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Those Aren’t (Likely) Dee’s Tools in the British Museum   Leave a comment

Greetings Dee Enthusiasts!

The (Surviving) Dee Collection at the British Museum

It’s not often John Dee pops up in the mainstream – so when he does, you can bet it’s going to get attention from the Angel-botherers. Especially the ones, like me, who count Dee as something of a personal hero. So it’s little surprise this article from CNN is currently making the rounds:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/06/world/obsidian-mirror-aztecs-queen-elizabeth-i-scn/

Before you get too excited, there is nothing really ground-breaking here – that is, for most of you who are likely reading this blog and clicked on this particular post. It just says they ran some tests that prove the obsidian mirror in the British Museum’s John Dee Collection is, indeed, from Mexico. Honestly, this was something we already knew – it’s an Aztec mirror. The test just finally proved it. For some reason.

But, of course, I had a few things to say about the museum’s collection of Dee’s magical tools. (I would warn you it might ruin some of your fantasies…. but you’ve already read the title of this blog post, so…) I first wrote a long comment on the Facebook post where I discovered the article. But once I realized how long it was, I decided to also copy it onto my wall in a post of its own. Now that post seems to be making the rounds all on its own – so I decided to post it here, to make it easier to find and share.

So, without further ado, here are some facts about the British Museum’s collection of “John Dee’s” magical tools, in two parts:

PART 1: The black mirror attributed to Dee is not only unproven to have ever belonged to him, but it seems even more likely it did not. Consider this object is in a collection that includes a large golden re-creation of Kelley’s Watchtower Vision – an object Dee was never told to create, that plays no role whatsoever in the magick, and Dee left no record of having created.

To be frank, NONE of “Dee’s” magical objects in the British Museum are certain to have been his. We don’t *know* he cast those wax Seals. Even the now-lost Table of Practice was described as being quite colorful; but Dee was told, when he asked the Angels about using color, they “had no respect of color.” So either Dee decided that meant he could add color, or not, as he wished (which is possible) – or he didn’t make that Table.

Considering these items are in a collection of things very unlikely to have belonged to Dee, AND the fact that old wizards at the time LOVED to claim they had artifacts from ancient wizards they didn’t really have…. well it’s not looking good for the “Dee” collection. (Maybe it should be renamed the “Stuff People Have Claimed Once Belonged to John Dee” exhibit?)

PART 2: Also, and I can’t stress this enough!, Dee never, ever, at ANY time in the journals, used a black mirror to scry the Angels! Not with Barnabus Saul. Not with Kelley. Not with Arthur. Not with…. damn I forget the last dude’s name. [NOTE: there were actually at least two: Bartholomew Hickman and a Mr. Nicholls – the latter of whom did not win Dee’s favor.] But not with any scryer at any time did Dee EVER use a black mirror.

He used a clear quartz stone [sphere] in a frame made for a crystal ball. And this was NOT the stone the Angels “gave” to him.

That one was yet another stone – about the size and shape of an egg, but also kind of flat. IOW – sort of like a lens. That one was for scrying the Parts of the Earth (aka – spying on foreign nations), and while we have the record of an Angel directing Dee to find it, there is no later record of him using it. (I say he probably did, but we don’t have those records. More than likely they were in a separate top-secret military journal that only the Queen and/or Walsingham could see.)”

Posted October 9, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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Who is the Great Mother Galvah?   Leave a comment

Greetings Gnostics and Enochites!

One of the most obscure figures found in Dee’s diaries (speaking here of the celestial actors) is the angelic being known as Galvah (interpreted to mean “The End”). She appeared to Dee and Kelley only after most of Liber Loagaeth had been transmitted. In fact, it was specifically Her job to reveal the 49th and final Table of the Book – which itself was said to encompass the End Times and the reign of the Antichrist. Supporting this, Kelley envisions Her being swarmed by vile and dangerous animalistic demons, who fawn upon Her rather than intimidate or attack Her.

If you read only this entry in the journals, you might be forgiven for assuming Galvah is a dark and possibly evil being. Perhaps She is Lilith, or even the Whore of Babylon! This latter would associate Her quite nicely with the Book of Revelation, itself a prophecy of the End Times.

Yet… Galvah is referred to at one point, by the angel Illemese, as “Wisdom.” And another angel – named Madimi – calls Her “mother.” Well, unless you’re in the “Enochian angels are really demons” camp, this doesn’t do much to support Galvah being Babalon the Harlot. As many of you, who have read my Enochian books, are already well aware, I have long argued Galvah is in fact Sophia – Wife of God, Mother of Angels. This would be one of the Gnostic underpinnings of the Enochian system. Her name as given in Dee’s journals – “Galvah” – seems to be directly related to the Table of Loagaeth She was transmitting. The last one.

Makes sense – but doesn’t it seem a bit too “on the nose”? I mean, sure She came to deliver the last Table – and that Table deals with the End Times. So, I’ve always taken for granted that Her name here was primarily centered around Her specific task – to reveal the final Table. But, there has to be more to the name of the Mother of God here… To be fair, I did settle on something of an answer: She is, in fact, one half of the phrase “Alpha and Omega.” The Christos/Logos is the Alpha, and Sophia is the Omega. (In fact, I have written that “Galvah” means something closer to “omega” than to the simple phrase “the end”.) There you go – the deep mystery of Her name revealed!

But…. not really. Don’t get me wrong – I believe this interpretation to be correct. But it doesn’t go very far to explain WHY. It doesn’t give us insight into what Dee, or his angels, were thinking. Why is Sophia the Omega? Why was She sent to reveal the final Table of Loagaeth, instead of (for example) Abaddon/Apollyon – the actual Angel of the Apocalypse who appears in Revelation? (For that matter, why didn’t Raphael reveal it as he had the other 48 Tables?)

The answer, I believe, is found in the Book of Revelation. Above I mentioned the Whore of Babylon, but don’t forget there is another Lady with a starring role in that old pulp: the famous Woman of the Apocalypse. That’s Her pictured at the top of this post (complete with demonic creatures from the Revelation fawning at Her feet.) From Revelation 12, a Divine Woman in the heavens, crowned with the stars, clothed with the Sun, and the Moon at Her feet. She is persecuted by the Dragon but flown to safety by the Angels, where She finally gives birth to a Child. Tradition holds this to be Mary Herself, giving birth to Christ. Or that She is the celestial Mary giving birth to the Church. But Hermeticism calls her Aima Elohim, the Mother of the Gods (or Mother of Angels). She is equated with the Gnostic Sophia, the Jewish Shekinah, as well as with the Hermetic Soul of the World. In Dee’s journals, Galvah is presented in just this way – referred to as the mother of the “Family of Light” angels (Madimi and her siblings) and Kelley’s vision depicting the spirits of nature rushing toward Her and fawning upon Her. As if She were Mother Nature… because She is.

But whether we call Her Sophia, or Mary, or Shekinah, or Aima, or Wife of God, or Mother of God, or Mother of Angels, or Soul of the World, (or etc), there is one title by which She is most widely known even to common folk: the Woman of the Apocalypse. And therein, I believe, lies the key to understanding why She appears as “Galvah” in Dee’s journals. She came, very specifically, in her form of Woman of the Apocalypse in order to reveal the Loagaeth Table concerning that very Apocalypse. (Keep in mind, we are in this case using the word “apocalypse” in it’s erroneous – yet common – meaning of “the end of the world”.) In this sense, “Galvah” is almost literally a shorthand for Her title given in The Book of Revelation. And this tells us everything we need to know about with whom, exactly, Dee and Kelley believed they were speaking.

Zorge!

Posted September 24, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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Loagaeth: The First Leaf (as you call it) is the Last of the Book   2 comments

Greetings Enochian Scholars and Mages!

Dr. John Dee

I’m about to receive some blowback on this one, folks, so get ready! Modern Enochian practitioners (and researchers) are making a massive error. And, here’s the real shocker: it’s coming from a misunderstanding of Dee’s journals.

This error seems to have crept into Enochian study (and practice) sometime around the 1990s – but perhaps it was born even earlier. (Frankly I, blame the whole thing on the Golden Dawn – though only indirectly.) It specifically concerns the practical use of the Book of Loagaeth. If you’ve put any study into the tables of Loagaeth, or seen Enochian discussions online, you’ve doubtlessly run into this already, so you’ll be familiar with the following words:

“And of the First leaf, it is the last of the book.”

Many authors will tell you this is what the Angels (specifically the Mother Galvah) said to Dee and Kelley about the Book of Loagaeth; that the first table (which represents God) is really the last (which represents Earth). This certainly reminds one of the old Qabalistic axiom: “Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether.” In order to use Loagaeth, they say, you must understand this infinitely circular nature of Creation, and thereby know the key: that you must work the Book from the LAST table to the FIRST!

And doesn’t that make sense? If the first table of Loagaeth represents God and the final one the Earth, then it seems right to begin at the Earth and work our way toward God. After all, that’s how the Path of Initiation works on the Tree of Life – beginning with 1=10 (in Malkuth) and working upward toward 10=1 (in Kether). Same thing with Loagaeth, right?

Would I be writing this if that were even remotely correct?

Sorry, but that’s not what Galvah said to Dee and Kelley. Nor did she say anything about the circle of nature or working the Book of Loagaeth backward! What she actually said was:

“The first leaf (as you call it) is the last of the book.” [True and Faithful Relation… p 19]

I know that doesn’t sound so different than what I quoted above, but often (and especially in Dee’s journals!) the smallest of details can make the biggest differences. In this case, it’s that little parenthetical comment Galvah made – often deleted by authors who quote her: “(as you call it).” That little comment is important, because it was actually a call-back to something Dee himself had written months previously:

“…in my mind it seemeth requisite that as all the writing and reading of [Angelical] is from right to left, so the beginning of the book must be (as it were, in respect of our most usual manner of books, in all languages of Latin, Greek, English, etc) at the end of the book. And the end, at the beginning, as in the Hebrew Bible. [Five Books of Mystery, Peterson ed., p 411]

In case that was a bit word-salady (Dee lived at the same time as Shakespeare), here is what he is saying: If Angelical is written and read right-to-left (like Hebrew), then it stands to reason the Book of Loagaeth should be written just like a Torah. Hence, the “first page” of the Book by Western standards will actually be the LAST page of the book.

This can be a bit hard to visualize – unless you’re Jewish or Arabic, of course! So if you need to wrap your mind around this, try this exercise:

1 – Grab a book, any book – so long as it is written in a Western language (so, for instance, NOT Hebrew or Arabic). Place the book face up, unopened, on the table in front of you. You’ll be looking at the front cover.

2 – Now open the front cover and look at the first page. It might be a title page, or maybe just a blank page that precedes the title page. All familiar so far, right?

3 – Close the book and turn it face down. It should still be right side up – but you are now looking at the back cover.

4 – Now open the back cover and look at the last page in the book.

5 – Finally close the book again and look at the back cover.

If the book you are looking at were written in Hebrew (like a Torah), you would currently be looking at the FRONT cover of the book. You would read the book by opening the cover from left-to-right, and as you read you would turn the pages from left to right. Flip the book over to what YOU call the front cover, and now you’re looking at the BACK cover of a Torah. For all intents and purposes, from your Western-minded perspective, you would be reading the entire book backwards. In case it helps, here is a photo of a Torah opened to its first page (though to us it looks like the last page):

This is what Galvah was telling Dee: that the first leaf of Loagaeth should actually be where DEE would assume the last page of a book should fall. She was simply confirming what Dee had postulated some time beforehand. So, in the end, the Mother Galvah was not expounding upon the cyclic nature of the Universe. Nor was she instructing him to work the tables of Loagaeth backward! She was just telling Dee to turn the book over.

Sometimes the reality isn’t as sexy.

ADDENDUM: Oh yeah! About the Golden Dawn and their Path of Initiation upward on the Tree of Life: this is why I said I indirectly blame them for this error. Because modern occultists often forget just how deeply the GD affected modern esotericism – and sometimes take things that were original (or at least unique) to the GD as if they were a “given” for all occultism. A great example is our case here: the GD chose to work their Pathways from the bottom upward, while the much older Merkavah Mystics chose to work theirs from God downward. Not only did Dee live quite some time before the GD, but he was heavily influenced by the Merkavah system. Therefore, the tables of Loagaeth are intended to be worked from the highest heaven we can open (table 2) and work our way down to the Earth.

Posted June 22, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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The Truth about Evocation   12 comments

Greetings walkers with spirits!

I’ve noticed people tend to have a general misunderstanding of what evocation is and for what it is intended. So many people seem to believe evocation is what Solomonic Magick is all about. It isn’t.

I understand why this view exists. In occult and fantasy fiction, it is necessary to make things look interesting – so the default is to always show a mage standing within his protective Circle, surrounded by incense smoke, wand or sword in hand, chanting in arcane tongues, calling forth frightening or awe-inspiring creatures from the astral mists. It’s no different than – for example – a cop show that only shows you the exciting chases and impressive sleuth techniques, but never shows you the hours of paperwork and waiting that actually make up most of the job. So it is with the popular depiction of grimoire magick. And, because you only ever see the mage doing that one thing – evocation – it tends to become what you picture when you think of the subject.

Another culprit, believe it or not, is the grimoires themselves. Or, I should say, the popular misinterpretation of the grimoires. As I explain in both Secrets of the Magical Grimoires and my online beginners’ course, the grimoires do not in fact present the whole of the Solomonic tradition. They are just the starter manuals (which is why they are called “grammars”), giving you instructions on how to establish first contact with the angels and spirits of the tradition. And how you do that is (to a large extent) by performing the evocations. Once you’ve established that contact, it is not necessary to perform the evocation over and over again. From there, the spirits take over and teach you the real magick – and it’s not just more evocation.

Evocation has two primary purposes:

1) to establish contact with a spiritual being (or group of beings). Once you have that contact, you never need to perform the evocation for that being again. Of course, you’ll need to perform it again for any new entities you want to meet. So I am by no means suggesting you’ll never perform another evocation! However, you will not need to repeat it for the spirit(s) you’ve already contacted. That is, as long as you bind that being to a Talisman, Ring, Tablet, Altar, etc and have a means to continue working with it.

2) For important matters that require directly questioning a spiritual being. Most specifically when you have a series of questions that need to be asked. This is why the grimoires often use evocation for the purposes of discovering hidden information, finding lost or stolen items or people, receiving specific instructions for something, to find buried treasure, etc, etc. I have said in the past that evocation – meaning its use for this specific purpose – is in itself a form of divination. You’re talking to the spirit in order to learn something you didn’t previously know. Otherwise – why are you calling it?

Therefore, evocation is something that is done MUCH more rarely than other aspects of the Tradition. For most purposes, you can make a petition to an angel, or create a Talisman for whatever you need, without going through the weeks- or months-long process of full evocation. If, that is, you have previously done the work of evoking the spirits you are working with and taken the time and effort to build a working relationship with them. In our house, we have altars to all seven Planetary Archangels (same guys you see in the Heptameron), not to mention to my HGA and Familiars, Carrie’s Prenda, her Ancestor Altar, and a few others as well. We don’t have to spend months performing full evocations of them when we need to ask for something – because we already did that and now they live here! We only have to evoke them to visible/audible appearance when we need to ask them specific questions and get their direct answers.

Another thing to consider, as well: there is NO need to evoke dozens of spirits! I’ve seen people who brag about summoning all 72 spirits of the Goetia. Or that they’ve evoked all the Shem haMephoresh and/or Tree of Life Angels. But, folks, that isn’t how this tradition works! You could be a successful Solomonic magus through your entire life and only contact one or two spirits. You have to find a spirit who works well with you, who likes you, and gets results – and keep working with that spirit. That spirit may or may not be able to do everything you need – and, if not, it can direct you to (or even introduce you to) another spirit who can, and now that spirit becomes part of your crew. The Angels and spirits of the grimoires aren’t Pokemon! You don’t have to collect ’em all. Your spiritual army should be something you build up very slowly and deliberately over years, and not treated like a call list at a phone sales company.

Yes, we have a LOT of altars in our home – mostly because we do this professionally. But, even with us, there are a smaller number of entities we go to for most things. For me it is first my HGA, then my Familiars. If directed to do so, I can take an issue to one of the Seven Archangels – and that often tends to be Sachiel and Iophiel, because somewhere along the way I became a Jupiter wizard. For Carrie, she’ll often go to Anael or Samael because she has a special relationship with them. That is not to say we never go to the other Archangels, only that it is a more rare occurrence in relation to the ones we work with the most.

And it is even rarer for us to perform full evocations for them. Instead, we spend our time tending to their Altars and Icons, making offerings to them, burning dressed candles and making petitions to them, and conversing with them either directly or via one form of divination or another. Sorry if that sounds more like work than the awesome fantasy of being a wizard – but it is the truth. And now you have it.

Posted January 13, 2021 by kheph777 in grimoires, magick, solomonic, students

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How to Derail Every Conversation about Abramelin   6 comments

Every time I have a conversation about Abramelin online (and I’m not being hyperbolic – I do mean each and every single time) at least one person jumps into the discussion and does one or both of the following:

  • States there are ways other than Abramelin to contact or meet your Holy Guardian Angel.
  • Says things about the Holy Guardian Angel that are clearly about the Angel of the Nativity.

This always makes me cranky. Both of these concepts are entirely irrelevant to Abramelin and the entity it chose to call the “Holy Guardian Angel.” Yet, each time, I have to halt the discussion to explain, again(!), how these things are different and why they are irrelevant. It diverts the conversation that could have been had on the subject, and the person I’m saying it to is never ever willing to hear it anyway.

But for those of you who are interested, or have even wondered those same two things yourself, here are my answers (free of being in the context of a personality conflict with someone else):

To the first point: of course there are other ways to contact your Holy Guardian Angel! There is simply no need to point this out. Even Agrippa tells you how to do it: live right, and pray to the Angel every night before bed. Do that enough, and you’ll make contact and start to build a relationship with it. It’s not exactly a Hidden Mystery…

Why is it irrelevant to Abramelin? Because the Rite of Abramelin is NOT about merely meeting or contacting your HGA. It is a crowning ritual, a marriage ceremony, and a death/rebirth experience. It is an *initiation* into something greater, and a Tradition that you will follow until you draw your last living breath.

Besides, the process outlined by Abramelin is the oldest magical formula on Earth. Sure, Abramelin is unique amongst the grimoires, but it’s absolutely old-hat in just about every single other spiritual tradition in the world: going into seclusion, during which you stay ritually pure, invoke the Sky God to be on your side, and face down demons, only to be killed and then reborn into Something Greater. That essential process was undertaken by the very first shamans before humans had even figured out how to plant their own food.

So, interrupting a conversation about Abramelin to “educate me” that Abramelin isn’t the only way to go about it is somewhere between disingenuousness and ignorance, and that’s why it irks me. Its a “No Duh!” comment that seems to be trolling rather than contributing. But, worst of all, it shows a complete lack of understanding about the Book of Abramelin and what it is attempting to convey; and always coming from someone who has convinced themselves they are an expert on the subject.

To the second point: I grow a bit weary of the non-stop conflation between the Holy Guardian Angel described by Abraham of Worms, and the Nativity Angel.

I understand the confusion, it’s just that I have to explain it over and over and over. The Nativity Angel is what most traditions refer to as the “Guardian Angel” (sometimes even the “Holy Guardian Angel”), as well as the Eudeamon, the Genius, etc. And it is indeed a guardian angel, as it is in charge of your fate here on Earth. It hangs around and protects you, sits on your right shoulder urging you to do good, and all of the stuff you usually hear associated with guardian angels. The concept dates back (at least) to Plato’s Myth of Er – where the titular character witnesses souls being reborn and having Nativity Angels assigned to them by the Fates.

Yes, you have multiple guardian angels. Agrippa describes three of them (calling them a “threefold keeper of man”): the Holy Angel which comes directly from God, the Nativity Angel, and an “Angel of the Profession.” However, in reality there are a ton more guardian angels set over you. The Angel of the Profession is just the one in charge of your vocation, but every single aspect of your birth chart has an associated angel who is charged to watch over that part of your life. Where you live, what friends you will have, what relationship you’ll have with the spiritual, what kind of family you will have, etc, etc. Other sources – such as the Pauline Arts in the Lemegeton – even describe your (Holy) Guardian Angel as one of 360 who rules the ascending degree of your birth chart. Some sources describe an angel who governs your Part of Fortune. This list could go on at length… without even touching on Patron Angels like Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, etc who simply like you and look out for you.

Why is this irrelevant to Abramelin? Because Abraham of Worms was NOT writing about the Nativity Angel or any of his servient angels. He was writing about the one Agrippa called “the Holy Angel” who “comes only from God” – meaning it is not part of a hierarchy like most angels, but is the direct Holy Spirit and presence of God Itself. It comes from above the created realm – and thus has no relationship whatsoever to your birth chart. In fact, Agrippa says you can work with the Holy Angel to overcome your birth chart. Abraham stresses again and again that astrology – while it has its uses here in the created realm – has no part whatsoever in the Holy Guardian Angel or the Sacred Magick.

So, again, when a discussion about the Holy Guardian Angel is taking place, and someone barges in making statements that are obviously about the Nativity Angel, it shows how little they understand the Book of Abramelin and what is actually being discussed. It is equating – really conflating – two entirely separate things. Yet, again, the person saying always fancies themselves an expert. And when I have to explain to them where they are confused, I’m just “mage-splaining” and can basically just go fuck off because what they do and what I do are exactly the same thing and their way was easier and therefore better.

SIGH Well, at least they aren’t still insisting the HGA is just “your own Higher Self” anymore. So… progress?

Posted September 26, 2020 by kheph777 in abramelin

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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   9 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