THE DOGBREATH RELAYS
"Is God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us."AL II:19
The Dogbreath Relay is a series of "pathworkings" designed
to be executed by thelemites working in groups of five to nine magicians
over a two-year period. The Smoking Dog Project has already undertaken
the first two Legs of the Relay. Each quarterly Leg has included working
a path each month in two complimentary sessions, for a total of six sessions
or three paths per Leg. Participants are asked to commit to the work of
an entire Leg, and at the end of each Leg, there is an opportunity for
old Dogs to retire, and new ones to join. 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 pathe 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 -- First Ritual Dead / Second Ritual Damned
- Month Two: path of Shin -- First Ritual Damned / Second Ritual Dead
- Month Three: path of Resh -- First Ritual Dead / Second Ritual Damned
Dead Dogs: "There is death for the dogs." AL II:45
- 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. Possibilites
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, the 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 record their experiences in writing immediately.
Damned Dogs: "Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!" AL II:37
- 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
- At the beginning of the ritual, the Damned provide general ceremonial
and hexagram )
and a ceremonial invocation specific to the path being worked (e.g. invocation
of Fire & Spirit for the path of Shin, or
of Pisces for the path of Qoph).
- Some Damned Dog provides music.
- While the Dead hyperventilate, the Damned serve as "spotters"
to make sure that the Dead do not relax and cease the operation before
its effect has taken. If a Dead Dog slows breathing, the Damned Dog may
encourage perseverence 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
- All Damned Dogs not orating or playing music participate in chanting
the name of the spirit given in Liber CCXXXI. during the hyperventilation
and the period following. The musician and orator should also participate
when not otherwise engaged.
- The Damend 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.
The results of some of our work appear below: