CONTENTS / QUICK FIND:Introduction / Term Entries / Dictionary Source Bibliography /
A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M /
N /O / P / Q / R /S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z /
Reviews: Tyagi 'NocTifure' (1997) / *End ---||
by Tyagi aka "nocTifer"
In 1997, on SilverChalice Electronic Discussion List (...) Tyagi aka "nocTifer", a practicing Satanist, posted a three part academic review of The Order of The Astral Star's Dictionary-Glossary of Terms for The Grade of Aspirant as it appeared on our (OAB's) old "Concentric.com" website of the day.
The review is included in this work in it's entirety, modified only for form, and to delete legal names of OAB Members - in accordance with more recent OAB legislation. We would like to thank nocTifer for his critical review, which the Adepti of the Order Asteros Bethlehem (Order of The Star of Bethlehem) appreciated and enjoyed very much. We would further like to state for the record that Tyagi "Noctifer" is not now, nor has he ever been a member of The Society of The Astral Star. Nor does his views and opinions represent the Society of The Astral Star, it's Officers, or General Membership at large. We include his review in an attempt to offer the reader some potentially alternative definitions and opinions of the subjects treated herein.
The Order stands by the definitions given in the published work. We remind the reader that in our Preface to The Dictionary-Glossary, we state very clearly that all definitions of terminology is a starting point to understanding. We applaud his academic efforts regarding the review of this work. Though we come from very different spiritual and magickal perspectives, we can reccommend that the sincere student follow his example when working through the definitions that we present in our own Dictionary.We should note that the general text is in an Indigo-Purple. Section Headers as Tyagi divided them are in a Golden text. Tyagi Noctifure's comments and observations are in Black text. The 6th Adept's/Reporter's/Editor's comments are in Green text. Where applicable, we have made any responses and comments from the Dictionary's General Editor, GHFr. Pneuma, Chief Adept/President in Red text. We hope that this will assist the reader to note clearly whose view is whose.
Again, well done and thanks Tyagi! ;-)
From: Tyagi (nocTifer)
Subject: RVW: Christian Occult Dictionary (LONG)
Date: 23 Aug 1997 @ 10:55:26 -0700 GMT
[Originally To Silver Chalice E-List (firstname.lastname@example.org) in 3 Parts]
Peace be upon you, kin:
I have been in contact with the Society of The Astral Star and was directed to their dictionary to assist me in understanding their terminology. apparently the page itself is under construction so take all of the below with that in mind. I'm focussing on it because I think it will be a helpful initiation to a discussion of Christian Magick to get some of the terminology into the limelight, the dispute and the mythos placed right before our eyes. Onward...
I've re-organized these by discussion topic:[Originally online from: http://www.concentric.net/~scmoasa/journal/dictionary.shtml]
[OAB Editor Remarks: Currently located online at: http://dictionary.astralstar.org/]
[Excerpts, some sections (e.g. 'Magick') compiled and renamed. - tn]
INRI:Letters written on Jesus' cross, they have been interpreted to mean different things, depending upon who you talk to. Primarily a notarikon (q.v.) from the Latin by Christians as meaning, "Iesus Nazarenu, Rex Iudaeorum" interpreted as, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Used to mock the Christian Messiah Jesus (q.v.) Christ as he was crucified on the cross of galgatha (called Calvary).
Secondly said to be a Latin notarikon (q.v.), "Igne Naturae Renovatur Integra," meaning "Nature by fire is renewed in its integrity" by the Alchemists of the Rennesaince. Medieval alchemists also used INRI as a Latin notarikon (q.v.) "Inge Nitrum Raris Inventium, "fire." Finally, INRI is said to be a secret Notarikon (q.v.) of the Jesuit Order of Catholicism from the Latin "Iusticum Necare Regis Impium," meaning, "It is just to kill an impious king.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: It seems to me that the relationship between the Kristos, the Messiah, the Annointed One, the Annointed King, and the sacrificed 'King of the Jews' is fairly obvious.
The work of achieving enlightenment and unity with Divinity. Some people would say unity with one's own Higher Self. Classically, to become more than Human. The work of Adeptship.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: No mention made here of its alchemical origins. Used by Hermetics for their syncretic purposes. An obvious tie-in to Christian mysticism with divine union or heiros gamos as the ultimate objective. I would equate such a union with the liberation of Yoga and the goal-state of attainment to the consciousness of the Messiah or Christ.
SOCIETY OF THE ASTRAL STAR, THE::
aka ORDER OF THE STAR PF BETHLEHEM, THE; [O.A.B.]:
[formerly known as: ORDER OF THE ASTRAL STAR, THE; (O.A.S.)]:
The Society of The Astral Star, aka The Order of The Star of Bethlehem. Founded in 1980 in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA, by a group of ten teenagers including Frater Pneuma Asteros, Soror Alethia Asteros, and Frater Skarff Asteros, upon the principles of Christian Mysticism and Magick. The first degree is founded upon the ideals of Christian Knighthood, and the magickal secrets of the Christian Eucharist. The Order practices Golden Dawn [G.D.] (q.v.) style ceremonial/ritual magick.
The symbol of the Order is an eight rayed star on it's point, inscribed with the glyphs of the signs of the zodiac, the planets, the numbers, and colors. A gold, silver, and red Crux mystica is in the center, and the star itself is surmounted by a crux mystica. The Society was incorporated in Kentucky on the Vernal Equinox, 1993 as "THE SOCIETY OF THE ASTRAL STAR, INC."
[Tyagi Noctifer]: An Old Aeon establishment by my humble reckoning, lux-o-centric and apparently predominantly mystical rather than magical in the more common sense of the terms.
[Editor]: The name of the Order was originally listed as the Order of The Astral Star when it was founded Nov. 01, 1980. As time evolved the Order was to be (and remains) known as THE SOCIETY OF THE ASTRAL STAR (In The Outer) and as THE ORDER OF THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM (In The Inner).
[Fr. Pneuma]: The Order of The Astral Star *is* a 'lux-o-centric' Order as Tyagi suggests, and we make *no* apology for it. By 'Old Aeon Establishment' I take it that Noctifer is stating his interpretation of the fact that we are not affiliated with the A.A. or promulgators of the teachings of Aleister Crowley. We respect the writing and work of Crowley but are *not* in line with that particular current. We do not accept or adhere to the teachings, philosophy, or doctrines of Aleister Crowley's Book Of The Law. We additionally are Old Aeon in the fact that we are not affiliated with or in line with the philosophies of historic or modern day Satanism, which in general we are very much in respectful opposition too.
To clarify our methodology, we are very much a *magickal* Order. We make use of magick as a means of personal and practical mysticism as an organization and as individuals. The goal of magickal workings for us is in the end *mystical*, but I can assure you and the readers that we are very much *magickal* in the strictest and classical senses of the words.
SIXTY-NINE (69) CURRENT:
What the followers of the teachings of the Order of The Astral Star (q.v.) call their path or tradition. The Sixty-nine comes from the numerological reduction via Gematria (q.v.) of the words "Manger or Stable," in Hebrew indicating that the Order of The Astral Star is founded upon the Christ event that led the wise men to a stable where the Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Clever integration of sex magick issues evident even in the Order's numerical Current ID.
[Fr. Pneuma]: LOL! People see that number (69) and assume that the Order of The Astral Star makes use of general sex magickal techniques. People refuse to believe the truth of the fact that we *do not*! We do not shun sexual expression like many of our mainstream brothers and sisters in Christ, however as a group, again, we *do not* practice ritual sex magick. The fundamentals are covered in the course of instruction for members, and I would be naive to believe that we have no members making use of those techniques and methods. However those who do so generally do so between loving partners and more often than not within the confines of marriage. It is true that we make use of the polarity of our members based on their physical gender in that whenever possible, numbers allowing, we form our circles male to female to male to female. In those circles we sometimes make use of breathing (Aspiring) opposite of each other (males to females) as a method/means of linking energetically with each other. That is really the extent of our organization's *sex magickal* practices in open circle. Really.
Greek for the letter, "T," and a cross with the horizontal bar at the top of the vertical line. The shape of a traditional ceremonial/ritual magician's robe.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: There is much to the Tau Cross which is missed by modern Christian mystics. Not something for me to know right away (as I have only glimpsed it in visions and through scant research and not been inspired to look closely), though I'd welcome hints.
The Eastern term for a student of spiritual and occult matters who learns mainly by imitating the guru, or teacher.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Not sure where the 'mainly by imitation' came from. As I understand it, on a remove largely reflected through academic texts and those by chelas themselves, there is certainly a worshipful attitude toward the guru, and the predominant attitude is to do as the guru *says*, not as as he does, though the latter may well be included.
Eastern term for a teacher of occult and spiritual matters, who instructs mainly by example.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I understand that gurus also set their chelas very important challenges. The Hermetics stole the language from the Indians and now sometimes use 'chela' to indicate a rather more exalted condition than is actual (that is, student, rather than real 'disciple', the latter being something which most in the West cannot handle: either the guru or chela roles.
An energy said to lie dormant at the base of the spine, ready to rise through the spine to the top of the head and bring down enlightenment. Actually, this was an allegory. In reality, the energy is controlled by the mind.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: The last two statements strike me as horrendously over-confident, though this may be part of the doctrines of the Order. It does appear to have a strong sexual component and appears to identify its secret teachings as a kind of psychosexual magick.
Illusion. A Sanskrit word which does not mean, as many people believe, that the world is an illusion. Actually, it means that our interpretation of the world around us is an illusion. The world is not totally what we perceive it to be.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: A popular rendering. Sometimes 'the power of Devi' in the form of compulsion, attraction, deception, etc. Sometimes 'Maya' is a sort of mischievous or trickster-like goddess on her own.:
A Buddhist sect widespread in Japan that seeks enlightenment through spontaneous insights that are generated by a single-minded devotion to simple physical actions, or by verbal paradoxes that cannot be solved in logical terms. In Zen, the intellect is looked upon as an obstruction to truth that must be circumvented on philosophical analysis.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This appears to me a horrendous over-simplification. The insight is into the nature of the self, which is deemed transient (there being no soul of which to speak as is presumed in Western religion). The primary discipline is called 'zazen' and is variously described as 'just sitting', 'sitting meditation', and sometimes involves contemplative records, or 'koans', which are not always paradoxical or illogical of structure.
[Fr. Pneuma]: I agree that the definition as given for this term in the General Dictionary is very much over simplified. Tyagi's comments are very much appreciated regarding this term. Students are encouraged to make note of his comments here.
SECRECY, POWER AND SYMBOLISM:
From Latin meaning, "Hidden." Occult wisdom means hidden wisdom. Occult knowledge means hidden knowledge. It does not mean or imply evil.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: To many Christians for many years 'occult' did indeed mean 'evil' and it was for this very reason that it was concealed from the vulgar.
The withdrawal of involvement by an individual from the exterior world to so great an extent that other people and even animals fail to notice the presence of that individual within their presence. If they are noticed they are immediately forgotten about, and paid no attention to. A ritual to accomplish this state.
The magickal ability to assume the forms of beasts or other human beings with the soul while it is astrally projected from the body. Occasionally these altered shapes are seen by other people, who mistake them for bodies of flesh.
According to ancient legend, Greek magicians possessed the power, most probably learned from the Egyptians, to cause gods or spirits to indwell in statues, which could then be made to speak oracular utterances or answer questions through signs. Some Living Statues were used as temple guardians.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: These (past three terms) are all 'siddhis' or 'powers' ascribed by the faithful to the adepti of various mystical traditions. Invisibility and teleportation appear to be commonplace claims, shape-shifting is as much provided of those whom the traditional Christians would condemn (as witches), and 'living statues' became a Jewish alchemical tradition (the 'golem'), a part of what today has resulted in the fascination with robotics and artificial intelligence (see the recent hubbub about 'Deep Blue').
Any device which has a Pentagram (q.v.) on it. Usually circular in shape, and made of metal, wood, parchment, or clay material. Also, the tool of elemental earth.
A five pointed star. Also called the pentalpha because it can be formed by five capital "A's." It is used to represent spirituality (Spirit over the four elements) when it has one point up. With two points up it is said to represent materialism or "evil." Some forms of wicca (q.v.) do use the pentagram with two points up as a symbol, but for them it has no evil or negative connotation. The two points up represent the second of (usually) three degrees of initiations into Wicca.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: These (past two terms) are of course both extremely narrow descriptions of the two terms. 'pentacle' or 'pantacle' was often not defined as something necessarily involving pentagrams at all, sometimes being just a kind of talisman, or even 6-pointed star for the purposes of protection. This was likely derived straight from folk magic traditions, adapted by the mage and witch alike for their purposes.
The pentagram has been associated with a variety of attributions, inclusive of that given above. Modern Satanists apparently find the association of the point-down pentagram with materialism and 'evil' quite attractive, though most modern occultists of all sorts (that is both Wiccan and Satanist) probably obtained it from the Masons.
[Fr. Pneuma]: Regarding Tyagi's comment regarding 'Pantacles', I agree. In my opinion 'Pentacles' were sometimes used as forms of Pantacles. However the root of the word, 'PENT' clearly indicates *five*. Therefore, I believe that the definitions we list for these terms are accurate and I stand by them. If a Pantacle had a figure (like a star) of Six points, then it would in my opinion be a 'HEXACLE'. For this reason there are a number of different types of PANTACLE, which may refer to a many sided (PAN) figure. Many writers in times past frequently used words incorrectly - interchangeably as synonyms for each other when in my opinion they should not have done so. This has caused a great deal of confusion over the course of time. I'm in no position to discuss the relationship to Pentacles and Freemasonry - not because of some secret vow, but because I have no direct knowledge - not being a Mason.
A drawing or collage used to help the practitioner with magick involving "creative" Visualization (q.v.).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I have never heard of this before and consider it novel. From this one might integrate pirate stories with one's magical or mystical practices. The pirates were the first pioneers and traders, being indistinguishable from the latter prior to guilds and government controls.
Literally, a skillful or clever person. A wizard is a male magician who uses Theurgy (q.v.) or Goety (see goetia).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Typically the word 'wizard' relates to wisdom, in etymology and popular usage. It has only become popularly paired with 'witch' (female) by vulgar standards and ought be applied to all regardless of gender. Here it is given some merit by virtue of being associated with theurgy.
Definitions of this term vary widely. 1) The art of causing change in the manifest world through the Unmanifest. 2) The science and art of causing change (in reality or in consciousness) to occur in conformity with will using means not currently understood by traditional Western science.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: These are very narrow considerations and the second quotes Aleister Crowley without credit (albeit it diluted, Clarkian form). Crowley said magick was "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will", many equating 'Will' here with that of the divine. Arthur C. Clarke said that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". the latter may be very helpful to scientists in dismissing what they don't understand, but it is too clumsy for the use of any but hard-core materialist mages.
...The use of the "k" at the end of the word was introduced by Aleister Crowley (q.v.) to differentiate real magick from what a trickster does on stage with hats, handkerchiefs and rabbits.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Any rudimentary read of Crowley will reveal this to be a falsity. In Book Four he clearly indicates through Soror Virakam that he is attempting to distinguish (in his RE-introduction of the spelling) his style of practice from the charlatans and shams (his competition. ;>).
[Fr. Pneuma]: Or... Soror Virakam believed that was what was meant By Crowley. I have to admit, that is a real posibility. It would certainly fit in with Crowley's personality and ego! Thanks for pointing out that passage in Book Four. I'll have to re-check the reference. All students are encouraged to do the same!
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I have no idea from where the magick/stage-magic distinction derives, though it sure is a popular explanation.
...To some practitioners, the "k" also stands for "Kteis", a Latin word indicating Sex Magick (q.v.) to those who practice that form of magick.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is awkwardly worded. 'Kteis' only barely implies any specific 'form' of magick. The reference here is undoubtedly Kenneth Grant and John Symonds, in their edition of Crowley's Book Four, a must read for any serious magician, Christian, Satanist or whatever.
[Fr. Pneuma]: I completely agree that Book Four by Aleister Crowley is a *must* on every magickian's reading list! Personally, I would not *start* there, but I would definitely state that all Adepti should have read the work at least once, and probably several times over the course of their magickal careers.
1) The science and art of causing change (in reality or in consciousness) in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science, for the purpose of causing either physical or non-physical harm to yourself or others, and is done either consciously or unconsciously. 2) Magick (q.v.) that is worked for evil purposes or that involves malign actions, agents, or entities.
The science and art of causing change (in reality or in consciousness) in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science, for the purpose of causing either physical or non-physica good to yourself or others, and is done either consciously or unconsciously.
The science and art of causing change (in reality or in consciousness) in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science, for the purpose of obtaining the Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel (q.v.). Also known as experiential mysticism.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: The colorization of magick appears to be perpetuated by many modern Hermetic mages, with Isaac Bonewits and a few others like Carroll taking it to extremes in rainbow variety. At first it appears that anything to do with 'magic' was unacceptable to the dominant Christian establishment. later, this was softened in describing religious or mystical disciplines as a kind of 'white magic' while the competition engaged 'black magic' (of the Devil).
As it has entered into modern occultism this seems to be most prevalent a descriptor of the work toward which one puts one's magick to task and a traditional range from selfish to selfless evaluation is accepted by writers like Donald M. Kraig, despite there being absolutely no rationale to consider them as separate categories in any logical analysis. It is an ethical rather than a rationally analyzible discernment between 'magicks', and one for which many modern mages find little use.
[Fr. Pneuma]: In the general curriculum of the Order, this topic is covered at length. In the end, we teach that there is no White, Yellow, Grey, Black or any other color of magick. This point is further made in Donald Michael Kraigs Modern Magick. We see magick as a technological tool (or more aptly *tools*). Magick is like a gun, a knife, or a hammer, etc. It can be used for any number of purposes (positive or negative) depending on the need and the intention of the user.
We do instruct magickal ethics and morality within the Order from our own perspective. As such, we include the definitions on the various *colors* of magick *because* the material is contained within our course curriculum in the various books students read. Because the terms exist and are used by a number of individuals in the greater esoteric/magickal communities and general writings, we attempt to place the terms in context with what people discuss. The terms are used, hence their inclusion in a dictionary like ours.
The term used by James G. Frazer to describe the presumed mechanism of magick. It may be divided into the Law of Contagion (objects once in contact forever remain in occult connection) and the Law of Similarity (effects can be produced through imitation).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This division is Bonewitsian, as far as I know (cf. his Real Magic). The description by Frazer is a commonly accepted means of explaining magical symbolic associations on the part of anthropologists, from whom a great deal of inspiration was derived in the rennovation of magical and mystical disciplines which were suppressed by the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.
Ritual or Ceremonial magick. It is called "high" because it was first developed in places which were at a higher elevation than where farming was done, i.e. in towns or cities. Usually divided into two major classifications according to Don Tyson, Theurgy (q.v.) which literally means "God Work" in Greek and it's opposite, Goety (see Goetia).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I don't know where this convention of elevation developed, but I think it either modern or unfounded in the main. as far as I know the distinction of 'high' and 'low' has more often referred to SOCIAL CLASSES rather than how far above sea level one might have been, even if there is some correlative which may be brought to bear.
I have never read Tyson though what is reflected in this dictionary does not strike me as necessarily very consistent or soundly-based. The theurgy he describes appears accurate, but I have almost never seen it contrasted with Goetia (which I'd associated with a specific grimoire). More often I've seen it contrasted with thaumaturgy, which is variously described as not deriving authority or power from 'the God' (usually of Christians) or from the mage (role-playing and some other modern mages). Corrections/commentary?
[Fr. Pneuma]: I think the Social Classes of the citizenry was correlated in large part (though not completely) upon where one lived. Peasants lived in the low lands and the middle class and nobles lived in the cities (usually -but not always- located on elevated ground). Hence the correlation of *elevation* with the people and that became related to the various forms of magick used by those individuals. :->
A number of modern magi have compared the differences between Goetic Demons and various Orders of Angels. Lon Milo Duquette is one author. He is a prominent member of the OTO if memory serves. I refer you to his Angels, Demons, & Gods of the new Millennium: Musings on Modern Magick, published in 1997 for additional material to consider.
Although this could refer to any type of magick where a pattern, or ritual is followed, it usually applies to those styles of magick where more complex rituals are used. It is also used synonimously with Ceremonial Magick (q.v.), although a ritual can be performed by one person, while Ceremonial Magick (q.v.) requires a group of people to perform.
A magickal system involving rituals performed by several people. Many Westerners find that this style of magick is most appropriate to their consciousness. Group ritual magick.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: These (past two terms) strike me as artificially extreme descriptions. 'ritual magic' appears to be a fairly modern convention and 'ceremonial' probably should be compared with 'folk' that relies more on potions, charms, sympathetic magic and illiterate spells or contraptions (e.g. witches' box) than on some sort of religious or formulaic recipe as contained within a ceremony.
Reliance on a 'pattern' is overly general to distinguish, since even folk magic has traditional patterns (repeating three times, for example) and complexity to quality (reading the Lord's Prayer backwards is no easy task! :>).
What may be said about 'ceremonial magic' (and this also relates to the 'high'/'low' distinction mentioned above) is that its complexity is of an INTELLECTUAL or LITERARY demeanor. This relates, again, to the upper classes, those who were more likely part of the Church, part of the political machinery, and/or members of the nobility (esp. in the West where this was made popular either within or in echo of medieval power-relationships).
Where this writer got the idea that ceremonial magick requires more than one individual to perform is beyond me. Crowley and many others (probably even the Golden Dawn) have individual ceremonies (the real basis for calling it 'ceremonial magick' aside from an attempt to make it sound more respectable), and it may be the group-focus of Orders which drives such a narrowing of the definitions.
My experience and exposure indicates that the terms 'ceremonial' and 'ritual' are used more or less interchangeably, though a few writers try to force a discernment between them for the purposes of establishing their nonexistent authority on the subject (an example of someone prone to do things like this was Levi, whose text is at times ludicrously funny in its attempts to mask his ignorance or tie disparate items together where before there was never real connection).
[Fr. Pneuma]: Donald Michael Kraig in his work Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts was one of the first modern Ritual/Ceremonial Magickians to make a distinction between *Ritual Magickian* and *Ceremonial Magickian*. His argument made a lot of sense to the ranking Adepti of our own Order. His statement - words to the effect of - that a ritual could be performed by any person alone while a ceremony of only one is not really all that *ceremonial*. A ritual with a group of individuals would qualify as a ceremony because of the complexity. The logic made sense to several of us here within the OAB.
I can assure you and the readers at large that it has/had *nothing* what-so-ever with attempting to *establishing our nonexistent authority on the subject*. Kraig's argument was logical. Additionally, it allows for High Magickians to have separate words (or phrases) to help define themselves much in the same way that a Wiccan has the option of stating what tradition they belong to (if any) and/or if they are *solitary*. For us, Ritual Magickians are *solitary* or working alone for whatever reason while Ceremonial Magickans are part of a group. Of course, one can make the argument that it is more complicated than this.
As a side note, I would further add that individuals who constantly use more than one word (as if they were synonyms) for the same thing, if not directly taken (i.e. rooted) from different languages may very well be contributing to the confusion within the greater community at large. Where we have different words in English, I say that whenever possible we should make use of them to differentiate our meanings better!
The magick of paganism (q.v.) which was developed in the low lands where farming was done.
See Low Magick.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Note the connection of 'natural' with 'low'. The lower classes were those more often living closer to nature, in the wild if very poor, and these were cut off from the protection of the Lord (in both of the medieval senses).
The series of ritual actions conducted in order to realize a ritual desire (q.v.), such as the performance of the Great Work (q.v.) of alchemy (q.v.). A working is an extended series of rituals designed to attain a single object.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This seems rather awkward. 'Magical work' typically relates to any activity one undertakes in order to have a magical intent. The Great Work is an alchemical mystery which has been identified with a great many other mystical concepts by the syncretic Rosicrucians and other Hermetics. As with all mature mysteries it would require books to sufficiently explain in any depth.
A 'working' is ambiguously used both for what is described above (a series of rites designed to achieve a particular goal) *and* for any single magical rite on its own. I think that 'work' is ascribed to the mage's exploits to make it easier to justify compensation for the 'effort' that the magick entailed. Magical traditions were heavily influenced by con-artists and charlatans throughout Hermetic Europe.
Magickal practices based on the presumptions that the universe is uncertain and that natural laws are not everywhere and always constant. A. Osmond Spare was a principle Chaos Magickal practitioner. Chaos Magick is not viewed to be the norm in Western Magickal traditions.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This appears to be a complete misunderstanding of Chaos Magick based on a conflation of modern scientific or mathematic Chaos Theory and/or the various new scientific darlings such as Quantum Mechanics or Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle (sometimes even Godel's Theorem!) with the approach that many perveyors of this 'New Improved Attitude' (NOT) have taken in response to predictable rigidification of epistemological paradigms and practical formulae in the pursuit of magical success.
Authors like Spare, Carroll, Sherwin and others have promoted the idea that diversification, imagination and autonomy of approach constitute a 'new' way of going about magick, when in fact those who have attempted to convey something of an overall approach (such as Crowley in Book Four) have made it clear that they did not accept this rigidity and were to some great extent attempting to combat it for the benefit of the discipline and those who engaged it.
Chaos Magick thereafter developed into a label for a literary tradition and culture all its own (quite hypocritically as I understand it), with its favored rites, methods and ideas (often attempting to abscond with modern scientific models for their own purposes and not always very successfully).
SEX AND TANTRA:/P>
The ability to use the powerful energies raised during sexual activity for magickal purposes.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is a common understanding of what 'sex magick' is, but it is by no means the only one available. I have constructed a taxonomy of what is associated with 'sex magick' and 'tantric sex' within a Reference document that may be found at:
Commentary (esp. in Usenet -- not sure that it applies here) welcome.
The release of magickal potency at the climax of a ritual or ceremony. It is usually accompanied by an emotional release, and in some forms of magick by physical climax. The catharsis of Greek tragedy was no more than a pale echo of the original magickal catharsis of the Greek Eulusian Mysteries.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This appears to have been popular as a sexo-magical activity by writers like Crowley, Spare, Grant and others. It is a Hermetic syncretization of Eastern tantric ideas with Hermetic mystical concepts. Through Blavatsky, Rosicrucians and other Hermetics the mystical traditions of India were merged with those of Christianity and integrated into a system of magic, provided with fallacious ancient origins and a grandiose objective.
A mixture of the serpent (q.v.) and the Menstruum (q.v.). Used in Alchemy (q.v.) and Sex Magick (q.v.).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: cf. 'massa confusa' in alchemical studies and compare with the Book of Genesis in the Christian Old Testament.
A male technique for delaying orgasm. It is said by the oriental mystics, to have beneficial effects to both members of a loving couple.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I suspect (from poor memory) that karezza is not at all a 'technique' so much as an attitude directed (often without specific instruction) toward lessening activity on the part of both participants in coition so as to prolong intercourse without ejaculation. In sex studies this is sometimes described as enabling male multiple orgasm or orgasm without ejaculation. cf. Alice B. Stockham (author of Tokology) for more on this.
MENSTRUUM (nee MENSTRUUM OF THE GLUTEN):
In alchemy (q.v.), the result of the slow heating of a substance in the Athanor (q.v.). In Sex Magick (q.v.) the female lubricating fluids and/or female ejaculatory fluids.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: A heavy focus of writers like Kenneth Grant, and I am genuinely surprised to see it contained in this dictionary. Usually the Western ceremonial tradition seems to favor male, semen-oriented, phallic, solar orientations which do not really provide favorable attention to the feminine perspective or biology (in part likely due to its Indian origins and from whom these elements were lifted).
Modern day Pagans (q.v.), "those of the earth," who are attempting to re-construct an ancient non-Christian religion from the original source material of a particular mythos.
PAGAN:From paganus, "those of the earth." Originally it described people of the land and their simplicity. Later, it focused on their choice of Pre-Christian deities and was used as a type of insult. Today, may Witches consider themselves to be Pagans or Neo-Pagans. For the most part, non-magick using Wiccans (q.v.).
Although most people today use this as a derogatory term, occultists simply equate it with mostly non magic using Wiccans (q.v.), although some pagans do use magick and do not call themselves Wiccans (q.v.).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: It is peculiar how an ostensibly *Christian* organization could get this set of (three) definitions so mixed up. As I understand it the term 'pagan' is a rough comparative to 'goyim' and, whether merely factual or in some condemnatory significance, meant and generally still means 'not one of our tribe or religion'.
Of course today's Neopagans are attempting to co-opt the term and have used it as an explosive label to cover most things which are felt to have been left out of traditional Christian religious standards: things like ecumenism, freedom of and from religion, variety of religious rite and deity of worship, etc.'
It is such a diverse conglomerate which is described by 'Neopagan' (or deceptively and dishonestly, by my standards, 'pagan'), that the claim made above about attempting to re-create old religion is not always true (some 'Pagans' feel that eclectic syncretism and imaginative innovation is the hallmark of their path), nor is it really easy to generalize about the use of 'magick' (this seems widespread, *especially among Wiccans*).
[Fr. Pneuma]: For the record, these definitions came straight out of the general glossaries in the backs of various source works for the Order's Grade of Aspirant. I edited the Dictionary - I did not write it. Perhaps it could be argued that we should change a number of the source works for our Order's general curriculum. I personally feel that overall our curriculum is sound. We *do* supplement the required material with reccommended reading from other sources. At minimum, Members are instructed one on one with a Sponsoring Member. Remember that we stated in the Introduction of the Dictionary that the terminology was a place to *begin* one's studies. The meanings of terms are *not* set in concrete. We further acknowledge the right of individuals within various traditions to define themselves and their traditions.
As such, I concede that your point regarding many of todays Neopagans are *not* attempting to recreate or reconstruct a historical pagan religion. You hit the nail on the mark with that observation. My comment was attempting to make a difference between modern pagans and modern wiccans *in general*. *Generally* speaking Wiccans are Pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. In modern times it is possible to be a number of different types of Wiccan or even Witch. It all depends on how one defines *those* terms to mean. I know of individuals who claim to be Jewish Witches, Catholic Witches, Christian Witches and Christo Pagans, Etc. Sometimes attempting to define what a pagan or what a Wiccan is is like attempting to herd a bunch of cats! Difficult if not impossible.
An affectionate name for the horned male consort of the Goddess of the Witches. Early Christian priests either mistook this pagan god for Satan (q.v.) or deliberately misidentified this pagan god for Satan for political reasons.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is quite wide of the mark as I understand it. Christian theologians both knew what they were doing when interpreting the various pagan gods as reflections of the Devil and consciously integrated particular symbolic elements of pre-Christian gods into the Devil's make-up as a derived pressure-point on the people whom they were converting. The general populace even adopted many of these 'affectionate' names for Satan in rejection of the oppressive church that was destroying their culture and religious practices through coercion and 'education'. They manifested the very worship of this anti-God in many cases in stark protest and caricature, something continued in modern Satanism.
CROWLEY, ALEISTER [nee EDWARD ALEXANDER CROWLEY]:
Many claim he was the most important magician of the 20th century. After training within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn [G.D.], he developed his own system of magick based upon Ordo Templi Orientis [O.T.O.] sex magickal secrets, G.D. techniques, his own channeled writings, and his own practical experiences.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This all appears to be correct, though of course there are some within the Thelemic community who distinguish amongst the various 'channeled' persons to which Crowley attributed his variety of texts (e.g. To Mega Therion, 666, VVVVV, Ko Yuen, Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, Frater Perdurabo, etc., etc.).
...The Order he founded was the Argentium Astrum [A.A.]. He is famous for his many writings, including the encyclopedia called The Equinox, and Magick: Parts 1-4.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: The particular social organization he called the AA was indeed initiated by him and a few other individuals (Frater DDS among them, described in Liber LXI). 'The Equinox' was more of a regular periodical containing released works by the cabal of interested individuals than it was any kind of 'encyclopedia'. Book Four, (variously known as Magick in Theory and Practice -- really Part III, Magick -- really Parts I, II and III, and Liber ABA) is probably one of the most cogent and scientific magical text in the history of the field. Too little attention has been given to it within occult circles even of Thelemic persuasion.
NINETY-THREE (93) CURRENT:
What the followers of Aleister Crowley call their path or tradition. It's holy book is Crowley's Book Of The Law, and it's creed his infamous, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, Love is the Law, Love under Will." The Ninety-three comes from the numerological reduction via Gematria (q.v.) of the Book Of The Law's creed.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: overly-generalized and in particular quite untrue. the culture which surrounds 'the 93 Current' is divided between magicians ceremonial, magicians shamanic, musicians and other artists inspired by Crowley, religious Thelemites and those who apply the philosophy of Thelema in daily life. typically any sort of organization associated with these describes its glue or inspiration to be 'the 93 Current' and do indeed refer to a gematric reference.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." and "Love is the law, love under will." are both from Liber Al vel Legis sub figura CCXX. They were used by Crowley as 'Thelemic Greetings' (described in Letter #18 within Magick Without Tears) and symbolic, in his reckoning, of the changes which he purported to be happening on a cosmic scale in association with 'the Aeon of Horus' (something like 'the Age of Aquarius) and quite probably directly linked to it at least emotionally.
Neither of these statements have really taken hold within the Thelemic community as 'creeds' (the closest to that is probably 'the Creed' of the Gnostic Mass of the Gnostic Catholic Church (EGC), though this is not even close to being universally accepted by the '93 culture').
In any case the symbolism which Crowley derived did indeed come from gematria, in which he discovered a numerical resonance and identity between 'ThELEMA' (93) and 'AGAPE' (93). over time, some have conflated the Thelemic Greetings as representing these principles as Crowley described them (Do what thou wilt... = '93' and 'Love is the law, love under will. = 93 93/93; don't look too closely ;>).
ORDER OF THE ARGENTIUM ASTRUM, THE; [A.A.]:
The Great White Brotherhood. The Order of The Silver Star. Founded by Aleister Crowley (q.v.) as a replacement for the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn [G.D.]. Crowley was the first member to re-produce the Golden Dawn's Rituals in a public publication called The Equinox. Today, the A.A. is co-sponsored by the O.T.O.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: As I said above, the human social organization called the AA was founded by Crowley, but the Great White Brotherhood precedes it by centuries. Crowley tried to identify the two organizations or at least tie his AA to the GWB by virtue of connection to the Secret Chiefs (q.v.) and the manner by which the Golden Dawn went about relating themselves to the Rosicrucians (it is a long and incestuous group-rivalry).
I'm unsure that this claim about Crowley being the first member to reproduce the GD rites is accurate. Israel Regardie probably did more to publish unaltered ritual text and teachings from the orginal.
Today there are many organizations called 'AA' and many vying contenders for the title of 'OTO' as well. They are not all related to one another.
Supernatural beings who preside over the Rosicrucian (q.v.) and other occult (q.v.) and esoteric (q.v.) currents and communicate occult teaching to men and woman who seek to follow that path. The head of the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn, S. L. MacGregor Mathers (q.v.), was said to be in communication with them, though he could not describe who and what they were. Aleister Crowley (q.v.) also claimed a psychic link to these entities.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is an old and tedious derivation of authority from external unknowns, and may be seen with the Old Testament Prophets, the Koot Hoomi of Madame Petrova Blavatsky, the Great White Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians giving authority to mortals through the mysterious disappearing Frauline Sprengel and the Fama Fraternitas (possibly concocted wholesale by W. Westcott, of Theosophical fame), revealed unto the New Aeon by its herald, Crowley, as the Prince of the Prophets in Liber Al vel Legis, the fabulous 'Book of Shadows' constructed by Gerald Gardner (from extant texts) and further delivered by Set/Sutekh/Seth unto the Satanist Michael Aquino in The Book of Coming Forth by Night.
How legitimate any of these connections may truly have been is argued by the feuding factions surrounding them on a continual basis in a manner not unlike that surrounding the 'Canon' and the 'Apocrypha' of traditional Christian religious tradition.
From the Greek meaning, "will." The followers of the Ninety-three (93) Current (q.v.) revealed by Aleister Crowley (q.v.) through his Book of The Law. Their motto is, "Do What thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law. Love is the Law, Love under Will."
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Again, overly simplistic, though thematically correct. The 'Thelema' of Crowley derives from the seedling Faust-novel by Rabelais, who is quite popular amongst European philosophers. between he and Nietzsche and Augustine, it is debatable as to who may have had more influence on Crowley's conception of 'will'. certainly others since him have seized on favored strains of the concept and varied the theme accordingly.
A satanic parody of the mass of the Christian Church, specifically the Catholic Church, in which allegedly the body of naked woman serves as the altar, and other noxious substances is used including excrement, urine, and blood. Black Magick (q.v.) is said to be practiced at these services. It had it's origins in decadent France but was so rare as to be virtually mythical.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I would only add that these were usually performed by defrocked priests, sometimes full church clergy. Modern Black Masses are usually seen by Satanists to be a ridicule of a religious rite to which one has become overly attached or by which one has felt overly oppressed. That is, the Black Mass is not generally considered a 'Satanic ritual' per se.
In Greek myth, an intermediate spirit between men and the gods. Daemons such as the one that guided Socrates act as counselors and guardians to human beings.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Often called the 'augoeides', sometimes associated with the Abramelin 'Holy Guardian Angel' made popular in the Western magical community by Mathers and Crowley at least as referred to here.
From the Greek meaning, "spirit." In Christian folklore, an evil spirit under the authority of Satan (q.v.). Modern practice tends to distinguish "demon" from "daemon" (q.v.), the guardian angles (q.v.) of the Greeks.
An alternate name for the legions of demons in Hell that serve Satan.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Largely correct, though the passage of time has seen many uses of these (past two) terms in description of a variety of beings. Christian writers basically integrated the more objectionable pre-Christian gods into their ideas about 'demons' and added some Jewish demons and their own variations or concoctions for good measure, all bundled up in some Patmosian martial hierarchy under a variety of designated offices depending on the author (many depicted Satan as the Commander, Beelzebub General of the Legions).
Pronounced, "Mahl-Koot," it means "kingdom" in Hebrew. The tenth Sephirah (q.v.) on the Tree of Life (q.v.). It is at the bottom of the central pillar and relates to our physical plane.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Golden Dawn tradition may see the 'Kingdom' in a bit more complexity, if their traditional Tree of Life diagram is any indication (as this locates within Malkuth a quadratic of color-associations connected with other sephiroth).
The projection of malefic occult force through the glance. Persons, beasts, and growing things "overlooked" by the evil eye are believed to wither and die. A form of intentional psychic attack (q.v.).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: What is not mentioned here is the phenomenon of 'blood libel', a kind of condemnatory assault by virtue of decrying the malevolence of others'. The most famous cases of this in the West were the tortures, trials and mass-murders undertaken by the various Inquisitions. 'The Evil Eye' is another of these libelous slams like 'being a witch'. One may protect onself against the Evil Eye by a variety of magical means. It may be described as a kind of folk magic superstition.
Evil spirits noted for their ugly appearance and malicious habits.
A Greek word used to indicate a wicked spirit invoked by rogues. The origin of the German Kobold (q.v.) and the English Goblin (q.v.).
Mischievous Earth elementals that are said to inhabit German households.
Non-physical psychic vampires said to "feed" on the energies of the sick and the injured.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: These (past five terms) are very interesting. I've mostly only seen them in AD&D (Advanced Dungeons And Dragons - a fantasy roll playing game) before, though I presume they derive from pre-Christian demonology in Europe or some sort of wicked fairies surviving the domination of the Romans.
A spiritual entity classified as a minor demon (q.v.) that comes in masculine shape/form to have sexual union with a mortal woman, often against her will and usually while she is asleep. The plural is incubi.
A spirit considered to be a lesser demon (q.v.) that comes in a feminine shape/form to have sexual union with a mortal man, often against his will and usually while he is asleep. The plural is succubi.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: These two, (types of demons above) along with 'Lilith' have apparently been old Jewish demons for some time.
A term used by Donald Michael Kraig to represent entities who personify despair on a physical or non-physical level. Physical empty ones have no soul, and no hope for the future.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is reminiscent of the Buddhist 'hungry ghost' or the lamenting spirit of Spiritualists.
The ninth planet of the terran solar system. (Note: Recently re-classified as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union at it's 26th General Assembly held in Prague August 24, 2006. However, modern astrologers continue to refer to it as a planet) In Astrology (q.v.), the planet named after the Greek god who served as the Lord of the underworld and death. Attributed as being the ruler of the Zodiac (q.v.) sign Scorpio (q.v.). On the Tree of Life (q.v.) within the Kabbalah (q.v.) attributed to the Unmanifest Sephirah (q.v.) Daath (q.v.) and the Abyss. Keywords include: transformation, degeneration, extremes, horrible, transmutation, refining, crucible, refectory, atomic energy, annihilation, regeneration, subversion, coercion, sewage, elimination, hidden forces, inner psyche.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Also 'Hades'. Da'ath places a very important part in modern Qabalah amongst Thelemites like Kenneth Grant and Michael Bertiaux. it is at times connected to the Qliphoth or the Shells of the Tree of Life (also known as the Dark Side or Roots of the Tree).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Strictly limited in application. See Jeffrey Burton Russell's works, wherein the Devil is identified with a greater range than Satan.
In the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religions, the supreme arch-foe of God. The prince of darkness, the adversary of God. In modern thought, the lord of evil.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is extremely fallacious and gives me to wondering from what manner of Christian organization it derives. Satan is variously described by scripture and usually (esp. in the Old Testament) not as Jehovah's adversary. In the New Testament this is surely more the case and yet this has been tempered and exploited in the folk Christian tradition quite heavily such that Satan becomes Jehovah's goad, Allah's Beloved (Iblis), Christ's only available initiator (in some cases his brother).
A religion that basis it's beliefs on reverse and backward principles of Christianity.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Strictly speaking this is false. Christian condemnation schemes inspired the undertaking, created the Adversary, propped it up as a frankenstein, and a variety of Satanists stepped in and obliged a hijack. Most modern Satanists don't base their religious practices on any kind of inversion of Christian principles (though they may well oppose its moralism).
...The worship of Satan, the arch-foe of Christ, through such practices as the blackmass, sexual perversion, drug taking, violence, mutilation, killing, and sacrilege.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is what we like to call 'the Urban Legend of Satanism'. it is, from what I can tell, largely a figment of overactive Christian minds.
...In reality, most people who call themselves Satanists are simply neo-eppicurianists, hedonists or egotists.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I'd say that Satanism is more diverse than this (though I'm not sure I truly appreciate what a "neo-eppicurianist" might be). Satanists tend to be revolutionaries and individualists of sorts, atheists and ritualists who have a taste for irony and satire.
...The few who are truly dedicated to an evil entity they call "Satan" are shunned by most occultists.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is unfortunately true. They are usually cast out as 'deluded Christians' who have no idea what Satanism is about or who Satan 'is' by the more serious and/or long-term variety.
...Satanism has no relationship to Wicca (q.v.),
[Tyagi Noctifer]: This is certainly how Wiccans (who are largely influenced by a surrounding Christian context) would like to see it.
...although many mainstream religious leaders have tried to make that association for reasons of power, politics, or ignorant lack of understanding.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: Christian politicians surely have attempted this as part of a blanket condemnation-scheme. In some cases I think there is substance to saying there is overlap between the Wiccan and Satanist cultures, despite how much either batch of "non-exclusivist" religious may enjoy it. LaVey, whose texts are popular in the Satanist community, for example, wrote a book called The Satanic Witch, which runs contrary to some of the modern witchcraft rhetoric yet surely makes a place for 'Satanic Witches'.
Pronounced, "Shee-Ool," it is the Hebrew for, "Place of the earth." A word from the Old Testament meaning ground or earth. In some instances it was translated as "Hell," probably for political reasons. According to Donald Michael Kraig, there is no Hell in the Kabalah because he maintains that reincarnation is a part of the tradition.
[Tyagi Noctifer]: I've more often heard 'pit' and some contend this equates to 'grave' and implies 'extinction'.
Counterclockwise. Movement against the movement of the Sun. Occasionally the direction moved in within a magickal circle, but rarely so. Movement in this direction is used to help dispel excess energy within the circle that was built up, but not used. A grounding technique in Ceremonial rituals. Sometimes used to build malefic energies for the intentional purpose of performing black magick (q.v.).
[Tyagi Noctifer]: A rather dualistic interpretation. "anti-clockwise" is, of course, the same as 'in the direction of the Moon', the heavenly body ('planet') whose influence and favor is most highly regarded by witches, for example. 'Black Magick' has been adopted by Satanists as a descriptive label in application of their ritual and occult practice. 'banishing' and 'binding' might be considered 'malefic' by some standards (depends on the perspective), and 'Dark Moon ceremonies' by a variety of magicians sometimes directly involves cutting, destructive and containing magical workings.
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