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Post by Micr0cosM » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:33 am

I thought you guys might like to hear about my experiments with mixing magick with technology. Long post btw.

When I first got into magick a few years ago and into this idea of working within a paradigm or creating your own, the term technomage was the first thing I thought of. So I figured I would incorporate technology into my practices as much as possible.

My altar consists of three monitor screens onto which I display whichever sigils, mandalas or images of Gods that I am working with at the time. I use the laptops driving the monitors to play any sounds or music that I need. I have a Tenori-on, which is a kind of sequencer, that I create drum loops on for trance work. I have a tablet that I loaded images of my tarot decks, an I-ching deck, the forty servants digital deck, an astrology app and a tarot app. I started to develop my own app to use the forty servants as divination. I consecrated a laser pointer as a wand, but never really use it as I also use hand gestures which are much easier to execute when not holding a wand and I just use my finger when a ritual requires a wand. My magickal journal is an open office document which I encrypt and keep backed up on the cloud. I made an altar table out of an old monitor screen attached to a raspberry pi which displayed a pentacle and also multi sigils I use in the creation of servitors but it was very clunky and didn’t add much to my ritual so I stopped using it.

I create my sigils on my main tablet which has a nice bright amoled screen. The process of writing the intent and deleting letters is very convenient on a tablet. I then draw the sigils on the screen, free hand usually, which is also very convenient on a tablet as I can delete a line drawn and repeat it until it looks right.

Gnosis is such an important part of chaos magick that I wanted to see how I could use technology to induce a trance state. There are two types of gnosis, excitatory and inhibitory. My interest is in inducing an inhibitory state of gnosis.

Many years ago I was given a book with plans for a dream machine. The dream machine was invented by artist and occultist Brion Gysin and the writer and occultist William S Burroughs. It is basically a cylinder with holes in it which rotates upon a record turntable around a bright light bulb in its centre. It creates a strobe effect and when you sit close to it with your eyes closed will generate pretty coloured patterns and, more importantly, induce a trance state. (I once turned mine on at a lively party in my house and had to turn it off ten minutes later as the whole room was silent with my guests staring at the patterns on the walls.)

Your brain has a frequency. Electrical impulses travel through your brain with a dominant frequency that depends upon your state of mind. These are categorised as follows.

Beta waves: 12-38 Hz. When beta frequencies dominate your brain you are in active thought, such as problem solving.

Alpha 8-12 Hz. These are dominant when you are in a state of relaxed alertness such as when meditating,

Theta 3-12 Hz. These frequencies are dominant when you are in a state of deep meditation. They are associated with vivid mental imagery such as when you are falling asleep and beginning to dream

Delta <3 Hz. This is the frequency your brain is at during deep dreamless sleep.

It has been proven that when your eyes are stimulated by flashing lights of a specific frequency your dominant brain frequency quickly begins to sync with the frequency of the lights. This process is called entrainment.

It works for sounds too.

Almost all cultures that practice the techniques of shamanism use drums when engaging in the practice of journeying. Journeying is when the shaman takes a journey in his or her mind into the Lower World. Many use entheogenic plants as part of the process but they also use the drums as a way to control the state of consciousness for each part of the journey.

Studies have been done on the use of drums by shamanistic cultures and it has been found that frequencies that correspond to low theta waves are most commonly used.

So I decided to experiment with this technology as a way to induce gnosis and see what other benefits it might have for the practice of magick.

Technology has progressed since the invention of the dream machine by Gysin and Buroughs, and we now have affordable mind machines which can flash LED lights right onto your eyelids. These devices allow you to have full control over which frequencies they produce and are generally marketed as relaxation/productivity enhancers.

There is a cheap app called mindroid on the google play store that is excellent and affordable. It is used with a set of glasses which are flimsy and overpriced but which work perfectly with some modifications for comfort.

So I began to experiment with different frequencies to assess how they could be used within my magickal practice.

I also use a drum beat at the same frequency as the light flashing. The mindroid app has a binaural beats function but I prefer drum beats.

Research has shown that binaural beats do work but they need to be loud, so I don’t feel they have any advantages over simply using a drum machine seeing as I have one.

I focussed on three specific frequencies that I thought might be useful. 12 Hz as it is associated with meditation. 7Hz as it is associated with relaxation and imagery and because it is the base frequency of the dream machine that I built and run constantly when I am in my ritual space. 4Hz as it is the most common frequency used by shaman/shamanka.

I found that 12Hz produces a very pleasant relaxed state and is useful to augment meditation. Even when not focussed on meditating it is very pleasant and very useful to relax and think about things you need to resolve in life. So I use this frequency when I am doing a mind clearing meditation before a ritual. It puts you in a clear state of mind which is optimal for thinking through a statement of intent.

7Hz feels more like a proper trance state. This state is akin to being high on a little weed. You are focussed and creative and a little spaced. This is a perfect state of mind for designing and creating sigils or any other art based magickal objects such as talismans.

4Hz engenders a deep trance state quite quickly. It is very easy to fall asleep in this state if you don’t focus your mind on something. I have found that if I recite a mantra or focus on breathing I can sustain this state. It is a fascinating state of mind. I think of it as a threshold state between waking and sleeping, between consciousness and unconsciousness.

I tried using the mind machine for shamanistic journeying but the flashing lights interfere with visualisations, so I turn it off and leave the drums on when I feel that I have reached the correct state of mind.

This threshold state is the state of gnosis I was looking for. It is a state of mind where you can be focussed on looking at a sigil but at the same time your conscious mind is almost completely inactive.

So, this is my process of sigil creation and launch that I have designed using this tech.

Set my monitors up with my sigils of personal empowerment or with any imagery relevant to this particular ritual and set my old school dream machine(7Hz) running on my altar and do my banishing ritual.

Put my mind machine and drum machine on and set them to 12Hz, and meditate using my mind clearing/focussing mantra.

Think through my statement of intent until I have it worded in the best possible way.

Take off the mind machine and set the drum machine to 7Hz to sync with the dream machine on the altar. Create and design the sigil on my tablet in bright colours on a black background. Create a mantra to go along with the sigil.

When the sigil is complete I put the mind machine/drums on again and set it to 4Hz. I focus on my breathing and allow myself to fall to the threshold state. It really does feel like allowing yourself to fall. When I feel that I am at the threshold of unconsciousness, I take off the mind machine and hold the tablet with the sigil close to my face and focus my eyes on the centre of the sigil and imagine myself absorbing the sigil while repeating the mantra of the sigil. After about a minute I put the mind machine glasses back on and there is a strong and bright after image of the sigil very clearly pulsing in front of me, its really quite striking. I focus on this image while emptying my mind of any conscious thoughts and keep staring with my eyes closed until the image has disappeared.

I then take off the glasses and do a quick banishing with a loud clap and laughter, turn off all my stuff and usually go to bed as I am in such a deep trance that I cant really do much else.

A few months ago Oculus dropped the price of the Rift making VR affordable for me. So I bought one and began to work out how I could use it for magickal practice.

My first idea was the creation of a virtual temple. My ritual space is small, with barely enough space to stand never mind walk about, so the idea of being able to have a large virtual temple was appealing. I envisioned a large circular stone platform surrounded by standing stones then I could change the setting around that platform. So imagine you are doing an invocation of Ares. You are standing in your virtual temple on the stone circle, but the circle is on the surface of Mars and there in front of you is a living breathing statue of Ares, 100ft tall with Olympus Mons as the backdrop. Your ritual area could be on the surface of Europa with Jupiter filling the sky, the Great Red Spot gazing down on you as you recite your invocations. Or orbiting the sun. Or standing at the base of Yggdrasil as you petition Odin. Drawing your banishing pentagrams in the air would now have them appear as huge stars glowing in blue fire around you.

So I started to learn Unreal Engine so that I could create these environments myself, and of course share them with interested parties. So I decided to do a simple test. I created a simple environment, a clearing in the woods bathed in moonlight. I created the stars that I would use in my banishing ritual and a simple pentagram to stand on, for effect.

Much to my disappointment it didn’t work. It just didn’t feel real. There was a disconnect between what my body was doing in RL and what I was seeing in VR. Sadly I just don’t think the tech in good enough just yet. I will probably revisit this idea when I have a better PC and larger room scale VR to work with and perhaps a better HMD, but for now I just don’t think it works for me.

So then I looked for other ways to use VR for magick.

Google has a program called Tiltbrush. It is a VR art program where you can use the controllers to paint in mid air, with a variety of brush types. This is a great program for creating sigils. You can make them in three dimensional space in glowing fire which adds a whole new style to it. Then you can kind of pinch and zoom to make them the size of a house, it feels really impressive.

There is a VR program called virtual desktop. It is designed to enable you to use your pc desktop from within VR. Your desktop appears as a screen suspended in space in front of you. You can choose what the space looks like, choosing from a selection of space scenes or home theatres. One of the options is a music visualiser called milkdrop which is a 360 decree sphere of chaotic swirling colours moving in time with your music, with your desktop suspended in the middle of it.

So what I did was took an image of my sigil created within Tiltbrish, edited it in Gimp to make it a Gif that flashes 4 times a second with its negative image. So to launch a sigil I can have it suspended in space in front of me in VR, flashing 4 times a second in time with drums while being surrounded by a swirling sphere of colour that is also moving in time with the drums. It is very trippy and induces the same level of trance as my other method but it takes a bit longer and is a bit more disorientating.

So that is most of what I have been up to in regard to integrating technology into my magickal practice.

Sorry for the long post but I figure someone that is into the same vibe as me might find this post and be inspired to experiment with this stuff also, and maybe someone might be able to suggest other experiments we could try.

Thanks for reading.
“Science is a way of talking about the universe in words that bind it to a common reality.
Magic is a method of talking to the universe in words that it cannot ignore.
The two are rarely compatible.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Books of Magic
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Re: Technomage

Post by kingnine » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:32 pm

Very interesting! Inspired me to try and set up my own computer dream machine, just turning the lights off and making a looping video to get my monitor flashing at around 7Hz. My mind tended to wander and tune out the light, but maybe I'll be able to get more used to it.

It's funny that your first tactic was to use tech for inhibitory gnosis. It seems like tech provides so much potential for overstimulation, and excitatory trance. For instance, opening iTunes and going to a poetry website, shuffling all songs and opening poems at random, trying to read every word of the poem and listen to every detail of the song at the same time, or something.
"The customer is usually wrong; but statistics indicate that it doesn't pay to tell him so."
-Aleister Crowley
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Re: Technomage

Post by Micr0cosM » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:15 pm

For instance, opening iTunes and going to a poetry website, shuffling all songs and opening poems at random, trying to read every word of the poem and listen to every detail of the song at the same time, or something.
Interestingly this sounds similar to the cut up technique which was used by both Gysin and Burroughs.

Sounds like an interesting experiment.
“Science is a way of talking about the universe in words that bind it to a common reality.
Magic is a method of talking to the universe in words that it cannot ignore.
The two are rarely compatible.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Books of Magic
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Re: Technomage

Post by Vap0rWar3 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:03 am

After reading about Micro's process, and a few talks, I started using the Minddroid app on my phone, which is an AVS (Auditory Visual Stimulation device - aka Mind Machine or Psychowalkman) app. I light incense, put on some trance inducing music, and I drum, leveraging excititory meditation. Essentially trying to hit all of the senses.

So far (last 6 months) it has done wonders. (I know Micro from a previous site, so we talked about this a bit back)
- Vap0rWar3
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
And is traveled by dark feet and dark wings

To Know the Dark | by Wendell Berry
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