People sometimes ask me what an “esotericist” is, or what one does. The real answer is that it’s a more serious-sounding word for “wizard.” A lot of authors write fantasy fiction about spells and mystical powers, but I practice magick for real. Lately I have been working on idea that I call exotericism, which is all about moving magical practice beyond secrets and obscurity, and developing it as an open technology that happens to involve consciousness as a key operational component.
In addition to my various fictional works, I am the author of the Mastering Enochian Magick series from Pendraig Publishing and a contributor to several esoteric (that is, magical) anthologies:
- Holy Guardian Angel from Nephilim Press
- Liber Spirituum from Arcane Wisdom/Azoth Press
- For the Chance of Union: Proceedings of the Eleventh Biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference from Ordo Templi Orientis
I developed an interest in ritual and ceremonial magick as a teenager, and have been practicing for more than thirty years – basically my entire adult life. My great-grandmother was a member of The Brotherhood of Light and worked as a professional astrologer and medium in Red Wing, Minnesota. She died a couple of years before I was born so I never met her, but I think it was because of her that I never ran into resistance to my magical studies from my family. That let me explore occult and paranormal subjects freely without having to hide my interests from my parents or anyone else, and I had no idea how lucky I was at the time.
I was initiated into Ordo Templi Orientis in 1995, and currently serve as a chartered Initiator, ordained Priest and Deacon, and Lodge Master at Leaping Laughter Lodge in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m a Thelemite – that is, my magical work is founded on the spiritual system developed by Aleister Crowley during the first half of the twentieth century. It’s also one of the reasons that I spell “magick” with the final K like Crowley did, even in my fictional works.
Ordo Templi Orientis is probably the largest magical fraternity in the world, and is a good place to be if you’re interested in learning and doing magick for yourself. The Order is not the same kind of teaching order as the Golden Dawn or A.’. A.’., but in my opinion it provides a better form of “New Aeon” training than the old “testing order” model. Instead of working through a set curriculum, you network with brothers and sisters who are interested in whatever you want to learn. This process is more dynamic, and as I see it a better method for developing your will as an effective magician.
I also became a Freemason in 1997 and served as Master of Braden Lodge #168 in 2002, but if you are interested in the Masons because you think they do weird magical rituals or whatever people happen to be saying about them on YouTube lately, you probably will be disappointed. The Masonic initiation rituals are good and the philosophical teachings are sound, but formal magical operations really aren’t part of the fraternity’s mission these days – if they ever were. On the other hand, if you are looking for fraternity and fellowship, Masonry does a good job of providing both to its members.
I have been part of the magical blogosphere since 2006. My blog, Augoeides, is up to several thousand posts at this point covering real magical techniques and also various news stories that touch on religion, spirituality, the paranormal, and so forth. If you want to learn how to perform spells and the like for yourself, my Magical Instruction page over there is a good place to start. It includes my commentary on most of the basic rituals as they are used in the Thelemic tradition, plus a few key innovations of my own.
I also teach in person at Leaping Laughter’s Ritual Workshop, so if you live in or even are traveling through the Twin Cities, you are welcome to come down to the Lodge for some in-person instruction. Leaping Laughter Lodge is located at 3107 California Street NE in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the event starts at every Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM. If you live in the area or find yourself here for whatever reason, feel free to drop by. The event is public and is open to beginners and practitioners of all skill levels.