Welcome back! I am happy to announce that my Patreon is now live. I’ve thought about starting one for years now, but never really known what to offer as rewards, and what to actually write about. However, I now have a variety of materials that I would like to offer to those who wish to support the blog, and help me continue writing about magick and mysticism, sharing my knowledge, experiences and insight.
The Tiers and Projects
So for now I have created 4 tiers for my Patreon. Over time, I may add more, depending on how well it goes. These tiers correspond to the elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The titles for each tier are derived from Golden Dawn literature, for anyone who is curious. Each tier will grant access to an additional monthly article.
The Earth Tier (Periclinus De Faustis | $2)
So the Earth tier is the first one, and here you get access to Monthly Spellwork, as well as digital resources.
Let’s start with digital resources. Often I create diagrams and mandalas, and also digital versions of seals and sigils for my own work. Occasionally, I also create things like fonts and 3D models. If you subscribe to my Patreon, you will get access to all of these, whenever I make and upload them. This is not a consistent reward, but more of a bonus, and I’ll upload stuff as and when they are ready. Sometimes you might get tree of life diagrams, sometimes simple planetary sigils. I am also working on a Master Mandala, which will certainly be put up, and also things like: an Enochian font, a 3D model of the Tree of Life and flashing tablets for each planet.
As for the consistent, monthly reward for this tier, we have Spellwork. A lot of you know that I create my own spells, rituals and even concoctions (oils, incense, ointments and consumables). As a Patron, you will receive a monthly article about any one of these things. It could be a spell, a ritual, a new recipe, and so on. Many will be of my own creation, many might be channeled from some deity or spirit, and some will be things I have learned from others over the course of my journey.
This is ‘Earth tier’, so most spells will deal with material aspects of life, such as money, love, academics etc. It’s a great place to begin. I will also be sharing a recipe for spiritual drink which attune the spiritual senses. Basically you get a new spell to play around with every month, complete with instructions and details of castings, which often gets ignored. This is good for those who are still learning how magick actually works.
To those who feel they cannot afford the higher tiers, the very first spell will be an effective money spell, which might interest you. With every higher tier, the rewards of the previous tiers will be included. So in the Water tier, all the rewards of the Earth and Air tiers are included etc.
The Air Tier (Poraios De Rejectis | $5)
The Air tier introduces Project Tarot. Since this is the Air tier, it will deal a lot with magickal and spiritual theory, and intellectual understanding.
Project Tarot is an undertaking where every month we will completely analyse and breakdown the symbolism found in a single Tarot card. We won’t just focus on the Major Arcana, but the Minor as well. This is a topic that I am actually very deeply familiar with, and I’m quite disappointed that most Tarot guides do not go down to such a level of analysis. You see, Tarot is not just for divination or fortune telling. You can think of it as a book, and it basically contains the entire theory of magick, encoded into 78 archetypal images. Here I would encourage others to share their opinions and thoughts as well, and perhaps every month we can discuss not just my own ideas and understanding, but those of readers as well. I want this to be interactive.
For now, we will use the standard, A.E. Waite Tarot deck, because it is most common. I may have a look at other decks it, if people are so inclined.
TheWater Tier (Monocris De Astris | $7)
Here I have something special planned. With the Water Tier we move our focus to inner, emotional and visionary aspects, and you get access to Project Theurgia.
Every month I will be invoking one of the 72 Angels of the Shemhamphorasch. And this will be a complete, in depth channeling, starting with the first Angel and going all the way around the Zodiac to the 72nd. As you know, these angels are the counterparts to the 72 Spirits of the Ars Goeita.
As a Patron of the Water tier, you will receive a monthly article summarizing my experience, and containing full details of the Angel, such as its attributions, powers and what it can do for you. I will also channel a sigil and an Angelic mantra for each (similar to demonic enns).
So basically it’s an attempt to create a full, detailed guide to every single Angel of the ha-Shem. I’m not saying I’m the first to have attempted this, but I’m pretty sure mine will be the most detailed, because I will put things in their historical and philosophic context.
This blog will continue as is, and I will still be sharing my ritual experiences here. Project Theurgia will be it’s own thing, and will follow a consistent methodology.
The Fire Tier (Pharos Illuminans | $9)
This is the highest tier, for now. It is the Fire tier, concerning the Will, and the Projection of Energy.
As a patron of this tier, you get access to Project Goetia. It is exactly the same as Project Theurgia, but this time dealing with the 72 Spirits of the Ars Goetia. Just like with the previous tier, I will be evoking each of the Spirits, and sharing an article about them, containing information about each Spirit, its powers, various planetary/elemental attributes, a channeled sigil and an enn/mantra for evocation.
Most likely the sigils for both the Angels and Demons will be colour coded and in digital format, so you can print and use them directly.
With Project goetia I will likely experiment with and try out different techniques for each spirit, and share both my successes and failures with Patrons. Maybe we can refine this down to an art, given enough time and feedback.
Project Goetia is probably one of my greatest spiritual undertakings, besides my experiments with Enochian magick and alchemy, and I am very excited to share this with you.
Now, the important thing to know is that I won’t actually start putting stuff under a tier until I have at least one patron in that tier. So for example, I won’t start Project Tarot until there is at least one Patron in the Air tier and higher, and so on.
I am very thankful to all those who choose to support me financially, just as I am grateful to all those who buy my books, and also to all my readers, who send me warm messages and have stuck by me through thick and thin. Reading about your positive experiences and successes are one of the things that keeps me going, and keeps reminding me that this blog is worth the time and the effort.
So once again, thank you for all the support over the years. All of this is for you, and without you it would have no purpose. I hope you have a great semester ahead, and that all of you make it through these difficult and turbulent times that we find ourselves in.
I will continue to write, and continue to share my ideas in the hope that this knowledge reaches as many people as it can, and that more and more people are able to look beyond the Veil and be prepared for the new age which is dawning. May it be an age of truth, virtue and openness.
First off, I once again want to thank everyone who has purchased my book. I never expected such a positive response, and it makes everything feel more worthwhile 🙂
Secondly, I want to announce that I now have a Ko-Fi page. About a year ago, I took down my PayPal donation page, due to various problems I had with that platform. Some people have asked if they can donate elsewhere. So now you can. If you wish to support the blog, you can do so at my Ko-Fi page. Go to https://ko-fi.com/whiteraveninvictus Every bit helps, so thank you in advance!
Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s get to today’s post. This post is the second part to the Great Secret of Magick, and the first part can be found here.
Magick Generates Culture
It has generally been my firm belief that all societies and civilisations have two fundamental pillars (yes, yes, make all your jokes now). Namely, these are Science, and Culture. Objective and Subjective. One comes from looking out into the world, and the other from looking within.
In the previous post, we discussed how Science essentially results from the Occult. The Occult means ‘Unknown’ and an Occultist is one who encounters the Unknown. Doing so, they begin to experience, comprehend and learn about new things, which slowly assimilate to the greater pool of human understanding.
Indeed, the ancient Shaman was the one who left the safety of the village and ventured into the unknown forest to find strange herbs that could heal illnesses. Over centuries, of course, the sphere of the ‘Known’ would continue to grow, and that which was ‘Unknown’ would recede further and further. There would come a day when the modern biologist knew all about the healing plant, where it grew, how it worked, and probably knew how to manufacture the essential components in a lab.
But the world as within is reflected in the world without. When the shaman ventured into the forest, he did not merely encounter the Unknown in the world outside, but also in the world within.
You see, our brain has two hemispheres, the left and the right. The Left brain deals with all that is ‘known’ and is generally the active side helping us deal with our daily life and mundane tasks. It is more logical and methodical, since everything we do is logical and methodical. We may think we decide things on the spur of the moment, but the subconscious really decides this stuff long in advance, generally focusing on whatever is best for the individual.
The Right brain rules the ‘unknown’. It is far more fluid, and contains exploratory circuits. When you encounter something that is new, unexpected or not understood, your Right brain instantly activates. You feel anxiety, fear, anticipation and excitement, as your brain attempts to learn and understand this new phenomena. In other words, your brain literally grows when you encounter the Unknown.
So, when the shaman went into the forest, he wasn’t just mapping the forest, but also his inner world of his own consciousness. The Shaman was learning where to find the medicinal herbs, but he was also overcoming his own fears, learning about his own feelings, challenging his own beliefs and expanding his own knowledge. He was growing, and evolving. The more he evolved as a person, the more attuned he become with Spirit, which is that inner light in every individual. Perhaps sitting in the darkness, away from people, in a place he did not understand, he could enter into a trance, where he saw the contents of his mind projected. By eating and testing the herbs to find those which were medicinal, he was undertaking a great act of courage, and a trial which would kill him. He had to have faith in his Gods, and hoped that he made the right decision.
Thus, when the Shaman returned to the village, he hadn’t just brought medicine, he had transformed into something else, closer to the Gods. He had fundamentally changed, and would change each time such journeys were undertaken. And his disciples would continue the work, generation after generation, taking the light into the darkness, and bring expand the Order into the Chaos. The spiritual transformation they underwent is not accessible to the average student of biology who simply reads about these herbs in a textbook or experiments on them in a controlled setting, knowing the result. But even this biologist, should he choose to boldly encounter the Unknown, would undergo this change. The Occult transformation. This is what it means to be an ‘occultist’.
Now, the Shaman did not merely live off in the forest collecting herbs. His considerable wisdom, spiritual inclination and self knowledge made him a source of understanding for all those in his village. People looked to him for guidance, and to make sense of things. The shaman told the people how to commune with the Gods, how to prepare and consume the herbs. Perhaps he made it all into a little ritual, which could be remembered and easily followed. Maybe the herbs were blue, and so blue became a colour associated with that tribe, and its healing ritual.
This then extends beyond just herbs, into various other categories. Shamans, mystics, witches, monks, all become symbols of encountering the Unknown. In a sense, by doing so, they themselves come to represent the Unknown.
There’s many stories of witches and wizards being strange folk, and in a way the stories of these figures themselves represent the Unknown to common people living within the mundane. For while some people are meant to go forth on the magickal path, everyone needs spirituality to live a good life. Yes, the shaman may go into the forest to gather the herb, but what of others who shall never make such exciting journeys? How will they get closer to Spirit?
The stories of the shaman going to gather the herb will be told to little children, and it will fill them with fascination. As adults the herb, and the ritual associated with it, becomes an object of worship and communion. The legacy of the shaman’s journey becomes a way for ordinary people to have their own little encounter, in their own unique ways. Maybe it even gets codified, and perhaps even exaggerated. Maybe the story tells of how the Shaman stole the herb from an evil monster that lives in the forest, and maybe this story also encourages young children not to run off into the forest. The ‘monster’, of course, is another psychic projection into the Unknown, representing the fear and awe of the people.
This process continues for thousands and thousands of years. Even hundreds of thousands of years, and this is how ‘culture’ comes to be. After all, what even is culture? It is simply a society’s collective expression. Food, language, arts, philosophies, social values, religion etc. But these things didn’t just spawn out of nowhere. They are the result of that society, and its magicians, slowly expanding the sphere of that which is Known. It represents their unique perspective of the life and the world, and their answer to the ancient question: What is our purpose?
You would actually be surprised just how important a role occultists play in the generation of culture. A lot of the things you think just came around naturally, like religion, philosophy and language, can actually be traced back to such individuals. They are the ones who first push the boundaries, and then the rest follow. For example, it was the shaman who first went into the forest to find the medicinal herbs. Yes, after that initial journey, countless others will follow in his footsteps, slowly expanding their knowledge and understanding. Thousands of years later, their medical understanding may be very advanced, far ahead of their shamanic ancestor. But without him taking the brave journey into the Unknown, none of it would have come to pass.
Thus, Culture is what is ‘Known’. It is the Order that was born out of Chaos, which is the Unknown, and that is the realm of Nature. This bringing forth of Order from Chaos, is nothing but magick! It is the work of occultists. And this Culture provides stability, security and peace to the common folk, who celebrate it, revere it, and use it to make sense of life and the world.
Religion becomes a bridge between the Unknown and the Known. It celebrates the magicians, witches and wizards who came before, and enshrines their wisdom. By partaking in religious ceremonies and studying scripture, it allows the common folk to have a window into the experiences of these magicians, allowing them to also know themselves a little better. They may not undertake the journey into the Unknown, but at least they can find peace within themselves.
Culture: The Divine Father
Let me ask you a question: who, or what, is ‘God’.
No, I’m not talking about deities. Nor am I talking about angels, demons, spirits, or the abrahamic deity.
What do we really mean when we say ‘God’. Well, in a sense, you could say it is the Highest Ideal.
By the way, I should warn you that this is going to a particularly convoluted post. Took me nearly 5 years of my life to properly wrap my mind around this branch of philosophy, and even longer to see how it was important in magick.
Every individual, subconsciously, carries a moral compass. Basically, inside our heads is a hierarchy of values, where all of our values are ranked based on how important they are to us. In a sense, these help us determine what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’. ‘God’ can be said to be the Highest ideal, which means the ‘meta-value’. The value that is used to determine other values.
Let me be clear that most people will never become conscious of their inner values, but they will act them out, unconsciously. These values are not based on the laws and social norms of a society, although they may be affected by them. To those of you who understand the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, think of this value hierarchy being placed in the Sephirah of Chesed, and Da’ath being the place of the Highest Ideal, ie ‘God’.
For example, let us take a person who says that stealing is bad, and it’s illegal after all. But, the moment they are in a position where they can steal without being caught, they may do so. In such a person, you can say that serving themselves and material benefits are higher values than respect for other people’s belongings.
Or, let us take a person who is very aggressive, and frequently get into verbal and physical fights. You could say that, for this person, having things go their way, and preserving their pride is a higher value than self preservation. On the other hand, a person who frequently avoids confrontation likely values self preservation more.
These values are the product of Culture (Chokmah, the ‘Father’). It is said that these values form in early childhood, and do not usually change once established. They can change, under extreme circumstances, but not so easily.
Now, let us take another hypothetical example. A person wakes up every morning, in the freezing cold, gets dressed and heads to college for an important class. What is this person’s value system? Well, we can ask: why go to college? Because I need to study. Why study? So I can get good marks. Why get good marks? So I can have a good career. Why is that important? So that I can make lots of money. Why? So I can have a decent life and family. Why? Because family is important for happiness.
And who says you need to be happy?
Well, there you might run into trouble. You might say: It feels good to be happy. But who says you should strive to feel good? Well, it’s human nature. Is it? But it’s also human nature to go to war, enforce your will on others, and manipulate people to do your bidding.
But those things are illegal. Okay, says who? Some made up book that some politicians wrote? But these laws create a prosperous society! Do they? Didn’t slavery and imperialism also create prosperous societies?
Um. Well. Because….because it’s wrong to do those things. Says who? The Universal declaration of Human rights! But who says that those are universal. God?
Yes. Think about how many constitutions say ‘all human beings are made equal before God.’
See, we can now create a value hierarchy for this individual. Working hard and getting good marks are the lowest values, and they build up. The higher values supersede the lowers values. For example, if the person realised that getting good marks would not land a good career, they may abandon their studies, which are a lower value, in pursuit of something that may land them a good career.
But as you go higher and higher, you realise that the highest value (be in love, peace, fulfillment, happiness) is taken to be self evident. Or rather, beyond the value system, certain self evident axioms have to simply be accepted.
For example, in most modern societies, the Highest Ideal contains axioms like ‘all human beings are equal’, ‘happiness is a good goal to pursue’, ‘pleasure is good’ and ‘pain should be avoided’. It is simply taken as axiomatic that acquiring wealth leads to happiness, that hard work and a good career lead to wealth creation, and that the work that one does should be honest. At least, until the 19th century, these were self evident axioms.
You’ll see that these axioms don’t really have a reasoning behind them. There’s no ‘reason’ why people should be equal, or that work should be honest, or that happiness is a worthwhile goal. These are things that just have to be accepted first, for every other value to function.
Do you understand now, why in ancient times religions were backed up simply by the phrase ‘God said so’. When Moses brought the Ten commandments to the Israelites, how did he justify them? Well, he said they came from God. When Christ spoke his sermon on the mound, when the Buddha denounced the caste system, when Gandhi insisted on self governance, when Washington proclaimed that certain truths are ‘self evident’, they were in reality saying that ‘God’ says so.
Eventually, you can no longer ask ‘Why’. ‘Why’ can take you deeper and deeper, until you suddenly realise that at the basis of society, of culture, of moral values and all religion, is just a set of axioms, justified by nothing. They have no reasoning, no higher axioms. This ‘Highest Ideal’, or God, is rarely ever consciously known. Rather, it dwells in the subconscious of all people, and guides all their actions, and often people of a society have the same ‘God’. This God is the child of Culture, which is the only thing which transcends it. Thus, Culture is our Father, and it was generated by Magick.
The Figureheads and Idols
Now, let’s go back to our little hypothetical shamanic tribe. Let’s say the healing herbs helped. Even after the shaman had passed, the people continued to ritualistically follow his instructions, and people no longer died of illnesses. Now the next shaman comes along, and she also does the inner work.
Remember in the last Great Secret post, we discussed how the work of magick frees the magician from their preconceived reality. The social and cultural norms imposed on them, and the world view they inherited are shed, and the magician becomes able to create their own reality? Well, this happens to the new shaman. By freeing herself from social conditioning, she begins to see, just like we just did, that a whole lot of things that the tribe does, are really kind of arbitrary and made up. The sacred colour, the healing rituals etc. don’t really have to be a certain way.
She also sees that people don’t die so often, and this has led to a significant growth of population and food in the tribe. You see, human beings don’t need much. In a sense, all they really need is to have pleasure in life, and a challenge to keep them going. In this tribe, fighting illnesses was once a challenge. Fetching the herbs was once a challenge. Growing enough food was a challenge. But these challenges don’t exist anymore. All this is easily accomplished, and things are beginning to stagnate. People grow dissatisfied and don’t have direction, and are edging to go to war with neighboring tribes.
So, she takes a journey up a mountain. It’s a hard journey. At the top, she comes to a place with great magickal power. Here is where she has her true initiation. After returning, she designates it as a ‘holy site’. And she tells the tribe that every year, at the day of their harvest, a pilgrimage must be made to this place. Then, some portion of the harvest, let’s say some barley, must be sacrificed. And of course, the precarious road up the mountain must be left hard and precarious, and no one should build houses close to the sacred spot. They should build a shrine there.
Now, the tribesmen and women ask: “but why”. Well, because Fire god said so! And after all, you wouldn’t want to piss off fire god, would you? In doing this, the shaman has created a new part of the culture. She has given the tribe something they can strive towards, some difficult task they must overcome. And, it takes them to a place of magickal power, where they can imbibe some of it, and do a ritual for a good harvest the following year. In a sense, you could say it’s made up. I’m sure this same ritual could be done within the village, but the point was to give people something to do, and learn from. A way to undertake a spiritual journey, to touch the Unknown.
Maybe another generation of shamans come along, and they say that all young men, upon reaching the age of 16, must go into the forest and slay a certain wild animal. Why? Well, to give them an experience of growing up. Instead of having them express their aggression at each other and getting bored, the tribe will create a way for them to have a little journey, to overcome a trial, to have a sense of accomplishment.
Maybe the next generation of shamans say that a certain, delicious wine can only be drunk on the full moon. Why? Well, moon god says so! And you wouldn’t want to piss off Moon god, would you? In a sense, this is just a made up restriction, but maybe it helps the tribe regulate their pleasure, and not descend into drunken savagery. By delaying gratification, they all are better off.
In this way, culture created and generated. You can say it’s made up. But in truth, it serves an important purpose. As long as people believe it, it will work for them. It will, over time, become part of the tribe’s Highest Ideal, their axiom. Maybe the tribe ends up a society where courage and bravery are encouraged, where people are happy to undertake hardships, and live in moderation. Their self evident axioms would be things like ‘bravery is good’ and ‘life should be lived in moderation’.
Over time, the ones who prepare the herbs become the priests. The beliefs and practices get codified, and institutionalized. As long as people have direction, purpose and a meaningful way to live, they will strive and prosper. This is the advantage of having a cohesive religion that everyone believes in.
But you can also see how essential it is that EVERYONE believes in it. Because, if even a single person radically challenges these notions, even a shaman, it really breaks everything. Suddenly, there is this terrifying possibility that what people believe did not come from the Gods, and are not self evident ideals. For example, maybe a young man refuses to slay the animal, because he feels killing an animal is wrong. Wait? But then, does that mean the ritual is wrong? Well, yeah. After all, going into the forest to kill an animal is not the only way to be brave. But then, why do it? Why be brave? Why do anything at all, if everything is just made up?
So, such transgressions would be limited. If somebody drinks the sacred liquor on any day but the Full moon, they need to do penance by undertaking the pilgrimage. It is essential for the society to function. Even the shamans, who recognize that much of this is made up, will not risk the collapse of the whole society.
But, rigid dogma and superstition are not conducive for magick. Eventually, such a society where everything is codified, where the Unknown has been banished from all aspects of life, will produce fewer shamans and magicians, and people will lose the ability to know themselves or undertake the inner journey. Those who do appear and start behaving in radical and different ways may be persecuted.
A thousand years later, the tribe has become a large kingdom. It is currently at war with a neighboring kingdom. You can go and ask the young soldiers, waiting in formation at the battlefield “why do you fight?”.
“Well, we fight for our Kingdom, to reclaim our sacred grove from the barbarians!”
“But who says you should do this?”
“The king of course!”
“But who says that he is King?”
“Why, the Gods of course!”
After all, the very possibility that the King is not special, that the grove is not special, would bring Chaos. Every soldier in the army will think “hey, this dude is King just because everyone listens to him, not because of Gods. So, if I was the most charismatic and got people to follow me, I could also be King?”
That would not do. So, everyone must continue to believe in their Gods and the religion. The King MUST be a special individual blessed by Gods! Because if he isn’t, everything just crumbles and falls apart.
Now another thousand years go by, and there’s no Gods, nor Shamans, nor Kings. The tribe, the Kingdom, is now a modern nation. Forced to continue what their forefather did, a special bus takes scores of devotees up the mountain every year to participate in a made up ritual. The road is bad, and busses frequently crash. The tiny shrine can’t handle so many people. But after all, fire god said that we can’t settle near the shrine! He said we can’t make roads up the mountain!
No one really eats barley, and devotees just buy some at the door, go inside, and burn it. Since farming is automated, there isn’t really a special harvest date. So instead they just fixed the date of pilgrimage. Perhaps on the day when that great King was born! The one who led the war to reclaim it!
But did the special grove get reclaimed? Nope. In fact, the two neighboring countries both own parts of it, and are perpetually fighting over who it belongs to. No one quite knows or remembers why it was sacred to begin with.
The wild animals are all dead, naturally. So, when young men turn 16, they have a special ceremony where the symbolically slay a little doll of the ancient wild beast, now mythologized beyond recognition. Maybe there’s a group of people who drink the special Full moon liquor on other days, and these people are hated and ostracized. How dare they! They must be evil, for they desecrate our ancient teachings and customs! They’re angering the Moon god!
And as science and cultural progress increase, people really start wondering if Moon God really said to not drink the special liquor. Or if the Moon god ever said anything at all. Or…if Moon God even exists.
Some devout people say that the ideals of bravery, moderation and gratitude were only made possible by ancient religious wisdom. Yet others ask, have these ideals not just become common place? Do we really need moon god and fire god to be brave, moderate and thankful? And yet others ask, as expected, why these things are even celebrated. After all, what reason is there to hold these ideals? Why not just give in to pleasure and cowardice?
Such a society would be confused and perpetually at war with itself.
End of an Age
Sometime in 100 AD, an Egyptian sailor named Thamus was travelling towards Italy, when suddenly he hard a divine voice:
Thamus, are you there? When you reach Palodes, take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead!”
And so he did so. Upon reaching the shore, he proclaimed “The great god Pan is dead!”. Pan, of course, was the Greek horned God or male fertility, of shepherds, or wild places. He was also the God of terror. In a sense, he was a God under the sign of Aries.
Don’t worry whether this event is true or not. This is a symbolic myth, and heralds the end of the Age of Aries. In little over 200 years, a fringe Jewish cult we now call Christianity would begin to sweep through the Roman empire. Similar things happened in other parts of the world too.
My own gnosis on the matter is that each astrological Age has a ‘God’, that is to say, a symbolic ideal. Not a specific deity, but rather an overarching theme which marks the thoughts and actions of the people who live under it. The end of every Astrological Age brings about the attainment, stagnation, and finally the death of this ideal.
In his book, Aion, Carl Jung proposes a similar theory, albeit without the spiritual trappings. He wrote that over time, the symbols of a society are ‘polished smooth’, and no longer have the same power or influence. For example, he said that in the Early Roman Empire, Greco-Roman polytheism had already become sterilised and meaningless. In my post on Indo Europeans, and also on Dionysus, I also touched upon this. These Gods were revived under the Roman banner one last time, but after that they lost their power. They just seemed like weird, fragmented cults. Meanwhile, Christianity, an extremely edgy religion centred around the worship of an apparently undead God from a distant land, whose followers venerated a symbol of torture, and drank his blood, dressed in dark robes and met in secret underground meeting halls, along with all the fiery and surreal imagery was apparently quite exciting!
A similar thing happened in the East too, with the spread of Buddhism, but that’s a story for another time.
Jung mentioned how, now it is Christianity which has become stale and stagnant, and people have begun to lose interest. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back, much further back.
Around the 17th-19th centuries, occultists had already caught on that the world was approaching such a scenario of collapse. In Europe, for example, Christianity had been the dominant religion for a long time. I mean, read occult grimoires from the middle ages, and you’ll see that even occultists who wrote on demonology considered themselves ‘Christian’.
You see, a society need to be uniform and have a set of common values which all members share. For example, the Caliphate in the Middle East, the caste system in India, the Church in Europe, the feudal systems of Japan, China and Korea’s ‘divine’ Emperors, East/ South Africa’s system of clans and tribes, and so on. All these things serve one purpose: to codify those ‘ideals’ we talked about. You could say each had it’s own version of ‘God’. Yes, these ‘Gods’ were similar, but not the same, and that does matter. As we discussed in the example above, these institutions needed to remain unchallenged. Because they were essentially backing up those axioms which a culture takes to be self evident. Without them, there is no divine justification for anything, and no objective meaning and purpose to life.
People may suffer, they may question their place in the world, they may resent their beliefs and doubt their morals, but they would be told that if they just lived as ‘good’ people and tolerated life, they would go to ‘paradise’ or at least have some reward during and after life. They were told that their religion and social norms were ‘correct’, and that their place in life was ‘fated’. Why? Well, because ‘God’ said so!!
In a sense, it saved the average person from having to question things. People rarely had much interaction with foreigners, and so they were sheltered from existential doubts. They could just be content and go on with their life. Unlike in the 21st century, the average peasant was never told he could be King, or should even try to. After all, the King was made by God’s decrees.
People would find peace and comfort by simply believing in their prescribed duties and self evident axioms, even occultists. And by the time the occultist had learned that these prescribed duties were meaningless, they already had the knowledge and wisdom to live without these. Hence why the Bhagavat Gita is so insistent that people follow their ‘prescribed duties’ and the caste system. The authors of this book likely knew that those who walk the spiritual path would eventually realise that the caste system was wrong. But, it still needed to remain for it formed the foundation of society, and gave early spiritual seekers a framework and a set of axioms. In a sense, it backed up the entirety of Hindu society.
But these occultists saw the early warning signs. Maybe the protestant reformation was a warning sign. Suddenly, something so entrenched in European society as the Catholic Church was questioned and challenged. I mean, keep in mind that the Church was the sole justification behind most laws and the authority behind most crowns.
You see, many Magi in Europe had begun to see, and themselves doubt, the axioms laid out by Christianity. If the Church could lie, then couldn’t the Bible…also lie? But, without the Bible, what was to be the purpose of life? If living by Christian values and going to paradise was not the aim…then what was? What was the point of magick, if not to enter into Heaven, and to please God?
And so, these Magi, especially Rosicrucians, came up with an idea that was radical at the time (though to us it may seem obvious). They thought, what if the principles of Magick could be applied to create an ideal society?
A ‘Rosicrucian Kingdom’. A utopia. That old idea from Greece began to resurface. Basically, if there is no heaven, then we’ll create a heaven here. The purpose of life should be to create a world free of pain, sufferings and want. The aim of the magician should be to use their wisdom to make the world a better place! Let us call these guys, the ‘utopianists’.
You will see that, ironically, they also have a set of self evident Axioms which have no justification. Who says that society is even meant to be a perfect paradise free of suffering, pain and want? In reality, we have neither a reasoning nor evidence that humans can even attain a society like this. But the utopianists simply took these concepts to be self evident, and thus fell into the same trap that we discussed. They simply accepted the Christian ideals of ‘paradise’ and brought it into their utopia. Christianity without the God.
I find it amusing when atheists say things like “we don’t need religion to be moral!”. Um, what? Have you read a book on history? The fact is that even with religion, history is a bloodbath. In fact, made up religious tenets can be seen as pretty much the only thing keeping people even remotely moral. The fear that if they commit sins, then God will punish them. Atheists who say that it’s obvious what it means to be moral, have not thought through this stuff enough. It isn’t obvious, and it never was.
Keep in mind, that while 99.9% of you reading likely were conditioned into this utopian ideology in school, in the 17th century it was quite radical. It was never seen as a natural part of life or an aim of magicians to ‘build the ideal society’. Most people believed that suffering was simply a part of life, something you had to do before going to paradise.
And so, some interesting new changes happened.
As some of you may know, John Dee created the Enochian system of Magick with Edward Kelly in Prague, when it was ruled by King Rudolf II. Rudolf II was a hugepatron of Magick and the esoteric arts, and so during his reign magicians, alchemists, witches, mystics, Kabbalists and all sorts of other eccentric folk flocked to Prague.
Prague is a unique city. It was created by an ancient meteorite, and is ringed by 7 hills. The churches and synagogues of the city form a pentagram (sort of). It also had a significant Jewish population and had been home to many Kabbalists in the past. In a sense, it was the perfect place to start the Rosicrucian Kingdom!
Now, things did not quite turn out that way, as some of you probably know. This idea of an occult Kingdom, filled with heretics and those who practiced the ‘black arts’ terrified the rest of Christian Europe. Catholics and Protestants together descended upon Prague, and the city was sacked. Rudolf was killed, and many books of magick were burnt. The dream of the Rosicrucian Kingdom died. That’s a story for another time. However, the utopianist ideal lived on. One day, it would return to the world in the form of socialism, liberalism and progressivism.
Now, there was another group. These are people I’m sure you know well.
This group of occultists, whom we will call ‘tribalists’ asked “why not just return to our ‘natural state’. Meaning, why believe in abstractions, and why not just take science and rationalism as the self evident truth, the transcendent ideal.
In that case, the only rational and objective ‘community’ you belong to, is one based on blood. In other words, ‘race’. And the only rational and scientific purpose of our life should be to preserve ourselves and our group, and oppress everyone else. Basically, the whole ‘might is right’ philosophy. Many of you pagans and satanists might be amused to know that neo-paganism and a desire to return to shamanic religion was originally a traditionalist, anti-progressive sentiment.
In Europe, Christianity came to be seen as a ‘foreign’, ‘Jewish’ and ‘socialist’ religion, and people instead began to ask why not just divide humanity on the basis of ethnic groups, and every ethnic groups should just be left on their own to worship ‘their’ ancestral deities, live on their ancestral land and compete with other groups. Ethnocentrism, and survival of the fittest as the highest ideal. They wished to practice eugenics to strengthen the race. Without a divinely ordained morality, the idea that the individual matters more than the group suddenly felt rather random and arbitrary.
Interestingly, anti-colonial movements in India, Africa and the Middle East were also built on this ideal. Later on, fascists in Europe would come to be inspired by religions like Hinduism.
Many Hindus don’t realise this, but the fascists did not have much interest in Hinduism per se. Rather, they wanted to use it as a framework. Hinduism at this time was strongly entrenched in racial, caste and tribal boundaries. To many, this seemed like the only ‘scientific’ and ‘real’ way to live. Now, these ideologies, since they were so antithetical to the general morality of the time, never quite caught on. But they did live on until they finally emerged again as fascism, nationalism, traditionalism and volkism.
Many neopagan and satanic occult groups started out this way. Theosophy is largely reliant on the idea of race and racialism, although it was not racist itself. Now perhaps you understand why so many works of magick from the late 19th and early 20th century mention race so often, and are so obsessed with race, even in the Golden Dawn and Thelema. For them, race and blood was the only ‘real’ and transcendent ideal.
If you really think about it, you’ll see that any and all attempts at creating a scientific morality inevitably lead to this. Even moderate nationalism, in truth, is based on this idea. The idea that self preservation and general happiness of the race is greater than that of humanity. Meanwhile, utopianism is the opposite, that human progress and material success matter more than any blood ties. Ironically, the ‘humanist’ view denounces natural human tendency, and the ‘rational’ view would denounce scientific progress.
The Death of God
Occultists may have realised what was happening, but people weren’t quite there yet. In most parts of the world, religion was still widely followed and believed in. Everyone was enthusiastic about science, rationalism and social progress. No one could even imagine what the coming century would bring.
“God if dead, and we have killed him”
So wrote the late 19th century German philosopher Friedriche Nietzsche. While today Nietzsche’s writings are well known and popular around the world, no one took him seriously when he was alive. Maybe people thought he was just an edgy atheist or an anti-authoritarian.
Look at just how long this blog post has been, and how much time it took to get everyone reading on the same page. Many people, even now, misunderstand Nietzsche. Some people think he was a right wing traditionalist who was denouncing modernism. This is untrue. Fascists in Italy and Germany interpreted his work a certain way, but anyone who reads him will realise that this is nonsense.
Some others think he was celebrating atheism and rationalism, but this is also untrue. When Nietzsche said “God is dead”, it was not a celebration, but a dire warning. You see, Nietzsche realised what was coming. He saw that increasing scientific and cultural progress had laid bare, very evidently, that many of the religious truths that the West was built upon, namely those of Christianity, and even Greece and Rome, were untrue. By this time, it was well known that the Bible was not literally true, and likely not the Quran or any other holy scripture. It was evident that many social norms and feudal systems around the world were flawed and arbitrary Even the idea of royalty, gender roles, and in fact all the self evident axioms on which the world was built.
To be clear, Nietzsche was not criticisng scientific and cultural progress. If he did that, the answer would be easy. No, he saw them as inevitable. Certain institutions and beliefs which had allowed humanity to build stable societies, and then enabled scientific and cultural development. But, this very progress, this unprecedented growth of Order and the shrinking Unknown, would lead to the destruction of those very institutions and beliefs.
In the time Nietzsche spent thinking, he independently arrived at the same conclusions we have seen in this article. Naturally, this caused him to enter into long, depressive periods and probably have several mental breakdowns. The realisation that life, in truth, had no purpose, and that all the fundamental values and beliefs we cling to are, mostly, just made up, was a horrifying realisation. It was perhaps the first time in the modern era that an ordinary person, who was not a magician, realised this and made it publicly known.
He predicted that eventually, ideology would fill that hole left by religion. And it did, in the form of communism, fascism, nationalism and capitalism. In fact, it was Nietzsche who first called Socialism, “Christianity without the God”, and also came up with this idea that Christianity, and Religion itself created a ‘slave morality’.
You see, he saw a very serious problem. Without God, or a transcendent ideal, who was to justify the moral system of these ideologies? What standard was there to act as an anchor, to stop these various ideologies from just going haywire, and turning into dictatorships? And that is precisely what happened. Some group of people who have the most power, influence and charisma dictate what the ideals of these movements are. And then it’s nothing but a power struggle, as the old culture and institutions are torn down, without meaningful replacements ready. What took thousands of years to evolve cannot simply be replaced overnight. All it breeds, is more revolution.
The failure of both fascism, and marxism has now left us with nothing except capitalism. In my post about the Age of Pisces, I explained how this represents the spiritual fading away of the Piscean age.
You see, capitalism is not a bad economic theory. Yes it has problems, but the fundamental idea that there should be a free market where people voluntarily trade in goods and services is quite decent. The problem is that that’s all capitalism is. It does not work as a moral philosophy (consumerism) and a political system (corporatism).
A lot of people who denounce capitalism these days are, in reality, alienated by our consumerism and corporatism. Money and material wealth have become the transcendent ideal. In a sense, even modern socialists and nationalists are really just consumerists.
For example, let’s say a nationalist wants their country to prosper. By ‘prosperity’, they probably mean economic growth and material progress. If a socialist wants equality, they likely define ‘equality’ as economic equality. As everyone having a job and a living wage. It’s interesting how, money and material wealth have become the be all and end all. The source behind wars, ideological conflict, and even the only thing on people’s minds. All our new technological advancements are used for nothing more than a way for corporations to sell us more shit.
It was Peter J. Carroll, a Chaos magician, who introduced the words “consumer capitalism” and “consumer communism” in his 1980 book called Liber Null. To him, ideology itself has become a commodity. He predicted the coming age of Aquarius, and how people would lose faith in consumerism and corporatism.
It’s like a market place of “isms”, of labels and ideologies which has replaced our religious systems. All ideas which all claim to have “facts” on their side, promising a utopia , if only the ‘good’ people would just deal with whichever group or thing has been deemed to be ‘the problem’. Not too different from medieval priests telling peasants to go burn the heretics, whose activities had apparently the source of bad harvests or strange diseases, who claimed to have ‘God’ and ‘divine decree’ on their side.
Back then God sat up in the sky. Then we went and looked, and he wasn’t there. Then he was sitting in the far future, in some promised utopia. Then we went and looked and he wasn’t there either.
Now people begin to ask “Where is our God! He must be dead! And those people must have killed him!”
Even nihilists blame someone for their nihilism. And today most people are either some form of nihilist (even unconsciously), or believe in various utopias (unconsciously). Maybe you’re a banker, but you hate your job, but you think that the sufferings is worth it because some day, you’ll magically have enough money to feel ‘happy’. Maybe you’re a teenager who thinks life is meaningless, but you think raging and rebelling against ‘society’ is the answer, even though you’re part of society. Maybe you’re a Christian, still desperately clinging to the idea that the Bible isn’t just a book, and Christ will descend from heaven and fix everything, that you’ll go to a promised paradise.
Maybe you’re an occultist, who thinks it is only a matter of time before the Age of Aquarius is in full swing and there will be some ‘mass awakening’ where human beings shall suddenly become more enlightened and evolve. Even though, no one ever said so. We simply choose to believe it. Maybe you think that if you just keep doing magick and tolerating whatever miseries or sorrows you have in life, suddenly there will be a light in the sky and archangels will descend. Maybe you think if you just do the LBRP every day, suddenly there will come a day where you will become free from the pains and hardships of life, and have the ability to fulfill any desires without consequences, where the Gods shall suddenly show themselves to you and all shall be well forever. The politicains will stop lying, the wars will stop, everyone shall embrace magick and there shall be good jobs for everyone. Just….just a matter of time now. Any day…
Is that any more naive than the Christian, the Jew, the Muslim, the Hindu or the Buddhist waiting for promised redemption?
Now, let us try to find a solution.
The Will to Power
Nietzsche was truly ahead of his time. Unlike many other philosophers, he did not bother playing around with ideologies, new religions or scientific rationalism. Instead he went straight to the question: How do we deal with the death of God?
In other words, he started solving the problem of the 21st century in the 19th century.
The commonly given answers, ie returning to religion and believing in science, do not work. Religion, while containing wisdom, can no longer serve as the transcendent ideal, due to the lack of absolute axioms. The fact that these days we have to reconcile religion with modern values and science proves this. A truly divine thing would need neither to be reconciled nor justified.
Then the problem of science. Science tells us how the world is, objectively. It does not tell us how to live, what to aim at, and what our purpose is. Yeah yeah, scientists can harp on all about how “one day” we’ll know. But the fact is, the average 18 year old cannot look to rationalism or science to tell him what he should do with life, or a father how he should raise his children. As we saw in a previous post, it cannot even reliably tell us what we should eat. Now, one answer it could give is that all humanity should simply engage in science. In a way, turn scientific progress itself into the transcendent ideal. Humanity should just devote it’s whole effort to learning more about the Universe. This is an absurdity.
As for now, we have reached the limit. The next frontier, which is space, is out of reach. Most people alive right now will not go to space, and even by the end of the century we can only expect a few research colonies.
Our short lifespans and inability to travel close to the speed of light hinders us. In a way, the ‘Known’ has expanded and encompassed everything on the planet. With a simple google search, you can have 99% of phenomena on Earth explained, view scenes and images from any place, and communicate with anyone anywhere. Yes, there are unexplored jungles, but how many of us will realistically explore unknown forests, dive deep into the ocean or go into space? The unknown is now beyond the reach of most humanity.
And yet these rationalists have created a mentally ill society by telling everyone that the only meaningful path is to push even further. Hence, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, an explorer, to create an AI, a VR experience, to be an activist, a celebrity or a billionaire. Everyone wants to change the world. The naturally slow pace of science drives people into pseudo-scientific cults like the Flat Earth Society just to find answers, while the rest run off into the fantastical land of video games, comics and films, just to find some sense of novelty and adventure. We have an entire world of dissatisfied people who are unhappy with their ‘mundane’ lives, and want all those exciting opportunities which are few, and can only go to some.
After a lifetime of thought, Nietzsche produced his magnum opus, the philosophy called Will to Power. It was a message for the time we currently live in, and thus has grown quite popular. But it is a frequently misunderstood idea.
Will to power is an idea as powerful as it is depressing. Nietzsche, rejects both free will and determinism. He rejects both hard atheism and religion. And, he rejects both tribalism and utopianism, since he saw how they were rather arbitrary.
Rejecting the idea of ‘survival of the fittest’, he elevated it to ‘Power to the Fittest’. Basically, he purported that all things in the Universe are driven by one transcendent principle: the Will to Power. That is to say, the Will to increase relative power. To not just survive, but thrive, and expand influence, and overpower. Life, according to him, is simply one case of the Will to Power, and human beings are also primarily motivated by this.
Out there in the Universe, where two stars come close together, what happens? Their gravitational pulls naturally compete, until one consumes the other, or locks it into orbit.
In our solar system, Planets formed as a result of larger rocks overcoming and consuming smaller rocks. Human beings evolved to where we are through warfare, competition and by actively dominating and integrating other homonid species, and by actively changing the environment.
The Will to Power, therefore, states that all forces in the Universe are really the Will to Power. And this force competes with itself, force against force, Will against Will, to increase it’s power and domination. Every single thing is driven towards the expansion of its power, influence and sphere of control.
You will see that this fits into the shaman story we started with. By entering into the forest, the Shaman was driven by the Will to Power. After all, the expansion of knowledge leads to the expansion of the Shaman’s power. By learning to heal, he can not only increase his own lifespan, but also gain an elevated position over his peers. Learning to make medicine can allow the tribe to be healthier and have longer lifespans, and this gives them an advantage over other tribes.
By adhering to ancient wisdom, the society maintains its relative ascendance. When a society collectively ostracizes a ‘heretic’, it’s only because the heretic threatens the status quo which reduces the power of the society, and also threatens those who hold most of this power. Two kingdoms fight over a land not merely because of superstition, but because of the innate desire to dominate, subjugate and overpower the other, thereby increasing it’s power and that of it’s subjects. People fight for some King because, by increasing his power, they increase the power of their kingdom and also of themselves. People choose to believe in religious dogma because there is strength in numbers, and by forming themselves into a community, their relative power grows. After all, a religious community fanatically devoted to their cause is more powerful than an individual can ever be.
If today people denounce religion in our society, it’s because it no longer empowers and serves people. In reality, people come to new traditions of magick and spirituality not because they seek ‘truth’, but because it grows their power. Spiritual traditions spread their teachings because it increases their influence and wealth.
Even this blog could be seen as a manifestation of my own Will to Power, to increase my influence by spreading my ideas to the world. You read it because the knowledge will increase your quality of life, and ability to control, dominate and change your life and circumstances.
All this likely sounds bleak, but I want you to really consider the implications of the Will to Power. It is an inescapable truth, even if not transcendent, it is profound. War is Will to Power. Politics is Will to Power. Rebellions and Dictatorship alike are Will to Power. Romance, Education, Travel, Spirituality are this Will to Power. Evolution itself, and Scientific progress are Will to Power. Natural disasters, the motion of stars, the galactic swirling, entropy and gravity are this Will to Power. Life simply is Will to Power.
J.R.R. Tolkien famously took on Nietzsche (being himself a devout Catholic). In the Lord of the Rings, Sauron’s Ring is defined as the ‘will to power’ itself. Tolkien was taking an obvious jab. His aim was to show Sauron as following the Will to Power, and thus being cruel and tyrannical, and how the Fellowship of the Ring overcame his power through friendship, loyalty, humility and mercy.
And yet, Tolkien only went ahead and proved Nietzsche’s point. For you see, ‘Power’ in Will to Power is not just being described as strength, military capacity or wealth. No, power is anything that helps you overcome your foes. So, according to Nietzsche, humility, mercy, tolerance, generosity and loyalty are also forms of ‘power’. According to this philosophy, the people of Middle Earth only succeeded because these traits increased their Power. By being merciful humble, loyal, brave and honorable, they were able to overpower Sauron.
All Tolkien proved is that these traits are more powerful than domineering strength and a numerical advantage. All it shows is that the Elves, Dwarves and Humans had a stronger, and more ‘powerful’ form of government and social ties than the orcs of Mordor. Sam and Frodo succeeded not because friendship is ‘good’, but only because in that specific instance friendship and loyalty were more powerful than fear and deceit. Sauron did not fail because he was ‘evil’, but because he was weaker.
That is the inescapable idea of Will to Power.
For even a noble, generous man who shares his immense wealth and genuinely loves his enemies and genuinely wants the best for mankind, does so because such traits are seen as ‘good’ by the human race and increase his relative power. That is not all, of course. There is something greater, but that’s what these posts are working towards. The existence of a Higher Ideal does not invalidate the Will to Power.
The Sacred Masculine
To many of you, that probably sounds pretty damn bleak. It makes everything seem so…futile.
I mean, power? Really? The entirety of existence is really just driven by Wills competing for power? What about love? Do you really just love your parents because it has social utility and evolutionary advantage? Do you really put time into your passion because it enables you to grow your influence and power? Do you really just do magick to ascend over others?
Will to Power is almost certainly real, but it’s doubtful is it is the transcendent ideal. Nietzsche, it seems, had a similar problem, being unable to find satisfaction in his answer. So, he came up with another idea: the Ubermensch.
The Ubermensch means the “over man” or, quite literally, “super man”.
Nietzsche felt that the Will to Power was basically an ‘natural’ state of being, and that evolution itself had caused human beings to possess it. But, unlike many of the ‘blind’ forces in the Universe, human beings had also evolved reason. We developed the ability to break away from our natural, animalistic state and create artificial ways of being.
A lot of people casually use the term Ubermensch, not actually understanding what it means. In Nietzsche’s understanding, it was the eventual goal of human evolution. He thought that, over time, a new kind of human would emerge, who would be able to transcend their inherited value system. And thus, this highly evolved creature would be able to ‘create’ their own values, completely independently.
Think back now, to the previous Secret of Magick post. Do you remember what we discussed? How magick causes a process of spiritual transformation that eventually causes the practitioner break away from their inherited reality, and create their own reality. By being able to redefine their psyche, they become able to redefine their own value system, and develop a new, personal morality.
This is the Ubermensch, the being who creates their own reality and their own values. The being who is not bound by anything, but instead binds the forces of their psyche to their Will.
What Nietzsche believed would emerge out of human evolution, is already attainable through spiritual evolution within the individual. It is the destiny of the Magician to make themselves the Ubermensch.
You can see this paralleled in myths of Armageddon. As you all know, the story of Christ being resurrected represents the Initiation of the student. The individual dies, symbolically, and is reborn. Christ is the ‘Self’. But then, what does the story of Revelation symbolise?
It represents Christ returning to the World to destroy it, and redeem the fallen. In reality, it represents the Crossing of the Abyss, when all those symbols which unconsciously governed us as cast away, such as morality, laws, religion, culture, passions etc. It is when our perception of reality, our ‘Universe’ is destroyed, and the contents of the psyche all reveal themselves and stand before the Self for judgement. This is also represented by the Kalki Avatar, Horus the Avenger, and Ragnarok. All this these myths of destruction really just show the destruction of the psyche, and redemption of all aspects of oneself. Beyond this, the ascended magi is free to define reality as they Will. However, this is not a singular event, but actually a lifelong process.
The Will is Masculine. Order is Masculine. Therefore, the Will to Power, to confront the Unknown and create Order from it is the impulse of the Sacred masculine. This very act or creating order from chaos is magick, and invokes the Sacred Masculine. It manifests to us as Culture, the Divine Father, for when we confront the Unknown, we generally rely upon our ‘culture’ to make sense of it.
In the most crude sense, this is why when an ancient culture overcame the other in combat, they sought to impose their own culture onto it, and why humanity was always driven to expand it’s sphere of control, and various cultures wanted to spread their philosophy, religion and ways of life. This is also an aspect of the Will to Power.
As we discussed in the last post, Religion (which is born out of culture) gives us a framework to practice spirituality. Magick, too, can be done within this framework. However, as a shaman generates culture, the practice of magick eventually enables the student of magick to become like the Ubermensch, and generate their own culture and value hairarchy.
For example, let us say you practice witchcraft, or hermeticism, or even thelema and satanism.
Perhaps you do the LBRP everyday. Tell me, hasn’t the LBRP, and it’s symbols become a part of your own, personal ‘culture’. The fact is that ordinary people, even in the West, do not normally do the LBRP, or use the Pentagram and Cross the way we do, or look at the world through our alchemical and kabbalistic framworks.
Even as you read right now, Hermeticism, Neopaganism, Daoism, Yoga and a few other traditions are spreading like wildfire across the world, preached and practiced by spiritualists, literally creating a bran new, novel culture.
For thousands of individuals in the world, as the old ‘God’ dies, and new ‘God’ is coming into being, which will produce a new set of ideals. And the Father, or Culture, producing this God is a conglomeration of various popular magickal traditions. We have become like the new shamans, going into the Unknown and bringing back wisdom.
In a weird sort of way, we magicians of the 21st century all belong to a bunch of brand new cultures, which slowly assimilate through our interactions and exchange of knowledge. Some of you may have a completely unique magickal system of your own making, which means you basically have a culture that you, and only you, adhere to. Over time, these WILL bleed into mainstream awareness, either through external means (such as this blog), or internal means (simply spreading through the collective unconscious). I mean, was the Pentagram as common or mainstream a symbol just 100 years ago as it is now?
Right now, there are people reading this blog from all parts of the world. Some of you may be Western, some African, some Asian and some Indian. Some of you may be Christian, some Hindu, some Pagan. And yet, none of the contents of this blog, or any other similar blog or youtube channel, are part of mainstream culture. I can casually reference things like the LBRP, which to the average person are totally unknown. Tell me them, isn’t all this really just a set of new cultures which are emerging? Aren’t you really just becoming members of a new culture, shared currently by only a small number of people, but rapidly growing? A culture originating in the Golden Dawn, in Thelema, in Neo-Vedanta, in Technological spirituality, in Psychadelics, in Satanism, in Neo-Paganism, in Gnosticism, in UFO cults, in Cryptids, in Cosmic religion and Interstellar imagery!
Perhaps, 200 years from now, children in schools will read the LBRP as a daily prayer. Maybe there were be Churches and Temples which venerate the Pentagram. Maybe the Hermetic Laws will be widely and commonly believed in. You already see mainstream people believing in things like “the law of attraction” and “synchronicity”.
God is dead, and we killed him. But now from the womb of our own minds, a new God is being born, who shall guide us into the future. Therefore, pray and work. Follow your impulse, your drive, and your Will. Do not despair, or allow those who spread fear, hopelessness and despair to confuse you. If we are living in a time of upheaval, it is only because the Unknown has entered into our bastions of civilisation and culture, which are now ridden with holes. But, this is precisely when magicians thrive.
Like Ra, the Solar Father, who raised the first Obelisk from the chaotic waters of Nu, so too can we do so in our own lives, collectively and individually.
Next time, we shall look at the Divine Feminine, instead 🙂
Don’t believe me. Fine, let me say the same sentence to you using many more words.
What was the Age of Pisces? It was the Astrological Age which began somewhere around 100 BCE and 100 CE. An astrological age lasts around 2100 years, meaning we are currently close, or have pretty much already entered into, the Age of Aquarius.
Lots of people talk about the Age of Aquarius, and how it will be a meritocratic, technological age. An age of free knowledge, open practice of magick, decentralization, sexual fluidity, and indeed the break down of many fixed, dual structures. But I want to talk a bit about the Age of Pisces before we say goodbye to it for good.
Oh, and before we begin, an update regarding the book: The Tree of Life: A Beginner’s Guide has been updated. A full email announcement regarding the changes has already been sent a while back to those who purchased it. Obviously, this doesn’t impact those who will buy it in future. But just in case you did buy it, but missed the email, here’s a reminder to go download it again.
A Very Brief Introduction
Pisces was the last zodiac sign. Over the course of 26,000 years, the belt of the Zodiac moves slowly, counter clockwise. This is the result of the Earth’s axial tilt. Basically, the Earth ‘wobbles’, and the axis is not actually fixed on the star we call Polaris. As this wobble happens, the Earth’s axis traces a slow circle around the constellation of Draco, the Dragon. This means the ‘Pole Star’ shifts too, based on where the Earth’s north pole is pointing. It is currently Polaris, but one day it will be something else, and back in ancient times it was something else too.
The other effect this has, is that the belt of the Zodiac appears to slowly move around the Earth. We determine the current astrological age by seeing which sign the Sun rises in, during the Summer Solistice. So the Age of Aquarius is when the Sun is rising in the sign of Aquarius (which is pretty much happening now by the way. I checked last year). This process is called Axial Precession, or Precession of the Equinox.
Many astrologers and even magicians make the error of thinking that the made up constellations themselves affect us, which isn’t quite right. I mean, for one, different cultures have different constellations, and the ones we use commonly nowadays really are just arbitrary patterns thought up by ancient Greeks, based on an older Egyptian model. Yes, the Stars do have magickal affects on Earth, just like everything else in the Universe, but they are far away and this affect is minimal. Our lives are affected much more strongly by theelemental forces on Earth, and by the energies of the planets in the Solar System.
The constellations should not be thought of as the cause of astrological phenomena, but rather a convenient ‘clock’. They simply represent the shift in elemental forces cause by the rotation and revolution of the Earth, and the planets. Similarly, the Axial Precession represents the completion of various cycles in the evolution of the Earth. Every astrological age is influenced by the archetypal energies ascribed to the current astrological sign, and the planet which is assigned rulership over it. But when did this cycle begin?
Presumably, the Earth has been wobbling and going through this cycle for hundreds of millions of years, over and over. But when talking specifically about the current cycle, we of the Hermetic tradition take Leo, the sign ruled by the Sun, to be the first. Not Aries (which is the first sign of the year, since it brings spring, but not the first sign of the Axial Precession).
The reasons for this are simple, because human ‘civilisation’ as we currently understand it, began around 12,000 BCE. This was the time when the Holoscene epoch began. It is also around this time that the first Agricultural Revolution began, and historians usually consider the invention of agriculture as the first step of ‘civilisation’.
Also, in the Hermetic tradition it is believed that beginnings of high magick date back to this time period. Calculating from there, we get the current time period, and the Age of Aquarius.
What was the Age of Pisces
Pisces is the astrological sign ruled by Jupiter.
What does Pisces represent? Any basic book on astrology will tell you: dreams, visions, fantasies and spirituality. It is mutable Water, meaning it is very passive, and has to do with emotions, feelings and subconscious impressions.
And how were all the great Piscean religions started?
Through the dreams, visions and prophecies of great Seers, Prophets, and Mystics. It spread through rumours, through wandering sages, through stories. The rumour of some great magician who challenged the authority of the Emperor and was crucified in a far away land was enough to turn the ENTIRE Roman empire Christian. The idea and stories of the Buddha wandering from place to place and sharing his wisdom, which was further shared by others, was the basis of spreading Buddhism across half a continent. And those religions which did not start in this time, adopted a Piscean character. Hinduism became devotional, Judaism became mystical. Islam is entirely emotional and based on feeling and trance. Even the Pagan religions which persisted in this time became highly reliant on divinations and utterances of shamans.
The Piscean cultures and civilisations of the last 2000 years have been sensual, placing a great amount of importance on emotional impact of symbols. Things were true if enough people felt they were true, and most rulers maintained power through shows and displays of their authority, like wearing impressive clothes and using symbols and banners and words which left an impression. Subconscious impressions. It is also no wonder that humanity became a highly seafaring race, and the great Empires towards the end of the Age of Pisces all held great control over the seas (Maybe in the Age of Aquarius we will perfect air/ space transport, although I do not foresee space Empires just yet).
Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, and Jupiter is the planet of benevolence, wealth, kindness, opulence, luxury, majesty and royalty. What was the dominant form of government in these last 2000 years? No, not monarchy. Feudalism. Feudalism, where power was maintained by the concept of “royal” and “noble” blood, and the hierarchy was dictated by Jupiterian concepts like wealth, valour, honour, dignity etc.
It was not military might, since that sort of power structure belongs to the Age of Aries. Yes, military played a role, as it always will, but it is generally known that the greatest warrior was not automatically made King. A royal claim by an heir with noble blood, superseded any military strength. Obviously, institutional religions played a big role. Consider the Catholic Church, and how strong they were. It is literally a full on Piscean institution. In fact, did you know that the funny hat the Pope wears is literally a fish. It comes from the Ancient Sumerian sea god Dagon, who had a fish on his head. Over centuries, it has ended up on the Pope’s head. Pisces is also the sign of the Fish.
Jupiter rules benevolence and kindness. In this past Age, benevolence and kindness were considered the greatest virtues, and all who had power and status were expected to be well mannered, kind and generous with their wealth.
Every astrological Age decays over time though. The Age of Aries ended when people had become too violent, and when the abuse of power was common and military strength was a tool of oppression, and used as justification to rule. This is why Piscean religions like Christianity and Buddhism, which preached mercy and tolerance, so quickly replaced the martial cults and creeds of the past, and left a permanent impact on all the world. But in the last century, we watched the Age of Pisces reach it’s end, as man became obsessed with wealth and material pleasure, and with a near fanatical obsession to satiate emotional needs and wants. Money became the sole object of worship and desire, both the means and the end to all endeavor. Wars were fought for money and material resources, and people’s opinions, beliefs and values all became heavily reliant on emotions, and everyone who wanted power had to make appeals to emotion, and those in power made great shows of false kindness and opulence.
Celebrity worship is perhaps the most overt symbol of a Piscean excess. The worship of people surrounded by Jupiterian symbols, and their followers who feel emotionally connected, and even reliant upon, them.
Pisces is also ruled by Neptune. Neptune is a planet whose influence was not strongly felt until the last century or so, when it revealed itself. Neptune rules psychology, psychosis, psychadelics. Now, this post is not about the end of Pisces and the birth of Aquarius. I am simply giving an idea of what the Age of Pisces was, and how to think about it.
Some of you may say I am interpreting history through a very specific lens. But that is precisely what history is. All ‘history’ is a narrative, an interpretation through a certain lens. If we simply take the facts and a sequence of events as they happened, without any interpretation, then that is not history, that is a chronicle.
To divide history into astrological ages like this is no more or less ‘scientific’ or ‘academic’ than, say, dividing it up into things like the classical and medieval eras. Those are also just interpretations and narratives.
But what was the Piscean lie?
Look at the signs of Pisces and Aquarius. Both represent duality. But they both show it in a slightly different way. Aquarius shows duality as fluid, as two different strands which weave and mingle together, and then separate. Like a double helix formed from energy. But Pisces shows duality as being fixed and held in place, and even opposing.
By the way, anyone who ever wondered why Piscean religions were so obsessed with categorizing and defining ‘good’ and ‘bad’, will now see why. It isn’t just morality they separated, but gender too. Everything became one way or another, yin and yang, with little room for doubt. You either were a peasant, or a noble, and unlike modern times these categories did not shift so easily. It was exceedingly rare for, say, a peasant to become a noble, and even a nobleman who had lost all his wealth and land and castles, was STILL a noble and had to be treated as such. So, Piscean culture was highly dual and rigid. And it was a very emotional culture, so rational arguments against this would hold little weight.
Many grimoires of magick from the Middle Ages, to a modern magician, may seem….outdated, and dogmatic.
Let’s take some popular ones. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Arbamelin. This is a popular one from the 14th century, and is most likely the basis of many later grimoires like the Ars Goetia. The first sections of this book document the journeys of a figure called Abraham the Jew. He travels across Europe, Arabia, Egypt and other regions. He meets Kabbalists, Christian mystics, Egyptian and Islamic magi, Pagans, Black Magicians, and each of them teaches him some small part of magick and wisdom. In the end, Abraham concludes that the best and truest magick he learned was from the only High Adept he met, which is an Egyptian mage named Abramelin.
In the second and third sections, he explains the basics of an elaborate working called the Abramelin ritual. However, as he explains what magick is, he immediately starts off by criticising and decrying paganism, polytheism and idolatory. He criticizes elemental magick, astrology, alchemy, and every other craft besides Kabbalah and Christian mysticism. Although he has so far defined them really well, he now repeatedly emphases Abrahamic values and the importance of prayer, and warns people against anything besides that, and also how everything they do must also be for the betterment of ‘their neighbours’. This sentiment is then echoed in later grimories like the Ars Goetia, which also seem to be emphasizing religious worship. It’s almost like they’re compensating for something.
Let’s take the Bhagawat Gita. It is not a religious scripture…not really anyway. It was almost certainly written by mystics. It is a very funny little book, because it seems to contradict itself so often. It begins by declaring that all systems of class, gender and caste are arbitrary in spirituality, and no individual is held back from spiritual awakening because of their birth. It also declares that traditional religion and priesthood have become erroneous, and that the study of scriptures can be a distraction. But then, towards the end it seemingly retraces its steps, reiterating feudalism, casteism, the importance of following religious norms and emphasizes divisions between people.
What of Dr. John Dee? His diaries on Enochain magick are full of seeming dead ends, incomplete systems, seemingly random and arbitrary materials, and a repeated attempt to interpret everything within the Christian framework. I mean, that’s why it’s called ‘Enochain’ magick, even though the ‘enochian’ Angels never called themselves that, nor indicated that they had anything to do with Enoch. At one point in his dialogue with the Angels, they straight up tell him not to bother with worship and religious observances, and also that Jesus was a mystic, not the literal son of god, and need not be worshipped. Yet, he continues his Christian theological interpretations, seemingly.
Why did the Sufi mystics, even though they clearly did not believe in Islamic dogma, pretend to follow and accept Sharia law? I mean, half of them didn’t, and these were chased out of Arabia, but the other half did. Even after their beliefs and contemplations became significantly different from Islamic theology, they continued to attempt to fit it in with what the clerics said.
Or what of the Hindu prophetic figure and theologian, Adi Shankaracharya?
Towards the end of his life, he went off to live alone on the top of a mountain. Here, he had a bunch of spiritual visions and experiences with the Goddess Shakti, and composed what is essentially a magickal grimoire called the Saundarya Lahiri. This is very similar in style to European grimoires, and contains hyms, spells, pentacles and sigils, along with detailed descriptions of invocation and the Maha Yantra.
However, this book has many strange instructions. For example, some hyms are required to be chanted, say, forty thousand times, and under very specific conditions, to be effective. This sort of thinking has persisted in Hindu magick, where exceedingly long and elaborate instructions are given for basic magickal workings. So elaborate, that no one in his right mind would even consider attempting them, unless you want to be in the wilderness on the midnight of the Spring Equinox standing before a roaring fire and repeating a mantra eighty thousand times, after having fasted and abstained from speech and sex for several weeks.
Or let’s take the Ars Goetia? Are you really going to wear a lion skin belt, pray to Jesus, then invoke demons from the Bible who shall appear breathing sulfur?
What about the Grand Grimoire. Half the recipes in that book will either poison you or kill you, and I genuinely cannot imagine that anyone in history has tried some of the ones which involve ingesting toxic metals, or growing a bean plant inside a decapitated human head for attaining wealth.
Hey, and how about my very own Golden Dawn tradition? Anyone who’s read the Golden Dawn books might find that there’s plenty of information that’s contradictory, seemingly incomplete, distorted, and just outright WRONG.
You get the point. I mean, if you can call upon a Spirit by merely chanting it’s name and visualizing, why do some books have you sacrifice rare, exotic virgin animals at a very specific hours of the night using a dagger made from a very specific type of wood from a very specific tree which is found in only very specific places, collected at a specific time, and in a specific way? How can an art, as sacred and universal as Magick, be so goddamn complicated, inaccessible and bizzare?
The short answer is: it isn’t. It’s lies.
I would say about 90% of the instructions and methodology from both grimoires and religious scripture can be safely and easily left out in actual ritual performance. They serve no greater purpose, nor is there any greater or special significance to them. Yes, they are often symbolic, and studying them can help one understand the specific symbolism of that particular occult tradition, but more often than not it only gives you a glimpse into the psyche of the specific magus or mystic who wrote these things, and may not apply to others even from the same tradition.
The Long Answer
The Age of Pisces was a time of duality. It was a time of Good and Evil. These were fixed categories, and the important thing was to align with the Good and reject the Evil.
Many magi of this period, and even ages before, were terrified of one thing: magickal knowledge falling into the wrong hands, and being misused for the purposes of what they would have called ‘evil’. Another danger when simply writing down knowledge that was once well protected and only passed personally from Master to Student, was about how to make sure that only ‘worthy’ students received this knowledge.
The first instance of magickal knowledge being fully committed to writing, in it’s entirety, comes to us from religious scriptures of religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Still not meant for the public, these books are essentially encoded. They use symbols and archetypal stories to get important spiritual ideas and concepts across, and over time these stories and symbols have become more refined. As reading and writing became more widespread, books of magick also began to contain intentional lies and manipulations. Often, it was something as simple as little omissions here and there, or subtle distortions to important symbols, or extra steps to rituals. For example, your average book on alchemy goes from being a set of instructions on metallurgic refining, to being an allegorical, symbolic legend, filled with wild goose chases, and the work appears so complex and troublesome that any ordinary person would simply toss away the book in annoyance, except someone who has already received alchemical instructions or performed basic experiments. A worthy student who can sift through the lies to get at the real matter of the book.
Additionally, bear in mind that the practice of magick leads to a strong, almost radical sense of individualism. But that doesn’t mean people were always free to express this. So, when writing works of magick, they had to be sure to conform to socio-political and cultural norms. For example, even if the writers of the Keys of Solomon were not Christian, they had show that everything they were doing was, in reality, Christian after all, and completely in line with Christian dogma. The author of the Book of Abramelin may have believed that both men and women could do magick, but he still couldn’t say outright that we should reject gender roles, just as the authors of the Bhagawat Gita couldn’t just reject the caste system.
This, by the way, is true even today. I can’t, for example, tell you to reject or even break tyrannical laws in your country, because that would probably get this blog unlisted from search engines and possibly even banned in various countries. So far, I’ve always straddled the edge between what is and isn’t socially, culturally or politically allowed, and will remain that way. Only you can infer my true meaning and beliefs about religion, politics and the modern world in general. I can never state them outright, because I’m not keen to draw undue attention.
To us, living in the Age of Aquarius, “good and evil” seem like superfluous concepts. We live in a time beyond Good and Evil, and understand that they are subjective boundaries and not based upon anything real. Doesn’t matter what your political or ideological leaning is since both, the existentialists like Nietzsche came to the same conclusions as the post modernists like Satre. This is not a rigth wing-left wing thing. Good and Evil do not exist, and so it makes no sense to try to be a “good” person. But rather, the Aquarian ideal is about truth, honesty and moral integrity.
The Gods don’t want us to be good and reject evil in this Age, but rather be truthful and have integrity, and reject lies and deceit. And so the Aquarian Magi focus on being as open, transparent and as truthful as possible, and do everything they can to cut down lies, propaganda and subversion. It is one of the reasons why, these days, we do not demand that society, governments and religions be ‘good’, so much as we want them to be transparent and honest. Honesty is a virtue, while ‘goodness’ is seen as pretentious. This is also why modern magicians can invoke Spirits who were formerly called as ‘demon’. These ‘demons’ represent things which, to the Piscean cultures, would have been seen as ‘evil’. To us, no such dichotomy exists. All that we ask for and focus on, is clarity and integrity, and the same is expected from us.
But that was not true in the previous age. It may not make sense to us, but to those who lived in the time it seemed perfectly fine to lie, manipulate and distort information in order to serve the ‘greater Good’. After all, what harm was being done, except deny power to those who were evil?
Problem is, there was also a lot of copy-pasting. A lot of books of magick, yoga and spirituality are filled with material that was simply copied from older books by people who neither practiced nor understood the material. A lot of them merely gave their opinions, and the best logical answer they could come up with, to make sense of all this. A vast majority of occult grimoires fall into this category. They’re simply amalgamations of previous works. The Grimoire of Armadel is perhaps the best example of this. Naturally, all the lies and distortions are retained, since the authors simply had a scholastic interest in these books, and did not practice magick themselves. And so, there’s a further distortion.
A lot of things that are written on the topic of high magick and yoga are just completely…..meaningless. They serve no purpose besides a passing scholarly interest, and it is sad to see so many beginners of magick get so worked up over arbitrary categories, needlessly complex rituals, contradictory philosophies, and various theological and moral restrictions. I think a majority of New Age literature is just that, further opinions given on these various distorted works. A distortion of a distortion of a distortion. Wonderful.
I myself was once really worked up over these things. What is a demon, what is an angel, what is a god? What does it mean to be noble, what is the purpose of culture, and how to be a good person? Growing up, I often had a keen interest in doing the “right thing” and frequently remained obedient to rules, procedures and expectations. Now, I can look back and see it was nothing but servility. I was merely going against my own better judgement for people who did not know better. In fact, many people I listened to were just weak and confused, and were trying to pass it on to the next generation. I realised that power is not always earned, and often people who have been granted authority did not earn it, and do not deserve it. Just because someone says, with confidence, that something is right and correct and moral, does NOT make it so.
Redeeming the Truth
So…what is to be done?
There’s no one size fits all solution. It requires personal discretion, and most importantly, experience.
For example, try to understand the essence and purpose of a ritual and cosmology, without following it blindly. What does the lion skin belt of the Ars Goetia represent? The Animal self, and tying it around your waist represents that you have conquered your inner demons.
Remember that most mythology and scripture is symbolic. For example, the ‘end times’ in the Biblical Revelation represents, not the “end of the world”, but rather Apokalypsis, which is a Greek word meaning the attainment of knowledge, or Gnosis. it also shows the passing from the Age of Pisces to that of Aquarius, which has been happening since around 1980.
A lot of things are exaggerated. Many Tantric mantras do not need to be repeated 40,000 times. Just 40 times will suffice, and you can have the intent of putting the power of a thousand recitations into a single one. These recitations are simply to enter a meditative trance, and imprint the instructions into your subconscious. If you can understand the why, then the what is irrelevant.
Remember that everything the alchemists did refers to real chemical phenomena. If you understand chemistry, you shall understand the instructions.
The Enochian tablets are pages of an instruction manual, not an object of worship or altar piece.
The cosmologies of Gods, Angels and Demons always refer to the elements, the planets, the zodiac, or the 9 gates of understanding.
There’s also few tips I can give. Remember, your OWN gnosis and experiences, and your own thoughts and worldview supersede everything.
But what if you’re wrong?
Trust me, better to think for yourself, and be wrong, than not think at all. The risk of being wrong, and having to reevaluate your beliefs is the price for self determination. Personally, I remember when I first started magick so much of it felt wrong, meaningless, obtuse, misleading or just plain ignorant. But I had to convince myself that it was written by masters who knew more, an that every occult author was of the same caliber, and every book contained valuable information. Never occurred to me that many occult authorities could be..well, just some guys who never had any spiritual experiences with dumb opinions, beginners just like me.
Remember, sometimes, if things feel wrong or don’t make sense, that’s because they are wrong. Not everything happens for a reason, not all categories are true. Sometimes, bad ideas are very popular. Sometimes, the thing that everyone believes could be wrong. Just because something is older, doesn’t mean it’s better, and all people, even masters of High Magick, are human and fallible.
This applies not just to magick, but to a lot of things.
And, most importantly, the Piscean Magi lied.
That doesn’t mean they were bad people or had bad intentions. But they lived in a separate paradigm. Maybe the magi from the Age of Capricorn shall look at us the same way, unable to understand our obsession with honesty and integrity. Perhaps in their time, being truthful and honest would be so common place, that they’ll see our obsession with transparency and openness as weird. Or maybe general reality would have become so magickal and fluid, that ‘truth’ will just feel like a childish and infantile concept, because nothing will appear fixed even to ordinary people.
But we can only go with what makes sense to us in our time, and this applies to those who came before us too.
So without judging them too harshly, remember to take everything they wrote with a healthy amount of skepticism. A lot of it is simply a clever little distraction.
So there I was, procrastinating as usual. I’m supposed to be preparing an important draft for something, but I didn’t really feel like working and was browsing YouTube instead.
“But you said you would be working” says the Higher Self. “But I hate working. I just want to chill out and relax and eat a chocolate and sleep” “Then why don’t you? Why are you watching a YouTube video while thinking about work?” “Well, you got me there. But it’s not even midday”
And suddenly, I saw something that caught my eye. There’s a band called Warduna. It’s a Nordic band who make a lot of folk, pagan songs. If you have ever watched the hit TV series Vikings, then a vast majority of the music in that was made by Warduna. And they had put out a trailer for a virutal release show called “First Flight of the White Raven”. Basically, it’s a virtual concert. They called it “age defining”, since this is quite a novel, and somewhat revolutionary concept (if they pull it off). Very much in line with the Age of Aquarius which we have now entered into.
But my mind was focused on just one thing, First Flight of the White Raven. Releasing mere days after the Spring Solstice. And so I think to myself “I think the Universe is trying to tell me something”.
For about a month and a half, I’ve been working on the great secret of magick part 2. However, it’s very long and elaborate, and will take longer to complete, making sure all my facts are right. This made me realise that if I focus solely on the longer, elaborate posts, the blog will move along very slowly. Additionally, there are many, many shorter concepts I want to write about. Some I’ve been sitting on for years, and unless I get them out they’ll be on the back-burner forever.
So while you wait for the next part of the secret of magick, here’s a much shorter post.
Secondly, I want to make a short announcement, although a formal one will follow soon. Last July, I published an e-Grimoire titled “The Tree of Life: A Beginner’s Guide”.
I wrote and edited the book myself, and attempted to put a decade of Kabbalistic study into a few condensed pages. However, I am currently editing it, and a new version will be available shortly, Of course, it will be freely available to anyone who has already purchased the book, and those who purchase the book from then on, will receive the second version. There will be corrections, and some new material. I am not satisfied with how certain concepts have been explained, so I will be expanding on various things, and clarifying many more.
Anyway, let’s get to today’s post.
The Evolution of Languages
There are many languages spoken in the world today, and all are different. As far as anyone can guess, human language is extremely unique compared to other animals. We do not know exactly how it came about. The general opinion is that the first humans living on the African continent must have had a single, common language. Then, through migrations and the fracturing and expansion of human culture, languages diverged and evolved separately. This process continues even today, and all new languages are born from older ones. Every language begins as a dialect of an older language, but then if any time is spent separated, they may become completely separate from one another. Sometimes the separation is not so obvious.
The other opinion, of course, is that language emerged independently in many different places. There’s already indication that things like agriculture, writing, the wheel and fire were invented/ discovered multiple times. Meaning these things were discovered independently by different groups at different times. However, language is much more ancient. It’s so ancient that it’s difficult to be sure if there is one, single root language or multiple ones.
Research shows that when a infant is learning to speak, it isn’t making meaningless noises. When it “babbles”, it is slowly going through every single sound that it can make, and from observing its parents it is learning a ‘language’. Basically, it’s almost like you’re born with the ability to pronounce every single imaginable language. As you learn your ‘mother tongue’, your speech becomes more fixed and linear. I mean, to me that sounds like language is not learned, nor inherited. Rather, it is so old it is simply part of our genome. If language really is that old, all of them probably emerged from a single language. Human beings are genetically able to speak language. Sophisticated language is part of our very nature, and it isn’t learned. This may be why it is so hard to ‘teach’ language to animals.
English and Scotts are separate languages, but they are also often treated as just two dialects of the same language. Meanwhile, Urdu and Hindi really are just separate dialects, but treated as different languages due to the script they are written in. Italian and Spanish are completely separate languages, but have common ancestry and are mutually intelligible. Meaning, an Italian can understand a Spanish speaker (to an extent) and vice versa.
Meanwhile, Spanish and Mexican Spanish are the same language, but centuries of separation has almost made them mutually unintelligible. Chinese and Japanese Kanji are the same script and language, but pronounced completely differently. Persian and Russian have a common heritage, but for all intents and purposes they are entirely different.
Hebrew is a derivation of Aramaic and Coptic. Greek is derived from it, and Latin from it. Yet, of these languages only Greek and Hebrew remain commonly spoken, and due to cultural differences you can barely see any similarity.
The point is, there are many, many languages. Some old, some young, and each equally valid to those who speak it. There is a phenomena where if you hear someone speaking a language very differently from you, or speaking your language with an accent, your brain perceives them as being ‘childish’ or ‘uncivilised’.
Throughout history, many cultures have had such tendencies. This is very odd, but you can see why it is such. Maybe our brain perceives a foreign language as “babbling”, and interprets it as the utterances of a toddler. The word “barbarian” literally comes from the Ancient Greeks, who remarked that non Greek languages sounded like gibberish, or ‘bar-bar’. The Ancient Vedic people had a similar term ‘mleccha’ for non-Sanskrit speakers, indicating how the languages sounded crude and random.
In other words, language is intimately tied to culture. We may even say that language IS culture, and most languages evolved with a culture, and are intimately tied to it. The characteristics ascribed to a culture, are also often ascribed to the language. In fact, it is often that the characteristics of the language define many behaviors and mindsets found in it’s speakers.
Language Affects the Brain
The example I gave above is just one example to show how language profoundly affects our brain. This is a known and proven fact that the way we use language determines the way we think, and speaking multiple languages enhances this.
To all magicians and occultists, this should be something to take note of. Our magick is the manifestation of our mind. The way we think, determines our reality. And if our way of thinking is determined by our language, then we’d do well to understand this.
As far as I can tell, there is no clear scientific consensus on this yet, and many opinions, and here I cannot present evidence, but only tell you what I have channeled during magickal work.
Terrence McKenna had once stated “reality is language”. This is a very deep, and profound statement. It means that the reality that an individual lives in, is defined by them. When we label, judge, describe, categories things mentally, we are basically creating our own reality, our own universe. Mercury, the planet ruling speech and communication, also rules magick. Mercury was depicted with winger sandals, because speech is like Mercury. It travels through the air, taking our will and intentions into the Universe, and into the minds of others.
Maybe this is why so many religious scriptures describe the Universe as being “spoken” into existence. Thoth, the Egyptian God who is the Patron of ceremonial magick, is regarded as the throat and voice of Amun-Ra. Da’ath, the most important Sephirah of the Tree of Life, is placed on the throat of the individual. This whole idea of naming, and categorizing things is important.
Speech is also important, and in magick/ yoga you are asked to vibrate words of power for both manifestation and self transformation. During magickal initiation, the student is also encouraged to break down the words they use so carelessly. For example, by not using their own name, or using words like “I” and “me”, they can begin to break down fixed ways of thinking and bring about spiritual evolution. In ancient Egypt, they refused to put negative or horrific events into writing. They realised that language dictated reality, and this is one reason why there is no hieroglyphic depiction of the death of Osiris at the hands of Set, although his resurrections is often shown.
During channeling I was told that language, both in form of speech and writing, dictate our neural pathways, and determines how our mind works. A powerful magician/ yogi can alter reality by mere utterances, and this is also why Adepts remain silent more often than not. They are able to generate a lot of energy, and understand that what they say, will manifest. The purpose of drawing in and building up spiritual energy in oneself is so that it may be projected, in the form of speech.
You remember how, when you were young, you were forced to learn “cursive” writing? Depending on how archaic your education system was, you may or may not have. Those of you who did, may remember that it was a pretty annoying task. For me, I could NEVER get it right. It was very difficult for me to replicate things exactly as I saw them, and this is something that is reflected even today in my artwork (I struggle at still life drawings. I don’t like replication. Instead, I simply use things as reference and draw them spontaneously, building them up from basic forms instead of ‘copying’ them as they are).
Due to this, I was branded as having ‘bad handwriting’ until I was about 11 years old. And in my school, these sorts of things were considered really important for some reason. My mother would often sit me down and make me go through handwriting exercises. But I remained bad, and hated having to replicate the same sentence over and over, and in an exact, pre-specified pattern. When I was in 6th grade, one teacher probably noticed my awful, almost unintelligible notebooks filled with cursive, which often I myself couldn’t read. She called me over and asked if I’d ever considered writing in block letters. No, I hadn’t. She asked me to try it, and the result was almost like magick. After 11 years of painstaking gibberish, the words and letters I made actually looked…clean, and legible. I was rather proud of myself then, and have continued writing in block letters since.
Now consider this: every ancient language, and pretty much every language until the middle ages was written in block letters. The first languages, Sumerian, Harappan, Chinese, Mycenean and Egyptian were all like this. This is largely because cursive was not possible until paper and ink was common, cheap and easy to source. You cannot do cursive on clay, stone or wood. All ‘magickal’ languages, like Hebrew and Runic, are written in blocks, and not cursive. The greatest Empires of the world, like Rome, used block letters. Enochian, the only magickal language that was directly channeled and is the single most powerful magickal language today, is written as blocs, with no cursive version possible nor available.
Remember that I am simply relaying what was told. I am not criticising anyone. I was told by the Spirits that forcing people to write in cursive is basically a tool of enslavement, and of ensuring obedience. You know how Spirits often tell magicians that we can’t understand certain things because we think in a very ‘linear’ manner? In fact, creativity itself requires lateral, not linear thinking.
Well, I was told that the cursive script basically conditions and programs the brain to think linearly and categorically, and the standardization of cursive script limits individual expression. There’s a reason why magicians, mystics and shamans did not write using cursive or employ repetitive calligraphy.
We are told to write in a fixed, linear pattern. The words are joined to one another, and separated by spaces. Through this, we condition ourselves to view the world categorically, and moving through linear time. The spirits literally called modern English “the language designed for bureaucratic administration“. Recently, I was in the midst of a deep trance, and channeling some stuff from an Enochian King. He paused, and remarked how tedious the English language was. He said that he would much rather speak in symbols or impression, and each impression I received had to be laboriously unpacked into many words. So many words to say so little. So many needless vowels. I asked if I should employ Hindi instead, but no. After that, he encouraged me to write in keywords instead, not using a singe complex term. Problem is, in English only elaborate and complex phrases can be used for intricate ideas. The simple words indicate simple, crude ideas. Unlike in ancient languages, words for complex emotions, concepts and modes of thinking do not exist in modern tongues. This problem is also present in Indian and Middle Eastern languages, such as Hindi, where words are joined using straight lines after being written, and Arabic which generally cannot be written without continuous connection. Arabic and Farsi do not even have bloc forms, as far as I know.
I was told that this makes most languages unsuitable for true magickal use, since a person is simply unable to break away from fixed ways of thinking, even though their mother languages etc. allowed for this. Keep in mind that I’m only referring to the way the scripts are commonly taught, not criticising the languages themselves.
Even previously, the Angels had remarked that many of their teachings were misunderstood along the ages due to the English language. This happened when we were talking about ‘failure’ and they showed annoyance at that word. What even is ‘failure’? The correct words should be success and un-success, they remarked, since a failure is either something that wasn’t meant to be, or something that hasn’t worked out yet. I’d once even asked about free will, asking if we were truly free, or was our life determined. Here too, they shows confusion and discomfort, saying that such a question made no sense. “When one is in service of their Highest Ideal, then their Will is free. And when not, it is un-free, since it is controlled by lesser ideals and desires” they said.
This reminded me of ancient Sanskrit, where words often were like that. Often, a word would be a concept, and its opposite was the same word, with an ‘a’ or ‘un’ before it. For example
Shubha: Auspicious Ashubha: Unauspicious
Anta: Ending Unanta: Not ending (eternal)
Jeevit: Breathing (word for alive) Ajeevit: Not breathing (word for dead)
Unlike modern Indian languages, which are joined together using strokes and very ornately formed, ancient Sanskrit was written in a much simpler, bloc letters. One such discovered script is Brahmi. Look at the differences between Brahmi, and modern Devanagari, used often for Hindi, Bengali and Sanskrit these days.
I was told that this is why groups like the Golden Dawn insisted on using Hebrew, which is a language free of such cursive repetition and joining. And yet, it has it’s own problems. If you go and try to learn Hebrew, you will most likely be told that you should use a special flat tipped, calligraphy pen. If you’ve ever seen Hebrew letters, you’ll know why. There is a specific way to form each letter, and early in my magickal practice I spent an entire week learning to draw each letter. But it wasn’t perfect, and I don’t use it often. Sometimes, while making talismans, the letters I drew would turn out wonky and imperfect, and this bothered me. Often, I’d even remake entire talismans if I got the lettering wrong or made mistakes.
I was told that this too was just me enslaving myself, and become subservient to arbitrary methods. Lately I’ve been working on a new magickal circle, and was told that I should use the old Aramaic or Coptic script instead of Hebrew. Aramaic is the root of the Hebrew script, and is written as bloc letters. I’ve often seen advanced magicians using it in place of the modern Hebraic script. I was also told to write Hebrew plainly, and without any elaborate flairs.
These dogmas and ‘sophisticated’ methods were originally out of necessity. The ancient Hebrew scholars would have used flat tipped reed pens, hence their specific style of writing. Today, it makes no sense for us to buy special calligraphy pens.
I was told that one language which had escaped this treatment was Japanese. Anyone who knows a bit about Japan and Japanese will know that Shinto is among the few religions where magick, spirituality and religion are still enmeshed and unseparated. Japan is also the centre of a staggering amount of occult activity, and many occultists. Far, FAR more than anywhere else, except maybe Northern Europe. Somehow, Japanese enables its users to more easily understand magick.
Japanese is a complex language, containing 3 separate scripts. Kanji is the Chinese characters which were carried over into Japanese. It is a pictorial language, rather than alphabetical. Yet, it also has an alphabetical counterpart (unlike Chinese) called hiragana. Most Japanese know roughly 1000 Kanji, and each characters represents a concept. Words and sentences are the expressions of compound concepts, made from simpler concepts. Sometimes, even simple Kanji are put together to form more complex Kanji. Words can be interpreted many different ways, and there is a great ability to play around with and use words in interesting and unique ways, making literature and poetry quite interesting. It is a language that conditions the brain to be fluid, open minded and lateral. This is perhaps why Japanese culture encourages creativity and problem solving far more.
And yet, I was told that even here there was an problem. When I was learning Japanese, one thing that struck me as odd is that Kanji must be drawn in a very specific way. Meaning, you don’t just draw what you see. Instead, there is a fixed sequence and hand motion that is made for every stroke or every character. Yes, it is exactly as crazy as it sounds. Imagine if there was a single way to draw the letter “A” and every stroke had to be memorised, and most native speakers could tell if it was drawn wrongly. Additionally, many rules and regulations exist in how the language must be used, and there’s many, many ways to offend people. This is one of the reasons I haven’t done any Japanese study in about 10 months. I simply did not have the time to memorise how to draw the Kanji.
The sequence of strokes is again, simply the carrying on of an old tradition. In old days, Kanji were written using an ink brush. The strokes and their order was simply to ensure the letter was clean, used minimal ink and did not smudge. In modern times, it is senseless and needless, as are many feudal formalities and behaviors.
The Enochian King told me “do not get obsessed with methodical and intricate ways of doing things”.
I was told calligraphy may be used as an art form, but here it should be an individual expression. So it should not have dogmatic or rigid methods that have to be adhered to. It really does not matter how you form letters as long as you can read it. If you want to be artistic about it, it should be a personal, artistic expression, not a repetition of someone else’s methods.
Language has become a tool of enslavement and control. As George Orwell would say, by controlling language, you control the mind. You control thought, and the ability to think. In order to keep a population in check, language is the best thing to standardize. At this point, the Angels tell me to just create my own language and use it for channeling and magick. This brings me to a new point.
Sacred and Mundane Languages
Anyone who has practiced any spiritual path will see a rather odd occurrence. Very often, we use ‘exotic’ terms within spirituality and magick, often words that originate from the culture where the tradition comes from.
For example, I am an initiate of Hermetic Kabbalah. And yes, Hebrew and Coptic are given tremendous importance, and frequently used in ritual. For Rosicrucians, this may be Greek and Latin.
If you practice Yoga or Tantra, chances are your tradition employs many Sanskrit and Tibetan words. With Daoist and Shaolin traditions, it’s Chinese. With many neo-pagan traditions, it’s old Norse and Greek, and so on.
Why? Is it just exoticism? Just because these languages feel ‘fancy’.
Sometimes, this is absolutely the case.
Vincent Bridges, a great Occultist from recent times, once stated that Sanskrit, Hebrew, Tibetan, Persian and Ancient Greek are all highly effective languages for “programming the Matrix” (for doing Magick). It’s not just these languages that work, but he picked out these languages since they are ancient.
It is not that ancient languages are better. But we can imagine that language was historically used for both mundane life, as well as for sacred ritual work. Naturally, the documents and manuscripts which were often recorded and preserved related to the sacred part of life. The Vedas, the Book of the Dead, the Shabaka Stone, all of these are highly mystical and mythological in nature, partly because the ancients believed that these things needed to be preserved and replicated.
Second came legal and political documents, but these are generally simple and contain lists, inspections and such. I think the Sumerians are one culture which seem to have produced more legal and political documents, than spiritual ones. They really liked taxation.
Documents of mundane activities were, perhaps, not so important. Even if this was put to writing, it was unlikely to be, say, placed in a Temple and preserved for centuries. Ask yourself, what is our primary source for studying ancient Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic? Well, it’s the Jewish and Gnostic holy scriptures, documenting their rituals and containing magickal symbolism of the old Hebrew mystics. You probably won’t find the personal diary of some random Hebrew peasant who worked as an ironsmith.
Put simply, we use ancient languages in magick because they represent that language used in its most exalted and sacred state, designed specifically for ritual work. Often, it contains words of power and other important concepts in an unaltered state. Indeed, the Golden Dawn believed that Hebrew was descended from ancient Egyptian, and that the Hebrew godnames were, in truth, Egyptian words of power, which had remained unchanged, even as the language had evolved.
Samuel Mathers had once remarked “..for Hebrew is but a copy of Egyptian, and a many times faulty copy at that, save the holy names of God..”. This mentality is not new, and has been common throughout history. In medieval Europe, Kabbalists would often use Hebrew since it was considered sacred, even when the language was not native to them. The Catholic Church still insists on using Latin for its ritual ceremonies. We can imagine that when the Roman Church was founded, Latin was used simply because it was most common in Rome and surrounding regions. But the Church preserved its sacred Latin perfectly, while the common Latin continued to evolve and eventually became various different European languages, and most people could no longer understand the sacred hymns. A similar thing happened in India, where Vedic Sanskrit was carefully preserved, only for ritual use. Common Sanskrit, which is called Prakrit, was used by ordinary people and evolved to become the various languages spoken today in North India.
So, are ancient languages better than modern languages? Not precisely. Rather, some languages are better for use in magick, because of how they influence the brain. Sacred and magickal languages tend to have unique properties and characteristics, and their usage conditions the user’s mind to comprehend and perceive spiritual phenomena. It just happens so that most of these languages are ancient, but many are more modern too. Take the Theban script, for example, or Enochian. The language is not sacred because it is ancient, but because it is powerful and exalted. And if a language truly is powerful, it is likely to be preserved in a more exalted state over long periods of time, while mundane languages grow out of it, evolve, and fade away. This is why Latin is still around and used for rituals, more or less exactly as Romans used it, while the much more recent Anglo-Saxon is a dead language, and has been replaced by English.
The Pronunciation of Magickal Languages
Finally, we have come to the last and most important part, the usage of magickal language.
First, I would like to draw your attention to Hebrew. Hebrew scriptures tells us that YHVH is a powerful godname. It is a word of power that is ineffable, meaning ‘unpronounceable’. There is some evidence that YHVH is derived from a very ancient expression of divinity in that region.
But Judaism has made an error. It has mistaken “cannot be pronounced” with “should not be pronounced”. Like most modern religions, mainstream Judaism is more concerned with adhering to outdated tenets than actual, magickal work. So, many Jews simply do not pronounce the name, and call it Tetragrammaton instead. Christians just crudely butcher it as ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yahweh’.
Even in the Golden Dawn, the Adepts either did not understand this, or (more likely) they DID understand the truth but did not put it into writing. They pronounced it as ‘Yehovah’. By the way, for most magickal purposes you should use this pronunciation, since it is a word free from religious connotations, and unlike the previous two terms its energy has not been tainted by dogma.
You see, I discovered in my channeling (and also working with a more experienced channeller) that there are two ways of using magickal languages, and this was their intended use.
The first is what I have decided to call ‘the guttural noises’. When the magician enters into a deep trance, he begins doing what Christian mystics call “speaking in tongues”. No, there is no difference between “divine” and “demonic” speech. It’s all just various different forms, depending on what the magician, mystic or yogi is invoking. In this state, the words spoken by the magician are difficult to ascertain.
What you’ve probably commonly seen is not the true version, but rather a tame version, where conscious effort is made to ‘speak gibberish’ and enter into trance. However, this is not guttural noises, but barbarous speech instead. Barbarous because it’s literally gibberish, and designed to enter trance and ‘turn off’ the conscious ego. The barbarous names from the Bornless Ritual are these. However, the guttural noises I’m talking about happen in deep trance, and naturally. It’s practically impossible to decipher or record it, and even if the best attempt was made, it would merely be a meaningless string of letters, which would seem un-pronounceable. It sounds very similar to the way that Serpent tongue thing was depicted in Harry Potter, whose name I cannot recall. It’s also similar to the “black speech” from Lord of the Rings (which, by the way, is a fantastic depiction of how magick works, if you read the books).
THIS is the truth behind the “ineffable” names of God, such as YHVH. Even if I wanted to tell you how to pronounce it, I couldn’t. But if you Will yourself to read it in deep trance, you’ll be able to, as well as learn the true pronunciation of other words of power. Of course, don’t worry about not being able to. This is one of the purest forms of speech with Higher powers, since they do not speak in language or symbols, but rather in impressions. These noises are simply manifestations of those impressions, which are understood by the speaker in quick succession. In a few utterances, the speaker, even in trance, understands the full context of the message being delivered. Vibrating the names normally also has power, and most magicians will spend years vibrating words of power before they learn to enter deep enough trance to make the guttural noises, and this is totally normal and the experience for everyone. No matter how you pronounce them, words of power are words of power, and can be vibrated. Intent and emotion contain the real force behind them.
This brings me to the second mode of magickal speech, which I call “mystic vibrations”.
Consider the human throat, vocal chords, mouth, tongue and lips to form a complex, elaborate and wonderful musical instrument. It is simultaneously a wind instrument and a string instrument. Like a trombone, flute and harp all merged as one. The guttural noises are made by the throat, blowing out air. The contractions of the throat form words, and the tongue and mouth push it out. The vibrations, then, are musical notes played by the vocal chords. Here, trance is not needed, but helps. Keep in mind that I am not a singer, and have no formal training. Generally, I can’t raise my voice beyond a single octave. However, when I am in deep meditation I can go up and down the octave with ease, even playing little melodies with them as I would on my guitar.
The musical notes and keys, of course, are related to the 7 Chakras, and 7 Septenary spheres in various ways. There are seven notes in your standard octave 9since the 8th is simply the first note of the next octave). They relate to the 7 chakras.
The most effective usage of this was in ancient Greece, where they employed various “modes of chanting” to invoke the energies of the Seven planets, This practice was later adopted by both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and even today these “Gregorian modes” are used very, very effectively to invoke planetary energies, and I am certain that many Christian mystics are also aware of this. However, the most potent mode of this chanting I have ever encountered was by the early Satanic folk movements of the mid-20th century. Since it is “Gregorian”, you can bet the Cathars had a hand in reviving it.
Perhaps, if you had a key, or created one, you could translate magickal languages like Hebrew, Sanskrit and Runic into musical notes. You could then, perhaps, arrange and compose melodies using the Gregorian modes of chanting. You could play this on an instrument, or those of you who can actually sing well could use this to chant. If I can generate as much energy as I do by merely going up and down a single octave, imagine what a proper singer could do with 5 octaves.
Perhaps, the purest magickal language would be a combination of both guttural noises and mystic vibrations. I have often heard that something of the sort is done in Mongolian throat singing, but I don’t know enough about it to confirm. I can, however, confirm that I have witnessed an arrangement of Chinggis Khaani Magtaal being used to channel Chinggis Khan himself (who, by the way, was a Shaman and ascended master. His history and life is grossly distorted, since the Mongols, like Vikings, did not write their own histories and all history comes from accounts by their enemies. Despite the efforts of historians, popular myths stick around. I will soon have a complete article on Tengri shamanism). Maybe, if there is a Mongolian throat singer reading, you could try this.
Now, guttural noises can only be used in trance. Enter into trance and have, say, Hebrew godnames before you. Have these as they are in ORIGINAL Hebrew, meaning without vowels. So, rather than Yehovah, Adonai, Ahaayah and Agla, just have YHVH ADNI AHIH AGLA. In trance, attempt to speak them. Call for guidance if you must, and you shall pronounce them correctly.
As for musical keys, I will leave that to another time.
Artificial Languages and Daily Life
There are many artificial languages in the world, made for various purposes. Many of you have perhaps seen LOTR or read the works of J.R.R Tolkien. All the languages depicted in his stories are real languages, and he put a lot of effort into them. In fact, there’s a joke that he didn’t create the languages for the stories, but rather created the stories so he’d have somewhere to use his languages.
The most famous are, of course, Theban and Enochian. Theban is not really a language, but rather a cypher system. Meaning it’s still English, but written with an alternative script. I’m pretty sure the occultist Donald Tyson has also created a similar set of glyphs.
But Enochian is truly unique. It is a complete, comprehensive language, and very similar to the condensed, ancient languages like Sanskrit or Egyptian. Perhaps if one could learn and use it, it would condition our minds to be very much aligned with magick. Sadly, I do not know of any such attempts made to teach the language or use it in daily speech. However, there is still something we can learn from all this.
First, it is entirely possible to create a system of glyphs for your personal use, like Theban is. It is also possible to create or channel a language entirely of your own for magickal use. It may take a little study of linguistics. At the very least, knowing more than one language helps, but Tolkien made several. I don’t see why you can’t make one.
The ancient, sacred languages are condensed and simple. Meaning you can say a lot with just a few words. They are usually written with bloc letters (Hebrew/Sanskrit) or pictorial symbols (Japanese) where each letter/symbol represents a whole concept in and of itself, and words are compounds of concepts, while sentences are an expression of multiple concepts. This is very sophisticated compared to modern, alphabetical language use. We use many words to say little, and lack words to express complex emotions, and express things not as fluid concepts, but as categorical “objects” which all proceed from each other in a linear fashion. We express things as they happened or things as they are, rather than ideas and impressions and emotions. It is very obsessed with categories, labels and the idea of reality being fixed and systematic, with a hard separation between past, present and future. Very un-magickal.
For this I have no remedy, I can only share my own experiences. Reading lots of magickal literature, and especially invocations written by the Golden Dawn, has had an effect on me, and that ornate, grimoire style of English comes very easily to me these days. I mean, yeah, 8 years of study of magickal literature will do that. I find this English to be more refined, and when I go into my ritual space and start doing magick, I can switch to this style of speech almost spontaneously, on a whim.
This is generally the way I speak during ritual, but never in daily life. This keeps the style ‘sacred’ and free of profanity. In daily life, I take a very different approach. Additionally, I try to avoid speaking about things that I don’t want happening, especially to other people or online. Words have power, and the intention of others has even more power. I also avoid listening to or filling my head with disempowering thoughts, ideas and symbols. I try to use simple, straight forward vocabulary, to keep mainly my own mind clear about what I want and what I mean. I try to speak less, and don’t waste energy talking about pointless things. Sometimes, I do get lost in thought or conversation, but this leaves me a bit drained, and I abstain from speech after this. Finally, learning other languages has helped me open and expand my mind to other ways of thinking about the world. I’ve found Japanese to be especially interesting, and very different from my usual speech. It’s a shame I haven’t had much time to study it since last July.
About 2.3 million years ago, the first beings who could be called “human” came to walk this Earth. As they competed amongst one another, as well as other primates, the homo sapien, or Thinking Man, emerged victorious. This marks the birth of our humanity.
At first, we lived as nomads, eating berries, fruits and nuts, and some meat. Over time, humanity came to discover fire and invent the wheel, and this enabled them to make better tools, hunt, cook their food, and create better clothes. They were able to live together in groups.
Humans also had one thing that separated them from all other creatures: the ability to self reflect (Mind). They had all sorts of visions and experiences, and they began to wonder about their own existence. At first, they expressed this in rituals, song and dance. Eventually, they began to record their experiences and spiritual visions in art that they made on cave paintings. According to anthropologists, the emergence of cave paintings marks the end of what we call “pre-history” and the beginning of history.
Modern schools still teach the outdated notion that cave paintings were simply a depiction of things that these ancient people saw, or scenes from daily life. The truth is far from it. Proper studies of these paintings have confirmed that the activities shown are spiritual and occult in nature. We find depictions of shamans, rituals, spirits, animal totems and psychedelic visions. This is loosely known as animism, which gradually evolved into shamanism.
Eventually, a long, long time after this, humanity invented agriculture. This is usually called the beginning of civilisation, and it happened around 10,000 B.C.E (before common era). Humans finally began to settle down, since they no longer had to hunt and gather food. They began to develop religion, and some form of social hierarchy as well as trade.
However, many historians consider the invention of writing to be the true birth of Civilisation. This happened between 5000 and 3000 B.C.E, and here we find the emergence of homogenous societies, walled cities, the division of labour, institutional religion and record keeping.
For a long time, historians and anthropologists believed that human Civlilisation began in one single place. For some weird, Eurocentric reason, they decided that this must have been Hellenic Greece. After all, the art in the Renaissance depicted things from classical Greece, and everyone knew that the Greek gods predated Christianity, and after all, philosophy and writing and math and religion and everything else must have been from Hellenic Greece….right?
I mean…what about Alexander the Great (who wasn’t even Greek, but Macedonian)!. And so, for a staggeringly long time, Greece was called the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’. At this time they didn’t know that Greece itself was about 2500 years older than they thought, and Hellenic culture was preceded by Minoan, Cretan and Mycenaean culture. I kid you not, they used to think that Angkor Wat was built by Alexander. Before Carl Jung himself, people of the 19th century thought of ‘ancient’ history as being about 500 – 1000 years old.
But then you see, the British decided that they really, really liked digging. The dig sites in Egypt, the Middle East and Indus Valley pushed our knowledge back thousands of years. And it was discovered that Civilisation was actually much older.
Most of you probably learned in school that Mesopotamia (or Sumeria) is the Cradle of Civilization. However this is also wrong. Recently, anthropologists have begun to agree that Civilisation did not start in a single place at a single time. Honestly, I’m surprised it took this long.
Civilisation started gradually, and in several places independently. It did not start with a singular city/ kingdom like Egypt, Sumeria or Greece, but rather in regions. All of these regions are located along the equator, and thus served as places with a good climate and plenty of water, which is perfect for farming and building cities.
All civilisation can be traced back to essentially six ‘cradles’, and spread outward to other communities and tribes: the Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, China, the Indus Valley, West Africa and the Mesoamerican region.
And yet, there was a seventh, which acted like a kind of ‘binding’ or unifying force, connecting the other six.
A seventh group of people emerged around the same time as all these cultures. Unlike their civilized counterparts, these people emerged in a relatively colder climate. They did not know agriculture, and did not record their language. These people’s understanding of the world was more primitive, and more mystical. They engaged in ritual warfare, blood sacrifice, and consumed a variety of psychedelic substances.
While less sophisticated for their time (living as nomads while everyone else was building cities, as late as 2000 B.C.E), these people had mastered one art: war. And they waged it without restraint, developing entire cults of elite warriors, and expanding like a wild fire across the Eurasian steppe.
Unlike Rome, Egypt and China, their influence is not immediately obvious. We do not talk about their philosophies, marvel at their art, sing songs about them or learn about them in school. And yet, every human being alive today most likely has traces of their blood in his or her veins. Even those who do not, most likely speak a language descended from theirs, or lives in a culture influenced by them. In the collective consciousness of humanity, there is a shamanic current of magick that can be tapped into by every living man and woman, as powerful as the currents of Pagan, Abrahamic, Dharmic and Totemic magick. In fact, you’re reading this blog post in a language that was probably similar to theirs.
So settle in, because today i’m going to tell you a story. A story of war, drugs and deviance. A story of magick, of blood, and the strange things that happen at the very edge of civilisation. This is the story of the Indo-Europeans, and their magick, and how it is hidden away from most modern magicians.
Despite many political ideologies claiming otherwise, the Indo-Europeans are not actually very ancient. They are also not the only shamanic culture (obviously), and similar traditions can be found in basically ALL ancient cultures.
Understand that Shamanism died out a pretty long time ago, and got replaced by the more organised cults we recognize. Practically all cultures were originally shamanic and animistic. While such cultures may have been technologically backward, they represent the most spiritually connected humanity has ever been. Today, we basically have no way to study such periods in our cultures. Even if we look back at the oldest records from, say, Egypt, we find organised religious cults, with priesthoods and temples. Yes, we can find some remnants of shamanic cultures in Siberia, Africa and America, but these are already on the verge of disappearing.
However, the Indo-Europeans were a peculiar set of cultures, and they remained shamanic until very late. The latest Indo-European shamanic tradition to die out was Norse paganism (heathenism), which was around until just 1000 years ago. It was soon replaced by the Christianised, Nordic culture we recognize today.
Now yes, you could say that parts of Africa and the Americas remained shamanic until much more recently, but due to colonisation these traditions disappeared really quickly, as Christianity and Islam rapidly spread through the regions. As strange as this sounds, the British were the only colonial power that had some interest in studying and recording the shamanic cultures they encountered. This is why there are still some tribal cultures in India left. But India being India, it’s probably going to be another century until someone gets around to properly studying the non Indo European, Adivasi traditions of India and detailing them.
The rest, such as Spain, Germany and France, either did not understand the importance of this or did not care. They quickly converted local populations, and spread their language. Now there are the Australian aborigines who actually seem to have a fully intact shamanic culture, preserved roally with astonishing accuracy and going back 60,000 years, possibly even before the last ice age. But for whatever reason people act like the Aborigines don’t exist. That is to say, I haven’t found enough relevant information to put it into the context of shamanic magick. Perhaps someone else will do a better job.
I hope what I’m saying makes sense. If we look at a majority of cultures today, it is impossible to say what is a remnant of shamanism.
With the Norse, we have this unique case where a culture was encountered by the ‘civilised’ world, but remained intact long enough for detailed records to be taken. By studying what was recorded of Norse culture, we have a great way of doing a comparative study with other cultures, and slowly piecing together Indo-European traditions and culture, such as the Slavic, Avestan, Vedic, Ainu, Tocharian, Baltic, Germanic and Italo-Celtic. Of course, as we will see in this post, most of what is recorded about Norse paganism is ALSO completely wrong, hence the title. But, it’s better than nothing. Another such culture is the Germanic one, which was recorded to some degree by the Romans. However, this too is biased and distorted.
So, to reiterate, I’m not saying the Indo-Europeans are the only ones who had these ideas, or that they are superior to others. All i’m saying is: ancient shamanism represents magick and spirituality at it’s most potent form, and Indo-European shamanism is one of the best ways to study it, because the Indo-Europeans were 1. very profilic and widespread, 2. very recent, and 3. the only ones which are well documented (norse and germanic). Due to this, we have reconstructed and studied their beliefs better than basically ANY shamanic culture.
We have been studying Indo-Europeans for over 100 years now, while we have only begun to study the shamanic past of other cultures. Also, due to the current existence of Hinduism, and by extension the Vedas, Indo-European shamanism is the only shamanic culture which has authentic written records. Parts of the Vedas are essentially the only written records of an ancient shamanic religion in existence. There was the Avesta, but the book was lost at one point and what we have today is a reconstruction made from oral accounts by the later Persians. As we have discussed before, the Norse Sagas were recorded by Christians, while Germanic culture was recorded by Romans.
I’m not going to delve into the exact details of the Indo-European migration pattern. You can watch this video to watch a time lapse of how they spread, and the cultures that are their closest successors. Also, this post is about Indo-European culture, not ethnicity, and these concepts are not limited just to those who have more Indo-European ancestry. If you like a spiritual practice or idea, you’re free to use it.
The Indo Europeans were an ethno-linguistic group of people that first emerged around the 4th millennium B.C.E, though they are most likely about twice as old as that. Technically, we should call them ‘proto-Indo-European’. The word ‘Indo-European’ is simply a word that refers to the cultures of North India, Persia, Europe, Central Asia and Russia (and some others). Technically, all modern people of these regions are Indo-European. The people we are talking about were the common ancestor to such cultures, hence the word ‘proto’.
However, to save me the trouble of having to write ‘proto-Indo-European’ again and again, I’m just going to call them Indo-European.
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually know exactly where they came from. There are many hypothesis, the most common being that they originated from Anatolia, Armenia or (most popularly) around the Caspian.
They were tribal nomads, with a heavy emphasis on war. To understand the Indo-European world view, we must understand their cosmology.
Many of you may be aware of the Indian caste system. This system began in the Vedic period. Although over the millenia it has become vast and complex, in the VEdic age it included just 4 ‘castes’. These were the Brahmins (preists), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (Merchants) and Shudhras (labourers). However, originally there were only the first 3 (mentioned in the Rigveda), and ‘shudhra’ is a much later addition.
Thus, the idea of a triple hierarchy is fundamental to the Indo-European mindset. They used this to organise their societies and also to understand and approach their Gods and spirits. Indo-European society was divided into 3 classes. At the top were the priests and kings, in the middle were warriors, and at the bottom were merchants and craftsmen. We can imagine that slaves, prisoners and other such people would fall outside the class system. In India, this idea would reemerge ‘untouchables’ in the middle ages. In other words, the Indo Europeans very much believed in an ingroup vs outgroup mentality. If you ever wondered why the Vikings raided foreign cultures with such brutality and lack of mercy, this should explain it.
This system determined social status. Thus, Indo-European cosmology also divided the world into 3 groups: the heavens, the earth and the underworld. We can actually see some remnants of this in the Greek gods Zeus, Poseidon and Hades ruling the sky, the sea and underworld respectively. Many Indo-European cultures have 3 gods who play a primary role in creating the Universe.
Another common motif is sacrifice. These societies were highly sacrificial, and animal sacrifice in the performance of various rituals was common. It seems even human sacrifice took place, but we’ll get to that later. In the Vedas and Norse poetic eddas, such rituals of sacrifice are recorded. It also appears that at times, in some places, cannibalism may also have occurred.
Therefore, most Indo-European mythology also talks about the 3 primary Gods ‘sacrificing’ a being to create the world. You are all probably familiar with the Greek story of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades killing their father Kronos and casing him into Tartarus. However, the original story probably involved his pieces being used to make the world. In Vedic mythology, the brothers Indra, Agni and Varuna sacrifice the primordial giant Purusha (meaning ‘man’) to create the world. In Norse mythology, this is done by Odin and his brothers to the giant Ymir.
The Indo Europeans believed heavily in spirits, and spirits most likely were more important than Gods. Look at Russia and Central Asia today, where people still largely believe in all sorts of spirits and urban legends derived from them, despite being Christian.
Finally, the Shaman was a vital figure in Indo-European culture. To us modern occultists, this figure is the one that most closely resembles us. The Shaman was not a priest. Instead, they lay outside the social heirarchy, a figure both feared and revered.
The Indo-Europeans expanded rapidly because of the importance they placed on war. Many of them had elite groups of warriors, whose sole job was to live in packs and conduct raids on foreign tribes. This is most likely the precursor to the Norse idea of the Berserker, as well as werewolves (man-wolf).
They also focused heavily on developing their techniques of warfare. One of the reasons why the Indo-Aryans came to dominate Northern India, was because they had swords and war chariots. The natives of the Indus Valley could not counter this with their spear infantries. Infact, the Swastika which was a symbol of war and violence, became a symbol of peace and prosperity only in recent times. To the Indo-Europeans, ‘prosperity’ meant raiding and war. This idea continued well into the modern era, with the Vikings raids being the last example of such aggression. In India, cows are considered sacred because they are used in agriculture. However, the horse was the precursor to the cow. In the Vedas, horses are depicted as the primary sacred animal. Cows were sacred too, but as a sacrificial animal. All Indo European cultures venerated the sacred cow, and even the solar bull. However, as the Indo-Europeans became agrarian, the cow became a symbol of agriculture. Killing cows probably became taboo to stop farmers from killing their own cows in times of hardship, or perhaps so that people would not steal agricultural cows and kill them for meat.
However, the Indo-Europeans lacked stability. The average life expectancy was probably around 30 years. While most warlke cultures assimilate others into their ranks, the opposite happened to the Indo-Europeans. They themselves became assimilated into the larger societies they encountered. The relationship was not just of war, but also trade, cultural interaction and the exchange of ideas and technology. The Indo-Europeans brought weapons, psychadelics and mythology, while the cultures they encountered had agriculture, math and systems of economy and religion.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no ‘pure’ Indo-Europeans. The people of Russia, Europe and North India are a complex admixture of different groups. Therefore, we cannot call them ‘white’, ‘aryan’ or ‘asiatic’. They simply spread across the world and assimilated into all the cultures they encountered. Even in Northern Europe, which appears to be ‘pure’, there were people living there prior to the Indo-European migration. These are often called Eastern and Western hunter gatherers. The Western hunter gatherers came from Africa, while the Eastern ones were native to Europe. The Indo Europeans merged into these two cultures, producing the various cultures of Europe we see today.
Culture is not race. Ethnicity, language and culture are linked, yes, but they do not define each other.
This is why I called them a ‘unifying’ or ‘binding’ force. The Indo-Europeans even expanded into East Asia, and the Tocharians of China, as well as the native Ainu people of Japan are examples of Indo-European cultures.
One distinctive trait of Indo-European culture is how colourful it is. While seemingly not as elegant as the cultures it merged into, the use of bright colours and psychedelic patterns is noteworthy. This is something Hollywood often forgets in depictions of Vikings, showing them wearing dark, grungy clothes and using a lot of black, when in reality they are always described in accounts as wearing brightly colored clothing.
This may be the reason why North Indian culture has so much emphasis on bright colours and psychedelic patterns, while South Indian clothing and culture is usually more minimalist and serene.
The Figure of the Shaman
The Shaman was an occultist. They would impart both wisdom, as well engage in obscenities.
A shaman did not choose to become a shaman, but instead he was chosen. There is evidence that this happened in all Indo-European cultures. Once chosen by the spirits, the shaman had little choice in whether he or she would accept. In fact, it seems in some cultures the choices were: accept your role and die.
However, it’s not all that bleak. When we look at siberian shamans, it seems that the people who become shamans are outliers anyways. According to Dr. Jordan Peterson regarding Siberian shamans, the people who become shamans are already intuitive and sensitive, and already have spiritual experiences. For the Siberians the people who are to be shamans would have unusual or eccentric traits, having an affinity for ritual and expression, and preferring to spend time alone in places like graveyards or forests. They develop a kind of “mania” where they go off into the forest and live as animals. It is the job of the shamanic initiate to overcome these trials, get past their mania, and integrate their experiences into their own culture, so that they may return and become guides to their tribes. When people encounter something they don’t understand, they turn to the shaman for answers.
As Terrence McKenna once noted, the shaman was like a figure whose designated job was to ‘be weird’. He would be allowed to do what he wanted, and live at the edge of the village, and come when called. He would tell people how they were meant to interact with the unknown, and how to read omens, and what decisions to make in times of great upheaval. A Shaman was someone who ‘generated culture’. I agree with this notion.
In Germany, Shamans would sometimes take autistic or deviant children under their wing, and use their specific inclination for visionary experiences, training them to be shamans. In other words, these ancient societies wanted to ensure that each and every person had a role to play in society. Even people who could not live as normal, had to be given a place in the world. This is the exact opposite of what we do today. While we can easily point to Christianity and blame them, it was in fact the Hellenic Greeks who were the first to ban certain types of magick and spiritual practices that offended their puritan and aesthetic sensibilities. Rome took this to the extreme at times, and as well all know, the Church was born out of the dying legacy of Rome, and retained this tendency for puritanism.
According to Peterson, the difference between a true shaman and someone who’s simply gone mad, is the ability to integrate their experiences. By the way, this is why occult traditions like kabbalah, rosicrucianism, neo-paganism, satanism, vedanta etc. have a religious basis. Religion and culture gives a framework within which an occultist can place his experiences, and convey them to others. Anybody who has practiced magick for long enough, knows that eventually you run out of words to describe your experiences. The ancient sufi mystics struggled with this, so they chose to express themselves in song and dance. Without religion, we would have no way to tell others what was going on. By falling back on mythologies, folk legends and scripture, we can express ourselves, and also convey the gravity and importance of magick. “I invoked the Archangel Mikhael” carries a lot more weight that “I had a strange experience where something unspeakable communed with me”.
One great example is St. Jerome, who had a terrifying vision of a flaming face that threatened to completely shatter his sanity. It was only because he could fall back on religion, and express his vision as the Holy Trinity, that he was spared the fate of losing his mind. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
For the Indo-Europeans, the shaman was regarded with both fear and reverence. This fact may offend people, but these shamans were frequently androgynous. Not necessarily in appearance, but in behavior. The practice of magick dissolves those strong, dualistic boundaries between gender. This is why I question the caliber of those gnostics and kabbalists who so confidently claim that homosexuality is evil or that certain magick may be practiced only by one gender. Even the author of the Book of Abramelin is forced to admit that magick could be practiced by both men and women, even though he was clearly influenced by the beliefs of his time.
So yes, the indo-european shamans did not fall into rigid categories. Sometimes, they would cross dress in order to perform certain rituals. In Norse mythology, Odin is a shamanic figure (he’s NOT the ‘allfather’. More on that later). He is often shown to have bisexual tendencies and traits. However, shamans were also in control of their desires. Unlike what modern culture espouses, they were not sexually promiscuous nor did they chase after pleasure. They weren’t ascetic, but they practiced a high level of self control.
Often, the shamans would be aided by spirits, and there were many types of these. In modern times we make strong distinctions between “angels” or “demons” or “gods” or “spirits”. But to the shamans, these did not exist. Spirits were spirits, and categorized only by their nature and the role they played. Unlike the assertions of some thelemites and kabbalists, the spirits were understood to have free will. They were conscious beings, just like us. Some were ancestors, some were former shamans, some were divine spirits, and the others were animals totems. The shaman would commune with them to gain knowledge, perform tasks, and tell the future.
The end goal for the shaman, as it is for us modern magicians, was to solidify the body of light and integrate the shadow. Through this, he would gain immortal life. Some shamans were also vampyric. This is most likely the origin of the legend of vampires, and perhaps even the native american wendigo.
Anthropologists often use the word “cult” to refer to the various facets of Indo-European beliefs. But this does not mean we are talking about “cults” in the modern sense. For example, when we say ‘Indo-European Snake cult’, that doesn’t mean there was some single religious group that spread across all the tribes and worshiped a snake god. It refers to the collective tendency among Indo-Europeans of revering serpents.
There are many Indo-European cults that form many aspects of modern magick.
The Hearth Cult is perhaps the most evident in modern day religions. Originally, the tribes were fire worshipers. In the Indo-European tribes who spread into Europe, this became the hearth cult. This is why even in modern day Europe, you have the fire place as a central piece of the house. We tell children that Santa Claus climbs down the chimney of the fire place and comes bearing presents. Originally, the most important Gods of the house dwelt in the fire place, as did the ancestors, and they brought good fortune to people. I wonder if these two are linked. In the warmer climates or Persia and India, the fire cult became the sacrifical fire. The Vedic Hindus conducted fire rituals, the Zoroastrians use it as the primary object of devition to this day.
The Death Cult refers to the ancestor worship that was common among Indo-Europeans. Ancestors were very, very important to these people. Ancestors does not just mean your biological predecessors, but even ‘spiritual’ ancestors. For example, a Shaman could regard all previous Shamans as his ancestors. When a woman got married, she would leave her previous lineage behind and the ancestors of her new family “adopted” her. This may be why even today, women often change their last name. In India, there is this idea of “gotra”. Modern Hindus have forgotten what it means, but it basically means “ancestral lineage”.
This may sound patriarchical, but the Indo-Europeans used this to ensure that ancestral property could be passed on. Yes, there were matriarchal Indo-European tribes as well, and in these the opposite would happen. To the Indo-Europeans, the left side of the body was to do with death, while the right side was to do with life. You will notice that we still adhere to the idea of the left and right hand paths of magick.
For the Northern tribes of Indo-Europeans, the dead would be buried in burial mounds. These ancestors could then be communed with, and all magick of necromancy (the art of divination by speaking with the dead) would be done at such mounds. The Norse believed that sleeping on mounds at night would grant visions of the dead, and that such mounds should not be desecrated. Notice that in Ireland, there are many folk tales of spirits and ghosts appearing near ancient burial mounds.
The wolf cults and bear cults are pretty important. To the ancient Indo-Europeans, war and the concept of warrior hood was important. Practically all societies to ever exist had rites of initiation for young boys, enabling them to become men. Many tribes also held such rites for girls to become women. In the Rigveda, it is said that in order to become a man, young boys must sacrifice a wild dog in a ritual ceremony. They must then wear this skin and live in the forest as wild dogs, away from the village of tribe. Eventually, they would return to the tribe as men. I find it interesting that even now, most people will attend four years of college between school and proper adulthood.
It was common with many other Indo-European tribes as well. In Norse tribal society, groups of young men who had been banished from the tribe would live in the wild and form their own packs. They were called vargr (wolf). These packs would later become elite groups of savage warriors, donning the skin of bears and wolves and going into battle during the Viking age. These were the “berserkir” (those who wear the bear skin).
Indo-European wolf cults are most likely where the story of werewolves come from. Donning the skin of wolves, the warriors would try to awaken their own primal, animal nature. Native American shamans are also known to use the skin of animals to ‘transform’ into animals. I myself have had such atavistic experiences during my invocations of certain dark spirits associated with death and violence. We know that many Indo-Europeans called themselves “Aryan”. I have seen it suggested that maybe this was the root word for Ares, the Greek God of War.
Some other aspects of Indo-European spiritual life were the emphasis on purity. Divination and oral traditions were also a huge part. Even in many late pagan successors, such as ancient Greece, you would have Oracles, all of whom were virgin girls. In Germany and Northern Europe, the male heads of the family would take part in divination rites using runes, while female elders would preserve and pass on sacred songs and hymns.
Another common story is the idea of two warring factions of Gods, who also co-operate and intermarry. The Devas and Asuras, the Aesir and the Vanir, the Olympians and Titans etc.
I personally believe our modern concept of Angels and Demons came from this. It is a relatively unknown fact that the Avesta is Indo-European. The Avestans also believed in the Devas and Asuras (although to them, the terms were reversed). Eventually Zoroaster reformed the religion. In this way, Zoroastrianism is the first truly dualistic, monotheistic religion. However, it retained some of it’s Indo-European traits. You could even call it the first Abrahamic religion. In fact, many Jewish myths and concepts are taken directly from it, as the Jews were in Babylon for a while, and the Old Testament was written after they were released and sent back to Palestine/Israel/Judea. Many people are not familiar with the fact that Judaism was, originally, highly monistic. This is why in some ancient Jewish sources, Satan/Sataniel is depicted as an angel. It was only after their exile, that Judiasm starts to take in the highly dualistic nature of Zoroastrianism. This is when the separation of God and his angels and the Devil and his demons comes from.
So, in a way, the Angels and Demons are akin to the Indo-European factions of deities. We will see why this matters later. Just remember that the Indo-Europeans were monists, not dualists. The Dualism comes about specifically in Zoroastrian mythology. However, most turned dualist after becoming exposed to Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. These were/are, after all, the religions of the Age of Pisces. And Pisces is dualistic.
And almost all Indo-Europeans believed in the cyclical nature of Time. To them, Time was not linear, but moved in cycles. There were no “end times”, but rather the transition from one Age to the next.
Psychadelics also played a major role in their belief systems. For the Vedic people, there was a substance called soma, which was consumed before rituals. We know that the Norse most likely consumed psilocybin mushrooms, perhaps even before battle and during rituals. In Siberia, the Shamans use amanita muscaria mushrooms, usually using their own body or the body of the reindeer as a filter, and drinking the urine which contains the psychadelic compound without the toxins. The Mycaneans and Minoans also used psychadelics, as did most likely the Germanic and Celtic people.
There are many more cults, but you get the general idea. Now That I’ve given a rough idea of who and what the Indo-Europeans were, I want to talk about how our perception of the ancient pagan, vedic and shamanic past has been utterly distorted in modern times.
The Cult of the Sky Father
“Cult of the Sky Father” sounds like an insult that an edgy pagan or atheist would hurl at the abrahamists.
It may interest you to know that I’m actually referring to a late facet of Indo-European culture.
When most people think “pagan”, what comes to mind? Why, Zeus, Odin and Thor of course. The “enlightened culture” that existed before Christianity destroyed it and ‘stole’ its gods. Why, anybody can see the parallels between the Abrahamic and Pagan religions, right?
But not entirely.
I suggest that you read my invocation of Dionysus. In that post, I went over the general history of Greek religion, which I will use as an example.
Greece does have significant Indo-European impact. When people think of ancient Greece, they always think of Hellenic Greece. Many people do not realise that Hellenic world represents one of the final stages of Greek civilisation, when the religious and spiritual thought had declined a lot, and people were increasingly materialistic. Hellenic Greece was preceded by Mycenaean and Minoan cultures, and is actually nearly 2500 years older.. For most of this time, Zeus was not the primary deity. In fact, even in Hellenic Greece different Gods were worshiped in different City States.
In Mycenaean culture, the Elusinian Mysteries were very prominent. Persephone, Hades, Poseidon and Dionysus were primary deities, and the spirituality focused a lot of Cthonic (underworld) aspects. Zeus (the sky father) only came into focus in the later, philosophical period. In fact, I’d say the prominence of Zeus only became truly apparent with Rome, and it’s over emphasis on the worship of Jupiter and Mars.
Now let’s talk about the Norse. Today people think of the Norse Pantheon as resembling the Greek pantheon, with Odin residing as the “allfather” over his council of Gods.
In truth, the primary deities in Scandinavia were originally Tyr and Thor. The Cult of Wotan was brought into Scandinavia by Germanic tribes, after which Wotan was known as Odin and his worship became immensely popular. However, he was not the God of Light or the Sun. He was actually a God of Death and related to divination. Almost all stories of Odin present him as an extreme and ambitious figure, who discovered many abilities of Magick. Yes, Tyr was a war god, while Thor was a heroic figure. But these were not the first nor the most popular Gods worshipped by the Norse. The figure of Loki is most likely far older than Thor, as a god of the hearth. The idea of Tyr and Thor as sky fathers itself may have been a later projection, to make them more like Zeus.
In fact, if we’re really talking about “sky father”, then historians generally agree that most Indo-European ‘sky fathers’ came from one specific deity, which they call Dyeus (meaning father of heaven). This is where the more modern Latin word Deus (meaning ‘God’) comes from. Zeus, Tyr, Jove, Indra, Perkunas and all other Patriarchs in Indo-European myths are derived form this one concept. And yet, it is questionable how much we actually understand Dyeus, and how much historians are projecting the Christian Deus onto Dyeus.
Most likely the original Germanic Wodan was a deity to whom sacrifices were made, and who aided in the work of divination. He has also been noted to have cannibalistic and bestial tendencies. But then again, all of this is coming from Romans, who thought the Germans were barbarians, so who knows how true it even is (we will discuss this more in the next section).
Are you beginning to see my point?
Christianity is not the first religion to introduce the “sky father” nor Judaism. And, the previous sky fathers like Zeus and Odin are not the ‘original’ pagan deities either.
For some reason, people look at history in a very dualistic manner. They see history as being clearly separated between “ancient” times and “modern” times. They also think that both these periods were generally the same and consistent across space and time.
For example, many modern pagans people think that first there was the pagan era, where there was some sort of universal pagan faith follow by all people in Europe and the Middle East. Then came the Abrahamic era, and suddenly the pagan religions were subverted and replaced by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which were exactly the same as they are now.
Many modern Hindus think the same. They think Hinduism was some singular, homogeneous force that existed from pre-historic times until the Classical Era, when it got replaced by Buddhism. Then it got subverted by Islam and Christianity in the Middle Ages, and returned to it’s original form in the 19th century.
In truth, history is complex. It is a large tapestry of different beliefs, groups and ideologies. All spiritual traditions evolve over time, and sometimes absorb or get subverted by other traditions. It also differs vastly from region to region. Christianity and Islam are a special case, because no religion in history ever went to the same lengths to subvert and wipe out other religions. These were the first religions that introduced the idea of conversion, heresy and apostasy on a large scale. Perhaps it is correct to say that Christianity was a specific Judeo-Hellenic cult that went way too far, and Islam emerged as a response to it.
Yes, we can point a finger at the Abrahamic religions. But the truth is that the Cult of Wotan was just as ‘foreign’ to Northern Europe as Christianity. The truth is that the worship of Zeus may have been just as forced upon the Orphic cults as Christianity. In fact, Zues was probably less popular than Christ. We say Christianity and Islam sterilised spirituality. But did the Hellenic philosophical religions not sterilize it first in Greece?
To clarify, I’m not defending modern Christianity and Islam. I do think they’re sterilised, but so are many new age traditions and neo-pagan religions. Do not be so convinced that Odin and Zeus and Osiris are ‘true’ Gods and the Abrahamic ones are ‘untrue’. Even in Egypt, the Cult of Horus subverted and replaced the Cults of Ra and Seth at one point. I’m sure this is obvious, but a religion does not stay exactly the same for over 9000 years. Heck, things don’t even stay the same for a hundred years. Think about how different you and your beliefs are from your grandparents.
Additionally, let us not forget that Christianity and Islam have also evolved over the ages. Followers of these two religions will not admit to this, but we know it’s true. Let’s not forget that these religions are simply the most modern evolution of older religions.
Let us take a look at the Hindus. The Vedic people practiced animal sacrifice, and all manner of other rituals. They were warriors, and put a great emphasis on visions, intoxication and embracing their “wild side”. They practiced magic, performed rituals of ecstasy, and subjected the young men and women to rites of initiation. They greatly valued qualities of leadership and independence, and aggression. Indra was a God of War, not of the Sun or Rain. It was much later than this tribal war god became a God of the Sky and Rain.
Hinduism today has a distinctly Victorian and Socialist characteristic, and you can barely call it Vedic in any real sense. If anything, I’d say it’s entirely from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Introduction of the figures of Krishna and Brahma happened quite late, compared to the Vedic deities.
“Alright Raven, we get it. Religion evolves and differs over time and place. Odin, Brahma and Zeus are not necessarily the ‘original Gods’ and Christianity and Islam are not entirely to blame. But shouldn’t everyone just follow what makes sense to them?”
Oh, absolutely. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work with the deities that make sense to you. My own beliefs and practices are a vast mixture of various traditions.
However, there’s another thing I need to mention. This one is more important than the last, and the one that will really drive home the point.
People tend to forget that when we look at mythology, we are often looking at the writings of very specific people. For example, most of our understanding of Greek mythology comes from Hesiod (poet from 6th century BCE), who compiled most of it. In other words, this is his personal opinion, and understanding of these myths. Our knowledge of Norse mythology comes from the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda. For Vedic myths, we are largely relying on the translations made by English historians as late as the 19th-20th centuries. For the Avesta, the originals were lost in a fire, and then the book was reconstructed centuries later based on memory and oral tradition. Our understanding of Slavic mythology comes almost completely from one German monk, called the Chronica Slavorum.
This affects some traditions more than others. For example, the Egyptians left over 9000 years of literature and history, and detailed records of their spiritual, religious and magical practices painted on stone walls. Stone tends to last for a long time. And we can translate it with full accuracy. The same could be said for Abrahamic myths. While a bit fragmented, we still do have very old documents. Hermetic, Mayan, Chinese and Aztec traditions are also well recorded and preserved.
But some are not. The Indo-European cultures were largely oral. Even when people like Hesiod wrote down myths, it was often centuries after they had been conceived, and any truly mystical or occult connotations had been lost. As far as Hesiod was concerned, these myths to him were the same as biblical myths are today: something to believe in, and a list of religious duties to perform. Secondly, most early records are lost.
For example, we know that the Vedas must be thousands of years old. And yet, these were written on palm leaves, and have long since disintegrated. The earliest records we have are on tree barks from 1100 BCE. Even if the Indo-Europeans made written records, most of these were probably on non-durable material like leaves. We are now forced to reconstruct their beliefs using burial mounds, such as those left by the Norse, the Britons and the Celts. For Aryans, we don’t even have those, since neither Zoroastrians nor Hindus preserve the bodies.
Coming back to agendas, let us consider Greek mythology once again. Have you ever noticed how many of the Greek gods seem to be..well, assholes?
No offence, but let’s get real. These are essentially Gods that were worshiped in a powerful and intellectual civilisation. Why then, do Zeus and Poseidon appear to be an arrogant perverts, Dionysus a drunkard, or Apollo a playboy? Why are the Gods so often petty, childish or foolhardy? Why would a culture like the Greeks worship them, even before the Hellenic era. Well the answer is simple: people with agendas.
Ovid was a Roman poet who is well known for having written about Greek myths You see, Ovid was exiled by Rome for criticizing Emperor Augustus. So, naturally, he had a bit of an anti-authorotarian bias. In his collections of mythology, he would often frame the stories to play up the negative aspects of the Gods, and portray mortals as hapless victims.
Let’s take a modern example. Think about how modern people interpret the Bible to make Jehovah out to be violent, judgmental and arrogant. This is because Christianity and Judaism are fading out, while Paganism and Satanism are beginning to boom. Such similar things happened many times in history. Many pagan myths we have today were recorded in a time when people already lost interest in them, and were beginning to poke holes in them.
Let us take Hindu myths. In many, many Hindu myths, the Vedic gods are made out to be arrogant and petty. Indra, who was the primary God of the Indo-Aryans, is often portrayed as being embarrassed or humbled by other Gods like Krishna or Shiva. This has led to many modern Hindus believing that the Vedic gods were somehow lesser to the non Vedic ones. In truth, many of these legends came around when Vedic religion was waning, and being replaced by Puranic and Bhakti traditions. They represent a biased opinion of certain individuals, not even necessarily a whole culture, and definitely not a mystical or spiritual truth.
Much of Germanic, Iberian, Britannic and Celtic mythology is recorded by Romans, who believed them to be barbarians. While personally I think the Romans would have been much more true to what they say and objective in their approach, remember that they were not exactly held up to any rigorous standard of documentation. At the end of the day, it really is just the opinions of Roman historians.
So what is my point? Simply, that pretty much all Indo-European mythology we have is extremely recent, compared to how old these ideas really are. These are, more often than not, written by specific individuals. But that’s not even scratching the surface. Because now we have to deal with Christianity (oh boy).
If you read my previous post about the Fae, you’ll see how Irish and Celtic mythology was distorted to fit into Christianity. So I’ll skip over that, since Irish culture is far more native to the Isles than it is Indo-European.
What about Slavic myths. The monk, Helmold, who recorded their beliefs, was in the region for the express purpose of converting Slavs. He tells us as a matter of fact that the Slavs believed in a good god (Belobog), and a bad one (Chernobog). Isn’t it curious how that seems so reminiscent of God and Satan? Chernobog even has horns. To this day, historians have been unable to find concrete evidence of Slavic dualism, or that these gods were actually worshipped the way Herlmold described. It is just as likely that he wanted to present Slavic religion as being similar to Christianity, or maybe it was a simple misunderstanding on his own part. WHo knows what Chernobog and Belobog really were meant to be.
Did you know ALL of Norse mythology that we have today comes from the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda? Both of these were written in the 13th-15th century, hundreds of years after Norse religion had died out. In fact, they are Icelandic, which was far more devout in Christianity than Scandinavia. Almost everything we believe comes from one, Christian writer called Snorri Sturluson.
But why would a Christian record these pagan myths? Well, it’s simple. Much like modern Pagans, people in Snorri’s time were also proud of their heritage. Pagan or not, these were their ancestral myths and folk tales after all. The same happened in the Greco-Roman world as well, which is why we still know of those Gods.
People like Snorri Sturluson wanted to make a record of their own heritage, but they still were uncomfortable with (or perhaps simply ignorant of) the actual pagan worldview. So, they altered the myths to make sense in their own time. We do this even today, by revising mythology and folktales to adhere to 21st century standards.
However, this led to many aspects of true Norse spirituality being completely lost. For example, we already discussed how Odin was not the Allfather, nor even a Sun god. Thor probably wasn’t his son. This was all an attempt to liken Odin and Thor to Jehovah and Jesus. This is why Thor seems so unnaturally gifted and ‘perfect’ in all the stories. Loki, who probably started out as an Indo-European deity of the hearth, and later also played the role of a Jester, became increasingly likened to Satan. In truth, Loki was nothing like how he is portrayed in modern times. Instead, he almost appears to be the same as Dionysus or Hermes. An androgynous, shamanic figure at times.
The story of his ‘hideous’ children Jormungandr, Hel and Fenrir is also Christian. After all, the wolf was sacred to the Indo-Europeans, and there is little evidence it was ever a harbinger of destruction. The symbol of the serpent biting his own tail was one of protection and familial bonds, and the story of Thor fighting the evil Jormungandr at the end of time is most likely Christian too. After all, it was a serpent in the Garden of Eden.
Hel simply represented the duality of life and death, and there was nothing about her being malicious or evil. In fact, the entire prophecy of Ragnarok most likely is very recent, and borrowed from Revelation. This is supported by evidence. Who can say, what the original myth was.
I question even the validity of Valhalla, and warriors waiting till the end of time. That sounds awfully similar to the second coming of Jesus. In fact, Snorri literally says that at the end of time, after Ragnarok happens, the “mighty, nameless one” will appear. He is alluding to a supreme deity who is even greater than the Norse gods.
Hmm…a supreme ineffable deity. Now where have I seen that before.
You know those rituals they always show in Hollywood shows about Vikings putting people on a boat and lighting it on fire? Did you know that no historical evidence of it exists? The whole thing comes from the accounts of one Islamic historian called Ibn Fadlan, when he encountered the Rus Vikings, in Belarus of all places.
He most likely did not distort anything, but his biases are clear in his work. He also relied on a translator, and the Belarusian translators themselves were not pagan. So it is questionable if Ibn Fadlan understood everything he say, and even if the people he relied on to tell him knew themselves. It is difficult to say how much of what the Rus Vikings did was Nordic, and how much Baltic, and if it has any Norse or Indo-European basis. In fact, we don’t even know how common this ritual was, or even if all Rus Vikings did it, and not just this specific community. For all you know, the whole thing was a show to impress Ibn Fadlan. In my opinion, to casually use his accounts in all depictions of Norse pagans is extremely careless.
Think about how we thought Vikings wore horned helmets until very recently. This was due to the desire by their foes to demonise them. The infamous blood eagle is also a fabrication, and it is very unlikely the Vikings ever did this. This represents yet another problem with oral traditions, that all accounts of them come from those that observed them, and were frequently their enemies.
You know, there’s a certain trend I notice among modern occultists. They always accuse Judaism, Christianity and Islam of “stealing” ancient pagan motifs.
Now, we have already clarified that since these religions naturally evolved out of older traditions. But you know what, it does seem interesting how these ancient religions SO CLOSELY resemble modern ones.
I mean, isn’t it quite amazing how Odin and Zeus and Brahma are old bearded men, just the the Christian God? Isn’t it amazing how all these religions had a saviour figure, very similar to Christ, such as Dionysus, Krishna, Thor, Mithra and Horus.
Isn’t it also funny how all religions have an evil serpentine figure, resembling Satan, such as Loki or Hades, who is the “bad guy”.
I should hand it to the Indo-Europeans. Somehow tribal nomadic shamans in cold forests developed the exact same conception as tribal shepherd seers in the desert. And how convenient that all of these conceptions match the ideas and beliefs of Western European protestant Christians, right around the time they were becoming the dominant hegemonic powers.
Hmm….wait a minute. It’s almost like….like all these records ‘pagan’ myths were actually translated and compiled down by materialistic Protestants, centuries after the the original authors had written them (and eve then, with mistakes). It’s almost like….like they intentionally altered and distorted pagan myths to be more protestant, in order to spread their religion and subvert populations. It’s almost like most of us do not speak the ancient languages needed, and heavily rely on the translations.
Jokes aside, I’m not joking. This is really the case, at least regarding Indo-European cultures.
Before the 20th century, the idea of ‘objective history’ did not exist. Then some blokes from a smol, wet island managed to beat their baguette munching and bull chasing cousins in taking over the world. As they were digging for treasure, they realised that they’d dug too deep. And funnily enough, there seemed to be about 10,000 years worth of civilisation between buddhist stupas and dinosaurs.
And thus, history was born.
There’s no two ways about this. Our modern understanding of history is strongly influenced by an Anglican protestant perspective. Our morality and spirituality are distinctly Victorian. Even a majority of our modern day magick is influenced by Victorian era neo-paganism. The Theosophists, the Golden Dawn, Wicca and Thelema were all created by and for a very specific section of English aristocratic society. Yes, even Satanism (let’s not forget that David Myatt lived in England most of his life). Left hand path pagan traditions like Thursatru appear to be pagan, but are Gnostic and Satanic for all intents and purposes. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with them, but that they aren’t historical.
Now sometimes you run into Hoodoo and Voudoo, which have more French influence. But the distinction between French, German and English philosophy in the 18th-19th centuries is not too great. These are after all, the cultures which spawned the Enlightenment.
By the way, I’m not saying they were all necessarily English. But if it was written by say, Indians, it was the Indians educated by and in service of the Colonial government. The point is that England was the hegemon at the time, and all cultures were influenced by the world view of the English nobility and aristocracy. And when it wasn’t English, it was Judeo-Christian. After all, there were many scholars of this time who were expressly trying to revive Judaism and Christianity. And yet most of these people were educated in English, French and German universities. Put simply, I’m referring to culture, not race. And it doesn’t take much to see which cultures dominated the last few hundred years.
Read the modern translations of the Vedas, the Prose Edda or the Theogony. Who made them? Well, Colonial era historians. Our modern schooling system also came from this same place. We discussed how these books were already biased. But remember that even when you are reading, say, the Chronica Slavorum, you’re not even reading the flawed Latin writings of a German monk. You are reading whatever remnant some Colonial era historians found in some old abby, compiled and translated into English based on their best understanding of Germanic Latin of the 12th century, likely putting their own protestant and Victorian era biases into the work, sometimes even intentionally changing it to match some agenda, to make some cultures look weaker, or to make Christianity sound universal. That’s a far cry from what some Slavic tribesman probably conveyed to some translator in old Slavonic, who then did his best to explain it to the already biased Helmold. Slavonic, an Indo European langiage, is now a largely dead language and replaced by modern Cyrillic Russian. When you make such radical changes to language, you will obviously lose a lot. We can thank the Bolsheviks for this.
To say nothing of the plague of Fascism and Marxism that took over the world later. Did you know that when the Nazis began to excavate ancient Germanic tools, Hitler specifically asked them to alter and change the records because he couldn’t tolerate the idea of Romans having been superior in technology to Germans at one point?
Ironically, it was actually some early fascist philosophers who took a great problem with Colonial distortion. For example, the famous French proponent of nazism Savitri Devi (Maximiani Julia Portas) correctly pointed out that Hinduism was originally highly tribalistic and ethno-cultural, and that it had been changed in recent times to appear more philosophical, pacifistic and Christian. Nietzsche pointed out a similar trend amongst the Germanic people, claiming that they had been ‘tamed’ or ‘pacified’ by Christianity.
While I despise fascism, and while both of them were using this as a basis to attacks Jews/ Judaism, the essence of their argument is correct.
These days, there is a great attempt at reconstruction. But this is a very recent phenomena. And 19th century biases have stuck around. Even now, many people get upset if you try to replace their 19th century version of history with a truer history. Of course, biases persist even today. We must be careful not to replace one flawed narrative with another one.
The point of this post is not to criticize Protestants. It is not to bash materialism or the enlightenment, nor make a case for regressing back to some tribal morality and belief system.
I simply wanted to draw attention to two things. First, that the spirituality of the Indo-Europeans has been distorted by various groups to suit their own needs. By extension, the shamanic beliefs of all cultures, and shamanism itself gets distorted frequently by people who really do not understand it very well. In a time where shamanic and pagan traditions are making a resurgence, I think it is important to present accurate information, so that we don’t just swap out one religious dogma for another.
Second, the problem of moral relativism. Much of our perspective of the past is shaped by recent and arbitrary interpretations. We accept certain morals simply because we inherited them, without questioning them. As such, even magick in modern times is throttled by beliefs and values that people think are ancient but aren’t really. This is why you have the new age cults, which are essentially Evangelical materialists who swapped out Abrahamic symbols for Pagan ones, but retained all the rigidity and flawed theology, most of which isn’t even truly Abrahamic, but Socialist. Heck, in many cases people’s opinions are shaped by the American hippie movement of the 1960s.
Oh how shallow the of the Mysteries have become.
Magick is meant for the liberation of the sufficiently developed individual. Such a feat cannot be achieved merely through rituals and spells, or by changing religions. To simply become a Satanist, pagan or Buddhist does not make one empowered, any more than it empowered the Norse pagans who converted to Christianity for political clout 1000 years ago. However, it DID empower those Roman pagans who became Gnostic 2000 years ago. Because they did not just adopt a new religion, but instead freed themselves from social norms and rigid moral virtue that made slaves of them. By thinking for themselves, they became themselves.
All the ideas I’ve presented here are simply to cut down preconceived notions, and show how easy it is for one to be misled by propaganda, and how true knowledge is hidden away in plain sight. That is all. It is up to you, what you make of it.
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)
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.
Touch your solar plexus, visualising the light travelling down your body to form a similar ball under your feet.
Touch your right shoulder, visualising another ball of light.
Touch your left shoulder, visualizing the light travelling across your chest to another sphere.
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)
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.
Turn to the South, with your fingers still outstretches, tracing a circle of light and draw the Pentagram again.
Continue to the West, and do the same.
This time, vibrate NAUNET-NUH
Continue to the North, do the same.
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.
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!
First off, I want to announce that I’ve made anInstagram account. I basically dislike most social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. However, some people have asked for a better communication methods than back and forth emails, so Instagram it is. I’m not even sure what I’ll put there, but we’ll see.
So anyway, I’ve been engaged in High Magick for years now, and I subscribe to a specific tradition of ceremonial magick called Hermetic Kabbalah. In particular, the types of rituals practiced by the early 20th century group called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (to whom almost ALL modern spiritual movements can be directly or indirectly traced).
I‘ve done all sorts of rituals over the years, and tried out different variations. Sometimes I go with what an old grimoire is saying, sometimes I stick to the traditions of one or more Occult groups, sometimes I use a modern, minimalist method and sometimes I create my own. Some rituals work better than others.
I’ve never had a definitive ritual structure that I used for everything, because I wanted to learn and explore first. Most magickians are expected to develop one over time. Trust me, learning from personal experiences is much better than dogmatically adhering to some premade system (that’s called religion).
Recently, I started doing some rituals that are largely derivative of the Golden Dawn method. I just want to share how I do them, and my thought process behind a recent Invocation I did. The reason is so that people can see how Magickians design rituals and ceremonies seemingly from scratch, and completely on their own without having to rely on a grimoire. It’s something anyone can, and should work towards.
It may work better for some people than others. I may share how to actually do the ritual on the blog at some point.
The Magickal Heirarchy
An important thing to understand about ceremonial magick is its hierarchical nature. Essentially, it’s a soft polytheistic idea that when you call upon spiritual forces, you start from the ‘top’ and then work your way down. This is similar to Hinduism in some sense, in which all Gods, Demons, Humans etc. are ultimately manifestations of a single Divine Force, which fragments into small forces, which further fragment into further forces (or avatars).
The Western ceremonial tradition handles this as an almost social hierarchy, instead of using ‘avatars’. You’ve probably seen it in books like the Ars Goetia, where we have Kings, which then rule over Princes, which are then rule over Dukes, then Earls and so on.
The Golden Dawn tradition intertwines Abrahamic and Egyptian hierarchies, and these can be as fluid as one needs. At the top you have the Divine, invoked through Godnames, and beneath that are the Holy Living Ones, each ruling an alchemical element. Then Archangels, Angels, Planets, Elemental Kings and their kin, Spirits and Intelligences etc.
Intertwined into this are the Infernal hierarchies, with Archdemons on top, then Demons, Dark Planets, King of the Quarters and their kin.
Additionally, they try to include the various Gods and Goddesses of Egypt. These forces are are generally parallel to the Angelic hierarchies.
Almost all members of the Golden Dawn were strongly rooted in the Rosicrucian tradition. They constantly struggled with classifying the Egyptian and Demonic forces, and when they did, they made it so needlessly complicated that I genuinely struggle to understand their descriptions in some places. It’s a thing I’ve always seen monotheistic occultists struggle with, when it’s really not so complicated.
There’s also the Enochian system, but that’s for another time (and oh boy won’t that be fun).
A lot of witches and pagans today have a strong dislike of ceremonial magick, because they consider it rigid and narrow. They think it doesn’t allow for individualism or personal interpretation. However, this is untrue. Most of the time it only seems to be rigid, but in truth it’s still extremely fluid and open, and many systems have been combined to create it, which are far form cohesive.
The ritual I designed relied on my own interpretation of the hierarchy. I begin with preliminary banishing and meditations. Then, I call upon the Most High, which is completely personal.
After that, I invoke the God that I feel should preside over the ritual, and the entire ritual derives it’s power from this God.
Next, the Holy Livings Ones. These are neither fully Abrahamic nor Pagan. The GD corelated them to each of the letters of the 4 lettered name: YHVH.
However, their forms are derived from the Sphinxes found in both Egypt and Sumeria. They are: The Lion (Y), The Eagle (H), The Man (V) and the Bull (H). They each represent an Alchemical element: Fire (Y), Water (H), Air (V) and Earth (H).
From there, I invoke an Archangel, the Planet/s whose energy is used in the ritual (and if needed, the Olympic Spirit under them). Then come the Elementals (and their King), and then the Angel and Intelligence (Archon) of the Element.
Now, on some occasions, I will invoke an Archdemon or King of the Quarter at this point. Remember, technically the Archdemons and Kings are equal to the Archangels and Elemental Kings, and not ‘under’ the planets, Angels or Intelligences. However, it is generally a good idea to Invoke them after the Celestial and Planetary forces have been called. And only then, should you consider calling on Demons and Spirits. In fact, if the ritual does not require calling upon any infernal forces, it should be avoided altogether.
Obviously, most rituals do not require going through the entire chain of command. It all depends on the ritual, and I’m simply giving the whole thing to explain the logic of it all.
True and powerful magick could be performed by simply uttering one’s intent. There’s nothing to stop this. Just saying something puts your energy into it. However, that’s not always enough and not everyone can do that. Hence we have ceremonies and rituals and spells. The Invocations simply give it more power, and the hierarchies are more to help us put our magick in a logical framework, rather than representative of the actual state of affairs regarding these spiritual forces. Ultimately, we are the ones doing magick, and these forces simply help us connect to various parts of our own Soul.
Different people may have different hierarchies. Someone may consider Christ to be the Highest Force, while another may call on Krishna. One person may think Lucifer to be a God, while to another he could be an Archdemon. Ultimately, the ‘ranks’ you ascribe to these spirits are components of your own Psyche.
The spiritual forces are the same, and what symbols you use to approach them do not matter. However, it is more likely than not, that our mythologies and stories are at least rooted in some reality.
The Invocation of Air
The ritual in question was an Invocation of the element of Air itself. The purpose was to consecrate a talisman for certain purposes. The talisman, which in this case was a Ring, would be blessed and consecrated with various energies from the dominion of Air.
Now, this is not the usual way of consecrating talismans. In fact, you can read about the usual method here. However, this was not an ordinary talisman. Therefore, I was guided to create a ritual that would call upon the entire Air hierarchy. This was also for my own learning. While I asked each and every Force to bless the ritual and talisman, it can also be utilized for much simpler workings. Instead of asking every force to bless the ritual, you could simply just invoke them in the correct sequence, and that would make the ritual much more powerful. This rituals took about an hour, but technically much shorter versions could be performed based on requirement.
So, I spent about a week working out a hierarchy I was comfortable with. I performed a simple divination from time to time, asking the Archangels if what I was doing was correct. At times, I was asked to make corrections and changes were suggested.
I did the ritual on a Sunday, in the Waxing Moon. The entire day prior had been spent preparing for this ritual, and I think that certainly added to the power. I should mention, while I did use GD rituals and chants, all the prayers were written by me personally. I was told that prayers should always be written to any spiritual force by the individual (if s/he is able), because this is a much stronger expression of love and devotion than merely repeating what has been written before.
The ritual technically had to begin at sunrise, but I was more or less close enough to it. That is to say, I woke up at 6:00 AM, showered, had coffee and began getting things ready. I later realised that the reason this ritual was so powerful was because I had done nothing but work towards it from the moment of waking. On another day, I would do a similar Invocation of Fire, which was slightly weaker because it was at midday, and my mind had already been filled with other distractions.
I had an altar at the Eastern edge of the circle. At the center of it was the Armadel sigil for Raphael, with the Talisman on it. I had previously the area with water and incense. At the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the altar were my dagger and wand, for banishing and invoking respectively.
Around the altar, was a cup of water (water), a stick of incense (fire), a small container with salt (earth) and a feather (air). Outside the circle, I had placed a covered cup with rum from a newly opened bottle, and a small lamp with my own personal blend of fairy salve, which I keep specially for offering to the Elementals.
I also had sigils to the Olympic spirits of the Sun and the Moon, called Och and Phul respectively. The Olympic spirits are often called for consecration of talismans.
The Sun and the Moon are the planets that rule Air (Jupiter and Mercury rule Air, Venus and Mars rule Fire, and Saturn rules Earth).
I started the ritual, with a Salutation to the God Ra. Ra rules the Sunrise (as Hathor, Tum and Khepra rule the midday, sunset and midnight respectively. They are different avatars of the god Amun-Ra, the Egyptian Sun God). After the salutation, I spent a few moments in meditation.
Then came the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (and a short prayer to the Tetragrammaton), and then the banishing Ritual of the Hexagram ritual, followed by the Middle Pillar ritual to ground myself. These three rituals are essential components to most ceremonial workings.
I spoke the Invocation of the Bornless One. This is a well known ritual in magick, and gives you the ‘authority’ to command the Temple and all Forces that appear within it. It is a Greco-Egyptian prayer that calls upon Lord Osiris, who rules the Element of Spirit. (Next post will be about that, since I’ve had enough people ask me about it over the years)
Now, I could begin the ritual itself. I remained facing East, because I was invoking Air.
First, a prayer to Thoth, the God who rules the element of Air. The elements of Fire, Water and Earth are ruled by Horus, Isis and Nepthys in the GD tradition. This was a prayer that I wrote. There some invocations out there that are very elaborate and long, but you really don’t need such long invocations. Although many magicians are uncomfortable with this, having the blessing and aid of Gods is extremely important for spiritual operations. Even medieval Christian occultists would make prayers to the Holy Trinity.
As I did the prayer, I saw Thoth appear, enormous and with an Ibis head, standing as they are depicted in ancient statues. He held up his hand and blessed the ritual. Next, I made a prayer to the Kerub of Air. The Kerub of Air appears as a Man, and I traced the Hebrew letter Vav in the East. I could feel energy flowing from the direction as the Kerub empowered the ritual.
I then did two pentagram rituals, invoking Spirit (Active) and the element of Air respectively.
The most important part of the Ritual came now. I was going to invoke the Archangel Raphael until I was effectively one with him. The remainder of the ritual and consecration of the Talisman would happen with me adopting the guise of Raphael. I had prepared a Greek Mantra.
Remember, to call on any entity, the chant “Agios [Entity]” works very well, and is used in several traditions. Thus, my complete chant for Raphael was:
Ela! (x5) Agios Raphael! (x7) Kalo Se Sena! (x10)
It translates to Come! Saint Raphael! Hail Unto Thee!
In fact, I have lately discovered that magical chants and mantras, especially those in ancient languages, should be sung, not just spoken. This empowers them significantly. As I repeated the chant, I slipped into a near complete trance. I saw the Archangel Raphael, with brilliant eyes shining yellow, with long black flowing hair. He often appears to be in yellow robes with purple triangles stitched onto it. He blessed me, then entered me. When I was done, the union was complete. I was me, but I was also Raphael. This is called complete invocation. Usually this takes longer, but with practice it came become quick. Also, the entire ritual done until now, along with the musical key and incense help greatly.
We held out our hand, and called into it the Cosmic kingdom of Air. I saw the entire Universe before us, and then I saw it in a purpulish hue. It was all the nebulae, clouds, dust, plasma, supernova, and everything that gave it beauty and sheen. I saw all the ‘Air’ in the Universe compress together until it was one ball of energy in my hand, bluish and purple. I pushed it into the talisman, and now it grew heavy and warm.
Then I did the Hexagram rituals to Invoke both the Sun and the Moon, for these are the planets that are under the element of Air, and opening both spheres give me the energy I needed. I uncovered the sigils of the Olympic Spirits, and asked each to bestow the planetary energies into the Talisman.
Now, I lit my lamp, and made a prayer to the Elemental ruler of Air, called Paralda, and his kin, who are the the Sylphs. You see, the Elementals co-exist with us on this material plane. This is why so much magick involves the four elements and quarters, because it is the Elementals who grant us the energy for the magickal working. If we were to use our energies, we would cause damage to ourselves, even die. The Elementals must be regarded with great respect, for they are more like us than anything else.
I welcomed them into the Circle and presented my offering. I thanked them for coming, and the Ruler Paralda blessed me in return. I could see little specs of light curling around my hands, giving me the energy I would need to do the consecration.
At this point I was totally in trance, and beginning to get tired. There was sweat dripping from my brow. But I continued intuitively. I made a prayer to the Angel of Air, called Chassam, and Archon of Air, Ariel. The angel empowered the ritual with the invigorating energy of Air, like a gentle breeze. The Archon bestowed upon it, the powerful winds that strip away ignorance and stagnation, and bring knowledge and liberty.
Now I sat silent, regarding all the energies I had invoked.
Then I got up, and performed an invocations of the Shadow side with a ritual I had very carefully prepared. I was told before hand that I did not need to call any of the Infernal hierarchies, except of course, the King of Air.
When I whispered the words to invoke the Shadow, I felt hot and there was a pressure building up. Just as with Raphael, I began to chant. I was still singing, but not vibrating, the name. King Amaymon was there even before I was finished chanting his enn.
I uncovered the alcohol, and welcomed King Amaymon. The Kings are only to be called on important occasions, and received very well. Amaymon is, in some ways, the Black Sun, and possibly an avatar of Lucifer.
He graciously accepted my offer. I saw nothing, though the image that comes to mind is a figure dressed in pitch black robes, so dark that no light reflects, with dark blueish eyes and hair, wearing a dark metallic crown.
If archangel Raphael represents the beauty of the Sun, then Amaymon rules over the Black Sun. Overcoming the Black Sun, and resisting it is integral for any Magician to truly reach adept-hood. The usual symbol of the Black Sun is the Sonnenrad. It is a Nazi symbol, not a pagan one as many New Agers claim. But this is no co-incidence, because they are an example of a group that was completely consumed by the Black Sun. The spirit of rebellion is a powerful force, but as Nietzsche once stated:
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
I requested Amaymon to open the Eastern gate. This would let loose the “dark” side of Air, that needs to be tempered and integrated. If Air is the element of the mind, representing Liberty and Knowledge, then it’s dark side is Rebellion and Transgression. It can be a destructive force that levels civilisations, but when integrated and channeled to serve the Divine Will, it becomes the force that breaks the shackles of deception, ignorance and delusion. It breaks the chains of conformity that keep us bound. But anyone who doesn’t know what they are doing, should not invoke these energies, lest he become unbalanced and be consumed by his own Shadow. The Kings of the Quarters will open the gate if you ask them, without regard to how you will handle it. But a divination I had done before told me I was prepared.
I think Amaymon even asked “are you sure”, to which I said yes. I got the impression that the Gate was opened.
The moment this happened, I felt energies so strong, I suddenly had the thought that I may pass out. I hadn’t eaten anything, and suddenly got very dizzy. I felt my stomach drop, and I began to sway. The energy continued to build up, but I was being told to hold on, and to brace myself. So I did, for as long as I could. For a scary moment, I genuinely thought I would faint. You know that light headed feeling right before you loose consciousness? When your mind goes blank and all you want to do is lie down and close your eyes.
But then I recovered my composure. The energy swirled around me, I made a gesture as if breaking chains that were around me. I said a short prayer, and then pushed this intense energy into the talisman.
As is tradition, I used the salt, water, incense and feather to consecrate the Talisman in all 4 elements, and proclaimed it’s purpose. I used the Rose Cross, and the name YEHESHUAH YEHOVASHAH to seal it.
The Kings can open the Gates, but I needed to close the Eastern gate myself, using the Rose Cross again. Then, I began the various thanks and farewells to all the Gods I had called, and finished with banishing all the forces I had invoked and giving a license to depart to any lesser spirits.
I instinctively waved my hand about, as if dispersing energies, because I still felt a lot of stuff around. Finally, the ritual ended.
Sometimes, though rarely, I use a Tarot deck to gauge the relative ‘power’ of a ritual. This is a pretty crude method, and does not show the efficacy of the ritual, only how much energy was generated. But, I still asked the archangel Raphael to tell me how powerful the ritual was, on a scale of 1-10. Then I pulled out an 8. All in all, a pretty good ritual!
Now, ironically, the ring is way too narrow for my finger. Ha. Probably should have checked beforehand. But I can still slip it around the little finger, and it tingles where it touches the skin. It does work very well.
And that’s it for now. So remember to check out the new Instagram page (@whiteravenmagus). If you liked what you read, be sure to follow my blog, and share it with anyone who may enjoy it as well.
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:
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.
Yes, that one, by Paulo Coelho. Despite being a book that details some supposedly secretive teachings of the Occult and alchemy, it happens to be the most read book in the world (with the only exception being the Bible, but assuming every Christian family and institution owns at least a few, it is difficult to say which book is actually more well read. Consider also, that there’s many different Bibles, but only one standard version of the Alchemist).
Coelho is an open occultist, even going as far as describing himself as a “magician”. Some Occult circles that take themselves a bit too seriously, and hate books like this because they think it’s all wishy-washy and new agey.
The story of The Alchemist uses symbolism and metaphor to explain spiritual philosophy, and perhaps most people assume that Coelho merely uses fantastical imagery and language to make a point. Similar things are ascribed to Nietzsche, Jung, Watts, McKenna and Peterson.
After all, the Occult and spiritual practices are merely psychosomatic processes, right? It’s all just an elaborate form of visualization and self hypnosis. No one really calls on Angels, influences the weather, summons the dead, heals the sick or makes things spontaneously burn, right?
Oh boy, if only you knew.
Anyway, the reason I’m talking about the Alchemist is because it always struck me how Coleho speaks so frankly and bluntly about certain Occult phenomenon that are considered “crazy” by the modern rational mind. Often, if you pick up ANY book on Occultism written in the past 2 centuries, at least the first 100 pages are dedicated to the author desperately and laboriously trying to justify how magick is compatible with modern science. Even Crowley makes this error, where he desperately dumbs down magick just so that it would fit within the archaic and “materialistic” framework of the early 1920s. Even the Kyballion does this, showing a grave misunderstanding of who is actually reading their book, failing to keep with the so eloquent axiom “Don’t cast pearls before swine”.
I never understood the point of this. Books from the early 20th century, which changed occult philosophy to fit into the science of that period, now inadvertently become pseudo-science, because the scientific knowledge of their period was incomplete and has since advanced quite a lot. In fact, if anything, as Science progresses, more and more aspects of older, seemingly “unscientific” Occult wisdom actually get verified. This also makes me wonder if many of the people writing the Books had any practical experience with Occult phenomenon, or if they simply read the theory and attempted to merge it into the existent world view. Or maybe they were simply trying to avoid becoming outcasts, like pagan Occultist before them who disguised their writings as being Abrahamic.
Books from the East are often a bit more open, because Western materialism never truly took hold in most of the Eastern cultures (no, not even in Japan, Russia and Korea). On the other hand, there’s very, very few modern Occult texts from the East. If anything, most recent books on Eastern occultism are written by Western or Western educated individuals. That’s a different can of worms I’m not keen to spring today.
Whatever your opinion be about The Alchemist, the first thing that struck me is that it isn’t based in any fantasy Universe, but in our world. Yet, despite it’s extremely grounded and realistic stories, there are scenes where the protagonist, Santiago, is able to communicate with the Desert, the Sun and the Wind. There are seers and prophets who can see the future. It always throws you off, and Coelho does not attempt to give any further explanation about how everything has a rational explanation, nor attempt to reduce anything to materialism. It is perhaps this reason why many rationalists scorn the book as childish.
Personally, I couldn’t care less what objections they have. I think it’s futile to try and convince people. I don’t claim to understand the exact scientific process behind magick, and perhaps some day in the future science will discover it. Science isn’t some ideology or philosophy, but merely the process and methodology of discovering new knowledge. If something exists, there simply HAS to be some explanation for it, but that doesn’t mean that explanation must adhere to our current knowledge of science.
So it’s up to you how to take what I write. I won’t pretend to make it reasonable, nor reduce everything to psychological processes. usually, I do this in my blog, when I write about invocations and philosophy, but now the subject matter is so complex and unexplored that this is no longer within my capability. I do not wish to make up an untested pseudo-science to explain it, but nor can I pretend that it isn’t real. Those who feel uncomfortable are free to deny it or build up some logic for it.
The Forces of Nature
Nature comprises of many forces. One common way to categorize this is through the traditional system of four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The other is by applying the classification system of some particular pagan religion (most often the Hellenic, Japanese or Celtic) to distinguish between different types of spirits.
However, as you’ll see, any method of rigid categorization or classification is bad for communing with the Natural forces. It might work when invoking angels or gods, or even calling on elemental forces, but for the forces of nature, we have to adopt a rather older, folk perspective, rather than some universal and global categorization like the modern individual may be used to doing.
But what do I mean by the forces of Nature? Exactly what it sounds like. The winds and the rain, the spirit of the desert, trees and mountains, rivers spirits or plants, fungi or perhaps a specific rock, animals or even rice. Did you know that the Japanese believed there are seven gods living in each grain of rice? ha. (This was apparently the justification given for why rice should be properly chewed. The Occult is often science not yet understood)
Communicating with these forces is possible, but a ritualistic or religious approach is difficult to work with, since these forces are……let’s say “simple”, or “ancient”. Before organised religions and the worship of cosmic forces in the form of idols and symbols, people revered mountains, sacred trees or holy animals. It is a very intuitive and basic process, and varies from situation to situation.
You have to connect to such forces personally, however feels right to you. This is why, when the protagonist of The Alchemist simply gazes upon the Desert and “talks” to it, we feel disturbed or out of our depth. Usually, you would expect some sort of elaborate invocation, some ritual to call on some specific deity that merely resides in the desert, but it’s a lot harder to envision speaking to the “desert” itself.
We as humans have an evolutionary tendency to anthropomorphize things, and for this reason we feel more comfortable with Gods and demons, angels and spirits, fairies and elves. For things like nature, oceans and winds, we often do not worship them directly, but some deities that preside over them. For example, instead of communing with the Rain, we may seek communion with Zeus or Indra.
I do not want to drag this on, so I’ll just say this: communion with the Forces of nature is distinct from communion with Deities presiding overt them, or any particular spirits that dwell over them. They inhabit the material plane.
To anyone who has read anything about evolution, it is extremely obvious that the sentient hominid races are out of place on Earth. Our bodies may have evolved with everything else, but our minds and souls are at odds with everything else, even from a totally materialistic point of view. In a way, if humanity really is a group of beings that have been sent to the Earthly plane to learn certain lessons and achieve certain things, then you could say that that the things we find in nature are the original inhabitants of this plane. That’s why we are the only thing on Earth, and in fact in the entire material Universe, that is not in harmony with Natural law, because it makes us suffer, to the point where the single most recognized motif on our planet, signifies physical suffering.
Communicating with Nature
Communicating with animals is widely accepted, but some would say communicating with plants is not truly possible as they aren’t sentient. Further, it can be said that communication with rocks, rivers, the winds or the land is impossible as these aren’t even living.
And then, you have the people of the Amazon, who somehow figured out how to take two plants that grow totally apart from each other (one containing DMT and the other having an MAO inhibitor), and figured out how to cook them in a very specific manner to produce Ayahuasca, a potent psychedelic substance used for shamanic rituals. If you were ask them how they were able to learn this, they give you ever eloquent answer “the plants told us”.
Update (2020): If you click the link, it’ll take you to Soul Herbs, who have sponsored me on this post. On their website, you can learn more about Ayahuasca, it’s ingredients, legality, as well as purchase some Ayahuasca tea.
They have a Soul, and a consciousness. They have the same life force as us. Perhaps we cannot communicate on a material level, but maybe on some higher plane our soul can touch theirs. Or perhaps we are simply projecting our own internal psyche onto them, but that could be said for any and all interactions, including those with humans.
The ancient Greeks believed in a concept called the noosphere, similar to the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The Noosphere was said to be the sphere containing all human thoughts and memories, which would later be fleshed out by Carl Jung as the “Collective Unconscious”. maybe such a concept applies to different forces of Nature too, and everything in the end is part of the Great Collective, which is the Universe, the Brahman, the World Soul.
The most powerful form of communication, with both other humans, and with Nature, is through symbols. These are used everywhere, from marketing to mythology, as they resonate with our subconscious, whcih of course, if the gateway to the Unconscious. Therefore, good communication involves the subconscious, and the same is true for natural forces. You must communicate through symbols, visualization and emotion (similar to a magick Ritual)
How this Communion Is Achieved
A few things are important in order to commune with any force of nature. First, meditation and the ability to enter a trance at will. This isn’t actually hard and will become second nature after some time of daily meditative practice. Through meditation upon any object, that object becomes a medium to enter the World Soul. In more technical terms, when the conscious mind becomes quiet, the subconscious directly.
The second thing, perhaps most important, is emotional clarity. Thoughts belong to the Conscious Mind, the Ego, the Ruach, while Emotions belong to the Subconscious mind, the Animal Self, the Nephesch. Women are naturally more in tune with the subconscious (while men are with the conscious), and this may be the reason why most witches and those who commune with nature end up being women. Of course, it is fairly easy for a man to achieve this same communion if he can be in touch with his emotions.
To interface with nature, you must sit in meditative and passive state of mind, ideally around or at least in view of what you want to communicate with. Then, slowly, open yourself up. Imagine you are interacting with another person. You know how you sometimes converse with the voice in your head? Do that, but don’t make the voice speak. Instead, call forth the thing you want to communicate with, and allow it’s mind into you, and your mind into it. This might take sometime, and might have to be repeated over days. Usually, it’s good to do it with something you already know and recognize, and are familiar with, like pets or house plants. Meditate on the thing, and eventually it shall ‘speak’.
You don’t have to force it, or ‘try’ to do something. In the Alchemist, the protagonist is a shepherd from the mountainous region of Andulas. He travels to Egypt, and spends many days in the desert, slowly learning it’s ways, it’s laws and it’s mentality, and becoming immersed. He could, of course, have done the same to the mountains back home, but maybe he was so busy with his routine he never had the chance to pay attention. He begins to understand that the Desert itself is an entity, a thing that functions according to certain mechanisms (very similar, in fact, to most “living” biological organisms).
At one point, he is captured by tribesmen, and manages to escape by transforming himself into the Wind, which he achieves by spending three entire days staring at the Desert, until it speaks to him. Much more could be said here, but not today.
It is our obsession with our mundane life which stops us from noticing the phenomenon taking place around us. You will recall hat, for our ancestors, who had much more free time, to notice supernatural occurrences (not having immediate access to entertainment all the time, they simply payed attention.
The most reliable force of nature that one can commune with is the fungal intelligence of the Earth, and this is done through the consumption of psychedelics. To some degree, it can also facilitate communication with plants. However, this isn’t a post about that, so we won’t discuss it further. Through the meditative methods described here, one can access the fungal intelligence without psychadelics too.
Once, in a lucid state, I communed with the fungal network of mycellium that spreads across the entire planet. It was incredibly profound, but when it was over I could no longer recall exactly what I felt. Only a sense of enormity and humility remained.
Most forces of nature will grant wisdom or insight, or just a general look into their world. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can do the things that are spoken off in ancient tradition; stories of great Masters who could cause the wind to blow, the rain to fall, water to freeze, who could see the future and the mechanisms moving the celestial bodies.
These are not to be thought of as “powers”. You are not controlling nature. Rather, you have been graced by the presence of something greater and it’s important to remain humble and thankful when this happens. Generally, you don’t ask for such things for personal benefit, but with pure intent. A magician may bring about rainfall, not because he wishes to affirm his status or test his power, but because he wants relief for the land and it’s inhabitants from the burning heat of Summer. Sometimes, it may occur when he is doing a ritual, and he will see it as some sort of Divine acknowledgement.
Also, eliminate doubt from your mind. any doubt, or conceptions of egotistical grandeur, or even any pretense of being better than you are, will stop the process.
A Simple Exercise
Do this. Go to a plant, preferably one at your house that you water daily. if you don’t have one, find out outside or get one. For a couple of days, when you take a break from daily work, go and sit with the plant/s and relax. Calm yourself, and meditate. Pay attention to the plants, and focus on their many intricacies, mannerisms, and imagine what life must be like for them.
Do this daily, maybe for 10-15 minutes. When you feel a level of comfort and normalcy, try to initiate a dialogue. Touch the plant if you have to, and call on it to speak with you. If you can go deep enough into the subconscious, you will hear their voice. Through such a connection, there’s a huge amount of wisdom to be gained. Trust me, it’s very real. It’s a distinctive state of consciousness to enter into the collective unconscious of plants (which can occur through invitation, after repeated communion is achieved). You begin to understand their point of view, and they may also understand yours. Remember, they are not absolute or holy. Take everything as it is, and converse like you would with a friend.
Honestly, they have a bit of animosity towards humanity, because they cannot understand our worry and obsession with life, but it won’t be directed at you. Besides, “hatred” is a very human emotion.
Got that? Good, now go ahead and try it.Eventually you should be able to call upon higher forces, like the land, the winds, rain, the clouds, the storms.
These are not things that I can “instruct” you in through the written word, mainly because I can’t describe it myself. I can point the way, but beyond that it’s all personal development.
Ey! Hello, and welcome back to my blog! This is a short update for veteran readers (and for any new ones, if you’re interested). Then we will get to the article.
So, I did some soul searching. I noticed how when I started this blog I used to write a lot, but as I got busy, I began to fall short. For 2017 and 2018 I literally just wrote 5 posts each year. But now college is ending and suddenly I’m a lot more free. I decided that I would ignore this blog no longer, and actually update it more often. I was also stuck, both in life and in magick, for two years, becoming very internal and reflective. But recently I’ve made breakthroughs, and once again I’m excited about magick, and life in general 😀
I’ve spent the last month going through every single article, adding new information and insights, fixing grammatical mistakes, and tagging properly, and I’ve already started getting more traffic. If you’re a veteran reader, I really recommend going back and reading anything you liked. There’s tons of new information and thoughts in every post written between 2015-2018.
There are many Occult blogs out there, but they’re very, very theoretical and academic. Now, I love those and I’m sure they are very important. But that’s just not my thing. I’m young, and I know for a fact that there’s a gulf between young, spontaneous occultists who’ll literally explore as far as they possibly can, and the older, more mature middle aged occultists with glasses and goatees, dedicated to reading their 700 page tomes and doing their 5 hour invocations precisely.
Let’s be real, I’m not much into being tied down. Fuck that. College has made me realise why more people aren’t Occultists, why more people aren’t vibrant, alive and courageous. Society has become like a stagnant, infested swamp of boredom. But the world runs because magicians Will it to. And I’d rather be out there doing something of value, than sitting at some abhorrent desk job dying inside every day. And I encourage everyone to do the same. Now, what that is, I do not know.
But enough of my rant, and time to begin today’s post, the Invocation of Dionysus.
You might ask, why Dionysus? I asked the same thing. Being a Kabbalist, I’ve only ever worked with Angels and Demons. In fact, even they’re rare. A majority of the magick I’ve ever done has been planetary and elemental magick.
Sure, I’ve had some encounters with other stuff (mainly Lovecraftian magick), but I think Dionysus was the first true “God” I ever invoked. I think it’s mainly because I wasn’t totally sure how to go about it, and I never really needed to.
The Planetary powers are also Greek/Roman gods, but I still invoked them as Planets, and knew all the astrological correspondences. But with deities like Dionysus, it gets a lot more complex, and it never seemed worth the trouble.
Before I became a magickian, I was exposed to the New Age stuff. Dionysus was an important figure in those spiritual circles, not to mention he’s kind of famous because a lot of Christian rituals were lifted from the Cult of Bacchus/Dionysus.
Since he’s an important spiritual figure in pop culture, I was always intrigued by him. He was said to party hard and impart ecstasy. Being from a fairly stuck up culture that shuns letting go and intoxication, I was very drawn to Dionysus as a young teenager.
Most importantly, when I was young I had taken Pan (who is a deity very closely linked to Dionysus, if not a primordial aspect of him) as one of my patron Gods. This is before I ever got into Kabbalah. I’d always had a plan to invoke Dionysus at the back of my mind.
So, I finally decided to call on him. I was guided to do so by my intuition, so I thought “eh, what the heck”. I was also interested to see what a Hellenic deity is like.
History of Dionysus
Dionysus is a very interesting god, to say the least. Remember, the key to invoking any Being is to have a comprehensive understanding of their history and nature.
Dionysus today is generally thought of as the God of Wine. He was/is one of the Twelve Olympians from Greek mythology, a son of Zeus and therefore a demigod, invented wine, wandered the world and partied with people.
Many say he went to India (where he founded the city of Naragarhi/Nyssa) and for a long time there was the misconception that Dionysus was a foreign God that came to Greece when Alexander expanded his empire across Asia. I can see why people would think that, since ancient Greece and India had a lot of interaction, to the point where Greek manuscripts are a good source to study Indian history (because all the Indian libraries were brunt down. Thanks Islam ), and there’s people of Greco-Indian descent alive today. Dionysus was always seen as a “foreign” God in ancient Greece, and for this reason people thought he was an import from some other culture.
However, when we discovered that Dionysus was worshiped in the pre-Hellenic period as well, and possibly even before Mycanean period, this theory was rebuked.
Now it’s more clear, and it seems that Dionysus wasn’t a “foreign” god, but a God in whom “foreignness” was intrinsic. As I explain the history of his worship, you’ll see why he represents all that is foreign, alien and against social norms.
When he died Zeus wanted him to be an Olympian. For this, it is generally accepted (Thanks to the Percy Jackson novels) that the goddess Hestia, the former 12th Olympian, gave up her seat for Dionysus. Now he spends his days getting drunk and chasing nymphs. Technically, the myth of Hestia wasn’t official canon in Ancient Greece itself, and really is a modern invention. In reality, both Dionysus and Hestia are, based on different sources, said to be the 12th Olympian.
Needless to say, if you were to invoke Dionysus with only this to go on, you’d commune with a very shallow, pop culture aspect of him and at most feel a bit tipsy. So I’m going to do my best to outline a history for you.
To anyone interested in working with the Greek Gods, it is perhaps important to understand that most of our modern ideas about Greek religion, and culture in general, come from Hellenic Greek. This is why Greek neo-pagans of today are called Hellenists. But Hellenic Greece was a late-comer to the world, appearing only in the 5th century BCE.
Obviously, that’s very late compared to it’s contemporaries like Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, China etc, and hardly befitting the title of “Cradle of Western Civilization”. Interestingly, when we say “Ancient Greece”, we’re talking about the Hellenic period.
Much of Hellenic culture and religion were actually carried over from a much more ancient period, called Mycenaean Greece. This is a mistake I see a lot of neo-pagans make when they try to practice magick from a purely Hellenic perspective, since Mycenaean religion was far more vested in magick and mysticism than the more philosophical and academic Hellenic period.
Mycenaean civilisation existed in Greece during 15th century BCE, until about the 8th Century BCE.
All of the Greek Gods have been found to have existed in this period, in their more ancient aspects. The emphasis was on Cthonic (dark underworld) deities instead of patriarchal sky Gods. In fact, this shift may be seen in all cultures, and there’s definitely Occult relevance there.
In other words, Poseidon was the chief Deity, not Zeus. Those of you who understand the Alchemical elements will see that the shift between these two civilisations was from Water to Air, and finally to Fire in the Roman era and it’s emphasis on Mars. Perhaps before the Cthonic gods of Mycanean Greece, people of the region worshiped Gaia and the Titans, and thus the element of Earth, which then went into Tartarus with subconscious repression.
Dionysus existed in this time as Di-Wo-Nu-Su (the Mycanean script is considerably different from modern forms of Greek). Diwonusu/Dionysus was fundamentally a Cthonic God, ruling Death and Rebirth. This makes him very similar to Osiris, and this is where the association with Rebirth in modern myths of Dionysus comes from. This is also why many people point to the Cult of Dionysus as a proto-Christian religion.
Prior to the discovery of this version of Dionysus, there were many linguists who thought his name was from modern Greece, and had various translations, ranging from “Zeus-limp” to “He who runs among trees”. However, it seems Diwonusu means something much more profound: “He who impels the world tree/mountain”. In other words, the driving force behind the Axis Mundi, the one who compels the spiritual ascent to the god-head, which makes sense if you consider the death and rebirth association.
Initially, this Underworld Deity was simply a Rebirth God, and his cult existed even then. At this time wine made it’s way to Greece, and became associated with the Cult of Dionysus.
We know that the Mycaneans made extensive use of psychadelics mixed with wine (Terrence McKenna thought they made the wine from psychadelics, like ergot).
I personally think the cult of Dionysus may have used psychedelics plants to commune with him, and he may already have had an association with intoxication. Perhaps they adopted wine and mixed the plants into it, because it was easier to consume or heightened the effects, thus making Dionysus the God of Wine as well as Rebirth.
This version of Dionysus was also horned and probably bearded, making him extremely important from an Occult standpoint, as a primal male fertility god, who dies and is reborn. A solar archetype. This is why I believe Dionysus and Pan are different aspects of the same deity. The fertility aspect of Dionysus would later emerge as Pan, who in mythology was his follower. However, when invoking these Gods you should treat them as separate.
Orphic Dionysus/ Esoteric Dionysus
Between the fall of Mycanean greece and the rise of Hellenic Greece, there is a period called the “dark ages” (not to be confused with the Christian Dark Ages which happen after the fall of Rome). We know very little about this period, due to the lack of records. Dionysus was worshiped during this time, but underwent a transformation. Perhaps an important deity within what would later become Orphism.
Orphism was much more concerned with esoteric symbolism. To them, the Underworld aspect of Dionysus was a bit less important that the intoxication and symbolism.
Orphic Dionysus was said to have been the son of either Zeus (Sky) or Hades (Death), and Persephone (Spring). He was, much like Krishna, Christ and Horus, destined from birth to become King. This angered the Queen of the Gods, Hera, and she had the Titans tear him apart and consume him. However, his heart was saved by Athena (Wisdom) and he was reborn. You will notice this death and rebirth also has an association with how wine is made, by taking living grapes (living God), grinding them down (death), storing and fermenting the pulp (heart), and creating the drink from them (rebirth). And yes, this is precisely why the death and rebirth of Christ is celebrated through the consumption of Wine, aka the “blood” of Christ.
This Dionysus was still a horned God, though lacking a beard (making him seen as a younger, more spontaneous God) and represented the liberation from the Ego, and the ecstasy of an uninhibited subconscious that occurs during intoxication. However, the subconscious is also symbolised by the Underworld, so there is still an association with the old Cthonic Diwonusu.
The Orphic cult celebrated the madness, insanity, and a celebration of the Divine. They also sacrificed Bulls. They also attracted a lot of members of Greek society who were of “low status” and oppressed, such as slaves, women and foreigners. The parallels with early Christianity are obvious.
On the other hand, now the dark ages ended, and Hellenic Greece came into being, and the modern Olympic pantheon as we know it was set. In other words, the Cthonic religion had transformed into a simpler, organised, scholastic and “noble” faith. So I guess the average Hellenic priests were not overly keen on the insane intoxicated death cult that was killing bulls and having orgies in the forest, or their weird undead horned God who drove people insane. Still their attempts at suppression failed. Thus, this fringe part of the religion was Orphism, while the mainstream part was Hellenism.
So, what happens now? Well, apparently some crazy monarch called Pisistratus tried to popularize the worship of Dionysus to Athens, by trying to introduce a folk festival called the Dionysia. During this festival people carried giant phallic structures, and we see a glimpse of the very old aspect of Dionysus as a fertility God emerge again. People were uneasy at first, but Pisistratus informed them of all the horrible things Dionysus did to those who rejected him (are we sure these aren’t basically just Christians?).
And lo and behold, Dionysus slowly became mainstream. But not fully. A famous play from the 6th century BCE called the Bacchae depicts Dionysus as returning from his exile to Thebes to overthrow a king who outlawed his worship. The people don’t believe that he is a God so he drives them mad, and over time builds a following.
He is captured by the King and chained up, but the young Dionysus just laughs in his face. The King of Thebes presents chained up Dionysus to his followers, who are called the Maenads, as proof of his victory over their leader. He is then promptly torn apart and killed by them in crazed anger.
I think this represents a transition phase, where Dionysus is like a mad, rebellious God with a large following who doesn’t care about society or how people see him. This is most likely an indication of the Cult of Dionysus during this time. He was considered an Olympian and his worship began to spread, despite all the crazy shit he did.
As the prosperity of ancient Greece grew, thanks to the establishment of Alexander’s Empire across Asia, the elite became interested in this strange new cult. Partying, intoxication, and excess became more common and Dionysus gained acceptance in Greek society, even though he was watered down to be basically a God of Wine and intoxication, but at least now he was a full fledged Olympian.
There are also accounts from this period which place Hestia, Goddess of Hearth, as an alternative 12th Olympian. Don’t know why this is. Presumably there was a more conservative, traditional part of the population who were more drawn to Hestia, and her assocations with home, family values and the hearth than to Dionysus, the God of Intoxication. Most peasants, who were neither part of the elite, nor the ostracized fringes, probably identified with Hestia more than Dionysus.
This is also the time when the Eleusinian Mysteries, another esoteric Cult, emerged in Greece, Crete and the Near East, and had many of the old Mycanean practices. Supposedly, this was much less fringe and almost all the important philosophers and figures of ancient Greece, including Plato, Socrates, Plutarch and Cicero, had been initiated into it.
This is also the first emergence of High Magick in western society, with the esoteric Mysteries being associated with the intellectuals of society rather than just the oppressed and alienated. Prior to this, it had only existed in Egypt and India in any real sense. You will notice that this is basically the status of most Occult traditions today, which attract the most intellectual and capable members of society as well as the most oppressed, and of course, there is also a strong overlap between the two groups.
The Hellenic myths of Dionysus state that he was born from Zeus and a mortal woman, Samella. While pregnant, she was tricked by Hera into goading Zeus to prove to her that he was a God. He revealed to her his true form, but since no mortal can look upon the true form of a God, she disintegrated, leaving a premature Dionysus behind. Zeus took the child and sowed him into his genitals, and gave birth to him this way (don’t even ask me to consider). This Dionysus grew up to be a dashing young man and gained a large following. He discovers how to make wine and spreads his gift with the world, travelling all around the globe.
He is once captured by pirates, for his beautiful looks They are going to sell him as a slave, but suddenly he unleashes his true fury on them, driving them insane and enveloping the ship in vines. In their insanity, they jump overboard, and he takes pity on them and turns them into dolphins.
To me this shows that even now, the true origins of Dionysus still had a semblance in culture, like an old, forgotten memory. But other than that, he basically just drank a lot and chased nymphs. He once fell in love with a human woman called Ariadne, and upon her death she became his immortal wife in Olympus. Dionysus has become a much more “noble”, clean and watered down God.
Dionysus in Rome and Beyond
In the Roman era, Dionsysus was known as Bacchus and was still basically a wine God. However, by now the Cult of Bacchus had become very important, and their beliefs and practices would contribute to the foundation of Christianity. These people saw Bacchus as a solar god, who had been crucified and then reborn. This aspect of Dionysus is much more important if you are practicing magick within a Christian tradition, but less if you do so in a non Abrahamic one.
Dionysus was also known in another form to the Romans, as Liber Pater. This was a god of fertility, wine and freedom. You see here that he had been split into Bacchus, the esoteric God of Rebirth, while Liber became the fertility side of him.
After paganism faded from Europe and gave way to Christianity, Dionysus, along with the other Gods, became more of a cultural facet than god. It seems some priest led a dance in the honour of Dionysus in Scotland during Easter, in 1282. He was then promptly killed by a Christian mob later that year.
The art and sculptures of the Renaissance often prominently feature Dionysus and Pan. This includes works by Michelangelo. Many during the Renaissance thought of their time as the pagan revival, and this is evident from their art.
Naturally, the neo-pagan movements first sprang up in what is now the UK (which is still a prominent neo-pagan and occult centre) around the 18th century, and most modern neo-pagan movements can be traced back to those.
Dionysus and India
Many of my fellow Hindus today have a complete and utter inability to look at religion and spirituality beyond it’s surface level, and, much like Jews and Christians, are extremely concerned with the ethno-political aspect of Hinduism than any of it’s esoteric and mystical layers.
I have heard people say that Dionysus was a precursor to Shiva, since both are intoxicated deities. This is untrue, since we have just seen Dionysus is MUCH more than a mere wine God (and Shiva is much more than some stoned Hippie). The worship of Shiva in fact predates Vedic civilization, to the Indus valley. Both however, started out as primal fertility Gods and have their core aspect in the Horned God archetype.
On the other hand, I find myself wondering if Dionysus is the precursor to the worship of Krishna instead. You see, Krishna isn’t actually as ancient as people think, and definitely came around AFTER the Vedas. Much later in fact, possibly during the Bhakti movement.
Older Krishna, like Bacchus, has an aspect as the supreme solar archetype. Krishna in Hindu theology plays a more profound role as Law Giver, much like Christ. This aspect of Krishna is linked to Vishnu, to the Higher Self and the core of Vedic esotericism.
However, if you look at the stories of young Krishna, how he was born destined to be King, how he had many female followers (gopis), how he cared little for societal norms, it seems that “young Krishna” is Dionysus. We know the Greeks had a cultural impact on India, and I wonder if the worship of Krishna started out as the worship of Dionysus. But, I’ll stop speculation there, because I just don’t know enough right now, and I despise the Hindu fundamentalists and rather not ruffle any feathers. If our ancestors were here today, they’d remark that they saw no religion around that resembled their own.
Dionysus in Magick
Dionysus is, fundamentally, a Sun god. Due to his association with both death and rebirth, as well fertility and celebration, he is halfway between the dark rebirth deities like Osiris, and the solar deities like Christ and Horus. He has several aspects, all of which could be invoked. The purest, most Occult aspect would the Orphic Dionysus.
Orphic religion is the most important to us as Magickians. You see, it was a Mystery cult.
In other words these people were Occultists themselves, as far as their time period was concerned. Sure, Hellenism has an occult side to it in modern time, but you have to understand that in it’s day, Hellenism was the organised religion of Greece. It was very similar to the Abrahamic religions (and others) today.
But Orphism back then was akin to the Occult traditions of today. It has been traced back to the beginning of the Hellenic period, and was basically a fringe, spiritual group with unorthodox, and authentic practices. They were also shunned by Hellenism, like every organised religion shuns the Occult movements of it’s time. Many of the ideas espoused by Orphism wouldn’t become mainstream in the world until well after Christianity had taken over, such as the ideas of equality among people, and the importance of freedom and liberty. Heck, one might say these ideas weren’t truly established until the French revolution.
In this sense, you may think of Dionysus as “The Transformer”, or a God of Alchemy. This is what the death and rebirth symbolise, and he transforms darkness into light. For example, he can transform anxiety, worry and depression into joy, intoxication, and warmth. He beings forth Beauty and Calmness from Horror and Confusion.
The second thing to remember is that through the intoxication he induces, he breaks down the boundaries between the conscious and unconscious. He allows the magician to relax and let go of his worries, and in this process connect more deeply to himself and allow his deeper, intimate nature to shine through. If you take it far enough, he can also let the celebrant to embrace the animalistic, wild side of himself, being a God of the Wild and madness.
This sort of madness, from what I can see, is rare and I have never personally experienced it. It is possible the the amount of madness that will be produced depends on how repressed the person normally is. A person who is unable to ever express himself freely, either because of constraints placed by himself or by society, will probably benefit the most. In this sense we see the rebellious aspect of Dionysus as well, who pushes against oppressive social norms.
Dionysus, being the transformer, causes rebellion and upheaval which causes the transformation, and he does so by breaking down conscious constraints. At first all these aspects seemed random and disconnected, but if you think about it, they all lead to each other.
Normally, most magicians have already broken down most of the arbitrary constraints placed on them, and usually have a good mental balance, and express themselves more openly. I think it is because of this that occult practitioners only ever experience a relaxation and calmness, instead of full madness. We have less to let go off. For someone who is new to magick and coming from a strong orthodox religious background, the Invocation of Dionysus might be fruitful, especially if he/she is unwilling to work with being like Lucifer or Lilith.
Important Names: Diwonusu, Dionysus, Bacchus, Iacchus, Agrios, Bromos, Euious
Epithets: Loud roarer, First-Born, Twice/Thrice Born, Wild One, Bull faced, War-Like, The Liberator, The Subterranean, the Thunderer, The Prevailer.
Role: God of Wine, Fertility, Rebirth, Madness, Intoxication, Pleasure, Foreignness
Symbols: Thyrsus (staff covered in vines and leaves, topped with a Pinecone), grapes, wine, leopards, pinecones, phallus, bull, goat (as Pan), oranges
Planet: The Sun/Tiphareth and Mercury/Hod
I used the Orphic Hymn of Dionysus to invoke him. I shall give here the original Greek and the English transliteration, along with the translation I found.
I call Diónysos the loud-roarer! Who wails in revel! First-Born, two-natured, thrice-born, Vakkhic king, Wild, inscrutable, cryptic, two-horned, two-shaped, Bedecked in ivy, bull-faced, war-like, howling, holy, Divine victim, feasted every other year, adorned with grapes, bedecked in foliage. Evvouléfs, counselor, Zefs and Kóri bore you…on a secret bed, immortal Daimon; Listen happy one to my voice! Sweetly breathe on me with gentleness, Be kind and grant my desire, with the aid of your chaste nurses!
I had no sigil or image, so I decided to use a large pine cone as a representation of Dionysus. I also had a small one that I would ask Dionysus to bless.
I kept the invocation relatively simple. I had a black lamp, and the pine cone on my altar. Instead of incense, I burned some orange oil, because oranges are favoured by Dionysus as an offering.
Ideally, you would offer wine to Dionysus. Unfortunately, I had none at this time. I’d bought some beer instead, but I felt intuitively that whiskey would be better. So I poured a small glass. I also had a small bowl of fresh green grapes (it wasn’t the season for black grapes and the purple ones aren’t native to my country).
Though this was not an Hermetic or Kabbalistic ritual, I still did the LBRP once. I then made a simple prayer asking for the success of the ritual, then began to chant.
At first I chanted in Greek. After 2-3 times, I thought to chant in English. Then after 3 rounds of that, I returned to Greek again. I developed a sort of patter, and between switching languages I’d vibrate his names DIONYSUS, BACCHUS, EUHOI, EUBOLOUS. I’d vibrate each name 8 times, then repeat.
This continued for some time. I no longer remember how exactly Dionysus manifested, and for some reason I don’t have notes of this. How strange.
But what I do remember is that his coming plunged the room into a state of extreme silence. I felt all the tension in my body and mind wash away, and I felt a bit light headed. I presented my offering to him, and thanked him for coming.
I was urged to drink the whiskey and eat some of the grapes. I did exactly that, and, similar to the Christian communion, I took the essence of Dionysus into myself, completing the task of Invocation.
Now I felt relaxed, and I felt myself loosen up. Till now, I had been sitting cross legged in a meditative posture, as I do in all rituals, but now I stretched my legs out and sat back. I didn’t feel “drunk”, but I felt happy and calm, more than I had in a while.
Dionysus said some things regarding his nature, worship and role in human society. Most of these insights havr already been mentioned above. I listened and I took notes. I also channeled two sigils of him. Although pagan Gods don’t normally use sigils/seals, I was told that these could be used to Invoke Dionysus if someone was so inclined. I did not get a physical manifestation, but his presence was very real. It made the air pressure in the room drop, and I felt warm and there was a mild fragrance of fresh grass.
It was rather odd. I just sat there, totally awake, with an ancient mystery God before me.
I also asked Dionysus to bless a talisman, which was a tiny pine cone. He told me that if I ever felt worried, anxious or agitated, I could hold this in my palm and I would instantly become calm and relaxed. He also said that if I ever felt happy, calm or relaxed naturally, I should hold this talisman and use those feelings to charge it for later. I also put it out in the sun on exceedingly peaceful and clear days. It carries the energy of Spring within it.
What else. Oh yeah, he gave me his secret name.
How? Well, I asked nicely and I guess he trusted me. Well, that was his first mistake: assuming I know what I’m doing. More on that later.
After this, I asked for his help in some personal matters. I then gave thanks and bid him farewell. I finished the ritual with the LBRP.
I did the ritual at night, and now it was nearly midnight and I would be going to bed soon. However, before I did I had to clean up the ritual stuff and make some notes in my diary, which I have to after every magick working.
I often turn off all the lights and use candles when I perform rituals, and at the end I turn on the light again. This serves to dissipate any lingering effects of the ritual, and bring me “back” to the mundane world. After this ritual though, I felt so peaceful that I didn’t want it to end. Somehow, the vibe created by the ritual was so organic, so real, that I knew as soon as the crappy fluorescent electrical lighting came on all this peace would dissipate. So instead, I decided to light a spare white candle, put it on my desk, and write in the candle light.
The fire had a calming effect. Perhaps it tapped into some primordial, evolutionary instinct, that our ancestors developed in the pre-historic days when they lit a fire in their cave to protect them from predators. It brought them safety, warmth, helped them cook their food. No wonder people were sitting by candles, bonfires and fire places until only 2 centuries ago. As I wrote, I noticed my handwriting was strikingly beautiful, and much better than usual.
I think this whole vibe was a mixture of the energies of Dionysus, the whiskey warming me up, and the peaceful lighting produced by the candle. I realised that human beings are adapted to two kinds of light: natural sunlight, and warm moody lighting produced by the fire. Frater Xavier on YouTube has this theory that all of these forms of light have an astrological association with the Sun, and thus with peace, happiness and comfort. He also believes that the modern LED and fluorescent lighting does not have this association because it doesn’t “burn”. Personally, I think it’s because modern lighting is cold and white.
I’ve been experimenting with this idea since then, for the past several months, and will probably write a separate post about it. But with this, my Invocation of Dionysus ended. What comes next though, is perhaps more important.
The Secret Name
So, I now had the secret name of Dionysus. I was warned explicitly against giving it away. You see, having the secret name of any entity (be it a human, god, angel, demons, spirit) gives you a certain power over them. That’s why in Hollywood movies when a priest is performing an exorcism, he asks the possessing demon to “give him it’s true name”.
Perhaps, it is also why your Governments insist that you use your “legal name” in any official processing or document (although your legal name isn’t your “true name”). This is also why most magicians have several personas. For example, I have my legal name, I have my online name, White Raven, and I also have a magickal name which I don’t share with anyone. Names have power. Why do you think orthodox Jews dare not utter the name of the Tetragrammaton lightly?
Well, this was the first time I’d ever asked a deity for their secret name. Having the secret name of a God can help you Invoke them and commune with them more effectively. But I had no experience with secret names.
I wanted to learn more about this name. I wondered if the name was ACTUALLY comprised of real Greek syllables, and had a meaning in ancient Greek.
I performed a Google search on this name, and naturally nothing came up. But, I’m one of those people who specializes in deep research. I began to look at the Greek alphabet, and began to scour every online resource I could find, from lists of Greek root words, to translators, to dictionaries. Very quickly I realised that not only was this was a deep, powerful and mutli-layered name, but also that if I could piece it together, it would shed light on the true nature of Dionysus.
The translations I had so far left me awestruck. I had a couple of meanings for parts of the name. I was very close, but now the trouble began. You see, I was not going to share the secret name, but I had planned to share it’s meaning on this blog. I don’t know in what stupor I thought that somehow sharing the MEANING of the secret name would be better than sharing the name itself.
As I was searching, the the power cut out and my screen went dark. You see, my computer runs on a UPS, but not my monitor. I thought nothing of this, and once the power returned a few minutes later, I continued my search.
However, about 10 mins later it happened again. This was my cue, and it suddenly occurred to me that sharing such a powerful name was a bad idea, and would compromise the God who had given it to me in such trust. So I made a promise not to share it, and stupidly continued. Now I felt a intense pressure on my body, and waves of heat flowing over me. Only now did I realise that Dionysus might be trying to get my attention, asking me to stop before I defiled the sacred pact and knew something I wasn’t meant to.
An old Japanese Shinto saying came to my head “Those mages who use their powers of sight to peer into the true nature of the Gods, stand to loose their power and favour with the Gods”.
And now I stopped, immediately. I was so close, and tempted to continue, but I knew better. I stopped, then I prayed to Dionysus and asked for forgiveness. I felt the anger fade pretty quickly, though I still felt on edge. But after a while, I felt a sense of forgiveness and understanding, and I knew I was forgiven. Perhaps the Gods understood that I had made a mistake.
However, you see, I’m a bit of the rebellious type. I despise being restricted from things, especially the pursuit of knowledge. I hate being told that something if off limits. Maybe I’m just being childish, or maybe I’m right. But one way or another, this is who I am. At the time, I felt unsure about working with a Deity or system where I was more like a follower or “lesser” to the Deities. It reeked of organised religion, and was something I’d seen far too often with my fellow Hindus, who assume a position of subservience to the Gods.
This is not how a spiritual relationship should be. A deity should not have to go so far to stop me. Or maybe the God wasn’t angry at all. Perhaps he was warning me for my own good, and maybe it was just me who perceived this as anger. However, I have not worked with Dionysus since then.
I use the talisman from time to time, and it does work. But, I just can’t follow spirituality this way, where there is fear and arbitrary constraints involved. So yeah, I made a mistake, but I don’t regret it.
Well, so that was it. I hope you liked it. Check out some other articles, and remember to follow my blog for more 😀
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.