A Beginners primer of the art for fun and profit
“The subconscious has a symbolic language that is truly a universal language, for it speaks with the vocabulary of the great vital constants, sexual instinct, feeling of death, physical notion of the enigma of space—these vital constants are universally echoed in every human. To understand an aesthetic picture, training in the appreciation is necessary, cultural and intellectual preparation. For Surrealism the only re requisite is a receptive and intuitive human being.” –Salvador Dali
Well hello aspiring conjurers, I would like to start this work with a discussion about the components of ritual and how any ritual that you come across can be broken down into four simple steps. We will also be talking about Salvador Dali’s “Paranoid Critical” method, because in prison or in any stressful situation or living condition this method seems to be the most efficient way to gain great progress in a conjurer’s practice of the Art Magick.
The four simple components that any ritual can be broken down into are:
the opening word
the circle or the sphere
the main body of work
the closing word
No that matter how simple or complex a ritual may be these components are universally followed in most if not all of contemporary Western occultism. This framework goes back to the earliest attempts of man to create ritual and to work with the gods and spirits of almost every culture since the dawn of time. Examples can be found in the early Sumerian and Babylonian writings, The Greek Magical Papyri (Latin Papyri Graecae Magicae, abbreviated PGM), as well as the Egyptian book of the dead, Tibetan Buddhist Tantric practice, and ancient Taoist Shamanic workings. Adam Falkenstein in his 1931 “Haupttypen der sumerischen Beschwörungen” was the first to observe and record four principal categories of Sumerian incantation. Falkenstein studied the late Udug-hul incantations to make these distinctions, and right away we can see a correlation to Ritual Magick as it is practiced today.
Type1. Legitimationstyp (Legitimation type)
Cunningham:”priestly legitimation” -Incantations in which a exorcist legitimates himself as a representative of a deity.
Type 2. Prohylaktischer
Cunningham: “Prophylactic-type incantation”(Prophylactic = protecting from disease or infection) *Note-Most Disease or sickness in Sumerian Magic was thought to be a Demon or Evil Spirit
Type 3. Marduk-Ea typ
Cunningham: “divine dialogues” -Incantations which contain the transfer of ritual instruction from a senior to a juior god,this transfer in effect re-enforces the corresponding actual ritual of the Exorcist
Type 4. Weihungtyp/Kultmittelbeschworung (.Ritual sealing Practices of the Exorcist)
Cunningham: “Consecration of divine purifiers”-These Incantations consecrate or seal items or places for example the Tamarisk or the Reed, which were seen as pure and able to bestow that purity upon the Exorcist. Places like the Ziggurat or Ritual chamber were seen as conduits between the divine and temporal worlds. This type of incantation might correctly be seen as pre-empting or post-cleaning a ritual procedure.
It is my belief, from the research that I’ve done, that the complex ritual form of Western magic today directly stems from the Babylonian and Sumerian ritual ideas of yesteryear. These four Sumerian types of invocation and incantation were singular rituals but with the addition of Greco-Roman, Egyptian, and Renaissance influences, ritual magic today is a fusion of the four types I have outlined above. . To quote Jake Stratton-Kent from his well-researched work, The Geosophia” The over emphasis on the Judao-Christian elements in the grimoires has long obscured the immense contribution of the Graco-Roman or Hellenistic world to Western magic. Ancient Jewish and Christian traditions were but parts of this world. “ Now some of you may say “but Vincent, what about the spell work without a circle! There are metric tons of work that use no circle at all, especially on the left hand path!” And I say fiddlesticks to such balderdash, the circle is almost always there in every ritual ever performed by man, woman, God or beast … To quote Jake Stratton-Kent once more” In short a circle is not an obsolete symbol of a superstitious fear of spirits, but an intentionally created ritual space for various Purposes. It is not always required for all kinds of ritual work, but neither is it of no value, quite the contrary. Making sacred space is among the most primal of rituals, such intentional actions are as worthy of the term Psychoactive as any substance.”
For want of a better term you may call it the aura, the bioelectrical field, the second skin, the Hara or the tan tien … Whatever you choose to call it this force that you admit from the center of your being is the circle that all magicians cast at each ritual. Be it from your mind’s eye, your forefinger or the ritual sword and dagger, we use the life force to protect ourselves in most if not all ritual workings. In fact without it you would die, or be soon at the threshold of death’s door…… But I wandered too far, too soon.
After all that talk of Sumerians, Graco-Roman influence, ritual form and Bob… Bob… Bob’s your uncle, where could I possibly be going with this… Well I’m going to deconstruct one of Western occultism’s most used and abused rituals, yes that’s right folks the dreaded lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram. Boooooooo,hisssssss…… I know, I know; before any of you rip my head off, let me explain. The lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram, better known as the LBRP, is the boilerplate of most ritual work today, at least when it comes to modern ceremonial magic and its offshoots. It comes in painless quick and easy to swallow pill, completely adjustable for use with any system; I’ve seen Luciferian, Chaos , Setian, and Native American versions of it. Hell, even Paul Hume wrote a Wiccan version of it to the delight of all the new Age hipsters running around at that time. So it is everywhere and there is no way that I’m going to reprint how to perform the ritual (I can hear the sighs of relief… You’re welcome) if you want to try it out, and if you are totally new at magic and you never have, I would suggest that you work with it for at least a few weeks no matter what path you follow; you can find it online or in half a dozen of the books in my recommended reading list. But what I will print here is the outline just to show you how the four simple components work in practice.
Opening word- Cabbalistic cross- ATEH (thou art), MALKUTH (Kingdom), VE-GEVURAH (and Power), VE-GEDULAH (and Glory), LE-OLAHM (for ever), AMEN
The circle-Banishing Earth Pentagram and God name in the East ,South ,West and North; Wile Drawing a flaming blue line (or Red,Gold,Pink..I’m not here to judge you) around the circumference of the ritual space.
The Main Body-Now this can be whatever you like, but when just doing the LBRP the main body is the Angelic Invocation, BEFORE ME (then vibrate) RAPHAEL, BEHIND ME (then vibrate) GABRIEL, AT MY RIGHT HAND (then vibrate) MICHAEL, AT MY LEFT HAND (then vibrate) AURIEL, ABOUT ME FLAMES THE PENTAGRAMS, AND IN THE COLUMN SHINES THE SIX-RAYED STAR.
The closing word-You simply repeat the Cabbalistic cross…Like bookends, or an Oreo cookie.
So you see, we have just turned a two page ritual into 4 easy steps and when you’re a beginner in the Art this helps a great deal! I wish I had some asshole in a hat tell me this when I was first starting out,but nooooo all I had was a duct taped copy of Arthur Edward Waite Book of Black Magic and Pacts…but you don’t want to hear about my shady Magical childhood, you want to learn Magick so you can rule the universe and pay your rent on time, right? Once you can see a ritual in these four steps ,and brake them down to their component parts, you can master even the toughest 4 hour Tantric puja horror show or full Enochian Angel love fest. Simple is best for the most complex tasks. I will refer back to The four steps as I bring up other rituals in this work, so take notes, get a helper monkey or hire a scribe.
Now we will move on and talk about a way of approaching Magick that is often talked about in Art circles, but rarely in the Occult world, The Paranoiac Critical method. The Paranoiac Critical method was a sensibility, or way of perceiving reality that was developed by Salvador Dalí. It was defined by Dalí himself as “irrational knowledge” based on a “delirium of interpretation”. More simply put, it was a process by which the artist found new and unique ways to view the world around him. It is the ability of the artist or the viewer to perceive multiple images within the same configuration. The concept can be compared to Max Ernst’s frottage or Leonardo da Vinci’s scribbling and drawings. As a matter of fact, all Magicians have practiced the Paranoid Critical Method when gazing at a Skrying stone, or wood Grain to find the Sigils in a table, and seeing different shapes and visages therein. Dalí elevated this uniquely human characteristic into his own art form .And Magick is nothing if not an Art; In fact I’m bold enough to say it is THE Art that all other Art forms sprang from.
Dalí, though not a true paranoid, was able to simulate a paranoid state, without the use of drugs, and upon his return to ‘normal perspective’ he would paint what he saw and envisioned therein.
Dalí was able to create what he called “hand painted dream photographs” which were physical, painted representations of the hallucinations and images he would see while in his paranoid state. Although he certainly had his own load of mental problems to bear, it can be said that Dalí’s delusions and paranoid hallucinations did not totally dominate his mind, as he was able to convey them to canvas.
Being a painter of miraculous skill, he was capable of reproducing his myriad fantasies and hallucinations as visual illusions on canvas.
It is in this context that one of Dalí’s most famous statements takes on a whole new meaning and understanding.
“The only difference between myself and a madman, is that I am not mad!”
In Dalí's own words, taken from his Conquest of the Irrational, published in 1935: "My whole ambition in the pictorial domain is to materialize the images of my concrete irrationality with the most imperialist fury of precision..." He then goes on to say: "Paranoiac-critical activity organizes and objectivizes in an exclusivist manner the limitless and unknown possibilities of the systematic association of subjective and objective 'significance' in the irrational..."
“..it makes the world of delirium pass onto the plane of reality”
As Rob Horn wrote “Paranoia, as the cliché has it, is a higher state of awareness, a form of privileged insight unburdened by such trivialities as plausibility or verification. It’s sometimes seen as a cancer that afflicts our hermeneutical faculty, causing it to enlarge and impose itself everywhere, explaining everything in terms of everything else in an ongoing, provisional way, usually to simultaneously rationalize and vitiate a sense of futility. It substitutes spurious explanations for actual efforts to change things, often things about oneself. This sort of thinking can create an impenetrable fortress of depression, repelling all intuitions that it can actually make a difference to do something. According to Dali by simulating paranoia one can systematically undermine one’s rational view of the world, which becomes continually subjected to associative transformations, “For instance, one can see, or persuade others to see, all sorts of shapes in a cloud: a horse, a human body, a dragon, a face, a palace, and so on. Any prospect or object of the Physical world can be treated in this manner, from which the proposed conclusion is that it is impossible to concede any value whatsoever to immediate reality, since it may represent or mean anything at all” (Marcel Jean).
This can, and does happen with spirits, as they love to persuade you to see all sorts of wild things, But in a simulated Paranoid state you are in control of what, and when your rational world breaks and takes a nose dive into the Rabbit hole so to speak. “surrealist works are not important as poems, as pictures, as objects, but as being the residue left when we have strip down our souls to the bare framework of the unconscious which is beneath all ourselves and from which we never escape” (Gauss, Charles E. “The Theoretical Backgrounds of Surrealism.”)A Conjurer does just that when he or she calls a spirit, we strip down our souls to the bare framework and convince ourselves that what we are seeing is real, each one of us becomes a surrealist the moment we enter the ritual chamber and light up the incense. According to Wikipedia, “the aspect of paranoia that Dali was interested in, and which helped inspire the [paranoiac critical] method was the ability of the brain to perceive links between things which are rationally not linked.” And that is exactly what we do when we stare at a Sigil and “Link” it to the spirit it corresponds to, there is no rational reason why that bunch of dots and lines mean Astaroth, by putting on the mantle of Conjurer we “Know” from study and subjective understanding that Astaroth=Sigil of Astaroth. The Conjurer perceives alternate meanings of individual Sigils, and interpretations displace one another almost instantaneously.
Whether these new relationships are created or merely noticed by the Conjurer is irrelevant. Yes, you heard me right, It does not matter if you created the spirit or for the first time today noticed it in the shower watching you wash your ass. It is the result of the Conjuration that is the point of the Art, just like the Paranoiac-critical activity is the spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the interpretive critical association of delirious phenomena. So how do we achieve critical association of delirious phenomena? Read on my friends and let’s find out together. This is how The Paranoiac Critical method works: one links various little and un-related “illogical” events into a “logical” bigger picture, then lends them the “agency” of deliberate intention. Let’s put this into practice with a little Magical exercise .Go to four places in your town that have nothing to do with each other (ie:Cityhall,Graveyard,Playground,Supermarket)and pick up any part or thing of that place that has meaning there (Graveyard=Grave dirt)Hold it in your hands, look at it and the place it came from at the same time ,shifting your focus back and forth quickly for 3 minutes while repeating to yourself in your mind “this does not belong here”. Do this with all of the places and things, and then bring those things home with you. Now once a day for 3 days and whenever in those 3 days when you do think about them (trust me, you will once or twice) immediately visualize the place that it came from and say to yourself “this thing does not belong here” at the end of the 3 days, try to bring the objects back to their home places…hard isn’t it? How do you feel? A foreboding will creep over you, like you are being watched or judged…..paranoia at its finest. Force yourself to bring the thing back to Its true home, sit with it there and write down all of your thoughts and feelings about what you are experiencing. You have just removed something from its proper place both in your subjective universe, and in the “Real world”, by doing so you have created a void in your reality that is just yearning to be filled….and that void is what powers magick. You can now take that object and contact the genius loci of the place you took it from. A genius loci is the protective spirit of a place [Latin genius locī : genius, spirit + locī, genitive sing. of locus, place.] How this spirit makes itself felt frequently depends on a person’s mental, spiritual, and emotional state, but most cause one to feel uneasy and unwelcome. Since you have created that state of uneasiness with The Paranoiac Critical method, you can now call that Genius Loci to you anywhere just by holding the object in your hand and focusing on that feeling of unease, you can even push the Genius out of the object and into the place that you are at, say you are about to get in a fight or someone is about to hurt you, the Genius will cause them to feel the same unease that you do….but without the knowledge of the source (this can in handy for my more than once in Prison)Make friends with your Genius loci, ask its name and it will remain in your service till the end of your days.
A Sample of The Carceri grimoire: A Book of Conjuration, Horror, Tarot and Sarcastically Dangerous Magick . Coming soon to an outhouse in the back of an Artshow near you.