Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More Bees!


No, it probably didn't look anything like this. But it's funny to imagine that it did.

I just can't get enough of this African spell that sends swarms of bees after your enemies. As I've mentioned previously, bees aren't just regular vengeance, they're also amusing vengeance. On Monday, a car thief was apprehended in Kenya with the help of the spell.

A suspected car thief on Monday ran into a police station and surrendered himself after he was attacked by a swarm of bees, which only left him after a witchdoctor performed a ritual.

Mr Francis Sikadigu had allegedly drugged the car owner before driving off to an unknown destination. When the Nation caught up with him at the police station, Mr. Sikadigu, a middle-aged Ugandan, was groaning in pain and moving in circles as the bees stung him.

He had abandoned the car at the gate to the Bungoma County Assembly. Bungoma OCPD David Kirui said the suspect was in custody and would be charged in court once investigations are complete.

The bees continued to accost the thief until he could be taken to another witchdoctor who lifted the spell. I totally need to learn this one, because there are a few people out there that I think deserve some bees. As I think I also have mentioned previously, summoning bees probably falls under Leo, "The Power of Taming Wild Beasts," in Liber 777.

I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet, but rest assured that it's on my list.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Man-Sheep" Born in South Africa

Here's one more case showing that the paranormal should never be regarded as the default explanation. A "man-sheep" - a lamb that looks like it could be part human - was recently stillborn in South Africa. As usually happens with weird events like these, many fear that bestiality and witchcraft played a role in the conception of the bizarre-looking creature. But veterinarians who examined the body have a different, more prosaic explanation.

The panic got so great that the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development sent out experts to carry out tests after pictures of it spread through the community. Chief Director of Veterinary Services Dr Lubabalo Mrwebi admitted that at first glance the lamb which was born dead did resemble a human being but was not part human.

Dr Mrwebi said: “We can confirm this not a hoax photo but that the severely deformed lamb was born by a sheep in Lady Frere this week which at a glance resembles a human form. “It is not however human but a deformed stillborn lamb sired by a sheep and was subsequently infected by a Rift Valley Fever at an early stage of its pregnancy.

“It is worth noting that a sheep has 28 pairs of chromosomes while humans have 23 pairs which is important in dispelling the myth that a union of a sheep ovum and a human sperm can lead to a development of a viable life form. “The deformed lamb exhibits signs that are consistent with an early foetal development that went wrong as a result of a viral infection and nothing more” he said.

So it's not the result of a spell or animal husbandry gone wrong. It's the result of a viral infection. I suppose somebody could cast a spell that made it more likely for a particular sheep or flock of sheep to catch an infection, but that's about all you could do along these lines with magick. Biological explanations are a lot more compelling.

This isn't the first case of a "man-sheep," so apparently sheep fetuses do go through a stage where they look more human than you might expect. Mostly it's the lack of wool, which is unsurprising for a fetus, and the flattened face, which is a mutation that is bred for and viable in some breeds of dog like pugs.

That raises the possibility of breeding a viable flat-faced sheep. Maybe the result would be too disturbing, but maybe that would be the whole reason to do it in the first place.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Path of Initiation - Netzach

This article is Part Eight of a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, Part Six can be found here, and Part Seven can be found here.

Working with sephira Netzach is the eighth step on the path of initiation into the mysteries of Western Esotericism. On the Kircher Tree of Life, the seventh sephira is attributed to Venus, and the corresponding vision is "The Vision of Beauty Triumphant." The word Netzach means victory, and in working with this sephira we develop the ability to overcome obstacles by both skillful and aesthetic means. Initiation into Netzach completes the "first triad" of Yesod, Hod, and Netzach, which correspond to the conditioning, thinking, and feeling systems.

The sephira have both microcosmic (psychological) and macrocosmic (physical) components, and as with practical magick, aligning those components is the key to experiencing effective illumination and visionary work. Hence, I use the operant field in these rites just like I do for practical workings. This allows you to integrate magical principles and forces into your life more quickly and effectively.

"Effective" is harder to define with rites of illumination than it is with practical magick. Practical magick is relatively simple to assess - you perform an operation with a specific objective, and then record whether it succeeds or fails. Effective visionary work should obtain information from the exterior world that you could not possible know by any other means, and effective illumination work should transform you in a positive way, increasing your degree of realization and in some real sense making you a "better person."

This process can be highly subjective, and failed initiatory operations often go unrecognized. I am of the opinion that a lot of the nonsense out there from certain allegedly "advanced" magical practitioners can be traced back to these sorts of initiatory failures, and this is a problem that has been acknowledged for a long time in the tradition. To avoid this, you always need to be skeptical about any apparent attainment.

Always test spirits. Always keep track of any changes you observe following illuminating and visionary experiences, and do your best to see if the changes you are seeing from your work are going in a positive direction. Stories of magicians "going insane" from failed operations are highly exaggerated - most often, nothing happens, and the danger lies in being convinced that something did happen and then acting from that perspective.

Friday, June 23, 2017

"Satanic Panic" Victims Exonerated

Back in 2013, I covered the case of Dan and Fran Keller, who were finally released after 21 years in prison. The couple ran a daycare center and were accused of "Satanic Ritual Abuse" during the "Satanic Panic" of the early 1990's. That is, the crimes they were convicted of were entirely imaginary, the product of what some therapists now call "false memory syndrome." Four years later, the Kellers have finally been exonerated of the lurid and bizarre crimes for which they were convicted all those years ago. After 25 years, it's been a long time coming.

“I still can’t believe it’s happening,” Fran, now 67, said on Tuesday morning while driving with her husband to sign the legal paperwork. She’s still wary; they’ve been waiting for this day for so long she isn’t yet sure it is real. “I guess I’m just tired of having to hang on for so long.”

Dan, 75, is slightly more upbeat — he always thought this day would come. He recalled a sleepless night in prison in 1995 when he said he heard God. “He said, ‘You’re going home, but I have some things to sort through first.’” Dan said he slept soundly that night. “We have to try to not have doubt in our life.”

The exoneration is the first for the nascent conviction integrity unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office under the new DA, Margaret Moore. Court documents filed Tuesday announced that there is “no credible evidence” against the Kellers. Moore said she personally reviewed the case and believes exoneration “to be a just outcome.”

Fran and Dan Keller were each sentenced to 48 years in prison for the alleged sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl who was an occasional drop-in at their home daycare center on the rural outskirts of Austin. The child initially accused Dan of spanking her “like daddy” used to, but under intense and repeated questioning by her mother and a therapist, the story morphed to include claims of rape and orgies involving children.

From there, the number of children alleging abuse increased and the accusations grew even more lurid and confounding: The Kellers had sacrificed babies; they held ceremonies in a local graveyard; they put blood in the children’s Kool-Aid; Fran cut off the arm of a gorilla in a local park; they flew the children to Mexico to be sexually assaulted by military officials.

As a point, there's no "Satanic" or even magical reason for anyone to do most of those things. You might hold a ceremony in a graveyard to communicate with spirits of the dead buried there, but that's about it. Most of the "Satanism" in these cases has to do with "evil for evil's sake," a concept that really only makes sense according to the inaccurate Manichean view of the spirit world found in Christianity. If God is good and Satan is evil, and those are the only two options, Satan might want you to be "more evil" - but seriously, that's not how any of it works.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

4 Years for "Pizzagate" Gunman

North Carolina man Edgar Welch has been sentenced to four years in prison for storming into the Coment Ping Pong pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. Welch was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun, and claimed he was there "to investigate" the so-called "Pizzagate conspiracy." According to the conspiracy popularized on conservative talk radio, Bill and Hillary Clinton were running a pedophile ring out of the imaginary basement of the restaurant (which doesn't have a real one). And yeah, the whole thing is just as stupid and ridiculous as it sounds. It apparently fooled Welch, though.

Welch said court to U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, “I wish there were a way that I could offer something other than an apology... I realize mere words can’t undo what happened...but I am sorry,” said Welch, wearing an orange prison suit and standing with his hands clasped behind his back. “I am sorry for anything I have caused,” Welch said.

In imposing the sentence, the judge said she was handing down a penalty she said was needed to uphold the rule of law against vigilante justice. “I hope you understand and see how much people have suffered because of what you did,” Jackson said going on to say “I am truly sorry you find yourself in the position you are in, because you do seem like a nice person who on your own mind was trying to do the right thing. But that does not excuse reckless conduct and the real damage that it caused.”

In a previous letter filed in court, Welch said he had not intended to “harm or frighten innocent lives, but I realize now just how foolish and reckless my decision was.” His attorney, assistant federal defender Dani Jahn, had said in court records that Welch “does not seek to minimize the impact his reckless and frightening actions had on those who encountered him. . . . Rather, Mr. Welch is hopeful that those victimized by his actions can forgive him.”

While I'm a parent and I can understand getting worked up about an alleged pedophile ring, I also have critical thinking skills. Point number one is that the physical details of the conspiracy don't make any sense. The building has no basement, and it would have to in order to accommodate the space required. There were also no suspicious people coming and going to and from the restaurant. Conspiracy supporters said they used secret tunnels to connect with the imaginary basement. You see where this is going.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Creationist Fan Fiction

Creationists don't spend all their time arguing with scientists about how the existence of the banana proves that God created the world in seven literal days. Lately some of them have been writing what can only be called Creationist fan fiction. A new novelization of the life of Noah is set in the bizarro world of Answers in Genesis, in which giants and dinosaurs roamed the Earth alongside humans a mere five thousand or so years ago.

The biblical Noah faces off against a giant and a dinosaur in a gladiator-like setting in a new novel that a creationist group is promoting.

Noah: Man of Resolve is the second book in a promised trilogy by Tim Chaffey and K. Marie Adams, and it’s available for sale from Answers in Genesis, which runs the Noah’s Ark attraction in Kentucky.

The group has claimed that Noah not only survived a global flood in his ark some 4,300 years ago, but did so with two of every creature aboard including at least some dinosaurs (which in reality died out some 65 million years ago).

The attraction shows dinosaurs living in cages aboard the ark, and features a diorama that shows a gladiator-style fight involving giants and dinosaurs.

The new book is a novelization of Noah’s life, and includes a scene where a giant holds him captive and in an arena, where he faces a dino-like “grendec.”

I'm all for creativity, and who knows? Maybe Noah: Man of Resolve is actually a well-written, compelling story that's fun to read. The point is that it's a story. It's not real history. Every piece of scientific evidence we have says that the strict Ussher Chronology favored by Answers in Genesis can't possibly be correct. In fact, it's not even scripturally accurate without a bunch of the same goofy interpretations that the Creationists accuse modern Christians of relying upon.

And you know, there's probably even a movie in the works, and that movie might turn out to be fun. It probably will be awful from a technical perspective. But as a big B-movie fan, I can tell you that sometimes movies like that are the most fun. That's especially true when the awfulness is made with the kind of earnestness I see from the Answers in Genesis crowd, who I imagine would be utterly convinced they were doing God's work by filming a guy in a tunic fighting an obviously fake CGI dinosaur.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Path of Initiation - Hod

This article is Part Seven of a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, and Part Six can be found here.

Working with sephira Hod is the seventh step on the path of initiation into the mysteries of Western Esotericism. On the Kircher Tree of Life, the eighth sephira is attributed to Mercury, and the corresponding vision is "The Vision of Splendour." This corresponds to the vision of Ezekiel found in the Bible. The word Hod means splendor or majesty, and in working with this sephira we expand upon the material foundation developed in our work with Malkuth, the Kingdom, and Yesod, the Foundation, further into the magical universe.

The sephira have both microcosmic (psychological) and macrocosmic (physical) components, and as with practical magick, aligning those components is the key to experiencing effective illumination and visionary work. Hence, I use the operant field in these rites just like I do for practical workings. This allows you to integrate magical principles and forces into your life more quickly and effectively.

"Effective" is harder to define with rites of illumination than it is with practical magick. Practical magick is relatively simple to assess - you perform an operation with a specific objective, and then record whether it succeeds or fails. Effective visionary work should obtain information from the exterior world that you could not possible know by any other means, and effective illumination work should transform you in a positive way, increasing your degree of realization and in some real sense making you a "better person."

This process can be highly subjective, and failed initiatory operations often go unrecognized. I am of the opinion that a lot of the nonsense out there from certain allegedly "advanced" magical practitioners can be traced back to these sorts of initiatory failures, and this is a problem that has been acknowledged for a long time in the tradition. To avoid this, you always need to be skeptical about any apparent attainment.

Always test spirits. Always keep track of any changes you observe following illuminating and visionary experiences, and do your best to see if the changes you are seeing from your work are going in a positive direction. Stories of magicians "going insane" from failed operations are highly exaggerated - most often, nothing happens, and the danger lies in being convinced that something did happen and then acting from that perspective.