Journey into Ceremonial Magic has cool stuff. I strongly suggest subscribing to the RSS or email because his background and fonting makes my eyes hurt. Otherwise his article on “book magic” and the trouble reading the darned things is really good.
In the spirit of exceedingly poor decision making, my wife was dead set on summoning Bifrons. Opened by considering burning my copy of the lesser key.
Opened by KC, LBRP, LIRH, KC.
We had a heck of a time getting the spirits attention. I went through the first call (skinner edition) three times, then I decided to issue the welcome. We got nothing for a good 15 minutes. She addressed the spirit anyway, but we still got nothing. Finally I was ready to declare the thing a wash and as I was flipping to the license to depart, the bizarre stuff started happening. The poster on the other side of the room is an anatomy poster, it visibly shook enough it got our attention. My wife really wanted to try to address the spirit now that the weird stuff started happening, so I went through and did a full reading of the conjuration again, and then went directly into the second conjuration. The second conjuration ended and my wife pointed out the table cloth was moving as though someone had shook the table. She interrupted the second conjuration, which is bad, so I went directly from the second call into the constraint.
This produced a calmness to the room, but a brewing, churning sensation in the triangle. I felt a bit sick in my stomach. She want through her entire speech again and was trying to smoke scry, when I decided to close my eyes and see if Wizard Vision(tm) produced anything.
Almost immediately I noticed I was in an extremely tall stone room. The walls were equal parts (12?) columns of stone and glass windows. The outside was extremely bright. The spirit stood in the middle in some sort of black robe with sash and filigree about it’s neck. It had a beret sort of cap, and a green slate hung behind it. A strong wood table was in front of us. The spirit carried a rod, and a book.
After a line of questioning, we finally figured out the spirit seemed perfectly content with us calling it on an as needed basis but at the same time, it wanted my wife to write it’s seal down and use it as a bookmark for information she absolutely needed to know. Some people highlight, this spirit wanted to live in her medical textbooks. She’s supposed to keep one on her person also as a magical link.
Tomorrow I’m going to try to call up my HGA (suspiciously absent tonight, always enough rope to hang myself…) and a few angels and see if we can do this better.
Gave the spirit the license to depart, then banished with LBRP, LBRH. Will probably burn enough sage to keep hippies camped for a week…
This is the first post in a new category called “Howto”. If you subscribe to the categories rather than “all posts”, please be aware. Also, wordpress dropped the post formatting again, so excuse the wonky paragraph breaks.
I was just about to clean these guys out of my RSS feed when they came up with this nonfluffy post which had me screaming this this this this this is how you talk to angels!!!!!111!!!1! on the train. OK there was a lot less screaming, but I did bookmark the post so I could read it on a real computer when I got into work.
Here’s the thing – it took me forever to figure out, and it really clicked once I had kids. Kids talk to their toys. They do. They don’t particularly understand that a toy is or is not a person, or a bear, or a crane. When my timing belt and water pump broke on my car, I let my son run around the garage while I rolled around under the car. He would repeatedly walk up to it, hug it, and say “Don’t worry car, we’ll fix you up!” If only a timing belt were as easy as Doc McStuffins makes it out to be, we’d be done in 20 minutes. It’s easy to write this off as “oh well kids don’t know what’s real and what isn’t and in the age of picture perfect CGI, the Atari 2600 generation needs to get over it”. Well, no. The kids do understand that something is a toy or isn’t a toy, but we’re all born with the psychopomp mechanism.
Someone of an atheistic persuasion would probably be inclined to write this off as “active imagination” and say there’s no spiritual interaction required. There’s a real deep dive here – you can have active imagination visions where you decide you’re talking to your battle buddy and you talk about the good old days. This would, in fact, be imagination without plumbing this vision more. Now lets say you decide your buddy is actually a talking dog. Can you change your buddy into a talking dog? If so, you’re in the realm of imagination. This is called testing the spirit, or testing the vision. On the other hand, if your vision dims or your buddy looks confused (or you lose it entirely), this is actually a true magical state and you’re talking to a spirit. This is the most general, but least reliable way of testing the spirit. Ben Rowe has a similarly awful way of testing the spirit, where he throws LVX signs at everything. Neither one is particularly good. Trying to push a form onto a spirit merely means the spirit is committed enough to the form it has to resist the form. Similarly making very general signs at the spirit – you might sort out a particular class of spirit (enochian, angelic, goetic, natural) but it doesn’t really tell you much about the spirit you’re dealing with.
I cling dearly to the technique of “small examinations” when dealing with new spirits. While it might seem droll to immediately test a spirit with “show me your shirt, show me your feet, show me your face, show me your hair…” What I’m really doing is a small set of tests for a spirit. Either the spirit can paint the right sort of pictures, or we decide the spirit isn’t the specific spirit we want to deal with. Similarly I don’t think I would have encouraged newbies to take on the HGA working, since there’s almost no way to test an unknown spirit. The HGA workings represent magical explorations, or cutting edge magic. That being said, this technique of testing the spirits in minutiae was developed for working with Enochian magic. We’re given precious little guidance about how the individual spirits appear except for guesses based on assumptions we have to make about the hierarchies. The calls provide some clue, because they have elemental attributions so long as you use fixed watchtowers from the Golden Dawn.
Similarly, the names of the Angels carry telesmanic imagery. The sigilum dei also carries the names of the Angels of the planets in Hebrew. I could write books on Enochian, but the point of this is that we have mechanisms to test even unknown spirits if we can tease the slightest bit of information out of them.This brings us to the next sticky wicket of ceremonial magic – an extremely talented scryer could probably hit the spirit the first time reliably, but for the rest of us, we have to hit the books. We have to hit books in strange, unknown languages. We have to hit books which are almost illegible. Does this mean we know how to test the spirits or are we pre-loading our brains with an expectation of spiritual experience?The other side of this rabbit hole is that if we merely receive a vision of a spirit, and we have no interaction, then we’re probably pre-loading our brain to see the spirit. My pet model here is that building the “realm” of the spirit allows the spirit to then enter the space and present itself. I’m extremely careful to avoid building ideas about the spirit’s appearance itself. Rather, the spirit has to also enter the realm, as sort of a neutral ground, and present itself through the astral puppet in the realm. This is why I got bent out of shape but ultimately accepting of Saturn carrying Jupiters colors in the Saturn realm. Now lets rewind to the beginning of the post. We’ve setup this wonderful method of testing the spirits astrally, but if you’ve been reading the blog, you know sometimes I don’t prefer to eyelid scry and more prefer to crystal gaze or however the mood strikes me. Could there be other devotional methods?
Sure. I think this model works for both the idea that kids toys can and do get haunted, which is probably fairly rare since I think kids would have a fairly low tolerance of “scary” or “hostile” spirits the same way they’re frightened of the weirdest stuff on TV, and I think this model also serves nicely to enchant something. You should be encouraging your cash box or whatever to generate winning lottery tickets, even if you’re just yelling “come on” at the TV watching pingpong balls with numbers bounce around. Try using that energy to yell at the cash box instead, if you believe it can hold a spirit. The Gentlemen for Jupiter take it one step further and put a six pointed star on it, but I think I would indicate it was for manifestation with blue and red triangles. Similarly if you say hi to your teddy bear, it might attract a friendly spirit wearing that mask. I sincerely doubt it will be a popular toy if the spirit replies “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD”. And devotional statues? If that’s how the spirit appears to you in astral, then by all means find a statue which fits your vision and understand it’s a mask for the spirit to manifest on this plane with.
Alright get out there, fire up your imaginations, and test the heck out of those spirits.
I couldn’t wait to try out my triangle. Good lord what do small differences in ritual make. I started out pointing the sun at my candle, but I was told to put the candle on the glyph of the sun so I did. I ran the incense thick and heavy – mostly because the woodstain smelled like mineral spirits.
On the train ride home I had an unbidden thought come up while thinking about the name I was given at the general state of life. When I was in college, I made ends meet from my internship by modifying the (then new) playstation 1 system. My brother really wanted it, so I offered to do his for free. I had done literally a hundred of these at $100 a pop and for whatever reason I screwed his up. I didn’t realize how much he saved up until he literally came to me in tears over the fact that I killed his playstation. It was a weird fit from him, but eventually I took pity on him and bought him another one after a month of begging and saying it wasn’t my fault. It was my fault, but I wouldn’t admit to it. Had I admitted to it, I could have saved the universe a month of pain and fighting from my family.
I think the HGA is actually a sin eater. At least, it is for this portion of the work.
I am running low on sun incense, but my wife just bought some nag champa incense. I decided to use that, and what little sun incense I had left. For whatever reason the entire ritual smelled divine, and now that I’m typing it up I can smell the mineral spirits again. I opened by KC, LIRP, LIRH, KC.
Scrying into the crystal, I saw a galaxy as seen from the rim. The sun was in the middle of it, but stars, everywhere on both sides of the crystal. It was awesome. Eventually I also realized this was Maat – the winged disk. Also equally awesome, it occasionally fluttered it’s wings.
“Why are you using the goetia?” Ah damn, in real life I try to speak my mind and be direct as much as possible and my HGA is the same. Well, my wife wants knowledge to help her pass math and physics.
“Fine, but you know what they’re like.” Yes, and I had a perfectly functional relationship with Agares before. I realize they get stuff done in the worst way possible but I also realize as far as knowing is concerned they excel.
“They don’t know, they tempt“. Fine, the HGA’s objection is noted. However unlike hitting a deer after asking for a new car (true story), blowing a transmission after asking for a new car (true story), getting sideswiped by streetracers in traffic after asking for a new car (true story), having my mirror knocked off in a parking garage after asking for a new car (true story), and threatening to give up things with wheels and circles in general after asking for a new car (true story), I can’t imagine how teaching my wife math and physics could possibly go wrong. So who would I ask otherwise?
“The divine physician”. I thought he was talking about an archangel, but a google suggests the HGA is talking about Christ himself. Note to self though, try to get a better relationship with Rapheal, since I suspect Christ is a bit of a reach. Is it doable? Probably, is Christ likely to show up in my triangle? I doubt it. To do so would simultaneously conjure God himself and be an act of necromancy, neither one of which I am particularly keen on.
Do you like the triangle? “It is excellent”. On this question, the smoke stopped rising from the incense and actually dropped to surround the crystal ball. I’ve seen this a few times to indicate spirits are present.
Will it be good for my practice? “It is so.” (Angels, lol).
How about you help with the goetia? “I will advice you in the presence of the spirit.” At least that seems reasonable. I envisioned the LBRP being done by the HGA spirit. I took note. To deprive the goetia of the physical realm is probably a good idea, at least from a physical safety perspective. I’m not ruling out the idea that we won’t be in for a morally ambiguous ride, however. This would also be a really good place to consider Enochia. How did we get here? Oh, the HGA reacting to my wife.
Is my wife going to attempt to contact these spirits without us? “She already concentrates on the names….” Uh oh. Time to go talk to the wife about safe hex….
The final triangle is done, I might stain it one more time but I like the color and I think if I don’t wipe, it’ll darken up. This is also the last time I buy wood from Home Depot, there’s a terrifying amount of wood putty in here to make it look decent. Also you can see in the top right there’s a weird dark spot that it picked up when I stained it but otherwise wasn’t present before I stained it. Sigh.
The design is sort of based on Polyphanes woodworking. He was cool enough to send me high resolution pictures of his own designs, but I wanted to keep this all hebrew. The names written on the outer edge are the sephirot. Read right to left (anticlockwise), it represents the descent from kether. Read left to right (clockwise) it represents the ascent from malkuth. It’s all hand made with wood burning tools and the finest random orbital sander (truly the name of a magical instrument if there ever was one) money can buy.
EDIT: The previous one was drawn on sturdy poster board. It sucked. This one is the size of a pizza if anyone was wondering. Mmmm. Pizza of the Gods.
EDIT 2: I’m going to learn if I’ve been doing magic correctly if I keep hanging out in the fumes. Edited for spelling and going outside.
This actually happened on Sunday. My wife posted it to the Occult Forum we hang out in on Facebook and it garnered enough amusement I figured it should be a post.
This is one of these times the occult axioms come back and show us all how true they are. My particular axiom here is “Don’t do magic unless you can’t change something by yourself”. It ultimately acknowledges that if you can change something in your mundane life, you should. Without magic. And when the magic becomes such a part of your life that you don’t realizing you’re magicking for a fix, then you’ve accomplished that the great work and will ascend directly into heaven where you will be presented with all new problems you can’t solve without new handy axioms!
Our cat (Tricks McWhiskers, or Tricks) is a rescue cat. He was delivered with six other cats to the local SPCA in the plastic garbage bag someone found them in and all of them were adopted as cute calicoes except for the all black cat with the piercing gaze. Tricks is really friendly to me and my wife, he ignores our son and daughter, and if you’re a guest your best bet is to leave him alone. He makes himself scarce, but he’s not above giving it to our guests when they reach under the sofa to try to retrieve him. Being strong believers in the 2nd amendment, I couldn’t stand to see him declawed, which is fine anyway since he’s a half outdoors cat. He usually goes outside for half a day, then comes in, hangs out with us, and then sleeps on the foot of the bed. He’s a pretty good mouser, and keeps the mice out of the woodpile which makes it easier to grab wood for the woodstove without worrying too much about tossing frozen mice into the flames.
Recently, he’s also decided to pee on the door.
My wife and I have purchased literally hundreds of gallons of cat behavior modification product. None of it worked. We even tried natural stuff, stuff we found on the internet, locking the cat up when he didn’t want to go outside, and even putting boxes in front of the marking spot. We got nothing.
“But Phergoph! I thought this was a magic blog?”
That hits the nail on the head. When we can’t change something ourselves, that’s when we use magic. This was fairly stressful for my wife. We originally had two cats, and we had to surrender the one cat because it actively would find, bite, scratch, and pee on our daughter. My wife was really chafe about it, and I don’t really like to do magic without the potential for some message about the lives we live. I think the message here was sometimes we should do magic just to do magic.
I was talking to Sol about what we should do here. My wife was really pulling to create an egregore to follow the cat around, but not having piles of experience in the area and more importantly worried the egregore might try to get the cats blood or something else equally weird, I thought it best to consult our unseen friends. Weirdly enough instead of seeing some solution to the problem or having Sol volunteer to chase the cat around, I got this image of my wifes Bast statue. We really had to dig deep for the thing, it turned out it was in the closet of the oratory, so we didn’t have to go far once we tore the place apart. We settled back down and put the Bast statue on the altar. The cat appeared in the temple, along with the spirit of Sol, and the familial spirits. My wife petitioned Bast to reprimand the cat when it didn’t pee in the litterbox, and I got the vision of Tricks being chased around by a black vortexy thing.
The cat normally goes off and prowls the house at night (we don’t let him out since we live in a heavily wooded area and the foxes and coyotes have been known to eat the local pet population) but that night he spent the entire night on the foot of the bed. I don’t think he left it once. My wife briefly reported a low black shape walking around the bed, which she attributed to the ghost cat, but Tricks wouldn’t leave. It was pretty neat. We’ll see if this actually continues as a magical success or if he’s gotten used to his new friend.
EDIT: This is the 93rd post on this blog. It was completely unintentional.
Tonight I had a beer, sat down, and made a conscious effort to dump all the crap piled onto me from work. We’ve been at war at work, literally, and it’s been trying. I literally got on the train this morning and my work cell rang and they wanted me in. Since hijacking a train is poor form, I said I would be in ASAP. It all went down hill from there. I put in over 12 hours today. In other, really weird news, my wife swears I was strangling a cat for this evocation. She wasn’t present, but she distinctly heard the noise. I could not reproduce it.
I ran the germatria value of the given name and was surprised. Phergoph comes out to 93, which I took as a bizarre sign when I was given that name in a fit of inspiration. The name I was given resolves to 71 in simple germatria, which has some surprising connotations. I meditated on the name in the idle time at work. I had a beer over dinner.
Opened by KC, LIRP, LIRH, KC.
Really tried to put umph into the words. Rufus had commented last time we hung out that I need to “enflame myself with prayer”. I really like Rufus, and unlike other people I don’t believe he’s gone off the deep end. I really think I suddenly understand him more after tonight. I love you dude, #nohomo #yolo.
Normally I end up in clearly defined spaces, as readers know. I actually tend to get the space first, then the spirit. This time something strange happened. I found myself on a platform made of glass or crystal (a sense of standing, not floating) high above the earth. The sky was deep, deep blue. The stars I recognized from my youth on my grandparents farm. I recognized the sky almost immediately. The stars were innumerable. More importantly, I recognized the sky from a memory I had. Discussing life on the back porch with my brother, we marveled at our ancestors (we’re German to a fault) looking up and seeing the “ice and fire” and they combined and made steam. When our ancestors looked up, they saw the ice in the sky, and the fire of the stars, and the steam were the bands of the milky way. We can still see them if we camp, or resolve to hunt the farm by staying overnight and someone “accidentally” pulls the fuse on the mercury halide light on the property. The only one left, I might add. The effect is humbling. I am here. A moment in my youth.
I am aware of a presence behind me as I am marveling at the sky. I am absolutely swallowed by it. Paradoxically, Crowleys words have produced a feeling of elevation. I want nothing more than to surrender to the experience, but the presence…
I turn around and I see myself. I look fit, and young, but the spirit is wearing golden armor, a leather shortskirt, braces, and the wings look like hawks wings. Quite a few feathers look shortened. I look like the time I dropped the jeep’s starter on my face and gave myself a black eye. Somehow, this is the best I’ve ever looked. If I were overtaken with awe before, I am overtaken with peace now. Words really fail me here, it’s like the Luna evocation but instead of familial love, this is just a deep, deep sense of peace an acceptance.
In another life I wanted to be a soldier. I had a cushy job setup in the air force from a family member, whose own son turned out to be gay and refused to join. Between the lyme disease and the colorblindness, I didn’t make it. 15 years ago they still thought it would transmit by blood, so I wasn’t exactly popular there anyway. I took my licks and decided to become a cop. Being colorblind, they weren’t too interested in me either. I resolved I would do the IT work for the police. It was rough stuff, the pay sucked, I was in the shitholes of the world getting shot at by drugged up people over replacing the ricochet modems which make the stupid little laptops work in the cars. My heart was hardened. I lived this way for years. I eventually realized I would change nothing here either, but the idea still persisted. I went to college. Like all good IT people, I excelled at my core classes. I bombed the rest, if I would even show up sober. I had a cushy IT job for five or so years, the company outsourced and I really hit a low spot. My girlfriend at the time eventually ran off with an ex-frat friend. Apparently everyone knew we broke up but me. I alienated a good part of my college friends trying to “make it work” unaware of the situation, and they were too polite to point it out.
I think I faulted them for it, but I also think in this period in my life I shortchanged a lot of people, including myself, by denying the divinity of the universe but also denying the divinity of people.
As I’m having all these thoughts, sort of life in review, I’m watching from my platform with my me-angel as a train moves through each junction. The train is powerful, and self-assured. The land below has earthquakes, fissures, forest fires, and some nice spots too. Each junction the train crosses I realize was a choice. At first the choices were mostly between mercy and severity, and almost always opted for severity. I would change the world. Eventually it became I would destroy the world. Much later, watching this train, it started to wear down. The smoke turned black, it didn’t move quite as fast, the load seemed heavier. I watched and eventually, the train barely moved. It passed through a dark place on the track, and entered a track of 10 stations. At each station it would pick between what I recognized were the paths on the tree of life. The train has a long set of tracks ahead of it, for it only just started this journey…
The angel tonight wasn’t an angel I could interrogate, make do something, bargain with.
The angel was peace, everlasting. I smoked my pipe enjoying the presence.
Opened by KC, LIRP, LIRH, KC. Did the evocation of the archangels last, I’ve been experimenting with this and it seems to work better.
Two things happened which seemed to be distinctly out of place – my wife was trying to talk to human spirits (family) and I distinctly heard knock-knock-knock from the bookshelves. This was not perceived by my wife. Also of note about half way through the evocation I heard an angelic name and the candle flame itself expanded to about two inches over the candle. The name was not heard by my wife. I attempted to vibrate the name or otherwise analyze it but nothing productive happened to that end. I’m going to have to research it and figure out what I come up with. I’m personally coming up on a week since starting the HGA thing, I suspect either I have (another) name for the NG or I have the HGA’s name and I need to start hacking on the ceremony.
Sol is a particularly nice spirit to work with since he seems to be able to suggest (and call up) all the other planetary spirits. I basically acted as scryer for my wife tonight since she had a pile of questions, some of which are OK to publish. The bulk of the material I’m going to be coy and not publish at her request. Things I’d like to gloss but are worth mentioning – sympathetic magical links seem to show up as golden fire for me and with her line of questions, this is important. Also I’m very quickly realizing I can operate for only maybe 45 minutes after getting ahold of the spirit. We were in the oratory for over an hour and once things got good, I could only really ride the flow for 45 minutes. This might improve over time, or it might actually be rate limited by the hour or similar.
In keeping with the format of the blog – the questions asked will be bolded, but this is my wife asking and me replying.
Do you know about [name]? “Yes”. He is in the hospital… A vision of a pickup truck in a car accident. [name] isn’t wearing his seatbelt. While he will recover, he’s taken quite a blow to the intestines and it’s causing his problems and also the subject of his surgery. When he says he has bowel problems, he’s not being entirely truthful about the car accident.
Do you know about [name] and his relationship problems? A vision of her and him, and this is one of the few times I’ve ‘heard’ something where they were only together one year and she’s starting to look around and he suddenly proposes. The normal red-jolly-rancher link isn’t there. In fact, nothing is there. Neither one of them seem personally invested in the other person, which sucks. But it’s pretty clearly a relationship of status quo at best. I did sort of get syllables of a name which I passed onto my wife to have her ask about. We were going to tarot, but she wanted to ask first.
Now for some background to the next question – back when I was working with the goetia, my wife was convinced the house was haunted. This was one of the reasons why I almost swore off magic and generally gave up the goetia, the sideshow tended to persist even after magical operations and took awhile to peter out. She interpreted it as a strict haunting. To everyone who knows about the work previous, yes, I did it in my house and you can all post “I told you so” and give me one lashing. Just one. I was warned to do it outside and, being the fool that I am, said “What could possibly go wrong?” I attribute the weird residual stuff to the goetia. Although I also am firmly convinced we have a ghost-cat, which my brother (less psychic than me if that’s possible) has also witnessed. Anyway, long story short, she finally invited these people out and while I personally am against it since I assume all responsibility for the evocations and general interaction with the spirits, they still want to come out.
Will they get anything on tape? All the spirits present (Sol, Bast, familial spirits) indicated a no.
What could we do to [get the spirits on tape]? The familial spirits indicated they were present when invited, which jives with the domsupper we try to have every year. The spirits in the woods (landwights or something…) indicated we have to leave the gate open. There’s a lot of spirits in the woods, but they tend to stay off the property. I only recently realized this. I really quickly tried to glance towards the garden spot and I briefly saw astral fireflies, but I’m not sure what these were and my wife asked another question before I could interrogate them. (As a personal speculation – and to totally fluff out the blog – faeries?) Suddenly I also saw a vision of someone placing their K2 meter (the engineer in me is praying for death) in front of our fireplace. The suggestion was to ask the ghost hunting team if they wanted to use their instrumentation in a formal setting and for one of these operations. I will let my wife posit that question.
I apologize if this entry seems like it skipped around a lot, my wife was trying to chase down several threads. I do intend on chasing down the new name I was given to see if it has any precedent at all as an Angel or what. Also I took my minerval to the OTO, so I have a pile of reading to do. I can see why Crowley advocated an adoration of the sun daily, but I suspect it glossed over the more subtle points of planetary magic to do so.