The Scarlet Letter
Volume III, Number 3 | June 1996
Column: Smoking Dog Project
by Fr. Pnesomauma
The Dogbreath Relay is a series of “pathworkings” designed to be executed by a group of five to nine thelemites over a two year period. The Smoking Dog Project has already undertaken the first leg of the Relay. The leg consisted of three months of the experiment, working a path each month, in two complimentary sessions. The Relay draws on various texts and technologies, but focuses on an exploration of the material in Liber CCXXXI. For the initial Dogbreath Relay, we are only working with the spirits of the Houses of Mercury. The Prisons of the Qliphoth may be incorporated into a future series.
The Relay is run twice a month by the group, which is divided into two teams: the Damned and the Dead. The two teams exchange their roles, so that each path may be worked by all of the participants in both capacities. The responsibilities of the teams are detailed below. The sequence of exchange flips each month, so that an individual participant in the first leg would have worked in either the following pattern or its complement:
Month One—path of Tau
Dead Dogs: There is death for the dogs.
Each of the Dead Dogs prepares for himself a copy of the sigil given in Liber CCXXXI for the path to be worked. The sigil may be prepared in any medium, as long as the Dead Dog can bring it to the ritual. Possibilities include wearing it on clothing or as jewelry, painting it on the skin, incorporating it into a larger graphic, and so forth.
The Dead fast for at least four hours prior to the ritual.
The Dead wear the appropriate color for the path from the Minutum Mundum.
During the ritual, Dead Dogs lie on their backs and hyperventilate for 10 to 20 minutes. The condition induced by that technique is likely to persist for anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half.
Dead Dogs should be especially vigilant to record their experiences after the ritual.
Damned Dogs: Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!
The various duties of the Damned Dogs may be divided among them according to inclination and ability.
The Damned wear the appropriate color for the path from the Minutum Mundum.
At the beginning of the ritual, the Damned provide general ceremonial banishings (pentagram and hexagram) and a ceremonial invocation specific to the path being worked.
Some Damned Dog provides music for the whole ritual.
While the Dead hyperventilate, the Damned serve as "spotters" to make sure that the Dead do not relax and cease the operation before the its effect has taken. If a Dead Dog slows breathing, the Damned Dog may encourage perseverance by lightly tapping the Dead Dog's chest. Certain outward signs make the eventual effect on the Dead apparent.
Some Damned Dog serves as an orator who reads or recites an appropriate passage during the first 5 or 10 minutes of the hyperventilation process. The orator must begin with the corresponding verse from the text of Liber CCXXXI.
All Damned Dogs other than the musician and the orator participate in chanting the name of the genius given in Liber CCXXXI during the hyperventilation and the period following. The musician and orator may also participate when not otherwise engaged.
The Damned serve to protect the Dead from the effects of any disoriented movements that the Dead may execute.
At the end of the ritual, the Damned undertake the necessary banishings.
A working knowledge of the first four sections of Liber O, and an academic comprehension of the final two, is required of all participants in the Relay. The teams of Dogs for the first relay have been:
The Dogs are currently organizing for the second leg
of the Relay. Reports of results from the Relay and descriptions of its
ritual byproducts will appear in future issues of The Scarlet Letter.
Be they damned and dead! Amen.