Monday, November 30, 2009

Abramelin Lunar Ordeal - Second Weekend - Attribute of Air

I have completed the second weekend of the paired workings for the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal, this time focusing on the attributes of the element of Air. This week’s working started out with me catching a cold that lasted throughout most of the week, complicating the process, but neither delaying nor halting it. It was pretty difficult to meditate while being ill, but I made up for the lack with other acts of devotion, ensuring that I was quite focused on the working. Thanksgiving also occurred during the middle of the week. I had to maintain focusing on the working amidst celebrations and also the distractions of people preparing for the festive season of Christmas and the Solstice.

Grace and I decided to change the workings to start on Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday, which aids her staying focused on school work. She is having to go through the last few weeks of the semester, and all of the work and preparation for final tests that that implies. Always the able acrobat, she is managing to balance her mundane commitments to training and schoolwork as well as working these ordeals by my side. I feel blessed by her presence. Her impressions of the working parallel my own, giving me an objective perspective on them that I would not otherwise have.

November 27 - Invocation of Yehoel, Seraphim of the elemental tetrad of Air. Approximate start was around 7:40 pm CST, locking in the planetary hour of Mars. The circle was consecrated, mass and a benediction were performed. Yehoel was a mind blowing entity, literally causing me to experience an internal expansion of my mind that left me rather dazed and muddled afterward. Nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced that night!

At first, after the invocation had been completed, I saw and heard nothing, even though the energy in the temple was considerable (there undoubtedly was “something” in the temple). Then I showed the sigil of Ratziel and then I saw a blurry human form take shape above me, with a deep blue colored body and a large white head (turban?) - this blurry form increased in magnitude until it revealed a giant golden-white illuminated crystal that seemed to enclose me in its light. Yehoel spoke clearly and concisely into my mind, giving me much to ponder and think about, but I also noticed that my very mind was also expanding as he communicated to me. I saw all of the flaws and imperfections in my ritual structures and verbiage, and knew what to do to perfect them to a higher refinement than they are currently. I also saw my own spiritual and magickal path and the magickal path of many others who are also working magick as I am. These are my peers,  there were quite a number of them, all brothers and sisters, all engaging the issues of working magick from different but analogous perspectives.

Yet each of us are so narrowly engaged in our pursuits that we miss the bigger picture - the whole of the discipline of magick rather than the specific practice of one individual. I realized that each of these individuals were very close spiritual kindred of mine, and that it would benefit us greatly if we could but find a way to unite and share all of our hard won knowledge with each other. Considering the egotistical nature of some if not nearly all magicians working magick, this would be a pretty tall order. However, in order to truly realize the totality of magick and its capabilities, all of these different perspectives need to be united - like the facets of a complex crystal coming together and into focus. I was seeing, for the first time, the unified perspective and discipline of all systems of ritual and ceremonial magick, and I was astonished at how profound and all-encompassing this united discipline actually was. I saw the union of science and religion under the banner of magick. Of course I am not the first to see this vision (Crowley made it a motto of the periodical the Equinox), but it still eludes us even into the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century. What is required is a meta-system, but that will have to wait for a group of brilliant individuals who will be able to cross barriers of ego-based ownership and personal magickal pride.

These are some of Yehoel’s words of wisdom to me.

Yehoel is concerned with the nature and revelation of what Crowley called the True Will, and what I call a person’s individual manifest destiny. Yehoel told me that the true will is discovered through the resolution of parables, riddles, paradoxes and puzzles about the nature of reality, chance (fortune), and inherent capabilities (and flaws) associated with the individual. So the true will is not something that is straightforward, it’s more of a profound personal mystery - one that requires a constant focused inquiry. However, all personal destinies are resolved at the same point - ultimate union with the godhead, whether a person realizes that truth or not. Such a state is not guaranteed, but it’s part of a person’s birthright. Every human being has this as their birthright, whether or not they manage to realize it in a single lifetime. Enlightenment and union with the godhead is always right there in front of us - the most obvious thing. Yet it would seem invisible to almost everyone. It is a simple thing to acquire, but usually requires a lifetime of experience and hardship before that step is actually known, discovered by the resolution of the mystery of the self and the true will.

How do we resolve this mystery about our destiny, besides living an entire lifetime and making good and probably bad decisions? Yehoel says that undergoing ecstatic union with the godhead, even in small phases and brief encounters, over time will reveal the greater truth and wisdom to ourselves. How do we approach ecstatic union with the deity? By complete and total surrender at the moment just before that merging occurs. In other words, we leave our egotistical notions and pride of our accomplishments at the gateway of the celestial temple, and enter therein as humble supplicants - full of devotion, love and the absolute surrender of one’s self. This would seem to go counter to most of what is discussed and written about ceremonial and ritual magick. Often such practices are accompanied with the hazards of ego inflation.

This would seem to be a very mystical approach and very unmagickal. However, the objective of the magician and the mystic are essentially the same - union with the godhead. The real difference between them is what they do once that union is obtained. The mystic renounces the world and the magician re-enters it to become the nucleus of divinely inspired change. Obtaining spiritual ecstasy through small operations and simple steps will shatter the tough hide of the ego and open the self up to a greater spiritual perspective. So the preparation is a form of god-intoxication, particularly for this ordeal that I have derived. Without the stages of god-intoxication, the ordeal will fail. Yohoel said to me, “I am the revealer and inspirer of your personal destiny! The difficult steps - discipline and their associated hardships, these will be covered by the cherubim of Air.”

The overall working gave me what seemed like a powerful brain-boost, my ability to intellectually contain all of this knowledge and to see things at the grandest and most minute levels was enhanced more than a hundred-fold. I felt like I was stoned or even kind of drunk - I couldn’t articulate or think in a focused manner even after the gateway was closed, dismissing the spirit. Even attempting to ground myself by eating some food had little effect. I had to retire very soon after the working, so potent was the experience. When I awoke the next day, the effect was still upon me, although somewhat diminished. If I focused too long on something, I felt myself completely and totally pulled into that string of thought, abrogating anything else I happened to be thinking or doing. It was a strange sensation and not particularly pleasant, either.

November 28 - Invocation of Ophaniel, Cherubim of the elemental tetrad of Air.  Approximate start was a little after 9:00 pm CST, locking in the planetary hour of the Moon. Grace performed the circle consecration and assisted with the mass. However, before the mass was even completed, she went off into a powerful trance state, apparently communing with Ophaniel before the invocation rite was even performed. This is not the first time that I have seen this kind of phenomenon, but it was certainly the most dramatic.

Once again, I sensed a great power in the temple immediately following the invocation, and once again the angelic spirit was silent and invisible until I presented the sigil of Ratziel as my bonafide. However, once that was accomplished, I saw above me an entity that was shrouded in an orange and reddish light, and the voice I heard was harsh and pointed. Ophaniel, once unleashed, proceeded to harshly judge me, pointing out all of my flaws, failings, and the various follies that I had devoted my life to and the misinformation that I had believed in. All of this was brought out, including all of the wrongs that I had done in my entire life so far, which was certainly not a pure and stellar record by any stretch of the imagination. I was greatly humbled by this powerful condemnation of me, since all of it was indeed true. I admitted as much, with the lame excuse that I am just a flawed mortal, and like all things of nature, imperfect. I did take responsibility for everything that I had done. The fact that I am learning from my mistakes and seeking to take corrective actions in order to perfect myself might give me some leeway. This admission and its associated contrition seemed to mollify Ophaniel, from that point on his demeanor was much more compassionate and charitable to me. He told me that it was always wise to admit one’s mistakes and never to shrink from taking responsibility from them, and it’s also quite humbling. This is an critical mind-state required to approach the admirable but equally foolish quest to become one with the godhead. So it would seem to be important to know one’s limitations, but to strive for spiritual union nonetheless.

I felt as though I had just encountered a powerful test, and indeed, Ophaniel indicated that my resolve and my intention had been tested all week, what with my cold and its dragging inertia which I had to overcome. He told me that I would be continually tested even more severely in weeks ahead as I attempted to complete this ordeal. If I chose to cease my activity now, he would forgive me and allow me to do so without any repercussions. I indicated that I was resolved to complete the ordeal no matter what happened, and that short of dire illness or death, I would complete it. My answer seemed to cause him to regard me in greater esteem. He told me that the requirements of the Cherubim should be followed without failure in order to be allowed to accomplish the feat of bringing all of the eight angelic spirits together in an octagram of the empowered godhead.

So far, I had been tasked with giving alms to the poor, and had only done so in a token manner. I must show greater generosity than that and in addition, Ophaniel gave me the requirement of daily devotions, to replace the meditations that I was performing twice daily.  I must spend more time giving devotions, offerings, praise to my godhead, and do so with the utmost sincerity and passionate desire for spiritual union. I should hold the sigil of Ophaniel in my right hand while I do these tasks. Faithfully executing these instructions (and the others that the next two Cherubim will require of me) will aid my cause in achieving enlightenment and union with the godhead. Failure to do these tasks will ensure that I fail in the overall working, so it is up to me to see that they are faithfully accomplished. I vowed to see them done, as I fully intend to do - starting Monday. My reason for giving me one day of rest is that I had a number of other tasks to complete on Sunday and I would be quite exhausted from the weekend of workings. This decision was sanctioned by the super-archangel.

Ophaniel then gave to me an important key to the process of magickally induced enlightenment, which is the faithful execution of devotion, love and service to the godhead. One must covet union in a single minded manner, analogous to a lover ardently and passionately seeking the object of his desires. The intensity of these devotions must become ever greater until they nearly consume one’s mind, body and soul - this must be accomplished before the Bornless One Invocation is even to be performed. There should be no distractions, interruptions or diversions - one should be completely one pointed and totally focused. This is, then, my mission and objective as far as Ophaniel is concerned. Thus, the Bornless One Invocation must be accomplished with this level of deep devotion and perfect ego-less surrender. To achieve this objective, one is required to enforce a very rigorous discipline as the basis to the entire working. Failure to do this will cause the Bornless One Invocation rite to be empty and meaningless, or at least certainly a lot less impactful than it otherwise would be. Devotion and discipline are the essence of the key, and surrender at the perfect moment of manifestation of the god within is the required method.

This is what Ophaniel imparted to me at the climax of the invocation.

You have achieved the midpoint of the working, and the beginning of the really more challenging and difficult parts of the ordeal. The seraphim will inspire you, and the cherubim will challenge you, as you have never been inspired or challenged before. The cherubim are the keepers of the gateway of the godhead and they will test and judge you as either worthy or unworthy. Fulfilling their requirements is extremely important. It must be done with an open heart and a transparent motivation - anything less will cause the ordeal to fail. You will not be able to bring all eight of these super-archangels together without incurring a kind of curse on yourself - so be warned, and prepare yourself!

When you perform your devotions to the godhead, you should kneel before your shrine, give offerings and praise to the Deity, open yourself completely to it. Give offerings of flowers, incense, sacraments (food and drink), and poetic songs and words of praise and adoration. Love the Deity with all of your heart and soul. While you do these things, hold my sigil in your hand to act as a witness to them - for it will act as a key to opening the gateway of the revelation of the godhead. Note down anything that occurs and whatever is communicated to you. This you shall do every day starting the beginning of the week until the day that you perform the invocation of the Bornless One. Also, be aware of the astrological times of the event of your workings, especially its date of expected climax. You will find great mysteries revealed in the transits and progressions revealed.

Then when the spirit of Ophaniel receded, the mind numbing sensation that had afflicted me since the invocation of the seraphim the prior day disappeared completely. My mind was clear and peacefully reposed. The rite ended just around 30 minutes before midnight.

So this is what I have experienced for these two workings and they produced quite a lot to ponder and undertake. I feel resolved to complete the ordeal, but now I am beginning to realize the degree of my commitment, the challenges that I now face and the ones that lie in the near future. This ordeal will not be accomplished without a great deal of effort and work, in fact far more than I originally anticipated.

Frater Barrabbas

Monday, November 23, 2009

Abramelin Lunar Ordeal - First Weekend - Attribute of Earth

I have completed the first weekend working for the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal and I was astonished at how powerful and amazing the experience was. I am still processing it, but it was a truly remarkable event, made all the more amazing by the fact that there are another six weekends to go. This weekend was dedicated to the element Earth and the invocation of the Seraphim and Cherubim of Earth, Zahriel and Yophiel, respectively.

First of all, the week was started with the saying of Mass, meditations twice daily, and a special Mass on Friday. I have been maintaining a fairly strict diet, although not entirely vegetarian. Since I began this working I have avoided all red meat dishes and I have cut my consumption of other meat dishes (fish and poultry) down to a minimum. For the weekend working, I have avoided eating any meat at all. I think that this regimen is a good one, and it certainly means that I am not weighted down with food and drink when I am attempting to work magick. Correspondingly, I am not over hungry or weakened by fasting either. I have found that it’s important to maintain a balance, since a complete fast would make one overly weak and unable to accommodate the strenuous efforts of working ritual for two hours with little or no rest. I have also avoided any distractions, such as television, during the weekend as well. So my focus has been quite on target with little to either distract or interrupt the workings.

My lady, Grace Victoria Swann, has been my companion and assistant for these events, and will continue to work the entire ordeal by my side, assisting me in gaining a good objective perspective on the nature of these workings. Her experiences, although different in quality and kind, seem to represent another way of receiving the impressions and communications from these entities. I can’t in good conscience talk about her experiences, but only that she, too, is quite succinctly aware that “something” has been invoked and materialized in the magick circle, and that it has communicated with her. So I know that I am not imagining things or experiencing a delusional fantasy regarding the outcome of each of these workings.

In performing these theurgic invocations, I do not subscribe to the belief that the manifestation of spirits be accompanied with poltergeist phenomena and obvious material manifestations. While I may “see” something, it’s generally altogether different from what another person would perceive. What is important to these workings, and how I determine that they work, is that the participants sense and experience something quite “other” than what is normally running through their heads. I usually sense the presence of the spirit, and in the case of the Super-archangels, it’s enough sensation to almost knock one completely over. This is what I call a “palpable” sense of the presence of the spirit, which includes visual and auditory paranormal experiences. One might see the vision of an angel standing before one, or not. However, my experience with invocation and evocation so far has shown that it will almost always endow one with a powerful set of impressions that continue (in dreams, insights and lucid visions) well beyond the moment of the manifestation of the entity.

What I seek from performing invocations is an immersion into the domain of the spirit, which has the power to affect one on many levels simultaneously. I may see and hear things, but other types of information are being communicated on levels that I am not immediately aware of until later. A invocation may have a finite duration, but its affects continue for some time afterward. Therefore, performing a suite of invocations over a period of just four weekends will cause these different angelic entities to blend together, building a powerful meta-spirit, which is the establishment of the Godhead Element, the goal of the first phase of this ordeal.

Also, it is my belief and practice that when a magick circle is set, the planetary hour is locked in. However time is perceived by one inside or outside the circle is irrelevant. Once the magick circle is set, time within that space is no longer “normal” - which is to say that the sacred space becomes essentially timeless. This not an arbitrary rule that I made up for my amusement. I have experienced so much time dilation or contraction within a magick circle that I believe that the time-space continuum within a magick circle is highly distorted, or at least one’s perception of it. Therefore, instead of having to speed through a working in order to complete it within an hour’s time so it is performed under the auspices of a planet, all I have to do is set the magick circle during that period, and the planetary hour is locked into place until the magick circle is sealed at the end of the working.  

Now that we have established these basic understandings about the nature of invocation in regards to how I work it, we can continue to explore what exactly occurred. These workings incorporate the rite Archetypal Gate Ritual, with corresponding mass and benediction rites. The overall working takes roughly around two and half hours to complete.

November 21 - Invocation of Zahriel, Seraphim of the elemental tetrad of Earth. Approximate start was around 6 pm, during the planetary hour of Sol, which was locked into the working. Zahriel was a highly energized entity, so much so that I sensed it even before the invocation was begun. Performing the invocation only greatly intensified what was already present in the magick circle.

The invocation itself was performed by me a little bit roughly, since I hadn’t performed this ritual in many months. However, it was accomplished correctly and efficiently. The ritual structure has been worked over for several years now and it flows very well, although I am sure that some would say that it’s probably a bit wordy. When the ritual climax was achieved, the resultant manifestation was easily sensible and palpable to both Grace and I. What we felt was a highly energized and zealous entity, full of power and inspiration - so much that it was almost bouncing off of the walls. My whole body was tingling with this energy, like electric sparks passing through it, and this phenomenon went on, although greatly diminished, even to the next morning’s meditation session. What I felt was an intense joyousness, zeal, exaltation - the joy of life. The following are some of the things imparted by Zahriel to me during the meditative period following the invocation.

Joyous existence - the happiness and great innocent pleasure in all of life - even when it seems like a burden to one. I saw a vision of a gaily dressed entity, like the Ghost of Christmas Present in Dickens' story, “A Christmas Carol,” amidst a halo of golden and brilliant lights. I felt all of the goodness that I have ever done for others compressed into a single moment of joyous and ecstatic happiness - an illumination of joyousness! I realized that knowing and being grateful for life was an important foundation to enlightenment, which can’t occur without that sense of gratification. All things happen for a reason, even tragedies, and looking for a single reason “explaining why” is an illusion. Life must be reckoned in its totality, from beginning to end. This angel gives the gift of knowing the essential totality of one’s existence before it has even ended - a truly remarkable gift!

We realize the nature of spirit by projecting our minds deep into our unconsciousness - and that depth of self and the deep inward projection awakens us to what is essentially “spiritual” in our lives. So in this manner we realize that we are connected to everyone else, and that our joy is analogous to the joy of others - since it is so contagious and uniformly found everywhere.

Some other points that were communicated to me: A developed life a great and precious gift, therefore seek to develop oneself to the ultimate degree. All good that is done for others has a powerful multiplying effect. One can never know just how a good deed for another affects them, especially when they carry it for their entire lifetime in one manner or another.

I suspect that we spend too much time thinking about all of the bad deeds done to us by others without ever accounting for the good.

Learn to be grateful for the good that has happened to you - and then treasure it in the eternal ever present “now.” Enlightenment is cold, empty and meaningless without the joy and rapture of the realization of the good spirit active in one’s life. Thus, we all have our own personal Agathodaimon. We should discover and celebrate it while we still are able to do so. Never knowing that part of ourselves is a tragic loss!

November 22 - Invocation of Yophiel, Cherubim of the elemental tetrad of Earth. Approximate start was a little after 8 pm, locking in the planetary hour of Jupiter. Where Zahriel was highly energized, Yophiel was much more subdued but no less powerful - in fact, this angel was perhaps even a bit frightening at first.

The invocation of Yophiel produced an energy and a presence that was profound and very intense. At first the angel appeared to me in a kind of threatening guise, it was silent and ominous. I then produced the sigil of Ratziel, and said that I had summoned Yophiel with the guidance and authority of Ratziel, and that seemed to completely break the spell of silence. The angel spoke to me in a kindly fashion, but with great reservation and intense gravity.  Instead of exuberance and zeal, Yophiel was thoughtful, deep, calm, almost gentle, but I sensed that behind it was a great reservoir of power and might, to be used to assist or punish as required. Needless to say, I was quite awestruck at the reserve and restraint that seemed to govern this angelic entity. However, I found that the information transmitted to me was full of benevolence and kindness, although strict and hard in its unyielding judgment.

This is some of what the angel communicated to me that night. The main point to his teaching was the importance of spiritual discipline, consistency and devotion to the Deity.  Devotion consists of the expressed and constant demonstration of the love of the Deity - giving offerings and purely worshiping it. This also includes forgiving the errors and follies of others, as well as giving alms to the poor and supporting one’s spiritual community. One should give either service or money to those who are bereft as a demonstration of spiritual solidarity with the human race. (Those who practice magick are too insular and generally disconnected from the rest of humanity, and this gap needs to be bridged.) We don’t need to live like monks or nuns, but we need to be consistent and disciplined in how we spiritual live. This must be observed as a precondition to true enlightenment. One should also teach and lead where he or she may, or to be an able follower, supporter - and above all else, to listen to others. Important spiritual messages often have the strangest and most unexpected sources. A chance encounter with a drunken derelict might actually impart greater (but hidden) wisdom than spending years meditating and pretending to be spiritual.

Perhaps the most profound thing that Yophiel imparted to me was the lesson of how to seek spiritual knowledge. He said to me, “Beware of those who espouse only the Light, for their hypocrisy will unleash their dark side, harming others and themselves!” He also said, “Beware also, those who indulge in the Darkness, for their corruption is complete!” Then he revealed to me an interesting idea - the way to the truth is found neither in the Light or the Darkness. It is found in the balance between the two. Spiritual wisdom is found in the synthesis, where light is the thesis, and darkness, the antithesis. After mulling over these and other important pronouncements, the invocation ended.

So that’s some of what I encountered as I invoked these two powerful Super-Archangels. I have much to ponder and think about, and that’s just the wisdom imparted by these two angels. I also need to prepare for the next coming weekend, when the ordeal will continue with the invocation of two more angels. I wonder how intense all of these workings will be, if I can endure them and digest all that is happening within them.

Frater Barrabbas

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ritual Pattern of the Archetypal Gate Ritual

I will be invoking all eight of the Seraphim and Cherubim over the next four weekends. The main ritual that I will be using to perform these tasks is called the Archetypal Gate Ritual in the Order. A prudent analysis of this ritual is probably necessary, so individuals will be able to determine that the methods that I am using to perform these invocations is unique and new in the arena of ritual magick. This ritual is short, concise, efficient and modular in its construction, meaning that it allows for the invocation of all of the Seraphim, Cherubim and the Godhead Elements merely by modifying certain qualifiers in the ritual structure, such as the element (determined by the invoking pentagram), the quality of the spirit (using three devices to differentiate between them), and incorporating specific invocations (in Enochian) and building an Imago of the spirit invoked. All of these qualities are defined and determined in one single ritual. What this means is that the magician does not need to write a ritual for each spirit invoked, the current ritual handles all of the variations. This is a strikingly new methodology in ritual magick.

The archetypal gate ritual was initially designed to invoke one of the four archangels associated with the Four Elements. However, this designation of element to archangel has been shown to be flawed and of recent derivation by the Golden Dawn, so the ritual was redeveloped to invoke either one of the four Seraphim or Cherubim. The rite can also be used to invoke one of the four Godhead Elements, but normally there is less use for such an operation, except in the case of the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal. One must first contact all of the eight guardian angels of the Godhead before attempting to contact it directly in one of its four elemental forms. However, the Archetypal Gate ritual is a significant departure from the typical methods that I have proposed, even than that used in the Invocation of the Angelic Rulers of the Decans. The basic premise of this new technique is to establish the Qabbalistic world and then upon that ritual-construct erect an elemental gate that further qualifies the specific angel to be invoked. The invocation proper is performed on the charged and empowered staff, occupying the middle of the circle,  which acts like a physical pylon (three-fold ladder of lights) for drawing down the angelic or godhead spirit through the eye of the gateway.

As stated above, then, the first phase of this ritual is the generation of the Qabbalistic world of Atziluth within the temple precinct. The magician who would perform this rite is directed to examine the ritual, the Qabbalistic Pyramid of Power, however, the required portions of this ritual are included as the first step. Once the Qabbalistic Pyramid of Power is performed and the domain of Atziluth is potently defined, the magician may go on to the next step, which is the archetypal gate rite proper.

The ritual pattern of the archetypal gate ritual has the following features performed in the sequence indicated. First, the celebrant produces an inverted pentagram pylon device, which consists of an inverted invoking pentagram of spirit feminine set in the infra-point.  Upon this ritual structure is set a “cross-roads” consisting of hexagramic devices set to the four angles of the magick circle. The hexagramic device is not used to invoke a specific planet, but is used to represent the union of masculine and feminine powers and the joining of the inverted and right side equilateral triangles - one symbolizing the female and masculine archetypes, respectively. The cross-roads creates an ideal ritual structure for the performing of an invocation, since it becomes a magickal artifice representing the confluence of magickal powers and the place where the domain of spirit and the material world meet. The cross-road is erected using both a deocil and a widdershins arc, where the first “road” is defined by a line starting in the Southeast angle, and traveling directly to the Northwest angle, and from the Northeast directly to the Southwest angle. The cross-road is walked by the magician, who is projecting a line of force with the transmutar wand held in out in front.

Once the cross-roads is set, the magician circumambulates the circle once widdershins, beginning and ending in the Southwestern angle. He/She then proceeds directly to the center of the circle and draws therein in the ultra-point another simple hexagram and charges it with a violet fluid, which acts as a counter force to the inverted invoking pentagram set in the infra-point.

Then the magician draws a line of force from the infra-point up to the ultra point, joining both nodes together, and creating a central pylon. He/She then draws each of the Angles together through the Ultra-point with the transmutar wand, starting in the Southwestern Angle and proceeding widdershins. This creates a pyramidal vortex, which functions as the basic structure for performing the invocation. So at this juncture in the ritual, we have an Qabbalistic elemental world, and upon it, we have the invoking vortex. At this point in the rite, the magician performs the first invocation of the chosen spirit in Enochian, chanting the Name of the Godhead or Super Archangel repeatedly afterward.

The next step in the invocation process is erecting the elemental gateway and the central invoking pylon, which characterizes the entity that is being invoked, whether it is one of the Seraphim, Cherubim or Godhead Element. The gateway is aligned to the Eastern Watchtower, making it a gateway of realization or resurrection (regeneration), so it is called the gateway of “coming forth by day”, symbolizing the dawning of enlightenment and self-realization, which is most appropriate for the invocation of one of the spirits closest to the Deity. One can easily see the allusion to the Egyptian Book of the Dead and it’s belief in physical resurrection. An invoking pentagram of the specific element associated with the gateway is projected into the core of the gateway tetrahedron ritual structure, thus establishing the elemental quality of the gateway.

The gateway is configured through the use of a trapezoidal cross set to each of the three gate nodes, in this case, the Southwest, East and Northwest, respectively. The trapezoidal cross is a hybrid magickal device that uses the symbolic qualities of the trapezoid to determine an alternate reality, since the trapezoid is reputed to cause strange ghostly paranormal phenomena. Trapezoidal structures can occur over time in a building, such as what is found in an old dilapidated structure whose joints have fallen out of alignment and are no longer square with each other. A building can have trapezoids deliberately incorporated into its design, like the Sears Tower in Chicago. All such structures have been shown to exhibit peculiar paranormal phenomena.

Using the trapezoid in this fashion causes the over-all ritual structure to become an out of alignment prismatic device that fosters “trans-dimensional” phenomena to occur. The eastern gateway using the trapezoidal cross device creates a powerful alternative reality or “domain” where the invoked spiritual entity may be accessed and exchange communications without any barriers or gaps occurring between the magician and the angelic being. This ritual structure is also a way of determining the spiritual domain of the invoked spirit, where the magician enters that domain to commune with the entity in its own rightful place and environment. Such a transition to the domain of the spirit invoked allows for a kind of direct telepathic communication between magician and spirit, and also provides for a transformative initiatory experience for the magician. A scrying session, however profound, can never equal direct contact with a spirit, this is the basic assumption behind this kind of working.

Once the gateway is defined and the magician performs the proper passage through it (via the portal entry gesture and sign), then he/she will set the charge and erect the invoking pylon using the sole tool of the magician’ staff. Using the staff to raise energy was a technique first explained in the basic Elemental working and here it is used to fuse all of the prior ritual structures and levels into a single expression of magickal power. The previous levels have been joined together through the elemental gateway, and a final charge is established in the “domain” of the spirit. This is accomplished in the following manner.

The magician emerges from the elemental gateway in the center of the circle and bows facing the East, drawing an invoking spiral around the center of the circle, creating an inner domain within it. The magician then takes the staff and re-enters the center of the circle, facing the East, holding the staff parallel to the ground. He/She begins to slowly spin in a counter clockwise direction, ever increasing the velocity of the spinning until the power is strongly felt. Then the magician stops spinning and places the staff into the center node of the circle. He/She draws the infra-point up through it to the ultra-point with his/her right hand, while the left is still holding the staff in place.  Then the magician intones the appropriate Enochian Invocation for the second time, chanting the Name of the Godhead or Super Archangel repeatedly afterwards.

The final actions of the ritual are performed on the staff itself, as it stands supported by the magician’s left hand, he/she uses the right hand to perform the following operations, using either the transmutar wand or the bare hand. The magician draws an invoking spiral at the top of the staff and summons the Unified Intelligence of the Archetype, then he/she draws either a Hexagramic cross device (Seraphim), or a Pentagramic cross device (Cherubim) or a Trigon cross (Godhead) in the center or core of the staff. Then the magician draws the energy set in the infra-point up to the ultra-point through the staff and so establishes the energized pylon of sentient intelligence, summoning the targeted spiritual entity.

At this point in the rite, the magician intones the special invocation of the targeted spirit and describes the nature and characteristics of its being, thereby creating an Imago of its spirit to use for contacting and communicating with it. The magician then intones the Enochian Invocation for the third and final time and begins to chant the name of the targeted entity while visualizing its imago, then slowly, with ever increasing intensity, draws the power of that entity from the top of the staff, down to its base, condensing the magickal archetypal charge and manifesting it according to the further qualification of the Qabbalistic World of Atziluth.

Once the Spirit of the Super Archangel or Godhead is present, the magician communes with it until it has finally faded away. Then the magician proceeds to the East and makes the closing portal gesture, thus departing the Gate, sealing the three gate nodes and the eight points of the circle.  The Archetypal Vortex is now closed, but the magician should remain in the circle and meditate for a period of time until all contact with the entity has ended.

This is the basic ritual structure for the Archetypal Gate Ritual, which uses methodologies and tools developed in the Order. I can’t expect individuals who don’t have a copy of this rite to fully comprehend how this ritual functions, but it is my hope that some of its mysteries have been explained. Those who are interested and wish to know more about the Order and its practices can examine the contents of this web site, dedicated to that organization here. Contacting me through that website will help one to gain access to the ritual lore of the Order. However, I would recommend that curious individuals first examine the By-Laws, which can be downloaded from that site.

Frater Barrabbas

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Abramelin Lunar Ordeal Has Begun

I have started the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal and will post articles at strategic points in the process to share with you how this ordeal is shaping up. One can spout platitudes and make theories about magick, but the real proof is in the performance of actual ordeals and experiments.

Since I have proposed an alternative path to the traditional Abramelin ordeal, joining it with the invocation of the Bornless One, it is important for me to actually test my hypothesis and to note the results for others to examine and ponder. What I have learned through my many years of practical experience is that one’s intention has a powerful shaping influence on what one experiences in the practice of ritual magick. What this means is that even a highly flawed ritual performed by a mere novice can be as effective as that performed by an experienced magician if that novice has the right amount of passion, zeal and an empowered and indomitable intention.

However, the difference between a novice and an experienced magician is that the experienced magician can repeat the phenomena produced and even share the rituals and ceremonies that he or she used with others for their examination and experimentation. A novice is effective often as a matter of luck or the right combination of effects, and generally not because of their experience and knowledge. This means that a novice may produce effective results or not, but only somewhat slightly better than chance.

On November 16, at exactly 1:14 pm CST, I began the Abramelin Lunar ordeal with an extensive meditation session and later followed up that evening with a Mass of the Goddess. What I experienced was a potent affirmation that the path and action that I have chosen is the right one for me at this time. I sensed that I had engaged with a powerful spiritual presence, undoubtedly that it was my personal aspect of the Goddess blanketing me with good will, anticipation and joy at the beginning of what will prove to be a very challenging seven weeks of constant meditation, contemplation and invocative ritual magick. So my personal aspect of the Deity is in a positive accord with what I am spiritually and magickally planning to do. That’s a good sign, but there have been other signs that I have experienced that would also indicate that fate is positively disposed towards me.

The previous weekend (Nov. 7), I invoked the archangel Ratziel (God’s Mystery) using the new methodology that I had assembled recently. Ratziel is a spirit that I have invoked a number of times previously, since I have determined that he is the core of what I have discovered over the years as a very different Enochian system of magick, incorporating the Nephilim as contra-archangelic entities as well as other variations. I intend to write extensively on this different approach to Enochian magick in the future, but for now, let’s just say that I am quite familiar with Ratziel.

Anyway, this entity, when invoked, had a profound effect on me and imparted some very fascinating information. The effect was one of acknowledgment, which empowered my intention and gave me a profound resolution that my desire to perform the upcoming ordeal is the correct thing to do. I had to recreate the sigil for Ratziel, having misplaced the one that I made for previous invocations, and the archangel told me that the new sigil was my passport and key for invoking the more potent and mysterious Seraphim and Cherubim, who I intend to invoke in the next four weekends. By the middle of December, I will have invoked all eight of these majestic spirits, and my intention for doing so has been strengthened by the favor and good will of Ratziel. I still need to carefully build up my intention before attempting these invocations, but now I feel more resolved and compelled to do so, and less cautious and worried about the outcome. Invoking these super-archangels is no small matter and approaching them with frivolous requests or unethical desires would be most disastrous for any magician.

Ratziel also imparted to me that he had a hand in influencing and inspiring me to formulate this ordeal, even though the credit for doing so is still completely my own. So what this means is that a bit of angelic providence has inspired and guided me to formulate this working. I must admit that I am greatly intrigued, and it would seem that the spiritual hierarchy is in agreement with what I am about to do. That being said, I must still be disciplined and diligent in all of my efforts in order for this ordeal to be successfully concluded. I will refrain from eating red meat, will eat sparingly and adopt a vegetarian diet for the weekend workings. I am also meditating twice daily - once at waking, and again before bed. The weekends will require some vigils and a steadfast focusing on just the magick at hand, to avoid any distractions. I must, therefore, complete all of my work before the end of the week so as to make myself ready for the major workings on the weekend.

So all is in readiness for the first set of invocations this weekend, when I will invoke the Seraphim and Cherubim of Earth, whose names are Zahariel and Yofiel, respectively. I will write up a report summarizing those encounters, and we shall see how all that plays out. Right now, I feel very confident about the outcome, since all the signs point to a powerful affirmation of the rightness of this working and its successful outcome.

Frater Barrabbas

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A New Magickal System

I have been looking over the old grimoires lately, particularly the Lemegeton, or Lesser Key of Solomon. This examination was admittedly stimulated by my readings of the Grimoirum Verum, which shares a few common sources with the Lesser Key. Some may consider the Lesser Key to be corrupted or of questionable value, but I have found it to be a very interesting and a useful source for magickal workings that are part of the magickal system of the Order of the Gnostic Star. As in the Goetia of Dr. Rudd, I have paired the 72 Goetic demons of the first book (Goetia) with the Angels of the ha-Shem, and I have considered both sets of spirits to be part of a zodiacal system of magick, based on the 36 Decans and the 72 Quinarians (10 and 5 degree segments of the 360 degree zodiacal wheel). This system seems to work quite well and allows for a balance of angel to demon within an angelic hierarchy. This, to me, seems a much better approach to working with the Goetic demons if one is going to work with them at all. I have problems with any magickal system that doesn’t attempt to balance aligned spirits. I am also particularly against any device or mechanism that proposes that one form a “pact”, bond or spiritual alignment with demonic spirits without first removing them completely from the infernal hierarchy associated with the Judeo-Christian system. One should also consider worshiping the highest entities in this reclaimed hierarchy as pagan gods, from which they supposedly have been originally derived.

However, I have been puzzling over the second book of the Lemegeton, which is the Theurgia-Goetia. This system is mostly a list of different spirits arranged in a hierarchy, although there are conjurations (in verba ignota) that one could use to evoke them. These spirits are classified as aerial and emanate from specific directions, which requires the magician to place the triangle of evocation at that compass point on the magick circle. Thus the magick circle becomes a kind of compass round that aligns the working to a specific terrestrial direction. The directions occupy positions that are analogous to 32 directions of the winds, although not as carefully differentiated as wind directions became at a date later than this grimoire. The compass round has basically sixteen points, four for each cardinal quadrant, and the spirits fit into these divisions, more or less. (The wandering princes pose a more difficult aspect of this magickal system, since they can be aligned to more than one cardinal direction.)

So basically this magickal system uses the four cardinal directions (with orientations to the four elements), assigning to them the four spirit emperors. Associated with them are other subordinate structures or lists of spirits. The first such division are the 16 dukes (probably grand dukes, to distinguish them from the lesser servitor dukes), who by merit of their number, would most likely be classified as elemental spirits, being variations or qualifications on the four spirit emperors, who represent the pure element.

The second division consists of 48 servitors of the four emperors and the 16 grand dukes. These spirits, by dint of their number, would represent a combination of the four elements and the twelve zodiacal signs, with the ruling planet acting as the planetary intelligence. What we have here is another variation on the talismanic system of combining planets and elements, producing 28 spirits total in that system. In this system we have the signs of the zodiac being qualified by the element and ruling planet, producing a talismanic matrix of 48 cells.

The third division consists of the 11 wandering princes, who are loosely aligned to the four emperors. One could represent this group as being divided into the seven planetary spirits and the four element spirits, as an adjunct to the elemental and planetary system represented by this overall system of magick. There is an implied relationship to the ruling planets of the 48 sub-dukes as well as a relationship to the elemental system that is the principle organizing factor in this system of magick.

There are also quite a number of servitors associated with the sixteen grand dukes, and each seems to have a different number of these, thus naming only a handful out the large array of possible spirits. These entities may be used in conjunction with the grand dukes or ignored as just more divisions that might not be significant. The basic premise used by me is that each spirit belongs to a specific cell that has a correspondence to elements, zodiacal signs and planets, so the spirit can be defined by the qualification of the cell that it occupies. Lacking a structure to define spirits makes it more difficult to either conjure or work with in the structures of ritual magick that I use.

To recap: There are four distinct but related groups in the system magick found in the Theurgia Goetia.

  • 4 Ruling Emperors - corresponding to the four base Elements and cardinal directions.
  • 16 Grand Dukes - corresponding to the 16 Elementals and associated compass directions
  • 48 Dukes - corresponding to the 12 Zodiacal Signs and four Elements with ruling planet (talismanic system)
  • 11 Wandering Princes - corresponding to the Undecigram of seven planets and four elements, representing spiritual aspects found in all of the above three groups.

One other factor to consider is that some of the spirits are thought to be good and others are malefic or destructive. The malefic spirits are not to be confused with infernal spirits and the Lemegeton makes this distinction. The spirits listed in this work come from the list of demons found in the Steganographia, a work attributed to Trithemius (circa 1500 CE). It would seem to me that these spirits, some or all of which are reputed to be demons, are probably more likely to be unaligned than aligned. This is because if they were aligned, then they would be either all good or all evil, not a mixture of both. What might explain this ambiguity is that the spirits themselves are unaligned, and can therefore potentially be used to cause good or ill, particularly if the spirit represents forces in nature that are volatile or destructive. So I would classify these spirits as unaligned, making them analogous to other element based entities, such as those found in the Enochian system of magick.

What I am intending to do with this system is to build an alternative elemental magickal system that will incorporate these spirits, using them in tandem or alternately with the Elemental spirits of the Enochian system of magick. I would assume that the Enochian calls would work with them as well, since they are established in groupings analogous to the four elements, just like the Enochian system of elemental spirits. So I will need to take the seals and various conjurations and put them into a defined context, such as I have outlined above, and use variations of my existing lore to evoke them. However, with the 48 sub-dukes and the 11 wandering princes, I have discovered a completely new magickal system to incorporate into the lore the Order.

Frater Barrabbas

Winter 2009 Abramelin Lunar Ordeal Working

I have written up a new version of the Abramelin Ordeal that is based on three half lunar cycles - from new moon, to full, to new and back again to full. The working takes around six weeks to complete, although there may be variations due the cycle of the moon. This particular one that I have planed for the weeks between now and the end of December will take approximately seven weeks to conclude. During that time I will be writing short articles to let you know about the results of these workings, although I will omit any really personal or intimate details, of course.

My purpose for letting people know that I am working this ordeal is to highlight that such a working can be accomplished, that we don’t necessarily need to follow the strictures laid down by the old grimoires. We can use this information, or not. I am certain that some magicians will disqualify what I am doing because I am not performing it as it was written by Abraham the Jew. However, since there are now two versions of this book in print (French and German sources), and two different durations (six months and eighteen months), I believe that using yet another variation will not violate the spirit and the intention of this ordeal. However, I will never claim to have performed the ordeal as it was written, and will clarify this by claiming to have completed the lunar version of the ordeal, which I have derived from the original.

The Ordeal

Since establishing the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal, which is a shortened version of the original ordeal lasting six or seven weeks, I have decided to perform this working myself to verify that it does indeed work as I have speculated that it must. This working combines the Abramelin ordeal with the invocation of the Bornless One, along with ancillary rites, recently culled from the Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (PGM). Included in this paper are the approximate dates and times of the working. This working will officially begin on Monday, November 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm CST (all times are CST).

Special attention should be given to when the moon changes it phases, where possible, the magician should observe these occurrences with special periods of meditation and contemplation, especially the actual advent of the working.

Daily meditations - after waking and before retiring. Evening meditations will include one long session with the Pyradym instrument. Additional meditations are to be performed when the moon changes phases and prior to a working. Ritual workings will be performed each weekend, except the weekend just before the Solstice. Special celebrations should be performed at that event, in addition to the consecration of the magick ring, an important preliminary working to the Bornless One rite series.

During this ordeal, one should perform a partial fasting and avoid meat, especially near the weekend workings. Keep a special journal and note anything of significance that occurs during meditation sessions, Pyradym sessions, dreams, insights, and the occurrences associated with the ritual workings. A final report will be written up, and the working as a whole will be analyzed to determine the efficacy of this ordeal. Times for the various workings should incorporate the most auspicious planetary hours.

Phase I - for four weekends - November 21 through December 13

New Moon - November 16, Monday - Moon in Scorpio - 1:14 pm

First weekend working - November 21 and 22. Invoke the Super-Archangels of Earth. Zahariel - Seraphim of Earth, Yofiel, Cherubim of Earth.

First Quarter - November 24, Tuesday - Moon enters into Pisces - (FQ) 3:39 pm

Second weekend working - November 28 and 29. Invoke the Super-Archangels of Air. Yahoel - Seraphim of Air, Ofaniel - Cherubim of Air.

Full Moon - December 2, Wednesday - Moon is in Gemini - 1:30 am

Third weekend working - December 5 and 6. Invoke the Super-Archangels of Water. Metatron - Seraphim of Water, Kerubiel - Cherubim of Water.

Last Quarter - December 8, Tuesday - Moon is in Virgo - 6:13 pm

Fourth weekend working - December 12 and 13. Invoke the Super-Archangels of Fire. Seraphiel - Seraphim of Fire, Rikbiel, Cherubim of Fire.

New Moon - December 16, Wednesday - Moon enters into Capricorn - (NM) 6:02 am

Phase II - Five Ancillary Workings Including Bornless One Invocation - December 20 - January 30, 2010

Lull weekend - Winter Solstice eve - December 20, Sunday - Bornless One Ring Consecration - Solstice, December 21, Monday - 10:47 am. (Includes dawn working and observation.)

First Quarter - December 24, Thursday - Moon enters into Aries - (FQ) 11:36 am

Sixth weekend working - December 25 and 26. Invoke Element Godhead of Water. Followup, Ogdoadic Godhead Vortex and Triple Tetrahedral Gate Ritual. (Special emphasis for Christmas for this working).

Bornless One Invocation Rite with Assumption Rite - begin with Triple Tetrahedral Gate Ritual on previous evening, December 29, Tuesday, and include all-night vigil. Perform Bornless One Invocation Rite with Assumption on early evening of December 30, Wednesday.

Full Moon - December 31, Thursday - Moon in Capricorn - 1:13 pm. Day of rest, meditation, and Feast of the New Year.

Bornless One Empowering rite - January 9, 2010 - Moon in Scorpio - tenth day after Bornless One Invocation Rite.

Next Full Moon - January 30, Saturday - Moon in Leo - 12:18 am. Bornless One Envisioning rite performed during the following evening.  

Frater Barrabbas

Friday, November 13, 2009

Magick and the Mind - Psychology Model of Magick

We have already covered some basic assumptions about the psychology model of magick, stressing the importance of mind control and the techniques of obtaining altered states of consciousness. Some might even say that discussing higher states of consciousness that are transcendental, as I do in conjunction with magick, opens me to accusations of harboring mystical pretensions. I would agree, however, that there is a mystical side to magick, particularly when we consider that the objective of all magick is conscious union with the Deity.

The Psychological model of magick proposes that all of the phenomena of magick are based on mental constructs, projections, assumptions and the effects of higher states of consciousness. We have already made the point in a previous article that this particular model can be easily abused, especially if one were to make the mistake of believing that all magickal and paranormal phenomena are just subjective mental processes having no objective reality. Magick is not just a mental phenomena, or else the other models of magick (especially spirit and energy) would have no validity. This line of thinking also feeds into beliefs like the Law of Attraction, which states that through positive affirmations alone you can change your world, forgetting that such affirmations also require hard work and a lot of strategic planning. So we must use the psychological model in a careful manner, making certain that we don’t over-use it or rely on it too greatly, distorting our perspectives on spirituality and magick.

That brings us to our main consideration in this article, the proper use and definition of the psychological model of magick. There are four major areas of the psychological model of magick that I use extensively in my system of magick.

  • Altered states of consciousness and Mind Control
  • Archetypal Symbols of Transformation and the Super-Symbolic Domain of Consciousness
  • Levels of the Unconscious Mind, including Jung’s Collective Unconscious
  • Metaphorical Allegories (“As If..”) and Psychodrama

Mind control is probably one of the most important mechanisms of the practice of ritual magick, using the techniques of asana, pranayama, mantra, mandela, trance and concentration/contemplation. One could assume that powerful altered states of consciousness would be an important part of the practice of ritual magick, but not all systems of magick employ them.

Another important factor is the deliberate use of symbols of transformation. These find expression in the many uses of occult symbols, sigils, characters, signatures, and archetypal godhead aspects. The Qabbalah and the Tarot are two of the largest repositories of occult symbols and devices. However, some occult devices are wholly magickal inventions, such as the sigils, characters and signatures of various hierarchies of spirits. In ritual magick, the combination of powerful altered states of consciousness and symbols of transformation trigger the emanations of the paranormal world, opening the magician to the reality of Spirit.

Metaphorical allegories are situations and practices where the magician unfetters the creative imagination and through it experiences a metaphorical reality ruled by the acting principle called “As If.” For instance, the magician behaves as if the spirit world were as sensible as the material world, and creates hierarchies and domains to develop an intricate structure of that world, even though all models and structures are actually incapable of really describing it. The magician acts under the assumption that these structures and spirit lists are real, using the power of imagination and belief to make it so. This logic can be expanded to include all of the models of magick, particularly Spirit and Energy, where metaphors are used as if they were physical phenomena.

The “As If” principle states that whatever a magician conceptualizes within deep trance and through the apprehension of symbols of transformation will produce something that is both allegorical and real - a kind of empowered myth. This empowered myth is then experienced and realized as a real psychological phenomenon. Expanding on mythic archetypes, there are also mythic patterns or themes, which are analogous to the mythic stories and parables of one’s culture. Acting out a mythic theme, the participants engage in a powerful psychodrama whose psychic impact resonates on many levels, from the individual all the way to the collective. Engaging in such mythic plays, the magician as actor assumes a role and a part for the duration of the story, and plays that role with a deadly seriousness and all-consuming commitment. Such a role becomes for a time, a powerful reality - a world of magick and myth come alive.

Such creative play-acting has two important considerations that are always present in the mind of the magician. These are that the role is made real through the imagination and that the dramatic play has many levels of meaning, not all of them wholly realized. The psychodrama is the most powerful and transforming group experience that one could have when it is fully realized and successfully deployed. It can also be absurd and horribly boring when it fails. The rule of “As If” must be thoroughly consistent. It must be faithfully observed and engaged in by all who participate, so that the empowered myths and drama are expressed in a wholly believable fashion.

Psychodrama is a form of magickal theater. It has been incorporated in many magickal and religious ceremonies, and in fact, it is the essence of all meaningful and significant public rituals, even those that are completely divorced from religion and magick. It is also the mechanism through which the magician creatively explores the mythic and symbolic universe of the domain of Spirit. A magician learns that reality has many layers of meaning through this kind of magick. This kind of magick teaches that people can assume a perspective where the mythic and the real converge to become one world of wonder and mystery. In the story about “Steppenwolf,” by Hermann Hesse, the pivotal transforming force is the magick theater and the individuals who play in it - all are powerfully changed by it and there are no spectators.

One other important condition to the “As If” principle is that the magician never loses the ability to know that he or she is using it to create assumptions and different perspectives of reality. A magician never loses the knowledge of what is real and what is a fantasy, for such a loss of grounding and objectivity would signal that he or she has become confused and possibly even delusional. This is a potential aberration that the magician always needs to be cautious about, limiting its effect through the use of objectification, peer review and periodic grounding. Losing objectivity is how some magicians lose their sanity, which demonstrates how powerful and even dangerous psychodrama and empowered myths can become if not controlled through objectivity and grounding. Thus, all tools have their utility and their hazards, and one should use them with care, skill and artistic exuberance, but never with abuse.

The mind is a very powerful medium that the magician creatively employs in his magick, since it effects both the individual and the collective masses. Psychodrama and empowered myths can influence and even transform the conscious minds of not only the individual magician, but whole nations as well. The middle of the previous century saw the creation of powerful national myths that destroyed whole nations and plunged the world into a devastating series of wars.

It appears that this phase of geopolitical fantasy still has a great deal of power to influence us, although fascism and communism have been replaced by ultraconservative politics and religious fundamentalism. These national level psychodramas continue to cause destruction and foment proxy wars across the globe. Hopefully, these collective delusions will be shown to be based on cultural fantasies, and they will lose power and cease from violently disrupting the collective good will of world organizations and their peaceful intentions. Such delusions melt away when faced with the objective truth, which is always the rational and practical way of the world and human existence. This is an import factor that a magician must realize, even collective fantasies can be short-circuited by objective truth.

However, the magician uses empowered myths and psychodrama to develop spiritual and magickal themes, trigger spiritual transformation and unlock reservoirs of creativity. Therefore, the Psychological Model of magick is quite potent and critically necessary to the practice of ritual magick such as that performed by the Order of the Gnostic Star. This model is used in practical combination with the Energy and Spirit models of magick to produce a hybrid system that is quite profoundly intense, meaningful and self-empowering. It is a tool worthy of the coming New Age, when ritual magick will be shown to be both necessary and pivotal in the growth and development of occultists and ordinary people.

Frater Barrabbas

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Problems with Goetic Magick and the Black Grimoires

I am reading Jake Stratton-Kent’s book “True Grimoire”, which is an operant version of the Grimoirum Verum. I am also carefully looking over and reading Joseph Peterson’s book “Grimorium Verum” at the same time. My purpose in this dual read is to answer for myself a puzzling question as to why the Grimoirum Verum is such a hot topic for practicing ceremonial magicians these days. How do I know that it’s a hot topic? Just do a “google” of “goetic magic” or “Grimorium Verum” and you will find a plethora of web based comments, Yahoo groups and whole websites devoted to this topic.

I will fully review Jake’s book in due course, since I have a lot of other material to read at the same time. However, I skipped to the chapter in the book that discusses the nature of the spirits of the goetic tradition of magick.

Ostensibly, the Grimoirum Verum has a central task besides the creation of various “demonic” tools, the collection of other important regalia and the performance of the evocations. That task is the creation of the parchment (or lamb’s skin) talismanic device that has in its center the signature of the intermediary spirit Scirlin. Jake has compared this spirit to the Holy Guardian Angel of the Book of Abramelin,. He has written that the two grimoires are, therefore, closely related. This device is supposed to be drawn with one’s blood, as are the signatures of the other goetic spirits that one chooses to evoke. So one could consider this central magical device to be a kind of blood based bond between the spirit Scirlin, the operator and the other goetic spirits.

Signing something in blood is basically a kind of empowered agreement, also known as a pact, although in this case the agreement is more implicit than explicit. For instance, there aren’t any terms to the agreement other than one must go through Scirlin in order to contact the infernal hierarchy to obtain the powers and abilities of their servitors as well as command the various goetic demons. The infernal hierarchy is quite plainly spelled out in the grimoire and it pretty much matches a variation that we have written about previously.

Jake also seeks to redefine, and in a sense, reclaim the infernal hierarchy as celestial spirits and the corrupted names of pagan gods and goddesses. This revisionism isn’t new, since Poke Runion has taken this perspective as well and has used it to good effect in his Solomonic magical system. To compare Ashtoreth to Astarte and Beelzebub to Baal Zebul is all well and good, if you also treat them as pagan gods, giving them offerings and reverently serving them with orisons and oblations (as I have stated in the article on the Spirit Theory of Magic).

However, the grimoire plainly works through the Christian spiritual hierarchy and empowered authority of Adonai and Christos, so the attempt by Jake to “white wash” these demonic princes doesn’t really work. If they are pagan gods, then treat them as pagan gods, not as underlings to be commanded and coerced through the Christian hierarchy. So the attempt to redefine the various goetic spirits fails because one is still using the Judeo-Christian spiritual hierarchy, and in that hierarchy, the opinions of the theologians holds sway, not the musings of neoplatonists. If you were going to make use of the definition of demons (as the Greek “daimones”), then you would also need to discard the Christian spiritual hierarchy and replace it with one that is uniquely neoplatonic.

Jake, like many others, is advocating the use of the Grimoirum Verum in its reconstructed and restored version, but that version is still the late 17th century variation that has as its center piece a blood pact with a supposed infernal spirit named Scirlan. Basically, my problem with this reasoning is that you really can’t have it both ways - either use the redacted spiritual hierarchy of the neoplatonists and profoundly rewrite the grimoire or accept it as it is, but with the understanding that the infernal hierarchy of the Judeo-Christian belief system is in force. To attempt to work with both understandings at the same time is to engage in a kind of self-deception - it has to be all one or the other.

Jake also does a nice job examining many of the names of the infernal hierarchy, showing how they are actually quite benign or archaically pagan, but he fails to perform the same kind of analysis on the name of the intermediary whose name is Scirlin. To help make my point, I have decided to take a swag at finding a source for this name, even though it could be just a name or even an acronym. The first four letters are “Scir”, which is undoubtedly a Latin word, and in this case it would be from “scire”, which means “to know”. The last three letters are “lin”, also an identifiable word in Latin, which is “lino”and has the meaning “besmeared”, “covered up” or “befouled.”

So perhaps the combination of “scire” and “lino” could be defined as “the obscurer or befouler of knowledge.” This certainly sounds like the name of a demon, and further examination shows that the spirit “Scirlin” is actually a powerful emissary of Lucifer, considered an “emperor” to the great demon prince. Does this sound at all like an analogous spiritual aspect to one’s Holy Guardian Angel? Jake’s white-washing isn’t thorough enough to make that argument work. If perhaps he had completely changed the hierarchy and totally detached it from the Judeo-Christian system, treating the demon princes as pagan gods and goddess, then I might agree that his system has divorced itself from the aura of demonic magic. Only in that kind of reclamation could such a system be considered workable, positive and constructive. However, that is not the case, so the system of goetic magic found in the Grimoirum Verum is intrinsically demonic and potentially dangerous.

Other systems of magic approach the use of demons in a very cautious manner, attempting to balance the potentially destructive and disruptive nature of demons with the creative and harmonious powers of the angels. These systems emphasize the requirement that a magician who seeks to evoke demons must do so under the strictest controls, and only after a very long and arduous period of self purification, atonement and religious devotion. One could very readily practice a very powerful system of magic without ever having any recourse to the evocation of demons, and certainly their incorporation must be accomplished with the gravest sobriety and caution. To rule the chaotic, disruptive and destructive forces in the material and spiritual world, one needs to be well trained, highly experienced and powerfully in control of one’s self in order to work with these entities and not be damaged by them.

A useful analogy is the constructive use of high explosives. A person who uses them to help clear the earth for construction or the bringing down of derelict buildings requires a great deal of training, certification, extensive rules of operation and detailed planning. Not everyone can work with high explosives - and its safe usage has many rules and regulations. Failure to observe these rules will result in terrible misfortune. No less will the careless use of infernal forces in one’s magic cause disaster and personal destruction. Balance is important, but little balance seems to be found in the three days of purification required by the Grimoirum Verum. Also, the blood pact with an infernal intermediary is very troubling, since it will undoubtedly be a source of highly questionable information and instruction. It will also very likely begin the process of spiritual corruption and completely nullify the state produced by the period of purification and atonement as well.

So with these thoughts in mind, I feel that the current trend in performing goetic magic is very disturbing to me. This is because in my opinion the caution and controls, the need for years of experience and training are absent for those who seek to work with the Grimoirum Verum. While I will not judge either Jake or those who have found his book a great resource of magical knowledge and praxis, I will not seek to use this book nor will I emulate what others are doing. I suspect that Jake has a mechanism to maintain his spiritual balance, since I know someone who has personally met him and has said that he is a good and honorable person. However, there is much more to his magical practice than what he has informed the public through his book the “True Grimoire.” It is possible that without this knowledge of “how to balance these workings” that the unknowing operator will experience the full measure of the bitterness of spiritual corruption and ultimate self-destruction. Jake has earned a full measure of responsibility for his action of unleashing on the world a corrected and operant version of this black grimoire.

All I can say is “Caveat Emptor”, let the buyer beware that the Grimoirum Verum appears to be a diabolic system of magic that requires a “blood pact” with an infernal spirit. This is particularly correct if the operator is performing the magic in the grimoire as it is written, especially the corrected version published by Jake Stratton-Kent. I will continue to read over the two books and will keep an open mind, but so far I am quite skeptical that goetic magic is a legitimate magical system that can (and should) be practiced in isolation.

Frater Barrabbas

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Magick and Spirit - Thoughts About the Spirit Theory of Magick

We have already discussed in great detail the nature of pagan Deity and the nature of human spirituality, and how they are linked and inseparable. We’ve also briefly discussed the magickal use of angels and demons to a practicing pagan ritual magician. What we haven’t discussed in much detail are the rest of the spirits and their use in the practice of ritual magick.

We, of course, are discussing systems of magick that would be labeled invocation and evocation, theurgia and goetia, necromancy, planetary and elemental magick. All of these systems of magick use the Spirit theory of magick, which is to say that they promote a system of causing magickal effects and phenomena through the conjuration and manipulation of various spirits. There are many methods used to perform this type of magick, and the larger body of that lore has its roots in antiquity. If you include the invocation of various gods, goddesses, demigods, legendary heroes and aspects of the higher self, then the entire spectrum of Spirit would be included in these magickal considerations, producing a very powerful operational tool in the hands of the practicing ritual magician.

Spirit magick doesn’t just use and manipulate various spiritual entities as if they were inanimate objects, it also proposes that they are distinct intelligent disembodied beings who exist in a specific time and place. Therefore, spirits are living entities that truly exist, but who may not be perceived by most of humanity. They also have a place of origin, just as do we. This place, which I call the Domain of Spirit, has dramatically changed in the minds of men over the last five hundred years. In the previous epoch, whole continents, mysterious realms underneath the earth’s crust, the ocean’s vast depths or high up in the sky beyond the clouds were places that were essentially unknown to humanity, so they were the perfect places where savants and occultists believed spirits had their residence, a veritable undiscovered country. Spirits, strange and absurd people and fabulous mythological creatures conveniently existed in these little known places. They were believed to be actual physical locations and were capable of being visited by human beings either through extraordinary adventures or supernatural assistance, or so that is how people thought in those times. 

However, in the present post modern age, all of these areas have been thoroughly explored, mapped and placed within a modern scientific context that would seem to exclude spirits, mythical lands and mythical creatures. No one who has his wits about him is searching the world today for the entrance to the underworld, the stairway or ladder to heaven or the kingdom of Prestor John. Modern occultists have found a true geography for the domain of spirit and it is called the Inner Planes. This domain is part of what I call the super-symbolic plane of exalted consciousness, where symbol, myth, legend and language merge to form a cultural matrix of belief and inner experiences, all of which is highly subjective, culturally determined, but also common to all basic human experience. Ritual magicians have direct access to this domain through the magickal process of immersion and astral projection, but indirect access through scrying.

Ritual magicians use the structures of strategic tables of correspondences and the symbolic design of glyphs, lamen and models (such as the Tree of Life, Hieroglyphic Monad, etc.) to produce an operational mechanism to define and qualify spirits within a matrix of belief, symbol and spiritual meaning. Tables containing the names and qualities of various spirits are useful for one primary purpose, to invoke or evoke these entities into something that is consciously intelligible to the ritual magician. Thus, tables of correspondences and spirit lists are an important key to the practice of conjuring spirits.

The purpose for such a magickal operation, though, has changed from the previous epoch. Do we really need to invoke or evoke spirits to help us find buried treasure, quickly transport ourselves or others to distant locations, send messages instantaneously, cure diseases, restore potency or reverse aging when there are quite a number of devices, services and products that already perform that function? Certainly, earth spirits, elemental and talismanic magick can be used to assist one in obtaining material advantages and insights that would obviously help living in the material world. However, the functional use of angels, demons, demigods and other entities is less clear, since much of what these entities can traditionally provide is already pretty well covered by a science driven technology. If we omit the various unethical purposes, such as seducing our neighbor’s wife or daughter, influencing men or women of power (for good or ill) and generally posing as some kind of arcane underworld power broker, then what is left to the original functional uses of angels and demons are the obtaining of occult wisdom and insights unavailable from any other source. This, in my opinion, is the true use for performing magick using the Spirit theory of magick. We seek occult wisdom through the intercourse with spiritual entities, and if we include their symbolic domain and seek immersion within that place, then we can also discover a kind of transformative initiation as well.

There are, then, five basic categories for the operation of spirit magick. While there could be more, I have grouped them into functional categories based upon the kind of magick that their conjuration would produce. Each functional group has a different mechanism and protocol for performing conjurations, so I have decided to group them as aspects of Godhead, Higher Self, Aligned Spirits, Unaligned Spirits and Planetary and Elemental Spirits. Each of these groups represents a completely different kind of magick and discipline to harness them. I have also ordered these entities into groups that have a higher to lower order of power and intelligence, with the bottom two tiers being roughly at about the same level. Let us examine these five groups, discussing the ritual mechanisms for conjuring them and the effect of that conjuration, keeping in mind that this is an organization that I have created as a heuristic device.

Godhead Spirits - These are the gods and goddesses of one’s pantheon or local area. There are also the elder gods of nature (sun, moon, seas, oceans, rivers, earth, etc.) as well as the gods of place and geographic location. Pantheons represent gods and goddesses that are determined by culture, language and also place of origin. Godhead Spirits may be categorized by the Qabbalistic Godhead, or not. One conjures godhead spirits in the most reverential and respectful manner, using liturgical rites and magickal rites of alignment, and these are called godhead invocations (to differentiate them from other kinds of invocations). Included in this group would be exalted demi-gods and honored ancestors. The mechanism of invocation would include paens, orisons, offerings and oblations (sacrifices). Godhead invocation causes a powerful alignment to a specific aspect or characteristic of Deity, even though that aspect of deity may or may not actually manifest.

Higher Self or Personal Godhead - An aspect of Deity that one is personally identified with, and is part of one’s religious and magickal practice. This is the God/dess Within, our own personal Atman through which all manifestations of Deity are experienced. One conjures the higher self godhead through rituals of personal alignment and godhead assumption. Performing such rites assumes that the magician is maintaining a specific personal cult of that godhead, making offerings, orisons and oblations to it, as one would do to one of the godhead spirits. The Bornless One Invocation rite and the Ordeal of Summoning the Holy Guardian Angel are variations on the personal godhead spirit. Godhead assumption, and its various analogous magickal practices, causes one to become consciously aware of the plane of Deity within oneself, producing states of divine ecstasy and the ascension and exaltation of the godhead self over the mundane self.

Aligned Spirits - These are spirits that are aligned to aspects of Deity, such as Super-Archangels (Seraphim/Cherubim), Archangels, Angels (Rulers/Choirs), and Goetic Demons and their servitors. Omitted from my workings (but not the working of others) would be the infernal hierarchy of demon princes. The mechanism for conjuring these entities would be forms of invocation and evocation, or theurgy and goetic evocation. Theurgy would use the methods of empowered incantation (different than godhead invocation) through the associated spiritual matrix, beginning with the Qabbalistic Godhead and proceeding down the hierarchy. The technique that I use for this kind of invocation is to define and express the symbolic matrix that defines the aligned spirit and its specific inner planes domain, and then to use the offerings of sacramental bread and wine as a replacement for the bloody sacrifice, to quicken the spirit into manifestation. For the Goetic Demon, I would use the power of the godhead and angelic hierarchy (along with the HGA or Bornless One, if available), and would include the added ritual actions of constraining (constrictio) and binding (ligatio). The conjuration of Aligned Spirits would be performed principally for the purpose of acquiring occult knowledge, wisdom or illumination through transformative initiation and inter-spiritual dialogue (intercourse).

Non-Aligned Spirits - These are spirits that have no specific alignment to any Deity, and would include various earth spirits, fetches, lesser ancestors, ghosts or shades of the dead, unnamed entities associated with a specific place or geographic features. We could also include other such spirits, like the Angelic Watchers or the Nephilim (watchers who fell to earth and mated with women).  Some of these spirits are manufactured by the magician (certain types of fetches) while others are natural to place and location (or time and place, such as lesser ancestors or ghosts), or simply non-aligned to the powers of light and darkness.  These entities, if they are not generated, respond to a combination of flattery, offerings and coercion. One would use these mechanisms in the conjuring of such spirits, such as using incantations and descriptive invocations to flatter and charm, offerings to powerfully attract and then constraining and binding spells to force them into a position of servitude and cooperation. Non-Aligned Spirits are used for various lesser types of magick, such as divination, necromancy, cursing, magickally coercing commoners or mundane folk, or the finding of things lost or stolen. Angelic watchers would probably not be constrained or bound, but could be summoned, charmed and bribed with offerings. Entities like fetches, some of which are created, have other mechanisms used to formulate, engender and empower them, and then given simple objectives to fulfill. Such entities need to be cared for as if they were human children, requiring frequent periodic feeding and direction. Fetches such as these usually reside in some kind of container (bottle or wine skin) or in magick doll or manikin. They can also assume the form of a small pet (dog, bird, pig or cat, etc.).

Planetary and Elemental Spirits - These are specific entities associated with the seven planets, twelve signs of the zodiac or the four elements. Included within this group would be the Olympian Spirits, non-angelic Planetary Intelligences, non-angelic Zodiacal Intelligences, Elementals, Binary-Planetary Intelligences (Bonarum), and the Talismanic Elementals (Enochian Seniors). Elementals are not be confused with the earth spirits of the same name, since they are actually the Enochian Elementals, consisting of a matrix of the four elements (analogous to the 16 court cards of the Tarot). These entities are much more archetypal than the other spirits, and more rudimentary in their expressive intelligence. These spirits are perfect for performing elemental and talismanic magick, which are magickal processes that directly impact the physical plane and affect one’s greater and lesser personal fortune. The phases of the sun and moon must be carefully considered when working magick with these entities, and locking in auspicious aspects of the lunar cycle (moon sign/house, lunation type, lunar mansion) as well as the sun (zodiacal sun sign and solar season) have a powerful bearing on this kind of magick.

Techniques of invocation common to all of the five spirit groupings use the energy structures of the magnetic vortex and the western underworld gateway, as well as incantations (words of power), symbolic qualifiers (invoking through a matrix) and the assumption of higher states of consciousness (psychic, subtle or causal). The magnetic vortex and western gateway establish the internal temple mystery domain of the spirit, and the symbolic qualifiers define the qualities of that specific domain of Spirit. In addition, one can also use sigils, characters, amulets, incense, various tools and offerings (wine, bread, milk, honey, barley and oil). Techniques of invocation would also include immersion, sacramental quickening, astral projection and scrying, as well as involving arduous periods beforehand for atonement, fasting and purification.

Frater Barrabbas