text and photo copyright Jonathan Zap, 2013
Image: Metal capsule and statement of intentions sitting atop a bronze fountain sculpture on Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado
“The science and art of creating change in conformity with will.”
—Aleister Crowley’s definition of magick
I’d like to offer a couple of chaos magic practices I created:
The Capsule of Intentionality
Take a small box, jar, case, metal capsule, etc. —a small, aesthetically pleasing and well made container of some sort, and put a document of thoughtfully written worthy intentions in it. I call this a “Capsule of Intentionality.” Alternatively, you can have a journal book for this purpose only, a book that should also be well made and aesthetically just right. A both/and variation is that the capsule need only contain words to the effect of: “Follow what I have written in my Journal of Intentionality.”
Write things in these sacred linguistic/intentionality containing spaces only when you are in the place of your deepest self— a calm, compassionate spacious place. You can write down intentions that you aim to follow lifelong, but you can also write down the carefully defined practices, disciplines, boundaries, specific guidelines of any sort, that you want to follow. Any of these parameters (what I call “Lifeline Mission Parameters”) can be altered, but only if you are again in a calm, compassionate state and coming from your deepest self.
Then, as you go through life, aim to follow whatever you set up in your Capsule of Intentionality. This practice is based on the principle that it is rarely wise to override what you set up in a deeper state of consciousness while you are in a lesser state of consciousness. So, for example, if I record in my Capsule of Intentionality (while in a deep, calm, compassionate level of awareness) a parameter that I avoid eating sugar foods, but am approaching a party in which there will be tempting, sugary deserts, I can allow a change, or a temporary suspension of my parameter, if I am able to return to such a deep state of consciousness and write in the change. On some particular occasion, I might find that there are valid emotional and/or social reasons for allowing such an exception. If, on the other hand, I’m in a state of even subtle speedy compulsion energy (notice that different states have very different time signatures), then it would be better not to override capsuled parameters and I should stick with what I set up in a higher state of consciousness. Before you write anything into your sacred document, ask yourself the question: Am I in a deep, calm, compassionate state? That is the threshold before you can write new words in your sacred document. Be wary of creating a parameter that is too galling or ascetic and which you don’t have the will to follow. It is often better to create gentler, more flexible parameters that you stick to, rather than overly strict ones that you violate frequently.
It may be practical to write in your sacred document that a digital version of it on your smart phone is also valid. This way, if you travel away from your Capsule or Journal of Intentionality, you can make alterations and amendments. Alternatively, you could have a small Capsule of Intentionality, perhaps even as small as one of those metal capsules made for key chain or amulet use, and keep it with you always as well as some blank slips of paper of the right size to go in the capsule. An emergency alternative (if you were separated from all of the above versions of the capsule) is to take any piece of paper and consecrate it as a Capsule of Intentionality. One way I’ve sometimes done that is by drawing an oval around the words I’ve written and then, in the center of one of the long curves I draw a little carabineer. This is my way of visually enclosing or encapsulating the words with a symbolic lifeline. You can devise your own way of creating a boundary enclosing sacred space on a piece of paper.
If you find that you are cheating the state-of-awareness threshold (modifying parameters only in a state of deep authenticity, presence, compassion), you could set up what I call a “time buffer lock” on your Capsule of Intentionality. Any change that represented a loosening of structure (and therefore raising alertness to the possibility of unworthy indulgence) could be put on a time buffer lock that you committed to in advance for all such loosening of structure modifications. For example, if I have a 24 hour time buffer lock on my Capsule of Intentionality and decide that I want to take down a parameter I set up of avoiding sugar foods, I would have to write down the change and then wait 24 hours before it goes into effect. Most drives for unworthy indulgence don’t want delayed gratification, so the time buffer lock is an effective threshold. Nevertheless, the time buffer lock is not as empowered and flexible a boundary as respecting the threshold by accurately locating your state of consciousness before entering the sacred space of the document and modifying parameters. From the point of view of the I Ching and Taoism (which was derived from the I Ching), it is best not to prestructure the future but to be open to spontaneous intuitions about how to handle situations as they happen. You seek to flow through the Nowever rather than march to a prestructured rule book and schedule for the future. Your Capsule of Intentionality creates flexible structure, because it can be modified any time you are in a state of deep awareness.
Chaos Magic suggests that you create your own rituals and practices rather than following a tradition. What I offer here is not a tradition (at least not yet), but an open structure where you supply the content. Ideally you will modify what I suggest to make it more your own creation.
There are many possible variations. For example, sex magic is at the core of the Western magical tradition. Although that is traditional in the sense that it is a widely practiced form of magic, it is also just a basic force, like fire, that anyone can adapt individually. What you do with it may be for better or worse (as with fire), but it is a principle that does not need to have any aspect of patriarchal tradition or prescribed formula. Here’s an example (but not a prescription) of how sex magic could be incorporated into the Capsule of Intentionality practice. If you are fortunate enough to be capable of a life affirming auto-erotic experience (as compared to a compulsive, pornography dependent one, a worthy autoerotic experience based on your values and deep intuition) then you could create a glyph (a symbol or icon that represents some intention), or a specific image that does same, and try to focus on it at the point of orgasm. Alternatively, or additionally, you could hold your Capsule of Intentionality in an available hand during the worthy autoerotic experience.
I’m not going to try a serious exposition on the validity of sex magic, but here’s a paragraph:
An orgasm is a highly energetic, transient event, a peak of pleasure, often emotion, possibly even love. It is a an ecstatic between-and-betwixt place that we travel through very quickly, but while the clock may record only seconds, we may experience ourselves rippling out into a moment of eternity. Orgasm can be a rare moment in which we step off the linear time track, find that our inner narrator is speechless, and that the blurred boundary between inner and outer dissolves altogether. It is a zone in which our essence or vibration surges out into the collective human field very powerfully. For all these reasons, practitioners of magic have found orgasm to be a potent zone in which to focus on a worthy intention.
Another value of this practice is that worthy orgasms add life-affirming vitality to the collective field, while unworthy orgasms pollute the collective field. Again, “worthy” or “unworthy” (or insert qualifiers that work better for you) are based on your values and deep intuition rather than outer authority. Bringing awareness and intention into the primeval intensity of orgasm shifts the human field.
The value of the physical presence of the Capsule of Intentionality is not limited to sex magic. You can also carry or wear your Capsule of Intentionally, attach it to keys (which are helpful survival gear), or in other ways ensure that the Capsule is in your field throughout the day.
Although the Capsule of Intentionality is a physical object, it is also in a liminal zone between matter and psyche because you have made it a meaningful, psychoid object that contains sacred space in which you have formalized your deepest intentions.
With the Capsule of Intentionality practice you take blank paper, the unmanifest field, and change it in accord with what Crowley called “True Will” (the implicit life mission, values, meanings, aims that are vitalized from your deepest core).
My intention in offering this practice is that it help you with the fulfillment of your True Will.
Unfortunately, “vibrations,” like “inner child” (a potent archetype and subpersonality), has, for many, taken on the cheesy, Celestine taint of New Age cliché. But looking at the world in terms of vibration is as valid as looking at it from the point of view of mathematical relationships, systems analysis, and energetic transaction. Physics tells us that there are no solid objects, that everything is vibratory. Einstein said that solid matter is just a special case of energy. Everything we think is solid is actually patterned energy, the stuff that dreams are made of. Even black holes don’t sit still and can spin at 84% of the speed of light.
Everything seems to be vibratory, and obviously there are vibrations of varying frequencies. I vibrate, therefore I am, says the cosmos.
Studies of the frequency of foods (and, no, I haven’t investigated the validity of their protocols) show highly processed food to have low frequency while, for example, a live orange still attached to a tree would have a very high frequency. Gabriel Cousins points out that all food is a transduction of solar energy. According to the principle of his raw foods diet, you should eat food as close to sunlight, the source energy, as possible. An orange right off the tree would be preferable to the gas station purchase of a cellophane wrapped food-like substance with a microscopically inscribed list of chemicals that would make a mad scientist cackle with sadistic glee. Cousins created an acronym, “SOEF,” for “subtle organizing energy field.” This is another way of saying that the vibration of a life giving food contains useful patterning. A raw almond would have a more potent SOEF than a roasted almond. If you bury a raw almond in fertile soil it could turn into a thirty-foot tall almond tree. In the same conditions, a roasted almond put in the ground, rots. It doesn’t contain the SOEF, the patterned information and energy, to create an almond tree.
Food, and other things you ingest, are information, vibration, patterned energy, entering the sacred vessel of your body and thereby influencing your state of energy and vibration. For example, foods alter moods, and a mood is a state of energy and vibration. Here’s a simple thought experiment: in your mind’s eye clone two new versions of yourself who are like well rested versions of yourself right now, and invite them into the thought experiment. Following a good night’s sleep, both clone 1 and clone 2 are in the same vibratory state until they diverge by having different breakfasts. Clone 1 has a fruit salad made from just picked, luscious ripe fruits, etc. Clone 2 is obliged to eat two Big Macs plus a supersized milkshake and supersized fries that must be dipped in mayonnaise. Observe in your mind’s eye if their vibrations diverge, and try to language the differences as accurately as possible.
If you are capable of performing this thought experiment, then you are qualified to evaluate vibrational effects without the use of any hardware. Mechanical instruments will not be as sensitive as you are to effects on you.
If I project myself into a timeline in which I eat a large bowl of ice cream, I foresee pleasure vibrations as I eat it, and then a lowering of frequency and overall energy after. That’s my evaluation based on intuition and life experience for me, but you need to supply your own.
We would be living in a much healthier world if people made a mindful, vibratory evaluation of any solid, liquid or gas (smoke, vapor) they choose to allow across the portal of a bodily orifice and become part of their body (you are what you eat, breath and drink). A way to turn that into a practice is to inwardly (or aloud if in solitude) say the word “vibration” before ingesting anything. You could also say “vibration” inwardy before any energetic transaction such as sex, spending (or other financial transaction), choosing a cultural experience (music, movie, game, sport), or initiating or choosing to participate in a conversation (or other mode of communication such as an email). At any decision nexus–what website to go to, or television channel, or any activity you can choose to spend time on—inwardly say “vibration” before allowing the choice to pass through the gateway of change into actuality. Saying this word (really saying it, saying it with presence, feeling and awareness rather than by mechanical rote) is a reawakening to the reality of vibration and an opportunity to choose vibratory transactions that accord with your True Will.
Some relevant and supporting documents (all brief Zap Oracle cards, except for last link):
Warriors the Light (the basics of a Warrior philosophy and with a link to my more substantial document, The Way of the Warrior.
Any sort of feedback—typos noticed, your thoughts about or experiences with these practices, anything thoughtful, is very welcome. Comments section follows.