Archive for the ‘solomonic’ Category
Some time ago, I was given a beautiful signed copy of Avalonia’s The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet: a 17th Century London Cunning-man’s Book of Charms, Conjurations and Prayers, edited by David Rankine. With several writing projects and public events to get through this year, it has taken me some time to finish the book and gather my notes for a proper review. Yet, I feel this book is important enough for me to return to it and share what I have found.
So, why do I feel this book is so important? Even better, you may be asking, why should you be interested in the obscure personal grimoire of some guy whose name you’ve never heard before? The answer to both questions is the same, and it comes in two parts. First, I will discuss who Arthur Gauntlet was and then I will discuss the particular treasure his grimoire contains.
Many of you may know that I have described Solomonic magick as a form of “urban shamanism.” Some have taken exception to my use of the term “shamanism” to describe a system of occultism that arose among city-dwelling Christians in the Medieval and Renaissance eras. Most readers, on the other hand, have understood that my use of the term was based on a strict definition of “shamanism” as a social role. In this sense, a shaman is a person who operates outside of Church or Temple authority, and serves his or her community as a liaison between common folk and the realm of spirits. They act as healers and exorcists, and perform spells for day-to-day needs: such as love, money, jobs, friendship, favor with authority figures, finding lost items, divination of the future, etc.
Based on that definition, I have contended that Solomonic mages have historically served the functions of the shaman for their communities. While modern wizards have a tendency to lock themselves away in private and work magick for their own needs, the stereotypical wizard of the past offered his services – usually for a fee – to the laypersons of his town or village. (Much as we see with local cunning men and women and folk magicians even today.)
The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet is a wonderful illustration of this very paradigm. Arthur Gauntlet was a physician of the early seventeenth century, living in a time when medicine still included the use of astrology, magickal talismans and images, and incantations alongside the mundane applications of herbal remedies and tinctures. He moved in circles we would today consider occult – knowing such men as William Lilly, William Laud and possibly even Alias Ashmole (who ended up in possession of Gauntlet’s grimoire and claimed to recognize the man’s handwriting). He also employed a skryer named Sarah Skelhorn, who worked with him until 1636 – the possible time of his death.
Without a doubt, Arthur Gauntlet offered his services – both as a healer and a magician – to his community. And what we have in his grimoire is a practicing wizard’s working notebook – not merely a manuscript intended for mass publication as we find in many of the more common grimoires (i.e. the Key of Solomon the King or the Lemegeton). Instead, The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet falls in the category of a true receipt book – a record of the spells and charms and occult wisdom of a Solomonic mage and healer actively plying his trade.
We can easily see the practical nature of this grimoire by looking at the included material along with the order in which it is recorded:
- On the very first pages we find general instructions for all magick as taught by Ptolemy and Cyprian.
- Following these are the preliminary prayers to God and Psalms for defense and success in all matters, as well as conjurations against all evil spirits, that Dr. Gauntlet was likely to have used at the start of any magickal or healing operation. These include a prayer “for thy Genius” – showing that Dr. Gauntlet understood the importance of invoking his Patron or Guardian Angel at the start of any magickal work.
- Next, we find several charms that, I wager, were used by Dr. Gauntlet somewhat early in his career. (Later sections of the grimoire will contain a larger number and greater variety of such charms.) In this section, we find charms for protection, making spent money return and one for healing a person sick with “worms in his body.”
- Following these are the “49 Aphorisms” copied entirely from the Arbatel of Magic. This is the first of many inclusions from more popular grimoires, showing that Dr. Gauntlet was always on the look out for occult manuscripts to further his own understanding of the magickal arts.
- Next we find a rather lengthy section dedicated to the evocation of angels into a shewstone – several examples of which include the use of a child skryer. (This was a common feature of Solomonic magick, though we know that Gauntlet employed an adult woman for this purpose.) After the instructions given for summoning the angels, several sets of instructions are given for employing the angels for various purposes: discovering theft, finding hidden treasure, curing sickness, obtaining prophecy, returning lost cattle, returning runaway servants and children, and defense against witchcraft.
This section continues with alternate methods of summoning angels for yet further purposes – such as protection, theft, love and pleasures of the flesh.
- Next we find another inclusion from a popular grimoire: this time from the Heptameron. Included are the instructions for creating a magickal circle, exorcism of the fire, information about the garment and pentacle (including several versions of such a pentacle), and the full evocation ceremony – complete with the “considerations” and conjurations for the angels and spirits of every day of the week.
- Following all of this is a lengthy section of text drawn from the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy – teaching general occult philosophy, characters and forms of spirits, creation of sigils and talismans, books of spirits, evocation, obtaining oracles, etc.
- Then we find several sets of instructions for binding spirits to crystals, and the skrying of the same.
- Next are several experiments of necromancy or summoning the spirits of the dead. The most lengthy of these operations will be of much interest to any of you have have read Jake Stratton-Kent’s Geosophia, because it involves conjuring the spirit of a recently deceased person to go and fetch a fairy named “Sibilia” – who is apparently one of the Sybils (Oracles) of Greek history and myth.
- This is followed, surprisingly, with an elaborate ceremony for summoning “Sathan” (aka Satan) for the purpose of divination upon any subject whatsoever. This is apparently based on the philosophy that Satan is the “god of this world” and should therefore know everything that happens within it. This section ends with the spirit-curses found in many Solomonic texts for entities that are disobedient.
- The following section includes instructions for making and consecrating a magickal wand – the only magickal tool that Dr. Gauntlet seems to have used in his work. (No swords or knives are mentioned.)
- Then we find a section of recipes for incenses appropriate to each planet and zodiac sign. An interesting point here is the fact that all of the planetary perfumes are to be made into “pills” – or small rolled balls. These are created by mixing the powdered plant materials with blood – and in each case the blood is taken from an animal sacred to the planet itself. Such as bat blood for Saturn, that of a white rooster for Sol, that of a goose for Luna, etc.
- The next section might be thought of as a companion to the Sibilia conjuration. This time, the conjuration is for a spirit named “Oberion” – who is obviously the King of Fairies Oberon. It is interesting to note that this ritual also includes an invocation of the “Kaberion”, who are likely the Kabiri of ancient Greek mythos.
- Next we find a section dedicated to various Psalmic charms that Dr. Gauntlet likely used and prescribed in his practice. These are similar to those found in Use of the Psalms or the Book of Gold. They include charms for healing weakness (exhaustion? consumption? fatigue?), protection from demons, easing colic in infants, gaining honors, eloquence, healing sickness and injury, aiding childbirth, overcoming accusations, discovering theft, exorcising demons, protection of children, stopping bleeding, cramps, curing epilepsy, etc., etc.
This same section continues with more charms that do not depend on Psalms, but instead upon characters, herbs, magickal images and the like. Their purposes are more of the same we have seen – such as the curing of several specific injuries and diseases. Among these are seven “images” (actually more like talismans) attributed to the seven days of the week – and therefore the seven planets – fashioned from different metals and alloys. Each is attributed to a particular effect – such as binding tongues, creating discord or love between couples, etc.
This final section of charms is very lengthy - apparently representing bits of useful magickal lore Dr. Gauntlet acquired along the course of his career. I suspect he would have gone right on expanding this last section indefinitely throughout his lifetime.
Overall, we can see clearly in the above a notebook that would have been in use by an active practitioner of the art – specifically one offering his services to others in his community. The arrangement of the text even gives us a clue into how Dr. Gauntlet went about his ritual process – starting with his preliminary prayers and invocations and the methods by which he (and his skryer) made contact with angelic entities. Then follow the various charms and lore he picked up in his own spiritual quest and professional career. Furthermore, we see in the collected philosophy and lore the progression of Gauntlet’s own understanding of occult philosophy – as he would (certainly after much searching) lay his hands on one grimoire after another and hand-copy the portions of them he felt were most important.
I must also point out that the practical nature of this notebook gives us a rare glimpse into the “nuts and bolts” of Solomonic magickal practice. Where the more popular “mass circulation” grimoires often give us only a broad overview of the methods employed, more often than not mixed with a large amount of mythos and fantasy, Dr. Gauntlet’s grimoire is more concerned with specific how-to’s of the practice.
Some of the best examples of this latter dynamic is found in the instructions for skrying – which are absolutely some of the best I have ever seen in print. While this text and many others give us the rituals to use in skrying angels and spirits, only this one among the classical texts gives step-by-step instructions on how to divine specific information from the entities thus evoked.
The first example is found on p. 117, “How you shall make your demands to the Three Angels And first for a Friend.” It concerns how to question three summoned Angels to tell you exactly where a friend of yours is at the time of the working. (Apparently, Gauntlet’s skryer Sarah used this method often enough to continue using it after his death. The introduction describes Sarah later working for a client who would ask her to divine whether or not her – the client’s – mother was at home before she would commit to taking a trip to visit her. Remember this was the day before the phone, or even the telegraph or mail service. It would appear that Sarah was accurate enough in this divination to remain in the employ of the same client for many years.)
In the instructions given on p. 117, we learn that one did not simply ask the angels “where is my friend so-and-so right now?” Instead, a specific process was undertaken: First one asks the angels to show a vision of the friend in whatsoever place he or she may be. The vision will be granted, but no place will be named. The skryer must then ask how far away this place is – “is it five miles away? six miles? seven? eight? ten? twenty?” etc – until an exact number is settled upon. Then the skryer asks which direction the location lies from the current location – asking “is it north from here? south? east? west?” Then the skryer must ask, “Is it such-and-such a place?” The place must be specifically named by the skryer, and possible locations are to be named until the angels answer in the affirmative.
On p. 118, “How you shall make your demands for Theft to the Three Angels” we are told to use the exact same process. First one asks to see the thief – so that a description of the person can be recorded. Then, to find the present location of the thief, one goes through the same sort of questioning one used to locate a friend. First how many miles off he is – naming different distances until one is affirmed. Then which direction, then naming specific locations until one is confirmed as the hideout of the thief.
Also on p. 118 we find “For Treasure hidden”, which uses a similar but more restricted process. One first determines the land wherein one believes treasure is buried. Then the process of elimination is followed as above – only using feet rather than miles.
On p. 119 we learn how this kind of divination is done “For Sickness.” Once the angels have been summoned, the symptoms of the sickness are explained to the entities. Then one asks if the patient is going to live or die. If it is divined that he will die, one then asks how long that will be in coming by naming different lengths of time. If it is divined that the patient will recover, one must then ask how that recovery will take place. Will it be accomplished naturally, or will the doctor need to apply medicines? If it is to be by medicine, then one must determine the disease by naming known maladies until the angels affirm the one afflicting the patient. Then remedies and treatments are to be named until the angels confirm the one(s) that should be applied. Then one asks how long the recovery will take – once again by naming different lengths of time.
What a perfect illustration of how divination is properly done! One can imagine using this technique with a divinatory device such as a pendulum, geomantic squilling, a toss of coins or any other method that can provide a “yes or no” answer to any question. At no point are the angels expected to simply state outright the location of the person or the nature and cure of the disease - but these must be divined one bit at a time until the answer is finally settled upon via a process of elimination.
As you can see, there are many treasures to be found in the Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet. I agree with the editor when he suggests, in the introduction, that this book shows the marks of a person who actually used this material in the real world. That is what makes this book so important. The nuts-and-bolts nature of the instructions give us a rare insight into how this kind of magick was really done – much akin to the few precious eyewitness accounts of such rituals that have been preserved in various journals.
But even those eyewitness accounts are second-hand at best – descriptions of what a person saw and thought they were seeing that gives us little insight into the motivations and skills of the wizard himself. (Imagine, for example, trying to describe to another what you saw a surgeon do during an operation. It would hardly amount to an instruction manual for surgery.) Meanwhile, The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet gives us a real view into Solomonic practice much akin to the eyewitness accounts, while also giving us the step-by-step instruction to do it ourselves.
Yet again – not long after their publications of The Veritable Key of Solomon, A Treatise of Mixed Cabala and The Book of Gold – Avalonia and David Rankine have provided us with another leap forward in our modern understanding of classical Solomonic occultism. Therefore I must urge you to pick up The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet – whether you are a student of cultural history or an active practitioner, you will discover treasures buried within the pages of this obscure physician’s personal grimoire.
I asked Scarlet Imprint to hold back my review of Jake Kent’s Geosophia because I had published it elsewhere first. Then, we both seem to have lost track and only today did Scarlet Imprint contact me to say “Uh… do you mind if we publish it now??” LOL So, if you’ve been waiting for it (and I know you have!), here it is:
From the Greeks to the Grimoires: a Review of Jake Kent’s Geosophia
Greetings, faithful followers!
I thought it might be useful – for me as well as my readers - to post my favorite recipes for planetary incenses here.
In a best case scenario, you would want each incense to include the planet’s sacred number of ingredients. Thus, Saturn incense should include three ingredients, Jupiter incense should contain four, etc. The down side to this is when you reach the higher-numbered planets: six ingredients for Sol and seven for Venus isn’t so much, but by the time you reach Luna’s nine ingredients the recipies begin to get unwieldy. Another option is to have all the recipies include the same sacred number of ingrendients. Three and seven are always “standard” sacred numbers for nearly any purpose.
I generally choose three ingredients for mine – representing each of the three worlds described by Agrippa (physical, mental and spiritual), or the three shamanic worlds (celestial, terrestrial and the underworld). I have found that simpler is better when it comes to mixing aromatic powders together. Quite often, substances that you think would smell wonderful when burned together, instead create acrid and unpleasant burning smells. Whatever number you choose, it will take some trial and error before you find the exact mixture that works best for you.
Incense of Saturn/Saturday:
1 part Myrrh
1 part Asafoetida
1/4 part Sulphur
Incense of Jupiter/Thursday:
1 part cedar
1/4 part clove
1/8th part apple pectin
A few drops of pine oil
NOTE: This is a rare case where I use more than three ingredients, and four is sacred to Jupiter. I find that apple pectin tends to have an acrid burning smell – so I add very little and then offset it with the pine oil.
Incense of Mars/Tuesday:
1 part Pipe Tobacco (or, my favorite, “Black and Mild”)
1/2 part Cinnamon
1/8th part Crushed Red Pepper
WARNING!: Martian incense is one of the most dangerous substances I’ve worked with! It is, quite simply, tear gas. If you make this, do not add too much red pepper. And when you burn it, do it in small quantities. Never, for any reason, lean over the censor and inhale or draw in breath! Too much pepper or direct inhalation can burn your throat and lungs.
Incense of Sol/Sunday:
1 part Frankincense
1 part Copal
1/2 part Benzoin.
NOTE: You may also use standard “Church” incense, which can be found in most botanicas or christian supply stores.
Incense of Venus/Friday:
1 part Sanalwood
1 part Benzoin
1/2 Red Rose Petals
Incense of Mercury/Wednesday:
1 part Benzoin
1/4 part Frankencense
1/8 part Lavender Blossoms
Incense of Luna/Monday:
1 part Calamus
1/2 part Juniper Berries
1/4 part Gardenia Flower
As a note, I generally find that the various flowers used in the above incenses tend to produce a burnt smell when placed on hot coals. A good solution is to replace the flowers with a drop or two of essential oil instead. Just be careful, as too much flower essence will quickly overpower the other ingredients in the recipe.
You should, of course, test these recipes and tweak them according to your tastes and intuition. Or, if you feel inspired to do so, try making scents with the planetary number of ingredients. A wonderful resource for this work is Scott Cunningham’s Incenses Oils and Brews.
Also, you can use these for Elemental incenses as well:
Fire: Martian Incense
Water: Lunar Incense
Air: Mercury Incense
Earth: Saturn incense*
(* – Personally, I find Saturn incense too noxious for Earth. My favorite Earthy scent is Patchouli.)
May you find these suffumigations useful and powerful in your magick.
I was recently a guest on an episode of the ‘Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole’ Podcast. We talked for about an hour (on the air – and about as long off the air afterward!) and had an absolute blast. We discussed Solomonic magick and its place in the current occult revival, its relationship to the African-Caribbean Diaspora traditions (Santeria, Voodoo, Hoodoo, etc) and about grimoire magick in general.
Check out the Podcast here.
I can’t wait to hang out with those guys again soon. I believe the topic will be Enochian magick and the Angelical Language.
It looks like this is the year for Jupiter work! (Of course, that may be partly due to my membership in the ‘Gentlemen for Jupiter” occult group – Jupiter has certainly been “in the air.”) The first was earlier this year: an Invocation of the Archangel Iophiel. That was not done for any specific magickal goal, but simply because it was high time we made offerings to our house gods. Iophiel was first, then Michael – later we shall make some offerings to Bast. We also made offerings to Samael as part of a Mixed-Qabalah talisman consecration. And that brings us back to the present:
There are certain goals we need to accomplish by the end of this year and on into the next, and Jupiter was the best choice to address them. (Sol may also have worked, but I decided to stick with Jupiter for several subtle reasons.) I decided to utilize the Mixed-Qabalah process I had used so successfully with Samael – this time calling upon Sachiel instead. Here is some info on this archangel:
The Archangel Sachiel (Zadkiel)
The archangel Sachiel is also known as Zadkiel (the Righteousness of God). As Zadkiel, he is an extremely exalted angel in charge of the Sephirah Chesed (Divine Mercy) and the angelic choir called the Chashmalim (the Brilliant Ones).
As Sachiel, he is the supreme archangel of Jupiter and Thursday, as well as the sixth heaven called Zebul. He is the angel of righteousness, benevolence, mercy, forgiveness and freedom.
It was Zadkiel/Sachiel who stayed the hand of Abraham before he could sacrifice his son Isaac. Zadkiel and Iophiel (the Intelligence of the planet Jupiter) are both considered standard-bearers who follow Michael into battle.
For this work, I decided to make use of the Mixed-Qabalah process that I first found in A Treatise of Mixed Cabalah, published by Avalonia Press. It involves an eight-day ritual for the consecration of a wax (or metallic) talisman. It is the same ritual I used for Samael earlier this year, except I made some necessary changes to the Psalms used in the invocations. The primary Psalm listed in the Treatise… was perfect for martial Samael work, but I wanted to use something appropriate for Jupiter in this case. In the end I found two Psalms I felt strongly about (Psalms 112 and 113): one was the Psalm from which the verse upon the wax talisman was taken, and the other was a very Jupiterian Psalm that struck me as proper for this work. (Actually, only the first Psalm would have been necessary, but I felt strongly enough about the second to include it even though it added extra time to my seven-fold invocations.)
During the work, I was also directed by the angels to make specific changes to the prayers outlined in the Treatise…. Mostly inserting the proper name of God (El, in the case of Jupiter) into the invocations at certain points, along with a clear statement of purpose at a point where the given prayers merely ask for general guidance and support from the angels.
We decided to make four talismans at once. Not only is it the number of Jupiter, but it allowed each adult in the house to keep one while we placed the fourth in a specific location on our property (as directed by Sachiel). Like last time, we used a mold to cast the talismans at the end of the process – this time being our first experiment with creating a silicon mold.
I prepared myself for three days before I began the consecrations. It started with a full Solomonic Bath, after which I began a vegetarian diet, general seclusion and complete sexual abstinence. There is also a prayer in the Key of Solomon that asks God to show kindness and mercy and see to it that the spirits one intends to call should appear. (See Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, p. 215.) I recited this once in the mornings and twice in the evenings.
The ritual began on the next Thursday. At that time (actually the Wednesday night beforehand) I began to fast each night after sundown. I continued the diet and seclusion as before.
You can read a full write-up of the Mixed Qabalah procedure in the post about my Samael working. In short, it involves entering the temple each morning at dawn (after washing up), kindling the Holy Lamp and Censor (each with proper exorcisms of fire) and reciting the Psalms, blessings and invocations seven times over the raw wax. Then the wax is taken to the kitchen where it is melted down, while reciting further invocations and an invitation to the angel of the day. At the end of the week, the wax had been blessed by all seven planetary archangels – with Sachiel presiding over the operation. On the eighth and final day, Sachiel was invoked once more and the wax was cast into the finished talismans. (As before, we cast the wax disks with the names and figures already upon them – then Carrie added the Psalm verse in the center by hand.)
Once the process was complete, we wrapped the talismans in blue cloth. We asked Sachiel to provide us with any necessary information on how to best use the talismans, along with anything specific he wanted for his offerings. We planned to make the offerings seven days later – on the next Thursday – but circumstances arose that made that impossible. So we waited another seven days and made the offerings on the next Thursday instead.
The offering ritual was very similar to what you’ve already seen in my Iophiel invocation ritual and my Michael invocation ritual – though we did simplify it a bit. Rather than the pattern of prayers and Psalms you see in those invocations, I simply re-iterated the prayers (one to God and one to Sachiel plus the two Psalms) that had been used during the talisman consecration itself. (This is similar to how we handled the Samael offerings after the last Mixed Qabalah working.)
The offerings were standard Jupiter fare – flowers (violet and orange this time), apples, cranberries, nuts, various cooked vegetables (corn, green beans), sheaths of wheat, etc – all in fours or multiples of four. We included four blue seven-day candles and four glasses of water, as well as a glass of milk and a glass of honey mead. I also made four Jupiter Cakes once again (see the Iophiel invocation for full instructions and photos) and covered them with fine honey. Also, as I did with Samael before, I included the consecrated wax left over from the talismans. I inscribed Sachiel’s name and seal into the wax, then (at his request) wrapped it in blue linen. All of this will rest on the altar for four days, then what is left over will be taken to the river.
We made the offering on an hour of Jupiter. My usual choice is dawn, but we had some last minute items to pick up and so waited until the second Jupiter hour of the day. At the proper time, I made the Jupiter cakes and Carrie boiled the vegetables. Then I went to take a brief cleansing bath, then prepared the sacred space and altar with holy water and a recitation of Solomon’s Consecration Prayer for the Temple. Then we assembled the offerings onto the altar and performed the invocations.
Once I had made the invocations and myself and Carrie had shared some of the offerings with Sachiel, we took some photos of the altar. (We usually take the photos before we partake of the food, but we got a bit caught up and forgot to do it that way this time.) Here are a few of the photos, enjoy:
Altar and Offerings to Sachiel
Altar to Sachiel
Icon of Sachiel/Zadkeil
Talismans of Jupiter placed upon the Name and Seal of Sachiel
This year has been fairly active concerning our house gods. First, we worked with Samael for the protection of our home. Then we called upon Iophiel to bring prosperity into the house. Now, we turn our attention to another old and trusted friend of the family (in fact, the first archangel with whom I built a relationship): St. Michael.
St. Michael Slays the Dragon
Michael is the Archangel of the Sun – the representative of God’s Light here on Earth. He is the highest archangel (besides Metatron himself) and sits at the right-hand of the Divine Throne. Some traditions also consider him an Angel of Fire and/or an Angel of Mercury. As the Angel of the Sun, he is the General of the Heavenly Armies, the High Priest of the Celestial Temple, Patron of Israel and the quintessential Guardian Angel. He is patron to soldiers (especially para-troopers and pilots), police officers and warriors of all types. It was Michael who defeated Lucifer in single combat, and cast the Dragon down from Heaven.
In his Mercurial aspect, he judges the dead with his scales and guides the souls to Paradise or Gehenna according to their deeds in life. (Legend has it he also brings the souls out of Gehenna to rest on the Sabbath, and perhaps liberates souls from there once they have paid their karmic debt.) He is a benevolent Angel of Death, and carries the souls of the righteous to heaven. As an archangel with chthonic associations, he is an angel of war and plague as well as of protection and healing. In some traditions, Michael is considered a divine physician and healer on par with Raphael. He is patron of EMTs, emergency workers and all first responders.
We knew that offerings to Michael were long overdue. It would have been great to perform the rite on/near midsummer, but we were unable to do that. The next Sunday was also a no-go, as it stormed non-stop all day, and I just didn’t like the idea of making offerings to the Sun while the sky was dark and stormy. So we put it off for an extra week, and that actually allowed us more time to properly prepare.
Talisman of Michael
Part of the preparation was the re-construction of Michael’s Talisman. Many of you have seen that Talisman, because a photo of it is included on my Facebook and Myspace accounts. However, the Talisman itself has become lost after two moves. (Other Talismans that were stored with it are still here, but Michael’s has vanished.) Therefore, on the Wednesday before the ritual, on an hour of Sol, my wife painted a new version on consecrated paper. On dawn of the following Sunday, I performed the Solomonic talisman consecration – found on p. 320-322 of Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires or the Key of Solomon, Book I, Chapter 8.
Note that the Psalm verse written in the circumference is Psalm 113 verse 5: “Who is like unto the Lord our God, who is on high.” I feel that Michael led me to this Psalm, because his name translates into English as “Who is like unto God?” The entire Psalm seems very much in sympathy with Michael as well (it even mentions the Sun), so I consider this Michael’s Psalm:
Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high,
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.
With the consecration completed, we set about preparing the offerings that would be used for the invocation at noon of the same day. Here is the ritual that I followed:
Offering Ritual for Archangel Michael
It is best to choose a Sunday when Sol is well aspected in the heavens, and he should be above the horizon at the time of working. Dawn or Noon are best. The most powerful time of year to do this ritual is when Sol resides in the sign of Leo. It can also be done to good effect upon Michael’s feast days: September 29th (Western) or November 8th (Eastern).
On Saturday evening, cover a table or altar with a gold, yellow or white cloth. Place a talisman and/or image of Archangel Michael upon the altar. (If it is a talisman, place it in the center. If an image, set it toward the east facing westward.) You will need a censor and an incense of Sol.
(Note: I use three ingredients for incense of Sol: 1 part frankincense, 1 part copal, 1/2 part benzoin. You may also use standard “Church” incense.)
Also prepare all elements of the offering to Sol: A yellow seven-day candle. A glass of milk, A glass of red wine. A plate with six pieces of bread and honey. Also add citrus fruits, pomegranate, hot peppers, fruits that are dried in the sun (raisins, dates, etc) and/or solar flowers (red or yellow roses, sunflowers, daisies, etc) – all in groups of six. (Note that the herb Angelica is especially sacred to Michael.) You may also offer Michael red meat or rooster (not chicken) meat – thoroughly cooked.
On Sunday just before sunrise or noon, wash yourself and don the white robe. At sunrise or noon, set the offering to Sol upon the table. The yellow candle should occupy the center – directly upon the talisman if there is one. Around this arrange the food offerings. You may also add any gift offerings for Michael, or items you wish for him to touch – such as golden jewelery or trinkets, talismans, stones, oils, written prayers or petitions, etc.
Light the yellow candle and the censor with the proper exorcisms. Then exorcise and consecrate the offerings with the sprinkler and censor. Finally, standing west of the altar facing eastward, recite the following invocations over them:
Prayer to YHVH Eloah v’Daath
YHVH Eloah v’Daath, God of all Knowledge, who wearest the Sun as a jewel upon Thy finger. Thou who art the Light of the World, the LVX that shineth in the darkness. Thou radiant God who delights in warmth and brightness, granting life and heat to all created things. From whose face the creatures of darkness and ignorance must flee in terror. In your Name are all evil spirits expelled, all sickness abated, all unhappiness transformed into joy. I ask that you bless and sanctify this offering, that it may be pleasing unto You and Your Angels.
I ask, also, that you send to me the holy Archangel Michael: who sitteth upon thy right hand, judge of souls, protector of Israel, driver of the Chariot of the Sun. May he also enjoy these offerings, and be pleased with them, and bear our prayers of thanksgiving unto Thy Celestial Throne. Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen +
The Penitential Psalms
(Note: For any other Solar Angel, I would recite six Psalms related to Sol. However, Michael prefers to be summoned via the seven Penitential Psalms.)
Psalm 6 (“O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.”)
Psalm 32 (“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”)
Psalm 38 (“O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.”)
Psalm 51 (“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness…”)
Psalm 102 (“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.”)
Psalm 130 (“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord”)
Psalm 143 (“Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications…”)
Invitation to Michael
I invoke thee, St. Michael! Holy Archangel of the Solar sphere! I call upon thee within thy realm of Beauty and Majesty!
Michael, Mighty, Pure, Wise, Prudent, Intelligent, Prince of the World, Light of the Stars, Golden and Splendorous, Phoebus – shining over the whole World!
Michael, who art High Priest of the Celestial Temple. Mighty General of the Heavenly Hosts! Celestial Guardian Angel! You who cast down the fearsome Dragon and broke the Serpent beneath thy foot! Who sitteth at the right hand of God and weigheth the Souls in the Scales of Truth.
O Michael, when I have called upon you in times of need, you have answered. You have banished darkness from my home, dispelled storms and saved the lives of loved ones. You have been a faithful friend and protector of my family, and have brought honor and glory into our lives. For all of this we thank you!
Come thou forth and partake of these offerings, which we have prepared in thy honour and to the glory of YHVH Eloah v’Daath. May you find them pleasing and empowering. I ask that you offer your blessings to my home and family, and bear our offerings and prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine Court. We petition thee for strength and protection in all of our undertakings, and that the light of thy wisdom should guide and keep us at all times. In the name of YHVH Eloah v’Daath. Amen.
Repeat the Invitation six times. Then, share in the feast you have offered to the Angel – taking bites of each food item and sips of the wine and milk. Leave the offerings in place until the yellow candle burns completely away (and no less than six days). Place the remains in a natural place, into running water or at a crossroads.
- End -
Ritual of Michael Journal Entry
Altar to St. Michael
I began by fasting from before midnight on Saturday night until after the invocation was performed at noon the next day. At the dawn of Sunday morning, I took a simplified ritual bath and consecrated the Talisman. Then I erected the altar to Michael: beginning with a covering of golden yellow cloth. The large full-color icon was painted by my wife Carrie Mikell. Plus I found a few of my own favorite Michael engravings and paintings to print out and place with it. In front of these we set various talismans of Sol as well as our written petitions to Michael. (Each petition was written with consecrated pen on consecrated paper, then folded three times – a multiple of six – toward ourselves.) In the center of the altar rested the Talisman with a yellow seven day candle set over it.
Then we went outside and fired up the grill. We used natural wood charcoal, and I added Angelica and solar incense to the coals. I cooked a steak until it was well done (it smelled wonderful!). That was placed on a plate and garnished with six havenero peppers and six banana peppers (all appropriately yellow color). This was then surrounded by the other solar offerings: a pomegranate cut into six pieces, six sunflowers, a dozen yellow/red hybrid roses (in two sets of six), and six stalks of wheat. We then added a bowl of citrus fruit (grapefruit, orange and lemon) and a plate of fresh bread covered with organic honey and garnished with sun-dried tomatoes and apricots – again, every one in groups of six. (The honey was very thick and had to be spread on the bread like butter. It’s the best honey I’ve ever tasted.) Finally, we added a glass of red wine and a glass of milk. There was hardly room on the altar top for all of it!
Offerings to St. Michael
I followed the ritual as I have it written. I put on a gold Michael medallion that has become standard for me whenever I work with him, and the blinds were already opened to let the sunlight into the room. I lit the candle and the censor with the proper Solomonic exorcisms, and consecrated the offering with holy water and incense. I performed the invocations (burning even more incense), then called everyone in the house to come and share Michael’s feast. We each took a bite of most everything on the altar (a couple of us even bit into the haveneros to impress Michael) and sipped the wine and milk.
We will leave the offerings on the altar for at least six days – or until we see visible signs that Michael is well done with his meal. Then, as before, we will take the remains to a local river and cast them into the running water.
UPDATE: Michael seems to be pleased and (his Icon) is now back home by the
front door. It was interesting: Usually, when you remove something like a poster or large painting from your wall, it leaves a big blank spot that nags at your consciousness for a few days. However, this did not happen when I removed Michael’s Icon from its place. The entire week his Icon rested on the altar in the Temple, he also seemed to STILL be by the front door. (This was mentioned by every adult in the house – none of whom even noticed that Michael’s Icon was gone at first.) There was never a nagging blank-spot feeling there. Now he is back home again, like he never moved. (Except now he has a brand new charged Talisman behind him, and a copy of the ritual I used to call him down.)
We did indeed take the offerings to the river after six days. I actually had to remove the fruit items from the altar after 5 days, as they began to mold. (A sure sign the spirit is done with them.) Everything else rested there until the sixth day, and then all was taken to the river. I have a picture that I will add here later.
Somewhat recently, I performed a lengthy invocation of Samael, the Archangel of Mars, to establish a barrier of protection around my property. It did not occur to me to photo-document the procedure, as it is not my usual habit to do such a thing. However, I did take the rare step of writing up the entire process for publication – which I posted here.
Once the protective work was done around our home, we decided it was time to make offerings and invocations to one of our house patrons, the Archangel Iophiel, Intelligence of the planet Jupiter. It would be a great counterbalance to the martial forces at our property borders, and who couldn’t use an influx of divine benevolence and prosperity into one’s home and family? Iophiel has been a trusted friend for a very long time, and offerings to him were long overdue anyway.
- Mighty Archangel Jofiel
My first evocation of this Archangel goes back a long way, and he has been a trustworthy friend to me and those close to me ever since. In case you are unfamiliar with him:
Iophiel is the Intelligence of the planet Jupiter and the Archangel who tends the Garden of Eden. In some traditions he is one of the Seven Spirits that Stand before the Face of God. He presides over vegetation and produce, fertile fields and livestock, feasting and friendship, prosperity and happiness. Think of Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Present, and that spirit’s connections to Jovial gods such as Odin and Zeus. He is also an angelic Prince of the Torah, and as such is one of the companion angels of Metatron. Of course, Jupiter has his stern side as well. He is the grizzled warrior, quick to draw his weapon and strike when moved by Honour. It was Iophiel’s duty to drive the fallen Adam and Eve from the Garden – and it is implied that he guards the Gates of Eden with the Sword of Ever-Turning Flame to this day. If you’re looking for blessings from Paradise, you have to go through this Archangel. Fortunately, he likes humans and wants you to have those blessings – so long as you are willing to work or fight for the right to have them.
As it happened, we were preparing to make a trip to the Florida Pagan Gathering’s Beltaine festival. I was invited to give three lectures and sell a few books, and my wife was going to sell custom henna tattoos. It made sense to make the offerings to Iophiel before we undertook such a business venture. And since the festival started on a Thursday, it seemed particularly appropriate to make the offerings at dawn of that very day.
The first thing I did was create the invocations I would use (following the general instructions given in chapter seven of Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires), along with the basic ritual I would follow to make the offering. Here is the final product:
Offering Ritual for Archangel Iophiel
It is best to choose a Thursday when Jupiter is well aspected in the heavens, and better still if he will be above the horizon by dawn of that day. The most powerful times of year to do this ritual are when Jupiter resides in the signs of Sagittarius or Pisces. (In America, Thanksgiving is also a good time for this work, as it is a Jupiterian feast day.)
On Wednesday evening, cover a table or altar with a blue or white cloth. Place a talisman and/or image of Archangel Iophiel upon the altar. (If it is a talisman, place it in the center. If an image, set it toward the east facing westward.) You will need a censor and an incense of Jupiter.
(Note: I use four ingredients for incense of Jupiter: 1 part cedar, 1/4 part clove, 1/8th part nutmeg and apple pectin. (The last two don’t smell great to me when they burn, so I add very little.))
Also prepare all elements of the offering to Jupiter: A blue seven-day candle. A glass of milk, A glass of a fruity wine (such as reisling) or honey mead. A plate with four pieces of bread and honey. And fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, cereals, and/or flowers – all in groups of four.
On Thursday just before sunrise, wash yourself and don the white robe. At sunrise, set the offering to Jupiter upon the table. The blue candle should occupy the center – directly upon the talisman if there is one. Around this arrange the food offerings. You may also add any gift offerings for Iophiel, or items you wish for Iophiel to touch – such as tin trinkets, talismans, stones, oils, written prayers or petitions, etc.
Light the blue candle and the censor with the proper exorcisms. Then exorcise and consecrate the offerings with the sprinkler and censor. Finally, standing west of the altar facing eastward, recite the following invocations over them:
Prayer to El
El, strong and mighty, who reignest from thy Holy Mountain. Thou who art the Source of the Spring of Life. Who sendest the dew of Heaven to the dry earth, and the divine Manna to the hungry. Thou who art jovial and beneficent, and delight in feasting and bounty and Mercy. Great King who’s throne abideth upon a firm foundation. I ask that you bless and sanctify this offering, that it may be pleasing unto You and Your Angels.
I ask, also, that you send to me the holy Archangel Iophiel: who standeth before Thy Face, a companion of Metatron, a prince of the Torah, the mighty Intelligence of the Jupiter star, and director of the Jovial spirits of the earth: that he may also enjoy these offerings, and be pleased with them, and bear our prayers of thanksgiving unto Thy Celestial Throne. Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen +
4 Psalms of Jupiter
Psalm 104: “Bless the Lord, O my soul… ”
Psalm 113: “Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants…”
Psalm 112: “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man…”
Psalm 125 (Iophiel’s Psalm): “They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion…”
(Note: Psalms 113, 112 and 125 are associated with talismans of Jupiter in the Key of Solomon. The talisman associated with Psalm 125 actually has Iophiel’s seal upon it. I discovered Psalm 104 myself, while searching for a quintessential Jupiter Psalm (- although, upon later reflection, I suspect Psalm 104 is intended as Solar….))
Invitation to Iophiel
I invoke thee, Iophiel, mighty intelligence of the Jupiter sphere! Ye who descendeth from Mercy and Lovingkindess!
Iophiel, Good, Fortunate, Sweet, of Good Will, Honest, Pure, Wise Angel of Joy and Judgments!
Iophiel, who protecteth the garden of Paradise. Revealer of Truth, excelling in all goodness, Lord of Riches and Wisdom!
O Iophiel, you have been the protector and benefactor of my family. When we have called upon you in times of need, you have stood close beside us. Come thou forth and partake of these offerings, which we have prepared in thy honour and to the glory of El most high. May you find them pleasing and empowering. I ask that you offer your blessings to my home and family, and bear our offerings and prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine Court. We petition thee for success and prosperity in all of our undertakings, and that the light of thy wisdom should guide and keep us at all times. In the name of El, Most High god of Zion, Amen.
Repeat the Invitation four times. Then, share in the feast you have offered to the Angel – taking bites of each food item and sips of the wine and milk. Leave the remaining offerings in place until the blue candle burns completely away (and no less than four days). Place the remains in a natural place, into running water or at a crossroads.
- End -
So there you have a basic Solomonic invocation and offering ritual – suitable for inclusion in any personal grimoire. Plus, with an understanding of occult philosophy and a little common sense, you can use the above as a template to create similar rituals for any Planet or other force of nature. Let’s take a look at this ritual in action:
Ritual of Iophiel Journal Entry
On the Wednesday night before we left for FPG, I cleaned up the temple room and set up an altar for Iophiel:
Erecting the Altar
In this picture, you see the basic altar set-up. The blue cloth is visible. Iophiel’s statue has the place of honor in the East, presiding over the altar itself. In the center is a Jupiter talisman that was consecrated at the mother temple of the Golden Dawn – so it is not specifically a Iophiel talisman. The censor is in place, and I have ready the invocations I created along with the Bible from which I will read the Psalms. The pen and strips of paper in the upper left corner had been consecrated according to the Key of Solomon some time before.
Petitions for Iophiel
At the Feet of Iophiel
The pen and paper were used to write out petitions or notes to Iophiel. Each adult in the house wrote their own personal message, concerning the household or workplace, etc. You can see my rather generalized request for Jupiterian blessings in the photo. After writing their notes, each person folded their paper four times toward themselves. It is not required for anyone to read aloud or reveal to anyone else what is in their note. These were then laid at Iophiel’s feet upon the altar, along with any personal talismans we desired Iophiel to touch and bless during the rite.
Cornucopia Jupiter Offerings
Here you can see the Jupiterian offerings we gathered for Iophiel. Four kinds of grain/cereal, apples, grapes, green pepper (due to its sweetness), four ears of corn, honey, wine and a blue glass that will hold milk. (Notice how these Jupiter offerings look as if they spilled out of a traditional cornucopia.) I would have offered Iophiel honey mead if I could have located some in time. However, I was able to get Reisling – a fruity wine that comes in an appropriately-colored blue bottle.
Also, I usually include bread to go with the honey. However, as we were gathering the offerings, my wife inspired me to bake my own “Jupiter cakes” out of the grains I wanted to offer – so I did just that:
Jupiter Cake Ingredients
Here are the ingredients for the Jupiter cakes. Four kinds of grain: flour, cornmeal, oatmeal and barley. You can choose other grains and cereals as you wish, but I would suggest keeping the barley. It has a particularly strong association with Jupiter.
I put 1/4 cup of each of the four grains into the mixing bowl, and added 1/2 cup of milk. Then I mixed it together with my hands. (For an added kick, recite one of the Jupiter Psalms as you do so.) The result is something like biscuit batter:
1/4 cup of each grain
1/2 cup of milk
Mix together with your hands
I then poured the batter in four portions onto a greased cookie sheet and baked them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. The result smelled wonderful.
Jupiter Cakes before baking
Jupiter Cakes after baking
Jupiter Cakes on Iophiel's Altar
Finally, the finished cakes were placed on a blue plate and set – still warm – on the altar. Dawn was still a couple of hours away, so I covered them with a white cloth.
I then arranged most of the offerings upon the altar – saving the fruits, vegetables and milk that needed to stay in the refrigerator until the last minute. I also found a bundle of wheat in the temple (we had used some stalks from it in a previous offering), so I included four stalks from it on this altar as well. There was nothing left but to wait until dawn to perform the invocations.
Here is the altar at dawn. The camera flash makes it hard to see, but the window has been opened to allow the rays of dawn to fall upon the altar. You can see I’ve brought in the fruits and vegetables – each one divided into four pieces. (There were 16 grapes.) There is now milk in the glass, the wine is opened and the honey poured upon the Jupiter cakes. The candle and the incense were lit with Solomonic exorcisms, and then the altar was exorcised and sprinkled with the holy water sprinkler.
Holy Water and Sprinkler
Finally, it was time to recite the invocations and the Psalms, calling Iophiel down to enjoy the offerings of thanksgiving. After the ritual was complete, I received the strong urge to partake of the offerings. So I took a sip of the wine, a bite of an apple and a green pepper, and a nibble of one of the honey-covered Jupiter cakes with a swallow of the milk to wash it down. (The cake tasted pretty good, actually.) I could feel Iophiel’s presence coursing through me – enhanced considerably by the eucharist. I invited the others in the house to also share in Iophiel’s feast – which the Angel seemed to greatly enjoy. (In fact, I got the message that it would have insulted him if we had not done so.)
We left the altar as you see it above and two of us left for the festival. (Others in the house were invited to go in once to share the offerings, and otherwise stay out of the temple room.)
I didn’t know it yet, but I was already holding in my hand a good omen that Iophiel was with us. I had received my royalty check a few days previously, and had not bothered to open the envelope. I planned to deposit it in the bank on the way to the festival – so we could stop and pick up some last-minute necessities – and only read the enclosed statement once I got to the teller window. I found a heavier check than I expected, and a notice that The Angelical Language, Vol. II is being translated into French! This was certainly starting our trip off on the right foot!
I’ve already posted my write-up of the wonderful time we had at FPG Beltaine. The business side of the venture went very well. We didn’t get rich – but I sold out of my copies of Secrets of the Magickal Grimories and even sold a few of the Angelical Language books. Carrie did very well selling henna tattoos. We took home a worthwhile profit even after spending all-too-much on new toys and treats for ourselves and gifts for our friends.
Throughout the four days we were away from home, we saw small omens and indications of Iophiel’s presence with us. For example, one of the very first gifts Carrie and I were given by friends at the festival was a bottle of home made honey-mead – the very drink I had wanted to offer to Iophiel! On the way home, a completely random (and uncharacteristic) action on my part resulted in the discovery and repair of what was nearly a major vehicular disaster. Instead, it cost us 20 minutes and a mere $40 to repair and get on our way. Further down the road we took another uncharacteristic action by stopping at a u-pick blackberry farm, and actually stood in the baking sun picking fresh blackberries from vines grown in our native home soil. Iophiel the gardener was pleased. At last, we made it back home to examine the altar:
Altar after four days - 1
Altar after four days - 2
Altar after four days - 3
After four days, we came home and found the blue candle burning its very last bit of fuel. (Meaning it had burned the entire time we were gone.) When it finally went out, it had been exactly four days – and you can see in the above photos how fresh the fruit and vegetables have remained. They have obviously dried out a bit, but there is no rot or discoloration and not a bug to be found. Once we took these off the altar, we saw discoloration and rot set in within a day, and flies had already begun to investigate it. The food items – along with the petitions we had written – were wrapped up and tossed into a nearby river soon afterward.
Because I had obtained honey-mead and fresh blackberries during my Beltaine adventure, I felt it appropriate to offer them to Iophiel as an extra thanks for all of his help throughout the trip. We, of course, all shared some of the mead and berries. This offering is on the altar as I write, and will remain there for four days. Also pictured is a new mortar and pestal I bought at the festival – I made sure the first incense made in it was Iophiel’s:
Secondary Iophiel Offering
And that brings to a close my Solomonic invocation of the Archangel Iophiel – our friend and family protector. I am happy to report a general increase in our finances and household organiziation since re-invigorating Iophiel. As I stated before, this invocation was long overdue! I hope this has been informative for you in your own practice.
Greetings, Festive Heathens! And happy Beltaine to everyone!
In just a few days, we will be heading out for Florida Pagan Gathering in Ocala, where I will be giving three lectures on Solomonic Magick:
I will be selling my books when not lectureing. Also, my wife, Carrie Mikell, will be doing Henna Tattoos – and she is an expert in this field. (She is taken quite seriously by her Indian and Middle Eastern clients.) She will also be selling a few trinkets with Henna designs on them.
With any luck, we will be selling a few cast-wax items as well – such as the Seal of Truth. Keep your fingers crossed on that one!
I will also be drumming my fingers off at the fireside whenever I get a chance – so if you don’t get to attend my lectures, stop by the fire or our table and say hello!
Here is the write-up of my workshops:
Aaron’s Workshops (May 5th-8th):
Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires
Thursday 1:30P-3:30P Oak Hall
The medieval and renaissance grimoires – or magickal textbooks – were among the first occult texts written in book form. Included in this genre are such titles as The Key of Solomon the King, The Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Barrett’s The Magus, The Grand Grimoire and many others.
These classic sourcebooks of Western magick became foundational to such traditions as the Golden Dawn, Thelema, Hoodoo, Hexcraft and even Wicca. Then, for a time, they fell out of use as modern practitioners considered them quaint and outdated, or even outright black in nature.
Thankfully, this view has changed drastically over the last couple of decades, and modern students are finally taking a fresh look at these dusty old tomes and the magickal philosophy they describe. This “Old Magick” is considered one of the most powerful and dangerous magickal systems. In this workshop we will discuss the history of the grimoires as well as the modern Solomonic revival. Any questions you have will be answered, and myths will be busted.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
Magickal Invocations and Conjurations
Friday 4p-6p Valhalla
Creating your own magickal invocations and conjurations can be as simple as composing a prayer or mantra that addresses the beings you wish to contact and states your intent. Many modern Pagan textbooks teach just that- often suggesting the use of rhyme and metre. Ceremonial textbooks tend to skip the rhyme and metre, and focus upon formulaic lists of hierarchies instead.
However, the grimoires and occult textbooks of the Medieval and Renaissance eras- which preserve what we call the Old Magick- show us something more. The creation of unique invocations or conjurations was both an art and a science, with its own established rules. Agrippa discussed it in his “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”, it was reiterated in the “Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy” and it is hinted at in several popular grimoiric texts.
In this workshop, we will explore this ancient art-form and learn how to create powerful invocations and conjurations for our own magick. We will focus upon the grimoires and, therefore, upon Biblical literature and mythology. However, the principals you learn here can be applied to magick of any tradition.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
Evocation and Working with Spirits
Saturday 4p-6p Summerland Pavilion
Modern methods of spiritual evocation tend to follow a “summon-question-banish” formula. That is, a magician decides what he needs and which spirit can grant it to him. He then summons the entity, questions it or makes a request and finally banishes it – quite possibly to never see or hear from the entity again.
Yet, this is not a complete reflection of the ancient art of summoning spirits. The “Old Magick” focused more upon gaining familiars and building working relationships with specific entities – and that practice brings its own special rules and protocols. From constructing altars and spirit pots, to making proper offerings, to the art of evocation and even dealing with ghosts and other unwanted spirits – we will discuss all of this in more in this workshop.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
As many of you know, I recently published an essay entitled The Return of Psalm Magick and the Mixed Qabalah. (Find it in both Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly and Diamond Fire Magazine.) In that essay, I reviewed two books released by Avalonia Publishing, one of which was A Collection of Magical Secrets & a Treatise of Mixed Cabalah by Skinner and Rankine. This is two different pamphlets published together, and I found myself utterly captivated by A Treatise of Mixed Cabalah.
The Mixed Qabalah of Abramelin
Anyone who has read the Book of Abramelin (French or German) understands why that title would peak my interest. Within his autobiographical material, Abraham the Jew explains that there are only three types of true magick: The Qabalah, the True and Sacred Magick (i.e., of Abramelin) and the “Mixed Qabalah.” He goes on to elaborate the Mixed Qabalah by listing its different categories and types – but he really only succeeds in making the entire subject obscure. We are only left with the impression that the Mixed Qabalah is some kind of blending of Qabalistic wisdom and classical magickal arts such as alchemy, astrology, herbology and divination by visions.
Those who have only read the French (aka “Mathers”) version of Abramelin have missed an important part of the puzzle. Mathers decided to remove one of the Books of Abramelin from his publication of the grimoire – and that happened to be Book II, containing several chapters of folk magick-style spells. Not realizing that this book represented the Mixed Qabalah that Abraham described in the first book, Mathers assumed it was just a collection of low-magickal formulas that had been added to the text at a later date. He was obviously incorrect – and his deletion of that material made Abraham’s ramblings about Mixed Qabalah even harder to understand.
What we find in the restored Book II (see Georg Dehn’s Book of Abramelin) is fairly standard scriptural magick – like we would find in Use of the Psalms or Avalonia’s recent publication of The Book of Gold. The main difference is that those examples focus entirely on the Psalms, while Abramelin’s Book II makes use of scripture from various books of the Bible. Each chapter focuses upon a specific goal, most of which are fairly typical of grimoiric literature: healing, love, protection, warfare, birth, addressing nobility, etc, etc. In each case a prayer or scripture is given along with basic instructions on how to apply it. Here is a good example:
Chapter 5, Spell 1: Against Tempests, Ghosts and Visions Prepared by Evil People
Take flowing water, throw in some grains of salt. Then, with the blood of a wether or steer – into which has been mixed sulfur and gall – write the words below. Wash this off with the salt water. Sprinkle this water at the tempest or against the vision.
Adonai Zebaoth, threaten them, so that they will fly away. Haunt them like the wind puts dust upon the hills, and like the tempest comes before the whirlwind. [-adapted from Isaiah 17:13]
I would assume the prayer is written upon parchment. A dip-pen would be used to write the words, and then the salted water used to wash off the still-wet ink. (The parchment, pen, water and even the ink can all be consecrated beforehand.) The water/ink mixture is caught in a bowl, and it can then be used for the given purpose of the spell.
This is just the kind of magick I’m into, and as a devotee of the Abramelin system I was eager to try one of the formulas. I found a good reason when we moved into a new home just over a year ago. I wanted to use the following spell from chapter five to protect the property:
Chapter Five, Spell 3: That Evil People and Magic Cannot Damage Your House
Write on seven tablets of pure beeswax. Bury them in seven locations around your boundaries, or place them under the edges of the roof of your house. The house will be secure, evil will not be able to approach. The words:
The godless have pleasure from doing harm, but the seed of the righteous will bear fruit. [- adapted from Proverbs 11:21]
It seemed straightforward enough, with a kind of Hoodoo simplicity about it. No elaborate instructions, just inscribe the words on the proper material and bury them around the property. So we did just that. We cast seven beeswax disks, inscribed the words and buried them at seven points around the property (in the form of a giant heptagram). We even did the burial at midnight.
Our first try was not without its issues. First, the seventh wax disk had come out of its mold slightly deformed. I didn’t like it, but the text didn’t mention what shape the wax had to be, so I felt there was no harm in using it as-is. However, over several weeks after I buried that talisman, I noticed that grass was refusing to re-grow over the spot.
Another issue that nagged at me was the utter lack of any ritual in the preparation or burying of these talismans. Others in the house mentioned this same thing – but since I always support following a text’s instructions without addition or subtraction the first time out, I decided against adding consecrations or invocations of my own design. (We did add the burial of the talismans at midnight.) Still, even I felt like something was missing.
At first, the talismans seemed to work. Some neighborhood kids, more mischievous than anything, had stolen several items from our front porch. They were caught in the act, and between my wife and their parents we had every single item returned within minutes. So I decided not to worry about the deformed talisman, the barren spot over it or the fact that we had created and buried all seven of them without consecration or ritual.
And then some idiot decided to chuck a rock through the back windshield of our car. We were only away from the car for about an hour, and in that time one of the local kids who sometimes use our street as a shortcut must have vandalized our property to impress his friends. I was steaming mad (still am!), but I wasn’t shocked. You see, the car had been parked right next to that deformed talisman where the grass refused to grow. I could no longer fool myself into believing the talismans were “just fine” – they were in fact an utter failure. I made plans to remake the talismans, this time fully consecrating them before burying them – and put the project on my “important magickal projects to-do ASAP” list.
A Treatise of Mixed Cabalah
Skip forward a few weeks, and Avalonia sent me a copy of A Treatise of Mixed Cabalah: Which Comprises the Angelic Art taken from Hebrew Sages. This was the first indication I had ever seen that the “Mixed Qabalah” was anything more than an invention of Abraham the Jew. Here was a book, completely unrelated to Abramelin, written maybe as recently as the late eighteenth century. Its existence implies that the Mixed Qabalah was in fact an established tradition – very nearly lost to the history of Western occultism.
The pamphlet is divided into two parts. The first is a lengthy angelic invocation based upon older Jewish customs of invoking angels (often Metatron) to teach the mysteries of Torah. In A Treatise… the focus is upon the seven planetary archangels and having them teach one the mysteries of Qabalah. Quite fascinating (and something I must undertake someday!) – but it didn’t grab my attention quite as much as the second part. This was an eight-day ritual for the consecration and fashioning of talismans.
In just one simple (yet extended) ritual, this short text provided a nearly complete magickal art. It calls upon the same seven archangels as the previous part (Cassiel, Sachiel, Samael, Michael, Anael, Raphael and Gabriel) and the ritual comprises both the consecration of the talismata material (wax or metal) and the enlivening of the completed talisman at the same time. Right away, I knew this could be used to create insanely powerful talismans for any imaginable purpose. Not only that, but it solved the problem of what was “missing” from my first attempt to use the house-protection formula from Abramelin.
I gave an outline of the consecration ritual in my The Return of Psalm Magick and the Mixed Qabalah essay, so I won’t duplicate all of that here. I am going to outline the entire process I followed below, so you’ll get the same information. Plus I’m going to elaborate quite a bit, and give English translations for the Latin invocations given in the text. (Thanks to Carrie Mikell for her translation work.)
Enlivening the Wax Talismans of Abramelin
First, I want to state right away that I was unable to follow good magickal timing for this project. The given ritual does not mention timing – however the first half of the pamphlet insists upon a waxing moon, and I can only assume the same applies to the second half. Personally, I also try to generate astrological charts to find the best days to do the work. In this case, we were under pressure to get this work done as quickly as possible, so we can continue forward with bigger projects – some of which demand specific timing. Thus, I went forward without consideration of timing – though it’s not something I recommend in general (especially for beginners).
There was also one point in which I deviated from the Treatise…. The text states that you must live “without sin” for seven months before attempting the ritual. This raises all sorts of questions regarding what the author meant by “sin.” Likely sex outside of marriage should be prohibited, along with gambling, getting drunk, etc. And certainly one must keep the 10 commandments. If we look at the subject outside a purely Judeo-Christian context, we find that “sin” means any action taken or taboo broken that offends your Patron God. On most of these points I’m pretty cool, and if I really do something to piss off my God, my Guardian Angel lets me know. I certainly didn’t think I’d been living a life of ‘sin” by my understanding of the term.
Of course, as a Solomonic mage, I want to interpret “live free of sin for seven months” as an instruction to perform ritual purifications for seven months – similar to Abramelin. And this is where I feel I deviated from the text. Rather than spend seven months in preparation for the magick, I decided to substitute a seven-day Solomonic preparation. While I don’t feel this harmed the outcome of the magick at all, I will certainly admit that a seven-month purification would have been even more powerful. I could see doing this for operations of truly life-altering importance.
Meanwhile, here is how I prepared for the rite: It really began on the Wednesday before I started the purifications. Just before an hour of Mercury, I performed a full Solomonic Bath followed by the consecration of holy water. (The ritual in A Treatise… calls for holy water on the seventh day. In one place it refers to it as “rose water”, so I also added some dried rose petals to the water and let them soak for a couple of days.)
After I had made the holy water (before I threw in the rose petals, in fact), I got the sudden urge to use it to (re-)consecrate my temple-space. I just recently had a Bible returned to my possession that I had thought long-lost. It was a very important talisman to me, and I was ecstatic to have it to work with again. So I took up that Bible and read Solomon’s Dedication of the Temple (2 Chronicles 6:13-42) while I circumambulated the temple again and again, sprinkling everything in sight with the water and aspergillum.
The following Tuesday, I began the week of purification. Because the consecration ritual is itself a week of purification, I kept this preliminary week simple. I made sure I had no social engagements scheduled, cut back on sexual stimulation and began a vegetarian diet. Also, I would recite a pair of invocations from the Key of Solomon once in the morning and twice in the evening. (You can find them on p. 215-216 of Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, or in the Key of Solomon, Book Two, Chapter 4).
On the following Tuesday, I began the ritual as outlined in A Treatise of Mixed Cabalah. The pamphlet instructs one to begin the work on the day of the angel you wish to invoke. In my case, I wished to invoke Samael (Mars) to create guardian talismans for the protection of my home. At dawn, I washed and entered the temple. According to my own habit, I put on the white robe and opened the blinds to let in the dawn light upon the altar. I lit a white candle in my Solomnic lantern, and kindled coals for my censor. A Treatise… says to use pleasant odors for good things and evil odors for bad things. I chose to use a Martian incense:
Pipe Tobacco, 1 pt
Cinnamon, 1/2 pt
Crushed Red Pepper, 1/8th pt
WARNING!: Martian incense is one of the most dangerous substances I’ve worked with! It is, quite simply, tear gas. If you make this, do not add too much red pepper. And when you burn it, do it in small quantities. Never, for any reason, lean over the censor and inhale or draw in breath! Too much pepper or direct inhalation can burn your throat and lungs.
I know it sounds horrible, and I did cough a bit the first couple of days I used it. But once you get used to it, it has a rather pleasant smell. (That is, beneath a powerful burning smell.)
I had the wax I was going to consecrate on the altar in a steel bowl. Facing East, I held my hand over the bowl and recited the following three invocations seven times:
Blessing Prayers (see A Treatise… p 103-104 for the Latin)
Why, O Lord, are they multiplied that afflict me? Many are they that rise up against me. Many say to my soul: there is no salvation for him in his God. But thou, O Lord, art my protector, my glory and the lifter up of my head. I have cried to the Lord with my voice: and He hath heard me from his holy hill. I have slept and taken my rest: and I have risen up because the Lord hath protected me. I will not fear thousands of the people surrounding me: Arise, O Lord, save me, O my God! For thou hast struck them all who are my adversaries without cause: thou hast broken the teeth of sinners. Salvation is of the Lord: and thy blessing is upon this creature of [wax].
From Psalm 133:
Behold, now bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord who stand in the House of the Lord. In the nights lift up your hands to the holy places, and bless ye the Lord. May the Lord out of Zion bless thee, thou creature of [wax]. he that made heaven and earth.
O Lord God, distribute the whole of thy knowledge and your every perfected virtue and kindness upon this creature of [wax]. Bless it, O Lord, and sanctify it so that you would drive away all our enemies who attack us within your sight, and stand victorious. Through thy holy Name which is exalted unto the ages. Amen.
It’s amazing how perfect these invocations were for my goal of protecting the house. (I’ll have further thoughts on this later.) After completing the invocations seven times, I took the wax, the book and the censor – leaving the candle burning in the lantern on the altar – and went out to the kitchen.
There, on the stove, I had a pot of water on to boil. (I turned it on before entering the temple, so it was just boiling when I came out.) I set the steel bowl full of wax onto the pot of water like a lid – thereby creating a double-boiler to safely melt the wax. As the wax melted, I put fresh incense on the censor and passed it around and around the steel bowl as I recited seven times the passage that would eventually be inscribed in the finished wax: “The godless have pleasure from doing harm, but the seed of the righteous shall bear fruit.” Then I recited the two following invocations:
Primary Invocations. (See A Treatise…, p 100 for the Latin)
Almighty and Everlasting God, who formed all of creation in thy praise and thy honour, and also in the service of Man. I pray unto thee to send forth and cause to appear before me the worthy spirit [ANGEL] to instruct me in the ways of equity and worth. Let me volunteer no truth, but through thy Holy Name. Thou art exalted through the ages.
Prayer to the Angel
I entreat you, o good angel [ANGEL], who is set in the day of [DAY], that the Lord, thy God and mine, who placed in thee power and strength above every intelligence and force, I beseech thee, that thou permit me to receive [_______] and that which will assist me and support me, and that you take this, my name [______] and make it strong beside you. And through this operation, I will be given light and instruction in this science. Amen Amen Amen. Fiat Fiat Fiat.
The Angel in question was, of course, Samael – the angel of Mars and Tuesday. (Some traditions call him Khamael – the result of mistaking a Hebrew Samekh for a Khaph.)
After making the invocations, I just had to wait for the wax to completely melt. A Treatise… is giving instructions for making one talisman at a time, but I was working with enough wax for seven! If I had been melting less wax, I’m sure it would have completely melted by the time I finished the invocations.
Finally, the melted wax had to be quenched in white wine purchased specifically for this purpose. (If I were making a metal talisman, I would have heated it until it was red and then quenched it.) Because I had never cast molten wax into cool liquid, I feared it might result in an explosion – akin to tossing water into hot grease. So, for the quenching I stepped out onto my back patio, with my wife attending to see the fireworks. I had to recite the scriptural phrase (“The godless have pleasure from doing harm…”) once again as I poured the wax into the pot of wine, and to our amazement no explosion resulted!
Interesting side note: as my wife and I peered into the rapidly cooling pot of wax and wine, we became aware of a rather large bumble bee buzzing around the pot. It paid no attention to us whatsoever, but was doubtlessly inspecting the familiar odors coming from the warm pot. I remembered in that instant that the bee is a classic symbol of the Goddess, and I took this as a very good omen for the work we were undertaking.
There was nothing left but to let the wax cool. I went back to the temple, burned some incense on the dying coal, said prayers of thanks to God and Samael and put out the candle. After the wax had plenty of time to cool, I removed it from the pot and returned it to the steel bowl. (While some liquid remained trapped in pockets in the wax, most of it had gathered beneath the cooled wax in the pot.)
The next six days were the same. I also continued my vegetarian diet, cut off all sexual stimulation and engaged in no social activities. Also, I did not call upon Samael on all seven days. While I did make use of the same Martian incense throughout the process, I actually called upon the angel who ruled the day in question. So Samael was followed by Raphael, then Sachiel, Anael, Cassiel, Michael and finally Gabriel. This way, the martial aspects of each of the seven archangels were invoked to add their blesing and power to the wax.
The only other thing to change during these seven days, was the use of holy rose-water instead of white wine to quench the melted wax on the seventh day. Of course, once I learned that quenching the wax would not result in an explosion, I performed the quenching in the kitchen from the second day forward.
During these seven days, my wife was performing her own ritual purifications. She started a vegetarian diet and cut off all sexual stimulation. She also prepared the mould we would use to cast the seven wax talismans:
A Treatise… gives the design for the talisman – a heptagram with a heptagon nested within it (likely inspired by the Sigillum Aemeth made famous by Dr. John Dee). In each angle of the heptagram is written a specific Hebrew Name of God, and in each corresponding side of the heptagon is the name of one of the seven archangels. The center is left blank for the inscription of a verse. (A Treatise… includes Psalm verses for many different uses, though I was of course using the verse taken from the Book of Abramelin.) You indicate which archangel you are invoking simply by orienting that name at the top of the talisman before you inscribe the verse in the center.
Since we had seven talismans to create, we decided to make a mould of the Treatise‘s heptacle – leaving the center blank so we could also use the mould for future purposes. This way, my wife only had to carve the heptacle design once, and then inscribe the verse upon each cast talisman.
Something else interesting happened during this week. I was sitting in the temple one evening, looking over the work my wife was doing on the mould. (At that time it was still a design on paper.) I wanted a better look at it, and reached up to turn on the lamp she keeps on a shelf just above her art table. I looked back down to get that closer look at the design – and the lamp came crashing down onto the desk! Objects went flying all over the place, including a glass vessel – after which I heard an incredible shattering sound on the floor beneath the table, right around my bare feet. A burst of anger flashed through me at the thought of the mess, and the small bits of glass we were sure to find with our naked feet for weeks. I looked down to see the extent of the damage – and found the vessel had not shattered at all. A small piece of it had broken off, but it was basically ok. The shattering sound had, in fact, been a container of nails that had been knocked down by the falling lamp, sending the nails scattering across the tile floor.
As the flash of anger subsided and I stooped down to gather up the nails, I considered why such a thing would have happened inside the temple. It hit me as I reached to scoop up yet another handful of nails… which are traditional symbols of martian magick. The sudden calamity, the scattered nails, the intense flash of anger – it was obvious I was getting Samael’s attention.
Finally, the seven days were over. The wax had been blessed, melted and quenched seven times, each time having the verse that would later be inscribed into it recited over it seven-plus-one times. On the eighth day, well before dawn, my wife took a full Solomonic Bath. I followed her with a very simple bath of my own – using just one set of Barbarous Names and a prayer or two from the Key. By the time I was done she was in her white robe and waiting in the kitchen.
I came in with the wax in the steel pot, the book, the Solomonic lantern and censor (both already lit). I turned on the stove to boil the water, and as it heated up, I recited the following consecration over the burner:
Blessing of the Fire (See A Treatise…, p 105 for the Latin)
Bless, O God, this creature of fire, so that it is strong and effective in my petition to your kindness and your almighty power. Through thy most holy name which is exalted through the ages. Amen.
I then repeated the same process as on the previous days: I melted the wax on the stove while I perfumed it and recited the verse (“The godless have pleasure from doing harm…”) seven times. Then I recited the prayer and invocation for the angel of the day once again, calling upon Samael with extra emphasis.
Once the wax had melted for the final time, we used Pam to lightly coat the mould and then poured in some of the wax. We placed it gently into the freezer to set for a few minutes, then gently removed it from the mould. My wife set about repairing any imperfections left by the mould and inscribing the verse (making sure Samael was at the top), while I re-coated the mould with Pam, poured in more wax and returned it to the freezer. I also made sure the candle stayed lit in the lantern (had to replace it once) and that perfumes were put on the censor every now and again.
Now this is interesting. This process worked as smooth as silk for the first five talismans. And that’s when Samael, the haSathan himself, began to make his presence known. Talismans six and seven began to fight our attempts to cast them. Number six was recast once or twice, but number seven took at least five (there’s that number again) attempts before it began to cooperate. There would either be bubbles in the final result, or impurities from the censor, or I would drop it trying to remove it from the mold, etc, etc. Just as I had experienced in the temple with the nails, I found myself getting angry – and more-so each time I had to re-cast. By the time it was over, I was absolutely livid – not ranting and raving like a madman, but certainly boiling like a pressure cooker inside. The lamp and censor had long since burned out.
My part mostly done, I went into the living room and sat to calm down for a bit. My wife inscribed the final disk, at last, and recited the following prayer over the seven completed talismans:
Prayer after inscribing the Heptacle (See A Treatise…, p 106 for the Latin)
I come to you, all-powerful and eternal God, and to all the Angels of God, be thou propitious unto me, [______], whose names are written by my hand in this [waxen] symbol. And be mine help in obtaining [_______], by thy most holy names, and by all the virtues of the Creator, the Lord our God, who is exalted through the Ages.
After this, I returned to the temple to recite prayers of thanks to the Highest and to Samael and close things down. Afterward, I was still irritable – so we went to lunch (where I had meat for the first time in two weeks!) and then I went to bed.
Later that night (still Tuesday), we buried the talismans. We decided to stick with midnight, just to add a Hoodoo flare to the burial, though we might have chosen an hour of Mars just as well. Starting in the East, we buried the talismans as we had before – in seven locations around the property, marking out a giant heptagon- walking clockwise the entire way. At each burial, I would recite the verse inscribed upon the talisman once again, then bless the ground with the recitation of the Qabalistic Cross. Once we returned to the Eastern point, I raised my hands and said a prayer of thanks to the Highest and Samael – invoking Samael to send his servient angels to patrol the borders of our land and protect our home from all harm and evil magick.
Results of the Operation
The next day, me and my wife (who also happens to be my skryer/medium) discussed the immediate results of the magick. I had received a strong impression that Samael wanted us to place an offering over the talisman we buried in the East. I was thinking about hot peppers, rum, cigars and I had a strong feeling about adding some of the nails from the earlier incident in the temple. My wife said she had received a similar message about leaving offerings – including nails as well as a gun and a machete(!).
I fully understand why the spirits involved would want those weapons. However, in order to do that we would have to bury them quite deep (and make sure the gun can’t be used if it were ever found). However, I dislike the idea of burying offerings intended for celestial entities. When we return next Tuesday to make the offerings, we will likely use a pendulum or another method to divine exactly how to properly and safely offer them the weapons.
The night we buried the talismans, my wife also had a dream/vision in which she saw the angels placed by Samael over the talismans. She described them as a very dark rust color, with large dark wings and faces that would otherwise seem demonic. They were, of course, carrying very large swords. Each one patrolled an area around his talisman, and all seven of them chattered back and forth in a language she could not understand. (It was likely Angelical, but not the dialect we know from the 48 Calls.) She was, however, told that each of these angels would like us to know its name – and if we wanted to work with them directly, they would like us to set up seven “Solomnic prendas” for them near our front door on the porch. We may just look into doing that.
Some Thoughts on Changes…
Now that I’ve been through this operation and have a good idea how it works, I have some ideas on changes I’ll make next time around. First, I noticed that the first Psalm used for the Blessing Prayers in A Treatise… (Psalm 3) was absolutely perfect for my intended goal – the protection of my home from any potential enemies or criminals. However, I have to question how appropriate that same Psalm would be for- say- a Talismans for prosperity, or for love, or for the success of a business enterprise, etc, etc. I believe that Psalm could be changed depending on your magickal goal, and I will likely do this in the future.
Secondly, the invocations given A Treatise… for God and the Angel of the day are actually taken from the operation in the first part of the pamphlet. The second part simply refers you to those prayers and says to use them. However, as you can see above, those two prayers are specifically geared toward having the Angel appear before you and teach you things. This is not the goal of the second part of the book. Therefore, I suggest these two prayers should be used as examples, but need to be slightly re-worded for use with the consecration rite. When I use this process in the future, I will make that small change.
And that concludes the write-up of my first experiment with A Treatise of Mixed Cabalah. We will be making the offerings next Tuesday at dawn, but I will not likely share the information we learn from that point. This has been an exhausting yet rewarding experience.
Update (4-10-11): The Offerings
The Tuesday following the above work, we did indeed return to make an offering to Samael and his Angels.
It partly consisted of the wax left over from making the seven talismans (which was well consecrated to Mars and Samael) with seven of the previously-mentioned nails thrust into it. (I chose seven so there would be one for each buried talisman.) It also included five pieces of bread covered with milk and honey, five hot peppers, five cigars and red wine. This was all arranged (or poured out) at the Eastern boundary of our property, over the spot where we had buried the first talisman. I repeated the two invocations (one to God, one to Samael) I had used throughout the consecration ritual, then stated that I had brought the offerings in thanksgiving, lit one of the cigars and blew five puffs of the smoke onto the offerings.
We attempted to perform divinations to ask about the gun and blade, and how we should offer them. However, we got little result – and my wife reported that Samael was claiming to be “busy with something elsewhere” and could not attend to our questions. We will probably re-visit this issue at a later date, but for now we’ve put it aside.
I like to keep an eye on the Hoodoo and Conjure forums for useful techniques I haven’t encountered before. Recently, someone posed the question of what to do when a curse has been laid upon land rather than a person, building or object. You’d think this would be a common enough problem that there are dozens or hundreds of remedies. Yet, I have not encountered them before.
The person who highlighted this dilemma also proposed a solution, which I found fascinating. You can read it for yourself on the forum. I wanted to offer the technique here, though from the standpoint of Solomonic mysticism. The main difference is that Solomonic magick doesn’t make much use of powders, where Hoodoo makes heavy use of them. Therefore, what follows will not include an uncrossing powder – however if you like the idea of the powder, by all means check out the original post, where a recipe and instructions are included.
To do this with your standard Solomonic tool kit, you will need a coal-burning censor and frankincense (or Church incense), the holy water sprinkler and water – all consecrated according to the rules of the Art. You will also need plenty of fresh earth: soil taken from a pine forest is recommended due to the purifying characteristics of pine. Failing that, you can use fresh potting soil, and you can even mix in pine needles if you wish. (Plus, if you feel it necessary, the Key of Solomon includes a consecration for earth.)
The rite should take place over the final three days of the waning moon.
Exorcism of the Land
You would do best to begin with the Solomonic Bath. Then go to the eastern border of your land, light the incense, sprinkle holy water and begin to recite Psalm 37. As you read, move against the sun (counterclockwise) around the entire border of your property, censing and sprinkling as you go until you return to the east.
Repeat this exorcism for three days. After completing the actions on the third day, continue:
Removing the Curse From the Land
Dig small holes in five locations around your property: one in each of the four corners and one in the center. If your home or another structure occupies the center, then dig the fifth hole by the front door. Collect the dirt from these holes and set it aside.
Now take the fresh earth you prepared earlier, and use it to fill the five holes. At each hole, pack in the earth and then pour in a portion of the remaining holy water. As you do so, state aloud that you are exchanging bad soil for blessings and healing.
The next day, take the cursed earth you dug out of the holes far away from your property – preferably to a running stream or river. Pour the dirt into the water as you state: “This dirt will never form a part of my land, nor will any malevolent power associated with it.” As you leave, do not look back toward the water.
Blessing the Land
After the above is complete, you may bless your land as you see fit. You can repeat the process with the censor and holy water, this time moving sunwise (clockwise) around your property, and reciting your favorite blessing. Psalm 67 is a good choice, or the Lord’s Prayer or whatever is specific to your faith or tradition. After completing a circuit around the land, it should be quite clean.
There is also a simpler – though certainly less powerful – technique that makes use of a map of the property and some candles. It is included in the original post at the Hoodoo forum, and I recommend checking it out as well.