The Sons of Osiris

The idea behind this little ebook-only release is pretty awesome. This little ebook-only release is a fucking embarrassment. This ebook is part of a series Weiser Books put out a few years ago that was a combination of re-packaged, but notable and not readily available, public domain material selected by Lon Milo DuQuette and several Freemasonic side-degrees selected from a private collection, each with a little intro essay by DuQuette. But, it is completely plain that whomever was responsible for producing these at Weiser Books didn’t even bother to so much as glance at the text between simply running source pages through an OCR and quickly pasting the unchecked output into the template for the series.

I picked up several of these, mentioned them on the library blog when they came out, but I have not read any of them after slogging my way through a couple that revealed the trouble was endemic to the series, not just one book in it. I only made three highlights in The Sons of Osiris: A Side Degree. Two were errors that made me laugh aloud, and the third was a particular point in DuQuette’s introductory essay that is of note. This specific book isn’t unreadable, but it is so riddled with enough errors that it hurts to read.

First off, they didn’t even fill in the placeholder text on the copyright page. I mean: they didn’t minimally put in even that much effort.

Originally published as (or excerpted from) [insert original author, title, publisher, and year]

In the introduction, which I presume was not written for this book specifically, and vaguely recall appears as the introduction in another side-degree issue in this series, Lon writes:

What is of primary importance is that the master key to the initiatory method itself becomes a permanently installed fixture in the individual. Once we have learned the process of becoming something greater than we are, we can and eventually will, apply that same alchemy to ourselves to achieve the supreme attainment.

Now this has to be a curious statement that has stuck with me and percolated. The suggestion here seems that it isn’t the Mysteries, the specific content of an initiation, that matters so much as the experience of mystery and the internalizing the overall initiatory process as a lesson. It’s not the content, but the experience of the structure; and internalizing that meta-level of initiation. Lon said something in one of his in-person classes that struck me similarly as an odd thing when, I don’t have my notes at hand at the moment to be more clear or to phrase this how he said it, he suggested that learning the Kabbalah was about getting the ego self out of the way with busy work so it didn’t get in the way of the Work. That and this seem to me to be similar. Isn’t it odd in ostensibly extolling Kabbalah in a class about Kabbalah, Lon says learning Kabbalah isn’t about Kabbalah per se and in talking about initiation Lon says initiation isn’t about the initiation or the particular symbol and meaning system internal to the initiation per se; rather, both are about the meta-level effect of either giving the self busy work so it doesn’t get in the way or of having the experience of the initiatory method which one can internalize. The latter reminds me of something I’ve been known to say about the initiation experience being a way to become comfortable with the uncomfortable experience of not knowing, meaning that there’s a meta-level benefit to the experience (which, I’ve suggested, one wouldn’t get from just a reading of the script or, moreover, ever get from the experience if one read the script beforehand); but, there’s more to this that that. If I ever do an interview for the library with Lon, this will be something I’d love to discuss with him. But, it’s something, if even the only, I’ve felt was a great takeaway from this book and I’ve had in my thoughts ever since.

Then, buried under the bulk of not-at-all amusing textual and formatting errors, I still laugh when I think about Zeus and his “frank incense”.

ZEUS.—“Now spray him with the frank incense of the gods.”

I see and hear Laurence Olivier in full Clash of the Titans costume booming this line out and it just totally cracks me up. Another thing that I imagine from this is some awesome Rocky Horror style audience participation in these side degrees. There’s a little voice in the audience of my imagination that calls back “Don’t laugh!” or “Don’t call me Frank, Shirley!” or something each time I recall this mistake in the text.

Weiser Books hasn’t even corrected a mistake in the Amazon detail text, and this ebook was released in 2012. It’s been like that for years. Obviously, no one has looked at this either, so, you know, par for the course.

Lon Milo DuQuette Sons of Osiris Amazon detail

Apparently no one gives enough of a crap to fix even that, flapping in the wind for all who might otherwise be tempted into purchasing the book to see, let alone to have done it well in the first place. Furthermore as far as I can tell there’s never been an update to the text of the book itself either. A quick glance at the current “Look Inside!” for this book displays this exact same error I highlighted still on the first pages. I can’t bring myself to look further lest I relive the horror because, it turns out by page one of the preview text, it’s even worse than I remember. They didn’t even fill in the copyright year placeholder for their own cover!

Lon Milo DuQuette Sons of Osiris look inside

This is just an awful disappointment, and as much as the source material could be of fun for people to read; there is no way I can recommend this book to anyone. And, unfortunately, this is not the only book I read in the series with egregious errors. There’s another book in the series with many more errors than this one. I’m embarrassed for Weiser Books and embarrassed for Lon Milo DuQuette as his name is attached to this series.

Wish I had access to the source material, in the private collection from which this was curated, so I could put it up on the library because I’d actually proofread it. These side degree rituals are actually of interest both in and of themselves but also something that local bodies of Whatever∴ Whatever∴ & The Other Thing∴ could put on for fun and enjoyment in a local body or something.

But, no. Don’t bother with this edition unless you’ve a strong stomach for dealing with extremely distracting copyediting errors.

Lon Milo DuQuette Sons of Osiris

I made only 3 highlights, all mentioned above, and submitted 60 corrections.

MK Enochian TEX 2011sept21

This was the first actual working my magical partner and I have done since deciding to work together. We had planned on starting our long distance Enochian scrying last week, but scheduling conflicted with our intentions.

We did some pre-planning two weeks ago, and corresponded via Internet over the intervening time. M created an outline based on our decisions (PDF, 40 KB) and our source materials.

For this working, we incorporated ideas from personal conversations with other practitioners, a workshop by Scott Wilde and Onyieh Jewel, and Lon Milo DuQuette’s Enochian Vision Magick: An Introduction and Practical Guide to the Magick of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley as well as several of Lon’s in-person workshops.

I created an MP3 to help time our scrying (MP3, 73 MB) with gongs at 10 minute intervals.

 

Magdalene’s journal entry

9/21/11 10pm

weather-humid/rainy. high 60’s

Moon-  Cancer, waning crescent
Sun- Virgo

First Enochian working with JGB.  LBPR individually then did the calls/chants together.

30th Aethyr- TEX, calling Dozinal.

Didn’t see a damn thing!  Was very distracted and kept looking into the skype camera and seeing JGB’s candle and the shapes it was making.  Then couldn’t concentrate in the blacked out mirror.  Felt like it was a black hole pulling me into it.  Then when I closed my eyes, felt an immense weight on my shoulders and chest.  Crushing my heart.  The black shadow around JGB’s candle kept growing and wanted to expand and take over everything.  Breathing even felt harder to do, more shallow breaths.  The feeling was much more intense when I closed my eyes than when I was gazing into the mirror or JGB’s candle.

Felt really lightheaded and high when JGB was reading the call.  When I looked at him or tried to follow along, the feeling lessened but when i closed my eyes and just listened, felt very heady and like I was going into a trance.

The only visualization I saw was one I purposely put into my mind, trying to get things started and relax so I imaged a beach/ocean scene.  It didn’t stick and the heavy feeling took over again.

 

Kalokagathon’s journal entry

2011sep21 7pm
Sol in Virgo : Luna in Cancer : Anno IVxix era novis
69º clear and quiet

Prior to our meeting time: meal, pranayama, eucharist with mingled ingredient X from both of M & K, and prepared my working space.

Connected via video chat, and did a brief run-through of our outline. We resolved a few uncertainties and proceeded with the work.

Banishing. We had decided to each banish our spaces. I did Star Ruby (Liber XXV/Book 25) while M did LBRP. This was an interesting choice. M had LBRP recommended to her. I decided to try Star Ruby anyway. It was a bit distracting, as I plugged my headphones into the wrong jack, so could hear both of us. But, I loved hearing M’s voice as she vibrated the names for her LBRP. Beautiful!

Ceremony. We had decided that we would go through the prayers and letters together. There were some technical issues here as I think one or both of us were half-duplex so I didn’t get to hear M’s voice as clearly as I had hoped. Not sure what to do about that. When we got to the 19th Call, I read the Enochian and M followed by reading an English translation. We called the 30th Aethyr, TEX.

Scrying. We decided this time to both scry our own visions. We used an audio track to time our scrying, 30 minutes long with 3 gongs at 0, 10, 20 and 30. We had agreed to recite the governor Dozinal 3 times at each but the final set of gongs. During the scrying from 0-10 I had extremely vivid, visual and interesting imagery while gazing into the mirror, with candle and incense smoke against the reflection. From 10-20, my visuals ceased and instead I had simply a period of dizzy trancing with my eyes closed. At the 20 minute mark both M and I were done and journaling.

Journal of 0-10 minutes. An open air temple with Masonic black & white tiles, no roof. The four sons of Horus at the corners, in the shape of giant canopic jars in the position of the four rooks, were pillars for the temple.
To one side of the temple was a mountain, another an golden beach with azure ocean, then a deep cenote, and on the final side an expanse of sky with complex clouds.

M & K appeared in the temple, standing near and facing each other, smiling and we were met by a giant shrouded figure. This figure was male, but without any distinct features showing from beneath a muted turquoise coloured shroud. The figure placed a metal star flat on an altar that appeared at the center of the temple. M & K each produced flat metal Mem and Kappa glyphs which fit to the star. I took this to be an indication that the figure was an appropriate angel for this scrying.The shrouded figure then gave us a metal bee and a metal key but we didn’t place these on the altar with the rest. I had the impression that there really is something missing on the sigil on the right of the star, but also something else missing which was less clear where it might go. We were to leave the sigil pieces on the altar, but take the bee and key with us during the rest of the vision.

We were then alone with each other. Bright sun and warm but very pleasant. We walk hand in hand toward the mountain along a path which leads us to a golden pyramid with somewhat meso-american design.

We climbed to the top of the pyramid and perform Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass together, but at the end of that ritual we fling the goblet and paten from the top of the pyramid down the stairs against which they shatter. This felt like a joyful and appropriate thing to do.

From this point on the visuals become fragmented, but we spent time together along the beach relaxing and enjoying the environment.

Closing. After journaling, we closed and then discussed our experiences with each other.

Additional thoughts. M had a strong craving for chocolate, which she had the foresight to get at the store. I ended up having some raspberry coconut water sorbet.

My workspace had become quite warm since I had several candles and closed the window and door, so by the end I realized I was quite sweaty and hot.

During the preparation and opening our respective animals were quite noisy and fidgety, but during the scrying they both calmed down considerably.

I woke up the next morning having slept in for several more hours than usual with a feeling similar to a hangover though I’d had nothing but water the previous evening.