Revamping MOTO – well, a little bit

As you may notice, I have revamped this blog a bit :) The astute will notice not only a change in WordPress theme but also in subtitle or description: encounters with mystery, politics and sex. Those even more astute will be aware that these words are an unabashed cobbling of the subtitles of Starhawk’s two excellent works, ‘Dreaming the Dark’ and ‘Truth or Dare’.

The change signals a willingness by me to post more social and political comment on this blog, rather than focusing predominately on the magical. I have always been moved by the classic ‘the political is personal is spiritual’ and I have always maintained the goal of magic is service to others, which necessitates an intersection with the social, the sexual and the political.

I was moved to make this change by Emma Watson’s moving – and hopefully influential – speech on gender equality at the United Nations.

Commenting on this online I noticed two things: firstly, the vile, hate-filled misogyny directed at Ms Watson in response to her words, and secondly, a view of ‘so what, we know this, why does it need to be said again?’

The first response is to be expected: there are mung-beans here, there, everywhere, especially online. The second took me a little aback.

While there remains ingrained sexism and disadvantage to women and girls, while the dominant discourse is one of male privilege, we need to keep saying the bleedin’ obvious over and over again. And again. Because ANY positive change – not just a feminist one –  has to penetrate a consciousness, a set of assumptions, and from the magical perspective, an egregore, millennia in the making. We do not automatically ‘get’ anything – ideas that are not mainstream need constant reinforcing and repetition to be heard against the backdrop of conditioned consciousness that we hardly notice, as per the proverbial goldfish in water.

So this made me think about my own writing; I have often stopped myself writing because ‘someone else’ also has the same views and ideas. But really, it cannot but help to add mine. So I will :)

So … look forward to all sorts in interesting things on this slightly revamped MOTO. THANKS :)

Book Review: Liber Nox: a traditional witch’s gramarye

I remember the late Gerald Suster’s description of a youthful reading of Blavatsky’s monumental Isis Unveiled – whatever else it did, it shocked, awed, opened the mind to a new way of looking at the world and placed the reader on the edge of possibility. I felt a similar way when I read this wonderful new work by one of the true elders of the Craft, Michael Howard. I imagined a youthful reader, new to this sort of stuff and how this book would impact them – and I have to say I’d rather the youth of modern Britain read and spend time with the myth and magic in this book than ponce around with a ‘gap year’!

The books covers traditional Witchcraft, the ‘darker’, more Cthonic strains of the Craft that Gerald Gardner, founder of Wicca ‘turned his back on’ in order to promote his sanitized and publically acceptable version (p.7). Now the pedant in me immediately looks at statements like this with a raised eyebrow. However, this is not a book on the history of Old Craft, it is a gramarye – a traditional book of sorcery.  It is book alive with myth and magic and its scope is broad and engaging. It took me away from the known and historical and into the twilight world of wonder and enchantment through the coverage of a huge range of topics:

Witches as ‘spiritual rebels’; elves, goblins and faeries; magic and paganism; the Queen of Elfhame; King Arthur as a solar god married to the Goddess of the Land; the Holy Grail, Cathars, Albigenses; secret Goddess worship, genii loci, wights; the Toadmen and the Horseman’s Word; wort-cunning, dream incubation; standing stones, spirit tracks and green roads.

And that’s just the first 10 pages!

Howard has a lot to say and does so briskly and tantalisingly. Rarely is there depth coverage of the many related topics he presents us with. But there is no need, as they are but simple stops on a holistic journey of Craft and magic. The writing, as always, is simple and direct – and we get the feeling very clearly there is a lot more to this than words. Howard’s enthusiasm for his craft strains at the bounds of his writing, showing us the unmistakable passion of one committed to his path, committed to sharing it and yet respecting its mysteries and depths.

The book follows the standard format for many introductory or overview Witchcraft books, covering an introduction to the Craft, the Tools, the ‘initiations’ and the Circle, followed by theoretical overview of the Sabbats before giving texts of the Circle Casting and the Sabbats. In all chapters we find many rich topics and deep imagery abounds in the rubrics for the rituals. There is much that is traditional here, and much which is Howard’s own creation. The two blend well, and Howard is very clear the rituals in the book have been written just for the book, as a means of showing and providing traditional material and approaches for the reader to build upon.

One of the wonderful ‘additions’ to many Craft books that describe various versions of the Sabbats is the inclusion of 12th Night, where many customs and craft ideas are presented. Howard’s far ranging includes descriptions of wassailing, plough ceremonies, and the Christmas Mothers or Good Ladies. These are all important aspects of a land based tradition in Britain, often overlooked in modern books. Another crucial aspect of the Craft often skipped is included here: the offering of gifts to the ‘faery folk and the genii loci, the wights or the land spirits’ which Howard correctly asserts needs to happen before the creation of every circle.

The book is wonderfully illustrated with lovely line-art by Gemma Gary. I would have liked to have seen more of it.  It is well produced and laid-out with the care and quality one comes to expect from Skylight Press. Overall, an excellent overview and introductory work on the Old Craft, one that will inspire and excite newcomers and have old timers, going ‘really?’ on nearly every page. If you are interested in Witchcraft or the religious landscape of Britain, this book should be on your shelf.

Liber Nox: a traditional witch’s gramarye  by Michael Howard.

Skylight Press, 2014.

Amazon | Book Depository | Skylight Press

On Jovial Nature…


I rarely simply re-blog, but I am doing so because Andrew’s blog is not only prolific but creative, deep, and disciplined with an amazing breadth of material and thought. Always a pleasure, Andrew… thanks :)

Originally posted on Wanderings in the Labyrinth:

Let’s see…  I think this all began with Gordon, who did a book review for a book I haven’t read yet by Peter J. Carroll (and which, to be fair, I’m not likely to read any time soon).  And then Jason Miller wrote a counterpoint to Gordon’s review over at, particularly about Jupiter, and then Rufus Opus weighed in on the subject.  Christopher Bradford, too, weighed in with good things to say, and pointed out that Jupiter is really about power; and Blogos has some interesting things to say, as well — reminding us that every planet in the Hermetic world-view projects certain forces and energies into the world, for both good and ill.  I’ve had a little experience working with Jupiter, here and there… maybe it’s time to join in.

First of all, a few fair points:

  • Jason is right when…

View original 2,794 more words

Magic – what is it good for?

NOTE: this is a gonzo post – no editing apart from the helpful red lines under my words as I type.

At present I am not formally tied to any group where I am leading or teaching folk on a regular basis. I continue to informally teach in the various fields of magic I have been blessed to myself receive tutelage. I am not finding this any sort of lack. In fact, I LIKE IT. Apart from laziness, the main reason I like it is because I DO NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE.

Especially magical folk.

You know what I mean.

There I said it.

Now, if I were ever to be a head-honcho of a magical group again, this is what I would do. Before talking about magic. Before mentioning the words ‘Golden Dawn’, before asking newcomers ANYTHING ELSE, I’d slap down a print of the following.


I have come to realise that there is, IMHO, actually no fucking point in teaching folk anything at all about magic if they do not agree with the sainted MLK on this. In fact, as I have often pointed out, the principles expressed here are the principles of modern magic, and as any depth practitioner of them would know, EVERY SINGLE AUTHENTIC religious or spiritual tradition in the world. OK, well… post-axial age spirituality. Those modern pretences to ‘tradition’ that do not recognise the interdependence of all beings and focus on the self alone fail the basic test outlined by the wonderful Father Matthew Fox when he visited Perth many years back:

“the test of a spirituality is in its justice making; does it create justice?”

Now of course, there are always those folk – magical, new age, Christian, Buddhist – like rats, they’re everywhere – who respond to such truths by saying things like ‘as I change myself, I change the world’, ‘start at home first’. Well, yes this is ONE side of the concept of radical interdependence, but not the full picture. We can act on ourselves AND in community, in society in the world at the same time. You cannot be what you ought to be until everyone else is. So, even if you’re a selfish prick, it actually pays to be focused on others… really.

So modern 21st century magic should be about moving the mage from the centre of the circle, controlling all the forces he invokes (which is like, so medieval) to an awareness that at the centre we are interdependent on the entire circle of life, on the One and the universe that forms around us.

All this is encapsulated in those wonderful words of Dr King. In Buddhist terms this is the Right View, the first path in the Noble Eightfold path, which while not being linear does require this first one to at least be done from the very start. That is, we need to have some sense, some grokking with this truth BEFORE deep spirituality. Otherwise we can easily become distorted – thinking we actually exist – or even worse that we are actually important – or even, even worse, that those little numbers after our Mottos MEAN something.

The same truth is reflected in the magical tradition by the lovely phrase found in the Inner Light, when the initiate is asked why they wish to receive the Hidden Knowledge: ‘I desire to know that I may serve’. Now of course, as Herbie Brennan honestly pointed out in the foreword to Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki’s ‘The Ritual Magic Workbook’ folk do lie at this point. We all do to some degree – because we are all broken and separate from the One, as well as made in the Image of the One, and at the centre of unimaginable circle of God’s love. A few porkies now and then… we all do it.

So, this is why – if I were ever to run a group again – I would test this commitment. That’s right TEST the silly buggers who were learning from me on this. I once spent several weeks formulating a rather neat (so I thought) curriculum of social and compassionate justice actions – volunteering, donations, campaigning – all nicely corresponding to the Golden Dawn outer ‘elemental’ grades. The idea being that, no matter how good at the meditations, spiritual processes etc, an initiate was, without them doing so many hours of this solid, earthy, practical work, they would not move on to the next grade. That’d test them! Naturally, my framework was bounced by my (democratic) lodge leadership.

So, here we are. I have been absent from MOTO recently because I have actually been doing a lot of this social based magical action – and yes, it IS magic. It’s very rewarding and intensely frustrating. But be warned, if you ever see me put up a shingle (or hear about it on the grapevine) for a magical group, this is what you are letting yourself in for. If you do not agree, do not come knocking…



Death, Fear and Denial : Some thoughts from a Western Magical Perspective

I wrote this back in 2004 following the death of Vivienne Elanta. In recent months I have seem the same fear and denial arise among within magical communities, physical and virtual. So I think this may be worth an airing now, though of course its themes are perennial. When do we stop praying and working magic for ‘a miracle’ and help our beloved ones prepare to journey to the Other Country?   

I learnt of Vivienne’s illness only a few weeks before her death. A once close friend, she was diagnosed with an untreatable and fast growing brain tumour. I started grieving upon hearing the news, crying tears at work, hiding my heated face in the toilet. This intensified after I visited her and experienced directly what her illness meant. I sat with her and we talked and were reconciled and at peace. At this stage I was tempted to slip away. I had not seen Vivienne for several years; I had no obligation, no need to commit. But as I walked in the dark from the hospital I knew I was caught. Being trained in the death and dying wisdom of the western magical tradition, I could not just leave. Death was near and tugged at me, demanding my attention, calling me to action, not just for Vivienne, but for her – for Lady Death, also. So I offered what skills and wisdom I knew and in that offering I learnt more than I gave.


Despite the rapid and global organisation of healing circles, I had no hope Vivienne would survive. She was going to die. Many people at this stage were still praying for a healing miracle, meaning a recovery of Vivienne’s bodily health. I did not. Instead I prayed and worked magic for her to be whole, regardless of life or death. This approach is described in a novel by Tony Hillerman where he describes a Navajo man, Chee, remembering the healing of his grandmother:

Most of all he remembered the hataalii standing grey and thin and tall over his grandmother, holding a tortoiseshell rattle and a prayer plume of eagle feathers, chanting poetry from the emergence story, making Old Lady Many Mules one with White Shell Girl, restoring her to beauty and harmony. And restore her it had. Chee remembered staying at the old woman’s place, playing with his cousins and their sheepdogs seeing his grandmother happy again, hearing her laughter. She died of course. The disease was lung cancer, or perhaps tuberculosis, and people with such diseases died – as all people do. (Quoted in The Trickster, Magician and Grieving Man by Glen A Mazis, p. 240.)

Because our culture has such an intense fear of death we frame our healing in terms of life. Healing however comes from the word for ‘wholeness’ and within many traditions healing does not automatically mean to live. Unless we see death as an integral and right part of life we cannot hold this view. All authentic spiritual traditions, ancient and modern, have a holy place reserved for death. Within the western traditions the magic circle is divided into two halves, one that tracks our life from birth to death and the other which tracks our existence from death to rebirth. Healing is about being whole within ourselves, integrated and complete. We can be healed and die. We can live and not be healed. Without healing though we are fragmented and splintered, in life or death. We become the unquiet dead, restless and longing. Or we become living cogs in a ravenous, ever-hungry consumerism that feeds on injustice and pain.

death boatman squareAs I talked with Vivienne and members of the community that gathered around her, I tasted fear. This was good. It nurtured the realness of the world for me, its presence on my tongue grounding me into reality, denying escape into thoughts of miracles or ‘karmic plans’. I felt fear and was afraid. Afraid for Vivienne. Afraid for my own mortality, and for that of my son. I was afraid of the petty self within me which was glad it was her, not I lying there, dying in hospital sheets. While not happy, I was glad of my fear and the fear surrounding Vivienne. Others however, were not. Despite embracing a deep ecological world-view that encompasses death and despair, it was hard for people to show their fear. We were asked not to say that Vivienne was dying, as “miracles do occur”. Healing – meaning life – “was possible” and many healers were working hard. Functionally, this request told us to think ‘positively’ (Vivienne lives) and that ‘negative’ thoughts (Vivienne dies) would only hinder the healing process.

This request showed clearly how pervasive the fear of death is, no matter what we do or what we think, no matter what philosophy or religion we hold. Fear of death seeps in and takes up residence in the by-ways of our souls. In infests our spiritual traditions, our healing, our relationships and life. It becomes the unseen demon resting on our shoulder, the inner discomfort in our dance. Despite allegiance to worldviews and theologies that give a positive orientation to death, we are afraid and uncomfortable with her. Expression of that fear becomes more shadowed and denied, more unspeakable in traditions which have death positive theologies than those that do not. This is a sad paradox. Membership of a group or tradition that has a positive death theology can hinder the expression of real fears and reaction to death. I was blessed with the circumstance of returning to Vivienne’s community after several years of absence and dislocation. I functioned in many ways as an outsider. The discomfort of being outside gave me the gift of opening and tasting my own fear and the fear of others. I believe that the real fears of many of Vivienne’s community were not expressed, chiefly because death was seen as ‘natural’. No need to be afraid. End of story.

There is of course far more to the story. The western magical tradition, like many spiritual traditions, recognise different ‘selves’ or aspects of the complete human being. The two primal selves, the Guph and the Nephesch can be equated to the biological life processes and the unconscious. Our minds, personalities and emotions, together with our spiritual consciousness are affected by these primal selves and vice versa. When we are physically sick our emotions and cognition are affected. When we meditate we release bodily tension and lower our blood pressure. However, the primal selves are billions of years old, resting on the wisdom and raw power of evolution beyond human comprehension. Our human minds are at best 100 000 years old. When we die, our primal selves struggle, resist and are afraid. As we die few of us can exert much control over this process. At best we can deny, very effectively in some cases, that such fear is occurring. This denial however has a heavy price as it greatly hinders the ongoing after death processes. If we are not in denial, we are afraid. It is natural, it is human and it is us.

In the popular Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Sogyal Rinpoche describes his master Jamyang Khyenste, a very accomplished and respected Lama. Jamyang Khyenste spent his life in the study of Buddhist wisdom concerning death. He knew intimately the process of dying and guided many people through the various stages of dying and beyond. Yet he often said that he was afraid of death and counselled against people treating death lightly (TBLD, p.5). This is wise counsel: no matter how we are in our lives, no matter what we consciously believe and what spiritual practice we follow, dying will be a profound shock. We will still feel fear. When an accomplished master speaks of his own fear, so much more is the call for us, who are not accomplished, to sit up and take notice. Recognition of death as natural process is not enough.

While I sat with Vivienne after her first operation, feeling the muted fear of her community and my own complicity in that muting, I realised that fear is the twin sister of death. We cannot offer a place for death at our table without inviting fear also. Without an invitation fear will attend anyway. But she will lurk in the shadows, away from the table light and whisper half heard poems of disturbance throughout the meal. My learning here was a determination to embrace and invite death’s twin sister, fear. Maybe in other cultures or other times we need not make such an invitation, but today in the west, where a central theme of our society is avoidance of death, we desperately need to see this unwelcome dinner guest.

‘The right intention’

After two operations and a short period in hospital, Vivienne came home to die. By now the expectations of miracles had decreased, but not altogether ceased. Life and death – being the mysteries they are – miracles did occur. I witnessed with wonder Vivienne speaking clearly a single word after weeks where speech had been lost. This was a miracle for those by her bedside, not for Vivienne. It was a reminder that the gaunt and dying woman before us was still the same, resplendent soul we knew and loved. I also saw the miracle of Vivienne at peace, connected with her garden and the earth blessings as she slept next to her beloved John. And when she came to gasp her last, Vivienne and John were granted a final miracle; her dying in the gaze and adoration of her partner. So miracles did occur, but life ceased.

During this time the shadowed words, ‘death’ ‘dying’ and ‘never’ emerged once again. My focus at this stage included the post-mortem journey Vivienne would shortly be undertaking. Other people also had thoughts and ideas along these lines. Many of these were prompted by exposure to the Tibetan Buddhist view, particularly through The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Having studied the Tibetan understanding a little and being trained in western magical views, I realised that most of the ideas suggested were based on only a partial understanding of the process. This is perfectly understandable as few of us have had the blessing and opportunity to study under Tibetan lamas. However, there was little recognition of the problems a partial understanding of the dying process may bring about. When I voiced my concerns, the majority of responses belonged to one or two views:

First, that whatever we did, even if it was incomplete, would benefit Vivienne since it would be done with ‘the right intention’. Or, secondly, death being a natural process, all would be well anyway. These two viewpoints worried me and gave me no assurance that the dying of my old friend would be well.

The first view is functionally equivalent to someone reading a few books on midwifery and deciding to help their friend give birth. ‘Midwifing the dying’, as it is now popularly called, is a rich and vast subject. In many spiritual traditions it is taught and refined over many years. In Tibetan tradition the practitioner is required to complete comprehensive training and initiations before they begin to study this topic. The short esoteric courses being offered on the subject stress the incomplete nature of their curriculum. It is a spiritual action of deep mystery, way beyond simple intention and requiring discipline, skill and practice.

DCIM100GOPROIn almost every tradition the process of guiding the dying is seen to be successfully accomplished with the assistance of non-incarnate helpers or spiritual blessings. Despite assurances from new age folk determined to put a positive gloss on all things, these helpers or blessings cannot be readily called upon at will. A strong relationship between the guide and the helpers or the blessings is required. This relationship has to be built, like all relationships, through time and trust. While it is true that the vast majority of people in our secular western culture die unaided and assisted, there is no reason to assume that partial intervention will benefit the process. Like all partial intervention, there may be some benefit or no benefit and, on occasion, actual detriment. Again, I refer to the parallel with birth; an untrained but well meaning person who has read a few books on midwifery may be of help, but could just as easily cause real problems and harm.

When I expressed these views to a couple of people in Vivienne’s community I was struck by resistance to them. Much of the resistance stemmed from a reading of the views as elitist, by positing that only some people can help the dying process. This is not the case. All authentic spiritual traditions rely upon and include community support for the dying and beloved dead. However, it is also true that virtually every tradition other than those (re)created in the modern west have specialists who span the mystery realms of life and death – priests, shamans, magicians. Sadly over emphasis on egalitarianism and a fear of hierarchy has robbed many of our traditions and communities of the role of the priest or shaman. And it is exactly in such transitional and stressful times as death when the priest is called into service. For our beloved dead this is especially sad. Whereas comforting and supporting the dying is a role best left to family, guidance of the newly dead is a hard task and a big ask of a newly bereft family or partner. What happened with Vivienne, which I suspect happens often, is that there was little or no support for the newly dead. This reinforced strongly my belief that the effective priest, the spanner and walker between the worlds, is as much required today as ever.

The second view I mentioned, that death is a natural process and will therefore transpire without problems is simply naïve. Even a cursory examination of other natural processes such as birth and sexual maturation show this – even within the ‘natural’ animal world. With death however, the majority of problems occur in the non-physical realm where they are hidden to our general perception. The western cultural bias denying the existence of (and participation within) a non-physical universe plays an important role here. Because we cannot easily see the problems and difficulties faced by our beloved dead does not mean they do not exist. However, even if we accept the possibility of the continued existence of the dead we are struck by another problem; the lack of maps and models to explain and make sense of this phenomenon. A lack of a coherent and shared map of the post-mortem experience was very evident in Vivienne’s community. The result was a mish-mash model of half formed thoughts and ideas from various traditions, books and popular novels. Without an effective and coherent model of transition we cannot accompany and track the newly dead through their journeys. This reinforced to me again the value of tradition and well developed theology to match the popular focus on innovation and practice.

The Other Country

So as Vivienne died and after her death I worked my magic mostly alone, drawing from the blessings and training I have been privileged to receive. While this was an honour I felt sad for my friend. The community that she had worked so hard and long to create in life, and which had supported her beautifully in her illness and dying, was not present for her after she died. This was not out of disrespect or lack of care, but mostly out of lack of knowledge. Much of this knowledge is not deep and esoteric. Most cultures and traditions have very clear taboos or customs involving the conduct of family and friends of the newly dead. These serve the same end – a smooth transition of the beloved dead through her journey. The western fear and denial of death has erased these customs and taboos or warped them into garbled and misunderstood superstition. This has robbed us of the power and ability to assist our dead in their journey. The need for the restoration of this knowledge in the west touched me deeply and hard. This writing was partly born out of that touch, in an effort to inspire some desire to reclaim this knowledge and awareness of the hidden side of death.

After Vivienne died I was asked to help organise the funeral and act as MC. Like many people in the deep ecological and new age communities, Vivienne was not a member of any organised religion but had her own personal spirituality. This was informed by wisdom from a number of spiritual traditions but fully aligned to none. Before she died she made only a few small references to her funeral and consequently when we began to compose the service difficulties arose. These centred largely on what to include, but on reflection I would now ask simply, ‘who is the funeral for?’ Is it for the deceased or for her community, or both? Is it to remember and grieve and let go, or does it also attempt to help move the dead onward in their journey? If these issues were clearly addressed in the planning of Vivienne’s funeral, the process would have gone smoother.

These are crucial questions which need to be addressed by each of us before we die. How do I want my funeral to be? How do I want to die? How do I want to be remembered? The Western magical tradition encourages us to ask these questions, to talk with our family and community and record our carefully thought out wishes, now before we die. We can use answering these questions as a spiritual opportunity to face and accept our own mortality. And since we are constantly changing, we need to repeat this process regularly. Some magicians do this yearly, along with updating their will, around Halloween, a traditional time of the dead.  If nothing else answering these questions will lessen the burden for those whom we leave behind to mourn.


After Vivienne died several people reported ‘odd’ events or ‘coincidences’ which they attributed to her presence or influence. During a gathering of her community we were asked to name something we would like Vivienne to help us with ‘from the other side’. The beliefs and assumptions behind these observations and request are not part of historical religious or spiritual traditions. They belong to the popular new age movement, not part of any coherent theology. What they indicate is the need for mourners to perceive a sense of continuation of their beloved dead. Since the majority of Vivienne’s community did not subscribe to any formal belief of reincarnation, salvation or an afterlife, they perceived her continuing presence in nature, frogs, inner knowledge and in at least one case of direct channelled communication. The need to know that our loved ones continue is strong and if our worldview does not provide a container or recognition for this need, it can spill out into unbalanced ideas and thoughts. If this does occur we may fall prey to unhealthy spiritual systems and groups, or simply end up believing in nonsense, like the notion that the recently dead can assist people in their studies or to find a new lover.

Vivienne has been dead for two months. According to my tradition, I have tracked her and assisted her as she transformed and lost her identity as Vivienne, moving into that mystery we know so little of. For many people she continues in their memories of a strong and vital eco-activist. She also lives on through a fund in her name to provide training in activism. For me she lives on not as a woman or activist, but in the knowledge I learnt from her and her community as she died and afterwards. This knowledge will always be a part of me. It has already changed my perspective and life, informed and clarified by spiritual training. When next death comes to my door, all I have learnt from Vivienne’s death will stand with me in some way.

Magical Action to Increase Compassion towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia

This is part of an initiative I have started to…well, the title says it all :)

I will be inviting all and sundry on Facebook to be part of this – and you good MOTO folk here also :) And please, even if you are not Australian, feel free to be part of the magic. I have a nice little outline of the plan and all in good pdf form HERE.

Of course, since some folk like to just read on screen, I will paste the text below also.

This form of magic obviously does not abide easily with the fourth side of the pyramid – silence. The symbol and principles are out there. However, the individual methods people and groups choose, the names of their sacred One(s), contacts and Gods are not on display. So please keep yours mum too :)

In my personal experience I have had mixed success with magic like this. As I recount in this post a similar initiative over ten years ago concerning the forthcoming Iraq war failed dismally. However, as I say in this other post:

In my experience the best and most successful forms of practical magic are those performed collectively for altruistic purposes and which work in alliance with spiritual beings under the presidency of the higher powers. These are keys elements: a collegiate experience to go beyond the self; altruistic and transpersonal intentions; working in harmony with beings in the other realms where we at best can but blunder around, and; an attitude of surrender to the One.

And this current magic ticks all these boxes. I’ve seen some wonderful results from this form of magic, as well as failures. So we will see on this one…but remember magic is like hugging a tar baby; it affects the magician as much as it does the world. So working inwardly, magically and working hard and non-personally for compassion will affect each of us and move us towards a more compassionate state. And that can’t be bad! :) THANKS :)

- – – – – – – – – – – 

  • This is for everyone concerned about the current government’s actions in regards to asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. Polling suggests this is well over half the population.
  • While magic is predominately the realm of Witches, Magicians, Pagans, Druids and others, the invitation is here for any and all people to help open the group mind of Australia towards compassion for those seeking refuge.
  • This form of magic does not impede on anyone’s sovereign will. But it does provide opportunities for change should there be an inclination towards that change.
  • The daily reports of appalling conditions in offshore detention centres, the military style secrecy of the Australian government, the universal and repeated condemnation of these centres and practices by international sources and the increasing whistleblowing by those working in these centres is a concern for all Australians.
  • These actions by the Australian government are supported by choices and non-choices we have made and are currently making; as individuals, as groups and as a nation.
  • From a magical point of view these choices ultimately stem from the fabric of the collective unconscious, the hidden side of culture and society where our deepest assumptions and beliefs lie. We have all experienced transformation from reworking the weave of our own inner depths. We facilitate these changes in others through initiation, prayer and healing. Now we need to go broader and work directly with our nation and our culture.



To increase compassion towards asylum seekers and refugees within the Australian group mind.


Everyone is invited to contribute to this magic which will be conducted in five phases from 9 January to roughly 7 February. The magic centres around the symbol below as a representation of compassion in balance within the Australian group mind and as a focus for the intention given above (please see ‘Notes on the Symbol’ below).

Compassion Australia web 96 J

PHASE 1 – SPREADING THE WORD (January 9 – 16). During this week, please share this invitation to all magical people you know, far and wide, personally, via social media and other means.

PHASE 2 – CREATING THE SYMBOL (On or around Full Moon, January 16). The symbol is created within the ‘astral’, inner realm and strongly exists ‘above’ Australia, and is ‘ALIVE’.

PHASE 3 – CHARGING THE SYMBOL (January 16-26). Additional magic is done to empower the symbol.

PHASE 4 – BIRTHING THE SYMBOL (On or around Australia Day, January 26). Magic is conducted to ‘bring down’ the symbol into the group mind of Australia.

Time of ‘gestation’ (January 27-31)

PHASE 5 – PRACTICAL ACTION (On or shortly after New Moon, January 31). Practical action such as letter writing to earth the magic.


  • Those skilled in magic can readily apply the principles below and should work as they normally do.
  • All magic should ‘start grounded and finish grounded’. This is very important. It means we begin connected to the earth, knowing ourselves and our boundaries, and we finish the same way. Grounding is normally one of the first skills taught in most magical traditions. Grounding exercise examples can be found here.
  • Another key point is that straight after grounding we connect with our Sacred One(s) and ask them for assistance in the magic.

Creating the Symbol

  • Visualisation is the key here. After grounding and asking your Sacred One(s) for assistance, strongly visualise the symbol. Keep in mind the intention. Once the symbol is strong, see it grow larger and larger and rise to fill the air above the whole of Australia. Keep visualising for as long as possible.
  • At this time experienced folk around the country will be working deep magic to create the symbol on the inner realms, so it will be easy for you to add your bit by simply visualising.
  • When finished visualising, thank your Sacred One(s) and spend some time grounding.
  • More experienced magicians can use other methods to create the symbol. A group can use dance, ritual, chant etc. to empower the symbol. Wiccan groups and couples can raise the cone of power or use the Great Rite.

Charging the Symbol

  • Magic here involves two forms of action. Firstly, the aims and hopes of the people of Australia to make a compassionate society are directed ‘upward’ into the symbol. Secondly, the blessings of the spiritual powers and beings we are working with are also directed into the symbol. These may be seen as being directed ‘downward’ into the symbol, but only because these beings are transpersonal not because they are ‘beyond the earth’.
  • So in meditation, in ritual, in group or solo settings, we charge the symbol in these two ways.
  • As individuals (after grounding and asking for assistance) we know ourselves to be representative of the thousands of others in our locales that wish for a more compassionate Australia. As representatives, we imagine ourselves taking their thoughts, wishes and love, as well as our own, into the symbol. We may create a chant to help with this.
  • We then pray and ask our Sacred One(s) to bless the symbol. We see their love and power and light enter and enliven the symbol. We do this for as long as possible as on each day in this phase, if possible.
  • Remember to thank your Sacred One(s) and ground at the end of each session.
  • If you are in a magical group, create sacred space. Have one or two people in each direction. Raise energy and go into trance. Consciously identify the quarters of the circle with the quarters of your city; see the east of the circle as and overlapping with the east of the city and so on – so that your circle IS your city. The people at the quarters now open themselves to represent the people within that quarter of the city. In trance they collect and channel the good wishes and intentions of the people of the city. They direct these, in unison with the rest of the group, into the symbol above Australia.
  • Now invoke in your usual manner your Sacred One(s) and see them enter the symbol with their love and power and light to enliven the symbol. Thank your Sacred One(s), close your sacred space and ground as normal.

Birthing the Symbol

  • We do this on Australia Day, when our nation is self-conscious and open to influence.
  • Again, after our preparation, we visualise the symbol. Once it is strong we again ask for the blessings of our Sacred One(s) to enter the symbol. We repeat our intention strongly. Then we slowly and clearly see the symbol come ‘down’ to cover the whole of Australia. We see it enter the group mind of Australia – see it enter the land, the towns, people in your neighbourhood, people in your city, politicians and media people.
  • Then clearly see the symbol produce results – these may be visualised as you wish, for example newspaper headlines like, ‘Australia Leads the Way with Refugees’ or ‘PM’s New Approach to Asylum Seekers Heralded by UN’. Or see people you know who are not now compassionate expressing compassionate thoughts. Use some clear and simple visualisation that shows the completed magic. Hold this visualisation for as long as possible.
  • Once again, when finished, thank your Sacred One(s) and ground.
  • In a group setting the ‘birthing’ process can take many forms from a group meditation to a full ceremony. Wiccans may like to link the birth to the Great Rite:
  • The Coven once again creates the circle as their city. Then the Priestess and Priest will take on the Gods, standing centre circle. Then the Coven will dance the Cone around them and draw the symbol down to just ‘above’ the Priestess and Priest who then perform the Great Rite, birthing the symbol into the Cakes and Wine. These are then shared with the Coveners, who are representative of the city, and thereby take the symbol and magic into the whole city. Some Cakes and Wine should also be offered to the four quarters of the city by people who live nearby.
  • Other methods of birthing will present themselves to experienced magicians.

Practical Action

  • We leave the symbol to affect the group mind of Australia from birthing (26 January) through the dark moon until the new moon (31 January). This is an important period where the ‘ferment’ of the magic grows.
  • On and after new moon is the time for practical action to fully ground and make the magic work on the material level. Without doing something physical the magic will not work. Suggestions include:
  • Speaking to people about the issues; sharing accurate information;
  • Writing letters to the media;
  • Writing letters and contacting politicians clearly stating how you wish things to change;
  • Creating a simple flyer and letterbox dropping it for a few streets around your home;
  • Donating to various Refugee and Asylum Seeker advocacy groups; and
  • Volunteering at refugee agencies.
  • Groups may like to spend a night writing letters and emails. Each member is assigned one letter to write (to local MPs, the Prime Minister, the Immigration Minister Etc.). They bring along a template, and all of the group copy and write and sign all the letters. These are sealed and stamped and magic done to bless them before posting.
  • On all letters or emails it would be good to include the symbol as this will help bring the magic to the fore for those reading it. The symbol can be found here: small (jpg), large (png), for letters (jpg).


  • The symbol expresses the intention. Yes, it is a little twee, but we want it to be simple and clear for people from all traditions and backgrounds.
  • The colours are from the Australian Flag to help link to the Australian group mind.
  • The blue in this case represents the raw consciousness of Australia, which we act on and inspire.
  • The red heart represents the compassion we are seeking, rising out of the raw consciousness.
  • The Southern Cross represents the Australian soul, now surrounded by compassion. It also can be used to bring in the stellar forces for those working this form of magic
  • The presence of the symbols of the Sun and Moon represent the balanced approach to refugees and asylum seekers. The symbols also represent the binaries of the Goddess/God for Wiccans and other polarities for those working them.


Beyond the Sun – the secret teachings of the Missing Golden Dawn Order

This is a straightforward linking post. This time to a new (limited edition) book by Nick Farrell. So I’ll just copy and paste the blurby thing and get on with the day. Really, this one should be fun :) Thanks, Nick.

Beyond the Sun – the secret teachings of the Missing Golden Dawn Order  (click to order)

“This book contains the Secret Inner Order Teachings of the missing order of the Golden Dawn – Whare Ra. Whare Ra managed to keep secret and above all keep running long after the other Golden Dawn magical orders had given up the ghost. Closing in the late 1970s the Order was founded by Dr Robert Felkin nearly 100 years ago. Working in New Zealand, Whare Ra became a secret forefront of occult teaching.

Nick Farrell publishes the Second Order Rituals of this Order including the 6=5 and 7=4 in their complete and unedited state as well as the 6=5 training papers and lectures. He also examines the history of Whare Ra and provides commentaries to the rituals.

Contained in this book are the 6=5 experiences of the poet WB Yeats and other adepts who went through the various initiations. It also contains magical exercises inspired by the Whare Ra material

This book is limited to 100 copies and was published on the anniversary of Robert Felkin’s death.”