ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
Christine Campbell ThompsonIt's midnight, so here we go with a new Magic Monday. The picture is of Christine Hartley, aka Christine Campbell Thompson, Dion Fortune's literary agent (and a significant writer and editor in her own right), and a leading member of Fortune's Fraternity (later Society) of the Inner Light, the most influential magical order in mid-20th century Britain. 

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: 2019-01-21 05:02 am (UTC)
marcu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marcu
Dear Mr Greer,

I was wondering if you were aware of any workings that can help deal with anxiety or to calm oneself. Nothing serious, mostly just my mind running away from me sometimes with thoughts. I already do meditation but I was wondering if there are any other ways or means? I haven’t had much luck with tradition medical treatments.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-21 05:02 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Curious if you've seen this: ?

Basically a very competent and trained mage has been giving ideas to curse Trump. This one I found particularly striking. Do you think that a learned and trained mage invoking Josef Stalin might account for why the left has gotten so tanky as of late?

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Date: 2019-01-21 05:10 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm about 80% of my way through reading _The Picatrix_ for the first time. What a fascinating text! Have you worked making talismans using these methods? Most, but not all of course, of the elections and talismans described seem to be similar in their effect to many Hoodoo workings. In your experience, do the demanding elections have a corresponding increase of power in the talismans created? It seems like so, so, so much hassle and expense, which I imagine could be worth it, but it seems often there could be simpler ways of doing the same thing. Of course, I'm curious your thoughts of the relative virtues of these two major types of magic that you've studied in depth.

Polytheistic ceremonial magic with Wicca

Date: 2019-01-21 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rationalist858
Hello JMG.

So, I know you’re not a fan of amateurs combining magical systems. However! Considering that the polytheistic rituals you’ve been posting recently are not only new, but also flexible in regards to pantheon choice, I was wondering what is your opinion of practicing the LPR for polytheists alongside Wicca?

Secondly, on a more adventurous note, what is the worst that could happen by practicing this same polytheistic LRP alongside Gates of the Elements from your Druid Magic Handbook?

Many thanks.

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Cutting Connections

Date: 2019-01-21 05:43 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Good evening, JMG!

I had a couple questions for you tonight...

The first (and more important) actually comes from my wife. Some years back she was initiated into a “clan” (read: small coven) of people practicing a sort of faux-Italian witchcraft (essentially marinara-flavored Wicca). These folks have since turned out to be highly manipulative and abusive, and my wife is no longer associated with them at all. However, there are some lingering connections of considerable potency that she very much wants to be rid of: namely, a leather belt she was given at the initiation (studded with stones and tokens of various signification that she chose herself), a bag in which she kept magical tools, and (probably the most troublesome to deal with) a brand on her right wrist that is shared by the rest of the group and is meant to magically link them to each other and promote a sort of ‘awareness’ of each other’s state of being.

Her current desire and plan is to load the bag, belt inside, with certain cleansing and banishing substances (sage, salt, red peppers), and burn it in our Grove’s Imbolc fire this Saturday, Imbolc being heavily associated with cleansing. She’s written out her intention of being permanently and completely severed from those people on the belt, and removed from it all the stones (since she chose them herself), which are currently buried in black salt. The actual question is: how can she improve this working so as to maximize its efficacy and to minimize any resultant negative raspberry jam? (Our own situation having been rather precarious over the past couple years for a number of reasons, she’s been very leery of any sort of magical blowback.) Also, what if anything can be done about the magical implications of the scar from that brand? Having taken it for a group of people that claimed to be family only to manipulate, control, abuse, and betray her bothers her a lot.


My second question is of significantly less importance, and is only being paired with the above because I’ve been meaning to ask it for about a month, and keep forgetting to do so before the midnight cutoff! What’s the current status of the Gullna Dagrenning? I’ve been eagerly anticipating it since you first announced working it, but I know you typically field test all your magical coursework, so it could very well be a while. Also, to what extent (if any) have you incorporated the musings of the 17th century Swedish Rosicrucian alchemist and Cabalist Johannes Bureus? I’ve not been able to uncover a very great deal about his adalrunic philosophy yet, but I’m intrigued by the idea of runes and the Tree of Life being conceived of in the same context having roots the go so far back.

Thanks so much for all the effort you put into this every week—it’s a lot of help!
-Scott H. /|\

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-21 05:43 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG, great podcast w/ JHK! Thanks so much for MM!! I've spent most of my adult life "doing activism" of various sorts, but now realize the path to anywhere good with that is narrow. Probably like the parable of the rich guy getting into heaven... I'm working (slowly) through the Ovate grade of CGD but detoured briefly to your geomancy book as I was having trouble immersing myself in the figures. I took your earlier suggestion to stay with CGD, but have a question about praying to planetary spirits because this really resonated:

At every moment, for example, Kedemel strives to bring more love and beauty into the world. If a magician performs a working to bring love into a particular situation, and calls on Kedemel in the name of her intelligence Hagiel, the spirit will meet the magician more than halfway. The working becomes an opportunity for Kedemel to fulfill her work in the world, and she will fill it with her energies, as far as the magician's skill and the structure of the working can handle them.

What manner of interaction is recommended, if any, in the early stages of working with CGD? I know praying to deities is fine, but do Planetary Spirits qualify, since normally one would invoke only the Intelligence, and invoking them is not recommended for beginners I imagine (not in the book so far!)? The reason would be to eventually be part of "bringing down" into material plane, more love and & beauty.

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A diagram from your translation of Levi

Date: 2019-01-21 06:41 am (UTC)
jpc_w: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jpc_w
Hello JMG.

In reading your translation of The Doctrine And Ritual of High Magic, I saw the Solomonic Seal on page 43.

I can't make out what the letters are on the black triangle in the diagram. What are they?

Death for those who think death is the end

Date: 2019-01-21 09:00 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
As someone with a parent who is very attached to the idea of death being the total end of existence, and seeing how tormented he is by that as a very sensitive man who locked his emotions away when his mother died when he was young. I am finding it difficult watching him battle against such an inevitable fate (although it is still away off). His life almost seems devoted to this one thing he sees as truth and I am not sure what gates it would open in him if that perception were to change, that seems like a deep well. However I was wondering if he maintains this perception until death what sort of an experience he would have when his time comes.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians and magic

Date: 2019-01-21 09:41 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tunesmyth
This question continues the thread from last week about vegetarians and magical practice.

I am a lifetime lacto-ovo vegetarian. I was raised that way, and I've tried meat several times and always found it an unenjoyable experience, even meat that everyone agreed was particularly good quality.

When it comes to magical practice, how far do you suppose eggs and dairy can take me?

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Remediating planetary influences

Date: 2019-01-21 10:50 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I have some intense and difficult planetary placements dominating my natal chart, including my sun conjunct Pluto in Scorpio in the 11th house and Saturn conjunct Mercury in Scorpio in the 12th. I have a tendency to attempt dramatic personal transformations that result in self-wounding and have difficulty communicating verbally, not being to get the words out in time or in the right way. Every workplace situation I've ever been in has seen me enter a death spiral of poor mental health and becoming outcast. The latest one is going this way rapidly on cue, which is really upsetting because it's the first really good professional position I've had. Without going into specifics, which would probably require looking at my full chart, would magically remediating some of these planetary influences help? I have wracked myself trying to cover all the mundane ways in which I contribute to this pattern, done an incredible amount of work increasing my social skills and I'm simply at a loss.


Date: 2019-01-21 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am preparing a space to start my ritual training.. Sorry I know very little so far about occultism so far, so, my question might be very odd, or obvious, and for that I am sorry.
Where should I look for instructions about where should my altar be and what should it have or look like?


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Some matters of practical defense

Date: 2019-01-21 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Good Morning,

This is going to be a bit brusque as the mini-mes are beginning to stir.

I am doing some research on making a Witch Bottle and was wondering if there was any problem mixing taglogs from the entire family in one bottle? Instinct says no and divination says make it but I wanted to hear if anyone else had experience with it.

Also my wife's ex-husband is an incredibly charismatic individual as well as a host of other less desirable and toxic qualities. The issue is that we are dealing with almost A list actor charisma here and baring some black swan he will be around for the next decade. Honestly his personal glamour reminds me quite a bit of what you read about the Fae. Would traditional Fae remedies help with this? I am putting together one of the defensive talismans (red flannel, salt, nail) that I think would be effective.

Obviously we have a lawyer and are working less magical avenues as well but I want to cover all bases.

On a side note. I am finishing up Learning Ritual Magic this month and it seems there have been lots of "great" opportunities to deal with Karma coming up over the last few months.

Other Dave

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-21 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

How does one balance between innovation and exploration on the one hand and respect for traditional methods on the other? Or, put another way, how does one develop new ideas while safeguarding against error? Per usual, both extremes are undesirable: reckless tinkering and lethargic ossification. (Is the former one of those areas where Crowley, for example, went astray?)

Two examples come to mind for me here. First, regarding a question I asked previously about the Kabylion and Da'ath, wherein if ALL is Mind, then how could Knowledge not be the highest attainment. And you had answered, more or less, that the framing of Mind by the New Thought movement was one of that movement's weaknesses. If we cannot assess what aspects of past teaching are solid and which are weaknesses, how can we be sure that anything we build further is on a solid foundation?

A second example is the reworking of the Tree I had started on when first introduced to the Druidic teachings in the Dolmen Arch. The parallel of the three elements (calas, gwyar, nwyfre) and the three columns (form, force, consciousness) struck me as something important and I found myself exploring the notion of the Tree re-envisioned with the three trinaries parallel to one another and stacked, rather like a triangular prism turned on end, with Malkuth centered below and Da'ath centered above. The symmetry had great appeal (and also "promoted" Da'ath, as it were, to the status of closest-to-the-Unmanifest), but a certain wiser head suggested that I first study the traditional lore of kabbalah before messing with it. (Advice, I would add, that I decided to follow.)

Apologies for the long-windedness. I suppose it comes back to wanting to explore and understand, but not wanting to blunder down dead-ends and waste time in the process.


David BTL

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-21 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
As one example, I think of all the time and effort (and lives) spent on the development, explication, and expanding of the Ptolemaic model of the cosmos, all of which was ultimately a waste. I'd like to avoid doing something like that.

Of course, as I write this, I wonder if I know that you are going to say something about the fact that I'm asking the wrong questions here. That I'm asking "is it true?" when I ought to be asking "does it work?"

"Tools, not truths," Whomever She May Be once told me in a meditation.

Wasted Effort?

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Date: 2019-01-21 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I grew up as a progressive (a Faustian) but over the last few years become completely disilllusioned with that. So naturally I fell back on Catholicism (‘Magianism’) but am now feeling a little weary of that too. How do I get in touch with my personal way or spirit, my ‘tamanous’?


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Re: ancestors

Date: 2019-01-21 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Wow, fascinating questions this week...I was wondering about your understanding of ancestors. I've been trying to work out, if people reincarnate, how there are ancestors one can get in touch with, as several systems of thought imply. I've never read anything that addresses the issue-or perhaps I've missed the point entirely if I had. Does some part of a person linger on-somewhere-while another part incarnates into a new body? In that case I could very well be my own ancestor... Thanks much!

Re: ancestors

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Stump the band

Date: 2019-01-21 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi AD!

Last week a biochemist told me about The Voynich Manuscript:. He said it’s written in an unknown language and only about 10% of the plants presented are known to exist.
Who else to ask but u?
Have any insights?


What’s going on?

Date: 2019-01-21 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi John
Has Voormi brand natural fiber based high performance clothing come to your attention?
Do you think re-imagining the Voormi and the Elder Gods has implications beyond the entertainment value of freshening up an established genre?

The lunar eclipse

Date: 2019-01-21 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

What astrological significance would you attribute to the recent lunar eclipse? Someone pointed out to me that it occurred at the exact half way point in the current US presidential term.

Lucid dreaming

Date: 2019-01-21 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
John Michael

I have just started a book on lucid dreaming. The author says that lucid dreaming is super safe. He seems to be a materialist. I was just checking if that is correct Are there any precautions I should take or any dangers to watch out for? Thanks

Will Oberton

Dream-tutorial on etherics

Date: 2019-01-21 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dear Tripp, JMG et all,
When I read Tripp's report last Monday on his night-school session on the nature of the etheric body, I was totally envious.

My nightschool curriculum is great, but doesn't seem likely to offer that tutorial anytime soon, although I think I could use one.

I seem not to have the talent for seeing auras and the like; the closest I get is something like an intuition about the nature of a person. And, then, I am conscious of my own etheric body mostly as health problems, and would appreciate any info about keeping it in better repair. A.E. Powell's book on the subject didn't give me much I can use.

I'm placing a request before my own inner teacher, but in the meanwhile, I'm waiting for Tripp's book to come out, or for anyone else to offer helpful pointers on the subject.

Thanks JMG and everyone for making Monday so magical!


Date: 2019-01-21 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Do you believe it is possible to communicate without making assumptions? If so, how is this possible?

Ozark Folk Magic

Date: 2019-01-21 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ozark people would take a lock of hair, bore a hole in a tree at head height of the sick person, and put the lock in, with a wood plug behind it. This was supposed to cure asthma, headaches, etc.: some chronic disease. Would this likely be natural/sympathetic magic, or have roots in some other stuff as well?

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-21 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
In honor of the lunar eclipse what role do lunar eclipses play in traditional astrology?

Mini-Banishing Ritual

Date: 2019-01-21 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I did the counter-clockwise pentagram/disconnect sign over my signature on work-related form letters last week as you advised, and noticed a slight lifting sensation at about the level of my ears when I pointed to the center of the pentagram and willed “disconnect!”

In pondering this, it occurred to me that if my connection to something as mundane as my signature on a letter of minimal importance is enough to register with me when I disconnect my energy from it, the bonds that I actually put intentions into, for good or ill, are much, much stronger. An encouraging yet cautionary lesson. Thank you!

On another note, I am struck by the fact that I have not missed a day of practicing either of the Heathen rituals you posted many months ago. I love them. It doesn’t even occur to me to skip a day. Would this have anything to do with how you astrologically time when you go public with them?

Thanks for Magic Monday!


(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-21 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] robertmathiesen
Christine Hartley is an excellent choice here, seeing as she was also H. P. Lovecraft's literary agent (as Christine Campbell Thompson) for placing his weird tales with the British publisher Selwyn & Blount. She did the same for Robert E. Howard. She also wrote weird fiction (as Flavia Richaedson), and a couple of her short stories appeared in "Weird Tales."

Her primary magical working partner was C. R. F. "Griff" Seymour. Records of their work together and articles by him were edited by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and published under the title "The Forgotten Mage" (1986, 2nd ed. 1999).
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