Cue Balls and Chicken Eggs
I've never really gotten into studying the Qabala, also known as Kabbalah, also known as Cabala, also known as QBL, also known as Q-ball. Those of you who have read about my first steps towards chaos magic will know that I had my first brush with it fairly early on in my magical life through exposure to the so-called New Avatar Power.
Once I realized that NAP was actually a simplification of QBL, I became less interested. From what I could tell, QBL was a lot more work than reward. I mean, it sure seemed that way. There were all these correspondeces to learn, the sephiroth and paths to study, and perhaps even the Hebrew language. I could write spells that worked without all that hassle, so why bother? It seemed to be so steeped in Judeo-Christian thought that it just got on my nerves once in a while. Clearly I had better things to do with my time.
It's been close to twenty years since I made that call. In that time I have played with it a little here and there, most often things like the LBRP and a few ideas mined from Kraig's Modern Magic. On the whole, though, I had mostly managed to avoid it.
This has begun to change in the last year or two, and personally I blame Pantheacon. Pantheacon is an annual pagan convention here in the Bay Area, and at Pantheacon 2002 I attended a talk by R. J. Stewart that turned out to be about an approach to the Tree of Life that divorced itself from tradional Qabalistic symbolism. In its place, it dealt with personal and physical connection to the universe directly.
This idea intrigued me a bit, and I began to play with the meditations he postulated in the seminar. I got some results and found them enjoyable. I did not work with them much, mostly due to time constraints. Still the approach opened my thoughts again to the possibility that I might one day enjoy working with the Tree of Life in some capacity.
This brings us to Panthecon 2003. Here I met Lon Milo DuQuette. I actually met him at the Pagan Variety Show, where I drew some interest for playing berimbau and singing Capoeira songs. I ran into him again the next day in the dealers' room, where he was signing copies of his new book, The Chicken Qabala. I had read his My Life with the Spirits and enjoyed it, but told him I had never gotten into the Qabala. We talked briefly about my magical background and he seemed certain the Chicken Qabala was for me. I thanked him, but didn't give his opinion too much weight. After all, it was in his interest to sell the book. Still, before I left the area I read through it a bit and sighed.
He was right. I did like it. It was simple, elegant, humorous and yet a thorough introduction. He kept everything, such as the much-vaunted gematria, in perspective. Most important, he managed to remove it from any particular religion. I took it home, read it through, and came to the realization that I now have an actual interest in QBL and will have to begin adding it to my personal practice.
I'm still not likely to ever study Qbl in the way that most people think of it. Still, I have to say — Hell yes, I'm a Chicken Qabalist!
If he ever writes a book like this for Enochian magic, I'm doomed. . . .
Four Winds Bar