Paranoia is one of our great teachers. It stands beside Reason and Poetry with unfailing confidence. Paranoia has taught me a great many wonderful things, has brought some truly fierce and magical experiences into my life.
It was my belief in my early twenties that the onset of acute paranoia was a sign that you were getting close to truth of the thing, the roots of it. That you were peeling back the layers and wards, striking down the guardians placed to watch over the great and terrible secrets and feeling it. Back then I was fairly certain that Michael and Lilith Aquino (Temple of Set) were trying to kill me.
I have never felt a real strong desire to join an Order or Coven. Not my style, I began life as a cult-baby and have had only a critical eye for cults, gurus and their like ever since. At the age of 23 I swore an Oath to Lilith (the god-form not the old lady) that I would not be owned by anyone or anything and that pretty much clinched it. I would have to feed my thirst for the juju the old fashioned way. On my own.
Now ten years later, I see things a little differently. I have since traded the Aquinos’ up for newer and more enjoyable delusions several times over and come to identify the source of my paranoia. It, I was to discover, had nothing to do whatsoever with what I knew or was on the verge of discovering and everything to do with what I didn’t know. The big gaping holes, that’s where you will find the paranoia.
In the beginning I would turn a model or paradigm on at full blast. Open the first aethyr? Fuck that, we gonna open ‘em all! At once! Sex and drugs and never-ending ritual, heady mixtures. I came to realize that the paranoia would only strike at the beginning of these exercises and then would gradually fade as I worked deeper into the models. It was the intake of the information in a totally uncontrolled and arbitrary manner that predicated the paranoid response. Having no reference on the model, having no mnemonic by which to sort and access the information, it runs unrestrained through the sub-conscious seeding wet dreams and nightmares.
All cogent and complete magical models have the darkness in them. It’s the nature of the juju to encompass the polarities that rational humankind reinforce daily. When you have no frame of reference for that it will find a face of its own. It will impose itself on your awareness somehow. Most often this seems to take the form of the cat that formulated the model, not a problem when the individual is dead. You just talk to the shade, get the inside scoop. They have been writing about how to talk to the dead since the beginning of time. Eddie Talbot (Enochian) and Charlie Jones (Thelema and Golden Dawn) remain as close to personal friends as dead guys can get.
When the model is the product of a living individual however, things get tricky. Most likely you’re not going to be haunted by some dead guy/girl, in that case it’s going to come through like an assault. And who knows really, maybe to a certain extent you really are dealing with wards and shit. People make a living off of their cults at the most basic level and in the case of loftier intentions have done what they can to create a safe and nurturing environment for their adherents. It seems pretty reasonable that you would feel that shit when you’re digging around in their collective memory. I mean, that’s why those wards and oaths are there. That being said, in the case of very nearly every paranoid delusion I have found myself in the throes of, the individuals that starred in them didn’t even know I existed and could most likely have cared less whether I lived, died or ate hot-dogs on Sunday. Actually, some of them were totally cool cats that I have come to like very much.
So these days, when I throw it all at a new paradigm and get the paranoia I take it as a good sign, breathe deep and press on into the paradigm. It means that there is a deep well of knowledge within it and that I have yet to truly scratch the surface of it. Also, after ten years I am running out of imaginary nemesis to worry myself over. I was liking the look of William Keisel (Ourosboros Press) there for a while, devilish fellow that one but he remains steadfastly admirable. I am thinking that perhaps Jake Stratton-Kent might be a better match for me. All that hoodoo and deviltry and being infamous and shit. Plus, it’s a reason to go to England (my last English nemesis was Mr. VI and that guy is like a brother now.)
Nothing pushes a practitioner like the paranoia. Most people will learn more about the juju, do more of the juju in the depths of the paranoia than under any other circumstances. So go hard children, give it everything you got and remember that the thing you feel the most assaulted by is almost without a doubt, your own fucking ignorance.
Paranoia taught me that.