Musings on Orgone

It’s funny how much of this occult stuff changes my tune on things I thought before starting it.

For example, a few years back, I had first heard of orgone, this Force-like universal life energy that surrounded and permeated all things.  Granted, it’s officially discredited and has always been on the fringes of science, and from what I’ve always heard about it, it’s kinda been ridiculous and unworthy of my attentions.  Until recently, that is.  One of my friends is an expert in energy work, reiki, and a good deal of nature magic, all things I’m not too acquainted with.  He was also moving from his old place to another, and I was helping him move.  I noticed a strange contraption on his desk: a sort of lantern-style candleholder with a pan in it, with a black box with some tubes sticking from it suspended above it.  I had guessed it was an orgone generator, even though I had never seen one, and my friend started describing to me how it works, supposedly.  Specifically, what he has is termed a “Babalon Matrix”, having its origins in Thelemite tech, but still falls under the orgone heading.  Later on, after we finished moving and got a few bites to eat, we started playing with it and he showed me how to activate it and the effect it’d have on various objects put into the focus.  I was impressed; now that I’ve got at least a modicum of astral sight to see things, I was able to get what was going on with the generator and the field it generated.  We tried stones that were tied to other places, my pendant I wear that’s closely aligned to my own energies, my reality-warping key, and a variety of other things.

From what my friend told me, a generator consists of a hollow tube that pierces through multiple layers of alternating organic and inorganic material (he used corkboard and steel wool), plus a series of perimeter markers (he used a set of long pure quartz crystals, flat on one side); the more layers the tube passes through, the more powerful the field generated.  Dissipate energy is collected on one end, concentrated through the generator, and passed out the other end as a focused “beam” of sorts; upon hitting a focus, the beam would branch out, pass through the perimeter markers, and back into the generator.  This would eventually form a field that would take on the force and energy of whatever object was in the focus.  This is done with the crystals facing flat side in; if the crystals were focused flat side out, the energy that took on the force of the focus would be dissipated outward.  Whatever was in the field would be affected by the force; whatever was in the focus itself would slowly gain more energy, sort of like a trickle charger for a car battery.  Once set up (the process of “turning on” the generator and field consists of energetically linking the crystals to the generator and providing a pulse of energy to get it started, which all takes seconds), the field continues to work until disassembled.

I’m not a firm believer yet, but seeing definitely helps believing.  Of course, as an engineer, there’s no way for this to work in any sensible terms; as a magician, I can definitely see how it works and how it can be used.  For instance, in conjurations, I could set up the crystals on the perimeter of the conjuration circle, set up the generator under the Table of Practice, and use the associated talisman of the force I’m conjuring (the Pentacle of Earth for Auriel, the Talisman of Mars for Kammael) as the focus, then have the entire ritual space take on the force of the angel; in Solomonic stuff, I could set up the crystals on the perimeter of the Circle of Art, set up the generator under me, and place the Ring of Solomon as the focus to fill the entire Circle with authority, light, and power.  I’m sure I could come up with more uses for this magical contraption, but these are things that are on my mind right now.

There were some questions that I had for my friend that, unfortunately, he didn’t know the answer to, mostly because he hadn’t experimented with some of these things.  Here are a few of the things I’d like to investigate:

  • The crystals that form the perimeter are to be facing flat side in or flat side out, all at once.  What happens if one of the crystals is turned outward and the rest inward?  Would that produce a focused field applying in only one direction?  Would that simply cause the field to break apart like a water balloon?
  • A generator is composed, in part, of alternating layers of organic and inorganic (metal) material.  These are assumed to be uniform, but what if they’re different materials?  Instead of using steel wool throughout the whole thing, why not use layers of lead foil, tin foil, steel wool, gold leaf, copper foil, pewter, silver leaf, and so forth separated by sheep’s wool, or steel wool separated by different sets of dried herbs?
  • Could the layers of organic and inorganic material be anointed with planetary or elemental oils, or be combined with Bardon’s fluid/solid condenser technique?
  • Orgone generators are supposed to stay away from the use of copper, supposedly because it creates “dead orgone”, or toxic/thanatoic energy.  However, my friend’s orgone generator used copper tubing for the generator, and it has (a) given our friend who works with death energy a lot a strong headache (b) hasn’t had any ill effects on his health for the past ten years.  Are there any materials that are really off-limits?
  • The generator (or more accurately, accumulator or “shooter”) doesn’t appear to have any directional alignment; it’s fairly symmetric, with nothing differentiating the in-end and out-end.  Without obstructing the tube, would a “receiver dish” on one end, using a wire matrix, and/or a “transmitter” on the other, using wires or crystal points, affect the generator for good or ill?
  • One of the main things my friend has experimented with is creating gates to other places, in the astral or wherever, by using an object aligned with that place as the focus.  Stepping into the field helps to astrally view or project into that place; I was able to see places I was not already acquainted with, describing things correctly according to my friend.  Could this be used with planetary talismans to better align myself or project into those spheres?

My friend had several of the crystals laying around, and sold a set to me.  Knowing what I do, after I consult him and some more sources, I’ll probably make my own device like this and experiment with them.

It’s definitely strange how much one’s opinion of this stuff changes once you actually fiddle around with it.  I mean, scientifically, it’s bunk, but then, so is the rest of my angelic, astrological, and divine work.  Keeping orgone in the sphere of magic and not in the sphere of (pop? fringe?) science works a lot better, and when presented to me in that manner, it becomes much more acceptable.  I mean, it’s like people want to still operate and deal with magic, but are too shamed or boxed in by scientism and modern sensibilities to admit a belief in it; to get around this, they have to use scientesque and needlessly complex mechanisms to achieve the same goals that have been done more simply and naturally for millennia.  I mean, if you’re going to do magic, call it magic.  I’m not saying that science and magic will never mix, but if the planes are discrete and not continuous, don’t try to get ahead of yourself and mix the two without actually having solid footing to do so (last I checked, orgone isn’t measurable by standard laboratory measurement tools).

Experimenting with Angelic Lamens

After a lot of hemming and hawing, I’m finally taking my original lamen design seriously and going to experiment using them.  My original lamen design was based off the one in Barrett’s the Magus to use with the Trithemius rite as well as from Fr. Rufus Opus’ Modern Angelic Grimoire, but altered to look a little cleaner and more magical; plus, the new style relies more on a circular format, similar to the seals given in Crowley/Mather’s Lemegeton.  For comparison, here’s the standard lamen for the angel of Mars, Kammael:

And here’s my new, experimental design:

The differences between the two, in case you’d like a written description:

  • The name of the spirit is written in another ring around a central circle.
  • Always use six pentagrams around the arms of the hexagrams, points facing outward.
  • No Romanization of the spirit’s name.
  • Center hexagram is embiggened and centered in the central circle.
  • Godnames rotated 90° so that El is aligned at the top.

I used this design for a temporary placeholder when testing out the look of some things, but went to the original format out of fear of fucking things up.  However, the basis for the design of the lamen comes from Cornelius Agrippa (book IV, chapter 10):

Now the Lamen which is to be used to invoke any good spirit, you shall make after this maner; either in metal conformable, or in new wax, mixt with species and colours conformable: or it may be made in clean paper, with convenient colours: and and the outward form or figure thereof may be square, circular, or triangular, or of the like sort, according to the rule of the numbers: in which there must be written the divine names, as well the general names as the special. And in the centre of the Lamen, let there be drawn a character of six corners (Hexagonus); in the middle whereof, let there be written the name and character of the Star, or of the Spirit his governour, to whom the good spirit that is to be called is subject. And about this character, let there be placed so many characters of five corners (Pentagonus), as the spirits we would call together at once. And if we shall call onely one spirit, nevertheless there shall be made four Pentagones, wherein the name of the spirit or spirits, with their characters, is to be written. Now this table ought to be composed when the Moon in increasing, on those days and hours which then agree to the Spirit. And if we take a fortunate star herewith, it will be the better. Which Table being made in this manner, it is to be consecrated according to the rules above delivered.

In some ways, my design might be closer to the description Agrippa gives.  Alternate designs could be drawn up that use, say, a pentagon for the shape of the lamen for Kammael (5 = Geburah = Mars).  Although I didn’t color the lamen template, I do hand-color in the lamens after I print them out and cut them in an appropriate planetary day and hour.  The rule about the number of pentagrams annoys me: four for conjuring four spirits and fewer, otherwise as many as the number of spirits being conjured?  Yet Barrett shows six pentagrams for his lamen of Michael.  How confusing!  I may as well just stick with the number six to keep things balanced and even around the design of the lamen, I feel.  Plus, if I do ever get around to using a single lamen for multiple spirits, this layout affords more space for the seals and names of the spirits to be conjured than the standard design.

Tyson, in his notes to his critical edition of Agrippa, notes that Barrett’s design strays from this by adding a Romanized version of the name inside the hexagram, as well as using six pentagrams around the lamen.  However, Tyson also theorizes that the name of the angel (Michael, in Barrett’s example) is the ruling angel of the spirits to be conjured, with the individual spirit being written in the pentagrams around the hexagram.  However, since the lamen is to be worn around the neck, it has to be an appropriate size for wearing, in which case the pentagrams are way too small for that.  Because this can’t be done, I’m going with the interpretation that the name or seal of the spirit written on the lamen itself is the one to be conjured.  However, Agrippa does say that “there be written the name and character of the Star, or of the Spirit his governour, to whom the good spirit that is to be called is subject”; this is why we can use a lamen of, say, the angelic elemental king Auriel to conjure Amaymon, since Amaymon is subject to Auriel.  (That said, the way I’m taught and used to doing things is just conjure Auriel and ask him to bring Amaymon once he’s already there.  YMMV.)

Since I’m scheduled to conjure Kammael this week, I’m going to try this lamen out tomorrow.  I don’t expect too different a result; the spirit should be the same, the strength should be what I’m used to.  If I get better results, I’ll finish off the rest of this lamen set and post them to the designs.  If I get worse results, I’ll just stick to what I already have and use.  Personally, I like my design better, but that’s because I’m biased and proud of my shit.  If it works well enough for me to continue with these things, I may as well make a nice and purty set on strong parchment-like stock.

In Terms of Another

A computer is a mechanical and/or electronic device.  It takes in electricity and input from a device like a keyboard or a mouse or a touchscreen, and uses electricity to perform logical operations on input.  The output is redirected and is used as further input or is used to display information on a device like a monitor or printer.  There are lots of models to show how computers work, from the mathematical (why input becomes particular output), physical (how supplied electricity is transformed into motion, light, or sound), and logical (how input and stored data is manipulated in an abstraction of a machine).  It does not, however, make sense to describe how computers work in terms of biology with cells, protein folding, evolution, and so forth.  The two are completely separate systems of knowledge and use different abstractions, terminologies, definitions, and assumptions.  Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to describe the involuntary actions and processes of a human body in terms of formal types, data representation, or logical operators.

Languages rely on complex rules of word formation, ordering, and meaning, collectively termed grammar and semantics.  An English sentence, such as the one you’re currently reading, is made intelligible through the rules of English grammar and the meanings of English words according to an agreed-upon dictionary.  It doesn’t make sense for an English sentence to be analyzed according to the grammar or lexicon of another language, like French or Chinese, because the rules and definitions don’t apply.  Comparisons can be drawn, and translations can be performed, but you can’t simply drop an English sentence into a Chinese input terminal and expect to get any processing done.  Further, you can’t analyze or make sense of an English sentence if you’re trying to describe it in terms of multivariate calculus.  The two are just radically different systems of knowledge with different purposes, uses, languages, and so forth.  They’re both useful and necessary, sure, but not in the same way, and can’t be used in place of each other.

So, given this, it annoys me when people try to make me explain, justify, or validate magic or the occult in terms of the laws of physics or other physical sciences.  It’s like trying to explain a computer in terms of biology, or English in terms of calculus.  You’re asking me to explain something spiritual and inherently non-physical in terms of the non-spiritual and physical?  I can’t do anything with that.  I don’t have the tools, the rules, the definitions, the terms, the background for what I need.  I can use philosophy to illustrate some of these things, sure, and religion to make sense of other things, but that’s like the English sentence/Chinese grammar situation above.

Am I saying that magic is completely detached from the physical world?  No. Am I saying that magic has no effect in the physical world, nor any measurable metrics?  No.  Magic does affect and can effect the physical world, but doing so can’t be described in an entirely physical model, because magic doesn’t directly affect the physical world like how observable physical processes do.  Magic assumes the backdrop of a chain of manifestation, it assumes things that aren’t physical and can’t (always?) be detected physically.  If you’re asking me to explain something spiritual and non-physical, and only allowing me physical explanations to do so, you’re setting me up for failure.  If you want to discuss spiritual matters, then let’s use spiritual methods, languages, and definitions; we can draw parallels or comparisons between the spiritual and nonspiritual, physical and nonphysical, and that’s awesome.  But I can’t explain something in terms of what it’s not and what it can’t be.  If you want to talk to me about spirituality, let’s talk in spiritual terms, or at least allow for the possibility of spirituality.

I understand that atheism is a growing worldview and mindset of modern people, and there’s a good reason why: it makes sense.  It makes do with the tools and observations we have at our disposal and starts from there to make sense of the world.  If there’s no evidence for something, it doesn’t make sense to believe it if there’s a simpler explanation out there that, even if it’s theoretical, if it’s plausible, it can be accepted (Occam’s razor).  However, just because there’s no evidence in the Universe for a particular thing doesn’t mean that it’s evidence against that particular thing, either; just because there’s no meaning supplied by the cosmos doesn’t mean that meaning is completely denied, either.  Plus, modern science is not the be-all-and-end-all of all knowledge: we are constantly discovering new things all the time, and we are constantly revamping or reconstructing our current models of understanding to make sense of more stuff.  Further, we try to use a consistent system of logic to prove that something is true, “consistent” meaning that a well-structured proof with true hypotheses will yield a true conclusion.  It is impossible that a consistent system of logic can prove all provable things; in other words, I know something that’s true and you can’t show that it’s true (Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem).  In order to prove that something-unprovably-true, you need to use another system of logic, another kind of science.

It even gets me more riled up when people say “let’s establish empirical reality here” and try to dismiss my point of view out of hand.  First, “empirical” means “known through experience or experimentation”.  In my experience, magic works, nonphysical entities exist in some nonphysical form and can be interacted with in nonphysical (and sometimes physical!) ways, and there are worlds and phenomena that exist and can be interacted with nonphysically.  In my repeated experiments, under a particular setting and environment, I can call up angels or demons and chat with them or achieve some goal or desired end.  This is my experience, this is my reality that I work with.  If you want to disregard my reality, fine, but don’t try to argue with me about it.  My experience is not your own, and your experience is not my own.  If you want to try to convince me that something doesn’t work, try doing the same experiments I have and obtaining the same experiences I have, and then get back to me.  Trying to use “objective reality” to dismiss my experiences doesn’t really work: (a) everything has to be perceived in some way or another, leading to a subjective experience of reality (b) “objective numbers” obtained by tools made by mankind also have to be interpreted, and are obtained by machines that return numbers geared for a specific physical phenomena that doesn’t capture all known or experienced knowledge, but only a highly-specific subset of desired (subjective) knowledge (c) the models of “objective reality” don’t reliably account for the experiences that I and countless other people have.

Don’t try to ask me about my worldview if you’re just going to dismiss it.  It’s apparent from how you refer to me and my hobbies, that don’t influence or affect you, how you feel about them.  Feel what you want, please!  But if you don’t know about occultism, if you don’t want to know about occultism, and if you’re dead set against the possibility of occultism, don’t try to have me waste my breath or keystrokes to explain myself.  If you’re just going to call me crazy, save all of us the time and do so, and let me ignore you in peace.  If you don’t want to listen to me, ignore me!  I’m not going to be offended.  Magic isn’t for everyone.  Neither is any given religion, neither is art, neither is philosophy, neither is any given sport, neither is any given field of science.  But they all have worth, they all have meaning, and they’ve all been around for thousands of years for a reason.  Don’t try to discredit any one of them just because it doesn’t make sense in another one.

I don’t believe and work with this stuff for the hell of it.  What I do isn’t random and it isn’t haphazard.  What I do is researched, contemplated, discussed, planned, worked out, described, and analyzed.  The results I get are compared to my expectations, previous results I’ve obtained, and the results of others.  If I were crazy, I sure as hell wouldn’t be putting in as much effort or documentation into what I do.  If I had multiple personality disorder, I must be unique in being able to control when I talk to a particular alt-Polyphanes under certain circumstances.  If I were just deceiving myself, it’s gotta be a pretty damn big deception on a NWO-conspiracy-scale to be documented and discussed for as long as there’s been writing, and longer.  What I do isn’t physical and isn’t geared towards the physical or mathematical.  I wouldn’t use algebra to generate a change in consciousness; I wouldn’t use a computer to explain to me how to be happy.  Why ask me to explain spiritual things with physical processes?  It doesn’t work. I use physical and material processes to affect the world in terms of energy and matter; I use spiritual and mental processes to affect the world in terms of thought and spirit.  The two don’t mix.

It largely comes down to an issue of worldview and values.  If you believe that the ultimate expression and mode of reality is material reality, and that only material reality is the only thing of value and worth, awesome.  That’s not my philosophy, and I don’t expect my own philosophy to be yours.  My philosophy is that material reality is only one part of a grander part of reality, with each part being interactive and interactable.  If that’s not your philosophy, awesome.  But don’t try to say, explicitly or implicitly, that your worldview or philosophy is better than mine, because you don’t have the grounds to do that.  Logic doesn’t work in terms of things of worth or value, and I would hate to see someone supposedly so rational and logical to be so illogical in their approach and discussions when they continue to claim to be even more logical and rational than I am.  Hell, even more than logic, what I want is open-mindedness.  You don’t have to accept that what I do is sensible, you don’t have to accept the background or frameworks I’m working with, but please accept that it’s not baseless, not without cause, and not without effect.  Ascribe whatever physical explanation you want to it, be it psychological or pathological or whatever, but know that in doing so you’re trying to compare, not just apples and oranges, but apples and anvils.

In the words of the archdruid John Michael Greer:

The apotheosis of this sort of thinking is Arthur C. Clarke’s famous Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I mean no disrespect whatsoever to Clarke, who was among the best of SF authors; it’s hardly blameworthy that he shared misunderstandings of magic that were all but universal in his culture. The point remains that since magic does not do what technology does, and vice versa, the Third Law should properly be renamed Clarke’s Fallacy; no matter how advanced a technology may be, it does the kind of thing technologies do—that is to say, it manipulates matter and energy directly, which again is what magic does not do. I’d like to propose, in fact, an alternative rule, which I’ve modestly titled Greer’s Law: “Anyone who is unable to distinguish between magic and any technology, however advanced, doesn’t know much about magic.”

There.  My obligatory occultist’s rant on being accosted by hardline atheists.  I’m allowed to rant on my own blog, after all.  If you want to talk to me about the possibility of magic in a spiritual setting, that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame, and I’d be up for that.  But let’s keep stuff within the same discipline and language, alright?  Thanks.