Archive for the ‘grimoires’ Category
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, April 20, 2016:
When I began my occult path—so many years ago now—there were two things I lamented above all else: 1) that Western culture had abandoned its official belief in magick, and 2) that what little remained of Western occultism had abandoned the Old Magick in favor of post-GD psychological models. I would have to say, in some sense, my entire career as an author/teacher and all-around very public occultist has been dedicated to setting those two things right again. I wanted to live in a community of people who believe in magick—and therefore place real value on what I do, rather than viewing it as a quaint or outright weird hobby. And, of course, I wanted to see the Old Magick revived for Westerners; for us to put away all the mental masturbation and “self-help” and reconnect with Nature as humans should. This seemed like a noble cause, so I set my sails and began my journey.
Yet, as often happens with age and maturity, I have learned and experienced more than my young self had. I have gained new wisdom and a decidedly broader perspective. My ship has sailed, the movement I wanted to start—but, in fact, had already started by the time I joined it—can’t be stopped now. The Old Magick is coming back, via several different channels. Even if I hung up my pen and never wrote another word, it wouldn’t change a thing now. And, now that it is clearly too late to do a damned thing about it, I have serious concerns…
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2016/04/why-im-worried-about-the-revival-of-the-old-magick/
You, courageous seeker (if this applies to you), are merely pointed toward an entire genre of (extremely obscure) occult literature and told, “There lie the true secrets of magick. Good luck.” So, realizing you’re pretty much on your own, you take the most logical first step: look for a copy of the Key of Solomon in order to get an idea of what the system looks like and requires. But wait! Do you mean the “greater” or “lesser” Key of Solomon? Or did you mean the Hygromanteia (aka the Magical Treatise of Solomon)? Maybe you’d like the Key of Solomon the King published by Mathers, or do you prefer the Veritable Key of Solomon published by Skinner and Rankine? I could go on
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, February 16, 2016:
Those who take an interest in Solomonic and grimoire occultism face a rather unique dilemma. Anyone who undertakes a specific path/tradition—such as the Golden Dawn, Thelema, and even Wicca—generally has their work cut out for them. Literally. Someone before them has taken the time to design an entire course of work and study for the new student to follow. You will read this text and that one, you will perform these rituals and meditations, and you will pass this test before moving on to the next stage—there really isn’t any room for confusion on that point.
This, however, is not the case for the student hoping to learn the ways of Solomon or Enoch. You, courageous seeker (if this applies to you), are merely pointed toward an entire genre of (extremely obscure) occult literature and told, “There lie the true secrets of magick. Good luck.” So, realizing you’re pretty much on your own, you take the most logical first step: look for a copy of the Key of Solomon in order to get an idea of what the system looks like and requires. But wait! Do you mean the “greater” or “lesser” Key of Solomon? Or did you mean the Hygromanteia (aka the Magical Treatise of Solomon)? Maybe you’d like the Key of Solomon the King published by Mathers, or do you prefer the Veritable Key of Solomon published by Skinner and Rankine? I could go on, but you can see for yourself right here. And, mind you(!), these are only a few of the manuscripts attributed specifically to Solomon—so this doesn’t include the host of grimoires attributed to other authors. All of them purport to teach you how to summon the spirits and work the spells, and they are all certainly similar to one another, yet they are also very different.
But we’re not done confusing you yet! You see, we old-timers are going to give you a solid gem of advice before you even get started: Follow the damned instructions! Don’t skimp or take shortcuts, don’t alter things to the way you think they should be; trust that the author of the grimoire knew what he (or she) was doing and follow the instructions as given. Then, you’ll delve into your chosen grimoire(s) and discover the punchline: the instructions aren’t complete! At least, they aren’t in the greatest number of occult texts. Most of them were written as working notes for practicing magicians, and it was assumed a lot was already understood by the student before even picking up the book.
Now, here is where the student will encounter some real controversy. There are a few Solomonic practitioners out there who will insist “grimoire hopping”—that is, either switching between grimoires, or drawing material from one text to “fill out” another—is a bad idea. Instead, one should pick a text and dedicate to it. They will say there are differences between the instructions in different grimoires, and therefore we shouldn’t assume their procedures can be easily shared between them. Not to mention a great number of grimoires, themselves, claim to contain the real secrets of magick while other grimoires are vain foolish attempts at the same—so apparently even they didn’t want you to mix their systems together.
Except, they totally mixed the systems together themselves—a lot. They regularly borrowed conjurations, prayers, talismans, words of power, ritual tools, magick circles, and more from one another. In fact, they did so much appropriating it is often difficult to determine which book copied from another, or when they might both have been drawing from some as-yet-unknown older source. And they didn’t keep the things they borrowed pristine, either. They made aggressive changes—lengthening or shortening conjurations, changing names of God, altering spirit hierarchies, changing the required tools and furnishings, adding bits in, taking bits out, etc., etc.
So, I’ll understand if you find yourself confused and exasperated. You shouldn’t mix systems or deviate from the instructions, except you actually have to. Yet, trust me, there is no change, addition or subtraction you can make to your chosen system that will not result in someone, somewhere, telling you that you’ve done it wrong. I can’t entirely blame those of you who have decided the Solomonic mages can go to gehenna with their convoluted tradition. However, before you begin to wish the Roman Church had succeeded in burning all the blasted grimoires, let’s see if we can’t untangle this knot to some extent.
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2016/02/grimoire-hopping/
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, January 5, 2016:
Now that people have realized Abramelin is a workable grimoire, instead of some far-removed literary device, the two “versions” of Abramelin have caused some concern. It’s not that the technical instructions are that different between the two, but the difference in the length of time is striking. Instead of working through three short phases of two months each, we discovered that you were intended to work through three long periods of six months each. The French wizard who had adapted the Rite had severely shortened it—and that seems like the kind of thing you absolutely shouldn’t do with something as important as this. Therefore, I’ve been seeing this question posed again and again over the past few years: is it possible to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel in a mere six months? Should one even try?
The French author seemed to believe it wasn’t necessary to spend a year-and-a-half in seclusion and prayer, and shortened it to six months instead. But was he right to do that? Is it detrimental to the ultimate goal—the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA — to take such a short-cut? Or, if it is ok to shorten the length of purification, how far can we take it? How about just three months? Three weeks? Three days? Three hours? How much is not enough?
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2016/01/6-or-18-months-how-long-o-abramelin-how-long/
Greetings Solomonic Conjurors!
I am thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of our new online store:
We specialize in the creation of obscure and unique ritual tools and ingredients for traditional Solomonic and grimoire workings. We carry holy water, maiden-spun thread, hazel and oak wands, aspergillums, ritual knives, herbal-infused blood substitutes, talismans, parchment, beeswax and beeswax candles, holy oil, incense, and much more.
Everything we sell is made according to the exacting instructions required by the grimoires (Key of Solomon the King, the Book of Abramelin, etc) – all materials, timing, consecrations, ritual protocols and proscriptions are meticulously observed in the creation of our ritual items.
Hand-Crafted Ritual Tools and Items
The grimoires are infamous for requiring rare, obscure and hard to obtain items: such as thread hand-spun by a young maiden, ritual tools blessed by a priest, rare herbs and incenses, objects made from specific metals and other materials, rare virgin woods etc. They also require meticulous rituals and consecrations during the time of their making – extending from exactly how and when the materials are gathered to exactly how and when the tools are constructed. Some tools can only be made at certain times of the year, and others require rituals extending over several days or even weeks. We follow all of these requirements to the letter, and we provide a certificate of authenticity with every ritual tool.
Please Note: Some grimoiric tools require specific timing, rare materials, or lengthy rituals in their creation. In these cases, we do not carry a large stock of pre-made items. Instead, we make your ritual tool upon order. And, depending on your requirements and our resources, we will consider special orders upon request. Please be aware that there may be a waiting period while we do our work, though we will stay in touch with you throughout the process. Also, some especially rare items may result in limited availability of some tools.
All of our items are made, blessed and/or consecrated by Fr. Aaron Leitch, an ordained Gnostic priest of the Ecclesia Beatae Mariae Angelorum. Most of the fine art-work is done by Carrie Leitch, a Deacon of the same Church. Wood and metal-working done by Jon Zuilkowski
Father Aaron Leitch and Deacon Carrie Leitch
What is a Grimoire?
Grimoire is a French word meaning “grammar” or “basic instruction book.” It refers especially to a genre of occult texts and spellbooks from medieval and renaissance Europe that combined Church liturgy and ritual with exorcism, witchcraft and folk magick. A great number of them focus specifically upon the evocation of spiritual entities through whom spells can be cast and from whom magickal secrets can be learned. These books represent the culmination of the Western Occult Tradition up to that time, preserving the last remnants of the Old Magick before the rise of the quasi-Masonic Magickal Lodges of the nineteenth century.
What is Solomonic Magick?
Most of the old grimoires are attributed to Biblical heroes such as Moses, Noah, Enoch and King Solomon. (Though this is merely legend, as the grimoires were written thousands of years after these Biblical figures lived.) Without question, it is the Solomonic grimoires that have had the greatest impact on the Western Tradition. Today, even grimoires attributed to other figures are considered part of the overall “Solomonic” tradition. Books like the Key of Solomon the King, The Lemegeton (including The Goetia, Pauline Arts, The Almadel of Solomon and more), The Heptameron, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, Liber Juratis, John Dee’s Enochian Diaries, The Magus, The Grand Grimoire and Grimoirum Verum (to name only a few of hundreds of such texts) are all considered sub-sets of the Solomonic tradition.
Aaron and Carrie performing Solomonic Invocation
Carrie At Work
A.J. Spinning Thread
Greetings Angel Workers!
I have been told that the new anthology from Nephilim Press:
will be released soon.
Some time ago, I was asked by Scarlet Imprint to write something about demonology for their anthology entitled Diabolical. So, I wrote a lengthy essay called The Spirit Magick of Abramelin – giving a detailed overview of the system of goety found in the final book of that grimoire. (More recently, that same essay was published in Hermetic Virtues Magazine.)
Later, I was asked by Nephilim Press to write something about the Holy Guardian Angel for their new anthology – Walking With the Angel. So, I decided to give them the exact opposite, and outline the Abramelin system of angel magick. That is, the specific instructions for continuing work with your HGA over a lifetime – instructions which are present but scattered in the original text. Instructions that have remained hidden and unexamined for hundreds of years…
Plus I give a lot of insight into my own performance of the Abramelin operation (specifically its ending) and how I developed my relationship with my HGA over the years that followed.
I’m in very good company in this anthology too! There will be entries from Inominandum, Rufus Opus (in his publication début), Scott Stenwick, and more.
If you want to read the introductory paragraphs of my essay, click here.
Great news for Abramelin aspirants!
Over the years, many students have privately emailed me to ask questions about magick – and one of the most common questions I am asked is “How do I use the talismans at the end of the Book of Abramelin?”
Unfortunately, that is not a question that can be answered so easily in a simple email or forum post. The Book of Abramelin contains a rather sophisticated system of goety – most of it scattered and hidden throughout the text so as to discourage dabblers. In order to explain it all in detail, it would be necessary to write a rather lengthy essay on the subject.
So, in 2009, that is exactly what I did. I wrote an essay entitled The Spirit-Magick of Abramelin that outlines the entire system – including how to summon and work with the spirits, how to create new word-square talismans and how to use them once they are made. I published it in an anthology from Scarlet Imprint called Diabolical – which focused on various traditions of working with demons. (My essay might have been the only one from the perspective of an angel-worker who also works with chthonic spirits.)
The only problem was that the hard-bound Diabolical – though an absolute must-have book – was a bit obscure and somewhat on the expensive side. Students continued to ask me about the Abramelin word-squares and spirits – and I’m not sure how many of them were willing (or able) to purchase the book just to get my essay from it…
Now we are fast approaching the year 2014, and I felt it was time to let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak, and release The Spirit-Magick of Abramelin in a more easily accessible format. Therefore, I have re-published the essay in the Autumnal Equinox 2013 edition of Hermetic Virtues Magazine (subscription info here.).
Hermetic Virtues Magazine
It is an electronic-format magazine, coming in PDF form directly to your in-box. If you don’t want to subscribe to the magazine (but, really, why wouldn’t you??), I’m pretty sure HV Magazine is willing to sell single-issue copies. So if you desire to learn how to properly work with the talismans and spirits of the Abramelin tradition, you now have an affordable and accessible source for my essay. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Jayne Gibson over at HV, who worked tirelessly to get the word-squares and other formatting issues with this essay exactly right. It was no easy task!
Also see my (free) essay on Abramlein’s Magickal Word Squares: Compiled and Corrected for the First Time. (This is just a taste of the work I’ve done on the existing word-squares, the bulk of which I will later publish in book form.)
Also see this blog post on Abramelin’s system of Mixed Qabalah. As well as this follow-up post on the same subject.
Finally, in the near future, keep an eye out for my latest essay that tackles the angelic side of Abramelin’s magick: After Abramelin: Working with the Holy Guardian Angel – to be published in Nephilim Press’ Walking with the Angel.
Great news folks!
Over the years, I have lost count of the number of students who have asked about the system of spirit magick outlined in the Book of Abramelin. Of course, the subject is not something that can be covered in a simple email or forum post. Therefore, I have published two lengthy documents on the subject: The first, Abramelin’s Magickal Word Squares, is freely available at my homepage. It is a mere preview of the work I’ve done to decipher and correct the Abramelin talismans – the full scope of which I plan to release in an upcoming book.
The second document is called The Spirit Magick of Abramelin, which was published in Scarlet Imprint’s Diabolical anthology. It is an in-depth essay on how to use the Abramelin talismans along with their associated spirits. Needless to say, this is the one most of you have wanted to read – though I can understand why some may be hesitant to purchase an entire anthology just to get their hands on that one essay.
Thus the good news: The Spirit Magick of Abramelin is being re-published in the upcoming edition of Hermetic Virtues Magazine. :) Sorry it’s not free, but it will certainly be more affordable for those of you on a budget. Besides, you’ll want to be familiar with Hermetic Virtues anyway – as they will soon be releasing their first full-scale book including never-before seen Golden Dawn-related material (some of it by yours truly). I don’t want to give away too many details just yet, so stay tuned for for updates.
For now, those of you interested in all things Abramelin will want to get your hands on the next issue of the magazine. 😉