Guidelines for attaining magical success
written by David Bersson in 2007 e.v.
This essay, which I wrote ten years ago in 2007 e.v. has received a number of reactions from failed Probationers, failed O.T.O. members, and others who would have me write the same style the same way and be discreet in my proclamations, explanations and vicious verbal outbursts. It all makes me smile with satisfaction that I was at least partially successful with touching those sore spots of their reality shaking them verbally to pull themselves together. Although I do not, as a rule, write essay this way where in some paragraphs verbal outbursts resemble an angry husband to a lazy wife the subject of slack in the Hierarchy has to be dealt with in essay sooner or later. So, trying to cover such a damper of a subject in an essay as motivation, and slack I tried to bring some humor into its contents while I in addition tried to give some type of advice for magical practices. Be that as it may, it was a sincere attempt to cover the subject and give a few guidelines. Whether it drives you away or it motivates you to sincerity of aspiration to do some magical work I decided to take my chances with the frankness of the format by leaving it up and not rewriting. As the old saw goes: "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke"!
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
How many years are you going to waste reading that magick book? You've read it over, I know that, many, many times. What about the practical magick that balances your theory? What about the magical circle you meant to paint in accordance with Book 4. Didn't you mention once that you were going to see to it that your robe was sewn according to our instructions? Have you even done this yet?
I've seen it time and time again. A student will come to me for instruction and seem so very, very serious. The next thing I know this student will be asking questions of a nature that prove to me that the magical record that is going to turned in to me for inspection will amount to nothing more than a profane diary of idle speculations with no real work.
Yes, I've seen it time and time again. So-called aspirants who waste away the years, putting idiot obstacles in their path and finally sputtering out like a gasoline engine that has never been fueled nor properly maintained.
Some come to us for sheer curiosity, some are enamored by evil, some are simply tracking a lover only to follow them to see what they are up to, some come thinking us a swinger club, some come as an intellectual fad, some come to find people who will supply them with drugs, and many other motivations other than aspiration to initiation or the awakening of the magick can be found. A few of these come and do some work for awhile making themselves useful but in the long run of the Path they do not survive.
Look, I'm warning you of the outcome of your slack. You will wake up in 20 years and all your brothers and sisters will be five Grades ahead of you if you survive that long. You will be considered a loyal but lazy person whose life has been a lot of neat conversations at Feasts. Why sign the Oath & Task unless you mean to fulfill it? How many incarnations do I have to keep coming back and telling you to concentrate on your priorities? Didn't we go through the same mother fucking problem back when you were Priest of Amen in old Egypt? Before that, I warned you of the same mother fucking problems in the ancient Kingdom of T where you were the Altar Girl of my desire but you never listened. Shall we go through the same mother fucking routine next lifetime when you are scheduled to assist me socially with the arrangement of the Temple of Maat? I gave you the best years of those past incarnations trying to teach you and you pull the same shit on Me. When will you ever learn?
You've gained a lot of occult knowledge with your studies. Its time you made use of it. If you can't understand a hint let me give you a blare. Here are some guidelines toward being a bit more pragmatic---
- You must realize right from the start that Initiation CANNOT occur unless you have accumulated the necessary amount of magical energy. Therefore, the accumulation of magical energy would be a high priority.
- Initiation will not occur in its purity unless you have cleansed your aura, sealed your aura, strengthened your aura, and inflamed your aura.
- Keep your magical diary where you SEE it when you arise in the morning. Go to Liber E, Section I and follow these instructions closely.
- Every morning when you get up, after your bath you go straight to your Temple. This means getting up a little earlier so you can fit everything in before leaving the house to go to your job.
- Upon entering the Temple you should be able to do, (without reading from that damn paper),. the Star Ruby or some banishing ritual, Liber V, a License to Depart, (if you create one use the Goetia as your guide), and an Adoration to Nuit. This is a basic 30 to 45 minute magical practice session. Full length Invocations can be done after Liber V. Some of them you'll want to memorize, and some of them can be read from a paper. Yet your banishing, Liber V, a License to Depart and Adoration to Nuit should be memorized. You are memorizing items that contain all the basics of magick.
- Your first magical retirement should be about three days long. Make it short enough to develop discipline but not too long where you find the temptation of recreation that might distract you. Plan it out where invocations and rituals and reading are evenly done throughout your day. My suggestion is to do repeating ritual sessions to build energy and power. For instance, a suggestion might be 100 banishing in a row, 100 Liber V in a row, 100 License to Departs in a row, 100 Adorations to Nuit in a row during this first magical retirement. Like anything else, you get what you put into a working. Also, such a magical retirement means having a big pitcher of water so your throat will not become hoarse. Have your magical diary in your Temple with you.
I'm telling you this knowing you have the potential to do this and attain in this lifetime. Your first REAL Initiation will give you the self confidence that you are now lacking. I've seen many aspirants come my way. Some are capable of being inspired. I think you are in this class.
I look forward to the daily adventure of my Temple Workings. I always have some Magical Operation that I try to accomplish. In the back of my mind, and right from the beginning of my magical career, I've always looked at myself as this ancient sorcerer type attempting to learn magical secrets by constant experimentation. In fact, this "ancient sorcerer type" complete with all his leather books and strange sigils is the sum of the equation of the magician who takes the method of science seriously with his or her magick. Although the official definition of the sorcerer is a magician who does not bother with initiation, grade and spiritual enlightenment I simply give you the glamor of my early days. Very interesting to still be so romantic about my magick but I do not see any conflict with such an attitude with ONE STAR IN SIGHT and Liber LXI. If anything, I love magick as much as I did when I first began reading on the subject so many, many years ago. Please ponder these words very carefully. For myself personally, I have always had this mysterious enthusiasm and I am drawn to its mystery in a manner I cannot be certain I can fully extend to you. Even my explanation needs an explanation.1
I am, sincerely attempting to warn you not to put so many obstacles in front of your path. If you have come to us with false motives you must meditate and adjust your will for a decision one way or another. Some of you change your mind and observing our curriculum really do begin some real work in spite of original motivations. Yet, why fuss around us if you cannot be serious and show us some real work? Do you not understand how guilty you will be of wasting our time when we can be exerting our efforts toward the dedicated??
Now get off your butt and head to your private Temple. Next magical record I want to see something more than ruach masturbation and a disordered nephesh.
Love is the law, love under will
1. Written by David Bersson in 2017 e.v.: With regards to this explanation of an explanation I should perhaps explain how I came to such a extraordinarily dramatic self image of what a sorcerer was with all the romance & drama. For those who did not know me in those days where I lived in other geographies prior to My discovery of the Master Therion's system of attainment and the Book of the Law they might think I am referring to some occult novel that brought me to such an apparently colorful perspective of the sorcerer. It was not an occult novel at all. The book that I purchased back in 1973 e.v. was called the Romance of Sorcery by Sax Rohmer which was a reprint of this book completely unabridged from the version that was completed in January of 1914 e.v.. It was this book and not an occult novel that influenced me so long ago with this matter of romance & sorcery. In fact, I took the magical motto Sphinx in the O.T.O. in 1976 e.v. as a direct consequence of what Sax Rohmer wrote in Chapter VII, page 35 called THE ENGIMA OF THE SPHINX for I identified with the symbolism. It was one of those books that back in the seventies e.v. I read over and over which included the 1972 e.v. version of the Castle Edition of Magick in Theory & Practice. By 1973 e.v. all be it only a year of collecting occult books to develop a decent library I was already becoming very involved in trying to puzzle out Aleister Crowley's amazing perspective. In books and public essays I have tried to emphasize the wisdom of gathering together a real occult library. Clearly, my occult library was not Aleister Crowley's and much of the lists of books with the A∴A∴ Curriculum are his books from his occult library which assisted him. That Aleister Crowley would give his own list of books from his own occult library for the serious student for the A∴A∴ Curriculum shows how parallel the path is for so many who hand choose books for their occult library based on what they consider to be of value for their path. Studying the influence of a student by requesting he or she to send you a list of occult books can be brought to a science with experience over a time. My advice is never to lend those books out from your occult library. They will demand serious study years from now when you realize that you really must understand yourself with deeper introspection by actually perceiving what obsessed you with the various books you were studying early on when you were on the verge to state your will which path of spiritual enlightenment you chose. I have gone so far as to search for books that I had that I lent out and never returned. My ex wife stole my copy of La Clef Des Grands Mystères written by Eliphas Levi years ago in New Orleans when I left her. I should of never left it out where she would be tempted!! L’occasion fait le larron! I had found this copy on Holiday in Montréal years prior and it was a collectors item. All these original occult books from your past are important to possess and be cautious not to lose. It goes deeper than keeping a keepsake for the sake of keeping it as a memory from the past. For I have even kept the returned check dated December 29, 1976 e.v. (Belle Meade Branch First National Bank) for my Volume One Equinox that I purchased which, if nothing else, seeing the price I paid then which was $179.00 and the price it is being several thousand dollars today it was worth the effort of not throwing it away. It is otherwise a talisman of my aspiration and a important historical moment on my Path (I lived in Nashville back then) to have purchased the eleven volume set & have a record of it.