esothemes

Reflections, revelations and proposals esoteric: Themes to elucidate the depths of human potential.

Month: August, 2018

Ouroboros Part III: The Basics of System Structure

Ouroboros falls under a category of esoteric knowledge I would call Logocentric Alchemy. That’s not just a fancy name. It’s more or less using the power of Logos, which includes the occult power of speech and writing to engender positive transformation in one’s self. Success in utilizing the process includes applications of the system itself to engender transformations in one’s world. In that respect the Ouroboros system resembles Indian Tantra as well as applications of Hermetic wisdom and western magic, but also the various occult philosophical systems under the name Cabala (itself with a variety of spellings). At the same time the symbolic language used appropriates elements of Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Geomancy and even Norse Rune elements. Symbols and meanings are weaved so the result is a seamless whole.

Ouroboros is an occult system that combines traditional elements, aligned according to inspiration gained via a host of ‘experiences’ of a purely subjective yet at the same time extraordinary nature. Proof is not the point, and in my view shouldn’t be the point. Occultism in my view should never be popular. It isn’t a sport, and it isn’t a craft or an art. It’s a specialized frame of being that requires a constitution compatible with it. Basic occult skill can be learned by anyone with rudimentary mental capacity. It doesn’t require substantial commitment or study.

The basics are about keeping yourself safe and healthy under most mundane conditions even by today’s standards; keeping one’s life path sustainable, or amenable to a degree of desired change that does not rock the boat for everyone else beyond a level that would attract attention. It is more about moderately good fortune rather than living with a silver spoon in one’s mouth. Folk magic and traditional religious practices served these needs in the past to an extent that the practices were only abandoned when practitioners were persecuted for whatever reason. In any case, one such as a herbalist, healer or all around local wise person and spirit summoner (shaman) would provide services for more critical or specialized needs.

Ouroboros is not a basic system. I don’t particularly consider it an advanced system either. Although I include the word alchemy to categorize it, the aim is not to come up with something as dramatic as a philosopher’s stone of immortality. The word alchemy is used in a more general sense of internalized transformations of the psyche- and subtle frame of embodiment or energy body- to acquire the constitution that facilitates using the power of word and symbol to affect one’s reality and the structure of events to the degree one is able. The system itself is designed so that one can increase effectiveness by working with it. It isn’t just practice, but the focus on applications that strengthen inner being and establish constitutional compatibility with magical application.

That being said, this is an occult system. It isn’t just a means of self hypnosis and fake it till you make it perception programming. The architecture has an esoteric cosmology based on the central position of the human microcosm in all human experience. It is meant to be worked in tandem with esoteric approaches of cultivation such as western devotional focus (prayer, fasting etc), yoga and Taoist internal work. These can be stripped down to bare essential practices and still be effective with this system- to be described elsewhere in this venue. There is no need for ceremonial tools or even consistency in ritual, if one is properly approaching cultivation practices.

Putting this together constitutes an exploration of horizons of meaning very much worth the effort for yours truly. Even though the system has yet to be tested properly in terms of its manifesting and cultivating potential, after several decades of construction and reconstruction, it is coming alive in a way that is very real for me. That means any contact I have with it involves the perception of its dynamic, through the quality of feedback I get from the interaction. To clear this rather vague assertion, let me get into a more direct description of what is involved.

Ouroboros is an array of sixteen tripartite symbol elements, meaning each element is a triad of symbols. Two of these represent number qualities and one represents letters- more specifically runes. The dual number representations are in a binary format. The first symbol structure pertains to stacks of horizontal lines, continuous and with a break in the middle. This is the same symbolism used in the hexagrams of the Chinese “Book of Changes” or Yi Ching, only the stacks involve four lines instead of six, and are called tetragrams.

The second number based symbol set of Ouroboros is based on Geomancy, or rather the forms used for that practice. We do not use divination here, but we do apply the sixteen glyphs, just as we sigilize them in a specific manner. As with the tetragrams the glyphs in mention depict sixteen binary representations of four vertically stacked elements. In this case the elements are dots. Single dots equate with the tetragram unbroken lines and double dots with the broken (yielding) lines.

The third symbol structure is that of sixteen rune glyphs, most of which parallel traditional runes found in the Germanic and Norse traditions. Some of the pronunciations are the same as their traditional counterparts, while most vary from convention. The rune interpretations approximate those for the traditional counterparts for most of them. These letters are a direct connection to the application potentials of the system because they can generate presence directly through their pronunciation, as well as their form and its deeper existential set of meanings.

The number representations are indicators of the identity of the tripartite elements as well as its desired expression in the human microcosm. The tetragram, therefore, tells us what the element is, and the geomantic sigil tells us what it does and how it is applied. To use an analogy, the door is the tetragram, its key-hole is the sigil, while the key to opening the door is the rune. With the analogy we can see how the process of putting the key into the lock to open the door is of particular interest. The tripartite form of each element is similar to other systems where the name of a power is separate from the command word to use it or the particular names that act as messengers or acting agents of the centralized power.

One advantage of the tripartite architecture is the additional dimension of interpretation it affords, while at the same time retaining relative simplicity in application. We have three layers of meaning, and hand one layer directly to bring about desired results. Each layer of meaning comes from a tradition of profound esoteric mystery, and is repurposed in this logocentric synthesis. Even as we work with the raw and basic dynamics of the system, feedback is not only undeniable but sensed as something alive. Ultimately, one can practically hear or sense and understand the voice of the system as it awakens to communicate and respond.

The system did not reach its current version in a day. It took several years before the sigils of Geomancy were applied to the original rune sequence, and over a decade before the tetragrams were added to the mix. It was over than a year ago when the tripartite elements had reached a point of balanced interrelationship. At that time all three elements began working together and I realized the role of each in terms of the whole. Anything is subject to change in this line of doing things. There is always a possibility of the whole thing collapsing, and it’s just as likely that the system will keep evolving without a hitch. Suffice it to say that there are still bugs to work out.

Many of these in the past have turned into opportunities of interpretation and application that appeared completely novel to me on the surface, and then made complete sense as I released biases against them, otherwise they often turned out to be both simple and made sense. As one works through the synthesis of occult architecture and method, it becomes clear how challenging it is to overcome habituated thinking and allow the system to speak for itself. As that happens, progress tends to get smoother barring the possibility of a serious snag that brings everything to a grinding halt. In the next installment in this series, we will examine Ouroboros alchemy and magic in greater detail.

Ouroboros Part II: Pointers for Effective Magic Practice

The aim of this series of posts is to work out some thoughts regarding a system I have been designing and working for the last decade and a half. It is not meant to be a point by point tutorial; just a series of observations and conclusions as my work progresses. This work, by the way, is also a stepping stone for an even more ambitious project involving the construction of a coherent cabalah- I find the term ‘logocentric alchemy’ more descriptive- based on the English alphabet, and its use in the formulation of power words and spells. I realize it’s been done before, but not quite the way I am approaching it, to my knowledge.

The pointers described here are only a few examples, and by no means allotted space to make the information instructive in any systematic way. On the other hand, the information on the posts in the Ouroboros series is cumulative and if one persists in following the thread, the topic may prove insightful. On occasion there may even be some posts that will offer point by point information. Mostly that would depend on the train of thought, since the posts are anything but products of meticulous planning. That would be work, and work should involve compensation.

As it stands, I am writing up manuals on all manner of esoteric themes for personal use. Until I feel comfortable with the organization of the material and the consistency of its application capacity, I’ll hold off the publications. The question of charging for occult knowledge is a valid one, as far as I’m concerned. I only frown upon it if it’s done irresponsibly. Although that simple assessment requires elaboration, I leave it as a topic for another time. For now, let us play with the idea of practice, with or without the design of a personal system, being made more effective.

Back when I used to frequent occult oriented forums there was one frequent poster who would exhibit a seemingly endless esoteric creativity when it came to fashioning rituals and cultivation practices, which would have made them a formidable master of the art had they been able to consistently actualize what filled their mental drawing board- or at least put some substance behind what applications they did manage to cultivate. Yet they always complained that their proverbial rival in occultism- an older brother- was always stronger, even though it was this older brother that taught the aforementioned occult enthusiast all they knew.

I have to admit, it was fun getting into discussions with the guy and coming up with practices that sounded as if they would blow whole buildings away, fit for the most elaborate fantasy worlds being a spread of popularized knowledge and the smattering of contrived esoteric common sense that seemed to fester upon it. I cannot help the extra helping of sarcasm even though I am quite sincere in expressing my enjoyment of those online written discussions.

The practices were not all that difficult. The hard part was doing them right. As it stood, he treated the designing of magical process as the be all and end all of the art, while his idea of practice did not appear to involve the quality of focus required, being more akin to vivid fantasy dressed in stubborn will than real application. I don’t remember even one of the many occult techniques we embellished, and attempting practice gave me a headache for most of them, and did nothing for the rest. There was simply no groundwork to back up the methods.

My point with this little anecdote is that there is more that goes into the design of occult process than making shit up. There is also more than mental light play. The person in mention practiced some form of martial art, and so was aware of sensing ‘energy’ and directing the sensation via his attention. Altered states induced by meditation where not strange to him, although I did not see enough emphasis to empower his esoteric imaginings. It’s easy to say you are doing things right, but results may just as easily say otherwise.

That being said, different esoteric approaches as well as different occultists emphasize different things. Some are more visionary, some rely on abstract symbolism, while others are more about internal alchemy and sensing/directing energy. Some focus on entities and some on thought-forms, while others on the possibilities of their own human and divine potentialities. Some are geared to enhance perception or work in the unseen realms and others prioritize changes in the ‘real world’. There are those who rely on tradition and others who appear to make things up as they go along.

I tend to embrace the latter approach so long as one’s creativity is founded on the reality of occult experience. While imagination is indispensable for occultism, there is more that goes into it. I’m not just pushing the old adage of hard work and study. Those are means to an end. The end is to attain a useful skill set, and a raw work ethic does not guarantee that. Quality of work is more important than quantity, in my view. The understanding of occult theory is a step in the right direction, in that sense. Many don’t value theory because it tends to get convoluted, but theory is there to make sense of concepts denied by our more commonly socialized reasoning processes. It affords an alternative perspective in such a way so we can work with it just as we work with the more objective conceptions of our day to day lives.

In my experience the simplest practices are often the most potent. One can put their whole being behind a simple practice, whereas a more complex practice can involve mental multitasking that makes it difficult to sustain necessary focus. One must be well endowed indeed- esoterically speaking- for complexity to reveal its power. Simple practices can also be mastered individually and then compiled into something more complex and elaborate as well as potentially stressful. I am of the view that occultism need not be dangerous per se when the practitioner is prepared and in shape.

I would say that systems originating in Eastern and Southern Asia are most effective when it comes to getting in shape. These would involve the practices of yoga and internal alchemy. The methods are not all that different than parallel practices in the Middle East, and those originating from archaic Egypt. It’s just that the available information regarding such practices is not as available and as well-organized, but that’s just my experience.

Whatever the case may be, the idea is to awaken the abilities of subtle perception, enhanced internalization and receptivity on multiple levels of awareness potential. Even if one considers themselves already too sensitive, responsible cultivation practices will help balance out that sensitivity as well as deepen it. Experience will expand one’s capacities for comprehension of information, not to mention awaken the ability to recognize the quality of thoughts, feelings and sensation in terms of parameters that the conditioned objectified mindset does not even recognize as such, and which most of one’s human relations would probably refuse to acknowledge.

As mentioned, I only present an outline with a few examples of suggestions to increase the probability of satisfactory success in occult application. As these posts evolve, and the information clarifies further, mental digestion us still necessary to personalizing the knowledge. Copycat magic works well enough when one is in the process of gaining the needed skill set and empowerment, as it were. Maturation, however, is a function of individualizing the practice to one’s own unique nature, and is as natural as muscle mass growing with successive trips to the gym, provided good sense is applied. Easier said than done, but not as hard as all that…