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alt.magick OLD (FAQ) REFerence file

Newsgroups: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.moderated,,alt.magick.tantra,alt.answers,news.answers
Subject: alt.magick OLD (FAQ) REFerence file
Followup-To: alt.magick
Summary: This is a REFerence file for the alt.magick newsgroup.  As such
	 it constitutes an attendant file to the alt.magick FAQ, which is
         intended as an introductory file and its content may be discussed
         within the alt.magick.* contellation.  The FAQ is available at:
Approved: (alt.magick.moderated staff)
Keywords: old faq shava first alt.magick
Supercedes: 9510
From: (tyaginator)
Reply-to: (tyaginator)

Archive-name: magick/oldref
Version: 9511
Posting-Frequency: monthly or by inquiry

In the absence of a declared ipsissemus, this lowly one presumes to provide
another edition of the irregularly submitted alt.magick FAQ list...

  What is this newsgroup about anyway?
	This is a group which exists to discuss magickal theory, art, and 
	technology.   (see definition of magick, below)

  What is this newsgroup *not* about?
	This newsgroup is not about specific religions (pagan, satanist
	christian, new age, whatever).  It is not about stage magic.  It
	is not about the Necronomicon.
        These topics have their own newsgroups, with the exception of
	the necronomicon.
	As an embodiment of mercy, we no longer list Colin as an authority
	on the Necronomicon.  However, if you want to talk about
	it, please go to alt.conspiracy, or a science fiction 

  What kind of inquiry is appropriate here?
	Try to be a little clueful, and we will try to be a little kind.
	It's not an easy topic to broach, and I hope both the newbies and
	the (*ahem* *cough*) old hands can get along here.

  How do I even start to figure out what to say?
	It is important to remember that many of us come from differing
	backgrounds, so please do not assume that we have terms in common.
	If people react to your posting, it is very likely on the grounds
	of some semantic misunderstanding.  Semantic misunderstandings beat
	out cold fusion as a source of boundless cheap heat.  Do your best,
	and we will try to sort it out.  Communication is an unending 
	miracle, which we renew every time we read something on the net.
	None of us are perfect at it, so don't worry *too* much, and never
	take anything personally if folks react to it.  (Even if they tell
	you so...)  Anyone taking themselves too seriously here is missing 
	the point...  Primary prereq for the group is a broad sense of 

  ARGH!!!  I asked for recipes, and I got quick fried to a crackly crunch!
	Fear not.  Some of us think that this should be an open forum, and
	use kindness.  Folks employing knee jerk flaming are not to be
	considered as *representative* of the collegium, no matter what
	volume they contribute.  Individuals taking Rev. Bell's suggestions
	to initiate newbies via auto-da-fe too seriously will be awarded the 
	coveted Jolly Grail.

  What is magick, and why do you use a 'k'?
	Magick is any of a variety of life-practices which devote the 
	practitioner to self- and (thereby) environment-transformation.
	Methods and schools of magick vary.  This group discusses all
	sorts of alchemy, kaballah, western ritual magick, renaissance
	neoplatonism, eastern mysticism, neopagan magick, and occasionally
	a bit of commentary on new age practice.  The general viewpoint
	here is to try for a dogma-free approach to magick, which precludes
	a lot of religious discussion, although we draw religious and 
	mystical vocabulary in *all* the time, since we are too short 
	lived to reinvent all the symbols in the world.  Personally,
	I like to think of us as agnostic gnostics...
	We spell it with a 'k' to differentiate from the art of presti-
	digitation, which has it's own group 'alt.magic'.  The closeness
	in spelling has resulted in some amusing unintentional cross-

  Who is Aleister Crowley?  Why should I care?
	It is frightening to this humble reader that Aleister Crowley
	(Uncle Al, the Beast 666, and various other terms of endearment)
	has written the most readable and concise magickal theory texts
	produced in the past couple centuries.  This is frightening largely
	because they are as obscure as hell, the style is usually atrocious,
	and his assumptions about the background of his readership are vast.
	Magic_Without_Tears is a good starting place for the neophyte.
	Magic_in_Theory_and_Practice is a good starting place for someone
	who thinks they might already have a little background.  The general
	"school" of Crowley's style of magick is referred to as Thelema,
	a word which means "Will" in Greek.  Those who study this canon 
	are referred to properly as Thelemites, and improperly as Crowley-
	ites (much as it is not proper to refer to Moslems as Mohammedans).
	Me, I'm not a fan, I just read the stuff...
	In this group, there seem to be a preponderance of Thelema-literates
	who submit to the group, therefore you will often find Thelemite
	vocabulary used as the lingua franca.  
        It is probably a prereq to about a quarter of the discussions in
        this group to understand Crowley's technical meaning of the term
        Will, and the terms Love, Law, and a general literacy couldn't hurt.

  What's a good beginning reading list for a person interested in magick?
	(warning -- none of these are necessarily "easy reading!")

	Real Magick			Isaac Bonewitz
	The Golden Bough		J. G. Frazer
	The Prince 			Niccolo Machiavelli
	The Politics 			Aristotle
	The Book of Five Rings		Miyamoto Musashi
	The Art of War 			Sun Tzu
	Magick Without Tears            Aleister Crowley
	Angel Tech                      Antero Alli 

~From:	works				Robert Anton Wilson
	works				Robert Shea
	works				Dion Fortune

  What's a good beginning reading list for a person interested in mysticism?
	A Sociable God			Ken Wilber
	The Sacred and the Profane	Mircea Eliade
	A History of Religious Ideas	Mircea Eliade
	  Volume 1 especially
	follow topics of interest from bibliographies of books above...
	Mysticism			Evelyn Underhill
	(a readable intro, but of occasionally dated scholarship)

  Why is this group so pagan hostile?
        This group was partially formed to foment discussion of magickal
        theory and practice outside of the alt.pagan flamefest.  Therefore
        you will find a lot of people who, when they see pagan terminology,
        immediately try to kill it before it grows.  (They've gotten better
        over the months, but still flare up sometimes.)  In addition, there
        is a great debate over whether pagan practice is a modern invention,
        or an ageless traditional religion WHICH DISCUSSION DOES NOT BELONG
        IN THIS GROUP, which causes many Crowley fans to dismiss all pagans
        as dupes of Gardener and Crowley.  If you want to comment on this,
        send me email.  I am a very active pagan, and I'd rather read this
	list than alt.pagan because of the higher signal-to-noise ratio
	(despite our occasional lapses...).
  What about Satanism?
	Some of the posters of this group are self-identified Satanists.
	This group does not ascribe to any particular religious philosophy,
	and we try not to make assumptions about other folk's.  Do not
	assume that a Satanist is:  evil; has anything to do with christi-
	an ideas of Satan; subject to flamage sheerly for his/her religious
	beliefs.  This topic has been thrashed to death, and belongs else-
	where.  If you can't be religiously tolerant, please go elsewhere.
	If this is PC, the PC stands for Peaceful Coexistance.  For more 
	info, consult alt.satanism.
  Where can I find copies of Colin Low's 12 part opus Notes on the Kaballah?
	The files in question are on under
	pub/magick/new/NoK.TAR.Z and pub/magick/new/NoK.README. There are a 
	few interesting things there including Spare's "Book of Pleasure".

  What about archives?
	No archives.  Other sites with miscellaneous items of interest
	available by ftp include (short list so far -- tell me if I left
	you out!): some occult oriented material on
		anonymous ftp under /pub/magick/* (thanks, josh!)

  How can I put together a surefire aphrodisiac?
        One that works for me:  Insure a perfectly clean and neat working
        environment.  Bathe.  Burn a little incense, but nothing too strong.
        Artificial light is a real no-no: go for candles, and light from
        the fireplace.  Soft, rhythmical music is a real plus.  Inscribe
        a circle in the air around the bed, and spread an altar cloth
        thereon.  Furnish the altar with champagne (representing air-
        in-water), and a couple cherry-chocolate truffles (representing
        earth-encompassing-fire).  Dress in comfortable, but form-flattering
        garb.  Introduce the subject to the altar area, and share with him/
        her the altar furnishings.  If the aspects are good, your heart is
        clear, and there is any hope at all, it'll work.
	This is not a recipe exchange club.  You are highly unlikely to 
	find spells or specific procedures described, except as subjective
	reports.  Generally, we are interested in (self-)transformative
	magicks, not sorcery, spells, or D&D style handwaving.
	A dear friend also recommends flower magick.  I am unsure of this
	concept, and invite him to empirically experiment on me.

Is there a formal order associated with alt.magick?

	No, but there is a lot of informal disorder (Hail Eris!)  The
	eloquent Rev. J. B. Bell has posted:

> That's right--this humble reporter has discovered that alt.magick is
> in fact the real and true descendant of the original Knights Templar,
> and even the Enlightened Ones of the Lost Continent of Mu before them.
> Amazingly, it hides where its persecutors will least suspect
> it--*right out in the open*.
> Just look at these obvious indicators:
        > 1.  A system of initiation--newbies are subjected to
> mind-cleansing rituals, known as "flaming".
        > 2.  All comers are accepted after initiation, just as in the
> Eleusinian and many other Mysteries, regardless of social class.  The
> only criteria are a willingness to learn and basic composition skills.
        > 3.  All are free to Post as they Will.  Those posting What They
> Want may get flamed though.  Eventually, this reciprocative process
> leads to Enlightenment.
> While there is no official ranking, it is obvious that there are
> Secret Masters at work here.
                          > Well that's about enough of that,
                          > --Rev. J. B. Bell

What about sex magick? gee, that sounds like fun. how do I do that?
                  Basic Techniques of Sex Magick
The main requirement for doing any kind of sex magick (one could
almost say any kind of magick whatsoever) is the ability to concen-
trate single-mindedly, ie with no other thoughts at all intruding.
This ability is developed by the practice of dhyana yoga or a similar art.
The clearest instruction on basic yoga that I have seen is 'eight 
lectures on yoga' by aleister crowley.
when doing any type of sex magick you should formulate your 'telos'
(purpose) clearly beforehand, concentrate on it single-mindedly and
'background' it. during sex concentration is best directed towards
the matter at hand (or whatever); I have founf it to be more than 
ordinarily important to stay 'in the moment' (ie, neither think of 
past events or future events, but just what is occurring at the
present moment). at orgasm the telos should overwhelm the mind, if
you are doing it correctly your mental state will approach dhyana at 
this point.
masturbatory sex magick --- VIII degree OTO
formulate your telos, background it. begin sexual stimulation. 
at orgasm:
(males) the telos should overwhelm your mind; the semen can
either be consumed (eaten) or used to charge a prepared talisman
(which, needless to say, should also express your telos).
(females) with each orgasm the telos should overwhelm your mind; 
as the orgasm recedes background again (repeat until done). the
vaginal fluids can be treated in the same fashion as the semen 
(see above).
this technique is particularly well adapted to the creation of
'magickal children', 'spirits' dedicated to a specific purpose.
In fact, it is a qabalistic idea dating  (at least) to abulafia 
that every time one masturbates one creates a spirit (and for
this reason abulafia said 'you shouldn't masturbate' and to this
day chasidic jews (who incorporate a lot of qabalistic stuff into their
trip) aren't (theoretically) supposed to).
heterosexual sex magick --- IX degree OTO
it is possible for one participant to do this with the other completely
unaware of what is going on; I find this ethically questionable. from
a strictly practical viewpoint, however, if you are going to use another
person to do something like this (let's not mince words) it is best that
they be _completely_ ignorant of what you are doing; partial awareness
could adversely affect the performance or result of the working.
assuming both the male and the female participant are conscious of
the working, the telos should be agreed upon beforehand, concentrated
upon, and backgrounded by both participants. the male participant's 
orgasm should be delayed as long as possible (there are various tech-
niques for doing this; a good one is described in 'stations of the tide' by 
michael swanwick pp 86 ff (paperback edition (Avon books 1992))). multiple
orgasms in the female participant are desireable. after the male
participant ejaculates, the mixed fluids are taken up by him via 
cunnilingus (and it is well if this is prolonged also)  and shared 
with the female participant (in a kiss). this elixir is then consumed.
part of it can also be used to charge a prepared talisman.
there are slightly different formulae employed depending on whether 
the female participant is menstruating or not (in fact indian tantrics
differentiate 16 seperate formulae depending on where in her menstrual
cycle a woman is (pandunath, personal communication)).
crowley developed several formulae of homosexual sex magick (XI degree
OTO); I am inclined myself to describe the XI degree OTO as whatever 
one personally has the most inhibitions built up against. with  crowley
it was taking the receptive position in anal intercourse (I would not,
however deny that this is an *extremely* powerful formula, due mostly
(I think) to the highly absorptive character of the rectum), for John
Dee and Edward Kelley (and their wives) it was wife swapping. for a
very high kinsey gay person it might well be heterosexual sex; whatever
it is for each individual its first use is always characterized by
the breaking down of barriers and it remains a powerful formula
Hey, I just bought a Crowley/Harris 'Book of Thoth' tarot deck and it's
got this extra card in it that has, like, this six-pointed star drawn
funny with a flower in the middle. What gives?

opinions are divided as to what purpose, if any, this 'unicursal hexagram'
card serves. eddie averett points out that it is useful for meditation.
It probably (along with the blank white card that also appears) is there
because the number80 goes into a more convenient format for the printers
than the number 78 does.

Are there stylistic guidelines?
	Add a few books on General Semantics to your reading list, and also
	Strunk & White, and the guide to using your favorite news editor.
	We do pretty well with bad spellers, and poor grammarians, but there
	is no excuse for folks who can't learn how to use their word wrap
	options in their editor.  It really makes it hard to read your post
	or to include quotes to reply.  Please hit the return key at the
	end of each line, if you can't learn how to use the word wrap.  We
	thank you!  Hope to see you on the net!

Shava Nerad Averett
/*  all materials (c)1992, Shava Nerad Averett, and have nothing significant
    to do with the University of North Carolina, a mostly owned subsidiary 
    of the NC Legislature, a mostly owned subsidiary of the DOT.      */
/*  except for the bit about the unicursal hexagram which I wrote... josh */

This document is Copyright (c) 1995, authors cited.

All rights reserved.  Permission to distribute the collection is
hereby granted providing that distribution is electronic, no money
is involved, reasonable attempts are made to use the latest version
and all credits and this copyright notice are maintained.

Other requests for distribution should be directed to the individual
authors of the particular articles.

nagasiva, tyagi
tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (I@AM)

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