Practical Magic

I recently traveled to the beautiful city of Detroit, MI for a Setian Gathering over a long weekend. After a fantastic three days of magical Exchange with a wonderful group of people, exploring a new city, I returned home eager to integrate what I had learned and experienced into my daily life.

Michigan Theater

My trip back to Austin was delayed, then rerouted, due to lightning storms in Houston, which in my highly charged and sensitive post-Gathering state seemed a beautiful synchronicity.  I arrived home to find that my luggage had been sent a different route, and, over the next 24 hours, my suitcase failed to turn up on my porch as promised.

I followed all the usual steps – phone calls to the airline and emails to their courier service. I mentally catalogued the items that were in the suitcase, including an irreplaceable gift from Magister James Kirby, who passed from this life last October. My black pentagrams of Set. An (extremely) antique ring given to me by my husband. The suitcase itself was a gift from my late mother.

 

After I lit some candles for Santa Muerte (because why the hell not?) I remembered a recent conversation I’d had with Lechuza Mundo, another Austin Setian, when she’d told me about a servitor that she and her husband had created, specifically for finding things. I sent her a text message, asking if XXXXX (name redacted) worked only for them, or could they ask on behalf of other people. She said she’d give it a try, so I sent her some photos of things that were in the suitcase.

45 minutes later, my luggage was dropped off on the porch.

FIND 1

Photo by Jason Eppink

I’ve been asked before about practical applications for magic. It’s super great to achieve a godlike state of being, striving for self-knowledge and refinement of the will. But what about the day-to-day life stuff? I feel it’s vital to remember and apply magical principles to everyday problems – not as a replacement for hands-on work, but to tip the scales of the universe in our favor. Magic can not only amplify who you are, it can strengthen the effects of what you do. It can make your hard work do more for you.

After my great results with requesting assistance from XXXXX (name redacted), Don Webb was kind enough to send me the following essay, with instructions for creating a servitor for my own household. I publish it here with his gracious permission.


 

The practice of creating servitors is pretty old – the first record we have is in Lucian’s short story, “The Lover of Lies” in 150 AD.  That story, via Goethe’s poem, “Der Zauberlehrling”  eventually became the story of Mickey Mouse and the magic broom in Fantasia. The basic ideas are there – programmed magic works and is therefore dangerous.  I love telling I*’s about Servitors – they get results and, since they’re so damn easy to screw up, will teach a lot of lessons.

Servitors are well represented in HooDoo and English cunning man magic, but became popular in the 80s in Chaos Magic  — and since we know that white guys invented everything, we’ll just go with that.

Like most methods, everyone has his or her way.  I’m going to share mine – your mileage may vary. However, the warnings should be noted, so that when you cross the line and screw up you can think how smart I am.  

Some people like to give the servitor a place to live – like a doll or a painting.  That’s ok, but NEVER use a living thing. Servitors should enjoy their lives, don’t make them robots.  DON’T leave them turned on all the time. They will do exactly what you tell them, so don’t chide them if you don’t like the results. I don’t tell everybody how to summon it.  Groups can create them as well.

Here is my 5 step system.  To illustrate I am going to make an entity to help me throw parties.  I’m going to call him Hardi (as in “Party Hardi!”). I like simple names that are similar to purpose.  You can use any name you like, but DON’T use departed relatives because you will confuse your intent.

  1. I obtain a sheet of symbolic paper – it could be papyrus, parchment, or even a grocery bag—it should be resonate with the purpose.  For Hardi I’m going to take a little piece of white cardboard that came from a packet that held birthday candles. I lay the card in front of me and I talk to it. “In a little while you are going to have your birthday Hardi.  You will have blissful sleep like a cat in a sunbeam until I call you. I’ll call you by making the Horns with my left hand and saying, “Party Hardi” Here is what you can do: Help find me great food, drinks and party supplies for cheap, make the right people want to come to my parties, make sure they arrive and depart safely, keep everybody chill while they’re partying, and help them get any secret messages I’m trying to send. Every time you do a deed you will feel pleasure and you will be fed by the doing.  Later when the party’s over I’ll light a candle and thank you. Then you will grow in power and intelligence as you dream about what you’ve done.” Note I used general terms like “right people” or “chill.”
  2. I will take a red sharpie and make a sigil out of the letters HARDI  — I’ll connect them together and add flourishes like pentagrams or tridents.  It should look magickal. When I’m done, I’ll have a spoken formula – it could be anything from a phrase from the Greek Magical Papyri to a simple, “I Setnakt call you into being Now!”  In this case I’m going to sing the Happy Birthday song.
  3. I launch the sigil.  This is the process of emotional and physical charging.  I could light a candle flame and stick my finger in it, ride a roller-coaster and scream out Hardi’s name, wait a really long time to pee and then say Hardi’s name when I got relief, or let the world choose a moment for me like yell Hardi’s name after a jerk cuts me off on I35.  Orgasm is most people’s preferred method – when the inevitable moment occurs stare at the sigil and shout the name.
  4. I transfer the Sigil into the Hidden realm.  Shortly after launching. I light the black flame, say the Invocation of Set, and then say a simple formula like, “Hardi with this Fire I send you into the magickal realm where you will sleep until I call you.”  I burn the sigil and later toss the ashes into the air.
  5. The first time I summon HARDI I am very deliberate – doing it at night, making the devil’s Horns with my left hand and I call him three times.  I will have a red candle in front of me that I will light to honor him after the party is done – and I make sure that I use that candle for no other purpose.  After the party – unless it was an unmitigated disaster –  I light the candle and tell him what a great job he did. Then I tell him to have pleasant dreams until I call him next.  If it was an unmitigated disaster, I light the candle, thank him and then tell him to have pleasant dreams. Then I throw that candle away. I do not make another servitor for this purpose.  After the first time I am more casual in my summoning, but I am always very deliberate in my thanks afterward.

Because people have good results with servitors, they make too many.  Go easy with it.

 

Mehen Group

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I am excited to announce the formation of the Mehen Group: Austin.  Inspired by successful Mehen Groups in NYC, Ottawa, and Tampa, Austin seems like a logical next step.

Mehen Group is an in-person discussion group, designed to provide meaningful dialogue about the Left Hand Path, as well as accurate information about the Temple of Set.

Meeting locations are revealed by RSVP only. Please email inquiries to bullofombos@gmail.com

Xeper.

On Difficulty

The forces of comfort and self-delusion can be incredibly tempting. Each of us has made the choice, at many points throughout our lives, to heed to call of Runa and pursue a more difficult, complicated, even painful path of willed, conscious evolution.

This monologue is one of my favorite pieces of commentary on the concept of self-election.

 

A Magical Reliquary

At the beginning of 2017, the Bull of Ombos met at the Blanton Museum to explore a small exhibit of Andy Warhol art, film, and archived materials, following up with a lively discussion of renown, fame, and how we can Work to create our own legacies. I was particularly struck by the discovery of Warhol’s time capsules, which were new to me.

Warhol packed away around 300,000 pieces of personal ephemera into over 600 boxes, which have recently been opened and catalogued by the Andy Warhol Museum.

Time Capsule 3

Image via NPR.

Time Capsule 4

Image via BBC.

I started to think about the small items of magical significance that pass through each of our lives over time. All the notes, stones, cards, and found objects that take on so much potency because they were with us at an important time and place, and how these items become imbued with such mystery and power.

There are some of these items I’ve been holding on to for years, and countless others lost to time. So when I couldn’t stop thinking about those time capsules, I went out and bought a simple black craft box, and started a 2017 time capsule for the Bull of Ombos Pylon.

Throughout the year, I added any magical items that felt significant to me, and reminded the members of the Pylon to hold on to any things they might want to add. At our final meeting of 2017, the box was placed on the altar during our Working, and each person in attendance placed something inside.

2017 time capsule

As magicians, we can choose to manage our own legacies by paying mindful attention to what it is we create and put out into the objective universe. Playing an active role in building your Name is unquestionably an important form of self-creation, giving us the opportunity to choose which of our works and deeds will represent us when we cannot represent ourselves.

This may take the form of art, writing, music, or one’s initiatory teaching, all of which are distinctly personal creations, imbued with the Essence of the magician, with the potential to help that magician transcend the limitations of time and space.

But our magical objects need not be 1,000 page grimoires or an epic concept album. Even small collections like our Pylon time capsule, sealed and preserved, will carry the Name and magic of the Bull of Ombos into the future. The capsule holds some of the magic we created in 2017, small items empowered with big memories, waiting to be discovered again.

 

How to Stay Awake in a Digital World

The following is a post from Bull of Ombos Pylon member Bishop Crowley.

In today’s world, one need only look upon the electrical god(s) to see how utterly asleep the world is. Facebook likes, Instagram followers, and anything else that serves to detract from the truth now drive human life. We live in a world of spoon fed information, twisted news sources, and not so social media. What happened to the days of direct personal human interaction, when people ventured outdoors to play and socialize, when education and knowledge were important?

Electronics and the social media outlets have effectively lulled most of the world to sleep. During this time of unconsciousness, it is easy for people to overlook the truth. This truth is that there are only half truths. When something is happening in the world there is a bigger story than the one that is generally being distributed. There are two sides to a single coin and the key is learning to look at both sides, and to look at the thin sliver of ultimate truth between the two sides.

This way of looking at information applies to everything from one’s career, to family life, finances, and politics. Social media is an algorithm for everyone and everything. If that algorithm detects that a user likes certain information, and leans one way or another, then that is what they will be fed through streams, posts, and ads. Learning to see this truth and the patterns can result in a consciousness that was once hidden.
Social media will one day become the major source of information for the world. This is already happening if one stands back and analyzes the trends. YouTube is getting into news and live television as is Facebook, Google, and Apple. In 10 years, I would expect that the majority of the news and information will be written, streamed, and viewed all online. This opens the doors wide open when it comes to the interpretation and digestion of information. This will create great distortion for those who lack the ability to sift through the data objectively. Now is the time to start learning to open your eyes and to seek out the truth behind the smoke.

As Setians we choose to rip the covers from our eyes and awaken. We mold the world around us rather than be influenced or manipulated like puppets by societal forces outside ourselves. I am often reminded of a scene in one of my favorite music videos where a simple, but profound statement is displayed on the bottom of the screen. “Behold the Demi-God, he wields the power to entrance and enslave.” It goes on to say, “Through industry, man can learn to harness the same power, and attain all that which he desires.” In this sense, a Demi-god is someone/something that creates things that enslave; think Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs, men who have created technologies that do indeed enslave.

What this statement tells us is simple – those who control the industry control the masses. Today’s industry is media and the light-speed dissemination of information. The evolution of media has been a long time in the making. Julius Caesar is credited with starting the first “newspaper” which was basically a stone tablet with information written on it. The tablets were then placed strategically throughout a city. The next evolutions to follow were magazines, radio, television, and of course the Internet. Unlike its predecessors, the Internet is so ingrained in daily life that it is impossible to remove oneself from it completely. Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, all impress views and opinions upon the masses.

Once one learns to see these things for what they are, they can learn to use them as a tool. I personally unplugged from everything that had to do with social media for about a year. During this time, I found that I was happier, and had more time to work on personal projects. As a form of Initiation this was profound. I was no longer worried about posting pictures, hitting the like button, or reading about something that someone else did. I was able to create. I actually manifested more usable time during the day. My disassociation from social media allowed me to take an objective look at the world. By unplugging I could form my own opinions without the constant avalanche of information.

Now I am ready to venture back into the world of social media, but with a different purpose and from a new perspective. Social media is a beneficial tool if it is used as such. I choose to use social media to my advantage and to the advantage of the Temple of Set as a whole. I have created a website, a Twitter account, a Facebook profile, and an Etsy shop, all of which are intertwined as my single Internet presence. I jumped head first into the realm that I cast away a year ago. The reason is simple – I need a place to promote my ideas, my creations, and to advance my Xeper. It’s strange in that my first initiatory thoughts on social media were to get away from it all together. Doing so gave me the perspective and the knowledge to see the next phase of Initiation, which is to create and slowly work towards self-independence. I want to use these technologies to break free from the normal 9-5 career, in so, I will be dependent upon myself, and none other. If I can do what I love to do, then as the saying goes, I will never work a day in my life.

I went full circle on an idea, but rather than start over on the same path, I am on a very different road that will prove beneficial to my initiation. Social media can be good, and it can be terrible, depending on how one decides to utilize it. Take news and articles that are found on social media sites and cross-reference them. Make sure the sources are reputable, and don’t be pulled into gossip. Learn to recognize the sources of reliable information. In media as in life, people only show you what they want you to see. As a Setian, I learned and continue to learn to find the source. I want to know why Fox, CNN, Yahoo, or some other outlet wants me to see something. Am I getting the full truth? One good question to ask oneself is “Am I awake?” Am I actively using my intellect to decipher and understand what is given to me, or am I just allowing it to permeate my mind? If it is the latter, then this is the time to learn to look deeper and analyze.

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Bishop Crowley’s personal blog can be found here.

His Etsy shop can be found here.

Sacred Solitude

WINTER

Photo by Cleo.

Sacred Solitude is a new Setian blog, specifically for our counterparts in the far northern regions of the globe.

How does a frozen landscape combined with super-short periods of daylight inform an initiates worldview? Read and find out! (We’ll be here enjoying our 50F “winter” in Central Texas!)

What is a Pylon, Anyway?

PYLON1

Here is a fantastic blog post from our High Priest, on the Pylon system within the Temple of Set, including information about what a Pylon is, how a Pylon is organized, the purpose of a Pylon, what Pylon meetings are like, and a little bit about the legacy of the mighty Bull of Ombos Pylon.