I had given up trying to get a workshop slot with the local group and… They gave me a workshop slot today.
Keep your eyes peeled for a slot around September 28th.
I had given up trying to get a workshop slot with the local group and… They gave me a workshop slot today.
Keep your eyes peeled for a slot around September 28th.
Aaron Leitch, all around neat person and author, recently posted a link to the Enochian Facebook Group asking if anyone knew what it was. Being an internet detective (read: “being marginally better at winning at google”) I put it into google image search and poked around. One of the frustrating things about facebook is that it doesn’t preserve original links, so a normal ‘view source’ doesn’t produce anything useful.
The document looked right in the low resolution facebook version, I could imagine it being a draft copy of The Great Table or similar. The caption the user attached to it read that it was part of the “Enochian Library of the Vatican” (unlikely) but it did have a Vatican library stamp in the corner of the reproduction. If it was a document delivered by Angels themselves, I’m thinking that the Vatican wouldn’t have stamped it let alone reproduced it for general perusal.
Anyway, turns out that there was a monk named Raban Maur and he lived in the 9th century. The whole story is less than interesting at first brush because of how neat the art is… WAIT HE FED 300 PEOPLE PER DAY? Where did all that food come from?
Well it turns out that’s a lot less magical and a lot more “run of the mill”. This guy apparently handed out meals to the poor and sick as a service, but a ‘starting’ monastery could service up to 3000 people. I don’t mean to say that it doesn’t represent incredible effort – it absolutely does – but I do mean to say that my first thought that this Monk had somehow run into the precursor of Enochian magic was incorrect. I did learn a lot about monasteries and enjoyed the reading.
While the translation through google uses the word “encryption” the manuscripts the monk produced don’t seem to be particularly enciphered except for the neat poems themselves. Is it a cipher? Not in the traditional sense that people accuse John Dee of, but the work is beautiful on it’s own.
The tape was right where I expected it to be – which is to say that the first time I went hunting about for it the tape was not present in its proscribed place. Normally when stuff goes missing it tends to turn up a short while later but when it reappears exactly where I expected it to be, I tend to learn towards the supernatural. There isn’t a huge use of painting tape around here except to paint and put up air conditioners, and no-one has painted. Nor are any of the air conditioners put up with blue tape.
Not really knowing what the spirit wanted, I decided to dress the altar simply. Yellow cloth for the sun, solar incense in a simple (gold) thurible, and a shewstone. For dinner, I had a pickle and some cheese. Living in modern times is quite nice. Since the previous spirit appeared as a blazing ball, but I wasn’t really willing to set my house on fire, I opted for the cloudy shewstone on top of a yellow bit of paper which gave a similar and nice effect. I put out yellow candles. Stealing a page from Asterion, I did a quick purification and on a bit of cardstock I put down what I understood was the seal of Raphael (which is Michael’s seal according to the post). As it would be, the Sun is in Cancer at the moment and not Leo, but I’m a huge proponent of day-and-hour trumping most other observations. If I could get the Sun in Leo on the Day and Hour, I might even invest in that golden orb.
As the time grew close the normal magical resistance picked up. My son complained he couldn’t sleep, my daughter stirred, my phone rang. As always, I suspect there’s a low level of spirit concerned with keeping the status quo and while a portal in time isn’t going to open to have Hitler slash your tires – there are days I wonder. I put the kids to bed again.
I walked into the room, got the blowtorch working on the coal, and did the QC, LIRP, LIRH, and QC. Lit the candles and incense.
Vibrated RA-PHAI-EL until it was suitably smokey and incensed.
I really liked having the seal stood up under the crystal (the stand is tall), the candle light made it faintly glow. At first something like a rod appeared in the crystal, and I wasn’t sure what that meant. After a while of intoning the name I got a face like Winston Churchhill, sharply dressed in a suit. The spirit tested well by signs.
What had happened was the moment I announced I was going to contact the spirit tonight, I got a laundry list of people who had health related issues and wanted magical help. I figured if the operation of the art is to Glorify God and Comfort Man, then I would cover these. The rough outline is I petitioned the angel for help, for each ailment I would rub the part of my body until I felt “disconnected” from it, which was the healing. For one of these people I was given a very specific salve to make using a plant I happen to know about in the woods cut at the first light of dawn touching the patch.
But, since I have to poke around…
Is today the correct day to call on you in this form?
“Today is a day for a form. I will come when called.”
Why Winston Churchhill?
(Gestures towards bald head, the scalp glows – ok I get it).
How should I go about petitioning this healing?
(Given the instructions above generally, for rubbing the body). “But ask each person individually.”
Skipping several people.
What about [name]?
The spirit here specifically mentioned two things for two people. One person served “a foreign god” which I hadn’t heard before but it’s entirely possible they’re a closeted Muslim or something, the second person had setup very general magical wards and so the instructions were: “cut the plant at dawn, put it into a food processor to make paste, you may freeze it until you give it to her”. The plant is quite common around here and it is known for being a good topical pain reliever, but specifically I was shown to prepare it and also write the Angel’s seal on the bag with lemonjuice. I typically try to seed it whenever I go out hunting since medicinal plant patches are always a good thing to try to keep around.
What else do you govern?
I was shown a variety of plant and animal illnesses, but as none of my plants or animals are sick at the moment, I didn’t have to ask. Also I have no idea how I would become a peach but I suppose that’s another question for another day if the need arises.
I did my work, thanked the spirit, and closed the temple.
I walked into the ritual room, of all things because I was looking for a roll of tape and wasn’t sure where it had made off to and suspected it was in there. The ritual room has all sorts of arts and crafts in it so the room is a likely place for something as mundane as a roll of carelessly lost tape.
The moment I walked in I definitely got the sense of being observed. At this point I actually avoid going into the ritual room unless actually performing a ritual, so I don’t know what possessed me to look for tape in there. However, I did. I stopped for a moment to meditate and try to figure out what was going on. After a small span of sitting, I had the impression of a glowing golden orb. The orb was made out of red-gold, and held about it a flame like a mantle in a lamp. It was hot and liquid. It was the sun.
I had no signs with which to test the spirit, so everything after here is pure botch.
Give me your name.
Ha, got you. Raphael isn’t the sun, Raphael is Mercury! I got up and didn’t address the thing any further.
Curiosity got the better of me about 15 minutes later when I also remembered quoting Liber Resh to someone over their facebook post about the Solstice. Raphael is the sun in the Munich Manual. Well, I dun screwed up.
So, thickheadedness aside, I know what I’m supposed to be doing on Sunday. Sunday at 10pm is my hour and day of Sol. Raphael as Sol is something which will kick off flame wars in the ceremonial magic community like there is no tomorrow. Why, for instance, would I even believe Raphael as the sun had any sort of interest? Why even trust the spirit? It comes down to attributions. The Munich Manual puts Raphael as the Sun, which as others have noticed, also switches the seals. Arabic texts tend to agree that Raphael is the Sun. Context becomes important. Is Raphael the Sun? He is if he wants to be. Lets see if this has other attribution. 777 puts Raphael as Mercury and Michael as Sol (pp 31, pp 38). Thelemapedia (to it’s credit) will cite Crowley but does not fall into the trap of Appeal to Authority and make him the last word. Wikipedia? Surprisingly underdocumented.
Now, the fun starts. Usually the Big Three agree on Angels, etc. Crowley, Judaic texts and Christian texts put Raphael as Mercury for all intents and purposes. Islam? Raphael is Israfil, the Burning One. It could be as simple as being summoned into the room and presumably to do magic, but it also could be a prompt for a message.
Guess we’ll find out!
I think it was AT who had suggested I read Theomatics if I were interested in a walk on some truly bizarre material. You can get the book for literally a penny. It has been rejected by both the Christian community and the occult community. The book is still worth a read, if you happen to know anything about kabalah how we do it in the Western Mystery Tradition.
OK so first the absolutely dreadful stuff: The book makes the critical and incorrect leap that just because the Bible has a structure which can be detected by mathematical means, it must be the word of God and true. While I like that idea, it is equally plausible that all of kabalah is simply a method to make sure the transmission of the holy books were not altered – not from God to People, but among the people themselves. This is one of these rubber meets road places in magic. The original work was orally transmitted. Did the scripture come first or did the writing come first? The scripture came first, the writing therefor had to fit it, so to say that the math derived from the written word proves the authenticity of the word is a reach at best, since the written language (and therefor the words) would have changed over time from Adamic, to proto-hebrew, to hebrew, greek, and even english today.
However magic is also an internal process which I discuss a good deal about on the blog. Because we find meaning in a particular number or relationship in a phrase is really what moves our spirit, and so when Crowley is looking at the Gnostic Mass and sees 93 all over, well of course that is significant to him. Similarly when the book makes a connection, it is significant to the author. Where I think the author oversteps the Christian community is he occasionally attempts to rectify the Bible’s translation based on his calculation. The author includes in the intro and outro a caution that the math isn’t important, the meaning is important. True enough.
One of the things conspicuously missing from the book is any sort of giant table of correspondences. That killed me, I would love to have an index by number.
Finally one of the big points missing is that Greek is usually multiplied (not hard and fast by any means) and Hebrew is usually additive. The reason behind this is the Greeks were obsessed with geometry for their occult work and the Hebrews didn’t have Geometry until after the contact with Egypt, but that was after the foundation of the language was put down. Lucas sticks to this convention but doesn’t say why. I suspect that he has had at least some brush with occult literature to get there and that’s why he doesn’t want to make a citation.
Anyway, why read the book? If you’re interested in Revelations (therefor Enochian) magic, it certainly is worth the penny to get a copy just to see what he has to say. The other neat thing is he does cover (but poorly annotates where) he has to make approximations. There is a giant table in the back to show the game he has to play to make the spelling match the content in places but the table is present and he is being thorough. Also nice is the “chapter notes” where he comes up with a theomatic number and relates that to the overall theme of the book of the Bible. No real surprises there for anyone who has read the thing before but it is a good touch.
Is it worth the coin? Sure!
I’ve been very infrequently emailing this one guy back and forth and I admire his tenacity for trying to make magic work. I asked if I could publish the correspondence and haven’t heard back so I’m going to paraphrase to try to make a decent post out of it without talking about someone specifically.
All of magic starts with philosophy.
Dee, Levi, Crowley, Mathers, etc – all the great magicians of ancient and modern times started either reading what we would call the classics of philosophy or they started out in church. Dee and Levi would say that this is piety, Crowley and less so Mathers to their credit took an extremely broad approach to the subject of religion and found commonality between them. The Greeks would have just attributed this magic to “perfect understanding”. The theme is usually the same – the more perfect understanding of the world someone possesses, the more perfectly they may operate in the world. Obviously if the goal is to accomplish magic, the level of perfection of their understanding of the world absolutely must be a model which allows for magic. Don’t believe in magic? Don’t be a magician. This is also a feature of the gnostic texts; The salvation of a person is accomplished merely through their belief in the spiritual life of themselves. In some sort of Richard Dawkins meets M Night Shyamalan twist, the final act of magic for anyone is to either accept or deny the spiritual life.
There’s two very important concepts here which are the “brass tacks” in ceremonial magic: We are all God (or part of God) and the redemption or the choice. This particular person was concerned they weren’t having any tread on their workings. I talk about this on the blog from time to time but I don’t think I’ve ever quite approached it from the direction of the nonbeliever. That’s really where this person is at – I suspect they want to “try magic” and instead of subscribing to it wholesale or asking the hows and whys, they just expect to follow the instructions on some book or whatever EA Koetting is doing in the sandbox this week and demons will appear and swear allegiance.
That would be like the Mormons showing up on my doorstep simply because I own canned goods, expecting me to sign up.
Lets rewind and approach this from someone’s perspective who is looking to actually get into magic. The first axiom is that we are all God. That seems fairly bizarre on the first brush with the idea – most people I would venture don’t really believe in God and the ones that do would cite war and famine as arguments that we are clearly not God. Lets look at people who are God (or claimed to be). Jesus feeds a multitude on fish and bread. Mohamed makes crops grow by summoning rain. Neither of them use occult powers to banish hunger – there’s a big clue there. They both work within the natural laws of earthly existence to accomplish magic. And, perhaps more importantly, both of these miracles are falsifiable. Jesus might have simply inspired people to be generous in the crowd. Mohamed might have simply come from the other side of the hill where storm clouds were perfectly visible in the sky. It doesn’t have to be a miracle, someone could decide that it simply was mis-reported and no magic had happened. But the point is – it did happen. Success be thy proof, not demons tapping on your windows at 3am. (Not wading into the perception of manifestation in this post).
Mohamed and Jesus were people too. No holy book says Jesus woke up at 3am with a charlie horse because he’s mildly allergic to bananas and shouldn’t have eaten that cake before bed (true story) or that Mohamed’s kids woke up at 5am to the trash guys picking up the bins and then his kids refused to go back to sleep so he was totally a waste for productivity in the office. However they were in fact human and subject to being murdered on a cross and lived in fear of death to the point of making pacts with their enemies and experienced hunger and pain. Again, not particularly miraculous, but an important observation – despite any divinity they might have possessed, holy people are fundamentally human and their manifestation on this plane is subject the rules and laws of this plane. In short, you can be God, and it’s important to also understand that you’re also a person too. Just because someone can’t walk on water simply means they aren’t a duck.
Most people get their heads around the concept here and I think this is where the great magicians before us start writing about the dangers of the ego. Although we are all God, that’s not an exclusive proposition for people at this stage. I’m not even sure that is an exclusive proposition for some people after they die either. If the ego takes over, it pretty much means game over. The great trap is to make bread in the desert and simply profane magic for comfortable material ends, because lusting after the material world directly opposes the desire for the union of the spiritual. I’m not saying that someone can’t do magic for good ends at the office (me!) or do magic which plays with their buttonholes (Crowley) but have the long game in mind always. This is a very long way of espousing the virtue of Mindfulness but I think this is also something the West hasn’t really expressed very well. Reading any of Dee, for instance, he always starts out humbling himself and “for the glory of God” and that God would manifest such and such through him. We are all God, but down here we are simply a long distant ray of light from the Monad. No less brilliant than the origin, because within it contains the reflection of all things, but it has made quite a journey, and our differences are merely ripples on the same pond.
Which bring us to the second mystery – redemption. I mean redemption as in the ability to press anything to service of improving the general spirit and lives of others. Volumes have been written by CS Lewis and others on the Christian version of it which seems to be centered around suffering and tends to feel like cheap Buddhism. Dukkha appears 500 years before Christ and I’m not convinced he spoke the language but I do believe he grasped the idea. There’s endless books on the Christian and Buddhist version of redemption so I think it would be best to provide examples of the Ceremonial Magic view of the thing. For that, we turn to someone near and dear to my heart – Uncle Al – who lived a post-redemption life.
I’m not talking about redeeming people here – I am talking about redeeming actions and things. Things are a fairly easy concept to deal with. They exist until the universe doesn’t and that is the beginning and end of all physical natures. We should be thankful that at some point the physical universe ends because it will be the end of re-incarnation and of suffering. At least on the physical plane. Additionally, things are neither good nor bad. I find no fault with the atom because of nuclear weapons and I find no virtue in the atom because of nuclear power. Similarly, Jesus doesn’t curse the baskets because they don’t have fish or bread, Mohamed doesn’t curse the field because the wheat is not watered. It simply is the state of things, and things are waiting for someone with divine nature to change them. If it were that we did not possess the divine nature, we would just be the same as rocks and fields. (Upcoming Coffee Club will give us the quick tour of this exploring the Greek ideas). Rocks and fields do not have a will of their own. I would not accuse a rock of being lazy simply because it lays around all day. Is the world evil by default? I would argue it is not. This is something which gets explored in Asatru/Odinism a lot but the war the gods fight is a war on entropy. Things which exist therefor glorify the Monad, the One Thing, as reflections. In Asatru, it is the gods literally expending the effort to care and feed the world tree. In a much more personal sense, this is why we use wands or cups or whatever physical objects and why this is not wrong. If matter were inherently evil, we would simply use astral wands, and then wander into bizarre theological territory where the astral version reflected the evil of the normal version and Kurt Cobain is Jesus Christ because he was smart enough to check out as early as possible. The physical world is not evil, it just barely exists on the side of good. People, however, can make that choice to press it into the service of evil, or good.
That’s all very abstract, and flirts with being useless for the layperson looking to get into magic. In fact I would venture that most people who are into magic have stopped reading this post by this point because they can look at their own bellybuttons as well as I can. Lets explore some concrete examples. For one, I use magic in the office. That’s great, that seems horribly mundane and (Levi) “profanes the Holy Spirit”. How do I justify this? Is this truly transgression? It depends on how I ask and what the goal might be. I will get further, in my opinion, if instead of asking for someone to be fired, I ask for them to find a job where they can grow. I will get further, in my opinion, if I ask for any job sufficient to pay the mortgage (a concrete value) than if I ask for Scrooge McDuck riches. On the macro-scale, look at the Catholic church. The Pope trades his elaborate throne for a humble wingback and people love him. On a more personal scale, Crowley doesn’t run out his days in a mansion, but instead lives in a boarding house (which probably had a servant too) which was comfortable and adequate for his health, practice, and study. If someone were Wiccan they would do well to cultivate the forest and clean the waterways. If someone were Abrahamic they would do well to donate to the food bank or have lunch with a homeless person. Those aren’t hard and fast rules, they are merely suggestions, but what this accomplishes is the affirmation that we are the Godhead. The meal for the homeless becomes the sacrament. Cleaning the beach becomes washing the feet. The redemption isn’t about people, it’s about making every act a magical act, which is why this really dovetails into the first axiom that we are all God.
You are God. Go create. Next time you water the plants, you are Mohamed. Next time you share your bread, you are Jesus.