Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bela Bartok: Tapping into the Power of the Early 20th Century

This morning, on my way to stinking work, I had the good fortune to hear a story on NPR about Bela Bartok. He was a Modernist composer who wrote some lovely dark-themed music based on the cultures of Eastern Europe, and it totally reflects the post-industrial Modernist influence of the late early 20th century.

Who cares? Magicians care. We have to. So many of our modern occult influences condensed in the Modernist period. Crowley, Mathers, Fortune, and even the Chronicler Regardie were products of the illuminated age brought about by the wealth of the industrial revolution and the excesses of colonialism. The culture of their time influenced their writings, and to understand their legacy, we need to be able to tap into the gestalt of their period. It provides a frame of reference from which we can understand why they said things the way they did.

Bela Bartok captures in his music the dark side of the struggles of the post industrial age. Society had changed, and people were glorifying things that they took for granted twenty years earlier. People were adapting to the automated production of basic goods and services, they were adopting the most efficient methods to achieve their goals. Increased wealth and leisure created a culture of opulence for many, but at the same time revealed in stark contrast the darkness of the soul. Man's eternal struggle with himself entered a new stage of understanding.

The industrial revolution hit the realm of the occult, and a new system of initiation emerged. The Golden Dawn took your average Anglo and fed them the pablum of the esoteric in the early degrees, progressively building up the framework of the system until the finished product could be taken off the assembly line and put into the Inner Order. Like the rest of society, the members of the occult had to adapt to the industrialization of their processes. The writings of Crowley take on a new meaning when you can see behind his words both the glorification of traditional craftsmanship and the child-like wonder of the shiny new method to produce attainment. His cynicism becomes warm and friendly when placed in the context of his day.

To get a feeling for what I'm talking about, try listening to some of Bartok's music. NPR has some available here:

While you're listening to this music, read some of the poetry that reflects the Modernist literary current. The Wasteland by T. S. Eliot is incredibly good to read while listening to Bartok, in my humble opinion. It can be found online here:

After you've read The Wasteland while listening to the profound music of Bela Bartok, go back and re-read Crowley's Notes section on Liber Samekh. It explains a great deal of what was going on in the background that influenced the publication of this work.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Note to self...

Well, I just finished watching the Grudge 2.

Remind me never to take the evil spirits from people and feed them to my daughter, ok?

It always turns out bad in the end.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Helping Others in the Great Work

I hope this blog has helped others in their pursuit of the Great Work. I've sold a couple books here and there, done some attunements on people, and have provided a lot of the information that has helped me. I hope reading it was as fun as learning about it.

But this post isn't about helping people like that. This post is about helping people along in their Work because you can't stand how they behave.

Surely you know the types. You love them, they're sweet, but there's just something about them that you can't stand, and it keeps you from being able to enjoy the fullness of your relationship. You see their character flaws clearly, and so does everyone else, but there's no way that they ever acknowledge that you're right in your assessment of their behavior.

Fortunately, you've done the ritual Work required to attain Adepthood, and you've been through the wringer yourself so many times with dealing with similar issues that you know exactly which spheres trigger the results you want to see in the other person's sphere.

I don't know how ethical this is, by the way. It's magick for the Great Work, and it might just backfire on you (or me) when you (or I) try to do it. Time will tell, though, time will tell.

Say someone is, oh, I don't know, hardhearted, jealous, and prideful, and because of this, they can't seem to see you for who you really are. What do you do?

Well, the Sun is the Sphere of revelation, and enlightenment, and that always leads to compassion. When you can't seem to get someone to see your point, a solar working makes sense.

Michael the Archangel of the Sun is who I'm planning on conjuring. This Archangel is good for almost everything, from wealth to exorcisms to initiations. It's hard to beat Michael in terms of being there for you when you need him.

Ok, so you've got the Spirit, go to the Magical Calendar and get the seal for Michael. (I believe the Magical Calendar places Michael in Mercury and Raphael in the Sun, but that's not "right" for me. You still use the seal of Michael, and disregard the placement in the Magical Calendar.) Next you create a little shrine to Michael. A statue of Michael slaying the Dragon would be great for this, but I'm buying a house, and can't afford to purchase statuary at the moment, so I'm going to make a lamen with his name and seal in it. Around the outside, I'll write the Name of God that corresponds to the Sun (Eloah va-Da'at) and the symbol of the Sun (circle with a dot in the middle). I'll include the names of the angels associated with the Sun (Melakim) and the name of the Sphere in the KBL (Tiphareth) Then I'll include the Planetary Sigil from the Magical Calendar.

In the center of the circle of the names and symbols, I'll draw a Star of David, and in the center of that the Name Michael in English with his Seal below that. Above the Star of David I'll write out his name (MKAL) in Celestial script, and around the Star of David I'll draw four pentagrams, with the names of the Four Elemental Kings inside (Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel Clockwise, beginning in the East). I'll draw all this out in gold ink from an 18 carrot gold leaf pen on a Sunday in the Hour of the Sun. I'll mount the lamen on an ease-type thing I make out of dowel rods or something, so that the Lamen is mostly vertical. I could put it on a mantle or create a shelf on the wall for it too. Then I'll place a picture of the people I'm wnating to change in front of the lamen, with the changes I want to see written on the picture in gold ink, like "compassion, enlightenment, caring." Then I'll conjure Michael in his appropriate hour, and ask for him to do what I desire. Assuming he complies, I'll then light gold or white candles in front of the shrine, and burn Frankincense sticks until the change is complete.

I'm pretty sure there's no harm in this kind of magick, but you never know what kind of gross stuff comes out of a person when they begin to integrate the energies of the Sun into their sphere, eh?

Monday, June 11, 2007

What Happened to Evil?

In  recent conversation at Spiritus Mundi, during a conversation about Mercury going retrograde June 15th, the subject of good and evil in modern context came up. Chris Warnock pointed out that Mercury Retrograde has become a major catastrophe in modern astrology, and its influence, while still being negative, has been blown way out of proportion. He believes this is because modern astrologers have set about removing anything evil or negative from astrology in general, and have basically sugar-coated every malefic force in astrological readings, turning everything fluffy and light. Mercury retro is hard to make look pretty, so it's sort of picked up all the negative baggage of everything malefic, making it look much worse than it really is.

This series of posts got me thinking about evil in general in the modern age. Everywhere I can think of, the things that were seen to be evil in the past has been presented and turned into opportunities for growth in the present. Demons aren't demons serving Satan, they're gods from pagan pantheons that got a bad rap under Christianity. Gods of the underworld aren't evil, they're benevolent. Death isn't evil, it's an opportunity for change and metamorphosis. Every negative manifestation in our lives that would have been understood as an evil influence in the dark ages has been turned into an opportunity for growth. Everybody's looking on the bright side of things, no matter how calamitous.

I may or may not have ranted on the existence of evil here on my blog before, I don't remember. It really gets on my nerves when people refuse to acknowledge evil.

But I've been thinking. How bad is it that people don't see evil as evil anymore? How wrong is it to approach evil things as challenges instead of something to avoid at all costs? The result of our approach to evil changing is that we deal with it, seek solutions to problems instead of just saying "That's just evil," and walking away. We face the sources of evil more often now. We aren't afraid of evil the way we used to be, and that's a good thing. The Super Heroes of old would protect the helpless from the villains. Today we're all Heroes on the sacred quest, thanks to Joe Campbell and George Lucas.

I still think relativistic ethical stances, moral ambiguity, and saying "There's no such thing as evil!" is stupid and dangerous. Evil does definitely exist.

But I'm glad we're working on getting rid of the pesky thing now.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Really Interesting Blog

For those who are interested in some really neat magickal stuff that is straight from the heart of Agrippa's teacher Trithemius, or at least looks like it, check out this blog:

Dude did an incredible job. I understand little of what I'm seeing so far, but I have a good feeling about this one.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

From the Sun to Saturn, and Back to the Sun

I have a nemesis. Maybe that's stretching it a bit, but there's this guy on a couple of message boards that I belong to, and we tend to disagree. He's an Aries, I'm a Taurus, and we fight. Many of the readers here who also read through the Yahoo occult groups will be familiar with this guy. His name is Logan.

Anyone who has endured the misfortune of witnessing a "debate" between myself and Logan on any of the message boards we share deserves an apology. We can get boring, sarcastic, and we tend to use each other to demonstrate what we consider our own wit and brilliance. It usually lasts about as long as it takes for me to get disgusted and start calling him foul names. Every few months or so, I'll forget why I can't stand him, and enter into a conversation that rapidly becomes a debate, and then turns into a name-calling match. I've been better lately, but he still gets on my nerves.

What bothers me most is that the smug self-righteous British bastard has helped me out a lot in my pursuit of the Grail, the Great Work. He helped me appreciate Plato, and destroyed my confidence in the GD Tree of Life by demonstrating its shaky foundations. This lead me to fully embrace the Neo-Platonic realm of Agrippa, and to understand something Patrick Dunn is always going on about regarding the arbitrariness of semiotic webs.

So anyway, Logan told me months ago that I needed to read Eliphas Levi. He had quoted something about how Levi said "Magick is not a vocation" in response to my selling Conversation with the HGA through the conjuration of the Genius (See the Products and Services link at I have never read Levi, and with Logan as his sponsor in my current magical environment, I was set against it. Until earlier today.

First off, Levi may have said Magick is not a vocation, but if he did (I haven't gotten that far yet), he said it after saying the Magician is a Priest and King. Both Priests and Kings collect Tithes and Taxes, so the whole argument against taking money for magickal services is undermined right there, wha-bam!

Ok, that said, Levi is really good reading. The guy presents magick with no holds barred. He tells it like it is, presents the Great Work more impressively than anything I've seen in a long time (outside my own writing, of course). It's WORK. It's hard. It's even "dangerous" in that if you give up after starting, you'll be worse off than if you'd never started at all. Not that you can quit once you've begun anyway, but at least he tells you you'll end up a Monarch or a Madman at the start. Good stuff.

What inspired this particular blog post though was the following:

"there is no point in infinite extension which may not be regarded as the centre of a circle having an expanding circumference receding indefinitely into space"
(Page 6 at

Think about that for a moment. We are such points, beginning in our Work at the center of a circle with a somewhat fixed circumference. As we progress, we expand the circumference, becoming aware of all the things within the circumference of that circle, learning to integrate the "energies" of the things we find into our own spheres as the limits of our spheres expand. The limits of the spheres expand as the Light from the center of the sphere increases its radiation, exposing more of what can be found within the darkness at the edges of our sphere of awareness.

In Crowley's popular magickal system, we find the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) in Tiphareth, the Sephira that corresponds to the Sphere of the Sun. When the magician establishes Knowledge and Conversation with their HGA, they undergo a Solar Initiation. The hidden corners of their personal sphere are exposed to the light, and the magician is forced to confront and deal with those parts of themselves they hide in the darkness. Each character flaw, each untamed passion, every sin or self-destructive tendency comes to the fore and must be corrected, tamed, repented from, or channeled into proactive directions with the help of your HGA. The Point gets enflamed with the Light of the Sun, and as the Sun reveals more, the boundaries of the sphere of the magician are expanded.

Boundaries... yes, the realm of Saturn, the furthest planet observable by the naked eye. The first sphere of Form in the Kircher Tree of Life (Binah). The layer of emanation where ideas take form, where the limits are set, where the Lord tells the Sea, you may come this far and no further. These are the properties of Saturn.

Knowing this, you can see that the act of spiritual advancement is the interplay of the Sun and Saturn. As the Light of the Sun increases, the limits set by Saturn are made mutable, and they move further out. As we explore our new boundaries, integrating the things that were hidden in shadow before, learning to function within the newly expanded sphere, we grow, gain insights, authority, and responsibility. With each new attribute of ourselves that we integrate, the understanding of the things we learned in our previous stages of advancement are enhanced. The responsibilities we had earlier change form, and we end up traveling back towards the Sun at the center of our sphere to reintegrate all the things we knew with the things we've learned. When we return to the sun at the center of our microcosm, we hit the next level, and the Light increases, and our boundaries expand, and we begin to explore the furthest reaches of the Light yet again.

From the Sun to Saturn and Back again. The path of the Labyrinth. (Which is not to be confused with a maze; a Labyrinth has one entrance and one exit side by side, travels only to the center and back to the beginning. A Magician travels to the center and returns to the beginning, carrying with him the treasure held within and sharing that with the realm outside.)

All this theory and stuff is great and fun and all, but I'm still a Taurus. It's meaningless without application, in my humble opinion.

Where are you at? Have you plateaued in your Work? Are you stuck at a level of attainment, and you need to expand your boundaries? The answer is Working the Sun and Saturn. Conjure up the Archangels Tzaphqiel and Michael. Are you feeling like you're stumbling around in the dark? Work with Michael of the Sun to bring the hidden things to light. Have you worked through everything you can think of, and still feel stuck in a rut? Conjure Tzaphqiel and Work with him to move the boundaries of your sphere. Head between the Sun and Saturn, make that your path, and you won't get stuck.

Sorrow turns to Joy in the light of the Sun, and unfocused rays become lasers when their boundaries are properly aligned.

Grace and Peace!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Shem 2


Remember I thought I didn't have to say the Shem angels were Zodiacal in nature?

Reference this link:

For this quote:

"seventy two trissyllable names of angels, whereof every one carries the great name of God, as it is written: My Angel shall go before thee; observe him, for my name is in him. And these are those that are set over the seventy two Celestial quinaries"

There it is. I seem to have missed that little bit at the end the first time I read through. I didn't realize Agrippa had placed them in the zodiac too. I thought he had no Zodiacal relationship, so I could skip that part of the rituals. Perhaps I'll have to revisit Ambelain's and Leitch's methodologies after all. Rather disappointing, I must say. I hate astrology.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Shem Project

My next magickal project will be the Shem angels. When I first began Working with Spirits, I started with the Seven Archangels of the planets, intending to familiarize myself with them before moving on to more complex systems. Originally, I intended to move from the Planetary Intelligences to the Shem Angels, then on to the Ophanim, and then towards the Enochian system. At this point, I still intend to work the Ophanim system at some point in the future, but the Enochian system I'm wavering on. Time will tell.

At this point, I've only begun formulating some ideas about the Shemhamephoresh angels. I'm definitely in the Initiation phase (for those with Project Management experience), where I begin to gather and analyze data regarding the project. I need to understand what the Angels are, how they fit into the cosmologies, and then identify means of conjuring them efficiently and repeatably. At that point, I can begin to record their attributes as they manifest in my life. That's a ways down the road though.

I got the "go-ahead" on the Shem angels from my HGA last week. I was reading in Agrippa that the Shemhamephoresh spirits were "better" than the angels of the planets and elements. I thought that was interesting, but there's nothing about how to Work with these particular spirits. So, I did what we all do, I hit Google up for some leads.

The two primary resources I found that had useful information in them were Aaron Leitch's essay and Section V of Robert Ambelain's Practical Kabbalah Part II. Both of these sources link the Shemhamephoresh angels to the zodiac.

Personally, I'm not convinced. Not entirely, at any rate. The evidence for the angels to be astrologically linked is very strong. There are 72 names, one for ever five degrees of the zodiac. Aaron's essay goes into a lot of the reasoning behind the attributions, and it's very in-depth, and extends back centuries.

However, the connections just don't hold true enough to me at this point. I'm holding myself open to the idea they might be zodiacally related, but there's more to placing spirits than the numbers they have in common with the zodiac.

The names of the Shem angels are derived from three Hebrew verses of 72 letters each in Exodus 14:19-21. From Agrippa, we learn that the names of spirits are derived from the verses in the Bible that describe their qualities. The verses describe the Angel the Lord sent to protect, teach, and make a way for the Israelites as they escaped the Egyptians. The Angel's presence was indicated by the column of smoke by day, and the pillar of fire by night that remained with the Israelites for over forty years. The Cloud remained with the Israelites at least as far as the edges of the Promised Land, but it's hard to tell exactly when the Cloud and Fire returned to Heaven. We do know that the Cloud of the Lord's presence returned to the Temple of Solomon, leaving all of Jerusalem weeping in awe.

In tracking down the Angels' history, I found they are aligned with the rays on the crowns of the twenty-four elders seated before the throne of God. Now, these elders are closer to the Throne of God than the seven candles representing the planets. They're also closer to the Throne than the twelve angels that guard the gates of Jerusalem, placing hem above the zodiac as well.

Based on this information, I'm planning on researching the spirits' manifestations outside the requirements of astrological timing. I am currently of the opinion they operate outside the "rules" of the planetary governors. I could be wrong, but finding out is one goal of this particular project.

Now, Ambelain's section of Practical Kabbalah Part II includes seals for each of the spirits. These seals are copied and presented by Zalewski and Poke Runyon in other works, but Ambelain warns against their use, claiming a six-year operation using the seals resulted in cancer, obsessive thoughts of suicide, and other unpleasant results. Poke and Zalewski don't mention it, and the general consensus of the magicians I've talked to about this is that Ambelain was full of crap. Either it was a false warning, or he was just wrong.

Regardless, the seals come from a manuscript much later than Agrippa's record of the angels. Agrippa knew the angels' names, and knew they were used in magick, but did not offer any indication that they are related to the zodiac. If the seals were created under the auspices of the zodiac-link, they'll be useless to me. Besides, I don't like using symbols I don't understand or that I'm just not comfortable with, and these definitely fall into that category.

I'll be working the spirits using the conjuration ceremonies of the 4th book of Occult Philosophy. The seals I'll generate using some method from the time of Agrippa, or else something provided directly by my HGA. I haven't figured that part out yet.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Remembering a Mother-in-law

My mother-in-law passed away last Monday. It's been a long week, funeral arrangements to make, two days of viewing the body, and today's funeral. I had the honor of writing and presenting a eulogy for her at the service today. It went really well. The service was outstanding, and the funeral chapel did a wonderful job with everything. She was a good woman, and I realized at the viewings that she touched so many lives with her goodness.

At the service, a great Catholic affair, I couldn't discuss the things about her that meant the most to me personally. She was not an occultist, but she was a believer. One of the ladies that payed her respects was her tarot card reader, who also couldn't talk about what role she played in my mother-in-law's life. They had been expecting this for a while.

My mother-in-law knew of my occult activities. She asked for help with my sister-in-law, and in addressing her needs, I learned a great deal about Bune, the Goetic spirit in my spirit pot, and Michael and Raphael. She saw angels and spirits, and was very aware of the spiritual realm in which we live and move and have our being. We had long talks about the spirit realm, and she always was interested in the things we talked about. It wasn't like she was just asking to be nice, she really wanted to know what I thought about things. Her respect for me as a magician is something that meant a great deal to me.

I'll never forget the things she did for us as a family, and I'll never forget that she treated me with dignity and respect, even in the realm of . We had our differences, but before she died we were at peace. The last thing she told me was that she was proud of me, and thanked God for my presence in her daughter's life.

The neat thing is, I know she's still with us. When she was younger, she had a vision of an angel wearing a robe with two patches, one over her gall bladder, and one over her liver. For years she wondered what the patches represented. She passed away during a liver transplant surgery from an obscure liver disorder. They discovered it while removing her gall bladder. We've figured out the "angel" she saw that day was her own spirit, ministering peace to herself. she drew a picture of that angel the day she saw it, and everyone has commented on the "family resemblance," some thinking it was her mother, others her father. No one had thought it might have been her.

We're looking forward to keeping in touch with her until we have a chance to join her.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Magick Book

Aaron Leitch posted a neat link to an article at the Solomonic yahoo group today. He was excited about the book bindings that are illustrated, and rightly so. They are truly beautiful. Take a look here:

What I found most interesting is in the interview with the creator of these beautiful works of art and magick. Specifically, the book binder is speaking about an earlier project called the Guardian Angel Grimoire, which he created for his partner Margaret:

The Guardian Angel Grimoire came about as the result of the problems my life partner Margaret was facing. I made the Grimoire as a Xmas present for her, I drew upon the knowledge I had put away 20 years ago and it all seemed to come back as if it never went away. The interior of the book starts with the Enochian Tree of Life, followed by the Major Arcana of the Tarot, followed by the Pre-Raphalite paintings (Morgan LeFay, the seduction of Merlin etc) ending with 14th-19th century magical symbols, with an 8pp section inserted within each illustration to write whatever.

The strange thing is, everything Margaret has written in the Grimoire has happened in one form or another. She has been offered many, many thousands of pounds for it, but now she will never part with it.

How cool is that? How many times would you have used a Magick Book to manifest things if all you had to do was write out what you wanted to happen in the pages?

I'm telling you, I've had this in mind for years. Ever since I read Crowley's interpretation of the elemental weapons of a Magus in the Book of Toth as the implements of a writer. The quill knife, the ink well, the quill and the page. Beautiful representation of the Work of Materialization, in my opinion. In my chaos days, I attempted to create such an item, and failed MISERABLY. The results were pathetic, as usual.

However, I think this guy Paul has hit upon the method here, and I've got a theory to explain it, based on my own experiences with my Altar and the Glyph I go on about from time to time.

I'm able to manifest things in my sphere of sensation simply by placing a symbolic representation of what I want on my altar in the Table of Practice. The Table of Practice on my altar represents all the forces of creation and the managing intelligences and spirits that control the processes of manifestation. Articulating what I want symbolically is like planting the seed in the aethyrs and letting it grow.

Paul has done the same thing in his creation of the Guardian Angel Grimoire above. He's got the structure of existence and all the powers and principalities that manage it represented in the Tree of Life, the pathways of manifestation presented in the Tarot imagery, and specific images that tie his life partner to the grimoire. He's also got the seals of various entities included with pages for writing at various stages through the work.

It's a beautiful piece of craftsmanship on many levels.

As soon as his partner writes something in the pages, the spirits associated with their seals set to work to manifest whatever is written. Simple, direct, and aestheticlaly pleasing. There's not much more that one could wish for.

It reminds me of something Susanne Illes is working on with her Table of Practice. (Check out her blog for some really excellent art work:

Well, anyway, it's something to work on in our spare time. We aren't all Master Book Binders, but finding journals of blank bound paper is a lot easier than it used to be. Get yourself one, and start putting together your own materializer. You'll need some representation of the cosmos (like the Ptolemaic System: You can draw it yourself or print it up and paste it in, coloring it appropriately.

Then you'll need the servants. There's 72 Shem Angels, a few hundred Ophanim and Enochian angels, or Seven Planetary Intelligences and their legions of Spirits. Plenty of systems to put your servants together from. The Goetia springs to mind. Maybe have a page for each Spirit and a few pages afterwards dedicated to that spirit. If you're going to do something like that, make sure to include all the other seals and such.

While we can't all emboss hand-tanned leather covers with gold gilt lettering for our works, we can all create wooden bindings out of shingles engraved or wood-burned with the appropriate symbols and seals.The key to success is creative ingenuity. I think I'll put together my own Magick Book of Manifestation this weekend, a little materialization engine that I can just write things in and have them happen.

I'll need a lot of pages for whichever spirit I find that makes mountains of gold coins appear at will.

Keep it simple!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Familiar Spirits vs. Servitors

I received an interesting comment on the Fetching a Fetch post yesterday:

What actually are the difference between a servitor and a familiar? I think that a familiar can be, but not necessary a servitor.

Regarding the differences between a familiar and a servitor, the primary difference is this:

A familiar is a real spirit either conjured by the magician from the dead or granted to the magician by the spirit's "boss" in the hierarchy. They may function as a servant, and that's fine.

Servitors, on the other hand, are usually just figments of a Chaos Magician's wishful thinking.

Servitors are a construct of the Chaos Magick movement. Chaos magicians generally believe in a blend of the energy and psychological models, that everything is made up of energy, and whatever we experience spiritually is the result of our own perceptions and beliefs, and that if it affects reality, there's probably a rational, scientific explanation that has no need for actual objective spirits to exist. They believe energy is manipulated by belief, and that a servitor can be created entirely from the magician's own expectations, energy manipulations, and the power of their belief.

How they can hold this philosophy is completely beyond me. If belief were the sole source of experiential reality, insane people really would be whatever they thought they were. I've experienced enough mentally ill people to know that no matter how true their faith in their delusions might be, their delusions are not real. Not one of the Napolean Bonapartes in Belleview lived in Elba. The homeless Viet-nam vet on crutches muttering about how he's the son of David, the last Sun King, really believes what he's saying, but that belief doesn't make him the brother of Solomon, nor does it transport him mystically and magickally to the streets of Jerusalem. Even though he REALLY believes that's where he lives. (This is a real guy, he lived in Denver when I was a teenager, and tried to convince me I was also a Sun King at a coffee shop one day after some punks had beaten him up and taken his vodka and spare change.)

That doesn't mean I don't believe some servitors are actual spirits. Take Fotamecus, for instance. This time-manipulation servitor allegedly became an egregore after being exposed to the energies of a rock concert (or something like that). As time went by, Fotamecus grew in power and was gunning for Chronos. Magicians across the world experienced Fotamecus.

However, the primary "creator" of Fotamecus has recently begun to understand that the spirit existed long before he was "inspired" to create the Fotamecus sigil and go through the operations he's experienced.

Similarly, studies of the different grimoires indicate that there are nephesh, shades of the dead that can be conjured and used as servants. When a Chaos magician creates a servitor and has results with it, I believe it's because some wandering shade has inhabited the form of the servitor and is causing the effects. Again, it's a real spirit; it's just taking advantage of the thought-form of the magician. This is evidenced by the experiences people who have useful servitors and tulpas have recorded.

Tulpas are familiar spirits from the Tibetan magickal systems that are allegedly created by the magician. The magician imagines the form of their spirit, and over time practices extensive visualization of the thing, empowering it, treating ti as if it were real, making offerings, and so forth. After a couple of months of consistent effort, the tulpa is as real as any familiar.

However, after a while, the Tulpa inevitably begins to change. It changes its form and function. The spirit that has inhabited the visualized form of the magician takes over the construct, and it begins to look and act the way its nature demands. It's not long before the spirit is obviously not what the magician imagined it to be, and the magician is then forced to eradicate the tulpa, a process that can take six months.

Now I know there are lots of people who think they have created tulpas, and who theorize about them based on the writings of charlatans and frauds, and they write a bunch of untested bullshit that doesn't work and publish it to the web. Google will provide hundreds of sources that will disagree with me, I promise.

Check into the experiences of people like Alexandra David-Neel, who spent some fourteen years in Tibet and actually created a tulpa. Compare their experiences and records with the theories and claims of the popular servitor/tulpa movement, and you'll quickly recognize the difference in tone. Truth strikes a chord that BS just can't. She and others who actually perform the ritual creation of a tulpa record the same end: the spirit changes, revealing its true (and usually disturbing, vampiric) form and the magician is forced to banish it from their lives.

Before anyone gets too upset, I'll close with the caveat that your mileage may vary.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fetching a Fetch

Lately I've become enamored of the idea of having a "Fetch. A Fetch is another name for a familiar spirit, the kind usually given by the demons of the Abramelin rituals, or conjured from a graveyard at night in some other grimoires, like the Sefer ha Razim.

From Wikipedia:

In early modern English witchcraft or Superstition, a familiar spirit, commonly called familiar (from Middle English familiar, related to family) or imp is a spirit who obeys a witch, conjurer, or other users of the supernatural, and serves and helps that person. Although they may not be as intelligent as their masters, they are often as intelligent as the average human. Familiars often perform domestic duties and help in farming, but also aid the person in bewitching people. If they look like ordinary animals, they can be used to spy on their masters' enemies. These spirits are also said to be able to inspire artists and writers (compare with muses). The familiars of some practicers of black magic also defined the characteristics of their owners. Some reclusive wizards rely on familiars as their closest friends. In demonology, it is said that many demons have the ability to grant to a conjurer a familiar to aid them.

(More at:
I've loved the idea of having a fetch ever since I read a story by Lovecraft that involved the main witch character having a white cat-like thing as a fetch. Unfortunately, I've never had any reason to have one. Most of the things they are used for in stories and legends I can do for myself. I don't farm, hexing people is generally bad form, in my opinion, and I've already got Bune to help with inspiration for my writing. Burning a tea lite candle is enough to get me motivated for a project, it seems.

In spite of not having any reason for having one, I've got a method I'm itching to try out from the Sefer ha Razim. It involves heading to a graveyard at night, reciting the names of the angels, and performing the appropriate oration. Pretty simple stuff, and there's as pillar of smoke involved.

But I just can't justify it. Doing magick for its own sake isn't worth it to me. I've found that there are all kinds of unexpected side effects for every ritual, and without a pressing need, there's no point in linking myself to the dead that I can think of. Rather disappointing, I must say.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

3.2 - Using the Glyph in Practice

Once the Altar was laid out appropriately, methods of using the Glyph in practice came naturally.

The binding of the Demonic Kings immediately cut off a great deal of mischief in my life. People at work that were obstacles to accomplishing my work suddenly became too distracted doing their work to give me grief, and began giving me the information I needed to do my job quickly to get rid of me. The kids behaved better. My spouse and I understood one another better. I quit running over curbs. (This is a big deal. For some reason, I've been running over curbs a lot in the last few years. It twisted the frame of one van, and popped the tire of another.)

The placement of the elemental Kings in their appropriate locations (that is, not the traditional GD quadrants) brought me into harmony with the tiny parts that go into the moments I experience. The first few days, I had supra-luminescent vision, that transcendentalist-painting-vision, where the underlying divinity of all things is bursting through the edges of the forms they're wearing to manifest in. I performed (successfully) workings within the elemental kingdoms for the first time in my magical career since leaving behind the 21 Lessons of Merlin. (Don't read it.)

My elemental weapons have gained a "shine" to them that wasn't there previously. I don't feel at all silly using the wand or dagger like I used to. They've become a natural extension of my Work. The Elemental realms themselves appear at the edges of my Altar space in the astral temple I use. My favorite is Raphael standing on the windswept mountains of the West. Reminds me of Colorado.

The Planetary Talismans... Well, let's just say things are going as well there as they are everywhere else in my Work. I've been doing a lot more Work with Michael in the Sun for others as part of the Solar Attunements included with the Genius rites I have performed for people, and it's been... wonderful. I can't recommend highly enough the importance of having a talisman for each planet on your altar arranged in the right place. Wonderful.

Enough of the Bliss. It's good, trust me. But the practical benefits are awesome too. Having the Talismans in their appropriate place in the physical representation of my magickal sphere has resulted in the effects of those planets integrating in ways I didn't expect. I can be fifty miles away from home at work, and feel a planetary influence, conjure the archangel or one of their legions, and receive something I need right then and there. The communications are bi-directional, and the results are cumulative.

3.1 - Putting it all Together: The Altar Layout Revisited

The first thing I did, being the pragmatic Tech-writing Taurus that I am, was to draw up the Glyph on my computer. It's easier to do concentric circles and save them as images in Visio. What I ended up with is this:

As you can see, there aren't seven circles for the spheres of the planets, or four for the elements as you might expect. I drew out all the spheres in earlier drawings, but they're just too big. This suffices, and it has a circle for each of the primary items one works with as an incarnate magician.

The inner three circles represent the sphere of the incarnate magician. They are divided into four quadrants, one for each of the cardinal points. In the innermost circle are the four Demonic Kings of the corners of the world. The brackets here represent their influence upon the magician being bound. Surrounding them are the Four Angelic Kings of the four corners of the World. These angels bind the influence of the Demonic Kings from the sphere of the magician. In the circle around the angles, I placed the elements as presented in Agrippa's Scale of the Number Four.

In the outermost circle are the planets. The order is very specific. If you look at the table in Agrippa's Book 2, Chapter vii, you'll see why they are placed where they are placed.

The order of the planetary spheres as the spirit descends into matter is Saturn-Jupiter-Mars-Sun-Venus-Mercury-Moon. However, we're already incarnated, and when we look up at the spheres from the world of manifestation, we'll see them from the perspective of the material realm.

Placing the planets in their respective quadrants as seen from below represents understanding the place of the incarnated magician in the cosmos. We are spirits, sparks of the Logos, of the Race of Gods. Our origin is from beyond the stars and the planets they influence. Yet our home, our sphere of influence is the material realm. We transcend through the realms of the planets to return to God, yet we retain our places in the manifest world, anchors, as it were, for the power of God to return with us to this realm.

Not to get all loopy or anything. There's only so much theory and metaphysics I can personally stand. It doesn't mean anything if it doesn't affect anything, in my opinion, and it was vitally important to get the harmony represented in the Glyph grounded in my sphere.

Where is the magician's sphere represented physically? Their altar, of course. It holds their elemental tools, the symbols of their authority over the essences that Plato taught combined to form all things. It's also the Table of Practice, the key to working with the spirits of each realm. It represents the access point for the Magician. It's the pivotal point between the realms Above and the realms Below. It represents everything spiritual in the magicians manifest realm.

So I took the Key to Everything represented in the Glyph and put it in place on my altar. The first thing I did was bind the Demonic Kings in miniature Spirit Pots. Then I created miniature talismans of the Angels of the four corners of the Earth using the Kings of the elements in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Beside each of these cards on the Altar, I placed the Elemental weapons associated with the Corner. That was great for the physical sphere.

For the planets, I placed the seven talismans in the layout in the outermost circle of the glyph. Outside the circle of the planets, I placed my Lamp, to represent the Source of all, the True Father, the Speaker of the Word who dwells in perfect darkness within the source of the radiating Light.

Immediately I began to see the effects of cleaning up my altar space on my Work. The Spirits of the planets come more quickly, and every aspect of my life has been drawn into an increasing harmony. My credit has cleared up, my job has become more secure, communications that were blocked are open now. Questions I have are resolved quickly and "miraculously."

Everything isn't perfect, of course. We're still in the manifest realm. But I do have an insight and a position of stability and authority from which to oversee the sources and interactions of the forces behind the scenes in my life.

Life is truly Good.

3.0 - The Glyph

Long ago, and far away, I began this series on the Neo-Platonic system. It began because I wanted to share the background that had lead up to the satori experience I had while studying Agrippa's table on the Scale of the Number 4 (Book 2, Chapter 7 ). Everything I had been studying all came together in that moment, and the result was a compelling urge to map out what I was seeing on paper. Working into the wee hours of the morning with a compass and some folded paper to serve as a straight edge (the kids had broken my ruler), I ended up with a Glyph. This Glyph embodies the Great Work of the Magician, the realms of the spirits we work with in the material realm, the spirits of the seven planetary realms, and the role of the magician balanced in between the Above and the Below.

Pretty neat, in my opinion. Not long after receiving it, I posted the information everywhere I could. I thought that just looking at the Glyph would bring instant Illumination to everyone who saw it. When people looked at it and said, yeah, ok, neat, and went on with their lives and Work, I thought they just didn't have the background to see the awesome impact this Glyph can have on Ceremonial Magicians. Taking what it represents, taking the keys that are summarized in its concentric circles and the perspective of the layout, and putting it into practical use results in complete and total control of all things material and spiritual, from an enlightened and beneficent place of authority in the cosmos.

So I labored on the different sections of this work with the goal of bringing everyone this power, illumination, and understanding of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Since the time that I got this Glyph, I've been using it to great effect in my Work. It really does do everything I thought it would do. But I've realized that it's not going to be for everyone.

Understanding now that this is a personal revelation, I've been putting off wrapping up the series. I intended it to be a climactic culmination that brought everything else together and sparked a mass enlightenment experience that spread like wildfire through my audience that has grown to a global scale. I no longer expect that to happen, but nevertheless, I hope this serves to at least inspire some of you on to your own Glyphs, your own empowerment, and your own harmony.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Genius and Evil Daimon Spreadsheets...

Quite a few people share Anuksunamun's sentiments about wanting to see the spreadsheet, the fruit of many months of research and study. So I've made it available, but I'm charging for it.

Some people think I shouldn't charge for this, but I'm a capitalist. If you want it for free, go to Agrippa's Book 3, chapter xxvi, and Google can fill in the blanks he doesn't provide.

The quicker and easier way is here:

You get a blank Lamen, everything you need to do the conjuration, and the conjuration ritual for the Genius. You also get detailed steps to come up with the Genius name, including an example. And the Tables with the corresponding signs, degrees and letters of both the Genius and the Evil Daimon that everyone wants the most.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

2.7 - The Genius and the Evil Daimon

The Genius and the Evil Daimon are entities with a long history in the Western Mystery Tradition. The idea of the good and evil spirits assigned to people is so ingrained in the American culture that I grew up watching cartoons that frequently showed a character with a little angel with a harp on one shoulder and a little red devil with horns and a tail on the other, each giving the person advice. More often than not, the character would listen to the devil. How typical of mankind.

2.7.1 - The Genius

The term "Genius" as I'm using it in this post loosely comes from Agrippa's Third Book of Occult Philosophy, chapter xxii. Technically, "Genius" is supposed to refer only to one part of the three-fold good Daimon that preserves the person it's assigned to. The three parts are the Holy part, which is roughly speaking the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) of the Abramelin ritual, the Genius or "Nativity Angel," a Spirit whose nature is determined by the placement of the stars at birth, and the Daimon of your Profession, who influences how successful we are at our chosen line of work. Agrippa refers to all three parts singularly in the title of the chapter, "That there is a threefold keeper of man." Since it's a singular entity, and he only gives instructions on deducing the name of a Genius, and not the HGA or Professional Demon, I'm referring to all three parts of this one entity as the Genius.

The earliest reference to the Genius that I've found so far is in the Corpus Hermeticum, written in Hellenized Egypt. In The Divine Pymander, it says:

54. I (the LOGOS, Pymander, shepherd of Men) ... come unto men that are holy and good, pure and merciful, and that live piously and religiously; and my presence is a help unto them. And forthwith they know all things, and lovingly they supplicate and propitiate the Father; and blessing him, they give him thanks, and sing hymns unto him, being ordered and directed by filial Affection and natural Love. And before they give up their bodies to the death of them, they hate their senses, knowing their Works and Operations.

This is the Logos talking about how he works with those who are pious. While it might look like a bit of a stretch, the Logos and the HGA are of the same Spirit. In Agrippa's record written roughly 1200 years later, this corresponds to the Holy part of the Genius. Agrippa frames it thus:

The holy Demon is one, according to the Doctrine of the Egyptians, assigned to the rationall soul, not from the Stars or Planets, but from a supernaturall cause, from God himself, the president of Demons, being universall, above nature: This doth direct the life of the soul, & doth alwaies put good thoughts into the minde, being alwaies active in illuminating us, although we do not alwaies take notice of it; but when we are purified, and live peaceably, then it is perceived by us, then it doth as it were speak with us, and communicates its voyce [voice] to us, being before silent, and studyeth daily to bring us to a sacred perfection. Also by the ayd [aid] of this Demon we may avoid the malignity of a Fate...

Agrippa says of the Genius specifically:

...when the soul is coming down into the body, it doth out of the quire of the Demons naturally choose a preserver to it self, nor only choose this guide to it self, but hath that willing to defend it. This being the executor, and keeper of the life, doth help it to the body, and takes care of it, being Communicated to the body, and helps a man to that very office, to which the Celestials have deputed him, being born.

In other words, the Genius is what can guide you to the roles and responsibilities you are incarnated to accomplish.

In addition, being the only part of the threefold keeper of human beings that you can get the name of from your horoscope, the Genius can also be used to establish conversation with the rest of the threefold keeper, including the HGA and the Daimon of your Profession. By "used," I mean you can converse with it through conjurations and establish a relationship, discovering the things that are needed to be done in your life to prepare you for the next step in your Work.

As you Work with your Genius, a momentum builds up. You don't have to choose to be a decent, pious person always choosing to do good and be kind to small furry animals, or help old ladies across the street. You don't have to choose to be offended by injustice when you see it. You don't have to try to find wisdom or insight in your studies. And you don't have to make yourself seek your Race and Value in God.

Instead, you find yourself naturally doing these things. You find character flaws revealed, and the means to change them. You find yourself naturally pursuing Virtue over Vice. You stop sabotaging your progress towards your goals, and you find yourself knowing and understanding things intuitively about yourself and others around you. Glimpses of the future come in sureties felt in evaluating potential outcomes of situations. Mysteries unravel before your very eyes.

This spirit's influence on your life can be enhanced through practical exaltation of the spirits name, which I'll discuss below.

2.7.2 - The Evil Daimon

Heading back to The Divine Pymander, it goes on to say:

56. But to the foolish, and evil, and wicked, and envious, and covetous, and murderous, and profane, I am far off, giving place to the revenging Demon, which applying unto him the sharpness of fire, tormenteth such a man sensible, and armeth him the more to all wickedness, that he may obtain the greater punishment.

57. And such an one never ceaseth, having unfulfiled desires, and unsatisfiable concupiscences, and always fighting in darkness; for the Demon always afflicts and tormenteth him continually, and increaseth the fire upon him more and more.

Here is the Evil Daimon, sent by God to punish the wicked with insatiable desires. My experience with this entity leads me to believe that this Demon drives you to the point where you have to turn to God to find relief from your passions, or die of despair or overdose. If you refuse to do so, when you die you return as a more brutish man, or an animal, or even a plant according to Plotinus. The further from God you turn in your life, the further from God you result in your next, each incarnation resulting in less and less opportunity to turn from God until you are a plant with no choice but to turn to the Sun to live.

People always have some degree of a relationship with this spirit. Like the cartoon characters listening to the little red demon on their shoulder, we have spent our lives listening to and following the advice of the evil daimon. A momentum builds up with the Evil Daimon just like with the Genius, and soon you find yourself surrounded by chaos and madness, if you give too much into the temptations this spirit whispers to you.

Like the demons discussed in Section 2.6, The effects of the Evil Daimon can be curbed.

2.7.3 - Working With the Genius and the Evil Daimon

To Work with these entities, the first thing you'll need is their name. These are discovered through your horoscope, as discussed in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book 3, at the end of chapter xxvi:

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.

Ok, did you catch all that? No? Well, fortunately I’ve got a spreadsheet I use to make the process a little easier. I don’t know how the renaissance magicians managed without the power of modern technology.

I’ve got all the Hebrew letters associated with the degrees for the Good Genius and the Evil Daimon lined up with their appropriate degrees. To determine the name, you get a horoscope of the your birth, and write down the degrees of the sun, moon, ascendant, and part of fortune. Then you find the syzygy, and that’s the fifth letter of the name. The syzygy is the location of the moon at the closest full or new moon to the date you’re charting. To find this, you get another horoscope of the time of the nearest full or new moon, and write down the degree the moon is in. Pretty simple, eh?

No, not really. It’s a bit of a pain in the hindquarters, honestly. But this is worth it.

Once you've got their names, you can conjure and commune with your Genius by creating a Lamen of the spirit. Spell out its name in Hebrew in a circle with the names of God written around the perimeter. I use the Celestial Script from Agrippa, and the Lamen looks like this (That's YHVH in the script, you'd need to change the name to use it):

Poke a little hole in the top, and you wear it during the ritual. Conjure the spirit in a crystal or other scrying medium and you're all set.

On the flip side, you've got the Evil Daimon's name. I intend to bind mine in a lead-lined spirit pot.

In fact, I've got this idea for a multi-purpose talisman. I've got a log that I'm carving to serve as a means to exalt the Genius and bind the Evil Daimon at the same time. I'll be burning incense and candles in the top where the Genius name is inscribed in gold leaf, and the Evil Daimon will be bound in the hollowed-out, lead-lined base.

It should look something like this when I'm done:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

2.6 - Them Pesky Demons are at it Again...

In the Neo-Platonic tradition, in the grimoires that comprise it, in the writings of Hermes Trismegistus that frame it, and in the writings of Agrippa that provide the most comprehensive resource of the modern occult, there are mentions of demons, maleficent spirits that cause trouble. I would personally rather believe that all spirits are basically neutral, and they don't have any ill will in and of themselves towards humanity. Unfortunately, the Neo-Platonic writings (and my experience) fail to support this belief.

Going back thousands of years, mankind has known that there are spirits that are out to make life miserable for humans. It's in the Bible, the Hesiod, and in the African Traditional Religions. From the steppes of Siberia to the Amazon rain forest, shamans deal with evil spirits every day. Modern cultures have lots of rational ways to explain away the existence of demons, from anti-Christian rhetoric that says the Church is to blame for misrepresenting gods of other cultures (which is true, to a degree), to psychological models that say they're all in our heads (which is also true, from the perspective implied by the notariqon ARARITA). Regardless of the veracity of these explanations, the pragmatic truth is that if you are doing magick regularly, you will run into spirits that will behave as if they are Demons.

2.6.1 The Role of Demons

Fortunately, we have the benefit of thousands of years of occult research on our side. We know from sources like the Bible and the Divine Pymander that the evil spirits are under the authority of God. If you're into paganism, you'll find in the story of Pandora's box that evil spirits contained in a divine spirit pot were sent to plague mankind by Zeus after Prometheus gave us fire. They're serving god. In the Divine Pymander, Pymander tells Hermes that the Evil Daimon is sent to the impious to drive man further away from the Logos by filling the senses with desire for more sensations than can ever be appeased. In the Bible, evil spirits are sent to set up kings to fall, to reveal the glory of God.

They are sent by God into the world to wreak havoc in the lives of those who are ignorant of God. Their primary victims are those who have grown ignorant of their Race and Value in God and instead of seeking their Source, people who seek satisfaction in the things of the material world. Demons serve as tempters, bringers of illness, and they serve to create situations that result in spiritual advancement. They perform evil acts, but they do them to draw people closer to God.

2.6.2 How Demonic Influence Manifests

In your life, you're going through all kinds stress that I can't begin to know about. Job insecurity, financial woes, emotional problems, and sickness plague us all. Most of the people reading this blog have it pretty good compared to poorest of the poor on the planet, but that doesn't make the problems we face any easier to bear in the moment.

I don't believe every bad thing that happens is the result of a demon, but they do happen to be present every time bad things happen. I'm sure it's a coincidence, really. They could just be attracted to bad things... sure... that could be it...

Alright, I really do think all bad things that happen are the result of demonic activity. I'm a Christian, for Christ's sake. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities, and wickedness in high places." It's the simple truth.

They set the stage for pain and suffering, they sit at the edges of our sphere whispering thoughts that sound a lot like our own, speaking fear and doubt and anger and anguish and despair into our minds. They entice our senses with lights and shining things. They use the people at work like pawns to challenge us, to bring us to the brink of catastrophe. They influence kings, presidents, princes, senators, congressmen and women, people in power across the lands of the earth to create a realm that will drive those with an understanding of their race and value closer and closer to the Logos within.

Pretty nasty, really. And as annoying as hell.

2.6.3 How to Deal with the Bastards

Demons are under God's authority. God's within. We deal with spirits in every ritual. We have the names of the demonic princes from Agrippa's Book 2, chapter 7. We know how to make talismans and spirit pots. They can only do what they're allowed to, and God sets the boundaries.

The fastest way to lessen the effects of the evil spirits is to put the Demonic Kings in spirit pots and bind them with melted lead sealed with the Names of the four Elemental Kings. I've got a makeshift version of this on my altar at the moment. It hasn't completely eliminated bad things from happening, but it sure has cut down on the extremes of my emotional reactions to bad things when they come. That in itself robs the demons of their powers over us and our lives.

2.5 - Spirit Pots

I hope you enjoyed the update on the Bune spirit pot earlier. That particular vessel is an example of the brass vessel described in the Goetia within the Lemegetton. The Lemeggeton is a Solomonic grimoire, and like all the grimoires I've seen, it is fundamentally rooted in the Neo-Platonic system we've been discussing. Personally, I place the spirits of the Goetia in the elemental realm, mostly within the sphere of the Aire.

Spirit pots are an interesting subject. I don't think they are the specific product of the Neo-Platonic system, but like the brass vessel in the Goetia, they certainly fit nicely into the scheme of things. In Greek mythology (at least in Hesiod from over 500 years before Christ), there's the story of Pandora's "Box," which in the original Greek was a jar. The jar as a vessel for trapping spirits can be found in many cultures, and frankly, I can't tell whether it originated in one culture and traveled, or if it's a universal constant across all cultures. The use of pots to contain spirits or their effects can be found in Persian stories in 1001 Arabian nights (along with rings), African Tribal Religions, Hesiod in the Greek traditions, and even in the Bible in the form of the Ark of the Covenant. (Ok, that might be stretching it a bit, but functionally, it's the same thing.)

The reason I bring up the spirit pot in the context of this system is because it's going to play a significant role when I get back to the Glyph.

My understanding about spirit pots in Palo and Hoodoo practices is that they are usually homes for spirits specific to the magician. That is to say, the spirits in a Palo or Hoodoo pot aren't going to be conjured at any given time by three or four hundred magicians reading from the same grimoire. I don't know how many magicians are working with Bune at any given time, but I've talked to at least three other magicians who have worked with Bune, and God knows how many other mages or would-be demonologists are summoning Bune right now.

Spirit pots can be made for any spirit. They generally seem to function like an icon to a saint. Burning candles in its vicinity with a statement of intent results in a manifestation of the desired outcome in the way the Spirit interprets the request. For instance, asking to get a specific dollar amount has resulted in Bune providing a huge series of very lucrative opportunities in my chosen line of work. Bune hears the request and goes about manifesting it according to his role, his designated nature. It's like the dollar figure gets filtered through a Jupiter-Sagittarius screen and then manifests in my physical sphere.

Other manipulations of the spirit pot have provided results that have led me to the conclusions I currently hold. Polishing the lid resulted in clearer manifestations. Placing it in an exalted status on my altar by putting it on a stand resulted in more authoritative results. I went from working with co-workers on projects to working directly with management. The spirit pot has given me the ability to fine-tune my interactions with Bune in a way that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Making a spirit pot is easy. A friend made one out of a paper box. All you need is a container, the means to get the spirit's attention, and something to inscribe the appropriate seals around it to influence the Spirit's activities in your sphere. I prefer metal containers for their durability. I like to inscribe metal with my dremel tool. It's fun. The Spirit's representation should be at least its name and/or its seal. Any corresponding materials that are in tune with its nature can be included. I have dirt and rocks from my local bank in Bune's pot, along with things from the same line of 777 that Crowley puts Bune on.

The names that constrain the Spirit's influence should be representative of the macrocosm. Ideally, all seven classical planets and the Primum Mobile should be represented in your work with the Spirit. For example, the names on the front of the Mathers-Crowley version of the brass vessel in the Goetia are "AShR AHIH: GBRiAL: MIKAL: HANIAL:". From the GD interpretation of things, these are the God-Name of Kether, the GD Archangels of the Moon, Venus and Mercury. On the back is the notariqon ARARITA (One is His Beginning: One is His Individuality: His Permutation is One) followed by ChShMLIM, the name of the order of angels of the Sun, and Tzadkiel, the Archangel of Jupiter. Mars and Saturn can be found on the Secret Seal of Solomon, and Michael on the Triangle of Art.

At the very least, the Spirits in charge of the Spirit you're working with should be inscribed somewhere on the pot. This ensures the Spirit is constrained to operate with your best intentions in mind. This is more important with the troublesome "demonic" entities than with the neutral or angelic spirits, but it can never hurt.

Every Continent but Antarctica

It's official, people from every continent on the planet have visited this blog, except for Antarctica.

Omnis tui castrum es proprietas ad nobis.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bune Update

Well, it's been a while since I've given any updates on my Spirit Pot operation with Bune of the Goetia, so here's some more recent information.

When I first put the pot together, I was looking to get rich quick. He was the best-looking prospect of the Goetic entities, because his description says "he giveth riches to a man," and I wanted $7MUSD and change. Things didn't quite turn out that way.

Instead, after working with Bune for a long time now, I've learned how he manifests riches. He's a Jupiter-Sagittarius spirit, according to Crowley, and that's the information I used to gather his attributes together. I have had opportunity after opportunity to work my ass off come into my life since I started Working with Bune. Not that that's stopped me from trying to use him to win the Lottery. When the MegaMillions hit $270 Million, I burned a veritable BONFIRE of purple candles after buying the lotto tickets. I still lost, but last week, after burning the candles, I had 26 hours of overtime...

Ok, so we'll start with the job I got. It's about an hour away (a long bow-shot). I'm doing what I've been doing for the last seven years, and I'm making $20 more an hour than I did seven years ago. Everyone at work loves me. That's the Jupiter thing, he bestows graces on people, and one of the ways it manifests is that the people in authority love you. Between now and September, I have 10 hours a week of scheduled overtime. If you've worked on projects with a schedule, you know nothing ever comes in under budget and on time. I'll be making a fortune, and the project is scheduled to last for years, they've only got hours assigned through September.

Now, everything at my work isn't roses. There's this evil nasty woman whose very name sounds like the kind of person she really is, but I won't mention it. She's got the responsibility of managing an artifact that impacts the whole team, but she will only make it useful for her own department. When you try to make the artifact useful by getting her to add the information that you need the tool for, she refuses. She's the reason I got to make 26 hours of overtime; she made three people create documentation manually that could have been drawn from the artifact automatically in ten minutes.

So I mentioned her to Bune one day, as his properties include putting spirits in their places. This bitch needed to be put in her place. So Wednesday she came out of a meeting nearly in tears because she was adding information I'd been telling her needed to be in the artifact for WEEKS. I was so happy. (Not very enlightened, but hey, I'm WORKING on the Great Work, I ain't done yet!)

I engraved the seals on the side of the pot too, a while ago, and polished up the lid. I'm stuck with my phone camera for now, so the images you see here aren't the best, but they're the best I can do at the moment.

I also made a small talisman for Bune out of Copper (he's a Duke, and their metal is copper) and Tin (because he's a Jupiter spirit). This was the first time I made an alloy, and I used a propane torch (from Walmart) and a little steel pan (also from Walmart) and my stove to get the amount of heat I needed to melt the copper. I had to put the materials right up against the edge of the pan to get the heat to reflect off the steel and create a furnace effect hot enough to melt the copper into the already-melted tin. Here's what it looks like:

After working with Bune, I have come to understand the description of this Spirit in the Goetia a little better, and if you're interested in a Bune working, here's how I would describe him (my changes to the traditional Spirit description are in {brackets} below):

The 26th spirit is called Bune [or Bime]. He is a strong, great & mighty duke, & appeareth in ye forme of a {little green froggy-looking guy, about three feet tall, and he sits in the corner of the astral temple most of the time.} He speaketh with a {voice like a breeze, barely touching your consciousness, and in choppy, post-industrial wasteland settings in dreams.} He {is an excellent exorcist, adept at putting the spirits of the dead back in their grave when they are bothering the living,} & causeth those spirits that {are beneath his rank, including people who aren't particularly spiritual), to {be put back in their place, if they get all uppity.} He giveth Riches to a man {by providing good-paying, but hard work, or by inspiring you to do a lot of work that will pay off in the long run} & maketh him wise & eloquent {by improving your vocabulary and giving you ease when you're talking to people in authority. Neat huh?}. He giveth true Answards to yr demands, & governeth 30 Legions of spirits.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

2.4 - Elemental Kings

Ahh, the Elemental Kings... I'm just going to jump into this with minimal preamble. It's been a long week already.

In the Second Book of Occult Philosophy, Chapter 7, Agrippa provides a table that presents the Scale of the Number Four. In this Table, the Kings of the elements are listed as the Four Angels ruling over the corners of the world. Under them are the Four Rulers of the Elements, the Four Princes of Spirits, and the Four Princes of "Divels, offensive in the Elements."

Four Angels ruling over the corners of the world.Michael
Four rulers of the Elements.Seraph
Four Princes of divels, offensive in the Elements.Samael
Four Princes of spirits, upon the four angels [angles] of the world.Oriens

2.4.1 - Four Angels - The Kings

Personally, when I work with the Kings of the Elements, I prefer to work with these Angels. I've got an angelic connection in general with my Work, and I figure if it's working as well as it is, why mix things up?

For years, I've thought the LBRP got the angels from the Bedtime Sh'Ma, a Jewish version of "now I lay me down to sleep." I was very pleased to discover they are also considered the angels of the corners of the Earth in Agrippa's system. The GD got most of their stuff from Francis Barrett's The Magus anyway, and that was plagiarized from Agrippa almost 100%. Seeing the angels here as the Kings of the Elements has helped me further understand that Angels can share names without sharing their personage. I mean, Michael, King of Fire isn't going to be the same as Michael Governor of the Sun. There are similitudes, of course, but that doesn't make them the "same" being. Even if they were the same being, in the office of the King of Fire, Michael will not be behaving as the Governor of the Sun.

One nice thing about discovering these guys are the Kings of the Elements is that I've been doing the LBRP in ignorance for years. I've managed to build up as decent a relationship with them as can be hoped for, considering the depths of ignorance I was wallowing in.

2.4.2 - Four Rulers of the Elements - Angelic Orders

If you look at the sigils of the ten countenances of God in the Magical Calendar, you'll see that the names of the angels ruling the planet/sphere are written on one side of the talismans along with the names of their respective Angelic Orders. I believe these are the Orders from which each Angelic King draws their legions of helpers. In working with these spirits, I'm placing the names of the Angels on their talisman along with the name of the Order of Angels presented here.

2.4.3 - Four Princes of "Divels," Offensive in the Elements

These spirits represent the malefic aspects of the elements. While Michael might represent a controlled flame, like a candle or a hearth, Samael would represent a burning house. Both are aspects of Fire, and it is important to note that the Princes of Divels are under the authority of the Kings of the Elements.

2.4.4 - Four Princes of Spirits

These four Princes represent the "neutral" spirits of the elements. They are like the worker bees of the elements, in my experience. They, and their assigned legions, are the ones that oversee the manifestation of the elemental manifestations of the directives of the spirits higher up in, uhm, hierarchy.

2.4.5 Working with the Elemental Kings and their Princes

Now, with the above overview in mind, and remembering the way magicians work with the hierarchies of the spirits, a multitude of possibilites becomes available to the resourceful magician. In terms of the Great Work, we know from the Divine Pymander chapter of the Corpus Hermeticum that the Logos (manifested as the HGA in my interpretation of this system) abides with the righteous and sends an evil Daemon to confound the impious through their sphere of sensation, causing them to be further removed from their memories of their race and value as manifestations of God.

Later in the series, I'll be getting into more practical work with the Kings that specifically relates to the topic of the four Kings and the eight Princes listed by Agrippa.

I did a ritual the other day with the Four Kings that has shed a lot of light on the subject in general in my personal Work, and I'll be posting about it separately.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

2.3 - The Joys of Making Talismen

Sorry about the hiatus. It's been a long couple of weeks. Don't conjure Jupiter spirits for wealth and prosperity if you don't want to work your tail off.

On with the Joys of Making Talismen!

Note: A friend suggested that the plural of talisman is talisma. says it's Talismans. I prefer Talismen, because it makes me think of them as little "men," entities in their own right. However, I make fun of people who would rather be wrong because they like it better, and hypocrisy has been rearing its ugly head in my sphere too much recently. I'll leave the title for consistency's sake, but going forward, it's "Talismans."

2.3.1 - What's a Talisman?

A Talisman is a symbol or seal inscribed or drawn on an item in order to attract the forces represented by that symbol. In Solomonic work, you can draw a seal of a spirit on paper surrounded by the appropriate names of God or what have you, and that is a talisman. Solomon's Ring is a talisman. My Spirit Pot is a talisman. Franz Bardon's Fluid Condensers are talismans. Your consecrated elemental weapons can be considered talismans. A talisman is any physical representation of a spiritual force or being that draws the powers of that force or being into the manifest realm.

My favorite talisman story is Joseph Smith's (thanks, Scott!). He carried a tin Jupiter Talisman drawn from Agrippa's planetary tables with him wherever he went. I think there's a record of it on his person when he was arrested on the way to Utah with his Mormons, and he was wearing it when he died.

2.3.2 - What is a Talisman good for?

Talismans are used for a number of things. Agrippa has the planetary tables that can be inscribed on their appropriate metals, and these will bring healing, joy, love, martial prowess, or whatever planetary energy you're interested in drawing down at the moment. The astrological weather is important to consider when inscribing these things though. A planetary talisman is a long-term snapshot of the qualities of the rays of that planet when it was created. I have a Mars talisman I created while Mars was in Sagittarius and nicely aspected by other planets.

In the previous post, I talked a little about how we work with the planets using their Intelligences and Spirits. A key way to get these guys' attention is by calling them by name while holding their planetary talisman in your hand. The Talisman is already drawing the forces conducive to the spirit's manifestation, and when you conjure it by name or seal, it's easier for that spirit to appear. That's great for specific Workings, but there's a more sublime purpose behind creating talismans in your pursuit of the Great Work.

If you've read my book, A Modern Angelic Grimoire, you know about the Table of Practice. The Table of Practice I discuss in that book is based on the one from Trithemius' Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals. A magician conjuring a spirit places their skrying media (a crystal ball or bowl of water, for example) in the center of the Table. The Table has the seven planets' symbols and the names of the angels that rule them around the outside edge, the names of the four angelic elemental Kings, and a Triangle with symbols in the corners:

From a friend in Australia, I learned of a more elaborate Table of Practice described in the Ars Paulina. She created a beautiful Table of Practice, painting the seals of each planet on wood, then coating it with a few coats of polyurethane. It's incredible.

I had been making various talismans for specific Workings, a couple of lead talismans to bind some wandering spirits for my mother-in-law, and a Michael talisman for some other exorcism rituals, and it "occurred" to me to create a talisman for each of the planets that could be easily transported, a portable Table of Practice and seven specific talismans of each planet for specialized planetary work. I did so, and as I completed each of the talismans, the beams of that sphere would be focused directly into my own sphere. When I had finished the seventh talisman, I had a complete microcosm of the planetary spheres. Shortly after this, I received an epiphany, which will be discussed in more detail when we get to Section 3.0. For now, know that putting the talismans together in their appropriate places on your altar space creates a harmonizing and stabilizing effect in your sphere, and serves as a long-term ritual that continues to adjust and attune your sphere as you go on about your business.

The Table of Practice, by its very existence, eliminates the necessity of the pentagram and hexagram rituals of the Golden Dawn. It takes longer to make, but the investment of time and effort takes place early on, and the return on the investment is awesome. You end up with the permanent effects of the pentagram and hexagram rituals in your sacred space.

2.3.3 - Making the Talismans

When you make a talisman, you are interacting directly with the spirit that rules the forces you're "trapping" in the object. The result is a change in your own sphere in relation to the forces you're working with. You get a little wiser, a little more knowledgeable. At the same time, as you're engraving the metals, or smelting the alloys, or sanding the nearly-finished product, you receive guidance, instruction, and are led to insights about the nature of the entity or forces you're working with. It's a very contemplative and meditative exercise that requires long periods of trance-state brain activity. Making a talisman results in taking a step in the Great Work.

Making talismans is fun, too. I use a dremel tool, fiberglass resin, the metals of the planets (Lead, Tin, Iron, Gold, Copper, Mercury, and Silver), wood, and other appropriate materials. I've learned a bit about metallurgy, wood carving, embossing, and how not to use a propane torch in your kitchen. There are risks associated with heavy metals, like lead and mercury, and risks associated with natural things, like the toxicity of Yew, and proper precautions must be made. This should never keep you from making the talismans though.

Taking the proper precautions is part of the experience, and teaches you aspects of the planets the metals represent as well. Saturn inappropriately concentrated in your sphere will have the spiritual equivalent of the effect of inappropriate amounts of lead in your body. Integrating the Moon into your sphere has a similar effect to drinking silver nitrate, and combining the lunar energies with solar energies inappropriately will block the ability to absorb and process the solar powers, the same way silver nitrate blocks the ability of the body to process sunlight into Vitamin D when you go into the sunlight after taking too much silver.

The process I follow when I make a talisman consists of identifying an opportune time astrologically, when the planets associated with the talisman are well aspected. Then in the right hour, I'll conjure the appropriate spirit, and then perform the Work required to make the talisman. While I'm working, the spirit communes with me, and that interaction is wonderful. Then when it is finished, I've got a physical representation of the powers I want to work with. Then I can use it at the right time.

When I do a solar rite, I'll use my solar talisman. Right now, for instance, I've got a stand with a picture on it over the top of an orgone generator that's resting on my talisman of the Sun. The Talisman's forces are being focused up through the orgone generator, enhanced by the properties of the generator, and then "beamed" into the picture. It's an entire ritual performed without requiring the conjuration of any spirits, or the drawing of any circles, or the waving of any elemental weapons.

That's the beauty of talismans, but at the same time, you don't want to make a talisman for every magickal act. There are occasions where you don't need a permanent or even long-term representation of a spiritual force. It's tempting to make a talisman for every spirit you want to work with, but ultimately you'll end up with a few hundred talismans and nowhere to put them. As your ritual space becomes more and more cluttered, your life will get more and more cluttered. Use good judgment in determining what you really want the talisman for, and remember it's a long-term investment.

I've got this spirit pot with Bune in it, for instance, and I. will. for. the. rest. of. my. life.

Unless I decommission it.

2.3.4 - Decommissioning Talismans

When you're ready to move on to the next step, you can decommission the old talismans you've got hanging around. When creating them, you poured a lot of time and effort into identifying the seals and symbols required, gathering the elements, and putting them together. Some indications that it's time to decommission the talisman are that it has accomplished its desired outcome, or you've discovered the properties of the forces you worked into the talisman aren't in harmony with your intent. The spirit of the talisman might be directing you to decommission it, or you might be prompted by your HGA to eliminate this force from your sphere. When these things happen, you need to break the talisman down to its component parts and thank the spirit of the talisman for its work. For metal talismans you've engraved, melt the metals again to restore them to their "blank" state. Wood materials you can burn and scatter the ashes somewhere where they will be sent to the ends of the world, like a convenient river or a stiff breeze. Paper talismans should be burned as well.

Note: Mercury and lead cannot be dumped in nature. You've got to extract Mercury and store it properly in glass or iron. Lead you can melt under a filtered ventilation system, and reuse later.

Tin and copper and any other planetary metal can be pretty easily melted using a propane torch and some creative research on Google.

If you can't melt your talisman, like if it's iron that you've engraved, you can file down the images, and then sand them down until the iron is blank. Drop the lump in some salt for a while too, or anoint it with Holy water. Try to keep the materials you've put into your talismans, if possible. You'll have another use for them eventually.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Blog & Webpage Updates

Going forward, I'll only be making announcements about blog updates through a Google group I created for that purpose. The list of names was getting rather large, and I was getting pegged as spam by people who forgot they asked for updates. (They will suffer horribly for their sins.)

So, if you want to know when new posts are made and you don't want to just subscribe to the feed, join the Google Group:

Rufus Opus Updates | Google Groups

Note this isn't a discussion group. It's an announcements-only group. If you want to join a group to discuss the topics I go on about here, I've got a Google group for that too. :)

Rufus Opus: The Great Work | Google Groups

Google rocks, much better than Yahoo! I want to use it again, and again.

SNL references aside, I really do like the Google groups interface better than Yahoo. It's much more user-friendly.

Friday, February 23, 2007

New Web Page Launched!

I'm very pleased to announce that I've got my web page up and running. There's still room for improvement, but I think it's a good start.

2.2 - About those Planets...

In Section 1, we established that the planetary spheres represent aspects of God radiating down from the highest heavens into the manifest realm. Each sphere has a governing spirit and legions of spirits that are responsible for manifesting the aspects of that sphere into the material realm, and specifically into the sphere of the magician. We also established that these governors are under the authority of the Logos, and that the Logos is within every magician. Consequently, the Governors of the planetary spheres are under our authority as magicians.

In order to access this authority, we must first get to the point where we reclaim our Race and Value, as Plotinus put it. There are various means to accomplish this. My personal favorite is being Born Again in the Spirit, but I'm a ecstatic Christian, so what can you expect? The major downfall of this method is that the best environment for receiving this rebirth, or "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is in a fundamentalist charismatic Christian Church, and while the spirit of God is awesome, the people in the churches... well, they aren't exactly... centered. Usually.

Within the Western Mystery Tradition (WMT), other means exist. Knowledge and Conversation with your Holy Guardian Angel (K&CHGA) is one way. I personally believe this is a necessary first step in every magician's practice. Once this has been accomplished, you're guaranteed access to the Governing Spirits of the Planets, and you can begin to work with them to harmonize your sphere with theirs, thus eliminating the stumbling blocks in the areas of your life that are governed by their assigned rays. Integrating the powers of the planetary spheres into your own sphere results in progress along the Great Work, the elimination of character flaws that hinder your satiety, and wisdom in the realm governed by that particular sphere.

For example, if you're chronically unlucky in business, this could indicate that you're out of tune with the sphere of Mercury. In such a circumstance, you would conjure the Governor of Mercury, and ask it to integrate the powers of Mercury into your sphere. Soon after the ritual, you'll find that patterns of inappropriate behavior become apparent in your life. When you've identified these patterns, you work with your HGA to change these patterns of behavior, isolate the root cause, and reclaim that part of your life, putting it in its proper place. Eventually, you'll find that you're not ruled by misfortune in areas of business, instead you're dictating through Mercury how your success in business will manifest in your sphere.

This can be applied to the other planets as well. Agrippa gives the following attributes to the planets in chapter xxxviii of Book 3:

By the seven Planets as it were by instruments, all powers are diffused into man from the Supreme fountain of good: by Saturn a sublime contemplation & profound understanding, solidity of judgement, firm speculation, stability and an immovable resolution: by Jupiter, an unshaken prudence, temperance, benignity, piety, modesty, Justice, Faith, Grace, Religion, equity, clemency, royalty; by Mars, truth; not to be terrified, constant courage and fortitude, a fervent desire of animosity, the power of acting and the practice, and an in-convertible vehemency of the mind. By the Sun, nobility of mind, perspicuity of imagination, the nature of knowledge and opinion, maturity, counsel, zeal, light of justice, reason and judgement distinguishing right from wrong, purging light from the darkness of ignorance, the glory of truth found out, and charity the Queen of all virtues: by Venus, a fervent love, most sweet hope, the motion of desire, order, concupiscence, beauty, sweetness, desire of increasing and propagation of it self; by Mercury a piercing faith and belief, clear reasoning, the vigour of interpreting and pronouncing, gravity of speech, acuteness of wit, discourse of reason, and the swift motions of the senses: by the Moon a peace making consonance, fecundity, the power of generation and of growing greater, of increasing and decreasing, and a moderate temperance, and faith which being conversant in manifest and occult things yields direction to all; also motion to the tilling of the earth for the manner of life and giving growth to it-self and others.

The Spirits of the Planets have their own hierarchy. Different Grimoires provide different interpretations, but for the sake of simplicity, each planet can be said to have an Intelligence that acts as a mediator between the lower realms and the higher realms, and a Spirit that acts as a mediator between the higher realms and the lower realms. The magician (generally speaking) works with the Intelligences on matters of spiritual growth, and the Spirits in matters of material manifestation. The Spirits, while extremely powerful, are placed under the authority of the Intelligences.

For Work that results in material gain, like fabulous riches, you might start by working with Your HGA to identify the best means to get the fabulous riches to manifest in your life, and identify the appropriate planet to work with. This could be Jupiter, if you want to get rich by gaining promotions and responsibilities in your career, or the Sun, if you want to discover fabulous riches that were previously hidden, or Mercury, if you want to get rich through quick-witted transactions. Your HGA will guide you to the appropriate planet.

Once you've identified the appropriate sphere, you'll want to ascend to the Intelligence of the sphere and enlist its aid in preparing you to receive the manifestation, and in getting its help in directing the Spirit to manifest the riches in the best possible way in the material realm. Then you would conjure the Spirit of the planet, and give it detailed instructions. the Spirits of the planets are incredibly powerful, but not necessarily intuitive. They'll often do what you say, not what you want. That's why it's important to work with the higher spirits first.

Now, if you're in a hurry, you can also choose to work directly with the lower spirits, those closer to the material realm. Each of the spirits and angels in the various Grimoires are usually listed with some reference to their planetary governor, and you would work these spirits through the authority of their higher-ups.

In the next section, I'll get into Talismen, the most effective means I've found to direct the rays of the planets into your personal sphere.