Daimonophagia: Consuming Hostile Spirits

By Frater S.C.F.V.

demon2.jpg

Warning: The following methodology and ritual poem are not for the faint of heart.

Preface – Introduction to Daimonophagia 

This poem, which some of my readers might find delightfully reminiscent of black or death metal lyrics, spontaneously emerged during an internal battle with a lesser Goetic Spirit that was attempting to seize control of the human biopsychoocial organism, a jargonistic way of saying ‘initiate or perpetuate possession.’

It was spoken directly to the Spirit while the actions described in the text were seen in intensely vivid visions and astrally performed on the Spirit.  In essence, it was an extemporaneous ritual designed to turn the tables on the Spirit by dominating and possessing it rather than allowing the Magician to be dominated and directed by it.  In the process, I spontaneously developed a magical methodology that I have never before seen described by any other occult author, which I call daimonophagia or daimonophagy.  I define this magical procedure as follows:

 


Daimonophagia or daimonophagy (n). – The process of ritually dismembering, consuming, and integrating the astral form of a spirit into the Magician’s own astral body and Sphere of Sensation.

Etymology: From daimon + phagos (literally spirit – eating).


For instance, scrying in the Spirit Vision or astrally gazing at the spirit, one tears the eyes of the Spirit’s astral form out of its head and grafts them over one’s own eyes and then proceeds to look through them. Or, one tears the entity’s muscles from its astral bones and grafts them onto one’s own muscles, making its strength one’s own. Or, one rips its teeth from its mouth and grafts them onto one’s own teeth, absorbing its threatening and consumatory power. Daimonophagia is, in essence, a ritual inversion of the process of shamanic initiation–also performed alchemically in the Neophyte Grade Ritual of the Golden  Dawn–by which the shaman’s astral form is ritually dismembered by one or several Spirits. Here, however, it is the Spirit that is disassembled, but instead of being put back together, its power is integrated into the astral body of the Magician.

Again, I will realize that this process may sound comically E.A. Koetting-ish to many of my occult brothers and sisters, and that is completely understandable.  If someone else had told me about this method, I likely would have cynically laughed at and dismissed it in much the same manner. However, in the experiencing of it, it felt like a very ancient technique that was recovered or rediscovered rather than a contemporary innovation. And it also seemed like a useful tool of magical self-defense to add to the repertoire of people who are seers, empathic, or highly prone to dissociation or hypnotizability. Naturally, one would not perform this operation on just any spirit, but rather only on lesser spirits that are attempting possession on you, by which they cross the line of respect and reciprocal good-will.  Another alternative would be capturing the Spirit, binding it to the Magician’s will and putting it to work; this is a classical grimoiric approach to which daimonoaphagy adds an additional option.

As a final caveat, I suspend judgment as to the metaphysical validity of this methodology. It may turn out to be purely symbolic and metaphorical. However, even working within the spirit model of magic, it remains impressive and even astrally terrifying to hostile Spirits, even in possibility, and for that reason, I consider it to have at least provisional practical validity.

Without further ado, here are the words which were spoken to the Spirit while it was ritually dismembered and absorbed into the astral body of the Magician.  Each action described was astrally performed upon the Spirit and the effects were immediately felt and palpable.

demon2.jpg


Daimonophagia – A Poem

Listen now, vile Spirit,
And bow down in submission:
You do not possess me,
I possess you.

I lash you to my Will,
And bind you to the core,
I drain you of your power 
And reclaim it as my own.

I tear your eyes away
And graft them to my own.
I gaze right through your lenses,
And now see what you see.

I wrench your gnashing teeth
From your shrieking, hateful mouth
And gnash at you with them,
As your weapons become mine.

I crack open your ribcage
And craft daggers from your ribs,
The bones that once protected you
Now form a shield for me.

From deep within, I tear your heart
And consume it with your teeth,
Now your life force blends with mine
As your vitality is drained.

I rip your muscles from your bones
And graft them to my own,
Shaking with your strength,
I roar as you once did.

Behold, I am the Dragon
That bows you into fear,
Now I breathe the smokeless fire
From which you once were formed.

You do not haunt me,
I haunt you.
You do not terrify me,
I terrify you.
You do not use me,
I use you.
Your plots all turn to nothing,
As you swiftly cease to be.

I absorb your audacity,
I make your all my own,
I reduce you to nothing,
I erase your form and home,

I cast your sigil into Void,
And destroy your will to claim,
I consume you utterly,
As the whole world forgets your name.

For I am the Alpha and Omega
And you are the lowly dust
That lay lifeless and empty
Underneath the burning bush,

You are reduced to nothing,
As if you never were at all,
Bow down and surrender,
For daimonophagia calls.

Advertisements
Published in: on June 23, 2018 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Bells and Trumpets of Solomon: Resounding Instruments of the Solomonic Grimoires

bell

By Adam J. Pearson

Introduction: Ancient Origins of Horns, Trumpets, and Bells

The roots of ceremonial bells, horns, and trumpets stretch far into the distant reaches of prehistory.  According to Hyunjong (2009, p.27), the world’s oldest known musical instrument is a bone flute that was found at a Neanderthal habitation site in Slovenia.  This early flute was fashioned between 82,000 and 43,000 years ago from the bone of a cave bear (Hyunjong, 2009).  Like the bone flute, the first blowing horns and ‘trumpets’ were also crafted from parts of hunted animals, such as animal  horns (Warner et al., 2013).  Paralleling the horn and trumpet traditions, the earliest archaeological evidence of bells uncovered thus far dates to the 3rd millennium B.C.E. in the Yangshao culture of Neolithic China; these most ancient of all human bells were fashioned from clay pottery before bronze bells emerged with the advances of the Bronze Age (Reinhart, 2015).

Although contemporary bells and trumpets may seem vastly different from one another in both sound and structure, their earliest forms were strikingly similar.  Not only were they both musical instruments of staggering antiquity, but they were shared structural similarities; both bells and trumpets featured flared-out bottoms that amplified sounds produced either by striking, in the case of bells, or blowing vibrations, for trumpets,  through their resonant cavities.  Scholars of archaeoacoustics and music archaeology have identified independent traditions surrounding the crafting and uses of bells and trumpets in cultures on nearly every continent (Reinhart, 2015).  From the Bronze Age onward, however, these traditions largely developed in parallel, although sometimes intercepting and inter-influencing streams, whose unfoldings were shaped by the cultural contexts of the early artisans who drove their development (Montagu, 2014).

This article explores a fascinating case of dovetailing bell and trumpet traditions in the ritual history of musical instruments, namely, the interwoven traditions of Bells and Trumpets of Art within Western ceremonial magic.  The article’s first foray into the realm of sonorous Solomonic tools begins by describing the materials, crafting procedures, ritual uses, and potential mythic origins of the Trumpet of Art that is employed in the Key of Solomon grimoire (Latin: Clavicula Salomonis).  It then juxtaposes the Claviculan Trumpet of Art with the Bell of Art from the Key of Solomon‘s central source text, the Byzantine Greek Hygromanteia (Greek: Ὑγρομαντεία).  In the process, I will attempt to demonstrate that although the Trumpet of Art is able to perform the functions previously served by the evocatory Bell of the Greek Hygromanteia, it also reflects the influence of a distinct and separate tradition that traces its roots back to the Ancient Hebrew trumpet or ḥaṣoṣrah (חצוצרה‎) and blowing horn or shofar (שופר‎) used in the Hebrew Tanach.

Thereafter, the article broadens its focus to examine the resonant connections between the Bell or Trumpet of Art and some of the reflections on ritual bells and trumpets that are contained in the writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, John Dee, the pseudo-“Dee” of the Tuba Veneris, and Girardius, the mysterious author of the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730.  Finally, I close with a brief discussion of the use and fashioning of my own personal Solomonic Bell of Art, which integrates the Hygromanteian Bell with the characters and Names of the Trumpet of Art and consecration methods from the Key.

sho

A Yemenite Jew blows a Hebrew blowing horn or shofar (שופר‎) near the Old City Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photography by David Silverman.

Convoking the Spirits with Sonorous Blasts: The Key of Solomon’s Trumpet of Art

To begin, the connection between trumpets and the original King Solomon mythos that would exert a striking difference on the much later Key of Solomon grimoire has foundations in the Hebrew Tanach that are as strong as those of the Temple of Solomon itself.  Indeed, verses 31 to 35 in 1 Kings 1 describe how David required a trumpet to be sounded to announce the successorship and ritual crowning of his son, the great Solomon himself.  As the text explains,

32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah” (NIV, 1 Kings 1:31-35)

Thus, the blast of a trumpet was linked, from its earliest days, to the rich mythos that developed around King Solomon from its earliest Tanachic roots and the reverberations of this original trumpet blast would much later be felt throughout text of the Clavicula Salomonis or Key of Solomon the King.  In Chapter VII of the second Book of the Clavicula Salomonis, the Master of the Art is instructed to construct a “Trumpet of Art,” with which to “convoke” spirits to the ceremonial Circle in which the Master stands, and prepare them “to obey” the Operator’s commands (Peterson, 2004).

Fascinatingly, as Joseph H. Peterson (2004) explains, the Key‘s Trumpet was to be fashioned from “new wood.”  The choice of wood as a material for the body of the Trumpet is itself interesting since it deviates from the preferred materials for similar instruments in the period.  Unlike the Key‘s wooden Trumpet, the majority of blowing horns and trumpets from Antiquity through the Medieval and Renaissance periods were fashioned from animal horns (e.g. Ram or Ox), shells (such as conch as in the Maltan bronja), or metals (e.g. the bronze Roman cornu or buccina or the Scandinavian lurer) (Warner et al., 2013).

In addition, the use of “new” seems to suggest that the wood from which the Trumpet is made should be drawn from a “virgin” branch that never bore fruit, berries, or nuts, that is, wood under a single year’s growth, as in the case of the Key‘s instructions for the Wand of Art in Book II, Chapter 8 (Peterson, 2004).  Unlike in the case of the Wand, no instructions are given for astrologically timing the cutting of the wood for the Trumpet. In all likelihood, however, assuming a parallel ritual rationale to that of the Wand, the wood for the Trumpet would likely be “cut from the tree at a single stroke, on the day of Mercury, at sunrise,” with the characters and Names written during the Hour of Mercury, following the method for the construction of the Solomonic Wand (Peterson, 2004).

On one side of the Trumpet, the Key instructs the ceremonial Operator to use the consecrated “Pen and Ink of the Art” to write “these Names of God, ELOHIM GIBOR” (אלהים גבור) and “ELOHIM TZABAOTH” (אלהים צבאות) (Peterson, 2004). On the other side, specific “Characters” are to be inscribed, which Joseph H. Peterson (2004) presents as follows based on folio 120r of the Additional 10862 manuscript:

char

Happily for contemporary Solomonic practitioners, the Divine Names that the Key requires to be inscribed on the Trumpet are fairly consistent across manuscripts.  As Peterson (2004) notes, Aubrey 24 calls for the Latin “Deus Exercituum” (God of Armies), which approximates the Hebrew “Elohim Tzabaoth” (אלהים צבאות), while the French manuscript Lansdown 1202 requires “ces noms de Dieu Elohim Gibor, Dieu des Armées,” and the Italian Kings 288 manuscript has the Magician write “Elohyn Gibor.”  Interestingly, while most of the manuscripts only designate between a few lines to the construction, use, and significance of the Trumpet, Aubrey 24 devotes an entire chapter to the subject.

In addition, the practical instructions for the ceremonial use of the the Trumpet of Art are clearly delineated in the text.  In Book II, Chapter VII, the Key of Solomon explains that:

“Having entered into the circle to perform the experiment, he should sound his trumpet towards the four quarters of the Universe, first towards the East, then towards the South, then towards the West, and lastly towards the North. Then let him say:—

“Hear ye, O spirit N, I command you. Hear ye, and be ye ready, in whatever part of the Universe ye may be, to obey the voice of God, the Mighty One, and the names of the Creator. We let you know by this signal and sound that ye will be convoked hither, wherefore hold ye yourselves in readiness to obey our commands.”

This being done let the master complete his work, renew the circle, and make the incensements and fumigations” (Peterson, 2004, Bk. II, Chap. 7).

Thus, the purpose of the Key of Solomon‘s Trumpet of Art is at once to prepare the spirits to be convoked and commanded and to ceremonially position the Master of Art within the Solomonic Circle in the center of the four cardinal directions.  This directional centering of the Magician at the symbolic hub of the universe is not only demarcated by the structure of the Circle itself, which is aligned to the four cardinal directions, but also  ritually reinforced by sequentially sounding the Trumpet of Art towards each of these same directions.  In this process, the Operator begins in the East in the direction of the rise of light from the dawning Sun and proceeds clockwise–or, prior to the invention of clocks, deisial (Gaelic) or dexter (Latin) both meaning “towards the right” or “South” from the East–through the other directions from South to West to North.

As researchers and practitioners of the Key of Solomon such as Aaron Leitch (2009) have long noted, many of the Key of Solomon‘s grimoiric methods are modeled after the instructions given to Moses and Aaron in the Tanachic Books of Leviticus, Exodus, and Numbers as well as the Psalms or Tehillim.  For instance, the use of hyssop in the ritual bath in the Key of Solomon has its roots in the Biblical symbolism of hyssop as a purifying and consecrating herb within Hebrews 9:19, Leviticus 14:4-7, and most significantly, Numbers 19:6, where it is used to prepare the “water of purification” itself.

Similarly, the modus operandi of the Key‘s Solomonic Trumpet of Art can also be traced to a very specific passage in the Hebrew Tanach, namely, Numbers 10:1-7.  In these verses, God tells Moses to “make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out” (NIV, Numbers 10:1).  These trumpets or ḥaṣoṣrah (חצוצרה‎)–which are not to be confused with shofar (שופר‎), another word used in the Tanach, which means ‘horn’ and refers to a distinct instrument–are to be sounded to call and assemble the Hebrew Tribes camped in each of the four cardinal directions of the Israelites’ camp.  As the text explains,

“5 When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the East are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the South are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out” (Numbers 10:5-7)

Thus, when blowing the Trumpet of Art, the Key of Solomon‘s Operator follows in the footsteps of Moses, by calling to the spirits to attend to his commands in each of the directions proceeding clockwise/deisial/dexter from East to South as Moses did with his silver trumpet.  Similarly, just as Moses was told to use his trumpet to “gather the assembly” or convoke the Hebrew Tribes or prepare them to “set out,” so does the Solomonic Magician use the Trumpet of Art to prepare the spirits to “set out” and then convoke or assemble around the Circle. Thus, the Trumpet of Art has ancient Tanachic roots that long precede the much later date of the composition of the Key of Solomon.

Moreover, the Clavis Salomonis’ Trumpet is contextually grounded in a much broader series of Biblical traditions beyond those already mentioned.  Aside from the aforementioned uses of the ḥaṣoṣrah (חצוצרה‎) and shofar (שופר‎) to proclaim the crowning of King Solomon (1 Kings 1:31-35), and call, assemble, and mobilize individuals (Numbers 10:5-7), the Biblical texts also describe these tools as instruments used to signal the presence of the Divine as God does to Moses with “a thick cloud over [Sinai], and a very loud trumpet blast” (Exodus 19:16), declare the commencement of festivals (Leviticus 23:23), topple the walls of Jericho when played by “seven priests” in “front of the Ark of the Covenant” (Joshua 6:4-5 and see also Agrippa’s (2000) Second Book of Occult Philosophy, Chapter 10), announce different phases of the Apocalypse when Seven Trumpets are sequentially sounded by the “Seven Angels who stand before God” (Revelation 8:2 and also referred to by Agrippa (2000) in Book II, Chapter 10), and praise God within the Temple orchestra itself as described in Psalm 150:3 (“Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet!”).

Very interestingly for the present study, this same Psalm 150, which describes the use of ḥaṣoṣrah (חצוצרה‎) and shofar (שופר‎) to praise YHVH (יהוה) also describes the use of cymbals to the same end, enjoining Israel to praise Him with the clash of resounding cymbals” (Psalm 150:3-5).  Cymbals, of course, are round metallic instruments that are sounded by striking, and, in these ways, are very closely related to bells (Braun & Braun, 2002).

Furthermore, it is very appropriate for the discussion of bells to come that bell-like cymbals are played alongside trumpets on many different occasions in the Tanach.  We read, for instance, that “David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets” (1 Chronicles 13:8), that both instruments were used to dedicate the Wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:27), that “Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song” (1 Chronicles 16:42), and that “when the builders laid the foundation of the Temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David” (Ezra 3:10).

Thus, within the Tanachic lore of the Israelites to which the Key of Solomon would later mythically hearken back and symbolically align itself, bell-like cymbals and trumpets were repeatedly sounded in unison and the traditions that evolved around these ritual tools largely dovetailed together.  How appropriate it is, therefore, that the Greek Byzantine Hygromanteia–which is, as Dr. Stephen Skinner (2013) demonstrated, the primary source text of the Key of Solomon itself–should provide a parallel tradition to that of the Trumpet of Art, in the form of a mysterious evocatory Bell.

hygro.jpg

Ringing Open the Gateway: The Hygromanteian Bell of Art

Those who approach the Greek Byzantine Hygromanteia after first studying the Key of Solomon and learning to work its system using the Solomonic Trumpet may be surprised to discover that there is no Trumpet of Art in the Clavicula’s older source text.  Indeed, in the entirety of the Hygromanteia, there are only two occurrences of the word “Trumpet.” Moreover, in both cases, the word is used, not to refer to a tool to be made by the Magician, but rather to reference the Angelic Trumpet “that shall be sounded” on the Day of Judgment (Marathakis, 2011, p. 335).

The first of these twin trumpet references occurs in the Conjuration of “Asmodaes,” in which the Magician addresses the spirit by telling it that

“I conjure you by the Trumpet that shall be sounded, calling for the Second Coming” (Marathakis, 2011, p. 335).

In a similar fashion, the second and final trumpet reference in the Hygromanteia occurs in yet another conjuration, in which the Master is instructed to command the spirit

“by the trumpet that the Angel of Resurrection shall sound” (Marathakis. 2011, p. 173).

Therefore, while references to trumpets in the Hygromanteia are purely symbolic in nature and are used to add power to the conjurations,  the Hygromanteian magical arsenal does not include a physical Trumpet of Art in the style of the Clavicula.  Where the absence of one kind of  one kind of sonorous Solomonic tool in the text is glaringly evident, however, the presence of another is equally so. This second resounding tool of Solomon is the Hygromanteian Bell of Art.

Interestingly enough, this author’s first indication that there might be a Solomonic Bell tradition with a historical precedent in the Hygromanteia came, not from the Hygromanteia itself, but from Joseph H. Peterson’s (2004) insightful notes on manuscript variations in the later Key of Solomon. In Chapter IX, “Of the formation of the Circle,” in his edition of the Clavicula’ Salomonis, the Magician is instructed to

“enter within the circle and carefully close the openings left in the same, and let him again warn his disciples, and take the Trumpet13 of Art prepared as is said in the chapter concerning the same, and let him incense the Circle towards the four quarters of the Universe.

After this let the magus commence his incantations, having placed the Knife14 upright in the ground at his feet. Having sounded the Trumpet15 towards the East as before taught let him invoke the spirits, and if need he conjure them, as is said in the first book, and having attained his desired effect, let him license them to depart.”

In form and content, this section seems reminiscent of the prior passages concerning the Trumpet of Art which have already been discussed.  However, examining Peterson’s (2004) footnotes 13 and 15, reveals a fascinating point.  Although other manuscripts of the Key of Solomon such as Kings 288 and Aubrey 24 read “Trumpet” here, Sloane 3847 does not.  In place of “Trumpet,” and very interestingly for the purposes of this study, the Sl. 3847 version, which is entitled The Worke of Salomon the Wise Called His Clavicle Revealed by King Ptolomeus Ye Grecian reads “Bell” and instructs the Master to “let the Bell be [rung] toward the East” (“Ptolomeus,” 1999).

In addition, the same manuscript later tells the Operator to ring the Bell in the four cardinal directions from within the Circle. As the text reads, the Master shall have a bell, and ring it “4 times toward the 4 partes of the world, with 4 pater nosters” (Peterson, 1999). These instructions clearly place the ringing of the Bell “towards the 4 partes of the world” in harmony with the sounding of the Trumpet of Art to the four cardinal directions in Kings 288 and Aubrey 24, which suggests some parallelism between the Trumpets and Bells of Art within the Solomonic tradition.

This Bell-Trumpet homology is significant because, with its dating to 1572, Sloane 3847 is one of the oldest extant versions of the Key of Solomon, which places it chronologically closer to its Hygromanteian source text than many of the later manuscripts (Peterson, 2004).  In contrast, the British library catalogue describes Mathers’ earliest source, the Additional 10862 manuscript, which includes the Trumpet of Art rather than the Bell, as dating to the 17th century.

BellsonWall.jpg

Medieval depiction of bells used in worship, suggesting the connection between bells and the sacred in the Medieval mind, a tradition with Ancient roots.

Thus, Sloane 3847 offers an example of a version of the Clavicula Salomonis in which a ritual Bell is used in place of the Trumpet called for in most other manuscripts and in the same manner as the Trumpet, to alert the spirits and prepare them to obey.  While the Trumpet of Art seems to suggest an attempt to integrate the Tanachic lore around the ḥaṣoṣrah (חצוצרה‎) and shofar (שופר‎) into the Key of Solomon‘s magical system, the presence of the “Bell” in Sloane 3847 may reflect a continuation of the Hygromanteia‘s use of a Bell of Art in much the same way.  Thus, just as bell-like cymbals and trumpets were often used together for similar purposes in the Tanach, the grimoires reveal similar dovetailing traditions of consecrated ritual bells and trumpets being similarly employed by the Solomonic Master.

Moreover, juxtaposing the Key of Solomon‘s instructions for the creation and use of the Trumpet / Bell of Art with the Hygromanteia‘s instructions for the construction of its own Bell reveals some interesting and highly revealing similarities and differences.  On page 352 of Marathakis’ (2014) Hygromanteia, the Apprentice of the Master of Art is commanded to

“ring a Bell inside the Circle. He must have a Bell with the following names written around it in the blood of a Bat. Behold the names:

Peth, Glia, Peres, Mpethiel, Mepithiele, Thsos, Mparous, Mparon, Mpimaon, Mpapirion, Khae, Rhoam.”

Thus, while the Key of Solomon instructs the Magician to write Hebrew Divine Names on the Trumpet/Bell, the Hygromanteia‘s Bell is emblazoned with nomina barbara or barbarous names.  In addition, while the Key specifies sigils or “characters” to be included, the Hygromanteia limits itself to Names of Power and does not include additional sigils (Marathakis, 2011).

Interestingly, however, while either text could have reasonably asked the Operator to engrave the Names and ‘Characters of Art’ into the tools, both texts prescribe the use of magical inks instead.  In both cases, the inks are specially consecrated, as in Book II, Chapter 18 of the Key of Solomon, which provides a specific consecration method for the Ink of Art.  Similarly, as Dr. Stephen Skinner (2013, p. 348) explains in Magical Techniques and Implements Present in Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri, Byzantine Greek Solomonic Manuscripts and European Grimoires, the ‘Bat Blood’ to be used for the Bell would also be carefully prepared for the purpose, by being extracted from an animal that was “sacrificed in order to drain its blood.”  This sacrifice unto the Divine itself would consecrate the blood for magical use.

Notably, bat blood is also called for in the Key of Solomon. However, in the Clavicula, the Operator is required to perform the “Exorcism of the Bat” given in Book II, Chapter 16 over it after extracting it from the vein in the right wing of the animal as well (Peterson, 2004).  Thereafter, the Master blesses and consecrates the blood for use in the Ink of Art by various Divine Names as described in the text  (Peterson, 2004).

As to the appearance of the Hygromanteian Bell, manuscript Harleianus 5596, f. 34v provides two crude drawings of the Bell of Art in the margins of the Circle diagram, which are highlighted here for clarity.  As Marathakis’s (2011) edition indicates, the topmost image bears the label “Bell” in Greek:

bell.png

Moreover, the Hygromanteia also specifies the type of bell to be used for the Bell of Art  with terminological precision when it invites the Apprentice to “hold a small Bell that some call kampanon and ring it for a little while before you enter the Circle” (Marathakis 2014, p. 169).  The kampanon or “small bell” referred to in this passage seems to have been a small hand-bell (Marathakis, 2011).  As Alexandra Villing (2002, p. 223) reveals in her fascinating article “For Whom Did the Bell Toll in Ancient Greece? Archaic and Classical Greek Bells at Sparta and Beyond,”

“Ancient Greeks were not familiar with large bells of the kind that ring in our churches today. Smaller, portable bells, usually not much taller than about 10 cm [3.93 inches — My Note] were, however, a very widespread feature of Ancient Greek life.”

koudounia.jpg

Koudounia (Greek: κουδουνια) are bell-like instruments, which produce a ringing sound when struck and were seen by  many Ancient Greeks as having the apotropaic power to ward off evil Spirits.

In addition, in the same article, Villing (2002, p. 225-226) explains that in Ancient Greece,

“Archaeological, iconographical and literary sources attest to [the use of bells] as votive offerings in ritual and funerary contexts, as signalling instruments for town-guards, as amulets for children and women as well as, in South Italy, in a Dionysiac context.

The bells’ origins lie in the Ancient Near East and Caucasus area, from where they found their way especially to Archaic Samos and Cyprus and later to mainland Greece. Here, the largest known find complex of bronze and terracotta bells, mostly of Classical date, comes from the old British excavations in the sanctuary of Athena on the Spartan acropolis and is published here for the first time.

Spartan bells are distinctive in shape yet related particularly to other Lakonian and Boiotian bells as well as earlier bells from Samos. At Sparta, as elsewhere, the connotation of the bells’ bronze sound as magical, protective, purificatory and apotropaic was central to their use, although specific functions varied according to place, time, and occasion.”

The Bell of Art as described in the Hygromanteia is consistent with the Ancient Greek view of bells as “magical, protective, purificatory, and apotropaic,” a view also shared by the Romans who similarly employed tintinnabulum bells, the ancestors of modern wind chimes, to ward off evil spirits  (Villing 2002, p. 226; Eckardt & Williams, 2018).  In like manner, in the Japanese Shinto tradition, bells have long been used both to attract the attention of kindly and holy Spirits and banish evil Spirits from the shrines at which they were rung; for the same reason, bells are still used to this day on Japanese protective charms or omamori (Mendes, 2015).  In short, like the Ancient Greek kampana, which could be both attractive and apotropaic, the Hygromanteian bell also serves the dual function of banishing hostile spirits and attracting cooperative and benefic spirits to the Operator’s call (Villing, 2002; Marathakis, 2011).

omamori.png

An omamori or Japanese amulet with an apotropaic golden bell (Mendes, 2015).

In addition, the Greek ritual bells’ use as signalling instruments further connects them both to the Ancient Hebrew understandings of trumpets described in the aforementioned Tanachic verses and to the Israelites’ own uses of ceremonial bells.  In Exodus 28: 31 to 35, for example, Aaron is told to wear a special robe adorned with “gold bells” to protect him “when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord” so “that he will not die.” God tells him to

“31 “make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar[c]around this opening, so that it will not tear. 33 Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35 Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.” (NIV, Exodus 28:31-35).

Much like the Trumpet of Art and the Tanachic bells of Aaron, then, the Hygromanteia’s Bell of Art can be seen as both sanctifying and apotropaic, embedded as it is in the contexts of older traditions around the ritual use of bells as spiritually powerful tools in the aforementioned Greek and Tanachic traditions, and Byzantine Christian uses of bells to ‘convoke’ parishioners to Church, to name just a few streams of cultural influences that fed into its conceptualization within the Hygromanteia (Sachs, 2012).

It is worth noting, however, that unlike the Clavicula‘s Trumpet, the Hygromanteian Bell is sounded both before and after entering the Circle to designate it to the spirits as a sacred and protected space.  This is a subtle but important point that is often overlooked, but warrants careful consideration as it bears hidden significance.  As Dr. Stephen Skinner pointed out to this author in his comments on an earlier draft of this article, many cultures use ritual bells to announce the entering of spiritual space.  Hindu temples, for instance, often feature ghanta bells that devotees are expected to ring before entering the Gharbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) to announce their arrival to the Gods and Goddesses and prepare themselves to receive darshan (the sight of Holy Images of Divinity) (Brown, 2013).  In the same way, the Hygromanteian Apprentice rings the Bell of Art to announce the Apprentice and Master’s entrances into the Circle, the sacred meeting place between the spirit world and the human world.  After this preliminary sounding, they proceed to sound the Bell again from within the Circle in order to alert the spirits to be ready to appear and obey in the style of the later Claviculan Trumpet.

Heinrich_Cornelius_Agrippa00.jpg

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa as depicted by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528).

Resonant Grimoiric Connections: Ritual Bells and Trumpets in Agrippa, Dee, pseudo-“Dee,” and Girardius

The precise origins of the Hygromanteian Bell of Art tradition are shrouded in mystery. Although Old Testament style bell-cymbals, Christian Church and altar bells, Ancient Greek kampana and koudounia (Greek: κουδουνια), Ancient Egyptian ritual bells–perhaps through their impact on the development of Ancient Greek music–and Mesopotamian bells all may have influenced the Hygromanteian Bell, another candidate for a historical precedent might be the Chaldaean and Neoplatonic Iynx (Braun & Braun, 2002; Sachs, 2012; Montagu, 2014; Muñoz, 2017).

In Greek literature, the Iynx (Greek: Ιυγξ) was originally a reference to the wryneck bird, which was originally bound to a Sorceror’s wheel and then spun around to attract an unfaithful lover (Majercik, 2013).  The word Iynx then came to be used to mean a kind of love charm, a semantic valence that Plato expanded to express a kind of Erosian ‘binding force’ between humankind and Divinity.  By the time of the Chaldeaen Oracles, which cannot be any younger than the 2nd century C.E. since Iamblichus refers to them, Iynges had come to be understood as magical Names (voces mysticae) that were sent forth as ‘couriers’ from the Divine to communicate with the Theurgist (Majercik, 2013; de Garay, 2017).

The original wryneck bird-bound wheel Iynx gradually evolved into a bell-like metal disc that was inscribed with Divine Names and symbols, much like the Hygromanteian Bell (Johnston, 1990).  This bell-like instrument would, however, be attached to a twisted leather thong, which would be rapidly spun to produce a whirring sound.  Theurgists believed that the sound of the Iynx would attract daimons and inspire them to reveal their Magic Names, through which Magicians aimed to acquire magical powers (Johnston, 1990; Majercik, 2013).  In the iynx tradition, therefore, we find a magical bell-like tool inscribed with Divine Names and characters that may very well have been one of the influences, alongside those of the other aforementioned traditions, that helped  give rise to the Hygromanteian Bell of Art.

What is certain, however, is that the Hygromanteia is not the only text from the later grimoiric period that employs consecrated ritual bells in its repertoire of recommended magical tools.  Indeed, in his Third Book of Occult Philosophy, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (2000) writes that:

“there are also sacred rites and holy observations, which are made for the reverencing of the Gods, and religion, viz. devout gestures, genuflections, uncoverings of the head, washings, sprinklings of Holy water, perfumes, exterior expiations, humble processions, and exterior Ornaments for divine praises, as musical Harmony, burning of wax candles and lights, ringing of bells, the adorning of Temples, Altars and Images, in all which there is required a supreme and special reverence and comeliness; wherefore there are used for these things, the most excellent, most beautiful and precious things, as gold, silver, precious stores, and such like.”

In this list, many classically Solomonic practices that are familiar to any practitioner of the Clavicula Salomonis system can be discerned.  These practices range from sprinkling “sprinklings of Holy Water” to the suffumigations of “perfumes”and “washings” or ritual baths (Agrippa, 2000).  Trumpets are notably absent from this list, although “the ringings of bells” are mentioned.

While the Hygromanteia does not specify the material from which its Bell was to be created, Agrippa offers practitioners some guidance in regards to selecting materials from which to construct magical Bells.  To this end, Agrippa (2000) suggests that such bells are best made from “beautiful and precious things, as gold, silver, precious stones and such like.”  He grounds his suggestion in his conception of beautiful objects as more sympathetically resonant with the Divine’s intimate participation in the Form of hte Beautiful; on this point, Agrippa follows a Neoplatonic line of philosophico-magical theory that is traceable back to Iamblichus, Porphyry, Plotinus and earlier still, to Plato (de Garay 2017).  Of course, in order to emit a resonant ringing sound, a Bell of Art must be made from an appropriate material with the acoustic ability to produce such a sound when struck.  Gold, brass, bronze, or silver are all appropriate choices that are consistent with Agrippa’s notes in this passage; fittingly Ancient Greek bells were often fashioned from bronze (Villing 2002).

It is not sufficient for ceremonial magical practice to simply make a bell in an appropriate metal, however.  The Bell of Art must also be consecrated in order to en-spirit it and empower it, as Aaron Leitch (2009) suggests in his Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires.  To this point, in his Third Book of Occult Philosophy, Agrippa (2000) adds that such consecrations can have potent protective and apotropaic results when he explains that

Bells by consecration and benediction receive virtue that they drive away and restrain lightnings, and tempests, that they hurt not in those places where their sounds are heard; in like manner Salt and Water, by their benedictions and exorcisms, receive power to chase and drive away evil spirits” (Agrippa, 2000).

golden-bells-at-a-church-2.jpg

The exorcisms and benedictions by consecrated Water and Salt of Art to which Agrippa alludes here are well-known to Solomonic Magicians; indeed instructions for both are presented in Chapters 5 and 11 of Book II of Peterson’s (2004) Clavicula Salomonis.  However, the commensurate power of bells themselves to exorcise and bless sacred spaces within the Solomonic tradition is often neglected.  It is no accident that Agrippa lists bells, water, and salt together; for him, as for many other writers in his own time and long before, these ritual items were often considered together and used in complementary ways (Agrippa, 2000).

Similarly, this key passage of the Third Book reinforces the protective power of consecrated bells to ensure that “they hurt not in those places where their sounds are heard,” a potential carryover from the Ancient traditions that may lie in the background of the Hygromanteian Bell (Agrippa, 2000).  For Agrippa, in short, as perhaps for the Hygromanteian Master of Art, the ringing of a consecrated Bell can be as protective to the Magician as it is evocative to the spirit.

Moreover, the connections between bells, the Divine, and directionality that have been described in relation to the Trumpet of Art and the Tanachic use of trumpets in Numbers 10:1-7 are also echoed in John Dee’s (2003) True and Faithful Relation of What Passed For Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits, in which the Elizabethan Magician reports that the Angel Madini prayed before Kelly and Dee that:

“Miraculous is thy care, O God, upon those that are Thy chosen, and wonderful are the ways that Thou hast prepared for them. Thou shalt take them from the fields, and harbour them at Home. Thou art merciful unto thy faithful and hard to the heavy-hearted. Thou shalt cover their legs with Boots, and brambles shall not prick them: their hands shall be covered with the skins of Beasts that they may break their way through the hedges. Thy Bell shall go before them as a watch and sure Direction: The Moon shall be clear that they may go on boldly. Peace be amongst you!”

Thus, in much the same way as in Madini’s prayer, the ringing of the Bell of Art “goes before” the entrance of the Magician into the Circle in the Hygromanteia, as a “watch and sure direction” (Dee, 2003).

Interestingly, while this passage suggests some of the spiritual ideas surrounding Bells that have already been explored, Dee is also connected to the trumpet strand of the sonorous Solomonic tool traditions.  Indeed, John Dee is purported to be the author of a fascinating work entitled the Libellus Veneri Nigro Sacer or The Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus (1580), which centers on a magical Trumpet entitled the Tuba Veneris or Trumpet of Venus, which is shown here as rendered in Teresa Burns and Nancy Turner’s 2007 translation of the Libellus:

Tuba-Veneris.gif

It is worth noting, however, that Michael Putnam (2010), a translator of an excellent edition of this underappreciated grimoire, has cast doubt on Dee’s authorship of the text for a number of reasons.  These include, for instance, that the script reveals authorship on the Continent, not in London as the text claims; that Dee’s autograph in the earliest surviving Warburg manuscript (MS. FBH 510) is not recognizably his; that there are no references to the “Tuba Veneris” in any of Dee’s journals or other books; that the text gives “June 4, 1580” as its date of composition when Dee’s journal entries reveal he was in Mortlake  in June 3 and 7 and not in London; and that the text uses a forcible and binding-based necromantic approach that is very different from the supplicatory prayer-based Angelic work that Dee was doing in the 1580s (Putnam, 2010).

Whatever its origins, the Tuba Veneris is remarkable as one of the few Trumpets of Art in the Solomonic tradition, and it has four interesting differences that distinguish it from its Key of Solomon counterpart.  First, while the Clavicula‘s Trumpet of Art is fashioned from “new wood,” the Trumpet of Venus is made from an animal horn, much like the shofar (שופר‎) (Peterson, 2004).  In addition, as the text explains, the horn for the Tuba Veneris is to be removed from a living bull.  More precisely, in order to craft this Venusian Trumpet,

“one takes the Horn of a living Bull, then one takes Vitriol dissolved in vinegar, with which one should wash and purify the Horn, after which one carves the Characters as they are represented in the following sketch, into either side of the horn with the aforementioned Steel Instruments. One must make sure that the entire preparation of the Horn, including the time it is torn off from the bull, must also be in the times, days and hours of , just as was done in preparing the Seal. Afterwards, one envelops it in smoke, wraps it in linen, and buries it together with the Seal of , then unburies it again and preserves it for later use” (“Dee,” 2010).

Second, while the Tuba Veneris’ characters are carved into its surface during the Day and Hour of Venus, the Clavicula‘s characters are painted onto it in the consecrated Ink of Art, presumably in the Day and Hour of Mercury as in the case of the Key of Solomon‘s Wand (Peterson, 2004).

Third, the Tuba Veneris and Trumpet of Art are consecrated in very different ways.  The Trumpet of Venus’ mode of consecration via burial is very consistent with the consecration methods for Ancient necromantic and Goetic tools, which were to be buried in the ground so that the spirits could operate upon and bond with them in a chthonic environment, a precedent found in the Papyri Graecae Magicae (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  Importantly, the Tuba Veneris is used in conjunction with a Liber Spirituum, which is also buried underground as part of its consecration process, like the Liber Spiritua used in necromantic operations in other texts such as the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  In contrast, the Key‘s Trumpet of Art is not buried, but rather consecrated entirely above-ground.

Finally, while the Clavicula‘s Trumpet of Art is sounded to the four directions, the Trumpet of Venus is used in a very different manner to amplify the Operator’s voice; instead of sounding the Trumpet, the Magician speaks the Calls to the spirits through it.  As “Dee” explains, the Master should “speak the entire Call through the Horn of Venus, and he should summon the Spirit by naming it once at the beginning and again at the end, but always with distinct pauses” (“Dee,” 2010).

bell.jpg

A final resounding instrument is worth considering in this overview of the grimoiric literature, and that is the Necromantic Bell of Girardius, which appears in the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730.  This intriguing text can be found in l’Arsenal manuscripts 2350 and 3009 inthe Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal in Paris (Girardius, 1730).  The consecration method of the Bell of Girardius and its necromantic associations beautifully parallel the Trumpet of Venus in a way that suggests another meeting point between the Solomonic bell and trumpet traditions that this article has been considering.

The Bell of Girardius features the name Tetragrammaton on its bottom followed by the astrological symbols of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, the Name Adonai, and finally, the name Jesus on the ringed handle.  Girardius’ Bell is cast from what Jake Stratton-Kent (2010) calls a kind of “magical electrum,” which consists of alloyed gold, copper, fixed mercury, iron, tin and silver, and lead, although some manuscripts omit the lead (Girardius, 1730; Masello, 1996).  In terms of astrological timing, the Bell is to be made either “at the day and hour of birth of the person who wishes to be in confluence and harmony with the mysterious Bell” or, in other manuscripts, at a time when the Planetary aspects favour the Operator by progression or transit to the natal chart (Masello, 1996; Stratton-Kent, 2010).

According to the text, the Necromancer must then engrave the date of his or her birthday or otherwise the date of the casting of the Bell directly into the Bell itself–a practice nearly unique among all of the grimoires–as well as the names of the Seven Olympic spirits, that is, Aratron for Saturn, Bethor for Jupiter, Phaleg for Mars, Och for the Sun, Hagith for Venus, and Phul for the Moon (Girardius, 1730).

Thereafter, the Bell must be wrapped in green consecrated cloth, which different authors interpret as linen or taffeta, and buried under cover of darkness in a grave for 7 days, which correspond to the 7 Ancient Planets (Girardius, 1730; Masello, 1996; Stratton-Kent, 2010).  This goetic consecration process is notably similar to that used for the Trumpet of Venus and places the Necromantic Bell, like the Tuba Veneris, in the aforementioned tradition of grave-based chthonic consecrations with roots in the Papyri Graecae Magicae (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  Naturally, this is a method grounded, pun intended, in classical sympathetic theoria; indeed, the grimoire makes this point clear when it states that during its time in the grave, the Bell absorbs from the neighbouring corpse or the Underworld-like environment “emanations and confluent vibrations” which “give it the perpetual quality and efficacy requisite when you shall ring it for your ends” (Girardius, 1730).

When the Bell is used to summon the spirits of the dead, the Master is required to don sandals and a toga-like vestment clasped at the shoulder as well as a tunic, and hold the Bell in his or her left hand and a parchment scroll bearing the sigils of the Planets in the right (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  Thus, the Bell of Girardius is engraved rather than drawn on with its Names of Power like the Trumpet of Venus and is consecrated in a similar manner, but is used for entirely different purposes, namely to evoke the spirits of the dead.  Surprisingly, however, neither text mentions sounding their instruments to the four cardinal directions, a notable point of departure from the Clavicula’s Trumpet of Art and the Hygromanteia‘s Bell.

girardius.png

The Necromantic Bell of Girardius from the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730.

Integrating Theory and Practice: My Solomonic Bell of Art

How does a contemporary practitioner make sense of the sometimes diverging, sometimes converging Bell and Trumpet traditions found in the grimoires? How does one put such a labyrinth of instructions into concrete practice?

There are at least three ways to tackle this challenge.  First, one can make the tools specific to the grimoires with which one is working and as exactly as described in the texts.  This approach is likely the best for grimoire purists and for those who wish to experiment using the precise constraints and instructions of a particular system.  This method is reasonable and ideal in most cases, particular in the case of highly idiosyncratic texts like the Tuba Veneris or the Necromantic Horn of Girardius.  Second, one can combine methods from different texts to create a tool that is adapted to one’s particular way of working by synthesizing what seem the wisest and most applicable instructions from different grimoires.  This method is sure to alarm traditionalists, but may be applicable when working in a tradition with internal continuity between the two texts to be synthesized, such as within an integrative Hygromanteia-Key of Solomon practice, for example.  Third, one can use a combination of the previous two methods, using synthesized tools in some cases and classical tools made to the letter of the grimoiric instructions when appropriate.

My overall approach is the third one given here, which seems to be the one that most contemporary practitioners take.  For most tools, I closely follow the grimoire instructions in the style of Frater Ashen Chassan, Dr. Stephen Skinner and Mr. Aaron Leitch in much of his work.

In other cases, when it is more appropriate to the work at hand, however, I apply a synthesizing methodology to integrate instructions from texts in continuous traditions. Aaron Leitch took a similar approach and brilliantly resolved the dilemma of whether to side with the Bell or Trumpet traditions in his own Solomonic work by using a Trumpet of Art made to the exact specifications of the Key of Solomon to which he attached 7 bells by 7 ribbons in the seven Planetary colours.  In this way, he was able to fashion a Trumpet that benefits from the magical and physical properties laid out by both the Bell and Trumpet traditions.

In my own case, for Hygromanteia-Key of Solomon work, I opted to follow the Hygromanteia and Sloane 3847 of the Key of Solomon and simply use of Bell of Art. However, I chose to integrate the Divine Names and Sigils given for the Trumpet/Bell in the Clavicula Salomonis manuscripts with the Hygromanteia‘s Bell format and consecration and creation methods leaning more towards the Key tradition.  Therefore, drawing on Agrippa’s (2000) recommendation to fashion ritual bells out of “beautiful and precious things, as gold, silver, precious stores, and such like,” I opted to use a beautiful antique golden bell for the purpose.  This is a small bell as described in the Hygromanteia (Marathakis, 2011).

Following the usual Key of Solomon methods, I exorcised the metal and performed benedictions and Psalm readings over the Bell during the Hour and Day of Mercury under a waxing Moon.  This process included sprinkling Holy Water over the Bell with a consecrated Aspergillum of Art, anointing it with Solomonic Holy Oil, and suffumigating it with Solomonic “odoriferous spices” (Peterson, 2004).  All of these procedures were completed within a consecrated Solomonic Circle of Art.

Also during the Day and Hour of Mercury beneath a waxing Moon, I wrote the Divine Names and drew the characters given below on the Bell as recommended by Joseph H. Peterson’s (2004) edition of the Clavicula for the Trumpet/Bell of Art.  This work was completed with a consecrated Pen and Ink of the Art, which were also prepared to the letter of the Key of Solomon instructions.

char

Finally, to protect the consecrated Ink from fading during use, I varnished the Bell with a consecrated lacquer that was blended with consecrated Solomonic Holy Oil and prayed additional Psalms over it to complete the consecration.  The completed Bell of Art, which I store in a properly prepared Solomonic linen as shown below the Bell in the image below, appears as follows:

bell

In my own humble experience, the resulting tool is both beautiful and powerful. Following the Hygromanteia, I ring the Bell before stepping into the Circle, to announce my entrance into consecrated sacred space.  Then, following the Key, at the commencement of each Operation of Art, I ring the Bell in the four cardinal directions, starting in the East and moving clockwise around the Circle back to the East.

In my experience, all of the classical functions of the Bell or Trumpet of Art are well-accomplished by this Bell, from protection to apotropaia, formation of a sacred space, excitation of what Dr. Stephen Skinner calls “magical tension,” and “exciting the senses” as suggested by the Papyri Graecae Magicae into what Agrippa would later call a productive “phrenzy” (Betz, 1996).

lion.jpg

Lion” by Formisano Francisco.

Resonating Through History: Concluding Reflections on the Bells and Trumpets of Solomon

In conclusion, this article has attempted to trace the winding twin threads of the Solomonic Bells and Trumpets of Art and demonstrate that, although the Clavicula Salomonis’ Trumpet of Art is able to perform the functions previously served by the evocatory Bell of the Greek Hygromanteia, it also reflects the influence of a distinct and separate tradition that traces its roots back to the Tanchic trumpet or ḥaṣoṣrah (חצוצרה‎) and winding horn or shofar (שופר‎). This article has also striven to illuminate the natures, ritual functions, and physical materials of the Claviculan Trumpet and Hygromanteian Bell by placing them in the larger grimoiric contexts of the writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, John Dee, the pseudo-“Dee” of the Tuba Veneris, and Girardius, the author of the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730. 

Before the Trumpet blasts and Bell ringings of this article fade into silence, however, an etymological point about the English word “bell” is worth mentioning for the light it sheds on the Bell/Trumpet connection.  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (2018), the modern English word “bell” derives from roots that signify

“a hollow metallic instrument which rings when struck,” from the Old English belle, which has cognates in Middle Dutch belle and Middle Low German belle, but is not found elsewhere in Germanic except as a borrowing; apparently from PIE root *bhel- (4) “to sound, roar” (compare Old English bellan “to roar,” and the later English word “bellow”).”

Thus, both bells and trumpets are linked to a sense of “roaring” that symbolically and sympathetically connects them to metaphors of kingship, dominion, and authority in the roaring of lions.  Just as the roaring of a lion can strike fear into a human heart, the roaring of the Trumpet or a Bell of Art is intended to strike fear into the hearts of evil spirits and thus ward them off apotropaically; indeed, this is likely the reason why the Sloane 3847 manuscript of the Key of Solomon states that

“by the vertue of these names [written on the Bell], the voice of the Bell shall enter into their hearts, to cause them to feare and obay” (“Ptolomeus,” 1999).

The “voice” of a Bell is its ‘roar’ and the magical association between the two is profoundly ancient, as is the apotropaic power of loud droning sounds like the booming of a horn, the roaring of a lion, and, just as significantly, the bellowing of the human voice.  In Papyri Graecae Magicae IV: 475- 829, for instance, the Magician is instructed to “look intently, and make a long bellowing sound, like a horn, releasing all your breath and straining your sides; and kiss the phylacteries and say, first toward the right: “Protect me, prosymeri!” (Betz, 1996).  Thereafter, the Master is told to “make a long bellowing sound, straining your belly, that you may excite the five senses; bellow long until out of breath, and again kiss the phylacteries” (Betz, 1996, 705).

This latter verse offers some additional insight into the magical value of bellowing noises like those produced by the human body or trumpet; such resounding sounds hold the power to “excite the senses” and make the Magician alertly attentive in a way that can facilitate spirit communication.  This enlivening quality of bellowing, droning, and ringing sounds is entirely consistent with the use of the Hygromanteian Bell of Art or Claviculan Trumpet to “alert” the spirits to be prepared to come to the call of the Master (Peterson, 2004; Marathakis, 2011).

Finally and in closing, it is this author’s contention that the droning sound of vibrating Divine Names that was employed by 19th and early 20th century Victorian lodge magicians may very well be a later Hermetic application of the old Papyri Graecae Magicae bellowing formula.  Just like the primal method of the PGM, the Hermetic vibratory formula at once calls the desired powers, banishes the undesired ones, and “excites the senses” of the Magician to an enlivened state of sensitivity (Betz, 1996).

In this way, the ancient power of droning vibratory sounds that echoed from the Neolithic horns, clay bells, and bone flutes through the bellies of bellowing Greek papyri magicians and the grimoiric Bells and Trumpets of Art continued to resonate within the 19th century Hermetic Order Temples in much the same way.  Whatever the exact historical lineages may be that trace these ancient practices and tools from the shrouded mists of prehistory to the living experiences of 21st century Mages, however, their reverberating power and enduring value remain with us to this day.  And if we continue to vibrate Divine Names, sound Trumpets, boom Horns, and ring Bells of Art, to paraphrase the great physicist and alchemist Sir Isaac Newton, we do so while standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before us (Lines, 2017).

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to Mr. Joseph H. Peterson for his insightful notes on the manuscripts and his tireless work for the grimoire community, to Dr. Stephen Skinner and Mr. Aaron Leitch, whose helpful comments on the first draft of this text inspired the section on the shofar and led to a more nuanced central thesis, to Mr. Jake Stratton-Kent for his valuable insights into the Bell of Girardius and necromantic consecration methods within the Papyri Graecae Magicae, to Mr. João Pedro Feliciano for his interesting information on the Chaldeaen and Neoplatonic Iynx traditions, which inspired the section on the topic, to Mr. Andy Foster for his helpful reflections on the original manuscripts, to Magister Omega for his insights into the practical points of the Tuba Veneris system, to Frater Abd Al-Wali for sharing photographs of his own Bell of Art, and to Mr. Nick Farrell, for his kind patience during my writing and revisions and for helping inspire this much-expanded version of the original draft.  This article would not have been possible in its current form without all of your helpful and supportive feedback and useful ideas for which I remain sincerely thankful.

References

Agrippa, H. C. (2000). Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Ed. Joseph H. Peterson. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Based on a transcription from Moule: London, 1651. Available at http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/agrippa1.htm [Accessed 03 June2018].

Betz, H. D. (1996). The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation Including the Demotic Spells. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Braun, J. & Braun, Y., (2002). Music in Ancient Israel/Palestine: Archaeological, Written, and Comparative sources. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Brown, P. (2013). Indian Architecture of the Buddhist and Hindu Period. London, UK: Read Books Ltd.

Dee, J. (2003). A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed For Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits. Ed. Joseph H. Peterson. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/dee/tfr/tfr1.htm [Accessed 4 June 2018].

“Dee, J.” (2010). Tuba Veneris or The Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus. Translated from Latin by Teresa Burns and Nancy Turner. In Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition 12(2). Available at: http://www.jwmt.org/v2n12/venus.html [Accessed 4 June 2018].

de Garay, J. (2017). The reception of Proclus: From Byzantium to the West. Byzantine Perspectives on Neoplatonism. Ed. Sergei Mariev. Berlin, DE: De Gruyter Press.

Eckardt, H. & Williams, S. (2018). The sound of magic? Bells in Roman Britain. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Gigot, F. (2017). Hyssop. [online] The Catholic Encyclopedia, originally published in 1910. Available at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07612a.htm [Accessed 25 May 2018].

Girardius. (1730). Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730. In the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal manuscripts 2350 and 3009. Paris, France.

Hyunjong, C.. (2009). The musical instruments of prehistoric Korea. The International Journal of Korean Art and Archaeology, 3(1), pp. 26-48.

Johnston, S. (1990). Hekate soteira: A study of Hekate’s roles in the Chaldean oracles and related literature. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.

Leitch, A. (2009). Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires: The Classical Texts of Magick Decyphered. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications.

Lines, M.E., 2017. On the Shoulders of Giants. New York: Routledge.

Majercik, R. (2013). The Chaldaean Oracles: Text, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford, UK: Prometheus Trust.

Marathakis, I. (2011). The Magical Treatise of Solomon or Hygromanteia. Singapore: Goldon Hoard Press.

Masello, R. (1996). Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts and Those Who Dared to Practice Them. London, UK: Penguin Putnam.

Mendes, E. (2015). Ancient magic and modern accessories: A re-examination of the omamori phenomenon. The Hilltop Review7(2), pp. 152-167.

Montagu, J. (2014). Horns and Trumpets of the World: An Illustrated Guide. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Muñoz, D. S. (2017). The south face of the Helicon: Ancient Egyptian musical elements in Ancient Greek music. Current Research in Egyptology 17(1). Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.

NIV – New International Version Bible. (2018). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Online Etymology Dictionary. (2018). [online encyclopedia entry]. Bell. Available at: https://www.etymonline.com/word/bell [Accessed 25 May 2018].

Peterson, J. H. (2004). Key of Solomon, Book 2. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 25 May 2018].

“Ptolomeus.” (1999). Sloane 3847 – The Worke of Salomon the Wise Called His Clavicle Revealed by King Ptolomeus Ye Grecian, 1572. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/sl3847.htm [Accessed 25 May 2018].

Putnam, M. (2010). Preface from the translator. John Dee’s Tuba Veneris. Translated from the Latin by Michael Putnam. Seattle, WA: Trident Books.

Reinhart, K. (2015). Religion, violence, and emotion: Modes of religiosity in the Neolithic and Bronze Age of northern China. Journal of World Prehistory, 28(2), pp. 113-177.

Sachs, C. (2012). The history of Musical Instruments. New York: Dover Publications Incorporated.

Skinner, S. (2013). Magical Techniques and Implements Present in Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri, Byzantine Greek Solomonic Manuscripts and European Grimoires:
Transmission, Continuity and Commonality (The Technology of Solomonic Magic). Newcastle, Australia: University of Newcastle.

Stratton-Kent, J. (2010). Geosophia – The Argo of Magic. Brighton, UK: Scarlet Imprint.

Villing, A. (2002). For whom did the bell toll in ancient Greece? Archaic and classical Greek bells at Sparta and beyond. Annual of the British School at Athens97(1), pp. 223-295.

Warner, R.A., Enrico, E.J., Borders, J.M., Etheredge, L., Gorlinski, V., Kuiper, K., Lotha, G., & Parrott-Sheffer, C. (2013). The history of Western wind instruments. [online] Encyclopædia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/art/horn-musical-instrument-group [Accessed 25 May 2018]

3 Hours of Abysmal Scrying Failures

cropped-cropped-goldendawnlogoDate: May 18, 2018
Time: 9:22 p.m to 9:35 A.M.
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent in 25 degrees Gemini, Lunar Mansion of Batn al-Hut
Planetary Day: Day of Jupiter with Jupiter in Retrograde
Planetary Hour: Hour of Saturn, Hour of Jupiter, Hour of Mars, Hour of the Sun, into Hour of Venus
Activities: LRP, Prayer, Offerings, and Invocations of HGA, crystal scrying, prayer, Temple closing

20180511_005001.jpg

I performed ritual bathing and anointed my eyes with Solomonic Holy Water and Holy Oil. I then performed the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram with my consecrated Dagger and proceeded to “inflame myself with prayer,” invoking God and my Holy Guardian Angel and requesting a vision in the scrying crystal of whatever my HGA would like me to see to develop wisdom, to be more of service, or just increase the glory of God.

I then sat before the crystal flanked with two candles while consecrated incense burned and began a whopping 3 hours of scrying, repeatedly invoking my HGA and praying.

The result? I saw absolutely nothing. Zero. Neither astrally nor physically. This is a topic that most Magicians tend to avoid writing about, but I am writing about it to encourage beginners to magic that even after many years of experience, we can still have nights when absolutely nothing happens.

Tonigh was such a night. 3 hours of abysmal failures, a mind that wouldn’t settle, attention that flitted around, inconsistent and inconstant magical gaze states, and no visions, impressions, or insights at all to show from it.

How do we relate to a night like this? As a great Adept once told me, we learn what we can from it and then laugh, brush it off, and get back on the horse and try again another day. Abysmal failures are simply part of the process and the Path, just as much as towering successes. So if you have them, know you’re not alone! We all do. This remains the case even though some of us prefer only to talk about the successes. 😉

The take-home message? Learn what you can, be patient, compassionate, and gentle with yourself. And keep walking the Path anyway, refusing to be dissuaded through perseverance and commitment.

In truth, as we say in neuro-linguistic programming, there is no such thing as failure: only feedback. So take the feedback you can, keep an open-mind, and live to try again and potentially get more “feedback” another day!

Published in: on May 11, 2018 at 5:24 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

The Hidden Key of Reverential Awe: Unlocking the Secrets of the “Fear of God” in the Grimoires

By Frater S.C.F.V.

The Key of Solomon opens with these striking words in Book I, Chapter I:

“SOLOMON, the Son of David, King of Israel, hath said that the beginning of our Key is to fear God, to adore Him, to honour Him with contrition of heart, to invoke Him 1 in all matters which we wish to undertake, and to operate with very great devotion, for thus God will lead us in the right way.

When, therefore, thou shalt wish to acquire the knowledge of Magical Arts and Sciences, it is necessary to have prepared the order of hours and of days, and of the position of the Moon, without the operation of which thou canst effect nothing; but if thou observest them with diligence thou mayest easily and thoroughly arrive at the effect and end which thou desirest to attain.”

When contemporary Magicians hear the phrase “fear of God,” they tend to immediately assume that the Key is praising something like a state of terror, or what the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard called a state of “fear and trembling.”

Naturally, since fear is often considered to be an unpleasant, painful, or negative state, students of the Hidden Knowledge may be dissuaded by this phrase in the grimoires and may want to skip over it, disregard it as ‘outmoded’ or ‘negative,’ and intentionally decide not to put this instruction into practice.

Lest we mistake a piece of gold for a piece of coal, however, it is worth carefully considering whether the grimoires actually are encouraging us to cultivate a disempowering state of terror here, which certainly would be negative if it were the case. What, if, on the contrary, the grimoiric writers have something very different in mind?

Thankfully, the state of debilitating fear does not seem to be what the grimoire writers mean by the phrase “fear of God.” Instead, they are using the word “fear” in an archaic sense that is different from how we use the word today. Properly-translated, the “fear of God” of the grimoire writers is a state far more profound than mere terror, a state that the ever-erudite Aaron Leitch describes aptly as a state of “reverential awe.” And, as I will attempt to argue in this article, it is a state which holds the key to unlock ever deeper regions of our magic, our life, and our psychological and spiritual experience.

awe.jpg

When we are in a state of terror, we may indeed feel reverential awe for the power of whatever we are afraid of to overwhelm or harm us. True terror implicitly carries respect within it, for which human beings fear what they do not respect enough to take seriously?

However, there are other states of reverential awe that do not involve terror as such. A prime and powerful example of such an alternative state is love. When a lover beholds is enraptured by the vision of their beloved, they experience a state of ‘reverential awe,’ or loving wonder, which is undeniably pleasant, even blissful. Thus, both fear and love can be states of reverential awe, and each implies a state of humility towards the beloved or the sublimely respected. This humility in the face of something vast and powerful is central to the grimoiric understanding of reverential awe.

The stark reality is that if we overlook, dismiss, or disregard the process of cultivating a state of reverential awe in our magical practice, then we deprive ourselves of one of the most powerful keys to unlocking the mysteries of Renaissance and classical magic. Conversely, by cultivating this state, we plug our magical workings deep into a  root reservoirs of magical power that stems all the way back to the shamanic roots of grimoiric magic, as Aaron Leitch lucidly describes in his Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, and which Agrippa similarly describes in his section on “phrensies” or ecstatic states. Indeed, reverential awe–the ‘fear of God’ of the grimoires is a kind of ecstatic state, that elevates the Magician into a charged condition of fully-present, fully-alert consciousness and open receptivity to the wondrous influence of higher powers.

goethe.jpg

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

Reverential awe is no small thing, no mere state among other human state. As the great German writer Goethe points out, of all of the emotional and phenomenological states of which we are capable,

“the highest a man can attain is wonder, and when the primordial phenomenon makes him wonder he should be content; it can give him nothing higher, and he should not look for anything beyond it — here is the boundary.”

Indeed, reverential awe is central to the experience of both profound Zen meditation and also in bhakti yogic samadhi states. In both experiences, one finds oneself ‘falling open’ into silent absorption that transcends the subjective experience of finite selfhood.

What’s more, as alluded to above, Agrippa’s “phrenzy of Venus” is also a state of “reverential awe,” while being a state of intimate immersion of an ecstasy of love that is far removed from ‘terror’ and more akin to a deeply-charged, blissful trust or surrender. Furthermore, even the aforementioned Kirkegaard’s “fear and trembling” state of reverential awe can itself be seen as simply another modality of the Sufi and Mystical Christian’s loving absorption form of reverential awe.

Strikingly, the magical significance of reverential awe does not stop here. According to the Renaissance angelological lore that underlies the historical background of the grimoires, the Angelic beings with whom Magicians aims to perform Operations exist in a state of perpetual reverential awe of the Divine. As a result, when we enter this mode of consciousness, we find ourselves in an emotional and spiritual condition that is magically sympathetic with the ordinary state of the Angels.

guitar.jpg

Guitar strings vibrating in harmony, a metaphor for the sympathetic resonance that exists between the Magician and higher entities such as Angels when we cultivate the state of reverential awe, which the grimoires call the ‘fear of God.’

Thus, while immersed in reverential awe, we are, in effect, phenomenologically  and spiritually harmonized or “vibrating in harmony” with the Angels themselves, like mutually-tuned strings on a guitar. As a result, when we are in such a state, it can be easier to communicate with Angels according to the Agrippan sympathetic theory. This holds true in my own practical experience as well.

This is not an abstract or far-fetched idea. On the contrary, the logic at play in this grimoiric understanding of the ‘fear of god’ as a magical technology that enables two beings in the same state to better connect with one another also makes intuitive sense based on our everyday mundane experience. For example, two people who are both experiencing sadness tend to find it easier to ‘sympathize’ with one another. In contrast, someone who is ecstatically joyful may find it difficult to connect with someone who is experiencing a deeply depressed move and “meet them where they are at.” Entering a state of reverential awe is much like this; in this state, we endeavour to meet the Divine and Angelic and celestial beings as much as possible “where they are at.”

What’s more, this point can be understood as a special case of a more general philosophical or natural law within the grimoiric worldview. Just as Magicians aim to bring their state of being into a harmonic resonance with that of the Angels through the cultivation of reverential awe, so do they do the same with other grimoiric techniques. More concretely, if Angels exist in a state of purity, always giving offerings to God, and reverential awe, then if we Magicians purify ourselves, give offerings, and cultivate a state of reverential awe, then we can more easily ‘sympathize with’ them. As a result, in such a state, we can more readily connect and communicate with these Spirits.

schem2.jpg

The back of the Shemhamphoras Diagram from the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses.

In other grimoiric texts, we find that this point not only recurs, but is applied in different magical contexts with illuminating implications. For example, there is a passage in Joseph H. Peterson’s edition of the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, which describes the  exact same elevation through reverential awe into a state of sympathetic resonance with higher spiritual powers that I allude to above. The passage in question is located in the text of the “Semiphoras” section of the Books and reads as follows:

“He who desires the influence of the Sun, must not only direct his eyes toward it, but he must elevate his soul-power [italics mine] to the soul-power of the Sun, which is God himself, having previously made himself equal to God, by fasting, purification and good works, but he must also pray in the name of the intermediary, with fervent love to God, and his fellow-man that he may come to the sun-spirit, so that he may be filled with its light and luster, which he may draw to himself from heaven, and that he may become gifted with heavenly gifts and obtain all the desires of his heart.

As soon as he grasps the higher light and arrives at a state of perfection, being gifted with supernatural intelligence, he will also obtain supernatural might and power. For this reason, without godliness, man will deny his faith in Christ, and will become unacceptable to God, therewith often falling a prey to the evil spirits against whom there is no better protection than the fear of the Lord and fervent love to God and man.”

ecstasy.png

Reverential awe – the ecstasy of the Mystic and the Magician.

A few points are worth noting in this profound passage. First of all, we find that the grimoire recommends Magicians to undertake certain practices that result in elevating their “soul power” to the “soul-power of the Sun, which is God himself.” “Elevating one’s soul power” is another way of saying placing ourselves into a state of sympathetic resonance with the object of one’s devotions or work, in this case the Sun.

Indeed, the Hebrew word “Qadosh” means both “elevated” and “holy.” A holy state in the grimoires, then, is a state of sympathetic resonance achieved through shared qualities. Just as a sad person can sympathize with a sad person or an angry person can sympathize with a wrathful Goetic spirit, a person in an elevated or holy state can better sympathize with a Spirit in an elevated or holy state, such as an Angel.

Second, and in this way, the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses suggest that fasting, praying, doing good works, purifying ourselves with ritual bathing, and cultivating “fear of the Lord and love of God and man” that is, reverential awe, can make us “equal to God.” By “equal to God,” the text doesn’t mean that we miraculously develop omnipotence and omniscience; instead, it means that we enter into “a state that is sympathetically in harmony with the nature of God.” This is the optimal state for doing magic with the help of Angels and via the invocation of Divine Names, which is the case for Enochian magic, Key of Solomon work, Sixth and Seventh Book of Moses work, the Abramelin Operation and many other grimoiric texts and approaches.

Open-Hands.jpg

Similarly, there’s an interesting passage in the 18th century astrologer Ebenezer Sibly’s A New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences, Book 4 which, in a like manner, suggests that the state of reverential awe or “fear of God” is central to the work of the Magicians who aim to work with Angels. Sibly writes:
“All who in this world lived uprightly; and preserved a good conscience, walking in the fear of God, and in the love of divine truths, applying the same to practical use, seem to themselves as men awaked out of sleep, and as having passed from darkness to light, when they first enter upon their second or interior state; for they think from the light of pure wisdom, and they do all things from the love of goodness; heaven influences their thoughts and affections, and they are in communication with angels.”
This is the same essential idea we find expressed in the Renaissance sources and late Medieval grimoires and the underlying rationale for many of the grimoiric practices. As such, it is worth contemplating deeply, and not being too hasty to rapidly discard.
Indeed, reverential awe is not simply invaluable to the work of Magicians who aim to commune with Angels. In many texts, it is also the very same state in which the Exorcist or Conjurer conjures Spirits. In the Heptameron‘s Conjuration of Wednesday, for instance, we read:
“I conjure and call upon you, ye strong and holy angels, good and powerful, in a strong name of fear and praise, Ja, Adonay, Elohim, Saday, Saday, Saday; Eie, Eie, Eie; Asamie, Asamie; and in the name of Adonay, the God of Israel, who hath made the two great lights, and distinguished day from night for the benefit of his creatures; and by the names of all the discerning angels, governing openly in the second house [*Second Heaven] before the great angel, <Tetra> [*Tegra], strong and powerful; and by the name of his star which is Mercury; and by the name of his seal, which is that of a powerful and honoured God; and I call upon thee, Raphael, and by the names above mentioned, thou great angel who presidest over the fourth day: and by the holy name which is written in the front of Aaron, created the most high priest, and by the names of all the angels who are constant in the grace of Christ, and by the name and place of Ammaluim, that you assist me in my labours, &c.”
lots.jpg

For Agrippa, reverential awe is a prerequisite for successful divination.

Correspondingly, this same use of reverential awe in a combined blend of “fear and love” is included in the “Orations to be Said While You Conjure” in the Key of Knowledge transcribed from British Library, additional manuscript 36674 by Joseph H. Peterson:
Lord Jesus Christ, the loving Son of God, which dost illuminate the hearts of all men in the world, lighten the darkness of my heart, and kindle the fire of thy most holy love in me. Give me true faith, perfect charity, and virtue, whereby I may learn to fear and love thee and keep thy commandments in all things; that when the Last Day shall come, the Angel of God may peaceably take me, and deliver me from the power of the Devil, that I may enjoy everlasting rest amidst the company of the holy Saints, and sit on thy right hand. Grant this, thou Son of the living God for thy holy name’s sake. Amen.
Nor is the cultivation of reverential awe only called upon for use in evocation or as a general way of life of sanctity and spiritual uprightness. Indeed, in his Third Book of Occult Philosophy, Agrippa recommends cultivating reverential awe as a prerequisite for all forms of divination. He writes:

“Every one therefore that works by lots, must go about it with a mind well disposed, not troubled, nor distracted, and with a strong desire, firm deliberation, and constant intention of knowing that which shall be desired.

Moreover he must, being qualified with purity, chastity, and holiness towards God, and the celestials, with an undoubted hope, firm faith, and sacred orations, invocate them, that he may be made worthy of receiving the divine spirits, and knowing the divine pleasure; for if thou shalt be qualified, they will discover to thee most great secrets by vertue of lots, and thou shalt become a true Prophet, and able to speak truth concerning things past, present, and to come, of which thou shalt be demanded.

Now what we have spoken here concerning lots, is also to be observed in the auguries of all discemings, viz. when with fear, yet with a firm expectation we prefix to our souls for the sake of prophecying some certain works, or require a sign, as Eleasar, Abrahams countryman, & Gideon Judge in Israel are read to have done.”

In short, Agrippa points us to the importance of cultivating a state of purity, holiness and reverential awe married to “firm faith” so that our nature can be made sympathetically resonant with the “celestials” and “divine spirits” who can help us to conduct the divination of things unknown and hidden (i.e. occult). This, in effect, is an act of placing ourselves into the sympathetic magic equation in the same way that we place corresponding stones, metals, or incenses into a ceremonial ritual with the aim of amplifying the sympathetic power of the Rite.
Therefore, although many of us modern Magicians seem to have forgotten it, Magician are not only a conductor of sympathetic ingredients; we ourselves are such ingredients. And therefore, we must ensure that we work ourselves into the appropriate state of sympathetic harmony–such as reverential awe–that will enable us to maximize the effectiveness of our rituals.
divination.jpg
Nor do we only find the grimoires and Early Modern sources enjoining us to cultivate reverential awe through the mouths of human writers; instead, the Spirits also offer similar instructions. For example, in John Dee’s True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits, we find the Archangel Gabriel telling Dee and Kelley that:
“Blessed are those who dwell in charity. Persevere to the end: not negligently, but with good will, which good will, is called fear, which fear is the beginning of wisdom, the first step into rest.”
This is a very interesting passage for several reasons. First, Gabriel links the “fear” or reverential awe of which he speaks to “good will,” or sincerity or being goodhearted and well-intentioned.
Second, the Archangel also links this state to the “beginning of wisdom,” which sincerely Dee sought as the legendary King Solomon had  done before him. Reverential awe is the beginning of wisdom, because in this state, we cease to rely on our flawed human opinions and open ourselves to spiritual inspiration. In Dee’s case, this was from the Angels themselves. Agrippa had a similar idea in mind in the passage quoted above.
Third, it’s also worth noting that Gabriel here links this reverential awe state not only to wisdom, but also to rest; indeed, in its pleasurable form of a loving ecstatic absorption, one can happily rest in that state. This was precisely the state that the Advaita Vedanta sage Nisargadatta Maharaj had in mind when he recommended his devotees to “rest in the pure sense of Being, not being this or that, but simply being.” Resting in the pure sense of being is the same as communing with the Divine, which proclaims Eheieh (I Am). This sublimely subtle form of reverential awe is a peaceful state, as well as a pleasurable one, in which the heart is exalted (made ‘holy’) in Divine Presence and worshipful abiding.
dee.jpg

J Edward Kelley (1555 – 1597) experiences a vision of an Enochian Angel in the Crystal, accompanied by Dr. John Dee (1527 – 1608 or 1609).

Similarly, the Angels tell Dee and Kelley that:
“God is He whose wisdom unto the world is foolishness, but unto them that fear Him, an everlasting joy, mixed with gladness, and a comfort of life hereafter, partaking infallible joys, with him that is all comeliness and beauty.”
 In this way, this reverential awe before the Divine, this opening of oneself to a surrendered, intensely alive, awe-filled state of openness and humility not only empowers our magic and enriches our life here on Earth, but also affords Paradisiacal benefits in the life hereafter. Whether one believes in such an afterlife or not, it is certainly the case that this state is indeed conducive to the development of wisdom, rest, and empowered magical work in this life, a claim which is demonstrable through practical testing. Indeed, if one can attain this state of reverential awe and bring it into daily life, mundane life itself takes on an enchanted feeling of spiritual depth, holy/exalted (qadosh) presence, and gratitude which constitute a kind of “Heaven in the Now” in this life” in their own right.
gio.jpg

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600).

 Indeed, one of the easiest ways to excite this reverential wonder and awe is the contemplation of beauty, a fact which was well-known to Plato and the Neoplatonists who followed him, such as Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus. It was also a familiar insight to the Renaissance Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, occultist, and cosmological theorist Giordano Bruno, who, in his De Gli Eroici Furori or On The Heroic Frenzies (1582), writes:

“He who arrives at some most excellent and most beautifully adorned edifice and considers it in each detail, is pleased, contented, and filled with a noble wonder; but then should it happen that he also see the Lord of these images in his incomparably greater beauty, he would abandon every concern and thought of such images, turn and become completely intent upon the contemplation of that Lord.

Such is the difference between the state in which he see the Divine Beauty in its intelligible aspects which are drawn from the Divine Beauty’s effects, operations, designs, shadows, and similitudes, and that other state in which we might be permitted to see it in its own unique being.”

This, in closing, is another layer of meaning that lies within the “fear of God” that unlocks the potent inner currents of grimoiric magic. This reverential awe is, at its heart, a noble wonder, a state of Divine communion with Beauty itself. And while, as every adolescent male knows, the sight of profound beauty can excite fear, it can also excite wonder and loving absorption. In this blissful ecstasy, the longings of the human heart and the noblest human capacities for contemplative wonder and spiritual exaltation are mobilized for the completion of the Magician’s aims. By harnessing the most potent of human powers, in the state of reverential awe, therefore, our grimoiric Magic can itself become the most potent it can be.

 

Crafting a Solomonic Circle

By Frater S.C.F.V

Crafting a Solomonic Circle : Introduction

seal2After an astounding, and very enjoyable, three weeks of work, I have finally finished crafting my version of a Solomonic Circle based on a combination of the Consecration Circle from the Clavicula Salomonis (16th c.) and the Circle from the Goetia of the Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis (17th c.). My source materials for this project included the critical editions of both texts from Joseph H. Peterson, Renaissance manuscripts of the texts (Sloane MSS. 3091, Sloane MSS. 3548, Kings MSS. 288, and Harley MSS. 3981) and ideas from my respected colleagues in Aaron Leitch’s Solomonic group.

In this article, I would like to share how I approached the process of crafting of this Circle, why I made the decisions I did in terms of its design, and the stages through which the project unfolded from its conception to its creation. My hope is that the information shared here will be helpful to those who are wondering how to get started with a project of this magnitude and are looking for some useful tips and assistance. For example, I will endeavour to offer some clear tables and ideas for faithfully rendering the Hebrew letters in the Mathers-Crowley edition of the Goetia Circle, which can be very hard to read in many of the manuscripts.

cyp.png

“Icon of St. Cyprian and Justine” by Elen Kishkurno.

The Devotion of the Art: A Philosophical Approach

When I decided to take on this project, which I intended to use for practical work with the grimoires, it was clear to me that I had to do so in the right spirit and proper frame of mind. Anyone who has worked with the Solomonic grimoires knows that they are extremely devotional in nature. They make extensive use of prayers, glorification and devotional proclamations to the Divine, and, like the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, encourage the Magician or “Exorcist” to inflame themselves in prayer. Indeed, this devotional and ecstatic aspect is key to the Solomonic approach, as Aaron Leitch explains in his excellent Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires.

Therefore, I approached the creation of this Circle, as the Solomonic grimoires recommend, not as preparation for magical work, but as an act of magic in itself. Indeed, my approach to the work was that I would offer up my energy, my time, and the very best work I could possibly do for the greater glory of the Divine and as an offering to the Divine and to the Angelic spirits that the Circle itself calls upon for protection and empowerment. My entire approach, therefore, was one of devotion and of a spirit of offering. I believe this is very important, because if approached in this way, the Magician infuses that devotional spirit and fervent energy of prayer and the ecstatic “phrenzy of Love”–to quote Agrippa– into the Circle itself. This, in effect, adds an additional layer of power and consecration to the Circle as a greater tool for work.

the-ecstasy-1.jpg

Bernini’s “Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila” (c. 1647–1652).

As a result, I incorporated a series of devotional and ceremonial aspects into the very creation of the Circle itself. First, I performed ritual bathing before every session of work on the Circle to ensure I was in a state of ritual purity. I recommend Key of Solomon, Book II,  Chapter IV for instructions on the bathing or using the Islamic ghusl method).

Second, on some of my work days on the Circle, I fasted (see Key of Solomon Book II, Chapter IV for guidance on fasting as well as Aaron’s Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires).

Third, I consecrated the markers I used for drawing the characters and figures on the Circle and used acrylic paint following the method for the exorcism and consecration of the Ink of the Art given in Book II, Chapter XIV of the Key of Solomon.

Fourth, I burned Frankincense during the painting sessions, which was consecrated according to Book II, Chapter X of the Key of Solomon in the appropriate Planetary Hours.

Fifth, during my work on the Circle, I listened to devotional hymns, songs, Gregorian  chanting, and Biblical Hebrew chanting of Psalms. I also chanted and prayed as constantly as I could.

In short, the entire process of creating the Circle, which took many hours over a three-week period, was a rite of devotion, prayer, purification, meditative absorption, and consecration. This is the state of mind and attitude in which I approach the creation of any magical tool, but particularly projects of the scale of a Circle of this kind.

circle.gif

Circle and Triangle of Art from Sloane MSS. 3648 of the Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis.

Approach to the Lettering and Symbolism Used

In order to craft a Circle of this type, it is very important for the Magician to first study the symbolism used in great detail in order to understand its function and the Forces that the ritual implements call upon for empowerment, exorcism, and consecration.

Therefore, I studied the symbols and rationales behind all aspects of the Circle in great detail through the secondary and primary sources and in consultation with other Solomonic practitioners. Dr. Stephen Skinner recommended that if I were to use the serpent motif, as present in the Crowley-Mathers take on the Goetia Circle, then I should place its tail in its mouth to complete the ouroboros symbolism which links it back to the Papyri Graecae Magicae (PGM) via the Hygromanteia. I took his advice and did exactly this. Frater Ashen Chassan’s own amazing work on his Goetia Circle

As I studied the Hebrew words–written in Latin characters in the original manuscripts–it soon became clear to me that the letters in the outer circle of the Goetia Circle come from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy (1531). As a side note, this very fact tells us that the Lemegeton text cannot, therefore, be older than 1531, and is probably considerably younger.

More specifically, the Hebrew words in the Circle come from Chapter 13 of Agrippa’s Second Book, which is entitled “Of the Number Ten and the Scale Thereof.” In this Scale, Agrippa provides a Table with 10 Columns devoted to the 10 Sephirot of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. These Columns supply the Hebrew Names of God, the Sephirot, the Angelic Choirs, the Archangels, and the names of the “Spheres of the Celestial World” which were transliterated into English characters in the ring of Names around the Goetia Circle.

Realizing that these were originally Hebrew names, Mathers and Crowley restored them to their original Hebrew. I agree with this decision and decided to go along with it in my own Circle. In the Goetia Circle, however, only 9 out of the 10 columns were included; the Malkut column was omitted. Some Magicians have argued that the reason for this was that the Circle itself represented the Sphere of Malkuth, and therefore the names were not needed. This is a fair argument, although I am not particularly fond of this argument.

scaladen.gif

Image of the “Scale of the Number Ten” from Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

It seems to me that the Malkuth column contains key Names of God, Sephirot, Angelic Choir, and Archangelic Names, which if omitted, deprive the Circle of additional protection and talismanic power; if added, conversely, they add an additional layer of talismanic and protective power and a greater sense of completeness. The physical Circle then becomes a potent and complete mandala of all of the Powers in the Four Qabalistic Worlds mapped around the Magician; in effect, it becomes a microcosmic mandalaic representation of the macrocosmic forces that Agrippa lays out in his Ten Scale. Thus, what I did was to transliterate the Names from the Malkut column in Agrippa back into Hebrew and follow the same symbolic conventions as Mathers-Crowley edition (e.g. using the astrological sigil of the associated Planet, in this case Earth).

An additional issue that anyone who wishes to construct a version of the Lemegeton’s Goetia Circle must face is the issue of the Hebrew. There are many errors in the Hebrew both in the original manuscripts and some in the Mathers-Crowley Hebrew as well. Mr. Gilberto Strapazon has done some excellent work in meticulously correcting these errors in his own take on the Goetic Circle. When you add together my work with Mr. Strapazon’s, the result is the following list of Names for the 10 Columns of Agrippa’s Ten Scale, all in their original Hebrew, which are to be written in the outer Circle.

Here are the Names for the original 9 columns used in the original Lemegeton’s Goetia Circle as transliterated back into Hebrew by Mathers-Crowley:

hebrew

My restored version of the 10th column Names, which are to be written after the Luna Names, is as follows:

earth.png

To write the Names around the Circle, if you use the serpent motif from the Crowley-Mathers Circle–as I did–I suggest to begin writing the Names in the S.P.M. (Sphere of Primum Mobile) row starting from the snake’s head, and working your way to the left along the serpent’s body. Recall that Hebrew is written from right to left, so you would not start with the letters S.P.M., but rather with the Aleph on the right-most side of the column that starts the name Eheieh in Hebrew (אהיה). Then you would work from right to left until you reach “S.P.M.” and then start at the rightmost letter in the row under that (the S.S.F. row) and work your way to the left towards the letters “S.S.F.” and so on through the rest of the Names.

In my own version of the Circle, I decided to make some additional augmentations because I wanted this Circle to double as a Pentacle consecration Circle for Key of Solomon work, I added the Four Names from the Key‘s Pentacle Consecration Circle into their respective cardinal quarters, as shown in the original diagram from the text:

pentacle.jpg

As shall be seen in the images below, I placed these four Names above the Hexagrams in the central circle in each Quarter. In this way, a single Circle can be used both to consecrate Pentacles and to do evocations and invocation work.

In addition, as I explained in a previous post, in Book 2, Chapter 9 of Mathers’ Key of Solomon, Mathers’ diagram of the Circle shows the Hebrew text of “Who is like unto thee, oh YHVH?” from Exodus 15:11 added in the second band of the Circle. However, in almost every source I’ve seen, there are many mistakes in the Hebrew given for this verse, including both Mathers’ original presentation and Mr. Donald Tyson’s presentation thereof in Serpent of Wisdom, where it is erroneously transliterated as “MI KMIK BALIM IHVH.”

After consulting the passage in the Hebrew Tanakh to verify it, here is the correct Hebrew as it should be written, shown in the context of the full verse from the Tanakh:

hebrew

In my Circle, these words were included towards the end of the Serpent’s body where it weaves back towards its head to complete the ouroboros as per Dr. Skinner’s instructions.

Moreover, attentive readers will also notice that I followed Frater Ashen Chassan’s example of using Medieval and Renaissance calligraphy in the English or Latin characters used in the circle (e.g. “ALPHA,” “OMEGA,” and “TETRAGRAMMATON”). This is not required by the original manuscripts or even by the Crowley-Mathers edition, but it adds a great deal of beauty to the final result. As Neoplatonic Theurgy explains, the more beautiful our magical tools, the more they participate in the ‘nature of the Beautiful,’ which sympathetically helps them to resonate more strongly with the Divine forces we use them to invoke.

Finally, it will be noted that I made some changes to the Hexagrams and the Pentagrams used in the Circle. For the large central Hexagrams in the inner circle, I used the general structure of “Solomon’s Hexagonal figure” from the Goetia to add additional power to the Circle as shown in the following image. I also added smaller forms of the Pentagram and Hexagram of Solomon near the Consecration Circle Names in each quarter for aesthetic balance and additional empowerment.

hex.gif

“Hexagonal Figure of Solomon” or Hexagram of Solomon from the Lemegeton’s Goetia.

As for the four Pentagrams, which surround the Circle, I made some changes to these as well. I kept the “TETRAGRAMMATON” text, but added crosses at the vertices and Alpha and Omega signs to align them with the symbolism in the Hexagram of Solomon. I also felt an intuitive nudge from my HGA to include the name “EL” (Aleph-Lamed or God in Hebrew) twice and the Name “YAH” (Yod-Heh) once, with the following final design for each Pentagram:

20180429_180023

When I investigated the resulting Gematria, I was struck by the esoteric implications of these additions. In Gematria, each Hebrew letter is assigned a numerical value. Therefore, each word has a numerical value, which is equal to the sum of the values of its letters. Words with the same numerical value are taken to share occult connections. For example, the word “El” (God) in Hebrew (Aleph-Lamed) has a value of 31, the same value as the Hebrew words for “Love of Yah,” “Seer,” “Holds” (as in an embrace of love or protection), and “Brother of Union.” Similarly, the word “Yah” (Yod-Heh) has a value of 15, the same value as the Hebrew words for “He is,” “To utter, to confess, to praise,” “to speak, to breathe” (recall that ‘spirit’ comes from the word for breath in Latin), “to be hidden,” “projection,” “flow, flux,” “splendor,” “exaltation,” “majesty,” and “to love excessively” (“God is love” – 1 John 4:8).

As it turns out, the two Els and one Yah give the Names around a single Pentagram, as shown above, a value of 77 (31+31+15 = 77). This is the same value of the Hebrew words for being “bound together,” “vault,” “bubbling or welling up,” “longing for,” “to pray,” Gichon (the name of a River in Eden), “Yah Builds,” “Yah is Bountiful,” “a strong, raised place, castle or fortress” (fitting for a protective Circle), “Planet” (fitting for Planetary Names used in the Circle and Planetary Talismans consecrated therein), “Fullness, bounty,” “to wrap up, cover” (appropriate for the ‘cover’ provided by the Circle and Pentagrams), and “strong, mighty, fierce, firmness, stability,” which all resonate with the Circle’s function and symbolism.

What’s more, if we add the values of the Names around all four Pentagrams, we get a value of 308 (77 x 4 = 308). 308 is the same value as the Hebrew words for “God is Helper,” “God’s Help,” “Shepherd” (a name for Christ), “To turn white” (which resonates with the phrase “cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow,” in Psalm 51, which is used in Key of Solomon rituals and evokes the use of hyssop in the ritual cleansing bath), “innermost, deepest part” (Resh-Qoph-Chet), and “an enclosure, a Home” (Resh-Yod-Tzaddi-Chet), which are also fitting for a Circle.

The Stages of Making the Circle

The actual crafting of the Circle proceeded through a series of stages. Each time I worked on the Circle, as mentioned above, I proceeded with great devotion and purified myself with ritual bathing, burned consecrated incense, prayed, and listened to chanting, devotional songs, hymns, and Psalms. Indeed, there were times, after multiple hours of praising and painting simultaneously, when I would enter states of ecstatic love, and offer up all of the energy to the Divine and the Angelic beings invoked in the Circle. I also learned to draw each letter one at a time, focusing on one line at a time, and making each line as perfect as I could make it, offering it up as an offering unto itself within the larger mandala of the Circle.

I began with laying down newspapers on the ground of my workspace to protect my carpet from the paint going through the white sheet on which I would be painting:

20180411_220426

I then lay down my white sheet and used weight plates to stretch it out as tautly as possible:

20180411_220353

I then placed a standing fan in the center of the sheet and attached a rope to it. To that rope, I attached a consecrated marker, and then traced first a larger Circle (for the outer circle) by walking around the circle pulling the marker attached to the base of the fan with me to form a circle. I then reeled in some of the rope by winding it around the fan to make it shorter and traced a smaller circle (for the inner circle) within the larger one. I traced over each circle multiple times to make them bolder. The result was the following:

20180411_220320

With the base circles complete, I drew the central diamond and the four central Hexagrams and the crosses at the vertex of each around it in free-hand. If you have a large ruler, I would recommend using that instead more equally-sized figures than my rather idiosyncratic ones:

20180411_220120

Once this was done, I proceeded with filling in the letters and Tau crosses within the central figures using my consecrated permanent marker. I also added the four Key of Solomon Consecration Circle Names along with smaller versions of the Pentagram and Hexagram of Solomon above each larger Hexagram and around the Consecration Circle Names. After I drew the three coils of the Serpent and placed his tail in his mouth to complete the ouroboros, the result was the following:

20180413_190703

I then began to write the Hebrew Names around the serpent, starting from his head–in which I placed an ‘eye’ composed of an equal-armed cross–and winding towards the left around the Circle, writing the names as given in the lists above. I also painted in the Eastern Hexagram just to test my golden acrylic paint and began to paint the area around the serpent in the outer circle as well, with the following result:

20180413_235901

Notice that I first painted in the full points of each Hexagram in gold, allowed it to dry, and only then added the letters of “ADONAI” over the painted points, as will be seen in the picture below. I followed the same approach with the Pentagrams in the corners, painting them in gold first, allowing it to dry, and then drawing the calligraphic “TETRAGRAMMATON” over them with consecrated markers.

As a useful Tip for fellow Circle-crafters, I discovered that the easiest way to write the Hebrew words is to first outline them and then fill them in, as shown in this image. I recommend practicing drawing the outlines of the letters on some scrap paper first until you feel more comfortable to write them on the Circle as they can’t be erased, only painted over! I took the same approach with the calligraphy, of first outlining the letters, and then filling them in:

20180417_153345

I staggered painting in the gold parts of the hexagrams and area around the Circles with working on the Hebrew letters. I found that the easiest way to draw the Hebrew letters was to lie on my stomach on the ground and rotate my body around so that I was always facing the letters, which made them easier to write. As the letters neared their completion, the Circle looked like this:

20180417_215606

I then painted in the central diamond or square in red and finished the letters, with the following result:

20180418_091202

The next step was to paint the insides of the Hexagrams, or rather the central hexagons with the Greek letter Tau’s within them. I did this in blue, as shown below:

20180420_173025

With this done, I was able to focus on painting the gold around the serpent in the rest of the outer Circle. Once complete, and after writing “MAGISTER,” Latin for “Master,” in Renaissance calligraphy as well as the Hebrew letters Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh in the central red diamond, the result was the following:

20180425_223840

All that remained at this point was to draw the four Pentagrams in the corners surrounding the Circle. This posed a challenge since I was working in a very small space. What I decided to do was to bunch up the circle part of the sheet and use weights to stretch out the corners of the sheet in which I would draw the Pentagrams. It is key for the surface on which we are writing or painting to be taut to make the process of inscribing the symbols as easy as possible. This bunching up technique gave the following result once I had drawn the Pentagrams and crosses at their vertices free-hand and painted in the central pentagons in red:

20180429_202528

I then filled in the points of the Pentagrams in gold to match the Hexagrams:

20180429_202418

Once dry, I painted the “TETRAGRAMMATON” text in calligraphy in each Star using this image I crafted on the computer as a guide:

tetra.jpg

I drew the letters into the corners of the Pentagrams using the original manuscripts as a guide for which letters to put in which. Having added the calligraphy, all that remained was to paint the outer crosses blue as per my own design. It should be noticed that no such crosses are present in the original manuscripts or in the Crowley-Mathers edition, but I believe they add to the overall aesthetic impact as well as additional talismanic and protective power through the cross emblems themselves.

With the Pentagrams done,  the Circle was complete. The end result had taken me countless hours over the span of a full three weeks. But once I saw the finished product, I was filled with awe and it all felt worthwhile. Here are some detailed pictures of the final result to show some of the lettering more closely as well as the final appearance with the completed Hexagrams:

20180429_195218

Finished Circle:

20180429_194101

Close-up on the central Hexagrams, calligraphy, and diamond/square:

20180429_193804

Close-up on the “OMEGA” calligraphy:

20180429_193843

Close-up on the “PHA” part of “ALPHA” in the calligraphy:

20180429_193931

Close-up on the Eastern Quarter of the inner circle (“AGYEL – Agiel – Intelligence of Saturn, Tau cross, symbol from the Pentagram of Solomon, and miniature Pentagrams and Hexagrams of Solomon). Please note that my friend Andy Foster would want me to point out here that there is a great deal of debate in the Solomonic community over whether this name was meant to be “Agiel,” “Aniel,” “Anael” or some other variant since the original manuscripts are unclear. I stuck with the most commonly agreed-upon use–Agiel, the beneficent Intelligence of Saturn–with the rationale that his name is used to protect from malefic Saturnian influences, facilitate the ‘binding’ or ‘constriction’ of Planetary energies into the Planetary Pentacles:

20180429_194303

Close-up on the Southern Quarter of the inner circle (“TzBAVT” – Tzabaoth, with miniature Hexagrams and Pentagrams of Solomon):

20180429_194354

Close-up on the Western Quarter of the inner circle (“YHVH” and miniature Pentagrams and Hexagrams of Solomon):

20180429_194433

Close-up on the Northern Quarter of the Circle (“ADNI” – Adonai and miniature Hexagrams and Pentagrams of Solomon):

20180429_194524

Lessons Learned from Creating the Circle

I learned a great deal by working on this Circle. For those considering this work, here are some of my take-home lessons from completing this massive project:

  • The process of crafting a magical tool is not an act of preparing for magic, but an act of magic in itself. As such, it is best approached with ritual purity, consecrated incense, a devotional attitude, and a great deal of care, patience, and focus. The love, devotion, and energy poured into the work during the crafting of the tool–or in this case, Circle–strengthens our personal and spiritual connection to it. It also classically conditions us to feel a sense of that love, devotion, and power each time we use the tool, or step into the Circle.
  • If you don’t feel very comfortable writing Hebrew letters by the time you start writing the Names in the Goetia Circle, you certainly will by the end! This project forces you to write very, very carefully–since mistakes cannot be erased–and to put a great deal of loving and concentrated attention into each line of every letter. This process is very conducive to improving our Hebrew writing ability.
  • As mentioned before, the easiest way to write the Hebrew letters and calligraphy on this scale is to first outline them and then fill each outline in. I learned this trick from my friend Curtis Estes who draws his Hebrew letters by outlining them first as well (thank you, Curtis!).
  • The Circle is a microcosmic image of the macrocosmic universe; in this sense, it is exactly like a Tibetan Buddhist Mandala. When the Master stands in the center of the Circle, s/he places him/herself at the symbolic center of the universe, surrounded by all of the Angelic Choirs, Archangels, Sephirotic Names, and Divine Names. The result is both a powerful sense of protection and as if one were standing in a giant talisman that draws power to itself. When I stand in the middle of the completed Circle, I can almost feel it humming with power and feel completely safe.
  • Time spent checking original manuscripts can allow us to catch mistakes so that we don’t replicate them and provide a much deeper understanding of the structure of the tool and the magical formulae by which it works. All of this research pays tremendous dividends in our practice and magical growth. I learned a great deal about Hebrew, calligraphy, Agrippa, the roots and structure of the Grimoires, painting and drawing techniques, how to use various artistic materials, and many other topics while working on this project. For instance, keeping a sheet unwrinkled and taut is no easy task! A canvas would be a much easier drawing surface.
  • Although a large project like this can seem intimidating when considered as a whole, in reality, all it ever involves is drawing a single line or doing a single brush stroke at a time. And if approached in that way, with the mindfulness of a Zen monk sweeping a path in a monastery, what seems impossible quickly becomes possible. Although it seems hard at the outset, since all you are ever doing is one brush stroke or drawing one line, in practice, it becomes amazingly easy.
  • Because I ended up spending so many hours in prayer and worship while working on this, my heart ended up feeling like it ‘cracked open’ at one point and the sense of Divine Love and Presence grew incredibly stronger. That feeling lingers to this day and ended up moving me to do more prayers and add more worship into my daily practices.
  • An optimal time to consecrate a Circle of this nature is during a waxing Moon on the Day and Hour of Mercury when the Moon is in Cancer. Thank you to my friend Frater YShY for this bit of wisdom.
  • Finally, this project can be a great deal of fun and if you feel called to it, you can do it! Simply deciding to go forward with it, and give it your absolute best effort, however long it ends up taking, makes the whole process easier. Pray for guidance and you will receive it. Numerous times along the way, I was nudged forward by insight and guidance from beyond myself. If you open yourself to inspiration, it will come. Believe in yourself and go for it. You are way more powerful and capable than you know!

Consecrations of Solomonic Linens, Tablet of Lights, Aspergillum, Incense, Scrying Crystal, and a Crucifix of Art

By Frater S.C.F.V.

seal2Since today is the last waxing-Mooned Day of Mercury of the Lunar month before the Moon returns to its waning phase, it is a big day for me as a Solomonic magician. I did no less than 4 hours of ritual today, divided between three Hours of Mercury with some additional time thereafter in each case for supplementary prayers. In addition to that, I fasted throughout the day and did additional prayers and singing in between Hours of Mercury while crafting Solomonic tools and painting my Solomonic Circle.

I woke up before Dawn, performed a Ritual Bathing, in the Sufi Ghusl method I have long used, ate a small meal of toast with peanut butter and an apple, and prepared my tools for the first Hour of Mercury.

During the First Hour of Mercury, I consecrated a series of incenses as Holy Incense following the Key of Solomon method, with suffumigations, purifications with Solomonic Holy Water, and anointing with Solomonic Holy Oil.

Incense.jpg

I also consecrated the Tablet of Lights used in Balthazar’s Solomonic candle magic methodology, which I plan to experiment with in its fusion of Solomonic methods with Hoodoo/Conjure techniques, as well as a secondary plate for drawing circles on the Tablet of Lights that I call the Plate of Circles.

In addition, I consecrated the Solomonic Linens to wrap these two tools. Over the Incense, Tablet of Lights, Plate of Circles, and Linens, I prayed Psalms 72, 118, 124, and the Benedicite Omnia Opera.

In the Second Hour of Mercury, I inscribed the Sigils and Names of God as given in the Key of Solomon‘s Book II, Chapter 20 method for the linens in a number of separate wrappings to be used for all of my Solomonic tools. I also cut the Aspergillum used for sprinkling water according to Key of Solomon’s Book II, Chapter 11 method and blessed and consecrated it as well.

linen1.jpg

Between the Second and Third Hours of Mercury, I continued to paint the gold around my Solomonic Circle:

circlegold.jpg

Finally, in the Third Hour of Mercury, I Solomonically consecrated a Gold-plated zinc-alloy Crucifix of Art to be worn around my neck for protection during the exorcism of Soror C.R. that I will soon be performing… I hand cleansed it with soapy water before I consecrated it, then suffumigated it, cleansed it with Holy Water, anointed it with Holy Oil, and recited the exorcisms, blessings, and Psalms over it.

crucifix2.jpg

Finally, also during this Hour, I Solomonically consecrated my Scrying Crystal for use in the invocation and evocation of Angelic beings and the seeing of Holy visions, suffumigating, sprinkling, and anointing it as with the Crucifix of Art.

crucifix1.jpg

All in all, it has been a very exhausting, but beautiful day. I saw sparks around the Circle at times, and felt like my heart opened up more in faith and loving devotion. Preparing and consecrating each of these tools according to the grimoire is an act of devotion, of faith, of love, and of magic in its own right.

These rites should not be rushed through, but done with presence, care, and due consideration, for as the pseudo-Agrippa, the author of the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, points out, grimoiric magic strongly relies on the consecrations used to invest the tools with Spirits of their own according to their shamanistic roots:

“And now we come to treat of the Consecrations which, men ought to make upon all instruments and things necessary to be used in this Art: and the virtue of this Consecration most chiefly consists in two things; to wit, in the power of the person consecrating, and by the virtue of the prayer by which the Consecration is made.

For in the person consecrating, there is required holiness of Life, and power of sanctifying: both which are acquired by Dignification and Initiation. And that the person himself should with a firm and undoubted faith believe the virtue, power, and efficacie hereof.

And then in the Prayer itself by which this Consecration is made, there is required the like holiness; which either solely consisteth in the prayer itself, as, if it be by divine inspiration ordained to this purpose, such as we have in many places of the holy Bible; or that it be hereunto instituted through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the ordination of the Church.

Otherwise there is in the Prayer a Sanctimony, which is not only by itself, but by the commemoration of holy things; as, the commemoration of holy Scriptures, Histories, Works, Miracles, Effects, Graces, Promises, Sacraments and Sacramental things, and the like. Which things, by a certain similitude, do seem properly or improperly to appertain to the thing consecrated.”

~ The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy

 

Consecration Ritual for a Solomonic Lighter of the Art

By Frater S.C.F.V.

sol

One idea I had on this past waxing-Mooned Day of Mercury was to make a Solomonic Lighter of the Art.

To go about it, I painted a barbecue lighter white during the Hour of Mercury on the Day of Mercury when the Moon was waxing.


HELPFUL TIP: Should  you choose to craft your own Lighter of the Art, I recommend leaving a little space unpainted around the switches that activate the fire in the lighter. If you paint too closely to the switches, paint can slip into the grooves and render the switches unmovable and the lighter, unusable. I learned this lesson the hard way; paint got into the grooves, the switches ceased to function, and I had to start over with a second lighter. How often our magical wisdom grows from foolish mistakes…


For this method, having painted the handle of a barbecue lighter white or eggshell white acrylic paint, you will need:

Having prepared all of these things on a prior date, place all of your tools in the Circle and begin the operation in the Hour of Mercury on the Day of Mercury (Wednesday) when the Moon is waxing.

HELPFUL TIP: To determine the current Moon phase, see this site. To determine the Planetary Hours for a given day, calculate them yourself or use this site.

EXORCISM AND CONSECRATION OF THE SOLOMONIC LIGHTER OF THE ART

Sprinkle the Lighter with Holy Water, suffumigate with consecrated Incense, and anoint it with consecrated Holy Oil and say:

I exorcise thee, O Creature of Fire, by Him through Whom all things have been made, so that every kind of Phantasm may retire from thee, and be unable to harm or deceive in any way, through the Invocation of the Most High Creator of all. Amen.

After this thou shalt add:–

I exorcise thee, O Creature of the Lighter, by Him Who alone hath created all things by His Word, and by the virtue of Him Who is pure truth, that thou cast out from thee every Phantasm, Perversion, and Deceit of the Enemy, and may the Virtue and Power of God enter into thee, so that thou mayest give us light, and chase far from us all fear or terror. Amen.

Draw these characters with the Pen of the Art:

letters

Bless the Lighter of the Art:

Bless, O Lord All Powerful, and All Merciful, this Creature of Fire, so that being blessed by Thee, it may be for the honour and glory of Thy Most Holy Name, so that it may work no hindrance or evil unto those who use it. Through Thee, O Eternal and Almighty Lord, and through Thy Most Holy Name. Amen.

This being done, suffumigate the Lighter of the Art with the Spices of the Art once more, sprinkle it with the Holy Water, and anoint with the Holy Oil.

After this thou shalt repeat over the Lighter of Art, the following Psalms:

Psalm 150

Hallelujah!

Praise El in his holy place.
Praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his mighty acts. Praise him for his immense greatness.
Praise him with sounds from horns. Praise him with harps and lyres.
Praise him with tambourines and dancing.Praise him with stringed instruments and flutes.
Praise him with loud cymbals. Praise him with crashing cymbals.

Let everything that breathes praise Yah!

Hallelujah!

Psalm 117

Praise YHVH, all you nations! Praise him, all you people of the world!
His mercy toward us is powerful.
YHVH’s faithfulness endures forever.

Then pray over the Lighter of the Art:

O Lord God, Who governest all things by Thine Almighty Power, give unto me, a poor sinner, understanding and knowledge to do only that which is agreeable unto Thee; grant unto me to fear, adore, love, praise, and give thanks unto Thee with true and sincere faith and perfect charity. Grant, O Lord, before I die, and descend into the realms beneath, and before the fiery flame shall devour me, that Thy Grace may not leave me, O Lord of my Soul. Amen.

After this thou shalt sprinkle it with the Water of the Art, and incense them with the usual perfumes, and anoint with the Oil a final time. Then wrap the Lighter of the Art in a consecrated Silk or Linen of the Art.

***

And each time thou shalt wish to kindle this Lighter of the Art thou shalt say:–

I exorcise thee, O Creature of Fire, in the Name of the Sovereign and Eternal Lord, by His Ineffable Name, which is YOD, HE, VAU, HE; by the Name IAH; and by the Name of Power EL; that thou mayest enlighten the heart of all the Spirits which we shall call unto this Circle, so that they may appear before us without fraud and deceit through Him Who hath created all things.

Lighter2.png

A Final Note on the Sigils Used in the Method

As a final note, when I shared this method with my esteemed Solomonic colleagues, it was very well-received by all but the most hyper-traditionalists who preferred to fumble over flint rather than to benefit from a more efficient way to spark the same “Creature of Fire” used to light the Candles and Incense of the Art.

Personally, having tested both the traditional flint and the consecrated Lighter of the Art, I haven’t found any magical difference in efficacy or potency from using the former rather than the latter. On the contrary, since the Lighter of the Art has an added layer of consecrations and Sigil-based empowerment to it, it seems to have proven even more effective than the flint in my experience.

For a sampling of some of the interesting feedback I received, the learned Mr. Christopher Hartleigh Low said the rationale of method made sense to him as he had already turned a Zippo into a Solar talisman. The equally learned Mr. Aaron Leitch asked if the Sigils used were the Sigils on the Candle in the Key of Solomon were of Wax Angels or Fire Angels. My response was that although I had consulted multiple manuscripts and secondary sources, I was unable to find a definitive answer as to the derivational origins of these sigils in my research. In terms of reputable secondary sources, Joseph H. Peterson’s edition sadly didn’t have any footnotes clarifying the sigils given here.

It’s worth noting that the Sigils used in this method are identical to those used on the Solomonic Candle of the Art in the Key of Solomon Book II, Chapter 12, which is what prompted Mr. Leitch’s very fair question. Although I’m open to evidence to the contrary, it seems to me that these sigils are a mixture of sigils for Angels governing both Wax and Fire since they appear in the Grimoire in a context that provides exorcisms and blessings of both “Creatures of Wax” and “Creatures of Fire.”

If so, then the Fire Angels can watch over the lighting of the Candles and Incense and the Wax Angels can add their power and influence to the lighting of the Candles by virtue of the Wax that melts during the lighting. If, as it turns out, the sigils entirely pertain to Wax Spirits, then they can still exercise the latter virtue. In any case, following the grimoire, I re-exorcise the Fire each time I light a candle or incense anyway.

 

Hebrew Errors in the Circle in Mathers’ Key of Solomon Book 2, Chapter 9

seal2this site While I’ve been doing intensive research in various manuscripts of the Key of Solomon and Lemegeton and working on my Circle, I’ve been learning some fascinating things, in some cases discovering errors that I haven’t seen mentioned in any other sources.

For example, in Book 2, Chapter 9 of Mathers’ Key of Solomon, Mathers’ diagram shows the Hebrew text of “Who is like unto thee, oh YHVH?” from Exodus 15:11 added in the second Band of the Circle.

However, in almost every source I’ve seen, and in both Mathers’ original presentation and Mr. Donald Tyson’s presentation thereof in Serpent of Wisdom, there are many mistakes in the Hebrew given for this verse (this site quotes the erroneous text as a transliterated “MI KMIK BALIM IHVH”, for instance).

I looked the passage up in the Hebrew Tanakh to verify and in case anyone else is constructing a Circle and wants to include this verse, here is the correct Hebrew as it should be written, shown in the context of the full verse from the Hebrew Tanakh:

hebrew.jpg

If you compare with the transliterated text “MI KMIK BALIM IHVH” that Mr. Tyson and Graycloak Grimoires provided above, you’ll notice the following errors:

1. An unnecessary and additional Yod in “KMIK,” which should rather be given as Kaph-Mem-Kaph-Heh and would be transliterated “KMKH” in English.

2. A word-final Kaph in “KMIK,” which should instead be a Heh, giving KMKH, as explained in point 1.

3. “BALIM” is fairly close to the actual Hebrew, but it contains a superfluous Yod once more. “BALM” would be a more accurate English transliteration.

4. “IHVH” is fine, but I personally prefer “YHVH” as the English transliteration of that word.

Hopefully this is helpful to someone who would like to use the verse in their own Circle. In my own, I used the corrected Hebrew text, which I integrated into the Goetia Circle.

Here is a picture of my Circle in an incomplete stage along the process of constructing it, which shows how the corrected and rectified Hebrew text of Exodus 15:11 was integrated into the tail of the ouroboric Serpent, which I corrected with its tail properly placed in its mouth following a suggestion from the wise Dr. Stephen Skinner:

circle

As a final note, when I shared these corrections in my friend Mr. Aaron Leitch’s Solomonic group, many members agreed with them and were grateful for them. Indeed, the post was approved by Dr. Skinner himself. However, some members wondered if it would be better to integrate the corrupted Hebrew in order to stick “closer to the Grimoires” or correct it as I did.

Personally, I am against sticking to the Grimoires’ erroneous Hebrew out of a misplaced devotion to erroneous ‘traditionalism’ when the errors can be easily corrected and very much in favour of making the corrections.

There are at least three very good reasons for proceeding in this way.

  1. First, as my Medievalist scholar friends like to point out, few people in England and Britain in the Medieval and early Renaissance period spoke Hebrew, and as a result, their Hebrew tended to be very corrupted, and such sketchy Hebrew therefore made it into the Grimoires.
  2. Second, practical experience has revealed that using correct Hebrew is more magically potent, simply because in this way, the invocations, conjurations, and Names used actually reflect their proper way of being written and the power contained therein. This is true both from a traditional magic perspective and from as diverse-seeming a perspective as the yogic view that mantras are not simply symbols of Divine powers, but rather are those powers in instantiated form.

    Therefore, if the Words of Power are riddled with errors, then their potency is reduced and conversely, if correctly written or intoned, their powers are augmented. There is no need to take my word for this point, or the words of the traditional Masters from both the Grimoiric and yogic traditions, however; it is enough to try both the correct Hebrew and the garbled Hebrew in ritual and see which produces more efficacious results.

  3. The original Grimoire writers did the best they could and that their mistakes are unintentional. If so, then correcting them is actually more in line with their original intentions than leaving them uncorrected; if they knew better, they wouldn’t have included the errors. So far, no Spirits have objected to this rationale, so it works for me.

That’s my view on the matter, but feel free to experiment and come to your own conclusions, dear friends. 🙂

 

Consecrations of Solomonic Holy Water, Holy Oil, Pens of the Art, and a Lighter of the Art

seal2Date: April 18, 2018
Time:  7:33 – 8:04 A.M.
Sun Phase: The First and Second Hours of Mercury on the Day of Mercury
Moon Phase: Waxing
Planetary Day: Day of Mercury
Planetary Hour: Hour of Jupiter into Hour of Mars

Activities: Consecration of Solomonic Holy Water, Consecration of the Bottle of Art, Consecration of Solomonic Holy Oil, Consecration of Solomonic Pens of the Art, and Consecration of a Solomonic Light of the Art, all following Key of Solomon methodologies

I woke up, did a ritual bathing according to the Sufi ghusl formula, and then exorcised and consecrated Solomonic Holy Water in the first Hour of Mercury on the Day of Mercury before placing it in a consecrated bottle wrapped in consecrated linen, all prepared according to the Key of Solomon’s instructions.

altar1

I then finished the Hebrew lettering and Medieval calligraphy on my Solomonic Circle:

circle

In the second Hour of Mercury, in the afternoon, I consecrated Solomonic Holy Oil. My method here is a combination of Frater Asterion’s, Key of Solomon formulae, and ideas from the Heptameron and Book of Raziel:

CONSECRATION OF THE BOTTLE OF THE ART IN WHICH THOU WILT PLACE THE OIL

First, have handy the consecrated Holy Water and Odoriferous Spices (Incense). Take the Bottle of Art to be used and suffumigate it and sprinkle it with Holy Water.

Then say:

I exorcise thee, O Spirit impure and unclean, thou who art a hostile Phantom, in the Name of God, that thou quit this Bottle, thou and all thy deceits, that they may be consecrated and sanctified in the name of God Almighty. May the Holy Spirit of God grant protection and virtue unto those who use this Bottle of Art; and may the hostile and evil Spirit and Phantom never be able to enter therein, through the Ineffable Name of God Almighty. Instead, may the Holy Spirit of Adonai use this Creatures of Bottles to add Divine Potency and Holiness to all that all Creatures of Oil, Water, or other Holy Substances Placed Therein. Amen.

Bless and sprinkle with Water, Oil, and Suffumigate with Incense saying the following conjuration three times:

Hamiel, hel, miel, ciel, joviel, Nasnia, magde Tetragrammaton. O powerful God, grant the prayers of those who invoke you, and bless these small vials prepared in your honor, through all your works. Amen.

***

altardark

CONSECRATION OF SOLOMONIC HOLY OIL

Have on hand the consecrated Bottle, Holy Water, and Odoriferous Spices (Incense) as well as a consecrated Silk or Linen in which to wrap the Bottle of consecrated Oil.

Suffumigate the oil, sprinkle holy water on it and say:

I exorcise thee, O Creature of Oil, by Him Who hath created the plants by which thou wast made, that thou doth empower and infuse with the Blessing of the Most High and render Holy and Hallowed all that thou annointeth, and that thou uncover all the deceits of the Enemy, and that thou cast out from thee all the impurities and uncleannesses of the Spirits of the World of Phantasm, so they may harm me not, through the virtue of God Almighty Who liveth and reigneth unto the Ages of the Ages. Amen.

Say the 7 Penitential Psalms: 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142:

Psalm 6

YHVH, do not punish me in your anger     or discipline me in your rage. Have pity on me, O YHVH, because I am weak.     Heal me, O YHVH, because my bones shake with terror. My soul has been deeply shaken with terror.     But you, O YHVH, how long . . . ?

Come back, O YHVH.     Rescue me.     Save me because of your mercy! In death, no one remembers you.     In the grave, who praises you?

I am worn out from my groaning.     My eyes flood my bed every night.     I soak my couch with tears. My eyes blur from grief.     They fail because of my enemies.

Get away from me, all you troublemakers,     because YHVH has heard the sound of my crying.         YHVH has heard my plea for mercy.         YHVH accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies will be put to shame and deeply shaken with terror.     In a moment they will retreat and be put to shame.

Psalm 31

I have taken refuge in you, O YHVH.     Never let me be put to shame.         Save me because of your righteousness.         Turn your ear toward me.         Rescue me quickly.         Be a rock of refuge for me,             a strong Metsuda to save me. Indeed, you are my rock and my Metsuda.     For the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.         You are my refuge,             so pull me out of the net that they have secretly laid for me. Into your hands I entrust my spirit.     You have rescued me, O YHVHEl of truth.

I hate those who cling to false gods, but I trust YHVH. I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.     You have seen my misery.     You have known the troubles in my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy.     You have set my feet in a place where I can move freely.

Have pity on me, O YHVH, because I am in distress.     My eyes, my soul, and my body waste away from grief. 10 My life is exhausted from sorrow,     my years from groaning.     My strength staggers under the weight of my guilt,         and my bones waste away. 11 I have become a disgrace because of all my opponents.     I have become someone dreaded by my friends,         even by my neighbors.             Those who see me on the street run away from me. 12 I have faded from memory as if I were dead     and have become like a piece of broken pottery. 13 I have heard the whispering of many people—     terror on every side—         while they made plans together against me.             They were plotting to take my life.

14 I trust you, O YHVH.     I said, “You are my Elohim.”

15 My future is in your hands.     Rescue me from my enemies, from those who persecute me. 16 Smile on me.     Save me with your mercy. 17 YHVH, I have called on you, so do not let me be put to shame.     Let wicked people be put to shame.     Let them be silent in the grave. 18 Let their lying lips be speechless,     since they speak against righteous people with arrogance and contempt.

19 Your kindness is so great!     You reserve it for those who fear you.         Adam’s descendants watch             as you show it to those who take refuge in you. 20 You hide them in the secret place of your presence     from those who scheme against them.     You keep them in a shelter,         safe from quarrelsome tongues. 21 Thank YHVH!     He has shown me the miracle of his mercy         in a city under attack. 22 When I was panic-stricken, I said,     “I have been cut off from your sight.”     But you heard my pleas for mercy when I cried out to you for help. 23 Love YHVH, all you godly ones!     YHVH protects faithful people,         but he pays back in full those who act arrogantly. 24 Be strong, all who wait with hope for YHVH,     and let your heart be courageous.

Psalm 37

Do not be preoccupied with evildoers.     Do not envy those who do wicked things. They will quickly dry up like grass     and wither away like green plants. Trust YHVH, and do good things.     Live in the land, and practice being faithful. Be happy with YHVH,     and he will give you the desires of your heart. Entrust your ways to YHVH.     Trust him, and he will act on your behalf. He will make your righteousness shine like a light,     your just cause like the noonday sun. Surrender yourself to YHVH, and wait patiently for him.     Do not be preoccupied with an evildoer who succeeds in his way         when he carries out his schemes. Let go of anger, and leave rage behind.     Do not be preoccupied.         It only leads to evil. Evildoers will be cut off from their inheritance,     but those who wait with hope for YHVH will inherit the land.

10 In a little while a wicked person will vanish.     Then you can carefully examine where he was,         but there will be no trace of him. 11 Oppressed people will inherit the land     and will enjoy unlimited peace. 12 The wicked person plots against a righteous one     and grits his teeth at him. 13 Adonay laughs at him     because he has seen that his time is coming. 14 Wicked people pull out their swords and bend their bows     to kill oppressed and needy people,     to slaughter those who are decent. 15 But their own swords will pierce their hearts,     and their bows will be broken. 16 The little that the righteous person has is better     than the wealth of many wicked people. 17 The arms of wicked people will be broken,     but YHVH continues to support righteous people. 18 YHVH knows the daily struggles of innocent people.     Their inheritance will last forever. 19 They will not be put to shame in trying times.     Even in times of famine they will be satisfied. 20 But wicked people will disappear.     YHVH’s enemies will vanish like the best part of a meadow.     They will vanish like smoke. 21 A wicked person borrows, but he does not repay.     A righteous person is generous and giving. 22 Those who are blessed by him will inherit the land.     Those who are cursed by him will be cut off.

23 A person’s steps are directed by YHVH,     and YHVH delights in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be thrown down headfirst     because YHVH holds on to his hand. 25 I have been young, and now I am old,     but I have never seen a righteous person abandoned         or his descendants begging for food. 26 He is always generous and lends freely.     His descendants are a blessing. 27 Avoid evil, do good, and live forever. 28 YHVH loves justice,     and he will not abandon his godly ones.     They will be kept safe forever,     but the descendants of wicked people will be cut off. 29 Righteous people will inherit the land     and live there permanently. 30 The mouth of the righteous person reflects on wisdom.     His tongue speaks what is fair. 31 The teachings of his Elohim are in his heart.     His feet do not slip. 32 The wicked person watches the righteous person     and seeks to kill him. 33 But YHVH will not abandon him to the wicked person’s power     or condemn him when he is brought to trial. 34 Wait with hope for YHVH, and follow his path,     and he will honor you by giving you the land.         When wicked people are cut off, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked person acting like a tyrant,     spreading himself out like a large cedar tree. 36 But he moved on, and now there is no trace of him.     I searched for him, but he could not be found. 37 Notice the innocent person,     and look at the decent person,         because the peacemaker has a future. 38 But rebels will be completely destroyed.     The future of wicked people will be cut off. 39 The victory for righteous people comes from YHVH.     He is their fortress in times of trouble. 40 YHVH helps them and rescues them.     He rescues them from wicked people.     He saves them because they have taken refuge in him.

Psalm 50

YHVH, the only true El, has spoken.     He has summoned the earth         from where the sun rises to where it sets. Elohim shines from Zion,     the perfection of beauty. Our Elohim will come and will not remain silent.     A devouring fire is in front of him         and a raging storm around him. He summons heaven and earth to judge his people: “Gather around me, my godly people     who have made a pledge to me through sacrifices.”

The heavens announce his righteousness     because Elohim is the ShophetSelah

“Listen, my people, and I will speak.     Listen, Israel, and I will testify against you:     I am Elohim, your Elohim! I am not criticizing you for your sacrifices or burnt offerings,     which are always in front of me. But I will not accept another young bull from your household     or a single male goat from your pens. 10 Every creature in the forest,     even the cattle on a thousand hills, is mine. 11 I know every bird in the mountains.     Everything that moves in the fields is mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,     because the world and all that it contains are mine. 13 Do I eat the meat of bulls or drink the blood of goats? 14 Bring your thanks to Elohim as a sacrifice,     and keep your vows to Elyon. 15 Call on me in times of trouble.     I will rescue you, and you will honor me.”

16 But Elohim says to wicked people,     “How dare you quote my decrees         and mouth my promises!17 You hate discipline.     You toss my words behind you. 18 When you see a thief, you want to make friends with him.     You keep company with people who commit adultery. 19 You let your mouth say anything evil.     Your tongue plans deceit. 20 You sit and talk against your own brother.     You slander your own mother’s son. 21 When you did these things, I remained silent.     That made you think I was like you.         I will argue my point with you             and lay it all out for you to see. 22 Consider this, you people who forget Eloah.     Otherwise, I will tear you to pieces,         and there will be no one left to rescue you. 23 Whoever offers thanks as a sacrifice honors me.     I will let everyone who continues in my way         see the salvation that comes from Elohim.”

Psalm 101

I will sing about mercy and justice.     O YHVH, I will make music to praise you. I want to understand the path to integrity.     When will you come to me?

I will live in my own home with integrity. I will not put anything wicked in front of my eyes.     I hate what unfaithful people do.     I want no part of it. I will keep far away from devious minds.     I will have nothing to do with evil. I will destroy anyone who secretly slanders his neighbor.     I will not tolerate anyone with a conceited look or arrogant heart. My eyes will be watching the faithful people in the land     so that they may live with me.         The person who lives with integrity will serve me.

The one who does deceitful things will not stay in my home.     The one who tells lies will not remain in my presence.

Every morning I will destroy all the wicked people in the land     to rid YHVH’s city of all troublemakers.

Psalm 129

“From the time I was young, people have attacked me . . .”    (Israel should repeat this.)“From the time I was young, people have attacked me,     but they have never overpowered me.         They have plowed my back like farmers plow fields.         They made long slashes like furrows.” YHVH is righteous.     He has cut me loose         from the ropes that wicked people tied around me. Put to shame all those who hate Zion.     Force them to retreat. Make them be like grass on a roof,     like grass that dries up before it produces a stalk.         It will never fill the barns of those who harvest             or the arms of those who gather bundles. Those who pass by will never say to them,     “May you be blessed by YHVH”     or “We bless you in the name of YHVH.”

Psalm 142

Loudly, I cry to YHVH.     Loudly, I plead with YHVH for mercy. I pour out my complaints in his presence     and tell him my troubles.         When I begin to lose hope,             you already know what I am experiencing.

My enemies have hidden a trap for me on the path where I walk. Look to my right and see that no one notices me.     Escape is impossible for me.         No one cares about me.

I call out to you, O YHVH.     I say, “You are my Machseh,     my own inheritance in this world of the living.” Pay attention to my cry for help     because I am very weak.     Rescue me from those who pursue me     because they are too strong for me. Release my soul from prison     so that I may give thanks to your name.         Righteous people will surround me             because you are good to me.

water altar dark2

Kindle the coal or light some consecrated Frankincense. Take the Book, or printed text, in the left hand and the vessel or bottle of Oil in the right, and hold it in the smoke of the Incense, saying the following conjuration 3 times:

O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, put thy blessing upon this creature of oil, that it may fill up the power and virtue of its substance, so that neither the enemy, nor any false imagination may be able to enter it, and grant it the power of seeing the spirits of heaven, earth and hell once I anoint mine eyes with it and to hear and understand them once I anoint mine temples with it, in thy great name Adonai Tetragrammaton and through the power of our Lord! May whatsoever it anoints be made Holy and empowered with Thy Blessing! Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Amen.

It is done.

***

Thereafter, I consecrated the Pens of the Art (permanent markers and chalk markers in this case), which I will use for drawing sigils and characters according to the following take on the Key of Solomon’s instructions for the Ink:

CONSECRATION OF THE PENS OR MARKERS OF THE ART

Light Incense of Art. Sprinkle the markers with Holy Water, anoint with Holy Oil, suffumigate with the Incense and say:

I exorcise thee, O Creature of Ink, by ANAIRETON, by SIMULATOR, and by the Name ADONAI, and by the Name of Him through Whom all things were made, that thou be unto me an aid and succor in all things which I wish to perform by thine aid.

Pray the following 3 times:

ADRAI, HAHLII, TAMAII, TILONAS, ATHAMAS, ZIANOR, ADONAI, banish from these pens all deceit and error, so that it may be of virtue and efficacy to write all that I desire. Amen.

Cense with the Incense and say:

ASOPHIEL, ASOPHIEL, ASOPHIEL, PENTAGRAMMATON, ATHANATOS, EHEIEH ASHER EHEIEH, QADOSCH, QADOSCH, QADOSCH; O God Eternal, and my Father, bless this Instrument prepared in Thine honour, so that it may only serve for a good use and end, for Thy Glory. Through thy power, let whatever operations in which it is used come to fruition and great success, for the Power and Glory are yours alone, now and forever. Amen.

***

I also consecrated my own invention, the Lighter of the Art. As this post is getting rather long, I will save that method for a future post.

Continue to the Consecration Ritual for a Solomonic Lighter of the Art for that post.

Consecration of Solomonic Bottles and Burins

seal2.jpgDate: April 13, 2018
Time:  3:58 – 4:28 P.M.
Sun Phase: Setting
Moon Phase: Moon in 25 degrees Pisces in the Lunar Mansion of Batn al-Hut, appropriately enough, the Fish
Planetary Day: Day of Venus
Planetary Hour: Hour of Mercury
Activities: Solomonic Exorcisms and Consecrations of Bottles for Holy Water and Holy Oil and Solomonic Burins of Art

For my Burin consecration approach, I drew on both the Key of Solomon and British Library, Lansdowne Manuscript 1203. 74 folios. 4 of the Veritable Clavicles of Solomon.

In the Hour of Mercury, I set up the Altar in the Solomonic Consecration Circle with candles, consecrated Myrrh incense, a container of Salt and Quartz, two Burins, consecrated candles, Solomonic Holy Water, and a consecrated Marker of Art.

water

For my Bottle consecration methodology, I drew on both the Key of Solomon and British Library, Lansdowne Manuscript 1203. 74 folios. 4 of the Veritable Clavicles of Solomon.  Accordingly, I exorcised and blessed the Bottles for Holy Oil and Holy Water with suffumigations and sprinklings, saying:

I exorcise thee, O Spirit impure and unclean, thou who art a hostile Phantom, in the Name of God, that thou quit these Bottles, thou and all thy deceits, that they may be consecrated and sanctified in the name of God Almighty.

May the Holy Spirit of God grant protection and virtue unto those who use these Bottles; and may the hostile and evil Spirit and Phantom never be able to enter therein, through the Ineffable Name of God Almighty.

Instead, may the Holy Spirit of Adonai use these Creatures of Bottles to add Divine Potency and Holiness to all that all Creatures of Oil, Water, or other Holy Substances Placed Therein. Amen.

I then blessed and sprinkled with Water, Oil, and Suffumigated with Holy Incense saying:

Hamiel, hel, miel, ciel, joviel, Nasnia, magde Tetragrammaton.

O powerful God, grant the prayers of those who invoke you, and bless these small vials prepared in your honor, through all your works. Amen.

Then I crafted the Solomonic Burins, for use in engraving Pentacles as per the Key of Solomon. Different manuscripts differ in when the symbols on the Solomonic Burin are to be inscribed. As Joseph H. Peterson points out, Key of Solomon Manuscripts Ad. 10862, but Aub24, Mich276, L1202, K288, and Ad. 36674 all say to do it in the Day and Hour of Venus. Key of Solomon Manuscript Sl3091 says to do it in the Hour of Mercury. To integrate the two, I did it in the Hour of Mercury on the Day of Venus.

As the Key of Solomon text says, “the Burin is useful for engraving or incising characters.” In the Day and Hour either of Mars or of Venus thou shalt engrave thereon the characters shown,

paint.png

and having sprinkled [with Holy Water] and censed it [with consecrated Incense] thou shalt repeat over it the following Prayer three times:–

PRAYER.

ASOPHIEL, ASOPHIEL, ASOPHIEL, PENTAGRAMMATON, ATHANATOS, EHEIEH ASHER EHEIEH, QADOSCH, QADOSCH, QADOSCH; O God Eternal, and my Father, bless this Instrument prepared in Thine honour, so that it may only serve for a good use and end, for Thy Glory. Amen.

Then pray:

I conjure thee, O Creature of Burin, by God the Father almighty, by the virtue of the heavens, of the stars, and of the angels who preside over them; by the virtue of stones, herbs, and animals; by the virtue of hail, snow, and wind; that thou receivest such virtue that thou mayest obtain without deceit the end which I desire in all things where I shall use thee; through God the creator of the ages, and emperor of the angels. Amen.

Having again perfumed with consecrated incense, oil, and Holy Water, thou shalt wrap it in cloth, and pray:

DANI, LUMECH, AGALMATUROD, GEDIEL, PANI, CANELOAS, MEROD, LAMIDOC, BALDOC, ANERETON, METRATON, TUANCIA, COMPENDON, LAMEDON, CEDRION, ON, MYTRION, ANTON, SYON, SPISSON, LUPRATON, GION, GIMON, GERSON, AGLA, AGLAY, AGLAOD, AGLADIAMERON, angels most holy, be present for a guard unto this instrument. Amen.

Having completed these Rites, I wrapped the consecrated implements in white Silk and closed the Temple. I felt very peaceful and light by the end of the work. It is beautiful to see all of these preparations slowly coming together for my more involved Solomonic work to come. The Solomonic approach is very attentive, thorough, and prolonged. Every step is to be taken in a spirit of faith and sincerity. Done in this way, each of these Rites becomes its own meditation and the result is a very contemplative and fulfilling experience.

water2