Saturday, November 19, 2022

Frater Barrabbas Author Literary Tour - Part 7 - Talismanic Magic For Witches


Even while I was editing and revising my book “Elemental Powers for Witches” I had already started writing my third book in that series. We were still in the grips of the pandemic, so I had a lot of time on my hands, and I had already decided to write a book on the topic of talismanic magic, incorporating my own specific brand of planetary magic. Two things happened while I was writing this book. The first is that I needed to deepen my astrological research, since I had determined to bring into this work more astrological information and to write up an historical perspective that included the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher, Pherecydes and the mystical ideas of the Zurvan sect of Zoroastrianism. This is because I intended to bring into my book a detailed discussion about the temporal model of magic, which I felt was strategically important to understanding why working planetary magic on a certain day and time was important, while also being able to examine an elective astrological chart.

I was ambitious to the point of craziness when I included so much material in this book that it threatened to make it monstrously huge and as it turned out, I had to scale this book down in order to make it fit with the objectives of presenting talismanic magic and the associated rituals, much as I had done in the previous two books. This work had ballooned to around 140K words, but the final manuscript had around 94K, so there was a lot of material that was excised, and the final product, I believe, warranted cutting it down to a more essential size.

Recently, I posted an article in my blog that presented my perspective on the temporal model of magic, so I don’t need to present that idea in this article. You can find it here. I have also talked about planetary magic using the septagram, the psychological model of magic, planetary and astrological magic, and zodiacal magic. I also wrote an article that is a brief but comprehensive approach to practicing magic, where talismanic magic is a part of the overall approach. There is a great wealth of articles to be read in my blog, since there are nearly 500 articles, and many of them are quite substantive. A lot of the content of this material was used in my book, but my manuscript presents the actual ritual structures and methodologies for working this kind of magic, which the blog articles have purposely omitted. These linked articles should keep you busy for a while if you choose to read them, but if you really want the details then my books in the “For Witches” series is what you will want to explore.

Here is the advertising text that appears with the book.

Talismanic magic is the art of creating perpetually active spells that can help you create a charmed life. Once the provenance of ceremonial magicians, this book, for the first time, brings planetary and zodiacal magic based on a concise and simplified methodology to the Witchcraft community.

Talismanic Magic for Witches is the third installment of the ‘For Witches’ series, and it is the most comprehensive book on the topic of celestial magic written expressly for the Pagan and Witchcraft community. The product of celestial magic is the creation of a talisman. Talismanic magic is the art of making for yourself and others a charmed life. It is a life where reality seems to consistently bend to the will of the talisman’s owner at all times and places, lessoning the possibility of misfortune and empowering great good fortune. A talisman is nothing more than encapsulating a wish or desire and continually setting upon it the powers of the elements, celestial spirits and archetypes of the Gods.

A talisman is a materialized spell that is continually and perpetually operating for the benefit of the owner. A talisman makes a charmed life possible, and building up a battery of them to act on several fronts simultaneously is the final magical mechanism that makes this kind of overall effect possible. There is no magical artifact that I am aware of that has these qualities except a talisman. Learning to produce a talisman would be the best of all possible magical methodologies that a Witch or Pagan could master.

Talismans are a magical treasure, and a good practitioner of celestial magic will create a series of them to act on every aspect of his or her life, tapping them for a specific purpose when the need arises. This capability alone represents the quantitative wealth or richness of talismanic magic. Who would pass up a chance to acquire this wealth to make a charmed life for themselves? This is also why I refer to talismanic magic, and to celestial magic as its organizing principal, as the veritable crown jewel of Witchcraft magic.

As you can see by the advertising text, this book is promising a lot to the one who will undertake this kind of magic. I am quite serious when I say that mastering the art of talismanic magic will help you to acquire a charmed existence because talismans are continuously working 24/7 to help you to gain your objective, or the object that you set the talisman to work on your behalf. If you were to gather together several of these talismans and set them to work on the various areas of your life then you would have a powerful array of magical charms that would aid and bolster every area of your life. You could forge talismans to enhance employment opportunities, gain long term wealth, achieve a good love life, friendship, and excellent relations with business partners, or protection from physical and emotional harm, and any other area covered by planetary magic joined with an element or a zodiacal sign and performed at the optimal and auspicious time. Such an array of continuously working magical artifacts would over time help you achieve everything that you might desire.

Why are talismans so powerful compared to all other forms of magic? What makes them so capable of assisting their owner to achieve his or her objectives? The reason why is because of the nature of the talismanic charge, consisting of both an energy and an active planetary intelligence. It is focused and fused into a metallic artifact, where it becomes a perpetually functioning source of magical power set to a specific material end. A talismanic field lasts practically forever, or at least as long as the artifact into which that field has been infused remains intact. A talisman can be transferred to another person, and it will continue to work as long as the owner continues to maintain a mental connection with it. A talisman can become dormant if it is neglected for several months or a year, but it can be easily awakened and revitalized simply by being held by the owner and communed with in a deep meditative state. As long as the artifact is intact the talisman will continue to function.

An evocation working or an elemental working are used to bring about a specific intent over a short period of time. The timing for an evocation to produce its objective results is usually stated in the bond or pact between the spirit and the practitioner. The timing for an elemental working is within a lunar cycle. Such a working will target a specific objective, and once that timing cycle has reached its end, the magical working will end with either fulfillment, partial gratification or failure for various reasons. It represents a single event with a single objective, whether that event is using an elemental field or a spiritual being to fulfill the intent of the working.

However, a celestial magical working sets in motion a powerful talismanic field, which continues to operate long after the magical working has been completed. While the magical working is used to charge and infuse a talismanic artifact, what follows over the days, weeks and months, or even years, is part of the continuing magical effect of that working. What that means is that a talismanic field can be a bit more generalized and thereby serve multiple purposes simultaneously. In my many years of magical experience, I have found that there is no other kind of magic that can be used in this manner. It is for this reason that I have stated that talismanic magic is the crown jewel of all magical workings, and certainly it should be one of the tools in the magical toolbox for the experienced and knowledgeable Witch.

Talismanic magic, along with advanced energy workings and spirit conjuration are the trifecta of the magical arts missing from the standard Book of Shadows. I have returned this lore to the various traditions of modern Witchcraft and Paganism where it can act as a kind of completed system of magical workings, making the Witch who masters these three systems of magic something of a Wiccan or Pagan Magus. I felt that it was very important for Witches to be able to work solitary forms of high ritual magic within a methodology that would be comfortable to those who have some experience in the magical arts. These additional kinds of magic are for the experienced student who has mastered the basic magical practices of Witchcraft and its essential liturgical praxis and who now seek to expand their abilities in the areas of evocation, energy workings and talismanic magic.

Learning the art of planetary and zodiacal magic is challenging, and it requires a greater degree of discipline and a deeper understanding of the nature of the human condition from the standpoint of astrology and psychology. This art requires one to learn astrology, astronomy, psychology, and to develop a methodology of engaging and working through the planetary deities. Astrology, as it is used in the art of magic, is not a science as much as it is a religion, a system of divination, and a means of harnessing the potent psychological powers of the archetypes that underpin our cultural world. It is working and manipulating the very stuff of consciousness itself, and these forces and intelligences represent the building blocks of our own psyches and the foundation of our culture and language. Knowing how to wield and manipulate these forces and intelligences is the key to mastering one’s life and overcoming adversity.

Writing this book was something of an ordeal for me, since it forced me to completely reevaluate everything that I had long established regarding this kind of magic. I had the lore and the tech, which I had developed back in the early 1980's, but it was written in a manner that would not make it easy to incorporate into an efficient Witchcraft praxis. Additionally, I have learned a great deal about astrology, the lunar mansions and the decans that I had not known back when this lore was first developed. I had to rewrite and rework all of that lore so that it would be accessible and presentable to the experienced Witchcraft practitioner. This also included building an understanding of the history of astrology, which was a topic that I had neglected to seriously study in order to realize the importance of the historical evolution of astrology, and what it gained and lost by becoming an exoteric and philosophic discipline in antiquity. I studied a two volume book on the history of astrology and took extensive notes in order to recognize the contextual phases of the development of astrology through the various epochs and empires of the east and west.

One of the real treasures that I discovered in my research was the book written by Geoffrey Cornelius entitled “The Moment of Astrology” that helped me understand the magic and the art of astrology, and the historical precedence of such practices as horary and elective astrology and how they contradicted the causal and scientific perspective of modern astrology. I was able to more fully realize that the moment an astrological chart is cast and delineated is as important to the genius of astrological interpretation as the supposed belief in the predestination of the moment of birth. It made me understand that the interpretation of the astrological symbols is the real magic of astrology and its value, bringing it into the context of a system of divination instead of an objective science.

The same perspective can be applied to the moment of other forms of divination, such as the casting of tarot cards, the throwing of rune stones, Geomancy sticks or I-Ching coins. The action of divination sets in motion the activation of insights and the birth of guided action. There is also the moment of magic, when a magical working is started and thereby activating the celestial auspices that come into play at that moment. Becoming sensitive to the occurrence and timing of events makes a practitioner more aware that aligning one’s actions with powerful planetary and celestial auspices can maximize an operation.

However, working talismanic magic can not only use the celestial auspices, but lock them into the talismanic artifact, making them resonate and sending out their energy guided by the invoked intelligences established therein perpetually. This is why understanding the moment that something is started is the precipitating action that will make what is divined as an accessible potential possibility to be materially realized. There is no greater magic unleashed by the ritual magician to impact the material plane then these kinds of operations.

I have stated why I think that this book is so important, not only to Witches and Pagans, but likely to others as well. The methodologies and ritual patterns in the book can be adapted to any magical tradition or spiritual practice. It is why I feel that this book is one of the very best that I have written, and the fact that it took me over a year to see it completed is a statement to how much research, effort and care that I put into its writing. I cannot recommend this book more than what I have already presented here, but you should acquire and read it yourself to make your own judgement.

This book will be available in February, 2023, but you can pre-order it now.



Frater Barrabbas

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Frater Barrabbas Author Literary Tour - Part 6 - Elemental Powers For Witches

 



My first book in the “For Witches” series was in print by 2017, but by then I had taken on a new job that readily took away all of the my free time. I stopped writing articles in my blog and I was traveling between Minneapolis and Richmond, staying there for three weeks and then going home for a long weekend. I was putting in 60 to 70 hours a week of work, and travel added to that time spent solely on work. I visited my wife and pet kitties for just 48 hours before having to travel back to work in Richmond. Needless to say, that whole project turned out badly for me on one hand, but having to leave it was a reward on the other.

I moved to Richmond to work on that project; but not only did I not get a dime from the company for making that move, I was also pulled off that project because those who had planned the time-line compressed what was two years of work into just eight months. I was punished for missing that time-line, even though it was completely unreasonable. Someone had to be blamed for the project going awry, so as the data manager, I was the one. Certainly, those who proposed such a truncated project time-line to the client couldn’t possibly be blamed for their mistakes, because they were upper management and immune to such accountability. Anyway, I was put on my old project and then had to prove myself for over a year later that I was worthy of keeping that job. It was a time of work and left me with little time for writing and even working magic. Getting booted off of that project was a blessing in disguise, and I went on to getting chosen for a new project where my skills and abilities were at least appreciated.

My work on the next book in this series didn’t start until the Covid-19 Pandemic began to manifest, but I had the concept and even a preliminary table of contents defined before the winter solstice of 2019. So, during the lock-down, I focused on writing my 6th book, and of course it took a lot less time than any of my previous writing endeavors.

This is how the book “Elemental Powers for Witches” was written and published, while the world labored with the first in a hundred years world pandemic. Tragically, many people died from that disease; but I had already begun something of a personal sequestering, so I just continued it and made certain that I had the preventive vaccinations when they became available. I was old, sedentary and suffered from allergies, so I figured that if I got Covid that it would likely greatly harm me, so I took all of the precautions, and luckily, I had been working from home since early 2019.

Here is the  advertising text for that book.

Energy magic uses the power of Elementals, Qualified Elementals and Uncrossing mechanisms to fully empower practitioners and make them materially successful. This book seeks to bring that knowledge to the Modern Witch, making it accessible and easily added to the lore she is already using.

Since the 5th Century BCE, a system of mysticism, religious philosophy and magic was delivered to the world by the philosopher Empedocles, who brought us the knowledge and wisdom of the four Elements of Fire, Air, Water and Earth, and the Aether as Spirit.

Across the ages that knowledge was developed to become the energy model of magic that is used today to fuel material-based rituals. Until now, this methodology was exclusive to ceremonial magicians. This book seeks to take that advanced energy work and place it into the hands of the Modern Witch. These rituals were derived and formulated to be easily accessible to the modern practitioner and to fit what is already a part of their lore.

Energy magic is used to empower individuals so that they can at least feel that they have a chance of dealing with difficulties and adversity. It also gives them methods to address specific deficiencies or to counter adverse circumstances with positive ones. Energy magic is used to build up the self and turn potentials into realized goals. It focuses on the material world because it is the basis for all that occurs in our life and colors our experiences. Because the world is not fair, we need something to help us turn the world slightly to our advantage.

What energy magic is used for is to solve problems within yourself and the circumstances of your life in the material world. It is not only a body of magical rituals and techniques; it is also the way to approach a problem in order to resolve it. There are several steps that are followed when approaching a solution to a given desire or need, and these can be used to also sort out and pin-point the one thing that will open up your possibilities and resolve whatever issue you are facing.

This book was written for Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans who wish to enhance and formalize their approach to the energy workings for self-empowerment and material based magical workings. This book assumes some degree of knowledge in basic practices so it isn’t exactly for beginners, but it does make this type of magic, and the use of the energy and information models of magic, accessible and easily realized. It is also a sequel and companion book to the published work “Spirit Conjuring for Witches” so, certainly the readers who liked that book would likely also enjoy the sequel.
 

As I have pointed out previously, there are three gaps in the magical practices of modern traditional Witchcraft, and these are spirit conjuring, advanced energy workings and talismanic magic. I had just written a book that comprehensively dealt with spirit conjuring from a traditional Witchcraft perspective, so I urged myself to write a book to fill the second gap.

Advanced energy workings represent the basic foundation of magical practices where I significantly extended the repertoire given to me in my initiatory tradition. I did that back in the 1970's not long after being initiated into Witchcraft. I had been working on the cone of power variations for a few years after being introduced to the concept when a version of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows was published by Lady Sheba, and when I had acquired the book “Mastering Witchcraft” by Paul Huson. I also had a copy of “King of the Witches”, which introduced me to Alex Sanders. With these books in hand I was able to put together my own system of Witchcraft based magic. By the time I was initiated on Candlemas Eve, 1973, I already had a system of magic, and I was starting to develop new rituals working with the energy model of magic.

Using an inverse perspective, I deduced that the opposite energy to the obvious masculine cone of power, and that was the feminine vortex. A vortex has a widdershins circuit, and instead of being polarized on the periphery like the cone of power, it uses a cross-roads to join the polarities into the center. The widdershins spiral around the circle performed by the operator is used to concentrate the energy and then push it down into a singularity, making a kind of stable magical black-hole. The vortex was the first variation of the cone of power that I had invented, and it was to be followed by other structures and rituals. Experiencing a vortex generated in a magical circle was a total game-changing stroke of genius, but actually, it was just an obvious step that no one had thought about so far.

While energy workings in traditional Witchcraft magic were a basic staple for the modern practitioner, it was based on a concept that was alien to medieval witchcraft and to ceremonial magic in general. The basic belief about magic was that it was the medium used by and propagated by spirits. Humans were basically powerless, although that was contrary to what the philosophers taught in antiquity. Yet their practices had been mostly lost and what remained was subsumed by the monastic orders of the Catholic Church. Where this idea about human energy came from was the East, and it became part of our western cultural heritage when the teachings of the Indian Yogis became available to the west, around the late 19th to early 20th century.

Studying Yoga became an important part of mastering the art of ceremonial and ritual magic, and many of the early practitioners of the 20th century sought out that knowledge of the East. With Hatha Yoga came prana-yama, yantra, trantra and Kundalini Yoga, and the concept of bodily energy fields that could be harnessed and projected through the breath (prana) became available to the West. It completely changed the way that magicians saw their magic, as evidenced in the writings of Crowley, Bardon, and many others.

Modern Witchcraft was a recipient in that chain of knowledge and it was used in the concepts of energy raising and projecting magical powers. Gardner pretended that this had always been a part of witchcraft from antiquity, except that there was no evidence of this claim and the witches of antiquity typically worked their art in solitary exclusion. It was only in the fever dreams of a handful of scholars who spread the myth of witches meeting in large groups to celebrate their sabbats and worship the devil in the mid 15th century. Gardner’s story about witches gathering together to work magic to prevent Hitler from invading England during the second world war, where even a few older members expired in the frenzied process, was very likely an urban myth.

All evidence seems to support the idea that most witches had practiced their art either completely alone or within small and discrete family traditions. Yet the witchcraft inquisition imagined large groups of witches flying on their brooms and drugged and hallucinating on their toxic ointments, so to them and much of the culture there were indeed large hidden covens working their evil deeds. Gardner took that fantasy and made it into a cultural phenomenon, and the eastern ideas of bodies raising and projecting yogic energy was quietly integrated into that body of practice. By the time that I and others in the early 1970's had joined the Witchcraft tradition, the idea of raising and projecting energy had been a standard part of the practice since Doreen Valiente had reformed it in the 1950's.

However, as a practice, the energy model of magic in modern Witchcraft was simplistic and undeveloped. There was the cone of power and that was about it. I was very much intrigued by the whole concept and set to work to expand and develop how this magical model was used in Witchcraft magic. This is how I came to develop the vortex, then the magical pylon, and then by extension, the pyramid of power, which is a much more sophisticated and nuanced version of the cone of power. Once I started on this path, I continued to work and develop more sophisticated rituals that made use of complex combinations of ritual structures to push the energy model of magic far beyond what I was given as a newly initiated Witch.

The first step that I took was to qualify the undistinguished magical energy into specific qualities. The four elements seemed to be the qualities that I was looking for when it came to describing the magical energies that I sought to use. This pairing of magical energy with the four elements has a long history, and that the elements and the breathing cycle seemed to also be linked. This of course was the Indian concept of prana being merged with the western occult perspective of the four elements. Other practitioners had also made this connection, so that the four elements could be visualized as qualities associated with a certain kind of energy, color and quality and absorbed and projected out through the breath. The four elements could also be qualified with each other to produce sixteen combinations, which I called elementals. Each of these combined elementals also consisted of four pure emanations where an element was combined with itself. At the earliest time in my magical workings I worked with these qualities, but it required a more advanced set of ritual structures to generate them within the magic circle.

To generate an element one can use the invoking pentagram in an efficient manner, which was made public to many practicing magicians through the Golden Dawn writings published by Israel Regardie. Thus, there was the superior pentagram ritual, which I sought to emulate in a fashion. However, to invoke an elemental energy required a more complex ritual structure. The elemental octagon was the key to generating an elemental energy within a magic circle, and liking the shape and quality of that star polygon, I sought to deploy as my ritual pattern for energy workings. I used the four watchtowers and the four angles or in-between points to define the base (watchtowers) and qualifier (angles) of the elemental. To each of these eight points I set the invoking pentagram of the base element (watchtowers) and the invoking pentagram of the qualifying element (angles).

In the center of the circle I set the invoking pentagram to the nadir or infra-point for the base, and to the zenith or ultra-point, I set the invoking pentagram of the qualifier. I also joined the four watchtowers together to form a square, and the four angles to form another square, and then joined the watchtowers to the infra-point and the angles to the ultra-point. Then I stood in the center of the circle with my staff and drew the two elements together through my body and the staff. All that was required to project the elemental energy out into the world was to circumambulate the magic circle with spiral arc, starting in the center of the circle and arcing out to the periphery of the circle, circling three times past the northern watchtower and then projecting the energy with the staff outside of the northern watchtower, thereby exteriorizing it.

I also used a form of sigil magic to symbolize my objective or desire, and I used this to imprint the energy field when it was fully generated. I could have just imprinted it with my mind, but I found that a sigil was more effective. I started out just making a designed but automatic scribble on a piece of parchment while projecting my intention into it. I later adopted a more formal methodology for designing sigils when I was exposed to writings and artwork of that famed magician and pagan witch, Austin Spare. This was how I developed a ritual system to work with elemental energies, but I was not yet completed with this development process.

One approach that I developed was to make use of specific named elemental spirits and integrate them into my magical energy rituals. I used them as intelligent energy fields of empowerment and focused, projected beams of force to influence or even bend the laws of causality. I also incorporated this approach in my magic, making use of the 16 Enochian god-head pairs as derived from the four watchtower tablets and the Enochian calls. I then later matched up the sixteen elemental qualities with the 16 Grand Dukes from the grimoire Theurgia-Goetia and found that they were even more potent than the Enochian elemental spirits. The pairing of a spirit with an elemental quality produced a more powerful combination and helped to animate the elemental magical energy so that it had both power and sentience.

Another approach that I developed, and this was unique to my workings, was to pair an element with one of the ten sephiroth of the Qabalah to generate what I called the 40 qualified powers. Later on, I refined this working by using the Pythagorean definitions of the numbers 1 through 9 and 10, which I felt was more appropriate for a Witchcraft magical approach. When I used the Qabalah, I also qualified the four elements with the four Qabalistic worlds, making a very potent magical combination that existed fully within a Qabalistic domain. If you weren’t into the Qabalah, though, this methodology wouldn’t be as appealing. For this reason I adopted another more simplistic methodology that removed the Qabalistic qualifiers and just used the four elements and the ten Pythagorean mystical numbers. The forty qualified powers also matched up with the Tarot cards ace to ten of the four suites.

To match spiritual qualifications or specific entities to each of the 40 qualified powers became more difficult. I had a matrix of the four elements and the ten spiritual attributes, but assigning them to spirits became more difficult. My first approach was to give the element of Fire abstract qualities, Deities to the element of Water, Angelic groups to the element of Air, and terrestrial animals to the element of Earth, emulating the attributes of the four Qabalistic worlds. I later assigned the ruling angels of the 36 decans to the attributes and elements covering the first through the ninth for the four elements, and then assigned one of the four elemental Kings to the final four. That assignment appeared to work out quite well, since the energy component of the qualified power was dominant over the spirit attribute, so there was no need to actually conjure the associated spirit. I just had to acknowledge and call the spirit as part of the process of generating this kind of elemental power.

The ritual structure for the qualified power used a simple pyramid structure where the four watchtowers (or angles) were set with the base element via the invoking pentagram, and the watchtowers were connected to each other with lines of force, and also connected to the zenith where an invoking pentagram of spirit masculine or feminine was also set. The energy was intensified and fused into the center when the practitioner walked an invoking spiral from the periphery of the magic circle to the center. This pyramid energy field then was charged with the projected invocation of the spiritual quality and it signs or symbols, and then resultant energy was exteriorized through a banishing spiral walked by the practitioner from the center of the magic circle to the outer periphery, where the energy was projected and released.


Since this was a rather simple ritual structure, I had introduced it in my first book, Pyramid of Powers, as a way to learn how to ultimately work elemental magic. As I experimented with this ritual working I found that it had its own sophistication and generated a very potent energy field. Joined with a vortex, it was just as useful and powerful as elemental magical workings, since it joined an element with a godhead attribute to produce a very spiritualized energy. I have kept this working along with elemental ritual workings as the basic work-horses for my magical practice.

Of course, there is much more that I developed using the energy model of magic, and these workings that I have discussed here (and in my book) were really just the beginning of a very fundamental and important process in developing magical workings that had both a spiritual and a material impact. I would find later on that using energy fields and even geometric prismatic energy structures in my rituals would give them a more materialized impact, both on me as the operator, and on the overall magical objective. It certainly allowed me and others who shared in this technique of magic to feel this kind of unleashed power in a tangible manner.

Getting back to my book, I have taken these basic elements of working energy magic and expounded on them, presenting a number of ritual examples for the student to borrow and develop. I not only showed the components of these rituals and explained how they work, but I also demonstrated how there was a continuity with the Pythagorean practices and the philosophy and magic of that Greek master, Empedocles. I also put my version of an uncrossing ritual in the book, which I felt was an important addition because it helped the practitioner to overcome internal and external blockages when elemental magic failed to produce the desired results.

The energy system of magic has a long history, going back to ancient Greece and probably beyond that. Some of these methodologies were probably developed by shamans in prehistoric times, and continued to be practiced by various individuals. The philosophers of antiquity knew and practiced these methods of energy generation and projection, but this knowledge was lost during the dark ages. They were likely never written down, or if they were, they were kept secret and disappeared when Christianity began to dominate the western world. They only reappeared when the west discovered the teachings and practices of the Indian sages.

Yet it was the Golden Dawn that took that arcane knowledge from the east and brought it back into western magic. It then spread from there to occupy a place of importance in many different traditions of magic in the west. Some traditions, like Bardon’s system of magic, borrowed the techniques straight from Indian practices mixed with a bit of western perspectives. We must be indebted to all of these different traditions that have given us the system of energy magic that we now possess.

What I have done in my book is present to my reader an expansion of the energy system of magic as it applies to Witchcraft and Pagan practices. I believe that it is an excellent starting point for anyone who seeks to add a high level of materialization, sensations and probability bending energy into their magical practices.


Frater Barrabbas

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Frater Barrabbas Author Literary Tour - Part 5 - Spirit Conjuring For Witches

 



After getting my book on the Qabalah published there was a bit of a lull in my literary activities. It was a time for writing a lot of articles on my blog, a media boon shown to me by my mentor Taylor Elwood, developing some new magical approaches and attending pagan conventions. A new convention started in Minneapolis called Paganicon that I attended, and I also attended Pantheacon one last time. It was a busy period for me, overall, and I hadn’t had the opportunity of trying to figure out what I wanted to work on for a new manuscript. I had some ideas that I was kicking around, but nothing really firm or focused.

It was during this interlude that I got more involved with my Witchcraft community, and I was examining my own history and path as a Witch and a ritual magician. One topic that was all the rage at the time was medieval and Renaissance grimoires. Quite a number of newly translated grimoires became available to the public, many appearing for the first time in print. While this area of magical practice had become something of a major focus for ceremonial magicians, I had already developed several different ways of performing this kind of magic back in the 1980's in conjunction with my particular methodology for working planetary and elemental magic. I felt a certain disdain for the emphasis on Christianity or Jewish monotheism that seemed to be the core spiritual perspective for these newly published grimoires. I felt that the cultures of the 16th and 17th centuries that had produced these grimoires was so far removed from us today as to make their approach to magic and religion to be antiquated at best, and somewhat superstitious and ridiculous at worst.

While the baseline for magic and western occultism was established by the writings of Agrippa and Paracelsus in the 15th to 16th century, and followed by a number of others, it was the occultists of the 19th and early 20th century who had brought these ideas and practices into the modern age. The older teachings had their relevance in the continuity of ideas from that period to the present. Just as I would find the writings of Blavatsky or Dion Fortune to be dated and even a bit anachronistic, the writings of Agrippa, Paracelsus, Dee, Ficino, and Pico Mirandola were even more dated and immersed in a cultural context that no longer existed. To take any grimoire as originally written and to practice it would require the individual to also reconstruct the cultural beliefs and practices of that time, which by now is nearly impossible. Even the grimoire purists had to pull together various practices, both antique and modern, along with a very modern perspective on magic in order to make these books useful and viable, although they would downplay or even deny that activity.

Since I was a very modern practitioner of ritual magic and had developed my magical technology out of modern practices and extended by my own experimentation, I felt that this approach was the best one for modern Pagans and Witches. So, after banging around some ideas in my head for a while, I came upon the idea of writing a book for Witches and Pagans on how to use the magical tech that they already had, with a few extensions and additions, to practice a form of classical evocation that would fit within the practices of modern Witchcraft. I asked the acquisitions editor for Llewellyn what she thought of such an idea for a book, and she was quite interested and said to send her a table of contents, a pitch for the book and a sample and she would give it some serious consideration. So, that was how the book “Spirit Conjuring for Witches” was born. I wanted to give to my community something very valuable and missing from their current practices. I set to work on this project in the spring of 2015, sent in my author questionnaire with the pitch, table of contents and a couple of sample chapters and I proceeded to work on this latest book project. I completed this work and presented to the publishers in early 2016, and it came out in print in early 2017.

This book, like the previous one, required me to do some extensive research. My research project was to examine the history of witchcraft and determine the reports and nature of the familiar spirit in both antiquity and the middle ages. My main thrust in the book was to equate the familiar spirit with the modern concept of the higher-self or inner deity. It is my belief that there is an inner deity in all humankind, existing in various stages of conscious awareness. When it is recognized and actively celebrated, it acts as a liaison between the domain of spirit and the host’s human consciousness. I proposed that it was an important component for performing evocations within a Witchcraft context, representing an integral connection with the Witchcraft practices of antiquity. Once that tool was defined and developed, along with the correct attitude and mind-set necessary to enter the spirit world, then the Witch followed the five classical steps for conjuring a spirit. Those steps are purification, invocation, constraining, binding and releasing. These steps are likely the same as those practiced by the great Witches of antiquity, although the cultural context and proper mind-set are completely modern.

None of these practices are explained in any Book of Shadows that I have ever seen, either private or public. The base-line practices of Witchcraft today typically are rites that are performed by a coven or small group. A single Witch practicing her craft and engaging with the Deities and the Spirit World seemed to be something that the witches of legend or fairy tales would have been able to do. My book placed the practice of Witchcraft magic back into the context of the individual practicing alone and without the need or desire for a coven or group. It is a powerful method of magic for the solitary Witch, which I believe is much more like the Witchcraft of tomorrow than what might be found today.    

The book included a few bon mots, mostly because I wanted some feedback and support from the community for what I was about to place into the hands of the Witchcraft community. Yet here is the advertisement found on the back of the book helping folks to figure out if they would want to buy this book.

The greatest witches of legend and folklore practiced their craft through spirit conjuration and by employing a familiar spirit. Now, centuries later, these arts can be acquired
and mastered by modern witches. Join witch and ritual magician Frater Barrabbas as he shares a system of witchcraft-based magic developed to safely perform invocations and evocations; travel in the spirit world; create a spirit pact; and construct your own rituals for spirit conjuring. Exploring history, folktales, myths, and personal experiences, Spirit Conjuring for Witches shows how to magically develop human-to-spirit relationships and ultimately master both the spirit and material worlds.


It is brief but to the point. This book provides the first of the missing lore that is not found in the Book of Shadows, and it represents a complete methodology that requires practice and a disciplined approach to make it work optimally well for the practitioner. There is so much packed into this tome that I cannot but fully recommend this book to my fellow Witches, Pagans and ritual magicians. If you haven’t read any of my books then this should be the one that you should read to start your own version of my literary journey. You will be skipping three books to get to this point, but the magical technology that it will bequeath to you will be extremely beneficial. There have been over 6,000 copies currently sold, so it must be pertinent in order to be so popular.

Some of the topics, aside from the spirit guide or familiar, that I present in this book gives the reader everything that she or he would need to engage in performing spirit conjuring. I have written extensively in this book about the godhead assumption rite and developing your own personal godhead votive cult, which is central to the spiritual activities of evocation. If you don’t develop a relationship with the deity within then there is little possibility of optimizing your experience with other spirits. I also discuss the classification of spirits, how to see into their world, and how to communicate with spirits. These techniques border on the paranormal abilities typical of those who are sensitive to such phenomena; but for those who do not have this capability I also discuss the use of dice or knucklebones, which is a tried and true mechanism for communicating with spirits or even deities. I also introduce to those who have not read any of my previous books the rituals of the rose-ankh vortex, the double gateway of the west (underworld) and east (ascension), and the methods for developing a spirit shrine and offering table and how and when to use them.

In the appendices I have produced lists of angels, demons and other spirits, and a guide for engaging with the grimoires within a Witchcraft context. Everything that a Witch needs to know regarding spirit conjuration is in this book. To my knowledge, I have omitted nothing and it is a good example of a comprehensive exposition of this kind of craft, which is something that I have built into all of my books. I don’t want people to accept what I am writing based on either trust or faith. Instead, I am inviting my readers to take the rituals and concepts and use them to find out for themselves whether these practices that I have outlined actually work. The proof in the pudding is in the eating, an old adage that is quite appropriate for my writings. If you want to know something then assemble the necessary components, practice the forms and then plan and execute magical workings. While I can only write about these topics and how I have engaged with them in the magic circle, it is up to my readers to go out and try them and see for themselves if what I have written is true.

My whole approach to writing books is to inspire others to experiment, develop, invent and create their own personal magic. Every magician, witch or goetes from the beginning of human consciousness has had to build their own methodology to work magic. If you can’t get beyond the stage of using rituals and spells written in books then you will never be able to develop yourself as a magical practitioner. You have to own your magic, and you can only do that when you learn to write your own rituals and develop your abilities through repetition and continued practice. There is an element of discipline involved in developing an expertise in the practice of ritual magic. There is also a need for openness, curiosity, inspired imagination, creativity and experimentation. It is part of the practical necessity for being able to own the magic that you are working.

The modern Book of Shadows for Witches has many areas that are lacking, much of it would be associated with a complete cultural immersion that a folk tradition would already possess. However, in the area of the practice of magic, there are three areas that are typically omitted in the traditional practices of Witchcraft magic. The first is spirit conjuring using a familiar spirit, which this book covers quite well. The second missing practice are the rites of using magical energies, such as elementals, and the advanced techniques associated with them, such as the vortex, pylon, invoking pentagram, and the techniques of resonance. The third missing practice are the rites of celestial magic, which is the making of talismans and working planetary magic. There is also a fourth missing practice, although it is implied and loosely covered in some of the rites of modern Witchcraft and the Book of Shadows, but these techniques, based on sacramental theurgy, need to be expanded and fully documented in order for the rites of a fully magical and pagan-engaged Witchcraft to be developed. These have been, and are, for the most part, my objectives in writing the “For Witches” series of book.

My purpose in writing the “For Witches” series is to fill in the missing lore for the magical practices allotted to modern traditional Witchcraft so that it can fully engage with all of the more advanced attributes of that magical faith. To be a fully realized Witch is to also be a fully capable ritual magician. These two roles are one and the same, since Witchcraft in terms of how I define it, is a magical religion. The two systems, religion and magic, are joined together and practiced as one tradition.


Frater Barrabbas

Friday, October 28, 2022

Frater Barrabbas Author Literary Tour - Part 4 - Magical Qabalah for Beginners

 



After I had successfully placed four published books in the public domain, which is what DGRM and MARM consisted of at that time, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at writing a book that was not wedded to my previous opus, “Pyramid of Power,” since both of these books were a product of that original work. I also wanted to publish a book through either Weiser or Llewellyn, the biggest occult book publishers at that time. I felt that I would get a lot more notoriety being an author with books published in either of those publishing firms. These were my thoughts back in early 2010.

Since I personally knew the acquisitions editor for Llewellyn, having met her at Pantheacon gatherings and briefly talking to her, I thought that I would try my luck with that publishing company first. When talking to her, she told me that they were looking for authors to publish books in a “For Beginners” series, and one major unfilled entry that they had was the Qabalah. Of course, I sort of shuttered at first about taking on such a writing project, but then I realized that I already had a lot of writings on the Qabalah. As part of the background education for the Order I had written up some documents for the Qabalah and had passed them around to my fellow members. These documents were written poorly and did not have my current style of writing, so they would need to be revised and rewritten. However, that was better than having to start with no writings at all.

I was able to put together a table of contents quite easily to scope out what I wanted to write, but then I realized that not only were some of my ideas out of date, some of them contained information that was incorrect or inaccurate. I also lacked a standard set of practices and rituals, and I did not have a very good understanding of the history of the Qabalah. So, I began a period of research that lasted for several months while I also worked on rewriting the sections of text that I had previously poorly written. This has become the typical pattern when embarking on writing a book. What I think I know and have used for many years can be either stale or actually erroneous. I had a number of erroneous ideas and perspectives on the Qabalah that needed some deep research to bring them into a much more accurate presentation. It was an excellent learning situation, and I added considerably to my existing knowledge of the Qabalah as a result of that research. I submitted my first manuscript version in April 2012, and a month or so later, had my final version. The book came out in print in January, 2013.

Despite all of that rewriting and researching, I had to rewrite whole chapters of that book after I submitted it to Llewellyn. The marketing staff at Llewellyn had problems with the more advanced writing style and conceptual narrative that I used, and the subject matter was thought to be too complex or difficult for a beginner. What I didn’t want to do was write a book “Qabalah for Dummies” that was too simplistic to be useful for most occultists and ritual magicians. I wanted to write a book that presented the basic concepts to my readers, but also included more advanced ideas and practices for the more advanced student.

The book, as it was finally sent to the printers, took a middle ground between beginner and advanced students that I felt would be more engaging and interesting to someone who already knew something about the subject area, but wanted to proceed to a more advanced perspective. I feel that I was correct in taking that writing approach, although a few readers left negative reviews because they had assumed that the book was really a beginners guide. I don’t really feel bad about that, since the Qabalah is a very complex topic and if you are going to approach it as a magical discipline then simplicity and a shallow purview must be replaced with a more complex and deeper presentation. The Qabalah is not really a topic to be tackled by the uninformed nor the rank beginner, so it is in a similar position as Enochian magic or grimoire magic - it is not for actual beginners. So that is how the book “Magical Qabalah for Beginners” was developed.

Here is the advertisement for the book, as it is currently written on the back of the cover.

Discover the history and theory of Qabalah as well as its practical ritual uses. Explore the five basic but essential parts of Qabalah: the ten Sephiroth, the twenty-two paths, the Four Worlds, the Three Negative Veils, and the Tree of Life.

The Qabalah is the symbolic key to the Western Mystery tradition. Gain invaluable insights into all occult systems including high magic, Tarot, astrology, alchemy, hermetics, and more. In Magical Qabalah for Beginners, Frater Barrabbas shows ritual magicians, Pagans, and occult students how to incorporate the Qabalah into practice, using tables of correspondences, numerology, acronyms and formulae, sigils and ciphers, contemplation, and the theurgy of ascension. Now is the time to penetrate the mystical properties of Qabalah and make them work in your life.


I also had some good reviews from a few individuals who read the printer’s galley version, and these were included in the book. I guess that Llewellyn had to have some kind of good word, or ‘bon mot,’ for my book to get people excited or curious enough  to purchase and read it. The book “Magical Qabalah For Beginners” is still in print, and has sold over 4,000 copies. It is also available in Polish and Russian.

All of that research, writing and rewriting served an important purpose. It made me much more knowledgeable about the Qabalah than I had ever been in the past. As a system, it is complete and without the need for any ancillary practices or studies. You can be a magical Qabalist, but it would seem that being a Qabalist and a ritual magician might be either redundant or a contradictory approach to an applied occultism. That was one thing I discovered.

Writing that book also had another curious effect on me. I lost my passion for the Qabalah when I discovered that to truly function as a Qabalist you had to have sacred scriptures to act as your foundation. Qabalah is not practiced in a vacuum. It should always be focused on revealing the occult truths and magical capabilities within that sacred literature. Also, such a practice elevates the linguistic paradigm of mystical and magical practices, basing it on the power of words and their companions, numbers. I found that lacking a sacred literature was a real deficit in the study and practice of the Qabalah. That lessened my interest in the Qabalah, and I found other magical practitioners were coming to the same conclusion.

It seems almost blasphemous to say that I believe now that the Qabalah is over utilized and contrived in its current occult formulation. One of most important things that I have said about the Qabalah is that the mystical Jewish community created the Kabbalah to add and augment the Talmud as an esoteric commentary on the Tenach, or Hebrew Bible. That is what the Zohar represents to the Jewish study of the Kabbalah. It is the crown jewel, since from that commentary and analysis much of the mystical and magical elements of Judaism has its roots. It is a mystical, occult and magical Talmud, founded on the sacred writings of the Jewish Bible.

If a religion has a sacred body of writing then a Qabalah can be fashioned to develop and gather occult insights into the mystical foundation of that religion. This is true of religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism. Thelema has Liber Al, the Book of the Law, so it would qualify as well. Qabalah is founded on a sacred written language, so Hebrew, Greek, Latin (Vulgate), Arabic, Farsi, Sanscrit and English would represent that sacred language. Since Liber Al is written in English there is a place for an English Qabalah, too.

What is missing in this list is a language and sacred book for Witches and Pagans. While the Chaldean Oracles probably comes the closest to functioning as a kind of sacred writ for modern Pagans, there is nothing for modern Witchcraft. The Chaldean Oracles exist as quoted fragments related by other contemporary and later authors and no complete version of the full text has been found. It is possible (but doubtful) that Neoplatonism might be the answer for a mystical and philosophical discipline that could be reconstituted and used by modern pagans, yet it is even less likely to be relevant for practicing Witches.
 
The same could be said about the ancient Egyptians, since nearly all of their sacred literary work contains a large volume of magical spells with only some myths and stories passing down through the ages to us. What was sacred to the Egyptians was magical spells that could obtain for them immortality and life beyond death, and they seemed to mix religion and magic quite freely, so there never was anything like a Bible for the ancient Egyptians. In fact despite the dominance of Amun-Ra in the later dynasties of ancient Egypt, there was never actually a single unified religious faith throughout the history of that land, until Christianity came, and then later, Islam.

The lack of a definitive sacred book is also likely true with many of the ancient western polytheistic religions that academics have examined. Books may have been written for priests to perform priestcraft (although little of any of that remains today), and the absence of such an organized clergy in the Greco-Roman period made the Jewish Tenach that appeared after the end of the Temple period a unique contribution to organized religion, especially when it was translated into Greek. Christianity followed suit, the Gnostics were prolific writers of sacred texts, and so did Islam later on.

Zoroastrianism and Hinduism have had a religious literary tradition for nearly 3,000 years, and the Zend Avesta and the Vedic texts are probably distantly related, both linguistically and doctrinally. Zoroaster reformed his creed, and the Vedic texts were complimented with books called the Upanishads. It might be difficult to formulate a Qabalah for those two faiths, but it would not be impossible, as the later heretical cult of Zurvan attempted to do with Zoroastrianism.

What this simple requirement does is leave modern Pagans and Witches out in the cold when it comes to the Qabalah. We have no sacred writings and no sacred language, so the very foundation of a Qabalistic system would evade us. The Tree of Life glyph, based on the Hebrew alphabet and numbering system, would be somewhat useful; but as a model of eschatology it is limited and not very insightful to a pagan or a witch. I have found that the three or four layered world perspective of traditional Shamanism more useful as a model of the natural and spiritual worlds than the Tree of Life. Additionally, the Hebrew Kabbalah does not use the Tarot as a method for characterizing the twenty-two paths, and if a Christian-Greek alphabet were used then two more pathways would have to be derived in a Christian Tree of Life glyph representing that system.

What is left, then, are the many tables of correspondences, based on the 32 paths (Sephiroth and Pathways) or their various sub-structures. Many of the full 32 path-based tables of correspondences are somewhat awkward and not particularly useful, while the ones that are based on the numbers 4, 7, 10 and 12 are much more useful since they can be readily used to build correspondences for the elements, planets, prime numbers and the signs of the zodiac. These tables are also handy for building correspondences for the full Tarot deck, which is probably one of the most powerful magical systems in use today. It stands by itself and doesn’t need the Qabalah to give it meaning and purpose.

Then we come to the topics of Gematria, Notariqon and Temurah. Gematria is the numerological method for equating numbers with words through the art of adding up the letter number values as found in a Hebrew word. Using the Greek alphabet might also be helpful, and there is an association of number values to Greek letters, since they were once used to write numbers when the Hindu-Arabic system of numeration had not yet been invented. It was likely the Greeks who developed this methodology and the Jews found it eminently useful in their Kabbalah.

The key to Gematria is to develop a book of words (Sepher Sephiroth) that has all of the relevant words found in the sacred text attributed to their letter numeric value, and the book is ordered by numbers to group them together. Without such a book, the process is not as revealing and it has the fault of being quite narrow, showing where connections make sense while avoiding those that make no sense whatsoever. A perusal of Crowley’s book Sepher Sephiroth shows that while some numbers have interesting connections, others are practically meaningless in their obscurity.

While I have found Gematria to be a clever curiosity, I have never found it as a useful method of proving a semantic correlation between word concepts. Authors like Kenneth Grant have over-used Gematria to formulate occultic proofs that are as flimsy as the paper they are written on. I think that Gematria has been overused by Grant and some others, since it should only focus on strategic religious terms, and then it also suffers from the noise of correlations that are irrelevant or meaningless.

Notariqon is the art of building and exploding acronyms and Temurah is the art of letter substitution. I have used Notariqon in building letter and word formulas to bind the segments of rituals together into a seamless whole, but it is just a process of building clever acronyms - there is nothing sacred or mysterious about it. These letter number technologies are interesting and at times, clever, but I have not found them very insightful. Perhaps if I had a sacred text to use them against I would discover all sorts of amazing and fascinating mysteries, but I don’t have such a book and so the greater appreciation of the Qabalah is unavailable to me.

After all of these considerations, I do still find the Qabalah useful and since I have incorporated it into my magical workings, it is still relevant to me. Yet I have found that the overuse and even abuse of the Qabalah to be disappointing. There are many other mystical and occult systems to use in the workings of magic. Sometimes not using any system will yield results that are more straightforward and less convoluted than having to add a thick and sometimes awkward layer of Qabalah to a magical working or process for esthetic reasons. These are, of course, just my opinions.

The book “Magical Qabalah for Beginners” is not only recommend by me, the author, but also by other occultists. The large number of sold copies should be an indicator that this book is worth having and reading. It is, however, not really for beginners, despite what the title of the book says.


Frater Barrabbas    

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Frater Barrabbas Author Literary Tour - Part 3 - MARM


My second book project was to resurrect the Pyramid of Powers and to present a more advanced approach to magical tech than DGRM. It was given the title name “Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick,” and it is largest body of published work by me so far. I had wanted to use the chapters and rituals not covered in the DGRM to give my reading public a more neutral magical system that could be used to construct a personal magical system. That was my sole purpose for writing books back in those days. I wanted to give to my reading public the magical tech and tools to build their own basic system of magic. I believed that if I could make that an attractive approach then perhaps it would also attract individuals to become members of our order, the E.S.S.G.

I wanted to publish the Pyramid of Powers, but a number of chapters had been used in my book DGRM, so I couldn’t see just publishing that material again. All those chapters that had been used in that book now had to be rewritten with new material. I researched and wrote new chapters with a more advanced approach regarding magical practices. For instance, instead of the more simpler approach to personal mental discipline and meditation that I had used in my first book, I extended that lore by including an approach to using the training material in Franz Bardon’s book “Initiation into Hermetics” since I had very much treasured and used the exercises contained in that book at various times.

That approach was what I used to develop the chapter on Mind Control (book 1, chapter 5). I also made this approach when rewriting all three books, and since the writing style was of a previous and poor quality, it required a lot of work to make these books as readable as the first one already published. My live-in girlfriend (who I later happily married) had the unfortunate task of acting as the primary editor for these books. Some of the chapters were so poorly written that she had quite the task to help me rewrite those sections so that they informed the reader instead of confusing them. She helped to make my writing more accessible and easier to grasp, and that had to happen to each of the three books before they could even go to press.

Since the Pyramid of Powers was broken into three volumes, I had decided to publish it as three separate books. The first book went into print in 2008, then the second in 2009, and finally, the third in 2010. What originally seemed like a good idea to publish the revised Pyramid of Powers in three separate books turned out to be a bad idea, since it was difficult to keep all three books listed in Amazon and elsewhere. Later on, we consolidated the three separate volumes into one omnibus edition (2013), which is how it looks today.

Here is the advertising blurb for that set of books, now incorporated into a single book.

This is a new Grimoire for a New Age for the magickal explorer willing to seek out that ‘love which moves the sun and the other stars.’

The omnibus edition contains all three volumes of Frater Barrabbas’s acclaimed Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick series; a comprehensive work on how to create a personal magickal system.

While suitable for readers already having a few years’ experience with magick, the series is also ideal for diligent practitioners of any level who seek to develop a complete, customized magickal system.

Volume 1's ‘Foundation’ establishes the basic practices and sets the magician on the path to knowledge and experience. Volume 2's, ‘Grimoire’ is based upon a set of nine rituals used to build up a complete Wiccan or Pagan ritual magick regimen, including elemental magick within a seasonal and monthly periodic cycle, and volume 3's ‘The Greater Key’, presents a system of correspondences that the magician builds up with his or her own personalized symbology.

Together, these volumes present a thorough and enlightening system that will enrich the magickal lives of any dedicated practitioner.


The three-fold structure of the MARM volumes is based on the requirements of the basic semi-experienced student. The first approach is to establish a foundation of knowledge that will make the rituals comprehensible to the reader. The foundation would include the topical areas of four elements, ritual structures of magical power, mental discipline or mind control, magical topology, magical ritual structures, ritual performance, transformative initiation, and the five mysteries of light and darkness, life and death. Everything that a practitioner might need to know and understand before attempting to master the actual rituals was included in this first volume.

The second volume was the presentation of the nine rituals that made up this system of magic. All of the rituals presented in that book were spiritually neutral, with predetermined gaps and blanks that were meant to be filled in when the student embarked on the path of developing their own personal system of magic. What I was proposing to my readers was that they could and should learn how to write their own rituals, using the basic templates that I provided in my book.

Additionally, my approach to magical tech was to use a set of rituals to build ritual workings, so those rituals could also be reused in other magical workings. This was a kind of modular approach to working magic, where some of the elements of the ritual would be customized to align the working to a specific kind of magical power for a specific material objective. This is the methodology that is used in the magical order the E.S.S.G. All of the ritual workings consist of basic ritual structures that are pulled together with some elective attributes chosen to build a specific magical working for a specific purpose.

These are the nine rituals that represent the basic body of modular and reusable rites that are used to build the rituals workings of a basic magical practice. Let me list them here, and as you can see, there are a few more than the seven used in the book DGRM.

1. Consecration of the Magick Temple
2. Consecration of the Magick Grove
3. Pyramid of Power rituals (used to invoke one of the 40 Qualified Powers)
4. Rose Ankh Vortex ritual
5. Gate of Transformation
6. Assumption of the Grail Spirit
7. Ritual of the Lunar Mysteries
8. Ritual of the Solar Mysteries
9. Prefect Initiation Ritual

In addition, there were also rituals for tool (hallows) consecration, a divination vortex, mystery rite of the higher self and an elemental invocation rite. There were also chapters to outline the concourse of forces for the Qualified Powers, explain the quality and issues with godhead assumption and how to approach a transformative self initiation. The chapter that examined the foibles and profundities of godhead assumption (book 2, chapter 12) was probably one of the real gems in this volume, but the whole book with its nine rituals was something unique and highly useful amongst the available books on ritual magic.

The third volume was the ‘key’ that would guide the practitioner in developing a set of tables of correspondence that would be used to customize the body of rituals so that they would represent the spiritual and magical perspective of the practitioner. Those tables were the key that had to be developed first. The whole purpose to these three volumes was to instruct the practitioner into how to develop and deploy their own personal system of magic. In this volume I went over all nine rituals and showed where and how to modify them to produce a more personalized magical rite. The basic set of rituals thus customized would act as the essential foundation for further magical experimentation and developing ever more effective and complex magical lore.

This book, then, is for someone who already has a basic level of magical knowledge and experience and who wanted to develop their own magical system. This, then, is the first step of the magical system builder, and once such an approach to ritual magic is understood then it only whets the appetite for further development.

Yet further progress would require the ritual magician to research more advanced methods of working magic, to explore the mechanisms for a fully developed magical system working with elementals, then talismans, evocation and finally the more advanced systems of Enochian magic of the Nephilim, Sacramental Theurgy, Tessarenoi, Abramelin Lunar rite, Archaeomancy, Talismantic Portae Lucis, and the Heptarchical (7-fold Stellar) Hierophantic Mysteries. That list represents what has been already developed in the grimoire of the Order of the Gnostic Star.


Frater Barrabbas

Frater Barrabbas Author Literary Tour - Part 2 - DGRM


The first book that I managed to get published was entitled “Disciple’s Guide to Ritual Magick” which was published in 2007. It took me around a seven months to write this book, so I had started in early 2006 to write this work. What I did was take a number of the chapters from the Pyramid of Powers manuscript and use that body of text to pull together this book. I also included additional texts and qualified the rituals with a pagan Arthurian-Grail theme. 

It was in early September 2006 that I got a referral from an online friend for a possible publisher for my newly written book. That referral was to Taylor Elwood, an accomplished author himself, who was embarking on a new publishing arm of an independent publisher named Immanion. This was the beginning of a long and very fruitful friendship, and Taylor was not only an inspiration to me but also a mentor who helped me navigate the complex world of internet media.

Here is the official plug for that book.

The Disciple's Guide to Ritual Magick is a book written for the beginning occult student who seeks the integral practice of a ritual magician. This book presents concepts and insights found in no other book on the subject. Frater Barrabbas believes that all magicians seek enlightenment and gnosis, whether they know it or not.

Since Magick is the Yoga of the West, then it follows that it should be as comprehensive and complete a spiritual discipline as the various practices of the Eastern traditions. This means that the practice of Magick must be expanded and broadened so that it is as much a full spiritual discipline and means to gaining Gnosis as any other spiritual system.

This book is an attempt at making magick a comprehensive discipline that affects all aspects of life. To aid this quest, Frater Barrabbas not only expounds upon the philosophy of magick that is a part of most occult teachings, but he also provides a grimoire of seven rituals that the student can use to build a complete magickal discipline.

The grimoire allows for the magickal operations of material acquisition and uses the Pyramidal Pylon and the Vortex as the sources of magickal power. The Lunar and Solar Mysteries chart the inner and outer spiritual worlds of the magician, and the Mystery of the Self is used as a mechanism of self-initiation. As Frater Barrabbas writes: “For it is my desire to make the student and reader of this book into an accomplished ritual magician and an initiate..”

One of the more intriguing aspects of the grimoire of seven rituals is that it is written with an occult context, and that is the Grail Mythos of the Western Mystery Tradition. Although everyone probably knows the stories about the Quest for the Holy Grail, King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table, there are powerful allegorical undercurrents and occult threads in these tales, that when realized, can become translated into life changing experiences for the magician.

Frater Barrabbas has been working and teaching new forms of Magick for over 35 years, and assisted in starting a magickal lodge where this discipline was taught and practiced. The rituals in the grimoire are based on the rituals that were used by this order, whose lore is also modeled upon the Grail Mythos. These rites were tested by seasoned magicians and certified to produce the effects that they promise. Frater Barrabbas has written these rituals and the accompanying curriculum so that Magick might experience a renaissance in the new millennium.

We believe that you will find this book both compelling and challenging. It is the first foundation for the practicing ritual magician, and one that is necessary for the ultimate attainment of knowledge, fulfillment and wisdom through the revelation and gnosis of Magick. The second work in this series is a trilogy entitled Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick.


While it had taken me five years to write my first book, it only took me seven months to write my second book. This is because I had cannibalized the Pyramid of Powers to write that second book, so I had plenty of material to work with and to rewrite into a new approach for individuals who were interested in building their own system of magic. While I had used the Grail mythos to qualify the basic seven rituals included in the grimoire portion of the book, they were the basic seven presented in the Pyramid of Powers.

Those seven rituals consisted of the following rites, which I believe represent the basic set of rituals that anyone would need to build their own ritual magical practice.

1. Circle and temple consecration rite
2. Pyramidal Pentagram rite (pyramid of powers rite)
3. Rose Ankh vortex rite
3. Godhead Assumption rite
4. Lunar Mystery rite
5. Solar Mystery rite
6. Self Initiation rite
7. Magical Tool Consecration rite

What was missing was a stand-alone ritual for the western and eastern gateway rites, but these were included as a part of the lunar and solar mystery rites, so everything that was needed to put together a basic magical system was there in that book. However, since I had qualified the rituals with the Arthurian Grail mythos, with paganized Christian undertones, the book would have a limited audience. As a book, it was not a best seller, but it did help me realize the possibilities of writing non-fiction books. I did have help in putting this book together though, since the artwork was not my own but that which was provided by two good friends.

Perhaps one of the best chapters in the book, and the one that makes it a useful addition to your library, is where I used the writings of Ken Wilbur, particularly his book “Eye of Spirit” and the book “Atman Project” to build a chapter named “The Search for Spirit: An Exploration of the Higher Mind” (part 1, chapter 3). I not only defined the concepts of transformation, transcendence and teleology, I had also mapped the levels of higher consciousness, which would be far beyond the experience level of the basic forms of magic, as outlined in the rituals in the book. 

However, some of the more advanced magical workings that I had performed in the past produced these kind of conscious states, indicating to me that the more advanced forms of magic can cause one to experience transcendence, and ultimately over time, enlightenment. While this chapter might represent the results of a kind of magic that is far beyond the kind of workings this book espouses, that one chapter explains the whole process of being a spiritual seeker and how magical and spiritual work can culminate in a higher baseline of normal consciousness. That is something to contemplate as one begins and proceeds through the magical path of transformations and inspired illumination.

Anyway, each of my books has some real treasures and some actual wisdom to impart to the reader, even if the magical tech is not particularly impressive.   


Frater Barrabbas

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Frater Barrabbas Author Literary Tour - Part 1 - The Beginning

 

 Logo Pyramid of Powers


 At the time of this article I have written a total of seven books. Five are in print, one is at the printers and one is in manuscript form waiting to be submitted to the publisher. In the Spring of 2023 I will have all seven books in print and I will be likely developing yet another. That’s a lot of books and materials on the occult, magic and Witchcraft, you might say. What is driving me to write down everything I know about these topics? I can safely say that there seems to be a spiritual force that is inspiring me, and also my methodology for working magic is quite different than the ceremonial magician or the traditional Witch. I am something of an anomaly, a hybrid between various modern traditions of pagan religion and the practice of ritual magic. I have gone through many phases of my work and practice, but the books that I have written represent the later fruits of my work and do not represent all of the places where I have been nor my original path.

There was a time when I heavily engaged and studied Gnosticism, and there are still some elements of that topic which appeal to me, but I have pretty much rejected the antinomian perspective that nature is somehow corrupt and negative. I am just too much of an optimist to have such a dreary attitude towards nature, and life itself. I could never ditch my sentimental attachment to the natural world, and after all these years I stand in awe of everything that I have seen and experienced within the spectrum of nature and natural habitats. I certainly haven’t seen everything, and in fact I am less traveled than many; but still nature is something that I feel deeply attached to and will not forsake what I feel is intrinsic to my faith as a pagan and a witch. Gnosticism was sort of a fad for me, and I am much less passionate about it than I was 30 years ago, back in the early 90's.

The topic of Qabalah is another one of those areas of occult study that I was deeply engaged with over the decades but now it is less interesting to me. I have even written a book on the topic, and some have said that it is one of the better books in print. Yet after writing that book and doing all of the research that was required to accurately represent it in a completely cogent manner, I discovered that the Qabalah was not actually very relevant to my work as a ritual magician and a Witch. I will write another article about that book and why I came to find the Qabalah a useful methodology but not the panacea that other occultists believe it to be.

What I wanted to discuss is that my literary career started many years before my first book was ever published in 2007. We are talking about a span of time from around 1991 to 2007 when I published my first book, based on some of the material that was in that original work. My first attempt at writing was a book I named "Pyramid of Powers," named after the ritual I developed to project a masculine energy field, similar to the cone of power. The reason why I wrote this book and for whom were individuals who had joined the magical order of the Gnostic Star and found the beginning rituals to be a bit too difficult to readily master. Two of my acquaintances from when I had lived briefly in Dallas had decided to adopt the rituals of that order into the regimen and become initiates. They visited me a couple of years later after I had moved to Tallahassee, FL.

However, concepts that I took for granted, such as the vortex, using the cardinal directions and the angles, the pylon, the western and eastern gateways seemed based on an underlying magical technology that they had never seen before. They didn’t have me around to show them how these rituals worked, and they were more experienced than their friends and potential members. If my two friends couldn’t explain what a vortex was and how it was able to work then they couldn’t explain that to their friends. They asked if there was some kind of underlying documentation that they could read and study in order to understand how to employ these rituals. In fact, they said if I could provide them with a set of rituals that were more basic and easier to understand, along with a body of lore to give them background, then they could master these rituals and ultimately begin mastering the lore of the order.

Of course, what they were asking for didn’t exist, and in fact, because I had been the main teacher and the developer of this lore, the mother temple in Kansas City had ample opportunity to hear me explain and even demonstrate how these rituals worked. Since this lore was also developed gradually level by level with the participation of the group, there wasn’t any need for me to provide simpler rituals for beginners to introduce them to these concepts nor any deeper explanations to describe how they functioned. It was a strange experience for me to explain how a vortex worked to my friend “Fish” from Dallas who understood the cone of power, but was unable to fathom how a vortex could possibly function without causing the energy field of the magic circle to collapse altogether.

I had to scratch my head for a bit on that one, but was able to explain that the vortex was established inside a magic circle, and that the circle functioned as a sacred boundary, and whatever occurred within that boundary didn’t violate or interfere with the proper external magic circle. Learning to work with these concepts, at least for a beginner, was something of a leap of faith. My friends told me that while I could explain these concepts to them and even show them how they worked when they visited me in Tallahassee, they would find it quite difficult to explain it to their colleagues.

It was at that point I realized that the ritual lore of the order needed a set of beginner rituals and a thorough explanation of how they worked so that one might be able to later learn and operate the more advanced rituals in the order. That was my inspiration, and I set to work on it immediately after my friends had left to return home. I would write up a complete set of lore that was easier to understand and operate, and in fact, it would resemble a more ritual magical version of what I had been using in my days as a Witch priest and coven leader.

Once I started with this task, I discovered that it was not as simple as just writing a series of rituals. I had to explain the whole basis of my ritual technology, and my writing skills were woefully inadequate to accomplish that goal quickly. While I may have written my last book in around 80 days, I could hardly be able to write what would become a three volume book in that kind of time. I took me five years to write my first book, and it was not very well written either. I was organized enough and had a good chapter structure to follow, but my ability to write was rudimentary, and my earlier writings were barely readable. I had to learn how to write non-fiction, so it was a long and torturous writing process for me. I begged some friends to help me edit that work, but even then it was poorly written and did not have the kind of easy access and readability that my books and articles have today.

I can recall printing out all 500+ pages of the three volume book and taking it to Kinkos and having them make books with colored covers and a spiral binding to hold the pages together. I still have a couple of copies, but it was at least good enough to help individuals learn about my magical technology and to then have the understanding and background to make use of the many rituals and ceremonies that were part of the legacy of the E.S.S.G. or the Order of the Gnostic Star. Completing this task whet my appetite for writing and in the process made me a good enough writer to actually consider writing a book on magic and getting it published. It is typical that the first book that we write takes years to produce, but never gets published. That is not exactly what happened to me, but overall the book Pyramid of Powers was never actually published, at least in the format that it was at that time. More on that in the next couple of episodes of the Frater Barrabbas literary review.

Since I had written a massive three volume book, I did have a lot of material already written up to serve as the source for future books. I would need to rewrite sections, add new sections and remove other materials, but my first book would serve as the source for my next two books.


Frater Barrabbas