Monday, December 18, 2006

Spirit Names, Spirit Names, Get Yer Spirit Names Here!

Well, it's been damned near a month since I posted here last. I feel rather badly about that. Still, life does go on. :)

First of all, let me point you to an awesome compendium of over a thousand spirit names from a multitude of sources, quite possibly one of the most useful things I've found in a long, long time:

I don't know the gnostic who is responsible for this, but god bless him or her.

In other news, I HATE my angel book. I deeply apologize for ever having started the damned thing. If you're waiting for it to be finished, if you've emailed me that you're interested, I can only say I'm sorry, and I WILL finish it, eventually, but it's taking longer than anticipated because it turned out to be real WORK. Not just some Saturday afternoon type fest.

And in yet other news, I've recently created a spreadsheet that is useful for generating the names of the Good and Evil Genius of any electional chart using a part of Agrippa's Book 3, Chapter 26. Specifically, the part that says:

"There are also the Arabians, and many others, and some Hebrews, who finde out the name of a Genius by the places of the five Hylegians, and making projection alwayes from the beginning of Aries, and the letters being found out according to the order of Hylegians with the Astrologers, being reduced into a known order, and being joyned together, make the name of a good Genius: but they draw the name of an evil Genius from the opposite Hylegian places, projection being made from the last degree of Pisces against the order of signs. " (from Joe Peterson's Esoteric Archives)

As a result of the wonders of modern technology, I can generate the names of Good and Evil Geniuses relatively quickly for times past, present, and future. Well, actually, only past or future. The present just slipped away yet again. ;)

Due to the holiday budget crunch, I'm looking for a way to turn this into a revenue stream. If you're interested in learning the names of the Good and Evil Genius of any given time, feel free to email me at, and I'll send them to you for $5.00 through paypal. As long as you have a credit card, I can invoice you through paypal, so no worries. No cash, check, or money orders at this time.

Please include the time, date, and location for the the enterprise you're referencing. Time zones would help too.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Modern Angelic Grimoire

A guy in a group I belonged to asked me what angelic grimoire I used. The only ones I really know of are the Ars Almadel, the Ars Paulina, and, if you stretch the idea a bit, the Art of drawing spirits into Crystals. The Shemhamephoresh angels I really don't understand, the Enochian system is a complete system, not really a grimoire per se, and the Ophanim system based on Jacob's Wheel is way over my head.

So I'm thinking, you know, most of these grimoires are considered hard to understand. They're written in Middle English, at best, and have strange requirements, and somewhat confusing directions. You have to flip around to different resources to get the images you need. There's no single resource available that you can just open and have a complete grimoire, a manual of contacting the angels in easy to read and follow steps.

So, I've decided to write one. I'll have to research the copyright issues, and talk to the webmasters of the sources I'd be using, but I think I'll be able to throw together a decent Modern Angelic Grimoire. Writing user guides is what I do, after all.

If you're interested in a copy, let me know.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dealing with the Guf - Reclaiming Moments of Horror

The Guf is the lowest form of soul in some kabbalistic cosmologies. It consists of the actual body we wrap ourselves in. The word "guf" is the source of the English word "goofy," so you can get an idea of how this soul is viewed in the cosmology of things.

I was talking to a friend today about the horrifyingly embarrassing moments that crop up in my mind as I'm falling asleep, eliciting an audible groan or whimper. I was relieved to know that I'm not the only one that experiences these things, but that doesn't really help get rid of the horror that still comes when I remember these kinds of events.

The best example I have is when I went down to the end of a shooting range to hang a paper target, and the drill sergeant guy yelled "CEASE FIRE!!!!" at the top of his considerable lungs to get everyone else (who were still shooting) to take a break so I didn't get killed. Everyone looked over at me, and I'm standing there like an idiot where about thirty people were shooting. Not a happy moment.

What gets me is that this happened almost a decade ago, and to this day, I groan out loud remembering it. I've tried to "reclaim" that part of my brain to get rid of this response. Kraig has a retroactive magick section (I think) in his Modern Magick book, and I tried that. I tried going back and reliving the moment in my mind, trying to replace it with a different memory. I've tried rationalizing that I'd never been to a shooting range before, I was at the far end of the shooting range, and everyone else was at the other side, where I had assumed they wouldn't shoot me... but nothing's worked. It's always in that light hypnogoguic state between waking and sleeping that I remember standing there in the crisp autumn wind with a crowd made up of fathers and sons and war vets looking at me like I was Forrest, Forrest Gump.

My friend suggested that we can't forget this kind of thing for a reason, that it serves some purpose. I can see how it can aid survival to never forget how stupid it is to steal a dinosaur's egg while you think the thing is sleeping, but this was just embarrassing. Socially embarrassing. Sure, we're pack animals, and it's required to not do something stupid in public to not get ostracized... but that's stretching it a bit.

So on a seemingly unrelated tangent, I was reading through Plotinus' Fifth Ennead. Not too far in, it says:

"A double discipline must be applied if human beings in this pass are to be reclaimed, and brought back to their origins, lifted once more towards the Supreme and One and First."

"Reclaimed" jumped out at me. I had literally just been talking about reclaiming, so looking for an answer to this question, I read on...

"There is the method, which we amply exhibit elsewhere, declaring the dishonour of the objects which the Soul holds here in honour; the second teaches or recalls to the soul its race and worth; this latter is the leading truth, and, clearly brought out, is the evidence of the other."

So there are two disciplines required to accomplish the returning to the Source, God, which sums up Plotinus' idea of what I think of as the Great Work. The discipline of stating the dishonour of things the Soul holds dear here, and the remembrance of the race and worth of the Soul.

Respect of others is what my Guf-Soul holds dear, so dear that an embarrassing moment haunts me for years, permanently ingrained in my neural paths. Dishonouring the "need for respect from others," (hmmm, pride, perhaps?) isn't too difficult. I recognize that the opinions of those rednecks at that moment aren't really that important.

Teaching the Soul its race and worth though... How does this apply in the context of a mortifying memory? The Soul in the Guf at that moment was of God and was God. The value of that Soul is inestimable. How can teaching the Soul its race and value make the horror of that moment go away?

I don't have an answer, but I do know that I was particularly Guf-ey that day. I'll be holding these two things together in my mind as I remember what happened, and see what comes of it. Educating the Guf as to its value and source may indeed be the key to getting rid of that disgusting horror.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Research in the Occult

Well, it's been a while since I've posted here. Apologies to my adoring fans. ;)

Recent conversations on occult lists have got me thinking about research in the occult. It is extremely important to know where the material you're using in your practices came from, and how it integrates into your system of performing magick, but at the same time, the fact is that much of the material available is limited.

I've seen people argue incessantly about recent Egyptian archaeological evidence impacting Golden Dawn rituals. I've seen people make various claims about the Goetia because of the similarity of the names of the spirits to ancient gods from other cultures. I've seen the Hermetic QBL totally gutted by some people's research into the traditional Kabbalah in the context of Hasidism.

Research is a valuable tool, but at a certain point in our research we must apply the knife. Take the Goetia, for example. The names in the list include Ashtoreth, and lots of people say its a demonized version of Ishtar-Isis. The argument is that the system of Goetic magic can't be trusted because it casts entities from a particular culture in a role that they didn't have originally. The Goetic "Ashtoreth" is a perversion of Isis, so if you summon Isis using the Goetia, you'll piss her off and have an angry spirit to deal with.

However valid this idea might sound, in practice Ashtoreth is a friendly entity. It must be understood that when the Goetia was compiled, it drew from all kinds of resources and cast the spirits into the context in which they are presented in the text. At that point, they ceased being the entities of the previous system they were adapted from, and became new manifestations of the properties they embody. Ashtoreth may or may not have been Isis to some people at some point in history, but Ashtoreth summoned through the rites of the Goetia is not Isis. It's Ashtoreth.

Applying the model of the four worlds of hermetic QBL, Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah, the Goetia is an Assiahtic (material) representation of the Yetziratic (symbolic) interpretation of the Briahtic (conceptual) spirits that revealed themselves from the Assiatic (archetypal) realm to the compiler(s) of the Goetia.

Modern research can track back the sources of the system presented in the Goetia up to the limit of the Briahtic stage. We can see the forms that were used to symbolize the spirits in the Yetziratic stage, and we can make a scientific wild-ass guess about where these symbols came from, but we cannot know what was going on in the Briahtic or Atziluthic stages of its creation.

Knowing where our realm of knowledge ends and conjecture begins gives us a guide for where to apply the knife. When your practice begins to trespass into realms of speculation, you must cut off the absolute authority of your knowledge and return to the realm of theory, and approach your conclusions the way a scientist approaches experimentation.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Angelic Hierarchies

To get anything of benefit from the hierarchical representations of God's servants or ministers, we must first understand the foundational premise behind the formulation of a hierarchy in the first place, and also what an "angel" or minister of God is.

The Premise of Hierarchies in the Western Magickal Tradition

To the neo-platonists and their Christian successors, God was One. It's a simple concept. Orpheus says:

Pluto and Jupiter, and Phebus, are one;
But why do we speak twice? Gods one alone. (From Agrippa's Occult Philosophy, Book 3, chapter x)

The sh'ma of Judaism puts it this way:

"Hear o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One."

The One God is beyond understanding, and is described in terms of what it is not due to our lack of ability to comprehend the awesome unity of God. "Ineffable," "Invisible," and "Infinite" are terms that do not tell us what God is, but what it is not. The mystic (by virtue of their calling to be a mystic) understands inherently that God is super-essential.

This super-essential Deity is constantly providing a stream of grace (or what we would likely call "energy" today) from itself into all that it created, in order that all of creation might participate with and know God intimately. This stream is called Providence by the Christian mystics, and is understood to be the mechanism by which Grace is delivered. When you see a mystic of neo-platonic christian heritage say that an event was "Providence," they mean that a person achieved "a closer and fuller understanding of God" (or Grace) through a series of events that might not have seemed to be Grace bearing in the moment.

Ok, so we have One super-essential God, sending Grace to creation by Providence. Since man is not capable of comprehending all of God at once in our standard mode, when God interacts with us directly, we interpret the aspect of God that we interact with as an entity, a messenger from God, or a representation of Deity, or a god in and of itself. The Goddess Venus, for instance, is that part of the One super-essential deity that represents the human understanding of "Love." In other cultures, this aspect of God is interpreted as Haniel, the archangel of the sephiroth Netzach.

To understand where this part of God "fits" in the whole process we interpret as Providence, we create models and hierarchies of correspondences so that we can present-progressively interact with that particular part of God as we perform our mundane activities. This touches on the practical purpose behind having a hierarchy in the first place.

The Purpose of Hierarchies

Having a model of Providence allows us to work towards obtaining unity with God. (Note: By unity I mean consciously working with God to accomplish God's purpose, not the idea that we can somehow consciously become GOD.) When one understands the aspects of God that are functioning at various points in Providence, one can begin to consciously integrate these processes into their daily activities. For instance, knowing that Cherubim means the fullness of divine knowledge, and that the function of this manifestation of God is to illuminate the soul of a man with the divine knowledge of the immanence of deity in all things, one would begin to work with the Cherubim when one is seeking to understand how a situation is supposed to integrate with God's plan.

This is the Great Work of the Western Mystery Tradition, to be in union with God in all things while in the flesh.

Having crudely put forth the foundational premise and purpose of hierarchies, we can look at what the various hierarchies are. For a better description, see The Celestial Hierarchies, by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopogate, from which the above was distilled.

Some Traditional Hierarchies

The angelic orders of the "cabalists" are associated with the ten sephiroth. Following the lightning path, they are:

Kether - Haioth Hacadosch
Hochma - Ophanim
Prina - Aralim
Hesed - Hasmalim
Geburach - Seraphim
Tiphereth - Malachim
Nezah - Elohim
Hod - Ben Elohim
Iesod - Cherubim
Malchuth - Issim

That's straight from Agrippa, the original spelling from the English translation by "J.F." in 1651 intact. If you look in Book 3, Chapter x, you'll find much more additional information on these orders, such as the particular angel in charge, the planets associated with them, and the biblical personages and the angels that were assigned to them that correspond.

The terms Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels were used by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagate, a Christian mystic who was not a cabalist. Agrippa also uses these, and relates them to the sephiroth, but makes it clear in the text that they are not the names of the hierarchies used by the Hebrews.

Bill Heidrick has a couple of tables that present the names, correspondences to the sephiroth, and the descriptions and functions of these orders in his Magical Correspondences . Know going into it that Bill is the product of traditional Golden Dawn and Ordo Templi Orientis teachings. While his research and facts have been proven to be as accurate as possible, his interpretations are nevertheless influenced by the teaching he received.

Practical Application

To effectively utilize these hierarchies, the mystic or magician must first identify which order is appropriate to their need. Then one would research the names of some of the members of this order, and then contact the entity and request a personal representative from that order to work with for the duration of the operation.

Understanding the premise behind a hierarchy, the procedures of the magickal operations of the Western Mystery Tradition make a lot more sense. Abramelin's Sacred Magick is an excellent example, with the Holy Guardian Angel being a member of the Order of Powers assigned to you at birth, who "aids the human mind to break free of the forces that draw man to earthly thoughts." The Goetia can be better understood when it is recognized as a hierarchy of spirits that are closest to the manifest realm, a sub-hierarchy that doesn't quite extend beyond the realms of Earth, Water, and Air in the platonic model.


In conclusion, I would like to thank Richard Ryan for his Lamed towards presenting something of value and substance rather than simply critiquing someone else's presentation. Putting this into words has helped me to better understand some of the issues I've been struggling with behind the scenes lately regarding cabalism vs. neo-platonic christian interpretations of the Great Work.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Falling in Love with Binah

As noted previously, I've been working on integrating the energies of the planets to balance out my hyper focus on the energies of Jupiter. My work with Binah/Saturn more than a week ago continues to ripple through my sphere.

I think I commented before that the energies of Saturn left me depressed, and that the operation I did most recently was completely different. Instead of feeling depressed, I find myself encouraged by the boundaries I face in life, and aware that they are not set firmly in place, but serve as placeholders to support the unfolding of my life. Like pylons on a bridge, the energies of Binah serve to support the weight of our endeavors.

There's a scripture in the Bible that talks about people moving out their tent pegs. It means that the lord will bless them, and they need to prepare by making more room for the blessings to fit in their lives. It's old testament speak for thinking outside the box.

The power of Saturn in the magician's sphere manifests as the power to set, or reset the boundaries of our empire. Knowing yourself leads to knowing your limitations, but knowing Binah leads to knowing how to move your limitations out a bit at a time. Bigger vaults means more room for the energies of Jupiter to fill with the treasures you seek in money rituals. Raising your expectations provides more room for opportunities. Raising your standards results in higher quality of character. Moving the boundaries of your mind releases you from the prison of your fear. Tearing down the walls of your heart makes room for love to flow into and out of your experience.

The power of Binah is infinite because it is the power of making things finite. Looking back now, I see that the depression I felt came from the powerlessness I felt when I surveyed the boundaries of my life. These boundaries are firmly ensconced only by my attachment to them, which helps explain what the Buddha meant when he said attachment is the source of all sorrow.

Barriers, walls, limitations... these things can seem to be negative, if your desires are beyond their limits. But at the same time, the walls support the roof, the dam stores the water, and the bones provide the support that lets us live as more than amorphous blobs. The skin limits us, keeps us from spilling out in a pile of goo, protects us from the intrusions of the malefic forces of nature.

Yet Saturn is cast as a malefic. Its role of death and binding are detrimental when passive. If we don't expand the boundaries, we outgrow them, and feel like we're wearing a suit two sizes too small. But when activated through magick, when approached through the heightened awareness of the metaprogramming magickal consciousness, Binah is a beautiful friend, a mother full of love, a helper and a guide, a focuser of the forces that follow in her footsteps.

With these revelations, I have found myself falling in love with Binah.

Friday, August 04, 2006

7 Planetary Spirits in a Week

I've failed in this particular endeavor. I was attempting to work with one archangel of the planets (as listed in Trithemius and Heidrick's resources) each day this week. I made it as far as Michael on Sunday. (Note: Michael is associated with the sun in Trithemius notes instead of Raphael. My own work with Raphael supports the Trithemius correspondences that put Michael in Tiphareth/Sun and Raphael in Hod/Mercury.)

By Monday, I was exhausted. I was working with the archangels of the planets in the planetary hours of the planetary days. Due to my work schedule, I was waiting until 3:38 or 3:39 a.m. each night. The day time hours fell when I was at work, and the earlier night time hours coincided with the time I spent with my family.

The results of my Saturday working with Tzaphkiel of Saturn were very pleasant. Previous expereinces with Saturn had been unpleasant, and depressing. For this operation, I started with the LBRP, went on through Liber Samekh to invoke my HGA, and then performed the evocation of Tzaphkiel. The results were immediate.

Tzaphkiel appeared in the shewstone, and I stated my intention, to integrate the energies of saturn into my magickal sphere. Tzaphkiel agreed to help with this, and I felt the saturnine energies flowing into me, pooling in my fore-arms (of all places), like a weight was applied directly to my muscles and bones. Tzaphkiel explained the use of that energy as part of the operation.

Sunday I worked with Michael, following the same pattern. I got a false spirit the first time who wouldn't enter the consecrated shewstone. I banished and conjured Michael again, this time with the desired result. I asked for him to help integrate the energies of the sun into my sphere, and he agreed. The feeling was again physical as the solar essence entered my sphere. This time I felt it in the base of my lungs, and Michael explained that the key to accessing solar energies was in the breath. The four-fold breath excites solar energies (inhale for four seconds, press the breath down in your lungs for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, wait four seconds, and repeat) in your sphere.

Monday I made a half-hearted attempt to contact Gabriel, but I fell asleep. Tuesday I was going to work with Gabriel and Kammael to "catch up," but I figured it was a bad idea, and chose to stop the operation there for now.

Working with each planet for as little as one day seems to give useful results, but not a lot of depth of understanding of each of the planetary powers. I started to understand the binding aspects of Saturn, and its application in assiah, but before I really integrated the energies, I was on to the Sun. In the future, I'll pick up with Luna, but spend more time than just one day integrating lunar energies, and so forth throughout the planets.

Back to the Spirit Pot

I wasn't going to focus much on the Spirit Pot here anymore, but I'm finding out that the thing is incredibly useful and interesting. At the beginning of this moon-waxing phase, I lit a 7-day candle for the spirit pot, and the first interesting thing that happened was the candle only lasted three days. Bune really ate it up, in my humble opinion.

Another thing that happened that week was I got another job offer, this one for incredibly stupid amounts of money, a security clearance, and a means to acquire a certification that doubles my value in the market. I'll be making the same amount of money from one source working 40 hours a week that I would be making from the three different income streams I mentioned before. It keeps getting better and better. I'll be in a quasi-management position as well, where I'll be putting things into their appropriate places, which Bune revealed to me is the purpose of "causing his spirits to appear on sepulchres."

Yet another aspect of working with this spirit is that I've found my writing skills improving. I'm spending less time trying to think of the right word for an idea than I used to. The eloquence that Bune provides is very useful to magicians of the Judeo-Christian path because so much of our magickal activity involves selecting the right word or symbol to achieve the desired result.

Crowley once mentioned that the perfect symbols of the Magus are the pen, ink pot, paper, and a candle to light the writing area. One of his Magus card images in the Toth deck showed the Magician surrounded by the tools of a stenographer.

The point of this tangent is that the spirit you choose to work with continues to reveal new applications of its attributes as you work with it. Bune is much more than a cash source.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Week-Long Walk

Ahh, the waxing moon. Maybe I'm just superstitious, I don't know, but I certainly do feel better in general. With Mercury going Direct in the same week, I feel pretty good about things in general.

This week, I plan to work with each of the archangels of the planets in their appropriate hour on their appropriate day. The goal is to achieve better balance and integration of the energies of the spheres. I've spent the last month or so obsessing with Jupiter and its denizens in the different worlds, and I got to a point where everything I saw was related to money. I'm pretty sure my pupils had become dollar signs.

Many thanks to the people who have pointed this annoying trait out to me. The point of my work is to head towards the Red Work after all. So to get myself back on track, I've embarked on this particular course of action. I began Friday with a discussion with my HGA, and then last night worked with Tzaphkiel to integrate the energies of Saturn into my sphere. Later today I'll be working with Michael to integrate the energies of the Sun.

This week, expect to see posts of the results of my Works.

Friday, July 21, 2006

In case you're wonderng...

If you're wondering why the posts have died down for the last couple weeks, it's because of the waning moon. During this phase, there's not much point in doing magick. Some people use it as a time for curses or bindings, but I'm not into all that. I mean, sometimes I am, but not this time.

I like the way it's all set up. Two weeks of sending energies out, two weeks for drawing energies in. Sometimes I get annoyed that I have to wait for the moon phase to turn, but usually I find that whatever I was anxious to get done wasn't that important anyway.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Spirit Pot Manual

I've begun the somewhat painstaking process of writing out the events that lead to the creation of my spirit pot, the details of making it, and the results. Maybe it'll turn into an actual published manuscript. Time will tell.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Spirit Pot Operation Results

Well, last night I posted the downside of my spirit pot operation results. I didn't win the lottery. But I was right in not claiming the operation a failure.

Today I got called into my boss's office and he shut the door. I thought I would be reprimanded or laid off. He started talking about the tight budget, and I was sure a pink slip was coming. Then he appologized that my RAISE would be so small... My raise. Heh. A $1,200 a month raise. Ka-Ching!

And earlier I landed a contract to install color matching paint kiosks at night, which will be bringing in an extra $1,000 or more a month. Ka-Ching!

And my spouse started her new job, which would bring in almost another $1,000 a month, if she keeps it and actually goes to it regularly....

So, since performing the Spirit Pot operations, my monthly income has gone up about $3,000. I can live with that, eh?

Now, I specifically asked for a lump sum. I've found out about all this income in the space of two hours today. Maybe that's how it worked out. It's still not the exact dollar amount, so I'm thinking that there's more to report in the coming days. I can proudly say that Bune/Bime is a great Spirit to work with, and that the Spirit Pot is a great method of working with Goetic Spirits. Life is good.

Also, for anyone interested, I can get more of those pots from the Goodwill. They cost me $8 each, and I'm reselling them for $12.50 plus shipping and handling. Shipping is around $5.00. If you're interested, email me at

It's good to be a magician.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bune and the Lotto Tickets

Well, I hate this part. Another MegaMillions Lottery drawing has come and gone and I am still not the winner. [Picture if you will: Fr. R.O., hunched over his keyboard, typing by the light of his monitor, heaving a large and exasperated sigh of disgust.] The jackpot would have been way beyond my desired amount, so maybe it's my fault for expecting anything to come of the lotto tix. My past experiences with getting precisely what I requested were exactly that: precisely what I requested to the letter, not more or less. So I guess it wasn't really a good expectation. Would have been nice though.

So I'm sitting back and waiting to see what comes of the ritual. I don't count it a failure, because I didn't specifically say the lotto had to be the way it manifested. I just figured that would be the easiest way. Moloch posted an interesting thesis on how bad winning the lotto is on people who win anyway. Personally, I think I could handle it, but it seems that whatever Bune has in mind is going to be different in some way. I can't think of anything that would bring in $7,142, 857.14 off the top of my head other than a lottery, but that's just me. Bune isn't stuck with thinking inside the box that I'm thinking in. Maybe I'll land a government contract or something.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Causing Spirits to Appear on Sepulchers

In a previous post, I mentioned that I had asked Bune why he needed to be able to put the spirits under him on sepulchers. He answered me in a dream, and then I couldn't remember the details. Last night and early this morning, he explained it to me again in a dream.

That phrase, according to Bune, means that he will show you the ranks of his spirits. It refers to a process of "putting them in their place." I got the sense that it was like a parade of soldiers, demonstrating the ranks and file of his legions. I also got the sense that it served him personally to keep the spirits in their place. They're as unruly as people, and require discipline, to be shown "who's boss" on occassion, and that what happens when he "puts them in their sepulcher." It establishes a hierarchy of authority in their ranks, and teaches them where they belong. Like an exercise or drill in the armed forces. A spirit's sepulcher is his place in the scheme of things.

It seems like there's a necromantic side to this as well that I don't quite understand yet.

Spirit Pot Ritual

Saturday night, in the astrological hour of Jupiter, I performed a full ritual using my spirit pot. I placed the Spirit Pot on the Triangle of Art I had printed up a few weeks before. I started with the LBRP and the BRH using my Dagger, and followed with an evocation of the energies of Jupiter (through the use of Tzadkiel, Tzedek, and El) using my Wand. The banishings cleansed the various energies, and the evocation of the planetary energies of Jupiter brought back in the Jupiter influence without any interference. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, which is the astrological sign corresponding to Bune according to 777.

After gathering the Jupiterian energies, I performed the first conjuration from the Goetia in full. I hate to say it, but this is the first time I had done so verbatim from the text. When Bune showed up, it was in full power, and was quite impressive. After some introductory chit-chat, I set about the purpose of the summoning: to add more stuff to the pot, and to give the spirit full and specific directions "by the book."

So, I removed the contents of my Spirit pot, and added a small Orgone generator I had made (using Tibetan double-terminated quartz crystals). Then I added some dirt from my bank's closest branch to give it a stronger connection to the place I want the "riches given unto a man" (read: ME!) to be deposited. The bank also had some small crushed white rock over their flower bed where I gathered the dirt, and a few of these rocks made it into the mix. I was in a bit of a hurry, as the bank was closing, and the tellers were watching me through the windows. I can only imagine what they thought. I placed these rocks around the orgone generator. So I have a small cone-shaped generator, some earth, and some white rocks surrounding it, resting in the center of a long length of woven rush grass. Looks real pretty.

I checked the status of the dates I had put in the pot originally, and they were still in good condition, and the raisins looked ok too. No "Ick" factor yet, so I put most of them back in. I also put back the Magickal weapon, and added fresh incense containing the Lignum Aloes. I also dedicated a small unused-incense burner I had found at the local Goodwill earlier that day to Bune. Any incense offerings in the future will be given through this.

About a week before, I had lit a purple seven-day candle with the seal of Bune affixed to it, along with my desired outcome written clearly on it: "Give riches unto [me] in the amount of $7,142,857.14." This candle was about burned out, and I did the ritual by its light as well as three purple tea candles. I gave Bune specific instructions on what I wanted to have manifest, and then replaced the lid of the pot after removing the Seal of Solomon from inside the lid. I've sent him out to make my desires come true, so I don't want him stuck in the pot. I placed the pot on a little stand I have, and set the remaining tea light candles in a triangle around the pot, and went to bed.

Tea light candles burn for five hours.

Around ten o'clock this morning, about 8 hours after finishing the ritual, I checked on my spirit pot, and found that one of the candles was still burning, and had quite bit of wax left to go. All the candles were from the same box. They were the same size, and I expect they were from the same batch of wax at the tea-candle factory. I lit them all at the same time. Nevertheless, here was a five-hour candle still burning eight hours later.

I'm taking that as a very positive sign.

The seven-day candle had burned completely out sometime in the night while I slept. I placed the seal that I had affixed to the candle while it burned back in the pot and closed the lid. I noticed that without the Seal of Solomon in the lid of the pot, Bune's presence is much stronger. There's a rich, brown feel to the air surrounding the pot now that wasn't there when I had the Seal in the lid. Like a dense storm cloud, reminding me of the red spot on Jupiter, the storm that has blown for millions of years.

I don't know how Bune will be manifesting my desired outcome. I specifically mentioned "lump sum" and "no harm to others" in the instructions. I think a lotto award would work nicely, so this afternoon I went ahead and bought four quick picks for the next mega millions lotto drawing next Tuesday. (70% of MegaMillions jackpot winners are from quick picks, by the way.) I placed the lotto tickets around the pot and explained the rules of the game, told him where the lotto drawing would take place (Atlanta, Georgia) and when. That way he's got a golden opportunity to send his thirty legions of spirits to Atlanta to make sure the numbers from one of those tickets get drawn.

It makes perfect sense to me. Now I just have to wait and see if that's the way this will all turn out.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Spirit Pot Update


I've gotten new information on formulating the Spirit Pot from a hoodoo worker and root doctor (are they the same thing?) over at the Solomonic yahoo group. He goes by the name "Inominandum," and has written a book and quite a few interesting articles over at his website. I enjoyed the interview with Simon, author of the still-controversial Necronomicon, immensely.

He suggested lining the bottom of the pot with dirt form my local community. Since Bune is associated with bringing riches and eloquence to a man, the ideal dirt would be from a local bank and from the local library. I'll be gathering some dirt from my own branches of both this weekend. We also discussed including the ashes of burned books, and he indicated that would be useful as well.

Everything that goes into the Spirit Pot serves some purpose. Tools for the spirit to use in his activities on your behalf are included. For example, the "Magickal Weapon" from 777 I included was the arrow, as Bune is a Sagitarian aspected spirit. With a weapon he is associated with, Bune becomes a more formidable spirit ally. The other stuff I've included in the pot serve to create a conducive environment for the spirit.

Additionally, the process of making offerings was clarified. Inominandum confirmed that anything given to the spirit is the spirit's for life. No giving and taking away. Food offerings that spoil can be taken away when the spirit indicates it is finished by turning the food into "ick." (Ick is the technical term for food offerings deprived of spiritual essence, I believe.)

Other members of the group have helped me understand how to set up the pot in my ritual space. Aaron Leitch suggested setting up a dedicated space with an altar cloth with Bune's seal on it, and that suggestion was confirmed by others on the list as being appropriate. Inominandum mentioned that the pot can also be placed on a plate that serves as a place to make your offerings as well. Generally, anything placed in the vicinity seems to work.

Last night I spoke directly with Bune via the Spirit Pot for the first time in a while. Mostly I've only addressed him casually while making offerings. I asked for more information on what the part of his description about spirits gathering on sepulchers was used for, and asked him to reveal it to me in dreams. I tossed and turned all night after that, couldn't get into a deep sleep. I kept having short bursts of lucid dreaming where I heard Bune speaking, but in images that I couldn't make out, or in a voice that was barely audible.

I've been on an orgone generator craze lately, and I've got about three or four of them in my room. I think they were making too much static for clear communications. This morning in between snooze alarms, I had extremely visual dreams where Bune explained exactly what was going on with that part of his description, but as soon as I sat up, the dreams were gone. I expect to be able to recover the information in trance work later this evening though.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Calculating Goetic Correspondences from 777

Bokonon23 left a comment that he wanted to know more about calculating the correct correspondences for Goetic entities, so here's a little more detail on the subject.

I used 777, the correspondence chart developed by Aleister Crowley (from Alan Bennet's notes, probably) when he was still a member in good standing in the Golden Dawn. This correspondence chart was published in 1909, and reflects the Golden Dawn attributions to magickal subjects.

To use 777 effectively, you must understand how information is presented in a spreadsheet or table. "Columns" are the vertical data sets, and "Rows" are the horizontal data sets. The first column is the "key scale," the number that will provide the common reference point for all other columns of data in the table. There are 35 rows of data, and 183 columns of corresponding attributes, items, angels, god names, goetic entities, plants, perfumes, etc. This compendium of information is extremely useful to magicians of all types.

To find the correspondences of a particular Goetic entity, first find the entity in the columns of goetic spirits (Columns CLV-CLXV, or pages 27-28 [printed page numbers] / 36-37 [pdf page numbers]). Bune/Bime is found to correspond to Key Scale 25.

Knowing the spirit is associated with Key Scale 25, I then went through the other columns in the table to get an idea of what correspondences related to Bune. All the information in the row labeled 25 had some relation to Bune. Since I was making a physical pot, I paid special attention to the physical items associated with Key Scale 25, the plants, the incenses, and the magickal weapon. I also checked the color charts for selecting the appropriate colored candles to use as offerings for the spirit. Since I am primarily interested in physical results, I used the color charts associated with the material realm, Assiah, which is called the Empress Scale in the Golden Dawn.

Using the Spirit Pot

I'm experimenting with different ways to use my spirit pot. From what I can find on the internet about spirit pots in hoodoo and the spirit cauldron in Palo, offerings to the spirit are made by placing the offering in the general vicinity of the pot. So far my offerings have consisted of lit candles.

The reason I chose Bune, as I said in an earlier post, was because one of his powers is to bring riches unto a man. (From the Crowley-Mathers edition of the Goetia.) I am a Taurus, and while I have learned to be content in all things, whether poor or rich, I still prefer riches and oppulence to being consistently overdrawn in my bank accounts.

One of the things I learned early in my magickal career is to always be very specific in what you want when doing magick, and even then, don't expect the outcome to be exactly what you intended. At best it will be exactly what you asked for.

With this in mind, I sat down one afternoon and figured out exactly how much money I would need to have the lifestyle I desire. I want a nice-sized house in a good area, to pay for the vehicles our family requires, and enough residual income to make around $100,000 a year. I also specifically want this money all at once, not just an opportunity to make the money over 16 years of labor. Knowing that I would be paying axes on a lump sum, I added that to the initial amount, and came up with a figure of $7,142,857.14.

Last night I created a talisman that included the exact dollar amount, my intent, and the names of God used in evoking Goetic entities, crowned with ADNI MLK, because the intent is to have this manifest in the realm of Assiah. I placed this talisman in the spirit pot and lit three candles around the pot, and anointed the pot itself with the Oil of Abramelin. Anointing things with oil and waters seem to be a big deal in hoodoo, and the Oil of Abramelin is a very potent thinner of the veils.

Rest assured, I will post the results. Any suggestions from more advanced users of the spirit pot are welcome. Comment below.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Spirit Pot Operation

I've recently created my first, and possibly last Spirit Pot. "Spirit Pot" is a term I picked up from reading a very little bit on hoodoo and root work. It basically presents a dwelling place for a particular spirit to live in.

I first thought of this while reading an excellent article by Aaron Leitch in the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. In it he discusses the links between the Solomonic tradition and Folk Magick. He pointed out that there is a brass vessel discussed in the Lemegetton that has similarities to the Spirit Pot of hoodoo traditions, and I set about creating a spirit pot for one of the entities from the Goetia.

I selected Bune/Bime as the spirit I wished to have in my pot. He is the 26th spirit of the Goetia, and has two seals that can be used to get in touch with him. I went to 777 to see what types of things to include in the pot. Bune is associated with key-scale 24, if I remember right, and I found that the plant for this key is rush, a type of grass, and the incense was lignum aloes. The magickal weapon is the arrow, and the astrological sign is Sagitarius.

I purchased a length of woven rush grass and wound it around the base of my spirit pot. I included dates and raisins, some incense containing lignum aloes and sandalwood, and carved a small arrow out of cedar, using the needles of the branch as the fletching. I drew up a Seal of Solomon from the Goetia, and set it in the lid of the pot. I drew one seal by hand, and included another seal I had printed off the internet. As I drew the seal, I felt the spirit's presence begin to build up in the area. I created a triangle of manifestation, placed the seals in the pot, and the pot in the triangle of manifestation. I then began lighting blue tea lite candles for about a week, which burn for about five hours as offerings to get the spirit's attention.

On a Sunday night when the moon was right, I performed the conjuration. I did it rather simply, and made very quick contact with Bune. I spoke to him about why I wanted to work with him, showed him the pot, and asked if he would live in it. He was VERY agreeable.

Since then I have begun to experiment with the Spirit Pot. I chose Bune because he is allegedly related to my sun sign in my natal chart and because one of his abilities is to bring treasure, and I very much desire to be wealthy.

I have also included the hebrew words found on the sides of the brass vessel in the Goetia, written in Celestial script from Agrippa's third book of Occult Philosophy.

I've had some interesting conversations with members of the Ritual Magic yahoo group, and I hope to provide an interview with one of the members in an upcoming post regarding his views of the Spirit Pot as a spiritual condenser.

[Edit 6-27-06]
I finally got my camera up and running, so I'm posting a picture of my Spirit Pot at long last.

Opening Portals to Commune with Specific Spirits

For the purposes of this post, a "Portal" is defined as a gateway through which communications with non-corporeal entities can be established.

All magickal acts consist of working with non-corporeal entities, whether they are gods, demons, angels, egregores, eidolons, or servitors. I prefer the term "Spirits" to non-corporeal entities. It's more personal. The entities we work with are generally self aware to some degree, and thinking of them as cold constructs with no will of their own can lead to all kinds of problems later in your experiences with the spirit realm.

To get the spirits' attention, we have to open a portal between our normal reality and the realms they exist in. There are many ways of accomplishing this, but all seem to include intoning specific god-names. The Druids are recorded as calling out their curses on the Romans, and throughout the Eastern mystical paths mantras are intoned to bring about access to higher states of consciousness. I don't know what the mechanism is, but vibrating aural tones creates changes in the environment.

Once the environment has been changed through the intonation of the "words of power," it is necessary to get the specific Spirit's attention. This is done by having an image of the spirit on hand. There are catalogues of the symbols and seals of the spirits we have made contact with as magicians over the centuries contained in grimoires and described in sacred texts.

Having the symbol or talisman of the spirit we wish to contact, we call the spirit by its name(s) and ask/order it to appear by the "power" of various associated god names. I believe that vibrating these god-names further tunes the portal that is opened at the beginning of the rite to the specific energies that are compatible with the desired spirit, and incompatible with any other spirit. When the environment is sufficiently tuned, the spirit can appear, and communications can commence.

In the Lemmegetton, there are records of the spirits appearing at first in forms that are horrible to look at, and acompanied by noxious fumes and gases. To eliminate this, you are instructed to hold a ring in front of your face inscribed with specific names of God, and to order the spirit to appear in a particular form by the power of specific god names. I think that what might be happening is that the connection of a partially tuned portal must be more finely tuned once the spirit begins to appear. After this has been accomplished, the spirit is comfortable and can communicate quite well.

In 1918, Aleister Crowley performed the Amalantrah working in New York. During this ritual, he opened a portal to other dimensions, and called various entities through it to communicate with him. One of these entities was LAM, which resmebles what we now call "Greys," those pesky aliens that are seen during what science calls sleep paralysis and occultists know as night hags. After he finished the Amalantrah working, he carefully closed up the portal he opened.

Years later, in 1947, Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard performed the Babalon rite. They were attempting to create a Moonchild, a human body that contained the spirit of Babalon from Revelations. It is postulated among many occultists that the rift they opened to draw down the star spirit was never properly closed, and this portal remains open to this day. 1947 marks the beginning of the UFO sightings that swept the world. Another connection between the interdimensional astronauts and the occult.

As this example demonstrates, there is an important need to close a portal after you've communicated with a specific entity. This is done rather simply by performing an LBRP. Thank the GD for that contribution.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Just what are those spirits up to?

Have you ever wondered why exactly the spirits are so helpful? For years I suspected there was some plot or conspiracy behind what was going on, from the GWB to the Illuminati. When I went through a fundy phase, I was convinced they were demons trying to lead me away from Christ (never mind that they all pointed me back to Christ anyway). In my secular human phase, I assumed the advanced technology of some members of society was being used to manipulate otherwise talented individuals to keep them from interfering with the plan for interdimensional control.

I think I've finally got it figured out. It has to do with their intrinsic nature. Each of these spirits is a self-conscious non-corporeal intelligence. It was created (or emmanated) in order to direct a current that influences manifest reality. For instance, Jupiter is an aspect of God that is assigned to dignities, prosperity, and offices of authority. Venus is an aspect of God that has influence over the domain of the heart. They each have a set of skills and talents that they're really good at.

These spirits are helpful because that's what they do. They want to spread love, or assign dignities. That's what they exist for. While they have general work to do, every time a specific mage calls upon them or their representatives, they have the opportunity to work with another intelligent aspect of God that wants to communicate with them. It brings them joy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why would you want to talk to angels or demons anyway?

Contacting Spirits that move between the aetheric planes is a relatively simple process, I've found. Whether you're looking to speak with an archangel of a sephiroth, an earth-bound (i.e. goetic) demon, or a planetary intelligence, they're ready to talk and are just waiting to get in touch with you. The process is simple: draw the symbol that represents them, open a portal to their dimension, and then ask them to show up.

But why would you want to meet them? For years in my occult practices, I truly believed I had no interest in working with them. I would do a Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP), and sure, that involved calling the four archangels that surround the throne of God, but then I would go on to do whatever ritual I had in mind at the time. Usually, this was either financially related or emotionally related. Either I was trying to get more money by landing a better job, or I was trying to bring peace to an emotionally chaotic situation in my life or in someone else's. Occassionally I would perform a healing ritual for my sick friends.

What I've found out lately is that I've always worked with "spirits." Whether they are gods of a pantheon, or a sigil I created in my harried Chaos Magick days, the fact is that I would summon intelligent autonomous entities to provide energies to create change according to my will. Since receiving this revelation, I've begun studying specific catalgues of spirits, and I've found an amazing set of well-defined, documented entities that have greatly expanded my ability to perform targeted magickal rituals.

Whether I work from the Goetia of the Key of Solomon, the Archangels of the Sephiroth, or the Olympik Spirits of the Arbatel, I've found that they are incredibly responsive and willing to perform their assigned duties as quickly as possible. This knowledge has translated to incredible power. Not the "power-mad, dominate the entire universe and reap untold wealth and glory at the expense of all others kind of power," the physics potential-energy power.

So why would you want to contact spirits in your magickal path? Because that's the way magick is done. All magick is based on contacting god in his infinite rays, or the representatives of his energies as they manifest in this world.

Are you trying to raise the tincture of your sphere to become a better person and advance in the Great Work? Evoke the spirits that exist in the realm of Atziluth of the qabalah. Their very presence will begin to transform your own sphere, raising your tincture (tincture refers to the vibrational level, the intrinsic quality) of your sphere, your soul.

Looking for ancient knowledge or hidden texts? The list of Goetic entities is replete with spirits capable of bringing you knowledge from the spheres. Entities from Briah and Yetzirah of the qabalah are also great at this. They bring books into your life related to the subjects you ask them about, or simply tell you what you need to know.

How about getting prosperous or getting health? The spirits of Assiah of the qabalah work at the mundane, physical level. Being closely related to the material realm, they are wonderful resources for manifesting wealth, health and prosperity.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Occult Ties to the Ancient Astronauts

I've recently joined a new yahoo group called EllenLlloyd. This group is dedicated to the Ancient Astronaut Theory, that the earth has been visited and continues to be visited by beings of an (or many) advanced civilizations who have either influenced or are directly responsible for the advancement of human civilization.

I generally try to stay away from our Alien-conscious, UFOlogist cousines. I believe I have a better understanding of the phenomenon they report interacting with than they do. I'm sure they believe the same about occultists in general. However, I am not willing to reject their theories altogether. There are some amazing overlaps of our particular fields.

For instance, today Ellen posted an article she recently wrote about the Everlasting Lights found in ancient tombs and reported above the temples of the ancients. Her article is good, and I recommend reading it if you have a few minutes to spare.

A few months ago I was researching the Portae Lucis, the Portal of Light ritual. The goal of this ritual is to raise the tincture of the sphere of your soul by making contact with Binah-Saturn. It's very similar in effect to the Abramelin Ritual for making contact with your Holy Guardian Angel, and also similar in effect to Crowley's Liber Samekh. The goal of the ritual is to establish and empower a higher connection to the Divine source, sort of. I had first read about this ritual in an interview with Jean Dubuis by Mark Stavish at the Alchemy Website.

In seeking more alchemical lore on the building of Houses of Light and Portals of Light, I found a treatise called The Everburning Lights of Trithemius. As most people who know me are aware, I am extremely fond of Johannes Trithemius. He was an abbot of a monastery who taught Agrippa, wrote some of the foundational texts on communicating with spirits, and wrote the original tale that became known as Faustus. Having read parts of the Steganographia and having practiced from the Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, I thought this treatise would be about the angels or spirits, and that it would be an allegorical reference to these entities as the "Everburning Lights." Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a recipe for creating physical lights that one of his students had recorded.

So today, when I read Ellen's article, I couldn't help but be reminded of the overlap between our fields of study. I personally believe that the "Ancient Astronauts" and the "Angels" or "Spirits" of the occultists are the same entities. For proof we have Crowley's Alamantrah working that resulted in LAM making his appearance, and the subsequent UFO phenomenon that occurred after Crowley established contact with that dimension's beings.

By the way, that's one of the many reasons I don't combine alcohol, hashish, cocaine, ether and ritual magick. You just don't know what you're going to end up doing. But Crowley was a pawn his whole life, god bless him.

Jack Parsons, father of the Space Age, did what he could to create a "Moon Child" or a Nephilim in his Babalon working. Plato was the first to say that every man and every woman is a star. Well, every man anyway, and that if you're not a rational man, you get reborn as a woman... That's not my fault. Read Timaeus sometime. Good stuff.

Additional evidence is found in this Everburning Lights phenomenon. Where did Trithemius learn how to create these lights? We know from the other writings he is famous for that he was experienced in contacting the entities that travel between planes that we do not normally physically experience. His methods (or at least methods attributed to him) for contacting the angelic spirits work. I've spoken with Michael, Tzadkiel, and Haniel using the practices discussed in the Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals (by the way, you need to include the sigils from the Magical Calendar and the method of creating Talismen from Agrippa's Book 4 of Occult Philosophy). The spirits of the Goetia and the Arbatel are useful for a lot of mundane things, but I find it extremely interesting that their primary functions are not to provide physical results, but to provide information.

I believe Trithemius learned to make the lights from the Spirits. Those who believe in the Ancient Astronaut Theory believe the Everburning Lights are evidence that aliens have visited the planet and given us extra-terrestrial knowledge. What better term exists for the information we receive as magicians from interviewing the spirits than "extra-terrestrial?"

This doesn't mean I believe the spirits "really are" aliens, or that there are no interstellar or inter-dimensional civilizations that influence humanity. Looking at the occult cosmologies of the ancient pagans, gnostics, and occultists around the world, I find it hard to believe that any magician would discard the theories of the Ancient Astronaut crowd completely. Our cosmologies are remarkably similar. Invisible entities bringing knowledge to mankind for our betterment, or for their own purposes. Think about it, what's the difference between the theories of Niburu and the Annunaki compared to the deliverance of the Qabalah to Abraham by Ratziel?

The chief difference is that we as magicians continue to interact with these entities, while those of the Ancient Astronaut crowd seem to think that the aliens will be returning in some distant future. Then again, I'm not that familiar with the Sitchin followers and whether they believe the Ancient Astronauts are still working with particular individuals.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Solve et Coagula

The other day, I was reading Ouspensky's "The Symbolism of the Tarot" over at the Sacred Texts web site ( In the section "What is the Tarot", he used the word "problem" in a sentence that shed new light on an old question of mine.

Regarding the study of IHVH, he said "The study of this Name (or the four-lettered word, tetragrammaton, in Greek) and the finding of it in everything constitutes the main problem of Kabalistic philosophy."

He wrote in 1913, and his use of the language is different from my own. When I say I have a problem, I don't usually think about it as a good thing, or as a subject of research. I think of "Problem" as something that's bad, negative, something that is impeding my ability to enjoy life. In Ouspensky's mind though, a problem is the central core of a philosophy.

It got me thinking about how philosophy is a solution to a problem. When you have a problem, you try to solve it, and that got me thinking about the old alchemical axiom, Solve et Coagula.

I've tended to think about the process of Solve et Coagula as the process of breaking apart a conglomeration into its individual parts, refining it, and bringing the parts back together as a new and better whole. That's how the Great Work has manifested for me. But to the Solve stage, you must first recognize on some level that there is a problem that needs to be solved. What's my problem? What is it that I'm trying to solve?

The goal of "reuniting with God" is the solution to being separated from God. I've understood for a long time that the separation is only one level of existence, and that ultimately no one is separated from God. Through the Logos, the way back to Union and communion with the Divine was paved. So my problem isn't that I'm not united with God.

I perform the Great Work because I want to be a better person. I want a stronger character, I want to pass on a legacy of doing the right thing for my fellow incarnate beings to my children and grand children. I want to help people, and not be a selfish, lazy, ungrateful man. My problem is that I do the wrong thing instead of the right thing.

At any given moment, I have a pool of energy I can draw on to do something. I can go for a walk, give money to the poor, or insult some moron who cut me off in traffic. The potential for whatever I do is always there.

How that energy manifests is determined by what I decide to do. My decisions are influenced by my impulses towards selfishness, and how I'm going to make myself happy in the next moments. I'm a conglomeration of parts, some parts of me want to do the right thing, others jsut want to do the lazy thing. The way I make my decisions is heavily influenced by these component parts. The parts of myself that have control over my energy resources, my potential determine what I'm going to decide to do with my potential in any given moment, in any situation.

The solve process is where the component parts are melted down, and the imputities are taken away. The Great Work is to get rid of the negative components, and allow the positive components to dominate the decisions, to control the manifestation of the potential I carry.

So what is the Great Work? At this point, it's a series of little problems that need to be Solved and Coagulated. Each of my "High Magic" rituals need to be focused on resolving the problems in my character that I'm made aware of through the Conversations with my HGA. There are areas of ignorance about the roles of the archangels I need to Solve. There are problems of the heart, mind, and spirit, each of which will need to be addressed, and in the process, perhaps the greater Work will be accomplished.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Magickal Conundra

I never cease to be amazed at how many people will bull-headedly argue that their interpretation of some aspect of magick is “right”, quoting from Abramelin, Agrippa, and Robert Fludd as if that made them correct. I’m leaning towards the belief that there’s pretty much no factoid about ceremonial magick that should ever be debated in terms of “Right” and “Wrong”.

Raphael's location on the Tree of Life is a perfect example.

I got really interested in where Raphael belonged by way of the LBRP. I was reading through a Thelema-based book, and saw that Crowley had once stated that the LBRP puts the mage at the crossroads of Samekh and Pe on the Tree. I thought, great! So I looked at the Tree to see just where exactly that was, since I haven't memorized the paths at all.

Samekh lies between Yesod and Tiphareth, and Pe lies between Netzach and Hod. To understand it better, I wanted to see which Archangels were in the sephiroth. Raphael was attributed to Tiphareth, so you're facing Tiphareth when you do the LBRP. Gabriel is in Yesod, so Yesod lies behind you. No problem. Michael is in Hod, and he's in the south, so that's over on the right. I got a little confused until I figured out you're standing head-inwards into the Kircher diagram of the Tree of Life. It was still (sorta) making sense.

Then I get to Netzach. That's all that's left, but there's nothing about Uriel being the Archangel of Netzach. Ok, sez I, Uriel isn't the Archangel of Netzach, it seems to be some guy named Haniel, or Anael in some people’s texts. What gives? Why don’t we call Haniel instead of Uriel, if Crowley’s right?

My first response was that Crowley must be wrong, no biggy. But if the LBRP isn’t based on the tree of Life, where does it come from? So I researched it until I found that it comes from the Bedtime Sh’ma, a little prayer that Jewish people said before they went to bed at night. The archangels are the four archangels that surround the Throne of God. That’s why it’s Uriel, has nothing to do with the Sephiroth at all.

I was a little disappointed to find out that this banishing ritual I’d been using for years, that had worked wonders at clearing out sacred space, foiling clumsy magickal attacks from the people I pissed off in my bi-polar approach to existence, and banishing a myriad of entities was nothing more than “Now I lay me down to sleep” with some pentagrams thrown in.

But I’d stumbled across something ELSE in my efforts. I ended up going over the attributions of angels to sephiroth going from 777, Bill Heidrick’s Magical Correspondences, on back to Agrippa’s 3 Books of Occult Philosophy and the writings of Robert Fludd, a contemporary of Agrippa. Bill Heidrick pointed out that the attribution of Raphael and Michael flip according to the source, and I figured if I went back far enough, I’d find a definitive answer.

But no one had an authoritative basis for their claim. It was all hearsay. Agrippa recorded in one set of books what was available to ceremonialists of his time, but it was based on hearsay more than practice, and he says at some point, if you find I’m wrong, by all means, go with what you find.

Eventually, I figured I’d just evoke Raphael and ask him. I started with the LBRP, then “drew” his name in Hebrew letters the way you “draw” the pentagrams in the LBRP, and waited for him to show up.

When I told someone how I was doing the ritual, they said I was tainting my results by doing the LBRP first, and I should just do a straight evocation, with no prejudice. For three or four nights I did this, and got really wonderful visions from Raphael explaining where he belongs.

(Hod, by the way. He directs the flow of the energies of Mercury into Malkuth through Yesod.)

So what I learned from all this, besides where Raphael belongs, is that it doesn’t matter who said what, or what logical paths people have put together to get to the conclusion that Entity X “IS” in Sephiroth Y. You can’t trust anything in print to be the bottom line truth, and anything you find out on your own is subject to being only as much of the truth as you really need to know at the moment.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006



Welcome to the Head for the Red blog. The title comes from the four stages of the Alchemical Great Work, Black, White, Citrine and Red. In the Red Work, the final stage is reached, and the base elements are transformed into the Philosopher's Stone.

That's my goal, to reach the Red Work, and this blog is going to record my thoughts, ideas, and experiences along the way. I hope to play the Hierophant here, or at least to record the wanderings of one Hermit and his experiences. I figure I'm still at the Black stage, and I've got quite a ways to go before I get to Red, if I ever do, but I have no qualms in striving.

Fr. R. O.