Gordon White’s new book came out early in the digital world and I have since read it twice (and now bought it three times – what can I say, I’m a fan). There isn’t going to be a full review this time or anything like my post I did for Star.Ships, as I really don’t like doing reviews. There is always a voice in the back of my head that reminds me of my complete lack of right to judge other people’s creativity as good or bad. So instead, I will just say that I really enjoyed it, so much I bought it twice, and if you are interested in Chaos Magick then you should probably also buy it and read it. That said, I will talk about some of the Magick practices and rituals I have done recently that come from the book.
I don’t really have a Magick Origin Story. I have had no actual real experiences of High Strangeness*, no real God encounters (does this actually count?), the majority of my sigils fail to have any affect, Meditation is yet again mostly a dreaded chore with seemingly no actual benefits to my mental or spiritual life, I am definitely not surrounded by synchronicities, and I am constantly tethering on the edge of just packing it all in and coming to terms with the pointless existence that appears to be all we actually have.
But I don’t. I don’t know why I don’t – it would make way more logical sense to do so, but at the time of writing, I’m still in the Occult game. As yet, no matter how hard I stare, nothing has stared back at me.
The Chaos Protocols may have a solution for me, however. Gordon has a chapter on how to instigate one of these experiences. Firstly he recommends the drug route which I have done in the past and personally found nothing particularly spiritual or enlightening about either LSD or Psilocybin , which are often recommended for “spiritual insights”. I have thought about trying them again, but for one -I now no longer have even the slightest idea how to buy drugs it has been that long since they were part of my life. I’ll file this suggestion at the back for possible future use if the opportunity ever arises.
Secondly he talks about how The Headless Rite has instigated extremely weird synchronicities in well known Occult lives, as well as his own. If you don’t know about Crowley’s use of the Rite in the Great Pyramid and his receiving of the Book of the Law soon after then you can read all about it in Chaos Protocols. I have previously performed the Rite a handful of times, using the version in Liber Samekh, to no particular effect but I though I’d try again. The Chaos Protocols versions is a different version than I have seen before (I assume Gordon’s own version – EDIT: No, it’s from Hans Dieter Betz’s translation of the PGM) and has the added bonus of ending with a variant of the Four Kings, which fits well to my mind. Finding the location of the constellation of Orion and aiming yourself at it is a big part of Gordon’s version and something which really intrigued me. It seems right.
I have since done it 4 times in the last week or so. I enjoyed doing it. But nothing significant happened -no weird dreams, no real weird experiences, no origin story or any sniff of high strangeness of any kind. Well, I had an one cool sync after doing it, which involved Gordon himself. About an hour after finishing the ritual for the first time, Gordon emailed me to ask me to do the cover of his new book: Pieces of Eight. So while that doesn’t feel massively significant, it is still very interesting, just not interesting enough for me to count as an origin story or any kind.
Which is disappointing. Not surprising I guess given my (lack of) history, just disappointing. It is however early days still, maybe it’s all just about to happen and my Magickal Origin story is just around the corner.
I will continue to adventure in the occult and magick lands using The Chaos Protocols as my guide book. There is a ritual in the book for meeting Lucifer at the Crossroads that I am so very excited to try. Of course, I will update you all after I complete it.
Until next time!
*Not strictly true I have had some High Strangeness, all humans have I would guess, but nothing compared to what the vast majority of Occultists claim. Even my experiences on Psilocybin and LSD, while fascinating, felt more “Just Drugs” than Paradigm shattering. Ecstasy felt way more “spiritual” than any Hallucinogen I tried, but even then it was still felt like only a chemical experience and nothing more.
I did see something that looked like a UFO once, but who hasn’t right? It was three green lights in the sky that were in triangular formation and it flew overhead of me and some other people.
I have seen Stars move, disappear and explode but I was always drunk when it happened and it never felt significant in the way an origin story should.
I am sure there are other similar stories knocking about my past but I don’t have a story that even comes close to convincing myself of anything existing in a High Strangeness sense, but I am looking 🙂
13 thoughts on “On the lack of a Magickal Origin Story”
You are not alone on that. I finished the book this weekend and already compiled a bunch of notes to begin practicing.
I don’t have any major event in my life that can be attributed to my interest in the occult. Many friends had weird encounters and spooky stories, and for a long time I was jealous of that. I used to think “why the hell are all this closed-minded people seeing stuff and I’m not?”
Despite all that I can’t remember a day in my life when I was not at least thinking about the occult, the paranormal, magick and all that. I had many very small stuff happen to me, like doors slamming hard with no draft inside while talking about ghosts.
I don’t know what it is going to take to breach the walls, but I’m ready to do whatever it takes. I’m planning an Ayuascha adventure later this year, and I’m planning on weekly Headless Rites and working with my deceased relatives.
Hey thanks for the comment Nicholas,
I often thought of doing Ayuascha but as yet haven’t even made plans to make plans to do it. Perhaps one day. If you do go, please let me know how you get on!
Hey Tommie. Hate to break it to you bud, but you seem to have had your Magickal Origin already, and you’re well on the way down the initiatory process, as I discuss here: http://www.thekitescradle.com/the-one-true-secret-of-magic/. If you’re still this hooked on magic when it seems so shit right now, then you were bitten quite some time ago, just that you didn’t notice or had wrong expectations of what you would experience. Seriously. The good news is that you can forget about ‘when does it start?’ You are already up and running.
Hey Alyster, Thanks for having a read.
Yea, you are right, there is certainly something that has kept me going all these years. There is probably a huge element of expecting too much or listening to much to the (possibly) exaggerated claims of others about their experiences or level of magick ability.
I’m going to get a coffee and head over to the Cradle and have a read. Thanks, as always, Alyster!
Cheers! I think what it is, Tommie, is that occultists, especially chaos magicians, have shunned any form of teaching from Christianity, and have thrown out the baby with the (yes, it’s filthy) bathwater. as a result, there’s little understanding of the initiatory process and occultists are struggling to reinvent the wheel here in coming to terms with what we’re encountering on the path. That’s why Dan Ingram and his models seems so attractive, yes? an alternative source of explanation.
Yea, for sure. I can see that.
CM has absolutely no road map, so it’s extremely hard to know where on the path you are within the CM Model – so as you suggest other models (like Ingram’s) become helpful or a plug to fill the hole. Also with CM, the emphasis is on the subjective experience and my road won’t look like your road (maybe) – so again we are left with no CM Road to describe or to learn from.
Interesting… I never thought of it like that before.
Hey, a win! Anyway, the article I link to above was intended to give a basic road map. Doesn’t matter that it came from Christians: after all, the western mystical tradition has had a long time to know the territory. And there is an objective territory, just as Jake Stratton-Kent, Gordon White and others point out that there are objective spirits. Just because shit happens in the mind doesn’t mean it’s only in the mind. And the core practice is, in effect, to explicitly lay yourself open to the process, saying to the Holy Spirit/HGA/the spirits “Okay then, come on.” This is what Alan Chapman learned from Centering Prayer (he could’ve asked me;) ) when he made it part of his core practice.
I’m actually doing a lot of that Chapman Adapted CP at the minute. I like that approach.
Then you don’t need much else. Just persevere with a sense of perspective and a sense of humour. Like I said, the process runs itself.
Thanks Alyster! Much appreciated.
Always a pleasure, my friend. Have a good day.
This makes me feel sad. I wish you would have some magickal things work. I’m not one to give advice but I really want to help. Maybe you’re holding back a little bit. Surely you’ve had *something* work! If not, perhaps you’re on the outside of all systems and just think they’re cool. Which is cool too but practice is where it’s at for the actual religious, life changing outcomes. I wish you well!
Thanks Harris, I appreciate the sentiment.
I do have a pretty decent daily practice of meditation, chanting, ritual, study and that sort of stuff, so it’s not that I don’t get results because I don’t try or something similar. The thought that I am holding myself back has crossed my mind frequently, but I have no idea how to know if I am, and what to do if I am.
I have had some minor things I can explain, like I say in the post, but nothing that really convinces me of anything. It is what it is, I guess.
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