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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Imperial Arts' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, June 29th, 2017
8:41 am
Progress and Development
I prefer to tell people about how I did something, rather than to tell them about how they can do something. It is my understanding that the people who can relate to my experiences in some way can figure things out for themselves and do their own thing their own way after taking mine into account. I don’t have anything to “teach” these people, they follow their own course as do I. Even so, there are plenty of people who want to be instructed.

The last century or so has seen the unprecedented rise of diverse esoteric orders. Most of these take inspiration from religious and political societies, and so it should not be terribly surprising that these orders lean towards religious devotion and internal disputes. The overwhelmingly popular alternative is to simply ignore participation in these societies and follow a self-guided course of practice; but here I would like to offer some thoughts on organized development in conjunction with the work of others.

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None of this work should be regarded as a skill or hobby to be taken up or set aside as one might do with a guitar or a set of wood-crafting tools. Whether great or small, the effort to practice invocations of spirits will inevitably push life in a new direction which does not easily waver in its course. The magician becomes a part of something beyond his control, and surviving in such a position demands a kind of negotiated peace. If successful, the work should result in major and permanent changes in the life of the magician, and these are signs of progress more than any subjective faculty which regular practice might appear to produce.
Monday, June 12th, 2017
1:53 pm
The Legend of King Solomon
I write this post with two purposes in mind. First, to advertise my illustrated children’s book, The Legend of King Solomon, containing 30 of the most beloved tales of this mythic monarch. Second, I would like to address some ideas about how to get into more serious dimensions of magic and what to expect from it, and for this I will refer to topics in the children’s book.



http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-legend-of-king-solomon/paperback/product-23112365.html


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Far too much effort is applied among modern students of ceremonial magic towards understanding the meaning of symbols. The work of a magician is always in some way mysterious, and so it is of no account to have a better explanation of it than that offered by someone else. As well, far too little attention is paid to the role of the magician and the kind of objectives which are chosen for the work. It would ruffle no feathers to describe magic as an act of will, and in the Solomonic system that will is represented as one with broad responsibilities.

The magical literature attributed to King Solomon presents the magician as a person of temporal as well as spiritual power. The scriptural account of Solomon describes him as a ruthless dictator, a skilled diplomat, and a person of worldly appetites. Whereas Waite speaks of the grimoire magician as “poor, proscribed, envious, ambitious, and having no capacity for legitimate enterprises,” the tradition of Solomon is to search for authority by wisdom, not to cheat fate and gain special advantages.
Saturday, May 20th, 2017
9:14 pm
Holy Orders
At some point in the development of a magician, it becomes apparent that most of the literature on the subject is geared towards highly religious people. I find this amusing, and sometimes a little frustrating, as most magicians gravitate toward the occult as an alternative to mainstream religion, or as an escape from it. I write this post for those who aren’t quite comfortable with going to Sunday Mass, but who also aren’t ready to become a Shamanic Buddhist Druid.

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I write all of this for the sake of addressing what I call “thematic” elements of magic, in this case the direct involvement of religion in the rites and ceremonies of the grimoires. To be brief, I might say that a magician can be irreligious or devout, but an irreverent magician is rarely respectable. I believe it is important to not permit the religious aspects of the practice to overwhelm or displace the magical aspects of the Art, but it is good to recognize a few points on which they agree.

The central agreement between the grimoires and religion is that the grimoires teach communication with beings of religious significance. They are spirits, gods, demons, all the ghosts and djinn of the invisible world, and we are mortals who presume to treat with them; but ultimately everything is ruled by God Almighty. Some grimoires demand a small degree of actual cult participation, but even the Red Dragon insinuates that you are interrupting Midnight Mass and not leading the choir there.
Monday, May 15th, 2017
10:22 am
Stop Trying to Get Rich
Most magicians are poor. That’s OK, most of everyone is poor, and among those poor people, many are happy about their lives. I am sick of seeing the majority of magicians running around chasing after the nearest dollar every time they step into the circle. This post is intended for those who find themselves continually searching for the better Money Spell.

So you have called upon Bune, made sixteen different Jupiter talismans, and have tried Commanding Oil from the rootwork store in an attempt to get more customers at your Etsy shop; but you’re still broke.

Let me offer two simple suggestions.

1. Instead of trying to become wealthy, aim at becoming successful. Become a better musician, a better artist, a better athlete, or a better anything, and apply your magic toward that end. There’s no guarantee that you will become a high-income celebrity, but you will at least have something real upon which to base your appraisal of life.

In terms of planetary magic, Solomonic pentacles and the like, branch out into work with Mars and Mercury instead of Jupiter and Venus. Set yourself on a path of productivity and effective communication, rather than worrying over the supposed end-result of being the rich guy with a cute girlfriend.

Once you have decided that you will do something wonderful with yourself rather than merely try to accumulate enough cash to buy whatever some other person has made, get to work on that. They say nobody is perfect, but most people (myself included) are very far from it, and it takes work to avoid being a loser. Apply those Mars conjurations toward gaining vitality and reducing unwelcome health issues, and use those Mercury talismans to gain skills in diplomacy.

2. Do something really weird. Magic is not, at least in my opinion, something that should be merely an advantage for the otherwise ordinary person. It should elevate your experience of life into something beyond that which the average person can access. A magician should be inspiring in some way, whether for good or ill, and not just the guy who happens to win slightly more often than the boring guy next door.

It is not enough to have a skill, to be doing well at a hobby or career. In order to really develop as a magician, you have to explore a bit outside the comfort zone and attempt to do what mere mortals cannot. You may fail, and fail again, but if you do not make an effort to try, you are wasting your time as a magician. Open portals to the demonic realm, try to levitate, lay siege to a nearby town, go on treasure hunts, anything that calls to you on a deep and personal level as “the kind of thing magicians ought to do.”

It is essential in doing these weird things that you break out of whatever grimoire or curriculum you are using. The magic you explore should be something of your own design, at least in part, and it should be important to you as a personal goal.

Finally, do not allow wealth (or lack thereof) to dominate your appreciation of magical arts.
Sunday, May 14th, 2017
2:31 pm
Treasure Hunts
The grimoires are full of interesting things to accomplish: get rich, become famous, acquire hidden knowledge, and a variety of other items along those three primary themes. Despite this, I very often meet grimoire conjurors whose lives are not interesting. I write this post for them.

When was the last time you went out looking for treasure with the aid of spirits, spells, and divinations?

If the answer is “Never,” I want you to consider why you have never done so. I would be willing to bet that the main reason most people have never done anything of the sort is their lack of faith in success. That would be a fair assumption, but if it were not just on the edge of the impossible, it would not be very impressive as Magic.

I would like to tell you of my adventures on three treasure hunts, each involving the aid of a Familiar Spirit, seeking treasures guarded by Purson, Vassago, and Astaroth.

The Golden Cavern has been amply described elsewhere, but briefly I should restate the incident for those who are unfamiliar with it. Following directions of a spirit, I located a vein of gold ore in Northern California that required a long, steep climb to access. At one point in the ascent, I was warned of an unseen hazard by the Familiar Spirit. I was not warned of the several armed men on the ridge across from the site, who opened fire, and I was not warned of the disasters and personal dangers following the discovery.

I was unable to get anything resembling details from Vassago about the Mormon Gold in Nevada, and resorted to the Familiar Spirit. This revealed several geological features to follow, and the spirit did not indicate that this would involve a climb of more than a thousand feet directly upwards with a deep pit of sand at the top. Despite detecting the “gold” signal from the pit, the site was abandoned due to fading light and a lack of a means to excavate the sand.

In seeking the Skull of St. Nick, I was given directions to seek the signs of water on the exterior of a building in a precise spot, and the direction to go downwards from there. Upon exit of the building, in the exact place described, there was a water drain and a sort of small door which would have been hazardous to enter.

In all three cases, the spirit direction was confirmed, and yet in no case was I ever able to make myself master of these spirit-guarded treasures. Nonetheless, I have scaled cliffsides, explored ancient sites and trails, and have really pitted myself physically and mentally against some huge obstacles, even gunshots. If I had simply said to myself “Nah, that won’t work,” I would be in the same position financially today, but I would have missed out on the adventures. I would also not have the confirmation that the spirit could in fact reveal true items beyond my knowledge, although none of them were particularly useful in the ways I desired them to be, and all failed to mention inherent dangers and drawbacks.

Perhaps someone will come along who is willing to actually do this sort of thing and have a treasure to show for it. I am certain that some exist, and I would love to see others attempt to uncover precious things long lost or hidden.
1:58 pm
Books of Magic
Unless you grew up chewing on a used smartphone, you probably remember a time when occult books were not as easily obtained as they are today. Major bookstores might stock a few items between the Astrology and Self Help sections, and your local library might have had a copy of the Grimoire of Armadel or The Sacred Magic of Abramelin, but serious occult lore was kept a dark secret until the mid 1990s.

I decided to write this post after overhearing a conversation between two young people debating which occult books to acquire. One was telling the other to simply go somewhere and download everything for free, which long-time readers know drives me up the wall. As I see things, if a person cannot afford to buy a book on ceremonial magic, there is very little chance that he can afford to use it. The counter-argument that usually appears is that there are so many things to read, and it would cost a fortune to actually pay for them. Yes, it can be expensive to build a library, but I would like to suggest an alternate strategy.

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I think that at some point a person must decide upon a book or a school of practice, or invent one, and then consider that as a personal form of magic. It makes sense to put a bit of thought and study into that choice of definition, but it is best to go ahead with it at some point and see where it leads, regardless of whether you have the details perfectly understood.
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
3:46 pm
Merchandise
http://www.cafepress.com/anonymoustruthers/12781836

This CafePress store has almost nothing to do with the journal, but some people might enjoy seeing my artwork in a frame, or on a t-shirt or keychain.

Do you need a "Dinosaur Time" wall clock, an Aleister Crowley case for your Kindle, Eye of Jupiter coaster set, or a necktie featuring the Lord of the Hidden Fire?

I'm pretty happy with my Golden Cavern mug.

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
11:59 pm
Appearances


For those who want to read some of my older writings, but who do not want to pay full cover price, here are about 500 pages of them for $10 as an e-book.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/occult-arts/ebook/product-22311441.html

I love Edgar Rice Burroughs books, but have found that the electronic reader world has left them largely neglected. The same can be said for "The Troll" by T.H. White and not a few other stories worth reading but poorly represented online. Please use this e book as an opportunity to sample full copies of the work, but I am confident that if you find them worthwhile to read fully, you would be better served by a print copy.



I had originally left my cover pages blank, so that the contents could be judged on their own merits. Some time has been taken to rectify the blank covers for Imperial Arts, Secrets of magic, and The Wizard's Workshop, but the content remains identical except for that of Secrets of Magic which have been fitted to the proper format.

I have also printed The Magan Text in casewrap hardcover, for those who dislike the washed out image qualities of the paperback. The Book of Lies is now available in paperback as well.

Helisol and The Great Key have been combined into The Magical Arts of Solomon the Wise, but the content of both texts included are unaltered. This is only for those who want a larger format hardcover, as the content is identical to the two paperbacks.

Those who wish to see me in person are welcome to attend the Seattle Esoteric Book Conference with me on September 27th and 28th.
Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
12:18 pm
New Publications
Greater Key

Lesser Key

Thanks to my new large-format scanner, I was able to transform these huge manuscripts into printable paperbacks. The first is the so-called Greater Key of Solomon, here named "The Great Key," containing all the ceremonies presented in their "secret order" so that the book can be followed start-to-finish.

The second is my personal edition of the Lemegeton, which I have titled "Helisol" after an alternate title of the original manuscript. Each of these are printed in full color, with vivid green and purple inks, profusely illustrated. These are printed just as they appear in my manuscript, with no typing or editorial notes.

They're expensive to produce. They each required literally years to complete, with pages full of luxurious india ink and gold-leaf.

Let me be very clear that these books are not reprints and copies of materials you might already own. They are my personal working texts, and I debated long whether to simply keep them to myself.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-great-key/paperback/product-22253879.html

http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/helisol/paperback/product-22254014.html

And for those who are fans of The Great Beast, here is my hardcover edition of The Book of Lies. Each page is fully illustrated in red and black, produced in 2004, with glossy dust jacket. The text is unaltered from the classic 1913 edition, without the commentary.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/aleister-crowley/333/hardcover/product-22253942.html

And finally, for those who are fans of the Simon Necronomicon, here is an illustrated edition of The Magan Text, with the spells of Maqlu as an appendix. Some of the illustrations were unfortunately washed out in portions by the scanner, but such is the fate of self published work.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-magan-text/paperback/product-22261693.html
Friday, August 30th, 2013
12:09 am
The Novice Arts
The subject of preparation for the ceremonies being so frequently asked, and with the new image features of Livejournal, I would like to describe the preliminary rites of conjuration applicable throughout the Lemegeton.

The idea that the 5th book of the Lemegeton is to be spoken as a consecration of the circle and ceremonial effects is not new. It appears explicitly in the text, in describing the prayers to be made upon entering the circle. There are ten such prayers for the circle itself, as well as others for the pentacles and triangle. The prayers of the circle are, I believe, of great importance to the ceremony as they contain the foundations of the system itself, the structure under which the whole idea of spirits and conjurations is expected to operate.

I am presenting these as photo-copies from my own working text, originally 14x22 inches, with the black text as the spoken portion, the red text as cipher for the Hebrew words in the circle, and the green as meditations on the themes indicated by these names.
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It is certain that every person will come to a slightly different understanding of these terms, and that an individual will develop his own understanding as time passes. It is also irrelevant, in my opinion, whether or not one really considers these things a part of some absolute reality or truth, so long as they are understood as elements of the Lemegeton system. I do not believe that it is at all important to understand the cultural context of the rituals, whether they are 16th century or prehistoric or entirely modern, so long as one has a well-considered grasp of the major theoretical and practical points of the system.

The ceremonies operate far more like a subpoena than a phone-call, and this is an aspect of the work largely ignored in the literature of the subject. The reader of these texts is told to do and say various things which will, hopefully, contact a spirit. Contacting a spirit is a relatively small matter, with little difference to be made between requesting Captain Howdy on the Ouija board and evoking the infernal princes in elaborate regalia. The ceremony, with its obscure complexities, is intended to do more than merely attract attention or to assault spirits with holy names and dire incantations.

The ceremony of conjuration is designed to effect an environment similar to proceedings in a court of law, wherein both parties -the spirit and the magician - assent voluntarily into covenants with one another. A covenant is much that a bargain or contract is not, and lest there be some confusion of terms it should be understood that the conjuration is designed to express the will or testament of the magician. It must be entered with a clear mind, having the facts of the matter in view, or else it is invalidated. The oath and covenant made by the magician is not with the spirit, but with God who is supreme over men and spirits alike, and this is another point entirely lost in modern presentations of demonology despite it being on the first page of the most common grimoires.

In the case of the circle invocations, one must decide what it means to be a "Servant of the Most High" and to establish an understanding of his relationship with the spirits and their Creator. The circle itself is like the chariot of Ezekiel, a series of concentric rings surrounded by fire with a throne in the midst and six-angled figures on four sides, and for the ceremony it is the means by which the magician is figuratively exalted in divine power. There is perhaps not an absolutely correct way of understanding these things, but if one has no understanding of them or if they are denied, then the whole work is a sham and the oaths and conjurations are of no account.

I should mention also that this is not, in my opinion, a matter of generating "subjective synthesis" or any kind of fundamental agreement with the supposed grimoire paradigm. Rather, it is an understanding that the manner in which the grimoire is designed to operate is through the establishment of covenants, and that without acknowledgement of the terms of the covenants one proceeds in futility whether he is pious or perverse.
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
11:54 pm
The Almadel
This is intended to be a brief review of the Almadel, from my own perspective and experiences. I realize that my writing can come across as an authoritative style, but in point of fact I am simply presenting my personal take on the subject as with all of these other things in the journal, and you are free to take it or leave it.

It is my opinion that the Almadel is the first of the "practical" arts that one should pursue in the Lemegeton series. This is due to the ease with which one can acquire the physical implements of the ritual, and to the way in which the spirits are approached. It is an introduction to evocation which allows the spirits to declare what is "right and proper" for them to perform. The magician is not encouraged to bring his preconceived notions of practicality to the ritual, seeking treasures and lovers or secret wisdom, but rather places himself before the spirits for the reception of their communication whatever that might be. The manifestations are not expected to be especially fantastic, the intent being merely to establish a genuine contact with intelligent beings of a benevolent nature.

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Those who view this art as a technical procedure, or who regard it from a literary/historical standpoint, are missing out on the real work. The magical art, even "slavish devotion to the instructions of the grimoires," is a personal and individual work. Aside from the craft work involved, there are philosophical concerns that arise in the course of the work which force one to make and stand behind bold decisions in regard to what one wants from life and how one wishes to obtain those things. I see so many people struggling to establish a practical paradigm which fits their personal motif, seeking out the most-original or most-complete ceremonies, and ever struggling to do what is indisputably correct or whatever is awesome in the eyes of their peers. In my own work, I have decided to simply choose this one particular system and explore it thoroughly, regardless of its provenance, and I have not found that to be limiting or opposed to anything that I have believed was good.
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
7:00 pm
Pauline Art: Abasdarhon
I am usually quite reticent concerning the other elements of ritual in the Lemegeton, this journal being exclusive to the Goetia with only a few tangential references to the other sections. There are several reasons for this, chief among them the fact that I feel the results of my other work are of a deeply personal nature and should not be brought up for public inspection. Though matters of less concern, my other motivations for silence on these arts stem from the fact that this journal has been an attempt to explore what is arguably the most interesting and popular of all ceremonial magic texts.
ArsP1

Table
For those who are less familiar with the Lemegeton, it is divided into five "books" and some of these have more than one section. These books are copied from Latin, Greek, and Hebrew source materials which are now lost, and the Lemegeton is one manifestation of the lineage which I have found sufficient for practice. My experiment has been to apply all of the instructions and explore what can or cannot be done if one were to confine the limits of occult practice to this one exemplary text. I believe that, due to being copied from Hebrew texts which read back-to-front and right-to-left, the books of the Lemegeton are printed in reverse order, so that one ought to properly begin with the Artem Novem, followed by the Almadel, the invocation of the Guardian Angel, the use of the Table of Practice, the two forms of Theurgy, and finally the Goetia which is invariably attempted before anything else.

The use of the Table of Practice occurs in the section called "The Pauline Art," which is an obscure reference to visionary and revelatory magic according to J. Peterson and his source Lynn Thorndike. This is described, by means of illustration, as a round table with a Star of David, in which there are seven pairs of concentric circles, one at each point and one in the center. Between each pair of circles are six esoteric figures representing the planets, and in the center of each smaller circle there is a planetary symbol. The Sun is in the center with a letter R (resh, probably intended as the solar face), and the other planets are arranged clockwise beginning with Saturn at the top. Beside the top angle, there is the name of Jehovah.

I made this table from a round piece of wood about 22 inches in diameter and one inch thick, engraved with a chisel and rotary tool, sanded and stained with darker areas in the concentric circles. This is set over a bronze table base about a foot high. For travel purposes, I used colored silk thread to embroider the same design on a linen cloth of equal size.
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Have we come to such a low point in civilization that it is necessary to bring in the celestial hosts to remind people to love their wives, care for animals, and give a brother a break? That is frightening, and I would hate to think that this was the real need for the spirit to make such revelations public. Perhaps the spirit wished to encourage people away from demonic evocation while not discouraging them from occult rituals. Whatever the case, such was the revelation and I have done my best to relate it faithfully.
Friday, June 14th, 2013
12:59 am
For the Inquisitive
I am not dead or inactive, but have relocated to a small island some 23 miles offshore.


This journal remains my personal work, not a professional publication, and as such it should be expected that I update it in a manner I deem fitting.


Overall, I have greatly appreciated the responses to this work, but have long felt that much of what has been taken from this journal is not what I feel are its strongest merits, and so I will take this time to reflect on what this work is and what it is not.


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I had debated whether or not to make further updates to this journal on account of the unsavory attention it has attracted at time despite the overall positive response. I will continue to consider that, but for the present I will only say that I am still alive and quite well.
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
6:03 pm
Goetia: Balaam #51
BLOM (Balaam) pronounced "Bal- 'om"
King Commanding 40 Legions
South


I have called the spirit of Balaam, who was the last holy prophet of the nations in the days of the Exodus, brother to the first king of Edom. In the grand tradition of the Bible repeating themes, Edom is the "wicked older brother" to Israel, its people the descendants of Esau. The Edomites had the blessings of the righteous, but lacked guidance. They were given a prophet, Balaam, and his corruption provoked the ruin of the whole nation over the course of centuries.

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Of all the things said by the spirit, the one that struck me the most was that none of these wide-range world events mean much to me, and that I am better off using my time to focus on my personal goals. The banking collapse has been imminent for years, and yet the fringe outlets cry every day that the destruction of all things convenient is scheduled to happen next week. When it fails to manifest next week, the clock has been pushed back another month, or another year, until you have a situation not unlike those who watch and wait for the Rapture. Things of that nature can and do happen, but it is more productive to live in readiness for what can be expected than to live in fear of what cannot be expected.
Friday, August 31st, 2012
11:15 pm
Goetia: Zepar #16
TzPR (hornblast) pronounced "Zep-ar"
Duke commanding 26 Legions
This account was written well after the fact, from memory and hen-scrawl notes.

I have often been dismayed by the vicious nature of human sexuality. When everything else is in place, this one thing will be out of sorts, and will be the one thing that causes every other well-arranged part of life to crumble into a heap. A person can be well-adjusted in every conversational way, skilled and diligent, healthy and comfortably fed, yet some minor sexual hang-up will bring no end of pain and worry.

Personally I feel exempt from this, and have never really endured emotional struggles about sexuality. I'm not difficult to please or outlandish in my desires, and while I am not prudish, my sex life stays undercover where it belongs. Apparently the modern trend is something of the opposite, where everyone is expected to know the details as if they were of any importance to others.

Although I'm not at all interested in what (or who) other people find desirable, the search for sexual fulfillment is an important part of the human psyche. I understand that it is important to fulfill the sexual impulses. For whatever reasons, these are not fulfilled in a significant part of the population. Where sexuality is carefully regulated, and seemingly functional socially, the security is counterweighted by outbursts of violent hysteria. Certain episodes of the Inquisition, and present-day East Africa, are excellent examples of what happens when sexuality is unduly restrained.

The sexual impulse is represented in the image of this spirit as a crocodile. It dwells in a predictable environment - you know where to go to find it. It can lay dormant for an age and be fed rarely, or subsist on small fish while the lucky ones take the zebra and the gazelle. It is thoughtless, implacable, and tough as nails, and presents itself on a sudden. It is furious and powerful when provoked.

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The incident with the woman has come and gone, according to him, and we await whether his true reward should manifest.
Saturday, March 10th, 2012
2:20 pm
Goetia #1: Bael
(BOL) pronounced "Ba-al"
King with 66 Legions
East

The conjuration was performed during a day of strong winds. I covered the windows and laid the circle out on the new bamboo floor. If you ever have the opportunity to install new flooring and expect to save money on the installation, just forget it and pay someone to do it for you. The process was very labor-intensive and caused my house to be out of sorts for weeks as I removed the old flooring and prepared everything else.

Further obstacles to the work included persistent illness and stacks of books. Only in the last week or so have I been able to clear the tens of thousands of books out of my house and into our new storefront. Between the books, being sick, working 60 hour weeks, and the flooring, I have had neither space nor time for these conjurations or much of anything else.

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The spirit was cordial enough, but at one point called my approach "rude," for which I suppose it might be accurate as I had more interest in getting to work than to make idle conversation on the exaltation of man. The figure was evaporated as steam in the wind, when the License to Depart was given, and I have set down the record as faithfully as my memory can provide.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
1:02 am
Goetia #29: Astaroth

OShTRTh (Astaroth) pronounced "Osh-tar-ot"
Duke Commanding 40 Legions
West
 
What is the meaning and purpose of magic? Is it a secret advantage? A remedy for inadequacy? A neglected birthright? I see magic approached in the modern world as if it were all of these things. One person will use magic to obtain securities and favors he would otherwise not obtain, while another uses it to perform crimes with impunity, and yet another seeks guidance or healing from it. Those who see magic as a tool for purely spiritual gain often neglect its practical value, and vice versa. If it is a sacred art, it would seem out of line to employ it for such dubious ends as career adjustments and relief from minor worries; but if it is not to be used for ordinary things then its overall value is greatly diminished. I sought, first and foremost, answers about the foundations of magic from this spirit said to guard great Secrets: to know the purpose of magic, its significance as an art or science, and its fundamental mechanisms.
 
From the very beginning, I received more than what I wanted; but in the end I was not disappointed.
 
 
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I had spent quite a long time with the spirit and thought that, having received answers and a "discipline" which might elicit more, it was time to say the License to Depart. The room was already thick with haze from copious amounts of incense that had been put on the dying coal, and whether the spirit disappeared or simply faded into the fog was not apparent. It said nothing at its departure, and I wondered if it had gone at all, so I repeated the License to Depart twice more before concluding the ceremony.
 
 
 
 

Monday, February 7th, 2011
12:08 pm
Uvall #47
OVLL (perpetrate) pronounced "Ouh-lall"
Duke commanding 37 Legions
West
 
Some of the spirits of the Vessel of Brass are permitted special privileges. Some are able to harm, betray, or deceive the magician, under particular conditions, and some are able to circumvent the securities and charges of the ceremony in ways that do not threaten the conjuration outright. These privileges make the conjuration process inconvenient, but do not prevent it from being effective. One must put up with the obstacles, or take account of the risks, in order to conjure these spirits.

This spirit is said to provide the love of women, or of an especial woman, and to produce friendship between friends and foes. It is also described as having the ability to tell the past, present, and future of a subject, and to speak "in the Egyptian tongue,"  though badly. Aleister Crowley identifies this as "sound but colloquial Coptic," though I am unsure if he meant that as a joke, whether he meant simply to explain that Coptic is the traditional language of Egypt, or whether he had personal experience with the spirit.
 
 
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"Adieu, foreigner," the spirit said at its going. The room filled with dust. Now I have always had dust, but this was a fierce dust that hung in the air for a long while and which was fine like the ash of spider silk. The doors were opened to the outside, and it was hours before the room cleared. The dust was entirely aerial: none could be collected or caught. My children were amused at the amount of it, and my wife was quite annoyed.
 
It was only with the greatest patience that I was able to make notes on what was said during this encounter. Much of it was lost completely, and what remains written here is a fragmentary version that is shown only to give an example of the way in which this exchange occurred. For a comparison, observe a foreign speaker for half an hour and attempt to take notes on what was said without any knowledge of the language. I had the sound of the speech alone, and that spoken in what might have been a perfect pronunciation or a peculiar accent, without any way to distinguish between the two and without sufficient time to sort the matter out on the spot.

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
12:59 am
Goetia: #61 Zagan

Zagan
ZYYPN (coin-forger) pronounced "Zye-fon"
King and President commanding 33 Legions
North and West
 
Sometimes the things described by occult literature appear to have no place in reality, or they appear to be plausible yet sit comfortably just beyond the realm of what is ordinarily considered possible. The books may instruct a magician, for example, to sandwich a magic square between to plates on the doorstep so that cheese will magically appear between the plates overnight; or they might say to bury a lobster and chant something from the Koran to manifest a spring of sparkling water. In the former case, it would be purely irrational to expect real cheese to suddenly pop into existence; but in the latter case there is a remote possibility that a spring may bubble out of the ground as that does happen in some places on occasion. Barring any mistranslations, like those of the infamous "Maine de Gloire" or Mandragore, an occult practitioner may feel at times that a given set of instructions is intentionally misleading, or that it may be pure bull concocted by idiots and crazy people.
 
As for the buried crustaceans, the experiment will have to be undertaken by someone who finds them less edible than myself, and I can attest to total failure on my own account in all attempts to manifest cheese from the void. Even if a person were in the absurd position of actually being in dire need of some cheese overnight, and had no way to get it, the fifth Abramelin Square of the fifteenth chapter of the third part will probably never produce the cheese on demand. The 61st spirit, Zagan, presents similar challenges. It is described as having the power to transmute wine, water, and blood into each other; to transform metals into coin; and to make fools wise. It is within the normal scope of possibilities for a foolish person to become wise, but metals being transformed into coin might be a stretch, and the transmutation of wine is a mythic power.
 
I came to the ritual prepared to investigate the powers of the spirit on the spot. I had a small malachite tray with grains of pure gold, and a large glass of water. I realized that it was likely the spirit could not simply transform gold nuggets into $10 war bonnet Liberties, but the idea that the spirit could transform the shape of the metal without affecting its substance was intriguing. Although it was beyond my original intention in conjuring the spirit, I was to learn something important about substance and shape from this encounter.
 
 
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I am not certain that I want to live in full sight of all of my difficulties, with the knowledge of their presence always among my decisions. That kind of knowledge, like the wings of ease offered by the spirit, leads to a decay of personal initiative. I am satisfied with having an idea of how to approach my faults so that I can be free from them on my own accord. This spirit was full of surprises, this last one certainly the best. I bid the spirit License to Depart and left the doorways open to discharge the incense.

Monday, October 18th, 2010
5:28 pm
New Paperbacks

Here are two new paperback books! 

  and  
 
The first is called Good Heavens! and deals exclusively with the practical elements of Astrology.
 
I often meet occultists who have a passing fascination with Astrology, but have no real knowledge of the subject. There is a distinction to be made between understanding the virtues of the signs and planets, and actually knowing the square root of squat about Astrology itself. This book is a very brief attempt to remedy that widespread ignorance, giving occultists a stable technique for creating natal charts and horoscopes without the use of a computer and without reference to tiresome pseudo-psychology. It does not contain everything you need to be a professional Astrologer, but it does contain the necessary calculation processes for astrological charts, and visual aids to finding the Zodiac constellations by sight.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/good-heavens/13031962
 
The second book, The Tablets of Destiny, is a simple presentation of planetary magic. The seven classic squares and talismans, along with more for modern astronomical discoveries, are described along with a step-by-step conjuration process. Those who wish to explore whether magical ideas and practices have validity may find in this book an inexpensive series of experiments that are not extremely difficult. Those who are well aware of these talismans may also find in this book a few ideas wherewith they can expand and develop their own occult practices.
 
I own thousands of books. I have more than thirty boxes, each a cubic meter, absolutely full of books. More can be found on shelves, in drawers, on the toilet, and often on the floor or furniture. I have read most of them, and those I have not read, my wife has. Most of these books are stolen. I'm perfectly happy with that, and stole some of them myself. Some were taken in sacks out of the back of foreclosed bookstores, some were escorted out of major chain stores in pockets, shirts, pants, or bags. At least twice as many as I now own have been given away. You should be able to deduce from this admission that I am somewhat sympathetic to those who want free literature.
 
I should also mention that I make no real money from these books. The sum total for all sales of all books, from the beginning, amounts to a few hundred dollars. I do not write these books for money, for prestige, or for any reason other than the vain hope that you enjoy my art and find the texts interesting or useful. The bulk of the cover price goes to the publisher, who even I must pay to get a copy for myself. I'm not going to give them away, but if you steal them, scan them, or cut me out of my two dollars, it doesn't cost me a dime.
 
If you have my books in file form, they are stolen. I prefer hardcopy books. In fifty years, you will probably not want to sit down for a late night tea with a file. You will not drag your Kindle all across Greenland just to keep a copy of "Clan of the Cave Bear" on hand. In 300 years, my books might be on a dusty shelf somewhere, but those enormous PDF databases will probably not exist. If you feel guilty for scanning or owning my stolen books, you can redeem yourself by actually reading the book instead of keeping it in a file on your computer to be casually skimmed and then traded like a baseball card.

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