The Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον

Posted: December 16, 2011 in Confessions of a New Aeon, Mind, Memes, Myth- My Specific Approach to Magick, Uncategorized

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Δένδρον is the greek word Dendron. It means tree. It is also where in neuroscience we derive the word dendrite which are the little pieces of neuron that are constantly growing and receding within one’s brain.

It is also my magickal motto, and at my next O.T.O. initiation, I will be asked to be known as Frater Δένδρον. Δένδρον is listed as my name in my talismanic copy of Liber AL vel Legis, and it is also listed as my name on my certificate of baptism from the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica.

When I began this project, my current travels in the Great Work, I had very little knowledge about the O.T.O., Aleister Crowley, Thelema, Qabalah, Hermetic Science, Gematria, the Chakras, and many things that people feel you must master utterly before you can take even the tiniest steps in the Great Work.

What I did have was extensive knowledge of neo-paganism and LeVeyan Satanism from my adolescence. I practiced rituals from both traditions quite liberally and had my own coven more than once in both middle school and high school. I have extensive knowledge of Charismatic Christianity, which includes several mystical experiences such as speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, and a tradition in belief in the ability of the Christian to manifest the miraculous. In this time I served as a youth pastor, and diligently read the entire bible more than once. I was aware of some of the gnostic scriptures, such as the Gospel According to Thomas, and the Gospel According to Mary, and accepted them as part of my Christian faith. I had a brief conversion to Islam between Christianity and my long strident atheist phase (which I would argue I am still in). I rejected Islam due to the prominence of dogmatism and fundamentalism, but not before reading the Q’ran and learning about Rumi.

Then I got my neuroscience degree.

I will be the first to admit that I have a lot to learn. But I don’t agree with the tone of some of the people who have reached out to me. This tone is patronizing. This tone addresses me as I would address someone I was convinced had total ignorance. I wish people would take into consideration that whatever I may lack in skills in speaking Enochian, reading Runes, memorizing Liber 777, I do have a pretty contemporary understanding of how the brain works. I spent years doing social psychology experiments and molecular neuroscience experiments under the guidance of at least 4 well established and regularly published academic scientists. I went well beyond the demands of the undergraduate and was trying to make myself as attractive a graduate candidate as possible. This knowledge, more than any other, guides my work.

I welcome feedback, but while you may know everything about the hidden sephiroth, I know how your emotions process incoming perceptual information and influence memory storage. I know about several habits of human self-deception which are down right instinctual. I know how to trick the brain into doing more than it wants. And I see that there is much of this encoded in the ancient traditions of occultism.

During this period I was a militant atheist. Which I believe also informs my work. One must always have a stance of critical thinking, one must always doubt. One must always be able to question anything. This merely frees the magician to a greater range of understanding.

Also throughout my youth and into the present I have used psychedelic drugs. At present this consists primarily of psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and salvia. I don’t use them that frequently, more like every few years or so.

When I was finishing college I went through a very rough divorce and sank into a powerful depression. I remembered that in my religious days I was more resistant to depression, and that had greater psychological resilience in general, and most important of all: I had tremendous level of energy to put into my creative projects (which I thought were divinely inspired). I wanted this back without compromising my reason, my skepticism, my need to not be gullible.

It began with meditation. I found two experts well respected in neuroscience: Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Riche Davidson. So I followed their meditation techniques, which only slightly deviate from traditional Zen and Tibetan meditation styles.

I did this for over a year.

In that time I met my current wife, we moved in together, I started my current dayjob (which if I wasn’t so ambitious I would call my career). I kept working on my meditation practice.

My dayjob is harrowing. Its known for being harrowing. I had a very hard time finding the self discipline to meditate on a daily basis, but I kept doing it sporradically.

Somewhere in the process I began to read punk rock books about meditation, and started hanging out with my artistic collaborator and good friend Thor Johnson. Thor is a psychadelic artist who works mostly with computers and music. He is also well versed in all kinds of esoterica, has his own hodgepodge of interesting spiritual backgrounds, and I consider him to be a powerful and well developed mage.

Thor was my first teacher in the Great Work, and he expanded my reading list and interests. It was around this time that I became aware of the O.T.O. mostly due to Thor’s description of O.T.O. parties he had been to. Or rather parties conducted by initiates.

I started listening to O.T.O. podcasts, and other kinds of strange stuff. While I still considered (and still consider) myself a skeptic, I was beginning to disagree with much of what could be thought of as a skeptical canon.

I began to experiment with ritual magick again, mostly based on the Santeria of my cultural background and the Satanism and neo-paganism I was already familiar with. I did not believe I was doing anything more than psychologically reshaping myself. I believed, and still believe, ritual magick is a kind of positive psychology using archetypal memes to influence our emotions which in turn influence the whole nervous system.

Then on the 4th of July, 2008 I had a mystical experience.

I did LSD with my oldest friends in my home town of Lubbock, Texas. I spent the whole trip doing a series of drawings I called “Wizard Prison,” which are still one of my favorite pieces of art work. My car was destroyed in a flash flood and I returned to Dallas without a car. This was a kind of initiation if I have ever seen one.

Obviously more things happened then what I am describing, but I am focusing on key points.

It was at this time that I believe I became Δένδρον. It was at this time that the Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον was born.

At this point I will stop describing the birth of this idea and begin to describe the idea itself.

  • The Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον is a mystical order of Knights dedicated to the protection of the muses.
  • The muses are defined as memes which benefit humanity, each Knight of Dendron is entrusted with the muses that move her and she must see them spread and protected.
  • The Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον is fundamentally atheistic since it sees the memes as  the source of religions, transcendental practices, and other so called spiritual disciplines. We believe, as do traditional meme experts, that these things replicate and evolve according to Darwinistic principles.
  • The Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον does however consider consciousness to be a mostly open philosophical question, and believes that our understanding of sentience is primitive at best. Who knows what minds beyond our own are subject to the spread of memes, or even if their is some kind of mind within meme complexes themselves.
  • The Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον has high standards for membership, no one can apply, or join. One must be inducted with ink mixed with the blood of a current Knight of Δένδρον, by that Knight. At present there is only one Knight of Δένδρον and I have not inducted anyone. This is the third year I have called this my religion.
  • The Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον considers many memes to be Knights of Δένδρον. This includes the biblical Eve who is considered the first Knight of Δένδρον, and the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge the first muse.
  • The Knights of Δένδρον are a paramilitary religious order, and see their mission to protect and spread the muses as a jihad. Though we believe that memecraft, or art, is the most powerful weapon in this struggle and that violence is not a particularly effective technique.
  • A Knight of Δένδρον must have an AUM wall, or a psychological forcefield of positive psychology to protect her from psychic vampires and draining of energy in the trivium of ordinary life. A Knight of Δένδρον must be stronger than humans.
  • A Knight of Δένδρον is conscious of of energy flows and has a vampiric mouth upon their hands for both giving and taking energy as needed. This vampiric mouth exists in the psyche of the Knight, but is as essential as the AUM Wall.
  • A Knight of Δένδρον is free to disregard any images, memes or techniques prescribed by Δένδρον in favor of their own muses.

 

I have a lot more written than this, but these are key principles which I have been living by since I penned the idea.

I expect at some point I will induct other Knights of Δένδρον, I have already promised this to so many of my friends.

I have since joined the O.T.O. and consider Thelema also to be my religion. The way I balance this equation is that one need not be a Thelemite to be a Knight of Δένδρον, but Δένδρον is a Thelemite. So there will always be a relationship.

I consider it one of the first pangs of my True Will when I created this religion for myself, to answer a lack that I found since abandoning religion altogether. I also believe that my finding the O.T.O. and Thelema have been part of my work as a Knight of Δένδρον and have since become muses under my care.

At present Thelema comes first. But The Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον is  always there, always part of my work, always a filter by which I interpret the world. I decided that it was about time that I posted something about it here so that as questions arise about traditions and techniques I use I could point to something a little more thorough than just “I make a lot of stuff up.”

I have hundreds of pages written in my magickal record about the Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον. It has its own calendar, this month is called Krampus. It is the second month of the third year.

There are many magickal techniques that I have created solely for the Psychonautical Order of Δένδρον, though I continue my work in Thelema and Buddhist Meditation concurrently.

I hope this clarifies my approach a little.

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