Welcome back! I am happy to announce that my Patreon is now live. I’ve thought about starting one for years now, but never really known what to offer as rewards, and what to actually write about. However, I now have a variety of materials that I would like to offer to those who wish to support the blog, and help me continue writing about magick and mysticism, sharing my knowledge, experiences and insight.
The Tiers and Projects
So for now I have created 4 tiers for my Patreon. Over time, I may add more, depending on how well it goes. These tiers correspond to the elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The titles for each tier are derived from Golden Dawn literature, for anyone who is curious. Each tier will grant access to an additional monthly article.
The Earth Tier (Periclinus De Faustis | $2)
So the Earth tier is the first one, and here you get access to Monthly Spellwork, as well as digital resources.
Let’s start with digital resources. Often I create diagrams and mandalas, and also digital versions of seals and sigils for my own work. Occasionally, I also create things like fonts and 3D models. If you subscribe to my Patreon, you will get access to all of these, whenever I make and upload them. This is not a consistent reward, but more of a bonus, and I’ll upload stuff as and when they are ready. Sometimes you might get tree of life diagrams, sometimes simple planetary sigils. I am also working on a Master Mandala, which will certainly be put up, and also things like: an Enochian font, a 3D model of the Tree of Life and flashing tablets for each planet.
As for the consistent, monthly reward for this tier, we have Spellwork. A lot of you know that I create my own spells, rituals and even concoctions (oils, incense, ointments and consumables). As a Patron, you will receive a monthly article about any one of these things. It could be a spell, a ritual, a new recipe, and so on. Many will be of my own creation, many might be channeled from some deity or spirit, and some will be things I have learned from others over the course of my journey.
This is ‘Earth tier’, so most spells will deal with material aspects of life, such as money, love, academics etc. It’s a great place to begin. I will also be sharing a recipe for spiritual drink which attune the spiritual senses. Basically you get a new spell to play around with every month, complete with instructions and details of castings, which often gets ignored. This is good for those who are still learning how magick actually works.
To those who feel they cannot afford the higher tiers, the very first spell will be an effective money spell, which might interest you. With every higher tier, the rewards of the previous tiers will be included. So in the Water tier, all the rewards of the Earth and Air tiers are included etc.
The Air Tier (Poraios De Rejectis | $5)
The Air tier introduces Project Tarot. Since this is the Air tier, it will deal a lot with magickal and spiritual theory, and intellectual understanding.
Project Tarot is an undertaking where every month we will completely analyse and breakdown the symbolism found in a single Tarot card. We won’t just focus on the Major Arcana, but the Minor as well. This is a topic that I am actually very deeply familiar with, and I’m quite disappointed that most Tarot guides do not go down to such a level of analysis. You see, Tarot is not just for divination or fortune telling. You can think of it as a book, and it basically contains the entire theory of magick, encoded into 78 archetypal images. Here I would encourage others to share their opinions and thoughts as well, and perhaps every month we can discuss not just my own ideas and understanding, but those of readers as well. I want this to be interactive.
For now, we will use the standard, A.E. Waite Tarot deck, because it is most common. I may have a look at other decks it, if people are so inclined.
TheWater Tier (Monocris De Astris | $7)
Here I have something special planned. With the Water Tier we move our focus to inner, emotional and visionary aspects, and you get access to Project Theurgia.
Every month I will be invoking one of the 72 Angels of the Shemhamphorasch. And this will be a complete, in depth channeling, starting with the first Angel and going all the way around the Zodiac to the 72nd. As you know, these angels are the counterparts to the 72 Spirits of the Ars Goeita.
As a Patron of the Water tier, you will receive a monthly article summarizing my experience, and containing full details of the Angel, such as its attributions, powers and what it can do for you. I will also channel a sigil and an Angelic mantra for each (similar to demonic enns).
So basically it’s an attempt to create a full, detailed guide to every single Angel of the ha-Shem. I’m not saying I’m the first to have attempted this, but I’m pretty sure mine will be the most detailed, because I will put things in their historical and philosophic context.
This blog will continue as is, and I will still be sharing my ritual experiences here. Project Theurgia will be it’s own thing, and will follow a consistent methodology.
The Fire Tier (Pharos Illuminans | $9)
This is the highest tier, for now. It is the Fire tier, concerning the Will, and the Projection of Energy.
As a patron of this tier, you get access to Project Goetia. It is exactly the same as Project Theurgia, but this time dealing with the 72 Spirits of the Ars Goetia. Just like with the previous tier, I will be evoking each of the Spirits, and sharing an article about them, containing information about each Spirit, its powers, various planetary/elemental attributes, a channeled sigil and an enn/mantra for evocation.
Most likely the sigils for both the Angels and Demons will be colour coded and in digital format, so you can print and use them directly.
With Project goetia I will likely experiment with and try out different techniques for each spirit, and share both my successes and failures with Patrons. Maybe we can refine this down to an art, given enough time and feedback.
Project Goetia is probably one of my greatest spiritual undertakings, besides my experiments with Enochian magick and alchemy, and I am very excited to share this with you.
Now, the important thing to know is that I won’t actually start putting stuff under a tier until I have at least one patron in that tier. So for example, I won’t start Project Tarot until there is at least one Patron in the Air tier and higher, and so on.
I am very thankful to all those who choose to support me financially, just as I am grateful to all those who buy my books, and also to all my readers, who send me warm messages and have stuck by me through thick and thin. Reading about your positive experiences and successes are one of the things that keeps me going, and keeps reminding me that this blog is worth the time and the effort.
So once again, thank you for all the support over the years. All of this is for you, and without you it would have no purpose. I hope you have a great semester ahead, and that all of you make it through these difficult and turbulent times that we find ourselves in.
I will continue to write, and continue to share my ideas in the hope that this knowledge reaches as many people as it can, and that more and more people are able to look beyond the Veil and be prepared for the new age which is dawning. May it be an age of truth, virtue and openness.
Don’t believe me. Fine, let me say the same sentence to you using many more words.
What was the Age of Pisces? It was the Astrological Age which began somewhere around 100 BCE and 100 CE. An astrological age lasts around 2100 years, meaning we are currently close, or have pretty much already entered into, the Age of Aquarius.
Lots of people talk about the Age of Aquarius, and how it will be a meritocratic, technological age. An age of free knowledge, open practice of magick, decentralization, sexual fluidity, and indeed the break down of many fixed, dual structures. But I want to talk a bit about the Age of Pisces before we say goodbye to it for good.
Oh, and before we begin, an update regarding the book: The Tree of Life: A Beginner’s Guide has been updated. A full email announcement regarding the changes has already been sent a while back to those who purchased it. Obviously, this doesn’t impact those who will buy it in future. But just in case you did buy it, but missed the email, here’s a reminder to go download it again.
A Very Brief Introduction
Pisces was the last zodiac sign. Over the course of 26,000 years, the belt of the Zodiac moves slowly, counter clockwise. This is the result of the Earth’s axial tilt. Basically, the Earth ‘wobbles’, and the axis is not actually fixed on the star we call Polaris. As this wobble happens, the Earth’s axis traces a slow circle around the constellation of Draco, the Dragon. This means the ‘Pole Star’ shifts too, based on where the Earth’s north pole is pointing. It is currently Polaris, but one day it will be something else, and back in ancient times it was something else too.
The other effect this has, is that the belt of the Zodiac appears to slowly move around the Earth. We determine the current astrological age by seeing which sign the Sun rises in, during the Summer Solistice. So the Age of Aquarius is when the Sun is rising in the sign of Aquarius (which is pretty much happening now by the way. I checked last year). This process is called Axial Precession, or Precession of the Equinox.
Many astrologers and even magicians make the error of thinking that the made up constellations themselves affect us, which isn’t quite right. I mean, for one, different cultures have different constellations, and the ones we use commonly nowadays really are just arbitrary patterns thought up by ancient Greeks, based on an older Egyptian model. Yes, the Stars do have magickal affects on Earth, just like everything else in the Universe, but they are far away and this affect is minimal. Our lives are affected much more strongly by theelemental forces on Earth, and by the energies of the planets in the Solar System.
The constellations should not be thought of as the cause of astrological phenomena, but rather a convenient ‘clock’. They simply represent the shift in elemental forces cause by the rotation and revolution of the Earth, and the planets. Similarly, the Axial Precession represents the completion of various cycles in the evolution of the Earth. Every astrological age is influenced by the archetypal energies ascribed to the current astrological sign, and the planet which is assigned rulership over it. But when did this cycle begin?
Presumably, the Earth has been wobbling and going through this cycle for hundreds of millions of years, over and over. But when talking specifically about the current cycle, we of the Hermetic tradition take Leo, the sign ruled by the Sun, to be the first. Not Aries (which is the first sign of the year, since it brings spring, but not the first sign of the Axial Precession).
The reasons for this are simple, because human ‘civilisation’ as we currently understand it, began around 12,000 BCE. This was the time when the Holoscene epoch began. It is also around this time that the first Agricultural Revolution began, and historians usually consider the invention of agriculture as the first step of ‘civilisation’.
Also, in the Hermetic tradition it is believed that beginnings of high magick date back to this time period. Calculating from there, we get the current time period, and the Age of Aquarius.
What was the Age of Pisces
Pisces is the astrological sign ruled by Jupiter.
What does Pisces represent? Any basic book on astrology will tell you: dreams, visions, fantasies and spirituality. It is mutable Water, meaning it is very passive, and has to do with emotions, feelings and subconscious impressions.
And how were all the great Piscean religions started?
Through the dreams, visions and prophecies of great Seers, Prophets, and Mystics. It spread through rumours, through wandering sages, through stories. The rumour of some great magician who challenged the authority of the Emperor and was crucified in a far away land was enough to turn the ENTIRE Roman empire Christian. The idea and stories of the Buddha wandering from place to place and sharing his wisdom, which was further shared by others, was the basis of spreading Buddhism across half a continent. And those religions which did not start in this time, adopted a Piscean character. Hinduism became devotional, Judaism became mystical. Islam is entirely emotional and based on feeling and trance. Even the Pagan religions which persisted in this time became highly reliant on divinations and utterances of shamans.
The Piscean cultures and civilisations of the last 2000 years have been sensual, placing a great amount of importance on emotional impact of symbols. Things were true if enough people felt they were true, and most rulers maintained power through shows and displays of their authority, like wearing impressive clothes and using symbols and banners and words which left an impression. Subconscious impressions. It is also no wonder that humanity became a highly seafaring race, and the great Empires towards the end of the Age of Pisces all held great control over the seas (Maybe in the Age of Aquarius we will perfect air/ space transport, although I do not foresee space Empires just yet).
Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, and Jupiter is the planet of benevolence, wealth, kindness, opulence, luxury, majesty and royalty. What was the dominant form of government in these last 2000 years? No, not monarchy. Feudalism. Feudalism, where power was maintained by the concept of “royal” and “noble” blood, and the hierarchy was dictated by Jupiterian concepts like wealth, valour, honour, dignity etc.
It was not military might, since that sort of power structure belongs to the Age of Aries. Yes, military played a role, as it always will, but it is generally known that the greatest warrior was not automatically made King. A royal claim by an heir with noble blood, superseded any military strength. Obviously, institutional religions played a big role. Consider the Catholic Church, and how strong they were. It is literally a full on Piscean institution. In fact, did you know that the funny hat the Pope wears is literally a fish. It comes from the Ancient Sumerian sea god Dagon, who had a fish on his head. Over centuries, it has ended up on the Pope’s head. Pisces is also the sign of the Fish.
Jupiter rules benevolence and kindness. In this past Age, benevolence and kindness were considered the greatest virtues, and all who had power and status were expected to be well mannered, kind and generous with their wealth.
Every astrological Age decays over time though. The Age of Aries ended when people had become too violent, and when the abuse of power was common and military strength was a tool of oppression, and used as justification to rule. This is why Piscean religions like Christianity and Buddhism, which preached mercy and tolerance, so quickly replaced the martial cults and creeds of the past, and left a permanent impact on all the world. But in the last century, we watched the Age of Pisces reach it’s end, as man became obsessed with wealth and material pleasure, and with a near fanatical obsession to satiate emotional needs and wants. Money became the sole object of worship and desire, both the means and the end to all endeavor. Wars were fought for money and material resources, and people’s opinions, beliefs and values all became heavily reliant on emotions, and everyone who wanted power had to make appeals to emotion, and those in power made great shows of false kindness and opulence.
Celebrity worship is perhaps the most overt symbol of a Piscean excess. The worship of people surrounded by Jupiterian symbols, and their followers who feel emotionally connected, and even reliant upon, them.
Pisces is also ruled by Neptune. Neptune is a planet whose influence was not strongly felt until the last century or so, when it revealed itself. Neptune rules psychology, psychosis, psychadelics. Now, this post is not about the end of Pisces and the birth of Aquarius. I am simply giving an idea of what the Age of Pisces was, and how to think about it.
Some of you may say I am interpreting history through a very specific lens. But that is precisely what history is. All ‘history’ is a narrative, an interpretation through a certain lens. If we simply take the facts and a sequence of events as they happened, without any interpretation, then that is not history, that is a chronicle.
To divide history into astrological ages like this is no more or less ‘scientific’ or ‘academic’ than, say, dividing it up into things like the classical and medieval eras. Those are also just interpretations and narratives.
But what was the Piscean lie?
Look at the signs of Pisces and Aquarius. Both represent duality. But they both show it in a slightly different way. Aquarius shows duality as fluid, as two different strands which weave and mingle together, and then separate. Like a double helix formed from energy. But Pisces shows duality as being fixed and held in place, and even opposing.
By the way, anyone who ever wondered why Piscean religions were so obsessed with categorizing and defining ‘good’ and ‘bad’, will now see why. It isn’t just morality they separated, but gender too. Everything became one way or another, yin and yang, with little room for doubt. You either were a peasant, or a noble, and unlike modern times these categories did not shift so easily. It was exceedingly rare for, say, a peasant to become a noble, and even a nobleman who had lost all his wealth and land and castles, was STILL a noble and had to be treated as such. So, Piscean culture was highly dual and rigid. And it was a very emotional culture, so rational arguments against this would hold little weight.
Many grimoires of magick from the Middle Ages, to a modern magician, may seem….outdated, and dogmatic.
Let’s take some popular ones. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Arbamelin. This is a popular one from the 14th century, and is most likely the basis of many later grimoires like the Ars Goetia. The first sections of this book document the journeys of a figure called Abraham the Jew. He travels across Europe, Arabia, Egypt and other regions. He meets Kabbalists, Christian mystics, Egyptian and Islamic magi, Pagans, Black Magicians, and each of them teaches him some small part of magick and wisdom. In the end, Abraham concludes that the best and truest magick he learned was from the only High Adept he met, which is an Egyptian mage named Abramelin.
In the second and third sections, he explains the basics of an elaborate working called the Abramelin ritual. However, as he explains what magick is, he immediately starts off by criticising and decrying paganism, polytheism and idolatory. He criticizes elemental magick, astrology, alchemy, and every other craft besides Kabbalah and Christian mysticism. Although he has so far defined them really well, he now repeatedly emphases Abrahamic values and the importance of prayer, and warns people against anything besides that, and also how everything they do must also be for the betterment of ‘their neighbours’. This sentiment is then echoed in later grimories like the Ars Goetia, which also seem to be emphasizing religious worship. It’s almost like they’re compensating for something.
Let’s take the Bhagawat Gita. It is not a religious scripture…not really anyway. It was almost certainly written by mystics. It is a very funny little book, because it seems to contradict itself so often. It begins by declaring that all systems of class, gender and caste are arbitrary in spirituality, and no individual is held back from spiritual awakening because of their birth. It also declares that traditional religion and priesthood have become erroneous, and that the study of scriptures can be a distraction. But then, towards the end it seemingly retraces its steps, reiterating feudalism, casteism, the importance of following religious norms and emphasizes divisions between people.
What of Dr. John Dee? His diaries on Enochain magick are full of seeming dead ends, incomplete systems, seemingly random and arbitrary materials, and a repeated attempt to interpret everything within the Christian framework. I mean, that’s why it’s called ‘Enochain’ magick, even though the ‘enochian’ Angels never called themselves that, nor indicated that they had anything to do with Enoch. At one point in his dialogue with the Angels, they straight up tell him not to bother with worship and religious observances, and also that Jesus was a mystic, not the literal son of god, and need not be worshipped. Yet, he continues his Christian theological interpretations, seemingly.
Why did the Sufi mystics, even though they clearly did not believe in Islamic dogma, pretend to follow and accept Sharia law? I mean, half of them didn’t, and these were chased out of Arabia, but the other half did. Even after their beliefs and contemplations became significantly different from Islamic theology, they continued to attempt to fit it in with what the clerics said.
Or what of the Hindu prophetic figure and theologian, Adi Shankaracharya?
Towards the end of his life, he went off to live alone on the top of a mountain. Here, he had a bunch of spiritual visions and experiences with the Goddess Shakti, and composed what is essentially a magickal grimoire called the Saundarya Lahiri. This is very similar in style to European grimoires, and contains hyms, spells, pentacles and sigils, along with detailed descriptions of invocation and the Maha Yantra.
However, this book has many strange instructions. For example, some hyms are required to be chanted, say, forty thousand times, and under very specific conditions, to be effective. This sort of thinking has persisted in Hindu magick, where exceedingly long and elaborate instructions are given for basic magickal workings. So elaborate, that no one in his right mind would even consider attempting them, unless you want to be in the wilderness on the midnight of the Spring Equinox standing before a roaring fire and repeating a mantra eighty thousand times, after having fasted and abstained from speech and sex for several weeks.
Or let’s take the Ars Goetia? Are you really going to wear a lion skin belt, pray to Jesus, then invoke demons from the Bible who shall appear breathing sulfur?
What about the Grand Grimoire. Half the recipes in that book will either poison you or kill you, and I genuinely cannot imagine that anyone in history has tried some of the ones which involve ingesting toxic metals, or growing a bean plant inside a decapitated human head for attaining wealth.
Hey, and how about my very own Golden Dawn tradition? Anyone who’s read the Golden Dawn books might find that there’s plenty of information that’s contradictory, seemingly incomplete, distorted, and just outright WRONG.
You get the point. I mean, if you can call upon a Spirit by merely chanting it’s name and visualizing, why do some books have you sacrifice rare, exotic virgin animals at a very specific hours of the night using a dagger made from a very specific type of wood from a very specific tree which is found in only very specific places, collected at a specific time, and in a specific way? How can an art, as sacred and universal as Magick, be so goddamn complicated, inaccessible and bizzare?
The short answer is: it isn’t. It’s lies.
I would say about 90% of the instructions and methodology from both grimoires and religious scripture can be safely and easily left out in actual ritual performance. They serve no greater purpose, nor is there any greater or special significance to them. Yes, they are often symbolic, and studying them can help one understand the specific symbolism of that particular occult tradition, but more often than not it only gives you a glimpse into the psyche of the specific magus or mystic who wrote these things, and may not apply to others even from the same tradition.
The Long Answer
The Age of Pisces was a time of duality. It was a time of Good and Evil. These were fixed categories, and the important thing was to align with the Good and reject the Evil.
Many magi of this period, and even ages before, were terrified of one thing: magickal knowledge falling into the wrong hands, and being misused for the purposes of what they would have called ‘evil’. Another danger when simply writing down knowledge that was once well protected and only passed personally from Master to Student, was about how to make sure that only ‘worthy’ students received this knowledge.
The first instance of magickal knowledge being fully committed to writing, in it’s entirety, comes to us from religious scriptures of religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Still not meant for the public, these books are essentially encoded. They use symbols and archetypal stories to get important spiritual ideas and concepts across, and over time these stories and symbols have become more refined. As reading and writing became more widespread, books of magick also began to contain intentional lies and manipulations. Often, it was something as simple as little omissions here and there, or subtle distortions to important symbols, or extra steps to rituals. For example, your average book on alchemy goes from being a set of instructions on metallurgic refining, to being an allegorical, symbolic legend, filled with wild goose chases, and the work appears so complex and troublesome that any ordinary person would simply toss away the book in annoyance, except someone who has already received alchemical instructions or performed basic experiments. A worthy student who can sift through the lies to get at the real matter of the book.
Additionally, bear in mind that the practice of magick leads to a strong, almost radical sense of individualism. But that doesn’t mean people were always free to express this. So, when writing works of magick, they had to be sure to conform to socio-political and cultural norms. For example, even if the writers of the Keys of Solomon were not Christian, they had show that everything they were doing was, in reality, Christian after all, and completely in line with Christian dogma. The author of the Book of Abramelin may have believed that both men and women could do magick, but he still couldn’t say outright that we should reject gender roles, just as the authors of the Bhagawat Gita couldn’t just reject the caste system.
This, by the way, is true even today. I can’t, for example, tell you to reject or even break tyrannical laws in your country, because that would probably get this blog unlisted from search engines and possibly even banned in various countries. So far, I’ve always straddled the edge between what is and isn’t socially, culturally or politically allowed, and will remain that way. Only you can infer my true meaning and beliefs about religion, politics and the modern world in general. I can never state them outright, because I’m not keen to draw undue attention.
To us, living in the Age of Aquarius, “good and evil” seem like superfluous concepts. We live in a time beyond Good and Evil, and understand that they are subjective boundaries and not based upon anything real. Doesn’t matter what your political or ideological leaning is since both, the existentialists like Nietzsche came to the same conclusions as the post modernists like Satre. This is not a rigth wing-left wing thing. Good and Evil do not exist, and so it makes no sense to try to be a “good” person. But rather, the Aquarian ideal is about truth, honesty and moral integrity.
The Gods don’t want us to be good and reject evil in this Age, but rather be truthful and have integrity, and reject lies and deceit. And so the Aquarian Magi focus on being as open, transparent and as truthful as possible, and do everything they can to cut down lies, propaganda and subversion. It is one of the reasons why, these days, we do not demand that society, governments and religions be ‘good’, so much as we want them to be transparent and honest. Honesty is a virtue, while ‘goodness’ is seen as pretentious. This is also why modern magicians can invoke Spirits who were formerly called as ‘demon’. These ‘demons’ represent things which, to the Piscean cultures, would have been seen as ‘evil’. To us, no such dichotomy exists. All that we ask for and focus on, is clarity and integrity, and the same is expected from us.
But that was not true in the previous age. It may not make sense to us, but to those who lived in the time it seemed perfectly fine to lie, manipulate and distort information in order to serve the ‘greater Good’. After all, what harm was being done, except deny power to those who were evil?
Problem is, there was also a lot of copy-pasting. A lot of books of magick, yoga and spirituality are filled with material that was simply copied from older books by people who neither practiced nor understood the material. A lot of them merely gave their opinions, and the best logical answer they could come up with, to make sense of all this. A vast majority of occult grimoires fall into this category. They’re simply amalgamations of previous works. The Grimoire of Armadel is perhaps the best example of this. Naturally, all the lies and distortions are retained, since the authors simply had a scholastic interest in these books, and did not practice magick themselves. And so, there’s a further distortion.
A lot of things that are written on the topic of high magick and yoga are just completely…..meaningless. They serve no purpose besides a passing scholarly interest, and it is sad to see so many beginners of magick get so worked up over arbitrary categories, needlessly complex rituals, contradictory philosophies, and various theological and moral restrictions. I think a majority of New Age literature is just that, further opinions given on these various distorted works. A distortion of a distortion of a distortion. Wonderful.
I myself was once really worked up over these things. What is a demon, what is an angel, what is a god? What does it mean to be noble, what is the purpose of culture, and how to be a good person? Growing up, I often had a keen interest in doing the “right thing” and frequently remained obedient to rules, procedures and expectations. Now, I can look back and see it was nothing but servility. I was merely going against my own better judgement for people who did not know better. In fact, many people I listened to were just weak and confused, and were trying to pass it on to the next generation. I realised that power is not always earned, and often people who have been granted authority did not earn it, and do not deserve it. Just because someone says, with confidence, that something is right and correct and moral, does NOT make it so.
Redeeming the Truth
So…what is to be done?
There’s no one size fits all solution. It requires personal discretion, and most importantly, experience.
For example, try to understand the essence and purpose of a ritual and cosmology, without following it blindly. What does the lion skin belt of the Ars Goetia represent? The Animal self, and tying it around your waist represents that you have conquered your inner demons.
Remember that most mythology and scripture is symbolic. For example, the ‘end times’ in the Biblical Revelation represents, not the “end of the world”, but rather Apokalypsis, which is a Greek word meaning the attainment of knowledge, or Gnosis. it also shows the passing from the Age of Pisces to that of Aquarius, which has been happening since around 1980.
A lot of things are exaggerated. Many Tantric mantras do not need to be repeated 40,000 times. Just 40 times will suffice, and you can have the intent of putting the power of a thousand recitations into a single one. These recitations are simply to enter a meditative trance, and imprint the instructions into your subconscious. If you can understand the why, then the what is irrelevant.
Remember that everything the alchemists did refers to real chemical phenomena. If you understand chemistry, you shall understand the instructions.
The Enochian tablets are pages of an instruction manual, not an object of worship or altar piece.
The cosmologies of Gods, Angels and Demons always refer to the elements, the planets, the zodiac, or the 9 gates of understanding.
There’s also few tips I can give. Remember, your OWN gnosis and experiences, and your own thoughts and worldview supersede everything.
But what if you’re wrong?
Trust me, better to think for yourself, and be wrong, than not think at all. The risk of being wrong, and having to reevaluate your beliefs is the price for self determination. Personally, I remember when I first started magick so much of it felt wrong, meaningless, obtuse, misleading or just plain ignorant. But I had to convince myself that it was written by masters who knew more, an that every occult author was of the same caliber, and every book contained valuable information. Never occurred to me that many occult authorities could be..well, just some guys who never had any spiritual experiences with dumb opinions, beginners just like me.
Remember, sometimes, if things feel wrong or don’t make sense, that’s because they are wrong. Not everything happens for a reason, not all categories are true. Sometimes, bad ideas are very popular. Sometimes, the thing that everyone believes could be wrong. Just because something is older, doesn’t mean it’s better, and all people, even masters of High Magick, are human and fallible.
This applies not just to magick, but to a lot of things.
And, most importantly, the Piscean Magi lied.
That doesn’t mean they were bad people or had bad intentions. But they lived in a separate paradigm. Maybe the magi from the Age of Capricorn shall look at us the same way, unable to understand our obsession with honesty and integrity. Perhaps in their time, being truthful and honest would be so common place, that they’ll see our obsession with transparency and openness as weird. Or maybe general reality would have become so magickal and fluid, that ‘truth’ will just feel like a childish and infantile concept, because nothing will appear fixed even to ordinary people.
But we can only go with what makes sense to us in our time, and this applies to those who came before us too.
So without judging them too harshly, remember to take everything they wrote with a healthy amount of skepticism. A lot of it is simply a clever little distraction.
First off, I want to make a quick announcement. Thank you to everyone who purchased The Tree of Life: A Beginner’s Guide. The sales have been good enough that there’s a good chance I will release another e-Grimoire before the end of the year.
I understand that these are difficult and confusing times for some, and as far as I’m concerned all this will continue for at least several more years. This first book was introductory, but from now on I shall focus more on practical magick that can be done to improve one’s life and find one’s path.
But let’s move to today’s topic: Fairy Salve, and how to make it for spiritual and occult purposes.
The Story of the Fairy Ointment
The idea of “Fairy Salve” or Fairy Ointment comes to us from English and Celtic folklore. It’s essentially a folktale.
Like many other stories of its kind, it was most likely the result of strange encounters with some kind of occult phenomena.
There are many variations of the story, but in general it goes like this:
A nurse/midwife is visited at midnight by a strange looking man at her doorstep. He tells her that his wife is too ill to give birth alone, and he needs her help. The midwife is suspicious, but goes along with him in his horse drawn carriage, to his home.
There, she helps deliver the child, and cares for it while the mother recovers. She is instructed by the mother to rub a certain ointment on the baby’s eyes when it wakes up.
In some versions of the tale, the baby is anointed all over its body. Anyway, the baby opens its eyes, and the midwife notices his pupils are large and oddly shaped, almost like slits. But does as she was told, rubbing its eyes with the ointment. Either by accident or out of curiosity, she rubs some of it on her right eye, and immediately her surroundings change.
The small cottage is transformed into an elaborate or luxurious castle. In some versions, it turns into a dank (haha) cave. The midwife sees the child and its mother have turned even more beautiful (or ugly, in the cave version). She sees the baby’s siblings, who also have a strange appearance, playing around and doing all kinds of mischief, and realises she is in the home of pixies.
She doesn’t say anything, and when the father returns she demands to be taken home immediately. She sees the horse that draws the carriage is now pitch black with burning eyes. Upon returning home she is given a large payment. Some days later, she is at the market and sees the strange man, tha father of the baby, at the market. He’s taking whatever he wants from various different stalls, though no one seems to notice.
She immediately calls him out on it for stealing, and he is surprised by this. He demands to know if she can see him, and she says yes (famous last words). In response, he accuses her of stealing as well, and getting involved in things that aren’t her business. Reaching out, he touches the affected eye, saying she wont be seeing fairies anymore. Her right eye is then permanently blinded.
Some versions of this story also involve the nurse being kept prisoner by the fairies until she is recused by her husband. In other versions, she finds the salve in the home of a suspected witch, and later finds the witch’s husband stealing at the market, who then blinds her.
The Fae and English/Irish Folklore
To make fairy salve, it’s important to understand the context of this story. The main takeaway is that the Fairy Salve was believed to be an ointment that helped you see spiritual or otherworldly creatures. From the story it seems even the creatures themselves needed to use it, which is interesting.
Generally speaking, you may be familiar with the friendly and helpful fairies that appear in Fairy Tales, such as those in Cinderella or Snow White. However, all of those stories are German. In this case, we are not referring to the Fairies from the German “Fairy” tales.
Then you might be thinking of the Elves, Dwarves, and other such mythical creatures, with pointed ears and a proud disposition. However, those are from Norse mythology, and this is not the place to get into those.
In Irish and English folklore, the word “Fairy” essentially referred to Spirits that lived alongside humans. This is not referring specifically to good or bad spirits, but rather a vast range of creatures. These are similar to what the Greeks called Nature spirits, or what the Japanese called Ayakashi, and in India they are called Yaksha. While the Norse use a different system of classification, some of their spirits are part of this category. The same can be said for the Arabic Djinn.
Put simply, these are not Gods, nor Demons, nor Angels. In Magick, they are often given the title of Elementals. The main thing to remember is that they live alongside humans in this material plane, not in some place beyond.
The idea of such things has been around ever since humanity started living together in settlements and communities, and staying separate from Nature. At the edge of Civilisation, where human life met the raw forces of Nature, people had strange experiences and thus the idea of the nature spirits came about. Many legends and folk tales refer to a time when these spirits lived with and mingled with humans, but then the two groups fell apart (referring to how humanity became separate from nature). In most cultures, this referred to the spirits of the trees, rocks, deserts, rivers and mountains. Some could be vast, dwelling in mountains, some small, dwelling in grains of rice.
This belief is called Animism, and was/is a part of ‘primitive’ cultures: the idea that everything has a spirit of it’s own. In other cultures, particularly after organised religion came about, people only began to think of these spirits as dwelling in wild places, such as deep in the desert or in unexplored parts of forests. Whether they are friendly depends on the culture, region and geography.
In almost all cases, animals themselves were also considered to be a part of this category. The most well known examples are Native American and Siberian shamanism, where animals are just as much spirits of nature as any mythical creature. To us in our modern societies, this may sound strange, because we have documented animals so well, and even tame and breed them regularly. But to our ancient ancestors, most animals were as strange and magical as any fairy or nymph, not to mention the large number of dangerous wild animals that could attack and kill humans.
Even now, look at the kinds of things we are discovering in the deep sea, which are completely strange and contrary to our expectations. Look at videos or pictures of these things, and see if you don’t feel a sense of mystery, wonder and even fear.
Various cultures then, established all sorts of rules and regulations about how to deal with Nature Spirits, and how to respect their boundaries. This was not mere superstition, but also served to protect people from wandering into the territory of bears, tigers or lions. It kept them safe from various natural phenomena they did not understand. For example, to keep people indoors after night, away from forests and lakes, or to have them stick to roads and not venture off course, to be wary of strangers, to avoid the spread of disease etc. In magick we understand that “as above so below”. Any event occurring on the material plane has a spiritual counterpart, and you will see that all these things that people were afraid of were indeed “Spirits of Nature” .
To those who like films, I highly suggest the 2004 film called The Village. Don’t read any reviews or summaries, just go and watch it. It may give you something to think about.
In England, Scotland and Ireland (and Wales), these were often called the ‘Fae’ (fair folk). “Fair” here means beautiful, not ‘pale’.
Some fae were helpful, some were malicious. The most common distinction I’ve found is between “Night” and “Day” Fae. The Fae/Faery played an important role in the daily lives of people (even more than Gods) and therefore having a good relationship with them was important, as well as keep them at a distance. While the Fae were helpful, they could also be mischievous. They are forces of Nature, and i’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Nature does not always act as humans would like it to.
The fundamental thing to understand is that the Fae weren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but that each things had its own purpose, and acted according to its nature. That is perhaps the greatest difference between modern and ancient humanity. Our ancestors lacked the means to control their lives and environment the way we can. As a result, they were not so arrogant and proud. They understood that Nature had its rules, and they had to live according to it. Things like fire were helpful, but if used incorrectly, they would burn you. Things like controlled gas stoves (and now electric ones) have been around for a century or so, but humanity have walked the Earth for over 200,000 years in its present form. When people were blessed with good fortunes or wealth, or when they had a good harvest, it was because they had been blessed by fairies. But when children went missing, when people died of disease or got lost in the woods, it was also fairies.
After the advent of Christianity, the Church struggled to reconcile these beings with their Scripture. It is well known that while several regions of Western Europe embraced the Chruch, the Irish stubbornly insisted on bringing along their pagan legends and folk traditions (ironically, hundreds of years later it would be the opposite, and the Irish would be hated for refusing to leave the Church and join the protestant cause. Ah..the joys organised religion).
The best answer the the Priests could give was that the Fae were somehow “fallen” creatures, similar to fallen angels, and that they must be feared.
Now, it must be clear why the Fairy Salve story has different versions. The version where the pixies are beautiful and live in a castle is probably the original, while the one where they are ugly and live in a hovel is post-Christian.
We could go on and on, but this is a very extensive topic. So I’ll cut it short with some thoughts on a certain famous occultist you’ve probably heard of: William Shaksepeare.
Yes, Shaksepeare was a magus. He was also associated with John Dee (yes, THAT John Dee, noted astrologer and alchemist, who created the Enochian language and tablets along with Edward Kelly, and who served as a spy for Queen Elizabeth).
You see, Shaksepeare was quite a radical individual for his time (like all Occultists). Though today we think of him as ‘sophisticated’ and his works are considered ‘classics’, they weren’t so when he was alive. The language he uses, which now is seen as posh, was actually a bit crude for his time. While he wrote a lot of historical plays, he also threw in spirits, ghosts and other random shit. He was like a 14th century Kurt Cobain. Naturally, it was this radical spirit that made so many love and appreciate his work. Contrary to what some may tell you, society does value and respect free thinkers, especially those who produce creative works.
To anyone who’s read his work, you can see the very clear presence of fairies. The most notable is probably The Tempest, which straight up has a sorcerer who has bound an elemental spirit to him. It is strange to say, but we don’t actually have many written records of what medieval British and Irish people thought of Fairies. Our modern perception of the Fair folk is greatly influenced by people like Shakespeare. This includes the notion of Titania and Oberon being the King and Queen of Fairies, of their general humanoid appearance and attitude.
Honestly, to make a full and complete deconstruction of the exact sources of modern fairy lore would be quite difficult, to put it lightly, so let’s cut it here.
Creating Fairy Salve
I have created this substance only twice. The first was by a pagan method (I was still new to magick and very experimental), the second by a kabbalistic. Both worked extremely well, and I shall outline them roughly.
What is the purpose? Well, it is both a ‘offering’ to be made to elemental spirits, as well as an anointing oil that can aid psychic perception during ritual. Simply put, it will help you sense spiritual phenomena during any sort of spiritual working. This idea is neither new nor limited to the British Isles, and there are several medieval grimoires that call for anointing the temples and eyes before a magick ritual (most commonly the Oil of Jerusalem, which is a certain type of enchanted lamp oil).
The Pagan Method
The pagan method will appeal more to neo-pagans, shamans, witches and the like. It takes longer, and can be easily personalised.
The basic idea is to saturate an oil with herbs, and bless it with the forces of nature. Since elementals/Fae are meant to live alongside humans, this recipe calls for herbs that have been collected from one’s own garden. It doesn’t matter which herbs you pick, but ideally it should be something you grow. Maybe choose the oldest plants you have, or those that appear to have a magical connection. You may also look into the folklore of your region, to see if any herbs or plants stand out as being associated with nature spirits.
You need to pick a time for this, and I would suggest the full moon. Or just the early morning of an auspicious day. Select a certain number of herbs. Perhaps 7 different varieties, and 3 of each?
Next, you must choose the oil. Since we are trying to make a ‘salve’, it’s a good idea to choose something that is more like a paste rather than a complete liquid. Coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter) are good, because they harden when cold. If you plan to burn it as an offering, make sure it’s flammable. If you cannot get these, you can use any normal oil. However, I do suggest going to the effort of procuring these, because this and the herbs are the only two ingredients needed, the rest is magick!
You may, if you want, add some salt. An enchanted salt, or mineral salt is good. Salt is used by many neo-pagans for protection from negative influence.
Put the chosen oil in a steel container, and then put it in a larger container filled with water. This is just a general guideline for heating any kind of oil. If we put the the container with the oil directly on the fire/stove, it will ‘cook’ the oil. In some cases, it may even vaporize the oil. Therefore, we use a water bath, to avoid burning/cooking our ingredients, and also maintain the temperature at 100 degrees Celsius.
Fun fact: This set-up, though very common in modern kitchens, is said to have been discovered by an alchemist. It was a Jewish adept from Alexandria called Mari the Prophetess (1st-3rd Century C.E.). Hence, this set up is known in alchemy as the balneum-Mariae (Bath of Mari).
Bring the water to a boil and allow the oil to heat up. As it heats, you add your herbs, either grown up or just broken up by hand. You can say a prayer at this point to any Gods of your choosing. When I first made it, I had prayed to Diana, a form of Venus and a prominent pagan goddess, and Pan, an important pagan deity for all works concerning nature and the wild. Diana is also considered to be the Goddess that is worshiped by the fair folk themselves. I do not remember exactly why this is, but I think we have Shakespeare to thank for this as well. Use a wooden stirring rod for mixing (never use iron. Steel is acceptable, but not ideal). Mix slowly, on a low heat.
Finally, when you feel the herbs have been fully saturated with the oil (10-15 minutes of heat), take it off the heat and leave it to cool. Do not cover it until it is cool. You may cover it with a cloth, if you have to.
The first process is done. The mixture has been prepared using the four elements (herbs picked from the earth, heated with fire and water, and cooled by air).
The elements are done, and we move on to Darkness. Put the mixture in a closed, opaque contained, and leave it sitting in a cool place where it will not be disturbed or be exposed to the light. Since this is a pagan method, you can also thrown in any consecrated crystals or other objects into this.
Here, the substance is blessed by the forces of darkness, whose blessing is essential so that obstacles and challenges are not faced in the future. Ideally, this should can sit for at least a week, but probably for longer. You’re waiting for the full moon. However, let it be no longer than a month, to avoid rotting or decay.
On the day of the full moon, you shall filter out the herbal components, and put the oil in a clear glass jar (plastic works too). These are no longer needed and can be discarded (ideally thrown back into the soil to decompose). Be sure to remove any stones, crystals or object you’ve put in.
Now begins the consecration by the four elements and Light (both of the Sun and the Moon). On the night of the full moon, put this jar in a container of water, and leave it outside or by a window. The water should ideally be from a natural source, such as a spring, river or from rain. When I was doing it, I did a ritual to make it rain, which worked (this was the very first time my magick had worked on such a grand level, and the single most important event that cemented by spiritual faith permanently). If not, then get some drinking water (do not get water from the bathroom sink). If you have enough, this water can also be used for the initial water bath.
It’s good if it’s directly exposed to the moon all night. But, since this is difficult for many people, it’s okay as long as it is outside or by an open window, where it can be hit by the wind. Say a prayer to the Moon if you want, and to the Fae of the Night to bless it.
Here, the salve is being consecrated once again by Air and Water, as well the Moon. Leave this overnight, from Sunrise to Sunset.
The next Day, at Sunrise, take this jar out of the water and put it in the ground. Do not bury it completely, and make sure the top is sticking out. You can also use a planting pot, or just a container with dirt in it. You also need some incense. The way I did it, is half buried the jar in an empty pot, then covered it with a larger plastic container with a incense cone next to it. This ensured that the smoke actually touched jar instead of just blowing away. Leave this in the sunlight until sunset. Call on the Sun and to the Day Faeries for blessing it.
The salve is now being consecrated by the Sun, by Fire (incense) and Earth.
When I first made this, I was lucky enough that the Full Moon was on a Monday, and immediately following a Summer solstice on Sunday. The second part of the consecration was on Tuesday. Don’t obsess over timing, but it’s good if you happen upon such an auspicious time.
Now, at sunset you take your jar, draw upon it a sigil that represents spiritual sight, or something else that is relevant. You’re free to create this sigil however you want, or choose a symbol that already exists and is important to you. You may even use the symbols of any Gods you worship.
At night you will conduct a ritual where you shall call upon the power of the forces of nature to bless and complete the Fairy Salve. A good set of deities is Diana, Pan, Titania and Oberon, and maybe even Gaia, the Earth Mother. Titania and Oberon may be seen as essential, since the substance is made by their authority. It’s a good idea to give some offering as well (candles, milk/honey, fruits etc). State the purpose of the Fairy Salve, and you’re pretty much good. When the ritual is done, thank the forces involved and clear your space. Your Fairy Salve is done. Use it as an offering, and anoint your temples and eye lids before a ritual.
As we discussed before, a good way to offer it is to burn it in a traditional oil lamp.
The Kabbalistic Method
For this method we are going to follow a similar, yet different approach. It is better for those who want to make the Salve more quickly, but don’t mind putting in more work. Ideal for kabbalists, thelemites, rosicrucians and hermeticists.
The Pagan method has relatively simple instructions, because much of the work is begin done by the spiritual forces of nature over a longer period of time. Here, the work is done mainly the the magician him/herself.
Once again, we begin by collecting the herbs. Once again, it is good to collect garden herbs, or herbs in your kitchen. We shall select 7 different varieties of herbs, once for each planet.
For this you must do your own research, and see which herbs are more commonly available in your region. I could give you an arbitrary list, but it would be better to make your own list. You can easily find the planetary rulers of most common herbs online. Ideally, pick herbs which has some association with psychic senses, nature spirits or magick. The variety of herbs needed for fairy salve are what make it more complex than your usual magick oils for things like prosperity or love, which usually only need a few herbs of any single planets.
Let’s say this is too daunting a task. In that case, you may select only herbs associated with the Moon, since the Moon rules psychic powers and visions. You also need Frankincense (or some other sweet smelling resin that can be melted). Just look for powdered frankincense, which should be easy to find, as it is commonly used as incense. If you can’t, do magick to get it.
Next, we pick a base again (ideally coconut oil or ghee, or something similar, which hardens when cold. This is not compulsory, but these are easier to rub on your eyes. Whatever you pick, ensure it smells nice and is pleasant. After all, why would you offer something repulsive to the fair folk? So no, don’t go busting out the mustard oil). We do this on Monday, in the hour of the Moon, during the waxing phase.f.
We now prepare it again, as we did before, in a water bath, adding in our broken up ingredients into the heating oil. As we stir it, we visualise white light comic from above and saturating the mixture.
We once again let it cool uncovered. The mixture has once again been blessed by the four elements, and you must offer a silent prayer and thanks, for these four elements make up the mechanistic Universe as we know it.
You shall take the mixture and pour it into an opaque container, so that no light may touch it. Having done so, draw upon it the symbol of Saturn, the bringer of Death, the collector of Dues. Place it in a cool dark place, and visualized a deep and complete darkness surrounding it, purging all that is unneeded.
The mixture shall now be left untouched over night, where the herbs shall give up the last of their essence. The next morning, awaken at sunrise and thank the lord Saturn. Erase the symbol from the container, and open it. With a solemn and serious heart, filter out the herbs. Heat the mixture again in a bath, and now add it your frankincense. Let it remain in heat for as long as it takes the powder to melt dissolve. Do not add large pieces of frankincense, as these will never dissolve. Everything must be finely powdered. When it is done, take it off the heat and pour the mixture into a clear glass jar and seal it shut. This shall serve as the philosophic egg, where the mixture shall hibernate. Be sure not to add the mixture if it is too hot and the glass is too cold, since the glass may crack.
Take the mixture outside and lay it to rest in Earth. Do no bury it completely, and let it’s top stick out, so that it may breathe the life giving Air, and lay before the radiant light of its father (Sun). In the soil around it, trace an upward pointing triangle (Fire) and draw on each point, the symbol of the Sun, Venus and Jupiter. Pray that, by their benevolence, they may awaken the spirit within. Now you shall mourn it’s passing, and offer a silent plea to the Spirits of the Day, to impart their blessing on it.
At sunset, you shall go again to the place of the burial, and erase the planetary symbols. Now trace a downward triangle (Water) around it, and draw the symbols of Moon, Mercury and Mars around it. Pray that they, by their harshness, by invigorate the spirit within the salve, and purge it of all impurities. Offer a silent plea to the spirits of the Night, that they may remove any obstacles in the working to be done. The ointment is in darkness again, but this time it has the guiding light of its Mother (Moon). Now leave with a hopeful heart, praying for the success of your working.
The next morning, awaken when you may with a happy and joyous heart. Wash your body and go to the place of burial. Remove any remaining symbols and offer heartfelt gratitude. Take the jar and clean it by submerging it in water (making sure no water gets in), and then cleanse it with incense, thus removing both physical and spiritual impurities.
Draw upon it the following symbols: Around the circumference, you shall draw the symbols of the four elements. At the bottom, draw the planetary hexagram, and on top of the lid, draw a pentagram. On either side of it, the symbols of Uranus and Neptune, and the symbol of Pluto at the bottom. Reflect for a moment, on a purpose of this ointment.
Now do a ritual of consecration. Begin with the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram, and the banishing ritual of the hexagram. As you say the last words, IAO, visualized brilliant white light streaming from the heavens into the jar, and saturating the mixture within. You may also use any other rituals that are used in your own tradition. These are simply the ones I use.
Close your eyes and meditate with the jar in hand, and make a prayer to the Elementals of the four quarters. Pray to the the elementals of Fire and their Ruler, and trace the Invoking pentagram of Fire with your finger on the jar. Do the same for Water, Air and Earth. The spirits and Kings are named thus:
Name of Elementals
Name of Ruler
For example, “I call upon thee, oh great Paralda, to bless this jar of ointment. I call upon thy kin, the Sylphs, to lend me their power!” Then trace the Pentagram.
The Pentagrams traced should be visualised as red, blue, yellow and green respectively. When you feel the ritual is done, give thanks and welcome the elementals into your life. As them for their favour, and give offerings often. Warn them regarding mischief or harm towards any living thing.
Now give your heartfelt thanks, perform the Lesser Banishing again and you’re done.
Now you may make a small offering of thanks that very night. You can leave some food or drink outside in your garden and balcony, and call on the Faeries/Elementals to partake. Leave it overnight, throw it out the next day. To test the efficacy of your Ointment, apply some on your temples and eyelids. You should feel its power immediately, and enter into a light trance. If you do not feel it, then it is possible the mixture is not charged enough. It can be charged by leaving it on an altar or meditating on it. Remember, if your psychic senses are not fully developed, you may not immediately see spirits. However, this will strengthen your psychic sense greatly. Do not obsess over being able to physically see the spiritual beings you are invoking. If it has to happen, it will happen in time, when you are ready.
I know, the rituals seem extensive, but they’re actually a lot quicker to do. It actually takes longer to describe them than do them. You’re free to omit any parts you feel like, or add any of your own, or mix and match as you please. It can be as simple, or as elaborate as you want.
I mean, you could simply take some random oil, dissolve some moon herbs in it, bless it and call it a day. But the amount of energy put into magick determines its result. If you can muster up all the energy needed with a simple prayer, go right ahead. But most will require rituals to build up the same energy. Like everything on this blog, the process if described to be extremely friendly to people who are new to magick. Those who are more proficient are free to use what they need and discard what they don’t (although going through the whole process will only generate more energy).
I mean, the second time I made the ointment, I did not do any prayers or mourning, nor did I trace the triangles. That’s because when I buried my jar, I was able to mentally call on the aid of the planets. But for many others, the visual aid will help greatly. Some people may even go a step further, and place objects associated with the planets around the jar.
It is up to you when you make offerings to the Elementals. You can use the Fairy Ointment during any sort of ritual where you need to invoke them or their rulers. It may be a good idea to make an offering of this ointment every Solstice and Equinox. At least on the both Solstices.
So there you have it, I have finally answered what is probably the very first question I was ever asked by a reader all those years ago.
First off, I want to announce that I’ve made anInstagram 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:
Ela! (x5) 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.
Yes, that one, by Paulo Coelho. Despite being a book that details some supposedly secretive teachings of the Occult and alchemy, it happens to be the most read book in the world (with the only exception being the Bible, but assuming every Christian family and institution owns at least a few, it is difficult to say which book is actually more well read. Consider also, that there’s many different Bibles, but only one standard version of the Alchemist).
Coelho is an open occultist, even going as far as describing himself as a “magician”. Some Occult circles that take themselves a bit too seriously, and hate books like this because they think it’s all wishy-washy and new agey.
The story of The Alchemist uses symbolism and metaphor to explain spiritual philosophy, and perhaps most people assume that Coelho merely uses fantastical imagery and language to make a point. Similar things are ascribed to Nietzsche, Jung, Watts, McKenna and Peterson.
After all, the Occult and spiritual practices are merely psychosomatic processes, right? It’s all just an elaborate form of visualization and self hypnosis. No one really calls on Angels, influences the weather, summons the dead, heals the sick or makes things spontaneously burn, right?
Oh boy, if only you knew.
Anyway, the reason I’m talking about the Alchemist is because it always struck me how Coleho speaks so frankly and bluntly about certain Occult phenomenon that are considered “crazy” by the modern rational mind. Often, if you pick up ANY book on Occultism written in the past 2 centuries, at least the first 100 pages are dedicated to the author desperately and laboriously trying to justify how magick is compatible with modern science. Even Crowley makes this error, where he desperately dumbs down magick just so that it would fit within the archaic and “materialistic” framework of the early 1920s. Even the Kyballion does this, showing a grave misunderstanding of who is actually reading their book, failing to keep with the so eloquent axiom “Don’t cast pearls before swine”.
I never understood the point of this. Books from the early 20th century, which changed occult philosophy to fit into the science of that period, now inadvertently become pseudo-science, because the scientific knowledge of their period was incomplete and has since advanced quite a lot. In fact, if anything, as Science progresses, more and more aspects of older, seemingly “unscientific” Occult wisdom actually get verified. This also makes me wonder if many of the people writing the Books had any practical experience with Occult phenomenon, or if they simply read the theory and attempted to merge it into the existent world view. Or maybe they were simply trying to avoid becoming outcasts, like pagan Occultist before them who disguised their writings as being Abrahamic.
Books from the East are often a bit more open, because Western materialism never truly took hold in most of the Eastern cultures (no, not even in Japan, Russia and Korea). On the other hand, there’s very, very few modern Occult texts from the East. If anything, most recent books on Eastern occultism are written by Western or Western educated individuals. That’s a different can of worms I’m not keen to spring today.
Whatever your opinion be about The Alchemist, the first thing that struck me is that it isn’t based in any fantasy Universe, but in our world. Yet, despite it’s extremely grounded and realistic stories, there are scenes where the protagonist, Santiago, is able to communicate with the Desert, the Sun and the Wind. There are seers and prophets who can see the future. It always throws you off, and Coelho does not attempt to give any further explanation about how everything has a rational explanation, nor attempt to reduce anything to materialism. It is perhaps this reason why many rationalists scorn the book as childish.
Personally, I couldn’t care less what objections they have. I think it’s futile to try and convince people. I don’t claim to understand the exact scientific process behind magick, and perhaps some day in the future science will discover it. Science isn’t some ideology or philosophy, but merely the process and methodology of discovering new knowledge. If something exists, there simply HAS to be some explanation for it, but that doesn’t mean that explanation must adhere to our current knowledge of science.
So it’s up to you how to take what I write. I won’t pretend to make it reasonable, nor reduce everything to psychological processes. usually, I do this in my blog, when I write about invocations and philosophy, but now the subject matter is so complex and unexplored that this is no longer within my capability. I do not wish to make up an untested pseudo-science to explain it, but nor can I pretend that it isn’t real. Those who feel uncomfortable are free to deny it or build up some logic for it.
The Forces of Nature
Nature comprises of many forces. One common way to categorize this is through the traditional system of four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The other is by applying the classification system of some particular pagan religion (most often the Hellenic, Japanese or Celtic) to distinguish between different types of spirits.
However, as you’ll see, any method of rigid categorization or classification is bad for communing with the Natural forces. It might work when invoking angels or gods, or even calling on elemental forces, but for the forces of nature, we have to adopt a rather older, folk perspective, rather than some universal and global categorization like the modern individual may be used to doing.
But what do I mean by the forces of Nature? Exactly what it sounds like. The winds and the rain, the spirit of the desert, trees and mountains, rivers spirits or plants, fungi or perhaps a specific rock, animals or even rice. Did you know that the Japanese believed there are seven gods living in each grain of rice? ha. (This was apparently the justification given for why rice should be properly chewed. The Occult is often science not yet understood)
Communicating with these forces is possible, but a ritualistic or religious approach is difficult to work with, since these forces are……let’s say “simple”, or “ancient”. Before organised religions and the worship of cosmic forces in the form of idols and symbols, people revered mountains, sacred trees or holy animals. It is a very intuitive and basic process, and varies from situation to situation.
You have to connect to such forces personally, however feels right to you. This is why, when the protagonist of The Alchemist simply gazes upon the Desert and “talks” to it, we feel disturbed or out of our depth. Usually, you would expect some sort of elaborate invocation, some ritual to call on some specific deity that merely resides in the desert, but it’s a lot harder to envision speaking to the “desert” itself.
We as humans have an evolutionary tendency to anthropomorphize things, and for this reason we feel more comfortable with Gods and demons, angels and spirits, fairies and elves. For things like nature, oceans and winds, we often do not worship them directly, but some deities that preside over them. For example, instead of communing with the Rain, we may seek communion with Zeus or Indra.
I do not want to drag this on, so I’ll just say this: communion with the Forces of nature is distinct from communion with Deities presiding overt them, or any particular spirits that dwell over them. They inhabit the material plane.
To anyone who has read anything about evolution, it is extremely obvious that the sentient hominid races are out of place on Earth. Our bodies may have evolved with everything else, but our minds and souls are at odds with everything else, even from a totally materialistic point of view. In a way, if humanity really is a group of beings that have been sent to the Earthly plane to learn certain lessons and achieve certain things, then you could say that that the things we find in nature are the original inhabitants of this plane. That’s why we are the only thing on Earth, and in fact in the entire material Universe, that is not in harmony with Natural law, because it makes us suffer, to the point where the single most recognized motif on our planet, signifies physical suffering.
Communicating with Nature
Communicating with animals is widely accepted, but some would say communicating with plants is not truly possible as they aren’t sentient. Further, it can be said that communication with rocks, rivers, the winds or the land is impossible as these aren’t even living.
And then, you have the people of the Amazon, who somehow figured out how to take two plants that grow totally apart from each other (one containing DMT and the other having an MAO inhibitor), and figured out how to cook them in a very specific manner to produce Ayahuasca, a potent psychedelic substance used for shamanic rituals. If you were ask them how they were able to learn this, they give you ever eloquent answer “the plants told us”.
Update (2020): If you click the link, it’ll take you to Soul Herbs, who have sponsored me on this post. On their website, you can learn more about Ayahuasca, it’s ingredients, legality, as well as purchase some Ayahuasca tea.
They have a Soul, and a consciousness. They have the same life force as us. Perhaps we cannot communicate on a material level, but maybe on some higher plane our soul can touch theirs. Or perhaps we are simply projecting our own internal psyche onto them, but that could be said for any and all interactions, including those with humans.
The ancient Greeks believed in a concept called the noosphere, similar to the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The Noosphere was said to be the sphere containing all human thoughts and memories, which would later be fleshed out by Carl Jung as the “Collective Unconscious”. maybe such a concept applies to different forces of Nature too, and everything in the end is part of the Great Collective, which is the Universe, the Brahman, the World Soul.
The most powerful form of communication, with both other humans, and with Nature, is through symbols. These are used everywhere, from marketing to mythology, as they resonate with our subconscious, whcih of course, if the gateway to the Unconscious. Therefore, good communication involves the subconscious, and the same is true for natural forces. You must communicate through symbols, visualization and emotion (similar to a magick Ritual)
How this Communion Is Achieved
A few things are important in order to commune with any force of nature. First, meditation and the ability to enter a trance at will. This isn’t actually hard and will become second nature after some time of daily meditative practice. Through meditation upon any object, that object becomes a medium to enter the World Soul. In more technical terms, when the conscious mind becomes quiet, the subconscious directly.
The second thing, perhaps most important, is emotional clarity. Thoughts belong to the Conscious Mind, the Ego, the Ruach, while Emotions belong to the Subconscious mind, the Animal Self, the Nephesch. Women are naturally more in tune with the subconscious (while men are with the conscious), and this may be the reason why most witches and those who commune with nature end up being women. Of course, it is fairly easy for a man to achieve this same communion if he can be in touch with his emotions.
To interface with nature, you must sit in meditative and passive state of mind, ideally around or at least in view of what you want to communicate with. Then, slowly, open yourself up. Imagine you are interacting with another person. You know how you sometimes converse with the voice in your head? Do that, but don’t make the voice speak. Instead, call forth the thing you want to communicate with, and allow it’s mind into you, and your mind into it. This might take sometime, and might have to be repeated over days. Usually, it’s good to do it with something you already know and recognize, and are familiar with, like pets or house plants. Meditate on the thing, and eventually it shall ‘speak’.
You don’t have to force it, or ‘try’ to do something. In the Alchemist, the protagonist is a shepherd from the mountainous region of Andulas. He travels to Egypt, and spends many days in the desert, slowly learning it’s ways, it’s laws and it’s mentality, and becoming immersed. He could, of course, have done the same to the mountains back home, but maybe he was so busy with his routine he never had the chance to pay attention. He begins to understand that the Desert itself is an entity, a thing that functions according to certain mechanisms (very similar, in fact, to most “living” biological organisms).
At one point, he is captured by tribesmen, and manages to escape by transforming himself into the Wind, which he achieves by spending three entire days staring at the Desert, until it speaks to him. Much more could be said here, but not today.
It is our obsession with our mundane life which stops us from noticing the phenomenon taking place around us. You will recall hat, for our ancestors, who had much more free time, to notice supernatural occurrences (not having immediate access to entertainment all the time, they simply payed attention.
The most reliable force of nature that one can commune with is the fungal intelligence of the Earth, and this is done through the consumption of psychedelics. To some degree, it can also facilitate communication with plants. However, this isn’t a post about that, so we won’t discuss it further. Through the meditative methods described here, one can access the fungal intelligence without psychadelics too.
Once, in a lucid state, I communed with the fungal network of mycellium that spreads across the entire planet. It was incredibly profound, but when it was over I could no longer recall exactly what I felt. Only a sense of enormity and humility remained.
Most forces of nature will grant wisdom or insight, or just a general look into their world. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can do the things that are spoken off in ancient tradition; stories of great Masters who could cause the wind to blow, the rain to fall, water to freeze, who could see the future and the mechanisms moving the celestial bodies.
These are not to be thought of as “powers”. You are not controlling nature. Rather, you have been graced by the presence of something greater and it’s important to remain humble and thankful when this happens. Generally, you don’t ask for such things for personal benefit, but with pure intent. A magician may bring about rainfall, not because he wishes to affirm his status or test his power, but because he wants relief for the land and it’s inhabitants from the burning heat of Summer. Sometimes, it may occur when he is doing a ritual, and he will see it as some sort of Divine acknowledgement.
Also, eliminate doubt from your mind. any doubt, or conceptions of egotistical grandeur, or even any pretense of being better than you are, will stop the process.
A Simple Exercise
Do this. Go to a plant, preferably one at your house that you water daily. if you don’t have one, find out outside or get one. For a couple of days, when you take a break from daily work, go and sit with the plant/s and relax. Calm yourself, and meditate. Pay attention to the plants, and focus on their many intricacies, mannerisms, and imagine what life must be like for them.
Do this daily, maybe for 10-15 minutes. When you feel a level of comfort and normalcy, try to initiate a dialogue. Touch the plant if you have to, and call on it to speak with you. If you can go deep enough into the subconscious, you will hear their voice. Through such a connection, there’s a huge amount of wisdom to be gained. Trust me, it’s very real. It’s a distinctive state of consciousness to enter into the collective unconscious of plants (which can occur through invitation, after repeated communion is achieved). You begin to understand their point of view, and they may also understand yours. Remember, they are not absolute or holy. Take everything as it is, and converse like you would with a friend.
Honestly, they have a bit of animosity towards humanity, because they cannot understand our worry and obsession with life, but it won’t be directed at you. Besides, “hatred” is a very human emotion.
Got that? Good, now go ahead and try it.Eventually you should be able to call upon higher forces, like the land, the winds, rain, the clouds, the storms.
These are not things that I can “instruct” you in through the written word, mainly because I can’t describe it myself. I can point the way, but beyond that it’s all personal development.
Written: November 17th, 2017 | Edited: 20th March 2019
I just realised I have not written anything on here in about 4 months. Well, you know what Magick is like. Every now and then you’re thrown into a state of chaos and forced to figure things out in order to move ahead, both in life and along the path of mysticism.
Anyway, let’s get to today’s topic: My 10 week long journey, traversing up the Kabbalistic Tree of Life in the Plane of Assiah.
What is Assiah?
There are four planes of existence, and most systems of magick acknowledge this. There’s many variations, and lots of different perspectives of course, but in Ceremonial Magick we classify them according to the four elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
Each element corresponds to one of the four Planes of Existence: Assiah (Physical plane), Yetzirah (Astral plane), Briah (Archetypal, or Etheric plane), and Atziluth (Creative plane).
This is a very complicated topic, and an entire book could be written about it (check out Israel Regardie’s The Tree of Life), so don’t get upset if I simplify things quite a bit for the sake of convenience.
Assiah is the name of the first world, and corresponds to the element of Earth. It is the plane of material reality and matter. Put simply, this world in which your body exists, that you currently inhabit and are full conscious of.
The screen on which you read this, and the material it is made of, is part of Assiah. Not just matter, but your family bonds, personal relationships, your career, wealth and psychical well being, are also part of Assiah. From the fundamental particle, to everything you can physically perceive in the Universe, as well as any bonds or attachments you form to material reality, are part of Assiah.
And when it comes to the Magician, the part of him that anchors him to Assiah, is his physical body, and extends to his personal, subjective reality, aka his ‘Kingdom”, or Malkuth, the 10th Sephiroth.
This diagram is mixture between Hebrew and Japanese (Shinto/Buddhist) cosmology I found. They are very similar.
Now, each of the four planes corresponds to one of our four bodies, or vehicles. No doubt you’ve heard of people learning to use their astral body, which new agers dub as “light body”, and sometimes even using their etheric body. It’s interesting how many beginner spiritualists enthusiastically dive into these higher worlds, without focusing on the first, most crucial one: the physical one.
Malkuth corresponds to the GD Grade of Zelator, and it is during the first phase of this grade that one builds his body in Assiah. It is essential that one master his body, and gain a certain degree of mastery before going much further. Even if you don’t follow the GD system, it’s never too late to revisit something simpler. I like to think that it doesn’t matter when we do stuff, as long as we do them.
In this post, I want to talk about each sphere. The exercise basically involves entering each Assiatic House, of which there are 10, each corresponding to a Sephiroth in the Tree of Life. You meditate on each house for a week. During this process, your earthly qualities are brought out, and you’re forced to face them, as they reintegrate into your body, now awakened. Sometimes it’s pleasant, sometimes not. But it’s all worth it at the end.
Olam Yesodoth |Earth| The Elements
Olam Yesodoth is Hebrew for “Sphere of the Elements”, and corresponds to Malkuth in Assiah. This was the very first week and I did not know what to expect. The way I see it, Olam Yesodoth corresponds to the Physical Body and the base physical feelings and desires. It is also as low as a man can go on the Trees. We magicians are used to dwelling somewhere in Yetzirah and Briah, so falling to Assiah can be rough. You must make your way to Yetzirah once again, and re-live all of the material stages of development, which as you may know is the “lower” or “baser” nature of man.
Perhaps it has to do with learning empathy as well. Suffer like those on the lower rungs, those still in Assiah, and perhaps you will see what motivates and drives them, and why you cannot understand them. But, it is also a realisation and acceptance of your own lower nature, and how you’re also human at the core.
After all, each human being in reality spans from Malkuth in Assiah to Kether in Atziluth. He is just not fully aware of this yet.
During this first week, I just lost all will to do anything. I was exhausted, tired and bored. Everyday, i’d come home and just sort of lie on the floor, until I could eat and sleep. I watched some videos, but mostly I just wanted to sleep. It was as if the very vitality was sucked from me. This is how I used to be before I got into spirituality, and I had forgotten how being tired all the time even felt. I’d gotten out of the habit of sleeping during the day, so I never actually did so this time. This week was lazy and uneventful. I shudder to think that many people do live like this on a daily basis. (But the age of Aquarius is starting to I am certain it shall end. It already is starting to appear visibly in society)
Levanah | The Moon
Levanah is the Hebrew name for the Moon, and corresponds to Yesod in Assiah, which corresponds to the genitals and one’s libido. So, what do you think happened?
Let’s just I had a heightened libido during this week, and I took care of it however I could. It was like being a hormonal teenager, or a pervert. Another week of nothing, just realising how perverted one’s mind can be, and how easy and tempting it is to give in to complete lust.
I imagine this is the path that leads to hedonism. Usually, somewhere along that line, people get “saved” by religion or spirituality. I’m one of those people who got into magick early, so I have little experience with such feelings, except as a younger teen, and that’s my only reference point.
Kokab | Mercury
Now, things started to get kind of interesting.
Kokab is the Hebrew name of Mercury, corresponding to Hod in Assiah. This, I feel, must correspond to the digestive system and food habits. During this week, I suddenly had stomach problems, like acidity and aching. See, when I was younger, I used to have this problem perpetually. Then, it sort of improved as I got older and stronger, but now it was suddenly back, and I was forced to take a long hard look at my diet.
Ever since I became a magician, I decided to eat healthy, but I never REALLY did. I quit meat, and cut down on junk food, but I still sort of cheated and ate some shit. During this week, it ALL went. Anything and everything: cafeteria snacks, soft drinks, sugar, chips (or crisps), most biscuits, juices, and processed food. I began to prefer Sattvic food (look it up), and boy, was it great. I didn’t quit delicious food, I just quit the stuff that’s bad but pumped full of enough chemicals to make you think it’s “delicious”, when it’s really just addictive.
My health, body and energy levels improved dramatically, and I ended up saving a lot of money too. It’s strange when you realise how much we actually need to eat, and how much we actually eat. Two balanced meals a day is actually enough, along with fruits and nuts at certain times. Everything else, I see as an occasional luxury. Although, I still drink coffee, the holy nectar : )
Black of course. And home brewed, like it should be. None of that instant 280 g of sugar per cup bullshit (we got Starbucks in India. Not the biggest fan). I’m not saying be a vegan, but all religions and spiritual practices recommend a certain kind of diet, from the ancient Egyptian priests to New Age gurus, from the frugal yogi to the rich Mason. They aren’t just all saying mumbo jumbo meant to keep you from happiness, trust me. Eat clean, pure and high vibration foods as much as possible. It’s worth it. After some time, you won’t even miss that can of coke you drink daily.
Nogah | Venus
Nogah is the Hebrew name of Venus, corresponding to Netszach in Assiah. I can’t actually tell which part it corresponds to, and my best guess is going to be the stomach.
You ever skip a meal or two? Or just go hungry for a day? You start to feel sort of sad, or depressed, or have pessimistic thoughts, and you’re not sure why. Nothing severe, just sort of a negative feeling, that disappears immediately after you eat a nice meal.
Well, it’s because your brain runs on Glucose, and without that, your moods get erratic. Furthermore, low blood sugar is known to cause depression. Well, for that reason or some other, this week I got depressed. Severely.
Like REALLY depressed. People keep pointing out that simply being sad is very different from real depression. Well, what I felt was more like real depression. I wasn’t sad, really, nor was there any particularly negative thoughts. I just couldn’t find the motivation to do…anything at all.
I simply could not get myself out of bed in the mornings. I didn’t feel like playing games, or reading, or even watching a movie. It took everything I had just to do my daily ritual. I couldn’t enjoy anything. At times, I even felt energetic, and motivated, but couldn’t channel it into anything, or be happy doing anything. In fact, not just happiness, I couldn’t even feel angry, or sad, or emotional. It was just dark, and empty. Made me understand what it would be like to have no purpose in life, and no reason to live. It was desolate.
I also had a SEVERE crisis of faith. In magick, in the Divine, in the Self. I didn’t want to continue. Just give up, and become a nihilistic atheist. What if all this was a sham? What if all my prior success was just one big coincidence? What if nothing had meaning after all? What if I was just going mad?
Update (2019): This crisis of faith was basically me passing through Paroketh (The Veil) in Assiah. This lies above Hod/Netszach, and below Tiphareth.
But this was promptly restored. I ended up reading a Hindu blog about the lack of faith. Hinduism approaches the idea of faithlessness very differently than, say, Christianity, so I ended up feeling reassured after that. It doesn’t condemn you for not having faith, but assures you that you need to stay true to yourself, but also tells you rather sternly that no one will save you but you, so get your shit together and figure it out. At the very least, it says that whatever you’re feeling is true and real, that you’re not just “wrong” for these feelings. It says if you’ve ended up an atheist, then it’s better to be one than force faith. At the same time, if you choose to be faithful, then you have to find that yourself. Anything else would be empty.
Go find your salvation, or accept your life. Whatever gives you satisfaction. Don’t worry about what any scripture says, since ultimately your life is yours. Just as Arjuna had to go face a war, and do his duty as a warrior. Krishna was with him throughout, but never raised his weapons, though he was the Lord of the Universe.
No one saved Arjuna. No divine miracles were performed, none of his sins were pardoned. There were no Gods on his side, and no angels singing in the sky. The future for him, looked bleak and bloody. But still he fought, and won.
All he was given was a sermon, and a vision. And the he rode out to meet his fate.
Shamash | The Sun
Finally, in the 6th week, I left the lower spheres behind and entered Shamash, the Sun, corresponding to Tiphareth in Assiah.
The Sun corresponds to your Heart, and what is in it. This is where the Self is.
This was a great week. It’s difficult to put into words, but this week I was at my creative best, and I put in a lot of work. The desire to succeed and produce something good, to improve my skills and let the Higher Genius flow through, became very strong. And so, I ignored everything else, and I put in the work. This week jump-started the main goal of the Zelator grade: that of mastering the element of Earth. Now that the lower nature had been overcome, every week from then on brought more positives than negatives. This was when I felt better again. Christ has been resurrected.
Maadim | Mars
This was an intense phase. Maadim, as you can guess, is Mars, corresponding to Geburah in Assiah. The energies of this week were so strong, that their influence remained with me long after the week was up, and even after the entire exercise was up. Eventually, they faded, but they left a permanent impact upon my beliefs and opinions, which I don’t think will ever go.
Maadim is fiery and intense, and thus, deeply connected to your religious, political and social beliefs and opinions. Even though we magicians should be depolarised, we’ll always have some subjectivity, and certain leanings. Maadim polarised me to a immense degree, but due to this, it changed my thinking. Or rather, helped me think for myself rather than simply be led on by whatever was told to me by any side.
I wouldn’t say it put anything new into my mind, but brought out and laid bare what was already there. In a way, it forces you off the fence, and makes you take a stance in life, and after the week was over, I was much more certain of where I wanted to be in life, and even after I centered and grounded myself later, these things became a part of me, because they resonate with me deeply, though I never realised this before.
I wouldn’t say I, or anyone else is forced to submit due to social norms. Rather, we’ve accepted certain norms from birth, and never truly questioned them, or how we feel and think. Imagine North Korea: most of the world’s actually just a milder version of it. We were taught certain things were good and accepted, and we shunned everything else so strongly we never gave them a chance. For me, entering the occult was part of stepping out of the firelight.
A majority of the people are stuck in such a state of indecisiveness and neutrality, making it easy to sway them to either side, with enough incentive.
I remember, one night I didn’t even sleep, because I was too agitated at my own thoughts, and how far they could go. At the same time, I also recognized an intense hate, and maniacal rage. I understood, for the first time, how The Nazis must have thought and felt as they unloaded their rage onto those whom they deemed to e responsible for their suffering. Though I understood this, I couldn’t help but be swayed by it, and it would be long before I would calm down.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand this inner monster that is Mars. Only by understanding it, can you control it and use this energy to constructive ends. Interestingly, this is not only how the tyrants felt, but also the heroes. Both Hitler and Churchill. Same energy, just depends on where you direct it.
Anyway, i’m much more sure of myself now, and much more confident.
Update (2019): Ultimately, these feelings would stay with me for the next year and a half, and then it would take another 6 months before I could call them “resolved”. I thought everything could be fixed by having a logically coherent political ideology. But humans aren’t “logical”. We’re too complex, reality is too fucking complex.
India was having quite the political crises at the time, and I was too willing to take sides.
I never did anything physically, but mentally I went DEEP. But eventually I went so deep, that an abyss opened up in my belief systems. Suddenly everything collapsed, and I realised the futility of it all. This was partly shown to me by higher forces. They showed me the sheer intricacy of this system and society we have built over 2.3 million years, and our place in the cosmos.
Maybe it was just be transitioning from the idealism of my teen years to the realism and practicality that marks adulthood. But at least I gained the ability to think for myself. I was freed from the fear of social conformity.
Tzedek | Jupiter
Tzedek is the name of Jupiter, and corresponds to Chesed in Assiah. Now, bear in mind that the energies of Mars were still very active and strong.
Tzedek rules our ability to be reasonable and think clearly. Just as Maadim is the Right Shoulder, the force and power behind our dominant hand, Tzedek is the Left Shoulder, the hand of mercy and receiving. I calmed down somewhat. I believe all that really happened is that I was able to see the OTHER side of every argument. I didn’t agree with it, but I could somewhat relate to and appreciate other opinions. At the very least I felt a bit more merciful. During this period I just stopped and began to reflect, looking upon the long, long road ahead of me. The Golden Dawn self initiation is no joke after all. It’s not quick or easy.
I also became confident and my opinions became set in stone, after being tossed up and rapidly changed in the chaos of Maadim, they were cemented by Tzedek. At the same time, I was made to come face to face with my out of control tendencies I started to not enjoy any sort of mindless indulgence anymore.
The paths from Tiphareth to Geburah, and then to Chesed also represent overcoming the Shadow. This was all aspects of my Shadow I’d discovered. You could say this was a period when I became less hedonistic and much more disciplines, and almost monastic.
Shabbathai | Saturn
Shabbathai is Saturn! It corresponds to Binah in Assiah. This corresponds to the Right hemisphere of the brain. It rules intuition, subjectivity and creativeness. The sacred feminine, the subconscious, and Chaos.
With this, I crossed the Abyss (not the big one, but just the “Abyss” in the context of this 10 week exercise. A part of me crossed a part of the Abyss, you could say) and enter the Supernal Triad in Assiah.
This was a strange week. I felt the prevalence of of two emotions: agitation and lethargy. I’d get easily riled up and angry over stuff, especially the news. The Maadim energies were coming back.
For some idiotic reason, I also got the idea of pulling all nighters to work, as Saturn also rules over hard work and rigour. However, every time I tried, I’d always end up falling asleep anyway and waking up tired and annoyed. It’s not like I haven’t stayed up before, but during this time I just couldn’t.
I worked hard though, on all my work, and it felt good. The rigour and pain taught me much, and to accomplish things after giving it your best just feels so much more rewarding, and your work naturally gets better. However, it also brought with it just a tinge of sadness and loneliness…
If I was to use one word for this week, it would be “internal turmoil”, but it was all for the better. By the end of it, I’d made a habit of avoiding any and all agitating and polarising stuff. I had developed a dedication to more important things in life, and all other things just became less important, especially things that simply to satisfy the Ego. My opinions did not change though, but the obsession was over.
Mazloth | Neptune | The Zodiac
Now we enter the great Sphere of Chokmah, to which Mazloth corresponds. This sphere rules over the Zodiac, as well as the planet Neptune. It is the Left hemisphere of the brain, and thus, it is divine logic, higher intellectual thought, the conscious, and Order. The sacred masculine.
This was a good week. I became wiser, and calmer. The Maadim energy finally began to subside and balance out. I began to prefer positivity, and things with higher value.
I felt much, much less drawn to negative, weird, and sensational things. Despite having previously thought I knew the “truth” in Maadim, I now realised that I could take nothing for granted. The rabbit hole goes very, very deep. I mean, I began to read some of the actual history and literature about my own country, and it’s leaders, including Gandhi.
Man! Imagine finding out that you’ve been blatantly lied to, through every imaginable medium, from school textbooks to movies, about every aspect of your culture and society. It’s not a pleasant thought. And this brought with it, a new sense of nationalism. The kind that everyone swears they do not have, or shun, until they actually start looking at stuff objectively. It brought to light both good things and bad things.
Not the lowly, shitty “nationalism” that involves claiming the achievements of your ancestors and finding scapegoats that you can blame. Not the kind that make you insist that anyone who doesn’t see things your way is “anti national”. No, more of an understand of where you’ve come from, and how many sacrifices have been my by your ancestors. I began to think about what it all meant, to belong to a place, to call it your home, and also what responsibility that might bring. What are we meant to do, by “belonging” to a nation. What does it mean to love one’s “Motherland”, or to hate it’s “enemies”?
But. as Buddha said “All is Illusion”.
My country is just one example. I began to develop a habit of looking “deeper” into things, to understand and perceive reality with an objective mind, and learn to follow my gut and intuition.
I had new ideals to strive for. Real ideals.
You’d think the Crown, the sphere of Kether, would be some kind of amazing, revolutionary phase. Rashith ha Gilgalim corresponds to this highest sphere. It means “The Great Swirlings”, refering to the Pole Star, and the stars that circle around it, as well as Uranus, the Father of Thought.
It rules the Pituitary gland (master gland). Unlike what I imagined, this week was fairly mundane. I had a bitcoin mining craze for a day or two, until realising my GPU wasn’t really fit for it. I went and bought some new clothes.
By the end of the week, I had normalised again. All the energies the past 10 weeks had brought settled down and began integrated. I became whole again.
It felt like I was no longer swayed and controlled by the forces, but instead that all these new forces and energies I had discovered and been exposed to had become tools in my arsenal, reserved for when needed.
As I returned to being a mundane fellow, I knew I had changed internally, and irreversibly. I had become a wholly new person, one who had awakened every earthly force that existed withing him.
Thus, I ended my journey up the Tree of Assiah, and prepared for the rest of the grade of Zelator. There was still a long road ahead.
I follow the self initiation methods given in the book Kabbalah, Magick and the Great Work of Self transformation, by Lyam Thomas Christopher. It’s probably the most popular around right now for those who want to self initiate using the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn tradition. Highly recommended if you’re serious about magick and spirituality.
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