Welcome to the Paradox

September 5, 2011

Nieuwe A’dammer

Filed under: Uncategorized — eleventhustwo @ 2:09 am

I’ve successfully set up shop in the city of sin—a top-floor apartment with a panorama of the metroscape.  The streets hum with that ruddy electricity of BABALON, as infused to the bone as the Dutch veins to the sea.  The streets are alive with challenges, as if the common sense option is a stubborn and well-reasoned argument of intense responsibility and self-interested initiative.

This pragmatic and mischievous mentality sees itself played out everywhere, and at every turn a gamble just to make things interesting.  A city built around canals with no guard rails.  A city built on piles and drains around a few artificial hills at the mouth of a river.  A banking hub that keeps the creeping ocean at bay with locks.  An entire community with rarely a curtain, traffic light, helmet, or free ride.

Alarm stalks the streets with a shitty smile.  In this free space created by tolerance (or maybe loopholes) and social stricture, risk dances freely in the streets.  A popular myth about the herald of Amsterdam is that the three St. Andrews crosses represent three major disasters in the city’s history: fire, flood and plague.  The whole city is so old and so temporary, so precious and so doomed to eventual failure, that every day matures like it could last forever at the end of the world.  Behind the smoke and mirrors, abandon traipses the glare-hidden side of the razor’s edge with hungry doom.

And yet the Dijkziel cries its story out from the streets every day, whether we recognize the soul’s speaking or not.  The bow-tied bank bureaucrat who evenly rides his bike through traffic with a straight back shares the cobbles with the languorous bawd, and they both walk through clouds of contraband to get to work.  Yes, even at 8:30 AM.  They might even both frequent the same bread and cheese shop.

This is also one of the smallest large cities I’ve ever been to.  Amsterdam is only 700,000 residents.  Granted, the tourists probably boost those numbers significantly, but this is still not a very large city.  In that sense, the small town mentality makes sense.  Given enough time, you’ll see people you know everywhere when you’re going around the city. Most stores close by 6 PM, and only some groceries are open until 10.  Most bars close by 1 or 2 AM at the latest, and there are only a select few clubs that admit people much later than that.  Even the coffeeshops close by 1 AM.

These things are all peripheral, though.  The Magic is infused into every cobble.  Every single thing there is totally intentional, totally planned.  Every tree, every plot of land, every structure has been planned and positioned.  And in a city so fantastically liminal—in between the ocean and the plains, on the lip of disaster in a stone bowl—the currents erupt unbridled.  The Metropolis a Chapel Perilous all its own; challenging and encouraging, responsible and wanton, at liberty and restrained, breaking down and building up, beautiful and temporary, startling and reassuring.  Diabolical and divine.

This is the type of environment the Work perfects itself in.

Pax et Lux,



Leontocephaline | Ma. Lux א

December 15, 2010

Update Approaching Winter Solstice

Filed under: Magic, Notes, Reflections — eleventhustwo @ 11:03 pm

I set up the Studio at home yesterday.  We haven’t totally decided on that name yet.  Rachel was there, she sat mostly in silence, alternately snooping on padded paws and playing a wonderful counterharmony to my blurry productive positivity.  Sitting here now I realize it as a Magical Space, a convergence of powerful primordial forces at Play.  The Work Bench, the Stool, the Coffee Table, the Rocking Chair, the Bust, the Arm Chair, the Stereo, the Record Collection, the Lamps, the Bath, the Lantern, the TV, the Internet.

The room of my conception.  Interestingly, the Bed used to be just about where the Work Bench is now.  The Bath is the same room my Mom got sick in, twenty maybe thirty times a day, for most of the time she was pregnant with me.  The brass bust of my grandmother, an object far older than I, sits beside her Lamp and her husband’s Arm Chair, and a blown up slice of Gustav Klimt’s Poppy Fields.  Above the Rocking Chair is a print of John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Iris.

This is the room I first remember betraying my parents’ trust in.  This is the room where I first jumped on a Bed.  This is the room I first watched Akira in.  This is the room where I first heard King Crimson.  This is where I slept away from nightmares.

It’s dishonest to exclude that this is the room my Dad ran off in, the room where he floated away into a virtual world.  But this room has been cleansed, metamorphosed since then.  New paint, no carpet, cleaned up and cleaned out, new fixtures for the Bath and new blinds for the Windows, a new purpose and a new vibe.  We’re trying out a few new working titles; “The Studio,” “The Lounge,” and “The Workshop” are all in the running, thus far.

The Grimoire is moving along quite well, developing both structurally and organically.  Invocations and evocations have been moving along quite well, and soon perhaps we will have peer-edited results.  After an Invocation of Selênê, an Invocation of Gê and an Invocation of Ennoia, a concert of which I have dreamt for more than a decade is finally happening (and I have tickets!), my employment scenario is opening up, and after an invocation of Helios and an Invocation of Logismos, my more animal needs and desires started to align with real potential for Serious Gratification (read: ::lascivious grin::).

Not to mention the wonderful Tarot Project I’ve become involved in, right From the Horse’s Mouth.  The progress in R&D there is simply astounding, truly.  There is tumult stirred as well–drama, high emotions, high tides–in the rising dark.  But is it not that with every generation of Light there is also the resulting awareness of Darkness?  Can there really be one without the other?

I think we know better than that.

Pax et Lux,


November 25, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — eleventhustwo @ 7:12 pm

Horrible news everyone!!

The Dutch Library for Hermetic Philosophy (Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica or BPH) is in danger of being dismantled and sold!  The new conservative government in the Netherlands has cut funding to a number of cultural programs, and the library is under serious threat of being broken up and sold off to the highest bidder.  Already an extremely rare manuscript has been put up for auction at Sotheby’s.

Stop this travesty against humanity before it destroys one of the most important storehouses of Western cultural heritage!  SAVE THE BPH!

Read the comments by Wouter Hanegraaff, see the pics of the library, sign the petition!




Pax et Lux,


October 8, 2010


Filed under: Reflections — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — eleventhustwo @ 4:43 pm

Sometimes, when I was a child, I would dreadfully grasp grand conspiracies about my family.  In my more fitful moments of delirium, they were smiling cannibals fattening me up for the inevitable day that they would devour me.  Or maybe a clandestine cabal of wizards, controlling pawns in midnight strikes against some exiled evil, and waging furious battles against rival cabals while I am left mundanely uninformed.  Or perhaps agents in some sweeping government sleeper cell which would one day go active and bag me away in an unmarked van.

In my more lucid moments I would realize the laughable improbability of it all, but no matter how my rational mind chortled at the thought, my body would react with a clenching, palpitating hyperaware adrenaline sensorium.  I would try and try to dissuade myself of the ridiculous phantasm, but no amount of positive counterthought would erase the panic of toothy smiling faces, pinched cheeks, mysterious midnight drives, knowing looks and the scent of secrecy.  I never wanted to admit it out loud, even though there was at least one sobbing admission in my childhood.  I knew it was wrong, and I never wanted to own that fear.  Even now, in my young adulthood, I think back on the teary rage of knowing I only eat to be eaten, and can’t help the momentary heaviness of breath, pounding chest and ringing about the head.

If I could say that my adult life is more lucid than my childhood, I could not say that my suspicions of conspiratorial menace have abated entirely, or even that they were undue.  Even now, in my safest sanctum, in my grown-up body with my grown-up done-school brain, I still know the quiet claws of paranoia rap upon my windows.  I still feel watched.  I still feel listened-in upon.

And it’s the “or even that they were undue,” part that gets me the most.  I ask myself, “How can you maintain the illusion of safety if you know it is an illusion?”  Sad part is I can only tell myself “Stop caring, it goes away,” and the adolescent under my grown-up brain smirks all jaded, with his cloves and his black clothes.  Does that same Band-Aid have enough stick left to work again? No, obviously not, and I might rebut myself, “Did it work the first time?”

So the question becomes now that you know–and you know you know–what’s going on and whose hands are in whose pockets, and you know they aren’t secret wizards, and you know they aren’t sleeper agents, and you know they aren’t cannibals, do you feel safe?

No, but now I own that fear.

October 7, 2010

LRP Reattributions

Filed under: Magic, Notes, Theory — Tags: , , , , , , — eleventhustwo @ 3:06 am

I have so much to write, but this begs writing first.  This is something that has tugged on my mind for quite some time (literally years!)  And needs writing down.

The attributions of the Archangels in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram are not, in my opinion, correct.  I’m sure there are legitimate Golden Dawn reasons for placing the archangels in the quarters they are in, but a wise woman revealed to me the origin of that section of the ritual.  It comes from one of the commonest and  most important of Jewish prayers, the Shema.  The original prayer contains far more than this, and in an orthodox setting it is a mitzvah to be repeated twice daily.  From a small portion of this prayer comes the original attribution of archangels to directions which inspired the GD version.  This original version goes:

At my right hand Michael, at my left hand Gabriel, before me Uriel, behind me Raphael; above me the Shekhina.

Now, obviously this is not an orthodox setting.  But the intent here seems very pointedly explicit, and here’s why.  The names of these angels are indicative of important qualities–titles just as much as names.  Through this lens, we can read this part of the LRP as:

At my right hand He Who is like unto God, at my left hand the Strength of God, Before me the Light of God, behind me the Medicine of God; above me the Presence of the Divine.

This makes practical sense for some very real reasons.  Most evident in my mind is the obvious connection between Uriel, attributed Tiphareth, and the actual Sun which rises in the East.  This much seems plainly obvious to me.  Everybody wants Who is like God to be their right-hand man, that much makes sense.

Now at the left hand is where things get interesting. Gabriel makes a better choice for the left hand position for a few reasons.  “גַּבְרִיאֵל” transliterated as: GVRIAL* shares the same root word as Gevurah, the sphere of Severity and the sphere from which the Qliphoth are born.  Placing the Strength of God at your left hand effectively removes this area of interest from your blind spot and places it in a position to be wielded meaningfully and respectfully.  It’s like giving this ritual its balls back.

For Raphael, when I say “Medicine of God,” I mean that in the strictest and most shamanic sense possible.  Knowing God’s own medic has your back on the pathway seeking Hir light can really put pep in your step, and help you abide times of trial.

I forward the suggestion that we go back, back before the GD, and put this ritual together from its component pieces again.  Until I get the time and materials, I will settle for re-attributing the Archangels, and starting to work around the kabbalistic cross.




*Having learned this in a conversational and academic setting, I have taken to universally transliterating Aleph as A and Ayin as , since these are more indicative of how they present themselves.  Aleph is the Ox, same as our letter “A” (which if you invert the capital letter bears a striking resemblance to an ox head for good reason), and Ayin is the eye (the letter looks like an eye, but the letter is pronounced with a partial glottal stop separating the two halves of the vowel like Hawai’i) which isn’t the same as our letter “I,” but I digress.

September 9, 2010

Total Peace, Eternal Bliss, Alone but for Creation

Filed under: Letter, Number, Symbol, Magic, Reflections, Writing — eleventhustwo @ 10:09 pm

I am the Heathen Recreator.

I am the loathed in Paradise.

I am he that walks alone by the southbound river.

I am the crawled up through Angelic Man;

I inhabit where angels had.

I am he who walks through plague.

This the delight of man divine in exile:

Total peace, eternal bliss, alone but for Creation.

Consort to Liberation, Master of the Engine of Illusions,

Eternal now by the light of angels.

I am the Heathen Recreator,

The crawled up through man divine.

I inhabit where angels had,

Total peace, eternal bliss, alone but for Creation.

High Night (from June 2, 2010)

Filed under: Reflections, Vision, Writing — eleventhustwo @ 10:09 pm

Wind under humid darkness carried

On low and listless lawless wing,

How slowly drunk aphotic speaks the heat.

It dances diaphanously buried

Behind the air.  This lighted star kenning

telling dragons pushing sky tides due east.

The Apotheosis Cataphatic–

Child, lightning eyes & mouth–sits in the

Garden getting high with the fireflies.

The other world filled in like it hadn’t,

And the patterns sang in harmonia

Of a land where the fire never dies.

Its light & love forever enchanted

By fay hand this night witnessed & counted.


Protected: Darkest Before the Pre-Dawn (April 10, 2010)

Filed under: Uncategorized — eleventhustwo @ 10:08 pm

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09/09/09 Part 1.5…via 09/09/10

Filed under: 999, Magic, Notes, Reflections — eleventhustwo @ 10:07 pm

This last year feels lost, like some kind of dream so easily forgotten upon waking.  It has been a painful year, to put it simply.  I laid wrestled down with ghafla for months, perhaps nearly the whole year.  The exhaustion set in place by the ritual day brought on a whole slew of negative side effects that, truth be told, linger to this day a year later.  After the rituals of that day, a deep exhaustion set in.  Coinciding with the rising of Autumn, things did not get better as things got colder and darker.

The day after Halloween of last year was the very last I smoked tobacco, and if complete honesty is my goal, I would have to say that this is perhaps the one thing that went completely right in the last year.  A serious and mysterious illness struck me down starting the night of November 1st, and kept me bedridden with swollen hands and feet, a fever, aches, chills, sweats, sensitivity to light and spasms.after nearly a week it subsided, after which point my desire for any nicotine was dashed.  Even against my best attempts at sabotage, my reaction to any nicotine was immediate illness, rising from my viscera and overtaking everything.  It seems I can’t even smoke sheesha, let alone cigars or cloves.

The winter was spent in destitute melancholy, loss of hope, deep depression and complete, anguished dissatisfaction with everything in my life.  In short, real suffering.  I was jobless, bleeding money, gaining weight, and only seeing the deeper depths of the hole I knew I would have to climb out of somehow.  Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I would need magical help to find a job, and Raven obliged duly.

[Aside– In my notes from September 8th 2009, I found two entries: “Raven” and “Panther.”  Raven says,

I am not a guide, but I will guide you.

I am not a teacher, but I will teach you.

I am to show you the ways of the world.

You must remove the adornments of the world to learn.

I will teach you of Magic, & Money, & Marriage.  I will teach you of Family, & Feast, & Fallow Ground.

I will guide you like a mother, protect you like a brother, forgive you like a father.

I am not a guide but I will guide you.

I am not a teacher but I will teach you.

( I will always bring shiny baubles)

Panther’s words now seem so much more poignant.  He said:

You still walk the Poison Path.

You have so much left to learn.

You know much, but require understanding.

You need discipline.

I asked him, “Will you let me walk as you?  Will you give me to freedom?  Will you help me find discipline?  Will you help me find my strength?  Will you help me to cultivate will?”

He answered:


Turns out with Raven you need to be really specific.  I took the first job I could get, which was for He Err Sins* Tree Care company.  I thought was going to be hauling brush and working a wood chipper, maybe even driving a truck.  The owner saw I had half a brain, and subsequently put me in “Plant and Tree Healthcare,” which is a nice way of saying “raping the Earth with pesticides and fertilizers.”  From April 20th, the same day of the Gulf oil spill, until now I have been spending 40+ hours a week literally dousing myself with poison, tumbling through poison ivy, and pleasing the rich (read: deeply poisoned) population of Suburban Philthadelphia.  The horrors of this job are so numerous and all-encompassing, I can’t even bring myself to put them to an electronic page.  All I can say is I never thought I would commit such atrocities with my own two hands, and the only reason I continued to do so was out of guilt, fear, pity, emasculation, desperation, greed and hopelessness.  In short, spiritual illness and ego-driven disregard for my Path.

With this year of  walking waterless through the desert, many times crushed beneath deep re-realizations of the first noble truth, I came to the precipice knowing quite surely that beyond lay nothing but soul-ruin and the Great and Final Death of Spirit.  It was upon this admission that the hand of the Universe finally intervened through my Mom, who had to sit me down and tell me to quit my job, and get back to my goals.  I am forever grateful for the complete love and understanding she freely gives me, and for the Wisdom she has to know when I need help.  She is, quite truly, the best parent I could ever ask for.

Now I am working my last week as a Poisoner, and am ramping myself up to begin accomplishing the goals I originally set out to accomplish almost two years ago at this point.  I know now, if I could do what I have been doing, then I surly must be able to do absolutely anything.

Thus, without too-too much further a-do, I will actually post the second part of the 09/09/09 Working.  But first probably some poetry.



*name changed

April 10, 2010

The Sun Wins

Filed under: Notes, Reflections, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — eleventhustwo @ 5:46 am

Sitting in the shade under luscious early summer breeze, there is a deep relaxation into bliss…just a little slice of sweet placid joy in the cherry-scented air…that remembers the freedom of summer with an adrenaline abandon, and anticipation.  It’s hot remembered muscle makes the crazed chill of winter intellect banished grudgingly, and in its silent passing seem so paranoia close, like a fisheye-lensed memory, some grotesque and wretched comedy of itself made ridiculous by its own affronting exaggeration and hysterical, agonizing paradox.

And in that moment, the memory of summer is caught up in the Now.  The sky is so blue, and all-containing.  The strange early heat makes the new growth develop quickly, and in the shade the new rush of wind on baby leaves and ruffled feathers in the brush makes clear the death of silence at the hands of renewed life.  Up above, the planes seem so far away against the blue.  Other summers the planes were so close at hand, like a jump off the trampoline and a swat would pluck them from the heavens.  I suppose it’s spring yet.  Still, they seem so distant.  It’s as if behind the clouds, the fishbowl lid of the town’s snowglobe looms in waiting under the hand of some inscrutable tourist, letting the warm breeze blow through for a moment before going back to the tasks of bringing white and sorrow, and shaking.  And while that tourist watches the blooming soil sex itself back to life in the warmth, the planes are breaking free, going further and further away from here…

Getting up and walking through the sunshine, the breeze is cool and wet…heavy with remembrance of the freedom quickly rising, drenched and glorious in the newly budding green.  The paranoia fades away on the soft breeze.  The warmth of the light has returned, bringing life home from the underworld, and banishing winter’s cruel master with a fiery sword and the aegis of bright plenty.  The heat of summer light has already dropped, and in seven days you will be on that plane, and only getting hotter.

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