As I posted a while back, Jason released his new eBook, "Advanced Planetary Magic", and shortly after this, he started a Facebook group for experimenting with the material in the book. Dubbing it "The Crying of Calls 49", the gist of the experiment is to recite one of the calls each day for 49 days, by the end of which one would have gone through all of them.
Each week of the experiment has focused on one of the planets. For example, on the week of Mercury, we worked the Mercury of Luna call on Monday, the Mercury of Mars call on Tuesday, etc.
Now, some of the calls are outright curses. Some folks in the group had misgivings about performing these particular calls, especially the ones who either had a moral objection, or didn't have a specific opponent in mind. The latter was the case with me. Don't get me wrong: there are a few people who I would gladly lay a whopper on...but unfortunately the first one to spring to mind moved out of state, and my fear is that cursing this person would wind up causing them to move back. Otherwise, I have a personal link that would allow me to hit them HARD.
Just the other day, Jason was on Deeper Down The Rabbit Hole, talking to Andrieh Vitimus and Jason Cowell about the eBook, and the concept of self-cursing! What follows is my write up of an effective example of such self-cursing using the calls in Advanced Planetary Magic. I had tried to mention it in chat during the show, but there were technical issues. At Jason's urging, here's my write up of it (and yes, I give Jason Miller permission to copy the below write-up to his blog, if he wishes):
Cursing the CriticWhen the day came to do the Mercury of Saturn call, I was trying to figure out what to do. Should I go ahead and curse one of the people I have in mind anyway, despite my misgivings of it possibly bringing them back into my life? Should I put the call out as a general strike against anyone who opposes me? Hmmm...well, Jason ended up answering this in a blog post where he discusses a range of different types of opposers. Specifically, this quote caught my eye:
"Secret Opposers are from within your own mind/energy/body. When you stop thinking of yourself as a solid and integral unit you and realize that you are a collection of aggregate parts you realize that you can attack certain forces within you as if they were spirits. The ancients knew this and would bind the natal kakodaemon. You can aim this call at a specific habit that you want to conquer."
Of course, targeting one such Secret Opposer would entail basically cursing oneself!
Not to get too personal, but that same week I had started working on some self-esteem issues, and had been introduced to the concept of the Inner Critic. For the past couple of days, I had been working through a therapy exercise wherein you "listen" for feedback from the critic and make note of it. In the first day, you simply count the instances, and at the end of the day, I had counted over 30! Keep in mind, that was just what I was able to catch!
The purpose for the Mercury of Saturn call is to confound the communications of your target and to bind their movement. In a moment of inspiration, I decided to target my Inner Critic, because frankly after a lifetime of it, it has really worn thin.
So, I did my usual prep for the call and recited it. While doing so, with the forces of Mercury and Saturn spiritually swirling around me, I focused it all inward, homing in on "where" the "voice" of my Inner Critic normally came from. I can't really explain how, but I found my Critic, and sent the curse straight at it. Immediately afterward, I felt like I had lashed out at myself of course. It was like, on a deep level, I was somehow stunned or shocked. The rest of me went about my day.
And throughout the next week and a half, I noticed something else: My Inner Critic was still there, and it was still trying to fire criticism after criticism at me...but it was like it couldn't get anything coherent to come out! I would liken it to someone feebly outright saying, "Well, general pitiful and ineffectual insult!" Or like the character of Ricky Gervais in the movie Stardust, after being cursed to only be able to utter chicken and monkey sounds. It would open it's little mental mouth, and nothing but meaningless static would come out.
Eventually, it recovered a little, but even now its criticisms are fewer. Needless to say, I'm impressed. Those initial days without constantly being burdened by the Inner Critic were cool.
Thanks again to Jason for publishing "Advanced Planetary Magic" and for his continuing contributions to the Arcane Arts! :-)
EDIT: Also, if you're considering doing something like this, go read my follow-up post first!