ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
Iolo MorganwgIt's midnight, so here we go with a new Magic Monday. The picture is of Edward Williams aka Iolo Morganwg, poet, ritualist, opium addict, and one of the brightest stars in the glittering firmament of 19th-century literary forgery, who was responsible for more of the traditions of the Druid Revival than any other person. Did he make most of it up? Of course. Does that make it somehow inadequately Celtic? Well, Iolo was a Welshman, born and raised in a Welsh-speaking village in rural Glamorganshire, and trained in the exacting disciplines of traditional Welsh poetry -- that is to say, any one of his fingernails was more Celtic than the entire American Celtic Reconstructionist scene.

But I digress.

Ask me anything about occultism and I'll do my best to answer it. Any question received by midnight Monday Eastern time will get an answer, though it may be Tuesday sometime before I get to them all.

I've had several people ask about tipping me for answers here, and though I certainly don't require that I won't turn it down. You can use the button below to access my online tip jar. 

With that said, have at it!

***This Magic Monday is now closed to new questions. See you next week!***

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 05:10 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've noticed something since I took up magical practice, and I'm wondering if you've seen it too. What I'm noticing is that an awful lot of people seem to hate things which are entirely within their capacity to control, but refuse to do anything about it.

What I'm thinking in particular are the number of people I know who's homes are a completely trashed, who admit they hate it, but don't seem to notice that all it would take to fix it is some effort on their part.

What motivates this weird inability to change something which they hate?

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Messy homes

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From: [personal profile] booklover1973 - Date: 2019-01-14 11:17 am (UTC) - Expand

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Messy House

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 05:11 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've recently taken up playing a musical instrument. Is there a traditional ritual or something which I can do to thank the instrument and or my muse? (If there are two separate ones, the instrument is currently the most important thing to thank, as I'm not yet at the point where creativity is possible. I'm learning scales at this point)

(no subject)

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Signatures

Date: 2019-01-14 05:21 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG,

I work as low-level office fauna at a state agency, and one of my tasks is to send cover letters, signed by me, along with questionnaires to ascertain how helpful (or not) our auditors were to the person or company they audited. Which leads to a question:

By signing these letters, it occurred to me that I’m sending what in hoodoo might be called a “personal concern.” If so, is there something I can do to eliminate or minimize trouble from unhappy but magic savvy recipients of what I’m required to send? (Happily, our division gets very little hate mail.)

Thanks for your time!

OtterGirl

Re: Signatures

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 05:37 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
A mini-banishing banishing ritual! Love it, and will do it. Thanks!

OtterGirl

Prayer and Deity Names

Date: 2019-01-14 06:08 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dear JMG,

I have been following the guidelines from your book Paths of Wisdom for over a year now. I am taking it slow, and have had a few ‘life’ interruptions (international migration) along the way. I am slowly working my way up the tree through the meditations, with sometimes interesting insights.

More lately I have been wondering about prayer. A while ago you directed someone to pray to Hermes on a Wednesday using an orange candle. I assumed the equivalent in Hermetic Qabalah would be praying to Elohim Tzabaoth, and the orange is similarly associated with Hod etc. I guess I have many questions relating to this, but I’ll stick to three:

1. Is this choice, to focus on one name the best option? It feels like I am excluding the rest of the tree to focus only on one aspect.
2. Reading your Weird of Hali series, I am struck by the relationship the main character developed with the toad God, Tsathoggua. Is this relationship a realistic expectation, or even something you or people you know experience?
3. Are the names interchangeable in light of your recent posts on how the Weird of Hali ties up with the tree of life? Would it matter if you used Hermes instead of Elohim Tzabaoth?

Thank you for all the knowledge you share.

Re: Prayer and Deity Names

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Re: Prayer and Deity Names

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Going back to bed after meditation

Date: 2019-01-14 06:35 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Does it make sense to go back to bed after doing the SOP and meditation? Waking up before the rest of my family is my best bet for setting a consistent time. Is it okay to go back to sleep afterward, or does this diminish the effects in any way?

mourning

Date: 2019-01-14 08:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dear JMG!

My father died of cancer last week. His condition suddenly got worse and I felt I could not say goodbye, although I was with him at the last weeks and at his death . What should I do? Should I try to contact him? I tried to talk to him as if I were praying, but there was no answer. I regularly meditate (although I haven't done it lately), and I have a deity who I pray for, but I haven't started any magic practice yet. I was there when my grandmother died last year when she was 92 and her death was a pleasant experience. She died at home surrounded with her closest relatives and she prepared for her death for years, but my father left too early I suppose. He didn't want to go, and I think he tried to conquer cancer for the last moment. He was only 72 and had several plans for the future. Many people mourn him.

Re: mourning

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 11:02 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Can one reliably work the DOGD or some other form of Golden Dawn magic while not subscribing to Neo-Platonism? Particularly, rejecting the existence of objective, independently existing universals while remaining open to the idea of emanation.

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Weird of Hali and meditation help

Date: 2019-01-14 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hwistle
Dear John, first of all, your last post on the Eldricht Tree of Life finally made me buy Innsmouth: I’ve never been a huge Lovecraft fan, with only brief experiences in my teens of playing Call of Cthulhu, but, boy, I’m enjoying this! I’m now half-way through Kingsport and looking forward to the rest! The books so far remind me of the Charles Williams supernatural thrillers and Lewis’ That Hideous Strength (The Radiance did remind me of N.I.C.E.) and the Owen/Nyarlathotep exploits brought to mind Gaiman’s Shadow and Wednesday’s in American Gods so, in my view at least, you’re in very good company!
Now to my proper question: I’ve been doing (more or less) daily discursive meditation for about three months now and, with a few exceptions, my main issue with it seems to be physical discomfort/pain: After a few minutes of sitting still with a straight back, I feel pain at the back which makes relaxation a difficult thing to achieve. I’ve tried different changes of posture (support for feet, cushion at back, back resting against back of chair…) but struggle to settle into a relaxing position. Sometimes I can somehow will the discomfort to ‘be quiet’ and can go round the meditation theme, but find it would be far easier if I could relax better. I don’t have any serious issues with my back (apart from decades of nerdy hunching in front of a computer of course…) so I imagine I should be able to meditate by sitting still. Thinking around the theme sometimes work by distracting my attention from the discomfort, but I also feel the insights I get from this practice are not different from what I get by considering a theme while walking alone in the countryside or writing about it. So I would like to ask you and any of my fellow readers for any tips/help to achieve a more relaxed sitting meditation.
As always, my earnest gratitude for the service you provide.
Manuel

Re: Weird of Hali and meditation help

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Re: Weird of Hali and meditation help

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LBRP while travelling

Date: 2019-01-14 11:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG,
Thanks for these magic Mondays.
Anyway I travel reasonably often and whilst in the early stages of the CGD, when I travel I've been performing the LBRP in hotel rooms.
But I've been wondering, should I do a single big banishing circle encompassing the whole hotel rooms (bed/bath/living in a single cirle - going through walls) or is just a single room (bedroom) enough? or each room separately? (with single Ritual of the rays)

Also, if I want to do this for the house occasionally same process?

Cheers,
-KNS

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 11:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
These amulets with salt and iron - how often do they need to be replaced, and what do you do with the contents?

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] booklover1973
I don't know if this question is appropriate here, but I'll ask nevertheless: What, if any, magical dimension has prostitution?

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-01-14 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand

fays and stuff

Date: 2019-01-14 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
1. I just finished reading Passport to Magonia, and I was struck by Vallee's comparison of some visual religious experiences with common fay appearances. I realize that experiences are typically interpreted as religious based on their context, but I can't help but feel that religious imagery is within the purview of fairy glamor. This is all fairly theoretical for me as I've never had such an experience that requires interpreting, but still...any thoughts on this? (For context, I am a hard polytheist most days.) Are we left with just faith and reasonable judgment concerning their actions, etc?

2. I've thought and meditated on this idea for quite awhile now but have made very little headway: is there, in occult philosophy, a hard distinction between subjects and objects? Or are there objects at all? I took your message in your Nature Spirits essays to be partly that many more things are alive and conscious than we typically think, and also that an I-Thou hermeneutic is more healthy. I keep looking for a natural endpoint to that idea. Is every little thing actually alive and possessing consciousness in a pantheistic worldview? E.g. a piece of plastic rubbish. If I speak to the rubbish, is there any reason to think I am addressing someone? My best guess is that I'd be addressing a piece of the Rubbish God whose bodies we are rapidly building.

Part of the trouble might be that I didn't quite understand your point when it came to mineral life/stones. Is consciousness present but slumbering in a stone? If it possesses a physical body does that mean it exists on all the higher planes as well?

Thanks in advance for your answers, and thank you for hosting this!

Peter Witkowski

Re: fays and stuff

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Inherited diamonds

Date: 2019-01-14 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Last week I got my copy of the "Encyclopedia of Natural Magic", whilst browsing I saw your description of the magical properties of diamonds. Would an inherited diamond count as "presented"? Especially if I get to choose it? (As in: the jewellery of my mom, if any is left, will be distributed to my sister and me and we can choose which parts we like)

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
After reading your response regarding the religious future of the right and left I did some research. Interestingly, according to Rhyd Widermuth, many people on the left actively distrust him because he's a polytheist. They conflate "polytheism = fascism" which would be more honest as "polytheism = fascism = evil," and so, more simply, "polytheism = evil". Also I read and reread your post on Là-Bas, and was struck deeply by the elegiac quality of the Yeats quote: "It was no longer the soul, self-moving and self-teaching -- the magical soul -- but Mother France and Mother Church."

Honestly, I found this movement towards turning away from alternative spiritualities disturbing, or rather, like a betrayal. Although I have ceased to associate with the political left given my class and social background I'm undoubtedly culturally liberal. I also happen to be a devotional polytheist, and spent a lot of time in leftist spaces with indoctrination because that was the only place I could find other people with some shared spirituality. To see that turn would be very emotionally jarring to say the least.

That said I actually have nothing against the Abrahamic god and, indeed, love Him. I just love other gods more! Still, something about this leaving of alternative spiritualities for mainline Christianity en masse seems to me somehow sinister, especially if homophobia becomes vogue as well. It somehow reminds me of the 1980's Reagan sell-out as done by Milllenials. Again, no offense intended towards sincere Christians -- I don't think that alternative spiritualities are inherently better than Christianity, and simply am commenting on the process, which strikes me as very deeply unbalanced.

That said, I imagine that a sincere return to the Church could indeed do a lot of people in the left good, but that said, I do not like imagining the worst aspects of the leftism combined with the worst aspects of Christianity, which would fit together so well and so dysfunctionally!

I'm very curious how you imagine the non-fluffy polytheism will work its way on to the Right en masse. My friends on the right tend to be in the exact same spiritual position as my friends on the left; they are lapsed Christians for the most part. Also what do you imagine the time frame for this to be? a decade? Less? Frankly I love the idea of lots of devotional polytheists who I could pray with, and don't care about politics in that context at all. Still the process you've sketched out utterly fascinates me and would love to read more of your thoughts on it, or books on the matter if there are ones you or other readers might suggest.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] robertmathiesen
I see three things going on here.

First, distrusting anything other than hard materialisms is part of the pseudo-Marxism that has defined much of the left for most of the 20th century. Rhyd's open religiosity probably scares many of his fellow leftists in the USA. Also, they probably see it as breaking ranks.

Second, ever since the end of WW2 some influential political philosophers (such as Erich Voegelin) have been arguing that only Christian monotheism can save the world from totalitarianism. Voegelin, IIRC, thought that all sorts of occultism, esotericism and paganism were inherently anti-human, and tended toward totalitarianism (usually toward Fascism, since Communism rejected religion and occultism on principle). A revived Christian cosmopolitanism was, for Voegelin and his ilk, the only safe road forward for humanity. Much of the left also prefers cosmopolitanism, though usually some form of materialistic cosmopolitanism intead of a religious one.

And third, much recent right-wing nationalism in Europe, which expressly opposes every form of cosmopolitanism (Christian or otherwise), looks with great favor on all the recent attempts to revive the old religions of the various European nations (of the Slavs, the Balts, the Scandinavians, the Germans, the Celts, etc.) In Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as many sectors of Western Europe, most of the influential revived (Neo-)Pagan religions are polytheistic, and also they are very strongly nationalistic--sometimes even racialist. This garners them much support from Right-wing Europeans -- and an equal amount of hatred and mistrust from the Left in the USA.

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(no subject)

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Christian non-homophobia

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Re: Christian non-homophobia

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Re: Christian non-homophobia

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fews

Date: 2019-01-14 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG,Am studying druid magic and doing few divination each morning.
Your sequence of fews differs from colin murrays and glennie kindreds books in the sequence of the fews,especially alder,willow and ash. Was there an original order to them,why have people changed them then?

Re: fews

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-14 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] isabelcooper
Apologies if this has been answered before: search is failing me. If I'm doing a sweetening spell for a third party (with permission) or an organization/community I'm part of, I should use their names for the crosswise writing, right? Or does it remain my name since I'm using my will for the spell?

Mirrors

Date: 2019-01-14 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello JMG, long time reader, have commented before on rare occasions on the main blog.

No magical experience as such (although I bought your Learning Ritual Magic book, albeit currently stowed away because it freaks out my wife).

I've been doing "normal" mindfulness meditation on and off for years. More off than on, but I have some experience with the Headspace app etc.

Recently been getting interested in discursive meditation and have started doing it after finding an old post of yours about it (only done it once or twice so far but it's fascinating just how deeply I was able to go into a concept in even ten minutes).

Anyway, my question was inspired by a comment here a week or two ago about mirrors. I think you replied to someone saying something like (I paraphrase): "Mirrors aren't magical in themselves, but some people find them useful as a tool to visualize and enter into a light trance state".

Ever since I was a kid, long before I knew anything about magic etc, I occasionally got the strangest feeling when I look into a mirror when I'm alone, within a few seconds. Not every time or even close to it, but when it's quiet and I'm alone etc, has happened moderately often, reliably for decades. It's hard to describe , but kind of like my consciousness is detached from myself, from my identity as "me". Not physically detached , it's all within my body, but I get the strangest sensation of my "self" or consciousness observing "me" - the person/identity who bears my name and bears all the desires/worries/concerns of my life as a separate entity - like my consciousness is distinct from my identity and cares and worries if that makes sense. It lasts 10-30 seconds usually and then kind of "reintegrates" till I'm fully me again and I'm feeling all the usual cares of life, my mortgage and kids and what have you..(I never felt anything like this while meditating - only when looking into mirrors).

I guess my question(s) are:

1. Am I imagining this?
2. Is this the kind of trance state you were talking about with mirrors, and if not, what could it be?
3. Is this (mental state) useful for meditation or any other purpose? What can I do "there" if that makes sense?

Thanks!

Excess of element

Date: 2019-01-14 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If you're natal horoscope is dominated by a single element, what does this indicate. I've seen some authors say an excess of one element needs to be balanced by engaging another and a sort of calculus of contributing factors that may mitigate this, like being mostly cardinal or having particular planets in particular planets.

Is this related to the comment you made about engaging with the planet you find repulsive in your chart as a catalyst to change?

Re: Excess of element

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-01-15 03:00 am (UTC) - Expand

Disposal of Tarot Deck

Date: 2019-01-14 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dear JMG,

I purchased a tarot deck quite some time ago and haven't used it. It is still in its plastic wrap unopened. I don't expect to use it for the foreseeable future. Can I simply give it away, sell, or donate it? Or, is there a special procedure to dispose of it properly? I could also tuck it away until it calls me to use it.

Many thanks,
Another Chris

The historical origin of the magic wand?

Date: 2019-01-14 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
JMG-

I haven't read your book about geomancy, but seeing pictures of the geomantic device from the British Museum prompted me to scratch the surface of its use. Since the process starts with tapping a bouncy wooden stick in the sand to make marks from which the four initial figures are derived, do you suppose that this geomantic stick might be the historical inspiration for the magic wand which ended up in Disney's Sorcerer's Apprentice? Or are there other historical examples of magic wands? (Maybe any writing implement could have been regarded as magical by illiterate on-lookers.)

Lathechuck

Re: The historical origin of the magic wand?

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Re: The historical origin of the magic wand?

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-01-15 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand

Several questions

Date: 2019-01-14 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
from Goats and Roses

You have advised people many times not to combine or mix and match elements of different magical systems. You have also said that you designed CGD and tried it out to make sure that it was a "workable system." What makes a system of magic "workable?" What outcomes would define that? Do all workable systems have the same outcomes as an end goal?

I am doing my best to try to vibrate words as directed. However I have no idea really if I am doing this effectively. How will I know? What part of the body does the vibration occur in? Obviously I can feel it in my mouth and chest because that's where the air is. Is there anywhere I can see this demonstrated?

Not a question but an anecdote. I am working with geomancy. I was puzzled by readings and realized I really didn't have a feel for the astrological houses and what areas of life were relevant to each one. So I started doing a discursive meditation every day, one house at a time. Each one seemed to yield insights, but when I had gotten halfway around the chart, in that meditation I got a whiff of the "flavor" of that house, and all the ones previous. It was like a shift in the type of information. Much richer, multidimensional and quite unmistakeable. It was like smellling garlic and then roses, unmistakeable. I am now in love with discursive meditation. TSW!

Thank you for MM and everything else that you do.

Some questions about the Heathen Golden Dawn

Date: 2019-01-14 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG,
I have some questions regarding the Heathen Golden Dawn rituals you introduced this summer. I have not worked with the Golden Dawn rituals before but would like to start working with these when I start to work with the futhark and Old Norse sagas and eddas as the next step in my spiritual studies. A few months ago, I replaced my daily meditation practice with specifically focusing on a spiritual text in discursive meditation. The insights I gain from this practice has been amazing – thank you! I intend to work with the Norse sagas and eddas within discursive meditation. Here are the questions:

1. I am currently exploring the planetary energies as a part of my spiritual studies. I noticed that the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram invokes THOR – Thursday – Jupiter and the Middle Pillar Exercise invokes FREYA – Friday – Venus and ODIN – Wednesday – Mercury. Is there a reason for not also including TYR – Tuesday – Mars? Would that cause any imbalances planetary-wise? From what I have gathered so far, there isn’t a deity that corresponds to Saturday-Saturn in Norse mythology. Do you have a suggested Norse deity for Saturn or do you suggest not having a deity attached to that planet?

2. From my preliminary research, I see that Norse mythology and symbology are being used by organizations that are considered nationalists, alt-right, etc. Would the Heathen Golden Dawn rituals help to protect me from those energies if I didn’t want to be influenced or associated with them while studying Old Norse spiritualism?

Thank you,
Ann in the Capital of the Lakeland Republic

Re: Some questions about the Heathen Golden Dawn

Date: 2019-01-14 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Are you sure that Hela wouldn't work for Saturn/Saturday?

Diet Concerns

Date: 2019-01-14 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG,
You’ve said that ceremonial magic is contraindicated for vegans and vegetarians. Does this apply to only intensive magical work much like the advice not to do magic around young children, or can vegans and vegetarians safely do basic things like banishings and middle pillar exercises?

What about pescatarians? Can fish ground the nervous system sufficiently?

And what about vegetarians that aren’t very strict? For instance, someone who eats red meat once a week, or once a month?

I’m asking on behalf of a pescatarian friend who I’ve seen eat a burger or bacon occasionally, but is mostly vegetarian. I was going to teach her some ceremonial techniques, but I wouldn’t want any bad reactions to occur.

Sarkos

Re: Diet Concerns

From: [personal profile] tunesmyth - Date: 2019-01-16 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Diet Concerns

From: [personal profile] tunesmyth - Date: 2019-01-16 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand

New Thought and Self-Help

Date: 2019-01-14 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Are Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie part of the New Thought movement? If so, how credible is what they say? Have they left out the saving graces of the Order of the Essene? Are their teachings degraded in any way? I'm saying this with little experience of them: I've read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and found it a bit manipulative.

Where does modern life-coaching/self-help fit into this, ie. Tony Robbins? You've said before that occultism doesn't generally lead to run-away riches. If it does is this an indication that something is wrong with the teachings?

Are you or any of the readers aware of any sources that have elaborated on this connection and the differences in philosophy?

What I've never liked about self-help is the recruitment aspect. That someone stands on the stage and talks about success that doesn't seem replicable, as it is a positional good, or desirable from my standpoint and then sets you on a path of achieving it by joining their organization as a coach.
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