ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
 I'm delighted to report that two new anthologies are about to hit the bookshelves -- one of them with a contribution by me, the other entirely my work. 

Ascendant 1Ascendant is the first of a projected series of anthologies on the subject of polytheist theology and philosophy of religion, published by Neos Alexandria, one of the liveliest of the current polytheist religious organizations. It's got essays by some of the leading lights of today's polytheist revival, wrestling with an assortment of Big Questions from the standpoint of belief in many gods. My essay, "The One and the Many: An Essay on Pagan Neoplatonism," takes issue with the common but mistaken confusion that sees Neoplatonism as monotheist, on the one hand, or monist on the other. I think it came out well, but it's far from the best piece in the book. If you're interested in the philosophical and theological dimensions of polytheism, this is not a book you'll want to miss. 

A Magical EducationA Magical Education is the first of three anthologies of my talks and essays, published by Aeon Books. This volume includes nine of the talks I gave at a variety of Pagan and occult conferences  between 2001 and 2010 -- specifically, the nine most popular talks, the one I was asked to give again and again. As a taster, here are the titles of the talks: 

1 - A Magical Education
2 - Magical Ecology
3 - The Secret History of Neopaganism
4 - Victorian Sex Magic
5 - Understanding Renaissance Magic
6 - Magic, Metapolitics, and Reality
7 - Alchemical Initiation
8 - Healing Through the Elements
9 - Paganism and the Future

The two remaining volumes, The City of Hermes and Beyond the Narratives, include between them nearly all of the short pieces I published between 1993, when my first article saw print, and 2015. 

Ascendant will be in print within a matter of days, and I'll post something here as soon as it sees print. A Magical Education will be out in March, but is currently available for preorder here, with free shipping worldwide. 
ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
Emerge Podcast logoMore raw meat for podcast fans! 

I recently appeared on Daniel Thorson's podcast Emerge, to talk about the Kek Wars and the role of magic in the 2016 US election. It was a good lively conversation and covered some fascinating ground. If you're interested, you can take it in here. 
ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
The Celestial Art I'm pleased to announce the publication of a new anthology on a subject of major interest to me -- and of course a lot of other occultists as well. Three Hands Press has released The Celestial Art, a collection of articles on astrological magic. Here's what it's got inside: 

AARON CHEAK, PHD Thigh of Iron, Thigh of Gold

FREEDOM COLE The Pulsation of the Cosmos

AUSTIN COPPOCK A Feast of Starlight

AL CUMMINS, PHD The Azured Vault

DEMETRA GEORGE Thessalos of Tralles: On the Virtues of Herbs

BENJAMIN DYKES, PHD The Planetary Magic among the Harrānian Sābians

JOHN MICHAEL GREER Sources of Power in Medieval and Modern Magic

LEE LEHMAN, PHD The Conjunction of Electional Astrology and Magic

JASON MILLER The Perfect and the Good

ERIC PURDUE On Identifying Presiding Daemons and Geniuses from an Astrological Chart

DANIEL A. SCHULKE The Planetary Viscera of Witchcraft


That is to say, plenty of tasty meat for the serious student. You can order a copy here.

ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
Middle Pillar exerciseA while back I posted a version of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram for people who want to get into ceremonial magic but aren’t into the Judeo-Christian symbolism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, on the one hand, or the Druid Revival symbolism of the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn on the other. I’ve heard from a number of people who’ve worked with that ritual and had good results with it. Now it’s time for the next ingredient in basic magical training, the Middle Pillar exercise, adapted for the same purpose.

This is the basic internal energy practice of Golden Dawn magic. It’s meant to waken and energize five energy centers in the subtle body, and then circulate energy through the subtle body as a whole. It’s best done every day, right after the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and right before your daily meditation.

You’re going to need to personalize this rite to work with whatever pantheon of deities you prefer. You’re going to need the names of five deities; you’re also going to need five colors and five symbols.

The default option here, adapted from Israel Regardie’s The Art of True Healing, is to use deities corresponding to the five elements—spirit, air, fire, water, and earth, in that order. In that case the colors are white, yellow, red, blue, and brown, in that order, and the symbols are the sun, a cloud, a flame, a drop of water, and a stone.

That’s the default option, again. You don’t have to use the default option.  If your tradition has other symbols for the five elements, you can use them; if it associates the elements with other colors, you can use those.

You can also choose a different and subtler logic for the deities you assign to the energy centers. The first deity can be the supreme deity of your pantheon; the second can be a deity of wisdom and initiation; the third can be a hero deity, a sun deity, or a deity of  the hearth; the fourth can be a fertility deity, or a woodland deity, or a deity who’s closely associated with the life force; and the fifth can be a maiden goddess. (Those readers who know their way around The Celtic Golden Dawn now know the logic behind that book’s version of the exercise.)

By the way, in case you were wondering, the names of the deities don’t have to have four letters each. That was just for the pentagram ritual.)

However you do it, work out a suitable table as follows:

Crown center:             DEITY 1         COLOR 1       SYMBOL 1

Throat center:              DEITY 2         COLOR 2       SYMBOL 2

Heart center:               DEITY 3         COLOR 3       SYMBOL 3

Genital center:             DEITY 4         COLOR 4       SYMBOL 4

Foot Center:                DEITY 5         COLOR 5       SYMBOL 5

In the Druidical GD, these are as follows:

Crown center:             Hu                   White              Sun

Throat center:             Ced                 Violet              Crescent moon

Heart center:               Hesus              Golden          Cluster of oak leaves

Genital center:             Coel/Sul*        Silver               Red dragon

Foot Center:                Olwen             Green              White trefoil

*There’s a lot of polarity symbolism in Druidical magic, so which deity you invoke at the genital center is determined by which set of physical genitalia you have, Coel if you’ve got male genitals, Sul if you’ve got the female set.

Or let’s say you wanted to do an Anglo-Saxon version, one option might be this:

Crown center:              Tiw                  White              Sun

Throat center:              Woden             Blue                 Raven

Heart center:               Frige                Red                 Spindle

Genital center:             Ing                   Green              Sheaf of Barley

Foot Center:                Eostre              Brown             Flowers

Other arrangements could be chosen easily enough; these are just samples. Make your decision and give it a try.

Once you’ve got your table constructed, the exercise is done as follows:


First, perform the complete Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Second, imagine a ray of light descending from infinite space to form a sphere of light just above your head, around eight inches in diameter. This sphere is COLOR 1 and contains SYMBOL 1. When you have formulated it clearly in your imagination, vibrate NAME 1 three times.

Third, bring the ray of light to your throat, and form another sphere. This one is COLOR 2 and contains SYMBOL 2. When you have formulated it, vibrate NAME 2 three times.

Fourth, bring the ray of light to your heart, and form a third sphere, which is COLOR 3 and contains SYMBOL 3.  NAME 3 is vibrated here three times.

Fifth, bring the ray of light to your genital center, and form a fourth sphere.  This one is COLOR 4 and contans SYMBOL 4. NAME 4 is vibrated here three times.

Sixth, bring the ray of light to your feet, and form a fifth center. This one is COLOR 5 and contains SYMBOL 5.  The name vibrated here, three times, is NAME 5.

Seventh, return the attention to the center at the top of the head. Bring a current of white light a few inches wide down the right side of the head and neck,  the right shoulder and arm, and the right hip and leg, down to the center at the feet, and then back up the left leg and hip, the left arm and shoulder, and the left side of the neck and head, back to the center at the head.  Repeat this a total of three times; if possible, synchronize with the breath, so that the energy flows down with the outbreath and up with the inbreath, but it is more important to visualize the whole course than to make it happen within a single breath.

Eighth, in the same way, bring a current of white light from the center above the head, down the midline of the front of the body to the center at the feet, and then back up the midline of the back of the body to the center above the head. Repeat a total of three times.

Ninth, turn the attention to the center at the feet. Breathing in, draw a current of energy up the Middle Pillar of the body from that center to the center above the head; breathing out, allow it to spray like a fountain out and over the whole body, cleansing the entire aura, pooling at the feet and being drawn back up the Middle Pillar with the next inbreath. Do this a total of three times.

Tenth, perform the Circle of Presence. This completes the exercise. 



ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

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