Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ordeal of the Grimoire Armadel

Recently, I posted an article that explained the mystery of the Grimoire of Armadel and showed how it could be made into an operational grimoire. The days leading up to this revelation were filled with the inspiration of a higher genius other than my own, guiding my steps and allowing me to solve a puzzle that I have been pondering over for many years. Now that the mystery is resolved (at least as far as I am able to determine), I wish to assemble the steps necessary to fully deploy this grimoire. What I have discovered is that I already possess the ritual tools to do most of this work, and these rites are part of the standard lore for the Order of the Gnostic Star. I will have to revise one ritual, add alternative angel invocations to another, and write two new rituals. The ordeal itself is very time consuming and probably can’t be done in a single autumn and winter season, unless one has nothing else to do. Living a normal life, working at a job to pay the bills, spending time with one’s significant other, family and friends (in other words, having some kind of social life) would preclude completing this operation in a single season, at least for me. So I am suggesting that this ordeal be done in phases, and how one would go about doing that will be the topic of this article.

Members of the E.S.S.G. will have all of the lore at their disposal to perform this ordeal; those who are outside will have to build up that lore themselves. I don’t believe that this task is too difficult or incapable of being realized by someone outside of the Order, nevertheless, it will require some creativity and invention. Where I call for the invocation of various archangels, Qabbalistic pathworkings and the generation of talismans, all of these are tasks that the accomplished ritual or ceremonial magician would have at his or her disposal. However, a magician possessing the ingenuity to pull all of these pieces together is where the real creativity is required. The structures used in combining these various facets together would characterize a system of magick that is probably unique to the Order, but they would not be beyond the abilities of a crafty magickal practitioner.

I would also have to assume that what I have derived as the operational methodology to plumb the mysteries of the sigil characters found in this grimoire is only one of many different ways. I invite other magicians to find a methodology to activate this grimoire, and I look forward to a lively exchange between individuals with different magickal perspectives.

The Ordeal

The Ordeal is divided into three phases: the preliminary tasks, the ordeal introit, and then the actual ordeal (Mysterium Gateway). The preliminary tasks may take a full season to implement, but the introit and actual ordeal should be done serially, one immediately after the other, and should only take a couple of months to complete. Let’s look at these steps and determine what needs to be accomplished to fully activate the ordeal.

Preliminary Steps

The ritual magician has basically two preliminary tasks to accomplish before the ordeal proper can be started. These tasks involve the invocation of twelve archangels and the production of six talismans. I will now discuss each of these two preliminary tasks in greater detail.

During the course of a season, the ritual magician should perform a separate and distinct invocation for each of the following archangels. I would also recommend that a charged linking parchment containing the sigil signature of this spirit be produced, and a proper liber spiritum, or book of spirits, be kept. The liber spiritum should be a small blank book consisting of a page or more of notes and other information kept on each invoked archangel. These twelve archangels will be called again when the actual ordeal is performed, so the ritual magician will have to have an established link maintained and kept active with all of these spirits. I would recommend that the magician contact each of these archangels once a month for the duration of time between seasons when one will be required to perform the ordeal.

Another alternative would be to perform the archangel invocations every weekend in such a manner so that three archangels would be invoked every week for a period of one month. I will probably decide on using this alternative method for the actual ordeal, requiring a full month packed with invocations just prior to the activation of the ordeal. This would make the archangelic invocations more recent and active for the overall ordeal. 

The following is a list of the archangels who are to be invoked as part of this preliminary working. You should note that six of these angelic spirits will not be used in the Uriel as Seraph Operation working; they are only engaged when an associated sigil character is used to produce a vision or gain some kind of occult knowledge.

The following list of archangels is given a Qabbalistic context; they are associated with a Sephirah and the Qabbalistic world of Briah. This is done so that the invocation can have a matrix of correspondences, allowing for greater ease in identifying and performing the invocation rite. (An asterisk marks an archangel as not being a member of the Uriel as Seraph Operation.)

 Anael - Netzach (alt.)
*Camael - (Khamael) - Geburah
*Caphael - Malkuth - (alternate for Sandalphon)
 Cassiel - Binah (alt.)
 Gabriel - Yesod
*Haniel - Netzach
 Michael - Hod
 Raphael - Tiphareth
 Sachiel - Chesed (alt.)
*Thavael - Kether - (alternate for Metatron)
*Zadkiel - Chesed
*Zaphkiel - Binah

The next set of tasks is to generate six talismans. In the grimoire only six Olympian spirits are referenced, but I decided that it would be more useful (and more powerful) to articulate these planetary intelligences as talismanic elementals. My reason for making this decision is that two of the planetary intelligences should have a decided negative or inverted quality, since they are associated with negative visions and occult knowledge in line with diabolical spiritual aspects. This ability to bend the working and interpret it in a negative manner would require a more nuanced approach than just invoking a planetary intelligence. A talismanic elemental is a spiritual intelligence that can be contrasted and modified in a subtle manner, making it fit a visionary aspect that is different than its essential meaning. Additionally, using talismans allows for a degree of portability and materialization that would not occur with just an Olympian spirit.

To facilitate these tasks, I have looked over and chosen six specific talismanic elementals, but I have decided not to use the waning moon aspects to generate two negative or “curse” talismans. All of these talismans will not be directed outwardly, but instead will be used to foster visions and wisdom. I believe that using negative talismans to facilitate this inward process would be very ill advised, so I will instead make each and everyone of the talismans during the waxing moon. I will then use two of them to help determine occult insights that could be construed negative or diabolical.

The following is a list of the talismanic elementals and their associated lunar mansions. The textual description of the talismanic element is separated from the sigil character quality with a hyphen.

Phaleg - Mars of Water - Lsrahpm (mansion #28): protection against dark forces, able to draw or catch opportunities or romantic partners - arcana of necromancers (neg.)

Ophiel - Mercury of Fire - Anodoin (mansion #21): protection for one’s home, geomancy - sacramental regeneration (pos.)

Bethor - Jupiter of Earth - Aczinor (mansion #24): star of fortune, produces great material gain - occult knowledge of angels of darkness or demons (neg.)

Phul - Moon of Earth - Lzinopo (mansion #14): domestic security - creation of souls (pos.)

Aratron - Saturn of Air - Hipotga (mansion #17): reverses ill fortune - destiny of souls (pos.)

Och - Sun of Fire - Edelprna (mansion #11): generates the charisma and power of great leaders - creation of angels (pos.)

To generate these six talismans, the magician will have to plan and perform each magickal operation at the exact auspicious time associated with the targeted mansion of the moon, particularly while the moon is waxing. I would assume that producing these talismans would probably take several months to complete. Therefore, producing the six talismans should occupy the magician’s very first steps in building up the required elements before proceeding to the next task.

Ordeal Introit

There are three steps to be performed for the introit of the ordeal. These steps are: performing the Qabbalistic pathworking to activate the nine paths from Aleph (#11 - Atu 0 - Fool) through Tet (#19 - Atu XI), performing the invocations of Samael and Uriel, and performing the Uriel as Seraph Operation working. I will discuss each of the steps separately. 

Qabbalistic Pathworking - Using the Order’s ritual of the Double Tetrahedral Gate, perform a complete pathworking ritual to realize the essence of that Qabbalistic path in association with the angel of the Hebrew letter. The magician will use all of the strategic correspondences associated with a Qabbalistic path, including all of the Sephiroth of Kether through Tiphareth. Interestingly, these nine paths are associated with spiritual aspects that are either at or above the Greater Abyss. Once these nine pathworking rites are completed, the nine pathways are pulled together into a pattern where they form an Enneagramic gate. The enneagram thus becomes the foundation for the grimoire based ordeal. I noticed a curious thing when I was developing this combined structure; the nine pathways form a pattern of nine gates. As a fan of the movie “Ninth Gate,” I found this to be quite intriguing (and amusing).

The next step is where the magician invokes the archangelic spirits of Samael and Uriel, in that sequence. This would be a two step process, involving two separate and distinct operations. The archangel Samael is the key to all of the dark or infernal occult knowledge associated with the infernal princes and their servitors, and Uriel is the key to all of the greater occult knowledge. Uriel also acts as the control and central angelic spirit for the entire Armadel operation.

My research has essentially shown that Samael is considered the angelic equivalent of the great adversary or spiritual antagonist, who acts as the agent of ordeals, challenges and tests that are placed on the initiate through the authority of the Godhead. Samael is the initiator who teaches through crisis and internal conflict. Another name for that spirit is Satan or Shaitan, however, this spirit is not considered synonymous with the Devil, since there are five infernal princes who fit that role without equivocation. It seems that the archangel Samael is perceived in his Qabbalistic and Jewish role as divine adversary and official challenger (devil’s advocate). This is at least one piece of evidence that would support the idea that the Grimoire of Armadel is not so much a Christian grimoire as it is a product of European occultism. A purely Christian grimoire would probably identify Samael directly as a variation of Satan. To invoke Samael, I will build a custom ritual just for that purpose – I have a few other rites in my repertoire that can act as a model.

Uriel is the archangel associated with heavenly fire (illumination), salvation and he acts as the mediator for all spiritual mysteries. In many ways, he is analogous to the archangel Ratziel, who is the angel associated with Chokmah (Wisdom). I have decided to make Uriel an alternative angelic intelligence to Ratziel, and assign the Sephirah Chokmah to him. Therefore, I will use the matrix of Chokmah and the Qabbalistic world Briah to invoke the archangel of Uriel.

The Operation of Uriel functions as a mechanism to pull the eight archangels, six talismans and the nine pathways together into a seamlessly complete magickal structure. The foundation of this rite is the Enneagramic Gate, which uses three distinct gateways (West, North and East) superimposed onto the magick circle to form powerful overlapping structures. Upon the Enneagramic Gate is placed a septagramic gateway that uses the four Angles and an Ascension Gateway to establish a septagramic vortex grand gateway. The grand gateway is erected by using the points of the Western and Eastern watchtowers and the Ultrapoint, forming an equilateral triangle.

A central circle is drawn in the center of the magick circle, opened via the opening portal gesture, and within it, the Uriel as Seraph Operation working trigon is installed. Upon this trigon is installed the eight sigils for the eight archangels that have been already invoked and the six talismans that have already been charged and activated. The Enegramic Gate, the Septagramic Vortex Gate and Grand Gateway have joined all of these aspects together, along with the six talismans, which are set on the trigon to form a hexagram. A final invocation is recited to invoke the seraph archangelic spirit of Uriel, as the union of all of the seven archangels, six talismans, and the nine angels of the Qabbalistic pathways. After the working is done, all of the structures of the working are sealed – to be used whenever required. The completed Uriel working establishes the portal through which the sigil characters of the Grimoire of Armadel are fully activated.

Once the Uriel Operation is completed, then reestablishing it only requires a specialized macro rite that will unseal all of the nodes and reactivate the spirit of the archangel Uriel as Seraph. The magician is now able to perform a working at any time. There are some steps that must be performed initially, but glossed over for subsequent uses.

Mysterium Gateway - Armadel Working

The final step is the Mysterium Gateway, which is where the sigil characters of the grimoire are fully activated and deployed by the magician. The Mysterium Gateway can be performed at any time, since all of the preliminary steps have already been completed. The core working of the Armadel ordeal has only eight simple steps, and these are listed as the following:

1. Preparations - meditation, purification, fasting - saying of the Mass and a Benediction rite.
2. During the saying of Mass (the first time), the First Character is blessed and charged with sacrament. The magician will then perform a powerful meditation session where he or she bonds with the First Character as a personal lamen. The special sigil character for the ordeal working is also blessed and charged by the sacraments of the mass.
3. Erect a pyramid of power ritual chamber and empower it with the occult system of the tetra-sacramentary. This consists of using and deploying sacramental hosts blessed from each of the four Masses for the sacramental systems of Thelema, Thanatos, Agape and Eros, and these are set to the four Angles. (Each of the Four Angles represents a complete magickal circle with altar and wards, and a magickal system unto itself, so the over-arching magickal circle for this working consists of the overlapping of four magick circles.)
4. Self Anointing is performed with a special charged chrism, then performing the Godhead Assumption and finally, summoning the Higher Self as the HGA to act as an intermediary.
5. Opening of the Uriel as Seraph Operation construct to manifest the angelic aspect of Uriel as the union of all of the twenty-two elements. The active Uriel Operation trigon is the mechanism where the special sigil character is installed.
6. Erect the Grand gateway using the points of the North and South Watchtowers and the Infrapoint to establish an inverted equilateral triangle. The three Paths of Wisdom are also activated to empower the grand gateway, each path represents one point of the triangular gate. (The two grand gateways form a grand hexagram in the center of the magick circle.)
7. Using the sigil of the associated ruling spirit, summon that spirit to charge, bless and open the mystery of the associated sigil character. Acquire a deep state of trance and seek the ruling spirit to reveal a vision of the mystery. The magician may assist in setting the theme for this mystery through reading and meditating on the appropriate text (in this case, a specific passage from either the Apocryphon of John or the Trimorphic Protenoia). If one of the infernal spirits is the ruling spirit, then the archangel Samael is used as the intermediary.
8. Once the vision is completed, then close the gates and seal all of the nodes of the rite. The blessed and consecrated sigil character may be accessed again in the future in a fully consecrated magick circle where a Mass and Benediction have been performed. (It should be kept in a liber spirtum for that purpose.)

So, all of the above steps represent what I believe must be done to fully activate the sigil charcters of the Grimoire of Armadel. As you can see, there are a lot of steps in this ordeal. Some of what I have written here might be obscure or completely opaque to the magickal practitioner who is outside of the Order. Yet I believe that an adept magician should be able to manage to figure out all of these various steps and produce something that will work effectively.

A practicing ritual magician needs to build the following ritual mechanisms in order to activate this grimoire and perform the associated ordeal.

1. A ritual to perform talismanic magic using the lunar mansions.
2. Archangel invocation rite for all 14 archangels.
3. A ritual to perform Qabbalistic pathworking and summon the angel of the Hebew letter.
4. Develop and write the Uriel as Seraph Operation ritual working.
5. Develop and write the Mysterium gateway for the Armadel operation

The other ritual structures and mechanisms are not critical parts of the overall ordeal. They are additions that lend a certain aesthetic quality and unity to it. These ancillary ritual structures are also quite unique to the way magick is worked in the Order, but they do have a powerful effect when used. This is due to the prismatic power structures that make up the ritual structures used in the Order. A fuller explanation of these mechanisms would require the magician seeker to become a member of the Order. As you can see, membership doth have its privileges.

Frater Barrabbas


  1. head is spinning. Excellent work.

  2. Very interesting. I've recently done a great deal of gate opening work including the Philotonous Pillar, which is basically opening a floodgate of energy. This can be used to created bonded objects as well as activated talismans and such. You've given me a brilliant idea for an experiment. But back to Armadel - I absolutely agree that fully activating the sigil could take some time. Lately I've been experimenting with the vibrational qualities of names and what the names themselves (from the old Grimoires) imbue into the creation of magickal talismans or give the ritual and what resonance and vibration the work itself leaves behind in the physical embodiment of sigils or talismans. Which naturally leads to gate opening rituals. But I see, in Armadel now, the potential for portals as well. Portals into the self and into the astral as well as portals to directly access the force being worked with. A method of ascension (i.e. directly tapping the divine intelligence) as we'd call it in Daemonolatry. You've given me a lot to think about.

  3. Wonderful site old boy .. We may have some subjects in our vault you may like.

    Knights illuminarii.

  4. @Lagetus of OKL - I would be pleased to see anything that you might want to pass my way.

  5. So how does one create the talismans or gather the materials to create them?

  6. Hi Josey - If you check the index on the left hand side of the blog web page for talismanic magic, you will find an article on this subject to answer your questions. All materials used in the making of a talisman must be set aside and reserved just for magical use.