Shock The Mystic

Whatever occult, mystical, or religious experiences someone has – including me – I am more inclined to listen to it if it shocked the hell out of whoever was having it.

All mystical ventures involve the mind, and we all know how much our minds can lie to us. You don’t need to even imagine an occult experience to deceive yourself – a good anxiety attack will do that for you. The imagination can be easily turned to build entire worlds inside our head that we start to believe, moreso if we want to.

If you’ve engaged at all in the world of occultism, you’ve encountered self-deceiving people, and let’s face it, we’ve all deceived ourselves before. My guess is we can remember other people’s self-deceptions a bit more easily as our own, which is one hell of a warning to our own ability to make stuff up. To engage in meditation or magic is to know you’re walking into your own delusions.

. . . and it’s also to easily forget those delusions.

At the same time, we’ve all had those magical experiences where something was really going on. That dream, that voice, that synchronicity-chain that just couldn’t happen, or something more intense. Something is out there, but sometimes you have to wonder “did I make this shit up?”

Where I pay attention, where I take occult experiences seriously, is when they shock the person who experiences them. Something unexpected, something disturbing, something more powerful than expected. Whatever happened, when it is outside of expectations and part of a mystic experience then personal making-shit-up is less likely.

I mean yes, you may have made stuff up, but it’s less likely. It may not be a truly occult experience, but a least it’s different and worth study. But then there are those moments where both explanations don’t hold up and you have to sit with what happened.

I value the shock of my mystical efforts. That’s the time to listen.

– Xenofact

Elemental Thoughts and Respect

My own religious and mystical practices are, blatantly, syncretic.  I could hold forth on my fusion of Western mysticism, Taoism, Buddhism, various religious, plus whatever I found lying around.  I’m of the firm belief religion is an interface one constructs to connect with the universe, and I’m eclectic in everything else in my life.  I’d like to tease out one part of that for a discussion of the Four Elements – Air, Earth, Water, and Fire.

I was recently contemplating the ways some of we mystics invoke the four Elements – they are oft associated with the Quarters of the world and thus guardian spirits.  Indeed, I have similar associations with my own daily invocations.  It struck me that tying elements to various guardians is appropriate as these elements represent the very life we have on earth.  Indulge me, if you will, on a deeper exploration of these elements and some mystical thought.

Earth of course is where we all come from, and what we are made of.  It is the soil in which our food grows, on which we live, and to which our bodies return.  There is no life without Earth – I mean it’s also where we keep all our stuff.

Water is vital to every living thing as we all need water – in many ways the cornerstone of life.  It is our oceans and their great dynamic energy, it is our blood and bodily fluids.  There is no life without Water.

Fire is the sun, the heat that drives the great engine of our planet.  The heat ensures life can exist, the light fuels the plans upon which we depend.  Our bodies are great chemical reactions that produce heat as well – we are Fire.  There is no life without Fire.

Air is the atmosphere, the breath.  Much like water, we are constantly in an exchange with the air that allows us to live.  It is also our speech, our communication.  There is no life without Air.

It’s appropriate we tie such elements to whatever guardian forces we invoke, from angels to the Guardian Beasts because these elements are why we are alive.  When we call upon the elements or beings associated with them to protect us it makes sense.  In fact, associating such guardians, such preservers and pillars of the world seems appropriately respectful to the foundations of our world.

With these associations in mind, my own daily invocations take on a deeper, more urgent meaning.  I not only understand the powers I call upon deeper, I also have developed more respect for them.  There’s something visceral when you invoke Fire (or the Archangel Michael, or the Vermillion Bird, etc.) and also think of the sun, of life, of plants growing.  There’s more respect.

There’s also a little healthy fear.  We depend on these Elements for life – and humanity has made a good job of trying to screw them up.  To invoke guardian powers of these forces, wether you think of them as metaphorical or alive (or both) is to remind oneself life exists in a balance, and we depend on that balance.

I present this not just for fun and conversation, but as a personal insight on why mystical correspondences are so important – they make us think.  A simple contemplation of my daily activities led me to a deeper, more visceral place of respecting my environment and my own occult practice.  Even a simple musing might lead you to some great insight and thus greater connection.

And perhaps, a little appropriate fear.

– Xenofact

The Most Dangerous Occult Book In The World

So many tales and conspiracy theories have “the most dangerous occult book.”  It’s enough the late Sir Terry Pratchett parodied it with the “Necrotelenomicon” a book by Achmed the Mad (who preferred to be called Achmed I Just Get These Headaches).  But how is such a book portrayed in fiction?

Inevitably it’s some rare and creaky tome, thick with horrific pages, and challenging or dangerous to read.  It drives readers mad, it crawls with brain-twisting truths, it twists reality  To read it is to feel something else is watching over your shoulder and it has its own plans.

However, what would a truly dangerous occult book be?  Not some kind of Anti-Personnel Grimoire (a term The Necronomicon Files by John Wisdom Gonce II used delightfully).  A book that is a threat to the world isn’t that much of a threat if it drives most readers mad.  So what would such a book truly be like, a book that delivers real power and isn’t a trap?

Well first, it wouldn’t damn well drive you nuts.  A Dangerous Occult Book – let us call it a DOB – would probably not make people insane by reading it or even being in one’s possession.  Such things tend to be noticed, and such owners tend to have painfully short relations with stakes and kindling if they stay reasonably sane.

Secondly, A DOB would not be particularly hard to use.  It may crackle with power, but if that power takes too much effort to use, it’s simply not worth the time.  It would be streamlined, simple, clear, and give you useful abilities.  If a DOB takes too long to use and is too hard you’re better off using a fist, a lawsuit, or just doing something else.

A DOB would allow you to have an effect and it wouldn’t necessarily be what’s expected.  Do you need to summon demons – or just manipulate minds?  Is it worth turning lead into gold when precognition can let you make money more subtly?  Must you be able to throw obvious lightning, or would subtle curses be more you route.  It’d would work, but it might not be obvious to our expectations.

A DOB might contain a lot of useful information that changes one sense of place in the universe.  Simply and effectively, it would change you and empower you by helping you see yourself differently.  It would keep you from being trapped by existing religions and traditions, freeing you to use that power in its pages.

Finally, a DOB would be easy to transmit, spreading power among those in the no.  It might not be overly long, it would be clear, it could be copied.  Replication would make it even more dangerous as it could be spread about, extra copies hidden, etc.

A truly Dangerous Occult Book wouldn’t be some hernia-producing grimoire.  It would be a manual.

Of course, if we’re all looking for big thick grimoires filled with incomprehensible diagrams and fonts off of a heavy metal album?  Then maybe we’d miss the simpler but more powerful books under our nose . . .

Or someone could be writing it right now.

– Xenofact