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Techne: The State of the Art

Back in the late 1990’s I found myself deeply involved with two streams of magic. On of these was Chaos Magic and at the time it worked out quite well for me to join a hierarchical order focused on that current. The nice thing about doing so at this stage is that I was able to borrow a lot of books from my mentor, and given a suggested list of books to buy by the order itself, so my learning on the subject increased dramatically.

As a programmer I was particularly attracted to those magicians that incorporated ideas from computer technology into their magic, such as Ramsey Dukes and Charles Brewster. I combined ideas from both into some magical software I called CHAOSHEX. I originally wrote this to run on DOS computers, although recently I began work on a new version that runs on Linux.

Because of this interest I was invited by a friend to write a short article on the subject of magick and technology, This was an incredibly short article that introduced concepts from Dukes and Brewster, combined them, and then turned into almost an advert for CHAOSHEX, even though CHAOSHEX was never actually available in those days.

Anyway, to get to the point, Damien Williams, who I interact with online and who contrubuted the excellent ‘Breathing’ article to ‘The Immanence of Myth’, is currently raising funds to produce an article on ‘Magic and Technology‘. Naturally I supported him. So far I haven’t been so good at promoting his project. This will be a 5000 word essay, so much more in depth than my own meagre offering, and will be called Techne: The State of the Art. Please check it out and see if you can donate a small amount towards helping it achieve its funding goal.

You can get more details at the projects inkshares page.

Thunderbirds and Red Kites

Last night I had a dream where I was with Lolita showing her my diary, in which I had drawn a picture from a dream of a bird of prey with four heads. As I was showing her, we watched a large bird of prey fly past our bedroom window. We often see red kites and maybe buzzards in the sky around our local area and I commented to her that maybe this was a red kite. But it seemed far too large so my next thought was that it was an eagle. However, we both knew that this bird we saw fly right across the window in profile, right to left, was even bigger than an eagle or any living bird of prey known to modern science.

Lolita reminded me that she had dreamt of such a bird flying across the window recently. (Note: This was still happening in my dream, although in fact it is true she recently had such a dream).

So anyway, this was a pretty auspicious dream so of course I entered it into my diary this morning, and drew the picture that I remember seeing in the diary I dreamt. Little did I know then what would happen at lunch. I work from home, so I spend my lunch break in my living room where I have quite a good view of the sky. We were however watching the video Hippi posted recently of the Buddhist monk talking about Winners and Losers.

Suddenly however a bird caught my eye. I thought it looked like a Red Kite and pointed it out to Lolita who was watching the video with me. But I asked if it was just a gull because I wasn’t sure. At first Lolita agreed it was just a gull, but suddenly she shot up and grabbed the video camera saying it was a red kite after all.

I grabbed the photo camera and I managed to take this photo as it flew right over heads and out of sight:

redkite.resized

Tonight we sat by the fire in the garden and I saw the Red Kite again.

Thankyou to the Thunderbird, to Garuda, to Anzu, Zu, the cherubim, the nameless eagle with the hawk storm-witherer between its eyes, and all other forms of the deity of birds known to all cultures throughout the world, for the magical experience of today, and for letting me take this beautiful photo.

15 Books

This is a response to Seani Fool over at PagAnarchy.net who wrote a blog listing his 15 books that most shaped who he is today.  Amongst others, he has asked me to share the 15 that most influence me currently.

1. The Apophenion: A Chaos Magic Paradigm by Peter J Carroll.  I’m only half way through this book so I’m not sure if I should count it yet, but since this is about what is influencing me right now, and through my current action of reading it and enjoying it, it is occupying a lot of my thoughts.  So far I think this is Carroll’s best book to date.  It seems to expand a lot upon some of the concepts hinted at in PsyberMagick, and present them in a much more lucid and coherent arguement.  It also ties various threads together in a way that appeals to the way I think.

2. Promethea by Alan Moore.  I don’t care if it is a graphic novel (or more a series of graphic novels), it continues to inspire.

3. The Invisibles by Grant Morrison.  Same applies to this one.  I don’t care if Grant and Alan apparently don’t care much for each other, I’ve never met either of them, so its just about appreciating their respective creations.

4. Visual Magick and Seidways by Jan Fries.  Okay, I know that’s two so I’m cheating a bit.  But I think these two books compliment each other so well that I think they could be combined into one big volume.  Possibly an even bigger one with Hellrunar thrown in for good measure.  Reading both these books changed the way I performed and thought about magick forever, and helped liberate me from thinking of myself exclusively as a Chaos Magician.

5. PsyberMagick by Peter J Carroll.  If I hadn’t read this book, I probably wouldn’t have signed up to the Illuminates of Thanateros all those years ago.  As a result, reading it shaped the pretty much all the path of magic I have tread ever since, including the formation of KIA.  It was the first Peter Carroll book I read to, didn’t read the others until after I was in the IoT.  I loved the humour in it, and enjoyed the format even though I was yet to read Crowley’s Book of Lies at the time.

6. BLAST your way to MegaBuck$ with my SECRET sex power formula! and other reflections upon the spiritual path by Ramsey Dukes.  This book was my introduction to Duke’s theories, including Johnstone’s Paradox.  My life would never be the same again.  I still think every so often about recreating an old command line program I made for doing magick by hacking into the computer that controls our universe.  It worked a bloody treat.

7. Paradoxical Emblems of D A Freher.  Reading this book caused me to make a choice.  That choice changed my life and freed me from certain bad decisions I’d made in the past and certain undesirable associations I’d made.  But not in the way that it made me think about those things.  No.  In the way that reading that book is an act of magick and the choice you make when reading it plants a seed.

8. Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson.  Doesn’t guarantee you won’t get brainwashed again, but makes it a lot harder for someone to do so over a sustained length of time.  See through the bullshit of those who would control you.  Whoever they are.

9. The Devil and the Goddess by Gyrus.  Proving that a book doesn’t need to have many pages to be brilliant.  This book combined with Seidways by Jan Fries to really inspire me thoughts on the importance of serpent imagery in magick.

10. Anarchism, arguments for and against by Albert Meltzer.  Another little booklet that has greatly inspired.

11. Spectacular Times.  A series of booklets.  About seeing through the lies and propaganda.

12. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes.  Not the definition of consciousness I feel comfortable, but other than getting into an arguement about what consciousness ‘is’, a damn good hypothesis about the way certain mind phenomena came to be.

13. Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson.  A virtual reality internet, a hacker hero with deadly martial arts skills, futuristic skaters that harpoon cars to hitch rides and a bad guy who has a nuclear warhead in the sidecar of his motorbike.  Strange religious cults, babalonian mythology, glossolalia, the Mafia and an America so taken over by corporations the state barely exists.  Could a be kick arse movie if they did a good job of it.  A rollercoaster of a read.  Damn good author.

14. Principlia Discordia.  Fnord.

15. The Way of the Sacred by Francis Huxley.  The common currents and themes of the worlds religions and mystery traditions exposed.  Another book with a lot to say about serpents in symbolic, mystical and mythological senses.

The Race Myth

I feel no need to comment on all the hype surrounding the USA working towards selecting its next president, so I won’t. But I will admit following some of it in the internet news. And one of the things that has struck me is the sheer number of people in some states that returned Clinton a majority on grounds of race. I knew there were racists in the US. We have them here too. I don’t like it, but there we are. They aren’t going away anytime soon.

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