When I was about fourteen I actually bought and paid for a book entitled The Parker Lifetime Treasury of Mystic and Occult Powers. I had already been studying magic through books about witchcraft, and wanted to try something new. The Parker book was a compilation of chapters from their various authors, so it had all sorts of toys I could play with.
It seemed to me that if even one of the "powers" in the book was True then it would be a good investment. And surely at least one of these powers had to have something going for it. I mean, they couldn't all be garbage, right? It's hard to believe I was ever that young.
Anyway, I took it home and diligently worked my way through the book. I read through the various "powers" and began to experiment. Over time I began to realize that, sure enough, these things were real and did work! I could actually get results with the a few of them. My favorite, though, was the New Avatar Power.
It seemed to me to be a chakra-based system, using visualization techniques to raise energy and words of power to control and release it. It had a system of colors associated with various desires for focusing the energy further before it was released.
It was fascinating and it was fun. Not just because it worked, but because through the power-raising visualization I got really good at feeling energy move around and through me. There were times I would complete the ritual for its own sake, using some goal like furthering my magical powers as an excuse.
The NAP became a part of my magical repertoire for years, only halting when I finally found myself one day reading about the western esoteric view of the Qabala. I realized that day that what I had been doing was an abbreviated, stripped down and, really, bastardized version of the middle pillar ritual.
From everything I read that day, NAP shouldn't have worked. There was no understanding of the sephiroth or the symbolism. There had been no "groundlaying" work such as the LBRP to "prepare" me for the energies of the middle pillar ritual. I certainly shouldn't have been able to use it to fling desires into the universe and expect results.
But I did. And they worked. According to -- I think it was Israel Regardie who wrote the book I was reading -- I should not have been able to make NAP work. But I did. I had proven it empirically.
I took days thinking about this and what it meant. I think it was in this time that I first realized that power lies not in words or techniques, but in the self. It seemed to me that I could use anything to work magic, because whatever I used was just a tool, an excuse to let my magic work.
When I look back on my life, it seems to me that this point is when I first realized that there is no such thing as Absolute Truth ™, but only those things that we choose to make true or false for ourselves.
I wasn't ready yet to really embrace the concept. I still had a lifetime worth of societal conditioning fighting against the idea, and it took me years to overcome that.
Still, it was with that silly book that I took my first steps on the path that would lead me to chaos magic. To this day I have kept it on my occult bookshelf, displayed proudly next to far more noteworthy texts. I even go back through it once in a while and play with the tools, just because I can.
It also led me to buy The Magic of Chant-o-Matics, but that's another story. . . .
Four Winds Bar