Clear & Bright: Jinn Sorcery, Paul Weston, & the Hyperthick

Scarlet Imprint released Rain Al-Alim’s Jinn Sorcery in its hardcover editions, with paperback and e-book editions forthcoming. There’s a review of the book in this post, but I also continue on to talk about all kinds of stuff that orbit Jinn Sorcery—or, more accurately, Jinn Sorcery takes up an orbit about me, along with a bunch of other stuff, as you’ll see.

I’d been drawn to this project a while back. I’ve had nominal interest in jinn for quite some time, but perhaps more so since getting a better footing with the grimoires. In addition, as I went looking for jinn lore in the lead-up to the release of Jinn Sorcery, I found the jinn parallels with faerie lore fruitful to think with, especially in trying to look past the filter of human culture to try to glimpse something more of the realities of these beings beyond. In an appearance on the Rune Soup podcast a while back, the Scarlets, Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech, suggested that Jinn Sorcery’s purpose lay less in any kind of operative use—it’s less about trying to call up the jinn—and more about seeing how another culture approached similar, if not the same, beings as described in many places in the goetic and grimoiric currents of western occultism. In theory, we should be able to better understand or even approach those beings—and others like them and the spirit world, in general—by comparing what we have and know and use with another culture’s perspectives.

In many ways, the jinn occupy similar mythical, imaginal, and cultural roles as the fae do in Britain and the west. I mean specifically the suggestiveness and romance of the jinn and fae, which provide people ways of thinking about, considering, imagining, and even leaning into the spiritual-imaginal realm. In a very real sense, jinn and fae are magic, and often without the immediate cultural baggage that demons, devils, angels, and saints can carry. All of these classes of beings—if they’re truly taxonomically distinct is quite questionable at a macro-level—are far more interesting than their official descriptions. Of course, the jinn and fae have their own kinds of baggage. At least in the west, jinn have tumbled down as an idea through orientalist versions of One Thousand and One Nights and the fetishification of jinniya via things like I Dream of Jeannie. The fae suffer from the remnants of the post-A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Victorian turns, and the diminution of “imaginal” and non-Christian “non-physical” beings into the “unreal” and fanciful. But, many folks seem willing to imagine with jinn and fae, to treat them as somehow inherently magical in ways that strike me as potentially useful.

Imaginal Beings, Imaginal Places, Imaginal Us

And, well, I don’t know if you can consider these beings—let alone demons, angels, the dead, and more—without also thinking about the nature of the world. I’ve pointed often to my growing recognition of how the imaginal is the spirit world, though some “imaginary” beings have more oomph to them, or have more oomph if you approach them in certain ways, places, and times. As I was reading Robert Lebling’s Legends of the Fire Spirits and Umar S. al-Ashqar’s The World of the Jinn & Devils while waiting for Jinn Sorcery, I began to see the parallels between the jinn and the fae—Robert Kirk’s descriptions of the fae in The Secret Commonwealth have much in common with the descriptions of the jinn—and I suspect the jinn and fae represent different cultural expressions—not only human understandings of the beings they encounter as those humans can understand them based upon the humans’ cultural lenses, but also the cultures of different jinn and faerie families, tribes, and kingdoms.

But I also began to see echoes of things from my own practice. Lebling’s descriptions of the lore surrounding the jinn and Mount Qaf and related imaginal geographies put me in mind of my own experience of the spirit world even as I’d already been suspicious of parallels to things I was noticing in (admittedly mostly Iberian) European lore. And as I’ve explored and pulled on these threads more, I have found that my (and others’) long-standing perspectives and experiences are actually far more aligned with centuries of magical and mythical realities than my early Wiccish, Golden Dawnish, or devotional polytheist contexts would have led me to believe.

That is, I hadn’t just been deluding myself or “imagining things”—or, I had been imagining, but I’d been imagining some version of real things and beings nonetheless. That said, I feel that the ways I had to engage with those realities kept them divorced and distant from my life here, mostly because of how thinking about the non-physical as “unreal” infects western consciousness.

Along the way, I’ve also been examining my imaginal nature, my spiritual nature—Jung, Henry Corbin, and my own impressions and experiences of me-in-the-imaginal. I remember reading Carlos Castaneda’s books and his descriptions of the “second attention,” or even of the “assemblage point,” and his persona’s realization that he had been experiencing an alternative version of his life—a life simultaneous and in parallel in many ways. I was struck by how I’d had similar impressions on and off over the years, but more so—or more clearly or better glimpsed consciously—as my practice deepened and matured. I eventually wound up comparing these “attentions” to Whitley Strieber’s descriptions of memories of events that otherwise didn’t supposedly exist in “reality” but had nonetheless real consequences in his life.

And these kinds of experiences have further come to the fore after I’ve read Paul Weston’s Avalonian Aeon, where he had come to a similar conclusion I had—though he’s well ahead of me here—and he’s just released his new book Atargatis in which he dives more into this subject even as he linked his access to these ideas to José Argüelles’s writings. And I can’t but help consider all that in further relief to Corbin’s ideas about humanity and our “angels,” let alone Jung and our lives on the shore of the vast Depths of the Unconscious. And I have also all too often dreamt or glimpsed or briefly dived into “attentions” where the magic I am doing consciously has parallel processes or practices going on unconsciously. I have noticed how some books or even ideas seem to have extra-dimensional bigger books just beyond the physical codex and its physically inked words on the page: books like The Book of St. Cyprian, my own attempt at my book, various grimoires (and their spirits), and—as I came to see—Jinn Sorcery.

Downloads & Hyperdense Stuff

I’ve had several dreams where it’s as if I come across some kind of hyperdimensional and hyperdense information. Sometimes, this happens through or after/in parallel with spirit contact. Sometimes, it’s as if magic I’ve done has all this extra stuff extending out in imaginary directions beyond just sigils, seals, or the words I said. For example, from some (edited) dream journaling:

Dreaming about [a specific being] unpacking dimensions into and around me—the symbols, shapes, words unfolding into hyper-structures that I’m noticing—drama plus shape and possibilities—polysemy [i.e., multiple simultaneous meanings]

…The dimensional unfolding is happening here, too, and I am unfolding in ways—Old books or ideas of books, junk, shitty apparatuses I designed to try to keep things together and working at home that are leaking and falling apart, and Dad tries to help fix one up, I get pinched, and I can access the inside of it with wireless tech now—crowded scenes of crap that orbit me, like an accretion disc, a cloak, a tumor of crap, and more, but it’s unfolding, I’m multidimensional, and I am trying to get out of it all.

Eating code and paragraphs—contracting diseased writing—

I find that it’s interesting to think about some of these concepts from a multi-dimensional perspective, even if I’m not sure that’s necessarily the most accurate way to do so. Gordon White has analogized spirit contact events as not unlike what Flatland describes of the third-dimension meeting the second-dimension. Weston comes at this topic via his reading of Argüelles’ Surfers of the Zuvuya and the idea of “conscious union with [your] dimensional double.” Argüelles terms this other self the “4D” self—his “4D” self viewed him as his

third dimensional property. But I’m only as good as you are clear. The more clear you can get about your intentions on this planet, the more light I can pour into you; the more light I can pour into you, the easier you make my job.[1]

And this idea made a lot of sense to Weston, and it made a lot of sense to me. I have been moving in such worlds my entire life, and I have seen myself moving in these other “attentions.” And in doing so, I have been moving amongst angels, saints, gods, demons, daimons, the dead, fae, and more. From another perspective, that “4D” me—who has, when I’ve been able to align with her fleetingly—has always seemed composed, confident, self-possessed, and, as weird as it might sound, full. And along the way, I have been a “3D” slice of her “4D” wholeness.[2] And at different times and different points, different “slices” of her “4D” self move through me. I have been fae, angel, and more—and all those real things move through me here at times.

And it has occurred to me that my “3D” ability to access or even point to those “4D” realities I can accomplish through imagining, through images, words, ideas, and such. How do you point to the fourth dimension? By imagining it or imagining doing so.

Some might call that magic.

So, I have been pondering how do I make myself clear and bright. I suspect that, historically, the use of fasting and intense asceticism has been an attempt to “clear the channel” for a better throughput from the “4D,” from the imaginal. But engaging with the imaginal—doing magic, making art, working to imagine and see yourself, and doing one’s best to earth There in the Here—has seemed one definite way to do so.

(Paul Weston’s oeuvre about his “psychic questing” has certainly seemed to capture his attempts to do so. Take a look at his most recent appearance on Rune Soup.)

But I have noted how that hyperdense stuff and those “downloads” I’ve noticed, especially while dreaming but also otherwise, remind me of how hard it would be to try to cram 4D information, lore, secrets into 3D consciousness. There’s a reason so much slides out of our proverbial and imaginal fingers as we wake up from dreaming. But I can also see how our neighbors—saints, angels, the dead, spirits, fae, jinn—well, our 4D neighbors can slide through us, move through us in the 3D, too.

Back to Jinn Sorcery

I felt the book as I pulled it from the packaging. Scarlet Imprint does work to produce talismanic editions of books. My huge hardcover Game of Saturn has a particular presence, but I have to admit that Jinn Sorcery felt a bit different. It is a slim volume, and it counts only 102 pages, counting front and back matter.

The preface offers some core jinn mythology and cosmology to consider for how they fit into canonical and non-canonical Islamic world views. Notable to me, the editor observes how the figures that appear during scrying operations—and presumably during any engagement with the spirit world—are all jinn playing the roles for you. Even if you’re using a spell to see a vision of the thief who stole your laptop—something we might compare to remote viewing these days—the figures you actually see during the operation are effectively jinn actors reproducing scenes for you. Honestly, I got a strong sense for how the jinn occupy the imaginal realm and are the actors populating our experience/visions of that realm. The first section focuses on using jinn to accomplish dream visions and sendings, and such an idea is akin to the uses of spirits (or even the dead) in the PGM to pose as a person’s personal god in dreams you send to them. Ultimately, any and everyone in the realm you encounter are “jinn” or, perhaps, angels.

The volume includes lots of treasure-finding and thief-finding magic, which is also common in western threads.

The section on the summoning of the personal qarin got my attention, in part because of many of the things I addressed regarding other attentions and our “4D” selves. The idea of the qarin as our constant jinn companion makes me think of me-in-the-realm, that which would survive my death and which isn’t bound by local 3D reality and cultural constraints. Tradition holds that they often lure folks into “evil,” and I wonder how much that “luring” represents more a combination of the Unconscious plus You-Unbound-by-3D-Existence-and-Culture.

However, functionally, the summoning of the personal qarin focuses on summoning someone else’s qarin after they die. That is, it is necromancy. Mainstream Islamic cosmology has no ghosts, and any supposed ghostly hauntings are actually the work and tricks of jinn posing as the dead. This doctrine actually reminds me very much of Protestant views on the dead post-Reformation where, after removing Purgatory from the afterlife, ghosts stopped being ghosts and became devils or demons posing as the dead. (There’s a reason Hamlet feels unsure about the provenance of His Dad the Ghost.) From an operant “necromantic” perspective, the tradition of the personal qarin provides magicians an out for calling up the dead for information. Because this jinn had been the constant, generally unseen companion of the deceased, they would know everything the dead knew and be able to pose as the deceased.

That said, and with the 4D component of selfhood as a consideration, I wonder if the personal qarin is another description of that 4D self who isn’t “us” precisely, but someone bigger and probably weirder. From a certain perspective, they are our souls/spirits/ghosts, but we’re also their mortal outposts in this 3D frame of reference. Such an idea also gives me something to think about in considering the lore about the jinn being another race of beings initially created prior to humanity, but still having kids today, let alone considering fairies as the dead but also those older, bigger, stranger fae who may be something other than the human dead, or perhaps include the long human dead.

I do wonder if anyone ever tried to conjure up their own qarin.

The sections on Al-Mandal scrying and jinn evocation are interesting for comparing with western models of scrying and evocation, but if you’ve got your Lesser Key or Book of Oberon or Goetia of Dr. Rudd, I think you’d be better served sticking with them. That said, I did have the notion that the Al-Mandal scrying model—which you can find very related expressions thereof back into older traditions, let alone the Hygromanteia—relies in good part on rules of hospitality. In a way, the operations often work along these lines: here’s a feast fit for a king among the jinn and his court—now, while you’ve enjoyed my hospitality, O king, how ‘bout a favor for your host?

That is something that I think many occultists discount when considering the spirits. We will generally accept that hierarchy is a thing, but a hierarchy practically demands a society. When you have kings and aristocrats amongst the spirit lists, faerie courts, and jinn kingdoms—you’re talking about cultures. In the grimoires, these matters are often reduced to the number of legions and a princely rank, but you can see in the jinn and faerie lore that these beings can be far more nuanced and complex in their relations, with each other and with us.

I also found the sorcerous evocations of jinniya (female jinn) with an eye towards marriage very interesting, especially since the operations and, in some cases, descriptions of the beings seem to parallel instances of British faerie lore where magicians try to conjure faerie women to appear to grant them magic, favors, and sex. The operations described in Jinn Sorcery strike me as very much magico-political marriages, a binding of the magician to the jinn’s family and universe, and you can find similar threads in the faerie lore. If nothing else, the legends of faerie brides bespeak of very similar goals.

The last section concerns exorcism tech, and my read on the model is that the exorcist works to get the jinn ruler of the day of the week on which the exorcism is attempted to force the possessing jinn out of the host.

I have to admit that, at first, I felt somewhat disappointed by the contents. The book seems brief and is expensive in its hardcover edition. Obviously, I have had several ideas come from reading the book. I will say that my dreaming that night, after reading—well, I had tons of dreaming that included unfolding texts, serpents and serpent journeys, and more. For me, this response probably builds out of my own work thus far—there’s a reason I went through all the imaginal and 4D territory before getting to the book proper in this post.

As the editor notes, Islamic magicians traditionally preferred manuscript books passed down through families or lineages—they are more potent is the thinking. However, I wonder if having more context helps here, and I wonder how that cultural tradition intersects with the western grimoire lines where you can have books who have spirits that a canny magician contacts and through whom seeks to unpack a grimoire and its secrets and codes, and to fill in the gaps. I also find myself wondering what the talismanic nature of this edition of Jinn Sorcery does.

Otherwise, let me be clear: if you’re a western practitioner, you already have all of this tech: scrying, dream sendings and visions, necromancy, exorcism, and evocation. What I have found fruitful in Jinn Sorcery is how it’s helped me unfold my existing practices and experiences in ways I’m still sitting with. I fear many folks will pick up the book or get the kindle and look at it and just set it aside. It’s a book that demands having done magic and to keep doing magic, even if you’re not necessarily doing its magic.

Featured Image: StockSnap | Pixabay (with editing)

[1] Quoted in Paul Weston, Avalonian Aeon: From Glastonbury Festival to 2012, A Personal Occult Odyssey (Glastonbury: Avalonian Aeon, 2010), 445. I’ve tried asking myself what my “job” is here, and the answer was basically, “You’re here to you-as-a-verb.”

[2] She is arguably a slice of some 5D Me, but man, who wants to emanate through everything. That’s just tiring.

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