Archive for the ‘atr’ Category

What is a Limpia (and what is it NOT?)   5 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 Magick Blog: Ritual Purity vs. Spiritual Coolness   1 comment

Greetings Readers!

 

magick_blog_updated

From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, October 5, 2015:

When the master of the art shall wish to perform his operations, having previously arranged all things which it is necessary to observe and practice; from the first day of the experiment, it is absolutely necessary to ordain and to prescribe care and observation, to abstain from all things unlawful, and from every kind of impiety, impurity, wickedness, or immodesty, as well of body as of soul; as, for example, eating and drinking superabundantly, and all sorts of vain words, buffooneries, slanders, calumnies, and other useless discourse; but instead to do good deeds, speak honestly, keep a strict decency in all things, never lose sight of modesty in walking, in conversation, in eating and drinking, and in all things; the which should be principally done and observed for nine days, before the commencement of the operation.
[Key of Solomon the King, Book II, Chapter 4: “Concerning the Fasting and Care and Things to be Observed”]

The above quote from the Key of Solomon is a fairly typical example of the grimoires‘ instructions concerning ritual purity. Given the Judeo-Christian nature of the texts, it is not surprising to see typical Christian rhetoric about “impiety, impurity, wickedness, or immodesty” and the general concept of “sin.” Taking these texts at face value, it would seem the angels and spirits simply won’t bother to respond if you are a “sinful” and “unclean” person:

Accustom yourself as much as possible to purity of body and cleanliness of raiment, seeing that this is very necessary; for the spirits, both good and evil alike, love purity.

[The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, Book II, Chapter 20]

Most grimoires insist on this kind of spiritual cleanliness for, at the very least, the duration of the magical operation. Today, we are thankfully maturing past childish ideas such as “sin.” We no longer believe that a Big Voyeur in the Sky watches us all day waiting for us to break one of his silly little rules so he can torture us for eternity. We certainly don’t accept any Deities who would consider something like sex a “bad thing” (especially after creating it in the first place!). Therefore, it isn’t surprising to see many modern students attempting to work with the Old Magick, while just ignoring the fasting, seclusion, abstinence, and other aspects of ritual purification.

However, Christians and Jews did not invent ritual purity…

Read the Rest at:  http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2015/10/ritual-purity-vs-spiritual-coolness/

Posted October 6, 2015 by kheph777 in atr, llewellyn blog, solomonic

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New Workshop – Working With Your Ancestors (October 3rd)   2 comments

Greetings my Witchy friends!

In just a couple of weeks (October 3, 2015), my wife and I will be hosting a workshop near Tampa, FL – on the subject of building and working an Ancestor Altar (also called a Boveda).  This is a one-time class, lasting about two hours (1-3pm) at Mystikal ScentsYou have to register by Oct 1st!  See below for more info:

 

Boveda

 

Mystikal Scents Presents

Working with Your Ancestors

Aaron & Carrie Leitch

Saturday, October 3rd

1:00 – 3:00 PM

The ancestor altar is one of the first magickal tools created by a new witch, and one of her primary methods of working with the spirit world. It was from her ancestors that she drew her power, her spiritual insight and through whom she could perform nearly any form of domestic magick – healing, protection, divination, prosperity (crops, livestock, and children), bringing money, etc., etc.

In this class, adept sorcerers Aaron and Carrie Leitch will relate the history and philosophy behind ancestor work, explain how to construct your own ancestor altar (Boveda) and teach you how to put it to use.

You will also learn all of the important protocols for working with your ancestors safely and successfully.

This will be a one day class held on Saturday, October 3rd from 1 – 3 PM. Cost is $20. Deadline to schedule is Oct 1st. Preregistration is required.

Call Mystikal Scents @ 813-986-3212 to register today!

Mystikal Scents

9545 E. Fowler Ave.

Thonotosassa, FL 33592

813-986-3212

Llewellyn Magick Blog: Ritual Use of Blood, Yesterday and Today   2 comments

Greetings Readers!

 

magick_blog_updated

From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, August 31, 2015:

The subject of the use of blood in magickal rituals arises every so often in modern occult discussions. And, as you might expect, it tends to be a rather polarizing force. Some are willing to use blood—either their own or that of an animal—in their sacred rituals, while others consider it animal cruelty and are vehemently against the practice. Sadly, these discussions usually get off on the wrong foot from the very beginning, thanks to a very distorted view of ritual sacrifice held by Western culture. Most often, I see the assertion that ritual sacrifice is a method of “powering your magick via the death of a living creature.” And, even more unfortunate, it is sometimes said the magick is powered specifically by the terror and pain suffered by the creature.

I have addressed the subject of ritual sacrifice in many places—see Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires chapter four (Llewellyn), my introduction to Ritual Offerings (Nephillim Press), and a few other places on blogs and forums. I will briefly summarize here what I had to say on the subject elsewhere:

 

Read the Rest at:  http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2015/08/ritual-use-of-blood-yesterday-and-today/

Posted September 1, 2015 by kheph777 in atr, llewellyn blog, solomonic

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RELEASED: Ritual Offerings : Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick   5 comments

Greetings fellow sorcerers!

You’ve been waiting for it… and waiting… and it’s finally here!

Nephilim Press has finally released the much-anticipated anthology:

Ritual Offerings Book Shot

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick

Ritual Offerings:

Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick.

So grab your copy now while supplies last!*

Ritual Offerings Inside-Cover

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)

Spirits are not merely an option or tool to be utilized when the magician deems it necessary. Spirits are the very heart and soul of all magick. A consecrated talisman has a spirit attached to it that contributes to the talisman’s power, the incantations we use work because the spirits heard them and acted. We are not alone when cast our spells; our patrons and familiars are always present, casting the spells with us.

Throughout history, ritual offerings have been the central pillar of all magick and religion. Very often, a magickal ritual consists of nothing more than the making of a prescribed offering to a particular spirit in a specified time and place, yet here in the West, the making of an offering has been equated with the worship of the spirit receiving it. The act of offering a spirit something as payment for services rendered has a close association with the dreaded “pact with the Devil,” by which a magician surely sells his soul to damnation, but to the rest of the world an offering is intended to feed and empower a spiritual entity, and to pay it fairly for its aid.

The art of making proper offerings to the spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings, but if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.

Strictly Limited to 900 numbered copies and filled with over 280 pages of essays and actual photos of authors’ ritual altars, Ritual Offerings unites twelve practicing occultists who share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating and important subject. Traditions from around the world such as Solomonic magick, Tibetan Buddhism, New Orleans and Hatian Voudou, Western Hermetic Theurgy and more are discussed in great detail. Regardless of your tradition, Ritual Offerings will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively and contribute to our overall success and growth as a practitioner.

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Contributors:

Aaron LeitchIntroduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism and Liber Donariorum: the Book of Offerings

Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice

Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan)Whispers from a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings from a Conjured Familiar

Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering

Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path toward the Summum Bonum

Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou

Jason MillerSevered Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism

Nick FarrellOfferings In Roman Deity Magic

Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGDOfferings in Iamblichan Theurgy

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru

Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions

(* – There are currently plans to release a paperback version of this book once the hardbound numbered copies have sold out.  Stay tuned!)

michael-offering-front

Offering Altar to St. Michael

Samael-Offering1

Offering Altar to Archangel Samael

 Click Here To Order

UPDATE: Ritual Offerings : Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick   Leave a comment

Greetings fellow sorcerers!

 

Ritual Offerings Inside-Cover

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)

 

Great news!  I have been contacted by Nephilim Press and informed that Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick has gone to the printer at last!

angry-mob

So calm down already! Sheeesh!

 

I have been told we estimate about six weeks for the book’s delivery.  This will be a limited edition (hard cover of course!), and Nephilim says we might be running a risk of selling out quickly due to the popularity of the individual contributors (see below) and the interest that customers have expressed in pre-orders.

 

Can We Pre-Order the Book??

No, I’m afraid that Nephilim Press still does not take pre-orders.  However, since you are cool enough to be a reader of this blog, you’ll have an opportunity to secure your copy before it is offered to the general public!

Just go to the Nephilim Press Homepage, and subscribe to their newsletter.  When the book becomes available, newsletter subscribers will be notified first – giving you first dibs on your copy of this groundbreaking new manual of magick.  According to Frank over at Nephilim:

“We only send out emails when new titles are available and people who get the newsletter are notified in advance of the general public so that they can be sure to get a copy before sell outs and such. Our subscriber list is 100% confidential.”

So there you have it.  In about a month and a half, if you act quickly enough, you can secure your own copy before they’re gone!

Below is some information and a few excerpts from the book’s introduction, in case you missed them in my last blog post:

 

Throughout history, ritual offerings have been the central pillar of all magick (and religion). Very often, a magickal ritual consists of nothing more than the making of a prescribed offering to a particular spirit in a specified time and place. Yet, here in the West, the making of an offering has been equated with the worship of the spirit receiving it. The act of offering a spirit something as payment for services rendered has close associations with the dreaded “pact with the Devil,” by which a magician surely sells his soul to damnation.

But, to the rest of the world an offering is intended to feed and empower a spiritual entity, and to pay it fairly for the work it does. We cannot expect the spirits to simply manifest what we desire out of thin air—it takes energy for them to accomplish your goals, and they need to get that energy from somewhere.

The art of making proper offerings to spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings for your safety.  But if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

 

In Ritual Offerings, twelve practical occultists have come together to share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating subject.  Traditions from around the world are discussed – from Solomonic magick to Tibetan Buddhism, from New Orleans Voodoo and Hatian Voudou to Western Hermetic Theurgy and more.  Regardless of your tradition, this manual will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively.

Take a look at the all-star line-up in the table of contents:

Aaron LeitchIntroduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Aaron Leitch: Liber Donariorum: the Book of Offerings

Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice

Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan)Whispers from a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings from a Conjured Familiar

Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering

Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path toward the Summum Bonum

Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou

Jason MillerSevered Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism

Nick FarrellOfferings In Roman Deity Magic

Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGDOfferings in Iamblichan Theurgy

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru

Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions

michael-offering-front

Offering Altar to St. Michael

 

Why Ritual Offerings?

Nearly every author in this book has reported that their magick was “supercharged” by the inclusion of ritual offerings in their spells. Likewise, their students have responded with similar results. Spells that used to take weeks to produce results suddenly happen overnight. Summoned spirits that used to appear weak or far away suddenly become strong and very much present.  Talismans begin to have their effect much faster. Why should this be the case?

Because spirits are important to your magick. Today it is quite common to see spirit work listed as a “type” of magick: To accomplish your goals you might choose (for example) a talisman, a spell, an incantation, or summon a spirit. However, this is not how magick was viewed in the ancient world.

Spirits were not merely an option, a tool to be utilized when the magician deemed it necessary. No, spirits were the very heart and soul of all magick. That talisman you consecrated has a spirit attached to it, who  accomplishes the intended goal. The incantation you used worked because the spirits heard it and acted upon it. You were not alone when you cast that spell; your patrons and familiars were present and casting the spell with you. And what about spirit summoning, like we see in grimoires such as the Key of Solomon or the Goetia? Those are methods of first-contact with the spirits, who will then teach the summoner how to do proper magick with things like — you guessed it — talismans, spells, and incantations.

In all of the above, spirits are the common factor. It is the shaman’s relationship with the local spirits that makes his magick work so impressively. He knows how to attract them, gains their respect, and uses ritual offerings to feed and empower them so they can protect the tribe.

Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Some still choose to view spirit-feeding as a symbolic act — a kind of earthy sympathetic magick whereby we use food to activate otherwise non-physical (spiritual) currents here on the physical plane. Others, like myself and many of the authors in this book, feel the Western gods, angels, and spirits have gone without feeding for far too long; thus, if you feed them as part of your magick, they respond in a big way. No matter how you choose to interpret it, the knowledgeable use of offerings will produce impressive results; they will “supercharge” your magick.

 

Samael-Offering1

Offering Altar to Archangel Samael

 

By the way, you can read the entire introduction in the current issue of Hermetic Tablet magazine.

 

 

Ritual Offerings : Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick   6 comments

Greetings fellow sorcerers!

 

Ritual Offerings Inside-Cover

Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)

 

As many of you know, since I’ve teased it here and there over the past few months, I have been editing a new anthology for Nephilim Press entitled Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick.

Throughout history, ritual offerings have been the central pillar of all magick (and religion). Very often, a magickal ritual consists of nothing more than the making of a prescribed offering to a particular spirit in a specified time and place. Yet, here in the West, the making of an offering has been equated with the worship of the spirit receiving it. The act of offering a spirit something as payment for services rendered has close associations with the dreaded “pact with the Devil,” by which a magician surely sells his soul to damnation.

But, to the rest of the world an offering is intended to feed and empower a spiritual entity, and to pay it fairly for the work it does. We cannot expect the spirits to simply manifest what we desire out of thin air—it takes energy for them to accomplish your goals, and they need to get that energy from somewhere.

The art of making proper offerings to spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings for your safety.  But if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

Altar and Offerings to Sachiel

 

In Ritual Offerings, twelve practical occultists have come together to share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating subject.  Traditions from around the world are discussed – from Solomonic magick to Tibetan Buddhism, from New Orleans Voodoo and Hatian Voudou to Western Hermetic Theurgy and more.  Regardless of your tradition, this manual will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively.

Take a look at the all-star line-up in the table of contents:

Aaron LeitchIntroduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Aaron Leitch: Liber Donariorum: the Book of Offerings

Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice

Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan)Whispers from a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings from a Conjured Familiar

Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering

Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path toward the Summum Bonum

Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou

Jason MillerSevered Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism

Nick FarrellOfferings In Roman Deity Magic

Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGDOfferings in Iamblichan Theurgy

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru

Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions

michael-offering-front

Offering Altar to St. Michael

 

The final edits have been submitted, and I expect the book to ship to the printer any day now.  Keep an eye on this blog as I will soon announce the release date.  🙂  In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from the introduction:

Samael-Offering1

Offering Altar to Archangel Samael

Why Ritual Offerings?

Nearly every author in this book has reported that their magick was “supercharged” by the inclusion of ritual offerings in their spells. Likewise, their students have responded with similar results. Spells that used to take weeks to produce results suddenly happen overnight. Summoned spirits that used to appear weak or far away suddenly become strong and very much present.  Talismans begin to have their effect much faster. Why should this be the case?

Because spirits are important to your magick. Today it is quite common
to see spirit work listed as a “type” of magick: To accomplish your goals you might choose (for example) a talisman, a spell, an incantation, or summon a spirit. However, this is not how magick was viewed in the ancient world.

Spirits were not merely an option, a tool to be utilized when the magician deemed it necessary. No, spirits were the very heart and soul of all magick. That talisman you consecrated has a spirit attached to it, who  accomplishes the intended goal. The incantation you used worked because the spirits heard it and acted upon it. You were not alone when you cast that spell; your patrons and familiars were present and casting the spell with you. And what about spirit summoning, like we see in grimoires such as the Key of Solomon or the Goetia? Those are methods of first-contact with the spirits, who will then teach the summoner how to do proper magick with things like — you guessed it — talismans, spells, and incantations.

In all of the above, spirits are the common factor. It is the shaman’s relationship with the local spirits that makes his magick work so impressively. He knows how to attract them, gains their respect, and uses ritual offerings to feed and empower them so they can protect the tribe.

Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism

Some still choose to view spirit-feeding as a symbolic act — a kind of earthy sympathetic magick whereby we use food to activate otherwise non-physical (spiritual) currents here on the physical plane. Others, like myself and many of the authors in this book, feel the Western gods, angels, and spirits have gone without feeding for far too long; thus, if you feed them as part of your magick, they respond in a big way. No matter how you choose to interpret it, the knowledgeable use of offerings will produce impressive results; they will “supercharge” your magick.

 

By the way, you can read the entire introduction in the current issue of Hermetic Tablet magazine.

 

 

Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santería   2 comments

Greetings God-brothers and God-sisters!

Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santería

Now this is a truly humbling experience.  As many of you know, my Solomonic practice was greatly influenced (and in no small way made possible) by one of my oldest friends and teachers – the Santo Ochani Lele.  I knew him long ago, when he was still a Gardnerian High Priest and maknig his first discoveries of  Palo Mayombe and Santeria.  After he became an initiate of those systems, I literally spent hours discussing magick with him – comparing and contrasting my beloved grimoires with his form of magick and witchcraft.  Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires was largely a result of those discussions.

Now he is a famous Lucumi author and teacher, with his own thriving House full of bright-eyed young aspirants.  He has produced an (ever-growing) library of books about the Lucumi faith and practices.  And, recently, he floored me by contacting me for an endorsement for his latest work:  Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santería: A Complete Guide to the Rituals and Practices.

Heh.  Ochani Lele coming to me for an endorsement!  How do you like that irony?  And, after reading the book, I couldn’t help but to write what turned out to be a mini-review – part of which will be printed in the book, and is already included at the head of the Editorial Reviews on the Amazon page.  Ah, the circle of life….  🙂

Since my review had to be edited down to make it fit as an endoresment blurb, I felt it would be cool to publish the entire review here for you good folks to see.  So, here it is:

The Lucumi faith – better known to non-initiates as “Santeria” – has been one of the most misunderstood and maligned subjects in Western history.  Its practitioners have been labeled as satanists, animal torturers, criminals and ignorant followers of a “fake religion” – not to mention any number of outright racial slurs.  The good news is that this is finally changing.  The faith is growing faster now than ever before, admitting members from every race and creed and even having a massive impact on other religions and mystical practices.  For all of these reasons, at this point in our culture’s spiritual development, the importance of “Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santeria” cannot be overstated. 
 
For those inside the religion, it will doubtlessly be a useful textbook – containing not only the sacrificial rituals, but also information on the Orishas, what they eat, how to speak to them though divination, and the sacred mythos – or tales – that contain the true spiritual meaning behind the practices.
 
For those outside the religion, this book is an absolute must-read!  You will find here secrets never before revealed to the outside world.  But, more importantly, you will find a detailed history of the origins of the Lucumi faith, the rise of “Santeria” in Cuba and its further migration into the U.S. and beyond.  You will bear witness to the long and hard fight for the religious freedom and equality of its practitioners (from its survival amidst unsympathetic slave-owners to landmark cases brought before the Supreme Court in our lifetimes).  And, best of all, you will finally learn the true meanings and motivations behind the often-demonized practice of animal sacrifice.  No worse than butchering animals for food, and in fact many degrees better in its humane treatment of the animals involved, it is a deeply spiritual tradition dating back thousands of years.  You don’t have to practice it, nor even agree with it, to come to a better understanding of a religious mystery that has such profound and moving significance for those in the Lucumi/Santerian faith.
 
Ochani Lele has provided us with yet another magnum opus in his ever-growing library of Lucumi textbooks, instruction manuals and mystical explorations.  If you study religious movements here in the West, you simply cannot ignore this book.
 
 The book is going to be released in just a couple of weeks, so pre-order your copy now!  🙂
 
Zorge
Aaron
 

Posted August 7, 2012 by kheph777 in atr

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At the Crossroads – New Anthology by Scarlet Imprint   4 comments

Greetings God brothers and God sisters!

Scarlet Imprint is now taking pre-orders for an awesome new book called:

At the Crossroads

This new anthology brings together authors and practitioners of various Afro-Caribbean and Western systems of occultism to compare notes on their traditions’ difference and, especially, similarities.  From the Scarlet Imprint page:

At the crossroads the paths of magicians and worlds meet.
Grimoire and root workers, Hoodoo and Vodoun, Quimbanda and Ifa. A potent fusion is occurring, a second diaspora.

At the Crossroads tells the stories of what happens when the Western Magical Tradition encounters the African Diaspora and Traditional religions, and vice versa. It is a mixing and a magic that speaks of a truly new world emerging.

My own offering to this brew is called Folk Traditions and the Solomonic Revival.  The above quote, actually, is a fair description of exactly what my essay is about.  I discuss the current cross-semination taking place between the modern Solomonic movement and various folks traditions – such as Santeria, Voodoo and Hoodoo.  I briefly mention the relationship these traditions have shared in the past, and then explore the important impact such folk traditions are having upon the current understanding and practice of the medieval European grimoires.

And this goes far beyond the magick of Solomon, too.  This movement reflects a relationship between Westerners and magick that was lost thousands of years ago, but which is now re-emerging and flourishing throughout every aspect of the occult revival.  It is having an effect on everything from the Golden Dawn and Thelema to Wicca and Neopaganism.  My essay, and Crossroads overall, gets right to the heart of this new movement and why it is so vastly important for all of us.

At the Crossroads is going to be a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand what exactly is happening to magick in the Western world in the 21st Century.

Zorge,

Aaron

Contents

Peter Grey – Preamble: Standing Still

Jake Stratton-Kent – Necromancy: the Role of the Dead in a Living Tradition

Aaron Leitch – Folk Traditions and the Solomonic Revival

Eric K Lerner – Eleggua; Eleggua’s Worlds (art)

Stephen Grasso – Open up the Gate

Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold – The Invisible City in the Realm of Mystery

Richard Ward – In the Shadow of the Cross

Drac Uber & Ivy Kerrigan – Libations for the Lwa

Michael Cecchetelli – Countermeasures

Humberto Maggi – Crossing Worlds

Ryan Valentine – A brief history of the Juju

Hagen Von Tulien – Soul Dream (art)

Kyle Fite – The Syncretic Soul at the Cross of Cosmic Union

ConjureMan Ali – Goetic Initiation

Christopher D Bradford – Nigromantic Putrfaction

Chad Balthazar – A Garden Amidst the Flames

Angela Edwards – Queen of Fire & Flesh (art)

Jake Stratton-Kent – Magic at the Crosssroads

Posted July 6, 2012 by kheph777 in atr, books, reviews, solomonic

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Blood Substitute – ‘Solomonic Herbal Holy Water’   7 comments

Every once in a while, the subject of ritual blood use is raised among those who study the Old Magicks.  Blood and sacrifice were fairly common in both religion and magick until relatively recently in history.  I discuss the subject in depth in chapter four of “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires”, if you want to read about my take on the subject.

Today, however, many modern practitioners (especially those of American WASP heritage) have sensibilities that preclude the use of blood in ritual.  Perhaps this will change, if our Great Western Civilization eventually collapses and we are again forced to raise and slaughter our own food.  But until then, some of us would rather not engage in the practice.

We can take heart, though.  Even ancient traditions that regularly make use of blood and sacrifice – such as the ATRs (Santeria, Palo, etc), the medieval grimoires and various forms of conjure and folk magick- also include paths and methods that do not require blood.  From what I have seen, no one looks down upon those paths nor upon their adherents for their choice.   That’s great, because it gives us avenues to explore the Old Magicks without the use of blood, and still learn how to do things right.

Omiero is a liquid used in Santerian traditions, whenever an Orisha (or  god) is born into a new vessel.  (These vessels are urns, filled with consecrated items, that become the center-pieces of altars to the Orishas.)  The Orisha will quite literally live inside the vessel, and offerings and sacrifices will be made to him or her upon the altar.  However, the Orisha’s very first meal is not blood at all – it is omiero.  Because of this, omiero can be considered even more potent (in its way) than blood.

Of course, the secrets of making true omiero are a closely guarded secret. I only know it involves the ripping and tearing of sacred herbs and plants beneath running water, so that a green-tinted water is collected. And there are mystical songs that must be sung during its preparation.

Meanwhile, the concept of herbally-infused holy water is not unheard of outside of these mystery religions. We can especially find it within the practice of Hoodoo – a folk practice that originated in the American south, and was itself heavily influenced by the ATRs. In this case, the process is much simplified – usually involving little more than steeping sacred herbs in water to produce a “tea” or extracting the scent of a plant and infusing it into water (such as the very popular Florida Water – which is named for its sweet floral scent, not for the US state).

Drawing from the concepts of omiero and herbal holy waters, we can use a similar method to produce a blood substitute for our own magick.  Below, I will outline a method of making a kind of holy water based upon the omiero concept (note:  this is not the recipe for true omiero as used in the ATRs), which I have incorporated into a Solomonic framework.

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Solomonic Herbal Holy Water (UPDATED)

NOTE: If you want to see pictures of this process in action, click here.

For this you will need Holy Water, the Bible, plants and herbs gathered (as much as possible) locally by hand, and (for this example) a gallon of fresh spring water.  Yes, it needs to be fresh water from a spring.

1) First make or obtain a few ounces of Holy Water- either as outlined in the Key of Solomon, or obtained from a Church, etc.  In any case you will need about sixteen ounces of lightly salted consecrated water (a bit less is fine), if you are making a gallon of the finished herbal water.  Avoid Holy Waters that contain rose or other herbs.

2) Find several Psalms or other Scripture that relate to the Force/Angel/Spirit you are working with. (Try to find a number of Psalms based upon the number sacred to the entity.  Six Psalms for solar entities, eight for mercurial, etc.) My primary source for these is always “Use of the Psalms”- often found appended to the “6th and 7th Books of Moses.”  Another good source is called the “Book of Gold”, recently published by Avalonia Publishing.  Also, don’t hesitate to sit down with an online Bible and search the Psalms and other Scripture for keywords that relate to your needs.

3) Gather some fresh plants that relate to the Force/Angel/Spirit. (You don’t want woods or resins or roots – look for leafy green plants!) Scott Cunningham wrote some good source material for this kind of thing. See “Incenses, Oils and Brews.”  Again, gather a number of plants based upon the number sacred to the entity in question.

4) Prepare your ritual space, and yourself, as you normally would for magickal work. It is best to perform this work on the proper Day and Hour according to the table of Solomonic hours.

5) During said Hour, put the spring water into a large bowl.  Take some of the plant material in hand, and begin to sing/recite the Psalms as you immerse the plants into the Water and begin to rip and tear at the plant material. For tougher plants, you can make use of a knife to tear the material – use your White-Hilted Knife for this if you have one.

Keep going until the plants just can’t be ripped, torn, squeezed or pressed any further, and you finally run out of plant material.  In a best-case scenario, the water should have turned a very dark green.  (Not all plants will result in deep dark green water, and it will likely take some practice to know how much plant material you’ll need in each case.  Give yourself time to perfect your recipes.)

6) Strain out the destroyed plant remnants.  Then take the pure Holy Water and make a small prayer of your intent as you add it into the bowl.

I like to store this away in refridgeration, since it involves plant material.  I use it as needed for sacrifice/offering.   You can use it in place of blood anytime it is called for in a spell.  You can also use it any time you create a spirit pot – not only as a first offering to the spirit, but also to wash every object you will place into its vessel.

LVX
Aaron