How To Hack a System

by Mike Sententia on December 23, 2010

Initiations are the gatekeepers of magick. Before you can channel the Reiki system, you need an attunement. Before you can initiate someone else, you need another couple attunements. Golden dawn and other ritual styles are similar: Many levels of initiation, each with its own rituals, capabilities and price.

This post will show you how to bypass those gatekeepers.

Part of the initiation is social convention. Before someone will train you, you need to be part of the group. I can’t help you with that.

But initiation has a magick component, too. If a style requires initiation, the systems behind that style only work with initiated mages. They won’t talk to outsiders. This post is about bypassing that, so you can work with any system from any magick style.

This post builds on the rest of the series. Start with the first post here. Also, this is intermediate direct magick (the rest of the series was beginning direct magick). You’ll need good control of connections, the signatures of those connections, and your own energy. If you’re not there yet, click here to see where to start.

How Initiation Works

Hacking lives in the differences between the big picture on how something works and the details of how it works.

You already know the big picture: Systems only work with initiated mages.

Here are the details: Systems work best with a mage whose mind is aligned to the system’s signature. Some systems will work with you anyway, and even help you align your mind. But systems that require initiation only work with mages whose minds are aligned to their signature.

That’s the point of the initiation ritual: An initiated mage (who can work with the system) initiates you. The system aligns your mind using the procedure from the previous two posts. Once you’re done, you’re aligned enough for the system to accept you.

Levels of initiation work the same way. The better aligned your mind is to the system’s signature, the higher level you are with the system.

You can see how the techniques in the previous two posts let you initiate yourself, as far as the systems behind a style are concerned. But that’s a lot of work if you just want to use a system once. Here’s how to quickly align your communication to a system’s signature for a single session.

Matching a Signature Temporarily

Earlier, I said that systems only work with a mage whose mind is aligned to the system’s signature. Really, that’s a bit of a simplification. The system doesn’t know what signature your mind uses. When the system connects to you, it uses a connection in its signature. If you can communicate using that connection, you can use the system.

There are 2 ways accomplish that. Neither is the “easy way.” One requires less technique but more effort, the other is faster but more advanced. That trade off happens a lot. Here are the options:

  1. Change your mind’s signature to match the system. That’s what we did in the previous 2 posts. It’s the less skill, more effort method. It’s also semi-permanent (which is good in some cases, bad in others).
  2. Create a connection that translates between your signature and the system’s signature. That’s this post. It’s the quick but more advanced technique. Also, it’s temporary, so it’s best for hacking a system once, not using a system every day.

Translating a Signature With a Connection

A translation connection translates between 2 signatures. One end works in one signature, the other end works in another. Put in a message with signature A, and you’ll get the same message in signature B. The connection translates for you.

Don’t think of it like translating words, idioms, or anything at a language scale. We’re translating signatures. It’s like adapting computer connections, going from a PS/2 (the old round keyboard connectors) to USB. A friend explains it as connecting two sculptures, one of smooth clay and the other of angular metal, by making a series of small transitions between the two. The translation is closer to a re-arranging of wires than going from French to English.

The translation connection lets you bring the system’s connection (in its signature) into your mind (in your signature).

How To Make a Translation Connection

  1. Find the signature of the system (or whatever you’re translating to). To do that, connect to the system with a normal sensory connection.
  2. Make a connection with your signature on one end and the system’s signature on the other. To do this, you’ll need to know how to align to the system’s signature.
  3. Smooth the transition throughout the connection. You want a lot of small adjustments, not one big jump. Hold both ends of the connection in your mind, trace from one to the other, and split any large shifts into a series of small ones.

How To Hack a System

Connect to the system using a translation connection. It will handle the rest. Here’s why:

When you connect to a system, it follows that connection back to your mind. That’s how it finds you to read your thoughts. We need to get the connection that the system makes to translate between your signature and its signature. You do that by connecting to the system with a translation connection.

When the system traces your translation connection, it adds that signature shift to its connection. (See the Technical Note at the bottom for why). Now the system’s connection translates between your signature and its signature, so your messages show up in the system’s signature and it responds as though you were initiated.

That’s it. Just use a translation connection instead of a normal one.

Is it really that easy? Well, yes and no. Once you can make a good translation connection, yes, you can use almost any system you want. But making a good translation connection is intermediate direct magick.

The key is scale. Remember, signatures have scale. Large-scale signatures are made of small-scale signatures, in the same way molecules are made of atoms, which are made of protons and electrons, and so on to smaller scales. If you match at the atom scale and the system checks signatures at the molecule scale, you’re all set. But if the system checks at the proton scale, it will notice that you’re not aligned.

Here’s the rule of thumb: If you can align at a smaller scale than the system’s users normally work with, you can probably hack it. If not, you probably can’t.

In my experience, systems that are intended to be used by groups of people are easy to hack. They can’t require perfect alignment or new initiates wouldn’t be able to use them. The Golden Dawn or Reiki systems are good places to start.

What To Do Once You’re In

Once you have access to the system, send it this message: “Requesting basic use instructions.” Most systems have a readme, and that’s how you get it. It will tell you the commands the system accepts, what they do, and generally how to use it.

Make sure to ask for the “use instructions,” not just “instructions”, because most systems have one general readme and another for someone preparing to use the system.

Practicing Hacking Systems

Before you can hack a system, you need to find it. To do that, focus on a symbol associated with the system’s style. You can find the symbols online or at your local occult shop.

Start with a system known for friendly spirits. Reiki, Enochian, something like that. Not the Goetia.

Technical Note on Translation Connections

For advanced mages curious about the details of translation connections (feel free to skip this if that’s not you):

Connections don’t carry energy. Instead, one end absorbs the power, and the other end uses that power to emit energy. Think of it like heat flowing through metal, or how a rope transmits pulling (it can transmit the force without the rope itself moving much), not like how a hose carries water.

Connections, and all other magickal structures, have a signature. It only absorbs power from energy matching its signature (it absorbs some power from energy that partially matches its signature). When powered, it emits energy in its signature.

A translation connection has 2 signatures, one on each end. One end absorbs one energy signature, powering the connection. Power doesn’t have a signature; it just flows through the structure, eventually powering the other end of the connection. (Power flows more efficiently, losing less of its pressure and drive, if each signature shift is small. That’s why you want to make a smooth path, meaning a lot of small signature shifts, instead of a few big jumps). The far end of the connection produces energy matching its signature, which is different than the signature of the energy that came in.

When you trace a connection, you’re tracing each signature shift that happens along the way. If you don’t, your connection winds up with a different signature than the one you’re tracing, and you won’t see the connection (or the thing it leads to) clearly. This is why the system’s connection takes on your signature shift when it traces your translation connection.

Making Better Translation Connections

Connections are made of many smaller connections, like how rope is made of twine which is made of thread. A rope-scale connection carries a rope-scale signature. The twine-scale connections that comprise it carry the twine-scale signatures that comprise the rope-scale signature.

Translation is an approximation. You are making a signature that looks like the other signature. The smaller you can match it, the better the approximation. To translate a signature well, you’ll want to use small-scale connections to translate the small-scale signatures. To improve your translation, focus on going to a smaller scale.

Most systems reserve some functions for high-level initiates. Things like initiating others and high-level techniques for that style. It separates newcomers from high-level initiates by how well their mind is aligned to the system’s signature. To access the advanced functions, you’ll have to translate more smoothly and at a smaller scale so the system’s view of your mind through the translation looks like an experienced user, not a newcomer.

Other posts in this series:

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