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

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