The Grade System of Hermetic Initiation: Part One

Welcome back readers. It has been a while. A lot has happened to me since the last post on Between the Pillars.

First off, I just want to say that the prices of the magickal services have gone up. However, given that my prices are still very low compared to many others, I don’t think it should bother anyone.

Today, I want to write about something we haven’t touched upon yet: the 10 fold grade system of the Hermetic tradition. It is not the only grade system in the occult, nor is it only used in the Hermetic tradition. It has predecessors, as well as successors.

But that doesn’t matter. It’s a system that works, and quite well at that.

I have always insisted that Magick comprises the traditions from every corner of the world, and from every time period. To study only one system is like having only a few of the pieces of a puzzle, and trying to form a whole picture. In the 21st century, why handicap ourselves like that? So, my focus will not just be on Hermeticism or Western Ceremonial magick, but on mysticism and magick in general. But first, some background.

The Spiritual Ascent

What is the Tree of Life? Well, I have a whole book on that, but in summary:

The Tree of Life is a diagram whose modern form originated in the mystical western tradition called Kabbalah. It is based on the visions of ancient Hebrew seers, as they were led to the Throne of God by the Archangel Metatron. It describes the process of creation, wherein the the Divine Monad manifests itself through Ten distinct ’emanations’, called the Sephiroth. It has it’s origins in the ancient cultures of North Africa, the Middle East and Southern Europe, and is similar to the Nordic Yggdrasil or the Hindu Sri-Yantra.

The first emanation is called the Crown (Kether), and the energy from it passes through another eight Sephiroth, until it finally settles down in the Kingdom (Malkuth), which is identified with the material world. It shows the process by which the Universe, and the Individual, and all other things are created and brought into the world. In simple words: it is an archetype.

The fundamental idea in Western magick is that a person seeking enlightenment, or spiritual ascension, or magical power, would ‘climb’ back up the Tree of Life, passing through all the Sephiroth, which are imagined as Gates, ruled by various astrological forces. The person would begin the journey in Malkuth, which is the world of waking consciousness, and slowly make their way to Kether, which is the Source. The Tree of Life is imagined as a ladder.

The most important milestone in this process is called Cross the Abyss, where the aspirant crosses the gap between the lower 7 Sephiroth, and the 3 Higher ones. This gap is called the Abyss (Tehom), and the illusionary Sephiroth there is called Knowledge (Da’at).

This journey, which is imagined as a straight and narrow path, is called Quetesh in Hebrew. It is imagined as the Bow, which shoots an arrow right down the Middle of the Tree of Life.

Another system of ascension is found in the Eastern world, with the system of Chakras and the Kundalini. The Chakras are Seven centres of power which lie along the spinal column of the Individual, and also along the Axis Mundi of the whole Cosmos. The first Chakra is called the Crown (Sahasrara: Thousand Petals), and the last one is called the Root chakra (Muladhara: Essence of the Root).

The Central Pillar is called the Lingam (the Spine/Phallus), and it is masculine and fixed. This masculine force is also at times called Purusha (the Man) or Yogi (Monk). The force which moves upward is called Shakti (Power), and it is feminine and moving. It is also called Devi (the Lady).

The idea is that the Chakras represent stages of consciousness, with Highest Chakra represents the Divine principle, while the lowest Chakra represents the waking reality. The spiritual aspirant moves their Consciousness up through their spinal column, through each Chakra, until it reaches the top.

That’s the gist of it. The journey of the aspirant is called the Sadhana in Sanskrit, and it is imagined as the straight and unwavering path traced by an arrow let loose from a bow. Those who have completed the Journey are called Siddhas, or the ‘righteous ones’

An important milestone on this journey is when the Consciousness reaches the Throat Chakra, at which point the Personal Shakti, called the Kundalini, rises from the base of the Spine and makes it’s way to the Top, which is at the nape of the neck. At this point, the individual begins to enter into a state of Spiritual Bliss called Sammadhi. This experience is identical to the Crossing of the Abyss of Kabbalah. A person begins to be freed form the world of Illusion (Maya) and can be called ‘enlightened’. Of course, the Kundalini shall rise further until it reaches the Crown, and can be projected even higher.

Combining the Chakras with the Tree of Life

It should be clear now that the Tree of Life and Chakra system are really talking about the same thing. The Western system, however, is more concerned with theory, and with mapping out the journey, and using it to understand the Universe. This is because Western magicians, due to heavy persecution in the middle ages, relied heavily on scripture and magickal texts to transmit their work. They had to disguise the Work as religious doctrine, and had to explain everything in great detail so that anyone reading it could follow the instructions and have all the requisite knowledge.

The Eastern system is much more practical. This is because such knowledge the source of power for the political and religious institutions in the East. There was never any real persecution, but it was closely guarded knowledge, passed down directly from master to student. It was rarely put into writing, nor was there much need to go into detail, because the Master (Guru) would be there with the student to guide them. In fact, merely being in the presence of a Master can cause the Kundalini to awaken. I can attest to this first hand. Thus, it was much more important to talk about the changes happening inside the body, and how to control the power, than try to create precise theories.

So in the West they ended up with a very well established theory, and in the East they developed a very effective practice. Both paths work, and it is worthwhile to combine them. As you know, the 10 Sephiroth of the Tree of Life are divided in such a way that they form Seven ‘layers’. These are identical to the Chakra centres. This means that many of the Chakras correspond to two sephiroth, not just one.

The following is the correct way to interpolate the Ten Sephiroth with the Seven Chakras:

1. Kether (Crown) – Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
2. Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) – Ajna (Third Eye Chakra)
3. Da’at (Knowledge) – Visuddha (Throat Chakra)
4. Chesed (Mercy) and Geburah (Power) – Anahata (Heart Chakra)
5. Tifaret (Harmony) – Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra)
6. Netzach (Victory) and Hod (Glory) – Svadhisthana (Sacral Chakra)
7. Yesod (Foundation) – Muladhara (Root Chakra)

Malkuth (Kingdom) is not part of the seven places, fallen as it is from the place of Da’at. Thus, it can be identified with the dormant ‘Shakti’ of Goddess Power which rests at the base of the spine. Thus, malkuth is rightly called ‘Malkah’, or bride, just as Shakti is the bride of Purusha, or ‘The Man’.

The Ten Fold Grade System

Now we get to the actual Grade system of the Hermetic tradition.

There are ten grades, all arranged along the Tree of Life, along with two intermediary grades. It shows the entire process of spiritual evolution. Understand that, the path is the same, only with different ways of representing it. This is the Hermetic way of seeing it, but in essence this journey is found in all cultures of the world, in different ways.

As you move from one grade to another, so does your consciousness. This does have a biological component, and if you quiet your mind and focus on your bodily sensations, you can actually feel how far up the spinal chord the energy has risen.

The Grade system can be divided into three. The first four grades consist of the ‘outer’ order, and the work of the Outer Order involves working upon the lower self: purifying and mastering oneself and one’s own Being. Each of the four grades corresponds to four components of the lower self, and also to the four elements.

Zelator – Earth – Physical Body – Sensations and Habits
Theoricus – Air – Conscious Mind – Thoughts and Perception
Practicus – Water – Subconscious Mind – Emotions and Intellect
Philosophus – Fire – Will – Intuition and Willpower


The next three grades constitute the Inner Order. Those of these grades are considered ‘Adepts’, while those of the Outer Order are usually called ‘Initiates’. Of course, the word ‘Initiate’ can also just apply to everyone who has been initiated into the order, meaning anyone beyond the grade of Neophyte.

In the Inner Order, everyone is technically on equal standing. An Adept is someone who has learned to commune with their Higher Self, and thus cannot really be ‘told’ what to do. In reality, it is the Inner Order where ‘magick’ begins in any real sense. The Outer Order involves mostly study and spiritual practice, and its rituals and practices are designed to purify the student.

Only in the Inner Order does the Adept begin training to do actual magick. The work of the Adept, having communed with their Higher Self, is now to overcome the Shadow. In other words: illuminate the inner darkness.

The three grades here represent the sacred Masculine, Feminine and the Androgyne.

Adeptus Minor – Androgyne – Life
Adeptus Major – Feminine – Death
Adeptus Exemptus – Masculine – Rebirth


In theory, Adeptus Exemptus is the Highest grade that can be given to a person. The grades beyond the Abyss are called the Secret Order. ‘Secret’ because these grades cannot be conferred, only attained by oneself.

This is because only a student, themselves, can Cross the Abyss when the time is right. No amount of rituals, ceremonies or meditations can make it happen, nor can a Master else cause you to Cross the Abyss and enter Sammadhi. it is a lone Journey.

The three highest grades that make up this stage represent stages of liberation.

Magister Templi – Mother – Power
Magus – Father – Purity
Ipsissimus – Spirit – Love


Whenever talk of the grade system comes up, I see one very common question from beginners: is it possible to rise through the grades without having done any magickal or spiritual practice?

The reason is that people just starting magickal study or practice want to start at the grade of Adeptus Minor! No one wants to be a mere Neophyte, and spend years working towards Adepthood. And so, many newcomers are absolutely desperate to be told that they’re already an Adept, or that the grade can be attained without spiritual practice.

But can it? Well, yes. In fact, it is pretty much expected that if you’re drawn to magick in this lifetime, then your Soul has already done much of the Outer Work in previous incarnations. So then, why this whole routine of going through the outer grades?

Because, in truth, all people at all times, are at the Highest Grade. Everyone in the world is Enlightened…they just don’t know it yet.

This is why this Work is sometimes called ‘Self Realisation’ rather than Attainment. One is not attaining anything, but only remembering.

When one is young, there is at least some point where one is fully in touch with the Higher Self. But life happens, and we begin to deviate from the Great Work. The mind, body and spirit begin to be clouded or fall into decay.

And so, even if a person thinks they are an Adept, or are naturally gifted in magick, or very well read, it never hurts to start at the beginning. The Lower Self needs to be prepared and purified to commune with the Higher Self. This is why the lower grades are needed.

To attempt the work of Magick without first balancing and discipling oneself will be extremely detrimental, and this effect is often seen in religious fanatics or crazed cult leaders: people who have expereinced the energies invoked in the Inner Order, but are not balanced or mature enough to utilise these corectly.

Thus, shun not the Outer Order. It is the most exciting stage of this journey.

The Outer Order

We shall Discuss the probationary grade of Neophyte and the four outer grades of Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus and Philosophus.

Neophyte

The grade of neophyte is not a real grade. It is a probationary grade that typically lasts 6 months or so. Traditionally, it was designed to see if the student was fit to join an esoteric order, and to build up a basic foundation of both theory and practice. With self initiation, this grade is mainly for you to test, for yourself, if you can handle the path of magick.

The rituals of this grade consist of basic banishing and grounding rituals, along with an introduction to basic magickal theory and spiritual practices like meditation. It exposes a person to energies which will start to dramatically change their life and perspective, and it is expected that a lot of people will quit after this grade. And that is precisely the point.

Once the first grade has started, it is not possible to go back. The spiritual transformation shall then go through various stages, and the only respite is in the fifth grade of Adeptus Minor. In other words, Magickal initiation is not just something done overnight. It is a whole hearted commitment which will last years. The exact same commitment is asked for by Eastern practices like Yoga and the Tantra, contrary to the usual notion that Eastern paths are simpler or easier.

And the neophyte grade is like a free trial of what’s to come.

There is nothing wrong with not being ready. While the grade formally lasts 6-7 months, a person may practice the Neophyte material for years. Most magicians do just that, with daily banishing rituals, meditations and purification rites. Some people will spend their whole life simply purifying themselves and meditating, and getting comfortable with this knowledge.

There’s no rush whatsoever. Many who do take that first step onto the grade of Zelator have been prepared over lifetimes, and will be prepared still for lifetimes more.

Some authors make it seem like the neophyte grade is some test or gauntlet designed to separate the ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’.

But the fact is that each and every person in the world is worthy. It is only a matter of patience and practice. When one is ready, one will move on.

This grade typically consists of an initial exposure to magickal energy, and one might find that any serious imbalances in one’s life will disappear. In general, good health, vitality and a renewed sense of vigor should be expected by the end.

Zelator

The grade of Zelator, as the name suggests, is a time of Zeal and devotion. It is associated with the element of Earth, with the material body and the world of the senses.

The work of this grade represents perhaps the most important and long lasting stage of spiritual ascension: of mastering the body, and the world of waking consciousness. The rituals of this grade will often bring about shift in perspective and consciousness. The student may find themselves changing their lifestyle, cultivating better lifestyle habits pertaining to food, routine and physical fitness.

A great enthusiasm towards the diligent study and practice of magick may also come about. A person may begin to overcome social anxiety, develop greater work ethic, and see overall success in their studies and/or career. For those who are already well established in life, it can also lead to a lot of money and wealth coming in.

A lot of these things may seem very mundane to some readers. You may wonder what eating properly, sleeping on time and cleaning one’s room have to do with spiritual evolution. And my answer, dear readers, is that it has everything to do with it.

Only very late in my magickal practice did I realise the importance of physical fitness, displine, and cleanliness. Religions of the world have always emphasized these traits, and not without good reason. The spiritual energies that a magician invokes are very, very real. In the Inner Order grades, these energies have a very tangible manifestation, which can very quickly overwhelm and weak mind and body.

Without going too much into details: there have been many times where I was thankful for my physical strength and tolerance, and they were all that kept me from loosing consciousness or being unable to tolerate the very high vibration energies invoked during magick.

Cleanliness and ritual purity are also important, as they allow for an even flow of spiritual energies throughout one’s life. Such a system is found in China in the form of Feng Shui, where the arrangement of the house and placement of objects within it is said to affect how spiritual energies flow through it.

In a more mundane sense, one should also consider that the body is the Temple. The inner world is reflected in the outer world, and a strong body, clean and orderly surroundings and healthy lifestyle will also be reflected in the internal changes taking place.

It is often said that magicians focus too much on the inner world and neglect the outer, not realising that the two are one and the same. Inner transformation goes hand in hand with outer transformation. And finally, there is also the simple fact that magick should not be something that requires the sacrifice of ‘real’ life. It is not escapism.

After all, magick requires commitment, of time, energy and resources. Before such a commitment can be made, it is a good idea to put your life in order. It would be very difficult to go very far with magick if you’re are held back by, say, the lack of money, poor health or a loneliness.

Now, I should make it clear that this is an ongoing process. I’m not suggesting that a person’s material life must be perfect before starting magick. Rather, both go hand in hand. And the grade of Zelator is the time where you shake yourself out of the stupor that many people fall into. It is the simple acknowledgement that you will not use magick or spirituality to escape from the responsibilities of the ‘real’ world.

First we master the outer and material world, before we go to the spiritual planes. Contrary to common belief, magick does not involve shunning or rejecting the material world, which is after all a reflection of the higher worlds.

In this grade, the consciousness tends to be fixed in the outer body and outer world. The inner Shakti has not begun her ascent up the spine.

Theoricus

The grade of Theoricus is similar to Zelator, and revolves around magick Theory. It is associated with the Conscious Mind, with thoughts, and with perception. It is ruled by the element of Air.

Once the Zelator has put his daily affairs in order, they can start studying magickal theory. Just as the previous grade was about strengthening the body, this grade is about sharpening the mind. The rituals and practices of this grade bring about a strong intellectual tendency, and also a desire to learn about and understand the world around oneself. In pursuit of this, one may learn not just about magick, but about various other fields such as history, politics, science, artistry, linguistics etc.

In fact, knowing about the world and having many skills can be very helpful for a magician. Many magicians are known to be well read and proficient in various skills. But ultimately, the aim is not to learn a lot, but rather sharpen the mind. Unlike school, the student of magick is not learning a bunch of rote information, but rather engaging with the world and its people, history and cultures. The aim is not to learn some information, but learn how to think. For example, the study of politics and history is not about coming to believe in some ideology or memorizing a list of battles, but to familiarize the mind with the nuances and complexities of the society. The aim of learning a new language may not necessarily be to become a fluent speaker, but to see how different languages shape the mind different, and to expand one’s horizons.

A strong mind complements a strong body. This grade helps the student break free of dogmatic beliefs, to question the way things are, and to learn to reject beliefs and values that they have inherited.

For while the wisdom of the ages can have great value, it can also be a poison which blinds us from reality. It is good to expose oneself to new ways of thinking, and to start formulating one’s own beliefs and philosophy. It protects us from becoming reliant on someone else’s version of the truth, and especially from political, religious and cultural lies.

This is also the grade where one begins to experience the energies of planets along with the elements. The grade of Theoricus is ruled by the Moon, as it corresponds to the Lunar sphere on the Tree of Life. Additionally the energies of Saturn are also expereinced, because that is the complementary sphere. This kind of a complementary relationship exists for all grades.

The Moon, or Luna, affects the emotions and sense perception. Saturn affects the rational mind. Thus, this grade has a tendency to exaggerate those aspects. In fact, it is important not to get too caught up in trying to understand everything rationally or categorise everything perfectly.

The consciousness now resides in the Root chakra, which corresponds to the Lunar Sphere at the base of the spine. The consciousness, thus, is still fixed on the outer world, but on the more abstract, mental aspects rather than purely physical.

Practicus

By now you should have picked up a trend with the names. The grade of Practicus focuses, at last, on Practice. It is associated with the element of Water, with the Subconscious mind, and thus with, morals, values, emotions and desires. Whereas the grade of Theoricus focused more on the outward Conscious Mind, Practicus focuses on the deeper, subconscious mind. In this grade, the emotions are allowed to come forth from their usual suppressed state in most people.

One also begins to recognise the traits of the opposite gender within oneself. In fact, it is common for magicians in this grade to display such traits. Men may find themselves becoming more ‘feminine’ while women may become more ‘masculine’. This is because a magician must not have any complexes or reservations, such as imagining oneself as ‘manly’ or ‘womanly’. What exactly this means depends from person to person. The Anima/ Animus, which lies hidden in the subconscious, begins to show itself.

The first two grades, in my opinion, are almost intoxicating. While they are slow, they are also relatively easy. The rituals performed in these grades bring about a great transformation in the personal world, which is what most people are focused on. But Practicus is the first test of these apparent abilities. That is to say, the student may now be called upon to put his knowledge and strength into practice, and also the first time one faces real obstacles from the outer world, not just the abstract ones of the inner world.

To me, the grade of Practicus is a test, and I will not speak much about the trials of this grade because I don’t want to turn people away from magick. This is the grade where you must try to accomplish your goals and desires, and it should be evident that some of these will not come easily.

Most people have a vague idea of what they want in life. But rarely do people have the courage to pursue them. And this is because dreams and desires are often grand and untenable, and it is not easy to know how exactly they should be attained. So, people are content to simply do what they’re told, and wait until some imagined event will bring them these things. Think, for example, of people’s dream of winning the lottery, of finding the perfect job, of suddenly becoming famous etc.

Ultimately, most people just want to be happy and live in peace. All these grand desires are a means to that. The irony, of course, is that any person at any time can be content with their lot and find peace and happiness. In fact, it is the urgent pursuit of happiness that stops people from being happy.

So, people instead hold out hope for extraordinary fortune, living in the future rather than the present. Yet others give up hope entirely and become bitter, living in the glorious past when they still had their dreams, and once again ignoring the present.

But the magician who has crossed Theoricus may find that they suddenly have the courage to live in the present, and pursue exactly what they want. As I said, the changes of these grades are very powerful, and it becomes clear that nothing is actually beyond a person’s grasp.

But, the grade of Practicus is the grade of challenges and trials. These challenges and trials are important to purify and strengthen the individual. This is the a very important grade of spiritual ascension, where a person, for the first time, leaves their comfort zone completely in pursuit of their dreams. One should not underestimate a person who has set their life in order and learned about the world. The Practicus is already very far ahead of most people because of this.

For better or for worse, it is when a person stops living in their head, and starts living in reality. And some may find that reality, without comforting dogmas and illusions, appears unfair and unjust. Of course, even that is an illusion.

In this grade, the influence of Mercury, the ruler of the grade, is felt, as is the influence of the complimentary Jupiter. It is Mercury who is the initiator into magick and the mysteries, and the first step of that initiation is purification through pain. Mercury is also force that carries one’s ambitions aloft on his wings.

Jupiter is the teacher and mentor, and he helps the student retain hope and faith. It may be common for students to develop a ‘larger than life’ persona due to the influence of this planet, which may also mark them out as a target of scorn or resentment by those whose consciousness has not begun to develop.

Ultimately, both planets are associated with learning, and this is the grade of learning certain hard lessons and shattering illusions. Everything, good or bad, must be accepted as it is. Metaphorically, we may say that the waters of the subconscious begin to flood the conscious mind, dissolving boundaries and washing one clean.

Philosophus

Yes, this grade is now associated with Philosophy, with the Will and the Intuition. It corresponds to the element of Fire.

In my book, The Tree of Life: A Beginner’s Guide, I discuss the role of philosophy and it’s link to creativity at length, but here I will mention the importance of developing a personal philosophy.

Once the trials of the Practicus grade are overcome, the great realisation comes that many of one’s beliefs about the world are faulty, and often taken from somewhere else. For many magicians, it is the stage of awakening from the Ego, and realising that the contents of one’s mind are often not aligned with reality.

It is common for people to believe that the world is a certain way. People go their entire lives believing in absurd or false things, just because they sound rational or logical. Rarely, if ever, do people ever question or challenge their beliefs. And even when beliefs are questioned, they are often replaced with other, equally absurd beliefs.

it is only by repeatedly putting one’s beliefs into practice, as is done by the Practicus, that one realises what is real and what is imagined. It is almost like subjecting your beliefs to scientific scrutiny.

Every person has a inner value system, but people don’t normally try to live up to their own values. For example, a person who firmly believes that people should live freely in a primal state of existence, but works a standard corporate job in a big city. Such a person has never actually tried to live up to their own ideals, which is precisely why these ‘ideals’ exist. Trying to live up to such ideals may show they are at odds with the reality of the world and one’s present capabilities.

Some people, who’s ambitions are grounded, may actually end up getting exactly what they wanted, only to realise that it didn’t satisfy them. For example, someone who desperately wants to get into some prestigious college, only to find that they have no interest in their studies and aren’t suited to the competition. It would seem the person was more interested in imagining the scenario, but does not enjoy being in it.

Now that the Philosophus has tried to put their world view into practice, it is important to take a step back and consider one’s life and aspirations. There is no longer anyone to blame, no longer anything holding one back. Becoming freed from dogma and delusion, it is time to start developing a personal philosophy to live by, rather than live by the philosophies of others. It is time to no longer define oneself as belonging to some religion, creed or ideology, or subscribing to some belief system, or clinging to arbitrary labels or vague ambitions. A person must draw now upon their inner resources, and let their intuition guide them towards their purpose in life.

What makes you happy? What do you want from life? How would you like to spend each day of your life? Are you really an introvert/extrovert? Do you really want a lot of money? Can you really be self employed, or do you really believe in some chosen faith?

Discipline plays a role because, when your entire worldview is questioned, it may very well burn away. After all, this is the grade of Fire. And in times like this, it is of utmost importance to maintain some semblance of routine and structure, so you don’t slip into apathetic nihilism or become depressed. And even if you do, you still have to keep moving forward. Everything learned in the last three grades must keep you sane and alert.

The three great virtues of a magician are: Humility, Persistence and Determination. And the Philosophus must keep living their ordinary life, even as the world within is radically transformed. At the very least, all the basic day to day tasks needed for survival must be performed. You will find that the discipline and strength developed through this is invaluable. Very great is the one who can be comfortable with discomfort. Most people withdraw or flee at the hint of the slightest discomfort, but the magician must learn to endure and power through something as difficult as spiritual purification.

This grade is ruled by Venus, the great Goddess, and her counterpart Mars. Venus is the Goddess of Life and Fertility, but before one can feel her love, one must face her dark aspect: that of a life and universe that is seemingly unfair and unjust. Through patience and grace, the student will stand before the darkness and see it transformed into light, just as the cold harshness of winter leads to the fertility and joy of spring.

Mars, of course, is the one providing strength and courage throughout this grade, even as it awakens an inner fire within oneself. Not the explosive flame of ambition or zeal, but the steady flame of perseverance and discipline. Nothing happens overnight, and anything worth attaining takes honest work.

In the grades of Practicus and Philosophus, the consciousness resides in the Sacral Chakra, located around the abdomen. Sexual activity may be become much more increased or decreased than usual. These grades of purging see the consciousness around the digestive and excretory system.

A Short Allegory

The first two grades are those of preparation, and the second two are those of purification. It is actually an alchemical process. It is important, at this point, for me to describe the alchemical process, which is meant to reflect this process of Initiation.

Alchemy is the spiritual science of taking the fabled First Matter (Prima Materia), and subjecting it to a process of purification and exaltation, resulting in the legendary Philosopher’s Stone (Lapis Philosphorum). The Stone, also called the Red Stone, is said to be able to transform base metals into gold, as well as confer eternal life. I’m sure many readers already know the tale. At the very least, you’ve watched this referenced in the first Harry Potter film.

Here, the student themselves is the Prima Materia being perfected.

In alchemical texts, it is said that the Prima Materia must be first separated into it’s three components: Mercury, Sulfur and Salt. Each is then purified and recombined. These should be understood as alchemical principles, and not to be confused with the mundane elements of the same name. Meaning, here Mercury does not refer to quick silver, nor does Salt refer to sodium chloride.

In the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the metaphor is dropped and these three principles are actually referenced directly as as the three Gunas (traits), present in all things. These are Satvva (positive), Rajas (neutral) and Tamas (negative). But here I will describe the process most commonly found in European texts, as these are the most methodical.

First, one must gather the Prima Materia and ferment it for a long period of time, allowing it to mature and and ‘ripen’ in the heat of the sun. This is the grade of Zelator, where the student prepares themselves for initiation by setting their life in order, and ‘ripening’ the physical body through a healthy lifestyle, and mastering the outward senses. Much like fermentation, this grade is simply a matter of time and patience.

Now, the Prima Materia is heated over a gentle fire for a long time, which causes the alchemical Mercury to distill over. This Mercury may be further distilled and purified. This refers to the grade of Theoricus, where the rational Mind (often symbolised by Mercury) is isolated, and then sharpened through study and intellectual engagement.

Next, the flask is heated over a more intense fire, which gets hotter and hotter, until the alchemical Sulfur distills over. This process is volatile and difficult, and what is left behind is the alchemical Salt, which is black and ashy. This refers to the intense grade of Practicus, where the student is tried and tested, and their stubborn illusions are ripped from them. The emotions, volatile and dangerous, separate out and show themselves, like the Sulfur. It is worth noting that the Eastern counterpart, which is rajas, literally means ‘passions’. The student may be left feeling tired, empty or hollow, like the black Salt left behind. This salt in it’s black state is seen as ‘dead’, and called as the dead head (caput mortem)

Now, the black Salt is heated over a gradually increasing fire, until is begins to incinerate, turning from black to gray and finally to white. To witness this mythical process is itself a spiritual experience, and it refers to the grade of Philosophus, where the Fire or Will slowly increases in intensity, purging the tired initiate, and purifying them, bringing forth a sort of ‘rebirth’ or ‘reawakening’, like the black salt turning to a pristine white.

Now, the Mercury Sulfur and Salt have been separated and purified. They are slowly recombined in a hermetically sealed flask (yes, the word ‘hermetically sealed’ comes from Hermeticism).

Portal

The grade of Portal is another probationary grade, and refers to the time between the Outer and Inner order. It is symbolic of the alchemical process where the three principles are hermetically sealed and recombined.

Here the Divine alchemist, which is the Higher Self of the Initiate, the Spirit, recombines the separated parts of the Prima Materia, which is the Lower Self of Initiate.

The grade of Portal is a period of 9 months where the initiate must withdraw from the outer world as much as possible, and spend time in contemplation and prayer. This is the transition from an Initiate to an Adept.

The primary work in this stage is to think over the journey so far, and prepare for communion with the Higher Self, which is also called the Holy Guardian Angel. This communion can be thought of as the religious experience, which Christians call Grace.

In the East, this same process is replicated when Yogis go into what is called ‘Tapasya’, which is a prolonged period of silent meditation. Hindus and Buddhists call the communion of the religious experience as ‘Darshan’, literally meaning ‘to see’. The Higher Self is called ‘Atman’, or Spirit, while the lower self is called ‘Jiva’, or ‘living being’.

The motif of this grade can be thought of as a wandering, or a self imposed exile, and such a thing is found in various mythologies. During this period, a dramatic shift in consciousness takes place as many redundant aspects of oneself are burned away.

In this stage, the ‘Body of Light’ is firmly established within oneself, and the Sphere of Sensation, often called the Aura, expands from an thin shell just over the skin, to a spherical ball of magnetic energy: a cosmic Egg. The hermetically sealed flask used by alchemists in this stage was often made in the form of a glass Egg, to represent this very Cosmic Egg. The alchemists knew that, as they were making the Red Stone, their own being was being transformed.

We are bringing about the same transformation not through chemical processes, but through rituals, meditation, chanting, study and practical action.

By and large, this stage is one of patience and faith. It is a time of preparation and rebirth, before one ventures out again as an Adept.

I will end this post here, and continue talking about the grades in Part Two. If you wish to learn more about magick, consider checking out my books. Subscribe to me on Patreon to learn about using magick to improve daily life, to gain spiritual insight through tarot, to invoke the great Angels who rule the heavens or conjure the mighty daemons who rule the material universe.

Peace and farewell.

~White Raven

The Great Secret of Magick Pt3: The Mind, Body and Soul

Welcome back. Let me do a little follow up to the last post, which was perhaps a bit strange and felt unfinished. It was important to show the history of how and why ideology replaced traditional religion. And additionally, I had to draw attention to the source of human endeavor, which is Will to Power, which is often ignored, and many people they that they alone are correct and that their beliefs are ‘good’, not realising that everyone is driven by the same impulses as them.

We are motivated, to a great extent, by this Will, and it drives us forward. Each person has their own truth, their own ‘god’, and eventually a magician has to discover and speak their own truth, rather than attempting to realize some grand and false ideal they have been conditioned into. Especially in this time where many of the old ideals have fallen from their place.

I began to pursue magick for two reasons: to take control of my life, and to see what was beyond the mundane perception. I started this blog to share insights and experiences I had had, for the benefit of others, and eventually began to weave them into a philosophy.

You see, I was angry, depressed and bored. I was a pawn in someone else’s game, and like everyone around me, I believed that someone else had the keys to my happiness and someone else would create my future. But I found magick, and after my first successful evocation I committed to it.

I went deep. I did not stop at sigils and spells, but I kept following the rabbit hole until I reached Wonderland. It was mostly an escape. But then I tore down the walls, and brought Wonderland up to the Surface. The two integrated, and I no longer had to escape. I knew, from a certain moment, that there was no rabbit hole nor wonderland to begin with. Reality simply is, and magick is not an escape. Magick is reality itself. It is life, a life lived fully.

Even if you feel upset by my ideas and opinions, remember that you were likely drawn to this blog because of my unorthodox approach. To me, all this is absolutely real. Magick is not just psychodrama. It’s all literally true, and the more I realise that, the more my faith strengthens. And the more I feel like it’s okay to open up about these things on this blog. So pardon me, sometimes I need to shake things up a bit.

I waited, for far too long, for older and wiser folk to get around to it. But they’re unhappy and depressed, and they’re just making it worse. Life is so very short. Too short to spend waiting for it to begin. So you know what, fuck it. I’m going to say what I know to be true. Just because I can. Just because I was given the gift of speech, and for no other purpose than that.

Magick And Archetypes

In Magick, we often work with various beings that are not quite of the material plane. We call them gods, demons, angels, spirits, and all manner of other names. Traditionally, religion told us that these spirits or beings have a fixed place and purpose, in relation to humanity.

Isn’t it strange how, in most religious theology, only human beings seem to be evolving? Why is it that only we seem to have a destiny, a mortality, a free will and the ability to sin, while everything else is seemingly eternal and serves only one purpose?

Mainstream religion in the 21st century gives various justifications which have no reasoning nor basis behind them. These beings are shown to not have a Will of their own. They are presented as not growing or evolving, but being as they are forever. It’s quite an anthropocentric view of the Universe, where our own conscious, perceiving Mind alone is special and evolving, and all other things are fixed. In fact, religion acts as if these beings aren’t actually real, and as if religion only has a utilitarian purpose. As Richard Dawkins once joked “all religious people are atheists”. In a weird sort of way, this is true.

Then you come to magick, where many traditions tell you that these beings exist inside of your head. This is why they’re eternal, because they’re actually just projections of your own psyche, like personas who become detatched from you and act as independent characters during a ritual. Of course, this illusion falls apart for any sufficiently experienced magician.

First and foremost, I want you to full understand archetypes.

What are archetypes?

Archetypes was an idea explored most in depth by Carl Gustav Jung, often called the father of modern psychology. Those of you who have studied kabbalah may have heard of the “archetypal” plane as being the highest plane of existence.

12 Jungian archetypes. But this is not all there is. There are, in fact, infinite archetypes of thought, behaviour and narratives. Jung’s theory was actually much more fluid and complex than often depicted.

Archetypes are essentially prototypes, of behaviors, forms, symbols etc. For example, we can say that there is an archetypes of a ‘chair’, which would be a transcendent object which contains all the defining traits of a chair. All things that we recognize as ‘chairs’ would adhere to its traits and characteristics.

Jung recognised that archetypes are the framework of the human psyche. These archetypes came about as the result of millions of years of evolution, and strongly influence the way we see the world. For example, ‘Mother’ is an archetype, as is ‘Father’. We, as human beings, do not ‘learn’ what mother, father, king, teacher, tyrant, trickster are. We simply have a natural inclination to recognise these archetypal ideas. ‘God’ is an archetype, as is ‘tribe’.

Not only Jung, but various others have also recognised certain archetypes which are universal. Sage, magician, wise man, hero, jester, tyrant, creator, devil, all these are archetypes. Homeland can be an archetype. Even the ‘Known’ and ‘Unknown’ are archetypes, as are Heaven and Hell. You could say that the Magician or occultist is like a archetype of the person who ventures into the Sacred space, while ‘shaman’ is the archetype which is shifting and fluid.

In the last post, we discussed how Culture is the Divine Father, and responsible for morality, which is learned. These archetypes are not ‘learned’, but inherited. They exist within us naturally, and thus they are the product of Nature, the Divine Mother.

But Jung studied these further. This is the most important thing to understand in this post: the projection of archetypes. Essentially, human beings do not just use these archetypes on other people, but also project them onto the world. For example, we project the archetype of ‘Mother’ onto our surroundings, and the place of dwelling. Somehow, millions of years of evolution have molded the human psyche to regard ‘Mother’ as the nourisher and protector. Hence, we say ‘Mother Nature’ and ‘Motherland’. We say ‘God the Father’ and regard our culture and religion as a patriarch. Remember how in the last post we talked about Utopia simply being paradise on earth? In essence, it is simply taking the archetype of Heaven, but instead of projecting this idea to the afterlife, it gets projected to the future here on Earth. Utopian and Dystopian stories are no different than mythology about Heaven and Hell.

Stories and narratives which are extremely compelling are often archetypal in nature. Religion makes strong use of archetypal narratives, as do political ideologies. This is why they replaced religion.

Hero and Saviour can be seen as archetypes too. The longer something is around, the more it gets ‘refined’ and closer to being archetypal. This is why the more ancient a religion gets, the more its power grows. Gautama Buddha was likely a mystic who lived in the 7th-5th centuries BCE. But, over 2000 years, his story has become ‘archetypal’, meaning it has slowly warped and changed to resemble the archetypal story of the ‘Hero’. By the way, this is also why mythology from different parts of the world often has similarities. Human beings have the same archetypes, and all over the world, even in disconnected cultures, these archetypes emerge.

In magick, many traditions make heavy use of archetypal narratives. The myth of Christ, Bacchus, Buddha and Horus are often used to show the stages of magickal initiation. This shows that archetypes are more than just stories and symbols, but behaviours too. They are intrinsically linked to human existence. These figures, by the way, may be real people. But that’s not the point.

We use their legends because these are archetypal. Modern day superheroes are nothing but a modern expression of archetypal figures. Where once people were obsessed with Pantheons of Gods, now they are drawn to characters in pop culture. Superman is particular, is a strong symbol for magicians to study. And yes, the story of Superman was inspired by Nietzsche’s ‘ubermensche’.

People who do not know about archetypes often make the error of claiming that if two cultures have the same mythology, symbols, rituals and language, then one of them must have borrowed or learnt or it from the other. For example, why does the story of Jesus so closely resemble that of Horus and Bacchus? Why did the Mayans and Egyptians built pyramids? Why do so many cultures have the idea of an Earth goddess and a Sky Father? People then, mistakenly, assume that one of these must have ‘stolen’ these ideas from another. Now, there are many cases of overlap and cultural exchange, but not always.

Yes, some cultures have similarities and some religions came from the same place. But all these cultures and religions are simply expressions of the one culture and one religion shared by all humanity, expressed as archetypes all over the world. People respond to these symbols and myths on a very strong and emotional level. We feel that they are ‘true’, as in they are linked deeply to the human experience.

Its almost like the archetype describes characters and a script, and we put on these masks and personas and act out the play, at different times and places.

It isn’t just mythology that is archetypal either. Star Wars is pretty damn archetypal, as is Lord of the Rings. The Journey of Frodo and Luke Skywalker are simply another iteration of the same journey and sacrifices undertaken by Christ, Hercules, Bacchus, Horus and Krishna, or those of Beowulf and Arthur.

This how the Tree of Life works. The Sephiroth represent archetypal categories, to which multiple symbols can be ascribed.

For example, Geburah is the archetype of the War God. Horus, Nergal, Parashurama, Samael, Kamael, Indra, Tyr, Ares, all adhere to this archetype.

The mistake that many, many magicians make is failing to understand what the Tree of Life actually is. For example, they will force a deity like Sekhmet to fit into Tiphareth because she is ‘solar’ or was worshipped as a solar deity. In reality, she is an archetypal War Goddess, and belongs to Geburah. Or perhaps they will force Artemis into Geburah because she is is a Huntress, when her place is clearly Yesod as well.

A deity can even have different attributions. For example, Horus the Avenger may belong to Geburah, the Horus the Prince belongs to Tiphareth. Horus the Elder certainly belongs to Kether.

Human beings, therefore, project the contents of their psyche onto the world. It is my understanding that we project the Archetypes of our own mind onto the Cosmos. A dark forest becomes the archetypal ‘underworld’. A strange epidemic becomes the archetypal Judgement Day. The leader of an enemy nation becomes the archetypal Devil, and a charismatic political leader becomes the Messiah.

Ancient astrologers, projected the archetypal deities onto the constellations. Aries the Warrior, Taurus the Mother, Gemini the Twins, Virgo the Sacred Virgin, Leo the Hero!

When you truly love a person romantically, or truly hate a person, this is more descriptive of you than of them. Because what you’re seeing is a reflection of you, your own archetype of the Lover and the Adversary. This affects your relationship not just with people, but with Spirits, with nations and religions, and with ideas and beliefs and philosophies.

Our life becomes an archetypal journey, a story narrated by our own Mind, filled with archetypal characters, and this is especially true for a magician, who will attempt to see their life paralleled by legends of great heroes and prophets. A fantastic study of this phenomena was done in the book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Despite getting flak for being new age, the book is a solid exploration of the magickal initiation, and written by a openly practicing magician.

But the trouble begins where people do not realise this, and think that the archetypes are outside themselves. And then, the power passes from them to external forces.

Pay close attention to how your magick manifests, how the Deities appear, how your spells work, what you see and what symbols you channel, and what experiences you have. This is your own mind being reflected back at you. This is why you should write it down, and contemplate it.

When the contents of the mind become projected and visible, the magician can interact with them. He can interact with these archetypes, now manifest in the realm of the Unknown into which they have stepped. The magician learns about them, knows them, faces them and embodies them. And then, they recede back into his mind, now integrated into the Ego, which transforms into the Self.

Written here, is the whole secret of the magickal art, to those who will read between the lines.

The Projected Cosmos

You have likely come across the idea in many modern works of magick that magick is all psychodrama. In the 20th century, the scientific method was all the rage. Magick, occultism and spirituality were fast fading into obscurity as weird delusions and primitive superstitions.

Then came along Carl Jung with his revolutionary research on archetypes. Despite being accepted by mainstream science, very few textbooks on psychology will ever give you a full picture of Jung’s work. Jung was openly mystical, and a self proclaimed alchemist. He made absolutely no attempts to hide the full contents of his belief and work. Once, asked if he believed in God, he simply smiled and said “I don’t need to believe. I know”.

But much of it is not promoted. If you look into mainstream psychology today, you’ll see that his dry, scientific analysis is all they look at. Most are too scared to talk about or even admit to the existence of his other works like Aion, to say nothing of The Red Book. The content of these works is too much to be attributed to such a major scientific figure. Then again, no one talks about the major spiritual experiences of Newton, Descartes or many other scientists either.

Magicians too, seem all too happy to say that it is all psychodrama. Scientific materialism is all the rage among many magi these days, who are maybe too keen to be part of the status quo, or simply unwilling to challenge it. But the Gods are real. Let me explain.

Let us revisit archetypes. Consider your ‘Mother’

She is a real person, yes? And onto her, from the moment of your birth, you have projected the archetype of ‘Mother’. To you, she represents Motherhood. Keep in mind that even if it isn’t your biological Mother, you likely have a Mother figure if your life.

But, while this individual is a Mother figure to you, that’s not all she is. She is a lot more than that. An individual in her own right. A complete manifestation of the Universe, with her own Will and Destiny. And yet, within your psyche, and your perception of reality, this individual is a ‘Mother’.

Similarly, you are her Son or Daughter. But to a friend of yours, you might fill a different role, and yet to an enemy, you are the ‘adversary’. To different people, you wear a different mask/persona. In fact, in traditional theater, this is literally what actors do. While the individuals are ever changing, evolving and growing, they exist within your mind as a fixed archetype. The Mother shall always be the Mother, even though she will change a lot in one’s life.

Are the Gods real? They are. They manifest to you within the framework of your spiritual tradition, complete with a name, appearance and traits we have ascribed to them. Sometimes these are symbolic of their own Nature. But beyond that, they have an independent existence, just as you and I. Everything in Nature is alive, evolving and independent, regardless of which mask it wears at which time.

Ares is not just the God of War. This being, or phenomena of Nature, merely filled the role of War god to the ancient Greeks, who dressed him in their cultural symbolism, and gave it a Greek name. And today, we may dress him in our own symbolism. The true nature of this Being shall never be known to us, since we cannot experience the world from it’s perspective, only our own. This same being may have filled different roles/ work different masks at different times for different cultures.

If you want a quick run down on Jung, watch this video. I highly recommend it, and it will help cut down this post by 1000 words.

There are said to be three major components to magick: astrology, alchemy and theurgy. In the first post, we already discussed how the ancient Alchemists projected their minds onto the alchemical processes. These projections are really just archeytpes, and these archetypal stories and characters are encoded into alchemical mythology.

This is even more evident in astrology. Ancient humans projected their archetypes onto the celestial bodies. The constellations formed the 12 core archetypes. The planets came to represent parts of the human psyche, with the Sun being the Ego (the conscious awareness, or Ruach). You may now understand the point of astrology. As the Ego (Sun) goes around the Zodiac, it expresses itself as different archetypes. The ancient people then turned the Cosmos into a map of their own psyche. So when the Ego (sun) is in Virgo, it was understood that the energies of the Virgin archetypes would be more prevalent in people’s conscious awareness. When the sexual drive (Mars) was in Scorpio, it was understood that people would be more driven to explore hidden or taboo sexuality, as Scorpio is the archetype of the Concealer, or Antihero.

The astrological chart is really a map of one’s own consciousness. The constellations are archetypes, the planets are parts of the psyche. This is why tropical astrology works better than sidereal astrology. This is why there’s no ‘correct’ version of astrology. It all depends on which magickal tradition you use. You tap into that current, and us its symbols.

Because yes, archetypes must be understood as symbols. The last aspect of magick, theurgy, is also about projecting archetypes. Theurgy refers to invocations and evocations of various spiritual beings.

You may have heard that a ‘true’ system of magick is one which provides the student with a ‘complete’ set of symbols. This is what that means. A real, effective system of magick takes into account all the parts of the psyche, and the archetypes which they can express. For example, take the system from the O.T.A, who combine the Keys of Solomon with astrology. It gives you 72 angels and 72 demons, each divided under the Zodiac, and by planetary rank, which are under 4 Kings and Watchers. In a sense, you have every archetype you could imagine represented here, and many sub archetypes. This is a COMPLETE system. If you use this system, you do not need to include Pagan or Egyptian gods, or Rosicrucian mysteries.

The same would be said for various schools of Witchcraft, or the Golden Dawn, or Thelema, or Tantric Yoga. However, you have probably come across certain new age schools which basically throw together a hodge podge of random symbols, often deities who are all roughly the same. This is an incomplete system of magick. There is no complete set of archetypes, nor a complete cosmology given. It is based on limited logic and lack of experience, and the previous post should have made it clear why logic and commonsense can only take the magician so far.

The Symbolic Universe

While our axiomatic Values are learned, and therefore unique to each individual, these archetypes are inherited. All of humanity has the same archetypes. This is why they are said to belong to the ‘collective’ unconscious.

This idea is often misunderstood. People think of it as some sort of Hive mind, or some energetic field ‘separate’ from us. But what this really means is that there are certain traits common to all of humanity, and inherited from previous generations. This is the collective unconscious. Archetypes are universal, and passed on from generation to generation. The collective unconscious refers to those parts of the human psyche which we all share.

For millions of years, humanity lived as nomadic hunter gatherers. Our modern agricultural societies, which are only about 12,000 years old, are relatively young by comparison. Therefore, the archetypes we project are reflective of our older, nomadic past.

For example, why do many cultures depict ‘demons’ with reptilian skin, glowing eyes, sharp teeth and claws? Simple, reptiles and carnivorous animals were the biggest threat to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Even if you’ve never seen a snake, you’ve got a fear of snakes and lions hardwired into your DNA. If you ever see glowing eyes in the dark, your first and most natural reaction would be to run, because your primal consciousness knows it means ‘predator’.

Similarly, many of our Gods of prosperity and fertility are depicted with radiant halos, golden or white clothing and vibrant faces. Because to daytime mammals like us, the Sun represents safety, security, life and warmth. The darkness represents fear, danger and death. Hence our Gods of death often appear dressed in black robes. If we were a nocturnal species, perhaps this symbolism would be inverted.

Let us assume you invoke the God Ares. He is the God of War, and there almost a grantee that he will appear to you as a well built, perhaps bearded, male. This the archetype of the Warrior. For millions of years, women gathered food and men hunted. Our brains are hardwired to recognise the ‘warrior’ as being a physically strong man, perhaps armed with a spear. Interesting how so many war Gods appear with spears, because we have used those for far longer than we have used swords, and perhaps have a natural recognition of it. The God of Wilderness, Pan, on the other hand, shall likely have horns, body hair and hoofs. The God Osiris may appear glowing, wearing white clothing, and a crown, archetypal symbols of purity, power and royalty. Kali may appear with black skin, covered in blood, with fangs and glowing eyes, archetypal symbols representing predators, danger, fear and the nighttime.

Different cultures, in different time periods, projected their archetypes onto the world. This resulted in the birth of various Pantheons. It’s the same Gods you see, and the same fundamental archetypes from the Dawn of time, and perhaps the same beings who embody them, but different manifestations.

In his book Aion, Jung described how when these symbols first appear, they grip the imagination of a culture. But then over prolonged periods of time, they turn stale and boring. Everything that can be gleamed from them has been learned, and they begin to feel empty and hollow. This is quite literally a cultural Ragnarok, or what Nietzsche called the “Twilight of the Idols”.

These symbols, or ‘idols’, die. And then a new set of symbols emerges, more relevant, more meaningful, more powerful. Sometimes, the new symbols may just be a reiteration of older symbols. (Such is the case, for example, with Paganism, Christianity, and neo-Paganism)

Interestingly, I think this is what the mystics of various religions meant when they asked their followers to give up “idolatory”. In a sense, they thought that they could get most people to give up the worship of symbols and work with the forces behind them.

And yet, it seems all such efforts are in vain. Idols do not refer to physical statues, they refer to symbols. But it seems that symbols do not go so easily. Only the most advanced Adept who has gone through all the trials of initiation can successfully give up the symbols and recognize the nameless, formless archetypes that dwell behind them.

Different orientations of these symbols produces different spiritual traditions and religions. This is what is really meant by the phrase “all religions teach the same truth”. It doesn’t mean all religions have the same moral and philosophies, because of course they don’t. But they are all paths to the same primordial, archetypal forces, and teach the same archetypal myths. Although they may be represented by various different symbols, and recognised in various external forces and phenomena, they are inner forces, found within the heart, mind and soul of every human being.

Religion involves the worship of these symbols, to imbibe and commune with the energies behind them, and spirituality involves learning to study and understand them, to increase one’s knowledge. Magick is the work beyond that, to actively call upon them, to embody them and recognize them within one’s own Being.

Nature, The Divine Mother

A lot of people these days are believers of social constructivism: the idea that pretty much all human behavior, beliefs and values are the result of social conditioning.

You know, the idea that human beings are a blank slate at birth and entirely the product of their environment.

The truth is that we are affected by Nature more than we realise. She is our Divine Mother and Her influence remains hidden in the unconscious. So much of what we do and who we are is the result of our genetic predisposition. Recent studies show that even your political leaning is genetic. This is why it’s pointless to debate people over politics, since people do not vote based on facts or beliefs, but rather based on their temperament, which is biological.

The archetypes, whatever they really are, are understood in magick as cosmic concepts. But this isn’t just a concept dreamed up by magicians in the 20th century.

Many mystics throughout the ages have also realised that archetypes are universal. For example, there were many different local religious traditions in ancient India. The ancient priests noticed recurring themes, deities and practices in these traditions, and concluded that many of these deities must be ‘avatars’ of the same larger deities.

And so they made extensive study of these and categorized them. They imagined that there was one single Divine being, and it expressed itself as a few larger Deities. All the deities that were worshipped in the world (as they knew it) were simply avatars of these deities, and then those deities were further avatars of even bigger dieties.

Pretty much the exact same process occurred in other polytheistic cultures like Egypt and Rome, where all the various Gods and myths and cults were identified as different aspects and manifestations of a core pantheon of a dozen or so deities, which in turn were identified with about 3-5 major deities. And when foreign deities were encountered, they were identified with one of the existing deities. This was an early recognition of the concept of universal archetypes, and is called syncretism.

The ancient Hebrews took this a step further, and actually recognised the conceptual nature of archetypes. For example, there were many ancient Semitic deities. Many of them were called as Ba’al (lord) or YHVH (god). You see, YHVH is not the name of a specific deity. The word is a title for a ‘male God’. Their female consorts were called ‘ASRA’, which roughly translates as ‘Wife/consort’.

The Hebrews concluded that all these deities were simply different aspects of the same God/s, and they referred to this simply as ‘Yah’ or Yehovah, meaning Father or God. And so they decided that instead of worshipping many separate deities, they would categorise them and worship the category (archetype) itself. Instead of separately worshipping many Sky fathers or War gods, there would be one primordial ‘Sky Father’ (YHVH) or ‘War God’ (ELHIM GBOR) deity. Since they were concepts, not deities, they were left without name and appearance. Eventually, all 10-12 concepts became identified with a single Divine force.

Now they did end up demonising all the other Gods in the process, but they did have the right idea. It’s just that they thought this made their religion ‘better’ and that the other tribes were worshipping false Gods, which over time became perceived as demonic.

Hopefully you see now that archetypes are not a modern concept. Even before Jung, it was noticed that spirituality and religion were universal expressions. Cultures separated by hundreds of miles would have common spiritual expressions, since these are born from the psyche itself.

This psyche is the child of Nature. It is most of who and what we are.

The Masks of the Cosmos

When magicians encounter the Cosmos, we project our psyche onto it.

The psyche is a perfect Microcosm. It is a reflection of the complete Cosmos, and the Cosmos a reflection of it.

When you cast the circle, you are establishing a symbolic Order. It is ruled by the Sun, the bringer of Light and the Heroic Ideal. The circle itself is ruled by Saturn, the Lord who binds the Universe, and rules boundaries and separations. Beyond the magick circle is the symbolic darkness, is the Chaos, the Mother, the Unknown, and she is the Moon, who reflects the light of the Sun, but also at times becomes entirely dark.

She is the Cosmos in all it’s splendor. And when you invoke the Gods beyond the circle, they are in reality masks worn by the Mother of the Cosmos, just as you yourself are a mask worn by the Father.

But what is the Unknown, exactly? It is wildness, it is animalism. Religion can shun and be afraid of it, but the Horned wild ones are always there, always lurking, waiting for us to take the first step.

One comes into this world surrounded by symbols. We are kept safe within our culture, content to believe in the world as we know it. Even in a chaotic and uncertain time, people will often fall back on something they can rely on, even if it’s a fallible ideology. The forces of Light protect us, discipline us, and prepare us for the world. They are like a bulwark against fear and death.

But the Nightside beckons always, and always it is feared by the many. The magician is the one who looks to it, and at first it glistens with brilliance. Think of how Nature is portrayed in media, as peaceful, gentle and exotic. And it is this shining call to adventure that first draws the magician out of his shell, into the Unknown. He takes on the mask of Horus and follows his Mother Isis to reclaim his birthright.

But then, as he begins to take the Light into the darkness, leaving everything behind in a youthful impulse, suddenly the Mother disappears, and the magician realises with horror what awaits him. For he sees that the Cosmos is cold, harsh and that her laws are absolute. Isis is lost, and Horus is alone faced with Set, the fury and power of the Cosmos itself, which brings it’s entire arsenal against the young God. And here Horus is blinded, because the malice he faces is too great, too powerful and beyond his imagining. And thus he is banished into the desert, where he must wander alone and lament.

But there, Horus finds Hathor, his love, and must make himself worthy of her. Now there is no Isis to protect him, and Set comes ever closer to destroy him. And so here he must delve into the Underworld, which is yet another part of the Unknown. And then the magician sees that the Cosmos he perceived before was just a surface level illusion, and that Her true secrets lie in the darkness, in the crypts and caverns hidden from view, down in the Infernal Empire where there is only confusion.

But Horus must descend. He must pass through the Temples of Darkness unscathed, and he must resist their temptations. He must master their forces. And there, at the lowest point, lies the Sarcophagus of Osiris, his slain father. And now the Cosmos reveals her final mask, as Horus makes the ultimate sacrifice of love to revive his dead father, who returns and the whole of the Underworld is filled with Light, and it becomes a gateway to world beyond. And here the Cosmos shows herself as Osiris reborn!

And only then can Horus truly call himself a Warrior, now worthy of facing Set one final time, and this time he shall succeed, having the whole of the Cosmos assist him in his efforts. He shall succeed and be crowned King! And in this way the Mother reveals her triple aspect. In Pagan witchcraft, this is the Goddess Hecate as Virgin, Crone and Bride. In Tantra, this is the Goddess Shakti as Parvati, Kali and Durga. This is why Tiamat, and Ishtar were represented being half dragon.

The Cosmic mother is the sparkling lady of stars, and yet she is also a serpentine dragon who turns one to stone with a single gaze of her glowing eyes. But if one should stand firm under Her gaze and kneel before her power, she is the radiant and mighty Queen of the Heavens.

It represents the nature of reality at the most fundamental level. It shall be understood that just as here the analogy of the Mother, of Cosmos, and Nature refers quite well to the Human psyche. The Underworld is the Subconscious.

All symbols which surround us as masks worn by the Mother. And the Individual is the Mask of the Father, which shifts and varies also. Magick is the dance of these forces in passionate romance. The magick circle is a symbolic whirling of Light and Shadow, of Fire and Water, which merge and mingle together. And where they meat, the whole of Reality manifests in the conscious perception, which is Airy. The Line which separates the Inner and Outer reality is ruled by Saturn for a reason, since Saturn is ‘The Lord God’, the highest Ideal, the Law, the Reason and the Judge, which is created by the union of the Father and Mother (Order and Chaos/ Culture and nature), which are the also the Son and the Daughter (Sun and Moon).

The impulse to drive the circle outward into Chaos, to expand the Order is ruled by Mars, while the driving forth is towards Venus, his lover who dwells beyond the circle. And Jupiter rules the balance of these forces, while Mercury causes the cosmic dance to go faster and faster, dissolving the boundaries until there shall be only Unity. Sammadhi. Apokalypsis. Gnosis.

The Sacred Feminine

It is often common for magicians, especially ceremonial magicians, to focus too much on the Sacred Masculine. That is to say, to get lost in one’s abstractions and theories. In a hastiness to describe and understand and categorise all the spiritual phenomena, the magician can fail to experience the Unknown even as he walks in its midst. This is the problem with those who ‘have an answer for everything’.

Having absolute surety in everything is masuline, yes, but it is not Sacred. The impulse to expand Order is masculine, but unless it is complemented by the feminine, it is simply a mental tyranny. It is nothing more than ineffectual theories and worldviews which often do not have any basis in reality.

Similarly, some do focus too much on the feminine, but this is rare. This is for those who jump straight into the Chaos and completely disregard all culture, all tradition and indeed, civilisation itself. Here there is only insanity, and many magicians do suffer this fate as well. This insanity is feminine, but it is not sacred. Without the masculine, without a symbolic structure, it is simply a endless void which will consume one’s soul.

The Sacred feminine, then, is Nature. Our true Nature. We, often living inside our own heads, neglect our nature too often, as we do our impulses, our bodies and our emotions. We like to act that we are entirely a product of our own Will and choosing. We like to behave like we can think our way in and out of everything, and think our way to truth and happiness, and explain everything away with thought.

As if millions of years of evolution has no effect on us. As if we can somehow ‘think’ away or ‘will’ away ancient impulses, behaviors and emotions. Our animal instincts towards sex, hunger, and aggression. The traits of our ancestors, their diets, lifestyles and instincts. The way our body works, the way it is meant to move.

And then we wonder, why we are all always so tired and depressed. The Sacred Feminine is not an idea or thought. It is awareness.

Notice your body right now. Is it not aware? Is there not a feeling and awareness from head to toe? And yet, it is not thought. Your hand is aware, but it does not think. Your heart is pumping blood, but it does not require your will.

Are you not aware of the world around you too? How often does one notice the world, and really engage with it. How often is one not thinking about what one has to do, dwelling on pointless and chattering thoughts?

To do true magick, we develop not just a strong Will and Moral compass, but also an Awareness. We also have to tap into our drives and instincts, to become one with the body. We also have to learn to feel our emotions and sensations fully and freely.

To those of you who ask how to learn to feel and sense energy, and perceive spiritual phenomena, this is the answer. Only when we learn to flow with energy, to flow with the world, does the Mother reveal her secrets. For this we do meditation, where we learn to maintain awareness and breathe deeply. We practice mindfulness, and Qigong/ Yoga, so and we become in tune with our bodies and surroundings.

This is the secret also, behind many of the gestures and motions found in magick ritual. They are not mere gestures and salutations that one must memorise and perform, but ways to draw on and direct energies.

And these powers are also developed through suffering. As we discussed before, Nature seems inviting at first. But the moment we leave our mental abstractions and fantasies and engage with Her in reality, we will suddenly be faced with the absolute and inescapable fact that life is suffering. Living in the mind is simply a coping mechanism to numb and relieve this pain.

But if we engage this pain fully, push through it, and learn to endure it, then one’s own spiritual powers shall be developed. A warrior cannot train in his garden forever. Eventually they must face real battle, which will be very different, and only many battles can make a true warrior.

Archetypes are not thoughts or concepts, but the Fundamental principles which govern the Universe, the highest Meta-Gods. To stop living in one’s head will also involve slowly learning to not rely on one’s symbols, and by extension the Gods. Because the Gods certainly are here to help us, but you shall have understood by now that we rarely engage with the Gods directly. Instead, we engage with an ‘image’ of them, created within culture and passed on to us through religion. Too often, magicians are unwilling to alter or expand their various traditions and schools of magick. But then you should have stayed nice and safe within mainstream religion. If you’re going to make the effort to come this far, you may as well take the courage and open up that shell.

Stop being so quick to judge other magicians, to categorise their and your own expereinces, to decide what you agree or disagree with. Stop being to quick to make up your mind or project yourself onto others. This closes the aura to the actual world outside, to reality and to the outer Gods.

And when you invoke the Gods with an open mind, you will begin to see them outside the frameworks you are stuck in, and they will come as they really are. And when one has the recognition that the Cosmos within is mirrored in the Cosmos outside, there will be no fear and uncertainty.

One who understands that by controlling the mind, one can control one’s entire reality, and that everything in one’s life is the result of their own Mind, shall never lose their way or get lost. And if this isn’t obvious, and if you still look for the source of your problems in the world outside, and cannot understand why the World is unfair and cruel: seek the Underworld. There, in the subconscious, are all the problems you cannot seek. Set them right, and the world shall follow suit. Awaken the Father who was slain, and the Mother shall reveal herself in new glory. And this requires sacrifice. Let the first be to embrace the pain, and face the world and life head on.

And although in the last post I told people not to wait for Utopia, that does not mean give up hope. Change is coming, and change HAS come. Look around you, and you will see the world is rapidly changing. So have hope, the world will get better as a new age dawns. But remember that even in the new age, you’re the magician. You’re the one who directs the forces of your life.

That shall be all for this time. I hope you found it helpful and gained some insight. Remember, you do not have to agree or disagree. Just take it as it comes. We all do ūüôā

Until Next Time
~White Raven





The Piscean Magi Lied

Yes really.

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 the elemental 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.

Jupiter-Pisces

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.

By the way, this isn’t some conspiracy theory, but just a normal case of syncretism.

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.

Yes, really.

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.

Until Next Time
White Raven Invictus



An Ancient Egyptian Initiation Ritual

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) is a well known and common magick ritual. These days, its even begun to enter mainstream spiritual thought. The ritual was originally created by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to banish spiritual energy and clear a space.

The LBRP is well known not just because is is an energy clearing ritual, but also because it lays out the format for various other rituals, both greater and lesser. It was originally a Golden Dawn ritual, but Pagans, Satanists, Thelemites and various other minor Temples and traditions use this format. It also incorporates many different systems, and this gives it some sort of universal appeal.

I’m sure a majority already know it, but to recap, the ritual goes like this:

Kabbalistic Cross (Part I)

Face EAST.

Visualise a brilliant ball of light floating above your forehead, about 12 inches in diameter.

Using either a dagger, or your middle and index finger, reach up and draw the light down to your forehead.

Vibrate ATAH

Touch your solar plexus, visualising the light travelling down your body to form a similar ball under your feet.

Vibrate MALKUTH

Touch your right shoulder, visualising another ball of light.

Vibrate VA-GEBURAH

Touch your left shoulder, visualizing the light travelling across your chest to another sphere.

Vibrate VA-GADULAH

Clasp your hands at your chest, and vibrate LA-OLAHM

Now say AMEN.

Invoking the Watchers (Part II)

Once again, with your dagger and index/middle finger, point outward. Now, trace the Banishing Pentagram of Earth (beginning at the bottom left, moving to the top point).

Once it is traced, stab it in the middle, and see it burst into white flames. As you do so, vibrate YHVH (Pronounced YEHOVAH)

Now turn clockwise to the South, tracing a quarter circle with your dagger/fingers, and do the same.

This time, vibrate ADNI (Pronounced ADONAI)

Continue clockwise to the West, and do the same.

Vibrate AHIH (Pronounced AHA-YAH, or Ehee-yeh for anglophones)

Finally, continue to the North. This time, vibrate AGLA.

Continue clockwise to the East, completing the circle you were tracing.

Now say the following:
“To my right, MIKHAEL
(vibrate the name of the archangel, while visualising the towring figure of Mikhael appear to your right. Repeat the same for the other three archangels)
“To my left, URIEL
“Before me, RAPHAEL
“Behind me, GABRIEL

(Mikhael and Raphael are generally seen as male, Gabriel and Uriel as female)

Spread your legs and your arms, as if forming a pentagram with your body. Now visualise a white burning pentagram, similar to the ones you traced superimposed on yourself, and also focus on the four Pentagrams you traced previosuly.

“For about me flames the Pentagram”

Visualise a Hexagram burning at your chest. This can be the GD Hexagram, or just white.

“And within me shines the Six Rayed Star”

Visualise a brilliant column of light shining within you, travelling infinitely upward and downward.

Finally, repeat the Kabbalistic Cross (Part III)

Thus concludes the well known LBRP.


Uses of the Pentagram Rituals

As we saw, this was the banishing ritual. In order to do the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram, all we’d need to do is replace the banishing pentagram of the Earth with an invoking one (starting at the top point, moving towards the bottom left point). While the LBRP is a general banishing, the LIRP is a general invocation.

The reason the Earth pentagram is used, is because it is the lowest element, and thought to “contain” the other 3 elements within it. This is also why it is a white pentagram (if we were to invoke Earth separately, we’d use green and black pentagrams).

Many magicians will start the day with a LIRP, and do an LBRP before they sleep. This draws in spiritual energy to start the day off, and ends the day by clearing all energies from their mind and environment. It’s not too different from working out in the morning, and meditating or reading a book before sleep (or…drinking coffee in the morning and alcohol at night).

You can try this out for a week or so, and see how it works.

I want to provide a Initiation ritual that utilises the Egyptian gods along with the Invoking ritual of the Pentagram. It is based on a Sumerian ritual, but I always found the Egyptian deities resonate more with hermetic and kabbalistic work (for ME personally).

This ritual is to be every single day until the effects are felt, and serves as a simple initiation into the Hermetic tradition. It also draws in energy, so it is a good ritual for anyone who works with pagan, thelemic, kabbalistic or hermetic magick.


The Egyptian Initiation Rite

For this, all you need is a glass or cup, filled with water.

I’d suggest doing it in the morning, after bath/shower.

All the words given in bold capitals must be vibrated. Vibrating means saying the word with a deep, resonant voice, almost like a hum or song. When we vibrate magickal names, we draw the breath from within the belly and chest, and it will feel like the word is “vibrating” the whole body.

The rest of the words should be stated with a firm and clear voice, without any fear of being heard or judged. This ritual is simple, but very powerful when done right.

Cross of Ptah (Part I)

Face EAST.

Visualise a brilliant sphere of light above your head, about 12 inches in diameter.

Reach up, and draw down the light to your forhead.

Say “The world was created..”

Now touch your heart center, visualizing the light travelling down your body in a column, to form a sphere under your feet.

“…by the thought of the Heart”

Now touch your right shoulder, forming another ball.

“Life was given..”

Touch your left shoulder, drawing the light across.

“…by the magic of the Word”

Clasp your hands, and say “Amen”

Invocation of the Gods (Part II)

Now, trace an Ankh (clockwise for invoking, counter clockwise for banishing) of the Earth in the East.

Vibrate RA-RAURET

Turn to the South, with your fingers still outstretches, tracing a circle of light and draw the Pentagram again.

Vibrate HAUHET-HEH

Continue to the West, and do the same.

This time, vibrate NAUNET-NUH

Continue to the North, do the same.

Vibrate TA-TENEN

Continue to the East, closing your circle of light.

Now say the following:

“To my right, AUSET”

“To my left, NEBET-HET”

“Before me, ASAR”

“Behind me, AUSET”


Each time, visualise the mighty forms of the respective deities appearing in each direction, holding an ankh in one hand and the wajded staff in the other (although it is entirely up to you how you want to visualise them. Go with what feels natural)

Spread your hand to either side, and procliam:

“For about me flames the Living Ankh”

Visualised the circle you traced becoming a sphere around you. The top half is a dome of brilliant pale sunlight, and below you is a dome of black, earthy ground. In the center, standing tall, is the Ankh

“And within me shines the Eternal Djed”

As you say this, cross your arms across your chest, and visualise the Djed shining in your entire being, and a beam of light travelling infinitely upwards and downwards.

Blessing of the Water (Part III):

Take you glass/cup/goblet of water. Move to the Easter quarter, right in front of you. Here, you had invoked Tehuti. State:

“Lord Tehuti, hail unto thee! I ask for thy blessing in my life, and the path of High Magick”


Pause a moment, then walk clockwise to the South (where Heru is invoked), and repeat the same recitation to him. Then do the same as you continue to the West and finally the North, making your prayer to Auset and Nebet-het. With each recitation, visualise the glass of water glowing brighter and brighter with light.

Now return to the center of the circle, and hold out your glass, visualising it containing bright, burning white light:

“Within the elixir shines the eternal light!”

Visualize an Ankh glowing brightly within the water.

“And within me dwells the eternal life!”

Consume the water, visualising the white brilliance entering your body, and filling your whole being with the same bright light.

Now, repeat the Cross of Ptah (Part IV) and end the ritual by bowing down.


Meaning of the Ritual

The ritual may sound long, but the whole thing will likely take little less than 5 minutes, and it probably took me longer to write it than it will take to perform it.

The speech at the beginning is a homage to the primordial creator god Ptah, who spoke the cosmos into existence (much like the God of the old testament).

The four Pentagrams utilize spiritual concepts.

Amun, the hidden Godhead, and Ra, the highest deity and God of Light. Their compounded form Amun-Ra represents the beginning of all things.

Heh is the personification of infinity, or the flood of Chaos that existed before the beginning of the world. Hauhet is the feminine form, while Heh is masculine.

Nu is the primordial watery Abyss, from which all life first emerged. It is the cosmic womb, and Naunet is its feminine form, while Nun is masculine.

Ta-Tenen is the primal mound, or the first piece of land that emerged out of the waters of chaos that filled the abyss, at the behest of the godhead. Upon this mound, the first Djed was erected and Time began.

Aten refers to the sun-disk, and the light of the heavens. Aker is the name for the kingdom of Matter.

The Ankh is the symbol of life, and it is carried by all Egyptian gods. The Djed is a symbol of the indomitable Will. Djed and the Ankh represent the male and female principle respectively.

You may know the four deities Tehuti, Heru, Auset and Nebet-het by their more common Greek names: Thoth, Horus, Isis and Nephthys respectively.

Thoth is the God of Writing, and the celestial scribe. He is the ruler of Air. He may be visualised as having the head of an Ibis or a Baboon, with glowing pale skin, as if made of moonlight, with similar eyes. His garments may be seen as plain and white. On his head is a crescent with a sun disk.

Horus is the God of War, and the avenger. He is the ruler of Fire. He may be visualised with the head of a hawk or falcon, with burning red skin, as if made from flames. His garments can be seen as having gold or bronze armour plates. On his head if the double crown of ancient Egypt.

Isis is the Goddess of the Fertility, and the cosmic mother. She is the ruler of Water. She may be visualized as a beautiful woman, with golden, glistening skin, as if made of liquid metal. Her garments can be seen as shimmering with multicolored rainbow light, or as deep blue, and embedded with precious stones. On her head is the throne of Egypt.

Nephthys is the Goddess of Night, and the patron of both chilbirth and death, and also magick. She is the ruler of Earth. She may be visualised as a younger woman, with dark black skin, as if made from fertile soil. Her garments may be seen as simple green/brown robes with a golden trim. On her head is a pillar.

Reference for the Sun disk on the head of Thoth, which isn’t given in the previous image.

When we make the crossed sign across our chest, we pay homage to Asar, known more commonly by the Greek name Osiris, the King of the Gods and ruler of the Duat (underworld/realm of the Gods). He rules Spirit.

Initially, there may be some resistance to the daily ritual. As with any new habit, it will take some time to become natural. But it’ll happen eventually.

Also, I’m aware that some of the incantations and recitations may seem bit clumsy to some people, so feel free to reword them in a way that makes sense to you. As long as the general tone and contents are retained, how you word it is up to you.


That’s all for now. I’m working on a bunch of stuff and I’m really excited to put it all out. I’ve got a lot of stuff regarding Indo-European magick, I want to talk about next. Look forward to it!

Until Next Time
~White Raven

New Book Release | The Tree of Life: A Beginners Guide

Hello, and welcome back.

I’m very pleased to announce the release of my first book on Magick. I present to you The Tree of Life: A Beginner’s Guide.

It contains a wealth of information regarding the Sephiroth, Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, Astrology, Sacred Geometry, the Qliphoth and much more.

Let me start at the beginning. I am a Hermetic Kabbalist, and have been practicing Magick for several years. I’ve been sharing my thoughts and experiences here since 2015.

Over the years, lots of people have asked me various questions, the most common being how to get started with magick and spiritual work.

For those who want a start, this book is the prefect thing for you. It will familiarise you with the basics of High Magick, and in particular the Tree of Life and the philosophy of Kabbalah.

So, I bring you some of my best work yet. This book has gone through various iterations, as I’ve compiled all my knowledge regarding Kabbalah, and the Tree of Life in particular, and tied it all up in a articulate fashion.

What’s the point if you have to spend decades pouring over books just to get started? And let’s be honest, not everyone speaks English as their first language, and even those who do may find the writings of eccentric English noblemen to be difficult. Don’t get me wrong, these writers were brilliant. Some of the most important people who lived in the last century. But, it is time to make the knowledge more open. The Age of Aquarius demands it.

Kabbalah is a beautiful and sacred art, and has usually been kept hidden. In this book, I have explained all the details and symbolism in plain and clear language. I wanted to write something that anyone, even a complete novice to Magick, could read and understand. It will provide a clear and complete understanding of the Sephiroth, and exactly what they are, outside the usual framework of religious dogma. I have tried to cover all the bases, and touched on astrology, alchemy, and sacred geometry as well, and how they relate to the Sephiroth. As far as I’m concerned, understanding the Sephiroth is the key to all practical magick, as well as life in general.

It is my great hope that this book will answer many, many questions that people have, and especially help those who want to practice ceremonial magick and have a thirst for information that is not designed to mislead them.

I have also put in high resolution diagrams, as well as two different versions of the Tree of Life that can be easily printed on an A4 paper without loosing quality. I’ve made sure of this.

For the time being, I have decided to use Gumroad to release this book. If all goes well, you can look forward to more books on a variety of other topics. I am working on a conclusive method for Invocation and Evocation as well. That one might take me the longest time, but there is plenty more to Magick ūüėÄ

Head over to:

https://gumroad.com/betweenthepillars

You can also click this link here and go directly to the product page.

How does it work? You purchase it on Gumroad and then you get a PDF version of the book. If you experience any issues with the purchase, send me an email. As of now, it’s going to be an E-Book (maybe some day I’ll be fancy enough to sell physical books. But then again, I dislike being fancy).

And for those who have been asking for years now, don’t worry. The invocation of the Archangel Michael and the recipe for making Fairy Salve are going to be my next posts. I’ll touch upon how to cast a circle as well.

That’s all for now. Thank you for all your support and generosity over the years ūüôā

Until Next Time.
~White Raven

The Most Powerful Occult Ritual I’ve Ever Done

First off, I want to announce that I’ve made an Instagram account. I basically dislike most social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. However, some people have asked for a better communication methods than back and forth emails, so Instagram it is. I’m not even sure what I’ll put there, but we’ll see.

So anyway, I’ve been engaged in High Magick for years now, and I subscribe to a specific tradition of ceremonial magick called Hermetic Kabbalah. In particular, the types of rituals practiced by the early 20th century group called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (to whom almost ALL modern spiritual movements can be directly or indirectly traced).

I‘ve done all sorts of rituals over the years, and tried out different variations. Sometimes I go with what an old grimoire is saying, sometimes I stick to the traditions of one or more Occult groups, sometimes I use a modern, minimalist method and sometimes I create my own. Some rituals work better than others.

I’ve never had a definitive ritual structure that I used for everything, because I wanted to learn and explore first. Most magickians are expected to develop one over time. Trust me, learning from personal experiences is much better than dogmatically adhering to some premade system (that’s called religion).

Recently, I started doing some rituals that are largely derivative of the Golden Dawn method. I just want to share how I do them, and my thought process behind a recent Invocation I did. The reason is so that people can see how Magickians design rituals and ceremonies seemingly from scratch, and completely on their own without having to rely on a grimoire. It’s something anyone can, and should work towards.

It may work better for some people than others. I may share how to actually do the ritual on the blog at some point.


The Magickal Heirarchy

An important thing to understand about ceremonial magick is its hierarchical nature. Essentially, it’s a soft polytheistic idea that when you call upon spiritual forces, you start from the ‘top’ and then work your way down. This is similar to Hinduism in some sense, in which all Gods, Demons, Humans etc. are ultimately manifestations of a single Divine Force, which fragments into small forces, which further fragment into further forces (or avatars).

The Western ceremonial tradition handles this as an almost social hierarchy, instead of using ‘avatars’. You’ve probably seen it in books like the Ars Goetia, where we have Kings, which then rule over Princes, which are then rule over Dukes, then Earls and so on.

The Golden Dawn tradition intertwines Abrahamic and Egyptian hierarchies, and these can be as fluid as one needs. At the top you have the Divine, invoked through Godnames, and beneath that are the Holy Living Ones, each ruling an alchemical element. Then Archangels, Angels, Planets, Elemental Kings and their kin, Spirits and Intelligences etc.

Intertwined into this are the Infernal hierarchies, with Archdemons on top, then Demons, Dark Planets, King of the Quarters and their kin.

Additionally, they try to include the various Gods and Goddesses of Egypt. These forces are are generally parallel to the Angelic hierarchies.

Almost all members of the Golden Dawn were strongly rooted in the Rosicrucian tradition. They constantly struggled with classifying the Egyptian and Demonic forces, and when they did, they made it so needlessly complicated that I genuinely struggle to understand their descriptions in some places. It’s a thing I’ve always seen monotheistic occultists struggle with, when it’s really not so complicated.

There’s also the Enochian system, but that’s for another time (and oh boy won’t that be fun).

A lot of witches and pagans today have a strong dislike of ceremonial magick, because they consider it rigid and narrow. They think it doesn’t allow for individualism or personal interpretation. However, this is untrue. Most of the time it only seems to be rigid, but in truth it’s still extremely fluid and open, and many systems have been combined to create it, which are far form cohesive.

The ritual I designed relied on my own interpretation of the hierarchy. I begin with preliminary banishing and meditations. Then, I call upon the Most High, which is completely personal.

After that, I invoke the God that I feel should preside over the ritual, and the entire ritual derives it’s power from this God.

Next, the Holy Livings Ones. These are neither fully Abrahamic nor Pagan. The GD corelated them to each of the letters of the 4 lettered name: YHVH.

However, their forms are derived from the Sphinxes found in both Egypt and Sumeria. They are: The Lion (Y), The Eagle (H), The Man (V) and the Bull (H). They each represent an Alchemical element: Fire (Y), Water (H), Air (V) and Earth (H).

From there, I invoke an Archangel, the Planet/s whose energy is used in the ritual (and if needed, the Olympic Spirit under them). Then come the Elementals (and their King), and then the Angel and Intelligence (Archon) of the Element.

Now, on some occasions, I will invoke an Archdemon or King of the Quarter at this point. Remember, technically the Archdemons and Kings are equal to the Archangels and Elemental Kings, and not ‘under’ the planets, Angels or Intelligences. However, it is generally a good idea to Invoke them after the Celestial and Planetary forces have been called. And only then, should you consider calling on Demons and Spirits. In fact, if the ritual does not require calling upon any infernal forces, it should be avoided altogether.

Obviously, most rituals do not require going through the entire chain of command. It all depends on the ritual, and I’m simply giving the whole thing to explain the logic of it all.

True and powerful magick could be performed by simply uttering one’s intent. There’s nothing to stop this. Just saying something puts your energy into it. However, that’s not always enough and not everyone can do that. Hence we have ceremonies and rituals and spells. The Invocations simply give it more power, and the hierarchies are more to help us put our magick in a logical framework, rather than representative of the actual state of affairs regarding these spiritual forces. Ultimately, we are the ones doing magick, and these forces simply help us connect to various parts of our own Soul.

Different people may have different hierarchies. Someone may consider Christ to be the Highest Force, while another may call on Krishna. One person may think Lucifer to be a God, while to another he could be an Archdemon. Ultimately, the ‘ranks’ you ascribe to these spirits are components of your own Psyche.

The spiritual forces are the same, and what symbols you use to approach them do not matter. However, it is more likely than not, that our mythologies and stories are at least rooted in some reality.


The Invocation of Air

The ritual in question was an Invocation of the element of Air itself. The purpose was to consecrate a talisman for certain purposes. The talisman, which in this case was a Ring, would be blessed and consecrated with various energies from the dominion of Air.

Now, this is not the usual way of consecrating talismans. In fact, you can read about the usual method here. However, this was not an ordinary talisman. Therefore, I was guided to create a ritual that would call upon the entire Air hierarchy. This was also for my own learning. While I asked each and every Force to bless the ritual and talisman, it can also be utilized for much simpler workings. Instead of asking every force to bless the ritual, you could simply just invoke them in the correct sequence, and that would make the ritual much more powerful. This rituals took about an hour, but technically much shorter versions could be performed based on requirement.

So, I spent about a week working out a hierarchy I was comfortable with. I performed a simple divination from time to time, asking the Archangels if what I was doing was correct. At times, I was asked to make corrections and changes were suggested.

I did the ritual on a Sunday, in the Waxing Moon. The entire day prior had been spent preparing for this ritual, and I think that certainly added to the power. I should mention, while I did use GD rituals and chants, all the prayers were written by me personally. I was told that prayers should always be written to any spiritual force by the individual (if s/he is able), because this is a much stronger expression of love and devotion than merely repeating what has been written before.

The ritual technically had to begin at sunrise, but I was more or less close enough to it. That is to say, I woke up at 6:00 AM, showered, had coffee and began getting things ready. I later realised that the reason this ritual was so powerful was because I had done nothing but work towards it from the moment of waking. On another day, I would do a similar Invocation of Fire, which was slightly weaker because it was at midday, and my mind had already been filled with other distractions.

I had an altar at the Eastern edge of the circle. At the center of it was the Armadel sigil for Raphael, with the Talisman on it. I had previously the area with water and incense. At the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the altar were my dagger and wand, for banishing and invoking respectively.

Around the altar, was a cup of water (water), a stick of incense (fire), a small container with salt (earth) and a feather (air). Outside the circle, I had placed a covered cup with rum from a newly opened bottle, and a small lamp with my own personal blend of fairy salve, which I keep specially for offering to the Elementals.

I also had sigils to the Olympic spirits of the Sun and the Moon, called Och and Phul respectively. The Olympic spirits are often called for consecration of talismans.

The Sun and the Moon are the planets that rule Air (Jupiter and Mercury rule Air, Venus and Mars rule Fire, and Saturn rules Earth).

I started the ritual, with a Salutation to the God Ra. Ra rules the Sunrise (as Hathor, Tum and Khepra rule the midday, sunset and midnight respectively. They are different avatars of the god Amun-Ra, the Egyptian Sun God). After the salutation, I spent a few moments in meditation.

Then came the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (and a short prayer to the Tetragrammaton), and then the banishing Ritual of the Hexagram ritual, followed by the Middle Pillar ritual to ground myself. These three rituals are essential components to most ceremonial workings.

I spoke the Invocation of the Bornless One. This is a well known ritual in magick, and gives you the ‘authority’ to command the Temple and all Forces that appear within it. It is a Greco-Egyptian prayer that calls upon Lord Osiris, who rules the Element of Spirit. (Next post will be about that, since I’ve had enough people ask me about it over the years)

Now, I could begin the ritual itself. I remained facing East, because I was invoking Air.

First, a prayer to Thoth, the God who rules the element of Air. The elements of Fire, Water and Earth are ruled by Horus, Isis and Nepthys in the GD tradition. This was a prayer that I wrote. There some invocations out there that are very elaborate and long, but you really don’t need such long invocations. Although many magicians are uncomfortable with this, having the blessing and aid of Gods is extremely important for spiritual operations. Even medieval Christian occultists would make prayers to the Holy Trinity.

As I did the prayer, I saw Thoth appear, enormous and with an Ibis head, standing as they are depicted in ancient statues. He held up his hand and blessed the ritual. Next, I made a prayer to the Kerub of Air. The Kerub of Air appears as a Man, and I traced the Hebrew letter Vav in the East. I could feel energy flowing from the direction as the Kerub empowered the ritual.

I then did two pentagram rituals, invoking Spirit (Active) and the element of Air respectively.

The most important part of the Ritual came now. I was going to invoke the Archangel Raphael until I was effectively one with him. The remainder of the ritual and consecration of the Talisman would happen with me adopting the guise of Raphael. I had prepared a Greek Mantra.

Remember, to call on any entity, the chant “Agios [Entity]” works very well, and is used in several traditions. Thus, my complete chant for Raphael was:

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:

‚ÄúBeware 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.‚ÄĚ

I requested Amaymon to open the Eastern gate. This would let loose the “dark” side of Air, that needs to be tempered and integrated. If Air is the element of the mind, representing Liberty and Knowledge, then it’s dark side is Rebellion and Transgression. It can be a destructive force that levels civilisations, but when integrated and channeled to serve the Divine Will, it becomes the force that breaks the shackles of deception, ignorance and delusion. It breaks the chains of conformity that keep us bound. But anyone who doesn’t know what they are doing, should not invoke these energies, lest he become unbalanced and be consumed by his own Shadow. The Kings of the Quarters will open the gate if you ask them, without regard to how you will handle it. But a divination I had done before told me I was prepared.

I think Amaymon even asked “are you sure”, to which I said yes. I got the impression that the Gate was opened.

The moment this happened, I felt energies so strong, I suddenly had the thought that I may pass out. I hadn’t eaten anything, and suddenly got very dizzy. I felt my stomach drop, and I began to sway. The energy continued to build up, but I was being told to hold on, and to brace myself. So I did, for as long as I could. For a scary moment, I genuinely thought I would faint. You know that light headed feeling right before you loose consciousness? When your mind goes blank and all you want to do is lie down and close your eyes.

But then I recovered my composure. The energy swirled around me, I made a gesture as if breaking chains that were around me. I said a short prayer, and then pushed this intense energy into the talisman.

As is tradition, I used the salt, water, incense and feather to consecrate the Talisman in all 4 elements, and proclaimed it’s purpose. I used the Rose Cross, and the name YEHESHUAH YEHOVASHAH to seal it.

The Kings can open the Gates, but I needed to close the Eastern gate myself, using the Rose Cross again. Then, I began the various thanks and farewells to all the Gods I had called, and finished with banishing all the forces I had invoked and giving a license to depart to any lesser spirits.

I instinctively waved my hand about, as if dispersing energies, because I still felt a lot of stuff around. Finally, the ritual ended.

Sometimes, though rarely, I use a Tarot deck to gauge the relative ‘power’ of a ritual. This is a pretty crude method, and does not show the efficacy of the ritual, only how much energy was generated. But, I still asked the archangel Raphael to tell me how powerful the ritual was, on a scale of 1-10. Then I pulled out an 8. All in all, a pretty good ritual!

Now, ironically, the ring is way too narrow for my finger. Ha. Probably should have checked beforehand. But I can still slip it around the little finger, and it tingles where it touches the skin. It does work very well.

And that’s it for now. So remember to check out the new Instagram page (@whiteravenmagus). If you liked what you read, be sure to follow my blog, and share it with anyone who may enjoy it as well.

Until Next Time
~White Raven

What “Enlightenment” means within The Occult

Greetings. I’m back.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Raven, you said you’d write more regularly. It’s been nine months

Well, I don’t have much to say. I have no excuses. Without going into too many details, my country was undergoing…economic turmoil. I was not in the best state of mind to write about spiritual matters, and sometimes it’s better to stay silent than say thing you don’t mean because of anger or frustration. I get a lot of emails from people who put a great deal of faith in what I say, and I don’t plan to give anyone bad or misleading information. By the way, I read all your messages and emails, although I cannot reply to all, and I’m thankful to everyone who writes in.

But anyway, here we are again.



Western, Eastern and Modern Ideas of Enlightenment

When I say the word “Enlightenment”, there’s one of three ideas that comes to your mind. First, the most common concept of ‘Nirvana’ that comes primarily from Buddhism, though it has merged to some degree with Hindu and Sikh asceticism. You may think of the myraid of ‘gurus’ parading around with long beards, decked out in orange or white clothing, and teaching really generic “spirituality” to the masses. Many of these dudes either run shady cults or international bodies that primarily attempt to hold political power (especially in the East). I’m not saying there’s nothing to be gained from them, but it’s simple spiritual practices that is packaged for mass consumption, without deviating too much from the standard norms for thinking.

There are of course, authentic mystics that are said to be enlightened, but they don’t normally have a public presence. Real ascetics, like the ones who live in Varanasi, are following a specific spiritual traditions, much like the rest of us. Many of them are also just weed smoking hippies.

Secondly, you may think of the Western televangelists. Generally, they are part of megachurches and to them “enlightenment” means some kind of experience with God, Christ, or an advanced knowledge of the Scripture. Unlike the ‘gurus’, these preachers make no attempt to sell “spirituality”. To them, ‘spirituality’ and ‘enlightenment’ fall entirely within the dogma of their specific sect. Here, we see “enlightenment” presented as a by-product of institutional power. This has lately been extended to Islamic clerics and certain Rabbis as well.

The Pope and Dalai Llama fall into this category. While I have nothing against them, you must realise that they are basically political leaders of different religions, and are said to be “enlightened” because of this authority, not because of anything they’ve done outside of the religion. According to them, to know scripture is to know God. This applies to Buddhism as much as it does to the Abrahamic religions. I would not call these people spiritual or ‘enlightened’, though maybe people find a sense of comfort in listening to them.

Finally, you may think of the word “enlightenment” in the context of the historical era we call the “Enlightenment”, which followed close at the heels of the French revolution, and was the result of the printing press and democratic attitudes spreading across Western Europe, North America and Japan. The spread of the scientific method, coupled with the liberalization of culture, the introduction of the Parliaments, the Age of Exploration and finally, the Industrial revolution and the subsequent end of Feudalism and Religious authority thrust us into what we now call “modernity”.

On one hand, this “Enlightenment” refers to “classical liberal” values, such as Secularism, Democracy, Equality, Liberty etc. Today we take these for granted, but just 150 years ago people would have told you that only “Enlightened” parts of the world followed this.

On the other hand, people who use this term today refer to scientific, materialistic determinism, often coupled with atheism or at least a rejection of traditional religion, with the statement that “subjective” cultural values like beauty, morality, virtue etc. do not really exist. Ironically, while it has improved our quality of life substantially, it has also made people nihilistic, and given rise to the belief that there is no purpose to life, good or justice in the world and a reason for living. After all, if everything is a man made creation that can be deconstructed, what is the point of anything at all? In the past few years there has been a resurgence of traditional dogma.

I’m not going to give an opinion on how “Enlightened” our current time is, because throughout all of history people have always considered their time to be “enlightened” and the past to be “dark”. 500 years from now, we’ll be the ones with crazy dogmas and “unenlightened” beliefs. And, if you’re even reading this blog, I think it’s safe to assume that you aren’t satisfied with being told you’re an insignificant speck of dust on a ball of rust, spiraling around a failing nuclear reactor that’s hurtling through a pointless abyss.



The Dual “Enlightenment”

Within the Occult, the term “enlightenment” often applies to two things.

First, the act of “being Initiated” is and has always been considered important in the Occult. In fact, various occult schools use the terms “Initiated” and “Uninitiated” to distinguish between magickains and non magickians. Some groups like the O9A took it rather far with the term “kindred” and “mundane”, even encouraging violence, deception and manipulation against the “mundane”. But, although I don’t condone treating anyone as lesser, I can see where the anger and frustration stems from.

Over the years, you’ve heard various terms like the “masses”, “NPCs”, “normies” or just “average people” thrown around, and not just by Occultists. This highlights an important point that this type of Enlightenment isn’t just about belonging to a specific magickal tradition or even being an occultist. But who exactly uses these terms? The Elite? Intellectuals? ‘Smart’ people? These are equally vague terms.

You might say perhaps this difference doesn’t even exist, but it does. And trust me, this isn’t an elitist statement, because I despise elitism.

In my opinion, the first thing that can be attained is “Initiation” or “Adepthood”, and is said to be accompanied by the religious experience. Organised religions try to replicate this through various initiation rituals that members are meant to go through either at birth, or adolescence, or whenever they join. Unfortunately, this means anyone who has undergone a certain ritual or been given a position by a tradition, claims superiority due to being an “Adept”.

Next, comes the state of Niravana or Salvation. In Hermetic Kabbalah, this is reached after an experience called ‘Crossing the Abyss’. People who reach this are often called by various names within religions, like Boddhissatvas, Rishis, Ascended Masters, Saints etc. Such people are often regarded with a near God like status. Many, many pretenders claim to be divine as well.

“Anyone who must say ‘I am King!’ is no true King”
~Tywin Lannister, Game of Thrones



The True Meaning of Initiation

From the point of view of any specific tradition, being Initiated, in my opinion, means that you can now teach that system without guidance.

So when a specific School of Magick insists on going through the process of Initiation, they say it primarily to help you understand and internalize the teachings of that system. You may already be an Adept, but you still need to learn the system.

For example, if reached Adepthood through pagan Witchcraft, you may be great magickian. But if you were to decide to learn ceremonial Magick, you can’t just start from it’s Adept rituals. After all, you need to understand the theory and symbols, and work with them so they actually mean something to you. In the most mundane sense, that it why Initiations exist.

People think becoming an Adept involves having special powers, being more knowledgeable than others, having had some kind of psychic vision, or even a Kundalini awakening. ALL of these may accompany Adepthood, but they aren’t what define it. After all, some people are simply psychically gifted since birth. Some people have early Kundalini awakenings. Some people simply are smarter or more creative than others.

Adepthood comes with independent and original thinking.

I know, sounds cliched, but hear me out. The fundamental difference that people see between Initiated and Uninitiated people is the lack of independent thinking. No one is born with this. In fact, each and every one of us is born into a culture and society that restrains and controls our thoughts and beliefs. Even if you ‘rebel’, as many do, you’re usually just abiding by an alternative and often ‘counter’ culture, which itself is most likely the norm for another culture.

Yes, it’s possible that certain social norms, belief systems and systems work better than others on a cultural level. But there is debate over this and people often become foot soldiers in this culture war, slowly giving over their agency either to their own culture or the new one they’ve adopted. It’s also possible that certain modes of thinking are better for an individual than others. For a highly artistic person, altruistic and liberal beliefs probably help him. For a soldier in the military, traditional notions of hierarchy and duty may be better. My point, it doesn’t matter what is better or worse, but your ability to think for yourself and decide this.

What are the ‘masses’. Put simply, people who do not think for themselves. This is most of the human population. Practically everyone sticks with inherited beliefs and social norms. People have a morality and values that are circumstantial, hence one moment you have people talking about unity and empathy, and the next they’re viciously attacking those who don’t think or look like them. I’ve personally seen people’s beliefs change based on what they saw on the News (but this post isn’t about that)

People repeat the ideas of others without ever challenging them. You may think you don’t, but at some point in your life you definitely have. It’s human nature to be tribal.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers”
~George Carlin
(Funnily, I’m sure people who opposed him thought the exact same thing)

Dr. Jordan Peterson once remarked that most people, were they living in Germany in 1933, would most likely be Nazis. Although many think they would fight against their own society and save the Jews, this is highly unlikely, even in brave and moral people. Like I said, this isn’t about having superior or inferior qualities, but the agency of thought.

Even when a truly transgressive movement emerges, over time it too develops a “group think” that it’s new members simply abide by. Think about Christianity. Think about Communism or Democracy. Each of these were highly radical for their time. Even the very philosophy of Individualism comes with a baggage.

I would like to go in details, but perhaps in a future post. This isn’t the place.

Thinking independently is not something that one is born with or gets by virtue of intellect, knowledge or maturity. It is something you strive for, and in my opinion this is the true meaning of spiritual growth. Everyone, as far as I’m concerned, is moving towards this over the course of their existence. Through the practice spirituality, you slowly begin to care less about what other people think or say, and become more content with yourself. This becomes most evident when you realise that you don’t care about debating with or correcting others, unless it has some real implication. Generally, all that will be achieved is sour the relationship or push the person further into their dogma.

aren’t we all

Ever heard of the axiom “Speech if silver, Silence is Gold” ? The reason magickians don’t go red in the face trying to explain to the others what magick is or convince them that it works, is because they don’t feel the need to tell everyone. Put simply, it doesn’t really matter. This is not apathy, but acceptance of the way things are. It would be far better to improve the world through action, than by arguing with others and endlessly worrying about what the world thinks.

Interestingly, this ties into the values of the Enlightenment era. The scientific method states that nothing should simply be accepted, unless it has been tested and proven effective. Classical liberalism encourages us to live and let live. If you look at history, you’ll see these values didn’t come about in the Enlightenment for the first time, and have existed and evolved since the birth of Civilisation, and often spoken within spiritual and Occult traditions.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden dawn used to insist that the Adept must have three key qualities. Not intellect, nor magick powers. Simply: Persistence, Determination and Humility.

People who are intelligent, or gifted, or rich, or well educated can fail. These things aid people in succeeding, but they do not guarantee success and fulfillment in life. Nor is it that the poor, illiterate, or those who have gone through a lot of hardship always succeed. The only quality common across those who are Adept is their persistence, determination and humility.

When you look at truly great people, you always see that they had a goal that they pursued no matter what, and a strong moral code they lived by. The pursuit of this goal led to failure after failure. But it doesn’t matter how many times they failed, but rather that they continued until success was found.

When you practice magick, you may find that you very quickly start transforming yourself and gaining an edge over others. But we have to constantly remember that we are not superior, or ‘higher’ than others. You have to treat even “lowly” people with respect.

I’m not making a case for pacifism, meekness or servility. Certainly, if someone crosses you, you have to deal with them firmly. Never turn yourself into an unwitting martyr. It’s okay to want things, it’s okay to have desires and ambition, and it’s okay to be aggressive. The Gods favor these qualities. But petty elitism, entitlement, and cruelty toward those who are weak are signs of an inflated Ego. That usually leads to the fall of the Magickian.



The Meaning of Godhood

We have established that the Initiation or Adepthood means the ability to think independently. The key qualities that are sought for in an Adept are humility, persistence and determination.

Most Occult traditions bring about this process through a system of “grades”. Usually, each grade involves rituals, meditations, learning, real world tasks and self analysis. These days, most people self initiate, especially in Western traditions. In Eastern traditions it is still more common to find a teacher.

Every system is different, and it’s not necessary that every person who has achieved a ‘rank’ is actually Enlightened or Spiritual, nor that Initiation can only be attained through this method. The aim is to bring about self transformation.

Every great magickian has only one trait in common, that they truly think for themselves, and would not compromise their principles and values due to social pressure.

The second “enlightenment”, was summed up simply by the Oracle of Delphi:

Know Thyself

Buddhism is the only religion that is the most blunt about how Buddhahood is achieved. It is done through the acquisition of Self Knowledge.

Each person has their own path to this, because each person is unique. The Western traditions call a person’s life path as his “True Will”, and the performance of your True Will is doing the “Great Work”. Hinduism calls it “Dharma” or Duty (in the Bhagavat Gita sense, not Hindu orthodox sense)

These are all simply fancy ways of saying “know thyself”. A person who understands himself, also learns to see himself in others. Each of us will have some degree of insight, and we do various things to increase this. I mean, it is often said that everyone is just looking for love and happiness. Perhaps a better way to put it, would be that everyone is looking for fulfillment.

They want to know what their life means, what they enjoy, whom they are meant to be with, what their profession is supposed to be. “God’s plan” as the Christians put it.

Obscurantism in the Occult has made it seem like ‘Enlightenment’ is some distant, magical privilege afforded only to holy men living in the mountains, or monks living in isolation with nothing but a devotion to God. This is why people allow so called “Enlightened” men and women to take control of their lives, and dictate social norms. This is why people would rather rely completely upon ‘divinely’ inspired scriptures of various political ideologies that promise Utopia, instead of their own intuition and wisdom. Simply put, people do no know themselves, and you cannot trust what you do not know. And so, people seek Divinity in everything but themselves.

Unlike Initiation, there is no specific structure to ‘attain’ Enlightenment’ The simplest way to put it would be to discoverer and follow your unique path. I do not know if everyone’s purpose is Divinely ordained, although I believe this. Even if it isn’t, self knowledge leads the the perception that one is doing what one was meant for, and this brings fulfillment.

As far as I am concerned, Enlightenment means coming to terms with the suffering of life, and then finding something that makes it all worthwhile. If, when my time comes to die, I am not filled with regrets and feel I lived as I was meant to, I think that’s Enlightenment. Sometimes, this means standing against the status quo, and challenging it.

Generally, the Golden Dawn and other such groups stated that integrating the Jungian Shadow and developing a strong moral code, and finally being able to rely completely on your own wisdom, to the point where you do not even need the the symbols of various Occult traditions, is how Enlightenment is achieved. But the point is, it’ll be different for each person, and only each person can know what it means.

It has been described by Western occultists as “the moment where the Individual realises that the entire Universe is speaking to him personally”. The Zen Buddhists speak of ‘spontaneous enlightenment’. In other words, not an elaborate process, but a sudden realisation of Self. Becoming who you are.

For someone, it might mean creating a great scientific invention and for another it may just mean running a bakery in their village. Some enlightened people may develop spiritual powers or take part in the destiny of nations, while others may find fulfillment in gardening or a simple service job. People are different, but, in my opinion, it comes down to Independent Thinking, which then leads to Self Knowledge.

If you can think for yourself, you can act for yourself and do what’s right for you. Over time, you can understand what it is you should do with your life. You can figure this out at 18, or you can figure it out at 50, and then spend the rest of your life pursuing it. This is my interpretation of Dharma.



How to Get On Your Path

First off, I think one should become depolarised. I’ve linked a great video on this topic by Frater Xavier, who explains depolarisation better than I ever could. You don’t have to do “magick” for it, but rituals and meditation certainly helps. Namely, a daily performance of the Middle Pillar Ritual.
A big part of this, as Frater will explain, is learning not to react.

Secondly, learn to be self reliant. During this lockdown, I made an interesting observation. A huge number of people, of all ages, do not know how to perform simple tasks: like cooking, cleaning, and saving money. I suppose I should thank my mother for teaching me everything under the sun. When the lockdown started, and we ran out of Gin, I started brewing alchohol at home using baker’s yeast, burnt bread and a pressure cooker (a Russian drink called Kvass). On the other hand, there were people who are so reliant on immigrant maids cleaning and cooking for them, they can’t even figure out how to make rice.

I’m not trying to pass judgements, but this lockdown brought one thing to everyone’s attention: we simply aren’t self reliant enough: as nations, as communities and as people. We’ve come to rely completely on this interconnected social web that without it, everything starts collapsing. Countries are starting to be forced to open up, even though the virus is still around, because of the very nature of our economy.

I’m not going to say what’s right or wrong, instead I’ll tell you this: this isn’t the first or last time something like this has or will happened. The enormous comfort, peace and prosperity that the world has enjoyed since 1950 is extremely unusual in terms of human history. And let me remind you that everytime things go wrong, people first come after those like us. People like us who are somewhat unusual, do not conform to social norms, have unorthodox beliefs and practices etc. Yeah, we are in an “enlightened time”, but then again, there ARE still countries where ‘witch hunts’ happen. History shows us that things can change radically in just over a decade.

As magickians, we need to learn to rely on ourselves. Learn all basic skills that are needed to live independently. I’m not saying to be detached from society (although some may prefer that), but learn to take care of yourself, so that you aren’t dependent on others. Self reliance is the first Step to Self Knowledge.

Finally, learn. You are part of a vast and complex social network that you were born into. It is not important that you go out and start challenging it, but at least start learning about it. Learn about your religion, your country’s real history, about the political parties you support, what you believe and why. Learn these things without passing judgement, and expose yourself to opposing ideas without engaging it debate or mental justification/retorts. Open your mind, and then open your heart. This is what it means to think for yourself.

And there we go, Enlightenment. It means different things for different people, but the most important thing to remember that it was always supposed to be something the Individual himself can attain, not something rewarded to a few special people.

Until next time.
~White Raven.

 

Timing Your Magick (Astrology Simplified)

Written: Janurary 1st, 2018 | Edited: 24th March 2019

Hello! It’s me, Raven. I have a post about Lilith, and then a few about Lucifuge Rofocale coming in the next few weeks, so be excited. For now, have something more simple and mundane ^_^

Today i’m here to tell you about astrological timing. People sometimes obsess over when is the “correct” time to perform magick, and this happens to a great degree within the more elaborate ceremonial tradition, though sometimes even folk traditions have this, and almost every religion in the world has certain times of the year or month or day that are considered auspicious.

At times these may seem arbitrary. Why is Christmas on the 25th? Why is 3 am the witching hour? Why do certain types of yoga at sunrise? Well, this is largely based on something that is universally shared by all cultures: astrology.

Not only is it universal, it seems most of the time people’s interpretation of astrology was also the same, surprisingly. You could say this was Synchronicity at play, or you could say that ideas were shared by cultures as they interacted with each other, or you could say that we had the same ideas of astrology based on archetypes that are common to all human beings, and the product of evolution.

Regardless of what you think, astrology is important, and thanks to the rapid spread on information on the Internet in this day and age, it is effectively the same across the planet.

And let’s be honest, it works. Anyone who’s delved into spirituality proper, knows that astrology works. We don’t know if it’s due to forces we can’t understand yet, or if it’s simply psychological, but it works, and there’s no denying it.

I mean, they recently did a study in which they found out that the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth’s surface at any given particular time, affects whether people make good or bad economic investments. I mean, just think about how insane that sounds from a traditional scientific perspective, and yet it seems like it’s true. So who knows how deep the rabbit hole goes? And of course, if it works, why not use it?

ceremonial-magickian-friend-memeCredits:Blue Flame Magick

Imagine, if humanity had never utilised the principle of gravity, to make projectiles, pumps, weights etc. until Isaac Newton discovered it. And ultimately, he wasn’t even fully right. Einstein would give a better hypothesis a century later, and even that was only proven to be true in 2017: THIS year.

Bottom line is, humanity would be very far behind if it refused to utilise principles that we knew existed, just because we didn’t fully understand them. That’s the whole idea of the occult.


Astrological times

In most modern systems of Magick, astrology is a preferred way of planning your rituals, spells, invocations etc. Ultimately, I think you should always keep astrology in mind when you go about your daily business. Start viewing planetary hours, phases of the moon, retrogrades etc. the same way you view the days of the week, hours of the clock, months and years. Just like you know that it gets colder in December, and so you go buy clothes for the winter, without thinking too much about it, you should train yourself to know when it’s, say, a Mercury retrograde, or when the Moon is waning.

However, astrology is fairly confusing, especially to someone not fully familiar with reading charts. As far as I know, I’ve never seen a simplified explanation of the various different factors affecting astrological times, or how to plan magick in accordance to them.

Either I see a new age explanation that condemns it, or something that merely tells people to do things at certain times, without actually giving a reason for it. Sometimes, when you do find it, you get an exceptionally elaborate explanation for seeing when EVERY planet is perfectly aligned, and the moon and the sun are in a specific sign and house, and everything is calculated right down to the degree and minute, in a complex chart that many people may not know how to read.

That’s useful of course, but not exactly convenient for the average magician. So, i’ll focus on the most important aspects, and break it up into sections, based on different types of celestial bodies.


Phases of the Moon

moon_phases
Credits: NASA/Bill Dunford

The most basic and simple thing to keep in mind, of course, is the phase of the Moon. The Moon goes through one complete cycle in about 27-30 days. This has two stages, the Waxing stage, in which the Moon grows larger, going from the New Moon to Full, and the Waning stage, in which the Moon reduces in size and goes from Full to New.

By the way, that’s also the reason a Month is around 30 days long. It’s based on the Moon cycle, though I guess it’s been shifting for centuries, and now the Moon cycle usually begins at ends about halfway through each month. I’m sure at some point it matched each month exactly.

(Unless, of course, you’re reading this 4000 years from now, in which case, it probably does. Good for you!)

The only thing to bear in mind is this:

Magick to bring things to you, or invoke, is best done during the Waxing moon, when it’s growing. The waxing moon is a time for activity and growth. It’s a good time to start things.

Magick to send things away from you, or banishing, bindings etc, is best done during the Waning moon, when it’s shrinking. This is a time for reflection and cleansing. A good time to end, not start, things.

The Full moon is usually considered to be a very powerful time to do anything spiritual. The New Moon is considered a dark and empty time. Also powerful, in the opposite way.

One last thing: every two to three days, the Moon moves from one sign to another. During the transition, the Moon is said to be Void of Course. Generally, this is a bad time to do magick, as the Moon is said to be unstable. So, if you’re planning any ritual, it’s good to have some sort of calendar that tells you when the Moon is void of course, so you can avoid those periods, which can range anywhere from 30 mins to 24 hours, if not longer. I’d suggest using an app for this purpose. I have one called “Void of Course calendar” on android.


Planetary Days

Most people probably know about planetary days. A week has seven days, and each day corresponds to one of the seven traditional planets of astrology. Most are named after the Norse gods corresponding to the planet.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar, it goes like this:

Sunday: Sun’s Day
Monday: Moon’s Day
Tuesday: Tyr’s Day – Mars
Wednesday:¬† Woden’s (Odin’s) Day- Mercury
Thursday: Thor’s Day – Jupiter
Friday: Freya’s Day – Venus
Saturday – Saturn’s Day

daysoftheweekCredits: Cafe Astrology

Now, you may have noticed that I started with Sunday, and not Monday. This is because the Sun is associated with beginnings, not the Moon. The week is traditionally meant to begin on Sunday and end on Saturday, as Saturn is associated with endings.

In fact, the reason everyone’s so miserable on Monday is because the Moon is associated with emotions and feelings. It’s an unnatural imbalance to start the week on Monday. The reason for this imbalance is because Christians used to attend Church on Sundays. They didn’t END the week with Mass, they BEGAN the week with Mass. Sunday was always the first day of the Week, but these days, few people actually attend weekly Mass, and so Sunday has become considered the Week “end”. This is an ancient concept, and Sunday was originally the day of the worship of Ra in Egypt (and other sun gods, to some varying degree in other cultures). Put simply, the Day that has been named the holy day (holiday, lol) of the Sun, should be the beginning of the week, regardless of culture.¬†

sundayCredits: Mortimer Arms

The real “weekend” should be Friday, associated with love, creativity, gratitude and celebration, and Saturday, the day of rest, reflection and endings. That’s why Jews don’t do shit on Saturdays.

Amusingly, it seems the Muslims got it right. Most Islamic cultures count Friday as a weekend, and usually people don’t work or work half days and then go to Mosque later. There’s a reason you feel so happy on Fridays. It’s your natural instinct. And I’m going to say that’s also why weekends go by so fast and people don’t get anything done. People want to party and make plans and enjoy on Saturday, and the energies of Saturn drain them, and then they spend Sunday recuperating, when they should be starting the next week. Friday, the day of celebration, is wasted on trying to finish work. And hey, i’ve been to Europe and noticed that people there too work halfday on Fridays. I’m beginning to think it’s only here in the East that people work full Fridays. (Maybe that’s why everyone is insanely stressed out, huh?)

Now of course, we can’t change the world around us, but we can use what we have learnt. All I can say to you is: stop working late on Fridays, and stop wasting your Sundays. Finish up everything by Friday afternoon, and then treat it like your weekend’s begun. Get on with your weekend plans. Chill out and rest on Saturdays, and around Sunday noon, start preparing for the coming week. Treat Sunday as the beginning of your week, and Saturday as the end, and follow this as much as you can.

I’m at a point where it’s natural for me to think like this. In fact, in my previous post, I talked about Assiatic path workings, in which one must meditate on each Sephiroth for seven days. I used to start each week long meditation on Sunday, not Monday, and it worked out great.

As for magick: all spiritual and magickal endevours can be classified under one of the seven planets. Do your magick on the Day of the planet under which it falls. And extend this to your daily tasks, and do tasks on their corresponding planetary day. The same would apply to invocation and evocations of any Spirit or deity, who also correspond to planets.

Sunday- Beginnings, Goals, Achievements, Self, Light, Heaven, Divine, Purity, Prayer
Monday- Water, Emotions, Astral plane, Dreams, Visions, Reflection, Cleansing
Tuesday- Fire, War, Victory, Passion, Sex, Lust, Movement, God, Strength
Wednesday- Air, Learning, Magick, Meditation, Knowledge, Divination, Travel, Commerce
Thursday- Money, Finance, Treasure, Leadership, Generosity, Kindness, Expansion
Friday- Earth, Celebration, Love, Fertility, Gratitude, Nature, Goddess, Wealth
Saturday- Darkness, Death, Endings, Rest, Introspection, Delay, Business, Legality, Justice, Destruction, Binding, Banishing

I avoid doing any magick on Saturday, unless it’s specifically Saturnine magick. Sunday is good day for almost any and every type of Magick.

saturn_eclipseSaturn Eclipsing the Sun, photo by Cassini probe


Planetary Hours

planetary-hours-01Source: http://www.astrology.com.tr/planetary-hours.asp

Now, a slightly more complicated concept, specifically relating to Magick. Each day has 24 hours, and you know that already.

However, each hour of each day is also ruled by a planet. Any planet, is strongest on it’s Day and in it’s own Hour. So, if you want to do a ritual for Money, you want to do it on Thursday (Day of Jupter) in the Hour of Jupiter, as it would be strongest at this time.

However, it is important to note that the planetary hours change on each day of the week. They’re not fixed like the hours on a clock.

On the day of any planet, the hour in which the sun rises, is the first hour of the Day, and the hour of that planet. So, for example, sunrise on Tuesday marks the beginning of the Hour of Mars, as well as the Day of Mars.

Here, we have another example of how modern standardization affects tradition. The sun rises at different times in different regions, and in the old days people would usually say that the Day began at sunrise and Night began at sunset, and still do, because of natural instinct. This has been the case since the dawn of man.

But, for the sake of international convenience, we have decided that the new day begins in any region at 12 am, or 00:00 hours. Generally speaking, modern systems of time keeping don’t designate a beginning for “night”, and, because of modern electrical lighting, we don’t need to worry about night. We do divide the day into two halves, but that is separated at Noon, 12 pm, or 12:00 hours, exactly 12 hours after our designated beginning of the day.¬†It makes no real sense but it is the accepted norm.

This is good for time keeping, but terrible for Magick. The day, according to astrology, begins at sunrise, and night begins at sunset. I’m sure you can see that a problem arises.

That means, once the clock hits midnight on a Monday, Tuesday begins according to accepted norm, but from a spiritual point of view, it’s still Monday. Tuesday will only begin when the sun rises, which in most places would be between 6 and 7 am.

That is why when I write about my rituals, i’ll specifically use the words like “Day of Mars” and “Day of the Moon” instead of Monday and Tuesday, and I recommend making this switch. It may still be the Day of Moon at 2 am, even if most people would call that Tuesday.¬†

(I know it’s confusing. Try to keep up, i’m trying my best)

Now of course, you can adhere to the norm when it comes to general communication, but, for your personal work and for magick, start viewing the day in terms of astrological hours.

Also, bear in mind that the astrological hours don’t necessarily match the hours on the clock. The sun does not always rise on 6 or 7 am sharp. It may, for example, rise at 6:22 am. And, these hours are not always exactly 60 minutes long. They’ll depend largely on where you live, and naturally, they change with the seasons, with the sun rising early in summers and later in winters, for example.

Update (2019): In ancient Japan, a brilliant man named Hisashige Tanaka created a mechanical clock called The Myriad Year Clock, which was finished in 1871. It has been called the “most complicated timepiece ever made” because the dial shifts with the seasons and years, and tells traditional Japanese time. It’s quite impressive, so you may be interested. I think in 2016 a Japanese artist took inspiration from it and created a wristwatch which did the same thing. There’s a documentary on it, so find it if you can.)

And once again, the best way to track this, is with an app or a program. I have a free app on my Android phone, which takes in your location and then tracks planetary hours for you. Other than that, just remember, the first hour after sunrise is ruled by the Planet of that day. It’s called “Planetary Hours” by ‘thereisonlywe’.

So, the first hour after sunrise on Tuesday is the hour of Mars, and on Wednesday, it’ll be the hour of Mercury. Roughly speaking, only the hour of the Planet that corresponds to that day is really important, and it comes 4 times a day, every 7 hours. The other hours between this are ruled by other planets. Although if you have magick that utilises the energy of two planets, you could mix and match this.

Generally, in most places of the world, since the sun will rise between 6 and 7 am, the hour of that day’s ruling planet will come again between 1-2 pm, then between 8-9 pm, and again between 3-4 am. At least, that is the case where I live, in North India.

And THIS is why 3 am is the witching hour. If you think about it, throughout all of history, and even today, it’s difficult to be open about practicing magick. Generally, you want to keep it hidden and not really get others involved. And of course, you want to avoid distractions too.

That means the best time to do magick for most people is around 3 am. I’m sure there’s much more to it, but from a astrological standpoint, this would be the reason. At 3 am, not only is the planet of that day powerful, but it’s also a time when everyone’s usually asleep and there will be very few disturbances or interruptions. Even most animals will be asleep. And you know, darkness if a good simulator of the pineal gland.

One last thing. You know that every 7 hours, starting at sunrise, is the hour of the planet of that day. But, how do you know which planets rule the other hours, without an app or a program?

Well, luckily, the planets have a set pattern, which is based on their order in astrology. I don’t remember what EXACTLY is the basis for this order right now, but i’ll write about it later if I can find it. Right now, just memorise the order so you know which hour comes after which. The order is:

Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter

You may have noticed that this hourly order is different from the order on which the days of the week are based. Again, I don’t remember exactly why the order is how it is, but I’m pretty damn sure there’s a laboriously intricate 10 page Golden Lecture lecture on it somewhere, like there is on all matters.


Retrogrades

Planets generally have two kinds of motions: direct and retrograde.

Other than the Sun and the Moon, all planets go retrograde at SOME point, and during this period they appear to be moving in the opposite direction in the night sky. This is largely an illusion due to their orbit, but it still affects us. All you need to know is that when a planet goes retrograde, Magick corresponding to that Planet does not work very well. Generally, other aspects of life ruled by this planet also suffer, or are reversed.

Now, Planets don’t go retrograde very often, and when they do, it can be for weeks, months, or sometimes even most of an year. The only retrograde the people generally care about is the Mercury retrograde, because it is common. In fact, as I write this, we’re coming out of what has been an especially troublesome Mercury retrograde.

Keep an eye out for Retrogrades, and you’ll be able to expect crazy shit.

Here’s an interesting anecdote. Pluto, which rarely goes retrograde, did so in 2016, and was in retrograde for most of that year. I remember, when 2016 started, and someone told me Pluto would be in retrograde that year, I remarked that we would probably see some weird shit.

I said that lots of people might die, virus might spread, and, most importantly, some extremely wierd political events would occur. The political authority (establishment) would suffer somehow.

Personally, I thought yet another dictatorship would fall. And, as you all know, in 2016 many, many celebrities died, there was a Zika outbreak in Africa, ISIS lost it’s capital in Mosul, Brexit happened, AND, the big one: Donald Trump won the US election.

In India, we had a big thing: demonetisation, and 85% of the currency was scrapped literally over night, in a bold attempt to catch tax evaders. After all, Pluto also rules money and hidden wealth. All of this was in line with the retrograde.

You can use astrology to predict things, and at least have a generic idea of what may happen. It’s much better than going overboard with weird conspiracy theories and urban legend.

Update (2019): 2020 is a very important year. In the last few years, Saturn and Pluto have moved intro Capricorn, and begun to break down established Order, traditions and societal structures. This is all in preparation of the Age of Aquarius, and the transition is now fully upon us. Hippies in the 1960s kept talking about it, but now it’s literally happening. Next year, Jupiter moves into Cancer. All the pieces are set, and things shall begin to¬†happen.

hqdefaultSource: Inuyashiki (no, I have not seen the anime)


The Sun

That’s the major bulk of it. However, there’s a few other things to keep in mind, and these are largely based on the Sun.

Night and Day

The Night and Day cycle of course. Regardless to say, daytime and nighttime are good for invoking and banishing respectively. As I said, I do almost everything at Night, but you can still keep this in mind. Also, invoking Gods and Deities is better in the Day, while Night is good for Spirits and Demons. The Nighttime is also when one should beware of more dangerous influences, especially ‘ghosts’, and take extra precautions. We’re psychologically wired to feel fear in the Dark, especially in locations away from human civilization. But to face the darkness is an Occult act, to go boldly and encounter the unknown.

The Morning (or Sunrise), Noon, Twilight (or Sunset) and Midnight are especially powerful times. The Sun is pretty important, and it’s energy and influenced rises, hits a peak, then fades and disappears over the course of the Day. Consult the legend of Ra, and how he changes forms as the day goes by. Our mood is greatly affected by the Sun. bright sunlight brings joy, happiness and optimism.



Seasons

The seasons are important for folk magick. Generally, you have Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Sometimes, like in India, you also have a Monsoon. Different folk rituals and festivals are based on this cycle. For example, Spring is full of life and beginnings, Summer is about light, warmth and fertility, Monsoons are about rain, growth and nature, Autumn is about barrenness, transformation and death, Winter is about coldness, endings, rebirth and darkness. Consult your local traditions to understand this better.

From a Eastern spiritual point of view, Spring is the first season of the year, as it brings warmth and life. That’s why most Eastern cultures celebrate New Year in April. This is also a harvest season for the East, but not the West, because in most Western countries it snows in Winter so they don’t traditionally plant anything.

The reason the West starts the year on January 1st is because the Romans considered January to be the first month, as it was the month of Janus, the God of Beginnings and Doorways. Western culture is greatly influenced by Rome, and of course, it’s after Christmas so it ties in to the Western holiday season.

Many in the East have big celebrations in April, and many countries also treat it as the start of the Academic and financial year. It’s largely dependent on whether you live in the West of the East. I recommend going with what’s naturally done in your region. However, I start new, important things in April-May, including important Magickal phases. Both January and April have great power.



Months and Zodiac

The Months are important too, as they correspond to the Sun moving through the Zodiac. The Sun moves through each Zodiac sign in about 30 days, same as the Moon cycle. Of course, this has been shifting for centuries as well, so these days the Sun moves from one sign to the next around the 20-22nd of a Month. The Sign that the Sun is in is important, as Magick relating to that Sign is more powerful. The Moon sign also matters, but not as much as the phase of the Moon.
You may also take into account the Signs that the other planets are in, but the Sun and Moon matter the most.



Solstice 
/ Equinox

Each year, we have a Summer and Winter Solstice, and a Spring and Autumn Equinox. Both are important in folk and ceremonial traditions. On each Equinox, the Day and Night are equal, and so these are days of balance and stability.

The Summer Solstice is the longest day, and the energies of light are very strong. It is the height of the Sun’s power. But, after that days start getting shorter, and it marks the waning of the Sun’s power. The Winter Solstice is the longest Night, and the energies of darkness are more powerful. The Greeks believed that the veil between the Mundane and the Spiritual world are thin, and it is easy for things to cross over. But, days start getting longer after this, and it marks the Sun’s revival. Thus, we celebrate Christmas.

Again, refer to local traditions for more information on this. Each Equinox and Solstice marks the official beginning of each season.


Years, Decades, Centuries, Millenia

Finally, years, decades, centuries and millennia matter, but not that much. Usually, each Year is ruled by a specific Zodiac sign. Each decade, there’s generally a miniature paradigm shift in the world, and about every half century, there’s a major one.

Every century or two, the outermost planets, Uranus (84 years), Neptune (160 years) and Pluto (250 years), complete one orbit. They also move from one zodiac sign to the next every couple of decades, and this causes significant changes in magickal energy and causes major changes in the world, as well as generational divides.
These things matter less for Magick and more for those who like to observe current events and study history. This may give you new perspective.


Some Stuff to Muse Over

And, I want to leave you one last thing. Here, it stops being practical and becomes largely philosophical, abstract and unscientific. It’s based on Hinduism, as well as astrology and some theoretical science. I see no harm in sharing ^_^

10609435_10202811543678629_6596046963773200899_n

Roughly every 2000 years, we move from one astrological Age to the next. As you may have heard, we’re currently moving out of the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius.
The Ages can be grouped into groups of 3, and thus, every 8000 years can be considered on Grand Age or Cycle. After the cycle ends, a new one begins and causes a rise and fall of human civilization. This, in accordance with astrology, could be further grouped into 3 sets of 4, that is 12 Ages ( one for each Zodiac) after which it repeats, making a grander cycle of 24,000 years. Generally, 72  of these grander cycles, or 1.7 million years, is said to be the lifetime of the archetypal Man (Adam, Manu etc.).

Interestingly, about 1.8 million years ago the early hominids spread across Europe, Africa and Asia, from wherever they first originated.

Every 230 Million years or so, the Sun completes one Orbit around the Milky Way. Currently, we do not know if our galaxy has any such cyclical motions. The Universe is about 14 billion years old, and may live for about 5 billion years more. Of course, this is all hypothesis and we barely know anything about the nature of the Universe. However, from a occult point of view, the Universe should also have cycles, of creation and destruction, which in modern science are called the Big Bang and Big Crunch.

If our cycle of creation ends, it should be followed by a cycle of destruction of equal length. Brahma, the Creator, goes to sleep, as to him, one creation cycle is one day, and one destruction cycle is one night, and Shiva the Destroyer, awakens.
After a hundred cycles of creation, even Brahma is said to die and a new Brahma will be born.

Ultimately, we can only theorise. We know nothing, and that’s totally fine.


That’s all for now, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. There’s plenty of other cool stuff here, so stick around and have a look, and follow me for more content like this. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus

If you’re feeling triggered about something, leave a comment, telling me how angry or upset you are ^_^

That’s all for now, until next time.

~White Raven

Evoking Gremory, the Great Duke

Written: January 20th, 2017 | Edited: 15th March 2019

This is about the Goetic Evocation of the Duke Gremory.

In my previous Goetia post I had mentioned how I hadn’t had the need to Evoke Goetic spirits for a long time. In fact, the last time I evoked a Goetic spirit was before I Invoked Samael, which is the very first post on this blog.

So naturally, in that time I’d learned a lot, and I brought all that into this Evocation of Gremory. It is heavily inspired by the methods of Poke Runyon, and I must say, it worked better than I’d ever expected.

Update (2019): These days I use some of the methods from Paganism, Hinduism/Buddhism, Demonolatory and Christianity far more. The traditional devotional methods, with chanting and drama work far better for me than formal western ritualism.


Info From The Ars Goetia

“The Fifty-sixth Spirit is Gremory, or Gamori. He is a Duke Strong and Powerful, and appeareth in the Form of a Beautiful woman, with a Duchess‚Äôs Crown tied about her waist, and riding on a Great Camel. His Office is to tell of all things Past, Present, and to Come; and of Treasures Hid, and what they lie in; and to procure the Love of Women both Young and Old. He governeth 26 Legions of Spirits, and his Seal is this, etc.”

056-seal-of-gremory-q100-500x500Always keep Seals facing down, and preferably in a container. Don’t leave them lying around, especially face up. These are sacred objects.


Nature of the Spirit

At first glance, she seems to be the same as the rest, with a crown riding an animal, with the powers of divination and of procuring love. There’s many, many spirits in the Lesser Key that¬†have these two skills, but out of all these, Gremory does stand out, for two reasons. One, of course, is that she appears to be one of the very few, if not ONLY spirits who appears as a woman. Several Goetia appear female, in practice, but in the book, every single one is referred to as “He”, meaning the author imagined them to be all male. Except Gremory, who is explicitly called “she”.

tumblr_mw2vmyziff1sqopa8o1_500Traditional depiction of the Spirit

Also, it is specified that Gremory helps you gain the love of “young and old” women. As I said, many Spirits of the Goetia can help you get love, both romantic or otherwise, but this Spirit is the only one for whom age is specified. I find that odd. It seems to imply that Gremory deals with very specific tastes of people, helping you procure the love of people who are considerably younger or older.

My interest of course, was in the divination aspect of it all. I mostly call on the Goetia for information and understanding, or to make changes in my perspective.


About of the Spirit

I have not found any mythology about the Spirit, outside of the Ars Goetia and the Pseudomonarchia Daemonica, but at this point, that’s become a pretty common occurrence with Spirits which are not evidently important, and I’ve written about this before, so I wont rant about it.

The name Grimori is derived from both English¬†and Italian. Grimoire, as you probably already know, means a “magickal textbook” in French (the Ars Goetia is a grimoire), and consequently, in English, and probably came from Frankish, Greek or Latin.

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The Italian word for grimoire is grimorio,¬†and the plural is grimori. So the name of the Spirit here literally translates as “textbooks of magick” in Italian.

I personally believe that Gremory is simply the anglicized version of Grimori. Or, it has something to do with Sodom and Gamorrah, like someone pointed out. Though that sounds like the usual Abrahamic fire and brimstone nonsense to me. 

Let me guess: there was some well-of pagan city in the Middle East that the monotheists decided they hated. Maybe it has sexual freedom.
At some point disaster struck, as is inevitable, and they rejoiced by writing about it as God’s wrath. To me, using metaphorical names for cities you despise instead of real ones betrays cowardice and the inability to face enemies boldly.


Associations

Name: Gremory
Rank: Duke
Number: 56
Planet: Venus
Metal: Copper
Sphere: Netzach
Incense: Rose
Tarot: Two of Pentacles

Element: Earth
Angelic Counterpart: Poliel
Ruling Archangel: Uriel
Ruling King: Göap


Preparation of Ritual

I did this on the Day and in the Hour of Venus. I know the Goetia says to do it on very specific Moon days, but I ignored that for once. The Moon was 24 days old, and it doesn’t make too much of a difference anyway. The best results may be on specific days, but really, it’ll work whenever you do it, as long as you¬†know what you’re doing.

First of course, I cleansed myself and the room, put on my ritual garb, and anointed my temples.

I had with me the Seal of the Spirit as well as the angel Poliel (given in Poke Runyon’s book), in green on white paper, as well as the Pentagram and Hexagram of Solomon, around my neck like they do in the OTA.

I also drew¬†the Sigil of the Spirit on the other side. This is the first time i’ve done so, and it means I’ll have to make a new Pentagram every time I evoke a new spirit. I don’t do this anymore either, but you can if you want.¬†

I put the Angelic and Demonic seal on top of each other, both face down, on the Altar, which faced North, along with the incense, the Hexagram, face down as well, with a Green candle in front of the Triangle, which is fitted with a black mirror, and my stones in a crescent shape. 

hqdefaultThe Black Mirror used by the OTA

I used the black mirror scrying method.¬†I’ve tried this method only twice before, but I think this will be my choice for all evocation from now on, because it worked so well.

I meditated on Venus for a while, listening to binaural beats of the corresponding frequency, then I started the ritual, with my preliminary banishing and declarations (you know, generic stuff), then sat down facing North and began.

Update (2019): This was the one and only time I used the full OTA method, as an experiment. While it is powerful, I no longer use many aspects of it, as I mentioned at the start. I no longer use the black mirror, opting for incense instead. I also do not draw the Sigil of the Spirit on the other side of the Solomon Pentagram. The intent of that is to bind and control them, and that conveys fear.


Calling on Poliel

Normally, when you call on a Spirit, you should invoke their Angelic counterpart from the Shemhamphorash first.

The Shemhamphorash says to recite Psalms 145:14 Psalms 144:14 (from the Latin Vulgate, which is fundamentally different from the standard Bible when translated).

More so I began by petitioning Uriel to send to me this Angel, and then began to recite the verse.

I must say, I was skeptical at first, since I don’t really use the Bible¬†for anything, but this worked ridiculously well. I finally understand the whole obsession of western occultists with the Old Testament. This might be the fastest connection I have ever made with a Spirit or Angel. I recommend the Latin Vulgate for any Shemhamphorasch Angel, and the Demonic Enns for the Daemons of the Goetia.

I very quickly slipped into a trance. I must have recited it for maybe 2 minutes and I ¬†felt a very strong, very substantial presence in the circle. When I opened my eyes, the candle was tall, steady and bright, and I could almost feel Poliel standing behind my in the circle. There was no visible appearance, but I wasn’t going for one either.

Church CandlesIf I had to define his presence in a picture, it would be this.

“Greetings, kind one”
That’s new.

I requested the Angel to stay with me and aid me in the Evocation of Gremory. The Angel agreed, and I felt invigorated and courageous, and I knew I had Poliel on my side.

I definitely recommend calling Shemharphorash angels before the Goetic spirits. They will aid you greatly, even if it’s just for guidance. However, I do¬†not reccomend that for full fledged deities in the Goetia, nor for High demons like Belial.
Especially not for the ones who are also pagan deities. Some may take offence. It depends on the daemon itself really. You will usually be guided.

For the lesser ones, you may have to call the angels just to get in touch. But then again, I tend to stay away from lesser demons and angels anyway.


Evoking the Duke

And now the real work begins.

I started with the Bornless Invocation. I don’t use the one given in the Mathers/Crowley Goetia. I use the OTA version, because it’s much shorter, but with the Egyptian names given by Crowley.

I’m sure the original works for many people, but in my opinion, Crowley and Mathers completely butchered the barbarous names and all it does it break my trance rather than create it. The later Egyptian version created by Crowley (and used by Regardie) works better, but is still needlessly long and pointless.

After repeating it thrice, I went on to the Conjuration itself, of which, once again, I have my own version, inspired by Poke Runyon’s, since I find the one in the Goetia far too long, drawn out and a bit too Abrahamic. I recited this thrice as well. At this time, I did not know about the demonic enns, or I’d probably use that instead.

All this while, I stared into the mirror, and I think at the end of the third time, the Spirit must have come, as it should, and I felt a light presence.

But I was not able to feel a full connection, so I kept chanting as the presence grew stronger, because I generally don’t welcome a Spirit until they have given a substantial and evident sign of manifestation. So, I kept chanting.¬†

The Spirit grew impatient. As I chanted, I heard some guy outside, yell “oh my GOD!” and at that moment my candle, which I was holding, fell off the holder, face down onto the mat and went off, and I was left alone in the dark. Accident? Well, as Master Oogway would tell us, “there are no accidents”.

quotesthatprovemasteroogwayfromkungfupandaisthegreatestteachereverh_1427201176_980x457

Anyway, so now I knew the Spirit had come. I lit the candle again, I turned up the Sigil, pulled off the cloth covering the Hexagram of Solomon, and gave my greeting to the spirit.

“Oh my god what is wrong with you. Here I’ve been trying to talk and yet you ignore me and continue to chant, you really need to be more mindful of your surroundings, even in trance, and have some faith in the spirits you call” (Yeah, definitely a female spirit. no offence)

She sounded pissed off at first, but then she calmed quickly and greeted me too. Since I was using a black mirror, I only saw her face. She certainly was a woman, and looked almost like a Princess and wore a crown, with long black, kind of unruly hair, and a eyeliner, which seemed to across her face, like a band. She looked like a warrior princess, if that makes any sense, with the hair and band with the crown.

mikaii_card

She also felt and talked like that. She certainly had a royal presence, but at the same time also a rebellious, somewhat intimidating energy.

She regarded the Hexagram with a hint of disdain, saying it had been used to make her obey for centuries.

Update (2019): I use neither the Pentagram nor Hexagram given in the Goetia these days. Unknown to me, at the time my own Hindu upbringing would clash with the Abrahamic style rituals. Took me a while to fully understand this, and caused me, as I said at the start, to alter my rituals to make them more comfortable. I opted for the Hindu approach in the end, since it is ingrained into my subconscious anyway.

She is said to have the power of divination, and I asked her questions in this regard. She wanted me to get to the point, and also said she could pretty much do anything, but could not bend people against their will for prolonged periods of time (no Spirit can. They can only bring about a permanent change in your own psyche)

She also told me some fairly important things regarding desire and relationships, mostly personal, but here’s a little tit bit, for what people desire from a potential love interest.

“In this world, there are many things unintelligible, and you cannot understand them, so you must trust yourself. All people want is love, and in return, ask and they will give the same. You must be open, restless, loving and caring. No one demands much, a true partner wants love. Do no break their heart. People will test you, and you cannot give in. Each person will appreciate certain traits. Find that, and embody it. Cowardice will do no good. Be loving”

I then asked her about her history, and her “fall” from heaven (which is pretty much the mythos for all Goetia) to which she replied:

“I never actually fell. I have been worshiped under different forms for a long time. Nonetheless, my primary role for the past several centuries has been that of a daemon, and so that is who I am at the time”

I asked her if she could name a Goddess she had been worshiped as.

“People have seen me as a war goddess. Research, and you will find. I was, and am, a certain war goddess who rides a camel, and my colour is Red. She is close to you, but not very well known among the people. I have also been venerated by the Japanese as Rias Gremory, which is close to my Goetic form”.

If you don’t know, Rias Gremory is a demon from an anime. The anime is amusing at best and questionable at worst, but eh, what are you gonna do? The Japanese need their absurdism. The first season was ok, for a teenager. The rest was shit.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_cmdv55ftilcgckc8c0c0wg0oo_640This isn’t from that anime, just a picture I found.


Closing and Post Ritual

I thanked her for coming, and then gave the License to depart 3 times, and her energy faded. I then gave the license to Poliel, and then ended and closed the ritual.

Of course, then I was excited to search for the Goddess she had told me about.

I merely typed into Google, “goddesses who ride camels”. After all, there aren’t many, nor are there that many polytheistic religions which have camel motifs. The result surprised me. I understood what Gremory meant when she said it was close to me.

The answer is Momai Maa. A Hindu goddess from the Indian state of Rajasthan. (FYI, where I live is a 6 hour drive from there). She’s not a well known goddess, but these days she is considered to be an aspect of the Hindu Goddess of War, Durga, who usually sits on a Lion, and is well known.

momai-momay-maa-05

In fact, you might have heard of her even if you don’t live in India, as she’s a fairly prominent member of the Hindu pantheon. She was also pretty important in my family. Aleister Crowley’s depiction of the Thelemite goddess Babalon riding the Great Beast, is inspired by the image of Durga.

Many local Indian goddesses were identified as different forms of Durga when Hinduism spread across the subcontinent and brought more and more communities under it’s umbrella (which is better than erasing them, like the Abrahamists did i Europe and the Middle East). The deity itself is probably a much more ancient motif. Rajasthan is a desert state, so camels are an important symbol there.

Momai Maa is depicted holding a trident (called a Trishul), a sword, a lotus and a an instrument, and seated on a camel, wearing red clothing.

So Gremory was 100% correct. Momai Maa is a local, non Vedic goddess, so you won’t know of her unless you really look. If you’re ever doubtful about your magick, or want to confirm that the Spirit you’re talking to isn’t just a figment of your imagination, ask them questions like this without fear, things that you can check for validity immediately after. It really will strengthen your faith and confidence.


Anyway, that’s it for now. Sorry it was long, I’m currently trying to train myself to not ramble on and write shorter stuff.

EDIT 2020: As of July 2020, I’ve written a new book on the Tree of Life and Kabbalistic theory. I’m quite proud of it, and you can check it by going to the Books tab, or clicking right here.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my other stuff, and follow my blog. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus

This is White Raven, signing off.

Invocation of Archangel Raphael

Written November 23rd, 2016 | Edited: 13th March 2019

raphael1raphael2raphael3raphael4Summary of my experience with Raphael.

raphael5Good guy Raphael, forcing war councils to be adjourned with sheer optimism.
(Scene is from Makai Ouji Devil’s and Realist, Ch 32)

What? Extremely irreverent to depict mighty Archangel of Air, Ruler of Hod/Tiphareth, and Divine Healer as a comical, flamboyant optimist, you say?

Well, it’s sort of true, at least for me, and clearly the person who wrote Makai Ouji.

I invoked Raphael recently. Looking back on this blog, I realised I only ever share posts about demons and darker angels. So I figured, why not share one about a more popular, light side Spirit, and one who holds incredible power and position. You know, to maintain the balance, as the blog’s name implies and not lean toward a single Pillar. So, give it up for Archangel Raphael!

This is an invocation done using the Grimoire of Armadel

This ended up insanely long, please bear with me

8535ab32e6275aa20c5581ed0e53eaa2“Let me show you, what happened to Nagini”


The Name Raphael

Raphael is the name of the Archangel of Air. It is Hebrew, and translates as “God, who heals”, “Healing of God, or “God, The Healer”.

It originates in Babylon, where people spoke Akkadian, am ancient Semitic language from which Hebrew and Arabic come. Many angelic names come the 7 aspects/children of Ahura Mazda (God), known as the Immortal Ones, in Zoroastrianism.

In Hebrew it is spelled with the four letters Resh-Pe-Aleph-Lamed, R-Ph-A-L (◊®÷ł◊§÷ł◊ź÷Ķ◊ú), and it’s value is 200+800+1+30= 1031.

The common name we use, Raphael, is the Latinised spelling of this name.

The Arabic name for Raphael is Israfil (¬†ō•ō≥ōĪōßŔĀŔäŔĄ‚Äé), or Israfel, which means the “Burning One”, although in Hebrew lore, that title is generally given to Uriel. In Magick, this name is used in an Invocation of Thoth. All other times, we call him Raphael.


Abrahamic Mythology

Before we move to the Magick, a quick look at Raphael from the traditional point of view.

To the Jews, Raphael is the 3rd most important angel, placed immediately under Mikhael and Gabriel, and one of the seven Archangels of Heaven. He is also one of the four highest¬†Archangels, associated with Healing, known to have¬†cured several important figures of ailments, such as Tobit, whom he accompanied on his journey through the desert. He overcame the demon Asmodeus, saving Raguel’s daughter Sarah from him, and binding the leader of fallen angels Azazel. He is sometimes depicted as a Serpent.

In Judaic lore, he rules the order of Auphanim (which are in the Sephiroth Chokmah), he stands to the West of the Throne of God, and is associated with one of the four rivers in Eden, very simply put. Look, we have a lot to get through.

giovanni_biliverti_-_the_archangel_raphael_refusing_tobiass_gift_-_wga2195“Sir! Would you be interested in-“
“I’m sorry, I have to go. I’m totally busy. I have exams. I’ll miss my train. I’m sure you’re doing something cool though. Really!”

To the Christians, Raphael is very similar to the Judaic Raphael, since both religions have the same source texts. In Christianity, due to the lack of complex Judaic theological structures, he is almost exclusively associated with healing Tobit and defeating Asmodeus, and in the New Testament, thought to be the Angel who healed the people at the Pool of Bethesda.

He is venerated as a Saint by the Catholic Church, as well as the Orthodox, exalted¬†in several Renaissance artworks, sculptures and literature, as well as revered by many Protestant sects and called the “Divine Physician”. He is also sometimes mentioned as the one who brought the Ancient Mysteries to Solomon, though at times it is also Mikhael.

saint_raphael

In Islam, it is more difficult to draw parallels, since it has different theology, and since it is a strongly monotheistic religion, and does not clearly define any beings or spirits other than Allah (God) and Mohammed. To the Muslims, Raphael, known as Israfil, is one of the four Archangels who were sent to fetch dust from all corners of the Earth to build Adam, and who will herald the apocalypse with Trumpets, and is said to have tutored the Prophet. Said to have four wings and be a master of Music and Languages, he sings hymns and melodies for God.

84c089b3b2acafd458b48b2c5958adeb


Non Abrahamic Sources

Though these are older than the Abrahamic version, Archangels as we perceive them come from Abrahamic sources. That’s why I’m writing this second, and this is just for information. It’s mainly literary connections I can draw.

The Archangels originate from Zoroastrianism, as I said previously, meaning the equivalent of Raphael is the Amesha Spenta known as Haurvatat, meaning Perfection of Health.

Since he is like a snake, that would link him to the serpents of Mercury’s Caduceus. Remember, the Caduceus is also associated with healing, which is why the WHO emblem is derived from it. It originates from the story of Asclepius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a God of Healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes. (The symbol itself is called something else, but it’s clearly derived from the Caduceus).

And, Mercury also ruled travelling, and Raphael traveled over a fair distance with Tobit.

V0024875 Astronomy: Saturn with his scythe, riding in his chariot. En

As far as Egypt goes, he is associated with Aquarius, and the Holy Living One/Kerub known as The Man. While “The Man” is the higher symbol of Air associated with Aquarius, Raphael is associated Libra. This association means balance.


Within Magick and the Occult

Being an angel, Raphael is predominant within Ceremonial Magick, and being a cardinal angel and Watcher, he plays a variety of roles.

First and foremost, Raphael is one of the ruling Angels on the The Tree of Life. He rules the sphere of Hod (Glory) or Tiphareth (Beauty). In Hod is the Healing aspect, while in Tiphareth is the aspect associated with Beauty and the guiding light.

Hod is associated with Mercury, which Raphael rules, further strengthening the connection to Magick, and we’ve already established Raphael’s links to Mercury symbolism.

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Raphael is also one of the four Archangels of the Quarters, ruling in the East, once again, becoming the first Angel that the Magician faces towards. Being in the East, he rules Air, which is also ruled by the Planet Mercury.

Raphael thus also rules the Zodiac Sign of Air, which is Aquarius, and so this also connects him to it’s ruling planet Uranus, a higher octave of Mercury. Seeing as it is currently the Age of Aquarius, or at least, we can say that the transition has begun, Raphael is the overseer of the current/coming astrological Age.

b53ac5c3610cd5174e85057cca38d235And here, you see the 4 kinds of ways in which human beings react to Magick.

As the ruler of Hod, his Qliphotic counterpart of the Archdemon Andramelech, whereas his cardinal counterpart is Amaymon, Demonic King of the East and Air. 

Within the Egyptian Ceremonies, there are four Kerubs in each Cardinal direction. The lower counterpart, aka the elemental King associated with Raphael is Paralda, the King of Air.

kerub-of-air


What Raphael Represents

So, in essence, Raphael corresponds with the ability of our body and mind to heal itself regardless of damage, as well as the ability of the Earth to heal itself against the odds (the story of Tobit is full of odds against him. Think about how Beijing, being immensely polluted for decades, reverted back to having clear air and blue skies with cars being banned for just 2 weeks). Healing leads to Beauty. Mercury to Sun.

raphael-the-archangel-08

Along with that, Raphael represents the conscious mind, our thoughts, decisions, reason and logic, and what we project onto the world, and the progress of Science, which in turn, lends to the progress of Medicine, which are among the few key things that lead humanity into the Age of Aquarius, but also the Ego contained in it, which is why he is connected to Serpents. The Ego is greatly strengthened when we place the Conscious mind over the subconscious.

02032012_jobs_medical_science_slideshow“Sir, are you sure it’s suppossed to be pee coloured”
“Shut up Jane. This is going to be The Future. Once we decide if it’s profitable”

UPDATE (2019): I keep talking about the association of Raphael with Hod and Mercury. In Yetzirah, Raphael rules Hod, and this is the healing aspect. In Briah, Raphael rules Tiphareth, and the Sun. This is his other aspect, associated with Beauty. In each case, Mikhael rules the other planet. So in Briah, Mikhael rules Hod, while in Yetzirah, Mikhael rules Tiphareth. For this reason, the two angels overlap a lot. While their enegy and presence is very different, they share a lot of sphere of influence. For example, Raphael heals, while Mikhael cleanses. Raphael rules beauty, while Mikhael is the beautiful face of God. Raphael rules science and medicine, while Mikhael rules the rational mind and critical thinking. I often struggled with trying to understand why Raphael was so often places on Sun and Mikhael on Merury, even though it should be vice versa. I now know that this is because of the differences between the Tree of Life in Yetzirah and Briah.

Of course, then one might say Mikhael is also the ruler of Fire. The thing to remember, that took me so long so fully accept, is that the Tree of Life and all the myth and correspondences, are simply systems of classification and metaphors for profound things that are beyond full comprehension. These are not the literal or even the highest Truth. So your subjective interpretation may be more useful to you than mine. Even here, I am simply giving the definitions used by the Golden Dawn, and the mythologies and narratives used by different cultures, and the reasoning given by historians, for the sake of reference. My own perspective deviates significantly at times. This is all just a basis for you to build Knowledge upon.


Associations

Name: Raphael
Sphere: Hod/Tiphareth
Planet: Mercury/Sun
Sign: Libra, Gemini, Aquarius
Element: Air
Direction: East
Colours: Yellow and Purple (Air), Orange (Hod), Green (Healer)
Incense: Lavender (Hod), Sandalwood (Air)
Metal: Mercury/Gold


Armadel

As always, I used the Seal of Raphael, given in the Armadel

I found something interesting though: usually, the Armadel has two sets of sigls for the Archangels, first the characters and then a circular seal. Minor angels have characters and no seals, but most major Angels who have seals almost always have characters. For whatever reason, Raphael has only a single seal.

tf627

The paragraph on Raphael also has a very lacking description as well, mentioning just the story of Tobit. I only took the Seal from the Armadel, but it’s not a Book I’d use for this particular Spirit’s invocation. There is another popular Seal of his given in the Faust Magicka. There is also a set of characters given in Poke Runyon’s¬†Book of Solomon’s Magick

As for the seal itself, O Theos is Greek for ‘O, God’ and Agios means ‘Sacred/Saint’, then there’s Raphael and Adonay, a Hebrew Godname. The two “X” shapes are the first Hebrew letter Aleph.


Prep Work

So, it just happens so that in my daily life I need to go into and pass through the most polluted city on this planet. (You can hear more complaining, along with how I purged a parasitic spirit here, and how I eventually made a talisman to protect one from pollution here)

For a few weeks, I’d been having cold like symptoms, after there was a sudden spike in the smog levels. Initially I believed¬†it was a¬†flu, but it stayed for far too long without causing any fever or headaches. Eventually, I decided that it must be the pollution¬†causing the sneezing and runny nose.

Often I’d wake up completely fine, but upon entering the city, the symptoms would come back. It must have been tiny particles of pollutants constantly entering through my nose and my body attempting to get rid of them.

There wasn’t a lot I could do, and eventually it just grew worse. I’d been meaning to invoke Raphael for a while, and so I decided to call on him for guidance and healing.

I did this invocation on the Day (Wednesday) and in the Hour of Mercury. You can read about astrological timing here.¬†I don’t get Lavender where I live, so I used Sandalwood, for Air.

On the altar I placed a Yellow Candle for the East and Air, at the center, and a white feather, a dagger, along with the incense and the Seal. I also had a small bit of mercury on there. All you really need is a Yellow/Green/Orange candle, the seal, and incense. You may put an offering if you want, and that’s good. Stones associated with the Angel are optional.

Like in the Samael ritual, I listened to Binaural beats of the Mercury frequency to get into the corresponding¬†trance. I don’t use it these days because I can get into trance easily, but if you’re new to meditation then it’s very helpful.


Invocation

I did my initial banishing, castings, consecrations, proclamations and all that stuff that we magicians like to waste 10 minutes on, and sat down. Before starting, I traced the invoking Pentagram of Air, visualizing it out of bright yellow light in the East. How you start rituals is totally up to you.

UPDATE (2019): To Invoke Air, trance an Invoking Pentagram of Air in bright yellow, and trace the Purple symbol of Aquarius inside it.
As you trace the Pentagram, Vibrate the godname SHADDAI EL CHAI. As you trace the zodiac symbol, vibrate YHVH. 

And the end of the ritual, remember to banish Air by tracing the banishing pentagram of Air and zodiac symbol again, vibrating the same godnames. Do this in the East.

I decided to mimic my Samael ritual, chanting a hymn from my heart, saying whatever came to mind. You can also prepare any chants or invocations that appeal to you.

I started slipping into a trance, and I don’t always write down the hymns, so I don’t remember it well. It involved calling on Raphael, first describing and visualizing his form and symbols, then using his many titles and achievements and mythos, moving to a more emotional plea, and a kind of devotional “surrender”, and then chanting his name repeatedly. In the end, I was left vibrating his name, swaying back and forth staring at his sigil.

It took me a long time to reach the climax, because my attention kept wavering, and so I kept breaking my trance and having to go back into it. Once I start a ritual, I like to see it through, so I kept going. I was not about to stop now.

It grew very hot eventually, after lots of chanting, and my body went into deep relaxation. Invoking Light Spirits is very different from Dark Spirits. Beings of Light lack concreteness, and come as very abstract energies, feelings and thoughts. Unlike my experiences with Darker angels like Samael, there’s no “peak” of awareness where your, instead, you drown into a deep trance and at the climax of the ritual, you feel extremely exalted. With darker beings it is more like an Awakening. With being of light it is more like Empowerment.

The deep relaxation almost made me want to lie back, and fall asleep, but I willed myself to go on. And then Raphael came.

Usually, there is some kind of appearance, like a reflection, or a thought, an image, or just the smoke or darkness appearing like a person, but with Raphael, it was just pure and strong emotional force. I had somehow managed to invoke the force, without the form.

I asked, or rather, almost prayed for the form, and continued to chant, although I could already make out “I am here. I am here.” in my head, but I chanted. Why? Maybe it was the 4 am delirium, or stubbornness. Not the the best thing in a magician.


Appearance

Regardless, finally Raphael appeared in the flames. And he was beautiful, and androgynous. He had long, yet kind of masculine black hair, but a very beautiful, bright and androgynous face, and a slender frame. He was wearing a white shirt, like the kind they used to wear in the 18th century, which was yellowish white. and had a dark purple kilt like thing at the waist. That was it. Strangely, no wings, dramatic symbols, abstract visions, except when I closed my eyes and there were many balls of light.


Interaction

I began by greeting him and thanking him for coming. He said he always answered whenever he was called upon, by anyone.

I asked him about my illness, and asked for help with healing. His reply was along the lines of “do not worry, it will be done by the time you awaken. Health is easy to achieve, but you must help me too”

I asked him what that meant, and he said “stop¬†putting junk in your mouth”, and I was hit with a bunch of images going through my head, of all the bad food I had eaten, mostly of me eating hot chocolate powder directly out of the jar.

“Do you think you can consume things like that and be okay?”
“Bu-“
“The human body is easily affected. Your immunity is lowered by consuming poisons. If you want to no longer be affected by the pollution, you must do everything to strengthen the body.”
“But I eat good food. I’m vegetarian”
“Such things are merely tokens, if you continue to counter it by eating junk directly from it’s packaging incessantly to fill your stomach. And with that, you must refuse to acknowledge any weakness. Practice discipline.”

So, then I promised to be more careful, and closed the ritual. At first I wondered if I needed to give Raphael the License to Depart, since he is literally invoked with every LBRP.

“I am always here.”

Update (2019): Lilith would tell me years later that most of the time the “License to Depart” is useless for higher and powerful beings. It is only used for lesser spirits that you have bound by a ritual, which happens usually during planetary working. Often, most deities and angels, and even higher demons, do not need one. Least of all, the Watchers. It is better to say “I release all spirits bound by this ritual. I thank thee, and bid thee farewell.” Often for important beings, like Lilith herself, or major angels and gods, address them directly and thank them as well. This also applies to any spirit you have called on by name, or for whom the ritual was designed.
For lesser spirits, she suggested adding “return now to your homes and habitations. Leave, without causing harm or mischief, to man or beast, and the let the peace of God be between you and me. Amen. Good bye.”


Post Invocation

The next morning, my runny nose was nearly gone, and would disappear over time. It came back every now and then when I traveled by train, but I would will it away, refusing to indulge it by sneezing or wiping my nose, much like you ignore annoying people. Eventually, I’d make a talisman to protect me.

I also began to watch my diet, as in I stopped eating the hot chocolate. Not an issue really, because I had finished the jar right before the invocation. But nonetheless, tried to eat as much real food as possible, and not snack a lot. Even if I snacked, it would be a sandwich or some lemonade, instead of chips, biscuits and other things.

I’d been in the process of stopping the routine of soda and softdrinks. I ended up buying a can one day, but immediately the thought came to me that it was bad for me. And yeah, once you start leaving this stuff, it tastes less and less satisfying over time. You actually begin to notice the drowsy, sickening and demotivated feeling you get after eating them.

Update (2019): Over the years I’ve eliminated almost all the shit from my diet. I’ve also gotten rid of things that do not suit me. It is different for each individual. I do still eat chocolates though. But the Aztecs used it for magick, so it can’t be all that bad, eh?

I also stopped the rare consumption of Red Bull, because if anything is poison, it’s that. A few day ago, I saw a video titled “If Energy Drink companies were honest with us”, and yeah, that sealed my decision.

At first, my body craved the sugar rush, but I decided to not give in, and it went away. 

Of course, I still eat peanut butter out of the jar. But somehow, seems like peanut butter is good. Once again, I didn’t stop completely. I’m not the guy who cringes if someone offers me some Coke. But, I don’t crave it.


Conclusion

So yeah, that is my experience with Raphael. I expected as much. Angels and Archangels are supposed to help you make big changes with your life, and this was helpful. Anyway, this is White Raven signing off. If you liked this, leave a like, and comment your thoughts.

EDIT 2020: As of July 2020, I’ve written a new book on the Tree of Life and Kabbalistic theory. I’m quite proud of it, and you can check it by going to the Books tab, or clicking right here.

Follow my blog for more content. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus

 Until next time
~White Raven