Aporrheton 5: The Laws of Magic (Revised), Part II

[This continues yesterday's blog, updating my thoughts on magic and psychic talents--since I am unfortunately thought to have some expertise about such matters. Sheesh!]3. You cannot use the arts of the Craft to win fame, fortune, power, or any other sort of material or social advantage.This is how all the psychic arts work, not just those of the Craft.  Why they work thus is another question—that they do work thus is well-known.  Perhaps the simplest explana­tion is that if your major mo … [Read more...]

Aporrheton 5: The Laws of Magic (Revised), Part I

In the early 1970s I wrote a series of “Flying Scrolls” (as they were called in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) for internal use in the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn. I chose to call them Aporrhetons, because the Greeks separated the secrets of the Eleusinian Mysteries into two classes: the Arrheta “inexpressible,” which could be known only by experiencing them and which therefore needed no protection by a mere human law; and the Aporrheta, the “not to be spoken,” that whi … [Read more...]

I Had a Jewish Grandfather Named Kelly

Even in my forties, I still learned things by talking with my mother. On her sixty-fourth birthday, I asked her, "About your father.  What did he feel, believe, do?”"He came to Mass, stood in back, helped to collect the money, and especially he liked Mary.”"But did he think he was Jewish?”"Why, yes, of course. All the Scheers had converted in Germany, but only because they had to. Over here they could choose what to be.”"Then they were .. . . Marranos?”"Who?”"That's Spanis … [Read more...]

A Few Books About Infinity and Consciousness

Back in the early 1980s, when Alta, my second wife, was working on her LCSW, her mentor John recommended that she keep files chronologically. That is, rather than filing information topically, one can keep everything associated with a particular year— correspondence, souvenirs, miscellaneous writings, etc.—in a file for that year. That seemed a useful concept to me; I adopted it also. Lately, in lower-energy moments, I have been bringing one armload of folders at a time from my file cabinet out i … [Read more...]

Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows

These are some pages of original materials that I wrote for the NROOGD Book of Shadows back in the early 1970s. Seems like it might be neighborly to share them.  A Daily Litany for the Lady.  This was written at the request of Mathonwy and Idris in May 1971, to give a couple a way to use the Craft daily, aside from working a shortened version of our basic ritual. [Notice that this litany uses the original NROOGD correspondences.]1.  To be said at sunrise, or on rising in the morning.  Hol … [Read more...]

On Jesus as a Gnostic

 Why write about him at all? Because, like it or not, he is the protagonist in the story of Western civilization. You know about him; you have a theory about him, even if it’s that you should ignore him. But, as with most topics, it’s better to be well-informed than to be ignorant.Before 1945, the few people interested in the Gnostics generally thought they were heretical interlopers whose teachings had nothing to do with the genuine Christian message. The Nag Hammadi documents, which iclude … [Read more...]

On the Necessity of Awakening

The Castle Frankenstein poem I posted as a blog records an experience that set me on a Gnostic path. It think it must be significant that I recovered my memory of it during a strange, dark prelude—maybe calling it “existential despair”is not too inaccurate—to my 1963 Awakening experience, of which I have not yet posted a full description, although my long History poem was one attempt to describe it.My experience in 1954 had been an Awakening also. Afterward I knew many things; in that sense I … [Read more...]

Knowledge Rather Than Faith

What serves as my religion was formed in an instant when I was 14. Ever since, I have searched for adequate vehicles to express it in practical ways. What I know from that experience is how the Divine felt to me. That knowledge is a foundation, primordial relative to all specific religions. It enables me to be aware of the presence of the divine in almost any context, Christian or Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist or Pagan, as long as I remember to pay attention, which I sometimes don’t, at least not at … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VII: A Church for Witches

After the second Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting in June 1974, Gwydion and I continued to discuss the problem of how to organize a "church" for Witches, now that we had a reason not to have to include Pagans in general. In a way, it was like trying to set up an organization for anarchists—so that one could be the Anarch. There were already organizations whose members were individual Witches, but these were not meeting the need.Most Witches at that time clearly believed that one normally b … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VI, The Second PEC

In discussing the first Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting afterward, Gwydion, Alison, I and several others realized that we had not arrived at a specific proposal for an organizational structure because, in fact, the Pagan groups represented at the meeting did not have enough common ground to define any goals or structures. The PEC had focused on Pagan religions, excluding the magical lodges, political associations, and metaphysical churches, yet we still differed on what we did, how we worked, … [Read more...]