From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, June 16, 2014:
Knocking on Wood:
Superstition and the Spirit Model of Magick
As many of my readers know, I am a practitioner of the Old Magick. That means I have abandoned the “psychological model” of magick (the belief that magick is strictly an art of the mind, and that spiritual entities are simply parts of our own psyches) in favor of the “spirit model” of magick (the belief that spiritual entities are very real and objective beings).
What that means is that my magick includes protocols for approaching the angels and spirits, methods of making offerings and caring for them, building relationships with them and convincing them (via mutual respect) to work with and for me here in the physical. It is, primarily, a form of shamanism—drawing techniques from ancient cultures and indigenous folks magicks. If you want some good examples of how I work (including photographs of the offering altars), check out these links:
Western Resistance to the Old Magick
Not every occultist wishes to toss aside the psychological model and adopt the old ways. Even now, I hear from those who are uncomfortable with concepts like establishing altars and making food offerings to spiritual beings. For them, the very idea of a spirit model just sounds silly and primitive. It depends on a worldview they feel was rightfully overthrown by science and reason. Above all, they seek to distance themselves from anything they understand as “superstition.”
That word—superstition—appears a lot in Western occult literature. Even Agrippa discusses it in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy, so we know the argument has been going on since the Renaissance. Agrippa suggested that superstition can be helpful in magick, while other occultists of his time insisted superstition was the bane of magick and must be abandoned. What these people were actually talking about was indigenous folk magick—witchcraft, shamanism, etc. During their time, such practices were still illegal—punishable by arrest, forfeiture of assets, torture and/or execution. Therefore they had a vested interest in distancing themselves from the ancient pagan methods of magick—or “superstition.”
Because of this environment, the mysteries and philosophies of the Old Magick were lost in the West. The Renaissance gave way to the Age of Enlightenment (aka the Age of Reason) in the 17th century. Over the next several centuries, the study of psychology would rise to prominence in our culture, and most of our modern systems of occultism are based on the psychological model.
For occultists in such an environment, the protocols and actions that are vital to the Old Magick seem like barbarous nonsense.
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2014/6/knocking-on-wood-superstition-and-the-spirit-model-of-magick/
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, May 19, 2014:
Ayn Rand and the Occult:
The Importance of Objectivism in Magick
Some of you may recognize Objectivism as the philosophy developed by author Ayn Rand in such books as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. And if you know anything about Ms. Rand and her writings, you also know Objectivism is pretty much the exact opposite of any spiritual or occult philosophy. Let me give you a short quote from the Wikipedia entry as an illustration:
“Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic…”
Really, it just gets worse from there. (We’ll talk about Rand’s sad position on human morality shortly.) However, the above is enough for any occultist to shake their head and look elsewhere for wisdom. It posits that consciousness has nothing to do with reality, and that we can always trust our senses to tell us the truth about the world around us. As occultists, we know better, don’t we?
And what about the Objectivist stance on morality? Well, Ms. Rand was born in Russia during a particularly difficult period of their history (this was during the fall of the Russian Empire and the rise of the Bolsheviks), and she doubtlessly suffered some deep traumas during her childhood. As an adult, she preached a philosophy of pure self-interest. The poor should be allowed to starve and die. The rich should be supported and given rule over the rest of us. Get what is yours while the getting is good, and give nothing to the weak. Here is another snippet from the Wikipedia article:
“…the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism…”
A few of you may recognize this as foundational to such worldviews as American political conservatism as well as Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan. (The latter, by the way, are strict atheists.) Certainly this is the kind of philosophy that should be avoided by anyone with a spiritual worldview! Or anyone with an ounce of compassion or charity in their heart. Obviously I have some rants against Objectivism and Ayn Rand (who, by the way, lived out her elder years on the public assistance she would deny to others).
So, why is it that I constantly find myself identifying with fictional characters who embody the Objectivist philosophy?
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2014/5/ayn-rand-and-the-occult-the-importance-of-objectivism-in-magick/
As I’ve mentioned before, you have probably noticed my blog has been fairly quiet for some months now. Of course I still make event announcements here, but my usual thoughts and theories about magick and culture have been largely absent. The reason is because I’ve been writing blogs for Llewellyn lately. Back when Don Kraig got sick, they asked if I (along with a number of other accomplished magicians) would submit a few guest posts to keep Kraig’s Magick Blog up and running. Of course, once Don passed away, several of us just kept submitting blog posts – and the Magick Blog continues to this day.
Of course, I’m sure most of you already know all of this, and have likely read my posts over at Llewellyn. However, I’m also sure some number of you are subscribed here and not over there – which means you’ve been missing out unfairly. From the start, I should have cross-posted all of my Llewellyn blogs here – at least an excerpt with a link to the full post over on their site. And, that is what I will do from here on out.
But first, I will make up for my past oversights by cross-posting my older Llewellyn blogs here. If you keep up with me over there, then the next several posts will be repeats for you. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the material you’ve been missing for the past year! ;)
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, March 24, 2014:
The Definition of Magick in the 21st Century
Wait! Don’t surf away yet! I know this subject—the definition of magick—has been rehashed a billion times over the years. It has been the focus of heated debates and even flame wars—and never (not once!) has a consensus been reached.
Frankly, this debate has been going on for longer than you think. It was a question during the occult revival of the 19th century. It is even tackled by the authors of the medieval grimoires. Why, I would bet real money that Egyptian and Sumerian priests used to sit around in their temples and argue the same damn points.
But that is really the point of this blog. I’m not naive enough to think we’re going to reach a consensus here. However, I do think we can add something to the conversation—especially now that we have entered the 21st century, and our relationship to magick is changing drastically. As that relationship changes, so too does our understanding of magick and what it means in our culture.
In previous years, the debate was caught up in the occultism of the late 1800s. The Age of Enlightenment had dawned, the Industrial Revolution had… revolved?… and the discipline of Science (that is, as divorced from all mystical concerns) had risen to supremacy. Psychology was a new and developing study. And absolutely anything that struck the Western mind as “occult ooga-booga” (read: pretty much any form of indigenous folk magick, voodoo, hoodoo, etc.) was firmly shown the door.
Thus, the people who were raised in that environment sought an explanation for magick that fit into their paradigm. Hence was born the “psychological” definition of magick: it’s all just a form of primitive psychology. Magick is all in your head. The spirits and gods are mere “names and faces” that we have placed on our own instincts and mental complexes. Magickal tools and considerations are just “props” that help your mind engage the magick. Chaos magick arose in this environment, and it also gave us Aleister Crowley‘s often-quoted definition:
“Magick is the science and art of causing change in conformity with Will.”
Taken at face value, I find this definition to be pointless. If any change I make (on purpose) to the world around me is “magick,” then “magick” ceases to be a useful word. If I walk outside, am I performing magick because I opened a door and changed my location? Of course not! Yet, the way many students interpret the above definition, magick ceases to be a specific discipline or craft. Electricians are performing magick. Carpenters are performing magick. The ice cream man is performing magick (and he even brings smiles to the faces of children)!
Of course, Crowley added in that word “Will,” which means there is a lot more to his definition than most students realize. He means making changes in accordance with your True Will (your Fate or Karma), and his definition is saying that any action you take toward fulfilling your True Will is a magickal act. That’s better… but it still negates “magick” as a discipline unto itself. I’ve used a lot of magick in pursuit of my True Will, but I’ve also had to do a lot of mundane stuff, too.
Today, we are leaving behind the 19th century views on magick. While the psychological definition still has its adherents—some of them quite passionate in defense of their position—there is now a counter-movement of Old Magick practitioners who find that view unsatisfying. As the world we grew up in continues to break down, economies continue to collapse, medicine and other necessities become unavailable, and ill-defined wars continue to rage across the globe, people aren’t looking for “self help occultism” the way they were twenty years ago. They want the real deal: magick that can make real change in the real world. They want magick that can keep food in their families’ bellies, a roof over their heads, and everyone alive and healthy.
I fall into that category. We’re the guys who see spirits, gods, and angels as objectively real. We find the magickal tools and considerations to be important to the technology, not just a bunch of props that can be substituted or dispensed with entirely. And because of these, we see the magickal ceremonies as vital protocols when dealing with spirits, not outdated superstitions that should be simplified, reinterpreted, or left behind. And as for those indigenous forms of magick and witchcraft, rather than turning our noses up and thinking we are somehow better than all of that, we’re actually turning toward them and learning as much as we can.
So, how does this new movement define magick? Good question, and that’s why we are having this discussion now.
To get the ball rolling, I’ll share with you the definition by which I work. In fact, it is an older definition that existed for thousands of years before the modern world. The Solomonic grimoires (a specialty of mine) were written under this definition, and I think it is time we all took a fresh look at it.
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2014/3/the-definition-of-magick-in-the-21st-century/
Aaron and Carrie React to Salamanders in the Ritual Fire
As you surely know, I was invited to headline at Phoenix Phyre’s Spring Festival in Florida – which was also my first time attending this event. Me and my family had an absolutely wonderful time! It took a day or two to get used to things – as Florida Pagan Gathering is our “home festival.” But, once we got into the swing of things for this venue, it was awesome! I want to thank Dru, Trish, Elise, Todd and everyone else who put so much time and effort into making it all happen, and for taking such great care of us while we were there. :)
An Unusual Request
As a headliner, I was of course asked to present a couple of workshops. I chose the old standby “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires” along with a new lecture “The Lost Secrets of Western Magick.” Along with these, I was asked to perform a Solomonic ritual – and that’s where things got really strange.
I admit I balked at the idea at first. I had never before attempted to perform a Solomonic invocation in a public venue. This isn’t the kind of magick you do just to put on a show. Not only that, but it is certainly not the kind of magick you perform at a Neopagan festival! As I told the organizers, this is Biblical magick. That means I would be reading Psalms from a Bible, invoking “The Lord God” by Hebrew Names, splashing people with holy water – for all intents and purposes it would be like holding a church service right in the middle of a Pagan celebration.
That didn’t deter them. (Wait… what???) Things certainly have changed in the Pagan communities since my early days! Back then, you couldn’t attend a festival like that and even admit you study the Qabalah, or Golden Dawn or even mention anything relating to Judeo-Christianity (unless you were poking fun at it). I know at that time many Pagans were coming out of abusive Christian upbringings, and the last thing they wanted to hear at their festivals was anything to do with the Bible. And as for the grimoires – those were either reviled as “too Christian” or ridiculed as old superstitious nonsense.
But times, they have changed. It’s no longer cool to bash Christianity in and of itself. (Even if certain individual Christians or groups still deserve ridicule.) And here I was, being asked by the organizers of Phoenix Phyre to allow them to witness what Biblical-based occultism is like.
And then the request actually got even stranger! When I asked them what they wanted me to do with my Solomonic magick, they suggested that I use it to summon some magickal creatures – as that was the theme of this particular festival. I told them the best I could think of (at that moment) was to call the Elementals… and they said “go for it!”
I was dumfounded. I had been certain that threatening their festival with the presence of the Elementals would make them think twice! These are some of the most mischievous and frankly dangerous spirits one can call. We’re essentially talking about faeries, elves, mermaids, etc… you know, the beasties most famous for causing trouble! They steal things. They love to screw with humans’ minds. They sink ships! They embody the raw forces of the elements, and calling them could easily result in storms, outbreaks of fire, flash floods, earthquakes and more. (Ok, maybe an earthquake would be unlikely in Florida… but don’t rule it out when these guys are involved! lol)
No matter how hard I tried to talk them out of it, they insisted they wanted me to do it. Plus, the time has been coming for a while now for me to demonstrate this Tradition publicly. Over the past couple of years I have become much more willing to share photos of my tools and my altars, as well as full write-ups of some of my rituals – all of which goes a long way toward illustrating how this stuff works, and it inspires others to follow suit. So I supposed it was time to take the next step and let others see a Solomonic invocation in action.
With all of the above in mind, I agreed to do the ritual if I could figure out a way to do it responsibly and (as far as possible) safely. I decided not to attempt an “evocation to visible appearance”, but instead stuck with a ritual of invocation and offering. I would call upon the Kings of the Four Directions to bring the Elementals and keep them in line. I would make offerings to all four classes of spirits, so they would be fed and happy. And I would charge them with tasks to keep them too busy to cause mischief – specifically the protection of the festival grounds and all attending it, as well as helping all present in their own spiritual/magickal journeys.
But wait a second… the above plan had another issue. You see, I’m most famous as an angel-worker. And, when it comes to my kind of magick, the general public (even Pagans) have a tendency to be fairly accepting of the angels. Yet, there were no angels involved in my planned ritual. By calling the Elementals through the Kings (Oriens, Paimon, Amaymon and Ariton) I was specifically invoking spirits the grimoires refer to as demons. I was, essentially, planning to perform a goetic ritual at Phoneix Phyre! (And let’s not forget the backlash caused last year when an LHP occultist attempted to open a “hellmouth” at a festival in Nevada…)
I decided to remain quiet about this last bit. While my ritual was technically goetic in that it focused on sub-lunar entities (the only celestial being called was Adonai Zabaoth), it was not what anyone present would recognize as Satanic or even Left-Hand Path. While what I was doing had an element of danger to it, it was in no way “dark and scary.” Besides, I was certain (ok, I hoped) few – if any – of the attendees would even know who Oriens, Paimon, Amaymon and Ariton are. These guys are only listed as “demons” in the grimoires because anything that wasn’t an established angel was classified as a “demon.” (And, even then, the grimoires are never entirely clear which entities should be angels and which are demons.) The important thing is that they aren’t infernal spirits. Heck, they aren’t even strictly chthonic; they are simply spirits of nature.
So let me summarize all of this: I had been invited by a Pagan festival to perform a Biblical-based Solomonic goetic invocation of the four Demon Kings of the directions in order to summon all four classes of usually-rambunctious and possibly dangerous Elemental spirits. You might imagine why I was hesitant – and even up to the moment the ritual began I continued to warn the organizers that some people might be uncomfortable with what I was doing and wish to excuse themselves. I even made a speech at the beginning to warn those attending – but they all stayed and participated like troopers. :)
The Solomonic Invocation of the Elementals
Aaron and Carrie at the Ritual Opening
At home, before I left for the event, I performed an opening of my Abramelin altar – so that my HGA would be present and open the gates for me. To this end, I left a white seven-day candle burning to her throughout my time at the festival. She is my source of spiritual authority (and, technically, she was ONE Angel I did call in conjunction with the ritual). In many ways, what I was going to do was part of my Abramelin work – as the four Kings of the directions were bound to me by an Oath during that operation. Therefore I would later wear my Abramelin Robe and use my almond wand when convoking the Kings.
Aaron and Carrie at the Ritual Opening
At the festival, five altars were established – a white altar in the center with all the working tools, a Bible, the Key of Solomon, my Solomonic trumpet, the almond wand, Abramelin incense, etc:
Central Altar with working tools
In the four quarters were altars for the Salamanders, Undines, Slyphs and Gnomes:
The Eastern altar was red for the Salamandars, with a red candle and flowers, hot red peppers, bread and honey, water and cinnamon tequila. An earthen pot was filled with dirt taken from the eastern edge of the property, and Fire/Mars incense was burned upon it. I also included a photo of a Salamander as well as the image and sigil of Oriens:
Eastern Altar Before Ritual
The Southern altar was black for the Gnomes, with a black candle, green flowers (black was hard to find!), sweet chocolate, bread and honey, water and a dark beer. An earthen pot was filled with dirt taken from the southern edge of the property, and Earth/Saturn incense was burned upon it. I also included a photo of a Gnome as well as the image and sigil of Amaymon:
Southern Altar Before Ritual
The Western altar was yellow for the Sylphs, with a yellow candle and flowers, strawberries, bread and honey, water and honey mead. An earthen pot was filled with dirt taken from the western edge of the property, and Air/Mercury incense was burned upon it. I also included a photo of Sylphs as well as the image and sigil of Paimon:
Western Altar Before Ritual
The Northern altar was blue for the Undines, with a blue candle and flowers, tuna fish, bread and honey, water and white wine. An earthen pot was filled with dirt taken from the northern edge of the property, and Water/Lunar incense was burned upon it. I also included a photo of Undines as well as the image and sigil of Ariton:
Northern Altar Before Ritual
We began by lighting the Solomonic Lamp and Censer at the central altar with the proper exorcisms and blessings. Then I used the holy water and sprinkler – along with Psalm 51 – to purify everything on all four Elemental altars as well as the entire area. After that, I continued to use the water and sprinkler to splash everyone present – while reciting the Mertalia, Musalia… invocation from the Key of Solomon. Carrie followed along behind me to cense everyone as well.
The purifications done, we then had everyone present think of something they would like to ask of the Elementals. Choosing just one of the four classes, they each came to the altar to write their petition on consecrated paper with consecrated pen. I had them fold their paper toward themselves four times, then place the petition beneath the offering plate on their chosen altar. Then they stood by that altar for the remainder of the ceremony.
Carrie and I then went to each quarter in turn, using my brand new Solomonic Trumpet to alert the spirits they were being called. I called the active Elements and she called the passive.
Then we returned to the center, where I first recited a prayer to Adonai Zabaoth and then called each of the four Kings in turn. They were asked to be present and enjoy the offerings and festivities, and to bring the Elemental spirits with them.
Finally, we went back to the four altars in turn – with me again working with the actives and Carrie with the passives. In each case we lit the candle and censer on the altar with the proper exorcisms and blessings, then recited the Prayer of the Elementals for that quarter to invoke them. All the offerings on the altar were then shared by myself, Carrie and the others who had petitioned those Elementals.
After that was done, each group was given time to commune with the spirits who were present. Then we gave a license to depart and closed the ritual. There were no banishings or gate-closings here – the spirits were called to the festival and were allowed to remain until it closed.
The Four Elemental Altars – Just After the Ritual
By the spirits’ request, I moved the altars over to the side of the circle where they could enjoy the drumming, dancing and other festivities. The festival staff was happy to let them stay there – where they were an attention-draw for the next several days. All four meals sat in the hot Florida sun, completely exposed to the bugs and elements – yet at no time did any of the food begin to rot and no bugs were ever found on the altars. (Even the tuna did not begin to smell.) I wasn’t surprised by this, but many others were quite amazed.
Four Elemental Altars – The Next Day
The Spirits Enjoy the Fest!
Over the next couple of days, I began to hear from some of the folks who had participated. Apparently, this ritual was rife with poltergeist activity. That is, those who attended kept seeing things – not as visions but as if they were seeing them from the corners of their physical eyes and in some cases even feeling things touching them! Carrie herself thought she saw a possum scampering toward the Gnome’s altar in the South – only to look and see no possum there. Another person thought he saw a large dark human figure on a horse ride up to the same altar and dismount – but when he turned to look and question why someone was riding a horse through the festival grounds, he saw nothing there. Carrie, while working at the Western altar, felt a large figure approach her from the South and stand behind her – and we suspect this was the same figure that had dismounted from the spectral horse (possibly even Amaymon himself).
More than one person standing with the Salamanders caught themselves brushing away what felt like lizards running across their skin, but of course no lizards were found.
There were some visions, as well. One that excited me came from a young lady who looked into the sky while I was invoking the four Kings, and saw a massive serpent peek down at us from out of the clouds, then fly down to us and encircle the ritual space. She had no clue who these four Kings were, and had no way of knowing they are intimately connected to the Ouroboros Serpent:
The Four Kings and the Serpent of Wisdom
So that was an awesome case of confirmation through skrying – the Kings had heard and were present! :) The Gnomes and Salamanders both made their presences felt (or seen) during the ritual. And the Sylphs showed themselves just a few hours later when the festival grounds became enshrouded in a sudden and deep fog that held on until after the Sun had risen the next morning. The only Elementals who seemed less than active were the Undines. No one reported any specific experiences involving them – save for Carrie who said she smelt sea water for a few moments the next day. Other than that, the Undines didn’t seem to do much – possibly because the festival was not close to any large bodies of water.
The spirits did indeed have a blast watching and participating in the festivities. And when it came time to perform the festival’s main ritual, the organizer decided to utilize the four altars in order to draw energy from them and build upon it. That ritual was something to behold, and the spirits loved it.
On the final day, I took apart the Elemental altars. I deposited the remains of the offerings in different places according to their Element: The Fire offerings were placed in the festival’s ritual fire. The Water offerings were tossed into a small pond on the property. The Earth offerings were buried. The Air offerings were placed into a tree – one which had actually been blown over in a storm many years ago, but continued to live. All of the written petitions from the ritual-participants were given to the ritual fire. (I would have put them with the offerings, but did not want to litter the property.)
The dirt used in the four earthen censers, now consecrated and charged, was returned to the four quarters of the property from whence it had been taken – where it would serve to bless and protect the property into the future.
I had a wonderful time at Phoenix Phyre and an incredible time performing this ritual for them. I hope to return in the future for more fun and magick! Blessed Be.
Greetings fellow Angel lovers!
Exciting news about the novel Realm of Angels by Judith Page and myself. It is now available in hard copy – paperback to be precise:
Click to Buy ‘Realm of Angels’ in paperback
What, you want another excerpt?? Ok, then, here you go:
I took a deep breath and leaving the mundane, entered a sanctum.
The room glowed softly in the lantern light. I placed my notes and the goblet on the altar and lit the candles, first the red then the black. I blinked dazedly. The candles were beautiful. I’d always associated the burning of candles and incense with Communion, but somehow this seemed different, evoking a far older tradition long before Christianity took hold in the Fertile Crescent. The mood in the room had changed; it felt a space apart from the ordinary. It was unfamiliar and, dare I say, scary. The emotions running through my mind in that moment were the ones I didn’t want to dwell upon.
I nervously picked up the charcoal with tweezers and set fire to it with a lighted match, watching the flame lick around the edge. It caressed the darkness, the power building quickly as the flame suddenly spluttered and spat, releasing tiny salamander-sparks that traveled through the black tablet. It glowed first red then white hot as I dropped it on a bed of soft sand inside the terracotta dish. Adding a sprinkling of frankincense resin to the charcoal completely changed the ambiance in the room. In a few moments the entire space was shrouded in a haze from the smoke, giving it an ethereal or otherworldly vibe. I inhaled the aroma deeply.
Next, I raised the goblet of wine in salutation to the angels and placed it back on the altar. So far, so good, I thought. Taking a deep breath I sent a silent prayer to the heavens. A state of prayer was something I hadn’t visited for a long time but my very being demanded this sacrifice and I was not going to refuse my soul’s wish. It was done.
Picking up the ball of Rutilated Quartz and the notes, I stepped back from the altar, sat down on the chair, closed my eyes and began to inhale slowly and deeply. I waited. Nothing special was happening, just the pleasant aroma of incense drifted around the room. This was fine, a gentle introduction. It relaxed me.
After several more inhalations everything changed and the air not only filled my lungs but the whole of my body, starting from the soles of my feet and culminating at a point between my eyebrows. The sensation was exhilarating. I began to feel an intimate connection of both mind and breath. This flow of energy swirled within and without my body; it permeated every cell, filling each with an incredible power. It felt good. I opened my eyes and looked at the words I’d copied from the grimoire. A brief thought came and passed, that my father may actually have said this too. With a new intake of breath, I uttered in a shaky voice:
‘I call upon thy sacred name
Of the being that has been with me.
Since the beginning of beginnings.’
I paused and cleared my throat; I was unused to hearing the sound of my own voice and felt very self-conscious:
‘As I gaze upwards,
May I behold thy beauty and thy splendour unto eternity,
Time without end.’
I continued breathing in and out, in and out – concentrating only on my breath and allowing the room’s mystical atmosphere to wash over me. I focused my eyes, unblinking, upon the image of Lucifer on the altar.
Suddenly it happened to me again, that strange but familiar feeling of assault as I encountered something angelic. The whole world grew dark and drained away, narrowing my sight down to tunnel vision. This time it was far more intense than before. I broke out in a cold sweat and began to shiver. I could just make out the distant sound of flapping wings and whispering voices – they seemed somehow impatient. Insistent!
A shock of vertigo hit me, so powerful I would have fallen if I’d not been sitting. I was no longer looking down a long tunnel, I was falling into it! I gasped and gripped the seat of the chair until my knuckles were white, working hard to stave off the rising panic. The ball of Rutilated Quartz lay forgotten in my lap. What was happening to me? Was I having a seizure? A brain aneurism? For the first time it dawned on me that this experiment wasn’t safe; it was deadly serious, and I may very well be putting my mind and/or my soul on the line. Terry had known what he was talking about after all…
And just like that, it was gone. As if the mere thought of Terry had calmed the storm, as if a lead blanket had suddenly been pulled away – the vertigo and panic lifted from my mind. The world, the altar, the incense smoke, even the chair I’d been sitting on had vanished, and I was standing alone in featureless darkness. Somehow I had fallen entirely out of the real world and journeyed to… where?
Click to Buy ‘Realm of Angels’ in paperback
Greetings fellow sorcerers!
Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)
Great news! I have been contacted by Nephilim Press and informed that Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick has gone to the printer at last!
So calm down already! Sheeesh!
I have been told we estimate about six weeks for the book’s delivery. This will be a limited edition (hard cover of course!), and Nephilim says we might be running a risk of selling out quickly due to the popularity of the individual contributors (see below) and the interest that customers have expressed in pre-orders.
Can We Pre-Order the Book??
No, I’m afraid that Nephilim Press still does not take pre-orders. However, since you are cool enough to be a reader of this blog, you’ll have an opportunity to secure your copy before it is offered to the general public!
Just go to the Nephilim Press Homepage, and subscribe to their newsletter. When the book becomes available, newsletter subscribers will be notified first – giving you first dibs on your copy of this groundbreaking new manual of magick. According to Frank over at Nephilim:
“We only send out emails when new titles are available and people who get the newsletter are notified in advance of the general public so that they can be sure to get a copy before sell outs and such. Our subscriber list is 100% confidential.”
So there you have it. In about a month and a half, if you act quickly enough, you can secure your own copy before they’re gone!
Below is some information and a few excerpts from the book’s introduction, in case you missed them in my last blog post:
Throughout history, ritual offerings have been the central pillar of all magick (and religion). Very often, a magickal ritual consists of nothing more than the making of a prescribed offering to a particular spirit in a specified time and place. Yet, here in the West, the making of an offering has been equated with the worship of the spirit receiving it. The act of offering a spirit something as payment for services rendered has close associations with the dreaded “pact with the Devil,” by which a magician surely sells his soul to damnation.
But, to the rest of the world an offering is intended to feed and empower a spiritual entity, and to pay it fairly for the work it does. We cannot expect the spirits to simply manifest what we desire out of thin air—it takes energy for them to accomplish your goals, and they need to get that energy from somewhere.
The art of making proper offerings to spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings for your safety. But if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.
Altar and Offerings to Sachiel
In Ritual Offerings, twelve practical occultists have come together to share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating subject. Traditions from around the world are discussed – from Solomonic magick to Tibetan Buddhism, from New Orleans Voodoo and Hatian Voudou to Western Hermetic Theurgy and more. Regardless of your tradition, this manual will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively.
Take a look at the all-star line-up in the table of contents:
Aaron Leitch: Introduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism
Aaron Leitch: Liber Donariorum: the Book of Offerings
Zadkiel: The Elements of Making Offerings: The Offering as Sacrifice
Bryan Garner (Frater Ashen Chassan): Whispers from a Skull: Lessons in Spiritual Offerings from a Conjured Familiar
Brother Moloch: Ancestors & Offering
Frater Rufus Opus: The Back Yard Path toward the Summum Bonum
Denise M. Alvarado: Ritual Offerings in New Orleans Voudou
Jason Miller: Severed Head Cakes and Clouds of Dancing Girls: Offerings in Tibetan Buddhism
Nick Farrell: Offerings In Roman Deity Magic
Sam Webster, M.Div., Ph.D., founder OSOGD: Offerings in Iamblichan Theurgy
Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: Ritual for the Declaration of Maa-Kheru
Gilberto Strapazon: Offerings in Ceremonial Magick and African Traditional Religions
Offering Altar to St. Michael
Why Ritual Offerings?
Nearly every author in this book has reported that their magick was “supercharged” by the inclusion of ritual offerings in their spells. Likewise, their students have responded with similar results. Spells that used to take weeks to produce results suddenly happen overnight. Summoned spirits that used to appear weak or far away suddenly become strong and very much present. Talismans begin to have their effect much faster. Why should this be the case?
Because spirits are important to your magick. Today it is quite common to see spirit work listed as a “type” of magick: To accomplish your goals you might choose (for example) a talisman, a spell, an incantation, or summon a spirit. However, this is not how magick was viewed in the ancient world.
Spirits were not merely an option, a tool to be utilized when the magician deemed it necessary. No, spirits were the very heart and soul of all magick. That talisman you consecrated has a spirit attached to it, who accomplishes the intended goal. The incantation you used worked because the spirits heard it and acted upon it. You were not alone when you cast that spell; your patrons and familiars were present and casting the spell with you. And what about spirit summoning, like we see in grimoires such as the Key of Solomon or the Goetia? Those are methods of first-contact with the spirits, who will then teach the summoner how to do proper magick with things like — you guessed it — talismans, spells, and incantations.
In all of the above, spirits are the common factor. It is the shaman’s relationship with the local spirits that makes his magick work so impressively. He knows how to attract them, gains their respect, and uses ritual offerings to feed and empower them so they can protect the tribe.
Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism
Some still choose to view spirit-feeding as a symbolic act — a kind of earthy sympathetic magick whereby we use food to activate otherwise non-physical (spiritual) currents here on the physical plane. Others, like myself and many of the authors in this book, feel the Western gods, angels, and spirits have gone without feeding for far too long; thus, if you feed them as part of your magick, they respond in a big way. No matter how you choose to interpret it, the knowledgeable use of offerings will produce impressive results; they will “supercharge” your magick.
Offering Altar to Archangel Samael
By the way, you can read the entire introduction in the current issue of Hermetic Tablet magazine.