Sunday, August 30, 2009

True Modern Art of Theurgy and Magick

I have decided to include this section of an article that is part of my manuscript called the “Art of Magickal Evocation”, since it discusses so well the various structures required for a modern system of theurgy. I am including it here so you can compare this information to my previous writing on the method of theurgy used in the old grimoires.

Since we have been talking about an already existing magickal tradition of theurgic and goetic evocation, I should at least give a very brief outline and example of one such tradition, so readers will understand that we are talking about something that is real and legitimate. We can compare these practices with some of the practices that would have been real in the previous age, and see how they would have been translated into our current age. While there is scant evidence for what the magickal tradition of the late middle ages or renaissance would have been like, especially involving the illegal works of theurgy and goetia, I can base my arguments on a knowledge of what actually does work, and draw upon the experience of many years of magickal practice and the actual performance of magickal evocation.

First of all, we need to tackle the thorny issue of defining the terms “invocation” and “evocation”, and I must depart from the traditional definitions that are used, in my opinion, in a confused manner. I have already properly defined these terms in my document, “Treatise on Magickal Evocation”, and I have copied it below. I will use these terms as defined in the rest of this section.

“Traditional definitions of evocation and invocation are confusing. That is, they do not distinguish the fact that there are two actually distinct functional processes found within the magickal ritual process called evocation. As traditionally defined, these two magickal process cause a spiritual entity to be both summoned and projected into the conscious world of the magician. The traditional definition of evocation consists of the operations that manifest daemons or neutral spirits (goetia), and the traditional definition of invocation is the operation of summoning God-forms or good spirits (i.e., Archangels and angels via theurgia). However, in the techniques of spiritual magick there would be little difference in the methods used to summon either daemons or angels.

Essentially, there are two functional processes that are necessary to spiritual magick; these ritual processes summon the target spirit and cause its manifestation, focusing its essence so that it may be projected into the mundane world. Specifically, the first function assists the magician to make a connection with the spirit and develop its image, ideal form and characteristics; thus giving the entity a manifested body of light through which it may interact only with the magician inside his magick circle. The second process is where the energy and personality of the spirit is sealed to a specific purpose and exteriorized into the mundane plane from the Inner Planes, thereby actualizing the transforming potency of the spiritual contact. The first function is an internal summoning or invocation (invocare: to call in), and the second function is an external projection or evocation (exvocare: to call out). In order to precisely define the two processes involved with spiritual magick, I have chosen to ignore the traditional definitions and adopt the functional definitions in their stead. In this article I shall use these terms in the strict sense of their functions.” (See my article “Treatise on Magickal Evocation” - p. 2 -3 )

The first thing that would be required to work the higher forms of ceremonial and ritual magick would be a spiritual context. What is meant by the word “context” here is simply the World of Spirit and the symbolic qualities and entities that populate it. All models of the World of Spirit fall short of actually describing it because it is paradoxical. It is a world that is numinous and also abstract, and can be determined in a symbolic manner as well as by direct experience.

Information from past ages indicates that there was much speculation about both the celestial and infernal realms and the beings that populated them. There were also theories about the kind of entities found in the terrestrial domains of the four Elements. Magicians of the late middle ages would have had a great deal of oral lore and rich traditions about these worlds, and they would have been based on the theological speculations and literature of the time. This world view was established by the classical writers who proposed that the earth was the center of the universe, and that below the surface were the infernal realms, and above it, the celestial spheres, leading ultimately beyond to the various levels of purgatory and heaven. The earth itself was populated with all sorts of legendary and mythic beasts that lived in the skies, upon the earth, in the waters, and under the earth. The medieval mind saw the earth in a very archetypal manner, mixing the fabulous with the mundane, so that practical knowledge was allowed to coexist with myth and superstition.

For the modern magician, the antique definition of the world that was used in the middle ages by savants, clergy and sorcerers would no longer be a useful model, since it has been profoundly overturned by the discoveries of modern science. It has been supplanted in the study of magick with a new model, which is based upon an occult perspective of the inner planes or dimensions that exist wholly within the domain of spirit and mind, and are not to be found within the physical world. This new model of the inner planes represents the relationship that exists between the domains of spirit and the mind, and also how they can manipulate, shape and change the physical world through that relationship. This is undoubtably a model of consciousness and not a cosmology.

The basic model of consciousness has seven planes, and one can find explanations for this model in a large number of occult books. The seven planes are: the Absolute, Spirit, Mind, Higher Astral, Lower Astral, Etheric and the Physical. The Absolute plane has powerful numenous threads that bind all of the six lower planes into a continuum, so that all things can be said to be connected to the One. This is a much different model than what was used in medieval times, and represents a synthesis of Eastern and Western occult theosophies.

These seven planes also represent a spiritual hierarchy, since the higher planes represents a higher order of being than the lower planes. Thus at the highest or Absolute plane are the various facets of the Godhead, which is indivisible and always in union. Below the Absolute plane, is the plane of Spirit, and here we have the various angelic spirits, daemones (demons) and demigods, who can appear to function quite apart from the unity of all being, but who are actually as much a part of it as the facets of the Godhead itself. They are just easier for us to connect with than the unified whole.

Within the level of the Mind, Higher and Lower Astral, are the various spirits and entities, from abstract symbolism and philosophic archetypes, to heros, heroines, legendary personages, and spirits of the four Elements (elementals), as well as lower forms, such as various entities and monsters of nightmare, i.e. devils, vampires, werewolves, medusas, fabulous creatures (unicorns, basilisks, winged horses, etc.), etheric larvae, ghosts, disembodied thought forms, and many other entities and fragments of consciousness.

All of these entities are arranged in a hierarchy, from lowest to highest, and all are controlled and even commanded from their higher superiors. Some entities are too dormant and have no intelligence at all, and cannot be commanded, but just driven away (such as larvae and other spurious thought forms), and others display a great deal of intelligence and apparent autonomy. The magician commands and controls these various spirits from the highest levels of the Absolute plane, to which he personally assumes and is aligned thereunto. The magician acts as the Deity, and accesses all of these entities in his magick, or at least the ones that can produce constructive and positive magickal outcomes.

Structures of the inner planes that are used by magicians today consist of variations on this model of the seven planes. Principally, the Qabbalah, Astrology and the Tarot determine most of these structures, and instead of seven planes, there are four Qabbalistic Worlds (Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah and Atziluth), and various attributes of these four worlds. The first and most obvious structure is the forty sephirotic domains of the Qabbalah of the Forty Worlds, which represents the ten Sephiroth projected through the four Qabbalistic Worlds. Out of these forty domains are extracted the thirty-six Decans, which are represented by the zodiac divided into sections of ten degrees each, and the four primary Elemental Worlds, and these can also be associated with the 40 cards of the Lesser Arcana of the Tarot (Ace through 10 of the four suits).

Associated with the thirty-six Decans are the seventy-two Quinarians, or the five-degree segment partitioning of the zodiac. The thirty-six Decans are associated with specific Angelic Rulers, and the seventy-two Quinarians are associated with the seventy-two Angels of the Shehemphorash and the seventy-two Daemons of the Goetia. Because of the relationship between the Decans and the Quinarians, the Angelic Rulers of the Decans would have rulership over both the Angels of the Shehemphorash, as well as the Daemons of the Goetia. The Angelic Rulers of the twelve signs of the zodiac would have rulership over the thirty-six Decans, and would represent the higher spiritual authority.

There are also the inner plane structures associated with the twenty-eight Lunar Mansions, and these are arranged in a matrix of the seven planets and the four elements. Two other structures that should be mentioned are the sixteen Elementals, which represents a matrix of the four elements, and the forty-nine Bonarum, or Good Spirits, which represents a matrix of the seven planets. These inner plane structures derive different qualities for the domains that they define, but all of them serve to determine the inner occult worlds of the spirit, mind, astral and the etheric body. One can create a series of qualifying correspondences that would define the analogous symbolic characteristics of these domains and all of the spiritual entities associated with them. A modern theory of theurgical and goetic magick would declare that if the magician can fully define these worlds, and through trance and ritual techniques, enter into them, then all of their associated powers and wisdom, and the entities that populate them would become revealed, and ultimately subject unto him. And this is the objective of the modern magician, who practices a form of magick called Archeomancy, the magick of the source (arche - principle, origin; and manteia - prophetic power).

The second thing that is required to conjure a spirit is a precise definition of that spirit. No spirit exists in a vacuum, since they are all associated with one of the domains within an inner plane structure, and so their qualities are identifiable. In addition, the name of the spirit has certain associations, and these can be derived by numerology, gematria, or by comparing the letters of that name to Hebrew letters. The later method is one of association, where the magician determines the association of the Hebrew derived letters of the spirit’s name with the Tarot Trumps (paths), and then reads the sequence of Tarot cards as if it were a card reading on the entity itself. The name of the spirit is used to create a sigil, which is a symbolic signature of the entity that is used as a magickal link.

A spirit can also be defined as having an intelligence and an elemental body, and these two aspects can be minutely defined and joined together to actually give birth to the qualitative personality of the spirit. This is done by determining the qualification of each of the seven planets, Sun through Saturn, with one of the twelve zodiacal signs. A primitive astrological chart results that can be actualized when one invokes each of the seven planetary intelligences and qualifies it with a zodiacal sign. There are mechanisms to define a planet (the unicursal hexagram or septagram), the triplicity of a sign (lesser hexagram structures), and the element of a sign (the pentagram). These are drawn together to fashion the complex structure of the components of the intelligence of the spirit. The magician also creates an imago of the spirit, which details the more dominant aspects of its personality (character delineation). The invocation incantations can also be tailored to the spirit, and can be written in one’s native language, or Enochian, or some other barbarous or exotic tongue. The incantation for invocation is recited a total of three times within the ritual of invocation.

The elemental body of the spirit would consist of four elementals, drawn into fusion together through the artifice of a vortex structure. The magician would use the pentagram, both obverse and inverted, and a pylon magickal structure, so the two pentagrams would be joined into a unified expression, assisted through the use of the Enochian call for that Elemental. The four watchtowers would be used to set the four elementals, and they would be drawn into a central pylon, and the Enochian call of Spirit would be intoned. The combined vortex structure of the four elementals would define the body and emotions of the spirit. The magician would, of course, build up the etheric elemental container for the spirit before defining its personality through the seven archetypal planetary intelligences. That action would be performed in the center of the magick circle, using a large planetary talisman with a septagram or unicursal hexagram drawn upon it. The linear pattern of the planetary invocation (i.e., drawing the invoking hexagrams or septagrams) would be performed upon this talisman for each of the seven planets.

Perhaps one of the most important considerations for a spirit is its classification, and here I must deviate from what is traditionally considered the qualities of angels, demons, and neutral or earth spirits. First of all, I prefer the spelling and its modified quality for the word “daemon” over that of “demon”, since I do not propose an infernal system of fallen angels nor a dualistic universe where light is constantly fighting darkness. I would prefer to lionize the axiom that since everything that is within the four worlds is unified through the Absolute, then there cannot be diametrically opposing spiritual forces within the domains of spirit. I must, therefore, leave behind Dante and his world views of heaven, purgatory and hell, and instead use a more modern approach. This means that both angels and daemons are in perpetual union with the Absolute, but where the angel is an entity that guides and instructs humanity, a daemon is an entity that tests and challenges them. Both qualities are necessary for spiritual growth, and a magician must not only grow wise with the teachings gained through inner plane contacts, but he must also meet all challenges and ultimately exceed them. Also, one does not invoke daemons alone and in isolation, since they are part of an inner plane structure. The seventy-two daemons of the Goetia are associated with the Quinarians, as are the seventy-two angels of the Shehemphorash, and both groups are ruled by the Angelic Ruler of the Decan (the Decanate), which is also qualified by one of the Naib cards of the Lesser Arcana of the Tarot. One can see that there is a whole structure where certain qualities are affixed to the domain or cell associated with an inner plane matrix.

Neutral spirits are associated with the four Elements or the sixteen Elementals, and are a part of that inner plane structure. Other entities are the Archangelic rulers of the ten Sephiroth of the Qabbalah and their associations, Angelic rulers of the twelve zodiacal signs, Angelic rulers of the 28 Lunar Mansions, Archangelic rulers of the four Elements, Angelic rulers of the sixteen Elementals; all of these can be considered beneficial guides and teachers at various levels of power and wisdom. There are also the Olympian spirits of the seven planets, and many other various classifications of spirits. But they all have a place within some kind of inner plane structure, which assists in defining and qualifying them.

The third thing that is required to conjure a spirit is the Gateway ritual structure, which in the old system of magick was the called the triangle of evocation. This triangle is no longer set far outside the magician’s protective magick circle, since in the present age, the magician seeks to commune with the spirit in the most intimate fashion possible. If such an encounter is considered undesirable, then the magician should not perform such an invocation; but within the above system of definitions, all spirits can be accessed without causing the magician dire harm. He may undergo a profound transformation, and this could even cause him to become disorientated or even obsessed or possessed, but his soul will not be endangered nor destroyed by the encounter. This is because the magician has the advantage that he has already defined the nature of the spirit that he is to invoke, thus allowing him to prepare for it, and so there is no surprise at what actually materializes.

The gateway ritual structure performs two functions; first it unifies the elemental body of the spirit with its activated intelligence, and secondly, it opens the magician to the realm or domain as defined by the structure of the inner planes that he is using. The gateway that is used first is the Western gate of the underworld, and the magician literally descends into the world of the spirit as opposed to forcing the spirit to emerge into this world. A focal point is also created in the magick circle, and I usually use a large triangle painted on a board (for an inner gate) where the incense, sigil and other sacraments are placed for the invocation of the spirit. A staff can connect this inner domain with the center of the circle (where the spirit is defined and given expression), and this helps to fully define the complete inner structure of the spirit. Once the conjuration is completed, the magician ascends from the underworld into the mundane world via an Eastern gateway. Thus there is a double gateway that is used for the invocation or evocation of a spirit, and this makes it analogous to the cycle of initiation.

The fourth thing that is required to conjure a spirit is called the medium of manifestation. This is, of course, the surrogate for the bloody sacrifice, which is no longer a part of the performance of this rite. The Gods of various African sects may require flesh and blood to eat and drink, and that is, of course, appropriate to their rites and liturgy. But such a sacrificial act is no longer required in the art of magickal evocation. However, a medium of manifestation is required, and that medium is a surrogate for a sacrificial victim, and so we use consecrated bread and wine instead of a lamb or a goat. This, of course, is a similar kind of surrogate as that associated with the Catholic Mass, where the sanctified Man as God gives himself in sacrifice to humanity for their redemption, but what is served to the congregants is unleavened bread as a host and ruby red wine.

The consecrated wine and host for the evocation are saved from the sacraments produced by a simple mass for the Great (Holy) Spirit, which is performed by the magician as part of his religious duties as a priest in his own spiritual cult of Self as God, and used to feed and quicken the manifestation of the spirit. The host fragment is placed into the small chalice of wine, and this mixture is placed in the triangle within the gateway circle, along with incense and the spirit’s sigil. To consecrate the parchment sigil, the magician also dips a small wand into the wine and host, and then places it on the parchment, so as to leave a stain (the mark signed with blood), and then places the wand to his forehead, establishing a link between himself and the sigil. Then the magician sits comfortably before the triangle, armed with his sword on his lap, and goes into a deep trance, and then establishes a profound rapport with the spirit, which he summons one last time. When the rite is completed, the magician will dispose of the host and wine, since it has been absorbed by the spirit. He should give it as an offering to the earth.

Once the invocation is completed, and the magician has descended into a very deep trance state, he will perceive with his astral vision the materialization of the spirit and the revelation of the world of that spirit. Much will be transmitted to the magician, in a voice heard clearly in his mind as well the other more subtle types of communication that have been received deep within him, and these will be revealed in dreams and insights in the days ahead. And because the magician has generated all of the parts of the spirit, and fused them together as if he had given birth to that entity, he will not only successfully cause the spirit to manifest through the invocation mechanism, but will already realize the nature of the spirit, and there will be no need to test or scrutinize what manifests in his circle. This method of invocation will also produce some very remarkable magickal phenomena, so that others in attendance would also experience them no less profoundly than the magician.

The process of evocation within this methodology is considered secondary after the initial invocation and manifestation of the spirit. Once the spirit has been successfully invoked, it will appear when a simple version of the rite is reenacted and performed upon the parchment sigil, now stained by the mark of the medium of manifestation. The evocation process begins after the spirit has been summoned anew, and then the magician performs a powerful yogic exercise, sitting in the center of the magick circle, whereby he intensely activates his Ajna chakra, touching it with a host fragment with one hand while holding his staff to his back along his spine with the other. He then performs a breathing exercise of extreme hyper ventilation, called the Lotus 7-Breath (see my Disciple's Guide to Ritual Magick, p. 208 - 209).

This is a key ecstatic technique that allows the magician to project the latent power of the underworld where dwells the spirit, and draw it into the physical world through a process of extreme exteriorization. Once he has recovered from this exercise, the magician performs the self-crossing using the Rose Ankh device, and joins his chakras to form a cross on his body, where the center of the cross is his heart (Mantle of Glory). He makes the declamation of the Opening of the Gateway of evocation. After this is done, and the evocation is completed in the usual fashion, a complex ritual is performed called the Ritual of the Iron Cross, and once this rite is finished, it completes the exteriorization process and binds the spirit to a specific task for a specific period of time. The parchment sigil is the controlling device for this operation, and if destroyed prematurely, would end the evocation process even if it happened before the period of spiritual service had ended.

The key to this whole magickal methodology is the disciplined control that the magician has over his mind, and the deep trance state that he enters in order to perform the invocation of a spirit. This is a requirement, and the magician spends a great deal of time learning how to master this and other associated techniques to have complete control over his mind. It can be considered a kind of magickal Yoga, where the magician can deepen his experience of magick, and perceive the world of spirit from within, as opposed to seeing it from without, as in skrying. Trance states are the key to all the powers within magick, and the magician must be able to enter into trance at will or he will not be able to realize a full immersion within the domain of the spirit, and fail to perform the invocation and evocation properly.

In addition to the four things stated above and the ability to enter into trance states at will, the magician must also have at his disposal a separate room to perform these rites, decorated as a temple, with altars, talismans, vestments, and the basic tools of his trade, and all of these items consecrated and charged for exclusive use in the art of magick. This space must be clean and be consecrated for the magickal work, and so he must have the ability to generate the appropriate sacraments of sacred space, holy or lustral water, consecrated oils, and the consecrated wine and host fragments. All of these consecration tasks are his alone, and part of his priestly duties. He would have to spend a great deal of time studying, practicing and mastering these various liturgical rites, and that would establish a magickal discipline.

These rites would include a special periodicity based upon the diurnal cycle of day and night, the phases of the Moon, seasons of the Sun, and his own initiatory and transformative cycles. He would have to choose the time of the invocation (and other magickal workings) based upon the planetary hour, planet of the day, the phase of the moon and solar season, and the various astrological auspices - the transits occurring at or around the planetary hour. He would also serve his Deity on a continual basis, and would draw down and assume that Deity as part of his greater magickal work, and celebrate the times of feasts and the times of fasting in the name of that Deity. He would also be constrained by that Deity to a high degree of personal integrity and piety, and could not perform any magick that violated the trust, faith and service that he would perform for it. Such are the ways of the magician of the modern age.

The purpose of all of this magickal activity is to gain spiritual wisdom and union with the Deity, rather than acquire material goods and mundane power. For if the magician has mastered his world, then he has little need of performing magick for money, love, power or protection. However, the world is ever in need of wisdom and gnosis, and this would be his greater task - to bring the powers and blessings of the Deity down into the world, and so assist in the illumination and enlightenment of himself, and the entire world.

Frater Barrabbas Tiresius

Art of Ritual Magic - Ritual Patterns for Advanced Magical Rites

I am continuing the discussion of the system of ritual magic as practiced in the Order of the Gnostic Star, where a synthesis of Alexandrian Wicca and the Golden Dawn has produced an entirely new methodology for practicing ritual magic. This new methodology has produced techniques and ritual structures that go far beyond the limits of both systems. Keep in mind that this methodology didn’t occur suddenly, but was the careful and tested product of over thirty years of occult practices and experiments.

From the writings of the “Disciple’s Guide toRitual Magick” and the series “Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick”, the basic or simple ritual working pattern has been described and extensively covered. I should note it here, as it occurs in the book, “Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick - Grimoire”.

Simple Working Pattern

1. Circle consecration rite
2. Rose Ankh Vortex rite
3. Lunar Mystery rite
4. Assumption of the Grail Spirit (Godhead Assumption)
5. Western Underworld Gateway
6. Pyramid of Power rite (specific magical empowerment)
7. Closing the Western Gateway and Sealing all circle nodes

The above ritual working pattern is not part of the system of magic as found in the Grimoire of the Order of the Gnostic Star. This working pattern represents a prelude and a training device that will aid the student in being able to understand and perform the rituals as found in the Order of the Gnostic Star. You will notice that the assumption of the godhead occurs as part of the Lunar Mystery and is performed before the actual magical working, which is done as the climax to the other performed rituals. I believe that this represents a natural progression of ritual workings - where the vortex is set, the godhead is assumed before the actual magical power is generated, imprinted and sent out. Because this working is performed within a vortex, the release of power may be delayed until all of the ritual workings that make a working set (if they exist) can be assembled together and performed before being unleashed, which may be many days or even months later.

Complex Ritual Working Patterns

This brings us to the heart of this discussion. What were the ritual workings and methodologies that I created from the special synthesis of Wicca and the Golden Dawn systems of magic? I will confine my discussion to the first four Elemental degrees of the Order, since more complex workings would require a great deal of explanation and the developing of a sensible context. I think that we have already established the context for the first four degrees of the Order, and these workings are quite complex when compared to what one is capable of doing with the lore of the Golden Dawn or Alexandrian Wicca.

The first four degrees have associated magical lore and techniques that must be mastered (and proven to one’s peer group) before one is able to advance to the next degree. The first four degrees have the following magical ritual workings that are a part of the lore of the Order:

1. First Degree - Elemental Magic (using the Enochian Godname Pair and Calls)
2. Second Degree - Talismanic Elemental Magic (using the Enochian Seniors/Kings)
3. Third Degree - Theurgy - Magical Evocation (Archangel Angel/ Demigod Invocations)
4. Fourth Degree - Lesser Archeomancy. (Full Angelic Theurgy & Goetic Evocation)

All of these ritual magical workings use the following ritual patterns explored below in the following paragraphs. These would be considered the more advanced ritual patterns as used by the Order, and are beyond the lore published in the Disciple’s Guide and Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick series.

Pyramid - Inverted Pyramid and Great Pyramid -
Uses 4 Watchtowers or Angles joined to either the Ultra-point or Infra-point, and 5 letter formula. Circle is squared and pylon is erected in the center of the circle. Pylons can be set to the four circle points as well. 3 circumambulation spirals to the center and 3 from the center to the periphery. Creates power vortex using the invoking pentagram. Inverted Pyramid is projected into the Infra-point, and the Great Pyramid uses all pylons. Ritual structure used for various kinds of ritual empowerment.

Gateway Structures - Trigon Gate, Tetrahedral Gate, Inverted Tetrahedral Gate, Grand Gateway -
Uses 1 Watchtower and 2 opposite Angles. Orientation can be to the West (Underworld), East (Ascension), North (Stasis - Winter) or South (Growth - Summer). 3 node gateway (trigon) or 4 node gateway (tetrahedron), uses either 3 or 4 letter formula and is set with invoking spirals or trapezoidal cross. Tetrahedral gate uses either Ultra-point or Infra-point as 4th node. Grand Gateway uses Ultra-point and 2 opposing circle points (usually East and West) to form an equilateral triangle whose focus is in the center of the circle. Used for establishing a ritual transition from one state to another (higher or deeper).

Octagon Elemental Vortex -
4 Watchtowers and 4 Angles joined to Ultra-point and Infra-point - with pylon established in the center of circle. Watchtowers established in deosil arc, Angles in a widdershins arc - joining produces a fusion of polarities producing a powerful vortex. Central pylon established using the tool of the staff. Variation: 4 Watchtowers set with pylon of elemental, and Ultra-point and Infra-point set with central pylon. Alternate circle points set with other devices - used to create the Elemental envelope in evocation working. Uses invoking pentagrams and other devices, also Enochian Calls.

Invoking Vortex -
4 Watchtowers or Angles set with Rose Ankh device and drawn together with Rose Ankh device set in the Infra-point - this is done with a widdershins arc. Circle points drawn together to center of circle producing a magnetic vortex used as base for invocations. Inner circle drawn (usually deosil) and used to establish talismanic device of septagram, eneagram or undecigram.

Lunar Mystery Vortex - used with Elemental and Talismanic Elemental workings -
Ritual pattern consists of the following five steps:
1. Erecting the 4 pylons that characterize the Zodiacal sign of the Sun. (base: element - apex: astrological quality - card., fixed, mut.) Set to the 4 Angles.
2. Erect pylon in the center of circle (Infra-point to Meso-point) that characterizes the Zodiacal sign of the Moon (same as Sun). Draw 4 Angles together and to the Meso-point.
3. Set Rose Ankh device to the Ultra-point with an invoking pentagram of spirit feminine in its center, and draws a connecting line down from the empowered Ankh in the Ultrapoint to the Infrapoint through the Mesopoint, so all three points are joined together.
4. Set inner circle - enter and expand to periphery of circle.
5. Declamation of Lunation Mystery or Lunar Mansion - can also use the talismanic device of the Octagram. Invocation of Lunar Goddess aspect can also be performed.
(Elements are invoked via the pentagram device, and the Zodiacal qualities are invoked via the lesser hexagram devices.)

Elemental Magic Working - Grail Mystery Version (there are other versions as well)

Operations to each of the 4 Watchtowers, beginning in the East, proceeding deosil.

• Bows and then salutes
• Intones the Hebrew formula letter, then the associated word
• Draws an invoking pentagram device of the base element of the Elemental
• and projects into it a colored energy associated with the WT
• Draws invoking spiral
• Intones Enochian Spirit name of the Element
• Recites an incantation that invokes one of the four feminine avatars of the Grail, being Nimue (East - Air), Guinevere (South - Fire), Vivione (West - Water) and Morgan Le Fey (North - Earth)

• Perform the same actions in the center of the circle to the Infra-point, except that they are aligned to the Feminine Spirit - Marah Sophia.
• Intone the five formula words and join them - creating the key word for the feminine part of the Grail Cycle.
• Draw the four Watchtowers together into the Infra-point, causing them to fuse.

Operations to the 4 Angles, beginning in the Southeastern Angle, proceeding widdershins.

• Bows and then salutes
• Intones the Hebrew formula letter, then the associated word
• Draws an invoking pentagram device of the qualifying element of the Elemental, and projects into it a colored energy associated with the Angle
• Draws an invoking spiral
• Intones the Enochian Spirit Ruler of the Element
• Recites an incantation that invokes one of the four masculine avatars of the Grail, being Authur-Rex (Southeast - Fire), Ambrosius Merlinius (Northeast - Air), Calixtus Hermiticus (Northwest - Earth) and Lancelot Dulac (Southwest - Water)

• Performs the same actions in the center of the circle to the Ultra-point, except that they are aligned to the Masculine Spirit - Lucis Christos
• Intone the five formula words and join them - creating the key word for the masculine part of the Grail Cycle
• Draw the four Angles together into the Ultra-point, causing them to fuse

Generate the elemental vortex by merging the two polarized vortex structures that are in the Infra-point and the Ultra-point.

Stand in the center of the circle and draw to each of the four Watchtowers the device of the equal-arm cross, performing this in a deocil arc.

• Intone the associated Qabbalistic Name of the Godhead (in Latin)
• Draw an equal-arm cross
• Seal with an invoking spiral
• Intoning one of the four letters of the Grail formula
• Recite an invocation to one of the four Archangels (Raphael - East, Michael - South, Gabriel - West, Uriel - North), drawing an invoking spiral around both devices

Perform these same actions in the center of the circle:
• Intone the Godhead name (Lux Albus Deus - White Light God)
• Daw an equal-arm cross in the Meso-point
• Intone the Grail formula letter and word
• Invoke the Archangel Ratziel - the Archangel of the Grail Mysteries

Final Actions:
• Draw an invoking spiral around the pentagram in the Infra-point, the Ultra-point, and then draw them together through the Meso-point
• Draw all eight of the outer circle nodes together by tracing an inner circle with the tip of the sword Recite the final Grail Formula
• Intones the Enochian Call associated with the Elemental
• Erects staff in center of the circle as super pylon
• Summon Enochian Godname Pair
• Draw Elemental energy through the staff

Talismanic Elemental Working

The Talismanic Elemental Vortex ritual is used to invoke the twenty-eight Enochian Seniors/Kings.

The Talismanic Elemental Vortex ritual is divided into two major parts. The first part establishes the base of the element, and the second invokes the planetary intelligence. These two distinct ritual structures are brought together through the use of a gate trigon, which is generated through the use of the three Gate Keys set to the Western Watchtower and the Northeast and Southeast Angles, thus forming the threshold of the underworld gateway. The joining of the element and the planetary intelligence produces the unified spirit of the Enochian Senior, but the magician is also exposed to the domain of the Senior because of the gate trigon.

The first structure that is required in this working is the generation of the Element Pyramid. The Element Pyramid ritual structure consists of setting a pylon to each of the four Watchtowers and the center of the circle. The pylons, erected in each Watchtower, are joined to the one in the center of the circle, and there is established a pylon vortex structure, also called a Pyramid of Power. Then the magician generates the invoking vortex over the pyramid of power, and establishes within it the inner ring. A Septagramic talisman is set in the center of the circle where it is charged and sealed. The magician then traces the appropriate planetary angle upon the face of the septagram talisman, intones the special Enochian call to summon the Planetary Intelligence and then reads the incantation that presents the magickal qualities and imago of the planetary intelligence. A Western Underworld gateway is then erected to establish the domain and world of the planetary intelligence.

The final part of the ritual is where the magician summons the spirit of the Enochian Senior through the combined forces of the Elemental Pyramid and the invoking vortex imbued with the planetary intelligence. The gateway has caused these two forces to fuse, and at this point in the ritual, they are now a single force. The magician summons the Enochian Senior into this matrix of power and sentience. The focus is the sigil of this spirit, prepared with the magickal signature of the spirit’s name and empowered and blessed with a drop of sacramental wine obtained from a previous mass performed for that purpose. The magician charges the sigil that was placed in the center of the magick circle on the talismanic septagram with a violet energy and an invoking spiral.

Theurgy and Evocation -

The ritual patterns and methodologies for theurgy and evocation as they are practiced in the Order are covered in the next article (which is included with this one). Suffice it to say that these ritual magical workings use the combination of the Elemental Envelope, the Invoking Vortex (with the inner circle set with a Septagram talismanic device), and establishing the Imago of the Spirit through an invocation process that includes invoking all seven of the planetary intelligences, and then performing an underworld gateway and establishing a method of manifestation using the sacrament from a magical Mass. Theurgy uses a ritual pattern called the Quintedecim complex, which is symbolized by the quintedecagon.

Lesser Archeomancy -

I define archeomancy as a magical system that causes the invocation of the source domain of the spirit so invoked. Archeomancy is a word that I define as the combination of the Greek words arche - principle, origin; and manteia - prophetic power. The word archeology is derived from the Greek words archai and logos, which means the study of antiquity or ancient remains, where archai is synonymous with archaic. Archeomancy could also be divination by the use of old statues, but I have chosen this specific meaning for the term - Divination or magic via the source or principal.

Lesser archeomancy is where the theurgic operation is performed within the context of the ten Sephiroth of the Tree of Life and one of the four Qabbalistic Worlds. The Qabbalistic World is invoked through a Pyramid of Power ritual, attuned to specific qualities of that world. The Sephirah is invoked through the artifice of the Eneagram talisman, erected in the center of the circle and overlaid with an invoking vortex. An underworld gateway is used to open one up to the specific inner plane domains defined by the combination of Qabbalistic World and Sephirah, which also happens to be one of the thirty-six decans (ten degree segment) of the Zodiac, and their associated Ruler, the Angel of the Decan. The Angelic Ruler of the Decan also controls the associated quinarians (five degree segments), which in this case would be ruled by the 72 Angels of the Ha-Shemhemphorash, and their demonic counterparts, the 72 demons of the Goetia.

Lesser archeomancy is used to perform inner plane workings as well angelic and demonic evocations.

Other structures -

Cross roads - devices or pylons drawn together crossing the center of the circle (Watchtowers or Angles). This ritual structure establishes a vortex domain, so it is similar to a gateway. Often an implied or realized godhead resides at the place where the cross roads cross.

Hexagramic Gate - Double gateway - both West and East, representing the full cycle of initiation as the Hero’s Journey. Used for initiations and pathworking.

Enagramic Gate - Triple Gateway - West, North and South - representing the powers of creation and death that act as powerful transformation agents in the underworld domain.

Septagonic Vortex - Pylons set to the 4 Watchtowers, drawn together to form a magic cube. Over this is established an invoking vortex. A Western gateway is erected on the cube and invoking vortex, forming an inner trigon. Then all seven points of the magic circle (4 WTs and 3 nodes of the Western Gateway) are drawn together to form the septagonic vortex. This is an elaborate invoking vortex that can used as a simplified system of Theurgy.

Step Pyramid - four interlocking pyramids, one on top of the other, are erected to establish a highly charged and empowered inner domain, especially when a gateway is established at the apex. This ritual structure is used to stack all four of the Qabbalistic Worlds, beginning with Assiah and ending with Atziluth, to establish the greater Qabbalistic domain of the Absolute. I use this ritual structure as the base for the Bornless Rite, which is performed within the inner gateway of this rite.

This concludes my discussion of ritual structures as they are used in the Order, to empower and facilitate advanced magical ritual workings.

Frater Barrabbas Tiresius

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Art of Ritual Magic - Basic Structures and Considerations

Unlike the Golden Dawn system of magic and its offshoots, such as the inspiration for Thelemic magic, the magical system used in the Order of the Gnostic Star is based on a synthesis of ideas found in Wicca and Neopaganism. Ritual ideas from the Golden Dawn were used to extend this lore, but one should not equate use with sameness. This is ostensibly where the practice of ritual magic diverges from classical modern ceremonial magic. Ritual magic uses a magic circle in its rites, whether they are performed in a temple or in an outside grove. Ritual magic also makes extensive use of meditation techniques and other methods culled from the teachings of Hatha, Pranayama, Mantra and Mandala (Yantra)Yogas, and also Franz Bardon. The purpose of these meditation techniques is to master the operations of mind control, to assume deep states of trance and to project pranic energies directly into magical operations.

The use of a magic circle is to establish a focus and a boundary for the energies and operations performed within it. The boundary separates the workers from the mundane world. All that is contained within the circle is considered sacred, and what is without is profane. The boundary is also porous, since individuals and entities may be brought in or allowed to leave during magical operations. Ceremonial magic uses a magic circle for Goetic magic, and it is errected for the sole purpose of protecting the workers from the demonic entities evoked. Traditional Golden Dawn magic did not incorporate a magic circle for its rites, but it did use an enclosed space decorated with talismans and magical signatures, called the Vault of the Adepti.

Perhaps the most important difference between ceremonial magic and ritual magic is the great importance placed on assuming the godhead and performing ritual magic in that guise, and its utter lack in the works and rites of ceremonial magic. The ceremonial magician engages in a great amount of pious religious works and observances, and after a suitable period of preparation and atonement, performs magic as the surrogate representative of the Deity, and not as the person of that entity. The ritual magician also engages in a great deal of devotion, too. However, the ritual magician performs devotions and religious liturgies not to woo or placate a distant or aloof Deity, but to prepare for the invocation and direct assumption of that being. A ritual magician also has the option of blessing substances while assuming the Godhead, and can make use of sacraments so produced - for communion or magical uses.

A ceremonial magician temporarily borrows the perquisites and prerogatives of the Deity to perform magical operations, while the ritual magician performs magic after having directly assumed the spirit of the Deity into his being. There couldn’t be a more striking difference between these two traditions, and they represent a kind of schism in the ideal world of the practice of magic. Of course, these distinctions are based on a pure theory of magic and represent ideals that are not readily observable in the real world. In the real world, magic is practiced in a number of variations, where some Thelemic magicians are more aligned to ritual magic than practitioners of Wicca and Neopaganism, some of whom have taken a rather Christian perspective on Godhead assumption, and have abandoned it for more pious forms of worship.

Ritual magic, as practiced by the Order also makes use of the three Mysteries to build and practice magic in a structured and disciplined manner. These three mysteries are associated with the natural phenomena of the Moon, Sun and the periodic transformation of the Self. A vortex and a gateway is used to establish these mysteries, and these special practices are also used to guide the performance of liturgical as well as magical workings.

The Lunar Mysteries are very much involved with the practice of earth based or talismanic magic, to aid the ritual magician and his fellow workers or clients (family, lovers and friends). The Solar Mysteries are used to divide the year and mark the changing of the seasons, so sacralizing the world with an earth-based spiritual perspective, as well celebrating mile-stones for individuals or groups.

The Mysteries of the Self are represented by period and also profound changes that occur in the practitioner. These can be guided and deliberately brought on by various ritual practices and workings, and they may also spontaneously occur, characterizing that a magician lives a life of continual transcendental transformation. The ritual magician can celebrate or commemorate these occurrences with initiation rituals and ceremonies. However, the Major Arcana of the Tarot is the key and lends its themes to the cycle of initiation used by the ritual magician.

Tarot and Qabbalah are extremely important to ritual magic, as they are to classical ceremonial magic. In ritual magic, the magician is continually crafting the repertoire of rituals, so there is a need for an expertise in Notariqon and Temurah. These are used to build up and explode formula acronyms, to find formula letter substitutions, and to craft sigils, characters and symbolic magical links. The Qabbalah also provides an extensive system of tables of correspondences, which are used to qualify and gather together certain symbology to be used in rituals. The Tarot also lends its symbology and imagery to the building and developing of a magical system. Tarot cards are used for both passive inquiry as well as active resolution. To the ritual magician, a deep knowledge and understanding of the Qabbalah and the Tarot are required for developing new magical rituals, ceremonies and workings, and determining new directives and spiritual goals. One could also include a knowledge of yoga, astrology, alchemy, and forms of sacred sexuality.

Finally, ritual magic makes extensive use of the “energy” theory of magic to build up energy based structures that emulate in their design sacred geometry. Such energy structures are prismatic geometric shapes, seen as dimly perceived auric lines of force. The repertoire of these structures is limited to the four watchtowers, angles, and the three points in the center of the circle. So these structures consist of lines of force, pylons, trigons, circles, squares, pentagons, hexagons, septagons, octagons, spheres, cubes, pyramids, tetrahedrons, hexahedrons, and inner star-form talismans using the septagram, eneagram, undecigram and the quintedecagon. Ritual magic also uses crystals as energy collectors and emitters, solid fluid condensors, magical statues of various godheads and mythic creatures, and various sacramental substances and fetishes.

In the case of crystals, there are three types used in ritual magic. The first is used as a collector, kept either on or at the foot of the main altar (this is usually a large crystal), the second is used as a controller, and is worn around the magician’s neck. The third is used in a wand, creating a crystal tipped wand that is also known as the trasmutar wand. These three crystals are bound together and work as a single tool. The collector collects and recalls the magical energies used in all rituals performed before it, the controller necklace is used to empower the magician at all times while wearing it, and the transmutar wand directs the powers so deployed. All of these devices and tools make use of a very detailed and elaborate energy theory of magic. The energy theory of magic is equally important to the spirit theory of magic, and in fact they are powerfully blended into a single discipline of ritual magic.

A Generic Ritual Pattern

The generic ritual pattern consists of various ritual actions that are performed at various points in the magic circle. As we have established previously, there are eleven of these points. A ritual pattern consists of the following actions being performed using a grouping of these various circle points to form basic geometric shapes, such as those itemized above.

The ritual actions are to be performed at any of the eleven points in the magic circle (4 WTs, 4 Angles, UP, MP & IP) - device can be drawn with dagger or transmutar wand.

At the periphery of the circle -

• Vibrate a formula letter
• Draw devices (device plus invoking spiral)
• Project colored energy into device
• Intone Keyword
• Express Keyword formula declamation

At the center of the circle -

• Vibrate a formula letter (optional)
• Draw devices (device plus invoking spiral)
• Project colored energy into device
• Intone Keyword (optional)
• Express Keyword formula declamation (optional)

• Draws all circle points together using sword or transmutar wand - so creating the geometric prismatic shape using visualized colored lines of force. Ritual geometric shapes have their ground in the center of the circle.

• Reiterates Keywords (to associated circle points)
• Declaims Notariqon formula - letters of the Keywords are extracted and assembled to form a magical word or formula.
• Expresses ideal associated with the formula assembled word.

The above ritual draws all of the parts of the magical geometric shape into union, giving the final form a magical word or formula that acts as a powerful unifier for the whole rite. Each of the Keywords and their declamations are pulled together to create a new word that represents their semantic union. This ritual mechanism is comparable to the Golden Dawn ritual of the Analysis of the Keyword, but its use is to unite all of the ritual components into a powerful kind of synopsis. Words that are chosen to fashion Keywords and Word Formulas can be of any language, and are typically English, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Enochian, Egyptian, Classical Arabic, or even the mysterious Verba Ignota of the old grimoires.

Devices used in Ritual Magic

There is quite a large repertoire of devices that can be employed in the above generic ritual pattern. I have listed sixteen, but the actual number is probably indeterminable.

Magical Device - Basic Use

Lines of Force: Connecting points to form prismatic geometry
4 Spirals (invoke, seal, banish, unseal): Empowering device, form of resonator
Pylon and Double Pylon: Polarized lines of force - fusion line of force
Equal Arm Cross: Union of all forces
Rose Cross: Solar Powers of Deity - Electric Energy
Rose Ankh: Lunar Powers of Deity - Magnetic Energy
Iron Cross: Martial Powers of Deity
Swastika - left and right: Cosmic Solar Powers - Light and Dark
Trapezoidal Cross: Generates Alternative Reality
Inverted Rose Ankh: Orb of Terrestrial Power
Pentagram: Generates Element Energy - Ascending Godhead
Inverted Pentagram: Generates Element Energy - Descending Sacrament
Lesser Hexagram (3 forms): Symbolizes the three Astrological Qualities
Hexagram (joined triangles): Symbolizes Union of Archetypal Male & Female
Octagram (4 claw version): Draws powers from all points and seals it in place
Pentagramic Cross/Ankh: Generates sacralized energy from Godhead

In addition, the ritual magic used by the Order also has a special ritual structure that is known as an inner ring, or a magic circle within a magic circle. The inner ring is drawn (often with a deosil arc), the opening portal gesture is made, and therein is placed one of the four talismanic paintings. These specially constructed large rectangular talismans (3 by 2 feet) are made of wood that is painted with a flat background (often black), and upon that background a star-form is illustrated in vibrating colors. There are four difference star-forms, and these are the Septagram, Eneagram, Undecigram and the Quintedecagon. An Octagram star-form can also be used (to signify the Lunation Cycle, among other things).

The star-forms have the following uses.

Septagram - to invoke one or all of the Planetary Intelligences
Octagram - to invoke one or all of the Lunation Types (optional)
Enegram - to invoke one of the ten Sephiroth of the Qabbalah
Undecigram - to invoke one of the twelve Zodiacs, also used to forge a combination of a shaped Element power and one of the seven virtues - could also be used to invoke one of the Seniors or Talismanic Elemental.
Quintedecagon - symbolized the fusion of the Octagon and the Septagram - the invocation vortex of magickal evocation.

This should give you an idea of how this system of Ritual Magic works, as it is practiced in the Order of the Gnostic Star. There are other variations of these techniques used in the more advanced and complex ritual workings that the Order has adopted and made use of - yet these should suffice to give anyone a clear idea of how ritual magic is used in the Order.

Frater Barrabbas Tiresius

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Golden Dawn and British Tradition Witchcraft Magic - Blending Into New Forms

As I have stated previously, the Golden Dawn system of magic has strongly influenced many other systems of magic in use today. I would like to focus on how the Golden Dawn influenced the method and techniques of working magic in the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions of Witchcraft, and also on how I was able to derive a completely new system of magic by blending them together.

Basically, the typical Wiccan Esbat as practiced in the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions of witchcraft has the following structure.

1. Circle Consecration
2. Raising the Cone of Power - first iteration
3. Imprinting the power and releasing Cone of Power
4. Godhead assumption - particularly the rite - Drawing Down the Moon
5. Blessing and communion
6. Circle banishment

This ritual working structure may seem unique, but it’s really a clever adaption of the Golden Dawn ritual working.

To recap, this is the typical ritual pattern for a Golden Dawn working. Notice the similarities.

1. Temple opening rites - banishing and purification - lesser banishing rituals of the pentagram and hexagram, and performing the rite of purification with water and consecration of fire - unwrap specific tool (element or specific invoking wand).

2. Qabbalistic cross, invocation of the Highest Divine Force

3. Core rite to invoke aspect of spiritual hierarchy - using the greater invoking ritual of the pentagram or the hexagram to each quarter beginning in the east and ending at the altar. Assume Egyptian godform, draw devices (invoking pentagram/hexagram with color and associated symbolic character), give secret name and grade signs. Trace appropriate sigils and Hebrew Godnames over altar, vibrating spirit names of the hierarchy in a descending order, and ending with the incantation of one of the Enochian calls.

4. Circumambulation of the circle specific number of times and perform the Rite of the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. State magical intentions and then perform the middle pillar exercise. Skry into the corresponding plane of the spiritual hierarchy - one can also perform specific practical magical workings.

5. Rewrap tool(s) and any other charged devices. Reverse circumambulation of the circle the same number of times and then perform the godform divestment.

6. Perform Greater Banishing rite of the Pentagram or Hexagram. Perform lesser banishing rituals of the pentagram and hexagram. Declare temple to be closed.

Wiccan magic incorporates a magic circle in its rites, so the first ritual in a Wiccan working is called a circle consecration rite. However, if one were to pull together the rite of purification with water and consecration of fire, and follow it with the setting of the four cardinal directions with invoking pentagrams, then one would have a rite similar to the circle consecration rite. The cone of power would be understood to be a simpler version of the Golden Dawn ritual working used to invoke and project an Element. The Qabbalistic Cross and the godhead assumption have been incorporated into the rite Drawing Down the Moon.

Both magical systems begin with the creation of sacred space, build up an Element power using deosil circumambulations, and complete the working with a proper circle banishing rite. The consecration of the magic circle in the Wiccan rite uses a variation of the invoking pentagram drawn to each of the four cardinal directions, erecting four empowered wards. However, the circle in Wicca is used to gather the power together and focus it, establishing a boundary between the inner sacred domain and the outer profane worlds. A magic circle is not used in the Golden Dawn system of magic unless one is performing a goetic evocation, and then it functions as a protective barrier between the magician and the domain of the demon. So there are some differences and variations (as would be expected), but both systems seem very closely related.

Israel Regardie published his multi-volume book The Golden Dawn in the 1930's, so it is very likely that Gerald B. Gardner would have had access to it and could have built up his system of magic from it. He also had access to other materials written by Aleister Crowley and a copy of the Key of Solomon. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the methods of working basic magic in Wicca would have been remarkably similar to the Golden Dawn and also influenced by Crowley and the Key of Solomon. There are some differences, as I have already pointed out, but the similarities are quite striking. Since the source materials existed long before Gardner had built out his system of Wiccan magic, then it is not inconceivable that they influenced his writings (and not the other way around).

The Alexandrian tradition of Wicca, although a mirror image of the Gardnerian tradition, did have some additional lore, although it may be more specific to my initiatory line than to the tradition as a whole. The Rose Cross ritual was used to model a new ritual called the Rose Ankh. The ritual pattern was analogous to the Rose Cross, although I am not at liberty to discuss it in much detail. One could consider the Rose Ankh ritual to be a derivative rite of the Rose Cross ritual, and it generated a specific energy associated with the Goddess that was similar but different from the Rose Cross. There was also another version of the Analysis of the Key Word that was associated with the Rose Ankh rite, and used Goddess names and their associated aspects instead of the LVX God names associated with the Rose Cross version of that rite.

In summation, the above six step ritual working for Wicca was, I believe, derived from the Golden Dawn ritual working of the Greater Invoking Pentagram rite. Alexandrian tradition added a couple of additional rituals (as stated above), but beyond that, there was no additional lore developed. That represented the collective lore that I received years ago when I was initiated into the Alexandrian tradition of Witchcraft. The coven that I practiced with also used the Golden Dawn rituals, but there was little guidance as to how to formulate a complex working using the Greater Hexagram rite and other rituals, but the material was presented and explained in the classes that we held. So that was the source material that I had to build a new system of magic.

Extending Beyond the Two Traditions - My Work

Needless to say, I took these rituals and the class notes and began to experiment with them, particularly the Greater Pentagram rite. I also made it a point to study in great detail the Rose Cross ritual, since it seemed to me to have a quality that other rituals lacked. I felt that the Rose Cross ritual was very powerful and that if one could understand the structure of that ritual, one would discover a important key to working ritual magic. In fact, as time went on, I merged these two rituals together to produce a ritual that I later called the Pyramid of Power ritual, but what I was seeking was a method of making the Wiccan cone of power ritual more efficient and more powerful. I was also putting together a system of magic that would invoke powers and intelligences through a matrix.

It had always seemed to me that the cone of power ritual, when analyzed, had a masculine property. It was obviously phallic shaped, following a sun-wise circuit around the circle, and it modeled the masculine cycle of orgasm - building the energy up to a plateau, then imprinting it, and then pushing it to a final climax. I always saw the power projected out of a cone of power as being like a pulse of energy or a fire bolt or lightening bolt, and it was also like the ejaculation of semen.

However, if there was a masculine power in the cone of power rite, then there should be a feminine energy that would balance it. What would that rite look like, what would be its form and how would its energy work? It would, of course, be the opposite of a cone of power. Let’s contrast these two types of energy to each other - starting with the cone of power.

• Follows a deosil circuit
• Polarized along its periphery
• Spirals up to the center of the circle and beyond

So the opposite kind of magical power would have the following opposite qualities.

• Follows a widdershins circuit
• Polarized to the center of the circle
• Spirals down to the center of the circle and below the plane of the ground/floor

This feminine force is called a vortex and it is the opposite of a cone of power. The simplest way to create a vortex is to polarize the four points in the magic circle, join them together in the center of the circle (creating a cross roads), and then raising the energy by circumambulating widdershins along the periphery to the center of the circle and projecting it down to the lowest point (below the plane of the floor) called the nadir. Where a cone of power is imprinted with a charged desire and released at the ritual’s climax to perform a specific task or impact a specific target, the vortex acts like a container for magical powers, preserving them and focusing them to a greater intensity.

While a cone of power is built up and then released, a vortex perpetually contains the powers generated within it. When a vortex reaches a kind of critical mass, it releases waves of force that circle around the epicenter of the vortex, much like a pebble dropped into a pond creates circular waves around it. And these subtle and powerful waves influence and bend reality in a manner that is much more effective than a cone of power. The vortex has to have a certain level of power built up within it before that power can be released in a wave-like manner. Yet like a cone of power, a vortex releases its power through resonance. A vortex can’t be banished since it’s structure remains in place with a residual force even when the energy that it contained is released. A cone of power requires banishment after the rite is completed, but the vortex is just sealed in place until the next time that magic is performed. One would only need to unseal a vortex and it would be ready for use, containing the same level of intensity when it was previously sealed. For some unknown reason a vortex always seems to contain energy, acting like a bottomless well. Whatever energy is released is always renewed within it.

The technique of generating and working with a vortex was something that I had actually invented myself. Previous rites had only indirectly produced a vortex like energy field. I discovered this bit of magical lore when I examined how the Rose Cross and Rose Ankh rituals worked. I had also experimented with the Rose Ankh device, learning that it produced a kind of powerful magnetic magical energy when drawn. So I decided to use the Rose Ankh device, and I drew it in the four points of the magic circle, thus polarizing them to create the base of the magnetic energies of the vortex. I used a magic sword to draw the four points together in the center of the circle and perform a widdershins circuit, and the resultant ritual produced astonishing results. All of the qualities that I described above were realized through the use of this new ritual. With the Rose Ankh device and the ritual structure of the vortex, I had my first really potent hybrid ritual structure to build a new magical system.

While I was experimenting and formulating the vortex, I was working on other rituals, too. These were based on the Golden Dawn rites and what I had learned in Wiccan circles. I wanted to produce new forms of raising energy that were more powerful, structured and detailed than the cone of power. So I began to experiment and in the process discovered completely new ritual structures.

Perhaps one of the most interesting and startling discoveries that I made was the pylon. A pylon is nothing more than two devices placed one above the other with an invoking spiral drawn through them so that they are connected into a line of power or a pillar of light. I called this new structure a pylon because it was used to erect magical geometric structures, just like a pylon is used in modern architecture.

The pylon was not an entirely new ritual structure, since a form of it had been used in the Greater Pentagram ritual of the GD. In that ritual the invoking pentagram of the Element and the invoking pentagram of active or passive spirit are drawn to the same cardinal point, but the pentagram of spirit is drawn above the pentagram of the Element. There was also an implied line drawn between them, and they were both drawn together in a line drawn to the next cardinal point. However, I made this action into a deliberate ritual structure, and that was different than what was implicitly done in the Golden Dawn rite.

A pylon allows two different devices to be bound into a single line of force. Typically I use invoking pentagrams for a specific Element for the base of the pylon, and the qualifier is set with the invoking pentagram of spirit active or passive, depending on the quality of the base Element. A pylon consisting of invoking pentagram devices produces a great deal of magical energy, since they combine together and also polarize each other. This kind of pylon can be used in two different manners to produce two kinds of pyramid structures. The first is where a pylon is set to the center of the circle, and invoking pentagrams of the base Element are set to each of the four points in the magic circle. When the four points are drawn together, and then drawn to the apex of the central pylon, a pyramid of Element power is created. The second is where one sets four pylons to each of the four points and a pylon to the center of the circle, and then draws the four points together (in a square), followed by drawing the four points to the apex of the center pylon, then a greater pyramid of power is created.

Each of these two ritual structures produce a great deal of magical power, due to the polarities produced, the joining of forces and also because of the squaring of the circle. A deosil spiral from the periphery of the circle to the center is used to draw the power into a point, and a widdershins spiral that exits the center of the circle and disperses the energy out through the periphery of the circle are employed to resonate and exteriorize the magical power.

The pyramid of power is much more efficient and refined than the cone of power, since it can define a specific element power which can be imprinted with one of the attributes (Godnames) of the ten Sephiroth. I call this combination of Element and Sephirah one of the Qualified Powers, and they are analogous to the 40 cards of the Lesser Arcana of the Tarot. The Pyramid of Powers rite was also the first ritual to work through a matrix of spirits and powers.

Through creative experimentation I was thus able to derive a Pyramid of Powers ritual and a Rose Ankh Vortex rite. I began to use the Pyramid of Power rite within the core of an established vortex and discovered that I could layer and accumulate the power generated through several sessions of magical workings before they would be induced to a climax. The vortex could not be banished, it was instead sealed and unsealed as needed. I learned to use the devices of the sealing and unsealing spirals which I set to all of the circle nodes. The combination of these two rites allowed me to build up a magickal working over numerous sessions, so I didn’t have to complete a working in a single evening. I also noticed that my temple began to accumulate a great deal of power, since whatever was periodically discharged was readily replaced in the “well” of the vortex, and the accumulation of ritual workings naturally accumulated the power in the sealed vortex.

Another ritual structure that I discovered in my experimentation was the Western and Eastern gateway. I had deduced the great magical importance of Joseph Campbell’s Cycle of the Hero, particularly the remarkable fact that it had twenty-two stages and that these stages matched the twenty-two Trumps of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. However, I was also able to boil down the underworld descent and the re-ascent to three stages each, instead of the twenty-two stages that Campbell discussed. The three stages of descent or ascent are represented by the process of the dialectic method, which consists of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. The descent into the underworld is facilitated by the actions of the spirit helper or guide (thesis), the guardian of the threshold (antithesis) and the transformative ordeal itself (synthesis). The ascent out of the underworld is symbolized by the assistance from without (thesis), the guardian of the return threshold (antithesis), and the ordeal of re-translation (synthesis). These are the themes that are used to establish the full cycle of descent and ascent that represents transcendental transformation.

The gateway of transformation uses these thematic images of descent and ascent at each of the three points of the gate ritual structure, where they are superimposed to give them meaning. The gateway ritual structure is also erected within the magic circle, which is fitting for a Wiccan type magical working. The opening and closing portal gestures are a final dramatic flourish given to the two gateway rituals. They are done to mime the action of opening and closing the gateways.

The Underworld gateway is oriented to the West; the three points are the Northeast and Southeast angles, and the cardinal direction of the West. The Ascension into Light gateway is orientated to the East; the three points are the Northwest and Southwest angles, and the cardinal direction of the East. The three gate nodes are drawn together to form a triangle within the magic circle, and this becomes the gate ritual structure. The magician stands in the opposite point of the circle and faces the gate (West or East), sets invoking spirals to the three gate nodes, draws them together (into a triangle) and then proceeds to walk up to the gate threshold, performs the opening portal gesture, turns and proceeds to the center of the circle. Each of the three gate nodes can be qualified with a specific symbolic characteristic of the gateway ordeal. In addition to the three gate nodes discussed above, a fourth point can be used which is in the center of the circle at the zenith. The fourth point represents the resolution of the three gateway ordeal processes, which is implied when one proceeds to the center of the circle after opening the portal of the gate. Using a fourth point in the gate ritual patten produces the ritual structure of the tetrahedral gateway.

The use of the two gates, besides adding a powerful thematic element to a ritual, represents the passage of transformative powers into the deeper unconscious of the magician and out again, having been transformed and translated into a new perspective. The underworld gate is used to push down the energies of all prior workings and unite them into a single symbolic expression, where a new level of power and being is established. To fuse prior magical structures and workings together, a gateway is established. To gain a greater depth, the underworld gateway is used. To bring these forces and aspects of being into the greater light of consciousness (as revealed knowledge), an ascension gateway is used. Both of these gateway ritual structures are very important in the construction of complex workings and the performance of the mysteries.

The points of the magic circle, when limited to just the four cardinal points and the center of the circle, produces only a total of five. I had already worked out that pylons produced points above and below the standard five, so there were at least two points in the center of the circle. I had deduced that the center of the circle contained the zenith, which I called the ultra-point, and the nadir, which I called the infra-point. I found that it was very useful to have an eight point magic circle, and this ritual structure had been used in a simplistic fashion with the Alexandrian Rose Ankh ritual. There were the four cardinal points, which were called Watchtowers (for various reasons), and there were four additional points, called the four Angles, or cross-quarter points. So instead of just having four points in the magic circle, there were now eight, which contributed to a very important ritual structure, which is called the Octagon or double squared circle. If squaring the circle helped to generate a powerful magical charge, doubling that square should create even more magical energy, and indeed it does.

I also discovered that there was a point in the circle that represented the magician in the magic circle, and that point was in the center of the circle, at a point between the ultra-point and the infra-point, which I called the meso-point. It was imagined to be at the exact height in the circle as my heart, being therefore, the magician’s heart in the center of the circle - where all points converge in the power of spiritual love. So now I had the four Watchtowers, the four Angles, the Infra-point, the Ultra-point, and the Meso-point - a total of eleven points in the circle. From these eleven points I was able to build any complex ritual structure.

The ritual structure of the Octagon was very useful for generating a magical power called an Elemental. An Elemental is defined as a base Element qualified by another or the same Element. Therefore, Fire of Earth, Water of Air, and Fire of Fire are all Elementals. There are sixteen Elementals, and these beings of magical power correspond to the 16 court cards of the Tarot, and the sixteen Enochian calls in the Enochian system of magic. These 16 Elementals are also spiritual powers that are based on a matrix, so an octagon ritual structure is made to activate that specific matrix, since there are four Watchtower and four Angles used to differentiate the power.

A basic premise of the ritual of the octagon is that a base Element is set to the four Watchtowers, and a qualifying Element is set to the four Angles. This is done using the invoking pentagram of that Element. The four Watchtowers are drawn to each other (to form a square) and to the center of the circle in the infra-point. The four Angles are drawn to each other (to also form a square) and to the center of the circle in the ultra-point. The magician stands in the center of the circle with his staff and draws the powers fused in the infra-point through the staff to the ultra-point. The magician may at this point intone the specific Enochian call for the Elemental, and may also summon the Godname pair of the Elemental entity - drawing the power of Elemental from the staff into his body. An Octagon ritual pattern, as it turned out, became the building block of many new and additional magical workings, and the eight point magic circle was also very useful as well.

Another ritual structure that I discovered was the internal circle that enclosed a star talisman, like the septagram, drawn or painted on a rectangular piece of wood. This new structure assisted me to develop some very complex workings, namely forms of talismanic magic and magical evocation. The internal circle was drawn in the middle of the circle, typically in a deosil circuit, and the opening portal gesture was performed over it to show that a new and more intensely circumscribed concentric circle structure had been activated. Within that new smaller internal circle was placed a rectangular piece of wood upon which was painted a septagram, eneagram or an undecigram. This painted talisman functioned as a powerful focus where one could further perform the drawing of complex devices and the using of larger array structures than either the pentagram or the hexagram. I also found that the septagram was much more appealing to use as a device to invoke planetary intelligences. However, I also discovered how difficult it was to draw an invoking septagram on demand in a magic circle. Instead of drawing the invoking septagram to each of the four cardinal directions, I traced the invoking septagram just a single time on the septagramic talisman. Along with the incantation of the planetary hierarchy and a derived Enochian call of the planet, I was able to establish in the inner circle the full invocation of a planetary intelligence.

So, after several years of experimentation, I had developed a whole new set of ritual structures that I could use to develop my own personal system of magic. This system was based on the original Golden Dawn rituals, but had expanded far beyond them in regards to ritual structure, flexibility and usefulness. These ritual structures are geometric in their construction, but the original Golden Dawn rites were also geometric as well, but using a more limited and simplistic structure. What seemed like just some simple extensions to the basic ritual structures of the Golden Dawn lore actually opened up a whole new system of possible magical rites. Even to this day, some thirty-five years later, I have not even begun to exhaust the possibilities. The new techniques have given birth to hundreds of ritual workings, and helped me develop a whole new system of evocation and a new type magic called Archaeomancy, which are subjects for future articles. So, too, is a discussion of the use of sacred geometry in these ritual structures.

To recap: the following new techniques were derived by me from the original Golden Dawn rituals:

• Rose Ankh Vortex
• Pyramid of Power Ritual
• Greater Pyramid of Power Ritual
• Western and Eastern Gateways - tetrahedral gateway
• Octagon Elemental Vortex
• Eleven Point Circle
• Inner Circle Star (Septagram, Eneagram, Undecigram)

Frater Barrabbas Tiresius

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Analysis of the Golden Dawn System of Magick

As I have stated previously, the Golden Dawn system of magic was basically incomplete, although it had a complete set of rituals and guidelines where one could essentially assemble a system of ritual magic that would allow one to perform ritual workings consisting of Element, Planetary Aspect, Zodiacal Sign, Sephirah and even a method for Goetic magic (using the demons of the Planetary Kamea). This was not accomplished in the traditional Golden Dawn literature, such as the books published by Israel Regardie, nor was it actually discussed in any book in print until recently.

All of the lore was there, and all that was required was to have some brilliant practitioner assemble all of the rituals together and build ritual patterns for the various workings. Such a practitioner does exist, and he wrote a book in which this entire system is arrayed for all to see. This book has the basic seal of approval by the various leaders of the Golden Dawn factions (springing from Israel Regardie), so we must also consider it representational of the Golden Dawn lore. That book was written by David Griffin, entitled “The Ritual Magic Manual: A Complete Course in Practical Magic,” (1999 Golden Dawn Publishing), and it does indeed have a complete system of practical magic using the Golden Dawn lore. The author has expressed his opinion that this lore represents the culmination of the work of the inner Order of the Golden Dawn (R.R. et A.C.), or the Rosicrucian Order of the G.D., and I find no reason to question his statement. In fact, I believe that we could label this lore the official extended lore of the Golden Dawn. This system, packaged into a fascinating and detailed methodology, represents the ideal of the Golden Dawn system of magic.

An essential and simplistic definition of Golden Dawn magic is that it uses the precise Qabbalistic spiritual hierarchy, as well as the assumption of Egyptian godforms, and the ritual devices of the pentagram and the hexagram as well as sigils, signatures and barbarous words of evocation (Enochian Keys) to manifest the powers of the elements, planets, zodiacal signs and the sephiroth of the Tree of Life. All accessible spirits and forces are incorporated into this multi tiered hierarchy, and so by the summoning of principals and the use of the pentagram and/or hexagram, the magician may perform practical as well as spiritual magic, effecting the material, emotional, mental and spiritual planes. The pentagrams and hexagrams used in these rituals are divided into the lesser and greater forms, but used in combination they are able to define the hierarchy in a precise and powerfully symbolic manner. No other system of ritual or ceremonial magic had before been packaged in such a meticulous and precise manner. The manipulation of these layered occult symbols and actions would, under the correct altered state of consciousness, produce potent magical effects. This is a model of how magic is organized and practiced in the post modern world - most other systems of magic have used it as a basis to define their methodology, whether tightly (as in Thelemic magic) or loosely (chaos magic, pagan and wiccan magic). This is also true of the magic that I practice, since my instruction and work was a synthesis of the Golden Dawn and Alexandrian Witchcraft magical systems.

The different kinds of practical magic available to the Golden Dawn magician were associated with the four different kinds of aspects of the spiritual and occult hierarchy. These are:

Elemental Magic - material matters and considerations - Greater Invoking Pentagram ritual using the pentagram of the Element and associated pentagram of the aspect of Spirit (passive or active)

Planetary magic - psychological drives, motives and insights - Greater Invoking Hexagram rite - incorporating both the lesser and greater hexagram forms.

Zodiacal magic - qualities of being, attitudes towards life - Greater Invoking Pentagram (could also include the Greater Hexagram as well for the ruling planet)

Sephirotic magic - spiritual development, personal transformation, higher level attainment and high mystical states of consciousness - Greater Invoking Hexagram

Golden Dawn magic is modern, even though the rituals were devised by Mathers in the late 19th century. This can be easily shown because the Golden Dawn system of magic addresses the situation of the modern middle class individual living in the post modern world. We, as a people, are without the credulous ability to see what we want to believe, since to easily do so is a sign of either fatuousness or madness. We are cynical, desensitized, sophisticated, incredulous, and we operate through the perceptual psychological mechanism of objectivity, rationality, which is basically what Piaget called the “formal operational level of development.”

We have the ability to engage in critical thought, and this becomes something of an obstacle to experiencing paranormal phenomena. One either has to develop greater sophistication and sensitivity or become regressive and psychotic in order to experience spiritual phenomena. Of course, those who are psychotic are not really experiencing spiritual phenomena, they just assume that they are doing so. And the rest of us can readily determine if someone is legitimate or if they are just indulging in regressive or psychotic behavior simply by whether or not their spiritual perceptions are validated by others. Techniques of mind control and the assumption of altered states of consciousness are the key to acquiring and maintaining higher states of consciousness.

Prior systems of magic were much less sophisticated and disciplined, and either used the systems of hierarchy and their symbols loosely or omitted them altogether. What was important was the magician’s faith and his intense engagement in its pious practice through a mainstream and orthodox religion. Altered states of consciousness and layered occult symbols were not important to determine or define the nature of the powers or intellegences that the magician summoned and manipulated. What was important was an individual’s faith and belief in the religious tenets and practices of his religion. He incorporated those tenets and practices for personal gain and he also assumed the powers and prerogatives of his God without the sanction and permission of orthodox authorities. He was, in a word, an apostate! However, he believed that by merit of intense piety, atonement and purification, he was worthy of such profound spiritual presumptuousness.

So the key to the magic of the earlier epoch was this intense degree of faith based belief and piety and it alone opened the door to the spirit world. Such a key no longer exists today, and we are required to enter into powerful altered states of consciousness and wield symbols that transform consciousness itself in order to open us up to the spirit world.

In addition, the Golden Dawn system of magic promoted the energy model of magic quite heavily, teaching that even charged tools and talismans had to be protected and put away when performing the banishing pentagram and hexagram rites. The tools used in these rites also had to be charged by the opposite device so as to nullify the effect of the banishment on the tool used to banish. The energy model of magic wasn’t new, but promoting the “energy” apart from the magic rituals and ceremonies that produced it, and also perceiving a kind of energy architecture in regards to the layered symbology was new. Previously, magicians had assumed the metaphor of magical power without having to define it as a quality analogous to electricity, and that “power” was synonymous to magical effect. Magicians of the previous epoch used the spirit model of magic, and it was through spirits, such as nature spirits, angels, demons, and demigods (pagan deities) that magic was accomplished. These spirits were ruled, of course, by God himself.

Golden Dawn magic also used the assumption of godforms and practiced methodologies analogous to Yoga, to build up the initiate’s ability to visualize, absorb and project magical powers. Magical tools were standardized, and the four elemental weapons were developed in this system of magic (wand, cup, dagger and pentacle). The specific use of godform assumption allowed the magician to summon and call up the powers and intelligences associated with the spiritual hierarchy as a godhead. This is a very profound change from the way magic had been practiced previously, and it was quite new in the arena of ceremonial magic. It was a way to make up for the loss of belief and extreme piety in the mental makeup of the modern middle class individual. Also, within these empowered states of consciousness, the magician wielded an array of spiritual authorities in a descending hierarchy, to represent that from the highest and most abstract level of being came emanations of more precise and material phenomena - the symbolic metaphor for modern magic itself.

The basic Golden Dawn ritual working begins and ends with banishing rituals, commences with either the Superior Pentagram or Hexagram ritual to invoke the hierarchy associated with the targeted aspect (element, planet, zodiacal sign or sephirah) to empower a specific set of appropriate intentions or to engage the magician in a skrying session for visionary inspiration. Working this kind of magic is like opening and closing a door, so that the temple area is cleansed, built up to a climax and then cleansed at the end. The rituals that are used in these workings are:

• Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
• Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram
• Qabbalistic Cross and Middle Pillar Exercise
• Rose Cross Ritual and the Analysis of the Key Word
• Assumption and Divestment of Egyptian Godforms
• Invocation of the Highest Divine Force
• Rite of Purification with Water and Consecration with Fire
• Rite of Adoration of the Lord of the Universe
• Rite of the Magical Eucharist
• Greater Invoking and Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
• Greater Invoking and Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram

The rituals are combined to form workings (except for the Rose Cross rite), with some of them used for preparation, others are liturgical or related to invoking aspects of deity, and others produce a specific magical effect. The core rite is either the Greater Invoking Pentagram or Hexagram rituals, where devices and symbolic signatures are used together with visualized colored lines and geometric forms to express in a definitive manner one of the aspects of the spiritual hierarchy. Through the lens of the invoked aspect of the spiritual hierarchy is the specific and practical magic performed.

Golden Dawn magicians practice ritual magic to accomplish specific material and spiritual goals, and he or she also undergoes an intense period of psychological or psychiatric counseling as well - to ensure that objectivity and rational perspectives on life and spirituality are strictly maintained. These workings are performed with a greater goal in mind, and that goal is conversation with one’s Holy Guardian Angel, which was established as a common intention in all of the magical workings.

The basic ritual pattern of any of the four workings (element, planet, sign, sephirah) consisted of the following rituals performed in the exact order. (These steps are a synopsis of what is done, and are more fully developed in the book.)

1. Temple opening rites - banishing and purification - lesser banishing rituals of the pentagram and hexagram, and performing the rite of purification with water and consecration of fire - unwrap specific tool (element or specific invoking wand).

2. Qabbalistic cross, invocation of the Highest Divine Force

3. Core rite to invoke aspect of spiritual hierarchy - using the greater invoking ritual of the pentagram or the hexagram to each quarter beginning in the east and ending at the altar. Assume Egyptian godform, draw devices (invoking pentagram/hexagram with color and associated symbolic character), give secret name and grade signs. Trace appropriate sigils and Hebrew Godnames over altar, vibrating spirit names of the hierarchy in a descending order, and ending with the incantation of one of the Enochian calls.

4. Circumambulation of the circle specific number of times and perform the Rite of the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. State magical intentions and then perform the middle pillar exercise. Skry into the corresponding plane of the spiritual hierarchy - one can also perform specific practical magical workings. (Circumambulation is 3 times for elements, 9 times for planets, 3 times for zodiacal signs, and 7 times for sephiroth.)

5. Rewrap tool(s) and any other charged devices. Reverse circumambulation of the circle the same number of times and then perform the godform divestment.

6. Perform Greater Banishing rite of the Pentagram or Hexagram. Perform lesser banishing rituals of the pentagram and hexagram. Declare temple to be closed.

There also was a pattern for a demonic evocation working, and this rite was patterned somewhat on the old five part structure of magical evocation in the old grimoires - consecration, invocation, binding, constraining and giving license to depart. It included a rite of magical confession and atonement, a special consecrated magic circle, and the magician performed the evocation through one of the invoked positive spiritual hierarchical aspects, such as a planetary sphere or one of the sephirah, and the demon of the kamea would be commanded through this aspect. This structure could also have been used to perhaps invoke the Goetic demons, but that would have been done through a zodiacal working, invoking first the zodiacal archangel, then the angelic ruler of the decan, and then the ha-Shem angel of the quinarian zodiacal division. However, there is nothing mentioned of this kind of magic in the book, so one can only assume that this is how it would have been done.

Although this system of magic is rigorous and apparently complete, it also does not address other hierarchies of spirits, such as the Enochian Elementals (element qualifying an element base), the Enochian Seniors and the 28 Lunar Mansions (element qualifying a planetary base) and the 49 Bonarum or Good Spirits (planet qualifying a planetary base). These three sets of spiritual hierarchies represent what is called a matrix, and in order to invoke spirits associated with a matrix one needs a more complex ritual structure. The specific invocation of an archangel or a specific angel, as well Goetic demons are also omitted. However, any of these different spiritual hierarchies could be accessed if the ritual structures were expanded and included other more sophisticated structures and methodologies. As a working system, the expanded Golden Dawn system of ritual magic is a useful starting point to build a more advanced magical system, and this what I and others have done.

Another problem with the Golden Dawn system of magic is the use of the double triangle for the greater invoking hexagram. In order to invoke the Sun, the magician has to invoke all six of the other planets. The unicursal hexagram is much more efficient because it can invoke the sun with one single movement, but since it came from Aleister Crowley and his following, it is not considered traditional in regards to Golden Dawn magic. One was also expected to draw the Hebrew names associated with a hierarchy aspect in the air with a wand, as well as the sigils that these letters created, which seems redundant to me. There is also the problem of the flexibility of these rituals, and the fact that Golden Dawn magic is always a single event kind of working - it’s begun with banishing rites and ends with banishing rites, to ensure that the magical operation is never contaminated with another previous operation. Of course, if one wanted to deliberately merge workings together for some purpose, this system would not easily allow it. It also works with a strict deosil circle architecture and there is no development of a vortex energy field (this is only done with the Rose Cross ritual).

So this system has some very large gaping holes in it and some extreme limitations - but it was the first modern system of ritual magic to be developed, and it therefore became the model for all other systems of ritual and ceremonial magic in our current age.

Frater Barrabbas Tireisus