Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels: , , , ,


I was walking through Frankston with two of my good magician-friends, Fraters Moss and Koslov, when we got talking about magic and how one is to learn magic. There are plenty of ‘training manuals’ to the occult world - Condensed Chaos, Modern Magick, Inner Temple of Witchcraft, Golden Dawn, etc, being the best among them.

Each of these guides has a fundamental problem (some would say strength): that is, they train you in a full tradition. If you follow Regardie’s The Golden Dawn faithfully you’ll become adept in Golden Dawn ceremonial magic, for example. Condensed Chaos is more like a guide then a tradition-manual, but suffers from similar issues.

The great thing about magical practice these days is that while the older paths are definitely important to study, many of us have the freedom and creativity to craft our own. This is the core of Chaos Magic.

There is one training manual that is different, however. It is structured enough to guide one through becoming a full magician while also being highly general and useful on its own merits - the awfully titled Liber KKK (that’s Liber Kaos Keraunos Kybernetos, not Klu Klux Klan).

Written by Peter J. Carroll (of Liber Null & Psychonaut fame), a founding father of Chaos Magic, a magician dedicated to the Liber KKK will find that he is creating all of his own rituals - except perhaps the banishing - and integrating within everything he feels comfortable with.

It is ultimately up to them to hammer out their own path.

Carroll gives tasks, and the magician is to attempt them repeatedly until they feel comfortable with their results. I came up with the idea of running through the first part of the guide - there are five, as detailed below - with a few mates, including the delicious Soror Twist, and it grew from there.

The idea is for a group of us to finish the first rung of the course in three months, with myself (and maybe - maybe - Soror Twist) as a guide.

Upon completion, perhaps I will print off some certificates with NOW YOU ARE FINALLY READY TO DEFEAT VOLDEMORT scrawled upon them - perhaps I will not. It will be irrelevant. You will have spent a small portion of your life living as a crazy bastard magician, and the experience will be equal parts weird, exciting, difficult and rewarding.

If you need assistance, or wish to officially join up, please email me at or leave a comment here.

Liber KKK can be found in full at:


The official start is on November 11th.

Yes, this is exam time for many people.

Yes, this is half-way through Nanowrimo - an event I will be participating in.

Yes, this is really soon.

The reasons for this date are a little esoteric. Firstly, it is just after the pagan holiday of Beltane (in the Southern Hemisphere) - a time for new beginnings. Liber KKK, it is advised, should be begun on auspicious or important dates - and that certainly qualifies. Secondly, November is the eleventh month of the year, and we start on the eleventh because eleven, in Western numerology, is the number of magicians and achieving the impossible.

This year, the eleventh of the eleventh is on Wednesday - Woten’s Day - which belongs and is named after the Norse deity Odin, god of magic, poetry, and victory, among other things. We will be beginning in 2009, of course - 2 + 9 is the number 11 once again, and nine is the number before the Earthly Malkuth of Ten: one step above the mundane. Two is the number of dualities, very important in magic.

And so forth.

The course will take three months, and finish roughly on the twelfth of February 2010. This is actually a rather short time allocated for the first rung of KKK – most certainly not enough to cover it all fully. The magician is encouraged to return for a few months after to tie any loose strings, redeem any failures, and to continue exploring the first step.

Two weeks are allocated to each of the five tasks in the first rung, with two weeks left spare for holidays (like, perhaps, Christmas), exams, etc. We will all be doing the tasks at roughly the same time, however - I encourage everyone to keep pace with me.

Here are the rough, explicit dates (without the two weeks) for each of the tasks:

CONJURATION ONE - SORCERY EVOCATION - 11/11/2009 - 2/12/2009

So thirteen days after that until the finish date for tying up loose ends, typing the magical diary, whatever.


This seems like a lot - eleven things! - but most of aren’t compulsory. The list is worth keeping in mind, though.

(1) You will need the will, determination, endurance and creativity of a magician. Don’t come into this for a laugh, or thinking you will fail. Failure in the mind begets failure in the world. Come in willing to work, willing to learn, willing to become a better magician. I can’t force you to do the work, and I don’t care enough to force you anyway. If it’s attention you want, any magician worth their salt could easily forge a magical diary. But, to quote your favourite bastard mathematics teacher, this course is only for you. If you’re going to do it, fucking do it!

(2) You will need a copy of Liber KKK for reference. Here is that link again: If you have a copy of Liber Kaos, there’s a copy in the back of that. If you don’t, I suggest you print it out. Read it fully, even though the first part is the only one we’ll be using.

(3) You will need a solid banishing ritual. Preferably either the Gnostic Banishing Ritual - found at - or the decidedly more difficult, orthodox (and rewarding, perhaps) Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram – found at Most magicians already have a banishing ritual under their belt. It is standard magical practice, and vitally important - banishing rituals are needed, in my opinion, before and after all magical acts. If you don’t know one already, pick up the Gnostic Pentagram Ritual and practice it daily before the 11th of November. Trust me - you’ll need it.

(4) You will need a Magical Diary. This is the item where on records their magical rituals, successes, thoughts, failures, ideas and other meanderings... vitally important for this course, as you’ll need to consult your past in order to notify your future. In addition, it is common practice among magicians, and for good reason - cultivating this oft-neglected habit is a very good idea. Write it in the medium you are comfortable. I prefer a personal, simple notebook - but it can be a Word document, a blog, whatever. Just have it well dated and make sure it’s thorough. We’ll share them around afterward and be envious of each others amazing results. It does not have to be written in code or the ancient language of the Angels, unless this helps.

(5) It is advised that you also invest in a Dream Diary. It should probably be something physical - a notebook - next to your bed, or under your pillow, where you can record the dreams of the night before. It is often important to the magical practice. Not as necessary as the Magical Diary, but you’ll want one. The Magical Diary can be the same notebook as the Dream Diary, but make sure both are clearly marked (different colour pens?) and that it is easily accessible once you’ve woken up. Dreams often disappear minutes after them occurring, much to the sorcerer’s disgust...

(6) As mentioned within Liber KKK itself, it is desirable that you have your own temple, your own personal space, for attempting the work. However, with Christmas, New Year’s Eve, a certain magician’s birthday and everything else…... this is highly unlikely. Thus, be flexible - the real trick is daily practice, regardless of where you are. Work in the world. Don’t give up because your privacy is cramped. Excuse yourself for a second... but don’t give up. Wasted days are, after all, wasted days.

(7) That said - you may want to erect an altar to a certain deity before the work begins, especially if your work is more pagan in nature. Do it now. If it assists your magic, do it now. Don’t wait until the start. Begin the preliminary work!

(8) Pick up a meditative practice of one variety or another. I suggest Buddhist zazen, or the work in Liber MMM (within Liber Null, found at ). Simply sit and try and still your thoughts. If you practice yoga, well... keep practicing it. Zazen is ridiculously easy - sit, staring at a blank wall, for ten to twenty minutes a day. That’s it. It’s hard, but it’ll help order your mind.

(9) You might want to do some occult shopping. Pick up some incense, candles, salt, chalk and whatever else you feel you might need. May I suggest spending a day wandering around searching for a magical dagger? Find something that resonates with you on a deep level, and remember not to haggle. A magical dagger’s invaluable in drawing pentagrams and all of that. You might want a chalice, or any number of things. Buy them or craft them now.

(10) Even though one of the magical tasks is to craft your own system of divination, I suggest buying a tarot deck or crafting a set of runes and start practicing with them now. Divination is the skill you’re cultivating, as well as the reading of signs. Not necessary, but very useful. Astrology isn’t worth it - not random enough, so it’s not real divination and more a magical art in itself.

(11) If you’re new to the magical thing, and haven’t already, add me to MSN messenger at, or grab my email at I’m more than happy to answer any questions you have, and give the best advice I can.


Liber KKK is split into five sections: Sorcery, Shamanic Magic, Ritual Magic, Astral Magic and High Magic. We will only be attempting the first rung - Sorcery. If this is a resounding success, maybe sometime next year we’ll attempt Shamanic... and the magician is encouraged, once he has completed Sorcery to his own immaculate satisfaction, to continue on.

It is important that some aspect of magic exists every day within your life - that you’ve recorded a dream, performed a banishing, or done something regarding the task. It is acceptable for the magician to write ‘No magical operation today,’ in his magical diary, but only rarely. Roughly two weeks ‘free time’ is given for this purpose. Even something small - such as meditation or a banishing - is acceptable. It’s about routine.

As said, we’ll only be doing Sorcery. According to Liber KKK, Sorcery:

"Is simple magic which depends on the occult connections which exist
between physical phenomena. Sorcery is a mechanical art which does not require the
theory that connection exist between the mind of the operator and the target.

Any effects arising from such a connection can, however, be regarded as an added bonus. Working on the sorcery level the magician creates artifacts, tools and instruments which interact magically with the physical world and which can be used again in more subtle ways on the other levels. The sorcery level work should be performed thoroughly, for simple as its practices seem they are the foundation on which the higher level work rests."

There we are.

Sorcery might be the most basic level of magic, but it is in no means simple. It requires creativity, patience, and a truly magical mindset to accomplish - as Carroll notes, the core skills of magic. It isn’t about the theory. Seriously, don’t worry about the theory. If you need it - you might - make it up. You can reevaluate your opinions later.

You’re looking for results. That’s it. Make stuff, get magic. That is the aim of Sorcery, and exactly what you’ll be wanting. Don’t cut corners. You’re making tools that should assist you all through your magical practice - they aren’t mere trinkets.

Liber KKK also states:

"It is no accident that sorcery techniques often resemble certain childhood behavior patterns. Children often have a natural familiarity with the simple principles of magic even if they lack the persistence or encouragement to make them work. The adult magician is seeking to regain that childlike sense of imagination, fluidity and wishful thinking, and turn it into something of real power."

Keep that in mind. A lot of this will seem like wishful thinking and childish nonsense... and that’s exactly what you want. Don’t worry about feeling silly. Ever see those self-pronounced High Priests of the Sacred Craft of the Goddess (or a similar creature)? Don’t they look fucking ridiculous in their ceremonial robes?

Sure, they might be wankers who know nothing about magic... but at least a small handful of these individuals are real, mighty witches in their own right. They don’t care what they look like, because they know the magic is there.

It’s really straightforward. You’re nurturing the magical mindset with these tasks, gathering the tools for your further practice. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding in the basest sense: you will end up owning magical art. You’ll have five distinct magical items that you’ve created yourself and can show off to your horrified Christian friends.

But let’s look at the tasks in detail. First up is CONJURATION ONE - SORCERY EVOCATION - which we will begin on the eleventh of November and finish, roughly, on second of December.

Liber KKK explains what it wants us to do in CONJURATION ONE:

"The magician creates with his own hands a physical representation of a fetish entity by carving, molding or assembly. Its functions are in general to attract success, to protect by repelling misfortune and to act as a reservoir of power for the magician. It is usually shaped to resemble some kind of actual living being or chimerical being whose form suggests its function. If it is vaguely humanoid in shape it is known as a Homunculus.

It may be made to contain parts of the magician's body or be anointed with blood or sexual fluids. The magician treats the fetish as a living being, speaking his will to it, commanding it to exert its influence in his favor and carrying it on his person when on critical errands. Some magicians
prefer to make two fetishes, one to implement will, the other to bring knowledge and

This is really straightforward. It is very important that you make the thing with your own hands, but the parts themselves don’t need to be crafted by the magician - you could create your fetish out of chicken wire, or blutac, or whatever you can find. You are an artist, here.

Give your spirit a name and a personality. Treat it as if it is actually a very real, very powerful manifestation of the creature. Treat it with respect. When you close your eyes, you should have a strong image of what your spirit looks like outside of the fetish. It is a good idea to anoint it with the fluids, as that creates a highly personal tie between the magician and the spirit.

If you have time, try and create two, but one may very well take up the full two weeks. Perhaps try linking sacred words to the being, or tie it to an existing mythology.

Any questions regarding this task - feel free to comment below, as usual. This applies for all the tasks.

CONJURATION TWO - SORCERY DIVINATION - which we shall attempt at roughly the third of December, finishing at the seventeenth of that month, shall be detailed now. According to Liber KKK:

"The magician prepares a simple model of the universe for use as a divinatory tool. A set of Rune Sticks or Rune Stones is most excellent for this purpose. Occidental geomancy sticks provide a somewhat simpler model whilst the systems of Tarot or I Ching can prove too complex for later work on the Shamanic levels unless abbreviated in some way.

The magician should perform divination both for general trends and for answer to specific questions. The element of the divinatory tool should be treated as having a fairly direct relationship to the parts of reality they represent and the procedures of sorting should be regarded as a mirror of the process by which reality takes its decisions. Divinatory activity should be pitched at a frequency and complexity which allows answers to be remembered. It is preferable to divine for phenomena which are likely to confirm or negate the divination within a relatively short time period."

The important things to keep in mind here is the random aspect of the divining tool and the complexity of said tool. It shouldn’t be so simple that only very limited amount of results can be conjured; it shouldn’t be as complex as the crazy Tarot. You should be able to read plenty of meaning from it, but not drown in symbols.

As noted, runes are perfect for this. I am considering designing a set of thirty or so simple cards for shuffling and divining. Keep it simple and efficient. Build your own divination methods.

You may want to assign a spirit to the divination tool, and anoint it with your fluids etc. This is a possibility, but isn’t necessary. It’s about results, here, and you already did the spirit act with CONJURATION ONE. If you feel compelled to, do it. An ‘awakening’ ritual might be suggested, though, for meshing the tools together.

On to CONJURATION THREE - SORCERY ENCHANTMENT - which’ll begin on the eighteenth of December and continue, roughly, to the first of January - Liber KKK continues:

"For the work of the third conjuration the magician may need to prepare or acquire a variety of instruments, but chief amongst these should be a single special tool or magical weapon, for enchantment. A small pointed wand or a knife are especially convenient. This special instrument or weapon can also be usefully employed to trace the pentagrams in the Gnostic Banishing Ritual.

A fist sized piece of modeling clay or other plastic material may be the only other instrument required. To perform Sorcery Enchantment the magician makes physical representations of his will and desire. Where possible the magical weapon should be used to help make or manipulate these representations. The magician should perform one or several conjuration’s of this type per week. As always he should aim to influence events before nature has made her mind up, and he should not put too great a strain on nature by conjuring for highly improbable events."

This is where that magical dagger comes in handy. There’s really not much else to it besides the fact that perhaps the magician should strive to do two or three of these a week. The manipulations themselves should be rather small, as noted.

If you don’t already have a magical knife or weapon, spend a week securing it and then spend two weeks manipulating the enchantment. Their use is really quite invaluable.

CONJURATION FOUR - SORCERY INVOCATION - beginning on the second of January and continuing to the sixteenth of that month:

"The aim of the fourth conjuration is to create radical changes in behavior by temporarily altering the environment. There is no limit to the variation of experience the magician may wish to arrange for himself.

He might, for example, after some careful background research, depart in disguise to some strange place and play out a completely new social role. Alternatively, he may wish to equip his temple and himself in such a way that he experiences being an ancient Egyptian god for a time. In Sorcery Invocation the magician tests to the limit his ability to create arbitrary change by modifying his environment and his behavior."

If you’re modifying the self in any ritualistic way, or invoking any deity, banishing rituals are a must. You should have been practicing it as often as possible, but - I cannot stress this enough - YOU NEED TO BANISH BEFORE AND AFTER THE RITUAL. When letting magical forces play with your psyche - more then they typically do - the changes can be terrifyingly powerful.

You’re not a perfect magician. Regardless of how much effort you put into getting the Invocation right, things will always slip through that you didn’t mean. This is magic. You need to exorcise the unwanted aspects before they cause any meaningful harm. Banish before and after an Invocation.

In addition, Invocation isn’t a one-off thing. It requires dedication and hard work to receive true results - it is, in effect, the filtering and evolution of your psyche. As Robert Anton Wilson points out, just as ‘repeat often’ is the mantra of advertising, and ‘reinforce often’ the key philosophy of psychiatry, thus Eliphas Levi’s ‘INVOKE OFTEN’ is central to magical practice.

The changes will seem slow at first, but they will come. Live a year as a penniless university student slash THOR, THE GOD OF THUNDER and you will start to find that the distinction between the two begins to change. Continue doing it, and doing it right, and the results will be obvious.

In addition, while ancient deities are fine, it is typical Chaos Magic to invoke all manner of creatures, from comic book characters to gods of your own devising. Don’t limit your creativity. Choose what best appeals to you. Want to be more like Edward from a certain best-selling series of vampire novels? Go ahead. Nothing’s stopping you except, perhaps, for what little dignity remains.

Learn everything you can about your chosen being. Whatever you do, regardless of your actual action, try to imagine what your invoked creature would do. Read everything you can about them. Figure out all the occult symbolism and correlations. Synchronicities will abound. Record them.

There’s a lot more to this - but much of the fun is figuring it yourself. Don’t hesitate to shoot me any of your questions, however.

Finally, onto CONJURATION FIVE - SORCERY ILLUMINATION - from the seventeenth to the thirty-first of January:

"In works of Illumination the magician aims for self improvement in some precisely defined and specific way. Grandiose plans for spiritual enlightenment should be abandoned in favor of identifying and overcoming the more obvious weaknesses and increasing existing strengths. For the work of Illumination the magician makes or acquires some object to represent his quest as a whole.

This objects is technically known as a "lamp" although it may take the form of anything from a ring to a mandala. The "lamp" is used as a basis over which to proclaim various oaths and resolutions. Such oaths and resolutions may also be marked onto the design of the lamp. The magician may need to perform various supplementary acts of invocation, enchantment, divination and even evocation to make progress with the work of illumination. It is not unusual for the magician to destroy and rebuild the lamp during the work of illumination."

This is the last task, and possibly the hardest. There’s nothing I can really say except that you will need to put your heart and soul into this conjuration - if you haven’t already, give this one everything you’ve got.

It will, as mentioned, likely involve invocation, enchantment, divination, evocation... every skill you’ve harnessed so far. Don’t feel glum if you don’t get amazing results in the two weeks given. It should take a few months at least.

So that’s essentially it. It’s advised, but not necessary, to do something magical every day, even if it just a divination reading or some meditation. You pass if you attempt each of the five tasks and glean some success (and if you’re doing it properly you will) - the only way you can fail is if you don’t throw in your all.

Good luck to everyone, and I wish you all the greatest success.


(A list of resources which will assist you throughout the task - check them out for yourself)

House Magic

Posted: Monday, September 14, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels: , , ,

I can only describe it as a family tragedy: something that splits my immediate family down the middle, alienates us from one another, ruins us financially.. something horrifying in the most mundane of ways. As if to say, "This is life, buddy. Grow up. Get used to it. Shit like this happens to people every day - and most have it worse."

Which is true, yes, but doesn't go very far towards making me feel better. Actually, when I see my friends go through worse situations within the very same week, it makes me feel worse. I was very close to having an emotional breakdown. I was even closer to becoming a schizophrenic-paranoid and believing the universe conspired against everyone and everything - including my dear mother. It was very tempting to stop writing and magicking and interacting for a long time, until my life sorted stuff out..

But it doesn't do that, does it? So I found myself, only three days after, sitting on my rug, praying to Papa Legba, Loa of Doorways, Dogs, and Filthy Old Men. I'm not particularly religious, and Vodoun (voodoo to those of you with middle-class Caucasian tendencies) is a reasonably new addition to my magical repertoire. Still, practical experience - and three intensive years of experimentation and attempts to rid myself of that Ceremonialist-bias - has proven that while some things are better done with practical sorcery, a lot can be said for simple faith and reverence towards a deity.

That night, I was mixing both. Legba-worship and real estate witchcraft.. the family needed a new house. We'd found the perfect one - six bedrooms, amenities nearby, loads of public transport, a beach, enough room, safe area. We'd applied, of course, but with Mum's credit rating (negative is an apt euphemism) and other complications chances were we weren't going to get the house.

But we needed it.

Hence the magic. Couldn't hurt.

I considered asking my magical friends to help out - Sr. Twist, Nikki, Anthony, Logobouros, Ian, Fr. Koslov - but it was urgent and personal. I didn't want to bother the others with my own problems, so I decided to go it solo. Desperation and blind need and the mysterious famed Nathaniel Robinson luck would have to suffice.

I spent twenty-five minutes doing zazen. To clear the mind a little, focus my determination. Zazen hurts like hell. I have close to zero flexibility in my legs and the wind is too damn cold, but the pain makes it worthwhile. It helps a little. Oh, how I'd kill for a little ancient Buddhist monk to stand nearby and beat my with a bamboo stick every time I shifted position.

After that was the banishing. Standard fare. Then I sat on my mat and prayed to Legba. I thought my typical crude thoughts: "If we get the house, I'll buy a dog. If we get the house, I'll buy you a bottle of rum. If we get the house, I'll buy you some new cigars. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

The response was ambivalence. After a small while, I shrugged and begun the sorcery.

I had six pins - each colour-coded and ritually named a member of my family - and I declared them once more the relations they were meant to represent. I had earlier printed out a copy of the house we wanted, and stuck the pins in the rough area of where we'd planned for each of us to sleep. I declared the house ours. I called mostly on Legba, but also on Lonansi, Venus, and Jupiter. A few power words. Some sigilry.

I'd also printed out a copy of our current house, and I burnt it, taking the ashes and placing them within a glass vial (bought at a wedding shop - they're used in bombardiers, apparently). I thanked the spirits of the house for keeping us, but I declared their work and our connections to the house ceased. Then I once again begged the spirits of the new house to have us.

I snuck outside, smashing the vial at the nearest crossroads, declaring the ritual to Legba thrice. I banished again.. and the ritual was over. No lengthy qabalistic incantations, no naked dancing, nothing of the sort. Simple, to the point. And that was that. I went to bed.

Two days later, Mum got the call: we'd gotten the house. It seemed a miracle. Sure, there were still dozens of shit things going on in our life, but we'd got the house. Signing the lease, the real estate agent told me how lucky we were. We'd beaten a large handful of applicants, apparently.

"I might have to start believing in that witchcraft crap," said Mum.

So now I'm moving. Everything's packed, in boxes - my magical artifacts and supplies have their own consecrated box, of course. I've bound my protective servitors within two similar glass vials, and I'll be taking them by hand - don't want to break those. The servitors weren't so happy when I informed them that they were to go into storage for a little bit, but I don't want to just leave them lying about the place.

Soon, we'll have a new place, with fresh warding that needs to be doing and all the preliminary cleansing.. but we'll get to that next week, when we make the physical move.

What is the sound of one magician clapping?

Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels: ,

I stare at the wall, and I am assured the wall is staring back.

This is the third consecutive night, and it's getting hard. Sitting cross-legged has never been comfortable for me, but I can't imagine a better position. The wall is blank and uninviting. The wind is cold - I am doing this outside, crazy bastard monk style - but the stinging seems almost rewarding. Pain is not boring. Pain is never dull.

Soror Twist lent me Hardcore Zen, by Brad Warner, and it filled me with an enthusiasm for most things Buddhist and all things Zen - specifically, zazen, which is the art of sitting still and straight while staring at the wall. I started with ten minutes, but now I'm up to fifteen and it's agony.

Why am I doing this? Two main reasons, besides my long love affair with Buddhist thought, spring to mind.

Because Hardcore Zen is a fucking brilliant book. Seriously. Go and buy or lend or steal a copy. It's the first book - the first of anything, really - that's convinced me that Zen is a separate art to Buddhism. I guess I should apologize to Frater Lindenmayer for my whole, "Zen is Buddhism you're so full of crap" speech. For the record, you were right.

Because I failed abysmally at the stillness exercises within Liber MMM, and I'm not that great at meditation (and my astral work, as I've come to realize, can only be described as 'fuck all', but we'll get to that). I want to succeed at something that can still the mind through more ascetic means. I need to be able to get that no-thought going so that I can advance in my magical studies, and I think zazen is the way to go.

But it's hard. God, is it hard.

I don't doubt for a second that zazen will help my magical practice, but.. staring at a wall for twenty minutes isn't easy. There's no real sense of reward, either. I finish staring at the wall, and my accomplishment is this: I've just spent twenty minutes staring at the wall. You don't get the rush of doing a daily banishing ritual. As far as I can tell, there isn't even a sense of peace that comes with it, at least not yet.. I feel good for just succeeding. I hope that is enough.

Zazen is the only mystical art I know that seems both highly overrated and highly underrated at the same time. Overrated in the sense that nothing amazing will happen (and, Warner has told me, I shouldn't even expect anything amazing to occur) and underrated in the sense that I'm surprised it hasn't become a core part of Western ceremonial thinking. We've stolen enough from the Asian esoteric arts over the years.. why not zazen?

Zazen seems perfectly suited to Qabala work and magical training in general. The thought of it scares the hell out of me, because I'm both entirely sure what to expect and completely unsure what to expect at the same time. I am, to put it simply, unsure about the whole thing - but I will continue.

This week is zazen week, I think, and hopefully next week will be too.

Beginners Magic: A Guide

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels: , ,

(Correspondence with the fabulous Miss Twist, whose magical site you can find here, in regards to magic and mysticism and things.)

Magic, then.

New, are you? Don't know Crowley from Carroll? Couldn't tell me the difference between a pentagram and a pentacle, but too afraid to ask? Unsure as to whether or not 'demons' and 'gods' are just simple words for complex psychological processes, or exactly what you think they mean? What's a grimoire?

You just don't know, do you?

Well, guess what. We don't want you here. Fuck off. Go take of football or a community art class or something simple. If you don't already know, we're most certainly not going to tell you, so just give up and piss right off.


That is, in a nutshell, the typical reaction most occult communities have to novice magicians. It is a threatening and elitist environment where the youth of new ideas is shunned, not nurtured. Advanced magicians, you'd think, are much too important for silly things like teaching and giving advice. They had to learn from dusty old books and word of mouth, so why shouldn't everyone else?

This, in reality, is the first initiation. Figure out where to start practicing magic, and how to do it without burning your fingers off. Books can be good, but how many actually teach proper - by my lofty standards, anyway - magic? Not a lot. A handful. There are thousands of '101 White Witch Spells for Fortune, Success and Happiness' out there, but that's not what you need. You don't need one hundred and one spells. You need to learn how to craft your own, how to project them into the world, how to succeed as a magician and an occultist.

Most books, then, are out. But not all of them. A few extremely good ones have been published, and luckily enough these are relatively easy to get a hold of. For general background information on various occult practices, allow me to suggest Richard Cavendish's superb (if limited, it was written before the occult revival of the sixties) The Black Arts. If you're interested in the simple core mechanics of magic, take Peter Carroll's Liber Null and Psychonaut. For an easy introduction into Chaos Magic, you can't beat Phil Hine's Condensed Chaos, though if you want to go for a more ceremonial bent I can't recommend Donald Kraig's Modern Magick highly enough.

That's four books. Pretty easy, right? Not a lot. And you don't have to buy all of them, or any of them, if you don't want. Online, Grant Morrison's great introduction to sorcery, Pop! Magic, can be viewed freely. Phile Hine also has the free Oven-ready Chaos available for download.

(Don't bother trying to study any of Crowley's work. A lot of what he did was good, but more of it was crap, and he wrote in an amazingly obtuse fashion. The only one I can honestly recommend to a novice is Magick Without Tears, which I would recommend reading. You can study Crowley when you master the basics.)

Fuck everyone else. Help is good, yes, and you can't beat a good online community's shared wisdom. The problem is.. most occult communities out there are shit. If you really, really want to have a stab out of it, Liminal Nation
is the only place I'd honestly suggest to go and have a look at. There are others, I suppose, but it's really not worth the strife. That cliche, in the Conan movies and whatnot, that sorcerers are power-mad beings? It's true in a lot of cases. Most magicians will either want to fuck you or fuck with you, and neither will do you much good. As your studies advance in magic, you'll find like-minded people to work with.

Paths? Traditions? Styles? Oh, there are plenty. I'm a practitioner of Chaos Magick, which essentially means that I choose to drop and keep as I see fit the traditional trappings of sorcery, adding my own when I need to. Chaos Magick is more of a meta-tradition that places emphasis on exploring and messing around with the other traditions. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. There are others: Thelemic, Crowley's complex and religious-orientated magical system, for one; Pagan, another religious-focused one which really depends on what deity you worship (I don't know enough about this aspect of the craft to comment further, sorry); Enochian, which is scary and complex and batshit crazy with maths and things. There are lots of choices. I deal mostly with Ceremonial stuff - demon-summoning, elemental manipulation, etc. - and it's a little scary but a deeply rewarding path.

Right. Now onto the stuff you should be doing in addition to following the guidelines of those texts. Firstly, it's vital that you master a banishing technique. Most people would suggest you'd try and master the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP), as it's been the standard for a hundred years, but it's a very complicated one to begin with. It also suffers from the fact that it's heavily Judaic-Christian, and if you're not a Jew or a Christian you probably won't appreciate the imagery as much as you could. I'd suggest the Gnostic Pentagram Ritual (GPR), which uses simple imagery and a generic mantra set. not tied to any faith. I personally use the GPR on a daily basis. The purpose of a banishing is so that you can cleanse yourself, earth yourself, and ward yourself from all the nasty stuff magic attracts.

Pagans and Wiccans have different ways of banishing things, but I'm not entirely sure what exactly those ways are, and so I'm not going to comment on them. Hell, I'm not even sure who to direct you to for advice in this matter, but the one person that springs to mind is the lovely Charlie Twist. She's very knowledgeable and good with beginners, so if you're leaning towards a more pagan-y wiccan-y style, send her a message on her magic blog here.

Okay. Do the banishing as often as you can. You'll start to remember it quickly. Don't worry if you're horrible to begin with - everyone is. After that, you're going to want to pick up a random system of divination. You want it random so that you can learn how to meta-divine - how to divine with anything, spoons or bottle caps or whatever - and I'd suggest picking up the Tarot for this purpose. Go with the Rider-Waite deck, or with anything based in the Golden Dawn system (78 cards, 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana, coins/cups/wands/swords, most decks are based in the GD system), simply because the symbolism found within these decks becomes more relevant the more you study the occult. You might want to check out the I Ching or the Runes as well.

Divine for your friends and family. Read as many times as you can. You'll start to get a solid feel for your system, and you'll find that you're having some amazing successes. Remember, though: divination isn't fortune-telling. It doesn't really concern itself about the future; it deals with the present, with projected futures and remembered pasts. It will tell you more about yourself and your surroundings then you ever guessed at, but it's difficult to coax a Tarot deck into giving you the numbers for next week's lottery.

Work with divination and banishing for a small while and then give sigils a shot. Sigils are powerful symbols which capture the will and send it flying into the universe. Sigils are many a magician's first 'real' magical work; the first time they truly feel like they're affecting the universe with their will. There is a great guide for making sigils in the Pop! Magic guide above, as well as in Liber Null and Oven-Ready Chaos. There is a good guide here, too. Practice sigils often. You'll be amazed at your results; nothing will prove to you more that magic is real and that it truly works.

Once you've begun to understand divination, sigils and banishing, you should be well on your way to becoming a full-fledged practicing magician. If you picked up any of those books, they'll tell you where to go on from here; the websites, too, will. The only further advice that I will give you is, if you haven't already, take up a creative art; writing is good, and so is painting and drawing. Music, too, if you're composing. Creativity is the true essence of magic; freedom of thought is the vital force behind both.

Keep a magical diary. Many magicians will stress the importance of this. Record when and what you do, magically; record your moods and your readings; record your feelings of deja vu and synchronicity; record your dreams and desires. Draw sigils. Write in it daily.

Don't be scared to play around with magic. A general rule of thumb: when you're good enough to seriously endanger yourself using magic, you'll be good enough to stop it. You will, however, almost undoubtedly unclog all of the psychic shit that's been hiding in your brain, and you'll suffer more astral grazes than you'd care to admit. Don't worry about it. It's all part of the fun. It's like anything; people get hurt skateboarding all the time, right?

Practice magic as often as you can.

Good luck. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to send me an email at

- Nathaniel Robinson / Frater Victatio


Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels:

For those of you interested, I have a new blog for creative writing and stuff. It can be found here and is more like an online notepad than anything, but give it a look if you're curious.

This blog will not slow down (anymore than it already has) or die; The Pen and Paper is only there so I can have a place to dump my writing, which I write regardless anyway.

The Twist: Custom Divinatory Decks

Posted: Monday, June 8, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels: , ,

(Another correspondence post with the literally enchanting Miss Twist.You might read her stuff here
, if you had any sense: it's like internet gold!)

The pack resembles, very loosely, the conventional Tarot pack; the cards are the same size, the card stock is just as sturdy, the images just as esoteric. The backs of the cars are blank black. This is the strange beast known as the NATHANIEL FRANCIS ROBINSON WONDER PACK, designed to bring out the bizarre diviner within.

There are three sets of arcana in the deck: the Sorcerer's Arcana, which consists of ten cards, the Rigid Arcana, which consists of twenty-three, and the Flowing Arcana, which consists of thirty-four. Together there are sixty-four cards. The deck is tied to the sixty-four hexagrams of the I-Ching, but not in a way that you'd expect.

Draw the cards yourselves, using your own wacked symbolism, or work with a partner. Creation is the greatest form of divination.


The first ten cards - the Sorcerer's Arcana - depict ten archetypal magicians of the Universe keyed in with famed sorcerers and the ten mystical sephiroth of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. These ten cards might be seen to represent a magician's career, or individual aspects of a person's life, or anything at all. Two Sorcerer's Arcana mean a crossroads; three mean that the deck wasn't shuffled properly.

1. The first card is YOU ARE THAT YOU ARE, and represents the all-powerful Ipsissimus within every pathetic try-hard goth. It is tied with the sphere of Kether, and is the ultimate potential within every individual. It is a timeless - aeonless - creature, the culmination of every great magical theory and every brilliant mathematical formula. There will be a chance at finding one's true potential, or a glimpse of it; the very glimpse is enough for most people to truly become happy in their lives.

2. The second card is MERLINUS AMBROSIUS, and represents the power of stories as the fuel that drives mankind. It is the energy on which the motor of humanity runs, and is tied with Binah. It is forever mutable - forever changing - and the magician of whom it is named after is more fiction than truth himself - or is it the other way around? It is the duality of good and evil; two concepts which shape mankind eternally. This card represents a powerful motivation, an irrepressible current, that drives the individual towards their destiny.

3. The third card is THE WICKEDEST MAN IN THE WORLD, and represents the power of action. It is the motor of humanity. It is Chokmah, and represents things as they are objectively - ultimately unknowable. Good and evil are the same face of the same coin, and humanity will never know the other face. It is about cleverness; the essence of magic, being good at everything you try, sucking in new experiences. It is named after the most debated magician in history, the greatest black sorcerer and purest white witch, who was ultimately neither and both. It represents decisiveness and conscious working towards change for the better.

4. The fourth card is THE KING WITH A CROWN OF THORNS, and represents kindness and action without a cause; the Tao. It represents Chesed, and in a lesser capacity actions with cause - revolutions, the fury of thorns, being among them. It is named after a magician considered by most to be a messiah, or a liar; it might be proposed that he is both. He is the first, regardless. This card represents sacrifice, completely random coincidences - that are actually just that, coincidences, and nothing more - and charity.

5. The fifth card is THE ADVERSARY IN LIGHT, and represents judgment, punishment, concealment and the sacred. The sacred is most traditionally hidden; our greatest adversaries are ourselves. Is it a coincidence that the greatest enemy of Christianity is an angel? Or that it's greatest saviour was crowned with a ring of thorns? This card is Gevurah. Our friends punish us and our enemies reward us. It is the nature of the world. This card represents the duality in all things, and should be seen more as a brother to the fourth card than an opposite.

6. The sixth card is THE LAUGHING PHOENIX, and represents synchronicity, spirituality, kindness, rebirth, and the center of all things. Some might claim it represents Jesus Christ, or Ra, or the Buddha, while others may align it to many other deities; it is the deity within the deity, the Russian doll of apotheostic dreams. Simply being the greatest isn't great, however; one must understand why they are great, and that is the truest failing of THE LAUGHING PHOENIX who cackles when it dies and sobs quietly when it is reborn. This card is Tiphereth the weak and mighty.

7. The seventh card is THE PREACHER OF WEALTH, and represents personal loyalty, leadership, the conclusion of goals, and powerful causes. The Preacher is a powerful figure who shares wisdom only when his flock is ready for it; he is the dispenser of spiritual wealth. This card is Netzach, and understands that all groups cannot succeed without the power of a good leader - nevertheless, most groups die due to the failings of the one chosen for the role. The Preacher, unlike his brother Shaman, does not need to create and destroy to find wisdom; he only needs to accept the gifts that come naturally to him.

8. The eighth card is THE BLASTED SHAMAN, and represents loyalty, group passions, seeing through on your goals, and hard work. The Tower might not like it, but the Shaman is not the Tower and the Shaman seeks to be burnt so that he might learn from it. The Blasted Shaman learns so that he can help his community, and his community are rarely thankful for it. It is tied with Hod; the Shaman thinks, and understands, and learns. A good deed is his own reward - knowledge is just another benefit. While the Shaman may lose his life to his cause, he is also the only one who truly understands how the universe is broken down.

9. The ninth card is THE CAT WHO WAS NOT KILLED BY CURIOSITY, and is the pillar on which the entire Sorcerer's Arcana stands. It stands for options, for adventure, for a fresh chance at learning; it is the card that best represents the fallacy that is, "Curiousity killed the cat." It represents strange thoughts and valid pseudosciences, and psychology; it is Yesod, and the initiation that all magicians must undertake before becoming either the Shaman or the Preacher - here they decide whether they are talented or merely skilled, and here the walls of reality crumble.

10. The tenth card is ME WHO AM I AS, and represents you as you are: nothing. You are a collection of adjectives, a molecule in the structure of the universe - an unthinking being who has tricked himself into thinking that you are more than you are. This card is Malkuth, and represents the truth, both the most powerful and deadliest tool mankind's sorcerers have. It is the beginning of a new, foolish journey.


There are twenty-three Rigid Arcana, representing the twenty-three mystic principles you will never understand. No description is given here; they should be interpreted by the diviner. Think about what they mean. These cards do not move within a person's life; they might be considered core aspects of their existence, or simply obstacles that will not go away.

17. EARS
19. ROPE
21. FEET
23. BIRD
24. NOSE
26. SALT
28. FIRE
30. EYES

The Flowing Arcana

The Flowing Arcana represents events that are happening, but will move on. It is like water, and it is not unusual for one reading to have many Flowing Arcana. The Arcana should be named after events; not events that will actually happen, but events that represent events that represent changes in consciousness that are represented by a deck of cards. Feel free to add or subtract Flowing Arcana as you please; it is best if you design your own.



So there you have it: the NATHANIEL FRANCIS ROBINSON WONDER PACK for you to make at home. Good luck and stay jolly.

- Frater Victatio / Nathaniel Robinson

Twisties: Destruction

Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2009 by N. F. Robinson in Labels:

(Being the fourth in an ongoing correspondence with the amazingly awesome Miss Twist, whose blog you can find here. This one is a little different. Last night I summoned SITRI, a demon prince from the Goetia book of demons, into my shed. I then asked him for advice on what to write for the blog. He did not explode my head. Yet. Here it is, anyway, transcribed from twenty four - one note was emitted - sheets of paper. It might not make some sense. I may upload the original sheets, with diagrams and all - I spent a lot of time drawing. I don't know. Enjoy.)

1. I destroy.

2. I destroy NOW.

3. I stand here with SITRI, prince bound in tin, manifest in a human's body and a leopard's head. He is my shed. He screams, sometimes, and sometimes he laughs; he is a prince of fire and force, not unlike Horus. He makes women lust for men, and men lust for women, and may allow them to appear naked; but this is not why he is here. He is here to talk to me about destruction.

4. And SITRI has something to say: an epiphany. Time is now. Destruction is now. The past cannot be touched, the future will always remain the future. There is no tranquility in the past, and the future can never be anything but an uncertain haze. Go far enough, and the past becomes an uncertain haze; looped, edited, cut-up - we are the directors of the past, and some of us cannot make good films.


6. Wood feeds fire. Fire makes ash. Earth gives birth to metal. Metal holds water. Water feeds wood.

7. Wood separates earth. Earth muddies water. Water destroys fire. Fire melts metal. Metal hacks wood.

8. This is the Five Movements of the I Ching. Creation is a circle, destruction is a star. Destruction is a star. Every man and woman is a star. This is the perfect model of the magician. Protect yourself with creation: art, music, literature, neophilia. Out of death comes rebirth. None of us are Buddha. With death comes criticism, skepticism, anxiety. Use them. Use the fear. It is no coincidence that the Five Movements form the pentagram of the sorcerer. Art is better with fear; music is better with pain; literature is better with anxiety.

9. I stand near the flames as the spirit burns. The sigil may have worked too well. The flames flicker. Richard pours more Zippo fluid on it. He claims to see the light blue of my Lesser Banishing of the Pentagram. I don't disbelieve him. Richard pours more Zippo on it. The sigil will not burn. Have you ever heard an elemental scream? The fire rises, rises, rises, rises, rises. It takes six hours for the sigil to burn. I bury it. Earth consumes fire, and earth holds air.

10. I stand near the flames as the spirit burns. My own: dead weight. Dead Waite. Thank you, Al. The cards take a long time to burn. Not six hours. But a long time. Thank you, Al. The Waite Tarot burns, and I dance about it. I have a new Tarot deck now. The Thoth. It is everything everyone ever wanted in a Tarot deck. Everything! Everything!

11. Oh, you bastard.

12. A first initiation destroys nothing. It creates a membership: the League of Logobouros, Frater, Medical Doctor. A second creates nothing: I am a faithful servant of Chiwall. Chi - vital force. Wall - the blocking of that force. Anything less would be black magic. Anything more, I think, would be black magic. Oh no. I don't like black magic. Don't let me do black magic, mum.

13. A third initiation fucks everything. I am three hours late. One o'clock in the morning late. Avoiding all calls. Off the train. And then he hits me. He slaps me in the face. I am mugged by God. Or the closest thing to God. There are no Fifth Degree Adepts with me now. No smiling Logobouros to buy me a drink and ask if he can fuck my girlfriend. He cannot fuck my girlfriend. An initiation - the world crashes, reboots, crashes again. I wake up - now three and a half hours late. I was mugged, I say. I am taken to the police station. I tell them I was mugged.

14. I can enter churches. I can enter graveyards. I can enter that scary place in between the park and the public school, where it is dark and the kid was killed. I cannot enter the building where I do university. I am stopped flat.

15. I cry. She cries. I am a failure. She is boring. I will always be a failure. She is not pretty. We are both imperfect. Flawed creations. But I love her. Really. I do. And I think she loves me. We fight, though, when we should fuck. So I think that is the problem. But she is pretty and not boring.

16. I am still a failure.

17. A caution.

18. A magician is constantly destroying and creating. Reinventing themselves. Creating the persona. I am only personae. What else is there for a dictionary of characters? Perfect! A perfect chaos magician! Brilliant! Shut the fuck up. How can it be brilliant? If the Abyss was brilliant it wouldn't be called the Abyss! It would be called, say, "The Sun", or the "Brilliant Abyss", or the "Holy Guardian Angel". Where is my angel? The operation fails. Shut the fuck up.

19. We are in a recession. The recession is not our fault. Not really - it is, yes, ours, and the banks, and the government's, it is everyone's fault (but not really ours specifically). The bushfires are the the government. We are in a depression. The bushfires were set up by the government. Sure, one or two were natural, but the government played the rest. So we could stimulate the economy. Coincidence? No coincidences. Coles has a Friday All Profits Go To The Appeal Day. So does Safeway. Donate at the shops! Easy! And buy something as well! It cheapens death. The government planned it. People died so our economy would live. And I have friends who lost everything in the fire. It wasn't a conspiracy. How could it have been? Who stages a mass firestorm? I am a fool. Sitri is a fool. Sitri is not a fool. I also believe in UFO's and Bigfoot. No I don't. I haven't seen a UFO.

20. Every July I fall in love. And I cannot kill myself. That which kills me makes me stronger, and I crave destruction.

21. I haven't showed up for two months.

22. I don't write enough. I just don't. I procrastinate. A blog is not writing. I am a failure. Time to be destroyed.