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Author Topic: How my first working went...  (Read 2938 times)
Benjamin
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« Topic Start: July 30, 2007, 11:29:13 am »

Dear all

I thought you would like to hear about my experiences yesterday; it was my very first Working in chaos magic after several months of study.

I deliberately didn’t sleep the night before as I wanted to have a naturally altered state about me so from early morning I was already a bit out of it. I had given thought to EverFool’s advice to practice gnosis before undertaking my first working, I knew I couldn’t put the working off but I also saw the sense in practice so from about 5am until midday I spent my time in and out of consciousness while practicing meditation.

I have been meditating for several years so it came quite easily but this state of gnosis was still alien to me, I chose to follow Jason Louv’s Beyond the Wall of Sleep Rite because it made sense to me and was easy to follow. I was glad that I took the time to practice because gnosis didn’t come easily if at all in fact.

As it turned out there was a Pagan Lammas ritual taking place near to where I live so I thought I would visit to add to the atmosphere of what was to take place later that day. Truthfully I can’t say it did anything for me as all I wanted to do was return home and continue my preparations but at least it got me out of the house and I had a bit of fresh air. I returned home, had a little lunch and continued with gnosis practice. I had decided that I was going to begin my Working at 11pm so I carried on practicing until 8pm, had some dinner and then went and took a long, hot and very welcome bath.

Now feeling very relaxed and confidant about the proceeding events I began to gather the materials I needed for the Working. I had already formed a statement of intent that would later become the basis of my sigil but I held off creating the sigil itself, as I wanted its creation to be a part of the ritual. I positioned eight candles in a circle, which formed the eight points of the chaos symbol and lit plenty of incense to create a heady atmosphere, which would compliment my light headedness brought on by lack of sleep.

I then went to my study and broke down my statement of intent into letters and destroyed the original statement. I took the sheet of paper with the seemingly random letters and laid it down inside the circle of candles. I then laid down a piece of flash paper and a pencil on to which I would draw my finished sigil. I hear some of you laughing at my use of flash paper already, but I like visual effects and thought burning it would make a fitting end to the Working.

It was now 10pm and I was ready. I decided to take a walk outside to wake myself a little as I was beginning to feel drowsy. I wanted to help create an altered state of mind but I didn’t want to fall asleep!

I returned home at quarter to eleven and drank a glass of water; I ventured to the circle of candles and began. I won’t go into detail as to the actual process as most of it is covered in Jason Louv's text but after a few false starts and aided by a body screaming for rest I felt myself shift into a different state of mind and so began the Working proper.

Because of the exact nature of my statement of intent I cannot yet measure its success, it is possible I may never be able to. The thing is I have forgotten my statement of intent, I no longer know what it was that I was aiming for.  I cannot remember what I wrote down, nor can I remember what my sigil looked like. I cannot go back to it either as the final act of the Working was to burn the flash paper that my sigil was drawn upon which burnt a beautiful and quite satisfying orange and left no ashes.

This has left me a little perplexed, but I also feel that something happened because of events that took place both during and after the Working. As I moved further and further into a state of gnosis (if that was in fact what it was) I began to feel more and more awake. It is a little difficult to explain, I became more aware but not aware of my surroundings or environment, just more aware. With that came energy, not within me but around me. It felt as if the air was charged and it just kept increasing. I cannot now say what was going on inside my mind, I do not know if I was thinking at all in fact. But it is the energy that I remember.

I remember reaching a point where I was at once more awake than I have ever been but also utterly exhausted and that marked the end of the Working and the destruction of the sigil. At that point I began to become aware of my surroundings again and started to feel sensation and hear sounds, all of which had been absent during the Working itself. I began to compose myself and as I did I felt an overwhelming need for sleep. I blew out the candles and left everything as it was and headed immediately to bed but as soon as I got into bed I found that I couldn’t rest, something was missing. It was like something had been left unfinished. My mind began to whirl and wandered into long trains of thought all of which for some odd reason ended in me laughing.

I eventually fell asleep where the next notable thing happened although I wasn’t aware of it until this morning. Firstly I felt as if I had slept perfectly soundly all night but secondly I believe I did not dream. This struck me as odd as I was half expecting some of the wildest dreams I have ever had but in fact there was nothing. I noticed it particularly because for the previous couple of weeks I have also been practicing lucid dreaming and therefore I had been recording all dreams in a notebook the following morning. I read back through my notebook and realised that every morning since I had started I had something to write come morning, even if it was just a fragment. But this morning I had nothing at all to enter.

Since waking today I also feel different within myself, and I feel the world around me has changed ever so slightly although it is impossible for me to say in what way. All I can say is that things seem a little brighter and a little clearer and I’m noticing things that would have seemed too mundane to notice yesterday. Things such as the patterns of the tar in the roads where the road has recently been dug up, the way the clouds move, the brickwork of a wall that sits across the road from me. I went for a walk on the beach and my mind could not help note the time between the waves moving in and out of the shore, I mean I was physically counting the seconds without any conscious idea of why. I looked across the shoreline to where the coast jutted out into the ocean and saw only the shapes they made. Shapes, that’s another thing. I see them everywhere. Triangles, circles and squares and how they all interact with each other. This is how my day has been so far, and even as I write this I am barely seeing the letters but the shapes my monitor makes in conjunction with my desk.

I feel that something has changed, I cannot say what. But I feel different, not completely different but slightly. Its as if my whole perception of things has shifted minutely one way or another which does nothing to comfort me as all it does is makes me think of the butterfly effect and how these minor, seemingly insignificant changes can have broad implications further down the line.

I do not feel comfortable because my mind is reeling to make sense of it all, but I also feel I should let go and let whatever happens happen. If I’m honest I feel a little bit afraid but what of, I do not know. It’s almost like paranoia. But despite all of this, even though I feel fear, even though it has made me uncomfortable, all I can think about right now is planning and undertaking my next Working.

For the last few weeks I have felt an overwhelming desire to begin practice in chaos, and now I have my desire has only increased. Although I do not know what it is I have gained or lost, I want to experience it again and again and again.

I would really like to hear some comments on this; this is the first time I have ever practiced anything of an occult nature having confined myself to study for years. Anyone who has anything to say please say it, I would be really interested to hear what others think about all this.

Many thanks for reading.

Benjamin
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lukophos
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« Reply #1: July 30, 2007, 11:55:23 am »

I say congratulations.  Most folks' first working is in their bed room burning a candle to make some money or find a boyfriend.  Generally these things are personally rewarding, but not terribly effective. You seem to have successfully altered consciousness.  Way to go!

My impressions are that you did everything correctly enough for success.  Sleep deprivation was a good idea, it tends to be less distracting than fasting.  Having forgotten your sigil and intent is a sure sign of success.  Being in the altered state of hyper-awareness could either be left overs from the sleep deprivation, or could be energetic leftovers from your working.  Judging only from what I read, I'd say a bit of both (I have a supposition about your working that I won't mention in case I'm correct -- it would be a shame to remind you of what you forgot!).  More toward the second if you find you have no problem following conversations, more to the former if you're more focused on their facial expressions.  Such is my experience, at least.

Here's wishing you a rich magical career!
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« Reply #2: July 30, 2007, 03:01:24 pm »

Dear all

I thought you would like to hear about my experiences yesterday; it was my very first Working in chaos magic after several months of study.

Sounds great!  just wondering, in chaos magick do you have to ground after a working like that? If I did one that powerful, I would certainly feel high or something too afterwards if I didnt ground!  I will say tho, I dont know much about chaos magick at all.  Everfool is our resident chaote, although there are bound to be some others as well. 

Congratulations!  Sounds like you are doing really well Smiley  All that time studying is paying off Smiley

Gina
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« Reply #3: July 30, 2007, 06:44:36 pm »

Sounds great!  just wondering, in chaos magick do you have to ground after a working like that? If I did one that powerful, I would certainly feel high or something too afterwards if I didnt ground!  I will say tho, I dont know much about chaos magick at all.  Everfool is our resident chaote, although there are bound to be some others as well. 


In Chaos magic some people 'banish with laughter', which I view as largely to reduce your attachment to what you've done, and the belief system you've used.  (Among other things, it reduces the obsession with success).  So long as one can handle the energy, I don't think grounding per say is necessary.  I generally only ground if I have far too much energy that leaves me feeling dizzy, or if for some other reason I want to get myself feeling a bit more solid. Smiley  Otherwise I think it's good to get used to higher levels of energy. Smiley
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« Reply #4: July 30, 2007, 10:04:59 pm »

Dear all

I thought you would like to hear about my experiences yesterday; it was my very first Working in chaos magic after several months of study.

Benjamin! Wow, it sounds like you had an amazing experience. Workings like the one you describe tend to stay with you for a lifetime. I know I still remember my first experience of Drawing Down the Moon as if it only just happened.

The hardest thing now will be to step back and let the Magic take its course. Sometimes if you keep revisiting what you worked it will have the effect of diluting the Magic.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5: July 30, 2007, 10:43:53 pm »

In Chaos magic some people 'banish with laughter', which I view as largely to reduce your attachment to what you've done, and the belief system you've used.

"Banishing with laughter"...what a lovely concept! I'll have to remember that one. (Y'know, they say the Devil can't stand laughter. Wink )

Benjamin - might I suggest keeping a journal in which you write down the goal of your intended working before you perform it? That way you can go back to it later, in case you forget. As someone else said, it might be detrimental to remind yourself too soon, but in the spirit of science - heh heh - it might do to keep a record of these things so that you're able to keep track of your results.

Also, it's never occurred to me to design a sigil during a working - I've always done that beforehand. What was that like? I imagine you must have been on auto pilot...see, I'm an artist, but I always think too much about these things, and I think I'd just break my own trance by getting my ego overinvolved. Grin
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Benjamin
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« Reply #6: July 31, 2007, 10:53:57 am »

Having forgotten your sigil and intent is a sure sign of success

That's an interesting idea. I have read information telling me I should not think about the intent but I was a little concerned that I could not remember it at all. It is quite disconcerting actually, it is like when you wake and try to remember your dreams, the more you try they harder it gets. This is the same, it probably sounds a little unbelievable but I have no recollection of what was originally written on that piece of paper.

This is a concern though, because if it is meant to be this way how do I ever know if I was successful?


just wondering, in chaos magick do you have to ground after a working like that

Actually I don't know, this is where my lack of experience may become an issue but I don't really even know what you mean by 'grounding'. Perhaps that is what I felt was missing after I finished the Working.


In Chaos magic some people 'banish with laughter', which I view as largely to reduce your attachment to what you've done, and the belief system you've used.

That's food for thought, I was already aware that laughter was a good way to banish but my experience with laughter came naturally, or at least I wasn't trying to make myself laugh. That could be for two reasons; either because I was aware of banishment by laughter I subconsciously did it, or the reason that laughter is used to banish is perhaps partly because it comes so naturally. Or maybe it was just coincidence.


The hardest thing now will be to step back and let the Magic take its course. Sometimes if you keep revisiting what you worked it will have the effect of diluting the Magic.

You're very right, it is very hard. The truth is I am obsessing over it somewhat, not over the results as there really isn't any way for me to know if I am successful but over the whole experience. I really cannot get it out of my mind, today more so than yesterday if that is even possible. I think I need to really start practicing gnosis more, to get me used to it so it becomes a normal, everyday thing.


Benjamin - might I suggest keeping a journal in which you write down the goal of your intended working before you perform it?

.....

Also, it's never occurred to me to design a sigil during a working - I've always done that beforehand. What was that like? I imagine you must have been on auto pilot...see, I'm an artist, but I always think too much about these things, and I think I'd just break my own trance by getting my ego overinvolved.

I am in fact keeping a journal, but it is intentionally quite loose. Although I didn't think for a minute I would completely forget the intent I also know I shouldn't be focusing on it. I think writing my stated intent explicitly might be counterproductive, and in fact the more I think about forgetting the intent the more ok I am with that except for the fact that I cannot know if I was successful. But the interesting thing is that I feel successful, I have seen no evidence but I feel like I did something right on Sunday. I just have no way of proving it to myself.

Regarding designing the sigil during the working, I must clarify this. What I mean is that I designed it during the working as opposed to taking the finished sigil in with me, what I did not do is design it during gnosis or even during the period leading up to gnosis. All I did in fact was sit inside my symbol of chaos and begin to draw the sigil onto my paper, and it was only after I had done this that I began the Beyond the Wall of Sleep Rite.


On a side note, I have received this morning Peter Carroll's Liber Null and Psychonaut (thank you EverFool for your recommendation). I have begun to read it and it is interesting to see what I could have done differently. I think from now I am going to work according to this syllabus and see where it takes me, but one thing I need to make a priority is properly achieving gnosis as despite the positive feel I get from Sunday's Working I cannot say with certainty that it was gnosis that I experienced.

Benjamin

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