COLLECTED ESSAYS BY
Credits & Acknowledgements
Firstly to Arawyn, for bugging me to put something together for the Zee-CD project. Also to Stephen Sennitt, editor of Nox magazine for much encouragement, to the members of Circle of Stars, the Esoteric Order of Dagon and finally to Fra. GosaA for all those evenings spent standing in a circle made out of masking tape!
Aspects of Evocation version 1.1 March 1988
Phil Hine can be contacted at: email@example.com or
BM COYOTE LONDON WC1N 3XX ENGLAND
Introduction ......................................................... 5
Howling ............................................................... 7
Servitors ............................................................. 13
GoHu Servitor ................................................... 19
Functional Spirits .............................................. 22
Some Observations from the Goetia Project ..... 25
Evoking Yog-Sothoth ......................................... 27
Condensed Chaos, New Falcon Publications 1995
Prime Chaos, Chaos International 1993
The Pseudonomicon, Dagon Productions 1997
In Adobe Acrobat For mat (Somewhere on the WWW):
Running Magical Workshops: Notes for Facilitators
Group Ego-Magick Exercises
Touched by Fire (Techniques of Modern Shamanism vol.3)
Walking Between The Worlds: Techniques of Moder n
Two Worlds & Inbetween: The Worlds: Techniques of Modern
Chaos Servitors: A User Guide
This collection of essays, written between 1988-95, deals with aspects of the practice of magical evocation. My first lengthy foray into this much-misunderstood aspect of magic was a personal magical retirement inspired by accounts of magicians working the Abra-melin system, but perhaps more influenced in execution by the work of Austin Osman Spare and the Industrial art movement. My experiences in this retirement are recounted in the first essay, H owling. At the core of this essay is the identification of cognitive-emotional-behavioural constructs as discrete entities - Personal Demons, if you will - a subject which I have dealt with in more user-friendly detail in Condensed Chaos (New Falcon Publications, 1995). The next phase of work concerned the evocation of Servitors (lit: a person who serves another), prompted by a brief paragraph in Peter J. Carroll’s book, Liber Null (Morton Press, 1978). Working with the magical group, Circle of Stars, I developed a simple, generic approach to creating and evoking magical servitors. The basics of this approach are presented in the Servitors essay, followed by both an example of a rather successful servitor, and an approach to what I have chosen to call, “Functional Spirits” which requires no ritual trappings whatsoever. The third phase of work concerned the more ‘traditional’ forms of evocation. Together with a colleague, Fra. GosaA, I embarked on a “Goetia Project”
- the aim being to experiment with various approaches to the evocation of spirits, beginning with the Lesser Key of Solomon the King. Some observations on our results with the entities of the Lesser Key of Solomon are enclosed.
- During this project, I found my interests returning to a recurrent obsession - the entities of the Cthulhu Mythos. The final essay, E voking Yog-Sothoth, (originally written for the journal of the Esoteric Order of Dagon) is an attempt to pull together a
- theoretical model relating to mythos entities, earth lights, and other factors. At the time of writing this, I was very much into creating ‘theoretical models’ prior to embarking on practical projects.
- In a way, I was prompted to ‘specialise’ in methods of Evocation by virtue of the fact that at the time, I hadn’t encountered much in the way of useful information concerning this magical practice. In the minds of some occultists, evocation seems inextricably linked with ‘calling up demons’ and the notion that it constitutes
- ‘black magic’ - a notion much in favour with those who have been exposed to too many Dennis Wheatley novels! Fortunately, the rise of a more eclectic approach to practical magic, in which I feel the so-called Chaos Magic movement has palyed a significant part, has done much to banish the old dogmas surrounding what is after all, a very practical and useful set of magical techniques.
- Phil Hine, March 1998
- “Mayhem speaks louder than words.”
- Brother Moebius B., L.O.O.N.
- The Babblogue:
- A deliberate derangement of the senses - orchestrating a personal cacophony; a descent into the depths of the subconscious, to confront and bind the ‘lurkers’ within.
- This essay is a short account of a personal exploration of the
- ‘demons’ of my own psyche. Rather than relying on existing approaches, for the reasons given below, I preferred to develop a purely personal approach. I give this account not to foist this particular approach onto others, but in the hope that it will assist those who are experimenting with different techniques. Nor do I wish to invalidate the traditional systems of Goetic magic, merely to say that while some may be satisfied to follow the maps of Abra-Melin or Crowley, this is not the case for me. This work began fairly innocuously, with the compilation of a ‘blac k book’ - a dissection of self, in ter ms of habits, shortcomings, faults, hopes, ideals, all that I was, that I wished to be, or rejected. Likes, dislikes, attractions and revulsions. Then on to self-portraits; written in the third person - positive, negative, neutral portrayals, a curriculum vitae, an obituary. To this was added a “Book of Blunders” - every mistake or embarrassing moment that could be dredged up, cuttings from school reports, photographs and letters which brought back painful memories.
- Choice extracts from this catalogue were read onto tapes, and the tapes scrambled tog ether to form cut-up sequences. A deliberate attempt at psychic surgery this - smashing the vessel in order to remould it.
- Then on to the mundane arrangements. Seclusion from others, as of old, a necessity - that one’s demons do not trouble the unwary visitor, and more practically, that one is not chanced upon, mistaken for a psychotic, and incarcerated.
- As for food, I decided to rely on simple nutritious fare, sustaining and easy to prepare, with a stack of Pot Noodles as chemical aids. Drugs? Who needs them? Still, a selection of natural substances can aid things along.
- The Temple: black, unadorned, windowless, but not uncluttered! Around its confines I heaped all kinds of junk. Sheets of hardboard, rubbish from a building skip, a bucket of clay, bottles, broken radio sets, a spray-gun. Everything I might need, plus a few more things besides.
- Bringing forth the dweller within - its name is legion. I was preparing for a descent into the labyrinth, to make known my ‘forgotten ones’, with only the thinnest of cords with which
- to map the maze.
- Why risk insanity in such a way? This is the inner journey, the whale’s belly, the feast of the ravening ones. Why go alone, without the security of tried and tested banishings and sigils? Well I don’t trust those old books, those mad monks with their Necronomicons, dead names and blasphemous sigils. What price forbidden knowledge? About £4.50 in paperback actually. Ridiculous! So I set forth to compile a ‘living’ grimoire. A product of the technocratic aeon, I use its debris to mould my dreams.
- “The Howling” - the hiss, roar and static screams of radios tuned to dead channels.
- To the work then. Some loose structure being required (or so I thought), I devised a hierarchy based on the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow - ranging from ‘survival demons’ such as hunger or thirst, working up towards ‘Ego’ demons - the need for self-respect or a particular self-image, and more abstract conceptions: the hunger for knowledge or wisdom. The deeper the level of the hierarchy, the more primal the desires and urges. The techniques: flooding and vomiting (eating and excreting)
- to flood awareness with specific images, to bring forth (evoke)
- the demon, giving it form, “flesh” and eventually a name or a
- sigil. The scrambled personality tapes were to act as auditory sigils - stor ms of emotion whipped up by intensive remembering
- (replaying) sets of memories. Letting loose the hyenas of cynicism on a cherished ideal or goal.
- The means of Gnosis: sensory overload, hyperventilation, old favourites such as hunger, thirst, exhaustion. 120 hours without sleep produces a fine paranoic ‘edge’ to consciousness. Cohering the images that welled up from within - using finger- painting, moulding clay mixed with body fluids and excreta, sculpture using broken glass; and the more usual methods; sigils, auto-writing, taking a line for a walk. By these means the Forgotten Ones take shape. These ‘psychographs’ accumulate in corners of the temple, and it takes on the clutter of an Austin Osman Spare print.
- Alas, these psychographs fall far short of the images and visions that flicker around me. “Another pile of Shit for the ledger?” I scream and take a hammer to them, only to collapse exhausted and retching on the temple floor. The red lines of the yantra- circuit on the floor seem at that moment to be particularly mocking and indifferent to my efforts. There is a kind of
- ‘wrenching’ feeling in my head, the snap of vertebrae being twisted, a helpless animal having its neck wrung, and I begin to howl the names that erupt from my throat…
- And the jackals rushed in to feed, and I laughed when I saw them ‘cos they all wore my face.
- I came back from that moment into a kind of calm detachment
- ‘emptied’ momentarily of any further feeling. I walked around the temple, as though seeing the debris for the first time, sifting carefully through the mess, examining each half-finished piece as though it wasn’t anything to do with me. Some I was able to give names to - “you are Uul, the fear of failure”, “you are Hamal, guilt not yet erased.” This was the beginning of the formation of an alphabet of binding.
- The second half of this operation consisted of experimenting with this alphabet, binding the demons into magical weapons for later use. When the initial phase of the work was done, I
- slept for about 18 hours, and awoke clear of the frenetic delirium which had been built up.
- The Hierarchy of Human Needs
- Traditionally, Demons and Devils are organised according to ranks and hierarchies with “Princes” ruling lesser demons. The grimoires seem to imply that if Hell exists, then it is a bureaucracy, and so by the same token, Earthly bureaucracies are demonic structures - as anyone who has had any dealings with the DHSS will readily testify.
- The hierarchy used in the Babblogue was developed by the psychologist Abraham Maslow, to show how the various levels of ‘need’ influence behaviour and motivation. His hierarchy of Human Needs is a pyramid of desires, ranging from biological survival needs (food, shelter, etc.) to more complex needs:
- Biological hunger, thirst, warmth Safety i.e. freedom from fear Affiliative to be given consideration Esteem status, praise, belonging Cognitive intellectual stimulation Aesthetic culture, art
- Self-Actualization self-knowledge
- According to Maslow, the needs at one level must be at least partially fulfilled before those on the next level become important - so aesthetic needs are not usually high on the list when one is starving. One can become ‘possessed’ by one’s survival demons, and consequentially able to perform actions one would otherwise not consider. Air crash survivors resorting to cannibalism is an extreme example of this.
- In attempting to strip away the layers of my own psyche in this way, I was struck by the ‘Russian-doll’ nature of the demons
- that the roots of a cognitive value could be traced downwards into the levels of self-esteem, affiliation, and survival needs.
- This idea seems to be implied in the zoomorphic image of the man-beast. If we deny our demons then they are indeed ‘outside’ and the self becomes a fortress, for an army at war with itself. In contrast, the Babblogue is a trial by catharsis, to understand and unify the dwellers within, rather than deny or subjugate them.
- The Shaman’s Journey
- The central theme of all ‘magical retirements’ of this nature is the journey within. Shamans world-wide, and the most powerful religious myths are concerned with this descent into chaos - the confrontation with death, the demon feast, trial by fire, communion with the dead - and the subsequent return - the realisation of power, and the subsequent return to Human affairs as an initiate. The core elements in this process can be summarised as follows:
- Phase of Departure: Summons to depart, seperation from mundane life, descent.
- Phase of Initiation: Ordeals, the labyrinth, womb, whales’ belly, guides and allies.
- Illumination/Transfor mation
- Phase of Return: Rebirth, return to world. Mastery
- Awareness of this process is a central theme of the contemporary approach to development which has come to be known as Chaos Magick, an approach which focuses on the examination and removal of belief structures, the cultural conditioning which defines our experience of the world. Deliberate self-wounding, to facilitate a return to the ‘union’ with Cosmos and Chaos that we initially feel that we have ‘lost’. The benefits of this experience is an increased ability to survive, not by fighting the environment or becoming passively resigned to what happens to you, but understanding the basic unity of self and environment, and the extent to which one can be a self-determining agent.
- Further Reading:
- Nightside of Eden - Kenneth Grant Shamanic Voices - Joan Halifax The Great Mother - Neumann
- Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
- Cities of the Red Night - William S. Burroughs The Book of Pleasure - Austin Osman Spare Thundersqueak - Angerford & Lea
- The Masks of God - Joseph Campbell
- An Introduction to Psychology - Hilgard, Atkinson & Atkinson
- Liber Null - Pete Carroll
- This essay was published in Nox Magazine, issue 6, 1988.
- A Servitor is an entity consciously created or generated, using evocatory techniques, to perform a task or service. In the Western Esoteric Tradition, such entities are sometimes referred to as
- ‘Thought-Forms’, whilst in Tibetan magic, for example, they are known as ‘Tulpas’. Servitors can be usefully deployed to perform a wide range of tasks or functions on your behalf. Servitors can be created to work with one particular situation or event or, alternatively, Servitors can be created which have a general provenance in one area, such as healing.
- There are a number of advantages to using more generalised Servitors. Firstly, they can be regarded as ‘expert’ systems which learn from being given a task to execute - as if the more healing tasks you give a servitor, the better it seems to become at healing. Secondly, continued use of the Servitor, with successful results, builds up “confidence” in it’s activity on the part of those who use it. With a more generalised Servitor, anyone who knows its activation sequence (such as a mantra, sigil, or visualisation sequence) can employ it to work at a given task. One example of this form of Servitor is the entity ICANDOO. ICANDOO
- (“I-can-do”) was created at an open group workshop in Servitor creation. The name of the Servitor was also its mantra for summoning it, and it’s general brief was to assist those who used it for overcoming any obstacles that crossed them. ICANDOO was created by a group of 12 people, and all of them used the Servitor throughout the day, to assist them with problems of one sort or another. In the design sequence, the Servitor was given the ability to divide itself holographically, so that each segment contained the powers and abilities of the original entity.
- On a still further level of generalisation, you can create
- Servitors who have no specific function or provenance, saving
- that they serve to increase the success of one’s own magics. Such servitors can be used in both major and minor acts of magic, and are particularly useful in acts of enchantment, divination, or illumination.
- Servitor Dependency
- It is generally held that each usage of a Servitor serves to ‘feed’ it, and that each result which is rated as a success, serves to enhance it’s power. It is also a good idea to get into the habit of attributing any occurrences within the sphere of activity of that Servitor, to it’s work. This can lead to problems, though. In
- 1992 I created a Servitor called “Eureka.” It’s given sphere of activity was that of Illumination - inspiration, new ideas, the boosting of creativity and brainstorming in general. Initially, the Servitor exceeded all my expectations of it’s performance. I used it to stimulate new ideas for writing, lecturing and facilitating seminars & workshops. With a colleague, it became a focus for brainstorming - acting as a Third Mind arising from conversation. Each time we made a creative leap, or an idea formed became something workable in practice, the power of the Servitor was boosted. In 1993, the activity of Eureka was linked with the Neptune-Uranus conjunction with the result that, on April 22nd, as Neptune & Uranus began to retrograde, Eureka went “off- line.”
- The immediate result of this was that I suddenly found it much harder to get into a flow of creative thinking. It seemed that Eureka had become such a dominant element in the dynamics of my own creative process that, once it was removed, I found it much harder to get into the appropriate frame of mind. I had become dependent upon the Servitor. Eventually, the Servitor was recalled and disassembled in such a way that a
- ‘splinter’ of it’s original power survi ved as a focus for illumination. Having been made wiser by this experience, I only occasionally use this fragment of the original servitor as a focus for creativity.
- Viral Servitors
- It is possible to instruct Servitors to replicate or reproduce
- themselves. Approaches to this include instructing the Servitor to replicate itself as a form of cell-division, replication which follows cybernetic or viral parameters, or to create a servitor which ‘gives birth’ according to particular parameters, such as time-units, astrological transits, or each time the target of the Servitor carries out a particular behaviour. An early test of this concept was that of a Servitor despatched to assist in the recovery of property being withheld from it’s owner. Once a set deadline had been passed, the Servitor began to generate a field of
- ‘confusion’ - lost keys, electrical blowouts & other minor but annoying problems. After a second set deadline, the Servitor began to replicate itself, so that the confusion field generated was intensified. As soon as the recipient of the Servitor returned the property he had been withholding from it’s owner, the Servitors ceased to function. Evidence of the Servitors’ action - the intensification of minor problems escalating into strange poltergeist-type phenomenon, was gathered by talking to associates of the target.
- Viral Servitors are particularly appropriate for long-term enchantments, such as increasing the probability of one’s magic being successful, or being used in healing & general protection workings.
- SERVITOR DESIGN SEQUENCE
- 1. Define General Intent
- The first step in designing a Servitor is to decide the general sphere of influence into which your intention falls, such as healing, protection, binding, harmony, luck, divination, mood enhancement, success in ...., and so forth.
- Defining your general intent will assist you if you wish to use symbols & magical correspondences in creating your servitor. For example, if you were interested in creating a servitor to act within the sphere of Healing, then you could assemble any associations, symbols, emotions, memories, etc which you relate to the concept of Healing. By consulting a book of magical correspondences such as ‘777’, you could build up chains of correspondences - planetary figures, scents, colours, planetary
- hours etc. How far you go in this direction is very much a matter of personal choice.
- 2. Defining Specific Intent
- Here, you are creating the core of the Servitor’s purpose the Statement of Intent which is analogous to the Servitor’s aetheric DNA. Formulating the Servitor’s Statement of Intent may necessitate a good deal of self-analysis into your motivations, desires, realistic projections of goals, etc. As in all sorcery operations, it is appropriate to ask advice from your preferred form of divination. To continue the example of a Healing Servitor, an appropriate Statement of Intent might be:
- “To promote rapid recovery and health in ...(name)...” Once you have determined the appropriate Intent to form the basis of your Servitor, then the Statement can be rendered into a sigil, or glyph..
- 3. W hat Symbols Are Appropriate to the Servitor’s Task?
- There is a wealth of magical & mythic symbols which you can draw upon when creating a servitor, which can be used to represent different qualities, abilities and attributes. There is also the symbolism of colour, smell, sound & other sensory media to draw upon. In order to refine the ‘program’ which forms the basis for your servitor further, you could embellish the sigil by adding other symbols.
- 4. Is there a Time Factor to Consider?
- Here, you should consider the duration of the Servitor’s operation. In other words, do you want the Servitor to be
- ‘working’ continuously, or only at specific periods? Here, you may wish to take into account phases of the moon, astrological conjunctions or planetary hours, for example, which could be added into the Servitor’s symbolic instructions. The Healing Servitor above for example, was instructed to be active for a period of seven days, affecting it’s target recipient for seven minutes, at seven hour intervals. This instruction serves to reinforce the number symbolism & association with harmony. It is also at this point that you should consider what happens
- after the Servitor has performed its task. It is generally held to be preferable that when a Servitor has completed its task, the Servitor should be disassembled by its creator. There are two approaches to doing this. Firstly, one can encode a “self-destruct” instruction into the Servitor at the time of it’s creation, where the duration of its existence is defined in terms of the duration of its task, or the fulfilment of a specific condition.
- The other approach to disassembly is to perform a ritual
- ‘reabsorption’ of the Servitor, mentally drawing it back from it’s task, taking it apart by visualization, taking back the original desire which sparked it’s creation, and taking apart or destroying any material base which you have created for it. Whilst classical occult theory has it that if you do not look after your thought- forms, they will wander around the astral plane annoying people, there is good psychological sense for terminating the ‘life’ of Servitors which have completed their assigned task - that you are reclaiming responsibility for that desire-complex which you used to create the Servitor.
- 5. Is A Name Required?
- The Servitor can be given a name which can be used, in addition to its sigil, for creating, powering, or controlling it. A name also acts to further create a Servitor’s persona. A name can reflect the Servitor’s task, or be formed from a mantric sigil of it’s Statement of Intent.
- 6. Is a Material Base Required?
- The Material base is some physical focus for the Servitor’s existence. This can help to define the Servitor as an individual entity, and can be used if you need to recall the Servitor for any reason. Examples of a material base include bottles, rings, crystals, small figurines as used in fantasy role-playing or figures crafted from modelling compounds. Bodily fluids can be applied to the material base to increase the perceived link between creator and entity. This is very much a matter of personal taste. Alternatively, the Servitor can remain freely mobile as an aetheric entity. I tend to find that one-shot, task-specific servitors can be left as aetheric entities, whilst for entities which have more of
- along-term use, a material base is often helpful. For others, it might be possible to link their use to a specific, identifiable, state of consciousness, which forms part of the core associations which one builds up for a Servitor.
- It is also possible to link a Servitor to a specific smell, such as a perfume or essential oil, so that each time the oil is applied, the Servitor is activated. This can be particularly useful when creating Servitors for g eneral Healing, Protection, or enhancement of a particular mood. A dab of the perfume can be put onto the Servitor’s material base, and the perfume should be inhaled during the launch of the entity.
- 7. Is a Specific Shape Required?
- Servitors can be created to have any desired shape, from tiny homunculi to morphic spheres capable of extruding any required appendage. The shape you choose to identify with this particular thought-form can add another level of representational identity to the entity. A common practice though, is to visualize the Servitor as a featureless sphere, pulsing with energy, glowing with appropriately chosen colours, into which has been impressed, it’s sigilised instructions.
- GoHu Servitor
- This short essay is an account of one of my most successful servitors to date.
- The twin spirits of gossip and rumour have followed me about ever since I started ‘doing things’ on the UK magical scene. Rumours ranging from allegations of affiliation to ‘dark’ satanic groups to upheavals in my sex-life have whirled around and in some instances, ended up in the pages of pagan ‘zines. Back in the late 80’s, Pagan At T he Heart magazine announced to their readers that I had become ‘celibate’, and followed this up with the announcement that they could name the ‘lady’ who overcame my will - unfortunately, they got not only the name but also the gender of the person concerned wrong, but I suppose it’s the thought that counts!
- At times I have become both paranoid and pissed off by the rumours I heard circulating about myself. During a particularly bad phase of feeling like this, I started working on a Gossip Hunter-Seeker-Killer servitor, whose task would be to hover around on the astral, detecting gossip and firing off a missile containing some suitably horrible runic curse. I actually got as far as ‘testing’ this entity - firing off a ‘blank’ missile at an unsuspecting colleague - just to see if it worked the way I wanted it to - before realising that I was going a teensy wee bit over the top about the whole thing.
- Instead of thinking, “Get the Bastards” I began to look at the whole issue of gossip & rumour in a new light. After all, if people are talking about you ‘behind your back’, they could be said to be feeding you energy. As Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman wisely note in Good Omens: “Notoriety wasn’t as good as fame, but was heaps better than obscurity.” Bearing this in mind, I
- decided to create a servitor that actively worked to generate gossip and rumour, rather than counter it. After all, what’s worse, being talked about - or not being talked about? Those magicians who leap to the defensive of their parent organisation every time someone drops a snide remark about them being paranoid would do well to remember this, and count themselves bloody lucky that people bother to think about them at all! I do remember, whilst being a member of a certain large international magical order, some guy approaching me and hesitantly asking
- “Is it true that to join the ..*. you have to be able to visualise an object so that other people can see it too?” Naturally I said nothing to deny or confirm this. Of course, this is the sort of rumour one likes to hear about one’s organisation. But if you want people to think this sort of thing, you also have to be prepared to accept the people who accuse you of being closet Christians or not eating babies or whatever. Its’ a sort of Dayside/ Backside Tree of Life metaphor, I guess. Particularly as if you continually deny anything that’s even a bit dodgy, people will suss out that you’re talking through your backside. A few years ago, at the Oxford T helemic Symposium, a delegation from the Temple of Set did a presentation on how nice they really all were. Their spokesperson mentioned some of the rumours circulating - animal sacrifices, rent boys, drugs etc. and dismissed them all, saying that the TOS had been unfairly maligned. Sitting there, I thought, well what’s the point then? I’d have been more impressed if they’d said - “Yes we do do unspeakable rituals with sheep and street urchins - and WHY NOT?”
- Anyhow, I ended up deciding that gossip about me was, by and large, not all that bad. Not only are people feeding me
- ‘power’, they’re also doing some P.R. - and (though this is stretching the idea somewhat) - some of the rumours might act like a kind of enchantment - without me having to do anything. I’d already heard two rumours about me owning various shops in Leeds, you see. So GoHu’s task was to encourage people to talk about me, and generate rumours - and ensure that I got to hear about it eventually. Now as I’ve said, by the time I got around to doing this, there was some level of gossip/rumour
- being generated anyway. So all GoHu had to act as a kind of
- ‘amplifier’ as well as receiving rumours and beaming them in my direction.
- T he Rumours
- Since GoHu became active, the following tales have reached back to my shell-like ears:
- 1. That I have a castle in the South of France (!)
- 2. That I own the Atlantis Bookshop in London (!)
- 3. That I am, in reality, Peter J. Carroll (!!)
- 4. That I was putting in a bid to buy a Goth nightclub in Bir mingham (someone actually rang me up to ask me if this was ‘true’!)
- 5. That I apparently sodomize former Chaos International editor
- Ian Read on a regular basis.(!)
- 6. That I am a blood-drinking ‘vampire’ - this ‘fact’ is recounted in 2 books - Hearts of Darkness by John Parker (a so- called ‘investigative journalist’ who purports to examine modern occultism - in the wake of the ‘Satanic Child Abuse’ scare) and T he World’s Greatest Unsolved Mysteries - I forget the authors offhand, but they are involved with ASSAP and the Society for Psychical Research. This one stems from a short story which deals with vampiric themes published in Chaos International, entitled ‘Droplets’. As it was written in the first person, apparently some people have chosen to believe it was me baring my soul. Oh dear!
- Functional Spirits
- One approach to Evocation is working with Spirits which have a provenance over a particular situation or experience. Entities such as these are detailed in grimoires such as The Lesser Key of Solomon the King which are handbooks of spirits, giving details of spirits’ typical forms, names, sigils, and how to conjure them. The spirits in books such as the Lesser Key have bizarre names, even more bizarre appearances, yet their powers are directly functional and useful. For example, RAUM appears as a blackbird, and can create love, reconcile enemies, or destroy cities and reputations.
- The standard approach to summoning these spirits is to use the time-honoured magical ritual, wherein the entities are called forth into a triangle, and ceremonially bound to the magician’s will. However, there is also another possibility, which is simply that of summoning a Spirit when you find yourself in an appropriate situation. The following example illustrates this process.
- All of us, at one time or another, suffer from being stuck in traffic, from freeway jams to slow-moving queues of people. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to whistle up the assistance of a spirit which enabled you to start moving? A big hand please folks for the spirit GOFLOWOLFOG, the spirit who eases traffic blockages so that you can continue your journey. Goflowolfog typically appears in the form of a shades-wearing cat riding a skateboard. He brings with him a wind, and a noise which sounds like “Neeeowww.” He is of a cool, stylish disposition. Gowflowolfog can be summoned when you are in a situation which falls under his governance, such as being stuck in a very crowded train (during a heatwave) which in accordance with the snafu principle, has stopped and shows no sign of moving again. In such a situation, listen out for the “Neeowww” and
- watch out for Goflowolfog as he zips past you on his skateboard, leaving the ghost-sensation of a breeze. If nothing else, this act of summoning may take your mind off sources of stress - such as the desire to murder the guy with the boom-box standing next to you as you slowly melt in the heat of the carriage. As the spirit slides past you, attract his attention by transforming yourself (if only inwardly) into a dude who is almost as cool and stylish as Goflowolfog himself, and visualise yourself for a moment standing with him on the skateboard as it flashes through the blockage. Then let go of the ‘vision’ and relax, allowing the spirit to get on with his job.
- If you should summon Goflowolfog to get the traffic around you moving, and he performs his task (even if you only move a few yards), then you are beholden to offer him something in return (it’s only good manners). While there are many forms of appeasement to spirits, the two most pleasing to Gowflowolfog are firstly, to allow someone else space to move. This could take the form of stepping back to let someone who is in a hurry walk past you, or allowing another car driver to move into your lane by leaving him a space. Secondly, be kind to the next cat you see.
- Where does Goflowolfog come from? He was identified and assembled during a magical seminar in London, on an evening when Britain was experiencing a heat-wave, and everyone who had attended the seminar had experienced traffic problems in getting there. The design sequence was as follows:
- 1. General Situation: Traffic
- 2. Function - related to situation: Easing Traffic stoppages
- 3. Naming the Spirit - several suggestions were made for an appropriate name, and GO FLOW was chosen. This name was made suitably ‘barbaric’ by mirroring it, so becoming GOFLOWOLFOG.
- 4. Shape of the Spirit - a number of possible shapes were suggested, such as a wheel or set of traffic signals, but the image of a cat riding a skateboard was both memorable, and similar to the bizarre incongruous shapes accorded to spirits in the grimoires.
- 5. Disposition or Character of the Spirit: it was decided that Goflowolfog could be nothing but cool, stylish and relaxed, speedy and graceful. It was felt that he would respond kindly to anyone who attempted to take on these qualities in a situation as frustrating as being stuck in a traffic jam.
- The sound associated with the movement of the spirit can also act as a mantra to help call him to you. His sigil, a circle containing two opposite-running arrows, can be used as a talisman, placed on cars, cycles or other modes of transport to draw the favour of Goflowolfog or as a focus for evocation.
- Using this process, you could easily create your own grimoires of helpful spirits. It can be interesting (and fun!) to do this with a group of friends, so that not only are the spirits ‘assembled’ by many people, they are also used in different ways. The more successful uses of the spirit that are reported, the more
- ‘confidence’ in the spirit will be raised. Given time and wide usage, it may even happen that the image of your spirit enters the general cultural meme-pool. If you ever see a report in the National Enquirer or Fortean Times about sightings of cats riding skateboards, remember Goflowolfog!
- Some Observations from The Goetia Project The Goetia Project was the title of as long-ter m project undertaken by myself and a colleague in 1989. Our original aim was to work through a series of ‘traditional’ grimoires and, following assessments and analysis of our findings, create a general approach to Goetia suitable for our post-modern era. Needless to say, things did not go exactly as we planned.
- Our first series of workings was drawn from the Lesser Key of Solomon. Our first evocation, of the spirit Vassago, was performed without using the traditional arrangement of circle, triangle, etc. ‘Just to see what happened, as it were’. The result was that the working lacked clear definition; visions of the spirit called forth were hazy at best, and we both experienced a lowering of vitality (a feeling of being ‘drained’), headaches and pre-flu- like symptoms for a couple of days following. In view of this, we constructed a permanent circle and triangle, according to the ‘rules’ in the lesser Key, and all workings were conducted in the fashion outlined in the lesser Key.
- Using the long conjurations and constraints to the spirit given in the Lesser Key itself is exhilarating. The long sentences, punctuated by the Old Testament names of God and Biblical quotations, quickly raises excitement to a fever pitch, and once the spirit can be discerned, it must then be abjured to remain within the Triangle of Art. The shapes which the spirits assumed were rarely exactly that described within the lesser Key (hereafter LK), but generally similar. We found that once a spirit had appeared to us in a particular form, then it more or less took that shape in subsequent evocations.
- Once evoked, a spirit would then be questioned bout its nature, qualities, and how we could improve upon the evocation- environment. In one instance, we questioned the spirit Vassago about the optimum time for evoking him. He made reply by
- showing us a sundial, hourglass and skull. We further tested him by requiring him to give me a vision of where my colleague would be the following afternoon. I was promptly given a clear vision of walking through long corridors filled with people and lined with lockers, of going up a flight of stairs and walking into a room, which was full of boxes - but at this point, the vision became unclear. My colleague later told me that the building I had ‘seen’ was Leeds Polytechnic, and that the room with ‘boxes’ (where the vision had become unclear) was he computer department! This led us to feel that computers were outside the experience of Vassago, as were digital watches. Whilst working through the series of evocations we also attempted various modifications to the conjurations. Invocation of appropriate God-for ms, such as Horus, prior to beginning the evocatory process, seemed to make the conjuration of spirits such as Haures or Andromelius easier. During an evocation of Glasyglabolas, we preceded the conjurations with an invocation of chaos, ‘The Unsealing of the Vortices’, which was originally designed for a series of Eris workings. As we did this, a windstorm blew up about the house we were working in, but the spirit we were attempting to conjure flickered in and out of the triangle. It seemed to us that the ‘energies’ created by the Vortices was impeding the spirit’s ability to manifest, so we closed them, the windstorm dropped away, and the spirit came through into the triangle.
- Incidents such as these led us to postulate that the LK spirits tended to a certain degree of conservatism over the parameters within which they could he cal led forth. The visions that they imparted to us concerning the optimum environment for conjuration definitely belonged to the ‘baroque’ school of magic
- cellars, clouds of incense, lots of paraphernalia etc.
One of the aims of the Esoteric Order of Dagon is to develop effective magical techniques with which to interact with the Great Old Ones. As a member of the Pylon of Yog-Sothoth Lodge, I have become increasingly interested in the possibility of ritually evoking this entity as a tangible phenomena. The aim of this article is to expound a possible methodology by which entities such as Yog-Sothoth can be contacted, drawing together research in different fields of enquiry, and exploring how they relate to the Cthulhu Mythos.
I feel that, rather than exploring Lovecraftian themes using traditional magical systems such as the Qabalah (though obviously, it may provide a useful parallel), the most obvious place to look for guidelines is Lovecraft’s fiction itself. From this, we find that for example, in The Dunwich Horror, Lovecraft clearly illustrates that ‘hilltop rites’, associated with stone circles and strange geophysical phenomena, are a key when approaching entities such as Yog-Sothoth. Bringing the Great Old Ones into our dimension requires some form of ‘gate’, which in mythos tales, is often a wild outdoor site, a stone circle, tower, or a similar type of power spot. Lovecraft is also careful to point out that such sites have, in historical terms, a long history of strange manifestations associated with them. Again and again, he places great emphasis on the folklore of those who live on the borders of such areas; that ‘locals’ have traditions that the educated sceptics appearing in the tales scoff at.
The theme of specific regions which have a long history of strange manifestations is well-documented. John Keel, in Strange Creatures From Time & Space, explores several cases involving the manifestation of strange beings that appear to be localised to a
particular region. One example of this is the ‘Moth-man’ sightings in West Virginia, which occurred between 1966-1968. Another area, perhaps of more interest to UK EOD initiates is Ilkley Moor, which has a long, and well-documented history of strange phenomena encountered, from ghosts and black dogs to UFOs and what modern researchers in the field of Earth Mysteries call Earth Lights.
The Earth Lights phenomena has arisen largely from the work of Paul Deveraux, editor of The Ley Hunter and co-founder of The Dragon Project. His theories are drawn from the fact that the Earth produces a range of light-forms by natural processes. These ‘unexplained’ light-forms have been interpreted by those who encounter them as UFOs or spectral manifestations. The occurrence of these phenomena is commonly found to be specific to a particular region. The lights often ‘follow’ cars, or are reported by observers to behave ‘as though they were being guided’ or were intelligent. Deveraux notes that outbreaks of EL phenomena are sometimes associated with columns of gaseous material, which can be interpreted by observers as
‘white lady’ type ghosts. Researchers in the field of Earth Mysteries hypothesise that the source of such light-forms is the tectonic activity of the Earth, where stress along fault lines combines with other factors to emit light phenomena in the area around the fault line. Deveraux notes that medieval tin and copper miners actually looked for the appearance of ‘lights from the ground’ when searching out new mine sites. A UFO
‘flap’ around Ilkley Moor in 1984 appears to validate this theory, as it followed an exceptional earthquake in that area, which measured at 5.5 on the Richter Scale. Some accounts of observers of light f or ms (commonly perceived as UFOs) suggested that the manifestations followed the patterns of the fault lines that run under the region. Deveraux’s book, Earth Lights Revelation, explores this kind of activity all over the world, and notes the strong connection between UFO sightings and geological faulting. While many Ufologists reject the Earth Lights theory which in part explains UFO encounters as a purely terrestrial phenomena, Earth Mysteries research is continuing
to document evidence to support and further edify Deveraux’s ideas.
Reading accounts of Earth Light sightings and their relationship to specific regions and underground activity is for me, very reminiscent of Lovecraft’s accounts of the activities associated with the Great Old Ones. What is perhaps also significant for the modern magician is that very often, stone circles and other sacred sites are situated in regions where geological faulting takes place. Deveraux proposes that the sites perhaps served to amplify and focus the natural occurrence of light phenomena. There is a wealth of folklore worldwide which could be related to the appearance of Earth Lights, from Will
‘o’ the Wisps to Faeries, Ghosts, and more recently, UFOs.
From Butterflies to Beezlebub
I am g reatly indebted to the recent explor ations by Fra. Choronzon of the Illuminates of Thanateros for his lucid exposition of Chaos Mathematics, especially in its relation to magical entities. In an essay entitled ‘Chaos Invocation’, Fra. Choronzon writes that:
‘ We are all aware that information can be transferred from one place to another by modulation of electro-magnetic standing waves. I would like you to consider the possibility that inform ation might also be capable of storage or transfer within a toroidal (i.e. doughnut-shaped) structure having an electromagnetic character.’
Choronzon goes on to suggest that such ordered structures arise quite naturally out of the Chaos Mathematics which governs the behaviour of gases and liquids. Probably the best- known example of this is the great Red Spot which appears in Jupiter’s atmosphere. He gives the example of a blown smoke- ring being such a structure, and goes onto point out that it is conceivable that a non-smoker could equally well project a ring of gas from their lips, which could be established in the atmosphere, though its presence, by normal standards, would be impossible to detect. Choronzon proposes that it is mathematically possible for such structures, which have (at least
in part) an electromagnetic character to exist within the Earth’s magnetic field. He also proposes that it is possible to produce such structures by expending energ y in the form of neuro- chemical activity in the nervous system. In short, physiological gnoses of the sort used by magicians in ritual can produce such toroid structures.
The above has interesting implications for both magicians and researchers into Earth Mysteries. Over the past year, I have been conducting a great deal of research into the creation, usage, and aetiology of evoked entities, including both the demonic forms of the Goetia and the ‘Elemental Servitors’ created by magicians to perform a specific task. In the latter case, the process is very much one of creating an ‘information matrix’; that is, of laying down a set of instructions which define the nature, abilities, and functions of the entity. Into this information matrix is projected energy, which forms the entity as a whole, which is then able to act, independently of its creator. A purely psychological or subjective account of this process cannot account for the ability of such an entity to manifest results (in accordance with the creator’s intent) in the physical world.
Following Choronzon’s ideas on Chaos Dynamics, it seems likely to me that in evoking, and thereby creating, an elemental servitor, one could be bringing into existence a structure such as is outlined above. If we can accept (at least in theory) that these structures are capable of retaining information over time, then we could be looking at a partial model for a wide range of phenomena associated with discrete ‘spirits’. In my experience
(and that of colleagues), the more ‘work’ that is given to an elemental servitor, the more ‘powerful’ it becomes - in terms of its ability to manipulate probabilities, and eventually take on an independent character of its own. It is not unknown for powerful entities to survive the death of their creator. The more people that ‘create’ such an entity also enhances its survival and capacity to store information. In these terms, it is easy to see how a small spirit may, given time and the energy input
(directed through ritual and other techniques for directing energy) by enough people, could become what we commonly
assume to be ‘gods’.
To side-step for a moment, I wish to look again at some of the phenomena associated with UFO and spectral encounters. One factor that rises time and again to haunt the sceptical researcher is the commonality of experiences between different individuals who come into contact with these anomalies. Historical research into UFO ‘flaps’ shows that there have been spates of sightings of mysterious spirits, dirigibles, aircraft, submarines, and of course, flying saucers, throughout history. Also, numerous reports from individuals who have been
‘contacted’ by extra- terrestrial entities show similar structural features in the accounts which have been ‘remembered’ (often by hypnosis being used as a recall technique). In dealing with such phenomena, there is obviously a great many factors which need to be taken into consideration, but I would like to discuss some of the possible processes which are occurring, with the aim of weaving them into the discussion later.
Perhaps I should begin by making a declaration; that I do not believe that consciousness is a purely internal or subjective experience; rather, it is an emergent property of our interaction with the biosphere as a whole. I would assert that consciousness, and the self-referential awareness of human beings, are not necessarily one and the same. When individuals encounter something ‘outside’ their embedded structure of ‘how the world should be’ - that is, consensus reality, it seems to me that there is a factor which can be termed ‘the credibility envelope’ which comes into play, whereby an individual ‘fits’ the experience into a category that least strains the limitations of consensus reality. Thus a strange encounter may become a meeting with a religious entity, a ghost, or creatures from outer space. Conscious
‘belief ’ in the validity of such entities is not necessarily a factor, since all these phenomena are part of the folklore of ‘the unknown’ and can be present as ‘memes’ (units of information) in the subconscious mind of the individual, thanks to our information-rich culture, with its vast networks of media for the tr ansmission of infor mation. Investigation into such experiences suggests that people, given some form of unusual stimulus, such a strange light, will elaborate all kinds of
information. Recall techniques such as hypnosis are fallible in that the psychological tendency to confabulate information (an unconscious defence mechanism) tends to yield up a great deal of information which investigators are expecting to hear, which can again be drawn from information stored in the unconscious about what is commonly associated with this type of experience. Another example of this process is the reports of so-called survivors of ‘satanic child abuse’ which is rich in detail about bizarre practices but very hazy when it comes to names, dates, places and so forth. The common themes which arise in such encounters could well be a product of cultural similarities between individuals, or even commonalities formed from the way the human brain structures perception.
Paul Deveraux tentatively asserts the proposition that the Earth Light phenomena is consciousness-sensitive. That is, that the energy forms are sensitive to the conscious mind of the observer. Many accounts of Earth Lights talk about the lights following the observer, playing ‘tag’ with them, or appear to display the characteristics of being intelligently guided. This brings us back to magical phenomena and Fra. Choronzon’s ‘Chaos Invocation’ theories. When creating (or evoking a spirit from a grimoire), we are focusing energy and building an information matrix which, in turn, allows the energy to create a discrete entity which behaves within the limits of the information given - either the information which defines the characteristics of the entity, or the information given in the grimoire. This process is similar (though far more intentional and directed) to the interaction between a strange phenomena - an Earth Light for example, - and the individual who encounters it. ‘Traditional’ theories concerning the interaction between human beings and spirits time and time again recount the idea that spirits ‘like’ interacting with humans because we confer on them a property of ‘individuality’ that they do not inherently possess. I feel that there is a grain of truth in this view; that our capacity to organise and structure information into discrete wholes is a key feature in coming to grips with this kind of experience. All magical psychocosms, such as Qabalah, Abra-Melin, etc., give a series
of instructions as to how entities summoned using those structures behave.
Bearing in mind Fra. Choronzon’s ideas concerning the toroidal structures which are at least partially electro-magnetic in character, I would say that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility for such a phenomena to be related to occurrences such as Earth Light encounters. If such an energy form responds to (or stimulates) the human capacity to create an information matrix, or indeed if our interaction with the energy form produces as an emergent property a gestalt in accordance with either a deliberately projected or an unconsciously formed idea of what the phenomena is, then we are close to arriving at a working methodology for accounting for a wide range of occurrences. Drawing on Fra. Choronzon’s work further, if we can accept that the energy form, once given a structural definition by an initial encounter with an individual or group of individuals, can retain that definition over time, then it becomes possible to see how people can, during an encounter ‘flap’ in a given region, report seeing similar manifestations. In short, the energy form, once given a structure, can retain this information, and feed them back to other individuals who subsequently interact with them.
The Neuromancer Effect
A parallel phenomena which fits this hypothesis is that of Channelling. In an essay entitled M o rons From Inner Space?: A Critical Look at Channelled Communications I set out a model of one of the processes possibly involved in the channelling experience:
“An interesting model for examining inner-plane contacts can be found within William Gibson’s novel, Neuromancer. One of the major characters is an Artificial Intelligence which manipulates a cast of humans to further its own ends. To successfully do this it must establish a rapport with those it wishes to manipulate. It does this by generating constructs
- personalities which it wears like masks, creating them out of the memories of the humans it wishes to contact. It
explains that it needs these masks to establish a point of access - an interface - between its own experience and the perceptual limits of human beings. Reading this brought very much to mind accounts of human- entity contacts. Particularly a sentence in Dion Fortune’s The Cosmic Doctrine, which reads:
“ What we are you cannot realise and it is a waste of time to try and do so but you can imagine (italics mine) us on the astral plane and we can contact you through your imagination, and though your mental picture is not real or actual, the results of it are real and actual.”
Dion Fortune made extensive use of inner-plane contacts to synthesise her magical ideas. Alan Richardson, in his biography of Dion Fortune, Priestess, discusses the various historical figures that Fortune claimed to be in contact with. The most interesting entity is one “David Carsons”, whom according to Fortune, was a young British officer who was killed during the first World War. Fortune provided a good deal of biographical information concerning Carsons, and after thorough research, Alan Richardson states that Carsons did not exist! Rather, it seems, he was actually, in terms of the above model, a construct; a personality generated out of Dion Fortune’s experimental magic and experiences, and hence an interface for accessing information. If you imagine the sum total of your personal memories and knowledge as a sphere in space - the unknown - then to extend your sphere of information it is as though a window must be created, through which the unknown, or raw data, can be translated into infor mation that is meaningful in terms of perceptual limitations. Inner-plane entities are how we tend to conceptualise these windows into chaos. They appear as independent entities so that we can make sense of the incoming data. Their personalities are usually concurrent with the recipient’s belief system. Hence the many forms of the entities, depending on where you believe the seat of wisdom is, be it Egypt, Sirius B, or some draughty monastery in Tibet. Usually, it seems, these entities are
automatically generated as one focuses will and imagination towards any one vector, but occasionally entities can be generated as an act of will, so that “outposts” can be established within which personal ideas and inner-worlds can be explored and eventually integ rated into one’s psychocosm. At this point the whole issue of the “reality” of the experience breaks down, as these entities are not simply “secondary personalities” in the pathological sense, but constructs which are emergent properties of our information-processing capacity interacting with that which lies beyond it.”
It strikes me that the above model is also valid for a wide range of magical phenomena connected with spirit contacts - that the human tendency to relate to all things as though they are discrete phenomena ( surely a property of how our brains organise information ) enables us to generate ‘masks’ or personae upon the ener g y for ms we are encountering. Channelled communications from entities are often a by-product of UFO experiences as well as psychic encounters. It may well be that our interaction with energy forms gives rise to such constructs - that masks are created and retained by the energy structures, not from any kind of self-referential intelligence on the part of the Earth Lights, but from the principle (from Systems Theory) that some energy forms are attracted towards structures of higher cohesiveness, such as the information field generated by the human brain, or possibly the electro-magnetic field generated by cars, power lines, etc.
All of which leads us slowly back to Stone Circles; Lovecraft’s
‘frienzied rites on the hilltops’, and the role that sound plays in all of this. There is a great deal of magical literature available exploring the dynamics of sound, particularly different vocal techniques used to produce an Altered State of Consciousness(ASC). One of the key factors seems to be rhythm. rhythms carry our consciousness along, from heartbeats, to cycles of breathing, sleeping, night-day and the passage of seasons. rhythms promote associated body movements and adjustments, and act as a signal to begin movement without conscious effort,
so that less energy is expended when you begin; for example, it has been shown that soldiers can march further, and in better form, with less fatigue, when accompanied by a marching band. The feeling of being “carried” comes from the structure that rhythm gives to our time-sense, and the pattern gives a sense of continuance. It becomes a motor attitude, and one’s attention is freed (if this is desired). rhythms also become “mirrored” by our brain activity, and they have powerful physiological effects on us. Music Therapists have found that people suffering from Aphasia or Huntingdon’s Chorea (both neurological disorders which impair speech) can carry a tune, and group singing is a common element in therapeutic voice training. Anthropologists have done a great deal of work examining the role that music plays in hallucinogenic journeys. The presence of music as a ritual accessory to hallucinogenic drug use can be observed on a wide cross-cultural base. Marlene Dobkin De Rios, in her book Hallucinogens: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, suggests that the ritualised use of music within hallucinogenic journeys helps the shaman ‘leading’ such an experience to provide a structure with which to point participants towards significant experiences within the trip. This is also seen in Voudoun, where specific drumming rituals announce the manifestation of particular Lao. What is obvious from this is that sound imposes a structure onto experience, in particular, with regard to Time-sense. Of which, more later.
Returning to Fra. Chorozon’s work on Chaos Invocation, he notes the use of a ‘pulse of sound’ injected into the space occupied by one of the toroidal structures he describes by which the information matrix is transferred to the structure. The forceful enunciation of sound, whether it be Enochian Calls, Primal Speech, or Barbarous Words of Evocation of necessity produces an ASC, as techniques such as these lead to hyperventilation, increased brain activity, tachycardia, etc. It is well-accepted by magicians and mystics that ‘sound carries thought’ and that for advanced practitioners, vocalisation is not a necessity for the ritual (or whatever) to be efficacious. What is important, is the focusing of awareness along a particular vector, and the entry into an ASC where the practitioner can focus
attention intensely towards a single point and project it forth. The relationship between sound and sacred sites is also being researched, again by Paul Deveraux. The ‘hill noises’ of The Dunwich Horror have been reported occasionally as emanating from the locality of sacred sites, differing in variety between high- pitched buzzing, humming noises, and ‘thunderclaps’ beneath the Earth. In Places of Power, Deveraux notes the suggestion that ultrasound is possibly emitted at some megalith sites, although more work needs to be done to corroborate this elusive finding. Of more interest is what Deveraux calls ‘The Physics of Shamanism’. Here, he expounds the relationship between psychic (or psi) experiences and the electro-magnetic and radiation anomalies associated with sacred sites. Deveraux states that for him, one of the characteristics of of a psychic experience related to radiation anomalies is that of the sense of time-slip, where an individual is dislocated in space-time and experiences a vision of past (or future) time. Now altered time perceptions are a common feature of magical ritual, hallucinogenic use, UFO encounters and spectral manifestations. This leads me to suggest that Time is not merely as we usually perceive it - a separate force acting upon us, but itself is a product of consciousness. In states of gnosis, however they are brought on, experiencing the sense that time has stopped, or that future, past, and present can be apprehended simultaneously, is fairly common. It is also a common feature of Type 4 Close Encounters, where people claim to have been taken on board alien spacecraft and subjected to tests (or other indignities), and also of possession states from which an individual may emerge with only a fragmentary memory of what took place. From a magical point of view, this ‘peak’ in an ASC is the most fortuitous moment at which to project energy forth to realise one’s will. Following the theory of Earth Lights, together with Fra. Choronzon’s toroidal structures that assume their own information structure, it may well be that such phenomena bring about ‘timeslip’ experiences and, as to the source of the images that come in, well we could speculate far and wide. That we may be much more sensitive to a wider
range of fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field is becoming more and more acceptable to science. The American researcher, Michael Persinger, has put forwards the view that there is a link between some forms of psi activity and fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field. It has been also suggested that part of the Hippocampus region of the brain senses, and distributes to other brain areas, information about electromagnetic fields. Persinger’s work appears to validate two points; firstly, that the brain can generate electro-magnetic energy, and secondly, that external sources of electro-magnetic energy can affect brain function, giving rise to a wide variety of ‘experienced’ phenomena. If we can accept this (and there is a growing body of research that bears this out), then suddenly Fra. Choronzon’s ideas about electro-magnetic structures which have the capacity to order themselves by, and retain information over time, don’t sound so far-fetched, do they?
Coming back to the Cthulhu Mythos, it seems then that Lovecraft was on the right track with his themes of weird hill- regions, stone circles, barbarous words of power, and ‘frienzied rites’. The work of Paul Deveraux and other researchers points to the conclusion that some sacred sites at least, are power spots which predisposed the users towards obtaining an ASC whereby they could interact with energy forms of an electro- magnetic nature, doubtless aided by Earth Light manifestations and hallucinogenic substances. Earth Mysteries researcher Paul Bennett has noted that in Britain, as in many other places, a variety of plants which have hallucinogenic properties can be found growing near to sacred sites. The magical dynamics of sound are also a factor, in terms of both the psycho-physical effects upon the participants, and the effect upon external energy sources.
As to the entity Yog-Sothoth, who’s appearance in the Mythos triggered this lengthy chain of synthesis; some modern magicians, notably those drawing heavily upon the ideas of Kenneth Grant, have drawn a parallel between Yog-Sothoth and the demon Choronzon, evoked by Aleister Crowley and Victor Neuburg in the Gobi Desert. Again, The Dunwich Horror provides us with a key passage:
“ The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be, not in the spaces we know, but between them. T hey walk serene and primal, undimensioned, and to us unseen. Yog Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where they shall break through again. ...They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. T he wind gibbers with their voices and the earth mutters with their consciousness.”
This passage brings to mind the ‘timeslip’ phenomena discussed above. What is equally, if not more interesting in the light (no pun intended) of the present discussion is that in other Mythos tales, Yog-Sothoth is described as a conglomerate of iridescent globes - in other words, a light form phenomena! The entity is also associated with strange atmospheric effects such as freak winds and storms (Lovecraft is known to have carefully related some of his fictional events with floods, earthquakes, and other such occurrence)s. To me, this stresses further the validity of Lovecraft’s dream-inspired fiction as a valid source of magical ideas.
The guidelines to evoking Yog-Sothoth appear, at least as far as T he Dunwich Horror sets them forth, to be quite clear and operationally valid. Investigation of the entity has (in my view) suffered from the negative connotations of association with Choronzon as an entity of dispersal, or ‘negative’ chaos. The emerging science of Chaos Dynamics can perhaps afford us a more positive viewpoint, and the link between Mythos entities and the Mandelbrot Set has already been noted by EOD initiates. From the foregoing, I would suggest that Yog-Sothoth is quite possible a kind of ‘guide’ entity that appears in many cultures as the ‘guardian’ of the underworld entered through ASCs, though one which is capable of manifesting as a series, perhaps, of electro- magnetic phenomena. The entity which coheres in the form we understand as Yog-Sothoth is a ‘window’ into the darkness of the unknown, and perhaps by creating
interfaces, or personae through which we may glean information, we can attain further insights into the way we interact with our universe. Having theorised thus far, what only remains is to go forth and evoke!
Postscript: “From the ancient hills I come”
This essay is largely the result of reading other people’s research and shaping it together with my own ideas. One event last year however, served to elevate the field of Earth Mysteries from a minor interest to a subject that I am increasingly drawn to. On the night in question, I was with my boyfriend (also a magician), and he returned from the toilet and informed me that there was an ‘entity’ lurking in the stairwell that leads to my flat. This was unusual, but not sufficiently unusual to cause undue concern and so picking up my thunderbolt, I went out to see what was what. In the stairwell, we both agreed on seeing a black, amorphous shape. Since my friend had first noticed this, I asked him if he would be prepared to try and ‘open his mind’ to it, so that I could question it, using him as an interface, which was one of his particular talents, and also a fairly accepted procedure for questioning strange entities. The entity declared
“I have come from the ancient hills”. It also stated that it had been ‘awakened’ only recently, due to activity around a sacred site. It said that it had come to give me ‘power’ with which I could do something, but was reticent about the exact nature of this. When I asked what it would if I rejected this, it said that it would “return, screaming, to the hills”. When I asked it to identify itself, it gave the name of ‘Azathoth’ - which could well have sprung from the mind of my friend, though he had no particular knowledge of the Cthulhu Mythos entities. At the time, I found it difficult to credit that such a powerful entity would be hanging politely about in the stairwell, waiting to be noticed. Being unable to obtain a direct answer to my questioning, I told it to go forth, which it apparently did. I later had to perform an intensive banishing ritual upon my friend, who was suffering from symptoms such as feeling cold, a tight pressure on the chest, and personality displacement, and motor
spasms. Symptoms such as these have been described by Michael Persinger as possible side-effects of encounters with Earth Light phenomena.
Unbeknown to me at the time, (which was later discovered when I related this tale) two friends of mine who were members of the West Yorkshire Earth Mysteries Group had experienced a strange encounter at the then newly-uncovered Backstone Stone Circle. Their experience included seeing Earth Lights, small dwarf-like shades, and lines of energy around the stone circle that they spent a night sitting in. It seems strange, on reflection, that the appearance of the entity claiming to originate from a newly-disturbed site seems to relate to their experience. What this experience did do, was to lead me to making a more intensive study of Earth Mysteries and Magic.
Paul Deveraux - Earth Lights Revelation, Places of Power
Fra. Choronzon - Chaos Invocation, Liber Cyber
H.P. Lovecraft - The Dunwich Horror
John Keel - Strange Creatures From Time & Space
Marlene Dobkin De Rios - Hallucinogens: Cross-Cultural Perspectives