This is for all the friends who were asking about The Dissolving Edge of Darkness and the Star Ritual that I attended at ConVocation 2010.
The books are correct when they say you will never walk out of a powerful ritual of Ceremonial Magick understanding everything that happened. I had seen something, but it took me a little time, distance and a good nights sleep to fully understand what the frak had happened.
Did I mention this was my FIRST real ritual with others? I can so some pretty kick ass stuff as a solitaire, but I know that I need to learn to work in concert with others. Even if it never becomes a major focus of my magick, I know I will understand a side of it I can never learn alone.
So…might as well jump into the deep end of the pool. I know how to swim.
I assume that when several Ritual participants are either fully catatonic or walking around stunned and half blind after the ritual…some serious shit hit the fan. Andrieh closed the ritual, released the guardians and banished while stumbling and needing support to stand. But his voice never wavered…surprisingly powerful and musical.
Tone deaf, Andrieh Vitimus is not.
I know when someone is snowing me about being ‘exhausted’ by their workings or ‘drained’ by their great mystical powers. He pulled through that ritual closing with more willpower than muscle strength. For anyone who thinks that willpower is of no use to a magician in magickal working…well you had to be there. I know from personal experience that sometimes your Will is the only thing that holds you up when the toll of a truly powerful working hits you like a cinderblock wall. I saw that wall and several of its cinderblock pals hit Andrieh when he came back from that Summoning.
To use a crude but very appropriate vernacular, Summoning Choronzon is not for pussies.
The whole thing took enough out of him that he has promised that he shall never again perform that Ritual. I don’t blame him.
I don’t have permission to detail exactly what happened there, but the public descriptions of what the ritual was all about gives me plenty of room to tell you plenty. If you are curious, read on.
A brief word about Choronzon is needed here. Most occultists have a limited understanding of this ‘demon’. Their only solid reference being Crowley’s telling of his experience evoking the demon in the Sahara Desert with his occult companion, Victor Benjamin Neuburg (poet, writer and occultist). But even this story has the shadow of confusion, for Neuburg has some serious disagreements with Crowley about exactly what happened on that day in 1909.
According to Crowley, during the ceremony, the Demon of Dispersion broke the Triangle of Evocation by throwing the deserts sands over it…instantly compromising it. Then Choronzon attacked Neuburg “in the form of a naked savage” who had to fight him off at the point of a dagger.
Interestingly, the original pages of the account are torn from the relevant journals. Years later Crowley wrote in Liber 418 concerning the incident, “the greatest precautions were taken at the time, and have since been yet further fortified, to keep silence concerning the rite of evocation.”
To quote our friends at Wikipedia: “Choronzon is deemed to be held in check by the power of the Goddess Babalon, inhabitant of Binah, the third Sephirah of the Tree of Life.”
He is the personification of the Abyss…all things and none. Chaos, possibilities, insanity, illusion, obsession, dissolution, brilliance, dispersion, forms without end. This is Choronzon.
Many feel that Crowley might have been standing in the Triangle of Evocation as a channel to Choronzon during the working (WOW stupid). Many also feel that the encounter in the Sahara Desert was the beginning of the spiral downfall of Crowley.
Many Chaos Magicians think that the entire spin on Choronzon as being an evil entity is a bad rap. Understanding the concept of endless possibilities, nothing being true and everything being permitted gives the new guard of Chaos Magicians a different perspective on Choronzon. Many of them view him as a personification of possibilities, change and primal chaos energy. They feel that Crowley’s viewpoints are clouded with a predisposition toward viewing chaos as an evil force rather than as something as elemental as water or fire.
So…to sum up…Choronzon is supposed to be a big, bad, powerful, chaotic, uncontrollable demon. Why are we evoking him again?
The theme for ConVocation this year was the tarot card The Tower. For those unfamiliar with the tarot, allow me to quote Paranormality.com: “Disruption. Conflict. Change. Sudden violent loss. Overthrow of an existing way of life. Major changes. Disruption of well worn routines. Ruin and disturbance. Dramatic upheaval. Change of residence or job sometimes both at once. Widespread repercussions of actions. In the end, enlightenment and freedom.”
The idea was pretty straightforward. If you hate the overall direction your life has been heading, then lets knock down that fucking tower. Smash it, burn it, blow it up…bring it all down. Tear down every piece of your reality, dissolve it with the power of the Demon of Dispersion and start anew. Melt it away, release Choronzon back to the Abyss and rebuild your everything.
It was stressed several times before we started that if you happened to LIKE how your life has been going, get up and leave. Stay if it presently sucks SO BAD that nuking it all and starting from the beginning is a good move.
I was looking forward to it.
Earlier in the day a very close guide of mine spent a great deal of time stomping about, breathing fire and generally making loud and angry noises about the approaching ceremony. So, before I left for the ritual, I took a few quiet moments alone in my hotel room to trance out and ask him why the fuss. He generally doesn’t say much and I had never seen him in that state before.
As it turns out, he was apparently more than a little worried. So I asked him point blank whether he truly felt I was in serious danger. A snarled response of something like, “you are gonna do what you are gonna do”, was what I got back. So I went.
I didn’t feel at first that I was going as deep as I wanted…but we were all laying on the floor and I was having back spasms for the first fifteen minutes. (Note to self: Gatorade before rituals!) Eventually I was able to mentally soothe the cramps and catch up with rest of the group before the actual pathworking and evocation began.
At the peak of the ritual I did achieve what you could call a strong altered state of vision, sounds and tactile response. I was wandering around through rubble, searching for my Tower. I wanted to bring that frakin place DOWN and I couldn’t find it anywhere. The frustration started to allow the Physic Censor reflex to begin…until I realized that I was having a vision of some sort. Maybe I couldn’t find my Tower, but I was pretty sure that the rubble covered hill I was wandering around on was not in the room when the Ritual started.
The frustration banked back and I decided to just relax and run with the odd vision to see what would happen. I heard a voice somewhere behind and above me say, “Look up. Stop staring at the ground.”
I raised my gaze and really saw around me for the first time. All around me I saw dozens of tall white towers. Everywhere stood these Towers, some in flames and others crashing down. Some only tilted at first, but slowly they toppled and crashed into rubble. Everywhere around me I saw the Abyss claim the old…all while the Demon King of the Abyss spoke gently in my ear in a remarkably gentle but powerful voice.
“Do you not see? Do you not behold the Towers crash into rubble?”
I nodded yes.
“What do you find at your feet?”
I looked down to see all the…rubble.
“Look behind yourself.”
I turned to see something I can only describe as a series of scenes of my life over the last several years mixed with symbols I could never explain with words.
Just typing about that part is enough to cause me to pause and breath deeply, the experience resonates so loudly still.
I saw every part of the disintegration and death of my youthful faith, my first marriage, my career, my father, my income, my savings, my credit, my dreams, most of my friends, my pride, my joy, my focus and finally even my faith in myself. I saw myself down on my knees crawling forward, uphill and bleeding all the way.
I then I saw myself stumbling to my feet as I crested the hill, tumbling forward into a storm of dirt, sand and howling winds. Skin was being stripped from my body, sandblasted away by the storm. Finally the winds died down and watched myself trudging forward but with a firmer step.
“Your Tower has already fallen. I already know you.”
I came out the ritual off center for a while. I had the unique emotional paradox of a strange sense of directionless frustrated anger and a mellow, deep satisfaction.
Some participants never got up off the floor. A girl near Leslie (who came with me to the Ritual) had to be lifted to her feet and assisted, apparently completely deadweight and unresponsive at first.
I have never felt better. I have been SINGING all weekend. I can now sing the entire Paul Mitchel song, “Far Better Pagan” A cappella without any notes and almost stay on key.
I needed this weekend. I met more than a few people I already can tell are going to be players in my immediate future. I am not sure how, why or even if its a good idea yet…but I know they will be there.
I will be attending Andrieh Vitimus’s Chaos Magick Boot Camp this May. I am seriously looking forward to that. I will be posting some links and more information if you might be interested in attending this event in Twin Lakes Michigan. I took the time to chat with several people who had attending previous Boot Camps and heard nothing but hugely positive feedback about the experience.
More details forthcoming, but now that I finally got that experience down in writing, I feel like it’s time for bed.
Sweet Night to all.