Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Goetia Diary Day-to-Day in the Void: Outlet #1, dated January 22, 2010

Now that I've set down the play for a little while, I'd like to introduce the other writing passion in my life besides playwriting and improvisational collaborative playwriting: Blogging. I began writing a blog on this date- January 22, 2010- as a sort of therapy for myself. I did it because I didn't know what the hell else to do with myself at the time except sit in bed. And... that's what came out of me! Writing! Automatic writing, first, and then I decided, hell, I'd make it into a little online diary. It's been a long road since then, and I've definitely progressed.

I want you guys to critique this work, and some other blog articles I'll be putting up in subsequent weeks, because I'm going to start promoting myself, and, as I do, I will include this blog. Right now, it is fairly private. A lot of it is kept private, and I have a small reader base. I don't sell anything and I don't promote or attract people. I use a pseudonym (Kora) and rarely give out any information that would identify me. As time goes on in the blog, I do gradually give out more and more information that tells the readers who I am, but I avoided it as much as possible. When I begin to promote myself, that barrier will be gone. No longer will I be an anonymous girl writing about life, goetia, spirituality, and so on- but I will be actively asserting myself and inserting myself into the world. I am not sure exactly how this blog will fit into my self-promotion, but it's certainly a part of it. You'll notice I have a little fun and call myself a wizard. I'm not even quite sure what to put on my business cards: “Brynn Sillyman: Writer, Actor, Wizard”? Hah. One friend told me not to put a title upon it as labels are limiting.

This is the very first entry on my blog. I have edited it a bit in the ensuing years, including just now, but I left it much the same as I originally wrote it. I edited it because I want to be clear about who and what I am, yet I left it the same because I want to be clear about who and what I was, so that the reader can see my evolution and growth as a person if they continue to read. I would mostly appreciate if anyone could tell me what they think of this as the introduction to a blog, book, or even just my person. If you opened a book and this was on the first page, what would you think of it? Please be as honest as you like.  Here goes!:


Γοητεία, or goetia as we call it in English, comes to us from the Greek idea of “sorcery”. Magic, wizardry, religious practice, whatever you want to call it today. Greeks thought of magic variously as a priestly duty or a performer’s duty or the finesse that one uses in one’s existence, utilizing the power of nature within us all.  As of late, though, thanks to the influence of  magic practitioners such as Aleister Crowley and his friends, goetia has been particularly associated with contact with angels and demons. Some examples are the banishing of demons from whom you do not want interference and the summoning of demons for your own personal use. Of course magic and goetia are not ultimately different from one another, although the word goetia is able to give it a slightly different flavor and nuance. When reading Aleister Crowley for the first time, his language in describing magic was helpful and stuck with me: To paraphrase, he said that magic is simply an expression of one’s own will through spacetime. Thus, something as simple as moving the thousands upon thousands of muscle cells one’s own arm is magic.  I have heard goetia described as a means by which one summons one’s OWN demons, as certainly everyone has them, in order to face the demons and conquer them. I suppose this particular idiom of magic is as fitting as any other for me, as morbid as goetia sounds…

Goetia R Morbid
Goetia R Morbid :o

…oh well. Moving on!

Believing in magic is a personal issue, I suppose- something with which everyone must come to terms on their own.  I bring up the notion of belief because I wish humanity would somehow find harmony in using it.  Magic is all around us and within us, but unless you see it and recognize it, I doubt you will be convinced of its omnipresence until you have done so.  Yet, it is not the intellectual belief which really matters- understanding the world, physics, and mathematics is a great help, but love is far more important than intellectual belief. Love is more important- but intellectual belief and works can show love.  Faith and belief ultimately mean, and have always meant, love. I wish people would have faith and belief, in that I wish they would love.  My own belief in magic is as strong as my belief in the solar system, whatever others might think.  Of course, since we are all individuated, perceiving pieces of the primordial void, and the source of all energy and all form, we all have access to “magic”. Our existence within this void right now is all any of us can really claim. And that, my fellow children of Chaos, is where we play.  Maybe I’m a nerd for calling myself a wizard, since we really all are- I could use any other number of labels if I cared to do so- but hey- I want to have a little fun so long as I have to play here.

As for how I personally play- I am not a member of any “pagan” cults per se. I have certainly never been initiated into any.  Or have I?  Is there is such a thing as “per se” when it comes to the word pagan?   That is not a word easily locked down into specific definitions; really, no label is. So any group might be considered pagan under certain definitions.  Anyhow, the only cult with which I have spent truly extensive time learning, worshipping, following tradition, and being initiated through various ceremonies is Roman Catholicism. It points to the truth inasmuch as any religion does, and its holy texts are as magic as any text.
I am also rather fond of other specific types of worship and magic, of course- I have been an avid supporter of the arts of Dionysos throughout life, and it is thanks to him that I have my close relationships- and it is through him I have often come to a place of ecstatic reflection. He can be wild and violent, as existence is, shoving one down and tearing one apart one moment while holding one in a soft embrace the next.  I am not always comfortable with him, but I must learn to live with him- there is no end to eternity, after all.  I also like Shiva, because he too is a god of catharsis- purification through destruction and transformation. He too is a god of liminal figures, and the god of layabouts, and besides that, he represents the totality within and around us all. However, he is of a rather tertiary significance, as I unfortunately have not spent as much time disciplining myself after his fashion- that is to say, through activities such as dance, asceticism, and yoga. Yet he is fine with that; after all, even Shiva is not a complete ascetic- and there is more to our relationship than what little contributions I can make in those areas.

Other than them, I suppose I revere or involve myself with other gods, and really, every god properly inasmuch as all true divinity/ies is/are of the fabric which shapes us all- I believe very many people become distracted from this truth, and defend their chosen idiom against illusory enemies. It is not that we should fight against one another under the mentality of not suffering a witch to live, but rather, that we should all live and let live and love our enemies, as Jesus advises when he gives his version of the law. Or treat even supposed enemies as a benevolent servant would, to achieve true mastery, as Joseph, one of the favored of God, did when he worked his magic- a kind of magic not too different from my own, and that is why I mention him in particular.  Of course, as already mentioned, enemies are ultimately illusory anyway. Though I am as apt to fall victim to the fear that other individual forms in this void are judging me as the rest of you may be, I have accepted whatever judgments and situations may come in favor of moving on towards doing what is right for me.  The judgments may be real to my external ego and hurt me, but if I do not go ahead and deal and move on in a loving way I am only literally hurting myself and becoming my own enemy.  My intentions are still there under the acceptance, and I may find the opportunity to act upon them. Or I may just accept and continue to waste away in resentful ennui which I so often let plague me in the face of the void- we shall see what the cards have in store. Either way, I will be the same little Kora in the void, however external people judge me, and I will still think that it would be better to work in harmony than to cause anyone harm.

With that brief introduction to my philosophy on life, I begin my diary. I already have a grimoire at home, of course, and a datebook, and a dream journal, as well as any other number of archived files. I have thousands of pages of text collected over the years. Recently, I have begun to desire to keep track of both my every day interactions (events which I find amusing or particularly remarkable) and besides that, a place to begin to compile my works both ongoing and incomplete for editing.  I have begun to desire this because I have reached a juncture in my life in which little else amuses me, and in which Dionysos and I have… a very unique and uneasy relationship.  I will include my dreams, correspondences, and creations, though I am not sure what to leave public.  On the one hand, I could do everything privately- on the other hand, I could just expose at least the day-to-day diary part of it… I am not sure which Dionysos would prefer, and I am usually half ready to say “fuck you” to him, anyway.  But!  Again, I must avoid being my enemy.  Moving on.  This blog will serve as my resource for now, and hopefully serve a little better than the datebook.  This new blog seems shiny sleek keen like my laptop and how I like to think portions of my life can be, so far, even if it is just a free little blog.

Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle
Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle, by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Aleister Crowley once said that one must do two things- the first is to contact one’s “guardian angel”, and the second is to complete one’s “great work”.  Well, as much as he may go off into mumbo-jumbo land (I suppose I must be guilty of that myself occasionally), I can see what he is trying to get across in many instances, and in this instance, I have at least got the first suggestion rolling.  I don’t know much about the second piece of advice at all- if any of us have a destined great work to complete, I am not aware of mine other than, again, my day-to-day existence.  However, Crowley offers a good example in mentioning the guardian angel- when I write, it is often in communion with my so-called guardian angel, or you might call it channeling him- everyone terms things their own way.  When I write to my Ideal Reader, as Stephen King would suggest and label it, it is to him, my guardian angel, that I write.  Therefore, I believe I should mention that I will be referring to this entity quite often, as I have in automatic writing before (though I daren’t expose anyone to automatic writing before editing- I don’t care what surrealism has to say, haha!).  I am unaware of any name that my angel may hold- Aleister called his Aiwass, though I’ve no idea how he acquired that name other than through trance work, I guess.  I certainly have never been able to get such a definitive name out of mine, so I call him Ganymede.  It is not that I have previously held any particular devotion towards the cupbearing god, any more than in adoration of his beauty, as he was the most beautiful mortal upon Earth- I am not the sort who enjoys serving, even if I know it to be the necessary way of life.  Service is the glory of God, but I have never been able to dedicate myself to this. Perhaps now through Ganymede I will come to love service better, as is proper, now that I am conversing with him and have love for him. One of the reasons I chose the name Ganymede is that my angel has always appeared to me as a most beautiful young man, or an awesomely beautiful celestial body, or so forth. If I am going to have a guardian entity constantly watching over me, and to whom I am constantly speaking, I had may as well recognize that he is as beautiful as possible.  Enough for even the king of the gods to want him for his own- and so that name helps me to conjure such.   It may just be an uber, someone I meet in dreams- but Ganymede and goetia are as real to Kora as your breath is to you.  Enough for me to want to write, as ennui can only get one through so much of the day before one starts looking for something else to do.


  1. I think this serves as a good introduction to you and your philosophy. Your voice comes across as relatable, and you explain enough to give the reader some basic ideas but also leave enough hints to make the reader want to come back for more. I finished wanting to know more about how you came to hold your current beliefs, and that is the point of an introduction. Good work so far.

  2. Having read some of your blog before reading this, I really don't think most of this is necessary. Explaining the names and a little bit of your purpose is fine, but the rest seems like it will be covered later on. Still, this is good food for thought.