Having looked at the Royal Path that is to be trodden by those who have obtained Royal Blood by sacrificing themselves, let us turn our eyes upon the Path of Sorcery.
The Path of Sorcery is, in essence the active, enforcing your will upon the world part of the Myth-Ritual duality. Though we have come a long way from how Frazer saw things in the Golden Bough, we should perhaps not forget how much his view was clouded by his understanding of things.
Sorcery is everything from lighting a match to tossing coins in the corners of your new home to bring money, to lifting your hand in a weird gesture to ward off the evil eye, the evil eye used on purpose, rites of exorcism, the summoning and controlling of deities and forces, the manipulation of names through animistic means etc ad infinitum.
Some acts of sorcery are so common in certain cultures that they are not seen as acts of sorcery, they have become commonplace. There are acts of sorcery that look almost identical, to a casual observer, to Theurgy and the royal path and/or the prayerful elements from work related to the Sacerdotal path. Sometimes the practitioner does hirself not realise that what s/he is doing is sorcery and not sacerdotal or theurgic work.
Sometimes there is confusion because the sorcerer (note the correct spelling, like "altar" instead of "alter", the latter of the two meaning "to change" and not "holy flat surface") is confused about what they are trying to accomplish. Since sorcery can give insights into the machinations of the world and the workings of the human mind, it can be tempting to believe that one is working towards some form of supreme understanding of the cosmos and getting close to the Royal Path. There are even those who do not realise they are engaged in doing sorcery and believe that they are praying! So cute.
Remember the caveat kids, these posts are from the point of view of actual highmagic, not from the all paths are equal fluffy bollocks pov.
The one and ultimate aim of sorcery is: to be able to affect the world around you one way or another.
That is it. It is this simple. Everything else is cultural garbage added to it. When mediating between a manifestation of the divine and trying to understand it, you are engaging in sacerdotal practices. When putting that practice into effect you are engaging in sorcery. There is an overlap, but after a different manner.
So, what are some of the characteristics of Sorcery?
The less belief you have the more potent the Programming needs to be. The less potent the programming, the more Belief is needed.
1. Belief. This is the fuel.
Without believing that what you do works, it wont. This belief is based on your paradigm which is culturally indoctrinated into you and is nigh unchangeable. Be aware I am using paradigm from the classical percpective, not the Chaos Magician perspective. This means that you will often believe in things that you don't want to.
You may raise an eyebrow and say: how about people who dabble with magic or try a spell and it works? The answer is simple: Beginner's luck. If they would not have believed in it, they would not have tried. This is also one of the reasons mail order amulets, hoodoo stuff and similar paraphernalia works so well. There is so much hope faith and belief invested in the little spell that it goes through your own "I can't change reality" filter and actually does.
This is also explains why its difficult to cast 100% functioning spells. Everyone can get lucky once. To get lucky all the time, you need an unshakeable belief in what you do. Clinically so.
Did you know that the way your brain structures things it believes in and things it knows are not real is different? And you can actually get your brain to treat things that you know are not real as if they were? Childhood memory implantation works in this level. This is scientifically proven. Have fun googling.
This also means that picking up one part of a specific system will immediately screw up all other parts of the system. Doing a western ceremonial magical style working and moving counterclockwise by accident will have consequences whether you understand why or not. As long as you write left to write and use a western clockface you are indoctrinated, whether you want to be or know you are or not.
2. Indoctrination into The program. This is the engine the fuel makes active.
It is all about the signified and signifier. Let me quote one of the most well known texts. Available in Wiki as well!
Peirce characterizes the three semiotic elements as follows:
- Sign (or representamen): that which represents the denoted object (cf. Saussure's "signifier").
- Object (or semiotic object): that which the sign represents (or as some put it, encodes). It can be anything thinkable, a law, a fact, or even a possibility (a semiotic object could even be fictional, such as Hamlet); those are partial objects; the total object is the universe of discourse, the totality of objects in that world to which one attributes the partial object. For example, perturbation of Pluto's orbit is a sign about Pluto, but not only about Pluto. The object may be
- immediate to the sign, the object as represented in the sign, or
- dynamic, the object as it really is, on which the immediate object is founded.
- Interpretant (or interpretant sign): a sign's meaning or ramification as formed into a further sign by interpreting (or, as some put it, decoding) the sign. The interpretant may be:
- immediate to the sign, a kind of possibility, all that the sign is suited to immediately express, for instance a word's usual meaning;
- dynamic, that is, the meaning as formed into an actual effect, for example an individual translation or a state of agitation, or
- final or normal, that is, the ultimate meaning that inquiry taken far enough would be destined to reach. It is a kind of norm or ideal end, with which an actual interpretant may, at most, coincide.
The program allows you to interact with the world and actually make your intent translate into whatever it is the world runs on (what that is is completely irrelevant. Whether you're a Hoodoo or a Palero, a granny praying or KaosGrrrrl Kali282 high on acid, however you explain the world. As long as you have juice and the correct indoctrination you'll be successful)
The program needs to be consistent and fully internalised. It is easier to get things to work with a program that is internalised then with one that is not. The reason folkmagic works so well is not because there is some secret technique behind it that needs elaboration. (The code is often stupidly easy to crack) It is merely because the signifier is immediate.
A key opens and closes things. If you are a westerner you handle a key daily. You are wired to remember your key leaving your home. You know that having the right key can get you into places. You will probably even be wired as to which side up it goes into the lock and whether you need to turn it left to open or to close the lock.
This symbol is therefore your lock/open. You will find it easy to think of a key in very abstract terms even. On the other hand, the sentence abra ablanatha acherom acherom from the greek magical papyri I would imagine doesn't do the same... Does it. Probably did for the half greeks a few thousand years ago.
The more abstract the symbolic system employed and the further removed the symbol is from the signifier the less likely it is that you have been sufficiently indoctrinated with it and therefore the juice you need to bring into the equation is exponential. This is why its hard to get talismans based on stuff in ceremonial magic that you don't understand to work.
So if belief is the fuel in this analogy we can see that essentially, the belief is that which allows the sorcerer to actually -cause- the change to happen, whereas the programming is the means the sorcerer makes this happen.
If we are able to step outside our own narrow minds we can actually deconstruct all sorcery effects along these lines. This is what Carrol did with Chaosmagick, however as I have said again and again, he missed something important, and I am not going to solve that little riddle for you just now.
Deconstructing sorcery means that we can look at a Shaman, a Praying priest, a ceremonial magician, an urban shaman and a chaoite doing 10 different things, one talking to spirits one drawing symbols, one waiting 10 years for the correct placement of the stars, one getting high and just imagining talking to a spirit, at least according to the shaman, all of them being wrong according to the priest who know that its god who does all and answers prayers etc. Yet they are all doing the same thing. Will - translation-action. Who is to know whether The gods of one and the spells of the other are not the same thing but understood from a different context? (Not just stepping on toes here, breaking them).
The Juice is the ability to enter a momentary or extended state of mind, that most people would think is insanity, where you do not function in the normal world, instead you focus on interacting directly with the signified objects in the greater world. (Hint, people who think magic is psychology will only ever get psychological results because of this)
The better you are at this, the less is there a difference between your everyday consciousness and your "altered" consciousness. The issue here is NOT to be able to get more and more fucked up by prayer or breathing or sacrificing. It is to be able to interact and affect.
We all create the world we live in all the time and we are each and everyone of us responsible for its upholding. The only thing that keeps you back from flying is not that it would be a breaking of "the laws of physics". It is because you will never EVER convince yourself that it is possible because every moment of your waking life has been reaffirming that the world behaves as if the laws of physics were true, thus they will be. But then the world is not real is it ;)
All symbolic systems you program yourself with have to be internally consistent, offer a map of the things to be affected. Once that is fully integrated you will be able to put a coin into the universal vending machine that your carefully created program is and be able to expect a result. However, there is a catch. For the vending machine to work, you have to be a part of the vending machine.
The easiest way for us westerners to understand this is through playing cowboys and indians.
Most of us had puffer guns. We could all turn sticks into swords and horses. When playing you knew you could not catch up with the other kids who were on horsebacks. When a gun was pointed at you and they said BANG or the gun went BAAAAANG! you played dead. Sometimes you got away with "missed me" but usually you'd lie down and count to 10 or whatever the local variation was. The circle on the floor represented the tippi and you could only escape through the front gate etc.
So, for the rules of the game to make sense, you have to subject yourself to them. If you are yourself not subject to the rules then you will never make the rules work for you. This is why children cannot rob a toystore when they dress up as cowboys, yet can shoot eachother effectively by pointing a finger and saying BANG!
This brings us around to things like working with grimoires such as the Picatrix or any Solomonic one. If you want to do something using a specific Program, then you have to play by the rules.
On a windows machine you have to find the uninstall file to get rid of a program, and often it will leave random DLL's. On a mac you find your prog, then drag it to the bin. Done. If you'd do the same in Windows you'd never et rid of the program as it would have left tonnes of little files everywhere. Different OS have different internal rules that need to be followed. This is worth keeping in mind.
The Example of the Husband beaten by the Wife.
How does the father of the man who is beaten go about to get rid of the evil Wife?
In order from interacting with the signified through more and more symbolic means:
Materialist on this end and complete transcendentalistic magic on the other
Tells her to fuck off at gun point. - Creates an effigy that he tells to move away- builds a replica of the home and moves her away - symbolises the whole thing with words and simply writes her out from the story - asks a higher/different power to move the person away - creates a specific symbolic representation of the expected end situation and then activates it.
The last one would fall under planetary/astrological magic. notice however that all that happens even there is that the "marriage" would translate into a specific chart that we want, the wife and husband would translate into specific aspects and the new situation would translate into another aspect and the symbol would need to be "activated" accordingly. Thus all that is happening at any level of this above example is that the end result that is required is brought about by interacting with the same things through various abstractions. Depending where the abstraction takes you, you'll have to play along.
If you believe in the efficacy of Zodiacal magic then you should be so indoctrinated that you actually are fully stuck in the weavings of fate the planets and signs create. If you only believe when it suits you, for example:
"Hm Jupiter is in a good position now so I will create this Jupiter talisman. Oh no Saturnus is in a position that will cause illness. and I should take steps against that by having solar and venusian influences in my house. Actually I don't believe in this today cause I can't be bothered."
Then you'd probably not get very great results when putting your coins into that specific universal vending machine.
Your beliefs will not affects someone else's beliefs. You can think that burning your name with cheaply printed chinese paper and a letter to Yama King is not going to do anything, but someone for whom the celestial and hellish bureaucracy is a reality can cause a lot of havoc by doing just that.
Therefore, HOW you go about manifesting your will is not important. Make money, or be devout. Burn candles or ask your spirits. Burn incense as sacrifice or look at someone maliciously. In the end your ability do create and destroy, control or transmute the world is all that matters.
If people want you dead, who should you fear the most?
The old italian woman with your photo
The Corporate Executive with mob ties and billions
The Palero with his spirit ally from beyond the grave
The Kid with a hard dick and a sigil with your name on
The astrologer with a talisman
Answer: The person who actually 100% wants you dead.
Caveat regarding entities.
Using sorcerous techniques once in awhile a sorcerer may use an entity for the causing of an effect. Whether the entity is an objectively existing thing or just a signifier is irrelevant from a sorcery perspective and why this is will possibly be elaborated on further in one of the future posts in this series.