloggers:
  1. Jason Miller at Strategic Sorcery - How could I not include this?  Jason's work has been the main influence responsible for completely reforming my magical practice from an inept and lost pseudo-magician to a practiced and solid sorcerer who gets results.
  2. Rufus Opus at Head For The Red - If you read through Frater RO's blog from the first post to the latest, you're going to learn so much about Hermeticism and Neo-platonic influence in magical practice.  And that's aside from his e-books and courses!
  3. Brother Moloch from Eye of the Sorcerer - Although he rarely posts, Brother Moloch was one of the influences that began the reformation of magical practice and led me to Jason.
  4. de heer Balthazar at Conjure Gnosis - As I draw some of the more technical elements from Conjure, Balthazar has been an inspiration for techniques that I have used.
  5. Gordon White at Rune Soup - Because, seriously?  Gordon's blog belongs on any inspiring blogger list.  Going through his blog posts, you'll find so much information.  Not just magical information, but more like things that can fill out, inform, and inspire magical knowledge.  And his sigil shoaling technique?  Fantastic.
  6. Frater Acher at My Occult Circle - A fantastic blog from a magician who is knowledgeable and practiced.  His explorations of magical topics in his blog are in-depth and informative.  Two highlights to me were his series of Arbatel conjurations and his Everyday Path To The HGA posts.
  7. Scott Foster from Exploring Thaumaturgy - I often find it interesting and inspiring when I see a magician who is forging their own system, especially when they have a solid foundation to build it from.  That's what I see with this blog, and while I naturally don't always agree with Scott's material, I do also find it interesting from a spellcrafting standpoint.
With that said, in accord with the rules, here are some things about me:
  1. I'm very tall (6'7"), but when I'm standing a distance away, I don't *seem* that tall.  It could be caused by me being overweight, but I've always noticed the same thing with my dad, and he's less overweight than me.
  2. Males along the paternal line of my family have all had a natural talent with dowsing.  My dad has it, as did his father, and his father, etc.  Dad claims that he's always used L-shaped rods for it, but I think he can do it without tools, and there's a reason I think this.  All my life he has hunted Native American artifacts.  He has display case after display case full of arrowheads, cabinets showcasing axe and hatchet heads, and flint chisels.  He would literally go out into freshly-plowed fields and find these things, left by Native American tribes hundreds of years ago!  I always found his accuracy and luck with this uncanny.  When going out with him, me and my stepsister rarely found anything.  But he always did!  Despite his claims to using tools, there was one time he mentioned using his hands, and I think his ability helped him find those artifacts.
  3. I don't know if it's a defect with my vision (despite my vision being very good), but I've always noticed this *thing* pervading everything.  The best way I have of describing the way it looks to me is like a transparent television static with smaller pixels, that flows along all things and just so happens to match flows of energy I've heard psychically sensitive friends of mine describe.  It's not dust, either, because dust looks different than this, and dust doesn't flow like this stuff does.  I've never known what to call it or think of it.
  4. When I was a kid, my eyes were a rich brown, and ever since my late teens my eyes have changed to become more hazel.  I've repeatedly had people tell me that my eyes are pretty.
  5. This is not something I often admit, but in my early days as a Wiccan, I was an almost classic "fluffy bunny".  I'm not proud of this, but it is something I've been reframing to see as just part of my development.
  6. When I was a kid, up to age 7 or 8, there was a period of years where I had these nightmares involving me owning a mansion that gets invaded by monsters.  It always ended with me running from them.  When I was 7 or 8, I had the nightmare again, but this time I reached the end of it.  While running I tripped, fell, and the monsters caught me.  Oddly enough they were spiders of various (and I mean various) sizes who howled like wolves.  Meanwhile, in real life, I started screaming bloody murder, sat up in bed with eyes wide open clawing at myself, screaming to get them off me!  It was strange waking up beside my mother the next morning, as she wasn't there when I went to sleep!  But she reported what happened; apparently she had to wrestle me back down onto the bed, because I was totally losing my shit.  With my fascination with lucid dreaming, I've always wanted to enter a lucid dream and find a way back into that mansion, just to see what I find.
  7. I've been in IT since 2006, but before that I tried to go into nursing, and before that I was in a major art school here in Indianapolis, IN.  Currently, I've been considering my options for going back to school for something non-IT (because, frankly, unless you're a software developer, IT tends to suck ass).

Thank you, Skyllaros, for the award!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interesting Stuff This Week!

I've decided that, in between my normal posts (as few as they've been), it would be nice to do some signal boosting.  Therefore, on a semi-regular basis I will try to post articles and blog posts I found interesting and/or worthwhile for your enjoyment, dear readers.  :)  I might not include all the articles I found interesting, but these will be the highlights.

To start with, two magicians that I look up to in one way or another were interviewed on internet radio shows.  There was Gordon White from Rune Soup making a guest appearance on Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole.  Around the same time, there was my esteemed teacher of Strategic Sorcery, Jason Miller, over at Paranormal Palace Radio talking about Financial Sorcery.  I highly suggest going and listening to both.  There were a lot of interesting things discussed, and I for one enjoyed it immensely.

Speaking of Financial Sorcery, Brother Ash did a review of the book.  I say review, but he stated that it's more of a "Go out and buy this NOW!!!" statement.

Over at The Digital Ambler, polyphanes has some pretty awesome stuff going on.  If you're in the D.C. area, he is now teaching classes on a number of magical topics, centering around Hermetics and Geomancy.  In addition, he is providing readings at Sticks and Stones on a regular basis!  In addition, this week he took advantage of a Mercury election to empower some of his mercury-related talismans and gemstones.  The ritual he used is very interesting, as is the orgone generator he used to boost the whole thing.  I've always had a background interest in learning more about orgone generators, and after hearing about his results, I'm a bit closer to experimenting.

One area of interest I've always been drawn to is that of lucid dreaming.  I've never really been able to achieve much there because of the effects of obstructive sleep apnea on my REM sleep.  However, the solution to that is in the works.  But in the meantime, Karmaghna is looking into the use of dietary supplements to assist with lucid dreaming, and will be updating with his findings.

Thus far my favorite post, Skyllaros over at The Crossroads Companion posted about the Dimensional Sphere Sigil Technique.  Reading through it, I definitely want to try it!  The concept of not only firing off the sigil, but also filling your sphere with it and it moving your sphere closer to your goal...something in there strikes me as solid.

That's all I have for now, but the week isn't over yet.  ;)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Release of the Set Point

In his latest book, Financial Sorcery, Jason Miller devotes a chapter to the concept of the Set Point.  The original theory is that every person has this built-in mechanism that determines how much bodyfat they will carry.  Attempts at changing one's amount of bodyfat through dieting will be affected by this set point, as it compensates in order to keep your body in that state.  So far there are only theories as to how a person's set point can be adjusted, but in terms of weight loss, one of the prevalent theories is that exercise helps to lower it.

Jason takes this concept and puts a somewhat different spin on it.  Instead of just a biological mechanism that determines bodyfat, he applies it to areas outside of that, such as finances, love, spiritual practices...just about anything.  In this way, the concept of the set point becomes a place where, deep down, you are comfortable, complacent, and/or acclimated.  By this line of thought, a person can have any number of set points in life.

For example, one set point that I had, which plagued the ever-living shit out of me revolved around the times I get to sleep at night, and the times I get up in the morning, especially on workdays.  I work an 8-5 job Monday thru Friday, and every morning, silly as it sounds, I could not stop myself from hitting the snooze button until 6:50-7am.  As a result, I ended up being perpetually behind every morning.  Some days I could get to work on time, some days not.  Fortunately my bosses don't track my time, and I would make it up at the end of the day.  Still, it bugged me.

Being a constant, daily source of frustration, I decided that this set point would be the first one I released using Jason's technique.  I originally learned the technique from the Strategic Sorcery course.  The version of the technique in Financial Sorcery is, however, mostly the same.  The basic technique involves reliving a time where you gave in to the set point, mental fold it up, and place it into a visualization of elemental fire, destroying it.  It is repeated on 9 consecutive days, and then after that you put all your effort into improving.  And once you see success, the set point is reset.

After completing this technique on my sleep/time-management set point, I found myself finally able to get up with my alarm and get to bed when I wanted.  The relief and the extra time it has afforded me in the mornings has been fantastic!  Going forward, I have other set points to work on with this technique, and I'm looking forward to the change within myself that will result.

As you can imagine, I definitely recommend the Set Point Release technique that Jason writes about in Financial Sorcery (hell I recommend the entire book).  It can give you the edge you need over those habits which you usually feel so powerless to resist.  Give it a try.  What do you have to lose (aside from repression)?