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KIA Retreat 2012 – The opening.

On Friday 12th October 2012, 3 couples met in a lodge near to Boleskin House on the shores of Loch Ness for the first KIA retreat.  The venue had superb views of the Loch, self catering facilities and an outdoor hot-tub. Of the 6 persons attending, 5 were actively interested in magic whilst the 6th attendee got on with other things in another room during the time when we performed rituals of any kind.  On arrival we did make the small walk to the falls of Foyers, which was flowing far stronger than I’d ever seen it before, so much so that it appeared to be raining upwards.

Originally we had planned to open the event with a Gnostic Mass, but it became apparent that even the simplified version Lolita was preparing had too many complex parts for participants to learn in advance for a small group that hadn’t worked together before.  Maybe next time.

Mass of Baphomet

Our actual opening ritual consisted of a Mass of Baphomet. This took the form of a 5 stage ritual inspired by the ‘Aeonic Litany’ of Pete Carroll.  As the only participant to have even been in a Baphomet rite before, I was to play[1] the horse or invokee.

In stage 1 all 5 participants danced in a circle beating on drums and shaking rattles, raising the energy of the animating life force of the planet. At the climax, I (as Baphomet’s horse) proclaimed the first line of the litany, ‘In the first Aeon, I was the great spirit’.

This signalled the start of the second stage where the other four danced about me, still with drums and rattles but chanting names of nature deities such as ‘an’, ‘Gaia’ etc. I danced on the balls of my feet to imitate the dance of a being with hoofed legs as I felt the possession grow.  This stage culminated in the second line of the litany, ‘In the second aeon, I was the all creator, all destroyer, Pangenitor, Panphage.’

This was followed by the third phase. Here participants called on the names of Devils, such as ‘Satan’, ‘Lucifer’, ‘Lillith’ etc, but if I approached them too close they would ward me off with holy signs and gestures.  At the climax of this stage I spoke the third line of the litany ‘In the third aeon, humanity knew me as the dark one, the Devil’.

In the fourth stage I was met with silence as participants tried to avoid eye contact with me. This resulted in the forth line of the litany, ‘In the forth aeon, humanity knew me not, for I was occult, the hidden one’.

In the fifth stage, participants chanted names related to Baphomet as the opener of ways, including related openers of the ways from other cultures, such as Ganesha and Legba, and also older forms of the name Baphomet such as Behemoth, whilst making horned gestures towards me. Finally, in full possession I proclaimed the final lines of the litany, ‘In this new aeon, I come before you as Baphomet, the god before all gods, who shall endure till the end of the Earth’.

In possession Baphomet charged the sacrament that was prepared in a drinking horn, with three loud animalistic calls into it, before taking a drink and passing it on.  Baphomet declared the door open and soon after I felt my normal conciousness returning.  I could hold the possession no longer, and as Baphomet decided to depart I felt my body collapsing into a sofa from exhaustion.  As I recovered I stood up and thought to declare myself as Anton once again so as to remove doubt.

We continued to pass around the drinking horn until all sacrament was gone.   No more rituals were performed Friday night, but we felt the doorway to open for the rest of the weekend.  Further accounts to follow…

Notes

[1] Taking a leaf out of Tai Chi, where those that practise together say they ‘play’ Tai Chi together, we talked about playing magic together, and magical playings, rather than working magic together and magical workings. We do this not to detract from the serious intent of the workings so much as to emphasise the importance of pleasure, and to prevent us taking things too seriously.  If a small error is made during a magical play, we need not stress over it.  Stressing over such trivialities can lead to ruining a ritual more than the initial error itself. We do not mean to imply that the ritual was ‘just an act’ like a theatrical play.

16 thoughts on “KIA Retreat 2012 – The opening.

  1. It was an interesting ritual.

    At the beginning when Anton described it to me I felt rather apprehensive. I found it difficult to imagine just calling names around a person to get them possessed. My feeling was that the role other than being the possessed wasn’t very creative and seemed too confined and scripted.

    We used the instruments for conjuration before doing the Baphomet rite and it raised energy greatly so I suggested that we incorporate them into the Baphomet rite. This created a sense of fun and participation that I felt was otherwise not strong enough for me .

    I decided to use one of the drums during ritual and found it very inspiring. I found it easier in the first and then the fourth aeon as I didn’t need to chant anything. I don’t do drumming professionally and I’m not particularly good at it so I find it really hard to drum and chant the same time. My overall feeling about this is that it would be best to have a bigger group to perform this rite in which case some people could focus on drumming and others on chanting and rattling.

    I felt that drums had a very strong impact on the ritual and the possession that Anton was going through. In fact all the instruments were guiding Anton into the trance. I had a strong sense of interaction with everyone involved. The music we played was completely spontaneous and I had a sense that we all inspired each other as we went along. This was really amazing.

    The rhythm was something that came from within me. I could change it and work it into what others were playing at any time depending on what I felt. It was a great way of free expression. We did agree that in the fourth aeon the music will fade considerably and this was the only ‘rule’ on how to play.

    Eventually we arrived at the fifth aeon and there we had a chance to ask Baphomet anything we wanted. After asking Baphomet to open the ways, there was a moment of a pause were I wasn’t sure what we were doing and eventually I decided to put down the drum and bring the horn of Norfolk punch to be blessed and passed around. This closed the ritual. Baphomet left Anton as soon as the horn had been passed around. In some the way passing of the horn and ceasing of the drums may have acted as a key for the possession to end. Another good reason why it might be useful to have a bigger group and drummers carrying on playing during this stage, especially in the case when participants have a few different requests to ask Baphomet.

    The possession ended very suddenly which surprised me. It was just like: ‘Here is your horn and now I go home!’ My own perception of the Baphomet that Anton expressed in possession was angry and very emotional, that of a wild animal captured in a cage. He was grunting and running around in excitement. It was as if we were a ‘cage’ too small to comfortably contain Baphomet for longer and she used an opportune moment to get away.

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  2. @lolita Its interesting to get feedback on how this rite worked from the other side of the possession, because with experience we can adapt and improve the way we work with rites such as this one. That’s one reason why I think its important to discuss what we are doing and what we have done together.

    I have thought that maybe during the progression of the five aeons, those that wish to address a specific aeonic aspect could make requests at that point. Shamanic conjurations during the first aeon, pagan witchcraft in the second, satanic spells in the third, occult workings in the forth. Or maybe previous aeonic manifestations could be specifically referenced after Baphomet announces themselves. These are things we can experiment with.

    I think Katja suggested the current form of the rite seems monotheistic. This might go some way to alleviate that. I’m also wondering about a sixth aeon manifestation as ‘Legion’. Another direction we can experiment in at some point?

    As regards the possession ending suddenly after consecrating the sacrament. I’m not sure why that happened. It maybe as you say that we needed someone to keep up the rhythm on drums. It maybe that sacrament should come at the end, after all requests are made.

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  3. Pingback: Mass of Legion: Aeonic Litany #EtherSec #PM2012 | KIA Illuminated Adepts

  4. Thank you for the description of the playing.
    I like the word, it suggests that the magik was enjoyed, and not learned ‘parrot fashion’ and recited with no uh….heart.
    i agree with Lolita, as the drumming was probably helping greatly to keep Anton possessed. I doubt that you would need a bigger group though, I spect all you needed was one or two people to continue drumming when the horn was passed around. I like the sound and feel of the ritual, and would hope that one day I can take part.
    Have still to learn about the legion part.

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  5. @trace Yes, I’m sure in this instance, since we used drums and rattles to raise the energy of Baphomet, keeping them going would might helped keep the possession going. However it would also make it difficult to communicate with Baphomet if everyone was concentrating on playing a rhythm, a trance state in and of itself.

    I’ve also been part of many successful Baphomet rites with no drumming or music at all, just chanting, so drumming isn’t a necessity of such workings.

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  6. Ooh! Yerts… I forgot that you were doing it a certain way, guess I’m just not used to that, as well as not doing stuff like that alone.
    Incidentally, I meant to ask you… (for obvious reasons,) what does possession feel like to you?

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  7. Trace how possession feels to me varies depending on the spirit, and whether I deliberately invited the possession, or whether it ‘just arrived one day out of the blue’. Baphomet possessions tend to be quite intense. For me, using the aeonic formula above, I feel myself AS Baphomet, my normal identity becomes non existent. Often, when I become conscious of Anton again, the possession leaves me.

    Other possessions are different, more subtle and surprising. These spirits become more like ‘identities’ in a way, although I’m not always sure where some of them came from. Still, it can feel both strange and empowering to allow such entities the ability to express themselves through me. They can sometimes do things I can’t.

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    • How strange is this? No prob though, just notifications that appear to be from a long time ago, but that’s ok… I needed the reminder of …..at least one thing.

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      • Hi @trace, my apologies for the notifications, they are happening because I’m moving old articles onto new sites. You may get a few more of them as I continue with the task. Glad it reminded you of something you needed reminding of though…

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  8. Thanks for that @Anton, I forgot also that you would have experience of different entities as well.
    So far, I only have experience of one… If he can be classed as one, I’m still not really sure.
    It’s difficult to explain what it’s like even for me, as it feels more and more as if he is more like a melding of many different deities/entities. ( I am not totally sure, but I feel that Baphomet is a Part of him too.).
    I use the term deity loosely, as I don’t know very much about any of them. However, it’s possible that my experiences may be doing just that.
    I feel that I know him as well as I am able, given the total lack of even the basic stuff that most folks know. But even as I write this, its obvious that for me at least, I am taught by experience and looking within a great deal.
    It’s odd how I never play my magik the same twice, and nearly all the time.. I don’t really know why I am doing stuff, it’s exactly like watching yourself. I spoze… you could call it guided magik.
    It doesn’t happen often, but when I am inspired, I let it happen.

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  9. Yay! I am finally getting to respond to this. I am sad it takes so long, but glad because now there are responses that somewhat connect my response more firmly to this post. What is keeping me from being more active/connected here?

    Ever since reading this post I have been pondering the idea of playing magick. It reminded me of one of my latest, favoritest grimoires of late: http://books.google.com/books/about/What_It_Is.html?idzDWOAAACAAJ

    Well it (What It Is) reminds me of @lolita‘s Sea Bed: http://seabed.kiamagic.com/2012/04/25/sea-bed/

    Nextly, I was reminded of conversations with @trace where we talked about spontaneity in our workings, and how it seems we have always done magick.

    And lastly, the point that drew me to ponder and comment finally and ultimately is @Anton‘s suggestion of play. It is actually quite a serious point of departure. Lynda Barry, the author of What It Is covers it very well, and in a wonderful style of presentation. Here is embedded a talk she gave:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb-x8IsdopA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtnZ0Amrs2w

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5G3e-Z3aeA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNrLTZiN6lQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr2kt7HgAEk

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  10. @tortugo23
    Thanks for sharing this! It’s great! I feel very inspired after listening to Linda and I will definitely try to get hold of her book.

    The creativity as play is something I can relate to on many different levels. It’s interesting that you mentioned Sea Bed. In fact when I make films and animations I prefer to have no script. I begin with an idea for the set- it’s either a beautiful place somewhere outdoors or a set I construct from things at home in the case of animations. Then, for the animations, I construct the puppets and the making of the film is about playing around with them and seeing what they can do.

    This approach was very difficult at university- it’s the ‘wrong way round’. My animation tutors wanted me to write the script before I designed the set. When making puppets, I was supposed to describe what I want them to do first and then make them. I couldn’t do this.

    I find that the play method works best for me in ritual. I like to create the set- altar, temple with candles and incense and choose the spirits to conjure/evoke/invoke or should I say convoke? Yes, spirits to convoke. I may have some particular thing that I want to do but I prefer to leave it open in what order, shape and form things will unfold.

    I can do magick in a more controlled manner but if there is too much of a script involved I find that it seems more like acting out magick rather than experiencing it. Here what comes to my mind is the bit from Linda’s talk when she mentioned dancing in and out of the groove. The element of pretending, in my opinion, plays an essential role in a ritual but the best bits are the ones flowing from it spontaneously. In other words the acting out magick enables us to eventually start doing it. If we never act it we will never do it.

    This holds true especially for magick done in a group of people. Everyone can have a wonderful internal experience of magick but unless we express it, it can’t be shared. The only exception for this could be a group meditation in which we share the silence.

    What I found more difficult with the idea of play magick is that it is hard to explain. Having a set ritual formula to follow means everyone knows what they are suppose to do. It’s a question of memorising and following instructions. It’s much harder just to say ‘be yourself and do what you feel is right’. It sound like there is no concept for the ritual in such a case. Also especially in a new group it can be hard because participants may become self-conscious. Am I doing the right thing? I don’t want to stand out or ruin it or look stupid etc. This blocks the spontaneity and makes the ritual impossible. It would be amazing just to get a group of people and say let’s do magick and have no plan and let it happen but I think this can be only done in a group who ‘rehearsed’ together many times.

    What I found amazing on the retreat was that we had a lot of moments of spontaneous flow of magick in between the rituals. These deserve a separate write up which I’m intending to do.

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  11. @lolita I am happy to hear that these videos have some meaning to you and that I am not totally off here. I am glad that you can relate and I liked to hear your examples from university. I can also relate to the difficulty in creating a ritual experience or even a film without some kind of script or direction. Having found magick after already doing it all my life has given me direction and many scripts to chose from and riff on.

    I have never participated in group ritual, unless you consider Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies ritual, which of course they are. I spent several years in Russian style monasteries and have to say that the structure can certainly give you the freedom to improvise and play. And yes, everyone would be lost without the basic structure. And no, I doubt many others enjoyed playing and having such fun in those liturgies which might explain a little on why (among many other reasons) I am not there anymore.

    I really think Lynda’s books are worth having, especially the one I shared here. I will try to scan some sections and upload them here somewhere. She has a very magickal sense about her work, it touches some really deep places.

    I don’t know if you have ever taken or done any drama or theater, but your reply really brings to mind Viola Spolin’s Improv Games:
    http://www.spolin.us/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IlrP8_QXsg
    http://violaspolin.blogspot.com/
    Her games might help do describe why you do need some direction or structure for groups to play in. She does great stuff, and her games are very fun to play. She has a deeper side as well.

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  12. Pingback: KIA Retreat 2012 – Books, Cards, Films and Music | KIA Illuminated Adepts

  13. Very nice. Words to definitely think and try. AS in I will try it . My rellay small problem with this as a guiding principle at least in the States’ Occult authors is that there is SO much personal narrative and so little verification of results. While the context of the results DO matter, and the personal influence of the forces do matter, equally problematic is the personal narrative without details on the techniques, metrics of success, or where much of the details are obfuscated and the personal narrative only seems to serve the writer’s ego. Book after book in my library of more modern occult books seem to fall into this category and often are sold soon after.

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  14. Pingback: KIA Retreat 2012 « KIA Egregore

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