A Reblog

Sex, Gods, and Rock Stars

I apologize if this essay seems a little off the cuff; ironically, I just learned that March 31st is the International Day of Transgender Visibility, and I felt compelled to write a little something about it, because I think it’s a really good thing to celebrate and educate about.

First of all, if it hasn’t been made abundantly clear: I am transgender.

For me, this means I was born with a vulva, vagina, ovaries and a uterus, and was thusly raised with the concept that I was female; meanwhile, I struggled internally with this “diagnosis” until I later realized that biology is not destiny. The reason many transgender activists have added the “*” to the shorthand “trans*” is because there are many ways the prefix trans (which means “to cross over”) is used by gender variant people: transsexual, transgressive, transcendent, etc. I think these apply to me in one…

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My family is off at Good Friday Mass, and I’m alone. I remember how beautiful Mass is, though I’ve not attended for two years and change. I’m not a Christopagan, but I do not hate Christianity, I do not hate Catholicism (no matter that it hates me), I miss religious ritual that isn’t solitary, and the smells, and the music, and the Latin, and I wish I wasn’t alone. The plaint of the lone quondam Catholic in a family of devout and active Catholic Christians.


Working(s) to Save $25K [EDITED]

Divination informs me that within two years, if I use perhaps all the sorcery I know, I can save $25,000 for SRS — sex reassignment surgery. I would have begun this project of using magic to help me save money regardless of the result of the divination. The result was very positive though and I’m excited about it now that I know I won’t have to bend realities too much. —I’m learning Tarot fast, thanks to this book, but I use geomancy (see also here) as my divinatory method of choice.

Come July 25th Jupiter will enter Cancer and I can make the 4rth Pentacle of Jupiter from a flat piece of silver, one big enough on which to engrave the complex design of the Pentacle. I don’t have the skills or equipment or a safe place to smelt and mold silver, so I’m wracking my brains for flattish silver things. I can use a hammer to erase out any designs already present. I don’t think an old silver dollar will be big enough. Anybody have any ideas?

—Yes, I’m begging for your comments. I need ideas. I know no shame sometimes.

I’ll be doing a lot of other Jupiter work, using Jason Miller’s book Financial Sorcery as my guide. About one third or more of the book is really good mundane financial advice, and I’ll be memorizing that stuff. By the way, the book contains twelve or fifteen or so of what Jason calls Lightning Glyphs. These he received directly from Jove, Jupiter the God, deep in meditation and attaining to very subtle (or “high” if you prefer) levels of reality. I’ve used the Glyph for Pure Luck three times during doctor’s appointments. I’ve been amazed at the results each time. —I forgot to carry it with me day before yesterday to an appointment, and for the first time since I began transition I’ve been disappointed by my blood work results. Mr. Miller’s sorceries just works.

As I took his Strategic Sorcery course, I’ll be working with the Spirits from the Strategic Sorcery mini-Grimoire too. If you are serious about tactical or results magic to better your life both materially and spiritually I highly recommend this course. I haven’t finished the homework for it myself, and I was an early student. The last assignment will be beyond me still for a long time. What I’m saying is, the course is intense, serious, advanced and kick-ass. Highly recommended.

Beyond using a grimoire like Jake Stratton-Kent’s translation of the True Grimoire (AKA the Grimorium Verum), evoking individual angels and demons, sigil work, Hoodoo and Conjure and old fashioned prayer to my Gods — which I’ve already thought of, obviously — does anyone out there who’s magically inclined have any suggestions?

[EDIT: As there are probably dozens of Hoodoo and Conjure workings for drawing money, I struck that out. Let me know of any you like.]

If so, I’ll be eternally grateful. I’ll also set a light for you in my temple (also known as my shed, but it’s a nice shed) for your health, wealth, protection, or happiness — whatever you prefer.

Let me know (I’m begging, remember) and thank you!

How I Learned Astral Projection

I learned astral projection by accident, or at least unintentionally.

In 2007 I had to quit my job. It was not a happy parting. I’d been set up to fail, to make room for a reorganization. When I realized this, all I could think about was smashing my boss’s kneecaps with a baseball bat and destroying all of the organization’s data — wipe the servers, wipe all backed-up data. I could have done it. I’d been the sysadmin for years. But I didn’t really want to hurt anybody, deep inside, so I went on disability. In conspiracy with my then psychiatrist and therapist I was conveniently and quickly diagnosed with major depressive disorder. All those years at half the pay I could have made in the corporate world — I earned that disability. Those five months of hideous stress — I was in truth majorly depressed.

I didn’t get any better though. I started driving 90 miles an hour down country roads full of curves, and doing other dangerous things which I don’t feel like divulging. I was suicidal in other words. I think I didn’t get better because I was in such deep denial of my transsexuality. I was in trouble.

I started seeing another therapist who specialized in clinical hypnosis. The first thing he taught me was to meditate. The second was self-hypnosis, which he was honest enough to just call trance.

I was good at entering a trance state, really, really good. I was reading C.G. Jung at the time so I knew about active imagination. I read Michael Harner’s Way of the Shaman, which is a terrible book anthropologically but is a pretty good guide to journeying in your own mind, your own psyche, and the Imaginal World, as scholar Henry Corbin termed it. Another term for the Imaginal World is the Astral Plane. The big secret about astral projection is it’s easy. The reason it’s easy is sort of mind-boggling, at least when you experience it in so-called normal consciousness. There simply isn’t any boundary line, astrally, maybe even energetically to some extent, between you and the computer screen you’re staring at right now, the chair you’re sitting in. Also, Paracelsus rephrased the famous Hermetic maxim As above, so below to As within, so without. La Société Voudon Gnostique has taken it one step further: What is inside is the same as what is outside. And they’re right. The Voudon Gnostic Workbook may seem like a huge joke, but it conceals (I have this on the most excellent authority, a sorcerer whose skills I admire tremendously) a flexible, powerful system of magic. You can experience this yourself if you become familiar with your subtle body. The channels or meridians that end at your fingertips do not end at your finger tips. They don’t even end with the keyboard you have in front of you right now. They don’t really end at all. When you literally feel this, when you feel that there’s no line of division, no terminus, between you and the cocktail table in your living room — well, the first time it can make you feel a little crazy.

But I digress. The point to take away from that is that it’s easy to astral project because you already have an astral body, and it’s not, not all of it anyway, firmly attached to your physical body the way your chi or prana or energy is. Journey enough inside, and one day you may accidentally journey outside, projecting part of your consciousness outside your physical body and into the Astral Plane.

That’s what happened to me. I thought it was all crap, after all, shamanism, the Astral Plane, occultism, all of it. So I knew no fear and pushed my inner journeys farther and farther until they weren’t inner journeys any more. I was astral projecting and I didn’t even know it.

Astral projection isn’t dangerous. You can always just open your eyes, snap out of trance and be back in your body. You only need to project a portion of your consciousness outside your body, not all of it. Projecting all of your consciousness into an astral construct, a procedure so often recommended by some magical organizations, is difficult and potentially dangerous. Project part of your consciousness, and part is still with you — there’s no possibility of getting lost because you can always snap back by opening your eyes. Project all of your consciousness — you might well get lost. There is no silver cord as so many books state attaching your astral body to your physical body. It’s a myth. Also I was taught that creating a stable astral construct to house your consciousness conceals an even greater danger. Upon death, the energetic body dies. Normally, the astral body decays in a few days. If however you have created a stable construct to house your consciousness and astral self, then getting stuck — not moving on to wherever the destination of your yet more subtle bodies is — becomes a possibility. Supposedly it seldom happens, but it can happen. So, as for me, I trust no book that says you must loose consciousness completely or that astral projection is difficult or that you must create an astral construct to house your consciousness. None of that is necessary for safe and completely successful astral projection.

So there I was having a blast. It was so much fun that I limited myself to two “Travels” as I called them per week, because I have a bit of an addictive personality. They say that on the Astral Plane men like to fight, women like to have sex. When I projected I almost always, without intending to, assumed a female form (even that didn’t fully clue me in to my transsexuality — though eventually I began to believe I had a woman’s soul, a belief later mentioned to me as a truth by several spirits I’ve evoked). Having striven for many years to be the man I could never be, and being truly a woman, I did both: I fought monsters and I had astral sex with spirits. I saw spaceships around the planets of Sirius (not necessarily the star Sirius you see in the sky — the Astral Plane is complex in ways I can’t describe, redundant and unmappable). I spoke with Gods, and one or two of them may really have been the Gods to whom I thought I was then speaking, I just don’t know…

It got to the point where I had trouble some days not spontaneously entering a trance state every once in a while. Especially during meditation — at some point I stopped meditating and all my meditations were really trances. It was at this point that something happened that changed my life forever — I saw my first astral being, a spirit in other words, while I was going for a walk in the woods. How did I know it wasn’t a figment, a hallucination?

I’ll save that for another post.

I’m not going to teach you how to astral project. There are already too many how-to’s in print and all over the Internet. I recommend bearing in mind my two warnings above: don’t project your entire consciousness and don’t create a permanent astral construct to house your consciousness. Other than that, it’s easy. You may not succeed your first time, you may not succeed your tenth time. But if you persist, you will succeed.

Qlipha, Samael: Ruler, Adrammelech

[Thinking about the Qliphoth, I was recently writing poems about each Qlipha. I’ve abandoned the project, and this was the only one of the resulting poems I like. Nota Bene: please pardon the racial slur in the poem, it seemed appropriate in the mouth of the speaker. Also, Nightsiders, pardon the parodic elements you may find, if any (I know y’all are a serious lot). ‘Tis my Muse will have it so.]


Qlipha, Samael: Ruler Adrammelech

My swift chariot is the original horseless perambulator:
burning babies give you so much more — MPG, I mean:
I buy them pickled and highly volatile, by the jumbo jar.

Look for me after sunset: I’ll be wearing a short sleeved shirt:
if after sunrise, the same, only with pocket protector:
I’m an average guy, only more precise.

I live for speed — I have crashed every Harley that ever
was made: still I live: all my parts can be had
off the shelf, on the cheap.

I chase ambulances, and catch them:
if you’ve been in an accident call me:
take me car shopping and I’ll jew the bastards down, down, down.

I sell carpets also: and I fly them:
this snappy Navajo job I magicked with my rod …
or was it my pentacle? … or my sword?

I stay up late most nights, watching Hogan’s Heroes
and porn: my eyes move independently:
I watch them simultaneously.


Rachel Izabella, 26 March 2013

Volantia Works

What the hell is “Volantia”? Read this, from the blog of the inestimable Jack Faust. It’s an except from Paschal Beverly Randolph’s Mageia Sexualis. The entire book is downloadable from archive.org, in several formats, but because Randolph insists on the total universality of sexual polarity (polarity being a touchy, tricky subject for me and maybe fodder for another post, another time), and thus he pissed me off, though he’s long dead, I don’t feel like finding the book for you. I didn’t take you to raise, as the old people used to say. (No offense, I hope, but I didn’t.)

Simply put Volantia is active visualization, the creation of willed hallucinations in the external world, and ultimately, when you’ve mastered the technique, of easily creating nifty and useful thoughtforms and astral constructs. As Randolph says: “Five or six months later – if he methodically exercises every day – the student will have acquired the capacity to create, in calmly staring at a white surface, a mental form clothed in a corresponding astral body. This body will manifest before the student so that communication is established between the two.”

The method is very simple — Inside a white circle you make a small, not too small though, black circle (during the months of practice you use inner circles in all six or seven colors of the rainbow, depending I suppose on whether or not you believe indigo is a color unto itself or just another shade of blue as is the contemporary orthodoxy). You stare unwaveringly as you can at the center of the, e.g., black circle for 60 seconds. Then you turn your head and look at a white wall and stare at the retinal after-image. This will fade, but it will return again. I’ve found that for me the image will fade and return, each time more blurry, up to four times. (Read the link above as I’ve omitted some crucial instructions.)

Extremely cool. I felt I had to start, although I had my doubts. I’m very weak at visualization, an absolutely essential skill in my opinion, even if you’re not primarily a visually oriented person but an auditory or a tactile sort (like me). I’ve always doubted to the point of disbelief stories of practitioners of Golden Dawn and Thelemic pentagram rituals turning out the lights and actually seeing their blazing blue pentagrams hanging in the air.

—But I’ve been slack, not practicing Volantia for the last week or so, after faithfully doing so for about three weeks. That’s going to change because of something I accomplished yesterday.

It won’t sound like much to the average magician. This is 101 level stuff. But I skipped or skimmed some of the 101 level stuff. I was in crisis mode when I began learning magic all on my own (now the story of how that came about will make for a wild post some day), so for me what I did was an amazing breakthrough. As I was sitting in a waiting room yesterday, I had a blank white wall in from of me. On a lark, for no reason I know of, I willed the retinal after-image of the white circle to appear on the wall. And a large circle appeared on the wall, much darker than the white paint. (The after-image of course in the inverse color of the original image.) Then I willed the after-image of the smaller circle to appear in the center of the dark circle. And the white circle inside the dark circle which you see with Randolph’s technique appeared.

Then I played, just a little bit, with other shapes of white and black — external and appearing as though I were somehow casting shadows on the wall or shining a strangely mutable flashlight at it. I don’t have any more doubts. “I’m a believer.” – (The Monkees)

I’m so going to practice today.

PS — I don’t know where Randolph got the term Volantia. In Latin it’s the nominative and accusative present active participle of volare, to fly. It means, literally, flying things … hmm, that’s suddenly giving me ideas for the future possibilities of Volantia … thoughtforms … astral constructs…

Headless Rite for 30 Days: New Page

To the left you’ll see a link to a new page: Headless Rite for 30 Days Project. It makes more sense to me to post my jottings or memories of the day’s performance of the Rite every day there, and not to make a big deal of it by making each day into a separate blog post (boring), and no cumbersome weekly or every-ten-days type updates. So if interested you can keep track of my progress and lack of same by clicking the little link. No big deal made of it.

I may write a post about the whole experience, if it proves worth writing about. I may only add a summary to the end of the page after the thirty days are done (or after failure).

We’re writing a book: Hacking Transition – YouTube

We’re writing a book: Hacking Transition – YouTube.

Zinnia Jones AKA Lauren McNamara may be the “Queen of Atheists”, and I’m no Atheist, but she’s also a transsexual woman. She’s incredibly articulate and knows how to fight for her rights. So she’s all right by me.

I look forward to the ebook she and another woman are writing, called Hacking Transition, due out soon and plugged in this video. (Sorry guys and all you girls who think you may be guys, the book is about MtF transition only.) To read a preview of the Introduction of this much needed how-to, click here.

Baphomet [For Rick]

Colorful Baphomet

Image by Maxine Miller

Rick Derks, whose blog is yet another must-read, asked me for my views on Baphomet, after I had said in a FaceBook comment that “I have *views* about Baphomet”, expressed an interest in those views. Rick, you have your privacy settings tweaked so that I can’t message you, though we’re mutual FB friends! (Rick also clearly overestimates my level of Gnosis!) —Then I thought to myself that putting my personal, idiosyncratic “*views*” and whence I came by them into words might result in a decent little post, so … here they are, my views on Baphomet.

You can find some of this info on Wikipedia — the good stuff you can’t.

One of the first two magic books I bought, was Liber Null and Psychonaut, by Peter J. Carroll, co-founder of what soon became known as Chaos Magick and of the Illuminates of Thanateros, which has included such luminaries as William S. Burroughs. —Burroughs should need no link. If you don’t know who he is, read all his books. Start now! I started with Cities of the Red Night. Maybe the first Postmodernist writer in English, his books in the most literal of myriad ways are magic.

Anyways, Carroll in Psychonaut has a short chapter on Baphomet. Now Chaos Magick’s most famous slogan is Nothing is true. Everything is permitted, reputedly coined by Hassan-i Sabbah, founder of the Hashshashin or Assassins, back in the 12th century. In reality it was Friedrich Nietzsche who first put that sentiment into those words, in On the Genealogy of Morals. Burroughs used the phrase at least once or maybe several times, I can’t recall (meaning, you should find out for yourself), best of all in the marvelous, blasphemous invocation at the beginning of Cities of the Red Night, and he’s often mistakenly credited as its originator.

Back to Baphomet. Carroll’s chapter on Him (for convenience’ sake I’ll call Baphomet Him) took the Chaos Magick slant. Baphomet was a perfect God for the Chaote, but then — Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. That leaves the nature and ontology of Baphomet — just who or what is Baphomet? — complete mysteries. Having experienced spirits as real already (read about that here), I wondered if He might not be as real as you or I. So many other impossible things had turned out to be extremely possible and as real as a bullet already, and something about Baphomet was just so compelling. Yeah, I though, He’s real…


[N.B.: It’s all shite, pardon the language, that Baphomet was the Goat-God of the Knights Templar. I like the pic though.]

Eventually I found Eliphas Levi’s book Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, which contains the familiar infamous image of Baphomet, and the following explication of that image:

The goat on the frontispiece carries the sign of the pentagram on the forehead, with one point at the top, a symbol of light, his two hands forming the sign of occultism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice. His one arm is female, the other male like the ones of the androgyne of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had to unite with those of our goat because he is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light of the universal balance, the image of the soul elevated above matter, as the flame, whilst being tied to matter, shines above it. The beast’s head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely responsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes. The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body covered with scales the water, the semi-circle above it the atmosphere, the feathers following above the volatile. Humanity is represented by the two breasts and the androgyne arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences.

In other words, his image of Baphomet sums up everything, and in a good way, sort of like the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, if only the answer in Douglas Adams’s books weren’t so silly. —And then in Magic (Book 4), Aleister Crowley riffs on Levi’s basic idea and states at great length that Baphomet is “the hieroglyph of arcane perfection”. In other words, Baphomet symbolizes the completion of the Great Work, the ultimate goal of magical mysticism  in the Western Tradition.

Word is that the Great Work is a ɢᴏᴏᴅ ᴛʜɪɴɢ, and I believe it. I respect the Great Work, but I can’t tell you what alchemists and practitioners of High Magick mean by the phrase. —I’ll tell you what I think it means. Since it’s the goal, the end, and the completion of magic and mysticism, it must mean the attainment of Absolute Perfection: and that Perfection must be a permanent state the practitioner dwells in for all eternity thereafter, and not a mere temporary state or flash of insight. Think of the Enlightenment of the Buddha. Think of Master Yeshua ben Yosef’s (or perhaps ben Panthera’s) — perhaps the greatest of all Mages, called the Son of Solomon, who before him had been the greatest Mage of Antiquity, according to both Jew and Pagan (Pagan and Jew were also agreed on the point of Jesus as magician in the decades and first centuries after his death, vide Morton Smith’s Jesus the Magician and Marvin Meyers’s Ancient Christian Magic) — what I’m trying to say is, think of this “heretical” view of Jesus becoming a Son of God, which in Ancient Hebrew is simply idiomatic for a God, through magical and mystical means.

Baphomet then as symbol of this mighty deed exists primarily at what I’ll call the Perfection Level. Gods exist, I’m sure,  at the Perfection Level, but also lower down, all the way down to the lower Astral, where They can behave with all the pettiness of the most trivial Greek or Hindu myth you can remember. Baphomet is different. He must exist a little further down the Perfection Scale towards materiality and manifestation, but only enough that He can have an effect on our physical Universe. For example, one can pray to Baphomet: Baphomet can answer that prayer. Baphomet has no existence, as Gods do, on the Lower Astral. Therefore Baphomet is not a God. Nor would it seem that He is a perfected human.

So what is Baphomet?

I’m a polytheist but I’m also an animist. As animism is supposedly an antiquated and obsolete word, call me a panpsychist, a coinage of Peter J. Carroll’s. That means I believe everything great or small possesses a soul. No … divine spark is a better term here I think than soul. (Allow me to skip a justification for that statement, let’s hurry along.) If everything really means everything, then even a symbol or a hieroglyph of arcane perfection must possess this spark. And that is why I believe that Baphomet is a living Entity. If you think that’s a strange idea, the last of the great original and creative Kabbalists, Isaac ben Luria, claimed that every word we speak is an angel. An angel! (I believe it, by the way.)

That Baphomet is a living Entity existing at the Perfection Level is however still not a good enough answer. So What is Baphomet?

I found the missing puzzle pieces in a blog post by Jason Miller and in its comments. Jason is both a practicing Christian and a priest no less (he may even be a Wandering Bishop by now, I’m not sure), and also a Ngakpa in Vajrayana Buddhism. He put in the years and years of study and practice in both religions and received the required sacraments and empowerments to become a priest (or maybe even bishop) with Apostolic Succession and also a (in Wikipedia’s words) “non-monastic practitioner of Vajrayana, shamanism, Tibetan medicine, Tantra and Dzogchen amongst other traditions, disciplines and arts” — a Ngakpa. I don’t know how he performs this balancing act, but I have no doubt that being a practicing Buddhist first and cultivating non-attachment has a lot to do with it. —Anyway, Jason had to consolidate his Buddhist and Christian altars, or magical working spaces, into one. He felt the dissonance rising, traditions clashing. What to do? He hung a picture of Baphomet higher than any images of either the Buddha or Christ or the many other saints and spirits he works with. All was peaceful. Baphomet had brought a yet higher harmony and that harmony prevailed. How? Some excerpts from the comments follow, all made by Jason himself…

“Baphomet is not a separate being in the way that most dieties are. He is a symbol of the spiritual work itself, and the resulting goal. Yet, there is also a consciousness behind it that can be invoked similar to a diety… ”

“I think that it is the specific lack of a historical cult and connection to particular culture that made him ideal to tie it all together…”

“By real being I do not mean that he doesn’t manifest as a being, can be invoked, and can act as a god. [Jason made a grammatical error here, but the meaning is plain.] He certainly can, as can Kuntuzangpo. The difference is about Egoistic manifestation further down the chain of manifestation. There is no personal ego drive like there is with many beings. Many gods seem to straddle both the transcendent and cosmic as well as the immanent and egoistic. Baphomet seems beyond this, though certainly some on the LHP would see him as the very embodyment of ego.”

I think Mr. Miller’s words speak for themselves. They did for me. My pursuit of just who and what Baphomet is, was satisfied.There is vastly more Baphomet lore than what I’ve sketched here. There are numberless theories. Read The Da Vinci Code, for example. Here you’ll only find the train of thought that lead me to my “*views*”, which pretty much are summarized in Jason’s comments above, the views that Rick Derks was interested in, way back up at the top.

This is my longest post so far. Well, I need to practice expository writing anyway…

(LHP, if you don’t know, means Left Hand Path. The phrase has utterly, completely different meanings in Hinduism and Buddhism in the East, on the one hand, and the many “dark” groups in the West, who go by the same moniker. The Temple of Set and the Fraternitas Saturni are two examples of such Western groups. Many of the Western Left Hand Path are pleasant, intelligent, reasonable people. A few at least, the ones with Neanderthal brows and three X chromosomes, are the sort of people who enjoy smelling their own farts. —Hey! – no philosophy has perfect adherents…)

Lines for Hekate

I wrote this fragment of a poem in one go at about 3am this morning. I was crying for my Goddess, needing Her, tears trailing down my face.

I’m not going to revise, improve or finish it. I’m going to preserve it as a waymark of those hours.


Lines for Hekate

O secret bride of those whose path is loneliness,
Thee I seek, Thee I sense, in shared All-Oneliness.
Gorgo, Mormo, Moon of a Thousand Faces,
From Whom names drop like leaves:
Favor me with the pleasure of Thy Presence.

Most Beautiful One, hidden in every horror,
Come tenderly, O Kindly One, soothing my seething furor.
Gorgo, Mormo, Moon of a Thousand Faces,
For Thy beauty we depart: for the same, we return: Oh my Goddess,
Favor me now with the pleasure of Thy Presence.

Thou Whose womb is covered in serpent scales, Most Tender One,
The Sun is a strong fine God: O save me from the Burden of the Sun.
Gorgo, Mormo, Moon of a Thousand Faces,
I am not worthy: I cannot attain Thee: still,
Favor me now with the pleasure of Thy Presence.

Kiss me upon my mouth, Hekate, Hekate: empower me,
Thou delighting in flow of dark purple blood, let it shower me.
Gorgo, Mormo, Moon of a Thousand Faces,
Thou serpent-haired and serpent-girt: I cry for Thee only as Lover:
O favor me quickly, quickly, with the pleasure of Thy Presence.