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Author Topic: Questions from a total beginner  (Read 6122 times)

Moneyman

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Questions from a total beginner
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:35:54 am »
I'm notorious for making long posts and going into excessive detail, so I'm going to make this as short and to the point as possible. Please feel free to ask any questions about me if you think it will help.

I'm new to the occult, VERY NEW, I have ZERO experience with the supernatural. My mind is divided into two part, one side of me believes there is truth to the occult and that there is another side to reality far beyond anything I can comprehend, the other side thinks this is all a bunch of BS and that I will eventually find out life is meaningless and we are all bags of DNA waiting to die.

I lean more towards the former, I've done much research into the concept of the occult and the various things people say about it. There is no end to the making of books, so rather then waste time reading different theories that will conflict with each other, I'd rather spend my time actually EXPERIENCING something. I have several questions that I hope you could help me with.

1. As a person with virtually no experience in the occult, what should I start with to learn more about the occult? What books are worth reading? What things should I explore and or pursue?

2. What things/thoughts/actions should an inexperienced seeker of truth avoid?

3. Regarding meditation, what should be my ultimate goal, besides the simple relaxation and stress relief?

4. Expanding a bit on #2, how can I tell which forms of the occult are dangerous and should be avoided? I feel drawn to certain...entities...that are viewed by some as evil or dangerous. Is there any advice one should take to heart?

I understand these questions are very broad and difficult to answer. If you have any questions that you think would help make things easier to answer(such as background info about my knowledge), please ask me and I will give a detailed reply.

Thank you for any help you can give.

Sageis

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Re: Questions from a total beginner
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 01:17:02 am »
Quote from: Moneyman;61810
1. As a person with virtually no experience in the occult, what should I start with to learn more about the occult? What books are worth reading? What things should I explore and or pursue?


I am by no means a expert As such I do not feel its my place to answer a lot of the questions you asked.

The first thing I think I should say is that effect is usually proportional to effort but into it. Working a charm for prosperity will be a lot more effective if you go out and put in for a new job, or so something that has a nominal chance of bringing you your desire. Ya you can go out and play the lotto but the more there is in your life to work with the better the results will be. On top of that and foremost is faith, you have to believe what you are doing can and will work.

Most people learn occult secrets by working towards various goals. As a example, most of my experience is with runic inscriptions, I began my learning by reading the myths and legends, the old stories about berserkers and the shamans, about how Odin gained his knowledge by hanging from the world tree and all that such lore. Once I felt I had a good idea of what I was doing I made my first bind rune. And then as I got more experience with runes I started studying there divination aspects, as I went on I integrated other systems into my rune work. This is just how things went with me, I am sure everyone has a story like mine.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 01:18:14 am by Sageis »
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MoonCrone

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Re: Questions from a total beginner
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 05:20:25 am »
Quote from: Moneyman;61810
I'm notorious for making long posts and going into excessive detail, so I'm going to make this as short and to the point as possible. Please feel free to ask any questions about me if you think it will help.

I'm new to the occult, VERY NEW, I have ZERO experience with the supernatural. My mind is divided into two part, one side of me believes there is truth to the occult and that there is another side to reality far beyond anything I can comprehend, the other side thinks this is all a bunch of BS and that I will eventually find out life is meaningless and we are all bags of DNA waiting to die.

I lean more towards the former, I've done much research into the concept of the occult and the various things people say about it. There is no end to the making of books, so rather then waste time reading different theories that will conflict with each other, I'd rather spend my time actually EXPERIENCING something. I have several questions that I hope you could help me with.

1. As a person with virtually no experience in the occult, what should I start with to learn more about the occult? What books are worth reading? What things should I explore and or pursue?

2. What things/thoughts/actions should an inexperienced seeker of truth avoid?

3. Regarding meditation, what should be my ultimate goal, besides the simple relaxation and stress relief?

4. Expanding a bit on #2, how can I tell which forms of the occult are dangerous and should be avoided? I feel drawn to certain...entities...that are viewed by some as evil or dangerous. Is there any advice one should take to heart?

I understand these questions are very broad and difficult to answer. If you have any questions that you think would help make things easier to answer(such as background info about my knowledge), please ask me and I will give a detailed reply.

Thank you for any help you can give.


Hello and welcome to the forum.

I agree with much of the previous answer...  seek and you will find... but be aware that there is no "quick fix," no short cut route, it takes time and a lot of application to get fully educated in the ways of the occult...  I've been learning for over 40 years and I still don't know enough...  there are both gifted and charlatans amongst us :) you will soon start to learn how to spot those worthy of your mindspace... and it sounds to me like it's time you put down your books and start to put some of what you have learned into practice...  time to make real contacts with those "in the know"  and find yourself a mentor or group to belong to...  You have to be "open" to receive messages from the Cosmos, and I wonder if you are ready?
It\'s all about the Ebb and Flow...

Jenett

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Re: Questions from a total beginner
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 07:14:13 am »
Quote from: Moneyman;61810
1. As a person with virtually no experience in the occult, what should I start with to learn more about the occult? What books are worth reading? What things should I explore and or pursue?

What are you interested in doing more of? Are you open to books which come from a religious perspective of some kind or that refer to it, or do you want something entirely without religious bits?

Quote
2. What things/thoughts/actions should an inexperienced seeker of truth avoid?

In general, good practices to get into include balancing openness to new ideas with critical thinking. (Ask "Why is doing this useful?" and "Is this the best way for me to do this?" a lot.)

For people who are looking to change their lives in any way, paying attention to what you consume - food, drink, media - and how you spend your time - where you put your attention and where you don't - are all great things. Learn to be aware how your choices affect you, even if you don't yet decide to make a change. (In other words: "when I drink caffeine, meditation's harder for a couple of hours" or "when I don't get enough sleep, I behave in a way I'm not so crazy about" do not automatically have to mean "stop drinking caffeine" or "never get less than X amount of sleep".)

Quote
3. Regarding meditation, what should be my ultimate goal, besides the simple relaxation and stress relief?

Depends what you want to use it for. Some people use meditation as part of devotional work with deities. Some people use it for complex magical work. Some people use it for astral travel and learning related work. There are a bunch of options.

Quote
4. Expanding a bit on #2, how can I tell which forms of the occult are dangerous and should be avoided? I feel drawn to certain...entities...that are viewed by some as evil or dangerous. Is there any advice one should take to heart?

Go slowly. Don't do a working until you understand, as fully as possible, what you're doing with it, why you're doing it, and how to make any more risky bits safer. (Plus what to do if something goes wrong.) I've got an essay on my website at http://gleewood.org/seeking/practices/safety-tips-and-notes/ that talks about some of the many places to think about things, which might give you some ideas.

And in general, as you're learning, don't make lasting commitments to a deity or entity. Any entity you *want* to work with will understand taking your time. If you really want to make a commitment, make it three months, six months at the outside, to learning and getting familiar with them, and re-evaluate at the end of it.

(You know those things about abusive relationship partners where they talk about someone pushing the relationship or insisting the abused partner go faster than they want? All those kinds of tips apply just as much to entities that don't happen to have a body.)

For entities who have complicated reputations, begin by seeking out a range of views. (If you ask here, chances are pretty good someone can point you at people who do ongoing, sensible, meaningful work with most deities anyone's likely to name - we may not know them personally, you may have to do a bit of digging, but you can get a more nuanced approach than Deity X Bad.)

And then again, take it slowly, and be appropriately cautious. But that doesn't mean 'don't', necessarily. Just be aware of the other things you're giving up when you make a choice (because by making one choice, you necessarily step away from others - the realities of our experience of time make that the case!)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 07:14:50 am by Jenett »
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Moneyman

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Re: Questions from a total beginner
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 03:05:27 pm »
@Sageis:

Thank you for the advice, but I'm not really studying the occultm not interested in for wealth or prosperity. I seek only knowledge about the universe and the unknown, as well as knowledge of my own existence and the existence of others. Before I can have enough faith to use the occult, I must first experience something that makes me believe in it more fully.
 
Quote from: MoonCrone;61852
time to make real contacts with those "in the know"  and find yourself a mentor or group to belong to...  You have to be "open" to receive messages from the Cosmos, and I wonder if you are ready?

I'm not quite sure when one can be "ready". I think I'm more then ready in some peoples opinions, but not in my own.

I think its kind of like martial arts, you can get all sorts of reliable information on the physics, psychology, and history of hand to hand combat...But most of it will make no sense to you or will be of no use to you unless you actually experience it by practicing a martial art.

Much of the information I come across regarding the occult is written to instruct people who already have some sort of experience with the occult. I can barely recall dreams or meditate properly.

Regarding being "open" to receiving messages, I believe that may be part of my problem. I'm a very skeptical and cautious person, and the thing I skepticize most is myself. I always think deeply about what I think, why I think it, and how I think. My mind is divided into two "viewpoints" if you will, one is the mystic and the other the skeptic. Lets say I started to experience something supernatural like a vision while meditating. The mystical side of me would have faith that I'm experiencing something real, While the skeptical side of me would believe that the vision isn't real and is only a figment of my imagination.

Regarding meeting up with a group, I find that to be very difficult to do. I'm not shy, but I tend to be misanthropic and distrusting of others. I wouldn't want to waste time with a bunch of philosophers like the Freemasons, or get mislead by joining a "McCoven". But I guess one of these days I'll have to find a group to join.

Quote from: Jenett;61864
What are you interested in doing more of? Are you open to books which come from a religious perspective of some kind or that refer to it, or do you want something entirely without religious bits?

I do not want to read any literature with ties to the Abrahamic deity Jehovah. This includes the bible(Christian and Torah), the Koran, the Hermetica, Rosicrusianism, Gnosticism, or the Kabbalah. This decision arrives from personal study of the bible for most of my life and of my personal experience with this god's effect on people's minds.

I'm fine with any books with ties to other religions, such as Lao Tzu, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, and Native American folklore.

Quote from: Jenett;61864
And in general, as you're learning, don't make lasting commitments to a deity or entity. Any entity you *want* to work with will understand taking your time. If you really want to make a commitment, make it three months, six months at the outside, to learning and getting familiar with them, and re-evaluate at the end of it.

(You know those things about abusive relationship partners where they talk about someone pushing the relationship or insisting the abused partner go faster than they want? All those kinds of tips apply just as much to entities that don't happen to have a body.)

I know very little about the actual process of interaction with supernatural entities. That being said, I would be very interested in communicating with one. Speaking from someone or something from another plane of reality is an opportunity I could never pass up.

What are the primary methods or steps one would take to seek out communication with a spiritual being? I've read a bit about the concept of animal totems and guardian angels/demons communicating in dreams, and I've also read about ceremonial magic and the summoning of entities(of which I sincerely doubt I should attempt at my level of understanding, if it would even work).

Quote from: Jenett;61864
For entities who have complicated reputations, begin by seeking out a range of views. (If you ask here, chances are pretty good someone can point you at people who do ongoing, sensible, meaningful work with most deities anyone's likely to name - we may not know them personally, you may have to do a bit of digging, but you can get a more nuanced approach than Deity X Bad.)

And then again, take it slowly, and be appropriately cautious. But that doesn't mean 'don't', necessarily. Just be aware of the other things you're giving up when you make a choice (because by making one choice, you necessarily step away from others - the realities of our experience of time make that the case!)

The entity I'm speaking of is commonly known as Choronzon. Information regarding him is very small and mostly biased or incorrect. He is spoken of in the works of some 16th century occultist named John Dee and later by Crowley. Crowley claimed to have summoned this "demon" and then entered into a rather dubious "battle of wits" with him. The Thelemites believe he is the guardian of the abyss and is supposed to be some sort of final challenge to attain enlightenment. This seems rather ludicrous to me since I don't really buy into religions that believe the sole purpose of the universe is some sort of esoteric game to defeat ego and attain enlightenment.

The people who had a more positive view of him spoke of him as an "Xenodimensional being"(whatever that means). He is said to be a highly chaotic, but highly creative being who is neither good nor evil(or perhaps more correctly, both good and evil), and has no interest in an imaginary "holy war" that is going on between certain "White Occultists" and Satanists/Chaos Magicians/Wiccan's etc.

I can't quite describe what it is that draws me to this being or why I am so interested in him(or her, or it). Even though all I know about him is the little snippets I read, I feel as if I understand more about him then what I've read. Its kind of like when you hear about somebody you haven't met personally, but when people tell you about what they are like or what they do, you feel as if you might know or appreciate certain things about them that most people who have met that person wouldn't understand.

Thank you for all your answers, even when you ask questions yoy help me to find answers myself.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 03:08:47 pm by Moneyman »

Jenett

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Re: Questions from a total beginner
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 07:25:14 pm »
A quick note on replies: the preferred practice around here is to make a different reply to each poster you're replying to. Some forums don't like this apparently, but here it makes it easier to click on the link in the quote and jump to the entire original message.

Quote from: Moneyman;62113

I think its kind of like martial arts, you can get all sorts of reliable information on the physics, psychology, and history of hand to hand combat...But most of it will make no sense to you or will be of no use to you unless you actually experience it by practicing a martial art.


This is what - in religious settings - is referred to as a religious mystery. And you're quite right that it's true in a lot of places. (My usual example is sex: you can read romance novels and guides to sex on all sorts of topics for years - but until you have it yourself, you don't know stuff about you, the experience, what matters to you - that are sort of important.)

Quote

Much of the information I come across regarding the occult is written to instruct people who already have some sort of experience with the occult. I can barely recall dreams or meditate properly.


Neither of these are exactly required, thankfully. At least not at the start. (I've been doing esoteric work for nearly 11 years now, and I still almost never remember my dreams: less than a double handful a year, if that. I *am* much better at meditation, because that's a skill that can be improved over time with practice for most people.

(Think of it like music: people will have different skills at different parts of music, and there are people who are totally tone-deaf. But most people can learn to be better at it with time and practice if they want.)

Quote
Regarding meeting up with a group, I find that to be very difficult to do. I'm not shy, but I tend to be misanthropic and distrusting of others. I wouldn't want to waste time with a bunch of philosophers like the Freemasons, or get mislead by joining a "McCoven". But I guess one of these days I'll have to find a group to join.


You mention Thelema further down: not my strand of practice, but there are Thelemic groups out there, as well as a wide variety of other ceremonial orders that might or might not be a fit.

(And being a bit misanthropic is not as big a barrier as you might assume: there are certainly groups of cautious people who want to choose who they work with very carefully. They tend to be harder to find, because - sort of by definition - they tend not to advertise broadly - but they can often be found by hanging out on focused mailing lists for the topic or equivalent spaces and being thoughtful, interesting, and reasonable in conversation (and then asking around a bit once you've established yourself in the larger more general conversation.)

No guarantees, because there are also tons of places where there just isn't a group due to geography, but if you're near or able to get to a larger city, there's probably something there. If you can't, there may be other options that are helpful to you - a variety of conventions and other yearly-type gatherings can be a good place to connect with like minded people, get advice, etc. that can't work as easily online.

Re: my question about religions - no worries, I was thinking something Pagan. The book I recommend highly to people for meditation and related basics is a book by Diana Paxson called Trance-Portation. It has a definite Pagan focus, and a number of the given meditations include things like meeting a deity. However, they're also relatively simple to adapt for other purposes (and she gives some comments about that) and many of the basic core exercises are adaptable to a wide range of uses.

I recommend that book because she's got the best set of troubleshooting advice for meditation, evocation, invocation, and all sorts of other deity-and-entity contacts I've seen in one place, and because it's very focused on building skills.

Quote
What are the primary methods or steps one would take to seek out communication with a spiritual being? I've read a bit about the concept of animal totems and guardian angels/demons communicating in dreams, and I've also read about ceremonial magic and the summoning of entities(of which I sincerely doubt I should attempt at my level of understanding, if it would even work).


This depends on your set of practices. (I identify as a priestess in an initiatory religious witchcraft tradition. More traditional Wicca is a good first tier approximation, but there's some differences.)

For me or people I've taught or worked with, communication with deity or other entities has taken the following forms at different times:
- sense of presence
- sense of a voice whispering in your ear
- divinatory/oracular kinds of signs (particular moments in weather, unusual animal behaviour, information through divinatory readings like Tarot or runes)
- a strong sense of 'knowing' something, or hearing something, or otherwise suddenly having information you didn't have before, connected with the deity/entity
- inspiration to poetry, artistic endeavor, etc. that illuminates the deity's/entity's desires, interests, personality, etc.

It has also taken the form of deity being invited directly into the body of a priest or priestess, and speaking with their mouth, acting with their hands, and generally being physically present. This is *not* something to try without substantial experience and excellent support from others you trust (there are risks of various kinds), but it is also an awesomely moving experience, for some of the reasons you outline.

(My tradition teaches that it's something done in service to the community - therefore not a suitable tool for solo work or purely personal benefit - and there are various safeguards for the well-being of the priest/ess and for the well-being of the group.)

There are bunches more. Generally, most contacts are relatively subtle, most of the time, with occasional peak moments either driven by very specific ritual practices, or by internal shifts on the part of the participant. (Both are complicated, both generally require recovery time.) Adding up little bits of information until you have a larger picture is pretty common - and also a good safety precaution, rather than hurling oneself into deep water.

Quote
The entity I'm speaking of is commonly known as Choronzon. Information regarding him is very small and mostly biased or incorrect. He is spoken of in the works of some 16th century occultist named John Dee and later by Crowley.


I'm familiar with the name, but not my strand of practice, so my other advice here is somewhat limited. That said, good places to start are:

- be specific if opening yourself up - either to clearly identify your invited guest, or at least the category. (There are occasionally curious entities looking for an invitation, and they can make for difficult experiences) Really solid practice in the core skills Paxson talks about (centering, grounding, shielding, boundary setting in general) is a very good start, no matter what else you do.

- go slowly. Just as you wouldn't (presumably) meet someone, move in with them, and marry them the same week, you don't do that with entities who don't have bodies. It takes time to build trust and understanding.

- do not make lasting or major commitments to an entity immediately. That includes any kind of work where they have control over your body, will, or sense of self. One of my own elders refers to this as only doing that work with an entity who loves you beyond all reason.

- look for other people who have experience with an entity. (You don't need to believe what they say, or sign up for their group, per se, but people who already have an existing relationship may be able to either make an introduction for you, or otherwise give useful and helpful advice.) There might be someone here, but you might also need to look other places.

(And I'll add here: writing off groups by category may be tempting, but may not serve you well. There are Freemasonry lodges with a specific, focused interested in the esoteric side of their Craft and amazingly knowledgeable people. There are ceremonial magic groups who are not into power struggles and esoteric wars. Etc.)
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Moneyman

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Re: Questions from a total beginner
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 09:25:30 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;62147

For me or people I've taught or worked with, communication with deity or other entities has taken the following forms at different times:
- sense of presence
- sense of a voice whispering in your ear
- divinatory/oracular kinds of signs (particular moments in weather, unusual animal behaviour, information through divinatory readings like Tarot or runes)
- a strong sense of 'knowing' something, or hearing something, or otherwise suddenly having information you didn't have before, connected with the deity/entity
- inspiration to poetry, artistic endeavor, etc. that illuminates the deity's/entity's desires, interests, personality, etc.


I've spent most of the day doing as much research as I can on Choronzon and trying to find out as much as I could about what or who really was. Most of the information comes from a woman who goes by the name "Demimonde Merlisa Thraam". Her and a few other like minded individuals made a small group that, among other things, makes a very unique type of heavy metal, supposedly involving esoteric messages, that are a sort of "tribute" to Choronzon. She only belong to a few small groups that were very inactive, but I was able to gain a lot of personal experiences from her comments and blogs regarding her beliefs and supposed interactions with Choronzon.

You say that one of the signs of communication is inspiration to make art? This is interesting because I've felt the unusual urge to make some sort of...poetry regarding this entity who I have no personal experience with. I felt a weird sensation when I was looking into the artwork and music of Choronzon(they used his name as the band name for their music), it could be described as a sort of rushing/tingling sensation in the back of the head, neck, and upper back area as well as feeling of being "watched". Its probably just my mind playing tricks on me due to a subconscious desire to experience something supernatural, but it could also be genuine.

Thank you for your in depth reply, and I'll be sure to get my hands on that book you mentioned.

Moneyman

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Re: Questions from a total beginner
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 12:31:05 am »
Quote from: Moneyman;62184
UPDATE: 10:31PM

While doing more research on this entity, I came across something a little strange.

I can't remember when, but a while ago on some random day, I was really bored. For some reason, I felt the need to be creative and make some sort of "Symbol", an iconic signature or logo if you will, to represent myself and/or my creations(I haven't made anything). I didn't really put a lot of thought into it, basically I just sketched a few random images until I found one that I thought looked interesting. It looked like this:



At the time, I wasn't practicing anything in the occult at all, and I had never even heard the name Choronzon before. I didn't really like the image I had made, it felt like I had made something cool but that it was missing or incomplete. Since this was just a random creation of boredom, I completely forgot about the image and went on with my life. Today, while researching a band called NOX that frequently mentions Choronzon in their work, I came across an image on their webpage that looks remarkably similar to the one I had randomly made up years ago:



Albeit my image lacked occult symbolism and didn't look exactly like this one, I can't help but wonder whether the similarity between these symbols is more then coincidence.

Has anyone ever seen this particular symbol before? Is it purely an artistic creation or is there more to it then that?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 12:31:42 am by Moneyman »

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