Monday, September 19, 2011

Urban Animism

What is animism? No it's not the worship of superpowered, , 2-dimenional, vaguely oriental huge-eyed people. Animism is the belief that every non-human thing is a supernatural being or at least possesses a spirit or soul. It is a belief that is prevalent in most indigenous and folk religions including Shinto, and some forms of Hinduism, Buddhism, Pantheism, Christianity and Neopaganism.

I've always had animistic tendencies. In fact, most humans have animistic tendencies. I'm pretty sure that there's at least one instance like when you treat your toys like best buddies back when you were a child or when you name your own car in a later stage of life. Me? I have a laptop named Johnny 5 and I feed him by rubbing rhum on the cover. I think he likes the rhum.

I think humans have animistic tendencies due to genetic memory. It could be a throwback to prehistoric tribal culture. Back then, everyone believe that anything that is awe-inspiring (such as a magnificent mountain or a tremendous tree) surely must have a fraction of a great supernatural force residing in them. However, especially these days, any object (be it a child's favorite toy, an endearing automobile or a respectable laptop) tend to be alive to us. Perhaps intuitively or instinctively, we recognize these powers.

Then again, I'm probably just a sentimental weirdo with unusual attachment to things. Then again, absurdity is one of my source of power. This animistic paradigm I've adopted may be quite useful. I don't know why but it just felt right with me. Deep down inside, I honestly believe that everything has a spirit.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weh-Oh-Weh! Lico's Shamanic Approach to His Chaos Magic

My earliest exposure to shamanism was through pop-culture. Back when I was a young warthog, I enjoyed watching the cartoon series Bravestarr where the hero summons the powers of animals in an intergalactic wild west.

In these more recent times, I'm using the shamanic approach to my chaos magic practice. I've had success with divining stones as prescribed by Nick Hall in Chaos and Sorcery. It's the closest I could get to the divining stone traditions of African tribal magic. More than ever, I've been invoking the spiritual essence of animals especially that of the crocodile when I need to get shit done. I'm beginning to believe that I, somewhat, had something to do with the summoning of the recently captured giant crocodile Lolong.

Even more recently was the use of shamanic rattles for invocation and banishing. I got a few ideas from Michael Harner's Way of The Shaman. Basically, I sing improvised songs while dancing and shaking two maracas. It makes a good exercise too. Instead of Taebo, why not Shamanic Cardio? Heck, I could do it to Shakira's Waka Waka

Another throwback to atavistic magick I do is the use of a wooden toy snake for healing. According to Nick Hall's Chaos and Sorcery, live snakes were used as wands for healing the afflicted. Although I'm sure it's a psychosomatic effect but I definitely feel better when I use the wooden snake. I just hope Samuel L. Jackson doesn't find out. He's not so fond of snakes.

So yeah... shamanism. I think it's cool. As for hallucinogenics, I don't think I'd be ingesting peyote. Besides, I'm like I'm high all the time. Herbalism? The only herbs I'd more likely to collect are the ones in KFC's original. Below is a reenactment of an actual shamanic experience caused by the ritualistic consumption of fried chicken.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Operation: Divinity Gauntlet

What is Operation: Divinity Gauntlet?

Operation: Divinity Gauntlet is the codename for my magical operation for The Manifestation of Glory.

What is The Manifestation of Glory?

The Manifestation of Glory (or TMOG for short) is a concept and practice originated from the chaos magic group Domus Kaotica. It is a one-year make-over that involves special physical, mental and spiritual training all at the same time. It is a magical “born again” operation that promotes rejuvenation and self-evolution. It is a way to recreate yourself in your own likeness.

How do you do TMOG?

Methods of TMOG vary in individuals but the core idea is that you must go through a special regimen that enhances your mind, body and soul. For example, on the physical side, you could exercise and practice healthy habits. On the mental side, you could read more books and study foreign languages. On the spiritual side, you could meditate and practice energy work. The point is that within one year there must be significant changes in the individual on the path to TMOG. Some discipline and effort are required to ensure success in TMOG.

What are you up to so far?

So far, I’ve been taking longer walks, restricting my eating habits and practicing acupressure plus longer periods of reiki on myself. At the same time, I’m studying various books (especially religious scriptures and classical novels), taking up watercolor painting and practicing certain metaphysical techniques a bit more often.

Also, I'm posting this unrelated video.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Favorite Supernatural Komiks

Today starts the SANDAANG ARAW ng KOMIKS. For 100 days, I will post anything related to Filipino comics to raise the public awareness about them. Here's a list of my favorite komiks with supernatural themes.

1. Andong Agimat: The goddess Maria Makiling has been kidnapped by the evil forces of Jun Pogi and it's up to the rough and tough Andong Agimat to save her. Wearing his amulet against bullets and accompanied by other heroes, Ando will not stop until he accomplish his goal and redeem himself of his dark past. This gritty fantasy graphic novel is a throwback to old Filipino action movies and it was authored by Arnold Arre.

2. Trese: Trese is a paranormal and occult komik series. When the police encounter cases too weird and baffling to solve, they call Alexandra Trese. Trese is an expert who deals with supernatural cases and fights against the evil. She wields a mystical dagger and is accompanied by supernatural twin brothers called the Kambal. The hit comic series is written by Budjette Tan and drawn by Kajo Baldisimo.

3. Pugad Baby 4: Ang Hiwaga ng Dueñas: Pugad Baboy is a Filipino comic strip that normally deals with satirical humor on Filipino society and the issues of the day. In the fourth compilation, the people of Pugad Baboy go to Dueñas, Iloilo and encounter a wide array of supernatural creatures of Filipino folklore. The comic strip series is authored by Pol Medina Jr.

4. Flash Bomba: Flash Bomba is one of the most unique and interesting superheroes in Filipino comics. For the sake of convenience, here's an excerpt from his Wikipedia entry.:

Flash Bomba was a man who lost the use of his legs in an accident. Because of this, he trained the rest of his body to an incredible level of athletic ability and did everyday stuff using his hands to compensate for the loss of his ability to walk. Eventually he heard a rumour about a "Tikbalang" (a mythological creature with the body of a man and the head of a horse) who would grant powers to anyone who could defeat it in battle. Flash Bomba challenged the Tikbalang - and set a time and place for the battle. He defeated it despite his physical limitations and the Tikbalang granted him superpowers. But as a jest, the Tikbalang gave him powers that made him look awkward. Flash was given the Tikbalang's magic hair, said talisman allowing Flash to transform into his super-powered version - a being with large hands and feet, as well as superhuman powers. Using his new abilities, he became a crimefighter.

Despite his unusual appearance, I honestly think he's a very cool character. His creator was the legendary Mars Ravelo.

5. Salamangkero: Several years when I was still in college, I browsed through issues of Hiwaga Komiks in the magazine rack. One of the serials in Hiwaga is that of a sorcerer who helps the police force. It was simply entitled "Salamangkero". It's a shame that I didn't buy a copy and now I regret it. I thought it was a cool comic. It would be nice if someone has a collection of Hiwaga Komiks featuring Salamangkero so I could borrow them.

So there you have it. For now, these are among my top supernatural komiks. Who knows? Maybe more will come out and I may have to update this list. Til then, toodles. Mabuhay ang komiks!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hoodoo To Do

Before I start discussing, let me differentiate the difference between hoodoo and Voodoo. Voodoo is the religion, hoodoo is a magical tradition. I hope that will clear up the confusion.

So far, hoodoo is doing me some good. There's one thing I observed why this African-American folk magic tradition is working so well for me. I notice that every time I make a mojo bag, I get in a trance-like state chaotes and other occultists call gnosis. Gnosis is one important key in magical practice that can make or break the spell. In my mind, I know that I'm not merely mixing herbs and spices. Luckily, I have no problem getting into a sorcerous mood and convincing myself that I'm working magic. When I make the mojo bags, everything else around me seems to cease to be. It's just me and the hoodoo work.

The same goes for I use novenas and recite the Psalms. Unfortunately, I had to stop due to some strange and awkward experience. Luckily, thanks to my chaos magic practice, I was able to infuse the energies of the Psalms with the energies of my own invocations to my patron god Sobek. So far, things are going well with the Sobekian spells I now recite.

So this is my latest update in my hoodoo practice and experimentation. So far, my specialties are mojo bags and (stopped for now) Psalms magic. The next thing you know, I'd be creating zombies. Mwahahahahaha!!!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Sobekian Primer

What is Sobekianism?

Sobekianism is a religion dedicated to the worship of the crocodile god Sobek and other gods of Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) origin. It is not a reconstructed Kemetic religion. Sobekianism is a modern belief system with a strong emphasis on eclecticism.

Who is Sobek?

Sobek (also known as Sebek, Suchos and Sobek-Ra) is the Crocodile God, Lord of The Waters and the supreme patron god in Sobekianism. Sobek is the benevolent god of crocodiles, water, power and fertility. He also represents the primordial forces in nature that shape the world.

Which other deities are honored in Sobekianism?

Although all deities can be worshipped in Sobekianism, gods and goddesses connected to Sobek are most honored. The following deities are quite notable in Sobekianism:

- Hathor: wife of Sobek, cow goddess of joy, love, fertility and fun.
- Khonsu: son of Sobek and Hathor, god of the moon, traveling and youth. Together with Sobek and Hathor, they form the Sobekian Triad.
- Nit: mother of Sobek and the wisest of the Kemetic gods. She is a warrior goddess and a matron of craftsmen.
- Amun: the past incarnation of Sobek. He was a very powerful god who mysteriously disappeared after the creation of the universe.
- Ra: father-in-law of Sobek and father of Hathor. He is the sun god in Kemetic religion. His name is of great importance in Sobekian rituals. Also known as Re.
- Horus: warrior god, god of vengeance and friend of Sobek. Also known as Heru.
- Isis: goddess of magic, mother of Heru. Sobek assisted in the birth of Heru. Also known as Aset.
- Osiris: god of the underworld, husband of Isis, father of Horus. Sobek assisted in his resurrection after being murdered by the dark god Seth. Also known as Asar.
- Renenunet: second wife of Sobek, cobra goddess of magical names and fertility. She is a powerful sorceress who’s very cunning yet very benevolent.
- Tawaret: third wife of Sobek, hippopotamus goddess of protection, pregnancy and restraining evil forces. She is a strong warrior goddess who adores mothers and children.
- The Petsuchos – They are the sacred crocodiles that serve Sobek. Worshipped in Ancient Egypt, now they have a special place in the Sobekian afterlife as guardians of the dead.

What are the basic tenets of Sobekianism?

To, at least, grasp the greatness of Sobek is to emulate the positive qualities of the crocodile. The crocodile is an ancient beast, a survivor from the age of the dinosaurs. It is even considered as a living dinosaur. The crocodile is a symbol of power, primal forces, ancient knowledge, fertility and survival. Its ferocity and cunningness are qualities worth developing if used correctly. Sobek represents the crocodile in its most divine incarnation.

In Ancient Egypt, sacred crocodiles were kept in private lakes. They were adorned with jewelry and fed with cakes, bread and roasted meat. Sobek teaches that we should enjoy good food, nice things to wear and other fine things in life. In other words, eat, drink and be merry! The ideal Sobekian is a noble savage, an atavistic mage and a warrior hedonist all rolled into one.

What is the afterlife like for Sobekians?

One great thing about Sobekianism is that its concept of the afterlife is radically different from the typical afterlife of the Kemetists. Instead of going through elaborate funerary rituals and facing numerous perils in the afterlife before reaching Amenti (the Egyptian heaven), worthy Sobekians are protected by the sacred crocodiles Petsuchos and led to a marvelous version of the Nile River called the Heavenly Nile.

On the shores of the Heavenly Nile, a huge and endless celebration is being held. All sorts of delicious food are being served, everyone is wearing fantastic jewelry and beautiful women (plus men) are everywhere. Music, games and dancing fill the whole riverside. Lording over everything is the crocodile god Sobek. Along with his favorite wife Hathor, he makes sure that everyone is having a great time. That is a true paradise for followers of Sobek.

What is the punishment for unworthy people in the Sobekian afterlife?

If that person is deemed too unrepentantly evil to enter the Heavenly Nile, Sobek will devour that person. To avoid this terrible fate, the ever universal Golden Rule must be followed: Do to others what you’d like them to do to you. In other words, don’t be an asshole. Follow the Golden Rule and you might be worthy enough to enter the Heavenly Nile.

What are the rituals in Sobekianism?

Party of the beauty of Sobekianism is its strong advocacy on eclecticism inspired by chaos magic. Sobekians are encouraged to create their own prayers and rituals to honor the Crocodile God. If they wish to, they can even make their own Sobekian spells to attract special needs. However, the most basic and fundamental practice that all Sobekians must perform daily is the chanting of the holy name SOBEK-RA. Sobek-Ra is Sobek’s most powerful form especially when empowered by the power of the sun. Chanting SOBEK-RA invokes the power of the Crocodile God and attracts his blessings. The holy name must be chanted at least three times. At the end of every prayer, the holy name must be chanted three times to further empower the prayer. Chanting SOBEK-RA is a must for the faithful Sobekian.

Is there a church or temple Sobekians can worship in?

As of now, there are no temples. However, Sobekians are encouraged to meet up, worship and discuss anything related to the Crocodile God. In dire circumstances, Sobekians must band together for survival just like the ancient reptilian beasts.

Is there a priesthood in Sobekianism?

Sobekians are their own priests. They are their own pharaohs. Sobekians have no need for such antiquated authority figures to govern them. Sobekians govern themselves. However, in certain circumstances, leaders (in a more secular sense) are made to make things easier. Mentors may also be assigned to guide newer Sobekians in the ways of the croc.

Why become a Sobekian?

Imagine yourself as Conan the Barbarian and Sobek is your Crom. One reason that makes Conan a great warrior and leader is his devotion to his god Crom. Sobek is like Crom but more fun and with a lot of style. You too can unlock your inner crocodile and become more awesome than ever. If you have an affinity for reptiles and Egyptian gods, Sobekianism is for you. If you immensely enjoy good food and nice clothing, Sobekianism is for you. If you’re looking for a religion fit for warriors and leaders, Sobekianism is for you. However, if you don’t feel that it’s for you, do not fret. Sobek loves you anyway. Who knows? He might even invite you to the eternal party in the Heavenly Nile.

In brightest day and blackest night,
No evil shall escape my bite.
Let all enemies be filled with fright.
Beware my power – Sobekian might!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Hoodoo I Do

Last week, while browsing through, I came across The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook by Denise Alvarado. As a harmonica player who kept on encountering references to Hoodoo in blues songs, I've decided to give it a go. After all, I'm a chaote and it's about time I experiment with something new. Frater UD mentioned in High Magic II that the African and Caribbean magical traditions have a reputation of being very potent.

Last Saturday, I borrowed a copy of the aforementioned book from a friend. For a good start, I've decided to work with a Catholic house blessing prayer and a portion of the Psalms. I know that some of you think I have sold out and turn Catholic again but listen to me. Hoodoo has been heavily influenced by Catholicism when the white masters forced it upon the African slaves to quell their ancient spiritual practices. The forced conversion failed to yield the result the slavemasters were aiming for. Instead, Catholic beliefs has been syncretized with African spiritual concepts thus born the religion Voodoo and its magical trad Hoodoo. In Hoodoo, God is the ultimate magician and the Bible is a mighty spellbook/talisman hence I'm not using Christian beliefs as a Catholic. I'm using Christian beliefs as a Hoodooist. If I can't make hoodoo work just because it has smacks of Christianity then I fail as a chaos magician.

So anyway, a few hours after I recited the house prayer and the Psalm for bringing fortune into the home, I found a dying cockroach on top of my altar. It was rare for me to see a dying cockroach in my ancestral house. The next morning upon waking up, I saw another dying roach near my altar. From that moment, I knew it was no mere coincidence. Even up to now, I'm experimenting with Hoodoo more often. I prayed to the Seven African Powers and even made my first mojo bags. Lets see what happens in the next few weeks. Lets just hope that Papa Legba isn't trolling me.


Hoodoo: African-American folk magic tradition
Voodoo: A syncretic religion involving Catholicism and African concepts and practices
mojo bag: a talisman in Hoodoo described as a "spell in a bag".
Papa Legba: A loa or Voodoo spirit who guards the gateway between the normal world and the world of Voodoo spirits.

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