austin osman

Sorcery is a deliberate act of causing metamorphoses by the employment of elementals. It forges a link with the powers of middle nature, (i.e. The astral plane, between the spiritual and physical realms.) or the ether, the astrals of great trees and of animals of every kind. Will is our medium, Belief is the vehicle, and Desire is the force combining with the elemental. Cryptograms are our talismans and protectors
—  Austin Osman Spare (unpublished)
Further Work With the Azoetia; Or Why Andrew Chumbley is a Genius and Probably Had Some Boss Ass Witch Teachers.

So here’s the T, I somehow got a hardcopy of the Azoetia. Don’t ask how. 

Made pacts with Sethos under the tutelage of my Toad. Got an okay, go ahead memo.

And I have been gradually reading my way through it, and trying my hand at some of the creations and exercises. 

And now in the spirit of sharing, I mma spill some hot T on exactly what the Azoetia is and what the grammar is capable of in a practitioner’s hands. 

Y’all better be thankful for this shit because I am literally putting my head on the chopping block here and can already feel Sethos giving me the side eye to tell me to mind my mouth. 

The Azoetia is a book of ciphers, codes, and sigils. The book details the processes in which the author himself explored the creation of his own magical cipher, complete with language system and associated sigils, against the back drop of the witch traditions he was initiated into. There is a healthy influence of Austin Osman Spare’s style in the artwork and calligraphy, as well as the hermetic thought evident in grimoires that were popular during the time, and good old East Anglian cunning craft, from what I can recognize. 

But here is the thing, that in itself is a cipher. Through the lense of his specific craft work, through his poetry, through his allegories and seemingly theurgic explorations, Andrew Chumbley reveals techniques firmly grounded in the workings of practical witchcraft that is shared in similarities amoung many mediumnistic, spirit working, sorcerous traditions around the world, as one works sorcery, they gain wisdom, familiars, and genius from the collective ancestry of sorcery as a people. In this way he unites the great work with practical witchcraft. To discover one’s soul, he proposes the idea of not divorcing oneself from this life, but actively engaging with it through the work of magic. By uniting the lower mysteries with the higher, we discover truths about our magic and our selves through direct work and engagement. This way, body, mind, AND, soul grows.

People think they have to use the fancy invocations given in the book, and work the rituals to the T, and be unscrupulous in the details, and that turns people off and keeps them away from what the book actually has to offer in addition to all of that. 

I’ll conclude with the invitation, that if you can get your hands on a copy, to look a bit closer, read the beginning words of advice, read Chumbley’s intentions in putting this work to paper. You may be surprised by what you find. By what kind of work is asked of you. 

Because the Azoetia is ciphers within ciphers within ciphers. The golden nuggets of power are buried and scattered and woven into the pretty words and long winded invocations and post graduate manners of speaking. But no one is saying that is the only way these mysteries need to be worked. Not even the author themselves. 

Look closer. You’ll see. Nothing is really real but what you make real. 

Darken your room, shut the door, empty your mind. Yet you are still in
great company - the Numen and your Genius with all their media, and your
host of elementals and ghosts of your dead loves — are there! They need no light by which to see, no words to speak, no motive to enact except through your own purely formed desire.
—  Austin Osman Spare, The Logomachy of Zos

The Neither-Neither principle asserts that there is no truth anywhere that is not balanced by an equally true opposite somewhere, and there is only perspective and circumstance to determine which seems more true at any given time. To apply this principle to conjuring, wait until you are absolutely positive something is true, then search for its opposite. When you find it, oppose it to your ‘truth’ and let them annihilate one another as well as they may. Any residue you should oppose to its opposite, and so on until your truth has been dismembered and the passion behind it converted into undirected energy—free belief. By applying the Neither-Neither we can gut the meaningless convictions that obsess us every day and use the power released to cause the changes we desire.

Once free belief has been generated, the sorcerer must focus it into his desire without allowing the desire itself to contaminate his thought. To accomplish this, Spare made use of sigils—linear figures the sorcerer designs to represent his wishes. Sigils serve as ways for him to focus free belief into his desires without disturbing their unconscious sleep. By using free belief to burn a sigil into his imagination, the sorcerer pushes the power through his deep psyche into the Mind of God, where it can spawn whatever inspiration or happenstance he might require.

Stephen Mace, Stealing the Fire from Heaven (Phoenix: Dagon Productions & Heathen World Productions, 2003), 23-24.

Others praise ceremonial Magic, and are supposed to suffer much Ecstasy! Our asylums are crowded, the stage is over-run! Is it by symbolizing we become the symbolized? Were I to crown myself King, should I be King? Rather should I be an object of disgust or pity. These Magicians, whose insincerity is their safety, are but the unemployed dandies of the Brothels. Magic is but one’s natural ability to attract without asking; ceremony what is unaffected, its doctrine the negation of theirs. I know them well and their creed of learning that teaches the fear of their own light. Vampires, they are as the very lice in attraction. Their practices prove their incapacity, they have no magic to intensify the normal, the joy of a child or healthy person, none to evoke their pleasure or wisdom from themselves. Their methods depending on a morass of the imagination and a chaos of conditions, their knowledge obtained with less decency than the hyena his food, I say they are less free and do not obtain the satisfaction of the meanest among animals. Self condemned in their disgusting fatness, their emptiness of power, without even the magic of personal charm or beauty, they are offensive in their bad taste and mongering for advertisement. The freedom of energy is not obtained by its bondage, great power not by disintegration. Is it not because our energy (or mind stuff) is already over bound and divided, that we are not capable, let alone magical
—  Austin Osman Spare: The Book of Pleasure