As some of my readers have noticed, I’ve begun taking commissions for designs and tools over on my Services page. This is a fantastic opportunity for me, since it helps get me a small cash flow on the side while getting more experience in crafting, and it also helps various occultists and magicians across the globe get tools and supplies they need for their work from these oh-so-learned hands of mine. However, in starting this, I have learned a few lessons that aren’t that fun: it’s hard to balance commissions with other work and Work going on, and it also brings up the issue of buyer responsibility to both me and themselves. That latter one is something that’s been gnawing on me as of late, and I’m going to basically institute a new rule for myself on taking commissions.
(Don’t worry; if you’ve already gotten a commission from me, I’m still going to complete it. All orders already made will be honored, of course, but
So, Fr. Rufus Opus has this idea called “kinetic meditation”, where one does a particular activity as a kind of magical or contemplative act by itself. In performing that act, one syncs or aligns one’s sphere with that particular activity. What we might call kinetic meditation in magic might be better described as, well, “practice” in anything more physical or tangible: sports, engineering, cooking, whatever. In other words, by actually doing the thing, you not only become better at it but start incorporating it into yourself and thinking processes. A well-trained chef, for instance, can whip up a complex dinner with minimal planning because he intuitively understands what goes together and how to prepare it without much thought, relying on shortcuts and drawn-out procedures alike as needed. A pro soccer player doesn’t have to plan every action out or check with his teammates; he acts instinctively, reacting as well as and at the same time as acting on the field. A competent programmer doesn’t always need an API and syntax guide open for a given program, but spews out code that works and works well as if he were writing a Facebook message to his good friends. This sort of practice builds muscle memory, reflexes, split-second thinking, and a deep intuitive understanding of how things work. It’s not easy, sure, but it makes things easier given enough time and practice.
Magic and meditation, on the other hand, is far more a mental and spiritual process, and to perform kinetic meditation with this stuff requires something physical. RO gives examples such as actually drawing out the complete Circle of Art from the Lemegeton Goetia, or drawing by hand the lamens used in conjuration of the angels. I might suggest (and one which timed up perfectly with my getting my acceptance letter into RO’s classes back in 2011) getting a compass, straightedge, and coloring pencils and drawing out the Tree of Life based on its mathematical properties. Performing calligraphy with the names of God, singing barbarous words of power, drinking herbal infusions of specific plants to see their effects on the body, all that can be considered kinetic meditation in some way or another. All this has the effect of helping the magician intuitively and automatically understanding the designs, words, incantations, processes, and supplies used in our ritual. For magic and meditation, kinetic meditation is the process of aligning ourselves with our Work, and is crucial for any significant level of success.
For me, the process of kinetic meditation started from day 0, when I first saw the Table of Practice design to use. I studied the design, memorized the components of it, practiced visualizing the Table in my mind until I could hold it indefinitely, learned the Celestial Hebrew script so I could write out the names of the planetary angels, and drew it out many times on scrap pieces of paper for practice. Later, I got on Adobe Illustrator and produced my own version, after having understood the components and purpose of it and after having studied other associations I could augment or modify it with. Then I practiced drawing that out, then I got the supplies together and made my own official wooden Table of Practice, which I’ve been using ever since. Similarly, I did the same with the lamens of the planetary angels, memorizing each one’s sigil and name and how to spell or draw them out, I visualized them with colors, I memorized and intoned the names of God around the lamens, and so forth; then I printed them out, prettied them up, and have used them ever since. I did the same with my Circle of Art, my Wand(s), and everything else. It’s exceedingly and increasingly rare for me to just up and use a particular tool nowadays that I haven’t already analyzed, understood, and integrated into my own sphere.
In other words, if I can’t manage a replica of the thing astrally both in form and function down to the minutest detail, and draw it out or make it from memory (with minimal memory refreshing), I don’t consider myself ready to use it yet physically.
Now, that’s what I consider appropriate learning and education in tools in magic. And yet, here I am offering to make these same tools for others, depriving them of the same joys and frustrations I had, and of all the kinetic meditation I did, that they might be able to have all for themselves with an equal (and minimal) amount of work. So, here’s the deal from here on out. If you want set up a commission for a tool, email/pay me and let me know as you already would and do. I probably won’t turn you down unless I’m busy for the time being or unless I think it’s a terrible idea, for anyone involved. However, you better know what it is you’re asking for and you better be able to at least conceptually have it ready for yourself in your mind’s eye and astral form. Don’t get a commission from me because you want “someone who knows what they’re doing” or “someone initiated to do it for me”. I know what I’m doing because I did the work for myself, not because I had someone else do it for me. All the initiations I’ve gone through are from the spirits themselves, and they’re all for you as well if you ask and are ready for them, and if you’re not initiated for something you need, you don’t need it anyway. Ask for a commission if you honestly are unable or don’t have the resources for something, or if you lack the crafting skills to make something you otherwise comprehend and understand for a quality piece of work.
Caveat emptor, my readers. My tools are not meant for those who want to make things easy on themselves. My tools are meant for those who want to make their work go farther and harder.
Personally, S and I can’t use any tools we haven’t made ourselves, and practiced with extensively beforehand. I can make things for others, but I want them to understand what it is they have, or give them the necessary materials and suggestions, and then they can go make it themselves. I may not be nearly as crafty as some people, but I’d much rather have my own things than something someone else has made.
This this this, a thousand times this. I do understand the desire to have nice things and professionally made tools, but that’s only for their aesthetic and physical value. Magic is about uncovering the metaphysical (literally “beyond the physical”) workings of things and how to apply those things to otherwise physical objects and substance. Making one’s own tools, no matter how ugly or beautiful, with the proper understanding, is the best possible method for having tools at all. It’s only when someone honestly does not have the experience, resources, or tools necessary that one should get something made, but even then, their own hand should always be involved in the process.
For instance, Raven Orthaevelve made my Ring of Solomon, it’s true, but I made the design and I did a lengthy consecration of the thing; in a way, it was finished by me and Raven has given me permission to say as much, even though I couldn’t have done it without her. I needed the ring for my Work and don’t have the time, money, or skill necessary to learn how to work with silver, engrave it, form it into rings, solder/weld it together, set the gemstone, or the like; ideally I would, but I’m nowhere near that great at that type of crafting. The Idea of the ring came from me all the same, though, and is in a sense still my work as well.
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