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Wizard: Spare vs. GD techniques

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: (mordred)
Subject: Wizard: Spare vs. GD techniques (was: Re: sex magick & Tantra)
Date: 28 Jun 1995 07:57:37 -0700

[from alt.magick.chaos: (wizard)]

Hello, JM555.  You sent me the message by email and I tried to send my
response to you twice, but it seems that your return address was not
recognized and my email to you was returned. Luckily, you also posted
here, so I will simply post my response here. In the future, if you wish
to email me, would you please repeat in the body of the text your email
address so I can be sure that my reply is properly addressed. Thanks.
Anyway, here is the email I tried to send you:

Thanks for your post. You represent your ideas very well. Let
me reply to your comments, and then, if you would be so kind, please
respond back to my comments.

>Spare's system has significant
>differences from the traditional GD or Goetic systems of creating talismans.
>First and foremost, the sigil is an original creation of the mind that is
>going to put it to use. It MUST be, or it will not work.

Yes, and the GD system of TELESMATIC (spelled correctly) does exactly that.
You create an entirely original image and use that as your sigil.

>Goetics and GD
>styles prescribe the exact design and "corrospondences" of the talisman,
>with perhaps small variations obtained by playing connect-the-dots on
>planetary kamea - and even THOSE are prescribed exactly.

The kameas have nothing to do with telesmatic magick. Please note that I
was not talking about the well-known GD method where you
choose-your-correspondences- and-write-them-down. This is the magickal
system used by the GD that is not well-known (although it is in Regardie's
books). It has nothing to do with the Goetia.

>Secondly, the GD talisman is "consecrated" via a complex ritual-by-rote,
>a technique that Spare violently eschewed:

That is absolutely true, although only partially so. Remember, I did write
that what Spare did was a variation on what the GD did. The
"ritual-by-rote" (actually, I think calling it a cook book might be more
appropriate: take one of this, one of that, change this to that, etc.) was
only part of what was necessary. The other part was to build up a cone of
energy through physical and mental activity, and then send this energy into
your device. If you do this properly, thinking about the purpose is

>(Spare, of course, was speaking from personal experience, having belonged
>to the GD himself for a time.)

By which time the GD had become decrepit and members were not using all of
their techniques. Remember, Regardie saw Enochian Chess Boards but came to
the conclusion that none of the adepti (or inepti, as Regardie used to call
them) knew how to use the boards for divination. Further, I do not know if
Spare had achieved 5=6 in the GD. Before that level, NO PRACTICAL MAGICK
was taught in the G.D. I am not, of course, saying that Spare took his
method from the GD, only that what he is doing is only slightly different
from the Inner Order's technique of Telesmatic Magic.

>Thirdly, the most important step in utilising a sigil is to lose it's
>meaning to the conscious mind. This is the exact opposite of what the GD
>technique is designed to do; after performing one of their consecration
>rites, the meaning and purpose of the talisman is pounded into the
>conscious mind with a sledgehammer.

This is again, partly correct. To consecrate a Telesmatic talisman you do
focus on the purpose, but when actually charging it you would not think of
anything except giving it energy. IMO, Spare's technique is a variation on
this. For Spare (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the focus on the
purpose comes only during the creation of the physical object, not during
the actual charging. There is a time difference, but IMO, the techniques
are basically the same.

>Fourthly, a Spare sigil is charged by inducing mental vacuity, by
>bringing about the state of "neither-neither". A GD talisman is charged
>by intense concentration upon it's purpose. Again, these sound like exact
>opposites to me.

Again, the above is true for regular talismans, but not for telesmatic
magick. In fact, when using the telesma system you do not even have to make
up a physical representation of the purpose, you could just use a
visualization (which takes the form of an angel).

>And finally, the sigil is released by physical destruction and by
>forgetting about it entirely. _Again_, this is the exact opposite of what
>the GD system calls for.

While the GD system does not call for physical destruction, the best
effects occur when you forget the purpose and goal. I find this aspect to
be identical

>So all we are left with is the fact that both systems utilise graphic
>images. One might as well claim that a television commercial and a
>computer word-processor are the same thing, since they both display
>pictures on a cathode ray tube!

No, I think that there are more similarities than that.

>> As to Chaos
>> Magick, as far as I can tell they simply redefine terms so that they sound
>> like they are based on theories of the science of Chaos. Their basic
>> techniques are still adapted from Spare, Crowley and the GD.
>Most Chaos Magick has far more similarity to shamanism than to the GD, or
>at the very least is a working synthesis of both.

It is my contention that the GD did have many shamanistic aspects. In the
book by Regardie it is mentioned that the GD did rites of transformation
(i.e., wereanimal rites), weather workings and other things more associated
with shamanism than that Solomonic or Goetic magick.

>Every Chaote determines
>the nature of the technique hirself; in this it is the very antithesis of
>the GD system with it's rigid set of corrospondences and prescribed,
>unalterable rituals.

You are again partly correct. As I said, it has been my experience that
most Chaotes still use rituals based on GD rituals. Also, the GD magickal
(not initiatory or preperatory rituals) were guides that were always
changed by the magician, but, as you said, within the set of
correspondences. Still, that set was so wide (see Crowley's _777_) that it
left room for great individuality and originality.

>> One thing I have noticed, however, is that many of the people in the UK
>> involved with the Chaos system (esp. IOT), are well-educated,
>> well-practiced occultists. In the U.S. Chaos magicians tend to be younger
>> and take it up because they think they can get quick results without
>> having to do much study or practice.
>Yes, I know of the "IOT" types you speak of - they are basically Thelemites
>trying to be trendy, and fostering the same bankrupt hierarchical idiocy
>that Chaos Magick is meant to destroy.

While I agree that despite their words they are trying to have a hierarchy,
I do not consider people such as Carroll et al to be Thelemites in any way.

>"Without a doubt the main reason for modern interest in Spare is that his
>methods _work_. Their simplicity, in contrast to the convoluted ceremonies
>of the Golden Dawn and their offshoots, which he first joined and
>rejected, almost certainly derives from his interest in Shamanism.
>Unfortunately, there has always been a heavy Protestant Work Ethic in
>Magic in the English speaking world. That there is merit in
>"ceremony-by-rote" or in performing a banishing ritual twice daily
>regardless of personal feelings is crap. If an activity can achieve the
>desired effect in a few seconds it is the _best_, not the "laziest" magic."
>- Steve Wilson, from _Chaos Ritual_

I agree. But some people enjoy involved ritual. They enjoy what it evokes
in them. This helps improve the quality of the ritual.  As far as I'm
concerned, the _best_ ritual is the one that works, not the one that is the
simplest or most involved. In my opinion, if it works, do it.

>Lumping Spare together with the GD (which he rejected) or Crowley (who
>rejected HIM) only shows that you have very little understanding of Spare
>or his methods. Have you ever bothered to actually read his works or
>study his art?

You're probably correct. I've only been collecting his books and art for
about 20 or so years. Just for my information, and since I assume you've
been doing it for much longer, how long do you think it is necessary for
study before you begin to comprehend his work?

>That some Chaotes may make use of various GD-style techniques from time
>to time is immaterial. It is the _spirit_ in which Chaos Magick is
>practiced that is fundimentally different.

Well, if you use GD-style rituals, and redefine things like Carroll so that
new terms designate old ideas, we've still got a duck (you know, if it
walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...).

>You seem to be railing against efficiency. To the Chaote, simplicity is a
>_virtue_. That magickal effects can be obtained without spending years
>kissing the ass of the Grand Exalted Master Of The Temple is a _good_
>thing to me. Of course, practice makes perfect in any human endevour. But
>"busy work", like regurgitating memorised rituals for the sake of sliming
>after "degrees" is the kind of stupidity that the Chaos Magician rejects
>as mere ego-gratifying nonsense.

On the contrary. Efficiency IS the best policy. But efficiency to me means
doing something the best way so that it works. That may be quick or may
take hours. It depends upon the individual, the ritual, etc.

I agree that I would not kiss anybody's ass. In fact, I have quit several
groups because that is what they demanded. And I also agree that degrees
mean little. As far as I'm concerned all magicians should be constantly
learning new ideas. That makes all wizards, no matter what degrees they may
claim, the same as a neophyte.

In L.V.X.


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