Yes, I know the name sounds like something from a bad porno film. In actuality, French Lick, Indiana, is a real town.Â It is the home town of NBA great Larry Bird. People visiting the casinos there included boxer Joe Lewis and gangster Al Capone. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his intention to run for President here. And in just 10 days, June 9â€“12, I’ll be there at the Babalon Rising festival. Now you can be like them, meet some great occultists, attend some wonderful workshops, and hang with me at what I believe is becoming the best magickal festival in the U.S.
There are going to be a lot of great workshops and presenters there, some known and some only known among magicians. I’m going to be re-tooling some workshops especially for a more magickally-oriented group. I’m giving four:
- Modern Magickâ€”Most of the people will know the basics of magick. I’m going to be discussing some theoretical aspects but, more importantly, sharing practical ideas and techniques that will help boot participants’ magickal work to new levels of success.
- Telesmatic Magickâ€”Many avant-garde magicians today are using sigil magick, a form of magick that uses abstract drawings from the magickally-attuned unconscious mind to create a symbolic representation of the purpose of the magick being performed. Most modern magicians trace this system to the creation of artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare. However, the concepts are much older than Spare. It can certainly be traced back to the automatic writing popularized by the Spiritualists beginning in the mid-1800s. Another version goes back to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It was called telesmatic magick, and can be considered a blend of what Spare did later, the artistic leanings of GD co-founder Macgregor Mathers‘ wife Moina, and Kabalistic traditions. This system will be described and taught in full.
- The New Paradigm of Sex Magickâ€”Most of the systems of sex magick today are heavily indebted to 19th-century materialism and sexism: the man does this and the woman helps, then use the fluidic physical results of sex for magick. But there is an ancient system of sex magick that is based on the Kabalah and focuses not on the physical, but on the energetic aspects of magick. The result is a system that is free of sexism, can use “safer” sexual practices, and is appropriate for those involved in any form of legal sexual practices. Described in my Modern Sex Magick, it is every bit as powerful as other systems and some people consider it to be even more direct. The system will be explained fully here.
- Magick for the Futureâ€”This is based on the newest section of the latest edition of Modern Magick. There are three powerful magickal methodologies that seem to be future trends for magick. I’ll be explaining them and giving examples of them in this workshop.Â The first system isÂ NLPâ€”Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Most people think this is some sort of new age therapy. Indeed, its many techniques can be used therapeutically, but there are many other purposes for it. One of its originators called NLP an “Art and Science,” virtually identical to the definition of magick originating withÂ Crowley. The first two books on NLP were titledÂ The Structure of Magic (volumes I and II). In this part of the workshop we’ll see how to use your inner time line to change your future. The second system is Chaos Magick. Lots of people talk about it but few people really understand the basic concept of this un-system system. People will get an in-depth idea of it here. Finally, the third style of magick is Postmodern Magick as described in the books of Patrick Dunn. His system combines the latest theories of computers and linguistics that are as radically different as those who consider spirits to be a part of our psyches are different from those who believe spirits are external entities independent of us.
These are just my workshops. I hope they sound intriguing to you. There are many others that are going to be shared, along with rituals, entertainment, and much more. I hope to see you there!
Age or Beauty?
You may have noticed a thread running through the workshops I’m offering at Babalon Rising. The focus is about taking old ideas and making them practical and usable today. Indeed, all of my work in magick has that focus. However, I’m not abandoning what is old. Indeed, I love old concepts, ideas, and practices when they are effective. Right now I’m working on a book that will reveal to the West a Pagan magickal system that is legitimately many thousands of years old.
But if it doesn’t work, what good is it?
I’d say that other than as a lesson in a history book, if an old magickal tradition doesn’t work it won’t be much good at all. In fact, there are only two places where it’s good: feeding the egos of the leaders and making them money. Period. Or as my British friends might say, “Full stop.” Recently, I saw a blog (and sorry, I’m not going to link to it because I don’t believe in giving publicity to those who should remain unimportant) which supposedly debates the question of which is more important, the age of a tradition or whether it works. In the case of the blog, the writer quickly abandons the question to feed his or her ego (“I’m the leader of the oldest yada, yada, yada. Bow to me and give me your money!”).
However, the title does ask a valid question. Which is more important, the age and line of a magickal tradition (“I was taught by so-and-so who was taught by so-and-so and given a charter by so-and-so who was trained by so-and-so, etc.”) or the fact that a magickal technique works.
I think, however, that this question has some underlying themes that are subtle but important. The question is asked in an either or manner. You can have one or the other but not both. My answer is that first and foremost, a valid system of magick needs to work. Secondly, if you can tap into decades or centuries of people working a valid system, you’re aligning yourself with the powerful energies that have developed over time.
In conclusion, a system that works is preferable to any system, new or old, that doesn’t work. But attuning oneself to an old system that works can be the most effective path of all.