Greetings Angel Workers!
I have been told that the new anthology from Nephilim Press:
will be released soon. :)
Some time ago, I was asked by Scarlet Imprint to write something about demonology for their anthology entitled Diabolical. So, I wrote a lengthy essay called The Spirit Magick of Abramelin – giving a detailed overview of the system of goety found in the final book of that grimoire. (More recently, that same essay was published in Hermetic Virtues Magazine.)
Later, I was asked by Nephilim Press to write something about the Holy Guardian Angel for their new anthology – Walking With the Angel. So, I decided to give them the exact opposite, and outline the Abramelin system of angel magick. That is, the specific instructions for continuing work with your HGA over a lifetime – instructions which are present but scattered in the original text. Instructions that have remained hidden and unexamined for hundreds of years…
Plus I give a lot of insight into my own performance of the Abramelin operation (specifically its ending) and how I developed my relationship with my HGA over the years that followed.
I’m in very good company in this anthology too! There will be entries from Inominandum, Rufus Opus (in his publication début), Scott Stenwick, and more.
If you want to read the introductory paragraphs of my essay, click here.
Great news for Abramelin aspirants!
Over the years, many students have privately emailed me to ask questions about magick – and one of the most common questions I am asked is “How do I use the talismans at the end of the Book of Abramelin?”
Unfortunately, that is not a question that can be answered so easily in a simple email or forum post. The Book of Abramelin contains a rather sophisticated system of goety – most of it scattered and hidden throughout the text so as to discourage dabblers. In order to explain it all in detail, it would be necessary to write a rather lengthy essay on the subject.
So, in 2009, that is exactly what I did. I wrote an essay entitled The Spirit-Magick of Abramelin that outlines the entire system – including how to summon and work with the spirits, how to create new word-square talismans and how to use them once they are made. I published it in an anthology from Scarlet Imprint called Diabolical – which focused on various traditions of working with demons. (My essay might have been the only one from the perspective of an angel-worker who also works with chthonic spirits.)
The only problem was that the hard-bound Diabolical – though an absolute must-have book – was a bit obscure and somewhat on the expensive side. Students continued to ask me about the Abramelin word-squares and spirits – and I’m not sure how many of them were willing (or able) to purchase the book just to get my essay from it…
Now we are fast approaching the year 2014, and I felt it was time to let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak, and release The Spirit-Magick of Abramelin in a more easily accessible format. Therefore, I have re-published the essay in the Autumnal Equinox 2013 edition of Hermetic Virtues Magazine (subscription info here.). :)
Hermetic Virtues Magazine
It is an electronic-format magazine, coming in PDF form directly to your in-box. If you don’t want to subscribe to the magazine (but, really, why wouldn’t you??), I’m pretty sure HV Magazine is willing to sell single-issue copies. So if you desire to learn how to properly work with the talismans and spirits of the Abramelin tradition, you now have an affordable and accessible source for my essay. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Jayne Gibson over at HV, who worked tirelessly to get the word-squares and other formatting issues with this essay exactly right. It was no easy task!
Also see my (free) essay on Abramlein’s Magickal Word Squares: Compiled and Corrected for the First Time. (This is just a taste of the work I’ve done on the existing word-squares, the bulk of which I will later publish in book form.)
Also see this blog post on Abramelin’s system of Mixed Qabalah. As well as this follow-up post on the same subject.
Finally, in the near future, keep an eye out for my latest essay that tackles the angelic side of Abramelin’s magick: After Abramelin: Working with the Holy Guardian Angel – to be published in Nephilim Press’ Walking with the Angel.
Greetings, Faithful Readers!
Since I got caught up in the blogosphere, I’m afraid I’ve been sorely neglecting my old Writings webpage. (How old is it, you ask? Check the link below and you’ll see the URL is called “indexaol.html” – because it was originally my old AOL homepage! LOL Now it’s on Tripod, where it has been for what seems like eons…) That is where you can read most of my published essays and book reviews, listen to/read my interviews, find links to my books, etc.
Today, I finally took the time to do a massive update to the page – bringing the list of published material pretty much up to date. I think I included everything that has been lacking – but if you know of anything I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to let me know!
Greetings fellow wizards!
I was just alerted to a new batch of old Solomonic manuscripts available online, from the Leipzig University. There are 142 of them in all! The Studies on Magic blog even gives us a list of the books and links directly to them, along with what kinds of images you will find in them (pentacles, seals, magick rings, etc, etc):
Complete list of Leipzig University magical manuscripts (links)
And in case that disappears, here is a link directly to the collection on the university’s website.
These are scans of untranslated texts, and you cannot download or print them. :( But that doesn’t stop them from being well worth looking through. :)
Greetings Angel Lovers!
Bernini’s “The Ecstasy of St. Teresa”
A rather interesting (and likely controversial) subject has come up on my Solomonic Group at Yahoo, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you here. I think the title of this blog really says it all, so I’ll just get right into the posts. First, here is the question that was asked on the group:
I am a married father of four who is aged in his fifties.
I am also a theology student and a school teacher.
Two years ago I was studying the Old Testament and noticed how Solomon and David both had many wives. This made my very curious and also quite envious.
Because at that time my marriage was lacking intimacy, and so out of desperation I prayed to God for a concubine or a second wife.
I didn’t think much of it, but about two weeks later a spiritual entity connected with me in an intimate way. This has conintued regularly for the last two years. It honestly feels like God has answered my prayer.
I did read somewhere that monks experiences similar types of connections with angels. Has this sort of phenomenon ever been reported before? Do you think that the biblical descriptions of Solomon and David having many wives may have been alluding to spiritual or angelic wives and concubines?
I find it rather intersting that – given this person’s particular sub-culture, which would not tolerate adultery or polyamory - he was able to find a spiritual solution to his problem. That aside, I decided to answer his specific questions:
Ok, first to answer your question about the prophets and their multiple wives: no, that was not an allusion to them having spiritual wives. They in fact had multiple physical wives and concubines. It is still practiced, in various ways and to various degrees, in many cultures around the world.
As for your other question:
Are you kidding?? Angels are all *about* the sex, man! ;)
(NOTE for those outside the US: The phrase “…all *about* the…” is an American idiom that basically means “like it a lot.”)
Occult and religious lore is chock-full of spiritual beings mating with humans. Stories of Succubi and Fairies producing offspring with human partners abound – including Lilith (who, in the form of the Queen of Sheba, is said to have indeed slept with Solomon). Some Jewish funerary rites are intended to banish all the deceased “demon children” who might otherwise appear at the funeral to demand their inheritance.
Pagan Gods – who are basically the same species of being as Angels – seem to have taken mortal mates on a regular basis – hence the existence of Demigods (half-human, half god) like Hercules and Perseus.
Also note the “Sons of God” described in Genesis, who descended to Earth and traded the secrets of heaven in exchange for sexual favors. This is an extension of the above Pagan concept – as the Bible offers this as the explanation for superhuman heroes and the “Nephilim” or giants. God supposedly flooded the world to get rid of them. (Though it wasn’t entirely successful, as Noah was rumored to be one of these offspring – effectively making *all* of us part-Angel today.)
Biblical legend also suggests that Eve mated with Satan to give birth to Cain.
And don’t forget Dee and Kelley’s (in)famous wife-swapping episode, which they undertook at the direction of their angelic contacts. (Though they didn’t mate with the Angels themselves, it was still the Angels who showed an interest in human sexual activity.)
Shamanic vocations often involve the shaman obtaining a “spiritual spouse” – literally marrying his or her Patron Deity to establish a life-long relationship.
An example of this is found in the Book of Abramelin – my own preferred grimoire – which promises “Knowledge” of one’s Holy Guardian Angel. This is an archaic term for “having intimacy with.” (Such as the Biblical term “He ‘knew’ his wife.”)
My own Guardian Angel has most certainly been my spiritual wife – and one of my earlier and most intense experiences with her was an extremely sexually charged encounter. Plus, once she was bound to me physically, she spent some months ravenously seeking out sexual and other physically pleasurable experiences. (It seemed to be part of her adjusting to suddenly having access to physical sensation.)
On that same note, there are many religio-magickal operations in which a divine being is called into the body of a human host in order to perform a sexual act with either a Priest or Priestess alone, or with one who has also drawn down a divine being. Such as the Wiccan Great Rite – where the High Priest and High Priestess become vessels for the God and Goddess to physically mate.
Plus there are several grimoiric spells intended to evoke beautiful spirits for the express purpose of having sex with them.
The examples could go on and on – this is a theme that permeates Western religion, mysticism and occultism. I have a feeling Jake [Stratton-Kent] will also respond to this, with many examples of magickal practices and operations that involve sexual contact with spiritual beings.
And Jake did, indeed, respond as well:
happy to oblige :)
well an obvious road sign is the Comte de Gabalis:
big influence on some published and manuscript grimoires.
Also the close relations of Lamiae (such as Lilith/Sheeba) and the Sibyl or sibyls is central to our magical traditions. Consider too the narrow line between ‘angels’ and ‘demons’.
From there to the Testament of Solomon, and gendered spirits at the root of Solomonic magic, despite later appearances/assumptions, places the theme pretty centrally.
This is why I love the Solomonic Group. So often, people get real touchy and defensive whenever sex and spirituality are mentioned in the same breath.
There certainly are groups out there that make use of sex and magick to abuse young naive aspirants. (See, for example, the “Theocratic Unity” group run by the Horos couple in the early 1900s.)
Yet, as we can see in the above examples, sex has been an intimate (pun intended) aspect of Western occultism for a very long time. And it goes beyond the usual subject of “sex magick.” Shamans, priests and wizards have been marrying themselves off to (that is to say, intimately bonding with) spiritual entities in order to learn occult secrets since the earliest tribal shamanisms.
UPDATE: A member of the Solomonic Group asked me a good question about the Holy Guardian Angel and the subject of physical sensation. I’ll share that question and my answer here with you as well:
> I had thought the Holy Guardian Angel was part of the transcendence of the
> flesh and its desires often associated with the Judaeo-Christian tradition.
> Aaron, may I ask why an angel of that class would want to enjoy sexual and
> physical experiences? I thought they are supposed to come from a realm
> where such needs have been transcended?
I feel the reason is *because* they come from such a transcendent realm. You take such a being from a place where there is no such thing as sensory input, then suddenly thrust them into a human host with full access to such alien sensations as physical pleasure (and, for that matter, pain), and I think it would be quite natural to want to explore and learn about these new things. Add to that the fact that they have not spent a lifetime learning how to regulate such desires, and it can result in behavior similar to an addict seeking out a fix. lol
I suspect this is the kernel of truth behind the stories of the Watchers and other divinities who were willing to trade all the secrets of heaven with mortals in exchange for sex. While “in the flesh”, the Watchers were willing to chance the Eternal Punishment of God for just a few hours of intense physical pleasure.
For a good visual example, check out the movie “Michael” starring John Travolta in the title role.
Of course, this state was only temporary for my Guardian Angel. Over time she seemed to adapt to her new state of being bound to a physical body, and the intensity of the experience finally balanced out. After that is when she got down to the business of training me – but she certainly had a much better understanding of what it is like to live down here, which was important for the relationship to grow.
Witch and Devil – Jos A Smith (From “Witches” by Erica Jong , 1981)
Greetings Devotees of the Holy Guardian Angel!
will soon publish has now released a brand new anthology entitled The Holy Guardian Angel. It is a collection of essays about the HGA by various occultists (some you know, and some new names as well) – including me! :)
The Holy Guardian Angel
My contribution is called After Abramelin: Working With the Holy Guardian Angel. If you remember my older essay, The Spirit-Magick of Abramelin, this new essay is its direct counterpoint – explaining how one is supposed to work with the Guardian Angel after completing the Rite.
Here are the introductory paragraphs of my essay:
After Abramelin: Working with the Holy Guardian Angel
The Book of Abramelin is a German magickal text supposedly written by Abraham von Worms in the 1400s. It contains a method of invoking and permanently bonding with one’s Holy Guardian Angel. The angel, then, becomes the primary guide and teacher of the aspirant, and the source of his spiritual authority. This allows the aspirant to perform magick, command lesser spirits and – most importantly – strive toward a higher state of spiritual purity.
Because you are reading this book, I assume you have some familiarity with – or interest in – this famous grimoire. Yet information about it can be rather hard to find. While much has been written about the six (or eighteen) month Rite outlined in that book, precious little has been written about how the system works after those months are completed. In a previous anthology I was given the opportunity to write about the spirit-magick of Abramelin, providing a basic outline of how one should work with the spirits and talismans of that system after completing the initiation. Now, I have been given another opportunity to provide my readers with a rare glimpse into the practice of Abramelin – this time concerning the Holy Guardian Angel itself.
All too often, seekers who read the Book of Abramelin make the assumption that it is “just” an evocation ceremony. A lengthy and involved one, for certain, but ultimately just a method of summoning a very powerful angel. That angel, then, will immediately answer all of your questions about life, the universe and everything and provide you with all the miracle-working powers you could desire. Afterward, you go on with your life as an empowered magus and never need look back at Abramelin again. As they say: “Been there, done that.”
Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. In this essay, I will tell you what you can likely expect during the final days of the initiation itself and in the weeks, months and years that follow. I will bust any number of Abramelin myths, and explain how Abraham himself outlines the system as it should be practiced over the course of a lifetime.
You can read more about the anthology – including a table of contents – at The Lion’s Den blog.
P.S. – a special congrats goes out to Frater Rufus Opus, who is being “officially” published for the very first time in this anthology! Good work, brother!
Great news folks!
Over the years, I have lost count of the number of students who have asked about the system of spirit magick outlined in the Book of Abramelin. Of course, the subject is not something that can be covered in a simple email or forum post. Therefore, I have published two lengthy documents on the subject: The first, Abramelin’s Magickal Word Squares, is freely available at my homepage. It is a mere preview of the work I’ve done to decipher and correct the Abramelin talismans – the full scope of which I plan to release in an upcoming book.
The second document is called The Spirit Magick of Abramelin, which was published in Scarlet Imprint’s Diabolical anthology. It is an in-depth essay on how to use the Abramelin talismans along with their associated spirits. Needless to say, this is the one most of you have wanted to read – though I can understand why some may be hesitant to purchase an entire anthology just to get their hands on that one essay.
Thus the good news: The Spirit Magick of Abramelin is being re-published in the upcoming edition of Hermetic Virtues Magazine. :) Sorry it’s not free, but it will certainly be more affordable for those of you on a budget. Besides, you’ll want to be familiar with Hermetic Virtues anyway – as they will soon be releasing their first full-scale book including never-before seen Golden Dawn-related material (some of it by yours truly). I don’t want to give away too many details just yet, so stay tuned for for updates.
For now, those of you interested in all things Abramelin will want to get your hands on the next issue of the magazine. ;)
And you know you’re never sure, but you’re sure you could be right,
If you held yourself up to the Light.
And the embers never fade, in your City by the Lake.
The place where you were born. [- Tonight Tonight]
Ok, so you probably remember a while back the blogosphere was debating five so-called “occult gravity wells” that threaten to entrap unwary seekers of the mysteries. Apparently, the debate over the first point in that list – the Holy Guardian Angel – continued under its own steam. More specifically, the debate moved on from the HGA to the Abramelin Operation itself.
First, a post on A Mage’s Blog discussed the inherent dangers of the Abramelin operation, citing them as good reasons to steer clear of it altogether. This was then answered on Frater RO’s blog. It finally came to my attention when a student posted to the Abramelin Group over on Yahoo, asking us (and me in particular) about the dangers outlined on A Mage’s Blog. Rather than answering that post on the forum alone, I felt this was worth a blog post of its own here on Ananael.
Let’s start with what Jow had to say on A Mage’s Blog:
All through out the working, as well as reading the works of those who have undertaken it, it is obvious that you will be fucked with in some pretty spectacular ways. For me, it was best stated in “After the Angel” by Marcus Katz, “If you are close to anyone and do not want to risk that relationship, do not undertake the Abramelin. It has to be performed when you seriously have “nothing to lose”. Not just close to anyone, but fond of your job, your house.. anything at all really, because it all, apparently gets put in jeopardy. Katz to his great credit, did get his wife’s informed consent, and was honestly a good householder all the way through, but it was a heroic struggle.
Shaking up ones own inner ant farm is fine as it goes, but to jeopardize your home, family, and friends is at best thoughtlessness of an EPIC scale, and at worst utter and complete selfishness.
Another reason I dislike it as a working is the predicted success ratio: 1 or 2 out of 100. That is balls my friends. Call me a spiritual bottom feeder, but I want a return on my investment.
Now, I’m sure many of you are hoping to hear me say “This is all nonsense and scare-mongering! Abramelin isn’t dangerous, you won’t lose your lover, your home, your job or anything else in your life nor your way of life. And, who says only 1 or 2 out of 100 achieve?? If you undertake Abramelin with the right intention, you’re guaranteed some success, at least!”
Well, sorry friends, I’m not gunna say any of that. There are dangers involved with Abramelin. And the suggested success rate – I would say – is probably about right. However, I simultaneously believe that folks like Jow have taken common-sense warnings and made much more of them than they should.
Let me make a comparison. Let’s say you want to become an electrician. I can sit here for hours and write about the inherent dangers of working with electricity. I can tell you in gruesome detail what will happen to your body if a high-amp stream of voltage courses through it – seizing your muscles, stopping your heart, cooking you from the inside out. I can talk to you about electrical house fires, lightning strikes, etc, etc. And if I were training you in the electrical trade, I’d better tell you all of those things if I’m going to call myself any kind of teacher. And, guess what, if you choose to work with electricity for your entire life, then you’re going to get shocked a few times here and there.
But, does it all mean that no one should ever become an electrician? Should we just abandon the profession and go back to candles and gas lamps? Of course not. The point of being trained as an apprentice by someone with years of experience is so you’ll survive when the bad shit happens. (For example, electricians have specific ways of touching wires so they’ll be knocked back and away by a big unexpected shock, rather than being snared and pulled further into the wires and die.)
And so it is with magick – especially something as heavy-duty as the Abramelin operation. There are some among you who are currently clinging to unhealthy personal relationships. If you undertake Abramelin successfully, you’ll probably lose that relationship. You probably know, deep down, that your relationship is unhealthy and co-dependent. And if you are frightened of growing out of it, you’ll want to steer clear of your HGA.
(This very thing happened to me. My girlfriend stood loyally by my side throughout my Abramelin work. In many ways she went through it with me – save for actually going into the Oratory and doing the prayers with me. But she cooked meals without meat, went with me to gather sand from the river, sacrificed most of her living space and social life to my work, had to find a place to live for the last week of the operation, etc, etc. And for all her trouble, we broke up spectacularly just a few months after the operation was complete. There were some serious co-dependent issues between us…
The up side? During our time apart we each did some serious growing – in ways we could not have done together. Several months later we met back up and started seeing each other again. Before you knew it we were together again – and we are still together and have a beautiful little girl to show for it. We’ve come far, gone places and done things we never could have done if we’d stayed in our pre-Abramelin rut.)
Others of you are living or working in the wrong environment. Your Fate or Karma or what-have-you lies elsewhere. Yet something is blocking you from moving onward and upward. If you fear this is the case for you, and would rather stay stuck and stay safe, then don’t attempt Abramelin.
(I saw this happen to a very good friend and student of mine. He was also in an unhealthy relationship, and was living the “wrong life” in many different ways. He merely declared his intentions to perform Abramelin – and the next thing I know his wife was gone, he was moving out of his first home, re-adopting his birth surname and leaving the state. Because of the name change I lost track of him entirely for 20 years.
Just a few weeks ago I found him living up north, married to someone who seems to suit him well, and running his very own paranormal institute. And, remember, he never even performed Abramelin – he simply voiced his intention of doing so!)
So, yes brothers and sisters, Abramelin can be dangerous. As Jow said, it can fuck with you in some pretty spectacular ways. But I think Frater RO put it quiet eloquently in his response when he said that it doesn’t burn away anything you need. What it burns away is the dross – the crap that is holding you down and “sticking” you in bad situations. The job of the Guardian Angel – as Agrippa reminds us – is to guide you to that sacred perfection. And you can’t get to the spiritual gold without passing though the fires of self-sacrifice.
The real danger of Abramelin is Fear – fear of change, fear of letting go of the weights around your neck, fear of ending the dramas in your life and moving on. All of those are scary, and all of them are painful to experience. But, if you truly want to be rid of the dross, and you can bow your head into the wind and march through the hardships that inevitably come with personal evolution, then Abramelin might be for you after all.
There is no certainty that you’ll lose your spouse, your home, your job or any other aspect of your life. Again, as Frater RO rightly pointed out, those things in your life that are right and healthy and true are only going to be tempered and strengthened. Not only that, but the rewards that come to replace those things you let go are beyond description. The return on the investment – really – can feel like you’ve made off with some serious Treasure.
That is why I’ve said, time and again, that Abramelin is best suited for those who are fed up with their old life and are looking for a way out.
To get the gist of what I’m saying here, listen very carefully to these two songs:
Abramelin is for folks who have tried everything else, and have been called to the Abramelin Rite as the absolute last resort. It is not for those who are happy with their lives “as-is” and think that Abramelin is just another “summoning ceremony” intended to get nifty powers from their Guardian Angel.
Finally, what about your chances of success at Abramelin? I admit the ratio of 1 or 2 out of every 100 doesn’t sound good on the surface. However, consider this:
In the last two decades I have met many many people who claim to be undertaking the Abramelin operation – more than I care to count. Yet, out of all of them, I can count on a single hand those who were dedicated to following the Rite as instructed.
Most folks do indeed think it’s just a way-cool summoning ceremony that can be done and then walked away from. (“Oh yeah, I did that Abramelin thing once….”) And most of them insisted on changing the Rite in many ways – adding to it, taking away from it, bringing in outside rituals, praying to their favorite Patron God, etc. A great number of them chose Liber Samekh instead, or make up their own “version” of Samekh. Why, I once saw someone suggest merely creating a sigil of your intent and meditating on it for a little while every day! Abramelin is rife with the “this is good enough” and “the original instructions are too hard and unnecessary” mentalities. Folks spend much more time on considering what they don’t like about it than they do just doing the Work.
So, let’s just say that perhaps 95 out of every 100 people who attempt Abramelin fall into that category. That only leaves five who are dedicated to doing the Abramelin Rite correctly and to the fullest extent. So the real ratio becomes 1 or 2 our of every 5. That’s not really bad odds, if you make up your mind to be one of those 5.
Then, if you fall into the category of folks who are called to Abramelin as the last resort in their lives – you are almost assured success. Out of those 2 or 3 folks, maybe one of them shouldn’t try Abramelin for some other reason. (For example, my wife was told through divination not to attempt Abramelin. As a seer, she has a pretty specific balance of forces and gateways in her skull as it is, and tossing her HGA in there would screw up her Work. But then, as such, her Work is already laid out in front of her, so Abramelin wouldn’t be a last resort to make her life right. She’s already on the right track, and her HGA still communicated with her when it is necessary.)
So, that’s my take on the dangers associated with Abramelin. It all really depends on who you are, and what your calling happens to be – rather than upon some kind of inherent danger or “selfishness” coded into the operation itself. It’s about spiritual alchemy, folks! Solve et Coagula and the purification of the Gold.