Saturday, February 26, 2011


The image of a mystic staring into a crystal ball and telling someone's fortune is something that has permeated our popular culture.  The practice of scrying, or gazing into a reflective surface for insight, has been around for a lot longer than the pop culture fortune teller complete with carnival tent and turban.  The individual methods for scrying are myriad, but the basic principle remains the same.  You find a reflective surface and you gaze softly at it until you see something.  Some have applied this technique to candle flames and embers as well.

I am increasingly of the opinion that the focus for scrying only helps awaken dormant abilities, similar to how a ganzfeld setup can allow for clairvoyance to manifest when it would normally be overpowered by excess sensory noise.  Unlike a ganzfeld setup, scrying is something that just about anyone should be able to try with just a little bit of preparation.  The main requirements are a reflective surface to gaze into and a relaxed state of mind.

Your reflective surface can be anything from a pool or bowl of water, a piece of glass with one side painted black, a crystal ball, or you can even use a candle flame as I mentioned earlier.  When you set up your device you ideally want no reflections in your scrying surface.  This will probably require a low-light setting and to get the proper softly glowing reflective effect you'll want to try placing your light source (a candle or similar soft lighting) behind you.  Make sure that you can't see your own reflection or the reflection of your light source.

Softly gaze at your scrying surface and don't strain.  Just relax and look at the reflective surface.  After a while you may begin to see clouds or mist, specks of light, or other strange effects.  After a while, your visual field will begin to fill with darkness, clouding out the surroundings of the scrying device.  Don't be alarmed when this happens; it means you are right on track.  After this occurs you may begin to see images, either in the reflective surface or in your mind's eye (most likely in your mind's eye).  This is the effect that you're going for.

If you don't experience anything after fifteen minutes or so then stop and try again later.  It's important not to strain or force anything.  Just let it come naturally.

I haven't really gone further than this with my own scrying practice at present, but it is a very interesting activity if you're looking for a simple occult technique to pick up.  It can also be a launch pad for other occult practices as it helps develop your subtle senses.  Good luck and have fun with it.

Wikipedia on scrying.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Aliens or fairies? Depends on whom you ask.

It's interesting how phenomena can be seen or explained differently depending on the time period or culture they are observed in.  An example would be UFOs.

In times past, strange lights and mysterious disappearances were blamed on fairy folk.  The phenomenon of missing time that alien abductees report has similarities with the tales of the fairy realm having a different flow of time than the human realm.  If you look into the fairy lore there are a lot of similarities between fairy activity and UFOs and extraterrestrials.

So, is this the same phenomenon but seen through different eyes?  If it's the same phenomenon then which is it:  fairies or aliens?  Or none of the above?

Something that I find particularly interesting is that now we seem to be looking back over our legends and inserting UFOs and ETs in order to explain the strange occurrences told of in those tales.  This isn't confined to only legends either, but to history as a whole.  Ancient astronaut theorists have long pointed at the strange events of history and blamed extraterrestrial influences when in the past these events would have been blamed on fairies, angels, deities, or spirits.

I suppose what I'm getting at is this:  We view things through the lens of the time period.  How will we look back on such unexplained phenomena in a hundred years?

Merlin's prophecies reveal guidance from UFOs and aliens, state experts

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

UFOs over Utah? I don't think so.

Coast to Coast AM had an interesting Photo of the Day today.  The photo (which can be seen here) claims to be of an unidentified triangular craft in the sky above Box Elder County, Utah.  What sets this apart from most UFO photos is that this craft was visible in broad daylight (cloud cover aside).  This also isn't the only photo (you can see the rest on the blog created specifically for these photos).

Honestly, the only thing astonishing to me about these photos is how one of them managed to become Photo of the Day on Coast to Coast AM's website.  I'm no photo manipulation expert, but in every single one of these photos something stands out to me:  There are definite anomalies, either around the objects themselves or in other areas of the photo.  Others that I have shown these to have seen the same thing.

In the first photo (in chronological order as posted on the blog) you can see a vaguely triangular object in front of some clouds.  If you look closely above this object, you'll see what I can only describe as a distortion that is about the same shape as the object.  It almost looks like a picture of a pyramid was shrunken down and pasted over the cloud, then tools were uses to make it blend into the background.

The second photo could depict anything.  It is certainly an unidentified flying object by definition of the phrase, but there's no scale, nothing to compare it to, and it's just a black blur against some background sky.  There also appears to be some distortion around the edges (if you can call the whole object anything but a distortion).  It could be just about anything.

Photo three is the photo that was Photo of the Day.  Looking at the triangular craft (and you don't have to scrutinize it very closely), you can definitely see something strange around the edge of the craft.  That distortion seems to be the tell-tale sign of cutting and pasting, and then using tools to smooth and smudge the edges to make them blend with the background.  Again, I'm not a photo manipulation expert, but I spotted this on my first glance at the photo.  The manipulation is so obvious that it makes the thing look like it has an aura.

The fourth photo (the final one at the time of this posting) and its close-up show more unidentifiable objects in the sky.  These are little more than pixelated slivers against the background.  The low resolution of the objects makes it near impossible to determine what they are, but based on the previous examples I'm inclined to say that these are also meant to be a clever ruse.  I can say that they just don't seem to fit with the resolution of the rest of the picture (notice the cloud in the lower-left of the close up, which appears to be farther away than the objects yet better defined).

There are some more problems I have with this whole presentation as well.  If these objects are sighted so often that he has posted four separate photos over the course of that many days...  Why can't he shoot some video of these things?  My guess is that his manipulation skills aren't good enough to alter video convincingly.  On top of all of this I have to say that reading his story sets off my bullshit detector.  This isn't something that is quantifiable though, so take it as you will.

I'm open to the possibility of these types of craft existing whether they're owned by the government, extraterrestrials, or others.  I do not have a vendetta against UFO evidence or the UFO phenomenon.  What I do have a problem with is people that try to pass off fake UFO photos as legitimate UFO photos.  It's even worse when they manage to make their hoax work by getting attention from a popular radio show's website.  I reconsidered writing about this because I didn't want to funnel any more attention this guy's way, but then I decided that it didn't really matter since he was already on the front page of the Coast to Coast AM website.

As always, I encourage you to decide for yourselves.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jerusalem UFO

The Internet has been buzzing about a UFO sighting in Jerusalem recently.  I normally don't take sightings like this very seriously and I grew increasingly skeptical when I finally watched video of it.  The video that I saw looked to be highly suspicious because the UFO looked like it could be faked by a trick of perspective and a small light rig.  No video tampering would be necessary in this scenario.

It then came to my attention that there were multiple videos from multiple angles, but others have done a good job of pointing out the flaws in each of those videos so I opted not to scrutinize them myself.  The whole thing just seems entirely too good to be true and the various anomalies that have been pointed out seem to suggest tampering with the footage.  I know that there are a lot of people out there that want to believe this is proof of alien visitation but I just don't buy it.  Aliens may be visiting Earth, but I don't think this is them.

Are aliens here? Shining white 'UFO' spotted over Jerusalem shrine
Jerusalem UFO 'Almost Certainly a Hoax'

I've stated my position but only you can decide for yourself.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Obfuscation in the Occult and why it's necessary.

Those of you that have had even a passing interest in the occult or magic(k) have probably taken a glimpse through books of spells or maybe even online editions of old Renaissance grimoires.  I think something that really stands out in older sources is the extreme effort put into preparation for a magical operation, sometimes starting months before the operation itself is to be performed.  The engraving of specific metal plates with specific symbols, paying tributes of specific substances, fasting, and complex ritualistic preparations are all rather common in older books of evocation.

Likewise, alchemy is famous for its complex or confusing language and codes.  Substances are called by the names of mythical animals, symbols and ciphers are substituted for ingredients and processes, and allegory is implemented to instruct the seeker in the proper way to do things.  To someone that has no knowledge of the symbolism behind these allegories and associations this can all appear rather daunting.

Alchemy and evocation (among other practices) have in common the obfuscation and complication of things for a reason.  In the case of evocation, I think that a lot of preparations exist simply to test the resolve of the potential summoner or to turn away those that cannot see through this ruse.  Few people are going to go through eighteen months of preparations just to summon one angel.  This keeps the unworthy from dabbling in the art.  In the case of alchemy, all of the obfuscation exists to keep certain secrets hidden from the uninitiated and to perhaps keep the alchemist safe from factions that might be less than understanding of their art.  There are many alchemical products that are dangerous or powerful and understandably cannot be laid bare to all comers in plain language.  Depending on the time period and location it might also be unwise for an alchemist to plainly state what they were up to, lest they offend the predominant faith.

Alchemical processes can also be read as more than just physical operations.  Some alchemical recipes are written to resemble literal laboratory operations when they are actually instructing the alchemist on something that must take place in the inner laboratory of the mind and soul.  For the true alchemists, spiritual transformation was the goal of the art; not the production of precious metals as many think.  By writing things in a cryptic way, the master alchemist ensures that the amateur alchemist comes to understand the deeper meanings with time and practice of the art.  The knowledge would have little value if it was acquired by any other means.

Cryptic language and double meanings in the occult are not simply dramatic devices to maintain a mysterious air around certain practices.  Many people in this day and age may strive to be unnecessarily cryptic or mysterious for show, but when these occult practices were first being developed it was very important to hide meanings and lead the unfit astray.  Take this into consideration the next time you pore over a Renaissance grimoire and find yourself unable to follow what's going on.  Sometimes you just have to look a little deeper.