HOODOO PILOT

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The noetic nom de plume “Hoodoo Pilot” emerged for me some time ago when I began study of Michael Bertiaux’s compendium of Esoteric Lesson Material, The Voudon-Gnostic Workbook. Within the first several pages we read of the Hoodoo as an Ancient “Team,” composed of the Transmigrated Atlantean Sorcerers (the “Hoo”) and the Spirits of the Dead (the “Doo”). Respectively occupying the Western and Northern Zones of the Full Lucky Hoodoo Magical Circle, these Spirits are more than willing to make contact with the Individual who approaches them through appropriate ritual and meditation, forging a link of “Give & Take” between Dimensions and Fields of Activity.

When I personally made this contact, I saw that this was a dimension of experience to be explored, navigated and mapped, a realm to be “Piloted.” One does not make such contact and remain unchanged. The mind adapts and becomes accustomed to the unique conditions of the new terrain. This necessitates experiment and construction of new vehicles for movement.

Some of those vehicles have evolved along somewhat “non-traditional” lines, although the underlying “tech” makes use of laws (or “operative principles”) which may be observed in the traditional methods of magic and shamanism.

Years back, the now classic first-person shooter QUAKE left a deep impression on me. As it goes, I was indirectly introduced to the game by E.J. Gold when I read an interview in that truly great and sadly defunct magazine, GNOSIS. In that interview, Gold spoke enthusiastically about QUAKE being a tool for “Bardo-Training.”

Beyond the adrenaline fueled hours of pumping Cthonic Creatures full of nine inch nails, my prolonged playing had the effect of altering my sense of space in dreams. Events which might have oozed into one another through membranes of forgetfulness were brought into clearer spatial awareness and continuity. It was as if-prior to QUAKE-I had been simply drifting with the undulating currents of the Astral Light. After the experience of immersion in the sharp 3-D environment of the game, I was maintaining that instinctual sense of space and movement.

I would later return to such Gamespaces to assist with astral work, “maintaining the vision” through superimposition of the two realms. Ritual on the Astral was thus facilitated by a certain locale in the handheld game Metroid: Hunters.

Gold now offers his own set of Gamespaces, specifically designed to serve the purposes of The Work. The “Retro Style,” in conjunction with techniques involving multidimensional awareness, diffused vision and attentiveness, provide a framework for a type of “Quantum Hoodoo.” There are certainly esoteric principles involved but these may be easily accessed by anyone at the ground level. This is because mulling over theory plays second fiddle to experience and practice, something readily available to anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

In a recent article for the New York Times, by Edward Rothstein, the author comments on the Healing Practices of Tibetan Buddhism:

“If this is magical thinking, it is not magic as we commonly understand it, wielding seemingly impossible powers. It is magic that relies on a conviction that different realms are images of one another: Metaphors are literally true; this really is a version of that. Medicine is astrology because the forces governing the body are the forces governing the heavens. Similarly, medicinal herbs are characterized as hot or cool partly because of where they grow, and that is directly related to their warming or cooling effects. Act in one realm — the heavens, the body or the botanical — and you also act in the others.”

Thus we have E.J. Gold observing that in the Second Life Prosperity Virtual Ashram (yet another extension of his forays into the spiritual potential of Gamespace) any rotating object functions as a prayer wheel. One revolution on a “hamster wheel” or circular spin in a dance circle is the same as chanting OM MANI PADME HUM.

Here we need to consider the space-or connective zone-between the two realms. Whether one is lighting a candle dedicated to the “Spirits of Lucky Hoodoo” or directing an onscreen form who does the same thing, it may seem that sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This will be the testimony of anyone’s Magical Diary or Record. Thus, there is always the issue of the “Magical Link.” If it’s not in place and up to snuff, results (or lack thereof) will reflect this.

We can say that the candle (physical, virtual or otherwise) is like a phone we use to dial the number of the Spirit we wish to contact. We want them to “pick up” on the other side after “dialing the numbers.” Obviously, other factors come into play with this example. Is the phone plugged in? Is our service plan paid up and operative? There is more to making a successful call than just holding the object and pressing its buttons.

Within the Prosperity Gamespace, we begin by acknowledging that what we are experience is real. We may observe that this reality seems different from our own but the events within it are, never the less, occurring. The tendency of the mind to nominalize the Gamespace is where the line gets cut. It forces the experience to conform to conditions where it is rendered inoperative. We are wishing to work in such a manner that the Gamespace is a Matrix from which transformative influence can be extended into a variety of zones. If we are dealing with chronic pain, we want to not only treat it from the realm of Gamespace but transport the treatment into another realm, namely that in which our physical bodies are. When a person has died, we wish to locate their Being and effectively direct the Guidance of the American Book of the Dead into their Bardo-Space from our own.

To do these things, we must develop skill, just as we would in meditation, artwork, Tai Chi or any other discipline. It is only by vast amounts of repetition that we begin to touch on the subtleties of practice, those moments where we suddenly experience a “Eureka!” moment, KNOW how it is done from within our own experience and then apply our new level of skill to exploration of further possibilities.

The starting point is simply learning how to utilize controls and operate within the space at hand. When this is second nature, we can tilt, ever so slightly, and begin to acknowledge the verity of what is happening. Without this, we will never get to the place where that verity extends through the connective zone into another dimension of experience and change.

In the Bardo Game “Coin Safari” there is a statement:

“One attempt does not a Habit make.”

This should be considered from the viewpoint of the “Voyager’s Quatrain” (from “The American Book of the Dead”):

All Phenomena is illusion.

Neither attracted nor repelled

Not making any sudden moves

My Habits will carry me through.”

After death, the mind itself will begin to unsheathe and dissolve in the Bardo Spaces. This does not imply the dissolution of Being. It simply indicates that we won’t “wake up” in some imagined Heaven or Hell in a “spiritual variant” of our physical form to hop, skip and jump with our present faculties at play. So there has to be a deeper level of conditioning with which one may adequately navigate. This is one of the reasons why the Tibetan Book of the Dead emerged and was put into practice.

“You get by with a little help from your friends.”

The Spirits of Lucky Hoodoo might be regarded by some as Elemental Precursors to work with the Loa and Higher Extradimensional Beings. But there are depths in the lesson material written by Michael Bertiaux which, if understood as more than a rung on some linear ladder, will open up worlds far beyond the text itself. These worlds bring us into confrontation with our Karmas-and the Karmas of the Universe in which we chose, consciously or not, to incarnate.

We begin with motive, the Need-Fire of the Rune Nauthiz. This gets us going. In Lucky Hoodoo, we make a request (and this tends to be along the lines of personal need as opposed to some abstract cosmic aspiration). Likewise, scroll the list of “Orbs” over at the urthgame (Prosperity Path) website. There are over 100 games directed at issues such as Worry, Love, Protection, Success and so on.

But from the first go, we begin to sense that there is something behind the immediate need or “First Karma.”

All of these themes will be addressed in my forthcoming book but the key is forming that link between zones. This requires practice and subsequent experience. The result will be the emergence of “Siddhis” or magical powers. We may think: if it’s this easy, wouldn’t everyone just do this thing, get the powers and get what they want?

Ah, but that’s the thing! The “Siddhis” are connected to states of what some call Enlightenment or Attainment (I prefer the term “Unsheathing” or excavating the Skandha Heap).

It’s similar to Carlos Castaneda in his popular Don Juan books. He starts out just wanting to get more information about Peyote. He ends up on the Warrior’s Path. By the time we are at the Art of Dreaming phase, the vehicle he requires has changed and he’s piloting an entirely different realm. Advanced, sure. But still getting flustered and being chided, while helped, by his Guru, Don Juan. Not the same person anymore and aware of a much larger field of concern.

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A Moment of Musing on Modern Magick-and Don Michael Kraig

Have only just heard this afternoon of the passing of Don Michael Kraig. Lots of words in tribute among my “Magical Friends” on Facebook. Some knew Don and went way back with him. I never had the pleasure. But like many, I was still impacted by his writing, most notably the perennially popular volume “Modern Magick.”

When I acquired this book, I was as green to the dark arts as one gets. Well, maybe a shade of chartreuse-but you get the picture. I was still “Kermit with a wand.” The gusto was there-but I’d not even performed a basic Pentagram ritual.

Sure, I’d gotten my hands on Crowley’s “Magick in Theory and Practice” which had filled my head full of mighty and mysterious things I wanted to be in the thick of but had no idea how to! I recall the first time I read his opening chapter on the Qabala. Instantly LOST.

At that time, Craig’s “Modern Magic” was just what I needed to enter that world of Crowley. It was the kind of introduction and training you’d get from a kind teacher (and, as was my case, when no such teacher was available).

Years down the line, I’d be conversant, divergent and feeling miles away from that start point. I’d even mock Llewellyn for churning out their sometimes laughable 101’s for the masses.

But where would I have gone were it not for Craig’s “101?”

Don Michael Craig did something important with this book. He explained the obtuse simply and in a manner which could be put to use. I’ve since read a lot of “occult literature” which hides behind walls of poetic allusion (or is that protective illusion?). “These advanced mysteries are for the very few who can rise above the herd and grasp the burning Gnosis.” You know the shtick and it’s easy to see what lies behind it: “I’M one of those few-and unless you want to consciously identify yourself with the sheep I’m talking about, you’ll seek the Way through ME.”

I know a LOT of “young turks” and starry eyed wanna-bes who fall for this, kids who are ready to hurl spears at the heavens and still can’t tie their own shoes.

The thing is: NO ONE owns Enlightenment. No one can tap you on the shoulder and bestow Attainment any more than someone can keep you from it. The best ANYONE can do is to help facilitate the conditions wherein the volition of your OWN soul moves through an impasse into a Greater Sphere of Knowing. Some have a vested interest in keeping you from this which is why there are as many “occult books” as there are new diet fads. The mystification can get so thick, you might reject the “thing most needful” if it isn’t wrapped up in the glamour which keeps one’s self-image from honesty, clarity of thought and simplicity. As Wittgenstein observed, the most difficult thing is for a person to not deceive THEMSELVES. So much manipulation seems to depend on a deception which operates on the dynamics of this very tendency within people.

Now, these words are not meant to be a “condemnation of the complex” or a call to condense the creative (with its own vast and liberating potential) into some Dick and Jane primer for the masses. Along with Kraig’s writing, I appreciated the “user-friendly” work of Lon Milo DuQuette’s similar simplifying of Crowley. But I have also felt that any analogous attempt with Kenneth Grant’s Trilogies would be an abysmal failure as he is intentionally weaving a web meant to operate in liminal zones where linear thought can no longer serve or suffice.

Still, we start at the START. We learn those “Dick and Jane” drills before reading (or writing like) James Joyce. Where some would keep the kids in the cradle, Don Michael Kraig wrote to get them to graduation.

In the end, I can still deeply appreciate the words of wisdom he wrote in “Modern Magick”:

“Magick is not something you DO…it is something you ARE.”

When we realize this, we are in a place where self-image is no longer measured by a rod envisioned titles or achievements. There is a sense that one’s life is a rare and unique opportunity for growth into the mystery, that every “attainment” will be both similar and different to that of others working through the same “class,” that True Will is the True Guide.

Wherever we are, we possess powers and have needs. Related to our authentic being, these needs are the truest thing. Some have considered me an authority or “master” of this, that or the other thing. It may seem so from a position of perspective. However, as Dylan sang: “What looks large at a distance, up close ain’t never that big.”

In the meantime, I am hard at work as an “entry level student” with various pursuits, bringing to bear upon them the enthusiasm of a kid who just played his first round of Minecraft.

This evening, a “Thank You” is thus sent from my own etheric zone to the traveling heart of Mr. Kraig for his excellent textbook in which he simplified his years of experience which certainly helped at my own impasse. I know many will have a similar story to tell. Furthermore, we will all have opportunity to do the same through the routes particular to our own Path. I feel there is great joy in doing so and the teacher who does thusly is never divorced from the freedom or joy of their own endless learning.

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A Blogenning

HERMES

After numerous written and visual contributions to a variety of esoteric publications, I have finally finished the bulk of text on my first full length book project. Unlike previous writings, which have been more or less on the “arcane” side of things, this is a book about the application of virtual reality (via video-gaming) as a vehicle and tool for healing, transmutation and initiation. Prior to this work, I’ve typically written with some assumption that my audience was familiar with whatever occult topic was on the table. I could allude to-and utilize-the lingo of Aleister Crowley, Kenneth Grant or Michael Bertiaux without needing to “provide a primer.”

 

With this latest project, I am aiming at a different and wider audience, namely anyone who might find the prospect of video-gaming as a spiritual work tool an intriguing prospect to entertain-and perhaps even try. As such, I endeavor to be user-friendly and conversational. The goal is to present something which can be understood, applied and experienced in a fashion that can bring about positive change in the human life. For some this will relate to really pressing practical concerns. For others this might evoke deeply entrenched psychological issues. Regardless, all of these things are ultimately understood as vital elements in one’s sojourn through this Spacetime as a Being whose Ultimate Essence is Transdimensional. Any obstruction to this Being realizing Ultimate Essence is an immediate concern and field for operation. From this viewpoint, I am interested in how this particular tool (or Game-Tech) can address whatever is right in front of us.

 

This “tech” is not vague or all-encompassing. Specifically, it deals with the games running on the GODD engine and developed by E.J. Gold and Co. From this we move into Second Life with the “Prosperity Virtual Ashram” (also built and overseen by Gold and Friends).

 

Having finished my first work on this topic, I am looking toward the next bout of writing on this theme. At present, I feel that a book composed of short entries, a type of journal or notebook, will be of use for those who make use of the first volume.  I thought a blog would serve as a useful “sketchbook” for this endeavor. Perhaps some of the forthcoming entries here will be added to the second book in this particular series. Regardless, I’d like to post my on-going ruminations here for the enjoyment of those involved with this Path and those who might be simply intrigued by it.

 

What I found when writing the present book was that, as I endeavored to make some degree of sense to a general audience, I was also stating and composing my personal vision and philosophy on Life Itself. But I do not regard such a “statement” as absolute. Not for you or me. No matter what insight a person has, they have further insight coming in.

 

This is one reason why Wittgenstein is my favorite philosopher. In his early work, he felt he had it all wrapped up. He had entered the fray, fought and felt he had written the work to end Philosophy. He “solved the puzzle.” And then he moved on.

 

That is, until a single question, a casual challenge, blew his airtight theory to pieces, throwing him back into philosophy as an occupation.

 

Some seem to think that one has thus and such life experiences and then come forward to present their “conclusion” which is called a “Philosophy.” Wittgenstein came into the space where a “Philosopher” was one who was actively engaged in “making connections.” He died not as one who has summed it all up but as one who is continuously moving, questioning, thinking and re-thinking.

 

I’ll announce the availability of the book I have just finished when it’s ready to go. This blog, however, is not meant to serve as some ongoing “shameless plug.” Rather, I want to give expression to my own position as a Philosopher, chronicling the explorations, thoughts, adventures and even dead ends whereby we continue our movement and growth in the Labyrinth of Life.