Introduction & Background
PAA: Thank you for joining us. Please provide us with an introduction of who you are and how you came to be on this path of Magic and specifically why Franz Bardon’s Hermetics.
Victoria: Thank you. I’ve been practicing magic in one form or another for 23 years. While I was introduced to Bardon’s work 18 years ago, I did not become an actively serious student of his system until 5 years ago. I started a blog for some metaphysical musings, www.mysteriummuse.com. I chose Franz Bardon’s Hermetics as a primary system due to its ability to put your progress in your own hands and the great treasure trove of growth, including in theurgy, that it can provide.
PAA: From the writing you put out on social media it seems you have been on this journey a long time, more than that it seems you have been aware of the journey since you were young. What can you say about the motivation to discover and follow a path? Was this a very intuitive decision as a youngster?
Victoria: It was an intuitive decision and pull as a youngster. I started out with a Christian upbringing, but once I started my moon cycle, on a date with numerological significance, something woke up and became activated inside of me. I became very cognizant that I was from somewhere else, was someone else than my incarnated self. That there was another place I loved and missed. That there were aspects of “the real me” that seemed missing and I was disconnected from, and that I had to restore that connection and embodiment. I was drawn to magic and my ability to do things like laying on of hands healing, which in my family’s religion only men could do. I recall laying down to go to bed and still being able to see my room clearly. I would put my hands over my eyes to confirm they were really closed. I saw some elementals and felt many presences around me. I unsuccessfully tried to astral project as a teen because of a strong sense of “somewhere else” I wanted to go to. Moreso, I was confused and fussed with my incarnation being on the Navajo reservation, where I lived for 18 years. I vocalized and lamented to the universe about why I was there, surrounded by so many limitations and hardships. Eventually I was able to appreciate the full spectrum of my journey and was sent a teacher at a pivotal moment of my life to give me a strong leg up for this path and journey.
PAA: Many practitioners that I have talked with had experience earlier in their life that convinced of the reality of this path, what can you say about this? Was there anything that made you think WOW, I need to ensure I pursue this as it is a reality coexisting with this reality.
Victoria: As a child I would see spirits around my home, particularly at night. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had vivid dreams. I recall so often running to my mom in the morning while she was still in bed to tell her about some dream I had, and she would always respond with, “You have the strangest dreams.” Whenever I closed my eyes, I often had a flood of images and scenes flash before my mind’s eye. At one point it got so intense I expressed that I wanted it to stop, and it immediately did and never returned. I’ve long felt connected to the worlds behind the physical world and knew I needed to learn to navigate and engage with them just as much as the material plane, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to start. I was very cognizant that incarnation is temporary and there’s life on the other side. This was old hat and not a new rodeo. My time with an Eastern internal power system was very profound in creating a connection with my HGA, understanding how to work with energy and experiences with embodying power. It gave me the primary tools to start taking my power back and navigating on my own to start the return journey.
PAA: You have a blog that talks about your experience being a solo practitioner on the path. Was this a conscious decision to go it alone or just something that happened naturally?
Victoria: When I first started exploring and practicing magic as a young teen, I tried to recruit some friends to practice with me. Another girl and I did a rain spell I found on the internet. We did the working and surprisingly storm clouds came, but it did not rain. I still recall with fondness the scent of the cool, brewing air with the looming potential of rain and the satisfaction from seeing the dark, charged pregnant clouds. Then in middle school I tried to create covens centered around the 4 elements and categorized by everyone’s astrology. So for example, I had girls who were Virgo, Capricorn and Taurus signs in the Earth group. It ended up having perfectly 3 or 4 girls in each of the 4 element groups. I was going to teach them magic and I orchestrated the gatherings during our lunch break. A teacher got wind of this and told me I couldn’t do this. I was heavily involved in an Eastern tradition esoteric school between the ages of 16-22yo, but even my teacher of that system told me my path is that of the ronin and not samurai. I joined two different Gurdjieff schools. The first one, the teacher eventually told me and another gal he couldn’t teach women. He directed me to another local Gurdjieff school that quickly took me under their wing and to the right side of the head couple. This second school gave me immersive training in 4th Way’s sacred movements, the teacher practiced some Bardonism, and the community lived on a large compound with a library of magical books. That school ended up having tantric intercourse elements where the leader slept with all the women, however, so I decided to leave. His wife tried to convince me you float in the air during the act, for this leader studied with renowned yogi in India, but I was still not interested. As I left this school they told me I knew too much about esoterica anyway.
I’ve sat with other schools in Buddhist (Zen, Tibetan and Nichiren) and Western Mystery Traditions. Was invited to join some orders by their grand masters. One school offered to initiate me the next day without submitting an application. I’ve seen how some groups are fueled by politics, etc. and find that would be more divisive and draining than productive towards goals. For example, I had been invited to a winter solstice celebration by one group and the leader previously told others I would be a special guest. I was buttered up at said event. One of the attendees was so intrigued to see why the leader wanted me as a chess piece in her designs, invited me to dinner, and the discussion was completely centered around politics and intrigue. As the saying goes, “Ain’t got no time for that.” My philosophy as a solo practitioner is that I’m ultimately responsible for any progress. When it comes to group work, my evaluation is mainly centered on being conscientious about egregores I plug into and any karmic repercussions or entanglements. I don’t want to unduly burden myself in the future by what I do now. I expect a certain caliber and/or ease/culture before engaging with some groups. However, for all that has been an independent, solo journey, I’ve found much growth by working with and learning from others. Still, at the end of the day, it’s about self-responsibility to take your work and development into your own hands.
Franz Bardon & Initiation into Hermetics
PAA: Let’s look at your move towards Franz Bardon’s teachings. I believe that you looked at and experimented with different paths. What finally made you move towards the Franz Bardon approach to practice?
Victoria: I was first introduced to Franz Bardon when I was 17 or 18yo by a teacher. Although I often turned to it, I couldn’t make it my main practice – my loyalty and efforts were towards an Eastern esoteric system that made a deeply profound impact on my outer and inner life, and I just couldn’t fully get into the rhythm/adoption of IIH. I had some baseline experience in some of the exercises though. For example, in internal martial arts I learned to project into someone’s center of intent to read their moves before they made them or cut the energy behind their intents before they were materialized (transfer of consciousness). I also already experienced my HGA being fully present in my microcosm from an activation by an adept. I started exploring all the paths I felt called towards. In retrospect, I found this to be a time of gathering experiences and investigation. All the while, I still focused on personal development and my soul mirror work for over a decade before I started to seriously practice the rest of Franz Bardon’s work. From prior initiation (going from 0 to 10 without covering much middle ground) my karma became accelerated and I had plenty of black mirror material coming up to work through, constantly in my face. Even if I wasn’t doing IIH, I knew there was value in “cleaning up the inner house.” I felt like my decade of soul mirror work prior to seriously taking on the entirety of IIH, and the resulting clearing up of some karma, then positioned me to catapult like a sling shot.
By exposure to the Gurdjieff system, I cultivated and experienced a nuanced state they classify as being “awake,” which I found immensely valuable and worthwhile (and a state of consciousness I would like to be with more), but I didn’t necessarily want to subscribe to that school of thought’s entire philosophy and methodology. My Eastern system had a closely guarded egregore with high stakes. When my inner life wasn’t of a certain quality, the tap was turned off. I had frequent experience of powers/abilities being turned on and turned off, which was challenging on my nervous system. My capacity was in the hands of another, and while exposed to real adepts, my growth was dependent on a teacher finding me worthy to take me to the next level. I metaphorically walked around knocking on several doors, taking a peek inside, but realized Franz Bardon’s system was the only one that put my progress in my own hands and would lead me to my true goals. Being able to take the reins, realizing the power to change your life is in your own hands and that “You are your own Buddha” has been a paramount, profound lesson and gift.
PAA: Many students get stuck on certain exercises in Initiation into Hermetics (IIH) – Franz Bardon’s first book of practice. Did you face any challenges?
Victoria: I did a crash course of IIH steps with a small group in 2004, up until step 4 or step 5. But it was still not to the standards outlined in IIH. Furthermore, my teacher later told me for the step 1 exercise of thought observation, I had to master in 30 second increments tracking every thought and impression and write it down in the *exact order* of each thought/impression. As a clairsentient, this proved very difficult and challenging, for I often am receiving micro impressions via clairsentience and was trying to also track those, not just thoughts. Also, that I had to master 30 seconds at a time up to 20 minutes before moving to the next step. I spent several years following this edict and getting nowhere. My biggest growth came from connecting with the Bardon community and reading how other people were approaching the system. It widened my horizons tremendously to see what approach others had yet they still progressed in the system. I was then able to shift my attention from the above instruction of thought observation to simply establishing the inner observer for 10 minutes.
The biggest challenge for me at the beginning, and even sometimes today, is staying with an exercise even if you don’t get immediate results. For the first few steps, I would sit, do the practice, and seemingly got nowhere. This was the turning point though. I had already exhausted all other potential paths as my main road. I was out of options but still hungry for progress. So, I decided to just continue doing my practice, regardless of the outcome. To just keep showing up for it. Results then quickened. I got some revelations from this. It takes time for us to redirect our energies, which are conditioned to behave one way, towards the underlying goal of the exercise. Give yourself some time and understand some things have to follow an organic progression. Also, just doing an exercise once or twice in one session might not be enough. Sit with it and do it over and over again. This is where you, as I like to say, get past the crust and into the pudding.
PAA: What advice would you give for students in the following areas:
- Vacancy of Mind: This is one of my favorite exercises that I always return to. At the beginning, be patient with yourself and sit with your thoughts, allowing them to slowly subside and fade away. It can be like sitting at the beach, watching boats go by and kids play, until everyone eventually goes home and all you see is the night sky. This is learning to tune your mind into a certain frequency and like any muscle, it takes some repetition to strengthen it. See it like charging a battery or building out an energy body each time you sit to practice VOM. It takes a while to set up the infrastructure to abide in VOM, but it is possible. Once you’ve cultivated this, you can immediately go into it at any time.
- Visualization: People may not realize that they often are mentally visualizing when daydreaming. You visualize when asleep dreaming. When you think of a place or person you visualize. Seeing is something that is almost always on in one way or another, so have faith that since you see all day with your eyes opened, you can also exercise the part of your brain that will allow you to consciously visualize. Look at what is before you right now. Make a mental note of the scene. Then close your eyes and try to recall/imagine where the major markers are, where the wall is, the desk, the door, their colors, etc. Experiment with micro and macro (i.e., one of the visualization exercises can be to imagine seeing a small item like a box of matches, but also imagine large items). Recall a memory and summon the details from that memory’s environment. What was the landscape, the colors, the people and things?
- Soul Mirrors: Soul mirrors have an unsung element. It’s a method to release yourself from frequencies that keep you in a certain pattern, but also to introduce frequencies that will vastly improve your life. Always angry? Your life experiences will be colored by that. Cultivate some peace and your experiential existence will vastly improve. Soul mirror work is also a way to improve your karma and mastery. You are no longer a house with the front and back door open, things just coming and going as they please. You now are aware what comes in and out of your house, making notes of potential guests, and you decide who to kick out immediately, who can wait in the mud room for you to sort out issues with later, and who to metaphorically host a dinner party for. My preferred method is to start with whatever challenges are most prevalent in your life. Get into arguments with everyone? That’s going to hold you back. Identify the parts of yourself that do this, explore your psychology/emotions of why, and work through it to resolve. You kind of have to become your own therapist. Soul mirror work allows you to find energetic tension and blockages in your life to untangle and release. For heavily charged blockages, what will come up is what I call “storms.” An energy has a hold on expressing itself through you. It will struggle to keep its host, but it can also be an energy connection you have fed for lifetimes. If the emotions and mental state that come up are challenging, hold to the underlying goal like trying to weather a stormy sea, and know that it is something that you can eventually get on top of and overcome.
- Depth Point: Bardon does us a favor by introducing us to Transfer of Consciousness first before doing Depth Point. Get your experience with TOC down first. From here, you’ll become acquainted with what it’s like to see from/be in another object. You become acquainted with its properties, vibrations, purpose and place in the scheme of things. How it relates to everything else in reality. TOC is the gate to Depth Point. Once inside an object, you can navigate yourself towards its center. Other practitioners might have a different experience, but I found the Depth Point exercise to become an entry point to an object’s akasha. I do want to point out to please have integrity with TOC and Depth Point. If doing to another living being, please have a fundamental respect for them. Rawn Clark suggests asking for permission first. These exercises can be quite intimate, and I personally don’t want/like when others barge into my home without an invitation or polite consideration – it’s invasive when done out of mere curiosity or for exploitation.
PME & KTQ
PAA: Now an area which is much more personal. The move from IIH to Franz Bardon’s 2nd and 3rd books of practice – Practical Magical Evocation and The Key to the True Kabbalah. Is there anything you are able to share about your work with these books, the beings involved and the effect on your life overall practice?
Victoria: I began doing planetary work and Kabbalah this year. My planetary work hasn’t been the PME program, but via methods outlined in a book by Bob Smith of Sixty Skills that is yet to be published, which is primarily about gaining exposure to the planets’ frequencies. I have used entity sigils in planetary work and mental wandering, however. With planetary work, I decided I wanted to begin exploring these places without making a specific entity my entry point. I wanted to show up and just see what unfolds naturally. This was in part due to my inclination to see who I am and what unfolds organically at each location. The journey so far has been akin to pathworking, those I meet largely hospitable and meaningful engagements and insights. What’s been incredibly valuable is being able to occasionally discuss planetary journeys with other magicians. Sometimes I question myself – am I imagining this? I think there is no way I can really be experiencing some things in mental wandering. But then I ask those I know who are experienced and they validate it. For example, I mentioned a sun sphere experience to one magician, and I was informed they had the same initiation there. I’ve been following the traditional trajectory of planets, going to one until I feel called to go to the next, but there have been some instances where I find myself called elsewhere, be it one of the outer planets, or like the Pleiades and Draco system. For some locations there is definitely an acclimation and integration that has to take place.
I’ve had a very wide spectrum of planetary journeys so far, but I’ll share a benign one. Mercury. I find myself on a boat in the sky over the town I have been visiting. I am handed a scroll, like a certification, diploma or testament. I say it’s good to be back and there is like an acknowledgment or click on some level. I look back to see the people on the ship and I am greeted with warm smiles. I feel like I recognize them. I then go below deck. There is the captain’s office and lots of glistening jewelry. He acknowledges me and I say I feel like I’ve already done this all before. Being there, the conversation, etc. He shows me something drawn on a paper on the floor. Like symbols. It seems like a game, and I say I don’t want to play. I instead see it then rolled up into a scroll and he sends it deep into my subconscious. A demon is then flushed out and caught in a bottle. Then more things are flushed out. This captain has opened a door where I can step into my subconscious! I go in. I start to reorder and organize things. I am setting it up to support me and restore memories…Going deep into that and reminding myself or the captain telling me not to get lost in that dark, vegetative process. Sensing a prime directive instilled in me.
The Kabbalah work can be a very beautiful practice that while multi-faceted and I see can be refined over decades, can also be embraced with simplicity. I recently shared with someone it is akin to lassoing an energy signature in the universe and drawing it into your field. It’s like introducing yourself to the notes that make up the song of the universe, and you learn to play along with the song and contribute to its voice. It can be intensive, but also simple. It’s learning the cosmic ABCs. A fundamental respect and appreciation for the higher order of things makes it more accessible. What both of these practices have provided in my overall practice is a greater appreciation for the larger aspects of creation and one’s ability to consciously engage with the macrocosm.
Star Lore Publishing
PAA: Now you have a new publishing venture that you have just launched, can you introduce us to it, its aims and focus and what releases we might be able to look forward to in the future?
Victoria: Absolutely. Star Lore Publishing is a creation by André Consciência and me, an idea conceived less than a month ago. I’ve had the pleasure of working with André editing several of his books for Falcon Books Publishing. I wanted to start a small side business, and the idea was presented to start a publishing company. We formed the partnership on an ideal day of the week and date from a numerological, planetary standpoint. André is an established author/writer with experience working with several occult publishing companies. My spouse is a long-time writer/editor in an established field, so in addition to having edited for Falcon Books and being a lifelong writer myself, I found myself already in the fold for occult writing, editing and publication.
Star Lore Publishing’s main focus will be on magical fiction. Our intent is to be a house for esoteric writers to express their voices unfettered with themes that convey magic, the mysteries and esoteric concepts. Due to our desire to keep an author’s original voice, we won’t do much structural or development editing. Hence, we request submissions to be what the author considers their best final draft. After reviewing and if we agree to publish, we will then polish books with minor editing and beautiful packaging. We’d like to work with indie artists in some instances, and the revenue sharing with authors will be generous compared to industry standards. For being such a new enterprise, we already have 5 potential magical fiction books in the pipeline to bring to you. We’ll also reimagine occult and esoteric books in the public domain. Our purpose is to create beautiful works that will be inspiring, insightful and beautiful additions to your collection. Visit us at www.starlorepublishing.com to stay up to date.
PAA: Thank you Victoria for generously answering our questions, good luck to you in your new Venture and you are always welcome here on Perseus to share your wisdom as a guest post on our blog.
Victoria: Thank you, it’s been a pleasure.