Greetings again, fellow Angel-workers!
Mars is certainly in the air. We just passed through a prime period for Martial magick – when Mars passed through Scorpio. (Apparently it is only in the first degree of Sagittarius as I write, which is hardly out of Scorpio at all, so it is still flush with Scorpio’s energy.) Plus we are fast approaching the period when Sol will go into Scorpio – which can be a major pain (ever notice how things tend to start to suck right before Halloween?), but is also a good time for Martial magick.
And so, with all of this in mind, this is a great time to make our yearly offerings to Samael, to both thank him for the protection he offers our house, and to empower him to protect it for another year. As house gods go, Samael is unique in my home. My relationship with him is fairly new (compared to Iophiel and Michael), and I approach him with quite a bit more caution. (I strongly urge you to do the same, if you have cause to work with him at all.)
Archangel Samael – the Adversary
Samael is the Archangel of Mars – prince of the fifth heaven, lord of war and pestilence, and angel of death and destruction. He is the Sathan (Adversary) who visited wrath upon Job, slew the firstborn in Egypt, and (as the Guardian Angel of Easu) wrestled with Jacob. As the Sathan he accuses men of their wrongdoings in the Divine Court. Samael should not be confused with the modern Christian concept of Lucifer or the Devil. Samael is not the source of all evil, nor did he ever wage war upon the Throne of God.
He was, however, cast down to Earth when he refused to bow to Adam as the Image of God. (He had previously sworn to never bow to anything less than God Himself.) Once here, he took Lilith as his wife and has acted as the Divine Accuser, Enforcer and Angel of Death ever since. While he is still very much in the employ of God, he persecutes and seduces mankind when he is ordered to do so.
(Some sources equate Samael with Shemyaza, the leader of the fallen Watchers from the Book of Enoch. This is likely due to both Samael and Shemyaza being punished for disobedience, yet each retaining their positions as celestial angels. However the angels share no other characteristics, and this similarity does not prove the two angels are one and the same.)
The ancient Gnostics elevated him to the position of Demiurgos (the Creator) and interpreted his name to mean “Blind God.” They also called him Ialdabaoth and Saklas. His form was described as a lion-headed serpent. He and his angels (called archons) had created the world as a prison where they could feed upon mankind’s suffering. Later forms of Gnosticism, however, did not equate Ialdabaoth with Samael.
Samael was at one point regarded as the Patron Angel of Rome – and it is likely in this aspect that we see him (as the Dragon with Seven Heads) engaging in single combat against Michael (the Patron Angel of Israel) in the Revelation of St. John.
More recent tradition has given him the name Khamael (Camael, Camuel, etc) – the result of mistranslating a Hebrew Samekh (S) as a Kaph (Kh). In this form he is regarded primarily as the Angel of War and Divine Severity.
Offering Ritual for Archangel Samael
It is best to choose a Tuesday when Mars is well aspected in the heavens, and he should be above the horizon at the time of working. Dawn is best. The most powerful times of year to do this ritual are when Mars resides in either the sign of Aries or Scorpio. The Moon should be in increase.
On Monday evening, cover a table or altar with a red or white cloth. Place a talisman and/or image of Archangel Samael upon the altar. (If it is a talisman, place it in the center. If an image, set it toward the east facing westward.) You will need a censor and an incense of Mars:
I use three ingredients: 1 part Pipe Tobacco, 1/2 part Cinnamon, 1/8 part Crushed Red Pepper.
WARNING!: Martian incense is one of the most dangerous substances I’ve worked with! It is, quite simply, tear gas. If you make this, do not add too much red pepper. And when you burn it, do it in small quantities. Never, for any reason, lean over the censor and inhale or draw in breath! Too much pepper or direct inhalation can burn your throat and lungs.
Also prepare all elements of the offering to Mars: Five red candles, five glasses of water, a bottle of whiskey, five pieces of bread covered with honey. Five hot red peppers. Five steel nails. Red meat (cooked well done, no blood!) – this latter is being offered only because this is a once-a-year offering. Animal flesh (especially red meat) is very very powerful, and shouldn’t be used for usual day-to-day needs.
The meat should be grilled over cherry- or bay tree-wood. Otherwise grill it over natural wood or wood charcoal, and add cinnamon, tobacco and red pepper to the fire. You can also season the meat with the cinnamon and the red pepper.
On Tuesday just before sunrise, wash yourself and don a white or red robe. At sunrise, set the offering to Mars upon the table. Place four of the red candles on the four corners, and one in the center – directly upon the talisman if there is one. Set a glass of water beside each candle. Around this arrange the food offerings. You may also add any gift offerings for Samael, or items you wish for him to touch – such as steel jewelery or trinkets, talismans, stones, oils, weapons, written prayers or petitions, etc.
Light the censor and candles with their proper exorcisms, and add fresh incense to the coal. Then exorcise and consecrate the offerings with holy water and the censor.
Then move to the eastern side of the working space, facing outward. If you have a consecrated bell or trumpet, sound it and recite the following call (or one similar to it):
In whatsoever place ye may be, ye spirit(s), who are invited to this feast, [NNN] come ye and be ready to receive our offerings, presents, and sacrifices!
Move to the south and repeat – first sounding the bell or trumpet, then the call. Do this again in the west and the north.
Finally, return to standing west of the altar facing eastward, and recite the following invocations:
Prayer to Elohim Gibor
Elohim Gibor, God of Severity and Might, who ruleth the heavens with a rod of iron, who shatters the enemy. Thou Lord who keepeth the city with the watchman. You shelter us beneath your mighty wings, and punish severely those who would harm your prophets! You visited the plagues upon Egypt, drown Pharaoh’s armies in the Sea, blasted the foundations of Sodom and Gommorah, cast down the Kings of Edom and protected Daniel in the lions’ den. You cast down those who would oppose you. Your name causes the spirits to quake with terror and give obedience. Thou art Gevurah, thou art Pachad. I ask that you bless and sanctify this offering, that it may be pleasing unto You and Your Angels.
I ask, also, that you send to me the holy Archangel Samael: who walkest to and fro upon the Earth. The Adversary, Angel of War and of Death, the bringer of your Wrath. May he look with favor upon me and my household. And, to that end, may he also enjoy these offerings, and be pleased with them, and bear our prayers of thanksgiving unto Thy Celestial Throne. Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen +
Five Martial Psalms
Psalm 3 (“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.“)
Psalm 2 (“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?“)
Psalm 110 (“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.“)
Psalm 91 (“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.“)
Psalm 35 (“Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me, fight against those who fight against me.“)
Invitation to Samael
I invoke thee, Samael! Holy Archangel of the Martial sphere! I call upon thee within thy realm of Severity and Fear!
Samael, Powerful, Bloody, Sword-bearer, Bold, Untamed, Terrestrial Fire, against whom none can defend himself, thou who destroys the strong and powerful, Lord of fiery heat – and of the planet of blood!
Samael, who art the Adversary, accusing men of their wrongdoing. Fearsome warrior and divine enforcer! You who inflicted Job with sorrow, who slew the firstborn of Egypt, and wrestled with Jacob. It is you who bears the wrath of God unto the Earth! You who overthrow nations and cast kings down from their thrones!
O Samael, we have called upon you [here list the reasons you have called him in the past, if any, and the positive results that came from those workings]. For all of this we thank you!
Come thou forth and partake of these offerings, which we have prepared in thy honour and to the glory of Elohim Gibor. May you find them pleasing and empowering. I ask that you offer your blessings to my home and family, and bear our offerings and prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine Court. We petition thee for strength and protection in all of our undertakings, for defense of our home, and that the light of thy wisdom should guide and keep us at all times. In the name of Elohim Gibor. Amen.
Repeat the Invitation five times. Then, share in the feast you have offered to the Angel – taking bites of each food item, sips of the liquids including a sip (or shot) of the whiskey. Leave the offerings in place until the red candles burn completely away (and no less than five days). Place the remains in a natural place, into running water or at a crossroads.
– End –
Ritual of Samael Journal Entry
I wanted to perform this invocation a week earlier, while Mars was still firmly in Scorpio and the Moon was waxing, but it just wasn’t practical. And it is not possible to wait until the Sun goes into Scorpio either; it had to be done now (Tuesday, September 16, 2014). Perhaps next year we’ll time it better to take place when Mars is in Scorpio (or Aries might be even better) and the Moon is waxing.
I began by fasting from about 7pm on Monday evening (approximately 12 hours before dawn on Tuesday). We went out on that same evening and gathered all of the offerings for Samael (see the list above). Myself and a friend then started the grill with natural wood charcoal; adding cinnamon, tobacco and crushed red peppers to the fire. I seasoned the meat with salt, black pepper and garlic – then added more of the cinnamon and red pepper. We cooked the meat until it was entirely well done (no pink in the center), then covered it and set it aside for the next morning.
After taking a simple ritual bath, I cleaned and prepared our temple – re-consecrating it and everything in it with holy water and the recitation of King Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Holy Temple. I then erected the Samael altar. I used a new red altar cloth, placed three of my favorite classical images of Samael, his name and Heptameron sigil in the center, along with the candles, censor and dishes that would be used the next morning.
At dawn on Tuesday morning, I washed up, entered the temple and put on my white robe. I first approached my Guardian Angel’s altar (in the east) to pray for her help and guidance in the coming work. (I would never approach Samael without her at my side!) Then I laid out the food offerings on the Samael altar: the steak (freshly warmed and sizzling) cut into five pieces, five hot red peppers, bread, honey, five glasses of water and a small bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey. To these I also added seven steel nails. (Note that five nails would be standard – but since this ritual is being done to empower the seven protective talismans buried around my property, I decided to include seven nails as I had done before.)
I followed the ritual mostly as I have it written above. I opened the blinds to let the morning sunlight into the room. I lit the censor with the proper Solomonic exorcism and used it and the holy water to consecrate everything on the altar. I then made the calls in the four quarters, then returned to the altar to light the candles with their proper exorcism. Then I performed the invocations, burning even more incense. (Maybe too much, in fact, as it became hard to continue the invocations. I slightly maced myself. But it is vital to never show weakness to the spirits – especially spirits of Mars! So I completed them without stopping.)
Due to Samael’s heavy chthonic associations, I considered not sharing in his feast. However, he is an archangel (a celestial being) and I felt during the ritual that he did want me to share. So, I decided to follow his lead and partook – wanting to avoid offending him in any case. I took a bite or sip of everything offered, making sure to bite off enough of the red pepper to burn my mouth, and to take a healthy swig of the whiskey (not something I normally drink!). I lit one of the cigars and blew five puffs onto the altar, then turned it around and “shotgunned” a large amount of smoke.
Samael indicated to me that he wants the offering left on the altar for five days, and/or until the candles burn out. Then the remains are to be taken outside and left where the last offering was left – on the ground directly over where the easternmost talisman is buried. There is no need to carry the leftovers to a river.
UPDATE: The candles lasted almost exactly five days. On Sunday we gathered the remains and took them out to our eastern property line. We prayed thanks to Samael and his Seraphim for protecting the boundaries, then arranged the items on the ground directly over the eastern talisman. The water and alcohol was poured out as a libation and the food items were arranged in a pentagram pattern on top of that. One of the cigars was re-lit and smoke was blown onto the offerings. Then the remaining cigars were also left in a pentagram pattern.
I was given special instructions for the seven nails. Taking a hammer, I was to drive each nail into the ground over one of the existing buried talismans, while reciting the phrase inscribed on the talisman: “The ungodly have pleasure from doing harm, but the seed of the righteous shall bear fruit.” I’m sure I didn’t get every nail exactly over its talisman, but they are close and are arranged in the same heptagonal pattern around the property line.
Samael’s Offerings After 5 Days
Interestingly, while standing up from driving in one nail, I slipped (just briefly!) and managed to bash my own lip with the handle of the hammer. It swelled up and bled, and seriously pissed me off. <SIGH> Martial spirits…
For those of you who would like to know what food items look like after they are left sitting on an altar, in the open air next to the heat of candles, in Florida, for five days – here is a pic taken the night we took the offerings outside. You’ll note that, as usual, the food looks pristine enough to eat. No rot, no bugs, no mold. The bread had hardened, and that was all. ;)
Without a doubt, the single most popular post on this blog has been my instructions for performing a Limpia (aka, “Egg Cleansing”). Not only does that post have the most views, but keywords like “egg cleansing” and “limpia” are the most-used search terms that lead people to my blog.
The post also has the most comments. Most of them are from folks who have performed the cleansing upon themselves, and want me to interpret the results. At first I was happy to olidge. However, I soon became overrun with requests for readings, and had to stem the flow by requiring a small fee for the service. (It’s only $50, but it has stopped most of the unsolicited requests.)
The rest of the comments on that post come from those who have paid others to do a Limpia upon them, only to find some kind of horrific object inside the egg. They are told this indicates a curse has been placed upon them, and that it can be removed – at an exorbitant cost to the client.
The ones who post in my comments are the lucky ones. They bring the results of the reading to me because they have begun to suspect they are being defrauded. Thy want to know if, for instance, iron shavings can really turn up inside a chicken egg. (No, they cannot.) These people come to me after losing only a few, or a few hundred, dollars. But this seems to go on a lot out in the world – and some folks will hand over thousands of dollars to such a charlatan before they wake up (or merely run our of money) with nothing at all to show for thier sacrifice.
Folks, if you ever pay someone to do a Limpia on you, and they find some kind of foreign obejct inside the shell, it is a scam. The worst you should ever find in there is some blood spots, maybe some black material if the egg has begun to rot, or even an embrionic chicken. There can bubbles, discoloration, streaks of white, or a bad smell. All of these things can be found quite naturally in the egg – and THAT is what you are trying to read.
But anything else: iron shavings, dirt, hair, stones, other animals, bones, glass, copious amounts of blood or black liquid, feathers, etc, etc, etc, – all of these things are stage-tricks meant to convince you to cough up cash.
Charalatns that work this way can either use sleight-of-hand to make it appear the object came from the egg, or they simply poked a small hole in the egg-shell, inserted the object, and sealed the shell with white wax. (These are old tricks – and I know them because I was once a close-up stage magician.)
If you see anything like that, the person doing it is a fraud. Simply walk away and don’t look back.
Greetings Ye Seekers of Gold!
So my last couple of blog posts have been about magicians facing (and dealing with) various hardships that life on Earth naturally brings about. And one of the primary examples was poverty – especially since many occultists prefer to remain relatively poor (as compared to, say, a corporate/criminal CEO), and because so many who just “don’t get it” view poverty as some kind of proof that magick isn’t worth the wood the wands are made from.
So, perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me that the discussion has turned specifically toward money magick. Don Kraig talked about it a bit on his blog, Morgan Eckstein referred to it as well. (See my previous post for links.) Even Nick Farrell has weighed in – so don’t miss out on his insightful post.
Meanwhile, it was the recent contribution on Alex Sumner’s blog that has inspired me to make this post on the subject. In Alex’s post, he relates an anecdote I have come to call the Tale of the Lottery Enthusiast – wherein he makes some vitally important points on the subject of money magick and how it really works. I find it to be more than worth repeating here in full:
It so happened that I was having a good-natured discussion with fellow members of the Illuminati in a pub about whether it was possible to use our combined magickal skills to collectively win the Lottery. Or more to the point, the other people at the table were having a discussion, whilst I was trying to eat my dinner.
The discussion was getting quite heated between one person who insisted that we try it, and just about all the rest who were saying “No, it’s not possible,” etc. I finally finished off my food. “I have made a study of people who have cast successful money spells,” I said.
The Lottery-enthusiast was arguing so enthusiastically that it was several seconds before someone realised that I had said something interesting. “Go on, Alex! What is the result of your study?” they said.
“Well,” I said, as everyone became silent, “I’ve collected examples of people who have successfully used magic to make money. They include:
- Professional people, getting an idea how to find themselves a new job;
- Having been invited to interview, using magick to boost their confidence and help them say and do the right thing at the interview;
- Businessmen seeking inspiration for how to bring new customers to their business;
- Inventors, ‘dreaming up’ a new invention;
- Songwriters coming up with the idea for a new hit song;
- Novelists coming up with the plot for a new story.
“In short: none of these people invoked Money itself, they invoked a Money-making opportunity. The point being that when the said Money-making opportunity appeared seemingly miraculously in their lives, they converted it into actual money in a conventional manner, to wit: hard work. This, incidentally, is why there are so many ‘arty’ people in the Occult or people with artistic flair – painters, writers, musicians, self-employed professionals, and so forth – because magick is all about drawing upon ones inner creativity.
“The one thing I have never heard of is people using magick to win the lottery. Therefore, if we were to use our magick skills to think up a money-making scheme, I’m certain that we would actually succeed! Whether we would be able to put the scheme into practice, however, would be another matter entirely. So my best advice would be to concentrate on the opportunity first, and forget the Lottery altogether.”
“But playing the Lottery is a money-making opportunity!” the gambling addict cried. At this point the argument erupted again. I immediately got the impression that no further good would come from trying to press my point, so I just let them get on with it.
Damn good points! And I couldn’t help but offer the following reply:
Alex, I think anyone who ever wishes to use magick to make money should read your tale of the lottery enthusiast. It hits the nail directly between the eyes. :) Magick can certainly be used to bring in money – either by bringing about a money making opportunity (Jupiter and/or Mercury) or even by bringing in a one-time windfall of some kind (Sol). But, either way, once it arrives it is then up to the magician to know what to DO with it.
Especially in the case of a windfall, if you don’t know how to work to make that money grow, then it will simply drain away – and fast. Anyone in the world who has money will tell you the same. You have to work for your money – not just to GET it, but also to KEEP it. If you want to be rich, then managing your money will become a full time job in its own right.
This is why so many occultists who have done money magick will tell you that you usually get just what you need and then it goes away again. It is because most of us don’t desire to do “money” as a full time job. Instead, we tend to ask for what we need and then go on with our lives until the next need arises.
Yet, there are times when magick is used to get a better-paying job. Or to attain money to invest in a new business, etc. In those cases, yeah, you get money that sticks around as long as you keep doing the work to make it stay.
But to my knowledge, no one has ever achieved the creation of the magick purse that has fresh gold coins in it every day. ;)
Greetings Seekers of Magick!
As I have said in previous posts, the first rule of writing is that if someone can take something you’ve written the wrong way, they will. And the second rule is that someone will always take what you’ve written the wrong way. ;) And, of course, that has happened in the case of my most recent blog post about magick and life’s hardships.
This time, it was no one less than Donald Michael Kraig himself! Now, before I go on, let me stress that I consider Don to be a friend. That is, in real life and not just someone with whom I’ve had an exchange or two over the internet. So please, dear reader, take everything you are about to read in the spirit of one brother confronting the other.
That being said, I’m afraid Don really missed the boat on my last blog. If you want to update your score card, you can go read his post before going on with this one. But I’ll also sum up the issue briefly here:
My previous blog was intended to address a specifically Western (and I dare say capitalist) misconception of magick and magicians. That is, if magick really worked (or if a particular wizard were really any good at it), then certainly one should be rich, never sick, never harmed, never psychologically off-balance, etc, etc. He should, in effect, be immune to all the down sides of life here on Earth, able to deflect all hardships with a simple wave of his wand and a hearty wingardium leviosa!
The point of my post was to say that this isn’t how reality works. Magick doesn’t stop bad things from happening. Cast all the spells you want, and I promise you hardships are going to come your way. In fact, I would go so far as to say, as one who walks the magickal path, you’re probably going to have more than your fair share of shit to deal with.
Sadly, Don seems to have taken that a step further and into a direction I never intended. He rebuts as follows:
I have to respectfully disagree with the implication here. It may not be the intent, but the idea I get from this is that [Aaron] is saying if things are bad, tough. Just deal with it. Don’t do magick to improve your situation. Instead, do magick to mentally and emotionally deal with hardship. To me that sounds like a sort of religious approach: “We can’t help you, but if you pray to our God[s] He [they] will give you courage.”
No, no, no and emphatically no! My post merely addressed the fact that bad things are just plain going to happen in life – and that this fact neither proves that magick is false nor that any given magician is a fraud. Never did I say, or even imply, that one should not use magick when those hardships arise!
Quite the contrary – I stated that “magick exists because bad things happen.” And that “when bad shit happens, you inovke the magick to get through it.” Magick is a toolkit that mankind has developed over thousands of years, intended to help us through the hard times. Magick can allow you to live where you might have died. It can allow you to eat where you might have starved. It can even allow you to achieve things in life where you might have otherwise failed or faded away into obscurity.
My stance is exactly the opposite of what Don has suggested. Here is the response I made on his blog:
I think you misunderstood my post entirely. I was not at all suggesting that magick should be only for the spiritual, and that one should just allow bad life situations to continue. In fact, if you look at the rest of my blog, it is chock-full of uncrossings, exorcisms, cleansings, defense spells and angelic invocations all geared toward dealing with real-world practical problems.
My post was addressing a specifically Western concept that, if one were truly a powerful magician, then one should be rich, never be sick, have a perfectly balanced psychology, etc. In effect, the concept is that a true wizard should glide through the world like Dumbledore or Neo, having hacked reality and therefore risen entirely above the hardships that life can bring.
Yet in the real world, magicians are as prone to hardship as anyone else. For example, I’m a wizard – but I still got into a nasty car accident a couple of years ago. There was no “invisible wall of force” around me to repel the oncoming car so that my car remained untouched. The car was totaled, and all the legal and financial hassles and hardships that followed were the same for me as they would have been for anyone else.
*However*, I firmly believe that my practice of magick is what allowed me to walk away from that car accident relatively untouched. There is just no logical reason at all for me to have lived through it. I believe without a doubt that my Guardians intervened in that situation, and tweaked reality just enough so the oncoming car hit mine just *in front* of where I was sitting, instead of t-boning directly into me. In fact, I have reason to believe that either some kind of time-travel took place, or that I was yanked out of one reality (where I died) and into a nearby reality (where I walked away).
Magick saved my life that day in a *very* real sense. It didn’t “magickally” make the bad thing “not happen.” But, where it *really* counted, it kicked in and saw to it that I made it through in one piece. And it’s not the first or last time that has happened either.
To say that I believe practical magick just shouldn’t be done is frankly ridiculous. Yet, I feel it is equally ridiculous to suggest that magick should make one 100% impervious to any and all hardships in life. It just doesn’t work that way.
Of course you should use magick to improve your situation! That’s what it is for. Whether it is to rectify your soul and allow you to better serve humanity (see Peregrin Wildoak’s blog on this discussion), or to just keep the proverbial wolves away from your front door (see Morgan Eckstein’s blog), or to advance your social station in life or any combination of these things – magick should indeed be used to improve your life.
I’m a big advocate of down-to-earth practical nuts-and-bolts magick (aka witchcraft) that makes things happen! Even my pursuit of the high magickal arts intended to elevate my soul closer to God is undertaken to obtain the spiritual authority necessary to direct the forces of nature right here in the material realm. (That, and to give me a choice over where I go after I pass on – but that’s a concern for later. Much later, I hope! lol)
On the other hand, one cannot point to a wizard (or even an entire culture) and say “well they aren’t rich” or “things aren’t so great in their lives” and assume that means their magick is worthless. Magick proliferates in situations where people need it to survive. And the existence of poverty or other hardships in the lives of those who use or rely upon magick is no proof the magick isn’t working. The fact that they are still alive, still eating and still making it year after year might just be evidence that their magick is working pretty damn well.
Greetings Faithful Readers!
A subject has recently come up on the Solomonic Yahoo Group that I’ve been wanting to address for some time. All too often, I see folks (specifically Western folks) point out issues of poverty, sickness or other hardships faced by either individual magicians or cultures where magick is prevalent, and suggest that it is proof their magick doesn’t work. How many times have you heard that some magician “died penniless” as proof that they weren’t much of a magician after all?
Here is a quote from the original post on Solomonic, and my response to it:
Re: So everybody is a Sorcerer. What then?
— In email@example.com, Julian <belfire1@…> wrote:
> However, there might be some who look at social conditions in places
> like Brazil and Mexico and Cuba, and wonder in what way their magical
> culture has made then happier, healthier, safer, more prosperous, and
> more free—such that we might benefit from emulating them.
As I see it, this is one of the fundamental misunderstandings about magick in the Western world. Magick does not exist to *stop* bad things from happening, magick exists *because* bad things happen.
I think we’ve been conditioned by our fiction and Hollywood fantasy to see magick as a “cure all.” If a person is truly a powerful wizard or sorcerer, then surely their lives will reflect it in that they will never want for food or money, never be sick, never have bad things happen to them, etc. Why, because a *true* wizard should be able to wave his wand at any problem and make it vanish in a puff of smoke and a flash of light. If he doesn’t live up to the Harry Potter standard, then surely he’s a fraud…
Then we look at the real world and see just what you’ve described above. We see that magick is more widespread in cultures that don’t have it so good. We see that magicians don’t come from lives of happiness and comfort. And so we think: then what good is the magick?
But magick doesn’t make you immune to hardship. It doesn’t make your problems vanish. It exists to be invoked in times of hardship, to make the hardship something we can overcome. It is, in this way, synonymous with medicine. Medicine doesn’t stop all disease or suffering from happening. And when you do get sick and miserable, you don’t expect to be completely cured the moment you walk out of the doctor’s office. You take the medicine he prescribes to you, hoping that it will eleviate soem of the suffering and possibly aid you in returning to a state of health.
And so it is with magick. When bad shit happens, you inovke the magick to get through it. And that is why we see more widespread magick use in cultures that don’t have it so great. If they were all fat and happy, then why would they seek magick in the first place?
Believe me, it took me many years to come to grips with what I say above. I spent plenty of time angry at my Guardian Angel, Patron Gods, familiars and spiritual helpers for “letting bad things happen to me.” Until they finally drove it into my head that they weren’t there to make me some kind of superhuman, impervious to any hardship. They were there to make sure I made it through the bad things.
There is a great illustration of this in that old Nick Cage movie “City of Angels.” In the opening scene, we meet Nick and his buddy in a convenience store in a bad part of town. At first, it doesn’t make a lot of sense why these two angels would be hanging out in some random gas-n-go. But then a man comes in and pulls a gun on the store owner.
Do our heroic angels spring into action to subdue the evildoer? Nope. Instead each angel stands behind one of the humans involved and places a hand on his shoulder. This calms the humans slightly, and the robbery goes down without anyone getting killed. The angels didn’t seem to consider the morality of the robbery of much concern. They just influenced the situation enough to get the humans through it in one piece.
And if you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you might know why I find something a bit personal in that scene. ;) And though that case is a bit on the extreme side, I have found much the same to be true of my entire magickal career. Whatever I learn about magick, it doesn’t remove me from this physical realm full of hardship and danger. It sure as hell doesn’t make me rich. And, to be frank, I’ve found that my guardians are much more likely to shove me into the pitfalls of life than to steer me around them. (Angels don’t let wimps hang around with them.)
But I am still here, and I’m in a position in life that is a damn sight better than it would have been without magick. In complete honesty, I really don’t have to worry much about a place to live, or lack of money or a thousand other things that could afflict me. Yet I got here by paying serious dues along the way.
All Magic comes with a price, Dearie!
As it is said in the Golden Dawn’s 5=6 initiation ceremony: Hate not suffering, it was but the purification of the Gold.
Greetings Seekers of Magick!
I decided to check in on Brother Moloch’s Evocational Magics forum tonight, and I came across an interesting post that asked a very good question: Why Evocation? I think you folks might be interested in my response, so I’m posting it here as well. :)
First, here are the relevant parts of the original post:
I’ve never actually seen the need to evoke anything though. Simpler methods (sigils, natural magic, improvisations using familiar tools/symbols, etc) have always sufficed to solve the problems I’ve faced. I’m now looking at workings that will probably involve entities…
So, I guess I’m asking whether you’re working with these entities because:
– You’re called to do so
– It’s part of your basic toolkit, like rootwork might be in someone else’s toolkit
– There are some things that require spiritwork, like RO talking about how his sphere resonates with the sphere of the entities he evokes, which leads to personal change and growth.
So why do you evoke? Or, perhaps a more interesting question: why should someone like me, who’s never performed an evocation, seriously consider it?
And here is my response:
Historically, “magick” was all about working with spiritual entities. (You had Astrology, Alchemy and Magick respectively.) Even simple spells, incantations, rootwork, etc all involed the participation of one’s familiars or patron gods/spirits, etc. Going all the way back to tribal shamanism, the initiation into magick was focused upon introducing you to your familiars and patrons – then it was the spiritual entities who taught you the real magick. All the spells and incantations you use today (or even the art of using them) were delivered originally to shamans by the spirits.
The idea that magick can work without the direct involvemnt of spirits is a modern one, and in my personal opinion it is a step down. ;)
The art of spirit work is the art of knowing how to interact with spiritual entities and get them to work wirh/for you. How to contact them, how to make proper offerings to them, how to secure their cooperation. Even the Keys of Solomon are focused primarily on teching one how to contact the spirits, then the real magick is left up to you and them.
Also don’t make the all-too-common mistake of thinking evocational magick is just “another option” of magickal practice. What I mean is that students often think that one can use spells, talismans, incantations, etc OR evoke spirits. And, in that vein, the way one works magick with spirits is to simply call them up and request what you want. That’s not how it works.
Instead, one evokes a spirit to ask HOW to get what you need. In response, the entity may give you instructions for a talisman, a ritual, rootwork, an offering, an incantation etc, etc. Then you perform the given spell (or whatever you were instructed to do) with the assistance of the entity to achieve your results.
Why evocation? Because it is how magick really works. ;)
Greetings Faithful Followers!
The time is drawing near for the Florida Pagan Gathering Samhain Festival! And I have once again been offered the honor of attending as a “headliner.” That means I’ll be hosting three lectures/workshops over the course of the festival – in between sessions of drumming and generally cavorting like a heathen. :)
My last experience at the FPG turned out to be a deeply moving spiritual experience that took me back to my Neopagan roots – besides being one helluva lot of fun. My fellow headliners were some of the top names in their various fields and practices, and I made more than one new lifelong friend while I was there. I expect this trip to be no different.
So I am inviting each and every one of you to come and join me for this awesome event! You can attend my workshops, ask me questions and then we can hang out in the various campsites and around the bonfire late into the night. I dare say we will not be disappointed by the experience!
Here is the info on the Festival:
Samhain 2012 – Out of the Darkness
Oct 31- Nov 4, Camp Ocala, Altoona, Florida
Welcome to the Forest! Set up camp, commune with nature, relax, visit the vendors, attend workshops, and evening events.
This is a full-fledged festival – with an entry fee – so make sure you contact them to register today! Then get your camping gear together and enjoy a few days out in nature away from the modern world. Or, just come by for a day of lectures, food, shopping and fun!
Here is the info on the workshops I will be hosting. Right now I don’t know exactly when these workshops will take place, but I’ll update this post as soon as I find out:
Working with Spirits and Ancestors
Working with lesser spirits (jinn, demons, familiars, etc) and the spirits of our ancestors are two of the most ancient forms of witchcraft. (Properly called “goetia” – but not to be confused with the medieval grimoire of the same name!) However, the practice fell into disrepute after the rise of the urban “city-state” in the Classical era – and was outlawed entirely after the rise of mainstream Christianity. This resulted in a cultural break in our mystical Western heritage that has remained with us to this very day. Even in Wicca and other Neopagan traditions, spirit-work is often frowned upon, and ancestors are merely recognized at specific times of the year.
However, that doesn’t mean the practice was lost to history! Folk magickal traditions around the world have preserved these mysteries, and an ever-growing number of today’s Pagans and occultists are reviving these ancient and often misunderstood practices in our modern systems.
This workshop will focus upon *what* spirit- and ancestor-work really is, and *how* to go about doing it yourself to empower your spells and your spiritual path. We will cover the benefits and the dangers, how to erect altars, build spirit pots, invoke the spirits, make offerings and more.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
One of the foundational practices of the most ancient forms of magick was the Ritual Offering. While this included the sacrifice of animals (and in some cases humans!) that certainly isn’t the whole story. Offerings were made in many fashions – from food to toys to tools and weapons, to incense and fire and much more. Such offerings were made to feed and empower the spirits and, in many cases, to provide the spirits with necessary tools to accomplish the magickal goals of the shamans who provided them.
Sadly, the art of the Ritual Offering was all but lost in the West after the rise of Judeo-Christiainity. Sacrifice and offerings were declared a form of devil-worship, and misrepresented as a method of “appeasing” angry and vengeful spirits who would otherwise harm the humans who invoked them. Even today’s modern occultists often hold to this erroneous idea.
This workshop will bust the myths about Ritual Offering, and explain its true meaning of magickal empowerment. We will cover how to properly make offerings to various classes of spirits and gods, along with the “do-nots” and “why?” behind the practice.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
Making and Enlivening Talismans
Quite often, when a modern occultist says the word “talisman”, he or she is talking about a piece of paper with symbols drawn upon it. But the art of Talismanic Magick is much broader than that! And the power of a talisman goes far beyond the inscription of the right names, properly colored inks and the recitation of the right prayers.
In the Old Magick, talismans were living beings in their own right. They were physical houses for spiritual entities who actively participated in the rituals with the magician. And they weren’t just jewelery or inscribed disks or scrolls – they were also the magickal tools, the robes and regalia, the furnishings of the temple and more. A true magician’s sacred working space is a thriving environment of spirits, angels and even gods who each play a vital role in the magick worked therein.
Likewise, magickal tools and furnishings are not merely “props” or objects we find convenient to use. Each and every physical object utilized by the magician is a living symbol of something greater – either a reflection of something in the outer universe that the magician wishes to “draw down” into his or her temple, or an embodiment of something deeply personal and powerful to the magician – or both.
In this workshop, we will discuss these aspects of talismanic magick. Plus, we will cover how to find and/or create your own talismans and “bring them to life” to work for you.
This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
I hope to see you there!