Archive for the ‘offerings’ Tag
Greetings Faithful Followers!
The time is drawing near for the Florida Pagan Gathering Samhain Festival! And I have once again been offered the honor of attending as a “headliner.” That means I’ll be hosting three lectures/workshops over the course of the festival – in between sessions of drumming and generally cavorting like a heathen. :)
My last experience at the FPG turned out to be a deeply moving spiritual experience that took me back to my Neopagan roots – besides being one helluva lot of fun. My fellow headliners were some of the top names in their various fields and practices, and I made more than one new lifelong friend while I was there. I expect this trip to be no different.
So I am inviting each and every one of you to come and join me for this awesome event! You can attend my workshops, ask me questions and then we can hang out in the various campsites and around the bonfire late into the night. I dare say we will not be disappointed by the experience!
Here is the info on the Festival:
Samhain 2012 – Out of the Darkness
Oct 31- Nov 4, Camp Ocala, Altoona, Florida
Welcome to the Forest! Set up camp, commune with nature, relax, visit the vendors, attend workshops, and evening events.
This is a full-fledged festival – with an entry fee – so make sure you contact them to register today! Then get your camping gear together and enjoy a few days out in nature away from the modern world. Or, just come by for a day of lectures, food, shopping and fun!
Here is the info on the workshops I will be hosting. Right now I don’t know exactly when these workshops will take place, but I’ll update this post as soon as I find out:
Working with Spirits and Ancestors
Working with lesser spirits (jinn, demons, familiars, etc) and the spirits of our ancestors are two of the most ancient forms of witchcraft. (Properly called “goetia” – but not to be confused with the medieval grimoire of the same name!) However, the practice fell into disrepute after the rise of the urban “city-state” in the Classical era – and was outlawed entirely after the rise of mainstream Christianity. This resulted in a cultural break in our mystical Western heritage that has remained with us to this very day. Even in Wicca and other Neopagan traditions, spirit-work is often frowned upon, and ancestors are merely recognized at specific times of the year.
However, that doesn’t mean the practice was lost to history! Folk magickal traditions around the world have preserved these mysteries, and an ever-growing number of today’s Pagans and occultists are reviving these ancient and often misunderstood practices in our modern systems.
This workshop will focus upon *what* spirit- and ancestor-work really is, and *how* to go about doing it yourself to empower your spells and your spiritual path. We will cover the benefits and the dangers, how to erect altars, build spirit pots, invoke the spirits, make offerings and more.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
One of the foundational practices of the most ancient forms of magick was the Ritual Offering. While this included the sacrifice of animals (and in some cases humans!) that certainly isn’t the whole story. Offerings were made in many fashions – from food to toys to tools and weapons, to incense and fire and much more. Such offerings were made to feed and empower the spirits and, in many cases, to provide the spirits with necessary tools to accomplish the magickal goals of the shamans who provided them.
Sadly, the art of the Ritual Offering was all but lost in the West after the rise of Judeo-Christiainity. Sacrifice and offerings were declared a form of devil-worship, and misrepresented as a method of “appeasing” angry and vengeful spirits who would otherwise harm the humans who invoked them. Even today’s modern occultists often hold to this erroneous idea.
This workshop will bust the myths about Ritual Offering, and explain its true meaning of magickal empowerment. We will cover how to properly make offerings to various classes of spirits and gods, along with the “do-nots” and “why?” behind the practice.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
Making and Enlivening Talismans
Quite often, when a modern occultist says the word “talisman”, he or she is talking about a piece of paper with symbols drawn upon it. But the art of Talismanic Magick is much broader than that! And the power of a talisman goes far beyond the inscription of the right names, properly colored inks and the recitation of the right prayers.
In the Old Magick, talismans were living beings in their own right. They were physical houses for spiritual entities who actively participated in the rituals with the magician. And they weren’t just jewelery or inscribed disks or scrolls – they were also the magickal tools, the robes and regalia, the furnishings of the temple and more. A true magician’s sacred working space is a thriving environment of spirits, angels and even gods who each play a vital role in the magick worked therein.
Likewise, magickal tools and furnishings are not merely “props” or objects we find convenient to use. Each and every physical object utilized by the magician is a living symbol of something greater – either a reflection of something in the outer universe that the magician wishes to “draw down” into his or her temple, or an embodiment of something deeply personal and powerful to the magician – or both.
In this workshop, we will discuss these aspects of talismanic magick. Plus, we will cover how to find and/or create your own talismans and “bring them to life” to work for you.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
I hope to see you there!
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 part 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.
ADDENDUM: One thing Agrippa mentions, and I’ve been meaning to experiment with it, is the inclusion of a lodestone. (That is a natural magnet made from magnetite.) It certainly wouldn’t add anything to the scent of the incense – so I’ve always assumed it was included for its attractive properties. That is, since a magnet can be used to magnetize other metals, then perhaps it is added to the incense to “magnetize” it to attract forces in sympathy with it.
However, I do note that Agrippa only lists the lodestone as an ingredient for Saturn and Martian incenses. So this may hint at a more chthonic attribution for the lodestone, having something to do with commanding spirits…
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.
Someone in the EvocationalMagics Yahoo Group asked why spiritual entities would need offerings – specifically food offerings intended to nourish and empower them. I think it’s a good question. The querent received different replies from three people – all of which (I feel) combine to give a fairly solid answer. Here they are:
From Brother Moloch:
“Need” is the problem in the above; substitute ‘want’ and you have a better understanding. But then, you could just as easily ask the same thing with the ‘want’ in it.
I cannot speak for other ATR practitioners, only myself & what I’ve learned which is that the Saints walked the earth at one time and they liked what life had to offer: Good food, smoke, drink, sex – the pleasures life had to offer. They miss these things & enjoy it when we indulge them in it.
We eat to sustain our bodies whilst they eat for the pleasure it bring them. I invite a Saint to dinner, I don’t give it a slab of bloody meat on a plate – hell I wouldn’t eat that so I would expect a guest to? Would you? No. I cook the food & offer it cooked which is how they like it.
From Frater Rufus Opus:
In the Old Testament, God wanted his offerings cooked too. It said the smell of the burning fat was pleasing to the Lord. I think it’s interesting that the smell was what was important. In Revelations it talks about how the incense in God’s temple was “the prayers of the Saints.” The smoke rises as it is released, heading up towards the heavens. The scent itself is the invisible essence of the offering. I think it’s apparent to us here that the spirits aren’t physically consuming the offering, so they just assumed it was the scent that pleased them, the invisible essence. All the words for “spirit” seem to be based on the word for “breath” or “wind.” You can’t usually see breath or wind, but you can feel it and see it affect the material realm. Makes sense that the unseen movers would eat the unseen essence of a thing.
And my own two cents:
I feel it is an alchemical mystery. As the food sits on the altar and dries out (or as it is reduced to ash in a fire, as the case may be) it undergoes a chemical “solve” process – where it is broken down into its essential elements. I believe this change-over presents an opportunity for the spirits – who are themselves connected to/representative of these natural processes – to draw their own kind of energy from the material.
Update: When I shared this blog post on Facebook, my friend and teacher Ochani Lele had something to add. I think it fits quite well with the overall “jist” of the explanation, and is worth including:
Actually the answer is much simpler than that. Everything has ashe (prana, life, power, etc) and food is no exception. Everything has different “types” of ashe, and ashe in varying amounts. There’s no difference between lighting a candle, lighting incense, saying a prayer, or offering food. Just as a ceremonial magician might use sandalwood incense on one occasion or a green candle on another, sometimes spirits or orishas or gods want the ashe inherent in food instead of a candle, or incense, or what-have-you.
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.
I recently had the unique opportunity to look into the subject of breaking pacts (contracts) made with spiritual entities. I was contacted by a friend who was doing her best to help a young man out of an unfortunate situation. He had joined a thestic Satanic group, who had him perform a dedication ceremony to Satan as the very first step of the path. He was led to believe he would receive the usual in exchange for his soul: money, women, power. He got none of these things, and soon found himself under spiritual attack and/or oppression.
I call this a unique situation, because it really isn’t something I encounter in my usual circles. I know of nothing in the Old Magick that parallels “selling your soul” to a spirit. At least not outside of the Faustian grimiores and the American crossroads tradition – both of which appear to be fairly isolated cases with no parallel in other traditions. (Nor, for that matter, any ideas on getting out of such a contract once you’re in it!)
There are, of course, plenty of examples of personal dedication to a deity or patron – which could be interpreted as giving oneself to the deity – but that becomes a religious thing. Much as it was for this theistic Satanic group…
Meanwhile, no tradition I know of – from the Sumerians to the Solomonic grimoires to Santeria – would allow such a thing as selling or giving oneself to a spirit. One can enter agreements – offering X, Y, and/or Z to the spirit in exchange for work done. One can even demand oaths of loyalty from the spirits who will serve you as familiars. But never do these things amount to trading your soul!
At no time are you to allow a spirit to gain control of you, and to allow it is to fail as a conjurer. Instead, across the board, spirits are fed so they will work for us. And, if a spirit fails to produce results, the conjurer simply dismisses it and refuses to feed it again. (And there are various ways of disposing of objects inhabited by familiar spirits.)
Taking all of this into account, I suspect the concept of “selling your soul” is entirely Christiain in origin – and likely caught up in anti-Pagan propoganda. The silly idea that a conjuror “worships” or gives himself over to the spirits he summons was propagated by early Church fathers, and is still held by many people today. The Faustian and “Man in Black” crossroads traditions probably followed naturually from there.
Since “selling your soul to Satan” appears to be a strictly Christian invention, then perhaps they know best how to break such a pact. In The Book of Black Magic (p. 262-264), A.E. Waite outlines a pact-breaking ceremony found in a Manual of Exorcisms published in 1678. It is intended for use by an exorcist, thereby suggesting that a pact with Satan can only be broken by an “official” representative of God:
The following formal process [is] for forcing the Demon to return any writing which constitutes an agreement with him:–
“O most merciful God, Whose Power hath no limit, Whose dominion is supreme over all beings, so that nothing can possibly be estreated from Thy rule by apostasy; behold, we have sinned against Thee, we have provoked Thy most just wrath, when we have failed to obey Thy commands, above all when., forsaking Thy rule and Thy friendship, we have abjured Thee and have consorted with the impious demons, nor yet contented with Thy denial, have bound ourselves in writing to those demons, surrendering the document of our voluntary obligation against Thee into their custody. But Thy mercies aye without number, O Lord of loving-kindness, and it is Thine to spare and to Pardon; look, therefore, with compassion upon this Thy creature, who, having formerly denied Thee and given himself in writing to the demons, but now, having returned to himself by the help of Thine infinite goodness, doth abhor his impiety, doth desire to be restored unto Thee his true Lord, and to be received with contrite heart into Thy favour. We know, O Lord, that a contrite and humble heart Thou wilt not despise, nor can any writing be an impediment in the way of Thy mercy; we beseech Thee, therefore, that, by the abundance of Thy clemency, not only may the heinousness of this sin be blotted out with the Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, but that the demon, by the word of Thy Power, may be compelled to restore the deed and obligation and delivery, lest he glory in his tyranny and Pretend to any right over the man whom we pray to be delivered through Thy Son from his bonds. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, &c.”
The propitiation of offended Deity is followed by a citation of the demon who is required to disgorge his prey.
“I exorcise thee, O impious Satan, who, when thy power has passed away, dost still pretend to impose a tyrant yoke on man. I exorcise thee by Jesus Christ, Who came into this world for the salvation of sinners; I conjure thee to remove thy yoke immediately from this creature, who, deceived by thy wiles, formerly delivered himself unto thee. Abandoning thee henceforth, he commits himself to the Divine mercy, seeking His service unto Whom he alone is owing, Who also promises the reward of eternal life to those who follow Him. I exorcise thee by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, by which the deed of judgment against us hath been blotted out, so that when Jesus receiveth the sinner into His favour, thou shalt dare not to advance anything against him, and shalt not fail to restore the deed by which this creature bound himself unto thee, the same being now cancelled by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Hear, therefore, accursed Satan, who art powerless over a servant of God, when, encouraged by his true Lord, he turneth unto another service; in vain dost thou boast of this deed; I command thee to restore it in the name of the Lord, as a Proof before the whole world that when God receiveth a sinner, thou hast no longer any Yule over his soul. I abjure thee, by Him who expelled thee from thy stronghold, bereft thee of the arms which thou didst trust in and distributed thy spoils. Return therefore this deed, whereby this creature of God foolishly bound himself to thy service; return it, I say, in His name by Whom thou art overcome; when thy Power has come to nothing, presume not longer to retain this useless document. By penitence already hath this creature of God restored himself to his true Lord, spurning thy yoke, hoping in the Divine mercy for defence against thine assaults, and assisted by the Most Holy and Glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God, through whose intercession he shall obtain from Jesus Christ, His Son, that which he himself is not worthy to expect. Through the same Christ our Lord.”
Whether this process was supposed to insure the visible and material return of the incriminating document, or, failing this, was held to cancel it formally, does not certainly appear and will matter little…
In both parts of this rite, there seems to be an underlying concept that Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross supersedes any contract the victim may have made with a demon. This makes sense to me if the victim really and truly believes/means what is being stated in the prayers. It also occurs to me that it would be just as good, or better, to seek out a Church (Orthodox or Catholic) and undertake their conversion process. It involves exorcism, baptism (cleansing) and the establishment of a new contract that would supercede any previous pacts.
All of that is fine for someone who has no problem with converting to Christianity. And that is probably not a far stretch for someone who believes in “selling your soul to Satan” in the first place. However, in our case of the young man seeking help, this was not the proper solution. Thus, I set out to discover how he could best dissolve his pact with Satan and move on.
As it turned out, he had several things working in his favour. First, the Satanic church he joined admitted in their writings that one could break the pact at any point one wishes. (It included ominous warnings that Satan would leave you to your enemies forever and you could never come back. But, even still, a way out was included right there in the fine print!)
Secondly, he never received the money, power and woman he expected – which means the pact was null and void in any case. Still, he did dedicate himself to a deity and that would have to be addressed.
Finally, this person had (for some reason) chosen to call upon Satan as “Samael.” This was good news because Samael can be approached through the Solomonic system as an Archangel rather than an Archdemon. And I knew just how to go about doing that. ;)
The following is the technique I prescribed for him to dissolve his pact. This is rather specific to Samael – using timing, incense, colors and offerings sacred to Mars – though it could be modified to work with any spirit. In fact, tt can be used to respecfully dissolve any agreement you’ve made with a spirit, even if you haven’t gone so far as to offer yourself in the deal:
- Set up an altar or table, facing east or facing Mars. A red cloth covering is preferable, but a white one will do and black will also work.
-On the altar, place a red seven-day candle, a coal-burning censer and incense made of tobacco (1 prt), cinnamon (1/4 prt) and crushed red pepper (1/8 prt). (Go light on the pepper! And be VERY sure to burn only a little at a time! DO NOT inhale it directly! In large quantity, or if you add too much red pepper, it is like tear gas!)
-Also on the altar, place the original contract along with a food offering. Foods sacred to Samael are called for: Fresh hot peppers of various kinds (especially red), red meat (fully cooked! – nothing rare, no blood left running!), rum and cigars. You can even put some iron on the altar – such as railroad spikes, nails, or an iron tool.
-He should also place a Talisman of Samael in the center of the altar. Use the sigil from the Heptameron (or Magical Calendar), and I’m sure you or ****** are more than capable of helping him make that. (At this point I wouldn’t have him attempt any complex consecrations.) [Author's note: If you happen to know how to properly consecrate such a talisman, then by all means do so.]
-Finally, he must compose a prayer to Samael – worded however he wants. It should simply explain that he made the dedication without understanding all the facts, and that he feels it was disrespectful on HIS (not Samael’s!) part to make such a dedication without knowing more about the entity in question. Mention that nothing requested has been fulfilled, and thus he would like to respectfully terminate the pact and learn more before proceeding further. It should also mention that he has brought an offering as a show of respect.
-Set all of this up on a Monday night – making sure to clean the room or area the altar is set in.
-At dawn on Tuesday morning, wash up and approach the altar. Light the candle and incense – and set the candle directly on top of Samael’s talisman in the center. Surround this with the offerings.
-Now hold the old contract and call Samael by name and by virtue of the signed contract. Then read the prayer I outlined above, finishing with mention of the offerings made. At this point put more incense on the censer. Light the cigar, then draw smoke from it and blow it onto the altar five times. Then place what remains of the cigar on the plate with the other offerings.
-Finally, tear up the old contract and burn it in the censer. Once done, offer thanks to Samael and leave. The candle should be allowed to completely burn out (should take about five days), and the offerings should be left there about the same length of time. After the candle burns away, take all the offerings, the ashes from the censer and (if he wants) the talisman of Samael. These can be thrown and poured out into a running stream or river, or left at a crossroads.
If he does this and still suffers spiritual oppression or attacks, then we’ll have him do an Uncrossing to clear out any dreck he’s picked up along the way. I have instructions on my blog, so let me know if you need them, too. :)
When we think about exorcism (specifically of a place), we tend to think of it as an all-or-nothing deal. The exorcist comes into the building and casts out anything that isn’t an Angel. (For an example of a simple home cleansing and exorcism, see my Uncrossing instructions.)
For most common folks, a home free from all spirits is the desired goal. However, if you are a practitioner of any form of magick, you likely have a house full of familiar spirits, ancestors, helpers, nature spirits and ghosts that simply enjoy hanging around. You certainly do NOT want to cast these guys screaming into the outer abyss along with any harmful demons you exorcise.
My Guardian Angel once revealed to me a simple technique for protecting your house-familiars from a general exorcism. First, you want to perform the Uncrossing and house cleaning as described in the Uncrossing instructions – up to but NOT including sprinkling and perfuming the house while reading Psalms 90 and 91!
Instead, you will need a white candle and a piece of consecrated quartz crystal. (The candle can be consecrated as well, but the crystal *must* be, in order to keep negative spirits from attaching themselves to it.) You will also need an offering to the friendly spirits: food items such as fruits and vegetables, bread and honey, milk, water, liquor, flowers, cigars, incense, etc – whatever you know your house spirits will enjoy. Establish this offering either in your Temple space, or create a sacred space/circle around a table holding the offerings. It should be in a room or area that you will not need to exorcise.
Now, take the white candle in your right hand and the consecrated stone in your left. Beginning in the back of the house (or the place furthest away from the offerings) walk through every room as you address all friendly, familial and house spirits. Announce that you are about to exorcise the house, and that any friendly spirits who wish to stay must follow the light (your candle) and grab hold of the stone. Also announce that you have an offering set up for them in a safe place.
Once you have completed this, place the candle and stone on the table with the offerings. You have now localized all of your house spirits in one safe location. Then return to the Uncrossing instructions and perform the sprinkling and censing of the house (except for the room the offerings are in!) along with the recitation of Psalms 90 and 91.
Once the exorcisms are complete and the house is sealed and protected, return to the offering table and deal with it as you would any other offering. (I usually leave the offering there for several days.) Announce to the spirits that they are free to move around the house again – and (if it applies) break any magick circle you cast around the table.
May you AND your familiars enjoy a happy and prosperous home. :)
The Key of Solomon calls for the use of the blood of a gosling in the consecration of the White-hilted Knife. (This is the knife used to prepare all other holy implements, cut herbs, candles, etc, etc.) It also calls for the blood of a black cat in the consecration of the Black-hilted Knife. (This is the knife used to inscribe the protective circle and command the infernal spirits. It is in many ways like the Solomonic Sword.) On my Solomonic Group, someone asked about the possibility of using my “Solomonic Omiero” method to substitute for these ingredients. I decided to use this as an opportunity to offer two good examples of how to apply the method I have described:
I did some poking around on the gosling, and found a great resource:
The Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in Art
Goose entry: p. 198-200
As I suspected, the goose (a white animal) is a celestial symbol: “Probably because of its high flight, it is a solar creature, associated with male virility, divine knowledge and the ability of the mind to communicate on all three levels… the bird symbolizes wisdom, discrimination and spiritual knowledge.”
Quite appropriate for the White-hilted Knife, and very solar. I would suggest making some holy water according to my “omiero” method, using Solar plants and Psalms that invoke the wisdom and knowledge of the Most High. And just for good measure, you can add some goose feather to the final mix.
Update 1-5-11 : A member of my Solomonic group recently pointed out that Mars should reside in one of the signs it rules – Aries or Scorpius – when the White-Hilted Knife is consecrated. When I put together this blog, I had somehow passed over that fact and thus made no mention of Mars. The group member suggested geese were sacrificed to Ares and Mars, but I have not been able to verify that info. (The animals I have found sacred to Ares and Mars are the poisonous serpent, the wolf, the jackal, the owl, the vulture and the woodpecker.) At this time, it appears the gosling may not be directly linked to the martial force after all. Jake Kent, another member of the group, has suggested that magickal knives in general may be sacred to Vulcan (blacksmith of the gods), who has been associated with Mars in the past.
The black cat (and the Black-hilted Knife) is associated with Saturn. (Coupled with the Sword consecrated to Mars, you have the Mars/Saturn combo often associated with controlling spirits in the grimoires.) Of course a cat represents magick in general, and then the black color associates it with lower and infernal spirits. (After all, the Black-hilted knife is a goetic tool.) As the “Continuum Encyclopedia…” points out on pages 74-75, during the medieval era cats were kept mainly to control the rodent population- so it makes sense to use the blood of a cat to consecrate a dagger to control infernal spirits. At the same time, black cats (especially) were associated with witches and black magick – hence my association of the black cat to Saturn.
So, in place of the blood of a black cat, make the “omiero” holy water with plants related to Saturn, and Psalms invoking the wrath, might and protection of the Most High. (You could also add some fur, a whisker or even a claw from a black cat to the final mix.) Be careful, though! Many of Saturn’s plants are poisonous, like hemlock. You don’t want to absorb that kind of thing into your hands.
Hopefully that will give you a good idea of the process involved in making such substitutions. :)
P.S. – The Key of Solomon also calls for blood in the case of magickal inks. In that case, the blood is a thickening agent. Thus, besides creating a holy water to substitute for the animal in question, you’ll also need to add something like gum-arabic to the ink to thicken it.
Every once in a while, the subject of ritual blood use is raised among those who study the Old Magicks. Blood and sacrifice were fairly common in both religion and magick until relatively recently in history. I discuss the subject in depth in chapter four of “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires”, if you want to read about my take on the subject.
Today, however, many modern practitioners (especially those of American WASP heritage) have sensibilities that preclude the use of blood in ritual. Perhaps this will change, if our Great Western Civilization eventually collapses and we are again forced to raise and slaughter our own food. But until then, some of us would rather not engage in the practice.
We can take heart, though. Even ancient traditions that regularly make use of blood and sacrifice – such as the ATRs (Santeria, Palo, etc), the medieval grimoires and various forms of conjure and folk magick- also include paths and methods that do not require blood. From what I have seen, no one looks down upon those paths nor upon their adherents for their choice. That’s great, because it gives us avenues to explore the Old Magicks without the use of blood, and still learn how to do things right.
Omiero is a liquid used in Santerian traditions, whenever an Orisha (or god) is born into a new vessel. (These vessels are urns, filled with consecrated items, that become the center-pieces of altars to the Orishas.) The Orisha will quite literally live inside the vessel, and offerings and sacrifices will be made to him or her upon the altar. However, the Orisha’s very first meal is not blood at all – it is omiero. Because of this, omiero can be considered even more potent (in its way) than blood.
Of course, the secrets of making true omiero are a closely guarded secret. I only know it involves the ripping and tearing of sacred herbs and plants beneath running water, so that a green-tinted water is collected. And there are mystical songs that must be sung during its preparation.
Meanwhile, the concept of herbally-infused holy water is not unheard of outside of these mystery religions. We can especially find it within the practice of Hoodoo – a folk practice that originated in the American south, and was itself heavily influenced by the ATRs. In this case, the process is much simplified – usually involving little more than steeping sacred herbs in water to produce a “tea” or extracting the scent of a plant and infusing it into water (such as the very popular Florida Water – which is named for its sweet floral scent, not for the US state).
Drawing from the concepts of omiero and herbal holy waters, we can use a similar method to produce a blood substitute for our own magick. Below, I will outline a method of making a kind of holy water based upon the omiero concept (note: this is not the recipe for true omiero as used in the ATRs), which I have incorporated into a Solomonic framework.
1) First make or obtain a liberal amount of Holy Water- either as outlined in the Key of Solomon, or obtained from a Church, etc. In any case you will need about half a gallon of lightly salted consecrated water. Try to avoid Holy Waters that contain rose or other herbs.
2) Find several Psalms that relate to the Force/Angel/Spirit you are working with. (You might choose a number of Psalms based upon a number sacred to the entity. Six Psalms for solar entities, eight for mercurial, etc.) My primary source for these is always “Use of the Psalms”- often found appended to the “6th and 7th Books of Moses.” Another good source is called the “Book of Gold”, recently published by Avalonia Publishing. Also, don’t hesitate to sit down with an online Bible and search the Psalms and other Scripture for keywords that relate to your needs.
3) Gather some fresh plants that relate to the Force/Angel/Spirit. (You don’t want woods or resins- look for leafy green plants!) Scott Cunningham wrote some good source material for this kind of thing. See “Incenses, Oils and Brews.” Again, if possible try to gather a number of plants based upon a number sacred to the entity in question.
4) Prepair your ritual space, and yourself, as you normally would for magickal work. It is best to perform this work on the proper Day and Hour according to the table of Solomonic hours.
5) During said Hour, put the Holy Water into a large bowl. Take some of the plant material in hand, and begin to sing/recite the Psalms as you immerse the plants into the Water and begin to rip and tear at the plant material.
Keep going until the plants just can’t be ripped, torn, squeezed or pressed any further, and you finally run out of plant material. Strain out the destroyed plant remnants. The remaining water should be as dark green as you can possibly get it. (It will likely take some practice to know how much plant material you’ll need in each case.)
When the water is dark green, store it away like any other Holy Water, and use it as needed for sacrifice/offering. You can use it in place of blood anytime it is called for in a spell. You can also use it any time you create a spirit pot – not only as a first offering to the spirit, but also to wash every object you will place into its vessel.