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31
Reading / Infernal Geometry
« on: August 21, 2020, 07:19:30 pm »
Infernal Geometry (2019) by Toby Chappell has been highly praised a couple of times on this forum. I finally also got around to reading this book.

**Overview**

A lot of it consists of two different types of content, which alternate with each other:
- The much larger part goes into the historical background the angular system of magick is based upon. That was quite interesting, and seemed also fairly accurate to me to a large degree (not completely sure about certain aspects of mythology).
- Especially the first and the three last chapters go into explaining the symbolism of the sigil of the trapezoid as representing certain steps in the development of self-awareness and in how the psyche further transforms itself. The author also shortly lays out how he assumes magick works: One does a symbolic action that refers to a goal one has, and thereby the objective universe reacts by giving one some insight on how to get to that goal.
The final chapters also lay out certain rituals/practices based upon the 9 angles-system.

**Angles and their effects**

One of the inspirations behind the sigil is a list of 4 principles cited from The Command to Look, which are easy to confirm by intuition.

Yet while it in theory should fit well, I don't think the sigil of the trapezoid comprises these 4 principles (or 3 of them, the 2nd doesn't apply either way) well.

The trapezoid itself is supposed to represent the 4th principle, yet to me it seems nothing like that - it rather seems like a misshapen rectangle or perhaps a truncated triangle, so if anything it represents incompletion, imperfection. Or it looks like an actual object, e.g. a tabletop, seen from a particular perspective, which also doesn't give me the associations expected from the 4th principle. And the pentagram gives me warm and fuzzy feelings, so it can't reflect the other principles very well for me either.

I haven't paid much attention before to angles in my surroundings, but in the house my parents moved to some years ago, where I lived for several years as well,  there are a lot of non-horizontal ceilings, especially in the bedrooms. I have never noticed any effect of that on my psyche except that they are slightly more interesting to stare at.

I find it curious that, while for many other things explanations are given, it is simply claimed that unstraight angles have negative effects on the psyches of people not familiar with their power, and positive effects on those familiar with it. Well I might pay more attention to that now, let's see.

**The 9 angles**

As mentioned above, the sigil of a trapezoid and a pentagram combined symbolizes the digits 1 through 9 that represent certain parts of both the genesis of the self-aware psyche and of how creative processes work from a subjective perspective. I think I'd need to apply that to processes I'm familiar with in order to really grasp it, but I think I got the gist of it. I still find it quite abstract, though.

**Historical rituals**

The 6th chapter serves as a kind of exegesis of some rituals from The Satanic Rituals. Therefore it's recommended at its outset to read other texts related to them, namely Frank Belknap Long's "The Hounds of Tindalos", Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark", "The Dreams in the Witch-House" and The Call of Cthulhu", Aquino's "The Metaphysics of Lovecraft", and of course the rituals in question, Aquino's "The Ceremony of the Nine Angles" and "The Call to Cthulhu" and LaVey's "Die Elektrischen Vorspiele".

The three stories by Lovecraft I found very boring. I had to force myself to finish them, I was yawning all the time, and not of tiredness. The Hounds of Tindalos was slightly more interesting, but perhaps because I read it before the other 3 stories or because it's quite shorter.

While I tend to value Aquino's writings, I would disagree on central points with his interpretation of Lovecraft's stories, they gave me an utterly different impression. But they were the only thing by Lovecraft I have read thus far so perhaps I'm just not familiar enough with his work.

It's very good that Infernal Geometry provides such a thorough exegesis of the rituals taken from The Satanic Rituals, because without that I wouldn't have understood the least of them.

But even so, I don't really understand the point. I can't really try them out as described, at least the first 2, lacking a room besides my bedroom (and lacking a group to perform them with). Yet based on my intuition they'd have quite a different effect on me than the intended one.

"Die Elektrischen Vorspiele" is supposed to lead to power over other people by means of putting oneself in an anxiety-inducing surrounding. Well I don't desire that goal very much but even if I would, I can't wrap my mind around how that's supposed to work, it would rather drain me instead of making me stronger in any regard.

"The Ceremony of the Nine Angles" seems like a kind of confirmation/initiation ritual, i.e. a symbolic way of adopting the angles system into one's psyche. But their language seems much too cryptic to me, both in the original and the Havamál version, performing that should have hardly any effect when done without thorough preparation, I would rather recommend regular contemplation sessions focused on e.g. one verse of the ritual at a time or on certain sections of the book in order to absorb the system and finding one's own understanding of it, and then one doesn't really need that ritual anymore.

And "The Call to Cthulu" is supposed to get one connected to the primal parts of one's mind, and here again I'm at a loss as to how that's supposed to work. The exegesis of this one is much shorter in comparison.

If I compare the explainations to those given in the essay by Aquino in Appendix A, there are quite some differences, btw.

**New rituals I**

This chapter starts with two more rituals. The first of them, "The Bond of the Nine Angles" not a full ritual itself but intended as a ritual opening, so I guess to symbolize to oneself that one is now performing a ritual, and it looks like something that would work well for that purpose, if a tad too long. I don't usually do any opening when doing spiritual work, I just get my tools (if any) and get right into it.

The second is an initiation ritual to which basically the same thing applies as what I wrote about "The Ceremony of the Nine Angles" above. But as it's more explicitly initiation-like, I can see the symbolic point it can have as a self-confirmation that one is actually gonna work with that system. So I think the best approach would be 1) regular contemplation of the ritual's parts until one has grasped them well 2) performing the ritual 3) continuing to work with the system.

**New rituals II**

The chapter continues with suggestions for regular practices. I have other priorities currently than meditating right after waking up and practicing visualizing right before going to sleep (in both situations I'm often much too sleepy to be of use for anything), but in principle that's a good practice and I'm not excluding giving it a try within that framework.

The symbolism of inhaling to the count of 4 and exhaling to the count of 5 is obvious. It would have been nice if also potential physiological effects of doing so for 9 minutes would have been noted.

The noon ritual is supposed to be performed outside. It seems a bit strange to me to expect from the practitioner to have private surroundings available outdoors to draw symbols into the air every day without causing unwanted attention. But going for a short walk outside after lunch can sometimes help with noon-(or rather afternoon-) tiredness as claimed, yes, even though that should rather happen at like 3pm and not at noon proper.

The 2 daily practices not bound to a specific time also have their practical problems. The first is focusing on the Angles of Understanding and Being (the 3rd and 4th) whenever crossing an intersection where the streets/paths don't meet at a right angle. Yet that would apply to the vast majority of intersections I cross, I would have to look out for those which are even close to a right angle. So, only counting intersections (junctions and crossroads) outdoors, when walking to work I'd be doing that meditation at least 8 times in the 12 minutes that way takes me (compared to 4 or so that are kinda right-angled, yet even 3 of those have at least one path each leading steeply uphill or downhill, so they are irregular as well in a way).

And the other daily practice is about noticing the angles in whatever room one enters in order to bring up some self-awareness. Yet most rooms I enter are rooms I enter at least once a week if not several times a day, so that quickly would become a mindless routine, so I'm not really convinced of its usefulness.

**New rituals III**

The "advanced" rituals in the final chapter seem more interesting. But I don't understand how they are supposed to get one into the appropriate mindset in most of the cases. I assume the author has a point when saying that it needs to be experienced and not just studied.

Their purposes are:
- getting a message from one's future self
- getting inspiration (I guess)
- putting a project on hold
- facing an obstacle one tends to procrastinate on
- getting dreams of particular kinds
Also included are descriptions on how to use the system for divination and sigils.

Well technically I could benefit from that 4th one but I know the reasons for me procrastinating and I have tons of ideas of how to approach them (and am experimenting to find the right ones), and the ritual seems to be mainly about finding out the reason and getting any idea of how to approach it.

**Summary**

The historical background and exegeses were quite helpful and will likely make it easier for me to understand also certain other esoteric writings.

I would have preferred if suggestions for practice would have been spread throughout the book instead of being only found in the last 2 chapters. Also, I'd have appreciated further suggestions for integration of that system of magick into daily practice as the suggestions given don't fit my routine that well.

Yuggothic seems like a fun conlang (if fairly limited), and the alphabet used for it is quite pretty.

I'm not sure whether I'll actually use much any of the practices. I didn't find the system intriguing enough, I'm not sure whether I'll really get anything out of it. It's more relatable than quite a few other systems I encountered, though. What also makes it easier to use is that the focus is not on evoking anything or on manipulating energy in any particular way but more on getting insights by putting oneself into certain mindsets, which will lead to changes  in the objective universe, which is in line with the theory of magick the author provides.

**P.S.**

The usage of "performative utterance" is wrong imo. The definition is correct, it refers to a phrase that creates a change merely by being spoken, yet that's not the same thing as the examples from rituals the author provides.

If you say "This court is now in session", then that instantly and automatically means that the court is in session as long as other people accept that you are in the position to make this statement.

If you say "We shall have Power", while it has a certain effect on your mind, it does not literally make it true immediately. It makes a statement about objective reality which you could only fulfill indirectly by doing changes to subjective reality which then, long after the ritual, may have the desired effect, whereas actual performative utterances merely make statements about shared subjective reality (i.e. culture-based notions) that are not expected to affect objective reality except for by means of the changes in behavior they cause.

Saying "We shall have Power" would be as if a judge would say "I shall make a fair judgement" or similar (within a cultural context where that is not the traditional way to open a court or similar).

I agree that such ritual words are linguistically peculiar, yet I don't think there is a technical term for them within linguistics (but then, the field of pragmatics isn't my focus of study). So it's good that the author brings that up. I would refer to their mechanism as self-suggestions or self-hypnosis.

32
Reading / Re: The Book of Smokeless Fire
« on: August 19, 2020, 05:38:24 pm »
Well I guess than I can skip that one as I'm hardly ever in the state claimed necessary for summoning those, good to know.
Or read it when I want an easy excuse for not working through what I'm reading ;)

I don't think I've seen any interviews with him, might listen to one next time I wonder what to listen to.

33
Its primarily a legal protection.

But the ritualization of expressing individual autonomy against the will of the state is very religious.
I didn't even consider the legal aspects of it when reading it and intuiting its mechanisms.
It rather seemed about ridding oneself of cultural baggage.

But I get your point - if one lives under a government suppressing such rights, then this ritual is not just a legal tool by its existence, but also helps free from the psychological leftovers of a law, not just the leftovers of a cultural belief.

Indeed, many rituals violate what we call logic by exploiting edge cases of the rules of what we think makes sense. TST's rituals, on the other hand, violate pollitical illogic by exploiting edge cases of rule sets that most (especially here) would conclude do not make sense to begin with.
That might be certainly part of it, they are more grounded in logic.

Currently I'm reading Infernal Geometry (stay tuned for a lengthy post on it soon) and for most of the rituals discussed in there I'm at a loss in how they could have the supposed effect even after reading the detailed explanations (which might just me lacking the relevant experience but still), yet with the one linked here it's obvious how and why it's supposed to work.

34
The rituals by TST and related groups tend to be much easier to understand for me and to intuit how and why they would work than the average ritual I encounter in other contexts.

The one linked is no exception.

It might be because they are based on such a simple framework of beliefs that one doesn't first need to initiate into anything really, but I don't think it's just that.

35
Satanism / Re: Niners and feminism
« on: August 14, 2020, 07:25:43 am »
I see, yes, I might have not read that closely enough, I don't think I've encountered the term gyno/androcentric before, at least not in a context in which it was important.

Yet, if Abrahamic religions are gynocentric then that is not an argument against them being patriarchal.

That's what lead me to assume that gynocentric and matriarchal must be so closely related in how you use them as to be interchangeable.

But if you didn't mean that as an argument against them being patriarchal but as a refinement of the claim (i.e. them being patriarchal but gynocentric), then I understand what you mean. Thanks for clarifying.

Well if you define gynocentric as, having a central role in religious symbolism, then at least in Catholic Christianity one could certainly make a point for it. Also perhaps for "reverence for women", or at least for reverence for an abstract ideal, imo not really for "dominance of women" however.

Anyway, one last thing... yes I understand the reasoning that ONA does not really qualify as Satanism. But then again neither does the CoS or TST (in my opinion, considering they are just atheists with robes) yet they are often talked about in the same breath as any other Satanic group. At the same time, it's unfortunately much more difficult to talk to anyone about the ONA's beliefs than any other Satanist or pseudo-Satanist group, hence why I came here.

Well what else am I? :mrgreen:
I'm an agnostic myself (although leaning to some form of pantheism) and there is little in what TST represents that I would really object to.

I don't know whether that makes me more or less of a Satanist than any Niner would be. That's a matter of definition. I merely brought up that criterion to point out why it's unlikely to find an answer here to your inquiry. But yes, it's still one of the more likely places for finding an answer nevertheless.

Quote
However, since theirs seems to be a common opinion among Satanists (the ONA are not the first to imply Abrahamism is too androcentric) I would also like to hear from anyone else who believes this, what reasoning they have for their beliefs, how important/sacred those beliefs are,
I don't care enough about Abrahamic religions to be much involved in about whether they are andro- or gynocentric. Most of the people I encounter in daily life are atheists, so what Christians believe is usually only relevant to me when it comes to politics or history.

The Protestant Christianity I came to know in school would have been more andro- than gynocentric based on the gender of most of the mythological figures central to it. Yet they didn't teach that God would be male or that Jesus would necessarily be God's son or even that one would need to believe in God to be Christian, so that might differ from the forms of Christianity that you are more familiar with.
Quote
and if they desire gender equality or gynocentrism.
I would favor gender equality as it supports personal freedom.

36
Satanism / Re: Niners and feminism
« on: August 13, 2020, 06:21:29 pm »
It seemed less like a red herring to me and more
- a concern about certain claims you were making irregardless of whether they were what you were asking about or not
- and a simple lack of the knowledge necessary to answer those more "on-topic" questions

...which I can't help you with either. I read some ONA material quite a few years ago, but you likely know more about it than me, which is why I focused on the parts of your post that I could give any input to.

We don't have any Niners among the active users here as far as I know. As I said, it's not really Satanism, and actually not even LHP based at least on some definitions, and rarely discussed here.

I'm mainly referring to the Greco-Roman pantheon, and if you're also familiar with Greco-Roman religion and culture then I'm sure we agree. You should read Lysistrata if you haven't already.

You're right also that matrilineal doesn't mean matriarchy, and that's not what I was trying to imply. Matrilineal descent is nothing more than evidence that Jewish women had a specific (spiritual) role above and beyond just human cattle.

I see, but if you are only referring to their spiritual significance independent on their societal role, then I don't understand why you used it as an argument for why Abrahamic religion wouldn't be patriarchal.
And thanks for the recommendation, I haven't really read anything by Aristophanes yet.

37
Satanism / Re: Niners and feminism
« on: August 13, 2020, 02:32:03 pm »
Which paganism are you referring to? There were a lot of different pagan cultures in Europe, with different gender roles. In Rome for example, women held a much better position than in Athens.

And matrilineal doesn't mean gender equality or matriarchy. Just look at this: https://d-place.org/combinations/SCCS696_SCCS621#1/24/147
In almost all matrilineal societies in the data set, wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. And if you look into the old testament, you won't get the impression that the society in which it developed held women in high regard.

Downplay or obliterate the sacred feminine? Really?

Is that why Catholic sinners pray "Hail Mary, full of grace..."? Is that why there are more Virgin Mary's than pokemon? Yes, it is called "the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost", but this has no relation whatsoever to the holy family of Mother, Son, and God (because fuck Joseph).
I don't think that was about the holy family, but rather about the mythologies of other cultures which often include both father and mother deities.

You do have a point regarding courtship and virgin worship in literature and art, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything for how things were in most of actual society.

Most importantly... Am I wrong about anything here? I'm very familiar with Eastern religion, but unfortunately very unfamiliar with Satanism.

Thanks.
Well most Satanists wouldn't consider the ONA to be a form of Satanism. Not even many Niners themselves consider themselves Satanists from what I heard.

38
Lounge / Re: Meta discussion
« on: August 13, 2020, 05:36:55 am »
Pretty sure because the admins are busy with other things in life.

Regarding IPs, indefinitely it seems. Considering the EU laws on that, this should really be changed, though, as it's now illegal to store the IPs from users from the EU for any longer than is necessary for strictly technical reasons, unless you have their explicit consent.

The main purpose for storing IPs, based on my experiences as a mod elsewhere, is being able to block spammers and making sure that a person isn't lying through their teeth regarding where they come from. With the new law you have only a short time frame (few days at the very most) to check an IP address to see whether you e.g. have several users using the same IP and thereby breaking website rules, in order to have a justification to ban them.

39
Vampyrism / Re: Lilith
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:59:46 am »
Lilith as with any 'deity' is only as powerful or dangerous as you make them. Lilith perceived as a vampire of some sort begins with later interpretations of Hebrew Mysticism and Her relation with the Klippoth. Her origin is from Mesopotamia in the form of Lilitu and was not a vampire but rather a Storm Demoness. Her characteristics were similar to the concept of one's Daemon/HGA or Spirit double/familiar and in this respect is the same as the Arabic Qarina and is of the Djinn Tribe of Shaitans. She is also called Tabi'ah or Ukht and would be aligned closer to that of the Egyptian Ka.
I heard of Liliths Mesopotamian origin before, but some parts of what you wrote are entirely new to me, especially about the lilitu being storm spirits and not night spirits. But then, I don't know any Akkadian and only very little Sumerian, so I can't really look into the original sources.
Why would you say she was similar in concept to the HGA etc? I thought the lilitu already in Mesopotamian culture were seen as negative, e.g. bringers of disease.

40
Lounge / Re: A night visitor
« on: August 03, 2020, 06:21:55 pm »
No one I know personally, just some weblogs I read a while ago.

Well if that relationship is since 40 years as you say, it seems very unlikely to me that it would be the cause for current problems.

On the contrary - if it's not the cause and your friend nevertheless breaks up the relationship, then he's worse off than before because he then also lost a friend.

41
Lounge / Re: A night visitor
« on: August 03, 2020, 08:40:28 am »
Well if there haven't been any problems in 40 years and your friend gets along well with this spirit I would see no reason to do anything about that.

Also, even if it's a succubus that doesn't mean that's bad, I heard of some people who are in a harmonious relationship with a succubus.

All that applies independent of whether it's actually a spirit or just a dream figure.

42
General LHP Discussion / Re: Joseph Campbell anyone?
« on: July 30, 2020, 04:17:01 pm »
Yes, even academically still recommendable I think, even if possibly simplifying things too much.

I haven't really read much by him myself, though, nor is that my field of expertise.

I've got his recommended reading list for his course on comparative mythology somewhere if anyone is interested.
Well my reading list is already huge, but sure!

43
General LHP Discussion / Re: explaining your system to new people
« on: July 30, 2020, 11:45:57 am »
I also don't usually talk about it much.

In real life I say I'm agnostic (but might mention that I'm interested in esoteric stuff if I know the other person is, which is rare) and perhaps that I'm a pantheist.
On websites on spirituality I might go a bit more into detail, but usually I end up explaining merely what Satanism or the LHP is in general .

44
Satanism / Re: anarcho satanism
« on: July 27, 2020, 03:23:18 pm »
Still, different forms of societies seem to lead to different forms of states, though - the hunter-gatherer societies are pretty much anarchistic, whereas in other societies, other forms of states are common as well.
It's not really clear-cut, but if you look for example here: https://d-place.org/combinations/EA001_EA066#1/30/152
If you sort by the last column, which is about how much the society relies on gathering, you can see that those societies who rely on it highly have no or little stratification.
Similar here:
https://d-place.org/combinations/SCCS83_SCCS11#1/14/151
Almost all societies in which gathering plays any role in this dataset are stateless.
(admittedly based on a fairly small sample)

If you compare that with agricultural societies you get a much more mixed picture:
https://d-place.org/combinations/EA066_EA005#1/30/152
https://d-place.org/combinations/SCCS83_SCCS3#1/14/151

45
Introductions / Re: Hey there
« on: July 19, 2020, 09:45:38 am »
Welcome!

Not sure I ever heard of someone pursuing intentional NDEs, but guess that's a thing ^^

Regarding RHP/LHP, we had some discussions about the definitions of those here, and to a large degree it's just social constructs anyway. Recently also heard a definition by a (self-proclaimed) RHP pagan, which differs a lot from our parlance here (theirs is closer to the definition by Blavatsky), whereas what we call RHP tends to be almost unpracticeable. And I encountered a follower of Loki who said he often gets defamed as an LHPer for his trickster-approach to spirituality and hadn't ever heard it being used positively - whereas in our circles, "RHPer" is what's used as the insult.

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