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!
Greetings my Witchy friends!
In just a couple of weeks (October 3, 2015), my wife and I will be hosting a workshop near Tampa, FL – on the subject of building and working an Ancestor Altar (also called a Boveda). This is a one-time class, lasting about two hours (1-3pm) at Mystikal Scents. You have to register by Oct 1st! See below for more info:
Mystikal Scents Presents
Aaron & Carrie Leitch
Saturday, October 3rd
1:00 – 3:00 PM
The ancestor altar is one of the first magickal tools created by a new witch, and one of her primary methods of working with the spirit world. It was from her ancestors that she drew her power, her spiritual insight and through whom she could perform nearly any form of domestic magick – healing, protection, divination, prosperity (crops, livestock, and children), bringing money, etc., etc.
In this class, adept sorcerers Aaron and Carrie Leitch will relate the history and philosophy behind ancestor work, explain how to construct your own ancestor altar (Boveda) and teach you how to put it to use.
You will also learn all of the important protocols for working with your ancestors safely and successfully.
This will be a one day class held on Saturday, October 3rd from 1 – 3 PM. Cost is $20. Deadline to schedule is Oct 1st. Preregistration is required.
Call Mystikal Scents @ 813-986-3212 to register today!
9545 E. Fowler Ave.
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
The 4th Annual SOMA Western Mystery Conference
This years SOMA Western Mystery Conference promises to be phenomenal. SOMA is more diversified than ever; bringing in speakers from such rich and varied traditions as Voudon, AA, Martinism, Kabbalah, Feri, Wicca, Chaos, Freemasonry and of course Golden Dawn.
Seating is limited, secure your spot before its too late!
The price for this event is $100
Schedule of events are as follows:
– Friday October 16th – 10am -7PM Lectures and Lunch
– Friday October 16th 7pm-10pm – Meet and Greet, Book Signing Ware selling and Opening Group Ritual.
– Saturday October 17th – 10am-7pm – Lectures & Lunch . – 9pm Special Ritual – 11pm Special Ritual
– Sunday October 18th – 10am-3pm – More Lectures and Closing Group Ritual.
Don’t miss your opportunity to see:
Chic & Tabby Cicero
Frater Ashen Chassan
Paul Edward Rana
Scott William Carpenter
The conference will be held at the Wyndham Garden Center in south Austin, book your resevervations and ask for the SOMA discount…
If you’re local to the Tampa area, we are giving the Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes again this summer! In fact, classes begin next month!
Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes
July 5 -August 2
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: 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 July 5th 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.
Greetings fellow sorcerers!
You’ve been waiting for it… and waiting… and it’s finally here!
Nephilim Press has finally released the much-anticipated anthology:
Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick
Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick.
Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magick (inside cover art)
Spirits are not merely an option or tool to be utilized when the magician deems it necessary. Spirits are the very heart and soul of all magick. A consecrated talisman has a spirit attached to it that contributes to the talisman’s power, the incantations we use work because the spirits heard them and acted. We are not alone when cast our spells; our patrons and familiars are always present, casting the spells with us.
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 a close association 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 its aid.
The art of making proper offerings to the spirits is a complex one, rife with strict protocols and warnings, but if you take the time to learn this ancient and powerful art, it will supercharge your magick like nothing you’ve experienced before.
Strictly Limited to 900 numbered copies and filled with over 280 pages of essays and actual photos of authors’ ritual altars, Ritual Offerings unites twelve practicing occultists who share their knowledge and experience with this fascinating and important subject. Traditions from around the world such as Solomonic magick, Tibetan Buddhism, New Orleans and Hatian Voudou, Western Hermetic Theurgy and more are discussed in great detail. Regardless of your tradition, Ritual Offerings will guide you in feeding your patrons and familiars safely and effectively and contribute to our overall success and growth as a practitioner.
Altar and Offerings to Sachiel
Aaron Leitch: Introduction: Magickal Offerings in Western Occultism and 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
(* – There are currently plans to release a paperback version of this book once the hardbound numbered copies have sold out. Stay tuned!)
Offering Altar to St. Michael
Offering Altar to Archangel Samael
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.