First off, I want to announce that I’ve made an Instagram account. I basically dislike most social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. However, some people have asked for a better communication methods than back and forth emails, so Instagram it is. I’m not even sure what I’ll put there, but we’ll see.
So anyway, I’ve been engaged in High Magick for years now, and I subscribe to a specific tradition of ceremonial magick called Hermetic Kabbalah. In particular, the types of rituals practiced by the early 20th century group called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (to whom almost ALL modern spiritual movements can be directly or indirectly traced).
I‘ve done all sorts of rituals over the years, and tried out different variations. Sometimes I go with what an old grimoire is saying, sometimes I stick to the traditions of one or more Occult groups, sometimes I use a modern, minimalist method and sometimes I create my own. Some rituals work better than others.
I’ve never had a definitive ritual structure that I used for everything, because I wanted to learn and explore first. Most magickians are expected to develop one over time. Trust me, learning from personal experiences is much better than dogmatically adhering to some premade system (that’s called religion).
Recently, I started doing some rituals that are largely derivative of the Golden Dawn method. I just want to share how I do them, and my thought process behind a recent Invocation I did. The reason is so that people can see how Magickians design rituals and ceremonies seemingly from scratch, and completely on their own without having to rely on a grimoire. It’s something anyone can, and should work towards.
It may work better for some people than others. I may share how to actually do the ritual on the blog at some point.
The Magickal Heirarchy
An important thing to understand about ceremonial magick is its hierarchical nature. Essentially, it’s a soft polytheistic idea that when you call upon spiritual forces, you start from the ‘top’ and then work your way down. This is similar to Hinduism in some sense, in which all Gods, Demons, Humans etc. are ultimately manifestations of a single Divine Force, which fragments into small forces, which further fragment into further forces (or avatars).
The Western ceremonial tradition handles this as an almost social hierarchy, instead of using ‘avatars’. You’ve probably seen it in books like the Ars Goetia, where we have Kings, which then rule over Princes, which are then rule over Dukes, then Earls and so on.
The Golden Dawn tradition intertwines Abrahamic and Egyptian hierarchies, and these can be as fluid as one needs. At the top you have the Divine, invoked through Godnames, and beneath that are the Holy Living Ones, each ruling an alchemical element. Then Archangels, Angels, Planets, Elemental Kings and their kin, Spirits and Intelligences etc.
Intertwined into this are the Infernal hierarchies, with Archdemons on top, then Demons, Dark Planets, King of the Quarters and their kin.
Additionally, they try to include the various Gods and Goddesses of Egypt. These forces are are generally parallel to the Angelic hierarchies.
Almost all members of the Golden Dawn were strongly rooted in the Rosicrucian tradition. They constantly struggled with classifying the Egyptian and Demonic forces, and when they did, they made it so needlessly complicated that I genuinely struggle to understand their descriptions in some places. It’s a thing I’ve always seen monotheistic occultists struggle with, when it’s really not so complicated.
There’s also the Enochian system, but that’s for another time (and oh boy won’t that be fun).
A lot of witches and pagans today have a strong dislike of ceremonial magick, because they consider it rigid and narrow. They think it doesn’t allow for individualism or personal interpretation. However, this is untrue. Most of the time it only seems to be rigid, but in truth it’s still extremely fluid and open, and many systems have been combined to create it, which are far form cohesive.
The ritual I designed relied on my own interpretation of the hierarchy. I begin with preliminary banishing and meditations. Then, I call upon the Most High, which is completely personal.
After that, I invoke the God that I feel should preside over the ritual, and the entire ritual derives it’s power from this God.
Next, the Holy Livings Ones. These are neither fully Abrahamic nor Pagan. The GD corelated them to each of the letters of the 4 lettered name: YHVH.
However, their forms are derived from the Sphinxes found in both Egypt and Sumeria. They are: The Lion (Y), The Eagle (H), The Man (V) and the Bull (H). They each represent an Alchemical element: Fire (Y), Water (H), Air (V) and Earth (H).
From there, I invoke an Archangel, the Planet/s whose energy is used in the ritual (and if needed, the Olympic Spirit under them). Then come the Elementals (and their King), and then the Angel and Intelligence (Archon) of the Element.
Now, on some occasions, I will invoke an Archdemon or King of the Quarter at this point. Remember, technically the Archdemons and Kings are equal to the Archangels and Elemental Kings, and not ‘under’ the planets, Angels or Intelligences. However, it is generally a good idea to Invoke them after the Celestial and Planetary forces have been called. And only then, should you consider calling on Demons and Spirits. In fact, if the ritual does not require calling upon any infernal forces, it should be avoided altogether.
Obviously, most rituals do not require going through the entire chain of command. It all depends on the ritual, and I’m simply giving the whole thing to explain the logic of it all.
True and powerful magick could be performed by simply uttering one’s intent. There’s nothing to stop this. Just saying something puts your energy into it. However, that’s not always enough and not everyone can do that. Hence we have ceremonies and rituals and spells. The Invocations simply give it more power, and the hierarchies are more to help us put our magick in a logical framework, rather than representative of the actual state of affairs regarding these spiritual forces. Ultimately, we are the ones doing magick, and these forces simply help us connect to various parts of our own Soul.
Different people may have different hierarchies. Someone may consider Christ to be the Highest Force, while another may call on Krishna. One person may think Lucifer to be a God, while to another he could be an Archdemon. Ultimately, the ‘ranks’ you ascribe to these spirits are components of your own Psyche.
The spiritual forces are the same, and what symbols you use to approach them do not matter. However, it is more likely than not, that our mythologies and stories are at least rooted in some reality.
The Invocation of Air
The ritual in question was an Invocation of the element of Air itself. The purpose was to consecrate a talisman for certain purposes. The talisman, which in this case was a Ring, would be blessed and consecrated with various energies from the dominion of Air.
Now, this is not the usual way of consecrating talismans. In fact, you can read about the usual method here. However, this was not an ordinary talisman. Therefore, I was guided to create a ritual that would call upon the entire Air hierarchy. This was also for my own learning. While I asked each and every Force to bless the ritual and talisman, it can also be utilized for much simpler workings. Instead of asking every force to bless the ritual, you could simply just invoke them in the correct sequence, and that would make the ritual much more powerful. This rituals took about an hour, but technically much shorter versions could be performed based on requirement.
So, I spent about a week working out a hierarchy I was comfortable with. I performed a simple divination from time to time, asking the Archangels if what I was doing was correct. At times, I was asked to make corrections and changes were suggested.
I did the ritual on a Sunday, in the Waxing Moon. The entire day prior had been spent preparing for this ritual, and I think that certainly added to the power. I should mention, while I did use GD rituals and chants, all the prayers were written by me personally. I was told that prayers should always be written to any spiritual force by the individual (if s/he is able), because this is a much stronger expression of love and devotion than merely repeating what has been written before.
The ritual technically had to begin at sunrise, but I was more or less close enough to it. That is to say, I woke up at 6:00 AM, showered, had coffee and began getting things ready. I later realised that the reason this ritual was so powerful was because I had done nothing but work towards it from the moment of waking. On another day, I would do a similar Invocation of Fire, which was slightly weaker because it was at midday, and my mind had already been filled with other distractions.
I had an altar at the Eastern edge of the circle. At the center of it was the Armadel sigil for Raphael, with the Talisman on it. I had previously the area with water and incense. At the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the altar were my dagger and wand, for banishing and invoking respectively.
Around the altar, was a cup of water (water), a stick of incense (fire), a small container with salt (earth) and a feather (air). Outside the circle, I had placed a covered cup with rum from a newly opened bottle, and a small lamp with my own personal blend of fairy salve, which I keep specially for offering to the Elementals.
I also had sigils to the Olympic spirits of the Sun and the Moon, called Och and Phul respectively. The Olympic spirits are often called for consecration of talismans.
The Sun and the Moon are the planets that rule Air (Jupiter and Mercury rule Air, Venus and Mars rule Fire, and Saturn rules Earth).
I started the ritual, with a Salutation to the God Ra. Ra rules the Sunrise (as Hathor, Tum and Khepra rule the midday, sunset and midnight respectively. They are different avatars of the god Amun-Ra, the Egyptian Sun God). After the salutation, I spent a few moments in meditation.
Then came the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (and a short prayer to the Tetragrammaton), and then the banishing Ritual of the Hexagram ritual, followed by the Middle Pillar ritual to ground myself. These three rituals are essential components to most ceremonial workings.
I spoke the Invocation of the Bornless One. This is a well known ritual in magick, and gives you the ‘authority’ to command the Temple and all Forces that appear within it. It is a Greco-Egyptian prayer that calls upon Lord Osiris, who rules the Element of Spirit. (Next post will be about that, since I’ve had enough people ask me about it over the years)
Now, I could begin the ritual itself. I remained facing East, because I was invoking Air.
First, a prayer to Thoth, the God who rules the element of Air. The elements of Fire, Water and Earth are ruled by Horus, Isis and Nepthys in the GD tradition. This was a prayer that I wrote. There some invocations out there that are very elaborate and long, but you really don’t need such long invocations. Although many magicians are uncomfortable with this, having the blessing and aid of Gods is extremely important for spiritual operations. Even medieval Christian occultists would make prayers to the Holy Trinity.
As I did the prayer, I saw Thoth appear, enormous and with an Ibis head, standing as they are depicted in ancient statues. He held up his hand and blessed the ritual. Next, I made a prayer to the Kerub of Air. The Kerub of Air appears as a Man, and I traced the Hebrew letter Vav in the East. I could feel energy flowing from the direction as the Kerub empowered the ritual.
I then did two pentagram rituals, invoking Spirit (Active) and the element of Air respectively.
The most important part of the Ritual came now. I was going to invoke the Archangel Raphael until I was effectively one with him. The remainder of the ritual and consecration of the Talisman would happen with me adopting the guise of Raphael. I had prepared a Greek Mantra.
Remember, to call on any entity, the chant “Agios [Entity]” works very well, and is used in several traditions. Thus, my complete chant for Raphael was:
Agios Raphael! (x7)
Kalo Se Sena! (x10)
It translates to Come! Saint Raphael! Hail Unto Thee!
In fact, I have lately discovered that magical chants and mantras, especially those in ancient languages, should be sung, not just spoken. This empowers them significantly. As I repeated the chant, I slipped into a near complete trance. I saw the Archangel Raphael, with brilliant eyes shining yellow, with long black flowing hair. He often appears to be in yellow robes with purple triangles stitched onto it. He blessed me, then entered me. When I was done, the union was complete. I was me, but I was also Raphael. This is called complete invocation. Usually this takes longer, but with practice it came become quick. Also, the entire ritual done until now, along with the musical key and incense help greatly.
We held out our hand, and called into it the Cosmic kingdom of Air. I saw the entire Universe before us, and then I saw it in a purpulish hue. It was all the nebulae, clouds, dust, plasma, supernova, and everything that gave it beauty and sheen. I saw all the ‘Air’ in the Universe compress together until it was one ball of energy in my hand, bluish and purple. I pushed it into the talisman, and now it grew heavy and warm.
Then I did the Hexagram rituals to Invoke both the Sun and the Moon, for these are the planets that are under the element of Air, and opening both spheres give me the energy I needed. I uncovered the sigils of the Olympic Spirits, and asked each to bestow the planetary energies into the Talisman.
Now, I lit my lamp, and made a prayer to the Elemental ruler of Air, called Paralda, and his kin, who are the the Sylphs. You see, the Elementals co-exist with us on this material plane. This is why so much magick involves the four elements and quarters, because it is the Elementals who grant us the energy for the magickal working. If we were to use our energies, we would cause damage to ourselves, even die. The Elementals must be regarded with great respect, for they are more like us than anything else.
I welcomed them into the Circle and presented my offering. I thanked them for coming, and the Ruler Paralda blessed me in return. I could see little specs of light curling around my hands, giving me the energy I would need to do the consecration.
At this point I was totally in trance, and beginning to get tired. There was sweat dripping from my brow. But I continued intuitively. I made a prayer to the Angel of Air, called Chassam, and Archon of Air, Ariel. The angel empowered the ritual with the invigorating energy of Air, like a gentle breeze. The Archon bestowed upon it, the powerful winds that strip away ignorance and stagnation, and bring knowledge and liberty.
Now I sat silent, regarding all the energies I had invoked.
Then I got up, and performed an invocations of the Shadow side with a ritual I had very carefully prepared. I was told before hand that I did not need to call any of the Infernal hierarchies, except of course, the King of Air.
When I whispered the words to invoke the Shadow, I felt hot and there was a pressure building up. Just as with Raphael, I began to chant. I was still singing, but not vibrating, the name. King Amaymon was there even before I was finished chanting his enn.
I uncovered the alcohol, and welcomed King Amaymon. The Kings are only to be called on important occasions, and received very well. Amaymon is, in some ways, the Black Sun, and possibly an avatar of Lucifer.
He graciously accepted my offer. I saw nothing, though the image that comes to mind is a figure dressed in pitch black robes, so dark that no light reflects, with dark blueish eyes and hair, wearing a dark metallic crown.
If archangel Raphael represents the beauty of the Sun, then Amaymon rules over the Black Sun. Overcoming the Black Sun, and resisting it is integral for any Magician to truly reach adept-hood. The usual symbol of the Black Sun is the Sonnenrad. It is a Nazi symbol, not a pagan one as many New Agers claim. But this is no co-incidence, because they are an example of a group that was completely consumed by the Black Sun. The spirit of rebellion is a powerful force, but as Nietzsche once stated:
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
I requested Amaymon to open the Eastern gate. This would let loose the “dark” side of Air, that needs to be tempered and integrated. If Air is the element of the mind, representing Liberty and Knowledge, then it’s dark side is Rebellion and Transgression. It can be a destructive force that levels civilisations, but when integrated and channeled to serve the Divine Will, it becomes the force that breaks the shackles of deception, ignorance and delusion. It breaks the chains of conformity that keep us bound. But anyone who doesn’t know what they are doing, should not invoke these energies, lest he become unbalanced and be consumed by his own Shadow. The Kings of the Quarters will open the gate if you ask them, without regard to how you will handle it. But a divination I had done before told me I was prepared.
I think Amaymon even asked “are you sure”, to which I said yes. I got the impression that the Gate was opened.
The moment this happened, I felt energies so strong, I suddenly had the thought that I may pass out. I hadn’t eaten anything, and suddenly got very dizzy. I felt my stomach drop, and I began to sway. The energy continued to build up, but I was being told to hold on, and to brace myself. So I did, for as long as I could. For a scary moment, I genuinely thought I would faint. You know that light headed feeling right before you loose consciousness? When your mind goes blank and all you want to do is lie down and close your eyes.
But then I recovered my composure. The energy swirled around me, I made a gesture as if breaking chains that were around me. I said a short prayer, and then pushed this intense energy into the talisman.
As is tradition, I used the salt, water, incense and feather to consecrate the Talisman in all 4 elements, and proclaimed it’s purpose. I used the Rose Cross, and the name YEHESHUAH YEHOVASHAH to seal it.
The Kings can open the Gates, but I needed to close the Eastern gate myself, using the Rose Cross again. Then, I began the various thanks and farewells to all the Gods I had called, and finished with banishing all the forces I had invoked and giving a license to depart to any lesser spirits.
I instinctively waved my hand about, as if dispersing energies, because I still felt a lot of stuff around. Finally, the ritual ended.
Sometimes, though rarely, I use a Tarot deck to gauge the relative ‘power’ of a ritual. This is a pretty crude method, and does not show the efficacy of the ritual, only how much energy was generated. But, I still asked the archangel Raphael to tell me how powerful the ritual was, on a scale of 1-10. Then I pulled out an 8. All in all, a pretty good ritual!
Now, ironically, the ring is way too narrow for my finger. Ha. Probably should have checked beforehand. But I can still slip it around the little finger, and it tingles where it touches the skin. It does work very well.
And that’s it for now. So remember to check out the new Instagram page (@whiteravenmagus). If you liked what you read, be sure to follow my blog, and share it with anyone who may enjoy it as well.
Until Next Time