Electronomicon Glow

Here are some images and details about my art exhibit at this year’s Esoteric Book Conference. The project demonstrates some possibilities for computational magic and telematic and automatic telesmata, and is intended to provoke discussion about the expression, automation, and trivialization of magic through technology. The basic concepts underlying the technology are based largely on several of Peter Carroll‘s ideas and include:

  • The probability of an event’s occurrence can be intentionally influenced through magic, and gnosis, link, subliminalization, and belief factor into such influence, which is called enchantment. [1]
  • Gnosis, subliminalization, and belief may be effectively transferred to or otherwise replaced by an artifact for automating magical agency thus requiring only an adequate link. [2]
  • The best magical link is a real-time line of sight to the target, which can be facilitated across occluded space by electronic vision. [3]
  • The material basis (telesma) of a magical artifact can physically interact with electronic systems relating to the artifact’s magical interactions with ætheric systems.
  • Color and sigil magic.

The project began with the Electronomicon and then grew into PsiBorg: Enchantment Amplification and Automation System, of which the Electronomicon became a component.

PsiBorg 1
(Looks like a science fair project, doesn’t it?)

Media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratios of sense perceptions. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act — the way we perceive the world.

When these ratios change, men change. // Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiorem, The Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects

PsiBorg 1

…where man’s word goes, and where his power of perception goes, to that point his control and in a sense his physical existence is extended. To see and give commands to the whole world is almost the same as being everywhere. // Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society

PsiBorg 1

…there is the possibility that we may progress towards making artifacts so remarkable that they utterly transcend our present ideas of what constitutes a ‘machine’, and of what a machine’s limitations must be. // Ramsey Dukes, Words Made Flesh: Virtual Reality, Humanity, and the Cosmos


The Electronomicon is a book of seven printed-circuit-board (PCB) talismans representing seven magical servitors corresponding to the seven non-octarine colors of Chaos magic [4]. The talismans’ electrical conductivity allows them to act as switches in electronic systems (either passing a current or not), and also allows for novel forms of ritually “charging” them.

The sigils were drawn by Dakota Crane, then etched and consecrated by myself at auspicious times. The names of the corresponding servitors were divined during a series of Ouranos Rites [5], and used to charge the talismans by transducing the intonations of the names to analogously variable voltages connected to the corresponding sigils. The servitors were evoked by Meta-Magick techniques [6] that were combined with the process for charging the talismans.

The talismans are connected to PsiBorg using the red (+) and black (-) clips.


Here is a sigil-machine that Dakota constructed from the Electronomicon sigils, “a fully-functioning psychotronic device made to facilitate interaction with the concept of Robomancy” (and here is his documentation for it):

Machines, Take Up Thy Schematics and Self-Construct!

(There are still prints available of Dakota’s sigil-machine. They are 8.5 × 11 inches, full-color, and come with a printed copy of the documentation on cotton paper. $10 each, including shipping. Email me if interested: joshua@hyperritual.com.)

Roboticus Familiaris

Robotic Familiar (Roboticus Familiaris)

The robot supplies telepresence to the magician who can see and hear through its “eye” and “ear” — like a witch looking through the eyes of her familiar animal or spirit. The owl skulls represent the powers of sight and hearing (the resin replicas were created by Ann Koi—thanks, Ann!). The robot’s UV LED can light up otherwise invisible sigils and other occult markings. The arrow keys on the computer keyboard move the robot forward, backward, left, or right, and acquire a view of the target (I ended up favoring keyboard control over the NaviGlyph system I had developed earlier).

Roboticus Familiaris

Roboticus Familiaris represents the possibility of acquiring a line-of-sight magical link by mobile electronic vision. Although the robot demonstrated here is tethered to a computer and controlled by a keyboard, systems for wireless control and autonomous locomotion are well known and available. Telepresence robots are on the rise (see e.g. Anybots).

Please see this article for more about how the robot is driven by an Arduino microcontroller and motor shield.

Oculus Electricus

The Eye Electrical

Physical contact or line of sight to the target provides the best possible form of magical link as it minimises the imaginary temporal separation and it also provides the opportunity to visualise the target in real time. Some magicians refuse to work with anything else. […] Real time links across occluded space generally require the use of visualisation or telesmata although an additional real-time connection via an electronic communication network often helps. // Peter J. Carroll, The Octavo (emphasis added)

The Oculus Electricus is a digital video camera mounted on the robot, which represents a servitor’s-eye-view of the magician’s target, extending her vision through occluded space and augmenting it with colors and sigils of magic. The color scheme automatically changes to correspond to the selected Modus Magici (see below) — i.e. the device (or the magician through the device) “sees red” in war magic mode, orange in thought magic mode, blue in wealth magic mode, etc.

For the exhibit, I placed Roboticus Familiaris + Oculus Electricus in a half-covered box with a doll having a fluorescent green head. PsiBorg is programmed to “recognize” the doll’s head while in AutoMage mode (see below), thereby simulating facial recognition.

Oculus Electricus

The video signal could be streamed wirelessly or over the Internet, establishing a telematic link between the magician and her target, in addition to a sympathetic (magic) one.


PseudoHUD is a visual interface to the PsiBorg components, which feigns a heads-up display.



Based on Carroll’s equations of magic, this component calculates (m)agic and magically modified probability (pm) from the factors (g)nosis, (l)ink, (s)ubliminalization, (b)elief, and (natural) (p)robability. The values can be adjusted by using the mouse to move the slider controls. In AutoMage mode (see below), g, l, s, and b are automatically set. Two bar graphs show pm+ and pm− within the Oculus Electricus viewer; they respectively represent magical influence in favor of a desired event or opposed to an undesired one. As m increases, pm+ increases and pm− decreases. (See this article for more about the calculations.)


The magician can generate an animated, three-dimensional sigil layered over the video image from the Oculus Electricus by selecting up to sixteen alphabetical characters from the keyboard. Each Modus Magici (see below) has a unique array for generating sigils appropriate to it, formed from the name of the associated talisman’s servitor. (See this article for more about how the 3D sigils are generated.)


The magicikian will create a reusable multi-task servitor by such conjurations, for which the first equation’s factors take an optimum unitary value. Thus only the problem of a magickal link awaits solution in any particular spell of enchantment or divination at which the magickian directs the eidolon. // Peter J. Carroll, Psybermagick

When AutoMage is activated by pressing the F1 key on the keyboard, MagiCalc variables g, s, and b are automatically set to 1 (100%) when an Electronomicon talisman is electrically connected to PsiBorg, and l is set to 1 (100%) when a target is acquired by the Oculus Electricus (i.e. the green head of the doll is within the camera’s view). This behavior represent the automatic efficacy of a servitor or talisman.

Modus Magici

PsiBorg has seven magical modes corresponding to the seven talismans of the Electronomicon. The magician can switch between them by pressing the number keys on the keyboard: 1=Black/Death/Saturnine; 2=Blue/Wealth/Jovial; 3=Red/War/Martian; 4=Yellow/Ego/Solar; 5=Green/Love/Venusian; 6=Orange/Thought/Mercurial; 7=Purple/Sex/Lunar. In addition to a unique color scheme, each mode has its own sigil-generating array based on the name of the servitor associated with the talisman corresponding to the mode.

Open Sourcery

All of PsiBorg’s components were made with open-source resources including Processing, Arduino, GIMP, and Inkscape, and I expect to publish source code, bills of material, and rituals here on hyperRitual in the near future, in accordance with the principles of open-source magic.


Overall, I felt the project was well received. With so many moving parts, it was difficult to document how it was supposed to work without overwhelming my audience (which I suspect I did anyway). Things went better when I was able to personally demonstrate its operation, and I am very grateful for those conference volunteers who enthusiastically showed it while I attended to other matters. My biggest fan may have been a young girl who was not shy to interact with all of the pieces and who returned several times to do so. Two respectable publishers showed interest in publishing my robomancy book.


  1. Peter J. Carroll, Liber Kaos (Boston: Weiser Books, 1992) 40–51. The Octavo (Oxford: Mandrake, 2011) 108–112, 116–121.
  2. Peter J. Carroll, Psybermagick (London: BM Sorcery, 1995) 24–25.
  3. Peter J. Carroll, The Octavo (Oxford: Mandrake, 2011) 105–106.
  4. Peter J. Carroll, Liber Kaos (Boston: Weiser, 1992) 107–141.
  5. Peter J. Carroll, The Ouranos Rite (Tempe: New Falcon, 2003).
  6. Philip H. Farber, Meta-Magick: The Book of Atem (San Francisco: Weiser, 2008).

One Reply to “Electronomicon/PsiBorg”

  1. Climbing the hill from the backside, at the rear of it
    Are owls in fellowship, three maybe four in concert
    Calling out; nature in the season of the dance. Blood
    Flows hot, but in the air is moisture from the
    Coming storm. The gathering chaos in the west speaks
    Understanding, foretelling of the rise, exodus
    And the gathering, of thought and energy, brewing,
    Spinning, just as the air from the raptors on the wing
    Magik and soft secrets, ghosts in the night, listening
    And watching, there is understanding and a knowing
    Making the hush matter so much more, fallen brothers
    The undone icon, surrendering to defiance
    And the sleeping giant, coming up the rise, stirring
    The picture was of a dream, and then a renascence came
    Strolling languidly up the manmade rise, there were three
    Nurturing, contemplating an eternal problem
    Quietly in the cold and silence, a reunion
    Was broken, and a dream grew stale. The reality
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    Was coming fast and so very real, but then it was
    Hellish and painted and the substance diaphanous
    Something of the will; a wicked intent. The dreaming,
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    Came quick and naturally. Hand in hand after it
    The breaking and the injury. When the truth came out
    Believers were baffled and took notice of it, the
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    Of things. But the reality is sad and stark. Dawn
    And the light is golden, and streaming, and two brothers
    Were undoing and dancing in it. The fire of the flag
    The beauty in it was strange and startling. Now, the fames
    Are smoldering, and making a heat all to intense
    For the controller to understand, or even bare
    Right then the world stopped and slipped; then the cold came crashing
    Down on me. In ignorance, jealousy something
    To small, making a petty kind of evil. I go
    For the gusto. Naturally, the dragon will brood
    And write upon the remedy, the community
    Starts stirring. Awakening and uncoiling, then
    An old soul rises. A young dragon stirs, awakens
    With a purpose, and breathes fire upon them. Believers
    And broken, the ender is upon us! The pieces
    Are in place the remedy is wild. And time will not
    Act as it should, slipping, and tripping, turning, burning
    And naturally the young ones are learning the game
    While the teacher spins it, the cohesion, tying
    Off with sharing, energy spilling, and showing through
    And then they noticed something, stillness, and peace in it
    Maybe it was exposure to eternal, maybe
    The anarchistic kind of zen that flows from the fount
    Could the natural reaction be peace in the storm?
    And then the insanity ensued, a phony, climbs
    The walls in public, believe you me, the memories
    Undo the damage, such artistry, makes the stars fall
    The song remains the same, just remember the darkness
    What is left is emptiness in the moment, hollow,
    Cold, then the anger and heat, the sound of joy coming
    Through, like angels singing; the sound, exalted, ecstatic
    Undone beauty, lost in smallness, and a wretchedness
    This sleeper has awakened again. They’re ready when
    The merger activates a sequence not yet heard of
    The unknown is delightful as memories, fleeting,
    And ghostly, then the light comes shining through so softly
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    Are taking off the reigns and gathering in their strength
    We have an understanding and something so much more real
    The love flows freely and fiercely from the forever
    War was waged and quiet descends, the people, watching
    Untoward and waiting for the dragon to ascend
    Open the flood gates and bend the hydra to his will
    But this demon has fire they mutter, utter praises
    Now a young master will spin his web. The changing
    Will come with the undoing of the hand written thing
    Now for the darkness, attempts at stoppage rendered nil
    Null on the altar. The silence crashes, deafening
    And the undoing stops with the strength of love, ruling
    The muse is memory, and the tragedy makes it
    So much more real and the circle spinning free
    Rich in heritage, the crashing like feathers; lashing
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    Revel in anarchy and freedom. The moon will watch
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    The energy, joyous and pure, rapturous and real
    Now the xero bends low, flying and crying it out
    The wild wicked, unknown siren call of family
    The rebel yell is natural and needed, now
    Only more so than ever. Empty, give the call
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    By degrees. Making it hotter with every eye
    Opened. When the nine converge the world will stop and stare
    Heaven’s gates will open, emptying the warriors
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    So stand, and make your heaven real, behold it and feel
    The truth running through you blasphemous, and very pure

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