Search Term Shoot Back, August 2015

I get a lot of hits on my blog from across the realm of the Internet, many of which are from links on Facebook, Twitter, or RSS readers.  To you guys who follow me: thank you!  You give me many happies.  However, I also get a huge number of new visitors daily to my blog from people who search around the Internet for various search terms.  As part of a monthly project, here are some short replies to some of the search terms people have used to arrive here at the Digital Ambler.  This focuses on some search terms that caught my eye during the month of August 2015.

“how do we summon spirit astaroth to appear physically” — Carefully.  Summoning a spirit, whether to physical manifestation or just to spiritual presence, is no joke, and takes a lot of practice, study, and dedication.  Summoning a spirit to physical manifestation is even less of a joke and something that, as I see it, is nearly never necessary.  It’s all well and good if you can pull it off, but I see it as a kind of bragging right if you can do it; it requires strict fasting, serious self-empowerment, a good relationship with the spirit, intent focus on the ritual, and a huge expense of energy that…honestly, most people can’t afford and have no need to spend.  If you can do it, great!  If not, don’t worry.  So long as you can bring them in enough contact so you can communicate and perceive them, you’re doing what you need to do.  Anything more is cool.

“big cork anal prison” — Nope.

“runes that look like sigils” — I’m not sure what your idea of “sigil” means here.  To me, a sigil is a symbol that refers to some concept, word, name, entity, or intent that has been graphically encoded through a mechanical means, such as through a qamea sigil or a sigil wheel or simple combination of letters.  Seals, on the other hand, are symbols that refer to some concept, word, etc. that are obtained or revealed directly from a spirit, and are not generated through any conscious process.  Many people use the terms interchangeably, though I find the distinction helpful in my work.  So, sigils can take many forms, but runes are more or less fixed with a few variations based on era and geographic origin.  Perhaps you mean the system of bindrunes, a ligature (or, I suppose, letter-combination sigil) of two or more runes?

“crystal ball uses” — Crystal balls have many uses, and some of their more common uses are seen everywhere in our culture.  However, I’d like to go over some of the more arcane uses that only the most dedicated crystal users might consider applying crystal balls for, as it’s not always apparent how to do so.  Paperweight.  Decoration in a fountain.  Regift for a new age friend.  Drain stopper.  Candle snuffer.  Meat tenderizer.  Foot/back massager.  Game piece.  Cosplay costume component.  Laser light scatterer.  Blunt trauma weapon.  Anal bead/ben-wa ball.  Body modification implant.  Dough spreader.

“oil lamps less soot” — I wrote a post on how to use oil lamps for great effect in home and ritual, but a few points probably need restating for clarity.  There are several ways you can use an oil lamp with less soot: trim the wick before using it so that all the worst charred parts of it are removed, keep the wick low enough so that you have a big enough flame without it trying to use too much fuel at once, use a clean and pure wick made of natural cellulose or linen with no chemical additives, use clean and pure oil with few chemical (natural or artificial) additives.  Mineral oil tends to be good, but that’s because it tends to be pretty neutral in most respects, as well; olive oil would produce some soot due to its natural compounds, but the higher grade the oil, the better quality flame you’ll get.

“how should fiery wall of protection oil be applied to home” — Different traditions and practices will tell you different things, and even within a tradition, you may have different ways to apply oil for different oils.  For me, I apply Fiery Wall of Protection oil in a small cross on every threshold or lintel in the house: everywhere there’s a gate, doorway, or windowsill that leads to another room or to the outside, I put the oil towards the top and center of that threshold.  If I’m going all out, I’ll also anoint all doorknobs, latches, air vents, drains, and the like just to cover every possible means of ingress or egress from the house.  Alternatively, you could use a five-spot pattern (a dab on each corner and once in the middle) on every window and door, or anoint four large iron spikes (railroad spikes are perfect) and nail them into the ground at the four corners of your house.  The possibilities are endless!

“working with seals of iupiter in virgo” — Assuming you’re working with the Pentacles of Jupiter from the Key of Solomon (book I, chapter 18), I’d go with the consecration instructions given for each pentacle.  Mind you, Jupiter is weak in Virgo (detriment), as he’s opposite his domicile sign of Pisces, so Jupiter isn’t particularly happy about being there.  However, if the pentacle was well-made at a time good for it (day and hour of Jupiter at a minimum), then I’d think it’d be good to use whenever with little change in effect otherwise.  Thus, I wouldn’t want to make anything particularly under the planet Jupiter while he’s in Virgo, unless I really needed his specific influence where no other planet or means of obtaining something could work; in other words, unless it’s an emergency that only Jupiter and nothing else can fix, I’ll probably look elsewhere for help.  The same goes for any Jupiterian working.  Mind you, Jupiter spends just under a year, give or take a few weeks, in each sign.

“how do you spell your name in angelic script?” — First, note that nearly all forms of “angelic script” tend to be different 1-to-1 ciphers (or “fonts”) of Hebrew script; Celestial Hebrew, Malachim, Passing the River, and Paracelsus’ Magi script all follow this trend.  Thus, although these might be considered alphabets, they follow the same rules and have the same number of letters as Hebrew does.  To that end, you’d want to first learn how to spell your name in Hebrew, then use your preferred angelic script.  The big exception to this is Enochian, which was transmitted to John Dee and, although it claims to be an original proto-Hebrew Adamic language, follows the same rules as English spelling and grammar of his day.  However, Enochiana, although technically angelic, tends to be in a whole different field than the rest of the angelic stuff, and may not correspond semantically to other types of angelic work.

“ancient human giant cocks” — As I like to say, there’s nothing new under the sun; I claim that humanity has been pretty much the same today since the dawn of civilization or the dawn of language, if not the dawn of humanity itself some 60,000 years ago.  Sure, we have newer things to play with, complicated systems we’ve engineered, and a variety of abstract philosophies to lose ourselves in, but we’re still fundamentally the same.  This goes for penis size, too; I can’t seem to find any information on historical penis size, but I assume they’re more or less the same size today as they were for ancient humans.  If anything, penis sizes are probably, on average, larger today than they were in earlier eras; several cultures of the past considered smaller penises to be ideal, as they’d cause less vaginal/anal stretching and, thus, less tearing in sensitive tissue, which would lead to fewer rates of infection; similarly, huge cocks were something reserved for the gods, and even then, only in a sense of comical debauchery or intimidation (cf. guardposts with an ithyphallic Pan).  As we’ve gotten better about hygienic practices, internal tearing due to getting on a huge dick hasn’t been as much a concern, so there’s a little more bias now towards going for guys with bigger cocks, and if that’s genetic, then there’s a slight evolutionary trend for more well-endowed guys.

“how to conjure smaller angels” — Use a smaller triangle.

“what do occultists think of the kybalion” — Different occultists will give you different opinions.  Some occultists love it for its own virtue, some love it because it’s a “gateway text” that gets people into heavier and more interesting forms of occultism.  I personally detest the thing and would rather see all copies of it used for toilet paper.  It’s not Hermetic, despite what it claims, as its points and “axioms” are distinctly modern, and instead have its origins in the 19th century New Thought movement.  All of its major points and cosmological theories are either derived from modern New Thought stuff, or are only tangentially and convolutedly connected to actual Hermetic teachings.  I honestly find it to be a waste of paper and ink, and as its usually one of the first texts newbies encounter in the occult (for one unfortunate reason or another), it can lead to some really messed up ideas that ill-prepare them for serious education in Hermeticism.

“how to bless my pentacle in santeria” — Oh, honey.  You are doing everything so wrong.  You don’t; further, you don’t even, do you?  Because I can’t.

49 Days of Definitions: Part III, Definition 4

This post is part of a series, “49 Days of Definitions”, discussing and explaining my thoughts and meditations on a set of aphorisms explaining crucial parts of Hermetic philosophy.  These aphorisms, collectively titled the “Definitions from Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius”, lay out the basics of Hermetic philosophy, the place of Man in the Cosmos, and all that stuff.  It’s one of the first texts I studied as a Hermetic magician, and definitely what I would consider to be a foundational text.  The Definitions consist of 49 short aphorisms broken down into ten sets, each of which is packed with knowledge both subtle and obvious, and each of which can be explained or expounded upon.  While I don’t propose to offer the be-all end-all word on these Words, these might afford some people interested in the Definitions some food for thought, one aphorism per day.

Today, let’s discuss the fifteenth definition, part III, number 4 of 4:

God is the good (which is) previous to all the intelligible (beings); God is the father of the intelligible; heaven is the maker of the body.  The magnitude of the light of the sun is earth and sea; the magnitude of heaven (is) the world; the magnitude of the world is God.

From the last few definitions in this section, we know that the Definitions provide a Hermetic panentheistic view of the universe: God is both immanent in creation and transcendent of it, existing both as part of all things that exist and outside existence entirely.  Further, all of creation isn’t one solid thing; there are different parts to creation, namely heaven, the world, and humanity.  Humanity exists only in part of the world; the world exists only in part of heaven; heaven exists only in part of God.  Thus, God is in all things that we can possibly know, but also exists outside it as well in a place of weird non-existence-yet-not-not-existing (it’s hard to talk about things that we don’t have words for, after all).

The current definition talks a little more about God and it’s relationship with heaven, the world, and man.  God is “the good”, specifying him as something that is or is part of the Nous (II.1), as well as likening him to the light of sense (II.6).  More importantly, God is “the good which is previous to all the intelligible beings”.  In other words, God is the thing that came first before anything else that has ever existed, might exist, can exist, or doesn’t exist; God has always been.  “God is the father of the intelligible”, so not only did God come first before all other things, but God also created all other things; things that are sensible (heaven, the world, Man, etc.) are a subset of things that are intelligible (things higher than heaven but still part of God).

In addition to being intelligible and coming from God, “heaven is the maker of the body”, so anything that’s sensible or has a body comes from heaven.  Just as heaven itself comes from God, so too do bodies also come from God, but bodies only exist in and under heaven.  Thus, heaven plays a microcosmic role in comparison to the macrocosmic God; heaven provides sensibility just as God provides intelligibility.  Thus, bodies don’t exist outside heaven because there’s nothing to make them, support them, or provide for them outside of heaven; beyond heaven, there is no sensibility, but only intelligibility.  This is basically saying that “the planes are discrete and not continuous” when it comes to certain characteristics of intelligible entities, in that sensibility cannot be taken out of the sensible realms into realms where sensibility isn’t actually a thing.

The next part of the definition waxes on a bit about comparisons, starting from small things and going to big things, but it talks about “magnitude”.  Magnitude, or greatness, was previously discussed in definition II.2, when it discussed that “heaven is as much as both the earth and the sea”, yet in II.3, we know that “heaven is larger than everything…for it extends beyond [the sun and the Earth]”.  So, clearly, physical size isn’t really being used as a grounds for comparison, especially since things without bodies (the strictly intelligible) don’t have any notion of “size”.  Spiritual fullness, complexity-while-being-one-ness, goodness, intelligibility, or other characteristics might be the grounds for comparison, but there’s little to go on here except a vague notion of “greatness”.

“The magnitude of the light of the sun is earth and sea”: thus, that which we receive from the heavens (being represented as a whole by “light of the sun”) is the greatness of the physical Earth we live on and all the humanity on it.  In a sense, the greatness that comes down here is that which remains down here; what comes down here is the totality of things that come from above.  “The magnitude of heaven is the world”: here, “heaven” is linked back to the previous comparison by referring to “the light of the sun”, which fills the heavens.  Just as the “earth and sea” is less than “the light of the sun”, so too is the world less than heaven; however, just as the Earth consists of the totality of everything that comes from above it, so too does the general world (which includes both the Earth as well as the sun) receive the influences of things higher than itself.  Thus, all of the world is the sum total of all the influences it receives from heaven.  “The magnitude of the world is God”:  this is where we get an interesting reversal of the sequence, when read in the same way as the others.  Here, God is certainly more than the world, and we know that there’s a lot more going on in creation than just the world (there’s also heaven, and the things part of God that are not part of heaven); thus, we can’t simply say that God is the sum total of all the influences it receives from the world, since the world is what receives influences from God, and to say that God is influenced by the thing it’s influencing implies that the world is equal with God, which contradicts many of our definitions.  Thus, we need to revise our interpretation a bit.

The first comparison likens the “magnitude of the light of the sun” to Earth, or “earth and sea”.  We haven’t really encountered “light of the sun” yet in the Definitions, though we have encountered “light”, which we know makes things visible and known (II.6).  We can take “light of the sun” to mean “visible light”, since the Sun is a visible body and not something merely intelligible.  Thus, if we take the comparison to really be more of a strict equality, we can say that visible (“light of the sun”) supports and enables the existence of things that become visible in light (“earth and sea”), as well as vice versa; they support each other.  Similarly, that the “magnitude of heaven is the world” indicates that heaven supports and enables the existence of the world, and vice versa; although things exist outside of the world in heaven, heaven as a whole cannot exist without the world, nor can the world exist without heaven.  Finally, this means the same thing for the world and God: God enables and supports the existence of the world, and the world supports and enables the existence of God.

This last bit is counterintuitive, perhaps, but isn’t as contradictory as our first attempt at understanding this.  What this means is that the world is a necessary part of God; although God is bigger and outside the world, the part of God that is the world and in the world is what enables the other things as well.  Everything is permeated with divine essence, in other words, but everything is also therefore intrinsically connected by it as well.  If the magnitude of the world is God, and the magnitude of heaven is the world, then that also means that God’s existence enables and is enabled by that of heaven as much as it is by the existence of the world.  Everything that exists is not only part of the Whole, the All, or the One, but everything that exists is necessary for the existence of everything else in the Whole.  Just because something exists outside another thing (uninhabited land outside inhabited land, heavenly places outside the worldly places, God outside heaven, etc.) doesn’t mean it’s independent of the rest, because that would make God “disjointed” in a sense that would break the interconnectedness of everything within God; if something exists independent of something else, then it would also have to be independent of everything including God, which contradicts definition III.1 (“nothing is uninhabited by God”).  Everything is connected by and through the connection to God.