Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The L.A. Diaries, pt. I

[The LA Diaries are excerpts from the working journal I kept while living and working in Los Angeles a few years ago. The entries are raw, often unintelligible, with literally no regard for convention (neither literary or social) or mass appeal. I have decided to publish parts of this journal without regard for grammar or presentation for regular readers of this blog seeking a window into the destinationless spiritual wanderings of a practicing karcist.]

[Written after undertaking the consecration of a solid gold demonic seal of Baal. A demon-king of some renown featured in both the Old Testament and most of the old Grimoires with which I had little experience previous to the contracted work. While I realize some aspects of this text may seem disturbing it is a true relation of my experience of the spirit.]

Baal is the unformed stuff of magic. The black empty spirit of the witches’ Sabbath. Strong stuff, goes straight to the head. The arbitrary meting out of karma is what keeps it fair. Sometimes it’s the Internet going out, sometimes it’s falling off a roof. If it was all so transparent that you could anticipate its execution it would sort of invalidate the whole thing, wouldn’t it. To Baal we are just a bunch of hungry ghosts that got a body. For the most part I am inclined to agree …but what a body.

Baal is the naked mechanic of the magical exchange. A process which seems darkly joyous in its ambivalence toward human suffering. We embrace it as sorcerers or we are haunted by it, as we are haunted by so many of our revelations. He is there in that process too. Here among the fires of creation he is everywhere. Ellison’s Paingod. Stirring the pot of karma, Baal is some long dead God-king whose ghost outlasted his gods. They took a great deal of care preserving the old god-kings in death back in the day, they were total pros. Shax got his talon's on the gall bladders of some of those old Egyptian geezers back when they raided their tombs like they were 7-Elevens but I digress.

In his purest form he illustrates the manner in which you unknowingly generate conflict with your actions. The subtle undertone of ‘you’ beneath everything that you do, the very basic expression of your being. He is that pure hunger in the roots of desire. Baal is not headless, he is just deaf, blind and dumb. There is a difference.  You got to seal a body up to preserve it in death, you got to cover those holes, man. All the death will run out everywhere. He is still out there beneath the earth somewhere waiting for the world to end. The god-mans hunger turned all up on itself and gone M. C. Escher on your ass. 

On some level the sorcerer must concede that if he can manipulate the process, then the process is not sacred. Or conversely, that the actions of the sorcerer profane the process. Baal reveals sudden death by bus is an available karmic outcome to nearly every problem because you deserve it. Your human birth anchored you to death through the vehicle of karma. Baal reveals that all the sorcerer does is stir the pot.  That none of it actually matters to God, that suffering is a human concept which has never occurred in the mind of the Great Almighty. You can live your dreams or die a crack addled failure, Baal doesn’t care. He knows you started an ignorant moron, you can hardly be blamed for ending up one. The path was so clear.

When one man is raised above others, Baal is there. When a 3 year old chokes to death on it's blanket, Baal is there. In both cases, he couldn’t give a rat’s ass. Baal is always fair, it’s you that is being unreasonable, reading meaning into shit where there is none. Baal is there from the beginning to the end, for the lot of us.  He is the secret truth of our human body and its animation, the inexpressible dark hunger. It’s killing us. We hunger for suffering. 

That’s Baal, our collective hunger for suffering and death. Karma is a bitch. They say we fed him babies once. It’s possible I guess, at the most basic level that’s what we do, feed babies to karma.

That’s what Baal’s arrival meant for me. It’s all fucking arbitrary. If anyone is crazy enough to hire a witch-doctor then the path is laid, paved and lit with the corpses of dead Christians like the streets of old Roma.  Morality has no place in the mojo. Morality is meaningless, it’s the sorcerers sacrificial lamb. If Christ died on the cross for me then I killed him, I murdered God. It wasn’t hard, he was asking for it. Like the rest of us, his human birth made it karma. Nothing unfair about it, when he raised his eyes to heaven and asked why he had been forsaken he got the same answer we all do ..none. If that’s true for Old Glory himself then it is most assuredly the end to which you are destined. Baal don’t care, so why should I?

I won’t be haunted by it. Baal’s old ghost is just too ugly and self-important. There is no such thing as ‘bad karma’. There is only karma. I say, fuck that bitch. Baal can suffer with the rest of us, it’s what he gets for keeping his spleen in a jar. Baal may have been the dark sun once but now he is a pair of old shoes. Angry, malevolent old shoes. I’ll keep them handy for when I have to paint or traipse through the mud or some shit and old Baal will be grateful for it. The sister fucking, murderous tyrant loves the dirt, lives for it. Even now, all but forgotten Baal plays in the shit and loves it. It’s why the Egyptians saw him as a demon-pig. Dirty corpse-eating fucker can’t get enough of our morals. 

Them’s good eating.


  1. You chose to come here; you chose to die. Live with it, die with it, nobody dodges it.

    I've said for years any of us could go under a bus tomorrow. Momento mori, fuckers.

  2. This is how a grimoire should read, Dr. Valentine. Please keep sharing these.

    As I read this I thought: it doesn't matter which comes first, spirits or psychology. You present Baal as the personification of this very specific mental state, and it works. In the end I think spirit magic of any kind comes down to the proposition that if we personify every psychological or social force in our life, we can move some shit around.

  3. I have never much understood the contemporary impulse to make the spirits just one thing or another. There is both 'being' and 'dominion' after all, even in the old books. I try not to limit my definitions, to me Baal can very easily be both the spirit of some long gone God-King and the dark truth of existence.

    One should develop some nuance when working with a spirit like Baal, who see's Death as a solution to most of our troubles since that is rarely the solution we are seeking when we turn to the potent daemons. I said as much to the client that commissioned the work.

    1. I don't know if it's contemporary. The old Greeks certainly reduced psychology to spirits and from there it's a short little step to vice versa.

      Depends on the mind of the mage, I guess. I'm way philosophically inclined. Always need to know "what" it is and how it works. That held me back sometimes, early in my practice, but now years later I find it becoming more and more of an asset.

      I also find that the spirits don't care much. Oh, you wanna call me a delusion? I've been called worse, kid... just pour me the wine.

    2. I'm not sure I can get behind that. Both Socratic and Platonic philosophy turned about the idea that the psychological impact of the invisibles was so profound because the mind couldn't grasp it in its fullness, that there was a relationship of wholism's there and not a simple cause-effect. And in many ways contemporary philosophers (Delueze/Guttari/Agamben) have traversed the circle back to that perspective. That we are overly reductive when dealing with the invisible.

      Which is not to say there is no value in the idea of the 'philosophical domain' but rather it is the less that the spirits don't care whether you perceive them as delusion and more that you no longer do. Once liberated of the real/not-real division (which is arbitrary anyway) the invisible can exert a sorcerous influence.

      A case of all roads leading to Rome perhaps?

    3. Fair point Re. Plato/Doc Soc, but they don't represent the whole of Greek belief (or even its norm). Certainly there was skepticism about magic and spirits in ancient Greece and Rome, and sometimes the way they talk about daimona (daimonoi? I always forget) is so transparently psychological it's laughable.

      More to the point neither P or S had access to accurate info on neurons, which I think changes the playing field. I've spent some years casting spells and most of those talking to spirits, but looking at the evidence I can no longer imagine that there is such a thing as a soul. Well, I can imagine it, it's just far less likely idea than a purely material explanation of mind.

      But when I enter the oratory, the lights go down: I give them my total suspension of disbelief, and we meet. Like you said, it's arbitrary. (Or at least it feels that way, which is good enough.)

      As for your second paragraph, YES. But I find that, in itself, strong indication of what I said above: if it's my belief or choice that determines how the spirits act, that says a lot about what the spirits are.

      (Or so I think for now. It could change.)

    4. I do love when a random blog entry inspires an interesting exchange!!

      I will concede, I am not much of a science guy but I have been following the recent proclamations from the scientific establishment regarding the non-local nature of consciousness with some fascination. Have you seen any of that business? Essentially, that the neural network of the mammalian brain is not necessary for consciousness.

      Your point regarding the second (horribly worded and riddled with grammatical mistakes) paragraph holds. I must concede that. That being said, will the invisibles realize an individuals desire beyond the limitations the individual have themselves consciously or unconsciously defined for them?

    5. Yeah this is a great exchange.

      I'm not sure which research you mean re. consciousness. It sounds like you may be talking about emergence, the idea that consciousness is not the product of a specific brain area but it is a phenomena that emerges from the complexity of the neural network working together. This is probably the best hypothesis we have for how consciousness works (at present). You're right that the theory allows that the phenomena could be reproduced without a brain: but only in a brain-like structure such as a hard computer or computer program that emulates the brain. It does not, alas, allow for consciousness to be immaterial or exist without such a "brain."

      Re. invisible beings and the limits the mage places on themselves: well said, and damn yeah.

  4. Also .. many thanks for the props ya'll!