Ceremonial Glamourbombing

According to Wikipedia,

A glamourbomb is an act aimed at challenging or altering perceptions—in particular, expanding the target’s view of reality, with the hope of encouraging belief in magic, and/or magical beings such as fairies, nature spirits, etc.…The word glamour is used in its older sense, as a reference to magic (based on the archaic word grammarye), particularly magic focussed on altering perceptions, which is also commonly associated with fairies. The bomb reference was meant to suggesting a style of ambush, a half-jesting resemblance to terrorism: “Something dropped unexpectedly in one’s midst, rapid disassembly…in this case, disassembly of assumptions, habits, pretensions, and rigid attitudes.” However, similar acts had been taking place long before the word was coined.

Most glamourbombing is performed anonymously or in disguise, so as to keep the focus on the act itself, and not the actor. In many cases, the effect of the act would also be lessened if its origin were known. The intent is to cause people to believe they have experienced something magical, to cause them to question the boundaries of their concept of reality, not to impress them with one’s own creativity. The intent can be to inspire feelings of awe and wonder, happiness, or fear, as long as it in some way challenges the boundaries of the real and the ordinary.

My friend and fellow magical-geekery associate Jarandhel, noted in the Otherkin community, told me about glamourbombing and how it has potential for being a pretty awesome tool for anyone interested or involved with the occult.  It’s basically a way to directly affect consensus reality, the generally agreed-upon rules about how reality is supposed to work (“you can’t fly, you can’t eat fire, you can’t summon spirits, you can’t affect probability”, etc.).  The weirder consensus reality gets, the more possible implausible things become, which has the added side effect of making magical acts tend to work better because fewer people believe that it’s utter rubbish.  It’s a neat idea, and directly ties into chaos magic notions of belief as power: the more people believer or are willing to believe in something, the more that thing is realized.

To that end, glamourbombing is effected by a kind of guerilla art, “random and senseless acts of beauty”, or artistic occult-motivated flashmob.  I mean, though I’d like it to not be the case, a lot of people don’t believe in magic, especially those in authority who decide what the world is and should be.   Glamourbombing, by leaving around bits and pieces of magic around the place where they can come in ready and blatant contact with people that jars them out of their normal routine, can shake things up just enough to get a foot in the door and make the world a weirder, if not more magical, place.  I mean, half of the occult is art, anyway, and much of art is symbolic enough to be magical as it is without any occult ritual; it’s not hard to slide in a glamourbomb into a public space or the public mind.

That said, Jarandhel was telling me this because most people who do glamourbombing utterly suck at it.  Glamourbombing needs to have artistic merit as well as occult meaning, and a lot of glamourbombs are neither.  Some people he’s heard of do nothing but leave a few dozen pinwheels in a schoolyard, or leave behind “magic potions” of colored water on a park bench.  While cute, these things aren’t anything more than glittery litter, which doesn’t really do much.  They barely catch the eye and don’t do much more than annoy a groundskeeper or something.  No, claimeth Jarandhel, glamourbombing needs to be more, much more.  So, over a hearty lunch as we tend to get with another of our fantastic friends Orthaevelve, we came up with a few ideas for how to do proper glamourbombing and what some things might actually be.

First off, glamourbombs should be transient and not permament.  This means no permanent spraypaint, no permanent graffiti, no destruction or permanent erection of structures, and the like.  This assumes, of course, that you don’t have permission to alter some structure, place, or layout that currently exists; if you own or have permission to tag something, then go all out.  Things should be inconvenient at best to remove or wash away, otherwise.  Second, make sure things actually have some magical oomph or meaning to them: legit sigils of spirits or intents, such as the LS Sigil of the Marauders Underground, are cool, as is splashing an area with enchanted or consecrated waters (peace water, sex washes, whatever).  Third, be covert, anonymous, and secret about your actions except to the people you’re glamourbombing with.  Fourth, don’t be stupid in this day of post-9/11 overbearing surveillance; don’t leave mysterious packages with blinking lights or vibrating mechanisms inside to spook people.  Beyond these rules, go all out.

Some of the things I thought might be interesting to try out as a ceremonial magician would be:

  • With chalk, doodle out an entire planetary temple on a park pavilion, inscribing different planetary symbols and godnames on the pillars supporting the roof and moving the benches to act as an altar or pew, similarly doodled upon with patterns and symbols to make the place look holy.
  • Tag the concrete tiles of a bridge or train overpass with the seals of the goetic demons from the Lemegeton.  Alternatively, write out the long string-like sigils of the planetary angels on overpass pillars.
  • Write out creation myths on park sidewalks of the Gnostic angels, heavens, aeons, and the like.  Alternatively, write out a whole conjuration or blessing word by word around the wall of some park or field.
  • Impromptu public rituals calling on Bacchus or Jupiter in a bar or outdoor party.
  • Consecrate a mass of carved pewter tokens (low-effort, easy to do) with sigils under the forces of Mercury and Jupiter and dump them into fountains or around public monuments.
  • Buy a lot of candles, flowers, and statues/icons and set up a shrine on the side of the road to some saint or deity or other; setting this on a wagon or sled and pulling it around town might be an interesting exercise, or moving it around town from day to day secretly.

Keeping in mind the rules of glamourbombing above, what kinds of things might you try out?

Craftwork update!

Gotta love the feeling of being productive and actually making stuff again.  About damn time, too; crafting this stuff is at least a quarter of the fun of the Art.

Since I had all the supplies, and now that things in my life have calmed down enough to allow me enough time during the week and weekends to focus and set my mind to some projects again, I can proudly show off two of my latest crafting projects:

  • A ritual sword, partially Solomonic in design but with certain elements that give it a much more offensive nature against harmful spirits.  Yes, dear reader, I made myself a demonsbane-type sword.  I’m going to conjure Kammael and Michael in turn as this conjuration cycle continues and get their opinions on it and how to keep it in good shape, so there’ll be a post on that in the future.  In the meantime, I’m scared to even hold the thing; it feels like a firebomb in my hands.
  • A Circle of Art painted onto a large canvas tarp, based on a design I introduced before.  Simple, elegant, and portable, and awesome-looking, besides!  I made a few wooden pentagram placards to serve as bases for candles and the brazier, too, so the whole setup is pretty cool.  Walking into it feels like stepping into a fortress observatory, so I think I did it right.
  • Although not a craft, per se, I had a hard time finding a proper blessing of chalk that didn’t specifically mention the Three Wise Men or Epiphany, so I made one up.  Here you go, if you ever need a Hermetic or Abrahamic blessing of chalk.

Now that I have these two things, in combination with the tools and supplies I already have (wand, triangle, pentacles, ring), I’m finally ready to start working with goetia and other types of demons.  This opens up a whole new set of practices to experiment with, so I’m pretty excited about this.  Yes, I know that dealing with demons is a powerful practice and can fuck my own shit up if I’m not careful, but what’s life without living, and what is living without learning?  I want the experience, and I hear some demons are pretty neat guys to be acquainted with.  Based on a friend’s suggestion and my own inclinations, I think Orobas will be the first guy in line.

My brony friends would be proud if they knew about this guy.

Though, this does bring up a good question for myself.  I’m used to using the Trithemius ritual to conjure spirits, which I’ve used for angels and genii (two totally different ranks of spirits), but nothing besides (since I haven’t done any other kind of conjuration).  Fr. Rufus Opus has said he’s used it equally well for all kinds of spirits from different grimoires, traditions, and texts, so I’m eager to try and figure out experiments with this rite and how to conjure spirits that are less-than-sanguine about the holy Trinity, qabbalistic godnames, and so forth.  The Lemegeton and Key of Solomon have good starting points for me to jump off of; a Trithemius/Solomonic blended conjuration might be an interesting thing to write up, since the Trithemius rite has the basic framework I need and the Solomonic texts have all the godnames, conjurations, and calls.