The Hermit’s Lamp: The Continuing Tradition of the Modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn   2 comments

by Aaron Leitch (Frater O.C.)

Originally published in the Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic:

The Hermit carries in his lamp the flame of the Divine Light. It is merely a small spark of the infinite Source, fallen here to Earth – “the Light that shineth in darkness, yet the darkness comprehendeth it not.” The Hermit holds the Lamp aloft, keeping that spark away from the floods, and flames, and shadows of the air that seek to overwhelm it, and high enough for aspirants to see above the shadows of the world. As a ship on troubled waters needs the guidance of the lighthouse, so do seekers of gnosis follow the distant glow of the Hermit’s Lamp.

I see in this symbolism a perfect metaphor of the Golden Dawn Tradition. Say what you will of the individual personalities of its founders and early members, or the several controversies and schisms that mark their early formative years, the Golden Dawn endures. It was created as a repository of the Western Mysteries; an attempt to combine the best of what all of its members had learned and practiced, and to pass that wisdom down through succeeding generations. They certainly butted heads time and again, and even went their separate ways more than once, but what they created was larger than themselves, and has refused to pass quietly into obscurity.

“By Names and Images are all Powers awakened and reawakened.” This is perhaps the most foundational tenet of Golden Dawn magical philosophy. Even if one group puts down the scepter for good, another can simply pick it up and invoke the forces anew. And, indeed, over it’s nearly century and a half of existence the Golden Dawn has never been entirely dormant. Even after most of the European Temples had closed – either falling victim to schism or the two World Wars – at least one well-hidden Temple continued to operate in New Zealand. (Smaragdum Thallasses Temple No 49 – known best today as “Whare Ra”, named for the house in which the Temple resided.) It remained active until late 1978, when dwindling membership (and the advanced age of its adepts) prompted its Chiefs to skip the autumnal equinox ceremony and close its doors forever.

But the Golden Dawn was not done! In 1977, a future branch of the Order was already being constructed by an American occultist named Charles “Chic” Cicero. No stranger to esoteric practice, he was already running a Thelemic camp of his own in Georgia, and had close ties to the head of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), Grady McMurtry. For a time, he operated his GD Temple alongside his Camp. However, as he has often stated, his heart truly belonged to the Golden Dawn Tradition.

While he began with no connection to the original Order, and had no way of knowing the secretive Whare Ra existed, his Temple was active and performing the rituals as published by Israel Regardie to “re-awaken the Powers.” Mr. Cicero even went so far as to construct a Vault of the Adepti, with the intention of exploring the Inner Order mysteries. Regardie himself was still alive and, as fate would have it, also living in America. Both men believed Regardie to be the last living adept of the original Order, prompting Cicero to contact the elder to let him know someone out there was still putting the system into practice.

And this is my favorite part of the story: It contains the one thing that, I believe, defines the Regardie lineage to this very day – and makes me proud to be part of it. Regardie’s response to Cicero was in no way what you might expect from an adept of an occult Fraternity. He did not patronize the younger man, nor inform him that his lack of a warrant made his “do-it-yourself” Vault ineffective. No, the response of Israel Regardie was (and I paraphrase here, from the letter he sent to Mr. Cicero) that he hoped Chic had a good team of Officers because he wanted to visit and give the Vault a go! Someone built an actual Vault of the Adepti, and Regardie just wanted to take it for a ride. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the response of a true magician.

Regardie did indeed make his historic visit, in June 1982, during which he consecrated that Vault, raised two people to 5=6 in it, and thus passed on the spark of his initiatory lineage (not institutional lineage, Regardie did not have the authority to offer a warrant) to the new American Isis-Urania Temple. After this, Cicero found himself dedicating more and more of his attentions toward the Golden Dawn, eventually leaving Thelema behind on good terms.

Thus, the Order of the Golden Dawn – as an active organization – had never actually gone dormant. The American Order had begun a year before Whare Ra closed, and became official less than four years afterward. It was just a brief moment in time when the Lamp of the Hermit flickered before flaring back into full life. Today, the Ciceros’ Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is a global organization, larger even than the original Order had been in its heyday. The Ciceros also grant certification to smaller groups to operate independent Temples of their own, without fear of legal threats from less reputable people claiming to be “the real” Golden Dawn. Add to that the vast library of books the Ciceros have published on the Tradition, and I dare say not a single GD lodge exists without some ties – direct, indirect, or inspirational – to the modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Sadly, I didn’t enter the picture (joining Isis-Urania in 1998) until after Regardie’s passing. Therefore, I didn’t get to witness any of those early days firsthand. However, most or all of this has been told and published by the Ciceros over the years, so there is little need for me to repeat it here in vast detail. I do know from letters, photographs, and anecdotes told by the Ciceros and many others, that Regardie was a close friend and mentor in their earliest days. I know they miss him dearly, and hold him in high regard to this day.

But Regardie’s presence isn’t entirely absent. I see him reflected in the personalities of Chic and Tabatha Cicero, and can plainly spot his influence upon how the Order is run. It is because of this I consider myself quite fortunate to have applied to this Order over any other. (Truthfully, I never actually considered any others.) I found at Isis-Urania an environment free of identity cults, internal politics, or vitriol toward either one another or the sincere aspirants we meet outside of our Tradition. And while one can expect as many personality conflicts and unfortunate social/relational situations as any group of humans must endure, I have not seen the Order produce people with unstable, deceitful, or vindictive personalities. When such people turn up, as they tend to do, they don’t last long and/or are not the result of faithfully following the system.

That is Regardie’s most enduring legacy. It is hardly because we believe he was some ultimate and unquestionable source upon the Golden Dawn Tradition. He wasn’t the only one to publish material concerning the Order. And, once the facts about Whare-Ra were discovered, we knew he was not even the last living Adept of the original Order. He was simply one link in the chain of Adepts that links all of us to the masters of the past.

What endures about Regardie is his “let’s take it out for a spin” attitude that lives on in the Order’s Chiefs today. I even saw it on the very first day I met the Ciceros, though I knew nothing of their backstory at that time. As Chic gave me a tour of the Temple (which is an ever-expanding museum in its own right), pointing out various objects of occult and historical significance, I could sense a kind of glee behind his words. It was less like I was taking a stuffy museum tour, and more as if we were a couple of kids and he was proudly showing me his best toys.

I found the same to be true when speaking with both Chic and Tabatha, who were enthusiastic to discuss the Golden Dawn and Hermeticism without either an air of superiority, or any attempt to “sell” me on joining their organization. Their motivations were not out of ego or some amorphous desire to be “the real Golden Dawn.” They are more concerned with putting the system to good use, so they can perform the ceremonies and have the visions and astral trips and all the stuff that makes being a wizard awesome. Like Regardie, they are the type of people who would rather take your new Vault for a ride than pick it apart. And what I saw during that first meeting hasn’t changed in over twenty years.

Not long after I joined Isis-Urania, I had the rare opportunity to see all three of the HOGD Chiefs in one place. I sat quietly and listened to them reminisce about the early days of the Order, and how quickly it seemed twenty years had passed. At that time, their goal was to “fill the Rose” – meaning to create enough adepts to fill the 22 petals of the Golden Dawn Rose: with at least three 7=4s, seven 6=5s, and twelve 5=6s. If it could be accomplished, and they were already close to that goal, it would mean the Order was strong enough to outlive its founders.

As I progressed through the Grades, and after I entered the RR et AC, I got to take part in the thirtieth anniversary of the Vault’s consecration. The Golden Dawn itself was nearing its 120th anniversary, a time we held to have special significance for the continuing Tradition. (“After 120 years, I shall open…”) By that time, the Rose had been filled and the Ciceros were laboring to establish and maintain several Temples overseas. It was also around this time they began to explore Masonry, where Mr. Cicero quickly rose up the ranks. He had joined in the hopes of learning more about the origins of the Golden Dawn, but I suspect he taught them as much or more about the Hermetic origins of Masonic symbolism. Tabatha Cicero was no less busy, as she came into possession of the documents for another fraternity with historical importance to the Golden Dawn – the Societas Rosicruciana in America (which a young Israel Regardie had joined in 1926) – and was working hard to re-organize and resurrect it in a modern form.

And that is the rest of Regardie’s legacy: the continuing and continually-expanding Western Tradition. Before the – let us say – late 1980s or so, the occult mysteries of the West had been narrowed down to just a few organizations, most of them Thelemic or Neopagan in focus. But thanks to the meeting of Regardie and the Ciceros, thanks to the dedication they have shown the Tradition over the decades, and to the writings they have provided for us, the original Golden Dawn Tradition not only survives, but in fact thrives. It has become a massive influence on modern occultism, as much or more than the old Order had influenced the occult revival of its day.

And don’t think the Golden Dawn only produces Adepts who write about the Golden Dawn! The tendency I have seen is for those who enter the RR et AC to tend toward specialization in one subject or a small group of related subjects. Some certainly dedicate themselves to Golden Dawn rituals and teaching; yet, others have become expert astrologers, or focused on geomancy, tarot, sacred geometry, the grimoires, Enochiana, folk magick, collecting and/or translating rare texts, crafting, various forms of art and music, the sciences, and more – many of them publishing and heavily influencing their chosen fields. I have to chuckle when I see someone declare the magical lodges are outdated and irrelevant in today’s occult communities, because such people are always unaware of what is really going on behind the scenes – where members are doing real Work that truly affects the world, but (as is proper for a secret society) most people don’t even know they are there.

Today, I sit on the dais as a Temple Officer as we bear down on the Order’s fortieth year. Our founding adepts are now elders themselves, having held the Lamp of the Hermit aloft for four decades, and gathered the aspirants of the next generation. And I have certainly seen some incredible people pass through our Hall. The legacies of Regardie and the Ciceros have already spread beyond the boundaries of the Golden Dawn, and there is no doubt whatsoever the Lamp will continue to burn brightly for generations to come. Khabs Am Pekht!

Zorge,

Aaron Leitch (Fra Odo Caosg)

 

Posted June 14, 2020 by kheph777 in golden dawn, Uncategorized

Gnosticism in a Gnutshell   8 comments

Greetings Seekers of Gnosis!

joy-of-hermes

The following is compiled from a series of posts I made on Facebook, which were intended to introduce some basic concepts of Gnostic philosophy and cosmology to people who were unfamiliar with it.  To be honest, I was inspired to write it when a Pagan who had been directed to my work was shocked to hear me speak of the Divine in Biblical terms.  She asked if I believed the God of the Bible was “the real God”, and I promptly confused her further by saying, “You mean Jehovah??  No, I’m talking about God.”  She responded with, “So, then, who is ‘God’?”  That’s not something you can answer in just a few lines on Facebook – so I took my time and wrote the following.

If what you read here interests you, I should also direct you to my earlier series Gnosticism: Sethian to Valentinian that goes into further detail on the evolution of the Gnostic Mythos.  (There’s more than one!)  That is also an introductory work, but what you’ll read below is an even more basic overview of the philosophy and cosmology of Gnosticism in general.  (Yes, it over-simplifies a lot!  But keep in mind this is for folks who know little to nothing about it.  You can easily go from here into more complex material concerning the tradition.  I highly recommend The Gnostic Scriptures by Bentley Layton as a starting point.)  So, without further ado:

Gnosticism in a Gnutshell

The Highest of All is called “The Parent”. It has no name, it’s affiliated with no religion.  Some call it “the Source.” It is Ineffable and Incomprehensible to the human mind – truly infinite.

There is a tiny sliver of that Source we monkeys can sort of guess at. The Gnostics called that the Logos – the Word. He represents Sentience. They also called it the Christos – the Anointed. (Guess where the Christians got those words from?) All of those prayers to “the Highest God” are basically prayers to the Logos. It’s the highest we can grasp.

Finally, there is another tiny sliver we can comprehend (a little better than the Logos) – and that is the Mother Sophia. She’s basically the Mother of the world – she gave birth to the Demiurge. (Guess where the Catholics got all their Mary “Mother of God” worship from?)

The Logos and Sophia are the Mother and Father of the world. (Guess where Alchemy got the imagery of the Alchemical King and Queen from?) The Neopagans call them Lord and Lady.

And all of them (except for the Demiurgos – more on him later) live beyond the band of fixed stars, in the infinity of the Source – which the Gnostics called the Pleroma – the Fullness. Of course, the Logos and Sophia can reach down here to us – which is why we know them

Meanwhile, all of the angels and deities (which are essentially the same thing) that live on our side of the Great Barrier are called Archons – the Rulers. Jehovah and Yahweh and Osiris and Marduk and Zeus (etc), along with the angels and demons and spirits – who inhabit and make up the universe – all exist on *our* side of the fixed stars. That is the realm of Nature.  They were created by the Demirugos during the time he was blind to the Fullness above him. They are represented by the stars and planets of astrology – because they govern Fate. The role of the Gnostic was to ascend past Fate, past the Archons, and return to the Fullness.  In fact, that’s why the old Gnostics were strictly anti-Astrology.

 

The Aeons, Sophia, and the Christos

King-Queen-ChildIn my last post about Gnosticism, I mentioned only two small slivers of the Parent of the Entirety (aka “God”) that we can hope to understand (a little). One is the Logos/Christos (which is what we usually mean when we talk about “God”) and the other is Sophia – God’s Wisdom. She is also known as the Shekinah (God’s Presence), Aima Elohim (Mother of the Gods), or the Hermetic Soul of the World.

But there is, of course, more to the story.

Sophia is what we call an Aeon. (That’s pronounced EE-on, not AY-on.) And She isn’t the only one. The Aeons are super-cosmically massive spiritual beings who exist in the Pleroma beyond the Great Barrier of Fixed Stars.

Remember I described the Logos as “Sentience” – the manifestation of the Parent’s awareness of Itself. (“I AM” to all you Qabalists.) The Logos was not the first thought the Parent had – but the Parent’s ability to think. Once this Sentience existed, the Parent (of course) began to have thoughts – and those thoughts rolled out in pairs called “Aeons” – each pair giving rise to the next pair (in just the same way your thoughts work). These guys are so immense they are just as often described as realms within the Pleroma or even – as their name implies – vast epochs of time. If you study the Qabalah, you know the Aeons by the name “Sephiroth.”

Every single Gnostic sect had their own list of the Aeons, how many their were, what their Names were, what their Names meant, how they were paired, etc. The important thing to know here is that the Aeons are the Platonic Archetypes for everything that would later come to exist in the physical world. Just like the Qabalistic Sephiroth, they are not “archangels”, but infinitely vast spiritual realms or states of being.

However, there were some problems at this point. The Aeons were the thoughts of the Parent, yes, but they were scattered thoughts – heaving to and fro without much direction. Their unchecked passions created a cacophony in the Pleroma.

Sophia – Wisdom – was the last of the Aeons. Just as every pair of Aeons above Her had produced dual offspring, so did She wish to engender the next pair of Aeons. But Her mate, seeing They were already so far from the Source, did not wish to continue. So, She went off on Her own and had a child (Virgin Birth, anyone?) – and that child was called the Demiurgos (or Demiurge – the Creator, the Architect, etc). But, because he was born in a state of imbalance, he was deformed, blind, and mad. Sophia instantly regretted Her decision, covered the infant in Darkness, and wept.

The Logos saw all of this happening, and came to the rescue. First, He arranged the Aeons into a balanced pattern and taught them Repose (a concept likely imported from Buddhism) to quiet their passions. Once he had calmed them down, He turned His attentions to Sophia and her problem. He created the Great Barrier to separate the Pleroma from the Darkness, and paired with Sophia to engender a host of “angels” (really minor Aeons, not the angels we all know and love). They also engendered the Holy Spirit Itself – Their combined Divine Force that would later descend to Earth (but that’s another story).

Because the Logos had brought balance and repose to the Aeons, He was crowned and named “The Anointed” (Christos). And because He had rescued Sophia from Her passions, He was also named “The Redeemer.” The Christos and Sophia are the Mother and Father of the World, the God and Goddess, the King and Queen of Alchemy.

Everything you have read above has been an _allegory_ for what occurred within the mind of the Parent. It is a perfect reflection of what happens in YOUR mind from the moment you gain sentience, to the point where you develop the ability to balance your own thoughts, calm your passions, and find Repose – just as in Buddhism.

Next we’ll talk about the Demiurgos, and what became of him.

The Demiurgos

god-monty python

In my previous “Gnoticism in a Gnutshell” posts, I made several references to the Demiurgos (or Demiurge), and promised to explain his story as well. So, here goes!

As I said previously, the Demiurge was created by Sophia when she wished to engender a child but her Aeonic partner refused to participate. Due to this imbalance, the Demiurge was born deformed, blind, and mad – causing Sophia great sorrow. The Logos/Christos heard her cries and came to the rescue (a story very similar to Thoth coming to the aid of Nut when she gave birth to the Nine Gods). The Christos created the Great Barrier of Fixed Stars to wall off the Pleroma from the realm of darkness and the influence of the Demiurge. Afterward the Christos and Sophia became the Heavenly Father and Mother we know and love today, together giving birth to not only the Holy Spirit, but also a host of lesser Aeons who became the “Holy Guardian Angels.”

But that left the Demiurge all alone in a realm of darkness. We don’t know what the plan was to redeem him and bring him back home again – but we DO know that things didn’t go so well with him…

By the time the Demiurge became aware, he found himself “the only being in an abyss of darkness.” (“From an abyss of darkness came I forth ere my birth, from the silence of a primal sleep.”) He did not know of the Mother and Father above him, and so believed he was all that existed. That is, at least, until he gazed down into the water of the abyss. There, he saw the reflected Light of the Mother – who was watching over him. He fell immediately in love with that Light, and (not knowing it was a mere reflection) rushed forward to embrace it. He took the Light into himself, and this is how he came into possession of a “fallen” piece of the Pleroma itself.

I have given the entire story of the Demiurge elsewhere, but here I’ll be brief. He used the power of the Light to create the known universe (the celestial, earthly, and underworld realms), all of the angels who govern the stars (which the Gnostics called Archons – rulers), and all of the plants and animals and spirits of the Earth.

It is important to know the Architect didn’t come up with the design for the universe by himself. It was in fact granted to him, via inspiration, by the Christos/Logos himself. Yes, the Christos was the true architect of the universe – the Demiurge being more of a foreman in charge of the construction. This is why the created realm is a reflection of the patterns the Christos created when he brought order and balance to the Pleroma. “As above, so below.” This is also why the Gnostics often refer to him as the true Creator (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… and without the Word was nothing created.” – see John 1:1-5.)

Eventually the Demiurge was inspired to create Man (Adam). But when he breathed the Breath of Life into the Man, he inadvertently passed the entirety of the Light into the new creature. He attempted to remove that Life (Eve) from Adam, but it was eventually passed down into their son Seth. (Cain did not possess the Light.) The rest of the saga can be read in the Old Testament.

But wait… does this mean all of the Biblical religions in the world are actually worshiping the Demiurge – a lesser, false God? Yes, it does! And here you see why those religions consider Gnosticism an evil heresy that must be stamped out. But I digress…

It was Cain who founded the civilizations of the world – the “Cainites.” The descendants (Sons) of Seth, however, each possessed a piece of the Light – and it is our job to ascend, to become “more than human”, and to eventually (after many reincarnations) return home to the Pleroma – carrying the Light with us. When the last Gnostic ascends from this realm, the universe will descend into darkness and cease to be.

But what of the Demiurge? Well the original “Sethian” Gnostics believed he was one and the same with Satan. They believed he and the Archons were evil despots who feed on the suffering of mankind – trapping them into an endless cycle of reincarnation to power his grand machine (the universe). But that’s not the end of his story!

The later Valentinian Gnostics had a different view. They didn’t believe the Demiurge was an evil being at all. They knew what had happened to him wasn’t his fault, and that he was merely ignorant of the Pleroma above him. For this reason, the Logos descends into the created realm in order to teach the Truth, or what is called the “Gospel” (Good News). The Christos came down upon a rebellious rabbi named Joshua (you know him better by the Romanized version of his name: Jesus) during his baptism, and proceeded to perform a world-changing ministry. This is the truth of “Jesus Christ.” Christ isn’t his last name! He was merely a human man who was host to the Christos. The ministry was actually the Christos speaking through him.

What you see in the New Testament are Jesus’ public teachings. What we call Gnosticism consists of his secret teachings – reserved only for his close Disciples. (See Matthew 13:10-17.) Part of this secret teaching was given to none other than the Demiurge himself – wherein the Christos revealed the full story to the Architect, and the Plan that had been enacted so the Gnostics could finally carry the fallen Light back home again. Since that time, the once-despotic and ignorant Demiurge became an ally in the Great Plan. His job, and that of the Archons, is merely to maintain the physical world (both good and bad) until the Plan is finally fulfilled.

And that, brothers and sisters, is the end of this series of posts. You now have the basics of the Gnostic philosophy. There is, of course, much more to the story – many details I left out of this introduction. If you’d like a good overview of the entire Gnostic mythos – the saga of the Great Plan to redeem the Light – you might enjoy this series of articles I wrote many years ago for the now-defunct “Gnostic Cross Magazine”, called Gnosticism: Sethian to Valentinian.

Zorge,

Father Aaron Leitch

Posted January 4, 2020 by kheph777 in gnosticism

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Stuart Myers / Ocha’ni Lele – Breaking the Molds   9 comments

Ochani Lele

Today is Wednesday, November 27th, 2019. This is the day (at about 7:30 am Pacific time) the world lost one of its most important occult figures – Stuart Myers, aka Ocha’ni Lele. He passed in hospital, with loved ones nearby and literally hundreds of fans and well-wishers praying that his life be extended. But, if you know Stu, you might not be surprised that he refused to endure a lengthy illness or make his friends care for him in his final days. No, when Stu was ready to go, Stu went. And that was that.

Stuart Myers was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1966. His mother was an unwed teenager, and he was raised by his mom, aunt, and grandparents. He attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA for four semesters, where he studied English Literature and Psychology. But make no mistake – Stu was a rebel, hanging out with all the wrong people and getting into trouble. Before long, he had abandoned the mundane path and set out on the much-less-traveled path of magick, occultism, and ancient mystery religions. It was a calling he could not resist – and he was destined to change the world.

Ochani Lele 2That is when I met him. By 1993, Stuart was living in Orlando, FL where I grew up. I had moved out to the west for a couple of years after graduating high school in order to (briefly) attend college. It was during this time my own path landed me in Denver, CO and my first encounters with a Neopagan community. Upon returning home, I naturally took steps to establish contact with the Pagans in and around Orlando – which led me to contact one of the few occult bookstores that existed there at the time. (Then called Dragonwood, but its name has changed several times since.) I spoke to the owner of the shop on the phone, and explained that I was a “Qabalistic Witch” (that is, a Neopagan who also studies the Qabalah – a rarity at the time). Her response was: “You need to talk to Stu!”

I forget now if she took my number or gave me his… but one way or another I quickly found myself on the phone with this “Stuart Myers” person. I was met with a boisterous, happy, and flamboyantly gay man. I introduced myself and, again, referred to myself as a “Qabalistic Witch.” He responded with an excited, “Ooooo! Let me get my cigarette!” From there we spent a fair amount of time discussing the Qabalah and how its principles apply to Wicca, and likely several other subjects as well. I learned that he was a third-degree initiate of British Traditional Wicca, and a published author (something I hoped to be myself someday). I don’t recall what all we talked about or how long we spent, but I do know a real friendship was born that day.

Between the WorldsStu had already published his first book – a gem that is very rare today called Between the Worlds, from Llewellyn Worldwide. He was initiated into a rogue Wiccan lineage that branched from the Lady Sheba lineage (which is itself a rogue lineage) – because of course Stu was from such a lineage! His education in the early forms of Wicca made him privy to the influences of such systems as Thelema and the Golden Dawn upon them. Thus, he had chosen to explore Hermeticism and the Qabalah as well – which was something most Neopagans in the 80s and 90s would have refused to do. His book was the result of these explorations and his own teachings on how to integrate further Qabalistic concepts, correspondences, and practices into Wicca. Hence the title “Between the Worlds.”

I finally got to meet him face-to-face at another occult bookstore in Orlando. We talked a bit about Wicca there, but Stu was quite excited about another subject he had recently discovered: Palo Mayombe. Palo is an African tradition of magick, and Stuart was exuberantly talking about it with me and others in the store. He said he found it to be so much like Wicca in its structure – with a Goddess figure and a God figure, etc – but it was truly ancient. He was especially taken with the figure of Elegua/Lucero – a being who opens the gates between the physical and spiritual worlds, carries prayers, and answers questions. Stuart said that, as a child, he had once made a little figure out of mud or clay and spent some months treating it as his friend and companion – like an invisible friend. The images of Lucero, it turns out, are nearly identical to the small figure he had made as a kid. Stu knew he had found something important, but he didn’t know he was about to impact history.

I only saw Stuart once or twice before he vanished for a couple of years. I say “vanished”, though I seem to recall I knew he had gone off to explore the Afro-Caribbean faiths like Palo and Santeria (more properly called Lucumi). I wouldn’t learn any details, however, until I discovered by accident he had returned. At the time, I worked overnights and often found myself returning home at anywhere from 4am to 6am. One day, I pulled into a Shell gas station and found none other but Stuart Myers working at the counter! Not only did I spend a few hours with him there that night, catching up on where he had gone and what he had learned, but I found myself stopping in there night after night (whenever our schedules lined up properly) to discuss magick, Palo, Santeria, the Solomonic grimoires, and no end of the day-to-day personal dramas taking place in our lives.

Stuart had, in fact, gone away to take initiation into the Lucumi Faith. At the time of his return, he was still learning and progressing, though he had not yet been Crowned. He quickly became my confidant, and my teacher – introducing me to occult concepts from his Afro-Caribbean standpoint and utterly changing my worldview. Up to that point, I (like many Westerners) had assumed magick was a form of psychology, with the angels and spirits serving as man-made images and names we apply to the aspects of our own minds. Stuart, on the other hand, worked in a world where such beings are real independent creatures who must be approached with proper protocols and convinced to aid us. We found such a similarity between the old grimoires (my calling) and what he had learned from both Satneria and Palo, it revolutionized my understanding of not just the grimoires, but the entire subject of magick itself.

For the record, Stuart never taught me the rituals and secrets of his tradition. But he was able to explain things in the grimoires that he recognized as similar to his own practices. I was lucky that I got to spend much time with him (not just at the gas station, but also his home and elsewhere) and thus see much of his outward practices first-hand. I was lucky that I spent time with him in the early morning hours, talking to him when he was exhausted and perhaps willing to share more than he should have. But, I was most lucky that I introduced him to my then-girlfriend Carrie Mikell (now my wife). The two of them became close friends, and Carrie felt some calling to what Stuart was practicing. She became his “god-sister” and began to explore the Palo path under his tutelage. Because of this, I witnessed and learned even more than I would have. Stuart became one of the greatest influences on both Carrie and I, all of which continue to this very day.

Secrets Afro Cuban DivinationDuring that exciting period in the late 1990s, when myself, Carrie, and Stu were constant companions, and I was penning my very first book, he was just finishing a new book on African-based divination (The Secrets of Afro-Caribbean Divination, Destiny Books, 2000). It would be his first in a long line of outstanding books on the Afro-Caribbean Traditions. They have been highly recommended now for almost 20 years, and I have no doubt they will continue to be for generations to come.

Sadly, Carrie and I moved away from Orlando in early 2001. We stayed in contact with Stuart, but only got to see him on rare visits. He eventually went on to be Crowned, of course – making him a Priest of his Tradition, and taking on the name EWI LADE OCHANI LELE. He began to build his own house and lineage of students, established a series of online classes, performed divination and counseling for his community, and even went on to establish “Lele’s Magickal Fragrances” (later changed to “Lele’s Lotions, Potions, and Magickal Things”) where he made absolutely beautiful one-of-a-kind magical fragrances and potions.

It would not be right to discuss Ochani without also mentioning his infamy as “the Godfather of Scandal.” Stu didn’t make friends with everyone he met – in fact he could be quite contentious if he believed you were being dishonest about your practice. Plus, I can admit, he was never one to feel constrained by “the rules.” He did a thing or two in his path that might shock or offend – sometimes obtaining information through back-door channels, taking pictures of things without permission, etc. Let’s face it, Stu was essentially a force of nature, and little could stand between him and his True Will. But, above and beyond that, he was simply a practical occultist who wanted to learn what worked, and had little time for those who hid behind oaths of secrecy, or grades, or initiatic titles. Stuart was out to learn the Mysteries, and nothing in heaven, earth, or hell was going to stop him!

What I find most amusing about our dear “Godfather of Scandal” is the way his detractors would spend time bashing Ochani Lele and the ways he had learned some of what he knew, but when asked if we should buy and read his books, the answer was always “Yes.” Say what you will of the man, but his work is true. You can trust every word he wrote – and that is a legacy few authors get to leave behind.

Stuart Myers, aka Ochani Lele, has had an incalculable impact on many communities. Perhaps his mark on British Traditional Wicca was small, but there can be no question he has forever changed the modern African Traditional Faiths through his books, his classes, and his hosts of students and clients. He has changed the Western Mysteries as well, because he was at the forefront of the modern grimoire revival and its incestuous relationship with African religion and witchcraft. Even the Golden Dawn has seen practices (such as offerings made to angels and spirits) performed in its Mother Temple that partially trace back to Ochani’s influence. The legacy of Ochani Lele is far-reaching and deep.

As for me – he will forever be one of my greatest teachers, and most beloved friends. The very first time I heard another person “vibrate” a Word of Power, it was his voice. My path into the grimoires – including my undertaking of the Rite of Abramelin – was thanks largely to him. My wife’s own spiritual path has been intimately connected to his. He was a major inspiration to me as an author. Without him the Leitches (as you know us) would simply not exist. He is a part of us – not just me and my wife, but each and every one of us. We owe him so much.

Ochani… Stu, we love you and miss you dearly. If you still want to perform an evocation with us, you are more than welcome to attend and participate. See you on the other side, old man!  Godspeed.

In LVX

Aaron (and Carrie) Leitch

 

Ochani Lele’s Bibliography

The Diloggun: The Orishas, Proverbs, Sacrifices, and Prohibitions of Cuban Santeria, Aug 2003

Teachings of the Santería Gods: The Spirit of the Odu, Jun 2010

The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination: How to Cast the Diloggún, the Oracle of the Orishas, Sep 2000

Obi: Oracle of Cuban Santeria, Jul 2001

Osogbo: Speaking to the Spirits of Misfortune, Mar 2014

Diloggún Tales of the Natural World: How the Moon Fooled the Sun and Other Santería Stories, Sep 2011

Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santería: A Complete Guide to the Rituals and Practices, Aug 2012

Teachings of the Santería Gods, Jan 2010

Between the Worlds: Witchcraft and the Tree of Life-A Program of Spiritual Development, 1995

If you would like to contribute to Ochani’s final arrangements, please visit this link to donate:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/1tjq31xtao?pc=fb_co_campmgmtbnr_w&rcid=r01-157449163729-06f9f0ef41c34950&utm

Posted November 27, 2019 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

Planetary Rulership of the Winds   9 comments

Greetings Solomonic Mages!

astrology.jpg

In the Heptameron, we are given directions for the seven Planets, based upon their rulership of the “winds”:

-Saturn: Southwest
-Jupiter: South
-Mars: East
-Sol: North
-Venus: West
-Mercury: Southwest
-Luna: West

Note both West and Southwest are repeated, and the other three cross-quarters are ignored.  Meanwhile, Liber Juratus gives us a slightly different list:

-Saturn: Southwest
-Jupiter: North and East (does not say Northeast)
-Mars: East
-Sun: North
-Venus: East and West
-Mercury: West and Southwest
-Luna: West

It is possible the Heptameron‘s list is a corrupted version of this one from Juratus.  Therefore, let’s explore the Juratis version and see what clues it gives us:

-Note the South is not mentioned here. However, it is interesting that Juratus states Maymon (aka Amaymon) is the King of the Demons ruled by Saturn, and we know that Amaymon is the King of the South in many of the grimoires (for example, see Agrippa’s “Scale of the Number Four”).  Amaymon is therefore associated with Capricorn (ruled by Saturn). In the above list, Saturn is given “Southwest” – but perhaps this could be changed to simply “South.”

-Mars ruling the East makes perfect sense, as it is the ruling Planet of Aries – associated with Oriens.

-Venus says East and West (perhaps because it is both the Morning and Evening Star, at different times of the year).  However, since the East is already taken, we could simply choose the West, as Venus is the ruling sign of Libra, thus connected to Paimon. (Note this is what is given by the Heptameron, too.)  Here, we can see a clear connection to three of the four Demon Kings of the directions.

Here is the Liber Juratus list again, with the minor corrections:

Saturn: South
Jupiter: North and East (does not say Northeast)
Mars: East
Sun: North
Venus: West
Mercury: West and Southwest
Luna: West

Sadly, there are still several problems here:

1) the North is attributed to the Sun, rather than Luna.  If we stick with the associations given by the Demon Kings: Ariton – ruler of the North – is associated with Cancer, ruled by Luna.
2) the West is repeated a second time with Luna.
(and then again with Mercury, see #5).
3) Jupiter has two directions, both of which are repeats from Mars and Sol.
4) Mercury is the only cross-quarter.
5) Mercury also repeats the West yet again.

We could assume Jupiter and Mercury should properly be cross-quarters, easily solving problems 3, 4, and 5:

Saturn: South
Jupiter: Northeast
Mars: East
Sun: North
Venus: West
Mercury: Southwest
Luna: West

And that’s the best we can do without drastically altering the original list.  If we want to solve problems 1 and 2 above, we’ll have to continue the same pattern of association with the Ruling Planets of the Signs/Houses.  We need to:

1) switch the directions of the Sun and Luna. This would properly put Luna in the North with Cancer/Ariton.
2) replace the Sun not with “West” from the switch with Luna, but assign it to another cross-quarter. (Northwest would at least put it in the proper place for Leo, the Sign it rules.)

Here is the list again – this time with the “not so minor” corrections, so we can no longer call it the Juratus list:

Saturn: South
Jupiter: Northeast
Mars: East
Sun: Northwest
Venus: West
Mercury: Southwest
Luna: North

This gives us something very close to a proper astrological arrangement.  If we consider the Planets of the Cardinal Directions set, thanks to their associations with the four Demon Kings and the Cardinal Signs, we can extrapolate from there.  Much as we did above to associate the Sun with the Northwest, we can look at the twelve Signs on an actual zodiac chart, and their natural positions in the Houses:

Basic Astrology Chart

This only suggests one further change to the list:  the switching of the directions for Jupiter and Mercury.  Jupiter rules Sagittarius in the Southwest, not the Northeast.  And Mercury rules Gemini in the Northeast, not the Southwest.  Therefore, here is the final list:

The Astrological Association of Planets to the Winds:

Saturn: South (Capricorn)
Jupiter: Southwest (Sagittarius)
Mars: East (Aries)
Sun: Northwest (Leo)
Venus: West (Libra)
Mercury: Northeast (Gemini)
Luna: North (Cancer)

Since there are only seven Planets to fill eight positions around the compass, it leaves one spot empty: the Southeast.  However, it is not my intention to fill out all eight compass points at all costs.  It is only my intention to find a list of Planetary directional rulerships that is solidly based upon the astrological cosmology of the grimoires.  Of course, should I finally discover the true source behind the directions given in either Liber Juratis or the Heptameron, I will be more than happy to amend my conclusions.

 

Posted June 10, 2019 by kheph777 in grimoires, solomonic

Tagged with , ,

Geomancy – the Solomonic “Obi”   2 comments

Greetings Spirit-Workers!

Geomancy Box

Many years ago – back in the old Yahoo Groups days – we discussed the lack of methods of using divination to speak to spirits in modern systems.  (At least, at the time the post was written.  Much has changed in the years since.)  In non-Western systems, there is usually a method of asking spirits yes/no/maybe questions, utilizing a physical system of divination to get concrete answers.  One such example is the use of Obi divination in the ATRs – which uses coconut shells, tossed on the ground to create a pattern (some being face up, some being face down) that presents a yes/no/maybe answer.  Those of us in the West may be familiar with a similar method in Geomancy using marked sticks or coins.  Though, the more traditional method is to use a small stick to make a random number of holes in dirt.  The name of the system, after all, is “Earth Divination.”

Geomancy, in fact, was once known in the West as an especially-suitable method of communicating with “terrestrial spirits” – as confirmed by Agrippa in his Of Geomancy:

“Geomancy is an Art of Divination, wherby the judgement may be rendred by lot, or destiny, to every question of every thing whatsoever, but the Art hereof consisteth especially in certain points where of certain figures are deducted according to the reason or rule of equality of inequality, likenesse or unlikenesse,; […] and therefore they will have the Projectings of the points of this Art to bee made with signes in the Earth, wherefore this Art is appropriated to this Element of Earth, even as Pyromancy to the fire, and Hydromancy to the Element of Water: Then whereas they judged the hand of the Projector or Worker to be most powerfully moved, and directed to the terrestriall spirits; and therefore they first used certaine holy incantations and deprecations, with other rites and observations, provoking and alluring spirits of this nature hereunto.”

With this in mind, I wrote a method of creating a Geomancy Box dedicated to the purpose of receiving answers from the Planetary Spirits.  It is based primarily on the method of creating a Liber Spiritus (Book of Spirits) outlined in the Fourth Book of Occult Phsilosophy.

I’ll be performing this operation very soon (now that I live out in the country where finding an old, little-used, dirt crossroads is more likely).  The only difference is that this will focus on my four Familiar Spirits (from the Abramelin system), as I will be using the box to communicate with them.  Regardless, here is the process as I posted it over in the Yahoo Group:

Solomonic Geomancy Box for General Divination

Construct a square box to contain fresh earth/sand. It should be
black with the Sigils of the seven Planetary Spirits and their
ruling Intelligences painted upon it in white. The sand should be
pure and white- preferably taken from a river bed- of about two
fingers’ depth. Also prepare a small notebook with the necessary
prayers and conjurations, to be used and kept with the box.
(See “Secrets…”, chapter 9, for consecration of pen, ink, paints
and paintbrushes.)

The box will be consecrated/enlivened according the procedure for
consecrating a Liber Spiritus (Book of Spirits), as found
in “Secrets…” chapter 12, p. 419-20. A Circle must be cast in the
midst of a crossroads. All seven spirits are conjured to bind
themselves to the box, and the box itself is wrapped and buried for
three days.

Consecrated items Needed:

-Holy Water,
-Standard or generic Incense (or, better, the Seven Planetary Incense recipe given by Agrippa in the last line of Book I, chapter 44.)
-Coals and Censor
-Paints, brushes, pen/ink
-White or beeswax taper and Holy Lamp
-Seven 7-day Candles (Black, Blue, Red, Yellow/Gold, Green, Multi-
-Color and Silver/White)
-Burin
-Black-Hilted Knife or Athame
-Solomonic Sword
-Shovel and Rake
-Linen Cloth

Note: Before consecrating any of the Tools, Water, Incense, etc,
use the minor Solomonic Bath outlined in “Secrets…”
chapter 7, p. 217-18.

Items that do not need consecration beforehand:

-Mat (for kneeling in the dirt)
-Small notebook to record the Invocations and Conjurations
-Cord- about nine feet long. (A Traditional Wiccan cord is great!)
-Bible or Psalter

Prepare Invocations/Conjurations:

1 – In the little notebook, write a Prayer to the Highest. This
should be a prayer to God as creator and director of the Seven
Planets. (He before whom standeth the Seven Spirits of God. He in
whose hands the Sun is as a Sword, and the Moon a through-thrusting
Fire. Etc.)

2 – Following that, write seven dual-conjurations. The first part
of each should be an invocation to the Planetary Intelligence to
send forth the Spirit. The second part should be a conjuration of
the spirit in the name of the Intelligence.

3 – Then, a License to Depart. (See “Secrets…”, chapter 12,
p.380.)

4 – Keep this little book with or in the Geomancy Box at all times.

Selection of the Place: Must be an isolated dirt crossroads. It
will be necessary to erect a full Circle, burn incense and candles,
etc. So it must be very hidden and forgotten.

Magickal Timing: Calculate true midnight for the night of working,
and for the third night afterward. (See “Secrets…” chapter 5, p.
163.) Also draw up charts for these two nights, and try to make
sure that no planets are undignified or ill-aspected. The chosen
night must also be fair and clear.

Preparations: 12-hour Purification (see “Secrets…” chapter 7, p.
238)- starting about noon of the day of the work. Then, before
midnight and before going to the chosen place, take a full Solomonic
Ritual Bath (see “Secrets…” chapter 7, p. 233-35).

Erecting the Circle:

1 – Just before the hour of true midnight, light the Lamp with its
Exorcism of Fire (“Secrets…”, p. 206) and then the Incense with
its own Exorcism of Fire (“Secrets…”, p. 196).

2 – As steps 3 and 4 are perfomed, have a partner recite Psalms 2, 54,
113, 57, 47 and 68. Or else (if alone) perform steps 3 and 4, then
follow with the Psalms.

3 – Thrust the Black-Hilted Knife into the very center of the
crossroads. Tie one end of the Cord around the Knife, and the other
end around the Solomonic Sword. Using this like a giant compass,
inscribe a double circle into the ground with the Sword. Then use
the Knife or Sword to inscribe the names and crosses. Finally,
Cense and Sprinkle the entire Circle.

4 – Place the seven 7-day candles around the Circle* and light them.

(* Note: The Heptameron tell us the directions for the Planets:

-Saturn: Southwest
-Jupiter: South
-Mars: East
-Sol: North
-Venus: West
-Mercury: Southwest
-Luna: West )

Further Note:  After some research and discussion – comparing the above associations given by the Hepatmeron, as well as those found in Liber Juratis, it would seem a more astrologically sound arrangement (based on the rulership of the 12 Signs of the Houses) would be:

-Saturn: South (Capricorn)
-Jupiter: Southwest (Sagittarius)
-Mars: East (Aries)
-Sol: Northwest (Leo)
-Venus: West (Libra)
-Mercury: Northeast (Gemini)
-Luna: North (Cancer)

5 – Finally, from the very center of the Circle, recite the prayers
to consecrate- “When we enter herein…” etc. (See “Secrets…” p.
405-06.) Use the mat to kneel on the dirt.

The Operation:

The First Night:

1 – (Directly after “When we enter herein…” prayers.) Over the
Geomancy Box, recite the Prayer to the Highest. Cense and Sprinkle
the Box.

2 – In succession, recite all seven dual-conjurations – calling all
seven Intelligences and their Spirits. Repeat these for a
total of *three* recitations each.

3 – Tell the convoked spirits to come to this place within the space
of three days to “assure and confirm their obedience.”

4 – License to Depart. (See “Secrets…”, chapter 12, p.380.)

5 – Wrap the Box (with the little book) in the linen cloth. Then,
with the shovel, bury the book in the center of the Circle and
crossroads. Cover it so no one can tell anything has been buried
there.

6 – With the rake, destroy any trace of the Circle. Take the 7-day
candles with you.

Leave the area before sunrise.

The 3rd Night Afterward:

1 – Observe the same Preparations as above. (12 hours, plus full
Solomonic Bath.)

2 – Return to the same place at true midnight. Erect the Circle as
described above.

3 – Burn more perfumes while reciting a prayer of thanksgiving to
God.

4 – Dig up the Geomancy Box, but leave it wrapped in the linen!

5 – License to Depart. (See “Secrets…”, chapter 12, p.380.)

6 – With the rake, destroy any trace of the Circle. Take the 7-day
candles with you.

Leave the area before sunrise.

Afterward:

The seven 7-day candles can be taken home and burned away completely
as a sacrifice to the spirits. Keep the Box and its little notebook
wrapped and in a safe place until needed.

Using the Box:

Simply take out the Box and its little book. Light a 7-day candle
appropriate to the Planetary Spirit you wish to consult. Burn the
same incense as used to consecrate the Box itself. Recite the
Prayer to the Highest over the box. Then inscribe a Pentagram in
the sand, with the Sigil of the Spirit within it. Recite the
Invocation of the proper Intelligence, and follow with the
Conjuration of the Spirit. From there, ask the Spirit what you
will, and begin to squill as usual for Geomancy. (One can either
use even/odd to determine yes/no, or one can create three or sixteen
Geomantic Figures- depending on the depth of the quesiton.)

For further information on using Geomancy for divination (including a method of determining simple yes/no/maybe answers with a single geomantic figure (tetragram), check out this article.

Posted June 9, 2019 by kheph777 in grimoires, magick, santeria, solomonic

Invocation of Archangel Raphael   1 comment

Greetings Angel-Workers!

This post is loooong overdue!  We performed our annual invocation and feeding of the Archangel Raphael way back on May 30th of this year (2018), but I have been so busy with magick, business, and life this year I haven’t had much time to maintain this blog.  😦  So, without further ado, I’ll jump right into it:

Raphael Altar Painted

We decided to feed Raphael when Mercury entered the sign of Gemini, which it rules.  It did so this year on May 29th – a Tuesday and the Full Moon.  We decided the next day – Wednesday, sacred to Mercury – would still be within the Full Moon phase.  If we tried to wait until the Moon waxed again, Mercury would have already passed out of Gemini.  So there was only one day we could do this one!  May 30th it was.

Raphael and Child-Tobit

Archangel Raphael

Raphael – the Healer of God – is the Archangel of Mercury and Wednesday, Prince of the second heaven, Lord of Medicine, Communication, Travel, Invention, Education, Mathematics, Science, Language, Magick, and Divination, as well as Business, Deception, Acting, Writing, and Sleight of Hand.  He is also the angel of Elemental Air – traditionally associated with the West, but many modern systems associate him with the East.

Some traditions place him as the Archangel of the Sun, and the chief angel of Tiphareth (Majesty) on the Tree of Life.  This solar association works well with his modern assignment to the eastern point of the compass.

According to Biblical legend, Raphael was the angel who taught language to Adam and Eve.  He also appears in the Book of Tobit, where he accompanies the young Tobias on his long journey, unites him with his future wife, and protects them both from the wrath of the demon Asmodeus.   Raphael is also the chief angel of the Hermetic arts, as well as the Golden Dawn and its current.  Historically, he is closely associated with figures such as Hermes (aka Mercury) and Thoth – sometimes even bearing the former’s famous Caduceus Staff – the symbol of both Hermeticism and Medicine.

 

 

Offering Ritual for Archangel Raphael

It is best to choose a Wednesday when Mercury is well aspected in the heavens, and he should be above the horizon at the time of working if possible. Dawn is best. The most powerful times of year to do this ritual are when Mercury resides in either the sign of Gemini or Virgo.  The Moon should be in increase.

On Wednesday evening, cover a table or altar with a multi-colored, orange, yellow, or white cloth. Place a talisman and/or image of Archangel Raphael 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 Mercury:

1 part Benzoin

1/4 part Frankencense

1/8 part Lavender Blossoms

Also prepare all elements of the offering to Mercury : Eight candles – either rainbow color or orange, eight glasses of water, a glass of wine, a glass of half-and-half cream, eight pieces of bread covered with honey, strawberries, a pomegranate cut into eight slices, and a mix of colorful flowers.  For his meat, we grilled a whole fish, as the “Ichthys” is sacred to him in Biblical tradition (as in the Book of Tobit).  It should be grilled over hazel wood if possible.  Otherwise, grill it over natural wood or wood charcoal, and add Mercury incense to the fire.  Season the meat with the incense as well.

On Wednesday just before sunrise, wash yourself and don a white, pied, or orange robe. At sunrise, set the offering to Mercury upon the table. Place seven of the candles around the edges, and one in the center – directly upon the talisman if there is one. Set a glass of water beside each candle. Around this arrange the food offerings. You may also add any gift offerings for Raphael, or items you wish for him to touch – such as jewelry or trinkets, talismans, stones, oils, currency, written prayers or petitions, etc.

Light the censor and candles with their proper exorcisms, and add fresh incense to the coal. Then exorcise and consecrate the offerings with holy water and the censor.

Then move to the eastern side of the working space, facing outward. If you have a consecrated bell or trumpet, sound it and recite the following call (or one similar to it):

In whatsoever place ye may be, Raphael, who are invited to this feast, come ye and be ready to receive our offerings, presents, and sacrifices!

Move to the south and repeat – first sounding the bell or trumpet, then repeat the call. Do this again in the west and the north.

Finally, return to standing west of the altar facing eastward, and recite the following invocations:

Prayer to Elohim Zabaoth

Elohim Zabaoth, God of the Hosts of Heaven, Divine Splendour, the sphere of fleet-footed Mercury, Lord of Words and Letters, of Speech and Knowledge. You are the Logos and the Speech in the Silence. Director of Spirits and Angels. Your Messengers protect travelers on their ways, and guide pilgrims upon the Paths of Mount Abiagnus, the Sacred Mountain of Initation. Lord of all Magick, Spells, Invocations, Divinations, Evocations, Talismans, Characters, Sigils and Signatures, and Seals. Establisher of boundaries, and pathways, travel, communication, and commerce. Lord of fortune and wealth and the Gods of the underworld.

I invoke thee, God of Hosts, and humbly ask in Thy Holy Name to bless and saanctify these offerings. May all spirits of deceit and illusion be cast therefrom, and only the good and fortunate enter therein. May these sacrifices by found pleasing to You and your Messengers.

Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen

Eight Mercurial Psalms

39 (I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.)

52 (Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man?)

54 (Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.)

55:16-23 (As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.)

57 (Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me.)

63 (O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee.)

101 (I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.)

119:9-16 (Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?)

Invitation to Raphael

O’ Raphael, Divine Physician! Messenger of God! Labbiel the Rescuer!

Raphael! Fleet-footed Hermes! Six-Winged Angel of Mercury and the Sun who bringeth Healing in Thy Wings!

Raphael! Serpent-Bearer! Psychopomp! Lord of Crossroads!

Raphael! Revealer of Loagaeth, the Speech From the Logos!

Lord of Initiation! Light of the Sacred Lamp! Fool! Mage! Protector of Lovers!

O friendly companion of Tobias, who protected him from evil upon his long journey, as you protect us upon ours. As the Patron of writers, teachers, and mages, you are the source of our life and livelihood. You are the Chief Archangel of my Order. Therefore, I ask that you come and partake of these offerings, prepared in thy honour and to the splendour of the Lord of Hosts! May you find them pleasing and empowering, and bear our offerings and prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine Court. Cast your light before us upon the Path, and offer your blessings upon my household, my family, and business. In the name of Elohim Zabaoth. Amen.

Repeat the Invitation eight times. Then, share in the feast you have offered to the Angel – taking bites of each food item, sips of the liquids. Leave the offerings in place until the candles burn completely away (or no less than eight days). Place the remains in a natural place, into running water or at a crossroads.

– End –

 

 

 

 

Posted October 23, 2018 by kheph777 in grimoires, magick

Tagged with , ,

Invocation of Archangel Anael   4 comments

Greetings and Happy Easter, fellow Angel-workers!

Anael Offering 1

This Easter holiday was a rare and unique opportunity for working with Venus energy.  It happened, by chance, to fall on April 1st – and that is the traditional Roman feast day for the Goddess Venus.  The date also fell just after Venus entered one of the two zodiacal signs she rules (Taurus, in this case) and fell just within the Moon’s full-phase.  The convergence of Spring Equinox, Venusian, and Easter symbolism was too perfect to give a pass.

Working with Anael has been a surprising and deeply moving experience.  For most of my occult career, I haven’t paid much attention to her in particular.  My focus upon the Divine Feminine has been directed toward figures such as the Wiccan Goddess, Asherah, the Gnostic Sophia, etc.  I knew that Venus had very intimate connections with the most ancient Goddess figures, such as Inanna, Ishtar, and Astarte.  But there was very little information to be found about Anael herself, and nothing much had directed my attention toward her specifically.  (I may be speaking on behalf of my wife here, as she had a similar experience in this regard.)

But all of that changed once we decided to erect an altar to her in our home.  More than any similar altar we have ever erected, this one literally built itself!  It turned out we had most of what she wanted on her altar already in the house, and more sacred objects and decorations began to arrive nearly of their own accord.  (Literally!  Many of them were gifts from friends who heard we were building a Venus altar.)  That altar just exploded – and is now the largest and most elaborate one in the house.  When we built it, we had assumed I would tend it like I do most (but not all) of the other Archangel altars.  However, once it was established, it was apparent it belonged to my wife, Carrie, and she has tended it ever since.

The most striking thing about all of this is the energy that has come through Anael’s altar.  Every single things we have ever done in relation to the Divine Feminine – from our original paths through Neopaganism, to my Gnostic priestly devotion to Sophia and Mary, to the mysteries of sacred sex – all of it now pours fourth from Anael’s altar.  From the symbol of Venus encompassing the entire Tree of Life, to the Cycle of the Seasons, to the descent of Ishtar into the Underworld – it’s all right here in Anael’s charge.

Anael Icon

Archangel Anael

Anael (also known as Hanael) – Joy of God, or Grace of God – is the Archangel of Venus and Friday, ruler of the third heaven, lady of passion (for both love or war), sex, inspiration, and the arts.  As Hanael, she is also the Archangel of Capricorn.  She appears very little in the midrashim (legends), but her nature and attributes are very clearly similar to Love Goddesses such as Venus and Aphrodite, as well as Mother Goddesses such as Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Asherah, and Isis.  As a manifestation of the Mother Goddess current, she also has close relationships with figures such as Sophia, the Shekinah, and Mother Mary.  And as a manifestation of the Goddess of Sex, she has close relationships with figures such as Anath, Hathor, and even Lilith.  As the angel of the arts, she can be regarded as similar to the Greek Muses.  For an angel who has remained largely obscure in the Western Mystery Tradition, her position and function is extremely exalted.

John Dee made contact with this Archangel in the early 1500s, as he had read in the Arbatel of Magic the Angel of Venus was the current supreme ruling angel of the cosmos.  (Each of the seven angels rules in succession for 490 years.  The rule of Venus was to last until 1900 CE, when the Angel of Mercury would take over.)  Anael appeared to Dee’s then-skryer Barnabas Saul, and introduced Dee to the angelic intermediary Uriel.  Anael never appeared to Dee again, but Uriel thenceforth directed the sessions that would come to be known as the Enochian workings.

 

 

Offering Ritual for Archangel Anael

It is best to choose a Friday when Venus is well aspected in the heavens, and she should be above the horizon at the time of working if possble.  Dawn is best.  The most powerful times of year to do this ritual are when Venus resides in either the sign of Taurus or Libra.  The Moon should be in increase.

On Thursday evening, cover a table or altar with a green or white cloth. Place a talisman and/or image of Archangel Anael 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 Venus:

I use three ingredients:

1 part Sanalwood

1 part Benzoin

1/2 part Red Rose Petals (some of which come from roses offered on Anael’s altar)

Also prepare all elements of the offering to Venus: Seven green candles, seven glasses of water, a glass of champagne, , a glass of half-and-half cream, seven pieces of bread covered with honey, fruit (in this case an apple cut into seven slices), and a mix of spring flowers and roses.   And lots of candy!  (Since this invocation was done on Easter, we took advantage and offered seven green jelly beans, seven gold-foil wrapped chocolate eggs, seven green Peeps, and seven dark-chocolate eggs wrapped in green and red foils, and a Dove chocolate bunny in gold foil. My wife and daughter also decorated seven real Easter eggs with red and green dyes, which we added to the altar.  Plus a lot of Easter decorations.)

Finally, for her meat, we grilled seven pieces of halal goat meat – as goat is sacred to Venus, and was once sacrificed to Venus and Aphrodite at their Temples.  (We cook it well done, of course – no blood!  And we only offer meat once a year at this larger feeding rituals.)  The meat should be grilled over myrtle – or hazel-tree wood.  Otherwise grill it over natural wood or wood charcoal, and add sandalwood, benzoin, and rose petals to the fire.  Season the meat with saffron.

On Friday just before sunrise, wash yourself and don a white or green robe. At sunrise, set the offering to Venus upon the table.  Place six of the green candles around the edges, and one in the center – directly upon the talisman if there is one.  Set a glass of water beside each candle.  Around this arrange the food offerings. You may also add any gift offerings for Anael, or items you wish for her to touch – such as copper jewelry or trinkets, talismans, stones, oils, make-up, written prayers or petitions, etc.

Light the censor and candles with their proper exorcisms, and add fresh incense to the coal. Then exorcise and consecrate the offerings with holy water and the censor.

Then move to the eastern side of the working space, facing outward.  If you have a consecrated bell or trumpet, sound it and recite the following call (or one similar to it):

In whatsoever place ye may be, ye spirit(s), who are invited to this feast, [NNN] come ye and be ready to receive our offerings, presents, and sacrifices!

Move to the south and repeat – first sounding the bell or trumpet, then the call.  Do this again in the west and the north.

Finally, return to standing west of the altar facing eastward, and recite the following invocations:

Prayer to YHVH Zabaoth

YHVH Zabaoth, God of the Hosts of Heaven, Great Lord of the spirits of passion, the sphere of Victory and of the Lovely Venus, She who is Beautiful, Passionate, Pleasing, Powerful, Fruitful, the Queen of all Delights. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. The sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God of Hosts, anoint us with the oil of gladness. The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. YHVH Zabaoth, I ask in Thy Holy Name that you bless and sanctify this offering, that it may be pleasing unto You and Your Angels. Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen +

The Song of Songs

[Normally, I would have read seven Psalms or other verses related to Venus at this point.  However, we instead chose to read the entire Song of Songs.  It is eight chapters rather than seven, but the entire book is centered upon Venus.  My wife and I read the Song together – me reading the male portions and her the female.  It was a rather moving and intimate experience!]

Invitation to Anael

O’ Anael, bright morning and Evening Star!  Lady of Beauty and Majesty, Passion and Strength!

Anael!  Celestial Bride!  Virgin and Whore!  Mother and Daughter! Lucifera!  Aphrodite!

Anael, Queen of Heaven and Mother of Mankind!  Thou who art Sophia and Mary!

Anael, Great Goddess who smiles upon the Earth and vegetation springs forth, cattle increases, and men find love!

O’ Anael, you hide your face and the world sleeps!

Wondrous Anael, Archangel of Venus, bringer of inspiration, beauty, and art.

You have been with us from the very beginning, blessing the steps we have taken upon our path.  You are the High Priestess through whom the Light of God has shone into our lives.  You have been our comfort and our help.  Come thou forth and partake of these offerings, which we have prepared in thy honour and to the glory of the God of the Heavenly Hosts!  May you find them pleasing and empowering. We ask that you offer your blessings to our home and family, and bear our offerings and prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine Court. We petition thee for inspiration and beauty in all of our undertakings, to be beloved by our community, and that the light of thy wisdom should guide and keep us at all times. In the name of YHVH  Zabaoth.  Amen.

 

Repeat the Invitation seven times.  Then, share in the feast you have offered to the Angel – taking bites of each food item, sips of the liquids.  Leave the offerings in place until the green candles burn completely away (or no less than seven days). Place the remains in a natural place, into running water or at a crossroads.

– End –

 

 

Anael Offering 5Ritual of Anael Journal Entry

It would have been wonderful if this could have happened on a Friday – the day sacred to Venus.  However, Easter can’t happen on a Friday – and this year neither did her established Feast Day.  So we went with it, and performed our invocation ritual that Sunday on an hour of Venus.  It has become our family tradition to give each of our seven resident Archangels (yes, we now have established altars to all seven planetary Archangels!) a very large annual feeding.  This empowers them to work for us for the entire year, plus they get smaller candle/incense offerings and thanksgiving offerings as we regularly work with them.

We cleaned and prepared the Temple room, and gathered most of the ingredients the night before Easter, though we ran out of time to find the goat meat.  Fortunately for us, Arabic butchers are open on Easter, so we were able to acquire that on the day of the ritual.  The meat was even halal.

Anael Offering 2Given that this took place on Easter day, it wasn’t practical for me to fast.  We went to a friend’s house and had a wonderful Easter dinner while the kids played together and hunted for eggs.  It was a wonderful time, really – and even without fasting it felt quite appropriate.  (“All acts of love and pleasure…”)  When we got home I performed my evening Abramelin invocations,  then set up the altar for the Anael invocation:

A green Venus altar cloth that was a gift from our friend Kathy at AzothArt.com, Anael’s statue, icon, censer, Agrippa Venus Incense from Doc Solomon’s (plus some special Anael incense of Carrie’s own creation), and several talismans and other objects directly from her established altar, the seven candles (one being a fixed Anael Novena) and glasses of water, plus the food offerings, candy, fresh flowers, and a few Easter decorations (including the real Easter eggs) to celebrate the season.  We also had an impressively elaborate and beautiful Venus Wand to place on the altar for a client, so it would be blessed and empowered by Anael.  And of course Carrie added all of her Anael and Love oils from Anubeion Creations, and her special jewelry.  Once all the food, drink, and candy was added, the altar was literally overflowing!

 

 

 

 

We got the meat grilled just after the nighttime hour of Venus began (about 10:40pm), and began the invocations while the meat was still sizzling hot.

I followed the ritual as you see it above.  I lit the candles and censor with the proper Solomonic exorcism and used the Agrippa incense and holy water to consecrate everything on the altar.  I then made the calls in the four quarters, and performed the invocations (my wife joining me for the Song of Songs), burning the special incense my wife had made for Anael.  We decided to share in the seven-fold recitation of the invitation to Anael – trading off so she recited it three times and myself four times.

Afterward we shared in the feast with Anael – sampling all the foods and liquids on the altar.  (Carrie skipped the bread of course.)  We invited our daughter in to do the same, and I anointed all three of us with Anael’s oil.  (Our daughter may also share a special relationship with Anael.  You would be amazed at the artistic streak she has manifested over her short life!)

The offerings will sit on the altar for seven days, or until the candles burn out.  We will of course remove any food items that go bad in the meantime – though it is not usual to see that happen.  (Except for milk items. We’ll remove the cream after a couple of days.)  As things progress, and if there is anything of interest, I will update this entry.

What is a Limpia (and what is it NOT?)   4 comments

Greetings, Seekers!
EggLimpia
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Without question, the most popular post on my blog is (and has been for years) my post on Limpias – aka “Egg Cleansings.”  It involves using an egg to absorb energies from a person and then either disposing of the egg, or cracking it open to divine the insides.  The word Limpia just means “cleansing”, and not all ritual cleansings involve eggs, of course. However, the variety that uses an egg for the purpose has become an extremely popular practice, especially in areas with large Latino populations. And that popularity seems to be growing every single year – spreading with the rising awareness of the ATRs like Santeria and Cadomble.
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Sadly, it is also absolutely infested with scam artists and frauds. My Limpia post generated so many responses from people who were obviously being scammed out of THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS by these pathetic creeps, I eventually had to create this post as a loud warning to those seeking readings:
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A Warning About Limpias
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And now even that post has been flooded with comments from people being scammed. Thankfully, the tone of the comments in this post has shifted from “have I been scammed??” to “oh hell I’ve been scammed!!” I just wish the post could have reached those people before they lost their money. Some of them have “only” lost a few hundred, some have lost thousands, and not one of them could truly afford a dollar of it.  😦
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Even still, there are some comments in the thread with people scratching their heads and unsure of what is and is not a scam. Therefore, I just posted this basic explanation of what a Limpia reading really is:
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An egg cleansing is simply a modern, and more humane, version of the far more ancient technique of using a live animal to cleanse yourself. The way it was shown to me, a bird was taken and held so its wings were free to flap as it was passed all over/around the person’s body. The bird was then released, with the understanding that it would have taken negative energies and magick out of the person and fly away with them – presumably to eventually die. It wasn’t mentioned to me at the time, but I suspect something similar was done in the ancient Temples – with the bird being left at the Temple as an offering. (There was also the famous “scape-goat” that took on all the sins of Israel and was released into the desert to die. Not to mention ancient techniques of reading animal livers, entrails, etc.)
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In the Limpia, the egg is simply an analog to that bird (or goat or whatever). It is a living biological material that can, to some degree, absorb energies from you. When you crack it open, it is a divination. There are certain things you might see when you crack and egg into water – how it floats or sinks, bubbles, tendrils, blood spots, etc, etc. These are random factors that fall into place – just like Tarot cards are shuffled and fall into place – to give us a reading.
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A Limpia is NOT a magick trick. Nothing is going to “appear” inside the egg because it “passes through your aura.” You are not supposed to find hair and tar and stones inside the egg. They have no divinatory meaning beyond “this reading is a scam” – period.
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I also added this comment for someone who asked how to recognize the scam artists:
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Finding a curse right away is always a red flag. (They ALWAYS find a curse. Always.) But, of course, that doesn’t mean an honest reader won’t find something like that too. Just look for the usual pattern: pay for cleansing/reading, find something wrong, ask for more money, what they do changes nothing, discover its because you need more work, ask for even more money, and on and on and on.

If it feels like things are developing that way, get out of there. And keep this in mind: If you were to pay a legit worker for a consult, then for a talisman, and THEN for a ritual to consecrate it AND even an evocation of an angel, you would STILL not pay more than $1000. So when someone starts asking for thousands – get out!

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Keep these things in mind, folks, preferable before you cough up thousands of dollars to someone who isn’t doing a thing but depositing your money.

Posted February 21, 2018 by kheph777 in atr, hoodoo / witchcraft, rants, santeria

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Llewellyn Blog: The Problem with Personal Gnosis   1 comment

Greetings, Spirit-Workers!

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From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, Jan 23, 2018:

[…] For certain, there is a time and a place for personal gnosis. When students begin asking me if I think their spirits will like this, or be offended by that, I tell them to ask their spirits. If someone was inspired to write a ritual, and they want me to critique it, I tell them to let their own spirits critique it. Where it comes to how you interact with your spirits, it’s entirely between them and you. My opinion means very little in that regard.

But there is a problem with personal gnosis when it comes into conflict with academic research. There is, in fact, a good reason why we need the books after all. The problem with asking the spirits directly is that YOU may lack the necessary knowledge they would need to convey the ideas to you…

Read the Rest at:  https://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2018/01/grimoires-and-the-solomonic-tradition/

Posted January 23, 2018 by kheph777 in magick, Uncategorized

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Llewellyn Blog: Grimoires and the Solomonic Tradition   1 comment

Greetings, Bibliophiles!

magick_blog_updated

From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, Jan 15, 2018:

I would like to talk about grimoires. Not a specific grimoire, like the Key of Solomon, or Heptameron, or Lemegeton. This isn’t even about their contents, or their history. No, what I want to talk about are the actual physical grimoires – those dangerous things made of paper and cardboard, with arcane scribbles of ink on their pages. Books that at various time and places (including to this very day) could get you arrested and worse. That pretty thing you might like to display prominently on your bookshelf, or perhaps hide away from prying eyes. Most of what we know about the medieval and Renaissance Solomonic tradition comes from those books, and they continue to be a treasure trove of new insights (and magical formulas) as more and more texts are discovered and translated into English (or other modern tongues). They are truly the heart and soul of the modern Solomonic movement; the foundation upon which the tradition ultimately rests.

But the modern movement has lost something that was paramount to the old-world Solomonic tradition: the grimoires themselves. And, once again, I’m talking about the actual physical read-y things that require manual page-flipping to fast-forward or rewind them. You see, in the medieval era, it was believed that a book containing magical spells, names and descriptions of spirits, seals and characters was itself an object of magical power. There were even spells intended to empower and enliven your grimoire – as preserved in books like the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy and the Key of Solomon. However, common thought at the time was that such a ritual was not necessary for a grimoire to be possessed by the spirits listed within it, or even a living demon in its own right. There are medieval records of public occult book-burnings, where witnesses swore they heard the screams of the spirits issuing from the flames as the books were consumed.

Read the Rest at:  https://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2018/01/grimoires-and-the-solomonic-tradition/

Posted January 15, 2018 by kheph777 in grimoires, history, hoodoo / witchcraft, llewellyn blog, Uncategorized

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