Archive for the ‘students’ Category

Ceremonial Magick Classes (Fall 2013)   5 comments

Well it looks like Carrie and I had a bit of a schedule mix-up.  We thought the Fall 2013 Classes were due to start the first Sunday of September.  But, instead, they began on the first Sunday of August!  (I.e. – yesterday!!)

So we gave the first class yesterday to a small audience.  But if you want to join us, it is not too late!  Today was mostly a history lecture, and we start the practical stuff (with the LBRP) next Sunday.  If you want to sign up, just follow the instructions below:


Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to get closer to the Divine Self.   Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from initiated ceremonial magicians, Carrie Mikell & Aaron Leitch – adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.  If you want to experience Ceremonial (or “high”) Magick, this class is for you!Course Topics include the following:

•Class 1: Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross
•Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences
•Class 3: The Four Philosophical Elements
•Class 4: Hexagrams & Invoking the Planets
•Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration
•Class 6: An Angel Evocation
Class starts Sunday August 4th and continues over the next five Sundays, 1-3:30pm.  Cost is $20 per class with a $60 deposit that will pay for the last 3 classes in the series.

Please call Mystikal Scents at 813-986-3212 to register. Limited to 12 students.

9545 E. Fowler Ave
Thonotosassa/Brandon, FL. 33592

For more info (map, directions, etc) see the Facebook Events page.
And for those of you who are not local to us, we STILL intend to create a Skype version of these classes soon.  I’ll let you know when those are ready for sign-up.  🙂

Initiation – Temple, Self or Astral?   5 comments

Greetings Initiates!

An interesting discussion has arisen on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn Yahoo Group concerning initiations.  Once again, we are seeing the old debate about Temple Initiations vs. Self Initiations vs Astral Initiations.  You can find the entire thread here.

I have written a moderately lengthy response outlining my own views on the subject, and I think you folks might just find it interesting.  So read on and enjoy, and feel free to post your own comments either below or at the HOGD Group.  🙂



My take on this issue is as follows:

First, I agree that *all* initiations begin as self-initiations.  Whether you make a conscious decision, or the Gods find a way to call you or drag you kicking and screaming, something must happen in your life to set you on this path.  But this is not the same thing as taking a formal initiation (group or self) into a specific System, Tradition, Order or Temple.

Second, I agree that *all* initiations involve an astral process.  If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be anything more than a passion-play walk-through done merely to say “welcome to our group.”  (Like being hazed into a college frat.  Or, sadly, like many Masonic initiations.)  The astral is where the magick of the initiation happens.  But this is not the same thing that is meant by groups who claim to offer “astral initiation.”

In a full Temple Initiation performed by initiated and experienced officers, there is a lot going on.  The above-mentioned astral process is there – with the officers calling down LVX onto the candidate, various symbols and patterns being implanted in the aura and psyche via visual contact, the patterns of the ritual, the established Godforms (along with the very real Gods and spirits), the positions and actions of the officers, etc, etc.  It involves the candidate astrally and physically, employing all five outer senses and several inner ones.

It is the best way to go when you’re talking about a Tradition like the Golden Dawn which is designed for Temple and group work.  It doesn’t apply so much to folk traditions like Hoodoo, or even the Solomonic system – which are intended as personal practices from the beginning, and often involve the natural talent of the practitioner over an official “initiatory process.”  (Though even those systems can be empowered by undertaking such an initiatory process.)

A Self-Initiation (as given in the Cicero’s book) gives you the visual contact with the symbols and the ritual patterns.  But it does not include the drawing down of the LVX onto the candidate by experienced officers.  Instead the candidate has to entreat the Gods to send the LVX and to help him *eventually* incorporate the necessary energies into the aura and psyche.  As Frater SR stated, it’s not impossible but it is a harder row to hoe due to lack of community support and guidance.  These can be supplemented with social networking, but it’s still harder than having direct face-to-face access to those with experience.  You’ll never come away from it with “the same thing” you’d get from a Temple.

Also, keep in mind that a Self Initiation can often lead one to a full Temple Initiation.  I “self initiated” with Don Kraig’s “Modern Magick” lessons, and it put me on a path that ultimately led me to the Mother Temple of the HOGD – and I wouldn’t exchange any aspect of my path from its start to its present for anything.  😉

Finally, an Astral Initiation (meaning a full Temple initiation performed by officers for a candidate “in absentia”) does not include the full impact of the symbols and ritual patterns upon the aura or psyche – outside of one or two symbols you might be asked to “meditate upon” while the work is going on elsewhere.  It only involves the drawing down of the LVX upon you by officers who are not in direct contact with you.

Personally, I find this to be rather dangerous.  I’ve seen how taxing a Neophyte Ceremony (and its aftermath) can be on any candidate, even with access to a full Temple and all the guidance and support that comes with it.  Blasting someone with a massive bolt of LVX and then expecting them to sink or swim on their own is… well, not something I’d do to someone myself.

(In fact, I’ve often said that if you know someone who is ruled by darkness and doing harm to others, a great way to nuke them would be to consecrate a Talisman in their name and then Neophyte the hell out of it.  Send a good thunderbolt of LVX at them to fry them from the inside out.)

Besides, say what you will about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of an astral initiation, but I still never recommend an aspirant go that route – simply because most organizations who sell “astral initiations” aren’t doing anything of the sort.  All too often, the candidate sits at home meditating his well-intentioned heart out while the “Order” does nothing more than head out to cash his check.  Those who say they took such an initiation and it worked are, in fact, enjoying the results of their *own* Self-Initiation.

I am by no means suggesting that *all* groups who offer astral initiations are doing this.  But the odds are just not in your favor in this area, so I can’t in good conscience recommend that path for anyone.

Frankly, I’ve never understood why even honest groups have their long-distance candidates just sit and meditate during their astral initiations.  For Gods’ sake – have them get up and perform a Self-Initiation ceremony *in tandem* with the officers who are working for them elsewhere!!  How could that possibly do anything other than facilitate and empower the process?  An at-home ceremony could be written specifically for the purpose – yet I’ve never encountered a single “astral initiation” group who even suggests such a thing.  Doesn’t that seem a bit odd to you?

So that’s my buck and a half on the subject.  To each, of course, their own.  🙂


Posted July 9, 2013 by kheph777 in golden dawn, students

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So another round of classes comes to an end…   2 comments

Greetings, students!

So the Ceremonial Magick course is over until the fall.  I’m *very* proud of all my students, as we seemed to have a pretty powerful and synched group of people by the end of it all.  🙂  It was awesome seeing you guys go from the very basics (this is the Tree of Life… this is the Hebrew alphabet…)  all the way to consecrating talismans and finally calling down angels.  And several of us will definitely be doing more work together in the future.

I am heartened to learn that everyone seems to have gotten something worthwhile from the Jupiter talismans we consecrated last week.  Given that I had simplified a few things for the sake of the class and time restrictions, I was prepared to be satisfied just to have shown you how to do that kind of work.  I think the fact that those talismans appear to have brought real results for each student (and all within a single week, no less) says a lot of good things about you guys.  🙂

As for yesterday’s evocation of Gabriel:  WOW what an experience!  The last time we did this, the class just had a nice skrying session with Gabriel.  That is not to say it wasn’t a powerful and moving experience, but this time around was especially intense for everyone.  I suspect it had much to do with the fact that Carrie and I made sure more of the students took an active role in the invocations – where the previous group had been more content to just let me and Carrie do the rituals.  So this time, the students were much less passive observers.


Some present experienced a kind of waking “sleep paralysis” coupled with a rush of images that will take some time and meditation to decipher.  All very Lunar.  Others were taken on astral journeys into the sphere of Yesod.  And then, even I was shocked when Gabriel *physically* stepped in and kicked some ass.  lol  That, my friends, is REAL magick.

I’m no stranger to being “ridden” by angels, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to happen during a class like that.  To be honest, Carrie is usually the one more likely to be ridden.  Regardless, I’m sure everyone benefited from the experience.  🙂  I hope you will all stay in touch with me and let me know what unfolds for each of you over the coming days, weeks or months.

To everyone who couldn’t attend the course this round, we will be doing it all over again in the fall.  Plus, for those of you who are long distance, we are still working on converting the classes into a Skype format so we can include you as well.  🙂  Stay tuned!

Posted April 15, 2013 by kheph777 in events, golden dawn, magick, students

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Ceremonial Magick Classes (Spring 2013)   7 comments

 Sorry for the short notice, folks!  This one kind of snuck up on me.  lol  We are already filling seats, so make sure to reserve a spot today!


Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to get closer to the Divine Self. Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from initiated ceremonial magicians, Carrie Mikell & Aaron Leitch – adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.If you want to experience Ceremonial (or “high”) Magick, this class is for you!Course Topics include the following:

•Class 1: Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross
•Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences
•Class 3: The Four Philosophical Elements
•Class 4: Hexagrams & Invoking the Planets
•Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration
•Class 6: An Angel Evocation
Class starts March 3rd and is on Sundays through April 14th, 1-3:30pm.Cost is $20 per class with a $60 deposit that will pay for the last 3 classes in the series.

Please call Mystikal Scents at 813-986-3212 to register. Limited to 12 students.

9545 E. Fowler Ave
Thonotosassa/Brandon, FL. 33592

For more info (map, directions, etc) see the Facebook Events page.
And for those of you who are not local to us, we DO intend to create a Skype version of these classes very soon.  I’ll let you know when those are ready for sign-up.  🙂

Posted February 25, 2013 by kheph777 in events, golden dawn, hermetic, students

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Ceremonial Magick Reading List   9 comments

Greetings to my students!

After I gave my Ceremonial Magick classes in North Carolina (six classes of material packed into two sessions!), one of my students asked me to take her to the store’s bookshelves and show her my best recommendations for further reading.  Now, back home in Florida, we are reaching the last few classes of the course – where we finally begin to take all the basic rituals, correspondences and theory and put them together in rituals of practical magick.  Once we are done, I suspct my current students are also going to want resources for further reading and study.

Even outside of my classes, I know many of you reading this blog are solitary practitioners.  And I’m sure you would also like to know which books I recommend to futher your understanding of the Western Mystery Tradition and the practice of Hermetic Ceremonial Magick.

So, I’ve made this blog entry for both groups of students and practitioners.  Much like the post I made concerning books about Babylonian and Semitic myth and magick, I will here gather the titles that I have found most useful in my own Ceremonial Magick studies – both when I was a solitary seeker and even still today.

We are very fortunate today, in that we have dozens of great resources that seekers in previous generations have had to do without.  I hope you will find this list useful in your studies.  🙂

The Essential Golden Dawn : An Introduction to High Magic – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

A great general introduction to the Western Mystery Tradition as a whole.  It traces the historical development of the WMT and introduces the student to many of the basic theories and philosophies behind our magick.  Some of the basic rituals are also included.

Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts – Donald Michael Kraig

This is where it all started for me!  When I was handed my first copy of this book, I was already practicing my own intuitive forms of magick (much akin to Hoodoo, really).  But after just one look inside this book, I knew I had found something vastly important and powerful.  I made up my mind then and there to put myself through the (at the time) Eleven Lessons – and the rest is history.  This is not specifically a “Golden Dawn” text, but it does focus on Golden Dawn rituals and techniques, and I highly recommend it as an introduction to the practical side of the Hermetic Arts.

Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition: A Complete Curriculum of Study for Both the Solitary Magician and the Working Magical Group – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

The Ciceros created this resource with the solitary practitioner in mind.  They gathered a very large amount of the Grade curriculum of the Outer Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, then expanded it with extra-curricular study material.  Then they created a ritual process of Self Initiation by which the solitary seeker can progress through the Grade material.  The Self Initiation rituals will certainly not make you a member of an Order, but they will introduce you to the forces invoked in each Grade of the Outer Order.  There are even quizzes at the end of each Grade, so you’ll know when you’ve incorperated enough knowledge to move on to the lessons of the next Grade.  This textbook is so useful, it is even used as a study guide by students of the H.O.G.D. itself.

Secrets of a Golden Dawn Temple – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

There have been several different editions of this text under different names.  You can also find the material split between Creating Magical Tools and Ritual Use of Magical Tools.  The above-linked version is the one I found and used many many years ago – in fact I think it was the first Cicero book I ever owned.  It outlines in exhaustive detail how to build all the tools, furniture, robes, talismans and other ritual paraphernalia associated with Golden Dawn magick.  Though you certainly won’t have to build everything you find in this book to practice at home, it contains enough to set up a fully functioning Traditional G.D. Temple.  Plus, it gives you the magickal theory behind each tool along with the rituals to conscrate and use them.

The Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot – Tabatha Cicero and Chic Cicero

This is a Tarot Deck, but it does come with a book.  If you’re going to get into Golden Dawn magick, you’re going to be using the Tarot.  And this deck is specially made for use in Golden Dawn ceremonies.   (I still prefer the Smith-Waite deck for divinations, but this deck can’t be beat for G.D. work!)

The Golden Dawn: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites & Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order – edited by Israel Regardie

This is where it all started – at least for those of us practicing the Golden Dawn today.  After 1900, the original Order of the Golden Dawn split into several different groups.  One of them became the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which still exists today.  Another became the Alpha et Omega, which closed its doors sometime in the 1940s.  And another became the Stella Matutina – which was the branch joined by Israel Regardie.  The Stella Matutina closed most of its doors in the middle of the 2oth century.  (Only one Temple remained, but it had changed its name to the Order of Smaragdum Thallasses – better known as the Whare Ra Temple – and operated secretly in New Zealand until 1978.)  Before the bulk of the Stella Matutina Temples died away, Israel Regardie decided to save the Tradition by publishing the Order’s papers.  This decision was controversial, but most today agree that it saved the Golden Dawn.  This book is that publication – so you can see for yourself where it all began.  This was the book used by Chic Cicero to found his own Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – which is by far the world’s largest and most successful Golden Dawn Order today.  This book also serves as the “advanced manual” that takes you to the next step beyond the Ciceros’ Self Initiation… book.

The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic – edited by Israel Regardie

A good companion volume to The Golden Dawn above.  This book contains a lot of early Golden Dawn material that didn’t make it into the first book.

A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life – Israel Regardie, Chic and Tabatha Cicero

This is one of the books by Israel Regardie that the Ciceros greatly expanded and then republished for the modern student.  It is an excellent exploration of the Tree of Life and the magickal and Hermetic concepts that it embodies.  In my intro classes, I give you the basics of the Tree of Life – but this text will take you to the next level and beyond.  It includes guided meditations to introduce you to the energies, correspondences, angels and other magickal beings associated with every Sephirah and Path of the Tree.

The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic – Israel Regardie, Chic and Tabatha Cicero

The is another Israel Regardie original, expanded and republished by the Ciceros.  Without a doubt, this is one of my favorites.  It outlines the psychological aspects of Qabalistic and Hermetic practice – that is how the material interfaces with and changes your psyche.  While I am no fan of the “psychological theory of magick” that does not mean there is no psychology at all involved in its theory and practice.  I describe it this way:  Magick is not “a form of psychology” any more than an engine is “a car.”  Yet, without an engine a car is just a dead thing and doesn’t get you anywhere.  How magick affects your mind, and how your mind affects your magick, it extremely important to understand.

Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia – David Godwin

This is a wonderfully useful resource for anyone studying the Western Hermetic Qabalah.  Godwin has gathered every Hebrew name and term he could find, given them in English and Hebrew characters, their Gematira values and explained what they mean.  As an appendix, he has also included a copy of “Sepher Sephiroth” – which gathers even more Hebrew words and phrases according to their Gematria values.  (Kind of a 777 for the Golden Dawn crowd.)

Prometheus Rising – Robert Anton Wilson, Introduced by Israel Regardie.

And speaking of understanding psychology, this book is an absolute must-read.  It is an easy-to-understand operator’s manual for your brain – complete with exercises.  And the concepts it teaches are, as I said above, extremely important to your own spirutal development and your successful use of that thing called Magick.  ( I drew upon the material in this book in my own Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires.)

Ishtar Rising: Or, Why the Goddess Went to Hell and What to Expect Now That She’s Returning – Robert Anton Wilson

See above.  I consider this to be the second half of Prometheus Rising.  And, as the title suggests, this book focuses upon the sacred feminine within all of us – and even explains why magick and witchcraft have returned to our culture  in a big way.  Highly recommended!

(NOTE:  I will soon be adding a list of traditional Qabalistic texts to this list, such as the Zohar and Sepher Yetzirah.  Stay tuned.)

The following books were not part of my own early studies into Ceremonial magick, but I believe they are potentially useful to today’s students:

Experiencing the Kabbalah: A Simple Guide to Spiritual Wholeness – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

“Kabbalah, a spiritual system grounded in symmetry and logic, is rarely addressed in a format that is suitable for beginners. Experiencing the Kabbalah goes against the trend, however, by presenting both historical and practical information on the Kabbalah that focuses on experiencing this ancient spiritual system rather than just reading about it. Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero accomplish this through a sort of ritual drama that they call “Walking the Tree of Life.” It characterizes each Sephiroth (different aspects of the divine) of the Kabbalah as a person, from the stable Malkuth to the enigmatic Kether, granting readers a fuller understanding of the Sephiroth and the paths between them. Experiencing the Kabbalah is an innovative guide for beginners as well as informative reading for adept practitioners.”

Making Talismans: Living Entities of Power – Nick Farrell

“Discover the secret keys and practical techniques to turn mundane objects into “living entities of power,” bringing real change in your life. By pooling magical practices from shamanism, paganism, the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, and Dion Fortune, Making Talismans offers training and techniques for performing advanced magical talismanic operations.”

King Over the Water: Samuel Mathers and the Golden Dawn – Nick Farrell

If you are interested in the history of the Golden Dawn, this is a great place to start.  This book explores the life and times one of the founders of the G.D. without the usual lens of myth and legend surrounding him.  Spoiler alert!  Mathers was a fallible human being like the rest of us.  😉

Mathers’ Last Secret REVISED – The Rituals and Teachings of the Alpha et Omega – Nick Farrell

The Alpha et Omega is the branch of the Order founded by Mathers after the original group split apart.  This book is a good companion to King Over the Water, as well as Regardie’s The Golden Dawn.  It contains the rituals used by Mathers’ A.O. before it closed its doors in the 1940s.  Here, you can see how things were done in the A.O. as opposed to what the Stella Matutina was up to on their side of the fence.

By Names and Images: Bringing the Golden Dawn to Life – Peregrin Wildoak

“The Golden Dawn (GD) system of magic is the main source of the esoteric and magical wisdom and techniques practiced in the West today. While the rituals and bare teachings of the tradition have been published for sixty years, the inner workings and esoteric keys that empower those rituals have largely remained unpublished or unexplored in contemporary works. By Names and Images remedies this lack by providing detailed and clear instructions for the visualisations, spiritual connections and energetic practices required for every major GD practice and ritual, as well as several unpublished techniques. Focusing on the meanings and use of sacred names and practical techniques of visualisation, the book thoroughly explores meditation and divination, purification ritual, invocation and evocation, grades of initiation, and direct experience of the inner realms. Also covered is an explanation of the Qabalah and its use as a magical framework. While the book is sufficiently practical and clearly explained to be of huge benefit to a newcomer to magic, its primary aim is to allow people already practicing the Golden Dawn system to do so more effectively, and to be touched by the amazing spiritual blessings the rituals offer.”

This list is certainly not exhaustive – I could have included many further books by authors like Pat Zalewski, John Michael Greer and others.  And I could have included even more by authors like the Ciceros and Donald Michael Kraig.  However, I think this list is certainly more than enough to give you a sound start and a well-rounded understanding of the Golden Dawn and its magickal tradition.  It will also help you to avoid wasting your time and money on books that are of lesser quality, or just re-hashes of what has already been written by the fine authors listed above.

There is also a lot of good material still in the works, too – so I’ll likely be expanding this list in the future.  Meanwhile, if this list isn’t enough to keep you occupied, check out this post listing the best Golden Dawn, Hermetic and Rosicrucian blogs out there – so you can keep your eyes on the ever-developing Western Mystery Tradition.  🙂



Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Chic and Tabatha Cicero at Mystical Scents in Tampa/Brandon   1 comment

Mystikal Scents Occult Shop is Proud to Welcome

Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero

Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn


Authors of such books as Self Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition, Creating Magical Tools, The Essential Golden Dawn and Tarot Talismans


Come and Meet Them in Brandon, Florida on

October 7th, 2012

from 1 – 3:30pm (Eastern Time)


Only $15.  This is a unique opportunity!

Call to reserve your spot while they last!


Mystikal Scents

9545 E. Fowler Ave.

Thonotosassa, FL., 33592


The Ciceros’ have been asked to host Class 6 of Aaron Leitch’s and Carrie Mikell’s Ceremonial Magick Course – where they will speak on a subject of their choosing (and/or lead us in a ritual).  However, you are NOT required to attend the previous classes to join us for this stand-alone event!  After the class, the Ciceros will be happy to sign books.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn directly from the Golden Dawn’s leading experts!

Ceremonial Magick Classes   12 comments

Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Aaron Leitch and Carrie Mikell – members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – will be hosting a 7-week series of Ceremonial Magick classes in the Tampa/Brandon, Florida area.  (At the famous Mystical Scents pagan/occult store.)

They will be held on Sundays from September 2nd through October 14th, from 1 – 3:30pm Eastern Time.

UPDATE!  The fee will be $15 per class.

We will be covering the basics of Ceremonial practice!  You won’t need previous knowledge about Ceremonial Magick or the Golden Dawn to attend.  Keep an eye on this page for updates on class contents, materials and other details.

We will also be inviting Chic and Tabatha Cicero to guest-host one of the classes – either for a lecture/discussion session, to lead us in a ritual, or both.  Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!

Contact Mystical Scents to sign up!

9545 E. Fowler Ave
Thonotosassa/Brandon, FL. 33592

Class Schedule

Class 1:  Basic Terms, Diagrams and the Qabalistic Cross

Class 2:  Basic Rituals and Correspondences

Class 3: Pentagrams and Invoking the Elements

Class 4: Hexagrams and Invoking the Planets

Class 5: Talisman Creation and Consecration

Class 6: Advanced Concepts (for Practical Magick)

Class 7: The Evocation of an Angel

(TBA) – Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero Appearance

Figuring Out Abramelin (A ‘How To’ Discussion)   20 comments

Greetings Aspirants!

So we have entered another Abramelin season, and I’m getting more questions about how to properly perform the Rite.  (A little late for Easter, but it’s still good that folks are asking the right questions.)

The following exchange took place between me and (I believe) two different aspirants on the Abramelin Group at Yahoo.  It concerns Abraham’s take on religion, women, sex and even magickal timing.  If you’ve been wondering about these issues in the Abramelin Rite yourself, then perhaps this will be of some help:


Thank you so much to everyone that replied. The reason I.m afraid to do it wrong is because someone posted in February that they done the operation and failed twice which is scary!

Most people who do the operation do not do it correctly. They bring to it everything they *think* the aleady know, and are convinced they can create a “better version” of the Rite by adding extra rituals, quiting early, praying to different gods, etc, etc. Or, just as often, they think they know what Knowledge and Conversation “really is” – and they are usually wrong – so they spend the entire time striving for the wrong goal.

I’m sure it is possible to fail at the Rite even if you do everything correctly.  My wife was considering undertaking it herself, but divinaions strongly suggested she not attempt it. However, barring a situation where your Guardian Angel (head spirit) simply says “no”, I couldn’t imagine anyone failing if they keep to the Rite as it is presented and put aside their ill-informed opinions about how it “shoudl work” or what it “really means.”

 These warnings and those in the text are really good to be mindful of and I appreciate being told and reminded. 
I’ve never been known to have problems with reading comprehension but I find the text very hard to make sense of. I’ve read both translations several times and I’m still not clear on it being acceptable for people of any religion to perform the Abramelin.

This is a sticky point in the system.  The German original states that the only person who cannot perform the Rite is a Jew who has converted to another religion.  The French version was modified to suggest that no one who has changed their birth religion can do it. 

The modern take is generally that one should not *deny* their birth religion,* but recognize that it contains truth and beauty like all religions at their core.  And since you were raised with it, and imprinted with it at an earyly age, it is important to ackowledge it even if you’ve moved on from it later in life.

(* Note that, in days past, it was necessary to publicly deny one’s birth religion as part of the conversion process.  It is much less common for that to be required today.)

Still, no matter how you slice it, the bottom line is that both versions of Abramelin say the same thing:  You don’t have to BE a Christian or Jew to perform the Rite, but you still basically have to accept that the Judeo-Christian God is indeed the One and Only Big Guy and anything else is false.

This is one of those very few places where I have to call bullshit on Abraham’s part.  Much like his claim that women must not perform the Rite.

You mention people praying to different Gods; the prayer (orison) in chapter 12 is clearly to the Judeo-Christian God and our confessional appeals are also addressed to Him.

Yes and no.  In its original context – you are correct (see above).

However, we are fortunate today that the Qabalah has spread into many different systems, and in many cases the Hebrew terms used are considered more like formula than as names of an actual bearded guy living in the clouds.  For example, you are told to pray to “Adonai Tzabaoth” – which literally translates as “Lord of Hosts.”  In other words, you are praying to the God in Charge of Angels and asking Him to send one of those Anegls to you.  It doesn’t matter who you personally think that Lord of Hosts “is” or “is not.”  The Great Spirit in charge of Angels is indeed who you have to pray to regardless of your personal religion.

 Also, we are commanded to keep Jewish holidays. It’s okay if you aren’t Jewish now – but you still need to pray to YVHV and observe His feasts.

Like all holidays, the Jewish ones are drawn from ancient pagan festivals.  Holidays are based on the movement of the heavens and the turn of the seasons.  Whether you call it “Ostara” or “Easter” or “Passove”, you’re still going to start the Operation at the same time of year and you’ll still be celebrating the Spring.

So, during this period, do you put aside your own faith and holidays?

No!  But you do need to understand that – ultimately – your holy days and the Jewish ones, and the Christian ones, and the Wiccan ones, etc, etc, etc are all basically the same thing.  Each religion puts their own window dressing on them, but your job is to see beneath that dressing to the core.

As an adept (which you are strivig to become), you should be able to walk into ANY place of worship in ANY religion, participate in the observances, and ACTUALLY MEAN IT.  Hang-ups about any one religion’s window dressing must be abolished.

 The 20th chapter makes it sound like those who perform the operation are obliged to worship YVHV for the rest of their lives, so perhaps conversion is implicit. Is that correct?

In its original context – I think it is.  But that is the bias of Abraham, not your HGA.  My own Guardian led me to Gnosticism, Shamanism, some Buddhism and the Golden Dawn without delay.  But I still confess and pray to the Lord of Hosts every Sunday.  (Sunday because I was raised Christian -see?)

 There are other topics I’m unclear on; I could go on Abraham’s comments on being a woman

Total BS from Abraham.  Not his fault – sign of the times.

or point 33 in the 20th chapter.

“(33) Take well heed during the six Moons or months to lose no blood from your body, except that which the expulsive virtue in you may expel naturally of its own accord.”

This troubles you?

In fact, I find this point kind of interesting.  He says in one place that women MUST NOT be given the Operation.  But, then, here at point 33 we see what appears to be an allowance for menstruation.  LOL

From what I can tell, the anti-woman thing comes strictly from Abraham himself, and not from the text Abramelin the Mage gave him.

I find both troubling, but the consensus now is that women can perform it anyway. Also, celibacy is recommended in the second period, however marital relations are permitted. (?)

Marital relations are allowed during the first portion of the Rite.  By the final phase, no sex at all.  Sex = spiritual heat, and you want to be as spiritually cool as possible.

Lastly, the rite should be commenced on the day following Passover for Jews or Easter for Christians, but can be begun at anytime. (?)

Yes, but I *strongly* suggest starting it at the recommended time.  Abramelin is a Solar Rite, and the given timing has you begin as the Sun begine to wax and end when the Sun begins to wane.  Doing it at another time removes you from that natural cycle.
I don’t want to create a better version or whatever, but even for someone who wants to be painstakingly observant, the text is so confusing it’s difficult to guess what’s required. I know others have figured it out, although many figure it wrong. I don’t want to set myself up for failure from the get-go.

Nike siad it best:  Just Do It.  As Abraham tells you, your Angel will appear at the end of it all and correct any mistakes you made.  Those corrections might take weeks, months or years – but if your heart is in it they will be corrected and you will achieve your goal.


Posted April 21, 2012 by kheph777 in grimoires, religion, students

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Personality and Spirit Communication   18 comments

Aug 19, 2010

— In, “kathy” .. wrote:

> This distinctly reminds me of something I am sure Aaron has written
>somewhere but I cant seem to find it anywhere to quote (have looked
>a few times for it in the past) about “magic happens in the space
>between minds”.

I’ll have to look to be sure, but I’m nearly certain that is in chapter 3 of “Secrets…”

For those tuning in:  This is based on the observation that personality is *not* something that resides within yourself.  Instead, personality exists between yourself and someone else – literally within the matrix that forms between two minds when they interact.  This is why you are a different “person” when talking to your boss than when talking to your kids, or talking to your wife, or talking to a friend, etc.  (Daddy, Mr. Jones, Honey and Jonesy are all distinctly different people living in the same head.  We all have multiple personalities.  Someone with MPD simply has unnatrual breaks between each one.)

A second observation about human psychology is our natural tendancy to anthropomorphize nearly anything and everything.  Cars, boats, buildings, appliances, toys, etc, etc, (even concepts) – we can assign a personality to anything at all.  Everything has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies, which we humans recognize as personality.  This leads us to interact with even inanimate objects as if they were alive- which also means we have distinct personalities even for interacting with objects/concepts.

I think these two things are what make magick possible – especially spirit communication.  They say “every blade of grass has an Angel over it bidding it, ‘Grow.'”  And it is our ability to interact with literally anything that allows us to communicate with those Angels (or spirits).  We form that matrix between ourselves and another- animate or inanimate, incarnate or discarnate- and that allows us to interact with it on an extra-physical level.


Posted November 24, 2010 by kheph777 in magick, psychology, students

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For Students – Discovering the Roses Among the Thorns   Leave a comment

Mar 13, 2007
Greetings Students of Esoterica!

Over the years, and especially as an author myself, I’ve learned to recognize a particular pattern in some others’ writing that can serve as a “red flag” about what they have to say. I like to share this with students who feel overwhelmed by the masses of information (and misinformation) out there.

The pattern is pretty simple:

1) The author begins by alerting you to the fact that everyone else who publishes on the subject at hand is wrong.

2) The author then begins to explain *why* everyone but himself is wrong- more often than not having something to do with the personal character flaws of other authors, rather than the ideas they have actually published.

3) The author will then go on to explain exactly why he is correct, and why he is the *only* one who is correct. Most often, the author will portray the same character flaws in this section as he decried in section 2.

Sometimes the author might go on from there to provide something of value. Such as Lisiewski’s “Ceremonial Magic…” – which falls prey to the above pattern in the first half, but then provides a worthwhile outline of the Heptameron Rite in the second half.  Most often, though, once you see an author resort to the above pattern, the likelihood of their presenting anything worthwhile drops dramatically.

Of course, I don’t mean that *every* author who complains about the bad scholarship in his field is a fraud! But, you can certainly look at the bulk of a person’s work and see if that pattern is a trend throughout. When I wrote my first essays, I began to fall prey to it myself! That is, until I realized that better authors didn’t waste precious word-space bitching about why everyone else is wrong. They just present their ideas and let them stand on their own. ( I believe my own writing improved a thousand percent after that realization.)

So, students, now you have that secret under your belt. 🙂 If you’re reading a book on occultism, or a website about the Golden Dawn, or even some wacky internet post, all you have to do is ask yourself: “Does this guy (or group, etc) believe his ideas can stand on their own? Or does he first have to try and knock everyone else down before he has the courage to present his own work?”  The answer to that question can save you a LOT of wasted reading time… 🙂


Posted November 24, 2010 by kheph777 in students

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