From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, April 20, 2016:
When I began my occult path—so many years ago now—there were two things I lamented above all else: 1) that Western culture had abandoned its official belief in magick, and 2) that what little remained of Western occultism had abandoned the Old Magick in favor of post-GD psychological models. I would have to say, in some sense, my entire career as an author/teacher and all-around very public occultist has been dedicated to setting those two things right again. I wanted to live in a community of people who believe in magick—and therefore place real value on what I do, rather than viewing it as a quaint or outright weird hobby. And, of course, I wanted to see the Old Magick revived for Westerners; for us to put away all the mental masturbation and “self-help” and reconnect with Nature as humans should. This seemed like a noble cause, so I set my sails and began my journey.
Yet, as often happens with age and maturity, I have learned and experienced more than my young self had. I have gained new wisdom and a decidedly broader perspective. My ship has sailed, the movement I wanted to start—but, in fact, had already started by the time I joined it—can’t be stopped now. The Old Magick is coming back, via several different channels. Even if I hung up my pen and never wrote another word, it wouldn’t change a thing now. And, now that it is clearly too late to do a damned thing about it, I have serious concerns…
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2016/04/why-im-worried-about-the-revival-of-the-old-magick/
Meditation Class with Aaron Leitch
The Methods of Calm-Abiding
(aka ‘Meditation Basics 101’)
At Mystikal Scents Metaphysical Supplies
March 24th : 7-9pm
9545 E Fowler Ave Thonotosassa, FL 33952
When we use the word “meditation” in the West, we most often use it in the sense of meditating upon something (like a magical image, sigil, or mystical concept) – a practice that would more correctly be called “contemplation.” In the East, it is called “special-insight meditation.” However, such special-insight meditation is a more advanced practice, intended for use only after one has learned the most basic form of true meditation.
CALM-ABIDING MEDITATION is the practice of bringing the mind to a state of complete stillness and utter silence, which is no easy task, as the unruly child-like mind would rather not sit in perfect silence. There are worries and stresses, hopes and dreams, plans to consider, past events to mull over and a host of other thoughts the mind would rather chase after. However, to achieve success in later meditations, it is first necessary to bring that unruly mind under control.
This workshop will cover techniques for relaxing the body, gently bringing the mind under control and naturally entering a deep meditative state. You’ll be going deeper into your OWN consciousness than you’ve likely ever gone before. If you have never experienced these parts of yourself, or the bliss of complete Silence of the Mind (your unborn consciousness), then you will not want to miss this class!
*** Special Instructions: Wear loose, comfortable clothing, bring pen & paper to take notes, and if you desire, bring a blanket, mat or pillow – especially for the body relaxation techniques.
This class requires pre-registration and payment of $25 by March 22nd.
Call Mystikal Scents at 813-986-3212 to reserve your seat.
You, courageous seeker (if this applies to you), are merely pointed toward an entire genre of (extremely obscure) occult literature and told, “There lie the true secrets of magick. Good luck.” So, realizing you’re pretty much on your own, you take the most logical first step: look for a copy of the Key of Solomon in order to get an idea of what the system looks like and requires. But wait! Do you mean the “greater” or “lesser” Key of Solomon? Or did you mean the Hygromanteia (aka the Magical Treatise of Solomon)? Maybe you’d like the Key of Solomon the King published by Mathers, or do you prefer the Veritable Key of Solomon published by Skinner and Rankine? I could go on
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, February 16, 2016:
Those who take an interest in Solomonic and grimoire occultism face a rather unique dilemma. Anyone who undertakes a specific path/tradition—such as the Golden Dawn, Thelema, and even Wicca—generally has their work cut out for them. Literally. Someone before them has taken the time to design an entire course of work and study for the new student to follow. You will read this text and that one, you will perform these rituals and meditations, and you will pass this test before moving on to the next stage—there really isn’t any room for confusion on that point.
This, however, is not the case for the student hoping to learn the ways of Solomon or Enoch. You, courageous seeker (if this applies to you), are merely pointed toward an entire genre of (extremely obscure) occult literature and told, “There lie the true secrets of magick. Good luck.” So, realizing you’re pretty much on your own, you take the most logical first step: look for a copy of the Key of Solomon in order to get an idea of what the system looks like and requires. But wait! Do you mean the “greater” or “lesser” Key of Solomon? Or did you mean the Hygromanteia (aka the Magical Treatise of Solomon)? Maybe you’d like the Key of Solomon the King published by Mathers, or do you prefer the Veritable Key of Solomon published by Skinner and Rankine? I could go on, but you can see for yourself right here. And, mind you(!), these are only a few of the manuscripts attributed specifically to Solomon—so this doesn’t include the host of grimoires attributed to other authors. All of them purport to teach you how to summon the spirits and work the spells, and they are all certainly similar to one another, yet they are also very different.
But we’re not done confusing you yet! You see, we old-timers are going to give you a solid gem of advice before you even get started: Follow the damned instructions! Don’t skimp or take shortcuts, don’t alter things to the way you think they should be; trust that the author of the grimoire knew what he (or she) was doing and follow the instructions as given. Then, you’ll delve into your chosen grimoire(s) and discover the punchline: the instructions aren’t complete! At least, they aren’t in the greatest number of occult texts. Most of them were written as working notes for practicing magicians, and it was assumed a lot was already understood by the student before even picking up the book.
Now, here is where the student will encounter some real controversy. There are a few Solomonic practitioners out there who will insist “grimoire hopping”—that is, either switching between grimoires, or drawing material from one text to “fill out” another—is a bad idea. Instead, one should pick a text and dedicate to it. They will say there are differences between the instructions in different grimoires, and therefore we shouldn’t assume their procedures can be easily shared between them. Not to mention a great number of grimoires, themselves, claim to contain the real secrets of magick while other grimoires are vain foolish attempts at the same—so apparently even they didn’t want you to mix their systems together.
Except, they totally mixed the systems together themselves—a lot. They regularly borrowed conjurations, prayers, talismans, words of power, ritual tools, magick circles, and more from one another. In fact, they did so much appropriating it is often difficult to determine which book copied from another, or when they might both have been drawing from some as-yet-unknown older source. And they didn’t keep the things they borrowed pristine, either. They made aggressive changes—lengthening or shortening conjurations, changing names of God, altering spirit hierarchies, changing the required tools and furnishings, adding bits in, taking bits out, etc., etc.
So, I’ll understand if you find yourself confused and exasperated. You shouldn’t mix systems or deviate from the instructions, except you actually have to. Yet, trust me, there is no change, addition or subtraction you can make to your chosen system that will not result in someone, somewhere, telling you that you’ve done it wrong. I can’t entirely blame those of you who have decided the Solomonic mages can go to gehenna with their convoluted tradition. However, before you begin to wish the Roman Church had succeeded in burning all the blasted grimoires, let’s see if we can’t untangle this knot to some extent.
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2016/02/grimoire-hopping/
If you’re local to the Tampa area, we are giving the Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes again this spring!
Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes
March 6 – April 17
Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to move us closer to the Divine Self. Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from initiated ceremonial magicians, Carrie Mikell & Aaron Leitch – adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. If you want to experience Ceremonial Magick (aka High Magick or Theurgy), this class is for you! Course Topics include the following:
•Class 1: History and Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross
•Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences
•Class 3: Pentagrams & the four Philosophical Elements
•Class 4: Hexagrams & the seven Planets
•Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration
•Class 6: An Angel Evocation
Class starts Sunday March 6th and continues over the following five Sundays, 1-3:30pm.
Cost is $25 per class with a $75 deposit that will pay for the last 3 classes in the series.
Please call Mystikal Scents at 813-986-3212 to register. Limited to 12 students.
9545 E. Fowler Ave
Thonotosassa/Brandon, FL. 33592
For more info (map, directions, etc) see the Facebook Events page.
P.S. – For those who are still hoping for Skype classes: I’m afraid that Skype was not sufficient for the purpose of online classes. We have another option – a bit more expensive but worth it in terms of quality and functionality. As things move forward, we will post further info on this subject.
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, January 5, 2016:
Now that people have realized Abramelin is a workable grimoire, instead of some far-removed literary device, the two “versions” of Abramelin have caused some concern. It’s not that the technical instructions are that different between the two, but the difference in the length of time is striking. Instead of working through three short phases of two months each, we discovered that you were intended to work through three long periods of six months each. The French wizard who had adapted the Rite had severely shortened it—and that seems like the kind of thing you absolutely shouldn’t do with something as important as this. Therefore, I’ve been seeing this question posed again and again over the past few years: is it possible to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel in a mere six months? Should one even try?
The French author seemed to believe it wasn’t necessary to spend a year-and-a-half in seclusion and prayer, and shortened it to six months instead. But was he right to do that? Is it detrimental to the ultimate goal—the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA — to take such a short-cut? Or, if it is ok to shorten the length of purification, how far can we take it? How about just three months? Three weeks? Three days? Three hours? How much is not enough?
Read the Rest at: http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2016/01/6-or-18-months-how-long-o-abramelin-how-long/
Greetings festival goers!
It’s Samhain time again! (YAY!) And I’ll be appearing at the upcoming Florida Pagan Gathering during the first week of November:
November 4 – 8, 2015
Solomonic Ritual: Invocation of the Elementals
If you missed out the last time we performed this ritual, me and my wife Carrie will be performing a Solomonic invocation of the Elementals:
For the past one hundred years, the Solomonic grimoires have been conflated with later lodge systems like the Golden Dawn and Thelema, and are therefore often classified as “ceremonial magick.” However, as outlined in Aaron Leitch’s Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, the magick of the grimoires is much more akin to sorcery, shamanism or folk magick. If you are Pagan, you might be surprised by how familiar a Solomonic ritual will feel.And now you have a rare opportunity to witness (or participate in) such a ritual for yourself! FPG has invited grimoire masters Aaron Leitch and Carrie Mikell to perform a Solomonic Invocation of the Elementals.
This is a Goetic ritual: we will be invoking the presence of the four classes of Elemental spirits (Salamanders, Undines, Sylphs and Gnomes) through the authority of the four Kings of the compass points: Oriens, Paimon, Amaymon and Ariton. They will be invited to partake of four Elemental offerings and in return will be asked to protect the festival grounds and guide all attendees in their own personal spiritual journeys.
While this will not be a full “evocation to visible appearance”, the spirits very likely will make their presence known to those who are sensitive enough to see or hear them. Therefore we will be inviting any and all skryers to attend and participate in the invocations. Also, ALL who attend will be welcome to write their own private petitions to the spirits.
Lecture: The Lost Secrets of Western Magick Revealed
Have you ever noticed the distinct separation between modern Western occultism (i.e. Wicca, Thelema, Golden Dawn, Theosophy, the New Age, etc.) and the indigenous occultism practiced by the rest of the world? Our techniques are different in fundamental ways, and (historically) both sides have suffered from various amounts of disdain for one another. Non-Western conjurers and shamans often describe our magick as more fantasy than reality.
This is because, during the Renaissance and the following Age of Enlightenment, the West left “superstition” behind and decided that everything could be viewed through the lens of science and psychology. Consequently, that is what their magick became, and it is why to this very day Western systems are accused of being “purely mental.”
Of course, Western magick is hardly completely ineffective. That is merely a negative stereotype. But we can still learn new (or, better, re-learn very ancient) techniques to make our magick even stronger. So, if you are struggling with your magick and would like to know why you aren’t achieving the results you desire, or you simply want better results than you’ve attained in the past, or even if you are simply always seeking to expand your practice with powerful techniques that really work — then this is the lecture for you.
Bring your questions, as this will be an open discussion!
Lecture: Satan, Demons and Hell – Why Are They in the Grimoires?
For hundreds of years, the Western grimoires have been decried as evil texts full of appeals to Satanic entities, by which magicians sell their souls to the Great Enemy in return for temporary wealth or power here on Earth. In recent decades, these texts have re-emerged into our culture – this time viewed in a more egalitarian light. After all, there are grimoires full of angels and nature spirits who have no connection to the infernal realm. There is really nothing “Satanic” about these books. However…
While it is true most of this negative reputation is thanks to aggressive anti-occult propaganda from the Church, the grimoires themselves must bear some of the blame. While there are plenty of angelic grimoires out there, it cannot be denied there are countless examples of grimoires that really do call upon Satan, Lucifer, Leviathan, Belial, Asmodeus, Baal, Lilith and hundreds (maybe thousands) of other denizens of hell. This made it very easy for the Church to hold the texts up as proof that they are, in fact, devilish at heart.
Yet the European medieval/renaissance grimoires were primarily produced by devout Christians. The image of the de-frocked priest performing Satanic Masses behind closed doors is not only the stuff of urban legend, but nothing remotely like it appears in the grimoires. Even the spells that call exclusively upon the rulers of Hell still make prayers and appeals to the Highest God to accomplish their goals. So these people weren’t Satan worshippers or even demonolaters – but that leaves us to question: why in the world would devout Christian mystics even include Satan or anything hellish in their grimoires? And, of course, what does that mean for those of us using the same texts today?
You might find the answer surprising – but more importantly you will see how the answer is vital to the Western mysteries, and to all of us attempting to revive the Old Magick in the modern world. This lecture might just change how you think magick works!