When working with an old text such as The Book of Abramelin it seems wise to make some adaptations based on modern lifestyle. I find it appropriate to discuss my own interpretation of the suggested process at this stage. I read a lot of interesting accounts and advise from other practitioners who did the operation and were happy to share their own experiences and insights. I took some of it on board but not all just like with the book itself. I am going to discuss in what way I did not follow the book and advice of others regarding the operation.
- The Oath. It is suggested that the practitioner swears an oath to complete the operation. I have followed this when I did Liber Astarte and concluded it unnecessary. My understanding is that the oath helps to motivate the individual. I do not need any additional motivations beyond the will to do it. If life circumstances would prevent me from completing the operation I will come back to it as soon as I can.
- Fixed duration. It has been suggested to choose a length of time and stick to it. I departed from this rule. I prefer flexible approach where I might aim at a given length (6 months) but see how it goes. I do not see a reason for each stage of the operation to take equal length of time. I will progress onto the next stage when I feel ready. I have a lot of self discipline and motivation and do not need restrain to keep them up.
- Fixed time for daily ritual. The book suggest to do the prayer/orison/meditation at dawn and sunset. This was probably in tune with people lifestyles at the time of its writing. Modern magicians have suggested picking up a certain time, morning and evening and sticking to them with no exceptions. I do them when I get up, after my morning coffee any time between morning up to early afternoon. The second rite falls anywhere between late afternoon and midnight. I find this much easier to manage.
- Confession of sins. I had no need for a formal confession kneeling in front of an altar. I consider such thing too loaded with needless religious overtones. However I do spend fair bit of time on introspection. The whole process requires constant questioning of ones own motives and actions. Being absolutely honest with myself seems to come naturally during this operation. As I mentioned in All Seeing Eyes, there seems to be an intelligence at work that gently but pressingly sheds light on repressed and hidden issues. Nowhere to hide.
- Having female body. The book suggests women shouldn’t do this operation and instruct men to avoid them when they menstruate. The only difficulty I experienced because of my body is menstrual pain. Its severity forces me to take codeine for 3 days and I find its effects hindering my meditations. It seems a mild inconvenience and not something to worry about.
- Drugs and alcohol. The book clearly says to abstain from getting drunk. It doesn’t mention drugs but many interpret the alcohol rule extending to all mind altering substances. If someone has a habit they are not willing to give up for the duration of this operation I would suggest reconsidering the attempt. I definitely feel that substances causing numbness such as codeine and alcohol have a negative impact on my concentration and prefer to avoid them. I also avoid alcohol in social situations. I do have a very small glass of white wine during my evening Sabbath ritual. I intend to keep it that way at least for now. Apart from this, abstinence seems to be a nice experience. My position on other types of drugs seems ambivalent. Anything taken medicinally seems fine to me. I trust my Holy Guardian Angel to guide me on this. I definitely feel that excess of any kind of substance would not be recommended and generally speaking keeping a clear head is a good idea. Doing so gives a unique opportunity to see how high you can get without drugs.
I might get few rotten tomatoes frown my way for saying all this but it seems fair to share my method honestly. Although my roots are strongly in Thelema I come at this practice from a Chaos Magick perspective. If my attitude leads to failure I will not be afraid to admit it. I do this for myself and not for the prestige and glamour some attach to Abramelin operation.
Generally I trust my relationship with HGA and see following their advice more important than sticking to arbitrary rules. Something I got out from a probationary period in Lectorium Rosicrucianum is the understanding that initiation happens to a certain extent by itself. I am not intending to fake my progress by rigorously adhering to rules. I let my own attitude guide me as to my progress. If I struggle with something then perhaps I need a little bit more time to process it. So far this seems to work for me.
The operation definitely has its own gravity and its own mind. I feel myself being pulled into it like one might be into a psychedelic trip. Meditations become longer and more involved. At this point I feel more comfortable doing up to two hour sessions, very rarely doing less than an hour. The need for solitude, introversion and study arises by itself and discipline becomes almost not necessary. I look forward to my meditations and time focusing on Axan (my HGA). It feels great.