An Interview with Nema


Posted by <Aion> on Sunday April 23, @11:25PM
from the birds-of-a-feather dept.

Maat Magick and the Way of Self Initiation

Nema, the author of Maat Magick, A Guide to Self Initiation (Samual Weiser) visited the Pacific Northwest and brought to us a unique view of how every person can take control of their spiritual evolution and invoke the divine into their daily lives. What follows is a short interview based on some ideas from her book.

Denny: Nema, what exactly is 'Maat Magick?'

Nema: Maat is the ancient Egyptian principle of Truth, justice, honesty and balance; Magick is the science and the Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will. Maat Magick is a streamlined, contemporary system of initiation through magick ritual with three main aims: personal transformation, species transformation and preparation for non-human communication. It's based on Western esoteric tradition, but borrows freely from any valid spiritual system.

D: What is the source of this material?

N: Maat Magick includes information from the Western Initiated Tradition, the hidden path of Western Spirituality, from writers like Perdurabo, Dion Fortune, A. O. Spare and Kenneth Grant, as well as from my own visionary experiences. The visions that I received that became the central part of Maat Magick were ones I received when I tapped into the Akasha (the Astral) which is the eternal record of everything, past, present and future. Anyone can gain access to the Akasha with the right attitude and approach.

D: Who is this book for? Can everyone use the techniques it explains?

N: This book is for anyone who is dissatisfied with standard answers to the 'Big Questions' or with their present state of consciousness. Yes, everyone can use the techniques which I explain clearly in this book. They can be easily adapted to various situations like physical disability or sensory impairment, if need be.

D: What is 'Self initiation?'

N: Initiation, in the spiritual sense of the word, is the opening of the Self to new knowledge about existence and non-existence as well as knowledge gained from personal experience and intuition. Initiation rituals of various tribes, orders or groups can only be formal acknowledgements of personal attainments. The most one can do for another person's progress in knowledge, understanding and wisdom is to point him or her in the right direction and make encouraging noises!

D: Ok, but say I'm just an average person with an average job and regular concerns, what does all that have to do with me?

N: If you're perfectly satisfied with your life and you don't seek change, there is not much that Maat Magick can do for you. If you suspect that common knowledge only brushes the surface of reality, if you feel that there's more to life than what meets the eye, if you sense a vast Mystery behind appearances (and you yearn to discover that Mystery) then Maat Magick can open doors for you.

D: Maat Magick seems to be concerned with the future, what future possibilities do you see for the Earth?

N: I've seen a number of possible futures for our planet, some are very hopeful for the human race, while others aren't. Some of the dire possibilities include dictatorships, world war, a completely poisoned environment and even an Eden-like world with no people. On the positive side, I've seen futures where we manufacture things an atom at a time through nanotechnology or grown things like plastics from genetically modified plants. The main image, though, is a future Earth with a human race with its Group Unconsciousness fully Awake. That is, we evolve into a species with a 'double consciousness;' that of the individual and that of our Collective Awareness. The goal of Maat Magick is to weigh probability in favor of this positive future.

D: You discuss “extraterrestrial connections' in your book, could you talk about this a bit?

N: I prefer to use the term 'non-human' instead of 'extraterrestrial.' since there are beings awaiting our recognition who are already with us, but invisible to us. The ones who are off-planet come in a wild variety of forms, may of which we presently wouldn't see as life-forms at all. For instance, stars are intelligent entities whose convection currents and fluctuating electromagnetic fields both reflect and enable their thinking. They communicate with each other by light and the rest of the energy spectrum, as well as by 'nonlocal' omnipresence of the quantum-level reality. Time and Space are illusions, and many intelligences take practical advantage of that fact.

One maxim of Maat Magick is: “All that is, lives; all that lives is intelligent.” The non-human life I refer to includes our Earthly Kingdoms of animal, vegetable and mineral, the Faerie Folk, the oceans, storms, earthquakes and volcanoes, our entire planet, the moon, angels, ghosts, devas, loa, kami, and other gods and spirits. It also includes those elusive beings who live close to us, just a beat out of our own vibration-level, just around the corner in the next dimension.

Denny Sargent is the author of the books Global Ritualism and The Tao of Birth Days. It should be mentioned, in all fairness, that he is pals with Nema . . .

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <Malikaie> on Wednesday April 26, @02:48PM

Maat Magick is a streamlined, contemporary system of initiation through magick ritual with three main aims: personal transformation, species transformation and preparation for non-human communication. It's based on Western esoteric tradition, but borrows freely from any valid spiritual system.

Am I hearing this right?
First of three “aims” so-called is personal transformation, which couldn't be more general, and broad to misleading. What is exactly personal transformation? In this sense, breathing would qualify.

Secondly, can anyone prove they had indeed founded a system which is capable of evolving a species, or as put, “species transformation?” Such a claim lies on the absurd!

Now, finally, with myself being under the impression that magick is intended to connect with the divine entities instilled in the human, now I hear it includes conversations with non-human entities, of which this source completely neglected the divine communication with Self!!! How could a vision of the future come about where everyone are true initiates when such illusionary thinking as this is being thrown at us today?

To claim such a system is based on A.O.S. and Crowley, or any Western Tradition for that matter is rather preposterous, that I won't even get into the latter part of this very very very odd interview.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by Michael Sanborn on Wednesday April 26, @03:40PM\

I find it a little surprising that anyone would balk at the term “personal transformation,” since it's in such common use. It's like saying “the Great Work” is too vague to have any meaning. For that matter, I think that “personal transformation” and “the Great Work” are often used to mean the same thing: realization of the potential of consciousness or of one's relationship to consciousness. (That is what I interpret “the Great Work” to mean in a Thelemic context. In a Fourth Way context, to use another example, “the Work” is seldom defined, but in my experience it is usually defined in strictly impersonal terms. There is Work on Self, but “the Work” is beyond self.)

The reason that breathing doesn't qualify as personal transformation in this sense is that it is a change in the content of experience rather than a change in the nature of experience. Particularly successful pranayama, on the other hand, could very well be transformative.

As far as species transformation being absurd, most anything in magick can be labelled that way. As a map by which to steer, I find the idea rather appealing in its altruism.

Regarding conversations with non-human entities conflicting with the divine communication of the Self, my reading of Maat Magick is that there is no “non-self” from its perspective.

Maat Magick does indeed explore territory not found in Crowley or Spare, but it does spring from that tradition; the influences are unmistakable if you look at the material itself. It helped me make sense of Crowley where nothing else could.

Of course, Your Mileage May Vary. . . .

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <Malikaie> on Wednesday April 26, @06:23PM

No. Here is where you separate the cream from the crud. Great Work is not to imply something as common as avoiding a specific emotion, so as not to be depressed, which is an example of what most people call personal transformation. Hence the term great implies the creme de la creme of all actions. And moreover it is a very specific and very definite rite.

Concerning what is absurd…well, to eliminate absurdities it is first required to transform the desired, leaving the husk. Such acts need be performed with materials written by Crowley and Spare, yet their work is so simple (as designed to be) the average man upon undergoing some form of accurate and precise initiation can understand every part of these works in such a short time.

When it is written non-self it is not to imply an order that you must believe there is a not-self. Same as it is written non-morally not to imply that you must go about your way doing wrongs. So yes, in Crowley's perspective there is a non-self, and in Spares a non-morally attentiveness. Who is to say that outside this box there is or there isn't such things?

Re: An Interview with Nema
by Michael Sanborn on Wednesday April 26, @08:37PM

Your experience of “what most people call personal transformation” is radically different from mine. And while some might argue that the Great Work in Thelema is “a very specific and very definite rite” (though I wouldn't), surely we can't narrow the scope of the forms in which the Great Work might be performed by anyone else.

And rather than eliminating absurdities, I'm inclined to view the appearance of absurdity as an opportunity to open my mind. Are you implying that any point of view that doesn't appear to be relevant to one's current desires should be dismissed?

I'm not sure that I follow your last paragraph at all, but no one is dismissing Crowley or Spare. My point is that Nema's work presents a coherent and cogent view. No one has to work with it if they don't want to, but why denigrate it if you haven't taken the time to study it?

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <Malikaie> on Thursday April 27, @08:05AM

You seem to be implying that I tried to denigrate in some way Nema's book. I say this is not entirely the case. I am simply and only reacting to this short piece of interview, which in my perspective she tried to be as controversial as possible. The reason for this which escapes me, yet I think it has something to do with capturing a very specific audience, one that I would rather frown upon. And to conclude, “Magick has always retained the bad reputation” when of course those who distribute its message do nothing to eliminate the absurd.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by Michael Sanborn on Thursday April 27, @09:23AM

Well, this seems like a reasonable stopping place then. I only wish that you were logging on with a viable email address, in the event we wanted to discuss some of these points off-site. I'd be interested in knowing, for instance, whether I'd qualify as part of the audience that you'd rather frown upon. :-)

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <Malikaie> on Thursday April 27, @12:51PM

Perhaps this would make a good article someday “How to find one's boiling point”, but I could tell you it's rather predictable. I'd only have to mention my self as Gemini to begin. Thus it would be useless for me to say, “Why should one care if another disapproves.” Slight-of-hand is all but a stage-act.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by Michael Sanborn on Thursday April 27, @01:28PM

I've briefly defined what I consider the Great Work to be, and stated that I consider the term roughly synonymous with personal transformation. Clearly you don't consider the two to be similar at all. So I'd be interested to hear in more detail about what the Great Work is from your point of view.

I've been assuming that by “very specific and very definite rite” you're referring to the Abramelin operation, but I can't be sure. Although Crowely gives some examples of rites that could be used for it, I believe he makes a point of saying that this is something for each individual to work out for themselves.

My own view differs from Crowley's in that I see the Great Work as encompassing the whole process of, shall we say, initiation, from top to bottom. And also that the distinctions between the grades, particularly Knowledge & Conversation and the Crossing of the Abyss, are not so finely drawn in everyone's development as they are in his system.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <Malikaie> on Thursday April 27, @05:28PM

Very well.

This shouldn't be too difficult.

Crossing the Abyss leads to the Abramelin Operation, that is the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA. The whole of this operation encompassing a very short time period of around five or ten minutes, lasting howsoever long. There is no preparation for this rite required by the individual save that he practice the true rite, and not other. There is of the same operation which Crowley tried to put in writing in his M Manifesto, of which wherein the A and the S he simply blotted out the initiate from all of social fads to concur finding the true will. I do not wholly agree with this practice, as it seems particularly “black” for most men's tastes, although this part of the operation is purely left to the individuals liking, as so stated. I would like to contradict in that going about the true will is somewhat apart from this operation, and as you know, people tend to look at “personal transformation” quite diferently as would they never have experienced true enlightenment of the supreme rite. If I were to construct the MASS to my own hindrance, It would be A) Fire B) The Seer of Self C) The Seer of All and Any Peoples. So now that it is understood that Judgement is but one virtue that rises from the responsibility as human consciousness, it would be greatly monotonous to devote every last breath or action to this great work or to a specific diety. As they say, if a man must explain why he wishes to kiss a girl he becomes impotent. Yet mostly I dislike attributing every menial thing to the great work because the many *never* attained the supreme rite, and as one is just to view every one self as connected in some manner, without these souls being adept, there is great peril, conflict, and blasphemy when perceiving this whole. It does not work to optimal satisfaction. The true paths lie to rot, they have crossed over, and now threaten to suffocate every occupied and divine path of mankind. This hiddeous secret that is kept from those who no less spit on its treasures must be distributed to all in full force if we are to acknowledge each and every act as a divine act, or if thee very concept ov true will is to be accepted and welcomed in its entirety. The Joy would be immeasurable! Only, I can't see this happening in such a drone kingdom as planet earth. The very site of it makes me quiver something awful and vile. Makes suicide look almost humane. Strings history in the making. And on and on, forever.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by Michael Sanborn on Friday April 28, @08:59AM

Wow! And for a while I suspected that your objection to Nema was that she strayed too far from Thelemic orthodoxy!

This is very interesting, thank you very much. And evidentally, it's an approach that is working for you. But I don't suppose that you believe that this is the correct definition of the Great Work for everyone?

For what it's worth, while I find your view impressive and in every way deserving of respect, as someone from a Thelemic background, I found Nema's work considerably less controversial than this.

That's not a criticism; controversial is good.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <Malikaie> on Friday April 28, @12:32PM

I am glad you enjoyed the post, especially after the fact under which grounds I seemed to stir up the waters, be it hastily or no.

Although I must point out, yes I do think this should be the only defining method of the Great Work for everyone. Let them see who they really are! ye animals! …Of course, there would and must be some exceptions in who should or should not be acceptable candidates. Yet the solution is in the numbers, with more initiates there are the better the laws may be fashioned to achieve what man has always wanted, yet was to stubborn to attain. Wherein the whole of its meaning is Royalty and its message Joy, Peace and Superior Culturization.

My first reaction to the interview above, which lead me to post, was of course, the three aims, which I thought needed alot of explaining, solely for in my opinion, these three are so simple, and fully communicable, and nonethless, were one to look about his world to find them, there would be little hesitation for the “end truth”. “Everyone knows.” Getting them to speak, to act, to think the way they wish to think, is the major difficulty.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by Michael Sanborn on Saturday April 29, @08:13AM

Interesting point. I don't know if it's fair, though, to compare the three aims with your (quite nicely formulated) three-fold message of Royalty.

“Joy, Peace, and Superior Culturization” seem to me to be values.

“Personal transformation, species transformation and preparation for non-human communication” seem to be methods, or metaphors for methods in the case of the last two.

I would think of these methods as means toward achieving the values of which you speak. Certainly, there are other ways of formulating methods . . .

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <Malikaie> on Saturday April 29, @12:36PM

My three aims overlap my three methods: in that Fire leads to joy, seership leads to peace, and so forth. Values as you call them, are first and foremost Actions.

“Personal transformation, species transformation and preparation for non-human communication” are not methods, if they are, wert blind. Ask the homo erectus if he knew and willfully intended to become an upright man, and he would only laugh at such a remarkable claim. Most personal transformations happen by accident. If you associate with one who always remarks “The first rule of initiation is silence” you will remain silent, until, that is you become frustrated of the command that you speak just to oppose the silence.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by Michael Sanborn on Sunday April 30, @07:44AM

I don't understand your second paragraph at all. I do think that Ouspensky's term, “voluntary evolution,” is a useful one, though. It suggests that the development of our capacities (what we might call “initiation” in this tradition) has something in common with biological evolution, in that over time we adapt to our environment in a more sophisticated way, but at the same time it is distinct, in that it must be chosen.

Re: An Interview with Nema
by <aleph> on Thursday July 20, @08:45PM

You seem to have that backwards. The Invocation of the HGA comes BEFORE crossing the abyss, not after. And while the Abramelin method is ONE way of invoking one's angel, it is hardly the only one.

One of the reasons that crossing the abyss can be difficult for people is that one has to do it alone… the HGA cannot accompany you.

Re: An Interview with Nema]]
by <Aion> on Sunday April 30, @12:37PM

Well, that was an interesting exchange.
I feel compelled to point out that many of the words in the interview seem to have been interpreted a bit differently than I think they were meant, but whatever.
I guess I would hope that critics of Nema would take the extra step of reading MAAT MAGICK before completely dismissing her work.
In any event, Io Pan!


Re: An Interview with Nema]]
by <p.r.koenig> on Sunday August 06, @01:26PM

dear cybercitizens
i have added a hypertextlink to this very interesting interview at
where you can find a lot of texts by nema.