2014 has come and gone, and now we’re in 2015. Awesome! I hope your hangovers have worn off by now. While we’re currently regretting our poor life choices from poured drinks from a few nights ago, we may as well review some of our goals and actions from last year. So, how was last year? Fucking rad, really, and busy. Really busy. Some of the highlights from 2014 include:
- Probably most notably, I ended up starting on a new theurgical method called mathesis.
- I gave my first talk at an occult conference to my occult peers!
- I was on the air giving readings and talking about geomancy and things!
- I attended a conference on Hermes/Mercury at the University of Virginia (posts one, two, and three).
- I began working with Saint Cyprian of Antioch, patron saint of magicians and necromancers, and held a large party in his honor on his feast day, as well as raising $1000 for the Malala Fund in honor of the good saint.
- I started selling ritual jewelry, published several ebooks, and have begun taking other commissions on my Etsy shop.
- I began a devotional practice to the seven archangels.
- I began practices to several more Greek gods that I’ve invited into my home, notably Aphrodite, Hephaistos, Hestia, and Apollon.
- I moved to a new house with the love of my life and good friend, which helped me with building a new temple as well as amplify my occult practice.
- I began studying astragalomancy and the work of the Arbatel.
- I completed a month-long Psalm 119 working (with more side-effects than anticipated).
- I somehow managed to keep sane and hold down a standard office job to fund my odd hobbies and so much wine.
- I got involved in the usual spats and drama common to nearly all magicians.
If you recall the prospective from last year, I had several goals I wanted to achieve. How did I do?
- Get more physically active. Moderately successful. I’ve been sticking to Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido at the local Ki Society dojo for the better part of the year, with a month away here and there to take care of family, moving, and the like. Plus, I’ve recently gotten re-enamored by the mobile game Ingress, which encourages walking and outdoor exploration. That said, as my waistline can attest, that hasn’t really done much for my weight or body fat percentage, so I’m not doing something quite right yet. Still, it’s an improvement, and I was able to make it to Fifth Kyu (the first graded rank) in the style of aikido I practice this year already.
- Conjure the angels of the fixed stars. Not successful. I barely made the conjuration time for Malkhidael, the angel presiding over the sphere of Aries, and pretty much dropped that off from there. I didn’t exactly need to do this, but it would’ve been nice. I had too much else going on, and conjuration generally has been at the back of my mind as I’ve gotten involved in other projects.
- Buy and move into a new house. Sorta done! Unfortunately, I simply don’t have the resources at this time to outright buy a house. Instead, my housemates and I moved into a house that we’re renting, but the place is so remote and the landlord so detached that, for all intents and purposes, we own the place. Moving was a pain, especially with the now-apocryphal stories of guinea hens and U-Haul issues, but we’re well-situated and love where we live.
- Start working with Saint Cyprian of Antioch. As I’m sure a number of my posts from 2014 can attest, this has been wildly successful. Not only have I started to work with the good saint of magicians, but I’ve written two ebooks on him, written a chaplet and litany in his honor, held a huge feast day party for him, held a fundraising drive in his name, and have been generally empowered and blessed by his presence and aid in my life. Still have so much more to do and to involve him with, but this is no bad start, indeed.
- Start working with my ancestors more. I’ve started to maintain an ancestor altar containing a few trinkets and ashes of print-out copies of photos of my ancestors, and have gotten into a groove of making regular offerings to them as well as involving them in regular conversation and chats. I haven’t put them to work yet, but then, I may as well get to know them again slowly.
- Translate more Latin. I didn’t do any Latin translation this year. This was low priority, anyway, but those books won’t translate themselves and nobody else is doing it, either.
- More trance work. Besides some light scrying here and there, yeah, nope. Whoopsie. I really do need to get my ass in gear with this, but it takes time that I simply don’t have without going on a dangerously low amount of sleep (which doesn’t help anything).
Now that we’re in the start of 2015, what are my plans?
- Get more physically active and drop some goddamn weight. I’ve stayed at my current weight, which is about 50lbs too many, for a year now. There’s no reason for me to stay at this weight. I will lose those 50lbs and will keep them off from now on. The idea is simple: daily walks and exercise, regular aikido practice (which I desperately need to get back into after having fallen out of practice for several months), and watching my food and drink intake. Magically, all the planets can play a part: Mars for discipline, Saturn for helping to keep myself to a minimum when needed, Jupiter for being gracious and having only necessary wealth in terms of food, Mercury for managing my health and metabolism, Sun for managing stamina and health, and so forth. But, really, at the heart of it is just watching what I put in my face and what I do with my body.
- Begin working with the demons from the Lemegeton. This has been something on the docket for a long time now, but I’ve never really gotten around to it. The approach I plan to use is that of Fr. Rufus Opus’ Modern Goetic Grimoire, a Lemegeton-spinning of the Trithemian conjuration ritual, and the tools and approach are generally the same to those in his Modern Angelic Grimoire, with the changes well-known and highlighted. The first demon I’d like to work with is Orobas, specifically suggested to me as a beginner-mode spirit who can help with getting introduced to the rest of the spirits, but there’ll be plenty of work for them anyway.
- Undertake the Arbatel conjuration of the Olympick Spirits. I’ve got the seals done and the text learned, so now it’s just a matter of going forth and conjuring the Olympick spirits. I’ll finish planning my approach in the coming weeks, and it’ll be interesting to see how this complements or conflicts with my previous conjurations of the planets and their angels and what the angelic alliances I’ve built up to this point can contribute. I like Fr. Acher’s approach of seeing these conjurations as initiations into the spheres, which is the point of Fr. Rufus Opus’ Gates rituals, but done in a different way.
- Study and prepare for baptism within the Apostolic Johannite Church. Yes, this is a thing that I’ve figured would help buff out my practices with Saint Cyprian of Antioch, the seven archangels, and a variety of other spirits I work with. No, this doesn’t mean I’m giving up my Hellenic or mathetic practices. Yes, I believe that these different spiritual traditions can, if not dovetail in a completely complementary way, buff each other out. I have my reasons.
- Begin learning and working with spirits within the tradition of Quimbanda. During my vacation at the end of 2014, I got a consulta from a Tata Quimbanda which was fascinating and gave me no end of things to work on, and also gave me information on my personal and working Exus and Pomba Gira. I plan to begin building relationships with these spirits, and something about the tradition snagged me and I have an eye on initiation, though that’ll be a ways off. First things first: begin understanding this tradition at the direction of my tata friend. My work with Saint Cyprian, who plays a huge role in Quimbanda, can also help, and I’ve resituated my altar of Saint Cyprian on top of a small cabinet which will house my Exus and Pomba Gira.
- Continue developing the study of mathesis. This is going to be a life’s work, so long as I can keep doing it. This will involve lots of research into Platonic and Neoplatonic occultism done back in the day, as well as whatever Pythagorean information I can get my hands on. This is probably going to end up as a more meditative and contemplative practice than hands-on occult conjuration, but that might be for the best. It may have applicable uses elsewhere and would dovetail nicely with other Hellenic practices, to be sure, but that’s not all entirely up for me to decide.
With that, let’s start talking about dates, times, calendars, cycles, holidays, festivals, and other chronological phenomena! You can find the whole post after the jump, or you can jump to the individual sections you’re interested in with these links:
- Grammatēmerologion, the lunisolar grammatomantic ritual calendar
- Weekday cycle
- Astronomical and astrological phenomena
- Movable festivals and holidays
- Festivals and holidays fixed to the Gregorian calendar