Its Magick! -  Excerpt from "An Engineer's BOS" (40 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Bluehawk (Bluehawk9) Posted by host3/5/02 12:21 AM 
To: All  (1 of 9) 
Among the many things I lost in my auto accident were my collected BOS, stashed under the middle seat of my van (long story). I recently started the arduous task of recopying them, using the bantering style I've always written in - but hopefully, in a much more concise and informed manner than the originals, starting with general principles and personal beliefs. I sent excerpts to a few of my friends whose opinions I value highly for feedback.

Much to my surprise, they all seemed to feel that I should consider publication (which was not my intention in re-writing them). That a couple of them are themselves published authors really set me back on my heels. Tarty, being one of those whom I consulted, has asked me to post here - which I am now doing, asking for further feedback. If the results are positive, I will post more excerpts.

Excerpts from "An Engineer’s Book of Shadows" © 2002 L. Tracy

(Oh My God! - On the Nature of Deity and Creation)

What is the nature of the Creator? To me, if They truly are infinite, then They are beyond my comprehension, finite as I am in this life. Claiming to fully understand the nature of Creation or Creator is perhaps the most arrogant statement that can be made by a human being - at least in my opinion.

So, what CAN I understand? Those things that are within the scope of my own direct experience, in the ways I experience them. All of reality is filtered through my sensory mechanism. Then the dedicated hardware and software of my cognitive apparatus decipher that perception within their inherent limitations. All of these factors can be altered in various ways, but even so there are limits.

Therefore, however anyone sees Deity, if it works for them then that is what is most valid for him or her, as long as they are true to their own vision. How then, given my particular set of fixed and variable perceptual parameters and interpretive mechanisms, do I find my own definition? Let’s see…

To me, the classic Kabalistic theory of creation and the latest generally accepted cosmological models of astrophysics are virtually identical. That is, that the current nature of this Universe came about from a flaw in the initial instants of Creation after the perfection of pre-Creation (which is, by definition, indefinable) as the now-Universe first expanded. Was that flaw an accident? I wasn’t there, so I can’t say. But it’s a model that I find attractive – especially since it seems to bridge the Great Divide of hard science and metaphysics. Once again, Clarke’s Law (“Any sufficiently advanced form of technology is indistinguishable from magic.”) proves more applicable than its author supposed.


Because of mystical experiences from an early age, I believe in the Oneness of Creation. Again, that’s from my own perception – which I always have a certain amount of skepticism about. But doubting everything eventually becomes self-defeating. Therefore I just accept things with a grain of salt, on a probationary basis until further data confirms, denies, or results in a synthesis. So I’m an Animist because of what I have directly perceived as reality for myself, leaving the exact nature of the Infinite Creator (or Primium Mobile) to Their own infinite understanding. To me, They ARE - Everything IS. Definition is as unnecessary as it is pointless. Bearing always in mind that I may just have weird brain chemistry, or someone’s been occasionally slipping me acid since I was five. But it works for me.

So, what about more definite concepts of Gods, Goddesses, and other Entities? Well, I prefer to use Occam’s Razor in combination with the Turing Test {any reader unfamiliar with William of Ockham – go do your homework, then come back. To me, it’s fundamental to parsing any intellectual concept. Hint - “Thou shall not multiply entities unnecessarily,” is not a comment on divine birth control. – Ed.}. Computer pioneer Alan Turing devised what is now known as the Turing Test as a method of determining whether a computer is self-conscious. The idea is that you sit at a keyboard, and remotely converse with a computer. If you can’t tell the difference between a computer’s answers and those of a human being under identical circumstances, then the computer is as self-aware as a human {debates on the nature of human self-awareness to be held elsewhere}. Otherwise known as the Waterfowl Test – if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.

So – if you Call to a Goddess, and a Goddess seems to Answer, and you get results in line with divine causation, then the simplest answer is that, for all practical purposes, it is a Goddess. If you summon (through absolute stupidity) Asmodeus or Beelzebub, and you smell brimstone, perhaps it IS just a projection of your subconscious mind. But personally, I wouldn’t step outside of that Circle.


For instance, when I was twenty, I got talked into doing some mescaline. When it kicked in, I got the great idea to go astral projecting. Yeah, GREAT idea.

After swooshing around the astral for a while, I suddenly found myself at the entrance to a funky stone temple on top of a pyramid. So I just strolled right on in. Charming décor, if you like skulls. Well, suddenly I realized that I wasn’t alone. A very large Somebody was sitting on an interestingly decorated stone throne, looking at me like I was a particularly noxious insect. Then They got a maliciously humorous look in their Eye.

“You’re not MINE!” said the loudest thought I’ve ever heard inside my head – not in words, but with infinitely more meaning (if you haven’t had a similar experience, description is useless). “What are YOU doing here!?” Despite the greatest terror I have ever felt before or since I said to the paving stone I was now prostrate upon, “I’m sorry, Great One…I got lost.” I was rewarded with laughter that made my bones shake inside my body. “Well, well…lost…now you’re here.” More laughter.

“I suppose you think you can just turn around and leave?” “Oh, no…only if you say so, Most Awesome One.” If etheric bodies produced solid waste, it would have been three feet deep on that floor. “Indeed.” VERY long pause. “Well, I see She has Her mark on you.” Pause. “What are you waiting for? GO! I hope you’ve learned something!” “Yes, Lord. Thank you, Lord.” One infinite instant of gazing into His eyes and feeling like a pint jar having five gallons forced into it, then BOOM! Back in my body, shaking and sweating in terror. {All reported conversation is an approximation.}

I learned a great deal from that experience. Including knowing exactly how Moses felt in front of that burning bush. I learned a lot about Gods (to put it mildly), and where we stand in relationship with Them. And all doubts about being Hers – and the virtues of that relationship – were put to rest in a most illustrative fashion. Being laughed at by a God once worshipped with mass human sacrifice (my later studies led me to believe that it was Tezcatlipoca) was a powerful initiatory experience. One I do not recommend.

Now, perhaps it was only a bad trip. But the terror and awe I had felt were more intensely real than anything I’d ever experienced up to that point in my life. And I also felt that I’d gained a sense of knowledge that was indefinable. My entire perception of the Universe, and my understanding of it, had changed in ways bo

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From: SeFoMa3/5/02 11:00 AM 
To: Bluehawk (Bluehawk9)  (2 of 9) 
 7809.2 in reply to 7809.1 
Hmm, very good thoughts. What an encredible Astral experiance. I don't think I envy it though. And if I smeled brimstone, I wouldn't step out of my circle either...



From: Tarty (RAVENGIL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host3/14/02 10:41 AM 
To: Bluehawk (Bluehawk9)  (3 of 9) 
 7809.3 in reply to 7809.1 

I'm so glad you finally posted that here and I hope you will post more of your stuff. I find it fascinating


From: Bluehawk (Bluehawk9) Posted by host3/14/02 10:21 PM 
To: Tarty (RAVENGIL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (4 of 9) 
 7809.4 in reply to 7809.3 
However, it appears most people don't...perhaps I need a catchier title - like "Free Beer!" (actual name of a band I was in looked good on club marquees).

"She turned me into a newt!" "A newt?" "I got better..."


From: Tarty (RAVENGIL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host3/15/02 10:46 AM 
To: All  (5 of 9) 
 7809.5 in reply to 7809.4 


er.. go back and read post one here


From: Guest3/22/02 5:51 PM 
To: Tarty (RAVENGIL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (6 of 9) 
 7809.6 in reply to 7809.5 
"My entire perception of the Universe, and my understanding of it, had changed in ways bo..."

More more I want more!!!


From: Bluehawk (Bluehawk9) Posted by host3/23/02 12:23 AM 
To: Guest  (7 of 9) 
 7809.7 in reply to 7809.6 
OK...sorry, here's the rest of this excerpt, inadvertently cut off. I suppose I should have checked (*G*). If I post again, I think I'll use a sexier title...but because I'm an engineer by training and profession, I think I look at things differently (neither better nor worse, but certainly differently) than most neo-Pagans. And thus the working title of my magickal memoirs.


Now, perhaps it was only a bad trip. But the terror and awe I had felt were more intensely real than anything I’d ever experienced up to that point in my life. And I also felt that I’d gained a sense of knowledge that was indefinable. My entire perception of the Universe, and my understanding of it, had changed in ways both beneath and beyond conscious thought. So I consider it a true Waterfowl Test experience. Quack, quack! Real enough for me.


Regarding the concept of “aspects.” Anyone calling my close encounter of the terrified kind as being with a cognate or Aspect of Loki (or the God, or God/dess, or what have you), well...I know the individual essence of a Being when I feel it. That God was far more 'real' than I am. And uniquely so. Gods are people, too! So to speak...if you ask for Mithras, you don't get Jesus or Serapis. However much They are similar. Ultimately, all that exists, from individual atoms to a certain Semitic sky god in His greatest fantasy, all are One. But we are all unique in our own individuality. Collectively speaking. I think…

For example Magna Mater, Hera, Aradia, and Lady Isis – to me – are all distinct from One another. Each of Them as different from each other as any four women, though infinitely more powerful. Yet all are part of the unity of creation – as are we all. {Further discussion on the implications of theological application of mathematical Set Theory (which is not in the least bit Egyptian) continued elsewhere, in “Counting Blue Cars – Applying Scientific and Mathematical Principles to the Occult”.}

I am also a Dualist, because that is the easiest way for this primate, one that is hard wired to interpret things in a dualistic fashion, to relate to the Universe. I perceive things as up/down, right/left, hard/soft, wet/dry, and male/female naturally. Some might find this simplistic, others as unnecessarily complicated. But I find it easiest to regard the Creator as dually Male and Female for myself. Knowing that creation is simultaneously singular and infinite, and that many superior Entities exist within that Creation that are, by my definition, Gods. Thus, in addressing a particular Deity I am both addressing Them and the All (though only in part – which of course is all that a finite being can do).

Confusing? GOOD! Explicating the numinous does that.


"She turned me into a newt!" "A newt?" "I got better..."


From: Bluehawk (Bluehawk9) Posted by host3/23/02 12:43 AM 
To: Bluehawk (Bluehawk9)  (8 of 9) 
 7809.8 in reply to 7809.7 
Excerpts from An Engineer’s Book of Shadows (© 2002 L. Tracy)

(On Full Moons and Cigars – Symbolism, Identification, and Correlation)

I just walked in after looking up at a gorgeous full moon. I did my usual greeting to Her, and I suddenly thought of this subject. So here we go.

As Freud once famously stated, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. However, even when it’s just a cigar, it’s more than a cigar. If you follow the Platonic concept of Ideals (no, that doesn’t mean that no sex is an ideal), then a cigar is also representative of the ideal of what a cigar IS. Thus, it is a symbol of the ideal cigar.

Now it gets interesting. Perhaps there is a real ideal cigar (maybe it’s in that famous cave), but even so, could there be subsets, more than one ideal cigar? The ideal Cuban cigar, or perhaps the ideal 5-cent cigar? Does the ideal or essence of cigarness exist as a singular, or as a plural, or as an infinite subset of the infinite set of things? Could there even be ideal cigars that represent cigars that have never existed in actuality? If you can imagine such a thing, then by definition there are.

My take on things is that when you see a cigar, because you can identify it both as a specific object and as a member of the class of objects called ‘cigar,’ then that cigar is a symbol for the idea (as well as the ideal) of the concept ‘cigar.’ And it can be a symbol for a potentially infinite number of other concepts as well. Despite the temptation to burrow into the concept of ‘ding an sich’ at length, I will just agree here that the damn cigar exists in and of itself without additional context, but only as long as it is not observed. Then you smoke it, and it no longer exists at all. {Trees falling in the forest and cats in boxes to be discussed elsewhere – Ed.}

But once it is observed, the external observer places it into a context in addition to its physical actuality, which includes ideals. I believe that the comparison and classification of observed objects and events is part of the fundamental nature of consciousness. And since the interdependence of observer and observed is fairly definitively proven under relativity and quantum theory (as well as in Magical theory – see “Counting Blue Cars – Applying Scientific and Mathematical Principles to the Occult”), thus observation results in idealization and, ultimately, symbolic meaning.

This brings us to the operative part of, “As above, so below.” (Huh? How did we get here from symbolism? Hey, Rocky, nuthin’ up my sleeve!) Again wading unafraid into quantum theory, it’s now fairly well established that certain subatomic particles can be linked over any distance, with one half of the pair instantaneously affected by what happens to its partner. Now, how are linkages established? Are simultaneous multiple linkages between many adjacent particles, or one with many different ones possible? How powerful can their potential cumulative effect be? Cutting through a few thousand pages of speculation, we don’t yet know. {The topic of ‘absolute’ knowledge and indeterminacy is addressed in “How Do I Know What I Know? – Magick and Information Theory”}

So – part of my theory of Magick is that by ‘linking’ multiple pairs through idealization and symbolism, action at a distance is achieved. Thus it is easier to do sympathetic Magick (using actual physical artifacts of the object being acted upon being easiest), then ritual Magick using substitution and idealization (is a chalice just a fancy cup to you, or does it represent one or more ideals/symbolic meanings?), and then pure non-object–using visualization being most difficult. Why? Because it’s easier for most people to work with a physical object as a focus.

For most folks, this speculation is as useful as the theoretical basis of internal combustion engines is for driving a car. And my theory, like any other, is only as valuable as long as it is useful - and is as ultimately unprovable. {Again, see “How do I Know...”}Anyway, back to the Art…

Nail-parings and athames are both just tools, making the mental linkup between Magickal ‘observer’ and the ‘observed’ easier in different ways (by this definition, distance only matters if you think it does){Further discussion under “Clapping for Tinkerbell – Will & Belief in Action”}. And yes, there are exceptions that nonetheless prove the rule. But I’m wandering too far afield.

Ultimately, to me all objects and actions have multiple-symbolic value. In other words, things not only mean different things to different people, but they can mean many things to just one person. And the richer the contextual possibilities, the more linkages that can be made at many levels. And thus, a higher degree of usefulness in Magickal practices.

An interrelationally rich contextual system such as Kabalah (I use the K- to differentiate Western theory and practice from pure Judaic Qabala, which is beyond my modest expertise - and I have philological reasons for using "Judaic" instead of the usual "Hebraic") is designed to give powerful multiple-potential relational paths. That is one of the many inherent advantages in using such a system. {Further discussion on this subject under “Potato, Pototoe, Kabalah, Qabala - Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off – Putting Things in Context”}

Thus, in my opinion, symbolism is the true Key of Solomon. Getting back to my saluting the Moon, I know that in physical actuality the Moon is a large ball of rock about quarter million miles away. However, since it has many symbolic values to me, I can chose to use a symbolic identification of the Moon as a linkage with my ideal of the Lady. And thus with Her. {The nature of Deistic Entities and relationships with them is discussed in “Oh My God! – On the Nature of Deity and Creation”}

This was a use of symbolic identification and assignment in Theurgic usage. Cutting a gate in a Circle using an athame is another example of the use of symbolism and identification under the Law of Similarities. ‘Cutting’ a non-physical boundary with a physical blade is a very logical use of what one could call metaphorical symbolism.

That I’m comfortable using two extended fingers as an alternative to an athame but still feel the necessity for a physical action shows that I’m still far short of Guruhood. But I’m working on it, as I know it works from observation. I once was hanging out with a HPs friend of mine on her birthday, and several of us were having an outdoor cookout for her when it started to rain. She just said, “Lady, I know we need the rain, but could you have it wait for a little while ‘till we’re done?” It stopped in less than a minute, then started again just as we went inside after the party and then poured all night and into the next day. Quite a coincidence. Or something… {Further discussion under “I Fought the Law and the Law Won – Magickal Laws and How to Break Them”}

"She turned me into a newt!" "A newt?" "I got better..."


From: Bunny1383/24/02 2:00 AM 
To: Tarty (RAVENGIL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (9 of 9) 
 7809.9 in reply to 7809.3 
This is kind of off the subject, but I guess it is a "Book of Shadows" request, so here goes. I really liked the ritual you had here at the forum for Imbolc. I read your section on sabbats, etc. in the Pagan Realm, and I started thinking about Ostara, and wondering if you had a similar ritual for that. I know it's a bit late to ask this, but I'd love to see s ritual for Ostara similar to the one you posted for Imbolc. I liked the idea of healing emotional wounds from childhood. (This probably includes everyone, in some way or other.) If you could post one, I'd really appreciate it. Maybe others would like it, too. Thanks!

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