This Mercury Retrograde has been..annoying, to say the least. But now things should get back on track, hopefully. I’m still working on the next book, which has now been in the works for a while now.
There’s also some major changes coming to both the Blog and Patreon.
I’ve also gotten very busy lately in life, especially my non-occult pursuits. Recently, my magick has evolved in big way. The knowledge that I have sought after for a long time, is finally being revealed to me, and I’m being asked to share it. I’m trying of course, but it isn’t always clear how this stuff should be made public.
I’ve always strived to make the contents of this blog as clear and accessible as possible. But in the pursuit of that simplicity, I’ve somehow managed to make everything complicated.
It’s polarity.What is simple takes more effort to understand. What is complicated is easier to understand.
For example, imagine a complex math equation. Such an equation can be written in just one line, but it represents years of study and work. To the average person, it looks like gibberish, but to a mathematician, who understands the symbols and theorems behind it, everything is very clear.
On the other hand, we could show the entire proof of the equation. We could fill an entire page with formulae, showing how we arrived at the equation. This makes the task of reading it a lot harder, but now any person who knows basic arithmetic can follow along. But, this means true mathematicians must sit through a lot more tedium just to get to the point.
So who should I write for?
I think there’s enough material out there for absolute beginners of magick, and often such material doesn’t go deeper. It doesn’t need to. So why cover trodden ground?
What’s the point going over pages upon pages of theory and tables and correspondences? What’s the point explaining, for the 1000th time, how to make a sigil or charge a candle? Why would anyone need to read an article on Between the Pillars for something like that, where there’s already hundreds of five minute youtube videos explaining it?
You see, I was afraid. I didn’t want to be the crazy guy, standing in the city square, ringing a bell shouting “it’s a lie, it’s a lie! History is a lie, culture is a lie, religion is a lie. They’re lying to you! They’ve been lying to you for twenty five centuries!!”
But now I think: why do I need to go to the city square? There are enough people to do that. I could also be the crazy guy living in a hut in the forest, saying the same thing but only attracting the attention of those who would care to listen.
I’m a bit of an elitist, which probably comes as no surprise to anyone. This knowledge isn’t for everyone, and I won’t pretend that it is. I want to share what I’ve learned with others who are on the same page, with those who understand, because that’s how our community grows and evolves, and how new ideas are generated. The longer we pretend to involve everyone, the longer we delay.
And if it scares or upsets people, so be it. Fear is all they’ll ever know. No more hiding.
This is a blog. A blog is like a journey. My journey. Today, I’m going to share an experience I had recently with the Archangel Samael.
My invocation of the Archangel Samael was the very first post I ever made to this blog. Over time, I have made various edits and cleanups, and a few years back I went and updated all the older posts on the blog, including that one. The updates were mostly addendums about how my opinions about certain things had changed, or how my understanding had developed or evolved. At times, entire concepts from older posts had become obsolete. Instead of just getting rid of them, I simply included an update regarding them. This way, people can read the original material along with my evolving opinions.
Most occultists change their opinions and beliefs extensively throughout their lives. Dogma is really bad for magick, and if you read the works of any prominent occult or esoteric writers, you will see they rarely ever ‘double down’ on things they previously believed. That doesn’t mean what was believed before is ‘wrong’, merely that it has served some purpose and now is no longer needed. That’s how spiritual evolution works.
The Archangel Samael is a very, very important and prominent part of my magickal journey. Despite this, I haven’t written much about him, and that’s largely because there was a massive gap between my early days of spiritual dabbling, and eventual initiation into the Golden Dawn system, where I rarely invoked him in any major way. Yes, there were times when I called him, but it was never something to write a whole blog post about.
The experience I’m going to write about today is a recent experience that’s actually worth sharing.
Not a ‘ritual’ exactly. More like a meditative trance I was guided in the middle of the night. I was half asleep, which is apparently a great time for spiritual work and to receive messages. According to Samael, conscious resistance is very low, and information can be downloaded easily.
As I recently explained on my Patron, spirit communication does not happen in words. Rather, it takes place in the form of impressions, which the conscious mind then unpacks and translates into language. When a trance is deep, the impressions are all that come, and barely become words. That was the case here. So all the messages I write are actually paraphrased, rather than straight dictates.
At it’s purest and highest forms, such communication is even more sublime. Rather than impressions, a whole concept or set of information gets instantly understood and internalised. This is called Gnosis, or ‘knowing’.
The Dark Meditation
I did not plan this meditation. But that’s just how synchronicity works. I was going to sleep at midnight, but ended up staying awake till 2am.
It was dark and cold, and suddenly I started to feel like…well, like not sleeping. Instead, the thought of calling on Archangel Samael and meditating came to me. And when I say ‘came to me’, that’s how messages from the Higher Self come. You simply know that a certain thing needs to be done at a certain point.
I was guided to turn off the lights, get some water and sit on my bed to meditate. I was about to draw the curtains, but a sharp resistance stopped me. This ritual was to be done in total darkness.
I was also guided to put on my headphones and use some ambient music for the meditation. At first, I tried some generic choir music. But then I was urged to specifically find thunder, lighting and rain, because those are apt for calling Samael. At this point he was already around, by the way. The ‘calling’ is more a formality to match our wavelengths. So I was about to start, and then it struck me: what mantra or enn to use? I had nothing prepared after all!
Samael told me to go online on my phone, and look for an enn. So I did, and found many, many different people, all with different enns that they claimed was the ‘correct’ version. Then Samael spoke:
“You see how many mantras there are? And they all will work! There is no ‘correct’ mantra, and there never was..”
I was then informed that essentially ALL mantras, enns and hymns, in all religions and spiritual traditions, were essentially barbarous speech. That is to say, one must think of a deity, focus on its energy, and then simply start chanting. The words come naturally, but have no logical meaning.
Apparently, this is how the ancient sages channeled hymns and such, and why most spiritual traditions were oral (for example, the Vedas). But then these utterings were noted down, memorised and repeated. And thus the original effect and power was lost or diluted.
Therefore, I simply began to channel a hymn to Samael. You’ll remember that when I first invoked him, I’d ALSO channeled a hymn. But this time, it was not English words. It was simply incantations meant to push deeper into trance. He also clarified that barbarous speech and words of power are not the same thing. Words of Power DO need to be spoken exactly as intended, and there the sound produced itself has power. It should also be noted that devotional songs, as well as subconscious affirmations neither barbarous speech nor words of power, but two separate things entirely.
Anyway, as I invoked, the darkness around me got thicker, and my heartrate went up. The trance got stronger and stronger, and I fell fully immersed in the ambient thunder and rain. I saw visions of the sky opening, and a mighty angel with many wings descending. It was all in black and white, and completely silent. Absolute silence is a very common aspect of Samael.
Now, here’s how I was directed to do the meditation. It followed a very normal pattern of energising the chakras and aura. Normally, I visualise light entering my chakras, moving down the central channel, and finally radiating out to my aura, energising me. This I do often, and Samael directed me to do something similar, but with darkness instead.
At first, my immediate reaction was to stop it, because I normally visualize impurity and profane energy as darkness. Like for example, when I am taking a ritual bath, I will visualise my body covered in a black ink, and it gets washed away. My subconscious understands black energy as negativity. But then Samael informed me: “Darkness is not negative. That’s just how you choose to perceive impurity. If you want, you could visualise impurity in any other way, so why choose darkness? Darkness is also the colour of emptiness. Darkness is the colour of the inner void, that empty place where the inner light dwells!”
He then recited the famous Golden Dawn motto I hold very dearly to myself: “The light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not..”. I believe it is a Biblical saying.
Interestingly, I had once called on Samuel Lidell Mathers (the founder of the Golden Dawn who had chosen this phrase in the first place), and indeed he had come. When I questioned him regarding this axiom, he actually gave me a second part of it: “and the darkness hideth in the Light, but the Light seeketh it not.”
In case you didn’t know, the Golden Dawn adepts count, to a certain degree, as ascended masters. It’s easier to call them when you also belong to the tradition.
Samael then explained that he was the spirit of the inner void. He was the emissary of the inner womb, the darkness from which the light shines. He explained that one must look deeper into the darkness, to perceive the light. He explained that this could be a scary and radical act for many magicians. However, since I had already faced many of my fears and overcome many of my complexes, it would be relatively easy for me.
“You have already suffered. You are already emptied, and prepared to receive the Light”
And then I began the visualisation without fear. “Fear is failure, and the forerunner to failure” as the GD axiom goes.
First, I visualised a deep, absolute darkness fill my Crown chakra. Then it travelled down, to my Third eye, and so on, down the channel. Normally I visualise white planetary symbols on my chakras as they fill with light, but now I visualised black symbols of the planets instead. The darkness travelled down, all the way to my Root chakra. Then it coursed through my body, and radiated out to fill my aura.
The light is cold, but the darkness feels warm. I felt empty, barely conscious, and without resistance, fear or doubt. At that moment, everything fell still and silent.
Then it began: some sort of transformation, along with a whole host of messages. I will do my best to recall.
The Messages from Darkness
The Archangel Samael told me the root of his name. As you know, the name Samael is often translated as the ‘poison of god’. “Indeed, darkness is the blinding venom of God. For the foolish, it can be terrifying. But the wise can navigate it without fear”
He then drew my attention to the secret syllable ‘Sham‘, which is a root word in Hindu tantra, and used for a specific purpose in Kundalini yoga. He told me that this is the real root of his name, and is a word of power. It is also where the term ‘Ha Shem’ comes from, which denotes the 72 fold name of God in Judaism. It is the root of the Persian word ‘Shyam’, meaning evening, and also the root word for Shamash, the Babylonian term for the Sun.
Thus, the Archangel Samael (Sham-ah-il) is associated with the Kundalini. The Kundalini is a feminine, draconic force that rests in all individuals. There’s little more I can say regarding that.
At this point, my back began to hurt. This is quite a common thing that happens when meditating, especially if one does not have a proper seat or cushion. Normally, the key is to simply ignore it and get through it. Samael explained why this is “The minor pains and annoyances are meant to keep the unworthy away from this knowledge. This knowledge is meant only for those who are prepared. This is the first threshold to cross, and very few shall ever cross it. You must resist the urge to stop.”
So I continued despite the minor aching in my lower back and knees. As I know from experience, it goes away in a little while.
I got further messages.
“People fear the darkness because it reflects their fears. It forces them to turn within and acknowledge the emptiness they harbour”
I saw ghosts. I saw phantoms. I saw serpents. A ghost came up, and was inches from my face.
“But he who has recognised that the dakrness comes from within has nothing to fear. No force can harm him, because he recognises that all is within. A mere reflection!”
I saw the creatures melt into puddles of darkness, and then merge into a massive shadow which was emanating from my own body.
“People focus only on the light, and neglect the darkness. This halts the process of ascension. Everyday, you meditate on the light. From now on, meditate once on the darkness and once on the light each day.”
I came to realise that I was totally immersed in Boas, Pillar of Severity. I could see orange flames inside me, and a flaming orange Swastika in my crown chakra. I also saw a white, glowing symbol on my root chakra, shaped like a wheel. They looked..organic.
“True symbols of power are revealed in visions, but people are unable to copy them. So they become simplified, distorted and eventually lost”
I then realised that this weird wheel like thing, which almost looked like an iris drawn in chalk, was the actual symbol of Spirit. It dawned on me that this was the original inspiration behind the more well known symbol:
It looked a lot more organic and ‘real’, and it dawned on me that all magickal symbols were simply an approximation of the real thing, almost like a motif. The real symbols were too complex to remember and replicate, so simplified symbols were made instead, to act as anchors for those forces. It was like comparing a real object, to a simplified picture of it.
I saw the Tarot card of Death, and I realised that Samael was the very embodiment of it. He brought death, upheaval and rebirth. To many, Death represents the absolute end of things. But to magicians, it is in fact an important threshold to cross in order to truly awaken.
I was then told that I was at the second threshold of the meditation: boredom and emptiness. I was told that now a strong desire to end the meditation would come, believing that all the work was done. Instead, I should continue. I was led to bend my back downwards, while still sitting, so that my head was touching the ground.
“This posture causes blood to rush to the head, activating the spiritual senses and pineal gland”
I then realised that both Hindus and Muslims do this. We place our head on the ground during or at the end of prayer, but it is normally a sign of prostration and submission.
“A misunderstood gesture. The true purpose of this gesture was to bring blood to the head, and bring alertness, activating the psychic senses.”
As I sat there, head down, I was told to cover my eyes and “focus on the void”.
Then I sat up again, and now I could feel an immense power rising up inside me. A chill passed through me, and I was covered in goosebumps. And then the energy and adrenaline exploded inside me, spreading out my heads in rapid, spontaneous movements. I was reminded of traditional dance. I realised that religious and traditional dances were originally a way to channel and direct energy this way, and modern dynamic dance forms still do this. The products of culture: dance, language, song and art, were never meant to be repetitive, reproduced or dogmatically adhered to. All of it was meant to be natural expressions of the energy that builds up inside.
And then I was done. I was a bit tired so I fell back on my bed. The Archangel Samael commended me on making it through that. I asked “So, are we done”
“We are never done. This was the first part of the meditation. You can rest and continue later”
But I asked why I couldn’t just do it then and there. I wanted to see how far I could go. So I told Samael “take me as far as you can”
“How far I can take you: no person can go”
“Then take me as far as I can go”
Then I sat up, after a bit of rest, and began meditating once again.
The Light Meditation
The second time was a more standard meditation. I visualised a beam of radiant light, as often. But it was so much more powerful than I have ever felt. Once again, I visualised white light coming into my Crown Chakra, then down the channel to the Root, fill my body and radiate into my aura. The Light was bright, cool and full of life.
It was not Samael now, but another figure. I could see a vibrant purple. As weird as this may sound, the energy felt almost ‘biblical’.
It was the Archangel Metatron, as I would later realise. And he told me a variety of things. By then I was so deep in trance that I could not comprehend most of it, but I must have downloaded all the messages subconsciously.
He told me that the ancient prophets, magi and sages underwent similar meditation.
“When the sages of the past, emerged from their meditations and went into the world, they faced ridicule and mockery, and they were attacked and challenged. But they were not affected, for they understood that all they saw and encountered, was an expression of themselves. And so, they laughed in the face of adversity and mockery, and no harm could come to them”
I was also told: “Spirit is immortal and everlasting, and it has no need to fear. It cannot be touched or harmed, and nothing can exist, which is not part of it. Therefore, have no fear before anyone, for you can accomplish anything.”
The visions came further. I saw old men and women, from all over the world. They were from many different times and of many different races, in many different garbs. They were invoking the mysteries, and they had ascended and seen the inner light.
“You have no idea how powerful you are. This power should not be ridiculed, nor underestimated. Never profane that which is sacred”
I saw purple spirals, like rolling wings, before my eyes. It was all lighted up, like someone shining a torch in my eyes. Now, this is pretty standard for meditation, and has happened before. But it was somehow more powerful, more grounded.
Often, meditation makes me feel light and disconnected. But now I felt immersed in the world, in reality itself.
I saw the dark and the light body next to each other. And then, they merged, and overlapped, and became one. The chakras were neither light nor dark. Instead, they were like black balls of crystal with a powerful light shining inside them, making them glow.
“The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. The darkness hideth in the light, and the light seekest it not.”
I was witnessing Spirit shine within Matter. The union of the Male and the Female.
I was told that this was, and always has been known to the great Masters. But it is generally not spoken of, and kept hidden. It was only taught to students who were ready.
But secrecy had caused the knowledge to be distorted, and misunderstood by the masses. It had created the false dichotomy of Spirit and Matter, and matter, the feminine, was suppressed. Spirit, which was masculine, having lost its connection to Matter, appeared tyrannical and harsh, like a wrathful God punishing his subjects.
Am I telling you to try this meditation?
But, it may be different for you. Essentially, the Archangel Samael told me that every type of meditation has two forms: a light form, and a dark form. Both should be done. Over time, both shall happen simultaneously.
For example, when you meditate on the chakras, and fill them with white light, you should also do one for darkness. Every meditation of light has a counterpart, which is the same meditation with darkness.
As I’m sure you know, the work of magick produces obstacles. When we, for example, start invoking the light, it forces our life to become purified. We may be forced to shine a light on those parts of ourselves which we are ignoring, to let go of toxic beliefs and ideas, and so forth. Invoking the darkness is similar, and can only happen when a person has internalised the light.
Otherwise, instead of power, you shall find repressed memories, fears, complexes, and all sorts of other hidden aspects of oneself. The darkness will become scary, and terrifying.
I’ve done the darkness meditation several times now, and at one time I was faced with waves and waves of terror, and I became paralyzed with fear. Then I faced it once again, but this time I was not afraid. It’s hard to put in words. But, I was told that this is a test. Each time I maintain my calm, and face the terror, I grow stronger. It subsides, and dissolves like a mirage.
Reminds me of that scene from the new Dune film (which I have already watched three times because I love it), where Lady Jessica is reciting a prayer against fear.
This is not a practice for beginners, because it will test you. But those who have already internalized the light, who have already faced their fears and and redeemed their inner self, this may be a vital practice. This may be why so many of us, who have fully internalized the light, begin to feel weak, ungrounded or unable to face the darkness of the ‘real’ world. It’s because this crucial part of the puzzle was kept hidden.
An Angel once literally told me “The ancient magi, fearing that the key would fall into the wrong hands, broke it into two, and scattered the pieces in different directions”.
This is the other part of the puzzle. The darkness, or Matter, is a receptacle for the light of Spirit, and must be invoked by a balanced adept. It will give much needed strength and a feel of connection to the world around.
This is real. This is really how it is. So do with it what you will. I will see you soon.
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 make a quick announcement. Thank you to everyone who purchased The Tree of Life: A Beginner’s Guide. The sales have been good enough that there’s a good chance I will release another e-Grimoire before the end of the year.
I understand that these are difficult and confusing times for some, and as far as I’m concerned all this will continue for at least several more years. This first book was introductory, but from now on I shall focus more on practical magick that can be done to improve one’s life and find one’s path.
But let’s move to today’s topic: Fairy Salve, and how to make it for spiritual and occult purposes.
The Story of the Fairy Ointment
The idea of “Fairy Salve” or Fairy Ointment comes to us from English and Celtic folklore. It’s essentially a folktale.
Like many other stories of its kind, it was most likely the result of strange encounters with some kind of occult phenomena.
There are many variations of the story, but in general it goes like this:
A nurse/midwife is visited at midnight by a strange looking man at her doorstep. He tells her that his wife is too ill to give birth alone, and he needs her help. The midwife is suspicious, but goes along with him in his horse drawn carriage, to his home.
There, she helps deliver the child, and cares for it while the mother recovers. She is instructed by the mother to rub a certain ointment on the baby’s eyes when it wakes up.
In some versions of the tale, the baby is anointed all over its body. Anyway, the baby opens its eyes, and the midwife notices his pupils are large and oddly shaped, almost like slits. But does as she was told, rubbing its eyes with the ointment. Either by accident or out of curiosity, she rubs some of it on her right eye, and immediately her surroundings change.
The small cottage is transformed into an elaborate or luxurious castle. In some versions, it turns into a dank (haha) cave. The midwife sees the child and its mother have turned even more beautiful (or ugly, in the cave version). She sees the baby’s siblings, who also have a strange appearance, playing around and doing all kinds of mischief, and realises she is in the home of pixies.
She doesn’t say anything, and when the father returns she demands to be taken home immediately. She sees the horse that draws the carriage is now pitch black with burning eyes. Upon returning home she is given a large payment. Some days later, she is at the market and sees the strange man, tha father of the baby, at the market. He’s taking whatever he wants from various different stalls, though no one seems to notice.
She immediately calls him out on it for stealing, and he is surprised by this. He demands to know if she can see him, and she says yes (famous last words). In response, he accuses her of stealing as well, and getting involved in things that aren’t her business. Reaching out, he touches the affected eye, saying she wont be seeing fairies anymore. Her right eye is then permanently blinded.
Some versions of this story also involve the nurse being kept prisoner by the fairies until she is recused by her husband. In other versions, she finds the salve in the home of a suspected witch, and later finds the witch’s husband stealing at the market, who then blinds her.
The Fae and English/Irish Folklore
To make fairy salve, it’s important to understand the context of this story. The main takeaway is that the Fairy Salve was believed to be an ointment that helped you see spiritual or otherworldly creatures. From the story it seems even the creatures themselves needed to use it, which is interesting.
Generally speaking, you may be familiar with the friendly and helpful fairies that appear in Fairy Tales, such as those in Cinderella or Snow White. However, all of those stories are German. In this case, we are not referring to the Fairies from the German “Fairy” tales.
Then you might be thinking of the Elves, Dwarves, and other such mythical creatures, with pointed ears and a proud disposition. However, those are from Norse mythology, and this is not the place to get into those.
In Irish and English folklore, the word “Fairy” essentially referred to Spirits that lived alongside humans. This is not referring specifically to good or bad spirits, but rather a vast range of creatures. These are similar to what the Greeks called Nature spirits, or what the Japanese called Ayakashi, and in India they are called Yaksha. While the Norse use a different system of classification, some of their spirits are part of this category. The same can be said for the Arabic Djinn.
Put simply, these are not Gods, nor Demons, nor Angels. In Magick, they are often given the title of Elementals. The main thing to remember is that they live alongside humans in this material plane, not in some place beyond.
The idea of such things has been around ever since humanity started living together in settlements and communities, and staying separate from Nature. At the edge of Civilisation, where human life met the raw forces of Nature, people had strange experiences and thus the idea of the nature spirits came about. Many legends and folk tales refer to a time when these spirits lived with and mingled with humans, but then the two groups fell apart (referring to how humanity became separate from nature). In most cultures, this referred to the spirits of the trees, rocks, deserts, rivers and mountains. Some could be vast, dwelling in mountains, some small, dwelling in grains of rice.
This belief is called Animism, and was/is a part of ‘primitive’ cultures: the idea that everything has a spirit of it’s own. In other cultures, particularly after organised religion came about, people only began to think of these spirits as dwelling in wild places, such as deep in the desert or in unexplored parts of forests. Whether they are friendly depends on the culture, region and geography.
In almost all cases, animals themselves were also considered to be a part of this category. The most well known examples are Native American and Siberian shamanism, where animals are just as much spirits of nature as any mythical creature. To us in our modern societies, this may sound strange, because we have documented animals so well, and even tame and breed them regularly. But to our ancient ancestors, most animals were as strange and magical as any fairy or nymph, not to mention the large number of dangerous wild animals that could attack and kill humans.
Even now, look at the kinds of things we are discovering in the deep sea, which are completely strange and contrary to our expectations. Look at videos or pictures of these things, and see if you don’t feel a sense of mystery, wonder and even fear.
Various cultures then, established all sorts of rules and regulations about how to deal with Nature Spirits, and how to respect their boundaries. This was not mere superstition, but also served to protect people from wandering into the territory of bears, tigers or lions. It kept them safe from various natural phenomena they did not understand. For example, to keep people indoors after night, away from forests and lakes, or to have them stick to roads and not venture off course, to be wary of strangers, to avoid the spread of disease etc. In magick we understand that “as above so below”. Any event occurring on the material plane has a spiritual counterpart, and you will see that all these things that people were afraid of were indeed “Spirits of Nature” .
To those who like films, I highly suggest the 2004 film called The Village. Don’t read any reviews or summaries, just go and watch it. It may give you something to think about.
In England, Scotland and Ireland (and Wales), these were often called the ‘Fae’ (fair folk). “Fair” here means beautiful, not ‘pale’.
Some fae were helpful, some were malicious. The most common distinction I’ve found is between “Night” and “Day” Fae. The Fae/Faery played an important role in the daily lives of people (even more than Gods) and therefore having a good relationship with them was important, as well as keep them at a distance. While the Fae were helpful, they could also be mischievous. They are forces of Nature, and i’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Nature does not always act as humans would like it to.
The fundamental thing to understand is that the Fae weren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but that each things had its own purpose, and acted according to its nature. That is perhaps the greatest difference between modern and ancient humanity. Our ancestors lacked the means to control their lives and environment the way we can. As a result, they were not so arrogant and proud. They understood that Nature had its rules, and they had to live according to it. Things like fire were helpful, but if used incorrectly, they would burn you. Things like controlled gas stoves (and now electric ones) have been around for a century or so, but humanity have walked the Earth for over 200,000 years in its present form. When people were blessed with good fortunes or wealth, or when they had a good harvest, it was because they had been blessed by fairies. But when children went missing, when people died of disease or got lost in the woods, it was also fairies.
After the advent of Christianity, the Church struggled to reconcile these beings with their Scripture. It is well known that while several regions of Western Europe embraced the Chruch, the Irish stubbornly insisted on bringing along their pagan legends and folk traditions (ironically, hundreds of years later it would be the opposite, and the Irish would be hated for refusing to leave the Church and join the protestant cause. Ah..the joys organised religion).
The best answer the the Priests could give was that the Fae were somehow “fallen” creatures, similar to fallen angels, and that they must be feared.
Now, it must be clear why the Fairy Salve story has different versions. The version where the pixies are beautiful and live in a castle is probably the original, while the one where they are ugly and live in a hovel is post-Christian.
We could go on and on, but this is a very extensive topic. So I’ll cut it short with some thoughts on a certain famous occultist you’ve probably heard of: William Shaksepeare.
Yes, Shaksepeare was a magus. He was also associated with John Dee (yes, THAT John Dee, noted astrologer and alchemist, who created the Enochian language and tablets along with Edward Kelly, and who served as a spy for Queen Elizabeth).
You see, Shaksepeare was quite a radical individual for his time (like all Occultists). Though today we think of him as ‘sophisticated’ and his works are considered ‘classics’, they weren’t so when he was alive. The language he uses, which now is seen as posh, was actually a bit crude for his time. While he wrote a lot of historical plays, he also threw in spirits, ghosts and other random shit. He was like a 14th century Kurt Cobain. Naturally, it was this radical spirit that made so many love and appreciate his work. Contrary to what some may tell you, society does value and respect free thinkers, especially those who produce creative works.
To anyone who’s read his work, you can see the very clear presence of fairies. The most notable is probably The Tempest, which straight up has a sorcerer who has bound an elemental spirit to him. It is strange to say, but we don’t actually have many written records of what medieval British and Irish people thought of Fairies. Our modern perception of the Fair folk is greatly influenced by people like Shakespeare. This includes the notion of Titania and Oberon being the King and Queen of Fairies, of their general humanoid appearance and attitude.
Honestly, to make a full and complete deconstruction of the exact sources of modern fairy lore would be quite difficult, to put it lightly, so let’s cut it here.
Creating Fairy Salve
I have created this substance only twice. The first was by a pagan method (I was still new to magick and very experimental), the second by a kabbalistic. Both worked extremely well, and I shall outline them roughly.
What is the purpose? Well, it is both a ‘offering’ to be made to elemental spirits, as well as an anointing oil that can aid psychic perception during ritual. Simply put, it will help you sense spiritual phenomena during any sort of spiritual working. This idea is neither new nor limited to the British Isles, and there are several medieval grimoires that call for anointing the temples and eyes before a magick ritual (most commonly the Oil of Jerusalem, which is a certain type of enchanted lamp oil).
The Pagan Method
The pagan method will appeal more to neo-pagans, shamans, witches and the like. It takes longer, and can be easily personalised.
The basic idea is to saturate an oil with herbs, and bless it with the forces of nature. Since elementals/Fae are meant to live alongside humans, this recipe calls for herbs that have been collected from one’s own garden. It doesn’t matter which herbs you pick, but ideally it should be something you grow. Maybe choose the oldest plants you have, or those that appear to have a magical connection. You may also look into the folklore of your region, to see if any herbs or plants stand out as being associated with nature spirits.
You need to pick a time for this, and I would suggest the full moon. Or just the early morning of an auspicious day. Select a certain number of herbs. Perhaps 7 different varieties, and 3 of each?
Next, you must choose the oil. Since we are trying to make a ‘salve’, it’s a good idea to choose something that is more like a paste rather than a complete liquid. Coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter) are good, because they harden when cold. If you plan to burn it as an offering, make sure it’s flammable. If you cannot get these, you can use any normal oil. However, I do suggest going to the effort of procuring these, because this and the herbs are the only two ingredients needed, the rest is magick!
You may, if you want, add some salt. An enchanted salt, or mineral salt is good. Salt is used by many neo-pagans for protection from negative influence.
Put the chosen oil in a steel container, and then put it in a larger container filled with water. This is just a general guideline for heating any kind of oil. If we put the the container with the oil directly on the fire/stove, it will ‘cook’ the oil. In some cases, it may even vaporize the oil. Therefore, we use a water bath, to avoid burning/cooking our ingredients, and also maintain the temperature at 100 degrees Celsius.
Fun fact: This set-up, though very common in modern kitchens, is said to have been discovered by an alchemist. It was a Jewish adept from Alexandria called Mari the Prophetess (1st-3rd Century C.E.). Hence, this set up is known in alchemy as the balneum-Mariae (Bath of Mari).
Bring the water to a boil and allow the oil to heat up. As it heats, you add your herbs, either grown up or just broken up by hand. You can say a prayer at this point to any Gods of your choosing. When I first made it, I had prayed to Diana, a form of Venus and a prominent pagan goddess, and Pan, an important pagan deity for all works concerning nature and the wild. Diana is also considered to be the Goddess that is worshiped by the fair folk themselves. I do not remember exactly why this is, but I think we have Shakespeare to thank for this as well. Use a wooden stirring rod for mixing (never use iron. Steel is acceptable, but not ideal). Mix slowly, on a low heat.
Finally, when you feel the herbs have been fully saturated with the oil (10-15 minutes of heat), take it off the heat and leave it to cool. Do not cover it until it is cool. You may cover it with a cloth, if you have to.
The first process is done. The mixture has been prepared using the four elements (herbs picked from the earth, heated with fire and water, and cooled by air).
The elements are done, and we move on to Darkness. Put the mixture in a closed, opaque contained, and leave it sitting in a cool place where it will not be disturbed or be exposed to the light. Since this is a pagan method, you can also thrown in any consecrated crystals or other objects into this.
Here, the substance is blessed by the forces of darkness, whose blessing is essential so that obstacles and challenges are not faced in the future. Ideally, this should can sit for at least a week, but probably for longer. You’re waiting for the full moon. However, let it be no longer than a month, to avoid rotting or decay.
On the day of the full moon, you shall filter out the herbal components, and put the oil in a clear glass jar (plastic works too). These are no longer needed and can be discarded (ideally thrown back into the soil to decompose). Be sure to remove any stones, crystals or object you’ve put in.
Now begins the consecration by the four elements and Light (both of the Sun and the Moon). On the night of the full moon, put this jar in a container of water, and leave it outside or by a window. The water should ideally be from a natural source, such as a spring, river or from rain. When I was doing it, I did a ritual to make it rain, which worked (this was the very first time my magick had worked on such a grand level, and the single most important event that cemented by spiritual faith permanently). If not, then get some drinking water (do not get water from the bathroom sink). If you have enough, this water can also be used for the initial water bath.
It’s good if it’s directly exposed to the moon all night. But, since this is difficult for many people, it’s okay as long as it is outside or by an open window, where it can be hit by the wind. Say a prayer to the Moon if you want, and to the Fae of the Night to bless it.
Here, the salve is being consecrated once again by Air and Water, as well the Moon. Leave this overnight, from Sunrise to Sunset.
The next Day, at Sunrise, take this jar out of the water and put it in the ground. Do not bury it completely, and make sure the top is sticking out. You can also use a planting pot, or just a container with dirt in it. You also need some incense. The way I did it, is half buried the jar in an empty pot, then covered it with a larger plastic container with a incense cone next to it. This ensured that the smoke actually touched jar instead of just blowing away. Leave this in the sunlight until sunset. Call on the Sun and to the Day Faeries for blessing it.
The salve is now being consecrated by the Sun, by Fire (incense) and Earth.
When I first made this, I was lucky enough that the Full Moon was on a Monday, and immediately following a Summer solstice on Sunday. The second part of the consecration was on Tuesday. Don’t obsess over timing, but it’s good if you happen upon such an auspicious time.
Now, at sunset you take your jar, draw upon it a sigil that represents spiritual sight, or something else that is relevant. You’re free to create this sigil however you want, or choose a symbol that already exists and is important to you. You may even use the symbols of any Gods you worship.
At night you will conduct a ritual where you shall call upon the power of the forces of nature to bless and complete the Fairy Salve. A good set of deities is Diana, Pan, Titania and Oberon, and maybe even Gaia, the Earth Mother. Titania and Oberon may be seen as essential, since the substance is made by their authority. It’s a good idea to give some offering as well (candles, milk/honey, fruits etc). State the purpose of the Fairy Salve, and you’re pretty much good. When the ritual is done, thank the forces involved and clear your space. Your Fairy Salve is done. Use it as an offering, and anoint your temples and eye lids before a ritual.
As we discussed before, a good way to offer it is to burn it in a traditional oil lamp.
The Kabbalistic Method
For this method we are going to follow a similar, yet different approach. It is better for those who want to make the Salve more quickly, but don’t mind putting in more work. Ideal for kabbalists, thelemites, rosicrucians and hermeticists.
The Pagan method has relatively simple instructions, because much of the work is begin done by the spiritual forces of nature over a longer period of time. Here, the work is done mainly the the magician him/herself.
Once again, we begin by collecting the herbs. Once again, it is good to collect garden herbs, or herbs in your kitchen. We shall select 7 different varieties of herbs, once for each planet.
For this you must do your own research, and see which herbs are more commonly available in your region. I could give you an arbitrary list, but it would be better to make your own list. You can easily find the planetary rulers of most common herbs online. Ideally, pick herbs which has some association with psychic senses, nature spirits or magick. The variety of herbs needed for fairy salve are what make it more complex than your usual magick oils for things like prosperity or love, which usually only need a few herbs of any single planets.
Let’s say this is too daunting a task. In that case, you may select only herbs associated with the Moon, since the Moon rules psychic powers and visions. You also need Frankincense (or some other sweet smelling resin that can be melted). Just look for powdered frankincense, which should be easy to find, as it is commonly used as incense. If you can’t, do magick to get it.
Next, we pick a base again (ideally coconut oil or ghee, or something similar, which hardens when cold. This is not compulsory, but these are easier to rub on your eyes. Whatever you pick, ensure it smells nice and is pleasant. After all, why would you offer something repulsive to the fair folk? So no, don’t go busting out the mustard oil). We do this on Monday, in the hour of the Moon, during the waxing phase.f.
We now prepare it again, as we did before, in a water bath, adding in our broken up ingredients into the heating oil. As we stir it, we visualise white light comic from above and saturating the mixture.
We once again let it cool uncovered. The mixture has once again been blessed by the four elements, and you must offer a silent prayer and thanks, for these four elements make up the mechanistic Universe as we know it.
You shall take the mixture and pour it into an opaque container, so that no light may touch it. Having done so, draw upon it the symbol of Saturn, the bringer of Death, the collector of Dues. Place it in a cool dark place, and visualized a deep and complete darkness surrounding it, purging all that is unneeded.
The mixture shall now be left untouched over night, where the herbs shall give up the last of their essence. The next morning, awaken at sunrise and thank the lord Saturn. Erase the symbol from the container, and open it. With a solemn and serious heart, filter out the herbs. Heat the mixture again in a bath, and now add it your frankincense. Let it remain in heat for as long as it takes the powder to melt dissolve. Do not add large pieces of frankincense, as these will never dissolve. Everything must be finely powdered. When it is done, take it off the heat and pour the mixture into a clear glass jar and seal it shut. This shall serve as the philosophic egg, where the mixture shall hibernate. Be sure not to add the mixture if it is too hot and the glass is too cold, since the glass may crack.
Take the mixture outside and lay it to rest in Earth. Do no bury it completely, and let it’s top stick out, so that it may breathe the life giving Air, and lay before the radiant light of its father (Sun). In the soil around it, trace an upward pointing triangle (Fire) and draw on each point, the symbol of the Sun, Venus and Jupiter. Pray that, by their benevolence, they may awaken the spirit within. Now you shall mourn it’s passing, and offer a silent plea to the Spirits of the Day, to impart their blessing on it.
At sunset, you shall go again to the place of the burial, and erase the planetary symbols. Now trace a downward triangle (Water) around it, and draw the symbols of Moon, Mercury and Mars around it. Pray that they, by their harshness, by invigorate the spirit within the salve, and purge it of all impurities. Offer a silent plea to the spirits of the Night, that they may remove any obstacles in the working to be done. The ointment is in darkness again, but this time it has the guiding light of its Mother (Moon). Now leave with a hopeful heart, praying for the success of your working.
The next morning, awaken when you may with a happy and joyous heart. Wash your body and go to the place of burial. Remove any remaining symbols and offer heartfelt gratitude. Take the jar and clean it by submerging it in water (making sure no water gets in), and then cleanse it with incense, thus removing both physical and spiritual impurities.
Draw upon it the following symbols: Around the circumference, you shall draw the symbols of the four elements. At the bottom, draw the planetary hexagram, and on top of the lid, draw a pentagram. On either side of it, the symbols of Uranus and Neptune, and the symbol of Pluto at the bottom. Reflect for a moment, on a purpose of this ointment.
Now do a ritual of consecration. Begin with the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram, and the banishing ritual of the hexagram. As you say the last words, IAO, visualized brilliant white light streaming from the heavens into the jar, and saturating the mixture within. You may also use any other rituals that are used in your own tradition. These are simply the ones I use.
Close your eyes and meditate with the jar in hand, and make a prayer to the Elementals of the four quarters. Pray to the the elementals of Fire and their Ruler, and trace the Invoking pentagram of Fire with your finger on the jar. Do the same for Water, Air and Earth. The spirits and Kings are named thus:
Name of Elementals
Name of Ruler
For example, “I call upon thee, oh great Paralda, to bless this jar of ointment. I call upon thy kin, the Sylphs, to lend me their power!” Then trace the Pentagram.
The Pentagrams traced should be visualised as red, blue, yellow and green respectively. When you feel the ritual is done, give thanks and welcome the elementals into your life. As them for their favour, and give offerings often. Warn them regarding mischief or harm towards any living thing.
Now give your heartfelt thanks, perform the Lesser Banishing again and you’re done.
Now you may make a small offering of thanks that very night. You can leave some food or drink outside in your garden and balcony, and call on the Faeries/Elementals to partake. Leave it overnight, throw it out the next day. To test the efficacy of your Ointment, apply some on your temples and eyelids. You should feel its power immediately, and enter into a light trance. If you do not feel it, then it is possible the mixture is not charged enough. It can be charged by leaving it on an altar or meditating on it. Remember, if your psychic senses are not fully developed, you may not immediately see spirits. However, this will strengthen your psychic sense greatly. Do not obsess over being able to physically see the spiritual beings you are invoking. If it has to happen, it will happen in time, when you are ready.
I know, the rituals seem extensive, but they’re actually a lot quicker to do. It actually takes longer to describe them than do them. You’re free to omit any parts you feel like, or add any of your own, or mix and match as you please. It can be as simple, or as elaborate as you want.
I mean, you could simply take some random oil, dissolve some moon herbs in it, bless it and call it a day. But the amount of energy put into magick determines its result. If you can muster up all the energy needed with a simple prayer, go right ahead. But most will require rituals to build up the same energy. Like everything on this blog, the process if described to be extremely friendly to people who are new to magick. Those who are more proficient are free to use what they need and discard what they don’t (although going through the whole process will only generate more energy).
I mean, the second time I made the ointment, I did not do any prayers or mourning, nor did I trace the triangles. That’s because when I buried my jar, I was able to mentally call on the aid of the planets. But for many others, the visual aid will help greatly. Some people may even go a step further, and place objects associated with the planets around the jar.
It is up to you when you make offerings to the Elementals. You can use the Fairy Ointment during any sort of ritual where you need to invoke them or their rulers. It may be a good idea to make an offering of this ointment every Solstice and Equinox. At least on the both Solstices.
So there you have it, I have finally answered what is probably the very first question I was ever asked by a reader all those years ago.
First off, I want to announce that I’ve made anInstagram account. I basically dislike most social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. However, some people have asked for a better communication methods than back and forth emails, so Instagram it is. I’m not even sure what I’ll put there, but we’ll see.
So anyway, I’ve been engaged in High Magick for years now, and I subscribe to a specific tradition of ceremonial magick called Hermetic Kabbalah. In particular, the types of rituals practiced by the early 20th century group called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (to whom almost ALL modern spiritual movements can be directly or indirectly traced).
I‘ve done all sorts of rituals over the years, and tried out different variations. Sometimes I go with what an old grimoire is saying, sometimes I stick to the traditions of one or more Occult groups, sometimes I use a modern, minimalist method and sometimes I create my own. Some rituals work better than others.
I’ve never had a definitive ritual structure that I used for everything, because I wanted to learn and explore first. Most magickians are expected to develop one over time. Trust me, learning from personal experiences is much better than dogmatically adhering to some premade system (that’s called religion).
Recently, I started doing some rituals that are largely derivative of the Golden Dawn method. I just want to share how I do them, and my thought process behind a recent Invocation I did. The reason is so that people can see how Magickians design rituals and ceremonies seemingly from scratch, and completely on their own without having to rely on a grimoire. It’s something anyone can, and should work towards.
It may work better for some people than others. I may share how to actually do the ritual on the blog at some point.
The Magickal Heirarchy
An important thing to understand about ceremonial magick is its hierarchical nature. Essentially, it’s a soft polytheistic idea that when you call upon spiritual forces, you start from the ‘top’ and then work your way down. This is similar to Hinduism in some sense, in which all Gods, Demons, Humans etc. are ultimately manifestations of a single Divine Force, which fragments into small forces, which further fragment into further forces (or avatars).
The Western ceremonial tradition handles this as an almost social hierarchy, instead of using ‘avatars’. You’ve probably seen it in books like the Ars Goetia, where we have Kings, which then rule over Princes, which are then rule over Dukes, then Earls and so on.
The Golden Dawn tradition intertwines Abrahamic and Egyptian hierarchies, and these can be as fluid as one needs. At the top you have the Divine, invoked through Godnames, and beneath that are the Holy Living Ones, each ruling an alchemical element. Then Archangels, Angels, Planets, Elemental Kings and their kin, Spirits and Intelligences etc.
Intertwined into this are the Infernal hierarchies, with Archdemons on top, then Demons, Dark Planets, King of the Quarters and their kin.
Additionally, they try to include the various Gods and Goddesses of Egypt. These forces are are generally parallel to the Angelic hierarchies.
Almost all members of the Golden Dawn were strongly rooted in the Rosicrucian tradition. They constantly struggled with classifying the Egyptian and Demonic forces, and when they did, they made it so needlessly complicated that I genuinely struggle to understand their descriptions in some places. It’s a thing I’ve always seen monotheistic occultists struggle with, when it’s really not so complicated.
There’s also the Enochian system, but that’s for another time (and oh boy won’t that be fun).
A lot of witches and pagans today have a strong dislike of ceremonial magick, because they consider it rigid and narrow. They think it doesn’t allow for individualism or personal interpretation. However, this is untrue. Most of the time it only seems to be rigid, but in truth it’s still extremely fluid and open, and many systems have been combined to create it, which are far form cohesive.
The ritual I designed relied on my own interpretation of the hierarchy. I begin with preliminary banishing and meditations. Then, I call upon the Most High, which is completely personal.
After that, I invoke the God that I feel should preside over the ritual, and the entire ritual derives it’s power from this God.
Next, the Holy Livings Ones. These are neither fully Abrahamic nor Pagan. The GD corelated them to each of the letters of the 4 lettered name: YHVH.
However, their forms are derived from the Sphinxes found in both Egypt and Sumeria. They are: The Lion (Y), The Eagle (H), The Man (V) and the Bull (H). They each represent an Alchemical element: Fire (Y), Water (H), Air (V) and Earth (H).
From there, I invoke an Archangel, the Planet/s whose energy is used in the ritual (and if needed, the Olympic Spirit under them). Then come the Elementals (and their King), and then the Angel and Intelligence (Archon) of the Element.
Now, on some occasions, I will invoke an Archdemon or King of the Quarter at this point. Remember, technically the Archdemons and Kings are equal to the Archangels and Elemental Kings, and not ‘under’ the planets, Angels or Intelligences. However, it is generally a good idea to Invoke them after the Celestial and Planetary forces have been called. And only then, should you consider calling on Demons and Spirits. In fact, if the ritual does not require calling upon any infernal forces, it should be avoided altogether.
Obviously, most rituals do not require going through the entire chain of command. It all depends on the ritual, and I’m simply giving the whole thing to explain the logic of it all.
True and powerful magick could be performed by simply uttering one’s intent. There’s nothing to stop this. Just saying something puts your energy into it. However, that’s not always enough and not everyone can do that. Hence we have ceremonies and rituals and spells. The Invocations simply give it more power, and the hierarchies are more to help us put our magick in a logical framework, rather than representative of the actual state of affairs regarding these spiritual forces. Ultimately, we are the ones doing magick, and these forces simply help us connect to various parts of our own Soul.
Different people may have different hierarchies. Someone may consider Christ to be the Highest Force, while another may call on Krishna. One person may think Lucifer to be a God, while to another he could be an Archdemon. Ultimately, the ‘ranks’ you ascribe to these spirits are components of your own Psyche.
The spiritual forces are the same, and what symbols you use to approach them do not matter. However, it is more likely than not, that our mythologies and stories are at least rooted in some reality.
The Invocation of Air
The ritual in question was an Invocation of the element of Air itself. The purpose was to consecrate a talisman for certain purposes. The talisman, which in this case was a Ring, would be blessed and consecrated with various energies from the dominion of Air.
Now, this is not the usual way of consecrating talismans. In fact, you can read about the usual method here. However, this was not an ordinary talisman. Therefore, I was guided to create a ritual that would call upon the entire Air hierarchy. This was also for my own learning. While I asked each and every Force to bless the ritual and talisman, it can also be utilized for much simpler workings. Instead of asking every force to bless the ritual, you could simply just invoke them in the correct sequence, and that would make the ritual much more powerful. This rituals took about an hour, but technically much shorter versions could be performed based on requirement.
So, I spent about a week working out a hierarchy I was comfortable with. I performed a simple divination from time to time, asking the Archangels if what I was doing was correct. At times, I was asked to make corrections and changes were suggested.
I did the ritual on a Sunday, in the Waxing Moon. The entire day prior had been spent preparing for this ritual, and I think that certainly added to the power. I should mention, while I did use GD rituals and chants, all the prayers were written by me personally. I was told that prayers should always be written to any spiritual force by the individual (if s/he is able), because this is a much stronger expression of love and devotion than merely repeating what has been written before.
The ritual technically had to begin at sunrise, but I was more or less close enough to it. That is to say, I woke up at 6:00 AM, showered, had coffee and began getting things ready. I later realised that the reason this ritual was so powerful was because I had done nothing but work towards it from the moment of waking. On another day, I would do a similar Invocation of Fire, which was slightly weaker because it was at midday, and my mind had already been filled with other distractions.
I had an altar at the Eastern edge of the circle. At the center of it was the Armadel sigil for Raphael, with the Talisman on it. I had previously the area with water and incense. At the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the altar were my dagger and wand, for banishing and invoking respectively.
Around the altar, was a cup of water (water), a stick of incense (fire), a small container with salt (earth) and a feather (air). Outside the circle, I had placed a covered cup with rum from a newly opened bottle, and a small lamp with my own personal blend of fairy salve, which I keep specially for offering to the Elementals.
I also had sigils to the Olympic spirits of the Sun and the Moon, called Och and Phul respectively. The Olympic spirits are often called for consecration of talismans.
The Sun and the Moon are the planets that rule Air (Jupiter and Mercury rule Air, Venus and Mars rule Fire, and Saturn rules Earth).
I started the ritual, with a Salutation to the God Ra. Ra rules the Sunrise (as Hathor, Tum and Khepra rule the midday, sunset and midnight respectively. They are different avatars of the god Amun-Ra, the Egyptian Sun God). After the salutation, I spent a few moments in meditation.
Then came the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (and a short prayer to the Tetragrammaton), and then the banishing Ritual of the Hexagram ritual, followed by the Middle Pillar ritual to ground myself. These three rituals are essential components to most ceremonial workings.
I spoke the Invocation of the Bornless One. This is a well known ritual in magick, and gives you the ‘authority’ to command the Temple and all Forces that appear within it. It is a Greco-Egyptian prayer that calls upon Lord Osiris, who rules the Element of Spirit. (Next post will be about that, since I’ve had enough people ask me about it over the years)
Now, I could begin the ritual itself. I remained facing East, because I was invoking Air.
First, a prayer to Thoth, the God who rules the element of Air. The elements of Fire, Water and Earth are ruled by Horus, Isis and Nepthys in the GD tradition. This was a prayer that I wrote. There some invocations out there that are very elaborate and long, but you really don’t need such long invocations. Although many magicians are uncomfortable with this, having the blessing and aid of Gods is extremely important for spiritual operations. Even medieval Christian occultists would make prayers to the Holy Trinity.
As I did the prayer, I saw Thoth appear, enormous and with an Ibis head, standing as they are depicted in ancient statues. He held up his hand and blessed the ritual. Next, I made a prayer to the Kerub of Air. The Kerub of Air appears as a Man, and I traced the Hebrew letter Vav in the East. I could feel energy flowing from the direction as the Kerub empowered the ritual.
I then did two pentagram rituals, invoking Spirit (Active) and the element of Air respectively.
The most important part of the Ritual came now. I was going to invoke the Archangel Raphael until I was effectively one with him. The remainder of the ritual and consecration of the Talisman would happen with me adopting the guise of Raphael. I had prepared a Greek Mantra.
Remember, to call on any entity, the chant “Agios [Entity]” works very well, and is used in several traditions. Thus, my complete chant for Raphael was:
Ela! (x5) Agios Raphael! (x7) Kalo Se Sena! (x10)
It translates to Come! Saint Raphael! Hail Unto Thee!
In fact, I have lately discovered that magical chants and mantras, especially those in ancient languages, should be sung, not just spoken. This empowers them significantly. As I repeated the chant, I slipped into a near complete trance. I saw the Archangel Raphael, with brilliant eyes shining yellow, with long black flowing hair. He often appears to be in yellow robes with purple triangles stitched onto it. He blessed me, then entered me. When I was done, the union was complete. I was me, but I was also Raphael. This is called complete invocation. Usually this takes longer, but with practice it came become quick. Also, the entire ritual done until now, along with the musical key and incense help greatly.
We held out our hand, and called into it the Cosmic kingdom of Air. I saw the entire Universe before us, and then I saw it in a purpulish hue. It was all the nebulae, clouds, dust, plasma, supernova, and everything that gave it beauty and sheen. I saw all the ‘Air’ in the Universe compress together until it was one ball of energy in my hand, bluish and purple. I pushed it into the talisman, and now it grew heavy and warm.
Then I did the Hexagram rituals to Invoke both the Sun and the Moon, for these are the planets that are under the element of Air, and opening both spheres give me the energy I needed. I uncovered the sigils of the Olympic Spirits, and asked each to bestow the planetary energies into the Talisman.
Now, I lit my lamp, and made a prayer to the Elemental ruler of Air, called Paralda, and his kin, who are the the Sylphs. You see, the Elementals co-exist with us on this material plane. This is why so much magick involves the four elements and quarters, because it is the Elementals who grant us the energy for the magickal working. If we were to use our energies, we would cause damage to ourselves, even die. The Elementals must be regarded with great respect, for they are more like us than anything else.
I welcomed them into the Circle and presented my offering. I thanked them for coming, and the Ruler Paralda blessed me in return. I could see little specs of light curling around my hands, giving me the energy I would need to do the consecration.
At this point I was totally in trance, and beginning to get tired. There was sweat dripping from my brow. But I continued intuitively. I made a prayer to the Angel of Air, called Chassam, and Archon of Air, Ariel. The angel empowered the ritual with the invigorating energy of Air, like a gentle breeze. The Archon bestowed upon it, the powerful winds that strip away ignorance and stagnation, and bring knowledge and liberty.
Now I sat silent, regarding all the energies I had invoked.
Then I got up, and performed an invocations of the Shadow side with a ritual I had very carefully prepared. I was told before hand that I did not need to call any of the Infernal hierarchies, except of course, the King of Air.
When I whispered the words to invoke the Shadow, I felt hot and there was a pressure building up. Just as with Raphael, I began to chant. I was still singing, but not vibrating, the name. King Amaymon was there even before I was finished chanting his enn.
I uncovered the alcohol, and welcomed King Amaymon. The Kings are only to be called on important occasions, and received very well. Amaymon is, in some ways, the Black Sun, and possibly an avatar of Lucifer.
He graciously accepted my offer. I saw nothing, though the image that comes to mind is a figure dressed in pitch black robes, so dark that no light reflects, with dark blueish eyes and hair, wearing a dark metallic crown.
If archangel Raphael represents the beauty of the Sun, then Amaymon rules over the Black Sun. Overcoming the Black Sun, and resisting it is integral for any Magician to truly reach adept-hood. The usual symbol of the Black Sun is the Sonnenrad. It is a Nazi symbol, not a pagan one as many New Agers claim. But this is no co-incidence, because they are an example of a group that was completely consumed by the Black Sun. The spirit of rebellion is a powerful force, but as Nietzsche once stated:
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
I requested Amaymon to open the Eastern gate. This would let loose the “dark” side of Air, that needs to be tempered and integrated. If Air is the element of the mind, representing Liberty and Knowledge, then it’s dark side is Rebellion and Transgression. It can be a destructive force that levels civilisations, but when integrated and channeled to serve the Divine Will, it becomes the force that breaks the shackles of deception, ignorance and delusion. It breaks the chains of conformity that keep us bound. But anyone who doesn’t know what they are doing, should not invoke these energies, lest he become unbalanced and be consumed by his own Shadow. The Kings of the Quarters will open the gate if you ask them, without regard to how you will handle it. But a divination I had done before told me I was prepared.
I think Amaymon even asked “are you sure”, to which I said yes. I got the impression that the Gate was opened.
The moment this happened, I felt energies so strong, I suddenly had the thought that I may pass out. I hadn’t eaten anything, and suddenly got very dizzy. I felt my stomach drop, and I began to sway. The energy continued to build up, but I was being told to hold on, and to brace myself. So I did, for as long as I could. For a scary moment, I genuinely thought I would faint. You know that light headed feeling right before you loose consciousness? When your mind goes blank and all you want to do is lie down and close your eyes.
But then I recovered my composure. The energy swirled around me, I made a gesture as if breaking chains that were around me. I said a short prayer, and then pushed this intense energy into the talisman.
As is tradition, I used the salt, water, incense and feather to consecrate the Talisman in all 4 elements, and proclaimed it’s purpose. I used the Rose Cross, and the name YEHESHUAH YEHOVASHAH to seal it.
The Kings can open the Gates, but I needed to close the Eastern gate myself, using the Rose Cross again. Then, I began the various thanks and farewells to all the Gods I had called, and finished with banishing all the forces I had invoked and giving a license to depart to any lesser spirits.
I instinctively waved my hand about, as if dispersing energies, because I still felt a lot of stuff around. Finally, the ritual ended.
Sometimes, though rarely, I use a Tarot deck to gauge the relative ‘power’ of a ritual. This is a pretty crude method, and does not show the efficacy of the ritual, only how much energy was generated. But, I still asked the archangel Raphael to tell me how powerful the ritual was, on a scale of 1-10. Then I pulled out an 8. All in all, a pretty good ritual!
Now, ironically, the ring is way too narrow for my finger. Ha. Probably should have checked beforehand. But I can still slip it around the little finger, and it tingles where it touches the skin. It does work very well.
And that’s it for now. So remember to check out the new Instagram page (@whiteravenmagus). If you liked what you read, be sure to follow my blog, and share it with anyone who may enjoy it as well.
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.
Today i’m here to tell you about astrological timing. People sometimes obsess over when is the “correct” time to perform magick, and this happens to a great degree within the more elaborate ceremonial tradition, though sometimes even folk traditions have this, and almost every religion in the world has certain times of the year or month or day that are considered auspicious.
At times these may seem arbitrary. Why is Christmas on the 25th? Why is 3 am the witching hour? Why do certain types of yoga at sunrise? Well, this is largely based on something that is universally shared by all cultures: astrology.
Not only is it universal, it seems most of the time people’s interpretation of astrology was also the same, surprisingly. You could say this was Synchronicity at play, or you could say that ideas were shared by cultures as they interacted with each other, or you could say that we had the same ideas of astrology based on archetypes that are common to all human beings, and the product of evolution.
Regardless of what you think, astrology is important, and thanks to the rapid spread on information on the Internet in this day and age, it is effectively the same across the planet.
And let’s be honest, it works. Anyone who’s delved into spirituality proper, knows that astrology works. We don’t know if it’s due to forces we can’t understand yet, or if it’s simply psychological, but it works, and there’s no denying it.
I mean, they recently did a study in which they found out that the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth’s surface at any given particular time, affects whether people make good or bad economic investments. I mean, just think about how insane that sounds from a traditional scientific perspective, and yet it seems like it’s true. So who knows how deep the rabbit hole goes? And of course, if it works, why not use it?
Credits:Blue Flame Magick
Imagine, if humanity had never utilised the principle of gravity, to make projectiles, pumps, weights etc. until Isaac Newton discovered it. And ultimately, he wasn’t even fully right. Einstein would give a better hypothesis a century later, and even that was only proven to be true in 2017: THIS year.
Bottom line is, humanity would be very far behind if it refused to utilise principles that we knew existed, just because we didn’t fully understand them. That’s the whole idea of the occult.
In most modern systems of Magick, astrology is a preferred way of planning your rituals, spells, invocations etc. Ultimately, I think you should always keep astrology in mind when you go about your daily business. Start viewing planetary hours, phases of the moon, retrogrades etc. the same way you view the days of the week, hours of the clock, months and years. Just like you know that it gets colder in December, and so you go buy clothes for the winter, without thinking too much about it, you should train yourself to know when it’s, say, a Mercury retrograde, or when the Moon is waning.
However, astrology is fairly confusing, especially to someone not fully familiar with reading charts. As far as I know, I’ve never seen a simplified explanation of the various different factors affecting astrological times, or how to plan magick in accordance to them.
Either I see a new age explanation that condemns it, or something that merely tells people to do things at certain times, without actually giving a reason for it. Sometimes, when you do find it, you get an exceptionally elaborate explanation for seeing when EVERY planet is perfectly aligned, and the moon and the sun are in a specific sign and house, and everything is calculated right down to the degree and minute, in a complex chart that many people may not know how to read.
That’s useful of course, but not exactly convenient for the average magician. So, i’ll focus on the most important aspects, and break it up into sections, based on different types of celestial bodies.
Phases of the Moon
Credits: NASA/Bill Dunford
The most basic and simple thing to keep in mind, of course, is the phase of the Moon. The Moon goes through one complete cycle in about 27-30 days. This has two stages, the Waxing stage, in which the Moon grows larger, going from the New Moon to Full, and the Waning stage, in which the Moon reduces in size and goes from Full to New.
By the way, that’s also the reason a Month is around 30 days long. It’s based on the Moon cycle, though I guess it’s been shifting for centuries, and now the Moon cycle usually begins at ends about halfway through each month. I’m sure at some point it matched each month exactly.
(Unless, of course, you’re reading this 4000 years from now, in which case, it probably does. Good for you!)
The only thing to bear in mind is this:
Magick to bring things to you, or invoke, is best done during the Waxing moon, when it’s growing. The waxing moon is a time for activity and growth. It’s a good time to start things.
Magick to send things away from you, or banishing, bindings etc, is best done during the Waning moon, when it’s shrinking. This is a time for reflection and cleansing. A good time to end, not start, things.
The Full moon is usually considered to be a very powerful time to do anything spiritual. The New Moon is considered a dark and empty time. Also powerful, in the opposite way.
One last thing: every two to three days, the Moon moves from one sign to another. During the transition, the Moon is said to be Void of Course. Generally, this is a bad time to do magick, as the Moon is said to be unstable. So, if you’re planning any ritual, it’s good to have some sort of calendar that tells you when the Moon is void of course, so you can avoid those periods, which can range anywhere from 30 mins to 24 hours, if not longer. I’d suggest using an app for this purpose. I have one called “Void of Course calendar” on android.
Most people probably know about planetary days. A week has seven days, and each day corresponds to one of the seven traditional planets of astrology. Most are named after the Norse gods corresponding to the planet.
Just in case you’re unfamiliar, it goes like this:
Sunday: Sun’s Day Monday: Moon’s Day Tuesday: Tyr’s Day – Mars Wednesday: Woden’s (Odin’s) Day- Mercury Thursday: Thor’s Day – Jupiter Friday: Freya’s Day – Venus Saturday – Saturn’s Day
Credits: Cafe Astrology
Now, you may have noticed that I started with Sunday, and not Monday. This is because the Sun is associated with beginnings, not the Moon. The week is traditionally meant to begin on Sunday and end on Saturday, as Saturn is associated with endings.
In fact, the reason everyone’s so miserable on Monday is because the Moon is associated with emotions and feelings. It’s an unnatural imbalance to start the week on Monday. The reason for this imbalance is because Christians used to attend Church on Sundays. They didn’t END the week with Mass, they BEGAN the week with Mass. Sunday was always the first day of the Week, but these days, few people actually attend weekly Mass, and so Sunday has become considered the Week “end”. This is an ancient concept, and Sunday was originally the day of the worship of Ra in Egypt (and other sun gods, to some varying degree in other cultures). Put simply, the Day that has been named the holy day (holiday, lol) of the Sun, should be the beginning of the week, regardless of culture.
Credits: Mortimer Arms
The real “weekend” should be Friday, associated with love, creativity, gratitude and celebration, and Saturday, the day of rest, reflection and endings. That’s why Jews don’t do shit on Saturdays.
Amusingly, it seems the Muslims got it right. Most Islamic cultures count Friday as a weekend, and usually people don’t work or work half days and then go to Mosque later. There’s a reason you feel so happy on Fridays. It’s your natural instinct. And I’m going to say that’s also why weekends go by so fast and people don’t get anything done. People want to party and make plans and enjoy on Saturday, and the energies of Saturn drain them, and then they spend Sunday recuperating, when they should be starting the next week. Friday, the day of celebration, is wasted on trying to finish work. And hey, i’ve been to Europe and noticed that people there too work halfday on Fridays. I’m beginning to think it’s only here in the East that people work full Fridays. (Maybe that’s why everyone is insanely stressed out, huh?)
Now of course, we can’t change the world around us, but we can use what we have learnt. All I can say to you is: stop working late on Fridays, and stop wasting your Sundays. Finish up everything by Friday afternoon, and then treat it like your weekend’s begun. Get on with your weekend plans. Chill out and rest on Saturdays, and around Sunday noon, start preparing for the coming week. Treat Sunday as the beginning of your week, and Saturday as the end, and follow this as much as you can.
I’m at a point where it’s natural for me to think like this. In fact, in my previous post, I talked about Assiatic path workings, in which one must meditate on each Sephiroth for seven days. I used to start each week long meditation on Sunday, not Monday, and it worked out great.
As for magick: all spiritual and magickal endevours can be classified under one of the seven planets. Do your magick on the Day of the planet under which it falls. And extend this to your daily tasks, and do tasks on their corresponding planetary day. The same would apply to invocation and evocations of any Spirit or deity, who also correspond to planets.
Now, a slightly more complicated concept, specifically relating to Magick. Each day has 24 hours, and you know that already.
However, each hour of each day is also ruled by a planet. Any planet, is strongest on it’s Day and in it’s own Hour. So, if you want to do a ritual for Money, you want to do it on Thursday (Day of Jupter) in the Hour of Jupiter, as it would be strongest at this time.
However, it is important to note that the planetary hours change on each day of the week. They’re not fixed like the hours on a clock.
On the day of any planet, the hour in which the sun rises, is the first hour of the Day, and the hour of that planet. So, for example, sunrise on Tuesday marks the beginning of the Hour of Mars, as well as the Day of Mars.
Here, we have another example of how modern standardization affects tradition. The sun rises at different times in different regions, and in the old days people would usually say that the Day began at sunrise and Night began at sunset, and still do, because of natural instinct. This has been the case since the dawn of man.
But, for the sake of international convenience, we have decided that the new day begins in any region at 12 am, or 00:00 hours. Generally speaking, modern systems of time keeping don’t designate a beginning for “night”, and, because of modern electrical lighting, we don’t need to worry about night. We do divide the day into two halves, but that is separated at Noon, 12 pm, or 12:00 hours, exactly 12 hours after our designated beginning of the day. It makes no real sense but it is the accepted norm.
This is good for time keeping, but terrible for Magick. The day, according to astrology, begins at sunrise, and night begins at sunset. I’m sure you can see that a problem arises.
That means, once the clock hits midnight on a Monday, Tuesday begins according to accepted norm, but from a spiritual point of view, it’s still Monday. Tuesday will only begin when the sun rises, which in most places would be between 6 and 7 am.
That is why when I write about my rituals, i’ll specifically use the words like “Day of Mars” and “Day of the Moon” instead of Monday and Tuesday, and I recommend making this switch. It may still be the Day of Moon at 2 am, even if most people would call that Tuesday.
(I know it’s confusing. Try to keep up, i’m trying my best)
Now of course, you can adhere to the norm when it comes to general communication, but, for your personal work and for magick, start viewing the day in terms of astrological hours.
Also, bear in mind that the astrological hours don’t necessarily match the hours on the clock. The sun does not always rise on 6 or 7 am sharp. It may, for example, rise at 6:22 am. And, these hours are not always exactly 60 minutes long. They’ll depend largely on where you live, and naturally, they change with the seasons, with the sun rising early in summers and later in winters, for example.
Update (2019): In ancient Japan, a brilliant man named Hisashige Tanaka created a mechanical clock called The Myriad Year Clock, which was finished in 1871. It has been called the “most complicated timepiece ever made” because the dial shifts with the seasons and years, and tells traditional Japanese time. It’s quite impressive, so you may be interested. I think in 2016 a Japanese artist took inspiration from it and created a wristwatch which did the same thing. There’s a documentary on it, so find it if you can.)
And once again, the best way to track this, is with an app or a program. I have a free app on my Android phone, which takes in your location and then tracks planetary hours for you. Other than that, just remember, the first hour after sunrise is ruled by the Planet of that day. It’s called “Planetary Hours” by ‘thereisonlywe’.
So, the first hour after sunrise on Tuesday is the hour of Mars, and on Wednesday, it’ll be the hour of Mercury. Roughly speaking, only the hour of the Planet that corresponds to that day is really important, and it comes 4 times a day, every 7 hours. The other hours between this are ruled by other planets. Although if you have magick that utilises the energy of two planets, you could mix and match this.
Generally, in most places of the world, since the sun will rise between 6 and 7 am, the hour of that day’s ruling planet will come again between 1-2 pm, then between 8-9 pm, and again between 3-4 am. At least, that is the case where I live, in North India.
And THIS is why 3 am is the witching hour. If you think about it, throughout all of history, and even today, it’s difficult to be open about practicing magick. Generally, you want to keep it hidden and not really get others involved. And of course, you want to avoid distractions too.
That means the best time to do magick for most people is around 3 am. I’m sure there’s much more to it, but from a astrological standpoint, this would be the reason. At 3 am, not only is the planet of that day powerful, but it’s also a time when everyone’s usually asleep and there will be very few disturbances or interruptions. Even most animals will be asleep. And you know, darkness if a good simulator of the pineal gland.
One last thing. You know that every 7 hours, starting at sunrise, is the hour of the planet of that day. But, how do you know which planets rule the other hours, without an app or a program?
Well, luckily, the planets have a set pattern, which is based on their order in astrology. I don’t remember what EXACTLY is the basis for this order right now, but i’ll write about it later if I can find it. Right now, just memorise the order so you know which hour comes after which. The order is:
Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter
You may have noticed that this hourly order is different from the order on which the days of the week are based. Again, I don’t remember exactly why the order is how it is, but I’m pretty damn sure there’s a laboriously intricate 10 page Golden Lecture lecture on it somewhere, like there is on all matters.
Planets generally have two kinds of motions: direct and retrograde.
Other than the Sun and the Moon, all planets go retrograde at SOME point, and during this period they appear to be moving in the opposite direction in the night sky. This is largely an illusion due to their orbit, but it still affects us. All you need to know is that when a planet goes retrograde, Magick corresponding to that Planet does not work very well. Generally, other aspects of life ruled by this planet also suffer, or are reversed.
Now, Planets don’t go retrograde very often, and when they do, it can be for weeks, months, or sometimes even most of an year. The only retrograde the people generally care about is the Mercury retrograde, because it is common. In fact, as I write this, we’re coming out of what has been an especially troublesome Mercury retrograde.
Keep an eye out for Retrogrades, and you’ll be able to expect crazy shit.
Here’s an interesting anecdote. Pluto, which rarely goes retrograde, did so in 2016, and was in retrograde for most of that year. I remember, when 2016 started, and someone told me Pluto would be in retrograde that year, I remarked that we would probably see some weird shit.
I said that lots of people might die, virus might spread, and, most importantly, some extremely wierd political events would occur. The political authority (establishment) would suffer somehow.
Personally, I thought yet another dictatorship would fall. And, as you all know, in 2016 many, many celebrities died, there was a Zika outbreak in Africa, ISIS lost it’s capital in Mosul, Brexit happened, AND, the big one: Donald Trump won the US election.
In India, we had a big thing: demonetisation, and 85% of the currency was scrapped literally over night, in a bold attempt to catch tax evaders. After all, Pluto also rules money and hidden wealth. All of this was in line with the retrograde.
You can use astrology to predict things, and at least have a generic idea of what may happen. It’s much better than going overboard with weird conspiracy theories and urban legend.
Update (2019): 2020 is a very important year. In the last few years, Saturn and Pluto have moved intro Capricorn, and begun to break down established Order, traditions and societal structures. This is all in preparation of the Age of Aquarius, and the transition is now fully upon us. Hippies in the 1960s kept talking about it, but now it’s literally happening. Next year, Jupiter moves into Cancer. All the pieces are set, and things shall begin to happen.
Source: Inuyashiki (no, I have not seen the anime)
That’s the major bulk of it. However, there’s a few other things to keep in mind, and these are largely based on the Sun.
Night and Day
The Night and Day cycle of course. Regardless to say, daytime and nighttime are good for invoking and banishing respectively. As I said, I do almost everything at Night, but you can still keep this in mind. Also, invoking Gods and Deities is better in the Day, while Night is good for Spirits and Demons. The Nighttime is also when one should beware of more dangerous influences, especially ‘ghosts’, and take extra precautions. We’re psychologically wired to feel fear in the Dark, especially in locations away from human civilization. But to face the darkness is an Occult act, to go boldly and encounter the unknown.
The Morning (or Sunrise), Noon, Twilight (or Sunset) and Midnight are especially powerful times. The Sun is pretty important, and it’s energy and influenced rises, hits a peak, then fades and disappears over the course of the Day. Consult the legend of Ra, and how he changes forms as the day goes by. Our mood is greatly affected by the Sun. bright sunlight brings joy, happiness and optimism.
The seasons are important for folk magick. Generally, you have Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Sometimes, like in India, you also have a Monsoon. Different folk rituals and festivals are based on this cycle. For example, Spring is full of life and beginnings, Summer is about light, warmth and fertility, Monsoons are about rain, growth and nature, Autumn is about barrenness, transformation and death, Winter is about coldness, endings, rebirth and darkness. Consult your local traditions to understand this better.
From a Eastern spiritual point of view, Spring is the first season of the year, as it brings warmth and life. That’s why most Eastern cultures celebrate New Year in April. This is also a harvest season for the East, but not the West, because in most Western countries it snows in Winter so they don’t traditionally plant anything.
The reason the West starts the year on January 1st is because the Romans considered January to be the first month, as it was the month of Janus, the God of Beginnings and Doorways. Western culture is greatly influenced by Rome, and of course, it’s after Christmas so it ties in to the Western holiday season.
Many in the East have big celebrations in April, and many countries also treat it as the start of the Academic and financial year. It’s largely dependent on whether you live in the West of the East. I recommend going with what’s naturally done in your region. However, I start new, important things in April-May, including important Magickal phases. Both January and April have great power.
Months and Zodiac
The Months are important too, as they correspond to the Sun moving through the Zodiac. The Sun moves through each Zodiac sign in about 30 days, same as the Moon cycle. Of course, this has been shifting for centuries as well, so these days the Sun moves from one sign to the next around the 20-22nd of a Month. The Sign that the Sun is in is important, as Magick relating to that Sign is more powerful. The Moon sign also matters, but not as much as the phase of the Moon. You may also take into account the Signs that the other planets are in, but the Sun and Moon matter the most.
Solstice / Equinox
Each year, we have a Summer and Winter Solstice, and a Spring and Autumn Equinox. Both are important in folk and ceremonial traditions. On each Equinox, the Day and Night are equal, and so these are days of balance and stability.
The Summer Solstice is the longest day, and the energies of light are very strong. It is the height of the Sun’s power. But, after that days start getting shorter, and it marks the waning of the Sun’s power. The Winter Solstice is the longest Night, and the energies of darkness are more powerful. The Greeks believed that the veil between the Mundane and the Spiritual world are thin, and it is easy for things to cross over. But, days start getting longer after this, and it marks the Sun’s revival. Thus, we celebrate Christmas.
Again, refer to local traditions for more information on this. Each Equinox and Solstice marks the official beginning of each season.
Years, Decades, Centuries, Millenia
Finally, years, decades, centuries and millennia matter, but not that much. Usually, each Year is ruled by a specific Zodiac sign. Each decade, there’s generally a miniature paradigm shift in the world, and about every half century, there’s a major one.
Every century or two, the outermost planets, Uranus (84 years), Neptune (160 years) and Pluto (250 years), complete one orbit.They also move from one zodiac sign to the next every couple of decades, and this causes significant changes in magickal energy and causes major changes in the world, as well as generational divides. These things matter less for Magick and more for those who like to observe current events and study history. This may give you new perspective.
Some Stuff to Muse Over
And, I want to leave you one last thing. Here, it stops being practical and becomes largely philosophical, abstract and unscientific. It’s based on Hinduism, as well as astrology and some theoretical science. I see no harm in sharing ^_^
Roughly every 2000 years, we move from one astrological Age to the next. As you may have heard, we’re currently moving out of the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius. The Ages can be grouped into groups of 3, and thus, every 8000 years can be considered on Grand Age or Cycle. After the cycle ends, a new one begins and causes a rise and fall of human civilization. This, in accordance with astrology, could be further grouped into 3 sets of 4, that is 12 Ages ( one for each Zodiac) after which it repeats, making a grander cycle of 24,000 years. Generally, 72 of these grander cycles, or 1.7 million years, is said to be the lifetime of the archetypal Man (Adam, Manu etc.).
Interestingly, about 1.8 million years ago the early hominids spread across Europe, Africa and Asia, from wherever they first originated.
Every 230 Million years or so, the Sun completes one Orbit around the Milky Way. Currently, we do not know if our galaxy has any such cyclical motions. The Universe is about 14 billion years old, and may live for about 5 billion years more. Of course, this is all hypothesis and we barely know anything about the nature of the Universe. However, from a occult point of view, the Universe should also have cycles, of creation and destruction, which in modern science are called the Big Bang and Big Crunch.
If our cycle of creation ends, it should be followed by a cycle of destruction of equal length. Brahma, the Creator, goes to sleep, as to him, one creation cycle is one day, and one destruction cycle is one night, and Shiva the Destroyer, awakens. After a hundred cycles of creation, even Brahma is said to die and a new Brahma will be born.
Ultimately, we can only theorise. We know nothing, and that’s totally fine.
That’s all for now, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. There’s plenty of other cool stuff here, so stick around and have a look, and follow me for more content like this. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus
If you’re feeling triggered about something, leave a comment, telling me how angry or upset you are ^_^
I have returned, like Osiris, arisen from the grave, after spending months and months in hibernation.
Okay, I’ll cut the drama. This post is about the Invocation of Gabriel, but I feel like I do have enough people who read regularly, small though that number may be, that I should write a few words about my absence.
I’ve not written anything here in months, and that’s because I was first busy in real life, and then, as I became free, the time had come for me to advance in magickal grade, and I had to finish up everything from the previous grade that I’d been putting off.
I also started putting stuff on the YouTube channel. There will now be a full series on Tarot there, so go check that out if you want.
Surprisingly, in this time is when I think I gained the most readers I ever have, and got a lot of messages. Most were quite nice, and made me feel good about this place. However, several were quite concerning.
I have decided to be a bit more responsible and reserved about what I write, especially regarding the Goetia. I’m merely sharing my experiences, and it’s meant to inspire others. These are not meant to serve as lessons. I am not a professional exorcist, and I don’t want anyone to think so, nor be responsible for anyone doing something stupid and getting trapped. I feel I already put repeated cautions and warnings in these posts, and it’s usually fine. But magick is fickle, and it draws a lot of mentally ill people. And I got nothing against them, but I don’t know how to deal with that either. Usually it’s not even people who’ve done something stupid with magick, they just think they have. Maybe someday I’ll be mature enough to know what to do in such a case, but not right now.
Anyway, now that’s done, let’s get started.
The Name Gabriel (גבריאל)
(remember, Hebrew is read from the right to left)
I shall begin by explaining the name. Gabriel is the Cardinal Angel ruling in the North, over the alchemical element of Water.
The name Gabriel (in which the “A” would be pronounced the way you pronounce Arsenal, rather than how you pronounce Gabe) translates as “God/El is my Strength”, though you may also interpret it as “The Strength of El/God”.
(At times I have seen people say “Gavriel”, and it’s true that in old Hebrew that would have been an alternative pronunciation, but as far as I know, in modern Hebrew it may only be read as Gabriel, as Beth only becomes a Veth if it has a point inside).
It is comprised of the letters Gimel-Beth-Resh-Yod-Aleph-Lamed. By the way, the letter Gimel itself represents Strength. The numerical values of this would be 3+2+200+10+1+30= 246.
Gabriel in Religion
In Judaism, Gabriel, along with Michael and Rapahel, is considered among the most important Archangels. Although not called so in the Old Testament, he/she is called so in the Book of Enoch, and thus one of the Seven Judaic Archangels. His primary mention is as the “Man in Linen” in the Book of Daniel, where he serves as an interpreter to Daniel’s vision. It is suggested that he is a warrior, and fighting some sort of War. Naturally, he is generally thought of as an Angel of Might and Protection, standing at God’s Left Hand (in other words, on the Pillar of Severity, which related to the element of Water, his element), and leader of the angelic choir known as Kerubim.
In Christianity, Gabriel is fairly important and has more or less the same role as he has in Judaism. He is venerated as a Saint in the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican tradition.
Like all Angels, Gabriel is only mentioned in passing in the New Testament, as Christians rarely venerate Angels by name, probably because the Church has made them terrified of ever doing anything that’s “against” the Bible, including Angelic veneration. No offence, of course 🙂 He is generally considered to be the One who will blow the Trumpet that initiates the Day of Judgement. This is the most striking and common association of Gabriel, as the harbinger of Rapture.
In Islam, Gabriel is called Jibril, and of all Angels, he is the most important in this religion. Jibril is said to be the one who delivered the Quran to Muhammad, their prophet, and is thus highly exalted as the Angel of Revelation. There’s more to this but, honestly, i’m not that familiar with Islamic tradition.
Here’s an interesting thing: due to Islam and it’s spread to the East, Jibril/Gabriel is also the most easily recognized Angel by the people of non Angelic traditions like Hinduism and Sikhism. Eastern Spiritualists, from India, all the way to Japan, will think of him/her as the “go-to” Angel, if they ever need one, and so it is quite common for depictions of Angels in the East (though rare) to bear resemblance to him.
For example, during Rath Yatra these past couple of year, which is an important festival in the Indian state of Orissa, venerating the local deity Jagarnath, I’ve noticed they’ve been putting white angels on all four sides of the roof of the chariots. All of these angels hold a trumpet and are modeled after Jibril. Another instance is that a few years ago, I was in Mumbai, at the airport, and there was a particular set of artistic fixtures, depicting 12 angels. All of them were dressed like Jibril and blowing trumpets.
Look closely at the little golden statues on the chariots. Sorry but this is the best image I could find. Orissa is a bit….behind on the whole mass communication stuff.
Also, in a recent Japanese anime, called No Game, No Life, there’s a winged character called Jibril. She is not meant to be an angel, instead a technologically advanced species, and has nothing to do with religion.
But it is interesting that when the Japanese want to name a winged character that looks like an Angel, they usually choose the name Jibril or Gabriel. In fact, even in Japanese media where they are depicting angels, they like to take Gabriel as the protagonist. Gabriel connects very much to people in the East.
Gabriel in Magick
In ceremonial magick, and some other systems as well, Gabriel is regarded as the Cardinal Angel/Watcher of the West, and thus, she is associated with the element of Water, and the Moon. Since water also corresponds to Scorpio (as well as Pisces and Cancer), so does Gabriel. Bear in mind though, that unlike with the other Watchers, you wouldn’t use the symbol of Scorpio to Invoke Gabriel.
Not actually sure why (yet), but it seems the GD asked us to use the head of an Eagle instead, which symbolises the Holy Living One of Water. The Eagle is apparently an exalted sign of Scorpio. Maybe it is because Scorpio has much darker associations than Leo, Taurus and Aquarius.
She also deals with the subconscious, as it is the dark, shadowy, watery, passive and feminine, much like the West, where the Sun sets (Ra is his aged form, Atum). Thus, she will also be associated with darkness, endings, and the Twilight (fitting for one who heralds the end of the world).
In fact, it may be that using Scorpio would Invoke Gabriel in her darker aspect as the Bringer of the Apocalypse. And ya know, I like my sanity.
On the Tree of Life she is placed on Yesod, the Foundation, which deals with our emotions, the Nephesch (animal soul) and the Sacral Chakra. Her colours are orange and blue, which is from the GD flashing colours. She may also be seen in silver, violet or brilliant light blue (like ice. This is how she comes to me.)
As such, she shall be regarded, like the other three Cardinal Angels, as the highest Authority ruling over the angels, spirits and demons associated with Water.
I used the seal given in the Grimoire of Armadel, which says this regarding her:
“CONCERNING GOD, THE PRESERVER, THE DESTROYER, AND THE CREATOR
(GABRIEL and his Spirits) These Spirits do teach you all kinds of Mysteries. Thus is the Character.
In this Sigil is taught what Mysteries the Lord God is willing to permit to operate in Creation, through the uncontaminate Inner Knowledge whereof also (Abraham) did rule and govern himself and went forth by the command of the Lord God to travel in the Land of Chanaan, wherein also he sojournrned and was buried by his two (Sons) in a Mystical Sepulchre, that is to say in the Cave near unto Cariatarbee, wherein also Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were interred. Now this same Cariatarbee is Hebrew Mambre, and Ephrata. In this land did Abraham behold Three and Adore One, and thus was it counted unto him for righteousness. In this Sigil is taught Who be those Three Persons meet to be adored, and how they do harmonise together; also as concerneth the Angels and Men what Mysteries they do operate; also how they do harmoniously act through Created Beings, Angels and men. All these things be shown forth in the Letters and in the Sigil herewith given, through their Number and Combination.”
“OF THE LIFE OF ELIJAH
GABRIEL is a Spirit who did teach unto the Prophet Elijah all the Mysteries of Divinity. He is to be invoked on a Thursday before Daybreak. His Power is very Great, and he can do you great good, in the which he will instruct you. Thus is his Character
In this Sigil there be taught the Methods of restoring and transplanting both health and mental force.”
An interesting thing that I would point out is that the Preserver, the Destroyer and the Creator are, in Hindu mysticism, the three aspects of the Supreme Being (the All). The Preserver is Vishnu, the Destroyer is Shiva and the Creator is Brahma, and they together form the Holy Trinity/Trimurti in Hinduism: the first emanations of the All, and above all other gods.
Ultimately, they can be thought of as sitting on the Three Supernals on the Tree of Life.
Elijah is a Arbrahamic prophet and one who could work miracles, such as raising the dead and being able to influence natural forces like fire and wind.
Since water is a feminine element, in Magick we visualize Gabriel as a woman.
Name: Gabriel/Jibril Rank: Cardinal Angel/Watcher/ Archangel Quarter: West Sphere: Yesod Zodiac: Eagle (Scorpio), Pisces/Cancer, The Moon Element: Water Colour: Blue and Orange, Violet, Silver, Light Blue Metal: Silver Incense: Jasmine Numbers: 9 (Sephiroth), 246 (Name)
Prep Work for Invocation
So, the last Invocation i’d done, some months before this one, was of Uriel, and i’d been told that my Altar, which i’d always make by New Age standards, was far too cluttered and lacked a focal point. So this time I took heed of that, and made it more traditional. I normally have a candle, a crystal ball and incense, but this time I decided to symmetrically work from the outside to the center.
At either side of the Altar, I put a blue and orange candle (a LOT of shit went down in acquiring those candles, for various reasons. But that’s a story for another time)
I used a stick of the corresponding incense, which is jasmine, and kept it to the right, out of view, but close enough that the smoke was flowing over the Altar. The focal point was my crystal ball, and around it a crescent of 9 smaller stones, open towards me. Between me and the ball were the seals.
Finally, towards the back I had a cup with holy water, and a bell and ring, both made of silver. Bells are often rung in Eastern rituals to call forth Spirits.
Simple, clean and stacked with symbolism. I did the ritual on the Day (Monday) and in the Hour of the Moon, while it was waxing. The essentials for this ritual would be a seal, a blue candle, and circle. Water and Incense for extra energy. Everything else was personal choice.
As always, I did my preliminary recitations and banishing, some other formalities, and then invoked the element of Water, and then I began my chant.
Update (2019): For the preliminary work I suggest casting a circle and doing the LBRP. You can also do the Middle Pillar or Hexagram ritual if you want.
To invoke the element of water, trace the invoking pentagram of Water in blue, and vibrate ELOHIM TZABAOTH as you do it. Then trace a symbol of an Eagle (a simple outline of an eagle’s head from the side, with a beak sticking out and a dot for the eye), vibrating EL as you do.
Remember to do the same at the end of the Ritual, this time with the banishing pentagram of Water.
I usually chant whatever comes into my mind at the time, when I’m already moved by emotion after the initial invocations. I don’t record it anywhere, and usually have forgotten what I said by the time the ritual is done. So I can’t tell you what my invocation was, but you’re welcome to formulate your own. Just make sure it’s something that appeals to you and moves your Heart.
Update (2019): These days I prefer to write them out before hand. the Latin Vulgate is a good source for inspiration when it comes to invoking angels.
Anyway, as I continued my invocation, the first thing that happened was that my incense, which was just billowing around randomly, became rhythmic. It’s never done that before, but very soon my incense was circling in a spiral shape, curling around like a helix. It was wafting through my candles. As it did so, it would become illuminated, and glow purple, and then dissipate. It’s hard to describe it in words, but I felt like it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen during a ritual. Part of me was tempted to stop, and take a picture. But i’m not that stupid, so I pressed on.
Eventually, I felt weightless and my vision went blurry, and this continued until manifestation. Interestingly, at the moment of manifestation, all of a sudden I became very alert, and conscious. With Raphael and Uriel I had been overwhelmed with emotion, but with Gabriel I was buzzing with energy, like i’d had a coffee.
Gabriel’s manifestation was very strange, and unlike anything else I’ve seen, in that I could not see her face. Her skin appeared black, but not as if it was dark, like with Samuel, but instead as if a bright light was shining behind her, and casting a shadow.
I’m still not sure why this was so. maybe it symbolised the sun shining behind her, setting in the West. On the other hand, her clothing itself, appeared an icy, neon blue flecked with snowy white. Her wings were also light blue, glowing so bright that it looked white, and here hair looked like it was long, and down to her waist.
Imagine a royal bathrobe, but the robes were open down the middle, and where her skin would be, that is her face, hands and the middle of her torso, were just black, as if blank. Very strange. But nonetheless, Gabriel had come, in all her glory.
Update (2019): She’d appear to me again years later (this year). Her appearance was the same, but now I could see her electric blue eyes, dark blue hair, and stern, yet kindly face. Imagine someone who is kind, but for that reason they are stern and rigid, so that they can push people to do the right thing, even if it’s uncomfortable. Her face is very serious, though you can also sense a deeper sense of caring. That’s what she’s like.
Update (2019): She’d appear to me again years later (this year). Her appearance was the same, but now I could see her electric blue eyes, dark blue hair, and stern, yet kindly face. Imagine someone who is kind, but for that reason they are stern and rigid, so that they can push people to do the right thing, even if it’s uncomfortable. Her face is very serious, though you can also sense a deeper sense of caring. That’s what she’s like.
She told me various things, and some of it I’ll write about here.
She primarily told me stuff about my emotional state, and it would be pointless to go into that here without any context. But put very simply, she talked of the subconscious mind, and it’s nature, and how it should be kept in check.
“The subconscious is watery, and much like water, or this incense, it flows freely, as long as it is allowed to. It will spill and spread in every direction, it is untamed and unstable, and that is reflected in the nature of emotions. It is associated with the Moon, which tugs at the ocean to cause waves, and does the same to the subconscious. The Cup represents the container, and it can be used to control and contain the water. it corresponds to Binah, and thus to Saturn”
Now, as you may know, while Yesod is the Nephesch, Binah is the watery, feminine principle among the Supernals. In a way, you could think of it as a higher manifestation of Water, and Yesod as the lower. It is due to this that Saturn and Moon get along so well.
While the Moon is the raw, untamed animal soul, aka the subconscious, Saturn represents discipline, rigor, hardship and struggle. It represents Laws and Control. Saturn also rules over the Earth, and thus the Physical Body.
When I invoked Gabriel, I was going through a phase of being susceptible to subconscious impulses. Part of magick is surrendering control to the Higher Self, but that’s hard when the Nephesch is just waiting for the opportunity to flood my mind with every imaginable indulgence, constantly resisting. When the Magician tries to make progress, the subconscious is very acceptableness to temptations from it’s lower, darkened realms.
This story should make a little more sense now
But according to what Gabriel said, the key to controlling the Moon, is Saturn. You see, the Moon must be reigned in, indirectly, by adhering to Saturnine principles. Now, Saturn is generally a planet you want to keep more or less out of your life, as it brings hardship, but it seems the only way to control one’s emotions is through that hardship Putting one self through Saturnine rigour, that is restraint, and discipline, is what will teach how to control the subconscious. FYI, this MAY be what Yoga was originally designed for, by the Sages who created it.
(I am NOT supporting asceticism or self harm. I do NOT condone it or recommend anyone to do it. No spiritual enlightenment is found by destroying your body, the anchor of your soul. I make this very clear. I am not a fan even of the mild asceticism recommended by Regardie)
I incorporated into my life, a practice of restraint. I started first with what was most easiest, restraining myself from indulging in food, learning to bear some hunger. This then was extended to my sexual activity, and later it naturally went to my other urges. I was able to remain much more calm, and centred. When the subconscious realises it is no longer being catered to, it naturally changes course, creating positive waves, in hopes that those would be heard instead.
The kind of discipline taught in Martial Arts is another good example
No wonder then, that many religions have mandatory fasting periods. This is an ascetic practice, with the intent of teaching one to control himself.
Gabriel also spoke briefly about the charging of talismans, which basically became the key for me to fully understand the elusive ritual known as the Mass of the Holy Ghost.
Update (2019): You can read about how I make talismans here, and here for seals.
She also spoke regarding the symbolism of her trumpet, and how it signifies the “end times”.
“When the Trumpet is blown, the dam breaks open, and the waters of the Nephesch flood forth into the Consciousness, carrying with them the pollutants that it has acquired. The waters will be purified, but Man must face the horrors it has brought forth”
Most likely, this is a reference to a specific stage of a magician’s progress, as ultimately all Magicians must face their inner demons in full force (although you start dealing with your own darkness pretty much from the moment you become inclined to this path). I think it has something to do with Da’ath.
That is more or less how the encounter went for me, and I must say, it was quite rewarding. I’m still working on many of the issues I had meant to gain insight into, but progress is definitely being made.
And that about wraps it up for now. I hope you had fun reading this, and maybe even learned something, or simply found insight ^_^
Written: January 20th, 2017 | Edited: 15th March 2019
This is about the Goetic Evocation of the Duke Gremory.
In my previous Goetia post I had mentioned how I hadn’t had the need to Evoke Goetic spirits for a long time. In fact, the last time I evoked a Goetic spirit was before I Invoked Samael, which is the very first post on this blog.
So naturally, in that time I’d learned a lot, and I brought all that into this Evocation of Gremory. It is heavily inspired by the methods of Poke Runyon, and I must say, it worked better than I’d ever expected.
Update (2019): These days I use some of the methods from Paganism, Hinduism/Buddhism, Demonolatory and Christianity far more. The traditional devotional methods, with chanting and drama work far better for me than formal western ritualism.
Info From The Ars Goetia
“The Fifty-sixth Spirit is Gremory, or Gamori. He is a Duke Strong and Powerful, and appeareth in the Form of a Beautiful woman, with a Duchess’s Crown tied about her waist, and riding on a Great Camel. His Office is to tell of all things Past, Present, and to Come; and of Treasures Hid, and what they lie in; and to procure the Love of Women both Young and Old. He governeth 26 Legions of Spirits, and his Seal is this, etc.”
Always keep Seals facing down, and preferably in a container. Don’t leave them lying around, especially face up. These are sacred objects.
Nature of the Spirit
At first glance, she seems to be the same as the rest, with a crown riding an animal, with the powers of divination and of procuring love. There’s many, many spirits in the Lesser Key that have these two skills, but out of all these, Gremory does stand out, for two reasons. One, of course, is that she appears to be one of the very few, if not ONLY spirits who appears as a woman. Several Goetia appear female, in practice, but in the book, every single one is referred to as “He”, meaning the author imagined them to be all male. Except Gremory, who is explicitly called “she”.
Traditional depiction of the Spirit
Also, it is specified that Gremory helps you gain the love of “young and old” women. As I said, many Spirits of the Goetia can help you get love, both romantic or otherwise, but this Spirit is the only one for whom age is specified. I find that odd. It seems to imply that Gremory deals with very specific tastes of people, helping you procure the love of people who are considerably younger or older.
My interest of course, was in the divination aspect of it all. I mostly call on the Goetia for information and understanding, or to make changes in my perspective.
About of the Spirit
I have not found any mythology about the Spirit, outside of the Ars Goetia and the Pseudomonarchia Daemonica, but at this point, that’s become a pretty common occurrence with Spirits which are not evidently important, and I’ve written about this before, so I wont rant about it.
The name Grimori is derived from both English and Italian. Grimoire, as you probably already know, means a “magickal textbook” in French (the Ars Goetia is a grimoire), and consequently, in English, and probably came from Frankish, Greek or Latin.
The Italian word for grimoire is grimorio, and the plural is grimori. So the name of the Spirit here literally translates as “textbooks of magick” in Italian.
I personally believe that Gremory is simply the anglicized version of Grimori. Or, it has something to do with Sodom and Gamorrah, like someone pointed out. Though that sounds like the usual Abrahamic fire and brimstone nonsense to me.
Let me guess: there was some well-of pagan city in the Middle East that the monotheists decided they hated. Maybe it has sexual freedom. At some point disaster struck, as is inevitable, and they rejoiced by writing about it as God’s wrath. To me, using metaphorical names for cities you despise instead of real ones betrays cowardice and the inability to face enemies boldly.
Name: Gremory Rank: Duke Number: 56 Planet: Venus Metal: Copper Sphere: Netzach Incense: Rose Tarot: Two of Pentacles
I did this on the Day and in the Hour of Venus. I know the Goetia says to do it on very specific Moon days, but I ignored that for once. The Moon was 24 days old, and it doesn’t make too much of a difference anyway. The best results may be on specific days, but really, it’ll work whenever you do it, as long as you know what you’re doing.
First of course, I cleansed myself and the room, put on my ritual garb, and anointed my temples.
I had with me the Seal of the Spirit as well as the angel Poliel (given in Poke Runyon’s book), in green on white paper, as well as the Pentagram and Hexagram of Solomon, around my neck like they do in the OTA.
I also drew the Sigil of the Spirit on the other side. This is the first time i’ve done so, and it means I’ll have to make a new Pentagram every time I evoke a new spirit. I don’t do this anymore either, but you can if you want.
I put the Angelic and Demonic seal on top of each other, both face down, on the Altar, which faced North, along with the incense, the Hexagram, face down as well, with a Green candle in front of the Triangle, which is fitted with a black mirror, and my stones in a crescent shape.
The Black Mirror used by the OTA
I used the black mirror scrying method. I’ve tried this method only twice before, but I think this will be my choice for all evocation from now on, because it worked so well.
I meditated on Venus for a while, listening to binaural beats of the corresponding frequency, then I started the ritual, with my preliminary banishing and declarations (you know, generic stuff), then sat down facing North and began.
Update (2019): This was the one and only time I used the full OTA method, as an experiment. While it is powerful, I no longer use many aspects of it, as I mentioned at the start. I no longer use the black mirror, opting for incense instead. I also do not draw the Sigil of the Spirit on the other side of the Solomon Pentagram. The intent of that is to bind and control them, and that conveys fear.
Calling on Poliel
Normally, when you call on a Spirit, you should invoke their Angelic counterpart from the Shemhamphorash first.
The Shemhamphorash says to recite Psalms 145:14 Psalms 144:14 (from the Latin Vulgate, which is fundamentally different from the standard Bible when translated).
More so I began by petitioning Uriel to send to me this Angel, and then began to recite the verse.
I must say, I was skeptical at first, since I don’t really use the Bible for anything, but this worked ridiculously well. I finally understand the whole obsession of western occultists with the Old Testament. This might be the fastest connection I have ever made with a Spirit or Angel. I recommend the Latin Vulgate for any Shemhamphorasch Angel, and the Demonic Enns for the Daemons of the Goetia.
I very quickly slipped into a trance. I must have recited it for maybe 2 minutes and I felt a very strong, very substantial presence in the circle. When I opened my eyes, the candle was tall, steady and bright, and I could almost feel Poliel standing behind my in the circle. There was no visible appearance, but I wasn’t going for one either.
If I had to define his presence in a picture, it would be this.
“Greetings, kind one” That’s new.
I requested the Angel to stay with me and aid me in the Evocation of Gremory. The Angel agreed, and I felt invigorated and courageous, and I knew I had Poliel on my side.
I definitely recommend calling Shemharphorash angels before the Goetic spirits. They will aid you greatly, even if it’s just for guidance. However, I do not reccomend that for full fledged deities in the Goetia, nor for High demons like Belial.
Especially not for the ones who are also pagan deities. Some may take offence. It depends on the daemon itself really. You will usually be guided.
For the lesser ones, you may have to call the angels just to get in touch. But then again, I tend to stay away from lesser demons and angels anyway.
Evoking the Duke
And now the real work begins.
I started with the Bornless Invocation. I don’t use the one given in the Mathers/Crowley Goetia. I use the OTA version, because it’s much shorter, but with the Egyptian names given by Crowley.
I’m sure the original works for many people, but in my opinion, Crowley and Mathers completely butchered the barbarous names and all it does it break my trance rather than create it. The later Egyptian version created by Crowley (and used by Regardie) works better, but is still needlessly long and pointless.
After repeating it thrice, I went on to the Conjuration itself, of which, once again, I have my own version, inspired by Poke Runyon’s, since I find the one in the Goetia far too long, drawn out and a bit too Abrahamic. I recited this thrice as well. At this time, I did not know about the demonic enns, or I’d probably use that instead.
All this while, I stared into the mirror, and I think at the end of the third time, the Spirit must have come, as it should, and I felt a light presence.
But I was not able to feel a full connection, so I kept chanting as the presence grew stronger, because I generally don’t welcome a Spirit until they have given a substantial and evident sign of manifestation. So, I kept chanting.
The Spirit grew impatient. As I chanted, I heard some guy outside, yell “oh my GOD!” and at that moment my candle, which I was holding, fell off the holder, face down onto the mat and went off, and I was left alone in the dark. Accident? Well, as Master Oogway would tell us, “there are no accidents”.
Anyway, so now I knew the Spirit had come. I lit the candle again, I turned up the Sigil, pulled off the cloth covering the Hexagram of Solomon, and gave my greeting to the spirit.
“Oh my god what is wrong with you. Here I’ve been trying to talk and yet you ignore me and continue to chant, you really need to be more mindful of your surroundings, even in trance, and have some faith in the spirits you call” (Yeah, definitely a female spirit. no offence)
She sounded pissed off at first, but then she calmed quickly and greeted me too. Since I was using a black mirror, I only saw her face. She certainly was a woman, and looked almost like a Princess and wore a crown, with long black, kind of unruly hair, and a eyeliner, which seemed to across her face, like a band. She looked like a warrior princess, if that makes any sense, with the hair and band with the crown.
She also felt and talked like that. She certainly had a royal presence, but at the same time also a rebellious, somewhat intimidating energy.
She regarded the Hexagram with a hint of disdain, saying it had been used to make her obey for centuries.
Update (2019): I use neither the Pentagram nor Hexagram given in the Goetia these days. Unknown to me, at the time my own Hindu upbringing would clash with the Abrahamic style rituals. Took me a while to fully understand this, and caused me, as I said at the start, to alter my rituals to make them more comfortable. I opted for the Hindu approach in the end, since it is ingrained into my subconscious anyway.
She is said to have the power of divination, and I asked her questions in this regard. She wanted me to get to the point, and also said she could pretty much do anything, but could not bend people against their will for prolonged periods of time (no Spirit can. They can only bring about a permanent change in your own psyche)
She also told me some fairly important things regarding desire and relationships, mostly personal, but here’s a little tit bit, for what people desire from a potential love interest.
“In this world, there are many things unintelligible, and you cannot understand them, so you must trust yourself. All people want is love, and in return, ask and they will give the same. You must be open, restless, loving and caring. No one demands much, a true partner wants love. Do no break their heart. People will test you, and you cannot give in. Each person will appreciate certain traits. Find that, and embody it. Cowardice will do no good. Be loving”
I then asked her about her history, and her “fall” from heaven (which is pretty much the mythos for all Goetia) to which she replied:
“I never actually fell. I have been worshiped under different forms for a long time. Nonetheless, my primary role for the past several centuries has been that of a daemon, and so that is who I am at the time”
I asked her if she could name a Goddess she had been worshiped as.
“People have seen me as a war goddess. Research, and you will find. I was, and am, a certain war goddess who rides a camel, and my colour is Red. She is close to you, but not very well known among the people. I have also been venerated by the Japanese as Rias Gremory, which is close to my Goetic form”.
If you don’t know, Rias Gremory is a demon from an anime. The anime is amusing at best and questionable at worst, but eh, what are you gonna do? The Japanese need their absurdism. The first season was ok, for a teenager. The rest was shit.
This isn’t from that anime, just a picture I found.
Closing and Post Ritual
I thanked her for coming, and then gave the License to depart 3 times, and her energy faded. I then gave the license to Poliel, and then ended and closed the ritual.
Of course, then I was excited to search for the Goddess she had told me about.
I merely typed into Google, “goddesses who ride camels”. After all, there aren’t many, nor are there that many polytheistic religions which have camel motifs. The result surprised me. I understood what Gremory meant when she said it was close to me.
The answer is Momai Maa. A Hindu goddess from the Indian state of Rajasthan. (FYI, where I live is a 6 hour drive from there). She’s not a well known goddess, but these days she is considered to be an aspect of the Hindu Goddess of War, Durga, who usually sits on a Lion, and is well known.
In fact, you might have heard of her even if you don’t live in India, as she’s a fairly prominent member of the Hindu pantheon. She was also pretty important in my family. Aleister Crowley’s depiction of the Thelemite goddess Babalon riding the Great Beast, is inspired by the image of Durga.
Many local Indian goddesses were identified as different forms of Durga when Hinduism spread across the subcontinent and brought more and more communities under it’s umbrella (which is better than erasing them, like the Abrahamists did i Europe and the Middle East). The deity itself is probably a much more ancient motif. Rajasthan is a desert state, so camels are an important symbol there.
Momai Maa is depicted holding a trident (called a Trishul), a sword, a lotus and a an instrument, and seated on a camel, wearing red clothing.
So Gremory was 100% correct. Momai Maa is a local, non Vedic goddess, so you won’t know of her unless you really look. If you’re ever doubtful about your magick, or want to confirm that the Spirit you’re talking to isn’t just a figment of your imagination, ask them questions like this without fear, things that you can check for validity immediately after. It really will strengthen your faith and confidence.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Sorry it was long, I’m currently trying to train myself to not ramble on and write shorter stuff.
EDIT 2020: As of July 2020, I’ve written a new book on the Tree of Life and Kabbalistic theory. I’m quite proud of it, and you can check it by going to the Books tab, or clicking right here.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my other stuff, and follow my blog. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus
One of the few things that unite magicians, witches, shamans, tantrics and all manner of people within the Occult, is actually a simple routine that all of us share: namely, the act of cleansing and banishing, be it via ritual, smudging, sprinkling holy water, or all of it combined. This is an important routine, though it may seem small. The same way we brush and bathe daily, wash our clothes and clean our house from time to time, we must do so with our sacred space, not just physically, but also energetically. I’m a ceremonial magician, so naturally for me that means my ritual implements and temple room.
People in general, already clean their bodies physically, and many do so even mentally. As a practitioner of magick, I find this to be one of my very important practices.
There are plenty of ways to do it, depending on system and preference of the individual, and can be easily found online. I just thought that today i’d write my own method too, and some thoughts to go with it.
Why Must We Cleanse
Everything is essentially energy, from Matter to Spirits. Ancient philosophies have professed this for centuries, and new advancements in Quatntum Physics hint at a confirmation. Problem is, this energy needs to keep flowing. If allowed to assimilate, it tends to stagnate, and degenerate into harmful energy, “demons” or “shells” if you may.
When you let dirt or garbage accumulate, and it becomes a breeding ground for insects and rodents, which in turn causes disease. This is the physical manifestation of this principle, but it extends further too. This is why we clean ourselves daily, and routinely clean our homes, is it not? What would happen if you stopped brushing?
The same happens with thoughts and spirits. When people overthink their problems or try to focus on too many things, they becomes stressed, and too much stress can lead to burnout, illness or even death.
On the other hand, it is always said that everything invoked in a ritual should be banished at the end of it. If allowed to linger, it will be reduced to something bad, like fresh food, which must be eaten immediately. If you just let it sit on the table, it will become cold, soggy, eventually rot, and be reduced to mulch, at which point you probably shouldn’t put it in your mouth. And this brings me to an interesting point.
It’s not necessarily “evil”. Mulch isn’t “evil”.
But, it is no longer something human beings can eat. Even if it’s not something that’s intentionally causing harm, it’s still going to.
All three are linked of course, and you cant have one without the other. Dirty and disorganized surroundings means a mind in disarray and the existence of “demons”. You won’t see a Saint living among trash.
So, cleansing is vital. I’m sure you knew that already, since i’m essentially just repeating things everyone else says, but I thought it would add structure to this post ^_^
Other than cleaning yourself and your house routinely, it is also important to keep your surroundings clean and organised.
When I was a teenager, like most teens I never really bothered doing so. My room would be cluttered, I’d have old junk and papers everywhere, and I was somewhat a hoarder. But this is the worst thing you can do. Don’t let things pile up. All of these habits were reflected in my magick and life.
All around the world, in every culture, there is some kind of routine cleaning of the house that takes place. In Europe and North America, this is seen in Spring cleaning, since Spring is usually seen as the first season of the year, and many Asian countries even celebrate New Year at this time. Here in India, we do it around the festival of Diwali, when people clean out their whole house, throw away lots of old junk, give away clothes for charity, as well as forget old grudges. You have to keep clearing out old things so new things can come in.
Personally, I do so around every 4 months. I throw out everything I don’t need, clean up the place, and organised things neatly. A good environment leads to good magick. Of course, things begin getting cluttered within a few weeks, but it’s easily managed.
As far as the Temple goes, it is obviously important to keep it free of anything foreign. Many people even have completely empty rooms for ritual work, while others have ornate Temples and they don’t let outsiders even enter.
I don’t have a Temple at the moment. I keep my ritual implements in a box, so that it does not get too dusty, and I try to keep the room I do rituals in relatively clean. Unlike your house or room, Ritual Spaces are a bit more fickle. If you’ve ever been to a Hindu temples, you’ll see that shoes are not allowed inside, and for this very reason.
Also, I generally take a ritual shower and wear fresh clothes before I do Rituals. This is something else found in Hinduism.
Most ceremonial magick grimoires also advise you to do so, and even anoint yourself with oils and perfume.
Just think of dirt to be a direct representation of stagnant energy, and cluttered areas to represent clogged and disorganized energies.
There are many things that people do to achieve a clean mind, like meditate, do yoga, work out etc.
I ground myself everyday with the Middle Pillar, and then meditate afterwards, generally at the beginning of the day. I let all my thoughts and worries fade away. It helps me get clarity, and calmness, especially after hectic or stressful days. In other words, I refuse to carry thoughts from one day to the next or brood on them.
I actively pay attention to sad and depressing thoughts, and try to banish them as soon as they come. It’s not exactly easy, since I’m someone who used to get easily depressed. Before I became a magician, I used to spend a lot of time brooding, and getting pulled into depressive and neurotic thought patterns, which would then make me sad and demotivated, and I’d basically do nothing but sleep and surf the web. That’s how I spent a big chunk of high school. I had even stopped art for almost 5 years. And if I was like that in what is essentially the most carefree time of my life, I shudder to think what I would’ve been like in Senior Secondary, college, and the rest of my adult life.
Now, I’m vigilant. I reject depressive thoughts as soon as they arise. They keep appearing, tempting me to fall down a spiral of depravity, but I just kick them back into whatever hell they came from. Every now and then, of course, I do get sad or depressed (like any normal human beings), and then I shudder to imagine that once upon a time this used to be how I felt almost all the time. I remember the first time I did it. I was thinking about something, and I felt a wave of depression wash over me, and a familiar descent into dark ideas. Then I stopped myself, and simply said “i didn’t invite you to fuck with me. leave, now”, and I almost could physically feel my thoughts residing and me returning to normal.
Anxiety, dark thoughts, overthinking and worrying aren’t the only thing cluttering the mind. Nietzsche, a philosopher I greatly admire, believed that human beings are stopped from reaching their true potential because they allowed their mind to be cluttered by meaningless things, especially lust.
I can’t say about lust, but I try to keep my mind free from things which clutter it: anything that does not serve a purpose. I don’t dwell on things that are meaningless to me, or get easily agitated.
I can’t say I always manage all this perfectly. After all, I am still learning. But over time, I’ve become quite good at handling my moods, emotions and thoughts. I rarely ever get depressed these days, and for me that is a great achievement.
Failure to cleanse your mind can lead to the accumulation of stress, and then people begin to rely on various things to cope, like smoking, excessive drinking, or drug abuse. At the very least, it leads to depression, eating disorders. Excessive masturbation too, to make themselves happy.
Trust me, I know. I’ve seen so many people around me slowly and hopelessly go down that path, and if you don’t cope, then you just get more and more depressed like I was.
Besides, as you grow as a magician, any and every thought or emotion can manifest immediately. I’m not even kidding. So it is even more important for magicians to watch their mental state, because sometimes even entertaining certain dark thoughts can cause them to manifest. I’ve known people to die, because a magician got angry at them. And this will affect you much more than it will affect others, you being probably more sensitive to spiritual energies.
As I said before, pretty important to clear your spiritual energies from time to time. I learned the hard way what happens when you don’t. For me, daily banishing rituals, and, as I mentioned before, grounding, handle this quite well. These days I also do daily yoga, to calm down and focus my Will.
Most modern magicians are not monks and sages, who have the luxury of living atop mountains, in caves and monasteries. I, for one, live in a densely populated city (among the most populous in the world, in fact), travel through big crowds and have interactions with many people. This is even more amplified with the existence of the Internet, when energy travels freely and rapidly all over the globe. In fact, it is the closest thing we have to a physical manifestation of the Human Collective Unconscious.
It’s good to clear my energies from time to time, though this varies from person to person. There are some people who absorb energies easily, and for them it is even more important to spiritually cleanse themselves. I am not one of those people, but I have known such people, who fall ill easily after going to crowded places or travelling a lot, since they basically act like sponges and take in everything that comes their way. Remember, every exchange, even every glance, is an exchange of energies. If someone looks at you and has bad thoughts, even that is a tiny exchange.
Then there is the issue of rituals. As a ceremonial magician, I banish before and after every ritual, as is often done within the Golden Dawn system. I don’t allow any unneeded energy to linger, and I think witches and such also do the same. This means not only preliminary banishing, but also banishing anything invoked or evoked during a ritual, be it a spirit, or a particular planet or element, and even guardians of the quarters, all released from the working, or in very rare cases even exorcised (if they’re actively trying to harm you. more on that here), by name.
Even with Gods and high Demons/Angels, even if you don’t give them the license to depart, you do formally close the ritual. Maybe you thank them.
Basically you return the heightened energies to normal (or at least, as normal as they are in your life). In fact, when magicians move out from a place, they often do an elaborate cleansing and formally close the Temple for good. If you just pack up and leave, those energies you left behind tend to stagnate. Personally, I think most haunted houses and structures are due to this. This is probably why it happens in places where someone died and never got their final rites, and so the energies of grief and sorrow, or pain and unfulfillment never actually got resolved.
Rituals I use to Cleanse and Banish
Smudging is the first thing. This is something witches, neo pagans, and even people of many religions do, including the pagan religions of the Africans and Native Americans, and any modern magickal traditions that stem from them, in order to clean a space.
Smudging is an old tradition. You’re basically cleansing with fire and air, the male elements. There are many herbs that people use. Common examples are sandalwood, white sage, and frankincense. I have all three, though normally I use frankincense. You can’t just send out the stagnant energy into the world and leave a Void, so generally I smudge with the intention to transform, not just banish. Send out the old and bring in the new, in other words, transmute the harmful into the useful.
Generally I use a censer and use my hand to spread the smoke around making sure to get it in every nook and cranny. I also keep the windows open, to allow everything to leave. I swear, after smudging a place, it literally looks like it’s glowing in a warm, clean light, as if someone applied a photo filter.
Just like cleansing with fire and air is smudging, cleansing with the feminine elements: water and earth is also done. I generally do this by sprinkling holy water around a place. This is done in Christianity and Hinduism too. Holy water is often made of water and salt (the salt is the Earth).
The origins, of course, are Greco Roman, where things were consecrated by sprinkling them with holy water using a branch of rosemary.
The next thing of course, is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, which I use as my primary banishing ritual, since it pretty much covers everything. I do it daily, and before and after I do any ritual, no matter how big or small. I even do the LBRP before I begin smudging rituals, and do it at the very end, after the whole house is smudged.
I do the LBRP along with a daily Middle Pillar Ritual. The LBRP banishes all elemental energies, while the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram banishes planetary energies.
Cleansing and Banishing usually go together, and essentially ensure that nothing harmful can ever linger around. No matter what I do, as long as I maintain these practices, things are fine. I should mention, of course, that I don’t fuss too much on the physical aspect of it.
Everything begins first with the mind after all, and I find that as long as I do daily LBRP and Grounding, and keep myself clean, it usually reflects onto everything else, be it my temple or my surroundings. My mind has a lot more powerful impact on my surroundings, than they have on my mind.
In reality, most commonly I will just do the Pentagram and Hexagram rituals, but I do some smudging from time to time too. I’ve basically stopped holy water at this point, because I find it’s not needed for me. But if you were to ever attend a full fledged group ritual, perhaps performed by some Occult order or Witch Coven, they’d be using all of these techniques together. Really, it’s like looking in a mirror. It’s better to wash yourself, than scrub the mirror in vain.
Anyway, i’ll stop rambling now. Good day to you ^_^
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