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

Greetings Enochian Scholars and Mages!

Dr. John Dee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes the reality isn’t as sexy.

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

Posted June 22, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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The Hermit’s Lamp: The Continuing Tradition of the Modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn   2 comments

by Aaron Leitch (Frater O.C.)

Originally published in the Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic:

The Hermit carries in his lamp the flame of the Divine Light. It is merely a small spark of the infinite Source, fallen here to Earth – “the Light that shineth in darkness, yet the darkness comprehendeth it not.” The Hermit holds the Lamp aloft, keeping that spark away from the floods, and flames, and shadows of the air that seek to overwhelm it, and high enough for aspirants to see above the shadows of the world. As a ship on troubled waters needs the guidance of the lighthouse, so do seekers of gnosis follow the distant glow of the Hermit’s Lamp.

I see in this symbolism a perfect metaphor of the Golden Dawn Tradition. Say what you will of the individual personalities of its founders and early members, or the several controversies and schisms that mark their early formative years, the Golden Dawn endures. It was created as a repository of the Western Mysteries; an attempt to combine the best of what all of its members had learned and practiced, and to pass that wisdom down through succeeding generations. They certainly butted heads time and again, and even went their separate ways more than once, but what they created was larger than themselves, and has refused to pass quietly into obscurity.

“By Names and Images are all Powers awakened and reawakened.” This is perhaps the most foundational tenet of Golden Dawn magical philosophy. Even if one group puts down the scepter for good, another can simply pick it up and invoke the forces anew. And, indeed, over it’s nearly century and a half of existence the Golden Dawn has never been entirely dormant. Even after most of the European Temples had closed – either falling victim to schism or the two World Wars – at least one well-hidden Temple continued to operate in New Zealand. (Smaragdum Thallasses Temple No 49 – known best today as “Whare Ra”, named for the house in which the Temple resided.) It remained active until late 1978, when dwindling membership (and the advanced age of its adepts) prompted its Chiefs to skip the autumnal equinox ceremony and close its doors forever.

But the Golden Dawn was not done! In 1977, a future branch of the Order was already being constructed by an American occultist named Charles “Chic” Cicero. No stranger to esoteric practice, he was already running a Thelemic camp of his own in Georgia, and had close ties to the head of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), Grady McMurtry. For a time, he operated his GD Temple alongside his Camp. However, as he has often stated, his heart truly belonged to the Golden Dawn Tradition.

While he began with no connection to the original Order, and had no way of knowing the secretive Whare Ra existed, his Temple was active and performing the rituals as published by Israel Regardie to “re-awaken the Powers.” Mr. Cicero even went so far as to construct a Vault of the Adepti, with the intention of exploring the Inner Order mysteries. Regardie himself was still alive and, as fate would have it, also living in America. Both men believed Regardie to be the last living adept of the original Order, prompting Cicero to contact the elder to let him know someone out there was still putting the system into practice.

And this is my favorite part of the story: It contains the one thing that, I believe, defines the Regardie lineage to this very day – and makes me proud to be part of it. Regardie’s response to Cicero was in no way what you might expect from an adept of an occult Fraternity. He did not patronize the younger man, nor inform him that his lack of a warrant made his “do-it-yourself” Vault ineffective. No, the response of Israel Regardie was (and I paraphrase here, from the letter he sent to Mr. Cicero) that he hoped Chic had a good team of Officers because he wanted to visit and give the Vault a go! Someone built an actual Vault of the Adepti, and Regardie just wanted to take it for a ride. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the response of a true magician.

Regardie did indeed make his historic visit, in June 1982, during which he consecrated that Vault, raised two people to 5=6 in it, and thus passed on the spark of his initiatory lineage (not institutional lineage, Regardie did not have the authority to offer a warrant) to the new American Isis-Urania Temple. After this, Cicero found himself dedicating more and more of his attentions toward the Golden Dawn, eventually leaving Thelema behind on good terms.

Thus, the Order of the Golden Dawn – as an active organization – had never actually gone dormant. The American Order had begun a year before Whare Ra closed, and became official less than four years afterward. It was just a brief moment in time when the Lamp of the Hermit flickered before flaring back into full life. Today, the Ciceros’ Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is a global organization, larger even than the original Order had been in its heyday. The Ciceros also grant certification to smaller groups to operate independent Temples of their own, without fear of legal threats from less reputable people claiming to be “the real” Golden Dawn. Add to that the vast library of books the Ciceros have published on the Tradition, and I dare say not a single GD lodge exists without some ties – direct, indirect, or inspirational – to the modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Sadly, I didn’t enter the picture (joining Isis-Urania in 1998) until after Regardie’s passing. Therefore, I didn’t get to witness any of those early days firsthand. However, most or all of this has been told and published by the Ciceros over the years, so there is little need for me to repeat it here in vast detail. I do know from letters, photographs, and anecdotes told by the Ciceros and many others, that Regardie was a close friend and mentor in their earliest days. I know they miss him dearly, and hold him in high regard to this day.

But Regardie’s presence isn’t entirely absent. I see him reflected in the personalities of Chic and Tabatha Cicero, and can plainly spot his influence upon how the Order is run. It is because of this I consider myself quite fortunate to have applied to this Order over any other. (Truthfully, I never actually considered any others.) I found at Isis-Urania an environment free of identity cults, internal politics, or vitriol toward either one another or the sincere aspirants we meet outside of our Tradition. And while one can expect as many personality conflicts and unfortunate social/relational situations as any group of humans must endure, I have not seen the Order produce people with unstable, deceitful, or vindictive personalities. When such people turn up, as they tend to do, they don’t last long and/or are not the result of faithfully following the system.

That is Regardie’s most enduring legacy. It is hardly because we believe he was some ultimate and unquestionable source upon the Golden Dawn Tradition. He wasn’t the only one to publish material concerning the Order. And, once the facts about Whare-Ra were discovered, we knew he was not even the last living Adept of the original Order. He was simply one link in the chain of Adepts that links all of us to the masters of the past.

What endures about Regardie is his “let’s take it out for a spin” attitude that lives on in the Order’s Chiefs today. I even saw it on the very first day I met the Ciceros, though I knew nothing of their backstory at that time. As Chic gave me a tour of the Temple (which is an ever-expanding museum in its own right), pointing out various objects of occult and historical significance, I could sense a kind of glee behind his words. It was less like I was taking a stuffy museum tour, and more as if we were a couple of kids and he was proudly showing me his best toys.

I found the same to be true when speaking with both Chic and Tabatha, who were enthusiastic to discuss the Golden Dawn and Hermeticism without either an air of superiority, or any attempt to “sell” me on joining their organization. Their motivations were not out of ego or some amorphous desire to be “the real Golden Dawn.” They are more concerned with putting the system to good use, so they can perform the ceremonies and have the visions and astral trips and all the stuff that makes being a wizard awesome. Like Regardie, they are the type of people who would rather take your new Vault for a ride than pick it apart. And what I saw during that first meeting hasn’t changed in over twenty years.

Not long after I joined Isis-Urania, I had the rare opportunity to see all three of the HOGD Chiefs in one place. I sat quietly and listened to them reminisce about the early days of the Order, and how quickly it seemed twenty years had passed. At that time, their goal was to “fill the Rose” – meaning to create enough adepts to fill the 22 petals of the Golden Dawn Rose: with at least three 7=4s, seven 6=5s, and twelve 5=6s. If it could be accomplished, and they were already close to that goal, it would mean the Order was strong enough to outlive its founders.

As I progressed through the Grades, and after I entered the RR et AC, I got to take part in the thirtieth anniversary of the Vault’s consecration. The Golden Dawn itself was nearing its 120th anniversary, a time we held to have special significance for the continuing Tradition. (“After 120 years, I shall open…”) By that time, the Rose had been filled and the Ciceros were laboring to establish and maintain several Temples overseas. It was also around this time they began to explore Masonry, where Mr. Cicero quickly rose up the ranks. He had joined in the hopes of learning more about the origins of the Golden Dawn, but I suspect he taught them as much or more about the Hermetic origins of Masonic symbolism. Tabatha Cicero was no less busy, as she came into possession of the documents for another fraternity with historical importance to the Golden Dawn – the Societas Rosicruciana in America (which a young Israel Regardie had joined in 1926) – and was working hard to re-organize and resurrect it in a modern form.

And that is the rest of Regardie’s legacy: the continuing and continually-expanding Western Tradition. Before the – let us say – late 1980s or so, the occult mysteries of the West had been narrowed down to just a few organizations, most of them Thelemic or Neopagan in focus. But thanks to the meeting of Regardie and the Ciceros, thanks to the dedication they have shown the Tradition over the decades, and to the writings they have provided for us, the original Golden Dawn Tradition not only survives, but in fact thrives. It has become a massive influence on modern occultism, as much or more than the old Order had influenced the occult revival of its day.

And don’t think the Golden Dawn only produces Adepts who write about the Golden Dawn! The tendency I have seen is for those who enter the RR et AC to tend toward specialization in one subject or a small group of related subjects. Some certainly dedicate themselves to Golden Dawn rituals and teaching; yet, others have become expert astrologers, or focused on geomancy, tarot, sacred geometry, the grimoires, Enochiana, folk magick, collecting and/or translating rare texts, crafting, various forms of art and music, the sciences, and more – many of them publishing and heavily influencing their chosen fields. I have to chuckle when I see someone declare the magical lodges are outdated and irrelevant in today’s occult communities, because such people are always unaware of what is really going on behind the scenes – where members are doing real Work that truly affects the world, but (as is proper for a secret society) most people don’t even know they are there.

Today, I sit on the dais as a Temple Officer as we bear down on the Order’s fortieth year. Our founding adepts are now elders themselves, having held the Lamp of the Hermit aloft for four decades, and gathered the aspirants of the next generation. And I have certainly seen some incredible people pass through our Hall. The legacies of Regardie and the Ciceros have already spread beyond the boundaries of the Golden Dawn, and there is no doubt whatsoever the Lamp will continue to burn brightly for generations to come. Khabs Am Pekht!

Zorge,

Aaron Leitch (Fra Odo Caosg)

 

Posted June 14, 2020 by kheph777 in golden dawn, Uncategorized

Stuart Myers / Ocha’ni Lele – Breaking the Molds   9 comments

Ochani Lele

Today is Wednesday, November 27th, 2019. This is the day (at about 7:30 am Pacific time) the world lost one of its most important occult figures – Stuart Myers, aka Ocha’ni Lele. He passed in hospital, with loved ones nearby and literally hundreds of fans and well-wishers praying that his life be extended. But, if you know Stu, you might not be surprised that he refused to endure a lengthy illness or make his friends care for him in his final days. No, when Stu was ready to go, Stu went. And that was that.

Stuart Myers was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1966. His mother was an unwed teenager, and he was raised by his mom, aunt, and grandparents. He attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA for four semesters, where he studied English Literature and Psychology. But make no mistake – Stu was a rebel, hanging out with all the wrong people and getting into trouble. Before long, he had abandoned the mundane path and set out on the much-less-traveled path of magick, occultism, and ancient mystery religions. It was a calling he could not resist – and he was destined to change the world.

Ochani Lele 2That is when I met him. By 1993, Stuart was living in Orlando, FL where I grew up. I had moved out to the west for a couple of years after graduating high school in order to (briefly) attend college. It was during this time my own path landed me in Denver, CO and my first encounters with a Neopagan community. Upon returning home, I naturally took steps to establish contact with the Pagans in and around Orlando – which led me to contact one of the few occult bookstores that existed there at the time. (Then called Dragonwood, but its name has changed several times since.) I spoke to the owner of the shop on the phone, and explained that I was a “Qabalistic Witch” (that is, a Neopagan who also studies the Qabalah – a rarity at the time). Her response was: “You need to talk to Stu!”

I forget now if she took my number or gave me his… but one way or another I quickly found myself on the phone with this “Stuart Myers” person. I was met with a boisterous, happy, and flamboyantly gay man. I introduced myself and, again, referred to myself as a “Qabalistic Witch.” He responded with an excited, “Ooooo! Let me get my cigarette!” From there we spent a fair amount of time discussing the Qabalah and how its principles apply to Wicca, and likely several other subjects as well. I learned that he was a third-degree initiate of British Traditional Wicca, and a published author (something I hoped to be myself someday). I don’t recall what all we talked about or how long we spent, but I do know a real friendship was born that day.

Between the WorldsStu had already published his first book – a gem that is very rare today called Between the Worlds, from Llewellyn Worldwide. He was initiated into a rogue Wiccan lineage that branched from the Lady Sheba lineage (which is itself a rogue lineage) – because of course Stu was from such a lineage! His education in the early forms of Wicca made him privy to the influences of such systems as Thelema and the Golden Dawn upon them. Thus, he had chosen to explore Hermeticism and the Qabalah as well – which was something most Neopagans in the 80s and 90s would have refused to do. His book was the result of these explorations and his own teachings on how to integrate further Qabalistic concepts, correspondences, and practices into Wicca. Hence the title “Between the Worlds.”

I finally got to meet him face-to-face at another occult bookstore in Orlando. We talked a bit about Wicca there, but Stu was quite excited about another subject he had recently discovered: Palo Mayombe. Palo is an African tradition of magick, and Stuart was exuberantly talking about it with me and others in the store. He said he found it to be so much like Wicca in its structure – with a Goddess figure and a God figure, etc – but it was truly ancient. He was especially taken with the figure of Elegua/Lucero – a being who opens the gates between the physical and spiritual worlds, carries prayers, and answers questions. Stuart said that, as a child, he had once made a little figure out of mud or clay and spent some months treating it as his friend and companion – like an invisible friend. The images of Lucero, it turns out, are nearly identical to the small figure he had made as a kid. Stu knew he had found something important, but he didn’t know he was about to impact history.

I only saw Stuart once or twice before he vanished for a couple of years. I say “vanished”, though I seem to recall I knew he had gone off to explore the Afro-Caribbean faiths like Palo and Santeria (more properly called Lucumi). I wouldn’t learn any details, however, until I discovered by accident he had returned. At the time, I worked overnights and often found myself returning home at anywhere from 4am to 6am. One day, I pulled into a Shell gas station and found none other but Stuart Myers working at the counter! Not only did I spend a few hours with him there that night, catching up on where he had gone and what he had learned, but I found myself stopping in there night after night (whenever our schedules lined up properly) to discuss magick, Palo, Santeria, the Solomonic grimoires, and no end of the day-to-day personal dramas taking place in our lives.

Stuart had, in fact, gone away to take initiation into the Lucumi Faith. At the time of his return, he was still learning and progressing, though he had not yet been Crowned. He quickly became my confidant, and my teacher – introducing me to occult concepts from his Afro-Caribbean standpoint and utterly changing my worldview. Up to that point, I (like many Westerners) had assumed magick was a form of psychology, with the angels and spirits serving as man-made images and names we apply to the aspects of our own minds. Stuart, on the other hand, worked in a world where such beings are real independent creatures who must be approached with proper protocols and convinced to aid us. We found such a similarity between the old grimoires (my calling) and what he had learned from both Satneria and Palo, it revolutionized my understanding of not just the grimoires, but the entire subject of magick itself.

For the record, Stuart never taught me the rituals and secrets of his tradition. But he was able to explain things in the grimoires that he recognized as similar to his own practices. I was lucky that I got to spend much time with him (not just at the gas station, but also his home and elsewhere) and thus see much of his outward practices first-hand. I was lucky that I spent time with him in the early morning hours, talking to him when he was exhausted and perhaps willing to share more than he should have. But, I was most lucky that I introduced him to my then-girlfriend Carrie Mikell (now my wife). The two of them became close friends, and Carrie felt some calling to what Stuart was practicing. She became his “god-sister” and began to explore the Palo path under his tutelage. Because of this, I witnessed and learned even more than I would have. Stuart became one of the greatest influences on both Carrie and I, all of which continue to this very day.

Secrets Afro Cuban DivinationDuring that exciting period in the late 1990s, when myself, Carrie, and Stu were constant companions, and I was penning my very first book, he was just finishing a new book on African-based divination (The Secrets of Afro-Caribbean Divination, Destiny Books, 2000). It would be his first in a long line of outstanding books on the Afro-Caribbean Traditions. They have been highly recommended now for almost 20 years, and I have no doubt they will continue to be for generations to come.

Sadly, Carrie and I moved away from Orlando in early 2001. We stayed in contact with Stuart, but only got to see him on rare visits. He eventually went on to be Crowned, of course – making him a Priest of his Tradition, and taking on the name EWI LADE OCHANI LELE. He began to build his own house and lineage of students, established a series of online classes, performed divination and counseling for his community, and even went on to establish “Lele’s Magickal Fragrances” (later changed to “Lele’s Lotions, Potions, and Magickal Things”) where he made absolutely beautiful one-of-a-kind magical fragrances and potions.

It would not be right to discuss Ochani without also mentioning his infamy as “the Godfather of Scandal.” Stu didn’t make friends with everyone he met – in fact he could be quite contentious if he believed you were being dishonest about your practice. Plus, I can admit, he was never one to feel constrained by “the rules.” He did a thing or two in his path that might shock or offend – sometimes obtaining information through back-door channels, taking pictures of things without permission, etc. Let’s face it, Stu was essentially a force of nature, and little could stand between him and his True Will. But, above and beyond that, he was simply a practical occultist who wanted to learn what worked, and had little time for those who hid behind oaths of secrecy, or grades, or initiatic titles. Stuart was out to learn the Mysteries, and nothing in heaven, earth, or hell was going to stop him!

What I find most amusing about our dear “Godfather of Scandal” is the way his detractors would spend time bashing Ochani Lele and the ways he had learned some of what he knew, but when asked if we should buy and read his books, the answer was always “Yes.” Say what you will of the man, but his work is true. You can trust every word he wrote – and that is a legacy few authors get to leave behind.

Stuart Myers, aka Ochani Lele, has had an incalculable impact on many communities. Perhaps his mark on British Traditional Wicca was small, but there can be no question he has forever changed the modern African Traditional Faiths through his books, his classes, and his hosts of students and clients. He has changed the Western Mysteries as well, because he was at the forefront of the modern grimoire revival and its incestuous relationship with African religion and witchcraft. Even the Golden Dawn has seen practices (such as offerings made to angels and spirits) performed in its Mother Temple that partially trace back to Ochani’s influence. The legacy of Ochani Lele is far-reaching and deep.

As for me – he will forever be one of my greatest teachers, and most beloved friends. The very first time I heard another person “vibrate” a Word of Power, it was his voice. My path into the grimoires – including my undertaking of the Rite of Abramelin – was thanks largely to him. My wife’s own spiritual path has been intimately connected to his. He was a major inspiration to me as an author. Without him the Leitches (as you know us) would simply not exist. He is a part of us – not just me and my wife, but each and every one of us. We owe him so much.

Ochani… Stu, we love you and miss you dearly. If you still want to perform an evocation with us, you are more than welcome to attend and participate. See you on the other side, old man!  Godspeed.

In LVX

Aaron (and Carrie) Leitch

 

Ochani Lele’s Bibliography

The Diloggun: The Orishas, Proverbs, Sacrifices, and Prohibitions of Cuban Santeria, Aug 2003

Teachings of the Santería Gods: The Spirit of the Odu, Jun 2010

The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination: How to Cast the Diloggún, the Oracle of the Orishas, Sep 2000

Obi: Oracle of Cuban Santeria, Jul 2001

Osogbo: Speaking to the Spirits of Misfortune, Mar 2014

Diloggún Tales of the Natural World: How the Moon Fooled the Sun and Other Santería Stories, Sep 2011

Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santería: A Complete Guide to the Rituals and Practices, Aug 2012

Teachings of the Santería Gods, Jan 2010

Between the Worlds: Witchcraft and the Tree of Life-A Program of Spiritual Development, 1995

If you would like to contribute to Ochani’s final arrangements, please visit this link to donate:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/1tjq31xtao?pc=fb_co_campmgmtbnr_w&rcid=r01-157449163729-06f9f0ef41c34950&utm

Posted November 27, 2019 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

Llewellyn Blog: The Problem with Personal Gnosis   1 comment

Greetings, Spirit-Workers!

magick_blog_updated

From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, Jan 23, 2018:

[…] For certain, there is a time and a place for personal gnosis. When students begin asking me if I think their spirits will like this, or be offended by that, I tell them to ask their spirits. If someone was inspired to write a ritual, and they want me to critique it, I tell them to let their own spirits critique it. Where it comes to how you interact with your spirits, it’s entirely between them and you. My opinion means very little in that regard.

But there is a problem with personal gnosis when it comes into conflict with academic research. There is, in fact, a good reason why we need the books after all. The problem with asking the spirits directly is that YOU may lack the necessary knowledge they would need to convey the ideas to you…

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

Posted January 23, 2018 by kheph777 in magick, Uncategorized

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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/

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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