Note: You are reading this either because your browser does not support CSS, or we have not found time to develop proper CSS for your browser yet. Please read our design notes for more details.

Welcome to Phil Hine's website. Skip straight to search box or navigation links.


Some Brief Notes Regarding the on-Going Work of our Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition

Author's 1994 Preface

This little essay was originally penned by me, Bill Siebert, otherwise known as AShT Ch0zar Ssaratu ,in 1987 for confidential distribution to members of the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition (MAE) as part of an on-going project to create a body of written material to prepare those seeking initiation into this Ophidean/Elysian Mystery School.

The MAE was designed as a syncretic mystery school amalgamating the techniques, world views, and mythologies of all participants --ideally, without bogging-down in disputes of dogma or hierarchy. Before talking about MAE, I will give a bit of background on myself.

Since 1967 or so, I have been actively involved in magick and paganism, albeit as a solitary. In 1977 I probationed in and became an initiate of the Typhonian branch of Ordo Templi Orientis headed by Kenneth Grant. I remained an active member of this Thelemic Order (attaining the rank of V) until 1984 when I was suspended (later to be expelled in 1985) by K.G. because he felt my Will was not aligned with that of the Orders. In 1981, I co-founded Math of the ChRySTAL HUMM, a Shamanic/Alchemical Thelemic Powerzone based based in an old rundown farmhouse with 23 acres of rolling fields & woodlands <our ritual space> in upstate New York. In retrospect, I believe my Great Work parted from Grant's mainly because the focus of my Will was at that time going into my on-going magickal endeavor to reify an ecumenical thelemic powerzone & profess house, rather than devoting myself more fully to promulgating the Law of Thelema under the aegis of KG and the Typhonian OTO.

In 1985, I became one of the three founding Sovereigns of the Chthonic-Auranian OTO, branch of the OTO-- a wholly new manifestation of the Order claiming no imprimatur from Crowley, and doing away (as much as possible) with hierarchy grades & restraint of individual enthusiasm. The Chthonic-Auranian OTO is dedicated to exploration-&-union of the Dark/Light Mysteries of all onic formul. At about this time, I also became a regional coordinator of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a Lovecraftian Mystery School descended from the Sirius mystery cults of egypt Babylon & Sumeria, by way of Gateways within creative individuals who are capable of dreaming the mythos, and making it accessible even to those who do not believe their dreams to be real. It was into the maelstrom of these mythic forces that the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition took form and birthed itself at Math of the ChRySTAL Humm some where in 1986 or 87.

It is now 1994. A lot has transpired since this essay was written. I left Math of the ChRySTAL HUMM in the hands of friends in 1988 to pursue the study of Megapolistomancy within dance clubs and dirty back streets of Buffalo New York. About 1989 or 1990 Math of the ChRySTAL HUMM reabsorbed itself back into the void from whence it came. The house & land which were the physical basis for this powerzone has been foreclosed upon by the banks. The Chthonic-Auranian OTO is alive-&-well, prospering under the guidance of its many capable Sovereigns. I have been out of contact with the EOD since 1988. From what I have been able to ascertain, the EOD is no longer operating on the outer.

The MAE has been evolving in fits & starts since parting from the nurturance of Math of the ChRySTAL HUMM powerzone in 1988. The MAE is, a living viable Current --from my perspective, alive and growing within each of us who played with its magick at Math of the ChRySTAL Humm. Yet, although I believe the MAE is a many headed hydra, I can only speak of it through the lens of my own personal experience. Synchronous with my own personal journey of re-discovery, the MAE has become a wriggling semi-somnolent pupa dormant within me --absorbing & reifying a new megalomanic context to augment its elysian primal nurturance. The 1994 publication of this essay is designed to arouse the Miskatonic Alchemickal Expedition from its six year hibernation to begin its work anew.

Currently, Bill is living amidst the social decadence, political corruption, and stagnant decay of New Orleans with his wife-&-Priestess Raven Greywalker. Together they are studying and learning arcane mysteries from diverse encounters with various megalomanic power-spots and with the plethora of individuals whose ancestry and magicks stem from an amalgamation of Haitian and African Voodoos, strange native American magicks, even-stranger heresies brought here from France and Spain by various prisoners of conscience fleeing from the long arm of Inquisition and Crown --as well as those not-quite human fringe-people whose swamp, bayou, & river ancestors possess a certain bactrian look analogous to their Innsmuthian kin, yet with an indolent balefulness not often found beyond the foetid nurturance of Louisiana's biological social spiritual and political backwater. Compounding this genetic, spiritual, and ethnic mire is an on-going influx of disaffected and disenfranchised persons from the world around, drawn to New Orleans by its astral and literary beacon proclaiming it to be a Mecca for the weird.

Into this complex milieu, AShT Ch0zar SSaratu awakens once more to prod the hermit, Bill, into literary fecundity.

Original Preface

Lest there be confusion, let me state here that this little essay is written from my own personal internal perspective. I feel strongly that most of my fellow expedition members would agree with the content of what I am saying, but many of them might find my vocabulary a bit unfamiliar.

Among Thelemites, our expeditions are currently known as Holy Guardian Angel Workings. Back in the days when our expeditions were less focused, some (who placed themselves on the fringes of our endeavors) called our workings Pagan Parties. Gatherings is the most common local term. Up until recently, I have been rather silent about my intense internal work with Lovecraft's Mythos -- preferring to keep my Lovecraftian magicks to myself, while integrating myself consciously & openly into whatever mythology my fellow expedition members were weaving. But the time for silence is at an end. With this paper, I begin to open the inner workings of my personal mythology, the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition, to all who may be interested working this Current.

Preliminary Remarks

The purpose/methodology/tools of the Miskatonic Alchemical Expeditions are difficult for me to put into words. The expedition is not a dream school in the way I use that word. Our work involves physical plane waking-consciousness magickal endeavors. The expedition is a coordinated anarchistic group endeavor to create an environment in which dreams/phantasies/visions are projected outward within our working group (Circle). We assist individuals to reify their internal Universes within waking consciousness with intentionality & responsibility.

I sometimes feel that the word Initiation is a bit mis-used/over-used, but I feel that it does indeed apply to aspects of our work. In my experience (corroborated by K.Grant), initiation cannot be guaranteed thru any rite. Initiation is a connection which jumps-starts an individual into an exalted state of consciousness. Initiation is rather elusive, & sometimes appears to be transient. I have found that initiation works most powerfully when the initiatory link is clearly made in both directions-- i.e., when the initiator & aspirant keep playing leap-frog with one another-- so that both experience a powerful initiation, and each is very clearly aware of (& acknowledged for) h-is/er role as initiator.

I suspect that one-way initiations accrue karma, which neutralizes or masks the long-term effects of traditional top-down initiations --at least until the initiator dies (or leaves office), or the initiate severs connection with the initiating Order to formulate h-is/er own internal initiatory links). Perhaps commercial initiators (such as those in various New Age Spiritual Psychology Movements) charge steep fees for their services as a way of absolving the inhibitory karmic link in the here-&-now.

As I say, we do not claim to guarantee initiation. We provide a setting, a set of tools, and a community, by which we assist one-another (and selected outsiders) to activate our self-chosen and ever-evolving phantasy reality during daily waking consciousness --i.e., in our "ordinary" lives, not just during our rather intense rituals. Attempting to comprehend our work intellectually can be very misleading, especially if mental gymnastics are not grounded in actual day-to-day experience of our work. As I attempt to convey the flavor & intensity of our work, I sometimes get the feeling I am attempting a task of the magnitude of conveying an experience of chocolate mousse to someone who has lived h- is/er entire life on a diet of un-seasoned white rice, stale bottled water, & vitamin pills.

Set-&-Setting

The setting for our rites is (ideally) primitive & isolated --where the niceties of civilization (morals, clothing, social taboo, etc) can be consciously put-aside by each expedition member individually, each in the manner/degree which is in accord with each individual's True Will. During our all-night Circles, some people revert to a pre-human or a non-terrestrial state, while others retain their human persona as they channel information from alien races (or gods, angels, demons, etc). Some --who become uninhibited, sexually aroused, and who have located <one or several> suitable partner(s)-- make love in total abandon; while still others commune within the sexual energy field in non-physical ways, &/or talk with trees or crystals. For this type of Working, the setting must be isolated so no one feels the need to stifle or edit any energies which come pouring thru. [As I said, all this doesn't make much practical sense unless you've experienced it firsthand!]

On some occasions, some (or all) of us create-&-perform group Dramatic ritual to coordinate the mindset of the group at the on-set of our free- form all-night Shamanic Circle. Whether or not we stage a formal ritual, we encourage each person in Circle to do whatever personal ritual(s) &/or energy balancing s/he feels would assist h-im/er in manifesting h-is/er inner self. We then communicate various entheogenic sacraments to assist us (individually & as a group)in manifesting trans-rational consciousness.

Entheogenic Elixir

[addendum made in 1994: Of the various entheogenic elixirs which we experimented with from 1980-88, the basic recipe we found most efficacious was composed of a concentrated infusion of Psilocybe cubensis stems-&- pieces (prepared after the manner of Soxlet) in cool 190 proof grain alcohol. This elixir was then concentrated by distillation of excess alcohol until insoluble waxy residues began to accumulate in the bottom of the flask. The slurry was filtered while hot and the filter paper then washed with hot ethanol to resolve any active constituents trapped in the residue. The filtrate and the ethanol washings were combined, then diluted approximately 50/50 with Chambord raspberry liquor, then stored in a home freezer till a few hours prior to use. {Preparation time: approximately 1 week @24 hours/day.} At an appropriate moment during the all-night ritual <as the cone of power was being raised>the elixir was diluted approximately 50/50 w/ Coca Cola. The sugar, caffeine, and alcohol included in this process were all found to be sympathetic adjuncts to the active entheogen, psilocybin. The estimated dose of psilocybin was approximately 75-300 mgs per serving. Although traditional ethnopharmacologists claim 50 mg. to be the maximum useful dose of psilocybin, I have found that doses far in excess of this to be efficacious given an appropriate Set-&-Setting. During our expeditions, some persons regularly consumed 3 or 4 servings over a 4-8 hr period. When available, an additional drop or 2 (1000-2000 mcgs) of liquid LSD per person would be added to the cup as well. At a few other times cannabis infusions in ethanol were added to this basic recipe, but massive amounts of THC made the elixir too lethargic and had a tendency to give some folks a bad case of the spins every time they turned their head. Human kalas (consecrated sexual fluids) were often added to the cup just prior to consumption. Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic stress reliever obtainable thru Heath Food stores was found useful in helping quiet the jitters of too rapid a "take-off".]

Sacramental Guidelines

We have found that certain guidelines (which we are constantly up-dating) are useful for sacrament consumption. From my perspective, I find the following to be quite useful:

a). Some form of ritual in which a common sacrament is consecrated jointly, then communicated. Usually, we use a cup ritual -- both for its esoteric symbolism & so that we can truly share in the same sacrament. The elixir we normally use is always brewed with unknown potency, so that it becomes virtually impossible for the rational self to meter the dose. I find that the rational mind (my own, & most other folks as well) is often fearful of the transition to trans-rationality via the un-rational.

Once the leap has been made, the rational mind has a lot of fun integrating/assimilating trans-rational reality, but the first approach can be real scary sometimes. Perhaps we detect subliminal astral presences, such as the Hounds of Tindalos or the mad flute players, which then induce panic in the most intrepid of explorers!

b). In conjunction with the cup ritual, each explorer is asked to state why s/he is in attendance. Flippant, shallow, or incomprehensible answers are clarified thru further interactions. If clarification does not prove to be feasible, that person is asked to leave the circle. In formal Circles at major Festivals involving strangers, we also collect money for sacrament at this time, while ascertaining that each individual has met all of the pre-requisite criteria (e.g.: having personally cut-&-hauled their weight in firewood to the ritual site, being willing to remain in Circle till the morning sun is visible in the dawn sky, vowing to handle any bad-trips responsibly --i.e., without projecting them outward into the group at large, etc.

c). The texture, contrast, & clarity of the Working is greatly increased if in addition to the commonly-shared sacrament some explorers communicates individual sacrament as well -- each in accord with h-is/er own Will. I call this interaction of individual alchemical energies the Orchestra Effect. Each individual sacrament provides an attunement to a unique perspective on the Multiverse, while our shared sacrament ties-us- all-together. Practically speaking, each individual gains access to simultaneous experience of many unique perspectives, usually (but not always) while maintaining h-is/er unique individuality. Some sacraments (such as Euphoria) promote mentation, while others (such as 2CB) encourage emotive feeling. Telepathy (both on a rational level & via the sensorium of the hind-brain) is common in our Circles. Once, one of our explorers seemingly stumbled thru solid matter. On another occasion several of us witnessed another explorer handle hot coals without being burned. During a very early expedition, a water glass began to over-flow like a fountain, while the glass remained full to the brim. At one of our 1985 expeditions, we experienced a tornado and thunderstorm inside a tent, with winds was so fierce that I was unable to fall-over no matter how hard I tried, while a camera 20 feet away remained dry & was not blown from its flimsy tripod. As I keep mentioning, The work of our Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition is not easy to talk-about in a purely rational context!

d). Internal balance is crucial for this work.; The philosophical framework of Thelema (discovering one's Will & DOING it.) coupled with the EST technique of being "At-Cause" in one's Universe can induce an aspirant towards creating an approximation of a karma-free state -- i.e.,no hidden strings jerking h-im/er around). I sometimes remind myself --as well as all others within hearing if I am being extrovert at the time-- that if I am at-cause in my Universe and Doing my Will, then there can be no un-willing Victims in my Universe, all Persecutors act in a conscious manner, and I have no need for Rescuers. On a micro-cosmic level, we council nutritional awareness & personal transformative alchemy. All-night rituals can prove taxing to those who live their lives by external clock cycles. Sleep deprivation, vitamin depletion & depressed blood sugar levels can bring all sorts of un-resolved issues out in the open and into manifestation, especially when energy levels are all cranked-up by powerful ritual, sexual prana, and entheogenic stimulation. While I feel it is essential to dump &/or transform toxins and to play-out all un-resolved conflicts, I encourage expedition members (this includes me, too!) to do their homework --all-night vigils, eating what they consider to be a nutritious diet, fasting & an on-going regimen of personal introspection/meditation/ritual work-- before engaging in powerful transformative group workings. To promote balance at our Circles, we encourage one-another to take vitamin/mineral supplements. Lately, we have begun to have some sort of pot-luck meal (melons, Bar-B-Q on the ritual bonfire, fresh bread, etc.) during the wee hours of the morning, when our human biosystems can sometimes be starving for some food prana (but we are often too busy to notice!).

Conscious & deliberate use of sex, entheogenic sacrament & ritual within a supportive setting all assist the rational mind to gently step aside, while opening-up the Third Eye & Crown Chakra. The elixir mentioned supra --inspired by Doctor Laban Shrewsury's hermetic mead-- is most efficacious in facilitating this state, especially when used in conjunction with other alchemical compounds which open the Heart, enhance Sexual Creativity, or activate &/or stimulate the other chakras.

 

Samadhi & Dissolution of Duality

When all chakras are open & functioning at their highest levels, there does not seem to me to be any meaningful purpose in attempting to distinguish between humans-&-gods, angels-&-demons, good-&-evil, or reality-&-fiction. Each person becomes intimately connected-to/congruent- with h-is/er personal phantasy reality. A Buddhist may realize that s/he is the Buddha or transcend that state of attainment to become one with the infinite; a Lovecraftian mage may experience sexual union with Cthulhu or discover that s/he is at one with the chaos of Azathoth; a Christian may become the Christ, or may experience Jesus & Lucifer as two facets of the same cosmic gem. A person may identify with h-is/er genetic past, or with some extraterrestrial race. S/He can become a totem power animal, or come to a realization of being a human incarnation of Gaia.

I am not talking about intellectual comprehension here. Intellectual comprehension of the merger of the mundane with the transcendent is not difficult for anyone with a well-developed ego &/or sufficient spiritual pride. [Many students of contemporary Western magick fit into this category.] The rational mind is more than happy to convince itself that it is God. I am not speaking of that kind of realization. I am speaking of full-fledged actualization (samadhi coupled with focus of individual Will) of godhead.

It is also possible to actualize total union with the cosmic ALL/No-Thing, but commenting further on such a state is beyond the scope of this essay.

Real Work of the MAE

I find things get really interesting when someone realizes that even though s/he can indeed choose to be Christ, Buddha, Azathoth, Satan, ET, Gaia, a virus, etc., s/he can also choose to be fully-actualized in-&-of h-im/er-self --i.e., as Jane or Fred, or Stacy. When the ego stops trying to be God, & becomes a god instead, the real work of our Expedition begins in earnest! If/When an explorer becomes aware of h-is/er cosmic nature, and is able to ground h-im/er-self in trans-rational reality, it then becomes feasible for h-im/er to interact with other cosmic beings -- neither limited by Space, fixed in sequential Time, nor locked-out of any particular reality framework. Within this cosmic framework, all who work- &-play here jointly create reality.

[Note: It is also quite possible to create total-&-complete Nightmare and propagate terror thru-out the Multiverse, or to rend the fabric of Maya completely. I do not recommend this course of action as a group endeavor. Likewise it is possible to tap-into the Cosmic All/No-Thing as a mystic, rather than as a magickian (i.e.,from an ego-less state with no point of Will). That too, I find to be a rather solitary undertaking. I have involved myself with each of these endeavors on various occasions in myriad different lives within infinitudes of alternity. Each is powerful, educational, & <seemingly> necessary to the multiverse (at least as I know it). Hindus call this cycle Brahma/Shiva/Vishnu (named after gods of Creation/Destruction/Preservation). From my present perspective, I find co-Creation with other cosmic beings to be the most fun challenge in the Multiverse. Destruction is too easy & preservation is not to my temperament. So I have made Chaotic Creation (i.e., Creation with no central god figure to coordinate things) the focus of my lives' work. I co-create pleasant evolutionary realities by working with those on similar paths. Although destruction & preservation are indeed woven into the fabric of my existence <I kill plants-&-animals to eat as well as for my personal convenience; I reprint classical texts to preserve their message for future generations>, I leave grand Rites of destruction, and performance of un-changing Ritual to those who enjoy these endeavors! The Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition specializes in evolutionary creativity.]

Depending on:

1) how many persons in Circle are able to manifest as cosmic beings,

2) our ability, Will, & desire(!) to recognize others who are in a similar state, and

3) our ability/Will/desire to assist those who are still in transition, it is sometimes possible to create a very powerful self-balancing mutually gratifying Mythological framework. Within this larger Mythological framework, it is common to have functioning magickal eddy-realities, within which the interfaces of each personal reality dance with one-another.

To phrase it another way -- SaSaR (Sex & Sacrament & Ritual) combined with close camaraderie amongst expedition members, & a shared set/setting of Circle-space & expectation, induces the boundary edges among people in Circle blur. The slightest thought (whether expressed or stifled) manifests within our collective reality. [As practitioners of Kria Yoga teach: Thought is Creative!] This newly actualized creation can be channeled, focused, &/or modified thru acts of Love under Will. As the evening progresses, Reality (i.e.,our collective Maya) takes on a mythic flavor (exactly which mythos depends on how each participant has prepared his/her internal mind-&-emotional set ahead of time and the degree to which s/he is willing &/or able to share (via poetry, ritual, storytelling, lovemaking, conscious touching, chakra stimulation, fire-walking, etc) h-is/er personal Mythos with the rest of us. When our weave of rational/emotional connections is sufficiently powerful, conventional reality dissolves completely and our jointly-created fantasy takes on mythic proportions. Individual dreams weave together & play themselves out in our waking consciousness, not just in private dreamspace.

Our work might be likened to Psychodrama, but with a focus of reality engineering. Israel Regardie once wrote that magical attainment is independent from psychological balance. Such limited attainment may well have once been the norm when most magickians worked solitary, but (to me) the quest for magickal attainment must include active exploration of psychological edges --the places where insanity and genius are all but indistinguishable-- or the magickal endeavor is simply not worth my time & effort. The Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition uses various psychological balancing techniques to make the exploration of edges easier & more productive, but as we learn how to achieve-&-maintain balance, our work escalates, rather than slacking-off. We work Magick (inducing Change in harmony with Will), not just mental health. Our dream enactment is collective, rather than individual, so that our personal quirks balance one-another out --which is one of the main reasons why our expedition contains a varied cross-section of individuals. This provides a clearer/cleaner contact with (& actualization of) energies than is usually possible in a solo working, no matter how advanced an individual adept.

We have no "faculty" in our expedition. We all explore together. Some of us have more experience than others, but we play leap-frog adeptship with one-another so often, that it does not make sense to me to designate a faculty. We do, however, have a core group of intrepid explorers. We have a local core of Thelemic magickians, augmented by individuals & sub- groups from other well-developed magickal powerzones. New members for our expedition seem to manifest as we become ready to handle their energy. For some, one expedition is sufficient for a lifetime. Others drift in-&-out of our Circles as they discover themselves & test-out their point-of-Will. Let me point out once again, that I am at the center of my personal universe. Everything I say is grounded in my own personal perspective -- which is to say, with me at the core of the expedition. Yet, from the perspective of some other member of the expedition, I may not even be in the core group at all!

[Note made in 1994: Now that I've given you all sorts of non-hierarchal disclaimers about how I may or may not be in the core group, lets get down to some details! Appended below is the text of another introductory essay I penned which approaches the MAE from another angle, that of an initiatory Order. What follows was once given in secrecy to a select few. I ask you to treat it as you would any other Secret document --in the words of Herman Slater's now defunct Earth Religion News:

Protect the Mysteries, Reveal them Daily!

Practicum

The Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition is field-trip oriented R-&-D community which operates within that sentient web of initiates known on the outer as the Esoteric Order of Dagon (EOD). From my perspective, the Mis katonic Alchemical Expedition operates hand-in-hand (perhaps tentacle- in-hand may be a better euphemism) with the Chthonic-Auranian Branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO).

It is assumed that each applicant to the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedi tion of the EOD is a functional Thelemite whose understanding/appreciation of the Mythos is based upon direct personal magickal experience with outr energies, not merely an academic interest in the literary genre of weird fiction or a sociological/psychological interest in those who channel/advocate the Mythos. That is to say, each applicant is expected have an understanding/appreciation of Will, Love, and personal responsibility from a Thelemic perspective, be willing/able to put these precepts into practice in his/her daily life, and be willing/able to function as a Thelemite within magickal community. Each applicant is further expected to submit on-going records of magickal workings, dream diaries, fiction, essays, &/or evocative Art which demonstrates his/her vital connection with the Mythos as a magickian or a mystic. Magick may be defined as causing change in conformity with Will. Mysticism (in this context) may be defined as a passive link with the Mythos which generates syncretistic harmony &/or dissolution into the Mythos itself.

Initiation into (or affiliation with) the Chthonic-Auranian OTO is by no means mandatory for affiliation with the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition. Members of other branches of the OTO, as well as autonomous Thelemites are welcome within the ranks of the MAE. The EOD does not require acceptance of Liber AL vel Legis as a requirement for membership. The MAE does, however, require that each expedition member accept Thelema and live by an individual ethical code of Will, Love, and Personal Responsibility. Whether you accept the veracity of Crowley's channeled writings is up to you -- concepts are important, not packaging!

I strongly urge all those interested in active participation in the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition to apply for membership into the EOD. Although it is possible to work with the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition in the short-run without formal affiliation with the EOD, I do not recommend this course of action for the long-term. I find that formal affiliation is synonymous with commitment. I have found that those who cannot --or will not -- commit themselves to an organization are (in general) not dependable. The on-going work of the MAE involves deep serious personal commitment -- not only to your own personal Great Work, but to the local & global community in which we work/play/grow/explore (both individually & collectively). Hangers-on often become deadweights.

We are building an ever-growing group gestalt, whose food is a shared information base & an ever-evolving group mythology. Personal Commitment to the group is a first step towards formulating perfect love & perfect trust which is our primary sacrament.

[Note made in 1994: While I still agree in principle with the sentiments expressed in the previous paragraph, there remains the difficulty of locating functional Magickal Orders worthy of one's loyalty and support. Since neither the EOD nor the MAE are presently functioning on the outer, and since (in all probability) the Chthonic-Auranian OTO does not have a functional group in your area, I can make no reasonable recommendations at present. In my personal experience with myriad Magickal Orders, which <for the nonce> shall remain nameless, I have found far more spiritual corruption than true enlightenment, far more power games than fellowship or brotherhood, and far more hiding behind paper initiations to cover ignorance, than open sharing of knowledge or admittance of ignorance --

e.g., "I'm truly sorry, but even though you have been experimenting with VIII carezza for over three months now, I am unable to discuss your work with you because to do so would be inappropriate, for the mysteries you are exploring are 'beyond your grade'. If & when you have earned access to our Sovereign Sanctuary of the Gnosis, I will be more than happy to discuss this topic with you more at length" (Soror 789, circa 1977).

While I still contend that refusal to work within the structure of a magickal Order can indeed be a symptom of egoistic imbalance, working within a corrupt Order is no solution. All I can do at this point is wish you good luck in your search!]

The Focus of Our Work

From my perspective, the work of the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition is always evolving & does not really fit into neat categories. Chaos does not lend itself to description in a linear essay format. Although I have chosen to speak of the work of the Expedition as though it could be separated into neat little boxes, such categorizations can be misleading. Needless to say, the little boxes I portray are my own.

[I once had a vision of entering the abyss by a rear entrance. All of the various gods, demons, angels, and other sundry beings were lounging about playing poker, skinny-dipping in the great sea, and otherwise enjoying each other's company. Then someone saw me & began shouting over a PA system: "Qliphoth to your shells! God/desses to your Spheres! Everybody get into your boxes!" -- In the abyss (as in this world) everything overlaps. Neat boxes exist only in the minds of those who choose to separate their life experience into categories.]

On an individual basis, members of MAE utilize techniques of conscious dreaming, astral projection, & self-induced trance states to explore various realms of dream, nightmare, & vision. As we re-enter normal waking consciousness via the gateway at Dath <which (to me) typifies the energies of Herschel (Uranus)>, expedition members focus their dream images into conscious awareness & outward expression via Hod (writing, scientific/magickal technique, etc.) or Netzach (Art, Music, etc.). It is within this realm that exploration reifies personal initiation within the here-&-now.

On a group basis, members of Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition utilize Shamanic (Netzachian) & Ceremonial (Hodian) magickal techniques to focus their individual consciousness & the gestalt of the group itself thru the astral gateway at Yesod and into the worlds of dream, myth, and creativity. These expeditions are undertaken as group endeavors to manipulate/explore the worlds of dream without the need to give-up waking consciousness.

On the Dangers of Over-Specialization

It is my feeling (based on personal observation of my own imbalances & much research over the past two decades) that over-emphasis on individual exploration can lead to introversion & isolation which borders on the pathological. A solitary magickian wakes-up alone. S/He becomes aware of his/her inherent trans-dimensional nature apart from a community of peers. S/He works the Path of the Hermit in order to tap-into his/her initiated self. Adepts of this path progress rapidly to become Masters of the inner planes, but often at the expense of being able to relate to their fellow humans as anything other than tools for their personal trip. For within the initiatory context of vision & dreamspace, everything is a projection of the self outward (a diagnostic tool to speed integration of personality) &/or a spirit sent to guide the initiate upon his/her path. It is easy for a hermit to become an exalted adept --yea, even a God. But (all too often) s/he is not able to perceive the initiation of others who work analogous formul of attainment. Smug superiority over his/her magickal comrades coupled with fear/loathing/disdain of those whom s/he considers to be mundane often limit the degree to which such individuals are able to manifest their true natures in the here-&-now.

Aleister Crowley, Nicola Tesla, Austin Osman Spare, and H.P. Lovecraft all spring to mind as examples of initiates who woke-up alone. Each was a genius. Each had a profound effect on the world I live in. Yet, each was severely imbalanced in his relationships with other people. Tesla was perhaps the most extreme. He could not tolerate being touched. He felt it disturbed his subtle magnetic fields. He once moved a thousand miles from his home simply because someone put his arm on Tesla's shoulder! Of these 4, I feel that Crowley worked most diligently to balance his solitary inner plane Workings with connection to community (being tapped-into non-solitary sex magick probably helped a lot)! But in community, he acted as though he were the most advanced initiate on the planet. Based on the number of people who moved in-&-out of his life, it would seem that he was somewhat difficult to be around for protracted periods of time. He surrounded himself with people whom he used as tools &/or endeavored to re-form into images of himself. I learned a lot from Crowley. But, after many years of being a Hermit, I am now working to balance my exalted Hermetic initiations with group interactions within a community of magickal peers.

On the other hand, I am finding that those who work almost exclusively in community (Wo/Men of Earth) can also grow in an imbalanced manner. As my personal experience with this formula is more limited than my hermetic experience, I can more readily perceive the weaknesses of Wo/Men of Earth than their strengths. The Hermit perceives the Universe as being a tool for his/her personal initiation. Hermits are cosmic children. The Multiverse is their school & playground. Wo/Men of Earth are cosmic parents. Sometimes they get so caught-up in being responsible that they seem to have forgotten how to play.

When Hermits & Wo/Men of Earth clash, it is often over the role of healing/nurturing. The Hermit wants to play games of initiation & create heroic mythologies. The Wo/Man of Earth wants to play parent or healer. There are times/places for games of high initiation, and times/places for games of healing & nurturing. When these two currents work in balance, everything is copacetic and magick flows on all levels. To me, the positive interweaving of the magicks of the Hermit & the Wo/Man of Earth create a space in which the godform of the Lovers can manifest.

Problems arise (from my perspective) when time/space has been set-aside for initiatory game playing, and True initiation occurs. Under such circumstances, the flow of raw magickal power thru an unfolding gestalt can sometimes be mis-perceived as a symptom of a disease process (e.g.,a psychotic episode, life-threatening physical ailment, magickal attack, etc), rather than as a positive initiatory experience. A Wo/Man of Earth who is not able to tap-into his/her Hermetic godform has a very strong tendency to intervene in a nurturing/healing way -- even when those energies are counter-productive to the Work-at-hand.

From my perspective, a gestalt is a functional magickal organism. Each individual within that gestalt takes on specific function(s). Sometimes a person will breathe as though s/he is hyperventilating, or somebody else will stop breathing, altogether. Neither is dangerous. During one initiatory experience, I stopped breathing for over an hour (timed by a clock) without any serious repercussions other than a splitting headache the following day. While in another gestalt, a very powerful Hermit was working intimately with Fire. A Wo/Man of Earth attempted to intervene -- for she felt that the Hermit might hurt herself. The Hermit was self- possessed enough to laugh at the Wo/Man of Earth, then pick up some hot coals to demonstrate that she was able to care for herself -- magickal reality was maintained!

But such a high degree of self-possession is rare, even among highly skilled Hermits, when they operate in a group gestalt. Worry trips (no matter how well-meaning) can throw me off-balance. I might have suffocated had I been surrounded by well-meaning nervous nellies who wanted to rush me off to a hospital. The woman who handled fire could have been seriously burned if her certitude faltered at the wrong moment. I have a much easier time manifesting paranormal phenomena in my solitary work. I have become quite used to clocks running backwards, and seeing strange alien beings looking out at me from my bathroom mirror.

[By the way, I was quite cognizant of paranormal manifestations many years before I began my researches with psychoactive sacraments!]

In my opinion, a Wo/Man of Earth who is over-due for an extended magickal retirement is real prone to ground the group's energy whenever s/he feels threatened by feelings/thoughts/phenomena which clash with his/her reality framework. In extreme cases, lack of emphasis on individual personal development seems to manifest as an underdevelopment of an individual's Hadit-Point, making him/her susceptible to major freak- outs during group workings. I perceive freak-outs as being related to feeling a loss of center when each individual Hadit-point merges into the group gestalt.

If a freaked-out person gets sick (allergy attack, faints, etc.) &/or projects his/her dis-ease outward onto an empathic receptor in the group gestalt, the group energy is effectively re-focused from High magick to a medical/psychological emergency, which (it would seem) is more normal to some than the initiatory paranormal universe which I prefer to inhabit. By dampening, stifling, or distracting group energy, the imbalanced Wo/Man of Earth effectively limits/disperses exponential initiatory growth which gestalt consciousness engenders, unless s/he can be brought to balance by other members of the gestalt.

This is where I feel the Lover comes into play. Those who embody the godform of the Lover are able to relate to both the Hermit and the Wo/Man of Earth without losing center, and without becoming judgmental of where the other person is coming from. A Lover is able to relate to each of the wonders/joys/responsibilities/challenges of being a Hermit and of being a Wo/Man of Earth --without losing perspective on that which transcends each separate task. A Lover is a Peacemaker who unites all in Love under Will. Lovers are (from my perspective) a godform which ameliorate the functioning of Hermits within community, and Wo/Men of Earth within paranormal reality.

Mathew Henry once commented that peace is such a precious jewel that he would give anything for it but truth. The godform of a Lover is sometimes attempted by those who do not really understand what is like to be a Hermit or a Wo/Man of Earth. In such an instance, the ersatz Lover may attempt to smooth things out, without really being able to catalyze resolution. Such practices (in my experiences) lead to a fracturing of community. To me, a Lover is functional as a balance-point between Hermits and Wo/Men of Earth only insofar as s/he is able to relate to both via personal experience, not just empathy.

I speak of Hermits, Lovers, and Wo/Men of Earth as though they are separate beings. Such over-specialization (if it really existed) would be ridiculous. I am working on all three grades -- as is everyone I know! The appropriate balance of Hermit, Lover, & Wo/Man of Earth within each of us is a highly delicate & ever-evolving balance, which we explore & fine- tune on an on-going basis. I encourage (& expect) each Expedition member to work/play/explore with those individuals/groups he/she/they may feel are appropriate, using whatever techniques he/she/they deem useful-- There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt!

[Please note: As this essay is being published long after the demise of Math of the ChRySTAL Humm Powerzone during a period of somnolent dormancy of the EOD and the, the following section, Affiliation with the Mis katonic Alchemickal Expedition, is included solely for the sake of completeness. At present (1994) there is no MAE or EOD to apply to, so no address will be printed. Those involved in a Great Work similar to my own, may contact me c/o the editors of this magazine.]

 

Affiliation with the Miskatonic Alchemickal Expedition

We cannot initiate anyone into the EOD. We do not feel that initiation of this kind can be conferred from without --it emanates from within as the result of personal exploration & synthesis. Initiation is a personal process of flowering/unfoldment. Initiation is a side-effect of getting in-touch with one's self, and discovering/creating relationships between one's self & the rest of the Multiverse. Although the EOD does not confer initiation, we are willing (yea, even eager!) to recognize initiates by the fruits of their labors --their magickal/creative output.

If it is your will to seek affiliation with the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition of the EOD, please send me a personal letter stating your will in this matter. Let me know what you feel you have to offer our group & what you are looking to get from your association with us. Please include your biography (earth-plane as well as magickal), along with any pertinent information about yourself & your personal explorations which you are willing to share at this time. I would really appreciate a recent photo of yourself, along with your birth data (date/time/place). If you are involved (or have past affiliations) with other magickal groups (local/regional/international), please tell me of your experiences with them insofar as you are able without violating any confidentialities or oaths of secrecy.

Acceptance into the Esoteric Order of Dagon requires some form of evidence of your activity in the Great Work. Evidence can include any/all of the following: samples of your dream record, records of Magickal Workings, essays on magickal technique/philosophy, creative magickal fiction &/or Art (or photographs of your Art) which demonstrate your connection with the Mythos. Those who are new to communicating their visions may find it useful to use fiction as a vehicle of expression.

Dream fragments which provide detailed description of rituals, alien entities, bizarre settings, &/or actual text (or artwork) from astral books or manuscripts are particularly useful to other dreamers. But even brief fragments of dreams can sometimes provide a key word or image which another dreamer is seeking. If your artform does not lend itself to written or pictorial evidence, please discuss your work with me. I am sure we can come up with some method for you to demonstrate your activity in the Great Work.

Be sure your letter requesting affiliation with the EOD contains your legal name & mailing address, as well as the magickal name (or motto) by which you choose to be known within the EOD. Your application will be evaluated personally by me, shown to members of my close magickal family, then forwarded (with comments/recommendations), to R'yleh Lodge. What you submit may become a permanent part of the EOD's Library of Dath &/or the library of the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition. Submitted material will not be returned to you. Please do not submit original manuscripts or artwork, unless you are donating them to our library.

Neither the EOD nor the Miskatonic Alchemical Expedition charges dues or initiation fees. You are expected to pay only for those goods & services which you specifically request. Donations to help pay for postage &/or to support our on-going publishing projects are always welcome. As material flows into the Expedition library, I will make copies available to other Expedition members who request them. Individual expedition members are requested to submit material to me for internal EOD use. We encourage expedition members to submit material directly to the Library of Dath at R'yleh Lodge & to Black Moon Archives. Material submitted to me will not be distributed to the general public unless you tell me it is ok for me to do so.

1994 Postscript

Despite the optimism with which I penned the above essay some seven years ago, Math of the ChRySTAL Humm and the Miskatonic Alchemickal Exped ition have both crumbled into dust. What happened? To say it was time for me to "move-on" or to "continue my magickal journey elsewhere" begs the question and answers nothing. To write detachedly of the fall of the interlocking powerzones which I helped create and which in-turn gave me birth, is both beyond my ability, and would serve no purpose other than to allow me to beat my breast and air my grievances. Rather than play Hamlet or King Lear, I choose to eschew the realms of linear reality to speak allegorically of that which I am too enmeshed within to write of--either honestly or compassionately.

Sometime in the mid 1970's, I was becoming more active in the Typhonian OTO. I asked my then superior, Soror Tanith, why it was that Magickal Powerzones came together around a core of dedicated people, generated lots of energy, which in-turn attracted more people to the powerzone --only to have the whole thing eventually collapse in on itself, never to be heard from again? Tanith answered that she felt that a powerzone was, by its very nature, impermanent. Her answer was too pat and far from satisfying, but by its very nature, her answer created an itch in me (much like a bit of grit in an oyster) to explore this question further.

From my present (1994) perspective, it seems to me that powerzones are willfully created transient magickal engines--which are also unconsciously engendered immortal inter-dimensional organisms-- which attract ingenious and imaginative magickal beings to itself, who then drive themselves into a frenzy of taboo-breaking cross-fertilization in an effort to find &/or create mutual understanding and give birth to a new world --in which they give birth to one-another and themselves. Inadvertently, these Bornless- Ones also create spores of mutant magickal memes --initiatory multi- dimensional tinker-toy mandalas which catalyze transubstantiation of human and trans-human consciousness in all who play with them. When the spores reach maturation, some cataclysm (egoistic dissonance, financial strife, external persecution, etc.) breaks-up the harmony of the incubating powerzone womb & the (now defunct) powerzone spreads its initiatory spores into the void to co-mingle & cross-fertilize with other spores from myriad defunct &/or living Powerzones, Magickal Orders, Occult Philosophies, etc. to continuously spawn new magickal engines and organisms wherever the confluence of forces find favorable alignments of Stars.

Thus, when the cycle of eons has ended, and the Phoenix returns in weariness to Heliopolis for its self-appointed immolation, it is not the end, but a new beginning. For out of the ashes of the dying Phoenix arise dust motes which swirl and congregate under the influence of a billion whirling galaxies to coalesce --giving birth to myriad new phoenixes, strong in the vigor of their youth, shrieking orgiastically as they fly thru the worlds of (wo)men and their gods exploring conquering & remaking maya into their own images --as godlings are wont to do!

 

Anyone up for some interdimensional perichoresis?

 

by Bill Siebert, now known as Alobar Greywalker. Contact details:

Alobar Greywalker
623 Rue Saint Peter
4th floor garret
New Orleans, LA
70116

Alobar@bellsouth.net