Pantheacon Workshops

Pantheacon Workshops Image
I have completed my class notes and handouts for the upcoming Pantheacon 2011, which is scheduled to occur next month, from Feb 18 through Feb 21. I have been slated to present two workshops at this gathering. This event is now less than a month away, and I have to say that I am really looking forward to it, particularly since the wintry weather here is getting a bit bleak and difficult to deal with. Sunny San Jose will be a welcome distraction to the cold tundra-like climate of the Twin Cities in the midst of deep winter.

Anyway, these two presentations are new to my slowly building collection of workshops and lectures. What I usually do for Pantheacon is to propose up to four workshops or lectures, all of them untried but based on previous articles and research. When one or more gets approved, then I will assemble my research and writings to build up the workshop or lecture. The two workshops that the Pantheacon staff selected were "Astrological Decans - Key to Evocation" and "Lunar Magick." The first one is based on three or four articles that I have already written and researched, and despite that assembled information, I still found that I had some holes in my presentation that had to be researched and filled. The second one was based on a rather lengthy article that I have written but never published entitled "Lunar Mysteries and Moon Magick." This article will be part of the book that I am assembling on Elemental and Talismanic Magick, using the lore of the Order of the Gnostic Star for that work.

If you have been faithfully reading my blog articles, you will note a recent article that I penned which dealt with the issues of the Goetic daemons and whether or not there were 72 daemons, 69 or perhaps even 73. You can find that article here, just in case you missed it. That was a bit of a hair pulling conundrum that I had to resolve before writing my presentation on the Astrological Decans. As I resolved that issue, I also wrote up an article to support that research, adding to the total articles needed to back up the presentation.

One issue was still outstanding, and I ran smack into it when I attempted to start pulling and assembling all of the writings and data that I had collected or written together. I discovered that there appears to be two schools of thought when it comes to assigning the spirits (both angels of the ha-Shem and the Goetic daemons) to the specific decans and their associated quinarians. This issue was discovered when I was working on retrieving the seals for the 72 angels of the ha-Shem and attempting to show how the decan could be more aptly used to define the qualities of the spirits. I wanted to see if other authors had given the decans that much power in defining the qualities of the associated spirits.

What I discovered is that the two schools seem to be the Golden Dawn and other European occultists, with Carroll "Poke" Runyan and his system giving weight to the European methodology. The whole issue revolves around where to start the decan and spirit association, in other words, which decan would be considered the first decan in this set, and this might also determine when in the season one could access that decan. The Golden Dawn system starts their decan list with first decan face of Leo, the other methodology starts in the most obvious place, in the first decan face of Aries. Starting in Aries would make sense if one were using Tropical Astrology, which is what I use in all my occult works. This is because it's considered the starting point for that system of astrology, which naturally starts at the Vernal Equinox (zero degrees Aries). The Golden Dawn preference for starting in Leo was both unexpected and also poorly documented. Very few authors have given any explanation as to why this choice was made, but many, including Thelemites like Lon Milo DuQuette (and Aleister Crowley) used this system, seemingly without question.

As you recall, we stated previously that each decan appears at the ascendent at dusk (or some say dawn) for approximately 10 days, which would leave five intercalated days. So if one has a methodology that determines the first decan and the start of the astrological wheel, it could also impact not only the spirits associated with quinarians, but also their qualities and astrologically based definitions. I decided that this issue warranted a massive search that would include the internet as well as any and all books in my library. I also consulted with a friend of mine (Ananael Qaa) who is probably a lot more knowledgeable about these obscure issues than me. What I uncovered was that other occultists had different opinions on how this should be resolved.

"Poke" Runyan decided that the traditional tropical astrological paradigm required that the first decan face in the set should be the first decan of Aries. Another individual, French occulitst Robert Ambelain, who wrote the book "La Kabbale Pratique," also favored the Aries first solution. I found a translation of chapter five of his book on the Shemhamphorash in a PDF file associated with a certain Golden Dawn group. Still, despite all of that weighty evidence pointing to the starting point at the first decan of Aries, I was unfortunately wedded to the Golden Dawn version that proposed Leo as it's starting point. The rational for this choice is explained in Book T with a rather terse and unhelpful explanation. I was vaguely informed by this brief explanation that the reason for this odd starting place has to do with determining that point using the star Cor Leonis (Heart of the Lion, also Regulus), which represents the beginning of the zodiacal sign of Leo. No reason for this choice is discussed or why it was used. This lack of explanation could be considered a small mystery, or just something that was assumed everyone would know.

Other authors have done little to illuminate this choice. Aleister Crowley accepted it without any comment, which was odd. If it were an arbitrary choice, then I am sure that Crowley would have researched it and replaced it with something more "Thelemic." Even Lon Milo Duquette, in his book "Angels, Demons in fact, intuitively I would have chosen the Aries first method instead, and there seems to be little need to explain that approach.

One other little item I found out is that the proper spelling for the word Shemhamphorash is actually Shem ha-Mephorash. That little point was made known to me in my research, and I have adjusted my notes and handouts accordingly.

The assembling of the Lunar Magick workshop was actually quite straightforward. In fact I had more material than I could conceivably present in a 90 minute maximum class time period. I will have to zip through the material I did include since there is so much of it, but I think that when I have gotten through it all, that the attendees will know the value of tying their magickal and liturgical work to the cycles of the moon. This is particularly important for important ro strategic magickal workings that seek to dramatically change one's material situation. I will be posting some additional articles on that topic in this blog on or after the workshop has been presented - so stay tuned.

If you are thinking about attending Pantheacon 2011 this year, I would like to let you know that I will be there, too, and also to give you the times and locations of my two presentations. The program book has not yet been made available to the public, so the schedule at this point is tentative but fairly certain. Here's some information about the two classes that you can use - but don't forget to examine the program book to make certain nothing has been changed. I hope to see you there. I will be bringing my laptop with me, so I might even make a remark or two in my blog while I am attending. There are some very interesting programs and presentations being given during that period, so I am hoping to get to attend some of them. I will also get to see some really good friends that I haven't seen since the last time I was there. Hopefully, I will get to make some new ones, too, so if you are there, drop into my class or say hello if you happen to bump into me. I will have autographed copies of my books for sale, just in case you might be interested.

Here are the workshop classes and the times and locations where they will meet. You will notice that both of them are scheduled for Friday. Interestingly enough, the workshop on Lunar Magick will be held during the Full Moon for February. How cool is that occurrence?!


When & Where: Friday - 01:30 PM - Santa Clara

Description: This workshop will examine all of the elements, including correspondences and materials from other authors that will show how the astrological decans, also known as the Faces, are the key to categorizing and mastering the invocation of the Ha-Shem Angels, Goetic Demons and the Angelic Rulers.


When & Where: Friday - 07:00 PM - Santa Clara

Description: This workshop examines how the cycle of the moon can be used to powerfully effect practical magick. We will examine the seasonal full moons, the eight phases of the lunation cycle and the 28 mansions of the moon.

Frater Barrabbas

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Magick Trying To Formulate An Answer To A Question

Magick Trying To Formulate An Answer To A Question Image
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"

I was asked today, after someone picked up a copy of Gareth Knight's "The Abbey Papers"* from my bookshelf, so what is magick? I've always struggled to give a comprehensive answer to such a question, so each time I try I formulate it a little differently. The following is a very Thelemic definition of magick which I feel happy enough with so I thought I'd share the answer to my question with a larger audience through the blog.

MagickWhat Is It?In this world of reason and science it is difficult to bring ourselves to say we believe in that which cannot be seen, smelt, touched, heard or otherwise observed or measured. Here we find ourselves in the very scary realm beyond science, beyond what the world has taught us as real, yet in these realms beyond the veil of orthodox thought we find many others who for one reason or another have also been drawn on the journey down the rabbit hole. In the occult we find ourselves not in the company of the ignorant and insane, but in the company of intelligent and well-informed minds who make a strange sort of sense.

The author Arthur C. Clarke stated 'any sufficiently advanced science would appear to be magick to the less advanced observer', and as such it is neither supernatural, nor the unnatural, simply an aspect of nature currently unrecognised by conventional Western science. But why does this discipline, which by scientific standards is superstition at best, draw the minds of modern men and women?As wonderful as science is, and of the many questions it has answered, it has failed to answer all questions, and it has failed to quench mans desire to look beyond what he can see and touch. Our search for spirit is something inherent within each of us and shows a subconscious knowledge of the force of deity in our lives.

In the occult path we approach these questions methodically, recognising we cannot see or measure deity, but we can see the exertion of spiritual energy, which we actively work with.Rudolf Steiner referred to the occult as Spiritual Science and the esotericist Aleister Crowley stated 'our method is science, our aim is religion'.The term occult means hidden knowledge and our work with that which cannot be seen shall bring us to a deeper and more fulfilling understanding of the hidden nature of the universe than any other.

Western esotericism is the vehicle through which I and many others choose to experience the spiritual sciences and due to the wide expanse of the esoteric tradition I focus on the Western esotericism and magick.

Magick is, by the definition of the occultist Aleister Crowley, '...the art and science of causing change in conformity with will'. Certainly upon first glance this definition would seem to say all willed or desired acts are magickal but Crowley had a special understanding of the term 'will'.By Crowley's definition 'will' is the most high and perfect expression of the purpose of the individual. This was expressed as 'Do what thou wilt be the whole of the law', the causing of change in accordance with will is the entirety of the human purpose. This statement was supplemented by "love is the law, love under the will". Every action led by the higher will is an act of union between the individual and the higher purpose or cosmic will, of which the individual and their individual actions when properly led, form a unique and vital part.

Magick is therefore the art of active spiritual science, working with the cosmic forces to cause change in accordance with Will.And of its methodologies? Magick as we understand it in the Western esoteric tradition is a discipline of rigorous daily activity involving combinations of self discipline, meditation and ritual.

The purpose of these devices is an open dialogue with the deeper aspects of consciousness, and through this medium an ultimate dialogue with the super consciousness, or cosmic will. This can and has been referenced variously by different groups and individuals, but its essential nature is the same.

The art of magick goes beyond the bounds of devotion or mere knowledge of the existence of the cosmic and divine hierarchies, it is the active spiritual experience of working with and manifesting the cosmic will.Yes, certainly the techniques of ritual, meditation and so forth could be considered magick in a less philosophical and more material/manifest sense, but these methodologies are a bridge to the cosmic will and a means through which one can manifest it and should not be considered in any way a lesser block of the work of the esotericist.

Magick is the great work, of which every man and woman has their own unique role to play.

"Love is the law, love under will"

*which is highly recommendable

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The True Nature Of Golden Dawn Lineage

The True Nature Of Golden Dawn Lineage Image
Yesterday Nick Farrell wrote an article trying to rationalize his repeated profanation of "oath bound" Golden Documents. I considered this worthy of several hours of my time to refute, so that younger Golden Dawn initiates in our community would not be misled by Mr. Farrell's bad example, and to provide a positive role model for the traditional value of secrecy in initiatic traditions, including in the Golden Dawn. You may read this article on the Golden Dawn Blog here.

Mr. Farrell replied with yet another long "lineage rant" Alpha et Omega. The Golden Dawn community, of course, grew bored with Mr. Farrell's attack rants long ago, that have even tainted the feigned objectivity of his otherwise fine books.

There is no need, therefore, to waste time refuting such nonsense in detail yet again, as such screeds have been refuted over and over for nearly two decades already.

Let it suffice to say that, despite frequent and thorough refutation, Nick Farrell today still fails even to grasp what lineage means for a spiritual tradition like the Golden Dawn. Farrell mistakenly assumes that Golden Dawn lineage is like the formal lineage of Freemasonry, which amounts to little more than successions of paper charters.

The Golden Dawn, however, is a spiritual tradition, and thus lineage for the Golden Dawn, contrary to Nick Farrell's fundamental misunderstanding, is not at all like that of Freemasonry, but instead more closely resembles the lineages of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, which are also "spiritual" lineages.

Golden Dawn lineage, as do all of the great spiritual lineages of the world, carries with it sets of spritual practices that lead to specific spiritual realizations, as do as the Dharma transmissions of Buddhism.

A perfect example of Golden Dawn spritual lineage, are the secret magical practices of the Hermetic tradition just communicated by the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the Golden Dawn to the Second Order of the Alpha Omega. As I mentioned in my recent article here, this spiritual lineage includes the initiatic secrets of the magical systems only touched upon in Cornelius Agrippa's", De Occulta Philosophia, "that were only alluded to in the profaned Golden Dawn material published by Crowley and Regardie. This is the first time that the actual magical practices have been transmitted to any Golden Dawn order.

This Hermetic spiritual lineage also includes a great deal more, which I am not at liberty to disclose publicly at this time. I may only mention that this Hermetic spiritual lineage also includes a complete system of Chaldaen elemental and astrological magic, available exclusively in the Second Order of the A.O.

When it comes to spiritual traditions, lineage without the requisite spiritual practices is worthless, and the true reason why Nick Farrell continuously attacks the Alpha Omega is to divert attention from the fact that Farrell has nothing at all to offer his Golden Dawn students, except for well known and published material.

Readers interested in examining a more thorough refutation of one of Nick Farrell's typical lineage rants, should read "Golden Dawn Lineage, Nick Farrell and Historical Revisionism" on the Golden Dawn blog [].

Readers seeking more detailed information about the true nature of Golden Dawn lineage or about the vast Hermetic, Rosicucian, and Golden Dawn lineages held by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Rosicrucian Order of A.O., will find it on our website here, here, and here. and on the website of the Golden Dawn Research Center [].

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