Wednesday, December 5, 2018

My Preferred Version of the Headless Rite

Yes - yet another person decided to take the Betz version of the PGM and try to retool it to flow off the tongue a bit better for modern speakers. Here is mine:

Tools: Make a headband. The Stele of Jeu says to use clean papyrus, but paper and cloth could be substitutes. A gold crown might be a neat innovation if anyone has the resources to try it.

The headband should have written on it, from your right temple to your left (written from left to write if flat on a table):

AOTh ABRAOTh BASYM ISAK SABAOTh IAO

I would suggest using Greek characters. Note the "Th" is the letter "Theta." Below it should be a symbol that you can get from the PGM translation.



Everything in CAPS should be intoned or vibrated.

The Rite:

(Optional) Do the opening ceremony of your choice. Light some incense (solar incenses like frankincense, Abramelin blend, etc are best, due to the various implicit and explicit references to Ra, Osiris, and Bes in the ritual).

(Put on the headband and face north, saying:)

AOTH ABRAOTH BASYM ISAK SABAOTH IAO

(Optional - Visualize the letters on your headband lighting up as you intone the names)

(*) Hear me and subject all spirits unto me, so that every spirit of the firmament and of the ether, upon the earth and under the earth, on dry land and in the water, of whirling air and rushing fire, and every spell and scourge of God shall be obedient unto me. (*)

I summon you, the Headless One,
You who created the earth and the heavens,
You who created the night and the day,
You who created the light and the darkness,
You are Osoronnophris whom no man has ever seen,
You are Iabas, you are Iapos,
You have distinguished the just and the unjust,
You have made the female and the male,
You have revealed the seed and the fruits,
You have made men to love each other and hate each other,

I am Moses your prophet to whom you have transmitted your mysteries celebrated by Israel,
You have revealed the moist and the dry and all nourishment,
Hear me!

I am the messenger of Pharaoh Osoronnophris,
This is your true name which has been transmitted to the prophets of Israel.

Hear me,

ARBATHIAO REIBET ATHELEBERSETH ARA BLATHA ALBEU EPENPHCHI CHITASGOE IBAOTH IAO

Hear me and turn away this spirit! (Or repeat *)

I call upon you, awesome and invisible God, with an empty spirit,

AROGOGOROBRAO SOCHOU MODORIO PHALARCHAO OOO

Holy Headless One,
Deliver him/her (Name) from the spirit which restrains him/her! (Or repeat *)

ROUBRIAO MARI ODAM BAABNA-BAOTH ASS ADONAI APHNIAO ITHOLETH ABRASAX AEOOY
(Note: Pronounce “ASS” as “Aaahs” - don’t be a 5 year old :-P)

Mighty Headless One,
Deliver him/her (Name) from the spirit which restrains him/her! (Or repeat *)

MABARRAIO IOEL KOTHA ATHOREBALO ABRAOTH

Deliver him/her (Name) (or repeat *)

AOTH ABRAOTH BASYM ISAK SABAOTH IAO
(Optional - Again visualize the letters on the headband lighting up)

He is the lord of the gods,
He is the lord of the inhabited world,
He is the one whom the winds fear,
He is the one who made all things by the command of his voice!

Lord, King, Master, Helper
Save his/her soul (or “Save my soul”)

IEOU PYR IOU PYR IAOT IAEO IOOU ABRASAX SABRIAM OO YY EY OO YY ADONAIE

Immediately, immediately, good messenger of God!

ANLALA LAI GAIA APA DIACHANNA CHORYN

(Pause for a moment and feel the presence of the Divine Mind wash over you, then say:)

I am the Headless Spirit with sight in my feet!
I am the mighty one who possesses the immortal fire!
I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world!
I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll!
I am the one who’s sweat is the heavy rain which falls upon the earth  so that it might be inseminated!
I am the one who’s mouth is utterly aflame!
I am the destroyer and the begetter!
I am the Favor of the Aion!
My name is a heart encircled by a serpent!
Come forth and follow me!

(END RITUAL)

A personal note: I am of the opinion that this should not be used alone as a stand-alone invocation of one’s Holy Guardian Angel (HGA). However, I believe it makes an excellent opening for an HGA invocation personally written by the operant.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Rambling About Abramelin

So this past week, I finished my "good faith" attempt at the 6 month version of the Abramelin rite. I definitely didn't do it perfectly, screwed up some things, and missed some things, but I believe it was a success. I kind of took the same philsophy that Scarlet Magdalene took (see her excellent interview on Witches and Wine), which was that if I waited to be able to do it absolutely perfectly, I'd never do it. I successfully scried the sigil of the Angel on day 2 of the final week, and while not the supernatural fireworks show the grimoire suggests, I did make substantial contact on Day 4. My minimum success criteria for day 4 was to get some sort of vision confirming the angel's presence, as well as some sort of advice/intuition on how to handle the un-redeemed spirits (a.k.a. "Demons"). I got much more than that, and now I'm trying to process what I am going to do with the experience and how the system will incorporate itself into my existing practice. This blog is mostly just me sorting out my thoughts about the operation, and looking to the future. It's purpose is not to teach other people how to do the rite, or talk about the "correct" way of doing things, but just to help me sort out the experiences. I'll be leaving out a lot of details, as the Angel told me things that are highly personal, and probably won't be useful to anyone but me.

As for why I did it, as the small amount of people who read this blog know, I had been working with the Trithemius "Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystal," and I was driven to do this by Michael, archangel of the Sun (and unbeknownst to me at the time, my Angel herself).

Surviving the Grind

I've done long-term operations before, for example, working through Lyam Thomas Christopher's "Kabbalah, Magic and the Great Work of Self Transformation."  I was therefore prepared for the inevitable burnout, or "dark night of the soul." But damn did it hit hard this time at about the end of the third month. Dragging myself out of bed to do the morning prayers definitely felt like a massive chore at times, and I started to feel that the whole thing was pointless. Sorta like, "what am I even going to get out of this?"

Interestingly, I didn't get quite the amount of disastrous activity a lot of people get when doing this, or some other method of contacting the HGA. In fact, my work went surprisingly well. I won a big contract that I had proposed for earlier in the year, and I got a nice raise. My wife did get injured on the job about halfway through the rite, which led to a lot of uncertainty about her career, and was an unexpected source of stress for both of us during the operation. In the end, she ended up getting promoted, and is now in a better work position than she's been in for years, so perhaps the mess was beneficial in the end. Also - when I first started the rite, I was frequently woken up in the middle of the night by voices, as well as some intense nightmares, which is not something I normally experience. But that seemed to calm down as time went on.

A Second Wind

The final, third phase was the one I was most worried about, given my mild extroversion and the instructions to "shun all but your wife and servants." Interestingly though, I felt invigorated when starting it, I think somewhat because of the addition of new activities (e.g. ritualizing the prayers more, adding an extra prayer session at noon, hunting down the tools and regalia etc). This was especially the case in the first month of phase 3, but then the burnout started hitting again.

One thing that was fun was accumulating the tools (almond wand, silver plate, crown, etc). I even learned engraving so that I could add the appropriate godnames to the crown (YHVH, Adonai, Tzabaoth). So that's a fun new skill, since I don't feel I'm half bad at it. Perhaps I can step up my talisman game now!

Whence Cometh the Angel?

(Image courtesy Valeksuthian on DeviantArt)

This was actually my THIRD attempt to contact my Holy Guardian Angel (HGA). The first time was about 4 years ago. I did the Bornless/Headless rite (not the Crowley version, I tried something closer to what was in the original Greek Magical Papyri) for about a month, and I got the vision of an androgynous warrior angel who basically told me something along the lines of failing to live up to "his" expectations, and that I needed to live a more virtuous life. It freaked me out so much I quit occult work for 3 years (hence my fairly lengthy hiatus from blogging about it). I then started up with occult work again last year, going through the Trithemius angels - first using Rufus Opus's "Seven Spheres" method, followed by summoning them using methods closer to the original grimoire. Around Christmas of 2017, I again attempted to contact my HGA again, using the same "Headless" method. Around a month in, I got a scrying vision of an angel, this time one that looked kind of like an idealized version of myself, in ornate gold armor. It gave me a name, and said that my performance of the Headless Rite was making a "racket" on the astral, and that I should knock it off and work on getting better at magic. So I again quit prematurely.

It was around this time that I stumbled across a comment by Aaron Leitch that people who were getting their "HGA" prematurely should read the warning about the "Man of Majestic Appearance" found in the book of Abramelin. Essentially, it's an entity that seduces you into quitting prematurely, "offering wondrous things." Whether this is a projection of your ego, or some negative or trickster entity feeding off your ego, who knows. But I really started wondering if that's what I was dealing with, since my two attempts seemed to make contact, but then I'd immediately stop the work. I then started more carefully studying the medieval rite, as well as consulting with Michael about whether to make a "good faith effort" on it's performance, which he eventually encouraged me to do.

So I go into the rite, expecting a male warrior angel type to be my HGA. So imagine my surprise a few months in when I start getting visions in my mind and in my dreams of what she actually looked like. I didn't go out of my way to obtain communication, as I wanted to make sure I finished the work rather than getting seduced into quitting prematurely again and being right back where I started. But when I did hear her voice (or more specifically, feel her thoughts), it was always gentle encouragement to keep going. And in the end, she was who appeared to me on day 4 of the final week.

EDIT: Note that I am not implying that the False Angel is specifically tied to the Bornless/Headless rite (I've seen some Abramelin purists argue this). Rather, I suspect it's a potential pitfall no matter what method you are using to contact your HGA, particularly if you aren't sincere about it. I personally love the Headless Rite, and it will remain a major part of my practice in the future.

The Final Week (Convocation of the Good Spirits)

I don't really want to talk much about the final week. There were a lot of experiences that were personal, but I figured I'd talk about what it FELT like. Particularly the first few days. While I had been slowly withdrawing during the 6 month period, it was fairly jarring switching to the final ceremony, especially with my wife and the dogs gone so I could have the place to myself. As well as completely cutting off all contact with the outside world and focusing my time outside of the oratory either praying or reading scriptures, without speaking to anyone. Between that and the bread+water fast, I definitely was in some sort of altered state the whole time. There were times when I would try to read, and it was like reading while high or drunk. Even now, not even a week out, the whole thing just feels like a blur in my mind. Sorta like, "did all that really just happen?" But at the time the emotions, visions, experiences and everything were fairly intense, even if they were book-ended by long periods of extreme boredom and frustration.

One of the interesting things is that on day 4, you are supposed to be told by the angel what you did wrong in the operation, as well as how to rectify it. I also got this information, and interestingly, some of the stuff I missed she explained weren't that important, but there were other things that she said I'd have to adjust for over a longer period of time. I'm not going to go into details on these things, that's between my angel and I, and I did this for me, not for sticklers on the internet.

The Final Week (Convocation of the Un-redeemed Spirits)


So everyone who's familiar with the rite knows that on the last three days, you pretty much summon up everything evil under the sun and bind them. Day 1 being Lucifer, Leviathan, Satan and Belial. Day 2 being Astaroth, Magoth, Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Oriens, Paymon, Ariton and Amaymon. Day 3 is then the same from Day 2, but you have them bring forth their servants and give the same oath that you made their masters give you. This is followed by the selection of four "servant spirits" or elemental familiars from Oriens, Paymon, Ariton and Amaymon.

I was a bit nervous about this part, as I haven't done much demonic evocation. The two exceptions were Lilith a few years back (who I had a bad experience with) and Bune recently (who I had a good experience with). Interestingly, they weren't as difficult to deal with as I feared. They tried to argue or make some sort of a deal, with the feistiest being Satan and Asmodeus, but one by one they relented. Two interesting observations were (1) that Lucifer appeared as an idealized angelic version of myself (perhaps explaining the "Man of Majestic Appearance" stuff), and (2) that Belial was surprisingly charming, which suggests he's one to watch out for in the future. In the end, everything was successful.

What next?

So now we get to the reason I wrote this. To clear out some of my thoughts. I definitely was informed that I have a lot to still work on, particularly in the theurgy department. Right now I'm getting radio silence, but more than one person has stated that a period of several weeks to several months after the rite, the Angel basically hibernates, and it almost feels like the rite didn't happen. I was instructed to do a simple daily regimen of prayer and meditation until she returns, who knows how long that would be. But for now, it seems my spiritual world got a bit bigger, between the HGA and the four familiars, I'll have my hands full for a while. I think this is the first time since I finished the Lyam Thomas Christopher curriculum that I feel like I have direction with my occult work, and boy will there be work. This definitely is an "initiation," and not some path to instant adepthood, or a one time summoning, like a lot of people think. The world does seem a bit brighter, and I can't put my finger on it, but everything just feels "different" now that it's over.

Friday, April 6, 2018

How To Trithemius (Part 2 - Applications)

Introduction
Last time, we talked about the tools of the pseudo-Trithemius "Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals" (DSIC) system, and how I made them, and some thoughts about their importance as an initiation ritual into the system. Today - I'd like to talk about performing the rite, the different versions of the rite, as well as applications beyond the 7 planetary archangels.

Before we get started - I left out a tool last week: the ring. The grimoire calls for putting on a ring at the same step where you put on the lamen, but doesn't specify the type of ring. They probably mean some sort of "Ring of Solomon" for commanding spirits. A lot of people make some version of the ring from the Keys of Solomon. I suspect an Enochian PELE ring could work too, but I haven't tried it. I personally use a 14th degree Masonic ring I have, with a Yod within a pyramid. It seems fitting since the 14th degree in the Scottish Rite is all about the Tetragrammaton, and the Tetragrammaton name is important to the system. Whatever you use, I'd suggest ONLY using the ring for magical purposes.

With that said, lets talk about the DSIC rite. First off, if you are really serious about trying it out, I strongly recommend you buy and read Rufus Opus's Seven Spheres and Frater Ashen Chassan's Gateways Through Stone and Circle. Seven Spheres presents a modern interpretation of the rite, and uses it as a framework for general planetary invocations. It combines elements from the Greek Magical Papyri, Agrippa and the Orphic Hymns, and shows how easily the ritual can be adapted to a broader practice. Gateways shows how one would do the rite if they go full hardcore mode and want to make everything to spec. So without further ado, here are thoughts I have on the rite and it's uses.

The Ritual
First thing first, I'd like to talk about some things regarding performance of the ritual that I've learned that you may find helpful. Full the full ritual, see Joseph Peterson's Esoteric Archives.

1) First, no banishing/opening invocation outside the script is needed. If you've made the circle, lamen, table of practice, and crystal housing, you have talismans representing pretty much all the forces that would actually be protecting you by doing the Lesser Pentagram ritual, and you reinforce the circle during the operation anyways. If a truly nasty entity shows up (it can happen, but from my experience it's very uncommon), the LBRP probably won't do much anyways, since it's more designed to purify your sphere of sensation. I'd recommend having the Headless Rite from the Greek Papyri either memorized, or written in your personal grimoire, which you can use as a general purpose exorcism if you feel something truly negative is preventing you from successfully doing the operation.

2) Light your candles before the rite. You don't light your incense until the step right before the conjuration. I'd recommend cones or a charcoal burner. I'd also recommend not having a lighter on the altar, as for both me and my wife, that was a distraction while scrying. Instead, use the candlelight to light the incense. You may have a pair of tongs if you are lighting charcoal, or if it's a cone, I just hold it in my hand and light the tip with the candle.

3) Preliminary purification. From my own experience, you don't have to go full ascetic before doing the rite, particularly if you are good at entering altered states of consciousness, or raising and directing energy. Therefore, some form of prior magical experience might be helpful. That doesn't mean purification is unnecessary - it appears in magical traditions from many cultures, and I kind of view it as a sign of respect as much as anything. Generally what I do is take a cue from the Greek Papyri and avoid meat for 24 hours before the operation, and then 30 minutes before the operation, I take a ritual bath. Some might insist more is necessary, but that's not my experience.

4) The conjuration. DSIC has a fairly short conjuration. From my own experience, it needs to be read multiple times to get the full effect. When I worked with my wife as a scryer, she would sit at the edge of the circle and gaze in the crystal, and I would sit behind her and read the conjuration. I'd read it repeatedly until she interrupted me and said "he's here." This seemed to flow much better than our earlier method, when I'd read the conjuration, ask if the angel was there, and if not read again. It also is worth it to vibrate the angel name in the conjuration - I've tried it both ways, and the angels seem to respond better when I include it. I generally start entering a light trance and feeling tingling on my skin when the angel is about to show up. When I'm going solo, I recite the conjuration 4 times, then the part thanking God for allowing the spirit to come. I then sit down at the crystal, and repeatedly vibrate the angel name until it appears.

Different Versions and Modern Innovation
The DSIC operation has become popular in recent years, because there has been a major drive to revive traditional grimoiric magic, and along with the Arbatel, it has one of the simpler techniques available. Two magicians in particular have contributed to this in a major way: Rufus Opus (RO) and Frater Ashen Chassan (AC). AC largely does things by the book, while RO includes quite a few innovations, and has used the rite to develop his own system of Hermetic/Neo-platonic magic. I've worked both the Seven Spheres version of the rite, as well as the original script from the grimoire, and I find both effective, though I use them for different applications. Typically, if my only goal is to communicate with the archangel, I find the additions from Seven Spheres to be a bit superfluous. It will still work, of course, but for straight up evocation I just go for the original script. However, if you wish to summon the angels as part of an invocation of a planetary force, the Seven Spheres rite is perfect. The Seven Spheres book also has instructions on how you can use the rite, and the spirits summoned by the rite, to consecrate planetary talismans. Really cool stuff there. I've even used the formula to create elemental invocations by swapping out the archangel names and using different Orphic Hymns (Gaia, The Clouds, The Sea and Fire). You can also use some of the steps as a general ritual opening (e.g. an analog to the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram). In this case, I use the opening prayer, the consecration of the circle, the invocation to the Supernatural Assistant, and the blessing of the incense, and then proceed to the other work I am doing. But essentially, the Seven Spheres provides useful guidance on how you can use the basic DSIC formula to create a complete system of magic whereby you can work with planetary and elemental forces. At this point, it has pretty much replaced the Golden Dawn pentagram and hexagram rituals in my practice. I will say - it makes for a great initiatory system. Going through the planets in Chaldean order was a very enlightening process for me, and gave me great insights regarding what I wanted to do next.

Solo Versus Scryer
The original grimoire recommends that two people participate in the ritual, because one, or both, may perceive the spirit first. I've tried it both ways, and I suggest you do too. Some argue that having a scryer ruins the "fun" of a ritual, but I think there is some use to it. If you are evoking to visible manifestation, the visions may be incredibly intense. Both my wife and I have experienced situations where we had to look away from angels because they were too "bright." And I'm not exaggerating, your eyes literally water if you gaze for too long, and so your only recourse is to look away or close your eyes. In those cases, basically we'd just look until we finished our initial testing. So having a scryer is helpful if you want to be able to actually hold a lucid conversation. Here, the burden of communicating directly with the entity is on someone else, and you can have a back and forth conversation with the seer as medium and you being in only a mild altered state. Of course, doing the work solo is important too. Sometimes entities might have something to tell you and only you, even if your scryer is someone you implicitly trust. Additionally, who wouldn't want to behold an angel? I mean c'mon, seriously. It's such an intense, powerful and humbling experience, if you're a magician, I recommend you at least try it.

Adapting the Rite to Other Types of Entities
I have stated multiple times that this system is fairly adaptable as a general ritual formula. What this implies is that spirits beyond just the seven planetary archangels could be summoned! Once you are used to working with the system as originally intended, you can naturally see how things might progress and be adapted for other purposes. I think it's especially adaptable to other celestial forms of magic. For example, it is fairly simple to figure out how you could use the same formula to evoke the Olympic planetary spirits. You can also adapt the formula to Enochian magic, especially if you prefer to have an opening ritual, as opposed to the "sit and pray feverishly" method of John Dee. You should definitely still use the proper heptarchic furniture and tools from the Enochian system, but the DSIC provides the outline for a good opening ceremony. You can even summon cthonic spirits (a.k.a. what many call "demons") using the rite. Though for this, it will take a bit of further adaptation than it would for the Olympics or Enochian entities. If you can get your hands on Rufus Opus's now out of print, Modern Goetic Grimoire, you can see how one may adapt the ceremony. I do things a little differently, though I did do it using some inspiration from him. In general, I'd recommend the following modifications to the trithemius rite:
  1. In addition to the wand, have some sort of sword or dagger in hand when doing the conjuration.
  2. Instead of the DSIC lamen, I use one with the pentagram of Solomon (see the Lesser Key) on the front, and the seal of the spirit on the back.
  3. Additionally, I use the hexagram of Solomon. RO suggests putting it on the altar, but attaching it to some sort of makeshift belt is a good idea too. 
  4. For the circle, I'd recommend putting Michael's sigil and the solar seal in the corner, given his role as a general protector.
  5. For incense, I really just took RO's cue and used Dragon's Blood incense. It seemed to do the trick.
  6. For the ritual, I'd recommend modifying it a bit, since you aren't summoning "angelic spirits" to "descend" into the crystal. You might also want to invoke your HGA before. In fact, the Seven Spheres version of the rite is probably more helpful in this regard, and that is what I use.
  7. Before the conjuration, gaze at the spirit's sigil to "activate it." For the conjuration, I'd suggest rewriting it to be more suitable for the entity you summon. This might include a longer conjuration, it might include specific references (e.g. though non-traditional, you could use Dr. Rudd's Shem Angel correspondences).
  8. This is personal taste, but if you're going to work with goetics in this manner, I'd suggest not using the "curse and threaten" approach, and use more of an offering-based approach. This doesn't mean selling your soul or blood sacrifice, but rather simple things like "do this and I'll pour you out a bottle of whiskey and write a blog post about your deeds." Don't be an idiot about his stuff. Remember - you are the one with the authority. As an example, earlier in my blog I outlined an adapted DSIC rite to summon Bune and ask for $2000, and my offering was exactly what I stated above.
Conclusion
So that about summarizes my experiences with the DSIC rite, as well as it's broader range of applications than one might expect. Overall, I'm glad this grimoire has received more attention over the past few years. It's fairly simple to work, and the results greatly exceed it's simplicity. So have at it!

Monday, April 2, 2018

How to Trithemius (Part 1 - The Tools)

Introduction

Around 2014, I was revisiting an analysis I had done of the Golden Dawn Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, and I stumbled across a blog by Rufus Opus where he borderline trashes the ritual, and argues it's not useful unless you are already hardcore into the Golden Dawn. As an LBRP fan, I was immediately shocked and thought, "who the hell is this guy, and what system does he use if the LBRP and Golden Dawn suck so much?" So I purchased two of his e-books, "Neoplatonic Basics" and "Modern Angelic Grimoire." In his books, he seemed to base his practice around what was at the time not a very popular grimoire entitled "The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystal" (DSIC for short). DSIC is a grimoire that appears in Francis Barrett's The Magus and is attributed to Johannes Trithemius, though the actual authorship is under dispute. It is a fairly simple ritual that involves building a set of tools: an ebony wand, a set of seven lamens, a circle, an ebony or ivory crystal pedestal, and probably most famously, a circular table of practice upon which the crystal is placed. These tools are then used in a very short and simple ritual, whereby you summon the seven planetary archangels: Cassiel (Saturn), Sachiel (Jupiter), Samael (Mars), Michael (Sun), Anael (Venus), Raphael (Mercury) and Gabriel (Luna).

Since first discovering this grimoire, I have worked various versions of it, both modern (e.g. Rufus Opus's "Seven Spheres" OP) and the original script. I've also worked it both alone, and with my wife as a scryer. It is easily the most success I have had in contacting spirits, with some visions so intense I had to look away from the crystal. Today, I'd like to talk a bit about what I learned about doing the operation, how the different versions work, and how the grimoire is adaptable to a wide variety of practices, and can be used as it's own complete system of magic. A free copy of the grimoire can be found online at Joseph Peterson's Esoteric Archives.

The Tools (Do I Need All This Stuff?)
Short answer is "yes." Long answer is, "it depends on what you want out of it."

The first step in working the DSIC operation is construction of the tools. This is a highly important aspect of the magic. Part of the reason the ritual is so simple, and doesn't require complex formulas, god names, etc, is because it's implicitly assumed that you have been initiated into the system by making the proper tools. The one tool that most people agree can be skimped on is the ebony pedestal and crystal housing, but I am of the opinion that it's good to make some version of it, even if you can't afford a bunch of gold to make it to spec. So lets get started on what those tools are.

The Ebony Wand
The wand is very much an archetypal magical implement, and DSIC includes it's own wand. It is to be made of ebony, with gold lettering. When I first started the ritual, I actually just used an ebony "harry potter" looking wand. It gave me results and I still have that wand, but I now use it in my Golden Dawn workings for drawing hexagrams. With the help of my wife, I now have a wand that's more to spec, and I can assure you it's significantly more powerful for working this specific grimoire. To make the wand, you need a dowel of ebony (18 or 12 inches will work), and you can get one for a reasonable price from Bell Forest Products (http://www.bellforestproducts.com/gaboon-ebony/wood-blanks/). Once the dowel is stained, you need to put gold lettering on it. Some people engrave the lettering and then fill the engravings in with gold leaf, others paint it on with some sort of gilding paint. My wife and I both hate leaf, so we went with gilding paint. One side of the wand should say "AGLA ON TETRAGRAMMATON" and have a maltese cross, a hexagram, and a hexagram with a yod on it. The other side should say some variation of "Ego Alpha et Omega"/"I am the Alpha and the Omega." I took a cue from Frater Ashen Chassan's Gateways Through Stone and Circle and wrote "EGO TO ALPHA KAI TO O" in Greek characters. Pictured below is my wand.



You may bless and consecrate the wand as you see fit.

The Circle
Like many Solomonic systems, Trithemius recommends a physical circle, with a specific design. This design includes 4 hexagrams, one in each cardinal direction. In the quadrants between the hexagrams are the names Adonai, Tetragrammaton and Elohim, and in the final quadrant which should face the crystal, the planetary symbol and sigil of the archangel you are summoning. This means that there are theoretically SEVEN different circles. In the ritual, you consecrate the physical circle by tracing over it with your wand and saying:
"In the name of the blessed Trinity, I consecrate this piece of ground for our defence; so that no evil spirit may have power to break these bounds prescribed here, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen.
Many modern interpretations of the ritual forego the physical circle,  using a variant of the above prayer as a way to "cast" an astral circle. I've done it both ways, and while it works with the astral circle, I find it a lot more effective to bite the bullet and make the circle. As for dealing with the issue of seven circles, what I did was have the circle design printed on a tapestry, with one quadrant blank:


I then made the 7 archangelic sigils on poster board in a size that would fit in the circle, as well as 7 planetary astrological symbols. I switch out the sigils and symbols depending on which angel I'm calling. If I use the circle for other operations (e.g. Goetics), I tend to use Michael and the Sun as a general purpose protector. If you go this route, try to make the sigils in the proper planetary hour.

The Lamens

The ritual requires you wear a lamen around your neck. You should make a lamen for each archangel. I would recommend doing this in the proper planetary hours. View it as a "preliminary initiation." Below is an example of the lamen for "Raphael" (thanks Digital Amber). Note that the name of Raphael on the top is written right-to-left, and in "Celestial Script" (see Agrippa). I believe this follows Rufus Opus's instructions, and it's what I use.
The lamen is supposed to be made of either virgin parchment or silver, but I find that fresh cardstock paper works just fine. I cut out a 6x6 inch square of the paper, and then drew the lamen within the bounds, cut it out, and attached string to it. One thing I must emphasize is use a compass and ruler, draw it in pencil first, and then go over with ink, preferably sharpie. I saw a post in the Solomonic Facebook group where someone complained of not getting results, and when the OP posted pictures of the lamen, they looked sloppily done by hand. Putting some effort into making it look as perfect as possible is important for attuning to the system and having a good "subjective synthesis" when you do the operation (and now I cringe for using a Lisiewski term). Remember, again, that making the tools is the initiation ritual!!!

The Table of Practice

Like many renaissance systems of angel magic (e.g. the Almadel, Enochian, Rudd's System), DSIC includes a table upon which your scrying medium (ideally a crystal ball) is placed. Generally, the outer circle has the names and symbols of the seven planetary archangels, and the inner has the "kings of the four directions." For a long time, people used the four elemental archangels "Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel" around the circle, but after convincing arguments from Jake Stratton Kent on the Solomonic Facebook group, I think most people agree it's actually supposed to be the directional kings. These are Oriens (east), Amaymon (south), Paymon (west), and Egyn (north). Above is the design I used for the table, with the exception that I used Greek characters for the four kings, again following Ashen Chassan's example.

One note - as was pointed out in the comments, the diagram I pilfered above is for a *north* facing altar (e.g. like in RO's Seven Spheres). If you want a table that faces east, you should have Oriens at the top. For any altar configuration, the proper directions of the kings can be found in Agrippa's Scale of the Number Four from his Second Book of Occult Philosophy.

Ebony Pedestal and Gold Crystal Housing

This is by far the most cost prohibitive tool from the entire operation. Most people don't even use it, but still report results. It requires housing the crystal in a carefully carved ebony housing, with gold plate around the crystal that has the names of the four elemental archangels on one side, and the word "TETRAGRAMMATON" on the other. Below is a drawing from Barrett's The Magus that shows how it would look.


Ashen Chassan and Jason Augustus Newcomb have both made beautiful versions of it that I encourage people to google. When I first started working with the grimoire, I didn't use any version of a crystal housing. Then, I realized that the names on the gold housing are extremely important. By including both the elemental archangels AND the directional kings, you are in essence tying the ritual to a cosmology that goes from the 7 planetary spheres, through the elements, and down to the physical world. This, to me, is very important for visible manifestation of the spirits. Additionally, some sort of housing can block glare from the candles. My solution was to use gold foil paper and make a band, or ring, that would go around the crystal. On the outside of the ring, I put the names of the archangels. On the inside, I put the TETRA-GRAMMA-TON as well as the four symbols required by the grimoire. See pictures below.





Conclusion

Today, we outlined the various tools from the Trithemius grimoire, but I'll point out, this grimoire can be successfully used to make spirit contact even if you go simple with some of the tools. Initially, I used a plain ebony wand, an "astral" circle, and no form of housing on the crystal. I still made contact, which is what motivated me to work with the system further. Rufus Opus apparently was able to contact Gabriel using a coffee cup full of inky water on a paper table of practice, with a compass as a wand. Don't let a lack of resources stop you from trying to contact the angels. I will say though, that the closer you get to the original specs, the more intense the manifestation will be. There's a huge difference between scrying in the spirit vision, and having a visible manifestation of the spirit. While both may be useful, the latter is such an intense and amazing experience that it's hard to put into words, and I was only able to achieve it with my most recent toolset and repeated practice of the ritual. Next time, we'll go over tips for performing the rite, the applications of the different versions (e.g. Rufus Opus's Seven Spheres versus the traditional script), as well as how the system can be molded to summon entities other than just the seven planetary archangels. I'll also talk about my experiences with the system both working the operation solo, as well as with the help of a scryer, and why you should try both.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Thanks Bune!

So recently, I decided I could use a bit more spending money, and decided "well, why not use magic to solve this?" So I went to the Goetia from the Lesser Key of Solomon, and decided to go with the ever popular Bune (sometimes called the "demon of burial"):

From the Mather's translation of the Lesser Key of Solomon:

"The Twenty-sixth Spirit is Bune. He is a strong, great and mighty Duke. He appeareth in the form of a Dragon with three heads, one like a dog, one like a gryphon, one like a Man. He speaketh with a high and comely voice. He changeth the place of the dead, and causeth the spirits which be under him to gather together upon your sepulchres. He giveth riches unto a man, and maketh him wise and eloquent. He gives true answers unto demands. And he governeth 30 Legions of Spirits."

This is an illustration (from the demonic paradise wiki):



Needless to say - giving riches unto a man seemed appealing to me. Since I'm not a fan of the conjurations in the Goetia, instead I went with Rufus Opus's "Modern Goetic Grimoire," which uses a modified form of the Trithemian "Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystal" as it's backbone.  I made a Lamen to wear around my neck using the pentacle of solomon, which incuded Bune's seal on the back:

Front:


Back:


I made it out of cardstock parchment paper and packing twine. I also made a hexagram of solomon out of the same material which sat on the altar next to the table of practice:


For the circle, I made it in Adobe illustrator and then had it custom printed on a cloth tapestry. I left a section blank to include the appropriate archangel sigil. Since I was working with a spirit of the Goetia, I went with Michael. As per the suggestion by Rufus Opus, I used Dragon's Blood incense as an offering. Below is the circle I used, as well as the ebony wand, a pre-varnish photo of the Table of Practice (where I placed my crystal ball, it worked as a "triangle of manifestation."), and a band made of Gold Foil with the various names from the "Drawing Spirits into Crystal" grimoire that surrounds the crystal. The table of practice was written using an oil based paint pen.





For the conjuration, I added the invocation from Jason Miller's "A Sorcerer's Secrets," which includes reading the proper Psalm verse, calls upon the Shemhamephorash angel which has dominion over Bune, and uses the latin name for the astrological decan associated with Bune. After repeating the conjuration several times, I could feel the change in the rooms atmosphere. Outside my circle, and coincident with the table of practice (working as the triangle of manifestation), I saw in my minds eye a large red hydra.

As for my request, I was careful with my words, as Bune has a reputation for being fairly literal. I stated that I wanted $2000 within 3 weeks. I wanted the money to arrive without harming any person or animal in my sphere of influence. I wanted it to arrive legally and safely, in a manner that I didn't have to pay back, and through a means outside my wife and I's normal income. In exchange, I offered to pour him a bottle of whiskey (Jameson) by the tree outside my house, and brag about his deeds on the internet. Yesterday was the 3 week mark, and the $2000 came, as we started getting unexpected money and gifts in a variety of manners almost immediately! Among these:

1. My wife getting several hundred dollars she was owed that the person was refusing to pay for months.
2. Getting a larger reimbursement from work than expected.
3. My wife getting bonuses here and there at work, or extra contracts she wasn't expecting.

The one strange one was being gifted VIP hockey tickets, which added up to a value of $340. I was hesitant to include it in the total at first, but I realize one major mistake I made was to not specify that I wanted the money to come in the form of legal tender.

Needless to say, I'm keeping my end of the bargain and writing this blog post. Thanks Bune, and enjoy your whiskey.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's been a while again...

But I'm still going.

I recently finished working with the 7 planets and their archangels using the method outlined by Rufus Opus in "Seven Spheres." It was quite a ride, and I plan on doing it again after a period of more quiet practice. I really like his opening ceremony, and I might try it out in my enochian work as well.

But regardless, the work was incredible, I got plenty of insights on where I need to go and what I need to do to both expand my occult knowledge/experience, as well as bring my True Will (R) to the world.

Cheers!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Word Salad, Verbal Diarrhea, WTF

The occult is never going to be taken seriously as long as people write nonsensical, pretentious crap like this:

"He has constructed a Qliphoth of Baphomet which collects, corrects and updates commonly circulating data to streamline its function as a graphical transmitter of energy from a larger system of witchcraft which will be treated more extensively in a future publication."

Seriously... SERIOUSLY!?