Archive for November, 2006

The Number 23

November 20, 2006

Pride, Harpo:73, 6006 YD

For more information about the enigmatic number 23 click here

All Work And No Play Makes Hoopla A Dull Boy

November 16, 2006

Envy, Harpo:69, 6006 YD

This has been a very strange week. I decided last week that I wouldn’t work on Pride anymore, so that I can have more time to work on writing and illustration, etc. This past Pride was the first one I had off, and then out of the blue two possible illustration jobs plop into my lap – both on the same day (the 14th by the Gregorian calendar, which adds up to 5, natch) to boot . . . clearly somebody liked my decision to work less and play more.

Try it yourself, if you’re able – who knows what may transpire.

Nova Principia Magica

November 15, 2006

Lust, Harpo:68, 6006 YD

by: The Irreverend Hugh, KSC

Chaos Magic is one of the few occult approaches today that wholeheartedly embraces the use of cutting edge technologies for magical applications. Many people in the occult are stuck in systems which use rather obsolete technologies, and that is fine so long as the effect occurs. But what of people for whom the modern and the post-modern has more relevance? What is out there for the Pagans of the city, the urban shamans, or the electric alchemists? Music and the arts have progressed into cutting edge technologies. Magic should be no exception.

Things have changed since the renaissance, in case you haven’t noticed. Instead of religion and culture framing the possibilities of social thought, in our times, society has its collective desires framed, expressed, and consummated through the use of the mass ensigilization known as advertising. You can stand there and recite an incantation from your grimoire all you want, and that will still be effective. But wouldn’t it be more effective to use the tools of modern enchantment: the logo/glyph, the jingle, and the mass media? Renaissance alchemists used the most advanced technologies of their times and today’s modern occultist should not shy away from that spirit. Never forget the old tools with which your forebears and mentors achieved success, but also never forget that you will need your own more personally relevant and potent tools.

There is inherent power in the altar, the use of candle, the use of strange languages, the chanting of pagan deity names, and other traditional occult paraphernalia. That is why they should still be used by those who wish to do so. But to honestly tell me that there is no inherent power in the microwave oven, the webpage, the stencil maker, techno music, digital photography, TV, and other post-modern occult paraphernalia is to be blinded by cultural prejudice. And if you call yourself a magician, or whatever word by which you think a similar concept is embodied by, you neglect post-modern items’ occult significance at your own peril.

The problem with modern Witchcraft is the tendency of many more Pagan brands of it to focus on and emulate the blinkered and backwards looking occult thoughts of its founders. Of what use is the emphasis on ruralized and romanticized “earth” phases to those who live far removed from that sort of lifestyle? To reject the urban is to reject all that is magical in today’s world. The city is “mutable earth” in action. To be blind to its power and the uses to which it can be put is to be willingly ignorant. Practical and effective Witchcraft changes with the times and the needs of the people who create it. A practical modern Paganism that wishes to include the use of magic in its cultures should keep this in mind. A romanticized or ruralized “back to nature” view can make one aware of the self-annihilation inherent in our society’s treatment of the world, but at the peril of blinding one to effective ways in halting that self-annihilation.

I am not insisting upon a myopic rejection of all things that have made up our occult past, because the study of those things does help one gain freedom. What I am insisting is the wholesale adoption of modern technologies by the magicians of today. Why not use a TV to scry from? The occult things that would scare the shit out of you lay just behind the everyday items you find all around you. Traditions are what you make of them, but don’t let traditions make a slave out of you. Magic is in its effectiveness and it really doesn’t matter what tools or materials you use so long as the effect occurs. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either prejudiced by beliefs or lying to you.

Some things we can afford to do without: predetermined maps of the otherworlds, the idiotic use of the term ‘karma’ (which few Asians understand correctly, let alone Westerners), the insistence on religious methods (whether theist or atheist in tone), and anything else that would try to preprogram the living chaos of magic.

It is in this spirit of innovation and exploration of modern technologies for magical applications that I open up this discussion. In the coming months and years I will report of my own experiments in this vein. I hope that any of you who read this and take interest will do the same. You never know what will arise. Share either the use of modern technology for magic, or novel and/or experimental approaches. Or share your aversions to such things. Share with any other, or share with all people who would listen and seek to try what you have discovered.

Even Chaos Magic is to be updated, transcended, made redundant. For over twenty years now, it has been the cutting edge of magical experimentation and exploration. Even so, like everything else, its insights and applications must stand the test of time. Anything valuable must be adapted or modified in light of the situations present day magicians or skeptical experimenters or explorers are going through. Even the more traditional approaches to magic, such as occur in Witchcraft of Neopagan and other varieties must continually be renewed if they are to remain relevent, fresh, and potent.

So, after both reasoned and unreasonable exploration; after throwing yourself into the mix and learning what the spirit of magic, the ultimate chaos that unerlies all life and energy, is and how it moves through and around you, new alphabets of desire and matrices of symbology can be written and developed with post-modern applications and imagery: electric lights, computer screens, mp3 music files, and cut-up video loops…if you wish. Or with the more handed down versions of tarot, witchcraft, candles, invocations, and incense; but in novel and unique forms which appeal to your “inner” expressions.

Instead of looking back to people like Spare or Crowley (or even Robert Anton Wilson who pretended to be a fiction writer even while writing his modern versions of magical studies), look ahead to what is coming. Look to now, at where you are at. Think about all those things of significance in your current life’s affairs. Walk the fine line of knowing that you are the maker of your own system; the doer of your own magic. And you need not rely on anyone else’s system unless it appeals to you. In magic, there is no other law. Though you may wish to keep the sense of humor embodied in chaos ever present in your life, to keep away any dregs of solipsism that may rear their ugly heads from time to time – unless of course, you call them forth to practice banishing.

It is time to become the writer of your own life story; the creator of your own life. The agent, actor, and scriptwriter. Magic is the means to that end, the expression of that end, and the ultimate destruction of any end. The end of the story is a lie. Any preprogrammed belief and practice system is just that: a system which can be modified or jettisoned at will. Magic is what is important, but even beliefs in or about magic should be recognized as the tools, props, and aides that they really are.

Microwaving up one’s batch of witches’ brew is just as potent as using a cauldron over open flame. Digital construction of a sigil via Photoshop or Flash through the use of the magic scying tool known as the computer screen is just as potent as using special inks, parchments, and candles. Getting into ASCs and trance states via electronic dance music works just as well as drumming. Having rusted old bolts from an old decaying factory on your altar tells the story of ancient wisdom just as much as any of the traditional hand-me-downs from witchcraft or Ceremonial Magic. Realize your life is the greatest story you will ever live through and you can change, re-edit, or write a better more exciting future, if you so desire. To quote an old cliche which was revolutionary for its time, and still is relevant today (even though so many people who repeat it often have no idea what it means): There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

The Path To Enlightenment

November 14, 2006

Greed, Harpo:67, 6006 YD

illustration by: Baron von Hoopla

Men In Black: Discordian Agents?

November 13, 2006

Pride, Harpo:66, 6006 YD

The first alleged Men In Black contact was in 1947, following the infamous Maury Island Incident, when a Unidentified Flying Object reportedly dumped slag onto Harold Dahl’s boat, killing his dog and injuring his son. Shortly afterward, Dahl was visited by a tall man in a black suit who issued somewhat vague threats about the safety of Dahl’s family if he should choose to publicize the story, which he proceeded to do anyway, only to later retract it. The story was picked up and published by UFO enthusiast Alfred Bender, who -himself- was threatened by Men In Black.

Throughout UFO history the Men In Black have been one of the strangest aspects of the entire mystery, which is somewhat of an achievement in itself, considering the glut of wild and seemingly insane stories which have been reported (pancakes from outer-space anyone?) in fact, one need look no further than the strange case of Dr. Herbert Hopkins for proof that the MIB are indeed a strange case all their own.

Recently, however, I have been pondering a certain case in John Keel’s “The Mothman Prophesies” which has been leading me to suspect that there may be other motives for the high strangeness of these cases . . . something a littler closer to home . . . on page 89 of “The Mothman Prophesies” Keel reports that a tall man visited the family of one Edward Christiansen on January 9, 1967 CE, under the pretense that he was from the Missing Heirs Bureau. After being invited inside, the man, who was well over six feet tall, removed his coat revealing a gold badge – which he quickly covered, then removed and placed in a pocket.

pg90:“It looked like a gold or brass badge,” Connie told me later. “But it wasn’t an ordinary police badge or anything like that. We got a glimpse of it . . . but it seemed to have a big K on it . . .” – The Mothman Prophesies, John Keel.

The man introduced himself, but after he left none of the family members could remember the name, except that he said people called him “Tiny”. Tiny was exceedingly pale, spoke somewhat robotic, and had a wire running down his leg from inside his rather short trousers and into his sock. As he spoke to the family his face became redder and redder, until he finally asked for a glass of water. When he left the family’s home he gestured into the night and a black car pulled up, without any headlights on.

As I continue to ponder the badge that “Tiny” wore I am forced to wonder if all this madness is merely confusion for confusion’s sake . . . no true connection to UFO business at all, but simply some rogue Discordian deciding to do as the Goddess would do, and stir up the pot a little bit . . . but then I wonder, what could the “K” have stood for? Keel thinks the family mixed up the figure, and that it was really the Greek letter Sigma, but of all the figures in the world what made Keel decide on a Greek letter? And is it possible that whatever it was only looked like a badge? A golden apple on a shirt would certainly still be within the shape of a badge . . . could the “K” have stood for Kallisti? The world may never know.

The Esoteric Significance Of "Inky Pinky Ponky"

November 10, 2006

Gluttony, Harpo:63, 6006 YD

by: LMNO

Inky Pinky Ponky
Daddy bought a donkey.
Donkey died, Daddy cried.
Inky Pinky Ponky.

There are a plethora of Twos rampant in this Epic Chant: The lead line (three words) is repeated (twice), and the words “Donkey” and “Daddy” are also repeated.

Please notice, five words, twice repeated. So much for the Law of Fives.

So, Two on the Tree of life is Chockma, Wisdom. The magical image is the Bearded Patriarch– this is obviously the “Daddy” of the Screed.

What did Wisdom do? It bought a Donkey. The donkey, of course is the talking donkey of Balaam in the Book of Numbers. This donkey quailed before YHWH, and was beaten by Balaam, for he did not see. In this, we can easily see that Wisdom is blind to the Lord, and only the stubborn nature can push through the suffering of life to achieve enlightenment.

The death of the Donkey then, is the death of the spirit in the face of the material world. Surely, wisdom must weep when it is overcome by the mundane.

LOST: Jack’s Tattoo

November 9, 2006

Envy, Harpo:62, 6006 YD

People have been theorizing about the significance of Jack’s “five” tattoo for some time now on the television program “Lost” – some consider it central to the plot, and others think it is simply Matthew Fox’s personal tattoo, perhaps a reference to his time on the other program “Party Of Five”? But, as a Discordian I am likely to more focus on the number five than I would on -say- six. Although, I’m sure I would have fun with that one too, I just might not be writing about it here.

I’ve read that Matthew Fox has several tattoos, but that he is made to cover up some of them, but not others – which would lend credit to the theory that the tattoo in question has some sort of significance inside the show.

In the first episode of Lost Jack told Kate to ‘count to five’ when she is frightened, a scene which was referenced in last night’s episode of Lost as well – it being the code that Kate will use to let Jack know that she is safely away from the Others with Sawyer. This would almost suggest that there is some connection between Jack and Kate – Jack, a man who betrayed his father, and Kate, a woman who killed her father.

So, I ask: Is it ‘mere’ coincidence, or synchronicity, that the Fifth Commandment is “Honour Thy Father And Mother”?

Perhaps.

Paleopuritanism and Neopuritanism

November 8, 2006

Lust, Harpo:61, 6006 YD

by Robert Anton Wilson

…As psychologist Theodore Schroeder pointed out, “obscenity” is the modern form of “black magic.” Both concepts are operationally meaningless; there is no instrument which, pointed at a book or painting, will tell how much “black magic” or “obscenity” is in it. These things are in the nervous system of the observer. Attributing them to books, art, ideas, etc., in the external world, and seeking to punish the perpetrators, is the same kind of hallucination that produced the witch-hunts in which nine million innocents were killed.

Clarification of this issue explains what the Buddhists mean by “maya.” One could lead a group of both old Puritans and new Puritans through a gallery featuring photographs of flowers without any problem arising, even though flowers are the genitals of plants, as everyone who passed Botany 101 knows. However, try to navigate that group through an exhibit of photos of animal genitalia and almost anything could happen, when the emotional imprints are activated. The external stimuli (natural sexuality) are the same, but the imprints are different. Contemplation of this parable should clarify what Buddha meant in saying that most people see only their own “maya” and never experience objective fact at all. Of course, if the exhibit featured human genitalia… a great deal of angry speech about “smut” from the first group and “sexism” from the second would be heard. All of this speech would confuse the internal glandular-emotional emergency imprint with the objective external stimuli, and there would be a desire to punish the photographer.

The Order

November 7, 2006

Greed, Harpo:60, 6006 YD

The Order is now online.

It begins.

Retroactive St. Frank’s Day

November 6, 2006

Pride, Harpo:59, 6006 YD

Last Day of Greed (the 53rd) I was in a movie theatre being rained on, shouted past, pelted by rice and playing cards – but it wasn’t until I was struck in the temple with some rather stale toast that it hit me. “It” was the realization that Dr. Frank N. Furter, hero (or villain, depending on your politics) of the Rocky Horror Picture Show is not only a classic example of a Discordian Saint, but as far as I can remember he is also the only discordian saint who was martyred for his beliefs.

St. Frank went as far as moving to a different planet to attempt to bring his fantasies to life, to mold reality into what he believed it should be, rather than what it simply could be. Is there a concept more stunningly Erisian than “Don’t dream it – be it”?

After almost a week’s deliberation the jester has decided to title that day -the day that most people refer to as Halloween- Harpo:53 as St. Frank’s Day.

Hail Eris.