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Llewellyn Blog: Grimoires and the Solomonic Tradition   1 comment

Greetings, Bibliophiles!

magick_blog_updated

From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, Jan 15, 2018:

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

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

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

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

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Evening Mass 8-2017 – Prayer Service for Heather Heyer   Leave a comment

Evening Mass in memory of Heather Heyer as well as the people of Charlottesville, Virginia. See 23:00 for the prayer service itself.

Posted November 3, 2017 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

Making Goetia of Solomon Skrying Incense   2 comments

Greetings fellow Summoners!

00-seal of solomon

Today I would like to share something rare and precious: the making of the incense prescribed by the Goetia of Solomon – found in the Lemegeton.

I’ll explain exactly why it is both rare and precious in a moment, but let me first quote the relevant portion of the grimiore.  It is found after the long list of 72 spirits, under the ‘Maigical Requisites”, where the Secret Seal of Solomon (pictured above) is described:

This secret seal is to be made by one that is clean both inward and outward, […] It is to be made on a Tuesday or Saturday night at 12 of the Clock, […] When it is so made, fume it with alum, raisins of the Sun, dates, cedar and lignum aloes…

The list of ingredients, with its raisins and dates, might remind one of Egyptian Kyphi incense, as its base is made from raisins soaked in wine.  (It is certainly possible the Goetia is attempting to mimic that recipe, though there is no evidence beyond the shared ingredient.)  However, what truly makes this incense precious is the inclusion of lignum aloes.  Also known as agarwood, lignum aloes can only be obtained from the heart of an increasingly rare far-Easterm tree (aquilaria malaccensis). Furthermore, the aloes can only be obtained after the tree has been infected with a specific species of mold.  According to its Wikipedia entry, agarwood is one of the most expensive natural resources in the world – and frankly that was likely true even when the Lemgeton was written.  Today, some sellers of incenses have even ceased carrying it in the hopes of preserving the dwindling trees.

I was able to acquire several ounces of lignum aloes – though I had to import it from Indonesia.  In the bag, it looked much like any ground wood incense – like cedar, only slightly darker.  We immediately lit a censer, and places the tiniest pinch of the material onto the coal.  It has a woody smell (no surprise there) with perhaps a small hint of musk.  I would describe it as smelling like fresh dirt after a rain, because it does, but I don’t want to give the impression it smells anything like patchouli.  It’s not nearly as sweet as that.

As you see above, the perfume is instructed for use in the making of the Seal of Solomon (used to bind the spirits to the Brass Vessel).  However, once I had a small whiff of pure lignum aloes, I began to suspect it was intended for much more.  It made my head tingle as if a head-rush was about to begin, and gave me a somewhat stoned (“buzzed”) feeling – almost as if the world had shifted slightly and left me with a touch of vertigo.  The affects didn’t last long after the incense was gone.  I knew right then, lignum aloes (or agarwood) is a powerful skrying incense!  It could very well be intended for use during the evocations.

After that experience, I couldn’t wait to get the complete recipe put together and see what the result smelled – and felt – like.  So I went out and bought packages of raisins and dates – making sure they had no added sugar, sulfur, or other preservatives.  As it turned out the packages contained 7oz (rasins) and 10oz (dates) for a total of 13oz of fruit:

01-Raw Fruit

About 2/3 of the fruit shown here.

 

You might have noticed the Goetia includes a rather odd ingredient in the incense: alum. This is generally used as a preservative, and has the effect of slightly hardening fruits and vegetables that are soaked in it.  Its has an extremely sour taste, and was therefore popular in the making of pickles.  It was originally alum that gave pickles their snap when you bit into them.  (Due to health concerns, most pickles today do not use alum.)

It seems unlikely that alum would make a good ingredient in an incense – for both reasons of health and scent.  However, it seems quite likely the alum would have been included to preserve the raisins and dates.  And the proper way of doing that is to soak the fruits for several hours in water that has been enriched with alum.  The result can then be dried out and powdered, with the preservative already infused.

I didn’t use all the fruit in the first attempt, as it gets pretty bulky and I had to eventually fit everything onto a cookie sheet.  So I did it in two batches.  In order to maximize the contact between the fruit and the water, I gave it a good chopping beforehand:

02-chopped fruit

 

Then it was into a bowl of fresh spring water (NO tap water!) into which I had dissolved as much alum as it could hold:

03-Alum Water

04-fruit in water

Probably didn’t need this much water.  On the second batch, I just covered the fruit with water, plus a bit more.

 

I let them soak for about 8 hours the first time, but I found 6 hours to be more than sufficient for the second batch.  In both cases, it resulted in what looked like a bowl full of mushy sliced olives:

05-after soaking

Not actually olives…

 

These were then strained and placed outside on a cookie sheet to dry in the hot sun next to the “desert plants” section of my herb garden:

06-dry in sun

 

As it turns out, I did lose a few pieces of the above to birds and/or squirrels – but not much.  Next time, I’ll try to fashion a proper drying bed out of two screens: one on the top and one on the bottom, so air can get to all sides of the fruit (or herbs, etc) but animals can’t.

I made sure both batches had a couple of days out in the sun, to make sure they soaked up plenty of solar energy.  But it quickly got too rainy and humid (late spring in Florida!) to continue drying them outside, so I opted to complete the drying process in the oven inside.  It took a couple of days at the absolute lowest oven temperature setting.  Then the dried fruit went into the incense grinder:

07-grinder

The resulting powder was actually still a bit damp, so I spread it out on the cookie sheet and returned it to the oven for a few more hours.  In the end, 13 oz of fruit resulted in about 6 oz of powder, consisting of raisins, dates, and alum:

08-powdered fruit

 

After some testing of the different ingredients (I already had powdered cedar on hand), I decided it was best to use the following mixture:

1 pt Raisins & Dates infused with Alum

1/2 pt Cedar

1/2 pt Lignum Aloes (Agarwood)

The above is measured by weight.  It may seem odd that the fruit should be the greater ingredient, but remember it is denser and heavier than the powdered woods.  A single ounce of raisins and dates by volume is very little compared to the same weight of cedar or aloes.  For my first batch of Goetia Skrying Incnese, I used two ounces of the fruits and an ounce each of the cedar and lignum aloes.

09-finished product

 

The final result gives me the same “buzzed” feeling as the lignum aloes alone, plus it adds something between a musky and a fruity smell.  My wife at one point said it smelled like walking through a forest after the rain, and at another time said it reminded her of fruit cake!  In either case, it is definitely a musky and almost-heavy scent – doubtlessly quite suitable for chthonic evocations.  (My own familiars have already requested some!)

I will be consecrating this new incense on May 31st – the first Wednesday of the waxing Moon.    I don’t have a lot of this, and it will have to cost more than my standard incenses, but I will be offering it on Doc Sol’s site – so stay tuned either there or on the Doc Sols Facebook Page!

Are Spirits Detrimental to your Spiritual Path?   2 comments

Greetings Fellow Wielders of Magick!

magick_blog_updated

From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, March 23, 2017:

Regardless of whether or not an individual spell mentions the involvement of some entity, I would be hard-pressed to find a single operation that is not *greatly* enhanced by invoking the participation of my familiars, helpers, and patrons. Whether they are communicating with me (often telling me how to make the spell better), opening the Gates for me, arguing in my favor on the other side, carrying my spells to their targets, guiding me through some astral realm, or simply standing beside me in my Temple performing a ritual along with me—my spirits are involved in everything I do.

So there is the usual debate, and where I stand in it. Nothing really new there. But, then, tonight I heard something entirely new. Apparently, there are those who believe working with spirits can be detrimental to your magical and spiritual practice! It was suggested that relying on them serves as a kind of crutch, stopping you from developing your own spiritual and psychic “muscles.”

Read the Rest at:  http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2017/03/are-spirits-detrimental-to-your-spiritual-path/

 

 

Posted March 23, 2017 by kheph777 in blogs, llewellyn blog, Uncategorized

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Traditional Biblical Supplies (Incense, Oil, Parchment, Holy Waters, etc)   Leave a comment

docsol-logo-simpleTraditional Biblical Supplies

Incense, Oil, Parchment, Holy Waters, Etc.

 

Traditional Holy Water

holy-watersimplePrice: $7.95 (8 fl oz)

Holy water has many spiritual applications. It can be used for blessing, purification and consecration, added to baths for cleansing, sealing of the home, exorcism/driving away unwanted spirits and even offered as a libation to saints and angels.

We use pure spring water and sea salt, mixed together with a stick of hazel less than a year old. The water is consecrated by an ordained Priest, on the day and hour of Mercury during the waxing Moon. We can only make one or two batches of this a month, so supplies will be limited by the magical timing.

 

Abramelin Incense

abramelin-incense-simplePrice: $7.95 (1 oz)

Abramelin Incense is a perfect “general use” suffumigation that can be employed for most spiritual purposes. Its main association is with the Sun, and it is similar to standard “Church Incense.”

The formula for Abramelin Incense is based upon that given in Exodus 30:34-38 – where it was reserved only for use in the Tabernacle (and later the Temple of Solomon).  Our Abramelin Incense is made with freshly powdered frankincense (“incense in tears”), benzoin (in the stacte, styrax or storax family), cedar and rose petals. It is then exorcised and consecrated by an ordained Priest.

 

Abramelin Holy Oil

abramelin-oil-simplePrice: $29.95 (1 fl oz)

Abramelin Holy Oil is a very powerful anointing oil, used to consecrate tools, robes, furnishings, and (of course) oneself. It can also be used to seal the doorways and windows of your home for protection.

The recipe for Abramelin Oil is based directly upon the Holy Anointing Oil described in the Biblical Book of Exodus, chapter 30:23-25 – by which all holy furnishings as well as Aaron and the Priesthood were consecrated.

True Abramelin Oil is nearly impossible to purchase, because the correct recipe is rarely followed. Commercial “Abramelin Oil” is usually compounded from essential oils, using the wrong weight measurements, and is therefore often dangerous to use (due to containing large amounts of pure cinnamon extract): it can burn the skin and eyes.

Our Abramelin Holy Oil is made by hand, exactly as the Bible instructs – following all measurements and using “the art of the apothocary” (an extraction process lasting several weeks) to extract the oils from the plants.  It contains pure olive oil, and extracted tincture of cinnamon, myrrh, and calamus.  Our Oil will not burn your skin, barring any allergies to the ingredients. Please test any oil before use by placing a very small drop on your skin to make sure there are no negative reactions!

 

 

Virgin Parchment

parchmentsimplePrice According to Size

Some projects require the use of consecrated virgin parchment for the inscription of spiritual texts.   While there exist complex ritual instructions for making such parchment from scratch, we simply lack the facilities or skill to do it right. (Plus the cost would be prohibitive!) However the also exists a consecration for existing (yet still virginal) parchment. Fr. Aaron performs this consecration on the day and hour of Mercury during a waxing moon.

We currently offer white calligraphy-grade parchment (prepared on a single side). It is ritually consecrated, and wrapped in a blessed white linen cloth. Available in sheets of several sizes, depending on your needs. Contact us for pricing.

 

Stay Tuned for more from Doc Solomon’s Biblical Supply!

Posted September 13, 2016 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

Donald Michael Kraig Passes   4 comments

To All in the Western Mystery Tradition,

 

don1

 

A shinning star of the modern occult movement has faded away.  😦  Donald Michael Kraig not only changed my life with his book Modern Magick, he changed the face of the entire occult community.  Whether you are a Pagan, a Ceremonialist or both, whether or not you’ve read his work, you or someone you know has been affected by his work.  Most occult authors – any authors, really – only dream of having that kind of impact!

And, you know what?  The man accomplished his life’s work without ever resorting to politics or hostility.  No matter who you are or what tradition you follow, you knew Don Kraig had your back.  That’s a significant achievement for anyone in any field!

 

Donald Michael Kraig

Donald Michael Kraig
August 17, 1951 – March 17, 2014
We Love You, Don!

 

My occult career didn’t truly begin until a friend handed me a copy of ‘Modern Magick’, and I decided to follow Don’s course.  A couple of decades later, it all came full circle when Don and I both hosted workshops at the same festival.  (It was Green Song Grove, right here in Florida, in fact.)    I got to attend his workshop, and he attended mine.  🙂 🙂 🙂

 

ModernMagick

Godspeed, Frater!  You have left a legacy and achieved immortality.  Great Work!

If you are one of #DonsKids, use the hashtag!  🙂  And, please, continue to donate to the fund raiser.  Let’s make sure Holly is taken care of through this difficult time!

Posted March 18, 2014 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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Ananael 2013 in Review   Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 52,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted December 31, 2013 by kheph777 in Uncategorized