Checking Egos: Being Our Best Selves

There's a lot of talk in the occult about ridding oneself of Ego. Sure, enlightenment is easy when you aren't carrying forty years of baggage and an Ego the size of the Ukraine, but that is pretty difficult to do outside of a monastery.

I'm privileged to know a good few occultists whom I consider to be adept at the bones of magick, be it theurgy, thaumaturgy, divination, or damn well manifesting their desired result as and when needed. One thing they all have in common is an Ego, and I can conjure up the idea of any of them by recalling a fond memory, or a tract from their book, or a shared ritual. It's fair to say, however, that they use their Ego in their work - not the other way around.

Here's Uncle Al with a few words about the effects when you let your Ego dictate your magical operations:

What happens when the Aspirant invokes Diana, or calls up Lilith? He increases the sum of his experiences in these particular ways. Sometimes he has a ‘liaison-experience,’ which links two main lines of thought, and so is worth dozens of isolated gains.

Now, if there is any difference at all between the White and the Black Adept in similar case, it is that the one, working by ‘love under will’ achieves a marriage with the new idea, while the other, merely grabbing, adds a concubine to his harem of slaves.

The about-to-be-Black Brother constantly restricts himself; he is satisfied with a very limited ideal; he is afraid of losing his individuality—reminds one of the ‘Nordic’ twaddle about ‘race-pollution.’
— Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Cap XII

The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

So it goes on this path, and there is an antidote: to fixate upon the best possible expression of yourself. I've designed a few things over the years to try to be a better person, which I consider one of the primary and initial goals of magical work. Self-reflection and an admission that we aren't perfect is the cornerstone of all improvement. One method I've consistently used for years is to work with angelic spirits, who have little time for petty concerns and always think big-picture.

It's for this reason I've come up with a new way of formulating the Path of the Rose with my good friend Mr North in Glastonbury; we're bringing out a weekly pathworking to the Domain of the four key Archangels in Western Occultism: Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael. This is separate to the full course, but acts as a regular contact session for those who can make it to Glastonbury. Here are the next four weeks:

I'm really pleased to be bringing these out again - those who know me personally will have noticed regular angelic work I've been undertaking with Mr North, so there's a lot going on behind the scenes, and we've had some breakthroughs in both contact and inspiration. You can pick up tickets on the door, or in advance here for either a single night or a month's short course.

Seriously this is from someone's back porch. With only a tiny hangover.

Not everybody gets on with angels, though! So what can we do on a regular basis, to look at how we present ourselves to the world? I'm glad you asked: Here's something I prepared earlier.

In 2013 I was honoured to be invited to a private working group, and one of the sessions was on Ego magick. I created this ritual using the LVX/INRI formula, as a way of both charging the Wand of the magician, and clearing out unwanted Egos from the past. Earlier this week, I took a trip down to sunny Torquay to see some friends, and I dusted it off following an evening of wine and magical discussion. I promised them I'd post up the text, so here it is - enjoy.

Ruach Purge Using IAO/INRI/LVX Formula (for a group)

The purpose of this ritual is to examine the Briatic concept of the Self. The idea of "Sef Salem" or "John Cleese" or "Queen Elizabeth II" requires Willed belief to emanate into thought-forms, and our self-belief is a strong component of active magick. This idea forms the Neshamah, and these emanations in turn influence the Ruach, our consciousness filter and active daily spirit. Our Ego then is an adaptation to circumstances and birthed by necessity of our surroundings and goals. 

Using the magical name of the magician as this Idea, and examining the Yetziratic thought-forms of the Ego which have emanated over time, we can look to destroy those which no longer serve their purpose. This could either be because we have outgrown that phase of life, because they hark back to a trauma we have already dealt with, or because we simply choose to embody something different nowadays.

From Project 365, Kenneth Todd

Regularly stripping the Ego back to the core aspects of our being, and allowing room for more pertinent expressions of the Self to emanate, will lead to the manifestation of our best possible selves in our daily lives.

The below ritual is not intended for beginners; there are inherent dangers with "defragging" your Ruach in this manner, so spend some time in meditation on how you wish to see yourself in a perfected world, and identify the traits in yourself which are no longer needed. Then, if you so choose, perform this with your ritual group:

  • I.    Everyone centres themselves and walls off their active consciousness, compartmentalises their ideas of Self and Ego. Adopts sign of Osiris Slain. Performed by visualising Astral Temple leading to long corridor full of observation rooms, a Memory Palace. At the end of the corridor is a large Door marked with Magical name in glowing letters, symbolising the Perfected person, or Neshamah. Take time to observe each room, it contains scenes where different types of behaviours representing particular version of the Ego are playing, which are currently built into the Ruach. Ceremonially mark with a chalk a vertical Cross [ + ] on the rooms containing Egos to be purged, and mark a Cheth [ ח ] on rooms containing Egos to be kept.
  • N.    The lights go off , total blackness. All adopt sign of Isis Mourning, build up Atavistic breathing towards sobbing, to reach point of despair.
  • R.    The name of the Door begins to glow again. Visualise pointing Wand/weapon at the door whilst all point physical wands/weapons into centre of group. We take it in turns to say our Magical name then all repeat, and continue round the group until we reach a crescendo. The Door opens, blinding light fills the corridor, all throw arms up into sign of Apophis and Typhon. The lights come back on
  • I.    All bring arms into sign of Osiris Risen. The light settles down to illumination as before. All rooms with a + have been purged, and are completely dark. All rooms with a ח still retain versions of the Ego useful and helpful, and are glowing with energy. These doors open, and we walk down the corridor towards the Door as they assimilate back into ourselves, until we are complete again and enter the light.

The Wand/weapon should now be the “Prometheus Tube” for the Divine Intent to be the perfected Self, so whenever it is used, it realigns the Magician with that same blinding light and helps adjust the Ruach to do the bidding of the Neshamah.

If you like this sort of wacky experimental magick, leave a message and I can dig out further weapons-grade tech from the archives. Do you have a group that you'd like me to come and visit to give a lecture, workshop, or run a ritual? Get in touch!

Have fun, play safe, and Do what thou wilt.